Brief Biography of a Program
SPLASH was designed and developed for Design Imaging Group. The concept for the SPLASH product was conceived of by the President of Design Imaging Group, a Pool and Landscape Imaging Service. He wanted a product for his customer base - Pool and Landscape Architects.
He wanted a product simple to use, yet powerful - a software package designed explicitly for his clientel - that used terminology and techniques that his customers were familir with - a product that met their needs (not what a programmer thought their needs should be).
So, Digital ChoreoGraphics proceeded to extract the CEO's ideas from his dream, codify them and translate them into a Product Specification. We elected to use the Windows 3.1 operating system (Win95 was still vaporware), so that we didn't have to create device drivers for new graphics boards and printer/plotters.
Digital ChoreoGraphics would draw example Dialog Boxes and sample User Manual descriptions of procedures to perform Pool Design functions, and run these by the creater until we had what he saw in his minds eye.
Thus DCG came up with the "Bar Napkin Paradigm". The Pool designer typically draws a pool by enscribing intersecting circles and erasing the unwanted sections. Our favorite example occured while sitting at a local pub favoured by DCG personnel, using beer glasses as templates to draw pools on the back of bar napkins - hence the Bar Napkin Paradigm.
Several technologies were combined to create this procedure. The first is to allow the architect to scan-in the bar napkin to the program. Well, not everyone has a scanner, but businesses usually have a FAX. So SPLASH allows the architect to FAX his Bar Napkin to his computer, then load the FAX'd image into SPLASH's background (he can use a scanner if he has one). The architect may then trace over the FAX'd image using SPLASH's drawing tools.
Another feature in the Bar Napkin Paradigm package is the Beer Glass. The Pool Designer can use intersecting circles to create a pattern, and erase unwanted arcs from the drawing. There is an extremely unique underlying technology in this implementation.
But you must download SPLASH and try it out to see it work.
The CEO liked the product so well, that he decided to create a sister product for the Landscape industry - PlanScape. A similar concept, but with terminology and toolset unique to landscape architecture.
It was then decided to protect the investment by enclosing it in a copy protection envelope, to prevent "software piracy". DCG recommended that rather than copy protect the software, that the Client should give the product away for a 30 day FREE TRIAL, with an embedded timer. At the end of 30 days, the product announces that it must be reactivated with a unique password.
The latest and greatest version of the PlanScape package includes a Plant Database Catalogue and an automated Estimate Generation and Invoicing utility. The User selects a plant from the on-line catalog, places it on the site plan, and automatically generates a 'parts list', installation notes, estimate and invoice.
Note that our ftp site contains downloadable TRIALWARE versions of both SPLASH! and PlanScape. Pick the SPASH! Logo image (bottom left) and select one of splash.zip or planscp.zip. Unzip (pkunzip) it into its own directory. Use the Program Manager's FILE/NEW operation to create a new PROGRAM ITEM from the downloaded .EXE file. When the evaluation period expires, you can reactivate the program with a phone call and a credit card.
You will have 30 days of free evaluation from the time you unzip either SPLASH! or PlanScape.