Windows 3.1: Beyond the Basics
By the End of This Tutorial. You’ll Be Able To:
Make Windows start when you turn on your computer
Make your own program groups
Make an icon for running a DOS program
Change the look of Windows
Use more of your hard disk space as memoryTo place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to
GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183
Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.
In the previous post, you got your feet wet with Windows 3.1. You can now run programs, enter commands, and even talk back to dialog boxes. Now, you want to do more. You want to master Windows, turn on a screen saver, and make your very own program group window with icons for all your favorite applications. Maybe, you even want to change the system settings to give Windows more memory. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Forcing Windows to Start Automatically
The computer manufacturer may have already set up your computer to run Windows automatically when you turn on your computer. Or maybe, you had one of your weekend hacker friends do it for you. However, if your computer still starts with the DOS prompt, you can set it up to start Windows instead. Here’s what you do:
1. Run Windows from the DOS prompt as you normally would.
2. Open Program Manager’s File menu and select Run. The Run dialog box appears.
3. Type sysedit and press Enter. This runs System Editor, a program that lets you edit your startup files.
4. Click inside the AUTOEXEC.BAT title bar. AUTOEXEC.BAT is a file that runs a set (batch) of startup commands when you turn your computer on.
5. Click at the end of the last text line in the window, and press Enter. This creates a new command line.
6. Type c:windowswin to add a command that runs Windows.
7. Open the File menu and select Save.
8. Open the File menu and select Exit.
You can test this by exiting Windows and then rebooting (press Ctrl+Alt+Del). Windows will now run whenever you turn on your computer.
Running Applications at Startup
If you always use a specific application in Windows, or if you just like to play a quick game of Solitaire before starting your day, you can have Windows run the application whenever you start Windows.
First, double-click the Startup program group icon to open the Startup program window. Open the program group window that contains the application you want to run at startup. Now, hold down the Ctrl key while dragging the program-item icon into the Startup window. When you release the mouse button, Windows places the icon in the Startup group. After you reboot your computer, any applications that you place in this group will run automatically when you start Windows.
Restoring Windows Program Groups
If you accidentally delete a Windows program group (Accessories, Startup, Main, or Games), you can get it back. Open Program Manager’s File menu and select Run, Type c:windowssetup /p and press Enter.
Making Your Own Program Groups
Windows comes with a few of its own program groups, and whenever you install a Windows application, it creates its own program group. After awhile, program groups pepper your screen, making it difficult to find the applications you use most. So why not do something about it? Create your own program group, and stick the icons you use most in that group:
1. Open Program Manager’s File menu and select New. A dialog box appears, asking if you want to create a new Program Group or Program Item.
2. Click Program Group, and click OK. The Program Group Properties dialog box appears.
3. In the Description text box, type a name for the group (for example, Jane’s Group).
4. Click OK. A new group window appears, but it’s empty. Skip to the next section to learn how to stick icons in this window.
Copying and Moving Icons to Your Program Group
Once you create a group, you’ll want to fill it with icons for the applications you use most. You do this by dragging icons from other program group windows into your new window:
To copy an icon, hold down the Ctrl key while dragging the icon from its original program group window to your new window.
To move an icon, drag it from its original program group window to your new window.
Program Manager can rearrange your icons for you, making them look nice and neat. To arrange the icons in a program group window, open the Window; then open Program Manager’s Window menu, and select Arrange Icons. To arrange the program group icons, make sure all program groups appear as icons (are minimized). Then, open the Windows menu and select Arrange Icons.
Making an Icon for a DOS Program
When you install Windows, it searches your hard disk for DOS programs and creates icons for them. If you install a DOS program after installing Windows, however, you have to tell Windows to make an icon for it. Here’s how:
1. If the DOS program is not installed, follow the installation instructions to install it from the DOS prompt. See Chapter 9, “Selecting, Installing, and Running Programs,” for details.
2. Double-click the Main group icon. The Main group window appears.
3. Double-click the Windows Setup icon. The Windows Setup window appears.
4. Open the Options menu and select Set Up Applications. The Setup Applications dialog box appears.
5. Click on Ask you to specify an application, and click OK. A dialog box appears, asking you to specify the name of the file that runs the program and the name of the group window in which you want the icon to appear.
6. Click the Browse button. The Set Up Applications dialog box appears, prompting you to select the drive, directory, and name of the file that runs the program. (Any file that ends in .BAT, .COM, .EXE, or .PIF can run a program.)
7. Click the arrow to the right of the Drives option, and click the letter of the drive that contains the program’s files.
8. Double-click the directory that contains the application. (To move up in the directory tree, double-click the topmost directory or drive letter.)
9. Click the name of the file that runs the program in the File Name list. (If you see a file that ends in .P1F, pick that one, because it has the information that Windows needs to run the program properly.)
10. Click OK.
11. From the Add to Program Group drop-down list, click the program group in which you want the icon to appear.
12. Click OK. If all goes as planned, Windows creates a program information file (PIF) for the application, assigns it an icon, and places the icon in the specified group.
If Windows displays a message saying that it cannot set up this program, click OK. Then, open the program group in which you want the icon to appear. Open the File menu and select New. Click Program Item and click OK. In the Description text box, type the program’s name. Click the Browse button, use the dialog box that appears to select the file that runs the program (a file ending in .EXE, .BAT, or .COM), and click OK. This returns you to the Program Item Properties dialog box; click OK. You now have an icon that can run your DOS program. The only trouble with this approach is that Windows doesn’t use a PIF file to run the program—this may or may not cause a problem in how the program runs.
Windows likes to have a PIF (program information file) for every DOS program. A PIF contains all the information Windows needs to run a DOS program properly. Some DOS programs come with their own PIFs, For others, Windows Setup can create a PIF. However, if the program doesn’t have one, and if Windows can’t create one, you may have to run the program without a PIF, by running its BAT, EXE, or COM file. Some programs (especially games) may have trouble running without a PIF,
Customizing Windows 3.1
Customizing sounds like an advanced technique that only experienced computer technicians are qualified to do. But you’ve already customized Windows by making it start automatically and by playing with program groups. And it’s no big deal, right? The following customization options let you have a little more fun playing with how Windows looks and behaves.
Turning On Windows Wallpaper
Windows has a dingy gray background that looks like it came out of some old Bela Lugosi movie. To jazz up your Windows background, you can turn on wallpaper, a graphic image that sits behind Program Manager and gives you something more interesting to look at. You can select one of the wallpaper designs that comes with Windows by performing the following steps:
1. Open the Main program group window.
2. Double-click the Control Panel icon. The Control Panel window appears.
3. Double-click the Desktop icon. The Desktop dialog box appears, allowing you to change the Desktop settings.
4. Open the Wallpaper File drop-down list. A list of graphics files, all having the extension .BMP, appears.
5. Click the graphics file you want to use as your Windows background.
6. Click Center or Tile. If the image you select is not big enough to fill the screen, Windows centers the image, or tiles several copies of the image to fill the screen.
7. Click OK button. The selected graphic appears on-screen, if you have your windows minimized.
Turning On a Screen Saver
With older computer monitors, if you left a particular image on the screen for a long time, it could burn itself into the screen, creating a permanent ghost image on the screen. Programmers developed screen savers to prevent this from happening. If the screen didn’t change for a given amount of time, the screen saver would either blank the screen or display moving pictures (fish, flying toasters, creeping cockroaches, you name it). Although newer monitors don’t really benefit from screen savers, they’re still fun. Windows comes with a couple of its own screen savers. To turn on one of these screen savers, open the Main group window, double-click Control Panel, and double-click on Desktop. Open the Screen Savers drop-down list, and click the screen saver you want to use. You can also change any of the screen saver settings:
Click the arrows to the right of the Delay spin box to set the amount of time Windows must remain inactive before the screen saver kicks in.
Click the Setup button, and enter any other settings. For example, if you chose the Flying Windows screen saver, you can change the number of flying windows and the speed at which they fly.
Click the Test button to view the screen saver in action.
Attaching Sounds to Windows Events
Does your computer make sounds when you start Win¬dows, exit, or enter commands? Do you want it to? If your computer is capable of emitting more than an occasional beep, if it has a sound card or a PC speaker driver, you can control the sounds your computer makes in Windows. (A PC speaker driver is a program that helps the dimestore speaker inside the system unit emit more complex sounds.) To assign sounds to Windows events, first open the Main group window, double-click the Control Panel icon, and then double-click the Sound icon. A dialog box appears listing Windows events on the left and available sound files on the right. (If the lists are dim, your computer isn’t capable of playing the sounds.) Simply click an event, and then click the sound that you want to assign to the event. You can use the Test button to play a sound. When you’re done assigning sounds to events, click OK.
Turning Off the Sounds
When you get tired of the sounds (and you will), open the Main group window again, open the Control Panel and double-click Sound. In the Sound dialog box, click Enable System Sounds to remove the X in the check box.
Setting the System Time and Date
Computers have built-in clocks that keep track of the ne and date, even when the computer is off. Many programs can insert the system date and time in your documents, so you don’t have to type it. Like any clock. your computer’s clock can lose or gain time. Or if you live in an area that has daylight savings time, u may need to adjust the time twice a year.
The process is fairly simple. Open the Main group – low, double-click the Control Panel icon, and then double-click the Date/Time icon. A dialog box appears, showing the current settings. Click the number you want to change (for example, the month, hour, or minute), and then click the arrows to : right of the setting to increase or decrease it. Do the same for any other settings you want to ir.ge, and then click OK.
Using the Windows Clock
Windows comes with an on¬screen clock. To turn it on, open the Accessories group, and double-click the Clock icon. To have the clock remain in front of all the other windows, open its Control menu, and click Always on Top. You can use the Settings menu to change to a Analog clock (one with hands) or Digital (one with fingers…er, numbers).
Controlling the Behavior of Your Mouse
Here’s a perfect April Fool’s joke for your home or office. You can switch the left and right mouse buttons in Windows, so the left button acts as the right button and vice versa. (Or can do this if you’re a lefty, but it’s not as much fun.) You can also change the speed that the mouse pointer moves across the screen, and the speed at which you have to click twice for Windows to recognize it as a double-click.
To change the mouse settings, open the Main group window, double-click the Control Panel icon, and double-click on the Mouse icon. You can then use the Mouse dialog box to change the settings:
Drag the Mouse Tracking Speed slider to the left to slow down the speed at which the mouse pointer moves across the screen. Or drag to the right to speed it up.
Drag the Double Click Speed slider to the left to slow down the speed at which VCM have to click twice for a double-click. Or drag it to the right to speed it up.
To reverse the functions of the left and right mouse buttons, click Swap Left/Right Buttons. If you do this, you have to right-click to open menus, run applications, and select options.
To make the mouse pointer do a stutter step across the screen when you move it, click Mouse Trails to turn it on. Click OK when you’re done.
Preventing Changes to the Windows Desktop
If you have kids or meddlesome colleagues, they can mess up the Windows desktop in a lot less time than it took you to carefully construct it. They might leave a program group open, minimize Program Manager, or just trash your icon arrangements. And Windows is set up to save any changes they’ve made when you exit. If you want to lock your changes in place, open the Program Manager’s Options menu, and select Save Settings on Exit to turn the option off.
Now, if someone rearranges the items on your desktop, all you have to do is quit Windows and restart it to recover your desktop. If you make changes to your Windows desk¬top, those changes will be lost the next time you start Windows. To save the changes, hold down the Shift key while double-clicking the Control menu box in the upper-left corner of the Program Manager window.
Giving Windows More (Virtual) Memory
Windows requires about 4 megabytes of RAM (random-access memory) in order to function properly. If your programs require more, Windows can use disk space as memory (called virtual memory). It’s slow, but slow memory is better than no memory.
To check (or change) the amount of disk space Windows is using as memory, open the Main group window, double-click the Control Panel icon, and double-click the enhanced icon. Click the Virtual Memory button and click Change. Now, make your changes:
Windows is set up to use disk space on drive C as virtual memory. If you have another hard drive with more free space, open the Drive drop-down list and select that drive.
Windows creates a temporary swap file that it uses as memory. To increase the speed of the swap file, open the Type drop-down list, and select Permanent. A temporary swap file uses free space from anywhere on the disk. A permanent swap file uses the largest block of free space on your disk, making it work faster. However, if you don’t have a big block of free space, Windows won’t let you create a permanent swap file. Give it a try, anyway.
In the New Size text box, type the amount of disk space you want to use as virtual memory. The number must be less than or equal to the Maximum size listed. If you have the disk space, try cranking this up to 5000 or more kilobytes (5 megabytes).
Managing Disk Space
If you want to create a permanent swap file, but your hard disk does not have a large block of free space, you can clean up your disk to create more free space.
The Least You Need To Know
In this tutorial, you learned that Windows 3.1 isn’t a stone tablet. You can configure it to suit your tastes and make your job easier. Here’s a quick review of some of the cool things you can do:
You can have Windows start automatically by adding the WIN command to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
You can run Windows applications automatically by dragging their icons to the Startup program group window.
To create a program group window, open Program Manager’s File menu and select New. Click Program Group and click OK.
You can copy program-item icons by dragging them from one program group window to another.
The Windows Control Panel has all the icons you need for customizing Windows.
Virtual memory is disk space that Windows uses as memory. Because it’s on a disk, it’s much slower than real memory.
GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183
Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.