[J3 Computer Technologies - http://www.os2store.com/]

Object Desktop tips- by Alexander Antoniades

Standardizing Corporate Desktops!

One of the features that many people don't realize is in Object Desktop (and more prominently in Object Desktop Professional) is the ability to move Desktops onto different systems or to restore them infinitely on a single system using Object Package.

While end users may find this unnecessary, for corporate users and IS managers it's a dream come true. For example, sales people who take laptops on the road to demonstrate programs need to be sure what state their computer is in at the start of every demo. Another area where a single Desktop layout/style is useful is when it comes to training employees. The list goes on and on.

For starters, one thing that many people don't realize that you can do with Object Desktop is have OS/2 constantly start with a single Desktop, regardless of what else has been done to the system. To do this, what you have to do is start an Object Package restore from a REXX script before the system is completely up.

First you need to have a package of the Desktop you want the system to restore from. The next step is to start a REXX program from STARTUP.CMD (note: you can't have this as a RUN statement or anything else that might try to start before PM is initialized).

The REXX program reads as follows:

/* */
rc = SysSetObjectData( 'c:\Desktop.opg', 'UNPACKTO=C:\;' ) ;
NOTE: 'c\Desktop.opg' is the location of the package file, and the 'C:\' at the end of the 'UNPACKTO=' statement, is, of course, the path where the \Desktop directory lies.

CAUTION: While this routine does work as listed on most systems, there are certain combinations of programs and drivers that may interfere with this process. It may need tweaking to work on some configurations.

OK, now that we've established how to make the machine boot with the same Desktop every time, let's go and create a package worthy of that status. First, find a Desktop that contains all of the objects that suit the needs of all users on the network. My suggestion is to keep it simple and try not to use any fancy backgrounds, since that can effect the size of the file.

Now that you have the Desktop, package it up. You can do this by dragging a blank package template from the Object Desktop folder onto the Desktop and opening it by double clicking on it. When the package opens, it will ask you if you want to store your Desktop; answer yes. Now you have a package of the current Desktop.

The best thing to do at this point is clean out any unnecessary classes that might be on your system, but not in everyone else's. The tool necessary to do this is the Object Class Editor which comes with Object Desktop Professional. The Object Class Editor can be accessed by right-clicking on any package file and selecting "Class Editor" under the "Open As..." menu. In there you will see all of the classes associated with the package file. When you try to restore these classes to a system that doesn't have them registered you will see a dialog which asks what DLL to associate the class with, which, needless to say, would put a cramp in any sort of automated restore.

Additionally, you can remove unneeded classes, like all of the classes beginning with ADV which are only used for the IBM.NET Advantis dialer (which are pretty worthless to people who don't use it). This can improve performance on some systems since there are less classes for the Workplace Shell to go through.

OK, now that you have a clean package of the perfect Desktop, duplicate it as needed, which makes setting up new systems and administering old ones, easier than ever. Proving to more and more people that Object Desktop is much more than just a pretty face.

* * *

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

 [ Previous]
 [Next ]

[Our Sponsor: ScheduPerformance - Improve OS/2's performance with Priority Master II.]

Copyright © 1997 - Falcon Networking ISSN 1203-5696