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New Start++ update

by Brandon on April 23rd, 2008

I posted this on yesterday, and figured I may as well copy it here.

It’s been a long time since I’ve released an update to Start++.  Since then I’ve been working sporadically on a major overhaul to Start++, which will likely be released as version 2.0.  However, due to time constraints imposed by my real job, and the fact that I have lots of ideas and no PMs to tell me which ones are actually worth implementing – it will likely take a while longer for that to see the light of day.

So in the meantime, I decided to backport several of the fixes I have made in the 2.0 branch.  This does not address all of the known issues with the last update, but I think it provides several worthwhile enhancements.  These include:

  • Better responsiveness to queries for Start Gadgets
  • Fewer intermediate Gadget updates while you’re typing, no longer a chance of “lost characters”
  • Better keyboard and mouse interaction with Start Gadgets
  • Fixed the default Dictionary gadget to have an OnSubmit handler as it was meant to
  • Fixed the calculator gadget (and problems with any gadgets that use OnSubmit but have SubmitNewWindow set to false)
  • Small UI clean-up for gadget rendering
  • Fixed tab ordering for most of the configuration UI
  • Fixed focus of UAC prompts when using commands like “sudo” from the start menu if the Secure Desktop switch is disabled

That last one is tricky, but this fix seems to work well.  Unfortunately, I discovered today that it only works if the Secure Desktop switch is disabled (as you might guess, that’s how I run most of my systems).  This is unfortunate, but hopefully something I can fix in a future update.

Also, the installer is back to its leaner size of 1.2MB or so.  This coincides with a change to ensure the hook installation issue from the past never returns.  The installer no longer includes the merge modules for the 32-bit and 640bit C++ runtimes as the hook DLL now statically links the CRT.

As always, your feedback is appreciated.

More info and download link here.

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  1. Hi Brandon, could be possible to add an option to create new outlook items, like task, appointments and contacts with some kind of parsing interpretation like. Appointment lunch with Charlie monday 13:00? or some kind of simplified entry form from the start menu? that could be great!.
    Thank you.

  2. tim permalink

    Hi Brandon, has the BrandonTools website been discontinued? I was searching for a sudo command for windows, and came across your website. However, the download link to start++ is not working, and the forum new user registration seems to not be working (Oops something went wrong!).

    Thanks much.

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