I got a new laptop in March, which includes an SSD and 16GB of RAM, and it was enough inspiration (over and above the virtual machines for SQL Server that I’ve been playing with) to work some more on ShutOff 2000.

I’ve made astounding progress on it, considering the lethargic approach the C# version has had since 2002. Ten years? Ouch …

The latest version of the VB6 edition (v2.8.6) was released on 31 March 2011, just over a year ago. After that, I worked on version 2.8.7, which included some neat new features for the software updater code. However, this code remains unreleased to the public because, well, 3.0.0 (the C# version) is almost done!

In the last few weeks, I’ve completely refactored some chunks of code that were badly designed in the first place (As Jeff Atwood says, the worst code you’ve looked at is your own). Also, instead of using the Windows Registry to store settings, I’m going with a SQL Compact Edition database file. I picked this over SQLite for the easier coding (though I prefer the idea of SQLite and may change my mind in a later version).

My opinion on the piracy problem is pragmatic, as long-time readers will already know. When the Core group cracked ShutOff 2000 in the early part of the last decade, I was honoured that they took the time. In fact, their key generator had a better UI than my own and I took some design tips from it.

In any event, I think the C# version is ready to go in the next couple of weeks. I need to do some testing still, and then there’s the small matter of how to package and release it. I’ve toyed with the idea of an automated registration system, which is very different to the manual process I currently have in place. For every new registration, I manually generate a registration code and email the purchaser directly. Madness, but there you are.

The latest beta is available from the information page.

The other thing I’ve been playing with a lot more is Git for source control. I decided that I didn’t like SVN after all, and I already use Git for managing my website source control on the Mac, so it was a no-brainer to use it on Windows too.

To sum up this rambling post, this is one more step in the process of sorting out my life. I’m getting on top of things I’ve left too long. Spring cleaning, I suppose.

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