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Some Software for Win3x I Have Written

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Mark W. Stroberg

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Jun 26, 2023, 9:05:40 PM6/26/23
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Hello,

It has been years since I have been on the Usenet. Many years ago, I
frequented DOS and Win3x newsgroups discussing issues with others. It
doesn't look like there is much activity anymore.

I wondered if anyone was interested in any of the software I had
written, specifically, for starters, an installable driver for Windows
for Workgroups 3.11 which allows the operating system to log in
automatically with a stored user name and password. The password is
stored in SYSTEM.INI with triple DES encryption. I am fully aware that
that is hardly uncrackable, plus the password protection in WFW is
basically useless for actually protecting anything, I was just goofing
around and thought I would try to do it for fun.

This particular driver should function properly in any localization of
WFW, as the means it uses to detect the login dialog's footprint at
startup is a match of control types and control IDs which are unique for
the login dialog, but are the same in any language.

Michael Trew

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Jun 27, 2023, 1:03:04 AM6/27/23
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Unfortunately, it is pretty dead here, but not entirely. I have a Win
3.x era Gateway2K computer sitting here that I've thought, more than
once, setting up in tandem on my desk, only to use with some legacy
software and for text Usenet.

Anyway, what other software have you written? I'd be interested to hear
about it.

Mark W. Stroberg

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Jun 27, 2023, 6:24:43 PM6/27/23
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Hi Michael,

I also have a Program Manager enhancement installable driver which
originally was just adding a drop-down combo with a history to the "Run"
dialog a la Windows 95 and above.

It is smart enough to be able to determine your default email client and
web browser to handle URLs such as those that begin with http://,
https://, and mailto:, although at the time I wrote it many years ago
Windows 3.1 web browsers and email clients such as IE 5.0 and Outlook
Express 5.0 were still useful to surf the web and send and receive html
email. The standards have gone so far beyond those primitive clients
that this feature is more or less useless, although there are definitely
some web sites, although few, that are still compatible with 16-bit IE 5
or some of the later 16-bit versions of Netscape Navigator.

I later added the feature of enhancing the Program Manager Shutdown
Dialog such that it includes, in addition to simply "Exit Windows,"
radio button choices to "Restart Windows," "Restart Computer," and "Turn
Off Computer." The last choice is only functional if your computer and
BIOS have Advanced Power Management or beyond capabilities which allow
the computer to be shut down via software. I would think any 200 MHz
Pentium system or beyond would have this capability. As I couldn't
figure out the confusing API's dealing with APM, I was unable to detect
whether or not the computer had these capabilities, and, if it didn't,
to disable or hide his choice in the dialog. The way I implement this
feature, is that Windows 3.1 includes an API for exiting Windows,
running a DOS command, and then restarting Windows, typically this is
used by installers. In this particular case the DOS command it runs
includes a call to shutdown.com, a DOS utility I downloaded from the
internet that someone else wrote, which can power down the computer. As
the Windows 3.1 "exit Windows and run DOS command" API completely exits
Windows before running the DOS command, even though we power down and
never allow Windows to be restarted, it is a clean shutdown, with no
dangling file handles open or any corruption of the disk partition.

This last feature, the enhanced Program Manager shutdown dialog, can
only be guaranteed to work with US English localization. Unlike with the
Automatic Login driver, I was unable to get a unique footprint to
identify this dialog (if I remember correctly it is simply an OKCANCEL
message box running in system modal mode), and was dependent on the
title text of "Exit Windows" to identify it. I MIGHT be able to get this
text out of the resources of Windows DLLs, and match it that way, if I
set my mind to it and have time someday.

I will include more info on other things I've done, but, for now, if
there's any interest in either of these things I've done, let me know
and I'll get the packages together and post them.

Thanks.

Mark W. Stroberg

Mark W. Stroberg

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Jun 28, 2023, 8:24:51 PM6/28/23
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Just a quick note. I looked and found the dialog template for the Exit
Windows dialog in the Program Manager executable module resources. I now
load and parse this dialog template resource the moment Program Manager
starts up, saving its window caption, window styles and extended styles,
and control IDs, control window classes and some other information about
the dialog. Now when the Exit Windows dialog comes up, I can identify it
with an exact footprint, modify it and subclass it. In short, this
feature of the Program Manager UI enhancement driver (the enhanced Exit
Windows dialog) should now work in any localization of Windows 3.1. It
would be nice if there were someone out there who speaks a European
language other than English, who has a localized version of Windows 3.1
or Windows for Workgroups 3.11 who could test my drivers. It would also
be nice if they could help me localize the UI of the drivers themselves
for their language.

Thanks.

Mark W. Stroberg

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