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New File, Updated Files, Sneak Peaks

July 4th, 2009 · No Comments · Games, PortableApps, Programming, Windows

I have a bit of a backlog of stuff so I guess I better start posting some of it.

First let’s start with the updated programs:

EasyScreenshot.NET has been updated to 1.6.

Changes since 1.5:

  • EasyScreenshot.NET can now only have one instance running at once.
  • EasyScreenshot.NET now properly loads/saves options and screenshots regardless of the wrong working directory it is run from.
  • “Capture Clipboard After Timer” is a bit pointless and so was removed.
  • “Capture Clipboard Now” will be unavailable if there is no image data on the clipboard that ES.NET understands.
  • When uploading an image, the image and url is available on the clipboard immediately for pasting before the upload completes.
  • Hotkeys work now.
  • If an upload fails it will be reattempted up to 3 times.
  • Overlay has been replaced with a much simpler, static overlay.  This should fix most problems people have with it.  The new overlay has a new option: by default, when you select an area or window, that area will be cut from the static overlay as-is.  If you want to capture the area/window at the moment of time when you click it (old behavior), there’s a new toggle in the options dialog.
  • Notification boxes are now clickable.  URLs now show up as clickable links.
  • You can now cancel uploads by clicking a Cancel button in the notification box or closing the balloon tip.

AppCompactor has been updated to version 1.1:

Changes since 1.0:

  • Tweaks to the interface for adding/removing files and folders.
  • More silk icon goodness!
  • Workaround for .NET semi-bug which could occur if you use search indexing or real-time malware monitoring software and it tries to access temporary files as AppCompactor is trying to delete them.
  • Fixed temporary directory not being completely cleaned up when it could be.

Google Chrome Portable has been updated to use PortableApps.com Format.  In accordance with PortableApps.com guidelines I am making “Development Test” versions available for testing prior to a final release of this version.  Previews of releases 2.0.172.33 and 3.0.190.4 are available.

Changelog for this release as well as release notes etc is available here.  One important note is that the installer will delete plugins and dictionaries, so if you want to keep them back them up first.

Now a new release!

(Click any images for unsquished versions.)

Main SVN Explorer Window

Main SVN Explorer window

SVN Explorer is a program I made for browsing SVN repositories that do not have a web-based interface for browsing.  Or even those that do.  This program uses Cygwin svn.exe (or compatible) as a helper process to actually do all the dirty work that I don’t know how to do.  I could have used a library or something but I really wanted to hone my skills with using helper processes like this.

SVN Explorer only implements read-only operations, and only operations that don’t don’t involve mass-downloading (no checkout or update, sorry).  What you CAN do is browse the tree at any revision number/date, download individual files, view files in an internal or external viewer, view properties for any file or folder including revision log info, repository information, file data, and misc properties on a file or folder.

Note that this program is probably a bit rougher around the edges than most of my programs.  This was sorta intended to be a proof-of-concept thing and sorta ballooned.

You must have svn.exe in your system path or in the working directory of this program in order to use it.  The version of svn.exe I used can be installed with Cygwin, and there are also probably compatible native ports too.

Now for the sneak previews of programs that are almost done.

Main WiimoteScript Window

Main WiimoteScript window

WiimoteScript with helper panes open

WiimoteScript with helper panes open

A few of my programs have been attempts to copy programs that are good ideas but that are broken, buggy, or just no longer updated.  GlovePIE sadly feel into this category… it seems very picky about which bluetooth stacks it works with, and when I reinstalled XP once it stopped working entirely.  I felt the need to make a replacement program that would be more compatible.  When I found WiiDeviceLibrary, a .NET library that boasted compatibility with the Microsoft bluetooth stack, I knew I had my opportunity.

WiimoteScript is my attempt to create a GlovePIE clone that focuses on Wii devices while building on the base of WiiDeviceLibrary.  Leveraging the .NET framework’s built-in compilers, I was able to implement a scripting language.  You can read and simulate input on the Mouse and Keyboard, as well as simulate input on PPJoy joysticks.  But mostly you will want to read data from Wii devices connected to your system and then simulate input on those other devices, which games and other programs can read as real input.

I tried to keep things simple whenever possible.  Any time while the program is running, you can pair your Wiimote (press 1+2) or other Wii device and it will automatically be detected and connected.  You then load a script and run it.  If you make your own scripts, there is a quick reference feature to get you started, although knowledge about the .NET framework, at least language syntax, is considered a prerequesite.

Note that I also support C# in addition to VB.NET, don’t worry. 🙂

I also included a thorough Wii device testing tool that you can use to verify if there’s a bug in your script, my code, WiiDeviceLibrary, or if your Wii device is just acting wonky.

All I have left to do is really get a good collection of simple scripts together to make it easy to use (just load a script and go) as well as provide samples for the basis of user-made scripts.

Although I won’t do it for this release, I could use some help making the code completion not suck (you can turn it off if you find it sucks bad enough, press Ctrl+E and click on the button enough).  Anyone who has any experience with SharpDevelop’s source code, especially the editor and code completion portions, please drop me an e-mail (resume has my address) or tweet (@mzzt) and let me know.

Taskbar and Start Menu, browsing a place.

Taskbar and Start Menu, browsing a place.

Taskbar with All Programs.  No Icons because Im not testing from my portable drive.

Taskbar with All Programs. No Icons because I'm not testing from my portable drive.

Options menu

Options menu

Portable Taskbar was the result of my looking at PortableApps.com Menu and realizing it would be so much more awesome with some more customization ability and a taskbar.  Unfortunately it seemed noone made anything like that, so again, I stepped in!

First, I based the concepts all around the built-in Vista/7 Start Menu.  We have built-in searching of programs, and it can even show folder contents if you give it an absolute path.  Places on the right can be used to navigate common folders and it defaults to PortableApps.com’s own directory structure on your drive.  Internet and E-mail can optionally be pinned to the Start Menu (no others, sorry…) and recent programs appear too (not shown).  Then we have integration with USB Disk Ejector to power the eject button.

In All Programs, you can quickly add a bunch of programs at once, rename them, change their icons and paths, add parameters, reorder them, whatever!

Any program windows run from your portable drive appear in your portable taskbar, so it is the central hub for your portable drive.  If you don’t like the taskbar you can turn it off and be left with a tray icon, a la PortableApps.com Menu.  The taskbar also allows programs to be pinned to it, and has a nice “always on top” orb.

I’m hoping to get some “Windows 7”-like taskbar effects in, such as mixing quick launch and process buttons, task grouping, large icons…  However these are not implemented yet.

Lastly I implemented some flexible themeing.  Themes are defined via XML files and image files and I tried to make images work closely to how I know Windows themeing works.  Unfortunately I could not get native themeing in thanks to the fact that applications can’t use taskbar themeing in XP, just Vista and above.

The obvious choice for a default theme was my inspiration, PortableApps.com.  I still have to get permission though before I release I suppose… >_>

Bonus for reading all of this:

Once I saw this a friend of mine commented that it should be the intro movie to TF2.  I made that a reality.  Go here and download both files (they are different files, stupid thing just hides the extensions) and extract the larger one to get both files out of it.  Put them in Steam\SteamApps\<username>\Team Fortress 2\tf\media and you’re good to go.

Had to transcode it TWICE because RADTools and possibly DirectShow hate me so I had to transcode it to XViD and then use RADTools to make a usable BNK file but the quality is OK except in a couple of frames where the names appear on the screen but I blame the Bink codec for that.

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