Tuesday, May 26, 2009

iTunes Monitor

ITunes_Icon

iTunes on the PC is quite popular but iTunes has a nasty habit of more often than not eating up way too many resources even while it's not running.

The culprit?

iTunes needs several services that it doesn't shutdown when it closes these are:

iTunesHelper

iPodService

AppleMobileDevice

BonjourService

(and a few others)

 

I found this unacceptable so I wrote a little program I call the iTunesMonitor. It's sole job is to set all these services to manual so you don't get them on startup and to launch them when it's started and then launch iTunes once all the services are up.

The program then sits idle in the background checking every 5 seconds to see if iTunes is closed. When it sees this it will immediately clean up any remaining services.

What about the media keys they don't seem to work one you don't have iTunes in focus. Well since my program has to sit in the background and wait for iTunes to close anyways I felt that I should fix the way media keys behave. Now iTunes will respond to media keys regardless of if it's in focus or not and the media keys are unregistered when the program is closed.

 

Try iTunesMonitor for yourself. It requires no configuration other than an installation of iTunes. It will automatically detect your installation of iTunes and launch it along with the supported services. No configuration is required however it is recommended you replace the iTunes icon in your start menu with the iTunesMonitor for transparent operation.

 

Download iTunesMonitor 2.5

Thursday, May 07, 2009

ToJam 2009

Tojam 2009 concluded last Sunday. By far ToJam is the craziest most fast paced game development competition around. Teams and individuals try and put a game out from scratch in just 3 days.

 

Most teams work around the clock forgoing sleep to nurture their creations.

TOJAM4

Team AnyKey pictured here this year went with a very ambitious project, and some members including myself are still spending a few hours a week tuning the final result for the arcade.

TOJAM4-TEAM

There were many days where we went from Extreme coders to musicians to artists in a way ToJam is less about what you know and more about raw talent. To anyone thinking of going to ToJam but fear they won't place, come anyway! Part of the joys of ToJam is being around great people doing what you love and learning in the process.

 

TOJAM4-FANFAN1 

There were plenty of awesome games to be seen many of them way too good for you to feel like they could've been created in 3 days.

TOJAM4-Will2

I can't credit these pictures above they were taken by David Vanvliet, another participant at the event.