Now that Apple has completed migrating its laptops to Intel chips, I really want to get a new one; I really want to replace my aging (in computer-age terms, i.e. it is 2 1/2 years old) 12″ PowerBook with a new 13″ MacBook… Except for one thing. My PowerBook weighs 4.3 lbs, which is way too heavy. The new MacBook — the lightest and most compact Mac laptop model, just announced — weighs 5.2 lbs, it is almost a full pound heavier. If I got one, and took it around with me, it would break my back! I really want Apple to introduce a new, lightweight subnotebook, 3 lbs or less, something that I could carry about with me everywhere.
The laptop — like the Treo (phone/PDA), the iPod, and the digital camera; or for that matter, like my eyeglasses — is really part of my body.These are all prostheses that augment my ability to act in and with the world, to affect and be affected, as Spinoza would say, they are parts of my distributed cognitive (and affective) network, as Andy Clark would say. So these ergonomic considerations are really important; they are equally as important as, and should indeed be considered a part of, the design aesthetics that Steve Jobs so (justifiably, in other respects) vaunts himself on being concerned with. Why can’t Apple come out with something comparable to the 1.9 lb Sony Vaio, which is a beautiful and reasonably high-powered machine (even if not quite as beautiful as Apple’s laptops), whose only major defect is that it runs Windows instead of the Mac OS?
Since I am harping on my techno commodity fetish obsessions — all I want to do is buy! buy! buy!, but the product has to be just right, and that just-rightness includes a brand or corporate identification — let me ask an open question about software. I am looking for some sort of Mac OS program that I could use as a sort of database of writing fragments. That is to say, a program that just connects short notes I write, snippets of questions or half-formed paragraphs, i.e. text fragments from a few lines to a few paragraphs in length, together with a bunch of web and article citations on various subjects — all this to collect material that I could use as raw material for later or more concerted writing.
I already have a fine program, Yojimbo, that I use to collect miscellaneous web snippets, texts, images, links, and so on (sometimes I just keep the urls for pages I have found interesting; other times I keep the entire contents of the web page). But here I am looking for something different, something that I would use mostly for text fragments I write myself. So being able to handle formats other than plain text wouldn’t be that important. (As long as I can hyperlink to bibliography sources, to images, etc., I wouldn’t need them in the database itself). I need something that is not too hierarchically organized (I cannot group these fragments into categories and subcategories, which is why certain programs I’ve tried, like Circus Ponies Notebook, aren’t quite right for me), but that allows for powerful searching. I’d like to be able to associate each fragment or entry with an unlimited number of metadata tags, and be able to search both by those and by full text content. It would be even better if the program could interpret LaTeX and BibTeX, since most of my entries would be in this format
Has anyone reading this tried either DevonThink or TAO, and are either of these along the lines of what I am looking for? Or can anyone recommend another program, that would be more suitable for my needs? Thanks…