Who are those guys?
(A brief history of Evan Gross and Spell Catcher)
Rainmaker Research is, for the most part, a fantastically dedicated Canadian coder named Evan Gross. Spell Catcher X, which used to be called Thunder (in response to Deneba Software's then popular spell-checker, MacLightning), has been around for at least ten years in some form or another, and while Evan has always been the lead programmer, it's always been published for him by third parties, most recently Casady & Greene, which ceased operations last July 3.
Here's Casady & Greene's farewell message, which appeared on their site that very day:
"Goodnight Everybody!" is the farewell cry we have heard every night since Charles has been at C&G - He has usually been the first one here in the morning and as he left each night around five he would bellow out his goodbye for all to hear. We will hear that cry for the last time when we close our doors on July 3rd.
It is with profound regret that we inform you that Casady & Greene will close its doors on July 3rd, 2003, after nineteen years in the Software Publishing business. We have endured many industry downturns, but the last three years have presented a series of economic disasters from which we were unable to rebound. Please know that we are deeply grateful for your patronage and have been honored to serve you and please accept our very sincere apologies for any difficulties or inconveniences caused you by our closure.
The individual authors of our products have provided us with a list of contact points for customer support and product purchase. Those contact points are listed below and we encourage you to explore the web sites of all the authors whose products we were privileged to publish and seek support as needed from the talented individuals who wrote your software. Again, we extend to you our heartfelt apologies as well as our enduring gratitude.
None of us wants to hear his final Goodnight - all of us wish we had found the magic answer that would have kept us at least afloat and preferably brought us back to full sail. It has been a great run, and while we all wish it weren't over, the struggle to stay afloat in the last few years has taken its toll. It's time to close the doors and... we couldn't go without saying goodbye.. You are the reason we have been here working without pay for the last year, You are wonderful. You, our customers, have been a great community to serve... thank you.
The Stockholders, VPs and Staff of Casady & Greene
Evan posted his own message about the situation that very same day:
July 2, 2003
By now, most of you have heard the news that Casady & Greene will be closing its doors on July 3rd. Chances are good that you ended up at this site from the link posted on their home page. If you haven't read their farewell message, please do so now by clicking one of the links above. It's sad to see them go, I had a lot of fun publishing with them, attending Macworld Expo and WWDC events (often at their expense) and visiting their offices in the beautiful Monterey, CA area.
But it's time to turn a page, and get on with creating (and hopefully expanding) this new business. There's a lot that John and I have to do in the next few weeks, so please understand if we can't answer all of your questions personally and as quickly as we usually did on C&G's message board. I ask that you please try to refrain from sending us e-mail while we're in this phase. We are setting up mailboxes for specific purposes, and will put them into our Contact section when the time is right.
We thank you for all the positive comments we've received so far! In fact, I don't think there have been any negative ones (yet). One of the main reasons I made the message board a top priority was to give folks a place to tell us what you think (and keep our volume of e-mail to a dull roar).
Putting together the product information is our next task, for now we've posted links to reviews for Spell Catcher X and Spell Catcher Plus. There should be enough information in these reviews to educate those that aren't familiar with the products on what they can do.
If you're not aware, Spell Catcher has been around a very long time - since 1985 in fact, when it was originally called "Thunder!" We've been through four different publishers, outlasting them all except for Electronic Arts (who we still get royalty reports from, on time, every quarter, for zero units, zero dollars, and zero cents). Guess it was time to give it a go ourselves.
A series of minor updates followed, but it wasn't until last week that Rainmaker released the first major upgrade to Spell Catcher X 10.1 -- a Panther-savvy tour-de-force that's been rewritten, made easier to use, and improved in many other ways. I've used Spell Catcher for more than ten years (and more than four publishers); this latest version (10.1) is the best yet.
Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus has been a Macintosh user for a long, long time and has written 49 computer books including Mac OS X Tiger For Dummies and GarageBand for Dummies. He also offers expert technical help and training to Mac users, in real time and at reasonable prices, via telephone, e-mail, and/or unique Internet-enabled remote control software. For more information on Bob and his services, visit www.boblevitus.com.