Ok. I am a serious Mac user and though I have not used it for
developing designs for any of the jewelry that I have made so far.
Here are some thoughts.
First, there is OmniGraffle, which is free and works GREAT! It is
simple to use and I have had great luck in using it for a variety of
applications demanding design work.
Then there is OpenOffice (www.openoffice.org). It has a program for
doing drawings and I have found it to also do a pretty decent job.
GIMP, (www.gimp.org) which I also use, is excellent. I have not had
the issues that have been described…but that may be because of what
I will mention next in my X11 environment. I have found GIMP to work
much better than Photoshop. I have Photoshop, but I hardly use it
because the tools are all located in different areas and I am now
used to GIMP. For a simple-seeming program you can dig and find
things that you have to buy extra extensions for to get to work with
Photoshop. But, I have a background in computer/systems
administration and have that as an advantage. I know that some Pros
have it in their head that GIMP is inferior is some ways, but running
under X11 I have had a GRRREAT time! It just does everything! And,
there are thousands of add-ons that you can load in that do all
kinds of things. Interestingly a number of developers for Adobe have
had input into GIMP (the same ones, I think, that at one point had a
port of it for Solaris and SunOS).
There is more available, too, for the purposes you may seek.
Ok, I am a UNIX guy from way back, so my first thing on my Mac was
to load up a better set of tools for the X11 application (on the
install CD) and all of the development tools. Then I went to
www.macports.org and got the ‘ports’ setup. There are thousands,
literally, of very, very cool apps that work only inside of this X11
environment. What I describe is not for the faint of heart as it
takes some manipulation by a REAL systems administrator (like
myself). But, the effort is even better than you could believe.
I have Windows, yeah, in one window. But, I rarely use it. Too many
viruses and it runs Soooo SLlllow. I then have a desktop that is
devoted to X11. I run Gnome with Enlightenment and WindowMaker, with
KDE apps added in for fun. The list of actual apps that I have that
do some type of graphic manipulation is rather large, plus it gives
me all of my favorite play tools (Krecipe my recipe program, plus
Xfig, KLatin/Kverbos for my language studies, plus all of the other
nifty free programs that come with KDE and Gnome.
If the last of this sounds complex, well it was a little bit. But,
after being set up I have an entire set of tools that Linux users
have…and which are really, really cool. It is not for everyone, but
I have to say that my Mac is the best tool I have in my shop for
doing anything electronic.
The other way to get all these tools is to use VMWare, or something,
and load up a copy of Ubuntu (Studio Edition), which is free and
contains everything I mentioned, without any effort at installing, as
it is easier to install than even Windows…and you won’t get any
viruses while you download the OS updates, either. You could then run
Windows, when you need it, in a free copy of the VMWare Player
If anyone wants more you can ping me offline. I am happy
to help support folks if I can, especially if there is a deal to work
out to help me make my own ends meet.
That’s my $.02.