An excellent FOSS installer for your tool kit

Extraordinary pieces of software

This was when I realized that an installer would be a really good idea. It is not like it is particularly difficult to install a screen saver file, but the target market for this was probably going to be more willing to use the screen saver if they didn't have to do much thinking.

And here's where I discovered another software gem. Nullsoft, those studly programmers who brought you the excellent Winamp multimedia player, have a Windows installer system called the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) that it has turned loose as open source freeware!

NSIS is amazing. For a start it is really flexible, skinable, has plug-ins to extend its functionality, and is supported by a large, enthusiastic user community. Under the hood, NSIS is a really sophisticated script compiler with conditional macros, looping, libraries and there's even an NSIS plug-in for Eclipse! This is a tool that is highly desirable as part of your enterprise IT tool kit.

Now, in common with any complex system, there's a lot of learning required to come to grips with NSIS, but I found a shortcut: The freeware Mihov NSIS Helper.

Mihov provides a simple form-based user interface to create a basic installation from which it generates an NSIS script. You then load that script into NSIS and, voila! You have an installer. This was an incredible place to start from but, as a Windows screen saver is essentially system software, I needed to make a few changes.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Gibbs

Network World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?