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Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Task Catcher Universal

The recent sale of my WinPatrol™ program has generated many questions from a large, loyal user base. One common query has been about the future of WinPatrol’s sister program Task Catcher.  This program has a smaller fan base because the popularity and needs of WinPatrol has required my full attention. 

lady_7_128Task Catcher is a completely separate program with  different goals. While it currently has  familiar interface, WinPatrol is now a product of Ruiware LLC and Task Catcher is still owned by BillP Studios.  Some shared feature may continue while others will be phased out.

Watch List
Task Catcher currently has two main functions. You can create a "Watch List" of programs that you want to remain active at all times. For instance, I've added WinPatrol.exe to my watch list. If for some reason WinPatrol.exe crashes or is shut down by malware, Task Catcher will automatically restart it. I can tell Task Catcher to automatically restart it or to let me know it has stopped so I have the option of restarting it. 

addwatchui 
One of our customers runs a radio station. They have a number of sources from pre-recorded commercials and content from live streams. They use Task Catcher to make sure a program doesn't crash during the night causing dead air.

Black List
The other function is "Black List".  This function allows you to create a list of programs you never want to run on your computer. The most common use may be with parents of teenagers but it's also used by companies to prevent employees from using restricted programs. 

blacktask

Unlike WinPatrol there isn't a FREE and PLUS version of Task Catcher. You can download the version available online to see what it looks like but none of the features work in real-time until an activation code is applied.

newtaskcat

What you download today may look a little different than the screen shots above.

The sample screens you see are only the first step towards a new user interface. If you’ve used a newest Windows Phone you’ll be familiar with the interface.  If not, you’ll find an easy to understand interface with plenty of room for as much data as possible.  Stay tuned for more surprises ahead.

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WinPatrol 2014 - Free Download

Microsoft Windows 8.1 - Full Version

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Great 50% Educational Discount

Most years I’ve offered some kind of discount for students or a back to school time sale but this year our schools really need help. Bill and Melinda Gates aren’t the old tech professionals who have a sincere interest in our nations educational system. I can’t change our education system but nobody can object to having WinPatrol PLUS available for half its regular price.

schoolsale

Most of you have probably heard of changes to our school known as “Common Core”. Unless you’re an educational professional you probably won’t have an accurate understanding of how common core will affect your school and children.  You may not understand how teachers are now evaluated or how refusing to take a test could raise your taxes.

I’ve started my fourth year on the Scotia-Glenville School Board and learn something new every month. I don’t claim to be an expert on education but I have experience at hiring the best people for a job.

In our school district, the school board is an elected position with no salary or benefits. I have the added role of serving on the Audit Committee and I’m our Legislative Liaison. I have chosen the most challenging years to serve but thankfully we have built an excellent team of administrators, teachers and other staff.

Tartan3by4colorWe also have a community that considers education as critical and they’ve supported the hard decisions we’ve had to make. While billions of dollars are being spent to demonize Common Core no one is paying attention to state lawmakers balancing their budgets by taking money away from funds previously allocated for traditional education programs.

Given my interest in education I’m very happy  to offer WinPatrol PLUS for just $14.98 USD. A Family Pack license is even half price for $24.98 USD. The sale will continue until the end of August but the sooner you upgrade the quicker you’ll have more protection.

billpthankyou

If you’ve ever been infected you know the horrible feeling of being violated and the cost of repairing your computer. Even if you can recover critical programs and data the time you spend is lost forever.  For the $14.98 you spend today upgrading to WinPatrol PLUS you’ll have valuable protection that won’t slow you down. WinPatrol’s squeaky clean reputation means you won’t end up with unwanted toolbars or page hijackers.

Take advantage of this special offer and upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS today. It’s a one time payment good for all future versions.

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WinPatrol 2014 - Free Download

Microsoft Windows 8.1 - Full Version

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit


Saturday, August 02, 2014

WinPatrol’s Future Remains Bright

billpthankyou3
I recently announced a new trainer for Scotty the Windows Watch Dog. I knew the decision would be scrutinized but the former lead developer with Sunbelt Software, Bret Lowrey received a warm welcome. I promised long time WinPatrol fans I would do everything possible to keep our software something they could still recommend. Bret is proving to be just the guy to make it happen.

billpthankyou5

The proof came with the introduction of the newest WinPatrol version 32.  Bret’s ability to understand bug reports and feature requests provided the kind of communication we’ve needed. His intervention has helped find solutions to problems which never seemed to go away but have now been fixed.

winpatrolstart

I’ve been pleased and honored by many of the comments from WinPatrol fans. I’ve included some of the comments in this post. The announcement has generated more comments than any post since I began Bits From Bill in 2005.  I haven’t experience this much WinPatrol luvin’ since it was distributed as Birthdayware.

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I never expected WinPatrol to become my life but the exponential growth of mystery startup programs made it a must have program. Over the last couple years I’ve had some personal challenges but I’ve still worked hard to keep WinPatrol alive. 

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The role of designer, developer, and customer support rep while maintaining our web services was mission I accepted but it was obviously time for someone with fresh ideas and energy to take over.

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Bret and I will continue working closely together for a few months to make sure the transition is smooth. His ability to understand WinPatrol and make sense of many years of my changes  is a good sign for friends of Scotty. He has taken on the tough jobs allowing me time to prepare for my future.

billpthankyou1
I’ve had time to learn more of the secrets behind Windows 8.x, Windows 9 and have started to master some of the new development tools from Microsoft like the popular C# language. I’ve been told I should develop for Android but I believe if I can create an app that *I* want, it could be just as popular with others.

droidpatrol

I’ve become a fan of Windows Phone but like the Windows RT operating system I see a need for some killer universal apps. WinPatrol was originally created because I wanted it for my own use. I’ve been using my Windows Surface RT and Nokia Icon phone since they were released and have plenty of ideas for unique ways to improve the Windows 8+ experience.

lady128Some have asked me about the future of my Task Catcher program. BillP Studios  will continue to support the current version online but I have noticed some features are missing that I’d like myself.

I expect a new Task Catcher in the future.ladyreal128 It may not look like the current program and could be a complete rewrite using some of the newer tools from Microsoft.



Download WinPatrol 32.0.2014.5


Note: Yes, the DroidPatrol screen above represents a first pass at a Droid security program. Unfortunately, trying to keep up with vulnerabilities in Android did not meet the quality that our WinPatrol users have come to expect. This product is on hold at this time.

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WinPatrol 2014 - Free Download

Microsoft Windows 8.1 - Full Version

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit


Monday, June 30, 2014

WinPatrol™ Generation II

As an independent developer I’ve had the benefit of many personal relationships with folks who use WinPatrol.  I created a program to monitor changes because I wanted it but never expected WinPatrol to become so popular. The development, marketing, research, documentation, support and everything in between has been a challenge, even overwhelming at times.

It hasn’t been a secret that a long term family illness encouraged my search for someone who not only understood WinPatrol but would love and care for Scotty .  I had some tempting offers but they included a future without our pledge of a lifetime PLUS membership. Even worse, many respected companies thought WinPatrol would be an easy way to install unwanted toolbars and search hijackers. Most of you know how I feel about toolbars.

Ta-Da
I couldn’t be happier to introduce you to the founder of Ruiware, LLC and Scotty’s new best friend,  Bret Lowry. He’s younger with more energy but still has almost 30 years experience developing software.

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Bret found his niche in security spending eight years as architect and program  lead for CounterSpy / Vipre Enterprise when it was published by Sunbelt Software.  As lead developer Bret helped Sunbelt reach the top of many Anti-Virus reviews and benchmark metrics. His experience and vision will launch WinPatrol into a whole new class of software.

Bret has already influenced the newest version of WinPatrol available later today and has been planning improvements  future versions.

Version 32.0.2014.0 will be the first version of WinPatrol released by Ruiware (pronounced Rayware). My name is Bret Lowry, I am a founder of Ruiware and the developer who will be working on WinPatrol moving forward. I worked closely with Bill Pytlovany for this release and will continue working with him during the transition period. My commitment to WinPatrol customers is as follows:

One, your lifetime PLUS licenses are just that, lifetime licenses. That was the easiest topic in our negotiation and is written into the contract.

Two
, WinPatrol will not have toolbars or other “add-ins” added to it or its installer. Installers that do that drive me crazy because I’m the guy people call to “fix” their computer after the installer completes its hijacking. I am not going to do that to my customers.

Three
, I will be responsible for answering support questions, even more incentive to play nicely and stand-by item two above. And

Four
, I use WinPatrol myself and therefore am committed to the continued improvement of WinPatrol. I am honored to have earned Bill’s trust and confidence in his allowing me to purchase WinPatrol. Bill has run WinPatrol with integrity since its inception, as a founder of Ruiware (along with my wife Phoebe), I promise we will carry on that tradition.”

While I’ve gotten to know Bret this year, I had a long relationship with Sunbelt and their popular CEO Alex Eckelberry. I wrote to Alex  this morning and he had plenty to say including… “This is also a guy who really takes the customer needs to heart.  He listens, he learns and he executes based on customer feedback.  WinPatrol will only blossom under his leadership.”


cnet
Alex Eckelberry and friends
at CNet’s Anti-Spyware Workshop
May 3rd 2005

Over the next three months I’ll be sharing all my WinPatrol performance tricks while Bret shares his vision of an improved interface and more powerful protection. I’m confident any current fans of WinPatrol will be pleased with the results.

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WinPatrol 2014 - Free Download

Microsoft Windows 8.1 - Full Version

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit