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The new Many Tricks’ end user license agreement

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Ever since Peter and I relaunched Many Tricks in 2010, we’ve never had an official software license agreement. The closest thing we’ve had is this blog post, which explains limits on the use of our apps across multiple Macs (tl;dr: Use them on as many Macs as you personally use). However, we’ve never had an actual end user license agreement (EULA) that spells out the legal license you agree to when you purchase one of our apps.

Well, we have one now—it’s also permanently linked in the sidebar here, and will be accessible from within our apps. And a really big thanks to Rich Siegel at Bare Bones Software, who generously agreed to let us use his document as a starting point. I found the Bare Bones EULA to be well written, brief, and easily understood; hopefully our version, which has only minor changes, is still all of those things.

After six years, why did we suddenly need an EULA? The truth is we probably should have had one from day one, but never really felt the need. Recently, however, we’ve received inquiries from government agencies and larger companies interested in buying our apps … and many of these customers aren’t allowed to purchase our apps unless we have an actual legal license agreement. So now we do.

Note that this doesn’t change anything relative to the usage of our apps; we still allow you to use one license to install our apps on as many Macs as you personally use. We just needed to have a formal legal software license for larger customers and government agencies.

Behind the scenes at Many Tricks, Part 2

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Welcome back to the second part of our behind-the-scenes look at the tools of Many Tricks’ trade. In the first part, we discussed how we create our applications and manage our online activities. In this part, we’ll discuss how we keep the business running and some general Mac applications we use every day.

Behind the scenes at Many Tricks, Part 1

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

By most any measure, Many Tricks is not a big company—there are only two of us, and we’ve only got a handful of products. Complicating this relatively-simple small business, though, is the fact that we are separated by 5,327 miles (according to Google Earth), and nine clock hours.

Given our small size and geographic separation, we need to work efficiently individually, and doubly so during those few hours each day when our schedules overlap (typically from about 5:00am to 12:00pm, west coast USA time). So what tools do we use to keep in touch, to manage our web site, and to run the business? Keep reading for a behind-the-scenes look at the apps that keep Many Tricks humming.

As this post turned out much longer than either of us expected, we’ve broken it into two parts. This first part covers the tools we use to create our apps and handle our online activities; the second part will discuss running the business side of the company and general Mac tools that aren’t directly related to any of the prior categories.

Buy Sofa Control

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Apple ships a remote control with most of their computers. With only six buttons the Apple Remote is the ultimate in simple sophistication. The standard functionality, however, is limited to controlling just a couple of applications. Sofa Control breaks this limit. With Sofa Control you are able to control any application on your Mac and trigger whatever actions you like.

Now you might be wondering why we would recommend an application we’re not officially affiliated with. Here’s why: About a year ago, Sofa Control’s head developer, Martin Kahr, did something Apple forgot to do: He provided a framework named Remote Control Wrapper that made it ridiculously easy for 3rd-party applications to interface with the Apple Remote. So when we started thinking about adding remote control support to yFlicks, the decision to use Martin’s framework was more or less a no-brainer. It was rock-solid, it was elegant, and it was free.

However, we encountered one issue that — in our humble opinion — was worth fixing: There wasn’t any mechanism for managing situations where several applications using Martin’s framework would strive for access to the remote control. When we contacted Martin about this, we were delighted by his open-minded response and his willingness to work this out.

And that’s what we did. Together, we came up with a beautiful solution for this kind of race condition. And this solution doesn’t even require any additional work from 3rd-party developers. They just have to update their applications to the newest Remote Control Wrapper version.

Yesterday, Martin released said version, along with Sofa Control 2.1, which — hardly surprisingly — uses the Remote Control Wrapper framework, too. So now you can have yFlicks and Sofa Control work seamlessly together, because actually, that new Remote Control Wrapper version has been built into yFlicks since yFlicks 2.0.

Pretty obvious

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Here’s a snippet from a message we sent to Panic on the very day Coda was released: “So let me be the first to congratulate on that User Interface Apple Design Award I’m sure Coda will win.”

Congratulations to all those other winners and runner-ups, too. Well deserved.