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Windows Vista did not steal ideas from Mac OS X! (Or did they?)

I found this hilarious video on YouTube where a guy compares Vista and OS X in a battle of ideas. Its a comic untruth, but it certainly has a good point.

Automator (Mac)

Automator Logo

With Leopard on the way in a few days, its many new shiny applications may have you dazzled. Rewind a bit back to the release of Tiger, and you may remember this little guy above. Some of you may have gathered his usefulness from the start, and if so, congratulations. If you were like me, however, you probably checked him out because the logo was cool, then got confused and perhaps scared by the application and quit it, never to use it again.

Well, if you’re still in that situation, let me fill you in on a few things.

Automator is simply an application builder. You won’t be able to build complicated things like Safari (as far as I know), but, for example, things such as ‘Jpegify’ (which I made in a few minutes), which turns any image file into a jpeg just through click and drag. It runs on a simple flow of commands, along the lines of ‘Get file’ -> ‘Change file to jpeg’ -> ‘Delete old file’. By dragging my large png file onto the program icon on my dock, it becomes a jpeg in a few seconds, saving me the trouble of opening Fireworks and manually saving it as a different file.

Anyway, I’ll go into that another time.

There are many things you can do with many programs, and once you get the hang of it you can make quite a few interesting things. It will rarely be something revolutionary, but it will definitely save time and effort. My mate made an application that ran Quicktime in full screen WITHOUT Quicktime Pro, which was nice. Here’s a very brief tutorial; I will expand on it later with pictures and whatnot in a later post about pictures.

1) Open Automator
2) Select the relevant application
3) Select the relevant command and drag it into the workflow
4) Adjust the command to your liking
5) Rinse and repeat
6) Save as either a workflow or an application. Perhaps give it a nice icon.

There are bound to be better tutorials out there, so google it. If you’ve ever found yourself repeating the same long-winded actions over and over again, you won’t regret automating it.

EA comes to Mac

Fairly recently, EA have brought some of their bigger hits to the OS X operating system. A lot of these will need a very new computer to run them, but it’s nonetheless a breath of fresh air for us oft-marginalised Mac gamers.

The 6 games brought over are:

Battlefield 2142
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
Need for Speed Carbon
Madden 08
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08

A fairly decent selection, although they are apparently rather buggy and have very demanding specs. For more info check here.

Growl (Mac)

I can’t believe I haven’t written about this already. Along with Quicksilver and Adium, this may be one of the more useful applications you will find for OS X. Personally, I don’t find it amazingly necessary, but others will argue otherwise.

Growl logo

This is essentially the notification program which should have been built in with OS X. It covers most programs, from Adium to Mail and Safari, and will notify you of a vast variety of different events occurring within each program. For example, if someone connects on Adium or if you get new Mail. Very nice indeed, and when combined with a variety of styles and plug-ins for greater compatibility, its definitely worth a download even if it’s not vital.