Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

My Suggestion for a Vista Sidebar Gadget

Yesterday I blogged about the Code Project Vista Gadget contest. I've been needing a Sidebar Gadget for some time, but I don't have the free time to learn how to build it. It's a good opportunity for anyone that knows enough about Gadgets to possibly win some cool prizes, so here's a need I think can be filled by a smart Gadget developer.

I use Remote Desktop a LOT. Between all of the virtual and physical machines that I manage, I have a bunch of saved RDP profiles on my desktop. Unfortunately, the RDP Gadgets out there are either a) ugly, or b) don't work off of saved .rdp files. So I've worked out the specs for how this Gadget should work:

  • AFAIK, it's difficult to get a Gadget to have a variable size, so put a high-quality version of the RDP icon as the main part of the Gadget, and have the details as a flyout.
  • The settings page should only have one setting: the folder that contains the .rdp files to make shortcuts for. Optionally, it might be nice to be able to select the RDP shortcut icon size.
  • To keep things simple, allow users to "group" RDP files by putting them in subfolders. Any subfolder of the target folder should be considered a "group", and the RDP files underneath should be displayed underneath the group label. Ideally, the groups would be form and function identical to groups in the "Network & Sharing Center"
  • Clicking on the RDP file should execute the specified connection.

It's not a flashy Gadget, I know... but It would be really useful for me. It would let me clean at least 10 RDP shortcuts off of my desktop. Might be of benefit to other sysadmins too. If someone decides to make it, please let me know, I'd like to test it before it's released.




  • arteekay said:

    This is a pure aside, but you should probably check out the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack and it's Remote Desktops MMC snap-in. Multiple RDP servers in one window.

    February 22, 2007 1:26 AM
  • Aaron said:
    March 15, 2007 9:29 AM
  • That's closer. Still not what I'm looking for though. I have settings in my RDP files, like which drives to map, etc., that I'd like to preserve. But I'll take a look at modifying it. Thanks Aaron!

    March 15, 2007 1:20 PM