[This one's a winner -- Trevor Smith, Editor, OS/2 e-Zine!]
Object Desktop Tips- by Alexander Antoniades

Since its initial release, Stardock Systems' Object Desktop has been among the best selling OS/2 applications in the world. Many OS/2 users enjoy greater productivity thanks to Object Desktop's helpful features.

Something many Object Desktop users don't know, however, is that there are many undocumented or often overlooked features of Object Desktop that can make your OS/2 system even more productive and fun to use. We've gathered together a few of them to share with you.

Hidden Mouse/Keyboard Shortcuts

The following actions can be performed from anywhere within the Workplace Shell when Object Desktop is installed:

Checking your computer's pulse

One of the more popular parts of the Control Center of Object Desktop is the pulse meter that can explain CPU usage. While most people like its default appearance of two solid colors (selectable by drag and drop from any Workplace Shell color palette) some people like the style of the original OS/2 Pulse applet which is more like a hospital heart monitor.

You can make the CPU meter in the Control Center appear like a "hospital heart monitor" by opening the Control Center in either Object Package (which is in all versions of Object Desktop 1.5+) or the Object inspector (included in Object Desktop Professional) and changing the CPU_NOFILL= parameter in the Control Center from 0 to 1.

Restarting Object Desktop with the Workplace Shell

One of the complaints that people have made about Object Desktop is that when the Workplace Shell is restarted (either intentionally or by crashing) the enhancements from Object Desktop don't restart with the shell. And while you can manually restart most of the components, such as Control Center and the Tab LaunchPad, others such as the Task Manager can't be restarted.

To make Object Desktop restart when the Workplace Shell is restarted, simply create a shadow of your Master Setup object on the Desktop and everything that you've selected to autostart will be restarted with the Workplace Shell.

This is necessary because of a Workplace Shell limitation regarding the reinitialization of Startup Folders. The Master Setup object is actually a subclass of the Startup folder and Startup folders are only initialized on boot-up unless they're on the Workplace Shell Desktop.

Undocumented CONFIG.SYS Calls

Many customers have been inquiring about different configuration options that can be changed in Object Desktop. Listed below are several undocumented environment variables that can be set in your CONFIG.SYS file to change particular behaviors of Object Desktop 1.5. Please remember to make a back up of your CONFIG.SYS file before making any changes.

That's it for this month. Next month we'll feature even more undocumented and useful tips and tricks for Object Desktop.


Alexander Antoniades is the former Associate Editor of OS/2 Magazine and the current Vice President of Marketing at Stardock Systems.

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