Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

28
Jul
07

A Macbook Review For Human Beings [Part One]

After living in front of an Apple Macbook for close to three months, I decided to write this concise review, in dedication to anyone who is even considering buying one. I hope you enjoy it, as it’s been a writing project of mine for a little while.


After months of waiting and saving for the Apple Macbook, I scurried down to the local Futureshop to pick up my new beauty. Since then, it’s been my pride and joy. Three months later, I decided that I’d given it enough use to review it for the public.The Apple Macbook is a combination of great design and stability, so I’ve given this review a section for each of these two things. Before we jump right in to the review, I just wanted to note that I am using the 512mb RAM version, and not the 1gb RAM one. I bought the Macbook before Apple replaced the 512mb version.
Design

One of many great things about apple’s products is that the design team will never let you down. The Macbook, of course, follows this statement exactly, offering a sleek design in its white or black editions.


You will find that there are design features that are useful in the sense that they give you some status information without having to use OS X at all. You will notice that when your Macbook is in a “sleeping” state, there is a flashing white light on its bottom trim, to the right side. The purpose of this flashing light is to, obviously, let you know the Macbook is sleeping. Also, if you look at the bottom of your Macbook, you will find five lights. These are battery indicators; if your battery is at full charge (100%), all five lights will be shining green, and vice versa. There is a brilliant little feature built into this, though. I lay my Macbook flat on my computer desk in my room, which is to the right of my bed (that’s right, now you know where it is if you want to steal it). When lying in my bed, I can actually see the battery indicator clearly from my desk, as it reflects nicely.

One small pet peeve with the overall Macbook layout is the side in which the ports are on. Now, this would be a treat for a left-handed owner, but as I am not, it is a bit aggravating that, in order to use my USB mouse, it requires me to bother with wrapping the mouse’s wire around the backside of the Macbook in order for me to use it with my right hand. Of course, I could train my hand to get used to left-hand mouse work, but that’s just out of the question…

Stability

Another great thing about the Macbook is that it isn’t necessary for me to take any extra care with it (even though I do, because after all, I dished out more than a grand for it), as it comes out of the box with the feeling that it is very strong and will sustain any involuntary movements I may have to make with it.

Many times I have just taken it with me almost simultaneously as I port myself from sitting in my computer chair to my bed, and that feeling you get with many laptops in that the screen is going to actually separate itself from the body of the laptop is not there at all. I can move it about quickly and you won’t hear hardware shuffling about or the screen making creaky, sketchy noises.

One thing that makes me a little weary is that when I use the Macbook on my lap (as intended with any laptop), it gets hot, hot, hot. It isn’t a heat I simply can’t bare, but believe me, when lying down on a couch with pajama pants on or, heaven forbid, underwear, prepare to find that, after using it, your thighs are left with a pit of heat to tend to.

Final Notes
To sum up this part of the review, I want to add that, like any white laptop or computer should, its colour does start to fade or show use. However, with the use of Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser, your Macbook’s pearly white colour can be restored. 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed part one of this concise Macbook review, and found it useful. Stay tuned for part two – it is coming very shortly.

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01
May
07

Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 Review

Digg This!

Okay, I’ll admit. I was a little cold when finding out that Adobe had acquired Macromedia. And I even started telling myself I would never use an Adobe product that once belonged to Macromedia. But, when CS3 was released, I just had to dig in.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS3

As soon as the install screen of Dreamweaver CS3 had booted, I was sure this software was going to be excellent.

//ImageHo.st

As you can see, there really only are four installation steps. However, a downside; it took too long to install. I didn’t have anything open that the “System Check” told me to close, so it should have run fine. That being said, I also had Google Talk and MSN Messenger open, and it did not tell me to close them.

After the installation, I had to go through the whole confirmation process. Once that was done, I copied the shortcut to the desktop and ran it (No option to add a shortcut to the desktop on install; odd).

//ImageHo.st

This is the page you are greeted with when running. A little prettier this time, with some more details shown on the sidebar.

One thing I am very disappointed about is that they still have not added the functionality to actually open a file with its proper extension when you create a new file (e.g. If I want to create a new PHP file, I would click “PHP” in the “Create New” pane. However, it just goes to an untitled document. This should be fixed with the ability to actually open a .php file.).

Take a look at a default “Untitled” file in Dreamweaver CS3:

//ImageHo.st

As you can see, there are some comments added, giving you some template edit *rules* before the .

Something that I found really helpful (but of course has its downsides) is the add-ons to the ever-infamous “Common” menu. Now you can have quick commands for Spry. A downside that I have noticed is, when adding PHP quick commands, it comes with “” attached. This causes it to be not quick at all, especially when you’re already in a code block.

//ImageHo.st

Pros:
– UI updates and enhancements
– More information about your files
– AJAX Support (Spry component)
– Spry Support (Widgets, effects)
– Browser Compatibility tool
– Enhanced Validation tool
– CSS layouts ready-to-go
– Manage your CSS
– Advanced Photoshop CS3 support
– Adobe Bridge CS3 ready-to-go

Cons:
– Not worth it’s dollar amount
– Install feature looks nice, but doesn’t function as well as it could
– Proper Extensions when opening a file — not included
– “Quick Commands” not so quick…

Pricing:
Buy: $399 US
Upgrade: $199 US

Overall: 8/10 — Very solid software. If you had Dreamweaver 8, you will not find much difference (therefore, not really worth its price), but if you have not owned any Dreamweaver versions previously, you will really, really like this.