Gary Bacon

Awareness

Every hour, the app plays the sound of a tibetan singing bowl.
It reminds you to be mindful and take a break.

It was created to be subtle. You can adjust bowl volume. It displays how long it has been since you’ve taken a break in the OSX Menu Bar.

I love it because it does not interupt your workflow, take over the screen of your computer, or induce a negative response to the act of being mindful.

Simple yet elegant.

Download the app and give it a try.

My Top Apps of 2014

Inspired by this post from M.G. Siegler, I’m taking a look at the apps that I used the most in 2014. I’ll also make note of the apps that have been replaced by another app in the same category.

Apps that I use the most

Favorite Apps in my OSX Menu Bar

Inspired by Brett Terpstra (@ttscoff) and Mark Frauenfelder (@Frauenfelder), I decided to dive in share what handy apps that I keep in the menu above.

OSX Menu Bar

Main menubar

From left to right are…

Baron Fig Notebook

To this date, this is by far my favorite notebook. I take it with me everywhere. There are three types of paper for the Baron Fig Notebook: blank, ruled, and dot grid.

papertypes_02

I purchased both the dot grid and blank version. The latter I use for sketching and the former, I use for planning my day.

Best Beef Brisket in Baltimore’s Harbor East

Always a fan of good BBQ, I decided to give Oliver Speck’s Eat’s and Drinks a try, which is located in Baltimore’s Harbor East. Tucked behind the PNC, at the corner of S Exeter St and Fleet St, this restaurant is a hidden gem.

The view of the kitchen from my vantage point is shown below. Great homestyle feel with a chef that will amaze with quality of cuisine.

Localized Product Designs: LG Microwaves

Inspired by a Pogo video, I researched the microwave displayed, and what I found was varying products depending on the geographic region.

American Microwave

The product geared towards Americans, a microwave / oven combination. Now you too can warm up pizzas, frozen foods, and biscuits. Talk about stereotypical fattening American cuisine. Leaves one wanting something to actually help you cook. Perhaps the goal was to focus on “heating”.
LG 1.1 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven with Baking Oven
It even has an “Auto Pizza Mode” that “… automatically adjusts cooking times for fresh or frozen pizzas in addition to various baking treats and frozen foods.”

Amazon Roundup

Amazon seems to launch a new service quite often. Recently they have been rolling out some really good services. This article is a roundup of a few of my favorites.

Kindle Matchbook

For those looking to convert a few past purchases into their digital counterparts, Amazon now allows you to buy the matching ebook for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or even free. Kindle Matchbook Go minimal and sell those old paper versions as used on Amazon.

Google Chromecast

Overall Impression

The setup was much easier than I anticipated. It only took a few minutes and I was up and running. However, I do not feel the average person will “get it” in terms of how to use Chromecast properly. It is too decentralized. Set up the hardware, find an app or URL, install browser plugins, and hope content streams properly. It seems too disjointed overall. Great for geeks, not so much for the average consumer.

Setup

I plugged the Chromecast into my TV. The TV also comes with a USB port so the Chromecast is also being powered by my TV. Cleverly that saved one additional power outlet.

Strengths Finder 2.0

I was recently recommended to give the book Strengths Finder 2.0 a quick read. It is very much a short read but worth it indeed. The book shows you the importance of building your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses.

Recommended to get it on Kindle format as your online code is emailed immediately.

It includes an online code to take Gallup’s StrengthsFinder quiz, which reveals your top 5 strengths. I won’t go into all of mine, but my first one was incredible: Ideation.

Nest: No squirrels.

Nest Thermostat Easter Egg

Nest recently announced their 3.0 software update and a new thinner Nest thermostat.

After trying to find out how to update the software, only to realize that it happens automatically, I discovered an easter egg hidden in the device.

If you go to Settings > Legal Info and scroll to the bottom. These messages will display: