It wasn’t until I bought my Macintosh clone, got on the Internet and acquired REALbasic that I really got into utility software development. Having close to a non-existent social life, I never had any clear reason to polish any of my code or make it generic and usable. However, one particular Windows 3.1 program does stand out: Many Apps.
Many Apps is a multiple-association tool that lets you associate one file with many applications. It’s superceded by Mac OS X’s Open Using and 32-bit Windows’s Open With, but even in March 2000, when I still ran Windows 3.11 for Workgroups and Apple System 7.1, I had no solution to this available, and Many Apps was born. Curiously enough, the readme clearly indicates that it is intended for 32-bit Windows as well. I was already at university when this program was completed.
According to the readme, the idea was not mine, but I wrote Many Apps to replace an existing implementation, Chris Brown’s MPA that did not work without File Manager running. Because I was using Wayfarer’s file browser panels, I needed something that did not rely on File Manager.
Many Apps is written in Delphi 1. I still have access to that on my 486, and it saddens me to see how much Delphi pwns REALbasic, even to this day I think.
The readme file is in Windows Write format and Microsoft, curiously, chose to associate Windows Write files with Wordpad despite Wordpad’s inability to open Write documents. So for posterity, here is a reconstructed readme in HTML format.
- Application selection in Many Apps
- Many Apps configuration window
- Association editing in Many Apps
- Borland Delphi 1 with the Many Apps project open