zmatrix / News: Recent posts

Status Update And Plans

Heya folks,

I've been pretty silent as of late, so I thought I'd give a quick update to let people know that I'm still alive and well. After a flurry of activity around the release of the second matrix film, I've just let the code settle around the 1.5.2 version for a while.

Despite the rapidly expanding bug/feature submissions, I'm reasonably satisfied with version 1.5.2. I do like some of the suggestions coming in though. Having special strings pulled in from external sources (rss feeds, etc...) sounds like a great idea to me, the glow feature would be great if I could manage to implement it reasonably efficiently, and the often asked for feature of not erasing occluded areas is also on my todo list.... read more

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-06-24

ZMatrix Version 1.5.2 Is Out

Another quick bugfix release. This one addresses the 'opaque rendering mode' problems that were being reported.

Change Log:
-Attempts to address the 'opaque rendering mode' problem (Request ID #741607).

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-05-26

ZMatrix Version 1.5.1 Is Out

This is a quick bugfix version coming close on the heels of version 1.5.0. This version attempts to address the 'font spacing' problem that was being reported by some people with version 1.5.0. Enjoy.

Change Log:
-Attempts to address the 'font spacing' problem (Request ID #740887).

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-05-22

Version 1.5.0 Is Out

This version adds the 'special string stream' feature, which allows for an ordered string to be inserted amongst the random characters. Also, this version adds a Winamp Vis plugin which should allow the ZMatrix effect to thump along to music being played in Winamp. It seems that this version will only work with Winamp 2.x, NOT 3.x. I am more than a little afraid of the avalanche
of Winamp related support requests, but let's hope it's not too bad.... read more

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-05-20

Last Call For Arabic/Hebrew Windows Support

Hey folks,

I've been trying to ensure that the next release of ZMatrix will work in Right To Left (RTL) versions of Windows such as the Arabic and Hebrew versions. So far I have been unable to get a tester with access to these versions of Windows. So this is the last chance for anyone out there who uses an RTL version of Windows to ensure that the next release will work for them. I will continue to do testing until this weekend, and barring any major bugs cropping up, I should do a release on Monday. If you can help me with testing on an RTL version of windows, contact me at zmatrix_background@hotmail.com.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-05-15

Winamp Plugin

Just letting people know that I'm tinkering with a winamp plugin that would take an existing instance of ZMatrix, and vary the forground/background/fade colours of ZMatrix according to the beat of a song playing in winamp.

Anyone who wants to try this while it's in development (and hopefully help pick bugs out) is welcome to contact me on the following instant message networks:

MSN: zmatrix_background@hotmail.com
Yahoo: zmatrix_background
ICQ: 298615633... read more

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-04-13

Version 1.4.8 Is Out

This version is a quick fix for a single bug.

Change Log:
-Fixes the 'top or left positioned taskbar' problem.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-02-04

New Job == Less Releases

Well, I'm starting a new job next week, and I don't think I'll have as much time for new releases as I've had in the past little while. Hopefully version 1.4.7 can stand on it's own two legs for a while.

Features like laptop-friendly features, litestep support, and sideways/down->up text, etc... are still in consideration, but I wouldn't expect anything too soon.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-02-02

Version 1.4.7 Is Out

Well, this version is supposed to add the much requested Win9x support. I'm recommending Win98 or higher as a minimum. Besides Win9x support, this version uses a different (much more compact) default font, fixes a couple of bugs, and has other minor improvements.

Change Log:
-Fixes the error on screensaver startup problem (Request ID #671755).
-Adds the blend screen saver with background only option (Request ID #673858).
-Adds Win9x/Me compatability (Request ID #651897).
-New (smaller) default font bundled.
-Adds a pause feature.
-Other Minor fixes and feature additions.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-02-02

Version 1.4.6 Is Out

This is a bugfix and new feature release. Probably the most significant developments are new blending modes, as well as screen saver specific configuration. Help documentation has also been added in this version.

Changes:
-Gives additional control over the rendering method (Request ID #662342).
-Fixes the font options bug (Request ID #662404).
-Dynamic items no long show through in screen saver mode (Request ID #662973).
-Fixed the 'last column on the right not being draw' problem (Request ID #663346).
-Fixed the 'task bar on left or top causes rendering errors' problem (Request ID #663429).
-Added screen saver specific configuration.
-Added help documentation.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-01-13

Version 1.4.5 Is Out

Bugfix release.

Changes:
-Removed the 'Failed to get RGN for SysListView' error message that was occurring if there were no desktop icons (Request ID #659479).

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-01-04

Version 1.4.4 Is Out

Mostly bug fixes in this version, but some minor additional features.

Changes:
-Hopefully fixes the start menu problems in XP (Request ID #659121, #659122, and #659170).
-Attempted improvements in Active Desktop support (invisble desktop icons hopefully no longer a problem).
-Added the ability to change auto-startup options after installation (Request ID #659596).
-Added an upgrade installer for those who already have a version of ZMatrix installed.
-Other minor bug fixes and feature additions.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2003-01-04

Updated Installer For Version 1.4.3

The original installer for version 1.4.3 had too many options on the final install form, and some of them were not visible because there wasn't enough space for them. I have updated the installer to trim down the number of options on the final install form. There have been no changes to the application files themselves.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2002-12-29

Version 1.4.3 Is Out

Well, I'm back from my trip, and just wanted to put out a release to address some of the bugs reported while I was away. This release hopefully fixes numerous bugs, as well introduces a few new features. The change log is as follows:

-HOPEFULLY fixes the "Forced to terminate registry listener thread" error message (Request ID #642185).
-First attempt at Active Desktop support (Request ID #602998).
-Password protected screensaver support (Request ID #651904).
-Detects moved/new desktop icons and attempts not to draw over them (Request ID #599242).
-Allowed process priority to be modified (Request ID #617461).
-Additional configuration options for rendering (Request ID #651891).
-Added methods for sending donations, submitting bug reports, feature requests, etc...
-Other minor bug fixes and feature additions.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2002-12-26

Version 1.4.2 Is Out

The previous release (1.4.1) was accidentally packaged as a debug build. This is a release build. Sorry for the mix up.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2002-08-30

I Will Be Away Mid Sept. to Early-Mid Dec.

Just so that people know why updates aren't happening for a while, or email questions aren't being responded to quickly in the next little while. I will be away from mid September to early to mid December.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2002-08-29

Version 1.4.1 Is Out

Version 1.4.1 has been released. This is mostly a bugfix release. The following is a list of the major changes:

-Fixed a bug that surfaced when the program is set as a 'Password protected' screensaver. The program cannot run properly in this mode, it now uses other screensavers rather than displaying an error message.

-Given slightly more graceful behaviour when the program exits while the config dialog is open. ... read more

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2002-08-29

Version 1.4.0 Is Out

Well, it's been a while, but a new version has been released. I've incorporated a couple of the suggestions I've been given by users, namely:

-Multi-monitor support:
This looks rediculously good...

-Screensaver mode:
This allows the program to function as a screensaver which basically draws the streaming characters over top of all windows.

Well, I hope this new version holds up. Please report bugs either to zmatrix_background@hotmail.com , or to the bug tracking system here at SourceForge.

Posted by ~Happy Dude~ 2002-08-20