InstaTech Connections Overseas

I had the pleasure of working with an InstaTech user from Portugal this morning!  He's an IT professional who was wanting to install InstaTech server, but there was an error when trying to complete the setup.

We were able to fix the problem, and in the process, I identified an area where I can improve the error reporting.  But the really cool thing was that I got to test using InstaTech from my server to connect to a computer overseas.  The computer also running Windows with a different language!  InstaTech performed very well, and I'm really pleased with how it's coming together.

It was an exciting and rewarding experience in many ways.  Every time I meet a new person through one of my apps, I get a brief glimpse into different parts of the world and different people's lives.  It gives me this feeling of how big the world is, yet how small at the same time.  And the feeling of inclusion and togetherness that comes from that can't be properly labeled.  It's amazing.

SSL Requirements for InstaTech

Translucency – News and dev blog

Occasionally, I run into this situation: Someone wants to install InstaTech Server to evaluate it, but they get stuck at the SSL certificate installation part. InstaTech currently enforces SSL, so the certificate installation is necessary. I’m happy to help people get a free Let’s Encrypt certificate installed, but it’s not always possible.

I made encryption mandatory because I didn’t want to put anything out there that had any potential for being used in an unsafe manner. My thought is that someone who is less informed about the importance of encryption may opt to skip it if allowed and put themselves and their customers at risk.

I attempted to make this as easy as possible, though. After running the installer, a quick start guide opens, and the first thing is a link to  This is by far the easiest way to get a certificate installed on an IIS server, in my opinion.

But recently, I’ve been thinking about those who are aware of the security implications, but simply want to test it internally first.

The first idea I had was to allow an unencrypted connection, but throw up huge warning messages. The second was to only allow it if it’s on the same subnet or domain (or some other manner of determining if it’s on the LAN).

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.


Oh yeah, I forgot!

I was doing some work on one of my new projects in the wee hours of the morning, and I decided to tinker with an old, under-powered tablet we have laying around.  Windows 10 doesn't run well on 1GB of RAM (read "hardly at all"), so I'm going to try various Linux distros to see if I can get any use out of it.

I wanted to remote into it from my laptop to do some clean-up on it first, since dinking around with it using touch is slow and tiresome.  Neither Remote Desktop nor Remote Assist was working, and I was about to download Team Viewer on it when I realized, "Oh yeah!  I made my own screen sharing app!"

While Team Viewer Quick Support certainly gets the job done just as quickly, there was an unique satisfaction in using my own application for real work.  I can't wait to see it in action when the full InstaTech service goes live!

Feedback on Photo Manager

Feedback on Photo Manager – Translucency

I’ve gotten some good feedback on Photo Manager already. One of the major suggestions to leave files in their current subdirectory without pulling them out. I had it doing this by design, but it poses a problem when someone doesn’t know this behavior will occur, and they sort a folder that has pictures organized into subfolders by topic.

Instead, I’ll have it create the date-named folders within the subdirectories. Or I’ll try to find a non-confusing way of prompting for a selection.

This also led me to a few more thoughts. I could create an “Undo Last Sort” button. It’ll be a little tricky to create, but I think I can do it. I also realized I should include a “current directory” property in the Advanced mode, which would give the option to control the above behavior.

Lastly, I’m testing the ClickOnce technology for application installations. What it would mean is that the applications would require an install, but there wouldn’t be any security issues, and the applications would auto-update when I release new versions.