Blog
Archive
<February 2009>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25262728293031
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
1234567
Monthly
Go
Search
  |  
Author: Created: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 1:58:59 PM RssIcon
News and updates about code4ward.net
By Stefan Koell on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:25:04 PM

 

Connect with Optionsimage

Instead of having all sorts of “Connect to Console”, “Connect without Auto Logon”, “Connect in external window but without auto logon but to the console”, etc. I decided to implement a much more flexible mechanism to control how you want to connect to a particular remote desktop.

The check menus for “Connect to Console” and “Auto Logon” will override the setting from the connection.

The check menus for “Embedded”, “External” and “Full Screen” can be checked (only one at a time of course) but also unchecked. If one of the three options is checked it will take the selected window mode regardless of the connection’s configuration. If none is checked (you can clear the selection by clicking a check menu again), the window mode stored in the connection will be used.

This concept also allows easy extension in future versions. The overrides are only active for that session and will not be saved for that connection. To change it permanently you still need to edit the connection.

Of course, clicking one of the check menus will still leave the drop down menu open until you click on connect.

 

The all new “Change” menu:image

Royal TS 1.6.5 will allow you to toggle “Smart Sizing” or “Smart Reconnect” on or off while the connection is active.

Another major improvement (as already shown in my previous post) is that you can change the window mode while the connection is active.

Of course, once you rip out a session from the main window to an external, you can put it back using the external window’s system menu or using the “Change” menu in the tree for that connection.

 

As a side note: the enabled “Edit” function for an active connection is not a bug – it’s a feature!

Now you can also edit connections while they are active.

By Stefan Koell on Monday, February 16, 2009 9:20:12 AM

I've been very busy with extending Royal TS for the last couple of months. One fruity outcome is already implemented: the "Tasks" feature. The next release of Royal TS will have completely fresh and new code for the remote desktop control. Originally I planned to do more smaller releases in shorter periods but this one is already an exception. It will be a 1.6.5 because there's too much change in it to call it a "maintenance" release. In fact some great new, unique features are on board.

But first I want to announce that there's a new group on my site: "Royal TS Beta Group" which you can easily join using the following link (you must be a registered user and logged in): http://www.code4ward.net/main/Default.aspx?rsvp=RTSBETA

When you join this group you will be able to download Beta versions and participate in the new Beta forum to discuss the release. There will also be some kind of notification/newsletter for those who joined the group. If you are interested to test drive new versions of Royal TS you are welcome to join.

So, what will be included in 1.6.5? Here a small preview:

image

Let me explain the picture above:

This is the system menu from an remote desktop connection in an external window and you see that there are four "Royal TS" menu items in it. Let's start with the last one:

  • "Embed Session in Royal TS"
    You can now, on the fly, without reconnecting, ad-hoc, change an embedded session to an external, or vice-versa, change an external session to an embedded.
  • "Reconnect"
    Does exactly what it says. When you resized your external window and want to adapt the remote desktop resolution to the new window size, that's what you need. Is very handy when you configured your connection to automatically log on.
  • "Smart Sizing"
    As before, smart sizing will scale down your remote session instead of showing scroll bars when making the session window smaller.
  • "Smart Reconnect"
    Will automatically reconnect your session when you resize the session window.

That's it for now.

By Stefan Koell on Saturday, January 03, 2009 11:02:24 AM

... faster and faster than ever.

Here's a small summary of my year 2008:

  • Royal TS made some great progress: At the beginning of 2008 Royal TS 1.4.3 (2008-01-10) was the first remote desktop application (besides mstsc.exe, of course) to handle the /consol to /admin switch in XP SP3/Vista SP1 properly.
  • NoBurgerRoyal TS 1.5 (2008-06-15) was a release with BIG changes: BIGGEST CHANGE: THE BURGER IS GONE! Royal TS should be Royal, so the crown is the new icon for Royal TS.  Another big thing was the introduction of strong encryption with the document protection feature. Besides that, the UI was streamlined and some nice graphics were inserted (designed and composed by a good friend of mine, Armin - thanks again for that)RoyalTSIcon_48px_32bpp
  • The code4ward web page was relaunched using DotNetNuke.
  • My internet connection became unstable, so I decided to host my server with my website in a real datacenter with a decent connection.
  • One very new experience of 2008 was having no vacation. Yes, that's right, there was no summer vacation as usual.
  • Ok, this one is not exactly a vacation but could be interpreted as one: In November I left Europe for the first time and spend 10 days in the U.S. - Seattle. I attended the Microsoft OpsMgr TAP meeting, met a lot of great guys, saw the Pacific, a Rainforest and ate a lot of Burgers - shopping wasn't bad either.
  • We had some quiet holidays (which was nice) and I took some days off.
  • Lastly a sad story: we had to put one of our cats, Phoebe, to sleep because of a fast growing tumor on her nose. She was only 5 years old. I wasn't really a cat person until I met my wife (and her cats), so I never thought that a creature like this can be so lovable. We all miss you, Phoebe!

What's up for 2009:

After almost 8 years as a freeware, Royal TS grew into a nice and popular product. There's a strong community, a lot of users with great ideas and so much to do. I decided to spend more time on Royal TS. So, from now on, Royal TS will be shareware and I am really excited about this. Your support will help me to improve and extend Royal TS even faster.

But fear not, Royal TS can still be used freely.

First of all, I will keep all previous versions of Royal TS (1.5.1 and earlier) available for free as before. The shareware license applies only to version 1.6.0 (and later).
Secondly, 1.6.0 can also be used for free if you don't need to handle more than 10 connections. So everyone using Royal TS for private use at home, can still use it for free.
Third: the license fee is fair: one license will be EUR 20,00 / USD 25,00 (prices may vary depending of the currency conversion).
Number four: when you buy a license you are entitled to upgrade to any version of Royal TS for a full year.

I'm looking forward to 2009 and hope you stay with Royal TS.

A healthy, successful and happy new year,

Stefan

By Stefan Koell on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 6:25:12 PM

Spent a couple of days in Port Angeles, Seattle and of course in Redmond. It was my first TAP meeting and I was really impressed. Meeting all those guys behind the scenes as well as meeting OpsMgr admins from all over the world was quite an experience. I also had the honor to sit next to Pete Zerger who runs SystemCenterForum.org and as we were talking we realized that we knew each other from our online life. Of course I am a regular visitor of his community site, there's tons of valuable information and my hacky script Set-NotificationForAlert.ps1 seems to be well known in the community.

Here some pictures and note that we got only 4 hours rain in 10 (!) days - which is quite impressive for that season:

Hurricane Ridge (Olympic National Park) feels almost like back home in Tyrol:

Seattle1 Seattle2

That's what I call a burger! (Actually it's called "Hungry Bear Burger") I picked up one of those on our way to Forks to see what a rainforest will look like:

Seattle3

Now to the Rainforest:

Seattle4 Seattle5

Yes, this is the Pacific:

Seattle6 Seattle7

Seattle Skyline in the Mist and of course the Space Needle:

Seattle8 Seattle9 Seattle10

Microsoft TAP Meeting:

Seattle11

Shopping Malls everywhere (somehow we were also lucky because there was a shooting one day before we went there, one 16 year old kid died):

Seattle12

By Stefan Koell on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:09:08 PM

back_soonThe next 2 weeks I'm in Redmond and Seattle. I'm attending the TAP meeting for the next OpsMgr release and some friends are attending a SQL server conference in Seattle. Anyhow, I have now the chance - for the first time - to see the MS campus and I am really excited about it. Of course, I am also looking forward to meet all the nice guys from the OpsMgr product team.

When I'm back I will continue the work on the release of Royal TS 1.6.0. The code is pretty much ready to roll.

One little teaser: Royal TS will sport a very flexible way to execute tasks (command line) on one or more connections. You will have access to almost all connection settings from these commands by using special variables. I'm sure you'll love it.

By default I will ship at least 2 pre-defined tasks: "ping.exe $Hostname$" and "ping.exe $Hostname$ -t"

For those who like to use a "Wake On LAN" helper tool, someone could easily implement a task like "wol.exe $PhysicalAddress$"; yes a new field to store the MAC address was added too Open-mouthed

Everybody can create new tasks and extend Royal TS. For example: starting the eventviewer or computermanagement MMC for the selection. Open a directory, file or URL. And many, many more.

By Stefan Koell on Tuesday, November 04, 2008 6:04:06 PM

image As maybe many of you observed as well, the Remote Desktop components shipped with Vista and XP SP3 (especially XP!) are not as stable that the previous versions. My personal experience includes sudden disconnects (when heavy graphics in the remote sessions are involved) as well as "stuck" sessions. These sessions are stuck when you try to gracefully disconnect a remote session. Somehow - and don't ask me why - the remote desktop component thinks it must try to reconnect, which never happens. The nice reconnect screen has a disabled or useless "Cancel" button. So, the session is "stuck".

Only remedy (now): Shutdown Royal TS and restart it.

Royal TS get's a new menu item "Force Disconnect" to destroy the ActiveX control itself by force and should only be used in that rare occasion.

By Stefan Koell on Tuesday, November 04, 2008 4:46:59 PM

... but those who are may have received a conference guide like this:

image

How do you spell connect?

Thanks to David Allen for this.

By Stefan Koell on Tuesday, November 04, 2008 3:58:06 PM

My new and shine web site just got the new blog module (3.05.00). So far everything's fine and I already post from Windows Live Writer without any plug-ins and stuff. smile_teeth

By Stefan Koell on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 10:11:17 PM

I got a lot of feedback lately, that Royal TS needs an import functionality. I completely agree, but I soon realized, that almost everyone has different requirements. So thinking through all possibilities and providing a powerful UI which can handle all different requirements would be very time consuming.

So I thought, providing a sample script which shows how this can be done should get you started...

Click here to get to the script.

By Stefan Koell on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:23:56 PM

As most of you already saw, code4ward got a complete new face. Here some facts about the relaunch:

  • Join The DotNetNuke Powered! ProgramThe new web page runs on the DotNetNuke platform. I never was a huge fan of DotNetNuke and if I could, I would still try to avoid using it. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great platform with a great value and a huge and very professional community attached. I just really don't like dependencies...
  • The skin is a professional one, which was bought and customized. I am really happy with the look of the site.
  • Some of the graphics were made by a friend of mine who is a very talented designer with fresh and crazy ideas. Thanks Armin! Some other graphics came from iStockPhotos
  • The previous site (based on Community Server) was hosted on a machine at my place. My bad experience with my (lately very unstable) ISP forced me to move the site somewhere else. A friend of mine (Netmonic) offered me to host my virtual machine for a very low monthly rate. So in fact, this is quite new: Now I not only have to pay for power and an internet connection, I also must pay for hosting; not much but still.
  • The web site is now hosted on a Windows 2008 / IIS 7 machine running SQL Server 2008. Was quite a learning experience.
  • The download tracking and statistics code was self written. It's a C# HTTP Module using LINQ. I will soon release the code for that.