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[Bounty Claimed! ] Active Desktop in Vista

(45 posts)
  • Started 9 years ago by Scott
  • Latest reply from LH
  • Topic Viewed 54665 times

Scott
Posts: 5618

Sadly, MS has dropped the Active Desktop in Vista just when it was catching on. What I'd pay a bounty for would be a small app that replicates the ability to show 'active' content on my Vista desktop.

I've seen some free/shareware programs that aim to do the AD thing, among other features, but I've yet to be able to do it painlessly.

What I'm looking for in specific is the ability to view web pages on my desktop (for looping weather .gifs/.jpgs). This app should allow for the customization of the pages, i.e., resizing and moving to different locations on my desktop.

Feel free to ask any additional questions,

Scott

Here is a picture of AD in XP:

http://img451.imageshack.us/im.....topzl7.jpg

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

I've had at least 4 people write in and ask me for this as well.

Posted 9 years ago
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bcell
Posts: 2

This isn't perfect, but it is close to what you want. There's a Vista gadget called "Eye on the Web" that allows you to encapsulate any web page (or snippet of) on the sidebar or desktop. Here's the site:

http://tinyurl.com/2obd9b

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

bcell,

Thank you for your post. This is an interesting app but falls far short of the Active Desktop I have in mind.

I'm thinking of Netvibes for the Desktop?

See pic:

http://img509.imageshack.us/my.....besql7.jpg

Scott

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

I've posted an official bounty for this.. $103.24 for completion of this item. You can read more of the details here:
https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/the-geek-blog/how-to-geek-bounty-10324-for-active-desktop-for-vista/

I'm really hoping that some brilliant coder feels like working on this!

Posted 9 years ago
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MrLinux
Posts: 5

Just speaking from a technical standpoint, it may be possible to render the appropriate data (web-page, etc...) onto a PNG file, which is set as the desktop background. When the information changes, the PNG is re-encoded and then re-set as the desktop background. Obviously GIF, JPEG, or TIFF would work just as well, but the PNG encoding algorithms I've seen are more efficient than others.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

The PNG idea is a truly great one, since you could do all rendering off-screen and then do nothing more than update the background image.

The only problem with it would be that the desktop wouldn't be live from a clickable standpoint, so if you wanted to render a news site, for instance, it wouldn't be linkable.

But the PNG idea would be useful from a separate standpoint, and would be a very cool utility that I'd like to see as well... I might even use it.

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

Mr. Linux, Geek,

I'm not sure I'm reading this right. The AD on previous versions of Windows wasn't exactly clickable.

The webpages I had on my desktop updated when I hit the desktop refresh button. I don't mind having to do that.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

What about resizing/moving them around? Would you care if that was done in the settings instead of "live" ?

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

Hmmm, does that mean they all have the same or similar size?
On the XP desktop image I posted, I was able to resize them on the desktop. Is this what you mean 'live'?

It wouldn't matter to me if there was a template(?) setting.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

Yeah, I guess what I was thinking is that you could resize / move / arrange them in the settings, but not actually click on them on the desktop and resize them.

And yeah, by "live" I mean that you can move/resize them right on the desktop itself.

It would definitely make things simpler if they weren't resizable directly on the desktop.

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

It doesn't really matter to me. The pages weren't changed all that often or even resized, but I'd like the ability some way.

Hope that helps.

Posted 9 years ago
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supermansghost
Posts: 350

So all we need is an application that runs in the system tray, has a settings screen to configure all the items on the desktop, and then it renders it to a PNG file for the desktop every few minutes.

Actually sounds kinda simple... now we just need a coder!

Posted 9 years ago
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ansi92
Posts: 11

That doesn't sound all that difficult to create... if I had more time I'd take a crack at it.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

This bounty has been claimed by Andreas:

https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/bounty-program-success-active-desktop-replacement-for-vista/

Posted 9 years ago
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williej
Posts: 9

For some reason avedesktopsites does not work, it has an error when installing. Is there something I need to do prior to installing? Is there another program similar to Dreamscene for everyone.

Posted 9 years ago
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Ave
Posts: 6

AveDesktopSites does not have to get installed: unzipping it (all files!) should be good enough.

Posted 9 years ago
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williej
Posts: 9

It will not work on my vista machine, continuous errors.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

Are you using 64-bit vista? I wonder if that's the issue...

Posted 9 years ago
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williej
Posts: 9

No I am using 32-bit

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

williej,

You have the attention of both the Geek and the program writer himself on this thread. Please post more information on the error including screenshots and/or error logs.

Posted 9 years ago
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williej
Posts: 9

The errors are: "Bitmap image is not valid" error starts first and then "Access violation at address 0048559C in module 'AveDesktopSites.exe'. Read of address 000000008." error repeats itself until I end the process.

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

Are you opening the .exe in the same unzipped folder as the .dll? If not, please try.

Posted 9 years ago
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williej
Posts: 9

I am opening the .exe in the same folder as .dll

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

If the 2 files are unzipped to the same folder and you're still getting errors, please be patient, Andreas will visit in the morning.

Posted 9 years ago
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williej
Posts: 9

I appreciate the support and is there a desktop program similar to dreamescene?

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

This ?

http://www.winmatrix.com/forum.....opic=12435

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

williej,

Can this help you? http://home.comcast.net/~van.e.....nce/a.html

Posted 9 years ago
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williej
Posts: 9

I was ready to make an donation until I notice my desktop icons were missing. Other than that it's a good program.

Posted 9 years ago
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Ave
Posts: 6

I'm not going to solve your issues if you are not going to use the app at all - this app is not a dreamscene clone.

Posted 9 years ago
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vanetten
Posts: 1

The SSDream application now has a desktop simulator that draws your desktop icons on the desktop while it's running.

Posted 9 years ago
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williej
Posts: 9

Thank you vanetten, for the information without malice.

Posted 9 years ago
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supermansghost
Posts: 350

That's interesting, I hadn't heard of SSDream before, thanks!

williej:

The moderators and the geeks that usually follow this forum try to be as friendly as possible, so hopefully overall you'll be treated well here.

Posted 9 years ago
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Santo
Posts: 1288

After struggling for some time with errors I was able to install Ave's Active desktop and add a customized htm page(which has animated gif images, website links and this is stored in my notebook) as an active desktop background.
With XP I was able to click on the links and it will directly take me to the websites and the gif animations work perfectly.
But with Ave’s active desktop I am not able to click on any links and the gif animations do not work. It starts and then stops sometimes I need to press the F5 key to refresh for the animations to work.
I hope that Ave will work on this and give us an update. Otherwise the software is good!

Posted 9 years ago
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Ave
Posts: 6

The app specifically stated that it is not interactive.

Posted 9 years ago
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Santo
Posts: 1288

Hmm... :-(
Pls try to make it interactive.

Posted 9 years ago
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supermansghost
Posts: 350

If you want interactive, you should put a sidebar gadget on the desktop.

Posted 9 years ago
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ronspeak
Posts: 3

Ave's desktopsite. Looks like a great program but it won't work for me HELP PLEASE!.
I loaded pgm to a download folder, unzipped and clicked .exe. Screen appeared to paste URL.
When finished, a small website appeared on that screen and nowhere else including desktop.
I got an error concerning a "hook" several times. Program does not appear in program
list or in programs folder. Small icon does appear in task tray. I am unable to uninstall
to try again. .exe file can not be deleted. I think the .exe should have put the program
in the program files, but didn't.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

ron,

We try our best to be friendly here, but you are pushing your luck. You have copied the same post everywhere that you can, and haven't responded to any of our questions.

I've asked you what the actual error message is in the other thread, you never responded.

Please stop spamming the forum, or pay attention and answer the questions, or alternatively just find another application to use.

Posted 9 years ago
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ronspeak
Posts: 3

This is the first answer I received in 3 days of trying and it wasn't very polite. Good luck in your endeauvers!

Posted 9 years ago
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supermansghost
Posts: 350

ron, that's completely inaccurate... perhaps you didn't see your own thread, where the geek asked a ton of followup questions:
https://www.howtogeek.com/forum/topic/problems-with-desktopsites?replies=5

I believe that the geek's response was entirely polite, especially considering that you spammed half a dozen threads and emails with the same copy/paste question

There's a link on the right-hand side of the page for "Topics I've Started" which will show all the topics that you've created.

Posted 9 years ago
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vacca159
Posts: 2

I have not done more that read about it, but you can find an active desktop for vista here it cost $14.95

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

Sorry, that's not the AD as discussed and described in this thread.

Posted 9 years ago
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earl223
Posts: 1

Can we also have an interactive option for this? I have a small flash app which i embed in a local html doc and set as my active desktop, but i need to be able to interact with the flash movie.

Posted 8 years ago
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LH
Posts: 20002

earl223. Could you post your problem in a "New topic" please.

Posted 8 years ago
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