Archive for the ‘Jettison’ Category
Friday, March 16th, 2018
Before starting a reorganization and rewrite of Jettison’s internals, I figured I’d better officially release the myriad little changes that I’ve been trickling out to various folks as they’ve contacted me with issues.
Version 1.6 brings Jettison up-to-date with APFS (the new file system format released in High Sierra) as well as making its drive mounting / remounting procedure more robust. There are also a bunch of bug fixes and improvements in error checking and error reporting, and new AppleScript commands for ejecting, remounting and sleeping.
You can grab the update from the Jettison Release Page, as well as seeing a more complete list of changes there.
There are still a few issues with Jettison on High Sierra, primarily due to some flakiness on High Sierra’s part that I haven’t been able to pin down. If Jettison can’t eject a drive and tells you “try ejecting it in the Finder,” that means that macOS refused to eject the drive, won’t tell Jettison why, and there aren’t any files open on the volume that should logically keep it from being ejected. In that case, Jettison just throws up its hands and says “I give up!”
If you ask the bus driver to stop the bus and he just keeps on driving, what can you do? (Well, you could open the window and jump out of the speeding bus, but I doubt you want me to do that with your external drives…)
So I’m continuing to chase down that issue, as well as a rare one where the machine continually cycles between sleep and wake states every few seconds, resulting in hundreds of “External disks ejected” notifications from Jettison while the machine was supposed to be sleeping. This situation is rare and I’ve been unable to reproduce it here, making it a tough one to figure out. If it’s happening to you, please let me know at email@example.com.
Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
While Jettison and HistoryHound are still supported and sold on the St. Clair Software website, I’ve pulled them from the Mac App Store. The versions that were in the Mac App Store were older revisions, and it just didn’t make business sense to rearchitect the apps to meet Apple’s current requirements for approval so they could be kept up-to-date.
For both applications, complying with Apple’s sandboxing and feature constraints to get them approved for sale would have required significant rewrites. And in Jettison’s case, it would also require that buyers download a separate helper app to enable its full functionality. I realize that some people will be put off or inconvenienced by the fact that these apps are no longer in the Mac App Store – my apologies if you’re one of those folks, but it just doesn’t make sense for Jettison and HistoryHound.
Without going into a full-on rant about the Mac App Store (I could ramble on for days), let’s just say that while the Mac App Store is convenient for consumers, it doesn’t really serve the needs of some developers. Much has been written about it already (here, here, here, here and here, for example) so I won’t rehash it all – and despite years of “constructive criticism” from developers, Apple hasn’t fixed some major problems.
I hope you’ll continue to purchase our applications, as well as those from other independent developers selling outside the Mac App Store. While it’s a little less convenient than the Mac App Store, it allows us to bring you the best software we can, and also gives us the opportunity to foster a two-way relationship with you – both of which really matter to us.
Sunday, November 13th, 2016
Version 1.5.3 of Jettison is now available, correcting a couple of bugs that could cause Jettison to crash. The folks that reported the bug simply noticed that Jettison’s icon would disappear from their menubar sometime during the day. The new version should eliminate that problem.
You can update your copy by downloading version 1.5.3 from the Jettison Release Page or by selecting “Check for Updates” from Jettison’s menu in your menubar.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
HistoryHound 1.9.12 and Jettison 1.5.2 both deliver stability improvements and bug fixes to make sure they run without issue on El Capitan and Sierra.
HistoryHound also includes better error handling and its indexing is more intelligent when it encounters web pages that redirect you to a new page. You can now click on status messages in the main window to show you the status of indexing and the contents of your search index, and HistoryHound 1.9.12 supports the Vivaldi browser as well as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, OmniWeb, iCab, Opera, NetNewsWire and URL Manager Pro.
Full lists of changes and download links are available on the HistoryHound release page and the Jettison release page.
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
Yes, I’ve been busy over here! There are Sierra-compatible updates for both App Tamer and Jettison today, with both offering additional fixes and enhancements as well as support for macOS 10.12.
App Tamer 2.2: While I’ll be the first to admit that App Tamer is a bit of a niche product (you’ve got to be a little geeky to like the details of what it does), I’m excited by the improvements in this release. It’s more intelligent about identifying which processes are “helpers” for others, and can therefore do a much better job at throttling all those Safari Web Content processes when it limits Safari’s CPU usage, for example, while still letting the Mail Web Content helpers run at full tilt for Mail (if that’s what you want).
App Tamer’s basic process management is also more efficient now, so it all adds up to it doing its job better. If you’ve got apps that are sucking down CPU (and battery!) while they’re sitting in the background, App Tamer can help you out. More details and download links are on the App Tamer What’s New page.
Jettison 1.5.1: The Jettison update addresses issues with Sierra, and also gives you the option to unmount rather than eject drives when your Mac sleeps. “Why do I care?” you say? Well, I’m glad you asked (and you might be too)! Some SD cards and Flash drives won’t remount properly after being ejected, even when Jettison reloads their device drivers. That can result in you having to do a really inconvenient little dance of unplugging them and plugging them back in to get them to show up. Turning on this new option in your Jettison prefs avoids that.
There are also bug fixes for Jettison’s handling of network drives, removal of some logic that checked whether the display was going to sleep before ejecting disks (long story – it did solve a problem, but created even more in the end), and tweaks to better handle OS X’s propensity to report errors when there are none. Go visit the Jettison What’s New page for a list of changes and download links.
Now here’s hoping that Apple doesn’t make any major changes to Sierra before it comes out of beta that require me to update these Sierra-compatible updates 🙂
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
A security vulnerability has been found in Sparkle, the framework used by many Mac applications to check for and download software updates automatically. Full details are at:
While some of our applications (like HistoryHound) are using older versions of the Sparkle framework at the moment, they all use encrypted HTTPS connections to check for and download updates, so there’s no chance of a man-in-the-middle attack, as described in the report.
So you can safely leave automatic update checking turned on in all of our products – it’s being done safely.
Thursday, November 12th, 2015
So I started getting emails yesterday complaining that Jettison was suddenly telling users their trial period was over – even though they’d already purchased a license. When I got the first few, I thought they’d just deleted their preference files and needed to re-activate their licenses, but then the trickle became a deluge – what the heck?
So I dropped everything and looked into it – I needed an answer ASAP or I was gonna spend the next couple of days doing nothing but answering email. It turns out everyone who was affected had bought Jettison through the Mac App Store and then upgraded to the direct-from-the-website version (because it’s better, of course – instructions here if you’re interested). When you do this, Jettison copies your Mac App Store receipt to a safe place so that it can verify that you’ve actually bought a license, even if you delete the App Store copy of Jettison.
Lucky for me, I’d bought a copy of Jettison myself when testing this mechanism, so I had my own receipt still sitting in ~/Library/Application Support/ so I could look at it. Printing the certificates in the receipt showed this little tidbit:
Signature Algorithm: sha1WithRSAEncryption
Issuer: C=US, O=Apple Inc., OU=Apple Worldwide Developer Relations [...]
Not Before: Nov 11 21:58:01 2010 GMT
Not After : Nov 11 21:58:01 2015 GMT
Subject: CN=Mac App Store Receipt Signing, OU=Apple Worldwide Deve [...]
See that “Not After:” entry in the Validity section? “Nov 11 21:58:01 2015 GMT” – yeah, that’d be yesterday. When the emails started. Apple signed the receipt with a certificate that expired yesterday, so if you have one of these receipts, Jettison no longer thinks you’re legit. Sorry about that – I hadn’t considered that eventuality. And reading the news this morning, it appears that Apple hadn’t either.
So what to do? I’ve wrapped up Jettison 1.5 and posted it. You’re going to have to do a little dance again to get Jettison to update your receipt, but this version will do the right thing once you follow these instructions:
- Put every copy of Jettison on your Mac in the Trash and empty the Trash.
- Open the App Store application and click on the Purchases tab.
- Re-download the copy of Jettison you purchased. It will include a new, non-expired receipt.
- Download the latest version of Jettison (http://www.stclairsoft.com/download/Jettison-1.5.1d2.zip)
- Double-click the .dmg file to open it, then double-click on Jettison before copying it to your Applications folder.
- After Jettison tells you that it has found your App Store license, you can copy it to your Applications folder.
Sorry for the hassle. But hey, at least it forced me to get the version 1.5 update out the door, so there’s some benefit there, eh? And thanks Apple – I didn’t need to sleep last night anyway.
P.S. I’m seeing a bunch of people buying non-App Store licenses directly from the St. Clair Software store today instead of jumping through these hoops to deal with the App Store. I have to say I’m all for that 🙂
A bit more info that’s interesting and could use some corroboration: I think this problem only affects apps that were downloaded before September 24 (either via purchase or update). When I download a new copy of Jettison from the App Store, the receipt is signed with a cert valid within these dates:
Not Before: Sep 24 19:09:31 2015 GMT
Not After : Oct 23 19:09:31 2017 GMT
So in my sample size of 1, copies of Jettison purchased or updated today will work until Oct 23, 2017, and could have worked with this receipt only as far back as September 24. If Apple has been using the same certificate to sign all App Store receipts (which seems reasonable), then anything that has been downloaded from the App Store after September 24 won’t expire until 2017. And apps downloaded prior to that have some other expiration in their receipts. If I had more time, I’d dig through all of my App Store apps to find out when each cert expires, but alas, I’ve got work to do and have killed enough time on this already…
Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
I’ve posted an updated build that fixes a crash and a few volume-loading issues since the last beta:
Sunday, June 28th, 2015
For those of you testing (or interested in testing) the new version of Jettison, I’ve got a new build that corrects some timing issues with driver reloading and with the handling of SD cards. Grab it at:
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
After a lot of restructuring, debugging, testing and wrangling with various types of disks, Jettison 1.5 is close to finished. It handles ejecting and remounting more smoothly, and includes a workaround for situations where the old version failed to eject drives at sleep time because the screen was locked.
What I need now are some volunteers to do some final testing to make sure Jettison works well in all situations. If you’d like to try it, just download a copy here:
Once you’ve installed it, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know you’re testing it, then send any issues or questions to the same address if you encounter anything.