10 DECEMBER 2011
My friend (and publisher) Reichart Von Wolfsheild, and his friend Physicist Garrett Lisi are the hosts of a new reality show on the History Channel. It's called Invention USA, and it premiered Dec 9th. Marine Aquarium 3 is featured prominently on a large-screen monitor in their lab. Reichart's company, Prolific Publishing, Inc., has been handling all SereneScreen sales and customer support for 10 years.
8 JUNE 2011
I've just finished adding a Zebra Moray eel to Marine Aquarium 3. If you'd like to download the program, it's at http://www.fish-byte.com/MarineAquarium3.exe . This version now includes an installer. The program is fully functional, and will recognize your MA3 Key Code.
Fans over at the Forum have been asking for a Zebra Moray for years, and it makes a nice addition to the tank, living in the cave. The Zebra Moray was chosen because it has no teeth, and is compatible with most fish in a marine aquarium.
Try it out, then come on over to the Fan Forum to discuss!
27 OCTOBER 2010
The final version of Marine Aquarium 3.1 for Windows is available for download at http://www.serenescreen.com/product/. This is a free update for MA3 users. After installation, the program will recognize your v3.0 Key, if you have one.
This version includes a few minor enhancements and bug fixes, and also a full Windows installer. It can be run without a Key Code, though it will be limted to one row of fish choices. If you wish to purchase a Key, or upgrade a Key for an older version, please visit serenescreen.com.
By the way, Marine Aquarium 3 works very well with the nVidia 3D Vision Stereoscopic system. The 3D effect is stunning - it looks like a real aquarium!
As always, you are welcome to visit the Fan Forum to discuss the program (or anything else - there's a lively Coffee House section).
15 JUNE 2010
Marine Aquarium 3.1 is now available for download. This is a free upgrade for Marine Aquarium 3 users - the program will recognize your MA3 Key Code.
The biggest change is the addition of a user interface for changing the background colors. Up to 6 sets of background colors are allowed, and you have total control over all of them. Each has a timer which controls how long that set will be displayed before fading to the next.
There are also changes in the Clock/Calendar section, with the addition of an etched-look for both the analog and digital clocks. The user can also choose the color for the solid-font digital clock and calendar.
Many fans have been suggesting that the user-definable logos displayed in the crystal should fade smoothly to the next, instead of an abrupt transition. This has been added to v3.1.
There are many other changes and enhancements. See how many you can find, then come on over to the Fan Forum to discuss.
Marine Aquarium 3.1 can be downloaded at http://www.fish-byte.com/MarineAquarium3.exe.
17 APRIL 2010
Marine Aquarium 2.6 is now available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Check it out at the iTunes Store.
4 AUGUST 2009
Here's a short video clip of MA3 in action which was posted in the Gallery of the Fan Forum (this is a fairly large video file, so it might take a few moments to load):
21 JULY 2009
Beta 10d is the latest version of Marine Aquarium 3. The full version with installer is available at: Latest Version
22 MAY 2009
Check out the latest version of Marine Aquarium - Beta 10b with a new Feather Duster tubeworm, which retracts when a fish gets near: Latest Version
15 MAY 2009
Beta 10a (with moving clams) is now the official download version of Marine Aquarium 3 at SereneScreen.com. In case there is any confusion regarding versions, let me clear it up. My latest experimental Beta versions, if any, are always posted here on fish-byte.com. After a few days of testing to make sure there are no serious bugs, an installer is added and the file is made the Official Beta download available for purchase at SereneScreen.com. Everyone is free to download and run any of these versions. Without a Key Code, you will have to type in "testfish" each time you run the program, and only 7 of the 28 fish species will be available.
If you purchase a Key Code, all the fish will be unlocked, and you won't need to type in "testfish" any more. YOUR MA3 KEY WILL CONTINUE TO WORK FOR ALL UPDATES TO MA3.
I'm aware of some customers who are waiting until I call MA3 "finished" before they purchase a Key Code. Like Disneyland, the Marine Aquarium will never be "finished" - there will always be room for improvement. So, why wait? Join the fun and watch MA3 grow week-by-week.
As always, you are welcome to come to the Forum with questions or comments.
12 APRIL 2009
Beta 10 is now available at http://www.serenescreen.com/product/. This version adds the live Blue Clams to the tank. The clams were always there as a static part of the background, but now they open and close whenever a fish gets near.
2 MARCH 2009
More features are now in Marine Aquarium 3. I've recently added the Clock/Calendar, and you can display either an analog or digital clock. There's a new interface to handle not only the clock, but any logos you might want to display in the crystal. I've also expanded the music interface to allow the user to arrange the order of songs.
The lastest version, with a full Windows installer, can be downloaded here. This version will run without a Key Code, though some features are disabled without one. Stop by the Fan Forum, and let us know what features you'd like to see in future versions!
6 FEBRUARY 2009
After years of development, SereneScreen Marine Aquarium 3 is finally available for download and purchase! This is a Beta-Test version, but your MA3 Key Code will not expire, and entitles you to download all updates through the final version. MA3 is not just an update to previous versions - the entire program has been re-written from the ground up as a full 3D environment, taking advantage of the increased capabilities of modern video cards.
10 OCTOBER 2008
The Beta version of Marine Aquarium 3 is available for download. Anyone can download and test the v3 Beta. These test versions will have a built-in expiration date, and will be replaced fairly often as bug-fixes are implemented. More info and download link is available at the Forum.
10 JUNE 2008
Marine Aquarium 3 is nearing the Beta-Test stage. The first release will contain the same fish as MA2.6, but with an all-new super-wide 3D background. Because the new tank is so much bigger, the program will no longer need the 8-fish limit. In fact, all 28 species can be swimming in the tank at once.
25 FEBRUARY 2008
This Fish-Byte.com site was down for the past couple of days due to a dispute with IPower, but I found another web host, and everything is back to normal.
The work on Marine Aquarium 3 is going well, and the 3D background is nearly done. My plan is to allow registered users of MA2.6 to download the Beta versions of MA3 as I bring it to life. But first I have to create a user interface, and write collision-avoidance routines to keep the fish from running into each other. After the Beta-test period, there will be a small charge to upgrade from MA2.6 to the release version of MA3, but that's why I lowered the price of v2.6 several months ago.
There's more news about MA3 over at the Forum.
7 NOVEMBER 2007
Yet another use of the Aquarium on a TV show. This time it's 'Reaper'.
26 AUGUST 2007
The Marine Aquarium continues to be featured on television and in the movies.Tonight, the Teen Choice Awards used it as a background.
30 MAY 2007
Prolific Publishing has just reduced the price of Marine Aquarium 2.6 to $14.95.
21 MAY 2007
Progess continues on Marine Aquarium 3. The bubble column is in and working. Like all the objects, it's greatly improved over the MA 2.6 version. Progress has been so rapid lately, that I feel confident in stating that it will be released before the end of the year. My plan is to allow anyone with a current legal 2.6 Key Code to download and test the Beta Version when it is ready. Visit the Forum for a discussion of 3.0.
27 APRIL 2007
I'm happy to announce that finally, after months of trying, I have a Shader working in the Aquarium program. At the moment it's producing a primitive version of the lightplay on the gravel floor (no other objects, yet). This turned out to be incredibly hard for me because I not only had to grasp a rudimentary understanding of Shaders, but mix them in with normally rendered objects. Through literally thousands of experiments, there was simply no effect at all on the screen. Today I finally tracked the problem down to a seemingly unrelated issue, and BANG - there was lightplay on the gravel. I almost missed it, I was so used to the routine of Try Code>Compile>Run>Fail>Repeat that my finger was already on the ESC key. This is a major milestone which has been holding up progress for a very long time.
4 MARCH 2007
I've been making some progress with Marine Aquarium v3.0 over the last few months. The tank will be much wider than the current version - about two widescreens wide. The camera will be able to pan back and forth within this much wider environment. The hard part is creating all the 3D background objects to fill all this extra space. Very time-consuming. Still having a lot of trouble understanding and implementing Shaders, which will be used for several different effects in the new version.
20 DECEMBER 2006
The Aquarium was used a couple of scenes in the Harrison Ford movie "Firewall". Also in "Bridget Jones 2".
12 MAY 2006
The Aquarium was shown prominently on the season finale of the NBC show "Las Vegas". It was shown several times this season, but this was probably the longest and clearest shot.
3 MARCH 2004
The Marine Aquarium will be part of EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION! Watch this Sunday, March 7th, on ABC when the EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME CREW remodels the 'Mendoza' House. One of the rooms, for the daughter, will be done in… you guessed it, an underwater theme. Since real salt-water aquariums can be expensive and demanding on a young girls time, the design team decided on not just one flat panel screen, but three! And to add that finishing realistic touch…Watch and see if your favorite Marine Aquarium fish is featured!
11 DECEMBER 2003
To everyone who expressed concern about us and our home during the recent fires -- Thank You. We were evacuated for over two weeks, along with 90,000 other mountain residents. Our neighborhood was saved by the valiant efforts of the firefighters, who made a stand at the end of our street, about 800 feet from our house. Another tract nearby was not so lucky, and 350 homes were lost. Things here are getting back to normal, and I am again working on the Freshwater Aquarium.
If you like Koi fish, 3D programs, or both -- try out the Koi Toy screensaver at Screengardens.com. The program was created by Camberley Crick and her partner Raefer Gabriel, a couple of Harvard grads. Camberley is the daughter of my friend Mike Crick (creator of WordZap).
16 SEPTEMBER 2003
I decided to switch the Freshwater program from a base of DirectX6 to DirectX8. This has been a difficult task, but will gain some advantages in the long run. Among these are the fact that the Preview window in the Display Properties sheet will now show a fully-animated image of the Aquarium. Also, dual-montor support may be possible.
9 JULY 2003
The Marine Aquarium is being featured on the TV show "Big Brother 4" on CBS. It is on a large vertically-oriented flat panel display.
There are now 4 fish done for the Freshwater Aquarium -- In addition to the Cardinal Tetra and Angelfish, there are now a Tiger Barb and a Red-Tailed Shark. I'm currently working on the gravel for the floor of the tank.
10 MAY 2003
My work on the Freshwater Aquarium has been progressing nicely for the last couple of weeks. The treasure chest is done, and happily bubbling away. The Cardinal Tetra is done, with a fairly convincing "neon" stripe. Today I'm working on an Angelfish.T
21 MARCH 2003
The 2.0 version of the Aquarium has been posted on the SereneScreen website. This program requires a new Key Code, and ordinarily costs $5.95 to upgrade. But to reward the on-line purchasers of the program, free 2.0 Key Codes will be sent to registered users. This mailing will take several days to complete. If the user purchased on-line, but is not on the mailing list, they will still be able to obtain a free Key Code for the next 90 days.
Naturally, the web servers will be severely taxed for the next few days. There were over 40,000 downloads today alone, so just continue to use v1.1 until your new Key Code arrives.
16 MARCH 2003
Prolific Publishing has entered into a co-publishing partnership with Encore Software to manufacture and distribute the CD version of my programs. This will result in much wider distribution to all major store chains. The packages manufactured by Encore will bear the logo SereneScene, instead of SereneScreen. Hard to tell the difference, isn't it? Both SereneScreen.com and SereneScene.com lead to the same place. The SereneScreen name will be slowly phased out.
The programmers at Prolific have just completed the 2.0 version of the Aquarium, and it will be available shortly. They have added a nice new user interface which makes it much easier to pick the fish you want in the tank. Anyone who purchased the Aquarium online will be able to upgrade to 2.0 free of charge for 90 days.
Prolific has also created another version of the Aquarium, Marine Aquarium Time. This version features a clock/calendar imbedded in a quartz crystal within the tank. The clock automatically updates from your Windows system.
30 DECEMBER 2002
What's new at SereneScreen? Well, for one thing, the Mac version of the Aquarium turned out very nicely. This conversion was done by Order N Development of Texas, under the direction of Jim O'Connor. Jim regularly stops by the Forum to answer questions about the Mac version. Both OSX and OS9 are supported, though the programming is totally different for each. Mac owners can download the OS9 version from http://www.serenescreen.com/product/index.php?pltid=3, and the OSX version from http://www.serenescreen.com/product/index.php?pltid=2.
I've been working on a Freshwater Aquarium, which will be the next SereneScreen product. Progress has been very slow, since I'm attempting to add things which the Marine Aquarium does not have. For example, the background items will seem more "alive" -- there will be many plants, and they will sway with the current. There will be a treasure chest with a top that opens and bubbles which rise to the surface.
I have set up a real freshwater aquarium here in my computer room to use for research and photography. I'm still working on the background, so there are no fish yet. Here is a picture of it (click the image for a larger view):
This is the basic layout I have planned for the new program, though some things will be changed. The photo is of the left side of the tank -- the widescreen version would show more. Of course, the filter intake tube will not show, and there will also be some mossy-looking ground cover on the right side of the tank.
More news from SereneScreen at http://www.serenescreen.com/news/index.php