Hello Snow Leopard, Good Bye Panther

DssW launched an update to Power Manager today. This update improves a couple of bits and pieces, but nothing too significant has changed.

DssW Power Manager 3 for Mac OS X
DssW Power Manager 3 for Mac OS X

The biggest change is our dropping of Mac OS X 10.3.9 support. With the introduction of Mac OS X 10.6, the time is right. We have supported Mac OS X 10.3, aka Panther, for four years.

Panther was the first generation of Mac OS X that could support Power Manager. Earlier generations of Mac OS X did not include the underlying functionality we needed.

It feels sad to say good bye to Panther. Going forward the decision makes sense; our efforts can be better directed, and new critical path technologies are calling that Panther can not emulate.

Supporting multiple generations of Mac OS X is not always easy. Each generation of Mac OS X introduces new technologies, methodologies, and quirks that demand a deep understanding of Mac OS X’s implementation.

That effort to support multiple generations of Mac OS X with one binary often results in a much more stable product.

I was pleased to note that Snow Leopard required no specific changes to Power Manager. Instead, we used the allocated time to improve the Login Window notification mechanism and port our process management to launchd.

Finding a Civil Celebrant in Australia

Earlier this year I married Megan. As part of our wedding planning we needed to find a celebrant outside of our home state. We knew the location of our wedding but finding a civil celebrant by location proved difficult.

To make our search easier, I cobbled together a map of civil celebrants in Australia, organised by state.

Maps showing Australian Civil Celebrants
Maps showing Australian Civil Celebrants

The link above leads through to a mash-up of celebrant listings from the Australian Government’s web site and Google Maps. The data is frozen as of April 2009, but that should be recent enough to get you started.

Dressed to Rule at the NGV International

We recently had a fun day out at the NGV International, Melbourne, visiting the “Dressed to Rule: Imperial Robes of China” exhibit. If you want to avoid the crowds at the Dali exhibition, this smaller exhibit is sure to captivate.

Dressed to Rule: Imperial Robes of China
Dressed to Rule: Imperial Robes of China

The exhibit’s walls are painted a striking red that contrasts well with the clothing on display. The gallery’s exhibits frequently boast strongly coloured backgrounds, thanks to sponsorship from Dulux.

Dressed to Rule: Imperial Robes of China
Dressed to Rule: Imperial Robes of China

Overwhelming and wonderful

The feeling of creating and releasing a significant product is fantastic. I can not describe the overwhelming emotions the moment triggers, but I can recommend them.

Now selling digital content

Today Megan released her first book. The book is called Wordsearch 1 for Beginners, and is available immediately from The English Space.

Megan’s book is being published by DssW; my company is handling the business side of the venture, while Megan focuses on the producing useful content for her readers.

Megan’s book was the cause of our recent Reseller upgrade at DssW. Our reseller software needed to be extended to handle the sale of digital content.

Selling digital content is new for DssW. For this post, I consider digital content to be any content that is not available until a payment has been made. That means allowing only paying customers to download or view the content.

I have extended DssW’s tried and true reseller software to handle the sale of digital content, in addition to software licences. Thankfully the improvements touched surprisingly little existing code.

When you buy your copy of the book, you receive an e-mail from DssW containing a unique download link. That link is unique to you and lets you download the book as many times as you need.

As with nearly all sales through DssW, the download e-mail is sent automatically and immediately after your payment has cleared. If you are buying with a debit or credit card, the book will be yours within minutes regardless of the time of day, or day of the year.

Today marks the beginning of a new adventure. Exciting times are ahead.

Upgrading Reseller to Catalyst 5.8 from 5.7

The last few days have been spent preparing the way for DssW‘s next big thing. That meant getting my hands dirty and updating our sales and reseller software: Reseller.

Reseller is written in perl using the Catalyst framework. Thankfully Reseller is not too complex, but different enough from my day-to-day UNIX development work to take me a while to orientate myself.

Catalyst has continued to improve since I last updated Reseller. In that time, Catalyst’s minor version number ticked up from 7 to 8 and with it came a handful of significant changes. Catalyst now uses Moose and has generally matured. The update meant I needed to tweak a few bits and pieces but nothing too painful.

Catalyst’s documentation continues to be outstanding; the documentation is main reason I picked the framework over Ruby-on-Rails or Java. Fad and functionality mean little without guidance. Those seeking to compete with the likes of Catalyst need to rival their clear, centralised, documentation and tutorials.

The upgraded Reseller is now live and ticking along nicely. If you notice any problems, please let support@dssw.co.uk know.