SimpleMark Version 1.3 Now Available

Welcome to Version 1.3 of SimpleMarkPPC, the world’s “PowerPC only” MarkDown app for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5.

Version 1.3 makes significant changes to the app. After years of being frustrated with the AutoSave feature, which worked but produced occasional bizarre bugs like missing letters as you typed, I removed it completely. Now, each time you hit save, which you should do frequently if you want to protect your work, the MarkDown preview displays on the right.

In addition, the app will now open and save to .TXT and .MD files from the get go. I can add future filename extensions of choice easily.

This app is dead simple. You can adjust your font preferences in the Preferences window. It runs your text through an older version of multimarkdown (which can be found in the Resources folder within the app bundle if you want to mess around with it). You can still export to a variety of different file options and print a rather rough but serviceable Markdown copy to a printer if you want.

This app is serviceable. Newer Markdown apps out there do a lot more cool stuff, and I keep wondering if I could get one of them to run someday. In the meanwhile, this could work if you need to mess around with MarkDown files on your G4 or G5.

Download it now.

Remember, it’s still beta software, partly because I am relying on a 2009 version of Real Basic that has all kinds of quirks and also because I am sure there are other strange bugs that will crop up. Give me feedback.

— Nathan

The iPod Shuffle Lives

My main machine at home runs Catalina. It’s nice. I’ve grown to like it, and despite losing 32-bit apps, I appreciate the direction Apple is taking the Mac (for the most part).

When I found my old iPod Shuffle at the bottom of a box of parts, I wondered if it worked. Plugging it in to my Mac had it verified and Music.app open in a flash. However, when I tried to sync music onto it, nothing. Other users have reported similar problems, a loss of functionality with Catalina. Maybe an old device like this is just not on Apple’s radar?

However, things are different on my Power Mac G5. iTunes still works. I was able to access the iTunes Store, download purchased music (since streaming music won’t load on these ol’ shuffles), and quickly sync a number of songs to the iPod. Easy peasy. Another reason to keep old tech around.

I do give credit to Apple for making sure iTunes is backwards compatible at least to Leopard. At some point, it will break, but for now, load up those old Shuffles and keep using them.

The iPod Shuffle is a great form factor. I dig the chewing gum size of the device, and it’s overall sturdiness. The thing still works. I imagine the battery life is less than it used to be, but it’s darn cool even in its aged state.

The only other issue I’ve had with the iPod Shuffle is that newer EarPods with the mic need to be plugged in carefully. Don’t push the jack all the way in. Otherwise, you end up with a weak, strange sound. Pull it out just a tad, and you still have a quality listening device for workouts or whatever.

Looks like various iPod Shuffles go for around $15 on eBay if you are in the market for one.

— Nathan