Contents of the ANIMATE.DOC file
Animate - An animated desktop program for OS/2 Presentation Manager
By John Ridges
Invocation: START ANIMATE [desktop]
To install, place ANIMATE.EXE in your path, ANIMATE.DLL in you libpath. Any
Animated Desktop Extensions should also be placed in the same directory
Animate is a program for those people who like to have nifty graphics dancing
around their computer screen, and don't like having to stop them in order to
actually USE their computer. With Animate, the action continues on the
desktop, behind all your windows, even as you work, giving artistic enjoyment
and resulting in an enriched and fulfilling computing experience. (Sorry,
I got carried away.) Animate can also act as a "screen saver" - after a
programmable period of inactivity, it will bring the graphic forward to fill
the screen. Animate is also extensible, so there should be a steady
flow of new animated desktops if anyone bothers to write any. In the off
chance that someone does write some extensions, you can recognize them by the
file extension (no pun intended) '.ANI'. Animated desktop programs have been
tried with varying degrees of success on other windowing systems, but are
usually too intrusive to have around permanently. But using the miracle of
multi-tasking and low priority threads, this one is pretty darn unobtrusive,
and shouldn't interfere with normal use of your computer (besides possibly
driving you crazy with all the graphics going on all the time).
When started, Animate randomly chooses a desktop from the list specified by
'desktop', which is a string of characters, one desktop per character. If
'desktop' is null, Animate will choose from all the desktops available to it.
There are four desktops built into Animate, they are:
'Z' for zoom, a bouncing geometric figure that leaves a trail behind it.
'F' for fireworks, a fireworks display.
'S' for space, a simulation of moving through space.
'W' for wallpaper, a changing wallpaper display.
Animated Desktop Extensions are specified using other letters, usually the
first letter of the extension name. Example: You want Animate to show either
'space' or 'zoom', but you want 'space' to be twice as likely. You would type
START ANIMATE SSZ
When the desktop has the focus, 'F' will bring it forward and another 'F'
or a mouse movement will return it to the background. 'P' will pause the
animation and another 'P' will allow it to continue. 'S' will bring up the
screen saver dialog, and you can terminate Animate with 'F3'. Individual
desktops may have other controls, double click on the desktop to find out.
For those of you that care, I hereby officially release the program into
the public domain. If you're interested in writing Animated Desktop
Extensions, there is a package with instructions and two sample extensions
that I'll be posting. (If you can't find it, contact me and I'll get it to
you.) I'm really looking forward to seeing some whiz-bang extensions, so
somebody please write some.
Animate's been pretty thoroughly tested and I'm willing to bet what's left
of my professional reputation that it's bug free. Of course, legally, I
make no guarantees about anything it might do to your programs, data,
hardware, or sanity. Hey, you get what you pay for.
Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Hate mail? You can contact me at Gilmore
/108 or Compuserve 72000,2057 (checked weekly).
4/28/90 - Bug that left Presentation Manager in an unpleasant state when
Animate was stopped with the Task Manager fixed. I guess that just about
wraps it up for my professional reputation. How embarrassing.
4/29/90 - Added screen saver option.
5/10/90 - Whoa, this is a bad one! Bug that was introduced when I switched
to the OS/2 1.2 toolkit. Microsoft removed the "_export" declarator from the
definition of "CALLBACK" in the C header files, so none of my window
procedures were exported! This caused random, unpredictable weirdness with
Presentation Manager. Oh well.