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Thread: Change Spool directory??

  1. #1
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    TJ Baker
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    Default Change Spool directory??

    7/31/2006

    Is it possible for Alpha 4 Version 8 to send print output for windows printers to a folder other than a subfolder of the startup directory (sys_private_path/spool)??

    I see there is no documentation for this but sometimes there are undocumented options.

    TJ Baker

  2. #2
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    Dave Jampole
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    Default Re: Change Spool directory??

    TJ,

    I'll ask the obvious question: What does it matter?

    When you select Printer as your print destination, the output spools and then squirts out to the selected printer - end of story. If you want to send the output to a different location, you can select File as print destination and then you can select the path for the output. Would that help you?

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Change Spool directory??

    Quote Originally Posted by davej
    TJ,

    I'll ask the obvious question: What does it matter?
    Naturally I have a specific need (or perceived need) for this or I would not be looking to do it!! :-)

    I have a user who desires to run simultaneous multiple instances of Alpha on his one workstation. One (or more) instance I will call 'local' which naturally runs on the local PC and loads his desktop, autoexec.dtn, databases and so on. Another instance I will call 'networked' that requires a different desktop, server-based databases and scripts and so on. To keep the two separate they start alpha from different folders, making the private path different, keeping the two from interfering with each other with regard to desktops, etc.. However, doing this causes the spool folder(s) for the two to be created in two different directories. Winagent can only handle one. So ......

    Quote Originally Posted by davej
    When you select Printer as your print destination, the output spools and then squirts out to the selected printer - end of story.
    Not quite,

    In this situation Winagent only handles the folder it was directed to by the first batch file to start Alpha. Successive instances that spool to another folder are not serviced and the print files simply sit there in the spool folder going nowhere.

    Granted this can be dealt with in a number of ways, but I thought at the least I'd generate a little more traffic here and maybe pick up something to boot!!

    Thanks for the reply,

    TJ Baker

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Change Spool directory??

    TJ,

    Aahhh, now the question makes sense!

    Granted this can be dealt with in a number of ways, but I thought at the least I'd generate a little more traffic here and maybe pick up something to boot!! You are certainly correct about the traffic increase.

    I just did some google searching, but I didn't find anything that specifically talks about your problem. I've never tried, nor has any of my A4 users tried, what you are describing, so that's a new one on me.

    Since you user 'desires to run simultaneous multiple instances of Alpha on his one workstation', have you thought about partitioning the one physical drive into two logical drives and having a copy of A4 in each partition? Maybe Windows would/could handle the two instances of Winagent that way. Just a thought.

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Change Spool directory??

    Dave,

    From what I have gleaned by working at this for a little while I don't think another partition would change things.

    I think this way because I would still be attempting to run Winagent twice and that doesn't appear to be possible.

    When I do execute a second batch file with either a call or start command to winagent (start ..\winagent "|path=usrfiles\spool|delete=yes|keep_req=no") it seems to have no effect. It neither starts a new instance of Winagent or alters the path of the already running instance. Same command line works fine when there is not already a running instance of winagent.

    For the moment the user is simply not using Windows printing when running the networked databases.

    Yesterday I was looking into a subject I know nothing about but thought may have possibilities. I believe in Windows they are called SymLinks?? Looks like a folder but is in fact only a pointer of sorts to another location? Maybe like the Windows 'Shared Documents folder'. I wondered if such a setup could allow A4 to print out to what it saw as a folder but in fact is a pointer to a folder in another location, that location being the actual folder where the local instance of winagent is serviceing.

    As I say this is completley unknown to me but anything that brings a little more knowledge is always welcome.

    TJ Baker

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Change Spool directory??

    Well after a brief hiatus I came back to this and investigated the possibilities I mentioned in my last post, that is Symlinks. I think they are actually called 'Junctions' ??? Well whatever they are called,,,it works!!!

    I used a command line utility from sysinternals.com (recently acquired by Microsoft) called simply "junction".

    Using the aforementioned utility I created a junction named spool in the folder which is sys_private_path when the user is running the network instance of Alpha4v8. This junction is targetted to c:\alpha4v8\spool.

    So Winagent is serviceing c:\alpha4v8\spool, the local instance of A4 is started from the alpha4v8 folder and prints to the spool subfolder where winagent is active, and the network instance is started from the users private path where alpha4 still prints to a spool subfolder of this private path but that subfolder is really a junction whose target is the 'real' spool folder at c:\alpa4v8\spool.

    It's probably worth noting that in this case the users private path is local. It's my understanding that these 'junctions' only work local, no network paths.


    Where there is a will,,,,

    TJ Baker

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    Dave Jampole
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    Default Re: Change Spool directory??

    Glad you got a solution to the problem. I'll keep a this in mind if I'm ever faced with the same situation.
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


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