Category Archives: Software

Adventures in MacOS Upgrades

I’m a holdout when it comes to updating my software. Months after others have adopted changes I keep on plugging away like nothing happened. Recently, I decided that I would take the plunge and upgrade my MacBook Pro to Mavericks. Since I was still running Snow Leopard (don’t ask) and it was free I figured why not.

Downloaded and installed Mavericks overnight and when I got home from work I was ready to play. I was surprised to see how much slower my computer was but that was my fault since Mavericks runs better with more memory and I need to add a few gigs. Fine. A few days later I noticed the first of my major issues. My iPhone wasn’t recognized when I plugged it into the USB. Nothing I did worked but thankfully the 10.9.1 update fixed it.

It was a few more days before I discovered what currently has me pissed off. Lack of ExpressCard support. I did some digging across support forums and I saw tons of my fellow Mac users in an uproar and knew I wasn’t the only one. There were discussions about what went wrong, possible fixes, contacting third party device providers. My hopes were raised when I saw excitement that the 10.9.2 update fixed the problem. Except, that it only fixed it for mid-2010 17″ MBPs. I have a late-2008 15″ system and I’ve only come across two other users with the problem. I’ve submitted feedback but I don’t think there are a lot of people with my machine let alone using an ExpressCard memory card adapter.

I really wish that I could go back to Snow Leopard but that would require a full hard drive wipe. That’s a risk that I’m not willing to take. At this rate, this will be my MBP’s last OS update and I’ll have to look into a new system if I want the latest and greatest.

I’m a Mac

I know, long time, no post. This summer I bought a new notebook and finally got  the Mac that I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been looking to make a purchase since I gave away my Powerbook 1400cs around 2002. Since I switched platforms (I had a  Dell notebook running Windows XP) I’ve had to rethink what programs I use. Now my default workhorses Dreamweaver and Photoshop seem bloated. I’m really interested in programs that are designed for Macs. I downloaded the trial version of Pixelmator and so far it’s been a good substitute for Photoshop. There are some features of Photoshop that I miss but Pixelmator is in its infancy and has lots of room to grow. For Dreamweaver alternatives I plan on evaluating Coda and Espresso.

Fireworks vs Photoshop

After seeing a discussion over at Digital Web Magazine I started thinking about which program I prefer and why. Pretty much since the beginning I’ve been a Photoshop advocate. I was an Adobe girl through and through and it was years before I had even heard of Macromedia (my first introduction was through Dreamweaver). When I found out about Fireworks I thought I’d try it out and see what it was like. I tried out Fireworks MX and my first impression was not good. The user interface was so different from Photoshop and it was difficult for me to find things. The simplest task seemed to take forever. I gave FW a few more tries and then gave up thinking that I would shun the product for eternity. A year and a half ago I started working at a location that had Adobe CS2 on all of the computers. Of course I ran to Photoshop but my coworker was a Fireworks advocate and I decided to try it out again. My opinion didn’t change and at times I wanted to erase the program off of my computer. All of that changed when I went to Adobe’s website and watched some videos about Fireworks CS3 and saw that the interface was more like Adobe products. I did some reading and I began to understand why some web designers worked primarily in Fireworks. For website mock-ups there were features that Fireworks did much better than Photoshop. I could see where I could cut time in my designs by using some of the symbols in the common library. Add to that the fact that Fireworks can now handle Photoshop files and I’m sold. Photoshop will still be my primary go to when it comes to doing photo manipulation and graphic design work but Fireworks has now won a place in my heart for web design work.

CMS

Currently evaluating some open-source CMS for future client projects. On the list are Drupal, Mambo and maybe TextPattern. There was an initial concern that TextPattern wouldn’t be able to handle upcoming projects but an inspiration site has changed that thought. With the right plug-ins, this could really work.