Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kludget Framework - WirelessSignal Widget

Kludget is a widget framework that's compatible with the OS X dashboard widget format.

This is a widget I wrote called "WirelessSignal" and is designed to represent a WiFi card's signal strength in bars. The "rings" idea was adopted from Justin Pulsipher's "System Dashboard - Wireless Meter".

WirelessSignal - Preview

The widget is tested on Windows XP, Window 7, Ubuntu 10.04 (should work on Mac with some small changes).

How is WirelessSignal percentage determined?
  • The signal on XP is determined by a vbscript "signal_xp.vbs", which returns the -dBm signal of the first detected wireless card.  Then the -dBm is run through a linear conversion to determine percentage.
  • The signal on Windows 7 is determined by the command "netsh wlan show interfaces", which calculates and returns its own percentage.
  • The signal on Ubuntu is determined by calling the command "/sbin/iwconfig", then using the same linear conversion as XP.
  • The signal on OS X is determined by calling the command "/System/Library/... .../Resources/airport", then using the same linear conversion as XP.
How is WirelessSignal on resources?
  • On Windows XP, due to the resources needed to call "cscript.exe", the widget spikes at about 9%.  Recommendations to fix this are welcome.  The update frequency can be tweaked to minimize system impact.
What configuration options are available for WirelessSignal?
  • 2 display styles:  Rings or Bars
  • 5 size options:  Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Huge
  • Custom font color, custom font size
  • Simulation/demonstration mode
  • Update interval in milliseconds, i.e. 2500
WirelessSignal - Configuration Options
What license is the widget released under?
What license is the SVG artwork released under?

How do I install WirelessSignal?

  • Download and install version 0.9.9 (or higher) of the Kludget Widget Framework from
  • Run the Kludget framework.
    • If you receive an error message “kludgets engine failed to start”, make sure the latest Visual C++ Runtime is installed from
  • Right click the Kludget icon in the system tray, Open Widget Package.
  • Browse to and click open. (widget zip file available upon request)
  • If is named “”, rename to “” before opening.  It will not work with the incorrect name.


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