Archive for September 26, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

SuperDuper 3.2 Adds Smart Delete

Dave Nanian:

This is something we’ve been thinking about and working on for a while. The problem has always been balancing safety with convenience. But we’ve finally come up with a idea (and implementation) that works really well.

Basically, if we hit a disk full error, we “peek” ahead and clean things up before Smart Update gets there, just enough so it can do what it needs to do. Once we have the space, Smart Delete stops and allows the regular Smart Update to do its thing.

Smart Update and Smart Delete work hand-in-hand to minimize disk full errors while maximizing speed and safety, with no significant speed penalty.

This is seriously one of my favorite improvements to backup software in a long time. My backup drives/partitions tend to be the same size (or a bit smaller) than the source drives, which are close to full and have many files that have changed. So it was common to run out of space after an hour or so of copying only to have to start over by reformatting the destination drive. A relatively quick Smart Update would require my intervention and turn into potentially a day of copying. That shouldn’t happen anymore.

Rebuilding the Services Menu

Howard Oakley:

If a service is missing, you can get pbs to rescan it by logging out and back in (or restarting), then opening any item in a Services menu. If that doesn’t do the trick, try the command /System/Library/CoreServices/pbs -flush and then use a command in a Services menu. The resulting rescan will take a while, but should create a brand new list of services.

When I updated to OmniFocus 3, its service was renamed from OmniFocus 2: Send to Inbox to OmniFocus 3: Send to Inbox, but the menu got out of sync. It kept showing the old name, whereas System Preferences showed the new one. Because of the mismatch, my custom keyboard shortcut didn’t work. Flushing pbs fixed the problem.

OmniFocus 3 for Mac

Brent Simmons:

This release brings a modern design that still manages to feel familiar — OmniFocus 2 users will feel right at home, while still being delighted by the fresh new user interface. It also brings new features and improves existing features.


  • Tags add a powerful additional organizing tool. Create tags for people, energy levels, priorities, locations, and more.
  • The Forecast view shows your tasks and calendar events in order, so you can better see what’s coming up in your day.
  • Enhanced repeating tasks are easier than ever to set up — and they work with real-world examples such as the first weekday of the month.
  • The updated, modern design helps you focus on your projects and actions.

A solid update to one of my most important apps. My favorite new feature is being able to reorder actions from the Tags view. They’ve also brought back the 1.x feature of being able to drag and drop onto tags within the main part of the window. I was initially concerned about tags replacing contexts because I thought this might make things cumbersome given that I usually only want one tag, but the implementation seems to be really well done.

I like the updated design in general, but the inspector has lower information density than before. I suppose the idea was to follow Apple’s lead with iWork’s iOS-inspired sidebars, which I also found to be a regression. Whereas I used to be able to quickly glance at the inspector to, e.g., check a date, I can no longer do that without scrolling. In theory, I should be able to collapse some of the sections to more easily see the areas I care about. However, each section contains something that I do want to see, so there’s no way to hide just the parts that I rarely care about (status and duration) or to use a smaller font or a less padded layout.

Brent Simmons:

Your old archive isn’t copied to OmniFocus 3 as part of the first run — but the first time you use the Archive feature in OmniFocus 3, the app will prompt you to copy it over.

Ken Case:

When OmniFocus 3 for Mac becomes available for sale (on Monday, September 24), you’ll be able to get a 50% discount on the upgrade so long as you download the new version from the same source as your earlier version.

The Mac App Store doesn’t support paid upgrades, so this is implemented as a separate SKU that offers you a discounted In-App Purchase if you had purchased the previous version. The direct sale version also has the new bundle identifier, and as a result it doesn’t retain your preferences from OmniFocus 2.

See also:

Previously: OmniFocus 3 for iOS, OmniFocus 2018 Roadmap.

Update (2018-09-27): See also: David Sparks and Allen Pike.

Screen Time Issues

Spencer MacDonald:

So Screen Time is showing me stats for an app I don’t even own?

Ben Lovejoy:

Of particular interest to parents was the ability to impose restrictions on their children – but it hasn’t taken long for kids to figure out how to bypass the limits …

The first, and most obvious one, was for kids to change the time of the device to an earlier one – before the downtime kicks in.

But a Reddit thread spotted by Business Insider reveals that this isn’t the only hack kids are employing.

Update (2018-09-27): Daniel Alm:

Apple recognizes which domains you have been browsing and shows apps associated with that domain instead of the actual domain in Screen Time, including apps you don’t even own.

Patrick Metcalfe:

Filed a radar and was told this is intended. Even for @github who’s URL is being used by someone ELSE’s app! Somehow that’s allowed.

Update (2018-10-03): Eric Chen:

It’s not just domains that have apps associated with that domain, it tracks (some?) domains in general. My screen time has timings for “” and more. Want to see something creepy? Go visit a certain hub of porn for a few minutes and check screen time.

Update (2018-10-25): See also: Accidental Tech Podcast.

DragThing No Longer for Sale

James Thomson (tweet):

DragThing is written using the 32-bit Carbon APIs that Apple have announced they will remove in the next major update of macOS after 10.14 Mojave, most likely in September 2019.

64-bit support would require completely rewriting DragThing from the ground up, a process which would take us six months to a year to complete, with no guarantees we could re-implement all the existing functionality.

Unfortunately, we do not believe there is enough of a market out there for a new version, such that it would be financially viable for us to do so. Almost all of our income over the last ten years has come from PCalc, and time spent on a new version of DragThing would be time we couldn't spend on improving PCalc.

While we have not yet made a final decision, we do not feel comfortable selling an app with an uncertain future, so DragThing is no longer for sale. It should continue to function on 10.14 Mojave for now.

The end of an era—DragThing must have been one of the first Mac apps that I bought. It’s still better than the Dock in many ways, but I didn’t use it much on Mac OS X because Apple never provided the APIs to allow to be a full Dock replacement.

James Thomson:

DragThing would need 6-12 months to rewrite, and I don’t even know if it’s technically feasible to do most of the stuff with the sandboxing changes in macOS.