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Vantage 1.10 finally released

By Chris Williams. Published: 25th Jun 2003, 00:07:14 | Permalink | Printable

Good things come to those who wait

What's that? Oh, oh.. oh yes, that's definitely the sound of the Cerilica Vantage userbase sighing heavily with relief. In an email posted to the Vantage user mailing list, Cerilica are "pleased" to announce the availability of the fabled version 1.10. Vantage is Cerilica's flagship vector graphics, design and publishing software.

"This is a stability release", Cerilica's technical director Simon Birtwistle explained. "We have responded to customer's comments and have concentrated on removing all reported instabilities. There may be some remaining benign misfeatures, which we are now working to solve."

This version also includes many bug fixed and these new features:
  • Alpha sprite blending. Sprite fills can use an alpha channel to control transparency.
  • Blended multilines
  • SVG export and Photoshop PSD export

Version 1.10 of Vantage had been promised by Cerilica in May 2002 when punters were told at the Wakefield 2002 show that 1.10 would be out shortly after the event. One year on, the upgrade that promised much improved application stability and other key features, was no where to be seen and grumblings from end users turned into rebellious unrest and increasing talk of legal action to claim refunds.

This new version also includes what's described as "a more sophisticated Cerilikey protection system" which is designed to prevent unauthorised copying of Vantage. The Cerilikey system basically requires users to register their copy of Vantage within 14 days of installing it. When moving to a new computer, you'll have to re-register your copy, again within a 14 day period. To register and re-register your copy, you have to email Cerilica or post them a note.

The upgrade is available via Cerilica's online upgrade system. We're looking forward to reading end user feedback on version 1.10.


Cerilica Vantage
myriscos.co.uk analysis Cerilica, Vantage and April

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Nice to hear Cerilica have got Vantage 1.10 out the door.

It is a bit sad that some people are obviously stealing there hard work. -- Steve Knutson

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 25/6/03 6:01AM
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It Works on Aemulor on the IYONIX too! :o) -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 25/6/03 6:36AM
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Err, I thought Vantage 1.10 was supposed to be 32-bit - should work on Iyonix without Aemulor.

 is a RISC OS Userpeterb on 25/6/03 8:05AM
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Great news - this keeps the healthy competition between Vantage and ArtWorks (2) alive! -- Andrew Harmsworth, Cambridge. www.gcse.com owner and author

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 25/6/03 8:28AM
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And what happens when Cerilica go out of business?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 25/6/03 10:05AM
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Obviously that's not something they are planning to do. And designing a copy protection system that can be unlocked in the case of the company going bust is a bit defeatist and pointless. -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 25/6/03 10:22AM
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But it'll prolly only take somebody an hour or two to crack the protection anyway.

(Only just added sprite fill alpha blending? My god! I'm glad I didn't buy Vantage ages ago - that's a feature I depend on)

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 25/6/03 10:27AM
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> But it'll prolly only take somebody > an hour or two to crack the > protection anyway.

Presumably, the point is that this will deter otherwise 'honest' users from 'innocently' passing on a copy to someone else who just wants to 'try' it? Apparently, this was killing sales. Slap wrists :-(

Anyway, a BIG hurrah for the new version. It seems a *vast* improvement in terms of stability. That said, I reported a problem I was experiencing with saving Pings, Tiffs, etc., and in under an hour had received a friendly missive to say that the glitch had been fixed and an update would be announced (hopefully today). Thanks Simon B., keep up the good work!

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 25/6/03 2:12PM
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Vantage 1.10 is 26 bit only. Word on the Vantage mailing list is that a 32 bit native version will be released soon provided no huge bugs are found in the latest 26 bit update. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 25/6/03 2:14PM
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So we're expected to pay for something that we can only use as long as we don't buy a new computer after the company doesn't exist?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 25/6/03 10:38PM
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Presumably, if the company ceased to exist, one of their last acts (or one of the reciever's first acts) would be to release details about removing the copy protection.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 25/6/03 10:54PM
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Based on my experience of today, I expect Cerilica to go from strength to strength:

I reported a few glitches earlier on, received a promise of a bux-fixed version from the programmer, and the update from 1.10 to 1.10a is on the website, *exactly* as promised. On time even! Remarkable support.

The new 'blended multilines' feature is interesting. Quite fun! Oh, and a peek in the 'history' file has uncovered support for TableMate (both import and export). That's rather nice also.

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 25/6/03 11:22PM
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mavhc: Yes. That's not an unreasonable thing to expect. There are a whole series of other 'what if's as well and in the end the only way to safeguard the longterm availability of software is to open source it. However, then you have companies working and getting nothing in return.

And nunboy is correct, no protection system is uncrackable. -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 26/6/03 11:37AM
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It's entirely unreasonable. If the company doesn't guarantee I can use their software after they stop existing I'm not going to pay for it.

It's like not being able to use my RiscPC after Acorn stopped existing.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 26/6/03 12:23PM
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In the event that Cerilica stopped trading (I hope we are not jinxing them with all this talk of it) I doubt anyone would mind too much if you got a cracked serial number or whatever for your legal copy. If the owners of Vantage did mind, then I think they would have a moral obligation to help you out, if not a legal one.

Frankly I find it hard to understand why anyone was pirating Vantage in the first place, with the market being in the state it is.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/6/03 12:37PM
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Because it cost ridiculous amounts ( ie > 0 ) of cash. Duh.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 26/6/03 6:33PM
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Mavhc - It is also entirely unreasonable for people to steal the software too, but it appears that people are. If a copy protection system means more sales, then that must be good.

This isn't the first and probably won't be the last piece of software to have copy protection. Aemulor is locked to a specific MAC address. CC used Dongles.

If you don't like this feature, then spend up large on Artworks. We are fortunately to have (atleast) two excellent choices!

-- Steve Knutson

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 26/6/03 9:24PM
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imj: I just kind of thought that anyone using RISC OS appreciates the problems it's got and will want to pump money into the market. If you want to save money big time, you're not going to be using RISC OS at all, I would'nt have thought, unless you pirate *everything*.

I've got no beef with copy protection, as long as it's not too intrusive. I'm just surprised that companies are feeling it necessary, I thought you could count the number of RISC OS pirates on one hand.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 27/6/03 12:41AM
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I don't mind copy protection, I just want a guarantee.

thegman: True, but you can count the number of users on two.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 27/6/03 7:32AM
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Given that mavhc is unlikely to buy it or any other large RISC OS software package, I don't think anyone should be overly concerned.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 27/6/03 9:55AM
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I'm not? Why?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 27/6/03 3:54PM
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Copy protection rarely increases sales. It simply decreases illegal copying. The majority of people who download Macromedia stuff, or what ever, from KaZaA and such do so because they'd like to have the app. But if it meant having to pay for it, they'll just do without.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 28/6/03 5:21PM
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Bollocks. Some piracy will not be lost sales. Some however definately will be. Then there's the indirect damage. You could have spent your money on Artworks instead, if Vantage truly was 'too expensive'. Now you have your pirated copy, you won't buy that either.

 is a RISC OS Userjerryf on 29/6/03 10:33AM
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nunfetishist raises an interesting point. Let me approach it at a slightly different angle, why do people have *no problem* contemplating spending over >1000 on new hardware but will quibble if a piece of software costs more than a tenner ?

Part of the problem is *people* don't think of the effort (and cost) involved in developing software in the same way - this is unfortunate - and is why (in addition to the shrinking market) why many RISC OS software vendors have simply left.

While it is possible for some people in their spare time (God bless 'em I don't know how they do it) to produce good code and give it (or it's binaries) away for nothing - they can obviously *only* do this if they "earn" they crusts somewhere else.

The downside to this is the number of "full time" RISC OS developers are very few - this means speed of development and long term availability is less certain. This in turn hits confidence (so people buy less software making matters worse).

IMHO People have to get their head round the fact that simply stealing code from the few vendors still supporting RISC OS is silly (and shortsighted), what point is there spending 1300+ quid on a machine if there is no software to run on it ?

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 29/6/03 2:56PM
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I don't see why or how anyone would make a fuss over the price of Vantage. Less than 200 for a top-notch vector design program with advanced ink simulation technology? For goodness sake, that sort of technology cost hundreds more, in same cases thousands more, on Windows and MacOS platforms.

If you want a budget vector package, you want something along the lines of DW3M or whatever it's up to now. Vantage (and indeed ArtWorks) is more Adobe Illustrator-calibre and so you would expect to pay for it.

Vantage is a bit of a lifeline for professional designers and any other designer who wants or needs to send files to other platforms. It's Photoshop and CMYK TIFF export facilities are in themselves major life-savers. -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 29/6/03 3:47PM
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They wouldn't pay for hardware if they could just download it.

To some people Vantage is worth x ukps, to others it's not. Maybe they'd pay x/2 ukps for it, but they often don't have that choice. If they find a friend who would also pay x/2 for it they could buy it together, slightly illegal but the author gets x more then he would have. Maybe they should promise to use it <12hours a day each.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 29/6/03 4:20PM
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Yeah, you're right. Some people seem to be too stupid to realise that development and production of anything costs money - material and wages, not to mention the requirement of profit, which is after all the point of a business.

If you go into Dixons and see a nice MP3 player but you think it's a bit pricey, you can't just take it and walk off without paying. It's no different with software. There is no excuse for being a thief. It's that simple. -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 29/6/03 5:37PM
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Arenaman> Agreed.

The hardware end for example is ridiculously expensive. The original Archimedes cost 4 Million pounds (at the time 1987), and would no doubt cost a lot more today. It would simply *not* be possible for hardware vendors to simply give it away.

By the way there's a story in Computer Shopper that IBM are seeking 5% royalty (backdated) from PC manufacturers who've used IBM patented technology (I am not sure if this effects the Acorn field - but IBM's patent portfolio is quite wide). It may mean hardware will just get 5% more expensive to produce - great ;(

As to software each programmer (unless they like a diet of freshly killed rat) will like to get paid because the (a). Need to eat (b). Their bank doesn't operate a scheme of negotiating morgages down by half on demand and (c). neither do the utilities (electricity, gas, water etc.,) with respect to their bills.

Companies attempting to sell software will need to buy hardware, purchase compilers and tools, invest in training, produce documentation, maintain a web presence and provide support for their products.

All of these things cost - simplying mugging the company or their staff does nothing other than force those rare brave software producing firms that stuck with RISC OS out of the market.

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 29/6/03 6:01PM
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If the market is big enough, the principles expounded in 'The Cathedral and the Bazzar' work very well; software can be free, but charge for all that goes with it to make your money.

However, the RISC OS market is just too small for things to work that way. A pity, but them's the facts.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 29/6/03 7:29PM
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How can a software company give away software? -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 29/6/03 8:37PM
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arenaman: [link]

It all makes sense to me; but as I say, it wouldn't work for RISC OS software. No doubt someone more knowledgeable than me will come along and point out all the problems with it, too; I'm not an open-source zealot.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 29/06/03 10:34PM
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Btw, after some disruption caused by Cerilica accidentally issuing broken registration keys, it's reported that they've fixed their code that generates the reg. keys and users can sucessfully register their copies of Vantage.


 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 29/06/03 10:41PM
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Copy protection so good even the author's can't use it.

Still, not as bad as the ULA based stuff on the BBC, a slight change in the hardware broke it. Impossible to crack without a complete emulation of the hardware though.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 30/06/03 00:30AM
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