Some Small App Coolness


I’m a right-clicking crazy man.  Well, since I use a trackpad, and not a mouse, I guess I should be called a gesture-crazed mad man.  I find the “right click” almost always provides improved efficiency.

But, in some applications, you just have to use the menu bar at the top of the screen.  Since I use two enormous 2560 x 1600 monitors on my main desktop, getting to the menu bar on the main monitor can be quite the journey, even with turbo-charged tracking speed.

Introducing MenuEverywhere from Binary Bakery (love the company name).  This little app puts the menu bar atop each monitor, a keyboard shortcut away, and even on every window if you wish!  Clever!  Tim likes.

Shade Control@ShadeControl

I often wake up at odd hours and, rather than just tossing and turning in bed trying unsuccessfully to go back to sleep, get up and start working at the computer.  Problem:  with the two large monitors at the desktop, my retinas are seared by blinding display brightness at 3AM.  As a result, the first thing I always do is reduce the display brightness in system preferences.  (When I’m totally on top of things, I remember to do this just before putting the computer to sleep the night before.)

Additional problem:  I then can’t find the thin, tiny blinking cursor on the dimmer screen with half-asleep eyes!  So I’ve gone into System Preferences –> Universal Access (Settings for those with disabilities) –> Mouse and Trackpad, and increased the size of the cursor.  Now, while I can find it, at about 250% of its normal size, it looks awful—all jagged/pixelated.  Apparently the various cursors are not anti-aliased at larger sizes.

Introducing Shade Control.  This little app toggles on/off from the right menu bar.  When turned on, it dims the display but keeps the cursor bright and easy to see!  Tim likes.

Fantastical Icon@Fantastical

And, finally, I mention Fantastical, by Flexbits, a small app that runs from the right menu bar and allows you to quickly and easily add items to your calendar and view upcoming events during the week.  It integrates with various calendar software packages.  (I don’t use iCal or Microsoft.)

I like its cool animation and the fact that you can quickly input calendar events, using plane English, without launching your calendar application:  “Conference Call with TED, tomorrow at 1.”

Tim likes.

These are a few of my favorite things…

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