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Old 05-06-2006, 02:53 AM   #1
Polcamilla
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My goldfish periodically die.

I leave Goldfish Aquarium running as my wallpaper using Backlight. Periodically, my fish "die" -- they stop swimming and just drift motionless in the water. Very eerie. Usually, stopping and starting the screensaver through Backlight fixes the problem and then the fish are fine for a few days.

Any ideas or should I just learn to live with it? I've had MA or GA running as my wallpaper for the last three or so years and only recall seeing the problem since I got my G5.
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Old 05-10-2006, 01:35 PM   #2
JimO'Connor
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If you overfeed them this could be a problem.

I don't think I've ever run the product for days continuously as you are doing. I need to use my computer before the screen saver has run that long. It is possible that some counter wraps around to the negative end of the spectrum. Are you limiting the frame rate to something sensible, like 60 fps, so there is CPU for your work?
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:38 AM   #3
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Are you using tank rotation or the same tank continuously?
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:14 PM   #4
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(Really, this is Polcamilla)

For some reason, the login is acting wiggy (probably doesn't like Safari) so I can't log in as me.

The framerate is set at 40 and I don't cycle the tanks. I've had Marine Aquarium and/or Goldfish Aquarium running as my wallpaper for as long as I've had a Mac (since 2002 or so). Dead fish have never been a problem with MA and to the best of my recollection weren't a problem with GA until I upgraded to the G5.

Before the recent flurry of software updates, the computer was up for 35 continuous days. The fishies did get periodic breaks, though, as my husband sometimes left the machine logged into his account. I *hope* they don't swim silently in the background when another account is in use.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:25 PM   #5
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Try turning on tank cycling and select at least two tanks to see if that solves the problem please. It will tell me where the problem lies.

Backlight would be in control of whether or not the fish run when a user is not in the foreground.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:03 PM   #6
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Alright, I'm cycling between tanks now and have been for 2 or 3 days. I'll let it run a couple weeks and let you know. So far, no dead fish (but it usually takes longer than 2-3 days anyways. It'd be nice if I knew how long of a life expenctancy my fish have, but I don't). One thing I have noticed that seems to be new is that occasionally the fish I can see behind my windows start to flicker (very rapidly vanishing, reappearing). Bringing up the Dashboard or doing any other Expose-ish thing makes them stop, though.

(I know, you're just going to post back and tell me to stop abusing my fish, but they *look* happy when they're not dead/desperately trying to teleport to other tanks! Plus, the kids love them!)
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:02 PM   #7
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Dead again. :(

Okay, I just sat down to the computer again to find the fish all dead. So tank cycling didn't help.
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:03 AM   #8
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Okay, thanks for doing the experiment for me. I'll put it on the list of things to work on for that product.
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:19 PM   #9
edaniels
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Hi, Polcamilla... This is Goldfish Aquarium's artist & animator speaking.

When you say the fish "drift motionless in the water," could you be more specific? Like:
Are the fins & tail still reacting to small currents?
Does the fish overall move slightly up and down & left and right?
Do his eyes stop darting? Do the plants and bubbles still move?

All of these answers will help track down the problem.

Thanks!

-- Eric Daniels (aka Dan E. Schneider)
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E R I C D A N I E L S, a n i m a t o r
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:57 PM   #10
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Hrm....I'll have to check next time they bite it. I'll have to admit, I haven't been too quick to study the effect when it happens because it's so eerie that I'll hurry to restart rather than look at it. We had an actual fish (given to us by our Sunday school class - argh!!) die on us a couple months back and it looked almost the same. The fish was motionless, eyes wide open (obviously), drifting slightly in the current.

I'll take a look next time and narrow down a bit better what's moving and what isn't.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:54 PM   #11
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Let me try to duplicate this

Originally posted by Polcamilla:
I leave Goldfish Aquarium running as my wallpaper using Backlight. Periodically, my fish "die" -- they stop swimming and just drift motionless in the water. Very eerie. Usually, stopping and starting the screensaver through Backlight fixes the problem and then the fish are fine for a few days.

Any ideas or should I just learn to live with it? I've had MA or GA running as my wallpaper for the last three or so years and only recall seeing the problem since I got my G5.  
I have a dual 2Ghz G5 and also run backlight 2.0. Let me activate GA 1.0.2 version (you ARE running this version?) and if the fish die, well then we'll know if it's because you overfeed your goldfish or not! I never feed them, they can find their own food - that is why Jim Sachs won't put more fish in there - 'cuz there wouldn't be enough natural food in there to go around ....

- John
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39% - The show’s stupid.
01% - My parents were killed by Klingons and it's still too painful.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:59 AM   #12
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Hrm...actually, I just checked and I'm runnign GA 1.0.0. What's in the update?

Anyways, since I last posted they died again (twice, actually) and I looked closely. There is NO movement in the mouths, fins, eyes, or plants. The fins look distorted and blockly (like some of the bad 3D rendering you see in cheap video games). There is still a shimmer in the water and an invisible current that causes the completely motionless fish to drift (usually until they hit a particular obstacle, then they just bob there). One of the times this happened, all 3 fish driftly slowly to the top of the tank and stayed there.
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:33 AM   #13
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John - The Goldfish program isn't mine, it's Eric Daniels' baby (see 4th message back).

Polcamilla - This appears to be a Mac-only problem, so a screen capture of what you are seeing might help Jim O'Connor track down what is happening.
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:47 AM   #14
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Running in a window

Originally posted by Polcamilla:
Hrm...actually, I just checked and I'm runnign GA 1.0.0. What's in the update? .....  
I wasn't able to find what's new, but to the eye GA 1.0.0 and 1.0.2 appear to be "feature consistent."

BTW I won't be wanting to run GA under Backlight 2 because it locked up my system - black screen, fans running full tilt - so I am running GA in a window instead.

- John
Reasons people don't watch Star Trek:
60% - It’s for nerds.
39% - The show’s stupid.
01% - My parents were killed by Klingons and it's still too painful.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:59 PM   #15
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Wow, it locked up your computer?

It's taxed mine on occasion (fans running on full, but only since 10.4.6 came out) but I can't recall it causing any serious lockups like that.

Macs are really finicky, I guess.
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:06 PM   #16
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My G5 has been a bastion of stability. The kernel did not panic in this example, and the display was dim, and I could not wake up the computer. I may have a power saving feature enabled that conflicts with Backlight 2.

BTW what tank do you have that puts your fish to sleep? They like vegatation. Also what screen resolution and graphics card? I run a 22-inch Apple Cinema Display at 1600x1024 millions of colors off an ATI Radion 9800 Pro mac special edition with 256 Meg vram. The fans of the G5 speed up noticably when GA runs on this.

- John
Reasons people don't watch Star Trek:
60% - It’s for nerds.
39% - The show’s stupid.
01% - My parents were killed by Klingons and it's still too painful.
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:17 PM   #17
Polcamilla
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Tank: Medium planting with foreground lights up, background lights low, and sound, bubbles, and debris off.

Screen: 23" Cinema HD Display running at 1920x1200 and millions of colors.

Graphics card: GeForce 7800GT
VRAM: 256MB
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Old 07-07-2006, 01:50 PM   #18
JimO'Connor
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Do we know how long the Goldfish have to run before this problem shows up?
It SOUNDS like you are running into a bug we fixed with 1.0.2 which fixed a problem properly terminating threads (which cause us to use up our alotment eventually), since the fish animation takes place on threads then this is likely the problem.
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Old 07-07-2006, 02:22 PM   #19
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Did he spawn six threads or only five?

Originally posted by JimO'Connor:
Do we know how long the Goldfish have to run before this problem shows up?
It SOUNDS like you are running into a bug we fixed with 1.0.2 which fixed a problem properly terminating threads (which cause us to use up our alotment eventually), since the fish animation takes place on threads then this is likely the problem.  
So if I understand this correctly, if we're running a pre-1.0.2 version of Goldfish Aquarium, then we'd see the thread count increasing over time in Activity Monitor? I just launched GA 1.0.2 and I see three threads. Holding steady ....

- John
Reasons people don't watch Star Trek:
60% - It’s for nerds.
39% - The show’s stupid.
01% - My parents were killed by Klingons and it's still too painful.
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Old 07-07-2006, 03:02 PM   #20
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Typically the fish run 4-6 days before dying. How do I check for the number of threads they've generated? Also, how do I get 1.0.2, to see if that fixes the problem?
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