News

Clicking away Friday, April 27, 2007

My friend Jonas Salling has started blogging again, and that's always a good thing.

He's got some recent posts up there as he tests the WiFi support for Clicker, and the results may surprise you!

Jonas is one of the hardest working developers out there, and he never settles for less than absolute excellence when releasing new stuff.

The long-in-development Clicker 3.5 is no exception, and it looks like it's getting really close to release. That's good news for all the fans of Clicker, since a great product is getting a lot better. And I'm sure he has many cool things in store moving forward as well.

Welcome back, Jonas -- looking forward to more posts!

Mini Us Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fog Creek software finally released an Intel-compatible version of FogBUGZ so—as of about 1pm today—we’ve had another Moving Day: this time from our “old” 2GHz G5 to a 1.83GHz Mac mini.

And it’s kicking the G5’s ass.

It’s really weird when a not-very-old computer is outperformed by one that can fit in its CD-ROM bay, but there you have it.

Hopefully, no one will notice any differences—except, perhaps, that everything’s a little bit faster. Enjoy!

An Embarrassment of Eddys Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wow.

It looks like SuperDuper! 2.1 has won another Macworld Eddy! Back-to-back awards for SuperDuper! in 2005 and 2006, and one for netTunes in 2004w00t!

Thanks, Macworld—and thanks to all the users, too!

The software business is a strange one, because the products you make eventually just… vanish. The OS goes away, or the market moves on, and soon there’s nothing left to show when someone asks what you do, or what you did.

Getting these three Eddy awards—one for netTunes and two for SuperDuper!—has been really gratifying, both because it’s an acknowledgment of good work, and because it’s more of a permanent thing—a physical record of what I was doing for all those years.

Plus, the trophy doubles as a weapon in an emergency. Man, these things are heavy!

Time’s Arrow Saturday, August 26, 2006

OK! netTunes and launchTunes release (and netTunes re-release—sorry about the Purple Rain) done, so it’s time to get back to what I keep getting asked about: SuperDuper! and Time Machine.

To get the “Frequently Asked Questions” out of the way right at the top of this post: no, we’re not dead, we’re not angry, and Apple has no obligation to leave market opportunities for independent developers, notify us that things are coming, or pretty much anything else.

This is business. It’s difficult for Apple to come up with 150 features to add into the next version of the OS, and harder still to make those features compelling enough that we’ll all pony up our hard-earned dollars to upgrade.

(As an aside, does anyone else out there think there was a definite hint, in the “feature” presentation of the keynote that bragged that OS X is now a “bigger, all-inclusive bundle”, that the price will be higher when Leopard is released?)

Some sort of backup functionality belongs in the OS. It’s been a long time coming. The fact that it wasn’t there left opportunities for 3rd parties, but that doesn’t mean Apple shouldn’t address the missing functionality.

And so, they have, with Time Machine. Really, I think that’s a great thing. People need to back up more often, and I hope Time Machine encourages them to do so.

Now, I can’t really get into a lot of details, because our NDA prevents disclosure of anything that wasn’t in the keynote. But let’s talk about what we’ve seen there, and why SuperDuper! remains both relevant and necessary—a true complement to the functionality in Time Machine.

First, as is likely obvious, Time Machine is designed to provide automatic “temporal” backup (discussed in broad terms in the post The Ninety-Nine-Per-Cent Solution many months ago).  Its primary usage scenario—and the one that the keynote focused on—is to allow quick recovery of files and data that have gone missing, etc. It does this in a way that’s highly integrated with the OS, with a unique UI that’s both cool and kinda cheesy… and, as was the case with Spotlight, with a certain amount of application-level impact (something 3rd parties like Shirt Pocket could never mandate).

What’s important to note is that this isn’t, and never was, what SuperDuper! was designed to do.

Our tagline, Heroic System Recovery for Mere Mortals, tries to sum up the whole idea: SuperDuper! is designed to provide excellent failover support for the all-too-common case where things fail in a pretty catastrophic way, such as when a drive fails, or your system becomes unbootable. We do this by quickly and efficiently creating a fully bootable copy of your source drive. Perhaps more importantly, recovery is near immediate, even if the original drive is completely unusable, because you can start up from your backup and continue working.

You can even take your backup to a totally different Macintosh, start up from it, and work while your failed Macintosh is in the shop… then, when it comes back all fresh and shiny, restore things and keep working.

All of this is done with a minimum of fuss and bother, and with respect for your time. And while Time Machine can restore a full system (the details of which were not shown, so I can’t comment on them), as can other similar products, that’s not its strength. Doing so requires you to actually take the time to restore the backup in full, which interrupts your workflow, requires a destination device, and takes a lot of your time—at the exact moment when you can least afford it.

So, when Leopard comes out, and Time Machine is released, be assured that we’ll continue to be relevant and necessary. We’ll work alongside its rapid recovery of individual files, and will seamlessly augment that with our rapid system recovery.

And, of course, we’ll continue to improve every part of SuperDuper! to make backups faster and easier for all.

(Digg this post.)

New netTunes and launchTunes! Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Shirt Pocket releases netTunes 2.3 and launchTunes 1.1
The Macworld Eddy Award Winning “No Compromises” iTunes Remote - now Universal!

Weston, MA – August 23, 2006:  Shirt Pocket announces the immediate availability of netTunes 2.3, the latest update to the Macworld Eddy Award winning remote control for iTunes, and the perfect companion to Apple’s AirPort Express and launchTunes 1.1, the application that guarantees your shared iTunes libraries are available without all that pesky walking.

netTunes lets you control iTunes running on one Macintosh from another, using iTunes’ native interface. You get the same window, the same playlists, the same capabilities. You simply run netTunes and take complete control of the “remote” iTunes from any Macintosh in your house. It’s that easy — as easy as iTunes itself!

“It’s been a long time coming, but the new versions of netTunes and launchTunes are ready to go” says David Nanian, the founder of Shirt Pocket. “But we didn’t just recompile—we’ve taken advantage of both the Intel and Power PC platforms by improving performance across the board, and polished the user experience as well.”

netTunes and launchTunes are available for immediate download at the Shirt Pocket web site http://www.shirt-pocket.com. Users can evaluate all of the capabilities of netTunes for free for 30 minutes at a time; full licenses cost $19.95, and can be ordered at the Shirt Pocket web site, or directly from the application. launchTunes costs $7, and the Tune Suite—a bundle of netTunes and launchTunes—is offered at $23.95 - a $3 savings.

About Shirt Pocket
Shirt Pocket, based in Weston, Massachusetts, was formed in late 2000 as a Macintosh-only shareware creator and publisher. Shirt Pocket’s first product, the Eddy award winning netTunes, lets users control iTunes on one Mac from any other Mac on the network with iTunes own intuitive user interface. launchTunes, Shirt Pocket’s second product, made iTunes’ playlist sharing practical by automatically launching iTunes on remote servers when needed. And its third, the Eddy award winning SuperDuper!, is one of the most highly acclaimed backup/cloning programs available for the Mac. All are available from the Shirt Pocket web site at http://www.shirt-pocket.com.

Shirt Pocket was started by David Nanian, co-founder of UnderWare, Inc, and one of the original authors of the BRIEF programmer’s editor and Track Record bug tracking system.

Toshiro Mifune Gets His Organize On! Monday, January 23, 2006

Looks like the fine folks at Bare Bones Software have released Yojimbo, an great new take on the organizer-cum-database that many have tried, and failed, to do well…

The Yojimbo team has done a great job, addressing many of the classic missteps directly, with:

  • A good first cut at a smart “Quick Input” panel that analyzes what’s on the clipboard and pre-fills as much as possible
  • Rapid, global search capabilities that make it easy to locate things—including Spotlight support
  • A useful set of built-in datatypes
  • Easy “sub” organization using groups and tags
  • Full support for “archived” web pages, PDFs and the like
  • Item-by-item encryption
  • And, best of all, transparent, multi-machine synchronization through SyncServices and .mac
They’ve leveraged the great new features of Tiger like CoreData, SyncServices and—hey!—it’s even a Cocoa app!

The price is a very reasonable $39 for a single user on any number of (automatically synchronized) computers, with family pack and educational pricing, too.

To top it off, there’s a free, 30-day demo. There’s no excuse not to check it out—go to it!

There’s always something Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The rollout’s going well, though it totally killed my entire birthday—I’ve been SuperDuper!ing from about 7am until now (11:43pm), non-stop except for a 40 minute break for dinner.

People seem to be really liking it, though:

  • We have about 10 users who have reported a weird, crashes-as-soon-as-it-starts problem we’ve been unable to reproduce or figure out
  • Two users are reporting another weird crash with a pop-up
  • And a few people running into a bug where we don’t list Apple-created RAID sets as possible source or destination volumes (we do work, though, with SoftRAID).
Plus, one “please register” page in the application lists the old price, and one user accused of Bait-and-Switch because of that. (Honestly, it’s a bug, not an attempt to deceive. Sorry about that.)

Considering what 2.0 contains, that’s awfully good… but I’m totally exhausted. I think I responded to over 300 support cases today, some up to 30 round-trips, and it takes its toll. There will be a 2.0.1 in relatively short order to address these initial release issues.

Anyway, gotta sleep. If I’m slower tomorrow, it’s because it’s Thanksgiving and I’m going to take part of the day for that… thanks, everyone, for the reception you’ve given the new version!

One year ago today Monday, November 21, 2005

Somewhere in the world, it’s November 22nd.

SuperDuper! v2.0 emerged from our engineering labs and was placed into the hands of our first external testers one year ago today.

Over this past year, we’ve released—on average—a build every two weeks. We’ve done thousands upon thousands of test runs, and ended up with over 80 individual testers who put the product through its paces and offered incredibly valuable feedback. We’ve torn into nearly every aspect of SuperDuper!, and have tried to improve the experience in as many ways as we could.

It’s not an easy thing, writing backup software—and it’s not easy to ask testers to depend on a Beta version, no matter how thoroughly tested it was before put into their hands. Every tester contributed to improving the reliability, usability and polish of the product as the months went on.

We had 13 external testers who ran over 200 individual backups each over that time, and one who ran over 600 (655, as of this writing). Major props to each and every tester: you all know who you are, and you should feel incredibly proud.

So, we’re coming to the end of the long process. The web site is ready to go. The press release is written. The documentation is complete. The software is just about as ready as we think we can make it.

Get ready, people. SuperDuper v2.0 is nearly in your hands.

We hope you love it as much as we do.

Gentlemen, Start Your Clicking! Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hey, looks like Jonas Salling has released Salling Clicker 3.0, with both a Macintosh and Windows version! Very cool—here’s hoping that one of the hardest working men in shareware gets lots of new customers.

Blogrolling in our time… Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Looks like Rich Siegel, of BBEdit fame, has started blogging. And he’s ragging on bad drivers! Go Rich!

(And don’t miss the great Oktoberfest Special they’ve announced over at Bare Bones. $99 is an incredible bargain for the exceptionally well regarded editor… if you’re even remotely thinking about snagging a copy of BBEdit, now’s the time!)

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