Archives For software

Project phoenix

Twitterrific was the first Mac client for Twitter, and I’ve used it since almost the beginning—10 years ago! When the app developers, The Iconfactory, expanded to iOS, Twitterrific kept up with Twitter’s features on iOS, but not on the Mac. (That’s due to programming resources, but also a lot of dickish moves by Twitter to shut out developers for a while.)

And yet, I still use Twitterrific as my Twitter client on the Mac, even though it lacks a lot of modern Twitter features. I’ve tried others, and none of them stick.

Now, The Iconfactory is Kickstarting a push to revive Twitterrific on macOS with Project Phoenix. If they can raise $75,000, they’ll be able to finish development on a brand-new version of Twitterrific. If they go over that amount, that gives them the ability to add more features.

In general, I’m not a fan of established companies using Kickstarter to fund their products. I get PR emails from one company all the time advertising some new product that’s actually just a funding plea.

But I make exceptions for companies I respect and trust, and The Iconfactory is way up on that list. I’ve kicked a contribution to help this project get made. You can too.

Tco parallels 12

This is no longer a new idea, but I still feel a twinge of amazement when I can run Windows on my Mac. In the dark ages, the divide between Mac and Windows computers was almost too wide, and we relied on methods of sharing data that were like running across fraying rope bridges.

Now, whenever I need to test something in Windows or work on a project that has a Windows component (like when I was writing books about Photoshop Elements), I can open a virtualization program like Parallels Desktop and have a Windows environment running in a window on my Mac.

And it’s not just Windows. I have installations of macOS Sierra running in virtual machines, too, enabling me to test features without switching my main Mac over to beta software.

I’ve used Parallels and VMware Fusion in the past, but when VMware decided to abandon Fusion last year, that left only Parallels as the major virtualization product out there. They could have coasted as the sole survivor, but Parallels Desktop 12 feels to me like a big improvement over older versions.

But there’s a lot there. And this is where Joe Kissell’s new book, Take Control of Parallels Desktop 12 comes in. I had the pleasure of editing this title, and aside from getting to work with Joe’s clear and engaging text (seriously, he’s a joy to edit), I learned a lot about the new version.

Take Control of Parallels Desktop 12 is available now for just $15. That’s 170 pages of real-world advice, guidance, and plenty of illustrations to show you what you’re working with.

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Apple has had a great and terrible week. It announced 10 million new iPhones sold during the first weekend they were available, but then got blindsided by a bug in iOS 8.0.1 that killed cellular connections and TouchID for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices. That would seem like something that would come up in testing, and yet, it went out into the wild.

At iMore, Nick Arnott, who also does quality assurance for a mobile development company, explains how this sort of thing happens:

I’ve experienced the gut-wrenching unpleasantness of being part of a team that was responsible for shipping a major bug. For development and QA teams, I can’t think of anything worse than pouring your heart and soul into a project you’re passionate about, working tirelessly night after night to meet impossible deadlines, feeling relieved and euphoric to have finally shipped, only to have the rug pulled out from under you with a horrible bug that somehow got missed. It’s awful. It’s heartbreaking. And even once you’ve pulled a few more days of insane hours remediating the bug, you’re still left unable to stop beating yourself up. You can’t stop thinking “how could I have missed that?” While I don’t know how the issues in 8.0.1 made it out the door, I do know that it wasn’t the result of a lack of intelligence, skill, or care.

(Hat tip to Jason Snell at Six Colors for pointing to the article; if you haven’t seen Jason’s new site and/or subscribed to his newsletter, get on over.)