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Beta 2.2 Released

New version released, adding the ability to move, and alter the size of the selected area. I’m not totally happy with how the white squares look, but it’ll do for now.

I didn’t mention 2.1, but that was just a quick bug fix, and an optimisation when you are resizing the form horizontally or vertically and the image size doesn’t change.

I should add that the bug wasn’t mine: There’s a problem with the DrawImage function in .NET which offsets the image by (-0.5, -0.5) when the image is smaller then the drawing area. A couple of hours were wasted combing through my code before I worked out what was happening. If anyone is here after googling it, a workround is to set the Graphics.PixelOffsetMode to PixelOffsetMode.Half (and then recheck the size because it goes off a little).


Beta 2.0 Released

(There were not as many things to fix as I expected)

At last, here’s the first major version change. You can now click on the image, and drag a rectangle while holding the button down to select an area of the image to process. Clicking anywhere once will clear the selection. It’s pretty basic at the moment, but improvements will be made over the next few weeks.


Beta 1.7 Released

Just procrastinating with little changes before I start on a big feature, so nothing major:
Moved ASCII ramp and ‘Choose Font’ button onto the text tab, with real-time updating of the text image when the ramp changes, and removed the corresponding widget.
Added Brightness/Contrast widget Minimum/Maximum properties – I really don’t know why I had added half of the code then forgot to finish it.


Beta 1.6 Released

The new picturebox class is in, with a last minute hack to avoid a memory hogging problem by disposing of the images manually instead of waiting for the garbage collector. Which, by the way, wasn’t easy when the images might have multiple possible references to themselves. It would have been so much neater if I could have inherited Bitmap into a new class and added a counter to check if it could be disposed, but it had to be a sealed class didn’t it…

Also, I improved the conversion speed by applying the Brightness/Contrast/Greyscale matrix to the image after resizing instead of during. The whole DrawImage() with ImageAttributes thing is very slow.

Get it here as usual: http://ascgen2.sourceforge.net


Update

My plan was to update this blog with each new major feature (which would have a major version update, ie ?.x.?) but it’s taking too long so I’ll just update this randomly. If you just want to be told when new versions are released, Sourceforge has an rss feed here: https://sourceforge.net/export/rss2_project.php?group_id=133786 (under File Releases).

There are a lot of little changes since the first release, the main one being my floating control widget things. Plus, lots of bug fixes so check it out.

I started writing a way to select an area of the image and decided that it wasn’t possible at the speed my picturebox class was updating. I’ve spent a lot of time rewriting it basically from scratch and it’s now pretty slick, so Beta 1.6 will be out in a few days after I’ve finished testing it, and the I can start implementing the area selection stuff.

This blog has been upgraded to the latest version of WordPress and comments are activated again, now with a captcha check so hopefully the spam will go away. Feel free to leave a message!


Download the Beta Preview Now

I’ve been messing about fixing little things and putting off releasing it for days now, and I could go on like that for ever. So I’ve decided just to go for it:
(REMOVED – newer version released)

A Sourceforge account is set up and I’ll be uploading there for future versions, but at the moment the source code isn’t quite ready to be released so I’m hosting the file here so as to not break their conditions.

No installer, no text files, just one executable to unzip and run. You need the .NET framework installed so if you don’t have it download it from the Windows Update page at Microsoft (it’s only been tested on v1.1). So, start it up, load an image, click on the text tab, maybe maximise the form, adjust the sliders a little then “File/Save as an Image…” and you’re done.

Remember: This isn’t an update of the old Ascii Generator, it’s a whole new program that looks and works differently. Many of the old features haven’t been carried over yet, and some of the more unnecessary ones will not be added. The main thing missing is the automatic ASCII ramp optimisation for the current font – at the moment it’s making do with a rough version of a ramp for Lucidia Console, which is why other fonts look a little off.

Reasons to use this over the old program:

    Text brightness, text contrast, and other effects can be altered on the Text tab in real-time. No more going back and forth clicking ‘Edit’ and trying different settings.
    The output can be resized and saved as an image automatically.

Leave comments/bugs/etc here or at the Sourceforge page.


Be ready

http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/downloads/framework1_1/

All Users: Check to See If You Have the .NET Framework Installed

You can check to see if you already have the .NET Framework 1.1 installed by clicking Start on your Windows desktop, selecting Control Panel, and then double-clicking the Add or Remove Programs icon. When that window appears, scroll through the list of applications. If you see Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 listed, the latest version is already installed and you do not need to install it again.

Note: Non-developers need to install the .NET Framework 1.1 to run applications developed using the .NET Framework 1.1.

In most cases, the creator of an application will alert you if you need to install the .NET Framework 1.1 Redistributable to run the application.

:siren: You need to install the .NET Framework 1.1 Redistributable to run the application. :siren:

However, with the number of .NET Framework-connected applications on the market growing rapidly, we encourage you to install the latest version of the .NET Framework 1.1 Redistributable if you haven’t already.

General Users: Install Through Windows Update

If you only want to run applications built using the .NET Framework 1.1, download the .NET Framework 1.1 from Microsoft Windows Update.