Cybersquatting My Alternate Identity

Archive for the ‘Mac’ Category

First-run experience very nice, easily set up my blog.

Lack of RTF less annoying than I expected—as long as I can use cmd-B for bold, etc, reading the html doesn’t really bother me (once I changed the font from Monaco 10, ugh). Though I didn’t type much in MarsEdit, because:

Deal-breaker: MarsEdit uploads original file to the blog. Actually, it failed with an error, but I’m assuming the file was too big.

MacJournal, which I’m typing this in, doesn’t seem to upload photos at all, but requires you to host them elsewhere. If would be nice if their knowledge base didn’t pretend this limitation was due to the blogging service instead of their failure to support uploading images.

Ecto really handles this nicely—resizes the photo, creates a thumbnail, etc.

Another lovely little touch from ecto—when you hit cmd-U to add a link, it automatically puts the clipboard contents in the URL field. Wish MacJournal did that.

Ecto says they’re still alive….


I dropped my iPhone on concrete and shattered the screen a few weeks back. I really am trying to hold out for the new hardware.

Okay, TUAW offered up a pattern, which I’ve copied below, but I think it needs revision, which I’ve added in italics. I didn’t agree with their predictions for 2010. The last two years Apple has tied the introduction of the new phone to the WWDC keynote—certainly they could put on their own media event to do it earlier, but will they? Looking at the patterns below, I think Apple is behind schedule, probably because they added a new product in the iPad. I won’t be surprised if it’s July before I can get a new phone, and late June before it’s announced at WWDC.

Original iPhone announced: January 2007
WWDC Keynote: June 11, 2007 (no big iPhone announcements, just “develop web apps”)

Original iPhone released: June 29, 2007
Original iPod touch: September 13, 2007

iPhone OS 2.0 announced and demoed: March 6, 2008
iPhone 3G and OS 2.0 release date announced: June 9, 2008
WWDC: June 9-13, 2008—above announcement at keynote
3G iPhone on sale & OS 2.0 released: July 11, 2008 (disastrous)

iPod touch update: September 9, 2008

iPhone OS 3.0 announced and demoed: March 17, 2009
WWDC: June 8-12, 2009—3GS announced at keynote
iPhone 3GS and OS 3.0 release date announced: June 9, 2009
iPhone 3.0 released June 17, 2009
iPhone 3GS on sale June 19, 2009

iPod touch update: September 9, 2009

iPhone OS 4.0 announced and demoed: April 8, 2010
iPhone update, OS 4.0 release date announced: June 2010 [??]
rumored WWDC: June 28–July 2, 2010
“summer”: 4.0 to be released for phones

iPod touch update: September 2010
“fall”: 4.0 to be released for the iPad

While I’m playing pundit—reviews of the iPad make it seem a bit unfinished, software-wise. I wouldn’t be surprised if it skips right to 4.1 in the fall, and that’s when it will really come into its own.

Okay, I managed to change the default font in MacJournal. I wonder if it will send the formatting to the blog. Probably. That’s going to be an issue. A display font for entries, plus the template system, would be real nice.

Previous entry appears to have posted fine. Modal category dialog rather clunky.

Yay, Send Entry to Blog is a toolbar option! Doesn’t say much for current ecosystem/habits that I wasn’t sure it would be.

User guide is clear enough.

I don’t know why the setup wizard is asking me to verify the settings. Like I know.

If I don’t figure out how to change the default font by tonight, this application is going in the trash.

At the WWDC keynote, Apple classed iPhone OS and Mac OS together to arrive at 50 million users of OS X.

Then they chopped their non-pro laptop line down to a single model by pushing the 13-in aluminum up to MacBook Pro.

Put together, that lays out an overall product lineup with a GREAT BIG HUGE HOLE in it, exactly suited to be filled by some sort of netbook-competitor.

I hesitate to bet money on this only because Apple doesn’t usually forecast so blatantly, and if a netbook were on their minds, there’s no way they could have missed the message they were sending.

I’ve been trying to figure out the difference between the original iPhone and the iPhone 3GS, and so far
have arrived at the conclusion that even after installing iPhone OS 3.0, the original first-generation iPhone will still lack:

  • improved camera (3MP camera with video, autofocus; but looks like 3.0 will give me basic video?)
  • voice control system
  • digital compass
  • Nike+
  • access to a faster network that exists in some places (as AT&T rolls it out)
  • encryption features (not totally sure this is hardware)
  • improved battery
  • GPS, of course
  • MMS support (when it comes to AT&T)
  • stereo bluetooth support

Two more bundle deals have just opened up, via MacUpdate and the new TheMacBundles. During the March 2009 MacHeist, Lukas Mathis and Michael Tsai wondered how the bundle paradigm affects the overall market for indie Mac software.  I’m wondering now whether Panic’s recent big sale, with Coda at half-off, was an attempt to get Coda into lots of hands to mitigate the fact that some 70,000 people got Espresso in the MacHeist.

I buy lots of bundles, because I like to hoard software, and I’m cheap. It’s a personality trait.

For the most part, I wind up using bundle purchases as demos. I’m not good
at using demos—I need to have a concrete task on my mind so that I
actually put an app through its paces in the first 30 days or whatever
the demo period is. When I’ve paid for a program, I’m more likely to
randomly play around with it instead of waiting for the perfect moment
to test it (I never tested DevonThink until I owned it, despite the
HUGE hype it gets from academics).

It’s very likely that
getting The Hit List in a bundle replaced a purchase, since I had
already decided that I preferred THL to Things and OmniFocus, and was
finding that I used it regularly, unlike the other two. The beta license for THL is still good, however, so I would not have made that decision yet. I can’t point to any other specific purchases I would have made that were replaced by a bundle purchase—while I start by testing the apps I already own, I don’t always limit myself to those apps.

One of the reasons why I hoard
software is because I believe in owning the right tool for the right
job, and that software is very individual. Also I like to keep things
compartmentalized. So I don’t mind having 5 or 6 finance apps because I
never know which one will be perfect for me and what I need to do. That
mindset also leads me to pay full price for the right app.

Anecdotal evidence:

  1. I was looking for a finance app just to track investment accounts, and sort of wanted to track them separately from my regular finances. Turned out I had accumulated 5 or 6 finance apps from various bundles, plus I downloaded some trials. I tried them all and stuck with the Quicken I already owned because I liked its data entry system best.
  2. I was looking to fix the blue cast on a weekend worth of pictures—I had accumulated a few photo editors from bundles plus other places, tried the 3 or 4 that I already had, and stuck with iPhoto for ease of use. Acorn looked a little attractive (Pixelmator‘s white-on-black gives me a headache to the extent I uninstalled it and sent the license to a friend), but I have to admit that already owning several photo apps (including Photoshop), I was unlikely to buy anything new without something pushing me to do a serious trial run, and I wasn’t willing to pay for this one off task.I did hope Acorn
    might show up in a bundle (as it eventually did), but since I have no
    real need for a photo editor, I would never have bought it and still
    haven’t started using it.
  3. I was looking for a new blog editor, did some googling, and discovered I already owned one in MacJournal (from a bundle). So I’ll try that one second, after the free Firefox extension ScribeFire. I already own ecto (bought full price), but since it supports multiple accounts, I probably would not pay for a second editor just because my first instinct is to keep my two blogs totally separate and not risk accidentally posting to the wrong blog.
  4. I have a need for a clipboard utility. I already have a few, some from bundles, some free, some paid for, which I have installed and un-installed at various times. But I’m not using any of them, despite wanting one, because I’m stymied by the need to compare them all and figure out which one is best. I’ll do that first with the ones I already have, before looking abroad.
  5. Despite already having multiple licenses for 1Password via bundles and sales, I paid full price for Wallet because it fit my workflow better. Haven’t paid for the upgrade to version 3 or the iPhone version yet, though.
  6. I am still looking for something to replace iWeb to put photos on the web (I like iWeb’s workflow A LOT, but the slideshows it creates outside of MobileMe are simply too small). I have two or three licenses for RapidWeaver, but wasn’t satisfied with it. I tried Sandvox, but it didn’t fit my workflow either. I passed on the recent half-off MacUpdate for Shutterbug, after testing it out and not immediately loving it. But I am willing to pay to meet this need, *if* the perfect app comes along. Right now, the free Flash Album Exporter (no longer being updated) gets me 80% of the way with 10% of the work.
  7. Aside from The Hit List, I think the only bundle program I’m using on a regular basis right now is Shovebox. Despite owning, from bundles, several competitors in that space. Also I used WhatSize regularly before getting a bigger hard drive.
  8. I would probably try to make Espresso work rather than pay for Coda—except that actually, I’m happy with Dreamweaver so wouldn’t pay for either one.
  9. When I pass a bundle license to family, I don’t use the program on my computer.

Numbers: Wallet is currently tracking licenses for 149 programs—probably 80-90% of those are from bundles or other deals. Most of my software purchases get reimbursed as academic expenses (MS Office, EndNote, Dreamweaver to do my professional webpage, DiskWarrior, SuperDuper! for backups, etc). Quicken reports that since January 2005, I have spent $325 on seven bundles. I have spent $220 on other software purchases (sometimes sales, sometimes full price, sometimes shareware contributions).  I have spent $12.50 on iPhone apps.

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