Things I download on everyone’s Mac

These are direct as I can make ’em. Click on the links, and in most cases, the software will start downloading.
  1. Firefox 7
  2. Google Earth and Google Chrome
  3. Flip4Mac and Silverlight (To play Windows Media files — this is just the latest version, but I’ll try to keep it updated. The company’s download site is here.)
  4. Perian (To play everything else. Same note as for Flip4Mac; download site here.)
  5. OpenOffice (direct link to download) – I want to encourage everyone to start thinking about editing docs online, but if you need an Office suite, this is as good as Microsoft’s.
  6. SMARTreporter – get notified if one of your hard drives is going to fail. Of course, even if it does, you’re fine, because you’re backing up every day, right? (Note: I don’t always do this one any longer.)
I also have a list of my favorite OS X tweaks here.

Things we love and hate

And then there are those phenomena that stoke our duplicity:

  1. Apple’s rigidly constrained product line: Purchase decisions are easy, but you always want that one other product — the iMac that’ll take 8GB RAM, the MacBook Air with FireWire, the … dare I say it … tablet.
  2. Apple’s increasing popularity: It was fun to drive the BMW of computers. But now every other car at the coffee shop … er, I mean, on the road … is a BMW. I think Mac users used to skew smarter and more open-minded; now we’re all over the place. Plus, as evidenced by the MobileMe fiasco, Apple needs to stop trying to be all things to all people. Let the iPhone sync wirelessly with other services like Google or Plaxo, why dontcha? (I mean, besides Exchange, which is discountable as a consumer solution.)
  3. The Mac mini: 2GB RAM? Really? Come on! It’s a fantastic machine. I’m typing on one now. Gigabit Ethernet. Fits anywhere. Super-slick. It’s my multimedia server, and home backup. Fantastic — until it runs out of memory, and then nothing but a reboot is gonna fix it. Reaaaaaally?
  4. Democracy
  5. An unhacked iPhone
  6. OS X Server: So good, so pretty, so clean, yet so limited, and not nearly stable or reliable enough. There’s a reason that MS Small Business Server is so popular; if you follow the Microsoft dogma, you don’t have to learn anything else to be a PC tech. Apple has waited too long to make the managed-client scenario obviously plug-and-play GUIfied. And it’s got a lame Address Book Directory, and a calendar server that won’t easily sync with the iPhone. REALLY?!
  7. The f@$%*& iTunes App Store. What a boon to the iPhone, but I really can’t believe Apple rejected a podcatcher application. Jerks.

Things that bug us

I’m compiling a list of junk that Erick and I run across that make us crazy. In some particular order, and warning: profanity follows…

  1. Western Digital MyBooks
  2. Maxtor drives
  3. Backup software not backing up
  4. Backup software not backing up because your stupid MyBook keeps unmounting itself
  5. Best Buy’s crappy prices and inventory
  6. That Best Buy sucks so bad we actually miss CompUSA
  7. Circuit City
  8. Altex
  9. The disturbing lack of a Fry’s Electronics store in San Antonio
  10. Yahoo not offering IMAP access to mail clients besides the iPhone
  11. Configuring email on a Blackberry
  12. Dell printers
  13. Gas prices
  14. Ill-informed AppleCare reps
  15. Tech-support phone monkeys who don’t listen, who assume they’re dealing with ignoramuses, and who keep insisting that you need to archive and install
  16. No CalDAV support on iPhone
  17. DSL
  18. Best Buy’s upping the price on DSL modems — Fuckers!
  19. Having to buy a modem at Best Buy because the know-nothing, knee-biting AT&T rep installed a crappy 2Wire wireless router even though the client had a router sitting right there.
  20. AT&T
  21. 2Wire
  22. AT&T’s damn DSL setup CD, which a client unsuspectingly inserted in their server, only to have it change the server’s network settings and screw up their whole operation.
  23. Lack of copy-paste on the iPhone
  24. Black iPhones shipping with white accessories
  25. Entourage (though admittedly less so these days, but don’t tell Microsoft I said so)
  26. Windows Windows Windows
  27. Windows Me
  28. Windows Vista
  29. Windows XP
  30. Windows 2000
  31. Microsoft Small Business Server
  32. Mac OS X Server (yeah, it’s on the list of Things We Dig, too)
  33. Printer/scanner manufacturers with poor driver rollouts for OS X
  34. Stupid fucking Jar Jar (I just had to)
To be continued…