GhostShell Beta01 - explorer.exe replacement

Discussion in 'Other Ghost Security Software' started by Jason_R0, May 1, 2007.

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  1. Jason_R0

    Jason_R0 Developer

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    Download:
    http://www.ghostsecurity.com/downloads/ghostshell-1000-b01.zip

    Information:
    GhostShell is a shell replacement for Explorer.exe. It basically replaces the start menu, taskbar, system tray and other features of explorer. Which means you can get away with not running the bloated explorer.exe unless you need to browse your drives.

    GhostShell adds media player support for Itunes and Winamp, better hotkey support, clipboard buffering (you can see and select clip history), lower overhead and proper theme support.

    I have cut a few features from this beta as I ran into some last minute problems with a few of them.... but any feedback about what to add, remove or whatever is wanted. Also keep an eye out for any GUI oddities if you find any.

    Instructions:
    1) Unzip archive (with full paths) to your hard drive
    2) Run ghostshell.exe . Select YES at the prompt to install it, or NO at the prompt just to test it over the top of explorer.exe
    3) Right clicking on the START button brings up your desktop and drives on your computer

    Uninstall Information:
    1) Click on the Ghost at the bottom right of the screen.
    2) Click on the button UNINSTALL GhostShell.
     
  2. SYS 64738

    SYS 64738 Registered Member

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    Jason,

    sry, I'm unable to install this, it misses a "gdiplus.dll".
     
  3. Jason_R0

    Jason_R0 Developer

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    What OS are you trying it on exactly? Windows2K I guess?
     
  4. SYS 64738

    SYS 64738 Registered Member

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    Yes, W2k SP4, sry, i did not mention that. I found this .dll on three different folders on my harddisk, one of this a folder of MS framework. Should i copy this .dll right in the places where GhostShell it expects?
     
  5. Jason_R0

    Jason_R0 Developer

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    Yep, just grab gdiplus.dll from the web, or wherever, and put it in the same directory as GhostShell.exe. I only use gdiplus to load PNGs and other formats like that, it will probably be changed to some open source implementation to avoid this issue. I just tested doing this on 2K and it works fine once doing it.

    Windows XP should be fine without worrying about this.
     
  6. SYS 64738

    SYS 64738 Registered Member

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    Ok, this worked. Looks amazing. I will play around with it. BTW, it works well even with my native screen resolution of 1400x1050. :thumb:
     
  7. ghostriderg

    ghostriderg Registered Member

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    Hi Jason

    downloaded will test later on this evening when the sprogs are in bed!!!

    One question, SYS 64738 just mentioned he had to grab .dll from msframework for win2k, does this mean that it only works on m$ net framework

    ghostriderg
     
  8. Jason_R0

    Jason_R0 Developer

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    No.... never going to the evil .NET darkside. :) One of the main reasons I developed this GUI was because GUI code in my older apps took a lot more time than say .NET because it's more low level, and Microsoft code is pretty bad, it's code tacked on old code, built up over the years.

    So starting fresh I knew what I wanted, and what could be done to make my programs easier to develop. And that's what I did, without using something like .NET (bloat).
     
  9. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    Sweet a release :thumb:

    It peeks my curiousity enough to go to my windows xp pc and set it up, and try seeing how it goes (currently using bb-lean, but I like your light-weight, fast, clean, and innovative programming style, so I will give it a try)

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  10. darkmatter

    darkmatter Registered Member

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    Hi Jason,

    Installed and working well apart from the two issues below.

    After installing GhostShell, OO Clevercache v6.1 does not start automatically it has to be started manually. I have tried this a few times and every time GhostShell is uninstalled the problem disappears.

    Also icons in the task tray do not load up properly, first icon is cut short, whilst the others either don't appear or the few that do appear seem to flash randomly. I can post a picture if required.
     
  11. Jason_R0

    Jason_R0 Developer

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    Could you grab the AUTOSTARTS program off systernals website and see how CleverCache is being loaded. And a screenshot would be helpful of the tray issue. :)
     
  12. darkmatter

    darkmatter Registered Member

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  13. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    So, I have it running (it's quite nice by the way), but the one issue is that on this computer, there is avast antivirus. When I log in, the icon is in the tray, but you can't see the icon and it is blank, but I can right click it and get the options from it. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    --edit
    I just installed Comodo BoClean, and it's icon also doesn't show (briefly flashes then disappears, but if I click on the blank space, it will work

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2007
  14. ghostriderg

    ghostriderg Registered Member

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    Hi Jason

    This thing is awesome it looks absolutely solid!!!!

    And very very light

    had to use the gdiplus.dll from on the system but plenty of those around

    So brief impressions are these

    1]
    Cpu usage on win 2k way way way down on normal according to task
    manager proc.exp

    2]
    Picked out my other drives no problem and could interact with them easily

    3]
    Found free launch bar and picked up the items within and displayed them in ghostshell start bar awesome!

    4]
    I am also not seeing items in the sys tray..... all icons are awol, task manager performance window/icon when inserted in tray flashes intermittantly about twice a second but is not stable this led me to test...

    5]
    Qmplayer.... as soon as visuals were started in full screen... no more ghostshell. It didn't crash per say it just disappeared and it seemed to be still running? Kill with TMgr and re-exe brought it back - very stable for first time out but this led me to.....

    6]
    Video nero showtime playback very jittery even on a one level dvd, images seem to be increasing and decreasing in size.

    7]
    Are all the icons on the desktop meant to transfer into the side bar? cause they didn't icons are in the sidebar and on the desktop

    8]
    cosmetics:

    would be good if:-

    you could right click on the items in sidebar for context menu

    scrolling down could be done with mouse - has to be done with with scroll bar

    A temporary switch button to toggle between native interface and ghostshell especially for testing purposes (if possible).

    All in all this is good very good and when all the bugs are ironed out and it's integrated in GSS this thing will rock big time!



    ghostriderg
     
  15. AJohn

    AJohn Registered Member

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    I am having problems with SysTray icons displaying as well. Hey ghostriderg, you can open and display GhostShell without installing it and the only time my icons did not disapear from the desktop is without fully installing.
     
  16. ElPapyo

    ElPapyo Registered Member

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    - Have you planned to support windows key shortcut? For example i miss WinKey + E (launch explorer.exe) only for browsing my drives ^^
    (i've found the options for customize my shortcut, but i can't find a way to reproduce this behavior)

    - Have you planned to localize GhostShell?

    So far, only one little bug : the panel component for Intel Graphic Driver has a fun entry : screenshot into attachement
     

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    Last edited: May 2, 2007
  17. SYS 64738

    SYS 64738 Registered Member

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    Here are some remarks from my side:
    (Win 2k SP4 with MS .NET Framework 1.?? on Dell Inspiron 8000, PIII Mobility 600 MHz, 194 MB RAM, ATI Rage128 M4.)

    Istallation requires the file gdiplus.dll, which i copied in the same folder as GhostShell. However, GhostShell expected this .dll in several places:
    http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/2853/capture0108200620294501tj3.jpg

    Maybe i'll have to copy this .dll into this folders, too?


    The Systray:

    I had a lot of crap ihn there before GhostShell installation, stuff like Intervideo WinDVD QuickStarter, the Windows language localization info, etc. All in all i guess it were about 8-10 icons. Now there are much less icons

    Time display in the right corner is changed from 24h mode to 12h am/pm mode, no matter, which is selected originally.
    http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/1322/einsjj3.jpg

    Some of the remaining icons flicker. The icon for the Synaptics touchpad flickers regularly every second or so. I usually run an application called t-online DSL-Manager, which sits in the Systray. It is a software, which optimizes DSL connection and logs traffic, displays ip-adress, etc. Its systray icon displays a little diagram with bars, which are changing in height with the incoming or outgoing traffic. Now, it is only displayed when there is traffic actually. Without traffic it disappers, leaving an empty space.
    http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/5162/zweijm9.jpg

    Don't know if it is of some importance, but in its program folder there is also a gdiplus.dll file by default.

    In the original windows systray some applications like NOD32 display some bollon-tip-like information upon hovering with the mouse pointer. This feature is gone.

    In the systray the MS icon for the configuration of automatic updates, which i don't use, disappears leaving an empty space when clicked and the appearing window is closed. The empty space is active toward mouse-clicks however, only the icon seems not to be displayed.
    http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/5415/dreitt3.jpg

    http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/461/drei2je8.jpg

    Context menues of the systray icons are still accessable via right-click. However, after having played around some time, the menues don't disappear anymore.

    http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/3127/capture01082006202945hf5.jpg


    The taskbar:

    The windows taskbar provides usually a context menue upon right click. This feature is gone. This would not matter too much, but it is an issue with InJoy firewall. The InJoy firewall has a so-called "deskbar application" which afaik can only be activated via the taskbar context menue. It displays network traffic, firewall activity, etc. So, this cannot be launched anymore. (However, i found this quite buggy even in windows taskbar environment.)

    For testing GhostShell i deactivated GSS, because it seems to need "learning" every application again. This maybe due to explorer.exe is replaced. I don't want to click all the pop-ups away again.


    Start menue:


    In the menues for the start menue, the desktop and the control panel many icons are displayed as the windows standard file-icon as if there is no application associated with that files.
    A textfile created with windows editor is displayed as (filename).txt. Good: the file extension is given.
    http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/7813/capture0108200620294502hm5.jpg

    http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/462/capture0108200620294502qw2.jpg

    http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/5758/capture0108200620294502ie3.jpg

    The control panel show an entry "nwc". Don't know what it is, however, upon clicking nothing happens.
    http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/7733/capture0108200620294502ay8.jpg

    So far for now, i will add the screenshots later today.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2007
  18. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    Tried it out on xp pro but all i got was a black screen? Nothing was coming up on screen, i could still access the taskmanager tho. I'll have to try it again later when i have some time.
     
  19. Jason_R0

    Jason_R0 Developer

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    OK, I've added some fixes to the systray, hopefully they will fix your issues. I'm trying to get the OPENGL support back in before tonights new beta also.

    Popup menus (right clicking on task buttons, etc) was one of the things I had to cut as I am having a few issues with them, they will be back soon though.
     
  20. Jason_R0

    Jason_R0 Developer

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    Make sure you extract the ZIP with full paths. There should be a THEMES directory with files in it for instance.
     
  21. buffet

    buffet Registered Member

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    there are some problems with application system tray; kis6 is the cause or Ghostshell1b1
    there are some applications not always shown properly in the xp system tray: Kaspersky Internet Security 6.x | Process Guard 3.4.100 | OpenOffice Quick Starter 2.x |
    http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m35/vn119/GhostShell-1b1.gif
     
  22. ghostriderg

    ghostriderg Registered Member

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    Hi Jason,

    have played around a little bit more with this today and have few more observations and ideas.

    1]
    Firstly the icon thing, I think I've found a temporary workaround, for me anyway. All those prgms that would initially on start up be in the system tray, if you go to their .exe in explorer and exe them they will appear again in the systray. This may be redundant advice as I see you going to implement a change here anyway.

    2]
    Where is the search dialogue box? For the life of me I've searched everywhere and cant find it, perhaps I need a search box to search for it.
    :D Which brings me to..... Howabout incorporating the search box below or above the run box in the left start menu side-bar?

    3]
    Tool bar options what are they for? They don't seem to work correctly, they change the format as to how the launch bar functions but you cant change it back without a re boot, i.e. side by side in the launch bar now becomes toggle arrow < left or right > to choose what to launch.

    4]
    Along with the windows/ghost sidebar hot key as suggested by ElPapyo how about adding a show desktop or terminate all open windows/bowsers button. Just thinking along the security line aspect here.

    5]
    Not all my desktop icons transferred across specifically Nero smart start and Nero showtime. Luckily they were stored in the free launch bar.

    6]
    Would it be or is it possible to alpha-sise(?) the start menu items in order to make it easier to find what your looking for?

    7]
    Once the media player (in this case QMP:thumb:) is reduced to the launch bar it cannot be resurrected again without de-selecting media support in the side bar.
    Now here's my favourite... Howabout if...., in the media window along with what you have now, you could put: currently playing track and number, Artist, format playing (i.e. wav, flac,ogg etc.), next track is.......

    @Ajohn thanks for the heads up it does behave entirely differently when fully installed much more stable.

    Well thats it!!

    Buddha bless you

    TTFN

    ghostriderg
     
  23. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    some observations:

    1. some icons are missing from my systray and in their place is empty space; also I experience the same problem as SYS 64738: the menus dont disappear.

    2. wheres my desktop context menu?

    3. there is a thin empty space between the taskbar and the bottom of a maximized window (happens for both themes)

    4. the start and ghost buttons need to be pressed to show/hide. why cant they hide when i click on the desktop?

    5. does ghostshell include a quick launch? because theres is empty space where it would be.

    6. so how do i access my desktop shortcuts and any files saved there?
     
  24. AJohn

    AJohn Registered Member

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    WSFuser, you can see your desktop icons by either right or left clicking the start menu (forgot which one).
     
  25. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    ah thx ajohn.

    and now that i can see my desktop stuff, i confirm that some files have a generic icons of sorts liek SYS 64738 posted.
     
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