Dec 142017
BackDesk, v3.00, shell for Win31. Provides expanded virtual desktop, XWindow-style pop-up menu, and (new this version) ability to place files and programs on the desktop as "aliases" and "tools". Excellent shareware.
File DESK300.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Windows 3.X Files
BackDesk, v3.00, shell for Win31. Provides expanded virtual desktop, XWindow-style pop-up menu, and (new this version) ability to place files and programs on the desktop as “aliases” and “tools”. Excellent shareware.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
BACKDESK.DLL 81968 15647 deflated
BACKDESK.HLP 351643 102104 deflated
BACKDESK.MNU 2353 1127 deflated
BACKDESK.MST 10216 3166 deflated
BACKDROP.DLL 93424 26811 deflated
BACKMENU.EXE 88656 29848 deflated
BDCONFIG.CPL 8736 4863 deflated
BDCONFIG.HLP 24466 14437 deflated
BDSHELL.EXE 6144 3191 deflated
BIGDESK.EXE 86560 26997 deflated
BIGDESK.RUL 239 144 deflated
COPYTOOL.EXE 20800 8684 deflated
CTL3D.DLL 20976 9870 deflated
DROPCLIP.EXE 14464 5993 deflated
DUSTBIN.EXE 10016 3832 deflated
MSCOMSTF.DLL 74528 33142 deflated
MSCUISTF.DLL 28800 10936 deflated
MSDETECT.INC 22097 2344 deflated
MSDETSTF.DLL 24544 12431 deflated
MSINSSTF.DLL 65440 33152 deflated
MSSHLSTF.DLL 14928 7521 deflated
MSUILSTF.DLL 6144 3343 deflated
ORDERNOW.WRI 3200 1289 deflated
PMGROUPS.DLL 8432 4587 deflated
POPGROUP.EXE 8272 3746 deflated
POSTER.TXT 3147 1488 deflated
README.TXT 10827 4124 deflated
SETUP.EXE 24624 13101 deflated
SETUP.INF 2264 594 deflated
SETUP.LST 583 279 deflated
SETUPAPI.INC 55620 7002 deflated
T2ALIAS.EXE 13456 5518 deflated
WALLPAPR.EXE 22352 10208 deflated
WCOPY.EXE 13831 8655 deflated
WINSTART.EXE 2111 714 deflated
WPASTE.EXE 13211 8247 deflated
WRUN.EXE 14353 8870 deflated
WRUNSERV.EXE 10144 4750 deflated
_MSSETUP.EXE 9813 6312 deflated
_MSTEST.EXE 89504 43536 deflated

Download File DESK300.ZIP Here

Contents of the README.TXT file

Welcome to BackDesk V3.0

BackDesk is a suite of utilities to enhance your Windows environment and
make your work easier. BackDesk is not free; it is distributed as
Shareware, allowing you to try before you buy.

The files included in this package are:
BIGDESK.EXEVirtual desktop
BACKDESK.HLPHelp file for the "textually challenged"
ORDERNOW.WRIRegistration order form

Required file for BigDesk:
BIGDESK.RULThe default rule-base for BigDesk

Required files for BackMenu:
PMGROUPS.DLLProgram Manager group file reader
BACKDESK.MNUSample pop-up menu file

Required files for any part of BackDesk:
BACKDESK.DLLBack-end engine for BigDesk and BackMenu
BACKDROP.DLLDrag'n'drop library
BDCONFIG.CPLBackDrop control panel applet
BDCONFIG.HLPHelp for control panel applet
CTL3D.DLLFlashy 3D dialog boxes

Optional files - BackDrop tools:
WALLPAPR.EXEChange your wallpaper every few minutes
DROPCLIP.EXEStack-up multiple files for a single drop
DUSTBIN.EXEDrag'n'drop dustbin
T2ALIAS.EXECreate an alias from a running program
COPYTOOL.EXEGather files into a single destination

Optional files - other:
POPGROUP.EXEDisplay a .GRP file as a pop-up menu
BDSHELL.EXEBackDesk shell stub to avoid Windows "feature"

Quick'n'Dirty Installation instructions

Run SETUP.EXE - the comprehensive set-up program.
i) Decide where you want BackDesk to live - you can create
yourself a directory or use an existing one (e.g. c:\windows)

ii) Copy most of the above files to that directory. Some of these
files have to live in the Windows system directory, namely:-

iii) Read BACKDESK.HLP to find out how to make BackMenu the shell
and do all sorts of other interesting things.

Which files live where?

In the install directory (e.g. c:\winapps\backdesk):-


In the Windows system directory (e.g. c:\windows\system):-


What's New in Version 3.0

V3.0 of BackDesk has many new features, all of which are covered in the
help file (which is itself new!).

The syntax used within BackMenu has been revised as we were running out of
strange characters to use as tokens. Instead the syntax uses an attribute
system, where the attributes and any associated values are placed at the start
of the command. The new syntax is:-

@{attribute List}Command parameters

The @ is used, as before, for auto-start and is optional.
The command and parameters are self explanatory.
The attribute list allows you to modify the manner in which the application is
run. With them you can specify the size and position of the window, the start-up
directory or any number of other things. The current set of attributes is
described in the help file.

New Keywords
A few new keywords have been implemented.

$AliasOptionsChange BackMenu alias settings
$AliasToBackSend the aliases/tools behind all other windows
$AliasToFrontBring the aliases/tools above all other windows
$ArrangeAliasArrange the aliases along one side of the screen
$EditMenuEdit the current menu.
$HideAliasRemove all aliases/tools from the screen.
$LoadMenuLoad in another menu-file to replace the current.
$NewAliasCreate a new alias
$RestartWindowsRestart Windows
$RunFileExecute a set of commands contained within a file
$SaveAliasSave all the alias/tool positions.
$ShowAliasBring all aliases/tools back onto the screen
$SnapAliasPosition aliases using a grid.
$StartSaverStart the Windows screen saver

And a few keywords have been enhanced

$ExecuteChoose an application to execute
$GroupsDisplay a menu containing the Program Manager Groups
$SetOptionsSet various BackMenu options

Drag and drop aliases
Aliases may be made between files in the system and icons displayed on the
desktop. These icons have a raised look and italicised caption. These aliases
are created by dragging files from an application that is a Windows 3.1
drag'n'drop source (e.g. File Manager) and dropping them onto the desktop. An
alias icon is created using any association information or an icon from an
executable. These aliases are stored as part of the BackMenu settings and so
persist from session to session.

Once created, an alias may:-

* Be moved around the screen. Simply click-and-drag the mouse over the
alias to move it. Multiple aliases can be dragged as one, by using
SHIFT+Click to select more than one.

* Be double clicked. This executes the file associated with the alias.
For example, an alias for NOTEPAD.EXE will execute Notepad when double
clicked. Aliases for data files rather than executables will use the
associations defined using File Manager. For example, double clicking
on an alias for WIN.INI will start notepad with WIN.INI loaded.

* Be dropped on from File Manager. This executes the file associated
with the alias, as with double clicking, but also passes the name of
the file dropped as a command line. If the file is an executable, the
dropped file will be passed as a command line parameter and the program
should start up with that file loaded. For example, dragging SP-SERV.INI
from File Manager and dropping it on an alias for NOTEPAD.EXE will start
up Notepad with the SP-SERV.INI file loaded.

* Be dropped on from other aliases. Exactly the same rules apply as for
files from File Manager as each alias is an indirection to a file.

* Be dragged and dropped onto other executing applications. Any
application that already understands the Windows 3.1 drag'n'drop
protocol may have aliases dropped onto it in exactly the same way that
files dragged from File Manager may be dropped. For example, dragging
an alias for WIN.INI and dropping it onto a Notepad application will
cause Notepad to load in WIN.INI.

Each alias may also be configured. A menu allows you to change the alias details
or icon. The alias can also be closed and thus destroyed. Note that closing an
alias does not delete the associated file, but only gives up some screen real
estate. The icon for an alias may be changed by selecting a file containing one
or several icons and then choosing one. The icon may be in an executable,
dynamic link library or icon file. If no icon can be found, a default is used.
The name of the file and icon number are stored as part of the alias. Move the
file and BackMenu will no longer be able to locate the icon and so it will
revert to the BackDrop one.
The alias details dialog box allows you to change the caption for the alias and
the associated file. This is shown as the alias command line with the file as
the first item. By changing this item, the file associated with the alias is
changed. You can also modify the command line, by adding in parameters etc.
There is a special symbol (#) which denotes the location in the command line of
a file if one is dropped onto this alias. E.g. the alias command


will expand into


if the file FOO.TXT is dropped onto this alias. Note that the command line may
contain any of the attributes described above.

You can drag a file from any Windows 3.1 drag'n'drop source (e.g. File Manager
or a BackMenu alias) and drop it onto the virtual desktop. The program will be
started up at the location dropped. Simple as that really.

The Save/Load Window Positions item from the Desktop menu allows you to save
the positions of all executing applications and restore them later. This option
generates a file called BIGDESK.DTF (for Desk Top File) in the same directory
as BIGDESK.EXE. There's also an 'expert system' which uses a file called
BIGDESK.RUL (for RULebase) to decide what items to store in .DTF files and how
they should be stored.

CTRL+Left click on the background of the window when the title bar is removed
and the system menu will appear.

BackDrop Tools
The drag'n'drop system also allows tools to be written, which may then interact
with the rest of the drag'n'drop environment. This appear as icons on the
desktop in the same manner as aliases, except the caption is not italicised.
The tools act in the same manner as aliases. Each can have files or other
aliases dropped onto them. The tools, however, are windows programs and perform
some set function with these files. Tools may also be saved along with aliases
and so can be automatically reloaded when the system is started once more.
BackDesk comes with five of these tools:-

* WallPaper is a tool that accepts bitmap files (by dropping) and then
cycles through each as the background wallpaper. The delay between
changes can be set in minutes. You can fiddle with settings for each
wallpaper (i.e. whether it is tiled or centred).

* DropClip allows a batch of files to be "saved up" over a period of
time, and then dragged onto another application. This tool is useful if
you want to drag files from File Manager in one desktop to another
program in another desktop. As the virtual desktop does not dynamically
scroll, the files can be dragged and dropped into DropClip, the desktop
focus moved, and dragged out of DropClip and into the other program.

* Dustbin is a drag'n'drop file and alias remover. Simply drag the
aliases or files that are to be removed and drop them onto the dustbin
icon. Note that files dropped into the dustbin are irretrievably deleted.

* TaskToAlias is a tool to create an alias from a program that's already
running. Double click on it and you'll get a spyglass cursor. Position
this over any other window and click and an alias will be created for
you from the details of the program over which you clicked.

* CopyTool is a tool to help you gather together a set of files for
copying to somewhere else. Drag any file from a program like File
Manager, drop onto CopyTool. Set the options in CopyTool to tell it
where and when to copy the files.

* PopGroup is not really a tool but there's nowhere else to tell you
so... This program pops up a menu listing the contents of the Program
Manager group file (.GRP) supplied to it as a command line parameter.
Associate it with the .GRP extension in File Manager.

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