Perspective

per·spec·tive The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance -American Heritage Dictionary

Archive for Apple

More than just a new iPod color

This new color is very interesting because not only is it a cool color, it is part of an initiative to raise money to fight AIDS.  The RED appears to be a standard iPod 4 GB nano, but $10 from every purchase goes toward a global fund to fight AIDS in Africa.  In fact, other high-profile consumer products also produce RED items.  The really interesting part of this initiative is that RED is reaching out to people who buy these products by engaging them as active participants in the initiative.  The joinred.com/you.asp page invites people to produce a short video that may end up on the website.  Very cool!

My Top 5 Free Web Tools

I am a Mac fanatic. My new macbook is really my Swiss Army Knive and here are some of the most indispensible tools on it:

Textwrangler TextWrangler is the free version of BBEdit. Textwrangler is a super text editor with incredible search and replace options, extensive FTP and SFTP support, nice multiple document interface, color-coding for html and other popular programming and scripting languages and so much more. It’s perfect for light scripting and HTML authoring.

Seashore Seashore is a free open source image editor for Cocoa and is based on the popular GIMP. For basic Web Design and image manipulation tasks, it is a fine replacement for Photoshop. I have used it on Panther and Tiger on both a G5 and an Intel Mac and it has always been very stable.

firefox Firefox is THE browser that I use. Now I can’t even imagine surfing the web with IE. In fact, if you are still using IE, you are missing out on the biggest revolution in web browsing since Netscape appeared on the scene! Tabbed browsing and extensions alone have made this the single most valuable tool on my computer. Here are some of the extensions I currently have installed:

RSS Editor

ColorZilla

del.icio.us 1.1

Google Notebook

Regular Expression Tester

WebDeveloper

konfabulator Konfabulator – Yahoo purchased this novel “widget” technology that preceded Apples Dashboard Widgets on Tiger. Widgets are small, configurable applications that perform basic functions in novel interfaces. For example, some widgets display the weather forecast in your city or the latest headlines for cnn.com or search Ebay or whatever you can imagine! I prefer the Konfabulator Widgets over the Apple Widgets because Konfabulator Widgets can be made cross-platform and can reside on the desktop in the background.

My must-have widgets: phone List and To-Do list widgets

google docs Although not technically installed on my mac, my Firefox browser would be lost without Google Docs & Spreadsheets. Since before Google purchased Writely, I have been using this very nifty collaborative document sharing tool. I have found it enormously useful and hope Google continues to develop it into a full-fledged office product. I like the collaborative feature that allows multiple simultaneous edits but the best part is that you can upload existing Word docs for editing, publishing, sharing, etc. I have found some formatting issues, especially with objects created with the Word drawing tools but am willing to overlook these issues for the collaborative ability Google docs provides.

The best thing about all of these products is that they are absolutely free.

Comic Life

comicLife

I recently experimented with ‘Comic Life’ software that came installed on my Mac laptop. It’s a very nifty application written by a company named Plasq. I created a cute 3 page comic within 15 minutes and found it completely intuitive with almost every feature drag and droppable. A really great feature is the instant availability of your iPhoto images right in Comic Life for easy ‘drag-and-drop’ access. My favorite feature is the ‘export to html’. Exporting to html is simple with Comic Life because and it creates a folder with all of the necessary files neatly organized. Comic Life has tight integration with .mac but you can upload your ‘Comic Life’ files to any hosting company web server.

The library is COOL!

A very talented college student, David Ariew uses iMovie and GarageBand on his iMac G5 to create a very entertaining “commercial” for the USF Library. He obviously enjoys his work and is definitely sending a positive message about the Library and education.

His advice “. . . use iMovie for video editing rather than an advanced program . . .. iMovie lets you focus on being creative instead of getting bogged down in navigating a complex setup“.