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Introducing a Handy Little Tool: DriveLight!

Started by DaveMorton, May 08, 2013, 15:25:20 PM

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DaveMorton

How many of us have computers that either don't have a "drive activity light", or are situated such that it's not visible? This has been a problem for me with various different boxes that I've owned over the years, and call me OCD, but I like to know what my computer is doing, thank you very much. :)

Anyway, I've created a little app project that I'm calling DriveLight, and I thought I would share the idea here to see if anyone might be interested in it.

What DriveLight does is create a NotifyIcon in the Windows taskbar that changes color based on activity of your HDD/SDD, and does so in a visible, easily understood manner. The program takes up very little in the way of resources (as we all know, I'm sort of anal about that), and provides clear, easily identifiable indications of what your drive(s) is/are doing. It uses 4 different icons, listed below:

1.) a simple, black ring, for no activity
2.) a green circle, for read activity
3.) a red circle, for write activity
4.) a green/red circle, for both read and write activity (at the same time)

The program itself is completed, and works very well. I'm just working out how to (conditionally) add icons for the desktop and the startup folder; or, more accurately, how not to add them if the user opts out during the install process. That's a tricky thing in VS 2010, but I'm hoping to figure it out soon. :)

Anyway, some feedback on the idea would be appreciated, if you lads don't mind. :)
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

Data

I think its a good idea, the bit I like best if the way is changes colour for read or write activity.

I will be giving it a go (for sure) when ready.  :thumbsup:

DaveMorton

I'm still trying to figure out how to make the options for creating desktop and startup icons work (the icons get placed in the respective locations regardless of the options chosen during install), but I'm still researching that. Till then, I'm sure that you folks know how to remove "unwanted" shortcuts. :P

http://www.geekcavecreations.com/?downloads

Look for DriveLightSetup.exe (I could provide a direct link, but I figure it's better this way)

Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

Snowcrash

Good little 99c app.

Had to set it to always show in the system tray. Would be good if it defaulted to that.
The graphic is a bit basic. I think it would look better as a embossed square button. Curves are always hard to do in a 16x16 icon. And a square would fit in to the Win8 theme thing.

All in all I like it and have it running now. My draw with my keyboard/mouse on obscures the HDD light. Electronic geeky would have an LED on a flying lead to mount it in your line of sight.
"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Data

I don't like to be the bearer of bad news, but its not working for me.  :(

Crashes on load, with "Drive light has stopped working"

DaveMorton

Is there an associated error log in the Event Viewer? It might help to know what happened beyond the crash itself.
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

DaveMorton

Also, system specs would be of benefit, such as OS version, which .NET frameworks you have installed, etc.
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

Data

Will have to give me a while, working on something here.

Runing windows 7 64 bit, all up-dated with .Net 4.

Also running a RAM drive.

DaveMorton

Thanks. I'll test it with my Win7 VM then.
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

Snowcrash

All working fine here. Win7 Home 64, up to date with service updates for .net 4 and the rest.
"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

DaveMorton

By the way, I've updated the program to use different (better?) icons, and changed some of the text that's displayed during the install process (it often pays to really pay attention to any setup programs that I publish). Same link as before. I'm half tempted to put the project up on GitHub. :)
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

DaveMorton

And I've just published DriveLight on GitHub. The link to the source files is below:

https://github.com/Dave-Morton/DriveLight
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

Data

I checked out the event viewer, found these two warnings there.

Application error

DriveLight.exe
         1.0.0.0
         518a7565
         KERNELBASE.dll
         6.1.7601.18015
         50b8479b
         e0434352
         0000000000009e5d
         13ec
         01ce4ca7a6815303
         C:\Program Files (x86)\Geek Cave Creations\Drive Light\DriveLight.exe
         C:\Windows\system32\KERNELBASE.dll
         e57080eb-b89a-11e2-bdde-902b3454f0c3




.Net Runtime

Application: DriveLight.exe Framework Version: v4.0.30319 Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception. Exception Info: System.InvalidOperationException Stack: at Microsoft.VisualBasic.ApplicationServices.WindowsFormsApplicationBase.DoApplicationModel() at Microsoft.VisualBasic.ApplicationServices.WindowsFormsApplicationBase.Run(System.String[]) at DriveLight.My.MyApplication.Main(System.String[])

DaveMorton

Looks as if there's a problem with the app's references to the .NET framework. I originally wrote it to use .NET 2.0, but when I moved from Visual Studio 2008 to 2010, the Code Import Wizard must have changed a reference on me without my noticing. I'll get all that sorted out, and rebuild the package. Thanks, Data. :)
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!