Latest Leopard Rumor: iLife and iWork included

According to this ThinkSecret Article, Apple is shipping Leopard in June and it will come with iWork 07 and iLife 07. While some of the Leopard rumors I’ve read require a big grain of salt, I think this one has got some legs for the following reaons (some of which are stated in the article, but I agree with).

  • At WWDC last year, Steve Jobs announced some of Leopard’s features would remain Top Secret so Microsoft didn’t copy them.
  • Since then, we’ve seen nothing from Apple about Leopard, iLife or iWork. Not even at Macworld this year.
  • Because Vista was pretty much feature-locked during last August’s WWDC, there’s not much that Apple could have done that Microsoft would have been able to react to…
  • … unless of course that was bundling the Apple version of Office. Granted, Pages isn’t anywhere near as powerful as Office, but it doesn’t take a big-time copywriter to come up with the next “Mac vs. PC Ad”: “See, PC, my new OS comes with a photo management suite, a movie maker, a dvd maker, a web page creator, a word processor and presentation software. What does yours come with? Oh, Paint and Wordpad. How quaint!”

One of the other rumors floating around is iWork and iLife are going to be heavily dependent on Leopard’s features (my guess is Core Animation, Spaces and Time Machine) and with potentially not much else in Leopard to make it a must-have upgrade, adding in iWork and iLife makes Leopard a tremendous value, assuming the price doesn’t go up too much.

Apple has said recently that Leopard is on-track for a Spring release, and the latest developer builds still don’t have anything that could be considered Top Secret. Bundling the two packages would be considered Top Secret, and wouldn’t interfere with the Spring release.

Update to Word Processors

I checked out NeoOffice and while they claim it’s a lot faster on loading, it still feels like it loads slower than Word via Rosetta. Plus the interface is still ugly, and I’m not happy with how it does commenting (you need to mouseover the highlighted text). So that’s out of the running still.

For my personal writing, I checked out Scrivener (http://www.literatureandlatte.com) and it looks like a fine, but complicated app. One feature I do enjoy is the notecards, where you can storyboard out an idea and change the order of the cards–very similar to how you’d do it with real 3×5 cards.

In the end, it looks like I’m sticking with Word for a while. I forgot Omni Outliner came with my Macbook and an initial tour of its features and ease-of-use was impressive, so I’ll give it a shot outlining story I’m working on.

Not happy with any OSX Word Processors

By and large, I have simple needs when it comes to word processing. All I really need is: Intel Native code that runs fast; commenting and footnoting (and maybe TOC), and a default save option that is a Word compatible file format–RTF is acceptable.

So far, all of my options are “pick any two.”

MS Word
– Not Intel native, so runs a tad pokey under Rosetta.
+ Does commenting
+ Native file format that can be read on the PC.

Apple Pages, part of the iWork suite
+ Intel Native and runs quite fast
+ Does commenting quite well
– Default save is in a proprietary format

Nisus Express
+ Intel Native and runs well
– No commenting
+ Default save is in RTF

NeoOffice
– While Intel Native, runs no faster than Word in Rosetta
– Does commenting, but the comments aren’t inline
+ Native file format is PC-compatible.

Right now, I’m sticking with Word as the lesser of two evils. I really liked how quick and easy Pages was, and may still use it for documents I’ll never need to send out–DVD Cases and the like. Nisus is coming out with a Pro version soon that may incorporate commenting. Office is coming out with an Intel version later this year, but it’s using the non-backwards-compatible file formats that Word 2007 use. So, while I’m likely to get that as well, having to do a save-as is going to be a pain in the ass. NeoOffice is coming out with a new version next week and I’ll have to see if it is any faster.

As a writer, I really need to gel with my word processor. OSX has a lot of features that make my life so much more productive, it’s just a shame I can’t get a word processor to do what I think are three simple items.

2 Gig of Ram

I upgraded my Macbook to 2 gig of ram this weekend. I’m amazed at the difference from 1g. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a huge difference. My gaming rig I notice the 2g in games only; not so much in day-to-day stuff. But, with how much I have running on the Mac (Entourage, Word, Camino, Firefox, Adium, Quicksilver, and the real memory hog: Parallels Desktop running XP in a virtual) the computer is much more snappy. Before, it would kind of have that “I ate too much” feeling when I tried to do too much. Now, I barely notice a slowdown.

RSS= Really Shitty Sycnronization?

Ok, I thought this shit was easy, but hear my tale. A tale of three RSS readers: Itunes, Bloglines, and NewsFire. The feed in question: GeekBrief’s HD podcast feed.

Taking the URL (http://www.podshow.com/feeds/hd.xml) and pasting it into the various RSS readers yielded two results:

Bloglines: Saw all the available episodes and let me download them.
Itunes: Got nothing.
NewsFire: Got nothing.

How is this possible? I can see if the feed itself is just messed up, by why is Bloglines the only one that can see this?

Quicksilver Rocks

There’s a great little freebie productivity app for OSX named Quicksilver, and it’s become a staple of my daily use. Simply put, it’s a launcher for OS X. More detailed, it’s a “launch and do something with this” tool.

Here’s its simplest form: I hit CTRL-SPACE to invoke Quicksilver. I then type in the first three or four letters of a program I want to launch (W-O-R-L-D) and “World of Warcraft” appears in a little two-pane window, with “Open” as the default action. Pressing the Enter key then launches WoW. Great, saves space on the old dock.

But, it gets better. Lets say I have a handful of photos I want to upload to Flickr. I go into the Finder, select the photos, hit CTRL=Space again. and this time hit command-g. This puts the selected items into the first action pane in Quicksilver. I then hit the tab key, type in Flickr, and there pops up the action “Upload to Flickr with tags.” I then press TAB to get to the third pane and type in the tags I want. Press Enter and the files get uploaded.

But wait, theres more! As part of my routine I need to upload a zipped file of screenshots to PC Gamer. Now, I could invoke Quicksilver, type in the enough of the name for it to find the file, then press TAB and type in “upload to site” and then tab again and have it choose the PC Gamer bookmark from Transmit. That’s an awful lot of work for a simple thig, So instead I can assign that whole action to what’s called a Trigger. I can tell it to take the Current Selection (so it’s not always the same zip file), tell it to upload to PC Gamer and assign a trigger to it, in this case command-ctrl-‘. Now, when I select something in Finder and press those three keys, off it goes to PC Gamer’s site.

The program rocks.