Weasel Heist

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As mentioned before I bought the Mac Heist II bundle and what an amazing deal it was too.

macheist.pngThing is, there is a huge morel debate around Mac Heist and it has hit controversy again because as it turns out Yazsoft, the makers of Speed Download have used the Mac Heist bundle to offload the last few copies of Speed Download 4 (so to speak) before releasing Speed Download 5.

There are a couple of issues here, Yazsoft, maybe innocently didn’t realise before agreeing to the bundle that the Mac Heist way is that all the licenses are supposed to be full licenses, as in, they should be as if you had bought them individually. This has hit Yazsoft because they state on their website that anyone who purchased Speed Download 4 during January/February can upgrade to version 5 for free. However, they have decided that Mac Heist customers don’t qualify.

Another mistake Yazsoft have made is that Speed Download’s “check for updates” feature let you upgrade to Speed Download 5 as if it were a simple update. It did state at the top of the update notes that it was a paid upgrade but I dunno about you but when that update software dialog pops up, I have never read the blurb before hitting the install button!

Even worse, the app has an opt-in automatic update feature, that upgraded you to version 5 without saying anything.

The people running Mac Heist have psuedo officially called Yazsoft “weasels”, as in, they are trying to weasel their way out of giving mac heist customers access to version 5. I completely agree.

Idiot’s also IMO, because the Mac Heist bundle sold 43,815 copies, and for a small Shareware company to piss that many people off could kill them.

Sure they have apologized, but only after a rather large campaign of mac heist customers emailing them *probably quite abusively* and lengthy discussions on the mac heist forum. But as the apology doesn’t include any re-assessment on their policy, it is rather shallow.

I’d like to also finish by defending mac heist. Some folk such as daring fireball have criticized the bundle for devaluing shareware and for not giving a large enough royalty to the developers. I think this is poppycock, how many of the 43,815 people who bought the bundle would have purchased the apps individually had the bundle not existed? I wager only a tiny fraction. and 43,815 x $1 is still a lot more than 100 x $25. Plus, like many customers I hadn’t even tried the trial periods of many apps and now will keep paying upgrades for years on a couple of them…. as long as the upgrade purchase isn’t in the next week before I have even had a chance to try the app out!

“The only way is UP!” oh wait, that’s Yazz.

UPDATE:  On the heist forum it was mentioned that yazsoft have started replying to complaints with a shiny new license code.  So I complained and it’s true!  I’ve now got my free upgrade to Speed Download 5.  Woohoo!  It pays to complain!

Now I feel kinda guilty. LOI

10.5.2 Disparity between old and new

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So we all updated Mac OS X 10.5.1 to 10.5.2 the other day.

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Updated both my iMac and iBook, both weighed in at 180MB. Among the fixes are a couple of UI tweaks, one of these is the ability to return the menu bar to the good ‘ol opaque days. But can you see little snag in the screenshot above? The left and behind is the iMac’s desktop property dialog and to the right is the iBooks. Both are 10.5.2. Hmm, I guess iBooks have no business having opaque menu bars.

Hope that screenshot fits in my blog theme OK, it’s a bit large.

Mac Heist

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Susan gave me the lowdown on the heist, but hush hush, it’s strictly on the QT.

macheist.pngPardon?  Anyway, yeah Mac Heist is on at the moment, not sure when it started but there’s only 13 days left Mr.  It’s a bundle of mac shareware apps for just 49 dollars and the collection is pretty good, there’s at least 4 i’m interested in that makes it a steel!

The apps you get are 1Password, CoverSutra, Cha-Ching, iStopMotion, Awaken, AppZapper, TaskPaper.

There are three more, CSSEdit, Snapz Pro X, Pixelmator which will only be unlocked once enough bundles have been sold, so please buy the bundle so the rest of us can have these three extras!    Please?

Oh yeah, and it’s all for charity.

Omnifocus

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I’m terrible at organizing myself, and I constantly get stressed out when I remember shit that has to be done.

I may have found the answer however, Omnifocus is a new app, so new it hasn’t even been written yet! It’s a complete life organizer, it looks just like a task list type affair but it’s much more thorough.

Omni were inspired to create the app by David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” self-improvement book (and boy do I need some improving). I’m not even half way through the book yet but I already know it’s going to be incredibly helpful. It’s all about getting every single god damn nagging thing, big or small off your mind and organized, and it’s promised that you’ll feel a huge relief.

Also, you don’t just list things skirting on them like you’d usually do, not just “Complete financial document”, but all the steps involved that you can think of and categorize them. You also specify what conditions must be met before you do it, whether you can do it straight away, how long you will need, if you need to be in a specific place…

Omni seem to have big ideas for omnifocus, there’s going to be a web server/interface, even with an iPhone optimised version. And it will add time based tasks to calendar and the like.

Oooh, I feel optimistic.

UPDATE:

Crazy, just days after I wrote this Omni have announced 1.0.  So if you haven’t already bought it you’ve missed out on the half price beta offer.  oops.

Leopard Issues Episode 1: First Kernal Panic

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In the first installment of what could be many Leopard updates…

Just had a Kernel Panic, you know this when a semi-opaque gray slowly comes down the screen like a curtain, and then a please hold the power button message appears in several languages. This doesn’t bode well, I’ve only ever seen what, 3, 4 max kernal panics on my mac the whole time I’ve had it.

At the time it occurred I was watching a 720p x.264 of the office on the second screen whilst EyeTV was recording Russell Brands Ponderland and I had just moments before unplugged my external DVD drive (it had no disk in).

Reason I had unplugged the drive is because Leopard seems to be pinging it (if pinging is the right word) around every 5 minutes whilst there is no disk in, the drive makes a faint buzz and then sighs, Tiger never did this. Anyway, i’m finding it mightily irritating.

It seems that any JPG which has been touched by lightroom will cause Finder to relaunch if you try QuickView on it. Very odd.

Any now for software compatibility

Native-Instruments stuff is an issue because most of the update installers for their apps bomb out. This means that for many of their plug-ins I’m stuck with the original PowerPC versions, which don’t work in an Intel host DAW.

PictureSync is a great app for uploading to photo-sharing sites such as flickr right from such apps as aperture, iphoto and lightroom. Anyway, currently in Leopard you can’t license the app, nor can you authenticate it with flickr.

Popcorn 2 cannot burn a disk, tells you the drive didn’t respond. (External drive, haven’t tried the internal).

Leopard goes back to the future 1, 2 and 3

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Received Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard today.

Actually I shot my wad prematurely on what was a dry run if you will. Um, I mean I got all impatient watching that count down timer on Apples site and ended up downloading it on Wednesday.

I did an erase install ‘cos I had all sorts of crap cloging my HD up and its nice to have a clean system now and then.

It’s taken till today (Friday) to get all my software and stuff back on here so in the end I’m only now getting the Leopard experience, on launch day so getting it early was fair enough in my book.

Still not sure what to think of it, it seems pretty fast, and it’s very refined. But I can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed by the new features.

And I’m having a hell of a time with Time Machine. The backups keep stalling part way through, still haven’t managed to do the initial run.

The box is awesome, it has a sort of hologram effect that’s really crazy. Probably been starring at it for hours. Simple things entertain me.

Update: After stalling again but letting it carry on the rest of the evening Time Machines first backup kicked off again and managed to complete.  Woo.

Best Market Watch

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Well I dunno what to write about, but I reckons I ought to say something so I guess I’ll just throw a load of random shite at yerz.

My friend who got married last sunday was someone I’ve known since primary school.  When I was 7 or 8 or some nonesense.  They now live in the South and I hadn’t seem them in years,  only spoke online.  So to suddenly see them at their wedding and being their best mate was mighty weird.  Was supremely fun though.  And although doing a speech was scary frightning I’m glad I did, and all the folk there were wonderful about it, telling me it was great and being all supportive (I think they got the message that I was stressed about it all).

This friend now lives in Woking and the wedding was in some middle of nowhere idealic place near Guildford.  I’ve never been to Sussex before and my god is it lovely down there.  Kind of makes the “north” seem a bit crappy all told.  Another world around there.

I’m rather miffed because i’ve suddenly noticed that lots of jpg’s have somehow had their timestamp  mangled on my mac.  Dunno how but the jpgs underneath my “pictures” folder now have “24/07/07″ as both their created date and modified date.  How the heck am I supposed to know when things were taken now?

Strangely, DNG’s, ORF’s, TIFF’s and PSD’s under the same folder are OK. Gonna take some sorting out.

Numbers

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Amongst the Apple announcements the other day was the renewal of the iWork bundle of apps.

This is the version of iWork I’ve been waiting for as it finally includes a spreadsheet app. Boy was it worth the wait, it’s everything I could have hoped for and more, I love the way you can stick mutiple smaller spreadsheets on one sheet. So easy to throw things around.

They’ve also added a contextual bar to the apps, rather like the “ribbon” thingy in the latest MS Office, except unlike microsofts it doesn’t look like it was thrown together by someone enduring a fit. Instead it’s nice and svelte.

Finally a spreadsheet on the mac that doesn’t run like a dog. Wooo.

Dock improvement

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There are a number of things I would like to see in Leopard, missing from the WWDC build. I think I’ve come up with an OK idea for adding some of the functionality of the windows taskbar whilst keeping the grace of the OSX dock.

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My mock up should be self explanatory, when an app has multiple documents open it’s position in the dock should open out and list the documents, click on the titles to switch between them. Too avoid over-use it should only be apps which would benefit which get support for this doodad.

Whatdya think Steve?

Ha, I’ve just noticed, my mock up thinks pages documents have psd extensions.  Silly mock up.

Leopard developer preview

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Installed the developer preview of leopard onto an external drive yesterday.

leopardcollage.png Bullet points shall convey my thoughts…

  • It feels faster than tiger, which is surprising because my iMac is a 32bit core duo and leopard is stuffed full of 64bit stuff.  It might feel faster because I hadn’t had a chance to stuff the drive full of crap.  But still, peeps with 32bit mac’s need not worry about a speed hit.
  •  I was underwhelmed by the features.  I’m hoping i’ll be pleasantly surprised by hidden nuggets, but right now i’m not holding my breath.
  • Finder is hugely disappointing.  Quickview is good, but despite the iTunes-esq appearance the rest of finder still just feels like finder.  It just isn’t a shell you expect in 2007.  There’s no paradigm shift.  No breadcrumb bar.  No tagging.  No editable extended attributes support.
  • Yeah quickview is pretty nifty, it opens files incredibly quickly, even things like spreadsheets open in a flash, and I was impressed that it showed tabs for the different sheets in an excel spreadsheet I tried.
  • Spaces is going to come in useful for those times that I leave an app on my TV and don’t fancy turning it back on just to drag it back to the main desktop.
  • Time machine is so so easy to set up and it works well.  However, I choose a network location.  Then went back to leopard today and tried Time machine and it complained that it hasn’t been set up.  Reason was that I hadn’t yet in that session visited/mounted the network location.  So you still need to be careful of that, and create automounts for network locations.  Which I might add finder still offers up no help for.
  • So yeah, I get the feeling network support ain’t going to be any better in leopard.
  • The new dock looks nice and flashy at first, but it didn’t take long for my eyes to grow tired of it, it looks a tad cluttered.
  • Still no way to turn off display outputs at will.
  • Apple seem to be moving away from having pop-out sidebars for setting attributes.  Such as in iCal.  Now when you create a new event you double click it and a nice looking floating palette emanates from the event.
  • The menu bar doesn’t look any better in real life than it does in the screenshots.  Even worse, when you click an item the drop down menu is more opaque than the menu bar and looks completely out of place.
  • And that’s all the weather.
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