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Version 1.10


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#1 Joshua Pilkington

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:18 PM

It's been a while since my last release, but rest assured I have been working on ChronoWall the entire time.

I planned on waiting until my latest feature (generating the background using the GPU) had been finished. However, there were a few bug reports that necessitated a new release.

First and foremost, you can now generate the background and collages using the GPU - sort of. In its current state, you are still limited to static backgrounds. In addition, since this feature is largely untested, I have made it a hidden feature (i.e. you will have to edit some configuration files in order to enable it). Collage generation via the GPU is also in a halfway finished state, as only the White and Glass border modes are supported. Furthermore, captions are not supported. Still, the benefits of using the GPU far outweigh the cons, simply due to the dramatic decrease in CPU usage (and increase in speed!) when using image effects and collages.

When this feature is finalized, you will be able to see a constantly-changing background - i.e. you will be able to "play" through the image effects timeline in real-time on your desktop.

In order to enable generating the background via the GPU, you will need to follow these steps (in order):
- Install ChronoWall 1.10
- Launch ChronoWall normally
- Open the settings view and click on 'Collage Options...'
- After the new window opens, click 'OK'. Wait for the groups and images to reload.
- Exit ChronoWall (make sure it closes completely)
- Click on Start -> 'Run...' (or hold down the windows key and press 'R')
- Type in %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\ChronoWall and press Enter
- In this new window, open the file ChronoWall.xml (the one without any extra numbers after it) in notepad or any other text editor
- Find the line <use_direct3d>FALSE</use_direct3d> and change it to <use_direct3d>TRUE</use_direct3d>
- Save ChronoWall.xml
- Restart ChronoWall

Your background should now be generated via Direct3D! Note that you must have a computer that supports Direct3D 9.0c (and pixel shaders 2.0a or 2.0b) to use this feature. To see how much faster the effects are, you can double-click on any image in a group to launch the "Image Effects" dialog. This dialog also takes advantage of Direct3D. Effects such as bloom and sharpen are now instantaneous.

It still isn't perfect, as it still uses GDI+ to actually draw the generated image to a bitmap. When this feature is finalized, ChronoWall will draw directly to the desktop when viewing image effects in real-time.

Bug fixes are shown in the release notes below:


(BUGFIX)

If Daylight Saving Time was disabled, ChronoWall would not launch. This has been fixed


(BUGFIX)

During a leap year, groups set to display by date would appear one day early. This has been fixed. Season-based groups were not affected by this bug.


(FEATURE)

You can now generate the background via the GPU


You can download the latest version at http://chronowall.co/downloads.php

To upgrade, first exit ChronoWall and install the new version over the existing one. You do not need to uninstall the old version. If you are unable to upgrade due to the file 'DesktopTransition.dll' (or 'DesktopTransition64.dll') being locked, log off and log back on and try the installation again.

Enjoy the fixes/features in this latest release! :) If you are brave enough, try out the Direct3D feature and let me know if you have any issues.





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