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TClock3 beta available for the bave...but need hosting

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On one of the Hotstream threads I posted an early pic of a version of TClock2 that I've been working on, which I call TClock3. It's a port of it that allows nearly full skinning of the taskbar, so you can skin it as if it were XP. It's not "done" yet, but it's complete and stable enough that I feel confident releasing a version for people to play with. I'm using it regularly on multiple Win2k boxes with few issues (just the occasional graphics glitch). I don't have a place to host it, however, but I can zip it up and send it to anyone who might be interested in making it available for the community.


- Lets you skin the entire taskbar. Detects all existing toolbars when the program is run, so if you have more than just the QuickLaunch and Taskbar area they will be skinned.

- Skin elements are taken from WindowBlinds skin images (either .BMP or .TGA).

- Allows variable transparency over many elements (which means that some pieces can be more or less opaque than others). For instance, you can tell it that the taskbar should have an alpha of 216, but active tasks should have a more opaque alpha.

- Uses the existing TClock2 registry area, so if you already have TClock2 you don't have to set everything up from scratch.

- You don't need to have WindowBlinds to use the skins with this. Just rename a .wba skin file to .zip and extract it somewhere...


- Doesn't read WindowBlinds skin text files. You have to specify the image information individually in the TClock3 properties window.

- It's not terribly CPU intensive, but you should have a good video card. The laptop I made this on has a really crappy video card, for example (S3 Twister series), so it's slow. I get great performance on boxes with decent cards, however. A super high-end card shouldn't be necessary.

- The alarm and synchronize sections may not/probably won't work. I've implemented the code but haven't tested them. This is a BETA, after all...

- The variable transparency stuff works but visual glitches may happen when you resize the taskbar. If you leave everything alone, it should work fine. The feature works, but it isn't perfect.

- WindowBlinds doesn't give you images for toolbar arrows (the ones that pop up when you make the toolbar too small to show everything), but I made a couple that come with the program for you to use.

- Visual glitches sometimes happen. One reason to release this now is so I can hear from others who are playing with it :)

- I tried and tried and tried and I could NOT get TClock2 to build using Visual Studio 6. I'm a Delphi guy and I had to port the entire thing to Delphi to get anywhere (that's Pascal on steroids for those of you not familiar). I've tried to keep the code close to the original so anything I did can be ported back if anyone is inclined, except for cases where I needed to clean it up and/or redesign some things to add functionality. I hope that people will find the code to be clean and understandable.

I've been playing with this with KoL's VistaXP skin for a while now, which sadly isn't available on WinCustomize anymore, but I think I read that it might be available somewhere on deviantart (no guarantees, though). I don't know if he has a website or not. At any rate, TClock3 is very flexible and you should have little trouble using many other skins. This program is by no means perfect, as there is so much potential, but I hope people will like what I've done with it.

Warning: this does NOT play well with WindowBlinds, since that also tries to skin the taskbar. I found that if you load TClock3 before WB loads you can get away with it, but I found that I prefer to turn WB off entirely and just use this. I'm finding that a Win2k system with XPize and TClock3 is just bliss...

I haven't tested this with anything other than Win2k and I'm curious to hear how it treats other versions, like 9x. YMMV...

Edit...GAH. I either can't read or I can't type tonight. Mods: could you fix the typo in the topic title? Thanks...

The file is available at http://www9.rapidupload.com/d.php?file=dl&filepath=11742 for those who want to give it a try.

Edited by WildBill
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm attaching a pic to show what this can do...it's from the same version that's available. This is from my laptop running W2kSP4, with XPize 4.0 installed (go to the thread in the XPize forum about running it on W2k to see how to do this).


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Bill: it set my start button and menu bar correctly when I started it up - having got the settings from my TClock2 install, presumably - but the clock was black and explorer crashed when I right clicked on the clock to get the menu (though I was able to call up the menu that way; it just didn't do anything once the crash had occurred).

Anything I need to do first before it'll work?

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I don't believe so. I mostly did clean installs, though. One thing to try might be to turn off any advanced stuff in TClock2 first, like any skinning, alpha transparency, clear taskbar, etc. If that doesn't work I could try making a TClock3 that used its own TClock3 registry area so it would always be clean at first.

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For starters, try setting all of the numeric (REG_DWORD) entries under TClock2\Taskbar to 0.

Then, try the following:

Clock\ClockFillStyle to None

Clock\ClockUseTrans to 0

Format\Custom to 1

Format\CustomFormat to h:nn tt

Format\Format to h:nn tt

StartButton\StartButtonUseTrans to 0

StartMenu\AlphaStartMenu to 0

StartMenu\CustomizeStartMenu to 0

StartMenu\StartMenuUseTrans to 0

It's hard for me to say about anything else, since I don't know what features you're using. Ideally you could just backup the entire TClock2 section, remove it, and run TClock3 (which will set up some reasonable defaults).

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Hey WildBill,

I just started playing with TClock2 (2 days) and I found your TClock3.

Is this the best method for use?-

1_ Setup with tclock2.exe /props

2_ unload with tclock2.exe /exit

3_ run tclock3.exe

How do I do a tclock3.exe /exit?

Once I learn the .ini method, I'm guessing that tclock2 isn't needed?

Registry entries?

Thanks for the hard work.

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The best way is to just use TClock3, as it creates all of the registry entries that it needs. If you just want to use TClock3, there is no need to run TClock2 first. What you must not do is try to run them at the same time. TClock3 is a replacement for TClock2; it doesnt run alongside it.

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TClock3 is a replacement for TClock2

I know that TClock3 used the bitmaps from TClock2 for my start button and Win2k spash; how do I set up a new bmp for either with TClock3 (and more importantly - task bar)?

tclock3test.exe /prop doesn't do it

Sorry if any of this is answered by learning how to set up the .ini file. I'll learn that next :D

BTW, so far TClock3 seems to run fast and clean :thumbup

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Right click on the clock and open the TClock3 Properties window, then go to the Full Skinning tab. There are a lot of settings in there for you...the best way is to download a WindowBlinds skin (a .wba file), rename the .wba to .zip, and extract it somewhere. TClock3 expects the bitmaps it uses to be in WindowBlinds format.

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