Build AutoRun Applications
AutoRun is a feature of the Microsoft Windows operating system which makes it possible to automatically run a program (e.g. an application launcher, a setup procedure, etc.) when a medium is inserted in the drive. Originally designed to launch CD-based applications, AutoRun also works on DVDs and other media. Support for AutoRun is a requirement of "Windows Logo" programs since Windows 95. MenuBox can not only be used as the application which opens a menu when the medium is inserted in the drive, but it also extends the original AutoRun specification (which covers the running of programs, not the opening of specific documents) by allowing non-program files such as HTML, PDF, PowerPoint, etc. to be automatically opened when the medium is inserted in the drive.
It only takes two or three lines in a file named "autorun.inf" at the root of the CD to do something as simple as opening a document via AutoRun:
Open=MenuBox.exe MyDoc.pdf" line starts MenuBox in command line mode (no windows) and tells it to open a PDF document. The optional "
Icon=MyCD.ico" line sets the icon graphics for the CD.
[AutoRun] Open=MyApp\MenuBox.exe Icon=MyApp\CD.ico
Can be used to open a window like this one:
In this example, a folder named "MyApp" on the CD contains all the necessary files (MenuBox.exe, MenuBox.ini, an icon file, and some HTML and graphics). When MenuBox.exe is started it loads the corresponding .ini file (you may of course rename both files if you wish) which describes the window size and other details, including the system requirements and a reference to the HTML file.
Clean, User-Friendly CD Roots
If you would like to make things even more intuitive (say, for users who may browse the CD manually) while keeping the root of the CD as clean as possible of unnecessary files, you can rename and save MenuBox as "AutoRun.exe", and place a reference to all other files inside a [MenuBox] section in the "autorun.inf" file.