Sunday, October 22, 2017

Depiction's servers came down today.

 Depiction Server's Down. 


Well today is the day our servers came down.  What does this mean for you.

Intial Geo-Coding 
It appears that at the moment initital geocoding by city or zip code isn't working.  However, you can start new Depiction's by using a lat/long.  Or open an existing Depiction and clear out any elements you don't want and then do a save as.

 QuickStart 
The other casualty are the quickstart data sources.  When I tried a new location the only quickstart source that showed up was the road network.  I then installed the preparedness add-on and the osm add-on and those quickstart sources did show up but it took awhile. Those quick start sources come from the the internet so if you do some searches you should be able to find the data as a shape file or some other format.

Activating Software
Our activation service was on our server and so I can no longer add activations to licenses.  The solution is to download the unlicensed version, the link to which you can find in prior blog posts.

Everything else seems to be working but please let us know if you find  things that aren't working and we will see what we can do.  Send me an email a depictionmtm@gmail.com or post a comment on this blog.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Going open source and selling our domain name.

It appears we have not been able to come to terms with any potential buyers and so it is looking like we will be going open source.  Also to cover some of our final debts we will be selling our domain name.  This means that once we do, our website will go away as will our @depiction email addresses.  I have set up a new email address of depictionmtm@gmail.com where I will continue to receive emails and will answer any questions for a few more months. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of this. Once we sell our domain I will send out an email to let you know.  So if you are taking depiction university courses you should try and get them done as soon as you can.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Depiction Build 12629 is now available

Ok, in my last post I indicated that I didn't want to upload the unlicensed version until we had eliminated all references to our servers.  Well some reality caught up with me and I realized that I need to retract that statement.  I had indicated before that David Li was making these changes out of the goodness of his heart but he has another job and only so much time available.  I also realized that we are endanger of losing our internet connection because of non-payment of our bill. So I have uploaded the latest version Depiction12629Setup.exe to the drop box folder.  You can also find this file on http://www.depiction.com/finalbuild This version eliminates the licensing requirement for our software.  I am not exactly sure what kind of errors you might encountered on this or the prior version once our servers go down, we will have to wait and see.  I am hoping that it will only effect certain quickstart data sources.  There is an outside chance that it might impact initial geo-coding of a location when you start a new depiction.  If you get that error then remember you can always start a new depiction by entering the lat/long, which doesn't require access to our servers. If you encounter errors please post a comment on this blog.  I am still hoping David will be able to make these final changes but we will have to wait and see.

We are still waiting to hear back from the individual that had indicated a desire to buy the IP.  If we don't end up selling it to him then we will be making the source code open source and hopefully there will be others out there willing to make improvements to the program.

Our website is run off of Godaddy servers and will still be up for awhile longer even if we lose our internet access to our servers.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Progress on Free Version 

David Li has created a version of Depiction sans licensing and activation. I have tested it and it works.  However, I don't want to release it until we have also removed any other references to our servers which at this point will probably come down sometime in early October.  I don't want our customers to have to download and install multiple versions.  Stay tuned to this blog for further updates.  However, once we have the final version I will send out another email to our list.  If you have any questions please feel free to email me at richards@depiction.com.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Free Down Loads of all Depiction add-ons and icon packs

Free Add-ons and Icon Packs

As I mentioned in my letter, we hope to include all of the add-ons in the free licensed version which is yet to come. So in the mean time, I have created a drop box link where you can find most all of our add-ons and icon packs.  I would like to thank Russell Deffner who was a past instructor of our Depiction University course and who also created several icon add-ons and icon packs and who has agreed to make his available at no cost also.

There is one file called: product list.pdf  - this names all of our add-ons and icon packs that are available and what they do.

There is another file called: All -Depiction addons and icons.zip
this zip file has all of the individual zip files. If you download this file you don't need to download the individual zip files.

This is a snap shot of what you should see in the dropbox folder.
Theoretically you will be able to down load this files to your computer.  If you have any problems please email me at richards@depiction.com. 


Once you download a file you will need to unzip it. Some are install files that will install in the proper locations. Some of the icon packs are just the icons which you should copy to your Pictures/Depiction Icons folder.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Depiction Inc. has closed it's web store and will be ceasing operations shortly.

 August 25, 2017

Dear Depiction Customer

I am writing to you today to let you know that after almost 11 years Depiction has closed our web store and will be shutting down our business soon.  While we were able to raise $3 million dollars to develop the software and had 14 employees at our peak,  once we launched the software we didn’t have sufficient funds to properly market it.  We relied mainly on word of mouth referrals, and unfortunately this didn’t create enough sales to make Depiction a viable company.

I and other members of my family   invested in the company in 2008 and then in 2009 I got involved as the CFO on a pro bono basis.  In 2011 the company founder had to get a job as he hadn’t taken a salary in 5 years and had invested most of his savings in the company.  At that time, he asked me to take over as president (pro bono) and run the company with the remaining 4 employees. By 2013 we were down to myself and 2 employees and by 2014 it was just myself and David Li trying to keep the company going without salary.

We have been trying hard to find a partner or buyer for the company for the last few years and this is why we have kept it alive as long as we have. We had hoped to find a home for the software and a company that would continue to support our customers. We are currently in negotiations with a company to take our IP and develop it into a new product.  Time will tell of this partnership comes to fruition but if it does hopefully this new product will  be compatible with your existing Depiction files and will be made available to you for purchase once it is ready.

Not knowing how well or if this company would be able to support our existing customers we have decided to create a new build of Depiction. We will be making this build freely available to you.  This new build will remove the licensing activation function.  We also hope to add most of the add-ons into the main build.  We also currently host a few of the quick start data sources on our server.  Those quick start sources will be removed.  We are trying to make Depiction a standalone product that will continue to run independent of any external sources.  However, Depiction does rely on external websites for geocoding, background tiling, quick start sources and other functions.  These are accessed within Depiction via API’s (application program interface).  These external websites from time to time change their API or stop providing the service. When this occurs that function within Depiction will cease to work.

And as mentioned earlier, hopefully, the new developer will have a new working version sometime in the near future that will keep things up to date.  If for some reason the new developer does not create a new version in a timely manner or if we are not able to come to an agreement with them, then we will make the code open source and  hopefully developers in the community would take on maintaining the software.

We think Depiction software is great software and serves a real need in the community and we are sorry that we couldn’t make a go of it.  We are very grateful to those of you that purchased the software and have continued to use it.

The most difficult part of pulling the plug was that we didn’t want to leave our customers in the lurch with a product that no longer functioned which is why we are developing the no-license required standalone version.    We will be keeping the website up for a few more months and will be maintaining the email addresses (richards@depiction.com) for a while longer and will try and answer any questions you might have.

On the short term you will be able to down load the new build from this location www.depiction.com/finalbuild once it is available.  However, it might be awhile before this build is available since I am relying on David Li to make the changes and we haven’t paid him for a few years, he has another job now and he is also doing this without pay. So keep your fingers crossed.

As long as we are able to maintain our servers, which may only be for a month or so longer, I will continue to be able to add activations to your license if you move to a new computer or have a hard disk crash.  However, once we shut down our servers I will no longer be able to add activations nor will you be able to activate the software, so when that happens, which could be soon, you will just have to wait until the unlicensed version is available.

I have also created a blog at this location.  http://depictionmtm.blogspot.com/  I will try to keep this up for  as long as necessary to give you the latest news on the status of the free version or other news of interest.

This may be the last newsletter so please look to the blog for information.

I want to pay special thanks to our two fearless developers. Thanks to Jason Overland for hanging on for as long as you did and to David Li who has hung on to the bitter end.

Thanks again to all of you  for being part of the journey.

Richard Smith
President
Depiction Inc.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

DEPICTION CEASING OPERATIONS!

Depiction is ceasing  sales of Depiction effective immediately.  You can still contact me at richards@depiction.com for the foreseeable future if you have questions. Watch this blog for further updates as they become available.