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Lars Olsson's Posts
Average Rating from Lars:
on 08 Feb 2014
DO NOT BUY THIS NOW (1/2014 ONWARDS) UNTIL YOU SEE AN UPDATED VERSION HERE AT MACUPDATE.
Right now, the current version stands at 5.3, which SD was update to on January 24, 2012! That's nearly two YEARS ago as of this writing. Yes, there are some people who say it works for them in Mavericks or ML - and others who say it doesn't. My question for you, prospective buyer, is: do you want to shell out $25 for a "brand-new" piece of software that in reality hasn't been update in two years?
I loved SD for years; it was the most flexible (and prettiest) downloader around. But now the pretty interface just looks like a nice polish job on a three-week-old apple: shiny...but way past its prime. The Safari plugin doesn't work correctly anymore, there's probably at least one memory leak, and perhaps problems we're not even aware of - but which caused the developer, Yazsoft, to issue (in a footnote on their website) the disclaimer that SD does not work in ML or higher.
Skip this one, folks, unless and until Yazsoft decides to get off the dime and update their product.
on 30 Aug 2011
Fast. Powerful. More flexible (search-wise) than anything I've seen since the days when Mailsmith actually mattered.
Add tagging capabilities and GPG support, and you'll have me 100% (not to mention that fifth star) for the foreseeable future.
on 11 Jan 2010
The new update is brilliant!
The folks at RogueAmoeba know their stuff when it comes to audio, and the initial versions of RadioShift had only MP3 streams, because there were too many problems with other formats (Real, etc.) Rather than include access to streams that would be problematic, RadioShift was kept to what was known to work well.
I don't know enough to say whether support for native players (as opposed to web-apps, etc.) improved in other formats, or whether RogueAmoeba was simply able to figure out a way to make other stream formats as reliable as mp3 had been previously, but whatever the case is, the new update makes Radioshift not only the most solid and reliable Internet radio player available, but also now the most comprehensive (that I'm aware of). Streams in Real and Windows formats are included - meaning I can now get C-SPAN radio right in Radioshift. They even say they support web-based streams (can't vouch for this, as I haven't tried it yet)!
If you've got a solid broadband connection and a yen for music from everywhere, Radioshift is now THE go-to application.
on 29 Oct 2009
It's too bad for the folks at Conceited Software that Fever (the self-hosted RSS-server/reader solution upon which Chill Pill is based) cannot be test-flown at all. You have to pony up the $30 that Fever's developer, Shaun Inman, requires before you can even LOOK at Fever - other than screen-shots - let alone fiddle with its configuration to see whether it's for you. And since Chill Pill works through Fever, that $30 barrier applies to it, as well.
And that's a shame. Because I completely understand the previous commenter's reluctance to fork out $30 without even a trial period or money-back guarantee. However, as someone who's already done so, let me offer a few thoughts on Chill Pill.
Chill Pill is an unqualified plus for Fever because it's a desktop version of what is essentially an online experience. The advantage to desktop readers, whether they're NewsFire or NetNewsReader or any other, is that they can be used in place of Safari as the default news reader application. Selecting a desktop reader as your default newsreader allows you to simply click on RSS (or Atom, etc.) links, and have them open up right in your preferred app. Fluid instances can't really do this well.I used to run Google Reader as a Fluid instance, but it never really worked right when I listed "Google Reader" as my default RSS reader in OS X. And, as anyone who's ever had tried clicking on RSS links in Safari - if Google reader is your preferred RSS reader - it doesn't work so well.
But Chill Pill solves this problem with aplomb. And, it also allows you to do a number of nifty things with Fever that you just can't do in a standard browser. So, thumbs up for that! I don't know how the folks at Conceited Software made this free, I'm just glad they made it, period - and the "free" part is merely icing on the cake. Chill Pill makes Fever behave; it looks gorgeous, functions well, and provides desktop-app functionality with online-app convenience.
on 01 Sep 2009
I picked up this application in December of '07 in the MacUpdate bundle at that time, and honestly, I couldn't even tell you what other software was part of that bundle. I'm sure I probably still use some of it, but the one which has stood out over time since then has been ForkLift.
Put simply, it ROCKS. It has very stable - and simple-to-understand connection operations for all protocols, but the truly killer feature is the ability to live-edit remote documents in any editor of your choice. This one feature is SO well-executed that it's worth the entire price of that app just for that alone. It looks, feels and acts like a Mac app; the folks at Binary Nights know when to lay off with tossing every feature under the sun into the mix, creating bloatware. This is quick, responsive, error-free (at least from my use of it; haven't tried yet under Snow Leopard - but hey, it's only been five days!), and best of all, reliable. Just get it.
on 04 Jan 2009
Works as advertised - very quick and efficient; a simple and elegant solution to a persistent problem of how to send large files.
If I had one suggestion/complaint (which is the only thing that keeps FileChute from 5 stars in my book) it would be to allow the option of digest authentication for WebDAV servers. I don't have a MobileMe account, but I DO control my own webserver, and it took me quite a while to figure out that was the problem - my DAV file had been previously set up for digest authentication, not basic authentication. Call me paranoid, but I've always shied away from basic auth, as it sends passwords in cleartext; digest sends it encrypted.
Offer digest as an option, it's a 5-star app.
on 22 Nov 2007
I'll start up-front by saying that I am not now, nor have I ever been, a professional cook.
That said, I DO love to cook, and as my wife and I age, it's increasingly important to keep track of what we eat, too, which is not always as easy as just remembering "oh yeah, a 'serving' of pasta primavera." What IS that serving? How many calories, how much fat, carbs, etc? Many cookbooks or online recipes will give you nutrition information these days, but what about your aunt Phyllis' recipe for pancakes that you've loved since you were a kid, and you still have on a 3x5 card in the kitchen in her handwriting?
Well, with TRM, worry no more: if you are willing to take the time, there is an incredibly useful feature which allows you to use a searchable database of food nutrition values and find out the total nutritional value per serving (and you get to determine "serving" size) of every recipe you possess. If you are on some oddball diet that makes you count every last calorie you take in, you can do that with TRM, while STILL using your OWN recipes!
But that's only ONE of the multitude of great features in TRM. I know that, short of day-planner software, cooking software is probably the most individual and personal thing you do on your computer. Every person likes his/her recipe software laid out a little differently, with different features. So this may not be for everyone...but after having tried some of the others, I have to say it's hard to imagine those for whom this app doesn't "feel right" being a very LARGE crowd. Simply put, TRM has been done VERY well. You can group your recipes into "meals" - and then export the ingredient lists to a shopping list with one click. You can also mark some of the items (such as, say, two tablespoons of olive oil for sauteeing) as "purchased," meaning they're staples you already have around the house and don't need to buy every time you do that particular recipe. Conversely, you can add non-recipe items to the shopping list as "pantry" items - to re-stock things you've run out of, or new ingredients.
And, of course, you can make new recipes. Not that you'd need to for a while, because TRM comes stocked with over 700 recipes (most of them meat-based, but that's because they're geared toward dinners, as opposed to breakfasts, lunches or snacks). The pre-loaded recipes (though I've by no means tried them all) seem to be pretty high-quality, too. There are tabs in each recipe for a photo of the food (not critical, but nice to have, and not difficult if the recipe you're inputting comes from a website which already has a shot of the dish - just drag and drop), ingredients, variations, instructions, nutrition information, pretty much anything you could want regarding a given recipe.
For the truly obsessive, there's even a way to lay out the floorplan (no kidding!) of your favorite food stores, so that you can avoid wasting time going from produce to meats to dairy to frozen goods and back again. Like I said, that particular level of detail is a bit much for me personally....but it's nice to know it's there if I ever DO decide I want it.
Yet despite its astonishing depth of features, because of tabbing, it doesn't feel bloated or unwieldy - at least not to me. Like I said, YOUR mileage may vary....but like I also said, this app is good enough that at the very least, it should be on your short list if you're auditioning recipe software, and I'm betting many people will find it an absolute joy, as I do.
on 20 Jul 2007
I've used most of the main email clients for the Mac over the past four or five years. Every now and again, something will wind up not satisfying me (none of them are PERFECT, after all - at least not perfect for ME - and if they were, then they almost certainly wouldn't be perfect for someone else), and I'll switch to another client. Usually, I'll be pleasantly surprised to remember some of the good things about that "new" client that I'd forgotten. It's a bit like starting to date an old girlfriend again - you're reminded of all the great things about her.
But it isn't until a while in (usually just AFTER you've given her the keys to your apartment again) that you start remembering the not-so-good things, the things that made you want to break up in the first place. I've had this sort of serially monogamous relationship with various email clients. But I have to say that over time, the one with the fewest glaring flaws turns out to be Mailsmith.
A lot of people make a big fuss over Mailsmith's lack of IMAP support and a few other perceived failings. I look at it the other way: their press release says that they tried to properly implement IMAP, and wound up giving it up because they couldn't make it work to THEIR standards. They don't go into detail, but it's quite clear that they feel either IMAP is less secure inherently, or the idea of being more or less permanently connected to various IMAP servers poses its own potential security risk. Either way, the tone is clear: they're not adopting it because IMAP isn't up to THEIR standards.
Will that drive off some potential customers? Clearly, it already has. Does it make the bigwigs or the developers at BareBones Arrogant Bastards? Yeah, it probably does.
But the funny thing about Arrogant Bastards is that history judges them based upon how right they were, not whether they were arrogant. I kinda look at the brain trust behind Mailsmith as the Jello Biafras of email client developers: arrogant, sure - but usually right, even if it pisses you off a little to admit it.
If you can get over the VERY spartan interface (no customizable toolbars, very little color) and the all-performance, no-frills approach, you will find you've got what remains possibly the best Macintosh email client on the market today - and that's WITH the famous lack of updates from BareBones. Why don't they update it? When you get something right the first time you do it, why tinker? How long was the Lamborghini Countach on the market? Ten years? Twelve? It might not be your kind of car, but you have to admit they pretty much got it right the first time.
What sets Mailsmith apart are three things: the scriptability, searchability and the filtering. Both are literally unmatched, despite some of the reviews which say that Apple's Mail is catching up. It isn't. Filters can be attached to any number of mailboxes in any configuration, restructured so that they run in different orders within each mailbox, you name it. I have no idea how many hours they must have spent working to make Mailsmith as scriptable as it is, but I shudder to think. If you're a tweaker, or someone with large and/or complex email needs, you can do more - FAR more - with Mailsmith than with any other email client out there for the Mac.
Oh, and one other thing: Mailsmith was actually THE FIRST program which came bundled with SpamSieve. Why? Because Michael Tsai at c-command (makers of SpamSieve) probably believed that pairing his best-in-class Bayesian spam filter with the best-in-class Mac email client made perfect sense (just guessing, here - I don't know Mr. Tsai). But the two of them are a powerful combination, indeed. If you're someone who's looking for a lot of neat-colored icons and pretty HTML-rendering capacity, then this isn't the email client for you. But if you're interested in the Mac's best program for the handling of email, then look no further than Mailsmith.
on 22 Aug 2009
Replying to my own review because I can't figure out how to edit it. I'd reduce my star-rating to no more than one or two. Why? Because Mailsmith's biggest flaw - its lack of IMAP support - appears to be permanent. I'm glad that Mailsmith's developers didn't implement poorly something they didn't feel could be done to their exacting standards. Mailsmith's filtering capabilities remain some of the best in existence, for example - and if they didn't feel they could do a Mailsmith-level of quality on IMAP, I commended them for that.
But the glacial pace of updates, along with the fact that many other email programs on all platforms HAVE been able to figure out ways to do very high-quality IMAP implementations says to me that either the BareBones people - er, excuse me, the StickShift people - either just don't have the chops for it, or don't care enough to bother with it. I wouldn't be surprised if it were the latter at this point, since this will from here on out be a freebie application which will be only updated if and when the developer has time outside of his regular job at BareBones to get around to doing any work on it (read: even more glacially-updated than it's already been to date).
In 2001 - or maybe even in 2004 - no IMAP support might have been a defensible position. Heck, I even took a stab at defending it as late as 2007, because I wanted to keep liking an application I'd enjoyed so much in the past. But those last three words are the operative ones: IN THE PAST. This entire application now feels very much an artifact - howver wonderful, in its day - of the past. In an age of Gmail and various other free and paid webmail/IMAP solutions, Mailsmith's steadfast refusal (or inability) to incorporate IMAP support renders this product, for all its good points, more like a buggy-whip, with every passing day: an interesting, even attractive curio of a long-gone time.
Those who've always wanted to try Mailsmith for real (instead of just a time-limited demo), but were always put off by the stratospheric $100 price tag for an email client, can now do so to their heart's content. However, I suspect that many of them, after an initial period of getting accustomed to Mailsmith's ins and outs, will wind up at the place where so many other commenters (and paying users) have over time: stuck on the point that a lack of IMAP support is simply a deal-breaker. If you're looking for best-in-class filtering in an email client, this is still your app....as long as you do not now, and never forsee in the future, any need at all for IMAP. If you're like 98% of the rest of the email-using public, however, it's time to look elsewhere for an email client, sadly: because Mailsmith's just too long in the tooth and too limited to be of any real use in today's email world.
on 28 Feb 2007
This product is one which I use probably more than any other on either my Palm (an increasingly elderly Samsung SPH-i500) OR my desktop Mac. I originally purchased it some time ago because it was the only such password app at the time that I could find which would sync between PDA and Mac (have no idea if there are similar products for the Windoze folks, there probably are).
With this latest release (4.0), the developer has totally re-written it in Cocoa, and the difference is significant. Quick, flexible drop-down menus, increased options for choosing labels for data fields, many other upgrades. But here's the kicker (for me), which puts PasswordWallet and its developer, Selznick Software, in another category altogether:
When I upgraded, I upgraded the Palm App, as well, and was VERY excited about the new ability to click "open URL and copy username and password." This meant no more having to enter PW's password, cut and paste the password for whatever website I wanted to access, open up the browser manually, and then paste it into the appropriate field. PW4 does it all automatically.
Except it didn't. Not on my PDA. Every time I tried, I got an error message that said browser couldn't be found (Blazer discontinued, using Novarra's nweb now). So I emailed the developer and mentioned my problem. We went back and forth over no less than six emails, with the end result being that he researched it, found the creator code for my Novarra browser, and sent me an updated (and unreleased, lucky me!) version specially modified for me to include my browser. PW4 now works perfectly, and I'm quite a happy camper.
Yeah, I know, this is how customer service and tech support is SUPPOSED to work....but it almost never does. So rarely, in fact, that it's a (quite welcome) shock to get THIS kind of personal care and service out of the developer of a product. As I told the developer in my last email, he's got a customer for life!
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