Month: November 2007 (page 2 of 2)

Stacks Tweak

The ever changing stacks icon is a bit of a distraction on the Leopard dock. However thanks to a really smart idea and some well designed icons stacks can now have boxes to hold the contents. XD has the info on what to do using these well designed icons.

Stacks

Much better. Also notice the Firefox icon next to the minimized widow – a nice touch that helps identify which app is minimized. I’m sure this wasn’t in tiger. The stack when opened will show your chosen stack icon first but this actually looks pretty good, almost as if the container is shown and then the objects within.

Stacks Open

Blog Comments

Looks like there is some competition for your blog comments. Disqus and Intense Debate are both offering plug-in’s which really will change how your blog comments look and feel. User profiles, threaded comments, comment rating and even a forum for your comments are offered by both. I’ve not tried either as I would have two main worries.

1) Where are the comments held and could I move to another service with ease or just back to WordPress?

2) Spam!

Ultimately one of these (there are other services too) will start to dominate and maybe then I’ll take a look. It would be great if some of the bigger sites like Digg or BBC supported one of these services so you could have a standardised commenting system to use on any site. Certainly Intense Debate seems to have the most features, including OpenID support but their name is really bad. One to keep an eye on.

Recommended Mac Apps – Updated

I posted a list of my favourite Mac app’s almost a year ago. With advent of leopard and some badgering from other’s, here’s an updated list of what I would install on my mac.

delicious.jpgDelicious Library
http://www.delicious-monster.com/
$40

I’ll admit this is a very non-essential app but was the first I bought for the Mac. Delicious Library allows you to catalogue, store, rate and search your music, films, games and books. There are many other media cataloguers out there but none look so good as Delicious Library or carry out the task with such elegance. Using the iSight I can scan in media barcodes for easy compiling of the library. The virtual shelf allows for browsing of titles, the app comes with spotlight support, a widget for easy title searching and option to export the library to iPod. There isn’t much in the way of web exports though (although the DeliciousSQLExport utility allows for exporting of the library to MySQL) and you can’t add your own media types. Coming soon is Delicious Library 2 which promises a fancier user interface, publishing and sharing capabilities and support for a lot more media types. Can’t wait.

YojimboYojimbo
http://www.barebones.com/products/yojimbo/
$39.00

This was the first app I installed after Leopard. It’s an app that groups together miscellaneous items into one place. You can store text, rich text, PDF’s, serials, passwords and web page snapshots. It’s support tagging and also folders/projects and I’ve found it invaluable over the last few months as I took on a number of projects in my own time that needed a fair bit of management. It also support Spotlight searching and importantly for me, .Mac syncing. This means the Yojimbo library is the same on the desktop and laptop. As it uses the same storage method as Aperture there are some compatibility issues with Time Machine but I’m sure these will be addressed over the next month or so.

Continue reading

Leopard Thoughts

I’ve used Leopard for around a week now (seeing as I didn’t pirate it) which has given me time to get used to the new features on offer. I’ve pulled together some thoughts below on the main features that impact me but for a detailed review read Ars Technica’s Leopard review. Their Leopard review is the best (and longest) I’ve seen not only covering the obvious new features and graphical changes but also what has altered under the hood.

First Impressions
On logging in to Leopard you notice the most obvious visual change – the new pseudo 3D dock. Instead of a flat dock as in Tiger the icons are displayed on a pretend three dimensional shelf. Reflections of the icons are shown on the shelf as well as any windows above the dock. The icons are no longer bound within the dock and can encroach on your app’s. In Tiger small black triangles indicated the currently running app’s but they have been replaced with blurry glowing lights which don’t stand out very well against the shelf.

Tiger Dock
Original Tiger Dock

Leopard 3D Dock
New 3D Leopard Dock

I like my graphical flourishes as much as the next geek but when they come at the expense of usability then it grates. The new dock tells me less than previously and takes up more room. Move the dock to the left or right and you get a far more usable dock – if only you could swap the dock when placed at the bottom of the screen to this. There’s no default option but a variety of ways to solve this are available.

Leopard 2D Dock
Leopard 2D Dock – far more usable

The next new feature is Stacks. Continue reading

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