OneNote for Mac is for real and it is free

Microsoft not only released a version of OneNote for the Mac OS X, they made it free as well. It is free not only for the Mac, but for all platforms. There is still a business edition that is a paid for product, but all of the rest are completely free.Onenote

I have downloaded and installed the Mac version, but have not yet used it, so I cannot yet compare it, but from what I have seen, it looks and works just like its Windows counterpart.

Finally, our Apple friends can now use what is, perhaps, the greatest piece of productivity software ever to come out of Redmond’s software factory.

Not only did Microsoft make OneNote available for free, they have added features.  An improved API, LENS for Windows Phone (which turns the phone into a scanner), enhanced the OCR ability and released a library of plug ins.

Go here for a list of apps and services that work with OneNote.

With OneDrive, you can now keep all of your Notebooks in sync.  You can even protect your notebooks and all of the various versions (except for the Windows Store version) will be able to access the protected notebook.  Even the web version. Yes, you can even use the web version with YOUR notebooks.

If you are an EverNote user, you can easily migrate your data to OneNote. The easiest way is to save your notes out as HTML and then import them into OneNote. You can also PRINT TO ONENOTE each of your EverNotes, but that could be quite an involved process.  You can also email your notes to your OneNote mail address. (To set this up, goto the site, scroll down about midway and look for ‘Send Mail’. Click the Setup email link. It will show a list of email addresses that you have linked to your Live account. Select the one to use with this feature. From now one, you can send mail  from that account to ‘’ where ‘me’ really is the word ‘me’ and NOT your name. The email will then go into your default notebook and section.)

I am a huge fan of this software and have written several posts about it. Click here to check them out.

OneNote is available for Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone, Android, iOS and, now, Mac OS X. You can download the package for your device here.


Windows and Internet Explorer, still the most popular?

NOTE: This is a post that originated on HalfByte’s sister blog on SquareSpace.

One of the nicer things about Squarespace is the stats that you get for your blog. I can see who or what referred traffic to the blog, what browser is being used, operating system and more.

Interestingly, from the stats, I have a wide variety of users hitting this blog: Windows, Linux, Mac and mobile. So, just how do the numbers break down?  Have a look…


























As you can see, IE7 is the most popular, followed by Firefox. Chrome is a distant third. Mobile browsers, likely, make up the ‘unknown’ followed, surprisingly, by Opera. Now, Opera is in a variety of devices, including the Wii and a host of feature phones and Android devices. That last one, KHTML, surprised me. Seriously, people actually use that. Huh. Collectively, however, Internet Explorer is, by far, the most popular browser. 

Next, operating systems…

Operating Systems  
WinXP 27.75%
WinNT 10.47%
Unknown 9.47%
WinVista 5.68%
Win2000 4.26%
Android 3.43%
MacOSX 3.08%
iPhone 0.59%
Win2003 0.47%
Linux 0.30%
Win 0.06%

Several things stand out here. First, the high percentage of people still using Windows XP. The ‘Win’ is even more surprising as that represents the Windows 9x family (including ME.)  I think Windows 8 may fall in the ‘WinNT’ category, but I am not positive. At any rate, the high percentages of Windows prior to Vista is just odd. Who still uses them?  I am also a bit surprised by the low percentage of iPhone  and Android.  Though, I think the higher Android numbers reflect the overall type of reader for this blog: more techie types, though by that line of thought, I would think the Linux numbers would be higher. But, once again, the majority of readers are Windows users.

Now, it would really be easy-and the numbers would back it up-to conclude that the majority of readers use Internet Explorers and Windows. I suppose I could be like other sites and extrapolate that to mean that Windows is the most popular operating system used and Internet Explorer is the most used browser.  HOWEVER…I also know that my blog is one tiny, miniscule sliver of the Internet and that it is NOT a destination for, what I think, is the most prevalent type of computing consumer on the planet: the mobile user.  While Windows is still the king of desktop/laptop computing, it is not king of mobile computing.  For now, that’s Android with iOS in second.  I would expect, however, that Windows Phone will gain even more traction and Windows RT/8 to pick up some of the tablet space.

While it is nice to see that the material I write is pertinent to the majority of readers of the blog, I am also a bit disappointed that my readership is not more diverse.  But, it is a changing landscape and I, too, must change and accept that the world I am comfortable with is changing. Microsoft knows this and they are trying to adapt. And, so do I.

A OneNote look alike for the Mac

I’ve been a OneNote fan for many years now. I use it at home, on the go and at work. The problem with OneNote, however, is that Microsoft has to release it for Mac OSX.  That’s quite a shame, really, since OneNote is, simply, the best note taking and organizing piece of software yet released. It is versatile and really easy to use. It is, without a doubt, THE best part of Office and the best piece of software the Microsoft has ever released.

Until recently, I thought the only thing that could come close to OneNote on the Mac was EverNote. They, however, jumped the shark with the rewrite of the platform a few years back. It lacks the versatility that it once had . 

Well, I am happy to report that I found a worthy replacement: Growly Notes.

Growly1Growly Notes resembles OneNote in many ways, especially in the Note taking feature-the most important part of the software.  It uses the same tabbed metaphor as OneNote, though the tabs are along the side of the page instead of the top.

Just about everything is there, save for the diagramming and line graphics in OneNote. I don’t use them all that much, so I would not miss them here. You can embed objects, import images from a scanner or camera and perform screen clips, just like OneNote.

One major difference I have found, however, may prevent many from using Growly Notes: lack of a sync feature.  There is no cloud service and I have found no way to sync notebooks across devices. As the software is Mac only, there is no conduit to sync to anything on a non-Mac device.

I am still in the midst of testing the software and, aside from the data sync, it is looking really nice and a worthy replacement for OneNote.

Drool and lust worthy: Apple Macbook air and pro line

This past Monday, Apple held the start of it’s WWDC, the developer’s conference, in which they show off new versions of hardware and software.  This years keynote address showed off more  features of OS X Mountain Lion, the introduction of iOS 6 and refinements to the hardware line.  Specifically, new MacBook Air and Pro models. 

The thing with the Apple notebooks is that they are lustworthy. Absolutely lustworthy. I want one. One of each.  Really.

Man, that MacBook Pro has to be the sexiest piece of computer hardware I have ever seen. The thinness, the sleek shape, the nice coloring, the beautiful screen and the fast processor. Man, put Windows 7 on that and you’d have one helluva notebook.

The problems, though, that plagued these lusty machines are insurmountable, though. Starting with price. Apple is a premium hardware company, the Lexus of computers.  Buuut, unlike Lexus, they are more akin Studebaker.  Stude-what, you say? Studebaker, for those who do not know, was a car maker in the United States until about 1964 when the parent company decided there was more money in refrigerators than cars. The Avanti, the top of the line Studebaker, actually lived on for another thirty years. There were cars produced in small quantities. This made parts more expensive and service was not as plentiful as, say, Chevy.  Ditto Apple hardware. Now, I am not saying they are unreliable, no, I’m saying that when you want to upgrade one or when they do have a problem, it is far more difficult than if you had purchased a Dell.

iFixit has already analyzed the new notebooks and the news is not good.  You can forget any do it yourself notions.  Memory is soldered on the motherboard, the solid state drives (flash storage…kind of funny given Apple’s anti-Flash stance) are not standard and also soldered. The batteries, apparently, are not user accessible either.  The wonderful Retina display is, apparently, a sealed unit, meaning the light source is not user replaceable. It looks as if Apple made each major component inaccessible to the user.  Protect that parts and labor markup.

Bottom line: don’t bother getting these right away.  If you can, wait a bit and get these things on sale.  Paying full price just does not make a lot of sense.