My Mac OS X Switching Saga
I agree with this 100%. I was an old Commodore 64 user and enjoyed the Amiga greatly, but didn’t appreciate the fact that all of my computing experience was “lost” since the Amiga didn’t support C64 commands and code. Same thing with the Apple II and the Macintosh.
It is a bit ironic that, under OS X, you can now emulate a variety of computers, including Windows, Amiga, Commodore 64, Apple II, and a host of others. When I use these other computing environments, in addition to a nostalgic trip down memory lane, I am reminded of what deficiency that system had and am vindicated on the new future and potential of Mac OS X.
Thanks for the great article; it was an enjoyable read.
Great read! Very recognizable…all the systems that went by. For myself there’s only one difference: for the first Mac I encountered, the trigger was “how do they do that?” (1985). I was repairing them at the time. Before I knew I was collecting all kinds of tools and dug deep into the system.
Since then I was a multi-platform user, turning to the Mac when real work had to be done.
StuffIt Deluxe 9
Hmm. Let me think about this.
StuffIt 9 lets me compress large files 25 seconds faster and saves 1 MB, when compared with the free built-in Zip compression.
Windows users can open my Zip archives but need StuffIt Expander to open .sit files. On the other hand, my Mac sometimes has trouble when it receives .sitx files even though I keep Expander updated.
Apart from segmented archives, something I need less and less, StuffIt offers me nothing. I’ll be glad when it finally expires and clears the decks for Zip.
I personally find the contextual menus features well worth the price. Not only is the OS X archive feature available, but any other format including .sit, .sitx, .tar, .tgz, etc. can all be compressed without launching separate software.
Better yet, individual files and folders can be extracted from an archive using contextual menus. Instead of expanding an entire archive, individual items can be extracted with only a Control-click. —Andrew Kator
Buy Low, Sell High
“Buy Low, Sell High” misses one point, and that is to hold some. When I buy, I do so with the intent that, when the shares are paid for by their increased value, sell half. There is no cost for the remaining shares except the cost of money. Then, I ride the remaining shares for extra profit and potentially hold some for as long as the company appears to be heading up. The rest of the buy and sell in the particular stock should not be at prices that would jeopardize gains.
Nisus Writer Express 2.0
Excellent review! The 2.0 release came at a “bad” time for me because I had basically settled on Mellel, largely because of its great integration with Bookends and its detailed user manual. And that was just after I’d bought the Mariner suite, tempted by a very cheap lifetime upgrade plan! Thanks to an Adam Engst tip, I had found out about the live thesaurus, which I find extremely useful but unobtrusive.
So, now I’m wondering what kind of workflow makes sense. Write in Nisus first then switch to Mellel for inserting citations?
In any case, it’s a tribute to the Mac platform that there are at least three viable word processors available with a combined cost less than that of Microsoft Word.
Good review. And just yesterday (November 12) Nisus Writer Express 2.1 was released, which has many bug fixes.
Like Rick I bought both NWE and Mellel, and split my work between them depending on projects. I like so many things about Mellel, but have been drawn more and more to NWE, especially with the latest improvements. I had used Nisus in OS 8 and 9 for the past six years and just enjoyed writing with it (until June of this year). Even though NWE is a completely different animal, it is approaching that same feel.
For me the major lack with both programs is cross-referencing and graphics ability, and both sets of programmers are working to incorporate these capabilities. A win-win situation!
A good review.
I find myself in a similar situation to Rick and Rich. It’s nice to play around with NWE whenever there’s a new version, and I kind of “hanker” for it to be like the old Nisus Writer (except for those bugs we now tend to blissfully forget). But after about three unfulfilled promises, I find myself close to losing my faith.
It’s one thing that there is only meagre progress in terms of real features I need for work, but that those features we do get don’t work is quite unacceptable. I mean, all the features do work, of course, but sometimes they don’t, and other times they kind of work or work only intermittently, and so on. Vanishing footnotes, changing margins, styles that come and go, crashes.
So, it turns out that, for me, it’s playing around with NWE whenever there’s a new version, and “hankering” for it to be like the old Nisus Writer, but when I need the work done, I end up working with Mellel.
Great review for a great product. However one great feature of the old Nisus version was its tremendous power to handle international texts, among which are Arabic and Hebrew to mention a few. To what degree does the new version support international texts? This was missing from the review. Any ideas? Still, Mr. Martin, I believe, has done a really good job.
You’re right—I should have talked a little bit about the language support. Express’s support for non-European languages strikes me as basic, and I suspect it mostly comes from the Cocoa text engine itself. It does have a nice feature in that switching languages with the tag pop-up switches the dictionary, font, and keyboard. But, it doesn’t support kashida justification, and it’s definitely not as smooth overall as Mellel is in this department. For instance, Mellel has a paragraph direction button which not only changes the direction of text, but flips all the paragraph tabs and marks on the ruler, and Mellel keeps the cursor in the correct place. Express doesn’t. Oddly though, it doesn’t look like Mellel links paragraph direction to languages by default. Many things about Mellel strike me as odd, but that’s another review. —Watts Martin
Waterfield Design Medium Cargo Suite Spot
I got one of the medium Cargo bags and I’ve been using it for the last year and a half, daily ferrying a 15" TiBook, a Windows notebook (each in a SleeveCase), an external battery, and all sorts of paraphernalia. I’ve also taken it on vacation with just one of the laptops and everything else you would not check in the hold; in all cases the bags performed admirably, and my shoulders were grateful.
I don’t use all the smaller inside pockets, but the positioning of the inclined zipper for the outermost, and the capacity of the second pocket are masterful. The two deep, narrow pockets just under the main flap are perfect for things you want secure (like a passport or wallet) but that need easy access to: even if you leave the flap open, the only way anyone can get to these is by yanking the whole bag off you. It is also notable that the models with color panels do not look at all like computer bags, which is self-evidently a good thing.
Even if you think the initial price is steep, these are worth every single penny. For shoppers in Europe, the U.S. dollar exchange rate makes these even cheaper.
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