At VanPro Solutions we write software. When we are not doing any custom work, we work on our own software ideas. Programs that we wish we had because we want to use them too.
BwanaDik has been around for many years and is the most convenient tool around for checking your internet connection. It was created by John Schilling and I have been trying to keep it up to date. I have recently made it work for OSX Mavericks. You can download this app from here or from the App Store.
Do you want a professional looking icon for your app, but lack the graphic design skills to create one? Tools like Photoshop and Gimp are overkill for making quality looking icons. Easy Icon is a tool created specifically to let you get to the business of creating icons. It does nothing else. You won't find extra gadgets like red-eye correction here. All you need is an idea and a few minutes. You end up with an icon, no steep learning curve, and some money left in your pocket.
Pictures+ is an application that lets you manage and organize your pictures. It doesn’t matter if you have a collection of family photographs or funny cartoons. It doesn’t matter if your pictures came from your camera or if they were downloaded from the internet. They can all be organized and arranged by whatever criterion you decide is important. Once in your library, they can be manipulated with effects and other image processing, and can even be displayed in slide shows in groupings that you configure.
Have you ever wondered how much time you were spending on the computer? Perhaps you need to track how much time you spend at specific tasks. This app makes it easy. You click a button on the menu bar to start or stop the timer. Add different projects and track the times for each. Even include a rate for the time spent on each project and watch the dollars tick by overall and per project. You can even get a historical report of your time in either weekly or monthly format, broken down by each project. Set the minimum charge and the charge resolution to account for startup time and the wasted little bits in between projects.
When you go grocery shopping, do you compare prices? Have you noticed that many different brands do not base their product pricing on the same units? For example, you can buy sandwhich meat as $/100 grams or you can buy it as $/pound. Even worse is toilet paper. Toilet paper and paper towel have five different values that you have to look at when comparing. They have the number of rolls in the package, the number of sheets in each roll, the number of ply's per sheet, and believe it or not, the length and width of each sheet (the width seems to remain constant in most cases, but there are a few...). I have found that across the different brands, these parameters vary widely.
How do you know if you are getting a good deal? Bringing a calculator is not going to help much, especially with toilet paper. You need a way to keep track of each brand, and to be able to compare each brand on equal footing. Using the toilet paper example, if one brand has 176 - 2 ply sheets per roll and each sheet is 10cm long, then you need to be able to compare all the other brands as if they also had that many sheets, etc. In other words, this brand costs this much, what would it cost if it had 176 sheets instead of the 155 that it has.
This has really frustrated me in my attempts to be smart with my money. To help put all brands on an equal footing I created Value Shopper for the iPhone, iPad and Mac OSX. Add or update your product information on your mac, iPad or iPhone at your leisure. Bring your iPhone with you to the store. All the products you have entered previously will be there ready for you. You may only have to update the actual prices of the ones you are comparing. A clear winner will quickly rise to the top. Purchase with confidence, knowing that you really are getting the best deal.