MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2008 (#37)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 145 of 178

MacDirectory 145 COVER STORY characteristic of NAS systems with under- powered processors. Time Capsule has a way to go before it fulfills its promise. In the meantime, we'll be comfortably archiving our data with Maxtor. Adobe Creative Suite 3 Adobe hasn't done much pathbreaking in CS3 but it was a particularly difficult release because of the necessity to integrate Adobe's recently acquired Macromedia components at short notice. For integration and for solid incremental improvements in such industry-standard products as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dream- weaver, Adobe deserves our award this year — Quark 7 got it last time. InDesign, Adobe's page-layout component, remains a surprisingly weak link, still trailing behind Quark in the publishing industry, one reason being that its vaunted 'optical kerning' feature destroys the appearance even of Adobe's own finely crafted Pro fonts; others are poor collaboration and job standardization features, and an interface only a mother could love. It's also disappointing to many that Illustrator is still not capable of multi- page layouts, unlike its abandoned competitor Freehand. (Adobe had promised to continue developing much- loved Freehand, but as soon as the ink was dry on the deal with Macromedia, they reneged.) We're hoping for a stronger package in the forthcoming CS4, but in the meantime, CS3 is, caveats aside, an exceptional showing from Adobe. The sophisticated new features in Photoshop alone are worth the price of the entire suite. To achieve new depths of functionality when a suite is as mature as this is an achievement indeed. Apple's Leopard, LogicPro, FinalCut, iWorks, iLife Apple continues to delight with its operating system and application software. These industry-leading products keep getting better and better. Especially impressive in Leopard is the attention given to making older Macs work better, showing an impressive commitment to Apple's existing hardware base. Although Apple is clearly making superior OS software, let's candidly admit that Leopard is not, yet, all it should be. Leopard isn't as stable as Tiger. Tiger is an exceptionally fine iteration of OS X, and Leopard just isn't there yet. Moreover, Leopard Server is not, at press time, sufficiently solid to be awarded at all. We have no doubt the problems will be fixed reasonably soon. The reports of installation problems upgrading to Leopard don't concern us much. Remember Tiger? Remember Panther? We've seen it all before! A substantial OS upgrade is never without inconvenience. With all of this in mind, we will keep some mission-critical work on Tiger for the time being. But our confidence that Apple will tame Leopard in another dot release or two is absolute. Because Apple has a better corporate understanding of what constitutes great software than any other behemoth, we wish it would invest in a complete, dual (or tri) platform office suite to compete with Microsoft's. It could not possibly be worse than Office, and the greatest likelihood is that it would be a huge success for Apple. Unison Panic Software's Unison is the world's best Mac newsreader software. It is also incomparably superior to any other newsreader on any other platform. This is especially true when it comes to the elegant, intuitive one-touch simplicity with which Unison processes complex files from popular binary newsgroups. With all other newsreaders, it's a dreadfully messy, long process . Of the programs we have used this year, Unison is perhaps the most Mac-like of all in its 'fitness for purpose'. If you have any need to access the vibrant newsgroup community on the Internet, Unison is the only way to do it. It saves countless hours of annoyance compared to any of its competitors. With newsgroup software like this, who needs P2P? Special Historic Award to Pagemaker Adobe does not update but still reluctantly sells Pagemaker for OS 9 and pre-Vista-Windows, positioning it at users who need more than Microsoft Publisher but 'less' than Quark or InDesign. Well, sometimes less is more. PageMaker still offers, by default, intelligent, automatic tracking based on size of type, a feature not yet supported in either Quark 7 or InDesign CS3. Especially for those working with a lot of text, PageMaker can still, automatically, provide much better looking pages than InDesign. Sadly, Pagemaker doesn't do well in Classic, so you'll want to run it on an older Mac that can boot into OS 9 — or 8. On Macintels, you can easily run the Windows version under XP. Many find this slight inconvenience worth it. Pagemaker is a very reliable, very efficient publishing environment. Maxtor's One Touch III, Turbo Edition

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