ID:SK SideKick Plus in DESQview
Quarterdeck Technical Note #151
by Stan Young
last revision: 12 February 1992
SideKick Plus can be run in DESQview, but will typically require a great deal
more memory than the original SideKick (Version 1.5). While Borland makes a
point in its advertising that SideKick Plus takes no more than 64K of memory,
THIS IS WHEN SIDEKICK IS NOT ACTIVE! When SideKick Plus is active, it takes
between 256K and 440K depending on the number of SideKick utilities installed
and the size of their data. If you have problems of any kind while running
SideKick Plus in a window, try giving it more memory.
General SideKick Plus Setup:
In general, set up SideKick Plus as you normally would. The only suggestions
would be that you disable SideKick's background communications facility and
that if you have expanded memory, set up your modules in SideKick to use it.
Also, since memory is a consideration, we would suggest you install only the
modules you intend to use and for those utilities that expand themselves
within the module (such as Notepad, giving the option of 1 to 9 notepads),
avoid making them bigger than you need.
Alt Key conflict:
After bringing up SideKick Plus with the activate key and opening a utility,
you can bring up the SideKick menu by holding down the Alt key for several
seconds. If, when the menu comes up, you select the next utility you want
with the Alt key combination, there is no problem, but if you let go of the
Alt key before making a selection, the DESQview menu will come up. This is
normal since this is the default key DESQview uses to bring up its menu, if
you hit the ESC key at that point, you will go back to SideKick. For most
people this is probably a "glitch" they can live with, but if you are not one
of those people, you must redefine the DESQview key (see manual) since there
is no way to redefine this key usage for SideKick. Quarterdeck Technical
Bulletin #196, "Changing your DESQview System Keys", discusses this matter in
Running SideKick Plus before DESQview:
The "Keyboard conflict" field of any PIF ("Change-A-Program") must be set to 8
for any window in which you wish to pop-up SideKick Plus.
Running SideKick Plus in a DESQview window as a non-resident program:
SideKick Plus provides a command line option "/G" for running SideKick Plus in
a non-resident mode. It is generally suggested that this option be used when
loading SideKick Plus into a DESQview window. Loaded in this fashion,
SideKick Plus will load and bring up its main menu. When you exit SideKick
Plus, it is removed from memory. In this mode, SideKick Plus runs as a
standard application in DESQview. This is the mode that both Quarterdeck and
Borland recommend for running SideKick Plus in DESQview.
Running SideKick Plus in a window as a resident program:
SideKick Plus can also be used as a resident program within a DESQview window.
There are certainly potential conflicts when this is done, but it has been
tested with a limited number of programs and appears to work. To run SideKick
Plus in a window with another program, make a batch file that first runs
SideKick Plus and then runs the other program. To run a fairly full-sized
SideKick Plus, you need to allocate enough memory for the program plus xxK to
cover the resident overhead of SideKick Plus. If you are running SideKick
Plus with a small program, you may have to allocate even more memory due to
the fact that SideKick Plus uses 256-440K when active.
When you pop up SideKick Plus in the window, it will swap a section of the
program running in that window out to disk or expanded memory and swap itself
in. Please note, in general, your access to SideKick Plus will be much faster
if you take the preceding suggestion and load it in its own window and use
DESQview for your switching.
Communications in SideKick Plus:
The SideKick Plus manual (on page 353) indicates that SideKick Plus somehow
uses IRQ2 for communications. It is unclear exactly what this means since the
normal hardware IRQ's for communications would be IRQ3 (Comm 2) and IRQ4 (Comm
1). IRQ2 is never used for a serial port in any configuration that we are
aware of. In any case, SideKick communications seem to have problems in
DESQview versions prior to 2.2 which are due to the unconventional use of the
hardware interrupts. We were able to work around some of these problems in
version 2.2 of DESQview, however SideKick Plus will still interfere with the
use of both COM ports concurrently.
SideKick Plus offers some advantages over the original SideKick, but has some
disadvantages as well. It is certainly not perfectly suited for use in an
environment such as DESQview. You may want to consider sticking with the
original SideKick, which can be run before DESQview or resident in a window
(even in multiple windows). You might want to consider the DESQview
Companions, which is a set of four utilities (Notepad, Calculator, Datebook
and Communications package) that have low memory overhead and are well
designed to run in DESQview. Or you may want to consider WordPerfect's
Library programs. These are also individual utility programs that run well in
DESQview since WordPerfect supports the DESQview screen call.
*This technical note may be copied and distributed freely as long as it*
*is distributed in its entirety and it is not distributed for profit. *
* Copyright (C) 1988-92 by Quarterdeck Office Systems *
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