Audiobook Builder doesn’t like Dropbox

Turns out adding files to an Audiobook Builder project stored in Dropbox will probably not work so well.  Things get dicey when we ask QuickTime to flatten the incoming files to new MOV files inside the project, so it’s likely QuickTime and Dropbox are contending for these new files as they’re being created and/or all the original data is added to them.  For now, as of Audiobook Builder 1.5.6 (and like 1.5.7), it’s best to store your projects outside of Dropbox for best results ;).

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I purchased from the Mac App Store, but this app keeps asking for a serial number!

The short of it is Mac App Store apps won’t ask for a serial number.  If you’re asked for one, you’ve got a version that isn’t from the Mac App Store.  Namely, a trial from our website.

The long of it is the Mac App Store is a one-stop shoppe for finding, purchasing, installing, and updating apps on your Mac – but there’s one thing it doesn’t do and that’s let you try before you buy.  That’s OK, you say.  You visit our website and download a trial.  While you’re kicking the tires you’re asked for a serial number, but you let it pass because you’re just giving it a spin to see if everything works as advertised.  Before you know it, the app rocks your world and you can’t live without it.  You head back to the Mac App Store, click the Purchase button, and then…nothing noteworthy happens, so you, proud new owner of a copy of a shiny new app, get to using it in earnest.

There’s just one hitch:  every time you use the app it keeps asking for a serial number.  What’s this?  You never got a serial number!  You rummage.  There, there’s an order number.  It doesn’t work.  You fluster.  Have you been conned? And then you realize the trial is still installed, never replaced by the Mac App Store version because…the Mac App Store is a little dense when it comes to figuring out how to update what’s already installed.  It won’t replace non-Mac App Store copies with Mac App Store copies unless the Mac App Store version number is higher and it only gets more confused when it finds multiple copies of the same app (it’ll update one copy but you get to guess which!).

The secret handshake is to remove the trial by dragging its application icon to the Trash before clicking the Mac App Store’s Purchase button.  If you’ve already purchased, just drag the application icon to the Trash anyway, go back to the Mac App Store, click the Purchased button at the top of the window, and click the Install button next to the application.  That’s it, unless you’re not signed into the Mac App Store with the Apple ID used for your purchase, or the purchase has been hidden in the meantime, or the Mac App Store goes on the blink and you have to try restarting your Mac in between dragging the app to the Trash and purchasing or reinstalling.  And note we recommend dragging only the application itself to the Trash.  Dragging anything else besides the application icon – or using a third-party uninstaller or “cleaner” app to do the deed – can zap any of the hard work you put into the trial.  As long as you just swap out only the application file itself your work should be there waiting for you the next time you fire up the app.

So that’s the short and long of it.  Drop us a line at support@splasm.com for additional details!

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Happy new year to you and CheckBook!

And so we begin CheckBook’s 15th year (you knew it was born in December, 2002, right?) with a couple of exciting new features on the way:

  • Copy & paste for Entries and Schedules is coming in CheckBook 2.5.15.  We dared ourselves to do it, so we did it, and at long last you’ll be able to copy Entries in one Account and paste them into another.  You’ll even be able to paste them into Numbers or Excel if you feel like it.  Didn’t we say these are EXCITING new features?  It’s in testing now and should be in your hands, and thus part of your CheckBook workflow, within weeks.
  • Check printing is the big new addition to CheckBook Pro 2.6.  Please note the Pro.  We’re in the middle of it now and the plan is to support pre-printed, Quicken-style standard, voucher, and wallet checks.  This Pro-only feature is the last we’ve promised for the 2.x major version.  We’re not moving on to 3.0 right away, though.  Next stop, barring macOS compatibility updates:  iOS.

As always, keep an eye on Splasmata for news and tidbits about what we’re up to and drop us a line at support@splasm.com if you have any questions!

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Strange icons with macOS Sierra 10.12.2

[This almost got named “macOS Sierra’s a JPEG-2000 hater”.]

A few years back, when Retina-fying Mac imagery was all the rage, we faced a little conundrum related to how well we supported older versions of Mac OS X in Audiobook Builder and CheckBook:  those older versions of Mac OS X didn’t play nicely when ICNS files, which hold all the various representations of a particular icon, went over a certain size.  Or maybe it was just when one or more representations were over a certain size.  Whatever.  Somehow, the data for the larger representations that Retina Displays love had to slim down a bit and the way we heard other developers were doing it was to convert those representations from PNG to JPEG-2000.  We did it.  It worked.  We shipped.  These slimmer ICNS files ended up in both the Splasm Store and Mac App Store versions of Audiobook Builder, as well as in the Splasm Store versions of CheckBook and CheckBook Pro.  All was well.

Then Apple released macOS 10.12.2 and we heard the icons in the Splasm Store versions of all three applications were rendering strangely.  Washed out, streaky, freaky rendering in the Finder and even in parts of the applications themselves.  It wasn’t happening to everyone, but that looked to be a caching issue.  Sooner or later, if you have one of these applications, you’ll see the strangeness.

That JPEG-2000 diet we put the ICNS files is the culprit, but we no longer need that trick, anyway, since none of these applications are supported on those older versions of Mac OS X anymore.

So updated icons are on the way, but if you need them sooner than the official release, let us know.  We’ve got what you need and can send a link to a pre-release build with the icons you crave.

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The ill-fated CheckBook 2.5.13 update

[Update:  CheckBook and CheckBook Pro 2.5.14 are now available on the Mac App Store.  Visit the store, update to the latest version, and you can skip the rest of this post.  Thank you again for waiting patiently for these updates!]

While CheckBook 2.5.13 is now available on the Mac App Store and running well for 90% of our users, we failed to test two critical components that may lead to some frustration:

  • Users on pre-Yosemite Macs will not be able to open documents.  Your data is safe and will appear as before when you install the next version.
  • Printing with the new Deposit and Debit columns may be problematic.  If you switch back to using the Amount column things will print as before.

CheckBook 2.5.14 resolves these issues.  You can install the 2.5.14 update from our website and return to updating from the Mac App Store when the next update is available -or- you can wait until the 2.5.14 update is available on the Mac App Store sometime over the weekend.  If you choose to update from our website, click here for CheckBook (green pen) or click here for CheckBook Pro (blue pen) and follow the steps for Splasm Store users – even though you purchased from the Mac App Store.  You can update from the Mac App Store when the next update is ready.

We apologize for letting this one out a little too early.  Please get in touch at support@splasm.com if you need anything at all.  Again, we expect the 2.5.14 update will be available on the Mac App Store over the weekend.  Their recent trend is a 24-hour turnaround, so it shouldn’t be long.

Thanks for hanging in there!

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What’s coming in CheckBook 2.5.13

Hello all!  While we’re wrapping up CheckBook 2.5.13, a set of fixes and one tiny surprise, and plan to have it out the door within a week soon, we thought we’d share what’s coming:

  • A fix for a hang when resizing the Import Preview window.  Turns out our workaround for a bug with scrollbars waaayyy back in Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar days doesn’t work so well when targeting the OS X 10.11 El Capitan SDK.
  • A fix for when some Schedule Repeat settings can’t be clicked, making it rather difficult to set up a Schedule for anything but the default Monthly option.  Related to the switch to the OS X 10.11 SDK, wherein we had to make almost every text field a little bit wider so text would fit.
  • A fix for CheckBook Pro’s Multiple Change not syncing changes to Amount, Description, or Category for the far end of transfers.
  • A tiny surprise:  individual Deposit and Debit columns in Entry and Reconcile.  These’ll be per Account, per Entry and Reconcile, so you can even configure to match your bank statements.

Those are the highlights.  Drop us a line at support@splasm.com if you need any of these things in the meantime and we’ll get you set up with a pre-release build.  Keep an eye out for the official release next week!

…and now we’ll get back to work on CheckBook Pro 2.6, whose major new feature is a longstanding request for check printing…

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