See Appendix for changes from V 1.0 to V 1.1.
WinDEX will be distributed as SHAREWARE. Version 1.1 is still a
preliminary BETA release distributed as FREEWARE. If you find this
software useful, you may complete the registration form and send in
$5 to receive the shareware release at no additional charge.
WHAT IS IT?
WinDEX is a Win3 application that allows any one of 6 standard DOS
processes to be executed in the background with results of the
execution reported in WinDEX. Two programs will be provided in the
package - WINDEXM (manager) and WINDEXU (user). The programs are
identical except that WINDEXU cannot change any options. This
allows an "expert" to provide a "user" with a little utility that
they can't mess up. (The preliminary release contains only
The author supervises a small Novell network. Some users had
difficulty in re-directing printer output between local and network
printers. The Windows control panel method of network printer
management is neither quick nor easy. WinDEX lets me give these
users a small application that let's them chose a printer and set
capture options by just selecting a customized worded description.
WinDEX runs under Windows V3.0. IT IS BEST SUITED FOR THE ENHANCED
MODE OF WINDOWS. [Note: Version 1.1 adds a Standard mode selection
to improve its execution in standard mode.] WinDEX requires the
Visual Basic DLL ***NOT INCLUDED***. The file DBRUN100.DLL is
available in the MSLANG forum of compuserve at no charge.
WinDEX uses around 100K of memory. When executing a DOS shell
command, additional memory is required. WinDEX comes with PIF
files (WINDEX#.PIF) that can be used to minimize memory
How it works:
When WinDEX is run, it loads all the information that determines
how it runs from the default data file (WINDEX.DFL) which must be
located in the Windows program directory. If the file is not
found, defaults can be entered or the sample defaults supplied with
the program may be used. These defaults control the title of the
window, as well as the description and execution of the choices
When the user selects one of the 6 choices, a small window displays
the option that will be performed. Each choice can optionally be
setup to provide for user-input optional text. When the user
clicks the Execute button, WinDEX launches the command in a
minimized window with output (optionally) re-directed to a
temporary file monitored by WinDEX. When the launched command
completes, WinDEX displays the output from the command in a small,
scrollable, editable window, and is ready for more action. The
output can be moved to a larger, resizable window for easier
viewing or editing. The larger Window supports cut, paste and copy
to and from the Windows clipboard. The smaller window supports
copy to the clipboard.
Copy the program EXE files to any directory of your choice. (Note,
WINDEXM.EXE allows you to change options, WINDEXU.EXE does not; you
do not have to place both programs on your system.)
Copy the WINDEX.DFL defaults file to your Windows directory. Copy
the .PIF file(s) to your Windows directory (or the directory where
you normally keep .PIF files). Note - the WINDEX1.PIF file is used
by the sample default applications; the other .PIF files are not
needed unless you create a command that requires more than 128K
memory. NOTE: The defaults provided with the program use
WINDEX1.PIF, which provides 128K memory. If you have a large DOS
environment overhead (the amount of available memory less free
memory before starting windows), you may need to provide more
memory. Edit the PIF settings to provide a larger memory
allocation using the PIF editor that comes with Windows.
Run WINDEXM or WINDEXU from the Windows file manager, program
manager, or create a program item in a program manager group to run
WINDEXM or WINDEXU.
SET UP OF DEFAULTS (File - Defaults):
It is essential that the default data be entered correctly for the
proper operation of this application. Being able to enter the data
gives the application tremendous flexibility, but requires some
expertise. For this reason, a version of the program (WindexU) is
provided that doesn't have a defaults screen - in this case the
fixed pre-programmed options are available until a new defaults
that you create with WinDEXM is placed in the Windows directory.
The main defaults screen has two lines of fields for each of the 6
options in the main program:
The OPTION DESCRIPTION is the text displayed for each
selection in the main window.
The OPTION COMMAND is the command executed for the selection.
(Note - this is critical - more on this later.)
The USER INP(ut) checkbox determines whether the main program
will allow optional user input as part of the command.
The red S box can be clicked on to open the parameters for
optional user input.
The OUTPUT checkbox determines whether WinDEX will attempt to
redirect the command output into it's scrollable window.
Either 386Enh mode or Standard Mode must be selected. When
386enh is selected, WinDEX will launch the command to run in the
background. The Windows screen is not disturbed except for an
additional, temporary icon. In Standard mode, when a command is
launched, Windows switches to the command, which, if output is to
be re-directed to WinDEX, produces a blank screen. When the
command finishes, the WinDEX window re-appears. Note- the program
will run with either setting no matter what Windows mode you are
in, but if you select 386Enh mode and are running in standard mode,
you must manually switch to the launched shell before the command
can be executed since standard mode does not allow background DOS
The SAVE button saves the defaults.
The CANCEL button returns to the WinDEX main screen without
saving any changes.
The EXIT button allows you to exit the defaults screen without
saving the defaults, but using current settings for the current
The TITLES... button brings up a screen that allows you to put
your own titles in the main WinDEX window.
The RESTORE button allows you to restore the defaults either
to the last saved values, or to the pre-programmed sample defaults.
Look over the pre-programmed default data to better understand
how this works. As mentioned, the OPTION COMMAND as well as the
USER INPUT data are critical to successful operation.
The OPTION COMMAND must be a valid "Run"-type command. It must
call a file with one of the following extensions: BAT COM EXE or
PIF. While WinDEX can "launch" programs, it's intent is to run
programs that require no operator intervention.
When optional user input is allowed, these default fields are
Description before: The main program will display this text before
the user editable input.
Description after: The main program will display this text after
the user editable input.
Command before: The main program adds any text in this area to the
command line BEFORE the user input options.
Command after: The main program adds any text in this area to the
command line AFTER the user input options.
Default input: Any text here will appear in the user editable
option text as a default.
Space before: If checked, a space will be inserted after COMMAND
BEFORE text before user input.
Space after: If checked, a space will be inserted after the user
input text (before any COMMAND AFTER text).
Let's look at option 1 as supplied with the program - a DIR command
allowing optional user input. The command line is:
WINDEX1.PIF /c dir
WINDEX1.PIF is provided with the program. It's paramaters are set
to load COMMAND.COM (and assumes that COMMAND.COM is in the dos
path environment) providing a 128K shell. The /c parameter is
ESSENTIAL. It instructs the shell to execute one command and exit.
This is followed by the DIR - directory command. If the /c is
missing, the dos shell will produce an error and will not terminate
normally --- in this case you must switch to the Dos Shell (shown
as an icon matching the PIF file spec - WINDDEX1) and EXIT.
The optional user input and output parameters are enabled. If you
click on the red S net to User Inp(ut), the user input options
screen is displayed: The description before - Select filespec - is
displayed when this option is selected from the main screen. The
DEFAULT OPTION parameter - *.* - presents the user with this as the
default response to optional input.
When the OUTPUT box is checked - as it is on this example - WinDEX
adds >d:\xxx\~wdx.tmp to the end of the command when it is
executed. (d:\xxx is windows directory). This re-directs DOS
output from the command to a file which WinDEX monitors, loads,
deletes and displays. The file, displayed in a scrollable window
may be edited, as well as copied to the clipboard (Edit-Copy).
Give it a try.... Experiment. Use common sense - don't create an
entry that does a DEL *.*! Also see the appendix to this document
for additional examples and ideas of what you can do with WinDEX.
MAIN PROGRAM SCREEN:
DEFAULTS - opens defaults window.
EXIT - terminates program.
COPY - copies marked data in the scrollable window into
the clipboard. Only active when output is displayed in the window.
INFORMATION - brief help. Help will be enhanced in the
ABOUT - displays information about the program.
EXECUTE - executes the currently selected command option.
DISPLAY - toggles the scrollable window between 3 display modes:
selected command, last executed command, and last command output
results. When output results mode is selected, the status box
changes color, and may be clicked to open a larger, resizable
window to view and edit the output results.
6 mutually-exclusive buttons used to select the desired
operation. If a button is selected that allows optional user
input, the radio button area is temporarily replaced with the
OPTIONS SCREEN (only appears if a radio button is selected
that allows optional user input):
Fixed descriptive text is show, with a text box for optional
user input (with a default response if specified in defaults). The
buttons on this screen are: OK - accepts optional input, restores
radio button screen, and shows command to be executed in the
scrollable window. CANCEL - de-selects current option and returns
radio button screen. You may select EXECUTE directly from the
options screen which launches the command with the currently
entered user options.
If an invalid command line is specified, one of several events may
WinDEX will not run the command, and displays an error
WinDEX runs the command, but the application launched gets
suspended until the user switches to the application. If this
occurs, WinDEX will wait until either another WinDEX option is
selected and executed, or the launched application terminates. If
the user repeatedly executes a command that does not terminate,
eventually system memory will be depleted requiring the user to
switch to and complete the launched application(s).
Launched applications will appear (briefly) as a WinDEX icon.
If the application does not terminate, the icon will reamin.
When WinDEX executes a command for which it is told to expect
output, it "sleeps" and periodically checks for output. While
"sleeping", it responds to mouse click events selecting other
options. If EXECUTE is selected, warning messages appear
indicating the last process has not completed or produced output.
If you continue, WinDEX will abort monitoring for output from the
last command. If the last command's shell has not terminated and
has created, but not written to or closed the output file, WinDEX
will continue to produce error messages until the user closes the
RUNNING IN STANDARD MODE:
If you run WinDEX in Windows standard mode, when you execute
a command, it cannot run in the background. The command launched
will appear as a highlighted icon. Double-click on the icon, which
will allow the command to be executed; it will complete, and WinDEX
becomes active showing the results, if any.
Please report any errors headed with "VISUAL BASIC" to me at
the address shown below.
If valid commands and options are selected, no error messages
should appear; error messages are generally related to invalid
commands and can be avoided by modifying the defaults file. Your comments and suggestions regarding this software will be
1108 Bay Front Road
Milton, DE 19968
Compuserve Email - 72435,144
This is a beta release and is being offered as FREEWARE. However,
if you find the software useful and would like to receive the first
non-beta release at no charge, you may register the software. This
software is offered as is and without warranty, and your use of
software indicates your consent that the author shall not be liable
for any damages resulting from use of such software.
City __________________ State _______ Zip ___________
Phone # ______________________________
Disk size (3.5 or 5.25) ______________
Enclose this form with $5 payable to Richard Gamberg and mail to
EVEN IF YOU DON'T REGISTER, I'd appreciate your comments -
email (Compuserve 72435,144), fax (302-678-8941) or mail (Richard
Gamberg, 1108 Bay Front Road, Milton, DE 19968) your response:
If you took the trouble to get this and don't like it or find it
useful, I'd like to know....
Do you find WinDEX useful? _____________
What changes would you like to see? ____________________________
Describe any problems you experienced with WinDEX:
Check any items that you would like to see implemented in the next
_____ User-customizable colors and fonts
_____ Timed execution option - execute a command at a specified
_____ Ability to print output results screen to Windows printer.
_____ Multiple user-entered option fields.
_____ Ability to perform optional validity check on user-entered
_____ Ability to optionally switch focus to the executed command.
_____ Multiple default sets - ability to have multiple sets of 6
commands toggled by user on main screen.
And include below any ideas you have:
Note on PIF files provided with WinDEX: The advanced setting -
Background Priority is increased from normal Windows defaults. If
WinDEX is used to execute a command, and the user is waiting for
results, this setting is desirable since it gives more time to the
background DOS command. The Background option is checked - if you
create or change a PIF file and do not have the background option
checked for use with WinDEX, the command will not complete until
you switch into the launched task.
Ideas and samples for using WinDEX:
Redirecting network-local printer output (used with Novell Netware
2.15C with the capture.exe file in the user's path):
Description: Redirect LPT1 to NetLaser
Command : windex1.pif /c capture l=1 q=printq_0 nff nb ti=30
Output box : Checked - expect output from command
User Input : Not checked - no user input options
When this command is executed, the results of the capture command,
Device LPT1: re-routed to queue PRINTQ_0 on server SERVER
is displayed in the output box.
You may have a neat little (remember when programs were small) DOS
utility.... like Norton's old FF.EXE (file find). WinDEX is able
to launch this utility, with user input options, and display the
Description: Norton File Finder
Command : windex1.pif /c c:\ni\ff
Output box : Checked - expect output from command
User Input : Checked - allows optional user input
User Input options:
Description before: Enter filename to find
Description after : (wildcards OK)
Default option : *.bat (finds BAT files)
other options not used.
This entry could be made to check all drives by adding:
Command after : /a
Space after : checked (add a space between user input and
There are many ways you can use WinDEX --- here are some ideas:
Display a fixed directory/subdirectory with fixed options
Make a sub-directory
DEFAULT PROGRAM SETTINGS:
When WinDEX can't find it's default file, it will use pre-
programmed options. You can also use these options by selecting
the RESTORE...Program Defaults option.
(1) - Show DOS Version
Command : windex1.pif /c ver
Output box : Checked - expect output
User Input : Not checked - no user options
(2) - Display TREE of drive
Command : windex1.pif /c tree
Output box : checked - expect output
User Input : Checked
User input options:
NOTE: The last option included in the default file provided with
WinDEX demonstrates its capability to launch applications. This
entry runs the Windows Control Panel. Note when you execute this
option, Control Panel is run minimized as an icon, which must be
selected to appear on the screen.
CHANGES MADE FROM VERSION 1.0 to 1.1:
Added standard mode/enhanced mode selection.
Version 1.0 would truncate output resulting from a command at 4096
characters. Version 1.1 supports output of to 31K while using less
memory if the output is smaller than 4K. Version 1.1 will inform
you if the output is truncated.
Version 1.0 would act erratically and produce excessive
error/information messages if a second command was executed while
a first command was still processing or did not produce expected
output. Version 1.1 changes the Execute button to a Cancel button
while waiting for output. If the user presses the Cancel button,
the option is given to continue without expecting output. If a new
command is executed and output was produced in the meantime, a
message is displayed allowing the user to either continue with the
next command, or to view the output. One problem remains that I
hope to correct in the next version: If Cancel is selected and a
subsequent command executed when the first command is still
processing (which will result in output later), and the user
chooses to continue new execution, file allocation errors on the
disk can occur. A chkdsk/f (done outside of Windows of course)
will create a .CHK file with the 'lost' output of the first
Version 1.0 did not always update the main screen based upon input
in the defaults screen. This has been corrected.
In version 1.0, if the defaults file was missing, or corrupted, the
program didn't respond smoothly. In version 1.1, if this situation
exists, the user is notified that program defaults are being
In version 1.0, if defaults were changed and then the Exit without
save option was selected, the main screen did not always reflect
the temporary options change. This is corrected in version 1.1