Just the other day, I got a press release and smiled. It came from an old friend, Evan Gross, author of Spell Catcher, that venerable system-wide writing tool. Indeed, it has gone through a number of incarnations and several publishers over the years, before Evan decided to let his company, Rainmaker, Inc., do it all.
It all began in 1985, when Thunder! was released as a Mac desk accessory by Batteries Included, a company that soon went out of business. Thunder! subsequently passed through several publishers on its path to becoming Spell Catcher.
At least Evan doesn't have to beg for his royalties anymore, and he's really been through the mill getting paid from those failing companies. Indeed, he deserves every bit of the success he's earned simply by doing what Apple has failed to do all these years.
Yes, it's perfectly true that Mac OS X Leopard has limited system-wide spell checking capabilities, and applications that support those features can get the job done, after a fashion. But Spell Catcher is so much more, and when it's running, you barely know it's there. That's the hallmark of solid design.
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