Archive for May, 2008

2 useful tweaks of Mac OS X Leopard notebooks

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

How to make Safari open all links in new tabs? How to make instant Sleep for Apple notebooks?

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The internal release of Task2Gather

Monday, May 19th, 2008
    It has happened at last! We’ve been waiting for this moment for so long and finally, to everybody’s joy at VITO Technology, we’are releasing our first online service, currently for internal using and testing. Simulteneously with web interface we’re releasing a Windows Mobile client for testing.
    Now our prior task (2gather) is to prepare everything for the public launch. Right now we’re busy cloning spam bots (automatic robot programs) for stress testing of servise against overloading and for tuning the server load statistics.
    A great amount of work has been done, and more is yet to come. I congratulate all VITOyees and specially everybody directly involved in the development of Task2Gather. Fox, Nikolay, Greg - a special Thank You to all of you!
The next warm day everybody goes picnic!

Why MacBook Air?

Friday, May 16th, 2008

    My NY 2008 present was MacMini that I had been dreaming of for some time and intended to use it as a home media station. Now MacMini is used with a 42″ LCD TV as a monitor and apart from multimedia sometimes it fulfills the PC functions. I’ve never been either a fan of Windows or Mac OS X. Since this New Year however I started to notice some discomfort when I had to return to Windows XP at work after using Mac OS X at home. Interestingly I can’t explain this discomfort for now, this is just my personal feeling.

    The specific characteristics of my job and the way I do it don’t have any stiff restrictions connected with files formats compatibility and the necessity to use particular software. Therefore the most part of my work is done in different operational systems, so I can easily jump from one OS to another without the loss of data and efficiency. As you probably guess I set to look out for a notebook with Mac OS X but there were no appropriate mobile models among Apple notebooks then. (more…)

What is a mobile computer in the nearest future? How do I picture it?

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

    A future mobile computer is a small system box in your pocket. And more precisely it’s a PDA with a phone module that has enough memory for minimum of personal info necessary for user identification and maybe an operating system (OS). This device should have a standard interface for connecting to a cradle (dock stations) with a keyboard, mouse, monitor and perhaps OS and a more powerful processor. All basic personal information: mail, docs, photos, calendar, tasks, etc. should be stored on one or several remote servers and available from anywhere online. (more…)

What Task2Gather is

Saturday, May 10th, 2008
    
    We have tried many different ways of managing our projects in VITO Technology, from the beaten Excel spreadsheets to Microsoft Project. About a year ago I set out to find the best online service for this purpose. Unfortunately every solution I have tried (free and paid services) have several shortcomings that make them unacceptable to us. One of the hugest turnoffs was their complexity and aslo the lack of option to create various teams for separate projects.
 
    As a result of my fruitless searches I decided to develop our own project management system, first of all for ourselves, and then after internal testing open it as a publicly available online service.
    At first we planned to develop a service targeted mainly at small teams working on common projects regardless of their field of activity. Later on, when we already had the preliminary vision of user interface and service structure, it occured to us that our target audience stretches much further, right to the personal usage. At the present stage we can already precisely define what Task2Gather is. Actually the name pretty much says for itself - “gather together for managing tasks”.
    So, Task2Gather is a “one-place-for-all-tasks” service, i.e. for a user it’s where he keeps all his personal tasks, personal to do lists, business projects in which he participates, household chores and other family care tasks, etc. Task2Gather is a means of communication within projects between absolutely different people that can belong to completely different groups (family members, colleagues, discussion groups, research teams, etc.).
    While developing Task2Gather we proceeded from the following requirements:  
    

     

  1. Simplicity. The service presupposes there must be no need to COMPEL somebody use it. Project and task creation must be simple, otherwise managers won’t be using it. Reporting must be simple, otherwise employees won’t be using it as well. It is necessary to throw away all excessive information from task description; everything that overloads this form and that is never or very rarely used in real life must be gone. If some task property MAY be omitted it MUST be omitted. The service must be self-explanatory right from the start, without scrutinizing the manual: got signed up - and you are good to go.
  2. High performance. The service must run really fast. The user must feel comfortable while working; it should never occur to him that the service is actually located on a remote server.
  3. Sharing. Task2Gather is the all-in-one service. It contains all user’s tasks: personal, family, business, social, etc. All users of the service can easily get organized into various groups and teams. These can be housekeepers and their kids, businessmen/businesswomen and their spouses, colleagues and their friends, etc.
  4. Flexibility. There must be no restriction as to the area of application of the service - all that requires task and project management: from shopping lists, personal & family to do lists to team-work of small collectives engaged in building, software development, bug tracking, traveling, expeditions, research teams, etc. Users themselves decide where and how to use the provided service.
  5. Mobility. The service must be available from any desktop computer with Internet access through a web browser. Mobile clients of the service for Windows Mobile and iPhone should be also available as add-ons.

    We are sure that Task2Gather will meet all these requirements and that we will find many users who will like our approach and our ideology of task and project management explained in short as “simplicity + sharing”. I know there are many chiefs and project managers who will find our point of view on project management ridiculous since they are used to employing complicated services with complex hierarchy, access rights, graphs, scrupulous task descriptions. Projecting and carrying out the projects for them is something very difficult, something that requires special training, something beyond plain men’s comprehension. We proclaim that this is an incorrect approach! Projecting must not exist for the sake of projecting itself. This is just a tool to gain the objective!

    I’ll be writing about the current state of the service Task2Gather in this blog. I’ll be also making public our thoughts and new ideas as they come in the process of bringing to life and tuning up Task2Gather. I hope to hear your ideas and wishes as well.
In addition you will find here posts not necessarily directly connected with task and project management but interesting to me as to the author of this blog.

Current state of Task2Gather:
1. Desktop version is due for internal release in the second half of May. About a month later there will be announced a free public access to the service. If you want to participate in beta-testing, you can leave a comment and I will send you an invitation before the public release.
2. Windows Mobile client will be available at iWindowsMobile.com at the time of the public release of 
Task2Gather.
3. Apple iPhone version is scheduled for the second half of June.