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Eff commented on 03 Feb 2013
The developer has made Ecoute 3 available for free. Directly from the horse's errrr, developer's mouth: "Ecoute 3 for OS X becomes free" (http://www.pixiapps.com/blog/?p=158).

Judging from this blog post they're already working on Ecoute 4, which will be available for a considerably lower price.

Here's to hope!
[Version 3.0.7]


Eff reviewed on 14 Oct 2012
After five years and precisely eight days of making excuses for Panic ("but it's so pretty, and easy to use *when* it works"), I've finally come to the conclusion that enough is enough, and therefore high time to jump ship.

"Intelligent downloads" (par support) was always somewhat sketchy, never reliable, the implementation of NZB search engines only half-hearted, never thoroughly done, and downloading large amounts of newsgroup headers is as slow in 2012 as it was in 2007. The straw that finally broke the proverbial camel's back however, was the already mentioned issue of Unison randomly pausing downloads for no apparent reason - what the heck good is a Usenet client with half of its advertised features ("read, look, listen, and download" according to panic.com) broken?

Thanks to MU's recent offering of NZBVortex I am now running a Usenet client that does exactly what it promises - download binaries without making a fuss.

NZBVortex's UI may be a bit of a mongrel here and there, but a) it actually does what it promises, and b) beneath the pretty surface Unison's always had (and still does have) some truly ugly corners as well.

So for now at least it's "Buh-bye Unison", and "Hello NZBVortex".
[Version 2.1.9]

Eff rated on 11 Feb 2012
[Version 6.0]


Eff reviewed on 11 Feb 2012
I've tested previous versions of CDFinder over the years, and while the software was always quite capable, I never could get myself to buy it - the interface was just too ugly to cope with.

Now with its new name though, the UI has made quite some progress (not 100% there, but close), and I have finally taken the plunge and purchased the app.

Couple more bugs to work out, little polishing needed interface-wise, but it is definitely on the right track!
[Version 6.0]


Eff reviewed on 02 Dec 2011
Still extremely unstable when visiting many sites (e.g., pcworld.com, perezhilton.com, etc.). With AdBlock enabled the "Safari Web Content" process will hog every last CPU cycle until Safari becomes (nearly) unresponsive - with AdBlock disabled these sites work fine and CPU usage never exceeds 15% on the oldest test machine (see below).

I have replicated this behavior on a 2008 black Macbook, a 2010 Mac Pro (with 16 GB of RAM!) and a 2011 MacBook Air - all running OS X 10.7.2 and the latest versions of Safari (5.1.2 (7534.52.7)) and AdBlock (2.4.33).

The Google Chrome version of this extension works quite well, but this Safari version is close to useless.
[Version 2.4.33]

1 Reply


Eff replied on 03 Dec 2011
Cowicide, yes it happened in 5.1.1 as well, but I've been able to identify the culprit (see below).

Here's a link to a screenshot, no addtl. extensions, no custom filters, etc.: http://bit.ly/u8HG7Q.

Robotank, thanks much for the tip with troubleshooting filter lists - that's the one I hadn't tried yet. I have been able to track the issue down to a single filter list, but the problem must either lie with Safari or the Safari-specific version of AdBlock, NOT the filter list itself.

On all my machines and in all Webkit browsers (Safari, Chrome) I have the same subscriptions - "AdBlock custom filters", "EasyList", "additional German filters", "EasyPrivacy" and "https://adversity.googlecode.com/hg/Antisocial.txt".

When I disable the Antisocial filter list and restart Safari, CPU utilization of "Safari Web Content" returns to normal. In Chrome it makes no difference whether or not Antisocial is enabled, CPU utilization is always normal.

As mentioned, it's either a bug in Safari or the Safari version of the extension. And while not entirely satisfactory disabling Antisocial is at least a workable solution.

Thanks for the help and ideas, everybody!

Eff reviewed on 16 Sep 2011
I love the idea of being able to manage cookies, I love(d) SafariCookies and would have - had it gone commercial - gladly paid for it.

But what I don't understand is the recent move of every other developer to add their product to my Mac's startup/login items. While for some software this is essential (i.e., Little Snitch), I really don't need access to a cookie manager when I am not using a browser.

IMO – great idea, deeply flawed implementation.
[Version 2.1]

1 Reply


Eff replied on 17 Sep 2011

Understood. But the app also doesn't do anything until it runs (either after a browser session or all the time as a login item).

That was/is the beauty of SafariCookie – it does its job automatically when it's needed (while a browser is running), and quits along with the browser when the user is done.

The last thing I personally need is for yet another app to create another set of tasks (managing cookies) that can be taken care of automatically and without me spending any time on it.

Once there's a cookie management app that works along the lines of 1Password – separate plugins for major browsers, an app I *can* but don't *have* to use – I'll be ready to put down similar amounts of money for such a product ($30-40)

And to avoid misunderstandings, I am not saying Cookie is useless. It's just that for my personal usage patterns, it creates more problems than it solves.

Eff reviewed on 01 Aug 2011
I love 1Password, I've used for ages and it's long since become an indispensable part of my list of "must-have" apps. I've purchased it for my Mac, twice for the iPhone and a fourth time for my iPad.

This is a wonderful app with a rewritten browser extension that, in its current state, is damn near unusable.

This "new" browser extension is something the developers should never have unleashed upon its users – at least not in its current state. I don't care about blog posts with lofty promises and I don't care about "new" features that are supposed to alleviate the fact that this extension has fewer *important* features than its predecessor.

I hate how a once superbly helpful, elegant and unobtrusive utility now obstructs my view of a good part of the web page I'm looking at with useless empty list space and pointlessly huge icons, I hate how you can't close that darn notification bar by use of the escape key, I hate how it keeps pestering me to unlock 1Password to save logins I've already had saved for years, and I hate how it can no longer fill in http-auth sheets.

All things that used to work perfectly fine and are now broken and/or gone entirely. But hey, at least I've got keyboard shortcuts and a pseudo-iOS interface now.

A utility that looks like it is beginning to take itself way too seriously (the browser extension, that is).
[Version 3.7.0]

1 Reply


Eff replied on 01 Aug 2011
Where would I get 3.7.1.BETA-2?

I am using the extension (3.7b7) you guys shipped with 1Password 3.7.0. I have automatic updates enabled for my browser extensions and am not getting any newer version past that.

I've had 1Password 3.7.0 installed since the day it was released, but never saw the browser extension's new UI until this morning. It seems there's something not working properly with 1Password's extension updates.

And while the waste of space in the extension's UI has been reduced somewhat, the remainder of issues mentioned in my first post still apply. Still can't escape out of that dreadful gray notification bar, this behavior is so obnoxious that I have disabled the browser extension for the time being.

Eff rated on 25 Mar 2011
[Version 1.4.5]


Eff reviewed on 12 Jan 2011
Pixelmator's recent move to Apple's App Store had me realize that these are not the kind of developers I wish to deal with.

Just for the sake of "being there", they ask me to pay a "reduced price" (= hidden upgrade fee with no value to the user).

And what do users get in return? The promise that they'll receive version 2.0 free of charge - no time table as to when that might be released, no list of features that would tell me whether or not I would even have upgraded to 2.0, nothing.

Nothing but a bunch of PR-hooey and a luke-warm promise of a free upgrade. The only thing that astounds me more than the cheek of the Pixelmator team is the fact that there really are users out there who are gullible enough to fall for these opaque and semi-professional business tactics.

Fear not though, I've made quite sure that everyone I know who owns a Pixelmator license is aware of this farce, and that at least will be a handful of folks who are going to spend their upgrade-$$$ elsewhere.

Even though it's like chosing between Leprosy and Cholera, it's back to Photoshop full-time for me.
[Version 1.6.4]

1 Reply


Eff replied on 12 Jan 2011
@Welded: Normally I would concur, but the behavior put on display by the Pixelmator team is part of the overall experience of being a PM user, and therefore it not only has a big influence on the often touted (and abused) user experience, it is also so important that potential customers should know about it. If ony because similar, future stunts pulled by the PM team will affect them directly.

While it may not fit 100% into the MacUpdate rating system, the 1/2 star is actually too generous a rating for this product; it deserves zero.

@Marek: You are absolutely correct; I had been supporting PM with my money since the very early days despite the fact that it has never been able to even play a small part in my work flow (I'm an interactive designer) – that's how badly I wanted there to be a viable alternative to Photoshop.

But yes, while it may be perfectly adequate for hobbyists, PM has never (not yet??) managed to outgrow the status of a pretty toy with an extremely limited potential for professional use.
Eff commented on 19 Oct 2010

By default, Mac OS X's firewall is a) turned off, and b) even if you do turn it on, it only monitors incoming connections. I suggest you look into (no pun intended :o) a firewall that monitors outgoing connections as well, there are several products (Little Snitch, NetBarrier, Glow Worm) that will happily do this for you.

Personally, I prefer Little Snitch, it is one of the first things I install on every new computer. The training period (*) can be a bit annoying but after that it's a great little app that quietly does its job, highly recommended.

(* - Once you installed it, LS monitors the launch of each and every app, either by you and/or Mac OS X, and asks you whether or not you want to allow it to connect to the internet. For some built-in apps like Safari and Mail it's got predefined rules, but for most others you have to specify them yourself. Once you've defined a permanent rule LS will follow your instructions and leave you alone)

1 Reply


Eff replied on 19 Oct 2010
Crap, that was meant as a reply below LOOKIN2IT's post, apologies for that. Hey MU, please consider a "edit/remove comment" function!! :o)
Eff had trouble on 13 Sep 2006
As much as I love UNO (and a big fat thank you for keeping it free!!), it's a bit of a shame that BBEdit windows (BBEdit 8.5 w/UNO 1.3.1, prior versions show the same problem though) are quite the visual mess when the "show line numbers" preference is turned on (Preferences dialod itself is a bit messy, too).

I somehow suspect that BBEdit itself is (at least partially) the culprit here but it'd make UNO perfect if there was a workaround for this.
[Version 1.3.1]

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