About V1.58

To get access to a few new functions, you probably do want to uninstall / reinstall. Get the download, and then see the instructions below, under V1.51. Yes, CNet's version information will be out of date for awhile. Have faith!

Nothing earthshaking, but a number of helpful changes!

For those who have wished for just a time display, we have the Round Clock. Install it, use Add Icon to add it, move your Clock functions over to it, and you're all set. For those who want GigaBar's time display to look just like the regular taskbar: stay with the regular taskbar.

Along the lines of Gidgets, we've never properly presented Michael Schoneman's GigaXOK. This one will show "OK" if the foreground window is waiting for an OK signal, or a closing "X" otherwise. Assign the Done function to it, and it's a satisfying way to close things. Also, you'll find that the iPaqXOK skin is installed with V1.58. Use it with GigaXOK, and you'll have a stylish 'X' button.

Now, when you Tap-Hold on a Task Button, it'll bring up a menu, instead of just a Tool Tip. From there, you can select Close. It's pretty cool!

The Properties item now works in FodlerView / Files. You can see a file's modification date, size, and even the flags, as "irAsh". This means that the file is not In rom, Read only, System, or Hidden, but does have the Archive bit set.

In the list of built-in functions that you can assign in GigaBar Properties, you'll now find the Control Panel applets. In the past, you could create these functions yourself, but they wouldn't survive transfer to another machine in the form of a Scheme.

GigaBar now runs on HPC's, as well as their smaller cousins. It has not been verified with the new HP 720, but does seem to install and run OK on the older HPC Pro units. Try it and let us know! In fact, that's why we're calling it 1.58, rather than 1.60. There are probably still some rough edges in the HPC department. When they're smoothed off, we'll call it 1.6.

For those of you who care deeply about the look and action of the buttons in GigaBar, there's something new: In GigaBar Properties, remove the check next to 3D Buttons. Now the push action will be more 2D-ish.

There are a number of new icons available, including IE, Money, Player, Streets, and many more.

If you've been hanging on to the ancient TapRight program, rejoice! In any case, GigaBar can now press the Alt button, which is otherwise impossible on the PPC. The current status of the button is shown by MemStat. This seems to change the effect of tapping (like a right-click) under certain circumstances, particularly in IE. Play with it, and post your observations to the Message Board!

If you use your PPC as an impromptu watch, and have been frustrated that GigaBar is slow with updating the time at power-on, it should be taken care of.

In the past, if you set your short date format to something like 3-Dec-2000, it messed up GigaBar's date display. Fixed.

For our color-blind brothers (really!), the color scheme of MemStat and Status has been changed from the old Red / Green display. If the new scheme gives you gas, just let us know! We'll arrive at colors that'll work for everybody.

In the past, it was possible to create two Nuke It windows in the course of trying to shut down a misbehaving program. Not too bad, though it was the one underneath that needed to be clicked on, and it was not too easy to get to. Fixed.

The Action button will now work in the FolderView displays. You can use Up / Down / Action to navigate the tree and make your selection.

From the Really Stupid Bugs department, GigaBar now seems to understand how to do the Mute function reliably. Sorry! We're Slow but Sure.

As a bonus for those who have been putting up with the incompetent Mute, there are now Volume Up and Volume Down functions that will bump the setting without having to bring up the Volume dialog.

Not a GigaBar item per-se, but the Message Board is now Netscape-friendly. Really! Sorry it's taken so long.

'sall folks!

Thumbs Up!
Simba, Michael, Sally, Neil, Liz, Gene, & Sid

About V1.55:

This version does not install any new functions, so you can just install on top of what you currently have (assuming that you have V1.51 or better installed now).

Just little fixes to little problems, but if you've got the problem, it's not little!

When you change the color scheme of GigaBar, by loading a skin or scheme, the menu colors will be updated immediately, without having to shut down and restart.

The included Schemes do not suffer from the "white-on-white" and "black-on-black" color schemes for the menus anymore. Sorry!

On the Casio E115, the Status gidget will now try to show StarTap's version of the battery condition (as it does with the older OS V2.x machines). The other Pocket PCs seem to generate valid readings on their own.

MemStat will now check periodically (only once a minute) for the presence of a Storage Card, and add or remove its memory bar.

There have long been reports of GigaBar being slow when a modem card was inserted. Darned if we could get a modem card to slow it down around here. What was left out (though the clever can read between the lines), was that a Storage Card had just been removed. That's what was causing the slowdown. Fixed.

For those of you with fading eyesight, or B/W screens, the Mute indication on the Status gidget should be a little more readable.

GigaBar, though still naturally a ham, is a little less aggressive about putting itself in the picture. If you select Delayed Capture from a popup menu, it will clear the menu out of the way before getting the screen shot. Just plain Capture will still snap the menu, though. There just isn't time for the window underneath to repaint before the shutter goes off. Both, of course, work normally if activated directly from the icon, rather than from the menu.

Renaming a function in GigaBar Properties, in the Function tree, is possible again. Before, it just closed the whole applet. This is actually related to GigaBar Properties' problems with receiving OK, but don't ask how!

The OK function should be much healthier. It won't hang in eWallet, it works in TomeRaider, it doesn't kill the System applet on the old Palm Size PCs. All in all, much improved.

Some issues remain, of course. Look for another version before the end of the month.

Thumbs Up!

About V1.51:

First, to install the new version, do this:

  • Download it. If CNet's information is a little bit out of date, don't worry! Just do the download, and you'll get the new version.
  • Use the Save Scheme function to save your current arrangement of icons and functions as a Scheme, with some unique name (don't save it under the same name as one of the supplied Schemes).
  • Then, use Settings / Remove Programs on the device, to remove everything: gidgfold, memstat, gidgetsa, and GigaBar. Be sure to remove GigaBar last!
  • Now, reinstall, and use Functions / Internals / Schemes to reload the Scheme that you saved in the first step. Finally, shut down and restart GigaBar (or do a soft reset), and you should be all set.
This is a "beta" version in the sense that it'll change a bit before it becomes "final" in a few weeks. On the other hand, it fixes many bad behaviors, and is generally much easier to get along with than V1.01 was. That's why it's replaced the main download.

To determine what those changes should be, we want your ideas! The message board has been cleaned up, and is ready for your reactions and questions. Since GigaBar is currently in the midst of active development, it's the perfect time for changes large and small. As we say around here, if it does something that it shouldn't, or doesn't do something that it should, let us know! The GigaBar version may change daily, or even more frequently, so check back often! The main page will probably always show the current version. If not there, then on the message board.

Lotsa fixes and functions:

In the Lockup / Slowdown department, things are much improved. It turns out that some of the built-in software on the Pocket PC can produce nonresponsive windows, and while GigaBar was waiting for one of them, it became nonresponsive (ie. dead). Many thanks to Tim Engwer for first demonstrating this problem reliably. Download CatNot for a demonstration of the problem and how to produce it. This bug is enough to kill the old GigaBar (when you asked for the list of currently running programs), as well as StarTap and several other of our programs. Ouch! In fact, any program that uses the FindWindow function is in danger. Thanks to Tim for finding this one, and thanks also to Tim Caves for tracking down a similar problem that afflicts the unit while it's in the cradle.

The "Hide OK" trap has been disarmed. This was certainly GigaBar's single worst feature. On the Pocket PC, if you had the misfortune to select Hide OK in GigaBar Properties, you soon discovered that A) this was not a good idea, and B) you couldn't unset it because there was no OK button to dismiss GigaBar Properties! Holy %$*@&! There actually were a couple of workarounds, but it's much improved now. If you close GigaBar, GigaBar Properties will now respond to the regular OK button on the TaskBar. Also, you can just pop up the keyboard, and hit Enter. Both will successfully dismiss GigaBar. Even the Action button will successfully dismiss the dialog.

The right-most button on GigaBar was responding oddly, and in fact the right side of it was not sensitive to taps at all. Fixed.

When a function is set to Disabled, it will now disappear from the Menu.

Summoning and dismissing the keyboard should be reliable.

GigaBar Properties will not try to run mulitple instances (and fail!).

You can no longer use the built-in OK function to OK right out of the shell.

There is now an Update Tray function. In GigaBar Properties, put a check mark next to Update. The icons in the System Tray will be updated every 30 seconds.

The Mute function is, alas, still not quite up to snuff. It'll be improved in the next coupla weeks.

Those double icons that some programs were showing on GigaBar (Notes, Word, etc.) should be gone.

The OK and Cancel functionality should be much improved. You won't find any window now that won't respond to GigaBar's OK.

A number of functions have been added to GigaBar:

Full Screen is similar to Hide GigaBar, except that it can be used after you know that you have a problem. What happens is that you run some full-screen application, that's smart enough to hide the regular TaskBar, but is not aware of GigaBar. If you remembered to Hide GigaBar first, you're OK, if not, it's too late, since Hide GigaBar also shows the regular TaskBar. Full Screen will have the desired effect, and you can run your game in peace.

Home, End, Select All (Ctrl-A) and Undo (Ctrl - Z), will send a key code to the foreground window. Note that some programs recognize these keys and some don't. In particular, Internet Explorer does not comprehend Home and End. Oh, well.

In FolderView, you'll find two new functions that can be assigned to any icon: Close All and Close Background. The latter will close all applications except the one currently in the foreground.

"Done" is a pretty cool "do the right thing" function. If the window on top wants an OK, then it gets an OK. If not, it gets KO'd (Closed). Thanks to Michael Schoneman.

This is also a neat solution to the "Contacts problem", as encountered by many, but only successfully described by Neil Faulkner. If you use GigaBar (or StarTap, or another task switcher) to Close out of Contacts on any screen except the normal list screen, the application will not run again until a soft reset. The answer is to use Done instead. It will properly OK out of those screens, and then close the application when you get back to the main scren (perhaps requiring several pushes). Control Panel applets are similar - it's much better to use Done than Close.

Also on the OK front, MemStat has a minor new feature. It will now show the OK status of the current window. If that window has an OK button, you'll see it here.

Also from Michael's suggestions is Menu. Assign this function to one of the Tap functions of an icon, and you won't have to wait the interminable 1/2 second for the popup menu to show.

GigaBar should recognize the international names for the Start Menu now. If you still have problems, let us know!

The Exit Button functionality of GigaBar has been much improved. In GigaBar Properties, you'll find a combo box that allows you to select the Exit Button behavior. The Exit Button was a feature of the previous generations of WinCE, but was dropped from the Pocket PC. Unfortunately, it was A) a pretty good idea, and B) there are some programs that depend upon it. In GigaBar Properties, you can select which (if any) button will perform the Exit function. Note that the "Start Menu" button exists only on the Casio E115, and that Buttons 1 - 4 refer to the Application Buttons on the front of the device. Select No Exit to disable the function. Note that DeathStar now does understand these new settings. Download the current version.

FolderView / Files can now be used to Copy files as well as just moving them with Cut / Paste. Also, Properties should show file size, date, etc. If not in the current version, then shortly.

Thumbs Up!
Simba, Sally, Liz, Gene, and Sid