end kvetch

Macs, productivity, &c.

Questing for Teriyaki

Today I went to the store. I wanted to exchange the largest bottle of teriyaki sauce I have ever seen. I had very specific instructions regarding the brand to replace it with and I had no idea how to go about doing it. Knowing what little I did, I got into the customer service line behind Mr. Creepy-Stringy-White-Hair-And-Bald-Spot, soon Mr. Scary-Just-Walked-Into-A-Column joined us. Based on what little I knew about customer service I assumed the service rep. would be in a dreadful mood and would try to bite my head off despite my simple request and valid receipt. After Ms. Bag-Full-Of-Thing-To-Return was done and Mr. Creepy-Stringy-White-Hair-And-Bald-Spot was done with his transaction (it involved a piece of white paper and a couple dollar bills) it was my turn to approach the dreaded CSR. I think she could tell I was an exchange n00b and she was nicer than I thought and everything seemed to be going well until the topic of the replacement product came up. No one had thought to tell me that I should bring that way with me too so I ran off looking for teriyaki sauce (which, apparently, is a condiment) only to find that I couldn’t find the right brand. Dejectedly I returned to the line and told her I just wanted a refund. She asked me if I had the credit card that had been used– no one had thought to provide me with that either. I told her ‘no’ and I could tell she was starting to dislike me. Then she asked if I had a penny– no one in their right mind would think to provide me with one. Once again I told her I didn’t and she sighed and gave me my $4.99 and made me sign and put my phone number on a little piece of paper. I then went on to shopping bliss (except I forgot to buy bread) but now I have to return a paintbrush….

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Filed under: Oldies, , , ,

Skitch Invites

As you can see I just added a TUAW article to the sidebar. Those lucky devils have received 1,000 Skitch beta invites to give out and they are giving them away to their readers. Seeing how TUAW had a large readership I assume these will be going quickly if they are not already gone. Luckily for you I have received the princely sum of five invites and I am willing to distribute them among you, the huddling masses. Simply e-mail me either with the address you would like the invite sent to or with it in the body (subject should be “Skitch Invite”) and I’ll tell the good folks at Plasq to send an invitation your way. (I would say “first come, first serve” but I don’t think that’ll be a problem). Just a reminder, Skitch is a graphics annotation program for Mac OS X only that I use for all the graphics on this site (and don’t they look spiffy?). Skitch also comes with an online storage service akin to PhotoBucket.

Filed under: Apple, Oldies, , , , ,

Software Sumo: NewsNetWireLite vs. Vienna

sumo.png

Just to start off with a clear air I will admit right now that I am a diehard Vienna fan and not big on NNWL. My personal preferences aside, let the match begin!

Interface

Many people don’t like Vienna’s interface but I personally find it acceptable. For those of you who don’t know NNW (but not Lite) recently received a interface lift. Let’s take a look at the two apps now.


My biggest issue with NNWL is its interface. I can’t pin down a single part of it that annoys me but I find the whole package to be rather off-putting. However, this is purely a visual thing, I think the interface is perfectly navigatable and consistent with other OS apps. I think for someone who is less of an aesthete the NNWL interface will do fine. (The interface is also much improved in the new version of NNW). One last little minor thing that I don’t like about the NNW(L) environment is the non-standard dock badge (which you can judge for yourself).


As I said earlier, many people take issue with the Vienna interface. Two issues that tend to repeat are the brushed metal and its inconsistencies with the standard OS X environment (namely, the controls at the bottom and the thick window border). Strangely, for all of my love of consistency these things don’t bug me. This may be because I like my news-reader to be more of a widgetesque app (a simple program that is is simple and streamlined). One option that people like about Vienna is the three-column view (shown) that is not available in NNWL. Yet another nice thing about Vienna is the option to use different styles.

NewNetWire Lite: 7/10 – An intuitive but less-than-gorgeous interface.
Vienna: 8/10 – A controversial interface that I feel is diverse and effective.

Features

Now, even though I’m not big on bloated feature-full RSS readers I know some people are. I’m sorry to say it but Vienna wins out here too. Although free, Vienna has many of the features that are in the full version of NNW but absent from the Lite one (these include an integrated browser and a bunch of other stuff). Of course, you could shell out $30 for a couple more features and an interface you may find more appealing but unless you have a hedge fund to burn I’d suggest Vienna for features.

NewsNetWire Lite: 7/10 – Has the features I need but not enough for everyone.
Vienna: 9/10 – The developer(s) could make good money with features like these.

Overall

Vienna has one with a fairly slim lead. I feel that this is one that is really up to the user. It depends what you are looking for in an reader. Please share you opinions.

Vienna – Free
NewsNetWire (Lite) – Lite is free, $29.95 for the full version.

P.S Ignore any misspellings…it’s complicated.

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