WINSTART and its companion program WINGO let you start Windows programs from the DOS command line
WINGO is a small DOS TSR that you install before Windows
WINSTART is a Windows application that gives WINGO access to the necessary Windows API (application programming interface) functions.
The two programs communicate with each other to provide the WINSTART functionality. The two programscommunicate with each other to provide the WINSTART functionality. Because the design of Windows, you can only use the WINSTART/WINGO combination if you run Windows in Enhanced mode.
Using WINSTART/WINGO is simple, and once installed, the programs are transparent to the user. WINGO is best installed by a statement in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Once installed, WINGO examines every program you execute from the DOS command line. If you attempt to launch a Windows program, it automatically starts Windows.
Once Windows is running, WINGO needs a way to tell Windows that a program needs to be launched on the desktop. This is where WINSTART comes into play.
WINSTART is best launched using the LOAD= line in WIN.INI or in Windows 3.1 by placing the WINSTART icon in the start-up Group in the Program Manager. Once launched, WINSTART sits quietly as an icon at the bottom of the Windows desktop. Once both programs are running, typing any Windows program name at a DOS prompt will cause Windows to switch to the desktop and start that program. Since Windows is started in parallel with the running of the DOS box, the DOS prompt will return and a second or two will elapse before the screen is switched to the desktop. This delay occurs because Windows is swapping the DOS session to the disk and restoring the desktop. You can disable and reenable WINGO and WINSTART when you want. To disable the combination at the DOS prompt (regardless of whether Windows is running), simply type WINGO /D
Using the /E option reenables WINGO. If you are in Windows, you can disable the programs via the Disable option on the WINSTART icon's System menu and reenable WINSTART with the Enable option. Since WINSTART and WINGO work as a pair, disabling one disables the other and enabling one enables the other. Disabling WINGO/WINSTART is handy when you are running the Windows SETUP program from the DOS command line. If you do not disable the programs, the Windows part of SETUP will run instead of the desired DOS-based Windows SETUP. An About option on the WINSTART icon System menu displays the WINSTART About box containing the copyright notice. Double clicking the WINSTART icon also displays the About box. The WINSTART icon never restores to a full window. When you terminate Windows, you can unload WINGO using the /U command-line option.
Download winstart.zip (8kB)
Douglas Boling is a contributing editor of PC Magazine.