29 March 2010

Utility – Battery Low

*UPDATE* I had the opportunity to test this utility with Remote Desktop in full screen mode recently and it worked like a dream!  
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OK, really quickly.  I love playing my strategy games.  One of my long time favorites has been Hearts of Iron II – Doomsday Armageddon.  This game plays on my Netbookjust fine, so it’s an easy one to spin up on the plane etc.
The crew over at Paradox Interactive sure did a good job on the game’s logic engine.
Anyway, as I said, I love playing this game.  The only thing is that there’s one small problem with it on the Netbook.  See, when you are playing full screen graphic games, things like system warnings of battery low status and the like, simply does not pop up over the game.  As a result, you’d be playing your game happily when all of a sudden, the Netbook would start going into Hibernate.  That’s all good and dandy, but see, the problem under Windows XP is that once you boot up out of Hibernate, the game doesn’t seem to restore itself and you’re forced to kill the task and reload the game.  Not pretty.
So I fired up Visual Studio 2008 quickly and just wrote a simple app that displays a warning message.  I set it’s properties to pop up over everything else and then configured it as follows:
  • Download my BatteryLow utility.  Place it somewhere on your hard drive. 
  • Right click anywhere on your desktop background.
  • On the popup menu, click “Properties”.
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  • On the Display Properties screen, click the “Screen Saver” tab.
  • One the Screen Saver tab, click the “Power” button.
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  • On the Power Options Properties window, click the “Alarms” tab.
  • On the Alarms Tab, click the “Alarm Action” button.
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  • On the Low Battery Alarm Actions window, click the “Configure Program” button.
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  • On the Low Battery Alarm Program window, click the “Browse” button.
  • Browse to the BatteryLow utility location and double click the file.
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  • On the Low Battery Alarm Program window, click the “OK” button.
  • On the Low Battery Alarm Actions window, click the “OK” button.
  • On the Power Options Properties window, click the “OK” button.
  • On the Display Properties window, click the “OK” button.
Tired of clicking “OK” yet? 
OK, now go ahead and go play your game.  When the battery low action triggers, this is what you’ll get:
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The popup message will actually occur even before the Windows system message as seen below.
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Hope you enjoy the utility.


Cheers
C

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