Auto. Designed and implemented a job process control system implemented in Pascal using Paradox databases on the DOS platform to spawn jobs under designated conditions based on time, date, disk space, or other events, saving the company thousands of man hours.

I was reading about how UNIX systems have automated processes, and I decided to implement a version of that for our DOS based shop. I built a task lisk in Paradox, and wrote a batch file, and a Borland Pascal program that would scan through the table. Any time a trigger condition was met, it would write the next batch file, and terminate the program, and the batch file would chain to the next process, and return to the scanning program when done. Total background resources consumed: 83 bytes of memory. Apparently, being run in batch file consumed very few resources.

Eventually we were running a lot of little processes overnight, saving the company time and effort. The biggest problem was making sure the printer had enough paper to print all the reports. This was well before the advent of the paperless office...

Initially, the code would loop through the table as quickly as possible. This had an unexpected side effect when I added a process to monitor disk space on our servers... It seems that it executed the disk check so many times, the network slowed to a crawl. I told our network guy Steve "It's your job to keep the network up, it's my job to bring the network down"... And then I put a timer into the checking loop, so that the loop was checked every minute or so instead of running non-stop.

Eventually we added a second system that we christed "Matic"... So we had "Auto" and "Matic" running. The joke got old a lot sooner than our automation program ran out of uses.

Would I do it the same way now? Well, no. Now I would either implement a service, or run processes as a scheduled process with the (now) built in task scheduler.

Overall, this effort was a great success.

What do you think?

Name (optional)

Email (optional)

Your comment (optional, but helpful)