Warning: Simple Storage Spaces in Windows 8 can’t be dismantled

A new feature in Windows 8 is ‘storage spaces’, a kind of software RAID, similar to the drive extender functionality found in the defunct Windows Home Server. Unlike Windows Home Server, however, Windows 8 provides no means of removing hard drives from simple (no resiliency) storage spaces, even when there’s adequate free space. Deleting the… Continue reading Warning: Simple Storage Spaces in Windows 8 can’t be dismantled

Theme Colours in Windows ‘Blue’

As I noted in my earlier post, the method for selecting theme (‘accent’) colours in Windows ‘Blue’ build 9364 has changed from Windows 8 RTM. I’m not going to bother looking too closely at the updates to the functions in UxTheme.dll this early in the development process, but I did notice two new registry values… Continue reading Theme Colours in Windows ‘Blue’

Windows ‘Blue’ Build 9364 Observations

Update (2013-04-21): the thin borders are all gone in build 9374. It looks like Microsoft isn’t changing tack with the next release of Windows – the recently leaked build 9364 of Windows ‘Blue’ contains a bunch of worthwhile changes to the Modern/Metro/Immersive environment, but the desktop seems to be basically untouched from Windows 8. If… Continue reading Windows ‘Blue’ Build 9364 Observations

Native Tooltips in WPF (Part 1)

View source on GitHub. <preamble> One of my hobbies is getting WPF controls to look more like their native counterparts. I’ve been shoehorning the UxTheme APIs (and older equivalents when theming is unavailable) into something that can be used by WPF over the past year or more, and I’ll write about this process at some… Continue reading Native Tooltips in WPF (Part 1)

WPF ToolTip Drop Shadows in Windows 8

The standard ToolTip control template for the Windows 8 theme in WPF (‘Aero2’) has no drop shadow, whether or not the HasDropShadow property is set. The background colour and margins are also slightly off compared to the native style. The following template produces a result that’s closer to the real thing:

You’ll need to… Continue reading WPF ToolTip Drop Shadows in Windows 8

Retaining DPI/PPI Information with PNGGauntlet

I’ve mentioned PNGGauntlet many times on this blog – it’s a great tool for squeezing the best compression ratios out of the PNG format. It combines the tools PNGOUT, OptiPNG and DeflOpt in a nice WinForms GUI. As part of the compression process, most chunks are removed by default. This includes the pHYs chunk, which… Continue reading Retaining DPI/PPI Information with PNGGauntlet

Image Background Remover Tool

View source on GitHub. Inspired by Window Clippings, my preferred screenshot tool (which unfortunately crashes a lot under Windows 8 RTM), I wrote a small program for making image backgrounds transparent. It comes with a command-line interface and a basic GUI (pictured above). The GUI supports dragging-and-dropping images, and you can switch the black and… Continue reading Image Background Remover Tool

Windows Update Notification Tool for Windows 8

I was apparently part of the 5.82% of Windows 7 users who preferred to be notified about updates rather than have them installed automatically. Annoyingly, Windows 8 no longer displays the familiar balloon tip and notify icon when new updates are available, instead placing a notice on the lock screen (which I almost never have… Continue reading Windows Update Notification Tool for Windows 8