release

Caboodle 1.3.1 released

Caboodle, my lean, clean snippet machine, has had a number of updates recently. This is a little bug-fix update to address some minor issues, but is a recommended update for everybody.

It includes:

  • Improved the handling of imports to use multi-threading only when appropriate.
  • Added exception handling and an alert when saving the data, in case something goes wrong, e.g. too much data being saved.
  • Prices increased slightly.

Tip: Caboodle will be included in the next edition of The Mac Bundles, coming in just a few days. Subscribe to their mailing list to be notified when the bundle is available.

Download Caboodle 1.3.1 now!

Simon 2.5.2 released

Simon, my essential website and server monitoring tool, has just been updated to version 2.5.2. It includes a number of fixes, and is a recommended update for everyone:

  • Added exception handling to the Web plug-in, to catch any low-level errors that occur there. Mac OS X 10.5.7 seemed to introduce a bug with URL connections that could sometimes get stuck when reading cookies.
  • Added a hidden preference to output debug information from the Web plug-in. It can be activated by entering "defaults write com.dejal.simon2 WebDebugMode YES" in Terminal.
  • Updated the Twitter plug-in to use the latest version of the MGTwitterEngine, which fixes issues related to the Twitpocalypse. Simon wasn't affected, as it always fetches the latest tweets, but good to be up-to-date anyway.
  • Changed the Report output to avoid making URLs lowercased when outputting the Location variable.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent finding licenses in very rare circumstances.

Download Simon now!

BlogAssist 2.2.2 released

Announcing an update to my handy HTML markup tool, BlogAssist.

This is technically a bug-fix release, but has some changes that have been much requested, and takes the unusual step of increasing the price slightly — but you can still buy it at the old price for a limited time via the Dejal Store. It also increased the minimum system requirements to Tiger, as per my standard policy for updates now: all apps will drop Panther support as they are updated. The previous version, that supports 10.3.9, is still available for those who have old machines, though.

I decided to bump up the price slightly mainly because it is way too cheap for what it does. Even at the new prices, it is really too cheap — it should be more like $25. But increasing prices too much in this economy doesn't seem like a sensible idea. :) Even at the new price, it's still a bargain, and I hope it won't cause any hesitation. I have lots of ideas for future enhancements, so a more sustainable price helps support future work.

Here are the changes in version 2.2.2:

  • Pressing Enter in the Services window will now always work as an equivalent for the OK button, instead of inserting a new line in the active field (pressing Return will still do so, though).
  • No longer always adds itself to the Login Items on launch. Still does so on the first launch (when running from the Applications folder), as a convenience, but not after that. You can toggle the preference off or on as desired.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent finding licenses in very rare circumstances.
  • Removed the old crash reporter, since it doesn't support Leopard crash logs.
  • Prices increased slightly (get at the old price via the Dejal Store for a short time!).
  • Now requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).

Download BlogAssist now!

Caboodle 1.3 released

Caboodle version 1.3 is now in general release:

  • Added an optional Save PDF to Caboodle item in the printing workflows (i.e. the menu in the PDF button in print panels), making it really easy to save any document to a new entry just by (effectively) printing it to Caboodle.
  • Added a menu command to the Caboodle menu to Install PDF Workflow..., so you can install it later if desired.
  • Added a PDF... option to the Import sub-menu. PDFs are imported as attachments in new entries.
  • The folder hierarchy is now preserved when importing; folders are imported as entries with a folder icon and no text content.
  • Added Web Archive and HTML options to the Export sub-menu. The Web Archive format is nice and tidy, and can be displayed in any modern web browser. The HTML export outputs the entries as folders of HTML files and images.
  • Improved the handling of exports to use multi-threading only when appropriate.
  • Added General Preferences to include or exclude the creation and modification dates, Subject, and/or custom fields when printing and exporting. They are all included by default.
  • Changed the format of the printed/exported dates to be the same as displayed in the window, and fixed a bug where it was outputting the creation date instead of the modification one.
  • Fixed a cosmetic bug where having an entry selected, doing a search and not selecting anything, then clearing the search would leave the selection without displaying the corresponding entry content.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent finding licenses in very rare circumstances.
  • Updated the French and German localizations.
  • Added Dutch localization.

Download Caboodle 1.3 now!

Note that Caboodle will be featured on MacUpdate Promo tomorrow (Wednesday). A great opportunity to get it at a big discount, but for one day only!

Caboodle 1.3b3 released

Thanks to a Caboodle forum post, this release fixes a issue with the new exports:

  • Fixed an issue with the new HTML and Web Archive exports, where it could have an exception due to performing it on a secondary thread.
  • Updated the French, German and Dutch localizations again.

If all is well, this should be about ready for general release.

Download 1.3b3 now!

Caboodle 1.3b2 released

Caboodle version 1.3b2 now asks before adding the PDF workflow, just in case someone doesn't want this very handy feature. If you install it and don't want it, you can simply delete the alias file from the PDF Services folder; see the Caboodle FAQ for more information.

  • Added an alert panel to ask if you want to install the print PDF workflow, since some people might not want it (e.g. if only trying Caboodle). Only appears once.
  • Added a menu command to the Caboodle menu to Install PDF Workflow..., so you can install it later if desired.
  • Updated the French, German and Dutch localizations.

Download Caboodle 1.3b2 now!

Time Out 1.5.4 released

Announcing an update to my popular (and free!) break reminder tool, Time Out.

Version 1.5.4 has the following changes:

  • Replaced the use of an undocumented routine to check the idle time with an approved one, to fix compatibility with the upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) operating system.
  • Updated the bundled Adium scripts to support the current versions of the Adium instant messaging client, thanks to Nic Munroe. Note: if you used a previous version of Time Out, the scripts won't be replaced, in case you've customized them. You can download the updated scripts from the Time Out Extras site.
  • Fixed an issue with the Preferences window, where edits might not be saved when quitting with the window still open (specifically when an edit is still active).
  • Removed the old crash reporter, since it doesn't support Leopard crash logs.
  • Now requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).

If you are still using Panther (or, horrors, earlier), you should skip this update until you get around to upgrading your OS. The minimum requirement change was necessary for the Snow Leopard fix (and is a general policy for all updates now anyway).

I haven't actually tested Time Out under Snow Leopard — I don't have that installed yet. But I heard from an Apple guy that the previous version didn't work with that OS, and that this was the reason. So I'm confident that this update will fix this (if you use a Snow Leopard seed, please let me know).

Download Time Out now... did I mention it's completely free?!

(Though I do encourage donations... and everyone who donates before Time Out 2 is released will get a license for that at no further cost. Unfortunately, version 2 is still several months away....)

Caboodle 1.3b1 released

Caboodle, my handy snippet keeper, has a beta release of version 1.3.

Version 1.3b1 includes a number of much-requested improvements to importing, exporting and printing:

  • Added a Save PDF to Caboodle option to the printing workflows (i.e. the menu in the PDF button in print panels), making it really easy to save any document to a new entry just by (effectively) printing it to Caboodle.
  • Added a PDF... option to the Import sub-menu. PDFs are imported as attachments in new entries.
  • The folder hierarchy is now preserved when importing; folders are imported as entries with a folder icon and no text content.
  • Added Web Archive and HTML options to the Export sub-menu. The Web Archive format is nice and tidy, and can be displayed in any modern web browser. The HTML export outputs the entries as folders of HTML files and images.
  • Added General Preferences to include or exclude the creation and modification dates, Subject, and/or custom fields when printing and exporting. They are all included by default.
  • Changed the format of the printed/exported dates to be the same as displayed in the window, and fixed a bug where it was outputting the creation date instead of the modification one.
  • Fixed a cosmetic bug where having an entry selected, doing a search and not selecting anything, then clearing the search would leave the selection without displaying the corresponding entry content.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent finding licenses in very rare circumstances.

Download Caboodle 1.3b1 now!

Simon 2.5.1 released

Thanks to a post in the Simon forum this morning, I've traced and fixed a bug in the new SMS notifier plug-in. Plus a couple of other tweaks:

  • Fixed a bug that could sometimes prevent the new SMS notifier plug-in from loading.
  • Minor tweak to the SMS plug-in UI layout.
  • Removed the Spanish localization, since it hasn't been updated (if anyone wants to take over maintaining it, let us know).

Sorry for a bug-fix update in the same week as the general release... I wish we'd caught this during the beta cycle. But I felt it was an important enough issue to get a fix out immediately.

Download Simon 2.5.1 now!

Simon 2.5 released

Announcing the release of Dejal Simon version 2.5. Simon is my flagship Mac app, a very flexible server monitoring tool.

This update includes lots of great improvements. Some of the highlights include:

  • New SMS notifier plug-in, to send text messages via Clickatell or e-mail.
  • New Web notifier plug-in (like the Web service) to post to a web-based script.
  • Added S.M.A.R.T. Status, Drive Status, and Pulse services.
  • Added a Post to Simon Wall notifier.
  • Several enhancements to the reports features.
  • Added a Convert Domain/IP command to change a domain name into the corresponding IP address, or vice versa.
  • Plus many more improvements and fixes; see the release notes for details.

This is a free update for licensed Simon 2 customers.

Download Simon 2.5 now!

Introducing Valentines for iPhone

Introducing Valentines, a fun app to help celebrate Valentine's Day. It is now available on the iPhone App Store!

Valentines enables you to create any number of fun Valentine messages with your own text and a photo within a heart-shaped frame. The photo will have a slightly pink tint — see the world through rose-colored glasses. :) You and your valentine can view it on your iPhone or iPod touch, or you can save it to your photo library:

Flipping over, you can edit the message and choose an existing photo from your library or take one with the iPhone's camera:

You can also display a list of all valentines, and add new ones, rearrange their order, or delete them:

Valentines is available on the App Store for just $0.99. A limited number of promo codes are available for reviewers; if you are a journalist or blogger and want to write a review of Valentines, contact me for a code.

SmileDial 1.1 released

My first iPhone applications, SmileDial Lite and SmileDial Pro, have been updated to version 1.1.

Note: currently as of this writing, SmileDial Lite 1.1 hasn't yet appeared on the App Store, but I expect it soon. SmileDial Pro 1.1 is available.

Version 1.1 adds some new features, along with performance improvements:

  • Added a Settings option to Display Person's Name: if on, the person's name appears at the bottom of their photo. It is on by default.
  • Added a Settings option to Convert Numbers: if on, a number like "1 (800) MY-APPLE" will be converted to the numeric equivalent, "1 (800) 692-7753". This is off by default.
  • If a number from a Contact contains letters (e.g. "1 (800) MY-APPLE"), and isn't converted via the above setting, it is not auto-formatted, to avoid stripping off the letters.
  • Scrolling between multiple people (in the Pro edition) is now faster.
  • Flipping to and from the Edit Person view is now faster.

Check out the SmileDial website for more information, including a movie demoing the main features (though it hasn't been updated for version 1.1 yet). You can see some of the new features in the screenshots. You can also find links to the App Store on those pages.

Introducing FinderFront

[Tweet]

Adam C. Engst, publisher of the excellent TidBITS newsletter ("Mac news for the rest of us"), called out to the Twitterverse for help with a pet vexation. He wanted to be able to simply click on the Desktop and have all Finder windows come in front of all other windows. Normally when you click the Desktop, the Finder is activated but its windows may be obscured behind those of other applications.

And thus FinderFront was created. It is a simple — and completely free — tool to bring all Finder windows to the front when you click anywhere on the Desktop. If the Finder is already active, it does nothing, to avoid blocking selection of any icons on the Desktop.

It doesn't show any windows or menus when launched, and doesn't appear in the Dock, so it'll be practically invisible. If you find it useful and want it to keep working after you restart your Mac, add it to your Login Items in the Accounts pane of your System Preferences.

Download FinderFront now! It's free!

Simon 2.5b2 released

Simon version 2.5b2 has now been released:

  • Added a Drive Status service. A script service to check drive capacity threshold, S.M.A.R.T. status, and RAID health. A more comprehensive check than the S.M.A.R.T. Status service. Results in a failure if a problem is detected. Kindly written by Scott Haneda.
  • Added Automatically add www. and .com if omitted checkbox to the Web plug-in's Service options. It is on by default, but you can turn it off to disable this automatic formatting if you need to enter a URL without a top-level domain, e.g. for WebDav.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous beta where a URL was incorrectly required in the New/Edit Service window for the Web plug-in.
  • Fixed a bug with loading new default services and notifiers, where they could vanish after relaunching if no changes were made manually after updating. If you deleted any of these, they may re-appear with this update; just delete them again, and they won't re-appear.

Download Simon now!

Simon 2.5b1 released

Simon, my flagship product to monitor websites and servers for changes and failures, has been updated to version 2.5b1, the first beta release of a feature update.

This update includes several great improvements:

Services and Notifiers:

  • Added a SMS notifier plug-in to send Simon notifications as text messages to your phone. It has two modes of operation: via the Clickatell SMS gateway service, or via email to your phone provider. For both methods, this plug-in enables you to easily add multiple phone numbers to send messages to, and you can pick them from your Address Book if desired. Clickatell is a paid service; you need to sign up for an account with them, and they charge for each message. The email mode is free, other than any charges you may incur for receiving text messages. This plug-in was kindly written by Daniel Ellis.
  • Renamed the Basic plug-in as Web, and extended it to also act as a notifier. So you can now use it to get or post to a web page when a change, failure or recovery occurs, e.g. to run a PHP script to log a failure or perform some other action.
  • Added a S.M.A.R.T. Status service. This script checks the S.M.A.R.T. status of all mounted disk volumes, ignoring volumes that don't support reporting S.M.A.R.T. status. Results in a failure if a problem is detected.
  • Added a Pulse service. This script simply causes every check to result in a change. This can be useful, for example, to have Simon email you (via a change notifier) at a desired frequency, to reassure you that Simon is on the job.
  • Added a Post to Simon Wall notifier. This is a demo of the Web plug-in operating as a notifier. It does a Post to the Dejal website, adding a line to the Simon Wall page. You are welcome to use this notifier if you wish, or can duplicate and modify it to post elsewhere.
  • The E-mail notifier now alerts you if the To or From fields aren't filled in, since that is a common cause of issues.
  • Changed the E-mail notifier plug-in when using the Automatic method to connect to the sender's SMTP server instead of the recipient's, since that is more correct.
  • Fixed a bug in the Web plug-in's handling of the parameters and cookies tables, where an exception could prevent adding new ones when editing existing tests.

Reports:

  • Changed the URL display in the Save Locally report plug-in to be an editable URL, like in the Upload to Remote Server one. This enables you to edit the URL if you have a domain name for your local machine, or want to use a different variation of a file:// URL, perhaps to use localhost instead of the machine name. Clear the field to go back to an automatically determined URL.
  • Changed the Save Locally report plug-in to replace any periods in the machine name with a dash, to avoid an invalid URL.
  • Added LastChangeTextWithHTML and LastChangeTextWithoutHTML report variables for the Test block, so you can display the full text of the test output (between the Start and End Smart Change Detection blocks, if any).
  • When a report is deleted, it now immediately stops outputting and removes its timer to avoid reporting again, as you'd expect.

Other:

  • Added a Convert Domain/IP command to the Edit menu. If a field with a domain name or IP address is active, this command will change the domain name into the corresponding IP address, or vice versa. If there are multiple possible matches, a menu is displayed to enable you to choose the best one. Note that converting a domain to an IP then back to a domain may result in a different domain, if it is on a shared hosting server.
  • Changed the Add/Remove buttons below tables in the Preferences, Web (HTTP) and Script plug-ins to use small square buttons instead of round ones, to fit with the modern convention.
  • Fixed a rare issue where some plug-in settings could be unexpectedly modified when canceling an editor.
  • Fixed an issue with the Preferences window, where edits might not be saved when quitting with the window still open (specifically when an edit is still active).
  • Removed the old crash reporter, since it doesn't support Leopard crash logs.
  • Updated the built-in Kagi purchasing tool to the latest version, which fixes some issues with Leopard.

Download Simon 2.5b1 now!

Introducing SmileDial for the iPhone

SmileDial Pro and SmileDial Lite are now both available on the iPhone App Store. Here's a product-page-as-blog-post description of both editions:


Call someone by touching their smile, or send them a text message by touching their eyes! Not as creepy as that sounds, really! SmileDial displays a photo of someone's face: tap the top half of the photo to send them a text message, or the bottom half to call them.

One or More People

SmileDial Lite helps you call and text your favorite person. SmileDial Pro extends this to multiple people: swipe through multiple faces to choose the one you want. SmileDial Pro also enables you to call them via other phone numbers, send an email, visit their website, map their address, and more, in a fun way: shake the iPhone to show more contact information.

A tap of the Add Contact button flips the photo over to reveal fields to edit the name and numbers for text messaging and phone calls, plus buttons to show the contact info and change the photo.

Use Contacts... or Don't

[Choose contact]When you first use SmileDial, it automatically flips so you can specify a person. You can simply enter a name and numbers and choose a photo. Or you can pick an existing contact, via the Choose a Contact button or the Add Contact button in the name field. This will ask for a person and, if the they have multiple numbers, which one to use.

If the chosen contact has a nickname, that is used for the name. You can change the name and numbers as desired, too; the original contact won't be altered. After providing one of the numbers, it is automatically copied to the other if blank.

Photogenic

[Edit photo]A contact's photo is used for SmileDial, if available. It is previewed in the background of the edit mode. You can also choose another photo: an existing one from the Camera Roll or Photo Library, or take a new photo with the iPhone camera. The photo can be moved and scaled as desired, e.g. to show just the person's face. The new photo is stored in the Camera Roll, so you can import it into iPhoto or use it elsewhere if desired. And again it doesn't alter the contact record, so you're free to have fun with it.

Versatile Numbers

If you want to use a different number, simply tap it to edit. It is automatically formatted. This formatting can be disabled via the Settings app if desired. You can also choose a different number from the contact info: simply clear the field then tap the Add Contact button to reveal the available numbers of the contact.

Change Person, or Add More People

[Add person]

Once a contact has been specified, the Choose a Contact button becomes Show Contact Info. Tap this button to access the full contact information.

If you want to change the person used for SmileDial, you can clear the name and tap the Add Contact button to choose a different contact. But for SmileDial Pro, you have another option: add a new person.

SmileDial Pro includes a People button while editing. Tap it to display a list of people in the order they appear on SmileDial's main side. You can change the order, delete them, or add any number of new ones.

Here to Help

[Welcome hint]SmileDial includes helpful hints at the bottom of the screen while editing, plus an introductory hint when you first flip back to the main side. This hint can be shown again via the Settings if desired. The About screen includes convenient buttons to access the Dejal website, too... in fact you can tap any of the displayed information to view related pages, e.g. the version number to go straight to the release notes.

Try It Now!

SmileDial Lite is available completely free! SmileDial Pro is provided with "sustainable pricing": an inexpensive price that will enable planned updates for both editions. SmileDial is not "abandonware". Dejal is a long-established independent Mac software company, now expanding into iPhone software (which uses much the same Cocoa technology).

Dejal has a reputation for prompt and friendly support. Check out the SmileDial Forum for assistance from the developer and other customers, to suggest new features or enhancements, or provide other feedback.

BlogAssist 2.2.1 released

BlogAssist, my handy tool to add HTML tags to text via the clipboard, dragging to a floating window, or inline via the Services menu, has been updated to version 2.2.1:

  • Removed commas as a separator for repeating lists, to avoid problems with commas in paragraphs, and added bullet and vertical bar as alternatives (in addition to return, linefeed, and tab).
  • Fixed a bug that required a click before the output of the Services window would appear in the destination document.
  • Fixed an issue with the Preferences window, where edits might not be saved when quitting with the window still open (specifically when an edit is still active).
  • Updated the built-in Kagi purchasing tool to the latest version, which fixes some issues with Leopard.

This is a recommended update for everyone.

Download now!

Macfilink 1.5 released: now free!

Macfilink, my affiliate link cloaking tool, has been updated to version 1.5, and released as freeware.

Yes, that's right: formerly a shareware product, Macfilink is now available to everyone at no cost. The license features have been removed, so it won't remind you to purchase or require entering a license.

If you're not familiar with Macfilink, it is a simple tool to take an affiliate URL and mask it so an affiliate page appears to be one of the pages on your site. You can see an example via the Time Out site for the third-party Rebuild Your Vision program. Notice how the web page address remains on my site, and it (optionally) includes a header linking back to the main Time Out page, with the third-party content below. If you look at the page source, the affiliate link isn't even visible there.

So why did I decide to release Macfilink as freeware? Put simply, because it does one task, and does it very well, but I can't think of any features I want to implement to enhance it. Also, being a very niche tool, it has never been a big seller, which means it isn't really possible to justify spending much time enhancing it, even if I did have some ideas.

Sure, I could keep charging for it, but in my view, if I'm not committing to ongoing enhancements, I shouldn't be charging for it.

I want to emphasize that I am not discontinuing Macfilink. If bugs turn up, I will do maintenance releases as needed. I just don't plan to add new features. It does everything it needs to do.

So download Macfilink and enjoy with my compliments!

Caboodle 1.2 released

Caboodle, my handy app to store and organize snippets of text, images, PDFs, and other information, has been updated to version 1.2.

This release has a focus on the encryption features, with several significant and much-requested enhancements.

Perhaps the most significant of those is the addition of an option to view an encrypted entry without decrypting it on disk. When displaying the decryption sheet, you now have a choice between fully decrypting as before, or viewing the entry without decrypting it on disk. It is decrypted as a read-only view, so you can see the text etc until you quit Caboodle — no need to re-encrypt when you're done.

Other welcome enhancements are support for saving passwords in the keychain, and the ability to have Caboodle offer the most recently entered password and/or a default password. Great time-savers, that make using the encryption features much easier.

Caboodle's decryption sheet

This release also enhances the Services menu functions and when dropping text or images on Caboodle's Dock icon. Now it sets the Subject field based on the first line of text, and makes better decisions on where to add the entries.

No doubt many long-time users will be pleased to hear that this version also fixes a long-standing search indexing issue, too.

It also includes several other improvements and fixes; check out the release notes for full details.

One thing worth pointing out, for the 1% of people still on Mac OS X 10.3.9 (Panther): Caboodle now requires 10.4 (Tiger) as a minimum. So those people need to remain with version 1.1.4 until they're ready to upgrade their OS. (I've put a link to that version on the Caboodle product page, just in case.)

Download Caboodle 1.2 now!

Caboodle 1.2b1 released

Caboodle has been updated with some much-requested new features!

  • Added a View button to the decryption sheet. If clicked, the entry is temporarily decrypted and displayed read-only until you quit, but remains encrypted on disk, so the next time you use Caboodle it will still be encrypted. To edit the entry or keep it decrypted, click the Decrypt button instead.
  • Added a checkbox to the encryption and decryption sheets to enable saving the entered password in the keychain. The state of the checkbox is remembered automatically.
  • Added a new Security preference page, where you can specify a default password to use for encrypting and decrypting entries, and options of whether to use that, the keychain, the previously-entered password, or nothing when encrypting and decrypting. The default password is stored in the keychain, for security.
  • When displaying the encryption sheet, if there is a password for this entry in the keychain (i.e. it had previously been encrypted and the password saved), it is defaulted into the password fields. Otherwise if you've previously entered a password or any entry, it is offered instead. Otherwise if there is a default password specified in the preferences, it is suggested. The source of the password is indicated below the fields. These are all dependent on the preferences. You can of course replace the suggestion with a new password, if desired.
  • Similarly when decrypting, it will pre-populate with the keychain, last-entered, or default password, if available and valid. It only offers the password if it is correct, so you can just click the View or Decrypt buttons without typing anything.
  • Using the Services > Caboodle > Add Entry with Selection command, or dropping text on Caboodle's Dock icon, will now set the Subject to the first few words of the first line of text. Also improved the entry creation decision: if the selected entry has child entries when using these functions, the new entry will be a child of that one, otherwise it will be a sibling.
  • Now correctly indexes new text, instead of requiring a re-launch before it is available for searches.
  • Fixed a crasher when adding a new entry if displaying the search results.
  • Fixed a crasher when using the New Sibling button with no selection.
  • Fixed an issue with the Preferences window, where edits might not be saved when quitting with the window still open (specifically when an edit is still active).
  • Fixed a cosmetic bug with the Check for Updates feature when using a general release and wanting only general releases, and a beta release is available.
  • Updated the built-in Kagi purchasing tool to the latest version, which fixes some issues with Leopard.
  • Caboodle now requires Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or later.

Download Caboodle 1.2b1 now!

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