M. Hall
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pdxmph commented on 02 Sep 2009
I hope anyone who gets word back from the developer posts it here. I sent a mail a few nights ago asking for some sort of status update and have yet to receive a response.

I paid for the pro version years ago. Nothing quite matches it in terms of flexibility and functionality. For now I'm using the (inferior) clipboard history feature in LaunchBar, but I really miss being able to pass clipboard items through scripts.

It still seems to work on Snow Leopard with the 32-bit kernel (my MacBook 4,1), but it's dead on my iMac running the 64-bit kernel. Probably time to start investigating the new roll-your-own services in Automator.
[Version 4.4.1]

1 Reply


pdxmph replied on 02 Sep 2009
Self-reply: He just wrote back and told me to look for news later this week. Fingers crossed. If it had failed to work on my MacBook, I wouldn't have put Snow Leopard on my primary machine.

pdxmph reviewed on 01 Jul 2007
Nice app. I've been using GPS to geocache, track bicycle rides and record hikes for about six years, and I edited a book on geocaching (The Complete Idiot's Guide, avg. rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon). Prior to that, I used GPS tech in the army as a communications team chief and led training sessions on the use of the military's primary handheld unit in the mid/late '90s, and through 2004: the PLGR.

During that time I've gone through GPS apps on Windows (Nat'l Geographic's Topo! state series and street mapping sub-version, ExpertGPS) and the Mac (MacGPS Pro, Topo again, Topo's newest city versions) and Google Earth on both.

One very nice feature is the way TrailRunner provides useful maps at no cost to you. Nat'l Geographic makes its money on selling sub-par software wrappers around its map data. MacGPS Pro, while a good app, also has a hidden cost in that regard. You can see where you've been very easily ... if you want a map to interpret that, you'll pay for some data. TrailRunner downloads the maps you need on the fly. As the USGS data is slowly pulled behind for-pay walls in "private distribution partnerships," TrailRunner is providing a nice convenience. I also like how easily it produces kml files for use with Google Earth/Maps, which makes annotating and sharing run/ride information online a snap.

I recently upgraded my Garmin Forerunner 101 to a 205 to use for rides and runs, entirely because I wanted to be able to upload information instead of recording it by hand. When I compare what TrailRunner does for how I want to use it with all the other apps I mentioned, I'm really pleased. It took a little bit of time (none spent with the docs) to get it to work. It's under continual development ... several updates a week. All the author asks for is a donation. Compared to stuff I paid upwards of $100 for, that's a bargain.

I still appreciate Topo! for planning hikes (even though it feels pretty clunky and un-Mac-like), but for seeing where I've been and providing some useful information right up front, TrailRunner is great. I can get meaningful information out of it in very little time and with no fiddling.

Since free software is more of a time proposition than a money proposition, rather than asking "should I spend my money to have this" you should ask "should I spend my time documenting any bugs I've found to make this more useful to me?" I'd say that if you've tried it out and something hasn't worked correctly, it's definitely worth your time to take five minutes and let the author know of your problems. That's a small investment that'll pay itself off quickly if you've spent a lot of time trying to wring useful training information out of other GPS apps.

Four stars only because I think the user interface needs some simplifying and refinement. Nothing that detracted from my daily use once I figured out its quirks, but something that, once fixed, will make this app perfect for its audience.
[Version 1.4v167]


pdxmph reviewed on 03 Apr 2007
I've been using TextSoap for work for some time now. I'm an editor dealing with an international bullpen that submits material in all sorts of formats and encodings. A big part of my job is normalizing text before editing it for content & style and handing it off to a CMS.

TextSoap was great when it provided nothing more than a GUI for some useful text transformations, but when the developer added regular expression support, it became something I don't want to be without. I can draw on a lot of the knowledge I earned on the Unix command line with tools like sed to handle the edge cases TextSoap's numerous out-of-the-box filters can't.

When TextSoap can't handle something specific, it's trivial to drop it into a larger AppleScript, because it has a clean, usable syntax for doing its thing in that context. If you can't do it in TextSoap but can do it with Perl, sed or similar, handling it with "do shell script" then handing the result off to TextSoap for its much easier AppleScript text processing works like a charm.

I probably use TextSoap 20 or 25 times a day, often to condense workflows that would take several minutes and be much more error prone into just a few seconds.

I could handle a lot of stuff TextSoap does with a little thought, a few raids on CPAN, and a lot of hacking. TextSoap saves me that trouble, and it has paid for itself in terms of time saved on an almost weekly basis for years.

Great tool. Great fusion of Mac simplicity with more powerful Unix idioms. The developer is responsive if something doesn't work, and he answers mail quickly, always looking for a way to help fix or explain things.

For a text-munger like me, who'd prefer to concentrate on content instead of fiddling, TextSoap is indispensable.

The one thing I'm waiting on and hoping for is some sort of interface with external Unix pipes. The developer said he's looking into it. Even if he never implemented that, I'd still be very happy with his product.
[Version 5.5.2]

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