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Desktop Curtain 3 makes your desktop clutter weep

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Today we’re releasing Desktop Curtain 3.0, a major upgrade to our solution to desktop clutter. First, the important bits about this release:

  • It’s a free upgrade to all prior purchasers of Desktop Curtain. That’s right, free. Just load up the App Store application, go to Updates, and install the Desktop Curtain update.
  • Desktop Curtain 3 is also available directly from us. Unlike the prior version, we’re selling this one directly, as well as via the App Store. To purchase from us, just visit the Desktop Curtain page.
  • Desktop Curtain 3 will cost $5 ($4.99 in the App Store), but it’s on sale through Sunday, May 27th for $1.99, the same price as the outgoing version.

So what’s new and exciting in Desktop Curtain 3? A ton of stuff, including this lovely new user interface:

In addition to the reworked interface, Desktop Curtain 3 has these awesome new features:

  • Application isolation mode automatically places the curtain behind the frontmost application, letting you focus entirely on that program.
  • A global hot key provides even more isolation, placing the curtain behind everything except the frontmost window.
  • You can use the current desktop image as the curtain image.
  • If the curtain is covering the desktop icons, clicking the curtain will activate the Finder.
  • The curtain image is now translucent, making it simple to change the curtain’s color.
  • New entries in the contextual menu (and in the program’s menu bar menus, and in new Dock item menus) allow you to easily hide the curtain, or change the level at which it’s displayed.

Desktop Curtain 3 represents a huge improvement in functionality over the old version, and it’s available right now. You can download and use it for free (forever, if you wish) in a feature-limited mode, and then use an in-app button to purchase the full version when you’re ready.

Our apps and OS X Lion compatibility

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

With today’s release of Lion, here’s an update on the status of all our apps in Apple’s latest Mac OS X release. Note that this is based on our testing only, and many of our apps are feature-rich: so if you run into something, please let us know via comments here, a tweet, an email message, or a trouble ticket.

  • Butler: Compatible, though it’s likely we haven’t tested 100% of everything that Butler can do.
  • Desktop Curtain: Compatible, but with some issues if you use Spaces or Mission Control. We’re working to find a solution to those issues.
  • Displaperture: Compatible.
  • Key Codes: Compatible.
  • Keymo: Compatible.
  • Leech: Leech’s browser integration feature only works with Firefox in Lion. We’re investigating getting the other browsers working again, and will post any updates here on our blog.
  • Menu Bar Tint: Compatible.
  • Moom: Compatible, as of latest 2.2 update.
  • Name Mangler: Compatible.
  • Open-With Manager: Not recommended and not tested in Lion.
  • Safari Guardian: Not compatible with Lion. It won’t cause problems if installed, but its features won’t work. (Note: Safari 5.1 in Snow Leopard also breaks Safari Guardian.)
  • Service Scrubber: Not recommended and not tested in Lion.
  • Time Sink: Compatible.
  • Usher: Compatible.
  • Witch: Compatible, as of the 3.7 update.

As noted above, if you find certain features in our apps that don’t work in Lion, please let us know!

Desktop Curtain 2.2 released

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Today’s Desktop Curtain update adds two minor features, and includes a few bug fixes. The two new features are:

  • A ‘boss key’ to instantly bring the curtain to the foreground, covering absolutely everything (including the Dock and Command-Tab application switcher). It doesn’t, however, bring up a fake spreadsheet as did certain games of yore.
  • Image names are now shown while hovering over image thumbnails in the History menu.

Desktop Curtain is (as of now, at least) only available on the App Store, for $1.99 to new purchasers (the update is, of course, free to all current customers).

How-to: Launch and hide Desktop Curtain at login

Monday, February 7th, 2011
Over the weekend, I was asked why Desktop Curtain can’t be launched and hidden at login—when set to run at login, Desktop Curtain appears (as would any other app set to run at login). While you can’t set this preference within Desktop Curtain, it’s relatively easy to do with some help from Mac OS X.

First, make sure the ‘Launch automatically at login’ box is checked on the Advanced tab of Desktop Curtain’s settings window.

Second, go to the Accounts System Preferences panel, select your account in the left-hand column, and then click the Login Items tab on the right. Find Desktop Curtain in the list, and check the leftmost box, in the Hide column:

That’s it—Desktop Curtain will now launch at login, and hide. To get the most out of this tip, you should also set a global hot key (on the Advanced tab of Desktop Curtain’s settings window), so you can then make Desktop Curtain visible whenever you need to hide your clutter.

Conversations with the App Store

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

We’re now roughly three weeks into the Mac App Store’s existence, and both Peter and I have been thrilled with how it’s gone. We’ve found it generally pleasant working with Apple (they’ve yet to reject one of our apps or updates), and the users we’ve chatted with have found the store to be a pleasant place to browse and shop.

With that said, there’s one feature missing from the store that impacts our ability to interact with customers and prospects: there’s no mechanism for developers to respond to questions or comments in users’ reviews. (We could modify our program’s descriptions, but using that space to answer questions seems like using a hammer to crack an egg.)

So we’ve decided to start an occasional series here on our blog, of which you’re reading the first installment: Conversations with the App Store. Each installment will address some of the questions and comments raised in reviews on the global (those we can read, at any rate!) Mac App Stores.

While this isn’t an ideal feedback mechanism—Apple should really allow developers to post responses directly—we hope it provides useful information to those who may have similar comments or questions about our programs. So without further ado, here’s the first edition of Conversations with the App Store.


Two new versions of Desktop Curtain now available

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Today we shipped not one but two versions of Desktop Curtain, our ‘cover-your-mess’ utility. Desktop Curtain is ideal for those who dislike their clutter, or who need to take ‘clean background’ screenshots. The two new versions are:

  • Desktop Curtain Classic (version 1.5), free: This is an updated version of our free Desktop Curtain baublery, featuring a much-cleaner interface with the same basic feature set as it’s always had. As before, it’s free, and available directly from our site.
  • Desktop Curtain 2.0, $1.99 App Store only: This version features the ability to pick background images using the standard Open dialog, choose from up to 10 previously-used images, and it runs as a normal application, menu bar application, or faceless background application.

The Desktop Curtain web page has an easy-to-understand chart that shows all the differences between the free and App Store-only versions, so you can pick the one that you prefer. You’ll also find a link to download the free version, and a link that takes you to Dektop Curtain’s page in the App Store.

As for those of you curious about why there’s an App Store-only version of Desktop Curtain, given our prior writing on the subject, keep reading.


yFlicks 3.3.1; TubiTunes 1.0.1; Desktop Curtain 1.1

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

We have four updates for you today, and we’ll divide these into two blog entries, because the fourth one needs more detailed explaining.

Let’s start with these two: Just in time to meet today’s 50%-off macZOT promo, both yFlicks and TubiTunes are now capable of downloading the higher-quality MPEG-4 file for a given movie from YouTube, if available. Other than that, we’ve just squashed some bugs — including a particularly embarrassing one: TubiTunes’s automatic update checker didn’t actually check for updates automatically.

What are the other two updates? Desktop Curtain is now ready to deal with multiple screens and spaces. And Witch 2.0 is detailed here.

Desktop Curtain 1.0.1

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

It’s about time we made our little screenshot helper/tidiness impersonator a universal binary that runs natively on Intel processors. Moreover, Desktop Curtain 1.0.1 has been adapted to Mac OS X 10.5’s new default desktop picture.

Beware of Sharp Corners

Friday, October 26th, 2007

As explained here, the very first Leopard hack, namely Non-Transparent Menu Bar, was forcefully retired somewhat prematurely. So we recycled its source code and turned it into another nostalgia hack.

See, the new Mac OS X doesn’t draw rounded screen corners anymore. Most users won’t notice, others will be happy about this change, but some might miss that cuddly CRT aura those rounded corners emitted.

So if you’d rather still have rounded corners, have a look at Displaperture, the little tool that lets you retain your beloved rounded screen corners. You can even determine those corners’ radii, and you can pick the corners you want rounded — including the bottom ones.