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MacBook Pro, iWork, Expression Studio 2 and other Rumblings…

I have been quiet the past couple of weeks on CodeBetter. Truth be told I had nothing really “CodeBetter” worthy to say ( and still don’t ) as most of my time over the past couple of months has been occupied trying to figure out the new MacBook Pro I purchased to replace my aging Dell XPS laptop that is just not fast enough to run Visual Studio 2008 let alone Vista.


No real reason to purchase the Mac over another laptop other than I was just looking for a little adventure. From time-to-time you need to burst that self-made bubble where you are comfortable, and head in an unknown direction where you can feel the excitement of being clumsy, out-of-place, and at the mercy of others as you ask what you know are the most basic questions. Unless you put yourself in those situations, however, you just stop growing as a developer and a person.


So here I am two months into my MacBook Pro and I still feel green, but I am being very productive andI am having loads of fun as I get to play with some tools and toys that make me feel a little more worldly so-to-speak.


 


VMware Fusion


First and foremost, VMware Fusion is a freaking unbelievable application that allows you to run Windows on your Mac. I am running my full stack of developer, web development, and graphic design tools and they work flawlessly with no noticeable performance hit. And, I am not using BootCamp. This is pure VMware Fusion on a MacBook Pro. If you have any doubts about running Fusion, I can tell you that after 2 months I have not come across a single problem ( knock on wood ).


I talk about this in a couple of posts, but you can find similar information all over the web:



 


One of the coolest things you can do with VMware Fusion is set it up in Unity Mode where the virtualization desktop goes away and your Windows Apps run along-side Mac Apps on the Mac Desktop. As I have migrated some of my daily activities to Mac Apps, this all works out really slick.


 


Apple iWork ’08


I had a couple of presentations to give the other day to a new client and I took a gamble on moving some of my Powerpoint Presentations to Keynotes:



I am not an adept Powerpoint user. However, I tell you what, Keynotes is absolutely amazing to create presentations. Without using any documentation and the stock templates, you can put together some really nice presentations complete with transitions and actions very easily.


I haven’t done much with Pages ( word processing ) and Numbers (spreadsheet ) that come with iWork, but Keynotes is definitely as good as they say in the Mac community. I will use Keynotes from now on for all my presentations.


 


Expression Studio 2


I am actively trying to use Expression Studio in my day-to-day tasks to replace my old versions of Adobe Dreameaver and Adobe Fireworks from the Macromedia days. Yeah, that old. Thing is, they work flawlessly and are really enjoyable to use, having a wonderful UI and a wonderful set of features in my probably 3 to 4 year old versions.


My first thoughts are to use Expression Design 2 and Expression Web 2 which I talk about here-



At this point, I realize Expression Design 2 will not do. It is a good product for vector graphics, but I can’t do much with it in terms of bitmap or pixel graphics. It doesn’t have the tools.


I just started playing with Expression Web 2, so I don’t have much to say on it at the moment other than the FTP Site Publisher is questionable. Even Coda for Mac Web Development is better at publishing sites at $79, but I need to dig into Expression Web 2 a bit more.


I am thinking about just trying the new versions of Adobe Fireworks and Dreamweaver on the Mac and see what they offer, if anything. The upgrade prices are a bit steep for just wanting to more-or-less get to the latest versions.


 


Conclusion


I have a few other things I have been playing with, but most of it is on the Mac. I have got a number of new Mac Apps that are pretty cool. I have been using AppleTV quite a bit and converting movies over to it. I am creating a Dashboard widget using DashCode on the Mac,. Etc. If anyone else is playing with a Mac for the first time, I would love to hear about it. It’s nice to have others to bounce ideas off of and share experiences.


 


Dave

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10 Responses to MacBook Pro, iWork, Expression Studio 2 and other Rumblings…

  1. David Hayden says:

    Mario,

    I haven’t personally tried Vista with Fusion so I cannot say much about it. I can say that XP works wonderfully. And there you have the beauty of the Mac – if you choose not to run XP or Vista in Fusion you can still wipe the Mac clean and have a really fast PC to run Vista on. I am happy with XP and Fusion while running some really cool Mac apps, so I plan to stay here for now.

  2. David Hayden says:

    Jeff,

    Very cool that you are using those mac applications as I have been using them myself.

  3. JoeH says:

    damn. i’m glad we got visual studio so you’re using at least one of our products.

  4. mario says:

    I tried to use OSX and VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro for several months and I finally gave up. There is a noticeable speed difference when running Visual Studio 2008 in Vista x64 than in Fusion. The rest of my apps, like Office, work fine in Fusion. There are too many quirks I cannot get used to in OSX, app insonsistencies (install/uninstall for example), menu bar on one screen when using dual displays, windows not resizeable on all borders, horrible mouse acceleration. The last straw was the OSX update which made my system crawl … I cleanly wiped OSX out and now just run Vista x64 SP1 with VMWare Workstation to run Server 2003 images. I’m a happy camper again.

  5. jlynch says:

    David,

    Wow. I’m in the middle of doing exactly the same thing (Macbook, Coda & CSSEdit) and am beginning development of an iPhone app using xCode in OS X.

    Jeff

  6. Beto says:

    There are great apps for the Mac (from a developer perspective), I will recomend you to take a look to the http://osx.iusethis.com/ site for more info about the different apps out there. For me, Growl, PathFinder, QuickSilver, AppZapper, TrueCrypt and NetNewsWire are a must.

  7. Vista has no point with VMWare and Unity, it’s just the only Win OS I had available. I am still on a DELL for 99% of my work.

    My MBP is about 2.5 years old so 2GB is the max. I am going to upgrade but waiting for WWDC in June. I’m sure 4GB would help tremendously with Vista in VMWare. The other downside is no Aero inside VMWare.

    For sure check out Screenflow, I prefer it to Camtasia. Good luck,

    Kyle

  8. David Hayden says:

    I am using XP. I didn’t see the point moving to Vista since I spend a decent amount of my time in Leopard which is pretty nice. I wonder if you will get a big boost in performance if you toss in another 2GB of RAM? Memory is pretty cheap right now.

    Never heard of PathFinder, so that is on my list. TextMate is nice and I have been wondering how well ScreenFlow works. I am so spoiled by Camtasia, but I would love to get a screencasting applications on the Mac.

    Thanks for the tips.

  9. Are you running XP or Vista in VMWare? I have Vista on mine and I can’t run VS without waiting FOREVER to do just about anything (on a first gen MacBookPro with 2GM RAM.)

    Make sure you checkout PathFinder, Textmate and ScreenFlow

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