Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

July 1998


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By: Peter W. Lazenby

Initial Impressions:

Since first installing Spike about 2 years ago, it has become one of my "must have" applications. Spike is small and very useful clipboard capture program, allowing you to paste the clipboard contents to a text file with the click of a mouse button. If you are tired of having to create a data object, or peel off a sticky note just to have a spot to place that email address, or URL, then Spike is for you.

This is a freeware application by the Vancouver OS/2 user group and can be found on hobbes as


Installation is tricky, to say the least. However, that was the intention of the authors. From spike.txt, under "Installation":

"We discussed the method of installation and decided that we would not write an installation script. This decision was made so that we could use Spike as a lesson in OS/2's association methods. Most of us already know how to use common associations with exe files. This file will show you how to make a new data file type, associate it with a spike.exe file, and then make the data file into a template. The reward for going through this lesson will be a free utility that I think a lot of you will find useful. Plus as a benefit, you will be able to use this knowledge in many other areas."

Pay close attention to the installation instructions (in the spike.txt called "Off to work we go". You are creating datafile and executable objects from your templates folder, and assigning associations in order for Spike to achieve its final end. Once you have completed all steps correctly, you will have a new template, an executable object, and your first datafile. Subsequent datafiles are created merely by peeling off a new spikefile object from the templates folder, and giving it whatever name suits you.

The completed template object:

Using Spike:

While installation can be tricky (I was tricked, until I re-read the instructions several times), use of the data object could not be easier. Simply copy something to the clipboard, double click the spike object's icon, and it's done. Each capture is separated by a row of asterisks as shown here:

Simply copy something to the clipboard, double click the spike object's icon, and it's done.
Each capture is separated by a row of asterisks as shown here:

No, you're not seeing double. I just copied the last two lines of the previous paragraph into the spike data object as an example.

To access the data, use the right mouse button to bring up the object's menu. Spike should be the default program associated with the object, and your favourite text editors should be listed below. Simply selecting your editor of choice will load the contents for you to edit or print as you see fit.

The right mouse button menu:

As you can probably tell from the above image, I have my main spikefile object installed on the toolbar for quickest use. I also have several other spikefiles in the toolbar drawer for those not so needed possibilities. Though I don't use the warpcentre, I imagine a spikefile can be installed there too, and have the same functionality as the toolbar version (single-click). If you don't want either, and have a spikefile object on your desktop, you'll obviously have to double-click. I imagine the lazy among us (yes, I'm one of them) will opt for the toolbar or warpcentre choice.


I for one have found Spike to be a much needed addition to my desktop. Its speed and ease of use make it an indispensable application. I highly recommend this little gem to anyone who has ever copied text to the clipboard, then scrambled to find a home for it before the clipboard contents are overwritten.


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