8start Launcher
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Version History

8start Launcher Version 2.0 Released:26th February 2011
code name: Parrot!

New Features
Countdown Sound
- Countdown with true voice sound! Customizable!

p/s: Thanks Jim McBride for contribute the countdown sound.


Fun Sound
- Click the 8start Launcher border, you will hear fun sound, click again... you will hear second fun sound...

The idea come from the game Warcraft, when you click the characters, it sound..e.g. "Your orders", click again, it sound "Yes", click again..... it sound "Why you keep on touching me".. hahaha, very funny.
* Fun Sound files is not included, you have to record and save it as \sound\fun\xx.mp3.( xx= 01, 02, 03...) Appreciate if you can contribute some fun sound files, so I can include it in the 8start Laucher setup package. :-)

Have fun!

Bug Fix
Missing of zlib.dll in prievous version which cause error when auto compress Notes

8start Launcher Version 1.9 Released:12th December 2009
code name: Treasuring Time!

New Features
Countdown in Taskbar
- Right click on 8start launcher systray icon, then you can set/start countdown till/for specific time
(Countdown in Taskbar is an innovative idea, hope this can be a help for you countdown to an important time, or you can use it to help yourself get thing done in specific time)

Optional to maintain 8start location when hotkey / mouse press.
- configured in settings diaolog, untick centered automatically

Support Windows 7

8start Launcher Version 1.8 Released:12th December 2008

New Features
Tree Shortcuts
- Link to files/folder/program in structure way

Tree Favorites
- Create URL link in a Tree

Optional to compress notes (useful if notes contain pictures)
- this feature can be enabled in notes >  more > options

Bug Fixed
Fixed not working of relative path in some situation

* To upgrade 8start Launcher from previous version (All previous settings/notes will be remained unchange)
- close previous version 8start Launcher
- install new 8start Launcher into the same folder as previous version
- if you are using Fabio Longo Block Notes 1.7, please change skin to Fabio Longo Block Notes 1.8 which is included in 8start Launcher 1.8 (Fabio Longo Block Notes 1.8 include special icons used for Tree Shortcuts/Favorites)

8start Launcher Version 1.7 Released:5th April 2008

Slim, fast and pretty!

- Loaded 5 times faster than before.
- Use less memory
- Notes are resizable and each note maintain its own size
- Remember last category (after 8start launcher loaded, it will auto jump to category which pointed last time)

Bug Fixed
- Solved : error when enable autostart in version 1.6

Special Thanks: Fabio Longo for enhancement of the skin 'Block Notes', we have many options in block note skin now.

8start Launcher Version 1.6 Released:16th March 2008

New Features
- Tree Notes
* Really a very time comsuming to develop this new feature, time spent in creating Tree Notes, is equal to the time to develop a new freeware. Hope you enjoy using this new feature
* With the successful of Tree Note feature, we can expected to have more tree features in the future like tree shorcuts, tree favorites..... :-)


- If auto hide feature has been enabled, you can bypass this feature by using Right Click on a button. If auto hide feature has not been enabled, you can hide 8start Launcher automatically by using a Right Click on a button

-To show 8start Launcher (bring the launcher panel into focus)
as fast as possible, drive capacity informatin will not be refreshed when hotkey / middle mouse / system tray click. You can refresh the drive capacity by clicking the group header 'My Computer'

Bug Fixed
- Some abnormal behavior of 8start Launcher was reported by Windows Vista's users. After investigate, I found the problem was caused by installation of 8start Launcher in Vista "Program Files" folder. Vista block the ability of changing files in 'Program Files' folder. (8start Launcher run smoothly in Vista Computer if it is not installed in 'Program Files' folder)
To prevent this problem occur in Vista Computer, the default installation path of 8start Launcher (for Vista only) is now changed to "C:\8start Launcher".
* You can install 8start Launcher to 'Program Files' folder if you are not using Windows Vista.


8start Launcher Version 1.5 Released:7th October 2007

New Features
- You can now use your prefered Font for Group Names/Category Names/Button Label, and you can set font size as you like. (In previous version the font "Tahoma" have been preset, and you can't change the size.)
Tip: You can download nice free fonts at www.dafont.com. (the screenshot in the main page use Gabriel Weiss' Friends Font as the active category, and Sheffield font for the group name/inactive category)
Tip: Don't worry if you want to use the bigger font size, 8start will auto shrink to fix its width.
Tip: Don't worry if you want to use special font in your portable drive, 8start Launcher will use the font "Tahoma" if font which you defined don't not exist.
Tip: If you install the new font but you can't see the font in change font dialog, you may need to restart 8start.

- Group names and Category names can be set as align left/center/right.

- Button Label, Group names and Category names can be set as anti alias.

- Able to configure font and color directly by menu > change skin > configure skin dialog instead of open skin.ini and modify the content.

- Active category can use different background, easier for you to see the active category

- Background can be stretched, stretched proportional or maintained original size, useful if you want to use photo as the 8start Launcher background. (see skin turorial for more information)

- Instead of the A~Z drive letter which use for display drive information in 8start Launcher. You can now select '8' to show the information of the drive which 8start located, useful for portable drive.

- You can configure the browser you like in 8start Launcher, 8start Launcher will use that browser when you click on the url link button (buttons which your created by added it from favorite).


- You can now change the 8start Launcher system tray icon, 12 nice icons available for you to choose, some icons was designed specially for your portable drive.
Special Thanks for the contribution of icons from Fabio Longo and March3lo, and me (I also contribute one of the icon :-) .

- Organize button/Change Skin/Setting dialog can now easy be differential when minimized, by the new individual icons.
Take me half day to design just this 3 icons..... me really can't to be an artist.

- Click on the 8start logo will link to search page Speedy Start (created by me), right click of 8start logo will bring you to 8start hompage

This search page use google as the search engine and was designed to let you access your search easily and faster by
Accessible by One click on 8start launcher logo.
Use your prefered browser to search by define it in setting dialog
The logo of search page is very small so the page is load very fast.
The page is designed as simple as possible to make it load faster.
Auto focus in the searchbox when the page launched. (faster than using toolbar to search as toolbar search is not auto focus)
Set as your browser home page if you like. :-)


8start Launcher Version 1.4.1 Released:23rd March 2007

New Features
- Support Windows Vista

Bug Fixed
- Crash in some computers with customized desktop setting or third party desktop enhancement software installed
- Modified shortcut icons not able to show
- Extra arrow showed in some icons
- Pink color text showed in Cleartype font setting computer
- Changing screen resolution from high to low resolution caused disappear of 8start Launcher

Sorry for the long waiting as the time spent to solve the cleartype font and crash problem is much more than I expected, due to the difficultly of the transparancy skin feature. Glad that finally I able to solve the problem :-)

8start Launcher Version 1.4 Released:25th December 2006

New Features
- Transparancy png format skin supported

- Hotkey and middle mouse to show / hide 8start Launcher

- Fully portable with relative path support, all buttons can be defined and run in the pen drive

- Rather then shortcut files, all other files and folders are now easy be linked in 8start Launcher (with customizable tooltips when mouse hover on the button)

- You can now use the picture files (.jpg, .png, .ico, .bmp, .gif) as the icon.

- Added "Favorites" and "My Computer" as the choice of adding button

- If the button defined is .url type, 8stat Launcher will try to download the favicon (the website icon). If you clear the temporary internet files, the url icon will still be remained.

- Able to change buttons' style by groups and categories

- When a new button is added, 8start Launcher will try to use the style of the last button in that group

- Magnetic feature, 8start Launcher will snap to the the edge of the screen if it near the edge.

Bug Fixed
- 'My Computer' group won't be showed if no monitoring drive have been defined in Menu > Setting

It take me more than one month to do the supported of transparancy skin, as it use totally different way to draw 8start Launcher. As Windows 98/Me didn't support the transparancy form, so this version is not Windows 98/Me supported. I have spent a lot of time to make it support Windows 98/Me without transparancy feature, however I failed to do i. I may able to make it Windows 98/Me supported in the future, please email to me at 8start@gmail if you think Windows 98/Me supported feature is very important. I will spent some more time on it if I receive a lot of request.

Many hardwork have been spent for this version, I hope you enjoy the new features of 8start Launcher 1.4.

Many thanks to Jeff McElwain for his donation, Valderee for his advise and skins, Fabio Longo for his comments and skins, during my developement of 8start Launcher 1.4.

May 8start be with you.


8start Launcher Version 1.3 Released:10th September 2006

New Features
- New Button Style feature. Button label, icon size, background, width, height... can now be customize

- New feature in change skin section. Some skin may have other option, you can now easy to apply the option.

- The change skin, organize button and setting windows will not block 8start Launcher panel if possible

- The categories maintain in the current when do the apply in organize button, easier for us to see the different of button changed

- 6 new 8start.com logo for the skin, maximum logo design is now 11

- Add in button background option in skin section (the skin have to contain buttonsmall.jpg and buttonbig.jpg in order to use this feature)

- The skin design is more flexible by the new option "change skin.ini", "delete xxxx.jpg" and "[Hidden] skin sub folder"

Bug Fixed
- Skin righta.jpg not properly display

- Incorrect display extra 1 pixel width of top.jpg in skin top middle (this bug may not be visible cause normally the middle pixel is same as top.jpg)


The most important and difficult programming part of 8start 1.3 is the button style feature which have ablility to customize the look of the button with labeling option, it take my many free time to do and redo it. I beleive with this new feature, we can link to some important song list, document, folder....

Many thanks to Valderee, Fabio Longo and Jenson who contribute so many beautiful skin for 8start Launcher, and the suggestions and encouragement they are given during my development of 8start Launcher 1.3, they spent a lot of time to do the 8start skin. Specially thanks to Valderee who help in apply the add in of 8start Launcher in skinbase.org, and also give me a lot of moral support when I was facing problem in delevop this new version of 8start Launcher.


8start Launcher Version 1.2 Released:11th July 2006

New Features
- Add in fast and easy organise buttons feature, you can manage your buttons on the fly now
Thanks for the comments from Raggmopp and Scott, sorry for the long waiting

- Optional to auto hide 8start Launcher after button clicked
Thanks for the suggestion from Cleber

Thanks for the donation USD5 from Kent Jofur and submited of skin from Fabio Longo during my development of 8start Launcher 1.2

The Button Organizer added in version 1.2, is a quick and easy way to edit and arrange all your shortcuts into customised Catagories and Groups. It lets you choose whether to Copy or Move shortcuts from your Start/Programs menu or the Desktop into the Launcher, and also allows for Additions, Deletions, Renaming, A-Z Sorting, and more. With the Organizer interface it is much easier to use than Windows Start/Programs, being intuitive, quick and attractive.

And also, the new Button Organizer is the preparation of the next version of 8start Launcher, which may utilize this Organizer for users to have more options in the buttons display.


8start Launcher Version 1.1 Released:18th March 2006

New Features
- Add in change skin feature, you can change skin on the fly
Thanks for all 8start Launcher skin supporters, Webmaker, Sandro and Nevron.

- Able to define number of buttons per row
Thanks for the suggestion from Bartou

- Skin design improvement
Skin divided into 16 sections
Color of Group and Category label can be changed
Location of Hide, Menu and 8start logon Button can be changed
Size of Hide and Menu Button can be changed
Thanks for all 8start Launcher skin supporters, Webmaker, Sandro and Nevron.

- Easier to move location of 8start Launcher
Thanks for the suggestion from Paul O'Shea

Bug Fixed
- Fix the error when launching 8start Launcher in second time. 8start Launcher can now be opened more than one instance without error.
(You are now able to compare different skin side by side, by mulitple launching of 8start Launcher)
Thanks for the suggestion from Krishnan

Last, I would like to thank the only donation for 8start Launcher, USD1 by donation from Anantha Narayan, India (www.delabs.net). Although this is a small amount of donation but it make me never give up for the improvement of 8start Launcher. 8start Launcher is still lack of financial support, please support 8start Launcher if you can, thanks.


8start Launcher Version 1.0 Released:12th Dec 2005
The First Release of 8start Launcher


Web 8start.com