Heartbleed – we’ve patched our servers

You’ve probably seen the drama regarding this in the news: there’s a vulnerability called Heartbleed that in short affects a huge number of secure servers on the net. Think: shopping carts, secured logins and so on.


Fortunately there’s a patch. That patch has been applied to all shinywhitebox servers. Yay! We’ve also revoked and reissued our SSL certificates (as per the great write-up of the problem above).

As a precautionary measure we recommend that you change your account password at shinywhitebox. You can do that here.  The aforementioned link will send you an email confirming the reset, and it’ll then generate you a new secure password.

Finally, no credit card information is stored at shinywhitebox. if data were stolen from our servers only what is shown in your account details page would be disclosed. All account passwords are MD5 hashed, and so these cannot be decoded either.

What’s up with the UI in iShowU Studio?

Things! Things I tell you!

I’ve been working on some tidy up tasks this week. Fixing some of the more detailed things that have been annoying me (and a couple of other users I’ve been Skyping with).

Today’s little achievement makes the context UI’s easier to use, look better and appear more consistent. The context UI’s are the small views that appear above the timeline when you perform certain tasks. Take for example the current Crop context UI, which looks like this:

Current v1.0 crop UI for iShowU Studio

Current v1.0 crop UI for iShowU Studio

Specifically, the Cancel and OK buttons are hard to read and hard to identify. In addition, the reset button is not really in the right place. It’s not linked visually with the drop down that it’s resetting.  

Today I changed it to look like this:

A Better crop context UI

A Better crop context UI

I’ve made this type of change across all context UI’s. Now on all UI’s there’s a visual indicator of the default action (if you press Enter), the buttons are more visible to the eye. Also in the case of the Crop context the reset button is grouped to the thing it affects.

This is now in the current 1.0.1 beta if you want to pick that up.

Tomorrows job: A Recording Timer!  (do I hear a few people shouting: “about time”?)


Screen recording using iShowU for DocExplainsLabs

Dr Ashfaq Ahmed, creator of DocExplains

Dr Ashfaq Ahmed, creator of DocExplains

This is a case study from one of our users, Dr Ashfaq Ahmed. Dr Ahmed is using iShowU to educate his patients on conditions  they may be suffering from.  He captures his screen drawings so that he can explain to his patients, with non-technical jargon and in a visual way,  what’s happening and how they can help themselves and their health.

We asked Dr Ahmed a number of questions related to how he is using iShowU, which we’ve reproduced here. It’s great to see something ‘technical’ being used to help people in a real way!

You can visit DocExplains on YouTube.

Q: What is “DocExplains”?

As a doctor I frequently meet patients who have little understanding about the medical conditions that they are suffering with. Often they have been given explanations that were too brief, too jargon laden or just too much to take in at the time. This regularly results in people feeling indifferent or powerless in the face of these problems, so preventing them from taking positive action which could really help with their illnesses and improve their health in general.

DocExplains is a place where people can go to get clear, thorough, and jargon-free explanations about common medical conditions which they may have come across in their day-to-day lives, in bite-sized easy-to-follow videos. It’s hopefully going to be a place where, with the minimum of fuss and effort, people can quickly learn about what these conditions are, how they come about, and so what can be done to take control.

Q: What goals do you expect to achieve with DocExplains?

The central aim of DocExplains is to empower people to take control of their own health problems. So of course I hope to be able to reach as many viewers as possible, and I also hope to be able to provide the videos in multiple languages.

Eventually viewers of the videos will be given the opportunity to engage in the development of the videos by sharing their own ideas about what content would be useful; maybe suggesting conditions that they would like to see videos about, or mentioning specific things that they wished had been explained to them. I’d like for the viewers to play a strong role in driving the content to make sure that DocExplains is always relevant to them, and in building a community that supports and spreads patient education.

Q: How does screen recording and video creation fit into that?

Screen recording is absolutely key to what I am trying to achieve. The idea of DocExplains first came about after a few patients had mentioned that they found it useful when I drew out my explanations of what they were experiencing for them. I wanted to recreate that for a wider audience, and being able to capture my drawings on screen in video enables this.

Q: What influenced your decision to use iShowU?

I had read a number of reviews and iShowU fared very well under scrutiny from a number of blogs and tech sites. I tried out a few different screen recording apps and iShowU was easily the best for my needs. It has enabled high quality recordings and provides flexibility throughout the entire process. Video is not something I have a great deal of experience with, and iShowU offers lots of options while still being user-friendly.

Q: What would you like to see in iShowU that would help you in your endeavours?

Right now iShowU has more options and features than I could possibly need and I’m still exploring them. I can honestly say that I couldn’t ask for anymore; maybe that will change as DocExplains develops, I’ll keep you posted!

By Dr Ashfaq Ahmed – Creator of DocExplainsLabs

Chasing continuous saving in iShowU Studio (beta 1.0.1)

A couple of people have reported that iShowU Studio continually saves the document while it’s being edited, and that that is really annoying.  I’m on the hunt as to why as a user you even see that happening.

Request for Help

If you see this happening, can you please download the 1.0.1 beta (enable check for beta updates in iShowU Studios preferences).  Then, in the same preference panel, also enable Logging and make sure the Persistence option is also checked:

iShowU Studio Logging Preferences


Can you then run the app, and load up a document that causes the saving problem. Let that run for a while (with a few saves happening over a minute or so), and then send me the logs from Console.

Console can be found in /Applications/Utilities/.


This saving strategy is standard “document” behaviour in OS X since 10.7. What’s not correct though is that you can see this happening. That’s the bit I’m trying to fix :)


Here’s what is supposed to happen:

  1. iShowU saves the initial recording. To do this is has to copy the data. That data can be large. So yes, we expect to see a progress bar during the first save operation.
  2. Subsequent changes usually only modify the project file, which is a tiny file within the document bundle. OSX however does move the entire bundle around the place, but that’s OK since file system move operations are fast.
  3. Upshot? iShowU Studio does save something like every 15-30s, but you should never see it. It should happen so fast that you never notice. This is a good thing because it helps prevent any data loss.

Thank you for supporting shinywhitebox

A big thank you to all of you who madly pulled out your credit cards and and purchased iShowU Studio over the last few days :)  [thumbs up!]

I’m now trying to return to normality, beginning with planning the next updates to Studio, more marketing “stuff” as well as pondering upgrades to v1 and HD, which haven’t seen the love of shiny new tech in a while.  Heck; I’m even wondering if I’m going to hire someone to help, there’s just so much to do!

Joking and pondering aside, I really do want to thank everyone who left me positive comments regarding Studio. Each and every comment like that lifts my spirits and makes the days go better, so thank you.

iShowU Studio now has a PDF manual

We’ve had a number of requests for a non-iBooks based manual.  It seems, for some bizarre reason that some machines don’t have iBooks. Hmpf!

While a PDF manual ain’t going to be as good (our manual has lots of little videos in it, to explain various parts of the interface) it’ll be better than nothing. So without further ado, here it is!

Link to PDF manual: http://help.shinywhitebox.com/studio/pdf-manual

If you’re wondering about iBooks, it should be installed as part of Mavericks. Here’s some support articles I found via Mr Google:

  • iBooks @ Apple - http://www.apple.com/ibooks/
  • About iBooks for Mac – http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5953

1.0.1 beta of iShowU Studio

First batch of fixes for Studio is out as a beta, and includes:

  • Media is now pre-rolled before playback, resulting in far better audio/video sync.
  • Problems during share are now reported as errors rather than crashing the app.
  • Path based prefs are now stored as bookmarks, so the underlying volume can be renamed/moved between restarts and Studio won’t throw a fit.
  • Fixed issue where specific new project/prefs settings/storage location could cause a crash when sharing the new project.
  • Fixed crash when closing the introduction panel via the red close button.
  • App now correctly checks write permissions for temporary and final paths, and reports on write failure instead of crashing.
  • Corrected a spelling mistake in the Sharing panel (apparently ‘Category’ isn’t spelt with two g’s :-)
  • Fix bug with screen indicator showing if you open/close preferences in the middle of recording.

To update, make sure the “Check for beta updates” is enabled in the preferences of iShowU Studio, then press ‘Check for Update’.

After-Release progress with iShowU Studio

The release has gone great, so thank you to everyone who has provided constructive feedback so far.

We’re working to  fix some issues, specifically:

  • Crash when sharing, sometimes
  • Crash when closing the “intro” window using the red close button (top left of window)
  • Repeated saving of project on some systems

The top two I’ve been able to reproduce here, which is good. I’m currently working on fixing these and expect to have a new release out over the weekend.

iShowU Studio Released – How does it differ?

I’m pleased to announce the release of iShowU Studio, a full non-linear video editor aimed at screen casting.  Studio has been a work-in-progress over the last three years, and today finally sees its release into the wild. It’s great that it is finally here!

One of the obvious questions is: How does it differ from existing iShowU products? To answer this I’ve written a small article over here. I’ll probably flesh that out over the next few days as people ask more questions about it.

Remember, you can download a free demo of the product  to try it out if you like. You can get this by visiting the iShowU Studio product page, then clicking “Download” below the header.

I hope you enjoy having a play with Studio :)

Article: http://support.shinywhitebox.com/hc/en-us/articles/201440870