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Get a 1 Month DisplayFusion Pro License Today!

October 14, 2008

I don't know what I was thinking when I started giving away 2 week DisplayFusion Pro trial licenses, but that's just crazy. 2 weeks just isn't long enough to get a good feel for everything DisplayFusion Pro has to offer. So, starting today all DisplayFusion Pro trial licenses will last for a full month. What will DisplayFusion Pro give you? You get customizable hotkeys, random wallpaper changing and more. Check out the version comparison for all the details. Head over to the DisplayFusion Trial License page to get your full month of DisplayFusion Pro started today!

MacLife Interview

October 13, 2008

I had the recent pleasure to give an interview to an editor from MacLife.com. I must confess, I have never had an interview about any of my software, but it was a wonderful experience. The article is titled Industries Sown from the Seeds of Apple and it talks about the different industries that Apple has helped to build. Here are a few excerpts from the article, referencing things I discussed in the interview.

Jon Tackabury, who created iTunes Sync—software that allows non-iPod MP3 players to synchronize with iTunes—said that only the tech-savvy knew what MP3 players were before the advent of the iPod. He believes the iPod made MP3 players cool enough to pique the interest of the general public.
And then there's the cost. Tackabury said, "The iPod has a huge price premium. Even the nano is still pretty expensive considering the storage you get."
As long as people crave on-the-go tunes and don't care to shell out the price of an iPod or crave a feature Apple has not yet seen fit to add, the rest of the MP3 market will be there to sop up the iPod's run-offs. For example, Tackabury owns an iPod, but he purchased the less-expensive Sansa ($30) for his children.

I never know what to say when people are asking questions. Hopefully I didn't come across as too dorky, but I'm sure I did.

iTunes Sync v1.5.1 Released

October 4, 2008

I am happy to announce a bug-fix release of iTunes Sync. The main reason for this release is to add support for iTunes 8, but it also addresses a few small installer issues as well. You can download this new version from the iTunes Sync page. If you would like to see the complete list of changes in this release be sure to check out the change log.

DisplayFusion, Life and More

September 16, 2008

DisplayFusion v2.2 has been progressing along very nicely, with a huge thanks to the translators involved. It should be ready for release in a few weeks, but this depends on how much free time I will have. I'd like to thank everyone who emailed me about helping out with the translation, I now have enough people to cover the initially supported languages. After the release of this new version I will be posting the English resource file for anyone else that would like to run DisplayFusion in their own language.

My quest for a job has also been going quite well. I have been interviewing with a number of companies over the last few weeks. One of the companies I have been interviewing with flew me to their head office in New York city for the day on Monday, and it was a great trip. I had never been to New York before, but didn't really have much time to see anything. What a busy city though, there were people and cars everywhere. Next, I'll be packing my bags in a few hours and heading back to Ottawa for a few days to interview with some different companies. I can't wait for life to settle back down to a more normal, less chaotic pace and I'm sure my wife feels the same way.

DisplayFusion Translators Needed

August 29, 2008

The next version of DisplayFusion is coming along very quickly now. All of the localization code is complete now, and the English resource file is completely done and working. I am at the point now where I need some people to help translate the resource file into other languages. Currently, I am looking to translate DisplayFusion into German, French and Spanish. I will be paying to have the translation done, although I haven't worked out how much yet. If you speak one of these languages fluently and you are interested in learning more about helping out, please contact me.

DisplayFusion Updates

August 25, 2008

Just a quick update this morning. DisplayFusion v2.2 is progressing along very nicely now that I have more "free time". The translation into different languages is a very time consuming task and is taking a bit longer than expected, but it's nearly complete now. Also, just a reminder that next Monday, September 1st, the price for DisplayFusion Pro will be changed to $15. If you haven't already purchased a Pro license and are thinking about it I would suggest you purchase one in the next week to save a few bucks.

That's all for now, but if anyone has any questions or comments please let me know.

BinaryFortress

July 30, 2008

Sometimes life throws interesting things your way. How you deal with those things is up to you, and unexpected things can be both a blessing and a curse. I was let go from my job yesterday, and after having 24 hours to reflect I can safely say that I think this was meant to happen. I have always been a believer that things always happen for a reason, and it's best to just go with the flow of life. Always learn from past experiences, but don't dwell on them or regret them. I enjoyed my time with my employer, learned a lot and met some fantastic people. People I'm sure I'll stay in touch with for years to come.

My wife and I have been tossing around the idea of moving to a new city, one that has a stronger IT job scene. After looking at the London (Canada) job boards it looks like it's a real ghost-town for C# developers. So, with no jobs in sight, it looks like the decision to move has been made for us. We brainstormed possible cities that we might enjoy living in, and then narrowed it down to a short-list of just 4 locations. I won't talk anymore about the locations until I'm back from my trip though... my wife and I still need more time to think things over.

DisplayFusionDisplayFusion has been selling quite well since version 2 was released in February, but not well enough to support my family and I. Now that I have been given this opportunity I want to see if that can change. I need to support my family while the job hunting and house moving takes place, so why not do it with something I love. This means that I'll finally have some time to put some serious effort into getting DisplayFusion v2.1 out the door. This new version has some long-needed features added, and includes multi-language support. I have decided to adjust the price to better reflect the time and effort it takes to create and maintain this large collection of software I have. Don't worry, it will still cost less than half as much as nearest competition. Starting September 1st the price will be changed to $15 CAD, which works out to be roughly $14.50 USD, £7.50 GBP or €9.50 Euros. I decided not to adjust the price immediately so that people who are currently trying DisplayFusion can purchase it for the current price, $10 CAD. If you have any questions or comments about the upcoming changes I would love to hear them. Thanks!

G15 SpeedFan v1.0 Released

July 24, 2008

I have been in a tinkering mood lately, and have had some strong urges to try new things. Over the last few weeks I have dusted off my much neglected C++ skills and hacked together a nifty little plugin for my Logitech G15 keyboard. I have named it G15 SpeedFan. Can you guess what the plugin does? For those who aren't sure what SpeedFan is, it's a fantastic application for monitoring your computer temperatures, fan speeds and voltages. This plugin takes the data that SpeedFan shares and displays it on my G15 keyboard's LCD screen. When I'm playing games, if my CPU or GPU temperatures get too hot the temperature value on the screen changes to bold and I can let it cool off for a bit. Here is a picture of what it looks like in action on my G15 keyboard:

G15 SpeedFan

I apologize for the poor quality picture, I'm not a professional photographer. If you have a Logitech G15 keyboard why not give G15 SpeedFan a try? It's completely free, easy to setup and very useful once it's running.

The Nerdy Details

If you're still reading this I'm going to assume you're a nerd like me, or are at least familiar with computer programming. When I looked at developing this plugin I had a couple different frameworks to choose from. I could write a C++ plugin for Logitech's GamePanel Manager, or I could create something using LCD Studio. LCD Studio is more of a drag-and-drop designer, not really what I was looking for. Also, it had to be running all the time, much like the Logitech GamePanel Manager, but the logitech application takes up much less memory. So I decided on the Logitech software. Logitech provides an excellent C++ SDK for the keyboard, complete with example programs and something they call the "LCDUI" framework. It is a framework written to work exclusively with the G15 keyboards and provides functionality like writing images, animations and text to the LCD screen. It is extremely simple to work with, and everything is object oriented. For example, to write text to the screen you just create a Text object, set it up and add it to the screen manager.

CLCDText textBox1;
textBox1.SetOrigin(0, 0);
textBox1.SetSize(LGLCD_BMP_WIDTH, LGLCD_BMP_HEIGHT);
textBox1.SetText(_T("Hello world!"));
m_Objects.push_back(&textBox1);

Done! Now, we just setup some sort of program loop that gets the SpeedFan data every second and then just call SetText again to set the value. To draw the textbox to the LCD screen it's just 2 lines of code.

m_LCDOutput.Update(GetTickCount());
m_LCDOutput.Draw();

Voila! If you have any questions about how to use the SDK, or anything else, I'd love to discuss it in the Support Forum. In the meantime, why not give G15 SpeedFan a try for yourself.

Fantastic Contraption

July 22, 2008

If you haven't heard about Fantastic Contraption what are you waiting for, head over and try it right now. It's a fantastic flash physics game where it's your job to build the craziest vehicles possible to get from one point to another. Sounds easy right?

Warning: This game is super addictive and may will cause extreme productivity loss.

Extracting Files from an MSI Package

July 21, 2008

Have you ever downloaded something that you don't want to install, but the files are buried inside an MSI file? Here is a quick and easy way to extract all the files from an MSI file. Just open a command prompt (Start > Run > cmd) and run this command:

msiexec /a "C:\Files.msi" /qb TARGETDIR="C:\FilesExtracted"

Substitute your own MSI filename and extraction path, and voila, you're good to go. If you want to see what the installer is doing while it is extracting just take out the "/qb" argument.

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