Misc blog.
XXCalc and other freeware programs made by me.
Published on October 21, 2004 By XX In Personal Computing
Few years ago, I started making skinnable programs. First of all were XXCalc. It started at forums of Skinz ( not current but much older version ). With the support from skinners there, I have improved it very much since the original version.

XXCalc: Skinnable calculator. All the basic functions with ability to be skinned.

Little later, I decided to try to make advanced XXCalc with more functions, but that version flopped because of very slow loading of skins ( vb.5 flaw with loading files ). It gave authors ability to switch modes and change to "sub-skin" and sometimes more than one mode. Sadly it's not supported. I also lost source code for this one.

XXCalc Adv ( lost source and download ). Same as XXCalc but with more advanced functions and ability to switch skins.

About a year later, I was bored and decided to try to make new skinnable program. I didn't want to make yet another notepad or yet another clock skinnable programs. XXCalc was one of a kind then. Now, I think there's 3 skinnable calculator programs. I decided on a time logger since some skinners were paid on hourly rate, and needs a way to note time on and time off, etc. With few beta testers, it made progress very fast, and were production-stable within few months. I'm amazed on how fast it went from crude alpha to polished program. Same time, I didn't have to make the same mistakes I did on XXCalc and I had XXCalc source too.

XXLog: Time logger with ability to export to bill text file. Uses my own format: JOB file. Very simple but nice to have if you need to log times on and off.

Little time later, Shoggot ( another skinner, current status unknown ) wanted a super-minimal mp2 mp3 or mpa (play-list) player. I decided to give it a try. XXAmp were a result. It's smaller than most Trojans! It's so small it can fit in floppy disk with few MP3s. Since I am deaf, beta test consisted of me sending builds to shoggot to test. I was afraid to tell people I was deaf then, so "broken sound equipment" were a excuse.

XXAmp: Only non-skinnable XX program. plays mp2 mp3, and mpa and has no window at all.

Short time later, Shoggot had another idea, a text scroller program. This one was first time I ever made a "plug-in" ( not real one, but it acts like one. ) It can accept input from anything via internet or local network and scrolls text. It also can be started with message in the parameters. It's slightly bugged when you starts it without parameters, it will show parameters window, but it then pops a message window that has only "ok". if you click ok it will close, and you can't interact with window meanwhile. Unfixable since I lost one file of source code. Source code is missing file that has code to process the parameters, so it's unfixable.

XXScroll: A "plug-in" for anything that accepts connections from anywhere then scrolls the text. Comes with batch file examples and client.exe to test the connection.

Much later, I wanted to try to make a new skinnable program, and this time I decided to make a screensaver. Yep another one of a kind skinnable program. Unfortunately there was lot of limits in VB.NET so skinnable configure window didn't work out. It uses SVG ( vector graphics ) to display when it's running. It works really great. It uses SVG viewer plug-in from ABODE to work however. You can do pretty LOT of things with SVG, and what SVG format can do, XXSvgSaver can do it too.

XXSvgSaver: Screensaver with ability to be "skinned" with Svg files and Playlist file.

on Oct 22, 2004
Test post from new Wincustomize site.
on Nov 10, 2004
XXLog - still one of my favourite skinnables Interesting history that I wasn't fully aware of. Makes me want to skin XXCalc again
on Nov 10, 2004
hmmm... no, i don't recall... wait!!... no, hrm...

Oh, yeah, i seem to remember now...

Those were the days. I can't seem to get into skinning much anymore, at least for anything that will be uploaded anywhere.
on Nov 10, 2004
I have been making few skins for Desktopx but with my laptop in shop that has been stopped.

Glad my programs are useful for you, Scarebear.
on Nov 12, 2004
Got it back. Time for me to finish my new skins.
on Nov 12, 2004
XX Calc is a strong little app, I've been using it for awhile (think I found it through Virtual Plastic). Good to know you're alive and kicking!
on Nov 12, 2004
Thanks. I have lost VB5 long ago so there's no way to update now. I also have had lost some interest in programming, but DesktopX scripting is holding some of my interest.