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MacHeist – not this year

January 17, 2008 | Computers

I was one of the people last year that jumped on the MacHeist bundle with glee because it had some interesting applications like Disco and Delicious Library, but I did it mainly for TextMate.

To this day I use TextMate almost every day. The others, not so much. Disco once in a while and I’m not sure that I even installed most of the others.

My reasoning has nothing to do with the "OMG teh developers are getting screwed" fest that went on around this last year. The developers wouldn’t do it if they didn’t see value. So, with that in mind and looking at the list of applications this year I can reason my way out of doing this year’s heist.

1Password

While I really like the concept of 1Password MacHeist actually did something weird: They gave away Wallet during the missions. I’ve been taking advantage of OS X’s keychains lately and getting Wallet for free makes this hard to rationalize.

Coversutra

Coversutra is an interesting program as well, but unfortunately lies in a very crowded space where a wealth of free programs makes it hard to justify paying for something especially when screen real estate is at a premium and being able to focus in on what I’m doing is getting increasingly hard. Less is more in this case.

ChaChing

While I really should pay more attention to my finances, and while a program like ChaChing would certainly help that, I’m more interesting in just being able to generalize a budget so I can see what my monthly kinds of expenses I’m incurring so I can see trends. That’s all. I don’t need complex cross referencing of my accounts.

iStopMotion

I can’t comment too much on what iStopMotion can or cannot do, but I know that I don’t need it.

Awaken

There are two reasons why I don’t need Awaken. 1. Last year they gave away Alarm Clock Pro. 2. We just bought an iHome something or other so I wake up to an iPod already.

SpeedDownload

I’ve used Speed Download before in the past but, unfortunately for them, DownThemAll, a free Firefox plugin, does most of what it does and does it very, very well. On top of that, I love how their site loads just a touch slow and I can watch CSS take effect on the content…

AppZapper

I already own a license for AppZapper. I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have it and who likes to check out various different applications – this helps clean out the cobwebs.

TaskPaper

Last year was a big year for GTD, and TaskPaper is a very nice concept due to its pure simplicity. However he’s allowed others to pretty much copy the concept and there’s a plugin for TextMate that does the same thing. So, its hard to justify this one.

CSSEdit

I already own a CSSEdit license and would whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who builds web pages. If I didn’t already have this program it would be the program that caused me to buy the bundle.

Snapz Pro X

I like Snapz Pro X. But… yeah, there are easy free replacements for doing screenshots and even screen movies. Capture Me has served me well in the past.

Pixelmator

Being a creative professional (I’ll admit that could be a loose definition 😉 ) I just don’t need Pixelmator. I do like the concept and having played with a demo I think its going to be a good tool. But not needing it because I already own other products I think the bling factor overshadows the functionality. The UI looks good until you start to use it. Plus, The Gimp has come so far in recent years I’m actually starting to be a proponent of the open source option.

Wingnuts

I don’t play games on my Mac, so, Wingnuts is king of lost on me.

Okay, shut up already

So, while I’m all in favor of bundles like this I’ve essentially talked myself out of it. There’s just not enough value for me this year. Though, I will admit that I do appreciate some of the freebies from the missions. I’ll get good use out of Wallet, Catalog, Overflow and Wire Tap Pro.

I was really hoping that there would be things that I could use this year ’cause I’m still using some of last year’s items, plus some items from other efforts like the MacAppADay giveaway last year (I bought an upgrade to YummyFTP). Unfortunately not. Maybe next year.

Update – 2008/01/20

So, they added VectorDesigner and because of the hype it got from MacWorld this year I was actually tempted again to buy the bundle.

Then, I got bad news from a friend: while it seemed like a very capable application its inability to parse EPS files makes it much ado about nothing. I can understand not opening AI files, but EPS? C’mon, any self respecting drawing application has to be able to work with EPS. On top of that – while it can export EPS it only exports raster EPS and has mediocre anti-aliasing at that.

Bummer. At least for free/low cost drawing there’s still InkScape.

Update 2008/01/23

I got an email back from VectorDesigner tech support noting that while EPS import is being worked on for an upcoming major release, regular EPS export worked just fine when desiring vectors. There’s just one simple caveat: don’t use any special effects. Hey, there’s a way to sell the program! How’s about you do what every other self respecting EPS writer does – write the core EPS data so that it can be used by anything that understands EPS but then take your proprietary stuff and wrap it so that it renders properly in VectorDesigner but then gets discarded by those that don’t recognize it… just a thought. It would be a ton more portable than a raster conversion.