You can perform tasks for account and workstation maintenance during logon in many ways. However, users are always looking for ways to perform tasks during logoff, such as initiating a system backup, deleting temporary files, or synchronizing the desktop with a handheld PC. WrapUp-98 2.1a from Tessler's Nifty Tools (TNT) adds the functionality the system needs to complete these tasks during logoff.
Installing WrapUp-98 was simple. I copied the executable file and one .dll file to the local system. Then, I created a shortcut to WrapUp-98 in the Startup folder and ran WrapUp-98 manually. The software created a Shutdown folder. I created shortcuts in this folder for batch files and other application processes I wanted the system to complete during logoff. I restarted my system, and installation was complete. The application runs in a Virtual DOS Machine (VDM), using a minimal amount of RAM. This program is backward compatible to Windows 9x and Windows 3.1x and must launch from the Startup group. WrapUp-98 doesn't run as a Windows NT service, which can be bothersome if you don't want applications minimized because you are used to utilities running as services on NT.
When you add WrapUp-98 to the Startup folder, you must configure most major functions as command-line switches on the shortcut. Users who prefer to point and click when selecting options might find this process archaic. Some switches are common to any supported OS, and others are NT and Win9x specific. Two major switches of concern are the /m and the /n switches. These switches let the logoff sequence complete without prompting after the system closes the configured shutdown applications. These two settings are the main switches users will want to use, because they require no user interaction to complete the logoff process.
Running the Software
During testing, I created a shortcut to a Netscape session with my intranet home page URL. After I initiated the logoff sequence, the application ran without error. However, when I closed the Netscape session I was still at my desktop. I had to restart the logoff sequence. I emailed TNT's tech support, and I received a quick reply informing me that I was missing the switch on the WrapUp-98 command line in the Startup folder, which would automatically complete the logoff sequence. Adding the switch configured WrapUp-98 to close the NT session without interaction. During the testing phase, I tried a variety of applications that I typically run. The only problems I encountered occurred because of an improper shortcut configuration, which often happens when you configure shortcuts manually. After I made the shortcut functional, WrapUp-98 ran with no problems. The functionality of WrapUp-98 is limited to functions you can perform from a shortcut. You can configure WrapUp-98 for password protection to limit configuration access. A menu item called Shut & Spawn tests applications running during logoff.
Several sections in the online Help file cover command-line parameters, which are the basis for configuring WrapUp-98. Separate sections discuss command-line parameters for NT, Win9x, and troubleshooting.
Useful and Affordable
WrapUp-98 is a useful tool to complete tasks before logoff in NT. Although an NT version running as an NT service would be more robust, the current release provides proper functionality and performance to complete tasks. The price is affordable, and volume discounts will bring the cost down further. TNT offers discounted corporate quantity licenses.
Tessler's Nifty Tools * 925-275-9353
Price: $39 per license
Windows NT 4.0, NT 3.x, Windows 9x, Windows 3.1x