Pagico for Project Management

Since I have 2Do for handling tasks, I have Pagico for handling the project. The main difference is that Pagico handles the larger details. For example, you can define the overall pieces of a project, attach relevant requirements documents, add links to important sites, and set up contacts for people that own different parts of the project.

I find it very handy to connect all the major documents and milestones of a project within Pagico, then handle each of the individual parts (tasks and test plan) within 2Do.

For example, the Jira Epic is listed in Pagico, with the projected start and end date. I then add the requirements, the components under development, PDF documents, screenshots, links to sites or APIs, and any other documentation that I will need to keep track of. I can then make checklists, list milestones and review what needs to be done and when. This would come in the form of, on 7/1/2019, component X should be complete and deployed to QA.

This is a very good way to keep an overview of a project and when it’s due. I don’t need the hassle and bloat of a tool like Microsoft Project. But I do need more than documents and tickets scattered all over Jira and Confluence. I want them local to my machine and focused on what I need to accomplish.

I’ve tracked several projects this way and it’s very beneficial. I have a better idea of when to expect code components and when we need to move to the next phase. Plus, taking the time in the beginning to plan and collect project data, saves huge amounts of time overall.

This is another tool I found on sale on Stacksocial. It has also been included in Bundlehunt. It’s well worth the investment and I run copies at work and at home.

Pagico for Mac, Windows and iOS

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2Do for Task Management

One of the big advantages when switching to the Mac is the large amount of productivity software. When it comes to calendar apps, task management, project management, time management and document management, there are far more apps available for macOS.

A tool I added recently is 2Do by Beehive Innovations. I use it at home and at work. For home it’s a list of bills, weekend chores, article checklist and reminders. For work, it’s a way to create a project test plan, track open and closed Jira tickets, track active bug tickets and backlog items.

I’m able to create projects, tasks within those projects, sub-tasks, then keep track of which items are complete and which are open. I also use it to keep track of which site sections have automation and which sections still need work.

2Do supports tasks, projects, checklists, sub-tasks, recurring items, priority, due dates, tags, alerts, notes and the usual features you would expect. It doesn’t go overboard, nor is it stripped down.

I picked up 2Do on Stacksocial and have been extremely pleased with it. I have multiple Lists going at once and have it very beneficial for keeping track of my QA testing projects.

There is also an iPad version that can sync with the main application. I haven’t really gone this route as my needs are not that demanding. But I do have the app installed and will be looking at more closely in the coming weeks.

2Do App

By happenstance, 2Do is back on sale at Stacksocial for $19.99

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Changing Mouse Pointer Size

Since I have multiple screens, I have a habit of losing my mouse pointer. I simply want to make the mouse pointer larger, but all the documentation on how to do it is for much older versions of macOS. It turns out to be quite simple.

Go to:

System Preferences
Accessibility
Display

On that screen is the option for Pointer Size.

pointer-size

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Upgrading the apparatus

It’s no secret that I use a Mac Pro for my development work. I have 2010 model with 12 cores that still works wonders today. But even with that, there is room for improvement.

For my home machine, I just upgraded to a full 128GB of ram, and upgraded to the Mojave approved, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 with 8192 MB. Both of these are readily available and very affordable. There are plenty of videos on the process and it requires no tools.

The total upgrade time took about 10 minutes. I would recommend getting the Dual Mini 6 Pin to 8 Pin PCI Express Video Card Power Adapter Cable for the video card so that it can be powered from the mother board.

No video drivers were required. It was immediately recognized and each of the 4 monitors was detected. This is not a gaming machine, so I can’t speak to the high end gaming prowess, but I’ve played several things without issue, and applications work fine. Everything is crisp and bright.

Those looking at the Mac Pro from 2010 will find it still has plenty of life. This is a 12 core machine, with 128GB of ram, and 8GB video card with 4 simultaneous video out. It’s my home development machine and there hasn’t been a task it can’t handle.

Sapphire 11265-05-20G Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB GDDR5 Dual HDMI/ DVI-D/ Dual DP OC

COMeap Dual Mini 6 Pin to 8 Pin PCI Express Video Card Power Adapter Cable for Mac Pro Tower/Power Mac G5 15-inch(38cm)

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The beautiful and powerful Mac Pro 2019

Yes, it has been several weeks since the announcement of the new Mac Pro 2019 with all sorts of comments, especially about that silly $1000 monitor stand. But aside from that, I’m really excited by the new Mac Pro, even though I have no plans or financial means to get one. At least not for several years when they go on sale on eBay.

I love what Apple has done for a variety of reasons. It’s an incredibly powerful machine that basically has no equal. There isn’t a “desktop” on the market by another vendor that even comes close to the processing power or memory capabilities of this machine. You need to look at a server class machine to compete with the cores and ram. But that machine is more expensive and certainly won’t fit on or under your desk. And what sort of software will it run? Servers aren’t known for their graphics capabilities either.

We first have to stop thinking of it as a desktop. It’s a workstation. It’s a culmination and extension of the Silicon Graphics workstation, the Pixar workstation, and the NeXT workstation all rolled into one. With that in mind, you know exactly who’s going to get them.

Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic, both owned by Disney, who is also allied with Apple, will snap up these machines for CGI work.

Pure speculation on my part, but I wouldn’t be surprised if parts of Toy Story 4 were rendered on prototype Mac Pros. What better way to test it’s video and audio capabilities?

That aside, the possibilities of this machine seem endless. There isn’t a processing task that it won’t be able to handle.

While I’m not a fan of VR in most respects, think of the possibilities of advancement this machine offers. Additionally, the development capabilities of the Mac Pro know no bounds. It’s a supercomputer for your desk.

And now that Apple has thrown down the gauntlet, I can’t wait to see what other vendors put together. Will the union of HP and Cray be the closest competitor?

A lot has been said about the cost. Without a doubt, it’s expensive. But it’s not for everyone. You don’t buy this to read email and look for cat videos. This is big league hardware for big league tasks. If you don’t already need one, then you don’t need one.

It’s also neat to see that the “standard” macOS will be used to power this machine. It won’t require a “server” or “datacenter” version to take advantage of all the power.

I would love to have one of these machines, but it’s specs and price are out of my league. Perhaps in 5-7 years, I will pick up a used one from eBay. Even then, with it fully loaded, it will outclass new machines. It will take a lot to overpower 28 cores and 1.5TB of ram.

This is an amazing new benchmark for computers. Apple should be applauded for the work they’ve put into it and the boundaries they have completely eliminated.

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