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Cursor installer


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

The Problem

If you want to install some custom cursors on your Windows computer, you need to go through a ritual like this:

  1. Click the tiny green download icon at the far right of the page to download
  2. Use WinZip to extract the CustomCursorSetName directory in the downloaded zip to your hard disk.
  3. Use Windows Explorer to find the extracted files.
  4. Right click Install.inf and click install.
  5. Go into the control panel.
  6. Click hardware and sound | mouse | pointers | scheme | CustomCursorSetName.
  7. Ta da
  8. Delete the extracted files.

Usually custom cursors come without install instructions, or with incomplete instructions. Newbies are rarely able to enjoy the fun of custom cursors. What you want is a self-extracting archive that does all these steps automatically. There are general purpose program installer tools for doing this, but they are too expensive and too complicated for non-programming cursor artists to use.

How It Works

The artist prepares the Install.inf file or optionally names his cursor files standard names and uses a Java or C/C++ program on a simple script simplified script to generate the Install.inf file.

The bundler program execs WinZip to prepare a self-extracting exe file which includes a small C/C++ program that execs the Install.inf to install the cursor set on there client’s machine and then select it that cursor set programmatically as the current set. You then generate some well-tested, unambiguous instructions to the end user on how to download and install to accompany each download on the web.

One complication to watch out for is the *.inf extension may not be associated properly on the client machine.


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