Monday Mac Tweak #8

We continue highlighting the applications I use on a daily basis to keep my busy life organized. This week we feature:

Mariner Write

Sure, I have Microsoft Word on my Powerbook but I find that, in general, it is way too much for my needs. It has a one size (XXL in the case of Word) fits all mentality that makes it slow and bloated and non intuitive for my tastes. Many of the most useful features are either not well documented are buried needlessly in the depths of the program and I could easily grab a cup of coffee during the time it takes to fully launch. I need a word processor that is fast to load, takes up very little hard drive space, has just the features I need and makes those features intuitive and easy to find.

I have found what I look for in Mariner Software’s wonderful word processor, Mariner Write. It can handle all of the tasks most people would ever need in a word processor. Not only that but it can also Open, Read and Write Microsoft Word compatible files so there is no need to worry if your friends, clients and coworkers send you Word .doc files (or you need to send one to them). An added bonus, and one that helps me a great deal, is the ability to save files directly as a PDF file. Mac OS X has built in support for PDF files and Write leverages that ability seamlessly. Let’s get that straight. I am not talking about saving to PDF from the Print dialog. I am talking Save As: PDF! It also has multiple text selection, a split pane view that allows one to see and edit two separate sections of the same document and all of the other features one would expect from a full featured word processor.

If you are looking for a word processors with 80% of the features of MS Word but none of the bloat, look no further.

Jackson Meadow

Jackson Meadow is a sustainable rural community located in Marine on St. Croix. It was designed by famed architect David Samela and is nothing short of breathtaking. It has been featured in most of the contemporary home magazines like Metropolitan Home and Dwell. Bethany and I had the occasion to visit the development during the Parade of Homes a few weekends back and had a great time. The all white houses in ying styles with pitched metal roofs against the background of the Minnesota winter made for some picturesque views. I highly recommend to anyone with even a passing interest in architecture to make a pilgrimage. It is a beautiful drive and close enough to Stillwater to make a day of it.

Upgrading to Paper: The Stylus

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday. Please believe me when I tell you that I was unable to. I will try to make up for it by posting some items today. This will be made easier by the fact that Carleton was closed at around 1:00PM today due to the snowstorm currently beating it’s way across Southern Minnesota.

OK, so there is even more to be considered in my current switch to paper. Not only must one consider a proper notebook to use, one must also replace their “stylus” as well. I am currently using a Sarasa Zebra Gel Retractible Pen, mainly because that is the best pen they sell in the Campus bookstore. I usually carry at least two of these with me. One in black, for writing and one in red, for checking items off or annotation. I have been looking for a better and more permanent replacement. First of all, carrying two pens around is a drag. Second, the only ones they sell at the bookstore have a .07 point which is a little to large for me and has a tendency to bleed through the already robust Moleskine paper.

Mike Shea has an excellent review of pens (with a little added lineup of the pens and paper he uses near the bottom) that is well worth a read, even though the one I like is not on there. I am leaning towards the Rotring Quattro Multipen, mainly because of it’s multiple points (Black, Red, Pencil and Orange highlighter) but $50.00 for a pen is a bit out of my price range right now. Even $32.00 for the version without highlighter is a bit much to pay right now. Therefore, I may have to see if i can find a Pilot G2 or two in a .05 size for the time being.

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