Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to add high-resolution icons to a Delphi 7 application?

This seems to be a tough question for Delphi community. However, recently, after some trials I figured out is not that difficult. So, here is my 1, 2, 3 solution:

1. Prepare the images you want to have them as high res icons. Save each image in a separated “.ICO” file. Use RGB+Alpha color depth. You can use Axialis IconWorkshop Pro 6.5 for this. It is a bit stubborn but it does the job.

2. Open your application RES file in Melander’s ResourceEditor. Go to ‘Icon->MAINICON’. You will see the default Delphi 7 icon there. Right click and say ‘Load variant…’. Navigate and locate your icon files. Load them one by one. Save the RES file back.

3. Open Delphi and compile the project. Done.

Easy right?


Resource Hacker 3.5.2 is also a decent resource file viewer. It shows a lot of errors though, when it encounters some ‘home made’ RES files, like the one describe above.

Related article: How difficult is to write a solid software protection (licensing) scheme?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Microsoft is spying on you

Since Windows Vista and Windows 7 Microsoft started to embrace the "big brother" attitude even harder.

There are a lot of secret software installed by Microsoft on your computer through their magic "Windows Update".

Here is some evidence:

Windows Update updating without permission!

True Spyware In Microsoft Windows 7

Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Roadmap Rev. 1.3 (more spyware news)

Yet Another Anti-Piracy Update For Windows 7? (Yes more spyware)

Microsoft Silently Rolls Out Anti-Hack Update For Windows 7

The "Black Hole" update - DO NOT INSTALL KB976902

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Plimus taking extra charges for transfers from EU

I am really pissed off because Plimus bank applies extra fees to my customers but they will not admit it. I have several cases in which the customer demonstrated (receipt send from bank) that he sent the full amount but only a part of that an amount reaches me.

Just few days ago, I received another email:

I have been trying to buy 2 licenses ($998). Since our institute in EU requires an invoice (a quote is not sufficient) for payment, I have contacted and tried to make the order through Plimus using purchase order. The problem arises in the transfer fees. Our institute will only pay the amount stipulated on the invoice and only pay this sum via a bank transfer. The bank we use waive transfer fees but those charged by the receiving bank are unknown (as they are not on the invoice) and thus the amount received by your company is less than the value of your product.
The Plimus support team cannot/will not make an invoice which include transfer fees and therefore the purchase is blocked. As you are the company using and authorizing Plimus's work, could you please try to think of a solution so I can make the purchase (for instance adding extra charges to an invoice)? In short, I only require an invoice with a sum that once transferred will give me the final keys (licenses) to your program. Needless to say that if no solution can be found then I will have to annul the purchase.

I have found even more information about the nasty things Plimus is doing and extra currency conversion fees:

This means that Plimus is not charging 15% as they are pretending on their web site but way much more! 

Those that are no familiar with Plimus, should be informed about other more or less obvious fees that Plimus applies: (up to) $30  fee for wire transfer and $3 manual processing of PO orders. The customer has to pay for it not the vendor but it affects the vendor as basically increases the price with up to $33. There is also a tax for Californian customers.