27 Jun

The coolest software I’ve found lately

There are some programs that just do something really handy in a simple way that makes your life easier. Library Books is one of them.

“Library Books is an Mac OS X application that tracks the library books you have borrowed.” Yes, this is true, but that just makes it sound like a database. Not at all.

The software connects to your library’s system and automatically shows you which books you have checked out, when they are due, etc. It puts status information in your Mac’s menu bar.

For example, when I first installed it, I had no books checked out, but I had a few holds set up. The software put a star and a zero in my menu bar. Then the next day I noticed the star was green. I clicked, and a pop-up menu appeared that said “9 holds, 2 available.” This was more than a day before the library actually got around to sending me the e-mailed notice that my holds were available!

So I checked out the books, then went home, and noticed shortly afterward that my menu bar now said “✮ 2” because I had two books checked out. Clicking on the star pops up a list of the books and their due dates.

It’s all automatic, which is great for me because I am absent-minded.

26 Jun

The Gentleman’s Page

The Gentleman’s Page is subtitled “A Practical Guide for the 19th Century American Man.” And it is, indeed. Browsing this site, you’ll learn how the men of that period dressed (frock suits, sack suits, and so on), how they acted (the correct bowing technique), and even the strict etiquette on how they should use their visiting cards when calling on acquaintances. Photographs and illustrations from the period are included. It’s quite fascinating.

05 Jun

Tasty art

While browsing Shorpy, I saw a link to Box of Apples — a site devoted to fruit crate label art. They sell giclée prints of them, but even if you’re not in the market, the gallery is a fun browse. They mention in their blog that “…one reason these labels are so pretty is that instead of the usual four-color printing (where cyan, magenta, yellow and black are combined to produce the desired hue), they used eight- and twelve- color printing.” Close-up examples are provided to illustrate this. They are all great, but I think I like this one the best.

05 Jun

The past in photos

Shorpy: The 100-Year-Old Photo Blog is one of those blogs that just makes you say “Wow!” on a regular basis. The photos aren’t all a century old, though some of them are. (Lately a lot of them have been Depression-era.) But they are all quite old, and quite amazing to look at. Many are just plain beautiful. Others are more thought-provoking.

I especially like the 4×5 Kodachrome transparencies like this and this — it’s so strange to see these times so long ago in color that seems so real. We are used to seeing most photos of that era in black and white, or sepia-tone, or hand-colored, or faded old colors. But of course, real life was colorful.

05 Jun

T-shirt addiction

I am a big dork. Threadless has been around for ages, but it wasn’t until last year that they finally broke down my resistance and convinced me to buy a shirt. I bought a few more after that. I like them a lot. I keep watching their website for cool new shirts, and buying one occasionally. But then this week they had a sale, and… I couldn’t help it. I bought 5 shirts. (Gulp!)

These are the ones I bought (click on the thumbnails to see them larger):

It is addictive, because they are all limited edition, so you have that “must buy it now or it will be GONE! FOREVER!” thing going.

Anyway, I guess I have enough t-shirts for now. Between t-shirts and salwar kameez outfits I guess I have been buying more clothes than usual lately.

(Bigger pics below the jump)
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