Getting brighter colors in Windows 10


(Top = before, bottom = after)

Windows 10 allows you to customize the taskbar and start menu colors, but it provides only a limited set of predefined colors. In addition, no matter which color you’ll pick, the taskbar will end up being dark. I searched, but haven’t found a straightforward way to have a bright taskbar on Windows 10. Fortunately, I have discovered that there’s an undocumented registry key which makes explorer use an alternative color calculation algorithm, which in turn produces brighter colors. You can see the difference in the example image above.

I wrote a quick application, Windows 10 Color Control, which allows you to modify the Windows 10 colors, and to get this alternative color calculation algorithm. The original Windows 10 calculation algorithm is referred to as the “New auto-color accent algorithm”, according to the undocumented registry value name.

Download

zip Windows 10 color control.zip (112.8 kB)

Source code

https://github.com/RaMMicHaeL/Windows-10-Color-Control
Read More…

Posted in Reverse Engineering at August 19th, 2015. 111 Comments.

Symbols on Demand (an OllyDbg plugin)

OllyDbg is able to use dbghelp.dll and symsrv.dll to show extended debug information, such as the module source code (if referenced by the debug information) or module symbols from a PDB file (which can be fetched from the Microsoft Symbol Server for system modules). The problem is that if you turn on this option, module loading becomes much slower. On the other hand, this information is very handy, so there’s a dilemma as of whether to turn it on.

The Symbols on Demand plugin provides the best of both worlds: it disables loading of this extended debug information by default, but allows to load it explicitly for any module, at any time. Using this approach, loading is still fast, but if you need to load extended debug information for a module, you can easily do that.

OllyDbg v1.10 and v2.01 are supported. For, OllyDbg v1.10, there’s additional functionality: you can set the symbols search path, which is set by default to SRV*.\Symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols. You can also choose to retrieve undecorated symbol names. These options can be set in the INI file of OllyDbg, in the plugin’s section.

zip symbols_on_demand.zip (4.96 kB)

For your convenience, here are the dbghelp.dll and symsrv.dll files:

zip dbghelp_symsrv.zip (579.8 kB)

Posted in Releases, Software at August 8th, 2015. 9 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker for Windows 10: beta version

About a week ago, Windows 10 became generally available for updating. Today, I’m happy to present the beta version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, which is compatible with Windows 10. All the existing options should work, except the following advanced options: list_reverse_order and tray_icons_padding. These two options cannot be tweaked in Windows 10 using the same tricks that the tweaker used in earlier Windows versions, so they don’t work in Windows 10. I might look at reimplementing them for Windows 10 in the future.

Please try the beta version, and if you encounter any issues, please let me know.

Posted in Software, Updates at August 7th, 2015. 81 Comments.

Virtuoz virtual desktop utility

I’m happy to present Virtuoz, the virtual desktop utility.

Virtuoz was designed to be a minimal and robust program that allows to have more than one desktop on Windows. It was inspired by Sysinternals Desktops, but uses a different approach, which doesn’t impose the limitations which Desktops is bound to.

Download

zip Virtuoz.zip (349.31 kB)

Source code

https://github.com/RaMMicHaeL/Virtuoz

Posted in Releases, Software at June 28th, 2015. 41 Comments.

Unchecky has been acquired by Reason Software Company

I’m happy to announce that Unchecky has been acquired by Reason Software Company Inc., the company behind Should I remove it? and herdProtect, and has been integrated into the new Reason security product, Reason Core Security.

The Reason Company has a vision similar to Unchecky, which aims to protect users from potentially unwanted programs and offers. Reason Core Security is a comprehensive anti-malware security suite, designed to keep the users safe from malware, as well as to prevent accidental installations of unwanted programs.

For existing Unchecky users, nothing will change: if you don’t need the power of Reason Core Security, you can continue to use Unchecky, which is not abandoned – it will continue to be developed as a standalone program as well as a Reason Core Security component.

I would like to thank everybody who supported Unchecky during its development, and I’m sure that it will become a part of a great product, which will provide a comprehensive solution to the problem of malware and potentially unwanted programs.

Posted in Software, Updates at April 14th, 2015. 20 Comments.

QuickAddressCopy (an OllyDbg v1.10 plugin)

This tiny plugin allows you to copy the address of the selected item/command/byte with the Ctrl+X keyboard shortcut.

Note that the plugin works only for OllyDbg v1.10. For OllyDbg v2, you can achieve the same with:
Options -> Edit shortcuts… (“Copy address” in “Dump: Edit”)

zip quick_address_copy.zip (1.6 kB)

Posted in Releases, Software at March 17th, 2015. No Comments.

Portablizer (an OllyDbg plugin)

This plugin makes your copy of OllyDbg portable, which means that you can copy the OllyDbg folder to another location without having to fix ollydbg.ini manually.
OllyDbg v1.10 and OllyDbg v2 are supported.

OllyDbg v1.10

Usage:

  1. Copy portablizer.dll to the plugins folder.
  2. Apply the ollydbg-patch.exe patch on ollydbg.exe.
    The patch is needed because by default, OllyDbg loads the plugins at a later stage.
  3. Run OllyDbg from the correct folder, then close it.
  4. Make sure that the entries of ollydbg.ini contain relative paths (the [History] section).

Limitations:

  1. The plugin DLL file must be named portablizer.dll.
OllyDbg v2

Usage:

  1. Copy portablizer_odbg2.dll to the plugins folder.
  2. Run OllyDbg from the correct folder, then close it.
  3. Make sure that the entries of ollydbg.ini contain relative paths (the [History] section).
Download

zip portablizer.zip (63.01 kB)

Posted in Releases, Software at March 17th, 2015. No Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaking Library

7+ Taskbar Tweaking Library is a library for manipulating the taskbar of Windows 7 and above. It’s inspired by the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker program, and it allows you, as a programmer, to manipulate the Windows taskbar, which is virtually impossible to do with the documented Windows API.

You can take a quick look at the provided API here. For a more extensive look, refer to the examples which are provided together with the library.

In general, the library allows you to:

  • Get extensive information about the taskbar items and groups on all taskbars.
  • Reorder taskbar items, and reorder buttons within groups.
  • Set per-AppId settings.

For example, if you’d like to have the taskbar button of your program to never show labels, you can easily do it with the library:

Download

You can get 7+ Taskbar Tweaking Library here:

zip TTLib.zip (320.17 kB)

Please note that the library is free for non-commercial use only. If you’re interested in using the library for a commercial application, please contact me.

Posted in Programming at October 31st, 2014. 27 Comments.

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 (link removed).

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.

Alpha version changelog

  • v4.5.9.2 (November 7): fixed many bugs.
  • v4.5.9.3 (November 14): fixed several bugs, and included 7+ Taskbar Tweaker beta changes (including the “disable_taskbar_transparency” advanced option).
  • v4.5.9.4 (November 28): added support for Windows 10 Build 9879 (and dropped support for previous Windows 10 builds).
  • v4.5.9.5 (February 21): updated for build 9926.
  • v4.5.9.6 (February 21): bugfixes.
  • v4.5.9.7 (March 27): updated for build 10041.
  • v4.5.9.8 (March 28): bugfixes.
  • v4.5.9.9 (May 8): updated for build 10074.
  • v4.5.9.10 (May 15): Korean translation.
  • v4.5.9.11 (July 31): updated for the RTM build, 10240. Fixed several incompatibilities with Windows 10.
  • v4.5.9.12 (August 5): many many fixes for Windows 10.

Update (August 7, 2015): The first public beta version is available! More details here.

Posted in Software, Updates at October 24th, 2014. 133 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. 12 Comments.