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Instructions for the steampunk volume widget PDF Print
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Here are the instructions for the steampunk volume widget. The steampunk volume widget allows you to control the volume of your Mac/Windows PC via a simple slider and mute button. The main difference is the Steampunk design. It purports to be brass, steel, enamel  and cloth-covered cord but behind the scenes is all the supporting technology that allows it to operate on your ultra modern PC be it Windows 8/7/Vista/XP or Mac OS/X. It can also be assigned the function of your choice when you double click on any part of the widget, by default it opens the Windows network control applet.

The desktop widgets are provided as Yahoo widgets that runs on your desktop behind all your applications so that they do not interfere with your day to day computer functionality.

volume.pngThese widgets work with Windows XP and Apple Os/X.

They have also been tested on Vista Home and so it should work on all other NT6 systems with no problems whatsoever as long as you read the instructions to the END.

You will of course need to download and install the Yahoo widget engine first - which you can get here by clicking on the yahoo image:yahoo-widgets-logo.png

and the Mac version here: http://desktopwidgets.zenfs.com/4.5.2x10a50/yahoo_widgets_4.5.2.dmg

FUNCTIONALITY:

The widget functionality is self-explanatory, tinker with it and you will soon get to grips with it, you can't do any harm. Have you ever wanted to turn the windows sound down quickly? The standard method of doing it in windows is to find the volume icon in the systray, click on it then adjust the slider. Sometimes this is inconvenient especially if you can't find the systray nor the icon itself. This widget is on screen all the time, sitting underneath your apps (or on top if you choose). It can be resized so that it is neat and tidy, hiding on the desktop or it can be made as big as you wish.

To change the sound - click on the slider and drag it to the left or right and the system volume will increase/decrease. Click on the button bell-push and the system sound will toggle mute on/off.

If you change any of the settings  using any other tools the widget will detect this and make changes to the slider accordingly.

Double-clicking on the widget will cause a personalised Windows/Mac application to fire up. The first time you run it there will be no assigned function and so it will state as such and then pop up the preferences so that you can enter the command of your choice. The widget takes command line-style commands for windows or Mac OS/X. 

volume-help.jpg

Some example commands for windows:

This command would fire up the sound control panel applet.

control mmsys.cpl sounds

To fire up a web-page in your default browser, the widget command(s) would be:

start http://lightquick.co.uk/steampunk-widgets.html?Itemid=264  (windows)

open http://lightquick.co.uk/steampunk-widgets.html?Itemid=264  (mac)
xdg-open http://lightquick.co.uk/steampunk-widgets.html?Itemid=264  (mac) 
-oOo- 

 

INSTALLATION

1. Install Yahoo widget runtime engine FIRST.

2. Download the widget

3. When downloaded it should prompt you to ask what you should do with this widget. Tell the o/s to open it with Yahoo widgets.

Where is the download link? Get the widget here.

Right Click Menu

penny-red-menu.jpgYou can right click on the widget at any time to show the preferences that control the operation of the widget. It will show a pop up menu that allows access to some extra functions. For example, you can access online help from this link as well as visit other links to allow satisfied users to kindly donate...

The Widget Preferences link shows the preferences screen allowing you to select show more configuration options. Some of the configuration changes that can be made can be made.

The other links are generally self-explanatory, they will open pages on my website where you can obtain new versions of the widget, obtain assistance or help from the developer &c.

 

 

 

Preferences

This is the configuration preference screen where you control sundry items. You may determine which command will be run on a double-click. You can customise the command by replacing it with your own. You can select the widget size and enable/disable sound control.

  volume_prefs01.jpg

This preference screen allows you to change the sound and size of the widget.

  volume_prefs02.jpg

This preference screen allows you to set the widget's default commands.

 volume_prefs03.jpg

This preference screen allows you to select the widget startup location. NT6 systems can increase the interval at which the mute status is checked and cause the startup pop-up messages to disappear.

volume_prefs04.jpg

The default Windows preference screen allows you to change the opacity and order of the the widget. 

Running on NT6 systems (Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 +)

Windows NT6 does not allow the widget to set or test the volume from the command line. This is because these o/s restrict all apps from altering the system volume and mute status. The Yahoo Widget Engine is just one of the apps that is affected (however it works fine on XP or Mac OS/X). To get round this limitation two programs are provided that set the volume and mute levels using in-built windows functions.

The two .exe are compiled and linked as console mode apps in the Widget's Resources folder.
These two executables are:

nircmd.exe (one provided for 32bit, the other for 64bit system operation)
setvolume.exe (VB6)

Note: The two executables are called only by NT6 systems (Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 +). They are not needed for XP or Mac OS/X.

When the widget is run for the first time these executable programs are extracted from the widget and placed under the Application Data folder - it will be similar to this:

E:\Documents and Settings\Usernamel\Local Settings\Application Data\Yahoo\Widget Engine\Widget Data\Steampunk Volume Control\

The VB6 program is provided as a .exe and a .bas file within the packaged widget so that you may extract and  read the source to see how it was built and operates. If you want to compile it yourself you'll need to follow the instructions in the header as it needs to be linked as or converted to a console mode app in order to run. You can run the programs from the command line yourself as long as you are logged on as administrator:

$ nircmd32.exe  mutesysvolume0
$ nircmd32.exe  mutesysvolume 1
$ nircmd32.exe  setsysvolume 85
$ setvolume getmute
$ setvolume getvolume

Note: The nircmd utility is provided by nirsoft - http://www.nirsoft.net/

The reason there are two executables is that Nirsoft's nircmd utility does not have the ability to test the mute or volume status, it only allows modification of the mute/volume values. The setvolume.exe has the functionality to get the mute and volume status but not to set them.

UAC INFORMATION : 

UAC is switched on by default on your NT6 computer and as a result it requests confirmation for each run of the nircmd and setvolume executables - Basically, UAC is a crock of shit and is no way to properly protect and secure your computer. See here: http://www.davidarno.org/2009/03/05/uac-goes-from-crap-to-worse-with-windows-7/

So, simply switch UAC OFF!

If you disable UAC (user access control) then the widget will work - all that is needed is to modify the setvolume.exe executable to run in XP compatibility mode.

Screenshots below for Vista.

If you aren't happy with turning UAC off then think about getting a better more secure o/s that doesn't have this sort of pop-up security. If you really want this widget to run you'll have to disable UAC or install the Xwidget version of the utility which you can get here: http://lightquick.co.uk/downloads/steampunk-volume-xwidget.html?Itemid=264

The fundamental is this - On NT6 systems, in order for the widget to function you must set the operating system security to allow the widget to call the executables successfully. If you don't do this on NT6 systems the widget will NOT function as expected.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 November 2015 )
 
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