All posts in the ‘Time Sink’ category

Subscribe to the RSS feed for the 'Time Sink' category

Our Big Sur app compatibility report

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

With Big Sur’s release, here’s an update on our apps’ compatibility…

All of our apps run in Big Sur, and almost all of them run 100% perfectly.

We’ve tested them all many times, and they all seem to be working as we’d expect them to, with one minor exception (and a “check your version” warning about one of our baubleries). We also have a general heads-up on a permissions request you may or may not see from some of our apps.

Although we’ve tested extensively, some of our apps have lots of features and can be used in many different ways, and we probably didn’t test all of those cases—many of you seem to find ways to use our apps that we never anticipated! So if you do find something that’s not working right in Big Sur, please let us know by opening a support ticket.


Permissions request

In our testing with Big Sur’s release candidate, we were surprised to find that some of our apps ask for permission to write to the Documents and/or Desktop folders. We’ll be completely honest here and say that we have no idea why this is happening. We have some guesses, but they’re just guesses at this point.

This issue did not appear in any of the prior betas (nor did it happen with every app), so we just discovered it yesterday when we installed the final version. As a general rule, our apps—unless you’re doing something that explicitly uses one of those folders, like saving Leech downloads to your Desktop—do not write to those locations.

We’re trying to get an answer as to why this dialog is appearing, but until we do, you can safely say “Yes” when macOS asks if it’s OK to use those folders—becausedo we’re not using them.

App-specific items

Displaperture: Please update to the current version (1.5.2) of Displaperture before you try using it in Big Sur. There’s no in-app updater, so you’ll have to download the new version from our site.

If you launch an older version, you may find yourself staring at a blank whiteish screen with rounded corners, and nothing else on it at all. Unfortunately, this screen sits above everything, including the Force Quit dialog. If you have remote login enabled and access to another Mac, you can connect and kill the Displaperture process, but if you don’t…well, the only way out is a forced reboot.

So please, make sure your copy of Displaperture is up to date before you launch it.

Witch: As a general statement, Witch is working fine. However, you will notice at least a few additional windows, mainly related to things in the menu bar. We’re working to get rid of these spurious entries, but for now, here’s the best workaround…

On the Advanced tab in Witch’s preferences, in the Do not list apps text box, enter this:

Control Center, SystemUIServer

If you have existing entries there, put a comma at the end and add the two new entries. Next, in the Do not list windows, enter this:

Item-0

Again, if you have existing entries, add a comma then that text.

These two changes should make Witch look mostly as it did in pre-Big Sur systems.


We’re working on the Witch issues, and we’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Again, if you notice anything askew in Big Sur, please do open a support ticket and let us know.

See window titles in Time Sink 2.1 in macOS Catalina

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Time Sink 2.1 is out for both App Store (hopefully out now or very soon) and direct customers (definitely out now). This release has one very important fix for macOS Catalina users, as well as one directly-related new feature.

The “fix” (though it wasn’t anything in our code that was broken) is that Time Sink can once again see and track individual windows in macOS Catalina.

When macOS Catalina was released, it contained new security restrictions, and one of those restrictions is that an application is not allowed to see window titles unless the app is registered as a screen recording application. So that’s basically what Time Sink does: It registers as a screen recording application, but it does not record your screen. (Note: Due to App Store restrictions, the App Store version of Time Sink does this slightly differently, though the end result is the same: Trackable window titles but no screen recording.)

Please read the remainder of this post for specific instructions on how this feature works for direct and App Store versions of Time Sink, as the initial setup process is slightly different for each version.

So what about the new feature?

(more…)

We’ve updated a number of our apps…

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Following on the heels of Butler, Keymou, Moom, and Witch, we’ve updated the rest of our main app suite (excluding Name Mangler). As always, you can find the updates within the app or by downloading a new version (direct customers), or in the Mac App Store app (App Store customers). Here’s a little bit about what’s new in each app…

Desktop Curtain 3.0.8

Some behind the scenes changes, and a fix for an annoying bug that could cause Desktop Curtain to stall for a few seconds after clicking a Desktop-covering curtain. [Release Notes]

Leech 3.1.2

We’ve rewritten the Leech extension to work with the new rules of Safari 12, and added support for Full Screen and Split View modes. [Release Notes]

Resolutionator 1.1.2

Fixed a long delay before the menu appeared for those using dynamic desktop images in Mojave, and Resolutionator now supports Dark Mode in macOS Mojave. [Release Notes]

Time Sink 2.0.1

We’ve added a checkbox so you can include windows from menu bar apps, fixed a bug that broke Time Sink on 10.9.5, and the Escape key can now be used to cancel interval dragging in the Activity Report window. [Release Notes]

Usher 1.1.17

Yes, it’s no longer for sale, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get updated. This update adds more fields to the CSV export, you can search for ‘or more’ star ratings by adding a plus (***+), and we fixed a preview-related crash when previewing a huge number of movies. And oh yes, if you use Smart Playlists with subdivisions, try selecting more than one subdivision—notice the search bar now lets you see the Union and Intersection of those selections. [Release Notes]

All of these updates are live now, though App Store customers may not see them just yet—but they should show as available very soon now.

Time Sink 2 is on the clock

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Time Sink 2 iconTime Sink 2 is out today—yes, it’s a major update in version numbers, and no, it won’t cost you a cent. That’s right, Time Sink 2.0 is a free new major version, for both direct and App Store buyers.

Why free? Because all though we’ve done a ton of behind-the-scenes work to make Time Sink an even better time tracking app (so it’s indeed a major upgrade to us), the user-visible new features may not feel like typical “oh wow this is a MAJOR update!” material to you. So instead of trying to justify charging for the upgrade, we decided to give it to everyone for free. (But hey, if you want to buy another copy or gift one to a friend, we won’t mind—it’s still just $5.)

So what’s new in Time Sink 2? We won’t bore you with all the many behind-the-scenes changes, other than to mention that Time Sink is now sandboxed, so we can add new features to the App Store version to keep it in sync with the direct version—hooray!

Here’s the stuff you can see and work with as a Time Sink user:

  • Ad-hoc timers can be used to track non-Mac activities, such as phone calls or client meetings.
  • All timers can be paused via an assignable hot key, and can be set to resume automatically when activity resumes.
  • A pop-up menu at the bottom of the Activity Report window lets you easily select time frames like today, this week, this month, or this year.
  • Define the “start of day” time for the “today” Activity Report view. No longer must you start working just after midnight.
  • Use window title filters to merge windows from apps that include always-changing info in their window titles, as when Photoshop appends @50%, @75%, etc.
  • Exported reports can be opened in Time Sink to view historical data.
  • View time usage in the Organizer as percentages of total time instead of hours/minutes.

Finally, there are a couple of new themes for the Activity Report:

Two new Activity Report themes join the original

The original purple (left) is joined by light (center) and dark (right); the blue shown in the dark theme shot will be replaced with whatever you’ve set as your macOS highlight color (System Preferences > General).

How to update

Direct customers can get the update via in-app updating; App Store customers should see the update in the App Store app soon, if not already. (Just one note of caution: Time Sink 2 requires OS X 10.8 or newer; if you’re on OS X 10.7, you’ll want to stay with the original Time Sink. See the museum for links to older versions.)

How-to: Track top-level web site usage with Time Sink

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Our time-tracking app Time Sink relies on window titles to track your activities. This approach works great for most use cases, as window titles are supplied by the vast majority of apps out there, which means Time Sink is able to keep an eye on nearly everything you do.

But when browsing the web, relying on window titles can sometimes be problematic: Many sites don’t include any site-specific information in their window titles. For instance, a news site may just have the title of the news article as the window title. So if you were interested in finding out how much time you spend on that news site, Time Sink apparently wouldn’t be able to help, because there’s no way to tell which site those news stories came from.

Other sites do include some site-specific data in their window titles, but what that is will vary by site, as well as where it appears within the window title.

The good news is that Time Sink can track site-wide time usage for both types of windows—it’s relatively simple for sites that include site-specific data in their window titles, and it’s somewhat more involved for sites that do not.

(more…)

Time Sink 1.2.6—direct only—released

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Time Sink 1.2.6 is out, but only for direct customers. This update is basically an update to get ready for a major update (hint: its version number starts and ends with ‘2’) that’s coming Very Soon Now. Actually, that’s not entirely true; this update is so that future updates (including said major update) will work properly under macOS Sierra.

Note: If you’re already running Sierra (beta or Gold Master version), you will need to manually download Time Sink 1.2.6 from our site (only this one time).

App Store customers don’t get this update, because it doesn’t affect their version of the app (because there are no in-app updates). However, pending App Store review and approval, we fully expect that the next major update (that one that starts and ends with ‘2’) will be available for App Store users as well.

Stay tuned for more on Time Sink 2! Oh dang, I’ve gone and spilled the beans…

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.

Moom and Name Mangler updated

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Final update: Moom 3.2.5 has been released on the App Store; this fixes the drag-to-display bug and all App Store users should now update.

Update: If you have the App Store version of Moom, and if you use multiple displays, then please don’t update to Moom 3.2.4—we just found and fixed an issue with moving windows to other displays. The Moom version on our site has been updated to 3.2.5, and we’re in the middle of submitting an App Store update.

As mentioned in the release notes, I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience. This was entirely my fault. —Peter


Hot on the heels of our recent Time Sink and Keymo updates come two larger updates: Moom 3.2.4 and Name Mangler 3.3.6.

These releases re-sync the versions numbers between the App Store and direct versions, and both feature some bug fixes and general improvements. You can read the details in the release notes for Moom and Name Mangler, respectively.

The big news in both versions (and coming soon to all our other apps) is our totally rewritten help system. You can read all about the new help system in the linked blog post, but the key bits are that search and navigation are now much nicer, and the window is a real (non-floating!) OS X window that’s visible to apps like Witch.

Direct customers can get the Moom and Name Mangler updates via the in-app updater, or by downloading the full versions from our site. App Store customers should see the updates in their App Store app—if not now, then shortly.

Announcing our new in-app help system

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Starting with our recent update to Keymo, we rolled out a new help system. We developed this new system to solve some aggravations we were having with Apple’s built-in help system, and to provide our users with a better help experience. This new help system will be rolling out to all our apps in the very near future.

Here’s a quick peek at the first screen of Moom’s new help:

Moom's new help

There are many aspects to our new help system that should make in-app help work much better for our users—some new features, some existing features working better, and a revamped look and feel.

(more…)

Time Sink and Keymo updated

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Today we released updates to Keymo (1.2.4, both direct and App Store) and Time Sink (1.2.5, for the App Store only).

The Keymo update features our brand-new help system with greatly improved navigation and a much more functional search. (This help system will be rolling out to all our apps in the near future.) With this update, both the App Store and direct versions of Keymo are in sync at 1.2.4.

The Time Sink update brings the App Store version into sync with the direct version at 1.2.5; there are no substantive changes in the Time Sink update.

As always, direct customers can use the in-app updater or download the full version from our site, and App Store customers should see the updates in the App Store app—if not now, then in the very near future.