[actualtools.com] New version 6.0 - unique multi-monitor features, sticky window borders, transparent console windows, easy dragging/sizing and more
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Greetings, John Smith!
After a long-time waiting, I'm very glad to inform you that the new version 6.0 of our main line of products has been released, and the Actual Virtual Desktops product has been updated to version 2.1.
Important Note! Because of the fundamental change made in this version we strongly recommend you to uninstall the previous version of your Actual Tools product first before installing the new version.
Here are the contents of this issue:
First of all, I would like to excuse for the delay with this newsletter issue and for the inconveniences and ambiguities this delay caused; there was quite unfortunate concatenation of circumstances (including my temporary incapacity for work) - crossing fingers it will never repeat anymore!
Second, I would like to express the sincerest gratitude of all members of the Actual Tools development team to everyone who somehow participated in the development process of the new major version, primarily - to our constant beta testers: ladies and gentlemen, your help was (and remains) invaluable for us! You are our driving force, the strictest critics and the most grateful audience of the "pieces" we create - and we all happy to make something that others like so much! That simply means that our work makes sense...
For developers, the release of new major version is a holiday in own way - hope it will become a holiday for you as well. Now let's celebrate!
Below is the comparison chart of features implemented in this version. Place the mouse pointer over feature's name to see its short description or click on feature's name to get more information on it in our Online User Manual.
This chart shows only the most noticeable features; to view the full list of changes made in each product, click the product's icon.
Since this version, all executable files (including setups) of Actual Tools products are digitally signed with the special code signing certificate issued by VeriSign. Those digital signatures let you make sure that you are using authentic versions of files and reduce the amount of security warnings: you can once tell the system that you trust any programs signed with the Actual Tools certificate - and the system will no longer bother you with any security popup queries.
Before this version Actual Tools programs run their executable files from the installation folder: this is a common practice suitable for most applications. However, our programs are special system utilities working at the low system level and embedding their advanced functions into other programs. Those advanced functions are implemented in a runtime library loaded by each running program. Sometimes particular applications may lock this library even after unloading our utility which requires the PC reboot in order to update the library (e.g. when installing a new version).
In this version we tried to improve the situation: now, each time you launch the Actual Tools product, it copies its runtime library from the installation folder to the user profile's %Temp% folder and runs it there. Thus, even if the library becomes locked - its copy in the installation folder will remain free and can be easily overwritten with the new version. But this medal has a reverse: some security suites strictly prohibit running any executable code from the %Temp% folder (because this is a common practice for computer viruses!). You can decide on your own what is more important for you - security or convenience - and set this option according to your preference.
Until this version, the runtime libraries of our products stayed in memory even after unloading the Actual Tools program: this was done because of stability reasons - the libraries were embedded so deeply into other applications so that removing them might cause (and it did cause!) hangups and crashes. Though such stuck-in-memory library did nothing but it is not well-behaved from the system's point of view - each program should clear the resources it used. In this version, after some deep research and experimenting, we present the well-behaved library which unloads accurately and frees the used system resources upon closing the Actual Tools product.
Important Note! We strongly recommend you to uninstall the previous version of your Actual Tools product first before installing the version 6.0 to avoid conflicts between different versions of the runtime library.
Some time after releasing the version 5.4, it's been discovered that the core engine improvement introduced there for preventing the annoying blink effect when changing window placement at startup is incompatible with some windows. Now it is possible either to activate the alternative mode of preventing this blink effect or to disable this prevention completely if it results in malfunctioning of certain applications.
Hope the new version will be of great use for you! We are always glad to receive any feedback from our customers so that if you have any questions, thoughts, ideas or suggestions regarding our products - please share them with us: send an e-mail, visit our forum or use the online feedback form.