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RipBAR Plugins

The biggest change in RipBAR 2003 is the new support for RipBAR plugins.

RipBAR has always shipped with a variety of tools like the Resource and Memory gauges but RipBAR 2003 opens up display/interaction space on the bar to outside developers. In the near future, we will publish the necessary documentation for developers to write their own plugins.

The current beta ships with three example plugins: Stock Ticker, Weather Forecast, and Mixer Tool.

Accessing RipBAR Plugins
You can add any installed RipBAR plugins to the bar by selecting New from the RipBAR menu and selecting one of the plugins from the bottom of the list.

 

 

Stock Ticker
The Stock Ticker will display the current price of the stocks of your choosing along with whether the stock is up or down for the day. In addition, if you hover the mouse over one of the stocks in the ticker, a tooltip will pop up with more information like the high and low for the day etc.

After adding the Stock Ticker to your bar, you can drag it to where you want and size it according to your tastes. To size it, simply right-click on the Ticker and select Style and then choose one of the various styles. You can choose a custom size, by going into Customize Mode (for more information about Customization, go here).

After getting the Ticker sized and located, you're ready to configure it's content. Configuration is accessed by right-clicking on the Ticker and choosing Configure RipBAR Stock Ticker.

The configuration dialog for the Ticker allows to add/edit/delete stocks, select display colors, select the display font, and choose the number of minutes between updates.

To find out what valid ticker symbols are, you can right-click on the Ticker and choose Lookup Stock. All stocks should be preceded by an exchange qualifier -- for example,  the correct symbol for Nortel on the Toronto Stock Exchange is t:NT, while Microsoft on Nasdaq is q:MSFT.

You can also choose to configure the background color of the ticker, and the font, color and size of the display text.

Finally, you can set how often the ticker will update. The data is pulled from stockwatch.com and are delayed by twenty minutes.

While the ticker is running, you can hover your mouse over a stock on the ticker and a tooltip window will pop up with additional information about the stock's trading activity.

 

Weather Forecast
The Weather Forecast plugin allows you to set up displays for cities of your choice.  The weather data is pulled from cbc.ca. After installing the plugin on your bar, it is set up by default to show weather forecasts for Montreal, Canada (where RipBAR headquarters is located). 

To add other cities, right-click on the Weather Forecast display and choose Browse CBC Weather Site. Then browse for the forecast page of the city you're interested in. When you've found one, drag the URL and drop it on top of the Weather plugin. The city will be added to your ticker. (To do this using Internet Explorer, drag the icon on the left of the browser's address bar)

To remove a city, wait until the city is displayed, then right-click and select Remove This Item.

To configure other Weather options, right-click on the display and select Weather Plugin Properties. The configuration dialog allows you to choose whether cities automatically scroll in the display, how quickly the display scrolls, whether the display includes pictures and how long to wait between weather updates.

You can display the forecast for any city on the ticker immediately, by right-clicking on the display and selecting the city you want from the menu.

Mixer
The Mixer plugin allows you to adjust the volume of your PC sound. There are two components in the display: the volume adjustment slider (full left is silent, full right is maximum volume) and a mute button. 

The Mixer configuration dialog (right-click on the Mixer and choose Configure Mixer) allows you to assign hotkeys for Mute, Volume Up, and Volume Down -- making adjusting your PC's volume a snap.

WinAmp Plugin
The WinAmp plugin allows you to control a running instance of WinAmp. You can now control MP3 / CD playback without having to afford WinAmp valuable screen real estate. This plugin displays typical VCR controls for Play / Pause / Next Track / Previous Track functionality. In addition, you can attach keyboard hotkeys to any of these controls, making adjusting WinAmp playback easier than ever!

 

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