Sending email with attachment from your Delphi application using http

I wanted to send emails from Picto-Selector and I was using my own SMTPserver for this. However SMTP is often blocked and it even triggered a firewall in the past when some people from different locations were sending emails almost at the same time…


So I looked for a way to send email with attachment using my webserver. I came up with the code in this example

You will need to replace the password ‘useyourownpassword’ in both the Delphi and php code to use it on your own webserver.

Part of the php code

The delphi code is in fact doing this:


This is done in Delphi with a Indy HTTP component:


Posted in Delphi, Picto Selector, Software | 4 Comments

Adding MultiSelect to firemonkey’s TGrid

Delphi XE4 is nice and the Firemonkey framework is a lot more stable than the version that was included with XE2.
However there is still a lot of functionality missing and that is why I added MultiSelect to the TGrid component.
I’ve choosen to create a copy of the original file and hopefully Embarcadero wil include it with their next update.
In the attached PDF you can read which changes are needed in the original source code. I’ve only included the changes. If someone of Embarcadero gives permission to publish the whole file then I will update the post with it.

To use this is your project, just make sure the changed file is in the search path before the original dcu / pas file.
You will not be able to change the MultiSelect in the IDE (it is not used for the components in Delphi) but you can change the MultiSelect property in the OnCreate event of your form.

PDF with the explanation about adding MultiSelect to the Firemonkey grid:

Posted in Delphi, Firemonkey, Software | 6 Comments

Picto Selector and MAC

Later this summer I hope to buy my first MacBook and i would like to create a MAC version of Picto Selector. (At least I can improvide support with Wine Bottler)

I would like to build a Picto Selector that run both on Windows and MAC. Sharing the source code between them would be great.

There are several cros compilers available that can generate both a Windows and a MAC application from (almost) the same source:

  • Delphi Firemonkey (Delphi is used for Picto Selector using the VCL for GUI)
  • Real Basic (back to my basic roots, very long ago 🙂 )
  • C# with Xamarin, can build against the native frameworks of MAC and Windows
  • Oxygene (Object pascal with c# enhancements), can build against the native frameworks of MAC and Windows
  • Lazarus, (Object pascal which can build against several GUI frameworks)

So I’m currently investigating what would work and how I could use those tools. Very interesting stuff 🙂


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Commercial value of Picto Selector

I was wondering lately how much it would cost a company to create a tool like Picto Selector. So i started to estimate the total hours I’ve put into the project. This includes the translation to Dutch and English.

Time flies when having fun 🙂

In a company it costs over 100 euro per hour.

I also looked how much it cost to let a translation company translate Picto Selector into another language: 5000 euro. Assuming that most symbols are now also translated to French, German and Danish. It adds another 15000…

Adding other overhead costs I come to the conclusion that the current commercial value is something of 150.000 euro 🙂
Not bad for a hobby project…

Posted in Picto Selector | Tagged | 3 Comments

Code signing Picto Selector

Do you recognize this message when you start the Picto Selector setup?

I’ve bought a code signing certificate and now you get:

I’ve used the option to buy a certificate for 5 years, I hope to get enough donations in that time to justify it.

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Online Backups and a giveaway

Why backups?

Did you ever wonder what you would miss when you’re computer is destroyed (and I mean burned or stolen or something like that). How many photo’s and documents will be lost? And in my situation the Picto Selector source code… The computer is easily replaced but there are a lot of personal documents you can not replace. The same happens if a computer virus strikes and formats your hard-disk. Enough reason to think about getting them somewhere save.

Why online?
You can store you’re photo’s on DVD’s and hopefully they will be readable after 2 or 3 years. But as long as you have you’re backups in the same house as you’re computer you are still vulnerable to loose both the backups and you’re computer.
But if you put it somewhere online then the chance on loosing both the online and local data at the same time becomes very small.

Organizing your hard disk
I’ve all my important data located in 1 folder (with a lot of sub-folders) which makes it very easy to decide what I need to backup. It contains all the word documents that we have created in the past years, photo’s, the outlook email pst files (containing 10 years of emails) and all the Delphi source code of Picto Selector and other projects i’ve worked on. This is really important data to me!

So i was looking for a good way to store my backups online and found out about Amazon S3, which is a huge provider of all kind of cloud services. They do not sell a backup service, but online storage (which can also be used for a website).

Amazon is asking money for the online storage. About 0.125 dollar for each GB you store on their service. They also ask money for the data transfer, but that is not very important when you create a backup. You only transfer it once and after that only the files that are changed.

To backup on Amazon I still needed a good tool. I started with a freeware tool called Bonkey, but I had too much files in my data folder and it failed after about 16 hours uploading. And because of the failure nothing was stored online.

Cloudberry Online Backup Desktop
I’m now evaluating another tool, it is not freeware but so far it seems to work fine. I can tell it what to backup and when (even automatically for each file I save to my data folder). The Amazon S3 account was already created for my earlier attempt, but there are fine descriptions how to create an Amazon S3 account if you do not have one already.

The backup took 2 days and you can stop the backup (pauzing a backup and stopping a backup is the same here) and continue later. It will start to scan the folders again and continue what was not already uploaded. In my case I have created a backup of 21GB and running the scan a second time takes about 7 minutes to completely scan my folders and backup some changed files. It will be faster when no files are changed.

You can backup manually or set a schedule. The service will run even without logging in into your computer. You just have to be sure that the computer is running on the scheduled time.

Restoring is very simple, just select the files you want to get from the backup to get them back. It is also possible to do this on another system.

My conclusion is that it does exactly I want it to do: create a copy of my files in a save place. Using schedules it is just set and forget and hopefully you will never need it 🙂

More information:
Amazon S3:
Cloudberry Online Backup Desktop:


I’m allowed to give away 3 licenses, so send a email “” before march 14th and I will pick 3 names!
The winners have received a message, congratulations!

Posted in Software | 2 Comments

Flexible Sheets, Picto Creator and Sclera Pictos = version 1.6

The version with all the new stuff is progressing nicely. A lot of changes needs to be tested but all the new features are added and complete now.

Here some screenshots:

Each object can be moved, resized and changed in several ways.

The Sclera Picto type is also nice:

And can be used to create a new Custom Picto:

Categories can be selected to used in the picto list

The Custom Pictos are automaticly added to the picto list and can be managed in a dialog:

As said i’m now testing this version. Very soon I hope to create a beta which can be tested and translated.

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Picto Creator progress and adding 1500000 symbols

I’m currently integrating Picto Creator into Picto Selector.

I want it to be possible to copy a picto item from a existing pictosheet or the picto list to Picto Creator.

Part of Picto Creator is a new system of creating symbols. I’m working together with Bart Serrien of Sclera to create a picto that is a combination of several images into one new image. So far i’m calling it Sclera Picto.

The images can be combined into 1,500,000 pictos for example:


Of courser a lot of those combinations are not usable for normal use or very unlikely. But we want to extend this further and it looks very promising.

To do:

  • Copying of picto’s to Picto Creator, both from the picto sheet and pictolist – almost ready
  • Adding the Sclera Picto as a new picto type to both picto sheets and Picto Creator – not started yet
  • Adding Picto Creator to the database (to store it’s pictos in the database) – not started yet
  • Implementing synchronization of the Picto Creator pictos – not started yet
  • Implementing selection of Picto Creator pictos in the Picto List – not started yet

Enough to do 🙂

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Adding a background option to Picto Selector

There have been some requests for backgrounds for a while now. The good news is that i’m currently adding this to Picto Selector!!
First I have created a way to handle transparent backgrounds. Only a part of the symbols should be a background.
Next I have to add the transparency information to the existing symbols. I do this by assuming that the upper left pixel is part of the background and can be replaced by the background color. Starting with this color i give all the other pixels with the same color surrounding this pixel the background color.

An example, no background information entered:

Then I start with the (0,0) pixel:

As you can see there is a part which is not yet known as background, so we add a point there:

And finally I want to make the background more smooth by increasing the tolerance that is used to to replace the colors. For the Sclera symbols it seems that 50 is a good value:

What I did was using fill position (0,0) and tolerance 50 for all Sclera symbols and i’m now checking for more fill positions. And sometimes I have to decrease the tolerance to get a better result.

The good news is that the Mulberry have already a perfect transparent background. The bad news is that it take some time to check all other symbols 🙂

Here an example of a pictosheet with several background colors:

The transparency will also be added to the Picto Creator.

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Picto Creator

Sometimes you just want to change a existing symbol or create a simpel new one.
I’m currently working on Picto Creator which will be part of Picto Selector. Here is a sneak preview, it is not integrated yet, but my goal is to have all symbols you create with Picto Creator to be published in the picto list. (And saved to the same database, available for all users)

Here an example of a sunday symbol:

And what if I want to change this one?

Now I want a symbol of this dog without tail:

Just use the dog as a background and put something in front of the tail…

It is also possible to use images: zoom and rotate them:

So stay tuned i hope to have this ready before the end of this year

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