As I mentioned in my last blog, the next maintenance release of the Theater Suite is about ready to roll. It's not as simple as me just checking in source code, so don't expect it tomorrow, but it's coming soon.
In this next release we have significantly reworked the theater mode screens. TheSky has a better and more logical layout, and Seeker exposes more of the normal functions when in theater mode now. In addition, some controls were very temperamental (scroll bars) in the last build and are working well now. Syzygy simple works now. That was a challenge and a half. Syzygy communicates with the other apps via sockets and there were some crazy timing issues messing things up quite a bit on most peoples systems. Especially under Windows. Works great now, and a last minute Vista related bug was the last bug squashed. The biggest addition to the new edition is Mojo, a completely new media player. The last media was more of a technology demo as we just needed something to play videos… or so we thought. I spent some time at a few planetaria and talking more with people to find out more of what they wanted. Honestly, I did have someone unload a bunch of feature requests on me very early… and I wasn't sure we'd really need all that. Sounds unfair, but it took several other people telling me the same sorts of things to get through. Sometimes there is a danger in listening to just one customer, and I've spent weeks before working on a feature that only one person wanted. I've grown cautious… perhaps too cautious. Anyway, the new Mojo is great I think, but it's also only the beginning. I have big plans for it, taking into account a great deal of feedback that I still haven't had time to implement. I'm not going to be bored anytime soon, that's for sure!
It's been a busy summer for the Theater Suite. We demonstrated our 4kx4k rendering capabilities on a 60 foot dome at SEPA in Nashville, and I gave a demonstration at CAPE in North Carolina to a smaller group of planetarian's. Probably won't generate much sales, but they are a fun small group, and it's a good opportunity to just get to know some real planetarium people better, and… well… listen to them. I learn a lot taking these little "vacations". :-) Finally, I also gave a presentation at a Media Globe Users Group meeting in Hickory North Carolina. We "sort of" built a tour of the solar system together. I pulled the trick they used on the cooking shows, and had a completed version done and rendered ahead of time. Good thing too, they asked so many questions and were so excited, I could hardly cover the material I thought they'd want to hear. By the way, I did just say MEDIA GLOBE. We pretty much don't care much about hardware… we make software. Whatever you got, we want to plug into it. IBM made hardware and software for the hardware. Microsoft made software for everybody's hardware. We want to be Microsoft.... did I just say that out loud?!?
09-08-2009 12:42 PM