Tag Archives: Mac

Nambu: Social Messaging Streamlined

Nambu Networks, the people behind Tr.im and Pic.im, recently released a beta of Nambu OS X, a new desktop Twitter client with an impressive feature set and a native integration with OS X. (I assume that a Windows version will be released eventually, judging by the moniker they picked for the application.)

Nambu OS X

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MacHeist 3 Bundle

This year’s MacHeist bundle is available for another few days, if you haven’t heard about it yet. For $29 you can get a bundle of Mac software that usually totals up to $975…and 25% of every sale goes to one of a selection of charities you can choose from.

As more bundles are sold, MacHeist will up the value of the bundle, adding more software to the package. As I write this 17,211 bundles have beend sold, and $157,553 has been raised for charity. Nine of the twelve applications are “unlocked.”

MacHeist 3 Bundle

According to the FAQ thread on the MacHeist forum, you can buy the bundle at any time and still get the locked applications when they’re unlocked.

The new Espresso editor is among the yet-to-be-unlocked applications. That and WireTap Studio are a tempting combo (plus several other neat-looking apps, like Kinemac and BoinxTV to sweeten the deal).

The offer ends at the end of the first week of April, so if you want to score some cheap Mac software, you’d better act quickly.

Design Spotlight: Mactropolis

Mactropolis is a Mac community blog and forum with a nice style to it. The site was designed by Adii and company, and it was from his Twitter stream that I discovered the site a few months ago.


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Skitch: Easy Screenshots and Annotations

Since getting a Mac, I’ve become a fan of the graphics editor Skitch. It’s a simple and useful application that I’ve been using more and more as of late.

Skitch is great for taking a quick screenshot and resizing it quickly. You can press a keyboard shortcut to take a shot of the entire screen or a selection. You can then crop and resize the image by dragging parts of the window border, then save it to your hard disk or a remote server (perhaps your blog’s uploads folder?). You can also annotate the image with text and arrows, add a drop shadow to the resulting image, etc.

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What the Mac OS Can Teach You About Design

The first thing most people think when they turn a Mac on for the first time is something along the lines of “Wow. This looks cool.” Then the next thing you notice, or more accurately, don’t notice, is the act of using the OS. Once you get used to how everything works, which doesn’t take long if you’ve used another OS (read: Windows) before, you don’t have to think about it. It’s intuitive enough that you just do what you need to do without having to think about it much. You don’t have to worry about the OS itself much either, except when you need to do some occasional maintenance.

The Mac OS is

  • Good-looking
  • Intuitive/Usable
  • Simple

Those three bullet points are some of the most important things to think about when it comes to web design. Obviously you want to have a good-looking design (don’t tell me you like GeoCities-style pages…). The other two points are very important. If you must have a horrible-looking design, the second two points are worth putting some thought into.

Simplicity doesn’t necessarily mean having a Google-esque design. You could classify Digg as a fairly simple design, though not to the point of Google. Ideally you want to simplify elements of your design, to make it more usable, but that doesn’t mean you have to not have any images or color.

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IES4OSX – Run Internet Explorer on Your Mac

Internet Explorer, a.k.a. the Web Designer’s Plague, unfortunately, isn’t available on the Mac. Many will say this is a good thing, but for designers, or anyone who makes many changes to their template, Internet Explorer is pretty much mandatory for testing. So many people use IE that you can’t afford to have too many major bugs in the behemoth browser.

There aren’t many options for the large amount of Mac-using designers. To test a site in IE, your choices are pretty much limited to either using a PC, or using a virtual PC setup, like VMWare Fusion. If you have a PC on hand, good for you, you’re covered. Otherwise, you’d probably go for VMWare fusion, which costs $80 plus a $189 Windowss XP license. (Or you could just get the WinXP license and use the BootCamp software Apple provides with OS X 10.5) Rather pricey, though, isn’t it?

Luckily, there’s another option out there, albeit a buggy and hacked-together option. It costs $0.00 though, so who cares if it’s a little buggy?

IES4OSX allows you to run several different versions of Internet Explorer on your Mac, for testing designs, or using sites that refuse to work in your preferred browser. It’s a little buggy, it relies on X11, and it takes up a bit of CPU power. But it seems to render pages correctly the same as IE does.

So if you’re not using a Mac yet, here’s another reason to switch… :D

The Advantage of Web Applications

Web applications, or web apps, have, in my opinion, one huge advantage over “normal” programs. I’m sure you can guess what it is before you finish reading this.

I just got a new Apple MacBook, as I’ve Twittered about, told everyone I know on Facebook, and all but made a T-Shirt that says “I have a MacBook.” I’ve been trying to adjust to the new (to me) platform, and adapt my daily patterns.

Surprisingly, I haven’t had many problems with old Windows habits (e.g. reaching to the top-right corner to close a window). My biggest issues have been with software. Some familiar applications have Mac versions thankfully. (If there wasn’t a Mac version of Firefox, I wouldn’t have been so quick to want to get a Mac.)

I had to find some Mac equivalents of some programs, like NeoOffice to replace Microsoft Works, and CyberDuck to replace FileZilla. (FileZilla is great, and there is a Mac version, but it behaves oddly, lacking a normal window, and extending down from the menu bar.)

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