by Giorgos Simonides
For the past twelve months I've been testing a Nissan Leaf, the all-electric motoring solution. Surprisingly, not only is it supremely quiet and economical, charged from my home port, it is fast, comfortable and very refined. In fact, it feels like a small limousine, considerably more refined even than an equivalent Audi A3 or VW Golf. I would buy an electric car in a heartbeat if it weren't for one snag: Range.
In Speed Mac preferences you can add frequently used files or folders, favourite or often-used applications. You can list preferred web sites, if you wish, but the main charm of Speedy Mac is in opening frequently used data.
It doesn't do anything that you can't do yourself in a few steps, but the beauty of it is that there is only one step in every case. And you don't have to search. It even remembers and lists recent applications and files.
I started using Speedy Mac last month after reading a MacWorld article and I'm completely sold on its benefits. This one is definitely worth a try.
Lion it is, and we will have it from next summer. At today's press conference we were told that Lion would mark the convergence of OS X with iOS4, with many of the popular features of the iPhone and iPad being introduced to the Mac. First innovation is a Mac App Store to provide an easier way to buy and keep apps updated. It will work just like the iOS App Store and developers will take their 70% while Apple snaffles 30%. I can see some established Mac developers having a few misgivings about this, but I think they will see the benefits in greater sales once buying and choosing Mac programs is more straightforward and enjoyable. The good news, too, is that the Mac App Store will come within 90 days as part of the current Snow Leopard OS.
We will have to wait until summer for the other new features of Lion. I was pleased to see the increased emphasis on productivity by merging Spaces and Expose into one new feature called Mission Control. I've never really got to like Spaces and Expose but I am looking forward to trying the new features.
Great article today by David Gewirtz on ZDNet about the lessons Apple can learn from Amazon in the eBook market. David praises Amazon’s business model, in particular the opening of the Kindle eco-system to Macs, PCs, iPhones and other devices. Like me, David has a Kindle library but doesn’t own a Kindle: he reads the books on his iPhone. He suggests that a Kindle library is future-proof and, as I have mentioned many times, it doesn’t depend on just one device. He also praises Amazon’s open strategy where, in particular, even seconhand books are offered as an alternative when looking for a title.
When it comes to Apple and the iPad, he voices his concern that Apple will wish to control its market too closely, perhaps even deciding to ban certain books if the subject matter isn’t to its liking. He contrasts Apple’s secretive, controlling methods with Amazon’s more open and communicative persona. I had a good giggle over his reference to Kim Il Jobs......