As it turns out, my idea of setting up a wish list at Amazon wasn't too successful, which is why I'm taking down the list. However, I really need to buy a new notebook for continued development of Lab Tick. I am currently using a really old PowerBook G4 for this purpose, and the machine is just not up to the task any more. It's slow, prone to failue (I have already had two hard drives die on me) and just not fun to use anymore.
Therefore, I'm counting on all those who use and enjoy Lab Tick to help me out in purchasing a new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, a regular MacBook won't cut it as it doesn't have the backlit keyboard. I have set up a campaign at Dropcash in order to reach this goal:
I greatly appreciate all the help that you guys can give me in achieving this goal. If you can't contribute, I'd really appreciate if you spread the word about the fundraiser - for example, you can digg this!
As I've written before, I am adding a small window to Lab Tick which will notify first time users about Lab Tick's menu bar icon.
I have talked to fellow Mac developers Matt Gemmell and Sophia Teutschler about the prototypes that I have posted on this very blog and Sophia suggested that I should try to mimick the shiny little gradient that is shown on alert boxes on iPhones (for example, when you receive a text message). Note: I found this image via Google image search, so it definitely cannot be considered NDA material.
What I came up with was this:
I think it does look pretty good. Sophia suggested I should make the "Welcome To Lab Tick!" greeting embossed, which I will look into tomorrow. It's getting late and I have other things to wrap up.
Thanks to Sophia there might be a little eye candy in Lab Tick after all. ;)
Update: Here's a shot with the "Welcome To Lab Tick!" greeting embossed:
In the past, I have gotten a lot of requests from people who thought that Lab Tick did not work at all. They would double-click the icon but see no result, as Lab Tick only runs in the menu bar and has neither a Dock icon nor a window that shows upon launch.
I've been wondering how I would solve this issue for a while. Should I simply display the slider menu as soon as the app launched? No, that looks weird. Should I open the preferences window? I could, but people still might not see the menu bar item. Should I display a Growl notification? Just as pointless.
Anton kindly reported a memory leak in Lab Tick 0.8 to me, which we all seem to have missed during testing. I fixed the leak in 0.8.1 which I released a few minutes ago. Use Lab Tick's update feature or download the disk image.
Lab Tick has been featured in the German Mac Life magazine again. In issue 01/2008 on page 97 in the "Tipps & Tricks" section, there's a small article on the MacBook Pro's backlit keyboard which mentions Lab Tick as a good way to test and/or use the backlit keyboard in daylight.
I've given out a beta copy of Lab Tick 0.8 to testers today, and I have already received one report back of a tester who could not find any issues at all. If they all come back without problems, I might release Lab Tick 0.8 still this week.
While Lab Tick is a very useful application to take control over your backlit keyboard, Stefan Werner has taken a different approach to backlit keyboards.
His applications iSpazz and keySpazz are fun little apps that will illuminate your keyboard through other means than simply a boring slider.
iSpazz will have your keyboard light up to the beat of the music that is currently playing in iTunes and comes as a plugin for said application. keySpazz, on the other hand, lights up your keyboard on every single key press, while holding the shift key gives you a light glow. Of course, you will need to turn Lab Tick off to fully experience these effects.