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Using Fishsim 2 with Incredimail running

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J.C.Spooner 2001

Firstly, Incredimail is absolutely superb, and a lot of fishsim anglers have it installed and use it. There is however, a compatibility problem with Fishsim 2 and Incredimail notifiers. At the moment, I don't have an automated solution, but this page describes some steps that can be taken to ensure Fishsim 2 will work with Incredimail installed.

The problem appears at the moment, to be that the Incredimail notifier, constantly polls for new emails, in the process generating Windows WM_ACTIVATEAPP messages each time. ACTIVATEAPP messages are sent to Windows to inform it an application is about to start. These messages can be detected by applications that are running. Fishsim 2 does monitor the messages, and if it detects another application starting in the background, it minimizes itself to the taskbar to let the background application run.

With the Incredimail notifier, constantly polling and generating WM_ACTIVATEAPP messages, fishsim 2 constantly minimizes itself. Even when you try to restore fishsim from the taskbar, another ACTIVATEAPP message comes, and it immediately minimizes again.

One solution would be for fishsim 2 to ignore the messages and not minimize itself, however, doing this is dangerous, because Fishsim 2 uses Direct X full screen exclusive mode. This means that like most other Direct X games, Fishsim 2, obtains exclusive access to the video display when it starts. Any other application attempting to draw on the screen, will not be able to do so, because of this display lock. Most windows applications, automatically assume the display can be drawn on automatically, and, to my knowledge anyway, there is no way they can check for another application having exclusive access to the display. When they try and fail, the results are unpredictable, but normally result in a crash or an application waiting for user input without displaying anything.

There are plenty of applications about that load themselves into the background, and activate on certain events, virus checkers, even the Windows dial up networking dialog do this. If Fishsim 2 was to ignore the ACTIVATEAPP messages, it would leave the potential for seemingly random crashes as other applications start up and display in the background. Fishsim 1, doesn't monitor these messages and as a result suffers from this problem, but is not directly affected by the Incredimail notifier, unless an email arrives where a notifier is displayed on the screen.

This is not a problem with Fishsim 2 or Incredimail, but occurs as a result of the multitasking capabilities of Windows. Direct X for all it's brilliance, came about after Windows, and it still leaves Windows with multi-tasking capabilities. This in itself could be one of the driving forces behind why the X box system is needed.

The only feasible way at the moment to solve this problem is to disable the Incredimail notifiers. The instructions below, describe how this can be done :

To access the Incredimail notifier settings, use the right mouse button to click on the Incredimail icon on the taskbar ( by the clock )

The following menu will appear :

Highligh the Select Notifier ... menu option and click it with the left mouse button.

The Incredimail notifier settings screen will then display :

You may have more notifiers installed than shown above, however , if you click the <None - Tray Only> option, this disables the notifiers, and seems to stop the Windows ACTIVATEAPP messages. Click the OK button and fishsim 2 will then be able to maximise itself and run as normal.

Please accept my apologies for this problem, I have emailed the people at Incredimail with a description of what is happening, in the hope of receiving some advice on how I can get around the problem, so that the Incredimail notifier can be used along side Fishsim 2.

Please excuse the grammar, spelling errors

J.C.Spooner 2001