How Did You Find Out About Winbatch?Keywords:
Question:Just curious for the Winbatch coders out there...how did you find out about this product?
Me? I picked up a CD called Blackhawk for Windows 95, way back in Nov 1996 and it was one of the shareware programs on it. Printed out the manual (2 or 3 inches thick) and starting going at. Never looked back. How about you?
The time was 1995 and I was setting up automated software installations with WinInstall [from OnDemand software at that time, later on from Seagate...], and ran up against a brick wall w/respect to scriptable functionality in WinInstall. I turned to the 16-bit version of WinBatch to solve those problems, and I've been hooked on it ever since then.
In 96 we were looking for a way to map and unmap CD-Rom drives from a tower on the fly and a friend of one of my co-workers recommended WinBatch. As some other projects came up I thought about trying WinBatch and the rest is history...
I read inserts in PC Mag or Byte in 94/95 and buy the product to see if it should be ok for instaling software on windows. our windows product was very late and I made scripts for novell login script that our system administrator always dreamed off.
Once the dream come true I thought of automizing 3270 app with it and etc. etc. I am still with it in 2003 and I widespread Winbatch everywhere.
I've heard about WinBatch in the days of Windows 3.0, got a download from elsewhere, didn't understand it, and forgot it. In 1999/2000 I had the need for retrieving stock data from internet pages.
I asked Google, an it gives me a list of Batch related products out there.
I tried one, looking simple, and it was really simple and it's behaviour under stress was ugly. After a few days I deleted that bad app. So I've tried WinBatch and quickly I had the impression, that this company knows about how making things simple, but keeping it effective and intelligent.
That was the love starts.
The company that I was working for in 94/95 got some consultants in to do a automated kiosk system. As they did part of the system with Winbatch we started having a play with it.
Since they I've managed to get at least 4 other companies that I've worked for to by the Compiler.
I couldn't do without now.
It was 1999, with Y2K looming...I was highered on in a research lab and looking to make a good impression. I asked my group what tasks were really holding things up and volunteered to try to improve things in my spare time. The computer related suggestions I got sounded impossible, a long the lines of "Get this old (read crappy, expensive, poorly documented and proprietary) software/hardware combination to work simpler/faster/unsupervised and they would all be eternally greatful. I thought about the problem, tried a few things, but it seemed hopeless.
I asked a programming friend for advice and he said it sounded like I would need to either write new software myself (not in my job description, and probably a life long project) or find a way to control it with another program. For a few weeks I hacked around with other software to send keystrokes, monitor ports, etc... but they didn't work.
Then my friend called and said he'd been joking about my plan with a networking colleague who suggested I try winbatch. I downloaded an evaluation, whipped up a few quick tests over the weekend, wowed the group with the minor improvements made in 2 days and convinced them to buy me a copy. They did and by the end of the next week I had a rough script that did everything they had asked for. Then I found the WebBoard and in after a few hints from Marty I had the script perfected. From there I apply WinBatch wherever I can.
I found it in one of Brian Livingston's old books on Windows 3.1. Some of the tools I consider essential to operating a PC - like hiding and placing windows - I can only do with Winbatch. One of the best scripts I ever wrote is one line:WinHide(WinGetActive())That alone - and the ability to unhide such windows - is worth the purchase price of Winbatch.
In 1996 I was starting a project to automate the distribution and update of sofware packages on campus. The deadline meant there was no time to implement it in C++ or a similar language. Another group on-campus had used WinBatch to automate some tasks and spoke very highly of it. What sealed the deal for me was the Tech Database which was (still is) an incredible repository of tips, tricks, and useful snippets.
Sometime in 97/98 my company sent me to visit another company that had made the same software upgrade we were in the middle of. They were using WB as a simple menu system to launch various versions of the program. Thought it was neat, but didn't peak my interest.
2 weeks later, was walking past a cow-orkers desk, and saw a WB box, (complete w/manuals & CD) sitting on his shelf. Asked if he used it, he said it was left by the previous occupant, he'd never used it, and had no idea what it was for. (this was someone working in the AUTOMATION department of our company!) I borrowed the copy, got a new menu working for my group in no time and was hooked.
No one bought into the menu system I wrote (they preferred the old Novell menus that were impossible to maintain), and it died. 2 years later, I was transferred to the automation group and found WB everywhere.
Have now convinced my second employer to purchase WB, and am happily saving myself hours a day of tedious hand running applications!
Back in 1998 I became involved in a WebCam project with video cameras overlooking several New Zealand beaches for research into sand movement, waves etc. We needed a good schedular program so bought Graphical Dynamics Clockman 95 which has WinBatch built in. From there it was small step to buying a full version of WinBatch and its uses throughtout our company astound me.
Of course, the wonderful support from this board is integral to its abilities.
Three/Four years ago was looking for something to replace Object Rexx. Found Winbatch then. My department poo-hooed it then,..... finally managed to get them to purchase copy 2 years ago and now we use it for a LOT of stuff. Go figure. The ehllapi extender is the final nail in the coffin for Object Rexx as far as I'm concerned.
Our company used the PubTech program manager replacement for Windows 3.0 in 1993. That's when I started writing PubTech BatchWorks scripts for network administration. Somewhere along the way Pubtech evolved (or something) into Wilson WindowWare. Sure has improved a lot in the last decade!
Back in '97 or '98, I ran across a shareware program that displayed clock information in the title bar of the active window. I can't remember the name of the program, but it had options to display time and alarm information in a variety of different ways (scrolling left, scrolling right, scrolling top-to-bottom, etc).
The program used some strange scripting thing called "WIL" to do stuff behind the scenes. I decided to try and figure out how this "WIL" thing worked.
It took a few years, but I finally convinced my colleagues at work to look at WinBatch for writing automation routines and utilities. Now we wouldn't dream of not having it around.
I also have a friend who has never been able to make the leap from the old 8-bit programming environments (Apples, Commodores, etc) to Windows programming. I tried, C, Java, VB... He just could not make the transition. WinBatch is the first language that he has been able to grasp and use successfully since BASIC - a testament to WinBatch's objective to make Windows programming simpler to do (though he still complains about the demise of the old CLI style screens for I/O).