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Stone Studio

Stone Design
Andrew Stone
Rating:@@@@@

Nice guys don't always finish last.

Andrew Stone can boast of producing the first 3rd party software product for NeXTSTEP. Released in 1989, TextArt was a type manipulation program using NeXT's native PostScript; a year later it evolved into the drawing application Create.

Other apps followed: DataPhile, 3DReality and CheckSum; Create shipped on OPENSTEP ports to Windows 95, Windows NT, OpenStep for MACH and OpenStep for Solaris in 1995.

By 2001 when OS X started peeking out the door Stone had added PhotoToWeb, SliceAndDice, PStill, TimeEqualsMoney, PackUpAndGo, and GIFfun to the arsenal.

These applications were bundled together as a single package: Stone Studio.

Four new products joined the Stone arsenal the same year: StampInStone, TrueBlue, DOCtor and iPhoto-PhotoToWeb.

Stone Design sell the first seven of the collection as 'Stone Studio' today for a facile $299 - and you get free lifetime updates.

What sets Stone Studio apart is not only the fact that Andrew is one of the good guys; Stone Studio, as opposed to Adobe InDesign and Quark Xpress, is authentic Cocoa software - and it looks it.

Carbon - the 'API' the latter two commercial products are made in - will never be as Aqua lick-able, reliable, or functional as Cocoa. Cocoa is NeXTSTEP; Carbon is 'who knows what', implemented mostly for backward compatibility with an ultimately rather confused Macintosh platform. Andrew's been coding in Objective-C all along (and loves it); his software is going to be stronger as a result.

[Why Adobe and Quark release software in Carbon is anyone's guess; they programmed all along for the Macintosh; Andrew programmed for the NeXT; he's where they wish they were.]

Part-time farmer and full-time programmer Stone loves his work, and his site shows it - it's the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon. He has articles there for everyone, and word has it he's one of the truly nice guys in the business.

Stone Studio deserves the highest possible rating not only because it's so good, not only because it is written the way all software for OS X should be written, but because it - as its creator - has that enviable 'staying power': Andrew is a force for the good in the increasingly commercial and cynical world of personal computing.

If you're a shop not locked into Adobe or Quark, or if you're a home user who doesn't really want to spend thousands on their products anyway, give Stone Studio a test run.

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