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Old 02-01-2002, 01:37 PM   #1
feldon34
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* Boxed Version at Fry's! *

Reichart @ <A href="http://www.prolific.com/">Prolific</a> informed me that the boxed version would be appearing at <a href="http://www.frys.com/">Fry's</a> stores across the country today.

Well, I went to my <A href="http://www.frys.com/localframe.html">local Fry's</a> and looked around. I asked the Software Dept manager if he could look up something called "Aquarium" for me. He asked me if this was the one he'd seen at CompUSA and I said yes. He said he'd been looking for the Aquarium since a year ago when he saw it demonstrated in California. He said he saw it recently at CompUSA and was wondering if it was ever coming out in retail.

I told him that today was the expected release date at Fry's (a deal had been reached). Alas he had no record of it in the system, so I told him he could get it at <A href="http://www.SereneScreen.com/">SereneScreen.com</a>.

I wandered off, dejected, into the DVD department. Right as I was about to leave, he came up to me and said that he'd gone back to the Receiving Dept out of curiousity and there it was, SereneScreen Aquarium, boxes and jewel cases of it.

I followed him to the back of the store where he retreived both the jewel case version and boxed version (once they got the $14.99 vs. $19.99 price difference sorted out).

They look marvelous, of course, with Jim's great artwork on the box and CD inside. I explained to the Software Dept manager a little more background on the Aquarium, I explained the Microsoft Plus XP deal, and explained that the Aquarium is only 1 megabyte, runs on a 4MB video card, on Windows 95, and that Jim is a real stickler for efficiency.

Another guy from the Software Dept showed up who asked if this was "the same thing as in Microsoft Plus XP." I explained that this was the full deal with 20 fish and a starfish (I pointed them out on the jewel case and on the front of the box).

The Software Dept manager was still holding the jewel case version and said "this copy is mine, I'm taking it home with me." after I explained that the jewel case version is identical to the boxed version, it's just missing the outer box. I also let them in on the fact that a new fish, the Lionfish, is in testing

The other guy asked if there were other copies back there, of course the answer was Absolutely! They were definately interested, especially the manager, and so I suggested if you want to show someone that it's not a video, press the W key to put it in Wireframe mode.

I asked him if he had any plans to put the Aquarium as an endcap or just on the shelves. He said that there were no immediate plans, being taken by surprise that the Aquarium came out today but he said he would definately look into it. Fry's already has a screen saver section way off in the back that I'm sure nobody ever sees. There are already a handful of Aquarium and other type screen savers back there. The SereneScreen Aquarium box art would set it apart and looks much more attractive than what's there, but still an endcap would be so much better.

Click a thumbnail to get the full image:

<A href="../Sachs/boxart/boxiso.jpg"><img src="../Sachs/boxart/boxiso_thumb.jpg"></a><A href="../Sachs/boxart/boxwrap.jpg"><img src="../Sachs/boxart/boxwrap_thumb.jpg"></a><A href="../Sachs/boxart/boxopen.jpg"><img src="../Sachs/boxart/boxopen_thumb.jpg"></a><A href="../Sachs/boxart/opentray.jpg"><img src="../Sachs/boxart/opentray_thumb.jpg"></a>
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman

Last edited by feldon34; 02-01-2002 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 02-01-2002, 03:47 PM   #2
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I am the sales manager for North Alabama Computer Associates in Huntsville, Alabama.

We just got the boxed version of the screen saver in a few days ago, and I can't keep them on the shelf.

Keep up the good work Jim!
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Old 02-01-2002, 04:36 PM   #3
Jim Sachs
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Glad to hear it!

To all computer store owners and managers - Make sure your customers know that buying the boxed version from you entitles them to updates. Their CD will act as a Key Code.
Jim Sachs
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Old 02-01-2002, 05:41 PM   #4
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EDITED to include 2 posts and updated re: 1.0 > Lionfish upgrade
(playing lawyer for a moment)

There is no user manual included in the boxed version except for a Read Me file. The CD insert is a one pager (look at the front of the jewel case and then the inside "open tray" and you have seen the whole thing). Nothing about updates is included in either the Read Me file or printed on the insert.

The upgrade strategy had not been decided when the boxed version went to press, but it still would have been nice to vaguely say on the box and on the CD insert "updates available at SereneScreen.com".

Jim has a tendancy to say "free updates" which can be a legal liability if not clarified to exclude things. At one time, Jim had "replacement backgrounds" (with an S) listed at SereneScreen.com and I had a disgruntled customer contact me about that.

It would be better and legally safer to put a list of things that WILL BE included in the price of 99L and the boxed version (1.0):

<li>3D background compatible with 4:3 and 16:9 widescreen displays
<li>Full compatibility with Stereoscopic electronic 3D glasses
<li>Individual fish behaviors (which specific fishes are subject to change)
<li>Feeding the fish
<li>Tapping on the glass
<li>Lionfish

Specialty creatures will be made available 7 or 10 at a time in $10 packages. So the lifecycle cost of the Aquarium will be $40-50 if you go with all the extras. These extras include:

Pufferfish, Cleaner Wrasse, Banded Coral Shrimp, Zebra Eel, Ribbon Eel, Jellyfish, Crab, Lobster, Nudibranchs (sea slugs), and Octopus, and possibly a Shark

these may be free, or included in the packs:

Mandarin Gobi, Sea Anemone w/ Clownfisn

As soon as I have time, I will be updating my website with a list of stores stocking the Aquarium (nobody's telling me anything yet and Prolific is afraid of web sales being cannibalized by retail sales), as well as a comprehensive list of the 1.1 features (now at about 15 and counting) over 99L and 1.0.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman

Last edited by feldon34; 02-02-2002 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 02-01-2002, 05:42 PM   #5
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs
To all computer store owners and managers - Make sure your customers know that buying the boxed version from you entitles them to updates. Their CD will act as a Key Code.
Didn't you print it with the instructions manual?
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Old 02-01-2002, 07:20 PM   #6
Jim Sachs
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Morgan - In your first post, you mention the Lionfish as not being included as a free upgrade for the boxed version. Just to clear things up, the upgrade to v1.1 (which includes the Lionfish) is free for those buying the boxed version.

Some of the creatures you mention (like the Mandarin Gobi) MAY be free upgrades, I won't be able to say for sure until I find out how difficult they are to create.

I have a tendency to say that there will be free updates because there WILL be free updates (they have all been free so far). There also WILL be extra-cost upgrades.
Jim Sachs
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Old 02-01-2002, 07:26 PM   #7
Mage Joe
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Angry

Artwork looks great!

Jim, any chance that you might, at some time in the future, be
willing to post the CD artwork fullsize so that those of us that
have bought it electronically but keep CD backups could print
up a pretty CD label for our CD? Would also make a neat
thing to flash to potential customers, er, I mean friends.
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Old 02-01-2002, 08:01 PM   #8
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Originally posted by Mage Joe
Artwork looks great!

Jim, any chance that you might, at some time in the future, be
willing to post the CD artwork fullsize so that those of us that
have bought it electronically but keep CD backups could print
up a pretty CD label for our CD? Would also make a neat
thing to flash to potential customers, er, I mean friends.
Giving out a print quality image would be begging for pirates to knock it off...
Bat rays? We don't need no stinking bat rays!
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Old 02-01-2002, 11:56 PM   #9
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Guess I'm too honest. Didn't consider that.
Sigh...
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Old 02-02-2002, 02:52 AM   #10
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I didn't realize that the Lionfish went to 1.0 users as well. I'll change my posts to reflect this.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman
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Old 02-02-2002, 03:26 AM   #11
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Everyone gets the Lionfish, but after v1.1 goes up on the website, the price will be $21.95. That way, all those who bought the Aquarium during the Beta test period get the Lionfish for free, but we don't have to maintain 2 different programs.
Jim Sachs
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Old 02-02-2002, 04:00 PM   #12
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Using RealMedia as a positive example gives me goosebumps, but I'll use them anyway. It's too late for the initial boxed version, but once the next 20,000 copies are needed, and for the downloadable version...

I really think the Aquarium should prompt users once a month "There may be a newer version of the Aquarium with more fish, a new background and coral, specialty creatures, and other exciting features. Many of these upgrades will be FREE. Do you want to check?" [Yes] [No] with a little checkbox at the bottom "[X] Don't show this again for 3 months."

I did campaign for all 7 fish slots being set to RANDOM automatically in 1.0 and 1.1 and won. I wish I'd thought of this and pushed the idea earlier. I didn't realize none of the printed materials the Aquarium comes in would mention free upgrades to the things I suggested above.

I know Prolific wants to legally protect themselves from promising too much, but I think they hedged a little too far by not mentioning upgrades anywhere.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman

Last edited by feldon34; 02-02-2002 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 02-02-2002, 07:35 PM   #13
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Embarassed Aquarium at Fry's in Anaheim, CA: COMFIRMED

Well, I had to go to the closest Fry's store where I live to see if they have it and they do!

They have both versions, boxed and jewel case, in the center of the store. The jewel case is in one isle while the boxed version is in the next isle. The reason for that is because Fry's grouped all of the jewel case programs together while the boxed version is in the screensaver section. Fry's put the boxed version on the two bottom shelves while the jewel case was at eye level. To make matters even worse, the ones that are at eye level are those Master Series sceensavers that have been out since the launch of Win95. Even the Thomas Kinkade screensavers were higher up on the shelf.



While I was there, I decided to get an *unbiased* opinion from a customer.

You can see the blooper here. - 1.13mb
You can see the final take here. - 2.3mb
NOTE: You will need the newest WMA codecs.

Well there you have it, first-hand testimony from a customer chosen at random...hehe.
Frank

Last edited by FishyBusiness; 02-26-2002 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 02-02-2002, 09:24 PM   #14
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Har har.

How long did it take you to talk your girlfriend of 2 years into filming that?

I actually snuck my digital camera into the store and wanted to photograph it, but they were still in Receiving when I went (See story above).
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman

Last edited by feldon34; 02-02-2002 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 02-02-2002, 09:26 PM   #15
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If Prolific wants to print up 500 stickers "Free Lionfish Upgrade at SereneScreen.com", I'll go to Fry's and talk to the manager I talked to before and ask if i can put the stickers on the boxes, or I could just do it without permission.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman
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Old 02-02-2002, 09:38 PM   #16
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Snuck?

Well, we thought it was funny to film that. We always goof around in public.

Snuck? I just walked into the store with it strapped to my shoulder.
Frank
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Old 02-02-2002, 10:58 PM   #17
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Sign at the front door said no cameras. Your Mileage May Vary.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman
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Old 02-03-2002, 02:39 AM   #18
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I was at the Costa Mesa Fry's today. Aquarium package display was 6 boxes wide. Didn't see the jewelcase version anywhere.
Jim Sachs
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Old 02-03-2002, 02:14 PM   #19
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stickers?

Wouldn't the Fry's corporation just put the stickers on themselves instead of Prolific relying on individual fans. I'm sorry but you seemed serious about doing that and I had to respond to see if you truly were.
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:04 AM   #20
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I purchased the Jewelcase version from Frye's in San Diego 2 months ago.

I'm a late comer to your website.

When I bought my copy at Frye's they had about 15 copies of the Jewelcase version and about 10 copies of the boxed version.
I looked at both and bought the Jewelcase version. I'm not sure what they have now. I'll have to check back in here next time I visit the store.

I've seen the screen saver around and about over the last year or so. I first saw the Plus Pack for XP that a buddy of mine was running. He mentioned having to purchase fish. I never persued it.

It wasn't until I purchased and downloaded a copy for a VP in my office, then I truly had a chance to really look at it. Very Nice!!
A few years back I was the IS Manager for Forte Software, and we made a screen saver product that was called 3DPC. It was kinda fun and it beat out Afterdark for a Windows Mag. Product of the year award. This Serene Screen Aquarium you put together is Awesome!!! It's very clean and probably the best looking, realistic screensaver that I've seen.
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