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Monday, 2 November 2009

Mac Life - Part 6 - Readers Questions Answered

You can thank Neil for this Part 6 because when I started replying to his comment to Part 5: "[I would...] be interested to hear how you got on with your software switches. For instance, I use Dreamweaver, Fireworks, IPSwitch FTP etc. Presumably, you can download MAC versions and use original License Key?" my reply got so long I thought it deserved this follow up post.

There's good news and bad news on the software switching front.
I also use Adobe Dreamweaver and Fireworks and the REALLY bad news is you have to buy a NEW licence - you didn't really think Adobe would miss a chance to screw even more money out of you did you?
The not-quite-so-bad news is you can upgrade and change platforms so it's effectively a crossgrade.

[Update]I am aware of at least one person who has successfully switched their Adobe software license from PC to Mac by signing a "software destruction letter". This may or may not work for you and may/may not work in the future but it's got to be worth asking Adobe nicely before you part with your cash.[/Update]

I didn't get along with earlier Mac DW versions which I found both buggy and slow but the current release running in Snow Leopard is stable and you can save your workspace layout how you like it which is great - I hated the Mac style floating palette and tool menus.

It still took everyday use to adjust to the Mac Dreamweaver way of doing things. Mac OS generally displays file lists differently to Windows and I don't think there's any way around that (although there's bound to be an utility to patch this, anyone know of one?...) so my usual way of handling file uploads by displaying files by date modified and merely uploading the files at the top of the list doesn't work for subfolders which remain stubbornly alphabetically sorted even when files within those folders have been updated which is very irritating!
You could put your faith in Dreamweaver's file syncing features but I've never trusted them and have lost files using it so maybe it's just a problem of my own making. Fireworks is buggy, crash prone and a memory hog but it's no worse than the Windows version and it's still my preferred web image editor so maybe it's just me that has problems with it?
I haven't used IPSwitch, I used Globalscape's CuteFTP Pro for Windows and was pleased to find there's a Mac version CuteFTP MacPro which offers more features than I use but works well so I haven't looked any further. Again I had to pay for another license.

One the plus side I have found BBEdit to be a worthy successor to my beloved Textpad text editor, which is sadly Windows only so has now been retired. I've never needed a word processor - everything I write ends up in an email, a blog post, a DTP package for printed magazine publication or on web pages - I'm writing this in BBEdit before cut and pasting into Blogger.

I do have MS Office for Mac installed [hangs head in shame] because I purchased it a couple of years ago - the last time I was on the point of going totally Mac. It's a nice safety net to have around but it's expensive and I rarely use it - consider using Google Apps free online spreadsheets or Apple's iWorks which features a pretty decent spreadsheet called Numbers, a combined word processor and DTP application called Pages and Keynote to create Powerpointesque presentations. All three come with excellent quality templates and video tutorials and single and family pack licences available at sensible prices.

Mac Life Part 7 - Some common teething problems explained...

Back to MacLife Part 1...

5 comments:

  1. Forget BBEdit, take a look at Textmate!

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  2. Ooooh, that does look good, how did I miss that! I'm downloading the FREE trial as I type and look forward to having a play - I'll report my findings eventually, thanks for posting.

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  3. Thanks for the full blown reply Joe - nice one :-)
    Yes, like you I've investing quite a bit in software over the last few years, both moneywise and timewise, so good to know DW and FW transition wasn't too bad. To be honest I work mainly with Wordpress so could almost get by with DW. Would be lost without Fireworks though - really love that program.

    One of the main reasons I want to move to a similar setup to yours is to be more mobile. In theory, I like the idea of being able to move around more with my work. Is that a biggy for you and do you find that you get out more know :-)

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  4. Hi Neil, I'd love to tell you I'd been out globetrotting with my mobile Mac but so far it's only had two outings. The first was on our family holiday in Devon and the second at the Excel centre for the a4u Expo. Both times I used a BT branded PAYG HUAWEI USB Stick modem for internet connectivity. It was a struggle in Devon where I was restricted to modem speeds but in my hotel room at the a4u Expo I could get a 3G connection and that was excellent. I am planning to travel the globe but it's still a work in progress.

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  5. Just to update Joe’s update on getting Adobe to do a platform swap for CS4 web premium from PC to Mac versions. I purchased the boxed PC version in February 2009 from Adobe’s online store. Now moving to Mac last week I called Adobe who checked I had a valid serial number and ownership. They opened a support ticket and forwarded me a Letter of Software Destruction to complete and attach/upload to the support ticket.

    http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405819/attachments/lod_exchange_uk.pdf

    I then called them back and they completed the swap there and then. The boxed Mac version arrived 3 days later via UPS with just £5 carriage to pay.

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