Today’s interview is with Kirill Zorin, the developer behind Catpig Studios. The company is well-known for their excellent app – Radium – a menu bar radio player that supports a variety of different services.
We’ll be talking about the origin of the company, a typical work day, the benefits of developing a single app, how the Mac App Store is affecting developers, and hearing how the company came to be called “Catpig”!
I hope you enjoy the interview.
I have to admit it: I’m a American Top 40 junkie. I spend too munch money on songs that get overplayed on the radio and eventually get ignored in my library. The $1.29 charges start to add up, and soon I’m spending $20/month on music.
So far, I’ve been really impressed. Read on to find out how it works!
Language learning has traditionally been quite a mundane task involving dense, boring textbooks and pointless grammar and vocabulary exercises. People only really learnt a language simply because they either had to at school, or because it was required by their employer.
However, last week I went into my local bookstore and I thought to myself that the demand for language learning must be there. There was a whole corner of the bookstore devoted to language learning, from Afrikaans to Zulu and the more popular languages such as French, German and Spanish often had whole bookcases to themselves – there must have been at least 5 different kinds of courses for each language.
People must obviously want to learn languages; otherwise bookshops wouldn’t be filling up their shelves with courses. But is learning a language out of a book now history? Can a computer really help us with some conversational Spanish before that trip to Madrid? Or maybe that big meeting with those investors from Germany?
Well, Rosetta Stone believes it can. It uses a technique called dynamic immersion, which is an intuitive new way of learning a foreign language and one that is radically different from all other programs.
It has certainly got a loyal fan base: NASA and the European Union both use it to teach foreign languages and the company offers a six-month risk-free guarantee on all their products, meaning you can return them within six months of purchase without any problems if you’re not completely satisfied with the results.
Rosetta Stone teaches a foreign language in the way babies start to learn talking: by listening to their parents and repeating every word they say and by relating words to pictures, much like during infant development. This method may seem a bit dumbed down for us adults, but I gave the Russian version of Rosetta Stone (a language which I had prior to this write-up absolutely no idea about) a go to see what the results were like. Read on for my full review.
The app that we are reviewing today is a very unique concept. It’s one of those apps that makes you think, “Wow, that’s cool; but do I really have a use for it?” It’s impressive, and it makes you wonder how it works, but it doesn’t immediately stand out as something that you’ve always been longing for.
It’s called Seamless, and makes it easy for you to transition songs from your Mac to your iPod without losing track of where you were in the song or podcast. Sounds cool, but how well does it work? Let’s take a look.
Since transitioning to an SSD earlier last year, I’ve become accustomed to dealing with a smaller amount of hard drive space in my MacBook Pro. Moving from 256GB down to 128GB felt like a risky thing to do at the time – the last thing I wanted was the constant headache of a hard drive that’s full to the brim.
The reality is that I absolutely haven’t noticed the decrease in size. I trimmed down my Applications directory, moved all my iMovie content off to an external drive, and started a new photo library in Lightroom (my old Aperture library was becoming an out of control nightmare to manage).
These few changes freed up over 100GB of space and, by being mindful of what I download, save, and store on my internal drive, this space is still more or less completely free.
Downsizing to a smaller drive hasn’t once caused me a problem – I’ve found that when it comes to internal drives, bigger isn’t necessarily better. But would you be happy to sacrifice all those extra gigabytes? Let us know in today’s poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.
I know that many of our readers are big fans of TextExpander, and rightly so. It’s a wonderful application that can save – quite literally – days of your time over the course of a few years. Although we usually focus exclusively on Mac software here, today I’d like to take a few moments to introduce you to TextExpander’s mobile counterpart.
TextExpander touch aims to replicate the text-expanding magic on your iPhone or iPod touch, and it does so surprisingly well! You can store snippets, then quickly retrieve them to send to Mail and Twitter clients, or use them in any other app via copy-and-paste.
In addition, you can use your TextExpander touch snippets directly in over 80 apps that support it, including Twittelator, TwitBird Pro, Osfoora, Elements, Simplenote, WriteRoom, Nebulous Notes, Pocket Informant, Things, and Todo (you can see a complete list here).
The role of the interface designer is not one that should be taken lightly – Without a great interface, chances are that you wouldn’t be using the apps you currently are. If the Safari address bar was hot pink and created in MS Paint, would you still use it? Probably not.
Luckily, it isn’t, and you can use your Mac in pleasure, thanks to countless UI designers working tirelessly to perfect their application designs.
There are numerous wonderful mail clients for Mac OS X, and everybody has their own preference, for whatever reason. However, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody who doesn’t marvel at the Sparrow interface – It really is something else.
Today, we’ll be chatting to Sparrow’s designer, Jean-Marc Denis, about his work, inspirations, and the interface design scene.
Despite there being a wide range of FTP applications for the Mac, only one or two really stand head and shoulders above the crowd. One of these is undoubtedly Forklift, which I’m proud to thank as this week’s site sponsor.
Now in a seasoned version 2 release, Forklift offers everything you could need from an FTP client. It’s capable of connecting to more or less any type of server imaginable, can split/combine large files, synchronise browsing, and remotely edit files – all with full keyboard control.
Two particularly handy features are Droplets, Synclets and Disklets – three unique ways to easily and quickly sync folders, upload files, or create virtual local drives of your remote connections. These alone may well be worth the purchase price of $29.95!
If you’re new to the Mac, haven’t yet settled on an FTP client, or just want to take advantage of the awesome features Forklift offers, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. You can download a free trial, or just go ahead and pick up a copy from the Mac App Store.