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.


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.


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.


Installing Java on Windows XP 2018

This blog seems to be turning into a problem-solving database thingy. Still, it's better than it getting no updates at all, right?

This particular post is about trying to install horrible Java on horrible Windows XP. Namely - you can't. Or, at least, I couldn't.

Double-clicking on the Java installer (either the online or offline versions; doesn't matter) results in a flurry of disk activity and then a whole lotta nothing. Looking in the system's %TEMP% location shows a directory, and a log file named jusched.log. Digging through the file shows that there was an exception - a crash - during the initialisation of the installer.

ERROR: Exception with message 'Resources.cpp(65) at Resource::getPtr(): cannot find resource (name='#1605', type='#6'). System error [1813] the specified resource cannot be found in the image file

According to some of the stuff I read, the version of the installer those Oracle/Sun idiots use doesn't run on Windows XP despite them telling you it, uh, does. The Java runtime might, but the installer used to install it... doesn't. It doesn't surprise me that Java is as shit as it is.

Grab an earlier version of the Java runtime and install that, instead. Here's the one I used (note the installer is still signed by Oracle - important!):

View Page: Java Runtime Environment 8.0 build 152

Why not use an older one directly from Oracle themselves? Because those morons want you to create an account to just download it! Hahaha-ha-ha... ha. No.

When running the older installer, ignore the warning that says it may not work in Windows XP - it's just saying that because even Oracle knows Windows XP is a huge, outdated crock of shit.

I'm running Windows XP in a virtual machine to run a Java JAR file, otherwise, I have no use for Windows XP nor Java.

I'm glad Java is practically dead.

And Windows XP.