You like Mac software, right? There’s great applications, there’s good applications, and then what?
Believe it or not, there are some really bad and ugly Mac software applications. Caveat emptor applies here, too.
I’m running through my list of newly released Mac applications to see what’s great, what’s good, what’s to be avoided. Does the name Duty Crew mean anything to you?
If it didn’t before now, close your eyes and try to forget the name, and move on to lunch, maybe some TV, or bang your hand with a hammer. All three experiences will be better than using this software.
I came across a news item for Duty Crew’s new web design software, dubbed a “Web Page Manufacturing System.” It’s more like a Bayer Aspirin magnet, than something to use.
Here’s how trying out Mac software should work. Download the software from the site. Double-click to open. Drag the software to your Applications folder. Double-click to use.
In some cases there might be a 30-day trial, perhaps a little reminder nag-ware, maybe even a crippled feature or two.
See how this one works for you (but don’t forget—you were warned).
Duty Crew starts off with a rather 1997-like web site which announces that making web sites is now easy for everyone on the planet. My question was, “which planet?” Because it’s not the Earth we know and love.
Bullet point #2 informs you that there are no restarts needed for Mac or Windows installs. Installing software requres a restart? Then there’s the bullet point about “easy to install and activate.” The Federal Trade Commission would have a field day with that lie.
Not to drag this out, but from the home page there’s a link to the “next page.” Are you counting? That’s two pages. Page #2 is a little about Duty Crew. I don’t want to disparage their efforts or their genealogy, as I’m sure someone worked hard on Duty Crew.
I just don’t know why. On to Page #3 with yet another Next Page link. This one asks the question, “How can it be described to mere mortals.” Uh oh. I’m gonna pay for this. I know it. If not money, more aspirin.
Duty Crew says, “We have yet to find anybody who is not amazed by this system.” Remember, it’s a system to build web pages. Hint: I’m not amazed. If you are, then you’re not actually living on Earth. Click Next Page to yet another page.
What does it do? What is it? More bullet points describe web page design, build, and implement stages; things like menus, and graphics, and uploading. Guess what? Another Next Page link.
This page says Duty Crew is cross platform (except that it only runs on Macs—so far, and so they say). It’s multi-lingual. US English and UK English. There’s something about a subscription and how they devoted 5 man-years to build. Uh oh. Human man-years? Next Page link again.
There’s a full 30 day test period (which is about the length of time you’ll need to get it installed and running, not including time to figure out how it works). Guess what? Yet another Next Page link. I’ve lost count.
How fast is it? They put together a 20 page web site with images in under 20 minutes. That’s 20-minutes in Pluto-planet time, I’m sure. Yet another Next Page link. Is someone keeping count?
Duty Crew asks the question, “Don’t I need to be some kind of technical guru to use it?” Perhaps not. You may need to be remarkably lucky, though. Or, living on another planet, say, Bizarro World. Yes, here it comes—another Next Page link.
This page asks, “When can I get it?” Right now. Almost. Click the link for the Downloads section. I don’t remember how many pages that is total, but my index finger is sore and I think I broke Mighty Mouse. The download is over 65-megabytes.
What’s in Duty Crew that revolutionizes the construction of web pages? I’ll never tell. Well, actually, I’ll never tell because I may not very well know. Inside the download is the Apache web server, the PHP scripting engine, Portable Camino, the web browser—all of which are free.
Also included is the Duty Crew application, and a bunch of other files, including what appears to be PHP files that comprise the package.
Double clicking on the Duty Crew icon gets a dialog box, which, when clicked, gets yet another dialog box, which gets information from you in the form of an email address, a password, and a promise to register your 30-day trial specifially to your machine.
The enclosed PDF instruction document devotes 15 pages merely to get through the registration process. That’s right. 15 pages. Therre’s only 67 pages in the whole document.
Page 17 says, “Now you get to use it.” Page 18 says, “Creating New Sites.” I think that should have been on Page 2. Duty Crew comes with an embedded version of Portable Camino, the web browser, and you basically build web sites within the browser.
Instructions are basic. Kindergarten basic. Actually, more basic than that. Remember those kids in school who were “special?” They’d be even more special after trying to build a web site in Duty Crew.
I love crystal clear instructions. Like this one: “Do NOT refresh this page. If you do, there will probably be an error message or an unexpected result generated.” How’s that for a warning. It was printed in red.
Rapidweaver, you have nothing to worry about.
Duty Crew reminds me of the old Mozilla web browser (now Sea Monkey), which has a component called Composer, which lets you build web sites. Duty Crew is more complex, less forgiving, but far more colorful.
Site appearance can be changed through buttons on the left column. Default layout can be modified in a similar manner. The pages are rather blocky, but they look like web pages. There’s plenty of control over the size and placement and color of fonts; mostly point and click.
The end result of your web site design is a simple template look, circa 1997, or Blogspot, complete with a header and menu structure, both of which can be altered. In the end, you get what you pay for, right?
Pay? IF there’s a price tag on Duty Crew I couldn’t find it. Aspirin and sedatives are not free, so why should Duty Crew be free? If it is free, then terrorists have found a new way to strike terror into the hearts of anyone who ever thought of building a web site.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
At Mac360, we don’t have a “Worst Software On The Mac Award.” As they say, ‘necessity is the mother of invention,’ so this would be one mother of a winner.
PS – I found something about pricing. There’s some kind of “credits” deal going on which ranges in price from $3.90 to $50.85. If you can figure it out, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn which I’d like you to buy.