Archive | osx
I do love my MacBook Pro. It’s three years old and has taken a beating, but it still works extremely well. I’m still on Tiger, not seeing any huge reason to go to Leopard. I’ve had a few problems (like with the wireless in my house, which is still janky).
I have noticed that the adaptor wasn’t working as well as it should be. Sometimes the charge light would go off all a sudden, and when it did stay on, it seemed to take forever to charge the battery. Finally, on Monday, Gina emails me and says that it just shut off while plugged in. So it had finally died.
I made it to the local Apple Store to get a new one. I was expecting something around $30, maybe $50 at the most. The final price? $80! What? $80! Why? Why?
A quick google shows that a Dell adaptor is around $30. So I expected a premium, but not twice as much! I love the OS, and the community, but their lock on the hardware may just drive me to get a Linux-power notebook next time.
While Blaine starting to attend the Church of Emacs I’m sorta having a crisis of the faith. I’ve been working on a Rails project lately and have gotten re-acquainted with Textmate again. I remembered why I liked it so much — it’s project mode is perfect for the many, many files of Rails. And it’s HTML mode is really quite spectacular.
But then something happened. I needed to put about 20 records into a page. So I needed to take a list from the db migration that looks like:
t.string :namet.string :labelt.text :value...
And turn them into:
<%if object.name%><%=object.name%> <%end%><%if object.label%> <%=object.label%><%end%>
Ugh. That’s a lot of rote, dumb, error-prone typing. But wait! Emacs has keyboard macros! I quit Textmate, started Emacs and in five minutes I was done.
So which is better? I hope for a combination of them– Emacs with some of Textdrive’s nifty completions/templates. I can do a lot of that in Emacs but it’s error-prone and won’t necessarily work right all the time. Hrmm . . .
I was oh so happy a little while back that NetNewsWire was released for free (as in beer). I liked NetNewsWire before but didn’t think that it was worth the $30. Well, now I can still use it! It’s fast (yes faster than Bloglines, Google Reader, etc) and you can post to del.icio.us straight from there, save archives, etc. Very nice indeed!
On of the features of NetNewsWire is that it syncs your feeds (what you read, etc) with NewGator – an online reader. This seems ideal for me — a client-app at home, and a web-based one for work, on the road, etc. But this is where things go wrong.
NewsGator is slow, updates rarely, doesn’t generally do what I tell it to. For example, when I mark a whole feed as “read”, it locks up my FireFox while doing and, when it finally comes back, those articles aren’t usually marked! Whereas NetNewsWire is a fantastic app, NewsGator blows.
Is NetNewsWire good enough to use NewGator during the day? For now, yes. But they need to make many improvements soon or I will dump both of them and go back to my old standby, even though NetNewsWire kicks it.
One of my goals for 2008 is to get more organized — to accomplish the thing that I want to instead of forgetting about them when I can do them and then remembering them later when can’t do them.
I’ve flirted with GTD before and I really like it. The problem I had was that I didn’t have a great trusted source — I had one at work and (presumably) one at home. But I couldn’t come up with a great way to connect the two. And my source was Emacs with PlannerMode — which is wonderful, but didn’t quite cut everything that I wanted to do.
So I decided to try out OmniFocus just to see what it was like. And I’m blown away! The Omni Group is well-known for their high quality software but this one really takes the cake. OmniFocus stays out of the way until you want it. You can brain-dump your tasks and projects in with a keyboard shortcut and then organize them later. Marking tasks as finished is just that easy — use a checkmark!
My favorite feature is “add task by email” . Yep, I can think about something at work and use a delimiter to email that task or idea to myself at home. OmniFocus has a rule setup in Mail that searches for that delimiter and adds to to my tasks. Holy crap! That is cool!
To get an idea what it is like, I recommend going to the site and watching at least part of their Quick Start video (180MB Quicktime!). Seeing it in action and having someone explain it to you is better than reading through a manual
Oh, one more thing . . . OmniFocus is still in beta. Purchasing it now will costs $39.95. On January 8 it will cost $79.95. And I have had no problems with the beta, despite their daily updates to it!
Tim Bray is saying what I have been saying for years. And he notices that people are happier to move away from Windows, which I, too, haven noticed.
Gina has a friend that is really into photography and has taken note on how much Gina loves our Mac. So she’s sold — but her husband wasn’t. Not until he walked into our local Apple Store and messed around a little. His response was then: “Why would anyone get a PC?”
When I was visiting my parents this past weekend, they said their PC (now running Vista) no longer recognized the DVD drive. I looked at it, did a quick google, and hacked the registry like they said. And it worked! But my parents shouldn’t be hacking the registry just to get stuff to work! Vista, overall, hasn’t been easy for them — lots of apps quit working or don’t work well. Before we left, they said their next computer will be a Mac. It fits their needs anyway, and is less work.
Apple does have a bit of a marketing problem — there are a lot of people that still sneer at the mention of Macs and Apple. “But I can’t run Office?” Uh, yes you can! “Uh, there is no software for it!” Yes there is (unless you play games . . .) “It’s more expensive!” Not really, unless you don’t count the costs of having an antivirus, a firewall, and the amount of time you will spend updating and babysitting your Windows box.
That said, Apple doesn’t use FUD with their marketing — they want the “experience” to speak for itself. I love my Mac, but I think that I could almost work as efficiently on a Ubuntu machine. But Gina couldn’t — so Mac it is!
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