Stephen Pollak
Downloads: 76
Posts: 122
Smile Score: +170
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Stephen Pollak's Posts
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Xco commented on 02 Apr 2014
Gosh, as I recall, it is about time for Mellel to fundamentally improve how tables are created and managed. Please tell me this once planned overhaul iOS finally on course for completion.

Poor table management caused me to ditch Mellel long ago, despite its many other good features. Creating and managing 30-tables in a 150 page document is a real pain. Not for long, I hope.
[Version 3.3.2]


1 Reply

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+1

+170
Xco replied on 02 Apr 2014
Those automated spell checkers are a pain. "iOS" should read "is".

One has to run manual spell checking on the automatic spell checking. Ah, the age of automation.
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Xco reviewed on 23 Dec 2013
The new Filemaker 13 family is a big step forward, and lays the foundation for yet more improvements in future. I am pleased.
[Version 13.0.1]



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Xco reviewed on 19 Dec 2013
Great app, and nice integration among OSX and iOS devices via iCloud. And, unlike some other reviewers, I happily bought my license via the App Store. My prior mind mapper experience is with NovaMind Pro and MindJet's MindManager.
[Version 1.10.5]



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Xco commented on 07 Dec 2013
Cannot get this new widget to work properly.

It appears to install into the Widgets directory.

But it will opened within the Dashboard. Dashboard repeatedly reports the widget cannot be found.

I am running OSX 10.9, and the latest Apple Remote Desktop.
[Version 3.7.1]


1 Reply

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+170
Xco replied on 07 Dec 2013
Sorry about the typos. It should read:

"But it will not open within the Dashboard."
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+8

Xco reviewed on 30 Oct 2013
Dear Apple,

The latest Pages, Keynote and Numbers applications violate a core principle of good computer-human interface design.

The new interface design increases the time, motion, and hassle associated with getting work done. It now takes more thought, hand motions, mouse clicks, and eye movements to accomplish the same task than with the prior versions.

That adds up to a whole lot of lost productivity day in and day out. As business users, while the new versions may be free, the total "cost of ownership" is far too high for us.

Consider the loss of the floating tool pallet.

The floating pallet or "inspector" was an innovation. The new fixed "inspector" at the right-hand of the screen is not.

A well designed pallet not only reduces the time, motion, and hassle associated with getting work done. It also allows one to see the relationship in *real-time* between cause & effect in a single clear line of sight; between acting upon an object (text, table, chart, etc) and the results of such action.

With the new fixed inspector, on a 27" Mac screen, one's eyes must move about 12" to the right to select the tool, and then move 12" or more to the left, to see the results of any such action. One must constantly take one's sight off the "ball."

The floating pallet obviates this problem. That is why, as an invention, it was so useful. That is partly why we started to migrate our work from Powerpoint to Keynote, about 10 years ago, and later from Excel and Word to Numbers and Pages.

Apple's novel implementation of dynamic floating pallets increased our productivity over the sort of semi-static floating pallets that characterized Microsoft Office (and still do).

Needless to say, we are now migrating back to the prior iWork version to stem the productivity loss. Whether we give up on Apple and return to the Microsoft fold remains to be seen.

While the new applications may be free, the total "cost of ownership" is far too high for us.

Yours sincerely,

A Long-Time Loyal Business User
[Version 6.0]



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+7
Xco commented on 30 Oct 2013
Dear Apple,

The latest Pages, Keynote and Numbers applications violate a core principle of good computer-human interface design.

The new interface design increases the time, motion, and hassle associated with getting work done. It now takes more thought, hand motions, mouse clicks, and eye movements to accomplish the same task than with the prior versions.

That adds up to a whole lot of lost productivity day in and day out. As business users, while the new versions may be free, the total "cost of ownership" is far too high for us.

Consider the loss of the floating tool pallet.

The floating pallet or "inspector" was an innovation. The new fixed "inspector" at the right-hand of the screen is not.

A well designed pallet not only reduces the time, motion, and hassle associated with getting work done. It also allows one to see the relationship in *real-time* between cause & effect in a single clear line of sight; between acting upon an object (text, table, chart, etc) and the results of such action.

With the new fixed inspector, on a 27" Mac screen, one's eyes must move about 12" to the right to select the tool, and then move 12" or more to the left, to see the results of any such action. One must constantly take one's sight off the "ball."

The floating pallet obviates this problem. That is why, as an invention, it was so useful. That is partly why we started to migrate our work from Powerpoint to Keynote, about 10 years ago, and later from Excel and Word to Numbers and Pages.

Apple's novel implementation of dynamic floating pallets increased our productivity over the sort of semi-static floating pallets that characterized Microsoft Office (and still do).

Needless to say, we are now migrating back to the prior iWork version to stem the productivity loss. Whether we give up on Apple and return to the Microsoft fold remains to be seen.

While the new applications may be free, the total "cost of ownership" is far too high for us.

Yours sincerely,

A Long-Time Loyal Business User
[Version 3.0]



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+2
Xco commented on 30 Oct 2013
Dear Apple,

The latest Pages, Keynote and Numbers applications violate a core principle of good computer-human interface design.

The new interface design increases the time, motion, and hassle associated with getting work done. It now takes more thought, hand motions, mouse clicks, and eye movements to accomplish the same task than with the prior versions.

That adds up to a whole lot of lost productivity day in and day out. As business users, while the new versions may be free, the total "cost of ownership" is far too high for us.

Consider the loss of the floating tool pallet.

The floating pallet or "inspector" was an innovation. The new fixed "inspector" at the right-hand of the screen is not.

A well designed pallet not only reduces the time, motion, and hassle associated with getting work done. It also allows one to see the relationship in *real-time* between cause & effect in a single clear line of sight; between acting upon an object (text, table, chart, etc) and the results of such action.

With the new fixed inspector, on a 27" Mac screen, one's eyes must move about 12" to the right to select the tool, and then move 12" or more to the left, to see the results of any such action. One must constantly take one's sight off the "ball."

The floating pallet obviates this problem. That is why, as an invention, it was so useful. That is partly why we started to migrate our work from Powerpoint to Keynote, about 10 years ago, and later from Excel and Word to Numbers and Pages.

Apple's novel implementation of dynamic floating pallets increased our productivity over the sort of semi-static floating pallets that characterized Microsoft Office (and still do).

Needless to say, we are now migrating back to the prior iWork version to stem the productivity loss. Whether we give up on Apple and return to the Microsoft fold remains to be seen.

While the new applications may be free, the total "cost of ownership" is far too high for us.

Yours sincerely,

A Long-Time Loyal Business User
[Version 5.0]


1 Reply

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+170
Xco replied on 30 Oct 2013
From the makers of Sente, as of Oct 30, 2013, our favorite bibliographic database software:

"Apple has made several important changes in Pages 5, which they released last week.

First, they have scaled back support for Applescript. The number of things one can ask Pages 5 to do has been greatly reduced. Fortunately, it still supports enough that we think we can accomplish what we need for file scanning.

However, they have also changed the internal file format. It is not yet clear whether we will be able to get enough information to reliably scan these files, like we have been able to do with previous versions.

So, we are continuing to explore this issue. However, these issues raise fundament questions about Apple's intentions with regard to Pages. On the one hand, the mere existence of such a significant update indicates that they are still actively developing it. On the other hand, the move away from scriptability and the (so far) closed file format indicates that they probably do not place much emphasis on the higher-end academic market.

We will continue to work on restoring support for Pages. But if you are considering which writing tools to use for your future academic projects, I think it might be time to push Pages a bit further down the list as something not really intended by the manufacturer to be appropriate for the task. I personally like Pages, but it sure seems like they are going after a different market.

[On that note, I will point out that the integration of Sente with Mellel works very well, and their Live Bibliography feature shows that they are actually courting academic users!]"
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+2

Xco reviewed on 26 Oct 2013
iWork (Pages, Numbers and Keynote ) *were* a traffic package.

No more. Not my prior positive review, below.

Yes, these applications are now "free." But "free" has no value for us if we cannot get the work that needs to be done, done.

In any case, the 2013 Pages, Keynote and Numbers are a big step backwards in many ways for business users. The interface, such as the lack of the Inspector and the inability to customize the menubar, is problematic for productivity. And key features are missing. We abandoned MS-Office for iWorks in 2008.

Unfortunately, we will have no choice but to return to MS-Office if Apple does not issue significant improvements soon.

Frankly, the iPad (and iPhone) are not at present appropriate platforms for doing real work in Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

So why castrate a good set of Mac applications in the name of uniformity across platforms. How does that help users??

As for Numbers, I am livid.

A long-time colleague wrote me today:

"Apple may have built the best possible spreadsheet for the iPhone, but it never should have been made available for the iMac. To anyone that has used a computer spreadsheet, even for a few minutes, the new Numbers is a nightmare. Nothing is intuitive. I must have spent a half an hour trying to modify a formula in a cell —hint, you have to double click on the cell. Who would have thought? Even a relatively simple spreadsheet revealed formatting problems that I was never able to solve. The more work I did, the madder I got. If Apple hopes that this program will help them in the business community, they are wrong. The Microsoft guy who laughed at the new iWork is right. I don’t know what Apple should do, other than realize that computers and tablets are fundamentally different. Each does some things very well, but not the same things."

We have built financial models professionally for years, and pioneered early uses of spreadsheets (VisiCalc) in the early 1980's.

Apple has taken a worthy competitor to Excel, and taken it out of the game altogether. Why? Only Apple knows for sure.
[Version 3.0]



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Xco reviewed on 25 Oct 2013
I am not sure what Apple was thinking.

Was an MBA in charge of the iWorks apps, or real users?

Yes, these applications are now "free." But "free" has no value for us whatsoever if we cannot get the work that needs to be done, done.

In any case, the 2013 Pages, Keynote and Numbers are a big step backwards in many ways for business users. The interface, such as the lack of the Inspector and the inability to customize the menubar, is problematic for productivity. And key features are missing. We abandoned MS-Office for iWorks in 2008.

Unfortunately, we will have no choice but to return to MS-Office if Apple does not issue significant improvements soon.

Frankly, the iPad (and iPhone) are not at present appropriate platforms for doing real work in Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

So why castrate a good set of Mac applications in the name of uniformity across platforms. How does that help users??
[Version 5.0]


1 Reply

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+170
Xco replied on 25 Oct 2013
Was I a bit too unfair?

Pages 5.0 is essentially a new application. Not a mere upgrade.

We will need more time to ultimately decide whether to abandon it for Mellel, Nisus or MS-Word. It takes a lot of getting used to for those who used the prior versions day in and day out for years.

The same applies to Numbers, and Keynote for us ...

We need more time to figure out whether the new applications help or hinder our work, compared with the competition.
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+2
Xco commented on 26 Sep 2013
Folks wake up.

OmniGraffle and OmniGraffle Pro are now one and the same application, and download. The feature set exposed to users depends on the license entered into the application.

The approach makes perfect sense.

So if you download OmniGraffle 6 you have also downloaded OmniGraffle Pro 6.
[Version 6.0]



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Xco had trouble on 22 Mar 2010
Can't get the new version 1.5.0 to open, even after deleting the prior preference file.
[Version 1.5.0]


1 Reply

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+170
Xco commented on 23 Mar 2010
Now works. Deleted Meteo completely, including all preference files. Then reinstalled anew.
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