Downshift: The Second Gear Weblog

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Use MarkdownMail 2 To Post To Tumblr Or Posterous

We just released MarkdownMail 2 this morning. In addition to making it a universal app and drafts support, we added the ability to email raw formatted Markdown posts within the app. Many Posterous and Tumblr users emailed us requesting this feature because both platforms allow emailing of Markdown formatted posts.

We’ve created a little walkthrough guide on the Second Gear site to get you set up to use it in that manner. Check it out!

If you don’t have MarkdownMail yet, you can get it on the App Store

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MarkdownMail, our new mini-app for iOS, is now available on the App Store.

What is it? MarkdownMail is the easiest way to compose HTML emails on your iPhone or iPod touch. Based around John Gruber’s popular Markdown markup syntax, you can now send emails with bold text, italics, bulleted lists and more. MarkdownMail will convert your Markdown formatted messages into an HTML message that you can send to your friends, family or colleagues.

MarkdownMail 1.0 has these great features:

  • Write HTML emails using the Markdown markup syntax
  • Preview your message before sending
  • View Markdown syntax in-app
  • TextExpander touch support
  • Free customer support via email

MarkdownMail is available for just $1.99 on the App Store. We hope you enjoy using MarkdownMail and eagerly await your feedback.

Filed under release markdownmail

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Elements Now Available For iPhone, iPad and iPod touch


Elements, our new iOS application, is now available on the App Store.

What is it? Elements is a plain text editor that uses the Dropbox cloud storage service to store your data. By storing your files on Dropbox, it makes it incredibly easy to have access to everything you store in Elements on your iPhone, iPad and even your Mac or Windows desktop.

Elements 1.0 has these great features:

  • Create, view and edit text files on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
  • Cloud based: Elements stores all its data in a subfolder on your personal Dropbox account so you can access it via your iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC
  • Autosaving
  • Offline support: upload your changes to Dropbox next time you’re connected
  • Word counts, line counts, character count
  • A Scratchpad to flesh out ideas or store random bits of information
  • Email files as an attachment
  • Customize the look of the text editor to fit your workflow
  • TextExpander touch support
  • Free customer support via email

Elements is available for an introductory price of $4.99. We hope you enjoy using Elements as much as we enjoyed creating it and eagerly await your feedback.

Filed under elements release

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Student Discounts For Today Now Available

Having just graduated from Purdue University in 2006 (Boiler up!), we remember how hard it was to scrounge up the cash to buy our favorite apps. Because of that, we want to help you out by offering a student discount on Today to any students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program of study.

Today makes a great companion for college students. Each day you can see what classes or club meetings you need to attend. You can also keep up on what assignments or other tasks you need to complete.

Students with a valid ID can purchase a single user license of Today 2.0 for just $12.95.

For more information check out our new Student Discounts page which has all the details on how to claim your Today 2 license.

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Second Gear On Github

Open source is one of the great things about software development. Even if you are building commercial software like the products at Second Gear, it’s great to be able to share a piece of code you’ve developed with other developers to hopefully save them a bit of pain down the road. More often than not, that reciprocates back to you as a piece of code someone else has shared publicly will help you out along the way.

Many of our products make use of great open source code. When you send in a feature request or bug report in Today, you’re using Jonathan ‘Wolf’ Rentzsch’s most excellent JRFeedbackProvider. If you happen upon a crash in either Check Off or Today, you’re presented with Stephen F Booth’s SFBCrashReporter.

For a while I have had various projects sprinkled around the Internet. The problem was that it was hard to find it as some of the code was linked on this blog, while others code was stored on my personal Github account. It wasn’t too much effort to find with a bit of Google searching, but it wasn’t as meticulously organized as I’d like.

With Github’s recent Organizations feature I finally took an afternoon to get everything neatly organized into a single location. plus add some new goodies to the bunch.

Second Gear now has its own page on Github that lists all of our open source contributions. Here you will find:

  • SGMimiMailer — Our Objective-C wrapper that lets you prompt users to subscribe to your newsletter using the MadMimi service.
  • SGHotKeysLib — Our modernized fork of PTHotKeysLib that lets you create global hotkeys for your Mac applications.

I’ve also published two new repositories:

  • xcode-templates — These are the Xcode templates I use to build our upcoming iOS products. They are pretty similar to the ones that ship with Xcode 3, but adjustments to match my preferred formatting and coding style. My code has been described as insanely organized, which I think was a compliment…
  • SGSplitViewController — This is a replacement for iOS 3.2’s UISplitViewController that allows for side-by-side views in portrait mode a la for the iPad. I’m hoping that the next version of the iPad SDK will render this class useless in the future, but for now it’s a decent solution for the problem.

Down the road, I’d like to add more information about our open source offerings on the proper Second Gear site, but for now I hope this new Github account will prove useful to many of the other developers out there.

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Today Classic Now Available For Mac OS 9!

Looking for a new piece of Classic Mac software? Well, are you in luck! While everyone else has been distracted by the iPhone and that newfangled iPad, the Second Gear crew has been hard at work giving love to a dedicated group of Mac users who haven’t felt the love lately: the Classic Mac diehards.

You know there’s one of them in your circle: that guy who swears Mac OS X is terrible and will never bail on OS 9 until Apple fixes that abomination that is the 10.6 Finder.

Well, they have a schedule too and we wanted to offer the same great Today 2 experience that our Snow Leopard users have to these platinum themed diehards. With Today Classic you can keep track of what’s on your plate for any given day without keeping Now Up-to-Date & Contact open all the time. Today syncs with Now Up-to-Date & Contact and your life’s agenda so daily events & tasks are always available via one, convenient little interface.

Filed under aprilfools today

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Second Gear’s Latest Builds

Are you interested in being on the cutting edge of each release of Today and Check Off? Check out the new latest builds page, which will house the most recent in-house versions of both applications for you to test and try out.

Right now there is a fresh version of Check Off 4.1b1 that has some crash fixes and accessibility improvements in it.

Before you get your click on, a few words of warning. These are unsupported and uncooked versions of our applications, so if you are not comfortable with dealing with a few crashes and unpolished bits, you’re going to want to stay on the shipping versions of both products. These versions are also experiment grounds, so it’s entirely possible we may deploy something in a beta and then pull it back before the final shipment.

Haven’t scared you off yet? Go forth and fetch fresh bits!

Latest Builds Page

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Indie+Relief Aftermath

A few days ago I mentioned that Second Gear was organizing a Mac & iPhone software charity drive called Indie+Relief.

In total, the Mac & iPhone community raised over $143,000 for Haitian relief charities. Thanks to everyone who bought either Today or Check Off on the 20th and to everyone else who came out in droves to buy software from all the other participating companies.

If you’d like more in-depth details, please check out this post on my personal site, but suffice to say it was a resounding success.

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If you’ve been following the @secondgear Twitter account, or my personal one, you’ve probably seen reference to Indie+Relief, the charity event we’ve been organizing over the past few days with the help of our pal Garrett Murray.

Indie+Relief is a gathering over nearly 140 Mac & iPhone developers who have pledged to donate their sales for today, January 20 2010, to charities that benefit the relief effort in Haiti. Both Today and Check Off are taking part, and the proceeds (everything less the processing fee I pay to my merchant provider) of any purchase made today will be donated to the International Rescue Committee.

Even if you don’t buy our software today, please do check out all the other great applications available on the Indie+Relief site. I’m sure there’s something there for everyone.

Filed under General