Hellmansoft Blog

Planbook 4.3 for Mac Released

Planbook 4.3 for Mac has been released for direct download purchasers. If you purchased Planbook from http://www.hellmansoft.com (as opposed to the Mac App Store), you can upgrade by:

Do not follow these directions if you purchased from the Mac App Store. You will need to download your update from the Mac App Store itself when it is ready.

  1. Download Planbook 4.3 from Hellmansoft.
  2. Make sure that Planbook for Mac is closed on your computer.
  3. Replace your existing copy of Planbook for Mac (which should be in the Applications folder) with the copy downloaded in step 1.

There are two Mavericks (OS X 10.9) related fixes in this release:

  1. The auto-updater no longer causes crashes. As a result of security enhancments in OS X 10.9 Planbook can no longer update itself, but it will still alert you when a new release is available. You will receive instructions on how to update the application.
  2. Planbook for Mac can (again) open files created using Windows. This only affected OS X 10.9 users.


November 10, 2013 | View Comments

Assigner for Mac and iOS Now Free

I’ve just released Assigner version 2.0 (for both Mac and iOS). Assigner is a simple, fast and powerful tool to post assignments and handouts online for students to view online.

There are several bug fixes and the syncing process is now much faster. Assigner on iOS now takes advantage of the taller screen on the iPhone.

But, the big news is that the apps are now free. To share assignments online you will need to create an account at http://www.assignmentspot.com. Your account includes a free (no credit card required) 1-month trial. After the trial period ends, you can subscribe to the online service for as little as $1/month. Your online account has been revamped with a new user interface and several new features:

  1. You can set an access code to control who can access your plans.
  2. You can now create entire courses directly from the web.
  3. Your account should be much, much faster to load.
  4. All existing accounts (created by paying users of Assigner 1.x) have been upgraded to pro accounts for three years.

You can get started by creating an account. If you’d like, you can now get information and download the Mac/iOS apps.

July 02, 2013 | View Comments

Planbook 4.2 for Mac Released

Planbook 4.2 (for Mac) is now available!

Planbook 4.2 fixes a few bugs, adds a couple of new features and (most notably) adds a new icon for the application and documents.

  • New Features

    1. Finally, a new modern icon (retina-ready).
    2. You can now restart a rotating schedule at any point in the year. After a long break, you can force Planbook to restart your schedule on a particular day of your rotation upon returning to school.
    3. Keyboard shortcuts for http://www.planbookconnect.com syncing.
    4. When adding a new assignment, it's selected for quick editing.
    5. Documents should open much more quickly.

  • Bug Fixes

    1. Resolves issue attaching files from Dropbox on a different computer.
    2. Resolves issue publishing to HTML when files attached to the document include special characters.
    3. Resolves issue where copied/pasted lessons might require re-authorizing access to the file (10.7+).
    4. Resolves issue using library lessons with attachments.

  • Availability

Planbook 4.2 for Mac is available now for all customers who purchased Planbook directly from http://www.hellmansoft.com. You can get the update through the use of the auto-updater (found in the Planbook menu) or by downloading a fesh copy from my website. If you download the application manually, please be sure to replace your existing copy of the program (which should reside in the Applications folder of your computer).

Mac App Store customers will need to wait a few days for Apple to approve this update. Once approved, the update will be available in the “Updates” tab of the Mac App Store App on your computer.

April 14, 2013 | View Comments

Major PlanbookConnect Updates

PlanbookConnect has been upgraded!

Late last night, I processed some significant upgrades to PlanbookConnect. There were 4 main reasons for the upgrade.

  • Speed

The new version of PlanbookConnect is much, much faster. Page load times have decreased throughout the entire site, sometimes decreasing to as little as 5% of the old speed (this is especially noticeable when loading a month of lessons or an entire course of assignments/handouts). Improving the responsiveness of the site was the main reason for the update. If still you notice a page loading slowly, please get in touch with me.

  • Design Improvements

PlanbookConnect’s design was, well, a bit dated. The new version is more modern and, more importantly, should be easier for you and your students to use.

  • New Features

I also added a couple of the more popular feature requests, including the ability to lock all of your lesson plans behind an access code (of your choice). You can provide the access code to those who need it. This kind of security will prevent casual visitors from seeing your plans, and will also block search engines from indexing your work. It should not be considered strong enough to prevent a truly dedicated individual from accessing your plans. Please continue to post material on the site that you are legally allowed to post.

The second new feature allows PlanbookConnect to work properly with plans that include multiple class meetings of the same course in a single day. These extra meetings should be visible on the main page, in the month view and when viewing a day of lessons. Additionally, moving through your lessons using the navigation arrows will traverse multiple lessons on the same day properly (in time-order).

  • Security

A number of security holes in the server software I run were noted in the past month or so. I’ve updated all the server software to the new, patched versions.

  • Archived Planbooks

The only feature I removed during this process is the ability to view an archived Planbook online. You can still archive your Planbook if you’d like to keep it around, but you can’t direct people to visit the archived file anymore.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions about the redesign, or you notice something that’s not working right. A side-benefit of this work is that the site should be far easier to update in the future!

Thanks for your patience with the downtime last night!

March 18, 2013 | View Comments

Planbook for Mac 4.1.1 Released

Yesterday, Apple approved a minor update to Planbook for Mac (4.1.1)

Planbook for Mac 4.1.1 includes a number of bug fixes related to bumping/pulling lessons with assignments as well as adding lessons to the lesson library.

If you’re a direct customer who did not purchase from the Mac App Store, you can grab the update from the Planbook –> Check for Updates menu item.

If you purchased from the Mac App Store, the update is currently avaiable in the Updates tab of the Mac App Store App.

March 06, 2013 | View Comments

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