macOS New App Release – PFEventTaps Framework 1.5.4

Product Announcement – PFiddlesoft of Quechee, Vermont has released PFEventTaps Framework 1.5.4 for macOS. The PFiddlesoft Frameworks help developers write assistive macOS applications for persons with disabilities using Apple’s Accessibility and Quartz Event Taps APIs on macOS.

Version 1.5.4 of the PFEventTaps Framework fixes a bug introduced in version 1.5.3 that caused the initializers and factory methods for creating event taps that use delegate methods instead of callback mthods to malfunction, and it adds the ability to recognize multitouch events and AppKit defined, system defined and application defined multitouch event subtypes.

The PFAssistive Framework was created in 2003 as the engine driving PFiddlesoft’s highly regarded UI Browser application for developers and for users of Apple’s AppleScript GUI Scripting technology. The framework supports and enhances Apple’s Accessibility API. The PFEventTaps Framework was created in 2007 as the engine underlying PFiddlesoft’s free Event Taps Testbench utility for developers. The framework supports and enhances Apple’s Quartz Event Taps API. Both frameworks have been revised and updated over more than ten years, and they have demonstrated their power and reliability in PFiddlesoft’s commercial and free developer utilities.

The PFiddlesoft Frameworks are written using Objective-C. They support the Intel 64-bit architecture using reference counted memory management or ARC, and they support client applications written in Objective-C or Swift. Developers can license the frameworks for distribution or for use with their own products that use Apple’s Accessibility and Quartz Event Taps technologies.

The frameworks may be licensed free of charge for personal use or for distribution or use with a free software product. It can be downloaded from the website. A modest license fee is required to distribute or use the frameworks with a product for which payment is requested or required. Source code is available for a separate fee. Different terms apply to large or established commercial software developers. For more information, visit the PFEventTaps Frameworks website.

Download the PFiddlesoft Frameworks now at the PFEventTaps Frameworks website.

PFiddlesoft(TM) has unmatched experience controlling the Macintosh Graphical User Interface using AppleScript and other technologies.

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macOS New App Release – File Manager Pro

Product Announcement – B-Eng of Fehraltorf, Switzerland has released File Manager Pro for Mac. Offered as a powerful replacement for the Finder app, File Manager Pro is aimed at users who like to manage and organize files and documents in an easy and efficient way. Sporting a classic double window layout, the main features of this easy-to-use File Manager app are its ability to synchronize directories with a single click, compress/un-compress files, advanced search and sorting options as well as interactive disk space managing tools among others.

Main Feature:

  • Interactive disk space manager
  • Intuitive double window layout
  • Advanced search and sort options
  • One click directory sync
  • Movie poster as file icon with direct info
  • Compress/decompress files
  • Hex editor
  • Move, create, compare, sync, delete, rename files and folders
  • Skin options

File Manager Pro is available now from B-Eng online. It is priced at $19.99 (USD).

macOS New App Release – Rixtag 2.4

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Product Announcement – Independent development team, Rixstep of Stockholm, Sweden has released Rixtag 2.4, an important update to their macOS tag editor. The massive size of the Mac’s internal and external hard drives makes it tough to organize files and directories. Rixtag helps users rethink how they store and categorize files and directories through the use of descriptive tags, making it easier to search and find anything stored on a Mac hard drive.

Rixstep saw a need to rethink the way Mac users stores and categorize their files. It isn’t unusual to find a home directory with tens of thousands of files stored inside it. While users can certainly create sub-directories with descriptive names, such as “Movies,” “Photos,” “Music” and more, it isn’t enough.

“Most people have too many files. They’re desperate to store them in a way so they can find them later,” says John Cattelin, Rixstep Media Contact. “Users are relegated to using file names of an unwieldy and inordinate MAX_PATH length, folders and subfolders, and subfolders inside those subfolders, and even colors to organize files. There had to be a better way.”

Features:

  • Adds descriptive file names
  • Simply drag-and-drop to apply a tag to a file
  • A quick refresh shows all file tags
  • Click a file tag to display all related files

Rixtag is fast, and it’s easy to use. Simply fire up the app, and hit the “Refresh” icon in the Rixtag toolbar. The app will then scan all of the files in the Home directory. Users can also click the “Expression” button to limit their search to a particular regular expression (for example, “.jpg$” will find all JPG graphic files), or limit it to a certain subdirectory.

All file tags will be listed on the left, click any tag in the left pane, and every file that has been tagged with that tag will be displayed in the right pane. Double-click any file shown in the right pane to view the file. Information about any highlighted file can also be displayed by clicking the file and then clicking the handy “Info” button in the toolbar.

Adding an existing tag to a file is a breeze. Users can click on a file, click the “Tags” button in the toolbar and enter the tag to be applied to the file. Or, drag-and-drop can be used to apply a tag, by selecting the file or files in the right pane, and dragging and dropping them on the desired tag, in the left pane.

Replacing a file tag is also as simple as drag and drop. Hold down the Command key on the Mac’s keyboard while dropping the file on the desired tag, and the tag won’t be added to the current tags, but the new tag will instead replace the old tags.

“File names have never been descriptive enough. Google Desktop wasn’t the answer, and neither was Spotlight,” continues John. “Users needed something more, an app flexible enough to address their current and unique situation. Rixtag makes organizing and finding files on huge multi-terabyte drives easier than ever.”

Device Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.7.5 or higher
  • macOS Sierra 10.12 compatible
  • 64-bit processor
  • 275 KB

Rixtag 2.4 is part of the Xfile bundle along with over 20 other file management utilities, for only $59.00 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively through the Rixstep website. It is also available as part of a $99.00 ACP subscription.

Book Review of “War Shadows”

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Book Review – “War Shadows” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Jeffrey Wilson and Brian Andrews (http://www.andrews-wilson.com). Together they have published four novels. In addition Mr. Wilson has published one novel on his own, and Mr. Andrews two. This is the second novel in their “Tier One” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The novel is set in our contemporary world. The primary character is John Dempsey, who in his former life was a US Navy SEAL.

Dempsey, in his new life, is now a Tier One operator. Part of a very clandestine organization intended to do what it takes to keep America safe. He, and his team, are involved in stopping terrorists that are trying to infiltrate the US and then cause a distributed, but coordinated attack.

Dempsey and his team are on their trail, but always seem to be one step behind. It becomes a race to see if they will be able to stop the terrorists before they can carry out their plan to kill and wound as many as possible.

I enjoyed the just shy of 9 hours I spent reading this 400 page Thriller. I liked the plot and the characters. While I have read the prior book in the series, this one reads well on its own. The cover art is OK as it depicts part of the pursuit in tunnels. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

New York City Trip 2017 – Day 2

NYC2017 – On the second day of our visit to New York, we went again for a late but enjoyable lunch at Cafe Lalo. Afterwards we made our way over to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum complex. We spent a couple of hours wondering through the submarine and aircraft carrier on display.

When we left the Intrepid, we headed over to a near by bike shop so that my wife could pick up a New York bike jersey. The Toga Bike Shop was quite nice and she found a jersey to remember our trip.

We walked a lot this day. I racked up 18,126 steps according to my Apple Watch. Needless to say after all the walking and climbing on the ships, we were really tired by the end of the day.

USA, New York, New York – Toga Bike Shop

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My wife likes to pick up a bike jersey from the various places we visit. While in New York, we dropped by a few bike shops but only Toga Bike Shop (http://togabikes.com) had a selection of jerseys. Not only did they have jerseys, but they also had a nice selection of very good bikes and equipment.

Toga Bikes is located at 110 West End Ave, New York, NY. Per their website Toga is “New York’s oldest and largest bike shop. Toga Bikes has a wide selection of mountain, road, triathlon, and hybrid bicycles at all price levels, a tremendous assortment of the latest, high-tech accessories and the largest bicycle clothing department in New York City & Rockland County. TOGA is THE BIKE SHOP in New York City. TOGA also has a large triathlon-specific department, with accessories, wetsuits, and much more.

If you are in New York and are interested in Bikes, this would be one place I recommend that you visit.


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macOS New App Release – EyeSpy 2.0.1

EyeSpy-screenshot1bProduct Announcement – illumineX of Missoula, Montana has released EyeSpy 2.0.1 to the Mac App Store, a new spin on the classic toy in which cartoon eyes watch your mouse cursor as you work. EyeSpy includes free original cartoon characters developed in cooperation with professional artists as well as new characters available as In-App Purchase. Collections of new characters known as ArtPaX are also available. All characters can be easily shared with your friends via Messages, Twitter, Facebook and any sharing platform supported by macOS.

illumineX CEO Gary Longsine says, “EyeSpy is the result of applying decades of commercial software and enterprise system design experience to a free toy.”

The all new EyeSpy project began with a conversation about a curious problem and a crazy idea. The problem was that even after 15 years off the market, people still occasionally asked for an update to this fun bit of software. People missed the simple cartoon eyes watching their mouse cursor. But EyeSpy needed more than merely to be modernized for current versions of macOS. The EyeSpy codebase hadn’t been touched in 15 years. Merely making it build and run wasn’t likely to scratch the itch. The crazy idea was to apply a modern enterprise design process to an old free toy, and completely rebuild it from the ground, up.

illumineX began by setting a few goals for the project, similar to those a typical enterprise or government client might seek when refactoring an enterprise mobile app. Adding “cloud services” isn’t enough. It’s important to begin by re-thinking the app purpose and core requirements. illumineX set three top level goals for the EyeSpy project: Monetization, Gamification, and Technology refactoring.

* Monetization – Make it possible for the application to support its own continued development, and more importantly support periodic refresh of the artwork in cooperation with professional artists.

* Gamification – Make EyeSpy feel playful and fun, even though it doesn’t have an objective. illumineX wanted EyeSpy to be a pleasant distraction, like playing with a rubber band on a phone call.

* Technology Update – Build a foundation for EyeSpy for the next decade using modern tools including Swift, and modern API including SpriteKit and CoreAnimation.

The result of taking EyeSpy through the same design, marketing, and engineering re-think process that illumineX use to help their clients is the all new product delivered this week to the Mac App Store. It takes quite a bit of effort required to make something seem simple, even when the starting point is a simple toy.

illumineX introduced a variety of subtle features to make the simple toy feel playful and fun. (Try grabbing the cartoon character and throwing it off the edge of your screen.)

Using the same Agile development process they use for clients, illumineX designed, prototyped, reviewed in marketing focus groups, and refactored through multiple development iterations. As you can see in the EyeSpy app today this process was able to produce an In-App Purchase experience which seamlessly integrates finding and purchasing new characters for the app.

The Agile process was a key to successful development of the all new EyeSpy. illumineX CEO Gary Longsine said, “The final design of the In-App Purchase Store was very different and dramatically more effective than the originally specified design early in the project.”

The iterative design and marketing review process also revealed a fourth import goal: social media sharing. Sharing was the most requested feature from every focus group. illumineX showed early versions of the app to over 50 people and almost everyone asked the same question: How can I share the cartoons?Even though it wasn’t originally specified, sharing was added as a top level goal for the project on the basis of this feedback.

EyeSpy Features:

  • Easy to discover and download new Characters via secure download from In-App Store
  • Available ArtPaX include Barnyard Babies, Citron Spies, and Eye Scream
  • Cartoon sound effects and actions (try grabbing a character with the mouse and tossing it off the edge of the screen)
  • Share Characters via Twitter, Facebook, Messages, and any platform supported by macOS
  • Characters can be sized from Itty Bitty to Crazy Big
  • Easy selection of character via Character Settings window or Command-Click
  • Supports multiple monitors
  • Character can be placed anywhere on your Desktop simply by drag it to where you like

System Requirements:

  • macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or higher
  • 64-bit processor
  • 16.1 MB

EyeSpy 2.0.1 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Lifestyle category. After you download EyeSpy, simply double-click the EyeSpy Guy character to open the Character Settings panel, where you can select new characters, download additional free characters, and purchase characters as an In-App Purchase. illumineX is available to help your enterprise or government organization rethink, redesign, and refactor your enterprise mobile apps.

New York City Trip 2017 – Day 1

NYC 2017 – I am in New York City this week with my wife. We are here doing a little site seeing while a grand daughter in involved in dance classes she won a scholarship to at Steps on Broadway.

While she is in class we have spend some time exploring the city. This first day we stopped at Cafe Lalo for a late breakfast, and were very pleased. From there we set out to visit a few bookstores, as we commonly do when on vacation. We were able to visit the Strand, Rizzoli Bookstore, McNally Jackson Bookstore and the Union Square Barnes and Noble.

We rode the subway a lot in our excursion but I still managed to complete 17,259 steps according to my Apple Watch. Certainly New York is a city of walking and subway riding. We passed a few parking lots and the daily rates was up to $50 and the monthly rates were over $500. If I lived here it would be an easy decision to do without my own car.

USA, New York, New York – Union Square Barnes & Nobles

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I wouldn’t post about Barnes & Noble normally, but I thought that this was a unique location. This is their Union Square store (https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2675), located at 33 East 17th Street, New York, New York.

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We thought that this was a very interesting Barnes & Noble. It spreads over multiple floors and has one of the largest cafes I have seen in a Barnes & Noble. Located in the historic Century Building at 33 East 17th Street, this building was originally the headquarters of the Century Publishing Company in 1881. After many years of vacancy, the building was designated as a New York City landmark in 1993 and its facade was restored in 1995 to be a Barnes & Noble bookstore, it was later added to the National Register of Historic places in 1997. While this Union Square locale only measures in at 62,000 square feet (more than half the size of the 5th Avenue location), this noted store consists of four floors. [1]

While it may not have the same appeal as the independent book store, This is an interesting place to visit and browse the shelves or take a few minutes to enjoy their cafe.

References:

1 – The Five Most Interesting Barnes & Noble Stores in America


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USA, New York, New York – Rizzoli Bookstore

My wife and I visited the Rizzoli Bookstore (https://www.rizzolibookstore.com) recently. It is located at 1133 Broadway in New York, New York. As they claim in their website, this is an elegant book store. Per their website:

For over fifty years—twenty-nine in its previous 57th Street location—Rizzoli Bookstore has been widely considered one of the foremost independent booksellers in America specializing in illustrated books on architecture, interior design, fashion, photography, cookery, and the fine and applied arts, as well as literature, and foreign language books. Rizzoli Bookstore has been, and will continue to be a literary landmark in New York City, and a celebrated destination for important authors and book lovers from all over the world.

Established in New York in 1964 Rizzoli moved in 1985 to its 57th Street location—a six story townhouse exhibiting on its façade a sober classicism that belies the elegant interior within, where cast iron chandeliers, ornately decorated vaulting, and a luminous Diocletian window create a serene setting for book lovers amidst the rush of Midtown Manhattan.

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While this is a very nice book store, it does not have many titles that are part of our interest set. However if your interests lie in the list of topics above, this is certainly a bookstore you should visit while in New York.


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