MDA Has CookBook Update

MDA-CookBookThe CookBook application which was one of the 3 top spots in the My Dream App competition has some updated details. The pictures sure are pretty, and it looks like things are really coming together nicely. From the post, it sounds like it’s nearly decided to be Leopard-only, so we’ll assume no release until at least October of this year. Looks mighty tasty – check it out!

Will Xcode Be Coming To Windows Soon?

Clearly Apple has shown their affinity for putting software out there for the Windows crowd. To date Apple has produced nearly a half dozen software applications for the Windows platform. These offerings include Quicktime (and the Pro version), iTunes, Software Update, and most recently, Safari. So what is to be Apple’s next foray into the Windows software arena? Let’s take a deeper look at the situation.
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An FTP Application to Break The Mold?

Last week I wrote about my failure to understand why everyone and their dog seems to be churning out FTP and Text Editor applications. The discussion that was generated in the comments was a good one, and many good points were brought to my attention that I hadn’t considered previously. The point that seemed most common was that developers feel they can do it better and thus the glut of similar apps we have to choose from. (Definitely not a bad position for the consumer to be in!)

But I did get one email from a developer, explaining his position on the topic. Brian Amerige is the developer of an as-yet unreleased FTP application named Flow. He feels that current FTP and Text Editors (as they tend to go hand in hand) just don’t get it right and so he’s set out to solve that problem. The 2 interesting features Brian highlights (check out the screencasts) are the ability to remotely edit files directly on the remote host (seen it done), and the especially cool one – concurrent uploading of files. The latter taking full advantage of high-speed broadband connections and their multiple streaming capabilities.

From the little I’ve seen, and what I’ve read, it sounds like an interesting take on the FTP market. If you’re interested in checking out Flow for yourself, Brian has just posted the Private Beta details to his webpage. Go sign up and if you’re one of the lucky ones chosen to test-drive this workflow-altering FTP client you can decide for yourself!

Keep Files in Singular

I recently came across a cool little application by the name of Singular. The point of Singular is to examine a directory (and sub-directories) for duplicate files. You get the option to find duplicate files by filename, size, or MD5 hash – which is the most reliable in just about every case. Singular will also ensure that one copy of each duplicate file it returns is preserved, so no worry about accidentally deleting something permanently.
The place where I’ve found this app to be most effective is in helping to weed-out my old back-up drives. Back before I established a half way decent process for backing up my computers, it was all over the board, and I know that files were at least in triplicate in some places on my backup drives. So having the ability to drop a folder into Singular and quickly evaluate those duplicate files to clear up unnecessarily used space is great.

If you’ve got ugly backups or are just looking for some extra space on your drives, Singular is a nice tool to have.

Let’s Talk Software Update Practices

Clearly there’s an active Developer Community for the Apple platform. I love that my favorite apps are regularly updated – being constantly made better, feature-rich, and all that jazz. But the process of updating some of these apps can be somewhat of a drag at times.

Let’s just put it this way: If your app can tell me that it needs to be updated, it better also tell me to install & restart. I really don’t love when I choose to grab the update, and it launches a browser window for me to do the whole process manually…

I realize all developers aren’t at the same level, or that they’re doing real jobs and fitting their software development into ‘free’ time, but it sure would be nice for everyone to unify on the way applications update themselves.

It’s Monday morning, and I’m a bit cranky – so while I mean what I say, don’t take it too personally…

Frenzic: The Next Bejeweled, Tetris?

frenzic on iphoneCo-Founder of The IconFactory, Ged Maheux has laid-out his idea of a ‘match made in heaven’ and would love for your support in helping achieve it. With Frenzic‘s recent release as the first game to come from The IconFactory, many a Mac-user found their next Tetris.

With the iPhone on the brink of release, what will its requisite time-killing game be? The likes of Tetris, Bejeweled, and Solitaire have filled this void in one shape or another on many preceding cellular phone platforms. So does it not make perfect sense that something as simple yet challenging as Frenzic be leveraged on the brilliant touch interface that the iPhone provides? The potential certainly is huge.

The boys at IconFactory gave their best effort in pitching it to Apple at WWDC 07, but a little insurance doesn’t hurt, right? If you like the sound of this geeky marriage of awesomeness, head over to Apple’s Feedback page and let them know how you feel!

Exciting Software Updates

These things happen all the time, but every now and then there are the software update news items that really excite me. This week I went from being out of town, to being out of town… But finally this morning I caught up on the Apple happenings around the web, and couldn’t be happier with a couple items specifically.

First, Ambrosia Software has finally updated Snapz Pro X to a Universal App. That gets one big WOOOOHOOOO from this writer. My [semi] regular screencasts are produced with Snapz Pro X, and it’s generally a painfully slow process for the video to render. This Universal update brings a huge improvement to that render time. Snapz Pro X is $69.

The other item that’s pretty cool, is the collection of tools, iStat Menus. It’s sort of the Delicious Generation version of the Menu Meters offering. iStat Menus gives you quick, Menu bar access to system stats such as CPU, Memory, Drives, Network, Temps, Fans, Bluetooth, and Date/Time. This is a freely available (donationware, which is well worth it!) utility.

Why Text Editors & FTP Clients?

Anyone who’s been using a Mac for a few months has probably noticed that there is a glut of text editors available for the OS X platform. If you’re in the web/design category, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the similar situation of too many FTP client options. What gives?

I’ll take the latter issue first. The funny thing is, 4 years (or so) ago when I got back on the Mac side of things, finding a decent FTP client was next to impossible. Interarchy, Fetch, RBrowser and Cyberduck seemed to be the viable solutions. Then Transmit (from Panic) came out and the show was over (as far as I’m concerned). But in recent months – maybe the last year – it’s crazy how many FTP options are available to us. Yummy FTP, Captain FTP, and Forklift come immediately to mind. (There are plenty more though…)

Having options is great and all, but how many do we need? Is one really that much better than the other? The core functionality is all essentially the same, so I guess pick the best UI and plunk down your card to make a purchase.
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Semel out, Yang in at Yahoo

So it finally happened: angry shareholders seem to have got their way, and Terry Semel, CEO of the flailing web giant, Yahoo has resigned from his post and will now become a non executive chairman. Jerry Yang, cofounder will become the CEO and Sue Decker will be the President.

Yang and Decker to Focus on Realizing Yahoo!’s Strategic Vision by Accelerating Execution, Further Strengthening Leadership and Fostering a Culture of Winning

A culture of winning…. so is that a tactical admission that defeatist attitude had taken over the company, which has become the farm system for rest of the Valley. Is this big shake up enough to save Yahoo, which has seen some of its best talent leave the company to try their luck at some other start-ups.

More thoughts to follow… meanwhile have your say.

Semel discount was $4 billion.