Sunday, 29 July 2007

Now Playing Update - 3.5

Download

  • New: Auto-save album art custom file name saving
  • New: Better lyrics, it works, and with editing too
  • New: View all my gadgets in the settings page

P.S. Please donate if you like the gadget :)

Got any issues or suggestion? Drop me an email

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

"The" tips for new sidebar gadget developers

Starting out making gadgets is pretty easy, I gave a lot of links previously here but there's a big difference between making a quick search gadget and a fully functioning all singing all dancing one. David has just concluded his 3 part series on a series or gadget tips for current and new developers and I personally think they're really awesome. Pretty much everything he's mentioned I incorporate on a daily basis, and the tips I don't use, I didn't know about.

He covers things such as how to implement and update system, how to stop the flyout loosing focus, how to debug, where to store your files, how to open files etc.

Check them out, I highly recommend them!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Eve Online SkillWatch

Here's yet another gadget I've been working on, one for Eve Online. It displays basic player stats such as name, money, and bloodline as well as having a skill timer that counts down till when your skill is complete and alerts you with a sound. Once you enter your user ID and Limited API key into the settings page it gives you a list of characters to choose from. If you want to monitor multiple characters just open the gadget a few more times. As well as this there's also 3 customisable links that appear on the flyout for things like your kill boards or stats page.  If you're an Eve Online player and you have Vista you should definitely give it a try.  

Download

eve sc1 eve sc2

Special thanks to (Eve name) Dondo Yonderboy for helping me to create this and the very welcome donations.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Now Playing Lyrics Update

LYRDB has been down for quite a while now so after a little trickery I managed to get lyricsplugin/lyricsfreak to work as lyrics sources. If you could give me some feedback as to whether this works okay/if it has many songs on it that'd be great.

Try it here

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Now Playing Update - 3.3.1

Download

  • New: Auto-save album art
  • New: New skin, new button set, new rating images - thanks to Matt Muenzer
  • New: Disable video option
  • Fixed: Video now releases resources after its stopped playing
  • Readme updated
  • Better settings page

P.S. Please donate if you like the gadget :)

Got any issues or suggestion? Drop me an email

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Now Playing Update - 3.3

Download

  • New: Video support WITHIN the gadget! Awesomeness!
  • New: Tooltip shows where art was obtained from
  • Fixed: White rectangle issue

Video should stay fairly in sync, if it goes out of sync, pause WMP long enough so that the video stops, and then press play again, this should re-sync it. The first 2.1 second may be a little jumpy as the video sync up with WMP. All the controls control WMP, not the video in NowPlaying - it may take up to 5 seconds for the video to respond to any changes. It's possible to reduce these delays but that unfortunately means increasing CPU usage. All buttons are hidden behind the video, making them visible makes the video jumpy

Tips

  • If you change video position manually in WMP, you'll have to refresh the gadget by pausing/unpausing
  • Double click to maximize video
  • Open up the gadget loads of times for a cool video wall

P.S. Please keep donating if you like the gadget :)

Got any issues or suggestion? Drop me an email

Gadget Creation Programs

It seems coding isn't the only way to create Vista Sidebar Gadgets these days, there are several programs out there that allow you to create Vista Sidebar Gadgets with absolutely no coding experience. A new program called Gadget Builder is one of the most advanced ones, it contains several templates including sideshows and search gadgets which allow you to enter your own sources, details, and images and then output a complete Vista Sidebar Gadget .gadget file.

screen_2

Another option is Amnesty Generator. This program allows you to take many types of HTML "widgets" such as the Google web widgets and put them into a Vista Sidebar Gadget wrapper. So for example if you like a Google clock "widget", you would just enter the URL into this program, enter some details like it's name, and then it would produce a  Vista Sidebar Gadget .gadget file that can be distributed or placed on your Vista Sidebar.

generatorw1

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The Clock

Here's an original one for you, a clock! "The Clock" is one of the most popular Google Desktop gadgets, it displays Time, Date, Day, Month and Year. It also has two skins. I liked it a lot so I converted it into a Vista Sidebar Gadget. The original was made by Kamal.

The process of doing this was actually surprisingly easy, but some of the creation methods are vastly different so the conversion process can be laborious, mainly converting the display code to html tags as the Google sidebar uses a lot of non-html stuff

Download

c4d9eb5f-c7a0-4727-8e7b-0a2bf80e1c6dsnip 4347d390-f132-4477-8548-a0af3843d4e9snip

Volume Control Gadget Recommendation

Here's another recommendation for you guys, a little gadget called "Volume Control". It's simple a gadget for allowing you to control the volume, view an equalizer type visual, and mute too. It does exactly what it says on the tin and does it very well with nice visuals too and two skins in the most recent version. It's quite surprising something like this hasn't been made before really as it's quite a simple concept and does exactly what a gadget should do, it's probably down to the fact it's so difficult to actually access any API for volume controls.

Personally I think with the visualiser feature it makes a great addition to the Now Playing gadget so I personally recommend you download it.

To control it: Double click to open the volume mixer, middle click to mute, and use your scroll wheel to change volume

5c7baf8d-2ea8-4f97-87b3-ea6fa843ec35snip

Get it here

Useful Vista Sidebar Gadget Links

For anyone looking to create gadgets or other gadget developers looking for some info, here's some useful links

Tutorials:

Tips: 

Official sidebar blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/sidebar/default.aspx

Official Sidebar gadget forum: http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=1063&SiteID=1

Sidebar API: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa965852.aspx

Javascript help: http://www.w3schools.com/js/default.asp

A good sidebar gadget forum: http://www.thehobbylounge.com/

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Gadget Reviews Tracker

The Live Gallery is good, but not great for developers, if you have a lot of gadgets like me (33) it's very difficult to keep track of when people have left reviews or comments on the gadgets so I created this. You enter your Author Feed URL and it displays a list of all your gadgets and how many reviews each has with links to each gadget

 
Download

By the way it's rather slow at loading though as it has to open up the details page of every single gadget manually to read how many reviews it has.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Skins.Be Downloader Update - 1.0.7

Download

  • New: Pick a custom resolution
  • Fix: Dodgy interpolation issues
  • Fix: Custom babe setting now saved between sidebar restarts

Got any issues or suggestion? Drop me an email

Sunday, 15 July 2007

FTP Space Update

It seems the FTP should be back up soon, my ISP is restoring backups at the moment so everything should be back to normal in a few hours.

Thanks for the FTP offers anyway

Edit: Everything's backup and working now :)

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Now Playing White Rectangle Issue

If you are "still" having this issue please try downloading this. I believe it should fix the issue's which are related to odd characters on non en systems. Thanks to Clyde Li for testing this.

Download

Friday, 13 July 2007

Now Playing Update - 3.2.9

Download

  • New: CTRL+S to save album art to a folder
  • New: 2 new smallish skins
  • New: Album art isn't searched for when a video is playing anymore, video image put in place
  • Fixed: Button in settings page now takes you to gadget folder
  • Fixed: Black rectangle issue when new update is out
  • Updated: Multiline tooltips
  • Updated: Auto-lyrics retrieval disabled as it overloaded the LYRDB servers

Note: Lyrics should be up and working again around the 22nd of July

P.S. Please keep donating :)

Got any issues or suggestion? Drop me an email

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Sidebar Gadget Security: Inspect Your Gadget

Michael Howard has written up some guidance on how to develop secure Vista Sidebar Gadgets:

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb498012.aspx

Take some time to check this out if you're writing a Sidebar Gadget that touches data from a remote source.

Review a Gadget for Security Bugs

As a first order analysis, the following should be carefully reviewed to make sure they are not introducing security bugs.

  • Verify that all innerHtml constructs render only trusted or sanitized data.
    You can use the innerText property to add untrusted data into the DOM safely.
  • Verify that all document.write method calls render only trusted or sanitized data.
    Again, use the innerText property to add untrusted data into the DOM safely.
  • Verify that all calls into the Gadget object model or ActiveX controls instantiated in the Gadget pass validated data. As an example, be careful when calling System.Sidebar.Execute.
  • Verify that all calls to eval() pass validated data.
  • Verify that all ActiveX controls used by the Gadget are secure (no buffer overruns, integer overruns, and such).

Skins.be Downloader Gadget

Skins.Be feed viewer is the newest gadget I've just released, it  periodically checks the latest skins feed on Skins.be and displays the results in the gadget. The difference between this and the last one is that this one rocks! And I mean really rocks...just look at it! With auto updating, the download function, and a sideshow you'll never need to visit Skins.be again.

 Main Thumbs

  skins4 skins3

Download

Features:
  • Browse latest images added to Skins.be
  • Browse latest images of a specific babe with excellent babe search
  • Thumbnail View
  • Get all feature that downloads all 20 pictures
  • View details about images
  • Button to download image in custom resolution
  • Choosing of folder location to store downloaded images
  • Customisable update rate
  • Slideshow

Note: Based on the InterfaceLIFT gadget by UCFknight10