earthlingsoft RealBasic

Early earthlingsoft applications in the late 1990s were created using RealBasic, an easy to use development environment with a graphical touch. We have since moved on to use Cocoa for programming on Mac OS X. Yet, our old code still exists and you can try using it.

Be warned, however, RealBasic’s backwards compatibility doesn’t seem to be that great and that code is a decade old. Most likely the projects won’t build properly anymore but they may serve as a starting point for your own development work. In addition, some of the project files we have are quite old and in RealBasic version 2 format. It appears that current versions of RealBasic can’t read them.

In case you end up using some of this code and iron out some compatibility problems on the way, be sure to send us your improved version, so it can be helpful for others.


SETI Checker icon SETI Checker

SETI Checker was a surprisingly popular application with thousands of users worldwide. Its purpose was to download member and team statistics for participants in the SETI@home project, analyse and display them locally for further analysis.

In retrospect, SETI Checker was ahead of its time in how it aimed to put data from the web in a pretty application on your desktop computer, handling things like updating, history keeping and analysis of the data for you in a familiar GUI. As things like web services were unheard of back in the days, this was achieved through screen-scraping.

We have since stopped participating in the SETI@home – and are not even sure how much sense this makes, seeing that today’s CPUs use considerably more energy when they run under a high load and you should at least give a passing thought to the ecological and financial consequences of letting your machine run such distributed projects all the time.

However, we still remember the joy of participating, forming teams and tracking the statistics, so if you’d like to resurrect SETI Checker, grab the source code, see how much of it has been obsoleted by advances of RealBasic and how much the web page parsing algorithms need to be adjusted for today’s web pages.

The old project file we offer can be opened by RealBasic 2008 but there seem to be many errors introduced by RealBasic. In particular instances of our own subclasses in windows are not used properly and have to be manually re-set to the original state.

GeburtstagsChecker icon GeburtstagsChecker

Everybody’s favourite utility application, our birthday reminder GeburtstagsChecker was born in the 1990s. While not quite as slick as the current version for Mac OS X, it already did a great job reminding people of upcoming birthdays back then.

With no operating system provided address (and hence birthday) book being available on Mac OS 9, GeburtstagsChecker focused a bit more on administrating birthdays than it does today. It was, however, strictly designed for minimal interference with people’s work and maximum usefulness.

RealBasic class icon RealBasic classes

Some classes we wrote for using in our own projects. Many of them come with documentation as comments in methods whose names begin with ‘AAA’.

A class for displaying clickable URLs in an easily recognisable blue style. Includes click highlighting as well drag and drop support.
A rather extensive line diagram drawing class. It is quite powerful and we used it to good effect in SETIChecker. See SETIChecker’s screenshots to get an idea [1] [2] [3] of its display style.
ESAutocomplete / cSchlau
Class for an autocompleting text field with a cache for old strings. Used in SETIChecker for the team name (with strings being stored in preferences for persistence) as well as in MP3 Tagger.
Provides a simple animation by moving a graphic around.
Zoom Checker
A class for using window zoom rects. Presumably by calling Toolbox methods. No idea whether there’s a chance of getting this to work today.
A class for working with alias data. Presumably by calling Toolbox methods. No idea whether there’s a chance of getting this to work today.

Generic RealBasic Icon mp3 Checker

An early mp3 metadata editor. It writes the metadata tags to the mp3 file in a format which was determined by trial and error back in the days. Today, you are certainly better off using iTunes or one of the more universal libraries for this task.

A neat thing about mp3 Checker is its ability to set metadata tags based on the names of the folders containing the sound files. Again, this is handled much better by iTunes these days, but back then it was a real help. This application uses our autocompleting text field subclass.

Telephongebühren Icon Telephongebühren

When Germany’s telephone market was opened to non-Deutsche Telekom providers in the 1990s, a system for picking your carrier on a ‘call-by-call’ basis was introduced. Soon, lists of various phone companies’ prices started appearing. Telephongebühren reads such a list and displays the best deals you can get based on that.

When doing so, the application takes into account the current time, the guessed duration of the call and changes in the rate which will happen during the call. The list we used back then ceased to exist, but one should be able to adapt the application to read different file formats if that is deemed desirable.

TEXT/styl Resourcer Icon TEXT/styl resourcer

A small utility for reading and writing TEXT/styl resources. Quite likely this is superfluous these days. But it was tremendously useful for editing the readmes we had in our applications in the Mac OS 9 days.

eMail Addressen Icon eMail Adressen

A small application that fiddles with Mac OS 8.5 / 9 era e-Mail address clippings, giving them good names based on their content or something. Probably an exercise in resource fork manipulation which may be of little interest today.