Archive for 2008

links for 2008-10-03

Oct 03, 2008 in Links

links for 2008-09-25

Sep 25, 2008 in Links

links for 2008-09-12

Sep 12, 2008 in Links

links for 2008-09-09

Sep 09, 2008 in Links

links for 2008-08-31

Aug 31, 2008 in Links

links for 2008-08-24

Aug 24, 2008 in Links

ATPM 14.08

Aug 04, 2008 in Apple

I’m a litle late to the party, but the August 2008 edition of ATPM came back from the virtual printer a few day’s ago. Chris breaks down this month’s contents and touches on a delayed personal milestone — 10 years at ATPM as of the July issue.

I’ve been at ATPM for a while, but Chris inspired me to dig back into our review archives to see exactly how long. Going back, it turns out that my first review ran in issue 4.08, 10 years ago this month. I contributed that first article after some prodding from Evan Trent, who introduced me Michael Tsai, our Publisher and Editor for the entirety of my time at ATPM.

I’m certainly not writing as much as I used to (and I’m hoping that will change), but I’ve consistently enjoyed the experience. In addition to reviewing numerous compelling products over the years, I’ve gotten to know many interesting people through my involvement at ATPM, both virtually and in person. The world of online publishing has changed quite a bit in the last 10 years — one of the reasons Evan was able to prod me into writing was that I’d lost my previous outlet and was looking for something new. At that point, I think there were 3 or 4 other monthly Mac e-zines regularly published. As far as I know, ATPM is the only one left, as personal and professional weblogs have lowered the barriers to entry for electronic publication. I think it says something about the people involved in ATPM over the years that we’ve remained in publication through this shift in the landscape.

RetailMeNot and Sparklines

Apr 27, 2008 in Internet

RetailMeNot.png

I was looking up something on RetailMeNot a little earlier and saw that they’d added a sparkline in addition to each discount code’s success rate.

I love seeing little visual additions like this — it doesn’t add much clutter to the display while giving a clear indication of the trend related to the coupon that the success rate alone lacks. In this case, the failures most likely correlate to the 4/14 expiration date. For coupons that don’t list the expiration date, though, the sparkline provides a visual clue as the whether any failures are random or due to a change in the code’s validity.

First Trip to Nationals Park

Apr 08, 2008 in Baseball, Nationals, Photos

Redding Pitching

I had a chance to take in a bit of a game at Nationals Park last night. It’s a very impressive stadium and I’m looking forward to getting back later during the summer.

Attendance was fairly sparse, but we chalked it up to the combination of the cold weather and the championship game scheduled for that evening.

Firefox 3 vs. Safari 3

Apr 08, 2008 in Mac, Software

Daring Fireball:

And that’s just it. Firefox 3’s shortcomings as a Mac app are behavioral, too.

I’m giving Firefox for just reason that Gruber highlights later on in his piece — improved memory management. I’ve only got 1 GB of RAM on my PowerBook and my computer’s performance would noticeably drag when running Safari for extended periods. Conversely, I’ve noticed little-to-no slowdown with Firefox running.

That said, Gruber’s definitely right that Firefox isn’t a particularly good Mac app. In addition to his list of issues, there are two that I’m finding bothersome.

  • Doesn’t Respect RSS Reader Setting — Apps like Safari, NetNewsWire, and others are capable of registering as the default feed reader and Safari will happily pass feed URLs over to the selected reader. This makes it simple to subscribe to new feeds. Firefox, however, doesn’t honor this setting, instead displaying the feed contents in a new tab/window.

    Update: Turns out that while Firefox won’t respect the default system feed reader, you can configure Firefox to use NetNewsWire or your other feed reader of choice. The Applications panel in the preferences lets you (appropriately enough) configure external applications for different content types. I’d originally looked here for some sort of setting, but missed the Web Feed option among all the audio and video formats.

    Firefox Application Preferences

    Firefox doesn’t seem to auto-detect the feed readers installed on your system, but you can point it at NewNewsWire and it seems to work as expected. In addition to supporting external applications, Firefox goes one step further and allows you to specify web-based feed readers, like Google Reader or My Yahoo. So, as is often the case with Firefox, the desired functionality is present, but not necessarily Mac-like. (Thanks to John Gruber for pointing this out to me.)

  • Doesn’t Use System Keychain — Old news, I know, but I’ve been retyping a bunch of passwords lately and I’ve occasionally had trouble remembering which password is associated with which site. I have the choice between trying a number of passwords till I find the right one or firing up Keychain Access and looking for the appropriate record.

    On the plus side, the save password display in Firefox is quite nice. The display is similar to the new search bar in Safari and hangs around after the password-protected page has been loaded. If you’re not sure whether you’ve entered the right password, you can defer saving the password until after you’ve confirmed the validity of the password. Definitely an improvement of Safari’s ask, then process approach.

I’m not saying that Firefox isn’t a good web browser. However, it’s very likely that I’ll switch back to Safari once I get a computer with more resources.