Tools

Last September I bought a 13” MacBook Pro, and have been gradually transitioning most of my computing activities over to OS X.  Since then I’ve started using a whole new series of research and productivity applications, including the tools I’m using for this site:

  • RapidWeaver 5:  This template-based design tool allowed me to complete the basic site redesign in under 24 hours; includes built-in modules for blogging, photo albums, and other features.
  • Stacks:  A remarkable plug-in for RapidWeaver that provides easy drag-and-drop layout functionality.
  • Xyle Scope:  A free CSS editor that is useful for template customization.
  • CyberDuck:  A free FTP client.
  • Picasa:  Google’s photo management and retouching app.
  • DEVONthink 2.0:  Information management database, which I’m using to organize my research materials.  This application deserves a series of posts of its own.
  • Scrivener:  The leading writing project manager, which I’m using to plan and draft some of the major sections of the site.

I’ve also tried the demo version of Stylizer, which is a very powerful CSS analyzer that actually permits realtime WYSIWYG CSS editing (I just don’t think that I’ll be doing enough CSS work at this point to justify the purchase).

So far I’ve been very pleased with the workflow and the quality of the tools; while some things in the OS X world remain decidedly odd, for the most part the transition has been pretty seamless.  More on this later.

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