Image Surfer Pro is designed to work seamlessly with all versions of Windows and Internet Explorer. It completely supports both 32bit and 64bit computers as well as 32bit versions of IE running on a 64bit Windows environment. Tied into support for the operating system architecture is support for Enhanced Protected Mode
Generally speaking 32bit operating systems can provide up to 2Gig of memory to a running application such as Internet Explorer. A 64bit version of windows removes this constraint. To take advantage of the additional memory, you must also be running a 64bit version of Internet Explorer. Image Surfer Pro runs inside Internet Explorer, adding a third aspect to the 32bit vs. 64bit architecture. Just as you can not run a 64bit version of Internet Explorer on a 32bit version Windows, you can not run a 64bit version of Image Surfer Pro within a 32bit version of Internet Explorer. However, just as a 32bit version of Internet Explorer can run on a 64bit version of windows, the 64bit version of Internet Explorer can use the 32bit version of Image Surfer Pro.
While it is possible for the latest version of Internet Explorer to utilize the 32bit version of Image Surfer Pro, you must download and install the 64bit version of Image Surfer Pro on a 64bit system to assure the correct registry settings are made to link Image Surfer Pro and Internet Explorer. As long as you install the correct version of Image Surfer Pro for your operating system (the install packages assure this), it will be available in which ever version of Internet Explorer is running.
Each part of the 64bit Image Surfer Pro fusking system provides specific aspects of the surfing experience. Windows provides the underlying memory management and structure in which Internet Explorer and Image Surfer Pro operate. Internet Explorer provides the web interface as well as display / browsing capability while Image Surfer Pro manages the fusker collections and uses the Internet Explorer capabilities. The primary difference between a 32bit implementation and a 64bit implementation is in the display capabilities of Internet Explorer. This is because the primary use of memory will be in displaying images and multi media files. Managing the fusker collection does utilize some memory, but the difference in size between a fusker collection and the media it references can be dramatic. Fusker collections have been built that reference literally terabytes of media content within a collection of just a couple of megabytes. Because of this relationship, making sure you are running a 64bit version of Internet Explorer will be more important to your enjoyment of the Image Surfer Pro experience than whether or not the 64bit version of Image Surfer Pro is running.
There is a rich history to the evolution of the Image Surfer Pro fusking system from 32bit Windows XP with IE6 to the latest 64bit system of Windows10 with IE11. However, to most of our users what is important to understand, is how to assure this latest version is working the way you want it to work.
> The Image Surfer Pro installation packages will only let you install the 64bit version on 64bit Windows. Installing this package installs all the components necessary to use Image Surfer Pro on your 64bit Windows 10 system regardless of whether or not you use a 64bit version of Internet Explorer or configure the internet options to enable 64bit extensions.
Windows10 ships with two browsers, Edge and Internet Explorer. Edge does not support embedded applications such as Image Surfer Pro, but is installed as the default browser and is present by default on the Windows 10 task bar. Clearly to use Image Surfer Pro, you will need to use Internet Explorer. Using Image Surfer Pro does not require you make Internet Explorer your default browser nor prevent you from using other browsers, but it will only be available within Internet Explorer. The latest version of Internet Explorer (and some say the final version of Internet Explorer) is IE11. This is the default version of Internet Explorer shipped with Windows 10 but can also be used with Windows 8.1, Windows 8.0, and even Windows 7 sp1.
You may wish to place Internet Explorer on the task bar as you would your other browsers (above we have it pinned to the task bar between Edge and Chrome). To do this, search with Cortana for Internet Explorer, then click on the familiar Internet Explorer icon. Once Internet Explorer is running, right click the application icon in the task bar and choose Pin to Taskbar.
Within the Advanced Internet Options for Internet Explorer there are two settings which are relevant
to Image Surfer Pro.
Enable 64bit processes for Enhanced Protected Mode
Enable Enhanced Protected Mode
Known Issues With Enhanced Protected Mode
It Started With Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 When Internet Explorer 6.0 was first released it was billed as the new internet browser architecture because, for the first time, non Microsoft developers could build full applications to run within the popular web browser. The interfaces Microsoft delivered were far more advanced than those available in other competing browsers such as Google Chrome or Firefox. This was the start of Image Surfer Pro. Prior to this new interface in Internet Explorer, Image Surfer was a stand alone Windows application. You ran it just like any other windows application. Image Surfer would let you enter numerical fusking information about a URL path, it would then generate a set of linked webpages (very similar to an Expanded Visualization). You then used a browser bookmark to access the first of the linked files. But IE6 changed all this and Image Surfer Pro was created to run completely within Internet Explorer.
The advantage of running within IE6 was immediately obvious. Now your fusker collection had the feel of the Favorites Bar and you could stack up multiple fusks for different URLs all within the same tool. Browsing between views and normal internet pages became seamless. This first logical step was immediately followed by the idea to save your fusker collection, so it would be available the next time you loaded Internet Explorer. Image Surfer Pro 0.0 was the first generation of this fully integrated fusking system. It was developed on Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6.0, but could also run in IE6 on Windows 98.
Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 Nearly Killed It Before It Started
Windows Vista introduced a new application architecture. This architecture was much more security oriented. Vista tried to keep low security / high risk applications from gaining full access to system memory and your hard drives. Internet Explorer 7.0 was shipped with Windows Vista and fully embraced this new architecture calling the functionality Protected Mode. While the application interfaces used by Image Surfer Pro were not changed, some things were no longer possible from within the constraint of an Internet Explorer managed add-ons. All Internet Explorer add-ons were considered Low Security and High Risk. This meant that Image Surfer Pro could no longer directly access the same parts of the Windows Registry where it stored the User Preferences and it could no longer directly access most of hard drive and so could not store fusker collection files in normal file locations.
Vista and Internet Explorer 7.0 presented significant issues for Image Surfer Pro. Image Surfer Pro configurations moved from a standard application location to the windows registry area reserved for Internet Explorer extension bars. Vista Gripper was created as an Image Surfer Pro broker application and is installed with Image Surfer Pro. It is a full Windows application with normal application access to both memory and the hard drive. Vista Gripper is spawned from within Image Surfer Pro whenever access to normal data storage areas of the disk is needed. This includes opening and saving fusker collections as well as storing media files (Vista Gripper was originally named after the Grab Page Data tool). Image Surfer Pro creates the temporary visualization files in the area of your hard drive available to Internet Explorer extensions and also reads and writes fusker collection files and downloaded media files to this location. Image Surfer Pro then spawns Vista Gripper to move the files to / from this restricted area to the directories where you chose to save the files.
The timing of Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 delayed the initial release of Image Surfer Pro to the general public. The ISP1.0 release however did fully support Protected Mode running in IE7 on Windows Vista. It was also tested for backwards compatibility to Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6.
64Bit IE8, Just When You Thought It Was Safe
After the ISP1.1 release, a new challenge was presented. 64bit Vista and IE8 were released. The original 64bit Internet Explorer solution was to deliver two different Internet Explorer applications. Microsoft actually installed two different versions of the same application on 64bit systems and made the 32bit version the default web browser. This effectively hid the need for a 64bit version of Image Surfer Pro from most of our users, but a few quickly caught on to the 64bit version of Internet Explorer because of the number of images that could be loaded on a single page.
The underlying application infrastructure was unchanged, and all that was needed for Image Surfer Pro to support our 64bit users was to compile a 64bit version of our product and link it to the 64bit version of Internet Explorer. This was done as the primary driver for release ISP1.2.
The Golden Times
With Image Surfer Pro fully supporting the released 64bit Internet Explorer architecture and Protected Mode things became rather stable. Windows 7 was released still using Internet Explorer 8. Then Internet Explorer 9 was released. In both cases there were no real changes required of Image Surfer Pro to support these Microsoft releases. The Image Surfer Pro team focused on features and user interface developments, building a truly robust application used by a wide variety of people for different purposes. Releases ISP1.3, ISP1.4, and ISP1.5 were all content related and not operating system of Internet Explorer related.
The New World, Windows8 and IE10
First came IE10. The 64bit architecture changed. There were no longer two versions of Internet Explorer installed. Now only the 64Bit version was available on 64bit systems, but it could support both 32bit and 64bit versions of internal applications such as Image Surfer Pro. While this did not directly affect how Image Surfer Pro executed, it did change the integration needed in the Windows registry to link both versions of Image Surfer Pro to the single application. The IE10 release also introduced an Advanced Internet Option called Enhanced Protected Mode. This new internet option was only available on 64bit versions of Windows 7. On Windows 7, this new feature had only one curious side effect. When Enhanced Protected Mode was enabled, Internet Explorer would load the 64bit version of Image Surfer Pro, but when it was disabled, Internet Explorer would load the 32bit version of Image Surfer Pro. Other than this curiosity, the new feature made no difference to the number of images that could be displayed in a browser window, and the ISP1.6 release went ahead as scheduled.
While release ISP1.6 was being tested, Windows8 was in beta testing and it was released shortly after the ISP1.6 release. Enhanced Protected Mode was still only available on 64bit versions of the operating system but it now had a very dramatic effect on Image Surfer Pro. Enhanced Protected Mode would no longer allow embedded applications such as Image Surfer Pro to pop up modal dialogs. This included the dialog to select the fusker collection file you wish to open, save, or merge. It meant you could no longer edit or organize segments. Essentially you could build a fusker collection from the pages you were surfing but could not save it, share it, or manually modify it in any way.
By default the Enhanced Protected Mode was turned off, but support for the added memory protection was a cornerstone of the Image Surfer Pro product. It took about a month to find and implement a solution to the issue. The ISP1.6 Patch release was made specifically to address this issue.
The End Days for Enhanced Protected Mode
Sadly the huge effort to support Enhanced Protected Mode only worked for six months. Roughly six months after the ISP1.6 Patch release, the feature was patched in either Windows 8 or in Internet Explorer 10. We were never able to determine exactly which update broke Image Surfer Pro, but the break could not be worked around or fixed. With Enhanced Protected Mode enabled, Internet Explorer would not let an embedded application navigate a browser window from an external internet page to a locally generated webpage. No matter what discussions we had with Microsoft support and in the developer forums, we could not get anyone even interested in understanding none-the-less addressing the issue.
In July 2013 we officially gave up on Enhanced Protected Mode. We advised our users, they would have to turn this feature off if they wished to continue using Image Surfer Pro. We explained the details of the issue from our perspective as well as a detailed assessment of the risk of turning the feature off. This wasn't much of an issue in Windows8 and 8.1 the feature was off by default.
Once the decision was made to not support Enhanced Protected Mode, it was easier to focus on content. The ISP2.0 release was made just as IE11 was being released. Nothing seemed to change about how Enhanced Protected Mode worked in IE11, but IE11 did introduce an all new annoyance. Trying to make Internet Explorer quicker, Microsoft took to caching entire browser windows. This way if you were using the Back button in the browser often they could just re-activate the window rather than regenerate the page. While this sounded good to them, it also meant that the Image Surfer Pro window got cached and a new window created with the new browser window. This had the effect of making your fusker collection disappear for no reason. The ISP2.1 release introduced and automated way of cleaning up the Image Surfer Pro scratch pad directories this Internet Explorer feature caused to be orphaned.
Microsoft gave up on the new Metro version of windows and gave everyone in the world a free upgrade to Windows10 simply to put that chapter of history behind them. But they insisted the IE11 release was the last release of Internet Explorer and created the new Edge browser from the metro version of IE10. In the IE11 release Enhanced Protected Mode was turned on by default. These changes meant Image Surfer Pro had to explain to our users how to use Internet Explorer and how to turn Enhanced Protected Mode off. For most of our users the move to Win10 and IE11 went smoothly. The ISP3.0 release introduced support for video and this functionality was a game changer. Image Surfer Pro popularity spiked after this release.
An Unexpected Twist
When the popularity of Edge was not what was expected, Internet Explorer got some additional updates. While they still cache browser windows, they seem to have gotten better about deciding when to do so and fewer Image Surfer Pro users are complaining about it. But the biggest surprise came as we were preparing the ISP3.2 release. As always we were testing the compatibility with Internet Explorer options and found that Enhanced Protected Mode had changed with the latest version of Windows 10 and Internet Explorer 11. We had been told point blank that these changes would never happen because Internet Explorer was no longer being updated and Enhanced Protected Mode was operating exactly as they wanted it to... but to our surprise all the changes we requested were made and Image Surfer Pro was again able to work within the defined constraints with only a few minor changes in the ISP3.2 release.
The primary differences between the Free and Registered versions of the software are their ability to build fusker collections. The Free version of the software is primarily a viewer for the fusker collection files. Many of the limitations placed on creating fusker collections are in place to limit the amount of denial of service issues which can arise. If you are using the free version primarily to view fusker collections created by others you are less likely to encounter these issues. If you are using the free verison as a test drive prior to obtaining the registered version you should be aware of the issues which can be avoided by the ability of the registered version to generate Image Surfer Pro Forms, process Free Hosted Galleries, and perform Directed Searches.