Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Iconbar Plugin Update 2

Its here!! For those who are not happy with the black background on the Iconbar plugin, or are willing to have their own notification icons, this update to the plugin is just meant for that. I have finally completed detaching the icons from the dll. All icons, including the background, are now read from .png files, meaning, if you don't like an icon, just change the file.

Make sure you have a running version of the plugin. If not, then see Colored Iconbar Plugin for instructions and then head back here to perform the update.

1. Change over to a different theme, one not using the plugin. Reboot.

2. Download this zip file - Rinku Iconbar Plugin Update 2. Using ActiveSync, copy the contents of the Iconbar folder in the zip file to \Windows on your phone.

3. Change back to the original theme.

The icon file names are self explanatory. Each file begins with the prefix CHome_Iconbar_. Just change the appropriate file to change an icon, or the background. The background image in the zip file is for the T-Mobile Default theme. Note that all icons are 20x20 32-bpp PNG files, except for the background image which is 240x27 and four other files which are 6x5. I had to restrict any changes to the battery meter icon since its drawn dynamically depending on the battery strength left.

TIP: If you want your icons to appear the same on any background, make sure you set the proper transparency levels on the pixels on the edges of the icons. Use the alpha channel!!

So let your creativity loose and please do let me know what you come up with.

Monday, January 21, 2008

myFaves Revisited

After the initial bug found in the my5Notifier, I decided to redo the whole project. Here is what I have now -
  • A Contacts editor
  • A light weight replacement for My5MsgCenter to facilitate the notifications
  • Disabling the NoLog generation
  • Missed calls, Unread SMS, Birthday and Anniversary reminders
I also have a cab installer to ease out the setup process. However, there are still a few things that needs to be done in the order strictly described here. Remember, the installation will reset all you current myFaves entries. After the installation you will have to open the My5 contacts editor and reenter them. This process is done so that all required registry entries are updated as is required by the My5MsgCenter. The steps are as follows.

1. First, you need to have the myFaves interface enabled on the homescreen. If you already have it, then skip to Step 2. You can enable the interface using a simple registry edit.
In HKLM\Software\Microsoft\CHome\CMyFaves, change the REG_DWORD entry named Disabled value to 0. Also, under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\CHome, the Plugins string value entry should have CMyFaves in the semi-colon separated list.

2. Using a 3rd party Task Manager (a free one is available here), delete any running processes that goes by the names - My5MsgCenter.exe and myFavesService.exe. These processes are started by the myFaves interface and are of no use if you do not have a myFaves account.

3. Now, download this cab file - Rinku's My5 Bundle. Copy it to your phone using ActiveSync. Open the file from your phone. Choose "Device" as your installation destination. The installation will start. Once again, after the installation, your current myFaves contacts will be erased!!! Let the phone reboot.

4. The installer places the following files in your phone:
My5.exe in \Program Files\My5
My5MsgCenter.exe in \Windows
my5MAPI.dll in \Windows
My5 shortcut in the Start menu

5. The first thing you should do after the installation is to open the editor from Start>My5 and enter your contacts.

The editor lets you enter the name, phone number, image source and reminder settings for the contact. You do not have to type the entire image path; just delete whatever is there and a file explorer will open to help you choose the file you want. Save the information when done.

6. Once done entering the contact information, exit out of My5 and go back to the home screen. The interface should now be updated with your contacts. Reload the home screen if you do not see them there.

You can go back to the editor anytime and change your contacts. Missed call and unread message notifications are retained if you just make changes to the name, image or reminder settings of a contact. However, if you change the number of the contact, these notifications are reset.

Please do leave your feedback.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Your favorite application on the Shortcut Key

Paul from Modaco has already released an utility that adds all your applications in the start menu to the Shortcut Key configuration program. If you have not tried the utility, and just want to access you favorite application using the Shortcut key, here is what is to be done.

1. See HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\HTC\HTCSideButton. You will see these string value entries named '0', '1', '2', and so on. Well, those are the programs that appear in the configuration program. Create the following string value (REG_SZ) key -

Name = the next number in the list, if you have numbers upto '4', then name this key '5'
Data = path to your favorite program; for example, \Windows\Start Menu\Task Manager.lnk

2. If you now go to Start>Settings>Shortcut Key, the application you just added (Task Manager for the example) would be an option listed for "Short Press" and "Press and hold". Select it the way you like it.

Repeat Step 1 if you want more applications to show up on the list.

Note: The name that appears on the list is extracted from the path that you entered as part of the registry key. For example, if I give the path as \Windows\Start Menu\Task Manager.lnk, then I shall see the name Task Manager in the list. Task Manager.lnk is actually a shortcut that points to \Windows\IA_Task_Manager.exe. I can as well give the path as \Windows\IA_Task_Manager.exe, but in this case the name would appear as IA_Task_Manager in the list...not so nice!! So, I used the shortcut.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Iconbar Plugin Update

I added some more notifications to the iconbar. Notifications now include -
  • missed calls
  • new message
  • new voicemail
  • bluetooth status (on/off)
  • wifi status (off/on/networks available/connecting/connected)
  • signal strength (with EDGE and GPRS detection and "in use" indicator)
  • radio off (no signal bars)
  • battery meter fixed (read details below)
  • battery fault or no battery
  • ringer off
  • vibrate on (precedence over ringer off)
  • bluetooth handsfree
  • headset present (more precedence over bluetooth hansfree)
  • calls forwarded
  • SIM status (not present/invalid/blocked)

Battery Meter:

The battery meter has been fixed from the previous release. I did not offset the value by 19% but used a different API to get the remaining battery strength. The battery meter now has a "15 pixel high" level indicator. The number of bars filling up the battery = Battery Life Percent/6.66. Besides that the usual color code is maintained: Green(>75%), Yellow(>50%), Orange (>25%) and Red (<25%). style="font-weight: bold;">Priority ordering:

Due to the limited spacing, I had to impose some priority ordering on the icons. A headset present notification overrides a bluetooth handsfree present notification. Remeber, a bluetooth handsfree icon will not appear if you have bluetooth turned off!! A vibrate on notification overrides a ringer off notification.

Signal strength:

If you turn off the phone radio, no signal bars will appear. The signal bars now show a dim "E" and a "G" at the top, if the EDGE and GPRS networks are available in your area. The letter glows if you are actually using one. SIM notifications appear in this region.

Okay then, how to get the new dll and replace the existing one. If you have not installed the plugin yet, then follow the instructions here. The dll file over there is the new, no need for update!! If you just want to install the new dll, then follow these instructions.

1. Change over to a different theme, one not running the plugin. Reboot.
2. Download the new dll from here and with ActiveSync copy it over to \Windows.
3. Change over to your original theme. If asked for confirmation, say "Yes".
4. Reboot.

I think I am done with most of the notifications. What remains are the "in call" ones, but that will be handy after I am able to overwrite window titlebar icons. This might take some time (school starts in 5 days), but hang on!!

Idea: I was thinking over the idea of turning this whole "iconbar" concept to a "dockstation". The idea is to have a tab on your home screen that lets you choose what "dock" (perhaps like a notification dock or an instant message dock) you want currently visible on the iconbar space. Just an on design will be appreciated!

Good Day.

UPDATE: Please see Iconbar plugin update 2.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Iconbar Cab Installer

Freddy Reyes developed a cab installer for the iconbar plugin - Thanks Freddy!! Use it for easy installation - CAB. He also updated his themes with required changes to the xml files. So, check his website for the new installers.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Colored Iconbar Plugin

I developed this plugin because I got tired of those monochrome icons at the top of the colorful home screen. With this plugin I have been able to replace most of the basic icons that appear on the iconbar. If you intend to install this plugin, then let me tell you that the plugin does not implement all possible notifications available in the original iconbar. The things I have implemented for now are as follows.

  • missed call(s)
  • unread message(s)
  • new voicemail
  • bluetooth status (on/off)
  • wifi status (off/on/networks available/connecting/connected)
  • signal strength
  • battery meter (green-yellow-orange-red)
  • ringer off
  • bluetooth handsfree
  • headset present (more precedence over bluetooth hansfree)
So, if you can live with these basic notifications then please try the plugin. If not then please check back later...I am in the process of adding the other notifications. Also, the plugin is intended to work only with the homescreen (for now), meaning when you open an application with a window title bar, you would still have to bear with the old icons. That will change in due time!!!

Here are the steps to adding this plugin.

1. Using ActiveSync, browse down to \Windows of your phone. Copy the file cmhome.home.xml to your Desktop. This file describes the T-Mobile Default theme. If you are trying this on other themes then you need to find the appropriate .xml file describing the theme. It would either be in \Windows or \Application Data\Home. Create a copy of this file and keep it as a backup. Right click on the file on your desktop and select Properties. Make sure the Read Only property is unchecked.

2. Open the file in Notepad. Look for the following block of code towards the end.

<plugin clsid="{837FC251-FE69-43ad-84E0-EBCEDEBA0884}" name="iconbar" height="20">
<iconbar fgcolor="COLOR_TRAYTEXT"/>
<background bgimage="\windows\CHome_framework_status_bar_bg.png" halign="center" bgcolor="COLOR_TRAYGRADLEFT" b-border-color="COLOR_WINDOWFRAME"/>

Remove it and put the following block.

<plugin clsid="{B06A8DAB-E148-40d5-BE8F-3C494ABF3046}" name="iconbar" height="27">

3. Save the file. Overwrite cmhome.home.xml in \Windows and \Application Data\Home with the file on your desktop.

4. Open CeRegistryEditor (or a registry editor of your choice). Right click on \HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID and create the new key {B06A8DAB-E148-40d5-BE8F-3C494ABF3046}.

5. Right click on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{B06A8DAB-E148-40d5-BE8F-3C494ABF3046} and create the new key InProcServer32.

6. Click on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{B06A8DAB-E148-40d5-BE8F-3C494ABF3046}\InProcServer32
and create a new string value (REG_SZ) entry: Value = iconbarplugin.dll . Check "Set as default key's value". The name of the key would automatically appear as Default.

7. Now download this plugin file - iconbarplugin.dll and copy it over to \Windows on your phone.

8. Go to Start>Setting>Home Screen and change the "Home Screen Layout" to something other than "T-Mobile Default". Once the change takes place, go and change it back. If the phone asks for confirmation about running iconbarplugin.dll, say Yes.

9. Turn off your phone and switch it back on. The new plugin should now be active.

You should be able to figure out what the icons mean. But here are a few pointers.

Red: On but no network available.
Orange: Network(s) available.
Orange/Green: Connecting to a network.
Green: Connected.

Signal Strength:
5 green bar: >90%
4 green bar: >70%
3 green bar: >50%
2 green bar: >20%
1 green bar: >0%
5 grey bar: No signal!!

Battery meter:
Green: >75% remaining
Yellow: >50% remaining
Orange: >25% remaining
Red: <25%

UPDATE: Please see Iconbar plugin update for updated information on the features of the plugin. You do not have to perform the steps there if you just installed the plugin.

UPDATE: Please see Iconbar plugin update 2.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Enabling Notifications in the myFaves Interface

This article is outdated. Please see myFaves Revisited for updated instructions.

After enabling myFaves on my Shadow, I found that the notifications were not working, like missed calls, messages, and reminders. Besides, myFaves adds your five favorite numbers to the no-log list, which essentially stops you from receiving notifications from these numbers in the usual notifications tab. This is because (as I think), the my5 service starts doing that for you, intercepting calls and messages and giving the proper notifications on the myFaves interface. Without a myFaves account, the my5 service does not work, and so, although I managed to enable the interface, much of its benefits are not present.

Fortunately, I managed to gather some understanding of the registry entries that are changed by the my5 service in order to facilitate the notifications. I ended up writing my own my5Notifier, which while running in the background, makes the appropriate changes to the registry and triggers the myFaves interface to read from.

This tutorial shall require deleting your call history as of now and installing the my5Notifier I shall provide. So, if you are not keen on doing that, then perhaps, I cannot yet tell you how to enable the notifications. Also, the notifier can currently handle only missed calls and reminders. As my development proceeds, I shall release updates to the my5Notifier and am hoping that at some point in time the application will grow up enough to enable contacts modifications without entering the registry.

So, here we go!!

1. Enable the myFaves interface as shown in the previous post and make sure it is working as a dialer. Then backup your registry.

2. Open up CeRegistryEditor and make the following changes to the entries you just made in Step 1.

In HKLM/Software/HTC/My5/My5App/Contact_0, change the format of the phone number in the PhoneDash entry to (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

In HKLM/Software/HTC/My5/My5App/Contact_0, change the value of the State string value entry to 2.

In HKLM/Software/Microsoft/CHome/CMyFaves/0, change the format of the phone number in the Phone entry to (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

Do these two changes for the other contacts as well, 1 through 4.

3. In HKLM/Security/Phone/NoLog, make sure that the List entry is empty. If there is something in there, remove them and enter a blank space.

4. On your phone, go to Start > Call History. From the Menu, select "Delete List" to clear up the call history. Then reboot the phone.

5. In HKLM/Security/Phone/NoLog, check the List entry. Your myFaves numbers should have come up there.

6. In HKLM/Software/Microsoft/CHome/CMyFaves/0, make sure the following entries exist besides Image, Name and Phone. The entries below are DWORD (Type REG_DWORD). If they do not exist, create them.

AnniversaryDaysCount = 0
BirthdayDaysCount = 0
MessageCount = 0
MissedCallCount = 0
Notifications = 0

Now for some custom data about this contact. In HKLM/Software/HTC/My5/My5App/Contact_0/Data, change the following:

AnniversaryDate = the anniversary date. I shall show you how to input this date in a while.
AnniversaryDaysCount = number of days prior to the anniversary date you want notifications to begin.
BirthDayDate = the birthday date.
BirthdayDaysCount = number of days prior to the birthday date you want notifications to begin.

The AnniversaryDaysCount and BirthdayDaysCount are REG_SZ entries. Create them if they do not exist. The AnniversaryDate and BirthDayDate are REG_BINARY entries. Create them if they do no exist.

Okay, here's how the date is to be entered. Lets do it for 2008 January Sunday 6, 14:20:23:00

Year 2008: In hex it is 07D8. Swap the bytes (first and second halves), you get D807.
Month January=1: Hex=0001. After swap = 0100.
Day Sunday=0: Hex=0000. After swap = 0000.
Date 6: Hex=0006. After swap = 0600.
Hour 14: Hex=000E. After swap = 0E00.
Min 20: Hex=0014. After swap = 1400.
Sec 23: Hex=0017. After swap = 1700.
Millisec 00: Hex=0000. After swap = 0000.

So, the entry you would make is D8070100000006000E00140017000000. If you do not know how to convert decimal to hex, use the calculator on your PC. Also, please enter a valid date. I am not over-burdening the notifier to check for date validity.

7. Repeat Step 6 for the other contacts.

8. Now download this application - my5Notifier. Copy the application to a folder of your choice. Create a shortcut to it, and move the shortcut to \Windows\Start up. This would start the notifier as soon as you reboot.

9. Reboot the phone. Upon start, the my5Notifier will begin execution. Press the Home key to go back to your usual home screen. Sorry for this extra key press!! I shall soon create a service dll for it.

That should do it!! Sorry for the registry tweaks you have to do to enter simple information. The my5Notifier is currently being improved and I intend to add the following improvements to it.

-SMS notifications
-Change contact information in the application
-Convert the application into a service dll

Known bug: If the phone keypad locks while at the myFaves Interface, then the next time you unlock the keypad, only the last shown notification is displayed (meaning it does not change over to a different type, as in the image above). A workaround to this is to press the start key, and then the home key. I do not know yet if the problem is from the myFaves interface or the notifier.

Besides, I did my part of the testing with the notifier, but there will always be some bug I might have missed. So please do let me know if you find one. I will release the source code after development.

Please read "A Quick Follow-Up".

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Enabling the myFaves Interface

This article is outdated. Please see myFaves Revisted for updated instructions.

The tutorial here shows the steps required to enable the myFaves interface for those who do not have a myFaves account with T-Mobile. The interface acts as a fast dialer for five of your favorite numbers.

1. Connect your Shadow to the PC. App-Unlock your phone - I used SDA_ApplicationUnlock. Download the exe and run it from your PC while keeping the phone connected and ActiveSync running. Once done, start CeRegistryEditor.

2. Go to HKLM/Software/Microsoft/CHome/CMyFaves. Change the data value of the REG_DWORD entry Disabled from 1 to 0.

3. Click on HKLM/Software/Microsoft/CHome/CMyFaves/0. Make the following changes to the entries there.

Image = full image path to the picture you want to show for this contact, e.g. \windows\myFaves_silhouette_0.jpg
Name = name of the contact
Phone = phone number of the contact in the format XXX-XXX-XXXX, e.g. 123-45-6789

4. Click on HKLM/Software/HTC/My5/My5App. Collapse the tree by clicking on the '+' sign .

5. Click on Contact_0. Edit the following entries for this key.

ImageSrc = same image path as you gave on Step 3.
Name = same name you gave on Step 3.
PhoneDash = same phone number you entered for Phone in Step 3.
PhoneNumber = same phone number but without the dashes.

6. Now perform Step 3 to 5 for the other contacts - 1 through 4.

7. Click on HKLM/Software/Microsoft/CHome. For the Plugins entry in the key, make sure you have CMyFaves in the semicolon separated list. If not, add it.

8. Reboot your phone and you should now have the myFaves dialer on the home screen.

The actual functionality of the myFaves interface is revealed when you enable the notifications for the contacts. You can essentially set reminders for anniversaries, birthdays and all. I shall soon talk about enabling those in the interface.

Removing Contacts from Home Screen

If you do not want your Contacts to map on to the Right SOFT key on the home screen (when the clock in showing), then there is small hack that lets you map it to anything else you want.

Goto HKLM/Software/Microsoft/CHome and click on CClock. Note the SK2TEXT and SK2URL string value entries. Change the data value of SK2TEXT to whatever you want to appear in place of "Contacts" and change the data value of SK2URL to the path of the application you want to open when the right SOFT key is pressed.

For example, setting SK2TEXT = Task Manager and SK2URL=\windows\tasks.exe will show "Task Manager" in place of "Contacts" and will open it when the right SOFT key is pressed.

By the way, its a good customization to do because you often feel the need to open the Task Manager. Besides, the contacts can always be reached via the call button.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Removing (or changing) the T-Mobile Shadow Splash Screens

The T-Mobile Shadow splash is the animated sequence showing "T-Mobile Shadow". It appears during startup and shutdown. To change (or remove) the startup splash:

click on HKLM/Software/HTC/Startup. Notice the Image string value entry. Remove the data "\windows\TMO_shadow.gif" with a blank space to get rid of the splash, or change the path to an image you want to see. TMO_shadow.gif is itself an animated GIF, so yes, you can have custom animated GIFs. Try to make your custom GIF specifications same as that of TMO_shadow.gif - 240x320, 96dpi, 32-bit color. I could not make 8-bit static GIFs work!!

The same can be done for the shutdown at HKLM/Software/HTC/Shutdown.

Removing an Item from the Home Screen

For people without data plans, the t-zones item is not desired on the home screen. Removing it, or for that matter, any item from the home screen follows from our previous tutorials.

Goto HKLM/Software/Microsoft/ and click on CHome. Notice the Plugins string value, a list of items separated by semicolon. These items are what appears on the home screen. To remove t-zones, remove CLinks from the list. To remove anything else (for e.g. Photos), remove the corresponding entry (CMyPhotos for Photos).

Changing the Order of the Items on the Home Screen

This one follows from the previous tutorial we went through.

Goto HKLM/Software/Microsoft/ and click on CHome. Notice the Plugins string value, a list of items separated by semicolon. The order of these items determine the order of the tabs (icons) on the home screen. So, change it to the way you like it.

Shortcuts to your Favorite Programs

This one will be a little long, but it shows the power of what you can do with these hacks. So, I am posting it soon. The instructions here are to add a "My Programs" tab to the home screen. It enables an user to add a set of frequently used programs to the home screen.


Here are some images that I have used in this tutorial - Download!


1. Connect your Shadow to the PC. Download the images in the attachment and place them in \Windows on your Shadow. You can use the Explore feature in ActiveSync to do this.

2. Start CeRegistryEditor. Press F1 to load the registry. Perform a backup of the registry (just in case). You can do this by pressing F2 and following the instructions. Also, unlock the registry by doing Tools > Unlock Registry.

3. Create the key CProgs in HKLM/Software/Microsoft/CHome.

4. In HKLM/Software/Microsoft/ click on CHome. Notice the Plugins string value. Append CProgs to the data value of Plugins. I have it as- Plugins = CClock;CHome;CMessage;CAppointments;CMusic;CMyPhotos;CProgs;Settings

The order of these items determine the order of the tabs on the home screen. So, change it if you want to.

5. Click on HKLM/Software/Microsoft/CHome/CProgs. Create a new string value entry as-
Name = GUID
Type = REG_SZ
Data = {C5A51777-B837-447d-8947-FAF3FF9D570B}

6. Create the key CProgs in HKLM/Security/cHome .

7. Create the key Page1 in HKLM/Security/cHome/CProgs .

8. Click on HKLM/Security/cHome/CProgs/Page1. We now need to create the following string value (REG_SZ) entries.


ACTIONURL = path to the program that runs when the CENTER SELECT key is pressed
GUID = {2F710F22-9F19-43fa-8F35-9927D246B078}
PICTURES = path to image that appears...see above image
SK2TEXT = text for right SOFT key....see above image
SK2URL = what happens when right SOFT key is pressed
TEXT1 = text on screen...see above image
TEXT2 = text on screen...see above image
TITLETEXT = text on screen...see above image

Just for a walkthrough, here is what I have for the Word Program in these entries.

ACTIONURL = \windows\pword.exe
GUID = {2F710F22-9F19-43fa-8F35-9927D246B078}
PICTURES = \windows\CHome_MyProgs_Word.png
SK2URL = \windows\pword.exe; \My Documents\Templates\New Word Document.doc

I created an empty word doc and placed it there.

TEXT1 = Word Mobile
TEXT2 = Edit Word Documents
TITLETEXT = My Programs

9. For more programs, create a Page2, Page3...and so on, and follow the instructions on Step 8. I have 3 programs, so I have Page1, Page2 and Page3.

10. Click on HKLM/Security/cHome/CProgs and create the following string value (REG_SZ) entries.
GUID = {C5A51777-B837-447d-8947-FAF3FF9D570B}
ICONPATHS = \CHome_MyProgs_sat_active.png;\CHome_MyProgs_sat_active.png;\CHome_MyProgs_desat_inactive.png
LocName = Internet
Pages = Page1;Page2;Page3

The order in which you place the Pages will be the order in which the programs shall appear.

11. The changes are saved to the registry on the Shadow as you make changes. To see the changes on the home screen, change it to something else (let the change take place) and then change it back to the T-Mobile Default.

If all went all, you should now have your favorite programs on the home screen. For the images, the Vista Icon packs are great...resize them to 150X150 and it shows up well. If you got it right, then perhaps it is not difficult to see that "My Programs" is not the only thing you can do with this process.

Changing IE Default Homepage

I shall begin with a very easy one - changing the default homepage for IE.

Click on
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs

the string value home_0409 data to the URL you want.

E.g. home_0409 =


The tool I am using to edit the registry of my Shadow is CeRegistryEditor. All tutorials in this blog will assume that you have it installed and know how to work with it. In case any other tool is required to perform a hack, I shall point it out at the appropriate post.

Also, you will need to have ActiveSync installed on your PC to work the tutorials here.

ADVICE: Every time you are about to work on one of the tutorials here, perform a backup of the current registry. In CeRegistryEditor, you can do this by pressing F2 and following the instructions.

Lets start!!!

First Post

I am trying here to assemble as many registry hacks as I can find for the T-Mobile Shadow. There are a couple I have done myself and am also constantly on the lookout for more on the Internet. Hopefully, with time, the blog will have quite a handful of the hacks.