Some users of App Tamer have noticed that version 2.4.3 unexpectedly disappeared from their menu bar. There was a library shared across all of St. Clair Software’s apps that didn’t work correctly in App Tamer, causing it to crash when it received certain system notifications. That’s now been fixed.
Equally important, App Tamer was using more CPU than it had to, which isn’t really what you want in an app that’s supposed to be saving CPU cycles. It primarily affected Google Chrome users, but was actually a problem with all web browsers. App Tamer periodically “rebalances” the CPU usage of browsers’ helper processes, and was actually re-checking to see if the browser was downloading anything every time it did that rebalancing. That was completely unnecessary, and the download check is one of the more CPU-intensive things that App Tamer does, so it really shouldn’t have been doing that more than it absolutely had to.
So, those two issues are fixed – my apologies for the problems. You can grab version 2.4.4 from the App Tamer Release Page.
In terms of new functionality, users of HoudahSpot (and those of you that don’t use it and should go try it now) will be happy to see that you can start a search directly from an Open or Save dialog. This helps overcome the weak search functionality that macOS offers by default in file dialogs. And with the upcoming release of HoudahSpot 5, you’ll be able to make “round-trip” searches, sending results back to the waiting file dialog after you’ve found what you want.
Compatibility fixes for LaunchBar and CopyPaste Pro are also in version 5.3.5, as well as a fix so that Default Folder X works in the Save dialogs used by Mojave’s new screenshot utility. The latter was an interesting (and understandable) situation: Mojave’s screen capture app basically covers the entire screen with a big, semi-transparent window to let you rubber-band select an area and whatnot. If you then choose “Other Location…” to select a folder, the attendant file dialog has to come up on top of the giant window so you can use it. Since the big window is covering everything else, including Default Folder X, DFX didn’t work because mouse and keyboard clicks couldn’t get through. It just wasn’t something I’d planned for – so now I have 🙂
Version 5.3.5 also offers a bunch of improvements for Default Folder X’s drawer in the Finder, fixes for bugs involving its selection of recent files and folders in Open and Save dialogs, a problem with file dialog sheets when they’re the full width of the screen, and issues with some many-button mice.
Oh, and the secret settings dialog now lets you turn on “view-matching” for the Finder-click feature, making Default Folder X apply whatever view mode (Icon / List / Column) is used in the Finder window to the file dialog. And you can specify a minimum width and height for file dialogs, preventing them from coming up in a uselessly-small default size. Hold down the Option key while choosing Preferences from Default Folder X’s menu to get there.
Version 2.4.3 of App Tamer is available, offering a new option to turn off its AutoStop feature when you’ve been away from your Mac for a specified period of time.
This allows you to stop or slow down background processes so they don’t impact your work, but let them run at full speed when you’re not otherwise using your Mac.
This release also corrects a number of issues, including several crashes that occur in exceptional circumstances and a bug that could prevent apps from returning to full speed when you click on their icons in the Dock. In addition, App Tamer’s ‘wake’ AppleScript command now supports waking up all stopped and slowed apps at once.
So I learned an important lesson in user interface design: There are times when you DON’T want a consistent look and feel. The user-confusion resulting from my mistake in Default Folder X 5.3.3 necessitated the release of Default version 5.3.4 yesterday.
First a little background: Due to the increased Privacy controls in Mojave, when you first launch it, Default Folder X has to lead you through several steps to give it permission to access necessary information and API’s. It does so by opening System Preferences and presenting a couple of dialogs that provide steps that you need to follow. Easy, right? These are the dialogs from version 5.3.3.
See a problem there? Well, I didn’t, and neither did my testers. But the dialogs are very similar – same heading text, same buttons – the fine print is different and the Default Folder X icons are in different places, but they’re a lot alike. The first dialog pops up, and after you follow its instructions, it is automatically replaced by the second one. Because they look alike, a lot of people thought that the instructions hadn’t changed and that they were stuck, with no option but to hit the “Quit Without Authorizing” button. And send me a freakin’ email… I got lots of email.
So here are the fixed dialogs. Different overall look, different boldfaced heading, and different buttons. And an important lesson learned: People are busy, and are not necessarily giving your app 100% of their attention. Make sure that when the state changes, the change is noticeable to them. Especially when their only option if they don’t notice the change is to quit your app.
Sooo – get Default Folder X 5.3.4. In addition to the updated Privacy prompts, it contains several bug fixes. You can get it from the Default Folder X release page, where you’ll also find release notes describing the changes.
Version 5.3.3 of Default Folder X is now available! I’ve been resistant to adding labels to the icons in the toolbar, but have finally been convinced – the improved usability for some people (especially casual users) trumps the aesthetic “messiness” of having the text there. The icon names are now turned on by default, but you can easily turn them off in the prefs, or just by Control-clicking above the “D” icon and choosing “Icon Only”.
This release also lets you set keyboard shortcuts to quickly hop to the Tags or Comments field below a Save dialog. And if you hold down the Option key while clicking the “Save” button to dismiss a Save dialog, Default Folder X will automatically open the folder you just saved your file to, letting you do whatever you need to do with it in the Finder.
There are also bug fixes to resolve several crashes that have been reported, tweaks to clean up the user interface in the Preferences window, and a compatibility fix so that the Finder Windows feature now works with the version of ForkLift distributed through the SetApp subscription service.
Check out the Default Folder X release page for a complete list of changes, as well as download links. Or if you’re already a Default Folder X user, just choose “Check for Updates” from its menu in your menu bar.
Version 2.4.2 of App Tamer is available! There’s an exclamation point there because it offers a fix for an annoying problem that cropped up in Mojave, where Core Graphics Event Taps no longer deliver events to applications when they’re in the background (Radar #45934966 if you’re listening, Apple). While that may sound cryptic, the end result was that App Tamer never saw mouse scrolling events when you used a scroll wheel or gesture to scroll the contents of a background window. If the background window belonged to an app that App Tamer had slowed or stopped, that meant that the window would scroll slowly or not at all. This drove me crazy ALL THE TIME because I apparently scroll through web pages and other background windows very frequently.
Anyway, in addition to that issue, this release improves the ability to move through App Tamer’s process list using the keyboard, and lets you keep App Tamer’s window floating on top of all other windows if want to use it to diagnose a problem or keep an eye on CPU-gobbling processes. A number of little interface issues have also been addressed, and a bug fixed for App Tamer waiting too long to slow or stop background processes when they were also set to be hidden after a certain amount of time.
As usual, this update is free for users who’ve already purchased a license for App Tamer 2.x. You can head over to the App Tamer Release Page to see more details or to download the new version (or just hit “Check for Updates” in App Tamer’s utility menu if you’re already running it).
HistoryHound 2.0 was released last month, shortly before Christmas, and I neglected to announce that here on the blog with all the holiday goings-on. This update to our ‘personal web search’ tool adds support for the latest versions of your favorite browsers, as well as providing Mojave compatibility.
In addition, version 2.0 makes HistoryHound smarter about fetching and indexing visited web pages. It won’t repeatedly try to load a page that returns an error, nor will it index “front door” pages where you’re being asked to log in to a secure site. Its error handling has also improved, eliminating a number of bugs and situations where you’d previously have gotten an error message or warning.
Ronald combed through the French localization, providing a host of corrections and improvements to make the user experience more fluid for French-speaking users. And I modernized all the resources to bring everything up to date (though the main window does still use a drawer instead of a sidebar – that anachronistic interface element will be replaced in a future update).
You can hop on over to the HistoryHound Release Page to see a full list of the changes, as well as to download a copy. The update is free if you’ve got a license for version 1.x, even though the major version number has changed. The extent of the internal modifications felt like they merited a “2.0” version number, but because there aren’t many changes on the outside, it didn’t seem fair to charge for the update.
Jettison 1.7.2 is now available, and contains a single fix to correct an intermittent licensing problem that a few users have experienced. On some machines, Jettison would accept and confirm a serial number, but would subsequently fail to save it in its preference file. This resulted in a very frustrating cycle for new users: You’d buy a license for Jettison, enter your serial number, then later get pestered to buy Jettison again.
If you haven’t been bitten by this bug, there’s no hurry to install this update – it’s functionally identical to version 1.7.1 except for the licensing fix.
Jettison 1.7.1 is available, bringing fixes for a couple of simple problems and one complicated one.
The previous release of Jettison didn’t correctly show that it was licensed when you looked in the About box after importing a Mac App Store license. This was understandably very confusing to those of you that followed the instructions for upgrading in the FAQ. It now correctly shows “Licensed to: Mac App Store User” (since Apple doesn’t provide a way for us to get your name or Apple ID from your license) and removes the “License” item from its menu.
Also, there were occasions when all of the items in Jettison’s menu would become grayed out. This turned out to be caused by its error window getting stuck behind an application that was in Full Screen mode. It was patiently waiting for you to respond to an error message you couldn’t see – definitely not very helpful. That’s been fixed now.
Messy issues with Power Nap and Wake for Network Access:
When Power Nap or Wake for Network Access are turned on in your Energy Saver prefs, macOS may wake from sleep in ‘dark mode’ – which means it wakes from sleep, but never turns on the display. When this happens, it doesn’t let most applications – including Jettison – know when it wakes up or goes back to sleep. That means that Jettison can’t mount or eject your disks as it’s supposed to.
This would all be well and good if this temporary wakeful state mounted your disks, did its thing (like a Time Machine backup), ejected the disks and then went back to sleep. Unfortunately, while it seems to (mostly) work with Time Machine disks, if other drives get mounted during dark wake, you’ll often see a “Disk not ejected properly” error for them when you return. macOS can’t always manage the mounting and ejecting of disks correctly, even when it’s all by itself in a dark room.
Jettison 1.7.1 solves this problem by refusing to let macOS mount any non-Time Machine drives during a dark wake. This should take care of the disk errors (and associated possibility of data corruption) while still allowing you to use Power Nap and Wake for Network.
On the outside chance that you’re actually getting error messages for your Time Machine drive too, you can launch Terminal and run this command:
That will tell Jettison to prevent your Time Machine drive from being mounted during dark wakes – with the obvious consequence that Time Machine can’t run Power Nap backups while your machine is sleeping. It’s a compromise, but at least it’ll ensure that your backups don’t get corrupted.
There were a couple of issues with Mojave that merited a quick update to Default Folder X.
Most importantly, the Finder Windows menu and Finder-click feature would ignore Finder windows that had their tab bar showing but only contained one tab. All your Finder windows would show up except for the single-tab ones. The behavior seemed almost random to the first people that reported this bug, and it was a maddening shortcoming to those who’ve become addicted to the Finder-click feature. At any rate, my apologies for the issue – the Finder’s handling of tabs changed in Mojave and I goofed when I updated Default Folder X, missing this case.
The second change seems minor to some people, but Default Folder X’s buttons in the Finder toolbar were the wrong size. They were designed using an early Mojave beta, and although Apple changed the button size afterwards, our beta testing failed to catch that. I know, I know – once it was pointed out to me, it drove me crazy. So it’s fixed now.