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Old 02-05-2009, 03:14 AM   #181
Yodelking
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
1. Finish clocks.
2. Bring clams to life.
3. New fish models.
4. New fish movement.
5 through 2,543,921 - To be determined.  
Hmm.. shouldn't 5 be: Bring the anemone to life?
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:20 AM   #182
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That's extremely difficult, so it will be farther down the list.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:02 AM   #183
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Originally posted by Dreamster:
Just purchased my upgrade and all is good. Go ahead and make it double pepperoni as well Jim Everything is looking good and starting to come together although it would be nice to see the revised fish and movement.  
Heck... toss in a beer with that order. I went ahead and popped for a full copy as well.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:12 AM   #184
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
That's extremely difficult, so it will be farther down the list.  
At the moment the tentacles of the anemone are just a texture, so will you have to redo it completely and make it a complex 3d object?
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:40 AM   #185
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That image (the anemone on the far right) is one frame of a hi-def video that I shot a couple of years ago at an aquarium shop. Currently, the texture is mapped onto a low-res 3D object. There are two challenges:
1. I need to find a way of editing the video into a small file which loops seamlessly.
2. I have to create an extremely detailed model, so that the clownfish can actually play among the tentacles.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:57 AM   #186
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Perhaps we can get back to the "INSTALLER test" topic.

There are at least two conditions that will prevent MA3 from running, and in my opinion the Installer should prevent MA3 from being inadvertantly installed when it then would not run.

A. MA3 requires DirectX 9.0c. The installer now provides a warning, and a link to Microsoft. However, many folks will just click on through that. The installer should, in my opinion, do the following:

1. CHECK to see if DirectX 9.0c is present (that's a rather easy check, based on file versions).

2. If DirectX 9.0c is not present, offer (by default) to install it. That's also rather easy to do by including the redistributable 9.0c kit with the installation package. The installation could be done by permission ("Do you want us to install this for you"), or the installer could mandate it ("Choose Install or Cancel MA3 Installation").
================

B. MA3 requires a "compatible Direct3D Device". Jim has available a test for that condition that appears to be diagnostic. The installer should, in my opinion, do the following:

1. CHECK to see if there is a compatible Direct3D Device using Jim's code.

2. If the test fails, tell the user and ask if installation should proceed - clearly warning that MA3 probably won't run until that situation is corrected.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:32 PM   #187
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Including the DirectX9c runtime in the download is not an option - it's huge. The installer provides a link to Microsoft. We're looking into which would be the most direct link to install DX9, but my mother was able to use the installer, follow the link, install DX9, and get the Aquarium running without any help from me. Believe me, if she can do it, ANYBODY should be able to
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:40 PM   #188
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
Including the DirectX9c runtime in the download is not an option - it's huge.  
Agree 100%.

People can download DirectX 9.

Originally posted by Dale:
B. MA3 requires a "compatible Direct3D Device". Jim has available a test for that condition that appears to be diagnostic. The installer should, in my opinion, do the following:

1. CHECK to see if there is a compatible Direct3D Device using Jim's code.

2. If the test fails, tell the user and ask if installation should proceed - clearly warning that MA3 probably won't run until that situation is corrected.  
There's already a separate topic for that and you got your response in that thread.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:52 PM   #189
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Chasing down every possible way that every possible system can crash is not a trivial exercise. Right now, the vast majority Aquarium fans want me to continue forward progress, and save the task of going back for stragglers for a lull in the action.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:56 PM   #190
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Originally posted by feldon32:
There's already a separate topic for that and you got your response in that thread.  
No, there is not. This is the Installer test topic. My recommendation in this Installer topic, was about the Installer.

Footnote: you already said, in the topic you incorrectly referenced, that:
Originally posted by feldon32:
I have not followed the thread in detail btw.  
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:10 PM   #191
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
Right now, the vast majority Aquarium fans want me to continue forward progress, and save the task of going back for stragglers for a lull in the action.  
Sorry to bother you - I guess I thought you weren't doing the Installer work, and that this would only bother markknight.

============================

OFF TOPIC -- please feel free to skip the rest.

Look, guys and gals - this is the Marine Aquarium 3 Beta Test forum.

Back on 10/10/2008, we were requested to:

Originally posted by feldon32:
Now is the time to download this Public Beta test version of the Aquarium, try it out, give your feedback, and help us track down and squash bugs!
....
How do I report a Bug?
Unless you see someone else with the exact same bug, please create a NEW thread here in the Marine Aquarium 3 Beta forum.  
On January 26th, we were asked: ".... produced an Installer for Marine Aquarium 3 Beta 8k which we would like everyone to take a look at and test out."

In my view, MA3 includes a lot of stuff - the very important Marine Aquarium simulation and associated artwork; the surrounding way the program works; the Settings panels, ans associated documentation; the Installation program; and other stuff (including the SereneScreen website which seems to have had quite a bit of discussion and bug-fixing).

If you only want comments about the tank, please let everybody know.

In my view, "test out" and "report bugs" includes reports of actual bugs, suspected bugs, suggestions, and opinions (for instance, the opinion and suggestions that I recently posted in this topic). And suggestions for improving the user experience (for all types of users), and other things which might potentially increase sales of MA3.

If you only want reports of bugs that are actual bugs, and no suspected bugs, suggestions or opinions, please say so.

And finally, in my view, "report" means to write it down and post it, so it can be handled at the appropriate time by the appropriate people. Or, so it can be discussed, shot down, and nobody else (should) bother reporting it in the future (as feldon32 implied). In my view, it doesn't help for someone to find something they think is worthy of comment, and then just sit on it until some time in the future (or forget it).

In particular, in my view, it doesn't help for a well-meant bug report, opinion, comment, or suggestion to be met by "why are you bothering with that."

However, that's just my view. If you would like us all to not post anything except opinions about the appearance of the aquarium, then letting us all know that, would be more polite than attacking.

Other opinions on those off-topic subjects are invited, but perhaps in some thread other than the Installer thread?
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:18 PM   #192
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
Including the DirectX9c runtime in the download is not an option - it's huge. The installer provides a link to Microsoft. We're looking into which would be the most direct link to install DX9, but my mother was able to use the installer, follow the link, install DX9, and get the Aquarium running without any help from me. Believe me, if she can do it, ANYBODY should be able to  
Not arguing - it's your choice.

However, I really am curious why adding 33.5 MB to the download would render this "not an option".

Particularly if it would make things easier for your mother (and my mother-in-law).
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:56 PM   #193
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Originally posted by Dale:
However, I really am curious why adding 33.5 MB to the download would render this "not an option".  
I don't see how increasing the size of the download from 3.1MB to 36.5MB make financial or practical sense. A 36.5MB download will scare away all but the diehard users who already run the latest DirectX.

Why should Jim volunteer to foot the bill for thousands of dollars of web hosting every month that Microsoft should be paying?

Originally posted by Dale:
Sorry to bother you - I guess I thought you weren't doing the Installer work, and that this would only bother markknight.  
Once again, it seems you are trying to drive a wedge between Jim Sachs and Mark Knight of Prolific. I'm not sure what purpose it serves.

Jim Sachs is responsible for the Aquarium, the entire thing. That other people including Jim R., Mark Knight, Edgar, and others are contributing to the project and doing different aspects of it does not mean that Jim does not have final say on things. If Jim says it will not come with DirectX runtime, that's the end of the story.

Originally posted by Dale:
And finally, in my view, "report" means to write it down and post it, so it can be handled at the appropriate time by the appropriate people. Or, so it can be discussed, shot down, and nobody else (should) bother reporting it in the future (as feldon32 implied). In my view, it doesn't help for someone to find something they think is worthy of comment, and then just sit on it until some time in the future (or forget it).  
I feel that the "Direct3D device could not be found" thread served the purpose. Your 2nd issue is that the Aquarium doesn't present the error message you wished it would when encountering very old video hardware. That is not an INSTALLER issue, and so the other thread is more than appropriate. By the way, software costing many hundreds of dollars more than the Aquarium simply fail on hardware they were not designed for. Sound Forge 8 will not run on Windows 2000, period, not because 2000 can't run it, but because Sony put an idiot check into the installer so they would not have to test or troubleshoot the software on Windows 2000.

Your point about the DirectX has been made, received, and responded to several times. It is your choice to keep the issue alive, or realize that it has already been dealt with. The Aquarium is developed by Jim Sachs. It is HIS product. Not yours. Jim has given your answer -- he is not going to spend hundreds of man hours adding error handling and special code to deal with ancient hardware that is excluded from the Recommended Hardware List.

I just wonder if you won't listen to me, Michael, Prolific, and now not even Jim Sachs, if you will listen to anyone.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:58 PM   #194
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Dale - Regarding your testing of the installer - you are absolutely right to do so, and your findings are valued.

Regarding your advocating for the equipment-challenged users - Yes, somebody's got to do it, but currently I'm going to be preoccupied with forging ahead. The "No computer left behind" program will have to wait.

Regarding including a 33.5 MB addition to the download, you have to be kidding. I'm struggling to pare 10k from the 3.3-meg download, and you want me to increase the size ten-fold? The servers would have a nuclear meltdown.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:22 PM   #195
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
Dale - Regarding your testing of the installer - you are absolutely right to do so, and your findings are valued.

Regarding your advocating for the equipment-challenged users - Yes, somebody's got to do it, but currently I'm going to be preoccupied with forging ahead. The "No computer left behind" program will have to wait.  
Certainly - I'm just trying to get stuff written down, so it can be handled when the time is right.

Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
Regarding including a 33.5 MB addition to the download, you have to be kidding. I'm struggling to pare 10k from the 3.3-meg download, and you want me to increase the size ten-fold? The servers would have a nuclear meltdown.  
OK, thanks for the info. Obviously, I wasn't aware of that sensitivity. I'm more used to 50 MB software downloads being "routine".

For future consideration - it would be quite possible to only do the 33.5 MB download in case of need - rather than with the first download.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:27 PM   #196
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I'll let Microsoft handle the DirectX download. I forget whether it was you or someone else who suggested that we could have a better link for this, and we're looking into it.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:29 PM   #197
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The current direct link is:
http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...008_redist.exe

The "official" DirectX 9 link at Microsoft's website is this:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en
which requires proving that you have a legitimate Windows install by installing an obtrusive ActiveX control.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:37 PM   #198
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How does the first link behave if you don't have Windows validation?
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:53 PM   #199
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The first link is a straight download link to the file. Unfortunately as you can see, the filename will probably change periodically during the year.

The second link takes you to a page where you must click "Validate" which installs an ActiveX control on your PC which then pokes your Windows XP/Vista/7 to see if it's a real Windows. If so, then you advance to the next page which is a straight download link.

I would make the Aquarium point to an arbitrary redirect like http://www.serenescreen.com/getdirectx9/
and then have your web person keep that link up-to-date with whatever link is currently at Microsoft's website for DirectX 9.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:23 PM   #200
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Good idea.
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