PingPlotter Professional Legacy Release Notes

PingPlotter Standard V3.42.3p - April 28th, 2014

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x, and is recommended if you use the built-in web interface.

Upgrade instructions:

For best results, run this update without uninstalling any older versions you may have installed - this upgrade will migrate all existing settings.

Changes since 3.42.2p

Standard and Pro

  • Updated / freshened help file. Several new topics.
  • Fixed missing resize mouse cursor when floating over key resize areas.
  • Several other minor bug fixes.

PingPlotter Standard V3.42.2p - April 10th, 2014

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Standard version 3.x.

Upgrade instructions:

For best results, run this update without uninstalling any older versions you may have installed - this upgrade will migrate all existing settings.

Changes since 3.42.1s

Standard and Pro

  • No changes to PingPlotter Standard in this build.

Pro only

  • Fixed PingPlotter web server vulnerability that could expose file system information with certain "malformed" urls.

PingPlotter Standard V3.42.1p - March 31st, 2014

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Upgrade instructions:

For best results, run this update without uninstalling any older versions you may have installed - this upgrade will migrate all existing settings.

Changes since 3.42.0p

Standard and Pro

  • Fixed license key recognition problem on isolated license keys.
  • Fixed popup error message on shutdown that would sometimes bring up a Windows crash message.

Pro only

  • Fixed bug in web interface when running on IIS.

PingPlotter Standard V3.42.0p - March 18th, 2014

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Upgrade instructions:

For best results, run this update without uninstalling any older versions you may have installed - this upgrade will migrate all existing settings.

Changes since 3.41.0p

Standard and Pro

  • Packet loss % column is now red.
  • Packet loss % column will show up to 3 digits of decimal places if there is room for it.
  • Old style license keys (those created in 1998 and part of 1999) on PingPlotter Standard sometimes caused PingPlotter to crash after some number of initial pings.
  • Changed the way PingPlotter uses the system font - previously it would try and use the system Font type and size, which would sometimes cause the GUI to be unusable. This build now uses a set font and size, which should be more predictable. We're working on a better long-term method of handling arbitrary OS font sizes, but this release should make it usable in more situations.
  • Some tweaks to installer to auto-enter licensing. Contact us if you need to distribute an installer to your users that installs in licensed mode automatically.
  • Copy as Summary Text mode is now default at 10 sample (was higher before). Hold the SHIFT key when you click the Edit menu to switch between Summary and Detail mode.
  • Fixed GDI+ Error when starting PingPlotter after applying a Microsoft fix for a TIFF vulnerability (that disabled TIFF support).

Pro only

  • Minor tweaks to the Pro web interface - if you add a "&SettingsFilter=XXXX" parameter to a URL, only targets using that Setting's name will be shown. This is useful if you want to link to a subset of targets from an external site (like an internal support page).
  • When running as a service, minimizing and closing didn't always hide PingPlotter (Windows 7 and higher).
  • When running as a service on Windows 7 and higher, any input errors were silent and didn't show what happened.
  • Fixed access violation in the web server when port was already in use.

PingPlotter Pro V3.41.0p - November 14th, 2013

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Changes since 3.40.2

Standard and Pro

  • Improved support for Windows 8.1
  • Added support for cloning/copying of alerts (right-click on the alert).
  • PingPlotter now pauses when Windows goes to sleep and resumes when it restarts (previously, this could show as packet loss during the "out" period). A comment is automatically added to the time graph showing when this happens.
  • Fixed problem where PingPlotter would occasionally freeze on close.
  • Fixed problem with float-over hints in the time graph causing an access violation in some cases
  • Fixed some user interface glitches in the edits on the main screen.
  • Misc other fixes / tweaks.

Pro only

  • Web interface now respects graph scaling settings.
  • Added PHP version of remote unix/Linux agent.
  • Summary graph Time Graphs didn't show settings name when GUI was set that way.
  • Fixed problem that caused high CPU use when tracing from remote agent with multiple targets.
  • Fixed web server high CPU issue with a specific invalid character in URL.

PingPlotter Pro V3.40.2p - June 5th, 2012

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Changes since 3.40.1

  • In some isolated cases, upgrading from a prior version would cause loss of some settings.
  • Launching PingPlotter would take several seconds more than it should.
  • /debug command line switch on installer didn't work.
  • PRO ONLY - entering your license key after trial period expiration would not always reload the workspace until after a close/restart.
  • PRO ONLY - clearing workspace after some kinds of workspace corruption would not always restore the UI to an expected state.

PingPlotter Pro V3.40.1p - May 31st, 2012

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Upgrade instructions:

For best results, run this update without uninstalling any older versions you may have installed - this upgrade will migrate all existing settings.

Changes since 3.40.0

  • Updated help files.
  • Fixed F1 help in the options screens.
  • Fixed a bug when floating your mouse over the time graph immediately after launching, an error could occur.
  • Fixed a STARTTLS bug that caused GMail SMTP emails sends to fail on some isolated systems (alert system).
  • PRO ONLY - on some systems, the web interface would become unresponsive (using a full CPU) after a period of use. Fixed.
  • PRO ONLY - when right clicking a tab and closing it, the wrong section could close/hide in some isolated situations.
  • Fixed several minor issues.

PingPlotter Pro V3.30.0p - April 23rd, 2012

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Changes since 3.30.4

Bigger changes:
  • New MSI-based installer.
  • Improvements to web interface.
    • Lots more asynchronous calls, so fewer page refreshes needed.
    • New login screen (username/password can be remembered on your mobile device now).
    • Fixed some stability issues when targets were frequently added/removed.
  • Changes to Windows Service handling on Vista and newer OSes. The installer now has an option to install as a service which also installs a shortcut to access the service instance (on Vista+).
  • SSL libraries are now included so email alerts can more easily use STARTTLS SMTP servers.
  • Overhaul of final destination ping method, which should make it more reliable when route changes frequently.
Other tweaks/fixes:
  • Added link to the knowledge base from the Help menu. If you've not checked out the knowledge base, you should!
  • /INIFILE setting would still use local profile settings if it existed, so running multiple instances with different settings would sometimes not work as expected.
  • Improved shutdown logic when multiple instances are shut down simultaneously, all trying to write to the same file.
  • "Attach Collected Data to Email" and "Include Text in Email" options not saving correctly in some cases.
  • Alert status for final destination now shows on final row of trace graph when unreachable.
  • Making changes to alerts now applies more reliably across running targets.
  • Fixed access violation when floating your mouse over a newly created target "just right".
  • Auto-Save now defaults to save to your "My Documents" folder instead of the PingPlotter install path. This can be overridden by specifying a full path.
  • Auto save now creates more than one level of directories, allowing $year\$month\$day\$dest style nesting.
  • Sending an alert test email would sometimes cause an error if done without first tracing to a target.
  • "Sort to match target list" was not working.
  • Scripts can now modify the "prompt for save" threshold and default trace interval.
  • Closing a tab wouldn't always prompt to save the data being collected.
  • It was impossible to open a read-only workspace file.
  • Added ability to show/hide all time graphs on summary.
  • MultiFileExport now exports Jitter statistics.
  • "Auto-Show Timeline Graphs on Summary" option was not being saved correctly.
  • Floating graphs would not show tooltip hints after close/restart.
  • Fixed bug with access violation at shutdown.
  • Auto-save image didn't always show the latest data if focus changes.
  • .pp2 file association is now done in the installer instead of application.
  • Updated a handful of 3rd party components - some new capabilities exposed.
  • Updated grid drawing to show a ? for the last hop on unreachable targets.
  • Fixed a variety of other bugs and small improvements.

PingPlotter Pro V3.30.4p - July 27th, 2010

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Changes since 3.30.2
  • Improved handling of read-only configuration files and user profile-stored configs.
  • Fixed problem with collected data sent in email alerts (the attachment was sometimes corrupted).
  • Fixed problem under some Windows 7 UI themes, the summary graph wouldn't resize correctly.
  • Fixed occasionaly error when floating the cursor over a time graph.

PingPlotter Pro V3.30.2p - June 1st, 2010

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Changes since 3.30.1
  • Timeouts sort as high latency in the summary graph, instead of low latency (min/max/avg).
  • Floating your mouse over the time graph now shows statistics about that data point.
  • Time graphs now show grid lines.
  • Time graphs paint a bit faster with some video cards.
  • Faster startup/shutdown when there are lots of named configurations.
  • Removing an alert from a target wouldn't always be saved correctly.
  • Gmail's SMTP server now works again (a change in GMail's logic broke STARTTLS SMTP delivery).
  • Fixed problem where an alert email might contain a lot more history than you'd want/expect.
  • Testing alert emails could lock up PingPlotter in some scenarios.
  • File -> Export... command now always prompts for a filename on export, rather than using a default that's probably in the wrong place.
  • PRO ONLY - Fixed web interface on IE8 to paint latency/min/max lines.
  • PRO ONLY - Minor web GUI tweaks.

PingPlotter Pro V3.30.1p - January 19th, 2010

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Changes since 3.30.0
  • Made some changes to be less likely to be falsely detected as a virus/trojan/"nefarious" by AVG/ClamAV/etc.
  • Can now graph minimim and maximum values on time graph, in addition to the average latency.
  • Fixed minor issue with running from a USB drive on some old OSes.
  • PRO ONLY - Fixed problem loading workspaces with undocked windows.
  • PRO ONLY - Fixed problem when right-clicking in summary graph and accessing alert capabilities.

PingPlotter Pro V3.30.0p - September 28th, 2008

This point release is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Changes since 3.20.1
  • Added a "Don't Fragment" flag to allow PingPlotter to help with MTU size troubleshooting.
  • TCP Traceroute is now more robust. Packet sequence numbers was also changed to make it better supported by servers.
  • "Launch an Executable" event now has separate parameter line, and is more flexible and reliable.
  • PRO ONLY - Saving a workspace can now include collected data. Reloading it will reload (and resume) tracing. Check the general settings (Edit -> Options, General) for some new options.
  • PRO ONLY - Workspaces are now "locked" for writing so that multiple instances of PingPlotter Pro don't accidentally overwrite settings.
  • PRO ONLY - Alerts can now be associated with a specific trace target only. This allows better monitoring of intermediate routers on one trace while not monitoring that same router on another trace. Also, the same target can have different alerts (say, for instance, if you're using a different trace engine and the expected latency / packet loss is different, even though the target is the same).
  • PingPlotter would sometimes freeze when a float-over tooltip was visible and a certain part of the PingPlotter user interface was clicked at just the right time.
  • Sending an email with data (File -> Send Email...) wouldn't work if there was an invalid character in the host name (like an *).
  • PingPlotter would sometimes crash when loaded (on just a few computers) due to problems with the integrity checking logic.
  • A screenshot can now be included in alert emails (by adding ##SCREENSHOT## to email body).
  • PRO ONLY - The configuration name can now be included in the alert email body (##CONFIG##), and in the subject line ($config).
  • On some computers, the 30 day trial would expire the second time PingPlotter was run.
  • /Regserver command line option didn't fail gracefully during install.
  • Some truncated / corrupt save files wouldn't show a proper error message when attempting to load.
  • Email PingPlotter Support... menu option (under Help menu) has been streamlined.
  • 10 character SMTP passwords weren't properly encrypted / decrypted, meaning you couldn't log in to your SMTP server if you're using a 10 character password with SMTP authentication.
  • Uninstaller now supports the /S command line for silent removal of PingPlotter.
  • PRO ONLY - The copy IP/Name right-click menu option wouldn't actually copy the information to the clipboard.
  • PRO ONLY - Remote trace wouldn't take advantage of Proxy server settings.
  • PRO ONLY - Closing the summary graph and then clicking the "File" menu could cause an access violation.
  • PRO ONLY - PingPlotter Pro would sometimes trace twice in the same target interval.
  • STANDARD ONLY - When the trial period expired with PingPlotter Standard, double-clicking on a .pp2 file would cause an error.
  • STANDARD ONLY - In PingPlotter Standard, maximizing the window, then closing and reopening would cause the window to come up the wrong size and position.
  • Several other bug fixes / tweaks.

PingPlotter Pro V3.20.1p - December 12th, 2007

This release is a minor point release and is free to all licensed users of PingPlotter Pro version 3.x.

Changes
  • Fixed non-working right-click menu on edit controls (for copy/paste with the mouse).
  • Added balloon callout instead of error message if no target name was entered, or if the entered name was invalid.
  • Enhanced scripting functionality slightly to give access to more internal variables.
  • Fixed problem "remembering" non-standard whois servers.
  • Invalid characters in target names would cause problems when trying to save data / images (for example, a colon or a slash). These characters are now stripped from the default filename before opening the save dialog.
  • DNS Name and Graph column widths are now correctly reloaded after close / restart.
  • Sending data or an image in an email through Outlook Express (File -> Send Email...) would sometimes block PingPlotter from collecting data while the email was being authored. This is now launched in a non-blocking way.
  • Fixed a problem sending STARTTLS alert emails (i.e., gmail).
  • Misc other minor tweaks, fixes and adjustments.

To upgrade, download run the installation. There is no need to uninstall the old version first. Your settings should be kept / migrated as needed.


PingPlotter Pro V3.20p - November 16th, 2007

This release has a number of new features and bug fixes. This is a free upgrade for all licensed PingPlotter Pro users.

New Features
  • PingPlotter can now be run from a USB drive and license information (and other data) is stored on the USB drive instead of the system registry. See the installed help file (Help -> Contents) section "Advanced Features", "Running from a USB drive" for more details.
  • Better support for Windows Vista. Some caveats still apply.
  • Summary time graphs can be sorted to match the summary target list.
  • Can now "Copy Summary Graph as image" and "Save Summary image..." from the summary screen.
  • New UDP packet type can target a specific UDP port rather than using "unix-style" ports 33434 and up. This allows tracing directly to a UDP server (certain UDP servers only). For this release, we've included 3 types - Echo, UDP DNS, and IAX (Asterisk VoIP) ping. If you need other server types supported, please contact us.
  • New alert option to not show the alert indicator on the main graph (for logging alerts that always log).
  • Time graphs now show the unit of measure for latency (milliseconds) and packet loss (%), along with a bit better labels.
  • EMail alerts can use SMTP STARTTLS secure connections - this allows use of GMail SMTP servers. See our knowledge base article on configuring this for instructions.
  • PingPlotter Pro can now use up to 3GB of RAM, if your system is configured to allow that (either a 32 bit system with the /3GB switch in boot.ini, or a 64 bit system). PingPlotter is a 32 bit application, so the memory limit is still constrained by the 32 bit address space.
  • Improvements to the web interface:
    • The summary screen is now accessible from the web interface.
    • If you're using multiple named configurations, the web interface now shows which one, and lets you select a different configuration for a target.
    • The refresh interval for the web interface can now be easily set by the user.
    • Ajax web interface required right-clicking, which isn't available on the iPhone. Now detects the iPhone and clicking the hop column now brings up the menu.
    • Several other "tweaks" and improvements to make the experience and user interface better.
Fixes, Tweaks, Etc.
  • Install is now code-signed, so running the installer correctly shows "Nessoft, LLC" instead of "Unknown Publisher".
  • Changed trace queue logic to increase performance (actually, remove artificial limitation) when tracing to lots of targets in Pro, especially when tracing to a remote server.
  • "Tweaked" error reporting logic to better send error message information without creating long text emails. Also, submitted error reports come in over HTTP instead of SMTP. If HTTP doesn't work, then error report is opened in email client.
  • When upgrading the Pro version, the install wasn't stopping the service. Also, uninstalling would leave the service in place. Both fixed.
  • If ICMP.DLL wasn't available on the system, PingPlotter would crash with a cryptic message on startup.
  • Auto-save service filenames could have invalid characters, which would block saving.
  • Starting hop wasn't loaded correctly when restarting.
  • Updated "Trace from remote server" core components to fix a problem where communication between PingPlotter and the remote agent would start timing out and never recover, or the time graph would seem to "freeze" and stop updating.
  • Fixed some queueing issues with the remote agent where tracing to a combination of targets including remote agent targets and other (not remote agent targets) would cause all targets to be traced less frequently than specified.
  • Updated remote agent (downloaded separately).
  • When running as a service, the default save file path for files and images was c:\Windows\System32. Ouch! This has been updated to the current install path instead (the same as when running as an application).
  • Improved route change handling so you can work with routes in history even though current route is changing. Previously, the current route would override the selected one.
  • The "Maximum samples in memory" setting now defaults to 250,000 instead of unlimited.
  • If no MAPI default client was set in HKEY_LOCAL MACHINE, an error (a nonsensical one!) occured when using File -> Send Email... Should now send email more reliably.
  • Improved Windows Vista compatibility:
    • With 64 bit Vista, you no longer need to disable DEP for PingPlotter.
    • Now tells Windows Vista that it knows about Vista, which makes directory handling better (especially of the \Program Files directory, which is read-only under Vista). The downside of this change is that you may need to re-enter your license key, but your current license key will work just fine. If you can't remember your key, go to our support page and have it mailed to you.
    • Uses new Windows Open / Save dialogs.
    • Tooltip (F1) hints work.
    • Uses Vista font type / sizes.
    • Fixed a problem when installing under Vista where Vista would sometimes report that the install wasn't succesful, even though it was.
    • Note: The UDP packet type still does not work completely under Vista. Also, running as a service still has the limitations listed here in our knowledge base article on this topic.
  • Other changes and improvements to the web interface (that aren't listed as features, above):
    • Some performance enhancements, especially when using IIS as the web server.
    • Some errors (especially errors where the web browser can't contact the server) show more descriptive messages.
    • Previous versions required a newer MS XML control which wasn't always installed on the server machine. The web interface now uses 3.0, which should be available on all machines.
    • XML Encoding wasn't specified on the AJAX web server, which would cause errors in some web browsers / configurations.
    • XML parsing not as robust as necessary on the AJAX server. Also, the error handler didn't always show the full error.
    • Long DNS names would make the left pane on the web interface pretty messy, now it scrolls.
    • In IE 6, the web interface buttons would sometimes show up in the wrong spot.
  • Fixed a good handful of bugs (how many bugs are in a handful?).
  • Systems using large fonts now work better.
  • Version checking didn't use your proxy server settings.
  • Upgraded to latest component versions for a number of third party components, plus the latest compiler version.
  • Uses a new installer - more reliable, faster, better (of course!).

PingPlotter Pro V3.10.0p - August 1st, 2006

Version 3.10.0p adds features and fixes problems found in the 3.00.2p release.

3.10.0p changes:

New Features:
  • Significant enhancements to the remote agent capabilities, including a Windows agent. See here for details.
  • Added two flags to web interface to allow read-only access and single-target access. Review Default.asp in /www/ directory of PingPlotter Pro for more details.
  • Added an option (Edit -> Options, General) to show the setting name in most applicable areas (so tracing to the same target with different settings can now be differentiated).
  • Added a column in the summary graph for the settings name (this defaults to off - you need to turn it on).
  • A bunch of new content added to the help files (including the printable version).
  • Saved images now include "ms" label on legend.
  • Localized time formats should now be used on time graph (am/pm is no longer the only option).
  • Added a new error handling system that provides a lot more information about problems.
  • Right-clicking a tab now brings up a "Close" menu to close that tab.
  • Right-clicking the "Settings" dropdown allows you to go directly to the properties from there.
  • Exposed tray icon to scripting engine (we've written a script that uses this to show tray messages based on an alert event - you can get that from the new extensions forum).

Other Changes:

  • Changed a bunch of core scripting engine systems to improve reliability.
  • When shutting down a machine when running as a service, the PingPlotter service would sometimes be abnormally closed by Windows. Fixed.
  • When running as a service under Windows 2003, the COM server would not serve objects. This made it impossible to use IIS as the web server.
  • When running as a service, opening a file from a network drive did not work in some instances.
  • When a non-current route was selected, a route change in the active network would cause the display to update - even though that wasn't the current route. Fixed.
  • Fixed several bugs in the ability to load multiple sample sets and stitch them together.
  • Added some capability to run as a service under Windows 9x. You'll need instructions and a couple of additional files for this to work, so contact us if interested.
  • In some cases, certain status codes were being merged into the time-graph data, causing significant dips in the display. Fixed.
  • If the email server blocked connection when testing, the error message now says that.
  • If an invalid MIME type was configured in the registry (with a missing leading period), PingPlotter Pro could error on startup (and not start correctly).
  • Fixed several minor memory leaks
  • The service workspace could be specified without an extension, which caused the workspace to have a split personality.
  • Fixed a problem that happened when a tab was closed while the summary graph was sorted - an access violation could occur.
  • Deleting a named configuration while in use would cause problems. Now any targets using a deleted configuration use the default one instead.
  • If a invalid or non-existent workspace was specified in the service startup parameters, PingPlotter Pro's startup would abort completely. Now it just shows an error.
  • Graph images on non-Javascript web browsers would sometimes not show correctly in web interface.
  • Some changes to built-in web server to improve reliability.
  • 7 character HTTP server passwords would require an additional "g" character added at the end, if you wanted to log in (of course there was no way for you to know this!). 3 character passwords also had problems. Please reset your password after installing this new version if you were having problems with web interface passwords no longer working.
  • Named configs didn't always get all settings applied when loading a workspace with targets that used a config that was non-default.
  • Loading a sample set, then pausing and resuming worked fine, but doing it again would re-resolve and clear all history.
  • Built in web server was stripping off "Option Explicit" from start of script, so customizing script could lead to problems.
  • The summary graph didn't scale properly as new samples arrived. Now, the scaling is updated appropriately.
  • The "Destination Unreachable" row didn't always show up at the end of a trace with a destination unreachable. Fixed.
  • Fixed access violation that could occur when combining routes and then flipping through pages.
  • Option dialog setting for disabling the script engine was ignored. Now disables all scripting.
  • Lots of route changes (greater than 25,000) would cause the user interface to slow down (loading a sample set, or flipping between tabs). Can now handle 250,000+ route changes with no slowdown.
  • Fixed "Not enough storage is available to process this command" on some (very few) Windows 2000 environments.
  • Saving a sample set now writes it to a temporary file first. This can be useful if PingPlotter gets forcibly closed on shutdown - the last auto-save can be reloaded instead of the half-saved new file.
  • Log entire route switch didn't work in "Log to file" alert events in some corner-case network conditions.
  • When old samples were trimmed (because Max Samples in Memory was hit), any alerts that were in a firing state could possibly be toggled to not-firing, then back again, causing spurious "network back up!" events, then followed by "network down!" events.
  • Access violation could occur when resetting data in an existing trace set.
  • Fixed several bugs with route merging (list index out of bounds, inability to merge, display problems).
  • ICMP raw socket packets could sometimes have interactions between PingPlotter instances.
  • Several memory and performance optimizations / fixes.
  • Fixed several access violations and odd errors.

Version 3.20p *final* was released on November 16th.

November 16th, 2007. PingPlotter Pro 3.20p released!

Changes since version 3.15p beta 3

  • Changed trace queue logic to increase performance (actually, remove artificial limitation) when tracing to lots of targets in Pro.
  • Fixed a problem when installing under Vista where Vista would report that the install wasn't successful, even though it was.
  • "Tweaked" error reporting logic to better send error message information without creating long text emails. Also fixed some problems when error reports are submitted via HTTP (the default) instead of email.
  • Disabling a script would sometimes turn it off immediately, even if it was in use (painting a grid column, for instance). Previously, a message came up that notified a restart of PingPlotter was necessary, but now we actually mean it. :) Disabling a script doesn't actually disable it till you close / restart.
  • Fixed the remote trace "stalling" problem. Yup - fixed!
  • Main PingPlotter application position wasn't being correctly restored after closing / restarting.
  • When running as a service, popup help doesn't work, but the error message didn't make much sense.
  • More Vista tweaks.
  • New installer - signed, and with Vista manifest.
  • A few other "adjustements" and minor bug fixed.

PingPlotter Pro V3.15p beta 3 - September 13th, 2007

Changes since version 3.15p beta 2

  • Upgraded to latest component versions for a number of components, plus the latest compiler version. Fixes a good handful of bugs.
  • Fixed bug in alert system where alerts wouldn't *stop* firing (once they started), and also would sometimes not fire at all.
  • Improvements in a number of areas when running large fonts.
  • Install is now code-signed, so running the installer correctly shows "Nessoft, LLC" instead of "Unknown Publisher".
  • Now tells Windows Vista that it knows about Vista, which makes directory handling better (especially of the \Program Files directory, which is read-only under Vista). The downside of this change is that you'll need to re-enter your license key, but your current license key will work just fine. If you can't remember your key, go to our support page and have it mailed to you.
  • Install on Pro version wasn't stopping the service on a re-install. Also, uninstalling would leave the service in place.
  • If ICMP.DLL wasn't available on the system, PingPlotter would crash with a cryptic message on startup.
  • XML Encoding wasn't specified on the AJAX web server, which would cause errors in some web browsers / configurations.
  • Auto-save service filenames could have invalid characters, which would block saving.
  • Long DNS names would make the left pane on the web interface pretty messy.
  • XML parsing not as robust as necessary on the AJAX server. The error handler also didn't always show the full error.
  • Starting hop wasn't loaded correctly when restarting.
  • The default summary graph was too narrow for the web interface.
  • Ajax web interface required right-clicking, which isn't available on the iPhone. Now detects the iPhone and clicking the hop column now brings up the menu.
  • Small updates to help file.
  • In IE 6, the web interface buttons would sometimes show up in the wrong spot.
  • Updated "Trace from remote server" core components to (hopefully) fix a problem where communication between PingPlotter and the remote agent would start timing out (inexplicably) and never recover.
  • Fixed problem with taskbar handling under Windows 98 - would sometimes show two entries for PingPlotter.

PingPlotter Pro V3.15p beta 2 - April 6th, 2007

Changes since version 3.15p beta 1

  • If Windows Explorer crashed, an error would sometimes occur when creating the tray icon: "Cannot remove shell notification icon". Fixed.
  • If an unexpected version of the SSL libraries were installed in the system path (but not by PingPlotter), an "Ordinal not found" error could occur when going to the Edit->Option, Email screen.
  • A "Menu Error 1.4" would occur under some conditions when selecting the "Edit" menu. Fixed.
  • When running as a service, the default save file path for files and images was c:\Windows\System32. Ouch! This has been updated to the current install path instead (the same as when running as an application).
  • The scripted MOS alert (and several other extensions) had errors when building their editors. Fixed.

PingPlotter Pro V3.15p beta 1 - February 22nd, 2007

Changes since version 3.10.0p

  • PingPlotter can now be run from a USB drive and license information (and other data) is stored on the USB drive instead of the system registry. See the installed help file (Help -> Contents) section "Advanced Features", "Running from a USB drive" for more details.
  • New UDP packet type can target a specific UDP port rather than using "unix-style" ports 33434 and up. This allows tracing directly to a UDP server (certain UDP servers only). For this release, we've included 3 types - Echo, UDP DNS, and IAX (Asterisk VoIP) ping. If you need other server types supported, please contact us.
  • New alert option to not show the alert indicator on the main graph (for logging alerts that always log).
  • Summary time graphs can be sorted to match the summary target list.
  • Alerts can use SMTP STARTTLS secure connections - this allows use of GMail SMTP servers. See http://www.nessoft.com/kb/67 for instructions.
  • Improved Windows Vista compatibility:
    • With 64 bit Vista, you no longer need to disable DEP for PingPlotter.
    • Uses new Windows Open / Save dialogs.
    • Context-sensitive (F1) help now works.
    • Uses Vista font type / sizes.
    • Several other tweaks.
    • Note: The UDP packet type still does not work completely under Vista. Also, running as a service still has the limitations listed here in our knowledge base article on this topic.
  • Improved route change handling so you can work with routes in history even though current route is changing. Previously, the current route would override the selected one.
  • Changes and improvements to the web interface:
    • The summary screen is now accessible from the web interface.
    • If you're using multiple named configurations, the web interface now shows which one, and lets you select a different configuration for a target.
    • Some performance enhancements, especially when using IIS as the web server.
    • The refresh interval for the web interface can now be set by the user.
    • Some errors (especially errors where the web browser can't contact the server) show more descriptive messages.
    • Previous versions required a newer MS XML control which wasn't always installed on the server machine. The web interface now uses 3.0, which should be available on all machines.
    • Several "tweaks" and improvements to make the experience better.
  • Fixed several access violations (especially when closing tabs).
  • Systems using large fonts now work better.
  • Version checking didn't use your proxy server settings.

PingPlotter Pro V3.00.2 - January 4th, 2006

The 3.00.1 and 3.00.2 releases were bug fixes.

Download 3.00.2 from http://www.pingplotter.com/download.html.

3.00.2 changes:

  • An access violation would occur at startup if using an operating system and CPU that supported DEP (for more information about DEP, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/875352).
  • Trying to remove PingPlotter as a windows service when running as a windows service caused problems. This now shows an appropriate error message.
  • If the windows service failed to start, it would sometimes log no errors. Errors are now logged and shown in this situation.
  • When resizing the main form, then minimizing or maximizing, the resize wouldn't be saved on close.
  • The "Save data on shutdown, reload on startup" switch only disabled saving, not loading. Loading always happened - now switch is honored.
  • The summary screen didn't show script-based columns (ie: Jitter, Std Dev, MoS)
  • On some computers, CPU use was higher than it should be.
  • A couple of other minor updates / fixes.

And ... the 3.00.1 changes (released December 15th, 2005):

  • During the 30 day trial, the "Create new target" button and tab were disabled, allowing only one target.

PingPlotter Pro V3.00 - December 11th, 2005

Overview of differences between the current licensed 2.60 release and this Pro version:
  • Ability to trace to multiple targets without having to launch multiple instances.
  • Multiple targets are shown on a single "Summary Screen", similar to MultiPing.
  • Different targets can use different (named) “Settings” (i.e.: one target can use TCP with 48 byte packets, another can use ICMP, etc.).
  • Comprehensive target "Docking" (or floating) to lay out the screen like you want it.
  • Ability to save list of monitored targets, along with their screen layout and settings.
  • Ability to run as a Windows service, auto saving / reloading collected data files without requiring a user to be logged in to the workstation.
  • Integrated web server for reviewing and accessing data remotely.
  • Integrated scripting engine allows significant extensibility and customization.
    • Extensibility points available in this release:
      • Script based alert conditions.
      • Script based alert notifications.
      • Script based time graph columns.
      • Ability to collect data (i.e.: Trace) from a script source.
      • Access to most of PingPlotter, allows tweaks and changes to UI and extensions.
      • Script IDE and debugger available (this is still in development).
  • "Agent" Perl script can be installed on a separate computer that can be used as the source of a trace.
  • Mouse wheel scrolling and zooming of time graphs.
  • Improved "focus" indicator on the time graphs.
  • File -> Send email commands to easily send data and/or images to others.
  • Extensive support for COM automation.
  • Native support for Jitter calculations and graphing.
  • Hop number shows on time graph next to DNS name and IP Address.
  • 7 days added as a default time interval available from the time graph context menu.
  • Task bar behavior has changed to be more "Windows standard".
  • Menu redesign.
  • PingPlotter Pro license keys are now independent from PingPlotter keys. This means you can have both installed on the same machine if you want. (This is only of interest to those of you running previous alpha versions of Pro).

Details of new features, including basic instructions on use

This sections talks about each of the new features in a bit more depth. Make sure you also review the PingPlotter Pro help file that is installed with the product. It has quite a bit of additional information.

Installation

Installation should be relatively easy - and similar to previous PingPlotter releases. Once installed, a new entry for "PingPlotter Pro" will be added to your start menu. Note that this is installed completely independent of PingPlotter v2.60 - both can be installed at the same time.

Multiple targets in a single instance

This is probably one of the most asked for features we’ve received from current PingPlotter users. You can now trace to more than one target at a time within one PingPlotter instance, and each target can be managed independently of the others (unlike in MultiPing, where each target's schedule, packet size and other settings are all shared).

To use this capability, enter your first target's name or IP address and hit either the "Trace" button or the enter key. If you're a prior user of PingPlotter, this will be familiar. Now, to add an additional target, either use the "File" -> "New Target" menu option, or hit the little icon next to the "Address to trace" line. If these entries are disabled, that means PingPlotter's ready for you to enter a new target address in "Address to trace:" and get started.

Multiple targets will show up as tabs. In addition, each target will be listed as a menu entry in the "Workspace" menu to make it easy to select.

All menus and controls are connected to the currently selected target. Switching between targets will switch the controls to that target.

To close a target, just hit the "X" (i.e.: Close) button above the graph on the right next to the thumbtack. This will stop data collection and get rid of all collected data from memory.

We have done relatively extensive testing at 10 different targets. We've done quite a bit of work at 80 targets, and we've done light testing at 250 targets. The tab paradigm starts to show problems as the number of targets increases to over 40 or so. Your comments and suggestions are welcome here if you expect to monitor a lot of targets.

Remember that we're doing full route traces for each target - different than with MultiPing where it's final destination pinging only.

One primary reason to use PingPlotter Pro to monitor multiple targets, rather than just using multiple instances of PingPlotter workstation, is that PingPlotter Pro can make sure multiple targets don't all get queried at the same time. We always want a bit of time between each packet so we don't overwhelm the local connection and impact our measurements by sending too much data. PingPlotter Pro makes sure time spacing is honored between each packet - no matter how many targets are being monitored.

Summary Screen

As you add new targets, each final destination will automatically be added to the "Summary" screen. The summary screen should look familiar to those of you who've used MultiPing in the past.

Because each target might be running different trace intervals, the summary screen has no "Samples to include" setting, but instead has "Graph focus time". This focus period is applied against all hosts listed on the summary screen - even if they have different data collection intervals.

The summary screen, by default, shows all final targets. You can, however, manually add any intermediate hops from any target to also appear on the summary screen. To do this, right-click on the hop (host) you want shown and select "Show on summary screen".

From the summary screen, you can switch to the trace graph by right-clicking on a host and selecting the menu option "Show trace graph".

Changing settings for some targets

You might want to collect data on targets that respond to different types of packets, or you might want to collect data about the same target with different settings. PingPlotter Pro allows you to do this by introducing the concept of named configurations.

By default, when you install PingPlotter Pro it has one configuration called "Default Settings" (that might be poorly named as you configure more, but works great with a single configuration). To access this, enter the options dialog (Edit -> Options). You'll see the "Default Settings" section on the left. If you right-click that (Default Settings), you'll get menu options to "Copy Configuration" and "New Configuration". Selecting "New Configuration" will use the default settings.

Some example configuration names are:
TCP Port 80
Auto-Save every 30 minutes
VoIP
Remote via our website

Once you've created a new configuration and closed the options dialog, you'll notice a new drop-down below the "Address to trace:" field. This contains a list of all configurations. If you only have a single configuration, there's no need to display that dropdown so it’ll be hidden. You can change the settings a target is associated with at any time, just by switching it in that dropdown - even when that trace is running.

Note that the Summary Screen will always use the display settings from the first configuration in the list.

Changing settings for a configuration will apply those changes across all targets that are using that named configuration.

Support for docking and moving of targets

By default, each target shows as its own tab. That works, but might not be exactly what you're after. Maybe you want 10 targets all displayed filling your high resolution "war room" screen. You can certainly do this.

Each target is living in its own "dock" control. Just grab a tab and drag it away from the PingPlotter main application. If you drop it someplace else on your screen, you'll now have a "stand-alone" display for that target. You can also dock a target on the side of the PingPlotter window so you can have side-by-side (or above / below) display in the PingPlotter main program instance. There are a number of combinations here.

One of our favorite setups with 5 to 10 targets is to dock the trace graphs to the side, and then set them to auto-hide (this is done by hitting the push-pin button at the right side of the caption). If you leave the summary screen visible in the center and auto-hide the targets on one (or more!) sides, you can easily access them by floating your mouse over, by selecting that target from the "Workspace" menu or right-clicking on that summary graph and selecting “Show Trace Graph”

There are a lot of possibilities here, so let us know what you come up with!

Save targets, settings, layouts

Once you get a set of targets that you normally monitor, you probably want to save your configuration so you can reload it later. PingPlotter Pro calls this a "Workspace", and allows to you to a workspace.

When you save your workspace, it saves your layout, all targets you're monitoring, your setting affiliations and a number of other values (like trace interval, graph height, etc.)

Run as a Windows Service

If you normally monitor the same set of targets and you *always* want to monitor them (and possibly alert on them), you might want to set up PingPlotter Pro to run as a Windows service (under Windows 2000, XP and 2003 only - not Windows 9x). Once you've done this, PingPlotter will start running when you boot your machine and will keep running - even if you log in as a user and then log out.

To set up PingPlotter to run as a service, the easiest way to do this is via the Options dialog. Go to the "Windows Service" portion and hit the "Install Service" button. This will create a service entry pointing at PingPlotter. You'll also need to create a Workspace so PingPlotter knows what targets, settings and trace intervals to use. Get everything set up, save a Workspace and then go to the Windows Service setup screen and set the "Workspace to load" that workspace.

You should also set the "Save File Location", which should be writeable to by the service account on your computer. This is where data files are saved to on shutdown, and reloaded from when you restart the computer. Also, if you have "Auto-Save" set up for any of the targets, every time the data is saved the service history is also updated so a crashed computer will only lose data since the last auto-save.

To start the service, use the standard Windows methods (i.e.: Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services), or you can issue the following command from a command prompt:

net start PingPlotter

Web Server

Have you ever been collecting data on a PC and wanted to look at the results from another PC - possibly across the company, or even across the country?

PingPlotter Pro now includes a built-in stand-alone web server to allow you to see graphs and data that is being collected.

The current web interface does not expose all PingPlotter functionality, but it does allow you to look at graphs, manipulate focus periods, timegraph ranges and other settings. It also allows you to download collected data files in PingPlotter’s .pp2 format for closer examination.

To configure the web server, go to Edit -> Options, and then into the "Web Server" section. The web server is disabled by default, so you’ll need to turn it on there also.

The default port for PingPlotter's web server is 7464 (on a phone, this would be the letters PING in case you have a hard time remembering the port). From your local machine you can use http://localhost:7464 to check out the web server.

If you're interested in modifying some of the behavior of the web interface (or the look / feel, etc.), the html is all generated from scripts included in the www directory in the folder where PingPlotter is installed. The scripts are asp-style, but the variables available and some of the capabilities are not exactly the same as an IIS based ASP system

Integrated Scripting Engine

In an effort to make PingPlotter more flexible, we've tightly integrate with the Windows Scripting Host. This means that there are numerous areas in PingPlotter where you can run your own code to do special things, or change the behavior of default PingPlotter.

Here are areas where scripts can be used to extend PingPlotter:

  • Script based alert conditions.
    This allows you to create your own formula or conditions. We include an example formula for "MOS" (Mean Opinion Score - a VoIP statistic), but this can be anything you like.
  • Script based alert events.
    There is a huge amount of stuff you can do here - from logging to your own file / format, to doing SMS, to SNMP and more. We include a basic "pop up a dialog" script as an example to satisfy the needs of some of our advanced users that want custom actions on a network event.
  • Script based time graph columns.
    Want your own formula displayed in the time graph? Want to change the color of the display based on your own rule? This is all possible (and more). We've included examples for MOS and Jitter.
  • Ability to collect data from a script source
    This is pretty exciting. We included this capability because we wanted to be able to query a remote traceroute server and report the results in PingPlotter. Because there are so many different formats appearing, we wanted to include some kind of flexibility in parsing. We have an example of querying SNMP counters, and a couple of other in-development ones. If you're intersted in a specific capability, contact us at support@pingplotter.com and we'll be happy to help qualify your needs and see if PingPlotter can handle them.
  • Other areas.
    A *lot* of PingPlotter is accessible via scripts. Want to get notified on any route change and run some logic? Want to paint your own logo in someplace? Want to add your own menu option? This is all possible, although the object model is not very well documented at this point, so you'll want to ask us for help.
  • Debugger / editor available!
    We're still working out some bugs and interface problems with the debugger / script editor, but this allows you to author your own scripts with code completion, a debugger, float-over inspection and other advanced editor functions.

Feel free to use and modify any of the example scripts to create your own versions of them. The "scripts" directory in the PingPlotter Pro install directory has a number of examples. PingPlotter's current scripts are using VBScript, but you can also use JScript, Perl, Python and others.

If you want to extend PingPlotter and take advantage of some of these scripts, look in the "scripts" directory of your install folder. The object model is currently undocumented, but please contact us with your needs/wishes and we'll help with your customizing.

"Agent" Perl script can be installed on a separate computer and that computer can be used as source of trace.

Have you ever wished you could collect data with PingPlotter from a machine that wasn't capable of running PingPlotter, like a hosted web server?

There is now a new engine type that will use a script to collect data. Our first example of this engine type (shipped with the current install) is to access a web-based traceroute page. We have a bit of Perl code that runs traceroute on a server and returns the results to PingPlotter. This means you can have your web server with a small script and PingPlotter can access that to collect data.

Because the PingPlotter collection mechanism is script-based, you can actually modify the parsing routine to parse any web page output (and submit any variables to that page). This means if you already have a traceroute page on your server, you can probably use that by just modifying the PingPlotter script. If you're interested in this, please contact us and we'll help you get this set up. We did not ship a generic parser that can parse any of the existing pages already out there because of the possibility for abuse. Your thoughts on this are welcome.

For more instructions on this, visit our page on configuring remote agents.

Mouse wheel scrolling

The zooming and scrolling capability of PingPlotter has always been a bit of a differentiator - to be able to massage the picture of the data to best represent the problem. We've enhanced that a bit by adding support for mouse-wheel zooming and scrolling. If you select (left-click) a time graph, then the mouse wheel will scroll that left or right (if there's enough data there). CTRL-scrolling (or wheel-click scrolling if your wheel has a button on it) will change the graph scale.

A unique thing about mouse-based zooming is that you can point at the area you want to zoom in on, and PingPlotter will focus that area. That means you can scroll through a dataset at 24 or 48 hour timing, point at a lost packet or latency period, and then zoom in on it. The old method of double-clicking to get the "focus" set, and then zooming in with the right-click menu still works, but the mouse wheel makes this a lot smoother and more fluid.

Improved "focus" indicator on the time graphs

Most of you know that the upper PingPlotter graph can focus on a period that's not the current one - giving you the capability to examine any collected data in memory for problems. You do this by setting "Samples to include" to a non-0 number (i.e.: 100), and then double-clicking the time graph to move the focus.

When you do this, the time graph shows a "focus indicator". In previous versions of PingPlotter, this was a pair of light colored lines, one on each side of the focus period. With this release, we've made that a lot more obvious by using a stronger color and also adding that color around the entire focus period.

Ability to attach a file or image to a new email automatically (ie: File -> Send Email).

A common scenario for PingPlotter is to collect data and find a problem, and then you want to email that data to someone. PingPlotter now uses your standard MAPI email client, and creates that email for you with an attachment. We need some help testing how well this works on a wide variety of installs, so please check out this capability.

Note that this does not work for instances of PingPlotter running as a service.

New "Jitter" calculations and graphs

Voice over IP is becoming a bigger part of the networking world, and troubleshooting VoIP is an area where PingPlotter can add a lot of value.

Jitter is a metric that shows how much the latency is changing from sample to sample. High Jitter is an indication of network problems, and is a significant cause of VoIP problems.

PingPlotter has two ways of displaying Jitter. First, Jitter is displayable on the upper time graph (right click, "Customize View" or View->Customize View, then select "Jitter"). It is also displayable over time on the time graph (grab the splitter bar above the time graph and increase the size of the time graph to see the default Jitter display. If you want to change the way this looks, go to Edit -> Options, Display).

Note that the current timeline graph Jitter display is a prototype. We're not sure this adds a lot of value. Your comments are welcome on this.

The jitter in the upper trace graph is the average jitter over the number of samples you have selected. If you set "Samples to include" to 0, this will be the average jitter for your entire sample set.

Miscellaneous other UI changes

We've made a number of other "tweaks" to the user interface, including (but not limited) these:

  • Hop number shows on time graph. This is an oft-requested feature. On the summary screen, it shows the final destination and the hop number. On an individual trace view, the final destination name doesn't show since it's pretty obvious there.
  • 7 day period added to default time graphs. You can still add your own time intervals, but we've added a week default out of the box.
  • Task bar behavior has changed. Cascade / Tile no longer leaves empty hole for �PingPlotter� window. Move / Size buttons now included on right-click taskbar. Non-standard windows managers work better.
  • Menu redesign (we're still finalizing some of this in version of Pro). We're trying to make things a bit less right-click dependant, and moving more of the commands to the menu structure as well.