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Mac – the pros

Just had a thought that wanted to get time stamped so I can “I told you so” later.

When Apple updated the MacBook Air to the new haswell processors many were surprised that they didn’t also update the MacBook Pro line as well. Improved battery life with comparable performance is always great for laptops and the MacBook Pros are no exception so it was a strange omission.

My speculation as to why is because Apple plans on launching a major update in the fall that includes the following:
– new Mac Pro
– new MacBook Pro with retina display
– new 4k displays that are retina capable

The reason they didn’t update the pro laptops is not because they are waiting for haswell but because they are waiting for thunderbolt 2, which they need to support the new displays.

Very simple Kanban workflow in Trello

We’ve been using the following technique since shortly after Trello launched to accommodate our Kanban style agile development workflow.

Quick review: Kanban borrows from lean manufacturing principles and is a Pull based system rather than a Push based system. Team members “pull” a card into their todo list when they have a vacant space rather than having a manager or another team member “push” an item onto their todo list.

To facilitate this in Trello we did something very simple. On our board, when you pull a card onto your list, you assign yourself to the card to indicate you are working on it, when you are done, you remove yourself from the card and move it to the bottom of your current list. If you are blocked on a task but it isn’t complete, you label it with a red label which on our board means “Blocked”.

If you have an open slot on your list you look to the previous list for any cards at  the bottom of the list that are not currently assigned. Unless they are blocked (red tag) they are available to be pulled.

The only list that breaks with this form is the “Up Next” or backlog list. That list is pulled from the top rather than the bottom, mostly so that we can easily visualize our top priorities that haven’t started implementation yet and can easily reorder the backlog when necessary. Same principals apply though, if the backlog has a person assigned to it, it’s not ready for development, and it it’s Red it’s blocked and can’t be moved forward. Developers skip over those cards when pulling from the up next list.

Simple and effective.

Nexus 7 and iPad Mini

For the first time since its introduction I find myself in the unusual position of being unable to recommend an iPad. Specifically the iPad mini. I’ve been casually testing the new Nexus 7 for a few weeks and find that transitioning back to the iPad Mini, while necessary for the productivity apps, and larger screen size, is nowhere near the pleasure it once was.

The Nexus 7, while occasionally sluggish at scrolling, really is running a better piece of silicon than the iPad Mini. It’s not really surprising since the Nexus 7 just launched and the A5 is several years old at this point. After using the Nexus 7 a refreshed iPad mini in the late summer or fall seems inevitable at this point.

My verdict:

Don’t buy an iPad mini today.

Don’t buy a Nexus 7 until after Apple’s next press event, unless you are already an android fan, in which case the Nexus 7 is a very nice device.