2.8.5 is an excellent free FTP/SFTP application for OS X. It includes support for external editors such as BBEdit, TextWrangler, Smultron, CSSEdit, TextMate, Tag and skEdit.
(Via Cool OSX Apps.)
Facebook Chat Launches, For Some
There’s word that Facebook has released its chat/IM application to a few unspecified networks. The pre-launch beta, as Facebook is calling it, apparently started sometime last night. InsideFacebook has some screenshots and a summary of their first impressions. If youre part of a network that has been given access already.
A MacBook Pro is a larger out of pocket expense than say, an average Dell laptop but I say you get more bang for your buck in a MacBook Pro than you would in your average $1,300 Dell laptop.
1. Let’s start with long battery life. A MacBook Pro comes out of the box with something in the area of 5 and a half hours of battery life if you’re just browsing the web and using office applications. That’s no small feat considering it’s current 2.4GHz processor, dedicated nVidia graphics and 200GB+ hard drives. A MacBook has slightly less battery life with in the area of three and a half to four but it’s still superior to what your average PC at the same price will deliver.
2. It has an environment-friendly LED display, kudos Apple. Not only is the LED display better for the environment but it also delivers better brightness levels and battery life, as noted above. Few others in the PC world offer this; Sony and Dell on some of its XPS laptop models.
3. Higher resolution displays. Apple also had the good sense to deliver higher resolution displays, 1440 x 900 for the 15.4-inch; 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1200 for the 17-inch model.
4. The display has an ambient light sensor to adjust to varying lighting conditions. Some users have found this annoying due to hand positions on the keyboard and position of the light sensor. It depends on user preference and can be turned off which I think is what most prefer. Leaving it on may lead to an annoying “flicker” effect as it tries to adjust when your hands wave over the sensor.
5. Mac OSX; this applies to all Macs. I won’t tout the security as much as Apple does. But despite the recent hacking contest, OSX isn’t prone to Windows viruses or spyware but it can transmit them to your PC-owning friends so anti-virus is necessary, if only to protect your friends from yourself, ClamXav is a nice (and free) choice. Make sure to also enable the firewall’s “stealth mode” and application blocking.
6. Design. The MacBook Pro is all aluminum and weighs 5.4lbs for the 15.4-inch models. It’s pretty and thought goes into the packaging, there’s little set up or preparation required after you open the box; how many PCs can you say that of?
7. Set Up. Power on, enter your account information, email but if you already have a registered account with Apple (iTunes or other) your information will be filled in automatically, there are no annoying trial software pop-ups, except for the .MAC account and as soon as your done with that, Mac OSX is ready to get things done! Setting up many PCs over the years, it’s the same laborious 10 to 15 minute process over and over, Mac OSX was up and running in under three.
8. Magnetic latch/power connectors. This should be self explanatory, the lid of the laptop and power connector and secured by magnets, though the lid still has a release catch on it (unlike the MacBook which does not). Trip over the power cord and the theory is that it will pop out of the laptop without pulling it off the table; I’m not prepared to test this theory.
9. iLife. How many PCs include the full versions of useful software out of the box (unless you expressly paid for it), none. But, Apple includes iLife with every single Mac purchased. ILife includes iPhoto, iMovie, the .MAC gallery, GarageBand, iWeb and iDVD. Now, Microsoft has tried to include similar applications with Vista but I’m afraid it’s version of DVD maker and Photo Gallery don’t hold a candle to what Apple has accomplished, nice try though but fail.
10. Backlit keyboard. The keyboard is backlit with white LEDs; when ambient lighting falls below a certain level, the keyboard backlights come on so it works without any user interaction, like a lot of things Apple and Mac, “it just works.”
Some things, such as longer-life batteries can be purchased extra with a PC laptop but it’s “extra.” Since you pay a “premium” for a MacBook Pro, it’s already included and you don’t need to buy anything extra, pretty much everything you need and nothing you don’t is in the box.
I’m sure these reasons have been stated before, on other sites, at other times but it never hurts to remind the PC users of their inferior purchase.
A lot of people are subscribing to blogs and websites using RSS. (Did you know that you can find my RSS feed here). I think it is a great way to keep update with the latests posts and updates of your favourite sites. I have many RSS feeds, and I really enjoy reading through them. This post will be about some of the top RSS readers for the Macintosh operating system. Most of them are very similar in nature in what they do (there is not a lot of variation for RSS feeds). The list is organized in alphabetical order, but if you think I have missed one please leave a comment below.
Touted as a next gen RSS reader it has a very similar interface to mail. It does have some interesting features such as a star rating system for articles, the ability to customize the CSS and HTML to your liking. So you change how it looks and feels. As well as this it also has a unique feature for having the “Share This” option, enabling you to share it with your friends or favourite sites. It does have a 21-day demo so you can try before you buy.
Endo (very cool name) is made by the popular people that made the desktop blogging software ecto. This reader brings forward some of the simple interfaces and styles that ecto is so popular for. This is a simple reader, designed to bring you directly to your feeds. It has a “different” navigation bar at the top, but has all of the usual features of searching, smart downloads, flagging. This app also enables you to customize the look of your feeds but enables you to do it individually to different feeds through the use of a simple GUI.
Although not an RSS reader in itself it does offer the ability to keep track of your feeds through its interface. Its not the best RSS reader in the world, it may not even be the “top” but it is good for anyone who is on a computer network and cannot install applications. Its all built in. Only ever good if you need to quickly check a site. There are various plugins which enable this function to perform slightly better.
Price: Free. Download it here.
Probably one of the best online RSS readers, the other being bloglines, it has the similar Google interface we have come to know and love. It works in a simple way of letting you subscribe and view you feeds in the sidebar. It is great if you are always on the move, or want a site to keep track of all of your feeds so you can access them from anywhere.
Personally, my favorite RSS client. Although it doesn’t have any of the fancy, advance features, it does work very well. It integrate well within your normal mailbox. You can easily apply flags, and filters, as well as easy folder organization to keep things in check. Best of all it is included with the operating system so you don’t have to download anything.
Probably one of the best, and popular RSS readers on the Mac, and rightly so. It has one of the easiest to use interfaces. Like many readers on this list, it has lots of features including a fast search engine, html archiving and picking up on favicons within the sidebar. It is now free, which is the best thing of all.
A very simple RSS reader. Like many other reader it has a simple sidebar and colourful interface. Simple to use, although could have some more advance features.
From the creators of xtorrent, a popular bittorrent software, the same guys have made newsfire. It is very simple to use and doesn’t have more of the advance features. It does have a very simple interface, so if you are only after a RSS reader that does just that, read. Newsfire is your choice.
Like all RSS readers it offers the same basic format of sidebar plus entry. But this program has a couple of cool features. Such as the ability to show the latest posts feeds through the use of a “Breaking News” feature. It also links to the Pixelnews database which enables you to view and search other RSS feeds with other people. It does have a free 2 week trial.
Another built-in RSS reader that is way better than Firefox. It gives you all you need to preview feeds. search through them and easily organise them from your menu bar. One very cool feature is the article length slider, than enables you to sort the lengths of your feeds, so you can either have the full view, a partial cut down view, or just the head lines. I would go for this one for a web based RSS reader.
A different method of viewing RSS feeds through the use of column views. Although slightly annoying it does have some good features to compensate. For example it runs through growl, which enables you to get easy on screen notifications. As well as the ability to store items later through the use of a scrap book.
Hopefully that has enlightened you to some of the top RSS readers out there. There are hundreds of programs out there that could be the job, but I would be here all day if I was to list them all. My personal choice would be to go for Mail or Safari if you don’t want to download anything, and NetNews if you want to download an app. These are my choices. If you have any comments on ones I have missed out that should have made the list, or just any comments please leave one below.
Edit: Due to unsurpassed popular demand:
Similar to many RSS readers, Vienna does have some cool features that many people seem to like, due to untold number of comments. Including tabbed browsing, and Apple Script support. Apple Script support is a very cool idea. There have been many times I would have wanted a quick bit of Apple Script to do a repetitive job. I think I might have to give this program a try, it seems a lot of people like it.