Moving into 2008

sf fireworks

Wow 2007 was quite a crazy year for me. It started it out living in my car and working 2 jobs. I end 2007 living in a nice house but still 2 jobs. I had a lot of great times this past year. I went to Las Vegas for my first and second time, my brother got married, I got to spend quite a bit of time relaxing in Orlando while I was still in Florida, I up and moved across the country to San Francisco, and many many other adventures.

There were a lot of negatives this year as well, including my car being broken into twice and losing nearly everything I own. Moving into 2008 there are a lot of things I plan on changing and things I hope to be able to do.I’m going to start using a service like Wesabe or Mint to track my spending, and try to get it down where I won’t need a second job (but still am able to save for the future). I want to get a motorcycle or a moped to save on gas…it is 15 miles to work each way, and with the prices here in California topping $4 in some places, I’d like to save money on gas if I can. I also plan on trying to eat more cooked meals at home to save money, and ramen noodles top that list right now (bought a 36 pack for $3 the other day).

I also plan on joining a gym and going for something besides showering (I’ve got my own shower now at my house). I hate “New Year’s Resolutions” and I am not calling this post that. I just want to get in better shape, and know it is possible if I put forth an effort.

I also hope to see more of the Bay area (seems strange calling it that since Tampa (and surrounding cities) are often referred to as to as the Bay area as well. I haven’t ever been to Alacatraz, Sausalito, Napa (wine country), and many other places. I also hope to possibly move closer to SF so I won’t feel so inconvenienced when I want to on a whim drive out there to hang out, for a party, or any other reason.

All in all, I believe that 2008 will be a much better year then 2007 ever was. I look forward to the new experiences and anxiously await what the future has in store.

Essential Apps for my iMac

imac al

If you follow me on Twitter, you would know that my 20″ iMac is inbound and scheduled to arrive this Thursday. It’s been nearly 2 months without my own computer, let alone a mac. Since that time, Leopard has launched and a number of other great apps that I want to try out. There are a ton of great applications for the mac the help make the experience more enjoyable. So I figured I would go though and try and list the apps I will be installing.

1) Adium – My favorite IM client for the mac. Sure I will be using the new iChat to try out all of the cool new video conferencing things, but for straight chat, Adium is the best.

2) Firefox – Safari may of come a long way, but my favorite browser is still Firefox, second to Camino.

3) Camino – I’ve never really been a fan of the Greasmonkey hacks to get multiple Gmail accounts open on the same browser, so Camino has always been a great way to manage two accounts for me, plus it’s a great browser built specifically for the mac by the makers of Firefox.

4) Twitterific – Since I had my mac they have gone version 3.0, and yes its now a paid product, but the ads aren’t that bad from what I’ve heard.

5) Cyberduck – The best free FTP client for the mac.

6) VLC – When it won’t play in Quicktime, it will certainly play in VLC, along those lines I will also be installing Perian

7) Perian – The Swiss Army knife for Quicktime. This plugin allows you to play almost any video inside of Quicktime, thus being able to take advantage of Quick View right from the new Leopard Finder.

8 ) iWork 08 & Office 2004 – Both of these apps come pre-installed with a new mac, I just need to enter my serial numbers for both.

9) Parallels – Sure my copy of Vista Ultimate and Vista Office Ultimate were stolen, but I am sure to get another copy soon, and Parallels is the best program for running Windows based programs inside of the mac.

10) Skitch – I got an invite from my Twitter friend, Brian Caldwell over at Plasq (makers of Comic Life) and I can’t wait to try out this nifty program for photo grabbing, editing, etc.

This list is just a few of the great OS X apps I will be installing. There are plenty of others that I want to try out, and old favorites that have just slipped my mind. I do want to say that I’ve NEVER liked Quicksilver, and only slightly been a fan of Google Desktop for Mac, but now that Spotlight is an app launcher, I might not use either. Lastly, Pixelmator once it shows up on one of the MacSanta/MacHeist/Discount Mac bundle sites, I will be buying that as well. It is a great OS X only alternative for Photoshop.

Gmail Gets Colorful

gmail color

Last night Google’s Gmail service announced new colorful labels to help you better organize your inbox. Labels have always been a part of Gmail’s feature list, now they are more visible. Gmail started its email service as a way to “never delete your email” offering 1 gig of online storage, which has now grown to over 5gigs, and you can purchase more if necessary. The label system was put in place my Google to replace the need for standard folders inside of email (some users still don’t get it), but Google has hinted that it is planning “to add some folder-y-ish functionality” soon as well. The new colorful update is only available to IE7 and FF2+ users, so go and make sure you download the latest copy of your favorite browser, and check out the new colors of Gmail.