Over the last couple of hours, I put together a quick little demonstration of the functionality available in Custom Paper Deployment Tool. This video walk through will take you from starting Custom Paper Deployment Tool, to deploying Custom Paper and retrieving diagnostic information from your Livescribe Smartpen!
As most of us know, back in July 2011, Livescribe closed their Developer’s Program citing a change in company policy aligning them with a new cloud initiative.
As of July 29th, Livescribe will close its third-party developer program. With cloud technology and mobile information access becoming increasingly important to our customers, Livescribe is realigning its focus and resources on cloud access, storage and services. Our recent introduction of Livescribe Connect, which enables customers to easily send notes and audio, as a pencast PDF, to people or destinations of their choice like Google Docs, Evernote, email, and Facebook, is an important step in this direction.
Applications in our online store will remain available for download and purchase pending compatibility with future Livescribe software updates. We will continue to accept applications submitted for publishing in our online store, as well as pattern credit requests through July 22nd. At this time, the SDKs and developer website will no longer be available. If your application is close to completion and you would like to have it posted in our store, please contact us email@example.com for support.
We greatly appreciate the time, effort and support you have given to Livescribe and our platform over the past three years.
Thank you again for your contributions.
Joyce & Michael, Livescribe Developer Programs Team
Byron Connell, Livescribe CMO
The full announcement is available on Livescribe’s website here: http://www.livescribe.com/errors/developer.html As one of the major custom paper developers, I was rather disappointed with Livescribe’s decision as Livescribe’s platform is one that I have greatly enjoyed developing for. I get between 4-5 thousand page views a month on this website and at least half of those are from people who are interested in using my custom paper products. Within the weeks that followed, I saw many, many forum posts, emails, and comments on this website all filled with one message:
I’m a new Smartpen user. Now that Livescribe’s closed the Developer Program, is it over? Am I too late to join in and use Custom Paper?
The preceding is my paraphrased version of several Private Messages sent to me through the Livescribe Forums. Unfortunately a recent forum overhaul has prevented me from accessing any of those Private Messages and I was forced to paraphrase from my memory. At first, I was forced to tell them that yes, they were too late. But that soon changed with the release of my Custom Paper Deployment Tool. Since then, I have been getting many requests from users to develop different kinds of custom paper including music staff paper and I have been forced to tell them that I cannot simply because I do not have access to any additional pattern license. I have been directing users to this thread on Livescribe’s Get Satisfaction page: http://getsatisfaction.com/livescribe/topics/tommy-1l7gjj and asking them to add their voices to the people asking Livescribe to bring the Developer’s Program back. Jeff, a member of Livescribe’s customer support team is working internally to make sure that people inside Livescribe know that we want this. If you want the Developer’s Program back, which will allow the creation of additional applications and custom paper products, please go here: http://getsatisfaction.com/livescribe/topics/tommy-1l7gjj and tell Livescribe that! The more people that voice this sentiment, the greater the chance that Livescribe will listen to us and bring back the Developer’s Program.
Recently I’ve talked about a new tool I’ve released for Livescribe Smartpens, my Custom Paper Deployment Tool, which allows users (running Windows) to deploy any of my custom papers (and soon any other custom paper) to any Livescribe Smartpen now that the Development Program has officially ended and Livescribe will no longer support Custom Paper and third-party development.
I’ve noticed that many users are having problems connecting to the download page (http://install.rohankapoor.com) and have traced the problem with it. The DNS servers I use, run by http://xname.org are having a replication problem and the primary DNS server is serving the correct data while the secondary DNS server is serving incorrect data that is two months out of date. As far as I know, XName is aware of the problem and will hopefully have a fix soon. I’ve also noticed much higher load on my web-server as the download files are quite large and the demand is quite high.
The solution appears to be providing an alternate download location (which I will probably use Amazon’s S3 service for). Unfortunately, I am currently quite far from the my development computer and will be unable to modify the manifest file to change that location until I return. I can recommend trying to use Google’s DNS (18.104.22.168) until I am able to resolve this as it is bringing more accurate results. I apologize for the delay.
With the end of Livescribe’s Development Program, it is no longer possible for end users (or even developers) to download the SDK and deploy any of the numerous Custom Paper Products made by developers such as myself (among others). For a while now, I have been discussing the possibility of Livescribe creating and releasing a tool that installs third party Custom Paper Products to their smartpens. For various reasons, none of which will be discussed here, Livescribe did not release such a tool. I have been toying with the idea of building one myself for the last year, however I have not done so assuming that Livescribe will at some point do so. At this point, with Livescribe closing their Developer Program, it is obvious that they will not be releasing such a tool now.
The other reason I was hesitating with building this tool was that it would be coded in C# which I have had zero experience coding in before. I’m primarily a Java programmer with experience with both C++ and PHP (all of which use very similar syntax). Seeing no tool forthcoming from Livescribe and not wanting Custom Paper Products to be a product of the past (no pun intended), I finally dove right into it! I During this process, I learned that C# is nowhere near as complicated as I feared and most of the Syntax still applies from C++. With minimal googling, I was able to build a fully functional Custom Paper Deployment Tool using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 as my Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
Please note that the Custom Paper Deployment Tool is not supported by Livescribe in any way, shape or form. As the Developer Program has ended, this tool is not associated with it at all. There is no warranty (either explicit or implicit) on the tool. I do not take any responsibility if anything adverse were to happen to your smartpen because of my tool. By going to the bottom of the page and clicking-through to the installer page, you agree to the terms and conditions listed above. This tool is available freely to all users by following the download link at the bottom of the page.
You can download the current version (22.214.171.124) from the Custom Paper Deployment Tool homepage. Further information regarding Custom Paper Deployment Tool is available there. Along with the Custom Paper Deployment Tool, I am today releasing eight 150 page Lab Notebooks along with eight 25 page Unlined Notepads. Simultaneously, I have increased the number of all notepads to eight of each type. Stay tuned for their individual release pages coming up along with individual download links. The download for Custom Paper Deployment Tool includes all of the files needed to deploy and print all 32 of these Notepads so there is no need to download them individually anymore! As with all of my Livescribe related downloads, Custom Paper Deployment Tool is compatible with both Echo and Pulse Smartpens.
Several months ago, I received Livescribe’s Pulse Smartpen as a birthday present. At the time, I was amazed by the features and the concept of such a device. It soon began to play an integral role in my technological life and now I really would be lost without it. You can see my full review (after months of using it) here. As I have mentioned on the official Livescribe Forums several times, the only thing that the Pulse Smartpen lacks is graph paper. Now I’m not the only one that has noticed this and Livescribe has been promising to release dot paper with grid lines on it at some point. Unfortunately, they’ve been saying that for a little over a year now. As I’m sure most of you know already, when Livescribe says something, it usually takes them some time to actually do it. Personally, I’m not a big fan of waiting for someone else to do something when it’s relatively easy (though inconvenient) to do it on my own. Of course, Livescribe has an SDK. However, the SDK is only downloadable to developers. No problem, to become an “official developer,” you just need to fill out a registration form and then download the SDK. Using the SDK, I eventually managed to create my first paper project for the smartpen. I of course dubbed it: Quarter Inch Printable Graphpad 1. However, the only problem with the current SDK is that it’s not currently possible to script page number generation. This is supposedly a feature that will be released in the long awaited Desktop SDK. Coincidently, Livescribe plans to release this by the end of quarter 2, 2010. To the end user this simply means that it will take a slightly longer time to input the pages to Livescribe Desktop. I should add that uploading custom pages currently only works with Livescribe Desktop for Windows. It is currently incompatible with Livescribe Desktop for Macintosh.
I’ve successfully created four of these graphpads (all with quarter inch graph paper as a template) and all of them have basic paper replay controls. Each of these graphpads is 25 pages long, leaving you with 100 unique pages total. However, I haven’t licensed the fourth graphpad as I haven’t had a need for it (yet) myself. I would be willing to license and release it if people request it because they need it. Chances are, at some point I will end up needing it myself and will release it at that time.
If you are interested in downloading and deploying these graphpads, I recommend that you head over to the download page, where you can find all of the necessary links and instructions.