The desktop vulture.

Here’s a picture I took a few weeks ago while on the Rookery Loop Trail in West Palm Beach, the first one I took for exclusive use as desktop wallpaper. I even composed the shot so the branches would be well out of the way of the desktop icons.
This picture now graces my desktop on my computer at work, which is quite fitting considering my work e-mail address is vulture. My other co-workers have animal names in their e-mail addresses as well.

How to make Webshots portable.

Another favorite program I’ve been able to make virtually portable is Webshots, the great desktop wallpaper program. However, here I use an older version of the Webshots software as it’s smaller than the version that’s out now. You can find these older versions here.
I start by installing Webshots to the hard disk. When it’s done, I just copy the contents of the Webshots folder in Program Files (except for INSTALL.LOG and UNWISE.EXE) to a new folder on my USB drive.
Next, I go to the Windows folder and copy the WEBSHOTS.SCR file to the Webshots folder on the USB drive.
Then I launch the registry editor and export the data under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Webshots to a .reg file. With these steps done, I uninstall Webshots from the hard disk. I also manually delete the WebshotsUninstall.exe and uninstall-temp.exe files from the Windows folder as those two files are left behind.
I’ve discovered that Webshots won’t work without the WEBSHOTS.SCR file present in the Windows folder, so before we can run Webshots, we need to copy that file to the Windows folder and then import the contents of the .reg file into the registry. AutoIt makes this part easy:

FileCopy (“Webshots.SCR”, @WindowsDir)
ShellExecuteWait(“webshots.reg”)
MsgBox (4096, “Webshots”, “Webshots is ready to use!”)

I save the above script as webshots.au3 and then make a separate VBScript that launches AutoIt to run this script.

Set objShell = CreateObject(“Wscript.Shell”)
objShell.Run(“I:\briefcase\AutoIt3\AutoIt3 I:\briefcase\scripts\autoit\Webshots.au3”), 1, TRUE

I save this script as setup.vbs to the Webshots folder on my USB drive. All I have to do is run the setup.vbs script and Webshots will be all set to run from my USB drive. Now I can pick one of the cool photos to use as my desktop wallpaper.
When I’m done using Webshots, it’s time to clean up my mess. I have another AutoIt script that cleans up the registry and removes the Webshots files from the Windows folder.

FileDelete (@WindowsDir & “\webshots.scr”)
FileDelete (@WindowsDir & “\webshots.ini”)
RegDelete (“HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Webshots”)
MsgBox (4096, “Webshots”, “Done!”)

I save this one as webshotscleanup.au3. I then make a VBScript to run this script.

Set objShell = CreateObject(“Wscript.Shell”)
objShell.Run(“I:\briefcase\AutoIt3\AutoIt3 I:\briefcase\scripts\autoit\webshotscleanup.au3”), 1, TRUE

This one is saved as cleanup.vbs.
In summary, when I’m ready to run Webshots, I run the setup.vbs script to copy the screensaver to the Windows folder and write the appropriate entries to the registry. I then run Webshots and pick my wallpaper. When I’m done, I run the cleanup.vbs script that removes everything except the Webshots wallpaper file that resides in the Windows folder.