Apologies and story behind the Phixsoft/hurlu/iPhix Cloud issues of the past days.


Over the past few days a lot of twitter updates flew by warning people of downtime on the side and services that could become unreliable or go offline.

Here’s the story on what’s causing them:
The hosting of our sites hur.lu and phixsoft.com/phoenxsoftware.com is in the hands of a Belgium firm. They recently updated their product line and upgraded to more modern servers. So we send them a mail asking if they could transfer our hosting to a new server with more capacity. About 3 months later (2 weeks ago) we got a mail back that they could transfer the site. We were informed by colleagues that this would only take a few hours. In the end it took 2 weeks and about 20 emails to get them to transfer everything. But that’s not all.

All passwords and logins of our databases, the place where we keep our hur.lu links and your iPhix Cloud images, were all changed. So we had to change the service to use the new passwords a few hours ago. After those changes hur.lu worked again, but we noticed the hur.lu dependent iPhix Cloud upload service didn’t work at all. We believe they didn’t activate certain features we demanded that iPhix Cloud needs to store your images to a remote cloud server.

Another issue is that anything uploaded or changed after 04/25 has gone lost because they used a backup dating from 04/19 and we luckily made another backup of the old site a few days ago and manually restored some of the data.

This is all a horrible mess which also caused a 2 week delay in the release of iPhix 1.1, and we’d like to apologize for all possible damage that has been done and for the downtime of all services. All we can do is wait and hope that our web host will fix the issues. We hope to get iPhix Cloud back online by tomorrow.

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Windows 7 compatibility with our Apps + opinion

As everybody knows Windows 7 has arrived, this brings some problems for certain applications. But luckily most of our apps aren’t experiencing issues.

Here’s a list :

  • 36-image converter 4.7a : Not fully compatible – issues with filters. Conversion + other features work. Issues will be fixed in the Beta version of v4.7.
  • 36-image express 1.0 : Compatible
  • ROC 1.0 : Compatible
  • Duelpro 2009 : Compatible
  • SpeedShut 4.x : Compatible
  • FileTorment 4.x : Compatible (further testing required)
  • 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.

Anyway, brilliant move, brilliant OS.

36-image converter 4.5 what to expect?

The release of 36-image converter 4.5 is approaching and it will not be a spectacular release like 4.4, but the improvements will be visible. Version 4.5 “Chameleon” is devoted to removing the issues that some users are experiencing and creating a solid base to add new features like Layers or more resources and in/output filetypes.

Themes :
You will now be able to change the theme of 36-image converter. This was function was implemented to enable users with a low contrast generating graphics card to view the interface of 36-image converter. With this you will be able to easily change the theme from the normal “Twilight”-theme to a new green theme called “Ooze” using the configuration panel. More new themes will be made available in the extra’s channel of the DashBoard after the release.

Bigger images :
No, “Chameleon” won’t enable you to edit 5.000×5.000 images but will enable you to edit images the dimensions of your screen resolution minus 100 pixels. So if you have a 1024×700 screen you will be able to edit 924×600 pixels images. So if you want to complain about this after the new release we will simply say : “Buy a new graphics card or a bigger screen!”.

Image associations :
When uninstalling 36IC, some people still discover that some extensions aren’t restored and are still associated to 36IC. This will be fixed by adding a function which opens a page when the uninstaller exits. There you will be able to directly download a patch for this issue.

Smaller installer :
We will try to downsize the installer, because 36-image converter is very close to the 10mb in size. We will try to downsize this to 7Mb by putting some optional content online and integrate executables in each other.

Small improvements :
When resizing you can sometimes experience a blue line in the left or the right of the image. This is caused by the virtual save. We will now add an intelligent function to Virtual Save which will check the border before resizing and compensate the faulty pixel.
We also discovered minor errors in the reliability of the built-in PII image encryption, this will also be fixed.
The conversion speed to the following filetypes might be improved : RAW, PBM, PPM and PGM.
And to end with, there have been a few minor updates to the DashBoard.

36-image converter 4.5 is slightly delayed and will be released in the first week of Januari 2009.

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