Twitter client for Mac #Twitter

Twitter client for Mac #Twitter

The official Twitter client for the Mac died yesterday. When you try and start it now it fails to authenticate any of your accounts. This is because Twitter announced recently that they were going to stop developing and supporting their client on the Mac in an attempt to people to use their Web-based client instead.

For me and I suspect many others I really don’t like using the web client. It’s something simple to do with it suiting the way I think and work but having Twitter in its own client app away from the work I’m doing in Safari suits me.

So having looked at a few options I’ve bought TweetBot for the Mac and it seems fine and an easy transition.  What I don’t understand is the business logic behind Twitter’s decision to kill their Mac-based client.  For a company, the size of Twitter employing one or two developers to support a Mac client is hardly a significant investment. Most of the code base should be in common with their iOS version and the skillset is basically the same.  There’s also the expectation that at WWDC 2018, the annual Apple developer conference that they will announce support in iOS and MacOS for universal apps. This will allow developers to create a single app that can be downloaded and run on Mac and iPhone for example.  Why would Twitter kill the Mac client now rather than wait and create a good universal MacOS/iOS app?

In effect what Twitter has yielded control of thousands of influential Mac Users to third-party clients which they will struggle to control and gain advertising income from so easily.

When you see such irrational business decisions being made you have to wonder if there aren’t fundamentally more serious problems at Twitter.

Let me know what you think in a comment below.


How to download an entire website on Mac OSX

I needed to secure a copy of an old blog site before we started redeveloping it. I’d always assumed that in Mac Safari there was an option to not only download a page but also all the attached pages but there isn’t.  I couldn’t believe it and so googled it and found that sure enough Safari doesn’t support downloading an entire site.

I was sure that someone else must have already solved this problem so I looked around the Mac App Store.  I couldn’t find anything that would do this initially.  Then I came across an App called Kiosk Monster.  This is designed to download a website to your Mac Laptop so that you can take it to trade shows / opens days etc and run it in kiosk mode. That means that it’s secured or locked down so that people can click around the website you’ve downloaded but they can’t go to other websites or indeed start messing about with your Mac.  That’s actually really useful and I’m sure I’ll use it from time to time but the added bonus is that to achieve this the app does download the entire site to your Mac.

It wasn’t obvious to start with whereabouts the app was storing the downloaded site.  With a little research I discovered that for each site it downloads it creates a new directory in ~\Library\Application Support\KioskMonster so from there you can backup or copy the  website to wherever you want to store it.

Use the Copy Site button to completely copy any site. Once the site is copied you can view this copied site by clicking on the "star" icon.  Full screen mode can be locked with a password and also can prevent users from leaving the active site.

I highly recommend this app, at £4.99 it solved an immediate problem and I’m sure I’ll be using this a lot in the future. Click here to view it in the Mac App Store.

If you have any questions or alternative suggestions for doing this type of work do please get in touch.

Budget quality alternative to Photoshop and Fireworks

Lately I’ve been getting fed-up with Adobe Photoshop. The thing is I don’t use Adobe Photoshop or Fireworks everyday, indeed there are probably whole weeks maybe even months when I don’t touch these products.  That makes the learning curve long and when you just want to get something done quickly the level of frustration high.  I spend most of my time in programs like Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, writing reports, developing budgets, plans and preparing presentations.  I occasionally need to do some graphic design work which is beyond the simple scope of these Microsoft Office tools.  For me now Adobe Photoshop is overkill and too expensive for the use I get from it.  Adobe Photoshop Elements always suffers from not quite having what you need and is burdened with the legacy of Photoshop.  I liked Macromedia Fireworks but under Adobes ownership it has been neglected and is essentially a dead product.

With all this in mind I’ve been looking for simple, quality and hopefully inexpensive Mac based alternatives; and I think I’ve now found a good set of tools.

Pixelmator, v2.2

When I bought this it was in the Mac App Store for just £10.49.  It’s a very high quality piece of software, well crafted to use all the native features of OS X 10.8+.  To me this application feels right.  I say that as a Word, Excel, Powerpoint user rather than someone who went to Art College and probably has a better feel for what Photoshop is trying to do.  It’s got a clean simple interface that doesn’t get in the way of getting the job done.  At £10.49 well worth a try as an alternative to Photoshop or Fireworks, you may find you never need those more expensive tools.

Coda 2.0

This is a great alternative to Dreamweaver. At £49.99 it was a bit of a gamble but has proven to be worth every penny.  I’ve now given up using Dreamweaver and use Coda all the time for HTML, CSS and PHP editing. It’s got a nice code editor with syntax highlighting and code completion.  I’ve only scratched the surface of what it can do.  I’m still perfecting my workflow between Pixelmator and Coda.  It’s certainly no worse than working with two products from Adobe – I know in theory you could roundtrip assets from Dreamweaver into Fireworks but it never worked well for me.  Coda is a good native OSX 10.8+ app so I find that I can drag graphics files saved from Pixelmator directly onto the remote server view in Coda and they are instantly deployed to the site I’m editing. You can then drag the graphic from the directory listing into the Coda editor and it will automatically create the image tag with the correct path and filename.

I hope this is of some help to you.  Let me know what you think make reasonable price alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Fireworks now.


How to flush the DNS cache on Apple Mac OSX 10.8+

Just a quick post if only to make a note of this for myself.  For years the method of clearing the DNS cache on a Mac has been

dscacheutil -flushcache

This command runs OK on OSX 10.8+ but doesn’t actually seem to clear the DNS cache.  On OSX 10.8+ the command you need is:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

CMD Tab and CMD Space stopped working on Mac OSX

I find that I mostly use CMD Tab to switch between apps on my Mac and frequently use CMD Space to bring up Spotlight so I can launch apps.  Anyway these both suddenly stopped working.  I Googled this and the common advice is to go into the Activity monitor and do a forced close on the Dock.  This didn’t work for me.  I was just about to do a reboot when I noticed that I still had a VNC session running in the Dock.  As soon as I quit the VNC session CMD Tab started to work normally again.