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My Mac Workflow

It took some adjusting and rearranging but I think I’m finally comfortably settled into my little Mac Mini as my primary work machine. I had tons of software for Windows so I had to take it on the chin, and load some trialware to get fully operational but I made it.  The hardest part now is remembering to hit Ctrl+Tab NOT Alt+Tab. So here’s what I ended up with to do my Web Design and Web Application development thing with.

This biggest problem I had was “glueing” things together. I needed a simple program to help me keep track of various projects. I had been using CarbonFin Outliner on my iPhone and liking that a lot. Outlining is a way to give structure to the structureless. I would use CFO to create my core framework. I could then push it to the web, and download it to the Mac.

Once on the Mac I open it in this lifesaver of a program called “Notebook” from Circus Ponies. This made me breathe easier. I have a master notebook that opens when the Mac boots. In the Master Notebook is a hyperlink to the project specific notebooks. On my real life desktop is a notebook that is the powered down whoopsie data capture device. I can still write faster than I can type on the iPhone (hello iPad).

The project specific Notebooks are saved into the “assets” folder of the individual web projects. Circus Ponies’ Notebooks can hold Outlines, Notes, or clips from wherever. AND best of all CPN exports to CFO and vice versa. So I have a clumsy loose place to hold my notes until they can be shoved into Calendar (I’m using the Mac supplied one with Mobile Me) or emails sent (using the Mac supplied with Mobile Me).

For my productivity suite I picked iWork ’09 over Office. I liked the way Numbers worked and I liked Keynote better than Powerpoint. Let’s face it, it’s not how you say it – it’s what you say. With the iPad having an iWork counterpart I felt it better to learn them now.

I’m using Dreamweaver and Fireworks CS3 for web development and will continue to do so until Adobe guts Fireworks for Photoshop. CS3 still has individual letter kerning which I can’t get working in the Windows version of CS4. I do really miss being able to have different sized pages within Fireworks – a lot. I have compromised by just using slices sized to my Divs. If someone wants to swap a Mac Adobe Creative Suite Web Standard – just holler.

For photos, I’m using Canon’s Digital Professional Photographer to convert my Canon G11 RAW photos to jpgs because Adobe won’t update Photoshop CS3 to work with new cameras. Again if you have Photoshop CS4 Mac and want to move to Windows – I’m your man.

Life is good though. I’ve noticed a couple of odd phenomena.

Not having tons of extraneous software to download for free helps me stay focused. Even though my Mac seems to show no signs of slowing down over time like my Windows boxes do. I have almost no unexpected shutdowns or “program not responding” even with a puny 2GBs of RAM on an older Mac Mini. I am having to scrape up pennies here and there when pennies are hard to come by for little things like an ODBC driver.

For data I’m using Filemaker Pro 10 Advanced and MySQL Workbench. Filemaker connects through the Actual ODBC Driver to my MySQL databases. This allows me to populate my tables with data very quickly. Something I just couldn’t get to work on Windows in a way that compares as far as ease of use goes. I’ve always wondered why in 2010 we can’t just draw our forms and start entering data. Filemaker reminded me that the reason I miss it, is because I could do it back in 1997 with the Claris version of Filemaker.

I haven’t found HyperCard yet. My first love of programming was that weird quirky software that worked with flipping through a card deck. Rest in peace Bill you were WAAAAAY ahead of your time.

More later. Happy SXSW – those of you that made it.


About xackr

Xacking is zenhacks through tech (preferably) lo-cost hi-perf tech. Bootstrapping yourself to rockstar status without breaking bank or stones. I started the idea of xacking as being a way to carry flash drives around with all your key stuff. Now you can stick a computer on a stick. I've since drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and explore bang for buck when the initial buyin is HIGH but quality. The secret? Make it last a long time.


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