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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: How to change startup file preferences

In your Windows directory there should be an initialization file called gwi_kfs.ini. The initialization file determines the files from which information is copied when Garden with Insight starts up.

If the initialization file is not in your Windows directory, it should be in the directory in which the Garden with Insight executable file (gwi16.exe or gwi32.exe) resides. If the initialization file does not exist anywhere, Garden with Insight will create a new one when it runs the next time. The initialization file is saved each time you save a garden file and each time you leave the program.

Here is an example of an initialization file:


startup music=c:\gwi10\startup.mid
hints= c:\gwi10\
aspect hints= c:\gwi10\

[Critical resource percents for Win 3.1]


The first section in the initialization file is the [Recent] section, with just one entry. The most recent garden file you opened is saved here. Normally you will not change this. However, if a garden file gets corrupted or otherwise cannot be read, you can delete or change the name of the file here, and the program will respond when it starts up.


In the [Preferences] section of the file are the names of files. The files are as follows.

The default garden file is used as a template for new garden files. When you create a new garden file, you are actually making a copy of the this file. You can change the default garden file to set up special preferences that will appear in every new garden, such as always using extra undo levels. You can also add soil patches to the default garden; this will make every new garden start with some soil patches. To change the default garden, open the default garden file, make changes, and save the file with a new name (so as to leave the original file intact). Then change the file name on the default line in the initialization file. The original default garden file ( is read-only so you cannot save over it.

The groups file contains the groups you see when you use the browser and which you edit with the group editor. To change which groups file the program uses when it starts up, change the file name on the groups line in the initialization file.

The library file contains templates. A library file can contain any mixture of climates, soil types, cultivars, and soil amendments. You edit templates using the browser, change templates in the current library file using the templates window, and move templates between library files using the template mover. To change which library file the program uses when it starts up, change the file name on the library line in the initialization file.

The tool file contains tools, which are used in the program to carry out tool actions in the garden window. You can edit tools using the tool editor. To change which tool file the program uses when it starts up, change the file name on the tools line in the initialization file.

The palette file is a small bitmap that contains a palette, or color look-up table, that will be used to display all the 256-color bitmaps in the program. Normally you will not change this file name. The program uses an orthogonal 256-color palette by default. If you want to use a custom palette generated by an image-editing program, save a small bitmap with that palette and change the file name on the palette line in the initialization file. If the custom palette you use is very different from the palette used in the tool pictures, the tools may appear strangely colored.

The startup music file is the MIDI file (.mid) played when you start the program. If you have turned off playing startup music (in the garden window Options menu), this line will read "none" after the equals sign. If you have chosen a startup music file in the Options menu, this line will show the name of the MIDI file to play. To disable startup music here, type "none" after the equals sign. To change the startup music file played, type in the new name after the equals sign.

The hints file is a tab-delimited file that contains a short explanation for every button, list box, and other item on every window in the program. These short explanations are called hints, and they appear when you move the mouse over each item (but only when the Show long hints option is on in the Options menu). If you are very careful not to change the names of any of the windows or items in this file, you can change the hints (in the hints column) to add your own comments. Use a spreadsheet that can read and write tab-delimited files. However, hints are limited to 256 characters and we have filled them up pretty well with the explanations we have written. But if you always forget something important about a particular list or button, you can change the hint. If your spreadsheet has cell sizes larger than 256 characters, you will have to set the cell size yourself so that your additions can be seen. Be sure to make a backup copy of the hints file before editing it. If you don't want to use a hints file, delete the file name here.

The aspect hints file is just like the normal hints file, only these hints are for all the 800 or so aspects in the simulation. Aspect hints appear when you hold the mouse over each aspect in the browser, group editor, and graph window legend (only if the Show aspect hints option is turned on in the Options menu). You can change the aspect hints; see the above description of changing the hints file for an explanation.

[Critical resource percents for Win 3.1]

The tool editor, the simulation options window, and the tool parameter lists editor make demands for memory and resources that can tax the limits of Windows 3.1 if you have a few other programs running. If you are using Windows 95, you can disregard this section entirely. However, in Windows 3.1 opening any of these windows could cause critical problems if resources are low. Therefore the program will not permit you to open these windows in Windows 3.1 if your resources are below a preset limit. The resource limits preset by the program are somewhat conservative, and you can change them, though we don't recommend it. To change the preset resource limits, edit the numbers in the [Critical resource percents for Win 3.1] section of the initialization file.

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Updated: May 4, 1998. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.