ClipSpy – Keep a watch on clipboard contents



One tool I use quite often when developing products is ClipSpy.

It lets you see the contents of the Clipboard. A clipboard may have multiple formats stored. ClipSpy lets you analyze each format, see its data etc.

Yesterday, it helped me track the format in which Gmail accepts a file attachment via drag and drop (works only in Google Chrome browser). It uses the CFSTR_FILENAME clipboard format.

Earlier, when developing RecentX, it helped me track the clipboard formats that Windows Explorer uses when copying files.

Thanks.



Predict the tech future with Engadget blog



Engadget Logo

Engadget blog gets you very interesting tech news at your desk. It’s about gadgets such as laptops, desktops, mobile phones, cars or any new electronic items. You can see the market trends and make appropriate decisions for your business. What mobile phone platform is popular, which is not worth concentrating on. This is why I subscribe to this blog.

Thanks.



Lifehacker – A Must Read Blog



You definitely must have heard of www.lifehacker.com . It is a must read blog for everybody, from all parts of life.

My main purpose of reading it is to get updates on new software, new web services, new version of existing software, what’s hot, what’s not, free downloads and other industry news.

Add to your blog reader now, if you wish to get the juice of what’s in, what’s out in this industry.



theform.__eventtarget is null or not an object



If you get this error in your aspx page, you may end up spending several hours (like i did) before finding the actual cause. Actually, this error could cause due to multiple reasons. One of the reason is mentioned below:

ASP.Net generates a lot of javascript, form code etc based on the web form. When generating objects, it assigns an ‘id’ to it. If that ‘id’ clashes with one of our web form ids, you might see this error “theform.__eventtarget is null or not an object“.

A common scenario is when assigning an id to forms. ASP.Net automatically generates forms with ids form1, form2 etc. If your web form also contains the same id, then you might see this error.

Thanks.



SendInput Function



We had to use the “SendInput Function” to send keystrokes to any active window in our program PikyFolders.

We had troubles using it first. We also referred to many other samples on the Internet. But still it was not clear that after sending every keystroke we must also send the same keystroke with the KEYEVENTF_KEYUP flag to indicate that the key is released.

Basically, to type the character ‘A’, you would need to fill in 2 INPUT structures, one for pressing (without KEYEVENTF_KEYUP flag) and another for releasing (with KEYEVENTF_KEYUP flag).

So for example, if you want to simulate Shift+A, the array of INPUT structures would be as follows.

Press Shift
Press A
Release A
Release Shift

Hope this helps somebody out there.



Get instant visitor’s feedback using Kampyle



Andy Brice mentioned on his blog about how to get website/product feedback from within every page of your website using a free service called Kampyle.

About 2 weeks back, we added Kampyle to our website. Since then we have received some useful feedback about the product and website which we may not have received otherwise.

Kampyle adds a button to every page of your website so that the user can submit feedback effortlessly. You just have to add their script on the footer of your page.

Read more about it on Andy’s Blog.



GiveAwayOfTheDay



Giveaway Of The Day

GiveAway Of The Day (GOTD) site gives away a software for free, every day. This site can be a very good marketing tool for software companies, especially uISV.

Many of us may immediately reject GOTD and it’s quite natural. When given enough thought and based on my experience, I have written down some facts/arguments that will help you to take the right decision.

  1. If you have a innovative software that people normally do not search for, you will need to layout an extensive marketing plan. One way to reach the masses is by giving it away free and just for one day. This is when GOTD will be useful. You would be surprised to see the comments that you would receive on the GOTD site. The comments include appreciation, criticism, feature requests etc. This can be very good for your product’s future.
  2. GOTD pays you for giving away your software on their site. It’s normally $400.00 or so. If you receive a good response from the GOTD users, you can ask for more. If you have a product that does not sell much, this is one way to get that ‘extra income’.
  3. If you are going to launch a new version of the product, you can give away the current version for free. When GOTD users download your software from the GiveAwayOfTheDay website they do not register with you. So you wouldn’t have their email addresses. However, you can modify your current version (a link in your program’s menu etc) so that GOTD users can upgrade to the new version at special discount price.
  4. Some software vendors have a notion that it is very hard or impossible to sell to users who are crazy about free software. But there is a good % of GOTD users who do give money. Moreover, the software given away on GOTD is only for personal use and comes with no technical support. If your software’s quality is good, GOTD users will talk about it at different forums, their blogs etc.

That’s it for now. Hope these points will give you more insight towards marketing your software using GOTD.



The Association Of Shareware Professionals



The ASP (Association Of Shareware Professionals)

Yes. I would recommend that you join this association, especially if you are new to the software business world. The Association of Shareware Professionals (The ASP) is a forum of more than 1500 software professionals around the world. The most valuable thing is their private newsgroups where the software developers discuss about marketing, development, business tips, software protection, infrastructure recommendation, discount offers and much more.

Don’t go on their website. It may seem dull and outdated. But their private newsgroups are worth the $100.00 yearly membership fee.



Coder’s Toolbox – Simple, very useful tools for developers



Recently, I stumbled upon a simple website with some very useful tools that a programmer from any platform would need. It is called the Coder’s Toolbox.

Here are the tools that it supports:

  • Convert between Unix timestamp, ISO8601 and RFC 2822 formats
  • Encode/decode Base64-encoding; escape XML, URL’s and ECMAScript; translate to UTF-8
  • Convert between decimal, hexadecimal, octal and binary numbers
  • Calculate netmasks, broadcast addresses and do DNS lookups
  • Calculate the duration of file transfer
  • Test your XPath expressions