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Old 06-02-2010, 08:48 PM   #21
Dale
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Originally posted by JohnWho:
In any case, doesn't the information show in the Statistics display?

The installer version of "beta 10d" shows that, doesn't it?  
The installer version with a file date of Friday, ‎June ‎05, ‎2009, ‏‎6:51:31 PM, when the S key is pressed, shows Beta10d.

I just tested that with an install on a machine that had never before had MA on it.

Footnote: the appdata folder has the two .lst files, plus the CanonGuitar.sgt file.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:56 PM   #22
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Ah ha - then maybe that's where I got the CanonGuitar.sgt file, too.

I thought I remembered as much from the "beta10d" install.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:18 PM   #23
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Originally posted by JohnWho:
Ah ha - then maybe that's where I got the CanonGuitar.sgt file, too.

I thought I remembered as much from the "beta10d" install.  
Evidence suggests that maybe the installer put the file there. It's a bit difficult to tell from the file times, because the installer starts the preview automatically. But I went in and deleted the .sgt file, and started MA3 from the desktop icon, and the file was not created.

Of course, maybe I should have started MA3 in preview mode, to see if that was different. Or maybe deleted MA3Playlist.lst first. It's really tough to test all of the "boundary conditions".
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:22 AM   #24
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Version 10D is from SereneScreen.com and is the installer version so it doesn't have the Stats display. But it's sad how many tens of thousands of users will be running version 10D for many years to come, frustrated at missing features and bugs in the music playlist, etc.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:45 AM   #25
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Hopefully, press releases regarding the "new 3.1", new write-ups on Serenescreen.com and Prolific's main site, a new description on CNet & download.com, reviews on MA3.1, updates on all of the "free demo" download sites, PC User Group newsletters, etc. will help get the word out.

I did not know that the "installer version" of MA3 does not have the "S hotkey" statistics display. Does it not allow the up and down arrows to change the Sleep function, either?
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:35 AM   #26
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Originally posted by feldon34:
Version 10D is from SereneScreen.com and is the installer version so it doesn't have the Stats display.  
(For JohnWho) I'm sure you meant that the Stats display is not on at startup - but can be turned on with the S key.

Originally posted by feldon34:
But it's sad how many tens of thousands of users will be running version 10D for many years to come, frustrated at missing features and bugs in the music playlist, etc.  
As you know, Jim has totally outlawed any means of automatically notifying purchasers that a new version is available.

And the company with the "boxed version" will just not have any updates at all.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:41 AM   #27
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Prolific has done mass-mailings in the past. Some people report it as spam, despite the fact that they checkmarked a box indicating that they wanted to be notified of updates. It only takes a couple of complaints to get branded as a spammer by Yahoo and others, and it's nearly impossible to get off the list. Very discouraging.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:49 AM   #28
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
Prolific has done mass-mailings in the past. Some people report it as spam, despite the fact that they checkmarked a box indicating that they wanted to be notified of updates. It only takes a couple of complaints to get branded as a spammer by Yahoo and others, and it's nearly impossible to get off the list. Very discouraging.  
For those who have joined the forum recently, I'll also point out that you won't implement a feature in MA3 that automatically checks for updates.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:59 AM   #29
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Nope, no spyware. It makes me very nervous when I see Internet activity that I did not initialize.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:17 AM   #30
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While I understand Dale's statements, I agree with Jim Sachs' view that anything that "phones home" or seems like Spam will be labeled as such by someone.

On the other hand, a "check for updates" button on the main Settings Menu might not be such a bad thing since it does require user intervention and does nothing "behind the scenes" unbeknownst to the user.


@ Dale -

Yeah, that's what I thought regarding 10d and the stats display.
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 06-03-2010, 11:36 AM   #31
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Originally posted by JohnWho:
While I understand Dale's statements,....  
I wasn't criticizing/agreeing/disagreeing. I was just responding to Morgan's comment;

Originally posted by feldon34:
But it's sad how many tens of thousands of users will be running version 10D for many years to come, frustrated at missing features and bugs in the music playlist, etc.  
...
by pointing out that Jim had already determined, quite some time ago, that there won't be a fix. (Jim has now explained his reasoning, and that is appreciated, but wasn't necessary).

Somewhere back in the forum history, I expressed my opinions about this, and it's now a settled issue.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:49 AM   #32
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Perhaps, but I'd like to change my above statement from

On the other hand, a "check for updates" button on the main Settings Menu might not be such a bad thing ...

to

I strongly recommend a "check for updates" button (maybe in the "About" screen?). At the very least it would be a web link that takes folks to a web page where they can check to see if they have the current version and read about the probable improvements to the next upcoming version.

This wouldn't require any sort of "phone home" coding at all since all it would be would be a web link similar to the "Visit Website" link that is already there. Heck, maybe that link could simply have its description change to say "Visit Website to Check for Updates"?

Perhaps a link to the appropriate SereneScreen page, once it is updated with the new 3.1 information?
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:46 PM   #33
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Originally posted by Dale:
As you know, Jim has totally outlawed any means of automatically notifying purchasers that a new version is available.  
Marine Aquarium is full of firsts. First piece of software released in 2010 which does not check for updates.
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:57 PM   #34
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JohnWho - I don't understand why you can't just click on the "Visit Website" button on the main Programs Settings box.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:45 PM   #35
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Jim -

I'm not being argumentative here, just making a suggestion.

I can click on the "Visit Website" link, in fact, I have.

However, we are talking about the millions of folks who will download MA3.1 and MA4.0 and MA5.0, ... Having a reminder to check for updates just may get many of them to pay for the next "for fee" upgrade.

This is certainly not something that matters that much to me since none of the potential revenue will end up in my bank account.

Just seems like a possibility that might make sense as part of the 3.1 release especially if it gets the widest possible dissemination and may reach many of the folks with earlier versions.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:47 PM   #36
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Jim would rather stay within that ever exclusive group of programs which doesn't check for updates, than risk the slight chance that 1 customer might get upset.

Actually, I can't think of any programs I run on a daily basis that don't check for updates except the Aquarium.


I've answered 479 tech support e-mails in the last month. I'm such a slacker.

I should be shocked at how many people are still running Marine Aquarium 1.0, 1.1, or Marine Aquarium Time 1, but...
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:12 PM   #37
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
JohnWho - I don't understand why you can't just click on the "Visit Website" button on the main Programs Settings box.  
I don't know how to make this shorter - and you did ask. Perhaps you can skip the next few lines, and read "What's wrong with Visit Website" below.

One reasonable implementation of a "Check For Updates" button would be a dialog box that says:

You are running Version 3.0 and the latest version is 3.6. Would you like to update now?
[Yes] [No]


Or

You are running the latest version, 3.6
[Cancel]


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

What's wrong with Visit Website?
The perceived problem with the "Visit Website" approach is that it's a multi-step process.

A. Remember what version you're now running. If you don't remember, then find out. That information is not available on the Settings panel, nor on the About panel. Only by pressing the "S" key. At the moment, that info is "Beta10d"

B. Visit Website. Read what it says: New 3.0 (Presumably in a bit it will say 3.1). Compare that with what the "S" key says (10d). [OK, that can be fixed, so let's assume the S key tells me I'm running 3.0 and the Website says 3.1)

C. Now, the Website has two choices to click on: Upgrade and Download.

C1. If I click on Upgrade, I'm probably told (in the future) "As a special offer, we are offering an upgrade to Marine Aquarium 3.6 for only $9.95.". But that's for people who bought a keycode from the website, or bought a CD. (OK, it should say upgrade from MA2.6 or something, let's assume that gets fixed and I do:

C2: Click on Download. At least 4 "rational" choices of things. Please take a look at this: http://www.serenescreen.com/product/
There's "free download" (which would be correct), and "BUY NOW, and Upgrade "free download", and Upgrade BUY NOW.

I'm betting that a lot of folks will take the wrong path, and buy something - or will get really confused, and just not bother with upgrading to the latest version.

All of the information about "current version" is presumably available within MA3. All of the information about "latest version", including the URL for the correct download, is presumably available somewhere (doesn't even have to be on the SereneScreen site). Making things easy and not confusing for customers is usually a good thing.

Jim, sorry this was so long. But you did ask.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:21 PM   #38
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Originally posted by feldon34:
Actually, I can't think of any programs I run on a daily basis that don't check for updates except the Aquarium.  
I hope you'll pardon my moralizing for a moment. "Everybody is doing it" is almost never a good reason for "doing it".

If we can't convince Jim that it's the "right thing to do", then it isn't the right thing for Jim to do.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:34 PM   #39
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Agreed.

The only reason I suggested the "check for updates" link is that it is the least intrusive method, leaving it entirely up to the user, that might reap the biggest benefit in upgrades.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:36 AM   #40
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Originally posted by Dale:
I hope you'll pardon my moralizing for a moment. "Everybody is doing it" is almost never a good reason for "doing it".  
Jim's original concern is, he didn't want to be accused of being "spyware". Since all major software sold today checks for updates, or at least makes the user aware of the point difference between their own version and the currently available version, this confusion is now unlikely.

Originally posted by Dale:
If we can't convince Jim that it's the "right thing to do", then it isn't the right thing for Jim to do.  
What's right, is to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy, use, and update the product, and do all of that without doing anything unethical. We just have a disagreement about what's ethical.

Sales of Marine Aquarium 3 are about 5% of Marine Aquarium 1. I don't think it's apathy.


I have no illusions that Jim will implement any ideas I present. After 9 years of trying, I don't expect him to start now.
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