end kvetch

Macs, productivity, &c.

Software Sumo: MacJournal vs. Journler

sumo.png

There has been a rematch! After complaints that an old version of MacJournal was used, I have reviewed these two apps again. Click here to see the new review.

I have finally caved to HitTail’s requests and now I am launching a new feature: Software Sumo! Software Sumo will evaluate two Mac softwares (often freeware…in which case I guess it would be Freeware Fencing). Today we will be kicking off with MacJournal vs. Journler. Soon I hope to evaluate NetNewsWire (Lite) and Vienna. Any other requests you have for match-ups can be emailed to me. And now your regularly scheduled programming….

As the names imply MacJournal and Journler are both journaling applications. For the purposes of fair evaluation I have chosen to match up the latest free version of MacJournal (2.6) against Journler.

Interface

In this first screenshot we see a comparison of the toolbars:


Journler has a nice unified look going while MacJournal has a split aqua thing going on (however, in the most recent, fairly pricey version they have moved on to unified). The buttons are fairly similar but I prefer the ones in Journler.

Next, lets look at the MacJournal window:


We see there are two drawers, one that holds journals and another that holds entries. In the middle there is a basic text entry area with a title box, a main body area and a small button to lock the entry. Pretty boring stuff especially compared to this next shot of the Journler window:


Here we see a three pane, Mail-style layout. On the side we see the Journals (as well as a nifty calendar), on the top pane we see entries (with plenty of information about them) and on the bottom we have the text. The text pane allows for a title and the body text as well as tags, a category and the date. There is also a handy word count ribbon at the bottom of the window.

I certainly prefer the interface of Journler because it is more compact without drawers hanging out all over the place, it provides more data and it just looks better (if not perfectly integrated with the OS’s interface).

MacJournal: 5/10 – Looks like it stepped out of Jaguar or Panther.
Journler: 8/10 – Doesn’t look completely at home among other windows but fairly nice looking.

Features

Both applications have rich text entry and picture capabilities as well as journal locking and statistics and blogging (which we’ll look at in the next section). In addition to these Journler has labels (arrived in a later version of MacJournal) and better media integration. I personally never use the media features but I’m sure people will find them handy. In my opinion, as long as the application has basic text and organization features it can pass as a decent journaling application (or at least an improvement from using MS Word).

MacJournal: 7/10 – Has the basic features but not much else.
Journler: 9/10 – The only feature I wish it had is new Blogger support.

Blogging

MacJournal has full support for LiveJournal and Blogger, Journler has support for most every blogging service. Journler clearly says that it does not yet support the new Blogger, MacJournal does not address the issue but I assume that is the case because it would not configure correctly (this is a problem I have had with all blogging clients besides MarsEdit and Flock). Obviously I cannot try out the blogging features (at least not until they get new Blogger support).

Overall

Overall, Journler has scored better with 17/20 as opposed to MacJournal’s 12/20. This certainly reflects my experiences, anyone else who has used these apps want to chime in?

Journler – Free ($10-20 Donation Suggested)
MacJournal – 2.6 is Free, Others $29.95

As you can see, at the moment applications are only being evaluated based on two main points, if you have more suggestions please email them in.

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Filed under: Apple, Oldies, Software Sumo, , , , , , , ,

The (Continued) Quest For A Free Blogging Client

If nothing else, HitTail has helped me realize the obvious: if I want to find a free blogging client for Mac I should Google it (by the way, I’m the top hit if you do so). I did so and found several. The first two I came across, Bleezer and Qumana failed to configure correctly so I moved on to option three– Flock. Flock is a media-based web browser based on Firefox technologies that I have heard of before. Flock isn’t an ideal solution, seeing as how it’s a web browser and not a real blogging client which means the process of posting something isn’t as simple. The only way that it would be quicker to use Flock is if I migrated all of my web browsing to it, which I’m not willing to do.

So, lets look at the rundown of blogging clients…

1. MarsEdit: The best one, but its not free.
2. Ecto: Didn’t configure properly (and isn’t free).
3. Journler: Great app, but no new Blogger support.
4. Bleezer: Didn’t configure properly.
5. Qumana: Same as above.
6. Flock: Not much of an improvement over the Blogger entry client.

I think I’m just going to keep doing it the old fashioned way until I win the lottery (or find $20 in the street) and can buy MarsEdit.

P.S. Why do computers have such antiquated dictionaries? Flock (which I used to write this post) repeatedly told me that “blogging” and “Google” were not really words.

Filed under: Apple, Oldies, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hit, Hit, Hooray!


HitTail has finally given me a suggestion (right on que cue). It has suggested that I write on the topic of “Journler vs. MacJournal”. Unfortunately I has no experience with MacJournal (I gave up when it proved difficult to download). I’m not even sure why it picked that keyword, there are three pertaining to a Mac (free) blogging client but only one referring to Journaling apps. I suppose this is the point where I could put my faith in computer aside and use my own common sense to see that people want to hear about blogging clients but my experience is a little limited there too (but if the nice people at Red Sweater want to give me a free copy of MarsEdit I would be more than happy to write up a nice review1).

Footnotes:
1 Yes, my love can be bought.

Filed under: Oldies, , , ,

David Pratt = My (Totally) New Arch-Nemesis


TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) recently posted something about a review by David Platt that totally chewed out the iPhone. Now, I can accept that maybe Apple has made some mistakes but he was just vicious. Now, even though the ol’ Plattster has a book published and is apparently doing some keynote speeches at events that sound kind of important I still deem him a nobody. Why? Because, 1) he is declaiming the iPhone from his seat atop his blogspot blog and 2) the site promoting his book is ugly and finally, 3) I’ve never heard of the company that published his book. This is probably the point where you decide that I’m a hypocrite, I’m a nobody kvetching about a nobody kvetching about the iPhone. However, I have prepared for your response and I have made a list of things nobodies can do:

1. Say “NOBODY/NOTHING is good.”
2. Say “NOBODY/NOTHING is great!”
3. Say “NOBODY/NOTHING is horrible.”
4. Say “SOMEBODY/SOMETHING is good.”
5. Say “SOMEBODY/SOMETHING is great!”
6. Say things nobody else cares about.

Obviously the iPhone, which is the Paris Hilton of gadgets (except it hasn’t gone to jail…yet), is a something meaning that only major columnists/newspapers can declaim it but anyone can acclaim it. The MS Zune, in contrast, is a total nothing so anyone can say anything they want about it.

What David Platt obviously fails to take into account is the sheer force of marketing behind the iPhone (and to a lesser extent, anything with an Apple logo on it). There is no other product/company in the world that could motivate half the blogosphere to advertise for them (at no cost). I think it’s pretty obvious that the iPhone will sell like crazy.

The only question that remains is “will they also be returned like crazy?”. I’m not expert on contract law but it seems like the AT&T contract would at least make this more difficult (if not impossible). If customers will be allowed to transfer the contract to another phone AT&T will be making a killing, they get to harness the marketing-fueled buying frenzy and reap the profits for two years while Apple may get stuck with a couple million iPhones and a bunch of red zeros on their financial reports (I can’t even think about it).

Filed under: Apple, Kvetching, Oldies, , , ,

David Pogue = My (Mostly) New Favorite Person

David Pogue, a NYT tech columnist who gets out more than the others is my new hero. He racked up major points in his video pointing out the amazing “new” features in Vista (right down to its blatant rip-off of Apple’s horrible, cheating chess game). Today, however, I fell in love once again over his iPhone video. Not only is it hilarious, but it does a good job of highlighting the iPhone’s amazing features. I didn’t even get mad at him when he pointed out some of its problems. Point is, just watch the video.

Filed under: Apple, Oldies, , , ,

Daily Consolidation: June 20, 2007

Okay, I’m doing consolidations again because I suddenly have a lot to say (no thanks to HitTail, which has not given any suggestions yet).

The BBC – Britain’s Trashiest News Corporation

I’m pretty sure the BBC’s readership is lower-brow than they would like to think.  In February this story broke and was, predictably their top read.  However, just today it spent some time as the #1 read story (edging out this very popular one).  The BBC aught to give up on real news altogether. I’m sure the Brits had a good laugh about this story, in which a Texas mob killed middle-aged man, typically American, eh?

Cig Dreams

Lately I have been having kind of strange dreams. For instance the other night I dreamed that cigarettes had been banned…and I chose that time to start smoking. After three days I realized how silly it was and I went cold turkey…which turned out to be really easy.

The Ellipses Are Coming!

I just realized that my last four blog titles have at least one ellipsis in them (I also just realized that the Blogger widget doesn’t have spell check, so I’m sure I’m spelling ellipsis/ellipses wrong. Of course I’ll spellcheck it before you get to see it but just trust me, I can’t spell ellipsis).

Filed under: Consolidations, Oldies, , , , ,

The Phoenix O’ Productivity Rises Again…Then Suffers A Debilitating Illness

Apparently The Phoenix O’ Productivity is my most popular post (curteuousy courtesy of my friends at Google Analytics) so I’ve decided to post an update (this is in lieu of a new installment of The Malcontent which would cover the same topic but is too format for my tastes now).

First off I put I desk in front of my window and now I can look out at the back yard and “be inspired” (inspiration doesn’t seem to be my problem, it more the motivation to do any work). Then I took some ideas from David Seah (davidseah.com) and made myself a “Nothing Better To Do” Jar (in theory, I put tasks in it and when I have…nothing better to do I pick one and do what it says), the only problem is I never take anything out of it (I just put a nice “Dymo” label on it though, maybe that’ll change things). Also from David are the PCEO (Printable CEO) forms which can be used to track time, manage to-dos, etc., I printed some of those out and used them (they’re so pretty, I couldn’t resist).

For several days all was well in Officeland (haha, off Iceland) but then the horrible barbarians of laziness laid siege to the castle– I remembered that productivity was work.

So now I basically play online games and occasionally come up with an idea for a story which I right down but never get around to working on (I also have scotch tape stuck to my elbow, it makes my mosquito bite less itchy).

(Also, OmniFocus has still not gotten back to me on the beta program…maybe they have enough testers).

Update: I forgot the mention that Quicksilver and I have reconciled ourselves. We have come to the agreement that I won’t use it as a replacement for Finder/RapidoLaunch but I will still give it the respect that it deserves.

Filed under: Oldies, Productivity, Statistics, , , , ,