Splash of Style...Macs, Photography, Design, and other Passions

New iPhone?

June 27, 2009 by debbie T | iTunes & iPhoneMac Corner

I am just about ready to leave, heading to the Applestore to pick up a new iPhone. Thinking black 32gb. I will have to see both colors in person. The store told me they had both in stock.

I will also look at cases.

Gosh, this is exciting! Filled out the whole pre-authorization thing online so we’ll see how long it actually takes in store! whoo whooooo!

Comcast Announces New Universal Caller Id

June 25, 2009 by debbie T | ComputersMac SoftwareRamblings

This is so cool. I can’t wait until it’s established at our house.

Comcast sent an email today announcing a new feature for their customers with TV, Internet, & Telephone bundle packages. When a telephone call comes in, the Caller ID will display on the TV screen.

Yeah! That will save me from having to stand up and walk over to our phone just to see who it is. If it’s mom, I will answer (maybe…LOL Just kidding) and if it’s a stupid telemarketer, I will just let it go to voice mail. I wonder if there’s an option on the remote to sent it immediately to voice mail!?

There’s also another option to download for your PC which will display the Caller ID on your PC, but that’s not as appealing to me as the TV. It’s an Adobe Air app, so it’s Windows and Mac compatible.

It’s supposed to be starting in about a month. Oh and the best part is, it’s FREE!

Now if only I can get Comcast to add specific phone number blocking, that would be a big help! Still can’t understand why I can’t have a list of phone numbers that are blocked from calling me. It’s sounds so simple! But what do I know!?

Anyway, the Comcast Universal Caller ID is cool and I can’t wait to try it out!

Mac OSX – US Flag Icon on my Menu Bar

May 27, 2009 by debbie T | Mac CornerMac Software

I don’t know what I did or what happened, but on my Macbook Pro (running Mac OS X Leopard) a little US Flag icon appeared on my menu bar this morning. I love my flag, but I really don’t want it on my menubar taking up precious space.

I wasn’t sure how to remove it; there was no option on the right-click menu, so I hit “Open International” from the (right-click) drop down menu.

International-settings

Down at the bottom of the International Settings window, thankfully I found a checkbox that I unchecked – “show input menu in menu bar”. It worked! The flag icon disappeared.

Testing Web Design in Different Browsers

May 20, 2009 by debbie T | InternetWeb DesignWeb DevelopmentWindows on the Mac

Every web designer knows how important it is to test test test their new web design in multiple browsers. Windows doesn’t make it easy to test in multiple versions of Internet Explorer, although it is possible through various means.

What I decided to go the virtual route. I have VMWare Fusion installed on my Mac, with Windows XP and Windows 7 virtual machines, running IE 6 and IE8 respectively.

So in order to run IE7, I copied the XP/IE6 virtual machine onto an external hard drive (due to lack of space on my laptop) keeping IE6 running, while upgrading to IE7 on the original XP machine.

Works great!

For more info on how I moved my VMWare Fusion virtual machine, check out my article explaining how I accomplished it. Note: When you launch the “copied” virtual machine, it will ask if it was moved or copied, in this instance I chose “copied”

How to Use Sugars in Espresso Code Editor

May 17, 2009 by debbie T | Expression EngineMac SoftwareWeb Design

I have been working with Espresso code editor from MacRabbit, and so far it’s been a good experience, but I wanted to learn more about Espresso Sugars….Sugars are little plug-ins for Espresso. Don’t ask me exactly what they all do, because I am just learning; but I believe they add functionality and coding languages to Espresso.

I downloaded the Expression Engine sugar, since that is the CMS I have been working on. I figured it would be a great help to have the Expression Engine coding easily accessible.

So, I copied the .sugar file into the sugar directory, and tried to figure out what to do next. I felt pretty stupid! I found the Expression Engine codes in the Actions menu, but they were all grayed out. huh? In fact, most of the Actions seemed to be grayed out.

I found nothing on Google, so I figured it was best to ask for help on the Espresso Discussion Forum for sugars. I quickly received an answer from Anthony Short, who I just realized is the author of the Expression Engine sugar! ha! Too funny.

Anyway, he told me Espresso should be able to automatically figure out that it’s an Expression Engine document (which it wasn’t doing) but if not, I needed to set the language for the document under View>Language.

espresso-language

That did the trick! All the Expression Engine coding was magically listed in the “Snippets” panel. The coding also works with code completion, which is a lot easier!

Unfortunately, there is no way to permanently set the language to Expression Engine for the document. Once you close the file or quit Espresso, it reverts back. I hope there is some way to save the document language in the future.

CSSEdit and Espresso Editors by MacRabbit

May 16, 2009 by debbie T | CSSMac SoftwareWeb DesignWeb Development

I have used quite a few Mac code editors but to be honest, I had never been 100% satisfied with any code editor on the Mac (sigh) as I was with Dreamweaver, Homesite, and/or HTML-Kit on Windows. It’s not that I am not happy with Mac editors, I just never found the absolute perfect replacement.

I started using skedit years ago, and I found it was sufficient for larger coding tasks. For quick coding tweaks, I found nothing beat Text Wrangler.

But I was starting a new re-design project using Expression Engine, so I wanted to try out a few different options.

CSSEdit

I dug out my copy of CSSEdit that was barely launched once, and I figured now that I had some true CSS coding tasks to do, it was time to shake of the dust and use it. Now I just LOVE it! It’s awesome.

Sometimes I like to hand code CSS, and other times, I like the editor to insert code for me. CSSEdit will do both. It has code hints & completion and syntax highlighting, all of which I love and NEED! It’s easy to fill in the appropriate fields, and it will insert the CSS code for you. I found it to be the most Dreamweaver-like app I have ever used when it came to CSS coding.

Disappointingly, it does not work with (x)html coding, so it’s not a “one stop shop” editor. It will not open an .html or .php document using the File>Open menu. It will open it if you drag the file from Finder to the CSSEdit icon on the Dock. But it’s really not meant for html code, but it does CSS editing and it does it well!

Espresso

I purchased the latest MacHeist 3 bundle, which included a copy of the Espresso code editor. I had been looking forward to using Espresso since it was created by MacRabbit, the same developers as CSSEdit. I had previously launched it once or twice, and wasn’t thrilled with it at first glance, but I figured this would be a great time to really put it through it’s paces. And I am glad I did.

I like the interface and how projects are displayed in the workspace. Although I wish there was some sort of Project Manager window, maybe coming soon to a future release, or perhaps I will just get used to opening the project file just like I would any other file.

I love that it has a different approach to tabs. Tabs are not located at the top horizontal menu, but on the side bar, at the top of the file list. I think it’s more intuitive that way.

(x)HTML code completion and hints both work very well.

The FTP cloud publishing feature is a bit unintuitive, but I am hoping that either I have to work with it more, or it will become better with future updates. For now, I still use Transmit for my (s)FTP transfers. There is a quick publish feature, and that might be a good option, but I wish there was a right-click ‘upload’ option for any given file from the side bar.

I really disliked the default syntax highlighting color theme, and all the other available View themes were either light text on dark backgrounds (hate dark backgrounds), or white backgrounds with very light text. huh? What’s up with that? So, I took one of the color syntex highlighting themes, and made adjustments to it for my own needs. It was very easy to tweak the CSS theme in CSSEdit, as it was just a plain .css file!

I haven’t had the opportunity to work with any Espresso Sugars, but I did download a copy of the Expression Engine sugar, so we’ll see how that goes when I get deeper into EE code for my new project. I also haven’t worked with snippets, but I do love how they work in Skedit, so hopefully they will be useful in Espresso.

The browser “preview” works well with regular static html and CSS but I can’t see how it could possibly work with dynamic code, unless you have a server set up on your computer. I don’t have time to mess with that, so all my browser views will have to be online, where it can work with the database directly.

CSS editing in Espresso is disappointing not too bad, but not as good as CSSEdit. CSS code hints work for the CSS property name, but there are no hints for the value. – I was behind on a few updates, eek. Updated to version 1.05 and it does indeed include code completion for CSS values. It completes the closing bracket and trailing semi-colon for you.

Since MacRabbit are the same developers for CSSEdit, I thought that there might be integration or something, but so far, CSS editing is not wonderful. the best, so I will stick with CSSEdit for CSS editing.

It might sound like I don’t like Espresso, but I really do. At this stage, it’s still brand new for me; I know I haven’t tapped into all its power yet, and I think the same is true for MacRabbit as well. They will be adding more features and hopefully there will be a great future ahead.

But so far, I am impressed, and I will continue to use it. Would I pay the full price of $80? No, I don’t think so, but I am glad I got it as part of the MacHeist Bundle. I think if there was better CSS Support like in CSSEdit, or even some sort of integration between the two (similar to how all Adobe apps work well both together and separately) I would consider paying the $80.

So, that’s my quick (and probably premature) review of CSSEdit and Espresso.

Together with Transmit FTP, it’s a good work process!

Creating & Managing Aperture 2 Smart Albums

April 29, 2009 by debbie T | Aperture 2Digital PhotographyMac Software

Bart Busschots and Allison Sheridan were discussing Aperture 2 on the Nosillacast podcast this week, and Bart was complaining about the way Smart Albums were working (or not working) for him. I think I have a solution to his problem.

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MacHeist 3 Bundle Revealed

March 24, 2009 by debbie T | Mac Software

Just picked up the new MacHeist 3 Bundle. Yay!

http://www.macheist.com/bundle/u/25954/

The first app that caught my interest was Picturesque, and PhoneView sounded pretty cool too. Little Snapper might be a useful alternative for Skitch.

But I was on the fence, until Espresso was announced as part of the bundle (unlocked after an unspecified amount is raised for charity), and I knew it was a done deal when I saw the price of $39! Awesome!

$39 is a great deal for the bundle, but an even better deal is getting the $8 discount (for completing all MacHeist missions and activities). I paid with my paypal account, and since I had a credit balance in paypal, I only paid $21 for the bundle…so I am really happy.

If anyone is thinking of purchasing the bundle, please consider using my referral link: http://www.macheist.com/bundle/u/25954/ – thanks!

iPhoto – How to Resize & Export Photo Files

March 15, 2009 by debbie T | Digital PhotographyiPhotoMac Software

My Dad just bought a cute Mac Mini, and he’s feeling overwhelmed. He used to use Picasa on his PC to export photos to use on Craig’s List, now he’ll be using iPhoto. This tutorial is for him. It’s a very basic beginner tutorial. I am using iPhoto 2008 but it is very similar for iPhoto 2009.

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Carbonite for Mac

March 9, 2009 by debbie T | InternetMac Software

Yay, I have been waiting for this. Carbonite is now fully supported for Mac users. $50 per year buys you unlimited storage.

I was always so intrigued by Carbonite after hearing Leo Laporte’s commercials on his Tech Guy radio show and podcast.