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3 Awesome MUST HAVE utilities for developers

maqk® by MolviDSLR Khan | 10:54 PM

Enough of code, lets see what can ease out our jobs, enhance our routines, and make us more productive.I am always looking around for automation freebies and I think I am good at google :). Of course there are tons of freebies out there but not all of them are useful at the same level. This also depends on your approach, how smart you think and your over all personality.

I have come up with 3, yes 3 good utilities each of them is a must have for any QA, Developer or techy personal. No more time wasting words, straight away Name, Description and location lolz

  • Clipx - smart clipboard manager. Ctrl + Shift + V loads a light weight list of 25 slots of last 25 clipboard objects. And surely it can hold the last 25 t-sql snipets that you were just playing with. Imagine keeping all of them in your control, and using any of it anytime. I have already become so addict towartds it. THe greatest thinks is that it keeps snapshots, files, folders, any thing that clipboard supports so far in my experience. A MUST HAVE No doubt, download it here -http://bluemars.org/clipx/clipx-1.0.3.8-setup.exe
  • AutoHotKey - Well alot of my sql snipets come from it since it can catch the keystrokes and replaces your configured value for it. But thats not even half of waht it can do for you. Define complex keystrokes to do things with your system, open programs, do alot. However I have used it as a smart text replacer and it has really started serving me awesomely. I type large favorite urls by just typing short aliases. One can even use it for email templates etc, depends how smart you are to use ;). Get it here - http://www.autohotkey.com/download/ 
  • Folder Guide - Folder lookup plugin - Loads when File Open dialog appears or in context menu and provides a list of your selected folders. Clicking on them opens or redirects to that folder. Simply Astonishing if you are used to of Folders and file management. However I believe folder guide may slow your machine provided lots of folders configured to appear in the list. Get it here - http://www.freeware365.com/download/FGSetup.exe
So what are you waiting for, go for them, they are gonna turn your life into HELLLLL coooool, lolz :)

DotNetNuke Community v05.04.04 Project Starter Kits

maqk® by MolviDSLR Khan | 2:51 PM

I know its a rather strange type of comeback to my long-no-post and long-ignored blog, and you know what, I was really not busy all those days AT ALL, really no..... just the lazy me, but sure its not going to continue like that cause I have some interesting posts coming about JQuery and DNN of course which is currently the main focus for the next month or so.

Now to the subject, over the past 2-3 months, I was looking for something that should have been too much available to every1. But I have to really dig into websites and apps to get it really.

What I was looking for were the DotNetNuke starter kit for VS2005 and above. But I could not really get it. Whatever you google, say "DotNetNuke 4 project templates" or "DNN4 starter kits" or whatever. I surely would have tried above 20 searches, and yes I found really good sites, and groups talking sense, but at the end of the page, I got nothing near to what I was looking for. It was totally strange for me, I could not believe all my efforts were going in vain and I was doing so much just for a starter kit.

Consider this page for instance: http://www.dotnetnuke.com/Community/Blogs/tabid/825/EntryId/453/DotNetNuke-4-3-Starter-Kit-and-Item-Templates.aspx

which is an official DNN page and it is all about the starter kit, but the linkfor the download provided: http://www.dotnetnuke.com/About/Downloads/tabid/125/Default.aspx redirects to the official DNN Download page. But this page even is not featuring any DNN starter kit downloads.

I was just going to lose faith over this but after lots of idiotic efforts really I finally got it. But to make life really easier and faster for you guys, I am sharing..........

DotNetNuke® Community Edition 05.04.01 Starter Kits

The above is the setup file for Project Starter Kit for VS2008 which will give you is illustrated in the following screenshots;



A DNN compiled module template for both vb / c#

and a new web site (vb only) based on DNN Framework

Also after searching smarter, I came across this link which will more authentic source: http://dotnetnuke.codeplex.com/releases/view/44102#DownloadId=119156

Enjoy development ;)

VB.Net 2008 - Change Desktop Wallpaper from code

maqk® by MolviDSLR Khan | 2:46 AM

Initially, some fun - So the history behind this micro utility is, I bought Dell 15 Studio, Vista eXperience, DreamScene made me more deskTopCrazy, saw Windows 7's random wallpaper changer, searched one for Vista, downloaded apps didn't work , hence decided to make one.

NOTE: The scope of this blogpost is limited to the main API Call that sets a new Wallpaper. The whole utility, its code and details will be posted later in another blogpost. So fingers crossed.

Now for work, its a simple user32.dll API Call to the method, "SystemParametersInfo"

<dllimport("user32.dll", )="" entrypoint:="SystemParametersInfo">_

Public Shared Function SystemParametersInfo(ByVal uiAction As UInteger, ByVal uiParam As UInteger, ByVal pvParam As String, ByVal fWinIni As UInteger) As Boolean



End Function
I searched and found these resources guiding about this API, you may also google "vb.net set desktop wallpaper".

API Call Authentic Sources:
The 2nd link is a more accurate call to the API since this systax worked for me in Vb.net 2008

Details

In the API, the entry point for us is the method, SystemParametersInfo. This function is responsible for so many things, including setting wallpaper for us. A description from msdn is quoted as;
"Retrieves or sets the value of one of the system-wide parameters. This function can also update the user profile while setting a parameter". 

Parameters

This function takes 4 arguments, first one, the most important one is about the work this function is gonna do for ur, so we pass an integer constant, 'SPI_SETDESKWALLPAPER' containing a value of 20.

uParam:

If you google it, most probably the first descriiption you will get is;
"A parameter whose usage and format depends on the system parameter being queried or set. For more information about system-wide parameters, see the uiAction parameter. If not otherwise indicated, you must specify zero for this parameter."

I googled more and found that uParam is set 0 with GET Constant and with SET, the new value should be sent, however in my app, I used 0 and 1 and found a same result with no exceptions. If some one finds a more detailed exlanation, please provide me too. The explanation about these parameters are also limited because the subject function deals with lots of functionality, hence these variables depend on the context of use.

pvParam

This contains the complete filepath of our wallpaper / image file that we are to set as desktop wallpaper

fWinIni

Updates the Win.ini file. The source i used as  alead used 2 constants,

Private Const SPIF_UPDATEINIFILE = 1
Private Const SPIF_SENDWININICHANGE = 2


And the argument was passed as follows;
SystemParametersInfo(SPI_SETDESKWALLPAPER, 1, _WallPaperPath, SPIF_UPDATEINIFILE Or SPIF_SENDWININICHANGE)

see the italic text, they ised or in between the 2 variables. However in my testing, I used each of them individually and found no difference.

Sources:
I will return with my whole Rando Wallpaper changer in the next blog, till them, some additional functionality to be implemented to make it a complete product. See you then,

MAQK.
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