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The N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2011! Download 30+ custom programs!
   
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Author Topic: NANY 2011 Release: DCDisplay  (Read 26155 times)
nharding
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« on: June 11, 2010, 12:03:05 PM »

NANY 2011 Entry Information

Application NameDCDisplay
Version0.4
Short DescriptionComic/Magazine viewer
Supported OSesWindows XP,Vista,7
Download* DCDisplayInstaller0.4.rar (7231.58 KB - downloaded 1019 times.)
Comic Sources:
Author Neil Harding


Description
I wanted a replacement for CDisplay (which hasn't been worked on for years), so I am writing DCDisplay. I'm using XNA (although the application will be PC only, no XBox support is planned) as I wanted an excuse to learn C#.

Features
All the basic functionality is now supported, including next and previous (which uses a new sort algorithm that sorts more like English.) I am using a pixel shader to allow the contrast, saturation, brightness, deyellow, gamma, skew, lighten image near spine although the settings are not currently preserved.

Just added the database (which scans your hard drive for the entire contents and allow you to find duplicates based on names as well as contents). This is not the final version, but has most of the features that will be present.

Planned Features
I also want to add some graphical niceties (I want to do a comic style UI).

Screenshots
* DCDisplayInstaller0.4.rar (7231.58 KB - downloaded 1019 times.)

Usage
Installation
Download the zip file and decompress it, then run the setup.exe file and it will install it.

Using the Application
When you run the application for the first time it will display a small comic with instructions inside.
The main key you need is space, the controls are the same as CDisplay.

Uninstallation
Windows Control Panel / Add Remove Programs, or click the Uninstall DCDisplay link that is now added.


* 00 Cover.png (45.41 KB, 1123x1024 - viewed 1264 times.)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 12:20:32 PM by nharding » Logged
superboyac
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 12:08:28 PM »

Very nice!  I used to use Cdisplay.  Then I found another, more polished program called Comicrack.  Comicrack is great.  Full featured, organizes your comics also.  You can say it's more bloated than CDisplay, also.  But CDisplay is very very minimalist, which I like also.

Anyway, I just wanted to offer some encouragement.
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 12:12:50 PM »

Love it  thumbs up thumbs up
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Crush
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Hello dude!

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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 01:24:35 PM »

I also used CDisplay very often to read old comics and look forward to this replacement.
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nharding
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 08:44:42 AM »

If you want a sneak peek, then the first alpha version is available at installer and the source is available (you need Visual Studio Express 2008 C#, and XNA if you want to be able to build).

Neil Harding
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Crush
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 10:10:29 AM »

The links aren´t working. Is rapidshare down atm?
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mouser
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 10:16:34 AM »

screenshots please!
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nharding
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 10:19:12 AM »

Yes it appears as though it was down temporarily (they are supposed to be changing the system they use today, so I guess it went down sometime after I posted the links) and whilst writing the reply it came back up.
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tomos
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 05:24:30 AM »

Well I didnt have a clue what CDisplay was in it's time, but I read a share of comics online so I thought I'll try an 'I'm feeling lucky' install smiley

I see it's main purpose is to read cbr/cbz files - of which I dont have any cheesy - anyone know where I can get some free or cheap comics?
So I simply tried it out as a viewer.   

Observations so far:
it looks great. I like the idea & the shortcuts are nice and easy and very useful. I love the way the arrows simply move the image, even off-screen if you want

problems:
worked fine first couple of times but used a lot of cpu - 20% of dual core. Everything else struggled with it running in the background - jerky mouse etc.
Now it has started seizing up - even before I try to load anything. If I try to change to another app, I cant - alttab doesnt work etc. So I have to kill it.
I'm not sure what could have changed - could it be it's trying to go to the images I last looked at? I did see a flash of an image the last time I started it & then it went to the intro image.

BTW where is the install? I couldnt find it - is it in the unpacked zip file? The shortcut on the desktop doesnt seem to be a normal shortcut - it only shows the path to itself!
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Tom
nharding
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 07:45:59 AM »

I used the "publish" application in Visual Studio, but it produces a weird installation. I think it installs in some guid generated path name which seems to be counterintuitive. When you open an archive it reads in the images and decodes them ahead of time (it does this is 2 parts, one to decompress the file from the archive, and another to convert the image from graphic format into a texture for the graphics card). So if you read normally then pressing space for next page will be extremely fast since it has already pre-cached the result. I need to split this into a different thread to maintain responsiveness (and then in the UI thread check if the results are ready, which at the moment I don't need to do since it can assume they are).

Neil Harding
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tomos
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2010, 04:02:12 PM »

I think it may be in the user folders but havent checked - it shows up in my uninstaller programme anyways so I'm not worried smiley

Sounds promising and is looking very good
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Tom
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2010, 12:02:52 AM »

I'm a few months late, but I figured I'd mention there is already an opensource project called CDisplayEx. I've been using that for months. It hasn't been worked on in a while I think, but I am not sure what else one might wish to add.

Still, I look forward to seeing DCDisplay. smiley
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nharding
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2010, 12:21:19 AM »

I am using C# and XNA to use 3D card with a pixel shader, which allows realtime correction of colors (as well as fixing other issues, such as rotation). I plan on having XML script for an issue, so you can set parameters for each page if needed, this is better than adjusting the original jpg and resaving as that will introduce additional artifacts. The other main thing I want to add is the ability to store a database of all the comics / magazines you have, and allow fast access to them.

Neil
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nharding
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2011, 12:04:46 AM »

I just updated the first page with a new version of DCDisplay that fixed a small bug (minimize in windows mode would crash the application), and took the opportunity to add in abbreviation expansion in file names (LSH would expand to Legion Super Heroes for example). I should have a report generator soon (I've already got it so that it will produce a thumbnail of the cover and parse a html template).

Neil
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2011, 10:00:30 AM »

@nharding
Are you planning more portable version (wihout installer)?
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nharding
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« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2011, 10:27:39 AM »

Since it uses .Net & XNA, and needs the DLL for decompressing archives then it would be difficult to do a portable version (unless you have the required components already installed). It also saves settings.xml in the application directory.

Neil
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« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2011, 01:15:10 PM »

@nharding
I understand that .NET (and its components) is not really portable but I thought mostly about not messing with Registry when it's not really needed.
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nharding
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« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2011, 01:21:50 PM »

No I don't use the registry, I save the settings to an xml file (so they can be modified by hand if need be, although I will be modifying the application further so that all the settings will be accessible from within the program)

Neil
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mouser
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2011, 01:56:31 PM »

Anyone got any links to some free CBR/CBZ format comics to try out with this?
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« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2011, 02:16:22 PM »

You can use any directory of images that you put into a zip file (cbz) or rar file (cbr). http://goldenagecomics.co.uk//index.php was a bunch of public domain comics.

Neil
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2011, 02:40:49 PM »

Here are some:
http://www.flashbackuniverse.com/downloads.aspx

They display great in DCDisplay  thumbs up thumbs up
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« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2011, 02:44:52 PM »

DCDisplay is very cool.
I have to say though personally that i find these website Deployment things with weird installers that put non-standard shortcuts and do weird things, totally baffling and frustrating.  Im not sure that is something you have an option with wrt XNA, etc.  but i find it ironic that once again Microsoft is pioneering ways to do f*cked up non-standard totally alien confusing things on their own operating system.
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mouser
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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2011, 02:46:29 PM »

I think you also need some way to show some help even after user has loaded their first comic.
I read the introductory 2 pages, very nice and clear.
Then i loaded a comic, looked great.
Then i was totally completely lost as to the keyboard hotkeys that were shown to me on initial load, and could not figure out how to display help or do anything despite pounding all over the keyboard.
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« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2011, 02:56:30 PM »

Hitting W key goes to window mode (but doesn't show any window menu this first time).
Hitting W twice more toggles full screen and window mode again and now i have a menu!
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« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2011, 02:57:30 PM »

The only option i really miss is being able to set the background to black.
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