Volitans Software

SMART Utility not vulnerable to Sparkle attack

As some of you may have read, there is a security vulnerability in apps that use the Sparkle app updating framework. However, this only affects apps that use HTTP connections for updating. While SMART Utility does use the Sparkle framework, it uses HTTPS on the backend (as does this site), preventing it from being vulnerable.

However, the next update will include the new version as an added protection. Look for it soon!

Watchman Monitoring Gets SMART(ER) Utility

Volitans Software is proud to announce a new partnership with Watchman Monitoring! Watchman Monitoring is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering which monitors the health of Mac, Linux, and Windows computers. Part of that monitoring is drive health. Prior to this partnership, Watchman could only monitor the standard SMART status. As users of SMART Utility know, that is usually not enough as other hidden problems could be there.

Now with SMART Utility built in, Watchman Monitoring subscribers can be alerted to the same prefail warnings that current SMART Utility customers have. Watchman Monitoring is great for companies and organizations with many Macs to keep them abreast of changes and issues, such as drive problems.

Of course, to really see all of a drives issues, Watchman customers will want to purchase the full SMART Utility. The plugin for Watchman is only a limited one- enough to know there are issues, but not enough to fully diagnose it.

Both Volitans Software and Watchman Monitoring are excited for this partnership. This will greatly benefit both our customers to maintain working drives and safe data.


SMART Utility 3.2.1 is Out!

SMART Utility 3.2.1 has been released, which fixes a couple small bugs.

Download for 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), and 10.11 (El Capitan).

Note that if you are running 10.11 (El Capitan) you may have to download and update manually as there was a bug that prevented updating from working on that OS.

Note that support has been dropped for 10.5,  10.6, 10.7, and 10.8.

Here’s the full release notes:

  • Updated to Sparkle 1.11 for updating, which provides better support and reliability
  • Fixed signing issue on 10.11
  • Fixed error when checking for updates

SMART Utility 3.2 is Out! (Updated)

SMART Utility 3.2 has been released, which adds full support for 10.11 (El Capitan).

Download for 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), and 10.11 (El Capitan).

Note that there was an issue with the download posted earlier. If you get a message about not being signed, redownload the app again. 

Note that support has been dropped for 10.5,  10.6, 10.7, and 10.8.

Here’s the full release notes:

  • Converted Menu Extra to use modern APIs
  • Changed email sending to use TLSv1 or higher for security
  • Fixed bug where Menu Extra status wouldn’t be tracked
  • Fixed bug where Send Feedback and Crash Report would not actually send anything
  • Updated code to modern Objective-C
  • Updated to smarctl 6.4 which supports many more drives
  • Dropped support for 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8

Protected by SSL

As you might notice, volitans-software.com is now protected by SSL. This is the way the industry is going, and Volitans Software supports this move. iOS 9 will default to using HTTPS for some connections, and Google now favors SSL sites over non-SSL sites. Of course, the payment system was always SSL, but now the entire website is. If anybody runs into any issues, please contact support.

SMART Utility and El Capitan

Here is an update on the compatibility of SMART Utility with the next version of OS X: 10.11, El Capitan. SMART Utility is mostly functional on El Capitan. However, due to changes in the security policy in the next version the menu extra does not work. 

There is a solution but it does involve a lesser user experience. The current solution makes the menu extra behave just like the built in extras- they can be moved around and removed quickly. The new way locks them in to a place based on the order of launching and makes them harder to remove. 

Unfortunately there is no other alternative. Bug reports have been filed in the past but to no avail. 

Rest assured that the alternative will be implemented to ensure compatibility with El Capitan, despite the lesser user experience. It will be as good as possible however.

Other than that, SMART Utility is good to go. The next version is coming on nicely- look for an update about that soon!

New Look

The new website is here! I really like the look of the new site, and how it functions. I’m hoping everybody else does too. Most things are the same, but updated. For example the SMART Utility FAQ has been updated, as well as the SMART Utility page itself- including new screen shots.

If you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments, or via email in the Contact page!

Watching Apple

Apple finally announced their Watch this month, and it was some pretty exciting news. I have been using the Pebble for two years, and it really has changed my life. Now, the Pebble is very simple- just showing notifications, with some options to interact with apps. But that is powerful in and of itself. It may sound lazy, but its really efficient to not have to pull out my phone every time I get a notification. I can see a text, email, score update, Facebook update, or any other notification without twisting or turning to pull out my phone. While driving, its so much safer because instead of doing that twisting I can at a glance see the notification and decide if I should respond (at say a red light). The new Pebble Time looks even better, with a color screen and retaining the same week long battery.

But of course Apple’s Watch is so much more insanely great. Being able to talk and hear on the watch, as well as interact in so many amazing ways- well its typical Apple. I’m going to get the steel (no not the gold one!), but I haven’t decided on a band. I’m already looking forward to developing apps for it. I really think its going to be another game changer.