History of PictureGo!

The development of PictureGo! started in 1999. After I had bought my first digital camera, I wrote a program to watch my pictures in a slide show. Being an enthusiastic programmer, I continued to develop the program and version 8.2 is the thirtyninth release, so far....

Version 2.1 - January 2003

After version 2.0 was released, the first thing I did was to notify all the registered users. Since I changed the method of registration, also existing users had to re-register. About 10 out of the previously mentioned 140 users did, not too promising! I pretty much had to start counting registered users all over, major bummer!

So I started some promotion activities, looking for web sites and on line newsletters to get PictureGo! listed. The first I found was a Dutch newsletter called ,de Digitale Revolutie, (To the Dutch and Belgian readers: een echte aanrader!). This was an almost immediate success; as soon as the newsletter was released, it started raining registrations mainly from the Netherlands and Belgium.

De digitale revolutie

It got even better when PictureGo! appeared on Completely Free Software. I was busy for hours generating registration codes and replying to emails. Ok, I might exaggerate a little here, but one day I had well over 70 users registering! By now there are about 400 registered users; what I consider to be a small success. What strikes me is that many people register the program without even trying it first! After all, the unregistered copy of the program is also fully functional.

Completely free software

In the mean time I started developing version 2.1. Inspired after seeing a slide show with sound, I decided that was a feature PictureGo! missed. On top of that I thought it would be cool to be able to add text labels overlaying the pictures in a slide show. Easier said then done, the text labels gave me a real headache. At first I made it possible to define only one text label for a specific picture, but after that had been programmed, I thought 5 text labels would be more interesting. It was a real challenge to get it all right: properly aligning the labels, resizing pictures and dealing with different screen sizes. I sure spent hours and hours, week after week before completing this, but it was great fun to work on it.

A pretty useless example of a picture with 5 overlaying text labels. (Just to give you an idea...)

Already with the previous version, setting up a beta test team proved to be extremely useful. By now, it is my experience, that you,ll never hear a word again from 75% of the people signing up (sad, but true), but I was lucky to have one real motivated test user on the team. So, a big word of ,thanks, in this respect (again) goes out to Tom McCuen (Long Island, NY, USA). He provided me with a lot of valuable feedback and opened my eyes on a very important issue. Thank you Tom!

Also after extensive testing, most programs are not a 100% error free. And PictureGo! is not an exception. In this respect I partly depend on the willingness of users to report errors and to do it in a manner that,s useful to me. So please users: when you run into an bug, report it to me and when possible, send a screen shot along with it! Which brings me to the, now solved, XP-problem regarding Automatic Starting CD-ROM,s. ,Thanks, to the people that reported this error. I would never have found out about it myself using Windows ME.

So what will be next? I don,t know yet, I have some ideas, but nothing really concrete. If you have ideas yourself, or criticisms, please let me know. Also, if you know of web-sites or newsletters you think PictureGo! should be listed on, mail me. For version 2.1 I am aiming for a 1000 registered users, maybe too ambitious, but we,ll see. In the mean time: Have fun using PictureGo!

Auke Nijholt, the Netherlands, January 2003

Auke Nijholt