Apple’s Mac vs. PC Christmas Commercial

Apple Mac vs. PC Christmas commercial

If you haven’t already seen it, Apple has posted a very cute Christmas commercial in the classic stop-motion style of Rankin/Bass children’s movies, like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

On a side-note, I actually really miss those movies. It doesn’t seem like they play them on TV anymore. The other day I saw Rudolph listed in the on-screen guide and I switched over to it, only to find it was a crappy remake using really cheesy 3D. I was so disappointed.

QuickBooks is deleting desktop files

If you’re a user of QuickBooks on the Mac, you need to check out these two posts over at TUAW

Apparently, if you run an updater to QuickBooks, that may or may not have been released by Intuit, all the files and folders on your desktop may be erased.

In addition to the fixes mentioned on TUAW, you could also use an application like Little Snitch to block QuickBooks from connecting to the internet.

Plan your next website with WriteMaps

Write Maps website sitemaps

Whenever I start a new website, one of the first tasks to be done is to create a flowchart, often referred to as a sitemap. A flowchart (or sitemap) outlines the navigation through the entire site, so I know how many pages I’ll be building and what pages link to what other pages.

I’ve tried various tools over the years for building flowcharts. The one I’ve used the longest is, Inspiration. Although it’s not specifically tailored for web designers, it actually does a very good job, and is relatively inexpensive ($69).

One problem with using a tool like Inspiration, is none of my clients use it. The only way to review and revise my flowchart is to export a PDF, email it to my client, discuss it over the phone, and then make any revisions we come up with. It’s not uncommon for this process to go through several rounds before we get the final version. It can be very time consuming.

I recently came across an excellent alternative to this process. It’s called WriteMaps. WriteMaps is a free online sitemap creation and collaboration tool. It’s only been recently released as a 1.0 product, but it’s looking pretty sweet!

WriteMaps is extremely easy to use to quickly generate your sitemap. Once complete, you can send a link to your client allowing them to view and edit the sitemap, significantly cutting down the time it takes to hammer out the final version. As a bonus, once you finish building the actual site, you can export your WriteMaps sitemap as a Google sitemap (XML) file.

WriteMaps is the brain child of Boston-based graphic designer, Scott Jehl. Frustrated with the cost and/or limitations of other sitemap creation software, Scott decided to make his own. And, he’s nice enough to share it with all of us. Thanks Scott, you rock!

While WriteMaps is free, Scott does accept donations to cover hosting costs, etc… If you find it useful, consider slipping Scott a few bucks via the donations link on the site.

via Ajaxian

CompUSA is closing its doors forever

CompUSA Logo

If you haven’t already heard, compUSA is closing it’s doors forever. Apparently they’ve been losing money for years, and were finally sold to an investment firm which will be liquidating their assets.As of now there is no hard date for closing all 103 stores. They will remain open at least through the holidays. Supposedly they’ll have some pretty steep sales, so you may want to keep an eye on your local store if you’re in the market for electronics on the cheap. Just hope you don’t have to return something.

Locked out of your WordPress blog?

I woke up this morning and found that I couldn’t post anything to my WordPress blogs. Neither MarsEdit or the web interface worked. I kept getting a 403 error.

As it turns out, the problem wasn’t with WordPress or MarsEdit. It was with the WordPress plugin, Bad Behavior.

Bad Behavior was updated two days ago, to v2.0.11, to fix the problem. You’ll want to grab the update ASAP if you’re a Bad Behavior user. [ full details ]

Shareware Spotlight: Remote Buddy

Control your Mac with Remote Buddy

Yesterday I mentioned the website, MacSanta, which offers 20% discounts on Mac software during the month of December. I don’t normally talk about the same service two days in a row, but one of the apps featured today really cought my eye. It’s called, Remote Buddy.

Remote Buddy tremendously enhances the capabilities of your Apple Remote. Here’s a blurb from their site:

“Remote Buddy turns the remote control in your hands into a key to your entire system. No matter, whether you want to control applications and presentations, browse and playback your music and video collection, watch TV with EyeTV, browse the web or your filesystem, make the globe turn in Google™ Earth, enter a text, move the mouse, play games or maybe just change the brightness of your screen – you can do this all with Remote Buddy! And so much more!”

One thing that isn’t mentioned in that blurb, is the fact that Remote Buddy now comes with a component called, Remote Buddy’s AJAX Remote, which allows you to use your iPhone or iPod Touch to control your Mac.

I haven’t really had the time to play with Remote Buddy yet, but it looks totally cool!

Remote Buddy normally runs 19.99 € (about $29 US). Today only you can use the coupon code from MacSanta to get 20% off. If you miss the sale today, you can still get 10% off until December 24th by using the coupon code listed in MacSanta’s Extended Deals section.