Okay, so I just checked out screenshots and Quicktime movies of xScope (hat tip: Stopdesign), and I’m really wishing I had a Mac right about now.
Other reasons I want a Mac include (but are certainly not limited to): Coda, Quicksilver, and VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop—no need to toss any of my Windows software! Add to this the simply stunning hardware and UI (visually and intuitively) not to mention the fact that Apple is widely known for their general designer-friendlyness (be they of the web, graphic, or video kind), and I’m really salivating.
Except, I’m torn. I also love Ubuntu. I love the idea of free (as in freedom) software and am in particular agreement with Mark Pilgrim about proprietary file formats, and Mac is honestly no different from PC in this regard. Plus, I recently found the perfect machine to run Ubuntu. The price is right, the specs are more than enough, and the color and texture make me think Ubuntu would be right at home. From a hardware standpoint, I could see myself enjoying this computer as much as I would enjoy a Macbook.
I’ve been coveting laptops for a couple years now, and it may be another year before I finally get me one, but I’m dreading having to make the final decision between Apple and Ubuntu. What should I do?
By nature, I’m a lazy person. If there’s a faster way to do something, I will inevitably find it. Continuing the series about my software setup (which kicked off with Windows XP Tablet Edition over a year ago), I’d like to tell you about two programs I use called AutoHotkey and Launchy.
Ever since I discovered Windows key shortcuts I have wanted more of them. I love using Win+E to open Windows Explorer, but have often wondered why there isn’t a hotkey for my default browser and for more of my favorite programs and Control Panel applets. So, naturally, I went looking for something that would let me set up my own hotkeys.
Firefox 1.5 Beta 2 has come and gone without a word from me. To catch you up, all but two of my fifteen extensions are working now: ReloadEvery and Wikipedia. Someone on my earlier post mentioned they had a working copy of ReloadEvery, but I may just end up removing it from my extension list. I’ve survived without it for this long. Anyway, I didn’t start this post to talk about Beta 2.
I’m excited to announce that Firefox 1.5 Release Candidate 1 is available! If no glaring bugs are found in the release candidate, it should become the live release within a week or two.
I haven’t found anything really new in RC1. It’s pretty much just a cleaned up version of Betas 1 and 2. In case you didn’t read my last post, the new features include an improved options panel, faster back and forward navigation, a slick new auto-updater, shiny new error pages, a new “clear private data” dialog, and drag-n-drop browser tabs. I’m excited for this to be coming out of beta so I can recommend it to all my friends. It really is a marked improvement over the 1.0.x series.
There’s a lot of buzz on the internet lately about something called Konfabulator, so I downloaded it to check it out. Konfabulator used to cost a pretty penny, but was recently acquired by Yahoo! and is now free (as in free beer).
In a nutshell, Konfabulator is a framework upon which developers can create things called widgets. Widgets can be anything a developer wants them to be, but they’re generally simple objects like clocks, calendars, CPU load meters, and the like. I love the weather widget that comes pre-installed with Konfabulator and I’ve also found a simple desk calendar I like. You can also find remote controls for various media players and other programs.
I’ve enjoyed playing around with it today and would recommend it. It’s worth a quick look at least, considering it’s free.
I’ve installed Skype so my brother-in-law and I can voice-chat for free while he’s away this summer (he’s doing an internship with a big accounting firm in a different state). It’s a pretty slick little program, and the connection is clear as a bell (much better than MSN voice-chat).
I hate seeing an empty contact list, so if anyone else uses Skype, send me your screen name using my contact page and we’ll get in touch.
I was chatting with an acquaintance from the “wiki”:http://www.hrwiki.org tonight and he said something in passing about me being against Microsoft. From my website he saw that I’m not fond of IE, and assumed (understandably so) that I must be equally opposed to all things Microsoft. I suppose I should set the record straight.
“Disney”:http://www.disney.com made an exciting announcement today. Well, you might not think it’s exciting, but everyone here at “ContentWatch”:http://www.contentwatch.com is ecstatic.
This doesn’t happen very often, but I have a “Google News Alert”:http://www.google.com/newsalerts set up to catch it when it does. “ContentWatch”:http://www.contentwatch.com appeared in an article called [“Safe Surfing”:http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/family/article/0,1299,DRMN_107_3028609,00.html ] on “RockyMountainNews.com”:http://www.rockymountainnews.com.
The article comes in response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn a proposed federal law (i.e. the Child Online Protection Act) that would have deemed it illegal for sites to make objectionable material available to minors on the Internet. The law was considered by the court to be unenforcable (they cite that nearly 40% of sites harmful to minors are outside the U.S.), and the recommendation was that parents should use commercially available filtering software.
Microsoft is going down, and they just don’t get it. I just read a “PCWorld.com”:http://www.pcworld.com article about “browser market share”:http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,116848,00.asp. Apparently, IE has lost 1% of the market, which isn’t much, but it’s the most significant downturn for them since June 2002. The downturn has been attributed to the “US-CERT recommendation”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6746-2004Jun25.html that people stop using IE.
ContentWatch updated their website today (it’s been in the works for several months) and released version 1.8 of it’s content filtering products.
The website redesign looks pretty spiffy. I like the way they’ve organized things, but I’m a little dissappointed that it’s not coded to current W3C standards (they don’t even declare a doctype!). During the redesign they gave demo links to employees so we could test the new site. I pointed out that the pages weren’t validating, but they must not be worried about that because they haven’t made any changes (other than some bug fixes and minor cosmetic stuff).
The newest version of ContentProtect is wonderful. I’ve been using the beta on my computer for a while and I’m very happy with the changes they’ve made. There are now time controls, so you can fine tune when each family member is allowed to be online down to half hour blocks of time. If you want to restrict your kids to one or two hours of surfing after school, but let them surf most of the day Saturday, feel free.
With the new version comes a new pricing scheme. We’ve switched to a subscription basis for updates and technical support. The update also fixes the recategorization of URLs (which has been broken for a while) and several bugs and incompatibility issues. This is the most stable release so far (they’ve all been pretty stable since 1.4).
For more information, visit ContentWatch on the web. Be sure to check out the most recent press release.