HangUp, TSched, WallShow, and WallMake

My MailSend customers would often ask me about programs that could supplement MailSend. Some asked for schedulers, some asked about controlling dialup networking back when many ISP’s charged by the minute for time on the Internet. I sat down one morning and wrote two utilities: HangUp and TSched.


HangUp was just a program that would hang up the first dialup connection using the RAS ( Remote Access Services ) API. The program was very simple. Here’s a look at the version of the source for the unprotected registered version:

 #include <stdio.h>
 #include <windows.h>
 #include <ras.h>

 #pragma comment(lib, "rasapi32.lib")

 main(int argc,char **argv)
    RASCONN r;
    DWORD siz,num;

    printf("Hang Up! V 2.0\nCopyright (c) 2009 by Jim Lawless\n");
    printf("(See MIT/X11 license in the source code)\n");
    if( num == 0 ) {
       printf("No connections found! Terminating.\n");

That’s it! It’s just what some of my MailSend customers wanted. In fact, one customer licensed a copy for quite a number of machines, resulting in a good sized license fee.


TSched was a tiny scheduler. You ran it specifying the time that you wanted a command to run as one of the first arguments, then you specified the command and all of its parameters as the remainder of the arguments. TSched would wait until the specified time to execute the command.

This also picked up a large bulk sale for a company that did certification training. They automated their certification exams using TSched so that they would all launch at the same time. Their representative called me up already having a decent license fee in mind. I didn’t haggle. It was a good deal.

WallShow and WallMake

I was enjoying a nice hobbyist level of income from my command-line tools, but I had wondered if I could also break into the consumer market. I wrote a program using Visual C++ that placed a selected set of graphics images into the Windows wallpaper / background. I bought a DLL that permitted me to convert JPG, GIF, and other file formats to Windows bitmap image files.

I built the installer myself. I was told by one reviewer that it was not good. I tend to agree with him.

I also built the protection scheme myself. I watermarked every image with text such as “unregistered evaluation copy” and every other image or so was a reminder to register. I read more than one review that had said that I overprotected the software. I agree there, too.

It only sold a couple of copies. It was cracked very quickly. The cracker removed the watermark text. I followed up with a release that rendered the crack inert, but I was kind of happy that the program had been popular enough that someone felt the need to try to take it without paying for it.

WallMake was a command-line counterpart to WallShow. You just specified the path and filename of an image and it would set your background / wallpaper to that image. I sold this at first, but I soon started giving this away as freeware.

These attempts to provide a form of entertainment software really fell flat. But that wouldn’t stop me. More programs were in the works!