I updated my Mac and now my favorite Splasm app won’t open

Fear not!  macOS updates can be a bumpy ride, but chances are we know about the issue and have already updated your app so all you need to do is install the latest version and get back to business.  Give these a try first, then let us know how things turn out:

  • Audiobook Builder:  Get the latest.
  • CheckBook (icon with the green pen):  Get the latest.
  • CheckBook Pro (icon with the blue pen):  Get the latest.
  • Return Labels:  Visit the Mac App Store, click the Updates button at the top of the window, and see if an update for Return Labels is available.

If the app still misbehaves, please reach out to us at support@splasm.com.  Send us all the details you can think of and we’ll get busy!

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Updates for maximum macOS 10.12 Sierra compatibility

Hey gang, here are some updates to your favorite Splasm apps, bringing you maximum macOS 10.12 Sierra compatibility!

Thanks for you support.  Enjoy!

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macOS 10.12 Sierra compatibility

[Updates for maximum Sierra compatibility are now up.  Get all the details.]

It’s System MacOS Mac OS X OS X macOS upgrade season once again, and minor updates to your favorite Splasm apps for maximum compatibility are forthcoming!  Here’s a current compatibility rundown:

  • Audiobook Builder 1.5.5:  Works and is mostly compatible.  Going to iTunes after a build will fail.  A fix is coming in Audiobook Builder 1.5.6, which has been submitted for review to the Mac App Store and should be out soon.
  • CheckBook and CheckBook Pro 2.5.10:  Works and is mostly compatible.  Preferences may not be saved.  A fix is in version 2.5.11, which has been submitted for review to the Mac App Store and should be out soon.
  • Return Labels 1.0.2:  Just works (thanks William!).  Return Labels was built for more modern versions of macOS so it doesn’t have some of the same compatibility baggage as our other apps.

Keep an eye out for updates on the Mac App Store or with the Check For Updates… feature if you purchased directly from our website.  And please let us know if you spot any showstoppers so we can dig in to get things working again.  Thanks!

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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!

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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