Picks from MBW 52: Ten Cents A Dance

antipicksThis week – the anti-picks… Merlin Mann offers the question, “What’s the crappiest application that ships with a Mac?”

This is a fun question – what’s your least favorite? I’d have to go with Stickies (how original)…

14 thoughts on “Picks from MBW 52: Ten Cents A Dance”

  1. I’d have to agree with Merlin; iCal is infuriating in all the things it doesn’t do, that it oughta do.

    Not infuriating, but kind of frustrating: Leo carrying on, and everyone else agreeing, that iWeb is a trap, without ever mentioning alternatives that they like. I was just about to go poking around iWeb, and I’m happy to have been saved, but I got nothin’ to go on for where to look next.

  2. @piminnowcheez — I always thought iWeb was kind of a restricted way to develop, but really, it’s great if you want to put something together fast, and don’t know/want to learn the technical side of things. Leo referred to how you don’t really have to know HTML anymore, but…you do if you want to use a CMS like Drupal or WordPress. That is unless you use a given template and don’t want to customize/modify (in that case – you’re kinda in the same trap you were in with iWeb).

    We have a client that only develops sites in iWeb. When he signed up with us, I thought his business didn’t have a bright future – but he’s been going strong for about 1.5 years. Depending on what you are doing and who your target is – a lot of people still only want a 5 page brochure site that looks great. iWeb is perfect for that.

    The code iWeb generates is CRAZY though!

    Apps I use for development include:

    – CMS’s like WordPress and Drupal
    – TextMate
    – Coda
    – DreamWeaver
    – CocoaMySQL
    – Photoshop Elements (ha! I know)

    For what it’s worth…

  3. iCal is great. I use it every day. I haven’t yet listened to the episode so I am not aware of Merlin’s dislikes. I suppose there are some areas in which it could be improved. I must admit though – I do prefer Outlook’s calendar.

    Coda is what Leo uses. It his mentioning of it that made my check it out. I love it and use it every day now.

  4. Thanks for the recommendations. I was sensitive to Leo’s comments about iWeb exactly because I was looking for something that would let me start from zero web-development knowledge (where I am now), but transition over time to ALL-POWAHFUL!! (BWAH-HAHAHAHA!) as I learned along the way. So the trap Leo warned of was something I particularly wanted to avoid.

    I have a copy of TextMate, which I have no idea how to use; I think I have access to DreamWeaver at work; and I had a look at Coda which looks good as far as I can tell, but is a tad spendy for where I’m at now. Maybe I’ll try starting with DreamWeaver and have another look at Coda in time.

    Thanks again.

    Oh, and: iCal isn’t great. It’s *almost* great, which is what makes it infuriating.

  5. Microsoft Office would have to be the worst app pre installed
    Also i would have to say that iCal and Digital Color meter would have to be great apps

  6. I like iCal. There are two things missing from it for my uses (which do not include group scheduling):

    Customizable snooze (the intervals that are offered are not often what I want).
    Two-way web calendar. Sometimes I’m out at an office site and want to enter an event on my iCal; I can’t do it from the web. Wish I could.

  7. “I have a copy of TextMate, which I have no idea how to use”

    You can mark-up pretty quickly in TextMate by writing plaintext structured with Markdown syntax:

    http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax

    TextMate has a bundle to automatically convert Markdown-formatted text to HTML. That’s a nice way to write HTML in TextMate — although not the only way, of course.

    But you’d probably want to learn HTML first to have some idea of what you are short-cutting around. HTML isn’t hard to learn, although using what you learn imaginatively and well is another matter, of course. There are good basic books on it, and a few good online resources to step you through learning the tags and putting them together — here’s one:

    http://www.htmldog.com/

    If you want to use a WYSIWYG editor, then NVU is fine and costs nothing. It’s a kind-of Mozilla offshoot, building on the old Netscape Composer:

    http://www.nvu.com/index.php

  8. RE: David and two-way calendering:

    There is something called GCalDaemon: http://gcaldaemon.sourceforge.net/ that basically sync’s iCal to your Google Calendar. I use it and it works quite well. Just follow the directions exactly as they are written – like it is a recipe.

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