Archive for April, 2005

Enchancing TopDesk with StrokeIt

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

A great utility that to use with TopDesk is StrokeIt, an application that adds mouse gesture support to Windows.

You can set up StrokeIt to work with TopDesk using the StrokeIt Command Editor screen. For example, to bind the TopDesk Tile All Windows action to a mouse gesture, go to the StrokeIt Command Editor screen, add a global action called TopDesk Tile All Windows, then add a mouse gesture for this global action (I picked Mouse Right). After doing this, you should have a screen that looks like this:

Configure StrokeIt Action

Next, add in a new command for the action called Tile All Windows Hot Key. Configure this command as a Keys – Hotkey command, disable TopDesk by Left-Clicking on its system tray icon, and then type the TopDesk Tile All Windows hot key in the Hotkey text box (ALT-TAB in this case). Your screen should look like this:

Configure StrokeIt Command

Close the Command Editor screen, re-enable TopDesk, and you’re good to go. You can do then same thing for the TopDesk Tile Application Windows and Hide Visible Windows actions. After a bit of experimentation, I found that this configuration works very nicely:

  • Tile All WindowsMouse Right
  • Tile Application WindowsMouse Left
  • Hide Visible WindowsMouse Down and Mouse Up

The last binding in that list is very cool: you can do a Mouse Down to hide all windows, then a Mouse Up to get them back.

The results are in…

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

…and the majority of the responses to TopDesk have been positive, which is great to see. On the flipside, users have reported several bugs, which isn’t so good to see. However, given the nature of the software and the number of different hardware and software configurations out there, I’m pleased that there’s a relatively small number of issues, and that they require relatively minor fixes.

Apart from bugs, users have mainly requested additional features and minor tweaks to the way things work. Hopefully this means that, in general, they’re happy with the way TopDesk does things, and that we’re on the right track towards a building a really useful application.

We’re currently looking to release an update to v1.3 next week, unsuprisingly called v1.3.1, that will address the current crop of bugs and tweak the layout algorithm to make it more predictable. Stay tuned for more information…

TopDesk 1.3 Is Out!

Monday, April 11th, 2005

After a long wait TopDesk 1.3 is finally out (download).

I’m really happy with 1.3. The move from OpenGL to DirectX has improved perfomance by an order of magnitude, little improvements like better window tiling and customizable window title fonts have added a bit of polish to the application, and watching TopDesk in action on a multi-monitor setup is just plain cool.

Version 1.4 is currently at the planning stage, so if you’ve got a feature you’d like to see in TopDesk, drop us a line or post your suggestion on the forums.