Archive for the ‘Software’ Category.

Version Five Upgrades

pictureThe 2014 major upgrade for Alchemy Mindworks’ software – stepping up to version 5 – will initially embody most of its changes “under the hood.” We’ve devised an improved software architecture to allow our applications to make better use of contemporary multi-core microprocessors, larger memory footprints and Windows 7 and Windows 8.

You can’t really see a new architecture unless you work here and read the source code, but it will enhance the performance of the upgraded software – the version five applications should run faster, and consume fewer system resources while they’re doing so.

The updated architecture will also allow us to add new features to Graphic Workshop, GIF Construction Set, Presentation Wizard and the other Alchemy Mindworks applications that were impractical or genuinely impossible under version 4.

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Classic Windows Paint for Windows 7 and Windows 8

pictureEarlier releases of Windows – most notably the much-beloved Windows XP, now something of a fond memory – included the elegantly simple and occasionally berated Windows Paint application. For the most part, it was about as useful as a left-leaning politician in a riding with absolutely no bribable voters – but there were situations in which its childlike simplicity and twentieth-century dearth of features made it the ideal software for manipulating a few pixels.

By comparison, Windows Paint under Windows 7 and Windows 8 resembles the drooling idiot offspring of a cheap date in which neither participant was demonstrably human. It’s just sophisticated enough to allow its imperfect antialiasing, questionable drawing tools and counter-intuitive user interface to get in the way.

Long-time users of Paint from a bygone era can often be heard mourning its loss.

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The Norton / Symantec WS.Reputation.1 False Positive

pictureSystem security – keeping your computer adequately defended against viruses, malware and other barbarians at the gate – is a complex and oftentimes bedeviling problem. Too little security will find you part of a botnet, or providing your credit card information to every hacker in Afghanistan. Too much security will make your computer excessively paranoid, to the point of your not getting anything useful done with it.

You can render your system wholly impervious to infection by software viruses by the simple expedient of switching it off and leaving it that way – but this is hardly a workable resolution to the issue for most of us.

If you use Norton Antivirus to defend your computer against the machinations of cybercretins, you may have encountered a particularly intractable issue upon installing new software or updates, such as the ones made available for our products. Norton might alert you to a threat it refers to as WS.Reputation.1 when you download the installers in question… and then delete or quarantine your downloads.

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