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The Apple iPad revealed. What now?

Apple's new iPad - image from Apple.comI was wrong on plenty of things regarding this tablet computer. Some of the things are disappointing, but I’m happy I’ve taken some time to digest it a bit, to listen to some arguments. I think Apple’s iPad is pretty darn cool. It *might* be something I’d buy, but I can’t say for sure just yet.

I’m going to start with this statement. I’m relieved that I now know what this is. The build-up was just ridiculous.  But I think that the suspense was valuable because people put forth so many ideas, they may have even encouraged innovation by other organizations to meet needs.

I think the iPad will be a good computer for people of every age to read and learn. I think most media companies will like it because it encourages the consuming of their information, books, films, and audio. And it’s created to be hyper-convenient to purchase those materials via this mainstream channel.

People were hoping for more than the iPhone of course. And the lack of camera surprised some.  I think I don’t mind it not having an onboard camera as long as a durable one can be connected. I think it might be better as a peripheral actually, then it could be pivoted to see the subject best for whatever use case, chatting or games.

One area that does bother me right now, but I hope for resolution is the lack of a dedicated drawing program. I thought for sure that one of the most important ways to justify the existence of a device like this is to throw down with designers. In a way, I think Apple owes the design community something like that because the design community supports them.  People were mentioning they were surprised about a lack of stylus. I kind of agree, but I want it known that a stylus does exist that can work with these capacitive screens. How the device will handle a sharp input, I don’t know. And that’s too bad, because it’s a niche opportunity.  But I think it’s something Apple probably wants other companies to handle, Adobe of course and smaller companies.

Sounds good right? Well yes but still I go back to this intended as a consuming device.

What else is missing?  Well I said in my earlier posting that I expected the device to have a real operating system, not just the iPhone OS. Well I was wrong. And that means it doesn’t really have the ability to support programs and utilities outside approved app store apps. Will this matter to most people who can find useful programs in the 150,000 large app store?  Nope, they’ll be fine.  And in fact, for every lost hobbyist, there will be hundreds or thousands of users who are given more than they need at prices they don’t mind, in a closed platform they don’t mind.

The good news is, plenty of other devices predating and developed concurrently are going to work for hobbyists. And these will gain a lot from the iPad. The envelope must be pushed. And it’s happening in price, weight, battery life, user experience and more.

What’s hot?  As much of a bugger it is for me to say, the app store is really hot. Because it is a market where a lot of people can get involved. Sure it’s closed off, but it’s not 150,000 strong by keeping people out. It’s quite open too. And somehow non-public apps will be made as this device and platform evolves if certain businesses want to take advantage.

What else is missing? I think a lot about the possibilities of a really strong voice recognition to complement a handwriting recognition where one could produce text to share these ideas almost as quickly as with a keyboard.

So after seeing the real thing, will I get it?  I’m torn, I mean the price points certainly make it more fun, but given that the potential for the Android devices, the battery life potential of Pixel Qi screen tablets and Ebook Readers and it’s hard to part with the money if I don’t have a killer drawing program. And I want the   It’s a good idea if one were to skip this device that they might keep an eye on the app store still. Because that’s where one might find exactly what they’re looking for.

It’s very exciting.  A few years ago, there were plenty of devices that would fail and never return.  One might think this wasn’t something people wanted and would go away before it reached a potential.  You get the feeling now though that we are definitely inching towards the right version for most people in this form factor.  It’s happening now and just like all other technologies, it will keep getting better. It will get to the point where you will see too many reasons to buy one.  They present many opportunities for in-home control over networked devices, energy settings  or other monitors and smart features.

February 5, 2010 at 7:07 am | computers, design, mac | No comment

On the eve of the Apple Tablet

Some would tell you that tomorrow the world will change.  I’ve loved all the coverage, I eat it up. As an ultra enthusiast of portables, this is a big year. And tomorrow is a significant day in the material world. Big player, massive expectation. Great potential no doubt.

Intrigue surrounds this thing, not just because it’s Apple. Not because of controlled leaks. People are looking for something. They want to do new things, or do old things better. Will this thing help people do things, or is it just a device for consuming?

Many of us have realistic expecations for this. Writing and drawing, taking notes, good battery life, durability, responsive UI, games, specialized programs, photo and video viewing, reading books.  A netbook or high end notebook isn’t enough for some.  They want to interact more naturally. Some, like me want to be able to create higher quality designs using their refined motor skills and talent, not just push a mouse around.

These gadgets are personal man, they spark all kinds of debate. For some of us, they seem to run our lives, they own us as Tyler Durden would say.  But they let us work in special ways, to share, to communicate. We scupt them through the programs we use, the shortcuts we deploy and what we throw out entirely.

I was disappointed with some writers covering or commenting on these devices, who insist that they know what people want, or more often what they don’t need. Stupid.  There are enough people in the world in all niches that you could make any kind of tablet product fly if you targeted it properly.  Medical, education, logistics,  and more.  And don’t forget the technique many use to market wares to people who don’t know about them. Create the need by introducing a problem, one that people didn’t know they had.  A 9-year-old understands this brand of persuasion.  It’s a mixture of What-if? and Don’t-You-Hate personal inquiries that lead to great answers.

The must frustrating statements made to me have been things like:

As obsessed as I get with wanting to strike back at these with my own strong feelings about the potential for the device here. I’d feel just as energized if Apple didn’t announce a tablet tomorrow. The ball is already in play buddy. Somebody is going to take hold and run with these ideas. We all know after the media storm what many people are after.   So it’s exciting, and it feels like anyone’s game to win.

Now for my speculative remarks.

God knows I’ve listened to everyone else on these matters.   I don’t care of Apple does any of this, it’s just a fun exercise.  But I do have some personal certainties here. Take it or leave it.

  1. I don’t see how it could possibly be called “Tablet”, “iTab” or iSlate or iPad”  Not that the name matters at all to me, but it’s going to play off the graffiti theme or will have a cool name like “Moses” just like the “Newton” was used for their first tablet, something strong. If Steve Jobs did say this is his most important work ever, why wouldn’t he break the standard and  give it a name with real pwnage.
  2. I think the screen will be different in materials than anything else we’ve seen.  Or if we have seen it, we’ve forgotten about it. It won’t be like the iPhone and it won’t be OLED and won’t be Pixel Qi either(unfortunately), I think it will be something else that’s been overlooked by everyone. I’m betting a 3rd party company has been developing the substrate quietly for a long time, and it’s a key selling feature that Apple would NOT allow a controlled leak on. It won’t be unbreakable, but durable.  It will be something that works for reading and writing in daylight better than we’re used to. The screen will perform well, but don’t get your hopes too high, too many compromises are in play.
  3. Lack of ports will bother me. Focus will be on wireless connectivity and against my wishes, there will be a lack of ports, thereby making the device less useful to hobbyists. Apple always does this to me, so I don’t see this changing. If there are more than 2 ports, I’m betting they will be non-standard and annoying to connect to. I’m very curious if it will have an SD slot. I’m thinking not, tragically.
  4. Apple will allow docking in vertical position for pairing with a keyboard easily, and will probably have a good docking station for it (look at logitech’s dinovo keyboard charger dock for example of what you’ll get with this.
  5. Screen will be 10 inches. That’s my guess. One size, 10 inches.
  6. In order for this event not to end too quickly, there will be a massive amount of use cases and software revealed where all sorts of problems are “solved” in the demo. The use cases will take up a large portion of the time. Videos and testimonials in areas like design, home entertainment, commercial use and media creation (photo / video / audio).  Education will get some time, but not enough, because Steve trimmed that part for the sake of brevity.  Those items ARE most important for the device to succeed though. They’ll be more evident when the microsite goes live.
  7. A few years ago, Apple changed iMovie so you could drag your mouse across clip thumbnails and it would shuttle through the video. That was killer and you will see nice UI features like that for plenty of oohs and ahhs. These things WILL get people thinking and it will drive more innovation.
  8. Some kind of iPod goodies will be part of the announcements to hold interest, the 2 devices will fuel each others’ progress.
  9. Special Mac software will be what sells this thing which is also where the other “failed” tablets and multi-touch didn’t grab the mass market.  Designers will get graphic software, students WILL get office. Learning software will be apart of this. This device will do more than just App Store stuff. It will allow for custom builds.  Because it has to appeal to commercial users who want to create their own lock-in for their company.
  10. Price will be $899 or higher. Look at Apple’s current offerings across the board. How could it be cheaper if they stick to their pricing as usual?
  11. 3G will be available, but not locked to a vendor like AT&T.  That will too easily hurt sales.  No contracts required.
  12. There will be exclusive partnerships which are made to sound cool, but really are just annoying. Something about these tablets and portables that brings out the old-world corporations and their attempt to control the future by creating a false scarcity on things. Extreme content and intellectual property fascism wrapped in the guise of the simple and convenient purchase and exclusivity.

Wrapping up, It won’t be for this guy =(

I’ve been disappointed before and probably will this time too. I’m doubting the Apple Tablet will be my choice of tablet in the long run. There’s a lot out there now, with the Entourage eDGe, HP’s offerings, and I’m really hopeful for Notion Ink’s Android tablet with the pretty Pixel Qi screen.  A lot of devices are using Wacom technology for pen recognition. I think I’ll be paying for the most flexible choice.  Apple doesn’t have that reputation of being flexible or open.  But I bet it will do a few things I’ll be jealous of when I see it in the field.

January 27, 2010 at 1:30 am | design, gadgets, mac, media | 1 comment

Dropbox – the perfect computer utility

Ever get tired of sending attachments to people? You write the email, click “add attachment”, browse, find, upload, wait, AND, send. Blah, that’s annoying just to think about.  I got tired of it a long time ago. That’s why I’ve been using this service called Dropbox for probably two years now, as soon as I heard of it. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it in this blog before, but anyway, you want to check it out and get it. It’s truly one of the best online services ever created. And it’s in both free and pay premium versions.

Simple instructions here, visit getdropbox.com and download their utility.  It works on Windows, Mac and Linux. Install and it makes a networked folder in your computer that will sync up with the Dropbox server. Files dropped in there are automatically archived on the internet for you. Dropbox let’s you share 2 Gigabytes of files free, and you can pay a small fee for even more storage.

To share a file, move or copy it into your Dropbox public folder (create subfolders inside if you like) right-click and choose to Copy public link. Paste this link URL into your email and you can share the file with somebody without having to attach anything, (and without them needing to detach it.)  Here’s an example of the public link you’d be pasting into your email:

http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/000000/foldername/filename.jpg

As a designer, it’s been a great tool to use because I can quickly update a file on my desktop and it re-synchronizes and my client can just revisit the original email I sent for the link. They will always be downloading the most recent file.  Just remember if files are big you’ll watch them sync with the server, the little icon next to the file will indicate when it’s done synchronizing.

Dropbox also archives versions of files and let’s you revert to them. It’s not infinite versioning, but it’s an added bonus that can help you in case of an accident.  If your PC goes down, you can also install dropbox on the new or refreshed pc and it will sync it back for you. Those files will only delete if you actually delete them from your folder.  I also use it to share files between my PC and Mac, so no worries if I’m on or off my home network.

Just get it, and start taking advantage of this perfect utility’s exquisite convenience. Oh and if you had the idea that you might be able to share files over the internet with a second person, you can definitely do that, you could share your login with a person, (which works but might not be what Dropbox intended) or add users within the service as documented.  The free service is great, the pay service is worth it.

getdropbox.com

September 29, 2009 at 11:19 pm | computers, design, gadgets, mac, tools | No comment

Apple finally gets a clue on memory cards

I’m happy to report, that Apple finally pulled their head out from underneath them by finally adding an SD card slot to some of its upcoming laptop line.  Research revealed to them that their customers liked using digital cameras and didn’t like using the USB cable.  What? People don’t like carrying a jumbled mess of cables in their bag?
Do me a big favor. Next time some fanboy Apple enthusiast says something like “Apple drives the industry” you will simply respond, “Yeah like that time they added an SD card slot 6 years after everyone else. Booyah!!!”  And of course they will say “That’s because nobody wanted it…blah blah” and at that point they have already shown themselves to be a hairy charlatan.

Apple is brilliant though. Shameless self-promoters. Imagine if Campbell’s soup held big conferences every year where they said things like, “Hey we’re even more awesome because we finally added a pull tab to our cans since we’ve determined that’s where the industry is going to go and we are leading the way.” Meanwhile, the actual smart platform-agnostic critics with a crinkled brows say “Steve, sardine cans have had that style pull tab for 90 years now…” and of course those voices are drowned out by a bunch of blue-jean wearing black shirted sycophants.  (Tee-hee I don’t even know what that word means I’m just trying to make my friends mad at this point. You hear me Matt and Susan?)

P.S. This post was written on a very flawed, nondescript, overpriced, feature-limited Mac that has not improved my lifestyle like the commercials said it would. In fact I’ve had just as many annoyances with it as I might expect with other computers. But it’s not all bad and kind of cool in it’s own way. In other words, it hasn’t solved all my problems, and introduced several new ones, which means it deserves very little fan-fare, certainly not the degree it has enjoyed.

P.P.S. Keep my rant in perspective. I’m just providing balance here because I’m being overwhelmed with too many flattering articles about Macs and iPod 3Gs’s today. Sometimes you have to introduce a little blowback and overstate the bad things. All in all, this is a good release for Apple. And I’ll give them a little more positive attention when the rest of the hardworking industry gets their credit when they release great stuff, which they do constantly and they don’t get the tickertape parade. Currently Apple enjoys an enormous mindshare that I feel it doesn’t deserve next to all the other innovators.

June 8, 2009 at 5:57 pm | computers, gadgets, mac | 1 comment

Will Linux work for you so you can dump MS Windows?

ABC news has a story called Imagining a Microsoft-Free Life.

So many stories like this are written, usually not by the MSM, but they trickle in every year.  They rarely get to the most important points. They are rarely written by people who are able to compare their experience with most people.  These articles usually center around the fact that you can install a free Linux Operating System such as Ubuntu and just use that, no longer having to worry about the expensive Windows upgrades.  This option sounds attractive, but nearly every article (except by those who are Pro-Linux) will typically end with “Yeah it sounds great right, but it’s actually not likely to work for you.”

I will enter this cesspool with my best effort.

Starting out.  Microsoft sucks in so many ways.  In particular, from XP to Vista. What a joke. Vista came out and had a new glossy black look and thats about it. Not only that, it was unnecessarily bulky and worse, very expensive.  For a small number of new features and eye candy, you pay a lot of money. Also that eye candy which was a heavily pushed and highlighted feature (see task switching on every vista commercial) it’s actually not that great.  The menu update is OK, but also a little difficult to navigate. The amusing thing is that all the glossiness is easily done in Linux. Linux users laugh or shrug their shoulders when they see that flashy Windows stuff shown.  Because it’s free, faster and more flexible in the Gnome or KDE desktop environments of Linux.  Before I move onto those, I’ll mention one more important feature of Windows Vista. DirectX 10 is an update to a 3D graphics framework only available in Vista. Clearly done purposely to influence gamers to upgrade. Many people said that it was a very pretty update to games, making things look more realistic, such as reflections and light and texture effects. But not worth it given the strong system you’d need to run it and the sacrifice you’d be making on overhead with Vista just running by itself.

So it must be known that there are some high quality free operating systems available using the Linux kernel.  When it’s Linux, they call these operating systems “distributions” and in a lot of ways, they are similar.  They have the start button menus you are used to, even if they don’t say “Start” on them.  They have folders and files you can open and rename. They run programs such as office spreadsheets, image viewers, and solitaire.

I’ll center this around Ubuntu because it’s popular and very heavily worked on by both the community and a company called Canonical. Ubuntu is a distribution of Linux that uses as a default the Gnome desktop environment (controlling the menu / folder / window look).  Certain things are branded Ubuntu, certain things work the way the developers wanted, that slightly differ in other distros of Linux.  These are the core things of Ubuntu I guess.  In the details, you have things like support for Wireless laptop cards, easy configuration of devices (hopefully) and lists of things that make Ubuntu unique as a distribution of Linux.  Ubuntu is free, it has a very straight forward CD install and can replace Windows and work well for many people for a long time. It has many simple auto updates which means it keep itself up to date for you. And like most distros, it’s very extendable.

Will Ubuntu or another Linux distribution work for you? The significance or usefulness of these free Linux distributions come down to how you answer three questions.

  1. Are you tired of Windows or having trouble with it and prefer not to upgrade to the new Windows, and instead would like to take a shot at something new and slightly different?
  2. Are your computing needs general such as document creation,  web browsing, photo viewing, watching videos, playing CDs?
  3. Are you willing to forego certain things such as specific games and applications in case they aren’t available on Linux due to the difference in program structure?

Most articles that are written about all this don’t cover this issue properly because the experience of computing is always unique to each computer user. The fact is you can dump windows easily replacing it with a dead-simple experience in general computing on several variants of Linux. Where things get a little hairy are some specific things that some people might like. for example:

I said earlier that whether moving to Linux is a good idea depends on the individuals unique needs. So let me give you a short case study of myself. I don’t like Windows all that much.  I don’tcare about it.  I own a Mac but I don’t like doing a lot of my graphic work on it because the mouse handling feels mushy to me.  The actual cursor, not the mouse device.  I’m not alone here even if you think I’m nuts saying that. Trust me ok. I also despise Windows Vista and the entire campaign with the seven different versions, the limits placed on cheaper versions and the audacity they had of complicating Vista instead of simplifying it.  I’ll say again SEVEN VERSIONS to figure out which one to buy?  What the hell Microsoft.  People all along the chain of that decision need to be stabbed.  And during that time, Apple releases one version of it’s OS X operating system. That’s how you do it. One option that handles it all./end rant.

So you’d think I’d be the likely candidate to try Linux.  And I have.  But there are problems that prevent me from being ‘Microsoft-Free.’ Those problems aren’t due to a lack of computer experience. They are genuine limitations.  I want to use the Latest Adobe software on a system that feels non-mushy. Because Linux can’t run Adobe CS4 Photoshop, Flash, AfterEffects, Premiere and more, that leaves Windows. I also enjoy the game franchise Call of Duty.  I also like being able to print photos with my Canon scanner / printer. I also like to use certain wireless mouse and keyboard features that only the windows drivers support (switching buttons)

Linux can probably get me pretty close to my goal.  Despite Canon not making Linux printer drivers, somebody else has written them. I might not get every printing option or be able to see ink levels in the system tray like I can on Windows XP, but still if I can print good prints on the right paper, I’m happy.  Whether I can do that without a nightmarish install process is a question though. Because anyone configuring their mother’s computer knows that seeing you five hours into it, they are frustrated with Linux without having touched it. My mom might reject Linux because it SEEMS complicated, even though I take care of the difficult one-time stuff.

One more case study: My wife.  Linux helped her a lot because of an older laptop and a missing Windows disk. We weren’t able to legally load Windows for her after a hard drive failure left her with a blank slate.  We recovered files, loaded Ubuntu Linux and I did my best to configure it nicely.  She was used to the “My Documents” folder and where it was located.  With a little walkthrough, she learned the new best location to save files.  Her problems with the webcam were evident, and her favorite greeting card software wasn’t available. We couldn’t find an alternative to that.  One big problem for her might be small to somebody else, but when we were able to Install Windows again, she was ready to because of it.  For whatever reason when she wanted to attach a photo to an email, she could not view thumbnails of the photos for attaching to Yahoo mail.  Maybe a silly small thing but that was her need.  And you can’t argue with that.  She did really well for the few months Linux was running, despite some printing challenges, which again would have been perfect with the Windows driver.  It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just personal preference and in a lot of ways, expectations.

It must be known though, that Linux kicks Windows behind in so many areas too. Such as the sheer number of free applications, many chat channels for help, ability to learn new things, ability to make many massive theme changes with less overhead. And it’s only gonna get better with the cross-platform Adobe AIR and the slow migration of favored programs.  Some pressure is on companies like Canon and Logitech and Nvidia to create drivers for Linux users. It’s in their best interest to support as many as they can.  There are also some Linux-only programs that are exquisite and you’ll take advantage of those.  e.g. Rosegarden which I mentioned previously.  There’s a lot more there to be discovered.  And Linux can be installed with a ready-to-use webserver. Admin tools are strong, as well as programming tools.

In conclusion, whether you can enjoy Linux, Mac or Windows depends on your expecations, your individual needs and what software supports those needs.  I cant’ tell you how many small needs I have that NO computer meets.  So to say that Windows is better than Linux, or Mac is better than any of them is just ignorant and biased. I think being free and supporting old hardware is a big advantage of Linux. Wouldn’t it be great to spend $90 on a used laptop and outfit your college student with free office, browsing and learning tools? That is very possible and that may be an enormous significance to people who are willing to try it. I love that Linux gets better constantly, Ubuntu releasing new versions every six months and people are trying to get things to work with popular devices.

December 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm | computers, learning, mac | 2 comments

A little change of scenery, my new Macbook Pro

I’ve been wanting a new computer for quite some time. My desktop has started to look ancient. In fact, all desktops are starting to look ancient. I appreciate all the work I can accomplish with them. I really appreciate the modular flexibility with home built systems. That’s why I’ve built my own, and friends’ computers for a few years now. Recently though I’m starting to tire of the cabling, the fans, the startup times, the heavy box. It’s like when you’re still driving the big Buick even though the world has changed to smart cars all around you.

Computers are expensive. And I didn’t go the cheap route with my recent purchase of the Macbook Pro. I did get a great deal because I acted quickly on a Craigslist ad. I probably saved 500 bucks off the retail price. You might ask why I didn’t go with Windows? I’m not too happy with Microsoft Windows right now. Vista just came out and sure it looks nice, but there are something like six versions of Vista all at different prices. From the lame loser edition up to Ultimate Kitchen sink variety. And I started thinking about how silly it is to have to even have to ponder all those compromises. Even the networking difference between XP Home and Pro is annoying. Apple wins in the simplicity area. If you get a Mac, you get OS X. And you’re getting the eye candy and the functionality that everyone gets for the same price. Also Intel Macs can run Windows XP, they can run Linux on the computer. So I see

I want something easy, dependable and fun. I had a big prejudice against Macs before, and truthfully, some things are still disappointing. But mostly the problems with them have faded. I still like the way the window panes behave in Windows and Linux a little better. And more utility-type programs are available for them. But some things on the Mac are just better. The fonts look great, the screen is pretty, the industrial aluminum is sleek and I don’t tire of it like I thought I would. The built in webcam and microphone is a must have. What is it missing? Mostly just a built-in card reader for digital camera pics would be the only thing coming to mind right now.

You get some pretty cool software with it too. I’d argue you get more with the Mac than with Windows, but that’s probably not true. You do get some real gems. iWeb is a webpage authoring program. It’s very well done. What does Windows give you? Hmm, notepad…what fun. The Mac has an outstanding comic book making program called Comic Life. I’ve used a lot of software and I can tell you that Comic Life is one of the slickest apps around. For what it does it’s at the top of its game. An old coworker remarked of mine said Comic Life looks like the programmers didn’t have a deadline when they made it, because they seemed to put their heart and soul into it. Another killer program, GarageBand, a music and MIDI program is like that too. You really get a lot with them and they are built in. Yay!

Despite my history of complaints to the contrary, I was able to set up my Mac with a lot of free software utilities that I was very happy to find. I still have to decide what to do about the Adobe CS3 Suite. I want it but whoa, it’s pricey. I’ll have to see what my options are for the Mac before I buy the full Adobe suite.

I thought I might share a few free programs I’m using on the Mac.

NeoOffice – totally free Office Suite (Port of OpenOffice.org)
Max Audio Convertor – Free GPL software converts to tons of audio formats
Bean – A simple Word Processor
Xee – image viewer (lets you view whole folders of pictures)
Gimp – Image Manipulator (Like Photoshop but much more annoying)
Inkscape – Free Vector Graphic program for high quality drawings
SnapNDrag – useful little screen capture utility
Instant Shot – an even better screen capture utility
Colloquy – IRC Chat client (helps me when I need answers from pros)
Adium – Regular mainstream chat client
The Unarchiver – unzipping program
NicePlayer – uses QuickTime but cleans and speeds things up
VLC Media Player – Plays tons of media video formats
HandBrake – DVD ripping program
FFMPEGX – utility does video conversions
Black Light – Does this reversal of white to black on your monitor to conserve energy (might help eyes too)
Process Wizard – a boring yet useful tool to let you know what your system is doing
Flip4Mac – Lets you play WMV Windows media videos
SketchUp – Great little 3D modeler for creating your dream home
Burn – CD Burn utility with expanded options
Jumpcut – multi-copy clipboard program (good for writing, gathering clips)
Google Earth – awesome mapping program
MAMP – I call this the pocket webserver
Celtx – Free Screenwriting application
Smultron – useful tabbed text editor
Blender – My favorite 3D program
ArtRage 2 Free – awesome painting program, like real oil paint
Audacity – another audio editor for cutting up audio clips
Firefox – Please tell me you’ve heard of this web browser.
Freemind – mindmapping program for planning virtually anything
MuCommander – Great FTP client for sending files.
Filezilla – FTP program I use on windows, now available for Mac (Yes!)
Fugu – Another FTP client (compare if you wish)
Renamer4Mac – Batch renaming software (for naming your thousands of pics)
Window Dragon – finally a utility that lets you size window panes from all sides
uApp – an uninstaller helper program
Tofu – triple pane (3 column) text viewer

To end this, if you are buying your next computer, consider a Mac. Mac OSX is easy, it’s sharp and it’s cheaper. Macs overall are shedding their more expensive image of the past. Most people worry about relearning a computer if they are leaving Windows. That may be true, but you do have a lot less to worry about in terms of stability issues. Plus, viruses are almost non-existent.

March 1, 2007 at 4:55 am | computers, mac, tools, webdev | 2 comments