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If you have ever visited a site like digg.com or slashdot.org then you will probably know what I am talking about. It is probably one of the most annoying things that goes on on the internet. What I am talking about is people flamming eachother based on which operating system that they use. People that use Mac will bash Windows and Windows users will bash the Mac.

First off I just want to get this out of the way. I am a Mac user, I love Mac and everything about it. I also use a Windows computer at work and have Windows XP and Vista installed on my Mac. This post will not be Windows bashing or Mac praising, this is a neutral stance on one of the most annoying problems.

OS flame wars is a plague on social websites that discuss things regarding to technology. It usually starts when someone mentions something about one OS or another. For example someone posts on a forum a cool trick to do in Windows, then a Mac user (often referred to as a “fanboi” by the other opposing side) will come in and say that everyone is stupid for using a Windows computer. Thus the flame war has started. Now it will go back and fourth with Mac and Windows users will argue who is right and why.

These are pointless. Do they actually think they will change the other persons mind by attacking them and telling them they are stupid? If the person was even remotely interested in switching they will do it on their own. This happens on tech websites so I would assume they know something about tech. One thing people do not realize is that it is not always easy to learn a new OS, this goes both ways. They are very very different from each other. This goes for both ways, I use a Mac primarily and just started using a PC again a few months ago and it wasn’t the easiest to get back into it. I have to relearn how to do certain things and very few things are the same.

Another thing to notice is that these people use the machine they use for a reason. They wouldn’t be using the OS they use unless they believed it was the best option. Also, most likely they know the pitfalls of the OS of their choice and have found their own way of dealing with it. When a Mac user starts flaming a PC user and says, “well Window’s has a lot of viruses”, do they believe that these people do not know this? I am positive they do and use virus protection software to protect myself. They are also smart when surfing the web, remember these are tech guys and gals we are talking about. Also when a Windows user starts bashing a Mac user and says that they are just using toys and dumbed down machines, this is not really necessary. The person has the machine that works for them and by insulting them will only make them mad and want to fight back. Telling them these things will not make them switch.

Each OS has their benefits and drawbacks. The users usually know about these and use their machine accordingly. Also these people don’t really listen to each other. Instead they just reiterate the same things over and over.

Instead of fighting they should embrace the other OS. They don’t need to switch but should be happy that it is there. With more products in the market it will force companies to innovate and make good products. What motivation would Microsoft or Apple have if the other was gone. If they have no one to compete with they would just let their OS sit, or just make very small updates to get people to buy another copy or computer. It is important that both of these companies stay in the market.

These flame wars are pointless and a waste of time and energy. I won’t say it is a certain demographic that does it because I don’t believe it is so. Whatever it is that is causing this needs to be stopped. It is because of this that I am sometimes turned off from reading things dealing with tech on the internet.

Like I said, I am not bashing on one group or another (sorry if it seemed like it, it is hard to give example of both sides without being long winded) rather I want to address the issue at hand. I am not talking about friendly jokes between friends, like telling your windows buddy that your OS is better for…. It becomes a problem when it is harsh and mean and putting down another party. I am sick of hearing that I “dugg” a story because I am a fanboy. I obviously dugg it because I thought it was interesting, if that makes me a fanboy then so be it. I digg what I like and what difference does it make to someone else.

After a few days of release troubles, the folks over at pzizz.com got their software up and license upgrades working. Today I finally got to download the new version of pzizz and try it out.

If you have never heard of pzizz, it is a piece of software that assists you in taking power-naps, or helps you fall asleep at night. To use pzizz, you need to purchase the modules that you would like to use (sleep or energizer) and then download the software. When you go to take a nap, you start pzizz and load up the appropriate module that you would like to use. (you can purchse either one or both) Then you just lay down and let the sounds lull you to sleep.

When I first heard of pzizz I was extremely skeptical. Often times when you hear people trying to sell this type of stuff it is just cheap gimmicks to steal your money. I then decided to give pzizz a try and see if it would actually work. I decided I would use it for 5 days to give it a fair shot. This way if I was over thinking it on day 1 then I had 4 more days to see if I could get it to work. By day 3 I was hooked, pzizz actually does help you get energized in the middle of the day. When I first started using it a few months ago, I would always set an emergency alarm just in case I slept through the end. I no longer need that alarm, no matter how long the nap is I always get awoken at the end by the voice gently pulling you back to reality.

Being a student, I never really got all the sleep I needed. By the time I got to my classes in the afternoon I was half asleep and sometimes would forget what we talked about in lecture that day. Now all I need is a pzizz nap in the middle of the day to keep me going strong through the night. The people who made pzizz even offer a student discount (see the end of the post for the links).

With the new version of pzizz brings a brand new interface. In my opinion this is a much needed improvement over the old one which I personally did not like very much. The new interface is more intuitive and looks great. The best thing about this new pzizz is the export to iTunes feature. Originally you had to download them to your desktop using the cryptic quicktime preferences that popped up and then drag it over to your iTunes. Now it does all this for you AND adds album art (which looks fantastic).

If you have never checked out pzizz or have been skeptical about if it works or not, then I strongly suggest heading over to pzizz.com and reading more about it for yourself. Also, before you go and drop some dough on a piece of software you can download some sample tracks from their website to see if it is right for you. Pzizz has been a lifesaver for me after a full day of classes and when I still have a whole night of studying ahead of me. I hope you give it a try and it works for you. Oh ya, and it is available for both Windows and Mac.

One last thing I need to mention before I close out this post. I wanted to mention the excellent customer service that you get from the people at pzizz. Edward Laing has been very helpful over the past few days when their upgrade system was not working properly. He really works hard to make sure you get the best experience possible and I am sure he would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the software. Feel free to stop by the pzizz blog or contact him at customercare AT pzizz DOT com.

I really hope that you take the time to check out this great software. Until next time. Happy pzizzing.

    Links

Student Discount
Upgrade your license
More Info
Purchase

Pzizz, the wonderful napping application has recently been updated to version 2.0.  I will be writing a new review on Tues when I can exchange my old license for a brand new one.

Today, I’d like to take a few moments and talk about a certain company that has sucked my wallet dry. This company is The Omni Group. In my opinion they make some of the greatest software for the Mac. Their Omni Outliner application is matched by none. If you decide to try any of their applications, I strongly recommend trying this. It is a very simple app that, with a little creativity, can become an extremely powerful tool. Browse the site and look at some of the examples and templates and you will see what I mean. Also if you would like more info then I suggest checking out this podcast, Don McAllister does an outstanding job going over some of the basic features of the applications and giving you ideas on how to use it in various situations.

Omni Outliner, is not the only great application this company produces. Omni Graffle is a great diagramming tool. It has a great interface and like the other Omni apps, it just feels well done. Another app that is fun and useful is Omni Dazzle. It is great for people creating screencasts or doing presentations. It is also a great time waster. This is one that you should download, even if its for a 10 min test drive just so you can smile.

Finally I have to move on to my newest purchase. This one I was very skeptical about at first. In fact I was so skeptical about it that I wouldn’t even download it to try it out. Then it went on sale today so I decided to give it a try, and that is when they managed to suck more money out of my pocket. The application I am talking about is none other than Omni Web. Omni Web is a web browser with a few cool tricks up it’s sleeve. I will not go through them here, you can go to the website and check it out. It normally costs about $30 (way to steep for me), but is on sale for $10 until the end of the month. Now you may be wondering why you should pay for a web browser when a) there is one bundled with the system, and b) there are plenty of free alternatives on the web. It will probably boil down to personal taste, but I for one really like it. I feel that their feature set exceeds that of others (for my use at least) and improves upon many of the features they already have. I suggest giving it a try and seeing how you like it. This may not be your cup of tee, but there are people that actually paid the full $30 for this application. If you do like it then buy it now while it is on sale.

I hope that I didn’t burn a hole in too many of your pockets with this post. The Omni Group has some outstanding applications with even more to come (especially for anyone who is a fan of GTD).

If you are like me then you heavily rely on your calendar.  To me it is what gets me through every step of the day.  I have everything planned out so that I don’t miss a thing.  Between work, school, and group meetings I can easily forget about something that can have severe consequences.

The calendar that I use is iCal which is included with OS X on the Mac.  It is a great piece of software.  There is only one problem that I have with this system, I can’t change it when I am on the go.  When I am at class and something gets changed or I pick up an extra shift at work I have no way of updating my schedule.

This is where it gets interesting.  I use Google Calendar to update my calendar when on the go.  I have my iCal calendar subscribed to the one created on Google Calendar so that when I publish changes it shows up on my desktop application.  Then when I get home I can officially put it into my calendar.

Another thing that is useful is to be able to view your calendars on the go.  This can be done a few ways.  First, if you have an iPod you can just have the calendar sync to that.  This way you will always have it with you on the go and can check it when needed.  Another option if you don’t like the layout of the iPod’s calendar is to have your iCal calendar put onto the web.  The easiest way to do this is if you have .mac.  If you don’t then it gets a little more difficult but still doable.  I have my calendar published with .mac and then subscribed to in Google Calendar.

Now I know some of you are wondering why I don’t just use Google Calendar for everything, the truth is that I don’t really like web apps nearly as much as standard desktop applications.  iCal has a much nicer interface and is easier to use than Google Calendar, also with Google Calendar you lose the iPod syncing option.  In then end it is really all about personal taste.  Some people would really rather just have it all on Google Calendar, but if you would like to keep it on a desktop app and have it on the go now you know how.

If you are interested in pzizz and you are a student, I suggest checking out this blog post. You will get an insane discount price on a great piece of software. I will be posting a review of pzizz in a few days so you can wait and check that out if you want. Pzizz can be purchased here.

So I gave in. I purchased a game for my iPod off of the iTunes store. When they were originally announced I decided right off the bat that I didn’t want them. I have a Nintendo DS, why would I ever want a game on my iPod. It was silly, I already have a portable gaming device that has many more options and is built for games, why should I pay $5 to play them on my iPod. Well, after to listening to the host of the MacBreak Weekly podcast highly recommend them, I decided I should check it out for myself. At first I thought $5 was ridiculous to pay for a game, after I thought about it for a little bit I realized that this really wasn’t that bad. To get cheap fun little games like this for the computer cost like $10-15 or even more and this one can be brought with me. Games for my DS cost approx. $30, that makes the iPod games 1/6 of the price. Then I started to think of all the times when I have like 20 min between classes. That isn’t enough time to do anything important besides play games. With only 20 min I don’t wanna get into an in depth game I wanna play something quick and fun. I could play Tetris on my DS or maybe some other quick little things. The one problem is that I rarely bring my DS with me when going to class, but I always have my iPod. So I decided to download the game Vortex off of the iTunes Store and I must say it is really fun and addicting. The controls work perfectly and it is really quite fun. I even get full control of my music playback while playing the game. Overall I must say I am extremely happy with my purchase. For $5 this game is a great time waster. I have not tried any of the other games and I think I may just stick with one until I get really bored of it. So if you were wondering whether or not the iPod games were a good investment, you can take my word for it. Go out and take the plunge, you will not be disappointed. iPod games can be found on the iTunes Store here.

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