Load Process Command
Desqview provides the user a way to run multiple jobs, called
processes, on his/her PC simultaneously. However, as supplied,
there are two limitations that can be annoying.
1. The creation of a new process requires keyboard commands
from the operator. There is no convenient way for a
regular DOS program or batch file to create a new process
to perform some specific task such as printing a file in
background without the PC operator entering a set of
Desqview keyboard commands.
2. When a new process is created, the disk directory in which
it will run is fixed by the DIRECTORY entry in the PIF
file (fixed at the time the PIF file is defined by the Add
Program or Change Program commands). For example, if you
have an editor that takes the file to edit as an argument,
you must manually start the editor process, then supply
the full path name for the file (or change directories in
the editor and enter the file name). It would be very
convenient for cases like this to be able to start the
editor in a specific directory and specify the much
shorter file name directly.
The LOAD utility is intended to cover these situations. When
running under Desqview, in a DOS window or under a DOS program's
EXEC or DOS SERVICES command, this utility can be invoked to load
any Desqview process (as defined in the Desqview OPEN menu) with
the options of specifying local disk directory and a initial
command line tail. The LOAD utility requires Desqview Version 2
or later for proper operation.
This program is released into the public domain. The author
assumes no responsibility for any benefits or damages resulting
from its use.
The remaining sections describe how to install the LOAD utility,
how to invoke it once it is installed, how to setup your Desqview
PIFs to use LOAD's directory and command line options, and some
answers to questions (problems?) that you might encounter.
1. Desqview is a trademark of Quarterdeck Office Systems
2 Installation of LOAD.EXE
Before you can run LOAD.EXE, you must tell it where to find your
Desqview files and you must place the configured LOAD.EXE file in
a directory in your DOS search path. The first is simple, the
latter can be more frustrating.
To configure (and create) the LOAD.EXE file, copy the file
NEWLOAD.EXE into your Desqview directory. Normally this is C:\DV
for hard disk users but it must be the drive and directory where
the Desqview files will be found when you wish to load a process.
Then run Desqview and OPEN the DOS 128K process (usually D1 on
your OPEN menu). At the DOS prompt, enter the command
and you should get a couple of lines saying that LOAD.EXE has
been created (it will be in the same directory as NEWLOAD.EXE).
(If you do not, check that you are in the Desqview directory and
that NEWLOAD.EXE is located there). You can then delete
NEWLOAD.EXE - you will not need it again unless you change your
Desqview drive or directory.
You should now copy LOAD.EXE into the appropriate directories
where it will be found by the processes from which you will wish
to invoke it. For processes like the DOS 128K D1 process which
are loaded by the DOS COMMAND.COM program, this can be any
directory in the DOS PATH sequence. For processes that are
loaded directly by Desqview (see your Desqview manual in the
section on defining PIFs for the difference here), you may need
to place a copy of LOAD.EXE in the local directories since the
DOS PATH may not be fully defined in those cases.
3 Invocation of LOAD Utility
The following discussion assumes you are invoking LOAD.EXE from a
DOS prompt (or batch file) under the D1 process. Invocation
under other processes should be similar but may differ slightly
(for example, you may have to specify a path name to get to the
LOAD.EXE file if it is not in your current directory and DOS
PATH). The general command format is ([..] are optional)
load [&]xx [params]
2. If you should change the location of your Desqview directory,
it will be necessary to rerun NEWLOAD.EXE and replace all
copies of LOAD.EXE with the new version.
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xx Is the two character selector (from your Desqview
OPEN menu) that specifies the process to be
& Optionally specifies that the new process is be
placed in the background. Normally, Desqview
places the new process in the foreground for you
to command. If & is specified, however, your
original process will remain the foreground
process and the new process will be run in
params This the optional text for the program parameters.
Assuming your PIF is configured for this option
(described in the next section), these field(s)
will be passed to the new process. The maximum
length is 63 characters including leading and
delimiting blanks. Basically this is the command
line tail for the program that begins running in
the new process. If your new princess' PIF is not
configured for this option, the params field(s)
Note that no directory is specified. Assuming your PIF is setup
as described in the next section, LOAD will start your new
process in your original process' directory. If your PIF is not
configured for this option, the new process will be started in
its PIF specified directory (like Desqview normally does).
While several error messages are possible, the only likely ones
from LOAD are (1) process creation failed (additional information
will have been supplied by Desqview itself), and (2) xx-PIF.DVP
file not found (indicating that xx is not a valid selector or
your Desqview directory (see Installation) is incorrectly
4 Setting Up PIFs for LOAD
This section assumes you are familiar with the setting up of PIF
entries from the Desqview AP and CP selections on the OPEN menu
and the related sections of the Desqview manual. For this
discussion, you may want to bring up the first PIF screen from
the CP command on your Desqview OPEN menu.
For LOAD to start a process in the current directory, the
DIRECTORY field in the PIF for the process must be blank. If the
DIRECTORY field is not blank (contains a directory
specification), LOAD starts the process in the PIF-specified
directory. Note that this is different from the Desqview OPEN
menu start-up, where a blank DIRECTORY field causes a process to
start up in the user's Desqview directory.
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For LOAD to use the optional parameters for the command line
tail, the PARAMETERS field in the PIF must contain the single
character "?". If that field consists of a single question mark,
and the LOAD command line includes optional parameters, the
optional parameters are used exactly as if they had been included
in the PIF description. Otherwise, the treatment of the
PARAMETERS field will be the same as Desqview's normal treatment.
5 Common Questions and Problems
Here are some common questions and (hopefully) solutions that
come up when using LOAD. The list is not intended to be all
encompassing but rather to cover some items that arise
1. When I try to run some Desqview supplied programs, like
the Memory System utility, from LOAD, they sometimes fail.
-- This usually means that the process selected expects to
run in the Desqview directory, the DIRECTORY field in the
PIF is blank, and you are requesting them with the LOAD
command while running in a directory other than
Desqview's. Using the Change Program (CP) selection to
set the DIRECTORY field to your Desqview directory path
will usually remedy the problem.
2. When I try to run my favorite xxxxxxx program, it seems to
ignore my command line parameters (or gives a invalid
command line error) -- Some programs, particularly some
DOS utilities and older descendants from earlier operating
systems, are very fussy about the internal format of their
command lines. Try modifying the program's PIF to have
the program started by DOS rather than Desqview (see the
Desqview manual). If that does not work, try running the
program as a DOS .bat file (again, modifying the PIF to
run the .bat file).
3. When I create a process in background (with the & option),
how do I see how its doing? -- Like processes created from
the OPEN menu, processes created by LOAD will appear on
the Desqview SWITCH menu and can be accessed by the same
4. When I create a new process in background using the &
option, I seem to be ignored by my original process for
several seconds (then it catches up with a bang!) -- When
a background process is very disk intensive, Desqview and
your machine can be so tied up servicing its requests that
your foreground job does not get much time to run. This
is particularly true if the background job is a DOS COPY
operation or other disk intensive operation. If you wish,
you can adjust the time slices within Desqview but this is
probably best lived with.
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5. My PARAMETER field has a question mark but LOAD does not
pass my parameters on to the new process -- Check that the
PARAMETER field in your PIF only contains a question mark
- no additional blanks or other characters are permitted
for this option to work.
6. The params I specify with the LOAD command need to have
several blanks inside them, but only one blank seems to
actually get to my new process (or I am using quote marks
in my params field and they disappear) -- The parser in
LOAD.EXE uses the common C command line parsing algorithm
which can be undesirable in some situations. Try
enclosing your params field in single or double quote
marks. See also question 2.
7. When I try to run LOAD, I get a message saying LOAD not
found -- Check to see that LOAD.EXE is in your current
process' directory or command path.
8. When I create a new process with LOAD, sometimes other
processes get swapped out or I get a message saying
process creation is blocked -- As with process creations
from the OPEN menu, this means that you have run out of
usable memory for running new processes. Delete some of
your current processes and try again.
6 Final Comments
Three files are included in this archive: LOAD.DOC (this file),
NEWLOAD.EXE (a self initializing image of LOAD.EXE), and
NEWLOAD.C (the C source file for NEWLOAD.EXE/LOAD.EXE). While I
cannot promise support for any of these, I would be interested in
hear about your experiences, successes and problems as well as
any interesting other utilities or tricks you have found for
running with Desqview.
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1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2 Installation of LOAD.EXE . . . . . . . . . . . 2
3 Invocation of LOAD Utility . . . . . . . . . . 2
4 Setting Up PIFs for LOAD . . . . . . . . . . . 3
5 Common Questions and Problems . . . . . . . . . 4
6 Final Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5