Monthly Archives: August 2007

Wii Transfer in PMC auction bundle

Seth Dellingham is “auctioning off a bunch of great Mac software”: for the Pan-Mass Challenge, raising money for cancer care and research. “Wii Transfer”: is included in the 2nd bundle, full of games and useful utilities. Some of the gems I noticed in the list include Black Ink, SketchFighter 4000 Alpha, Fission, Tangerine, BetterZip, FlySketch, Knox, Overflow, Pukka, and SuperDuper, among 40 others. “Click over to the eBay auction”: for the complete list before the auction ends tomorrow.

Ta-da List export to TaskPaper

I’ve been using “Ta-da List”: for the last couple of years for all my to-do lists. I have about 100 lists and love the speed of adding new items and some of the subtle smarts it applies to sorting recent lists and cleaning up completed ones.

But I’ve been on the lookout for a desktop app. OmniOutliner has become a bit bloated and all the Getting Things Done apps seem so structured. Along comes “TaskPaper”: today and there’s a lot to like. The plain text file format is refreshing and nicely open.

I wrote a Ruby script to export all my lists from Ta-da into TaskPaper so that I can give it a proper workout. It makes a new document (with a single project) for each list it finds. Make sure to install “Hpricot”: first — there’s no official Ta-da List API so we need to parse HTML a little.

Download: “tadalist_taskpaper.rb”:


  • Open the file in your favorite text editor and change TADALIST_HOST to whatever your account is.

  • Make sure Safari is running and you have logged into Ta-da. The script reads the cookie value from Safari’s Cookies.plist so that it doesn’t need to simulate a real sign-in.

  • Run from the command line. It will create the new files in the current directory.

  • You will see short status messages for what it is doing. It’s broken if there are any Ruby exceptions.


Foreign sales market

From time to time on the “MacSB list”: people ask about the value of localization and what percentage of sales come from foreign customers. Since day 1 of “Wii Transfer”: I’ve always been surprised at how many sales are from Europe. At times it felt as if over half of sales were outside the United States, so I finally ran the numbers to know for sure.

My homegrown customer database doesn’t actually include the physical address, so I grabbed the last 500 sales from PayPal and wrote a quick script to group the countries. Here’s the chart:

Wii Transfer countries chart

The United States represents just over half. If you add up the other English-speaking countries, it hits 70%. Still, this is a purely English-only piece of software. I’ve resisted the push to localize until I feel the codebase is better prepared for it, and the UI more stable.

At “VitalSource”: last year I wrote a custom Rails web app to manage localization resources for both the Mac and Windows products and deal with the outsource translators, and the takeaway from that experience was definitely to go slowly. It’s easy to end up with a foreign language version that makes compromises and is potentially less useful to customers than the English version. Depending on the size of the product, localization could take weeks or months, time that might be better spent adding features.

Back to the real stats. Why are the foreign numbers so high? I think the weak dollar combined with an already relatively inexpensive price makes Wii Transfer even more of an impulse buy in Europe.