Downloading free pictures from newsgroups will be getting better all the time

What will we do to enhance this tool?

Picture Patrol is not finished. In fact, it will never be completely ready. We listen to your feature requests and try to use them as a roadmap to an ever growing product. We hope to create the ultimate Usenet picture download tool this way. It takes some time, but we are sure that someday Picture Patrol will be the download tool of choice for the majority of picture enthousiasts.

This page lists the release notes from past to present versions, just to show how a product will get better as long as we give it enough attention…

Version 1.5.1 (October 26, 2005)

  • news servers with way over 100,000 newsgroups can now be used without seriously slowing down the program;
  • the time needed for decoding pictures is no longer included in the throughput calculations, resulting in a more reliable throughput graph;
  • on Mac OS X Tiger, the Finder display of the image folders is no longer messed up by a mysterious $$TestFile$$;
  • on Mac OS 9, double-clicking the downloaded pictures will open them in QuickTime’s PictureViewer. On Mac OS X, the default application for JPEG or GIF images will now be used;
  • on Mac OS X, the application now has the .app extension to make sure the operating system will treat it as a program and not as a Script Editor document;
  • minor enhancements were made to some status messages.

Version 1.5 (April 19, 2005)

  • Picture Patrol Officer was renamed to Picture Patrol. There will not be a Picture Patrol Captain, in spite of our original plans. All features for the more advanced Captain will be integrated into Picture Patrol from now on;
  • the new name is accompanied by a brand new application icon;
  • support for an unlimited number of news server accounts was added, so you can access newsgroups from several news servers in one go;
  • you can color code a news server, and all of its newsgroups, to recognize what you are working with;
  • user-defined collections of newsgroups give you the ability to subdivide the vast number of pictures;
  • automatic group circulation can be activated after a number of pictures, articles or minutes within a collection;
  • each collection can have its own download location, so you can use your preferred filing system;
  • directories can be created automatically for each download date, posting date, and newsgroup name;
  • the number of favorite newsgroups is unlimited from now on, and because you can put them into collections, you will not lose the overview;
  • the program can create unique filenames for you, to avoid overwriting pictures with the same name that were downloaded earlier;
  • a number of enhancements in our NNTP routines enable Picture Patrol to communicate better with less forgiving news servers;
  • the stability went up again, because we added some more protection against corrupted files;
  • the toolbar layout was changed. It is now fully prepared for features we have in mind for version 1.6;
  • a new preferences storage system, using human-readable XML files, was introduced. You can now for example throw away the window positions preferences to return to the default situation, without messing up the rest of the program;
  • preferences will only be saved when they were changed in the past 30 seconds, so your hard disk drive can go to sleep when the program does nothing;
  • without a valid license, there will still be a demo bar over the previewed picture, but no more annoying dark mask over the lower half.

Version 1.2.1 (August 29, 2004)

  • we solved a terrible bug that caused the program to crash when it encountered corrupt images;
  • the program will no longer save corrupt JPEG pictures to disk, so you get a smaller but more usable picture collection;
  • dangerous attachments, like .scr and .pif files, are now filtered out much better (though we still feel you should use a virus scanner whenever you download material from the Internet).

Version 1.2 (June 7, 2004)

  • a major redesign of the user interface and the underlying technology makes the program both easier to use, and better prepared for features we already have in mind for future versions;
  • we now support PPP connections to the Internet, so modem users can have fun too from now on;
  • there is no longer the need to install QuickTime. This will please Windows users;
  • the number of favorite newsgroups has gone up from 9 to 100, and searching for all available newsgroups is now integrated in the Preferences window to make it easier to add groups to your favorites;
  • the download location can now be set by the user;
  • the toolbar can now be placed in the top, right, bottom or left part of the main window;
  • there is now a thumbnail bar that shows the latest pictures you have downloaded;
  • the status information, favorite newsgroups, thumbnails and the preview are now contained in the main window, and all of these can be turned on or off by the user;
  • the communication throughput is now shown as a graph;
  • the preview now also shows the size of the picture in pixels and in kilobytes;
  • image/gif content in MIME messages is now correctly processed;
  • did we mention the cool new interface already? ;-)

Version 1.1.1 (February 26, 2004)

  • some providers would not give the complete list of their newsgroups in version 1.0. A few small changes were made to correct this behavior;
  • “Get Licenced” is more clearly labeled “Buy Now“;
  • the release notes field in the Check Program Version window was too short for long notes, so we expanded it a little bit;
  • F1 now opens the built-in help, which is standard on Windows systems (works for Mac OS too);
  • an installer was created for the Windows version, so from now on Picture Patrol Officer can be neatly placed in your Start menu and as a shortcut on your desktop.

Version 1.1 (February 1, 2004)

  • renamed the program family from PicturePatrol to Picture Patrol;
  • spaces in filenames are no longer removed. Quotes and other illegal characters will be removed, to make the name of every saved picture compatible with the file systems our software runs on;
  • yEnc decoding of single part messages was added. Version 1.0 already did UUdecoding and Base64, so now with yEnc, we decode almost any picture we encounter;
  • the Demo picture has been replaced by a bar with a demo message in it, and a mask over the lower part of every picture. This only appears for non-licensed users;
  • when the license needs to be entered, we now remove the dashes that were in the fields by default. They caused confusion;
  • a major bug was fixed, that caused many pictures to appear incomplete. It affected up to 25% of all pictures in some cases, so this fix is an important reason to upgrade from version 1.0;
  • the toolbar buttons work differently now, and give more visual feedback of your actions. Working with the toolbar should be much clearer now;
  • more JPEG images in MIME messages are correctly handled now;
  • the shopping basket appeared garbled on Mac OS X after a while. It will stay sharp now;
  • clicking on the demo message in the Preview window now takes you to our licensing page on the Internet;
  • from the Newsgroups tab of the Preferences window you can now go to a window where you can browse the complete list of newsgroups at your provider;
  • we included a Valentina database engine to make very fast searching of available newsgroups possible;
  • the status bars work a little better now, but still messages seem to ‘hang’ sometimes. Version 1.2 or 1.3 will include a complete redesign of the status system;
  • in some cases the status message “Updating preview” would stay on-screen for a long time. It will not happen anymore;
  • in-program version checking now allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest releases of Picture Patrol Officer.

Version 1.0 (December 1, 2003)

The first public release of PicturePatrol Officer, which does everything to fill a hard disk drive full of free pictures…