CloudPull 2.1 -- When we wrote about the Google-data backup application CloudPull 2.0, the most obvious problem was its performance when bringing in large quantities of email from Gmail (see “Back Up Your Google Data with CloudPull,” 6 March 2012). John Brayton of Golden Hill Software took note of this, and improved the performance significantly in CloudPull 2.0.2 by addressing inefficiencies in how CloudPull interacted with Gmail via IMAP. But that has remained his focus for the just-released CloudPull 2.1, where he has enabled CloudPull to use four simultaneous connections for far faster performance yet. That in turn tends to set off Gmail’s throttling for clients that use excessive bandwidth, so CloudPull 2.1 also restricts itself to 5000 messages per backup cycle to avoid being throttled. As a result, initial backups can still take a while, but subsequent backups can be over 10 times faster than 2.0.2. Equally important from the perceptual standpoint, CloudPull 2.1 now has an Activity window that tells you what the app is doing and provides progress bars. Other changes include a Check for Updates menu item, improved usability in the Google Accounts preference pane, a text-label switch from Google Docs to Google Drive, pagination of lists with over 1000 items, and retry and backoff logic to make individual backup cycles more resilient to connectivity problems and errors from Google. CloudPull 2.1 requires Mac OS X 10.7 Lion; version 1.5.7 remains available for those running 10.6 Snow Leopard. ($24.99 new, free update, 7.6 MB, release notes)
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Script Debugger 5.0 -- Late Night Software has updated Script Debugger to version 5.0, a major new release for the AppleScript authoring environment (for an overview, see Matt Neuburg’s “Script Debugger 4.5 Offers Power Editing to AppleScripters,” 26 November 2008). Script Debugger 5.0 introduces more than 30 new features, including templates that can help you create new script documents more quickly, a tabbed interface for viewing multiple scripts in a single window, and a new bundle editor that enables you to open resource files or drag new resources directly into a bundle. The new release also unifies several floating inspector panels and the Results drawer into a three-tabbed pane available at the right side of each document. Other enhancements include improved Spotlight indexing, a redesigned Find and Replace panel that won’t obscure portions of your script when in use, and a Result Bar that enables you to view the result of a script when you don’t need the full power of the app’s Explorers and Variables browsers. Script Debugger 5.0 is now focused solely on AppleScript code-building, and it requires Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later. You can upgrade to Script Debugger 5.0 for $99 from version 4.5 or $129 from version 4.0. If you purchased Script Debugger 4.5 after 25 April 2012, you are eligible for a free upgrade to version 5.0. ($199 new, $99/$129 upgrade, 12.6 MB)
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PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.8.3 -- Smile has updated both PDFpen and PDFpenPro to version 5.8.3, a maintenance release focused on improving stability. The update fixes a couple of issues that caused the apps to crash — one when opening documents under certain situations and another when canceling creation of a PDF from an HTML document (the latter only affecting PDFpenPro). It also keeps the apps from hanging when expanding the sidebar to cover the entire page area and a problem that affected saving PDFs under some circumstances. The quick 5.8.3 update fixes the Check for Update mechanism that was broken accidentally in 5.8.2, and squashes a bug that could cause PDFpen to crash on saving when highlighting was applied. ($59.95/$99.95 new with a 20-percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 43.5/44.2 MB)
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Firefox 13.0 -- If you’re a Firefox user who has decried the lack of a feature akin to Safari’s Top Sites or Chrome’s Most Visited pages, you’re in luck with the release of Firefox 13 (think of it as version 4.9 in the real world). The update can now present you with a display of thumbnails of recently viewed and frequently visited Web pages, which can be pinned to a specific location within the display order, dragged to a different tile, or removed. You can also choose not to display the tab thumbnails by clicking the grid icon in the top right corner. Additionally, the Firefox default start page has been updated with a row of icons at the bottom that provide easier access to such browser features as bookmarks, browsing and sync histories, and downloads, as well as the capability to restore the tabs from your previous browsing session. (Both of these features seem buggy, with at least some of us seeing only blank thumbnails and no bottom icons.) In addition to these user interface changes, Firefox 13 also adds several performance enhancements. When restoring a previous browsing session, tabs are loaded on demand instead of all at once, which should help to reduce memory usage. The release also supports the SPDY network protocol — Google’s alternative to the traditional HTTP protocol — which will be used by default by those sites that utilize it (such as Google’s search engine and Twitter). (Free, 30.7 MB, release notes)
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