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Last post Author Topic: CustomBar  (Read 17121 times)

Curt

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CustomBar
« on: December 12, 2006, 03:50:54 PM »
I've found a new old program that I like a lot; CustomBar. A 18 pixels toolbar, placed down low (see pic) in full width.
CusBar.JPG

"One little bar can control your music player, display system information, generate menus of shortcuts to your applications, provide quick access to online resources such as search engines, and much more."

However, some features are missing: There is no tooltip on mouseover - what program is behind the right most icon, at the picture? There is no context menu on right click - not at the toolbar and not at the icons. And it will only support WinAmp media player, not my RealPlayer or WMP. And there is no version 1.1 yet, even though it was 'pre-announced' in January. So maybe this little twenty dollar LizardSoft could-be-great-program will never be finished.

DO YOU KNOW of any program like this?

jgpaiva

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2006, 04:23:21 PM »
LINK!!  http://www.custombar.net/ :P
It looks pretty good.
Seems a bit outdated, it's not good that it isn't updated since january.
Nevertheless, i like the idea, it spares lots of screenspace! :D
Only having support for winamp is a bad idea, most people use wmp.
I've seen such minimalist launch bars in alternative shells (like bb4win and litestep), but those are part of the shell itself.
Never seen a stand-alone version. But maybe other members can be of some help! ;)

Darwin

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2006, 04:24:44 PM »
Well, what springs first to mind is TrueLaunchBar followed closely by mouser's own LaunchBar Commander, then ObjectDock/ ObjectBar/ YZDock and MobyDock/ RocketDock/etc...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 04:34:26 PM by Darwin »

lanux128

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2006, 07:33:44 PM »
and also check out the duo from the Netherlands - WinBar & StatBar..

jgpaiva

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2006, 04:17:01 AM »
and also check out the duo from the Netherlands - WinBar & StatBar..
Fantastic!!!
I'm now wondering... Is there any resource you don't know about, lanux? :P
Thanks!

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2006, 02:43:00 PM »
Well, what springs first to mind is TrueLaunchBar followed closely by mouser's own LaunchBar Commander, then ObjectDock/ ObjectBar/ YZDock and MobyDock/ RocketDock/etc...

Thank you!  :up:

True Launch Bar is almost impressive (remote control Windows Media Player, Apollo, Foobar, iTunes, J.River, jetAudio, MediaMonkey, Quintessential and Winamp). $20 seems okay.

ObjectDock is candy for the eyes, but will to my understanding not remote control any media players, or tell anything about the system - and you'll need the $20 version to have System Tray Support. But even $20 seems cheap.

ObjectBar is $20 and XP/2003 only. Mine is Win2K...

YZDock tells that "the clock and the trash bin are not yet implemented, but they will be shortly". That was of June 2003...

MobyDock (http://www.download.com/3000-2341-10247255.html) has not been updated since November 2003, and is reported by other users to be a little buggy at first, and to use too much CPU (and I don't have a lot of that).

WinBar looks fine (Winamp only), but progress in development of the program is very slow, if any.

StatBar too looks fine (Winamp only), but has not been updated since July 2003.

Aqua Dock (http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4176) may be okay - it's hard to tell from the text: "a free program that allows you to have an “OS X” style, nice animated launchbar / taskbar on your screen that reacts to your mouse when you mouse over it. Users can customize the look of each item on the dock and set various animation options for when the mouse is over an item on the dock. It is very easy to configure."

RK Launcher (http://home.cogeco.ca/~rklauncher/) looks very PRO, is though free. The version is 0.4 Beta of October 2005, and have at least one smart feature: "RK Launcher will automatically place a shortcut on the launcher when an application is started for the first time."

But then someone also mentioned RocketDock (http://www.punksoftware.com/rocketdock) which is new:

Quote
RocketDock is a smoothly animated, alpha-blended application launcher that is similar to ObjectDock. RocketDock renders quickly like MobyDock, has the visual sharpness of Y'z Dock, and the stability that neither seem to possess.

It is compatible with every dock skin format we are aware of. In fact, if you have a skin that doesn't load properly, send it to us, along with a screenshot of what it should look like and we'll see what we can do about integrating the format...

Features:
Compatible with MobyDock, ObjectDock, RK Launcher, and Y'z Dock skins
ObjectDock Docklet support
Unicode compliant
Simple drag-n-drop interface
True multi-monitor support
Supports alpha-blended ICO and PNG icons
Icons zoom and transition smoothly
Auto-hide
Popup on mouse over
Layering options
Horizontal and Vertical offsets
Fully customizable
Runs great on slower computers
Supports many languages and can easily be translated
And best of all...its FREE


---
Supported Languages: 38, including Danish  :-*

Check out their free ÜberIcon too: http://www.punksoftware.com/ubericon

RocketDock (and ÜberIcon) will be my first choice to try out.

Thank you for naming all these programs!  :Thmbsup:

Edvard

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2006, 03:04:43 PM »
*evil laughter*

PowerPro!
http://powerpro.webeddie.com
mainbar.jpgCustomBar
« Last Edit: December 13, 2006, 03:07:06 PM by Edvard »

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2006, 03:17:04 PM »
*evil laughter*

PowerPro!
http://powerpro.webeddie.com

Windows PowerPro is Completely free! No catch!
Windows PowerPro lets you take control of how you use Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP. Run commands and configure your system any way you want. PowerPro gives you a compact and powerful launch bar, menu, and tray icon facility. But this is just the start. With a little experimenting with its configuration, you'll find that you can use PowerPro to change the way you work with your Windows system. The source of its power is the way PowerPro integrates three capabilities: Running commands: Tool bars, tray icons, hot keys, mouse actions, menus, timer, scheduler. Controlling other program's windows: Close, minimize, maximize, roll-up to caption, tray minimize, position. Providing utility functions: Send keystrokes to programs, run commands when windows first open, virtual desktops, clipboard extender, keyboard macros, shutdown, show all folder files in a menu, sounds, wallpaper, and screensaver activation and randomization.


It seems to be somewhat difficult to use - I really am an IT-analphabetic  :(
« Last Edit: December 13, 2006, 03:35:45 PM by Curt »

Edvard

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2006, 03:54:47 PM »
Which explains the *evil laughter*

I realize that PowerPro does so many things in so many different ways it is VERY difficult to keep track of what you want to do vs. what can be done, but making a space-saving launcher is easy once you get on the right track. I've been toying with the idea of writing up a PowerPro Mini-tutorial for a few months now, maybe it's getting a bit overdue...

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2006, 04:56:48 PM »

DO YOU KNOW of any program like this?

For the record:

freewaregenius.com is writing about sTabLaauncher 1.3:
Quote
My new favorite launcher!

STabLauncher is a tabbed launcher that resides either on top or bottom of the screen. Mouse over the tabs and they pull down; create as many tabs as you like, in the color(s) of your choice.

I must confess I like this better than Rocketdock,  just because the tabs make a lot of sense in terms of organization.

I do have a wishlist for this program, however:

An option to have the tabs disappear altogether until you mouse over them (similar to Rocketdock)

For some reason I was not able to install this in C:\Program files\sTabLauncher. I encountered errors upon launching (yes I did have administrator priviledges), so I had to install it in C:\sTabLauncher instead. Needless to say this has to be addressed.

More skins; I would prefer less of the cutsey colorful tabs and more metallic/modern looking tabs myself.

I’d also like to be able to change settings for all tabs at once, instead of doing it each tab at a time.

- that was 1.3

New version, 1.4: http://stablauncher.com/
« Last Edit: December 13, 2006, 05:04:38 PM by Curt »

Darwin

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2006, 06:31:04 PM »
Quote
ObjectDock is candy for the eyes, but will to my understanding not remote control any media players, or tell anything about the system - and you'll need the $20 version to have System Tray Support. But even $20 seems cheap.

Both the pro and the free versions accomplish both via "docklets" (much like TrueLaunchBar's plug-ins). To check out what is available, go here, enable advanced search options, then select "docklets". Note that the link goes to a search for "Winamp". I tried Media and got skins only... system resource information is handled by a lot of different docklets, but the most popular seems to be systats, which also works on yzdock, among others. I own a license for ObjectDock Plus but don't have it installed anymore - I use TrueLaunchBar instead.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: December 13, 2006, 06:37:48 PM by Darwin »

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2006, 10:55:58 AM »
By now I have tried every one of these launch bars, mostly for some hours only. Maybe it is my PC, but several of these bars turned out to be too buggy - or maybe I was too dumm to figure out how to do. I know I'm not smart enough to PowerPro, which I'm testing right now, as the last one in line, but never the less I've decided to give PowerPro a much longer test periode. Some months, I guess.

The only point with this little post is that after mini-testing all these programs, I still like the CustomBar concept better! If only the author would update it  :-*

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2006, 11:24:48 AM »
The only point with this little post is that after mini-testing all these programs, I still like the CustomBar concept better! If only the author would update it  :-*

I received an e-mail from the author:

Quote
Hi Curt,

I am re-examining CustomBar over the next couple months. I do have a version developed that has tooltips and iTunes support (iTunes requires further testing). At some point this will be released for sure. I do want to keep CB going as I myself use it and I’ve received many e-mails from people wishing further development. I will know more after I’ve re-assessed my businesses however.

Matt
- "as I myself use it"
So there really is hope!  :)

Re-reading my previous post: I did not mean to imply that they all are buggy or bad programs. Many are fine programs, but don't work the way I would like them to work, or look a way I would like them to - many are 'candy' looking with exaggerate pop-up effects; not to my taste.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 11:29:12 AM by Curt »

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2006, 11:49:45 AM »
I realize that PowerPro does so many things in so many different ways it is VERY difficult to keep track of what you want to do vs. what can be done, but making a space-saving launcher is easy once you get on the right track. I've been toying with the idea of writing up a PowerPro Mini-tutorial for a few months now, maybe it's getting a bit overdue...
Testing PowerPro, I can only say that I sure hope you will write this tutorial  :up:
- this is hard stuff...  :-[

thefritz_j

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2006, 12:23:16 PM »
(I don't know if this has what you need but just as an FYI....  )

Without installing any other software you can create an auto-hidining launch bar in Windows XP. 
1.  Right click on the task bar and go to Toolbars and select Desktop (if it isn't there pick it from New Toolbar).  This will add the desktop to your task bar. 

2.  Now take the "handle" (the little vertical bump) of this toolbar and drag it to the far left/right/top of the screen (away from the taskbar).  This should "attach" the new toolbar on the side of the screen. 

3.  You can then select Auto-Hide (and other task bar type settings) for this tool bar (via properties) independant of the Windows Task bar.  Personally I take off the Text and Title and switch the icons to smaller.

Tell me if this doesn't work for you, because I might have forgot a step.  I have an auto-hiding toolbar with the "Desktop" in it (with my desktop icons hidden) and it is invalulable to me because I don't have to minimize anything to open an app.

Yeah, you shouldn't need any third party stuff for this, it's quite a nice feature and I use it everyday.



Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2006, 12:33:12 PM »
Without installing any other software you can create an auto-hidining launch bar in Windows XP. 
Thanks a lot for telling this about XP. I didn't know!

With this said, I will have to apply that I hope to buy XP some day...
- I am running Win2K... ;)

thefritz_j

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2006, 12:40:41 PM »
Well, I say XP, because that's what I use, but the steps are easy enough to try, you might want to see if 2K will do it  ;) 

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2006, 12:53:00 PM »
I have an auto-hiding toolbar with the "Desktop" in it (with my desktop icons hidden) and it is invalulable to me because I don't have to minimize anything to open an app.

Are you saying that I can place hidden shortcuts to every program / website / documnent on the desktop, and they will still show up in this new toolbar?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 12:54:49 PM by Curt »

thefritz_j

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2006, 01:00:43 PM »
Sorry to confuse with the "hidden" comment.  I forgot to say that I hide my the icons on my desktop so i can enjoy my wallpaper! :D

If the toolbar you add is the "Desktop" then icons for -every item- will show up in the toolbar.  It's like having an auto-hide copy of your desktop!  It is so useful!  especially considering it's already built in to Windows!  :Thmbsup:

Basically the Toolbar feature lets you point to a folder (in this case I suggested the "Desktop Folder"), so you could have "My Documents" as an auto-hide tool bar too!

Would someone tell me if my steps worked? 8)


Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2006, 01:06:36 PM »
I have an auto-hiding toolbar with the "Desktop" in it (with my desktop icons hidden) and it is invalulable to me because I don't have to minimize anything to open an app.

Are you saying that I can place hidden shortcuts to every program / website / documnent on the desktop, and they will still show up in this new toolbar?

Well, they do show up  :up:
- but "Hide automatcally" (in the new toolbar) is greyed out  :tellme:

-
(right now I was told per e-mail that you have answered my previous post, ... ?)

thefritz_j

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2006, 01:12:32 PM »
Yeah, see below \/ \/ \/

Did it stick to the side of the screen?  What options are listed when you right click in the toolbar (not an icon on it)?

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2006, 01:18:52 PM »
Did it stick?

That was the problem. I did not push it all the way to the top of the desktop.
Now it is invisible.

I am really looking forward to try this out. So many years with Win2K and I didn't know about this feature. Ha! Well, I claim it myself; I really am an IT-analphabetic  :P

Thank you for telling!

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2006, 01:27:39 PM »
Yeah, see below \/

Ehh... How have you solved the problem with not being able to click the windows (Close, minimize, hide)???

thefritz_j

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2006, 01:30:03 PM »
Glad to help!

I know people aways say how much they hate MS, but hey, I'll say it again (See my post about icon overlay for recent files): 

Sometimes you have to give 'em credit!  Windows is pretty good software!  :P

Curt

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Re: CustomBar
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2006, 01:31:19 PM »
being able to click the windows (Close, minimize, hide)

Now I got it; one has to be accurate and not come too close to the new toolbar. Okay, and thank you again!   :up:
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 01:36:49 PM by Curt »