About Remember?’s Lion Support …

July 3rd, 2011

You know how I said the current version of Remember? was not going to make the transition to Mac OS X 10.7 a.k.a. “Lion”?

Well in the immortal words of Emily Latella “Never mind.”

I decided to take a swing at porting the existing code to Xcode, Apple’s development system, and it went surprisingly better than expected. It was compiling cleanly on Xcode in a day or two and a week of tinkering later I think all of the nasty “little versus big endian” issues have been worked out. There’s still an obscure bug or three to be tracked down but it is stable enough that I’m using it on a daily basis.

What is it?

  • This is essentially the exact same code as version 4.5 with no new features other than native code support for Intel Macs.
  • Minimum OS requirements will probably be Mac OS X 10.5 or later. I might be able to support 10.4 as well but only if there’s sufficient demand for it.
  • PowerPC Macs are still supported.
  • Existing Occasion files and your Remember? settings file work as-is on PowerPC and Intel Macs.
  • I’ll keep the current 4.5 version around for those who might need it but I won’t be fixing bugs or adding features to it.

Actually I lied, there is one significant new feature: export to iCal format. It’s one-way only, there is no iCal import and no syncing. The common date templates (single date, annual, etc.) work but many of the more obscure possibilities are not supported by iCal. When I have the time I’ll work out the specifics and the export operation will tell you if any of your occasions might be problematic.

Availability

What I have now is almost good enough for a public trial, but it fails my extended torture tests after about 20 minutes or so. When it can run them indefinitely I’ll post a beta test version for the adventurous to try. An official release will follow when any reported problems are fixed.

Apple still hasn’t given an explicit release date for Lion but the rumors are that it could happen fairly soon. I’m hoping to post the bets version in the next week but if Lion beats me out the door I’ll send a pre-beta by email request as long as you’re willing to risk global thermonuclear disaster or the occasional crash.

A Bit of Advice on Lion

Before taking the plunge and upgrading to Lion is it really important that you first make sure you aren’t dependent on any PowerPC only applications. This change is on the same order as the loss of Classic in 10.5 (?) except in this case there is no System 7 style menu bar to clue you in that you are using a Power PC app. You could be in for a rude surprise unless you prepare for the upgrade.

  1. In the Apple menu choose About this Mac then click the More Info button to open up System Profiler.

  2. Select Applications in the Software section in the left column of System Profiler. It can take a few minutes to populate the list.

  3. Widen the window so you can see the column labeled Kind. Click on it to sort your applications by the supported processor architectures.

  4. Scroll down until you find the section with a type of PowerPC. These are the applications that will not run on Lion. Well, those in the Classic section won’t either but you’ve probably already crossed that bridge unless you’re still using 10.4.

  5. Click on each PowerPC app and the Location line in the bottom section of the window will show you where it lives.

As this point the best bet is probably to launch each application and choose it’s “Check for Update” menu time if present, or visit the maker’s web site if not. If there is a free update that adds Intel or Universal support then grab it. For others you’ll have to decide if it’s worth a paid upgrade, look for alternatives that do support Intel Macs or just trash it if you don’t really need it.

Fun OS X Bluetooth Fact

June 7th, 2011

So my Magic TrackPad suddenly stopped working after a year or so of use. Wouldn’t pair with my iMac no matter what I did. Tried resetting it, replacing the batteries. Nothing worked. Tried to pair it with my MacBook pro and same result. It might appear briefly as an available Bluetooth device but not long enough to successfully pair.

The last time I tried to reset it I noticed something odd: the Mac mini Git server sitting under the desk briefly woke up. Ah ha, the trackpad had paired with the mini and kept re-pairing with it every time it was reset. Sure enough, it’s listed as a device on the mini. No problem, just turn off the Bluetooth on the mini.

Did I mention it’s my Git server? Did I mention it’s a headless Git server, i.e. no attached display, keyboard or mouse? As it turns out at least on 10.6 you can’t turn off Bluetooth if there is no physical mouse or keyboard attached. Well you can but it turns itself back on after a few seconds.

A quick visit to /Library/Extensions, move the Bluetooth extensions to /Library/Extensions (Disabled) and a reboot and Bluetooth is well and truly off and everything else still works just fine.

And my iMac and the Magic Trackpad are bestest pals again.

Regarding Remember? on Mac OS X 10.7

March 11th, 2011

It starting to appear that Apple may be dropping support for running PowerPC applications on the upcoming Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” release. If this is true, since Remember? is currently PowerPC only, that would mean that Remember? will not run on Mac OS X 10.7 making Mac OS X 10.6 the last supported OS version.

If this does come to pass I will provide a method to export existing occasion data to iCal format to ease the transition but I can’t promise that Remember? itself will be converted to run on “Lion.” I’ll be more specific once Apple provides a 10.7 release date and confirms that PowerPC apps won’t be supported.

There are a few more details on the Remember? product page.

Remember? 4.5 File Name Length Limit

January 22nd, 2011

I’ve just discovered that as a consequence of my changes to the way occasion files are managed in Remember? version 4.5 file names have a shorter overall length limit. I’ll take a look at how I can fix it but for now occasion file names should be limited to 21 characters or less or you might get an error code -37 (invalid file name) when saving or editing occasions in that file.

Remember? 4.5 Now Available

December 24th, 2010

It certainly took long enough but Remember? version 4.5 is now available for download! The most significant change is that the last supported year has been extended from 2018 to 2134 but it also adds the ability to save backup copies of occasion files when you add, delete or otherwise edit occasions as well as a few other minor bug fixes and cosmetic changes.

What is not included is a native Intel™ version of the application. That isn’t supported by the (ancient) development system I use to maintain the current incarnation of Remember?.

A few things you should know about this version:

  • It uses the same occasion file format as version 4.3 EXCEPT when events are scheduled for years beyond 2018. When those events are present previous versions of the application should refuse to open the occasion file but the best bet is to not tempt fate by running a mixed environment of old and new versions.
  • The new occasion backup mechanism saves copies of occasion files when you change them but the backup copies reside in the same folder as the original occasion file so it is not a substitute for a proper external backup plan such as Time Machine.

As usual there is no upgrade charge if you’ve already paid and there are no registration codes or other limitations on the application as it is still distributed as true Shareware.

I hope you enjoy the update!

Dave