Posts Tagged ‘ mac ’

Is Windows the better OS X – Windows 8

Some time ago I wrote about why Lion is such an awful development.

Today I would like to – very uncommon for a Mac blog – recomment Windows 8 as an alternative.

Probably everyone of you has already been punished by having to use Windows 7 and I fully agree with you that even Lion is much better than the current Windows edition. However Microsoft obviously has learnt from its mistakes and they really have put a lot of effort in the upcoming release to make it something that is very pleasant to use. If you have had a chance to put your hands on one of the new Windows Phone devices you have already seen what Microsoft is up to. (Even though I wonder what took them so long!)

Windows 8 actually does not come with any great new super duper features but what really is enticing is that they have fixed so many of the things that keept a lot of Mac users from switching to Windows. Let me list some of the improvements:

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Easily rename files – NameChanger

There is a wide selection of file name changing tools of which several are very powerful but of course also cost money. They are worth it if you need to do batch renaming very often and need quite complex options.

I do file renaming not very often – maybe once a month – and I don’t need any complicated algorithms. Just for things like renaming all images from my camera from ‘IMG0012’ to ‘image_0012’. Very simple. And luckily there is just the right Application for me: NameChanger.

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Scandinavian action – Flying Sweden

I feel that the Mac App Store has brought a flood of really awful games. This makes it even more difficult to find interesting stuff to play. Recently a friend of mine pointed me to the uDevGames indie game contest. On of the winners this year is a game called FlyingSweden. FlyingSweden is a very unconventional space invaders like shooter. You are in control of a flying island representing Sweden. On your island you can build shooting monuments (starting with an ikea canon) and resource houses that bring you money, workers and science point. Naturally you need these resources to build more stuff which will bring you more resources to build more stuff.

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Personal Thought – Don’t upgrade to Lion

English: The icon of Mac OS X Lion

As a developer I had to upgrade to Lion right when it was released so I could test my Software on it. I’m sure there are lots of people who have not upgraded yet and besides all the technical reviews you can get on arstechnicaand other blogs I would like to give you my personal impression on Lion.

My first impression is: Lion is a step backward. And after having used it for weeks now my impression lasts. There are several issues that are really annoying:

Lion will delete your Windows partition. I did not know this and the installer does not warn you. Installing Lion will create a recovery partition and this recovery partition takes it space from the windows partition (if there is any). So your Windows partition will be totally destroyed. If you have Windows installed your really should make a backup or even better: don’t install Lion.

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Cooler Computing – smcFanSpeed

It’s summer and it’s getting hot. If you use a MacBook you know what this means. It’s 30 degree and you have an aluminum brick on your lap that heats up to over 65 degree (Celsius!) and finally you have to stop working because your palms are melting and glue to your MacBook.

I started using a little tool called smcFanSpeed about a week ago. This allows you to set the minumum fan speed of any MacBook. The idea is to prevent your MacBook from getting hot.

It even allows to set different fan speed profiles and can automatically switch profiles when you switch from power to battery.
smcFanSpeed runs in your menu bar and displays the current fan speed and temperature – and it is free.

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Learning foreign languages – Papapapaya

I have decided to refresh my French language skills. I already had French in school for seven years so I know the grammar and don’t want to go to class again. I just need to learn more words so I was looking for a vocabulary training app.

There are several applications that promise to help you. (Just ignore all those iPhone ports in the App Store – you know them by their names which usually are “Learn Chinese”, “Learn Inuit”, etc). I wanted something flexible and Mac like.

Finally I found Papapapaya (sic!) which is a quite powerful vocabulary trainer but easier to use than the competition (like ProVoc that I found way to complicated).

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Easily edit audio – Macsome Audio Editor Review

Sometimes you need to edit audio files like when you want to split a recording from your iPhone or if you have some digital copies of your old vinyl records.

Macsome has several audio applications for all purposes like copying from your iPod, conversion of different formats or recording audio. I want to tell you about two products that are free: Audio Editor and Audio Splitter.

Audio Editor shows you the wave form of any audio file and allows you to crop or delete certain parts. You can also add fade in and out effects. This is usefull if you want to trim a recording.

Audio Splitter can split any audio file into several parts. You can either specify the length of the parts or the number of parts you want to get. Unfortunately there is no option to automatically split at silent locations so you can’t automatically split your old Beatles vinyl recording…

Anyway both tools are free and fine for quick and dirty editing. I do audio editing only about twice a year it’s not worth it but if you if you need something more professional you might want to try out  Sound Studio (€45) or Amadeus Pro ($40).

 

Product: Audio Editor / Splitter
Price: Free
Requirements: Mac OS 10.4 (Editor) Mac OS 10.5 (Splitter)
PublisherMacsome

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