FastScripts 2.6.7: Yosemite Ready

October 7th, 2014

FastScripts 2.6.6 2.6.7 is available now from the FastScripts home page, and will soon be submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

This is a relatively minor update but addresses a few annoying bugs, while also bring it into line for the upcoming 10.10 Yosemite release from Apple.

  • Fix display of menu bar icon in “dark mode” on Yosemite 10.10
  • Ensure that user environment variables are set-up when running shell scripts
  • Fix appearance of keyboard shortcuts when running with non-Roman keyboard layouts

If you got 2.6.6 while it was active, the only difference with 2.6.7 is that it fixes an issue from 2.6.6 that caused the menu bar icon to appear in a light gray color by default on 10.9 and earlier systems.

Enjoy!

MarsEdit 3.6.5: Fix Flickr

July 3rd, 2014

MarsEdit 3.6.5 is available now from the MarsEdit home page, and has been submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

This releases restores functionality of MarsEdit’s Flickr integration, which broke last week when Flickr flipped the switch to require that all clients access their services with more secure HTTPS-based requests.

I want to be clear that the cessation of functionality was firmly my fault. Flickr did an admirable job of giving developers ample warning about the impending change, and even staged a couple of preliminary test outages before the final switch-over. What happened in this case is I made changes for MarsEdit 3.6.4 which I thought addressed the situation in entirety, but did not. I should have done more aggressive testing to ensure a smooth transition.

MarsEdit 3.6.5 includes the remaining Flickr fixes that should have gone into 3.6.4, as well as a couple other minor fixes:

  • Restore functionality for Flickr after recent API changes
  • Fix a crash that could occur on some systems while trying to locate the Growl framework
  • Fix a bug where blank document windows were sometimes opened upon launching

Enjoy!

Red Sweater T-Shirt

June 4th, 2014

I’m incredibly excited to announce that Red Sweater now has an official shirt, designed and illustrated by the brilliant Susie Ghahremani:

Red Sweater T-Shirt

As I write this, Apple is putting on WWDC, their developer’s conference in San Francisco. This has become a huge, annual tradition that attracts many thousands of brilliant people to a city that is already teeming with many brilliant natives. I try to make the journey every year, in part because it’s a fun time to socialize with old friends, but also because it’s an unparalleled opportunity to meet new people who inevitably change the course of Red Sweater’s progress for the better.

I can recall the occasion many years ago when I met the guys from Buy Olympia, Pat and Aaron, who impressed me with their story of running a full-fledged online store dedicated to highlighting artists’ work, while also developing an impressive array of Mac software for mailing and shipping. It must have been five or more years ago that I met them and they graciously offered to sell a shirt for Red Sweater if I ever wanted to do so.

I can also recall the first occasion I had to appreciate Susie Ghahremani’s art, which was unrelated to WWDC but also took place in San Francisco. It must have been around 2002 when I came across a delightful shirt in a shop called Otsu. I wore that shirt proudly and only realized years later that I could track down the designer and buy many of her other shirts as well. If you’ve ever met me in person, or seen a photograph of me, there’s a good chance I was wearing one of Susie’s shirts.

As luck would have it, I got to know Susie over the years through Twitter and because of a number of mutual friends. And as it turns out, Susie was also friends with the guys from Buy Olympia! We’re all friends! Isn’t that friendly?

So that catches us up to two years ago or so when Susie and I agreed we should collaborate on a Red Sweater t-shirt. I immediately told my wife something along the lines of “SUSIE GHAHREMANI IS MAKING A RED SWEATER SHIRT!” and then, as I do more often than I’d wish, I dropped the ball repeatedly on doing my part to make the dream come true. I chatted with Susie occasionally about how we should finally be making the shirt, but neglected to go the extra mile of talking to her about what the shirt should be and how she could proceed.

A couple months ago, Susie nudged me again about the project and I finally made the case for what I was looking for: a shirt that people would love and want to wear even if they didn’t know what “Red Sweater Software” was. I am so excited by the result: that cute bear with it’s cozy red sweater is exactly the kind of shirt I would have bought and wore proudly had I come across it in 2002. Now it’s exactly the kind of shirt I can wear proudly with the knowledge that, for those in the know, it’s also subtle branding for my Mac (and iOS!) software company. I hope that many of you who are fans of my work or Susie’s will also enjoy wearing the shirt!

Black Ink 1.6.1: Premium Puzzles

May 5th, 2014

Black Ink 1.6.1 is now available for download from the Black Ink home page and from the Mac App Store. This is a free update.

The big change in this release is addition of built-in support for downloading from two authenticated “premium” puzzle sources: The New York Times and the American Values Crossword. Black Ink does not offer subscription sales to these services, but for users who do have a subscription, Black Ink now supports entering your username and password to authorize automatic downloading of the source’s latest puzzle.

For a long time now many users have enjoyed direct downloads of the New York Times premium puzzle because of the happy coincidence that Black Ink and Safari could share the same web browser “cookies.” This meant that if you had logged in to your premium New York Times account via Safari, downloads of those puzzles (after configuring a custom puzzle source) would work automatically. That functionality was broken with Black Ink 1.6 as an unexpected side effect of security sandboxing: Black Ink can no longer access Safari’s cookies. With this update cookie sharing is no longer required for this functionality.

Complete list of changes:

  • New support for premium puzzle downloads from New York Times and American Values Club
  • Fix a bug where the puzzle chooser would appear upon launch even when already opening a document
  • Fix a crash that could sometimes occur while closing a puzzle

I hope these changes make Black Ink even more enjoyable for you puzzle lovers out there.