Moom for Mac

Moom is a cool window management program that runs in the background on OS X. I first heard about it on the MacBreak Weekly podcast a few months ago. Since that time, Moom become a must-have application on my computer. Moom has many uses and features, but I mainly use it to expand the functionality of the green “plus” button on all open windows on my Mac. I love OS X, but I’ve never been completely satisfied with how it handles the resizing and maximizing of open windows. Moom completes the experience. I think its capabilities should be integrated directly into future versions of the OS. It’s that good!

Visit the Moom website for more information, demos, and a free trial. Moom is only $5 to buy, and is well worth it for something I use every day. You can download the program directly from the developer, but it is also available on the Mac App Store.

Moom Screenshot

Snow Leopard Crashed My Mac Mini

Tonight, for the first time in the 2.5+ years that I’ve owned my Mac Mini, my entire OS X 10.6 crashed top-to-bottom. WTF? I’m awe struck.

The above text was my post to Twitter this evening. It’s true. I woke up my Mac Mini tonight and in the middle of writing an email on Gmail.com in Safari, the entire OS failed, resulting in a dimmed, dark screen saying to power off my computer and restart. I’d never seen that before in my life. A report was sent to Apple. What in the world could have happened? I only had three open programs at the time. Let’s hope I never see that message again.

I snapped a photo of my screen with my camera for evidence, but I’m not going to include that photo in this post because the screen showed information in my Gmail account with too much personal data.

Mac Cinch Tool

I just learned of a very handy tool for the Mac called Cinch. What Cinch does is replicate the function in Windows 7 called Snap, which allows the user to drag a window to the side of the screen, and the window automatically snaps to that side of the screen. In addition to that, dragging a window to the top of the screen automatically maximizes that window to fill the entire screen. The maximize ability alone is worth the $7 price of the Cinch tool.

In my opinion, the number one most glaring omission on Mac OS X is the lack of a true maximize button. As a former Windows user, I’ve always found this puzzling and odd. Fortunately, that issue is eliminated with Cinch. Try it now. I absolutely love it.

Snow Leopard Upgrade!

Tonight on my way home from work, I stopped by the crowded Apple store in Raleigh to pick up my $29 upgrade copy of Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6. I have now upgraded my Mac Mini to the new OS! Despite trying as hard as I could to find a way to do a clean wipe and install, I resorted to a traditional upgrade, which took about 45 minutes to an hour on my machine. The new OS does appear to be much faster on boot and Finder operations. I’ve only been using the new OS for a half hour, so bear that in mind.

Snow Leopard locks out old PowerPC users, as it available for Intel processors only. I’m at the shallow end of that requirement, using a two-year-old Mac Mini with an Intel Core Duo. You can visit snowleopard.wikidot.com for a list of potential software issues with the new OS. So far for me, in my tests, Cyberduck (FTP) won’t launch at all on the new OS, and Firefox 3.5.2 crashed once. A few other applications that I use have issued updates for 10.6 compatibility today. Expect more to come over the following days. I haven’t tried to load all of my apps yet.

In my short usage so far, the most notable difference is seem in performance and in the Dock. I’ve barely scratched the surface. Expect more posts to follow! Meanwhile, visit Macworld for updated information!

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Snow Leopard Coming August 28

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is to be released this Friday Aug. 28! It’s confirmed on the Apple website. Grrr! I’m sure to find myself in line at the Apple store in Raleigh Friday night after work! The upgrade from 10.5 is only $30. Hell yeah. I can’t wait! But I do love my Mac so much already, how can it get any better?

I probably sound like a crazed Apple fanboy, but it matters to me, being the Mac, iTunes and iTouch user that I am. Apple is the center of my computing world today. Hooray for OS X. In my opinion, it’s the best operating system on the market.

I've Deleted iBank

During the summer, I started using the Mac money management program iBank. I was impressed with version 2, and bought the program when I was promised a free upgrade to version 3. I’ve been using version 3 since its release, which today is on version 3.32. Despite numerous updates to version 3, I have never been completely satisfied with the program. Despite enjoying great communication with IGG, the company who makes iBank, and the fact that it is a Leopard-only universal binary application, minor irritations with my own user experience have never been corrected. I’ll list just a few examples, though they are not the only ones.

1) When I work with a credit card account, I must enter all balances as negative values. When I reconcile my statement with iBank, if I don’t put a minus (-) in front of the balance, even if it is in the thousands of dollars, the program just accepts it, wrecking my calculated balance. This is pure stupid. If they are going to use this horrible method of managing credit accounts, at least provide a warning against entering a positive value.

2) Reconciling statements on any account is very counter-intuitive and confusing. I have to relearn how to enter statements every time I enter one. Anyone used to using Quicken or Money will have a hard time for months trying to figure this out, and I am still baffled at the hoops I have to jump through. Transactions have a date and a time associated with them. Every time I reconcile a new statement, I have to change the time of the final date in the period to 11:59 PM, because the program insists on putting the current time, each and every time. Stupid!

3) When I enter a new transaction that has no recipient name (such as ATM transactions), iBank automatically fills in the recipient field with the last transaction entered. So, if I went to Target yesterday and entered it in iBank, then went to the ATM today, when I save the new transaction today, iBank will insert “Target” in the field for the ATM transaction, despite the fact that it is entered in the ATM/Cash category!

4) When I start to enter any memorized recipient on a new transaction, I still have to manually capitalize the first letter. For example, if I type “lowes”, which I frequently visit, if I start typing the name with a lowercase “L” it fills in “Lowes Foods”, except it displays as “lowes Foods”. I have to manually capitalize even the memorized transactions! Did a bunch of monkeys code this program?

Today I was presented with the final nail in the coffin for iBank. iBank routinely notifies me of any software updates when I launch the program. I typically exit the application and download the update. When I install the update, it says it can’t update because some process of iBank is still running. This has happened with every single update I’ve tried to apply. Only a full computer reboot will stop the error. Is iBank still running something in the background after every use? What?! Today, I used the program and when I was notified of a new version 3.32 update. I restarted the computer and tried to install the update. The update would not install, and after that iBank will not load at all, saying that the program is not compatible with my Mac system.

I’ve had it. Full price for iBank is $59! That is double what it is actually worth. I didn’t pay full price for this program when I bought version 2, which was less expensive, and I received the free upgrade to version 3. I have now deleted the program and will go back to using the frustrating Quicken 2007. Quicken was due to release a new Mac version called “Quicken Financial Life for Mac” this winter, but their website now says it will be pushed back to the summer of 2009. I think I can tolerate Quicken 2007 until that time. I just can’t overlook my frustrations with iBank any longer.