UIC Phoenxsoftware is known to rise from its ash time after time. that’s why I picked the name in 2005. (Actually it should be phoenixsoftware, but the “i” got lost somewhere along the way.)
We rose from the ash when we dropped windows development almost completely and left a number of successful freeware products behind with it resulting in a stable and self sustaining business on Mac OSX and iOS. We rose from the ash when we were hit by a copyright claim from the nice folks at KONAMI for our most successful product at that time iDuelpro, resulting in a 70% drop in revenue. And now we are ready to reimagine Phoenxsoftware for the third time, this time by rebranding UIC Phoenxsoftware to Phix Software.
This giant step comes not only with a new name, but also with a completely redesigned website and more focus on our commercial products. It also means we will release more serious products and have a bigger budget for marketing and more focused management. With the Mac OSX application we will release in a few days we take a first step in this new era.
Not all changes are positive for everyone. Our Windows users will have to settle with a lot less supported apps and some are even completely removed from our website.
Only the following products will be supported, maintained and get their own spot on the new site: MonoPhix (lite), MonoPhix HD, FlashPhix (lite), GrayPhix, iDuelpro (lite), Lingi, iDuelpro for Mac, Duelpro, 36-image express, SpeedShut, ROC and hur.lu and of course our new app.
The following products have been put on a dedicated “archive” page for deprecated software but are still available for download: 36-image converter, LockPhix, LoadDown, FileTorment, CachePhix, MPhix. These applications are no longer supported so we can’t provide mail support for these and waive all responsibility.
The following products are declared dead and aren’t available for download anymore on our site: FileTorment Suite 2006, FileTorment Suite 2007, PhBrowser, Blastgen Beta, older versions of Duelpro, InfoBlaster IN4.
I am certain these changes will benefit the user and will also give us a competitive edge. You can head over to our new site for a look around and check out the products that you didn’t even know existed.
At the moment we are developing a new version of an iPhone app that needs updating, FlashPhix. We’re still testing and tweaking, but the results look promising although some of the filters take up to 20 seconds to be completed.
But here’s small gallery of the resulting pictures :
The Clouds are Coming (FlashPhix – Advanced Lighting – Channels/Contrast/Global)
Tree of the Dead (FlashPhix – Advanced Lighting – Channels/Contrast/Global
CachePhix 1.x : incompatible (Possible update coming next year)
LoadDown 2.0 : Compatible
LockPhix 1.x : incompatible (further testing required) (No intention to update – end of support coming in 2010)
FileTorment Suite 2006/2007 : incompatible – end of support (since 2009)
infoBlaster IN4 : incompatible – end of support (since 2008)
Mphix 1.0 : incompatible – end of support (since 2007)
PhBrowser 1.0 : incompatible – end of support (since 2006)
So most apps are compatible, the few apps which were incompatible with vista are still incompatible with windows 7 and 36-image converter will be fixed in an update.
And of course I have to add my opinion about Windows 7. I have only one sentence for Windows 7 : “Microsoft is back!”. Enthusiasts of other operating systems have been claiming that people just use windows because it’s on their PC, with Windows 7 they are proven wrong. People are actually looking for Windows 7. Users of other operating systems are cheering for Windows 7, about 90% of all Mac Fans (including me) thinks Windows 7 is great and will run it as a second OS without whining. The same with half the Linux population. So is Windows 7 a success? It’s probably the most wanted operating system of the decade.
Microsoft has finally delivered a product which is fun to use and can compare to Mac OSX. Microsoft increased the productivity with a set of new features which can compare to Mac OSX exposé (although I still prefer exposé, because I’m used to it) and they brought small changes which are enjoyable. They put a great deal of care and effort in this operating system contacting all developers for a compatibility check of their apps, gathering all drivers and testing your configuration for compatibility. They actually did something with the Windows Vista complaints.
So I don’t think alternative operating system’s usage will grow now. It grew thanks to Windows Vista, but with Windows 7 everyone is happy again and the need for an alternative is gone. So I expect a drop in the Linux marketshare and a growth stop of Mac OSX and in long term a minor decrease in marketshare.
I also expect Chrome OS to be born dead, people don’t need another OS. If google released it a few months after the Vista release they would’ve scored a big hit, but the normal people have a working Windows install, Mac people have Mac OSX and the mac people that are interested in Windows 7 will not be interested in Chrome OS, the ones which aren’t interested in Win7 aren’t interested in anything other than Mac OSX so there goes another fail for Google. And the last one the opensource advocates and the common linux users don’t want a semi-opensource OS which sends data to an evil corporation, so they will stick with the normal Linux distros. So I think the fear which microsoft had to endure for a few years about other treding operating systems is gone now.
As you all know, the development of 36-image converter is almost at end with the Beta coming at the beginning of November. But that’s not the only thing that’s coming. We have started development for 36-image converter 5.0, which comes with a new engine, a new interface and a completely new set of features.
We are also going to renew all our iPhone apps. GrayPhix, FlashPhix and MonoPhix are getting an engine update to support all image formats, iPhix will hit version 2.0 with support for large resolution images, transformations, more effects and a new interface. iDuelpro and iDuelpro Lite will hit version 4.0. And iDuelpro for Mac OSX will hit iDuelpro 2010 and will be a direct port from the iPhone.
Maybe the biggest change will be that our site will be completely revamped and pushed to the edge of design and browser standards. Remember the old 3 year old site and its ads, frames and flaws as it will disappear somewhere next month. If you want to see how progress is coming along with the new site you can go to http://www.phoenxsoftware.com/mainsite_new/
After this everything will be as it should have been from the beginning, a 36-image converter with no flaws (except for flaws people are creating of course), a whole bunch of worthy iPhone apps, a Duelpro on each platform which takes a huge leap forward from many other yugioh LPC’s and a site which has the design our users are used to.
After this, the road is open for completely new apps and features.
I’ve been getting a lot of complaints lately <sarcasm>always from nice people who don’t insult me or anything</sarcasm> that 36-image converter is hard to work with and that they can’t find any info on how to convert an image or even open one. So I created a tutorial on how to open images in 36-image converter and convert them. In the tutorial we’re going to convert a DNG raw camera image to PNG in 2 minutes.
A few remarks :
-The version used in the video is a development version of 36-image converter 4.7 Beta which hasn’t been released yet. So you won’t be able to filter filetypes in the open-dialog.
-In versions older than the newest alpha version of 36-image converter 4.7 you won’t be able to open and convert DNG or other raw filetypes. You can download 36-image converter 4.7 here> -My voice is no opera baritone so I still suggest reading the help file instead of listen to me for 2 whole minutes
I hope everything is clear now and that I don’t have to hear another. “It can’t convert images, this is stupid!” in my whole life.
We know that all together from various sources 36-image converter is downloaded about 600.000 times, but we only take one result as official and untampered with measuring tool, CNET. And this night, the 100.000th download of 36-image converter was confirmed.
36-image converter is around since februari 2006 and has been listed on CNET since July 2006, it took off quite fast quickly bringing it to 20.000 downloads and to one of our most downloaded applications. Later in 2007 we started seeing the potential of 36-image converter and we started building other more advanced tools and version, thus even increasing the amount of downloads even more. In 2008 came 36-image converter 4.4 “Ninja” and this has put us on the map as the most popular real image converter and one of the top 20 most popular image editing tools in the world. And today, we have 100.000 official downloads.
I can only say one more thing : Bring in the 1.000.000!
As promised we are releasing the first development alpha of 36-image converter 4.7 “Tiger Chameleon” to the world. It has been in development for 3 months yet and includes many interesting changes especially for people with advanced camera’s. This is also the first public version which includes the new Core Image Processing Unit.
36-image converter 4.7 is far from finished but the current release already shows huge improvements, but still isn’t stable yet. We could say that it’s already 20% finished. Here’s a full list of all changes in this build :
-Reduced memory usage
-New conversion engine (Core Image Processing Unit v0.3.1)
-Support for the RAW formats of over 300 digital camera’s (List)
-Faster filters handled by CIPU
-A bunch of new filters
-More stable write support for TGA, TIF, TIFF, Portable Bitmaps (raw), ICO, CUR, PNG, JPEG, JPEG2000, PCX and EMF
-Added write support for RLE, 256-colors (8-bits) and 16-bits BMP, ICB, Portable Bitmaps (raw),
-Tweaks to convert menu UI
-New splash screen and icons
-Added install welcome screen
There are still some bugs and therefore we can use as many feedback as possible.
We are now working on 36-image converter 4.7 but we should begin looking towards the future, which is 36-image express (36Ix). As for now 36Ix can only open and save images, but this will change.
In 36Ix 2.0 we will alter the interface to house a bunch of new features, 1 of the most important features in 36Ix 2.0 will be the layer support. We will try to integrate layer support a well as possible with a focus on usability and ease of use.
Another feature of 36Ix 2.0 will be filters, because filters are now handled by the Core Image Processing Unit instead of the 36-image converter executable, we can easily add support for the same filters to 36-image express. The same for the input and output filetypes.
As a final point we will add some transformations (resize, crop, rotate) and save to web functionality and the first step towards the future is finished. But first we have to finish 36IC 4.7 of course and this may still take months, but the good news is that most of the work we do for 36IC can be reused in 36-image express, thus creating a more functional, lighter and more beautiful version of 36-image converter.
The next step v2.5 will add brushes, layer effects, vector drawing, fill tools, photo altering tools and when this step is completed we will probably be at a point where we overpower GIMP, thus having a +-10Mb application which supports layers, is easy to use and looks good, is light and supports +-60 input filetypes and +-30 output filetypes. We might even reach our goal to develop the first freeware application which can compete with Photoshop. But this is something we will see in the future.
As most 36IC users already know, 36-image converter can’t edit images bigger than the screen resolution minus 20 pixels, eg. 1.400×830 = max. size of 1.380×810 pixels. Many people have been wanting a fix for this problem, but there isn’t any except for 36-image express which allows conversion of bigger images, but isn’t as advanced as 36IC. So when will it be fixed?
In our next version (4.7) coming in the fall of this year, we will include tools to batch convert/resize/rename images of any size. This will be the first step. In version 5.0 this issue will be resolved completely and you will also be able to edit/convert and save images in the default editor. But this won’t happen anytime soon.
The current editor of 36-image converter is too complicated to support images bigger than the screen resolution, the entire application has to be rewritten. That’s why we created 36-image express, 36Ix is build to support large images and to be much lighter. But at the moment 36Ix is still lacking a lot of features and is actually a development version of 36-image converter 5.0 which is publicly being tested and incrementally being improved.
So first we have to complete 36IC 4.7, then we have to update 36Ix with the new CIPU conversion engine from 36IC and make it more stable, then we can begin improving 36Ix step by step to support all functions of the current 36-image converter and to support advanced image editing features like editable layers. Then 36-image converter 5.0 will be build on top of 36-image express. So we can proceed the 36IC development with the same care we used for developing 36Ix.
So in a while 36-image converter will support large surfaces, but it will not be for 2009. Even we are waiting for a stable core to continue the development of 36-image converter. But as always when we fix the size issue, the 36IC users will find something new to rant about on CNET, that’s why all coming versions of 36-image converter and 36-image express will have the Reasonable Feedback Agreement in the EULA, like 36Ix does. In this way we can at least protect all future version of 36IC against idiotic comments and even sue the people who do.
This blogpost comes in respond to a recent comment on our site.
Many people have been condemning the interface of 36-image converter, we thought this was the result of the 36IC 4.4 interface “Twilight” which some people were unable to see because their screen contrast settings were too low. But there are still people complaining.
Now on many tweak sites in software reviews you find everybody asking how they can turn off the eyecandy of a certain application. Of course you can use this sometimes to tweak the performance of an application and make it a few percents faster and lighter, but 36-image converter is different. In 36IC the eye-candy is the default interface, it can’t be turned off or you will get a black window. 36IC uses directX to display its interface and the effects, just like Windows Vista and this can’t be turned off and still people want to turn it off. If 36IC would have a normal windows 98-style interface, it won’t be any faster and it won’t be any lighter since DirectX would also be needed to display these, since 36IC doesn’t use the windows controls.
36IC has a quite unusual interface as well. Most windows apps consist out of a Toolbar with some controls to the side. 36IC has an upper toolbar with a few large icons to toggle the toolbars below which display controls which would normally come to the right. Is this too difficult? Or am I right that windows users are scared of image editors that look any different than paint?
CNET has praised us in a review for having an interface that doesn’t copycats Photoshop’s, so why can’t other people?
Recently I started development for Mac OSX and iPhone OS and I must say that it’s very different, even the attitude of the users is different. For the first time I’m appreciated for making design interfaces. People appreciate free programs tremendously and people are willing to pay for good looking apps. Why is this any different from windows, where people constantly complain that a free app isn’t having the same features as thousand dollars worth of shareware and where people only want to pay for software if it’s either funded by their boss or created by a gaming studio.
I will tell you something, there is nothing wrong with our interface, but only with the views of some windows users. It would be the same as getting a redesigned can of Coca-Cola for free in the streets and starting to yell at the one who’s distributing them that you can’t drink out of something that doesn’t look like the normal Cola bottle and that it sucks because you wanted Fanta.
Be grateful for getting something for free, you guys all act like a bunch of spoiled brats.
To conclude my plee I would like to bring out screenshots of our interface and a default windows interface, what’s the better one?