Quickly and easily create and modify text and HTML/XML files with TextWrangler

Quickly and easily create and modify text and HTML/XML files with this industry leading text editor for Mac.

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Today, many people write their own apps. Finding the right editor or tool to write the code in, can be a challenge. Some times you just want to code and not bring up the how IDE or you have an idea and just want to quickly jot it down without running a huge program. Its for this reason I really like TextWrangler. It’s a professional, but budget featured, HTML and text editor for Mac.

TextWrangler is a general-purpose text editor for light-duty composition, text file editing and manipulation of other text-oriented data. TextWrangler supports working with both plain-text and Unicode files. However, TextWrangler does not support files written using right-to-left writing systems, such as Hebrew or Arabic.

TextWrangler has some pretty cool features. It can do single and multi-file search and replace functions, with file filtering options. It has flexible grep-style pattern-based searching capabilities, based on PCRE (Perl-Compatible Regular Expression). You can also use the app to do a DIFF between two files and then merge the differences into a single file.

If you’re coding, then you need to take a look at TextWrangler. Aside from being free, the app has a number of programming functions that coders of all experience levels will appreciate. It has support for unlimited undo/redo as well as multiple clipboards so you can copy and paste a number of different code snippets from one or more files into others that you may be working on. The app also supports splittable editing windows so that you can view two different locations in a file at the same time. Again, this is an awesome app and one that I will likely be using as I learn to code.

 

Download

 

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OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 6: Mac and iOS Integration

Here is the status of the other issues I’ve been speaking to over the past few beta releases.

Installation and Startup

Yosemite DP6 was delivered as an UPDATE to DP5. There isn’t a full download, and I don’t know why. When I went to redeem the install code that I got with my Developer Program Membership, the App Store told me it was already redeemed.

The update appeared in the App Store and installed without issue.  Restart was quicker than with DP5. Performance since then has been better than with previous versions of Yosemite.

Mac and iOS Integration

mac_and_ios_mac_ios

Yosemite and iOS 8 when paired together truly provide a remarkable Apple experience.  The only problem I’ve encountered so far is that the reality isn’t measuring up to the vision.  I’m hopeful that future releases of the OS fulfill the vision before its ready for the public release of the new desktop OS.

Phone Calls
This is perhaps the coolest thing I’ve seen in Yosemite so far. Continuity might be cool, but iOS integration is the bomb. I love the fact that I can use my Mac as a speaker phone. However, this is the part of the vision that isn’t really quite there yet. Perhaps is the fan issue that I mentioned earlier (partially, I think), perhaps is the Bluetooth audio quality between my Mac and my iPhone 5 (more likely).  Whatever the issue and cause might be, there’s still a lot of work that needs to get done in order to have this feature working correctly.

If there’s one feature that Apple can really work on more than any other, this is what I would prefer they spend their time working on.  More than any other Yosemite feature I think this is the one that I will personally get the most use out of. I can actually see me using this one a lot.  I’m all over my iPhone and there’s no reason why my Mac and iPhone 5 shouldn’t be able to handle the full load required to make this feature truly rock.

Messages
In previous versions of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, messages didn’t quite live up to the vision that Craig Federighi outlined at the WWDC Keynote.  Messages has always handled iOS messaging well. (Honestly, it should…it was designed to do just that.)  Where it fell short was non-iOS messaging – sending and receiving messages between a Mac or iOS device and a non-Mac or non-iOS device.

In Yosemite DP6, this appears to be working as designed.  Not only are non-iOS messages received correctly (as they were in previous betas), but you can now send messages to that non-iOS or non-Apple device without any issues.  I really have to hand it to Apple. They make communicating with non-Apple-centric devices on your Mac, very easy now.  This is the way that Messages should have worked from the beginning.

FaceTime
I think this is the area where most of the Mac and iOS integration issues are stemming from, but I could be wrong.  It seems that Apple is wanting FaceTime to be the PC based hub for all non-written communications integration between your Mac and your iPhone.  All of your call history from your iPhone is synchronized with FaceTime when the phone is physically connected to your Mac.  This includes not only your cellular calls, but FaceTime audio and video calls as well.

When you want to make a cellular call from your Mac, you can use either FaceTime or you can use Contacts to find the number. I’ve noticed that regardless of what desktop app you use, searching for a number is delayed as the app tries to search through your contacts for the search string you’re actively typing.  The more contacts you have, the longer the delay.  While this was more pronounced in earlier beta’s, this is still an issue here in DP6.

The audio quality here is still very, VERY bad.  For personal or casual calls, its not that big of a deal.  For business calls, I would not use this feature yet.  You’re just going to have to hang up and call them from your iPhone or a land line.

One of the biggest problems that I have with this particular feature is that the integration at times seems a bit too tight.  Its still very difficult to get my Mac to actually answer the call.  It takes a bit to get the call to really connect/answer.  If you try to answer a call from your iPhone, the call has issues reverting back to the handset… and your Mac continues to ring, even after you’ve gotten the call to answer on the  iPhone.   There needs to be a better hand off between the iPhone and the Mac in this situation.  Apple needs to lock in the hook a bit better and then allow for easy – or better yet – easier unhooking as well.  Right now, the integration between the two needs some strengthening and needs a better, more reliable way of – uh-hem, consciously uncoupling – when you need it to.

Personally, I think there’s a problem relying on FaceTime on the desktop to drive desktop communications and integration between your Mac and your iPhone.  Don’t get me wrong. It makes sense.  However, Apple is totally rewriting FaceTime and its exposing and creating a lot of holes.

The biggest issue right now is that all of the changes are effecting the FaceTime service.  This may be part of what is causing the spike in my fan RPM’s.  There’s likely some kind of FaceTime Stub that runs when your Mac starts, but for some reason isn’t properly activating when needed.

For example, FaceTime video calls don’t always ring on my Mac, even when FaceTime is running on my Mac. I can’t tell you have aggravating that is. When I’m home, I’d much rather take ALL communications – FaceTime Audio/Video as well as cellular calls – through my Mac than on my iPhone.  It should just be a connected, unused accessory when recognized by your Mac, especially if its physically cabled to your Mac.  This is yet another weak integration link that needs to be tightened up quickly.  We’re running out of time in the DP/ Beta time period.

Conclusion

In true Apple fashion, OS X Yosemite 10.10 Developer Preview 6/ Public Beta 2 is an evolutionary update to Developer Preview 5/ Public Beta 1.  Its clear that progress is being made, but at this point, Apple’s standard incremental BS has got to stop. They need to step on the gas and really tighten up their code between their two-week sprints.  Otherwise, I’m not entirely convinced that they’re going to realize the vision that Craig Federighi outlined for us about three or so months ago.  I would hate for the realization of this vision to not be fulfilled until 10.10.2 or 10.10.3.  That would be a bit too late, don’t you think?

When its all said and done, Yosemite should be a really cool OS release. This is some of the coolest stuff I’ve seen on a PC since the introduction of the original iPAQ 3600 back in the day.  The integration is unprecedented, and some of the most innovative work that has been completed since the introduction of the mouse back in 1984.  I’d like to see Microsoft introduce cutting edge features like this that enhance the feature set in Windows (rather than completely remaking the face of it, as MetroUI did).

And speaking of YOUR opinion, I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this. I’ve really tried not to rah-rah too much in Apple’s direction. I don’t want to come off as a fan boy too much.  Yes, there’s a lot to like here; but I hope I’m being critical enough to provide as well rounded an opinion as possible.

So, what do you think?  Are you using any of the Apple Beta’s?  Are you a registered developer and have DP6 installed?  Were you able to download a full release of DP6, or did you get it as an update as I did? Do you have a Thunderbolt Display?  Are you having fan issues on your Mac when the Display is connected?  I know I’m using it as a docking station (I’ve got all of the ports filled on the back of the Display); but I didn’t think that would be an issue that would cause the Mac’s fan RPM’s to spike and remain high as they have.

Why don’t you meet me in the discussion area below and let me know what you think of these new developments.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this, as I’d like to be able to focus some of my comments and attention on your issues as the DP and Beta periods come to a close.

back to OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 6: Introduction

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Keep your PC up to date with SUMo

KCSoftwareKeeping your Mac apps up to date is easy.  If you’re using Snow Leopard or later, you’ve got the App Store. If you’ve bought software through it, it tells you when they’ve been updated and helps you get the updates installed.  If you’re not using the MAC App Store, there are other products that do similar things. On the PC side of the world we’ve got SUMo. It’s an app update utility for Windows.

SUMo stands for Software Update Monitor.  It keeps your PC’s apps up-to-date and safe by monitoring the most recent version of your favorite software and then checking for new versions on a periodic basis.  Unlike an app’s built-in auto update features, SUMo tells you if updates are available before you run or need to use your software.

SUMo_screen

SUMo is a GREAT app. I’ve been using similar tools on the Mac side and was very please when I found SUMo for my PC’s. I have five of them at the house, and with at least 6 PC users, keeping everything up to date on all of the machines isn’t easy. SUMo makes it much easier. The fact that the app is free, makes this a no brainer and a must have for any and all that PC’s that you have in your house, too.

The app comes with support for more than 20 language translations, and is certain to work on your computer and version of Windows.  If you don’t have SUMo working for you, then you’re clearly missing out.

download SUMo

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2011 Gift Guide Part 1 – OK, Great! Now What Should I Buy?

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about mobile devices and ecosystems and the companies that make and distribute them. Let’s take a quick moment and figure out what you should actually buy.

As complicated as this might seem, it isn’t really complicated at all.  We’ll get to specific goodies, next time, but I wanted to take a few moments to talk about how to determine exactly WHAT to buy, given that investing in an ecosystem largely takes you down a specific road, given that you’re likely going to want to mix and match your data on your devices.

What does this mean?

Simply put, if you start a document on your computer, at some point, you may want to shoot it to yourself via email or upload it to your choice of cloud storage (like Dropbox, Windows Live Mesh. iCloud or Amazon Cloud Drive to name a few) so that you can edit it on your laptop or tablet when you get home.  Maybe you stumble upon a bit of brilliance on the way home from work (or where ever you might be) and you stop to take a moment to jot down a few notes in it on your smartphone. A fully functioning, adopted (on your part) ecosystem allows you to do this with your data and your devices. For everything to function this way, its all gotta be connected somehow.

So, again, what should you get?  Here are my recommendations on how to figure this out.

Mac Users
This is probably the biggest no brainer of the bunch; but its not as open as other platforms.

  • Apple Ecosystem: Stick to the Apple ecosystem and iTunes, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The desktop tools all have iOS components and partners, and the data you create on your Mac is designed to enable you to work on all of Apple’s devices. You’d be amazed how elegant and simple it is; but then again, you’re stuck there, and you have to want to be stuck for it all to work.

 

  • Amazon Ecosystem: Since Amazon also has developed Kindle software for iOS, users wishing to move to or from parts of the Amazon ecosystem will also find a bridge here. However, since the Kindle Fire is Android based, see the Google Ecosystem, below.

 

  • Google Ecosystem: Trying to implement parts of the Google ecosystem in an Apple/iOS world isn’t going to be easy, so be ready for some challenges. You aren’t going to be using iTunes to sync content to any Android device, and if you’re a Mac user, you undoubtedly have SOME content there.

Windows and Linux Users
Windows users have a few options, as basically all ecosystems are open and available to them. Linux users (and non-iTunes users) can use doubleTwist for media and rely on Exchange or Google Sync for PIM data.

  • Apple Ecosystem: Windows users have been using iDevices for years. The Apple ecosystem is completely open to all Windows users. The only thing you need to insure is that all your iDevices and iTunes have been updated to their latest versions.

 

  • Amazon Ecosystem: Windows and Android go well together. In fact, many Windows users are also Android users and vice-versa.  Amazon has carved itself a very unique corner of the mobile market by introducing its own app store and inking deals with music labels, and movie and TV studios. The content is available through Amazon Prime, and you get a 30 day free trial with the purchase of a Kindle Fire.  Google itself hasn’t been able to nail this bit down yet, so Amazon stands apart as the most complete player in the Android space, despite the lack of an Amazon-branded smartphone.

 

  • Google Ecosystem: Despite recent developments with Google Music and Google Books, Google’s ecosystem is still somewhat disjointed.  For as much money as Google has, they really need to nail this down. Users who go with an Android tablet and smartphone should be able to exchange purchases and data with all of their devices, provided they are compatible. The only difference may be the Amazon App Store, as I’ve not bought any apps there as yet.

In the end, you shouldn’t really try to mix and match Apple and Amazon/Google devices. You’re going to run into too many challenges trying to get the data and content from one to another, especially on the media and productivity sides of things. eBooks are easy, but will require Kindle software to bridge the gap.

Come back next time, and I’ll have specific gift recommendations for your 2011 Holiday Gift recipients.

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Battleheart – a highly addictive, gorgeous looking game for Android and iPhone

A while back I wrote about Inotia 3 – my favorite RPG for Android and iOS at that moment – an addictive game with cute characters and great storyline. Meanwhile I finished the game and to be honest I thought that I won’t find a better RPG, until just a few days back I discovered Battleheart.

Battleheart is a challenging action RPG (much more harder then Inotia 3) with a great level of customization and freedom, smooth multi-touch controls and addictive fast-paced battly system. At this moment I’ve only put a couple of hours into it so far, but I can easily say that if I should choice between this and Inotia 3, I would definitely say Battleheart due to the simple fact that is more challenging and I love the multi-touch controls system.

The game has around 30 campaign levels and each battle you can choose 4 characters from your party. Your characters can equip a weapon, armore, and 2 accessories (rings, talismans, etc) some of which can be upgraded. In order to obtain rare equipment , you can try your luck in the competitive survival arena – a place where you fight until your last breath in order to make as much kills you can. After every fight, you earn gold and experience that can be spent in the merchant shop or upgrading items.

As any other typical RPG, your characters level up based on the experience you get fighting monsters and you unlock new talents and abilities. What I like is that you can change your talents at any time in-between battles (by visiting the tavern from the game menu), so you don’t have to worry about choosing the “wrong” one, or you can switch based on a battle you’re having trouble with.

Game Features

  • Easily command your army via simple touch commands.
  • Create a unique party from numerous character classes, including stealthy rogues, powerful wizards and stoic knights!
  • Customize your heroes via dozens of unique skills – literally hundreds of class and skill combinations!
  • Make the most of your party’s skills to control the battlefield – turn your opponents into frogs, stun them with poisons, or simply destroy them with meteor strikes and whirlwinds of steel!
  • Over 100 unique items to collect and equip across a 30+ level campaign, complete with epic boss battles!
  • Put your custom party to the ultimate test in survival arenas, where rare and unique rewards can be found!
  • Incredibly sharp animation and art designed specifically for cutting edge mobile devices!

Battleheart for Android | Battleheart for iOS (iPhone/iPad)

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5 iPad games that are free and really cool

Pocket Legends – is the largest 3D Massively-Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game for mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone and Android. You choose your character, pursue quests, upgrade your stats while you meet thousands of other player along the way. What makes it really cool is that while playing, you’ll be connecting not only with other iPad/iPhone players, but also with the Android users around the world. Moreover, the game plays over virtually any connection: wireless, Edge, 3G or 4G connections and most mobile devices.


Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift – is a fun puzzle game where you’ll have to find a way to get the candy to Om Nom, the adorable monster. The game combines great physics, tricky levels, and bright colorful visuals with a special winter feel. To play, simply swipe your finger across the ropes and collect the stars by touching them with the candy, but it’s not always simple. Think before you slice and be sure to avoid the enemies and obstacles. Every level is different and getting that candy to Om Nom won’t be easy!


Puzzle Planet – is a fun puzzle game recommended for anyone who enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles. Help the alien Nur and his furry friend Glood navigate the wonders of Planet Earth and solve jigsaw puzzles along the way. You get 3 scenic Puzzle Destinations to start, with 6 puzzles each. “Just so we’re clear, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill, sit-at-a-card-table-with-your-grandma-sipping-lemonade jigsaw puzzles. These are wickedly challenging and lightning fast. You’ll need lizard fingers and an alien brain to solve them fast and rack up the points.”


Fruit Ninja HD Lite – is a simple game where you swipe the screen as fruit flies around to slash and splatter fruit like a true ninja warrior. Sounds boring? Well, its not, you are not going to believe how much fun it is to play. Just try it! A little bit deeper, Fruit Ninja HD Lite features a sample of Classic Mode, as well as a taste of the local multiplayer mode – Zen Duel! You can also check out the Dojo, where your success in game can unlock awesome new backgrounds and blades! There are also a small sample of achievements to unlock, with three exclusive to Fruit Ninja HD Lite!


Simply Solitaire HD – is a styled version of Solitaire and I guess, this tells it all. The game feature rich content and polished visual style, plus natural card layout and there is much more to tell. There are 2 game modes: 1 Card Draw (for everyone) and 3 Card Draw (for experts), achievements, leaderboards and much more things I’ll let you find out on your own. Have fun!


Check back later if you like. I’ll update this article with more other cool games. Also, if you have any other suggestion, please leave a comment.

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Mac OS X Lion has been downloaded by 1 million users worldwide

1 million users have purchased Mac OS X 10.7 Lion during the first day of availability. This is the official statement made by Apple in which they also mentioned the fact that this number relates to users that have bought the product and to users that have downloaded it. It’s a questionable statement that can be easily reinterpreted.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing declared:

“Lion is off to a great start, user reviews and industry reaction have been fantastic.”

Well, many critics say that there is something wrong about this OS. It’s huge and slow, and many of its features are just useless especially in terms of usability. Users that have already bought it, complain about the lack of additional info regarding its features. Many of them will praise any downgrade available from Lion to any other Mac OS version. So where is the truth about this product? Will Apple become the new Internet Big Brother through its products?

In case you want an answer to these questions and you have $29.99 to spend, just visit the Mac® App Store™.

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