Scrap from Fisher Price

* 2008-03-21 final update: I have the version 1.1 of the DACS setup available. Look at your “c:program filesfisher-pricedacs”. If your dacs.exe file is from 2007/07/04, you have the version 1.0 If you want the version 1.1, that is still NOT available from their web site, you can contact me. The dacs.exe (or newdacs.exe) version 1.1 is dated 2007-11-29.

* 2008-02-27 Update: Finally, fisher price contacted me with a new 1.1 version of the DACS setup (165 megs setup file), and 2 additional files (dacs.exe – dacsminiapp.exe) that were built only for the french regional settings bug. I hope this update will work, and that they will provide a version 1.1 or 1.2 really soon from their web site that still offers no update link !

* 2008-02-18 IT WORKS !!! After “only” 2 months of tries, I finally found a way to make my DACS works. Trouble: using french canadian (and I suppose other non english regional settings), this makes the SOUND not working when starting the DACS software. Solution: Switch your regional settings to english (english canada works for me). I contacted fisher-price/mattel with this solution, I hope they will take my comments seriously to product an update that solve this for everyone.

* 2008-02-01 update – Fisher price gave me a special e-mail address where I can send my “DACS” log file and they will try to solve my problem. This log file is located here: “C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataFisher-PriceDACS”. I see in this file that there is an error related to my sound device. I’ll wait for updates from them in the next days.

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For christmas, I offered my daughter a Fisher Price -Digital Arts & Crafts Studio console.

It’s a drawing console that you connect to your computer through the USB device, and you can be able to use it to draw and play with the provided application.

I have only 1 thing to say: That is the WORST software I never get from a company. I can’t believe that Fisher Price put their name on that, and that they release this on the market.

It simply not works.

I got my first suspicions when I saw the requirements, that asks for a 64 MB DirectX 9 video card, for a simple drawing application that does not use more ressources than MS Paint.

First, I tried to install in on a french Vista OS. The software setup does not detects the USB device on my computer. After, I tried it on my laptop, with a french Windows XP on it. Also impossible to install. Hmmm, can it be the french version of Windows ? For the first time since Windows 95, I found a device/software that can’t be use on a french OS ! Good work Fisher Price.

I finally decided to reinstall all my computer from scratch with an english Windows XP, only to be able to use this hardware. There can’t be absolutely no conflict with other application, I now have an like new OS with all the windows updates patches installed. I restarted the setup, it finally detects the DACS hardware, and it installed the software.

Second suspicion: after the setup, a ReadMe file opens, and I see a lot of technical details about not working situations !!

I never saw that before, but there is no icon to start the application. It starts an hidden software on windows startup, and it waits to detects the “start button” on the device. The start button of the hardware is not working on all tries, I discovered that if it does not start, I can unplug and plug the USB wire again and the DACS application will start.

So I started the application with the “yellow button”, then Wow, I see the Fisher Price logo ! After the FP logo, comes the Digital Arts & Crafts logo, with animation, but no sound. Let’s wait. After that, the whole screen becomes white. I suppose that this is the backgound of the application, where we are supposed to draw. But after that point, there is nothing we can do. The application seems freezed, nothing happen. I must use ctrl-alt-delete to go to the task manager, and kill the application. After that I also discovered that the real good way to close the application is to do a complete Reboot, because the software changed the keyboard mapping, and it does not get back when I killed the software.

What did I do wrong? I looked at the readme carefully. I followed these instructions and I changed my 1600X1050 16 bit resolution to 1024X768 32 bits like they suggests. Same result.

I finally called Fisher Price. They were surprise that I have trouble using it, even if I found a lot of other user on the internet getting trouble with that. They knew about the french os trouble, they sent me a fix for that. What a fix ! I had to replace a dll during the setup process in the “windows temp” directory !!! Really user friendly fix ! The only thing I can say about it is that this fix work to install the software on a French OS, but the software does not works more after the install. (contact me if you want the french OS fix)

On the CD, they say to visit this site to get help: http://www.fisher-price.com/dacs/register/ But this site always display a “downloads and software updates coming soon”. It’s like if they do not work to fix it. No informations, no support, and my daughter is very sad about it.

The setup provided a “test” application that I tried it, and it correctly detects my hardware and every buttons are working. So, this is cleary not a hardware trouble, it’s the software that is so bad.

It seems that someone was able to make this hardware work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7hofrTlVHc. I have doubts that this demonstration on youtube was shot from the Fisher Price developer who creates the software, so it only works on their computers!

If one of you have a solution, or the same trouble, please contact me !

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