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Posts Tagged ‘product marketing’

ISVCon 2013 Early Bird Discount Extended!

March 8th, 2013
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Ok… we hear you!  September is a long way off to make plans.

So, we’ve extended the deadline for our Early Bird discount for ISVCon until the end of March!

So you still have the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars, with conference prices starting at just $295 for ASP members!

-Rich

PS: Also, don’t forget that the deadline for submitting your speaking proposals is coming up soon — please get your proposals submitted to us by March 12th (see http://www.isvcon.org/ISVCon2013-CallForSpeakers.pdf) for details)

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Profile: David Hyde

November 15th, 2011
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The Association of Software Professionals started out back in 1987. Our members invented try-before-you-buy, and changed how software is sold. Now, we have everyone from app builders to web developers benefiting from our private newsgroups, member discounts, and our shared experience on how to market software.

Here’s another in our series of profiles of our members. All we asked was this: How did you get started?

David Hyde, of HydeSoft Computing, joined the ASP July 23, 2002, and is online at www.dplot.com

Jerry Stern, Editor, ASPects


 
David Hyde

My college training was rudimentary at best (CS majors would say non-existent): Introduction to FORTRAN and a steel frame analysis class that involved hours and hours of typing punch cards, standing in line (don’t you DARE drop that stack!), then several minutes after feeding the cards in, getting a syntax error due to a typo on card 786 of 1324. One diagnostic at a time, so the cycle was repeated MANY times. What I learned from that class was mostly that I didn’t want to work with computers :-), though I did pick up enough FORTRAN to get by.

In ‘82 I went to work at an engineering lab. Most computer work was done at a dumb Tektronix terminal (that had REALLY good graphics for the day–no pixels, instead vectors were… well, vectors) hooked to a Honeywell mainframe. And then PCs came along and POW. I fooled around a lot with BASICA and IBM’s FORTRAN offering and hoped that jazzing up my hotrod 6Mhz system with a 9Mhz clock crystal wouldn’t cause the building to catch on fire. I fooled around with a lot of graphing stuff and pretty basic physics problems. I also taught myself assembly language to optimize graphics and create my own menu system (all of which became irrelevant when Windows took over the world, but it was good experience).

Then in ~’88 our director dictated that each of five labs should publish a report/manual in some sort of electronic format, and I jumped at it thinking it sounded like fun. At the time I was involved with a big test series and figured I’d come up with an electronic version of my report, complete with 16-color pictures 🙂 (How in the world did we put up with that?) Thankfully that project got delayed and delayed and delayed some more and, because the deadline for an “electronic version of ” was going to occur before that project was completed, I chose instead to publish an electronic version of a technical manual our lab had contributed quite a bit to, including all the calculations and… this is the important part for the private me… graphical output of those calculations.

If the test program had kept to the schedule… well, I’d most likely not be an ASP member or have ever heard of the other ASP members in our newsgroups, and that would be a tragedy.

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6 Things to Check on Your (Old) Programs

August 31st, 2010

Many ASP members have been in business for quite some time and have their programs up and running. But the times (and Windows versions) are changing and there are some things one might easily overlook, being so used to one’s own programs.

Here are 6 things that you should check on your programs:

Code signing

Signed executables are important at many stages nowadays. Even though the customers usually wouldn’t notice the actual signatures, they will notice the reduced warnings that a signed executable causes. This warnings do not only come from Windows during the installation, but also from antivirus programs and other security software which rate the “trust” of each program. That’s why you should not only sign your installer, but also all ‘.exe’ and ‘.dll’ files that you’re installing.

High-resolution icons

I never noticed this one myself until a customer told me. The 16×16 and 32×32 icons in my programs looked pixilated and outdated. You can add higher resolutions to your “.ico” file with the freeware IcoFX. Be sure to keep a backup of the old “.ico” file because not all IDEs allow linking the new “.ico” files. As a workaround you can use the command-line tool ReplaceVistaIcon (available on Codeproject) which can replace the “.ico” section in your executable with the new “.ico” file.

Common controls 6

The new version of the Microsoft GUI will allow applications to have a “nicer” look, for example the slightly rounded buttons. You can activate this by adding a manifest file with a “Microsoft.Windows.Common-Controls” section. You can either specify the manifest file in your project settings or use Microsoft’s manifest.exe command-line tool.

UAC

Many customers now have Windows versions with split rights accounts. In normal mode a lot of things will fail, like installing a service or creating a shortcut in the startup folder. If your program requires full admin rights for any of its actions, you should be aware of this. If the function fails you should either give the user a **helpful** error message or handle the UAC “elevation” to full rights automatically.

You can detect the type of account your program is running under with GetTokenInformation and TokenElevationType. It is not possible to elevate a running process. You have to start a new process with ShellExecuteEx, specifying “runas” as verb.

Progress bar

If your program includes any sections that display a progress bar for some time, then you should support the Windows 7 feature of displaying the progress also in the Windows task bar. The details greatly depend on your programming language. Use IID_ITaskbarList3 as a starting point.

Larger fonts

The screen resolutions have become so ridiculously high, that it’s difficult to read the text on the screen. That’s why many customers have activated larger fonts in Windows. This causes Windows to automatically scale up all dialogs. This works nicely with most standard dialogs but can cause problems with custom controls. Check your application while large fonts are activated.

Thomas Holz is the owner of ITSTH and the author of outlook tools to synchronize, remove duplicates and use boilerplate texts and writes in his devblog, if he still has too much time after optimizing the website.

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