Blogo

I know I just posted recently about how much I enjoyed the Blogo blogging software but far be it for me to not follow up my praise with further praise. 🙂

Why the repeat? Well mainly because I was having a small problem between my laptop and desktop getting the list of recent posts loaded correctly. I contacted support in the same manner that I always do with support calls … scepticism. In this case that scepticism was unwarrented. As is often the case with high quality products, they have a high quality support team behind them. What immediately struck me in the interaction that took place was a clear desire to help rather than avoid responsibility. That combined with apt capability the story of course ends with a happy ending … my little problem is now averted and I’m only that much more convinced that Blogo is a great piece of software. 

Office 2014?

I installed Office 2014 for Mac a few days ago but haven’t had a chance to play with yet. Not sure when I’ll find the time but interested to hear if anyone else has a point of view.

Document Processing

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Just bought the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M with the idea of getting away from paper and helping to ensure I get through physical mail (which I’m notoriously bad at). It’s day 1 (really day 1/2) and I have two general statements:

  1. This is a great scanner. Small and compact yet high quality construction. It also does high quality job of scanning and at a high speed (20 pages / minute). This makes me feel very good about the purchase.
  2. The software that comes with it is VERY basic. Surprisingly so. A few more tweaks here and there and the STP dream would have been much more realized than it is currently. Overall the workflow seems a little hokey and awkward. Too bad as it really takes away from the hardware which is great!

To take point 2 a step further, I must say that the Mac seems to be the forgotten platform when it comes to document processing. A majority of the software vendors only have a PC version and those that have both have very watered down versions for their software. Annoying really. I have VM Fusion so I guess I could run this software but it really kicks my OSX Mojo and adds some annoying complexities into address book management for the business card scanning. As if my ire wasn’t evident already let me just finish by saying the business card software that comes with the scanner is complete shit. I mean it scans in business cards double sided and then has no idea that these images are double sided. Huh? Now you have to manually associate these cards? Actually no … there’s no way to do that either. Dumb asses! Wow.

Usually when things are bad there’s at least one overly priced option that you can break out your cold hard cash and fill in the gap. Not in document processing. Either do it on the PC side or expect to have some compromises built into your workflow.

I think I’m going to miss Windows

Prequel

I bought a monster Windows machine a few years back. It still is a powerhouse today (i7 processor, quad processor, 12gb RAM, 2 x 24” monitors, etc.) but the problem is it’s become unreliable. I think a lot of it comes down to my fancy RAID array (LSI MegaRAID) but in reality I really don’t know and am equally willing to blame it on voodoo or some ancient medieval curse.

The Rash Decision, A Nagging Doubt?

Anyway, I made a momentous – some may say rash – decision yesterday to buy an iMac. Just fucking tired of wasting time with all the problems i was having with my PC. It’s as high end as you can go with the iMac (27” monitor, 3.4ghz i7, 16gb RAM, quad processor, etc.) so it’s going to win a few beauty contests but I can’t help but feel this nagging guilt and worry that I just spent a ton and didn’t really move forward. Probably just a case of initial buyers remorse – I hope – but we’ll see once it arrives how I feel and more importantly how I feel after a week or two.

He’s not fat, he’s my Windows system

One thing you hear a lot of today is “Windows sucks.” Admittedly this is often said by OS zealots and with religious fervour but it has been said so many times now it has spilled over and passes as conventional wisdom. Anyone who has used Windows 7 knows that this categorization of Windows is naive. Windows may have square edges in places where the Mac OS is rounded but it is technically solid and superior in many ways yet rarely given credit in the mainstream. Beyond the OS, my real concern comes from the fact that many dual-OS software solutions are MUCH better on the PC side. Microsoft Office is a classic case. The Mac version is a completely different code base and looks pretty but is MUCH less feature rich and a bit buggy too (this latter part I expect will resolve itself relatively quickly with the service release). Other software that worries me include:

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro (the version 9 on the PC side is twice as good as the version 10 on the Mac … men against boys)
  • LiveWriter is Microsoft’s free blog writing software (which I’m using here) and it is only available on the PC. There is nothing that approaches Livewriter on the Mac.
  • Mindjet Mindmanager is one “version” ahead on the Windows side but even on like-for-like versions, the Windows side is far more complete and better designed

Now I must admit just like I’m hooked on some of the PC software advantages I am VERY much looking forward to having access to OmniGraffle on the big screen (right now I’m just using on my Macbook Air). I also really like the Reeder RSS reader. And I guess the final bit, the part that got me over the hump in the purchasing decision, is that I can run Windows inside the Mac OS. I think there’s always a temptation to avoid this but I have enough memory and processing power to not worry myself too much about it so hopefully – fingers crossed – I’m a happy camper in a few weeks time.

Lightroom 2 released

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Lightroom 2 was just released by Adobe and it is amazing. For those of you on the beta program you were already getting a feel for its upcoming greatness and the full release just improves the journey some more. If you’re on 1.x you definately should think about upgrading ($99). For people unfamiliar with Lightroom but with a growing library of photo assets … get your act together and try this program out. This is the “hotel california” of photo software (aka, “you can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave”).