The Little Train that CAN: Our First Ride On The Gautrain

10 June

Much like it takes leaving the United States to remain appreciative of all that we as a nation possess, the same goes for South Africa. Even though it is very possible to live a comfortable first world lifestyle in ZA, there are always those differences stemming from our diverse cultures. Dealing with the target on your back in ZA as a white person, never mind a tourist or an American, is quite different from most other nations. The lack of Internet access, which my iPhone and job at Apple have made such a necessity, plus the craziness on the roads that seems to be ‘proudly South African’ can lead to a dissatisfaction upon arrival. The fact that my first few days in country were troubled with a lost airline bag, and food poisoning, my return to South Africa had been far from pleasant. However, two weeks in Mozambique with the beautiful chaos that is most of the continent brings my appreciation for ZA back to a all new high. 2 weeks of seafood had also been my limit and being able to grab a fast food burger at Steers (a local burger joint) was certainly needed to balance my diet.

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Trip Planning Software for Mac

As I started planning our trip to South Africa, I searched the web for software that would help me manage it better than just writing out an itinerary in iCal or Pages. I immediatley noticed the dearth of software until I came upon Knapsack (new link – 2011). It looked the perfect solution.

The ease of use, and ablitiy to print great itineraries made it seem the solution I had been looking for and well worth the cost. That is until I started exploring their application and website, where it was posted under their blog that their company, TinyPlanet Software  was up for sale. AND, there had been no significant update for their software since Aug 2008. That was devastating. Looking at other Mac Forums, many others had lamented the company’s demise and that no one else had stepped into this barren landscape with a competitor.

The biggest draw back to using it now is that their demo only lasts 30 days, and I thus I would have to pay 40 bucks for a piece of software that is nearly defunct. Plus, their maps function makes planning that much more difficult because there’s no Google Maps integration. It would be worth the $40 if it did integrate and allowed directions to be placed into the itinerary or created inside the program.

The integration with iCal would’ve been great to use and then publish via MobileMe, but alas I’m stuck drawing it out by hand and then simply typing it up. Perhaps there will come a solution before June?

[UPDATE]: Find Knapsack here, at Outer Level.