May 6, 2007

75 and Sunny

Posted in Commentary, OSX Software at 8:00 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

Typical day in Southern California this morning in Santa Monica. I should also add that this was at 7 am in the morning when I noted the mild temps and picture perfect day. And why was I at the beach in Santa Monica at some ungodly hour in the AM on a weekend no less? Well, I like to run or I *did* like to run until I had the misfortune of cramming my right leg into the earth at something around 40 mph while speeding down a ski run on my mountain bike. One steel plate and seven screws later, my running days were very limited. That all happened about 10 years ago and today, in the early morning sunshine and sea breeze, I ran my first 10K since then that nasty crash. I spent the last year in training to get myself back into shape to run 6.2 miles at a good 10 minute per mile pace even while running up four miles of a 4% grade. It felt very good to be with the athletic crowd of the 10K runners and to see that the running events like the Santa Monica Classic are still very family friendly. The mountain bike races were never as friendly and while they were an awesome adrenaline rush, running is much safer for someone with one kid in college and two more little ones under four. Everything changes over time and my MTB has been mostly retired I’m afraid. I was never very good at holding back on my rides and since I know that all too well, it servers no purpose to tease myself on the mountain bike. Better to find something else for now and there is nothing like the pain of running 6 miles up a hill to distract you from your woes 🙂

Now, I know this is not very Mac like but in a way it is. Windows is like the MTB crowd, alot of people there but not very friendly and not very forgiving when a mistake is made. My experience with Macs tend to be like my running. I can push as hard as I want to or I can easily coast along and enjoy the view. And the family can enjoy it also without too much trouble. My dad picked up my iBook, the first real computer he has every tried (webTV doesnt count) and proceeded to spend most of the day surfing around the web with just a bit of instruction on the touch pad and how web pages work. Now he is 78 and very fixed in his ways but he was hinted very strongly to me that he would not mind having a Powerbook of his own 🙂 I can speak from experience that if this had been a Windows laptop, it would not have been the same experience give he was hooked right away on just shutting the lid and then opening it up to play some more minutes later. And the iBook never missed a beat.

I was told about a new Dev application for websites called “CODA” by the good folks at Panic who also sell Transmit, one of the best FTP clients around. I needed to rewrite a website from it’s horribly nested tables and use CSS styles instead. I had tried a few different editors but none really clicked with me. CODA clicked and clicked very fast. Like I used it for four hours and then bought it even though I had 14 more days on the trial. It has one of the easist interfaces I have used, split panes for viewing the code and preview or style sheet, integrated with Transmit, auto sync between local and remote copies, free eBooks on HTML, CSS and PHP plus alot more. You can have multiple instances open for each different site which was an unexpected pleasure to use since I have three projects all built on templates from the same place with the same #&*@#*( nested tables giving me grief. The find and replace is a good deal better than just “find and replace”, it can do a complete string of commands or just the anchors or whatever. CODA has a collaboration engine but I have not tested it but it does work with Bonjour over the network.

CODA

You can see the sun total of buttons are six. To change your view is as easy as clicking on which view you want, presto chango. The editor will attempt to help you by completing which tag you want based on the first few letters including options. It takes a bit of getting used to it but I find it helpful.

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