Windows Gadget: WordPress Statistics v1.0.4


It appears that WordPress has recently changed the way in which they deliver blog statistics through their API. This change caused the WordPress Statistics Windows Gadget that I created to break. I have submitted an update to the Windows Live Gallery and it is currently pending approval. From my experience it usually takes about one or two days for it to be approved. Please click here to check the gallery over the next few days to get an updated version of the gadget.

Determine Which Version of Windows Installer is Installed


When deploying an application to a client, it may be necessary to upgrade the installed version of Windows Installer. For example, SQL Server 2008 requires that Windows Installer 4.5 be installed on the system, something that most Windows XP machines won’t have. It is simplest to just package the needed version of Windows Installer with your application, but if you need to check which version is installed manually, you can do one of the following.

Msi.dll Version

  1. Navigate to the Windows\System32 directory of the computer (Generally C:\Windows\System32)
  2. Find and check the version number of the file msi.dll

Running msiexec

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Run
  3. Type msiexec
  4. Press enter
  5. In the window that appears, the version of Windows Installer will be on the first line

Windows Gadget: Running Flash and Silverlight Gadgets


If you have a 64-bit operating system and you have ever tried to install a Windows Gadget implemented with Silverlight of Flash, you will quickly realize that the gadget will not run. It turns out that the issue lies in the fact that there is not a 64-bit version of either Silverlight or Flash but the default Windows Sidebar application that loads on start up is a 64-bit application. Thus, the gadget and the Sidebar won’t play nicely together. To fix this issue, all you need to do is have the 32-bit version of Windows Sidebar startup with Windows loads. To do this follow the instructions below:

Windows Vista

  1. Click the Start orb.
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Right click on the Startup folder and click Open or Explore.
  4. In the window that appears, right click and select New -> Shortcut.
  5. In the Create Shortcut window, copy and paste the following text, including the quotes, into the Location text box: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe”
  6. Click Next.
  7. Click Finish.

Windows 7

  1. Click the Start orb.
  2. Type regedit and press enter.
  3. Navigate to the following registry entry: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell
  4. Right click on the Gadgets registry folder and click Permissions…
  5. In the permissions window, click on the Advanced button.
  6. Click on the Owner tab.
  7. Find your login in the Change owner to list view and select it.
  8. Click Ok.
  9. In the Permissions for Gadget window, click the Add… button.
  10. Enter your login name for the computer and click OK.
  11. Back in the Permissions for Gadget window, make sure your login name is selected in the Group or user names list and check the Allow check box for the Full Control permission.
  12. Click Ok.
  13. Repeat steps 4 through 12 for the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Gadget\command registry folder.
  14. Double click the following registry keys in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Gadget registry folder and change the Value data field to the specified value:
    Icon: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe,-100
    MUIVerb: @%ProgramFiles86%\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe,-11100
  15. Double click the following registry keys in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Gadget\command registry folder and change the Value data field to the specified value:
    (Default): C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe /showGadgets
  16. Close the registry and restart your computer.

This should make the 32-bit version of Windows Sidebar start when you right click your desktop and select Gadgets and thus allow Silverlight and Flash gadgets to work correctly.

Windows Gadget: WordPress Statistics Updated


WordPress recently updated the statistical charts and I got a request from a user to update the WordPress Stats Windows Gadget to reflect the changes as well. I have released a new version of the Windows Gadget here which includes the following changes.

Column Chart

The option of selecting either a line or a column graph as pictured above.

Updated Tooltip

The tooltip that appears when hovering over a data point is much more aesthetically pleasing and allows you to include the published posts when viewing the statistics grouped by day.

Windows Gadget: WordPress Statistics


I just wanted to mention that I released an updated version of my WordPress Stats Windows gadget. This release fixes a small inconvenience that occurs when waking the computer up from sleep or hibernation. On such an event a message box appears indicating that there is no internet connection. The problem occurs because a request is sent directly to WordPress.com when the computer wakes up before an internet connection can be established. The gadget will now not show an error message until two consecutive request fail due to a lack of internet connection.

The gadget can be downloaded here.

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