Posts Tagged ‘Mac’

90 Days

November 14, 2012

iTunes Match is the coolest thing ever — it’s one of the key components needed to “cut the cord” and live life with one’s traditional computers collecting dust on shelves. For the unaware, iTunes Match is an Apple-service that holds a given user’s iTunes library in iCloud for playback on iOS devices and Macs/PCs, without needing to be stored locally.

Being simplistic, the way iTunes Match works is after you pay Apple $24.99 (a per-year subscription) for the service, your iTunes library is scanned and every song that Apple has in the iTunes Store is added to iCloud. Every song not in the iTunes Store is uploaded to iCloud from your computer. As Apple loves to say, it just works, and so from that point on iOS users don’t need to connect their devices to their computers to sync music as it can be downloaded, streamed, and deleted on-the-go.

Basically, iTunes Match kicks butt and takes names; if iTunes Match chewed bubblegum it would be out of bubblegum (You can find more info about iTunes Match by tapping/clicking here). But that isn’t what this article is about…

Sidenote: For free, iCloud gives iOS users 5GB for device backups, so backing up iOS devices to a computer is redundant as well. There’s almost no reasons to connect iOS devices to traditional computers.

As mentioned above in the second paragraph, iTunes Match costs $24.99 per year. My subscription was set to renew today, but I don’t have enough cash in my account to renew today. A year ago when I signed up for iTunes Match and had my music library scanned, I deleted all of my music from my Mac because at the time I found keeping it redundant. As I found out when my bank account temporarily dipped under $24.99, maybe keeping my library on my Mac might’ve not been redundant after all.

So I scrambled at the last minute to download my entire iTunes library to my Mac from iCloud — more than 20GB of songs — before my subscription ended. The idea I had was that I’d have my iTunes library “Matched” again the next time I can afford to subscribe. If you didn’t know, my Mac is almost 7 years old and that heavy download session almost crashed it multiple times which would have been disastrous as I was on a deadline.

As expected, I received an e-mail from Apple this morning telling me that my payment couldn’t be processed. The kicker? Apple’s e-mail also noted that my library would be saved in iCloud for 90 days, so that if I renew my subscription within that time period, I won’t have to re-scan my entire library again. I grew a few white hairs and it was all for nothing, as Apple had already considered that I might not be able to pay and had a policy in place to protect my 20GB of music.

Daaaaaaang.

How I Use iPad (And How You Can Too!)

September 3, 2012

This entry has been waiting to be written for a very, very long time. The fact that my iPad replaced my Mac has been something I’ve talked about for probably a year and a half in “real life” and online. I’ve either alluded to it or outright said it in blogposts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably read many tweets from me also covering the topic.

So, enough with the foreplay. We know that my iPad is my primary computer, with my iPhone secondary. We know why. But all of that is explicitly useless information without knowing how I outright replaced traditional computers with iPads. It’s time to publish something useful. This article includes four main parts:

  1. How I used my Mac, listing the apps I used to use regularly and what they were for.
  2. The iPad apps I use in place of the Mac apps and how well they work as replacements, with pricing info and App Store links to the iOS apps.
  3. The apps I use regularly on my iPad which aren’t “replacement” apps, and make the iPad better than a traditional computer in my eyes, with pricing info and App Store links to the iOS apps.
  4. The iPad’s present shortcomings compared to traditional computers in my opinion.

This is a very detailed article, and it is quite long. I’ve organized it in a way which makes it easy for you to skip what you aren’t interested in. Further, I need to make clear that this article does not exist to prove any point. I’m not setting out to tell people what is and what isn’t the right way to use a computer. This is purely the information that I can offer to people thinking about how they can use iPads. Please don’t mistake it for anything else.

Part I

As a student I used my MacBook Pro for typing up term papers (among other, general stuff) and designing Keynote presentations. I used it for media storage/viewing, and even very basic media editing. I of course browsed the web, and instant messaged and audio/video chatted with friends. And until iOS 5, I used my Mac to manage my iPods and iOS devices, among other basic things. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that my exact use cases aren’t uncommon.

So, the Mac apps which I used regularly:

  • Pages: School papers and word processing in general
  • Keynote: Keynote presentations
  • iTunes: Media viewing and iPod/iOS device management
    (iomega external hard drive: Storage)
  • Preview and iPhoto: Image viewing and basic editing
  • GarageBand: What I used to create terrible music
  • Safari: Web browsing
  • Mail: e-Mail
  • iChat, Live Messenger, and Skype: Instant messaging and audio/video chatting
  • Handbrake: DVD ripping
  • (Funny observation: Almost every one of those apps are Apple’s own apps)

    Part II

    This next part might come across as a little disingenuous simply because this isn’t my story about switching to iPad two years ago. I’m not going to cover the holes I encountered which have been filled — this is explicitly about the present. The whole story is mostly irrelevant to you.

    So, here’s the iPad apps which replaced the apps I regularly used on the Mac:

  • Replacing Pages

    Not surprisingly, Pages on iOS it what replaces Pages on the Mac, and is even better in some cases. Sure, the Mac version is more flexible, but Pages’ signature feature is how it handles media within documents. That feature is brought to life on the iPad in many ways — to begin with, manipulating images and videos is way more fun with your fingers than with a mouse pointer. But on top of that, the iPad’s cameras make Pages for iOS a killer app.

    A use case which I’m very familiar with is taking notes in class; all too often instructors write or draw something on the board which would take 1000 words to express. So what can you do when that happens? Well, if you’re taking notes on your iPad with Pages, just quickly open the Camera app, lift up your iPad, and take a picture of the board. Insert the photo right into your notes. That use case isn’t restricted to the classroom either. As an example, let’s say you need to create a flier about wildlife, and you want it to have pictures. Go out to a lake and create the entire flier there, pictures and all. Get home and be all ready to print it out.

    Edit: I wasn’t clear at all. Pages is a full word processor and can open and export Microsoft Word documents, and can also export to PDF. It’s native file type though is .pages, as with the Mac version.

    Also, if you have an AirPrint enabled printer, you can print your documents right from the iPad. It’s kinda cool.

    Pages for iOS: $9.99

  • Replacing Keynote

    Also not surprisingly, I replaced Keynote for the Mac with Keynote for iOS. Unlike Pages for iOS, though, which I adore — my relationship with Keynote for iOS is very love-hate. Keynote is my favorite app on the Mac by far, designing keynote presentations to deliver is my hobby. The featureset between the two is so different that Keynote for iOS should be called “Keynote Nano” or something. As an example, I like to time basically every aspect of presentations I design, and timing builds and transitions to go off at the millisecond I want them to is next to impossible on Keynote for iOS, whereas on the Mac I can actually do advanced work and make things perfect.

    Don’t get me wrong though, Keynote for iOS is immeasurably better than PowerPoint on any platform, it’s just that Keynote for Mac is immeasurably better than it. The best thing about Keynote on the iPad is actually delivering presentations. I hook it right up to a projector or TV, and press play. The portability of the iPad makes presenting easy and kinda fun, and if you’ve added “presentation notes”, they’ll show up on the iPad’s display for you to see while only the presentation is seen by the audience.

    Edit: By the way, Keynote can indeed import and export Microsoft PowerPoint documents, but it isn’t ideal at all. You lose so many things in the import it’s scary. It’s the same as the Mac version in that way.

    Keynote for iOS: $9.99

  • Replacing iTunes

    This is a relatively easy one. For media viewing, iTunes is replaced by the iPad’s built-in Music and Videos apps. I have all my music stored in iCloud with iTunes Match — callable at any time in the Music app — and I can bring up any movies I’ve previously purchased through the iTunes Store with the iTunes Store iOS app. Speaking if the iTunes Store app, it’s also where I buy new music. However… most of my music listening and movie watching is done through the Pandora and Netflix apps, respectively.

    To me, most of the movies I have “ripped” from DVD which are stored on my Mac aren’t ones I’d want to watch more than once. And in any event, I can rent movies in 1080p HD for $4.99, which is great quality and worth the cash compared to even my best DVD rips. As far as device management is concerned, my iPad (and iPhone) are backed up to iCloud, automatically when left to charge while connected to WiFi. Everything I previously managed with iTunes can be managed on iOS devices themselves.

    iCloud: Free. iTunes Match: $24.99/year. Pandora: Free. Netflix: $7.99/month.

  • Replacing Preview and iPhoto

    Also something that shouldn’t be too surprising, I replace Preview and iPhoto on the Mac with iPhoto for iOS on the iPad. The surprising thing is iPhoto on the iPad is outright better than iPhoto on the Mac. iPhoto on the Mac is quite irritating, it feels very out of place with the rest of OSX. It’s clunky, organization is funky, and it’s just a mess. iPhoto on the iPad is a pleasure to use and makes sense, it’s really hard to explain. Quick edits are easy, sharing is easy, and organization is great.

    iPhoto for iOS: $4.99

  • Replacing GarageBand

    Are you getting it yet? My iPad replacement for GarageBand on the Mac is GarageBand for iOS. GarageBand for iOS isn’t near as fully featured as its desktop sibling, but it’s way more fun. For example, playing the drums with your fingers is a lot of fun, and directly manipulating each track and loop you’ve created is great. Compared to the Mac version, GarageBand has a whole lot less pre-made loops and you’re limited in the number of tracks you can create per song. All in all, I’m not gonna lie, I’m a horrible, horrible, horrible musician. But being horrible with GarageBand on the iPad is so much greater than being horrible with GarageBand on the Mac.

    GarageBand for iOS: $4.99

  • Replacing Safari, Mail, iChat, Live Messenger, and Skype

    Safari and Mail really are a given. The replacement for Safari on the iPad is Safari for iPad, and the replacement for Mail on the iPad is Mail for iPad. As with the apps on the Mac, Safari and Mail come pre-installed on iOS devices.

    As far as web browsing is concerned, using Safari on an iPad is so much better than using any web browser on a Mac or PC. Manipulating entire web pages with only an invisible sheet of glass dividing you and the pages is brilliant, and you really need to try it yourself to understand why. A lot of times when I find myself at a Mac or PC, I try to scroll through web pages by touching the computer screen. It’s that natural.

    For Mail, the only major difference between the Mac and iOS version is that the Mac version supports filters. Why the iOS version doesn’t is one of the mysteries of life. But what do I care, I don’t really use e-Mail anyway. ;-)

    As far as IM services go, iChat on the Mac is replaced by iMessage and FaceTime on the iPad, both of which come pre-installed. It should be noted that iMessage and FaceTime only allow you to talk to other people with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and/or Mac. And Skype for Mac is obviously replaced with Skype for iPad, which personally, I think is better than Skype on Macs and PCs. I’ve stopped using Live Messenger simply because no one I know uses it. Probably no one you know either.

    Skype for iPad: Free

  • Replacing Handbrake

    The replacement for Handbrake is no Handbrake. Even if the iPad did have a DVD drive, there’s no way I’d have any interest in watching a ripped DVD on my iPad’s 2048×1536 Retina Display. My eyes would burn. I don’t think anyone is interested in doing such a thing. The best thing is to rent 1080p HD videos from iTunes or to watch streaming Netflix movies, as mentioned way above.

  • Part III

    So, how about stuff I regularly use my iPad for which I never used my Mac for?

  • Games

    I’m not much of a gamer. I dig my Wii and DS, but I never really played games on a PC or Mac. Funnily enough, my iPad has made my Wii and DS collect dust. Here are the following iPad games I play:

    Jetpack Joyride: Free – Side Scroller

    Star Legends: Free – Sci-Fi MMORPG

    DragonVale: Free – Fantasy Puzzle

    Groove Coaster: $2.99 – Music/Rhythm

    osu!stream: Free – Music/Rhythm

    Words With Friends HD: $2.99 – Multiplayer Word Puzzle

    Sudoku HD: $2.99 – Number Puzzle

  • Another thing I didn’t do on my Mac was read books. Infact, I outright didn’t read books — I hadn’t read a non-textbook in probably 5 years. When I purchased my first iPad in 2010 I bought roughly $100 of iBooks books, and read them in less than a month. Flipping digital pages was entertaining enough to keep my attention, and since then I have been a reader. iBooks is also great for reading PDFs, and has been great for keeping all of them organized.

    iBooks: Free

  • My iPad also shines as a learning tool. I’ve written about the iTunes U app before, but a quick recap: Instructors at various universities upload course material — syllabus, video/audio lectures, slides, readings, homework — and people with an iOS device equipped with the iTunes U app can take full courses designed by these instructors, for free. I’ve learned more than I can express through iTunes U.

    iTunes U: Free

  • And finally, arguably the most interesting thing I do regularly, is blogging. The iPad is, undoubtedly, the best blogging device that there is. Ignoring the ten hour charge and the portability, the iPad is so great at consuming content, and it’s very easy to find inspiration for your own articles. The more information you intake, the more ideas of your own you have. While it’s not said much, content creators are probably the biggest consumers; relay that the next time someone dismisses iPad as useless because “it’s only good for consumption”.

    So, where do I get my information? My primary news source is Twitter, and the client I use and regard as the best is Tweetbot. I can also be found in the IMDb and TechCrunch apps. Obviously, Safari (already covered above) works too, but as far as news goes I use it for maybe three sites. The “Read It Later” app-service I use is Pocket, which is honestly the best Read It Later service I’ve used, and is integrated with many apps, including Tweetbot and TechCrunch. And for articles I catch in Safari, Pocket has a “bookmarklet” which, in short, is Safari integration. It rocks.

    And creating blog articles? It’s a breeze with the iPad. Going back to the ten hour charge and portability, I can be gone all day without a charger and get any amount of articles written in any amount of settings. The battery life and portability can’t be emphasized enough — it’s very valuable.

    The apps I write and publish with is iA Writer and the WordPress app, respectively. iA Writer is an amazing text editor, in writing view everything except the keyboard and text is hidden. No status bar or any distractions, just the keyboard, the text, and you. And the keyboard is custom, adding very useful keys which save you time. iA Writer is incredibly well thought out and it’s foolish for any iPad writer to not have it installed (Sidenote: iA Writer works with iCloud, so everything you write is automatically backed up in iCloud). When I’m done composing everything in iA Writer, I copy and paste the article into the WordPress app, preview and then publish. The WordPress app for iPad is actually better than the website, which I’m sure every WordPresser can appreciate.

    I also write for Unity Bond, and over there the service we use is Blogger. Unfortunately Google makes the Blogger publishing site suck immeasurably for iPad bloggers, and Google only makes a Blogger app for iPhone. The Blogger app works on the iPad, although it looks ugly “pixel doubled”, and it’s very basic. But hey, it’s better than nothing.

    Tweetbot: $2.99. IMDb: Free. TechCrunch: Free. Pocket: Free. iA Writer: $0.99. WordPress: Free. Blogger: Free.

  • So there you have it. That’s how I use my iPad, and more importantly, how I can outright replace traditional computers with it.

    And, finally…

    Part IV

    What are the iPad’s current shortcomings, to me? To get it out of the way, personally, I prefer the iPad’s software keyboard to a physical one (and keep in mind, if the keyboard wasn’t software, iA Writer wouldn’t be able to add those great custom keys). I can type roughly two times as fast on my iPad as I can on a traditional keyboard. I understand that I’m not everybody, however… If you didn’t know, the iPad works with the high majority of modern Bluetooth keyboards (Infact I’m not aware of any which it doesn’t work with).

    The only personal drawback which I can think of is that Apple hasn’t developed Xcode for iPad yet. Don’t get me wrong, I know next to nothing about app development, but I want to start learning, and as of this writing Apple forces developers to use Macs. Those jerks. However considering I don’t know how to develop at all at present, this is a nitpick. Oh yeah, and it would be nice if Keynote for iOS was half as good as the Mac version. So basically, I miss next to nothing about traditional computers.

    Fin

    I hope that this article has been useful to you, be you an iPad user trying to figure out how to use your device, or if you’re thinking about getting an iPad wondering how to use it. Or even if you’re not, I hope you found this interesting.

    By the way, it’s like five minutes to midnight. I made the day’s deadline! Also, happy 50 posts!!!

    Former

    August 11, 2012

    The next entry will be a whole lot less about my personal computing life, I swear!

    Two weeks ago on Twitter I speculated that I can’t really be called a Mac user anymore. It’s a weird thing, since I’m such an Apple enthusiast, to be a former Mac user.

    Sure, I own a MacBook Pro. But let’s look at the facts about my specific MacBook Pro:

    1. It’s six years old. 15.4″ 2.0 Ghz Intel Core Duo with 1 GB RAM from Jan 2006. It runs Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard while newer Macs can run 10.8 Mountain Lion.
    2. It’s rarely powered on. Rarely. The only times it’s on are when I need to manage something in iTunes or need to do something for school that I can’t do on my iPad.
    3. Nothing about what I use it for is platform-specific. The two things I use it for — which, again, is rarely — I can do on any bargain bin Windows box.

    By all accounts, I’m on Apple’s list of “potential” Mac users. I’m someone that Apple has to convince to purchase a Mac. I’m not a Mac user, I’m an iPad user. It’s a fascinating thought because two years ago I was looking forward to four more years with a 2009 MacBook Pro which I sold. How time changes things, eh?

    Here’s what Apple can do to entice me into purchasing a new Mac (27″ iMac):

    1. Include the Apple TV software (including AirPlay) as a Mac OS app or make it easy to hook up an Apple TV box to the iMac in Target Display Mode. An iMac that doubles up as an Apple TV-powered HDTV would be killer.
    2. Update the iWork apps for iOS to be explicitly on par feature-wise with the Mac OS versions. It would make switching between the iPhone, iPad, and iMac for work painless. As is, it’d be excruciating because of the incompatibilities.
    3. Make a version of XCode for iOS. I’m sincerely interested in writing iOS apps, but I loathe the idea of being tied to a traditional computer. I get that XCode commands a bit of screen real estate, but being able to make simple edits “on the go” with my iPhone and iPad would get me to invest time in learning how to write (and write) apps.
    4. Make a version of iBooks Author for iPad, with the same reasoning I gave for XCode in the previous paragraph.
    5. Retina Display iMac? Yes please.

    Any of those requests listed above would make me interested in purchasing an iMac, and a combination of any would push me over the edge into saving up for one.

    It’s interesting that most of that wish list — which, again, is what could make me want a Mac — is about making iOS devices more compelling for work independent of a traditional computer.

    82

    February 15, 2012

    It happened. Monday late at night, and after 82 days of hibernation in favor of strictly iOS devices, I removed my MacBook Pro from the shelf. I needed to to do homework for my Accounting class; the website we need to use doesn’t support iOS. While that’s the fault of a lazy web designer and not my problem, I’m not one to sacrifice my grade for a point that I’ve already made.

    I had originally planned to de-shelve my MacBook Pro at the beginning of the year, meaning that I bested my original goal by 2.5x. That’s an accomplishment, especially considering that many people thought that more than a week was impossible. Undoubtedly the argument will change to see, you could replace your traditional computer with an iPad for only 82 days! But alas, those are the people so stuck in the past that they can’t ever think of the future.

    The most interesting thing I discovered in these 82 days, however, is how quickly I was ready to put my MacBook Pro away again. After doing what I needed to do, without thinking I shut my MacBook Pro off and grabbed my iPad; it’s creepy how automated I was when putting it away. It’s something that I can’t express with words, but using a traditional computer was so unnatural that I was programmed to put it away the second I didn’t need to use it.

    And I think I know why using a traditional computer felt unnatural; because it is unnatural. When you think about it, using a traditional computer is one of the only things humans do which has a layer between people and the objects that they manipulate. When using a computer keyboard and mouse, people aren’t directly interacting with the content on screen.

    For example, if I create a Keynote presentation on my MacBook Pro, I’m only witnessing the results of my actions with the keyboard and trackpad. That isn’t a human way to interact with anything. With iOS devices, the layer separating the content from its creator is gone. When I create a Keynote Presentation on my iPad, my fingertips manipulate the objects; I touch what I make. There isn’t a more natural way to perform tasks.

    Pay attention to yourself throughout each day. Carefully examine how you manipulate every non digital object. Notice that when you want to eat food, you walk to the refrigerator, grab the handle, pull the door open, grab food, close the door, make your meal, and eat it. Notice that you didn’t push a few buttons to see your meal being made and shoved into your mouth. Every step was completed by you directly interacting with objects.

    The difference between iPads and traditional computers is the difference between pulling a door open and pushing the handicap button for it to open for you. Doing vs. witnessing. It really is that simple. And any instance where a task can only be completed on a traditional computer is artificial and will change with time. The iPad has only been around for two years, the transition period has barely started.

    56

    January 18, 2012

    The number of signers of the American Declaration of Independence.

    The number of consecutive days that I’ve voluntarily had my MacBook Pro collecting dust on a shelf.

    The number of consecutive days that my iPhone and iPad have acted as my only computers.

    And that number is only going to grow.

    Mobile Websites Suck

    January 7, 2012

    (Note: Most information presented below is anecdotal.)

    Perhaps one of the biggest irritants of the web is the sites that redirect “mobile device” users to mobile-formatted views. If you own an iPhone, you should be livid. You probably have spent $199 minimum with a multi-year contract to own a portable computer.

    (Yeah, iPhones are portable computers. If you disagree, you really don’t want to tell me.)

    People spend a lot of money to own computers that fit into their pocket. As iPhones are computers, a desktop-class web browser comes pre-installed in every one. So you can imagine a user’s disappointment when a web designer forces him or her to view something that pre-2007 Nokia users were accustomed to.

    In a nutshell? A web view should look the same on an iPhone as it does on an iPad as it does on a MacBook as it does on an iMac. All have a key thing(s) in common: They’re all really fast and ship with a web browser capable of viewing standards-compliant websites.

    If you remember the iPhone circa 2007, you’ll recall that it wasn’t feature-packed. There was no App Store. There was no iCloud. Users couldn’t even set their own home screen background. 2007’s iPhone is barren compared to what it is now. One reason it sold was because of Apple’s promise that users could browse full web pages without compromise.

    The biggest complaint of the first iPhone that I remember is that websites — MySpace (what’s that???) inparticular — redirected iPhone users to dull, barely-functional mobile-formatted websites. People are desensitized now, but back then a bunch of web designers made them feel almost lied to. For $500+, no less.

    And it’s not just that people want a desktop view on their desktop-class portable computer, it’s that most mobile-formatted websites are garbage. Mobile-formatted websites are typically ugly, add to the time it takes to complete a task (if there aren’t sub-menus in a desktop view, there shouldn’t be sub-menus in a mobile view), or both.

    It should be noted that not every mobile-formatted site is junk. There are some that are a treat to browse on an iPhone. The good ones are definitely few and far between, but the best I’ve run into is Bing (screenshot below). It feels more functional than the desktop version and it’s very clean.

    20120107-034911.jpg

    Again though, Bing is an exception to the rule.

    We’re in the year 2012. iPhones already overlap traditional computers in more ways than most people can count. It’s more than possible for average users to replace their entire PC with one. And to the best of my understanding some people already are. Just imagine what the computing landscape will look like in five years!

    Eventually more people will browse the web on their portable computers than on traditional computers. What happens then? Will iPhone users still be redirected to mobile views? Or will it be the reverse where people living in the past get redirected from mobile to desktop views?

    Anyone that hangs onto the idea of “mobile-formatted” sites is going to be left behind sooner rather than later.

    Sidenote: If you really want iPhone users to have a unique experience, write an app for your website. Many iPhone apps are much better to use than their desktop web counterparts on any device (i.e. the IMDb app [iTunes link]).

    UPDATE: Nate Garvison posted some additions to this piece in the comments section below. Be sure to read them, but here are some excerpts.

    If you design for every platform at the same time it is far more productive. Start with mobile and figure out how to adapt the CSS for different widths. …

    Something that needs to change over all is how people interact with things like buttons, links or anything that reacts to a mouseover. These are great on a mouse-and-pointer environment, but mobile is not like this. There is no interaction of a pointer. The user’s finger is the only interaction there is. …

    People need to start thinking about how it works on touch interfaces because I think, like you say, things are moving more in that direction for casual computing. …

    Living Without Flash, pt. II

    July 11, 2011

    Be the change you want to see in the world.

    -Mahatma Gandhi

    A while back I wrote an entry on how to live without Flash installed on your Mac, and it remains relatively popular. The method I put forth includes keeping Google Chrome around to visit websites which absolutely require Flash, since Chrome has a self-contained version of the plugin. As of today, I’m taking back what I said. Don’t keep Chrome around, stick with Safari, and quit viewing Flash content altogether. Allow me to explain.

    I don’t use my Mac very often because of my iOS devices. But every day I do, I notice myself reverting to Google Chrome once or twice. Every time I do, my Mac becomes a foldable grill, and the fans spin at full speed. Enough is enough. I’m quitting Flash for good, and I recommend you do the same, even if your problem isn’t as heated as mine.

    If you want to see the web in HTML5, you have to start by showing content creators that you can’t see their content. Only then will content creators move away from Flash development, since they want you to see their content. Every lost viewer is an unaffordable loss, and your voice absolutely matters. If you continue reverting to Google Chrome to view Flash content, you’re letting them win. If you want to see the world change, you have to change first. It will be hard, it will be painful, but you have to do it.

    And if an associate wants to show you something, but it’s in Flash, you can’t give in. If they really want you to see that content, they will deliver it to you in a standards-friendly format. They will kick and scream to no end, but this is what you say.

    If you don’t like it, then tough titties you ass turd monkey fucker!

    -Steve Coogan

    Don’t stay behind because others don’t want to move forward, and you will win in the end.

    Shadow Era

    June 20, 2011

    Callng all card gaming geeks! Sick and bedridden yesterday, touring the iOS App Store on my iPad, I discovered a neat little (Digital) collectible card game called Shadow Era [iTunes link]. It is cross platform, available for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch, Android devices, Mac OSX, Windows, and the game is completely online multiplayer (Meaning, an Internet connection is required to play it).

    Shadow Era is free to play, however you can purchase currency within the game, which is used to buy digital booster packs to make your playing deck with. Note that you can earn that currency for free, it just takes an excrutiatingly longer amount of time to earn than buy. Since I have no money, after an entire day kickin’ it in bed, I have an almost-complete badass deck built. As it stands, I win about four out of every five online matches I play.

    If you are into trading/collectible card gaming, I highly suggest you check out Shadow Era. With my day of testing, it is clearly an alternative to the traditional card games, and I have played a lot of ’em over the years. Shadow Era is available on every platform except Windows Phone 7 and the “other” platforms that nobody knows about. Maybe you will run into me, my gamer handle is MGLeet. See you around. :-)

    For more information, check out the official Shadow Era website.

    Living Without Flash

    May 20, 2011

    This one is for the Mac users of the world…

    I make it no secret that my iPad replaced my MacBook Pro as my primary computing device one year ago (May 22), and I’ve often viewed Apple’s banning of Adobe Flash on the iOS platform as a feature. On the Mac, Flash is slow, it’s exceedingly processor hungry, it turns my MacBook Pro into a portable George Foreman Grill, and there are security flaws up the wazoo. Since iOS is a variant of OSX, were Flash on iOS devices, it would behave identically to Flash on the Mac. The ten hour battery on my iPad would turn to five hours maximum, no doubt.

    But for some reason I never uninstalled Flash on my MacBook Pro, and suffered through Flash’s instabilities every time I’ve dusted off its cobwebs and took it for a spin (5.5 years old and it’s still awesome). That is, until about a week ago when I decided to use Flash no longer. Without a second thought I downloaded Adobe’s Flash Uninstaller and uninstalled the parasite. No Flash on my iPhone 4, no Flash on my iPad, and now no Flash on my MacBook Pro—Computing nirvana!

    Now pay attention…

    One issue I noticed right away however, is that most html5 content that is pushed to show on iOS isn’t pushed to show on desktop browsers. For example, instead of seeing playable videos on online.wsj.com like on iPad, I now see missing plugin messages in Mac Safari. It’s a really sad day when my iPad and iPhone 4 can play more videos on the web than my MacBook Pro can. So of course, you might now be thinking of keeping Flash around, despite it being a death wish. Never fear, if you’re a Safari totin’ Mac user, I have a solution! Just follow these steps.

    1.In the Safari application, navigate your way to Preferences (or key command ⌘,).
    Edit: key command ⌘, will only open Safari Preferences if the application you’re in is Safari. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

    2. Click on the Advanced tab and check the little “Show Develop menu in menu bar” checkbox at the bottom. Now a Develop tab will appear in the menu bar.

    3. Now, follow this path. Develop > User Agent > Mobile Safari 3.2 — iPad
    3a. Note that you will need to do this in every window you want to display html5 content. Any new browser windows you open will revert to the desktop Safari user agent.

    4. Browse the web like a king!
    4a. But if you REALLY need to use Flash in those few minor instances, I recommend downloading Google Chrome as a secondary browser. It has its own self-contained version of Flash built in, meaning all of Flash’s bugginess works only within Chrome.

    Note however that this is a Mac OSX solution. If you use Windows, I can’t help you. But if you know of a way to push html5 content to your browser (Such as Internet Explorer or Firefox*) instead of it always trying to give you Flash content, contact me and I will update this post immediately. It would be nice if we could all live Flash free!

    Edit 2: Google Chrome is available for Windows too, meaning if that’s your primary browser you can (should) uninstall Flash. But this entry is about a solution for viewing html5 content instead of Flash, not finding a way to view Flash content without having it installed. And, in my humble opinion, Chrome isn’t the best browser on any platform.

    *Edit 3: Forgot, Internet Explorer 9 supports html5 (But not 8 or below), and Firefox kinda supports it, but nothing below version 3.5.

    Edit 4: If I wasn’t clear, this solution is for Mac OSX 10.6+, and it requires the built in Safari web browser.

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