HELP. My Entries are missing! (Don’t panic)

To paraphrase Allan, our Phosphorescent Phage, true data loss in CheckBook is rare, but it’s pretty easy to get in a spot where it looks like it’s gone for good.  Don’t panic.  You’ve got extremely good odds on things just being hidden from view.  Let’s go over some of the ways Entries can come up missing and how to get everything back to normal:

  1. Your Entries may be out of order.  You can sort by any column in CheckBook by clicking the column header – the name just above the actual data in the column, like Date, Type, Description, or Amount.  If a click hits any column header besides Date, though, it could look like Entries are missing.  Give the Date column header a single click and everything will get back in line.  Click the header once more to flip the sort order.
  2. A Search option might be active.  When you use the Search at the top right of the window, CheckBook hides Entries that don’t match the current Search options.  There’s even a preference to keep your Search options when you switch Accounts or close and re0pen CheckBook.  That lets you set up things like always hiding reconciled Entries in the Reconcile section – and it can also lead to a moment of despair if you forget a Search option is actively hiding some of your Entries.  To make sure that’s not the case, click the Search field, click the magnifying glass at the left side of the Search field, and click the Clear All Search Options menu item.  You can change that preference for keeping your Search options when switching Accounts by going to the CheckBook menu, clicking the Preferences… menu item, and looking near the bottom of the window.
  3. Your Entries may be in a different Account.  CheckBook documents can have more than one Account, so you’ll want to be sure you’re in the same Account as all those Entries you’re looking for.  Click the Accounts button at the top right of the window once or twice to make sure the Accounts drawer, where you can see all your Accounts, is visible on the side of the window, then single-click the name of each Account you find there to see if your data appears.  You might need to try ideas 1 or 2 above for each Account, just to be sure things aren’t just out of order or hidden by a Search option or Smart Folder.
  4. If you’re using CheckBook Pro, you might be in a Folder or Smart Folder.  Click the Accounts button at the top right of the window once or twice to make sure the Accounts drawer, where you can see all your Accounts, is visible on the side of the window, then single-click the name of each Account you find there to see if your data appears.
  5. Your Entries could be in a different document.  You can have more than one document (you knew that, right?) and it’s not too uncommon to go up to the File menu looking for a way to create a new Account and accidentally create a new document, instead.  Luckily, the File menu’s Open Recent submenu keeps track of the last few documents you’ve opened.  Go to the File menu, down to the Open Recent submenu, and try each document you find there to see if your data appears.

If these ideas don’t seem to apply and things still look dire, they’re really not.  Even if your data is truly gone, you could have a Time Machine backup or a backup “in the cloud”, and CheckBook even makes its own backups when it sees you haven’t used it in a week or more.  We can help figure it out and, unless we’re talking major catastrophe, get you back up and running.  So take a few slow, deep breaths and send a System Information report, which tells us how your Mac is set up, along with your recent system logs, where we can piece together how CheckBook’s been used over the last few weeks, to support@splasm.com.  Here’s how to gather these for us:

System Information report

  • Click the Finder icon on your Dock.
  • Go to the Go menu at the top of your screen and click the Utilities menu item.
  • Double-click the System Information icon.
  • Go to the File menu and click the Save… menu item.

Save the report to your Desktop and attach it to your message to support@splasm.com.

System Logs

  • Open CheckBook or CheckBook Pro.
  • Hold the Option key on your keyboard while you go to the Help menu and click the Go to System Logs Folder menu item.
  • Attach each item whose name begins with “system” (without the quotes) to your message to support@splasm.com.

We’ll have a look and get back to you with a plan!

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About that neato macOS Sierra public beta…

All the cool kids were doing it, so you took the plunge.  You installed the latest public beta of macOS Sierra.

[Update:  macOS 10.12 Sierra Public Beta 4 got everything working again, so no worries.]

Pretty nifty, ain’t it?  Your apps seem to be working.  Everything feels a little snappier.  Siri’s truly helpful.  Even the Mac App Store version of Audiobook Builder and any recent version of CheckBook and CheckBook Pro are running well, making your life easier as always.  Aside from a user interface layout glitch here and there, things look super great.

But when you try to create a new document or add tracks to Audiobook Builder or you’re in CheckBook and try to save a backup…

…the app just…

…hangs.

The open or save window appears, but it’s blank.  So you give it a sec.  OK five.  Ten?  Fifteen?  Wow, it’s been thirty seconds and…nothing.  Five minutes later you’re hitting the Send button and we get a plea for help in our inbox.  It might mention the public beta.  Might not.

So why’re things hanging?  It’s all related to the SDK – “Software Development Kit”, a collection of files defining everything needed to build code that’ll work with other code, like an operating system – used when an app is built and sandboxing, the security feature that prevents apps from accessing certain parts of your Mac without your permission or doing things they weren’t designed to.  Sandboxed apps don’t get to display open or save panels in quite the same way as in olden times.  The “Powerbox” background process handles these panels for them, automatically and usually without a fuss, but right now the Powerbox in the Sierra public beta isn’t quite as good at it as in El Cap and earlier.  When apps built with the 10.7 or earlier SDK that are also sandboxed, like the three in question, ask for an open or save panel, instead of the usual, you get a blank window and we get an email.

This isn’t really a true hang, though, where the app is completely unresponsive, so hit the Escape key on your keyboard and the window will disappear and you’re back to using the app just like before.

So why’re we still using the Mac OS X 10.7 SDK?  Welllll, we try to support older versions of Mac OS X for as long as possible, so we have to be careful with newer SDKs.  They introduce new features, making it easier for us to accidentally throw in something that just won’t work for all versions of the OS.  And sometimes, older features just behave differently from one version to the next.  Moving up to a newer SDK usually keeps us busy for a few days, adjusting or working around a handful of things, and then we get to test on each version of Mac OS X.

We let Apple know about this on July 20th (and it seems to be all better in macOS 10.12 Sierra Public Beta 4).  The bug report hasn’t been acknowledged or assigned to an engineer yet, but we’re hopeful they’ll get on it before the official Sierra release.  We’ll have new builds of the Mac App Store version of Audiobook Builder, CheckBook, and CheckBook Pro ready before then, though, built with the OS X 10.11 SDK so we’re all set for a while.  If you need any additional details in the meantime, though, please get in touch at support@splasm.com and we’ll help out!

Posted in Audiobook Builder, CheckBook, Development, General | Tagged | Leave a comment

Audiobook Builder and “The iTunes Library framework isn’t available.”

If Audiobook Builder tells you “The iTunes Library framework isn’t available” when you ask it to add the iTunes selection, you only need to update to iTunes 12.4.1 to get back in business.  iTunes 12.4 accidentally left out support for 32-bit applications, like Audiobook Builder, but iTunes 12.4.1 restored that support.  To get the update, open iTunes, go to the iTunes menu, and click the Check for Updates… menu item.

Going forward, the next version of Audiobook Builder will prevent this from happening again.  We’ll launch a custom, 64-bit helper application that Audiobook Builder silently communicates with in the background, retrieving track locations from iTunes as needed.  You won’t even know it’s there – and Audiobook Builder will work the same as always.

Feel free to send a message to support@splasm.com if you need any additional details.  We’ll be happy to provide them!

Posted in Audiobook Builder | Tagged | Leave a comment

MacUpdate, we have a problem: MacUpdate Installer and the PUA.OSX.InstallCore

MacUpdate, a very helpful resource that’s led users to discover our applications and kept them up-to-date for the last 13 years, has a plan to make the entire update process easier for users.  When you download from MacUpdate now, you may receive a MacUpdate Installer disk image, which includes a single application, MacUpdate Installer, that you double-click to install the desired update.  Here’s what you’ll see:

Audiobook Builder MacUpdate Installer

This all might be easier for some (really?), but it comes with one very concerning caveat:

Malware scanners, like ClamXav and Avast, can report MacUpdate Installer is infected with something named similarly to PUA.OSX.InstallCore.

At first glance, this could send a shiver down your spine.  After all, news outlets have been telling you for 30 years on that infection means your data is at risk, your identity could be stolen, and your bank accounts are about to be drained.  This time around, none of that is true.

PUA means Potentially Unwanted Application, and that’s the case with MacUpdate Installer.  It comes with potentially unwanted software that advertises other products you might be interested in, like much of the rest of today’s free digital experience.  It’s not enough anymore that you trade seconds of your life viewing ads on MacUpdate itself, you’re craving an extra dose of selling your self while drumming your fingers waiting for that update to install.  Right?  Yeah, didn’t think so.

And, while PUA.OSX.InstallCore means something to us, to the average person it still looks an awful lot like their Mac is about to get jacked.  So, last week, when one of our users reached out to us for some kind of explanation and immediate resolution, thank you very much, we reached out to MacUpdate, in turn.  Here’s how that went down:

 

Hi Keith,
Thank you for providing me with that. I am still not showing on the listing that the installer is present. Either way, the installer is not an “infection” it is used to help users get the app installed instead of it sitting in their downloads folder.
There is nothing harmful about the installer and it is something that we use and create ourselves.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Cheers,
Joel
Content Editor/Support
MacUpdate
Click this link to view frequently asked questions: http://deals.macupdate.com/faq

On Fri, 1 Apr at 10:26 AM , Keith Gugliotto <keithg@splasm.com> wrote:

Hi Joel!  Thanks for getting back to us.

We downloaded ClamXav and only used it to scan the MacUpdate Installer.app on the MacUpdate Installer disk image.  The issue only occurs with the MacUpdate Installer version of the download.  Here’s a screenshot showing the infection:

I’ve also come across reports that this has happened with other developers’ applications delivered via MacUpdate Installer.
Keith Gugliotto
Primordial Sea Captain
On Apr 1, 2016, at 8:48 AM, Joel L – MacUpdate <support@macupdate.com> wrote:
Hi Keith,
Thanks for reaching out to us. Are you referring to this listing:http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23162/audiobook-builder?
If so, when downloading it I as unable to replicate the issue that you mentioned in the email. Do you have any screenshots of this issue?
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Cheers,
Joel
Content Editor/Support
MacUpdate
Click this link to view frequently asked questions: http://deals.macupdate.com/faq

 

On Tue, 29 Mar at 11:20 AM , Keith Gugliotto <keithg@splasm.com> wrote:

Topic: Developer Question

Hi there!

We updated our application, Audiobook Builder, yesterday and had a user report ClamXAV says the disk image they downloaded is infected. We tested a download from your site this morning and found the same issue – MacUpdate Installer.app is infected with PUA.OSX.InstallCore. It looks like users of other applications have recently found the same, and that it may be related to how MacUpdate now wraps developer updates with the MacUpdate Installer and presents ads. Is this something you can address?

Thanks for your help!

Keith Gugliotto
Primordial Sea Captain
Splasm Software


Member Information:
Name: Keith Gugliotto
Username: 
Email: keithg@splasm.com

System Information: 
Browser: Safari 9.1
OS: OS X 10.11
MacUpdate Desktop Version #: 

This e-mail was sent from the contact form on MacUpdate Support

 

So, the official word from MacUpdate is MacUpdate Installer is intended to be helpful.  We can’t argue with good intentions.  Simply opening a disk image and copying the included application to the Applications folder may be harder than using MacUpdate Installer and sitting through an advertisement.  With the range of experience levels out there, who knows?  What matters right now, though, is if you read between the lines, MacUpdate isn’t planning to do anything about how some folks out there may experience that dreadful shiver I mentioned earlier when they perceive PUA.OSX.InstallCore is a bona fide threat to their data, identity, and finances.  Causing users any kind distress is not cool with us.

I’m gonna throw http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/security/topic4743-013.html into the mix.  Search for “MacUpdate” on that page and you’ll find it occurs 82 times, with some pretty clear indications this isn’t just our imagination – others aren’t really taking to MacUpdate Installer, either.  Alarm, disgust, distrust.  All reactions you want associated with your brand, right?

Joel is right about one thing, though.  We can’t get the Audiobook Builder update from MacUpdate to come down as the MacUpdate Installer disk image we saw last Tuesday.  Was it a fluke?  Seems doubtful.    But, as long as our users are getting the original disk image from us when they click the Download button at MacUpdate, we’ll continue to release our updates there.  If that changes, or if it becomes clear they’re spot testing, delivering the original disk image in some cases and the MacUpdate Installer disk image in others, we’ll likely have to break up with MacUpdate.

Here’s hoping MacUpdate updates MacUpdate Installer so that it doesn’t trip alarms in common malware scanners, or they get in touch with those malware scanner developers to see if they can prevent MacUpdate Installer from being called out as truly infected.  Either way works for us.  As long as they save users from the anxiety of imagining their digital life might go up in smoke, we’re cool.

Posted in Audiobook Builder, General, Opinion | Leave a comment

CheckBook and CheckBook Pro 2.5.10

[Update:  This page was originally about version 2.5.9, but we found a tiny glitch and released 2.5.10 thereafter.  It’ll probably be a few days until 2.5.10 is approved for the Mac App Store, though, so if you need the fix you can use the version for Splasm Store users in the meantime and your data will show up just fine.  We’ve listed the details for both 2.5.9 and 2.5.10 because you’ll probably be coming from 2.5.8.  Enjoy!]

This update brings some welcome fixes and adjustments, but we’ve thrown in a little something extra.  Tax time is upon us and we’re happy to announce we’ve answered a feature request for Category detail reporting.  It’s really easy to turn on:  as you create or change an Account Summary, look for the new “Group By” option in the Style section.


What’s new?

CheckBook 2.5.10

Fixes in 2.5.10

  • Prevents a potential mixup when changing the details of a previously entered transfer

New Features in 2.5.9

  • You can now group Entry details by Category in your Account Summaries, allowing more traditional Category detail reporting
  • Export to Text can now create CSV in addition to tab-delimited text
  • New preferences for grid color and alternating row colors

Fixes in 2.5.9

  • Corrects an issue that could prevent documents from updating their modified date in the Finder
  • Prevents a potential crash after visiting Page Setup…
  • Resolves a potential crash when updating from significantly older versions of CheckBook
  • Several minor user interface enhancements and adjustments


CheckBook Pro 2.5.10

Fixes in 2.5.10

  • Prevents a potential mixup when changing the details of a previously entered transfer

New Features in 2.5.9

  • You can now group Entry details by Category in your Account Summaries, allowing more traditional Category detail reporting
  • Export to Text can now create CSV in addition to tab-delimited text
  • New preferences for grid color and alternating row colors

Fixes in 2.5.9

  • Corrects an issue that could prevent documents from updating their modified date in the Finder
  • You can now click disabled Multiple Change settings to enable them in a single action, instead of clicking their checkbox first
  • Prevents a potential crash after visiting Page Setup…
  • Resolves a potential crash when updating from significantly older versions of CheckBook
  • Several minor user interface enhancements and adjustments


Get the update

If you purchased from the Mac App Store, you’ll get version 2.5.9 until 2.5.10 is approved, which will probably be this weekend.  If you need 2.5.10 in the meantime, you can use the version for Splasm Store users and your data will appear just fine.

Open the Mac App Store app, click the Purchased button at the top of the window, then click the Update or Install button next to your purchase. Be sure you’re signed in with the same Apple ID you used for your original purchase.

If you purchased from the Splasm Store

CheckBook 2.5.10:  http://splasm.com/checkbook/update.html

CheckBook Pro 2.5.10:  http://splasm.com/checkbookpro/update.html


After You Install

The first time you launch the application, you may be asked to update or upgrade your document. Agree to the update and your document will be ready to work with the update.

If you see a message about a damaged document, please visit http://www.splasmata.com/?p=2855 for details.

If you open the application and your data doesn’t immediately appear, try going to the File menu, down to the Open Recent submenu, and clicking each document there until your data appears. If this doesn’t cure all, don’t panic just yet. There are several ways data can appear missing when it’s either hidden or in another document. We can help with that, so get in touch at support@splasm.com!

Posted in CheckBook, General | Leave a comment

Mac App Store users can’t open our applications

First, your data is safe.

Second, you won’t have to purchase another copy of the application.  If you get to a point where it looks like you’ll need to purchase again, please get in touch with us at support@splasm.com.

Beginning February 14th, many of our users who purchased from the Mac App Store have experienced an issue where the application crashes while opening.  What we know, so far, is this is another certificate issue on Apple’s end, preventing applications from properly validating a Mac App Store receipt.  Again, your data is safe.  The issue is with the application, but your data lives in a separate document and will come right up when the application begins working properly.

The official word from Apple is that, in general, restarting the Mac in question should resolve the issue.  In addition, for OS X El Capitan users, Apple says updating to OS X 10.11.2 or later is required, and OS X Snow Leopard users should be sure the Mac App Store Update for OS X Snow Leopard is installed.  While the situation we have here is technically similar to what happened last November, it’s not quite the same and, being on Apple’s end, not something we could’ve prepared for.  The good news is Apple has renewed the certificates involved in validating Mac App Store receipts through at least 2023, so we won’t see circumstances like this for some time, if ever.  Thank you for your patience and understanding!

We’ve learned a restart does not always resolve the issue – reinstalling the application itself does.  Even if you’ve already reinstalled, please follow each step below to be sure the reinstallation is performed correctly.

DO NOT USE A THIRD-PARTY TOOL, LIKE CLEANMYMAC, TO REMOVE AN APPLICATION BEFORE REINSTALLING.

Repeat: DO NOT USE A THIRD-PARTY TOOL, LIKE CLEANMYMAC, TO REMOVE AN APPLICATION BEFORE REINSTALLING.

To reinstall one of our applications:

  1. Click the Finder icon on your Dock, the row of icons that’s usually at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Go to the Go menu at the very top of your screen, above all open windows, and click the Applications menu item.
  3. Drag the application icon (not the entire Applications folder – just the application you need to reinstall) to the Trash.  This is the only item you need to drag to the Trash or delete from your Mac.
  4. If the application icon just snapped back to where it was before you dragged it to the Trash, you may be in Launch Pad instead of the Applications folder.  Please go back to step 1.
  5. Restart your Mac.
  6. Go to the Mac App Store, click the Purchased button at the top of the window, and click the Install button next to the application.  Be sure you’re signed in with the same Apple ID used to purchase the application by going to the Store menu at the top of the screen, above all open windows.  If you don’t see your purchase, it may be hidden.  Visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202320 to learn how to access hidden purchases.

Reinstalling from the Mac App Store should completely resolve the issue, so if it doesn’t, please go back to step 1 and try to reinstall once more.

Using a version from our website should work around the issue but it’s a last resort, particularly for CheckBook and CheckBook Pro users.  Installing the opposite version of CheckBook from what you’ve been using will result in the appearance that all data has been lost but it’s just that the two apps don’t know where the other stores its data and when you get the proper version installed everything will appear as before.  If you need to go this route to get back in business, please do so, just be very certain that if you use CheckBook or CheckBook Pro you download and install the same:

Posted in Audiobook Builder, CheckBook, Development, General, Return Labels | Tagged | Leave a comment