Monday, December 31, 2012

BGInfo4U - Creating your own dynamically updating BGInfo

Visual Studio Gallery - [CCS LABS] Windows Forms: Dynamically Writing to the Background Desktop -BGInfo2


Sysinternals provide a great utility called BGInfo. This utility writes information about your computer system on the Desktop. The problem is that the information is not dynamically updated - so quickly the information becomes outdated. This example shows how to created a dynamically created BGInfo application.


The above image shows BGInfo by SysInternals. The application we will be producing writes yellow dynamically updating information to the screen. In the sample we only show two pieces of information the logged on user's name and how long the computer has been running since it was switched on.

We have used a little employed cheat to produce the sample. Which is using a full screen window which is fully transparent - this allows you to see the background icons etc and click through the transparent window to the icons below.

The only real task we have is to set the transparent window to the furthest back that we can. This we do with the following code:


Let's see I've only been a fan of BGInfo since 2005, so I guess it's okay to highlight this BGInfo like code sample... :)

Now  how I feel about this approach [Full screen transparent form], but still, it's an interesting idea and if you need near real-time BGInfo, then this should work. If you only need scheduled updates, then I'd probably use a scheduled task to run BGInfo. Still I thought simple code sample pretty cool and I thought it nice that both C# and VB.Net versions were included.


Related Past Post XRef:
BGInfo isn't just for wallpaper you know... (I didn't, but now I do ;) - Using BGInfo to capture and save system configuration to SQL Server (or other database)
JonGalloway.ToString() - Util - BgInfo
BGInfo (Background Info from Sysinterals)

Use the Sysinternals Utilities? The EULA bug dialog you? Then try this…
The latest Sysinternals utilities are just a URL away,

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