February is Client Appreciation Month at Affinity Consulting. Elsewhere in the newsletter you’ll see links to webinars we’re hosting throughout the month on a variety of topics, including a follow-up Mac Tips and Tricks webinar on February 19th. For those who attended the January 19th webinar, this will include new material. Click HERE to register.
For our Mac Corner this month, I thought I’d cover some of the Mac bloggers that I appreciate most. The following are excellent sources of information on Mac products and happenings in the community.
Shawn has been publishing a Mac-oriented blog since the summer of 2007. In 2011, he took the gig full-time and has been doing a great job ever since. While the site contains articles of various length, the heart of his site are the product reviews and podcast, called The Weekly Briefly. Recently he publushed a quick review of the new Outlook for iOS, available here from the App Store.
Shawn also runs a couple of companion sites that are equally interesting: The Sweet Setup, where he interviews well-known folks about their Mac setups and what software they use, and Tools & Toys, a website which highlights great gear and software.
Ben Brooks publishes The Brooks Review, a website devoted to his many interests, including Macs and photography. In addition to general Mac news and opinions, Ben writes about such varied topics as working remotely from the library, wall-mounted table desks, mechanical external keyboards for iPad, and even his favorite undershirt. Supplementing these articles is a page on Ben’s site titled “The Best”, where he details what products he thinks are “the best” in a given category. Current “bests” include the Goruck GR1 backpack, Tom Bihn Founder’s Briefcase, the Fujifilm XT–1 camera, and the perennial favorite scanner here at Affinity, the Fujitsu Scansnap iX500.
For anyone who has been around the Mac community for years, the name Jason Snell should ring more than a few bells. Formerly of Macworld, Snell recently struck out on his own, starting the Six Colors website; the name being a reference to the famous colored Apple logo. Although the current lead article is for an Avengers LEGO toy, the majority of content focuses on Apple products and associated software. Major recent articles include Jason’s review of Audio Hijack 3, an in-depth test drive of CarPlay, and how to rip DVDs and Blu-rays from disks to your Mac’s hard drive.
The third person on my list is Mac-using attorney, David Sparks, who publishes at his own Macsparky website. In addition to quick daily pieces on his website, David speaks at legal events like ABA TechShow, writes iBooks on a variety of subjects, and is a huge fan of OmniFocus, an excellent, if pricey, task manager available in Mac and iOS versions. Indeed, David recently wrote a video field guide on using OmniFocus to manage your workflows.
The final blogger I’m going to mention is not a Mac blogger. In fact, he made his name covering Microsoft at his own Supersite for Windows. So, why mention Paul Thurrott in a Mac Corner article? First, because Apple is not just Macs; it’s also iOS. As Paul argued after Apple’s most recent blockbuster quarterly results, “Well, it’s official: Apple is now the iPhone company … fully two-thirds of Apple’s revenues now come from iPhone alone.”. And Paul does an excellent job of covering the competitive landscape in the mobile market. Although he’s partial to Windows Phone, he gives all products a fair shake with unvarnished reviews. Second, Paul is the authority on Windows in the consumer space and, unfortunately, many Mac attorneys have one or two pieces of Windows software they have to use in virtual machines on their Macs. Paul’s writing is clear and straight-forward. He’s got a wonderfully dry sense of humor that comes through loud and clear on his TWiT podcast, Windows Weekly, with fellow Microsoft journalist Mary Jo Foley and host Leo Laporte, whose network also hosts TWiT’s MacBreak Weekly podcast.
If you want to avoid Windows entirely, but still get Paul’s take on tech, catch him on GFQ Network’s What The Tech, where he and host Andrew Zarian discuss the whole gamut of tech news, including Apple. It’s a great, light-hearted take on the week’s tech news.