Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Plus / Minus

We'll start with the "plus" - keeping it somewhat positive in 2013!

Plus Of The Week: Join.me

A few years ago, it seems like there was no drop-dead easy way to share your screen with a friend or coworker unless both of you were on a Mac and could use iChat's excellent screen-sharing feature. Services like LogMeIn required the installation of software; alternatives like VNC or Windows Remote Assistance were firewall-unfriendly.

Today, though, there are quite a few drop-dead easy alternatives that run inside a browser. Join.me, from LogMeIn, is one of them. About the only downside is that the person on the other end needs to have Flash enabled in their browser. There has to be something out there that functions in "HTML5-only" mode if Flash isn't installed, right?

Minus Of The Week: No SFTP in Windows Server 2012

It's kind of hard to believe that it's 2012 and Microsoft still ships a server version of Windows without SFTP, or some kind of substitute for it. (And no, FTP isn't a substitute)

There are third-party implementations, but they tend to be spendy and/or bereft of any user community, which makes me awfully wary of them.

You can allow SSH/SFTP access via Cygwin - which is free, free, free - but in my experience there's no way to selectively chroot accounts on an account-by-account basis. Which means that you can either lock all users in a single home directory, but you can't do it for some accounts and not others, so you're kind of out of luck if you want to give full access to admins and restricted access to other users. It's entirely possible, of course, that I'm mistaken on this. Drop me a line and correct me.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I Know It's 2013 But Seriously: Office 2011 For OSX

I like Office 2010 on Windows. I like the Ribbon interface. Really, I do. As much as I'm a Mac guy for many things, I think that the Ribbon interface, when done well, is a great use of space and is far preferable to lots of tiny menus, nested three or four deep.

I certainly like it better than the iWork (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) interface on OSX, with its tons of floating toolbars. You can't just drag a Pages window around, nooooo - you must also drag three or four separate windows at times. I assume that OSX will eventually get a version of iWork that carries over many of the lessons learned from creating iWork for iOS, but who knows?

Anyway. Here's what spawned this post.

What was Microsoft's OSX team thinking when they designed Office 2011 for OSX? Seriously, this is just horrible. It looks like somebody from 1995 traveled forward in time to 2010, had sixty seconds to memorize what OSX looked like, and then was transported back to 1995 whereupon he feverishly worked to recreate that look in an early version of Visual Basic.

There are extra bevels, some kind of bizarro tabbed interface, and the whole thing is a jumbled mix of flat icons and pseudo-3d-gradiant-having buttons. Why? Why? Dear God.

Office2011 OSX