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Old 10-25-2004, 05:08 AM   #21
Tiny Turtle
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Yup. That Cliff sure can whitstand erosion well...

/Tiny Klippa
Thanks to Morgan, Tiny Snapshots is up and running again with "Tiny Järvafält" as the latest addition – Go have a look and tell me what you think.

"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent.
I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says,
'Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.'
I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
" /Robert Oppenheimer on witnessing the first thermonuclear detonation in history.
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Old 10-27-2004, 10:20 PM   #22
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Drink more fluids, guys. Nothing revives dirt better than fluids.


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Old 10-31-2004, 01:52 AM   #23
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This is a business. I've accepted that we'll probably never get the 3D background, despite all the years we've been waiting for it. I bought the Aquarium 4 years ago.

Point is, this was a selling point of the aquarium that you'd get a "free upgrade" to the 3D background version some time in the future.

But once the businesses have your money, they could really care less about devoting time to please people who've already paid. Obviously they're going to put the time instead into making new products because that's how they'll get more of your money.

It may be a cynical way to look at it, but like I said, it's a business. You'll find this is normal for pretty much all companies (some are worse than others though, ie. Creative Labs).

There's no money to be made by improving/fixing/enhacing old products, no matter how much they promised "future proofing" when it was current, so the customer ends up losing out every time.

Just be happy you paid $19.95 for it and did get a few updates, unlike some software I paid $199.95 for which only ever got ONE *beta* patch which didn't even fix most of the issues I had with it...
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Old 10-31-2004, 05:24 AM   #24
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Buddy, You've come to the wrong place to criticise the motives of the programmer!
Jim Sachs refuses to put out anything that does not meet his incredibly high standards. Even though there is no 3d background yet, there is still NOTHING that compares to his screensavers
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:30 AM   #25
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Hmmm, free upgrades? Let's see, I purchased the Marine Aquarium when it had a handful of fish and a starfish. Then I got a free upgrade to the current stock of fish. Then I got a free upgrade where the artist (Mr. Sachs) had redone to his exacting standards some fish from the upgrade that someone else had done. So I guess there have been some free upgrades.
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:43 AM   #26
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Originally posted by Manymosi
Buddy, You've come to the wrong place to criticise the motives of the programmer!
Jim Sachs refuses to put out anything that does not meet his incredibly high standards. Even though there is no 3d background yet, there is still NOTHING that compares to his screensavers
That is the motive of all programmers, I am not criticising Jim.

And Jim doesn't have screensavers plural, he only has one unless you want to count adding in a clock or a crystal. It couldn't be touched 4 years ago, but graphics have come a long way since then. It doesn't stand up to most tech demos in the last two years, but I guess those are not technically screensavers. I personally think the Goldfish aquarium is much more impressive. Now when I look at the original aquarium, it looks to me like paper fishes swimming in 2D left and right with it's stale, lifeless background and bitmap bubble column.

Nevertheless, I got my money's worth. It's just that you can only look at the same thing for so many years before it doesn't do anything for you anymore (commiserations to the married among you, I didn't exactly mean it that way ).

Personally I think the problem is that Jim is primarily an artist, so he's probably spent long frustrating hours trying to get certain things working that an experienced 3D programmer could handle without much fuss.

That is the sacrifice you make when you want complete creative control over a project, you have to learn how to do everything yourself first.
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:09 AM   #27
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Golly, Falz, That's a horrible attitude to spout not to mention the internal damage you doing to yourself by carrying it around. I bought the aquarium because I liked what I saw and this is the only screen saver I've bought. I was not expecting an update and was pleasantly surprised to get one when I came to the forum and found out about it. Usually I do gobs of homework on stuff before buying but this was one of the few things that was just done right and stood on its own merits. It was and still is worth every penny I spent on it. I cannot believe, even tho I read it, that you bought the screensaver on the basis of getting a free 3D upgrade at some future time. So who's treating this like a business venture/investment? Jim is not a company, he's one man. I'm happy with the screensaver and the upgrade I've received all for under $20.00. BTW it's not a screensaver, that was just a last minute option/thot. This is a work of living art or closest to it that I've seen and I'm happy its affordable to the common person such as my good self.

Sounds like you got left over stuff you carrying around from the other $199.99 investment you made and perhaps other things that you've become cynical about and just toss this one on top of the pile. Afraid I am unable to agree with your assessment or the comments you made about the aquarium. I can only imagine it must be difficult for you to look at or even enjoy the aquarium without feeling the cynism or lack of value/joy* you've wrapped around it expressed in your posting. I hope some day you can forgive and let it go so that you can enjoy the aquarium in and of itself with fresh eyes.

Kind regards,
Minn

*edit replaced "bitterness" with "lack of value/joy"


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Last edited by Surferminn; 10-31-2004 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:22 AM   #28
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It's not really a monetary issue. In fact, there has been a lot of discussion around here about which would provide more income: a new Freshwater program, or a free 3D background upgrade for the Marine Aquarium which paves the way for the sale of creature packs to an enormous user base. Personally, I've flip-flopped on the subject several times.

As far as a "real" programmer being able to make headway where I can't - where are they? 4 years ago I watched as some of the biggest software companies assembled large groups to come up with a competing product, only to give up and disband the teams.

For people who started with the Aquarium early on, there have been dozens of free upgrades. Clint mentions a couple, but he started with the Starfish version, which was very late in the development cycle. If you look at my statements regarding the 3D background, you will see that I never said that it WILL exist, only that I PLAN to do it, and that I don't PLAN to charge for it. Intentions are different from promises, which is why I never make promises. I've got a lot of other non-software things going on right now that need to be taken care of before I can devote my full attention to the Aquarium again (but I'm still here for you to yell at every day ).

My biggest fear is to pull a "George Lucas" - spend a quarter-century between major releases and have people be disappointed with the results.
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Old 10-31-2004, 01:04 PM   #29
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Originally posted by Falz
It couldn't be touched 4 years ago, but graphics have come a long way since then. It doesn't stand up to most tech demos in the last two years, but I guess those are not technically screen savers.
Falz, - Could you be specific about what you are making comparisons with?

Now when I look at the original aquarium, it looks to me like paper fishes swimming in 2D left and right with it's stale, lifeless background and bitmap bubble column.
Could you tell me which version that was? - I've had most of them, and NONE have fitted that description.

In fact, would you tell us which is 'THE BEST' aquarium screensaver you have seen, - or the best screensaver of ANY kind you care to recommend?
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Old 10-31-2004, 09:31 PM   #30
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Well I think the Goldfish aquarium is the best, but there's probably better since. I haven't looked for a while, actually I've been wanting to get a real tank.

In terms of graphics, well any of the tech demos by Ati/Nvidia. Like Dawn or something. Those are impressive. To be honest the 3D demos in 3DMark rarely impressed me, they're using all the fancy pixel shader effects and everything but their artists aren't that talented.

The fish in original aquarium are still very nice artistically, when I called them "paper" I was referring to the way they swim. The static background seems pretty lifeless to me now, and if you can't tell that the bubble column is just a pair of bitmaps with nothing dynamic or random about them, then I think you're kidding yourself.

I'm not criticising Jim I'm just saying that just like with anything else (ie. films) what was "wow" 4 years ago becomes "ho hum" eventually. The 3D background and more realistic fish movement would have revitalised the aquarium, but when he's got other stuff to work on and most people who are ever going to buy the aquarium have bought it, it's probably time to move on.
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Old 10-31-2004, 09:33 PM   #31
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Oh I liked that sharks one too... though to be honest, I just use the built in XP logo screen screensaver. It's better from a power consumption point of view
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Old 10-31-2004, 09:39 PM   #32
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Oh Jimbo, I think at this point anything different is welcome. Even with Star Wars you can still watch the old versions if you don't prefer the new ones. Problem is of course you have to live with inferior formats (VHS). It's not like those old aquraiums will stop working when you release a new one (unless you have some devious copy protection device, muhaha).

I know there have been many upgrades, but they pretty much just added new fish, fixed bugs etc. The overall "look" hasn't changed since day one. Actually, it's really just the background and (lack of) fish movement that lets it down. The fish models still stand up today. To have them swimming from new angles in a 3D environment is something I think we've all been dreaming off since day one (probably including you).
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:16 PM   #33
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Thanks for your comments, and especially for presenting your views in such a civil manner.

One minor point - when you say that most people who are going to buy the Aquarium have already bought it, the evidence is all to the contrary. Online sales are still extremely good, and store sales are through the roof (not that I get much from them). Despite tens of millions of downloads, the vast majority of computer users have still never heard of the Aquarium. So, as we approach the 5-year mark, the product may only be about halfway through its useful life.

The point being, from a money standpoint, I don't actually HAVE to do any more work on the Aquarium, or anything else (assuming I live frugally and give up my plans to make movies). The only real reason for me to continue to work on it is to break new ground. I'm interested to see if the other aquarium programs being discussed in the other thread are a worthy challenge, because I've been waiting a very long time for one. Sadly, they are far too big for me to download, so I haven't actually seen them yet.

By the way, when evaluating aquarium programs (including their own) Prolific uses a very simple test: How many seconds would someone be fooled into thinking they are watching real fish from about 5 feet away from the screen? (Obviously the first pass-through would kill the illusion rather quickly.)
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Old 11-01-2004, 02:27 AM   #34
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Jim,
I prefer MA over Goldfish without hesitation. It's far more realistic-looking.

Falz,
Could you link to "Any of the tech demos by ATi/nVidia"? Especially all the ones with aquariums as I would be very interested in seeing/having those. If anyone of those run smoothly on my GeForce 4 MX 440SE here at work it would be even cooler.

In my opinion the only SS which can touch MA (and Sharks – I like Sharks ) is the brand new AquaGarden (released late last week). Not an overwhelming opposition, ne?

/Tiny Curiosity
Thanks to Morgan, Tiny Snapshots is up and running again with "Tiny Järvafält" as the latest addition – Go have a look and tell me what you think.

"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent.
I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says,
'Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.'
I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
" /Robert Oppenheimer on witnessing the first thermonuclear detonation in history.
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:05 AM   #35
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Sounds like I've really got to check out this Aquagarden...
I don't watch commercials.
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:07 AM   #36
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Falz, - I can agree with you about the Goldfish 'fish', they are beautiful! (Though I find their desire to stay at the sides of the tank irritating), - but I can not agree with you about the rest of the GA tank.
It's a matter of personal opinion isn't it? - To me, that 'rock' in GA is a poorly made fibreglass molding, and I don't like the plastic/dead blurry looking plants. - How you can prefer the blurry background of GA over the pin sharp detail of the coral in MA, I find surprising.

A 3D 'effect' is not an end in it's self, IMO. - I find Jim's 2D corals infinitely more realistic than the so called 3D plants/rock in GA. I have downloaded most of the other fish screensavers over the past few years. NONE have yet reached the standard of MA! - Two recent ones, AquaZone and AquaGarden, have some nice details, but require much work still to be done on fish movement, (AquaZone), and fish/plant avoidance, (AquaGarden).

ps,
For me, Sharks has got serious perspective problems! - The most realistic is still MA, but keep an eye on AquaGarden!
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Old 11-01-2004, 09:10 AM   #37
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Cliff -

I was at Prolific last week and saw the latest Sharks Beta. It's vastly improved, especially the full screen with nothing but sharks. The movement is now much more realistic.
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:11 PM   #38
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Mmmmmmm... ..sharks...
Thanks to Morgan, Tiny Snapshots is up and running again with "Tiny Järvafält" as the latest addition – Go have a look and tell me what you think.

"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent.
I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says,
'Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.'
I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
" /Robert Oppenheimer on witnessing the first thermonuclear detonation in history.
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:00 PM   #39
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I heard about this from Edgar a few weeks ago, but without any specfic details.
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:36 PM   #40
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Thanks Jim, - that's good to know! ... sounds interesting!
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