Wednesday, February 07, 2007


My friend Mark pointed out Think to me today, a free application that tries to reduce distractions while using your Mac computer. It does this by drawing a backdrop over all but the application you are currently using, redirecting your focus away from everything else that is going on inside your desktop.

After using it for a few minutes, here are my thoughts:

  • Most of the applications I use regularly support tabs or multiple windows. Think is not smart enough to put all but the window you are actively using behind the backdrop, so, in Terminal, the application I use the most, I've still got 8 terminal windows open with connections to different servers going that are all visible and pestering me for attention.
  • Much of the time, I'm using two applications in conjunction with each other. For example, I might be revising a php script in a terminal window and reloading it in Firefox to test the results. Having an additional hitch in my workflow giddy-up is annoying.
  • Since virtualization and remote desktops have come into their own, it doesn't help much when I've got a Citrix desktop session open or a Parallels VM running, since Think treats each of those as a single application, rather than some sort of nested application beast monster.
If I were a full time writer or exclusively programmed, I can see where I would be able to use Think regularly. For now, I'll keep it installed for when I've got a long technical document to read, or any other time my job gives me the luxury of working on a single task for more than a few minutes at a time.

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