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!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sod’s Law

If something can go wrong, it will.

My last post was about how well things were going and how I was aiming for a V1 release of APHound on Jan 31st (tomorrow). A tweet last Friday said I’d pencilled in Jan 30th as V1 day.

Things were proceeding nicely, release checklist items were being ticked off, the code was locked and tagged in SVN, the website just needed some text tweaks and a couple of new screenshots, the integration with E-junkie for and onwards to PayPal and my new 2Checkout account was done.

Then the snowball started.

Our dog, Hank, had trouble getting out of his bed last Saturday, he was in obvious discomfort and was having trouble standing. Hank is my ISV buddy. When I was working on StrokePlay he was my reason to take breaks and go for  a walk.

Hank’s a big part of the family so there was no delay in getting him to the emergency vet. The suspect was a back injury so pain meds and rest was the initial advice.

Roll on Sunday and he’s worse. So off to our regular we went. More pain meds and an appointment on Monday for X-Rays. Monday was a worried blur. The diagnosis at the end of the day was arthritis in the spine and a potential kidney issue.

Now we know what’s up. Hank will be on long term pain meds, more rest and a new kidney friendly diet.

The snowball effect?

Hank needs care at home for the next while. Luckily my current client is very flexible and I was able to up my remote working ratio. To make that work I needed a few changes to my development environment, the biggest being an upgrade to Windows 8.1 for the Windows Phone emulators in Visual Studio.

Who on earth thought a viable upgrade path from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8.1 Pro would be best served as : carry over user settings and documents but make the user re-install all of their applications? Mind boggling, and a time soak.

After fighting through disk moves and the reinstallation of Windows 8.1 I thought I was there. Nope, there were further issues when I installed the emulators (network related) and the installation of 8.1 seemed to have effects on the remaining Windows 7 installation. It was all eventually sorted.

That must be all now! Yeah, right.

2Checkout. Having selected them as my alternate payment handler I went through the application process, provided all the documentation they asked for and after a short time the application was approved. That kicked off my work to integrate them with E-junkie and add them to the new website. Just after that work was complete I received an email saying they’d decided not to offer an account after all and they promptly closed it. Emails are flying backwards and forwards now to ascertain what’s going on.

The downside? I’m about 3 days behind where I need to be.

The upside? Hank is much better and we now know he has a couple of issues we can help him with.

Perspective. Everything I’m doing on the ISV side can be easily accommodated and timescales adjusted just now. Hank needed my attention and that’s where the attention went.

Still on track for v1. Just a couple of days adrift.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Almost there.

I’m, unbelievably, still on schedule for a release and have resisted the need to continually tweak APHound. At the end of December I was planning the first release in “the next few weeks”. I’m still running with that plan and the target is no later than January 31st.

The feature set has been locked for the initial free and “Plus” editions, they’re working, building, have installers and I’ve moved on to the other items that need to be in place for the first release.

A website is sitting with a completed layout and scheme - just requiring some final text, screenshots and a couple of buttons to link to the shopping cart for the Plus edition.

I’m progressing an application with 2Checkout for card handling which I’ll link to the eJunkie cart.

Licence key generation and verification is done.

This weekend is all about help files. I’d like to finish those off by tomorrow evening.

I have to say that this time round, having already been through the software development and release cycle with StrokePlay pro, I seem much more prepared and far less rushed. It almost seems like I’m too ready, like I’ve forgotten something. But I can’t find anything.

So, on with the help files.