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Old 06-04-2010, 11:29 AM   #61
Dale
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Originally posted by cjmaddy:
I can only help you to understand more by repeating what I have already said. - I suggest you carefully re-read it again.
Are you saying that because you do not understand it, then it must not be documented? .... That, IMO, is being rather shortsighted.  
If JohnWho understands it, and if my questions weren't necessary for clarification, then no problem.
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:55 PM   #62
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I've only described the multi-monitor situation briefly in the Readme that I'm working on since I do not have a multi-monitor configuration.

In the "cover email" that I'll send to Jim, that and any other areas I think need additional information will be listed.

Even so, if you look at the current readme.txt you'll see that it is lacking in this area, too.

The "System Requirements" and "Troubleshooting" sections of the current readme also need to be updated and probably should have been back when 3.0 was released. Perhaps certain Troubleshooting questions revolving around multi-monitors situations will be added by the appropriate person or persons?

Anyone on the "team" is welcome to send me a PM with anything that they want included in the readme. In this manner Jim will only be involved with the final draft rather than have to oversee each team member's input.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:43 PM   #63
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This again comes down to.... 'Documentation is best written by personal testing'. IMO.

In the same way that describing what happens when installing the demo version, is best arrived at by actually personally installing MA3 on a computer that has no MA3 present. - Then also, describing multi-monitor situations would be best carried out with a functioning dual-screen set-up. - But I know it isn't that simple.

I appreciate that you can't possibly have all configurations covered, but it would be nice if you could hook up a second screen, if only to understand what others are saying. - There are additional complexities though, that would not come to light on first using a second screen, so I'm not saying you should replicate all configurations, or carry out exhaustive testing. - But to take on the task of re-writing the whole ReadMe/User Manual without the background of what has gone on in the past ten years or so, is indeed an onerous task. - I do believe though that you are ideally going to have to, 'Do-it-yourself', (or at least, as much of it as possible), in order to produce a meaningful User Guide.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:06 PM   #64
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All true cjmaddy -

If I was writing a User Manual. In which case, I'd probably be getting paid, too, and have all the available, appropriate setups and systems.

However, please look at the current "readme.txt" (assuming you have it). That is my basis and I'm just making it more uniform in "formatting" - such as it can be in a simple txt file, as well as addiing a section on the "Fish Settings" and the new "Background Settings" screen, and updating it a bit with mentions of Windows 7, as I've mentioned several times. Just that, with nothing else, would (and will) improve the current file, in my opinion.

Also, please note the title of this thread - If you have a multi-monitor setup and are willing to take to time to write-up what you think is appropriate for the readme file, I'll be more than happy to incorporate it into what I have.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:17 PM   #65
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It just occurred to me that I've written more, here, about writing the updated Readme file than I have in the actual file!

I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:52 AM   #66
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The problem with these type of discussions is that they have too often seemed to degenerate into, who-said-what-to-who-and-when. And I have no wish to enter into all of that. - It is not productive.

Dale will question everything anyone says, (wether he understands it or not), which is provocative, and not very helpful.

We can all only speak with any confidence or assurance, about our own knowledge or first-hand experiences. - (That is only my opinion!)

It has already been said by others that this ReadMe file is developing into more of a user-type manual, which I think would be a good thing. - In fact because of its increase in size and complexity, I suggest it should be named a User Guide.
If we call it what it is, (a user guide), then people may be more ready to use it.

-------------------------

My references to windowed-mode, following on from the second-instance problem, seem to have caused some concern. - Let me explain further....

In windowed-mode, with a frame rate limited to 60fps, the statistics show 58/62 fps. (Assuming the whole window is within the primary monitor area)
Once the window is moved or extended to be partly on both screens, the statistics will show an immediate drop to 16/17fps.
This only applies to windowed-mode, - fullscreen across two monitors will still show 58/62fps.

Do I know if this applies to all multi-monitor systems? - Or just some? .... I haven't yet been all round the world to check!

I'm not the only one on this forum with two monitors. This drop in fps was first mentioned some years ago, and no-one has yet reported otherwise.
If someone's system out there works differently, then it's well past the time they spoke up!

This obviously only applies to the systems that I have tested with. So if after all these years, we do have dual-monitor set-ups that don't drop fps when a MA3 window straddles two screens? - Then we need to re-think.

-------------------------

An additional point that could also be mentioned in a User Guide, is the movement effect that all started when henemly posted a picture where he thought the clock appeared to be off-centre. But he didn't state where the crystal was positioned when the shot was taken. - The clock, (or whatever else is shown on the face of the crystal), is at times going to appear misplaced one way or the other, depending on the crystal's position within its scroll movement, thus creating a different viewpoint. - It should be realised that this applies to all the 3D objects in the aquarium. To miss this point, is to miss how the whole MA3 3D-effect is produced.

Last edited by cjmaddy; 06-05-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:13 AM   #67
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I have trouble visualizing just how this read-me will be implemented.. Most read-me files are short and mention late breaking issues that have not been incorporated in the main product. JohnWho seems to be making a user manual.
As a side note...I can not even find the current one.. where is it?
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:14 AM   #68
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Sounds like that would be something for either of both of the FAQ sections in SereneScreen and here. Once there, if before 3.1 releases, then it could certainly be added to the Troubleshooting portion of the readme (as are a few items already as one can see in the current readme).

It has already been said by others that this ReadMe file is developing into more of a user-type manual, which I think would be a good thing. - In fact because of its increase in size and complexity, I suggest it should be named a User Guide.
I'm only expanding a little on the current Readme file, so other than the file being named "readme.txt", whether it is a traditional "readme" or what it's title (in the file) suggests:

Marine Aquarium 3.1 User's Guide (Revised - June 2010)
(c) Copyright 2010 Prolific Publishing, Inc.
http://www.SereneScreen.com

doesn't really matter that much to me since I'm mostly only taking a previous persons hard work and updating it somewhat and giving it a uniform format.

In my opinion, a proper "User's Guide" would, at a minimum, include images of the various screens, panels, and sections of panels as it describes both the usage and purpose of each option. This can not be done in a simple "txt" file.

For what it is worth, the NOVA folks attempted this with the pdf file they include in place of the readme file with their 3.0 copy.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:26 AM   #69
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Originally posted by Ralph:
As a side note...I can not even find the current one.. where is it?  
C:\Program Files\SereneScreen\Marine Aquarium 3\readme.txt

And obviously, if you can't find it, then the "visibility" needs to be improved.

Thanks, JohnWho!
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:54 AM   #70
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Ralph, do you see the same windowed-mode frame-rate syndrome that Cliff sees? Apologies for asking a question, but I searched and couldn't exactly find that, although I did see some comments about slowdowns in other situations.

JohnWho, while searching for other people who had reported about the multi-monitor things, I found the following which isn't in the readme, and perhaps should be (edited, of course). I had forgotten this.

Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
Just to be clear - the freezing of the animation when the left mouse button is held down (when in Window mode) is not a bug or a test. Holding down the left button took the place of the titlebar when it's turned off, so that the window can be dragged by clicking anywhere within it. The action is frozen to avoid frame-buffer ugliness while the window is being dragged.  
Only applies in windowed mode, with the title bar off.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:02 AM   #71
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JohnWho, - I agree. - As you say, the first line of the current readme.txt file states... Marine Aquarium 3.0 User's Guide
It is not the sort of typical readme.txt file listing chronological update details etc, it is a user guide. - So lets call it what it is... userguide.txt ?
As I've already said, "If we call it what it is, (a user guide), then people may be more ready to use it."

I think most people ignore readme.txt files as being just boring. - But 'UserGuide' might just work!
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:22 AM   #72
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I agree, it will be called a User Guide. The question of how it will be made available to the user is still to be determined. It will certainly figure prominently in the total Website re-do which will come as soon as I can get this new version out the door.

By the way, I just pulled an all-nighter and got a development machine up-and-running. I bit the bullet and copied everything over to a different machine, re-installing everything I could find keys for. It's amazing to me how something as ubiquitous as MSWord can be so hard to re-install if you can't find the official CD. All these programs are RIGHT THERE, on my D: drive in the same machine, but can't be run because they weren't "Installed" on the C: drive. How I long for the days when programs could just be dragged anywhere, double-clicked, and they would simply run.

Oh, yeah - there's still ONE
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:29 AM   #73
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It's a user guide.

It will be installed in C:\Program Files\SereneScreen\Marine Aquarium 3.0\ or somesuch folder.

The Marine Aquarium FAQ at SereneScreen.com is currently being revised. If there is something crucial in John's user guide, it will make its way into the FAQs.


Can we move on already?
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:32 AM   #74
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
By the way, I just pulled an all-nighter and got a development machine up-and-running. I bit the bullet and copied everything over to a different machine, re-installing everything I could find keys for. It's amazing to me how something as ubiquitous as MSWord can be so hard to re-install if you can't find the official CD. All these programs are RIGHT THERE, on my D: drive in the same machine, but can't be run because they weren't "Installed" on the C: drive. How I long for the days when programs could just be dragged anywhere, double-clicked, and they would simply run.

Oh, yeah - there's still ONE  
Windows uses the dumbest idea ever for tracking software that you've installed. It's called the Registry.

I was really hoping Windows Vista would be a rewrite of Windows so we could be unshackled with stupidity like the Registry, and XP would run in a window. Instead, Windows Vista took XP and piled a ton of crap on top of it, making a really horrible OS. And Windows 7 is just a service pack for Vista. A good one, but again, a huge missed opportunity to eliminate all the baggage that Windows has been carrying since 3.1.

Mac OS X doesn't use a Registry. You can just move apps from one folder to the next. To install a program off a CD, you drag and drop the folder. Done.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:36 AM   #75
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Originally posted by cjmaddy:
henemly posted a picture where he thought the clock appeared to be off-centre. But he didn't state where the crystal was positioned when the shot was taken.  
It was looking straight on, static, centered in the middle of the screen.

ps - If ya want, I can convert the User Guide to a fully formatted,
bookmarked pdf file for ya.
http://www.coltrain.byethost8.com
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:57 AM   #76
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Anything Microsoft Office is an absolute pig. 2 weekends ago I was trying to reinstall Office 2007 on my XP laptop. I'd had it on there before but wasn't using it and suddenly I needed it again. The installer just crashes after about 20 minutes because it can't continue due to traces of a previous installation. 'Remove previous installation?' it says. 'Yes' I say. Then half an hour later the installer just crashes in a different spot. 1 1/2 days of this and I give up. There's always Open Office.
Run you clever boy. And remember...
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:04 PM   #77
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That's pretty much what I've been going through with MSN Messenger and Explorer trying to set up this new machine. An endless loop of "Can't Install because of previous installation", and "Can't update Email because MSN Messenger is not installed".
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:34 PM   #78
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
I bit the bullet and copied everything over to a different machine, re-installing everything I could find keys for. It's amazing to me how something as ubiquitous as MSWord can be so hard to re-install if you can't find the official CD. All these programs are RIGHT THERE, on my D: drive in the same machine, but can't be run because they weren't "Installed" on the C: drive. How I long for the days when programs could just be dragged anywhere, double-clicked, and they would simply run.  
For future reference:

A program like PCmover Image Assistant (or PCmover Upgrade Assistant) might have made that a lot easier. http://www.laplink.com/

A good backup-and-restore system such as Windows Home Server would have handled that migration, and in addition would have automatically kept older versions of source files available. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/pro...r/default.mspx
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Old 06-05-2010, 02:15 PM   #79
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I cannot recommend enough Windows Home Server.

We've got 3 terabytes in ours and it's loaded with movies, music, and all our photos from all our computers all in 1 place, striped over multiple hard drives.

And all of our main hard drives in all our computers back up to the Home Server.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:00 PM   #80
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Originally posted by feldon34:
I cannot recommend enough Windows Home Server.

We've got 3 terabytes in ours and it's loaded with movies, music, and all our photos from all our computers all in 1 place, striped over multiple hard drives.

And all of our main hard drives in all our computers back up to the Home Server.  
My gosh, we agree on something!

Ours only has 1.7 TB, but it's saved my (noun) several times. Just throw in a CD and do a "bare metal restore" of a whole system. And it's really nice to be able to say: "Oh, that MarineAquarium3.scr from last July is what I really want to test", and get it back.

And the Home Server just sits there on the network and "does its thing" every night, without me having to worry about it.
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