Aug
24

XBox Device Status 1.00 2017

A new project is out: XBox Device Status.

For some reason, Microsoft haven't provided a way to display the battery levels of any connected Xbox pads on Windows PCs. There is a Windows Store app specifically for configuring the Xbox Elite Controller (US version here) that sort of shows it, but it's horrendous and not really designed for that.

In steps XBox Device Status. It's an application (by me, of course) specifically designed for showing the battery levels of any attached Xbox pads and headsets. Version 1.01 will add support for events.

There was quite a delay in releasing XBDS as I ended-up making numerous changes to my Metro library, changing existing controls and adding a new one. This library is why XBDS looks the way it does; it's my implementation of how Metro should've looked before even Microsoft themselves released their original version all those years ago. A form with large empty areas with a mid-grey background is just terrible, regardless of what idiocy you use to try and justify the design decision.

XBox Device Status: Battery Full

The Free Edition does what most people want, showing the battery level of a connected controller. The Home/Enterprise Edition provides extra features such as headset levels, system tray support, and the aforementioned events. More Home/Enterprise features will be continually added.

Additional screenshots are available here.

Nov
29

Windows 10 Start Menu not Working? 2017

This problem is extremely annoying: sometimes, the Start menu in Windows 10 will outright stop working. It won't appear when the Start button is clicked or the Windows Key is pressed. In addition, various Windows 10-style windows (such as the system's volume control that appears in the top-left of the screen when the volume is changed) will also not appear. Right-clicking on the Start button will then cause any 10-style windows to then draw... it's all very weird.

After many months, it seems I may have stumbled upon a fix for the issue. Every time I tried restarting or shutting down the system, Windows always complained about there being a task that wouldn't exit. The string given is:

Microsoft\windows\plug and play\device install reboot required

Microsoft introduced a "feature" that allows Windows to finish installing device drivers after an update or restart. Awesomely - it doesn't work. This broken feature has been the cause of months of (random) frustration and re-installations.

Anyway - whatever, onto the fix. Hopefully it's the fix; I haven't ran into the Start issue since.

  1. Go into the Settings window in Windows.

To do this using the Start menu (eg. you're performing this as a preventative measure), just type Settings into the Start menu and open the item that appears.

If you have a broken Start menu, you can either click on this link right here or press Windows Key+R to open the Run window and then type the following, followed by pressing the Enter key.

ms-settings:

Include the trailing colon character otherwise you'll get an error.

  1. In the Settings window that appears, click on Accounts (the little round guy; second row in the second column in my particular version).

  2. On the left, click on Sign-in Options.

  3. Scroll down in the view on the right and under the Privacy heading, uncheck the Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device after an update or restart.

That should be it.