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Re: Automating Windows from cygwin

On 31 Jul 2002 at 13:36, James Ganong wrote:

> I have some scientific instruments that will only talk to 
> a proprietary Windows app, and some Linux programs that 
> analyze the data. 
> I would really like to automate the process of running the Windows
> program so that the Linux programs could talk to cygwin over the net
> and get the data.  
> The problem is that the windows app was written long ago,
> and source is not available.  So I am wondering if there
> is a way to run an arbitrary windows application and do something
> like mouse macros from cygwin.
> Does anybody know of a way to do mouse macros from cygwin, or a way
> to invoke menu items from a arbitrary windows app from cygwin, or a better way 
> to approach this?  I have the impression that some people do mouse macros
> via vnc.  Is there some O'Reilly book that I should have read?

Cron could be used to run the app on a regular schedule. As for 
manipulating its interface or closing it on a regular schedule, you 
could cobble up a VB app that uses DDE to manipulate its UI. This 
could be triggered from cron and then do whatever needs doing.

A better solution would be to contact the vendor and ask for Linux 
software for these instruments. Failing that, see if anyone's created 
some. Failing that, ask the vendor for documentation of the 
communication protocols and write a C program to acquire the data. 
Failing that, reverse engineer the communication protocols and do 

A lot of linux drivers for Winhardware came about through processes 
like this. Your scientific instruments may be unusual devices, but 
they are still devices and the data acqusiition program still a 
device driver of sorts, so the same kind of situation exists here as 
with making other hardware work with Linux that came from clueless or 
M$-corrupted hardware vendors.

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