18 December 2007

Ornament plunderer

Carrie has two wonderful cocker spaniel dogs; however, sometimes they get into a little mischief. If we leave a loaf of bread close to the edge of the counter, it's almost guaranteed that it will be gone when we come home from work. On normal days, the boys are happy to greet us by the door. Duke, the black English cocker, has a peculiar mannerism where once he sees us open the door, he sprints back into the living room to find a bogey (that's what we call their toys) and then proudly shows it off to us. We always know something is amiss if Duke is cowering off to the side when the door opens.

After putting up the Christmas tree this year, we have come home to find a few chewed up ornaments on the floor. We've found about ten of them pulled off the tree and lying around the living room. I always wondered if Duke was the only responsible party because of his admitted guilt or if Buddy was somehow involved too. Well yesterday our tree had toppled over so it was time to get to the bottom of our problem. This morning, I set up my iSight camera to capture the scene every five seconds. Within thirty minutes of me leaving the house, the dogs started sniffing around...

The video shows that Duke pulled off a low hanging ornament and chewed on it for a few minutes before sticking his head back into the tree and causing it to lean over a bit. Then he pulled off one more from the other side. While Buddy was walking around next to Duke, it looks like he was smart enough to keep his paws to himself. I'm not sure how we're going to stop Duke from messing with the tree, but I am tempted to set up more video surveillance traps because it's a lot of fun reviewing the footage to see who has been nice and who has been naughty.

16 December 2007

Sharpshooter 0.6.1 released

I just released a a new version of Sharpshooter, the small utility which aids the management of screenshots, with bug fixes for non-English speaking users. One user from France had changed his default screenshot name to include an é (lowercase e-acute) character and my Unicode string comparison method was mishandling that case.

I also updated the foreign user interface elements to have all of the latest changes as the English version. When I released 0.6, I forgot to propagate the changes from the English nib files. I wrote a couple of scripts to help automate this process in the future. There should be no excuse for me to make this same mistake in the future.

And finally I translated Sharpshooter to a few more languages: German, Swedish, Spanish, Dutch, and Italian. I am certain that many of the translations are erroneous, so I invite native speakers of those and other languages to contribute with localization help.

The latest version of Sharpshooter can be downloaded from the product webpage.

06 December 2007

Sharpshooter 0.6

Rename your screenshots with pinpoint accuracy!

I came up with that slogan for Sharpshooter while working on the help documents and I think it really fits with why I created the application. My main reason for writing Sharpshooter was that I would take a few screenshots in quick succession and afterwards I would have to open up each Picture X.png file in Preview.app, then switch back to the Finder and give them a descriptive name. Sharpshooter lets me rename each screenshot just after I take it, while the subject is fresh on my mind.

Tonight I have released version 0.6 which can be downloaded here (1.4 MB). Along with my usual MacUpdate and VersionTracker listings, I also submitted this to Apple Downloads for the first time. From what I have heard, I should start getting many more multiples of referrals through Apple.

Here are the changes with Sharpshooter 0.6:
  • Fixed Leopard compatibility issue with emptying the Trash.
  • Fixed a preview pane bug where PDF screenshots were not shown.
  • Fixed a bug when separating multiple screenshot files.
  • Now recognizes non-default screenshot name settings.
  • New Send Feedback mechanism.
  • Now includes a Help book.
  • Improved the French localization.
  • Localizations for screenshot name recognition in da, de, es, fi, fr, hu, it, ja, ko, nb, nl, pl, pt, ro, ru, sv, uk, zh-Hans, zh-Hant.

Localization Note: The file names of Mac OS X screenshots differ between each language. Sharpshooter will only work if it knows what the file name is for the current language. I have added support for some of the more common languages but please let me know if you want to help localize it for yours.

I'm now starting work on the two most requested features: being able to save in a different format and to a different location. I have been reluctant to add those features just because I had always envisioned Sharpshooter as having a simple user interface. After thinking up several different designs, I finally have one that I really like and should feel natural Mac OS X users. Once I add these two features, Sharpshooter will turn 1.0.