11 January 2007

Day 1: Apple announces iPhone. Mac fans rave about how wonderful it is, plan to sell spare kidneys to buy one.

Day 2: It becomes clear that the iPhone will not in fact run the same Mac OS X that Apple computers do. Mac fans cancel kidney-for-sale ads, complain about how Apple has betrayed their users.

This is a nice antidote to my incipient Mac evangelist leanings. Anyone who seriously thought they were going to see a phone (any phone) running the exact same software as a general purpose PC (any general purpose PC) just doesn't know much about computers. Or phones.

Posted 03:27 PM

Yes, the site still has a wiki section. I've recently updated the Japanese pages with some new tools and resource sites. Additional contributions welcome.

(To avoid wikispam, a password is required to edit the wiki pages. See the introduction page for details.)

Posted 10:29 AM

10 January 2007

One of the downsides of switching to a new hardware platform is that all of your software is instantly obsolete. The package that you bought five years ago and haven't upgraded because you like the old version fine simply won't run. While part of the appeal of Intel-based Macs is that they will run Windows in a virtual machine, native Mac software works so much more smoothly that I want to use it whenever possible. (Which is not a criticism of Parallels Desktop, my virtualization package. It's simply an observation that Windows on a Mac is still Windows, with all the non-Macness that implies.) That means either springing for a current Mac version (if one exists), or looking for alternatives.

For instance, I originally had fairly ambitious goals for the Thin Film Manufacturing web site, and so I invested in Dreamweaver, the standard for commercial web development. It was a good idea at the time, but it turns out that this site is less of a product-in-itself, and more of an informal way to keep up with readers, clients, and other industry friends. Though Dreamweaver fully supports the Mac platform, I simply don't need it and have better things to do with the money it would cost.

Meanwhile, shareware and open source software have really blossomed in the Internet Era. The Internet solves the distribution problem for small vendors: anyone with a connection can get the software from the vendor's site, whether they are on the shelves in CompUSA or not. Anyone with a connection can also find other users with the same needs, and learn which products are worth considering.

Thanks to Pure Mac and generous free trial periods, I've settled on the following tools for HTML editing and site maintenance. (Plus Movable Type, my blog software, which lives on my server and can be reached with any browser.)

Graphic Converter: lightweight graphics editing, plus format conversion among a staggering array of alternatives. Shareware.

HyperEdit: HTML editing with preview capability. Includes live testing of CSS, PHP, and JavaScript. Shareware.

CuteFTP: FTP client. Drag-and-drop interface, directory synchronization. Commercial product, but cheap.

Web design is a pretty substantial niche, and Macs have always been popular among graphic artists, so it's not surprising that there are lots of Mac-based tools available. Not so in more obscure areas, and so I found myself diving into the wild and wooly world of open source software. But that's a story for another post.

Posted 05:48 PM


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