InfoPanel - Desktop Visualisation Software

urfath3r

Active Member
After a week of development, and another week of review.. I'm happy to release InfoPanel, a desktop visualisation software for HWiNFO (via SHM).

My personal motivation was to use HWiNFO sensors (since I paid for it), and display them onto a USB only LCD (BeadaPanel) via WinUSB api which I bought recently to replace RainMeter (HDMI external monitor).
AIDA was the only software that supported the LCD at the moment, but it lacked several sensors (which HWiNFO had) and options that I wanted such as GIF support and faster refresh rates.

What started as a quick replacement became a full fledged software (I hope I have squashed the bugs out) and I decided to give it a shot releasing on the Windows store. This is my first time on C# ui, I used to be a java backend dev, but hey, with ChatGPT.. everything is fast.

So.. releases will be published there for now and the foreseeable future. This also avoids prompts and warnings, and adds a certain level of trust for end users.
https://apps.microsoft.com/store/detail/XPFP7C8H5446ZD

I had some feedback and squashed some bugs. For those that want the latest version, you can always find them below. Microsoft store review has some delays, although it should eventually catch up.
https://infopanel.pages.dev/

If there are any bugs, or requests, feel free to post them here and I'll try my best to address them.

A gif of it in action via USB Win API on BeadaPanel.
 

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This is pretty cool and quite intuitive to set up. I downloaded v1.05 directly from your download site. Windows did pop up a warning before installation (W10 ver 22H2 Build 19045.2604).

I ended up playing with this for about an hour (because I really like it). Here are some observations and suggestions that I humbly offer for your consideration. I didn't mean to write a book but I want to provide as much constructive feedback as possible.
  1. I figured out how to change the pane size but could not change the background color at first. I clicked on the white box and could drag the color slider but the Hex value stayed at FFFFFF. I tried typing in a Hex value for a color. That worked, and the slider worked as expected after I did that. I tried to go back and repeat this to verify but the slider worked every time afterward. If I clicked in the color palette box, the Hex value would change to that color, the slider now worked, and the color was retained after clicking Close.
    • The same thing happened with the color slider for sensor items. I could drag the slider but the Hex value did not change. Once I manually typed in a Hex value, the slider worked. If I clicked somewhere in the color palette, the Hex value would change to that color, the slider now worked, and the color was retained after clicking on Close.
  2. It would be nice to add Sensor Color to the default settings along with Font and Font Size. The default is black (#000000) and I had to change the color of each sensor item one at a time.
  3. After I selected several sensors and positioned them on the panel, I wanted to change their color. I tried to select multiple sensors by using Shift-click and Control-click but could not select more than one sensor at a time. It would be nice if multiple sensors could be selected while setting Font, Font Size, and Color. I realize the position of each sensor will be different so that has to be done one sensor at a time.
  4. Even with everything in the left column collapsed, the area where you pick the sensor items from HWINFO is not very tall so there is a lot of scrolling. It would be nice if that opened up into a larger window.
  5. Having a grid and snap would make lining things up easier. I guess being able to set the pixel count for moving sensors in the Placement Control section is kind of the same thing, but with a grid and snap, you could drag sensors into position easier. That or apply the pixel step value in the Placement Control to the sensor item while it's being dragged.
  6. I made a Profile 2 and put a few sensors in it. I clicked Save in the left column and it said Profile Saved but when I went back to Profile 2, the panel opened with the size and background color that I set but the sensor items were gone. I figured out that I need to click Save in the center column for the sensor items to be saved. Once I knew that it was easy but before that it was confusing. I just thought there was more than one place to click Save and any of them did the same thing. Could there be 1 Save button that saves the Profile with panel size, location, background color, and all the sensors and their settings?
  7. I figured out that the Profile XML files are saved in C:\User\AppData\Infopanel. It would be nice if I could select where these XML files are saved.
  8. The fact that this program supports the Beada Panel is probably going to cause me to go buy a Beada panel! I use Aquasuite Overview pages for my stat displays. I have played around with AIDA sensorpanels, which I know support Beada panels, but the sensorpanels can be very time-consuming to set up. I can do more things in AIDA than in Aquasuite, but it's too much effort. InfoPanel is very easy to use so now I may get a Beada panel and drive it with InfoPanel.
  9. Would it be possible to have more than 1 Profile active at a time, with different locations in the Windows raster for each panel? My rig currently has 2 stat displays (1920x480 and 1024x600). I built an Overview page in Aquasuite that drives both of the displays at the same time. This was possible because each item can be placed anywhere in the Windows raster. With InfoPanel having a defined Panel size and location, there is no way I could do what I did in Aquasuite. If I could have 2 profiles active simultaneously, I could place Profile 1 on stat display 1 and Profile 2 on the second stat display. I am not sure how this works with the WinUSB API. With Aquasuite, they just place items in the Windows raster.
  10. I added an image and am playing around with trying to use it as a background wallpaper with the sensor items on top. So far, I can't place a sensor item on top of the image and still see it. Can you add transparency to the image or have a layer order?
I realize that this program is only 2 weeks old, and is still under development. I hope my observations and suggestions may be of some use as you continue refining it. So far, I really like what you have done. I am wondering what the difference is between v1.05 and v1.06 beta. Could you post a version history/edit log on the download site?
 
This is pretty cool and quite intuitive to set up.
Thanks for the constructive feedback! I'll provide my responses and questions (if any) below. I'll assign the following tags and their explanations.
  • Wishlist - Noted, and I'll implement if time permits, but not a priority.
  • Todo - Will implement and release next.
  • Pending release - Done but not released
  • KIV - Will implement, but may not be done until a few releases later
I downloaded v1.05 directly from your download site. Windows did pop up a warning before installation (W10 ver 22H2 Build 19045.2604).
1.0.5 should not show any smart screen warnings (warning immediately after clicking the installer). Are you referring to UAC prompt right after you click install?
I ended up playing with this for about an hour (because I really like it). Here are some observations and suggestions that I humbly offer for your consideration. I didn't mean to write a book but I want to provide as much constructive feedback as possible.
  1. I figured out how to change the pane size but could not change the background color at first. I clicked on the white box and could drag the color slider but the Hex value stayed at FFFFFF. I tried typing in a Hex value for a color. That worked, and the slider worked as expected after I did that. I tried to go back and repeat this to verify but the slider worked every time afterward. If I clicked in the color palette box, the Hex value would change to that color, the slider now worked, and the color was retained after clicking Close.
    • The same thing happened with the color slider for sensor items. I could drag the slider but the Hex value did not change. Once I manually typed in a Hex value, the slider worked. If I clicked somewhere in the color palette, the Hex value would change to that color, the slider now worked, and the color was retained after clicking on Close.
The current color slider is not very intuitive. Its stuck at white/black due even if you change the color slider until you click the main area color to anything but white or black. I am looking to replace it with a more intuitive one. [v1.1.0]
  1. It would be nice to add Sensor Color to the default settings along with Font and Font Size. The default is black (#000000) and I had to change the color of each sensor item one at a time.
I agree. [v1.1.0]
  1. After I selected several sensors and positioned them on the panel, I wanted to change their color. I tried to select multiple sensors by using Shift-click and Control-click but could not select more than one sensor at a time. It would be nice if multiple sensors could be selected while setting Font, Font Size, and Color. I realize the position of each sensor will be different so that has to be done one sensor at a time.
I do find myself wanting to do this to, but I see no easy way to implement it at the moment. [wishlist]
  1. Even with everything in the left column collapsed, the area where you pick the sensor items from HWINFO is not very tall so there is a lot of scrolling. It would be nice if that opened up into a larger window.
Yes. The only way to solve this would be to have a multi-form/step application where settings and profiles are pre-selected before modifying the item details. I think its due very soon if I keep adding more features. You could maximise/expand the app to mitigate this at the moment. [v1.1.0]
  1. Having a grid and snap would make lining things up easier. I guess being able to set the pixel count for moving sensors in the Placement Control section is kind of the same thing, but with a grid and snap, you could drag sensors into position easier. That or apply the pixel step value in the Placement Control to the sensor item while it's being dragged.
It currently snaps after you let go. I have no idea how to snap it while its being dragged with invisible grid lines, will explore. [v1.1.0]
  1. I made a Profile 2 and put a few sensors in it. I clicked Save in the left column and it said Profile Saved but when I went back to Profile 2, the panel opened with the size and background color that I set but the sensor items were gone. I figured out that I need to click Save in the center column for the sensor items to be saved. Once I knew that it was easy but before that it was confusing. I just thought there was more than one place to click Save and any of them did the same thing. Could there be 1 Save button that saves the Profile with panel size, location, background color, and all the sensors and their settings?
This is tricky. I could definitely do auto save, no issues. But then you would lose the "reload" button which is essentially an major undo. I think this will be auto solved once the multi form/step (above) is done. [v1.1.0]
  1. I figured out that the Profile XML files are saved in C:\User\AppData\Infopanel. It would be nice if I could select where these XML files are saved.
Local appdata was chosen due to its simplicity. I am exploring and export / import profile if that helps. [*kiv]
  1. The fact that this program supports the Beada Panel is probably going to cause me to go buy a Beada panel! I use Aquasuite Overview pages for my stat displays. I have played around with AIDA sensorpanels, which I know support Beada panels, but the sensorpanels can be very time-consuming to set up. I can do more things in AIDA than in Aquasuite, but it's too much effort. InfoPanel is very easy to use so now I may get a Beada panel and drive it with InfoPanel.
Yeah! A major motivation for me was BeadaPanel. I tried Aida for it, and found Aida did not give me the flexibility. Things like sensor updates were synchronous and Aquasuite would lag all readings to about 800ms. Plus I really wanted some animations (GIF) without doing some custom gauge hacks.
  1. Would it be possible to have more than 1 Profile active at a time, with different locations in the Windows raster for each panel? My rig currently has 2 stat displays (1920x480 and 1024x600). I built an Overview page in Aquasuite that drives both of the displays at the same time. This was possible because each item can be placed anywhere in the Windows raster. With InfoPanel having a defined Panel size and location, there is no way I could do what I did in Aquasuite. If I could have 2 profiles active simultaneously, I could place Profile 1 on stat display 1 and Profile 2 on the second stat display. I am not sure how this works with the WinUSB API. With Aquasuite, they just place items in the Windows raster.
I definitely could draw X profiles (limited only by your CPU usage of course!) but this would require some rework on my end. As for BeadaPanel, I have no idea at the moment as I only have 1, and I cannot confirm if 2 panels of the same make and model would have different static GUIDs in the windows USB system. Currently, only the master GUID is given by Beada and it matches all their panels. Plus, a panel is quite expensive for me here, close to around $200 inc of shipping + taxes. [v1.1.0 (single BeadaPanel only)]
  1. I added an image and am playing around with trying to use it as a background wallpaper with the sensor items on top. So far, I can't place a sensor item on top of the image and still see it. Can you add transparency to the image or have a layer order?
Yes you can, although I think its not very clear at the moment. You could reorder the items with the arrow buttons. Items on top are drawn first, so items below it will be shown. I do recommend that you flatten all the images externally, as drawing too many images can be quite CPU intensive, especially at higher frame rates. (I am trying to optimise this)
I realize that this program is only 2 weeks old, and is still under development. I hope my observations and suggestions may be of some use as you continue refining it. So far, I really like what you have done. I am wondering what the difference is between v1.05 and v1.06 beta. Could you post a version history/edit log on the download site?
I have a changelog on site. 1.0.6 fixes some layout issues and gives you the ability to control draw rates. So if you do not have any gifs or want to reduce CPU usage, you can set it lower (or higher).
*edited the statuses.
 
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Thank you for responding to all of the items I listed. I was a little worried that the wall of text my post turned into would be off-putting.

Install - The warning I got was not a UAC prompt. I was logged in as Admin and have the UAC slider 1 step from the top (Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer). I wish I had grabbed a screenshot of the warning. It said something about Windows Security and I had to click on "Run Anyway" or something like that. I actually uninstalled InfoPanel and then reinstalled it so that I could grab a screenshot of the warning but it did not appear during the second install. I then installed InfoPanel on a second computer that is set up exactly like the first computer, meaning Admin account, and the same UAC settings, but there was no warning. I then tried installing it on a laptop (not as Admin) and again, no warning appeared. I don't know why the warning appeared during the first install on the first computer.

Uninstall - I did the Uninstall on the first computer from Control Panel - Programs - Uninstall a Program. The uninstall seemed to hang and I clicked on Cancel after a few minutes. That also seemed to hang but it did cancel. Then I clicked Uninstall a second time. This time it uninstalled OK, but when I reinstalled it, the 2 profiles I had made were still there. I assumed the Uninstall did not remove the Profile XML files in C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\InfoPanel. I uninstalled InfoPanel again and confirmed that C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\InfoPanel folder and contents were still there. I don't consider this a huge problem but generally, an Uninstall should remove every remnant of a program.

Beada Panels I have no idea what would happen if 2 Beada panels were installed on the same system. The stat displays I have for Aquasuite overview panels are "regular" displays that require a video input and they show up in the Windows raster like any other video display. I have never played with a USB display so I don't know how they relate to the Windows raster, if at all. When I asked about having 2 Profiles running at the same time, I did not mean having 2 USB displays. My setup with 2 stat displays is kind of unusual, but having 2 Profiles running at once would still be a nice feature, sort of like how HWINFO has the main Sensor Panel and a Summary Panel. I could see having a small, basic Profile and a larger, more detailed Profile, with the ability to enable 1 or the other, or both.

New Item - InfoPanel main window size - I can't adjust the size of the main InfoPanel window. If I hover the cursor over an edge or corner, arrows appear but I cannot change the size of the window. There are dots arranged in a triangle in the lower right corner of the window. I tried hold-click and dragging on that corner but nothing happened. Clicking on the Maximize button in the upper right window border just causes the main window to move from where it was to the left side of the screen. I could not Maximize it to fill the entire display or make it smaller. Minimize works OK.

I will continue to play with this and post any other issues I run into. I am really looking forward to using InfoPanel. Thanks again for the program and your detailed responses.

Edit to add - I just noticed that Restore Points got generated each time I installed and uninstalled InfoPanel. Is this something that InfoPanel causes to happen? I don't mind the restore points but since I was uninstalling and reinstalling in an effort to get the original security warning to pop up again, I now have 6 restore points that were all made today because of installing and uninstalling InfoPanel. I don't have Windows set up to automatically make a restore point every time a program is installed or uninstalled. I am not sure if that is even something that can be configured in Windows. I have run into programs before that will generate a Restore Point before the installation proceeds but there is usually an option to disable this. Thanks !2023-0220 InfoPanel Restore Points.jpg
 
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Thanks for this amazing software. Can you add video background support, along with png, jpeg and gif format?
 
Thank you for responding to all of the items I listed. I was a little worried that the wall of text my post turned into would be off-putting.

Install - The warning I got was not a UAC prompt. I was logged in as Admin and have the UAC slider 1 step from the top (Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer). I wish I had grabbed a screenshot of the warning. It said something about Windows Security and I had to click on "Run Anyway" or something like that. I actually uninstalled InfoPanel and then reinstalled it so that I could grab a screenshot of the warning but it did not appear during the second install. I then installed InfoPanel on a second computer that is set up exactly like the first computer, meaning Admin account, and the same UAC settings, but there was no warning. I then tried installing it on a laptop (not as Admin) and again, no warning appeared. I don't know why the warning appeared during the first install on the first computer.
It could be possible that you downloaded it before it was whitelisted in Windows Defender. I do upload it at the same time I submit, and usually there is a few hours of lag.
Uninstall - I did the Uninstall on the first computer from Control Panel - Programs - Uninstall a Program. The uninstall seemed to hang and I clicked on Cancel after a few minutes. That also seemed to hang but it did cancel. Then I clicked Uninstall a second time. This time it uninstalled OK, but when I reinstalled it, the 2 profiles I had made were still there. I assumed the Uninstall did not remove the Profile XML files in C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\InfoPanel. I uninstalled InfoPanel again and confirmed that C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\InfoPanel folder and contents were still there. I don't consider this a huge problem but generally, an Uninstall should remove every remnant of a program.
Right now, this is not my priority as I am quite limited with the installer creator. I am using Visual Studio Installer Project, and I probably have to switch to something else entirely to do that. The alternative would be to set config files to Program Files folder, but then the app would need Administrative rights, which I think is not necessary. [v1.1.0 moved to Inno Setup]
Beada Panels I have no idea what would happen if 2 Beada panels were installed on the same system. The stat displays I have for Aquasuite overview panels are "regular" displays that require a video input and they show up in the Windows raster like any other video display. I have never played with a USB display so I don't know how they relate to the Windows raster, if at all. When I asked about having 2 Profiles running at the same time, I did not mean having 2 USB displays. My setup with 2 stat displays is kind of unusual, but having 2 Profiles running at once would still be a nice feature, sort of like how HWINFO has the main Sensor Panel and a Summary Panel. I could see having a small, basic Profile and a larger, more detailed Profile, with the ability to enable 1 or the other, or both.

New Item - InfoPanel main window size - I can't adjust the size of the main InfoPanel window. If I hover the cursor over an edge or corner, arrows appear but I cannot change the size of the window. There are dots arranged in a triangle in the lower right corner of the window. I tried hold-click and dragging on that corner but nothing happened. Clicking on the Maximize button in the upper right window border just causes the main window to move from where it was to the left side of the screen. I could not Maximize it to fill the entire display or make it smaller. Minimize works OK.
Currently, the program height is 1000 px. If you are on 1920x1080, there wont be much space left to expand. I'm working on a fix and also on true multi-profile. Probably will need some time to work it all out.[v1.1.0]
I will continue to play with this and post any other issues I run into. I am really looking forward to using InfoPanel. Thanks again for the program and your detailed responses.

Edit to add - I just noticed that Restore Points got generated each time I installed and uninstalled InfoPanel. Is this something that InfoPanel causes to happen? I don't mind the restore points but since I was uninstalling and reinstalling in an effort to get the original security warning to pop up again, I now have 6 restore points that were all made today because of installing and uninstalling InfoPanel. I don't have Windows set up to automatically make a restore point every time a program is installed or uninstalled. I am not sure if that is even something that can be configured in Windows. I have run into programs before that will generate a Restore Point before the installation proceeds but there is usually an option to disable this. Thanks !View attachment 8815
This is new to me. I have no idea if this is a configuration I can set, or is auto for all MSI installations. Ill definitely check into this, as I now realise its the cause for the slow install/uninstalls.[v1.1.0]

I've attached the new WIP UI to address the height issue and also multi panel support.
 

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Thanks for this amazing software. Can you add video background support, along with png, jpeg and gif format?
You can already add png, jpeg and gif. I will not do video (at least in the near-mid future), as its huge to support all the different formats, and I'm also concerned about using too much CPU/GPU resources. I'd suggest using Wallpaper Engine or ScreenPlay (open source), and setting the background Alpha to 0% or as required. Hope this helps!
 
You can already add png, jpeg and gif. I will not do video (at least in the near-mid future), as its huge to support all the different formats, and I'm also concerned about using too much CPU/GPU resources. I'd suggest using Wallpaper Engine or ScreenPlay (open source), and setting the background Alpha to 0% or as required. Hope this helps!
There are some activex controls or lower level ffmpeg lib can do that video playback job. Anyway current software works better on my 5" BeadaPanel with gif support. Thanks again for making it!
 
It could be possible that you downloaded it before it was whitelisted in Windows Defender. I do upload it at the same time I submit, and usually there is a few hours of lag.

Right now, this is not my priority as I am quite limited with the installer creator. I am using Visual Studio Installer Project, and I probably have to switch to something else entirely to do that. The alternative would be to set config files to Program Files folder, but then the app would need Administrative rights, which I think is not necessary.

Currently, the program height is 1000 px. If you are on 1920x1080, there wont be much space left to expand. I'm working on a fix and also on true multi-profile. Probably will need some time to work it all out.

This is new to me. I have no idea if this is a configuration I can set, or is auto for all MSI installations. Ill definitely check into this, as I now realise its the cause for the slow install/uninstalls.

I've attached the new WIP UI to address the height issue and also multi panel support.
Thanks for the additional explanations. I see that you are making progress. I also see graphs. I did not even notice those buttons. This just keeps getting better!!
 
I've released 1.1.0 for beta testing on the site. Major functionality and performance changes (as per posts above), so it will be a few more days of home usage (and hopefully by anyone here) before I publish to the store.

Improvements include:
  • Layout improvements (hopefully) from the comments I got here and some redditors.
  • Better color picker
  • Multi profile / screen support
  • Faster / lower cpu drawing (implemented caching, double buffering and framerate limiter)
  • Better multiple image handling and resize (although I still recommend flattening images onto a panel-fitting background)
  • On-panel resize via dragging (or manual input if you wish like before)
  • Panel locking
  • Middle click to select item on screen, then,
  • Arrow keys to move items
  • Snap to grid (selectable steps or 1,5,10,20)
  • Inno Setup (no longer creates restore points)
 
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Hi, could you please share a profile so not to start from scratch? And thanks a lot for your hard work!
 
I've released 1.1.0 for beta testing on the site. Major functionality and performance changes (as per posts above), so it will be a few more days of home usage (and hopefully by anyone here) before I publish to the store.

Improvements include:
  • Layout improvements (hopefully) from the comments I got here and some redditors.
  • Better color picker
  • Multi profile / screen support
  • Faster / lower cpu drawing (implemented caching, double buffering and framerate limiter)
  • Better multiple image handling and resize (although I still recommend flattening images onto a panel-fitting background)
  • On-panel resize via dragging (or manual input if you wish like before)
  • Panel locking
  • Middle click to select item on screen, then,
  • Arrow keys to move items
  • Snap to grid (selectable steps or 1,5,10,20)
  • Inno Setup (no longer creates restore points)

Hi, could you please share a profile so not to start from scratch? And thanks a lot for your hard work!

@urfath3r

That is the point. Is there any possibility to share format of this profile/template with other software, with a common/well known format?
And this will save end users a lot of time, for skin adjustment.
 
Hi, could you please share a profile so not to start from scratch? And thanks a lot for your hard work!
I did think of doing a simple profile export/import function. Unfortunately, I do not think that the sensors would work across PCs that easily. From what I understand, the IDs might be different. For example, the sensor details for a 4090 will probably be a different from a 3090, even if they both have the sensor "GPU Temperature". Therefore, the imported profiles would just have blanks for sensor values.

Perhaps @Martin could shed some details on this?
 
The sensor IDs are specific for each system (sensor type, it's location and value type). But not as different as you thought - for example GPU temperature of 4090 and 3080 or 2060 should have the same ID.
 
The sensor IDs are specific for each system (sensor type, it's location and value type). But not as different as you thought - for example GPU temperature of 4090 and 3080 or 2060 should have the same ID.
So for example, I notice that the sensors for CPU and GPU have CPU[0] and GPU[0] therefore common items such has Total CPU Usage will have the same ID across CPU/GPU generations.
However items such has Drive: Samsung SSD XXX will not if the other PC has Drive: WD SSD XXX?
 
Each sensor type (i.e. CPU, AMD GPU, NV GPU, Disk) has a unique SensorID. Reading IDs depend on the value type and index of the value.
 
Each sensor type (i.e. CPU, AMD GPU, NV GPU, Disk) has a unique SensorID. Reading IDs depend on the value type and index of the value.
Ok. I got it. Thanks!

@urfath3r

That is the point. Is there any possibility to share format of this profile/template with other software, with a common/well known format?
And this will save end users a lot of time, for skin adjustment.
Based on Martin's answers, I'd have to do a way to edit existing item sensors, before the import and export makes sense as there will be bound to have items that won't work on other's PC. I'll work on this next when I have the time. The format is already open in XML, you can check it out here: %localappdata%/InfoPanel/
 
Trying it out with the multiple profile and using wallpaper engine for the non data stuff. Probably should be using rainmeter or something similar but was already commited when I started finding limitations :). I am using a portable monitor under my Samsung G9, will probably try to get a small usb solution like yours in the future :). Great work!

1677436352687.png
 
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