timeout

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....)

Happy Earth Day!

Everyone grab yourself a copy of Time Out, to help remind you to look up from your computer occasionally.

Take a look out the window, stretch a bit, perhaps go for a little walk. Your body will thank you.

And hey, it's free!

Download Time Out now.

Dejal products are tweeting!

If you haven't been living under a rock, you've probably heard of Twitter, the service where you can post updates on what you are doing in 140 characters or less, and follow "tweets" from whomever interests you.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you probably also know that Dejal is on Twitter — I post tweets about company topics, product releases, and personal events — pretty much any topic, though typically not very often.

Well, it seems that three Dejal products have developed some personality of their own, and have snuck onto Twitter! You can follow them to learn about releases, usage tips, and whatever else they have to say. Probably best not to ask them for support (the Dejal Forums remain the best avenue for that), but hopefully they'll be worth a follow. You never know, they might just drop hints about updates and future ideas on occasion.

There are a couple of other Twitter accounts, too:

Better living

With US Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, I thought I'd take this opportunity to reflect briefly on ways to improve one's life.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't start off by plugging my own contribution to this goal: Dejal Time Out, my handy Mac app that reminds you to take regular breaks, featuring both micro-breaks for a quick breath and longer breaks to get up, move about and stretch. If you're not already using Time Out, I really recommend it. Lots of people have written to tell me how much it has helped them. And it's completely free! Check it out.

But I also wanted to mention a couple of other things. Firstly is a blog posting sent to me by a fan of Time Out, listing 50 video games for physical therapy and rehab. These are games for the Wii and other gaming systems, plus other options, that make physical activity and recovery from injuries fun and easy. That seems like a great way to motivate people to exercise more, or help those who have limited options.

While physical well-being is important, a major area of stress for many people is financial worries — especially in these troubled economic times. An Australian friend of mine, Jason Anderson, has recently started a blog aimed to help people get this area of their lives under control: Live To Budget. The site has budgeting tips, money-saving recipes, and more. If money worries are getting you down, or you just think you could be spending your money more wisely, I recommend taking a look at this site.

Finally, back to the Thanksgiving theme, I just wanted to say that I am very thankful for my great customers. Spending money on Dejal software is always wise. :) Dejal has enjoyed significant growth this year, so thank you to those who have purchased my products, have donated for Time Out and my other free products, or who have provided feedback to help improve them. I have big plans for the coming year, so stay tuned!

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Turkey Day, if you're celebrating it.

Time Out 1.5.3 released

Time Out, my popular free break reminder tool, has just been updated to version 1.5.3.

It contains a few improvements:

  • Improved the idle detection when the computer was sleeping.
  • Added a hidden preference to output debug information about scheduling and idle detection to the Console log. It can be activated by entering defaults write com.dejal.timeout DebugScheduler YES in Terminal. You shouldn't turn this on unless you think Time Out isn't working properly, as it outputs quite a lot of information.
  • 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.

Time Out 2, the major rewrite for Leopard, is currently in development. More information about it will be made available in due course. In the meantime, enjoy Time Out 1.5.3!

Download now!

Time Out 1.5.2 released

Time Out version 1.5.2 is now available.

Time Out is a popular free break reminder tool, that supports normal breaks and micro-breaks.

This update adds support for Spaces in Leopard. The break now appears on all Spaces, even if you switch Spaces mid-break. It also switches the distribution format from a disk image to a ZIP archive... which I'll discuss more in a later blog post.

Remember, Time Out 1.5 is freeware; you are welcome to use it at no cost. However, donations to support development of version 2 are always appreciated... and since I've announced version 2, everyone who donates (any amount!) will be eligible for a Time Out 2 license at no further cost. This offer will expire when Time Out 2 is released.

Download Time Out now!

Dejal and Leopard

LeopardAll the cool kids are doing it, so it must be my turn....

Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" is available tomorrow. It's a great update, that I've mostly enjoyed using for the past few months, so I highly recommend it to everyone. But an important consideration is always: will my existing software run on the new OS version? So here's a summary of the Leopard compatibility status of Dejal products, as far as I'm aware.

I should point out that this is based on a recent seed (pre-release version): Mac developers don't get the final version of Leopard any sooner than you do... and in fact get it later if they wait for the copy Apple sends as part of the Apple Developer Connection membership. There's been a bit of an uproar about that, but it was the same with Tiger, and will probably be the same again with the next big cat. Such is life.

Simon: My website and server monitoring tool runs fine under Leopard. It has been updated to use Leopard's window style for the Monitor window when running under 10.5, or the custom window style under 10.4 or 10.3.9. I plan on making several more Leopard improvements in a future version.

Time Out: Version 1.5 of this break reminder app was released not long ago, which added Leopard compatibility. It has no known issues with 10.5. Work on version 2 is underway (though currently paused); you can expect that in Q1 2008. It will require a minimum of 10.5, as it leverages several Leopard technologies.

Caboodle: This handy snippet-keeper app is also Leopard-ready as of the current release, version 1.1.2. I have big plans for Caboodle over the coming year, once I've done the other updates.

Narrator: My fun speech synthesis app hasn't been updated for a number of years, but appears to run okay under Leopard. I am currently working on a long-overdue new version of it -- actually a complete rewrite. The new version requires a minimum of Leopard. Watch the Dejal blog for more information about that as it progresses.

BlogAssist: This useful HTML markup tool is Leopard-ready as of the current release, version 2.1.1. It will also see some improvements in 2008, using technology being developed for Time Out.

Macfilink: My affiliate link cloaking app hasn't had an update for Leopard yet, but it seems to work okay. I haven't decided what to do for its next update, but it's possible I'll replace the data storage with Core Data for the Leopard update. It's the lowest priority, as this app does one job and does it very well as-is, so it doesn't need much tinkering.

So there you go. I hope you enjoy Leopard as much as I do. Please let me know if you discover any compatibility issues, but as far as Dejal products are concerned, you should be good to go!

Time Out 1.5.1 released

Time Out version 1.5.1 is now available. This is a quick bug-fix release with just two changes:

  • Fixed a bug that caused the Pause Breaks and Reset Breaks commands to remain disabled.
  • Changed the Begin Micro Break command to work if you postponed a Normal break and the Normal break is due very soon; the overlap avoidance feature is inappropriate for manually started breaks.

It's only been a week since the 1.5 release, which I'd normally consider too soon for another release, but these issues seemed important enough to justify it. Not having the Pause and Reset commands available is a major inconvenience for some people, so I wanted to get a fix out quickly for them. If you don't care about these changes, you can skip this update if you wish - but certainly no harm in updating anyway.

Time Out 1.5 released

Time Out version 1.5 is now in general release. It includes an improved icon (as seen on the Dejal site for a few months), a rearranged break layout, and the ability to change the postpone button intervals, or hide either of them and/or the skip break button, if desired. Plus some other minor changes and fixes. See the release notes and the blog entry on the beta release for more information.

Time Out 1.5 is freeware; you are welcome to use it at no cost. However, donations to support development of version 2 are always appreciated... and since I've announced version 2, everyone who donates (any amount!) will be eligible for a Time Out 2 license at no further cost. This offer will expire when Time Out 2 is released (after Leopard).

Download Time Out 1.5 now!

Too unintentionally with continuation sinking

Something I found amusing: I noticed a mention of the Time Out 1.5b1 release on Plateaus.com, a Japanese site (via my site referrers), and auto-translated it to English using Google... admittedly a beta translator. Here's what it came up with:

When work and music are done, (with saying, as for work almost it is Windows but), too unintentionally with continuation sinking, when the air is attached, the eye and the shoulder [gakugaku] is good.

This timeout as at the time interval which is appointed shown under, putting on the thin cover in the picture, (can adjust also transparency), in order to break, you teach. In addition, the script which is executed at the time of sound and start and the end which are let flow when starting and end break (also Automator, AppleScript and the Python script) or the appointment etc of application is possible.

Standard setting is, the public official of the country whether with "micro" break in 10 minutes 10 seconds, with "usually" break in 50 minutes 10 minutes (the [do] [tsu] of is like but), but you are appointment possible by your. It is useful unexpectedly. It is the freeware.

Auto-translation is hard, eh. :)

Time Out 1.5b1 released

It's been a while since the previous version, but Time Out 1.5 is now in beta release.

As mentioned a couple of times recently, version 1.5 is an interim release for 10.3.9 and up, before the big 2.0 upgrade, coming later this year for Leopard.

I've been using the new Time Out icon on the Dejal site since January, but till now the Time Out application itself has still used the "aesthetically challenged" old icon, which consisted of a very badly Photoshopped rendering of my hands in a "T" shape. I've never liked that icon, and I've certainly got lots of feedback over the years that you don't either... so it was a priority when I got Emily Pfeifer to redesign some of my app icons (and the Dejal logo). I'm very happy with the new design, and I hope you are too.

A subtle change is the name of the application. It used to be "Time Out!", with an exclamation point at the end of the name, but I'd grown to dislike that too, what with the hassles and untidiness it caused when referring to the application. So I've dropped the exclamation point from the name.

Feature-wise, 1.5 has a rearranged break layout, with the progress bar and buttons within a box, a more elegant font and color for the "Time Out" text, and the new icon, of course. By popular request, it also includes options to remove any or all of the buttons, and to change the postpone amounts. So if you find the temptation to skip a break too strong, you can get rid of the button to encourage you to take the break. Check out the release notes for more changes.

Here's a feature graphic for Time Out 1.5b1, as seen in rotation (with ones for Simon and Caboodle currently) on the Dejal home page:

Version 1.5 may be the last version of Time Out for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later. Version 2 and beyond will require a minimum of Mac OS X 10.5, as they will leverage several of the great technologies introduced in Leopard. I'll keep 1.5 around for the foreseeable future, for people who haven't upgraded to Leopard.

And yes, 1.5 is still completely free! While version 2 will be shareware, I am currently planning to also offer a free Lite version, which will have the same features as 1.5, plus some extras.

Product positioning ponderings

As as been mentioned before, I'm working on Time Out version 2 (in between other projects), to be released once Leopard is publicly available.

At present Time Out is freeware. It probably shouldn't be, as it's a great, very popular product, but it started that way and has remained so thus far. That will change with version 2, which will include pretty much all of the most popular features people have been asking for over the last few years, many of which I've been keen to do but couldn't justify in a free version.

So version 2 and beyond will be shareware, and require a minimum of Leopard. However, I plan to keep version 1.5 (to be released soon) around for people who haven't yet upgraded to Leopard. Version 1.5 will remain free, and for 10.3.9 and later. That could also serve as an alternative for people who don't want the improvements in version 2 (or don't want to pay for Time Out)... but I'm also considering other options.

The latest such option to ponder is having a "Lite" edition of version 2. So there would be the standard Time Out 2, a shareware product, plus Time Out Lite 2, a freeware product. The Lite edition would have basically the same feature set as version 1.5, plus a few enhancements. The standard edition would have lots more new features. If the basic features were enough for you, you could use Time Out Lite at no cost, like you can use current versions. If you want the extra features, you install the standard Time Out and buy a license. Like my other products, you could install Time Out and try the full features for a while before deciding to buy.

A previous option that I thought of was to have just one Time Out 2 app, but two or three license levels, like for Simon. Under this approach, there would be a cheap Basic license with limited features, a Standard license with advanced features, and perhaps an Enterprise or Site license with the same features but allowing company-wide installation. This is different than the above approach in that there is no separate free edition; the differentiation is all in license levels. I do like the idea of keeping a free edition, though.

Another idea was similar to that one, having more of a "seat"-based approach. One license, the same features for everyone, but quantity discounts for multiple users. This is more like the Individual/Household/Site license model that I use for Caboodle and other apps. A seat-based approach could perhaps be combined with the latest approach (of standard and Lite editions).

What do you all think? Any preferences, or other ideas? Feedback would be appreciated, via the comments, the Time Out forum, or privately.

Time Out featured on Lifehacker

Time Out is a featured download on Lifehacker today. They seem to like it, which is always nice. Lifehacker is a great productivity blog, that I read every day, and recommend to others.

I appreciate the publicity, though I kinda wish it had come in a couple of weeks time, as (by popular request) I am planning to release Time Out version 1.5 with the new icon, and a few other improvements, around that time.

If you've come here from Lifehacker or elsewhere to get Time Out, go ahead; the current version is very good... but the icon is somewhat aesthetically challenged. So come back in a couple of weeks to get 1.5 - Time Out will tell you when it's available.

Version 1.5 will remain freeware, for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later.

As for Time Out 2, it is still in development, but will require Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) as a minimum, so version 1.5 will tide people over till Leopard is out (and for people who don't upgrade).

Simon 2.2c7 released

I've just released Simon version 2.2c7, which hopefully will be the last general candidate release, and the last release of 2006.

I currently plan to do the general release next week, after finishing migrating my custom PHP-driven web pages to the new host, launching my new logo, and releasing beta versions of Caboodle 1.1, BlogAssist 2.1, and Macfilink 1.4. I'll also continue work on Time Out 2. It'll be a busy week.

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