I have been using Macs since 1984 and in that time I never declared to have a favorite application. It is time for me to commit and admit that I have a favorite.
That application for me is Bento by FileMaker. I have used FileMaker’s traditional flat file database product all along but always had to justify its use and selection. At times I have had to compromise missing SQL functions and features often demanded in business.
Leave it to Filemaker to figure out how to best leverage the strengths of Filemaker into a unique solution that trumps all the disadvantages.
Bento now in its 4th revision is that solution, or should I say framework for solutions. If you use a Mac you owe it to yourself to take a look at Bento and decide if it is right for your purposes.
Even though I am a harsh critic I have to give Bento 5 stars and make it my very first Publisher’s Choice product.
If I had the financial warchest that Apple has I would buy FileMaker in order to acquire Bento and promote it heavily to Mac, iPad and iPhone users even if it hair lips the entire marketing division.
So what exactly is Bento? And what does it do? (more to follow…)
Three things jump out at me to start:
- The initial $49 purchase price and costs of upgrades $29 and $4.99 for related apps are more than reasonable and compelling.
- On the Bento Template Exchange there are tons of free templates available that do just about any and everything you might need.
- Bento development is ongoing and rock solid.
You can try Bento for 30 days: http://www.bentotrial.com/trial/form/entry.aspx
5/24/11 Addendum: Just when I put my full endorsement behind Bento the company launches a major push behind the full version of FileMaker as a solution for businesses. That doesn’t lessen its use for personal productivity but it does lead to issues that have long haunted those of us that promoted Filemaker over the years. Mainly who and what is it right for and how does it compare to Oracle, SQL and other Enterprise-level solutions?
Android phones vary from cool to blazing hot. But the fact is there are way too many of them for any of us to be easily able to narrow down our options to best choices. It takes an intense exercise in comparative shopping to get it right, if there is a right in such a fast moving field. It seems like there’s a new phone released every five minutes.
The following short list may help the impatient buyer. I will endeavor to update it weekly. Optimum choices usually will break down into desired carrier because we all have our prior experiences, preferences and dislikes.
• HTC Evo Shift 4G
• Samsung Epic 4G
• Motorola Atrix 4G
• Samsung Galaxy S 4G
• MyTouch 4G
• LG Optimus 2X AKA G2X
• HTC ThunderBolt
• Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
• Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
• Google Nexus One
• Motorola Droid PRO
Apple’s got a real problem on its hands! Its called the HTC Thunderbolt.
I finally got my hands on an HTC Thunderbolt and the tenor of the positive feedback and stories are indeed true. It is a very good phone, If there really is an iPhone killer out there and that is not just a figment of an overzealous marketer’s imagination and hype, then the HTC Thunderbolt is about the closest I’ve seen from among all the hordes of pretenders and want-to-be’s to hit the market. HTC Thunderbolt’s are literally flying off the shelves of Verizon stores in numbers closely matching those of the iPhone 4. Right off, the extra screen space impresses, but overall, the Thunderbolt’s functionality and full set of advanced smartphone features users are looking for in a new device doesn’t hurt. HTC has been in the business making good phones for quite a while now since they came out with the G1 and now they seem to have poured their experience, expertise and design talents into the new Thunderbolt and have a sure-fire hit on their hot hands. Recently, I get more web page hits for Thunderbolt info than for iPhone. Apple needs to listen for the footsteps coming up behind them and be on notice. It’s time for Cupertino to stand and deliver on a newly crafted next generation iPhone 5.
Thunderbolt chimes in with a nice hi-res 4.3″ screen, 8MP camera, LED flash, in-camera effects and a 720p HD camcorder, 4G uploads, Built-in DLNA connectivity to support your flatscreen. Thunderbolt functions as a mobile hotspot turning your phone into a wireless router, providing Wi-Fi™ connections and 4G power to up to five devices. With a 1GHz Snapdragon Processor and Verizon’s 4G network users can expect robust performance.
On 2/24 Apple rounded out their roster of laptop products by refreshing the line that started it all and changed the face of computing. Ever since then, the mobile computer industry has been attempting to catch up and in some cases even leapfrog past Apple, but even the mighty Microsoft found this a massive challenge. Well, now Apple has complimented their MacBook AIR series of laptops with a cool mix of three new MacBook Pros 1.) a 13-inch MacBook Pro 2.) a 15-inch MacBook Pro and finally, 3.) a new 17-inch MacBook Pro. See the BLOG link above for more info, or visit apple.com for full specs or to order.
New MacBook Pro!
The New Mac Book pro
Well the Rumors circulating in inner circles, were true, and the recent refresh of Apple’s popular Macbook Pro laptop lineup just came down, and it was indeed quite snazzy to longtime MacBook owners and users . Some stores were expecting “Do Not Touch!” sealed packages. Apple also began discreetly informing European resellers to be on the lookout for delivery of sealed “Do Not Touch!” product pallets.
Apple, as has been their fashion, was being super-secretive and gave terse warnings that retailers daring to open, touch or peek into these shipments before an official announcement would be in “deep doo-doo”. Those familiar with Apple believed they were serious about yanking reseller licenses from ANY dealer or retailer that got too nosy in advance of the official announcement. It worked!
Shipments of older models were subsequently phased out, which indicated to the observant that something new was indeed imminent. We are among the many that were waiting for just this for quite a while and are thrilled that these rumors were in fact true. Visit my Blog page link above or go to Apple.com to get the “full skinny”.
There are three models in the new MacBook Pro series:
13-inch MacBook Pro
15-inch MacBook Pro
17-inch MacBook Pro
Apple held an iPad 2 Press Event Wed. March 2 at Yerba Buena Center in S.F. where the innovative company unveiled a new version of the hugely popular and industry-leading Apple iPad, as expected the newly revealed iPad 2 was thinner, lighter and featured a host of features and a few improvements that included a front-facing camera and a rear-facing HD camera for Facetime video chat support. Some reports suggested it would be powered by one of Qualcomm’s but in the end it was a Dual-core A5 chip promising greater performance. A 10 color magnetic smart covers allowing an autowaking state also serves as a stand. It maintains important specs and comes in at the same pricing levels as the previous version.
To use a metaphor, Apple “came out swinging for the fenses”. Knowing that they face mounting competition from many “me-to” tablet manufacturers, like Blackberry who waited until the very eve of Apple’s event to announce the Blackberry Playbook and by effect declare all-out war. Most other competitors plan to use the Honeycomb version of Google’s Android mobile operating system and by CES 2012 they will attempt to muddy the water, and pimp their wares. Meanwhile, Steve Jobs, still on leave dealing with ongoing health issues took the stage to a standing O. Many were really glad (jazzed) to see him looking well and still deep in the mix.
The iPad is the single greatest defining (read that, disruptive) product other than the iPhone and iPod to profoundly shape up or shakeup a whole new market and by effect enhance or deeply impact and change the whole computer industry. We must anticipate and wait to see exactly how Apple will creatively respond with an iPad 2 to the mounting competition of Android and Windows 7 Tablet upstarts . Those rivals, however still lack a successful App Store and developer community to rival Apple’s.
Notes from the Presentation on iPad 2 features:
They started out by declaring it “completely redesigned”, bringing new advances in form and function
- 1/3 thinner
- 15% lighter
- duo-core A5 chip ( 2X fast 9X graphics performance)
- Colorful Magnetic smart cover
- Full 10 hrs battery life
- Front facing and rear-HD facing camera
- Photo booth editing
- iMovie editing
- Touch instruments
- Video Mirroring
- New Gyro