Switching to Windows

I have always been somewhat of a fan of macOS, however of late it seems Apple have dropped the ball. Microsoft has been steaming ahead with Windows 10 bring out features that work on iPhone and Android. In general, I like the New Microsoft approach – we don’t care what device you use just use our services.

They really are building some amazing products and services now. So much so that I made the switch to Windows 10 from macOS when my 4-year-old iMac started to show its age with hardware related slowdowns (the Hard Drive was starting to fail). After looking around for a good deal on a new MacBook I decided Apple was no longer the way to go. For what a mid-range MacBook Pro costs I was able to get a top of the line Dell XPS, wireless keyboard, 24″ external display and still had the change to buy the applications I needed to repurchase.

Now 2 months later and I have not looked back. I am enjoying Windows 10 a great deal and feel a lot more productive not having to wait up to 5 minutes for Photoshop to open and over an hour to copy 1GB of files.

Do I miss anything. Not really I have found a number of good replacements for everything my Mac did including:

MonoSnap for screenshots and screen recording
Git Bash includes a full Open SSH client

Adobe, Microsoft, Google and Dropbox apps work in exactly the same way across both operating systems and Evernote for Windows while ugly is actually not that bad and outperforms the Mac version tenfold.

ReWork Review

I have read this book many times but never written a review for it. ReWork is all about a better way of working and from a business owners persecutive.

You will not get a huge amount of benefit reading this book unless you have the decision making power in your company. A lot of what it talks about is running a team of remote people. It is an insight into how 37Signals (now Basecamp) operates.

While a short read it is packed full of great tips and takeaways and well worth your time and money.

A Move to NameCheap

For the longest time I have been registering my domains at Hover and loved. I can’t fault Hover however they are not cheap.

Recently I started to move my domains over to NameCheap for 1 reason – price. NameCheap is $11 for a .com as opposed to $15 at Hover. $4 per year is not a lot for 1 or 2 domains but when you are renewing in excess of 60 domains this adds up very quickly. In total the move is going to save me around about $200 per year.

That is not the only reason however, Hover only provide support between 8am and 11pm Eastern Standard Time. As a UK based business this is not idea. I have a lot of customers domains with them and if I need to get hold some somebody I can’t – and you do need to use support for a lot of things that can’t be done in the control panel.

Not only do I save money but for all new domains you can buy a matching SSL for as little as $2 for the first year. Something this is a bargain as I often need SSL certificates with my new domains.

PasteBot: A Life Saver

Ok so I copy and paste a lot. I get content in Word and need to paste into websites daily. PasteBot allows me to not only quickly copy 3 or 4 pieces of information at once but then apply filters to them before pasting.

After starting a 14 day trial I used the app for about 6 hours before putting down the £9.99 to buy it. That is how good the application is.

So I clearly fell in love but why?

One word, filters. As a web developer i often gets bullet lists in Word that need to be added to a website. This normally requires a fair about of time copying HTML tags around each item however with PasteBot filters this is 2 clicks and it is automatically pasted into place.

Yep more. Taking screenshots with crtl+Shit+4 on a mac copies the image to the clipboard rather than saving it to your desktop. PasteBot saves each of these images allowing me quickly take a series of screen grabs and paste them into my document as I need them.

PasteBot probably saves me a good 30 minutes if not more each day – well worth the £9.99 asking price.

Review: How to be a Productivity Ninja

How to be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott an entertaining read but it doesn’t really deliver anything new. In short it is an updated version of David Allan’s Getting Things Done.

There are a few good tips Graham has such as wearing headphones during the periods of time you want to focus without interruption from work colleagues. The book is to the point and and I like that. It doesn’t meander far from the core principles of productivity.

If you haven’t read Getting Things Done before or want a refresher on the basic idea this is well worth a read. I listened to the audio version on a recent solo trip to Hong Kong, at 9 hours it was just about the right length to not only fit my trip but also not to bore the listener.

Narrated by Anthony Shuster the book comes across with a pleasant and understandable British accent which fits well with this title begin written by a British author.