I know I’ve waxed poetics time and time again over the Mac OS X and the software it has delivered over the years. There’s a unique style design that comes with so much of the software that it has become almost a standard to the platform- giving way to unique, beautiful pieces of software that can be productive and inspired in design. One in particular, has become a bit of an organizing obsession for myself, called Delicious Library. Delicious Library is a virtual bookshelf of sorts, allowing you to organize quite literally anything you own into it. You can add all sorts of things to this digital bookshelf- Books, movies, video games, etc- things that can be added using Amazon’s own giant database of goods to identify objects by name, or even by its IBSN number. The software can use the webcam on your computer as a bar code reader, complete with the little boop sound barcode scanners make when you scan things at the grocery store coming out of your computer speakers. it’s little touches like that that give Delicious Library that little extra touch that wasn’t there before. As soon as I started playing around with a trial version of the software, i bought it and proceeded to add every last item i could to this virtual bookshelf from my actual bookcase. I would sit there in glee as it would try to read aloud the titles of the books using the mac’s own Speak Aloud software to deliver monotone renditions of titles, speaking out “Fifty cent-blood on the sand” (it sounds so much funnier when you hear it read in a monotone, robotic voice that Macs give you, trust me.). Everything I own in terms of books, movies, and videogames are now all stored within the digital recesses of my Delicious Library. I keep track of who has borrowed things from my “library” and keep all their names stored (thanks to the cross integration with the Address book in OS X, i’m able to even import their basic information to the program as well), making sure I don’t forget who had my copy of Valkyria Chronicles. You can keep track of who you allow to borrow your DVDs, and how long they’ve had them out for. Even with my room a complete and utter mess, I was at a happy standstill, thinking to myself- it’s allright Daniel- everything is organized in Delicious Library anyways. No need to worry about it. It can work for both the owners of large collections of books or dvds or just the casual collector, as I am right now. I back up the whole collection regularly as a way to keep a good list of my possessions. It feeds some sort of odd obsession i didn’t even knew I had in the first place, to get a new game and almost automatically, boot up Delicious Library to scan it in to the virtual collection. The price of the software is a bit pricey (well, not overly pricey, as you would see in photoshop or other pieces of software along those lines), but at $40 (honestly, any higher and adults my age would balk at it), it was one of those investments that I really do cherish and enjoy. Delicious Library is available in demo form, for anyone to try. When Delicious Library 3 comes (and I do hope it does) I’ll probably come running, frothing at the mouth. ps, i do plan to post news soon in the future. i just had to finish this piece. more next week
Every day when I leave the house, I walk out with two gadgets- an original model iPhone and a Blackberry curve. I use two phones on a daily basis, and while it can be quite cumbersome, it’s a system I’m quite happy with. The iPhone is a hand me down- much of the gadgets or phones I’ve used for most of my life have been hand me downs from either my mother or my aunt. Both loooove gadgets, but most of the time, they have no clue how to use them half of the time, or what to do when things go wrong (and that’s when they call me). I used a Handspring Platinum back in high school- that, combined with a fold out keyboard, gave me the ability to write my webcomic reviews (or ongoing serial stories) all the easier. I’d pop out the keyboard, plug in the pda, and write in Word to Go. (it was just showing how nerdy I really was to my classmates- pulling out a PDA with a foldout keyboard does automatically label you as a nerd, especially in high school) In college, I’d toy around with an SNES emulator I found for a Palm Zire 72 Special edition, playing Yoshi’s Island in the back of geography class. Both of these PDAs were hand me downs- from my mother and my aunt respectively. When my aunt switched to an iPhone 3GS, she gave me her first generation iPhone. After a complicated jailbreaking (i say complicated because i was cursing most of the time). I turned the contract required iPhone into an iPod touch with a camera built in. Almost anywhere I go often has a wifi point, so keeping the phone on airplane mode (to remove the power to the now useless phone) and turn on the wifi whenever possible to use the internet hotspots. The phone has been the best little present I’ve been given in years. With every paycheck, I allocate ten bucks or so for the apps on the phone (I have never been tempted to “pirate” applications on the iPhone. Paying for them is still completely worth it, and knowing that I can support part of the mac community with my purchase is worth it). And I love it. I’ll bust out the iPhone most of the time, to answer emails, check twitter, or write down a idea I had. It’s a sweet little thing, and I love it dearly. The integration with my mac helps a bit as well. Certain little applications have made it all the better- Hipstamatic, Evernote, and Gas Cubby have made it useful on the go (I can list quite a number of apps i use on a regular basis, perhaps I’ll have to make a top ten list post sometime). The blackberry, on the other hand, is a different story. I came to using the blackberry a year ago, and I really did love it. It was the first phone that I actually bought for myself, and with it, gave me some great appreciation of the phone. I quickly loved all of the features- Powerful email, nice keyboard and a great contextual menu (click the blackberry button and send your image to a certain program! click the blackberry button over a phone number and send a text to that number. All sorts of things can be done with that menu that you don’t see on the iPhone.). The honeymoon period though, lasted only so long. The amount of decent applications for the blackberry is minimal at best. An app store was created for the blackberry system, but the sluggish nature (and annoying paypal tied paying system) keeps me away from the more premium apps. Most of the apps are either really incredibly slow or don’t really work on my Blackberry- a curve 8330. The phone itself is incredibly slow- running even one application in the background forces me to stare into the blackberry’s version of the Beachball of Doom- a simplified hourglass that taunts me with every passing minute. So much of the operating system on the blackberry feels like a relic from the time it still competed with the original Palm OS. Nothing on that phone feels fresh anymore- yeah, if i had more friends using blackberries, things like Blackberry Messenger would actually make sense- but i don’t. Everyone just uses iPhones these days. Now, the blackberry is just a glorified phone- I’ll check it from time to time whenever I don’t have wifi available for the iPhone. I’ll send text messages from both gadgets (the beauty of having a jailbroken iPhone- Google Voice running on both!). My real wish is to one day seeing the iPhone on my network of choice- Verizon. While that may be a far-flung hope (and ridicule from one friend- I’m looking at you, Ross), I still have some ill conceived hope on the subject. To have the iPhone as my only gadget would be a godsend. I don’t mind the virtual keyboard so many seem to loathe- the auto-correct feature (something phones with physical keyboards should have) usually saves my hide from my terrible spelling track record. For now, I’ll be walking around with an iPhone and a Blackberry in my pockets, confusing people who see me with my two phones.
I’ve been the only person in my household with any sort of MP3 player, my classic ipod mini still serving me well on my drives out and about. With my mother receiving a gift of an unopened iPod video, the only person left in my household was my sister, who had resorted upon mix CDs of various genres strewn about my mother’s car, and the terrestrial radio stations she deftly navigated for her favorite songs. After Christmas, my sister looked into getting her own iPod, using the gift cards for Ebay as her means to purchase a used one at a reasonable price. She finally settled upon the fatty iPod mini, to which she received with much glee, having found it at a great deal compared to most. She wanted me to take a look at it, so she waited patiently as i hooked it up to the mac in my room. She waited as i made the discovery of music already loaded upon the pink iPod- various punk bands and popular music that made her squeal in glee, things I would never have on my own music collection, Britney Spears and the like. It was only about 2 gigs worth of music out of the total 8 gigs available, so it was an added bonus to the cost of the iPod. I went back to the iPod status menu, looking at the bar at the bottom that showed the size of the various things available on the iPod. 2 gigs of music and… video? Thinking it was more free stuff, i quickly moved to the video tab, only to find porn. Porn on a used iPod, a title over 50 characters in length describing some act of sexual nature in great detail that I know would probably be illegal in Utah. I stopped, staring at my computer with a dropped jaw and incredulous smile as i called my sister over. “Teresa, you gotta see this!” I said with a laugh as i pulled open the title bar more, describing more raunchy things done with a latina (and a goat, but thinking back on it now, I think that may have been a joke). She looked in horror as iTunes generated an album cover, a random frame from the pornographic movie with the right asscheek of said Latina. “DELETE IT!” she yelled out, covering her eyes as I deleted the video. I wiped the iPod 3 times, to be safe. Be sure to check those things you buy on Ebay, mmmkay?
Okay, I’ve been promising a list of my favorite apps on the mac for a week or so now, and with midterms finally over, I’ve finally finished the list of my favorite apps for Macs, both freeware and paid software. All the programs are available for OS X 10.4 or later, and are Universal programs (Universal meaning it will run fine in both PowerPC and Intel macs). (updated 5-29 to add new applications) ****
I’ve been compiling a list of great OS X programs for a couple of my friends, and thought this is a perfect little tidbit to bring up. My chat program of choice is none other than Adium, a great, free little program. I love it to death, due to its amazing customization it brings. So when trying to find a perfect replacement for the sound effects, I came across this: http://www.adiumxtras.com/index.php?a=xtras&xtra_id=4996 The villain from Portal, GLaDOS. She spouts off little things like “Who are yoou?” when someone IMs me, or “Are you coming back?” when someone disconnects. I find it all too hilarious. My family, unfortunately, finds it too annoying. One day, when I left I accidentally left my Adium open. Coming home, i found my speakers on the floor, and the cables frayed. I freaked out, thinking someone broke into my room. As it turned out, I left the volume up high, so my mother kept hearing “ARE YOU COMING BACK?” and “WHO ARE YOOU?” over and over again and went crazy and trashed my speakers trying to get rid of the sounds. The speakers are fine. I kept the sound set so i can drive her crazy some more. I did get to change the adium icon set to Mia Fey from Phoenix Wright….
‘s recent return to Macs (receiving a shiny new MacBook Pro), I came to a realization- I am everything nerds love to hate. It’s an odd conclusion to come to, yes, but it’s kind of… well, true. I am a big Mac fan and a Playstation 3 fan to boot, both of which aren’t very popular to represent in some online communities I frequent. I’ve been a Mac fan… well since I started using computers, which was back in the second or third grade, if i recall correctly. My elementary school was populated with Macs, and I used both the regular
LC 520 and the Performa 5300 in the computer labs. I distinctly remember preferring the Performa 5300 due to the better sound that would come out of the games i would secretly install on them (Command and Conquer, anyone?). But at home, I would use a PC, so growing up, I had been accustomed to both computer types. But the impressions Macs left me were undeniable- I even requested a colored case, “Just like a Mac” on my Pentium III machine. Today, I still use my PC from time to time, but I am a huge Mac fan, as i have discovered the ways of QuickSilver and its productivity brethren that have risen out of the Mac application community. I await eagerly for the “next big thing” from Apple, downloaded the iPhone SDK, and wear black turtlenecks. I don’t go on angry tirades to support Apple, I don’t defend them even when the situation is hopeless (I still don’t really use the iTunes store unless the tracks i want are in DRM free format), I do think the Macs are utterly hopeless at playing video games (that’s what my video game consoles are for!) – But to have a creative and powerful machine for high end applications for sound, image, web, and video editing- my Mac does it all wonderfully, and I’ve been happy with it so far. I’ve been a Playstation fan since… well, the PS1 days. My friend Primo used to own the original back in elementary school, and I loved to play Armored Core games (god, that’s one series that have gone downhill). I owned a PS2 for three years before it stopped working (dead laser). So I just played games for a while on my brand new PC at the time (now, the system barely qualifies for minimum system requirements, if not, at all). At the time, i was looking forward at the “next-gen” consoles, and I started leaning towards the Xbox 360, for the games (Halo 3 caught my eye early). But as reports of console failures started leaking out, I was getting worried about having another dead console on my hands. Plus, I realized that I didn’t like the Halo series at all, finding the story to be rather cheap, in my opinion. With the coming of Metal Gear Solid 4, I used the high paying job I had at the time to buy the 60 gig PS3 with full backwards capability.
EDIT: IF i may indulge my Mac loving for just a little while longer, this is an excellent blog post on the advantages of the Mac platform, as done by a former windows programmer:
It’s now been over six moths since I’ve made the switch to the mac platform (more like eight months ago, checking my calendar and everything), much to . Back when i was using the PC, I had no sense of order when it came to my work. I’d be working on a project hand have half of the code on my desktop, and the other half buried somewhere in My Documents folder. So when I made the move to Mac, I promissed myself that I would start organizing myself on OS X. Looking at the state of affairs now with the mac, i can safely say that i do indeed have better organization. On the PC, I would use the built in photo downloader program to organize my pictures. it was a sloppy affair, as it would miss certain formats and sometimes pile images in the wrong folder if I didn’t pay attention when bashing my mouse in clicking the “Next” button. I had heard about iPhoto from other friends, and when playing with some of the older versions of the program, I immediately started to have a hatred for the program. But once iLife ’08 came to my computer, i fell in love with the new iPhoto, specifically, the Events feature. being able to keep photos in folders similar to my old PC system, but with a much slicker and easier interface? Exif data on the go? Oh yes! iTunes was easy, because I had already used it a lot on the PC as it is. The harder change for me was well, getting rid of Microsoft products. I had read a tech book (I forgot which one) which in the back of the book, advertised keeping a Microsoft free enviroment in the back. I had become intrigued with the concept- after all, i had been using MSN messanger, Windows XP, Microsoft FrontPage, and the rest of the Office suite constantly on the PC, but being frustrated with many of the progams mentioned (expecially office and windows) I wanted to try and make my own workspace being free. And I’m proud to say that my mac doesn’t have a single microsoft program on it. The programs i use regularly are: Word Proccessing: Bean (as mentioned before), NeoOffice, Pages (depends on the severity of the work ) Web Development: CSSEdit, TextEdit, Dreamweaver FTP: Transmit, Dreamweaver Audio editing: Audacity, Garage Band Photo management/editing: Photoshop & iPhoto Mail: Thunderbird (currently moving to Apple’s Mail.app) Chat: Adium Many of the programs are mac specific, but a couple of cross platform favorites (Audacity, Photoshop) made the list. So far, I’ve been pretty happy not having a cross compatible, simple to maintain system is goddam great. My happiest intergration that i’ve found on the mac so far is the use of the Address book. On my PC, there was my regular address book that came with windows XP, my Thunderbird Address book, and the one on my palm pilot. Now, the Palm Pilot syncs perfectly with iSync, making my address book available to my email program, to my chat program, and to almost anything else. Having this type of intergration makes it so much easier- no more having to look at three different goddamn databases to find someone’s email. It also makes nice with iCal, another simple, but powerful. My only complaint so far with my mac is the one button configuration. I know it sounds trivial, but a couple of days with just a single mouse button had me switching to a standard… Microsoft 2 button mouse. guess i have at least one microsoft product now. damn.
Well, i’ve always been a fan of both Macs and PCs. I used Macs constantly at school, while running PCs at home. (I actually remember my first PC- it was 75mhz, with a whopping 2 gigs of space. Man, what a joke that is today). Finally, i have a computer of my own, and its a mac. And somehow, I have to get used to it all. As mush as i am used to fixing both macs and PCs, this finally turns out to be a learning curve for me. Figuring out the littlest things like how Finder organizes your files (Goddammit i want the folders on top, then everything else organized by kind! that’s how my PC did it!) and moving files back and forth between them (almost all of them work- i got rid of my wmv files anyways, they were no use. I can play them back, thankfully, without the horrible Windows Media Player for the Mac. (an oxymoron within itself.) So i can finally say that I’m basically situated on my new mac, save for a couple of files lying around here and there on my PC I have to fetch. No scanner or printer, which i actually started to miss, oddly enough. I’ll have to have the PC network to my mac to let me print shit while the rest of the family is on the PC. Went to the beach last weekend with plenty of friends. God, I actually remembered why i don’t like seeing myself without a shirt on. People run screaming in pure pain and torture. Hell, i figure i should talk to Homeland Security to use my bare chest as a interrogation weapon. One flash and a terrorist would be willing to commit suicide to spare himself from the pain he just endured. These next two weeks I have planned out- writing, website design, and webcomic reviews. All the things I’ve been needing on doing, I shall do this upcoming week. Hopefully everything will go along smoothly. Oddly enough, I just realized something. I have a copy of Fearless, unwatched. Guess I know what my mac is doing now.
Allright, so i haven’t been very good at updating this thing. I’ve been… rather busy. Really. I’ve been around, doing work and whatnot, but i’ve simply forgotten to check up on my LJ, among other things online. So what’s new? Well, this is new. I’m now officially switched to Macs! it was a really odd process to go through, but almost everything has been sorted out. I need to clean up and maintain some sense to what goes on this psuedo desk of mine, so yeah. I will be returning to my projects relatively soon. Expect announcements to new projects, cancellations of old ones, and dates for releases (Webcomics Report, especially. That site is long overdue.)
Yeah, I got the stuff sucks () ipod skin. It fucking rocks. Thank you so much, liz! it rocks! 😀