Daylite 5 is here!

At last, Daylite 5 is here. The announcement came this morning on Marketcircle's blog. At last I won't have to keep the secret anymore. Visit their What's New page for all the nitty gritty details, but here are my impressions and highlights...

I've been using the Daylite 5 betas for about two months, day-to-day, with my production database, and have been loving it. It's been very, very solid. The kinks are worked out. It feels more like a refinement on Daylite 4 rather than a whole new animal. That's a good thing. Much in the same way that upgrading from OS X Mountain Lion to Mavericks is now a smooth download and click (as opposed to the major operation that going from say OS X 10.4 to 10.5 used to be), or upgrading the iPhone from iOS 6 to iOS 7, the Daylite 4 to 5 upgrade feels smooth, easy, and just adds features and refinements to an already great system.

Speaking of updating, that's one of the best parts of Daylite 5: when there are new versions, you no longer need to go and download files from the Marketcircle website. Instead, the updates happen in-app with an announcement dialog and a button. The updates are smart enough to update all the Daylite parts (Daylite, DMA, and Daylite Server if that's on your Mac) on your system at once. This takes the confusion out of the process, and reduces updating hassles to a minimum.

Also, Daylite on iOS has received a full iOS 7 makeover, really improving the look and feel. The addition of app-wide search ability on iOS is really welcome as well.

Pricing has been announced, and while new licenses have gone from $279.95/user to $299.95/user, upgrades from Daylite 4 are 149.95/user. Also, anyone who has purchased a Daylite 4 license between March 1, 2014 and April 22, 2014 are eligible for a free Daylite 5 upgrade. If you purchased a Daylite 4 license this year, and have used my affiliate link, get in touch for some more information.

There's more, a lot, more, so take a look at the What's New page, and enjoy! It's great to see this awesome software grow and expand!

Heartbleed creates a frenzy - what to do?

The aftermath of the recent Heartbleed Internet security vulnerability is curious. It's been described (correctly) as the worst security breach in many years. But for average people, the ones who don't manage secure web or email servers, the experts say there isn't much we can do. Change all your passwords? ... maybe, but wait.

Why is this so complicated? It is becuase the affect parts are beyond our control as normal internet users. But there is some sense to be made of this, and that can be had in this excellent article by Adam Engst and Rich Mogull over at Tidbits titled "The Normal Person’s Guide to the Heartbleed Vulnerability". Go read that, I'll wait.

In the meantime, I'm bracing myself for seeing several things that drive me nuts...

  • There will be a flurry of "Hello, this is ________ that you have an account at, and we say we weren't affected/we-were-affected-but-have-patched-things, and you need to do X..." emails. That's fine, but most people won't read them, and will ignore them
  • There is then be flurry of "Hello, this is ________ that you have an account at, and we say we weren't affected/we-were-affected-but-have-patched-things, and you need to do X..." emails, that are phishing attacks from scammers, capitalizing on the publicity, and trying to trick people into following their poisoned links and giving away their info.
  • People will continue to use crappy passwords without a password manager.

So, in these uncertain internet times, let me hope that you'll follow basic common sense:

  • Never click on a link in an email that you're unsure about who the sender is.
  • If you if you DO think its a legitimate email a service that you use, don't click the links. Log into the service by typing the address into your web browser.
  • Always read important announcements from your services.
  •  Use good passwords, and a password manager.

Good luck!

Daylite 4.3, and tales of software development

Marketcircle just relased (yesterday) a big update to their flagship app, Daylite, version 4.3. It brings a whole slew of new features (read about them here) and bug fixes/improvements (here). I know they've been working on this new release for a long time, and I've seen (but not participated in) the multiple beta testing rounds, the backs and forth feedback they got from their testers, the adjustment and improvements made along the way. It's enough to remind me never to get into the business of writing software. Yet, after all that very thourough, very detailed and rigorous work and testing, there was a show stopping bug with the release. It only affected some users uning a "side" feature of Daylite (suubscribing to iCloud calendars to be displayed in Daylite via CalDAV), but it was a bad bug: both Daylite and iOS devices crashed moments after launch. Not only was this a huge annoyance to users, but it is mud on the face of Marketcircle.

When things like this happen, to any software company, the general internet public (who hasn't seen the work going on behind the scenes) can be pretty brutal on Twitter and forums. You hear some pretty harsh things, acusing the company of being bozos, inept, wondering why they didn't test everything, or anything, etc etc. And for the most part, it just isnt fair.

For Marketcirlce's part, they did what they always do: acted exceptionally. The first tweet about the issue appeared about 2am this morning, and a Daylite partner in Germany woke the owner of Marketcircle up around 4:30am. In a few hours, a beta version that fixed the bug was released and posted. A few hours after that, an email was sent to all Daylite users with a description of the issue, and a link to the fixed new version.

That's what I love about Marketcircle, and why I put my trust in Daylite for my, and my client's, business. Making software is hard, making excellent software is even harder. But being excellent makes the difference.

NOTE: it turns out this was caused by... "an issue introduced by Apple in an update to their iCloud calendar servers early this morning". So, simultaneous to their new release, Apple made a change unbeknownst to Marketcircle, moving the goalposts as it were. But that's how the software development ball bounces.

Passwords!?!?! Enough Already!

It is 2013. We've all been using computers and the internet for years, and even decades, by now. But I still see terrible, guessable, written-on-a-post-it on the monitor passwords. The same password used everywhere. A phone number as a password. The street address as a password. And no matter how gentle or firm, strong or subtle, zealous or casual, I am with my clients, most still have terrible passwords and password policies.

I am sympathetic; I get it that there are new passwords popping up everywhere, and that they're a PITA to manage. I get it. But having lousy passwords and password management is the single biggest tech boo boo that ordinary people make in the businesses and personal lives.

Just like brushing your teeth, changing the oil in your car, and carying your house keys around, it is just another "chore" that we'd be crazy not to do, and that we accept a level on inconveniece, becuase we've decided it outweighs the alternative. So it is with passwords, and password management.

So please, if you are one of the "bad" password people, or even if you think you're really good, read this one awesome ebook... Take Control of Your Passwords . Joe Kissel really makes things clear, readbale, not too long or too wordy, and gets to the heart of the password problem plaguing us today. I agree and advocate 99.9% of everything that's in this book. So do yourself a favor, and give it read. DOn't just take it from me, listen to Joe...

 

Expanding Daylite with Great Plugins

Since being released last year, Daylite 4 has added a ton of great features and enhancements to the venerable Mac & iOS CRM. But there are still many things it can't do. To fill some of those gaps, the developers at iOSXpert in Germany have been making great plugins and add-ons for Daylite. Here are a few of my favorites.

ProductivityTools

Just released today, ProductivityTools adds the ability to duplicate appointments, create new aapointments from an existing task, and send taks and appointments as an email, with user configurable templates. Take a look at the demo video...

MailChimp

The best email blast / email newsletter tool out there is MailChimp. And while Daylite 4 and MailChimp can work together without it, iOSXpert have made a neat little plugin that makes moving contacts to MailChimp a breeze.

 

 

WebConnector

WebConnector is a like a little web browser built into Daylite 4. It lets you do web searches on selected people and companies right from their card. With built in destinations like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, etc, it makes researching and adding data to a contact very fast and easy.