MacImage Version 9

Summary: New and improved features offered by MacImage in its Version 9
 

Introduction

This new version is the result of your feedback and of all remarks sent to the technical hotline. We try to listen carefully to every message, to understand the very reason of all comments, difficulties, misunderstandings in the first contacts with the program and in the daily work.
You'll find below a list of the major new or upgraded features, with pointer to sections developping those aspects. Since this page is rather new, don't hesitate to chime in for suggestions and comments.

Help File

To get a better idea of this new version, download the help file of the program. It is not yet the final version, but this should give you a better idea of all we've done.

Main Upgrades and New Features

More Robust Project Management

The development team and the betatest team spent a great lot of time checking and testing this particular aspect of the program behavior, and we gave the uttermost attention to all reports on this precise point. We think that we've improved significantly the management of the project files and hope that it will be as robust as you expect.
Anyway, we didn't have any crash report since weeks, and I would say that this is the mort important improvement of this new version.
The file supporting the autorun/autostart is selected directly from the Property box.
Hidden files and folders are now supported, which allows you to build a cleaner interface for your customers.
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General Overhaul of the User Interface

The graphical user interface was revised to take in account the wishes and observations of users. In particular, the buttons were redesigned, using new colors and new symbols. We now use a background color to better ascertain the working mode.
In Project Mode, le dispolayed views are selected with a single button, to avoid cluttering the toolbar.
MacImage displays icons delivered by Windows for all file types which are registered in the signature file.
MacImage displays at the bottom of its window a progress bar showing how much of the theoretical medium capacity is already taken and how much remains free. The basic capacity is 650-700MB in the case of CD-R[W] and any value in the case of DVD-R[W].
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Icon Composer

To help you producing Macintosh (and Windows) icon files on the PC (and to use them as custom icons of volumes and folders), we wrote a little program aimed at offering the same services as the utility named Icon Composer on the Macintosh. Our WinComposer doesn't claim to be a fully featured icon editor (there are very good tools for that and we don't intend to compete).
In particular, WinComposer doesn't offer all graphic tools. It allows you to cut and paste graphic resources from the clipboard or from files to compose an icon set, with several sizes and color depths, to be used as a Window icon file or a Macintosh icon file.
Since this program is still rather young, we wellcome all remarks, observations and suggestions.
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Pasting Files and Folders from the Explorer

If dragging-and-dropping is not enough, you can now paste files from the Explorer (Windows Explorer, File Searching window, etc.). Select the files in the Explorer windows, hit CTRL C, switch to MacImage and hit CTRL V. Easy, isn't it?
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Creating Folders from Scratch

Copying Folders from the PC hard disk to the project is fine, but it could be useful, in some circumstances, to be able to create a folder from scratch. This allows you to better organize the data contents of the CD-ROM without having to create it first on the PC hard disk.
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Searching/Replacing Signatures

Say you made a CD-ROM with HTML files using MSIE signature (MSIETEXT). And now, you just changed your mind and decided to use instead the Safari browser or even Netscape. Launch the Searching/Replacing Signature feature from the File menu, and here you go.
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Refreshing the Project

The Project Refresh feature was considerably improved and extended, to answer the needs expressed by users. It was thoroughly checked and tested by the betatesters, since this is the key to a fully functional reuse of the projects.
Its allows you to check that the files and folders you included in a project still exist on the source hard disk. More, if you checked the Refresh flag for the whole volume or for some selected folders, you get also the added items.
The program displays a list of all deleted, changed, and (optionnaly) added files in three different tabs. You can print those lists to help you to pinpoint the problems, in particular with projects which you happen to reuse regularly.
Those changes can be accepted or dismissed globally (added, changed and deleted items), only for one category or even item by item.
Checking the real size of the files is useful if a file, within a week, grew from 10KB to 10 MB, for instance. MacImage checks the real size of file when compiling, but such a huge difference can hang the program when computing the file structure to be used to contain your files.
Please also note that it is possible to ask for a project refreshing when launching the compilation of the image.
See also below Refreshing the Contents of a Folder and Replacing the Access Path.
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Rebuilding the Project

The Rebuild feature is new and was conceived to answer the needs expressed by users. It works on the project as if all Refresh flags were set and modifies the project accordingly. There is no user interface, but you may open a log file before using the feature (recommended).
This feature exists as a command line option if you use the command line version.
See also below Refreshing the Contents of a Folder and Replacing the Access Path.
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Refreshing the Contents of a Folder

In the same vein, it is possible to check a folder for refreshing its contents. There are situations where you intend to include a folder with whatever it will contain at compile time.
This can be particularly useful when you publish regularly a content CD-ROM from one or several folder whose contents changes with time.
See also the similar features Refreshing the Project and Replacing the Access Path.
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Replacing the Access Path

When files and folders are missing, the explanation may be simply that they were moved to some other place, on the same disk or on another one.
This feature allows you to do a search/replace operation on the access path of included files and folders. Launch it and your project is again usable!! See also above Refreshing the Project and Refreshing the Contents of a Folder.
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Burning an Image from MacImage

The Windows 2003 Server Resource Kit (do a search on Microsoft Web site if this address becomes invalid) offers two small command line utilities which can be very useful, cdburn.exe and dvdburn.exe, used, as their name tells it, to burn CD-ROM and DVD-ROM from an image. If you install those utilities (they only install under Windows XP and higher, but also run under Windows 2000), MacImage detects them and launches them with a correct command line to burn the image you selected.
See also below Compiling an Image with MacImage from the Command Line
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Compiling an Image with MacImage from the Command Line

MacImage is an application with a graphical user interface, but it may also be launched from the command line to compile a project to produce the image file.
Using this feature with the burning utilities presented above, you could write a batch file which compiles and burns a project in just two lines:

MacImage -c project.mipr
cdburn m: project.iso -speed max

Since MacImage happily produces images of any size, an image of more than 650-700MB could be burned with the dvdburn utility on a DVD-RW.
See also above Burning an Image from MacImage
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Registering MacImage Extensions in Windows Registry

At install time, MacImage registers in Windows Registry the three extensions it uses for its working files:

It can nevertheless happen that some ill-behaved program installed afterwards steals some or all of those extensions. MacImage offers, in the Special menu, an item to redo the registration of one or all of those extensions in Windows Registry.
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Adding a Postgap to the Image

Since not all burning software packages add a postgap to the image when burning it, MacImage now defaults to adding this postgap.
The postgap is a run of 150 empty sectors at the end of a track, and should be present. Some duplicators may refuse masters without the postgap.
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