Latest News about Alastria Software

7stacks v1.5 beta 2 is out

I have just released 7stacks v1.5 beta 2.  As I stated in my previous post, this is simply a workaround for those who are having problems w/ 7stacks and Google Chrome.  Often, when Chrome was running (mostly when viewing Flash or Silverlight sites), 7stacks would simply not appear when clicked. If you do not use Chrome, you can still continue to use beta 1.  If you do use Chrome, I’d highly suggest immediately downloading beta 2. Many, many of you have correctly pointed out that Chrome seems to foul up 7stacks.  I could be way off, but I believe the reason is because of a bug inside Google Chrome.  Yes, I realize that given the odds-on choice of who screwed up: tiny, insect-like me, or massive, behemoth Google, usually the egregious party will be me.  But I honestly do think that Chrome is doing something wrong.  If you don’t care for highly geeky explanations, you’re under no obligation to read the following… Warning: Science Content — In the 7stacks preferences, there is an option to make the show/hide behavior to mimic OS X’s; that is: click the icon once to show the stack, click it again to hide it.  In Windows, clicking the stack icon again has the effect of running a 2nd copy of that stack.  So, in order to accomplish the trick of mimicking OSX, that stack’s 2nd copy (Stack #2) checks to see if another copy is running (Stack #1).  If it is, Stack #2 sends a message to Stack #1, telling Stack #1 to close, then Stack #2 closes itself.  Basically, when a stack pops up, it asks, “Are there any other stacks out there?” Each of these stacks are what Windows calls a “process”.  And the act of these processes communicating w/ one another is a programming technique called inter-process communication, or “IPC” for short. The easiest, and most efficient method of IPC within Windows is the use of a built-in message, WM_COPYDATA.  It allows processes to fire off a message that will be received by other processes that are looking for these messages to come along.  But, for some reason, when Chrome is running, all WM_COPYDATA messages being intercepted, and not being passed on as they should. In effect, when it asks “Are there any other stacks out there?”  It should either hear a “Yes!” from another stack, or it should receive all “No”s from the other...

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Updates coming soon

I will be posting some updates to software within the next few days.  First, on Monday (6/27), I am publishing a small update to 7stacks (v1.5 b2), which fixes a single, but serious bug when using it w/ Google Chrome (more about the bug later).  This will not add any additional features.  This is simply a fix for the Chrome error that many, many, many people have complained about (and rightly so). Second, I will be posting Speedy Shopper 2.0 later this week, about July 1.  I’ve been working hard to finish squashing the few remaining bugs, and have been testing it...

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I’m still standing

Although I haven’t posted any news in a while, I just wanted to post a quick update.  I have been doing some outside work the past few months, and it is now complete.  For reasons that I’m sure you all can understand, these outside projects must take priority over my shareware/freeware development.  Above all, I have to pay the bills. I will be posting Speedy Shopper 2.0 ASAP, as well as continuing work on 7stacks in my spare time.  I am also going to be working on some iPhone/Android apps (which is where the future is, let’s be honest). One quick note about Popup Calendar.  A recent screwup by me caused an old version of Popup Calendar (3.5) to be posted on the site, instead of the current version (3.53).  If you download Popup Calendar, you will now get the new version.  Sorry about the...

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The new site is here!

As you can obviously see, our new site is online.  I’d like to thank those who wrote in with suggestions for features, as well as links to plugins.  I’d also like to thank all the people who sent in testimonials.  I’m still adding more testimonials, so if you’d like to send us some kudos, let us know via our “Contact us” form.  I’m also finishing out a few things here and there, such as app FAQs, video tutorials, etc.  So stay tuned. Also, make sure to check out the social links on the home page, where I am regularly posting.  And if you like what we’re doing, we’d really appreciate a Like on our Facebook fan page.  I also post regularly on Twitter, not only on Alastria news, but on some tech news stories here and there.  I’m also Digging sites every few days, and constantly bookmarking sites on...

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Testimonials Needed

As I said in my previous post, I’m putting together a new site design. It’s about 75% complete; and I need you to help me! If you like and use 7stacks, Speedy Shopper, Popup Calendar, or Popup Calendar Lite, we’d love it if you sent us your testimonial about it. Whatever feature(s) you like most… Whether it saved you time, money, just looked cool, or whatever! Either send me a @ reply on twitter, or send me an email. If you send an email, we will only use your first name and last initial, and your hometown if you’d like to include it (i.e. “Derek M., Charlotte NC”). If you tweet me, I’ll use your twitter handle (with a link), and hopefully send some followers your way. And, thanks to all our loyal customers and fans out...

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Speedy Shopper, and a new site

Thought I’d update you all on what’s going on. Please don’t think that because I’m not posting news, that nothing is happening behind the scenes. Far from it. Right now, I have been working on several projects simultaneously. After finishing an outside gig, I’ve been working on Speedy Shopper primarily, and 7stacks when I’ve gotten stuck on a part of Speedy Shopper. I’ve also devoted a few days here an there to that secret project I mentioned a while ago. Speedy Shopper is a project that I believe in a lot, but doesn’t necessarily translate to being a big seller because of its highly specialized nature. Nonetheless, I hate shipping anything that I consider substandard, but at some point, as any good artist will tell you, “the painting must be done.” Therefore, I will be releasing Speedy Shopper 2.0 within the next few weeks, and allow people to use it. As I have stated before, anyone who purchased v1 will get a free upgrade to v2. But before all that, however, I will be unveiling a new site design. This current design is getting quite long in the tooth. I will be using a WordPress design, but more as a CMS, not necessarily a blog. I’m also considering implementing a forum for users to ask/answer questions. Any WordPress gurus out there know the best way to implement this to eliminate spam? If so, please email me. But with the new design’s blogging and Twitter integration, I will try to blog (and microblog) some more than I do now. However, I’m not, nor will I claim to be, some kind of Robert Scoble or Joel Spolsky. I don’t think people really want to hear my thoughts on theories of software UI design or the latest episode of Mythbusters. (Or, maybe you do?) At any rate, I will, however, start posting more, at least once every couple of weeks, to give you all a heads-up into what’s going on. That’s all for...

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