Hello boys and girls,
now that holidays are behind us, we can go back and work on PowerArchiver 2010 11.7. Did you really think that this was it for PA 2010? If so, you do not know us well. We have been working on completly revamped web update feature that will introduce much better update system for you, our beloved users.
We got the idea when one user told us via email, how much he liked PA but at the same time he also mentioned how constant updates are getting on his nerves. We were baffled, suprised, taken back even. How could someone not like updating PowerArchiver? We always believed that constant improvements made us what we are today. We laughed it off, replied how that is one of our assets and that he can disable updates if he wishes so (politely of course, eastern european way!).
Then I proceeded working on my computer: opened up Calibre to send some books to my PRS-505 and quickly cancelled update check, opened SE manager suite and quickly cancelled update check, turned on VLC and quickly cancelled update check… and I thought to myself – all these updates are quite annoying! Wait a second – could this be what our user was mentioning? Could it be that PowerArchiver is not the center of his universe (like it is to us)? Quite possibly! So i took it as a hint, and went on to time how long it takes PowerArchiver to update on my fast dual core computer and 4 Mbs connection… It took around 65 seconds until PowerArchiver 2010 11.60 was installed and running again (upgrade from PA 2007) and 8 clicks of the mouse. Now thats really not that bad… if you use PowerArchiver on daily basis. If you turn it on every once in a while, and get update screen each time, you might not like it that much. I might be getting old but i also remember how few of our standard forum dwellers also wanted better update system (less clicks).
After indentifying the problem, i went to contact our engineers to see what can be done about it. Answer was completly custom update system that is based on binary diff (bsdiff) and custom set of supporting tools developed from scratch! Since this was also mandatory for our upcoming Super Secret App, we got it greenlighted right away!
Here are our design goals (everything is based on user feedback from forums and emails, as always!):
- Smaller Installations. Our current installer is between 9 and 10 MB. We wanted to decrease update size to under 3 MB if possible. – 3x improvement in size
- Less interaction. You already have PowerArchiver installed and running. You do not need to interact with properly done update. Target was to lower number of clicks needed to 4. – 2x less interaction.
- Overall time for update. While 65 seconds is not bad, why not target 30 seconds or less? Lets do it! -2x faster update overall.
- Better Web Update GUI:
- Check for updates for all PowerArchiver products at the same time. Currently update checks are done one after other which looks a bit strange.
- Better display for Whats New info. Text based whats new does not cut it anymore in 2010. Lets link it to our blog page which explains more and has pretty pictures.
- Install PAOP and PAVD through web update GUI. Don’t have PAOP or PAVD installed and you are registered user? Why not include option to do so from update interface?!
- More information on latest from PA dot com. We have half a million users check for updates every month, yet only small amount visit our site to see latest happenings and influence development of PowerArchiver. Lets improve that!
I hope you like this upcoming update. There will certainly be an beta release for this version, and quite possibly we will have few other things lined up. Rest assured, you will be informed on these new changes. We are not sure when exactly is this update going to hit the streets, lets hope it will be done during the February 2010. Check screenshot and let us know what you think on forums (currently you cant comment here with your forum account, we are in midst of reorganizing blogs). Once we have the system working (currently it looks pretty and does nothing :P), we will also post benchmarks to see the actual difference in old and new update when updating from latest 11.61 release to 11.70. You can comment it on forums here.