Why I Like NewsGator

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 15th, 2006, 08:44
Category: Software

I’ve been using dozens of various RSS and Atom readers and aggregators lately. This is in no small part because it has been a requirement these days, and where I was once happy with NetNewswire Lite I have had to use various web-based, mobile, and even a few Windows (!!) readers.
Like many of you, I don’t have just one computer. I want to read my feeds on a Mac or two at home, a Mac at the office, a company-supplied Thinkpad, or my SE P910 smartphone. So it really doesn’t make any sense to use a desktop client unless I want to keep reading the same things over and over again.
So I’ve focused a lot on the web-based readers out there, and what follows is my short tale of discovery on what is out there, and why I like NewsGator Online so much.
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US Government Shunning Mac users

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 13th, 2006, 11:06
Category: Software

New Grant System Excludes Mac Users

“Uh, this would be the same government that spent a lot of time and money pursuing Microsoft for its anti-competitive behavior?” one blogger wrote. “And they now offer a government site that mandates monopoly?”

Contrast to the move that Massachusetts recently made to only use non-proprietary formats in state offices.
Sounds like a logical step for me, why should Government only be accessible to people who run Windows?
If you’re a Mac user in the United States, you should be giving hell over this. Tens of billions of dollars were spent, and apparently one of the goals was to require people to use Windows. There is no reason these days to not support standards that are cross-platform.
Some people will try to suggest that this is fine because there aren’t as many Macs deployed, but note this gem:

Critics note that in contrast to the domination of PCs in the business community, Macs constitute about one-third to one-half of the computers scientists and academicians use.

Ah, to know your target audience and shun half of your userbase. Thanks, guys.


Transmit 3.5 is more like 4.0

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 9th, 2006, 10:34
Category: Software

transmit-logo.jpgPierce Case wrote to inform me that my favorite FTP client, Panic’s Transmit, has bee upgraded to version 3.5. The update is so extensive that it should have been called 4.0 or X or something.
A couple of my favorite features of Transmit 3.5 are:
– It’s now a Universal application which means that it will chirp on my MacBook Pro
– You can create “droplets” from a Transmit favorite or a folder in an open connection
– You can edit any type of file in any local application
– Right-clicking a remote file brings up a Finder-like list of recommended editors
Click through the see the ridiculous laundry list of changes in the new version.
Transmit will set you back US$30 for a license, or US$18 to upgrade from 2.0, upgrades from 3.0 are free.


Airport Express Update Allows Multi-Room Streaming

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 23rd, 2006, 07:00
Category: Software

Lost in the hoopla of all the Macworld giddiness is a cool new feature available to users of Apple’s Airport Express.
Previously, you could only use the AirTunes feature to broadcast music to a single AirPort Express base station, but in the AirPort Express Firmware Update 6.3 Apple has quietly added the ability to stream iTunes to multiple AirPort Expresses simultaneously.
Can anyone tell me why there’s no mention of this on the AirPort Express Firmware Update 6.3 page? It’s a major freakin’ feature!
After upgrading your ‘Express to the 6.3 firmware there’s a new option for “Multiple Speakers” in the AirTunes drop-down list in the lower right edge of the iTunes window. When you select it you can then select the multiple speakers to stream to, including “Computer.” That’s right, in addition to multiple AirPorts you can also hear the music out of the computer’s speakers at the same time – another major feature! The new 6.3 firmware also syncs music on the computer and the remote speakers.
On caveat: the multiple speaker function uses UDP and you’ll need to allow it in the Mac OS X firewall (you do have it turned on, don’t you?):
System Preferences > Sharing > Firewall > Advance > Uncheck “Block UDP Traffic”
While it’s not the upgrade I hoped for in my Macworld predictions article nor is it as full-featured as Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil 2.0 software (US$25) it’s a step in the right direction and it’s free!


VMWare for Mac OS X

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 23rd, 2006, 01:17
Category: Software

vmware-logo.gifThe only PC emulators on the Mac (that I know of) are Microsoft Virtual PC (formerly Connectix Virtual PC), and iEmulator. But what about VMWare?
When I enquired about a Mac OS X version of VMware their sales department replied saying that they “do not provide information in advance of an official press release.”
If you’re interested in such a product I highly suggested that you write an email to sales@vmware.com encouraging them to write a version of VMWare for Mac OS X/Intel.


Mac OS 10.4.4 Released

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 11th, 2006, 09:21
Category: Software

Mac-OS-10.4.4-Released.jpgApple released Mac OS 10.4.4 via software update (27.6MB) also available are iTunes 6.0.2 (18.9MB) and iPod Updater 2006-01-10 (27.6MB). I’d recommend waiting at least 72 hours before installing any software update.


Google Earth for Mac Released

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 11th, 2006, 09:35
Category: Software

The announcement of Google Earth for Mac OS X got lost in the excitement of yesterday’s Macworld Expo keynote. If you’re interested, you can read about it on the official Google Blog and download it here.

Happy Travels
After you have installed Google Earth, you may want to explore some of the interesting data layers being published by other folks on the web. Anyone can publish content for Google Earth using our geographic markup language (KML). To view these, simply click the links below. They will appear in your “Places” list. To save them for future use, right-click on the feed you wish to save and select “Save to My Places.”


AirFoil 2 Fills Gaps in AirTunes Software

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 10th, 2006, 08:35
Category: Software

Rogue Amoeba Software’s Airfoil 2.0 fills some major gaps left by Apple’s AirTunes software for broadcasting music to the Airport Express base station. The original Airfoil enabled any audio (not just iTunes) to be sent to the device. Airfoil 2 makes it possible to send audio to multiple AirPort Express units simultaneously and in sync.

Using Airfoil and multiple AirPort Express units, it’s possible to “wire” a house for audio, wirelessly, for a fraction of the cost of more expensive audio players. To add audio to a room, just plug in an AirPort Express (and speakers, of course), and Airfoil can send the audio there. Heck, not even iTunes can do that, but Airfoil will work with iTunes!
New Features In Airfoil 2:
* Support For Multiple AirPort Express Units
* Support for sending audio to password-protected units
* Audio Effects, including a 10 band equalizer, as well as volume and
balance controls
* Support for sending audio to password-protected units
* Send audio from new sources, including USB radios, Dashboard widgets,
and audio devices
* Send all audio playing on the system
* Support for sending audio to password-protected units
* Includes and supports Smart Crash Reporting
* Fully Applescriptable

Airfoil 2 is immediately available as a free demo from the Airfoil Web site. Version 2 is a free update for licensed users, new users can purchase Airfoil through the Rogue Amoeba store for US$25.


Aluminum PowerBook 15-inch Battery Update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 10th, 2006, 00:44
Category: Software

Apple Software UpdateWaiting in your software update is the “Aluminum PowerBook 15-inch Battery Update.” Which according to Apple’s hyper-vague description “aids the 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook battery in performing at full capacity.” The software is 820kb and I’d recommend waiting at least 72 hours for the dust to settle before installing ANY software update from Apple. I mean, you didn’t need it yesterday, did you?
And what’s with the descriptions? C’mon Apple, these lame, super-secret we’re-not-going-to-tell-you-what-it-fixes software updates are starting to piss me right off. Tell me what it fixes already! Is this update going to permanently disable the other RAM slot in my PowerBook?
Are the lawyers at Apple really such tight asses? Maybe if Apple stopped suing their fans (*cough* RIAA *cough*) their fans would stop bringing class-action suits against them.


Major Update to Daylite in the Wings

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 5th, 2006, 09:30
Category: Software

Daylite 3.0The PowerPage has confirmed that Marketcircle is prepping a major update to their Daylite business relationship management application for release on or around Macworld Expo next week. I’ve been using Daylite exclusively for one year and recommend it to anyone that needs to track people, projects, tasks and opportunities.
The new Daylite version looks to be a complete overhaul with several new features:
– Shared calendars
– Delegation
– Revised UI
– Built-in report writer
Click through for three exclusive screen shots.
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