Posts Tagged ‘Windows

18
Jun
07

ScribeFire for Blogging

The strange title of this post no doubt got your interest up. If you are wondering “what gives?”, please read on. You are about to be a part of an experiment.

ScribeFire ScreenshotA coworker of mine sent me a great article listing the author’s favorite Firefox extensions. I was familiar with several of them (Adblock, FlashGet, FoxyTunes), but there was one that really caught my attention: ScribeFire. ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor that operates right inside your browser. After you install ScribeFire and restart Firefox a notepad icon will appear in the lower right of your browser’s status bar. Click this icon and your browser window will be split into two panes. The upper pane will display your usual browser whereby you can continue to visit websites. The lower pane is the ScribeFire editor. I was interested in this particular extension because I am the kind of person that takes a really long time to complete blog posts. This is because I spend the majority of my time preparing for my writings by locating links that I want to include and pictures that I may need in order to add some pizazz to my posts. ScribeFire allows me to write while still able to view websites in the top pane thus cutting down on tab switching and increases my efficiency by giving me a clean, single-window view.

Setting up ScribeFire is easy. Simply select the “Blogs” tab in the right-hand toolbar and the software will launch simple wizard to set up ScribeFire for your blog. It is also capable of handling multiple blogs (for all of you “Uber-bloggers” out there!); however I have read that this feature isn’t perfect. And since I only have one blog, I can neither confirm nor deny that fact.

Inserting links into your post is simple. Simply highlight the text that you want to act as a hyperlink and then select the Link button in the ScribeFire toolbar. You will instantly see the text change to indicate that it is now a clickable link. Inserting photos are equally as easy. Select the image button in the toolbar and you will be presented with a box that will allow you to enter a URL (for linking to pictures that reside online) or upload your own images from your computer.

ScribeFire also features an amazing toolbar on the right-hand side of the pane. Not only does it have a tab for displaying all of your blogs, but it also has a tab that displays categories, a history of past blogs, and your blog’s pages. The left-hand menu features even more options, including the ability to pull links from your del.icio.us account and the option to incorporate different Themes for the ScribeFire interface. Of course spelling correction functionality is included. Suspect words are underlined red and the user may right click to see suggested spellings.

All of this I learned while writing this post. So as you can see ScribeFire is quite intuitive. But there is still one more thing: I haven’t actually posted yet. I guess the time has come to see what ScribeFire is really made of. Well, here goes nothing!

Josh H.

03
Dec
06

10 Reasons to Get a Mac

My Cat Tom on top of my MacToday I am going to finally do it. I am going to cease with the snide comments about Windows. Furthermore I am going to quit saying “It’s just better.” Today I am going to give my top 10 reasons that you should get a Mac. Even though these are numbered, they are in no particular order. Nor is this an exhaustive list. These are simply a few of the reasons I believe the Macintosh platform is superior.

  1. Want Something Done? Just Tell It

    Have you ever told your Windows PC to perform a certain task and it either crashed or took forever to do the task you just told it? That had been my experience and I did not even realize how accustomed to it I had become. However I immediately noticed that any time I gave my Mac a task to perform or told it to run a certain application, it was johnny on the spot. No waiting, no crashing, no ridiculous questions (“Are you sure you want to close the program?” duh). It just worked. I told my mac-using friend how amazed I was that everything on my Mac system “just works like it is supposed to.” His response was a no-brainer: “Isn’t that why you purchase anything? Because you want it to work for you?” What a novel idea. Purchase a product that actually does what you expect without question and without a lot of frustration. Too many Windows users waste their time troubleshooting, tweaking and working bugs out of their system. Cut yourself a break. Get something that works.

  2. So Easy, a Child (or Your Grandma) Could Operate It

    When I pulled my Mac Mini out of the box, I was about to use a Mac for the very first time. However I did not need a textbook or a tutorial to help me. It was purely a matter of intuition. For any given application the menus were simple to figure out. If I wanted to perform a task and wasn’t sure where to find it, I would simply ask myself “where would I put that functionality?” I was right every time. The Macintosh is designed with the average user in mind. It is not designed solely for computer gurus who know all the ins and outs of personal computing. It is built for the user who simply wants to accomplish his computing tasks easily and without pulling his hair out.

  3. Four or Five Apps Running and It Just Keeps On Kickin’

    When I was running Windows, I had to pay attention to how many applications I was running. Sometimes I would get carried away and actually have my email client, my browser, and my music player running at the same time. Well, thankfully, my Mac handles multiple application situations just fine. It is kind enough to indulge my morbid fixation with actually working on more than one task at a time. Thank you, Macintosh, for enduring my twisted whims.

  4. It’s Ready To Go Right Out of the Box

    Upon firing up my Mac for the first time, I answered some basic questions (my name, a system password, and what language I would be using). After this it booted into Mac OS X and then it simply sat there patiently waiting for me to stop drooling and start using it. The first thing I did was surf the Web. I connected to my phone line (I had dial-up at the time) and I typed in my Internet Service information and was ready to go in about a minute. I clicked on Safari (Mac OS X’s browser) and I was online. Well that was easy. Next I imported my music and photos from my PC. No problem. iTunes and iPhoto handled them splendidly. I had anticipated a drawn out period of transition so I kept my old PC nearby. That period of transition lasted about half an hour. I proceeded to send a few emails using Mail (which was just as easy to set up) and play with some of the other useful apps that came on my Mac. By that evening I felt like a seasoned Mac pro. Everything was ready and waiting for me right out of the box. And perhaps the best part was that I didn’t have to uninstall a bunch of useless promotional garbage like I had to with a new PC.

  5. Three Words: iLife, iLife, iLife

    iLife is the name of Apple’s clever suite of digital media products. Every Mac comes fully equipped with the latest version of iLife. Are you already familiar with iTunes? Well then you are over half way to becoming an iLife virtuoso. All of the Macintosh applications have been built to follow a similar user interface scheme (whoa…there is way too much tech talk goin’ on here!). All I mean is each of the iLife apps look and operate in a similar manner. Whether you are managing photos with iPhoto, creating a home movie masterpiece with iMovie or recording an album or podcast with GarageBand, you are going to see similar menus and features. This helps you become familiar with all of the iLife apps quicker so you can get down to business doing what you need to do on your Mac. If you know one, you know ’em all!

  6. Where Would I Be Without Exposé?

    Exposé can be a little difficult to explain. But it’s usefulness is unmatched by any other tool I have ever used. With Exposé, I can easily view any or all of the windows I have open.

    Have you ever found a use for those little “F” keys along the top of your keyboard? Me either. Well, I hadn’t until I got a Mac. By striking the F9 key I enter an “all windows” view which shows me, basically, thumbnails of all the windows I have open and I simply select the one I want to see and then it quickly returns to normal view with the window I selected in the foreground. While in “all windows” view if I put my mouse over any window, the title of that window is prominently displayed.

    Now, when I have a particular window open, by striking F10 my Mac will show me all the open windows that are part of that same application. So if I have multiple Word documents open and I am currently working one of them and I need to see a different one, I simply strike F10 and all open Word documents will be displayed in a thumbnail view.

    The final feature of Exposé will allow me to strike the F11 key and all of my windows are moved off of the viewing area and I can access my desktop. By striking F11 again, all of my windows coming flying back into view and in their proper places. Could it get any easier?

  7. A Mac Doesn’t Bog Down Just Because It’s On

    The more I used Windows the more I noticed a strange (and unsettling) phenomenon. I knew of course that if I used my PC for extended periods that it would get slower and “boggier” during that time. That was, unfortunately, a given with Windows.
    However I noticed that if I would leave my computer unused for extended periods….the same thing would happen. So I had to get in the habit of shutting my PC down at night or at least restarting it every now and then to keep the performance level from going into the red.
    Now that I am a Mac owner the only time that I ever shut my computer down is during inclement weather (it seems that not even a Mac can withstand being jolted with a bolt of lightning) and I never have to worry about taking a performance hit. In fact you can even plug in a new peripheral (mouse, printer, etc.) without shutting down or restarting!

  8. Amazing Hardware Design

    Macs are designed to be not only aesthetically pleasing, but practical as well. The Macbook line of laptops are super thin making them extemely portable. The Mac desktops are even more amazing. Mac Mini (which is what I own) is only 6 inches square. So you’re desk or the floor beside or beneath your desk is not overcrowded by a big tower. The iMac consists of a flat panel monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse. That’s it! Because all of the “guts” are inside the monitor. Yeah, really! You feed CD’s and DVD’s into the side of the monitor and plug peripherals into the back. Other computer manufacturers have tried to imitate Apple’s great design, but it was Apple that pioneered and perfected these awesome configurations.

  9. No Viruses, Worms, etc….Zero, Zip, Nada

    Yes, ladies and gentlmen, it is true. There are no viruses for the Macintosh. The days of having to install 2 or 3 anti-virus programs just to protect your PC are over. I can not understand why consumers continue to sink their money into machines that are basically sitting ducks for viruses when a virus-free platform exists.

  10. Competitively Priced with Similar PC’s

    The main objection that people usually give for not getting Mac is that Macs are more expensive than PC’s. This, my dear friends, is a myth. You will find that if you buy a Windows PC with similar specs that Macs are no more expensive than a Dell. Sure, you can get a $200 XYZ computer with your basic Windows OS but be prepared to buy a new within the next 3 years. There are people who are still running and getting great service out of their iMac G3’s which came out in the late nineties. Not to mention, you have to deal with the performance problems, the absence of any useful software, and viruses (and more viruses and more viruses, and…). The amount of money you’d shell out for a Dell or an HP that has the same power, software and longevity as a Mac would be more than any comparable Mac. Not to mention that you miss out on all the little useful tools that only exist on a Mac (Exposé, Spotlight, Dashboard and many others that I haven’t mentioned).

  11. Yes, It’s true. I’m completely head over heels about Macs. I admit it. I’ve sold out, I’ve drank the kool-aid. Say what you want about me, but just admit that these are great machines. Take some time and browser around Apple’s website and learn more about Macintosh. Go ahead. They won’t bite. I think you will find that my zeal for all things Mac is not unfounded.

    Josh H.




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