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Our site has learned to speak securely

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Every year, we get a few inquiries about why our web site doesn’t use https (i.e. TLS/SSL) to encrypt communications between the user and our site. Our stock answer has been that SSL is slow, expensive, and complicated for a two-person company to manage—and that was true for many years.

However, when I received the latest inquiry about encryption on the site, I thought it was time to revisit the subject. What I found is that SSL is no longer slow or expensive—and the complexity level has dropped dramatically. So we did a bit of work to update our pages, installed our shiny new security certificate, and as of now, you can securely browse Many Tricks by using this URL:

Note that we have not made this the default—but if you load the https site, you won’t be able to load the http version (thanks to something called HTTP Strict Transport Security).

When you’re browsing our https site, you should see a small lock icon next to the site’s name, as seen below in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox:

We don’t collect any financial information here (all purchase details go through our processors, which have always used TLS/SSL encryption). But many people like the security of knowing that their interactions with a given site are encrypted. And now, they can be when you visit

SHA-2 Hashes

The other thing we’ve done is create a page of SHA-2 hashes for all our apps. That page contains a list of SHA-2 hash values, and explains how to use these values to insure that what you download from us is the same as what we uploaded to the server. (Note that this is mostly useful for any potential download interceptions; if someone hacks our server such that they have full access, they could simply modify the SHA-2 values so that everything still looked right to a user.)

Please let us know if you have any troubles with either the https site (or our SHA-2 hash values)—we think we’ve tested everything, but it’s quite possible we’ve missed a page somewhere.

Subscribe to category-specific news feeds

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

For those relaxing by kicking back and reading our blog on a Sunday morning, here’s a little bit of blog-related news…

If you’d like to keep up with all the news on your favorite Many Tricks’ programs—but don’t necessarily want to read all the posts in the blog (via our full news feed, for instance)—here’s some good news: you can now subscribe to a specific category’s news feed.

Say you only want to read about posts concerning Witch. First use the Categories pop-up in the sidebar to select Witch, which will display all posts in that category. To subscribe to the Witch category, just click the Subscribe to the RSS feed for the ‘Witch’ category link that appears immediately below the “All posts in the ‘Witch’ category” header.

Your default newsreader (Safari, Mail, NetNewsWire, etc.) should then open with a new subscription to all our posts about Witch. Repeat this process for each category you’re interested in following.

Something’s changed here

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Indeed it has—welcome to the new-and-improved Many Tricks web site. In addition to generally trying to make the site more pleasant to use, we’ve added some features to make it easier to find information on our products, to simplify navigation, and to support our customers. Some of these features include:

  • A new landing page with rotating showcase items and pop-up product bubbles for fast access to more info, download, and buy options for each product.
  • A brand-new support center for reporting bugs, browsing our knowledge base, and submitting help requests.
  • Each major product page includes a link to easy-to-read release notes, as well as links to the above-mentioned support center.
  • A site map at the bottom of each page lets you jump anywhere on the site with a single click.

While no site is ever perfect, we think this revision is a nice improvement over the old site. We’ve tested it in all the main OS X browsers (Safari, Firefox, Opera, OmniWeb, Camino, Chrome, iCab) with good results. Sadly, if you’re still using Internet Explorer 5.2 for Mac, it’s time to upgrade—the site loads very poorly there (no, I don’t really think anyone still uses IE 5.2!).


A Forum Called Help

Friday, January 11th, 2008

You have been asking for this for years; and here it is: the Many Tricks Forum.

Now, you might realize that this forum lives at a subdomain, namely Why did we call it that? We don’t necessarily think of this forum as another means to help users solve problems they might encounter with our software. We do that by e-mail most of the time, and it works fine.

We’re talking about the inverse here: We’d like to ask you to help us improve our products by sharing your ideas and disussing them with your fellow users.

This will make it easier for us to evaluate what features are really needed; and sometimes, you might even realize that your request has already been complied with. For example, you wouldn’t believe how often we hear something along the lines of “I didn’t know Butler could do that”.

So by opening this forum, we’re asking you a favor. We’re asking you to participate and share your insight. In return, we are going to give away one software license for free to an active forum member each month.

Update: The forum is not available at this time. Feel free to yell at us in public via Twitter and/or blog comments in the meantime. ;-)

Butler 4.1.4 Transient; yFlicks 3.0.1

Monday, November 26th, 2007

We’re fixing a few bugs in both Butler and yFlicks today. Most importantly, we have solved the most unnerving Butler bug ever, which usually made Butler crash on Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” while editing a configuration item in the main window’s Inspector. Thanks to everyone who helped us with this — it took us weeks to even get the slightest idea of what was going on.

We’d also like to thank those who helped us squash a couple of yFlicks bugs, including a smart group sorting issue that gave us reason to improve the library’s behind-the-scenes mechanisms quite significantly.

And just in case you haven’t noticed: We’re back with a fast and reliable webserver after living through a webserver nightmare last week, including the day yFlicks 3.0 was released. We’re not particularly keen on experiencing that kind of thrill again any time soon. And we are really sorry for any web site and e-mail hiccups that occured during the transition.

Our webserver refuses to serve

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Our main webserver appears to be dead, and consequently, we’re in the middle of moving to a new server/provider. Meanwhile, we’re redirecting you to; and we would like to sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.

Bag & Baggage

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Although this site has been up for a few weeks, most of our applications were still hosted on Peter’s personal web site. That’s no longer the case, and we ‘re quite happy to have completed our relocation.

There’s a technical implication to this, too. If you were still monitoring Peter’s web log (i.e., the respective RSS feed) for software updates, there’s no point in doing so any longer. You’ll want to switch to this one, instead.