Create dedicated file-upload applications with FTP Maker

FTP Maker

Softhing’s new FTP Maker 1.0 lets you create dedicated, branded, file-upload applications that can be distributed to your friends, family, clients, etc.. Files can be uploaded to your server by simple drag and drop… no ftp knowledge required, and no other software needed.

This is a great idea. I would love to use this with some of my less technically-savvy client’s, but unfortunately it’s mac only. Most of my clients are PC users.

FTP Maker costs $30. The free trial version limits you to uploading files of 1MB or less.

via Macworld

Aluminum Macbooks unstable after 3rd party RAM upgrade

Aluminum Macbook and Macbook Pro

Back in October I wrote a post about how you could save over $500 by buying 3rd party RAM instead of buying Apple’s incredibly overpriced RAM. That was good advise for the previous generation of Macbooks and Macbooks Pros, but it may not be the best thing to do for the new (late 2008) Aluminum Macbooks / Pros.

According to this article at TUAW, A lot of people are experiencing significant problems after attempting to use 3rd party RAM with the new laptops. It’s worth checking out if you’re about to buy one of the new machines.

Fortunately, when Apple introduced these new Aluminum models, they also dropped the price of their own RAM by several hundred dollars. It’s not so painful to just by the RAM from Apple now.

Force Safari to open targeted links in a new tab, instead of a new window

There is one feature in Firefox that I’ve always wished Safari had. The ability to always force targeted links (those that would normally open a new browser window) to open a new tab.

For example, if you’re viewing this in Safari and you click this link, it will open a new browser window taking you to Google. I would rather it open in a new tab instead. You can temporarily do this on a link-by-link basis by holding down the Command key when clicking the link, but I want it to work that way all the time.

Fortunately, this feature is already built into Safari (at least on the Mac), but it’s turned off by default. In order to turn it on, all you need to do is paste the following command in to the Terminal (quit Safari first):

defaults write TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool true

That’s it. Safari should now open all links that would have opened a new window, in a new tab instead. If you want to turn this feature off, paste the same command, but replace the word “true” with “false”.

Thank you Roger Johansson!

Expandrive for $19.95 at Maczot

Mount remote servers on the desktop with Expandrive

Today only (12/03/08), Maczot is selling Expandrive for $19.95. That’s 50% off the regular price of $39.95. if you’re unfamiliar with Expandrive, it’s a great little Mac app that allows you to mount remote servers on your desktop as if they were local drives. It’s extremely handy. I occasionally still bust out Transmit, my ftp application of choice, but more often than not I just mount the server with Expandrive.

I’ve never used it, but the company also makes SftpDrive, a similar product for Windows. It’s not on sale, but you Windows users may find it helpful.

2 days only: Microsoft Office 2008 Mac Special Media Edition for $130

For 2 days only Microsoft is dropping the price of Office 2008 Special Media Edition (Mac) by 70%. It normally retails for $499.95, but you can get it for $129.99 from Amazon on 11/27 and 11/28.

I’m actually going to take advantage of this offer, even though I don’t normally use Office on the Mac. For my own documents I use Apple’s iWork. It has everything I need, and it’s much easier to use. For client-work, I must use Office 2007 under Windows, because I need documents to open exactly the same (or as close as possible) on my client’s machine as they do on mine. Although iWork can read/write office documents, formatting isn’t held very well when going between applications (iWork to Office or Office to iWork). Unfortunately, even when going from Office Mac to Office PC (or back), formatting isn’t held exactly. Some slight differences can occur, but they are far less than using iWork. That being said, there are times in my workflow when it would be more convenient to use Office under the Mac OS, and the steep discount makes it a more reasonable option.

As I mentioned, you can get the Media Edition of Office 2008 Mac (full) for $129.99, but if you own Office 2004 Mac, you can get the upgrade for $109.99 (normally $299.95). If you don’t need everything that’s included in the Media Edition, you might want to consider buying the Home and Student Edition. It normally sells for $149.95, but you can get it now for $109.99. I’m not sure if that price is under this same 2-day promotion, or if Amazon always has a discount on that package.

Here’s what the Media Edition has that the Home & Student Edition doesn’t:

  • Microsoft® Expression® Media
  • Microsoft Exchange Server Support
  • Automator Actions for Workflows in Microsoft Office
  • Upgrade pricing (Home Edition has no upgrade price)

Via TUAW | More info on Information Week

UPDATE: In just the time it took me to write this post, the price of the full version jumped from $139 to $169.99. Looks like pricing is in flux. Best Buy has the full version for $149. The online Apple Store is down in preparation for Black Friday, but it should be $149 there too.

UPDATE #2: It’s Friday morning and the price of the full version from Amazon has dropped to $129.99. Grab it while you can.

UPDATE #3: The 2-day sale is over, but Amazon still has the full version for $159.99. That’s over $300 off of the retail price. Not sure how long this sale will last.

Adobe Drops Giant Turd on Director Community

Adobe Director 11

Like many others, I’ve been patiently waiting for Macromedia Adobe to update Director for quite some time now. The product hasn’t seen an update since 2004, and even that one wasn’t that hot. After years of no news whatsoever, Adobe finally announced Director 11 in February, and it began shipping this past Tuesday.

My first reaction to Director 11… Adobe, you should be ashamed of yourself for charging money for this piece of crap!

If you’re a Director user, the $299 upgrade basically buys you official support for Windows Vista and Intel Macs. That’s it! Any other (minor) features boasted by Adobe are over-hyped and under-delivered. For all practical purposes, this release should have been called Director 10.2, and given to us as a free update. As evidence to how little has actually changed in Director, the first thing the app does when you launch it is phone home to

In terms of Mac support, the new Director is extremely limited. Although Director 11 shipped 6 months after Leopard, Leopard is not officially supported for authoring or playback. For authoring, Director 11 only supports 10.4 on an Intel Mac. Director 11 does support playback on PPC based Macs, but also only on 10.4… nothing older, and nothing newer. I have done some preliminary testing running Director 11 under Leopard, and so far everything seems to work OK. There is no word from Adobe on when Director will officially gain Leopard support.

One other item that should be mentioned about Director now being able to run natively on Intel Macs is, none of your existing Xtras will work. All previous (Mac) Director Xtras are PPC only. You’ll need to get updates for all of those before they’ll work with Director 11.

Adobe also now boasts, “support for more than 40 video, audio, and image file formats”. Of course, they won’t tell us what formats those are exactly. I can’t find a list anywhere. I guess it’s up to us to guess. I can tell you 2 that are NOT supported… PDF, and Flash video (flv). I was shocked by this! Considering the fact that those two formats are core components of Adobe’s distribution system, how could they not build in support? Adobe Illustrator is also not one of those mysterious 40 formats, which is surprising since Adobe announced full Creative Suite compatibility when they first announced Director 11. They’ve since removed that statement from their site.

There’s just one last complaint I want to voice. This one is extremely minor, and pretty nit-picky, but I think it illustrates Adobe’s commitment to Director… They couldn’t even be bothered to make a custom folder icon like they do for all of their other applications. How freakin lazy is that?

My best advise… if you don’t really need Vista or Intel Mac support right now, then don’t bother buying Director 11. Unfortunately, I had to. :(