New software doesn’t like old operating systems

Did you know that if you never update your operating system, the last version of your favorite applications, one day, will no longer be supported? Do you realize that this situation will become an uncomfortable impasse soon or later? and the more outdated you are the worse? Let’s have a look. The computer industry is in constant motion and evolution. As the time goes on, we usually purchase new hardware, we very likely update our operating system to enjoy all the new features and we try to get all our software up-to-date. But sometimes it is not that easy, mainly …

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MaxBulk Mailer recipient lists no longer sorted alphabetically

All of a sudden, right after updating your system to macOS High Sierra you probably found out that all the recipient lists throughout the software were no longer sorted alphabetically. Well, I believe we were the first to find out and it took more than two weeks to actually receive the first complaints from MaxBulk Mailer users. We even received screenshots like this: So what happened? We believe it all has to do with the new APFS hard disk format that comes with the macOS 10.13 High Sierra operating system. It is a format exclusively used on SSD drives, for …

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Variable naming conventions

Today I came across an old document I created in June 2004 probably from some text I found on the internet or maybe from an old Xojo Forum post, to say the truth I am not sure where it comes from. Anyway, the thing is that the document in question is some kind of variable naming conventions now I realize I fully adopted it after reading it. This is what it recommends when naming things you are declaring in your code depending on their nature. For you to understand better, it is a list of heading characters you have to …

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Why is our software in the Apple App Store outdated?

It has been a long time since we last updated the software we have available for sale in the Apple App Store. People may wonder why the versions we have there are more than a year and an half old. There is an explanation for that, Apple rules. Indeed, when you post a new application or an update to the App Store, Apple performs an in-depth review of your submission. If you pass all filters and match all Apple guidelines, your application will be available for sale, otherwise you will get it rejected and you will receive some kind of …

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iCash Currency Manager updating system is broken

After about a decade without a single issue, the iCash Currency Manager updating system has stopped working. Indeed, if you open the currency window and click on the ‘Update now’ button or you have activated the iCash ‘Document > Update Currency rates’ at startup preference, you will get the currency list filled with zeroes. So, what happened? Actually, iCash was fetching currency rates from Yahoo! services. It seems like Yahoo! has discontinued the (private, mostly-undocumented) Yahoo Finance API that many developers have been using for their currency data. All responses seem to be returning “violation of the Yahoo Terms” error. …

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Xojo NthField() and CountFields() functions in PHP

In Xojo there is a handy function I use quite a lot for getting substrings between given delimiters from a piece of text, it is: NthField(text, delimiter, fieldnumber) Imagine you have the following text “1/2/3/4”, NthField( “1/2/3/4”, “/”, 3 ) will return 3, that is the third substring between the “/” delimiters. It is that simple! This function works great in Xojo as long as the text is not too big. A few years ago I was porting a Xojo function to PHP that used NthField() so I decided to port the whole function. This is the PHP equivalent: function …

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Not all software should be ported to smartphones

During the last decade we have been witnessing the smartphone revolution. Mobile phones have become multi-purpose tools, they can do much more than handling calls. At the very beginning we were all filling our new toy with all kind of stuff and it was really funny. Smartphones are great and you can do lots of things with them. Actually there are tons of apps that can take advantage of the portability of such type of device. Some of those apps are the result of its success and would not have existed otherwise but I believe not everything can or should …

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The reason why Maxprog software icons are now black and white

Sometimes people ask me why all those beautiful and colorful Maxprog software icons have suddenly been replaced with black and white icons: Actually I already posted a note about that a few months ago. It has to do with HiDPI (retina) support. Indeed as part of our commitment with our users we decided to give support to HiDPI displays. To do that, and among other things, we had to redesign all our icons since they were not ready for HiDPI at all. HiDPI needs two different sizes per icon, for example the toolbar now needs 64×64 icons in addition to …

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Sorting a Popup menu with RowTags

Imagine you want to load a popup menu with the name of the files from a given folder, the user will later select an entry from that popup menu to load that file thanks to the file info we will store in the popup menu rowtag property. Now what if we want to sort the popup menu alphabetically? The solution is to load the data into a couple of arrays, sort those arrays together and then load the result into the popup menu. Given ‘f’ is the folder we want to display the items of, this is the code: Dim …

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Array of arrays

In PHP you can use arrays of arrays. This is a very convenient way to store data for later manipulation. This is an example of an array with 2 web records: $urls = array(); $url = array( “Full” => “[URL http://www.maxprog.com]Maxprog[/URL]”,               “URL”  => “http://www.maxprog.com”,               “Text” => “Maxprog”               ); $urls[] = $url; $url = array( “Full” => “[URL http://www.apple.com]Apple[/URL]”,               “URL”  => “http://www.apple.com”,               “Text” => “Apple”               ); $urls[] = $url; You can format the output this way: foreach( $urls as $url ){     echo “<a href=\””. $url[‘URL’] . “\”>” . $url[‘Text’] . “</a><br>\n”; } The result will be: <a href=”http://www.maxprog.com”>Maxprog</a><br> <a href=”http://www.apple.com”>Apple</a><br> You can try …

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Why is PayPal so slow to refund?

If you have contacted us to get a refund thru our refund page we usually process your request in a few hours. If you have contacted any of our card processors directly either to get a refund or to open a claim we will accept your request as fast as we can. In either cases as soon as the refund has been initiated you have to wait for the process to clear. It can take from a few minutes to a week for the fund to be back to your bank account. Why is PayPal so slow to refund? When …

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64bits versions of maxprog products

We are currently working on 64-bit versions of all our products. Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows and Linux are all 64-bits operating systems (note that MS Windows has also a 32-bit version available). Let me explain a bit what’s that about, the terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer’s processor handles information. A 64-bit operating system handles large amounts of memory more effectively than a 32-bit system. While 32 bits of information can only access 4 GB of memory, a 64-bit machine can access 17.2 billion gigabytes of system memory! That means that your video card and other …

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Month of work but no visible changes

There are times when you work for months on a software but at the end it can hardly be appreciated by the user. This is frustrating when actually those users are waiting for new features to be added and they contact me complaining the product is being abandoned (again). Unfortunately (for the user) it is not all about new features. I believe that the most important thing of a software is its continuous maintenance. Do you imagine a software working for decades on dozens of different operating system versions without compatibility issues? Well, this is exactly a big part of …

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Software system requirements

In order to move forward, we sometimes have to say goodbye to older technologies. As a result maxprog software new versions will no longer support macOS 10.7 nor macOS 10.8. Last versions supporting those systems will be available here as usual. That means that new system requirements for any version released from now on will be macOS 10.9.5 and higher and MS Windows 7 and higher. That affects: – MaxBulk Mailer 8.6.2 – eMail Extractor 3.7.2 – eMail Bounce Handler 3.9.1 – eMail Verifier 3.7.1 – iCash 7.6.2 – Loan Calc 2.8 – Web Dumper 3.4.1 – FTP Disk 1.4.1 …

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HiDPI (retina) support

A few months ago I upgraded all maxprog applications to support HiDPI (aka Retina). HiDPI displays are becoming more and more popular on computers so I had no choice. It took half a year to perform the task since all the icons had to be redesigned from scratch, indeed, HiDPI requires several resolutions for every single graphic. None of the maxprog applications were prepared for that because absolutely all the icons were available at a single resolution only. Let say that maxprog applications are much older than the HiDPI technology. At the heart of HiDPI is pixel doubling: drawing an …

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Updating an old HTML site to HTML5 and CSS3

The maxprog web site was originally created in the late nineties with Adobe PageMill, later replaced by Adobe Golive and finally Dreamweaver. I used to edit code manually with TextWrangler quite often because it was faster and to say the true, the code was quite simple, at least for me. WYSIWYG editors are fine for given tasks but if you know HTML, writing code manually is far better! In July 2016 I decided to move everything to HTML5 and CSS3. The first step was to take some random pages and pass them thru the Nu Html Checker. Well, the result …

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MLM mySQL to mySQLi migration

MLM has been fully updated to use mySQLi calls rather than mySQL. That was done during summer 2016 and fully tested during 12 months for problems. None were found so the procedure below is quite secure. If you read this and you are about to update your PHP file to use mySQLi calls the best is to prepare you work thoroughly in advance. Check which functions are used and what is the mySQLi equivalent, the name use to be the same but with a mysqli_ prefix instead of mysql_ however most function calls require more parameters to be passed and …

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Comodo sha-256 certificate installed on Window production machine

Microsoft has forced all developers to use a code signing certificate that uses the SHA-256 algorithm in order for signatures to be recognized on Windows 7+, as of Jan 1 2016. See http://aka.ms/sha1 for the full details but the consequence of Microsoft’s decision means that our SHA-1 certificate that we received needed to be replaced. Today SHA-1 certificate has been replaced by new SHA-256. kSign version has been updated as well to support that new certificate. As a test MaxBulk Mailer distribution file has been built successfully! — Stan Busk – Software Engineer at www.maxprog.com

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How to send bulk emails with personalized images

How to send bulk emails with personalized images. You already know that MaxBulk Mailer allows you to send messages with custom text by using tags. Tags allow you to personalize your message with the recipient data, its first name, last name, company, etc… What you probably don’t know is that you can extend and use this same feature to send customized pictures as well. Let me explain to you how! How to send bulk emails with personalized images First, you have to upload your pictures to your web server. For our example I have uploaded 5 pictures to the ‘img’ …

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Using your own SMTP server, advantages and drawbacks

When sending e-mail you have the choice between using your ISP, your web host or your own dedicated SMTP server (An SMTP server is a mailserver that you use to send email. It stores your messages and ensures that your messages are either delivered or returned to you with a failure message). Your ISP usually will provide an SMTP mail server but most ISPs will not want you to send bulk email through their mailservers. Many have restrictions on the number of messages you can send per hour. Your web host should provide you with a dedicated SMTP server. Particularly …

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Avoiding having your legitimate e-mails being flagged as SPAM

If your messages look like regular private e-mails and you use tags to make them different and customized with recipient data, you will get much better results. You can also use ‘Bonded Sender’ https://www.bondedsender.com or ‘Habeas’ https://www.habeas.com so your messages will be recognized as legitimate. Furthermore you can run your email through some of the spam filters available online, or install some end-user antispam applications on your own computer, and send an email to yourself before attempting to email end users. There are some services you can use to test the spam quotient of your e-zines and e-mail offers before …

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Subscription and unsubscription handling thru regular e-mails

You just need to gather all those subscribe and unsubscribe messages to a couple of folders applying some rules and using the scripts we wrote for adding or deleting addresses from a Mac OS X Mail (or Entourage folder). They are called ‘Adding recipients from Mac OS X Mail’ and ‘Deleting recipients from Mac OS X Mail’ (we also include Entourage and Powermail scripts). Those scripts come with MaxBulk distribution, inside the example/AppleScript/Mac OS X Mail import folder and are also accessible from both the import menu and import button. They are very easy to modify if you need to …

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