7+ Taskbar Tweaker for Windows 10: early alpha version

Windows 10 Technical Preview was recently released by Microsoft, and as you might have noticed, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker doesn’t run on it. A while ago I wrote a blog post, which answers some of the questions about 7+ Taskbar Tweaker and Windows 10.

I’m happy to announce that the very first alpha version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker for Windows 10 (Technical Preview) is ready for some testing. Those of you who have donated for the porting effort can get the alpha version here.

Please note that this version is not complete. While several options work well, others don’t work as expected, and some don’t work at all. Most of these issues are known, and will be fixed in future alpha versions.

Update (November 7): 7+ Taskbar Tweaker v4.5.9.2 alpha is available, which fixes many bugs.

Update (November 14): 7+ Taskbar Tweaker v4.5.9.3 alpha is available, which fixes several bugs, and includes 7+ Taskbar Tweaker beta changes (including the “disable_taskbar_transparency” advanced option).

Update (November 28): 7+ Taskbar Tweaker v4.5.9.4 alpha is available, which adds support for Windows 10 Build 9879 (and drops support for previous Windows 10 builds).

Posted in Software, Updates at October 24th, 2014. 30 Comments.

Unchecky v0.3

Introducing Unchecky v0.3!

The new version of Unchecky provides you with more visual feedback:

  • A tray icon is visible as long as the Unchecky service is running.
  • When an offer is rejected, a notification message is shown (see screenshot below).

unchecky_0.3_notification_icon

Also, Unchecky v0.3 has an activity log, which was the most requested feature on UserEcho. You can see which installers were handled by Unchecky, how many offers were rejected, and how many warnings were displayed:

unchecky_0.3_activity_log

As you can see from the above screenshot, there are also social network buttons, which allow you to tell your friends and family about Unchecky. Please use them! We have great plans about Unchecky, and we need your help to spread the word.

Posted in Software, Updates at October 7th, 2014. 9 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker and Windows 10

Windows 10 Technical Preview was just released by Microsoft several days ago, and I’ve already received many questions about 7+ Taskbar Tweaker support for it. I’d like to answer some of those.

Q: I tried to run 7+ Taskbar Tweaker on Windows 10 Preview and I get a messagebox that says it’s only for win7/8. Do you reckon it would work if you disable the windows check inside 7+ TT?

A: No, that won’t work. What you’ll get instead is a different error message box, or, if you’re less lucky, an explorer crash.

Q: If 7+ Taskbar Tweaker works fine on Win 8.1, I guess it’s a small adjustment to make it work in Win 10, isn’t it?

A: That’s kind of correct, depending on what you’re considering as a “small adjustment”. But that’s not something that can be done in a couple of minutes. Or hours. While that’s obviously less work than writing 7+ Taskbar Tweaker from scratch, it requires careful tuning for the memory layout of the new explorer, and the fact that it looks/behaves just like explorer from Windows 8.1 doesn’t help here.

Q: Can donations, as in the case Windows 8.1, accelerate the situation?

A: Yes, it will help. You can donate here.
Include the w10p (Windows 10 Porting) word in the donation comments to specify that your donation is targeted for the porting.

Below is a progress bar of the donations, with the goal set as the estimated time the porting is going to take, with an average wage.


As with the Windows 8.1 Update 1 porting progress, all donors will get access to early alpha versions during the porting process.
Also, the top three donors will get mentioned in the changelog.

Thanks in advance for your help! If things go well, I’ll try to allocate time for it next week.

Posted in Software, Updates at October 4th, 2014. 2 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker is five years old today!

Exactly five years ago, 7 Taskbar Tweaker v1.0 was released (changelog).
Here’s how it looked:

And here’s where it all started.

Happy birthday!

Posted in Software, Updates at September 30th, 2014. 18 Comments.

Multiline Ultimate Assembler v2.3

Multiline Ultimate Assembler v2.3 is out.

x64_dbg support

Starting from version 2.3, the Multiline Ultimate Assembler plugin supports the x64_dbg debugger in addition to OllyDbg and Immunity Debugger.

x64_dbg is a relatively new project, and thus not all features could be implemented for it. For example, the option to disassemble external code is not available, as the debugger doesn’t expose this information.

Despite of the limitations, x64_dbg evolves quickly, and is already usable for many tasks. It can be extremely useful for 64-bit targets, as the more mature OllyDbg can only handle 32-bit executables at the moment.

Multiline comments

It’s possible to use the COMMENT directive to define a comment which consists of multiple lines, using the MASM syntax:

COMMENT delimiter [text]
[text]
[text] delimiter [text]

Other changes

In addition to the above, v2.3 adds drag and drop support to the editor, and fixes a couple of minor bugs.

P.S. The text editor component, RAEdit, was originally written in 32-bit x86 assembly. If you’re wondering how it was ported to 64-bit, refer to the post C as a portable assembly: porting RAEdit to 64-bit.

Posted in Software, Updates at September 4th, 2014. No Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker v4.5, with Windows 8.1 Update 1 support

7+ Taskbar Tweaker v4.5, the stable version that is compatible with Windows 8.1 Update 1, is finally out!

Two months ago, I’ve created a blog post describing why adding support for the new Windows update is not trivial, and provided a way for you, the users, to support the porting effort with donations. I was pleasantly surprised by the quick completion of the goal. I want to thank everybody who supported the porting effort: Charles George, Justin Shillock (Platypus Man), and other contributors.

In addition to the support of Windows 8.1 Update 1, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker v4.5 fixes a couple of minor bugs comparing to v4.4.6. One issue that is still left unsolved is the lack of proper support for Metro taskbar items. Windows 8.1 Update 1 has a separate handling logic for Metro tasks, so it will require some effort. I plan to get this fixed in one of the future versions.

You can get 7+ Taskbar Tweaker v4.5 here.

Posted in Software, Updates at May 10th, 2014. 30 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker for Windows 8.1 Update 1: early alpha version

An update for Windows 8.1, called Update 1 or the Spring Update, was officially released by Microsoft a couple of days ago. This update broke compatibility with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. I’ve published a post, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker and Windows 8.1 Update 1, explaining the reasons for the breakage.

Today, I’m happy to announce that the first pre-release alpha version is available for testing! If you have donated for the effort, you can get the link here.

Currently, only the 32-bit version is available. I hope to get the 64-bit version done within the following week. Stay tuned!

Update (April 17): The 64-bit version is available as well! Please try it, and report any issues you stumble upon.

Update (April 26): A new version is available, which fixes a couple of issues. Also, this is the first alpha version which can be installed, unlike previous alpha version which were available as portable versions only.

Update (May 2): A public beta version is available here.

Update (May 10): 7+ Taskbar Tweaker v4.5, a stable version with Windows 8.1 Update 1 support, was released.

Posted in Software, Updates at April 13th, 2014. 105 Comments.

Multiline Ultimate Assembler v2.2

Multiline Ultimate Assembler v2.2 is out.
What’s new:

Added the ability to specify block end address

You can now specify the end address of a block, which the code shouldn’t exceed.
Read More…

Posted in Software, Updates at March 16th, 2014. 4 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker and Windows 8.1 Update 1

As some of you know, Microsoft is working on an update for Windows 8.1, called “Update 1″. Also, some of you might know that 7+ Taskbar Tweaker doesn’t work with this update installed. There’s a topic on UserEcho about it, and users are wondering how come I don’t fix the issue. In this post, I’d like to shed some light on the situation.

Why doesn’t the tweaker work with the update installed?

It’s just an update, right? Not a new Windows version. The taskbar looks the same. How come that the tweaker is not working anymore?
Well, the thing is that the tweaker depends on the exact structure of many internal elements of explorer. Any small change can make the tweaker break, and the fact that it doesn’t can be attributed to the great care of Microsoft for backwards compatibility. At least, that’s the way it was until “Update 1″.

Since Windows 7, the earliest OS supported by the tweaker, Microsoft didn’t introduce major changes to the OS while the NT version number stayed the same. Even with Windows 7 SP1, the tweaker worked without adjustments. With Windows 8.1 Update 1, the situation is different: the OS has changed, but its version stayed the same.

What does it mean in the short term?

In order to add support for Windows 8.1 Update 1, lots of adjustments have to be made, similar to the adjustments I had to make when adding support for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
While I’d be glad to add support right away, there are a couple of things to consider:

  • Availability of the final RTM version of Windows 8.1 Update 1. To be able to add support for the OS, I need to be able to work with it. They say that there’s a leaked build of the RTM version, but recent news mention a newer version, which means that the leaked one is probably not RTM. Google for Windows 8.1 9600.17042.
  • Availability of debug symbols. While they’re not a must, they significantly simplify the porting process. As far as I know, there are no debug symbols available for the binaries of Windows 8.1 Update 1 yet.
  • Time. Porting requires time, and there’s not always plenty of it.

What does it mean in the long term?

The fact that Windows 8.1 Update 1 is the first time when the OS changes, but the OS version doesn’t, means that Microsoft is changing its tactics. It seems like Microsoft tries to move to a more rapid development cycle. The question is – how rapid is it going to be? If the updates are going to be too frequent, I might not be able to keep the tweaker updated.

How can I help?

Unless you work at Microsoft, you probably can’t help me with the first two points mentioned above. But you can help me with the third one.
You can donate the project to help me dedicate time for the porting.
Include the w8u1p (Windows 8.1 Update 1 Porting) word in the donation comments to specify that your donation is targeted for the porting.

Below is a progress bar of the donations, with the goal set as the estimated time the porting is going to take, with an average wage.

$1204 out of $1000

All donors will get access to early alpha versions during the porting process.
Also, the top three donors will get mentioned in the changelog.
If the goal is hit before the RTM is released or before the debug symbols become available, I’ll start working with what we have.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Update (April 14): The goal was reached! I want to thank everybody who took part and donated for the porting. The first alpha version is available for testing (more details).

Posted in Software, Updates at March 15th, 2014. 57 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker: beta versions

Starting from today, I’m going to publish beta versions of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker along with the regular, stable releases.

There are several rationals for this decision:

  • Avoiding bugs in stable releases. This is usually the main purpose of beta versions.
    Two of the tweaker’s most recent releases were followed by a hotfix the day after, just because I missed a minor thing or two. This is also quite relevant to the next point.

  • Minimizing the frequency of update notifications. The tweaker automatically notifies when a new version is available. While this is a great feature, it can be annoying if the notification appears frequently, especially if it appears two days in a row.
    Silent updates were suggested as an alternative solution, but first, they have to be implemented. Second, I’m not sure that 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is the right tool for this feature. It’s a low-level system tool, and it can screw things up, so if something goes wrong you can see it was caused by an update.

  • Providing fixes which affect a very limited amount of users. There are issues which affect only users with a particular setup, a unique combination of options, etc. In such cases, it’s important to provide them with a fix, but it’s not a good idea to push this update to most of the other users, especially if the latest version was just recently released (see previous point).

Read More…

Posted in Software, Updates at January 9th, 2014. 12 Comments.