Wednesday, September 2, 2009 by sViz | Discussion: OS Customization
It’s the double-up, jam-packed edition of ILDX! An edition I just made up seeing as how I missed last month’s…
Well, it was a busy month (on and offline), but we’re back—and with some really great picks thanks to the awesome work some authors have been putting out.
Let’s get to them!
Outstanding General Info
INFINITY Ultimate DX Weather by RedneckDude
Who says weather is dead?
This slick widget matches the WB and DX theme of the same name. It features The Weather Channel current and five-day forecast information, and you’ll need to sign up with them to use it. For DX 3.2 or higher, this one has some really nice graphics that goes well with several different styles. It also contracts to reduce its footprint on your desktop.
Star Trek Original clock and date by Maraudeur
I’m not much of a trekkie, but these are some cool looking widgets I can appreciate nonetheless. The zip includes two widgets—clock and date—that are designed to look like the Star Trek navigation consoles. It’s got neat details like buttons that turn the lights on/off, and others that open up Windows calendar or date & time.
It’s something out of the ordinary and can really spruce up your command center.
Most Creative / Original
The Captains Watch by theAVMAN
The AVMAN is always coming up with creative and original DX objects and this one is no exception. I simply love this. Beautiful, you-just-have-to-see-it graphics, and smooth animation. You might not be able to stop opening and closing the thing! If you must have a clock on your desktop, I highly recommend giving this one a try.
Mood Lighting by BuzzH58
These realistic down lights would make a wonderful addition to any desktop. They look great on most medium to darker walls, adding a warm ambience to the overall feel of your workspace. You can move them around to set them up just right, and they come with an on/off switch.
This and the Captains Watch really exemplify the variety of simple ways you can add more fun to your desktop with DesktopX.
Most Innovative / Resourceful
Weather List by Vad_M
This is mostly for builders. It’s an extensive example on how to use the TreeView, Image List, and ListView activeX controls. If I ever work up enough courage to try something this professional-looking, I know I’ll be taking this widget apart and combing the scripts.
DX Timer by RomanDA
This is a simple application that does exactly what it says. You click the button enter a number of minutes and the timer will beep once time’s up. It shows your start time, end time, and current time. You can get the gadget version - HERE
Resourceful, practical, and useful. Another great example by RomanDA that shows how quickly and easily you can put DX to work for you.
Themes of the Month
Notable DX by Redneckdude
This is a very clever design with a nice color palette and font choices that make the whole theme a delight to use. It feels so…summery and breezy, which I normally wouldn’t associate with post-it notes, but it worked and I loved it.
All the standard goods included, except weather.
Insect Music by Vampothika
For her first DX theme, I’d say Vampothika is off to a roaring good start. Made to match the WB of the same name (and same author,) this theme includes all the standard goods plus weather. Everything can be hidden out of the way, but really, it looks good on the desktop.
I love the unique, contrasting color scheme and the nice details on the buttons (check out the animation on the play button.) The overall design itself it has a very dark, techno, electronica feel to it.
One thing’s for sure, there ain’t another theme that looks like this one, and I hope we’ll be seeing more DX themes from this author.
Autosave to the Rescue!
Have you ever been so caught up in a DX project that you forgot to save? Not only did you spend hours working on it and forget to save, but DX suddenly crashed and you Lost. Friggin! EVERYTHING!
Hate when that happens. If you do, too, this trick might be for you.
We are going to create an autosave object to run while you’re working. You’ll have the object remember to save your theme at intervals, so you don’t have to.
First create an object.
Open its properties and go to the General tab. Click Change object type. In the drop down, choose DesktopX. In the second drop down to appear, choose Save Desktop and then click OK.
Now, whenever you click on the object it will save your desktop. But there’s nothing automatic about that, so we’ll create a script to Execute the Command on a timer.
Still in the General tab, click on New to create a new script.
Copy and paste the script below:
'Called when the script is executed
Object.SetTimer 1,600000 '10-minute timer
In the script above, I set a ten-minute timer (1000 = 1 second, 60000 = 1 minute, etc) You can adjust this to your liking.
Close the DesktopX Script Editor and apply properties. Presto, bingo, nothing to it!
As you know, DX pops up an information box every time you’ve successfully saved your desktop, so you will have to clear that each time. I would not recommend setting the timer to a frequent interval, or leaving this object running unattended—you’d either end up with a frequently nagging info box, or a screen full of unclosed info boxes.
When you’re done, add a snazzy image and export it, so you can quickly import it into whatever project you’re working on.
Thanks for reading. Until next month, Happy DXing!
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