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PowerGadgets.Presenter.exe instances


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I am trying to launch 4 simultaneous gauges for users on my Windows 2003 Terminal Server. Launching them as 4 individual PGF files works beautifully, but results in each user running 4 instances of P.P.exe (which is using 195MB of memory per user). This is not a level of memory overhead I can justify given the additional gauges we would like to deploy in the near future.

I read that you can get all of the gauges to run in a single P.P.exe instance by launching them using a script. I spent a couple days writing and refining the script to do this (clearly scripting is not my strong suit - hence the initial PGFs) and it works great......but there's another catch. When PowerShell is allowed to launch P.P.exe it will only launch one instance per server. So the first user that logs in sees all of the gauges and is happy; the next and subsequent users who log in to the same server get nothing. There is no error for the user, no event in the event log - just nothing happens. If you try to manually launch the gauges (instead of using the login script), you get the same result - nothing. If the first user closes their gauges (or I kill the P.P.exe process for that user), then one person can launch the gauges successfully, but not a second person.

To eliminate my script or complicated gauges as the problem, I logged in as 2 different users, opened PS for both, added the PG snap-in for both, and then just ran "out-gauge" (with no options). The first user got a generic gauge -- the second user got nothing.

Any suggestions? Thank you!

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>> Launching them as 4 individual PGF files works beautifully, but results in each user running 4 instances of P.P.exe

This is something we have considered doing. I can see that in a Terminal Server scenario it would be really nice to allow sharing the PP process. Because we already have a Shell Extension that handles right clicking a PGF (e.g. we show a menu with the existing Vista gadgets) we could create a registry entry to force this behavior.

I think this would be the ideal solution for you as the user just needs to double click the PGFs he/she needs instead of running a super-script that creates many gadgets.

>> This is not a level of memory overhead I can justify given the additional gauges we would like to deploy in the near future

Note that PP is a .NET process. AFAIK .NET processes may seem to use a lot of memory if there is a plenty but under memory pressure some of that memory might be reclaimed by the system. That being said we understand using one process instead of N processes will only improve memory usage. The drawback would be that a crash in one of the gadgets will most likely result in all gadgets being closed.

>> When PowerShell is allowed to launch P.P.exe it will only launch one instance per server.

This is a bug caused by the method we use in PowerShell to reuse the process, I am afraid the solution although simple will have to be thoroughly tested but we can provide a hotfix if you want to test it.

 Regards,

JuanC

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We include a Shell Extension with PowerGadgets that adds elements to the Context menu when you right-click a PGF. In the solution we are working on, a registry entry will cause our Shell Extension to reuse P.P.exe processes when you right click and select "Open" or when you double click a PGF.

Note that this is NOT a modification on our Presenter EXE so it will still be possible to run 2 presenters simultaneously but the Windows shell will reuse the existing process.

We should have something ready for you to test in the next couple of days, please send an email to support at powergadgets dot com pointing to this thread so that we can get back to you.

Regards,

JuanC

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  • 2 weeks later...

Juan,

 

I e-mailed support last Monday asking for the hotfix to fix the method you mentioned at the end of post #711:

>> When PowerShell is allowed to launch P.P.exe it will only launch one instance per server.

This is a bug caused by the method we use in PowerShell to reuse the process, I am afraid the solution although simple will have to be thoroughly tested but we can provide a hotfix if you want to test it.

I have not heard anything back. Should I e-mail again? Or just wait until I hear something? Thank you!

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