Notify 2 – Must have Email Notifier for the Mac

Remember google notifier? I used to be a big fan and used it regularly, was good till it lasted. The google notifier for the Mac is no longer available and though the Apple Mail client will give you an audible tone to denote arrival of new mail – I love the Gmail interface and love to use it.

Notify 2 is a fabulous piece of software designed for the mac that notifies you whenever you’ve got mail! and it does it with so much style that you wouldn’t go back to your mail client. Also you can reply and compose message quickly and zap them off in no time! I have a review here and would definitely recommend the $10 pro version – though the free version does the job as well as is no slouch.


CameraBag – for the Mac

CameraBag is a cool application for the Mac that allows you to add some classic photography filters or effects to your captures. Most pictures take a life of their own when post processed in a very classic fashion or given the film feel. Its like, the feeling that an image elicits when you know that it belongs to a certain period in time – the gritty, gripping feel! if you’ve been surfing the “interestingness” or “explore” feature of Flickr, you might have come across several images that have been post-processed in this “aged” or film style manner that just makes the image pop out in the mind of the viewer – that’s exactly what CameraBag does in a “as simple as it gets” manner. The fact that the app came out for the iPhone platform (App Store link) and later brought to the mac, should attest to the popularity of this processing technique. Ya, this can be done in Photoshop, but definitely not with the kind of ease that CameraBag provides. I’ve got a review up here and I seriously urge you to check out the application – it could be your way to Flickr fame 😉 – Though as with any tool, do not overuse it! it does get boring if overdone.

Oh, by the way the images touched (on the right & untouched on the left) with CameraBag above were loaned from my friend’s photoblog (urge you to check it out!).

How to run Vector NTI Suite on an Intel Mac

Vector NTI is a very indispensable piece of software once you get used to it. It becomes even more a pain when you cannot use because you switched your computing platform. I’ve seen so many posts from fellow switchers in the academic community with cries of help as to how get their favorite molecular biology workbench app to the mac platform. As of now there aren’t too many solutions! Invitrogen does not seem to be interested in developing the app any longer for the macintosh platform, so the only way is to use the windows version which is under active development and coming out with a new version 11 which i’m curious to try. The workaround for running Vector NTI is pretty simple, run windows on the mac! Using a virtual machine software like the two most popular VMware Fusion and Parallels vector NTI cab run on windows simultaneously. This is very much different from the Bootcamp Windows installation which allows you to run only one operating system at a time. With the virtual machine you can run windows or any other supported Operating systmes virtually within the Mac OS. Although applications like Codeweavers Crossover Office allow you to run Windows applications in a simulated windows environment with WINE, this method did not work out for Vector NTI. My guess is the requirement of Database connectivity (ODBC/MS Jet) that seems to be still a problem in the WINE emulation.

Is this virtual machine work around really a practical workflow? Well i was quite doubtful when i started out, but i’ve been using this workflow for almost a year now and have had no problems. In fact now with the capability of Leopard’s Time machine to backup all files on the mac, my virtual machine and together my Vector NTI database is also backed up constantly. Any files that need to be accessed on the mac can be stored on the shared folder that the virtual machine applications provide that are accessible by both operating systems. Hope this post was helpful for some soul searching for a solution to their Vector NTI woes.

Hazel – My first software purchase of the Year

Hazel

I’ve been using Hazel for the whole trial period and just bought this nifty piece of software. Basically Hazel is the lazy man’s no brainer file organisation tool. I don’t want to go into the details of what the software does, you can find that information at noodlesoft as a video. All i have to say is that “it just works” and becomes a part of your workflow and that you no longer realise that it’s there. I still cannot imagine working on a mac without Hazel