Calmira Tips and Tricks

Most important tip: read that help file!

There is an extensive Troubleshooting section, plus a list of Questions and Answers in the Epilogue chapters at the back. Useful information is also scattered throughout.

Exiting and restarting Windows

Here are two small utilities for control of Windows from a shortcut.

ExitWin.exe performs the same job as the Shutdown dialog. It accepts a single upper-case parameter that determines its operation:

  • DOS - exists to the MS-DOS prompt
  • RESTART - restarts Windows
  • REBOOT - reboots the computer
ExitExec.exe will drop out to the DOS prompt, run a program, and then start Windows again (useful for Doom etc.). The first parameter must be the full path of the program to run. The other parameters are passed to that program. For example:

ExitExec c:\dos\ c:\autoexec.bat

How to implement "Command Prompt Here"

The Windows 95 power toys include a command to open an MS-DOS prompt at the selected folder. You can achieve a similar effect in Calmira as follows:

Create a shortcut or Start Menu item to your normal MS-DOS prompt PIF file (probably called dosprmpt.pif). Make sure that the PIF file does not specify a working directory. Next, edit the shortcut properties (in Calmira) and enter %CurrentFolder% in the Working Directory field.

Now whenever you are in an icon window, that shortcut will open an MS-DOS prompt at the same directory. You can give it a hot-key to activate it quickly.

The equivalent of "Send to Command Line"

The Windows 95 power toys include a command to send the selected filename to the Run dialog. In Calmira, pressing Ctrl+R after selecting a file has the same effect. Unlike Windows 95, the full pathname does not need to be included on the command line because it has automatically been noted.

How to make a shortcut to the Find Files dialog

Create a script file containing the following lines:



Then create a shortcut to the script. You can add a directory name after the $Find command to specify the default place to search from.

How to make a shortcut to any Calmira settings dialog

Simply follow the idea in the preceding tip, replacing $Find with an appropriate built-in command. You can see a list of these commands by editing a Start Menu item and looking in the drop-down list of the Command Line field.

How to make folder shortcut open with a chosen view mode

With the Start Menu, you can specify whether folders are opened showing large icons, small icons or a list. To do the same thing using shortcuts and aliases, follow the instructions above for opening the Find dialog, but replace the $Find command with one of the following:

$LargeIconFolder directory

$SmallIconFolder directory

$ListFolder directory

Accessing desktop shortcuts while a window is maximized

Just a reminder that you can bring forward the Calmira desktop by holding down the left mouse button on the taskbar and then pressing the right mouse button. You can also just double click on the taskbar. This seems much easier to use than the Windows 95 "Deskmenu" utility, which shows all the shortcuts in a large menu, and in no particular order!

How to hide the Computer and Bin icons

Give the objects empty captions, then restart Calmira and they should not appear. The answer in the help file is wrong when it says that you can't hide the Computer.

How to implement My Computer that is closer to Windows 95

Here is a general recipe for creating your a new version of My Computer using Calmira:

  1. Hide the original computer icon as described above.
  2. Create a folder somewhere, and give it the file description "My Computer", or whatever you want to call it. You need to enable file descriptions as captions to get a multi-word title.
  3. Create new aliases to point to all of your drives. You can also add other objects to this folder.
  4. Drag the folder onto the desktop to create a shortcut, and give the shortcut a computer icon.
  • The computer icon stays on the desktop after you open it.
  • An extra button appears in the taskbar.
  • You can choose specific icons to represent the programs.
  • You can put folders and script files into the computer.
  • You can't access the Disk Properties dialog.
  • Network connections are not auto-detected.

Calmira loader might resolve display problems

If you are having display compatibility problems with Calmira such as invisible icons or the Start Menu not painting, it may be solved using a small loader: You can download it here.

Put the program in Calmira's home directory and run cmrun.exe instead of calmira.exe. It does nothing except start Calmira, but for some reason, might have a beneficial effect. Worth a try! The only problem noticed is that right clicks on the desktop no longer work.

Activating the screen saver

You can start your screen saver immediately with a single click by including it in the applet tray.
Firstly, make sure the SCR extension is considered as a program extension (edit WIN.INI to
include SCR with EXE, COM, BAT and PIF). Example:


Then add the screen saver to the applet tray, using the /S parameter to make it animate instead of
displaying the Properties dialog. For example:

[Applet tray]

Starfield=c:\windows\ssstars.scr /s

You will have to restart Windows to put this into effect.
Changing the system font

You can change the font used for window captions and ordinary menu items: in the [Windows] section of WIN.INI, add SystemFont=FontName, where FontName is the filename of a raster font, with an extension of FON.

Opening Control Panel applets without showing Control Panel

You can show a Control Panel applet without wasting time to load the main window. All you need to do is insert the module of the applet between the control.exe command and the applet's caption. For example:

%windir%\control.exe main.cpl Fonts
You can modify your Start Menu by copying the snippet below and pasting it into your START.INI to replace the control panel menu definition. Do this while Calmira isn't running, and also delete bmpcache.bmp and imgindex.dat to force the icons to be reloaded.

[Start\Settings\*2Control Panel]

Control Panel=%windir%\control.exe;;0;;0

Color=%windir%\control.exe main.cpl Color;;0;c:\windows\system\main.cpl;0

Desktop=%windir%\control.exe main.cpl Desktop;;0;c:\windows\system\main.cpl;2

Date and Time=%windir%\control.exe main.cpl Date/Time;;0;c:\windows\system\main.cpl;8

Drivers=%windir%\control.exe drivers.cpl Drivers;;0;c:\windows\system\drivers.cpl;0

Fonts=%windir%\control.exe main.cpl Fonts;;0;c:\windows\system\main.cpl;3

International=%windir%\control.exe main.cpl International;;0;c:\windows\system\main.cpl;1

Keyboard=%windir%\control.exe main.cpl Keyboard;;0;c:\windows\system\main.cpl;6

MIDI Mapper=%windir%\control.exe midimap.drv MIDI Mapper;;0;c:\windows\system\midimap.drv;0

Mouse=%windir%\control.exe main.cpl Mouse;;0;c:\windows\system\main.cpl;7

Ports=%windir%\control.exe main.cpl Ports;;0;c:\windows\system\main.cpl;5

Printers=%windir%\control.exe main.cpl Printers;;0;c:\windows\system\main.cpl;4

Sound=%windir%\control.exe snd.cpl Sound;;0;c:\windows\system\snd.cpl;0

386 Enhanced=%windir%\control.exe cpwin386.cpl Enhanced;;0;c:\windows\system\cpwin386.cpl;0

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