Learning to speak Mac – a work in progress

Wow – big day for Apple.  But I’m not worried about iPhones or video calls or tethering or any of that stuff right now.  No, at the moment, I’m trying to optimize my work experience  by using only applications that were originally conceived and built for Mac.  That means no MS Entourage, no Quicken, etc.  I had noticed that after two years on my black 2GB Macbook, my hard drive was pretty much full.  So I went about eliminating the bloat.  So far, it’s been great.  I’m getting very conversant with iCal, Address Book, Things (which is really special), and the back and forth with Google’s Contacts and Calendar is especially helpful.

Now that Safari is up to version 5, I’m downloading and wondering if it will make me want to give up my beloved Opera browser.  I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I’ll try it out anyway.

The only real problem is the personal finance software.  There is no reference standard for the Mac like there is in other realms (Logic for music, Final Cut for video, Safari for browser, etc).  I spent the past week using Jumsoft’s Money 3, but it really is nothing special and the iPhone app doesn’t sync cleanly.  That is so NOT ok.  So now I’m looking to take advantage of another ‘trial period’ and see if there is another personal accounting program that can do what I want – be flexible, be native, communicate with the various banks, and be Mac beautiful.  We’ll see how this (and how the supposedly faster new Safari) goes.

Opera 10 for Mac OS X


Somehow, many years ago, I became dissatisfied with my old Netscape browser and had no desire to support Windows in any way, shape or form.  I was stuck with a Gateway laptop running Windows, but that didn’t mean that I had to succumb to Internet Explorer.  At the time, I was already worried about how much RAM browsers ate up and I couldn’t bear to have the computer running any slower than it already was.  Firefox, as you may recall, didn’t exist yet.

And so I discovered a plucky Scandanavian company making a free browser that advertised the smallest RAM footprint.  It also offered something called tabbed browsing years before any of the big boys even knew what that was.  I loved my old Opera 6 browser and stuck with them right up until the beginning of this year, when I was finally able to switch to from Windows to Mac.

At that momentous occasion, I remember looking into Opera and finding that it wasn’t really up-to-date for the Mac platform.  Today, that changed.  Opera 10 is now available for Mac.  I have downloaded it and done some test browsing and it looks like my plucky little friends from Norway have got it right.  I am very excited.  The Fightins does not crash and Fretbuzz.net is no problem.  I read both of these sites regularly and they both crash Firefox.  On Opera, it’s no problem.  Legal research on Lexis will still need to be done on Safari because I can not see the tables of contents on Opera or Firefox, but I’m still better off than I was.  Firefox is going to be retired and Opera will become the default browser as soon as I can learn to export bookmarks.

Safari 4 beta…

sucks! Slow as molasses. I think it’s time to migrate to FireFox. Their last stable release seems like greased lightning compared to this. Either that, or dumb down to one of the stable Safari releases.

Update – you can’t revert Safari to older versions.  Lovely.  Looks like I’m now a Firefox guy by default.  Thanks, Apple, I didn’t want to make that decision for myself anyway!