A Journey to Springland

As I immersed myself deeper and deeper in the depthless sea that is Spring Rich Client, and despite Chris Parsons’ extremely helpful tutorial on the subject, I found myself at a loss. So, I am going to learn more about what Spring itself does and how it actually works. Having done that, I will make sure to record my journey through Spring and Spring RC here, in the Thinkpod.

My goal is to write a Hello World program with Spring, which will simply write the world-famous “Hello World!” message on the screen. This is currently my first stop. I will write back soon.

THE Blog Client for Mac?

The past few days have been a very critical time for my blogging experience. I have been trying different blog clients for Mac, and I was slowly, albeit surely, coming to the conclusion that there is no good blogging client for Mac. On my Windows 7 PC, I used to blog with Microsoft Windows Live Writer. It actually downloaded my WordPress blog theme and let me type as if I was writing on the blog itself. It could add annotations, had plugins to provide Wikipedia quick-links, and in short, anything I would have wanted from a blog client. So, when I started my search, the standard was set pretty high.

Here is a list of all the different applications I’ve tried on my Mac:

  • Ecto: didn’t even come close to satisfying me. The WYSIWYG editor was buggy and annoying. And I really didn’t like the UI.
  • Qumana: Didn’t support online drafting, had no way of inserting multi-media content, and didn’t provide a friendly user-interface.
  • MacJournal: didn’t do me much good, as a blogging client. As a replacement for my note collector software (OneNote on Windows) it did great. But it’s lack of support for correct media uploading left me disappointed. Sure, I could configure FTP access for my website, but that would have required tweaking the user permission settings from the server side and I wasn’t going for that.
  • Blogo: it was great. Except it didn’t allow me see or edit WordPress pages. Also I had some problems uploading. The UI was awesome. I particularly loved the Fullscreen view which allowed me to write without being distracted by everything else.
  • MarsEdit: MarsEdit wasn’t that much better than Blogo; but it currently is my editor of choice. It allows me to do most of the things I used to do with Windows Live Writer and the UI isn’t bad. There are currently no uploading problems and the spellcheck works just fine. It also has a Preview option, much like Windows Live Writer.

MarsEdit Main Window

Well, that’s it for now. I hope by reading this you can save some wear and tear – and some bucks of course :-).

Dead Man

And I killed a dead man, once upon a time,

It was a hired kill, and it cost’ just a dime,

A very cheap feat, kicking a man who’s down,

But hey people, I’ve since then grown,

Now I only kick them when they’re up and standing,

And – okay, I admit – when they’re not looking,

Maybe I’m not a good man, but who gives you the right to judge me so?

Do you consider God cruel, when fate brings you low?

Well, I’m just writing rubbish, that much is clear,

And my writing dwindles, as the end draws near …

Finding My Inner Mac

Hello everybody out there! About two weeks ago, I bought my very first MacBook. It’s not much better than my old VAIO Z, hardware-wise. But man, can it work.
The OSX runs in about twenty seconds and the logon process takes about 5 seconds (compare it to a 95 second startup time on Windows 7).
After the initial confusion of finding my way around, everything was a piece of cake. After only three hours, I had said goodbye to my old VAIO Z. For nearly any application I had on my Windows, there is a – sometimes better – replacement for my Mac. More than that, I now have the luxury of enjoying a native Persian calendar, the lack of which I always felt on Windows

Everything looks perfect and elegant. At 2kg – about 500g heavier than Z – it’s just barely heavy enough to make me notice the weight.
What I have installed on the OS include:

  • calibre; to manage my eBooks and also to have something to work with my Nook. Also, the interface was familiar since I had used it on my Windows already. The real disappointment here, was that I couldn’t satisfactorily manage my eBooks’ collection with iTunes. I liked the interface very much, however I couldn’t get it to work with the Nook as well as I wanted to.
  • IntelliJ IDEA; currently my favorite IDE for developing anything, from C to enterprise Java applications.
  • MacJournal; the all powerful note-taking, document-organizing, blog client, etc. that I use right now. This post is written in MacJournal by the way. Up until this very moment, I think I like it.
  • Nambu; for tweeting madly day and night.
  • Firefox; my browser of choice for the moment, since I couldn’t find anything like Foxyproxy for Safari.
  • Skype; no comments here, I gather.
  • VLC; the awesome all purpose multimedia player. The only thing lacking a bit for me is the fuzziness of videos for my RMVB videos.
  • Vuze; the great, cross-platform Bittorrent client, written in Java.
  • Keka; the very cool compression utility capable of decompressing GZip, BZip, 7zip, RAR, etc., developed on top of 7zip.
  • JDiskReport; since I am a hard disk usage nerd. It provides me with excellent, detailed reports of exactly how I have used my hard disk.

Also, I have come to believe that Mac is all about integration. I am now enjoying a level of integration and cooperation of applications I never had experienced before. My iPhoto, Address Book, Mail, and Skype are inter-connected. I can sync my Nokia E52 mobile phone with my Mac as easily as I would take a look at it. And it’s just the beginning.
Well, I guess that’s all for now. Have a good time folks.