Can this be the Windows 8 experience?


Been a little bit of a slow start, hosting wise so I figured I would talk about something else. But first let’s send out a few shouts around the world:

OpenDNS will be 5 years old. Who knew? Doesn’t seem that long ago when I interviewed CEO, Founder, and Visionary David Ulevitch about his shocking DNS system discoveries and how he intended to fix it. If you don’t use OpenDNS I would suggest switching. It is absolutely brilliant. To swap your DNS to OpenDNS follow the link to faster DNS. If you feel more socially inclined, they are going to have a party in San Francisco. July 28th at The Old Mint, meet David, Allison, and company.

Next shout goes to Derek Vaughan who is in France at the moment. Derek writes quite often for this blog and his writing is some of the best in the industry. Hope you are having a blast.

And lastly, umm, lets go with Open-Xchange. For those unfamiliar, Open-Xchange was at the forefront of the SaaS trend so many years ago, and they easily adapted that to a cloud format. Open-Xchange is a mail and collaboration service not unlike Microsoft Exchange. Recently, Open-Xchange picked up STRATO as a new client. STRATO is Europe’s second-largest web host. This deals places about 5 million + more clients into Open-Xchange’s capable hands. Congrats guys.

So one of the things I have been experimenting on is making my life easier. I have outrageous work hours and to bring the leash on that I have been looking for tools to make the mundane stuff more manageable.

First step was I use an egg timer to budget out my time when I have multiple projects going at once. This technique works quite well for me, unfortunately between cooking and working I often misplace the silly timer. So I definitely needed some kind of alarm.

I have an RSS feed that condenses the press releases from several thousand companies, checks… about 100 Google Alerts, and several PR channel streams. I have been using Omea Reader for a while to organize it all, but it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. So I needed some sort of RSS reader that can br in such a place to give me real time results and force me to look at it lol.

The rest of the stuff I use is fairly normal, I wanted some way of checking my email without having to open Outlook or keeping it minimized while I glance at the headlines. I need a to do list I can cross stuff off on, a personal note pad; just your basic office stuff. Only I want it all digital.

I had used Rainmeter a very long time ago. Although I was impressed with it, it seemed more like a curiosity at the time and less like something I could actually use and not get bored. I have a problem with graphicly intense interfaces in that my eyes glaze over as I hunt for a means to reduce the amount of crap on my screen. I gave it another look however because it is one of the few desktop skinners, theme builders, whatever, that can run apps, panels, and the like. To make my life easier I grabbed Omnimo (theme/usability pack) for it and I have to say the sheer amount of stuff you can do with it is crazy. The best part though is how little resources the whole thing uses.

Omnimo comes with a few default themes you can use one being Windows Phone 7 the other being Windows 8. Although both looked alright, and I do thing operating systems in general are heading toward an app driven business model, I prefer just making my own messy layout. Still if you want to preview Windows 8, or at least a version that copies the leaked GUI of Windows 8, well maybe that selection will be your cup of tea.

Not really sure where I was going with this blog other than, Rainmeter + Omnimo UI is like getting hosed down with your favorite adult beverage whilst eating a giant prime rib (or substitute favorite food here), without the cleanup. Granted you may waste a weekend getting everything the way you want it, but you can’t win them all.

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