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Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Victor Markwart

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Posted: 13 Oct 1999

Victor Markwart, another one of the brilliant Aussies we continue to meet on this site, sent us this outstanding diagnostic tool which reports on environment variables, command line parameters, UNC connections, etc. It's tailor-made for testing NAL. This could end up being one of your favorites. Victor works for a large 25,000+ government department. One of his tasks is certifying/testing software, and, as he puts it, "being basically (or C, or VB or whatever) lazy." His admirable attitude mirrors the foundational point-of-view that inspired NAL in the first place. In his words, "I like to make it as easy as possible. Why should I do all the work if there's a computer available?" Atta boy, Victor. Keep 'em coming...


When you run the NALTEST executable, you get a dialog box displayed on the screen, displaying the following information:

  • Location of executable: Where the executable file is located.
  • UNC: UNC address of executable.
  • Command line x: Command line parameter. Clicking on the label will advance to the next command line parameter. Useful for checking that command line parameters are being passed to the application correctly.
  • Working directory: Obviously displays the working directory. Checks whether it has been set correctly.
  • Environment variable x: Displays environment variables. Clicking on the label steps through the environment variables.
  • Value of NaltestAx: Displays the value of environment variables of the form ProgramNamex, where ProgramName is whatever the program is named and x is a number. The sequence must commence with ProgramName0 and be consecutively numbered with no ommissions. (NalTestA0, NalTestA1, etc.)
  • Available drives: Surprisingly, this displays the available drives.
  • D:\ Disc Size: Displays the capacity of the drive. Clicking on the label advances to the next available drive.
  • Space Free: Displays the available free space on the drive. Clicking on the label refreshes the data displayed.
  • D:\ UNC address: Displays the UNC address of the drive.
  • Memory Physical: Reports on the amount of memory available in the machine.
  • Memory (Free): Reports on the available memory in the machine. Clicking on the label refreshes the data.
  • IP Details: Local host, and local ID.


As you can tell this is a minimalist application which I wrote to test various aspects of NAL. Some other features include:

  • The program has lots of icons embedded in it (imaginatively A to Z) which makes it easy to test that icon-ordering is working;
  • It is happy being renamed, so multiple copies can be run without confusion.

One other thing that it can be used for is, if you have an application, say APPA, which is called by another application, say APPB, then NalTest can be renamed and substituted for APPA, enabling command line parameters, environment variables, etc., to be examined. This might help in solving some problems with applications which have poor support/documentation, etc.

Download NALTESTP.exe

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