Q: How do I get SysMetrix to stop asking me if I'm sure I want to do something?
A: Goto the Preferences section of the configuration dialog and uncheck the "Display Confirmations" option.
Q: How do I prevent SysMetrix from being minimized when I click on "Show Desktop" or hit the WIN-D key?
A: First of all, this is a bit of a hack since it's intentionally subverting the windows feature. As a bit of background, Windows doesn't minimize programs when you do that. If it did, it would be simple since you could just detect if you were ever minimized and then restore yourself. Or better yet, not allow yourself to be minimized at all. So, what Windows does is cover all of the running programs with the desktop. This means that the programs are still there, but they are running normally behind the desktop and you can't see them anymore. This makes it harder to subvert, but of course anything's possible.
To prevent SysMetrix from being hidden behind the desktop, goto the configuration screen, then to the Positioning section. There's a combo box there called Window Position. Select the On Top for Show Desktop option. That makes SysMetrix check every couple of seconds to see if you hit the WIN-D key to hide the programs behind the desktop. If it sees that you've done this, it forces SysMetrix ontop of the desktop so that you can still see it. The illusion is that Windows minimizes all programs and SysMetrix restores itself. It's not perfect, but it's cleaner than some of the other methods I've seen out there to accomplish the same thing.
Q: Occasionally SysMetrix uses a lot of CPU time - is that normal?
A: Generally speaking, no. The CPU load should be very low, but keep in mind that some themes may be very elaborate and force SysMetrix to do a lot of work to display the information. However, if your CPU usage is high try looking at the contents of your recycle bin. The Windows API call that SysMetrix uses to query the recycle bin can consume a lot of CPU time if your recycle bin has either a lot of files or is rather full (on the order of hundreds of megabytes). The best cure for this is to simply empty your recycle bin.
Q: SysMetrix says that I don't have any unread email messages, but in my Outlook Express inbox there are some unread messages. Why's that?
A: That's because SysMetrix polls your mail server to see how many unread messages it has. Once you download your mail to your inbox, the messages are (usually) removed from the mail server. The unread messages count only applies to what's on the mail server, not what's in your email client's inbox.
Q: Can SysMetrix check my HotMail account? What about an IMAP account?
A: No, currently on the POP3 protocol is implemented so SysMetrix can only query POP3-based mail accounts.
Media Player Questions
Q: SysMetrix will bring up Windows Media Player, but none of the controls work - how come?
A: That's because SysMetrix finds out which media player you have associated with .mp3 files, and executes that - which explains why WMP is started up correctly. However, SysMetrix uses the WinAmp2 API to control media players, so currently the supported players are WinAmp2, WinAmp5, QCD Player, CoolPlayer, and Foobar 2000 to a limited extent. I chose to implement that, as it works fantastically with the millions of users who are currently using WinAmp2, as well as those using my favorite media player, QCD Player.
Q: SysMetrix no longer controls the system volume levels on Windows 7 - why is that?
A: SysMetrix uses standardized Windows API calls to manipulate all of the volume levels such as the Mixer, CD, and overall levels. This works great under older operating systems, such as Windows XP. However, for later operating systems like Windows 7, Microsoft determined that a single application should not be able to affect the entire system when it comes to mixer settings. Therefore, Windows 7 segregates each application and gives them their own 'sandbox' for volume settings. This means that SysMetrix can control the volume for any sounds that it produces, but cannot affect the volume for other applications or components in the system. Therefore, unless and until I find a workaround, SysMetrix will no longer be able to control the volume settings for the system or for your media player. In short, it's not a bug, that's how Microsoft intends applications to work under Windows 7. Bummer, huh?
Q: How can I get more themes for SysMetrix?
A: First of all, you're encourged to make your own! It's not really that hard to make one. You can also download themes that others have made from skinning web sites such as WinCustomize, SkinBase, Deviant Art, DeskMod, and ArtUproar.
Q: If I don't want to use SysMetrix's integrated theme installer, how is it that I install a theme I downloaded?
A: You have to manually unzip the theme's .zip file into the SysMetrix themes directory. As an example, let's say that you installed the program in "c:\Program Files\SysMetrix", and have just downloaded the "Transilvania" theme. In that case, you'd unzip the .zip file such that the files end up residing the "c:\Program Files\SysMetrix\Themes\Transilvania" directory. One thing to note is that when creating the .zip file archive, you're given the option of just including the files or including the files *and* the directory that they belong in. The second method is preferred, as it's easier to unzip the files into the "c:\Program Files\SysMetrix\Themes" all of the time instead of manually creating the theme directory and unzipping the files into it. While this isn't as nice as an integrated theme installer, it shouldn't be difficult for the type of person who is interested enough in their system's metrics to run the program.
Q: When I click on the download link in my browser, all I see is a whole bunch of garbage characters in the browser.
A: You're probably using Opera, Netscape, or a similar browser. Some browsers, such as these show you the contents of a file that it doesn't already have an association for, instead of simply asking you what you'd like to do with the file. In other words, instead of prompting you to run or save the installation file, it *displays* it in the browser window. There are several ways to resolve this, but probably the easiest is to right-click on the link (instead of the traditional left-click), then selecting the option from the popup menu that called something like "Save Link Target As". This will allow you to save the installation file to your hard drive. From there, just double-click on it in your computer's Explorer, and it should begin the installation process normally.
Motherboard Monitor Questions
Q: What do I have to do to get SysMetrix to report on my motherboard statistics such as temperatures, fan speeds, etc?
A: First you'll need a recent version of SysMetrix as this feature became available in version 2. Additionally, you'll need to have the Motherboard Monitor (MBM5) installed and configured for your system. MBM5 is created by Alexander van Kaam, and you can goto Alexander's site (http://mbm.livewiredev.com) for more information. Note that MBM does all of the work in retrieving these statistics and then makes them available to other applications such as SysMetrix. Therefore, if you have any questions or problems regarding MBM, you'll have to goto the MBM website for help as I will not be able to provide any support for it.
Note: MBM5 hasn't been updated in a long time and doesn't support contemporary motherboards. Therefore, while this feature in SysMetrix is still operational, it's not longer very useful as MBM5 does not work with current hardware. At some point in the future I will look into a replacement for MBM5.
Last Updated on Saturday, 06 March 2010 10:17