Rainmaker Research Inc. and Spell Catcher News

The latest news about Spell Catcher—updates, upgrades, special offers, reviews, and more.

November 8, 2013

Thank you Spell Catcher users!

Spell Catcher X has been developed for OS 10.2 to OS 10.7.x (Lion).

Spell Catcher X has not been updated for Mac OS 10.8.x or OS 10.9.x (Mountain Lion or Mavericks).

Spell Catcher Plus 3.0 has been developed for Windows 7 and previous Windows OS. Spell Catcher Plus has not been updated for Windows 8.

Evan Michael Gross has passed away!

July 12, 2012

It is with great sadness that Rainmaker Research Inc. announces the loss of it’s founder, Evan Michael Gross, who passed away suddenly at the end of June, 2012.

Evan was the author of Spell Catcher software and owner of Rainmaker Research Inc. The original version was released as Thunder! in 1986 and evolved into what we know as Spell Catcher software today.

If you would like to leave remarks concerning Evan, you are invited to do so in this blog entry.

Spell Catcher X MacUpdate Promo – 50% Off

December 23, 2011

For the day of Dec 23, 2011 – Spell Catcher X is only $19.99!

For two weeks following the promo, Spell Catcher X is an “Extended Discount App” – $31.96 (20% off).

If you already own Spell Catcher X, the MacUpdate folks tell me that sales are usually directly related to the number of comments that are posted. So we’d appreciate comments (not here, over on MacUpdate) from existing customers telling everyone that they’re getting a great deal on a similarly great product!

When the promo starts, at 12:00am EST, comments will be open (as will sales!).

Follow this MacUpdate Promo link to get there!

Spell Catcher X 10.4.1 is Here!

December 13, 2011

Spell Catcher X version 10.4.1 is now available!

Spell Catcher X 10.4.1 is a free update to Spell Catcher X 10.4.

Spell Catcher X 10.4.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6 or 10.7, running on Intel Macintosh hardware.

See what’s new in Spell Catcher X 10.4.1!

It’s probably a good idea to read our FAQs for Spell Catcher X 10.4.

Spell Catcher X 10.4 is Here!

June 6, 2011

Spell Catcher X version 10.4 is now available! There’s a lot of new stuff in there, we’re sure you’ll like it.

Read the official press release.

See what’s new in Spell Catcher X 10.4!

Customers that purchased Spell Catcher X on or after May 1, 2010 qualify for a free upgrade to Spell Catcher X 10.4. Otherwise, those with an “X102” license can purchase the Spell Catcher X 10.4 upgrade for $14.95 USD.

For customers that only own an old “SCX” license code, the upgrade is $19.95.

Check your upgrade eligibility

If you have a license code that begins with “X102” – check here.

If you have a license code that begins with “SCX” that never been used to purchase the upgrade to Spell Catcher X 10.2 or later – check here.

And it’s probably a good idea to read our FAQs for Spell Catcher X 10.4.

Spell Catcher X MacUpdate Promo

May 2, 2011

For the day of May 2, 2011 – Spell Catcher X is only $19.95!

If you already own Spell Catcher X, the MacUpdate folks tell me that sales are usually directly related to the number of comments that are posted. So we’d appreciate comments (not here, over on MacUpdate) from existing customers telling everyone that they’re getting a great deal on a similarly great product!

When the promo starts, at 12:00am EST, comments will be open (as will sales!).

Follow this MacUpdate Promo link to get there!

Spell Catcher X 10.3.7 is Available!

December 21, 2010

Spell Catcher X 10.3.7 is a free update to Spell Catcher X 10.3, and recommended for all Spell Catcher X 10.3.x users. Spell Catcher X 10.3.7 includes a Quick Look generator, supporting previews of Learned Words, Omitted Words, Shorthand Glossary, Dictionary Server, and Modify Selection Macro documents, handles soft hyphen characters (Unicode SOFT HYPHEN U+00AD) during Spell Checking, improves compatibility with Spell Catcher?s input methods and Google Chrome, and fixes a couple of bugs.

See what’s new in Spell Catcher X 10.3.7.

Get it from our Downloads page, or by downloading it via Spell Catcher > Get Updates and Languages.

Spell Catcher X MacUpdate Weekend Promo

December 4, 2010

This weekend (Dec 4/5, 2010) – Spell Catcher X is only $19.95!

If you already own Spell Catcher X, the MacUpdate folks tell me that sales are usually directly related to the number of comments that are posted. So we’d appreciate comments (not here, over on MacUpdate) from existing customers telling everyone that they’re getting a great deal on a similarly great product!

Spell Catcher X Quick Look Generator (pre-release)

September 29, 2010

Is available from our pre-release downloads page. Enables Quick Look previews for various Spell Catcher X references and documents.

Please read the “How to Install” document that’s on the installation disk image for more details.

Spell Catcher X 10.3.6 is Available!

June 14, 2010

Spell Catcher X 10.3.6 is a free update to Spell Catcher X 10.3, and recommended for all Spell Catcher X 10.3.x users. Spell Catcher X version 10.3.6 fixes the Look Up window crash when Safari 5.0 is installed, and fixes the problem introduced in Spell Catcher X 10.3.5 where function keys without modifiers could not be used as keyboard shortcuts.

See what’s new in Spell Catcher X 10.3.6.

Get it from our Downloads page, or by downloading it via Spell Catcher > Get Updates and Languages.

And yes, go ahead and install Safari 5 if you haven’t done so already.

Status Update on the Safari 5.0/WebKit-related Look Up Crash

June 12, 2010

For those that only care about the current state of affairs – this problem has been addressed from both ends. It was classified as WebKit bug, fixed by an Apple engineer, and landed in WebKit Open Source the day after I reported it. I worked around the problem by writing my own version of WebKit’s WebBackForwardList class, and using it instead.

Neither fix has been officially released at this moment in time. I’ve posted a 10.3.6f1 build for my beta testers to pound on. I am not privy to information regarding when WebKit Open Source fixes actually get rolled into a Mac OS X software update. I’m guessing that my fix will be out the door first.

The longer, probably only of interest to developers version:

Shortly after hearing about this problem and reproducing it myself, I needed to find out what was really going on. This meant building the latest WebKit from source, and then reproducing the crash in the debugger. The problem was pretty obvious at that point, and that it would be a pretty easy fix for the WebKit folks to make – should they decide to. I could also see there was no good work around for me, at least if I wanted to continue to use the same WebKit’s APIs.

Armed with the actual facts, I filed my bug report with Apple, and posted the “Don’t install Safari 5.0″ warnings here and in our forums. Soon afterwards, I got an email from an Apple engineer (the one that ended up fixing it) telling me he knew why the crash was occurring (I knew at that point as well). We discussed possible work arounds. A couple hours later, I get the standard “We’re looking into this” courtesy email from Apple Developer Support. Gotta be the fastest response to any radar I’ve filed?

But by then it was really a no-brainer. Just write the code I need and fix it myself. I mean, pretty basic stuff – a couple hours work maybe. Waiting was not an option.

Thanks to Apple for getting to this so quickly! Bummer it happened in the first place, but that’s life.

Anyway folks, hang in there a couple more days while the beta testers do their thing.

Do Not Install Safari 5.0!

June 8, 2010

There’s a nasty bug in the version of WebKit that Safari 5.0 installs. I’ve filed a report, but there is no work around. This bug causes Spell Catcher’s Look Up feature to crash.

If you’ve already installed Safari 5.0, please report this problem to Apple. Send the crash report to them. Use the “Report bugs..” command in the Safari application as well. I have filed a bug report, including a small Xcode project that reproduces their bug with ease.

Details: Look Up uses WebKit’s WebBackForwardList to keep track of your Look Up history. Adding a new item (via -addItem:) to a WebBackForwardList now crashes. Any application that does the same thing (with a WebBackForwardList that is has created). Spell Catcher X has been using these same APIs in the same way for years. This is not related to the Spell Catcher X 10.3.5 update we released last week. All versions of Spell Catcher X are affected by this.

Spell Catcher X 10.3.5 is Available!

June 1, 2010

Spell Catcher X 10.3.5 is a free update to Spell Catcher X 10.3, and recommended for all Spell Catcher X 10.3.x users. Spell Catcher X version 10.3.5 adds a few new features, improves compatibility of its input methods in specific applications, enhances performance in certain areas, fixes bugs, and improves reliability.

See what’s new in Spell Catcher X 10.3.5.

Get it from our Downloads page, or by downloading it via Spell Catcher > Get Updates and Languages.

MacUpdate Bundle Customers Please Read This!

April 3, 2010

We’re becoming aware that some of you are having trouble licensing your copy of Spell Catcher X. The problem seems to be related to the licensing-related information you get from MacUpdate. The Spell Catcher X license details aren’t appearing properly (formatting, encoding) in some email clients and web browsers. As well, instructions are not included in the email, and hard to locate in the receipt on their website.

If you’re having problems, do this:

  1. Look for an email from our licensing (at) rainmakerinc.com address. Check any caught junk mail if it’s not in your inbox. If you can’t find it, send your license info to yourself from our Lost Licenses page.
  2. In that email, there is a “Click here” link. Click it. Press return twice, and you’re done! One click, no typing—so no typos.

Sorry for any inconvenience. We’re working on it!

Spell Catcher X Input Method Tuner 10.3.4 (Build 3)

March 31, 2010

Is available from our pre-release downloads page. The following problems are addressed:

Recommended for Spell Catcher X 10.3.4 users that also use Apple Mail, Safari, Dreamweaver 9, NeoOffice 3.x, Mailsmith, Apple’s Numbers (iWork), OmniWeb 5, or Mailplane.

Spell Catcher X Input Method Tuner 10.3.4 (Build 2)

March 23, 2010

Is available from our pre-release downloads page. The following problems are addressed:

Recommended for Spell Catcher X 10.3.4 users that also use Apple Mail, Safari, Dreamweaver 9, NeoOffice 3.x, Mailsmith, or Apple’s Numbers (iWork).

Welcome MacUpdate Bundle Customers!

March 18, 2010

We at Rainmaker Research Inc. would like to thank you for purchasing the MacUpdate Bundle, and for stopping by to find out more about Spell Catcher X! Day one revealed a couple of problems related to Spell Catcher X for some customers, and we’ve been working hard to solve them.

Licensing Issues

Most of the licensing-related problems affected customers with accented characters in the name used to purchase the bundle. We’ve seen two different issues:

  1. The license information returned from our server to MacUpdate’s got mangled (encoding mismatch of some sort), and appeared incorrect in the email you received from MacUpdate after purchasing the bundle.

    In most cases, the name that was actually added to our database was fine. In a very few cases, it was equally mangled.

    We’ve fixed some of these, but please get in touch if something’s not right in your MacUpdate receipt.

  2. A bug in the version of PHP on our server causes incorrect generation of license keys, when the licensee’s name contains accented characters. So even if your license information was correctly generated and displayed in your MacUpdate receipt, trying to license your copy of Spell Catcher X (either by download or e-mail) would fail with an “invalid key” error.

    We’re pleased to report that we’ve found a way to work around this bug in most cases—only those with apostrophe or quote characters in their names will still encounter this problem. Please get in touch if that describes you, and we’ll take care of it.

    So if you ran into this licensing problem, and your license info appears to be OK, just try downloading or emailing yourself your license key again. To determine if your license was created properly, please email it to yourself from our Lost Licenses page.

Very Busy Website!

The activity level at MacUpdate was definitely up there! As of this writing, over 10,000 bundles have been sold. Of course, some of that traffic spilled over to our website. At times we ran into limits imposed by our hosting provider—limits we weren’t aware of because we didn’t read all the fine print.

Problems generally of the “Resource limit exceeded” variety, and luckily, would clear up when the activity level dropped. Apparently there’s a limit on the number of connections we’re allowed—whether it’s a web browser, license key request, or MacUpdate’s server asking us to generate a license when a purchase is made. There’s not a whole lot we can do about this (besides upgrading our hosting plan to a dedicated one), but I suspect today was the busiest that we’ll see over the next two weeks. So if you encounter this, just try again.

We know of one case where this resulted in a failed license generation, indicated as such on the actual MacUpdate receipt. We’re not sure how to proceed quite yet—generally the MacUpdate folks will run the purchase info through their scripts again. This is so the proper license info will actually appear when you log into your customer page on their site. Hang in there, we’ll find out more soon.

Language Purchases

We’ve been trying to keep up with these as best we can, updating licenses in our database quickly. Please be patient if we can’t get to it right away. Remember we’re not necessarily in the same time zone you are, and it’s possible I’m at the park with my dogs, or grocery shopping, or maybe even trying to get some rest.

Remember, updating licenses for purchased languages is a manual procedure. We have to find your license in our database, modify it, and send you an email with a note that you’re good to go. Since your Spell Catcher license was purchased separately from MacUpdate, it helps greatly if you use the same email address when purchasing a language from our online store at Kagi. The only info we have to hunt down your license is the name and email address you used when you bought the bundle. If you use different names and email address for each, it’s going to take longer. We’ll have to fire off an email asking you for more info.

Getting Started

If you’re not familiar with Spell Catcher, it’s been around for a long time. Here’s our best advice for getting started:

Spell Catcher X 10.3.4 is Available!

January 20, 2010

Spell Catcher X 10.3.4 fixes a couple of truly annoying bugs discovered in version 10.3.3. I hate doing this sort of quick turn-around update, but nobody should have to live with bugs like these.

See what’s new in Spell Catcher X 10.3.4.

Get it from our Downloads page, or by downloading it via Spell Catcher > Get Updates and Languages.

Spell Catcher X MacUpdate Weekend Promo

January 16, 2010

For the weekend of Jan 16/17, 2010 – Spell Catcher X is only $19.95!

If you already own Spell Catcher X, the MacUpdate folks tell me that sales are usually directly related to the number of comments that are posted. So we’d appreciate comments (not here, over on MacUpdate) from existing customers telling everyone that they’re getting a great deal on a similarly great product!

Spell Catcher X 10.3.3 is Available!

January 13, 2010

Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) users, thanks for being patient—your wait is now over! Spell Catcher X 10.3.3 is available for download. This is a free (and rather significant) update to Spell Catcher X 10.3, and recommended for all Spell Catcher X 10.3, 10.3.1 and 10.3.2 users.

Spell Catcher X 10.3.3 includes a new input method, supporting applications running in both 64-bit and 32-bit mode, on 64-bit capable Macs running Snow Leopard. No setup is required, as was the case with Spell Catcher X 10.3.2.

For those that followed our Spell Catcher X 10.3.2 on Snow Leopard Quick Start Guide, please read our How to reset your applications to open in 64-bit mode FAQ for information on undoing the steps you might have followed in that guide.

Spell Catcher X 10.3.3 isn’t only for Snow Leopard users, there‘s plenty that’s new—for everyone.

See what’s new in Spell Catcher X 10.3.3.

Get it from our Downloads page, or by downloading it via Spell Catcher > Get Updates and Languages.