Today, I want to talk about another tool which is not written by me: ReplaceVistaIcon (aka SetVistaIcon). This is a small windows command line tool which sets or replaces native icons in windows executables.

My usage scenario is mainly connected to my work with .Net applications:

Nowadays I mostly write my smaller utility programs in C#. Simply because it is simple. Often I also define my own file types together with the utilities. So far so good. The problem arises when I want to give these file types dedicated icons, and when I want to place these icons inside my application (I do not like small utility applications, which consist of a thousand files). .Net application also contain a native Win32 resource section. It, however, is usually automatically generated by Visual Studio. If you want to add further native resources, that generation is no longer a viable option.

The normal way around this problem is to provide the complete native resource section manually. This, however, is tiresome because you lose many nice features, like the automatically generated application manifest and the generated version information section.

That is why I use ReplaceVistaIcon after successful compilation (post build event) to add further Icons to my applications.

Once again, it is time for one of my little tools, which the world does not need (but I do). The idea is simple: think of a series of files in one directory, e.g. music files of a audio book or video files of a TV series. Every once in a while you watch/listen to one of the files and days later you do not remember, which was the last file you have seen. My tool registers to the context menu of the Windows Explorer and provides a simply way of setting a bookmark at the file in the directory. The bookmark is an empty file with the same name, additionally using an extra file name extension). The whole thing is no shell extension, but a simple, normal DotNet application which writes to the right places in the registry. Simple, not elegant, but working.

FileBookmark.zipFileBookmark.zip File Bookmark Utility
[91.2 KB; MD5: bd58a615775c9897ae82536bb678b05b; More Info]

And, just because I can, here is the source code::

FileBookmark_src.zipFileBookmark_src.zip File Bookmark Utility Source Code
[60.2 KB; MD5: 84071f778ccb81b0c39101577a3fa204; More Info]

Software should solve problems. Sometimes this is the case.

I had a problem:

I have a somewhat older convertible laptop, an ASUS Aspire 1820PT. A nice and cheap convertible of it’s time. With touch screen support for up to two fingers and with an acceptable computational power. I have upgraded it in the meantime with an SSD and I am now running Windows 8. So far so good. The problem, however, is that the tilt sensor is no longer supported by Windows 8. 🙁

So I needed a solution. Hacking drivers or even writing drivers myself is not up my alley. I am an application developer. But, if something does not work automatically (anymore), we just need to make the manual use as comfortable as possible. That’s why I wrote a tiny tool: the DisplayRotator.

The idea is simple: the tool is attached to the taskbar. As soon as it is started it shows DisplayRotatorScreena simple window with four buttons for the four possible display rotation settings. Press one of these buttons and the display settings are changed accordingly. With this, I can setup my desktop orientation of my convertible with two clicks, even two tapps with my finger, and rotate the desktop aynway I like.

DisplayRotator.zipDisplayRotator.zip Display Rotation Tool
[152 KB; MD5: 07c3efddd05a98bf4d02db595b87f2fe; More Info]

And, because I can, the zip also contains the source code of the tool. It is written in C# and naturally uses the Windows API to change the display settings. Nice and easy. With the same code basis all display settings can be changes, like screen resolution and refresh rate. Even detaching or attaching monitors to the desktop is possible. Ok, the code for these functions is not in the tool, but the API calls are the same.

Maybe the tool can be of use to someone else too.

Today again I want to talk about a tool I do not want to miss anymore: KeePass

It is a nice editor for encripted password data bases. Since a friend of mine told me about that tool and since I tried it, I have to memorize far less passwords now. More importantly, I now use generated, secure passwords everywhere. Thanks to KeePass these passwords are entered automatically without ever appearing on my screen and without ever being typed in on my keyboard.

Ok. The whole security-thing is sorta paranoid. However, KeePass is convenient to use. Convenient and secure! A great combination.

Today I want to introduce a new Category for my website: “Tool links”. Here, I will link to tools by other people. (Small) tools which I like and which I use myself.

I will start with “Everything” (http://www.voidtools.com/). This nice program directly reads the NTFS partition table. Results for file-name-based searches are available in parts of seconds for the whole file system. There is no faster way!

 

While I was coding for Mr. Burns 3 config-dialog window I realised that I made a silly mistake in the GUI of Dib. Sometimes, reading or writing the desktop icon information takes several seconds and the Dib GUI did not show that the program was still busy. I mean, how stupid is that.

Dib.1.3.15.0.zipDib.1.3.15.0.zip Desktop Icon Backup
There is a newer Version of this File available
[377 KB; MD5: 82bb2c82aeaf070412c40192fbe3390e; More Info]

So I loaded the Dib project and made this little change (less than 30 minutes of work). Therefore, here it is: a mini update for Dib.

Last week I tried to use DIB to restore the icon positions on my computer at work. However DIB told me that he couldn’t find my desktop. … wut?

So, I debugged a little and checked what was happening. Actually, the desktop window was really detached from the desktop’s process main window. I have no idea what happend, but since this strange state survived even a reboot of my machine, I decided to update DIB to be able to work with this situation as well. Here it is:

Dib.1.4.16.0.zipDib.1.4.16.0.zip Desktop Icon Backup
Selected File Version not found, showing newest Version instead
[378 KB; MD5: 846a6d216e74ad0f09eae94f1f2279d7; More Info]

Here is, once again, a small tool the world does not really need.

UrlCollector.zipUrlCollector.zip UrlCollector
[158 KB; MD5: c7b75fcfbd602beec5902f8019f14ebb; More Info]

The UrlCollector is a very small and simple utility. It simply checks whether the windows clipboard contains a single line of text which looks like a Web-URL. If it does, that text line is copied from the clipboard into the program window. E. g. that way you can easily collect several download links from a website for later download, without hitting “Ctrl+V” all the time. Just “Copy link location” does the job.

About two years ago I was tinkering with code for changing the resolutions of my monitors. Of course, I screwed up several times and broke the layout of the icons on my desktop. So I searched the internet for a tiny as-simple-as-it-can-get tool to store and restore the layout of my icons. I did not find any. I mean, I found hundreds, but some were to blown-up by functions I don’t want (background services automatically detecting screen resolution changes, or something like that) and some were shareware.

Shareware!

I mean … WTF?!

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against someone earning money with a useful and good-written software, but such a tiny little icon tool. I mean, it’s far less complex than Calc.exe of Notepad. I was really miffed and so I decided to write such a tool by my own and to give it away as freeware. Yes, freeware. Just, because I can.

Dib.1.4.16.0.zipDib.1.4.16.0.zip Desktop Icon Backup
Selected File Version not found, showing newest Version instead
[378 KB; MD5: 846a6d216e74ad0f09eae94f1f2279d7; More Info]

And here it is: Desktop-Icon-Backup (DIB). Written in C# with Windows Forms and a whole bunch of P/Invoke. It only took me two or three afternoons to make it work. I am absolutely sure that somewhere out there a tool like this exists, and that I missed it, like I missed many others. Who cares? Now the world is blessed with one more freeware. Get it and have fun with it.