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 video tutorial for people who fail to convert

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.

Release : Duelpro 2009 (v5.0.1)!

We have just released a new version of Duelpro 2009 for Windows. It’s the first version that can be freely redistributed and which can be leached from our site by direct link. This version includes many interesting new features like :

-New engine
-New interface
-Less crowded composition
-Easier access and integration of the quick keys
-Lifepoints bar added
-New PDF help file
-Halve and double lifepoints feature added
-Undo feature added for the last action
-And much more tweaks and fixes

You can download the new version by clicking the screenshot below :

Duelpro 2009 Screenshot - Download

Duelpro 2009 Screenshot - Download

Duelpro 2009 coming tomorrow!

It’s been a while since we last updated Duelpro and I must say the last update didn’t do any good. The interface looks like crap and it’s not exactly intuitive. Therefore we are going to make it up with all Duelpro 2008.1 users by releasing Duelpro 2009 tomorrow.

Duelpro 2009 is completely rebuild from scratch, which makes it much faster and more stable than Duelpro 2008. The most important change will probably be the interface. Duelpro 2009 will be full of eyecandy and new features which have never been in a Windows TCG lifepoints calculator before.

The interface is now totally rebuild and a whole lot different, the quick access buttons for dealing or restoring predefined amounts of lifepoints have been natively implemented now and there will also be a halve and a double lifepoints option. There will even be a feature in Duelpro 2009 which has yet to appear in the iPhone version, a custom preset button, in which you can store an amount of lifepoints and deal it as damage or restore it at a single click. DPR 2009 will also come with a lifepoints bar to keep track of your lifepoints and an Undo feature.

There’s of course still room for the classic features like keyboard shortcuts, a card tracker for both players, a button to declare a draw, a direct kill button for eg. exodia and destiny board, a phase and turn keeper, a dashboard and dice and coin simulation.

In total the interface of Duelpro now consists of 108 images and has a completely new icon which will soon be applied to all (i)Duelpro versions.

Duelpro 2009 will be released tomorrow evening and will be freely available from our site to freely distribute. We will allow leaching and will not set anymore redirections for Duelpro and iDuelpro. So you can freely share Duelpro with your friends or link to the executable on our site. It’s our purpose to make as many people as possible update to Duelpro 2009. There will only be one catch, we will advertise our newest iDuelpro for iPhone when the installer exits.

36-image express 2.0, Project Dragonfly continues…

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.

36-image converter and large images

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.

Duelpro nearing 100% marketshare in windows lifepoints aids

Since our last competitor went offline, Duelpro is now nearing an absolute marketshare of 100% on Windows. Which means nearly all yugioh! TCG players using an LPC on Windows, use Duelpro. Duelpro has been online since 2005 and quickly gained a big piece of the pie. With its only competitors at that time being Omnipotus lifepoints calc and Yugioh! Lifepoints Calculator a year later, Duelpro never had much competition, but still 10% stayed in the hands of alternative lifepoints aids. Now both competitors have faded due to Duelpro’s success. In total it has been downloaded +-300.000 times making it one of our most successful applications, second to 36-image converter (+-520.000 times).

It may not be professional for us to keep Duelpro alive but we are a little bit attached to it since it was our first app ever distributed and it’s a great way to scout new platforms and programming languages.

Other platforms

Since 2008 Duelpro has even been ported to other platforms taking a modest marketshare on Mac OSX and a 1/3th of the iPhone cake with iDuelpro. We have also announced a Linux port and an online version of Duelpro, which will both be opensource under the MPL or GPL License.

The future of Duelpro

In the future we will keep on maintaining and proving support for Duelpro and will even expand it. As already mentioned there will be online and Linux ports, but we will also improve existing versions with Duelpro 2010 and iDuelpro 2010. iDuelpro 2010 will be directly rebuild out of the iDuelpro for iPhone source code and hence have the same features and will also be advertised in the same way as Duelpro for Windows to also increase its marketshare.

Duelpro 2010 for Windows will get a whole bunch of new features which people who reviewed the iPhone app suggested but aren’t feasible on the iPhone or Mac. Like eg. a card database, a log of all players you dueled with and a completely new interface.

iDuelpro Mobile for iPhone will also be promoted some more by adding ads to the Setup of all other versions and by creating a lite version. With a little luck we will be able to make iDuelpro Mobile lift on the success of the normal Duelpro and take the leading marketshare on the iPhone as well, as we once did with the free version of iDuelpro Mobile.

We already have the leading position since most people use Windows, even for their lifepoints calculator needs. We should have an estimated 70% of the global marketshare. But with the iPhone we are leaving a part of the market behind which is the most profitable and which may fund future innovations.

So for all other LPC developers : Be warned, Duelpro is coming to your platform…

In the meanwhile, Duelpro can be found here : http://www.phoenxsoftware.com/duelpro2008.html

iDuelpro can be found here : http://download.cnet.com/iDuelpro-2009/3000-18541_4-10908436.html?tag=mncol;lst

and iDuelpro Mobile for iPhone can be found here :

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=299220306&mt=8

Encrypt/Decrypt filter not present in 36-image converter 4.7

36-image converter 4.7 will not contain a filter to encrypt or decrypt an image using a password.

It was previously announced but all tests failed. The Encryption filter worked but only for area’s of eg. 600 pixels at a time. If the filter was applied on an image of 1800×1800 you would’ve had no problems 1800/600=3 x 3 squares which were handled by the filter, but when applying it to eg. a 700×700 image you would have one square to which the filter was applied and the rest would be slightly pointilized.
Another problems was that the decryption filter didn’t completely return the image to default, so we would be unable to finish a fully working en-/decrypt filter in 36-image converter 4.7.

But there is good news as well, while researching the failed filter, we stumbled upon some nice paintbrush effect which we will call GlassBrush and which will be included in 36IC 4.7. We also developed some more color alteration filters and we are continuing our research to include more filters in future releases.

The GlassBrush filter used on an image of a frog

The GlassBrush filter used on an image of a frog

Native Duelpro 2009 coming to each platform

Duelpro 2009, our yu-gi-oh! TCG lifepoints calculator (with which it all started), will be natively ported to 3-4 platforms. For each OS, Duelpro 2009 will get a native interface so forget the colorful Duelpro 2008. Where Duelpro 2008 was build in Delphi, the next version will be build in Visual Studio C++ for Windows, Qt 4 for Linux and BSD (oDuelpro), Xcode for Mac OSX and iPhone (iDuelpro). This will bring a native feel to Duelpro. Of course we will still throw in the phoenxsoftware style interface by adding some styled graphics, but we are looking for a unified interface which will look good on any OS and which will be fast and easy to use.

Duelpro 2009 (5.0) will features :
-More custom buttons to add or subtract lifepoints
-New interface
-Dashboard on each OS
-Buttons to halve lifepoints on each OS
-Turn based dueling on each OS
-4 player support on each OS
-Unified Icon

36-image converter 4.7 biggest 36IC release ever with 108 improvements so far

36-image converter 4.7 “Tiger Chameleon” will be the 36-image converter version with the highest amount of improvements and new features to the previous one. This means that it beats v4.4 “Ninja” in increased functionality.

36-image converter 4.4  “Ninja” release 1, released last year only had 74 improvements and the coming 36-image converter 4.7 “Tiger Chameleon” release 1 will have over 107 new features if we stick to all our plans.  Of course for most users, the change will not be this dramatic since most improvements happen far away from the main 36-image converter executable in the image processing unit, where in “Ninja” the entire main executable was rebuild.  So this gives a bit of a wrong view to this comparison. So you have to decide yourself which update is the most valuable one.

You could already see an overview of all new coming features in one of the previous posts, but now we have also added usability improving features like keyboard shortcuts and mouse gestures. Mouse gestures is something which has never been done before in an image editing application.

Let’s give you another overview of all 108 coming improvements :

-Improved performance : By removing old parts of the engine, we increased performance and reduced memory load. (2 improvements)

New conversion engine (Core Image Processing Unit v0.3.1) : This improvement speeds up conversions, makes all existing write support more reliable, adds write support for TIF, TIFF, TGA, Portable bitmaps (normal, raw and ascii), RLE, 256-colors and 16-bits bitmaps, ICB and read support for jpeg2000 and 33 raw image filetypes of 300 digital camera’s. It also provides more stable PII encryption/decryption and improves the speed of all existing and coming filters tremendously. (61 improvements)

New selection and layer features : The amount of possibilities added to the selection menu will dramatically increase. You will be able to cut out or copy a selection and save it to a file or create a layer with it and apply filters or transformations upon it. You will also be more free in the transformation of your selection, you will be able to contract or expand selections to all directions and set the size or location for the selected area. There will also be minor tweaks to the selection controls and an update of the current object insertion (layer) function.  (15 improvements)

New filters : With 36-image converter 4.7 come a whole bunch of new faster filters : Monochrome, Equalize, Red, Blue and Green. You will also be able to encrypt and decrypt images with a password using a filter. (7 improvements)

New improved settings panel, Extension Manager and DashBoard : All extra tools will be renewed and improved, they will get improved interfaces, the DashBoard and its channels will be adapted, the Extension Manager will enable you to choose an icon for 36IC files and the Settings Panel will be adapted to conform to the new functions. (5 improvements)

Batch and Context menu conversion : 36IC 4.7 is the first version of 36-image converter to support Batch and Context menu conversion. You will be able to directly use the CIPU to convert an amount of filetypes to all filetypes supported by 36IC. This will happen in batch and with technology taken from Blastgen to enable thousands of files to be converted, resized or renamed in a matter of seconds. (6 improvements)

-Usability improvements : In 36-image converter 4.7, image editing never was easier. You will be able to use keyboard shortcuts and adjustable mouse gestures for a whole lot of standard operations. Also the new Mirage theme will also be applied to the selection and color squares to improve visibility. When you open a submenu for the first time,  an animated tutorial will pop up to get people used to 36IC in no time. (4 improvements)

The usual bunch of tweaks and fixes : As a surplus to all new functions and improved features some things were tweaked and fixed as well. 36IC 4.7 has new icons, a new splash screen, a new help file and finally fixes the resize inaccuracy bug. There have also been minor tweaks to the interface to the quality of the interface. (8 improvements)

As you can see, 36-image converter 4.7 will have a whole bunch of new features, how many will survive it to the finish is something we will see in August.