More about Cameyo 2.5 Beta’s new features

This explanation of version 2.5’s new features will help you to better understand them, and better test the Beta too.

111

Note: we are in need of Beta testers for the auto-update feature.

– FAST! Significant speed improvement:

Most importantly when it comes to virtual applications functioning: first launch (“preloading” phase) and general application disk-access performance.
– RAM virtualization mode:
Simply package applications with this mode, and see that they function properly. If they don’t (or if they have issues), check if they work better in Disk mode. This helps identify issues specific to RAM virtualization mode.

– Auto-update:
Perhaps the area where we most need beta testers: in the Package Editor’s Advanced tab, click on “Auto update” link, and enable the auto-update mechanism. Generate your own auto-update environment, and then simulate an update by putting a more recent virtualized application. Check that client applications properly auto update to the latest version.

– App files stored separately from app’s changes:
Using the Package Editor, change the Data storage setting, and play with the “Store user data in a different directory”, to see if:
a. data is properly stored where you’ve configured it.
b. application’s behavior is unaffected by this setting.
PkgEditor2.5a

– Terminal server friendly:
Those of you who run Terminal servers can test this item by launching Cameyo applications on them, and checking that the applications work properly through terminal session.

– New file isolation mode:
Using the Package Editor’s “Files” tab, you can set directories that the virtual app will not be able to see on the real computer. So for example if you set C_\SomeDir to Strictly Isolated, that means the virtual application will not be able to see any files in that directory, if C:\SomeDir exists on the real system. It will, however, be able to see files in that directory which are part of the package itself.

– License display:
Create (or package, or add) a file C_\License.txt to your package, and it will be displayed when the application first launches.

– Package lockdown:
In the Package Editor’s Advanced tab, there is a new checkbox labeled “Password-protect against editing”, followed by a password box. This protects the package from being edited (i.e. using the Package Editor), unless the person has the password to do it.

PkgEditor2.5b

– Expiration after X days:
In the Package Editor’s Advanced tab, there is a new expiration method. Rather than expiring just on a specific date (which was the only option in Cameyo 2.0), now you can set a relative number of days, which will set the day counting relatively to the date the virtual application was first launched.

– Branding:
This is a special feature for removing the Cameyo popup. It requires special licensing, but if you are a business / developer and are interested in such paying option, you can contact us.

 

So, what’s next?

The next major version of Cameyo is making great progress. Since it brings so many big changes, it is not expected for general availability before a few more months. Still, there will be an early Beta offered for volunteers who have a Cameyo account.
We’ll send out a newsletter when the Beta program opens. Here’s a brief description of the new version’s features:

  • FAST! The Cameyo package file format is being redesigned with performance in mind. The “ZIP” format will be replaced with a proprietary, optimized file format which improves the virtualization engine’s retrieval of virtual files, and also fast editing of virtual pacakges. The virtual registry pre-extraction will no longer occur either, making virtual packages launch even faster upon first run.
  • Two virtualization modes:

Next version

  • RAM mode: virtual apps will be running directly from memory, without being pre-extracted to disk.
  • Disk mode: just like today, virtual application files will be first extracted to disk and then used. This usage scenario is still the most optimized for frequently-used apps (or apps used over the network).

Continue reading ‘So, what’s next?’ »

Auto Update

You’ve all been quite clear about requesting an AutoUpdate feature for Cameyo’d apps. You asked for simplicity, which is something we value a lot at Cameyo.
This feature has been developed & ready, but for now it is only available for one specific virtual application: Cameyo itself!

The latest Cameyo build (2.0.873) contains a new AutoUpdate feature, which has been generically designed for ANY Cameyo virtual application. We’ve been able to beta testing it (by providing a 2.0.872 earlier build to our beta testers), and it seems to do the job. So here’s a preview of what will be soon made available for any Cameyo’d app:

Noticed that updates can be deployed while the virtual app is in use?
Also, if you own an iPhone / iPad, you might find it similar to their app updating functionality. That’s how simple we believe updating should be.

Continue reading ‘Auto Update’ »

After Cameyo 2, what’s next?

It must be the word-of-mouth effect; there are many more of you downloading Cameyo today than 6 months ago when Cameyo 2 was released. Can we rest now? Hell, no! In the past few months we’ve worked harder than ever, to give you even more technology inside Cameyo. So here’s what’s coming next:

  • FAST: virtual apps will run significantly faster. New virtual package format, faster decompression algorithms, new virtual registry technology, faster package editor: everything was done so that your virtual apps can fly like a rocket.
  • CLEAN: a new “run-from-memory” mode will allow apps to run directly from memory without pre-extracting its files.
  • REVAMPED: the new virtual package format will allow for package locking (against modifications), faster editing, and more adapted compression algorithm.
  • FEATURES: many of your voted features are being implemented. That includes Active Directory control and some other things which I can’t promise yet.
  • PRO: we received requests for a paying support option, centralized IT administration, white-labeled product etc. We’re working on putting an offering online.

Continue reading ‘After Cameyo 2, what’s next?’ »

How the Stuxnet virus inspired Cameyo’s next version

Writing viruses & malware is among the less honorable activities a developer can do. Not only because it blindly targets random users (=vandalism), but also because 99% of virus writers just modify existing samples, without truly being the “genius geeks” that some people think they are.
Yet from time to time some virus creations stand out from the rest, and actually do bring innovation. Sometimes their inventions are even admirable. Such was the case for the Stealth.Frodo.4096 virus. Back in the old days of DOS, this virus gave a false (clean) view of infected files when they were opened. When users (or antivirus programs) opened an infected file, all they saw was a clean copy of the file, without the virus in it. This trick was perhaps the forefather of file-system virtualization, back in 1989!

But how is any of this relevant to us? Cameyo’s next version will allow executing virtual applications directly from memory, without pre-extracting their EXEs/DLLs/files to disk. This feature is currently code-named Cameyo Stealth mode. As it turns out, one of its mechanisms was inspired by no less than… the Stuxnet virus!

In November 2010, Iran has officially admitted that a stealth virus had infected their nuclear facilities. How long has it been sitting there unnoticed? Few people know; probably years. This was accomplished by the Stuxnet’s stealth abilities.

While working on Cameyo’s Stealth mode, I was impressed by some of the Stuxnet virus’ stealth mechanisms: particularly its ability to execute code without first writing it to disk. The virus writers knew they had to avoid leaving traces on disk to keep their malware invisible, and have thus implemented some execute-from-RAM mechanisms. And since this is exactly what Cameyo users have been requesting for some time, well… hey! Nice match.

Cameyo 2.0 (geeks only!)

Cameyo 2.0 is now out of Beta. It is now linked to the cloud Cameyo Online service & library, supports Windows 8, and brings many goodies which you can read here. I won’t go over these in this article.
Instead, I would like to take you on a tour into an advanced aspect of Cameyo 2.0 usage. I saved this for the geeks among you: the different ways in which you can customize Cameyo virtual apps‘ behavior.

Let’s say you want to modify the behavior of a Cameyo app. Be it for changing its startup menu, its repository location, its expiration date, or even its environment variables.

If you’re a Cameyo geek (a “Cameyozi”), you already know about the Package Editor and I would be insulting your intelligence if I went over this here. But here are a few other methods which you may not know about:

Welcome, Windows 8 !

Cameyo 2.0 will support Windows 8.
But beyond that, I would like to show you a prototype of Cameyo Metro – a Metro-style console designed to let you deploy & manage Cameyo apps on different computers. Be it your company’s IT, or your friends & family, you can now deploy virtual apps without having to manage complex deployment scenarios. All from the palm of your [PC / Windows tablet or phone].
Please watch, enjoy, and more importantly – send in your comments & suggestions (by email, or directly here).
Welcome Windows 8!

 

Cameyo 2.0 Beta

The latest Cameyo 2.0 Beta contains a secret feature. No, it’s not the clicking-on-the-logo trick (which now displays the version number). It’s virtual services & drivers support.
It is hidden because it’s still experimental. Not sure whether it will be unhidden for the official 2.0 version yet.
To activate it with apps generated by build >= 2.0.785, type:
   VirtApp.cameyo.exe -services:direct

If you wish to skip the confirmation window, you can also do:
   VirtApp.cameyo.exe -services:direct,skipconfirm

First, it’s important to understand that even when this functionality will get “out of the oven”, Cameyo will:
1. not enable service / driver virtualization by default; it’ll have to be explicitly enabled.
2. ask the user for confirmation / authorization that they indeed want to integrate services / drivers.\

Continue reading ‘Cameyo 2.0 Beta’ »

Cameyo 2.0 and community votes

Those of you who have been playing with Cameyo 2.0 lately may have noticed the following peculiar window:

What’s behind all this? Vote for what? Is Cameyo going to replace democracy? 
Well, without going that far, the idea is that now with the public library (which is getting bigger and bigger every day), this allows users to flag apps that work well with Cameyo’s virtualization, and those that don’t.
So what do you do with this info?
It’s quite simple: the more of you vote, the better quality apps everyone will get. Indeed, reporting virtual apps that don’t work well, helps the Cameyo community in two ways:
– Once there will be enough votes, Cameyo’s library server will be able to automatically filter out apps that don’t seem to work well, so that users won’t even see them (at least beginner users).
– This information is also very useful for our own quality insurance and development. By spotting apps that don’t work well, we’ll be able to find & fix more virtualization issues.
So now it’s time for you to fulfill your civic duty and give back to the Cameyo community… by voting!

Beta

1.8 has been renamed to 2.0. I think that by looking at the Beta, you’ll understand why. The product’s features & UI have been largely refreshed.
Please give the Beta a try, and post your comments.
The Beta’s expected to take a while, to make sure everything works fine.
Enjoy, and don’t forget to write!