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Posts from the ‘Apple’ Category

27
Feb

Safari’s New Interface: A Shiny Mess

safari_logo

Though the Web browser has grown in importance and changed drastically in function since the first version of Netscape Navigator ruled a fledgling Web, its interface has not changed that drastically.

Though tabbed browsing introduced an important new element, most browsers sport forward and back buttons along with stop/reload buttons, an address bar and, more recently, a search box. Most browsers today look enough like Netscape Navigator 0.91 that few would be lost if they traveled back in time.

But lately there has been an attempt to shake that up some. First came Google Chrome, introducing the idea of tabs on top, and now comes the new beta of Safari 4, which adds even more new interface changes.

Though I’m always a fan of innovation, there’s a lot about these interface changes that bug me and not just the new “bug report” button. I’m admittedly no interface designer, but there are a lot of things that I would definitely do differently… Read moreRead more

11
Feb

My Dark Linux Confession

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Creative Commons License photo credit: phauly

When it has come to operating systems, I have always had a hard time making up my mind. Windows, for me, has been a good choice for my gaming consoles and a reasonable one for work as well. Mac has become my default office system, having used it now for nearly two years as my primary “getting things done” machine.

However, Linux has always been my secret love affair. It is a relationship that has stretched over half a decade. It began with some spare hard drive space and a desire to to see what Linux was all about. Now, it is a relationship on life support.

You see, I’ve come to notice something. After seven years of using Linux, seven different distros, countless versions and six computers, I’ve finally hit a point where I have to admit something. That every computer I’ve had both Linux and Windows XP on has worked far better with Windows than Linux.

There’s a lot of reasons for this, but none of them bode well for penguin. Read moreRead more

9
Jan

The Mac (Un)Mighty Mouse

mighty-mouse-1Usually I can justify the “Mac Tax“. Sure, I pay a premium for Macintosh products, but nine times out of ten I find the difference to be justified. I get more work done on my Mac, so the fact it cost hundreds more doesn’t bother me. I type faster on my Apple keyboard, so the fact that it cost twice as much as a reasonable replacement is acceptable.

Though I seem to rag on them a pretty good deal, Apple actually has a strong history of releasing good products that justify at least some premium.

However, this makes me wonder what they were thinking when they released the Mighty Mouse. Though it was a Christmas gift from an absolutely wonderful pair of in-laws, it seems to come pre-packaged with a set of headaches and problems that have me wondering if this is really an Apple product I’m using.

It sure looks like one, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t act anything like one. Read moreRead more

26
Dec

Camino Beta 2: First Thoughts

camino-mozilla-power-mac-styleAbout a year ago, I was prepared to write off Camino. With Firefox updating its interface to make it more Mac-friendly and improving its performance across all OSes every day, I was wondering aloud why there was a market for another Mac Firefox, specifically one without plugins or themes.

Sure, being built on Cocoa gives Camino a natural speed and memory advantage over its brother, but the difference, over all, has been barely noticeable and certainly not enough to propose switching to a browser with fewer features.

Personally, I was thinking that it was time to take the project behind the shed and put it out of its misery. It filled a nice niche when Firefox was being a jerk to Mac users but now that we’ve kissed and made up Camino seemed to be a third wheel in a very sordid love triangle.

So imagine my surprise when I found out not only that Camino had released a new version, but that it was a beta of 2.0. I was skeptical, to put it modestly, but decided to give it a try. I felt that I owed it to the old girl since she had comforted me when Firefox had me wanting to hang myself.

I have to say though that the surprise is indeed a pleasant one and this version of Camino just might become a real challenger for Firefox, at least until Chrome is release for the Mac in a meaningful way. Read moreRead more

19
Dec

5 Apps That Need a Mac Port Now

mac-logoI love my Mac, don’t get me wrong. I gripe about it from time to time, but I gripe about all of the things I love. It’s part of my nature.

That being said, the most frustrating thing about using a Mac is not anything Apple does, but rather, the imaginative ways that developers screw you over. Not only is the library of freeware a lot less robust on Macs, but developers seem to treat their Mac versions like red-headed stepchildren, waiting unbearably long to release their apps on non-Windows platforms.

The problem is that Macs are insanely popular with the risk-taking geeks that like to try out new software, so releasing an app for the Mac is not long longer an option, it’s a requirement. Still, many developers, including some I respect, are dragging their feet in getting their applications into our hands.

So here is my top five list of applications that need a Mac port, but seem to be sitting on it as their Windows counterparts move forward. Read moreRead more

22
Oct

MacJournal: Not For Bloggers

Mariner Software is one of the few Mac software development companies I really like.Their StoryMill product is easily the best novel management and writing software I have seen and I’ve been using it for some time on a work I’ve been tinkering with.

However, their MacJournal application is not one I’ve ever been able to understand. It has traditionally been a Journaling application, one that lets you keep a diary of sorts of your daily life. While that is a neat idea, I’ve often wondered how useful such an application is because few people seem to want to run to a computer to record their lives events.

Though the app is slick, letting you organize your life into journals, folders and more, I really didn’t see how this application would fit into my life or the life of anyone I know.

However, when Mariner announced its recent update to the application, I learned that it provides another tool, blogging. Though the blogging tool is far from new, when I learned that it was capable of helping me edit my sites, I was excited about the possibilities.

It truly had the potential to go from an offline journal editor for those with no lives, to a full fledged life organizer for bloggers with no lives.

But my excitement was short-lived. After downloading the app and giving it a test drive, I learned that this was no blog editor, but rather, was a journaling application with the blog editor shoehorned in. The result was that MacJournal remains a decent journaling app, but fails to fill my much-needed niche. Read moreRead more

26
Sep

MailPlane: Not Worth the Price

I have a bit of a saying. If you write good software and charge a fair price for it, people will pay. I routinely buy software for my Mac, including programs that I may or may not use over the long haul.

However, one program I recently started to use, or rather, am starting to use again, has put me in a bit of a bind.

You see, even though Mailplane is a great program that does exactly what it advertises and is very polite with my system resources, I simply cannot justify the expense.

However, I’m not some cheapskate that refuses to buy software. I am a happy customer that just dropped $100 for Screenflow, and $20 for Gyazmail (though I have since stopped using it full-time). I’m the type of customer Mac software vendors love, a small business admin with a decent-sized PayPal account and lots of discretion to buy software I need.

Still, I can’t see myself spending $25 for Mailplane. The reason is that the price point is horribly wrong and $25, though reasonable for other applications, is far too high for this app. Read moreRead more

15
Sep

Bad Mac Design

When I got my Mac Mini about a year ago, I was looking forward to getting a taste of Mac design. Sure, it was meant to be just a “dabbling in Mac” system but it quickly became main workstation and, despite my gripes, is the computer I am typing this on.

However, as anyone who has opened up a Mac Mini knows, the slick operating system belies a real mess under the hood.

No computer should ever have a putty knife listed as a required item for a ram upgrade, which the Mac Mini does, but the mess that comes with upgrading the Mini does not stop there.

As I found out this weekend, Apple took extra steps to ensure that their product would disintegrate upon opening, by making a bevy of internal layout choices that are at best hard to understand and, at worst, make no sense at all. Read moreRead more

22
Aug

10 Things I hate About Mac

To be perfectly clear, I am a Mac user and I love my choice of OS. I’ve used Windows, I’ve used Linux and I’ve used Mac. In fact, I own at least one computer with each OS. However, my main computer is a Mac and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

That being said, there is no reason to believe that Mac is perfect and I cringe at the fan boys that seem to think that it is. Being the best among these three systems is a bit like winning a three-legged race. Sure, you won, but you could have gotten across the line a lot faster without cousin Ralph tied to your right leg.

Even though I love my Mac there are still a lot things about it that irk me. So, in celebration of thinking different (I know, it’s an old slogan), I present to you my top ten pet peeves about Mac. Read moreRead more