During our lifetimes, we all meet people who reassure us of what we do. People who make us feel like we're on the right track. For me, Michael Crichton was one of those people.
Years ago, I was just a hobbyist developer, and I had no idea if I could ever make it in the world of software. Then one day, out of the blue, I received an email from Michael, stating how much he enjoyed using one of the products I was working on. But it wasn't just that — for me, the most important thing was the way he said it. He treated me as equal. And I thought: If he likes what I do, I must be fairly good at it.
Later on, we exchanged some more emails, and he sent me a copy of State of Fear, including a personal dedication. I've always been very proud of this book, and I've always liked showing it to my friends and family. In fact, I've shown it to my mother earlier this week.
As far as I know, he liked networking with us Mac guys in that way, so I'm sure there are lots of other developers, editors and bloggers who could tell you a similar story. But I'm not writing this to make anyone think I'm special. He was. All I want to say about me is that he was a positive influence in my life, and I'm grateful for that.
Michael Crichton died on November 4, 2008. He was 66 years old. And since today is my birthday, I hope it's OK to make a small wish: Let's all take a minute to think about him and his family. We have lost a great writer and an exceptional fellow man.
Although Many Tricks, the new home of all the Mac software that was previously available from this site, has been up for a few weeks, most of our applications were still hosted on my private web server. That's no longer the case, and we 're quite happy to have completed our relocation.
There's a technical implication to this, too. If you were still monitoring this web log (i.e., the respective RSS feed) for software updates, there's no point in doing so any longer. You'll want to switch to this one, instead.
As far as this log's future is concerned, I do plan on keeping it around for occasions where I'd like to express my personal opinion. I expect these occasions to be extremely rare, though, so don't hold your breath.
I initially created Clip Show for viewing our personal vacation videos. But Clip Show has turned out to completely replace QuickTime Player as a movie player for me. Have a look at the first public beta.
Butler 4.1.2 fixes some smaller issues, including my all-time favorite, the "Hägar" bug. Moreover, Butler should start up noticeably faster on typical setups.
Butler 4.1.1 fixes an issue with its bookmarks importer.
Service Scrubber 1.1.3 no longer lists service providers that are located in the current user's trash. And there is a Japanese localization by Akira Ikeda now.
An updated version, renamed "TextExpander", will be available shortly. TextExpander will also include several new, unique features that yours truly had been working on for a while. And it will, of course, be free for users who have donated for the original Textpander.
The current version of Textpander will be available for download until TextExpander's initial release.
For all Intel-Mac early adopters, here's Butler 4.0.1, the "universal" version of Butler. In contrast to what I wrote earlier, this version still runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8. Turns out I hadn't read the universal binary specifications closely enough ;-)
Butler is getting somewhat more universal in another respect as well, by the way — this version includes French and Japanese localizations.
After almost two years of beta testing, the final Butler 4.0 has arrived. Sometimes, I thought I wouldn't live to see the day.
And if you happen to speak Danish, French, or Chinese, go ahead and download Service Scrubber 1.1.2, too.
Here's a little note for all those who are waiting for a "universal" Butler that will run natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based macs:
Up to now, Butler has used nested functions quite extensively. While I still think that these are one of the most elegant instruments in programming, they are no longer supported by the compiler that's required for creating universal binaries. Rewriting these portions of Butler will take some more time. If you happen to have access to an Intel-based mac, please try running Butler on it (via Rosetta) and let me know if it works.
The final Butler 4.0 will remain PowerPC-only. Expect a beta version of Butler 4.1 during the next few weeks. The latter will run natively on Intel macs, but it will require Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later — as opposed to Butler 4.0, which is supposed to run on OS X versions as early as 10.2.8.
Butler 4.0b30 supports dialing phone numbers (via AppleScript), can do things when starting up/quitting, plus some minor improvements. This might be the last beta version of Butler 4.0…
Service Scrubber 1.1.1 works with StickyBrain's quite unusual way of specifying its services now. Also fixes some cosmetical issues.
Service Scrubber 1.1 is for all those who couldn't deacticate ChineseTextConverter with Service Scrubber 1.0.
Wouldn't the services menu be much more useful if it weren't overcrowded by services you never even thought of using? Service Scrubber is a small utility that lets you restructure the services menu, change service keyboard shortcuts, and disable superfluous services.
Textpander 1.2.1 lets you create snippets by pasting to the snippets list. Copying from the snippets list populates your clipboard with a list of the selected snippets and their respective abbreviations. Paste that into a text file and apply your formatting to create a snippets cheat sheet.
Also fixes an issue with iTerm.
Regressions are a developer's best fiend… It seems I've broken some things by accident in Butler 4.0b28. So here's the fix, along with some improvements.
A new version of Butler is available, sporting a vastly improved abbreviations window and a way to circumvent Spotlight's search-as-you-type behavior.
As mentioned before, Butler 4.0b26 was a huge step forward. Making such a huge step almost always causes a few regressions. So here's Butler 4.0b27, fixing most of these.
Textpander 1.2 fixes a nasty bug that could cause quite different kinds of symptoms. And you can have the current pasteboard inserted in your snippets on expansion.
Butler 4.0b26 is the largest step in Butler's development since the transition from Another Launcher to Butler. In addition to a restructured interface, the internal data structure of Butler has been completely rewritten. This makes Butler work more efficiently; and it makes updating Butler easier for me ;-)
Textpander 1.1 includes some features that were requested by users. Most importantly, you now have the choice between keeping or abandoning delimiter characters that trigger an expansion.
Textpander is a utility that helps you type more efficiently and more accurately. Textpander listens to what you type and inserts predefined text snippets on the fly whenever you enter their corresponding abbreviations.
If you're interested in test-driving my brand new batch renamer/playlist generator, look here.
So you thought I didn't notice that Butler's performance is far from perfect on Mac OS X 10.4, a.k.a. "Tiger"? Not true. In fact, I have been working on this bug-fix release for a while. I just couldn't reply to your bug reports because the computer that was responsible for handling my email correspondence was having severe problems.
Anyway, now that the most obvious bugs are squashed, the new beta is available. Please note that Butler 4.0b24 has only been tested on Mac OS X 10.4.1 so far. Reports on bugs and/or regressions on earlier operating systems are very welcome.
Alright, so I have reorganized this site once more. The German "localization" and some other details had to go, since I just don't have the time to keep them up to date.
In order to make up for this loss, I will try to make this log available as an RSS feed; but right now, when I try to access the feed at "feed://imac.local/~peter/v9/nasi.php?section=rss" (testing via local web sharing, PHP is turned on), I'm stuck on the following error message from Safari RSS: "NSURLErrorDomain:-1". I would be eternally grateful if anyone could tell me how to fix this.
Update: RSS problem solved.