December 22, 2011
What the hell, why not. So, here's my version of Justin Williams' "Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Mac OS X (2011 Edition)". Prepare to be disappointed.
Computer & Related Hardware
At "work" I have a 24" Apple Display, (the older DVI model), and that's it. When I use an external pointing device, (mostly for DDO) I use a Razer Naga Epic. 'Tis Awesome. That's it. I try to keep my hardware setup simple, it makes working mobile much easier, and to be honest, I've gotten so used to the built-in trackpad, I don't like using other stuff. Gets in the way.
But a 17" is just too big
That's what she said
In all seriousness, I really like the 17". I don't find it bulky, even on planes, the battery life is amazing, and the extra screen space and better expansion is well-suited to my needs as an IT Director, Podcasting, Writing, and Gaming. I think you're either a 17" person or you are not, and I definitely am. Even the 15" is just cramped to me. As far as bags go, I have a Brenthaven backpack I got in 2003 that is still in amazingly good condition. The computer sleeve velcro is a little wore out on one side, but that's it. The bag is a tank, a big taank, (really. I can fit the 17", an iPad, a bunch of cables, laser pointers, pens, a bottle of water, and a Mini in it, and not overstuff it. My shoulder will wear out before I fill that thing up), and I feel bad, because every time I think about replacing it, even with another Brenthaven, I can't justify it, it's still in too good of shape to justify it. But if I ever replace it, it'll be with another Brenthaven. Harvey, I love you.
OS is "whatever's current", maybe a beta version ahead.
- Outlook 2011. Yeah yeah, all the cool kids don't use it. First, screw the cool kids, second, I like Outlook. I like it a lot. I like the fact that unlike Mail, it has an AppleScript dictionary with more function than bugs, (or ANY function compared to iCal and Address Book.) I like how it handles multiple accounts FAR better. I like that everything's integrated. I like that its rules are the best, especially the mailing list manager functionality I wish it supported CalDAV & CardDAV, and dragging attachments into windows wasn't quite so damned twitchy, but other than that, it's my favorite email/calendar/contact client.
- iChat. I live with that application, it does what I need it to do, and other than being a bit of a pain in the ass for multipoint audio, it handles my needs perfectly. Well, I can't script account creation. So that's a pain.
- Browsers. Yes, I use them. I like Safari, it has integrated RSS. Second choice is Firefox, although of late, they're becoming almost too douchey for me. Chrome only when forced. (Have I mentioned I don't particularly like Google or its products? Yeah.)
- Apple Remote Desktop. I'm a sysadmin at heart, and while it is getting weird of late, Apple Remote Desktop is still a heck of a management tool for a primarily Mac network. Nicely scriptable too!
- Preview. It's what Adobe Reader should be, and it has a plethora of hidden/not so well known features that make it more than a little useful to me on a daily basis. The perfect application when I'm doing lots of screenshots.
- Coda. For the small amount of web site design and administration I have to do, Coda's the bomb. Small, tight, and doesn't get in the way. Also, have you seen Macromedia's UI lately? Guys, Aqua is dead. Let it go.
- iWork and Office. Yeah, yeah I know, Office is bloated. Well, one person's bloat is another person's handy feature. I mostly use iWork, but there are times when only Office will do. For example, Word's finer controls over change-tracking is really handy for me, and Numbers is just kind of stupid at importing delimited text files, whereas Excel is just pretty awesome at it. I don't use PowerPoint though, haven't in years, Keynote is just much better. I like working in Pages much better than Word, esp. when it comes to styles. Word still can't make styles easy.
- MarsEdit. It's the only blogging tool I'll use, and I find myself using it anytime I have to write something in HTML. I have rather a lot of custom format shortcuts I use, so not using ME is just kind of painful.
- Snapz Pro X. Yeah, yeah, I know, all the cool kids use Screenflow. Whatever, I like Snapz a lot. It does what I need it to do, it has awesome keyboard controls and the control it gives me over screenshots is unmatched in my experience. It's the best out there at any price, and it's pretty damned cheap.
- Twitteriffic. Since the death of Tweetie, this is the only twitter client worth using on Mac OS, and definitely the only one I'll use on iOS. I pay for it, and I still show the ads, Craig's done a great job of making them not suck.
- Sequel Pro. If you have to manage MySQL databases from Mac OS X, and you aren't using Sequel Pro, you're an idiot.
I'm not a programmer/developer per se, most of what I do is for internal utilities. Having said that:
- BBEdit. If you're one of those BBEdit haters, I can't even talk to you. Seriously awesome, and they have one of the best GREP references ever built into their online help. I find most complaints about what BBEdit "can't" do to be rather incorrect.
- Script Debugger. I write a lot of AppleScripts. A lot. I could not, nor would I even try to do so without Script Debugger. If you're trying to do anything beyond EXTREMELY simple scripting, without this tool, you're a fool. The grownup debugging, and the ability to see what is happening in the dictionary live with the running application? Oh hell yeah. What, you think I figured out that Acrobat 10 had dictionary entries for the menu separators WITHOUT Script Debugger? Ha. Ha. Ha. It's not free, and I so don't care. This is an amazing tool, and it gets better all the time.
- Xcode. I'll come out and say it, I dig Xcode 4. But then, I never cared about Xcode much before, because up until Mac OS X 10.6, the only thing Xcode had for me was ASS, AppleScript Studio, and um. No. But with Mac OS X 10.6, I got AppleScriptObjC, and so now Xcode is much more useful, and I didn't have any bad Xcode 3 and earlier habits to unlearn. I like it, although the AppleScriptObjC debugging sucks.
- AppleScriptObjC Explored. Technically, it's an ebook, but I use it so much when coding that I can't imagine working without it. Amazing book, worth every penny.
What I use for Angry Mac Bastards.
- WireTap Studio. Yes, they're an AMB sponsor, but I've been using WTS since before AMB. It's classic Ambrosia: does what it's supposed to do, and doesn't get in your way.
- GarageBand. Honestly, there's a lot UI-wise that I don't like, and parts of it are just obtuse, but it's really good for my AMB needs, and I know how to make it do what I need it to do.
- Levelator. I know, I know, it's not magic, but it's close enough. I drop an audio file with wildly different levels on it, and it spits out an audio file with nicely matched levels. Drag, drop, done. Awesome Sauce.
- Transmit. Gotta get those files up on S3 somehow. Really, Transmit is a great application, and I don't care that it's not free. Don't be cheap, buy it, you'll be happy you did.
- PDFpen Pro. Use this instead of Acrobat any chance you get. It's great software, has a MUCH better UI, the dev team actually implements customer suggestions from people who DON'T have 30,000 users, and unlike Acrobat, the Smile people love the platform. Besides, just saying the name is infinitely more Smile than you'll EVER get from Acrobat.
- Adobe CS Suite. Acrobat sucks, but the rest of the suite is okay, and honestly, I know how they work. I don't think any of them are particularly bloated any more than any other application with that large an audience would be. Also, the CS installer team has made installing it suck SO much less over the years, so really, my primary annoyance with it is gone.
- Dropbox. Meh, it's handy. Getting files to people's Dropboxes when you don't have an account sucks, the sharing UI is quite craptacular, and the product is way too impressed with its own cuteness. Using the fat application when you have multiple accounts is just agony, I end up using the web interface most of the time.
If you're surprised I don't have a lot of OS/UI utilities I use, you clearly don't know me very well. Also, I don't care if you don't use/don't like my applications, but seriously, no advocacy wars. Those suck. And yeah, I know most of you don't care what I use, as you shouldn't. But if you were curious, well there it is.| Comments ()
December 20, 2011
No, they don't "have to" build a 7-inch tablet
This was a reply to Dave hamilton's comment on this story, but TMO's comment system is weird, and wouldn't deal with it.
This is one of those times where I agree with Martellaro’s premise, and frankly I think a lot of the commenters here are being extremely short-sighted and just listening to what another pundit out there claims instead of thinking for themselves.
The premise that Apple could make money off a 7" tablet, or the premise that Apple now has to make a 7" tablet? The former is obvious, the latter is rather ridiculous, and it is the latter that forms the basis for this article. As others have pointed out, people have said the same thing about netbooks, bigger iPhones, a mini tower, a maxi mini, a "netbook" version of the Macbook Air, on and on. These are things apple *has* to make or they risk...what? In the end it comes down to "not making money they could be making".
Even here, John doesn't really have a reason other than that, and he even explains WHY Apple wouldn't based on the fact that they regularly walk away from gobs of cash in another market: low-end computers.
Reading it, there are three reasons John has for this:
- Perceived weakness:
When a company comes to dominate a specific market, it’s seen as a failure if another company steps in and finds a weakness. That’s exactly what Amazon has done with the Kindle Fire
Yet at no point does John explain how that's actually a weakness when Apple has stated it has no interest in the low end tablet market. Even if we allow for a 7", there's no guarantee it'll be cheaper than the Fire, or that the people buying the Fire would have instead bought the 7" Unicorn.
- Money they "could have made":
What can’t be denied is that Amazon has found a chink in Apple’s armor. Apple execs might be feeling that if only they’d done a better job of understanding their own market, Apple would be earning all these Christmas revenues instead of Amazon. A million Kindles sold per week is evidence of Apple asleep at the wheel. How can Apple prevent this from happening again?
Again, he uses a specious figure, (the million a week is not kindle Fires, which is the "chink" in Apple's market John is talking about, but rather a million units carrying the name "Kindle". The Kindle has always sold well, oddly, so has the iPad. Funny that) to show the money Apple could have made. However, one of the strengths of the Fire is that it is tightly coupled with Amazon's infrastructure, something a lot of people like.
It is rather silly to assume that the kindle Fire would not sell "well", (since we don't actually know how many are selling) if Apple released the 7" unicorn. John's engaging in the kind of zero-sum game that everyone hated in the 90s: For Apple to succeed, all others must fail, and vice-versa. Yet, he has nothing but the opinion that somehow, if Apple released the 7" Unicorn, it would have destroyed the Fire. It is entirely possible for two similar products with different enough target uses and markets to succeed.
The Fire offers features that Apple as a company cannot offer, and it is designed primarily to be a portal into Amazon's infrastructure. It does this very well, and there's no guarantee that a 7" iPad, even at the same price, would somehow kill Fire sales. Yet that's the implication of this point, and there's little support for it.
- Ego driven by internet pundits and stock analysts, two sources of stupid that Apple ignores rather well:
My experience is that Apple execs will become a little touchy about the loss of tablet market share and the unflattering conclusions analysts will draw after the holidays. How and why Apple responds will tell us a lot about how the executive team is feeling about how to compete in the tablet market. My money is on a smart, agressive response instead of no response at all. The fire must be put out soon.
I’m also curious how many of the naysayers have actually touched and used a Kindle Fire? I have, and no, it’s not as good as an iPad, and no, it won’t compete with the iPad on many levels. But the concept of having a tablet that one can comfortably hold in one hand is huge, and is something this particular Apple fan would LOVE to see in an iOS device. Once the screen technology is available to support the required resolution at this 7”-ish size, I think Apple will be seriously considering something like this to stay in this market.
I have actually used a Fire, and while it is a really nice device, it's not a competitor for the iPad. It's designed in every way to keep you in Amazon's world, and when you try to venture out, the Fire becomes somewhat less than awesome. The iPad, while firmly rooted in Apple's ecosystem, functions rather well outside of it, i.e. the web browser actually works correctly. That's a critical difference. And again, this all assumes that Apple is particularly interested in a low-margin market, something no one has demonstrated particularly well.
Remember, this ain’t Steve at the helm anymore. Apple’s leaders are people that are working for their money and likely not able to ignore the market as much as Apple used to. In THIS case, I think that’s going to be a good thing.
Were someone to come up with better reasoning for this move other than "money they could be making", "ego", and "Steve Jobs is dead", I'd be happy to take it more seriously.
Might Apple do this? sure, who the hell knows with that company, but I highly doubt it will be because of the Fire, and I further doubt it will somehow kill the Fire even if they do. There's room for multiple products here, stop pushing zero-sum games.| Comments ()