Friday, April 29, 2005

DropDMG 2.6

DropDMG Icon DropDMG 2.6 adds support for Tiger and Automator. I think Brent Simmons is right that Automator will be the “sleeper hit” of Tiger. DropDMG is an application that really lends itself to automation, but most people don’t want to script or use the command-line tool, even though with DropDMG they’d usually only be writing a one-line script. At various points over the past few years, I was considering adding a feature to save the current preferences as an AppleScript or droplet. But I was never really happy with these ideas, because to do interesting things—combine image/archive creation with other tasks—you still had to know how to script. Automator goes much further. It lets you combine DropDMG with actions from other applications, and my sense is that for straightforward kinds of automation it’ll be easier and faster than AppleScript, even for people who know AppleScript. Once you’ve created an Automator workflow, you can save it as a droplet, contextual menu item, folder action, etc.

One of the less interesting, but still important, new features in Tiger is that many of the Unix tools now support resource forks and Mac metadata. One such tool is tar, and so DropDMG now supports creation of .tar.gz and .tar.bz2 archives. (Previous versions could convert these formats but not create them.)

2.6 also add support for some old formats—uncompressed read-only and read-write NDIF .img images. This is by popular request. Apparently some people use them with emulators and for exchanging files with OS 9 users.

Lastly, as far as the non-minor changes go, 2.6 adds two “name processing” options. You can have DropDMG automatically add the current date to the end of the image or archive name, and you can have it “sanitize” the name so that when you upload the file to a server it’s guaranteed to have a clean URL.

2 Comments

Hi Michael,
I wonder if you can help me? - I'll be brief...
I'm trying to burn a hybrid CD (mixed mode) for Mac / PC. Data is director projector and audio with isrc and CD text. Is there any way of copying and retaining the Mac data portion (Data, Autostart and Icon) to PC ready for burning? I presume if I dont do this correctly then the Mac Autostart will be lost. How is Mac Autostart achieved - what is written to the disc?
Thanks Mark

The Mac doesn't really have autostart. You could use something like Toast to create a hybrid CD. Once you have a disk image of it you can transfer it anywhere to do the burning.

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