Monday, November 24, 2003

Documentation, basic versions and pricing

Status right now is that I have sent all strings for translation to Italian and German and I'm now working on the new documentation which will be in HTML Help format this time.

I have lots of ideas to improve the pit stop planning page but I haven't yet decided if I shall include those now or later. The last official release was in April 2002 so it feels as if it's time to release something really soon... :-) But since there is a new storage format for setups and all old setups has to be converted it would be nice to handle all conversions at once. Decisions, decisions...

Basic versions
The basic versions are new for v3.0 and the differences from the Pro versions are the following (for the time being):

- Only one timing grid (driver 1)
- Only one maintenance group
- Only one part status group
- Only one setup for each track, it is automatically named as "track name".set
- No tire database
- No handling for tire circumference (Car & Kart versions)
- No pit stop planning functionality
- No HTML-export of compared sessions
- No HTML-export of part status
- No statistics
- No association to datalogging file

Prices will go up when v3.0 is released, the US Dollar has lost about 30% of its value compared to the Swedish Krona in the last two years so the prices will be at least 30% higher. The basic versions will be around 100 USD with possibility to upgrade to a Pro version.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Tracks in v3.0

In v3.0 it is possible to import tracks and my ambition is to have a bunch of tracks for each country downloadable as zipfiles from the Tracktimer site. The zipfiles are nothing but normal Tracks folders but named as "Scandinavian Tracks", "American Tracks" and so on.

The idea is to first download the desired zipfile, open it and by using the "Import Tracks" button in TT you are prompted to select the tracks.txt file in the "Scandinavian Tracks" folder (for instance). All tracks in that folder are listed with a small checkbox, those tracks you already have are also listed but the checkbox is disabled so they cannot be imported.
This way you can always get the latest track information complete with track maps, lengths, contact information and more.
New in v3.0 (when will I ever release this?) is that you can also link to (and watch) a movie file from for example an on-board lap for that track.
So if anyone has collected lots of track information and are willing to share that please zip the tracks-folder and e-mail it to me and I will make sure it gets published on the site.

Yesterday I also made the "multiple-session-comparision" function a lot faster, it's really good to run programs on r-e-a-l-l-y slow computers during developement! (my laptop is a Pentium 90 with 32 MB RAM...)

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Best laps

Added a new node in the completed sessions tree view. You can now see a list of the sessions with the best lap time for each track with filters on year, driver, frame and engine. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it is a quite nice feature anyway.

Also implemented the symmetric editing flag in the new car suspension layout.

Users that have created subdirectories for stored sessions and setups have not been able to see those in the Completed Sessions tab or to export statistics. Now Tracktimer looks "deep" in the directory structure so all these sessions/setups will be available for comparision, htmlexport, statistics and so on.

Reseller information has been sent out to all my Share-It customers, only two has responded so far though...
The good thing about this reseller idea is that if anyone asks you about the program you can simply tell them that a) it rocks and b) they can buy it online directly from your website! All orders made from your site will give you 20% commission so five orders and you have your money back!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Resellers now working!

I asked share-it about my needs and they had a brilliant solution for this! All users registered at share-it will get more information in a few days on how to become a reseller. If you are a user and got the program any other way please send me an e-mail and I will get back to you.

Yesterday the "Update tires from database" button was implemented and also the possibility to export selected sessions from the "Sessions - Completed" tab. This tab has a lot more functionality in v3.0 than before, a screenshot is coming up soon! I also made some improvements in the manual import of laptimes, in v3.0 you can import from UltraLap and PI software too.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Anyone interested in knowing about my long-term ideas concerning Tracktimer?

Sharing setup information
In the future when you buy a racebike/car/kart you will also get a backup of that users Tracktimer data. You don't own Tracktimer yet but by using the trial version you can look and use the data you just like you can with the full version apart from that you cannot save anything (except track data details).
Then later if you decide that you want to continue using Tracktimer you simply buy it.

All old customers are potential resellers
Now comes the next step, all former customers can act like resellers! (Provided that share-it agrees on it, nothing ready yet). By signing up as an author on share-it you will get an author ID and by using that ID in the link to the order pages all orders will be "marked" with your ID and you will automatically receive a 20% (not decided the exact percentage yet) provision that also is payed out to you automatically every month or when you reach a certain sum. Since most of my users are on a level of racing where a web site is more or less necessary this will be very easy to implement, just add a few links and it's done.

Svensk Bilprovning AB
The "Tracktimermobile" (or chaosmobile as I prefer to call it) were thoroughly "dissected" today by the Swedish "car testing facility", something we have to do each year. All went well, new brake pads has to be installed though...

Here are some pictures of the car in case anyone is curious... :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

So, what's up with Tracktimer?

First of all I have been working hard to make it translatable by moving all static texts to resource strings. I have tried different translation tools and have decided to use dxgettext which works just great and is also free of charge.

I have also tried to remove a lot of the windows controls in the program to make it use less system resources, very important if you are running an OS older than Windows NT4.0. Also most input fields now have "memory" so you can choose from previously entered values in a "click-list".

The new basic versions are also working for all vehicle types. You can only have one setup for each track in these versions but that will hopefully be good enough for many users.

I have also added a very powerful tire database that more or less automatically updates your tires with number of laps, tracks, drivers and so on. Some more work remains here, like an "Update from database" button to get the latest mileage and circumference values to a new tire setup. This works if you reload the tire setup but I will also make a button to fix it faster.