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Default Folder X public beta 5.5b5 for Big Sur

October 29th, 2020 by Jon

A new public beta version of Default Folder X is available, updating support for Big Sur so DFX works with the macOS 11.0.1 beta that Apple released today.

Version 5.5b5 also refines the toolbar icons that Default Folder X displays next to all of your Open and Save dialogs (screenshot over there ➜) and polishes up its preferences window in preparation for a final release (this image ⬇︎).

I’ve also addressed a few issues that people have reported, including getting the front-to-back order of Finder windows correct when you’re running alternate Finder apps like Path Finder or ForkLift. And the menu and drawer buttons that Default Folder X puts in your Finder toolbars will no longer keep jumping back to their default positions after you’ve carefully reordered them exactly the way you like.

Things are looking very good for a final release soon, so if you’ve been a slacker about reporting a bug in a beta version of Default Folder X, hurry up and let me know about it! You can reach me on Twitter @stclairsoft or via email at DefaultFolderX@stclairsoft.com.

You can download Default Folder X 5.5b5 from the Beta Testing Page, where you’ll also find a list of all the changes made since version 5.4.6. Note that you don’t need Big Sur to run the beta – it supports macOS 10.11 or higher, and provides fixes and enhancements there too. You just won’t get the nifty outline icons that Big Sur folks see – what a loss!

HistoryHound 2.3 for Big Sur and Apple Silicon

October 27th, 2020 by Jon
And it has a new icon too!

HistoryHound 2.3 is now available, bringing support for macOS 11.0 Big Sur. It’s a universal app, running natively on Macs powered by either Intel or Apple Silicon processors, so if you’re lucky enough to have a “Developer Transition Kit” Mac or will be buying whatever Apple’s rumored to be announcing on November 17, HistoryHound is ready!

This release also delivers new inline search filters, similar to what you may already be using in your Google searches if you’re cool like that 😎. Specifying a phrase like “ipad case site:apple.com” will search your browsing history and bookmarks for the terms “ipad” and “case”, but only on pages at apple.com. Similarly, using “carbon wheel url:mtbr” will return only matching pages that you’ve visited that have “mtbr” in their URL.

The filters that HistoryHound currently understands are:

  • site – the website host
  • url – the full URL of the page
  • title – the title of the page, shown in the tab or title bar of your browser
  • source – HistoryHound’s source, such as “Firefox Bookmarks”

Note that these are all simple searches that look for the specified term within the relevant attribute. So “site:apple” will match pages from apple.com or appleinsider.com, since they both contain “apple”.

In addition, HistoryHound 2.3 understands custom URLs that let you save clickable searches for later use. Going to the link historyhound:apple will start a search for “apple” in HistoryHound. This can be handy when you want to repeatedly perform the same searches – just save the links in a document somewhere and click on one when you want to start a search.

As usual, there are some bug fixes and little improvements as well. A full change history and download links are available on the HistoryHound release page.

Automatically prepending dates to the names of saved files

September 9th, 2020 by Jon

So a Default Folder X user just emailed and asked this:

I have been a Mac user for 30 years and would love to find a tool that allows me to click a button (or make this the default filename) while in the “Save…” dialog box that will prepend a formatted date to the beginning of the filename. like so:

2020-09-08 Filename.ext

Now, you can set up an AppleScript to do this using Default Folder X’s GetSaveName and SetSaveName verbs. However, that would require that you run the AppleScript whenever you want the date prepended, which is a bit of a pain if you want all of your filenames formatted this way. But I realized as I was replying that you can actually automate this by using (or rather, slightly abusing) an existing feature in Default Folder X.

Default Folder X has the ability to run an AppleScript to determine the location of an application’s default folder. The script will be run whenever a new file dialog is displayed by an application, which is the perfect time to do our little filename modification. So I wrote an AppleScript that looks like this:

on getDefaultFolder(appName, dialogType, firstTime)

  -- only do this for save dialogs
  if dialogType is "save" then

    -- get the current date
    set dateObj to (current date)

    -- then format it as YYYY-MM-DD
    set theMonth to text -1 thru -2 of ("0" & (month of dateObj as number))
    set theDay to text -1 thru -2 of ("0" & day of dateObj)
    set theYear to year of dateObj
    set dateStamp to "" & theYear & "-" & theMonth & "-" & theDay

    -- then prepend that to the name in the save dialog
    tell application "Default Folder X"
      set theName to GetSaveName
      set theName to dateStamp & " " & theName
      SetSaveName theName
    end tell
  end if

  -- finally, don't give Default Folder X a default
  -- folder, so it just continues on normally 
  return ""
end getDefaultFolder

If you save this script in a file named “GetDefaultFolder.scpt” in this location:

~/Library/Application Support/com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX5/Scripts/

It will magically prepend the date in the format ‘2020-09-15’ to the beginning of all of your filenames in Save As dialogs. Note that you can still edit the name afterwards if the default filename (like “Untitled 4”) needs to be modified.

Jettison 1.8.1 fixes what broke in version 1.8

September 9th, 2020 by Jon

Well, Jettison 1.8 didn’t go quite as planned. It adopted a different system API to get power notifications so that it could better handle “dark wake” events, where macOS wakes up briefly to perform backups and network maintenance while it’s sleeping. While the dark wake stuff all worked as expected, it ended up causing issues with some external drives not getting ejected before sleep because sleep notifications were delivered slightly later in the going-to-sleep sequence. It didn’t make a difference on test machines here or with our beta testers, but impacted some users out in the real world once version 1.8 was released. If you’re one of those folks, I’m sorry for the trouble 🙁

Version 1.8.1 was released today, and takes a hybrid approach, using both the old and new API’s to ensure that it gets sleep notifications as early as possible. This restores the reliability of Jettison’s eject-on-sleep capabilities.

This release also allows you to turn off the feature introduced in version 1.8 that quits Music, iTunes and Photos before sleep (to allow ejection of external media containing music and photo libraries). Apparently iTunes doesn’t correctly return to the same location in audiobooks when Jettison relaunches it after waking up, which can be really annoying. So you can disable the feature by using this command in Terminal:

defaults write com.stclairsoft.Jettison leaveAppsRunning 1

As usual, full release notes and download links are on the Jettison release page.

Jettison 1.8: Compatibility with Big Sur and Carbon Copy Cloner, better handling of Music and Photos, improved unlocking of encrypted disks and more

August 24th, 2020 by Jon

Jettison 1.8 wears a new icon and is now a universal application, running natively on both Intel- and Apple Silicon-powered hardware on any system from Mavericks to Big Sur. It also includes a number of improvements and fixes to smooth the ejecting and remounting of external disks on all Macs.

Before your Mac goes to sleep, Jettison will now quit software that may prevent disks from being ejected, then relaunches whatever was running when the machine wakes back up. This includes Music, iTunes, Photos, Time Machine, Spotlight and their many helper processes. When your Mac wakes, Jettison will also do a better job of unlocking encrypted disks so they can be remounted, so the whole process is more reliable.

This release also fixes a conflict with Carbon Copy Cloner that prevented CCC from mounting disks to perform backups while the machine was asleep. And an issue that could cause Jettison not to correctly load its preferences after a system restart has been fixed, along with some problems with unmounting and remounting network server volumes.

A list of changes and links to download Jettison 1.8 are on the Jettison release page.

App Tamer 2.5.2 supports Big Sur and Do Not Disturb, gives insight into background processes

July 14th, 2020 by Jon

Version 2.5.2 of App Tamer is now available. It smooths out a few rough edges on Big Sur. It also respects the Do Not Disturb setting in Notification Center when it comes to warning you about apps using too much CPU.

Of interest to the curious: This release offers a new “Get Info” icon in the settings popup for many macOS system processes like WindowServer, trustd, iconservicesagent and bluetoothd.

Clicking the icon will show a system-supplied description of the process, which may help you understand what that process does, why it might be using a lot of CPU, and whether it’s safe to slow it down. Or it might not, since some of the descriptions themselves are pretty cryptic. Please remember that this information is supplied by the system, not by App Tamer, so I probably can’t help explain what an “SDP transaction” is 🙂

App Tamer 2.5.2 also contains a few bug fixes and some changes in terminology that make it clearer which processes are displayed in App Tamer’s process lists. Full details and download links are on the App Tamer release page.

Default Folder X 5.5b1 supports Big Sur beta

June 27th, 2020 by Jon

Yes, yes – I’ve gotten your emails 🙂 For those of you testing the first developer release of macOS 11.0 Big Sur, there’s now a public beta version of Default Folder X 5.5 that’s compatible with it.

This release enables all of Default Folder X’s functionality in Big Sur, but DFX’s iconography and UI details haven’t yet been updated to match the Big Sur design language. It’ll get you up and running with the features you’ve grown to depend upon, and I’ll follow up later with new icons and UI tweaks specifically for Big Sur.

Visit the Default Folder X 5.5 Testing page for more info and download links!

Adding Default Folder X’s buttons to Path Finder’s toolbar

June 23rd, 2020 by Jon

Default Folder X can automatically add buttons to the toolbar in all Finder windows so that you can quickly get to its menus or drawer. I’ve had a number of inquiries from folks that use Path Finder as a replacement for the Finder, and they want those same buttons in their Path Finder toolbars.

Unfortunately, Default Folder X can’t automate this, so you’ll need to add the buttons manually. Here’s how to do it in Path Finder 9:

  • Locate the Default Folder X application in your Applications folder and Control-click on it. Choose “Show Package Contents” from the menu.
  • When the window shows the contents of the Default Folder X application, double-click on the Contents folder, and then within that double-click on the Resources folder.
  • Control-click on Path Finder’s toolbar and choose “Add Custom Items…”
  • Use Default Folder X’s Finder-click feature to go to the Resources folder you just opened in the second step.
  • Choose the “DFX” application to add to Path Finder’s toolbar.
  • Repeat the “Add Custom Items…” command and add the “DFX Drawer” application as well.

Default Folder X 5.4.6 brings a fix for Mail, Quick Start tips, and addresses several issues

June 8th, 2020 by Jon

Version 5.4.6 of Default Folder X is now available. For new users, it offers a Quick Start dialog that quickly shows you a few of Default Folder X’s primary features.

For those of you already familiar with Default Folder X, this release is more about bug fixes. At the top of the list is a fix for an elusive problem that could cause the “Save all attachments” dialog in Apple Mail to respond very slowly or get stuck on-screen. There are also corrections for some fairly minor, but annoying issues.

For a full list of changes and download links, visit the Default Folder X Release page.

App Tamer 2.5.1 adds more AppleScript support, fixes issues

May 18th, 2020 by Jon

Version 2.5.1 of App Tamer is available now. Among other things, it includes fixes for a couple of complaints with the “using too much CPU” notifications that App Tamer puts up when a process is – you guessed it – using too much CPU. It will no longer notify you if you’ve already throttled an app, even if the app is still over the warning threshold. It also provides a method of making the “Let it continue” button suppress the high-CPU notifications for longer. The default is now 10 minutes (instead of 5) before you see another warning, and you can change that by using this command in Terminal:

defaults write com.stclairsoft.AppTamer notificationMuteTime XXX

where XXX is is the number of seconds to silence notifications.

And for those folks that want to automate control of their apps, a new “manage” verb in App Tamer’s AppleScript dictionary lets you create scripts so you can change settings on a schedule, change an app’s settings with a keyboard shortcut, or something AppleScript-y like that. Here’s an example:

tell application "App Tamer"
manage "Safari" slow yes slowCPU 2 hide yes hideDelay 10
end tell

That will slow Safari to 2% CPU usage when it’s in the background and will hide it after it’s been idle for 10 minutes. To see all of the options, open App Tamer’s dictionary in Script Editor.

This scripting ability is being used by some users to change settings for backups so they run with different CPU limits at night vs. during the day, and throttling background apps more aggressively during video calls. As they say, the possibilities are endless!

App Tamer 2.5.1 also includes a number of fixes for infrequently encountered bugs, such as incorrect behavior when the stats update frequency is set to “never”, and processes not appearing when they’re run from the Terminal using ‘sudo’ or ‘su’.

For a full list of changes and download links, visit the App Tamer release page.

 

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