MacHeist II: 11 great Mac apps for $49

by Michael Alderete on 1/14/2008

This year’s MacHeist includes 11 applications in the bundle, which individually would sell for $368.75. When bought as part of the MacHeist promotion, the whole collection is under $50.

MacHeist II: 11 great Mac apps for $49

Now, it’s a rare person who would want and use every single one of these applications; there’s just too much variety to have everything fit perfectly. But if even half of them would be useful, then you’re way, way ahead.

For me, the big winners are 1password, TaskPaper, CSSEdit, Snapz Pro, and Pixelmator. Pixelmator alone costs $10 more than the bundle, and I’d been meaning to buy it for over a month, since this terrific review of Pixelmator appeared in Macworld magazine. So buying the bundle was an easy decision.

Maybe it will be for you as well.

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One week with an iPhone

by Michael Alderete on 7/6/2007 · 4 comments

Last Friday I bought an 8 gigabyte iPhone at an Apple store. I’ve been using the phone for a week now, and overall, while there are certainly flaws and omissions, it is a spectacular synthesis of hardware and software excellence. No other handheld device I’ve used even comes close, including the seven previous iPods I’ve owned. It’s a major advance in mobile phones, and in computing generally, and while I certainly look forward to getting the 2nd generation product, I’m going to love this 1st generation device all on its own.

Beyond that general impression, I have a few specific things I thought would be worth writing about.

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Recommended: Sonos Digital Music System

by Michael Alderete on 3/20/2007 · 3 comments

Sonos SystemWe bought a Sonos Digital Music System back in September 2006, and I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while. It’s a terrific product that has us listening to music far more regularly than we ever did. What’s more, it works pretty well with audiobooks that we’ve imported into iTunes or purchased from Audible.com, which is nice for listening to them when we’re moving around (e.g., in the kitchen), when an iPod and headphones might get in the way.

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Thoughts on Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”)

by Michael Alderete on 8/23/2006

I watched the Apple WWDC Keynote video stream last week, and have been following the reactions online about features demonstrated for the next version of Mac OS X, 10.5 (“Leopard”). A lot of people (especially non-Mac users) have commented that features like Spaces and even Time Machine have already been done on other operating systems, or as third-party utilities for OS X. They’re missing the point. What’s great about these new features in Leopard is their accessibility to normal people, i.e., their simple interfaces.

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Eudora 7 for Mac OS X progress?

by Michael Alderete on 7/17/2006

Eudora 7In addition to posting a few beta versions of a minor patch release to Eudora 6.2, the current version of Eudora for Mac OS X, QUALCOMM apparently is getting enough inquiries about the long-anticipated (and overdue) Cocoa rewrite of Eudora to have recently posted an official statement about it.

It doesn’t sound particularly close, but making a statement at all seems to imply that there continues to be commitment and progress, and I consider it a positive sign. I’d love to see betas of the new version, too, but we take what we can get.

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How to join together audiobook tracks

by Michael Alderete on 7/13/2006 · 6 comments

Update: This post contains useful information about the Join Together utility, but has been superseded by a new article that details additional options, for both Mac and Windows users. See How to join multiple tracks into a single audiobook file for the new information.

One of the top two questions I get asked about audiobooks by visitors to Aldo on Audiobooks is, after importing a bunch of audiobook CDs, is there any way to join the many tracks together to get a single track for the audiobook?

For a while I simply shrugged, and said I hadn’t found a good tool. Then I found a good tool, and added it to the FAQ, but didn’t advertise it too heavily because it was only available for Mac users. But with the latest release the tool has gotten so good, I feel the need to share and promote it. (Windows users, I am sorry, but I haven’t found anything for you yet.)

Doug Adams runs a terrific site called Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes. Now on its fifth revision, his Join Together tool has evolved from a basic AppleScript into a stand-alone application which gives you a terrific interface for combining tracks and adding the right metadata such as title and author, along with options to convert to different formats, and even add chapter marks to the resulting merged track:

Join Together 5.0 user interface

It’s truly an outstanding piece of work. If you’re importing audiobooks on a Mac, get it now. And if you use it and like it, be sure to thank Doug with a donation!

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RailsConf 2006

by Michael Alderete on 6/29/2006

RailsConf 2006Last weekend I was in Chicago for the first ever RailsConf, a gathering of about 600 people focused on developing web applications using the Ruby on Rails application framework. Other people are posting lots of details and thoughts (try clicking the RailsConf tag below), so I’ll just add a few deltas:

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Dude, you’re getting a MacBook Pro

by Michael Alderete on 4/5/2006

I’m sure a million people will be linking today to the Apple announcement of Boot Camp, a new utility which now makes it both possible and easy to install Microsoft Windows XP onto an Intel-based Mac. I’m also sure most of them will put their amateur analyst hats on, and tell people what they think it means. (Most will be wrong.)

My interest in and comments on the announcement are quite a bit less global in scope.

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Add Sender to Address Book

February 6, 2006

I continue to use and love Eudora as my email client. This despite it being a little long in the tooth, and with a visual style straight from 1999. I’ve been waiting for a new version with some new features for a while, and I finally got tired enough of a specific missing feature to do something about it. Here’s an AppleScript to tide me (and possibly others) over.

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January 12, 2006

I’ve been a BBEdit user for more than a decade, and consider it one of the finest pieces of software I’ve ever used. But a new text editing application, TextMate, has me re-evaluating my loyalty. I hope to make 2006 the year I achieve “text editing zen,” and I think TextMate is the application to help me do it.

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Announcing Aldo on Audiobooks

November 21, 2005

When I posted my instructions for importing audiobooks into iTunes and the iPod, it quickly became the single most popular post on this site, both in page views and in comments. I followed it up with a companion piece, covering the differences for MP3 CD audiobooks, and that quickly became the 2nd most popular page on the site. After weeks of on-and-off-again writing, I am replacing those posts with a whole new section of Aldoblog: Aldo on Audiobooks. Please check it out.

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Medicine (the restaurant)

August 31, 2005

Rochelle and I ate lunch today at a new restaurant called Medicine. The food is Japanese Zen monk vegan, called “new-shojin”. The flavors are delicate, subtle, and quite good once your brain and palate adjust. And I thought I was at the Apple Store.

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