Sam Wood is the author of that very popular WHS add-in called Disk Management for Windows Home Server.  Recently, he showed us how quickly he could react to an add-in request with Windows Home Server Client Backup Notifier, when one of our readers requested an add-in that could send out an email of the current backup state of WHS client computers.

Sam is back in the software lab and has been developing a new add-in called Blackbox for Windows Home Server (v1)

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and he is requesting the help of a few good ladies and gents who would be willing to try out Blackbox and provide him feedback on general usability, features, UI, and other suggestions to make the program the best it can be for what it is designed to do.

What is Blackbox?  Per Sam:

Blackbox is a hardware monitoring add-in that looks at voltage/temperature/PWM sensors on the motherboard, and can fire actions in response to configurable thresholds.

As you can see from the screen shot above, I can get a quick glance at my CPU and HD temps, plus some UPS battery parameters.  Not only can you get a quick glance, you can also create rules to tell your WHS to perform certain actions when certain conditions occur.  To create a rule, click on the “Create new rule” in the lower left corner, which opens up the create rule dialogue section.

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At that point, simply use the pull down menus to create a rule.  Once you have filled in the blanks, click on the Create Rule in the lower right corner.  And done.

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Quite simple to do!  If you need to modify a rule, simply click on the “Edit existing rule” and make your changes.

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To check out all of your alerts, click on the Alerting Rules tab.

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This add-in looks like it has lots of potential and I trust there will be a good group of WHS users who will be willing to help out Sam.  At this time, Sam would like to keep the beta group somewhat small so that this group could focus on the areas I mentioned above:

  • general usability
  • features
  • UI
  • and more

I already know what my first suggestion is, which is to send email alerts when a rule is triggered and an action taken.  He already has that code in hand from his Windows Home Server Client Backup Notifier add-in!

If you want to help develop a new add-in, head on over to http://www.tentaclesoftware.com/contact/ and make a request. If you’d like to discuss Blackbox, Sam should be a regular over at our new Blackbox forum.