Monthly Archives: February 2016

NetNewsWire for IPhone

I have known about NetNewsWire (NNW) even before I started using a Mac in 2005.

I know that many people swear by it. I kept holding off installing and trying NNW out, and make do with first Safari’s and then Apple Mail’s RSS component. I hated Mail’s RSS even more than Safari’s, in part because it adds even more complexity to my elaborate mess of mailboxes, so finally got to try NNW. From the first time I launched the app I was hooked. I love the integration with NewsGator server (and later the syncing with NNW for iPhone). I love the three pane + sidebar interface. I love NNW’s implementation of tabbed browsing, probably more than Safari’s. I love the layout of the menu, the toolbar and the shortcut keys. It’s also rock solid, it has never(!!) crashed on me during my 6 months or so of using it. The appearance of NNW for iPhone just sweetens the deal for me. I understand there are other iPhone RSS which are more attractive, but the integration of both NNW versions becomes the sole consideration for me. Now I, too, swear by NetNewsWire and it’s iPhone companion. They are free, but I would have paid for them.

PagePlus X2

Serif Software’s desktop publishing software, called PagePlus, is a wonderful replacement for expensive programs like Adobe PageMaker or InDesign.

It’s extremely easy to use and can be used for printed documents, online documents or PDFs, websites and even emails. The newest version is certified for Windows Vista, and includes all kinds of Vista-related features, like Live Searching and Document Previews. (If you don’t have Vista, don’t worry. It still works great with Windows 2000 and XP.) Their premium edition costs only $130, a steal compared to most desktop publishing software, which can run up to $700 or higher. They also provide a free version that is not as powerful, but isn’t “just a trial version” either. Both versions are great all kinds of graphic design projects for home, schools, and clubs.


Since 2005, many BMW vehicles have featured iDrive, a video screen based control for entertainment (radio, CD, satellite); communications (blue tooth enabled cell phone link); navigation (GPS); and car data (maintenance schedule, mileage tracking, personal comfort controls).

The video screen is integrated into the center of the dashboard and is controlled by a turn knob immediately adjacent to the driver’s right hand side seat. The technology was widely criticized by BMW enthusiasts (typically middle aged and older men who like the BMW brand for its legendary handling and steering). The Microsoft Windows themed control does take time to learn — which you should not try to learn while you are driving. However, it is worth the effort. The video screen system allows for a substantial increase in driver choices than would be possible with only mechanical controls. BMW iDrive is a solid compliment to the Ultimate Driving Machine.