iThings Considered

Do More With OS X

Jake Sargent - 2001.04.17

When I made the upgrade to Mac OS X, I promised myself that I would start up Classic or reboot in OS 9 as little as possible. Why did I want to do this? Because I wanted to get the full OS X experience; I didn't want to be intimidated by the few applications that run natively in it and simply switch back to OS 9 whenever I wanted. That's the easy way out.

After only a few weeks with Mac OS X, I am getting bored with it. I find myself sitting at my computer, appreciating Aqua, and doing nothing else besides talking on AIM, checking my mail, word processing, or surfing the web (which are all getting a little tiresome). I want to be able to do more with my Mac. I didn't buy a professional machine (TiBook) to be able to do the same things that I could do with the a Flower Power iMac. I miss the applications that I have grown to know and love in OS 9, like Macromedia Dreamweaver and Fireworks, and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Seeing how these won't be coming to OS X anytime soon, I've set out looking for alternatives. And believe me, they are there.

Stone Design

Macromedia and Adobe are great companies; the problem is that they are not fully Mac committed. Yes, they offer Mac versions of almost all of their products, but they are moving at a slow pace to carbonize these products. Stone Design is the Mac OS X equivalent of Macromedia or Adobe. Stone offers similar applications that are Mac OS X compatible, although not as well refined as Adobe and Macromedia products.

Stone Design's flagship product is Stone Studio, a package of seven somewhat useful design and billing programs. Although these applications aren't nearly as powerful or professional as the ones I'm used to designing with, they work as a temporary alternative to Macromedia and Adobe products (it's also nice to support a company that is 100% behind Mac OS X).

Stone Studio comes with the following individual applications:

  • Create: Drawing, layout, and web publishing.
  • SliceAndDice: Turns images into web pages, image roll overs, slicing, and HTML table output.
  • PhotoToWeb: Make web thumbnails and picture galleries.
  • GIFfun: Create animated GIFs.
  • TimeEqualsMoney: Track work sessions for clients, create invoices and reports.
  • LicenserKit: Piracy protection kit for developers.
  • PackUp&Go: File compression and decompression.
  • PStill: Postscript to PDF converter.

As you can see, Stone Studio comes with a good mixture of applications and looks like it could be a promising suite of software with a bit of tweaking

There are other Mac OS X compatible design programs popping up too, such as GraphicConverter, an application that you are probably familiar with. GraphicConverter was just released for Mac OS X by Lemke Software. This program's specialty is converting pictures to different formats, but it also works as an image editor.

Obviously, there are lots more applications out there that are Mac OS X compatible. Cinema 4D XL, Amadeus II sound editor, and Omni Group's set of programs all deserve mention. For a nearly complete list of X-compatible apps, visit Apple's Mac OS X Downloads page and HyperJeff's Native OS X applications.

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