Wooden Brain Concepts

Agitprop marketing for our sensuous times™

Unless specified otherwise, all WBC software is for Mac OS X.

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    HomeBuyDB updated to version 1.3

    Spring is, thankfully, finally upon us!

    With it comes the house-hunting season. If you've been considering buying a new home while it's still a buyer's market, you will be interested in HomeBuyDB.

    HomeBuyDB gives you the tools to make sound decisions about which home to buy at what price. These are the tools that realtors like to keep to themselves!

    It has now been updated for compatibility with newer versions of Mac OS X and integration with iCal and Safari. Please see the version history for details.

    Another big update to OmniGrowl plus notes on MobileMe

    WBC today released another major update to OmniGrowl, introducing some great new features.

    OmniGrowl has always provided notifications for to-dos due tomorrow or today. OmniGrowl 4.3 now allows for daily notifications of pending to-dos in iCal, up to 60 days out. OmniGrowl will tell you how many days you have left before the due date. These daily notifications do not stay on screen by default, but you can make all to-do notifications stay on screen by configuring it in Growl if you prefer.

    OmniGrowl 4.3 adds a new source for concert notifications, bandsintown. Bandsintown is nice because it can, optionally, get your location from just your IP. There's also the option to get it from your city and state or country. Pollstar notifications are fixed again, hopefully for some time yet to come.

    A great new feature has been added that allows you to add recently found concerts and events to iCal. This is available from a button on the Music tab and from the Tools menu.

    Holiday greeting notifications have been significantly reworked and expanded. Holidays that fall on the nth weekday of a month, like Mother's Day or Thanksgiving, are now supported. There's now the option to completely turn them off in OmniGrowl. Also if you're in the U.S. you can specify whether you prefer more secular or liberal holiday greetings or not. Please make sure your country is set.

    Other existing features have also been fixed or improved. Please see the version history for complete details.

    In related news, Apple announced yesterday by-email that all MobileMe users will be required to upgrade to the new MobileMe calendars by May 5, 2011.

    What does this mean for OmniGrowl users? OmniGrowl has supported the new calendars since January 1, 2011 with version 4.1. However there's one big outstanding problem: MobileMe sync does not currently automatically update changes to the new calendars until iCal is open. This means that if you add or change an event on the MobileMe web page, another computer, or an iPhone, OmniGrowl won't know about that change until you start iCal.

    You can always set OmniGrowl to launch iCal when it starts. But since Leopard you didn't need to and now you do.

    If you're not happy with this situation, please send feedback to MobileMe.


    OmniGrowl 4.2 brings back traffic and more

    OmniGrowl 4.2 has been released.

    With this release, OmniGrowl moves from Yahoo Traffic, which has been defunct for months, to MapQuest traffic, for U.S. only traffic alerts.

    MapQuest traffic alerts are not only more reliable, but each one is given a date and time range, which you can choose to display or not. You can also set a radius around your zip code for traffic alerts. Afternoon traffic alerts are now also consistently given.

    This release also fixes an issue where Woot, MacZot, and OED Word of the Day daily notifications would not be shown on successive days after the first launch. (Thanks to one of our crack beta testers for pointing this out!)

    Finally, this release further improves custom iTunes full notifications.

    As usual, please see the version history for details.

    OmniGrowl 4.1.2 released, supporting authenticated RSS feeds

    OmniGrowl 4.1.2 has been released.

    At the request in particular of Basecamp users, OmniGrowl now supports authenticated RSS feeds in the form of https://u:p@url.

    This release fixes OED Word of the Day and Flight Status formatting.

    It also includes a number of improvements to iTunes custom notification display formats and local album artwork handling.

    As usual, please see the version history for details.

    iGotta MP3 Collection Updated

    iGotta MP3 Collection, our freeware FileMaker database for iTunes, has been updated to version 2.5. It boasts a lot of new features, including these:
    • Added Limit, First, Last, Bit Rate, Settings, and About buttons to track list view.
    • Limit button limits current found set.
    • First and Last buttons show only first or last tracks in album.
    • Bit Rate searches for bit rates lower than user-defined limit.
    • Added Disc # and Disc Count fields to Track List.
    • Added Grouping and Last Played dates to Track Details.
    • New Settings layout.
    • New Internet Search function with defined and custom search URLs.
    • Support for dnuos when installed.
    • General layout clean-up, including adding tool tips when appropriate.
    • Updated WBC logos and URLs to newer versions.
    • Updated match field and playlist export directions layouts.

    Revision 2.5.2 (01/28/2011):
    We made two additional tweaks that we felt did not merit a new blog or twitter posting. But if you use iGotta and found the tab order on version 2.5 to be a problem, it's been fixed. A new download will get you version 2.5.2.
    • Fixed the tab order on both the track list and track detail screens.
    • Cleaned up the primary & related file table and file names.


    New Year's Day Release for OmniGrowl

    To mark the New Year, fighting off a hangover, WBC today releases a major update to OmniGrowl.

    OmniGrowl now supports the new MobileMe calendars, and other CalDav calendars as well. If you have switched to the new MobileMe calendars and have kept local copies, you'll want to make sure that either the local calendars or the MobileMe calendars are disabled in iCal so that you don't see duplicate notifications.

    Also, by popular request, same-day event notifications are now given by default for all day events, including birthdays and custom dates from Address Book, birthdays in iCal, and Yahoo Upcoming events. Previously, OmniGrowl showed notifications for all-day events 1 week, 3 days, and the day before they occurred. If you prefer the old way, you can uncheck the option for "also on the day of event" underneath the clock on the Personal tab.

    There are a few other under-the-hood changes as well, so as always, please check the version history.

    Cast Away 2.9.7 released and other news from WBC

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    Cast Away 2.9.7 has been released. It fixes a problem which could have caused Cast Away to get stuck in testing mode if not properly quit. Please see the version history for details.

    We here at WBC have been very busy the last couple of months, but promise a number of updates to follow in the next several weeks.

    We've updated all the alternate download links on this site, which had expired due to changes over at Apple's MobileMe. If you encounter other dead links, please report them, as one kind visitor did.

    Speaking of changes at MobileMe, as many Mac users know, Apple's making a big push to get people to update to the new MobileMe Calendar system. If things work as you like them now, we'd recommend not being too hasty about this. it involves some major changes under the hood, and you might find compatibility problems.

    We are aware that OmniGrowl is not fully compatible with with the new Calendar system. Making it so is a short-term priority, and we're working on it. We appreciate your patience.

    There are other changes in the works that will affect OmniGrowl as well. Today it was leaked that Yahoo plans to "sunset" or "merge" a number of its services, included Upcoming. OmniGrowl provides local event notifications using Upcoming. So if it turns out to be true — and it's still too early to tell what will happen with Upcoming — either that feature will disappear or we'll need to find a comparable substitute. Suggestions are very welcome.

    As for iDupe, we're working on some issues related to NAS volumes. If you use iDupe and have your music on a NAS volume formatted as FAT32 or NTSF, we'd like to hear from you about testing.

    As for ThinkArch, we are waiting on MicroSoft to fix some issues involving Outlook 2011 to begin making ThinkArch compatible with Outlook. As it stands so far, it's simply not possible due to the limitations.

    Finally, some of you may be wondering if we have any plans for the Mac App Store. Frankly, we haven't decided at this point. Our model is an old-school shareware model, where software is priced cheaply and people pay when they're happy. That's quite far from what we understand the Mac App Store model will be: focused on impulse buying and quite a controlled user experience. And of course given fees paid to Apple, prices would have to go up quite a lot. We invite your comments.
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    OmniGrowl 4.0.6 and WBC iTunes Scripts Collection Updates

    OmniGrowl 4.0.6 has just been released. It fixes AMG artist biography notifications.

    We are aware of some potential issues with the new MobileMe calendar (introduced within the last few weeks). In order to get them resolved, we have added some extra logging related to calendars in this version. So if you are using the new MobileMe calendar and OmniGrowl and are experiencing any issues, please send your logs to support. (You can access your logs from the help menu, or with cmd-L. Only the first part where it lists your calendars by name and type is needed.)

    We've also just released a major update to our WBC iTunes Scripts Collection.

    It's the first big update in a while, so it gets a 1.9 version number. Since it doesn't have it's own version history page, here are the main changes made:

    • Added several brand new tagging scripts (Compilationify, Discsettify, Consolidate Artists, and Yearify) to the Grab-Bag.
    • Added a few brand new miscellaneous scripts (including Find Artwork Multi-Search and Reveal All) to the Grab-Bag.
    • Added a couple more switch tagging scripts
    • Updated all scripts to working condition, or designated them as legacy scripts.
    • Removed some hopelessly out of date scripts entirely.
    • Removed iTunes version checking (which caused scripts not to work on iTunes 10+) on some scripts.
    • Various other minor changes to scripts.
    • Updated info documents.
    • Updated links in these info documents.

    The new scripts are pretty handy for tagging. We hope you'll try them out.

    Another update hat-trick: iDupe, Cast Away, and OmniGrowl

    Updates to iDupe, Cast Away, and OmniGrowl have been released.

    iDupe 2.8.5 fixes an issue with deep clean mode.

    Many performance updates have been made to Cast Away 2.9.6, including fixes for the archive logs and time out issues when iTunes is unresponsive when Cast Away is launched.

    OmniGrowl 4.0.5 fixes some bugs, and introduces a much-requested option to customize the iTunes track change full notification descriptions.

    Remember that OmniGrowl is still on special for one more day as part of theMacBundles September bundle. Act fast!

    The links above are to version history details.

    Customer demands refund after realizing he could have stolen iDupe

    One of the more difficult things we have to do here at WBC is handle refund requests.

    It's a dilemma for us, because most of our products don't require registration codes. We rely on an honor system and value the true spirit of shareware, which originally meant that customers paid when they were happy with the product, and continued to use it.

    Often these requests come from Windows users who fail to read the rather obvious Mac-only system requirements (which are stated in red next to an Apple logo, right under the Buy and downloads buttons). It doesn't give us any joy to stick to a consistent policy on refunds in such cases.

    We also know that plenty of Mac users abuse this honor system by never paying. But we even hear from people who want a refund when they realize they could have gotten away with not paying!

    This exchange on the PayPal dispute system is so telling, and so tragic, that we can't resist posting it, slightly edited, with names changed to protect the "innocent."

    From Buyer - John
    9/6/2010 23:44 EDT
    Have not received software key.
    From Seller - Loren
    9/7/2010 01:04 EDT
    A registration email with the subject "Thanks from WBC" was sent at 11:41 PM EST on 9/6. Check your spam filters, or maybe just wait a little. There is no registration key...
    From Buyer - John
    9/7/2010 08:30 EDT
    Then what exactly are you selling? Either issue a refund or I'll escalate this to a Paypal claim.
    From Seller - Loren
    9/7/2010 16:55 EDT
    We are selling shareware software on an honor system. It is paid software, you indicate you paid by checking a box. I fail to understand your issue.
    For details on this
    please see this in our FAQ.
    [Complete information on our refund policy and approach to shareware is given in our
    This was the original principle of shareware before most products started requiring codes like boxed commercial software.
    From Buyer - John
    9/7/2010 18:15 EDT
    My issue is you're not selling a product. It's unclear on your website that you can actually use the software without even paying for it. My ultimatum still remains.
    From Seller - Loren
    9/8/2010 09:01 EDT
    It's perfectly clear that we're selling a product and the link above explains what shareware is. Your argument is basically the same as saying if you buy something at a store and later realize you could have shop-lifted it without getting caught, you should get a refund. I'm sorry but not only is your logic offensive, but your "ultimatum" is meaningless. People like you are the reason most developers have to implement highly restrictive copy protection measures. So much for the principle of an honor system. Sigh.
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