Utility – Battery Low

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

*UPDATE* I had the opportunity to test this utility with Remote Desktop in full screen mode recently and it worked like a dream!  


OK, really quickly.  I love playing my strategy games.  One of my long time favorites has been Hearts of Iron II – Doomsday Armageddon.  This game plays on my Netbookjust fine, so it’s an easy one to spin up on the plane etc.

The crew over at Paradox Interactive sure did a good job on the game’s logic engine.

Anyway, as I said, I love playing this game.  The only thing is that there’s one small problem with it on the Netbook.  See, when you are playing full screen graphic games, things like system warnings of battery low status and the like, simply does not pop up over the game.  As a result, you’d be playing your game happily when all of a sudden, the Netbook would start going into Hibernate.  That’s all good and dandy, but see, the problem under Windows XP is that once you boot up out of Hibernate, the game doesn’t seem to restore itself and you’re forced to kill the task and reload the game.  Not pretty.

So I fired up Visual Studio 2008 quickly and just wrote a simple app that displays a warning message.  I set it’s properties to pop up over everything else and then configured it as follows:

  • Download my BatteryLow utility.  Place it somewhere on your hard drive. 
  • Right click anywhere on your desktop background.
  • On the popup menu, click “Properties”.


  • On the Display Properties screen, click the “Screen Saver” tab.
  • One the Screen Saver tab, click the “Power” button.


  • On the Power Options Properties window, click the “Alarms” tab.
  • On the Alarms Tab, click the “Alarm Action” button.


  • On the Low Battery Alarm Actions window, click the “Configure Program” button.


  • On the Low Battery Alarm Program window, click the “Browse” button.
  • Browse to the BatteryLow utility location and double click the file.


  • On the Low Battery Alarm Program window, click the “OK” button.
  • On the Low Battery Alarm Actions window, click the “OK” button.
  • On the Power Options Properties window, click the “OK” button.
  • On the Display Properties window, click the “OK” button.

Tired of clicking “OK” yet? 

OK, now go ahead and go play your game.  When the battery low action triggers, this is what you’ll get:


The popup message will actually occur even before the Windows system message as seen below.



Hope you enjoy the utility.



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Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

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