2014 Archive

iPads: The Bad, The Good And The Takeaway. Very insightful analysis by John Kirk. This line in particular was an eye-opener:

If the iPad were its own company it would be larger than Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon, and Tesla combined.

Back to BBEdit

It doesn’t suck.®

BBEdit originally debuted on Macintosh System Software 6, and while it may have been surpassed—feature-wise—by other text editors in recent years, it’s actually one of the only OS X text editors that can meet the following criteria (and meet it well):

  1. Truly native Mac software; feels “at home” visually and works as you would expect a Mac app to work. In other words, it’s very “Mac-like”.
  2. Has a history that can provide assurance that it’ll most likely be sticking around and actively developed for many more years to come.
  3. It is fast.

We’re getting to a time where text editor speed is almost taken for granted, but point 1 is often difficult to meet because of cross-platform requirements, and unless your vim or Emacs, there’s really no competing with BBEdit’s history. Bare Bones as a company is up there with The Omni Group and Panic as far as the respect it has among Mac software enthusiasts.

Sublime Text is blazing fast, but it has a somewhat spotty development history and correct me if I’m wrong, it looks like it’s created and maintained by a sole developer (Jon Skinner). Out of the box, as a Mac app, it’s ugly as sin. You can customize it to look better, but that doesn’t make everything else about it any more “Mac-like”. Really the one true thing I love about Sublime Text is the way it does multi-word selection via CMD+D, and that’s by no means a deal-breaker.

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Things 2.5 released. My favorite task management app for Mac (and iOS) just got updated to support OS X 10.10 Yosemite. The visual changes mirror that of Yosemite’s: refreshing but still familiar.

I haven’t got used to using Notification Center Widgets regularly yet, but the new “Today” widget in Things may be just what I need to get started.

Siracusa Reviews OS X 10.10 Yosemite. For some, John Siracusa’s OS X reviews are almost as anticipated as the OS release itself. Myself included.

His conclusion sums up all twenty-five pages well:

The Mac today is just one part of a conceptually, organizationally, and (increasingly) technologically unified platform that spans from wrist to workstation. The hardware-based platforms of the past remain relevant to developers, but Apple seems determined to make them much less important to its customers. With Yosemite, the Mac has taken its first step into a larger world.

Josh Ginter Reviews the iPhone 6 Plus. Posted yesterday on the newly redesigned Tools and Toys website:

Apple’s newest iPhones are a story of tradeoffs for the first time in their history. Gone are the days of true corner-to-corner one handed use. Say goodbye to not noticing your iPhone in your front pocket, or even carrying your iPhone in your front pocket.

I just received my iPhone 6 Plus yesterday (finally!), so my review will be posted once I’ve had enough time with it.

Mac App Store: The Subtle Exodus. Milen Dzhumerov:

The Mac App Store can be so much better, it can sustain businesses and foster an ecosystem that values and rewards innovation and high quality software. But if you talk to developers behind the scenes or explore the Mac App Store, you’ll find something completely different.

Windows X

I’m not a Windows user myself, and haven’t been for almost six years now, but I was forced to use it for the first part of my computer-using life so I still enjoy following new releases. This next one brings Windows and OS X closer together than every before, and I’m not talking about just the version number.

Top New Feature

On September 30, Microsoft unveiled the next installment of their operating system, Windows 10, and consistently at-or-near the top of every related news article is this revolutionary new thing called the Start Menu. Suddenly I’m having a really strong case of déjà vu.

Sarcasm aside, Windows 95—the OS where the Start Menu really was a new feature—is the first operating system I really got to know, and one of the things I actually liked about the Start Menu was how concise it was. Does anyone else out there think the Windows 10 Start Menu is a little… bloated? I know I would if I was still a Windows user, but then again, maybe I wouldn’t if the previous major version’s replacement for the Start Menu (the Start Screen) actually took up the entire screen.

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The Empire Reboots. Speaking of rebooting, I came across this long article from Vanity Fair that details a lot of interesting Microsoft history, specifically events surrounding Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and the drama that occurred before Balmer stepped down as CEO last year before delving into Satya Nadella’s new era in Redmond.

Starting an Open Source Project that People Use. Great advice from Barry Clark for anyone developing an open source project. As he puts it:

Starting an open source project is a great way to build your web developer portfolio while creating something for everyone’s benefit.

Reboot

For the past year, maybe more, I’ve pretty much neglected all of my web properties. I had a Tumblr blog a few years back where I used to post reviews, the occasional opinion, and Corona SDK-related code snippets, tutorials, news, etc.

The Tumblr blog was actually gaining quite a bit of traction before I was hired by Ansca (now known as Corona Labs), in which my work there took priority and the type of content I would post to my blog was being published on the company blog anyway[1], so there was little time or motivation for me to continue. Over the years I registered a couple of domain names and tried to start writing again but it never quite caught on for me.

Things are different now, however. I’m in a professionally stable position (I’ve long since left Corona Labs). My personal life is great. And I really, really miss writing and sharing stuff on the web. Therefore, I decided to make a clean break with the past and delete my previous website hosted at this domain, redirect my other domain to this blog, and set the stage for a writing environment that motivates me to turn this web property into a place that is informative, somewhat educational, and at the very least, entertaining for those interested in the same topics as myself.

A long time ago I learned that maintaining a blog, while at times fun and rewarding, is very difficult to do consistently over time, especially with personal and professional responsibilities taking up much of my time. Therefore, in order to “set the stage” properly and position myself to continue writing over the long-term, I came up with five major things need to be in place before I can begin:

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