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  • CarShell v2

    ***************** I am not actively supporting this software at the moment, It can be downloaded form http://www.mobile-effects.com for now until I redo the software and my website. *********************

    See the next two posts for screenshots and instructions on use, this post has a summery and intallation instructions.

    What is CarShell?

    This software is a little project that I have been working on to make navigating my carputer easier. It is designed to run on startup and either replace explorer as the system shell, or run on top of explorer as would any other app. Running as the system shell it decreases boot time somewhat (results vary on hardware), when running on top of explorer it loads out of the system startup folder. Running CarShell in either mode provides the same functionality.

    CarShell changes the way you work with applications and folders, the goal being to make these tasks easier in the automotive environment. Tabs represent folders and can store applications and files just as would windows folders. You can create shortcuts, copy files, move files and delete files. If you delete a ‘button’ in CarShell you are deleting the actual file or shortcut stored on your hard disk.

    CarShell is still in the very early stages of development. It is functional as is, but I have lots more planned for it. Please share any ideas that could improve its usability.


    What has changed since the first v1 beta version?

    All of the tabs (except the system tab) are now directly linked to real system folders and folders that are created especially for CarShell. You no longer have to create all of the buttons in the setup. On the system folders such as desktop and startup the buttons generated will reflect your actual desktop and startup folders. The front and App tabs will start out empty but you can copy, move and create shortcuts within CarShell itself.

    Because of the above you can now install software or download files with CarShell set as your shell.

    You can also have unlimited programs lauched from startup. (origional version only allowed for one) In fact you do not need to change anything to have carshell run the programs you already had setup in the startup folder, they automatically show up on the startup tab. You can add any others right within CarShell.

    Right Click functionality within CarShell has been added in the form of a ‘click and hold’ simply touch and hold for 1 second or more on a button or blank area of a tab and a context right click menu will appear.


    INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS:

    You must have the .net framework version 1.1 installed (almost all the applications on this forum also require it, so chances are very good that you already have it installed.)

    1. Remove any previous versions in add/remove programs, you also must also delete the program files\carshell directory if you are installing v2 of carshell after having v1 installed.

    2. Download http://www.mobile-effects.com

    3. Run setup.exe

    4 . IMPORTAINT! after installation is complete go to the c:\program files\carshell directory and run the file 'reg.bat'

    Now you are ready to go!
    My Install

    Software:
    CFiG v1
    iGuidance Plugin for CF

    CarShell
    Working shell for a CarPC

    StopWatch
    StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

  • #2
    Here is a quick walkthrough of the software and functionality.

    When run for the first time the app will force you to open in setup mode.





    General Tab : All of the options here are pretty self-explanatory, but here are some detailed notes :

    Password : Defines whether you want CarShell to require a password on start up the password is designed for touchscreens so the numbers must be pressed on the touchscreen (or clicked with a mouse)

    Shell Chooser : Defines CarShell running mode if you check the box CarShell will replace explorer as the system shell. If it is unchecked explorer remains as normal. At any time you can switch between them by checking/unchecking this box. This change requires a reboot. Until you get CarShell configured to your liking you might find it easier to leave this unchecked.

    Tabs : These checkboxes define whether or not the frontend and application tabs are shown on the desktop. Manipulating these boxes does not delete or move the underlining files, just defines whether these tabs are visible. If there are items on the tabs and you uncheck the box the items will still be there if you recheck the box. If the tab is not checked you will not be able to assign anything on that tab to the minishell (described later)

    Startup Mode : Defines whether the app loads the full desktop or minishell on application load. This setting is the same for both shell modes.

    Resolution : you can make CarShell any size you want so long as it is between 360x200 and 3000 x 2000. If you are running CarShell ontop of explorer, try setting your vertical resolution 30 or 40 pixels short to allow room for the windows taskbar. (ex. 800 x 450 instead of 800 x 480)

    Font Size : you may set the font size that appears on the desktop tabs and the buttons between 6 and 24 pt.




    System Tab:

    Select what system applications you want on the system tab. This is the only tab that you can not add to within the application, only in setup.







    MiniShell Tab: The mini shell is a small form that is designed to stay on top of applications running (as opposed to the full desktop that stays behind all other apps) It provides four buttons that you can configure to run any application that is setup within CarShell. The center gray area of the minishell returns the user to the full desktop.

    To assign a minishell button a function do the following :

    1. select the button that you want to assign the task

    2. Select the tab in the function chooser that contains the task/folder/file you want to assign.

    3. Click on the dropdown box to the right and select the task/folder/file you want (NOTE : the first time you run this there will be no option in the front tab and the app tab, this is because there is nothing yet on those tabs)

    4. Click the submit button.

    5. Then select a different minishell button and repeat.

    Opacity : Defines how transparent the minishell appears. The lower the value the less of it you will be able to see. On LCD screens I don’t suggest going below 50-60, it gets had to see on some backgrounds.


    That is all for the setup now for the application :
    My Install

    Software:
    CFiG v1
    iGuidance Plugin for CF

    CarShell
    Working shell for a CarPC

    StopWatch
    StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

    Comment


    • #3
      looks really great, i'm always down for faster boot up times and functionality!
      mobo $130 ; 150wOpus-$200 ; 256mb pc2700 -$10 ; 120gb HDD 7200-$70 ; Lilliput TS 7"-$265 ; USB LAN-Free AR ; Rikaline 6010 GPS-$34 ; ShuttleXpress-$37
      Total = $746....Carputer = Priceless

      Comment


      • #4
        Normal use :

        There are two ways to use CarShell in regular desktop mode :



        The buttons along the bottom are in order :

        MiniShell toggle : Changes over to minishell

        Setup : Enters the CarShell setup

        OSK : On Screen Keyboard

        Volume Control : Opens the windows master volume control

        Add : Allows you to add file/shortcut/application (see screenshot)



        Once you choose add file or add shortcut you will be presented with a file dialog box to navigate to the file location. Press open and the new file or shortcut will appear on the tab.

        Exit / Shutdown Menu : Exit CarShell or standby, hibernate, restart or shutdown the computer.



        If you right click (click and hold for more then a second) on a button on any tab you will get the following right click options:



        If you say, choose copy and then change to any other tab other then the system tab and right click (click and hold for more then a second) on any blank area of the tab you will get different options for pasting, ect.



        You can then paste the file (copies it to that location) or paste a shortcut (generates a .lnk shortcut file to the actual file) either way the new icon will appear on the tab you pasted the item.

        Notes :

        If you download a file and save it to your desktop, you will need to refresh the tabs (simply change to any other tab and then switch back to the desktop) for the file to appear. The same goes for installing applications. Once the application is installed refresh the tabs for it to show up.


        MiniShell :

        Sits on top of all running applications. It is designed to be a way to quickly access commonly used programs. To assign the functions of the 4 yellow buttons see the setup section above. Pressing the center area of the MiniShell will return you to the Desktop



        The minishell is moveable, just click and hold in the empty area in the top-left/right or bottom left/right. (the white area in the screenshot, but it is transparent so could be any color on your screen). It will also save its location when you close it and reappear there next time it is loaded.

        I hope this helps everyone as the program may seem alien at first. If you have any suggestions for easier instructions let me know.
        My Install

        Software:
        CFiG v1
        iGuidance Plugin for CF

        CarShell
        Working shell for a CarPC

        StopWatch
        StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

        Comment


        • #5
          Cool cant wait to try this out!

          is the fontsize adjustable? that is my only concern for 7inch monitors... also what about increasing the Tab fonts in order to make the tabs about double their current height (for fat-finger touching issues)
          Roy

          2005 Range Rover 4.4
          Any ideas for putting a PC in this? :)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RoyN
            Cool cant wait to try this out!

            is the fontsize adjustable? that is my only concern for 7inch monitors... also what about increasing the Tab fonts in order to make the tabs about double their current height (for fat-finger touching issues)
            soon, The font size is one of the first things on my list. (I am also going to make the buttons size user defined) The tabsize is a little more completed. Since I am currently useing the generic microsoft tabcontrol, modifaction of it is a pain in the ***. I am going to work on this as i want the tabs to be easier to navigate as you said and look better.

            I will try to have a font modifaction up in the next couple of days.
            And a tab modifaction as soon as possible.
            My Install

            Software:
            CFiG v1
            iGuidance Plugin for CF

            CarShell
            Working shell for a CarPC

            StopWatch
            StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

            Comment


            • #7
              I figured it was the MS tabs... I'm pretty sure if you put a larger font the tab increases height, though....
              Roy

              2005 Range Rover 4.4
              Any ideas for putting a PC in this? :)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RoyN
                I figured it was the MS tabs... I'm pretty sure if you put a larger font the tab increases height, though....
                ya, I am going to play with that now.
                My Install

                Software:
                CFiG v1
                iGuidance Plugin for CF

                CarShell
                Working shell for a CarPC

                StopWatch
                StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

                Comment


                • #9
                  How does this look?



                  going to add the option in setup to change the font setting.
                  My Install

                  Software:
                  CFiG v1
                  iGuidance Plugin for CF

                  CarShell
                  Working shell for a CarPC

                  StopWatch
                  StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    updated : the font size is now adjustible anwhere between 6 and 24 pt.

                    If you already d-loaded v2 beta and installed it and want the update, you can uninstall the app in add/remove programs and then just go to the program files/carshell dir (or where you installed it) and delete setup.xml Leave the directories alone and you will retain any links/files/ect that you setup on the frontend and application tabs.
                    My Install

                    Software:
                    CFiG v1
                    iGuidance Plugin for CF

                    CarShell
                    Working shell for a CarPC

                    StopWatch
                    StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      your website seems to be down for me?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        get this message on boot...
                        Attached Files
                        My carputer

                        Old one

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mañana
                          get this message on boot...
                          does this error occur on boot with carshell as shell, or explorer? can you open the app at all (after boot?)

                          can you pm me the contains of the setup.xml file?

                          @Sc0rian - seems to be up now, not sure if it sent down before.
                          My Install

                          Software:
                          CFiG v1
                          iGuidance Plugin for CF

                          CarShell
                          Working shell for a CarPC

                          StopWatch
                          StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ok i just updated it, I think that i found the problem.

                            Please redownload the program as the old code has a bug were the program will keep tring to run itself.

                            Let me know if this fixs your issue Mañana, also try deleting the setup.xml file if you had a older version of the softare installed. When i added the font changing feature the size of the xml file changed and the old one would generate an error.
                            My Install

                            Software:
                            CFiG v1
                            iGuidance Plugin for CF

                            CarShell
                            Working shell for a CarPC

                            StopWatch
                            StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have redownloaded and reinstalled the program. Still get an error message. Everytime i try to launch the program...
                              Attached Files
                              My carputer

                              Old one

                              Comment

                              Working...
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