Matthew Hershberger
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Mikuro reviewed on 27 Mar 2008
Bean is basically an improved TextEdit. They share the same foundation. Many people are not aware that TextEdit can do some fairly advanced things like tables and headers, because the features are not well-presented in TextEdit. Bean presents them well. It also adds some features TextEdit lacks, like word count and the ability to show invisible characters (spaces, returns, etc.). Bean's interface is generally simpler and more powerful than, in my opinion.

The downside is that since Bean uses the same core as TextEdit, it shares the same basic faults as TextEdit. If you need to open .doc files, Bean will give you the same shoddy conversion as TextEdit - so you'll still want NeoOffice for that. Bean has some quirks with table editing, as well, just like TextEdit.

I like Bean. It's simple and very good for what it is. It is a not a full-featured word processor, but it's great for when you don't need a full-featured word processor - which for me is most of the time. I view Bean as a replacement for TextEdit, not a replacement for NeoOffice. If that's what you're looking for, you will be pleased with Bean.
[Version 1.0.1]


Mikuro reviewed on 06 Mar 2008
This is probably the best rar expander for Mac. It has successfully expanded split rars that The Unarchiver could not handle. While the interface is not the best, it's easy enough, and it gets the job done.

The Unarchiver is still my primary archive expander, since it handles just about every format and works well 99% of the time. But when it comes to troublesome rars, unRarX is excellent.
[Version 2.2]


Mikuro reviewed on 09 Sep 2007
Version 0.81 seems to have addressed the last issues that kept me loading Azureus on a semi-regular basis. Finally we have a lean, fast BitTorrent client with advanced features.

Transmission now allows you to download only select files from within torrents, which was the #1 reason I ever used Azureus in the first place.

Also, the trackers Transmission used to have problems with work fine now. I'm not sure if this is coincidence and those trackers just happened to unblock it around the same time as the 0.81 release, or if this version identifies itself differently enough to bypass the old blacklists those trackers used. Transmission got blacklisted by a lot of trackers back when it had some bugs that made it "evil" (i.e., it reported bad stats). If/when the tracker admins look into this new version, they'll see that it is a well-behaved client, so it should never be a problem again.

I've heard people say that Transmission doesn't get good speeds, but that doesn't match my experience. All my testing puts it perfectly on par with Azureus and others. I've never seen much variance at all between different clients as far as download speeds go. My best guess is that the users having problems don't have Transmission's ports properly opened, or else they're using the same ports as other active apps (probably Azureus...) and there's some confusion in the system as to which app has control of those ports.

In some ways Transmission even beats Azureus on features. The auto-stop feature is much, much better than anything Azureus has. It's great for people who like to be good BitTorrent citizens and upload a fair amount, but don't want to let it go wild.

Transmission is probably the only BitTorrent client you'll ever need. Boy am I glad I can finally say that!
[Version 0.82]


Mikuro reviewed on 01 Jul 2007
Perian is a must-have. A year ago I needed 3-5 codecs to do just a fraction of what Perian does...and they didn't do it as well as Perian! Not only does Perian provide the best support for AVI files there is, but it also supports FLVs, MKVs, and subtitle files! QuickTime has never been able to play those before.

Perian is based on some of the same open-source tools as VLC. With Perian, we now have much of the compatibility of VLC married with the power and flexibility (not to mention non-ugliness) of QuickTime. I really couldn't ask for more.

Perian's subtitle support is also first-rate. As much as I love VLC, the way it renders subtitles drives me crazy. They're weak, semi-transparent, and don't seem to respect the styles defined in the subtitle file. Perian's subtitles are gorgeous, and it seems to support the full slew of styling and coloring codes. As far as I know, Perian is the ONLY program on OS X that does this.

Even if you just need to play AVIs, Perian's performance and compatibility are superior to other solutions like Divx.

My only complaint with Perian is that loading MKV files is a little slow. Not slow enough that I'll ever resort to VLC again, though!

Simply put, Perian is the best. Chances are the only components you'll ever need are Perian and Flip4Mac WMV Player.
[Version 1.0]


Mikuro reviewed on 26 Apr 2007
This is an excellent client. It doesn't match Azureus on for features, but it's beefy enough. It's fast, lightweight, compact, and it even looks good.

The interface will be familiar to anyone who's used the official BT client. The main difference is that Transmission uses its own, non-animated progress bar (believe me, that's a good thing!), and it's aqua rather than metal (another good thing, IMO). The preferences window is easy to understand and Mac-like - just the opposite of Azureus.

UPnP support has finally been added, which is great for anyone who likes things that Just Work™. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty and manually forward ports, but as someone who's set up a lot of computers for different people with different networking hardware, I REALLY appreciate it when apps do the job for me. Previously, Azureus was the only Mac client that supported UPnP (as far as I know).

This latest version has also fixed some problems that got it labeled as an "evil" client and banned in some circles. That kept me from using previous versions.

The only problem I have with Transmission is a strange omission of info: it does not display the number of connected seeds. It displays the total number of seeds in the swarm in the info window, and it displays how many total users you're connected to, but not the number of connected seeds. The only way to tell if you're connected to seeds is to go to the advanced peer list section of the info window and sort the peers by % completed. They you have to count them by hand. This is good enough to tell if I'm at least connected to SOME seeds (so that I know the torrent isn't dead), so it's not a deal-breaker, but it's still a bummer.

I will still use Azureus when I need advanced features (like selective file downloading), but with version 0.7, Transmission has replaced the offficial BT client as my simple, non-nonsense downloader.
[Version 0.71]

Mikuro commented on 20 Jan 2007
I'm pretty happy with Azureus, but I decided to give this a try. I was in the middle of downloading a torrent at around 90-120K/sec in Azureus, so I cancelled the download and resumed it in BitTyrant. I gave BitTyrant about half an hour to "get going", and the result was that it downloaded at about 25-60K/sec, but it uploaded faster than Azureus had been. That's not quite what I expected!

This particular torrent was fairly well seeded - about a 1:1 seeder:downloader ratio. I assume BitTyrant is geared more towards new torrents that don't have so many seeders. Also, they admit that the results on cable modems like mine will not be as good as what is advertised (I don't know what kind of connection their numbers are based on). So maybe that's why the results were so underwhelming. However, I would expect something that's supposed to be so geared for download speeds to be at least as good as "normal" clients in "normal" circumstances. Bummer.

BitTyrant had some trouble using UPnP. I don't know why, since Azureus works just fine and BitTyrant is based on the same core. Eventually BitTyrant did start working, but only after a few attempts and a relaunch. Could've been a fluke, I guess.

After a while downloading with BitTyrant and seeing no positive results, I went back to Azureus. It went back to the 90-120K/sec range within 10 minutes or so. So the speeds were NOT just a fluke.

I've decided not to make this a full-fledged rated review since I have not yet tested it with a wide variety of torrents (I don't download torrents all that much, so it might be a while before I have the opportunity to test it on a non-well-seeded torrent). I'll keep it around for testing in the future, but plain ol' Azureus is still my go-to client when I need advanced features. (Transmission is great when no features are needed and you know how to manually configure your router/firewall.)

From what I've seen so far, I do feel comfortable saying that it is NOT hands-down better than Azureus. But it still might be better in some circumstances.
[Version 1.1]


Mikuro reviewed on 17 Sep 2006
Even though I was expecting it, it still made me worry for my health for a second.

The only problem is that the screen is pretty much static when it's shaking. If you type, you won't actually see the letters until the shaking stops. I guess Earthquake just takes a snapshot of the screen and displays that in a full-screen window, so there's probably nothing the developer can do without doing some really advanced hacking. Oh well. It still gets the job done. (The job being to make the user a little bit nauseous.)
[Version 1.1]


Mikuro reviewed on 29 Aug 2006
Great program. Definitely the best IGS (Internet Go Server) client available. Plus, it has GnuGo integrated, so you can play against the computer (which is great for beginners).

The graphics are beautiful. Goban is by far the nicest-looking Go program I've seen on any platform. Very smooth and very subtle, like a real Go set.

However, this is actually not the Go program I use most. I prefer to play on KGS (Kiseido Go Server), which can only be done with the official KGS client (called CGoban). You can check out KGS at . I find the KGS server to much more friendly than IGS. It's especially good for beginners, or anyone of any level who wants to learn (or teach).

Bottom line: Goban is great. KGS is also great.
[Version 3.2.12]

Mikuro commented on 14 Aug 2006
I'm offended by this program. I came here hoping for an application where I could enter the tasks I need to complete and be recommended completely irrelevent, but perhaps easy and/or enjoyable tasks to do in their place. As a hardworking procrastinator, sometimes I just need a little help putting off what needs to be done. But despite its name, this application DISCOURAGES procrastination. It's like a slap in the face.

Shame on you, developer.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some important work to do. And now that I'm done writing this review, I might actually have to do it!
...Hey, Andy Griffith is on!
[Version 1.0a10]

Mikuro had trouble on 07 Dec 2007
Versions 0.94 and 0.95, despite claiming "faster average download speeds", deliver much worse speed than Azureus or previous versions of Transmission. At first I thought it was just a bad torrent, but I've tried repeated tests with the same torrents, and these latest versions of Transmission perform terribly.

I heard a lot of people (mostly in these reviews) say the same things about older versions, which never matched my experience. I can only assume that these new versions have improved performance with their connection types at the expense of performance with mine (10mbps down / 768kbps up cable). However, it seems like Azureus has always delivered maximum performance on all connection types.

Whatever the cause, I'm downgrading back to 0.93 for a while.

I'm on OS 10.4.10, so my problems have nothing to do with Leopard's firewall.
[Version 0.95]

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