In this fourth installment of the "Some Assembly Required" column, Scott Hanselman and Bryan Batchelder find a piece of hardware so compelling - and with included software so bad - that they write their own version using the .NET Framework 2.0.
Big ups to Bryan for letting me piggy back on his initial design and for his help on the article. We've had a lot of fun, fixed a few bugs, introduced a few new ones.
We've also ported the code back and forth so you can get 1.1 and 2.0 versions. The project is up at SourceForge along with source and an installer. Buy the hardware at NewEgg for $15.
NOTE: If you're reading this post and you are the Asian company that makes this hardware, please contact Bryan or I, as we'd like you to use our software as yours really isn't very good. You've got a great product here, and we're happy to have you use our software with attribution. We aren't trying to get rich, just trying to get good karma.
BUGS: If you're running Skype and you're using our software along with the Windows Media Player plugin, apparently Skype doesn't like the Broadcast Window Message that we send to stop the media from playing. I haven't seen the bug myself, but Bryan has, so be aware. It's very likely Skype, not us.
DEVELOPERS: If you develop new plugins or fix bugs - which we hope you do - be sure to release the source, or give them to Bryan and I and we'll post them on SourceForge.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.