Setting off the fireworks again.

Our first product here at toastycode was Pyrothèque, a careful homage to a classic screen saver (with some fancy-pants new features as well). It was originally released July 4th, 2006, and to commemorate its appearance I wrote all about how Pyrothèque came to be, including a double-helping of Macintosh screensaver antiquarianism.

It’s now three hundred sixty-four days later, which means fireworks time is again upon us again here in the States. To celebrate, Pyrothèque has gotten a bump up to version 1.1. Don’t let the tiny numerical increment fool you, though: the new version is chockablock with new stuff.

New classic-mode features

  • In case you found the verisimilitude of the classic mode lacking in some way, you can now simulate using one of four classic Mac models: Plus, SE/30, IIci, or IIfx. For a true Pyro! experience, crank it down to the 8MHz Plus and watch the pixels crawl by, or pretend you’re rocking that IIfx you drooled over in Macworld. Registered users can configure the “emulation level” in the redesigned classic mode preferences.

New modern-mode features

  • The modern mode preferences have gotten a facelift as well, including a selector that lets you choose which types of explosions you’d like to see. (There are four charge types…plus a highly realistic dud.)
  • Also configurable: the various visual effects applied to the rockets while in flight. Don’t like the rocket’s red glare? Turn it off.
  • Finally, a new “combo” option allows multiple explosions to erupt from the same shell (for dramatic results).

Finally, there’s a new splash screen (another tribute to the original) that’s been carefully designed to be true to both modern and classic modes.

All this stuff, and still just $4 for the full version (which I understand is now less than a grandé espresso drink at some high-profile coffee retailers). As promised, registered users of 1.0 will get all these new features for free.

Enjoy your 4th of July (whether it’s a holiday where you are or just another Wednesday) and remember: pixellated fireworks are safer than real ones.


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