Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Great Tools

Over the last month, I've grown attached to a couple of fun tools that have made the book process much more enjoyable.

Of course, the first thing we had to do was register the domain name. I used my favorite registrar, PairNIC. I've used the site a few times in the past and each time I love it more. This company respects you and your time. They make the registration process very simple and you are not flooded with obnoxious up-sells every step of the way. The process is straightforward and I've never had a single issue. Though they are a little more expensive than the the cheapest sites, they are much less than the giants and the overall experience is incomparable.

The second decision was what to use to write the book. So far, my tool of choice is TextWrangler from Bare Bones Software. Unbelievably, this wonderful software is free.

The interface is incredibly minimal and just stays out of your way. The software has a number of powerful features, but the two things that bring me constant joy is working with multiple files at once (i.e. Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc...) and the awesome APPLE-I combination which gives you instant access to your document's info (i.e. the almighty word count). I absolutely love this software, and it's great for the times when I mess with code as well (including built-in support for SFTP).

The third decision was how to manage all of these different blogs. I'm now posting regularly to 5 different blogs, most of which are separate TypePad accounts. Enter MarsEdit from Ranchero, the makers of the world's best newsreader, NetNewsWire.

This tool allows you to easily write and publish to multiple blogs. It also has a number of great features that make it so much better than using a browser, including spell checking as you type, cool cut-n-paste link inserting, easy drafts, and word count. Plus, you don't have to be online to use it.

Both TextWrangler and MarsEdit are only available for the Macintosh. Give these tools a try and let me know what you think.