Cool toys and great applications make me hot. Hot for the Mac. Here’s what’s hot on my desktop right now.
I ordered the 60 gigabyte model as soon as they were announced. By Friday evening, despite Apple saying they were shipping, I had yet to receive a shipping notice.
As is often the case on Friday nights, I hit the local Apple Store in Ala Moana Center and looked around. No new iPods. In fact, no iPods on the shelves at all. The upgrade to Apple’s Logic 7 was there, so I bought that instead.
By chance, I asked the sales associate (I don’t want to call them clerks; Apple specialists, maybe?) how their stock of iPod Photos was holding out. “Let me check in the back. I know we have some that just arrived,” said the clerk specialist.
Whoa. Can that be? iPod Photos were just introduced Tuesday. Apple said they were shipping but who expected them in the stores? “Not I,” said the smiling mature female Mac user with the silver hair.
A few minutes later the Apple specialist came out of the back door carrying a brand spanking new, still-in-the wrapped cube box, iPod Photo; 60 gigabytes of the hottest cool Tera could get.
The 60 gigabyte iPod Photo was one of only a few left, so I took it, thinking I could phone Apple and cancel my previously online order (I’ve never done that, but I’ve always thought about doing it). Unfortunately, the online store was closed (it’s later here in Hawaii than anywhere else except a few fishing trawlers in the Pacific), so I had to wait until Saturday morning.
Saturday morning was eventful as I received my email confirmation of a shipping iPod Photo direct from Shanghai, China. Whoops. That’s two high end iPod Photos. eBay here I come. Maybe.
Well, I bought and paid for the 5.1b3 version of the OmniWeb browser. This is a very sweet, rapidly maturing Mac application and could be the best browser to ever see life on any computer (Camino, Firefox, Safari not withstanding).
I’ve used it non-stop for a couple of weeks. It’s become such a pleasure to use that I finally made one more adjustment to my Mac. OmniWeb is now my preferred browser (you can make the switch in the Preferences so that OmniWeb is the default browser instead of whatever you’re using now).
This was not an easy switch to make, mostly because Safari is so good. OmniWeb seems a little faster and those extra features start making themselves at home. The problem, of course, is that you have to go through the trouble of trying it out and using it instead of Safari (assumes you’re using Safari; perhaps Camino, Firefox, IE). Change can be good.
Remember, nothing improves without change.
Right now, OmniWeb is as hot as me in high heels after two drinks. Give it try. It costs nothing to download and give it a test spin. If, after a week of use, you’re not using it, let me know.
Photoshop Elements 3.0
OK, it’s been a couple of weeks of steady use with the real thing (not a pre-release). There’s no doubt you will enjoy using Elements 3.0. Adobe did their homework by incorporating some formerly tough-to-use professional features from the full version of Photoshop.
My favorites? The filters. There are dozens. Change any photo into a work of art using mosaic, stained glass, texturizer, and many more. I didn’t have a chance to check the web page gallery earlier. It’s an excellent addition and features Adobe’s graphic touch. You’ll be able to make professional looking web page galleries with just a click.
Now, if you don’t make web pages, that’s OK. The photo galleries are saved as web pages so you can create a whole bunch of galleries, transfer and burn to a CD, hand out to family and friends. They can view them using any web browser.
Problems? One so far, and it’s serious. I can’t figure out how to copy and paste from iPhoto directly into Photoshop Elements. The “paste” function only yields a blank white window.
My two hottest fall TV shows? Desperate Housewives and Lost. Lost is filmed in Hawaii on a North Shore beach (mostly Kualoa Ranch). Desperate Housewives is superbly done. Both are TiVo-able. Without a TiVo? Use your Mac.
I’ve been running El Gato’s EyeTV as my office TV, PVR, video recorder for about a month. When Apple gets wise and buys or builds a personal video recorder, I’ll be the first to rejoice.
In the meantime, I’m getting serious mileage from EyeTV. It’s a small box about half the size of a 12” PowerBook. Plug a TV cable into one connector, plug a Firewire connector from the EyeTV device to your Mac, and TV shows up in a resizeable window on your Mac.
You can record programs, play them back, burn to DVD or CD, edit, whatever. Hot and cool at the same time. Just like me?
Right now, these are the hottest things on my Mac. I’ll give you full review on the iPod Photo later this week.
What’s hot on your Mac? What’s the coolest application you’ve installed recently? Share your experience with other Tera-readers. Click on the Comments link below to share (totally anonymous, if you wish).