Lab Tick's latest release, version 0.6, has been very successful with PowerBook and MacBook Pro users worldwide. In the two days since I have released it, there were over 1,200 downloads (which is huge for an application with such a limited audience) and traffic on my website has increased by factor 15. Not only do these people find my software on MacUpdate, Versiontracker and Apple.com but also from blogs, forums and smaller Mac software sites around the globe. People recommend Lab Tick to other people and I have yet to receive a single complaint about the new release. All in all, I would say Lab Tick 0.6 was a big success, and that makes it all worth it. Read More
I have pretty much eliminated most of the bugs and implemented all of the features I set as a goal for an 0.6 release, so I have sent out the appropriate files to the localizers today. Lab Tick 0.6 will feature two more localizations than Lab Tick 0.4, namely Portuguese (by Tiago Carvalho) and Dutch (by Noortje van Wijngaarden) - thank you!
The German localization is already finished and integrated in the current build, which means I'll only have to wait to get the other localizations back and I can start to roll out the next version. I cannot promise anything, but I hope Lab Tick 0.6 makes it before the weekend.
If you're already using the current preview version (0.6a2), you will be automatically notified that there's an update available if you have automatic updates enabled.
Purchasing VoodooPad would be totally worth the $29.95 even if it was only for the registration e-mail and the "thank you" window that appears once you've entered the license code:
From: Gus Mueller
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 11:02 AM
Subject: Your order from Flying Meat
Thanks for purchasing Flying Meat stuff!
This is the receipt for your order. It contains the serial numbers for the apps you just bought. Take this email and tuck it away in a safe, dry place. Print it, tattoo it, put it in a really thick safe. Just don't lose it.
Here's the cherry on top:
If you'll excuse me, I have to go tattoo my VoodooPad license now.
The first Lab Tick version with the menu bar item interface instead of a full-blown application with Dock icon is available for testing now. Please be aware that this is an alpha version, so you might run into trouble using this. I don't really expect anything bad to happen, but you never know.
So I finally got around to order the mother of all Cocoa books, Cocoa Programming by Scott Anguish, Erik M. Buck and Donald A. Yacktmann. It arrived today and its 1200-something pages scare the hell out of me, although it appears that since I already have some knowledge of Cocoa and Objective-C, I will be able to skip through large parts of this book without any problems. I'll let you know how this book worked out for me once I'm through it.
So, what exactly does a versatile timer do? Basically everything you tell it to do. FlexTime allows you to define routines that it will help you work through - or even work through for you. Among the example routines that come with the application, there are things such as a break reminder or an example of a yoga routine. There are, however, no limits for your own routines. You could, for example use it as a timer for your cooking or use it to automatically run an AppleScript every hour or so, for example to backup certain files. I think this may come in really handy for when Xcode decides to crash on me again... I'll simply use an AppleScript to backup my project and have FlexTime execute it every 5 minutes. Seriously, who needs Time Machine when you have FlexTime?
FlexTime's user interface is very clear and unobtrusive. Even novice users can dive right into the action because every element's meaning is perfectly clear from the icons and labels, as you can see from the above screenshot.
FlexTime comes as a fully functional trial for 30 days, after that it's $18.95 to register. Given the amount of time FlexTime will save you on all your repetitive tasks, this is a pretty good offer.
I've been crazy busy with Lab Tick in the last couple of days. I have the 0.6 release coming up, but it probably won't be this week since it needs some UI polishing. I'm not quite happy with the the way it currently looks. I think I may have to shrink it down to a vertical slider (like the volume menu item) plus a button which presents a menu with the usual stuff: "About Lab Tick", "Preferences", "Check for updates..." and "Quit". I am however, quite happy with the menu bar icon already. I'll keep you posted on UI updates that might make it into the release.
Also, I spent a great deal of time on a new website for Lab Tick, and you may even preview it! I'm really happy the way this turned out, although if you spot anything bad with it, be sure to let me know. As I was previously asked this: yes, all the testimonials on the new website are real. I just decided not to use the full names of these nice people who provided valuable feedback on Lab Tick, except when the person asked for it.
By the way, my favourite testimonial is "Better than fuzzy dice for my PowerBook." by Ean. I just love this one. :-)