AJAX may be an overused buzzword, but it also has some incredibly cool uses within your websites. We’ve rounded up the best AJAX tools for your perusal – free feel to add more suggestions in the comments. (more…)
I installed Parallels and noticed when I right click on a file on the Mac OS X side there is now bunch of Windows applications under ‘Open With’ menu.
This is compliments of their ‘SmartSelect’ feature. I like the idea but I don’t like seeing Microsoft anything on my Mac Side. It ruins the experience.
To clear the application Parallels recommends you:
You need to open the virtual machine folder, delete the “Windows Applications” folder, and disable “Share Windows Applications to Mac” under the “Shared Applications” options in the virtual machine configuration.
That did not work for me even after a restart or two. The applications were still listed in the menu. However now, when I click on one Mac OS X said the application cannot be found…. So the menu need a rebuild and this command did the trick:
-kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user
Much has been written about the approach to presentations taken by Steve Jobs. His slides, for example, are always simple, stunning and highly visual and he uses them smoothly and seamlessly, advancing all slides and effects himself without ever drawing attention to the fact that he is the one advancing slides. His style is conversational and his visuals are in perfect sync with his words. His presentations are built on a solid structure which gives them an easy feeling of flow as if he were taking us on a small journey. He is friendly, comfortable and confident (which makes others feel relaxed), and he exudes a level of passion and enthusiasm that is engaging without going over the top.
It all seems so automatic and natural. It all seems so easy, so you’d be tempted to think that it just comes naturally to Steve, that it’s a pretty easy task for him to use his natural charisma to woo a crowd. But you’d be wrong. While it is true that Steve Jobs is a charismatic figure, I’m not sure giving presentations with multimedia support, and even giving live demos (how many CEOs do that?), is something that comes naturally to anyone. No, the reason Steve Jobs’ presentations go so well and are so engaging is because he and his team prepare and practice like mad to make sure it looks ‘easy.’ The waters are in motion but the moon retains its serenity When Steve is on stage he is in a sense an artist. And like any artist, through practice and experience, he has perfected his ‘technique’ and ‘form.’ Yet also like the trained artist, there is no thought of technique or of form, or even of failure or success while performing the art. Once we think of failure or success we are like the swordsman whose mind stops, ever so briefly, to ponder his technique or the outcome of the fight. The moment he does that he has lost. This sounds paradoxical, of course, but once we allow our mind to drift to thoughts of success and failure or of outcomes and technique while performing our art we have at that moment begun our sure decent.
‘Mushin no shin’ (The mind that is no mind) When a swordsman is in the moment and his mind is empty (or the ‘mind that is no mind’) there are no emotions stemming from fear, there are no thoughts of winning or of losing or even of using the sword. In this way, says Daisetz Suzuki in Zen and Japanese Culture, ‘both man and sword turn into instruments in the hands of the unconscious, and it is the unconscious that achieves wonders of creativity. It is here that swordplay becomes an art.’ Beyond mastering technique, the secret to swordsmanship rests in obtaining a proper mental state of ‘no mind’ where the mind is ‘abandoned and yet not abandoned.’ Frankly, if you are engaged in any art or even a sports match (think Tiger Woods) you must get rid of the obtruding self-consciousness or ego-consciousness and apply yourself completely, but also, as Suzuki says, ‘…as if nothing particular were taking place at the moment.’ When you perform in a state of ‘no mind’ you are free from the burdens of inhibitions and doubt and can contribute fully and fluidly in the moment. Artists know this state of mind, as do musicians and highly trained athletes.
These highly anticipated presentations that Steve does come with a lot of pressure to get it right. A lot is riding on each presentation and expectations are high inside and outside Apple. Yet what makes Steve so effective in these situations is that he is able to seemingly forget the seriousness of the situation and ‘just perform.’ In this way he is like the artful swordsman who through his ‘immovable mind’ has no thought of life or death. The mind has been quieted and the man is free to be fully present. As Suzuki puts it:
‘The waters are in motion all the time but the moon retains its serenity. The mind moves in response to ten thousand situations but remains ever the same.’
We need technique and proper form and we need to know ‘the rules.’ We need to practice and practice some more. By putting in the hard work in the preparation phase and internalizing the material we can perform our art — the art of presentation — in a way that is more natural by obtaining the proper sate of mind, that is, ‘no mind.’
Keynote ’08 now available Steve had another nice presentation today in Cupertino in Apple’s Town Hall. One of my more memorable presentations was on that same stage; it’s a very nice little theatre. The new Keynote is something that I am pretty excited about. It is the built-in voiceover capabilities that you can put in sync with the cinematic transitions that I can’t wait to try. If someone knows of some samples (already) please let us know. Below are a few stills from today’s presentation. Go watch it here in a beautiful 640×360 (26.8 FPS) QuickTime display. (Update:Here’s a link to a test video I made of the recording feature, or just scroll down to see the YouTube video.)
I’m not a fan of 3-D displays for 2-D data, but I admit that this does not look bad.
Steve seldom uses bullets, but when he does they appear one at a time as he reviews what he has said about the product. Notice there are no actual bullets, they are not needed as these are clearly four separate text elements.
‘Look at this!….We think there is a much better way…’
‘Put everything all in one and clean up the mess.’
The empty screen creates tension and anticipation…
Keynote 08…looks good.
UPDATE OK, I have Keynote 08 and have been using it for about an hour or so. Love it. Here I quickly (very quickly) recorded my voice in sync with some slides. On the Mac the export looks perfect. When it is uploaded to YouTube some transitions are degraded quite a bit. Especially for YouTube you will want to keep transitions simple (perhaps no transitions and the occasional fade). I also have to experiment and see which is the best way to compress the movie for uploading to YouTube.
Jim can probably reiterate this but it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I don’t have to us Microsoft Word or Excel, anymore! ( I stopped using PowerPoint as soon as I could and never liked Microsoft Entourage ) I don’t have to struggle with horrible UI, tons of bugs and worry about if I have all their updates… Even though Macs don’t get viruses I still worried about having any type of Microsoft product on my Mac.. Once (or 3000 times) bitten, twice shy.
So the only Microsoft products I have in my life are:
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. ( no software on my mac )
Microsoft mouse. ( no software on my mac )
Xbox 360 ( was developed with a Mac, so that is ok)
So I hate IE and all things Microsoft… Who doesn’t ( Um, except for my 360 but that has a G5 chip in it and was developed with help of Mac OS X so I can live with myself).
The fact remains that we have to develop web applications for IE no matter how far off the standards they are… and because they are soo far off us web developers need a lot of help trying to find out what standard, if any, they are actually following. Here is a list of tools to help you. From Microsoft TechEd 2007: Web Development Tools for Internet Explorer:
IE Developer Toolbar Provides a variety of tools for quickly creating, understanding, and troubleshooting webpages.
I think one thing that I have been learning is UI is all about user expectation and meeting that. In a good design, things are just where they should be, the majority of users expect them to be in the same area and gravitate towards that… I find that really interesting.
The other thing I have noticed is that bad UI makes people feel dumb. If the system is too complicated, users feel stupid because they can’t figure it out. I think that is why Apple users love their products so much. They feel empowered (or liberated if they switched over from the Windows world). The UI just gets out the way and lets you do what you need to do. You feel smart when you use it because you can be so efficient and your expectations are met.