Nigel Wilkinson wrote:
> Hi folks
> 
> I have a smell application from which I wish to display a file using an
> external helper programme.
> 
> Lets say
> app = the external programme
> file = the file to be displayed
> 
> I've tried
> 
> system(app, file)
> 
> This works but it blocks my application. How can I fire up the helper
> application in the background?

Thread.new {system(app, file)}

if all you want to do is start the process and you don't care about the
output or return value. Otherwise, see Ara's solutions.