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Here is a version of the DESKTOP.INF I use on occasion. I'm sure all of the info presented here is available somewhere else, and easier to get to, but this is what I found on my own. Don't hesitate to add good stuff to this and repost it.

#E FB 03 
#W 00 00 0A 03 28 16 08 A:\*.*@
#W 00 00 14 05 28 13 00 @
#W 00 00 1E 07 27 11 00 @
#W 00 00 28 09 28 0F 00 @
#M 00 03 00 FF D FLOPPY DISK@ @ 
#M 00 01 00 FF A FLOPPY DISK@ @ 
#M 00 02 00 FF B FLOPPY DISK@ @ 
#T 00 06 02 FF   TRASH@ @ 
#F FF 04   @ *.*@ 
#D FF 01   @ *.*@ 
#G 03 FF   *.APP@ @ 
#G 03 FF   *.PRG@ @ 
#F 03 04   *.TOS@ @ 
#P 03 04   *.TTP@ @ 


#E FB O3   (This line is for the Set Preferences function)
   \\______B confirm copy
    \      3 confirm copy not
      \    Bit   8        4   2                 1
       \___   ON  Text   ON  ON  Sort by Type  ON Confirm Deletes
              OFF Icon   ON  OFF Sort by Size  OFF No Confirm Del
                         OFF ON  Sort by Date
                         OFF OFF Sort by Name
#W 00 00 0A 03 28 16 08 A:\*.*@
 \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \ \_______Directory to show in window
  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \________08 Opened window   00 Closed window
   \  \  \  \  \  \  \___Bottom of window vert pos (+1 = down 1/2 line)
    \  \  \  \  \  \_____Right side horiz pos (+1 = right 1/2 char)
     \  \  \  \  \_______Vert window pos (+1 = down 1 line)
      \  \  \  \_________Horiz window pos (+1 = right 1 char)
       \  \  \___Side slider pos (+1 = down 1 icon or line)
        \  \_____Bottom slider pos (+1 = right 1 icon or line)
         \___Window line ID
LINE 11:
#M 00 01 00 FF A FLOPPY DISK@ @  
 \  \  \  \  \  \ \____________Icon Name (Anything. I like SQUISHY DISK.)
  \  \  \  \  \  \_____________Device ID
   \  \  \  \  \_______________(?)
    \  \  \  \___Icon ID (00 Drawer  01 Folder  02 Trashcan  03 Program
     \  \  \                                               04 Paperstack)
      \  \  \____Vertical icon pos (+1 = down 1 icon)
       \  \______Horizontal icon pos (+1 = right 1 icon)
        \________Drive line ID
LINE 13:
#T 00 06 02 FF   TRASH@ @
 \  \  \  \  \    \____________Icon Name (Yep. Howabout CAN ICON?)
  \  \  \  \  \________________(?)
   \  \  \  \____Icon ID  (02 Trashcan.  Works the same with any icon.)
    \  \  \______Vertical icon pos (I think 6 is as far south as you
     \  \                           can go in high res)
      \  \_______Horizontal icon pos (+1 = right 1 icon.  Looks better
       \                              right where it is.)
        \________Trash line ID

Note: This is by no means complete. Make shareware work. Put a little money in an envelope and send it to someone. They might be able to help you. I sure can't. Click on box to snark computer.

The few lines of desktop.inf before and including some application installation information are :

#F FF 04   @ *.*@
#D FF 01   @ *.*@ 
#G 03 FF   *.APP@ @ 
#G 03 FF   *.PRG@ @ 
#F 03 04   *.TOS@ @ 
#P 03 04   *.TTP@ @ 
#P 03 04   d:\FASTBAS.PRG@ *.BSC@

The action of the desktop is clearly to try matching a 'double-clicked' file against these templates, IN REVERSE ORDER. Once a match has been made, the desktop then takes either the specified action, or if none, the default action.

( Thus if the bottom template is changed to d:\DUMP.TTP@ *.*@ then an attempt will be made to dump ALL files. Interestingly, not only will .prg (etc) files not be executed, they will also not be displayed as executables on the desktop. )

If no other match is found, the top line wakes up the SHOW|PRINT|CANCEL alert box from the standard desktop. The simple solution is just to insert the name of one's favourite display routine, as below.

#F FF 04   d:\LESS.TTP@ *.*@ 
#D FF 01   @ *.*@ 
#G 03 FF   *.APP@ @ 
#G 03 FF   *.PRG@ @ 
#F 03 04   *.TOS@ @ 
#P 03 04   *.TTP@ @ 

In response to someones query about the desktop.inf.... tah dah -----

Everything you always wanted to know about desktop.inf, but were afraid to ask. Below is a typical desktop.inf file (with a few changes added for examples). Below each line is a definition of what each value represents.


This is the first desk accessory, the rs232 config. Each 0 represents the first column of buttons on the set rs232 config dialog box. The first 0 is column 1 row 1, the second 0 is coumn 1 row 2, etc. A 1 value indicates that a button in the second column was chosen.


This is the set printer config. It works the same way as the rs232 config.


This is the color palette. The color value is set using 3 digits at a time, representing the red, green and blue values. The 3111103 at the end deals with the keyboard repeat rate, and sensitivity. (None of the above three will do anything if the associated desk accessory is not loaded)


This is apparently reserved for a fourth accessory, and does nothing at this time (so far as I can see).

#E C4 02   (#E=Extras)

This is two things. The first value has to do with both the Set Preference dialog and the mouse double click rate. The byte is broken down as follows with the indicated bit set performing the noted action:

Bit       7       6       5       4       3    |   2       1        0
Value    128     64      32      16       8    |   4       2        1
     displays  sorted  sorted  confirm confirm |   double click rate
       TEXT      by      by    deletes copies  |   all three bits, values
   (if not set  size    date                   |   may only be from 0-4
     displays    \       /                     |   5-7 will turn off the
      icons)     both bits                     |   mouse buttons
                  sort by
If neither bit 5 or 6 is set the sort is by name
The second value is 03 for hi rez, 02 for medium rez, or 01 for low rez.
#W 00 00 02 0B 2A 0B 08 A:\*.*@        (#W=Window)
#W 00 01 0A 01 45 09 08 A:\TEST.C\*.*@
#W 00 00 0E 09 2A 0B 08 A:\*.INF@
#W 00 00 0F 0A 2A 0B 00 @

The above four are the window defs. The first number is how far over the horizontal slider is, the second is the vertical slider. The third number is the x coordinate of the left hand side of the window (this takes on even values, with odd values the same as next lowest even value). The fourth number is the y coordinate (this takes single increments). The fifth and sixth numbers are the width and height, respectively. The last number indicates where on the screen the window will open from. (The window opens with a different shape and from a different place with each number, but when you close the window, it will go to another place on the screen. I have not hacked at this long enuf to figure it out.) A zero or FF will not open the window. The text indicates which drive's contents will be displayed. If the drive does not exist, the window won't open, ie. drive bits not set. Also, if the display validation is omitted, the window won't open. The second def above will display the contents of the folder TEST.C, while The third def above will open a window, and only display the .INF files on drive A. If you close and open the window, the files will display as defined in the file and program defs below. (NOTE: this only applies to icon images, every file will display in text -- except if the file bits are marked to be hidden, system, volume, read/write and whatever other bits there are, in which case it won't display at all, but if it is read only, it will display -- strange HUH?) The bottom-most open window in the list will be the active window.

#M 00 02 00 FF D FLOPPY DISK@ @      (#M=iMage (?))
#M 00 00 00 FF A DRIVE A@ @
#M 00 01 00 FF B FLOPPY DISK@ @

These describe the icon attributes. The first two numbers are the column and row position of the icon. The column can be from 0-7, the row 0-3. The third number determines the icon image which will be displayed. The image number is the same for this and the remaining defs in desktop.inf, as follows:

0= disk drive (drawer)       1= folder (sub-directory)      2= trash can
3= executable file (.PRG, .TOS, or .TTP)   4= text (stack of papers)

The fourth value doesn't seem to do anything, but must be a place holder for an unimplemented function. The single letter is the drive identifier, and the text is the drive name. The first @ indicates the end of the drive name. The second @ does nothing, but we can speculate as described below for the file identifiers. The order in the list determines the visual heirarchy of the icons, ie. which will display on top when moved over another icon.

#T 00 03 02 FF   BLACK HOLE@ @    (#T=Trash)

This is the same as the disk drive. If you move a disk drive identifier below this in the list, it will display on top of the trash if moved to the same location. The trash has no identifier letter, but you can put one in.

#F 03 04   @ *.INF@      (#F=Files)
#D FF 01   @ *.C@        (#D=Directories)

These two determine which type of file or directory will be displayed, when displayed as icons. The first line will make GEM display only .INF files for use with the SHOW, PRINT, CANCEL alert box. If you delete this line, no icons will be shown for any file, except as defined below for programs. The second line does the same for sub-directories, only .C folder icons will show. When files are displayed as text, all files will be there, but if you single click on an 'undefined' file type, the sytem will reboot. If you double click, the name will be highlighted, but you can't do anything.

#G 03 FF   *.APP@ @      (#G=Gem)
#G 03 FF   *.PRG@ @
#F 02 04   *.TOS@ @      (#F=File)
#P 03 04   *.TTP@ @      (#P=Parameters)

The above four determine the types of files defined as executable images. Notice that the #F, #D, #G and #P all have two @ symbols. This is defined as: the text before the first @ tells GEM this is a def for an executable file, while text after the first @ and before the second @ tells GEM that this is a def for a SHOWable file (ASCII or object). Note that if both are specified, like #G 03 04 1ST_WORD.PRG@ *.TXT@ then when you double click on any .TXT file, the 1ST_WORD.PRG file will run, and the .TXT file will be taken as a parameter.

The first number indicates the icon image for the file before the first @, and the second number indicates the icon image for the file between the @'s.

Note that the disk drive def also has two @, which would indicate that the FF is a def for the text in between the @'s, but I couldn't get anything to happen.

Try playing around with your desktop.inf by placing different values for the icon images (can be kinda fun). Be forewarned, tho, you can thoroughly confuse GEM, although no harm will result.

This concludes the desktop.inf tutorial (for disk based desktop.inf, there are a couple of desktop.inf's in memory which can do things, too). There may be more to it, but I haven't figured it out yet.

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