Take a Break when Working from Home

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world at present, many people are working from home for the first time. To help people cope with that, some companies or individuals are offering assistance, e.g. the free Take Control of
Working from Home Temporarily ebook by Glenn Fleishman

I wanted to contribute something too, and thought that everyone using a Mac could benefit from making sure they take regular breaks... and I have an app for that: Time Out, my popular break reminder tool for macOS.

While Time Out is always free to download, the best features are only available as rewards for supporters. But in these trying times, everyone deserves a reward. So I have created a page where you can become a supporter at no cost. This permanently unlocks all of the current features.

Get your free Time Out supporter status now!

DejalNews #73: Discounts for the holidays, AppStories

DejalNews header

DejalNews 2017-12, issue #73


This is DejalNews, an occasional newsletter from Dejal.

If you want to receive these newsletters in your email inbox, head over to the DejalNews subscribe page to sign up.

Holiday discount

'Tis the season for celebrations and reflection... and discounts! As I often do, I am marking the occasion with a discount on my Mac apps, Dejal Simon and Time Out.

From now until the end of the year, you can get Simon, my handy website & server monitoring tool, for just $49.50 — half the regular price. (The upgrade from version 3 is also half price.)

You can also become a supporter of Time Out, my popular break reminder tool, for half the normal amount; just $1.49, $2.49, or $4.99, depending on the supporter duration. (Remember, any level will permanently unlock all of the current supporter rewards.)

The Mac App Store edition of Time Out is also discounted, though with slightly different prices.

This discount is automatically applied if you buy via the online store, or in the Mac App Store edition. Or you can enter the code "JOYTOALL" in the coupon field when purchasing in the direct edition. Don't delay!

Already have Simon and Time Out? Tell your friends and colleagues about it! I really appreciate any help spreading the word.

AppStories sponsorship

Last week I sponsored an episode of AppStories, a podcast discussing apps on macOS and iOS, brought to you by the fine folks at MacStories.

It was great to hear John talking about Dejal Time Out on the show.

Happy holidays!

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and a very happy New Year.

- David

Simon special: an eclipsed price for a limited time

Much of the US will experience a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. To celebrate this historic event, I thought I'd eclipse the price of Simon till the end of August. (Okay, a flimsy excuse for a discount, but why not — it's been quite a long time since the last one, even if not as long as since the last eclipse over the US, in 1918.)

This discount is automatically applied if you buy via the online store. Don't delay! Like the eclipse, this special only lasts a short time.

Time Out in Uneeqco bundle

Uneeqco bundle

For a short while, Time Out is available as part of a bundle from a relatively new organization, Uneeq Company. This is a "name your own price" bundle, so you can choose how much to pay for $643 worth of Mac apps.

Check out the bundle!

Simon in BundleHunt

BundleHunt poster

I know I've mentioned this before, but I wanted to remind everyone of BundleHunt, a "choose your own bundle" collection of great apps, which includes Simon, my pro tool to monitor websites and servers for changes or failures.

This bundle is coming to an end soon, so it's your last chance to get Simon and 6 other apps for just $19.99. Choose from 49 premium apps, including Typinator, MacJournal, WinZip, and more. You can get 7 apps for less than quarter the regular price of just Simon!

If you already have Simon, this is a great opportunity to get your friends or colleagues hooked on its benefits for a very low cost. I'd appreciate any help in spreading the word, and if you use this link they'll know you came from here.

Caboodle in BundleHunt


Hot on the heels of a Caboodle 2 sneak peek, Caboodle is now available in the BundleHunt holiday bundle!

For about the same price as Caboodle alone, you can now get 9 additional apps for free! Click on the following image and pick 10 apps of your choosing (hopefully including Caboodle) to get a great deal on Mac software.

As a bonus, everyone who purchases Caboodle now will receive a free upgrade to version 2. The license will work in both version 1 and version 2, at no extra cost.


Time Out 2.1 released & Dejal 25th anniversary discount

Announcing the general release of Time Out version 2.1, an update to my popular break reminder tool.

Version 2.1 includes macOS Sierra compatibility, scheduling enhancements, status item improvements, new actions, and much more. Read below for details and screenshots.

Special discounts to celebrate Dejal 25th anniversary!

Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of founding Dejal. Yes, I started the company way back on September 20, 1991, writing apps for classic Mac OS on my Mac Plus. (I've written a number of blog posts about the history if you want more details.)

To celebrate a quarter century of Mac development, and the release of Time Out 2.1 and macOS Sierra, I'm offering a special discount coupon code on all Mac apps sold directly from this site, or the supporter options within the direct edition of Time Out. Simply enter the coupon DEJAL25 at checkout to get half off! (Good until the end of this month.)

Already a supporter of Time Out? No problem; you can still use this coupon to extend your support by an additional 3, 6 or 12 months.

Here's my original Mac; if you look closely you can see some Dejal floppy disks to the left of the keyboard:

Better Schedule options

Time Out 2.1 includes many new features and enhancements, including:

  • Changed the way the scheduler handles the first break of the day, so the work time is now equal between each break. For example, a 10 minute break every hour will now start the break after 50 minutes of work time, and so on throughout the day.
  • Now displays the work time next to the frequency control.
  • Replaced the Reset After Duration natural break option with a checkbox to reset after a specified interval of idle, screensaver or sleep time, where you can choose the threshold interval. Off by default, and is a supporter reward, like the old option.
  • Added an option to reset the break after finishing a higher priority break. This is useful to keep lower priority breaks (e.g. Micro) aligned with higher priority ones (e.g. Normal). Off by default, and is also a supporter reward.

The Status item can now omit Micro breaks

  • Added an option on the General preferences page to only include long breaks in the status menu bar item. Off by default, so all breaks are included, but if you only want a countdown to the next lengthy break (of a minute or more), you can turn this on.

New menu commands to improve discoverability

  • Added an Edit Break command in the break Options menu, to make editing breaks more intuitive. This is equivalent to simply selecting the break in the sidebar, and will show an alert mentioning this.
  • Added a Start Next Break command in the File and action (cog) menus to manually begin the break that is next due. Especially useful as it can have a global keyboard shortcut assigned to it via the Shortcuts preferences.
  • Added a Reveal Data Folder command in those menus, to quickly and easily show the Time Out data folder in the Finder, as an easier way to add or edit sounds and themes, or send the data to Dejal for diagnostics.

Improved Play Sound action

  • Added a Reveal Sounds command to the sound pop-up menu in the Play Sound action, to show the Sounds folder in the Finder.
  • Added headings in the Play Sound menu, to indicate where each of the groups of sounds are located on disk.
  • Added some new built-in sounds: two different bells and a ticking clock. If you find any short public domain sound that others might like, let us know!

Added a Post Tweet action

  • Added a new Post Tweet action to post an update to Twitter. It is only available from macOS Sierra (10.12), due to a bug in previous OS versions that prevents authorizing accounts.
  • It includes an account popup to choose from which account to post. This could be fun for social peer pressure -- tweet when completing a break.

More actions

  • Added the Sleep Mac action (available via the Time Out Extras page) to the default set. This AppleScript simply puts the Mac to sleep. Useful if you want it to be asleep during a break or at the end of day.
  • Added the Start Screensaver action (also available there) to the default set. This AppleScript simply activates the screensaver. Useful if you want the screensaver on during a break.
  • Also added a new Stop Screensaver action. This AppleScript deactivates the screensaver if it's active. Useful as an action at the end of a break.

Setup Assistant assistance

  • Added a comment on the first page of the Setup Assistant to explain how to change the duration and frequency controls: "tab/arrow between components; arrow up/down or type to change values; click or spacebar to show a menu of options."
  • Updated the tooltips of those controls to give the same tips.
  • When returning to the Setup Assistant later in the app session, it now opens to the first page again, instead of whichever one was displayed when last closed.

Supporter improvements

  • After trying supporter rewards, the Support Time Out page is selected, to hopefully help clarify that the features reverting is not a bug.
  • For the Mac App Store edition, if a purchase hasn't been registered with the Dejal server, it will now ask you to do so when you next show the Support Time Out page, to avoid an issue that affects some people.

Other improvements

  • When launching the direct edition for the first time, if the Mac App Store edition has previously been used, the direct edtion will use the same data, to make migration easier.
  • Global shortcuts are now correctly removed after trying supporter rewards.
  • If not using the Event Monitor idle detector (as set on the Advanced preferences), no longer unnecessarily sets up the event monitors on launch.
  • Possible workaround for an Apple bug that causes the clipboard to stop working.
  • Fixed a crasher on macOS Sierra (10.12) when displaying the support info popovers.
  • Fixed a crasher when changing preference pages.
  • Updated the help book.

Get it now!

If you are using the Mac App Store edition, you can update via the App Store app.

If you are using the direct edition, you can use the Check for Updates feature in the app to update.

Otherwise, download Time Out 2.1 now.

And remember the coupon code DEJAL25 to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dejal!

DevAssist: Syria Relief

Dejal is participating in the DevAssist: Syria Relief collective effort.

All sales today (September 16) will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

So if you've been thinking about buying a Dejal app, now is a great day to do so, to help support a worthwhile cause. And with Time Out 2 getting ever closer to release, now is a great time to donate for that, and thus get a Time Out license and support this cause at the same time.

Learn more about other developers participating at the DevAssist site.

Simon on MacUpdate Promo

Simon is now available for 25% off at MacUpdate Promo, for a limited time!

They are offering the Platinum license, which supports unlimited tests, for just $374.00!

Plus they have the Bronze license, with up to 15 active test configurations, for just $36.99, and the Silver license, with up to 40 tests, for just $74.49!

Don't miss these great prices!

(2013-05-21: Updated links and prices for the extended deals.)

Happy Holidays!

Thanks to everyone who bought Dejal products yesterday as part of the Apps for Water event; as promised, the proceeds have been donated to the very worthy organization, charity: water.

I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you happy holidays — Merry Christmas or your preferred flavor of celebration, and Happy New Year!

I'm grateful that I get to spend my time doing what I love, working on great Mac and iOS apps. I really appreciate all my wonderful customers who make this possible. Thank you.

As my holiday gift to you (existing and future customers), I'm offering discounts on all apps sold via the Dejal Store till the end of the year. A coupon is automatically applied. Visit the Dejal Store now!

Apps for Water charity

'Tis the season for charity and acts of goodwill. I've often joined with other developers in support of fundraising, charity and special efforts, and am more than happy to join in with another one this year.

The cause this time is very important: safe, clean water for developing nations. And the organization dedicated to this goal is called charity: water.

It's simple: buy any of my Mac, iPad or iPhone apps from now till December 21, and I'll donate all proceeds to charity: water. What's more, I've provided a coupon code for the Mac apps sold on this site, which is automatically applied, so you can get a discount while getting great apps and supporting a very worthwhile charity. (Of course, if you want to pay more to help make a larger donation, you can remove the coupon.)

Several other great apps are also participating: see the Apps for Water site.

You can buy Mac apps via the Dejal Store, or buy Mac, iPad and iPhone apps from the Mac and iOS App Stores. The proceeds from all sales today until December 21 will go to charity: water.

Many thanks to Mike Piatek-Jimenez of Gaucho Software for organizing this event.

20 years of Dejal shareware

Today marks a milestone that is perhaps only significant to me, but I feel worth noting anyway. Twenty years ago today, I started work on my first shareware product, SndPlayer. Yes, you read that right, 20 years... makes me feel old. :)

Dejal as a company was actually founded on September 20, 1991 — but I was away on vacation without internet access when that anniversary rolled around this year, so I'm celebrating my first paid product instead.

SndPlayer was first created on October 24, 1991, though wasn't in beta release until November 25, and general release on February 24, 1992. It had many updates over the years, with the last release on January 29, 2001. It was officially discontinued a couple of years later, since it could no longer be updated.

Check out the classy icon design, above... a construction crane seems a weird choice for a batch sound player, but the idea was that it could lift sounds out of any kind of file. And check out the About window: the icon was even animated (crudely)! Also of note in that window, other than hideous color choices, are the original Dejal logo, the "accelerated for Power Macintosh" (it was a "fat" app, running on 68K and PPC machines), and for the old-timers in the audience, ancient mentions like "Sound Mover", SoundEdit" and "HyperCard stack" may bring back memories.

Because SndPlayer was written for Mac OS 7 to 9, before Mac OS X was introduced, it doesn't run on modern machines and OS versions. If you have an old machine that supports those OS versions, or can run the Classic compatibility environment on Mac OS X 10.4 or earlier, you can run SndPlayer. It is still available on the Dejal site, and along with all other discontinued classic software, is completely free.

Dejal anniversary

As a celebration of this event, I'm offering discounts on all of my Mac apps from today till the end of the month November 14. No special codes or coupons required, but you need to use the online store, not the in-app purchasing tool or Mac App Store, to take advantage of these low prices.

Buy now with the anniversary discounts!

Be quick — these specials expire at the end ofOctoberUPDATE: extended till November 14!

Note also that Simon Bronze is not discounted via the above link (Simon Silver and above are, though), but is available discounted as a weekly special from TheMacBundlesUPDATE: it's still available as part of their "Build Your Own Bundle".

Caboodle in TheMacBundles

I'm pleased to announce that Dejal Caboodle, my "lean, clean snippet machine" is included in TheMacBundles.

Caboodle is a handy tool to help collect and organize various bits of text, images, PDFs, and other information. It includes support for custom fields and freeform rich text and other content, plus can encrypt your entries to keep them secure, and import and export several formats. It is simple and easy to use. A full license is included in the bundle, not some cut-down version.

You can see more of it on the Caboodle page, or download it now to give it a try.

This bundle also includes 9 other fine apps, for only $39.95 — a saving of 84%!

Visit TheMacBundles.com to learn more, or to take advantage of this great deal.

Christchurch earthquake relief followup

A couple of weeks ago, a major earthquake hit Christchurch in New Zealand, with at least 160 dead and many more injured. A couple of days later, I announced that I'd donate 100% of Dejal Mac sales for a week to the New Zealand Red Cross, to aid with their relief effort.

Towards the end of that week, I was contacted by some Kiwi iOS developers who were organizing their own similar effort, also donating 100% of their incomes for a week to the NZ Red Cross. So I decided to join with them and extend my effort by another week. They also managed to recruit lots of other NZ, ex-NZ and overseas developers to their effort.

I'm pleased to report sales totalling US$1,419.64 during this period, which I will donate to the NZ Red Cross.

I had hoped for more (e.g. when I did a similar effort for Haiti, I accumulated almost as much in a single day), but I'm between releases right now, so it didn't benefit from the usual new-release sales spike. And perhaps people aren't as moved by a disaster in a first-world country? True, Haiti was a much bigger disaster, with hundreds of thousands dead. But as an expat Kiwi, the Christchurch earthquake seemed "closer to home" for me.

Regardless, thank you very much to everyone who bought my apps during this period. I really appreciate your help in this effort. I'm sure the NZ Red Cross will make great use of the funds.

If you missed this event, not to worry — you can make donations directly to the NZ Red Cross.

Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake relief

As you may have heard, the city of Christchurch in New Zealand had another major earthquake a couple of days ago, having suffered a big one late last year.

This quake (or series of quakes) has done a huge amount of damage, both to homes and major landmarks like the cathedral. Hundreds of people are still missing, and at least 75 123 were killed, with the toll still climbing.

Here's an interesting visualization of the two big quakes and hundreds of others in the region.

Looking at some of the photos really brings home the tragedy, for example this slideshow of before and after photos.

I won't repeat all the news about it; for details, see CNN's coverage, the New Zealand Herald's coverage, and others.

As many of you know, I was born in New Zealand, and lived there until 2001. Although I don't have any friends or family in Christchurch, I know people who do. I feel that I really want to do something to help the relief efforts.

So, I'm announcing that for the rest of this week (i.e. from now till midnight PST on Sunday Feb 27), I will donate 100% of the proceeds from Dejal Mac app sales to the New Zealand Red Cross, to help fund their relief efforts.

Update: Extended for another week! I've now joined with other Kiwi Mac and iOS developers who are also donating 100% of their income to the NZ Red Cross. So now I'm donating my Mac income till March 5.

If you're at all interested in any of my products, now is the time to buy. Your money will help those suffering from this disaster.

Buy from the Dejal Store.

And if you don't need any of my apps, I urge you to make a donation to the NZ Red Cross directly.

Simon 3 licenses now available

As previously discussed, Simon version 3 has new license levels, each with more tests than previously. I'm pleased to report that the Simon 3 licenses are now available for purchase — but still at Simon 2 prices, for another few days! This special deal will expire with the general release, currently scheduled for early next week. (I'm working on updating the website, and the localizers are hard at work translating Simon into their languages.)

Currently, the new licenses are only available via the PayPal-powered Dejal Store and the Kagi-powered Dejal Store. The TrialPay store should be updated soon. Update: the TrialPay and GetItFree stores have now been updated too, though they don't have the discounted pricing.

I've redesigned the store content for Simon, to make it easier to pick the right license. Please let me know if you experience any difficulties with your purchase.

The new Simon 3 license levels are as follows:

  • Bronze license enabling up to 15 tests: $49 — buy now for just $29.95 and save $19!
  • Silver license enabling up to 40 tests: $99 (25% per-test discount over Bronze) — buy now for just $59.95 and save $39!
  • Gold license enabling up to 100 tests: $199 (40% per-test discount over Bronze) — buy now for just $99.00 and save $100!
  • Platinum license enabling unlimited tests: $499 — buy now for just $195 and save $304!

Simon 3 represents many months of work, and includes lots of great new features, so is a paid upgrade for version 2 customers. It's been over five years since 2.0, so it's well and truly due. Note that the upgrade pricing has changed a little from my previous announcement, based on initial feedback:

  • Upgrade Simon 2 to v3 Bronze: $19.
  • Upgrade Simon 2 to v3 Silver: $39.
  • Upgrade Simon 2 to v3 Gold: $69
  • Upgrade Simon 2 to v3 Platinum: $99.

Worth noting is that you can upgrade (or downgrade!) to any license level. So if you have a version 2 Standard license and want to go up to a Platinum license in one step, now's your chance; all you need is the Platinum upgrade. Similarly, if you have a v2 Enterprise license, and want to save some money, you can upgrade to v3 and downgrade to Gold in one step, via the Gold upgrade.

Upgrading license levels while upgrading to version 3 will save you a lot of money over upgrading license levels later, so this is a great opportunity to re-evaluate your needs.

I'm happy with these prices; they seem very fair, especially when compared against other high-end software upgrades (e.g. QuickBooks is $229, upgrade for $199; Aperture is $199, upgrade for $99). But if you have any feedback about them, I'm still interested to hear from you in the comments or via email.

Remember, the discounted prices will only remain for another few days, so buy now to save!

And again, if you bought Simon from September 1, 2010, you're eligible for a free upgrade! Contact me to request your free upgrade.

Simon Standard in Webilicious Design Bundle!


As long-time readers of my blog will know, I'm a fan of bundles as a marketing mechanism. They help expose apps to a wider audience, and encourage people who normally might not buy an app to give it a go, by getting a great deal for several apps at once.

So when a new bundle comes along, chances are I'll agree to participate. The latest such bundle is from Appilicious, and is called the "Webilicious Design Bundle".

As the name would suggest, this bundle has a focus on web design. It's a little different than many others, in that it includes non-software products amongst the software, including design themes and 6 months hosting at my favorite web host, Site5.

As for my contribution, I'm including the full Standard license of Simon, my flagship app to monitor websites and servers for changes or failures. The Standard license normally sells for $59.95, and the entire bundle costs only $49.99, so if you want Simon, you're saving $10 and effectively getting all those other goodies thrown in for free. What a great deal!

Simon is a powerful app, and soon will be even more powerful — I'm putting the finishing touches on version 2.6, which adds a powerful new filter feature, and lots more. See the recent Simon-related blog posts for more information.

Click here to take advantage of this great bundle, before it expires!

Back to school specials!

On occasion, independent developers like to band together to offer great deals, and help introduce their customers to other great indie products.

One such deal has just been introduced: iAppsForStudents. This is focused on students returning to school around this time (in the US, at least) — but the deals are open to anyone interested in learning about new software.

I'm pleased to participate in this promotion. I've added a coupon code "BACK2SKOOL"; simply click this link to go to the Dejal Store, and the coupon will be already applied for you.

The coupon will give you great discounts on my Mac products. For example, get Simon Standard for just $49.95 instead of the regular $59.95 ($10 off), or get the Enterprise license for just $145 instead of $195 ($50 savings)! Similarly, get $5 off Individual or Household licenses of Caboodle and BlogAssist.

The iAppsForStudents promotion runs until the end of August, but my coupon will continue until the end of September. But don't delay!

And don't forget to check out the other great participating Mac, iPad and iPhone apps with their own coupons, listed on the iAppsForStudents site.

Simon Standard featured in both VoteBundle and TheMacBundles

I'm pleased to announce that Dejal Simon, my flagship server monitoring app, is now featured in two bundles: the existing TheMacBundles collection, and an innovative new VoteBundle.

VoteBundle started out with 20 apps, and 40,000 Mac users cast 200,000 votes for which apps they most wanted in the bundle. The most popular 10 apps remain, including Simon.

Dejal Simon is the essential site monitoring tool for Mac OS X. It checks servers for changes or failures, and notifies you via e-mail, sound, speech, Twitter, or other means. You can use it to track updated sites, and to alert you when an important server goes down or recovers.

Both bundles include the full Simon Standard license — normally $59.95!

You can see more of the application on the Simon pages.

Version 2.6 is currently in development, and a beta will be out soon. It includes a powerful new Filter feature, enabling much more flexible analysis of test output, plus cookie management and many more enhancements. Version 2.6 will be a free update for all licensed Simon users.

Each bundle also includes several other fine apps. TheMacBundles includes 12 apps for only $49.95, and VoteBundle includes 10 apps for only $39. A bargain! Especially since you're getting a Standard license for Simon — for less than it normally costs by itself. Why not buy both bundles, and get 21 great apps for just $88.50?!

Visit TheMacBundles.com and VoteBundle.com to learn more about each, or to take advantage of one or both of these great deals.

Vote for Dejal apps in VoteBundle

The people behind the popular Mac Bundle Box promotions have launched an innovative new bundle concept: the VoteBundle.

Three Dejal products are in the running: Simon, my tool to monitor websites and servers for changes or failures; Narrator, my fun app to read out stories in multiple voices (soon to move to Mariner Software); and BlogAssist, my handy tool to make marking up HTML easier. As I write this, Simon is doing quite well, though could certainly use more votes, while the other two are trailing. If you like these apps, please vote them up!

Here's an intro video (not iOS compatible, unfortunately):

VoteBundle 1 - www.VoteBundle.com from Christian Owens on Vimeo.

Welcome to VoteBundle the very first community driven, democratic Mac software bundle. Cast your votes now, www.VoteBundle.com

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