Pick’n’Mix – Anorak Software!

If you live, or have lived in the UK, you’ll know that a little Pick & Mix from somewhere like woolies is always nice? Well, there’s a new kind of Pick’n’Mix coming to the anorak: a little tool to change your desktop wallpaper on a schedule. Yeah, I know – not new. So?

Its a little VB programme – well actually its two VB programmes – bodged together to work with the security policy applied to my work PC. If you’re using Windows2000 or XP, or if you’ve already got the VB runtimes installed, then its a tiny download that requires little in the way of installation (run the self extractor, configure). More soon, but if you’re interested in the alpha version, then you can download Pick’n’Mix Alpha and give it a go. [standard disclaimer thingy: there’s no warranty, its not finished yet, it might give you a nasty disease. Be warned]

For information on installing & configuring Pick’n’Mix, and the various limitations, bugs and things I haven’t done yet, I’d recommend this readme file. Additionally, there are 4 test wallpapers included with this alpha version, purely to help you make sure PnM is working. For them to work, you need to set thewallpaper folder to the folder you installed PnM (use PnM_config).

To have your desktop change automatically, you need to add a new scheduled task. In windows 2000, goto Start…Settings…Control Panel…Task Scheduler. Then create a new task, and follow the instructions in the wizard, selecting PicknMix.exe as the programme to execute (you’ll have to Browse for it). For my work machine, I selected Weekly, checked the boxes for Mon-Fri and set the time to 08:30. This means every morning I have a new desktop wallpaper!

You can of course set it to run every 10 minutes if you want, but it would soon get irritating I suspect…and that’s about it for now. The next version should have its own wizard for setting up a scheduled task, and possibly a timer component for people who can’t use the Task Scheduler. There are also other add-ons and bugfixes – see the readme for details.