Dec 142017
 
Windows 3.0 article that shows you how to effectively manage group windows while conserving system memory resources. Requires Windows Write to view the file.
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Windows 3.0 article that shows you how to effectively manage group windows while conserving system memory resources. Requires Windows Write to view the file.
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Contents of the GROUP.WRI file


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WINDOWS GROUP MANAGEMENT


WINDOW GROUPS

Windows 3.0 has revolutionized the home PC market. This graphical user interface gives the home user a first-hand look at what the MACINTOSH has been providing the business community for some time now. Additionally, Windows has breathed new life into DOS. However, you can not expect complete utopia in software products. Windows does have its faults. One particularly vexing problem is that Windows does not allow users to create subgroups within group windows. This forces the user to create a larger number of group windows in which to store and organize applications. Though this in itself is not a major disaster, you can quickly begin to accumulate many group icons. After awhile your screen real estate is literally covered with icons making it difficult to remember exactly where you placed a particular application. In addition, you need to consider conserving some of your memory resources. The more group windows you create, the less free system resource you'll have available. Each group window, with all its application icons, takes up about two percent of your system memory resources. This can occur for several reasons. For example, each application you have within a group is represented by an icon. Each icon is a graphic picture. Graphics take up memory. So, as you can see, group windows consume both screen real estate and valuable memory. If you want to conserve memory and screen space, you need to get control over your group windows.

APPLICATION GROUPS

How do we get a handle on this potential disaster? Lets take a look at four different approaches to this problem. The first solution and probably the easiest to employ is create group windows based on the application types it will contain. Simply stated, create a group window based on its content. In order to do this, you must first define content. Some users fall victim to placing their applications in one group window, a sort of "catch-all" group. For example, lets say you put all your DOS applications (word processors, spreadsheets, databases, etc.,) in one window group called "DOS APPLICATIONS". If you horde numerous software applications on your hard drive as I do, this could be a considerable amount of programs. Try and imagine having to look over twenty icons to find an application you want. This could take some time. When I talk about creating a group window as defined by its content, I mean that the applications contained therein should have something in common. A good example would be word processors. By placing all your word processors (DOS and WINDOWS) in the same group window you'll have little problem finding a desired application. A good title for this group widow could be "WORD PROCESSORS".

WORK GROUPS

The second solution is to create group windows based on the purpose of its applications. This is a lot easier than it might sound. Lets create a group window and name it "OFFICE". Within this group we could place such applications as Word Processors, Spreadsheets, Calendars, Project Managers and Databases. As the name implies, those applications associated with office automation are placed in this group. Another example would be to create a group window to hold all your disk utilities. By naming the group window "UTILITIES" and placing such programs as Pctools, Norton, Spinrite, etc., you will have no difficulty remembering what this group contains. By using this method you can greatly reduce the number of group windows needed.

PROJECT GROUPS

The third solution and one that I personally prefer, is to create group windows based on a project. This technique is extremely useful in maintaining a well organized group window designed for a specific task. With this method you can place all applications associated with a particular job task under one group. Take for example this article. In support of this project, I required the use of a word processor and paint program. By generating a group window named "ARTICLES" and placing all applications used for this project within that group, much time is saved by negating the need to search other group windows for these support tools. Still yet another step saver is to create icons within the group which represent specific tasks: in this case the article, article revisions and graphics images. This convenient little trick allows me to call up either the documents or graphic images directly without calling up the application first. There is absolutely no need to search other group windows for support if you correctly set up your group window.

COMBINED GROUPS

Finally the fourth solution is to create a combination of the three solutions discussed in the previous paragraphs. For example, the ideal setup in the business environment would be to use Project and Work groups. For the home user, Application and Work groups would be ideal. By combining several group types, you clarify your group categories and eliminate the need to create numerous group windows that take up memory and screen real estate. These concepts are fairly easy to implement and will save time, memory and screen space.

EXAMPLE GROUP TITLES

Each of the group categories discussed are not difficult to imagine. With a little organized thought and an understanding of what best suits your needs, creating functional group windows can be a snap. Below I have listed some examples that you might consider.

Application GroupsWork GroupsProject Groups

Word ProcessorsOfficeArticles
SpreadsheetsDesktopBudget
DatabasesUtilitiesTravel
GraphicsHomeProgram Review
GamesBusiness

This list is by no means all inclusive. If they fit your needs, use them; if not create your own. Remember, with a little bit of thought and not too much extravagance, you can organize your screen real estate, save time and system resources.

CONCLUSION

The process of creating group windows is simple and for most users, is probably old hat. However, new Windows users and there are more every day, might find these methods useful. Remember, Windows is only as hard as you make it. As with any application ensure you take the time to thoroughly read the manual. The more you understand an application, the less problems you will encounter later on. The following steps will enable you to create program groups and program items:

CREATING PROGRAM GROUP

1. Select File from the program managers menu options bar.
2. Select New
3. Select Program group then click on OK.
4. A small window will appear. Two entry boxes will be presented. One box is titled Description the other is Group File. Enter the name you wish to identify the group window in the description box. For example you could enter "OFFICE". Under group file you can leave this entry blank. Windows will automatically generate a file name. Usually this name will be the same as the Description with a .grp extension. For example "OFFICE.GRP". This is how windows calls that group up at start up. Once completed click on OK.
5. Windows will open the group window with the title you have selected in the top window bar.

CREATING A PROGRAM ITEM

1. Insure program group window is open. If you just create the program group the window will already be opened.
2. Select File from the program managers menu options bar.
3. Select New
4. Select Program item then click on OK.
5. A small window will appear. Two entry boxes will be presented. One box is titled description the other is Command line. Enter the name you wish to identify the application with. For example "Word For Windows". Under command line enter drive and path were the executable file is located for said application. If you select Browse from the Program Item Properties window, you will be permitted to search for the location of the executable file. Once you have located the file double click on the title and the drive, path and executable file will automatically be entered into the command line box.
6. Select change icon. If you have access to an icon library enter drive, path and file name. If not select program.exe an a few selections are available. Click on the view next button to increment through the icon selections. Once you have the icon you desire click on OK.
7. When you are returned back to the properties window click on OK and your changes will be saved. Immediately after you will see the icon displayed in your group window.



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CONCLUSION

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