Embroidery Reader 2.2.3 released

I’ve released Embroidery Reader 2.2.3, which fixes a lot of issues that were reported through the error report form. Visit the Embroidery Reader page to download the latest version.

The list of changes include the following, and probably more:
– Rewritten installer
– The installer for 2.0 – 2.1.1 was based on auto-generated code, and while it worked, it left much to be desired.
– Removes any previous versions that use the Wix-based installer when a new version is installed.
– Installs icon as a .ico file instead of a .exe file, to prevent Windows 8 and 10 trying to launch the icon instead of the application.
– Much, much cleaner and simpler to maintain.
– Now installs per-machine if the user account has permission to do so.
– Offering the option of “Everyone” or “Just me” can lead to multiple copies in Programs and Features.
– The installer should do a per-user install instead, if the account only has per-user permissions.
– Optimized design rendering
– Design rendering takes about 1/2 the time it did in version 2.1.0 – should be closer to speed of version 1.5.1.
– Should use fewer resources and clean up after itself better.
– embroideryInfo utility has some new options
– Now requires –debug for debug output.
– Now accepts –all instead of a file name for –debug and –image, to process all files in the current working directory.
– Debugging changes to gather more information on a few bugs.
– Printing crashes seem to be the most common, so added some checks on the resolution data retrieved from printer.
– New functionality for ‘filter ugly stitches’ setting
– If enabled, stitches that appear to be movement-only will be filtered regardless of length.
– To see this new functionality, enable ‘filter ugly stitches’ setting with a large value like 500.
– Fixed several printing bugs
– Designs should now print about actual size on paper
– Fixed crash for printers that report general print quality setting instead of actual DPI
– Fixed a crash when no printers are installed, or no default printer is set

Special thanks to all of those who sent error reports. Most of the bugs above were found by checking through those reports. Special thanks to Wanita for sticking with me and getting the information needed to fix the printer DPI problem!

Embroidery Reader 2.1.0 Released

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I’ve released Embroidery Reader 2.1.0, which adds a new feature to help report unhandled exceptions. It also includes fixes for the following issues:

  • Displaying gibberish for some designs
  • Crashes when trying to open certain files
  • Some settings get saved when cancel button is clicked on preferences dialog
  • Possibly other crashes related to opening files (generally improved robustness of file reading code)

Visit the Embroidery Reader page to download the new version.

Nikon D70 CHA error

The short version:
Nikon D70 CHA errors may be repairable by disconnecting and reconnecting both ends of the ribbon cable that connects the CF slot to the main board. See this excellent Nikon D70 iFixit guide for details about how to take apart and reassemble your camera.

The longer version:
Before we start, I should stop to say that this is a record of my experience, and I can’t guarantee that it will work for you. In other words, please use common sense… if you’re not comfortable handling a small screwdriver to remove parts of your camera, then it’s best to have your camera repaired professionally. Now, on to my little story…

I have a Nikon D70, which has been a good camera for many years. Over the last 2 years or so it has started to exhibit the dreaded “CHA” error, meaning that it doesn’t recognize the CompactFlash card in the memory card slot. Google tells me that other D70 owners have been able to fix this issue by replacing the CF slot, but I couldn’t find any replacement parts anywhere online. So, I decided to try to repair the existing one.

The Nikon D70 iFixit guides are great, and with a little patience I was able to remove the memory card slot assembly. I found that one pin was pushed all the way back into the plastic holder. At this point, I tried to push the pin back into it’s normal position. This was not really a good idea, as it snapped completely off the circuit board with the slightest pressure.

In my case, pin 50 was the pushed back and now broken off pin. (At least I think so… it’s the best I can figure based on the diagram at the bottom of this page: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19858-01/821-0078-10/z40000901448028.html) After consulting wikibooks.org, I found that pin 50 is one of several ground pins, so one of them missing shouldn’t affect the memory card’s operation.

So I decided to reassemble the camera and see what happens. (Nothing to lose at this point, right?) In order to get the CF slot assembly back into the camera, I had to remove the ribbon cable and connect it from the other side. It didn’t fit back through the way it came out. Although it was an accident, I’m pretty sure reconnecting this cable was the key to fixing the problem.

After finishing the reassembly, I turned the power switch on, and… it worked! It found the CF card on the first try. This in itself was an improvement over the previous state of affairs. It’s been about 2 weeks since the repair, and so far it hasn’t shown any more CHA errors.

I did the same repair on my dad’s D70, and his seems to be working again as well.

Hopefully this post can help others trying to figure out how to fix CHA errors on their Nikon D70. If you found this helpful, drop me a line on the contact page and say “hi”!