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Messages - jsmallberry [ switch to compact view ]

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Does anyone know of a remote desktop software (like VNC, TeamViewer, etc) that will only display just a small portion around the mouse pointer of the remote computer, say a box of 320x240 pixels, even as it moves?  I know some will show just a window of the remote computer but that’s not what I’m hoping for.  I also know that most remote desktop software only communicates the screen updates, saving bandwidth.  I usually just need to quickly access the remote computer just for quick manipulations and don’t want to have a big screen displayed and constantly being updated.

Thank you.

Sorry about the delay for a response, it's been busy lately.

jgpaiva and skrommel, awesome apps.  I'll be able to use them for other tasks, but it's not what I had in mind.  These will be able to get me going until something else comes along, or I figure out how to do it myself.  Thanks for your input and effort!

I hope other people run into this problem, and I'm not the only one, and I'm not wasting anyone's time.

  Doing critical things with applications, when hardware, such as mouse, keyboard, or monitor (in a multi-monitor setup), fails, or a combination of failures.  This may happen when setting up a new computer, or if you have a complex computer setup.

Monitor failure:
  Those using multimonitors, have you ever had one of the monitors fail for some reason, but need to access an application's window that was being displayed on that monitor?  You can move the window with the keyboard, but you do not always have access to the taskbar to access the system menu of the application or bring it to focus, or you cannot see the alt tab display.  I've seen this happen too, with VNC type applications.  They only display one monitor, and the window you wish to use is on the other monitor.
  I would like to see an application that can be activated via right click menu on the desktop or global hotkey.  This application would either, display itself on every monitor, or display where the mouse pointer is.  You select (with the mouse or the keyboard) from a list of windows and then select the monitor you wish to move it to.

Mouse failure:
  If the mouse fails, many times, you can use the keyboard to finish up a critical task before you restart your computer to repair the mouse problem.  But not all functions can be done with the keyboard.  I've seen applications that allow you to move the mouse pointer, and click the mouse buttons, from the keyboard.  It would be nice if our application has this function integrated.

Keyboard failure:
  Really, the easiest way to deal with this problem is to run the on-screen keyboard (OSK) built in to Windows, although, the keys are too small on high res monitors.  It would be nice if our application could have a button to launch the OSK app, because you don't always have access to the start menu, and move it to where the mouse point is.  Or even a better, have an OSK integrated.

Additional information:
  Here's the reason I run into this problem, probably more often than many others.  At home, I run three computers.  I have three monitors on my main computer, a touchscreen monitor on a second computer, and a monitor on a third computer.  I use the application Synergy (awesome app) to integrate all three computers as one computer.  I also run Hamachi, VPN, at home and work.  My work computer also has two monitors, and I use VNC to access my work/home computer, so monitor display issues crop up often.

I'm sure this idea could be expanding.  But these core functions are a good start.

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA Random walk over desktop image
« on: January 21, 2007, 12:18 PM »
I had a similar idea, although too complex for Coding Snacks, related none the less.  The idea is to use DirectX (or OpenGL) to “walk through” a 3D scene such as a stylized city.  And this would be the desktop background.  The camera would slowly move throughout the city (or any 3D scene), maybe around the equivalent of 0.5 to 1 mile an hour, slightly slower than walking speed, so as not to distract you from doing your work on the computer, but over time, gives you a sense of movement.  The problem is, who wants to devote all the CPU/GPU time and memory for this?  Well, I though of using a second computer with video out and a video input card, such as the ATI AIW on the main computer.  The ATI software, can display the video image as the desktop background, without taking any CPU/GPU or memory (it’s just a video overlay), I guess other video hardware/software can do the same.  The second computer generates the 3D imagery and sends it to its video out to the video in of the main computer.  Maybe too, it’s possible to use a 3D rendering software, like 3DS Max or Maya, to generate nice final rendering images, instead of using DirectX.  With the low resolution of video composite (640x480) and the slow moving nature of the 3D scene, the final rendering software may be able to serve it fast enough.

Just thought I would share the idea.

Similar applications:
(Use at your own risk)


WallsMedia Desktop Wallpaper Player

I have tried the new version with 7zip support and I love it.  I installed 7Zip and disabled the "integrate in shell context menu" option, so it would not interfere with my IZArc menu.  I've associated my zip archive files with Smart Unpack now, so all I have to do is double click an archive file.  I've now added this app to my 'must install' apps when I setup a new computer.

If you are to download 7Zip from the SourceForge site, use 7zG.exe, not 7z.exe.  The 7zG.exe is the graphical version and 7z.exe opens a DOS box.  I guess that's what wr975 meant with "Use the full version of 7zip (installer), not the command line".

One curious thing though, when I unpack a single file, it does not show up until I hit 'Refresh'.  But I don't think that has anything to do with the script, I think it is 7Zip.  I can live with it.

Selecting a different target folder doesn't feel right somehow.

I completely agree.  That's what your full blown archive app (WinRAR, IZArc, 7Zip, etc.) is for.

BTW, Smart Unpack DOES delete the file to the Recycle Bin.  I hardly ever use the Recycle Bin.  When deleting a file, I always click "Shift-Del".  Again, no complaints with Smart Unpack though.

wr975:  I've tried your solution, it works great!  The only problem is, I don't use WinRAR anymore, because it is not free.  I don't understand why WinRAR is so popular when there are so many freeware apps.  Anyway, I use IZArc.  I tried your app on an older computer that I haven't changed to IZArc yet, but still had WinRAR and I'm very pleased.  I tried to point the ini to IZArc (with the proper command line switches), but it didn't work.  I'll work on it a little more, but if we can't get it to work on other archivers, then I may have to switch back to WinRAR, I like the script so much.

PS.  When I mention zip files, I do mean any archive files (sorry).  Old habits die hard.

lanux128: Thanks for the tip for ExtractNow, every once in a while I need to extract a SIT file, I didn't think there was a free app for Windows.  I've always had to use my wife's Mac.

kimmchii: Thanks for your input, but that's my point of the post.  I could handle extracting the files/folders, but it took more than one input from me.  My motto is, computers should work for us, not we work for computers.

Thank everyone for his/her input and interest, especially wr975 for the solution.

From the member who brought you the most viewed idea, the idea behind Skrommel's Ghoster, comes this request.

Current problem:
1) You download a zip file, let's say, to your desktop.
2) Double-click the zip file to load the default zip application and press a few other buttons to extract.
          - or -
     Right mouse button drag-drop to get the context menu to extract.
3)  Extract the files to the desktop, and depending how the zip file was originally created and how you unzip it, you get:
  i) all the files extracted on the desktop level folder, what a mess.
  ii) a folder created with the zip file name, and in that, a second folder that was zipped, then the files with in that.  Two levels of folders to go through to get to the files.
  iii) a folder with a single installation exe file.  Do you really need a folder for one file?
4) Then, after you straightened out the folders mess, you delete the original zip file.  I can't stand to see on other people's computer, the zip file and the unzipped folder on the desktop, do you really need the two copies?

I would like to see an application do all the work for me.  Double click a zip file, the application determines:
1) If there is a single file, extract it on the same level folder as the zip file
2) If there is single folder in the zip file with multiple files in that folder, extract it and put that folder on the same level as the zip file
3) If there is multiple files in the zip file without being zipped with a containing folder, create a folder with the zip filename and extract the files to it.
Then, it deletes the zip file.  The only user input is the initial double click.

I know I'm not the only one that runs into this inconvenience.  And there are a million archive extractors out there, but none I've seen can do this.

Unfinished Requests / Re: IDEA: Process monitor and restriction
« on: April 30, 2005, 02:06 PM »
Alright, I'm mistaken.  I looked at the DiamondCS app again.  Apparently there is a new version (new to me that is).  It does the things I was suggesting, and it uses a kernel driver to do it.  I guess I used an earlier version. Therefore, I hereby withdraw my idea suggestion and apologize to DiamondCS for mischaracterizing their software.

For the first idea, you would have to make the form click-through by using the sendMessage api to the window below it.  Yeah, it seems like it would be a pain, not for the few hour requirement.

Here's a couple of possibilities:
1)  Make a program that is just a blank form (actually 4 of them) and no titlebar.  Set the forms to be 50% transparent (or whatever is set) with 'SetLayeredWindowAttributes'.  Make this form top most always.  Position the forms around the currently focused window, covering the entire desktop, but not the focused window.

Maybe not better, but an idea nonetheless:
2) Set the transparency of all other windows, but the focused one.  After setting the transparency, change the wallpaper, to a darker version of itself (I guess the wallpaper would always stay dark, unless the user disables the dimming effect)

The systray icon is an interface for the DLL: hotplug.dll.  If you type in the command:
%SystemRoot%\System32\RUNDLL32.EXE shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll
You will get the same window as if you double click/right click the systray icon.  But if you single click the icon, you get a list of devices in a menu and you can just click the menu item to stop/unplug/eject it, so you don't have to go to the window interface.  So therefore, there must be a way to stop a device without using the interface, programmatically that is.  Even if it calling/passing something to the hotplug.dll.  But I can't find that info anywhere.

based on the drive letter

I think the volume label for the USB device.  Because the drive letter can be changed between insertions.  But the volume label stays the same.

Unfinished Requests / Re: IDEA: Process monitor and restriction
« on: April 30, 2005, 12:11 PM »
Yeah, I've used the DiamondCS app before.  It uses a timer to get the process list.  I can't stand to use timers for apps like this in my programs.  I prefer to have 'callback' type functionality, when possible.  That way, there is no CPU time used until it is needed.  But the DiamondCS app is a step in the right direction.  I don't remember why I stopped using it, but there was a reason.

I guess it may take some time to write.  But I thought that if someone already knew that there was a 'hook' type mechanism, it wouldn't take too long to write.

Something I’ve always thought would be kind of neat.  Dimming the entire desktop and other windows, maybe 50% brightness, except for the window that currently in focus.  This allows the user to really focus on the window at hand.  I think this would be good, too, for using the computer in low light conditions.

I don’t know, maybe not the most useful app, but I think it would be cool.

Using a USB flash drive/removable drive should be easier.  I would like to see an icon on the desktop (or in a toolbar) of a newly inserted USB drive.  The drive letter used would be transparent to the user, the user would just see the drive volume label as the icon label.  Be able to move your files to and from it as usual, then right-click (or something) to eject it.  I hate the little system tray icon that you have to deal with for this task.  But here is the really cool part.  Even if the USB drive is not plugged in, you can still drag/drop files to the icon.  Then, when the USB drive is inserted, the files are automatically copied.

Unfinished Requests / IDEA: Process monitor and restriction
« on: April 30, 2005, 10:18 AM »
In the same vein as Zone Alarm and other personal firewalls and MS Anti-Spyware, there has been a crop of applications come out lately that monitor the startups, in real time, and notify the user when something is added to the many places at which an application could run at startup.  The user can allow or disallow the change.

I would like to see an application that would do this for any executable.  When any executable is attempting to run, this program can stop it (if this is possible) and alert the user.  The user allows the app to run or blocks it, either permanently or just at that one time.  As for apps that you permanently set to allow to run, you can use something like MD5 (and of course, date/time/size) to check each time to see if it is truly the same executable.  This seems to me would be the best virus/spyware protection, along with startup monitor, BHO monitor, etc.

I know that you could write an "exe wrapper", by editing the registry at HCR\exefile\shell\open\command and putting something like  "C:\ExeWrapper.exe" "%1" %*.  This would "intercept the exe" so the exe wrapper can shell the exe or not.  But that doesn't seem like a good way to do it.  Seems like viruses could disable that.  I would think some kind of system hook would be better, but I don't know if that exists.  One thing that wouldn't work though, is a timer.  Malicious code could be run in before the next timer tick.

To be an all in one solution, this idea could be expanded to include other "code that is executed", such as services, BHOs, etc.  And then also include the startups.

The Coding Snacks is a great idea, I hope it is very successful!

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