Sunday 31 May 2009

Motivate Me - Free Application Version 1.0 [Archived]

**UPDATE - A newer version of Motivate Me is available**

Below is for reference only

Download Motivate Me

What is it?

Motivate Me
is a FREE application that sits in you notification bar and periodically pops up with configurable random phrases or messages to keep you motivated. Motivate Me can also be used to aid revision for students or any other situation where you need to remember facts or phrases.

Reason for creating the application?

I felt motivated to create Motivate Me application because of an article I read on The article showed how a person had created a wallpaper with messages on it used to motivate people. The problem I saw with the wallpaper method was that the average computer wallpaper is cover up with programs most of the time so a user would not get the full benefit of the messages.

In order to combat this shortcoming I thought it would be useful to create an application that would take the motivational messages and show them periodically on a pop up box. I tried to make the pop up box similar to an outlook 2003 new mail notification box.

As I was developing Motivate Me I realised that the premise of periodically notifications could be applied to a number of situations.

Some examples I thought of were:

  • Revision aid for students who must remember facts.
  • A daily reminder system

How to install?

Download the zip file. The zip file contains 3 files. Extract all files to a location on your computer.

Once extracted double click on MotivateMe.exe to run the application. You will notice a red and white star icon appear in the notification area ( near the clock on you taskbar).

How to setup?

In order to setup Motivate Me to your liking right-click on the Motivate Me icon in the notification area. Then click on 'Properties'. The window below will appear.

In this window you can do the following:

  • Change the title of the popup notification box.
  • Change the interval between messages in minutes.
  • Change the number of second the message will stay on screen in seconds.
  • setup all the phrases that you want to appear in the notification area by adding to the phrases grid.
  • At the bottom of the window there are two button. The pause / resume button toggles between stopping and starting the notifications. The save button saves any changes you make to the properties of Motivate Me.
Motivate Me will continue to run in the notification area until you right-click on the Motivate Me icon and choose 'Exit'.

What does the notification look like?

Here is an example of a notification

Comments / Suggestions

If you have any comments or suggestions then please leave a comment. I will try to respond as soon as possible.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Sql Server 2008 side by side install - Reporting service error

We are in the process of upgrading from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2008. We wanted to do an install of SQL 2008 side by side with SQL 2005 so that we could test databases before migrating them to SQL 2008.

When installing SQL 2008 I did a full install and choose the option to configure Reporting Services 2008 to be ready to use. This was a MISTAKE as it seems that the SQL 2008 install overwrites the encryption key used by Reporting Services 2005. when I tried to view 2005 reports it stated that the encryption key was invalid for the installation.

Luckily we had a backup of the encryption key so we restored the key and all the reports came back.

So if you are using SQL 2005 Reporting and want to install SQL 2008 side by side then don't install Reporting Services 2008.

Sites that I read daily

Here is a list of sites that I read daily (in no particular order)

    This is a general site for getting things done. It is updated daily with productivity downloads and great productivity tips.


    Inside knowledge on new startups and general information on the tech industry


    I use this site for sports updates and good editorals


    Funny name and easy to use interface to create and maintain task lists. Easy to remember shortcuts.


    Daily goings on in the world of delphi programming


    Forum for posting great deals that you find online and offline

Friday 22 May 2009

VMWare ESXi 3.5 Server

I have just installed the free ESXi Server on an old server. First impressions are very good.

Here is what I did to set it up:
  1. Insert the CD into the server and reboot.
  2. A linux boot screen will automatically start up.
  3. After loading all setup file the the system will ask if you want to install the server.
  4. Click [enter] and then [f11] to install and agree to the license.
  5. The setup will install VMWare ESXi server. (Takes about 10 minutes)
  6. After installation you will have the opportunity to create a root password.
  7. The server will be configure with DHCP. So if the server is on the network it will obtain an ip address.
  8. Go to a windows machine on the network and type in the ip address of the server in an internet browser. You will be prompted for a username and password
  9. On the page that displays you will have a link to download Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM).
  10. Download the setup files and install on the windows machine.
  11. VIM Allows you to monitor the VMWare ESXi server and create / manage virtual machines.
I found using VIM very intuative. Things like making more datastores available was very straight forward.

Sunday 3 May 2009

Folder Monitor Application

I have been working on an application to monitor a folder for new files. The client required a way of monitoring for new electronic faxes and then displaying a prominent message on a monitoring computer. The message will appear on screen while the monitored folder has 1 or more files in it.

The application is called Folder Monitor and is available for Windows based computers only. There is a settings file called ProjFolderMonitor.ini. Through this settings file a number of parameters can be altered.

Below is a list of paramters that can be changed in the settings file, along with examples
Folder that requires monitoring. Program will give an error if the folder is not valid

The message that you want to display on the monitoring computer
Message=Fax Waiting

By default the message will fade in and out while there are files in the monitored folder.

FadeLow is the lowest fade level. It must be more than 0 and less than 255

FadeHigh is the highest fade level. It must be more than 0 and less than 255

This value sets the checking interval in milliseconds

This value sets the step of fade in / fade out

The font size of the message
Install Procedure

Download the zip file of the program, there are 2 files to be unzipped. These can be store anywhere as long as both of them are in the same folder. Finally change the parameters in ProjFolderMonitor.ini to suit your needs. You must change MonitorFolder to point to a folder on your computer or your network before starting the program. The rest of the parameters have been set to valid values.

After setting the MonitorFolder parameter and starting the program, there will be an icon in the corner of the screen. You can right-click on this icon to exit the program.

If there are files in the MonitorFolder then the configured message will start to flash in the middle of the screen. This will continue until the MonitorFolder is empty.

I hope you get some use out of this program. If you use it, if you find a bug or if you want more information about it then please post a comment.

Friday 1 May 2009

Delphi 2009 - Check for Updates Crashes

Just got Delphi 2009 installed on my works computer. It is much faster than previous versions. Everything was fine except for one thing.

Every time I tried to check for updates I would get a box that showed the Updates required to be downloaded then when I said ok to start the download it would crash out with an error message. It was a bit strange because it was doing the same on a colleagues installation of Delphi 2009.

After a bit of thinking I checked my proxy settings. Our new proxy is quite restrictive and doesn't allow executables to be downloaded. After I changed proxy settings to an older less restrictive proxy the updates worked correctly.

We could do with a better error message to help with solving the issue. Other than this issue I am quite impressed with the speed and stability of Delphi 2009