Circus Ponies Is Out of Business

Sort of a confusing announcement from long-time Mac (and NeXT — we’re talking really long-time) developer Circus Ponies:

After 13 years in business, Circus Ponies has gone to that great Alphabet company in the sky. It was a good run, but we are done (as in no longer in business).

If you need a copy of NoteBook 4.0 (3.x and earlier don’t run on OS X El Capitan) or need technical support, you can try sending an e-mail to support@circusponies.com. There’s a chance someone will respond but no guarantees.

Best of luck.

I don’t understand the clause “that great Alphabet company in the sky”. The app is clearly dead, but is developer Jayson Adams going to work at Google? Or is it just an excuse for the Alphabet parody page now at “circusponies.xyz”?

NoteBook exemplified peak skeuomorphism: page curls, lined notebook paper background — it even had spiral rings along the side of the window. Crazy days. The history of the app is interesting. Ted Goranson covered it in his outliner column for About This Particular Macintosh back in May 2004:

A particular background is always mentioned in this context: once upon a time there was a much admired NeXT notebook outliner called “NoteBook,” from Millennium Software. At some point, the two principals left and started their own companies, those we see here. Jayson Adams is the man behind Circus Ponies NoteBook; Scott Love heads AquaMinds and NoteTaker.

Both seem to have kept the rights to the original NoteBook code and certainly some NeXT code has been brought forward, but I suspect it to be a small portion in each case.

Most prospective users might think this indicates that the products are as similar as they initially appear. But consider that these two developers quarrelled severely enough to get a divorce. Presumably they differed on fundamental aspects of the notebook and the philosophies behind it. I think this is the case, because under the similar skins are two different religions.

NoteTaker, for what it’s worth, is still around, but the app hasn’t been updated since 2013, and the user manual hasn’t been updated since July 2012.

(Also: How great is it that ATPM had a regular column dedicated to outliners?)

Wednesday, 6 January 2016