Copyright © 2009, Weird Kid Software LLC
Table of Contents
- Using NetGlance
- Helpful Tips
- Purchasing NetGlance
NetGlance allows you to view pictures from the web outside of the context of a web page and the constraints of a web browser - AND the pictures update themselves automatically!
Any graphic -- weather maps, stock charts, webcams -- can be presented outside the browser as versatile, simple, pictures on your desktop, and you control the size and location of the images and how often they automatically update.
The best part is that all you need to do to get started is "drag and drop".
NetGlance is distributed as "trialware". This means that we allow you to download and try out our software, but you'll have to put up with "nag" messages until NetGlance is purchased and then registered with a valid registration key.
NetGlance is a trademark of Weird Kid Software LLC. All other brands or product names are trademarks of their respective owners.
- OS: Mac OS X, version 10.4 or higher
- Browser: Safari, Firefox, or Camino
- Internet connection
- Java, version 1.5 or higher (free download from http://java.com)
- Browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer
- Note: Internet Explorer does not support drag-and-drop of pictures with NetGlance
- Internet connection
NetGlance for Windows is distributed as an executable that will install itself. All you need to do is start the installer program and answer any questions about where to put NetGlance and its shortcuts. Although, we recommend you just use the default settings of the installer.
NetGlance for Mac OS X is distributed as a disk image (.dmg). To install, double click the disk image file and follow the directions.
Depending on your operating system, you'll double-click the NetGlance icon, select it from your Start menu, or start it at the command line. As NetGlance starts for the first time, you'll be asked to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA). It's pretty standard stuff that protects the both of us from lawsuits. If you don't accept the agreement, NetGlance will not run.
When NetGlance starts, you'll normally see the Setup Window:
This window will show you the current state of all your NetGlance URL's in tabular form.
What is a URL? A URL - Uniform Resource Locator - is an address for anything you view on the web. It could be an address to a web page, a file for download, or a picture. NetGlance only works with URLs that point to pictures. For the purposes of discussing NetGlance, we'll use the term URL as the location of pictures from the web.
Here's a description of the columns in the Setup Window:
- Active - indicates if the picture is being periodically updated ("refreshed"). You can change this at any time. When starting up, NetGlance will only display active URLs. After startup, if you make a URL active, NetGlance will immediately load and display the URL. If deactivate an active URL, NetGlance will stop updating the URL but it will continue to display it.
- Status - the current state of the URL, one of: offline, starting, running, error, retrying.
- Location URL - the web address of the picture that NetGlance displays. You can edit this value by double clicking on the current value in this cell. Normally, you shouldn't have to edit this value, however.
- Update (minutes) - the interval between updates. For example, if the value for a given URL is 5, then NetGlance will update the displayed picture every 5 minutes. You can change this value by double-clicking the current value. The default value for all new pictures that you add can be changed in NetGlance's Preferences window.
Each row, or URL, in the Setup Window also has a pop-up menu. To show the pop-up menu for any URL, right-click (or control-click if you have a single button mouse) on the row. The pop-up menu has three options:
- Update Now - update the picture immediately, without affecting the normal update cycle.
- To Front - bring the picture associated with this URL to the front, or top, of your desktop. This is useful if you can't find a particular picture, but you know it's on your desktop somewhere.
- Find Window - does the same as To Front, but it also restores the picture's original size and relocates it to the front of the Setup Window. This is useful if you've resized or moved a picture to the point where just using To Front doesn't help.
- Delete - permanently remove the selected URL from the Setup Window.
When you're done using the Setup Window, you can hide it by clicking the close box at the top of the window. If there are no active URLs when you close the Setup Window, NetGlance will ask you if you want to Quit.
To display a picture, you need to add the picture's URL to the Setup Window, using one of the following methods:
Drag the picture from your browser: using your mouse, drag the picture from your web browser to the Setup Window. If the picture has an addressable URL and is a format that NetGlance accepts, the picture will load and display in its own borderless window, and you'll see a new corresponding row in the Setup Window. Note: this method isn't supported by Internet Explorer.
Drag the URL from the address bar of your browser: using your mouse, drag the icon to the left of the URL in your browsers address bar (the "favicon") and drop it on NetGlance's Setup Window.
Manual entry: click the "Add" button on NetGlance's Setup Window and enter the URL address directly. You can type or use copy-and-paste of the URL from your web browser's location bar.
If the picture doesn't display, it's likely that the picture you are dragging isn't directly addressable - and this usually is because you're trying to drag a "thumbnail" or "preview" version of the picture. To get to the actual picture, click the thumbnail picture in your browser. Then, try dragging the actual picture to NetGlance's Setup Window.
Each active URL in the Setup Window should have an associated picture window. These windows can be manipulated with mouse actions or a pop-up menu.
- To resize a picture window, grab the lower right-hand corner of it with your mouse.
- To minimize a picture window, double click it.
- To access the pop-up menu, right click (or control-click if you have a single button mouse).
- Update Now - update the picture immediately, without affecting the normal update cycle
- Resume - resume updating this picture from the web
- Pause - stop updating this picture from the web
- Edit Label - add a label to the picture, change text, font, color, size and position
- Full Screen (scale) - maximize picture on screen with the entire picture viewable, preserving aspect ratio
- Full Screen (fill) - maximize picture on screen, filling the screen area, preserving aspect ratio
- Full Screen (stretch) - maximize picture on screen, stretching it to fit screen area
- Original Size - return this picture to its original size
- Transparency Off - show picture completely opaque
- Less Transparent - hide more of the desktop detail under the picture
- More Transparent - show more of the dekstop detail under the picture
- Minimize - iconify or send the picture to the dock (on Macintosh)
- Close - stop updating this picture and close its window
- Delete - immediate remove this picture/URL from the Setup Window's list
- Show Setup Window - use this to show the Setup Window if you've hidden it.
- Quit - quit NetGlance
NetGlance has some configurable settings that you can modify in the Preferences dialog. The Preferences dialog has a tab for each major category of options:
- Default Update Interval -- This is the default update interval for all new URLs. You can of course change this value later for each URL on an individual basis. Currently, the minimum value is 1 minute.
- Show Setup Window on Launch -- Turn this off if you don't want to see the Setup Window every time you launch NetGlance. This can be useful if you have set NetGlance to start automatically when you login.
- Use Proxy Server -- If you need to set a proxy server other than what is defined in your system's network or internet settings, set the proxy address and port number here. If you're not sure what these are, leave this setting alone and talk to your system or network administrator.
- Use Proxy Authentication -- If your proxy server requires you to provide a user name and password, enter them here. If you are connecting to a Microsoft proxy server, you'll have to include your "NT Domain" in the User Domain field. The NT Domain commonly refers to the Windows Networking domain that you log into when logging into your account.
Here are some common tips that should help with the most common problems that have been reported by users of NetGlance.
- Make sure you have the correct version of Java installed, as identified in the System Requirements.
- If you access the web through a proxy server, configure the Proxy settings in the Network tab of NetGlance's Preferences window.
- If the Setup Window reports an error when you drag a new picture to it, make sure you are dragging the actual picture and not a thumbnail or preview version of the picture. To get to the actual picture, you usually only have to click the thumbnail picture in your browser.
- If one of your URLs or pictures stops updating and the status shown in the Setup Window says "error", it could mean that the picture NetGlance is trying to load is temporarily unavailable. NetGlance will periodically retry loading the picture, but you can also try the "Update Now" feature in the pop-up window you see when right-clicking on the URL or picture.
Please don't hesitate to contact us to answer any questions or for a quick tip here or there. We love hearing from our customers!
Once you've determined that NetGlance is a product that you want to use, you can purchase a license for the fully-functional version. The details of how to do so are on the Weird Kid Software web site: http://weirdkid.com.
Once you've purchased a NetGlance license, you will be sent a registration key. You will need to enter this key into the "Register NetGlance" dialog to convert your trialware license into a full-use license. Look for "Register NetGlance" in NetGlance's "Help" menu.
IMPORTANT: Keep this key in a safe place! You may need to re-enter it sometime in the future.
Thank you for trying NetGlance!