Archive for August, 2008

Lighthouse Keeper released

Lighthouse KeeperFor those software developers amongst us, you may be interested to note that M Cubed Software has released Lighthouse Keeper 1.0. Similar to PackRat, Lighthouse Keeper is little more than a desktop frontend to an existing web application, in this case the issue tracker Lighthouse. Lighthouse Keeper offers the ability to manage your Lighthouse projects without needing a site-specific browser or similar solution, as well as adding offline access to your Lighthouse-tracked issues and the ability to quickly add an issue with a system-wide hotkey. And, of course, tagging is a primary organizational offering of Lighthouse Keeper. Lighthouse Keeper is available as a free demo with a registration fee of €30.

I find it intriguing that the number of desktop frontends to subscription-driven web apps is increasing. Certainly for those people who use these web apps, a desktop companion that allows offline access (among other perks) would be fantastic, but for the vast majority of users the application is barely worth a cursory glance. Unless you have a Lighthouse account, you can’t even run Lighthouse Keeper to put it through its paces; the first thing you see when you launch it is a sheet that requires you to fill in your Lighthouse account details or quit. I think to some extent applications like this are approaching from the wrong direction: we don’t need desktop frontends to specific web apps; what we need are desktop applications with full functionality that can also tie into one or more web apps. Perhaps such functionality will make its way into Lighthouse Keeper down the road, but for now the program will only be of interest to those already using, or thinking seriously of adopting, Lighthouse.

MacJournal update: 5.1

MacJournalMacJournal, the journaling/blogging/kitchen sink application from Mariner Software, has been updated to version 5.1. This update adds a number of localizations (Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish), makes tagging easier by providing a context menu to assign tags, allows the user to customize the three pane view (entry list on top, left, or right), includes the ability to create a droplet to easily import anything from the Finder into a specific journal, and includes numerous other handy new features and bug fixes. The update is free to all current users of MacJournal 5; users upgrading from earlier versions of MacJournal will need to purchase an upgrade license for $19.95.

For more information about the update, check the release notes.

PackRat udpate: 1.7

PackRatPackRat, the desktop companion to Backpack, has been updated to version 1.7. This update fixes image update issues for all users (including PowerPC folks), and improves page rendering time thanks to a change in the libraries powering the software.

For slightly more information, check out the blog announcement.

Things touch update: 1.1

Things TouchFor any of those not aware (which is probably a small crowd thanks to this update being noted by Gruber and elsewhere), Things touch (the iPhone/iPod Touch version of the Things task manager) has been updated to 1.1. The big addition to this version is that Things can now sync the Things desktop and touch versions over your local wireless network. At long last, Things on my iPhone isn’t going to be a worthless placeholder! Version 1.1 also includes improvements to task entry, an app icon badge, the ability to customize the automatic logging behavior, and localizations into Spanish, French, and Japanese.

Although I haven’t had a chance to try it yet (thanks to the aforementioned trip to San Francisco), I’m really excited to finally be able to hook up Things on my computer (which I use constantly) and Things on my iPhone (which I have launched once when I downloaded it). Unfortunately, Things touch still does not support tags or areas, but Cultured Code is promising those in the near future. For more information about Things touch 1.1, see the Things touch 1.1 announcement.

Recent updates for mid-August 2008

Thanks to attending An Event Apart I’ve been in San Francisco the past few days and have fallen slightly behind on updates. There have been three minor updates in the somewhat recent past: Default Folder X is now at version 4.0.8 (some minor bug fixes), Together bumped to 2.1.6 (also minor bug fixes), and Pukka 1.7 was released (minor feature improvements to improve compatibility with the new Delicious).

For more information about the updates see the Default Folder X release notes, Together release notes, or Pukka 1.7 announcement.

StoryMill sale

StoryMillAs you may or may not be aware, StoryMill is one of my favorite tagging applications (I love writing fiction, and for years StoryMill has been hands-down the best solution for keeping myself and my writing organized). Since its update to version 3.0, however, StoryMill has been a bit more pricey, which makes it harder for me to recommend to Average wanna-be-a-novelist Joe.

However, from now until August 18th, 2008 StoryMill is on sale for $29.95 through the Mariner Software online store (both boxed and digital download versions). This is about a 60% discount (reg. $49.95 for boxed, $44.95 for digital download), so if you’ve been thinking you need a better tool for getting your fiction out of your head and onto the page give StoryMill a look-see.

Two minor updates: Yep 1.8 and Nifty Box 1.2.1

Yep!Both Yep and Nifty Box received very minor updates late last week. Yep 1.8 adds Italian localization and resets the trial period (even if you’ve run through your free trial before you can try it again). Nifty Box 1.2.1 fixes a bug in 1.2 that would sometimes cause Nifty Box to use 100% CPU on Leopard.

Neither software offers release notes, although if you’re interested in details about the Nifty Box bug you can find those in the 1.2.1 blog announcement.

Leap update: 1.1

LeapLeap, possibly the best file system tagging solution around, has been updated to version 1.1. This version introduces an Italian localization, the option to search everywhere (including Library folders), better file name searching, better searching for partial tag matches, speed improvements, improved Spaces support, support for Services (you can select an item in Leap and it will be available to items in the Services menu), a new “Search in Leap” service, a “only show these documents” menu item, better handling for pasting into the tags field, and “other bug fixes”. Ironic Software’s descriptive release notes strike again.

Personally, I’d just as soon take my Services menu out back and put it out of its misery, but hopefully the generically described speed improvements and bug fixes will make Leap that much more useful despite the new features not being all that exciting. For more information about Leap or to download the software, head over to the Leap homepage.

Nifty Box update: 1.2

Nifty BoxNifty Box, one of those pieces of software that straddles the line between file system tagging and a file library, has been updated to 1.2. The big addition to 1.2 is Applescript support, allowing you to access items in the Nifty Box library or tag files automatically (there’s even an extremely helpful rundown of examples available; wish other developers were so kind).

Although I haven’t played with Nifty Box much, my impressions of it are that it’s not a terribly robust system, but offers a far superior searching speed to Spotlight when it comes to file system tagging. Nifty Box is in many ways a precursor to Leap, but one with an interface more inspired by file libraries like EagleFiler or Together.