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New Software
Date: 17/11/2005
There are new releases of all 3 of my main apps today, i.Scribe/InScribe, i.Mage and i.Ftp. Man, busy busy busy.

Also I've updated the InScribe page to include a bunch of screenshots specific to InScribe as opposed to the free i.Scribe. Covering the features just in InScribe, like multiple accounts, MAPI export and user filters. Enjoy.
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Push Towards A Stable Scribe
Date: 17/11/2005
Well Scribe v1.88 Test15 is out and all outstanding issues (bar feature rewrites for v1.89) have either been completed or are waiting for more information from users. Test14 has gone really well, except for the forwarding being broken there has been very little in the way of negitive responses (bar a few false alarms).

I've been working on becoming even more consistant in chasing up every little thing so that issues don't fall through the cracks. Between the Bug Database and my Inbox, which I now colour code issues, I keep tabs on everything and chase up all the reports of bad behaviour. The way I'm running my Scribe related folder is to colour code emails that I've actioned as green, things that are waiting on more information as orange and outstanding work as red. The idea being to make everything green or orange. Every day or so I go back over all the unmarked (white) email I havn't looked at and do something about it so that I can mark it with a colour. It's somewhat satisfing to have all your "todo" items ticked off. It does mean that I feel compelled to not ignore stuff I don't want to deal with, which is a good discipline I guess... stops you being lazy.

At least you don't get a canned response from Memecode like most larger companies will give you these days.
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iTunes
Date: 16/11/2005
Everytime I open iTunes it askes me to find the files in my play lists. Eh? What you say iTunes? The files are in the same damn spot they were last time. iTunes is teh Suck!

So I thought google will fix this for me. After consulting google (who failed me) I found this. Which sure makes for interesting reading. I want to believe all that crap about the labels screwing the musicians but there are a few little problems with their anti-label rhetoric. Lets see:
  • making music costs money.
  • artists generally need support while writing/recording, that costs money.
  • getting artists "out there" costs money.
  • labels pay for all that, they should get a cut.
downhillbattle don't really get it, they want the muso's to get a better deal and want to screw the labels. But there wouldn't be any "art" if not for the labels. Imagine if you will that Coldplay had no label to pay for their recording and advertising. They'd still be play pubs in the UK, appreciated by a few half-drunk brits.

I know the cost of recording is now a lot lower with the advent of modern gear, but advertising is still a major part of the visibility of an up and coming artist. A great artist with no money is not going to connect with many people by selling direct over the 'net. They don't produce fantastic recordings because of budget issues, and even if they leap frog that issue they don't get seen by anyone. Labels still have a part to play, and they shouldn't be cut out of the picture.

That said I would think twice about signing up with a label. As a muso myself I would try and go with a small independant label that wants to spend very conservatively and has their head screwed on straight.
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Mac Mini DVI Pinout?
Date: 15/11/2005
There already exists a converter for the Mini (and Powermac) that gives you Composite Video and S-Video out of the DVI port. But it means you can't have the main display plugged in as well. The adapter is not doing any signal conversion, just exposing the right pins in the DVI cable as an RCA jack and an S-Video jack. But what pins would those be?

So my devious mind went to work, and I see no reason why you couldn't (in theory) have a pass-through converter that exposes the composite and S-Video signal AND the DVI signal. So you can have BOTH tv-out and your main display happening at the same time. Niiiiiice!

But from my reading of the DVI interface specification (pinouts) there is no "composite video" or "s-video" pins, just analogue RGB and sync. So dear reader, what exactly is the pinout on the Mini, something different?

If given half a chance I'd like to try cobbling up a Composite & DVI adapter up from scratch. Hopefully short of buying the Apple adapter and ripping it apart to see how it's done.
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If msdev.exe crashes on startup then...
Date: 9/11/2005
... read this. Basically it comes down to deleting the registry key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\DevStudio\6.0\Layout and things will return to normal. Microsoft Visual C++ v6 was crashing every time I tried to start it. Even after a reboot and cleaning of the process list. In my case the crash address was 0x77f57ec4 / 0x00140000. This might help someone, somewhere, sometime...
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i.Mage Update
Date: 26/10/2005
Today I updated i.Mage for the first time in 11 months... yeah I've been slack I know. The new build brings with it a number of UI fixes, bugs squashed and speed improvements. Most telling is I finally got rid of that horrible select/paste tool and made it just a select tool, retasking the brush tool to actually paint with the brush. So now I think it'll match most users mental model of how a paint application should work.

Strangely enough I came to the realisation of just how bad the UI in this area was because I was re-writing the help file to explain the usage correctly. And I just couldn't bring myself to explain this quirky select/paste behaviour in the help file, so I had to rewrite the app to match the help.

It's an interesting way of going about it, writing the help and then making the application comply, but it certainly did highlight a few things for me. An exercise worth doing if you write software. If something is hard to explain in the help then maybe it's just not user friendly enough, and you need to fix your app rather than spend many paragraphs explaining it in the help.
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