MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2011

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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CLOSER LOOK CIRCUS PONIES >MORE THAN JUST 'NOTEBOOK' INTERVIEW BY MATTHEW SCHILDROTH but is not available on the iPad. MD > Why would someone purchase NoteBook for iPad if they already have other note taking apps? What makes NoteBook better? Before I spoke with Jayson Adams at Circus Ponies, I was a little unsure of what exactly NoteBook could do. I'd seen it before, but had never really taken the time to look at the company website or really see what it was all about. What I was pleased to find out was that Notebook is more than just a blank text document -- it is an advanced note taking system with advanced indexing and organization systems that make it possible to manage everything in one place. Keep reading to find out more. MacDirectory > How, where, and when did Circus Ponies get started, and who started it? Jayson Adams > I wrote NoteBook in the early '90s for the NeXT machine, and with the resurgence of the Mac I wanted to bring NoteBook to the Mac platform. There were two of us originally, and we founded the company in 2003. Circus Ponies was based in San Francisco although I live in Santa Monica, Calif., which is where the company is based now. MD > What made you choose "Circus Ponies" as your business name? JA > The name came from a CD that my old business partner owned. We joked for a few days about naming the company Circus Ponies, and then I saw that was available. . . . But the name does reflect our desire to create software that is friendly and playful. MD > What inspired NoteBook? JA > The early '90s saw the rise of email and the start of more personalized access to news and other information feeds, so computer users really started to run up against the problem of storing and organizing bits of information from different sources. NoteBook was so innovative and original that it won Application of the Year from NeXTWORLD magazine. MD > Who does NoteBook appeal to? JA > Everyone who has trouble managing all the little bits of information that don't have a good home: things like notes, web clippings, anything you might jot down on a sticky note. Today there's no good way to organize all of that information and it ends up cluttering your screen and file system. NoteBook is also great for anyone managing a project — everything from trip planning to legal case preparation to medical research — because projects are made up of notes, ideas, emails, spreadsheets, and other bits of information that you need to keep together and organized. And finally students and educators love NoteBook, which they use to organize lesson plans, research for school papers, and class notes. MD > What was the transition like when you were designing NoteBook for the iPad? JA > It was quite challenging. NoteBook for Mac is 250k (carefully chosen) lines of code that have been debugged and refined over the past eight years. We really didn't want to write all of that from scratch, so we had to figure out how to use as much as we could on the iPad. The transition was also challenging because we had to write our own multi-font text engine, which you get for free on the Mac JA > NoteBook for iPad has all the features you need for serious note taking. We have a full-featured outliner with support for multi-font text, colors, underlining, even attachments. Being able to change the font, color, underline and other text attributes is very important — if you've ever seen the college students with the four-color pens, they're writing in different colors because they know that it helps their retention and understanding. So we wanted to make sure that anyone who makes the switch from paper to NoteBook for iPad doesn't lose all the flexibility of paper. And further along those lines, you can also add diagrams, flow charts, and even scribbles to your notes. What's more, you can turn on voice annotation while you take your notes so you never miss a detail of a meeting or lecture. When you start to accumulate lots of notes you need a good way to keep them organized, and that's where the notebook metaphor comes in, which is a natural and familiar way to organize lots of information. And when you have lots and lots of notes you also need a good way to find them — NoteBook's patented Multidex makes that easy, because it helps you find things by what little bit you remember about them, such as a name it contains, or the date you added it. MD > Can NoteBook for iPad be synced with the desktop version and vice versa? JA > Yes. Today that syncing works through iTunes, but we're excited about future syncing through iCloud. MD > Now for the million-dollar question: what will Circus Ponies be like as a company 10 years from now? JA > In 10 years Circus Ponies Software will be an app powerhouse. 92 MacDirectory

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