Thursday, March 26, 2015

The sloooooow month.

A period where the output from development slows happens from time to time. Usually it’s down to the optimistic developer under estimating a task, unexpected bugs or some external time soak. This month has been like that, but with an added “planning to put too much into the next release” tagged on.

To stick to the “release early, release often” mantra I’ve decided to release the one new feature I’ve added over the past few weeks. It’s a new chart which shows the channel allocation and signal strength of each reporting access point.

I had this chart in an early version of APHound but decided against releasing it because I could never get enough clarity in the display of the data when the number of access points grew. It just looked jumbled. But I was tweaking the colour and opacity of the bars in the chart and I think it now looks good enough to release.

This feature will be for the Plus version only since I’ve decided that version needs more to differentiate it from the Free edition.

All going well I should have a new release out this coming weekend.

Monday, March 9, 2015

V1.1 Released

Bugs. Only it was the flu that delayed the v1.1 release rather than something in the code. Still, APHound v1.1 was released last night and is now available for download from the APHound website.

The main aim of this release is to finish off some features which didn’t make the launch version and to address a couple of small defects.

New Features

  • Added a “Last Seen” date and time to the access points.
  • Added a new split-bar to the window to allow for better use of the display area.
  • Added a pop-up context menu to the access point list for more check/uncheck options.
  • Added access point grouping.


  • Improvements to local data storage. This was primarily the introduction of SQLite which will be required for future features.
  • Retain access point information on screen rather than remove them after they stop appearing in scan data.
  • UI change to make the access point list a little better looking and to add some functionality to it.


  • The installer wasn’t setting the application version information correctly.
  • Occasionally an access point would remain on the charts even when de-selected.
  • Include channel 13 and appropriate spacing to channel 14.

All of the changes apply to both the Free and Plus editions.

Work now starts on v1.2 which, looking at the list of potential changes for inclusion in the release, will be more focused on the Plus edition.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Towards v1.1

I’m approaching the end of the third week post-v1 launch and I’m still pleased with where things are.

The website stats took a slight dip towards the end of last week but they’re now back up and showing steady day on day increases.

I’d opted for a sort of “soft release” for V1 since I knew there were a couple of things I’d rather have in place before kicking off any AdWords campaigns or sending out more information far and wide. Those things will be addressed in V1.1 which is now code/feature complete. The initial soak tests to check memory and resource use are done too.

I’d originally intended to release APHound v1.1 towards the end of February but with a fair wind it looks like this weekend might be possible. The changes for v1.1 open up some exciting (well I think so :) )  possibilities for v1.2 which I’m really looking forward to getting started on.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

One Week On

It’s a week since APHound v1.0 was released so I thought I’d pop up a quick update.

The web stats for the site continue to look reasonably good and they’re still slightly better than I expected them to be at this point. Downloads of the Free Edition continue to be slightly higher than anticipated. It’s likely that over the course of the next week I’ll look at the initial Google AdWords campaign.

Development on v1.1 is on track and nearing completion already and I’ll be looking to move that into a release candidate test phase over the next week.

The main focus for v1.1 has been the introduction of SSID grouping in the access point list with the initial version simply grouping the SSID list according to SSID name. Networks with multiple access points of the same SSID will be grouped together, single access point per SSID networks will appear as a single grouping and any access points which have stopped reporting will move into a “non-reporting” group. Grouping can be enabled and disabled via a new menu option.

Custom groupings will start to make an appearance from v1.2.

Another key reason for the quick move from v1.0 to v1.1 is that I want to give the upgrade process a good end to end shakedown and this quick release of v1.1 will enable that to happen.

Back to work!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Release Day + 3

APHound was released on 1st Feb, 3 days ago, so what’s happening now?

Actually, I’m pretty pleased with the stats from the website. The visitor counts are higher than I hoped for over the first few days and the free edition is starting to be downloaded.

The aim for the first week was just to see visitors on the site, maybe a handful of downloads too, and then to have a look at the site analytics to see how people were browsing.

Work on v1.1 is progressing and I know what changes will be in that release. It’ll include a couple of small bug fixes which missed v1 and also a small UI refresh for the access point list to include the first version of SSID groups. Under the covers will be the introduction of SQLite for some data handling.

So, not an Earth shattering first update, but enough to push the application forward and also test the upgrade mechanism. It’s also an “enabler” release which paves the way for features planned in v1.2 and v1.3.

Timetable wise I’m aiming for the end of February for v1.1.

And our dog Hank is doing well too!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Release the hound!

The last item on the v1 release checklist has been complete and the holding page on the website removed.

APHound v1.0 has been released.

Full details on the website at

The Free edition is free for personal use and for use by registered charitable organisations. Business users can purchase a licence for the Plus edition.

I’d say a short break is in order before continuing (yes it’s already started) v1.1.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Good to go!

Today was a big push to try and recover some of the lost time from last week.

My development PC is working well after it’s upgrade to Windows 8.1.

I had to install Stardock’s Fences again – just makes life so much easier. And I’m trying out their Windows 8 start menu Start8. I say trying it out but after using it for a day I won’t be uninstalling it. It’s just too good.

A coffee fuelled morning resulted in the website being completed and a number of end to end tests for purchase/install/update with a real build of the software. The tests highlighted a couple of small issues which were easily corrected.

The afternoon ended with the help files complete. To be honest there’s not much to them but they take time because of the image generation and actually writing the text. Again, the Dr. Explain package was a great help.

So, as I type, all of the build configurations (Debug, Release, Demo) for both the Free Edition and the Plus Edition have just completed with zero warnings and errors.

My I’ll finish off a check in to the repository and tag the release then I’ll put my feet up for the evening with a beer.

Release day is tomorrow!