Contents of the WAIT23.DOC file
Copyright 1988, Pete Petrakis
Life Sciences Editorial Services
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Note: The major difference between this version of WAIT.EXE and
previous versions is much smaller disk file size (9.4k vs.
30k) and similarly reduced size in RAM (11k vs. 30k).
Author: Pete Petrakis (CIS 76555,1175)
Purpose: To automatically load and run programs at a predetermined time.
Method: At the DOS prompt type:
wait hh:mm:ss^ProgName param1 param2...
The run time must be entered first. Use DOS's 24-hour
time format (i.e., 13:00:00, not 01:00:00 pm). Colons
are required to separate hours, minutes, and seconds, and
all three must be included. Use leading zeros if
necessary to have two digits each for hours, minutes, and
seconds (i.e., 03:05:00, not 3:5:0). WAIT.EXE displays
the current time in the lower right corner of the screen
until it's time for the selected program to run.
Use the upward carat (^) to separate the runtime and
program name, as shown. Characters such as a space,
-, /, \, etc. will not work, because many other programs
need those symbols to separate their own command line
parameters. The upward carat is the same symbol that CED,
the public domain memory-resident command editor program,
uses to separate stacked program names and synonyms. This
provides WAIT.EXE some additional advantages. If CED is
present in your system, you can stack several programs to
run in sequence after the selected time is reached, with
the number of programs limited only by the permitted length
of a command line on your system (usually 128 characters).
Thus, if CED is present and you want to run a series of
programs starting at the appointed time, enter all the
program names separated by carats:
wait hh:mm:ss^ProgName1^ProgName2^ProgName3^ etc.
If you don't have CED and want to run a number of programs at
the designated time, you can put their names in a .BAT file
and enter that file's name on the command line. The .BAT
file can be constructed like this:
Program3 (programs run in succession)
or like this:
Wait hh:mm:ss (later time for second program)
WAIT.EXE is handy for deferring tedious computer functions to a time
that is less disruptive to the normal flow of work. For example, such
functions as file archiving, hard disk compacting, etc. can be deferred
until sometime after midnight. There is one limitation to be aware of,
however: the program to be run cannot be one that requires keyboard
input in response to screen prompts. Sometimes a redirect file can be
created to supply the answers to prompts and loaded like this:
wait hh:mm:ss^ProgName < RedirectFile
However, this does not work with all programs. Norton's hard disk
compacting program Speed Disk, for example, will hang if you attempt to
redirect a file containing a carriage return to respond to an initial
prompt that seems to ask if you really, really, REALLY want to compact
the disk you selected on the DOS command line, and if so, please press
Return. Furthermore, Speed Disk requires you to press ESC to exit
after the compacting is done. This would prevent any subsequent
program from being run if there were nobody around to press ESC. In
contrast, Disk Optimizer by SoftLogic Solutions, when loaded with the
drive designated on the command line, goes to work immediately, and
when it's through it promptly exits to DOS. That makes it much more
practical to use with WAIT.EXE.
WAIT.EXE is also useful with communications programs that can be
loaded with scripts for automatic logon to bulletin board services.
For example, with WAIT and an appropriate script, you could log on to
such a service at, say, 03:00:00, when rates are low and traffic is
light, upload or download messages, and sign off--all while you are
asleep in your bed or out partying. It works very well with PROYAM, a
professional communications program that is completely command
line-driven. With PROYAM you would use WAIT in a command line that
included the PROYAM shell command (!), WAIT, call, the number of
attempts to make (in case the line is busy), and the PROYAM script file
to use--like this:
>>>C:!WAIT hh:mm:ss^call -20 DistantBBS
The script file DistantBBS would contain the logon and other protocols
for the particular service you want to call. It's presumed that you
have previously gone through the bulletin board's routines in order to
write an appropriate script (or are using a communications program with
an automatic script learning function) and that the bulletin board has
not changed its format since the last time you called it.
WAIT.EXE also works well with my program TIMESET, which calls the
Naval Observatory to set a computer's clock and calendar. The DOS
command line for that is:
WAIT hh:mm:ss^timeset auto (versions prior to 4.20)
WAIT hh:mm:ss^timeset /a (version 4.20)
I set the program that way at bedtime, so my computer's clock/calendar
will be on the mark next morning.
This program is owned by Life Sciences Editorial Services, Annapolis,
Maryland. It may be freely copied and distributed, but selling it is
prohibited. Distribution of modified copies is also prohibited.