Topic: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

http://upload.opaquit.com/is_history/20/is20beta.png

Hey everyone,
we're so excited to announce the first public beta release of our 'highly anticipated' InstantStorm 2.0. Please download the zipped version and test it as much as you can, use the largest Flash files possible, if you have multiple monitors, do a couple of tests with different settings, don't forget to check out the new screensaver settings dialog designer. To cut a long story short, don't go easy on IS 2.0 beta. Thanks in advance, all bug reports are welcome so that we can deploy the most advanced and stable InstantStorm... yet. smile Oh... one more thing. Please do not redistribute any screensavers compiled using this beta, a final release is coming really soon, this time we mean it. big_smile

Here are some major improvements over 1.5.3 that are definitely worth checking out:
• A completely revamped screensaver core with highly improved overall speed and stability + better Vista and Windows 7 support
• A brand new screensaver settings designer that allows you to add tons of fancy check boxes and options without having to worry about making basic settings in the settings dialog Flash file
• A new 'preview center' that makes screensaver preview act like it has been already compiled and installed
• Transparency support, InstantStorm can now render a defined color as transparent which allows you to make super awesome screensavers where the users can see parts of their desktop
• A new Files tab in InstantStorm's main window allows you to access a new interface for choosing different base Flash movies for different screen aspect ratios as well as the little preview box in Windows screensaver properties
• Now you can also publish screensavers without installers, the new screensaver engine is capable of compiling standalone SCR files that you can easily integrate in your custom corporate installers
• Customizable version information for the screensaver installer—since a couple users asked us to support this in future releases
• RTF and PDF file support for screensaver readme
• Support for language packs—with language packs you can now store all your custom installer and settings dialog texts in external files for further usage, for some non-Latin languages a character encoding selector is available as well
• Full drag & drop support all over the program interface
• Full Flash CS4 (Flash Player 10) support
• Various new FSCommands for geeks (a list will be provided as soon as possible)
• Thousands of bug fixes + improved stability and speed of InstantStorm interface

If you're a native speakers of English, please check all program texts and messages. English is our third language—so we appreciate all languge corrections. If you're translating InstantStorm into your language, expect a special translators' SDK in a few days.

Please use this forum thread to post all your comments, bug reports, and questions concerning this beta release! And have fun with the program smile

Edit (Vavi 07-08-09):
Beta 2 released, read more here

Edit (Vavi 08-08-09):
Release candidate released, read more here

Here's the download link (Beta 2):
Sorry, the beta versions of InstantStorm 2.0 are not available anymore, please get the release candidate version instead: http://www.instantstorm.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=529

Here's the download link (Beta):
Sorry, the beta versions of InstantStorm 2.0 are not available anymore, please get the release candidate version instead: http://www.instantstorm.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=529

Jan Kolařík
InstantStorm Developer

Please support our new non-governmental organization for improving public transit in our city – MHD Uherské Hradiště

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Awesome. I will test it soon.

3

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Quick test Running about 14megs of  1024x768 flash movie.

It seems that running my screen saver on multiple screens slows it down really much.

Also the videos seem a bit funny. (I use the option that doesn't do any scaling on the flash movie) On my main monitor (22" wide) everything is nice and the movie plays in the middle of the screen as it should (though it's really slow an sluggish), but on my secondary 4:3 monitor the video is as the whole wide screen got scaled. So the image is squished... Monitors have same vertical resolution so the scaling is only on horizontal plane.

Really nice thing that you can specify what monitors and resolutions to use.

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hi!
Playing that big flash movie takes a lot of CPU, plus the stretching uses smoothed method to draw and it's really a resource hog smile
For such as demanding saver I'd use only primary monitor.

The stretching uses the secondary monitor dimensions regardless of any aspect ratios of the primary monitor, so it might "squish" the movie a bit smile This might change in final release - requires further discussion with Opaquit.

Thank you very much for testing!
I hope you enjoy InstantStorm 2.0 Beta smile

Ondrej Vaverka
InstantStorm Developer

5

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Good work on this release. No major issues found as yet.
I am keen to use this - do you have a planned release date?

6

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Wow.. there's a lot of time ago and I remember when I'm translating InstantStorm into Spanish.
In that time I was like 12-13 years old, and now I'm 16 (almost 17); The time advances too much fast...

I see that a new version is coming soon, so I offer (again) to translate the new version if you want.

It's cool to contribute with something big_smile
I'm gonna try to test this version anyways.

So I'll keep my promise.

Greetings!

* like always... sorry for my english xD

7

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Does this run on 64bit systems? Im running windows XP x64 and nothing happens when I click the isntallation executable. I can still only get the older 1.5.3 version to pull up. Help?

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hi,
the new InstantStorm totally supports 64-bit systems, we even use 64-bit Vista on the machine InstantStorm is compiled on. That's why I'm sort of confused about your message. You said installer executable even though the new beta is distributed as a ZIP archive. Just use your favorite archiving utility to unpack it and then run instantstorm.exe. Also make sure you got InstantStorm 1.5 installed as well--since some system libraries in \syswow64 directory are required.

Jan Kolařík
InstantStorm Developer

Please support our new non-governmental organization for improving public transit in our city – MHD Uherské Hradiště

9

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hi there. I unzipped the file into a folder, and then clicked on "InstantStorm.exe" What happens....is nothing. No installer actually comes up. No installation will actually take place (I have 1.5.3 installed already), but instant storm IS oddly enough in the task manager. Its just not doing anything, like its hung up. Im really wanting to use the new instant storm. Any help? Would it work if I started my machine up in safemode or something?

-Alberto

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

This is weird. sad Try unpacking it to a 'safe location' like C:\IS -- so that there are no spaces or special character in the program path.

Jan Kolařík
InstantStorm Developer

Please support our new non-governmental organization for improving public transit in our city – MHD Uherské Hradiště

11

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

i know i won't help much, but just to let you know, everything works really great great!

12

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

I put the whole thing in my C drive. Still no dice. When I run the executable, it freezes. Even the window with the zip contents freezes. :-(

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hello!
What do you mean "Even the window with the zip contents freezes"? What archiving utility do you use? What OS do you have?
We will make it work smile
Does InstantStorm 1.5.3 work properly?

Ondrej Vaverka
InstantStorm Developer

14

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Vavi,
glad to hear! The new version looks great! Yes, 1.5.3 has always worked just fine, as did the version before it. Im using winzip (fully licensed version) Specifically, winzip11.1. My OS is windows XP 64bit

What I meant from my sentence is that even when I click on the executable from inside the zip, it freezes. To be more specific, I have tried 2 methods of instal. The first, is clicking the exe file in the zip file. When this did not yield results, I unzipped all the files into a folder (IS) and placed it in the main root (C:IS)

Neither method has worked. Nothing happens, but instant storm does appear as a running task in my processes list.

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hello!
Thanks for explanation. It won't run launched from inside of the archive, it has to be unzipped. I'll get WinXP 64bit and check it out.

Ondrej Vaverka
InstantStorm Developer

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hi!
Try following: Kill all running instantstorm.exe processes using Task Manager and launch InstantStorm.exe from the C:\IS. Make sure that there is 'langcode.lng' file present in directory '{appdir}\bin\lang\' (e.g. C:\IS\bin\lang\langcode.lng)

I've discovered a bug: When InstantStorm doesn't find {appdir}\bin\lang\langcode.lng, it hangs up. I've fixed it, unfortunately I don't have FTP login/password on this computer, so I cannot update the ZIP archive right now.

Ondrej Vaverka
InstantStorm Developer

17

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Vavi,
I have found the error. Im going to call it on me, once I realized there was a folder structure to the install, I extracted the zip file with the "extract" command instead of just dragging contents to a new window. Once the proper files were in their proper folders (innosetup5 and bin) the install worked smoothly and perfectly.

-Alberto

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Happy to hear that smile
It's good that it happened, because I was able to discover that 'hang up' bug. InstantStorm will now show a message box and quit.

Enjoy InstantStorm 2.0 Beta smile

Ondrej Vaverka
InstantStorm Developer

19

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Any update on a release date?
If you cannot give a definite date - will it at least be this month?

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hello!
We have released InstantStorm 2.0 Beta 2. You can get it here: http://www.instantstorm.com/bin/Instant … 0beta2.zip

If you already have InstantStorm 2.0 Beta 1 on your computer, please remove it or create a separate folder for Beta 2.

New features:
• FS command 'navigatequit' – opens a webpage in default browser and quits screensaver; usage: fscommand("navigatequit", "url"); substitute url with desired address, e.g. http://www.instantstorm.com, getting fscommand("navigatequit", "http://www.instantstorm.com");

Bugfixes:
• InstantStorm doesn't hang up anymore and displays error message when the file {appdir}\bin\lang\langcode.lng is missing
• Installation preview now substitutes {title}, {publisher} and {version} correctly
• Controls on Screensaver settings dialog have correct width

About the release date... we're currently working on help and translations (translation kit will be ready soon and we'll send it to translators). We're planning the release to August.

Enjoy new Beta smile

One more thing... if you miss any feature, feel free to post it here.

Ondrej Vaverka
InstantStorm Developer

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Great job guys, thank you for all the hard work! I look forward to getting back into Flash and trying the new features. I also look forward to the final release and list of FSCommands. Don't neglect school though! big_smile

I have a few questions before I muck with code:

The transparent feature sounds real fun. I assume any element in the Flash animation that matches the color choice will be transparent? Is there a way to let the users desktop show completely under an animation, like you can with a webpage's background with the page embedding code? Without choosing a color in the transparency settings window. Or would this need to be accomplished by using a unique color background in the Flash file and setting that color as transparent?

Any plans to incorporate a time limited feature for a trial version screen saver? I feel guilty asking this since you guys don't charge for InstantStorm but I swear any funds will go to a good charity. smile

Per your request, I went through all the texts and noticed nothing wrong except the fact that your English is better than many native English speakers I know.

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hi!
Thank you very much smile Fortunately we have holidays here big_smile

Your assumption is right, you have to set specific color and everything with this color will be rendered as transparent. The second option is right, you just choose let's say black backgroud for your flash movie and then you set black as transparent color and you'll see your desktop.

Yeah, we plan to support trial in InstantStorm 2.? (:D probably 2.5), if you'd love to have this feature available, we can think about putting it into 2.0 smile

Thank you for checking our texts! (Opaquit has written them, his English is far better than mine... smile)
Andrew

Edit:
I've thought about the trial feature... there are several questions to answer...
• How complex should the trial be? (I've figured out good way, but these 'time-bombs' are pretty easy to crack...plus we're not professionals in creating anti-cracking software, still it will use some standard protection tricks)
• How to register the trial? (Should the reg key depend on username or even on HDD serial number?)
• There are more I can't think of right now big_smile

Ondrej Vaverka
InstantStorm Developer

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Thank you Vavi, the transparency is a great feature.

One thing I noticed reading my notes today, a website mentioned that if a user has the screensaver password on:

"some windows OS's screen savers play on an alternate "security" desktop, so transparency does not get you much of interest".

Just wanted to mention it in case it comes up. After I rework my screensaver I'll try turning password protection on and post what I find. My screensaver currently uses a "fake" desktop as a background and it shouldn't be hard to provide an option in the settings window asking if password protection is enabled to determine whether to use the fake or not.

The trial feature is no big deal, and like you say it is something even the biggest software developers have trouble developing and enforcing. I'll just trust the user and hope a little much needed cash comes in once in a while. smile Besides, it's pretty cool knowing someone likes your project enough to stick it on their machine.

24

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hi, is Flash 10 supported?

Im trying to run beta 2on win7 and getting comdlg32.dll/flash9.ocx error . comdlg tool reported a problem, but is def there. I only have Flash10.ocx not 9

Thanks

SoniK

Re: InstantStorm 2.0 Public Beta

Hi!
Flash 10 is supported, we just kind of forgot to update the text in that error message. Try installing the latest stable version (1.5.3) and then run the beta from another location. Since the stable version has an installer, it installs the correct version of comdlg32.ocx. the final 2.0 will have an installer like that as well.

Jan Kolařík
InstantStorm Developer

Please support our new non-governmental organization for improving public transit in our city – MHD Uherské Hradiště