Brief Information about the Nov. 99 CSIG Meeting

A Lecture by Bruce Arnold
Utility Icons

C++ Desktop Launch Utility - Win32 API


Welcome to the C++ Users Group for November 1999.

This month's discussion will center on the Windows API. It's a repeat of last month's meeting. (Due to the Yankee's game, many people were not able to come to the October meeting.)

A common operation working with computers is to return to the desktop. Your desktop often contains recent information, new icons, new programs and other features that you want to get access. Microsoft recognized this need by providing a MINIMIZE-ALL option on your taskbar. Windows 98 actually has an option on the taskbar for bring up a list of desktop utilities. Sometimes this is not enough. At work some of the programs that I use are so unfriendly that they will not allow themselves to be minimized.

The desktop is simply another folder on your hard drive. You can open it with Microsoft Explorer. Unfortunately the path is fairly long and not consistent between operating systems. I have written a desktop utility which displays a small icon on the taskbar. When you double-click on the icon the program launches Windows Explorer with the proper path to bring up the information that's normally contained on the desktop.

The program uses the standard Windows 32-bit API, application programming language interface. Although I have tried it with Microsoft Visual C++ version 5 it will probably compile using any compiler. An additional feature will resize in the window to scale it to the available video space. New features this month: auto formatting of icons via keyboard simulation.

The biggest challenge for this program was to create a application program window which was non-obtrusive. There is no window. The only evidence of the program is a small icon which is typically near the clock on the lower right hand corner of the screen.

// Desktop.cpp          A desktop utility for the task bar.   B.Arnold 8/3/99

#define STRICT

#include <windows.h>
#pragma hdrstop
#include <windowsx.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <winuser.h>
#include <shellapi.h>           // taskbar
#include <io.h>
#include "resource.h"

int PASCAL WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance, HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
                         LPSTR lpCmdParam, int nCmdShow)
    char        ProgName[] = HEADING;
    MSG         msg;
    HWND        hWnd;

    ghInstance = hInstance;
                                         // Note: hPrevInstance always 0
    WNDCLASSEX    wndclass;         // '..EX' needed for small icon

        wndclass.cbSize        = sizeof(wndclass);          // ex
        wndclass.lpszClassName = ProgName;
        wndclass.lpfnWndProc   = (WNDPROC) MainWndProc;
        wndclass.cbClsExtra    = 0;
        wndclass.cbWndExtra    = 0;
        wndclass.hInstance     = hInstance;
        wndclass.hIcon         = LoadIcon(hInstance,MAKEINTRESOURCE(IDI_ICON3));
        wndclass.hIconSm       = LoadIcon(hInstance,MAKEINTRESOURCE(IDI_ICON3));
        wndclass.hCursor       = LoadCursor(NULL, IDC_ARROW);
        wndclass.hbrBackground = (HBRUSH) (COLOR_WINDOW + 1);
        wndclass.lpszMenuName  = NULL;         = CS_DBLCLKS;

    if (!RegisterClassEx(&wndclass)) exit(0);;
                                   WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam)
    static int x, y;

    switch (message)
        case WM_CREATE:                 // needed for taskbar algorithm
            tb.cbSize = sizeof(tb);         // setup taskbar icon
            tb.hWnd = hWnd;
            tb.uID = IDI_ICON3;
            tb.uFlags = NIF_ICON | NIF_MESSAGE | NIF_TIP;
            tb.uCallbackMessage = WM_TASKBAR;
            tb.hIcon = (HICON) LoadImage(ghInstance,MAKEINTRESOURCE(IDI_ICON3),
            strcpy(tb.szTip,"View Desktop Folder"); // 63 MAX
            Shell_NotifyIcon(NIM_ADD, &tb);
            return 0;


void WinExec2(char *lpCmdLine, UINT uCmdShow)
    static STARTUPINFO si;    static PROCESS_INFORMATION pi;

    si.cb = sizeof(si);

        NULL,           // pointer to name of executable module 
        lpCmdLine,      // pointer to command line string 
        NULL,           // pointer to process security attributes 
        NULL,           // pointer to thread security attributes 
        FALSE,          // handle inheritance flag 
        NULL,           // creation flags 
        NULL,           // pointer to new environment block 
        NULL,           // pointer to current directory name 
        &si,            // pointer to STARTUPINFO 
        &pi             // pointer to PROCESS_INFORMATION 

   WaitForInputIdle(pi.hProcess, 6000);     // wait up to 6 secs.
int isWinNT(void)
    memset(&osvi, 0, sizeof(OSVERSIONINFO));
    osvi.dwOSVersionInfoSize = sizeof (OSVERSIONINFO);
    GetVersionEx (&osvi);

    if (osvi.dwPlatformId == VER_PLATFORM_WIN32s) return 0;
    else if (osvi.dwPlatformId == VER_PLATFORM_WIN32_WINDOWS) return 0;
    else if (osvi.dwPlatformId == VER_PLATFORM_WIN32_NT) return 1; // NT or 2000
    return 0;

"Random Access" questions start at 7:30 Tuesday night.


Source Code Files

For help, email me at b a r n o l d @ b l a s t . n e t
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