The apple of my eye

There are nerds out there. I know you’re there somewhere. Nerds with macs and iPhones who’ll appreciate this.

Following is a list of (mainly free) stuff I’ve recently picked up off the net via blogs like lifehacker and people I know.

[And I’m obviously a mac user –  i’m sure you can do all this stuff on a PC or simply using your hands just as easy but forgive me this once…]


For those of you involved in any form of academic research or any fellow medics who are trying to keep on top of the medical literature then this program is great.

I was beginning to get a bit befuddled by own filing system for PDFs (there’s over 400 by now) so it’s nice to see someone has thought about it more than I have.

Basically you dump all your PDFs into this program and it tries its best to pull all the meta data (references, authors, abstracts etc…) off PubMed or whatever suitable database and then organise them all into one nice database on your computer so you can actually find them again.

I am an organisational obsessive and as a result this was like heroin to my veins.

I’m still on the free trial and it costs 30 Euro for the full version.

PS there is a built in reader in the program which you can make notes with but I still prefer Preview for the cool annotation tools.

Itunes Remote Control

I’ve had remote on the iPhone for a while which is pretty useful as a remote control for computer I use as a media player but I always wanted an easy way to do the same thing from my lap top. I only got ITRC today. Took me a while to get my mac to connect to it but now it seems to work pretty well as yet another way not to exert calories in having to get up and turn the volume down.


Everyone hates MS Word (don’t they?) – just a bit of a beast of a program. Far too many features for what most use it for. But .doc files are an essential part of life but this free open source desktop app will open and let you edit the vast majority of what you need from a word file.

Free Books and Free Audiobooks

Despite the irony of a free books app costing $1.99 this is a great set of apps. They contain thousands of all the out of copyright classics that any monkey can pull off the net for free – this just puts it all in one place.

It’s companion – free audiobooks –  does the same thing with the wonderful and ambitious Librivox project and gives you access to several thousand fairly high quality amateur audiobooks.


I know there’s lots of others like Evernote out there but I started on this and now i’m sticking to it. Keeps all my notes synced to any possible place I might need them. Plain, simple, free – can’t beat it.


This and simplenote (and i suppose everything google that i touch) has been my first foray into the world of the cloud. And I love it.

If everyone I knew was on dropbox I’d use it a bit more too. Nice favourites feature on the iPhone that lets you store all your errr… favourites on the phone off line.

Join dropbox – if you want I can get you an invite then I get more free storage.

Well I suppose that’ll do me for now, and I didn’t even get started on the joys of Skype, Google Docs or Angry Birds.

I’m planning a blog on aesthetics and functionality in regard to technology but it needs some serious thinking.


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August 2010
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