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File 132052332862.jpg - (472.83KB , 1600x1200 , 1600x1200.jpg )
26824 No. 26824
Does your desktop need ponyfication? Are you getting tired of staring at the same wallpaper all day?

Introducing the Desktop Sisters, the equestrian sun cycle simulator! This program will calculate the sun position at your current location and generate a fitting wallpaper in the style of the ep1 intro. It also updates periodically, so the sun/moon will move during the day - on your desktop!

Get it here:
(windows only)

See the attached image for a sample wallpaper.

Suggestions, bug reports and feedback are welcome!
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 26828
>> No. 26835
I like the idea. Can't really comment on how well it works just yet, aside from some tests changing the time then re-opening the program, but it looks pretty good, plus 1080p support makes me happy.
One question though, does the program auto start when you log on, or would I need to start it myself?
>> No. 26837
Incredible! Looks like you really nailed vectorization.
>> No. 26856
Um How do i know it is working because i got the pic, then I Hit exe after delay put to ten and putting in coodinates. When i move a window it has nothing behind it?? halp?
>> No. 26857
I ran the .exe file, but It didn't work...

Turns out Norton hates it. I guess it's because it tampers with system settings, but it's not very popular, classifying it as a possible zero-day.

I'm gonna trust you, so I restored it. Just putting this out there for people who can't get it to work.
>> No. 26859
Here's an idea:
Have it launch a html file that uses browser geolocation (html5) with a simple latitude-longitude input as a fallback for older browsers.
>> No. 26870
Is this the finished version of the previous ongoing thread of a similar theme?
>> No. 26875
I cant get it to work. I put in my long and lat, but its Celestia...but...its midnight...
>> No. 26876
Working so far, except at midnight, the moon took a weird jump from near the top of the screen to the far right.
>> No. 26877
Followed your progress in the other thread, and I must say, I was amazed.

Also, perfect timing haha, releasing this the day before daylight savings time ends. I'll be interested to see what happens tonight....
>> No. 26887
>Has a mac
>> No. 26888
File 132056471450.gif - (3.27MB , 820x457 , Luna caps lock gif.gif )
That's awesome! I totally just added this. :D
>> No. 26890
File 132056591268.jpg - (206.13KB , 1682x1740 , 130695858255.jpg )
>One question though, does the program auto start when you log on, or would I need to start it myself?
It doesn't start automatically, but if you want it to, just drop it in autostart (Start -> All Programs -> Autostart).

I don't think I entirely understand your post

Hmmm, that's a bit of a problem, but there's not much I can do about it. I guess Norton classifies everything making a few system calls as a virus.

Yes, it is.

Weird. Either it couldn't read your coordinates (in which case it falls back to long/lat of Zürich) or there's a bug in the calculation. I'd guess it has something to do with the coordinates, so can you check them again (E/W and N/S are important)? In case it doesn't work, just upload your Config.ini to pastebin or similar so I can check what's going on.

Hmm, somepony mentioned a similar problem on IRC. Can you post your approximate coordinates for debugging?

Heh, I wasn't aware of that, since DST ended a week ago in this country. But the program seemed to handle the transition quite well, so I guess it's going to be alright.

Since I don't have a Mac, it's a bit hard to develop for it. But I'll have a look at the OS X API and maybe come up with something.

Thanks for all the feedback, guys! Really appreciate it.
>> No. 26898
File 132058423297.gif - (722.65KB , 420x263 , desksis.gif )
The same thing happened for me at 52°08'N 21°03'E. (Although I ran it under wine and with faked time, but I'm quite sure this is not the cause of the problem).
>> No. 26900
>>26898 I mean the jump after midnight problem that is.
>> No. 26938
Yeah, that's basically what it did. At midnight almost exactly, more or less.

I gave the program 39°23'N, 74°33'W, and an update delay of 5. (Assuming that's in minutes, right?)
>> No. 26953
Seemed to do okay when it got to midnight for me tonight, a slight jump, but I assume that's just what happens every time the wallpaper updates. However, ending the process and restarting the program caused the moon to suddenly jump from near the centre of the screen to the far right!
>> No. 26956
I have a problem. After starting the program (of course, reading the README file and changing the config file accordingly), the program didn't actually do anything besides generating a wallpaper. I tried manually setting the generated wallpaper as my desktop, but no updates were made even to the generated file.

Also, after opening a window and moving it, I discovered that the wallpaper under it vanished, leaving only predefined solid background color.

Not to mention that I don't think the moon should be situated in the far right corner of the screen at 1:30 AM.
>> No. 26970
Why not this as a droid live wallpaper?
>> No. 26991
File 132065668064.png - (145.88KB , 405x405 , 132042287994.png )
Alright, found it! Turned out to be completely unrelated to your coordinates. The main issue was a slight mistake in the calculation of the Julian day.

I fixed it and uploaded the new version - just redownload it from the OP.

This might be fixed now. Due to a wrong day calculation, the program poked around in memory where it shouldn't have, so it may crash in some cases. Could you download the new version and tell me whether it fixed your problem?

I don't have a smartphone and never programmed for Android before, so I probably wouldn't be able to do that. But if anypone else is interested in doing that, they can have the graphics for Desktop Sisters if they want them.
>> No. 27001
The package has the vectors compiled into the .exe. This makes porting to Linux difficult (although I make no promises about being able to or having time to port it). If I could get them sent to here:

username at derpymail dot org

Having the equation in code form would be nice too.
>> No. 27002
I've re-downloaded the program, put in the correct latitude and longtitude. It appears to generate the correct wallpaper, and change the current desktop automatically, but still... The desktop's just gray, the default background color.

It's definetely better, but still not working correctly.
>> No. 27008
Can haz source?
>> No. 27009
Feature request: have some way to configure the app while it's running, and turn it off gracefully (restoring the wallpaper that was set before the app was run). Or: bug: the notification icon isn't showing.

Bug: the app doesn't work on Windows XP. Remember that SystemParametersInfo is only reliable with BMP files.

Bug: the wallpaper file is generated next to the exe file. If exe is in a read-only location (Program Files), the app will fail. If it's in, say My Documents or Desktop, the folder is polluted with temporary file(s). Write to $TEMP instead.
>> No. 27015
File 132068226329.png - (32.83KB , 125x125 , 131897264510.png )
New version is up that hopefully resolves the remaining issues with the program! Just redownload from the link in the OP.

Yes, of course. I compiled the graphics into the *.exe for convenience reasons (not to clutter the program directory), but I'll upload them together with the source. Note that the program doesn't actually read *.svg files but instead takes the rendered layers of the vector in *.png form. I included the *.svg anyway, in case you want to do something else with it.
The source is BlitzMax-Code, which is a language you probably haven't seen before, but I think it's quite easy to understand. Otherwise just drop me a mail with your questions.
Get the resources and code here:

Oh, hm. This might have something to do with what the other anon said about XP only reading BMPs. Are you using Windows XP? In that case, the new version will probably fix that problem.

I took a look at making it run inside the notification area before, but that requires a lot of code for not adding that much functionality. Besides, I don't think there's that much to configure during runtime.
I'll have to agree on the exit-gracefully argument though; now you have to terminate it using the task manager, which is not a very user friendly option.
The wallpaper will revert though after the next reboot, in case you get sick of it.

>Bug: the app doesn't work on Windows XP. Remember that SystemParametersInfo is only reliable with BMP files.
Yuck yuck yuck. Well, at least it was an easy fix, but still... BMP?
Thanks for the tip.

>Bug: the wallpaper file is generated next to the exe file.
Ah, right. My projects folder is not on my system drive so I never had problems with that, but yeah, it's not good practice on windows. I fixed that as well.
>> No. 27019
Just a small thing, but you could try including a simple .bat file to close the program. It's not quite the same as having an icon on the taskbar, but I've found it a little easier than using Task Manager to close it. I been using:
taskkill /F /IM "Desktop Sisters.exe" and have a shortcut to it on my desktop.
>> No. 27022
Good suggestion! Added it straight away and uploaded a new version.
>> No. 27023
File 132068716584.jpg - (24.39KB , 404x267 , 1309142374583.jpg )
How did you even happen upon such an obscure programming language?

Remove the /F flag and have the app handle the WM_QUIT message. That way you can delete your temporary wallpaper file and restore the original wallpaper on exit.
>> No. 27024
Are there any plans for multiple monitor version? Since my main monitor is a bit smaller than my other monitor the wallpaper on the second monitor gets tiled.
>> No. 27025
File 132068755560.png - (53.47KB , 558x538 , memhog.png )
Bug: Memory leaks everywhere! Pic related.
>> No. 27028
That should be solvable by fiddling with the flags passed to SystemParametersInfo. Also, from my experience, if the primary screen is the smaller one, other screens will get a wallpaper that doesn't cover them entirely no matter what. I haven't tried figuring that one out too much though.
>> No. 27037
File 132069353206.png - (315.09KB , 680x680 , 132022151220.png )
I don't know, found it at some point, tried it and loved it. I wouldn't really recommend it for big projects, but for small applications like this it's absolutely perfect.

>Remove the /F flag and have the app handle the WM_QUIT message.
Already tried that, didn't work. It seems you -have- to force kill it.

Windows does not support this natively (as in, using the actual wallpaper feature). There is a small hack, which works by generating one huge wallpaper spanning both monitors and setting it to tile. I'll look into that.
Other than that, there's only proprietary software or adding a screen-sized desktop gadget displaying an image.

No memory leak, just the garbage collector being lazy. The program does some initialization work at the beginning which is quite memory extensive, but after that memory usage stays pretty constant at around ~40MB depending on your resolution. Unfortunately though the garbage collector does not release that unused memory immediately, but postpones that until certain conditions are met. Since the program pretty much sleeps all the time after initialization, it takes a few wallpaper updates until it actually releases that memory.
I uploaded a new version which manually invokes the garbage collector after each update so the program doesn't hold on to memory it doesn't really need. Link in the OP.
>> No. 27091
File 132071344160.jpg - (358.94KB , 1600x900 , Wallpaper.jpg )
Does the moon really follow the path of the moon, or just the opposite of the sun? (you could expand on this by having moon-phases)
What is the equation for this, exactly. Does it take DST into account?
Finally, can you create a blog where you officially announce new versions?
>> No. 27109
>> 27091

No (at least from the source). It just compute sunrise and sunset (times and not angles) and then interpolates. In other words, the sun and moon always follow the same path (regardless of location and time). Only the speed are changed.

I'm very tempted to stick with Thunabrain's design decisions though. Here's one potential problem with a more accurate model:

(try hitting animate and playing with the latitude sliders). How do we pick which angles are visible in 2D? Also, unlike in Equestria, the sun and moon can be both up or both down at the same time here (where "up" and "down" are defined by the elevation/altitude).

I like this quote from the code:

Local INNER_CIRCLE:Double = 1000.0*ResW*1.0/1680.0 'Don't ask

Could somepony render sunbeam, sunlight and moonlight into images? They currently only exist in code. These seem to only depend on the position of the sun and moon's position (and not the angle). So it seems an image with alpha channel would be plausible.
>> No. 27129
I can't even get the program to start...My coordinates are correct and everything...I click the sisters icon, but nothing happens. My background doesnt change...
>> No. 27133
File 132073696608.jpg - (31.57KB , 600x339 , 1304180564355.jpg )
Trying to get accurate positions doesn't make a lot of sense when moon seems to be somehow tied to night in Equestria (as Luna had “to lower the moon to make way for the dawn”). Adding phases might be nice, though. Oh wait, but if Sun rises the moment Moon sets, this must ineluctably mean that it's always a full moon! Unless phases also are done by magic. Alicorn pony did it after all.

And funny thing with DST. It should be irrelevant as the Sun rise/set times do not depend on any legal time zones. It should use only UTC and lat/lon information. I can see, however, a lot of weird things going on in the code.
>> No. 27149
File 132075009980.jpg - (45.17KB , 600x400 , thank_ya_kindly.jpg )
A quick update.

The current version (as of >>27037 ) seems to work correctly. I'll report any bugs if I find then, but for now, thank you for your work - now I have an awesome wallpaper :)
>> No. 27151
File 132075172686.png - (265.70KB , 734x680 , 130722056884.png )
>Does the moon really follow the path of the moon, or just the opposite of the sun?
It follows a predefined path and does not take into account the actual moon path. I wouldn't even know where to begin if I had to calculate the actual moon path, especially considering what Cantorlot said about using that data in a 2D environment.

>What is the equation for this, exactly. Does it take DST into account?
It follows these equations:

This calculates sunrise/sunset in UTC, which is then converted to local time using your system's time settings. As long as your operating system takes DST into account, the program will as well.

>Finally, can you create a blog where you officially announce new versions?
Setting up a blog for this is a bit overkill imho. Is the form as a thread very confusing? I tried giving posts introducing updates titles so it's a bit more obvious when a new version is up.

>I like this quote from the code
Yeah, that was from when I tweaked it for different resolutions and aspect ratios. At some point during the tweaking process I thought "Screw this" and adjusted everything to work for my resolution. The final version just takes these constants and scales them according to the actual resolution.

>Could somepony render sunbeam, sunlight and moonlight into images? They currently only exist in code.
They are in the SVG, but that one is a bit messy since it was pretty much my first vector. I'll render them into images later today so you can use them.

Can you take a look at the task manager after double-clicking it? Maybe it does start, but has trouble setting the wallpaper.
Also, what version of windows are you using?

In any case, try redownloading it from the OP. You may have an older version that still has a few bugs.

(I can see the point of a blog now)


Also, it does compute sunset/sunrise in UTC. The program converts these to local time to work with them, though. But as mentioned earlier, DST should not be an issue.
>> No. 27157
> They are in the SVG, but that one is a bit messy since it was pretty much my first vector. I'll render them into images later today so you can use them.

Actually I had trouble just opening the SVG in Gimp (but intend to use the pngs anyway).

Just a note if you are going to do this render, I only need DrawDayBackground and DrawNightBackground rendered, probably with SunX, SunY both set to 0 but both loops set from -ResH to ResH and -ResW to ResW.

So this way, I can crop and scale the resulting image (default resolution for ResH and ResW should be fine) and just reder them directly rather than draw the pixels.
>> No. 27167
You use Inkscape for SVG, silly.

Thunabrain should set up a Google Code project instead.
>> No. 27169
Will it work on Windows 7 Starter?
>> No. 27176
File 132077030239.png - (28.07KB , 103x98 , 131952724547.png )
There you go. The backgrounds are rendered at the same resolution as the other pngs (width of 2048), so you can just scale them with the same factor as the rest.

Probably yes. Download it and try would be my suggestion :)
>> No. 27177
Aw, now I have to watch ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/temp/ instead of current directory.
nb, wine+inotifywait+xsetbg=“linux version”
>> No. 27208
Alright, so i'm running XP here, and it didn't work at all until i set the desktop background to "none" and reapplied the wallpaper. Now it works fine. Which files do i put in my start up folder, just desktop sisters and config?
>> No. 27278
File 132085131331.gif - (343.02KB , 400x387 , 131108949893.gif )
I just put a shortcut to desktop sisters in my startup folder. I haven't restarted my computer recently, so I can't really tell you if it works.
>> No. 27291

For me the process does start upon the startup of the computer but the wallpaper won't show unless if i start the .exe manually.
>> No. 27294
File 132086292111.jpg - (1.44MB , 3360x1050 , what.jpg )
I left the computer on for a few days, came back, saw this.
>> No. 27295
Must be a fog.
>> No. 27349
File 132091157724.jpg - (1.13MB , 3360x1050 , what2.jpg )
Next morning.
>> No. 27351
oh, btw, my config.ini:
Latitude = 56°56'N
Longitude = 24°6'E
UpdateDelay = 1
>> No. 27362
File 132092842066.gif - (3.07MB , 640x400 , fadeout.gif )
If my debugging crystal ball is right (I don't even know what language is this) and the code still looks similar to the on published in >>27015 then it's probably very funny bug in BlendPixmap method:
> SourcePtr[3] = (SourcePtr[3]*SourceAlpha) Shr 8
Thunabrain, sprites that are pasted using this method are gradually loosing their aplha value. You probably shouldn't modify SourcePtr[3] in this method at all (I don't know the language, but I'm guessing this is a pointer not a copy). Another thing is that you may have thought that this operation is idempotent when SourceAlpha=255, this is also wrong because forall 0<x≤256 : ((x*255)>>8)==x-1. You wanted to divide by 255, shift divides by 256. You've repeated this mistake in BlendColor and ApplyCanvasEffect, but because values are lowered at most by one only it goes unnoticeable unless it gets repeated and error accumulates as in BlendPixmap.

It gives quite interesting effect, because background and canvas effect is left intact. It takes 256 updates for things to completely disappear and because it's gradual it may go unnoticed at all during first hundred updates or so.
Nopony else noticed the effect before, because it's having low UpdateDelay what made it faster and therefore noticeable.
>> No. 27402
File 132095540855.gif - (1.40MB , 640x400 , fade-luna-full.gif )
And nighttime gif, for reference and because it's fun.
Seeing stars disappear is kind of disturbing, though.
>> No. 27615
File 132121641995.jpg - (61.76KB , 700x700 , 131984839484.jpg )
Alright, I think I fixed the problems with XP now! Just redownload it from the OP and it should work.

As for autostart, I'm not sure how it worked on XP, but just google "autostart windows xp" and you should find some answers.

Oh, my bad, that shouldn't read SourcePtr[3] at all. I fixed that as well.

>Another thing is that you may have thought that this operation is idempotent when SourceAlpha=255
I know it's not entirely accurate, but more than sufficiently for what it was intended for, and also a whole lot faster than doing signed integer division (which is critical since that operation is executed on a lot of pixels).
I just forgot that I was pulling the pointer directly from the pixel data itself and not from some intermediate variable, so I modified it thinking it was safe.
But good job on remote debugging!
>> No. 27677
Works on Windows XP.

Bug: It's possible to start multiple instances of the application.
>> No. 27926
I use XP, and I have it set to run on startup, working fine. All I did was drag the .exe to the "Startup" folder under "All Programs" in the Start menu.
>> No. 28518
I've configured the coordinates like it said in the README file, but I still don't see any wallpaper? Any idea how to fix this?
>> No. 28521
What version of Windows? What antivirus? Any other unusual software?
>> No. 28568
File 132208719799.jpg - (59.62KB , 617x725 , 130569456073.jpg )
well hi there xD i downloaded it, and i configure the settings to my town, but then what?? when i try to save it tries to save it as a word document and makes no difference to the document when i open it D: help please???
>> No. 28569
well hi there xD i downloaded it, and i configure the settings to my town, but then what?? when i try to save it tries to save it as a word document and makes no difference to the document when i open it D: help please???
>> No. 28591
I seem to be having some problems getting this to work on my laptop.

The funny thing is, it works fine on my desktop. Both are running Windows 7 Ultimate, with Avira Free Antivirus. Any idea what the problem could be?
>> No. 28610
Edit the file with Notepad. It should open with Notepad by default, but in case it's not: right click the file -> open with... -> pick Notepad from the list
>> No. 28624
File 132215763323.jpg - (7.79KB , 225x225 , 131335122286.jpg )
Souh. After running Desktop Sisters, I can't revert to any other wallpaper. Any ideas on how I could fix this?
>> No. 28653
You have to end the task first using either Terminate.bat or Task Manager. You can't change wallpaper while the program is running.
>> No. 28683
File 132225730071.jpg - (183.21KB , 1280x1024 , uhm.jpg )
Ghost pony?
>> No. 28684
terminated and reopened, its fine now. interesting though!
>> No. 28691
Have you downloaded the lastest version? That was an issue that was addressed in the lastest version. It will reset when you run the program again but will continue to happen when it is left running long enough.

If you downloaded it before this post >>27615, then you'll need to redownload.
>> No. 28750
Howdy! I just installed Ubuntu and was wondering i this will work for me?
>> No. 28756
I should work fine with wine (and maybe some hacking to get it on screen; works for me on debian) but you should also probably check out python port >>27334
>> No. 28761
>> No. 28807
File 132234910396.jpg - (644.08KB , 1366x768 , screenshot_4.jpg )
When I run the exe nothing happens at all. If I run it again it just adds one more process... I can stack them up like a tower, but none of them actually do anything.
>> No. 28895
My friend and I both have no problem running it on our desktops, but I've yet to speak to somepony who can say that it works on their laptop. That might very well be your issue, although I have very little idea why that would affect it at all. Power-saving settings, maybe?
>> No. 28915
It works on my laptop just fine even with power saving.
>> No. 32158
I changed the resolution from 1366 x 768 to 1360 x 768, now it's working.
>> No. 32161
is this saged?
>> No. 32490
File 132750386778.png - (246.49KB , 1600x1212 , 1318268545661.png )
I think it just hasn't been bumped in a very long time. It's odd though that the OP image 404'd for me
>> No. 37088
For whatever reason, it won't run on 1366x768. If you use that for your resolution, turn it down to 1360x768, and it will work just fine.
>> No. 42026
necrobump for no apparent reason
>> No. 43122
The link is dead! :'(
>> No. 43126
Hey guys I'm not Thunabrain.
But I'v uploaded the files to my mediafire.
>> No. 43128
Even if you can's properly spell "wallpaper" and didn't make the background, I'll see how good this is.
>> No. 43150
It works fine, and is very reminiscent of the show (although I accidentally left it as East instead of West, making it nighttime instead of day. that might explain a lot of those "It's daytime at Midnight" posts above). I approve of this.
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