If you are a serious Mac user and have done any level of coding or web development you have probably used, are addicted to, considered using or at the very least have looked at using BBEdit. by Bare Bones Software.
This powerrful and versatile editor’s tool has been a rock solid staple in many code developer’s arsenal for many years and unlike other more lightweight or limited options has managed to maintain and improve steadily over the years and through web innovation anf huge web development changes.
In all the hustle and bustle of movement towards bite-sized apps and specific tools BBEdit has received very little attention and actually seems to be a best-kept insider secret among knowledgable Mac users.
If you have done your research and homework and are considering doing any level of advanced web coding you really owe it to yourself to take a good hard long look at BBEdit. (A hint: For once. read the manual!)
Although it is not really just an app in the latest sense but is actually more a full-blooded Application, Bento by Filemaker has found its way into my heart and into my core of essential applications for my journalism duties and general business productivity. I have been a Filemaker user about as long as I have used Macs, and since the very first versions I always thought Filemaker had potential and was very useful for building quick powerful (if not necessarily universal relational) database solutions. The power of Filemaker development and use is the rationale and business model that has lead to Filemaker’s launching of Bento now in its forh version. There is a very extensive depository of free templates available in the Bento Exchange allowing users to select from among a number of bite-sized business, organizational, education and productivity solutions to add to one’s Bento solution platform. This is actually a very creative approach that places the exceptional work of many filemaker developers in front of tons of new users.
Filemaker provides a program trial so you can see if you like it prior to purchase. Then if you do, the purchace price is reasonable enough to compel you to dive right in. Then you can begin explorign the Template Exchange to discover and download solutions that fit your workflow or needs. Once you start using Bento you will be surprised just how truly useful it can actually be and it will be hard to imagine how you got along without it.
I strongly applaud the Filemaker team for thinking outside the Bento Box and coming up with this approach. I only wish that other companies (especially in Cupertino) could be as creative and forward thinking.
The fact that you can go in and continue to customise and modify the templates by adding or deleting fields as you chose I think puts Bento into the realm of The Best. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Bento a firm 10, and a big “Right On” to the whole team that made it happen. Good Job!
Survival for somewhat smaller niche market magazines is tenuous and steadily losing retail rack space. San Francisco-based MacLife has thankfully managed to hang in there. First by merging with MacHome Magazine, and then by getting acquired by the Future Publishing Company. The overall print quality has benefited by the later move and the content by the first. I still miss MacHome’s bonus CD’s that were shrink-wrapped with each month’s issue and accompanied by online free resources, product trials and shareware. The current publication stands tall among Mac Mags. It also looks like it is morphing onto the web under the names DigitalLife and MacLife and as an iPad/iPhone app as MacLife.
If you are a seasoned long-time Mac user, a recent convert or a newbie iPhone, iPad adoptee, the one publication resource you need to be aware of and maybe consider subscribing to is “Mac Directory”. It may be somewhat hard to find in less than full and complete newsstands or at MacWorld Expos but you can look it up online and put in your subscription. A more complete and useful publication for Apple enthusiasts you will not find. It contains articles, product listings, contact information, product advertisements and the ocassional product review. Mac Directory has been around quite a while and has artfully managed to survive and thrive where countless others have miserably failed. It is affordable, subscriptions are available and the print quality is excellent.
At the moment (3/14/11) I am uncertain why their site is down but hopefully that is a only temporary condition. Check back soon.