I seem to have been very quiet over recent months. That is not because I have been ignoring Archie but rather because we have been tied up with endless niggles.
Most of you will know that we have been trying to get version 2.3 out for nearly 2 years. The biggest hangup has been trying to get it stable under Vista. To do that we had to buy a new version of microsoft C++ which was so different from the previous version it would not initially load the program. Eventually we got all that sorted out and by early November we were ready to wrap it in the security blanket and send it out.
Then it transpired that Aladdin had abandoned the old HASP4s that we were using and wanted us to buy new hasps for all our customers. that provided enough of a drive for us to change our protection system to a software only one.
Of course, that didn't go entirely smoothly, but just before Christmas we sent out one new version to a customer and the installation worked as planned.
Of course, throughout all this we have been making updates to the program. Some of the changes are quite small but should make a biggish difference to operation. For one thing we have changed the load files to include a vehicle width as well as a track width. This means that Archie can check that the vehicle can fit on the prescribed "Lane width" which we have now renamed Bridge Width. There should be no more cases of people applying a 3.5m wide HB load to a 2.5m wide default lane.
We have also changed the way the thrust position is calculated so that the thrust never extends beyond the sphere of the loads it is supporting. This will prevent the apparent error of thrust crossing and coming out of the next arch in a viaduct.
There are a number of other changes in hand and we hope also tohave a brand new web site up and running in the very near future.
Happy new year to you all.
Oh, and by the way, I think that 2010 marks 25 years since I first made a little program called CIRAR (in those days a file name was limited to 8 characters and it only dealt with CIRcular ARches). It was written in GW basic and was very slow but today's users of Archie-M would still recognise the thrust line output even if it is in coloured lines against a black screen.
Anyway, 25 years is a long time. Even the 10 years of Archie-M has seen some changes in my life. When we began writing it in 1999 we were told it was a wasted investment as "the arch work is al but finished".
This past couple of weeks I have been working on the design of a Flexi-Arch bridge for Macrete. So not just not finished but actually a broadening application.
Looking forward to another decade working with the friends I have made in the business.