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Copyright 1998-2024, Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.

The Southern California OS/2 User Group

SCOUG OS/2 For You - May 1993

by North Shore Systems, Inc.

by Matthew Bennett

CursorPower consists of a pair of utility programs; one designed for use under OS/2 and the other under Windows. The programs allow the user to replace the cursor for the arrow pointer, wait pointer, I-beam pointer, and the resizing pointers. The programs are complementary; that is, you must load both programs if you want to replace both OS/2 and Windows cursors. The user can choose from libraries provided by North Shore Systems, Inc. or may design cursors of his own. Pointers designed using the program may be exchanged with friends, but CursorPower is required in order to use them.

Installation is very easy under OS/2 and Windows. The install programs create destination directories and copy the files to your hard disk. Under Windows, program and group icons are added to the program manager.

The program is also very easy to use. To change a pointer, you merely select the type of pointer you want to change. A screen showing the available pointers is displayed, and you must choose the one that you like.

If you want to create your own pointers, life is a little more complicated. When you choose to create a new pointer or modify an existing one, a pointer editor similar to OS/2's icon editor comes up. Pointers consist of a 32x32 square field in which you can put any combination of four colors: screen, inverse, black, and white. The "screen" color duplicates the color under that square. The "inverse" color gives the opposite color, eg. black vs white, yellow vs blue, etc.... Of course, "black" is black, and "white" is white.

CursorPower's pointer editor uses different color conventions than the icon editor. If you prefer to use OS/2's icon editor, you may do so, but you must pretend that blue represents the screen color and that yellow represents the inverse color. You are also limited to using the four CursorPower colors, despite the wider selection palette displayed in the icon editor. And, remember to choose the "pointer" format, rather than the default "icon" format.

If you load only the OS/2 version of the program, only the OS/2 pointers can be changed. Likewise, if you only load the Windows version of the program, only the WinOS2 pointers can be changed. By loading both versions of the program, you can change the pointers under both OS/2 and WinOS2. Pointers can be copied between the two programs using the OS/2 clipboard, though the "Hot Spot" is lost in the process. That is, the action point of the cursor defaults to the top left of the 32x32 square.

I would prefer to either have the color scheme in the cursor editor match that of the OS/2 icon editor or for the program to translate the icon editor colors to those of the CursorPower cursor editor. Ideally, the program would use the OS/2 icon editor in the first place.

The libraries of available cursors are small (15 pointers, 31 wait symbols, 5 sizing arrow sets, and 3 I-beam sets for text fields) and I was not impressed by the choices. I created my own pointer icon, selected an hourglass for my wait pointer, and left the sizing and I-beam cursors alone.

You can only directly edit the pointer and wait cursors. If you want to edit the sizing or I-beam cursors, you must rename the pointer cursor file, copy the sizing or I-beam cursor library to the pointer cursor file name, make your alterations or additions, then move everything back, and finally select the cursor you just manipulated.

I found that some of the menu choices do not work (e.g., "Help for Keys"). Others seem to initiate activity when you click on them even though they are "grayed out."

I also found that all of the resizing pointers for the OS/2 version of the program are backwards. When I choose one of the resizing pointers and move to a corner, the pointer points the wrong way, e.g., in the upper right corner of a window, the resizing arrow runs from upper-left to lower-right instead of lower-left to upper-right, as the default resizing cursor does. This appears to be a simple case of the cursors being entered into the library file in the wrong order, but I didn't investigate it as the default OS/2 cursor is adequate. In contrast, the sizing cursors in the Windows version point the correct directions.

In conclusion

CursorPower is a fairly simple utility that provides the ability to change your OS/2 and Window (WinOS2) pointers. It does that job well. It also permits you to reset the pointers to the default, in case you don't like the pointers that you load. And, you can also save one set of pointers to restore to.

CursorPower is a usable utility and, even with its limitations, I plan to keep it on my computer. I really like the new pointer cursor that I designed.

If you are interested...

The suggested retail price is $89.95, which is the price if purchased from North Shore Systems, Inc. It is also available from Indelible Blue (800) 776-8284 for $45.00.

For additional information, contact North Shore Systems, Inc., PO Box 8687, Incline Village, NV 89452-6867. (702) 831-1108 (voice) or (702) 831-8553 (FAX).

Reviewer's notes

There is a shareware program called Mousey v1.0 ("MOUSEY10.ZIP") which can be found on the CES BBS. The test drive version permits you to change the OS/2 pointer cursor. The registered version also allows you to change the wait and text insertion pointers. Three significant differences between it and CursorPower are that only OS/2 sessions are affected (not WinOS2), color cursors are possible, and the cursor pointers are created using OS/2's icon editor. Registration is $15.

I have heard of a freeware REXX program called "SETMOUSE.CMD" which allows you to change the OS/2 cursor, but have not been able to find a copy. I have also heard that the program "PM PATROL" has a feature which permits changing the OS/2 cursor.

The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

Copyright 1994 the Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG is a trademark of the Southern California OS/2 User Group.
OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.
All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.