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Still_sparkling commented on 20 Nov 2009
Is there an option to go back to the previous version's 2 column view? I've been using the v3 beta for a few months, but I just can't get used to the new interface. It's too busy for my tastes and actually slows me down.

I find myself having to stop and read more in v3, rather than quickly scanning the info to get what I need. Also, when editing info in the Logins field, I prefer v2's method of keeping everything in one column under the website/username, as it was faster and easier to just tab through when I needed to change something. V3 makes you mouse over to the third column, click edit, and then tab through; it disrupts the flow.

I'd also like to see an option to turn off Tags, Notes, and Attachments in the Logins section since it's not something that I use. I love it in the Software section, but not in Logins.

Obviously a lot of time and development went into updating the interface and I appreciate the effort, but it's not my cup of tea. It's just too visually busy.

Overall though, v3 is a marked improvement and well-worth the upgrade price. Customer service at Agile continues to be amazing and I'm extremely happy with the app.
[Version 3.0.0]


Still_sparkling reviewed on 18 Oct 2009
Adium is perhaps the single most famous, high-quality free app that makes Windows users gnash their teeth in envy. The praise it receives is richly deserved: it's been a stable, full-featured workhorse on most Mac users systems for years. Yes, video chat would be awesome, but from the steady pace of updates Adium receives, I know if this were possible, we'd already have it. It's still the best chat client on the Mac platform, imo.

Keeping that in mind, I'd like to offer a bit of constructive criticism:

1. The Adium homepage really needs an update. There's nothing "wrong" with it per se, but, considering the amount of traffic it must receive, it could use a refresh to make it more streamlined and user-friendly. A bit of color wouldn't hurt either.

2. The Wiki and videos and are nice, but most news users don't want to watch videos or plow through a wiki after installing a new app, they want to start using it right away. This is especially important for visual apps like Adium. A QuickStart guide with plenty of screenshots would be a helpful addition to the homepage.

3. The app itself could use a bit of a touch-up from a user interface standpoint. One of the most common features of any chat client is the ability to make the window(s) stay on top of other apps. In Adium, this is hidden under Preferences-->Advanced-->Messages-->Window Handling (uncheck "Hide While Adium Is In The Background). There are further, separate options for the Contacts list and the Status Window. Clunky and confusing. A simple solution is to use View or Window "Stay on Top".

4. The Xtras: one of the best things about Adium! The Xtras should be able to be browsed and installed from within the app, much like Unsanity's Shapeshifter. Those bozos from Unsanity may have cashed out and left their users in the lurch, but they did have an elegant way of browsing through and installing themes. I think that method is superior to the one Adium uses, where you have to click each individual item on the Xtras page to look at and/or install something. Failing that, add some javascript to the Xtras page so the user can hover over an image without clicking, to get a zoomed view of the contents.

Okay, I'm off to donate again. I really do love Adium and appreciate all the hard work that goes into it. Thanks, folks!
[Version 1.3.7]

Still_sparkling commented on 10 Oct 2009
I disagree, BillJacobs. The older comments are important to show the historical praise and complaints of the apps, as well as the developer's attitude toward responding to any bugs. People should have this info to help decide if they want to buy an app.

If someone is too dumb to look at the date and filter comments accordingly, that's their problem.
[Version 2.1]


Still_sparkling reviewed on 29 Sep 2009
Nice smooth update this time; no delays caused by Micromat's servers.

And a very timely update indeed because one of my internal drives decided to cr@p the bed this morning. TechTool Pro wasn't able to rebuild the drive (neither could DiskWarrior), but it at least warned me before the drive totally failed and I was able to rescue all of my files. The files included my iTunes library, which, even though I have a backup, would have been a pain to restore.

Thanks TechTool Pro (and MacUpdate for offering TTP in the bundle)!
[Version 5.0.6]


Still_Sparkling reviewed on 04 Sep 2009
Doesn't work for me. Crashed immediately after install, "quit unexpectedly", hitting relaunch had no effect. So I followed the instructions to manually place it in my iTunes script library, same result: crash. Error code given: 10810.

Oh, well. Maybe you'll have better luck.
[Version 1.02]


Still_Sparkling reviewed on 03 Sep 2009
So I've gone back to Apple Mail and Entourage to try and get used to them again since Postbox will start charging for this app soon. I'm torn.

One thing that Postbox does better than both Entourage and Apple Mail is Junk Mail handling (at least that's been my experience). It seems to have a more intelligent filter. Often times I'll email a web link to myself so I can read it later when I have more time; Entourage and Mail constantly send these emails from myself/to myself straight to Junk Mail. Even though the mail is from my own account, and no matter how many times I check "allow messages from this sender", they both Junk it. Postbox delivers the mail correctly every time.

Another feature that Postbox has that the others don't is excellent editing. Threaded conversations are well laid out and it's easy to insert additional text into any portion of the email and re-send it, or save it and file it. The Searching capabilities of Postbox are also stellar and far outshine its competitors.

However, one thing I really like about Apple Mail (that I keep hoping Postbox will emulate) is how it handles misspelled words. Sometimes your email program will think a word is misspelled because it's unusual, or a person's name, or not in the dictionary; YOU know the word is correct, but most mail apps will insist on stopping at the "misspelled" word until you either add it to the dictionary or click ignore. Apple's Mail will allow you to double click "send" and doesn't force you to interact with the spellcheck dialog box at all; it just assumes you know how to spell and sends it. It's very fluid and saves time. Every other email app that I've tried, including Postbox, botches this simple act by forcing you to deal with the spell check dialog box. Why?

I'm knocking it down a star because it still has the bug of bolding your email account name (on the sidebar) to signify new messages have arrived, but when you click on the account, no new messages are there. The message(s) will show after you close and restart the app. Annoying.
[Version 1.0b16]


Still_Sparkling reviewed on 02 Sep 2009
Concentrate has a clean and simple UI, but there are a few problems that keep it from reaching its true potential.

-Setting up blocked apps and websites can be a chore because you can only pick one app/site at a time. When choosing websites to block, you must manually enter the names of each site from memory(!), one at a time, rather than multi-selecting a group from your bookmarks. A program such as this really should have a streamlined selection process; as of this version, Concentrate does not.

-The same annoyance is true of blocking unwanted apps: you must add them one at a time from a dropdown list and every time you finish one, the window closes and you must start over again. The window is also annoyingly small (so you have to scroll to see all of your installed apps); you can resize it, but it doesn't remember the larger size, so why bother? A better solution would be to have an open window showing all installed apps and letting the user put a check mark by the apps s/he would like to have open.

- A default group containing frequently used apps like TextEdit, Dictionary, and the user's default music playing app would be nice to have setup immediately after install. You can make such a group yourself, name it "Default" or whatever, and duplicate it repeatedly from within the app, but it's a tedious process due to the abovementioned annoyances.

-There should be an option to block all websites completely instead of just individually. Such an option would come in handy when you want to work with files on the network, but also want to prevent the distractions of browsing online.

-If you run Little Snitch, there will be interruptions every time Concentrate asks permission to access the network. This is especially irritating if you have apps that insist on phoning home to check for updates every time you open them, like the satanic Adobe updater.

-The desktop is not blocked out; Writeroom and Think perform this function automatically.

-When the timer finishes, an eye-searing white screen drops down to inform you that you are done. There is no way to change the color of this white background window, so the interruption is abrupt and unpleasant.

-GUI is too small for users running high resolutions on large monitors. Non-adjustable font sizes.

-Too expensive, especially when apps like Think and J-Dark are free.

Despite all, I think Concentrate has real potential, especially if it fixes the problems I mentioned above. One area where it could be useful is as a program that forces you to take breaks (by locking down the entire computer for a few minutes), or as an app that keeps you on task when you need to do a single activity, like exercise. Concentrate could play your pre-loaded dvd and prevent you from doing anything else until your 30 minutes of working out is complete.

For multi-task activities though, I prefer Think; it's more elegant and seems to flow more smoothly than Concentrate when switching between apps. However, I do really like the timer implementation in Concentrate, so I'll be keeping an eye on it to see how it develops (and if the price drops).
[Version 1.0.2]

1 Reply


Still_sparkling replied on 14 Dec 2009
Hi, David.

You can find Think and JDarkroom here on MacUpdate (although J-Dark is more of a doc writing app like WriteRoom):

There are also others apps in this category like Isolator, Self Control, Freedom, and Spirited Away:

Still_Sparkling reviewed on 20 Aug 2009
I don't get all the hate.

Do you complainers use just one app to process your camera's RAW files? Or just one app to watch movies on your computer? How about writing? I sure don't. I have at least 3 apps for each of those categories because some work better than others depending on the task at hand. So why do you expect Transmission to be any different? It can't be all things to all people. Like any application it has its strengths and weaknesses.

In my opinion, it's the fastest, the most reliable, and has the most logical interface of all the Mac-based bittorent clients. Every once in a while, there's a bad update and I'll have to go back a version, but for the most part, Transmission performs like a champ. Every once in a while I might have to use another client like Vuze (formerly Azureus), but I always come running back to Transmission. Vuze is ugly, bloated, and slow by comparison, but I keep it around for the same reason I keep an extra RAW processor installed: you never know. Sometimes the spare app will come in handy.
[Version 1.74b1]


Still_Sparkling reviewed on 18 Aug 2009
Of all the available email apps on the Mac platform, Postbox, while still technically a beta product, stands head and shoulders above the rest. From its clean, well laid out interface to its innovative tabbed handling of messages, its quite obvious a lot of thought and care went into Postbox's development.

I've been using it since spring of this year and, other than the tiny fixed font size of the GUI, can find very little to criticize. Once you get it up and running with all of your accounts configured, it is a marvel to behold. Fast, stable, and polished. Postbox seems as if it incorporated every awesome feature of other email programs and added a few new twists of its own to make the Ultimate Email App.

Power users who spend a lot of time in their email program will love this app. Me? I'm on the fence. While I do have multiple email accounts, I don't consider myself a power user. I appreciate Postbox's superior organizational capabilites, but when I'm handling my email, I want to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Postbox allows me to do this, but then again, so does Apple's Mail, GyazMail, Entourage, Thunderbird and several of the other apps I've used over the years. Postbox does it better, of course, but is that worth the $40.00 it will cost me for a single user license when it comes out of beta? In my case, the answer is “no”, but if you haven't tried Postbox yet, you really should and decide for yourself. Right now while it's free, it can't be beat.
[Version 1.0b15]


Still_Sparkling reviewed on 18 Aug 2009
Daisy Disk really has no peer in drive visualization, so you can pretty much ignore the suggestions for similar apps. The gorgeous UI, speed, and stability make it a pleasure to use. Add to that the stellar customer support from the developers and you have a real winner.

Yes there are other apps that can do the same thing, but DaisyDisk's method of color-coding each area of your drive is so fluid and intuitive, you won't want to use anything else. It makes getting rid of space hogging apps and files a breeze.

The are two things I don't like:

1. The price. I think it should be at least $5.00 cheaper.
2. The fact that it isn't built into Leopard automatically. Come on, Apple -- add this puppy to Snow Leopard!
[Version 1.3.5]

Still_Sparkling had trouble on 03 Aug 2009
After months of flawless performance, PandoraJam is giving me problems.

1. Does not auto load my user account and stations unless I specifically open via my browser (Firefox or Safari) and sign into the website first. I then have to close the browser and re-open PJ. If I don't login via the browser first, PJ stays in the "new user" state and doesn't respond to attempts to login from within the program. Very annoying!

2. Song and artist info are garbled together in the “Song” field in iTunes; this makes it necessary to manually edit each recorded item and separately download cover art too. Ugh!

3. Sometime iTunes will not auto open even if the songs from PJ are set to auto record.

4. App does not respond to clicks on the menu (i.e. thumbs up, thumbs down, skip song, etc.).

5. Tons of errors in Console (but that's nothing new; previously I just ignored them because the app worked fine). Ex. 8/3/09 2:49:52 PM PandoraJam[5113] *** -[WebHTMLView sendNullEvent]: unrecognized selector sent to instance 0xd849db0 or 8/3/09 3:01:09 PM [0x0-0x24d24d].com.bitcartel.pandorajam[5248] AtomicParsley: option `--genre' requires an argument.

All of these things used to work properly prior to this version. I do not have a PandoraOne account and wonder if these bugs are due to the implementation of new features for PandoraOne users.

I wish I'd kept my previous version. Does anyone know where to download the older, more stable versions?
[Version 1.3b256]

Still_Sparkling had trouble on 23 Jun 2009
Anyone know what the deal is when the Parallels drive refuses to show up under the Startup Disk? I installed Parallels 4.0.3844 on a spare internal drive running Leopard in my MacPro and everything was fine. Windows 7 RC1 installed also without a hitch. A few hours later, I rebooted with my main drive as the startup disk and the Parallels drive was nowhere to be found -- just an icon with a question mark on it that says Network Startup.

The next day, I reformatted the Parallels drive and reinstalled Leopard on it, then reinstalled Parallels, then reinstalled Win 7. After playing around for a few hours to make sure everything was working, I rebooted back to my main HD and again, the Parallels drive disappeared. Double U Tee Eff?! This suuux.

Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.
[Version 4.0.3844]

1 Reply


Still_Sparkling replied on 08 Aug 2009
Thank you, Misha - that makes perfect sense! I have multiple drives on my MacPro and have always installed different operating systems on separate drives, hence my confusion. :P
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