Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Thursday, January 30, 2014

WinPatrol 2014 CPU: Can You See Me Now

cpuTowards the end of last year I heard from a number of fans who were concerned about CPU usage by WinPatrol. While many were older systems I have always been committed to providing a great tool for any system able to run Windows XP and beyond. I also consider it unacceptable to impact any performance. It doesn’t hurt that I use WinPatrol on all my computers too. 

Even with reports coming from a small number of people this became a high priority for WinPatrol 2014. Each  report was well documented and most used a popular program, Process Explorer from Microsoft Fellow Mark Russinovich. Sometimes, a program like Process Explorer will trigger our real-time method of detecting changes causing deceptive measurements. I’m still confident even with other programs running users will be happy with the results and many could notice the difference. (A new version of Process Explorer was released yesterday, January 29th) 

Click image to download Process Explorer
Always download from official website

I recently volunteered to help a friends church clean up their computer which they claim has become so slow it can’t be used.  Before using WinPatrol to clean things up I decided it might make a good test machine. After a 5 minute boot up I installed WinPatrol and Process Explorer. The graph above shows the CPU usage of WinPatrol 2014 under some of the worse conditions.

Between the internal workings of Process Explorer and some unwelcome programs I experienced some spikes but nothing that would interfere with normal operation..

I’ll save the topic of upgrading Windows XP for another day but as you can see our test machine wasn’t a high-end machine. It was probably top of the line in 2002.


In addition to having one GB of memory I made sure a number of other programs continued to run providing a realistic test. This screen shot of our Active Task list show some of the other programs fighting for memory and CPU usage.


At 420kb, the tiny WinPatrol.exe component sits quietly in the background only waking when Windows indicates some kind of change has occurred. WinPatrol quickly checks the type of change and when indicated uses a layered approach to decide the minimum areas to test for changes. WinPatrol is written with Microsoft C so it’s about the closest any programmer can get to the machine language of the CPU. Using tools provided in Microsoft’s Visual Studio, Windows Sysinternals and by manually reviewing each line of code WinPatrol 2014 is in a unique class.

Yes, I really do pay attention. You may get tired of hearing it but the future of WinPatrol really depends on your support and sharing your experience with others. As long as newsletters, and technical experts continue to share WinPatrol recommendations I’ll be able to share new features with our Free & lifetime PLUS members.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Warm Welcome for WinPatrol 2014 Preview

It took a few more days than expected but this years first version of WinPatrol went live January 24th just after midnight EST. It’s been a day and a half and I’ve had a great response to what technically is version 30.0. So far we’ve had over 10,000 download and installs with 99% of our Email are requests for misplaced PLUS codes.


I have managed to confuse some people with the term Preview and attempts to improve the wording of some options.

Preview is often used by software companies when they release software which hasn’t been sufficiently tested. Beta testing is nearly impossible with so many Windows configurations.  A typical Preview release is required to have the critical mass needed. WinPatrol 2014 Preview is more like a movie preview. It’s meant to show you what we’ve created and let you know better things are still coming. It demonstrates the commitment on our part to keep working on new features without tricking users into downloading unwanted software.

We depend on user satisfaction to cover the cost of development. I have a Google Alert set for “WinPatrol” and was pleased to see that WinPatrol 2014 news is already starting to spread starting with the following sites.


WinPatrol 2014 30.0.2014.0
”WinPatrol was the pioneer in using a heuristic behavioral approach to detecting attacks and violations of your computing environment.”

Security Garden: WinPatrol 2014 30.0
”If, like me, you always want WinPatrol to start with Windows, don't worry, that feature hasn't been removed.” options2014
: WinPatrol 30.0.2014  Rating 5
”Get an alert whenever spyware, adware or any intrusive applications try to change your settings.” WinPatrol 2014 notifies you about (unwanted) system changes
”WinPatrol 2014 is a useful program for Windows, and especially for Windows users who want to be informed when changes happen on their systems.”

BetaNews:WinPatrol 2014 debuts tweaked user interface, better performance
”BillP Studios has unveiled the 30th major version of its snapshot-based security tool…” WinPatrol 30.0.2014
”You'll be removing dangerous new programs while others prepare to update their definition/signature data files. “

Thanks to folks who help manage the forums talking about WinPatrol.

Visit our update page to read what’s coming. Some features may be in next month’s release.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

WinPatrol 2014 Preview on Monday

It's a new year starting with an exciting new version of WinPatrol and a priority list letting folks know our plans for the year.

Thanks to amazing feedback you can expect many changes for WinPatrol 2014.  Instead of waiting until all our new ideas have been implemented we’ll be launching a preview of WinPatrol 2014 on Monday  evening, January 20th.  It’s been two months since our last release so upgrading will be recommended.

What you see is not the RT or Windows 8 Modern/Store version of WinPatrol. It's a user experience that runs on the desktop of Windows 8.x and even Windows XP. We’ve used some of the best of the new Windows 8 style. For some it will be a way to ease into Windows 8 while totally confusing your friends.
As always, our goal is to continue making WinPatrol easy to use which will be obvious in other enhancements.

Optimizing WinPatrol is always a priority and its clear that not everyone has a new computer with 8 GB’s of memory. Our new release (v30) has major improvements even while running along side other internal programs like memory or CPU monitors.

I’ve listed some of the priorities for 2014 below but other suggestions are welcome and should be sent to

WinPatrol 2014 To Do List.

I expect some of our interface enhancements will affect our non-English versions until we find all the quirks. I hope to make it up by providing dates and times so they conform with regional formats. While proud of being made in the U.S. our friends around the world have always been supportive and deserve a globally friendly WinPatrol.

Improving our help files and documentation will be a priority so new users understand how and why WinPatrol works. Our software was the first of its kind and is still unique in its operation. Folks who discover WinPatrol often ask about conflicts with their favorite Anti-Virus software. I'm always happy to let everyone know that Scotty works and plays well with others.

Tooltip functionality is high on the list for 2014. Like other programs putting your mouse over an action item will explain its purpose using standard Windows tips.

Coming up this year will be additional support for Scheduled Tasks 2.0 which has so much potential which isn’t used. The new Scheduled Task has a variety of behaviors that are controlled by a wide range of triggers or events.  WinPatrol was the first program to alert users to newly installed tasks. Programs could be scheduled to run with a simple .job text file added to the right folder.  There was no security to prevent tasks from being added. I didn’t rush to add support Scheduled Task 2.0 because it requires a high level of access. Unfortunately, I’ve found users are agreeing to programs that allow Conduit browser hijacks as new scheduled task.

WinPatrol 2014 has special handling for various monitor resolutions and DPI(dots per inch) but you may occasionally notice 2014 will need some tweaks to the position of some our controls.
Different versions of Windows handle resolution and DPI differently and Microsoft requires this remain a priority.

Time management has been challenging without a full-time staff. I will soon be announcing the WinPatrol Associate Program for longtime fans and WinPatrol insiders. The goal of this program is to assist development through crowd source type funding and offers of  time and experience.  Depending on the level, WinPatrol Associates will receive promotion of their own personal projects, recognition of their support, have access to create PLUS codes, access to statistics and have a say in the direction we take.

Update:  WinPatrol 2014 Preview is still expected to be released this week but our launch party is being delayed so testing of all current features have been fully completed. Thank you for your interest and sharing our excitement

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