Create a menu interface for a USB stick with USB Menu Creator

USB Menu Creator is a new product from SamLogic Software that can be used to create AutoRun menu interfaces for USB sticks / pen drives. The created menu interface will be opened automatically when the USB stick is plugged into a USB port in the end-user’s computer. From the menu the end-user can start a setup program, run an application, open a document, play a video or Flash animation, open a web page etc.

USB Menu Creator is a special bundle that contains the following three SamLogic programs:

SamLogic CD-Menu Creator – A tool that can be used to design menu interfaces.
SamLogic USB AutoRun Creator – Adds AutoRun capabilities to USB sticks.
SamLogic Image Resizer – Resizes and adapts images for use with menus.

More information
More information about USB Menu Creator is available on the following page:

> USB Menu Creator – Creates AutoRun Menu Interfaces for USB Flash Drive Device

What is EV Code Signing?

EV Code Signing, also called Extended Validation Code Signing, is a new code signing method that is supported by the new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system and by the Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10 web browsers. It’s considered to be a safer method than traditional code signing because a hardware token and a PIN code is involved in the code signing process.

Also the identity verification and authentication process is more rigorous. The process is similar to the process of getting EV SSL certificates. On the negative side is that EV Code Signing is more expensive than traditional code signing.

Read our article about EV Code Signing
If you want to know more about the EV Code Signing technology you can read the following informative article on our website:

> Extended Validation (EV) Code Signing

Tips & Tricks Pages for SamLogic Software’s Products

Did you knew that there are tips & tricks pages available for our programs? In the tips & tricks pages we show how to use the software in different circumstances, and we describe some technical details about the programs that are not found in the program’s User’s guides. The tips are in step-by-step format which makes them easy to follow. Many of the tips contain images (screen dumps etc.), and some of the tips have also informative video clips that demonstrate the tip.

Below are direct links to tips index pages for our programs. Click on a link to read more about the tips that are available for every program:

> Tips & tricks for SamLogic CD-Menu Creator
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic USB AutoRun Creator
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic USB AutoRun Creator / Small Office
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic Visual Installer
> Tips & tricks for SamLogic MultiMailer

The tips index pages are also available via the Help menu in our programs. If you click on the Tips and Tricks menu item, your web browser is opened with the tips index page (for your product) opened.

Review of SamLogic CD-Menu Creator at FindMySoft

FindMySoft Review - CD-Menu CreatorFrederick Barton at the FindMySoft website has written a review of our product SamLogic CD-Menu Creator:

“The software provides a tabbed interface, on which you may customize your menu. Each element has its own tab, with various configuration options. For example, if you select the second tab, you can type the menu’s title, change its font settings and color, align it, add text effects and more. Regardless of which tab you select, you will always find the same options on the lower part of the interface. You can use them to preview your menu, on a separate window, create or execute it.”

You can read the full review on this page on the FindmySoft’s website:
> Review – SamLogic CD-Menu Creator – Create menus for CDs, DVDs and USB flash drives

On the web page you will also find a “quick look” video of SamLogic CD-Menu Creator that shows some of the program’s features. The video highlights the way the application looks and works, and shows how to perform basic tasks with it.

Quick look video of SamLogic CD-Menu Creator

How to install (and register) an ActiveX component

In the previous blog posts we have described how to add an ActiveX component (control) to a Microsoft Visual Basic project and to a Microsoft Excel sheet. When you distribute your Visual Basic or Excel application you must remember to distribute the ActiveX component file (.OCX file) together with your other files. It is also important to install the ActiveX component in the correct folder in end-users’ computers’ hard disks, and it is also important to register the ActiveX component in the system.

The ActiveX component must be installed in the correct folder
It is important to install an ActiveX component to the correct folder in Windows. If the ActiveX component is not a side-by-side component (can run side-by-side with a component with same filename) the component must be installed to Windows system folder, or to another shared folder. You should also make a version check before you install the component to the folder. A version check ensures that a component with a lower version number never replaces a component with a higher version number.

If the ActiveX component is installed to a local folder (for example to the same folder as the application) and other versions of the component already exist in other folders, there may be a conflict if two different programs that uses different versions of the ActiveX component are running in the same time. The ActiveX component that is loaded first will prevent the second one be loaded to the memory, and if the second one is a newer version, there may be problem with missing properties, methods or events, which can lead to an unstable program or that the program doesn’t start all.

Most installers install ActiveX components to Windows system folder. That’s why you also should do the same. By installing the ActiveX component to the system folder, the problem described above will not happen. If you install a newer version of the ActiveX component, it will replace the older one. And there will always be only one version of the ActiveX component in the system. There will be no duplicates with different versions numbers.

Special considerations in a 64 bit Windows
Things are getting somewhat more complex in a 64 bit version of Windows operating system. In a 32 bit Windows there is only one system folder, but in a 64 bit Windows there are two system folders. One system folder is intended for 32 bit (executable) files and one system folder is intended for 64 bit (executable) files. It is important to copy the ActiveX component to the correct system folder, otherwise it will not be found by the application. The paths to the two system folders in a 64 bit Windows are the following:

For 64 bit files: C:\Windows\System32
For 32 bit files: C:\Windows\SysWOW64

We explain this further in the following technical article on our website:
> Windows 64-bit: The ‘Program Files (x86)’ and ‘SysWOW64’ folders explained

The ActiveX component must be registered in the system
Copying an ActiveX component to the correct folder in the end-user’s hard disk is just the half of the job. The ActiveX component must also be registered in the system before it can be used. If you use a setup program for the installation of your application and the ActiveX component, the setup program will probably register the ActiveX component for you. But if you distribute your application in another way, there is a special program in Windows that can be used to register the ActiveX component. The name of the program is Regsvr32 and it is quite simple to use the program. If you want to register an ActiveX component you should call the Regsvr32 program with a full file path to the ActiveX component as a command line parameter. For example:

regsvr32.exe c:\windows\system32\SLXCal.ocx

Two versions of the Regsvr32 tool in a 64 bit Windows
If the Windows that you are running is 64 bit, you should be aware of that there is a 32 bit version and a 64 it version of the tool:

The file path to the 64-bit version is: C:\Windows\System32\regsvr32.exe
The file path to the 32-bit version is: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\regsvr32.exe

If your application and ActiveX component is 32 bit (which is very likely) you should use the Regsvr32 program that is located in the SysWOW64 folder.

You will find more detailed information about the Regsvr32 tool in the following article on Microsoft’s website:
> How to use the Regsvr32 tool and troubleshoot Regsvr32 error messages

It’s a good idea to use a setup tool
As you can see there are lots of things to consider when installing an ActiveX component in Windows. Doing all this manually will take some time. A better idea is to use a setup tool for this purpose. There exists many setup tools on the market today, but we have an easy to use setup tool that we recommend. You can read more here:
> SamLogic Visual Installer – An easy-to-use installation software

How to add an ActiveX component to an Excel 2010 sheet

1 month calendarIn the previous blog post we described how to add an ActiveX component (control) to a Visual Basic 2010 project. In this blog post we will describe how to insert an ActiveX component in an Excel sheet. We will show the necessary steps to include an ActiveX component in a sheet in Microsoft Excel 2010. We will use the same calendar component as in the previous blog post in this step-by-step example (we will use the one month calendar from SamLogic Calendar Components).

How to add an ActiveX component to an Excel 2010 sheet

1. Start Microsoft Excel 2010.

2. First make sure that the Developer tab is visible in the Ribbon interface. If not, follow the steps (A-E) below:

A. Open the File tab in the Ribbon.
B. Select Options.
C. Choose Customize Ribbon.
D. Check the Developer checkbox.

Customize Ribbon - Developer

E. Close the Excel Options dialog box. The Developer tab in the Ribbon interface should now be visible.

3. Open the Developer tab.

4. Click on the Insert Controls option.

5. Click on the More Controls option in the ActiveX Controls group.

Developer - Insert Controls - More Controls

6. From the control list in the More Controls dialog box, choose the SamLogic SLXCal Control control and press the OK button.

More Controls

7. A cross-like cursor will now appear. Click somewhere in the sheet to specify the calendar component’s position in the sheet.

The calendar component in an Excel sheet

The calendar component should now appear in the sheet as shown in the picture above.

That’s all steps that we need. We have now added an ActiveX component to an Excel sheet!

Events
The calendar component is event driven, so if you want to open up an event handler for the calendar you can double-click on the calendar component. The DateChanged event handler will now be shown in a code window.

The code window in Microsoft Excel

If you click on the dropdown list in the upper right of the code editor you can choose another event handler, for example the DateSelected event handler. The DateChanged event is fired when a user changes month in the calendar and the DateSelected event is fired when a user clicks on a date (day number) in the calendar.

Properties
You can set some properties for the calendar component before it is used. If you switch back to the Excel sheet with the calendar and right-click on the calendar and choose the Properties menu item in the local menu that is shown, you will find a list with properties for the calendar component. If you want to set any properties before any code is executed you can set them here.

Properties

After the execution of the code has started, you can change properties for the calendar component programmatically.

More information about the one month calendar component
More detailed information about the one month calendar component in SamLogic Calendar Components, including a complete list of all properties, events and methods in the component, is available on this web page:

> One-Month Calendar Component (ActiveX)

In the next blog post
In the next blog post we will show how to install an ActiveX component in a Windows system. Just copying an ActiveX component to a computer’s hard disk is not enough; no, it needs also to be registered in the system. And it is important that the component is installed in the correct folder on the hard disk, otherwise a software using the component may get problem finding the component. In the next blog post we will describe the process of installing an ActiveX component in a Windows system closer.

How to add an ActiveX component to a Visual Basic 2010 project

The components in our toolboxes, for example SamLogic Calendar Components and SamLogic Internet Components, are based on the ActiveX technology. That’s a component technology that was introduced already in 1996 by Microsoft, but it is still supported by many tools, including the latest versions of Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Office.

1 month calendarIn this blog post we will show how to add an ActiveX component (control) to a Visual Basic 2010 project by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. We will add our one month calendar component from the SamLogic Calendar Components tool box to the Visual Basic project.

If you want to use the calendar component in your own project you must install SamLogic Calendar Components first. But you can also consider this tip as a general step-by-step tip that shows how to insert an ActiveX component into a VB 2010 project. The steps are the same also if you add another ActiveX component to your project.

How to add an ActiveX component to a Visual Basic 2010 project

1. Start Visual Studio 2010 and open a Visual Basic 2010 project, or create a new project. The project type must be Windows Form Application.

2. Right-click over the Toolbox window.

3. Select the Choose items menu item in the local menu that is shown.

Menu

4. The Choose Toolbox Items dialog box is now shown. In this dialog box, open the COM Components tab.

The 'Choose Toolbox Items' dialog box

5. If you have installed SamLogic Calendar Components and want to use the 1 month calendar, select SamLogic SLXCal Control in the list (in the COM Components tab). Otherwise, select the ActiveX component that you want to use.

6. Click OK to close the dialog box.

7. The selected component should be visible in the Toolbox window; probably in the bottom of the window.

8. Now drag and drop the component on the Windows form, in the position that you want to have the component.

The one month calendar component placed on a Windows form

That’s all steps that we need. We have now included an ActiveX component into a Visual Basic 2010 project and put it on a form! You can use the ActiveX component in a similar way as a visual .NET component / .NET class.

The calendar component’s event handlers
If you double-click on the calendar component in the form, the DateChanged event handler is created in the source code (as seen in the picture below):

The DateChanged event

The DateChanged event occurs when a user changes month in the calendar (for example by clicking on the right arrow). From the event handler dropdown list in Visual Studio’s source code editor you can choose another event handler for the calendar, for example the DateSelected event handler. The DateSelected event occurs when a user selects a date in the calendar by clicking on a date (day number) with the mouse button. There is also a DateDeselected event handler that is fired when somebody unselects a date (removes a selection) in the calendar, for example by clicking with the right mouse button.

More information about the one month calendar component
More detailed information about the one month calendar component in SamLogic Calendar Components, including a complete list of all properties, events and methods in the component, is available on this web page:

> One-Month Calendar Component (ActiveX)

In the next blog post
In the next blog post we will show how to insert an ActiveX component in an Excel sheet. We will use the same calendar component as above in the example, but the tip can also be used for other ActiveX components.

Visual Calendar ActiveX Components – from SamLogic Software

If you have clicked around on our web site you may have noticed that we also sell components for developers, in addition to our programs. We have two component libraries for software developers, that can be used in software development projects:

– SamLogic Calendar Components
– SamLogic Internet Components

SamLogic Calendar Components
1 month calendarSamLogic Calendar Components is a library that contains visual calendar ActiveX components that can be used in software (for example in desktop applications) to show years, months, dates, week numbers, holidays etc. visually. Three types of calendars are included in the calendar component library: 1 month calendar, 6 month calendar and 12 month calendar. In the picture to the right you can see how the 1 month calendar looks like.

Localized calendars
The calendars in SamLogic Calendar Components can be localized to all major western countries in the world, for example USA, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain. Also some small countries as Sweden, Norway and Finland are supported. When a calendar is localized, the calendar interface is shown with text in the country’s major language, and the holidays that are shown are based on that country’s official holidays. You can choose if you want to have Monday or Sunday as the first day of week.

SamLogic Internet Components
SamLogic Internet Components is a library with ActiveX components for the Internet. For example components for e-mail, FTP, time servers, WHOIS servers, ping tests etc. Some general components for log handling, alarm, high-resolution timers etc are also included in the tool box.

Can be used with Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Office
The ActiveX components in SamLogic Calendar Components and SamLogic Internet Components can be used in Microsoft Visual Studio (for example with Microsoft Visual Basic) and in Microsoft Office (for example with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access). Visual Studio 6.0 and Visual Studio 2002 – 2012 are supported. And all versions of Microsoft Office since Office 95 (!) until the newest Office 2013 are supported.

Can also be used with Embarcadero Delphi
The ActiveX components in the libraries can also be used with Embarcadero Delphi (former Borland Delphi). The components can be used with all tools that can handle ActiveX files.

In the next blog posts
In the next two blog posts we will show how to use a calendar ActiveX component from SamLogic Calendar Components in Microsoft Visual Basic 2010 (Microsoft Visual Studio 2010) and in Microsoft Excel 2010. It is quite easy to include an ActiveX component in an Visual Basic application and Excel sheet, when you know the necessary steps. Below are direct links to the two blog posts, where we describe this step by step:
> How to add an ActiveX component to a Visual Basic 2010 project
> How to add an ActiveX component to an Excel 2010 sheet

In a third blog post we will inform about how to install an ActiveX component in a Windows system, so other applications can access the component:
> How to install (and register) an ActiveX component

How to remove the ‘Windows protected your PC’ message

The “Windows protected your PC” message is displayed by the Windows SmartScreen function in Microsoft Windows 8 when you try to run an application (app) or run a setup package, downloaded from the Internet, that Windows do not recognize, or consider as unsafe. This is to protect you against malicious software (malware) which is very common on the Internet today.

In the informative Windows SmartScreen – Anti-Malware Protection in Windows 8 article on our website we discuss this warning message, and Windows SmartScreen, in detail.

Windows SmartScreen - Windows protected your PC

How to remove the warning message
Although this protection is very good and can prevent that malware is installed in your computer, there may be situations when you want to have this function turned off. If you for example are a software developer and frequently download your newly compiled software from the Internet, this message may be somewhat annoying. But it is possible to turn off Windows SmartScreen and stop this warning message from appearing.

In the following article we show you, step by step, how to disable Windows SmartScreen in Microsoft Windows 8:

> How To Disable / Turn Off Windows SmartScreen in Windows 8