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 more
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 more
Usually 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.
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 more
When I woke up this morning, I was greeted by the news that every single 1st-gen 30gb Zune had completely and utterly frozen up. I personally do not own a Zune (or an iPod for that matter) nor do I know anyone who does (makes me wonder who all of these angry Zune users are) but it definitely seems that the Web is aglow about this.
It’s a case of global schadenfreude, not so much at the Zune users, who have a legitimate reason for being very upset, but at Microsoft. After all, they made the player and it appears that it was a software issue that caused it to fail. Considering all Microsoft does is write software, the fact that they shipped a product with such a lethal bug speaks very lowly to the company.
But what did anyone expect? From day one the Zune was an iPod rip off released by a software company with an inferior record of security and stability than Apple. This is highlighted by the fact that Apple charges 2 times more for their computers than a similar Windows machine, but people are still snatching them up.
One has to wonder what those who bought the Zune were thinking at the time. It’s price and functionality were almost identical to the iPod, the latter being battle-tested and generally well-regarded. There were no new features that really made worth buying, no serious cost cuts and nothing to be gained (unless you got a great deal).
The Zune was, and pretty much still is, an attempt to compete with the iPod without doing anything better than it. The problem is that, when you’re entering a cornered market, it isn’t good enough to be equal to your competitor, you need to be better, faster and cheaper.
Sadly, Microsoft couldn’t do any of those things. In fact, it couldn’t even make the blasted thing work for four years. Read more
About 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 more
*Article Updated* When I heard about Blogo, I could barely contain my excitement. A blog editor just for the Mac that had full screen editing, full WYSIWYG control, multiple blog management, image resizing, Twitter integration and simple previews.
I could barely contain myself. When I raced to download the application for my 21-day trial I practically had my credit card in my hand. I almost bought my copy outright but stopped myself to give the software a try. I’m very glad that I did.
Though Blogo certainly has a lot going for it, advanced bloggers are going to want to keep away. It’s feature set is just to limited for people that require advanced manipulation of text and even basic posts are more difficult to post in Blogo than they are in the WordPress or TypePad editing panel.
However, those are the problems that can be fixed, there are other problems that seem to be a bit deeper into the development culture of the product. Read more
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 more
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 more