For installation instructions, see the Readme.txt file.
WINSINCE.EXE Version 1.2 Copyright 1993 Rob Hueniken
68 Fox Mill Crescent, London, Ontario, Canada, N6J 2B4
Welcome to WinSince
WinSince is a customizable file processing utility that allows you to look
for files created on or after a particular date. It can look for these files
in a single directory, in subdirectories, or across entire multiple drives.
You can also clear the date requirement and search for all files of a
particular type, such as *.tmp. You can then print a list of the files found,
or perform a customizable Action on some or all of the files.
At it simplest, WinSince will help you find files. But by using the definable
Actions, WinSince becomes an iterative program launcher, running both Windows
programs and DOS functions and programs.
Its combination of graphical presentation and command line flexibility make
it an excellent tool for power users and networkers. When customized for a
particular person, its point and click useability make it an excellent end
WinSince features include:
12 definable File Type buttons, which you can set to any file type and
The file Date to check for can be easily set using the VCR-style controls,
or entered directly.
Files matching the File Type (and Date if required) are listed with their
creation date, size, attributes and path.
10 definable Action buttons, which can run both Windows and DOS programs.
Into an Action you can pass the path, complete file name, 8 character
file name, and file extension. For each Action you can define the caption
on the Action button, the Window format (maximized, minimized, etc.) and
if a warning is to precede the Action.
You can start a program by double clicking on a file name.
Saves last position of program on the screen for next session.
Help Topics available:
Using File Buttons
Selecting the Date
Editing and Using Action Buttons
Double Clicking to start a program
Hints and Examples
Rob Hueniken, January 1993
This section gives a quick tutorial on the major WinSince features. It is
intended for first time users. WinSince uses normal Windows conventions, so
previous experience with moving between directories and selecting files from
a list will be useful. See the other Help sections for detailed help.
For the tutorial flow to be correct, follow the steps right after starting
WinSince. The tutorial will suggest what to click the mouse on at a
A Quick Tour of WinSince
The main WinSince Screen:
When WinSince starts the current drive and directory will be shown in the
top right of the screen. You can change to a new directory by double clicking
on a subdirectory name.
Beneath the directory boxes is the File Type button section, which has 12
definable buttons. Click on the one that has the caption *.exe. The Directory
total file list (middle top of the screen) will show the number of .exe files
in the current directory. Click on the *.* button and see how many files
there are in total.
The date that WinSince will use while searching is the Find Since date, shown
on the middle left of the screen. Right now it will show today's date and the
word Today to the right. Under the Find Since date are the VCR-like controls
to change the date. Click on the < Day button to move back a day to Yesterday.
Press the Today button to return to Today's date. This is fun !
The big button with the colorful icon in the middle of the screen will say
Get Files because you have changed the type of files to look for. Click on
the Get Files button. WinSince will fill the Files Changed list box in the
top left of the screen with any files changed today (because the File Type
is *.* and the Find Since date is Today). The big button will change to
Have Files. If the Files Changed list box is empty then no files were changed
in this directory today.
Click on the Clear Date button: the date box will now say No Since Date,
which tells WinSince that it should not worry about the file creation date
when searching for files. Click on the Get Files button. This time there
will likely be files in the top left list box (unless your directory is empty,
in which case you need to double click your way to a busier directory) and it
will have a title that begins with No date selected.
The file details shown are: the name of the file, its creation date
(in MM-DD-YYYY HH:MM:SS format), its size in bytes, any attributes (such
as a for archive, r for readonly, h for hidden), and the full path of the file.
Click on any one of the files. It will show in reverse video. Click on the
Dir button found at the bottom of the screen. The Dir button is one of the
10 definable Action keys. You will see a DOS box appear and the DOS Dir
command will be run on the file you selected. After the command is completed,
you will see a Press a key when ready... request in the DOS box; this pause is
built into the Dir Action definition, which you will see soon. Press return
to complete the Action. Next, look at the section above the Action buttons
on the left. This section lets you choose whether you will search for files
in the selected directory, down into subdirectories, or across entire drives.
Next to the Search entire drives radio button is a listing of the drives that
are available to you, such as a: b: c:. Click on the box to the left of
your hard drive's letter, then click on the Free Bytes button on the lower
right of the screen. In the box below you will see the number of bytes
free on this disk and the percent free. You can select multiple drives and
click on the Free Bytes button to give you a total. This can be very handy
for checking total disk space available.
The Set Type button is found on the right beneath the File Type buttons.
Click on the Set Type button. A small form will overlay the File Type
buttons. Click on one or more of the small buttons, and watch the button's
file type change to the current File Type to Set (*.*). This is fun ! If you
make a mistake then press the Reset button to restore the values. Pressing
the Cancel button will exit the button-setting form without changes; pressing
the OK button will change the values on the main WinSince screen. Changed
File Type buttons can be saved from the File menu or when you Exit the
program (bottom right of main WinSince screen).
The Edit Screen:
The last major section to examine is the Edit menu item. Click on the Edit
item along the top of the main WinSince screen. The Define Action Keys for
WinSince editing form will appear.
There are two areas in the Edit screen. At the top is a list of summarized
Actions and at the bottom is the actual editing area. Click on the
Action 2 Dir item in the top section. It will change to reverse video, and
the lower editing area will change to reflect the components of this Action.
For the Dir command you will see that the Action to Do is dir %p\%f. The %p
refers to the path and the %f refers to the file name. When the action is
actually run on a selected file WinSince will replace the %p and %f
placeholders to yield a real directory command, such as dir c:\windows\win.ini
(path=%p=c:\windows and file=%f=win.ini).
Notice that the Windows or Dos check box is empty because the Dir command
is a DOS command, not a Windows program. When you start defining your own
Actions, they can be DOS commands and programs, or Windows programs.
By setting the various fields you can modify the selected Action to do just
about anything. A more thorough explanation of Action editing can be found
in the Editing and Using Action Buttons help section.
Click on the Exit button in the Edit screen. This will return you to the
main WinSince screen.
To exit the WinSince program, click on the Exit button in the bottom right
of the main WinSince screen.
Finding Files and Using the File Buttons
When WinSince starts, it defaults to finding all files changed today in the
current directory. Above the main file list box (top left) will be shown
the number of files found, the date being checked, and the type of search.
When a search is complete the large central button will read "Have Files".
Whenever you change the file type or date the button will read "Get Files",
which WinSince will do when you press the button.
There are 3 file search options you can select:
1) Search selected directory: This is the default mode, searching only the
directory selected using the drive and directory selection controls.
2) Directory and Subdirectories: This begins the file search in the current
directory and includes any subdirectories under the current directory.
3) Search entire drives: To use this option, select one or more drives to
search. These drive selectors are shared with the Free Bytes function.
The drive and subdirectory selection controls operate in the standard
Windows manner. The "Directory total" file list box shows the names of
files matching the File Type in the current directory, irrespective of the
Date selected. Single clicking on a file in this list will show the file
details of this single file below the main file details list box.
Under the subdirectory control is the File Type text box. You can directly
enter the file type here, such as HELLO.* or you can click on one of the 12
file type buttons. You can use the * (multiple character wild card) and
? (single character wild card) symbols as accepted by DOS.
Defining your own File Type Buttons:
To define your own File Type button, press the Set Type button. A small form
("Set File Button") will overlay the existing file buttons. You can edit the
"File Type to Set" file name as needed. To set a button to the File Type to
Set file name just click on one of the 12 buttons. It's fun! Press the OK
button to accept the new file buttons, or Cancel to return without changes.
The Reset button will reset the file button values to those when you entered
You can make your File Type button changes permanent by using the File menu
Save File Buttons menu selection. You will also be warned if you are about
to exit without saving new Button types.
The Free Bytes button is used to determine the amount of free disk space
remaining on your disk drives. Before clicking on the Free Bytes button
select one or more disk drives in the Search entire Drives section. When you
click on the Free Bytes button it will check all selected drives, including
any floppy drives you selected. The free space in bytes and as a percent of
the total available space is shown. Because Free Bytes uses the same disk
drive selectors as the file search across drives, you should check which
drives you have selected before pressing the Get Files button to find files.
Selecting the File Date
Next to the "Find Since" prompt is the Date text box. You can directly enter
the date here in MM-DD-YYYY format, or use the VCR controls to move forward
or backward by a Day or Week at a time. The adjacent text box shows the
date offset, relative to today (ex. Yesterday).
For example, to select files created since January 20, 1991 the date field
would appear as 01-20-1991.
The Clear Date button will let you look for files without regard to their
creation date. This is very handy for finding all files of a particular type.
The Save Date button stores the current date for later retrieval with the
Reset Date button. If you find a date that shows important file activity you
can use the Save Date button, then change the date to look more, knowing
that you can get back to the files for the previous date by pressing the
Reset Date and Get Files buttons.
When WinSince starts, it defaults to Today.
Editing and Using the Action Buttons
In many instances, just having a list of files matching a date and file type
is enough. But other times you will want to perform actions on some or all
of the files found. The Actions available in WinSince can be both Windows
programs and DOS functions and programs.
To select a single file to act on, click on the file name in the main list
box. To select multiple files, hold down the Control key while you select
additional files, or hold down the Shift key to select all files up to the
file clicked. You can select all files using the All button, and unselect all
files using the None button.
There are 10 definable Action keys located along the bottom left of the
screen in two rows. To view the current set of Actions enter the Edit menu
option. The list box shows the descriptions of the 10 Actions, as well as
the Cut Buffer.
The Action Caption can be up to 10 characters long.
The Action to Do can be up to 100 characters long. It can be a DOS command or
program (such as COPY or FOX.EXE) or a Windows program (such as EXCEL.EXE).
Special substitution symbols allow you to pass the selected files to the
Action in very flexible ways:
%P Path Substitutes the path, excluding the ending \
%F Filename Substitutes the 8 character name, the period,
and the file extension
%N Name Substitutes only the 8 character name,
with no period
%E Extension Substitutes only the 3 character file extension
Example: If the file list shows an entry for C:\WINDOWS\FILE.TXT, and
the Action is:
COPY %P\%F A:%N_2.%E you would get a resulting command of
COPY C:\WINDOWS\FILE.TXT A:FILE_2.TXT
I.e. %P is C:\WINDOWS (note how the ending \ is added)
%F is FILE.TXT
%N is FILE
%E is TXT
Click on an Action in the Action list box to begin editing it. When done,
click on the OK button; the changes will then appear in the Action list box
and be ready for use. The caption will also be changed on the corresponding
Action button in the main WinSince window. The Cancel button will cancel the
changes if the OK button has not yet been pressed. You can use the Copy
button to copy a selected Action to the Cut Buffer. The Paste button will
copy the contents of the Cut Buffer to a selected Action. The Exit button
returns you to the main WinSince screen.
The Window Format will usually be Normal, Show Minimized or Show Maximized.
The Run Windows Program check box should be selected to run a program requiring
Windows. For DOS commands and programs leave this box unchecked.
DOS Actions are best run using the DOS Batch File, which uses the SINCECLS.PIF
file to run the Action in a windowed DOS box, and to close the Window when
done. You can use the PIF editor to modify this to use Full Screen, etc.
as required. If you do not use the DOS Batch File option then each iteration
of the Action on a list of files will create a new DOS box under Windows,
usually causing you to run out of memory. By using the DOS Batch File, a single
batch file is created (SINCETMP.BAT in the TEMP directory) that needs only a
single DOS box to run.
If you check Pause between DOS Actions then a DOS Pause command is inserted
between each action in the batch file.
If you check Pause at end of DOS Batch then a DOS Pause command is inserted
after the last action in the batch file. If you do not specify the pause at
the end then the window will close when the action is completed, which is
useful if you run a minimized action that you don't want to see the final
The Warn before Starting check box will present you with a message box
before the Action is performed on a selected file. If you select No then
the next selected file will be presented. If you select Cancel the action is
ended for all selected files. For DOS Batch File actions a single warning is
given before the batch file is started, showing a sample action contained in
the batch file.
For Windows actions there is no direct parallel to the pause ability of the
DOS batch file. Instead, you can check the Warn before Starting box. Before
the action is started on the next file you will be presented with the Warning
box. Ignore the Warning box and click on the Windows application. When you
finish the application the Warning box will still be there. You can then
progress to the next file, or cancel subsequent actions.
You can make your Action button changes permanent by using the File menu
Save Actions menu selection. You will also be warned if you are about to
exit without saving new Actions.
Note: if you make an error while editing an Action, exit WinSince without
saving the changed Action definitions. When you restart WinSince the
previous actions will be there.
Double Clicking to start a program
You can start any executable program (.exe, .com, .bat, .pif) by double
clicking on its name in either the directory file list or the selected
files list box. You can also start the associated program for the file's
extension (such as starting NOTEPAD.EXE when you double click on README.TXT).
You can set the Warn before run double click option in the Options menu to
verify what program will be run when you double click on a particular file
type. Setting this option is useful for verifying the file associations
within Windows. Once you are confident that clicking on a file type runs the
right program you can reset this option.
The options for WinSince are:
1) Get file information when start up: If set, WinSince will look for files
created today in the current directory when WinSince starts. If you do not
often want a list of the changed files in the current directory then reset
this option. Resetting this option may save a bit of time at start up if
you start in a directory with many files. Use the Get Files button to search
2) Warn before run double click: If set, WinSince will present you with a
warning box when you double click on a file name. The warning box will show
the command about to be run (such as NOTEPAD.EXE README.TXT if you double
click on readme.txt). Setting this option is useful for verifying the file
associations within Windows. Once you are confident that clicking on
a file type runs the right program you can reset this option.
3) Run program on own when double click: This option is usually set. If
reset and you double click on a program (.exe, .com, .bat, .pif) you will
pass the program name to the program itself (such as EXCEL.EXE EXCEL.EXE).
This is rarely the action wanted when you double click on an executable,
but it is included for use under special circumstances.
When you exit WinSince, the options are saved.
Hints and Examples
By customizing the Action buttons you can create a very powerful and easy to
use working environment that can solve virtually any task involving file
manipulations and program execution.
The copy of Since.ini provided with the program provides additional examples
of defining the Action buttons.
Example: Save today's work to floppy
One of the reasons I wrote WinSince was to be able to see which files had
been changed during today's work session and to copy them to a floppy for
safe keeping. By selecting a date of Today and using a DOS Batch File Action
defined as COPY %P\%F A: I can now save today's work to floppy quickly and
easily. Notice how you have to put the \ in. If there are many files to
copy the Pause between and Pause at end controls will let you see the
individual Action results.
Example: Get a copy of files existing in one directory from different directory
Suppose you have a directory called C:\FILES with 5 files in it, and another
directory C:\NEW\FILES with 10 files. The files in C:\FILES need to be set
to the contents of C:\NEW\FILES but you don't want all 10 files, just the
5 files. Clear the Date, and use the Directory controls to move to the
C:\FILES directory. Set the Search Type to Search selected directory and
press the Get Files button. Use the All button to select all 5 files. Then
use a DOS Batch File Action defined as COPY C:\NEW\FILES\%F C:\FILES
Reclaiming the Original WinSince Actions
If you somehow lose the Action definitions, the original ones programmed into
WinSince can be returned. Edit the Since.ini file and delete the Action lines
in the [Since] section. When you start WinSince again the original Actions
will be there.
Using the Warning check box to verify Actions and Double Clicks
When first defining an Action, it is useful to set the Warning check box in
the Edit screen. This will allow you to see what the final command to be run
will be, including the file name. To test the new Action, select one or more
files from the top left list box and run your command. If the command to run
is not as you expected, you can choose "No" and Edit the Action. Once you
are satisfied that your new Action is working, you can reset the Warning
Similarly, you can use the Options menu to set the "Warn before run double
click" option. This will show the command to be run when you double click
a file name. This is a good way to verify the file associations within Windows.
An Action Without a File
You can define an Action that does not need any files. The example supplied
with WinSince is the running of the Windows Notepad.exe editor without a
starting file. When you set up the Action to Do leave out any reference to
%P, %F, %N and %E. This will allow the Action to start if no files are
selected. If you do select one or more files then the Action will be performed
that many times, but as the Action is defined, there will be no file names
passed to the program.
Keeping the Selected Files List
You can double click to move to another drive or directory without losing the
list of selected files. Only when you press the Get Files or Have Files
buttons will WinSince get a new list of files.
Keeping the Action Definitions on Screen
If you often enter the Action Edit window to see what the Action definitions
are, you can leave it on screen while using WinSince. Clicking on the Summary
button will hide the edit details, and just show the main Action details.
You can continue editing by clicking on the Detail button.
Clearing the Date is Important
Using the Clear Date button allows you to search for all files of a particular
type, regardless of the file creation date. By being able to look across
multiple drives and down subdirectory trees, WinSince is a powerful tool
for finding files.
Temporary Files created by WinSince
WinSince uses a temporary file, SINCE.TMP, to store search information. The
location of this file is defined by the environment variable TEMP. WinSince
is careful enough to check for low disk quota, and will notify you if it
might run out of free disk space while searching for files. WinSince also
creates a DOS Batch File, SINCETMP.BAT, in the TEMP area.
Developing using Sheridan Software Systems Widgets
WinSince uses one Sheridan runtime VBX file, SS3D2.VBX. If you are
developing with Visual Basic and this Sheridan VBX file, be sure
to close WinSince before opening the VB project. If you do not, VB
will give you the message "Can't load Custom Control DLL: SS3D2.VBX".
"Sub or Function not defined" error
This error can indicate that the SINCE.DLL or the Visual Basic 2.0
VBRUN200.DLL files are not on the path. For simplicity you can put WinSince
in the main Windows directory, which is almost always on the path. This
new version of WinSince has a new SINCE.DLL; any copies of the older
SINCE.DLL should be deleted.