Mini-Compressor and Windows 10 Upgrade

We’ve recently had some inquiries regarding Mini-Compressor on Windows 10. More specifically, customers who have been using it without problems, and are now experiencing trouble after upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8.

We hope this will help those of you potentially with this problem.

First of all, Mini-Compressor works on Windows 10.  The problem seems to be when users upgrade to Windows 10.

After successfully upgrading to Windows 10, you need to uninstall Mini-Compressor then re-install it. If you’re not sure how to do this, here are the steps.

1. Go to your Windows Start bar and search for “Control Panel”

Windows10TaskbarWithSearch

2. In Control Panel, click on “Uninstall a Program” under “Programs”

Control Panel

 

 

3. In the Name column, right click on “Mini-Compressor” and choose “Uninstall”.

Uninstall

This should take a few minutes.  Once it is finished, “Mini-Compressor” will no longer appear in the Name column and we will start fresh.

4. Go to where you downloaded* the Mini-Compressor Install program and double-click on it to install.  It should take a few minutes.

5. When it is complete, you will be able to right-click on your photo file in the Windows File Explorer, and get the Mini-Compressor menu choice in your right-click menu, just like before.

* Remember, after you have purchased Mini-Compressor once, you can re-download it from www.saturdaymp.com/downloads when needed.  Just enter the email address that you used to purchase Mini-Compressor.  A download link will be emailed to you.

If you still need help, by all means, send us an email at support(at)saturdaymp.com, describing what errors or problems you got along the way.

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Surprises Using Azure

Are you a MSDN subscriber?  Thinking about using Azure because of the sweet sweet credits you get for being a MSDN subscriber?  Maybe you want to switch because they are one of few cloud providers that have Windows operating systems.

Well I did switch.  Below are features, or missing features, in Azure that surprised me.

Azure has two interfaces and APIs

When login to Azure for the first time it asks if you want to use the new portal.  Sure you say, why not.  Then you go to create a new virtual machine in the new interface.  When creating the virtual machine you get asked if you want a legacy VM or a fancy new type of VM.  A new VM you say.  Great says Azure and you create the VM.

It’s only much later that you find out the new VMs won’t work with any existing tools.  They have their own API and Powershell commands so plugins like the TeamCity one don’t work.  Hurray.  Also all the documentation you will find will mostly talk about the old lecacy system.  Finally the new GUI interface is still missing some stuff, like creating a IP address.  You can only do that with PowerShell commands.

Starting a Virtual Machine is Slow but Gets Better

When you start a virtual machine in Azure it takes longer then you think it would.  That said once it’s up and running performance is acceptable.

You can’t create snapshot of Azure

This was my biggest surprise.  I was used to creating a snapshot, doing something crazy on the virtual machine, then restore the snapshot.  Super useful for testing a new upgrade for staging.  For some reason you can’t do this with Azure.  I have no idea why.

Azure Has Lots of Ready to Go VM Images

Although you can’t take snapshots Azure does have lots of ready to go out the box virtual machine images.  This includes development images such as VS 2015, Windows Servers, and even various flavours of Linux such as Ubuntu.

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Happy New Year from Saturday Morning Productions!

It’s almost time to put the Christmas decorations away, take down the lights, and finish digesting that turkey we’ve all been working on. We hope you’ve all had wonderful holidays surrounded by those you love as well.

We’ve been working on something else too (aside from that turkey, and I think I’m nearing the bottom of the roaster now) – our goal app. We’ve written about it a bit already, touching more on the technical aspects of things but also about its inception. So where are we now in the process?

“Our Little Goal-Achieving Friend” (as its come to be known) has taken on a life of its own. At the beginning of December, Ada, Alice and I all worked separately on concept sketches. What would the screen shots look like? How would things we worded? How would concepts flow from one to another? When we reconvened, we were all impressed with each other’s work, and I was particularly struck with how complementary our skill sets were. Alice’s thorough and sensitive wording really worked with the vision we have for our app. Ada’s technical acumen meant that logical flow from one step to the next made sense. I dare say my artsy side came in handy – I had a great time drawing how I imagined each screen looking. We combine the best of our collective ideas and met a week later, refining and revising our vision.

So where are we now? 2016 is around 72 hours away. Once again, I am caught by surprise that the year went by so quickly (even though I know it’s coming, it’s always a bit of a shock). I’m not one for making new year’s resolutions, but our goal at Saturday Morning Productions is to have our “Little Goal Achieving Friend” up, functional, on your phone and helping you be your best self ever. So I guess our goal is to make something that helps make goals.

That must be a meta-goal.

Happy new year, everyone!

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Merry Christmas!

Chris, Ada, Alice, and Liv will be taking some time off to spend time with our family and friends over the holidays.  And hopefully find some time to see the new Star Wars movie.

The basement office will be dark, well darker than usual, from December 24th to January 3rd.  You can still try to contact us but it might take us a couple days to respond to you.

We wish you all the best over the holidays.

P.S. – We are working a new app and would like you help.  Please take the survey.  Not only will you help us but, a charity as well.  Thank you.

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Mini-Compressor Install Error

Update: The below issue has been fixed in Mini-Compressor version 1.6.1 which can be found on our Download page.  Thank you for your patience.

We have confirmed an error when installing Mini-Compressor.  If you get one of the errors below, or something similar, we have a workaround until the error is fixed.

12002 https://download.microsoft.com/download/3/3/3/33352088-D63F-431D-8276-D013822D1870/VC_redist.x64.exe

Mini-Compressor 12002 Error

Visual C++ “14” Runtime Libraries (x64) mandatory prerequisite was not correctly installed.

Mini-Compressor Visual C++ 14 Runtime Error

The workaround is to manually install the Visual C++ 14 Runtime Libraries which you can find at:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id=48145

Sorry for the inconvenience and we will let you know when this issue is fixed.

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Migrator 0.9.2 Beta Released

smallgooseVersion 0.9.2 (beta) of Migrator is now available for download.

This release fixed a show stopping issue where Migrator would not work on some older versions of SQL.  It also fixed an issue with the order dependencies are scripted. See the release notes for all the details.

Documentation about using and installing Migrator can be found at on the wiki.  If you find a bug with this release please let us know by entering a new issue.

Happy Holidays!

P.S. – Help us and charity by taking a survey.  Thanks in advance.

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We are working on an app!

I was a little late to jump on the smart phone bandwagon. I resisted for years, scoffing inwardly at those who wove their way through society, heads down, engrossed in their imaginary worlds of bright screens and black plastic cases. Curiosity got the better of me, though; two years ago I finally caved and acquired an Android. It met a prompt and sudden death when it went sailing off a counter and onto an unforgiving and indifferent concrete floor. I caved and bought a shock-proof case for my next phone the very next day.

I was very sure that I didn’t want my phone to supercede my need for in-person conversations with friends, insistent that I not fade into to ranks of pseudo-social relationships predicated upon social media updates and incessant text messages. I was much more sure of my phone’s potential as a tool – a means to an end, rather than an end unto itself. I downloaded some apps, including obvious ones like a memo minder, an email platform, photo-sharing, and (of course) umpteen games featuring cats. I kept the useful ones and eventually deleted the non-useful ones. Between all of that, I wondered: how does one actually build an app?

Fast-forward to my Saturday Morning Productions days. We are working on an app. I can’t tell you what it is just yet, but I can tell you that a mind-boggling amount of work must occur before it ever sees the light of your smartphone screen. We are first faced with the fundamental quandary of “how will we stand out among the millions of apps that already exist?” How do we find our niche? It’s going to be an interesting journey. It already is. The Saturday Morning Productions team is busy brainstorming away, sketching concepts, drawing logic flow-charts, coding, and all those things that I never thought about before I had a smart phone.

It’ll be a little while before our collective brainchild is born, but our goal is to create something that you use everyday and, when you use it, you think “gee, this is cool and really useful!” We think it’s cool so far and will become more and more useful as we revise and refine our work. That’s all I can disclose for now – we don’t want to completely spoil the surprise – but before I drop more tantalizing clues, I have a favour to ask of you…

Because we’re developing an app, we’re conducting some R & D. Would you fill out our survey? Click here. It’ll take a minute or so and for every survey completed, Saturday Morning Productions will donate a dollar (up to a total of $1000) to a local charity.

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The Smiling Goose

Migratory animals keep finding me, no matter where I find myself in life. Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Liv, and I am a new member of the Saturday Morning Productions team. I have never taken a computer class in my life, other than keyboarding on a rickety Apple with “Alphaworks” on one of those giant black floppy disks when I was in junior high, but I somehow found myself sitting at a table with a rather techno-savvy crowd.

It started with a smiling goose.

I am a wildlife biologist who tends to work more in the food industry than directly in the world of science. I studied migratory caribou for nearly a decade, but like my study animal, wanderlust got to me and I ended up working at a restaurant where I met Ada. We clicked right away and, when we both left to pursue other interests, wanted to continue working together. Ada and Chris broached the subject of me growing the social media aspect of Saturday Morning Productions, to which I happily agreed.

However, when I learned about their Migrator program, which “migrates” large databases, an image sprang to mind. A happy goose carrying a database icon. I sketched it out and coloured it in. A smiling goose, wings in a big “V” toting a yellow cylinder, all set against a bright blue sky. I created a digital version and soon the Migrator logo was hatched. It struck me immediately. Another migratory animal found me; geese are certainly a case study in terms of animals that undertake long-distance seasonal migrations. This helpful goose, i.e., me, will help you smile when you need to migrate a large set of data, and provide some humour out there in the world of twitter and Facebook.

 

smallgoose

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Why I Created Migrator

OUM

Once upon a time in the far off land there a young handsome software developer.  This developer married the fairest maiden in the land and together they formed a company to slay problem monsters that prevented others from getting stuff done.  After a couple of successful adventures of banishing problem monsters the developer was asked by another problem monster slaying company to help deal with a monster bugging the local government.  The developer agreed to help.

After some investigation the monster plaguing the local government could be slayed by .NET 3-tiered application quest.  In this case, the 3 parts of the quest were creating the web interface, the business logic, and finally the database.  To complete the tasks all members of the company had to work together and share their work.

Sharing code changes for the web and business parts of the quest was easy and every member of the company knew how to do it.  Using a magical repository of code holding, in this case SVN, code is easily shared between developers.

However, sharing database changes had always been a challenge.  It was not the initial creation of the database but sharing database changes with other developers on the team. This task was fraught with difficulties and in previous quest had resulted in injuries and sometimes casualties.  There was also difficultly in migrating the changes from the Development database to UAT and finally Production.

In previous quests the developer had used a shared development database where all members of the company developed against the same database.  This had several drawbacks including developers locking the database and overwriting other developers’ changes. It could also result in developers making changes to the database that work with their uncommitted code but not with developers who do not yet have the uncommitted changes.

Our brave and handsome developer, who mostly studied the .NET form of developer magic, had started dabbling in other forms for development magic.  One new form of magic, called Ruby on Rails, appeared to have solved the database sharing problem.  Rails had a mystical ritual called Active Record Migrations.

In this ritual each developer has their own local copy of the database to use during development.  Database changes are stored in source control as a migration file.  There is then a process that takes the migrations and applies them to the local developer’s database.

Our developer wanted to apply the Active Record Migrations ritual to this new quest he was but couldn’t find an existing potion.  So he created his own.

While he tweaked it – looking for eye of newt and frog’s breath – it was his own personal potion to use.  But once it turned the right shade of fluorescent purple, he knew it was the right time to share it with the world.

Behold!  Migrator!

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Product Release – Migrator

As the outdoor temperatures quickly drop, the Saturday MP basement dwellers are migrating back to warmth and kicking up productivity. We’ve been working really hard and are so excited to make this announcement!

We are proud to release Migrator to the public!

<Intentional dramatic pause>

Migrator is an easy-to-use, migration tool for SQL Server Databases, inspired by the Ruby on Rails migration process. Use it to migrate database changes between developers and then migrate those changes to the UAT, staging, and production databases.

Chris originally developed Migrator for client work 5 years ago and continues to use it today.

If you really like the product, please consider making a contribution.  Various ways are listed on the Migrator page.  It helps us continue dedicating our time to creating and maintaining quality tools (to help you get stuff done).

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