I am releasing another new Windows Vista Sidebar gadget designed to work with Windows Home Server (my first was called Home Server Blogs). This one is called "ShareMaster for Home Server" and sits on the sidebar allowing quick access to WHS shared folders.
The gadget has two main functions. Clicking on one of the six icons will open a Windows Explorer window to the share in question allowing you to browse the files in that share.
The other feature (which I think is a lot cooler) is the ability to drag and drop files onto the gadget's various icons. For example (as shown below), you can quickly and conveniently drag a photo from your computer onto the ShareMaster Photo icon to move it to your Windows Home Server's Photos share (i.e. \\server\photos).
The gadget has six icons representing the standard shares: Music, Photos, Public, Software, Users and Videos. The Users share relies on setting of your username in the Settings dialog (see Other Features below).
As you can see from the gadget image above, there is an aperture that opens and closes as you mouse over (or drag files over) each of the icons. It took me several days in Photoshop to get the images made so hopefully you will find the animation more cool than annoying.
- If you have the gadget already installed, uninstall it. To do so, right click on the gadget (in the window that displays all of your installed gadgets) and select "Uninstall".
- Click on the "Download Gadget" link in the upper left of this article.
- You will see a security warning such as this. Click Save.
- Open Windows Explorer to the location where you download the file.
- Double-click on the file ShareMaster.gadget to install on your Windows Vista Sidebar and you will receive another security warning.
- Finally click "Install" to add the gadget to your Sidebar.
Localized for English, French, German and Spanish.
Click the wrench next to the gadget to open the Settings dialog windows. Here you will see 2 tabs. On the Settings tab there are text boxes for username and server.
Entering your username allows you to drop files onto the Users share (or My Shared Folder as it is called in the gadget).
If you enter information for server, it will override the server information loaded from the Connector. You don't need to enter anything here unless: 1) you don't have the Connector software installed or 2) you are using the Vista x64 Connector hack.
As this software is released in beta, there are some know issues:
The gadget will not function if you do not have the Windows Home Server Connector software installed and does not fail safe in that condition. (corrected in 0.9.0.5)
- When copying many single files to a share, the originating folder is blocked and flashes.
- The original name for the gadget was "ShareMaster 2008 Worm Hole Extreme Home Server Edition Platinum Gadget", but was later shortened. This is not really a know issue, but I wanted to get that off my chest.
Request for Feedback
I know I don't really have to tell my reader this (as they are already a rather vocal bunch), but please provide me with feedback. This is a beta product and thus you may find problems. What do you like? What don't you like? And finally, what other types of Windows Home Server related Vista Sidebar gadgets would you like to see in the future?
New versions are check for automatically by the gadget every few days, or you can go to the Settings dialog and click "Check Now".