Yesterday I was at the Apple Store Glasgow opening. Fun was had by a lot of smiling people. As I mentioned I was interviewed by Mark‘s ex -piecast team The MacCast. I would guess I’ll end up on the cutting-room floor as I mumbled and probably blushed, but the questions made me think a bit. They asked about my favourite apple applications, this got me started, my favourite applications are not apple ones. Of course I use the iLife tools and would not be without them, I’ve just started using pages and keynote and like them. But some of the ones I like most come from elsewhere. Here is a wee bit about 3 of them, why I like them and what they do. A sort of 3 favourite applications after I’ve skipped past iLife, iWork, email, browsing and Web 2.0 etc.

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SuperCard is cousin of the old mac essential HyperCard a simple but powerful tool for building applications and scripting on a mac. SuperCard has a simple english type scripting language and can tap into the power of appleScript and unix shell calls. I use it everyday. In the past I have created fairly useful teacher and teaching tools but now I mostly use if for avoiding repetitious task. Eg. most of the gallerys on Sandaig Classes such as this one are run up with a SC project. I blog about Supercard at Bad Poet and have some resources for teachers and others on the site.

Comic Life is not an application that I use everyday, but it is a great tool for children and epitomises a type of good mac application. The way it fits in with the iLife suite, making creating comics a simple task, drag and drop. By tapping into core mac ‘stuff’ the graphics, gradients and shadows are beautiful. I believe there is a windows version in the works, I’ll be interested to see if it is as slick as the mac one.

TextMate is an amazing text editor for macs. I probably only use a tiny fraction of textmate’s facilities. Aimed mostly at programmers TextMate is still useful to folk like me who write a bit of html, css and occasional snippet of php, it has a ton of keyboard shortcuts to do all sorts of thing. for example if you are writing on a html document and select a bit of text and hit command-control-shift-L textmate looks up the selection on google and creates a link in your document. textMate is extensible via bundles, there are bundles for all sorts of things, different programming languages etc. I am blogging this with the blogging bundle, I can preview and post this to the blog without leaving textmate. I drag an image onto the Textmate document and it is uploaded to my blog and the html snippet inserted. you can define your own snippets, I type seb and hit tab and a link to ScotEduBlogs is created (like that). Drag a swf onto the document and the code for inserting the flash file is created. It would take months to explain everything textMate can do.

I’ve just realised there is another wee application that I am beginning to depend on almost everyday ImageWell which is wonderful for quickly doing what you want with images, annotating, dropping a shadow, resizing and uploading. I just used it to create and upload all of the images in this post, in no time: command-shift-4 in the finder to get a screenshot (hold the)

So those are my 3-4 left field must have applications I would be interested in yours?

Blogged from tm

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