MBW Picks

A summary of the featured books, hardware, & software apps as selected by the hosts of MacBreak Weekly.

MBW Picks header image 2

Picks from MBW 52: Ten Cents A Dance

August 10th, 2007 · 14 Comments

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)…

Tags: Show Picks

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 MBW: New iMacs; iLife & iWork ‘08; .Mac; Anti-picks; and Merlin’s dirty little secret | 43 Folders // Aug 10, 2007 at 10:40 am

    [...] course, when I chose iCal as my anti-pick, I said it with love. Much [...]

  • 2 piminnowcheez // Aug 10, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    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.

  • 3 mayson // Aug 10, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    @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…

  • 4 Max // Aug 10, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    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.

  • 5 piminnowcheez // Aug 10, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    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.

  • 6 Geoff Evans // Aug 11, 2007 at 1:05 am

    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

  • 7 David // Aug 12, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    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.

  • 8 Nick // Aug 12, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    “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

  • 9 David Lanier // Aug 12, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    For a pretty easy, I’m just getting started, visual html editor, to stand in for iWeb, you could check out nVu. http://www.nvu.com/ Sure, it lacks Mac spiffiness, but it’s free and opensource.

  • 10 piminnowcheez // Aug 14, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for more good recommendations. What a swell crowd that hangs around here.

  • 11 Robert Gottlieb // Aug 17, 2007 at 3:43 am

    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.

  • 12 tycho garren // Aug 21, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    finder of course, but I hold out for the new things in leopard.

    iCal and TextEdit.

  • 13 wess // Sep 2, 2007 at 11:54 am

    i’m curious as to what merlin uses instead of ical?

  • 14 mayson // Sep 2, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    @wess – I think he’s gone to Google Calendar… check out episode 55.

Leave a Comment