Tag Archives: macOS

macOS New App Release – International Space Station 2

Product Announcements – Tension Software of Milano, Italy has released International Space Station 2 for macOS, which allows users to see the position of the the International Space Station over an interactive map of the world or an interactive tridimensional representation of the globe.

With a simple view users will be able to see if the International Space station will be visible (naked eye) from their local position in the next hours. Using the application (release 1) I did it many time and success is granted and also the ‘Wow effect’ from the one you show it in the sky. Many people has no idea the space station can be seen naked eye (if you know when to look and where)

With a simple click anyone can also see the live webcam stream coming from the International Space Station. Users will watch the astronauts activities with video and audio, all live.

Calculation of the position of the station is very accurate, the app uses the latest NASA code optimized for Mac to calculate it. Users don’t get an approximated position, they get the exact position, speed and altitude of the Station updated every second.

The route path is visualized over the map to evaluate if the station is coming near your position in the next hours (when meteorological and light condition are adequate you can see it without any instruments, just observing the sky naked-eye).

Time of day matters, you can’t see it during the day but only when you have dark sky and the station still get the sun light, so usually after sunset for around 3 hours and before dawn (for a period of 3 hours).

Every year during the summer I had the possibility to see it many times in a month and many nights you have 2 valid passages (distanced by the time it spend for a world circle with is around 90 minutes at 27 000 Km/h – 17 000 MPH)

You can zoom, move and resize the map as you like at any time and on the map you see exactly from where it’s coming and where to look to catch it After some time you will become expert to spot it in the sky as soon as it is on the horizon.

The application downloads at regular time, once per day when you startup it, from our server, the latest orbital parameters to calculate the orbit, so the calculation obtained for the position is always accurate and perfect because the app uses the most updated orbital parameters.

No user action required, the app does it all alone. Our own server provides always updated NASA data to your app when it requires it.

International Space Station is easy and fun to use, anyone can use it even if it uses sophisticated satellite orbit calculation with the same alghoritm used by pro orbital calculation software.

  • Perfect results as using pro orbital software but in an easy to use app
  • Offers 6 different types of map/3D globe on macOS 10.13 (5 on previous release, plain map not available till 10.12, and only 3 types on macOS 10.10)
  • Customizable latitude/longitude format
  • Measure units in Km and Km/h or NM and MPH
  • Zoomable interactive Map and 3DGlobe showing also night/day areas
  • ‘Keep Centered’ function
  • Circle area of visibility moving with the station* Autodetect of your position and circle area of visibility around your position
  • Includes a PDF User Guide

Plus it offers fast access via your web browser to various dedicated area:

  • Page Station at NASA
  • Nasa station blog
  • Web Cam stream on board of the station
  • Audio stream from the station
  • Facebook page of the station
  • Twitter NASA astronauts
  • Twitter ESA astronauts
  • YouTube presence
  • Flickr presence

Requires an internet connection for Apple Map visualization, data update once a day, web cam stream and web pages access. Position is calculated locally using the latest algorithm for orbit computation coded for macOS. We have also a version for the iPhone and the iPad with similar features. Search on the iOS App Store for ‘ISS Track 2’

What’s new in release 2.0:

  • Now uses native Apple MapKit
  • 6 different type of maps
  • Till 12 hours of station trajectory
  • User position visualization
  • Visibility circle also around the user
  • Improved algorithm
  • Various optimizations
  • Various Bug fixes

Device Requirements:

  • macOS
  • 13.4 MB

Pricing and Availability:
International Space Station 2 is just $6.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Education category.


macOS New app Release – SimpleHasp Plug-In 2.0

Product Announcements – 24U of Prague, Czech Republic has released 24U SimpleHasp Plug-In 2.0 for the FileMaker(R) 17 Platform. 24U SimpleHASP Plug-In allows FileMaker developers to secure their solutions with hardware keys, protecting their data and intellectual property in a simple yet powerful way. This plug-in uses Sentinel HL USB dongles which serve as strong encryption keys, secure data storage, and a copy-protected user and/or license identification.

24U SimpleHASP Plug-In 2.0 works on both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, making it fully compatible with all versions of FileMaker Pro from 14 to 17. What’s new in this version:

  • Added support for 64-bit FileMaker Pro and Pro Advanced
  • Custom-built copy of the plug-in for each customer
  • Added simple dongle management database
  • Updated to the current Sentinel technology

Recommended configuration:

  • Any Intel Mac, 2048 MB RAM, Mac OS X 10.13 High Sierra, FileMaker Pro 17 Advanced
  • Dual Core 1.6 GHz processor, 2048 MB RAM, Windows 7, FileMaker Pro 17 Advanced

Minimum configuration:

  • Any Intel Mac since 2008, 2048 MB RAM, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, FileMaker Pro 13.
  • 1 GHz processor, 2048 MB RAM, Windows 7, FileMaker Pro 13.


  • Set of HASP HL Keys
  • Installed HASP HL drivers distributed with customer’s keys or downloaded from HASP HL Downloads page

Pricing and Availability:
24U SimpleHasp Plug-In 2.0 is immediately available for download free of charge as a fully functional 14-days trial version, which can be activated after purchasing a license. Licenses for 24U SimpleHasp Plug-In start at $79 per user, $499 (USD) per server. Volume discounts are available for 5 or more users. Existing customers can upgrade to the new version at 30 % off the regular prices. The software can be purchased through the company website.

macOS New app Release – Output Factory Server 2.18


Product Announcements – Zevrix Solutions of Toronto (ON), Canada has released Output Factory Server 2.18, a feature update to company’s output automation tool for Adobe InDesign. Output Factory Server automates InDesign production workflow by processing files from watched hot folders. The software offloads printing and exporting from InDesign to a central system leaving operator workstations free from the output process.

The new version adds the ability to export every n pages of InDesign document as single PDF files (for example, every 2 pages, 3 pages etc.) The specified groups of pages can also be exported as spreads if the Spreads option is checked in the selected PDF export preset. This time saving feature was in high demand by InDesign users. Output Factory is now the only tool on the market that provides customers with multi-page sequential export to single PDF files. The update also addresses an issue in which the IDML file extension was not removed from the resulting output files

Output Factory Server is intended to run on a dedicated machine and support unlimited users on a network via watched hot folders. Users can create hot folders for different output targets such as hi-res PDF, large format printing, Flash files and so on. The app offers the following key features:

  • Output InDesign files automatically from hot folders
  • Supports print, PDF, PostScript, TIFF, EPUB and other formats
  • Output to multiple formats from a single hot folder
  • Automatic email notifications on errors and other events
  • Layer versioning
  • Variable output file names
  • Automatic preflighting
  • PDF security presets for different workflows

Pricing and Availability:
Output Factory Server can be purchased from Zevrix web site for $699.95 (USD), as well as from authorized resellers. Trial is also available for download. The upgrade to version 2 is $350 for the licensed users of Output Factory Server 1.x and BatchOutput Server. Output Factory Server requires macOS 10.7-10.13 and Adobe InDesign CS5-CC 2018.

More Info on iCloud – Are You Using It?

I came across the PDF file “iCloud Mastered” produced by MacLife Magazine. If you are not using iCloud with your Mac and iOS devices, I recommend reading through this to see what you are missing. Even if you are using iCloud, taking a few minutes to read the four page document may be worth your time.

I use iCloud to sync and share files between my Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone. I find it extremely useful, particularly when I am traveling away from home.

CLI – bzip2

CLI – If you have a file you want to compress, you have options as to how you will do it. The bzip2 command is one of the options that is open to you on a macOS system. Likewise, if you come across a previously compressed file with the .bz2 extension, you will want to use bzip2 to decompress it.

The description of bzip2 in the macOS man page is:

bzip2  compresses  files  using  the Burrows-Wheeler block sorting text compression algorithm, and Huffman coding. Compression is generally considerably better than   that achieved by more conventional LZ77/LZ78-based compressors, and approaches the performance of the PPM family of statistical compressors.

To learn a lot more about how to use bzip2, take a look at “Linux bzip2 Command Tutorial for Beginners (6 Examples)“. Yes, this is a Linux article, but the bzip2 command as implemented on macOS is fundamentally the same. Check the macOS man page for bzip2 for all of the available options.

See my other CLI and macOS articles


macOS New App Release – ThunderWiz

Product Announcements – Isle of the Kakapo of Munich, Germany has released ThunderWiz for macOS, an email signature randomizer for Thunderbird and other email clients. The app empowers anyone to use dynamic signatures in all macOS email clients supporting external signature files.

Simply batch import or manually enter signatures you would like to use one by one. The Batch Import feature supports a range of common plain text formats enabling you to import, for example, quotes from a wide range of sources readily available on the internet or similar texts you’d like to use in your signature.

Once you’re happy with the list of signatures to use in your emails either manually select the one you’d like to add to your next email or let the app randomly select a signature for you.

In your email client simply select the signature file written by the app and enjoy dynamic signatures in your emails changing periodically according to a schedule you choose.

Once configured the signature will change even if the app is not currently running or your Mac is rebooted until the randomizer feature is turned off again in the app’s settings. There’s no need to keep the app open for the signature randomizer to work.

(PLEASE NOTE: Apple Mail does not currently support external signature files)

System Requirements:

  • macOS
  • 4.2 MB

Pricing and Availability:
ThunderWiz is $3.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category.

macOS New app Release – AudFree Audio Capture


Product Announcements – As one of the top leaders in providing audio solutions, AudFree of Shenzhen, Guangdong has released AudFree Audio Capture for Mac to customers worldwide, aiming to help them easily recording all types of audios from any source on macOS.

No matter what kinds of music you are playing on Mac, including streaming music, online radios or local songs, games, movies playing via Safari, Chrome, iTunes, QT, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, AudFree Audio Capture will easily grab all the audio tracks while reserving the original sound quality with only a few clicks.

Thanks to its advanced recording core, AudFree Audio Capture is made a multi-track audio recording tool which can grab multiple audio tracks simultaneously in same or different formats. Besides, it’s able to intelligently detect the gaps between all individual songs while recording different tracks. In other words, you don’t need to worry about the whole recordings will mix together. You just need to start the recording and then leave all the tasks to the app itself.

In addition to that, AudFree Audio Capture also provides the options for users to flexibly trim and merge the recorded audio tracks. You can either split the large recording into small segments or mix multiple audio recordings into a whole track. And with a built-in ID3 tags editor, this smart Mac music recorder can also keep and fix the ID tags intelligently. You are also allowed to edit the missing tags, such as title, artist, album, year, genre, cover if you like.

Once recorded, AudFree Audio Capture enables users to save the audio records into popular formats, like MP3, WAV, AAC, FLAC, M4A, and M4B for diverse use on most media players, including Apple iPod, iPad, iPhone, Sony Walkman, iRiver, Creative Zen and so forth.

Other features of AudFree Audio Capture for Mac like customizing output audio quality, easy-to-use interface, professional music manager, make it outstanding from other competitive tools in the market.

Pricing and Availability:
Apart from Mac, AudFree Audio Recorder is also available for Windows OS. Currently it’s sold from $19.95 to $39.95 (USD), from single user license to family license on the website. Users can download the trial version of this software to test before buying.

macOS New App Release – AutoCrypt 2.3.1

Product Announcements – Tension Software of Milano, Italy has released AutoCrypt 2.3.1 for macOS. AutoCrypt is an encryption/decryption app with a document based approach. Using a document, AutoCrypt lets the user save in a document all the settings used to encrypt or decrypt collections of files using a powerful AES-256 algorithm

Using these documents, AutoCrypt can be used for encryption and decryption batch process of large quantity of files in a single click. With AutoCrypt, a single command is enough to encrypt hundred of files to a destination place. It can also work unattended launching it in the night via launch utilities such as Cronette.

Thanks to the powerful AES-256 algorithm used by AutoCrypt, all the encrypted files will be totally unreadable by anyone without the correct password. The obtained encrypted files can be transmitted or stored in unsafe places (as example internet servers) without any security problem.

All the setting used to encrypt the original files, are saved inside an AutoCrypt document that can encrypt and decrypt an unlimited group of files. In few words an AutoCrypt document is a collection of setting used to encrypt or decrypt a collection of files. Copying a document and giving it to another user, allow to exchange with that user encrypted files in a safe way over the internet without the need to even input the password used to encrypt files.

In case the files to encrypt or to decrypt are updated with frequencies, an AutoCrypt document, listing this files, provides a one click method to frequently encrypt them storing the updated files in a standard place, even using unattended operation. The user can also launch AutoCrypt in the night using a document with the ‘Autorun’ option turned on.

AutoCrypt works basing its actions on simplicity and is the ideal solution to be used as a batch mode encryptor and decryptor, but can also be used as a standard user attended tool. AutoCrypt uses the latest technology with asynchronous tasks to perform fast and fluid encryption and decryption. All the details of the job AutoCrypt has to perform is stored inside AutoCrypt documents (.AutoCrypt).

When AutoCrypt performs its job, it processes a list of files, one by one, reads each one, encrypts it and saves it in another location appending a .acrypt or .acrypx or .acrypz to the name. AutoCrypt can also automatize the reversed process, decrypting files to plain files and saving them in another place removing the .acrypt , .acripx, .acrypz at the end of the name.

AutoCrypt uses the latest Apple technology:


  • Can work as a desktop tool or as a batch utility
  • Save inside documents all the setting used to encrypt and decrypt group of files
  • Encrypt and save in a custom place with one click or even unattended
  • Can encrypt and decrypt list of files using the same document
  • Accept input via drag and drops for an immediate and easy input
  • Powerful features to manipulate list of files
  • Uses latest technology with asynchronous tasks to perform fast and fluid encryption and decryption
  • Can use also Blowfish decryption for previous compatibility
  • Provides an embedded PDF manual

Minimum Requirements:

  • macOS Version 10.10 or higher
  • macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • 3.6 MB

Pricing and Availability:
AutoCrypt 2.3.1 is just $5.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

macOS New app Release – gManipulator plug-in for FileMaker

Product announcements – Productive Computing, Inc. of San Marcos, California, a Platinum member of the FileMaker(R) Business Alliance, is proud to announce the release of their newest product, the gManipulator plug-in.

The gManipulator plug-in connects FileMaker to Google services, including Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks and can be deployed locally or as a server-side integration on Mac and Windows operating systems.

“We created gManipulator in response to customer requests for a plug-in that could communicate with Google Services. We’re really proud of the robustness and responsiveness of the gManipulator plug-in and pleased to add it to our suite of Mail and Calendar plug-ins for FileMaker.

Because every offering in Google services has a separate API, our plug-in team had to work with and integrate five different APIs into this one plug-in, and the result is fantastic.” – Marc Larochelle, Chief Executive Officer, Productive Computing, Inc.

The gManipulator plug-in connects FileMaker to Google services and gives a FileMaker solution the ability to:

  • Create, edit, and delete records in Google Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Mail
  • Draft, preview, and send plain-text or HTML formatted emails
  • Work with multiple types of Gmail folders – system, category, and custom labels
  • Manage multiple calendar types – Email, Holiday, Contact, and Shared
  • Push and pull events
  • Invite attendees to events
  • Make, update, and assign Google Tasks with reminders and notifications

The gManipulator plug-in is available starting at $120 per year for a single user (client side) and $1,000 per year for a server license. The server license comes with a free copy of the single user (client) plug-in to allow for development and authentication with Google. A server license allows for an unlimited number of connections to an unlimited number of Google accounts for a single organization.

For more information on the gManipulator plug-in and system requirements visit the gManipulator website or email the sales department.

At the end of July, Productive Computing will be releasing a full, professional training course for this plug-in available at Productive Computing University.

macOS New App Release – Product Builder 2.2.1


Product Announcements – Tension Software of Milano, Italy has released Product Builder 2.2.1 for macOS. Product Builder 2.2.1 helps developers create packages for app submission to the Mac App Store without using Xcode internal mechanism

Product Builder allows to create packages ready to be transmitted using the Application Loader (by Apple and included with the Developer tools) to the Mac App Store. Product Builder is an indispensable tool for any App Store developer not using Xcode (as example using Xamarin).

Allows users to correctly submit applications with a spaces inside the application name. Can optionally check for MASReceipt inside the app to avoid creating from an already authenticated app (a common error),
Can optionally add the app release number to the package (to avoid submit old packages in the submission phase). It makes the repetitive creation of packages a pleasure and avoid errors creating and submitting to the App Store.

After inserting the correct setup one time only, to create a package developers just need to:

  • Launch Product Builder and drag the application to submit from the finder to the Product Builder window.
  • Select source and destination (a sandbox requirement)
  • Done!


  • Creates via Drag and Drop a package with the application signed with your signature.
  • Handles correctly applications with spaces in the name, example: ‘Product Builder’
  • Put the created Package near the original app or in a preference selectable via preferences
  • Auto-creates a package without spaces in the name ready to be correctly submitted to the App Store
  • Optionally includes release string in the package name to avoid confusion on your Hard Disk between successive releases and during submission to the store
  • Correctly handles submission of sandboxed app with signed entitlements inside
  • Check if you are building using an already MAS authenticated app to avoid this kind of mistake
  • Full diagnostic of the package creation in a log area
  • PDF User Guide
  • Uses only the installer certificate to sign the installer
  • Improved main window layout

System Requirements:

  • macOS Version 10.10
  • 1.4 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Product Builder 2.2.1 is just $4.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Developer Tools category.