release

Time Out 1.6.5 released

Here's a quick update of Time Out 1.6.5, to fix the incorrect display of when the next normal break is due.

This was caused by what I think is a bug in Lion — the way a date id described (to convert from a date to a string) no longer matches the documented format, and so it fails to be converted back from a string to a date.

Anyway, all better now. Sorry for any inconvenience!

I'm currently spending weekdays working on Profile version 2, and weekends on Time Out version 2. I got the agent communication working this weekend (the stuff that will let Time Out run in the background without having to be in the Dock). Next weekend I'll be working on the main configuration window. Hopefully I'll have the first alpha release available in a few weeks time (only for a small team of testers, yet to be selected from a list of volunteers).

Download Time Out 1.6.5 now!

Introducing Profile for iOS

I'm pleased to introduce a new app for iOS: Profile.

Profile is an iOS app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to provide on-the-go access to the powerful medical practice management system provided by Intrahealth — a leading medical software vendor in New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

Important: please note that Profile can only be used by licensed users of Intrahealth's software; it requires logging into their server software. So there's no point in downloading it unless you are already an Intrahealth customer.

I think this is the first mention of Intrahealth on the Dejal site... but I've actually been working with Intrahealth for about 17 years now. I started contracting work with them back in 1995, working on their Macintosh Medical Administration System (MMAS) product, which later became Profile for Mac. I still help out with that a bit, but nowadays spend most of my Intrahealth (IH) time working on Profile for iOS.

This project started in January 2011, though work in earnest didn't start till August 2011. Version 1.0 was released late last month, and version 1.1 was released today. I'm already hard at work on version 2.

So, if you've wondered at the slow progress on Time Out 2 and other apps, now you know why. But don't worry, I have time allocated for Time Out 2, and have been making good progress on it.

If you're curious, you can learn more about Profile and see screenshots on the Profile product page on this site, and on the App Store.

Simon 3.4 released

Shortest beta ever!

I must admit, I set the version number in 3.4b3 to just 3.4, for the Mac App Store release, and forgot to set it back. So the version I released this morning as 3.4b3 was actually a general release build. Since the previous version had been in beta several weeks, and there was just one change in this new build, I decided to let it remain as such.

So, here it is, officially as a general release!

This version includes a much more reliable Automatic Email transport, along with some other improvements:

  • New tests now use the Change filter by default, to avoid confusion over new tests not detecting changes. (You can of course alter that to a more specific filter, or disable it.)
  • Replaced the Email notifier's Automatic transport with a new one, now called Apple Mail, that sends the message via Apple's Mail app. (Standard edition only)
  • The From field is now replaced by a pop-up menu of mail accounts for the new Apple Mail transport. (Standard edition only)
  • The Reply-To and X-Header fields are now disabled in the Apple Mail transport, since those are not supported by the new mechanism. (Standard edition only)
  • Added a hidden preference to switch back to the old Automatic transport, just in case (it will be removed in a future version). It can be enabled via defaults write com.dejal.simon EmailUseLegacyTransport YES in Terminal. (Standard edition only)
  • Also updated the SMS notifer plug-in to send email via Apple Mail, and use a pop-up menu for the From address. (Standard edition only)
  • The license button in the Simon Monitor window now shows the Licenses window instead of going to the Dejal Store web page. (Standard edition only)
  • Fixed issue where an offline test wouldn't check again until checked manually.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the second check of a new test from detecting a change. (Note that new or edited tests don't register a change for the first check after editing, in case the configuration was altered.)
  • Fixed an incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.7.3.

Download Simon 3.4 now!

Simon 3.4b3 released

A quick update of Simon, to 3.4b3.

This release fixes an issue that prevented the second check of a new test from detecting a change. Subsequent checks worked fine, but the second check not detecting a change can cause confusion.

Note that new or edited tests don't register a change for the first check after editing, in case the configuration was altered.

This will probably be the last beta before the general release. So please let me know if you find any issues.

Download Simon 3.4b3 now!

Time Out 1.6.4 released

A quick update of Time Out, my free break tool, to version 1.6.4.

  • Improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.7.3.
  • The donation button in the Preferences window now shows the Licenses window instead of going to the Dejal Store web page. (Standard edition only)

Version 2 is still in the works — it has had some delays due to client work and other projects, but I've been working on prototypes and prerequisite projects to keep Time Out 2 moving forward.

And as always, if you donate now, you'll get a Time Out 2 license, that you can add to the current releases. Set your own price! (This offer expires when version 2 is released.)

Download Time Out 1.6.4 now!

Simon 3.4b2 released

Simon 3.4b2 is all about the Email and SMS notifier plug-ins.

Ever since the Email notifier was introduced, several years ago, it has been problematic — configuring email settings can be quite difficult.

This release replaces the Automatic email mode with a new Apple Mail one, which (as the name implies) uses Apple's Mail app to send the email. It has a convenient list of accounts, just like in Mail (if you have that option enabled there), and when it notifies it launches Mail in the background (if it is not already running) and quietly sends the email.

So this makes configuring the Email notifier easier, and it should be much more reliable than the old "Automatic" mechanism. As a bonus, you'll have a record of the sent emails in your Sent mailbox in Mail (you can always use a rule to delete them if you wish).

If you don't want to use Mail, or want more control, you can still use the custom SMTP and sendmail transports.

Finally, the SMS notifier plug-in also uses the new Apple Mail mechanism, as an alternative to the Clickatell service.

Here are the release notes with more information:

  • Replaced the Email notifier's Automatic transport with a new one, now called Apple Mail, that sends the message via Apple's Mail app. (Standard edition only)
  • The From field is now replaced by a pop-up menu of mail accounts for the new Apple Mail transport. (Standard edition only)
  • The Reply-To and X-Header fields are now disabled in the Apple Mail transport, since those are not supported by the new mechanism. (Standard edition only)
  • Added a hidden preference to switch back to the old Automatic transport, just in case (it will be removed in a future version). It can be enabled via defaults write com.dejal.simon EmailUseLegacyTransport YES in Terminal. (Standard edition only)
  • Also updated the SMS notifer plug-in to send email via Apple Mail, and use a pop-up menu for the From address. (Standard edition only)

Download Simon 3.4b2 now!

BlogAssist 2.3 release

Here is a new release of BlogAssist, my handy HTML markup tool.

Note also that BlogAssist is included in the new TheMacBundles promotion (not live as I write this, but probably will be by the time you read this).

Version 2.3 includes:

  • Improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.7.3.
  • Changed the +/- buttons in the Operations preferences to a modern square style.
  • Removed the license agreement window. The license agreement can be viewed online.
  • BlogAssist now requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).
  • Many other behind-the-scenes improvements made possible by dropping Tiger support.
  • Note: this version (and any 2.3.x bug fix releases) will be the last to support PowerPC (PPC) and Mac OS X 10.5. Subsequent releases will require an Intel-based Mac and Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later.

Download BlogAssist 2.3 now!

Simon 3.4b1 released

I've just done a small beta release of Simon, to version 3.4b1.

This has a useful change, and a couple of important fixes:

  • New tests now use the Change filter by default, to avoid confusion over new tests not detecting changes. (You can of course alter that to a more specific filter, or disable it.)
  • Fixed issue where an offline test wouldn't check again until checked manually.
  • Fixed an incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.7.3.

I am spending most of my time on a couple of new projects (one of them for a client, the other as a prototype for Time Out 2 technology). But I plan to do small incremental beta releases of Simon 3.4 over the next few weeks, basically releasing changes as soon as I've done them, since work on it will be sporadic. It'll be an interesting experiment in release styles.

As always, if you find any issues or have any suggestions for improvements, let me know in the Simon Forum. While I'm working on a release is a great time to send in suggestions, as they're much more likely to get implemented straight away, instead of added to the feature suggestions list. (But no promises; as I said, my time on Simon is limited currently.)

Download Simon 3.4b1 now!

Simon 3.3.1 released

A quick bug-fix update to Simon:

  • Fixed the Input pop-up menu on the Filters page of the New/Edit Test window, to avoid including duplicate items.
  • Updated the French localization. (Standard edition only)

Download Simon 3.3.1 now!

EDIT: Note that you can get a Simon Bronze license as part of the Web Development Toolkit bundle, for just $39.99 — that's less than the normal Bronze price, so you effectively get a discount on Simon and 9 other great apps for free!

Simon 3.3 released

Simon version 3.3 is now in general release. It's a recommended update for all customers.

The changes include some much-requested enhancements and fixes:

  • Enhanced the Ping service plug-in to enable specifying the number of bytes to send.
  • Updated the Growl notifier plug-in to support the latest version of Growl. It no longer offers to install Growl, as that is not supported by Growl anymore.
  • Where available, the Username and Password field values are now used in New/Edit Test when using the in-window Show Source and Preview buttons.
  • Fixed issues where the minimum size of editor windows could keep growing, and some incorrect display behavior.
  • Improved the handling of the "(Success)" value in the custom results table for the Script plug-in. (Standard edition only)
  • Added helpful text to the Licenses window to assist with a common support query, adding an Upgrade license without the original one. (Standard edition only)
  • Updated the Ping and Growl pages in the help book.
  • Updated the localizations. (Standard edition only)

Download Simon 3.3 now!

Simon 3.3b2 released

Just a couple of changes in this beta:

  • Updated the Ping and Growl pages in the help book.
  • Updated the localizations.

Download Simon 3.3b2 now!

Simon 3.3b1 released

Here's the first beta release of Simon version 3.3:

  • Enhanced the Ping service plug-in to enable specifying the number of bytes to send.
  • Updated the Growl notifier plug-in to support the latest version of Growl. It no longer offers to install Growl, as that is not supported by Growl anymore.
  • Where available, the Username and Password field values are now used in New/Edit Test when using the in-window Show Source and Preview buttons.
  • Fixed issues where the minimum size of editor windows could keep growing, and some incorrect display behavior.
  • Improved the handling of the "(Success)" value in the custom results table for the Script plug-in.
  • Added helpful text to the Licenses window to assist with a common support query, adding an Upgrade license without the original one. Standard edition only

Download Simon 3.3b1 now!

Time Out 1.6.3 released

Just a small update of Time Out, my free break tool. A few people had difficulty with the idle detection, so this version attempts to address that. If the idle interval returned by the OS seems invalid, it tries a similar but different approach to get a more sensible value.

I hope that this fixes the issue, but didn't get any feedback from the beta posted in that thread, so we'll see. If you don't get breaks due to Time Out still resetting them with this version, please contact me so I can work with you to figure this out.

If Time Out is working fine for you, you can skip this update if you wish.

Download Time Out 1.6.3 now!

Simon 3.2.1 released

A quick update for Simon, to version 3.2.1:

  • Fixes for improved Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) compatibility.
  • Fixed test limit in the Express edition.

Download Simon 3.2.1 now!

(Note also that Time Out Free 1.6.2 is now available in the Mac App Store.)

Time Out 1.6.2 released

Here's another update of Time Out, to version 1.6.2.

This update includes some improvements to the way Time Out handles the timers when the Mac is briefly idle, plus some script tweaks:

  • The break timers are now reset when idle for the specified interval, even while still idle (it used to only reset when no longer idle).
  • Breaks can now occur when idle, to avoid missing breaks when the computer is left alone for a few minutes, but less than the reset interval.
  • Updated the Start Speech Automator workflow, and added a Speak Time script that does just that.

This is a recommended update for everyone. And it's completely free!

Download Time Out 1.6.2 now!

Time Out Free 1.6.1 available on Mac App Store

Time Out Free, the Mac App Store edition of my popular break tool, has been approved by Apple and is now available!

Changes include:

  • Added a new Exclusions preference page, which is only available on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion). It enables you to automatically skip breaks if specified applications are frontmost, e.g. DVD Player, FaceTime, or similar.
  • Added a sub-menu on the Pause Breaks command in the Break menu, to enable pausing for a specified interval. When that interval has elapsed, breaks will automatically resume. Useful when you don't want to be interrupted for a while.
  • On first launch (or first in a while), Time Out now displays the Preferences window, to make it more obvious how to configure the breaks.
  • Moved the break display into a helper agent, so it works for Lion's full-screen apps.
  • Plus other fixes for Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) compatibility.

Get TIme Out Free at no cost from the Mac App Store.

Simon Express and Simon Free 3.2 available on Mac App Store

The Mac App Store editions of Simon 3.2 are now available!

Simon Express and Simon Free are streamlined editions of the flagship Simon application. They only have a few of the plug-ins that provide the services, filters and notifiers. They also don't include editor windows for services, filters and notifiers, and don't include the reports feature.

Simon Express has no limitation on the number of test configurations. So it is ideal for webmasters and others who want to monitor hundreds of websites.

Simon Free is the same as Simon Express, except that it is limited to 5 active test configurations. It is ideal for people who just want to monitor their own site and a few others.

Changes in version 3.2 include:

  • Added full screen support on Lion.
  • Fixes for improved Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) compatibility.
  • By popular request, added the Growl notifier to the Express and Free editions.
  • Altered the Web plug-in to eliminate the shared cache of loaded HTML, since it hasn't really been used for several years, and could cause issues.
  • Now saves the legacy-format frequency values, so if you run Simon 2 it will have the correct values, instead of zeroes (and thus will remain correct when going back to Simon 3).
  • Fixed the logic for using a filter based on Any/Success/Unchanged/Changed/Failure status.
  • Significantly increased the maximum width of the log Details columns, and doubled the length of text logged there, so they aren't unnecessarily truncated on modern large displays.
  • After deleting one or more tests, services, etc, the table selection is removed, rather than just selecting whatever happened to be after the deleted item(s).
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the Escape key from closing some editor windows in some situations.
  • Dates in the tests table and logs now use your preferred date and time format (as set in System Preferences).
  • Fixed log dates appearing as GMT/UTC instead of local time on Lion.

Buy Simon Express from the Mac App Store.

Get Simon Free at no cost from the Mac App Store.

Time Out 1.6.1 released

Don't you just hate it when you spend lots of time polishing something, and finally push it out to the world... then inevitably an issue appears once it's in wide circulation? I sure do!

Unfortunately, bugs do creep in sometimes, and I somehow managed to introduce one in the few minor tweaks between the Time Out 1.6b1 beta release and the 1.6 general release. How embarrassing.

Anyway, I got concerned when I got a couple of people saying that Time Out's breaks stopped working after upgrading to version 1.6. One person may be a mistake, but more than one is a big red flag. So I investigated, and found a bug that could prevent breaks from running, and also prevent some of the break menu items from being active. This didn't affect everyone, but it is potentially widespread, so an urgent fix was needed.

Thus, version 1.6.1, a day after 1.6. For those affected, I am very sorry for the inconvenience!

Everyone, please download Time Out 1.6.1 now!

Time Out 1.6 released

I'm pleased to announce the general release of Time Out 1.6, my free break reminder tool.

This release is much the same as the previous beta release, though has some minor fixes. It is a recommended update for everyone, except those still on Tiger (which is no longer supported). It remains completely free, too!

Here are the full release notes:

  • Added a new Exclusions preference page, which is only available on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion). It enables you to automatically skip breaks if specified applications are frontmost, e.g. DVD Player, FaceTime, or similar.
  • Added a sub-menu on the Pause Breaks command in the Break menu, to enable pausing for a specified interval. When that interval has elapsed, breaks will automatically resume. Useful when you don't want to be interrupted for a while.
  • On first launch (or first in a while), Time Out now displays the Preferences window, to make it more obvious how to configure the breaks.
  • Added a Licenses window in the standard edition, so people who have donated for version 2 can enter their license now. Time Out 1 remains freeware; you're welcome to continue using it forever at no cost.
  • Moved the break display into a helper agent, so it works for Lion's full-screen apps.
  • Plus other fixes for Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) compatibility.
  • The standard edition of Time Out now requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).
  • Many other behind-the-scenes improvements made possible by dropping Tiger support.
  • Note: this version (and any 1.6.x bug fix releases) will be the last to support PowerPC (PPC) and Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 (Leopard and Snow Leopard). Version 2.0 will require a 64-bit Intel-based Mac and Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later.

Download Time Out 1.6 now!

Time Out Free on the Mac App Store will be updated once Apple has reviewed it.

Simon 3.2 released

I'm pleased to announce the general release of Simon 3.2, my app to monitor websites and servers for changes or failures.

This update includes Lion compatibility and many other fixes and improvements:

  • Added full screen support on Lion.
  • Fixes for improved Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) compatibility.
  • Altered the Web plug-in to eliminate the shared cache of loaded HTML, since it hasn't really been used for several years, and could cause issues.
  • Now saves the legacy-format frequency values, so if you run Simon 2 it will have the correct values, instead of zeroes (and thus will remain correct when going back to Simon 3).
  • Fixed a bug with the Number filter plug-in that caused it to always look for changes, instead of supporting resulting in a failure.
  • Fixed some filter variables, which were incorrectly output with a doubled "Filter" prefix.
  • Added FilterForUnchanged, FilterForChanged and FilterForSuccess variables.
  • Fixed the logic for using a filter based on Any/Success/Unchanged/Changed/Failure status.
  • Fixed Kind labels on the Summary pages of the Edit Notifier and Edit Report windows, plus made them go to the correct pages when clicked.
  • When creating a new service, filter, notifier or report, the editor window now opens to the Summary page, like New Test does. (Standard edition only)
  • Significantly increased the maximum width of the log Details columns, and doubled the length of text logged there, so they aren't unnecessarily truncated on modern large displays.
  • After deleting one or more tests, services, etc, the table selection is removed, rather than just selecting whatever happened to be after the deleted item(s).
  • Removed the "Remote File Attributes" service from the default ones, since it was an experimental one that wasn't supposed to be there (and didn't work). (Standard edition only)
  • Altered the "FTP Directory Listing" and "Samba SMB" service scripts to use Username and Password custom variables instead of the TestUsername and TestPassword ones, which aren't available to scripts now. If you use either of these services, you may need to edit your tests accordingly.
  • Implemented a data upgrade mechanism so existing data will get the above service script changes.
  • The Script plug-in now omits the TestUsername and TestPassword standard variables from its Insert variable drop-down menu, since it doesn't use them.
  • Renamed the UserName variable (that outputs the name of the user logged in to the computer) to UserFullName, to avoid a clash with the Username variable (since variables are not case-sensitive).
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the Escape key from closing some editor windows in some situations.
  • Dates in the tests table and logs now use your preferred date and time format (as set in System Preferences).
  • Fixed log dates appearing as GMT/UTC instead of local time on Lion.
  • Updated the localizations.

Download Simon 3.2 now!

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