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RISC OS 3.7 User Guide
Using a Desktop boot file enables you to specify exactly how your computer starts up, so that the applications you most commonly use are available as soon as you switch on. You can also control the way these applications behave by setting options within the Desktop boot file. This chapter describes these options.
|This appendix assumes that you know how to generate and edit the contents of the Desktop boot file stored within the !Boot application.|
If you create a Desktop boot file while Alarm is running, it will incorporate any changes you have made to certain user preferences in a line beginning;
Alarm$Options also uses the values of -timeout, -weekwork and -format to set up Alarm. It is, however, much easier to set these using the Alarm setup window and then to save a Desktop boot file than to edit these options directly.
Alarm$Options controls the format of the time and date display on the icon bar when the Display format is set to User defined. The default setting is
-format %z12:%mi:%se %pm. %zdy/%zmn/%yr
and produces displays like this;
12:12:32 pm. 23/1/90
1:15:30 am. 1/12/89
You can set the date and time format by giving the system variable Alarm$Options a string made up of time and date variables (see Time and date display formats). You can also enter these variables in the !Alarm Setup window in the User defined field.
You may wish to change some aspects of the way new Paint windows appear when you first open them. For example, a new window normally opens with zoom magnification set to 1:1, but you may prefer to have the Zoom option set to 2:1 each time you start Paint.
You can set features of this type by setting up Paint as you wish to use it, then saving these features in a Desktop boot file.
There are several features of Paint that you can set before saving a Desktop boot file, so that they are set up the way you want them each time you switch on. The Paint features that will be recorded when you go through this process are known as Paint$Options.
Any Paint display features that you set before creating your boot file will be saved, so that the computer not only loads Paint, but sets the display features you have chosen.
If you wish to set the Paint display features, without running Paint itself, follow these steps:
Leave the line starting
Set Paint$Options unchanged.
If you change some of Paint's display features and then create a Desktop boot file using the Task manager, you can load the file into Edit to examine it. You will find a line starting with
Set Paint$Options ...
where the string of letters and numbers corresponds to the display features you have selected.
Here are two examples;
Set Paint$Options "DFW C+ T+ G7"
This means show full info, use desktop colours, colours window and toolbox on, grid displayed in black (colour 7).
Set Paint$Options "DDB CS T- Z4:1"
This means show drawing and name, use BBC colours, small colours window on, toolbox off, zoom factor 4:1.
If you create a Desktop boot file automatically, you may still want to edit it later. The following list of options therefore shows the parameters for Set Paint$Options.
|Letter||Feature controlled||Possible values||Meaning|
|D||Sprite file window display||D or W or B||Drawing and name or Full info Desktop colours on (Wimp) or off (use BBC colours)|
|C||Colours displayed when new sprite window opened||+ or - L S||Colours window on or off Small colours off Small colours on|
|T||Toolbox displayed automatically||+ or -||Toolbox on or off|
|Z||Default zoom factor||a:b||Specifies zoom factor|
|G||Automatic grid display||+ or - n||Grid on or off (at zoom factors of 4:1 or above); n specifies colour for the grid.|
If you have not changed any settings for Paint, the line will appear in your Desktop boot file as;
Set Paint$Options ""
The default values for Paint are;
DDW C+L T+ Z1:1 G+7
When editing the Desktop boot file, you should make sure that the Paint$Options line is placed before the line the that runs the Paint application.
Saving a Desktop boot file will save your SciCalc configuration; however, you may wish to change some aspects of the way SciCalc operates. For example, the position of the SciCalc window, the number base and angle mode it uses.
These features are stored by setting up SciCalc as you wish to use it, and then saving the Desktop boot file.
You can open the SciCalc window at a chosen place on the screen by editing your Desktop boot file and changing the system variable SciCalc$Window. For example, change
Set SciCalc$Window 700,900
The numbers are the x and y graphics coordinates for the bottom-left corner of the displayed window.
You can also choose a particular base and trigonometric mode in which SciCalc is to start, by setting SciCalc$Options, for example
Set SciCalc$Options 2,1
The first number specifies the base, the second the mode. Allowed values are:
The last example sets the base to binary and the trigonometric mode (used when you next change to decimal base) to radians. The default values are
1,2 (decimal and degrees).
Saving a Desktop boot file will save the exact configuration (including the icons and the backdrop) of your Pinboard. It does not save information about iconised application windows.
Add one or more of the following lines to the Desktop boot file.
Pinboard -Grid : Starts the Pinboard with grid lock.
Pinboard : Starts the Pinboard without grid lock.
Backdrop filename : Gives the filename of the sprite to be used as a Pinboard backdrop. For example
Backdrop adfs::4.$.alfalfa makes a backdrop by displaying the sprite
Backdrop filename -Scale : Scales the sprite so that it covers the background completely.
Backdrop filename -Centre : Centres the sprite so that it keeps its proportions.
Backdrop filename -Tile : Makes enough copies of the sprite to cover the background completely.
Pin filename x_pos y_pos : Gives the position of an icon on the background, for example
Pin Resources:$.Apps.!Configure 350 500 puts the !Configure icon on the background at position 350 500 (given in OS units).
Note: To use a backdrop specified in the desktop boot file, you must set the background texture in !Boots Screen configuration window to None.
You may wish to change some aspects of the way new Edit windows appear. For example, a new window normally opens using black text on a white background, but you may prefer to have blue text on a red background ready to use each time you start Edit.
You can set features of this type by setting up Edit just as you wish to use it, then save these features by saving a Desktop boot file.
There are several features of Edit that you can set before saving a Desktop boot file, so that they are set up the way you want them each time you switch on. The Edit features that will be recorded when you go through this process are known as Edit$Options.
Any Edit display features that you set before creating your boot file will be saved, so that the computer not only loads Edit, but sets the display features you have chosen.
If you wish to set the Edit display features each time you start your computer, without running Edit itself, follow these steps.
Leave the line starting Set Edit$Options unchanged.
If you change some of Edit's display features and then create a Desktop boot file using the Task manager, you can load the file into Edit to examine it. You will find a line reading
&nbap; Set Edit$Options
where the string of letters and numbers corresponds to the display features you have selected. (If you have not changed any display features, no Edit$Options line will appear in your boot file.)
Here are two examples.
Set Edit$Options F13 B0 W8 H12 NTrinity.Medium
This sets the text colour to olive green (colour 13) on a white background (colour 0), the font width and height to 8 and 12 points respectively, and the font to Trinity Medium.
Set Edit$Options F8 D NCorpus.Medium
This sets the text colour to dark blue, leaving the background white, switches word wrap on, and sets the font to Corpus Medium.
If a font name is specified it must appear last in the list of Edit$Options.
The table below identifies the display features that will be recorded when you do this, and provides a reference for those who may wish to create their own boot file without using the Desktop boot facility, or who may wish to edit a boot file after creating it.
|F||Foreground (text) colour||7 (black)|
|M||Left margin in pixels||0|
|L|| Extra spacing between lines (a negative |
number will produce closer lines)
|D||Wordwrap on new windows||off|
|O||Overwrite in new windows||off|
|U||Size of undo buffer in bytes||5000|
|N||Font name||System font|
You may wish to change some aspects of the way new Draw windows appear. For example, a new window normally opens with the closed line tool selected, but you may prefer to have the Select tool ready to use each time you start Draw.
You can set features of this type by setting up Draw as you wish to use it, then save these features by creating a Desktop boot file.
There are several features of Draw that you can set before saving a Desktop boot file, so that they are set up the way you want them each time you switch on. The Draw features that will be recorded when you go through this process are known as Draw$Options.
Any Draw features that you set before creating your boot file will be saved, so that the computer not only loads Draw, but sets the features you have chosen.
If you wish to set the Draw features, without running Draw itself, follow these steps:
Leave the line starting Set Draw$Options unchanged.
If you change some of Draw's default features and then create a Desktop boot file using the Task manager, you can load the file into Edit to examine it. You will find a line reading
Set Draw$Options "..."
where the string of letters and numbers between the double quotes corresponds to the features you have selected. If you have not changed any features, the Set Draw$Options line will appear in your boot file as
Set Draw$Options ""
Here are two examples of Draw$Options:
Set Draw$Options P4L T- MS
This selects a paper size of A4 in landscape format, turns the Toolbox off and chooses the select tool as default.
Set Draw$Options G1x10SL ML
This causes a 1 inch grid with 1/10 inch subdivisions to be displayed, with grid lock on, and the line tool selected as default.
If you do not specify an option in the command, it will be set to the default. Case is not significant, except for the values that can be given to the M option: L or l, and C or c (see the list below).
The table below provides a reference for those who may wish to create their own boot file without using the Task manager, or who may wish to edit a boot file after creating it.
|Letter||Feature controlled||Possible values and their meaning|
|P||Paper size and format||n = paper size An (e.g. A4), L = landscape format (if not set, portrait is used), S = Show paper limits|
|G||Grid||a x b where a = spacing, b = subdivisions, I = Isometric (rectangular if not set), A = Auto-adjust on, S = Show grid, L = Grid lock on, C = cm units (inches if not set)|
|Z||Zoom||a:b Set zoom to a:b, L = Zoom lock on|
|T||Toolbox display||+ or - Toolbox on or off|
|M||Tool/mode selected||One of L l C c R E T S , where L = Line, l = Closed line, C = Curve, c = Closed curve, R = Rectangle, E = Ellipse, T = Text, S = Select|
Setting and its meaning:
When you make a change to your diagram, such as deleting an object, Draw stores the previous state of the diagram in a buffer (area of memory) so that it can restore it if you use the Undo option. This buffer has, by default, a size of 5KB. Experienced users of RISC OS may wish to use the Command Line to increase the size of the buffer. To do this, enter the Command Line and type
Set Draw$Options Un""
substituting for n the size you want, in bytes (must be divisible by four). To make the buffer this size each time you use Draw, edit the line that the Task manager will have created for you in your boot file (described in Saving display features) adding the Un immediately before the double quotes at the end of the line.