Stick Software News 

August 2006 edition.  Copyright © 2006 Stick Software. 

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Hello all! As I warned last time, Stick Software is somewhat on the back burner for me; I'm back in school, working on a degree in biology and heading, in theory, towards being a high school science teacher. So about a year has passed since last newsletter. Apologies to all of you who were hoping for major upgrades to this or that app.

However, I've got big news, speaking of major upgrades. I spent a good chunk of my summer working on Stick Software stuff, and am proud to announce... PhotoReviewer 2.0! I'm very excited about it; more below.

I also devoted some of my summer to porting my more popular apps to Intel (i.e. making them "Universal"). While I was at it, I made some small fixes and added some minor features, so they are worth downloading even for those of you still on PowerPC. Here are the ones that have been done so far:

Fracture 1.3:  A beautiful fractal screensaver

Download (420K)  mirror
More Information on Fracture
VersionTracker's Fracture Page
Price: $10 (Kagi) (PayPal)

Eyeballs 3.2:  Eyes that keep you company

Download (1.9 MB)  mirror
More Information on Eyeballs
VersionTracker's Eyeballs Page
Price: $10 (Kagi) (PayPal)

Jiggler 1.3:  No-Doz for your Mac

Download (168K)  mirror
More Information on Jiggler
VersionTracker's Jiggler Page
(No payment links — Jiggler is freeware)

OK, so with that out of the way, and saving the best for last, here's a little bit about:

PhotoReviewer 2.0:  View & organize photos fast

Download (1.1 MB)  mirror
More Information on PhotoReviewer
VersionTracker's PhotoReviewer Page
Price: $15 (Kagi) (PayPal)

PhotoReviewer is an image handling utility for people who juggle a lot of photos. If you have a digital camera, it's not uncommon to have hundreds or even thousands of images coming into your "inbox". You need to rename them, toss the bad ones, sort the good ones, email thumbnails to friends... you need an app that can help you with your photo workflow. Apple's iPhoto is a good long-term repository, but it isn't so good at that first stage of simply coping with the flood of incoming photos. Other apps tend to be overpriced, poorly designed, cluttered, and above all, slow. PhotoReviewer, on the other hand... well, I'll let my users speak for themselves:

I sorted ALL my photos, all 5GB of them, in two days. This is genius! — P. Cota
It's an indispensable piece of the tool chest. I tell everyone about it. — M. Peluce
It worked perfectly and was exactly what I needed! — R. Rosen
I'm taking 800 pics a day right now and couldn't do without it! — D. Manley
I love PhotoReviewer. I saw it in MacAddict. It is THE BEST. — L. Nalepa

Those rave reviews are actually for PhotoReviewer 1.4 — but PhotoReviewer 2.0 leaves it in the dust. New features include a thumbnail view, EXIF support, histograms, side-by-side comparison, and direct camera import. The user interface is streamlined and simplified, and the speed is just what you've come to expect from PhotoReviewer: blazingly fast. Here's a screenshot from 2.0 (click on it to see the full-size shot):

You can see some new stuff here. On the left side of the window is the new scrolling thumbnail list, with miniatures of all your review images for quick surfing. The first image is selected, and so it's displayed on the right (because we're in "Image View" here; there is also a "Thumbnail View" that fills the window with thumbnails). Below the thumbnail list is information about the image, including EXIF data (which, many will be happy to hear, is now used to automatically rotate your images, if your camera supports that). Over on the right side of the full-size image is the new magnifier: it shows pixels from the full-size original image, so you can check sharpness and detail. Just drag it around to examine any portion of your images. And in the upper left of the full-size image view is the new histogram, showing brightness, contrast, and over- or under-exposure information.

Near the upper right of the window is a little widget called the "action indicator" that represents another big change from version 1.4. When you vote on an image (approve it or veto it, or move it to a sorting folder, or rename it, or all of the above), that action is no longer taken immediately. Instead, the chosen action is just shown in the action indicator, so you can change your mind later. When you're all done reviewing, you tell PhotoReviewer to process the review, and it then walks you through exactly what changes will be made, before they are made. It's more intuitive, it's safer, and it's every bit as fast a process as the old way was. I've been itching to make this change for ages, but it required a complete rewrite of the core logic of the app, so it had to wait for 2.0.

This really just scratches the surface of what's new in 2.0; but for users registered for version 1.4, it is a free upgrade. For users who are new to PhotoReviewer, it's $15, but of course it's free to try, like all our apps.

Every silver lining has a cloud, however. Well, this one does, anyway. PhotoReviewer 2.0 requires OS X 10.4 to run. Users on older OS X releases will have to continue using 1.4. Sorry!

For more screenshots, links to PhotoReviewer's manual, information about raw image support (which has changed from 1.4), and other stuff, please visit PhotoReviewer's home page. I've said enough for one newsletter.

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What the future holds

So I've probably made clear by now that Stick Software is no longer my full-time job. I feel pretty happy with that decision; I don't really miss the coding, and I'm greatly enjoying being back in school doing biology. But neither have I completely abandoned Stick Software, as I hope this wave of updates makes clear. I'll be concentrating on our most popular products in the future, to avoid getting spread too thin; that probably means mostly PhotoReviewer, and perhaps Fracture. Once I finish my degree, who knows what the future holds; perhaps I will in fact become a high school teacher, although it's a little hard to imagine that right now. Or perhaps by then I will miss the world of software, and I'll return to it in some way. Who knows?

I'd like to thank everybody for their patience, though. I've been really surprised at how many angry emails I haven't gotten about this or that product stagnating, emails not getting answered promptly, and so forth, and I've been pleased by how supportive many of you have been towards my choices. Thank you, and I'll be in touch, sooner or later!

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