Contents:


 

 

  Screensaver Installation / Un-Installation

 

  Starting the SimAQUARIUM Screensaver

 

  SimAQUARIUM Control Panel
       -
General Information
       -
AQUARIUM Tab
       -
OPTIONS Tab
       -
FISH Tab
       -
HELP & SET UP Tab

 

  KEYBOARD INSTRUCTIONS

 

  SCREENSAVER ACTIVATION

 

  FAQ & TROUBLESHOOTING
 



FAQ & TROUBLESHOOTING:

QUESTIONS ABOUT ORDERING SCREENSAVERS

  - How long will it take to get my Activation Code (AC) after I order?
  - I lost or didn't receive the SimAQUARIUM Activation Code!
  - I donít like to order on-line, can I send you a check, money order, or cash?
  - What is your company refund policy?
  - How secure is your online order form?
TROUBLE SHOOTING
  - I can't see any fish in the Settings menu?!
  - My firewall tells me SimAQUARIUM tried to connect to the Internet
  - I keep getting message that files are corrupted
  - SimAQUARIUM is all black!?
  - Your screensavers donít work on my computer!
  - A required .DLL file, D3D8.DLL, was not found.
  - What is DirectX and how do I install the latest DirectX version?
  - How do I install the latest 3D video card drivers?
  - I get this error message: 'Failed to create Direct3D Device Interface. Unrecognized error value'.
  - When the screensavers are running, they look really skippy and jerky (or choppy, laggy)
  - Do your screensavers work on WinNT4.0, Linux and Macintosh platforms?
  - I tried to increase/decrease light, contrast, color saturation etc. but screensaver keeps exiting to desktop


If you can not find a solution to your problem within this FAQ, feel free to send an email to technical support at team@simaquarium.com



Screensaver Installation / Un-Installation
 

To install the SimAQUARIUM main program, double-click on the SimAQUARIUM executable (*.EXE) file. This file can be downloaded from our website directly or through links presented in the email we sent you after purchase.

You uninstall SimAQUARIUM by going to the uninstall shortcut in Start Menu > SimAQUARIUM 2 > Uninstall SimAQUARIUM

 



Starting the SimAQUARIUM 2 Screensaver
 

SimAQUARIUM can be started either automatically as a screensaver by your Windows OS or manually by using a shortcut, whenever you wish - at your convenience.

- Direct (manual) start
You can manually start SimAQUARIUM either by clicking the SimAQUARIUM desktop icon, or by going to Start Menu > SimAQUARIUM 2 > SimAQUARIUM 2

Note: In order to terminate the SimAQUARIUM 2 Screensaver when it is running, press the Esc key or the Space bar on your keyboard. Also, depending on how you adjusted SimAQUARIUM 2 Screensaver in Settings menu, a mouse movement can terminate the screensaver. Please see the OPTIONS Tab for more details.

- Windows System Screensaver Start

When you install SimAQUARIUM on your system it is also installed as a Windows screensaver. Windows will be able to start SimAQUARIUM automatically when your computer has been left idle for a certain time period.

In order to adjust the general Windows screensavers settings, you first have to access the settings window for Windows Screensaver. There are two ways: either select Start Menu > Control Panel > Display or click with the right mouse button on an empty area of your Desktop and select from the pop-up menu "Properties". In both cases, Display Properties panel will appear. From there you select the Screensaver tab.

Description of the Windows Screen Saver tab:

Settings: Click on this button to access the SimAQUARIUM 2 control panel. There you can adjust the appearance of SimAQUARIUM. For instance you can there turn water surface on/off and decide which and how many fish that should populate the aquarium. Please see the OPTIONS Tab Chapter for more details.

Preview: Here you can quickly see if you are satisfied with changes made to the selected screen saver. Simply click on the Preview button and the screen saver will start.

Wait: Indicates how many minutes the computer will have to stay idle before a screensaver is started.

If you are satisfied with all changes you made, click on the OK button and the selected screen saver will start after the set waiting period has expired.





SimAQUARIUM Control Panel

- General Information

The SimAQUARIUM control panel offers you a possibility to adjust the SimAQUARIUM appearance in many ways. All according to your own likings, of course. You have four tabs to browse among. 

The easiest way to access SimAQUARIUM Control Panel is to go to Start Menu > SimAQUARIUM 2 > SimAQUARIUM 2 Settings
 

AQUARIUM Tab: shows you general information about the SimAQUARIUM, installed tank modules and more.

FISH Tab: allows you to specify species and number of fish that will swim in your aquarium.

OPTIONS Tab: allows you to specify screen resolution, sound, aquarium appearance and other functionalities.

HELP & SETUP Tab: gives you an overview of help instructions and the SimAQUARIUM Activation option.

 



AQUARIUM Tab




Use the arrows to browse through the tanks. You will be informed whether a selected tank module is installed and activated and if it is a LITE or DELUXE version. When you have selected a tank and wish to customize it, simply go to OPTIONS Tab.

Play Random: When this checkbox is enabled, a tank will randomly be chosen from the list of installed tanks every time SimAQUARIUM is started.

Use same settings: This concerns the adjustments made in OPTIONS and FISH tabs. Each tank can have its own settings (different display resolution, sound, fish selection...). When this checkbox is enabled, ALL tanks will be using the same settings (that are adjusted in the OPTIONS and FISH tabs).

Shift aquariums: After the set time has passed, next aquarium tank will automatically load and run.

Preload all tanks: When enabled, SimAQUARIUM will initially load all installed tanks so the tank manual or automatic tank transitions will be smoother. Note: This will however cause a delay at start-up while reading in the aquarium graphics files to memory instead of having the delay in-between tank shifts.

Limit FPS: When enabled, this option allows only a preferred number of frames per second (FPS) to be rendered. This is very useful if you don't want SimAQUARIUM to use all your system resources but to leave some CPU power for some other background running programs (e.g. CD-Rom burning software and similar).



FISH Tab




Here you can create your custom fish list that will swim in your virtual aquarium. There are two lists (columns): the list of available fish and the list of fish in aquarium.

Click on the arrows to scroll the list of available fish up or down. Depending on the version you registered this list have 41 fish in SimAQUARIUM Deluxe version and 26 in SimAQUARIUM Lite version.

Fish in aquarium list has 12 slots which you can fill with fish. This means you can have a maximum of 12 fish swimming in your virtual aquarium at a time.

In order to transfer the fish from the left fish list to the right fish list, you simply click on the desired fish thumbnail picture.

As soon as the Fish in Aquarium list is full (all 12 slots filled) you can not add fish any more. To make room for new fish you must delete the fish from the Fish in Aquarium list. You do this simply by clicking on a fish thumbnail picture you want to remove.

The question mark symbol is used to let SimAQUARIUM randomly choose a fish from the list of available fish and place it in the aquarium each time the screensaver is started. If all 12 slots are filled with question marks, each time when screensaver starts, 12 randomly chosen fish will swim in your aquarium.




OPTIONS Tab

Here you can make additional changes to SimAQUARIUM appearance.




Show Bubbles: Checkbox indicates whether the bubble column will be shown or not. This effect can be enabled or disabled by checking or un-checking the checkbox. In addition to this you also have an option to enable or disable the sound of bubbles in the Sounds area.

Show Water Surface:
Enable or disable the aquarium water surface with this option. This way you can alter the appearance of the aquarium a little bit.

Show Framerate: Enable or disable the frame rate display in the upper left corner of the aquarium. It presents the number of pictures per second (fps = frames per second) your computer is capable of displaying. The faster computer you have, the higher frame rate you can get. A frame rate of 30 fps is giving you smooth animation while anything below 20 fps is giving jerky/skippy/choppy animation. For comparison: a television picture has 25 fps.

Exit on Mouse Move: It can be somewhat annoying to have the screensaver terminated when the mouse pointer is moved even the slightest (like by an accidental bumping into the table). If you disable this option, mouse movement wonít affect the SimAQUARIUM run and you can the exit the SimAQUARIUM screen saver only by pressing the Escape or Space Bar key. Please see the Keyboard Instructions Chapter for more details.

Fade In/Out to preset #9 every X minutes: To each number on your keyboard (range from 1-9) a different pre-set aquarium appearance has been assigned. The preset appearance set for key #9 is an artificial night view of the aquarium. The #9 preset repeatedly appears after the specified time has passed and darkens the aquarium for a few seconds. This is to protect the phosphor layer of your monitor from wearing out, which might occur if the same image is displayed for a long time on the monitor. (LCD monitor owners don't have use of this option.)

If you find this feature useless or distracting set the value to zero minutes or simply disable it.

Display Resolution: Here you set the screen resolution for SimAQUARIUM and the color depth to use. The higher the selected resolution is the better image quality is presented in the aquarium. (Note: Higher resolution can lower the frame per second rate).

Optimal resolution for SimAQUARIUM Tank1 & Tank2 is 1024*768 in 32bit color depth. For other tanks optimal resolution is 1280*960.

If your Desktop screen resolution is different from the one set for SimAQUARIUM, each time SimAQUARIUM starts, the monitor will noisily flicker. Although this flickering is completely harmless it can be avoided if you match Desktop and SimAQUARIUM screen resolution and color depth. Please note that this flickering won't happen on high-quality CRT or LCD monitors.

Bubbles Sound ON: If you find bubbles sound irritating you may want to disable this option.

Play Selected Music: Instead of the bubbles sound you can set your own music to play. Check the Play Selected Music checkbox and then select the music file you want to be played.

Note: You can decrease or increase bubbles sound our music volume in the screensaver while it is running. Please see the Keyboard Instructions Chapter for more details.

To save changes and close the AQUARIUM tab or exit the SimAQUARIUM Control Panel, click on EXIT button.

IMPORTANT: There are plenty of additional adjustments for the screensaver appearance (that are not located here in the OPTIONS Tab) and can be only accessed and used by the keyboard keys WHILE screensaver IS RUNNING. These are effects like water flow speed, caustics light intensity, fog, blur, RGB light components, brightness, contrast, sound volume, aquarium presets 1-9 and other. Please see KEYBOARD INSTRUCTIONS Chapter for all details.

 


HELP & SETUP Tab


Your computer has to be online (connected to the Internet) in order for the options in the HELP & SETUP Tab to work.

In the SimAQUARIUM Activation textbox, enter (type or copy/paste) the Activation Code (AC) you have received by email after the purchase. Then press ACTIVATE button and wait while SimAQUARIUM connects to our online Internet server and verify your Activation Code. You will be informed whether the screensaver is activated or not.

Note: Your computer must be online (connected to the Internet) while activation is processing.
Note: Your firewall (if you have one) must allow SimAQUARIUM to access the Internet in order for the options in the HELP & SETUP Tab to work.

 



 SCREENSAVER ACTIVATION

To activate the set of screensavers you have purchased, you have to access SimAQUARIUM Control Panel and enter your Activation Code in SimAQUARIUM Activation field which is located in HELP & SETUP tab.

1. First you have to start the SimAQUARIUM2 Control Panel. Simply go to Start Menu > SimAQUARIUM2 > SimAQUARIUM Settings

2. When you are in SimAQUARIUM2 Control Panel click on the HELP & SETUP tab. You will find SimAQUARIUM Activation field located at the bottom of the panel. Enter (type or Copy/Paste) the Activation Code (AC) you have received by email after the purchase. Then press ACTIVATE button.

3. Wait while SimAQUARIUM connects to our online Internet server to verify your Activation Code. You will be informed whether the Activation is approved or not.

4. In case of any troubles with the activation process, please contact technical support.

Note 1: Your computer must be online (connected to the Internet) while activation is processing.
Note 2: Your firewall (if you have one) must allow SimAQUARIUM to access the Internet in order for the options in the HELP & SETUP Tab to work.




KEYBOARD INSTRUCTIONS

During program run you can alter the SimAQUARIUM appearance in many ways.

Keyboard Keys:

  F1 The function key, F1 will bring up the help menu.
  1-9 Each of these keys can have its own aquarium setting saved to it. The appearance you create for key 9 is the one SimAQUARIUM will fade to at the time set in the OPTIONS Tab.
      

Q/A
Z
W/S
E/D
R/F
O/P
N/M

Increase/Decrease Volume
Mute Sounds
Light Caustics Intensity
Water Flow Speed
Increase/Decrease Visibility (Tank-2 and Tank-3 only!)
Increase/Decrease Contrast
Browse Aquarium Tanks

Num Pad Keys: (Make sure Num Lock on your keyboard is enabled first!)

    

+/-
*

Increase/Decrease Light
Toggle between which color to change; Background fade color, Fog color or Light color (Tank-3 only!)
  7/4
8/5
9/6
Increase/Decrease Red Light
Increase/Decrease Green Light
Increase/Decrease Blue Light
  1/0
2
Increase/Decrease Saturation of Light color
Reset All to Default


 




 

QUESTIONS ABOUT ORDERING SCREENSAVERS
 

Q:  How long will it take to get my Key File after I order?
A:
All on-line orders will receive their activation codes (ACs) in a matter of seconds!
 

Q: How secure is your online order form?
A:
Our order form is 99.98% secure! Our credit card billing company www.2checkout.com is recognized as a world leader in credit card processing, safety and reliability.
 

Q: I donít like to order on-line, can I send you a check, money order, or cash?
A:
Yes of course! We understand that although on-line shopping is now safer then ever, some people are still hesitant about giving out their credit card information over the internet. You can send us payments by a check or money order. Please, email us for more details.
 

Q: What is your company refund policy?
A:
Due to the nature of our products we cannot offer refunds. Once you receive the activation code, it cannot be returned without you still having the ability to use it. You can run the free demo of the screensaver beforehand to make sure it runs properly on your system.
 

Q: I have lost or haven't received my SimAQUARIUM Activation Code!
A:
If you have lost or haven't received your Activation Code please fill the form on this page: http://www.simaquarium.com/contact.shtml
Within few seconds you will receive your Activation Code.

 

TROUBLESHOOTING
 

Q: I can't see and/or select any fish in the AQUARIUM Settings menu?!
A:
If you have problems with the SimAQUARIUM Settings menu where parts of the graphics are missing or corrupted, this is caused by either a missing or a broken Macromedia Flash Player 7 installation.

Solution: Download and install Macromedia Flash Player 7. The player is a free web browser add-on you can download from here: Macromedia Flash Player 7
 

Q: I keep getting message that files are corrupted each time when I try to install the screensaver.
A:
All you have to do is to re-download the screensaver. If that doesn't help then you have a virus that is attaching itself to main executable file.
 

Q: My firewall tells me SimAQUARIUM tries to connect to the Internet.
A:
Each time the screensaver starts, Flash Player wants to check with www.macromedia.com. Since the SimAQUARIUM Control Panel is made in Macromedia Flash, this is unavoidable.
 

Q: SimAQUARIUM shows a black screen although bubbles sound can be heard.
A:
You need to install the latest drivers for your 3d video card! You can update automatically by using Windows Update service or go directly here:
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/

If you have an NVIDIA chipset based 3d video card then visit www.nvidia.com and download drivers for your Windows version. If you have an ATI video card then visit www.ati.com
 

Q: Your screensavers donít work on my computer!
A:
There are the few most common reasons why our screensavers may not work:
1. your DirectX version is less than DirectX 8.1 version
2. you don't have the latest drivers installed for your 3D video card
3. you have non-standard, tweaked, corrupted or messy driver settings for your 3D video card
4. your computer doesn't meet the hardware requirements
5. you donít have a 3D video card

The most helpful solution to this problem is to install the latest drivers for your 3D video card and leave the default drivers settings intact.
 

Q: A required .DLL file, D3D8.DLL, was not found.
A:
This message means that the screensaver is trying to use Direct3D, but the DLL file containing the core functionality for it is missing. See below how to install DirectX and 3D video card drivers.
 

Q: What is DirectX and how do I install the latest DirectX version?
A:
SimAQUARIUM uses your 3D video card through Direct3D API. Support for Direct3D is provided by Microsoft's DirectX drivers. Virtually all modern games for the PC require DirectX. It provides a consistent programming interface to a wide variety of graphics cards and enables game programmers to reach the widest audience.

So the solution is to make sure that you have a complete and up-to-date set of DirectX components. To download the latest version from Microsoft, go to their DirectX download page:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/downloads/
 

Q: How do I install latest 3D video card drivers?
A:
You can update automatically by using Windows Update service or go directly here:
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/

If you have an NVIDIA chipset based 3d video card then visit www.nvidia.com and download drivers for your Windows version. If you have an ATI video card then visit www.ati.com
 

Q: I get this error message: 'Failed to create Direct3D Device Interface. Unrecognised error value'.
A:
You get this message because your computer or laptop doesn't have a 3D video card. Our screensavers require 3D video cards with at least 8Mb of video memory onboard.
 

Q: When the screensavers are running, they look really skippy and jerky (or choppy and laggy)
A:
Check the system requirements! If your 3D video card is below requirements it needs to do AGP texturing. This can cause the screensavers to perform badly.

Also, there were few reports caused by the increased hard disk activity due to AntiVirus background scanning or scheduled internet downloads. Since hard disks are CPU dependent - this might cause "choppiness" while SimAQUARIUM is running.

Programs running as a background process could affect the performances of SimAQUARIUM.

Minimum system requirements:
- Pentium III 500 MHz
- 128 MB RAM
- GeForce2
 

Q: Do your screensavers work on WinNT4.0, Linux and Macintosh platforms? Are there any future plans to port your screensavers on these platforms?
A:
Windows NT 4.0 doesn't support Direct3D and thus our screensavers don't work.
 

Q: I tried to increase/decrease light, contrast, color saturation etc. but screensaver keeps exiting to desktop.
A:
Your Numeric Keypad is disabled. Enable your Numeric Keypad by pressing the NumLock key (the NumLock light on your keyboard should lit green when the Numeric Keypad is enabled).



If you can not find a solution to your problem within this FAQ, feel free to contact technical support at http://www.simaquarium.com/contact.shtml