Table Of Contents
- What is it? A description of what this program is.
- Features A short list of the features of this program.
- Installation A summary of how to install and run this program.
- How to use How to use this program.
- Settings A description on how to use some of the various settings.
- Cheats Various special messages you can send that accomplish various hidden actions.
- Necessary files A list of files that this program needs, and links to download them.
- Other files A description of the other files that this program might make.
- Links Various links related to this program. This is where you can download the actual program.
- Requests I need help too, and these are things that I need help in.
- Known Bugs Bugs that I know about, but I don't know how to fix them right now.
- FAQ Frequently Asked Questions. Check here!
- Screenshots A bunch of screenshots of this program in action.
What is it?
WindTalker is a program I wrote in Visual Basic 6 that intends to be an instant messager for use during school.
It has very few features now, but it will have more later.
You can see the first 1024 characters of what people are typing to you. (ALA WinChat)
You can see whether people are typing to you at all. (ALA MSN Messenger)
You can minimize the program entirely, so much that there aren't any taskbar items (Press Ctrl+Shift+A)
You can send files to other people. It seems to work okay with the latest versions (>= 17), but sending files to older versions might not work as well.
There is a chat room that anybody talks to and everybody will see.
Banning support. Somebody who is banned can not send or recieve files and messages.
You can share files, and anybody can download them anytime they want to.
You should make a directory somewhere that will contain any files this program needs, makes, or contains :-).
After that, you should scroll down to the bottom of the page and download all three of the required files, and save them to your directory.
Then, you continue on to the Download Locations link.
From there, you need to click a file to download.
Executables are named with the syntax WindTalker_[version number].exe, and you should probably pick the latest one to download.
After you click a file, it asks you to select a mirror.
It really doesn't matter which mirror you pick, just click the icon next to the size to start downloading.
It will take you to another page, and then your download will start downloading.
Save it to the directory where you saved the other three files, and then run it.
It should start up immediately and run.
Do the same process on another computer on the network, and they will see each other.
You can commence talking.
How to use it?
When you run the program, it will show a nice cheery smiley face bouncing around the window.
This protects you from snooping Admins and Teachers, the evil things.
Type in 'smile' at this part. Anywhere.
This will unlock the program and it will try to initialize and find people.
When you first run the program, it may complain of an error while initialization.
If it does this, you might need to download the necessary files and place them in the directory that you saved the WindTalker executable and try running the program again.
After it starts up, it scans the entire network for other people using this program.
If nobody else is running, it sits there and waits for other people to show up.
You have no need to click the Connect button.
In fact, the Connect button was removed recently, because it was so useless.
After some people start up, their names will be added to the userlist box.
You can double click their names to bring up a message box and talk to them, or you can click them and right click to view more details about them.
You can change your username at anytime.
Any changes are instantly shown on any other people connected.
The first entry in the userlist box is your own computer.
That is how other people see you as, and you can double click your name to bring up a global chat box.
Any messages sent in the global chat box are sent to anybody you are connected to.
In a chat box, you can click the Send File button to send a file to the other person.
After the other person chooses where to save the file, it will commence downloading, and then the other person will have that file.
You can click the Settings box to change various settings related to WindTalker.
You can change the titles of the chat and global chat boxes here.
A lot of information is sent to the log.txt file.
For this reason, I highly suggest not running this program off of a floppy drive or other slow medium, unless you have Debug Output set to 2 or less.
A setting of 2 will only log errors, a setting of 0 will log absolutely nothing.
Username: Maybe, perhaps, your username?
Debug Level: How much data to write to the log.txt file. 0 writes absolutely nothing, 7 writes as much as possible.
Blink New Messages: When messages arrive, this says whether or not to make the Chat Window blink. It at least tries to.
Chat Window Titles: You can set the title of the Chat Windows. The other person's username and ip and whatnot is displayed after whatever is in here.
Global Chat Window Title: What the title of the Global Chat Window should be.
Number of Past Messages: This sets how many messages to show in the chat windows. 0 means all. Negatives numbers will crash it, I'm pretty sure.
Send Partial Messages: Sets whether or not you send your messages as you type them.
Recieve Partial Messages: Sets whether or not you can recieve messages as they are being typed from other people.
Show chat boxes after unhiding: This is supposed to restore your chat boxes (eg, not minimize) after you unhide the program
You need to type smile to unlock: You need to type smile at the password screen, useful feature if you don't run it at school. I added this in Version 18, it didn't work until Version 19.
The program starts hidden: When you start the program, it doesn't show up after you type the Smile password, you have to wait until it finishes setting up before you can unhide it. Usually a second or two.
Action for a new message: What happens when you get a new message.
This is a list of all the various cheats that I have in WindTalker. Right now I only have cheats that do something with banning.
This cheat bans someone. You type it in the Chat box for the person you want banned. They will stay banned until someone or themselves unban them or the entire network shuts down.
Go figure, this cheat unbans someone. If you type it in the global chat box, it unbans you, if you type it in a normal chat box, it unbans them.
MSWINSCK.OCX, I use it for network communications
COMDLG32.OCX, I use it for the File Open/Save dialogs. You most likely have this file already.
RICHTX32.OCX, I use it for the text boxes in the chat boxes, so that I can store more than 64KB of text in them.
This program also makes several files. Both of these files will be made in the same directory as the main WindTalker.exe executable. After you close down the program, it will save your settings in the settings.ini file. This file is slightly encrypted, so that when teachers open it up, they won't become suspicious of the username setting and the other related fields. :-) Another file it makes is the log.txt file mentioned above. This is simply a recording file that has a list of things that WindTalker did. It's completely unnecessary for normal user usage, so you can set the settings to spit out absolutely nothing in the log file.
There is a huge major bug with SourceForge.net in which the project statistics aren't calculated. It says that the stats are being collected, but the statistics are only accurate up to the 15th of January. Please do not let that discourage you.
The main project page.
The download locations.
snes_rocks AT users DOT sourceforge DOT net Email me with any bugs or feature requests. (I typed the old email wrong, sorry if you tried to send and it didn't work)
I am not the perfect programmer.
There are several things that I don't know about.
These are ways that other programmers can help me with this program.
These are often little bugs that I don't know how to fix, but I'm sure somebody online could help.
- I haven't the faintest clue why you can't log off Windows 2000 when WindTalker is running.
- I need major improvements with String handling. Somebody should look into the clspeer.GetAllPastMessages() code.
- I really don't know how to do the rightclick thing. I can detect a right click, but right clicks don't set the lst.ListIndex. I use lst.ListIndex and lst.Text to figure out for which person to pop up a window. If someone could give some pointers, that would be nice.
- Sometimes when changing your username, it sometimes doesn't show up right on other people's computers, like recent changes don't show up for some reason.
- Any other small little optimizations would be greatly appreciated.
There are many bugs in my program, but I am such a newbie programmer that I don't know how to fix them. If you know how to fix them, tell me, and I'll get around to fixing them. See list below
- I don't know why it won't log off in Windows 2000
- Chatting while sending files usually doesn't work.
- File transfers have been going slower. I'm thinking its something with my partial packet recovery method.
- Firewalls are evil things. This program needs an outgoing and an incoming connection to all other people that are running this program. Don't be stupid and firewall your ethernet connection. There's no point.
This outgoing and incoming connection to every person might make some problems for Windows 98, which can only have like 100 connections at one time. Windows XP SP2 also limits the number of connecting connections to 10 at one time. Of course, I've only tried up to 4 people, and it works just fine.
This is basically a quick help for people that don't want to read the instructions.
Q: Why does it show a stupid screen with a Smiley face on it and close when I click OK?
A: That is the password screen for the program.
I know, I forgot to put that in the instructions, sorry.
When teachers or admins snoop around your personal files and click this file, it doesn't show them a nice full-featured messenger, it shows them this nice cheery smiley face screen.
You have to type 'smile' to unlock it.
Just type it in when the program is selected, it doesn't matter where.
You can disable this behavior in the Settings screen.
Q: I found this annoying bug and i'ts really annoying me, how do I get rid of it?
A: You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about it.
It would really help me a lot if you could describe exactly how you found this bug.
Other information can sometimes be helpful, like in what order people connected, if it affects who can see who.
The log.txt files are really important to me. If you find a bug, close down and send this file to me with a nice description, like "Computer could not see other people's Shares - log.txt"
Q: I have an idea for something that you should stick in this program.
A: Wonderful! Email me with it. If you can, try sending as much information about how to implement it. If you really want emoticons and other prettinesses, than bug me about it anyways. Maybe I could do a system where it only shows emoticons if you have the emoticon file downloaded? I would need help figuring out how to stick pictures in Rich Textboxes, though.
Q: I have another question which your pathetic little 'FAQ' does not answer.
A: Lovely! Email me with it. I might stick it on here, then.
Hold your mouse over a picture to get a description.
Little hint for people with Internet Explorer