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Saturday, 21 November 2015

New tool: RestartViaManager

RestartViaManager is a new command line tool for restarting processes via the Restart Manager API in Windows.

For this to work, the program you are restarting must have opted in to the Restart Manager. Most programs do not do this, but some of the more important ones do.

Using this is better than killing the process and re-running it:
  • Killing a process when you do not need to is a bad idea because it may be in the middle of writing data which is then corrupted.
  • The program you want to restart may do a better job of restoring its previous state (open windows, documents, etc.) than if you simply re-launched it normally. (Of course, this is up to the program, so it may not.)
Download, C++ source code and usage instructions can be found under Miscellaneous Software: RestartViaManager.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

PDF thumbnail fix - What's happening?

If you're wondering what happened to the PDF fix updates, life and sick pets got in the way, as did the new Adobe Reader release which breaks things even worse than before and will require a lot more work to fix.

I still plan to create a new version, but the plans I had a year ago were scuppered and something bigger is required now.


ConnectVPN is a small Windows program for connecting to VPNs (virtual private networks) in scripts and batch files.

The update is the same as but now comes compiled as both a console app and a GUI app. The new GUI flavour is better suited to scripts which are not attached to a console (command prompt), e.g. ones run via wscript.exe instead of cscript.exe, where the old console flavour would cause an unwanted console window to appear and also did not correctly take the input focus.

More information, download and source code

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

PDF thumbnail fix - new version coming soon

A new, improved version of the PDF thumbnail fix for 64-bit machines is coming soon.

If you have any ideas or requests for the new version, including but not limited to PDF files but for other types as well, please let us know your ideas.

Keep an eye out for the new version in the next few weeks. When the original version was made, we did not expect it to be needed for such a long time. Since it is still needed, we have decided to overhaul things, and make improvements so that the fix works instantly on more people's systems.

Fixes for additional file types may also come, as will the option of support for anyone still having problems getting their thumbnails to work.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


ListPFRO is a small, command-line tool for Windows that lists which files are waiting to be moved, renamed or deleted at the next reboot.

It has been updated to check the second, rarely-used place in the registry where such files may be listed.

This may be the least interesting thing in the world. Aren't you glad you signed up to this RSS feed? :-)

More information, download and source code

Friday, 2 November 2012

Clear Icon Cache

Clear Icon Cache is a small tool for fixing problems with missing or incorrect icons shown on the desktop, taskbar, and so on caused by Windows incorrectly caching icons.

It has been updated so that it will restart Directory Opus (if you use it and it is running) in addition to Windows Explorer.

More information, download and source code

Monday, 27 August 2012

Turn On Cursor Shadows

New miscellaneous util: Turn On Cursor Shadows

(Not to be confused with the older and similar, but not identical, Turn On Window Shadows.)

Running TurnOnCursorShadows.exe has the same effect as going to Start -> Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Mouse -> Pointers and turning on Enable pointer shadow.

I wrote this little thing because 3D games keep turning off the pointer shadow when you run them and leave it off after you exit them. Presumably this was some kind of optimisation back in the days when hardware was so slow it would make the slightest difference, but I have no idea why it is still done today and why nobody has fixed the games (or GPU drivers or OS itself, whatever idiot thing is responsible :)) so it is put back when the game is exited or loses focus. Sigh.

Rather than go into the control panel every time I quit a game, I put this on my Directory Opus taskbar-style launcher toolbar to make the change in one click. It's on a button which also runs Turn On Window Shadows.