Bowlerboy_jmb

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StacksStacksReview
Bowlerboy_jmb
+1

I think that, as soon as you've gained a fundamental introduction into the RapidWeaver interface and how the program works, you will want to get this add-on feature called "Stacks." Stacks does not replace RapidWeaver; Stacks enhances the native power of RapidWeaver. While RapidWeaver provides a wide variety of built-in page types, it limits you to laying out objects on its pages to the native RapidWeaver way. Also, RapidWeaver by itself cannot accomplish a lot of neat tricks that might require the skills of an experienced programmer. Stacks solves those limitations by creating a special type of page in the Stacks format onto which you can drag other specially designed stacks by a myriad of third party developers, each one set to out-do the other by coming up with clever, useful features that extend the power of RapidWeaver by letting the program—through these individual stacks laid out upon a Stacks page—do things beyond it original conception. In other words, RapidWeaver is the big playground that you need to develop the website, while Stacks is the gateway foundation you need in order to bring other stacks designed to perform specific functions that extend the power of RapidWeaver way beyond its borders. For example, there is no easy way to build tables in RapidWeaver, but there are a few stacks that do the job quite well. RapidWeaver can give you a photo gallery page that is quite adequate, but basic; there are stacks which do this much better, adding slide show features beyond what RW itself can do. With Stacks, you can create an outline, expand your menu options, add light boxes, lay out your pages easier and cleaner, and do a whole lot more than you can do with RapidWeaver alone. First, get RapidWeaver, then get Stacks. Then browse the add-ons section at RealMac Software to see all you can do. Then get a grip on your credit card. While Stacks and most stacks and relatively inexpensive, you could get addicted to building up your collection once you see the power of using Stacks in your designs.

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Version 2.6.0
Bowlerboy_jmb
+0

As a well-educated, highly-trained professional copywriter, scriptwriter, video producer, college-level instructor, marketing communications specialist, and Mac devotee with, let’s conservatively say, over 25 years experience in all facets of mass communications, both as a staffer and as a free-lance contractor—especially for clients in the high-tech industry—it would be reasonable to conclude that I have considerable expertise knowing how to distinguish the good from the bad in any form of mass communications in any modern media. For instance, I know how to appreciate good writing from bad … [I know good grammar from bad. I know the “elements of style.” (I even handed out copies of Strunk and White’s excellent primer on that subject to junior writers under my care when I had editorial responsibility for them.) I know when material is organized and presented with respect from disorganized nonsense that is tossed out for public consumption like verbal diarrhea which the author could no longer keep under control. (Though I am prone to error and I have grown both to appreciate and to loathe the auto-bots who sneak in the wrong words or condemn my sometimes poorly proofread copy when my eyes get blurry and fatigued, I do know the difference between its and it’s, your and you’re, their and they’re. So, I tend to get turned off whenever I see text authored by people whose minds fell asleep in the seventh grade and who are too unmotivated to wake up long enough to show any respect for themselves or for others! When sloppy writing like that from a software development crosses my desk, I conclude that the entire company is a sub-standard, mismanaged mess of irresponsible people addicted to such low standards that their code must also be riddled with errors and therefore unreliable and unworthy of my support.] … I know how to analyze good documentation from bad … [I loathe poorly organized, reference-book style verbiage that falls into that fatal error of using technical jargon to brag about technical features while totaling {see, here was the rude Auto-Bot in action: I meant} totally ignoring what a product can do for a customer and actually telling them, step-by-step—within the context of their product—how to get the work done; … … and I know how to assess good video production from bad. [You’d be amazed at how many amateurs think that all they have to do is buy some cheap video capture software, babble inaudibly and incoherently into a sub-standard built-in microphone for what seems like an eternity, never bother to edit out their many errors, and publish such crap to YouTube in the vain expectations of generating subscribers to their ‘“channel.” Spare me from their delusions of grandeur! Not only do such rank amateurs lack the technical competence to master the medium through which, if they had any inkling of what they were doing, would be totally transparent instead of being noise preventing the communication of actually content, but they also tend to reveal that they know very little of the subject they choose to talk about, or their approach to their content is so disorganized, so chaotic, that they fail to get across what, despite whatever good intentions motivated them, they intended. In good video in this realm, the medium is transparent, not noise; the message comes through loud and clear—well-organized, well-presented, well-edited, and clearly articulated. Making observations (and their associated professional level judgements such as these) comes with the territory for me. It has become second nature, for in order to turn out anything good, one must first be critical. You have to know what is bad in order to fix the problems. If you don’t know what is bad, then how can you create anything good? Short answer: you can’t. Ultimately, it all comes down to personality and character. You have to avoid being trapped in the ego of illusions that leads people—especially software developers—who are too close to their own products to know the difference. Such insecure people lack the ability to perceive critical analyses of their work output as constructive: they are condemned by their immature character structure to misperceive criticism that is less than effusively complimentary as negative or hostile—always to the detriment of their own personal and professional growth. Not my problem, unless I let it be my problem by enabling their neurosis. I choose not to. So, with those credential and personal standards hopefully established, let me now apply my spotlight on Ryan Smith of the RapidWeaver Classroom. What my comments will ultimately boil down is this: if you really want to learn how to use RapidWeaver, then you absolutely, positively, unequivocally must buy the video series of tutorials written by, narrated by, and produced by Ryan Smith. You will find nothing of equal instructional value coming remotely close to the scope of content, the detail to attention, the articulation of salient features and benefits, the comprehensiveness, and the explicit step-by-step approach which Ryan demonstrates in his excellent video tutorials at RapidWeaver Classrom. Nothing else compares to his work up to now; nothing else will catch up and overtake his archive of videos in the near future; and nothing can keep pace with the new videos he turns out—not only on the application called RapidWeaver, but also on the “add-on’s” which the extended RapidWeaver third-party developer community creates in the form of Themes (layout templates), Plug-ins (extensions), and Stacks (utilities to expand the scope and RapidWeaver’s raw power and versatility). In my estimation, Ryan Smith is the master of the art of instructional video in the realm of demonstrating how to use software. I have seen no one better. Any software developer seeking to learn how to promote his software, which also means how to instruct their customers on using their products, would be well-advised to use Ryan’s videos as models. Not only does Ryan take you through all the basics of getting started in RapidWeaver in his regular curriculum, but he also provides advanced video lessons in his “grad school” curriculum. To see what I’m talking about, all you have to do is visit the free, public access portion of his website to get an idea of the vast scope of the content he provides. You can not only see the list of video topics, but you can also view samples of his video production technique and style, all of which should convince you that Ryan Smith is someone who knows RapidWeaver. When he narrates his videos, he is drawing upon a deep understanding of the product, which makes even a spontaneous aside a tip that might take you months to bump into on your own, if ever. More importantly, he has the communication skills to convey all that knowledge to you in a non-intimidating, non-threatening style that geeky-oriented developer types lack the common sense to use when talking to regular folks. Forget wasting your money on buying a book on RapidWeaver! In practice, no such book exists, which, in my opinion, is worth of consideration.Though authored by an excellent devleoper of RapidWeaver add-ons, the self-described current “bible” is little more than a mediocre book written to promote the author’s business of developing his own products, along with the stacks, plugins, and themes of some of his favorite colleagues. If you want such an introduction to the RapidWeaver community, it is worth buying the book for that purpose alone. But don’t trick yourself in believing that you can actually learn how to RapidWeaver from that book alone. You can’t, and you won’t. Video is the medium par excellance for teaching people how use software, so a mediocre book attempting to teach people how to use software is doomed from the start. The author took upon himself an impossible task, and falling that, he resorted mostly to self promotion of his product line. Beyond my criticisms of that particular ‘bible,” in principle, no book currently written, and no book ever written, will be able to do as good a job of teaching someone how to learn software like RapidWeaver as effectively as a well-produced video can. I can state that as a categorical imperative because of the nature of the two media—text and video—are inherently different. They have different strengths, different weaknesses. A book can only TELL you what to do; but a book cannot SHOW you what a video can. A book can only talk about what you should do. But using mere words to communicate what is better illustrated in moving images is not the same thing, and it is not nearly enough to get the job done in the human brain. The closer the human brain gets to experiencing the actual event, the better it absorbs what it was exposed to. You can talk about sex all day, but you will never get an inking of what sex is all about by talking about it; but you can show sex in a video, and you will learn a hell of lot more. Still not nearly the reality, but closer! A book will TELL you about the experience; a video will SHOW the experience. Showing is much closer to telling. Especially, in regards to software, which is inherently visual, since all the action appears right on your computer screen. This is so obvious and axiomatic to a media person like me that it seems almost redundant to point such a thing out. If you must buy a book on RapidWeaver—I certainly did, before knowing what it was really like—then do it for reference purposes only. If you are serious about learning how to actually use RapidWeaver, then your money will go much further if you invest your cash—along with a considerable amount of your time—in Ryan’s RapidWeaverClassroom video tutorials. HINT: I recommend subscribing to at least a six-month course that includes everything he has to offer: basic plus grad school. Your head will spin, but, if you are like me, you will end up with the best education possible in learning how to use this great piece of web design software. (The smartest thing to do would be to make a special request to buy a DVD from him.) My own work—thanks to Ryan’s videos and some excellent technical support from him along the way when I got stuck trying to figure out to integrate RapidWeaver with aMember Pro, a PHP script which is required to set up protected folders for handling payments through PayPal—is available for viewing at ThenCameCancer.com, a website (actually an interconnected series of eight websites, one public and seven private) which I developed to present and distribute an ebook I wrote called Then Came Cancer: My Adventure with Multiple Myeloma. If you go there, yes, that is me, in the banner heading: using the website to tell my personal story while also sharing information to a niche market which may find it valuable. I am still only a “newbie” web designer in RW parlance, but I learned everything I know about the program from Ryan. You will, too, if you heed my strong recommendation.

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Version 1.0
Awesome MailsAwesome...Comment
Bowlerboy_jmb
+2

I was just about to test out the demo, when I noticed the download came as installer package. Why do the programs which this developer makes need to be installed in my System? I am leery of third party developers who want to put stuff in my System folder, for it can cause more headaches than it's worth. Just give me something that I can trash if I don't like. Don't challenge my trust factor, and don't destabilize my system. No one-trick pony is worth the risk.

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Version 3.70
UnityUnityComment
Bowlerboy_jmb
+0

When in doubt, visit the developer's website, where an FAQ says: C"an we have a free Unity Pro license, make deferred payments, or have a special discount? "Sorry, we do not give away Unity Pro licenses for free nor offer a delayed payment plan. But we do care about developers of all shape and size, that's why we made a free, basic version of Unity available to the public. Projects you make with the free version are fully compatible with Unity Pro if you ever wish to upgrade later"

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Version 4.5.0f6
Bowlerboy_jmb
+0

I just completed the creation of two of my first flipbooks for my new website, and I have to admit that I can barely keep myself from jumping up and down in joy and satisfaction for how cool my flipbooks look and how much class they are going to add to my site, once I release it the public. I do not have any special insight into the validity of the claims of plagiarism by FlipBuilder in regards to 1stFlip allegedly having stolen their code. If the charges are valid, and if 1stFlip is pushed out of business for legal or ethical issues, then I guess my comments can be applied, in the main, to Flipbuilder's product, more or less. All I can say that, issue of price notwithstanding, this is an excellent product. If you are looking for a product that can take your PDF file and turn it in an animated, page flipping book, then Fllipbook Creator will do the job for you. I have had much correspondence with the 1stFlip technical support team, whose replies are reasonably prompt, considerably humble, and quite helpful, no matter how long it takes to track down the problem and work together towards a clarification and a solution. For example, for some reason we could not quite figure out, neither FlipBook Creator, nor Flipbook Creator Pro, could successfully convert a PDF I imported which was a longer combination of two other PDF files which themselves had successfully converted. The 1stFlip Team asked me to Dropbox the problematic so that they could give it a shot. They reported that they were able to convert the file locally, but the interesting thing is that they mentioned in passing in passing that they were using Lion. On the hunch that maybe the latest and greatest Mac OS, Mavericks, 10.9.3, might not be a suitable environment for all of Flipbook Creator's work (Mavericks did convert the source PDFs for the combo file, but not the combo file), I did some testing in Mountain Lion. As it happens, Mountain Lion succeeded where Mavericks failed! Hey, so what? I'm a pragmatic guy. I got what I wanted. I just had to improvise a little. (People wonder about the wisdom of having all of the Mac OSes installed on partitions and/or external FireWire volumes, going back to Panther? Now you know!) Anyway, I share that anecdote to say that the program is great, but not quite perfect. The Documentation, at times, is murky and incomplete. Although it is ideally well-structured, by using text and screen captures, overall it is too minimalistic and leaves too much to the imagination of the reader. It could be cleaned up and amplified. Videos could be added to make things even better. None of these lacks should stop you from getting this product, for the tech support can fill in the gaps of the documentation, upon request. My advice to them was to make the documentation clearer and more complete, so that they are not so burdened with inquiries that could be more widely addressed with better documentation. But what do I know? Maybe they need to keep busy to keep their jobs.

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Version 1.05.1
1stFlip Filpbook Creator Pro1stFlip...Comment
Bowlerboy_jmb
+0

As someone whose analysis of this flip-book market back in late January 2014 led me to write that “something doesn’t smell right” with all the similarity between websites and interfaces of software designed to do exactly the same thing, I find the revelation at the 1stFlip Flipbook Creator Pro record here on MacUpdate by an apparent Flipbuilder staffer that their competitor over at 1stFlip actually stole their engine code to be quite remarkable, yet, given how things are progressing in entrepreneurial China, which is not a signatory to copyright laws, not so surprising. I have examined the document which JakeT8832 directed us to read. It is a compelling indictment of plagiarism in the field of software theft. If you go to the 1stFlip, it’s no wonder you can no longer download their current versions: they are all marked as “Unavailable.” I suspect that the legal hammers have already fallen on their heads, and rightly so. The hatchets are next. The side-by-side comparison of the nearly identical interfaces, bolstered by a look into the code built into the engines of both software products, will be convincing evidence to any objective, rational judge that 1st Flip ripped off Flipbuilder without the intelligence, talent, or subtleness to cover up their crime. While it is quite disturbing to uncover actual evidence of the theft, part of me is somewhat amused and entertained, for I had perceived all this happening back in January, when I was checking out the market prior to buying something I could affordably use. But, as I said then, I had no evidence to back up my suspicions. Everything looked alike to my eyes, but I had no tools with which to peel back the skins and examine the insides, where the software engines reside, to come to anything remotely approaching evidentiary stature. That skin-peeling has finally been done, and now there is plenty of damming evidence, so it won’t be long before 1st Flip rolls over and dies, if it hasn’t abandoned its offices already. My ethical dilemma now is that, having purchased a copy of 1st Flip during a 60% off promotion run here by MacUpdate, what position am I for having licensed software that was illegally developed in the first place? The probability is high that the greedy 1tFlip owners will be put out of business or jailed, if they can be located. That means that I get no updates or technical support either. I could not afford to spend $300 for an application that I feel is grossly overpriced for what it does from the git-go, and the only reason I opted to buy 1st Flip’s offering was due to the facts that the software does decently do what it promises (mostly), and because it was marked down to a more realistically affordable price, thanks to the MacUpdate promo. I did not intentionally wish to cause any economic harm to FlipBuilder, if indeed. the software engine inside my licensed copy from 1stFlip actually belongs to FlipBuilder. But what is my legal relationship, or obligation, to FlipBuilder now? Cheating and lying gets to be so messy, when greed takes over. See, I knew back then something was fishy. Now I know what smells.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.05.1
Bowlerboy_jmb
+0

As someone whose analysis of this flip-book market back in late January 2014 led me to write that “something doesn’t smell right” with all the similarity between websites and interfaces of software designed to do exactly the same thing, I find the revelation at the 1stFlip Flipbook Creator Pro record here on MacUpdate by an apparent Flipbuilder staffer that their competitor over at 1stFlip actually stole their engine code to be quite remarkable, yet, given how things are progressing in entrepreneurial China, which is not a signatory to copyright laws, not so surprising. I have examined the document which JakeT8832 directed us to read. It is a compelling indictment of plagiarism in the field of software theft. If you go to the 1stFlip, it’s no wonder you can no longer download their current versions: they are all marked as “Unavailable.” I suspect that the legal hammers have already fallen on their heads, and rightly so. The hatchets are next. The side-by-side comparison of the nearly identical interfaces, bolstered by a look into the code built into the engines of both software products, will be convincing evidence to any objective, rational judge that 1st Flip ripped off Flipbuilder without the intelligence, talent, or subtleness to cover up their crime. While it is quite disturbing to uncover actual evidence of the theft, part of me is somewhat amused and entertained, for I had perceived all this happening back in January, when I was checking out the market prior to buying something I could affordably use. But, as I said then, I had no evidence to back up my suspicions. Everything looked alike to my eyes, but I had no tools with which to peel back the skins and examine the insides, where the software engines reside, to come to anything remotely approaching evidentiary stature. That skin-peeling has finally been done, and now there is plenty of damming evidence, so it won’t be long before 1st Flip rolls over and dies, if it hasn’t abandoned its offices already. My ethical dilemma now is that, having purchased a copy of 1st Flip during a 60% off promotion run here by MacUpdate, what position am I for having licensed software that was illegally developed in the first place? The probability is high that the greedy 1tFlip owners will be put out of business or jailed, if they can be located. That means that I get no updates or technical support either. I could not afford to spend $300 for an application that I feel is grossly overpriced for what it does from the git-go, and the only reason I opted to buy 1st Flip’s offering was due to the facts that the software does decently do what it promises (mostly), and because it was marked down to a more realistically affordable price, thanks to the MacUpdate promo. I did not intentionally wish to cause any economic harm to FlipBuilder, if indeed. the software engine inside my licensed copy from 1stFlip actually belongs to FlipBuilder. But what is my legal relationship, or obligation, to FlipBuilder now? Cheating and lying gets to be so messy, when greed takes over. See, I knew back then something was fishy. Now I know what smells.

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Version 2.1.4
Bowlerboy_jmb
+1

This product is abandonware. It is also a good example of the flaws inherent in licensing schemes that rely exclusively on connecting to a remote server to get beyond the demo mode. I have a serial number, but FreeVerse is gone. Absorbed into a NGMOCO, which is connected to DeNA which is associated with Mobage, all of whom, according to the bread crumbs I followed, are dedicated to developing addictive mobile games bases on a rather dubious game design strategy. Anyway, since there is no FreeVerse website or Store to validate my serial number, this program is locked in DEMO mode for me. The hard drive of a now defunct MacBook Pro had two still images that I took back in 2009 under Leopard, so I know it worked then. Not sure how the DEMO will work under Mavericks for its 50 hour lifespan. Down Periscope! Dive! Dive!

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Version 1.5.4
Bowlerboy_jmb
+2

This upgrade came out just in time for me! I had been suffering from kernel panics on my Mac Pro for three days running. My computer would suddenly quit and then restart, all by itself. I sent over a dozen reports to Apple, and kept copies for myself in an easily accessible TextEdit file, which I used to share with a senior level tech support analyst in a long phone call to determine the problem. We thought we had identified the problem as the SoundFlower extension, so we excised it. But that did not stop the kernel panics. That same day, Apple issued this Mavericks upgrade, so, I figured, what the hell, why not upgrade? The computer is already crashing uncontrollably. How much worse can things get? I hope that it is not too soon to talk, but, since upgrading to 10.9.3, the Mac Pro is rock solid. No crashes. No spinning beach balls. No panic attacks. I don't know what Mavericks did under the hood to apparently eliminate the respiratory infection that was stopping my Mac from breathing properly, but, as long as those kernel panics do not return to mess up my day, I'm quite happy that I went ahead and upgraded.

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Version 10.9.3
Bowlerboy_jmb
+4

Avoid installing SoundFlower if you are using Mavericks. SoundFlower version 1.6.6 beta is not compatible with Mavericks. I just went through three (3) days of my MacPro suddenly crashing and automatically restarting more than a dozen time due to this culprit. It is an extension (kext) that gets loaded into your System's Library folder. Every Panic Report that I sent to Apple pointed out that SunFlower's extension was the cause, but it took a long phone call with a smart Senior Level tech support at Apple to read the Panic Reports I sent her and interpret what they meant. She said that there are several Apple discussions identifying SoundFlower as the culprit for crashes in Mavericks. I did not read them, but I take her word for it. To eliminate SoundFlower, or as she put, "nuke it from orbit," use these commands in Terminal, one after the other, then Restart your Mac: sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/Soundflower.kext sudo rm -r /System/Library/Extensions/Soundflower.kext I have had SnapZ Pro installed on my systems for years without problems, but I believe that the version 1.6.6 beta version of SoundFlower, which I recently downloaded and installed as an "upgrade" caused havoc in my Mac Pro due to its inability to play nice in Mavericks. A separate File Buddy search for "SoundFlower" reveals that the application, its receipt files, its .plist files, and its fellow travelers still reside on my hard drive. So, I will have to remove all traces of the application and its cousins independently of running the SUDO commands, which are the only way to eradicate the extension that will plague you to death from the system's memory.

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Version 1.6.6