Safari 4 adds a search box that shows your surfing history. When you click in the search box, you get a view of Web pages identical to the Cover Flow display in iTunes or Mac OS X Leopard’s Finder. Cover Flow also shows up when you view your History or Bookmarks pages.
Earlier this week, Corel rolled out a new version of Painter, its painting software. I’m always excited to see a new version of Corel Painter. And even though I’m often hard-pressed to lay a straight line down on paper, I can easily see what the fuss is about. Whether you’re a professional artist, you simply like to doodle around with pastels, crayons, and colored pencils (my favorite), or you get your kicks out of applying painterly effects to photos, Painter 11 has a unique appeal.
Don’t be fooled: Painter’s no snap, especially if you’re serious about creating art. And if you’re an artist, a pen and tablet is a must-have item for Painter. But alongside the pro-level Painter mystique resides a play-around factor that’s surprisingly intuitive for most of us non-artist/amateur photographer types to grasp. Or maybe, there’s something about having the largest box of crayons with the most colors or a nice collection of paints and brushes that just makes me happy.
As you’ve no doubt heard, Apple released a beta version of Safari 4 earlier this week. Among the new features in this pre-release is a major overhaul of the program’s interface. While Windows users seem to be quite pleased with many of these interface changes, as the Windows version now looks much more like a native Windows application, Mac users are voicing mixed reactions. Perhaps the most controversial change in Safari 4 for the Mac is a new approach to tabbed browsing that places tabs at the top of the window—replacing the traditional title bar—rather than in a dedicated tab bar.
I’ve been using Safari 4 since early Tuesday, and while that’s admittedly a short time, it’s long enough to get a feel for how these tab changes affect both browsing and window management. Here’s a quick look at the good, the bad, and the in between.
Over the past decade, I’ve been to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters many times for assorted product launches (the original iPod and OS X, to name a couple) and PR briefings. But Wednesday’s trip for the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting was a new experience for me.
As I approached the media table, backpack in tow, I was informed that no laptops are allowed inside (apparently standard practice at such events—my bad). So much for taking notes on my MacBook. After depositing my bag in the car, I went back inside, where I was greeted by two courthouse-y metal detectors.
As a member of the media, I was instructed to go upstairs to an overflow room with a video feed of the meeting. Since Apple didn’t issue a badge or name tag, however, I could have just as easily walked into the main room (I didn’t).
Procrastination is my strong suit—any Macworld editor who’s ever given me a deadline will readily agree, I suspect. (Editor’s Note: Nodding sadly.) So it’s little wonder that a few years back I bought a nice USB music keyboard for my Mac and promptly did … absolutely nothing with it.
Oh, sure, I made a few half-hearted attempts to learn how to play, and I even invested in some tutorial software. But none of it stuck. I have renewed hope that I might be able to do more than just play Chopsticks, though, all thanks to Tim.
Tim is a very patient teacher. He never gets frustrated with me, and will repeat the same lesson over and over until I get it right. He’s calm, personable and friendly. I like Tim.
My partner’s coworker is in the market for a new family computer, one that he can use not only for his job as a software Q&A specialist, but also for his hobbies working with digital photos. He needs to access Windows systems but prefers to work on Mac OS X, though he’s unsure about OS X’s ability to support the developer tools he needs to use. And he wants something portable, but admits that most of his work would be done at a desk.
He sent an e-mail message to some folks in the office asking for suggestions. My partner, who is a software developer, quickly replied and told him to forget about going portable and buy an iMac already. My partner says that too many people think they need to be portable when they don’t. Case in point: her father, who computes nowhere else but at his desk, has a 17-inch HP Pavilion on a stand on the desk, and it never moves.
Sometimes a laptop does make more sense for the work you need to do. But if most of your work will be done at a desk, why pretend that you need a laptop? You can get more power from a desktop system. And need I mention the iMac’s enormous, beautiful screen? (I realize that not all people like the current iMac’s screen, but I do—a lot.) The huge screen makes working on our photos in iPhoto easy and fast.
We all have our own ways of setting up and using OS X, of arranging our workspaces, managing files, and launching apps. Some of us rely on the tools built into OS X. Some of us use third-party utilities to enhance or replace those built-in tools. Many of us favor specific workstyles (keyboard vs. mouse, visual vs. verbal, neatniks vs. pack rats, and so on) and have customized our Macs accordingly.
For an upcoming series of stories, we'd like to know how you do all this, how you've customized OS X to:
Organize and find files
Manage those files (moving, copying, renaming, deleting, archiving)
Manage file downloads (from e-mail and the Web)
Arrange/tweak your workspaces so they're useful and attractive.