CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 65

Whither CFOG?

What is the direction of CFOG? Where are we going? Does CFOG serve any function at all any more? Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

When CFOG was organized we all had the same computer, an Osborne 1, with two single density floppy drives, with 52 column display. We all had the same software. We all had the same problems, too. We were intrepid adventurers in the new world of computers, investing at least a couple of thousand dollars in a system that would do things we had never imagined.

CFOG was conceived and organized as a mutual help organization. That means that we helped each other.

Things have changed. We have many kinds of computers. Our new CP/M users have only a few hundred dollars invested in their machines (some even received them free), they are not pioneers adventuring intrepidly into an unknown and unexplored terra incognita, but rather travellers on a well trodden path. Our software runs the gamut from WordStar 2.26 to Ventura Publisher.

We used to have 500+ members, 100 or more people at meetings, vendors in the hallways outside, and lots of excitement. Now we have about 160 members, 25 is good attendance at a meeting, no vendors attend, and there's not much excitement. And you are asking for help, but don't seem to be very willing to help others.

We used to have a program chairperson, a disk librarian, a sysop, and even a few committee chairpersons who were just interested active members. Today we can hardly get a volunteer to do some work at a meeting.

CFOG has essential jobs that must be filled by people wilIing to give substantially of their time and effort. If there aren't people to fill these jobs, there will be no CFOG. The current problem is that the same people have been filling these jobs for a long time. We're not developing new people who want to fill jobs. Whether that's 'our' fault or 'your' fault is irrelevant: it's true.

One essential job is editor. I have been editor for over 2.5 years. Over this summer I've been so busy that PIP has fallen far behind schedule again. I don't think it will catch up again: there will probably be this issue and one more of similar size between now and the end of 1988. Are there volunteers who can help put PIP together? Is there a volunteer ready to take on the top job when the editor decides to call it quits?

Another essential job is program chairperson, currently handled by our vice president, Mike Andrews. Mike has been doing this for most of two years. Is someone ready to take on this task?

Bill Kuykendall has been running our CFOG II RCPM bulletin board and remote access software library for about two and a half years, too. Is there someone out there with the burning desire to have a ton of computer hardware in his house and do the hours of work that are necessary to keep this system running? What happens now that Bill has decided that he doesn't want to have this thing in his basement much longer?

Mike Andrews has been handling our CP/M disk library for over two years, too. The disk librarian gets access to the new software before anyone else, but on the other hand there's work: sort through new stuff, check to make sure it's not a Trojan, put it on disks, organize it, catalog it, annotate it, all time-consuming tasks. Who is going to replace Mike in this job?

Steve Lucius has been doing a yeoman job getting our MS-DOS library up and running; in a relatively short time already there are over 80 disks. Like Mike, Steve has put in a lot of hours for the advantage of being fed all the new stuff that comes in. But there's going to be a time when Steve won't want to keep this task. Who will take the baton and run?

Dave Jacobsohn has been handling our membership database and getting out labels for PIP mailings and postcard meeting notices for more than two years. Dave's retired, but busy, and one of these days will decide that he's had enough. Someone will have to keep track of changes of address and print out labels and notices.

In the past two years PIP has had Steve Lucius's DOS DOINGS column, one article by Bill Kuykendall, a few articles by Dennis Murphy and Hanns Trostli (a CFOGger from Brazil), and a lot of articles written by the Editor or found by the Editor on RCPMs or in newsletters that we exchange with user groups. In the first two years of CFOG almost every single article in PIP was written by a member of CFOG. Who's going to write or find the articles for PIP when the current editor stops?

Get to the point, already! Well, if you haven't got the point yet, I'm afraid maybe it's too late for CFOG. The point, simply stated, is that CFOG's old hands are getting tired of doing all the work. If the newer members are interested in picking up an oar and helping to row, then CFOG can continue. But if the newer members simply want to get some help for the price of their dues, and don't want to put anything back in, then CFOG is already dead.

Let's be blunt: we need some someone's to take over the CP/M disk library; to dream up and produce our Sunday meeting programs; to take over the RCPM (though Mike has indicated an interest in doing this, he can't do it if he's saddled with the CP/M disk library and program responsibilities); to help the RCPM sysop so that the job doesn't become so burdensome that the sysop is burned out in a month; to assist the editor in getting PIP out regularly, or maybe to take over the job altogether.

CFOG is a mutual help group, or it's nothing. Now is the time for you to put some mutuality into CFOG before there isn't any left.

That's not all. April means elections. This year we reelected all of our old officers and almost all of our old directors. These people have been around a long time, mostly, and they have done a lot for CFOG. Few of them are ready to take on another term of office. Unless some folks are willing to come out of the woodwork, take over some existing jobs, and become officers and directors at election time (or sooner), there may not be any CFOG officers and directors in six months.

This piece is too long: I'd rather fill up this issue with articles that might help some of our members. But here's the challenge: unless some of you come out to the next meeting or two or call to say that they want to put some mutuality back into CFOG, there won't be a CFOG or a PIP much longer. Don't think about it: volunteer. Call CFOG's 24 hour answering machine at 726-3569, or any officer or director (the names and telephone numbers are in the masthead that appears in every issue of PIP on page two!). If you're not a part of the solution you just might find that the problem is that you don't have a computer user group any longer.



CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 66

NewSweep Tutorial -- Part X -- Reprise on Rename

by Benjamin H. Cohen

Copyright 1988, All Rights Reserved

[This is a conclusion to a series that I started long ago and which never quite got finished. I've decided that it was high time to finish it off and so I've done it. The final "two" installments are published in this one issue. A complete reprint of the series is available from CFOG, Box 1674, Chicago, IL 60690, for $2.00. Please enclose a stamped (45 cents) return addressed #10 (business size) envelope. -- bhc]

First, let's be completely retrograde. Remember how I told you to rename a file with NewSweep, way back in Part I? Well, I left two things out.

First, remember that I said that user areas are just part of a file's name? If the question has occurred to you, the answer is, yes, you can change the user area when you ask NewSweep to rename a file. Suppose you have a file named BIG.TXT and you want to move it from A0: to A3:. Load up NewSweep, and space down to BIG.TXT. Hit the "R" and there's the prompt

3.  A0:  BIG     .TXT   19K : r  New name or *?

Just enter "A3:BIG.TXT" and NewSweep will 'move' the file to user area 3. NewSweep doesn't 'move' the file, it simply changes the the directory to indicate that BIG.TXT is in user area 3.

The second thing I left out is the other option you have when renaming files. Note the prompt: "New name or *". Whats the "*"? That's the CP/M standard wildcard. What it's doing here is offering you to do a wildcard rename. Press the * and you'll be prompted first for the old name and then for the new name.

This part is just a bit tricky: the wildcarding has to be equivalent in the new name to the wildcarding in the old name. But suppose I was writing a book, Bird Watchers of North America, and I called all my chapters by the name CHAPTER.nnn, starting with 001 and going up to 031. Now I have a new book, Bird Watchers of Europe, and I want to use the same scheme, but I realize that I should have called the first set of chapters by a mnemonic of the title of the book, such as NABDWTCH.001, etc. Then I can call the second book's chapters EUBDWTCH.001, etc. NewSweep's wildcard rename to the rescue. Hit that "*" and for the old name enter "CHAPTER.*". For the new name enter "NABDWTCH.*". Just sit back and watch NewSweep rename those chapters.



CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 67

NewSweep Tutorial -- Part XI -- A Bug, A Patch, and Hard Disk Backup

by Benjamin H. Cohen

There is a bug in NSWP207.COM. It's not serious, and if you don't use "SUB" files you'll probably never run across it. CP/M's batch processor, SUBMIT.COM (and various replacements and enhanced batch processors) uses a file called "$$$.SUB" to store information on the disk while it's processing. Unfortunately, because of a coding mistake in NewSweep it won't see any files on a directory if it runs into a file whose name starts with a "$".

To fix this bug, get out DDT.COM and a copy of NewSweep. Here's what you do (some of the text below will be displayed by DDT; the rest is what you enter):


Don't miss the period on the fourth line!

NewSweep can be patched to display video characteristics of various terminals for files with SYStem status, files that are Read Only, and files with the Archive Bit set. An article on this has also appeared in PIP, and the information circulates on various bulletin boards around the country, along with already patched copies called NSWP207Z (for Osborne) and NSWP207K (for Kaypro '84 models). [These are on CFOG's new member disks for Osborne and Kaypro users.]

If you do utilize user areas, NewSweep can log onto all user areas at one time. When invoking NewSweep or logging onto a new drive, enter "D*" for the drive and user area, and you'll get all the files on the drive. I use this for making backups on my big (2Mb) RAM disk and my hard drives. Logging onto all user areas at one time I tag all the BAK files first (and delete them). Then I tag all the files and mass copy them to a floppy disk. When the "Destination Disk Full" message comes up I mass copy to another floppy: NewSweep picks up where it stopped and continues until it fills up the next disk or is done. With two floppy drives I can keep the system going fairly quickly.

This isn't an ideal method in some respects. It is rather slow. It does no file compression (though squeezing text files would save some space it would slow things down, too). But it neatly puts every file in the correct user area for a complete restoration. I also use it for backup of a hard disk to another hard disk on one system. Two commands (tag drive A files, and copy, then tag drive B files and copy) and the whole job is done.



CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 68

Further Thoughts on WordStar 5

by Steve Lucius

Here are a couple of new things I have learned about WS5 since writing the introductory article.

My problem with the driver to convert from WS5 disk format to WS4 was caused by an installation error when installing the printer. The problem with the WS4 driver not working was solved by reinstalling the "PDF" (printer deifinition) files and the "DRIVER?.OVR" files. Then I reinstalled the printer under the DRAFT.PDF format. Now when I select print driver "DRAFT" I go to printer, "ASCII" I get an "ASCII" text file and "WS4" I get a WS4 compatible file. (Note it is not real WS4 but ASCII with soft carriage returns and dot commands.) This sounds like Greek if you are used to the WS4 format of multiple printer drivers which include drivers for file formats as well as multiple printer drivers. With WS5 unless you define special formats only 3 formats show up and they are labeled "ASCII", "DRAFT" and "WS4", which you define in the WSCHANGE overlay what they mean. I still can't see where in the installation directions it says to do it this way, but it works.

Two calls to tech support result in nothing except some advice to use an environment command that only exists in DOS 3.2 and later, and the technicians comment that in spite of the documentations' assurance that 20 was enough that really 30 were needed. Also 20 was the minimum amount of buffers. It is running very well on 4 buffers and 20 files. Setting these parameters too high wastes memory. One call on a Sunday morning was answered promptly, the other during the day required 15 minutes of music on delay before getting advice.

The WS5 file format is greatly different from other WS versions. It has a header with the default file information in it and then the file is in ASCII. No more use of the high bit. As a consequence if you want to write something in WS5 and then give it to someone using an older WS you need to print it using the WS4 driver. This will strip out the header and convert the dot commands to their WS4 equivalents. WS5 now formats lines on inches rather than spaces so many dot commands have changed.

Another problem was lack of a list as to what files do what. This will be in the CFOG library along with other files about WS5 on a special disk. This came from the CompuServe MICROPRO SIG. Even with the files pared down by removing the modem program, file manager, mailing list and outliner, along with all the files that pertain to the advanced preview I still am at 2.17 megs, a considerable jump over the 1 meg that WS4 takes. I think I can cut it down more if I can find which printer drivers are unneeded, but it still is a big program.

I also got a chance to try the program out on a machine with a graphics board so I could use the advanced preview. It was interesting to see the whole 12 page document at once and be able to zoom in on individual pages at will.

WS5 seems faster that WS4 with the exception of the hyphenation function which sometimes requires a disk access to read the entire dictionary. The function works so much better than WS4 it is worth the wait. The only benchmark I have done so far was a search for almost the last word in a 28k file. This is about as large as a file can be and still be completely in memory, no "LARGE-FILE" warning. On WS4 this took 13 seconds, WS5 it took 10 seconds and on the shareware editor Galaxy it took 2 seconds. While WS5 is faster it is still no speed demon. All tests were run on an XT clone.




CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 69

Articles Wanted

PIP can always use articles. In fact, short notes are always welcome: we can use them to fill out partial pages like this one, instead of leaving them blank. If you have a quick tip, hint, idea, or question, fire away. If you can put it on a postal card, do it. Or, you can leave a short question or tip on the answering machine [312/726-3569]. For longer articles, though, please submit on a disk, in WordStar or ASCII format. Mark the disk to indicate the disk format (we can read DOS and just about any 48 single or double sided single or double density CP/M format). We'll mail back the disk if you insist, but since we get ours at Egghead for 23 cents (by the hundred, mention the ad from Computer Direct in Barrington, or show them the catalog from there if you have it) we're not sure it's worth the 5 cents in postage! But you can pick up your disk at a meeting!




CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 71

Bradford 2 Review: CP/M and MS-DOS

by Benjamin H. Cohen

Bradford Version 2 is here. Bradford is a print formatter for people with Epson FX, Epson MX, and Star Gemini printers. That covers a lot of people. With the addition of an MS-DOS edition of Bradford, the program could reach a large market. The new capabalities and fonts make Bradford an excellent program.

You can see and judge for yourself the quality of Bradford's output while you're reading this review, which was printed with Bradford on a Star Gemini 10-X 9 pin dot matrix printer that I bought for $125 a couple of years ago, and which I saw advertised recently in Computer Shopper for about the same price.

Memory Hog: For CP/M

This section is just for CP/M users. Bradford is a memory hog.

It won't run on an Osborne 1. It won't run on my Kaypro 10 with ZCPR34, though it will run on the Kaypro with CP/M. For those who can't use the full Bradford there's a version called BF2TNY.COM that requires less memory. It will run on the Osborne 1, though even it won't run on my Kaypro with ZCPR34. The 'tiny' version of Bradford can't handle lines longer than 100 characters, while the full version can handle 200 characters per line.

How Bradford Works

To get any program to print a fancy document you have to tell it what to do. With WordStar, for example, you enter dot commands to control line height, character width, margins, headers and footers, and many other parameters. You also enter embedded commands to change print characteristics like underscore, sub- and super-scripts, bold, and the like. Bradford, too recognizes more than one kind of command.

Bradford uses its commands in many ways. First, there are "dot" commands, that like WordStar's dot commands, are put at the beginning of the line with, normally, a period. Second, there are "in-line" commands, mostly the same commands as used with the dots, but normally prefixed with a backslash, and placed in the line of text.

Bradford commands may be used may also be used on the command line, in a CONFIG.BF file that Bradford reads every time it runs, or in a format file that is specified on the command line.

If you have a file already created for use with WordStar the furnished WS.BF format file will convert most of WordStar's commands to the corresponding Bradford commands. If WS.BF isn't specified on the command line Bradford will print WordStar files ignoring the special embedded WordStar commands.

In addition to its commands, Bradford has run time options to allow you to print multiple copies, print only selected pages, pause between pages, use LPT2 if you have two printers, or expand tabs.

You can have Bradford print files with ragged margins or justified. Text lines can be centered. You can print a line fragment right justified and another line fragment centered, and a third line fragment left justified, all on the same line, if you choose.

There are single and double underlines available. You can set page length, top, bottom, left, and right margins. Text can be single spaced, three-quarter spaced, one-and-a-half spaced, or double spaced (but you can't mix line spacings; Bradford requires you to tell it how many lines on a page and if you change spacing you have to change the number of lines on a page).

In addition to page numbers, which Bradford increments automatically, Bradford gives you two additional numbers that can be called into the text and used for paragraph or section or chapter numbers. At the beginning of the new paragraph or chapter or section you tell Bradford to increment the counter by one. If you insert a new unit, the numbering will automatically be corrected at printout time. Of course this doesn't help with cross-references, nor is there more than one level of numbering, but it can be useful.

Font Selection and Mixing Fonts

Bradford comes with 40 font selections, ranging from the almost invisible tiny font to over a dozen double height fonts. Italic versions of half a dozen styles are available. If you aren't careful you'll likely become afflicted with what I call New Mac User Disease or Fontitis, characterized by the receipt of a double-spaced one-page letter written using seventeen different fonts!

Font selection is accomplished with a dot command or an in-line backslash command. The dot commands are no problem; they sit on a separate line. But your word processor doesn't know which characters represent Bradford commands and should not be counted as it decides where to wrap, so in order to switch fonts in a line you need to write and edit the text fully and only then add the commands to change the fonts. This can be accomplished with VDE or WordStar easily be using embedded commands that both programs know not to count. You then globally replace them with the proper Bradford commands just before printing.

If you later decide to do any significant editing of the file, you should go back to the copy that you kept that didn't have the Bradford in-line commands in it, though this does mean going through the process again. Both WordStar and VDE provide macros that can automate this process if you use Bradford regularly.

A special command allows you to set the font for headers and footers separately.


One of the biggest problems of using Bradford regularly is overcome by its macro capability. After all, if you have to enter backslash fnitype before an italicized passage and backslash pizza after the italicized passage, you're not likely to use italics much. Instead, Bradford allows you to define your command string as one of 26 assignable macros and which can then be called with the command backslash M X, without spaces, where X is the letter that you've assigned to the macro.

Going a step beyond, you can select a "Macro Trigger Key" to trigger a macro. Thus, if you have assigned the command string to switch to the itype (italics) font to macro key A, you can then define the asterisk (*) as a trigger for macro key A. Carrying it just one step further, a macro can be defined as a toggle, switching to italics and back. Then the first time you enter the macro trigger it will switch to italics and the next time it will switch back.

Configuration File; Format Files

For those who work with a single standard type of file, the Bradford configuration file will make life easy. Just put your choice of margins (top, left, bottom, right), style of justification, font choice, etc., in the CONFIG.BF file.

Most of us, however, work with several different styles of documents. Letters have one format. Office memoranda have another. Reports to customers or clients have another format. But most of these formats are repeated regularly. Put the format in a format file and call it on the command line when you print.


To get the full benefit of Bradford's features you need the manual. But the manual is only fair, at best. It's not that all the features aren't described, it's simply that (a) there is no index, (b) the table of contents is skimpy with only 14 chapter headings (Introduction, Getting Started, Introduction to Commands, Text Control Commands, Fonts, and ending with A Letter from the Author), and (c) the location of commands in chapters isn't what you might expect, and (d) the sequence of descriptions isn't terribly logical.

There's no excuse for not having an index in a 54 page manual. It's a lot too big to be flipping pages back and forth all day to find what you need. If it had a detailed table of contents, telling what was in each chapter, it would make it easier, but there are just 14 chapter titles, and they don't much help.

If the titles of the chapters were specific and the information you wanted was clearly in that section, it might not be too bad, but, for example, information on page numbering is found in a chapter titled, cryptically, "Advanced Features".

The problem with the sequence of descriptions is illustrated with this one: Left Margin, Right Margin, Top Margin, Bottom Margin, Left Margin Exact, Right Margin Exact, Page Length. A better sequence would be Page Length, Top Margin, Bottom Margin, Left Margin, Left Margin Exact, Right Margin, Right Margin Exact.

Some Problems

Bradford is not perfect. One of the major problems is that word processors and editors don't recognize Bradford's formatting commands. This means that in order to edit a file you have to put the formatting commands in at the end. Magic Series overcomes this because it counts the character units to be placed on a line, so formatting with a word processor or editor is unnecessary. But Bradford prints on a line the characters you put on a line. Adding formatting commands not recognized as such by the word processor or editor changes the format. Be sure that you keep an un-Bradford copy of the file if you need to do serious editing later.

A second problem is that with double-height fonts the space below the line is a double-height space. I tried fooling Bradford into putting a single height space below the line by putting a switch to a single-height font at the end of the line, but Bradford's too smart to be fooled by that ploy.

A third problem is that in-line commands must be preceeded and followed by a space. This means that the change can't be done in the middle of a word, for example. Likewise, the Bradford underline is continuous, which I like, but the same problem arises, the effect of which you may have noted above. The command to terminate underline must be preceeded by a space, so the space after the last underlined word will be underlined.

Because coding any file for any fancy printing system is complex and subject to error any any computer that doesn't display on the screen EXACTLY what you will get on the paper you're likely to have to print more than one copy of your file before you get it the way you want it. Bradford offers a draft mode of printout that shows the fonts and spacing correctly but prints only half as many dots, and takes only half as long. But even so, getting it all right will take time. Of course even my friends with PageMaker on the Macintosh often find that what they printed was not what they wanted.

I haven't worked very much with Bradford, so there undoubtedly are other problems that I haven't discovered.

Getting Bradford 2

Bradford 2 is a shareware program. CFOG has both the MS-DOS and CP/M versions in its library of programs. You can get a copy at a meeting or by sending $3 for the CP/M version and $5 for the MS-DOS version to CFOG, Box 1678, Chicago, IL 60690. CP/M users, please specify format.

The manual for Bradford is $25 from Concom Enterprises, Box 5056, Champaign, IL 68120. For a copy of the manual and the latest version of send $39.95. Users who had older versions were entitled to a $10 dollar discount (now expired) but only on the purchase of the manual and program.


For those with Epson MX, Epson FX, or Star Gemini printers Bradford offers a nice opportunity to get near letter quality print as well as a broad range of fonts. It's well worth the $25 price.




CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 74

Editing VDE Function Key Macros

by Benjamin H. Cohen

I was cleaning up my RAM disk the other day (there's never enough space, even in a 2 Mb RAM disk, especially when each file takes up a minimum of 4K bytes) and realized that I had a VDK file and a VDT file. You do use VDE, don't you? And you do use its macro function keys, I hope. And you do use VDKCOM so that you can edit the macros in a text file and then compile them into a VDK file that can be installed with VDE, I hope. Well, it occured to me that I don't really need to keep a copy of the VDK file around. It's only necessary to install the function key macros, and I won't need to install them until I modify them. That's done in the VDT file, the one with the text.

So I modified the submit file that I use when I want to modify my function keys by adding a line. Now it reads this way:

vde benz.vdt a
vkcom benz.vdt
vinst benz.vdk
era benz.vdk

The first line takes me in to edit my VDT file, with VDE, of course, in ASCII mode. The sccond line 'compiles' the VDT file into a VDK file. The third line runs the installation program, loading the new macros into VDE. The fourth line erases the now superfluous VDK file.



CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 75

Archiving Revisited

by Steve Lucius

From my previous article on MS-DOS archiving utilities (PIP, Vol. 7, page 58) we learned what archiving programs do, and which archiving programs were faster and more efficient, but not how to use them. This article will update the last one introducing new versions and also how to use them to do tasks such as unpack an existing archive, list what is in an archive and make an archive.

All of these programs are shareware and copyrighted.

The first group to be looked at work directly from the DOS command line.


System Enhancement Associates (SEA), after winning their look and feel lawsuit against PK Enterprises, announced a new version of their software, ARC522, which now comes in a self unpacking archive. ARC522 includes a copy ARCE.COM that SEA is now distributing. I compared it in performance to ARC521 which was reviewed in the previous article and found them to be identical in speed and compression. The improvement is in packaging in that the program is now self unpacking where before you needed an older version of the program to unpack the newer one.

ARC522 is a full service program that can do any of the three tasks that we want to look at

Let's list files and unpack an archive named BIGFILE.ARC that we got from CFOG2:

For an abbreviated listing enter:


Here's what you'll get:

Name          Length    Date
============ ======== =========
BIGFILE.COM 5376 10 Jul 85
BIGFILE.DOC 10240 10 Jul 85
==== ========
2 15616

For a complete (verbose) listing then enter:


Here's what you'll get:

Name          Length    Storage    SF      Size now  Date        Time   CRC
============ ======== ======== ==== ======== ========= ====== ====
BIGFILE.COM 5376 Packed 27% 3958 10 Jul 85 12:44p 8AA6
BIGFILE.DOC 10240 crunched 50% 5151 10 Jul 85 12:44p 6555
==== ======== ==== ========
Total 2 15616 42% 9109

This gives more information about how the file is stored and how much room everything takes in a packed format.

If you decide to unpack it then enter either "ARC E BIGFILE" or "ARC X BIGFILE". If you have the archive on a floppy (A:) but wish to unarchive it onto a hard drivc (C:) then enter from drive C: "ARC E A:BIGFILE"

Another task you might want to do is combine two files together. Assume I have written a program called MYFILE.EXE and its documentation MYFILE.DOC and wish to upload them to the board as one compressed file. I then enter "ARC A MYFILE MYFILE.*" or another way "ARC A MYFILE MYFILE.EXE MYFILE.DOC" if I didn't want to add all files named MYFILE to the archive. There are other commands that will also do this same task, others will automatically delete the source file, and only update if the source is newer than a copy already in the archive. For other more advanced commands read the extensive documentation that comes with this program.


Both these programs are written by Wayne Chin and Vernon Buerg. They are considerably smaller that ARC522, are faster but have less advanced features.

These programs will not list files in an archive.

To unpack an existing archive in the same disk or directory enter:


If on a floppy and unpacking to the hard drive then from the hardrive enter:


To create an archive from existing files enter:


To just get the files you want out, enter:


Of course you'll enter this all on one line even if we can't show it here that way!


These packing programs, formerly called PKARC and PKXARC are the fastest, most efficient of the archiving programs. Due to the previously mentioned lawsuit they cannot be sold after January 31, 1989, however the author has promised to start over with a new archiving format.

To list the files in an archive either program can be used. Enter:


or enter


Either command will give a listing the size of the verbose listing in ARC522. Using the command:


will get an even more verbose listing.

To unpack an archived file the standard command is:


with other commands such as


meaning unpack BIGFILE on drive A: to the current drive but only the files with the .DOC extension. There are a wealth of other commands available, just check the documentation.

To make an archive enter the command:


just like the other programs. Again like there are other commands to delete the original files, and control updating of archives with new files, just check the documentation which is over 50 pages long. Another command makes archives that do not use the "squashed" format to be compatible with ARC522. For further reading there is also an article in the September Computer Shopper about PKPAK obviously written before the outcome of the lawsuit was known.

Many people find remembering all this syntax boring and would like to use these programs from a menu. The programs below are menu oriented.


The program ARCMASTER, written by Frank Newlin, works with either ARCE/ARCA and PKPAK/PKUNPAK to automate these functions. Note to use older versions of ARCMASTER with PKPAK may require you to rename PKPAK to PKARC. Likewise to use ARCE you may have to rename it to ARC-E.

The program is quite convenient to use. The version I tried required the program used (such as ARCE/ARCA) to be in a separate directory accessed by the path command. Aside from that it was very useful. It requires little documentation aside from what is on the screen. See the September Computer Shopper for more information.


This menu driven program written by Gary Conway is easy to use, however it only unarchives. It is also slower than ARCMASTER so its' main use would be for someone who only occasionally needed to unarchive files and wanted maximum convince. Since it is menu driven there is no need to cover syntax here. It has an excellent manual that discusses archiving methods.


Another menu driven program, written by Dave Rand, that only unarcs but is useful for its other features is NSWP1019. It can unarchive programs archived with ARC522 and ARCA and some PKPAK programs, but it does not support the "squashed" format. It is an excellent file handling utility. It also supports squeezed files. It is rather slow at unarchiving, but for infrequent use it is fine.

All of these programs are available in the CFOG library or the BBS and many are on the new member disk. Why not try one out or try a new one.



CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 76

What Every CP/M Computer User Should Have

by Jonathan Shimberg

When you first turn on your computer, you really do not understand or realize what you have available to you with the touch of your fingertips. When you start you may hunt and peck around Wordstar 2.6, 3.0, 3.3 or 4.0. You may even begin to use spreadsheets or Dbase, as these programs may have come bundled with your computer when you got it Then if you had good ears or talked to the right people you've heard about CFOG, paid your dues and received a new members disk full of programs you never knew existed and don't really understand what they do. The purpose of this article is to try and help you deal with your machine and get as much use out of the programs on that disk as you can as a novice user, or even when you've been using the machine a long time but never got around to using these programs. The following programs are some that I find useful either at home or at the office and are, I believe, in the public domain.

  1. NSWP207.COM. I don't understand how I ever lived without this marvel. Dave Rand and his predecessors deserve a Noble (sic) Prize for this wonder. There are two versions, at least, out there -- one for CP/M and one for MS-DOS. As far as the CP/M is concerned, there are Kaypro and Osborne specific versions (using the video attributes) and a generic one available. The program allows you to rename, copy, print, delete, squeeze, mass copy ... files. It helps you organize your hard drive or floppy disks with ease. Most rename the programs itself to S.COM or NS.COM to save their fingers wear and tear.

  2. NULUCOM. If you copy CFOG disks or copy programs from FOG disks or download from a remote system, you get LBR files. That's a bunch of files tucked into one file called a "library". To get the files out you must have a library utility program of some type. NULU is one of these. It allows you to get in the libraries created by others to access and extract the files from the libraries. It has a "command" mode and also has a "sweep" mode similar to NSWP. In addition you can build your own libraries to save space on your disk or drive. For example on Kaypro floppy disks the minimum file size is 2 K even if the program itself only uses 1 K. You can put a number of 1 K files in a library where the sum takes up less space than the total of the individual files. It also frees up directory space. A Kaypro has only 64 directory spaces. It is possible to have 64 small files fill up a 390 K disk and only use 128 K of space. A library of those small files might only take 10 or 20 K of space and 1 directory entry. Imagine the possibilities. I've just gotten a copy of VLU.COM, a slight variation from NULU. So far I've discovered that VLU uncrunches as well as unsqueezes files, giving in an edge over NULU in that department. When you create libraries it automatically crunches files while it puts them in the library. (I'm told that crunched files are smaller than squeezed files.) So far I like it, but it won't print out a file, which NULU will.

    (For beginners QL 4.0 might be the ideal LBR file tool: it lists all the files on the logged drive and user area, numbered. Just enter the number of the file you want to view -- it doesn't matter if it's squeezed or crunched. If it's a program rather than text, you'll get a HEX listing instead of the text. You can search for a string in the text. You can specify which page <screenload> you want to read by entering the number. Enter the number of a LBR file and it lists the members of the LBR: you can view any file, just as with a file that's not in a LBR. Enter "E<cr>" and you can enter the number of a LBR member file that you want to extract. QL 4.0 automatically unsqueezes or uncrunches as it extracts the file. If you're not adding files to LBR files, QL may be the only library utility you need.)

  3. LRUN.COM. Apparently developed for bulletin board and hard disk users, this program allows you to place those a number of little programs in a library and run them. Let's say I've place those programs in a library called U.LBR With LRUN you enter

    LRUN U <filename><cr>

    and off it goes. I'm just learning the benefits of this as I've bunched small utility programs on my floppies. [LRUN defaults to a file called COMMAND.LBR if none is specified, Jon. Just call your collection of utilities COMMAAD.LBR and you can enter:

    LRUN <filename><cr>

    with out specifying the LBR name. Better yet, shorten LRUN.COM to L.COM. -- bhc]

  4. MFDISK.COM. Donated by Kaypro to the public domain this family of programs tell your A or B drive or both it's a different computer. It handles nowhere as many disk formats as UNIFORM or other commercially available programs, but for free, don't complain. [Jon steps outside the scope of his title here: every CP/M user should have a disk format program, and UniForm is one of the best. Unfortunately, MFDISK runs only on Kaypros. -- bhc]

  5. DISK.COM. Taking up less space than NSWP.COM it does many but not all of the things NSWP does. If you're a single density or single-sided user you might want to try it. [But I loaded it last night and it took a second longer than NSWP207 to load and list the files! -- bhc]

  6. VDE???.COM. When I was writing my first draft it was version 2.63. The last I noticed it was 2.65. [Now -- as of August 22, 1988, the latest version, issued June 26, 1988, is 2.66. Eric Meyer promises, or threatens, that this should be the last CP/M version. -- bhc] Most importantly, VDE is a small text editor which does many, but not all of the things Wordstar does in on under 16 K. Ben Cohen has forgotten about Wordstar and does all his writing with VDE. In fact I'm writing this article with it right now. It's much fast than Wordstar in moving around the document but doesn't have all the bell and whistles, just the bells. [See separate articles in PIP VoL 7, #4, June 22, 1988, Whole No. 66, on VDE Version 2.66 and on setting up various printers for use with VDE. -- bhc]

  7. BD05.C0M. Many of us have used FINDBAD.COM to check out disks for bad sectors. After the disk was checked and some bad sectors were found you never knew what file was bad. Now with BADDISK.COM you know the answer. A must, as floppies do wear out.

  8. SD.COM. If you started with an Osborne, you got XDIR.COM, or you're know familiar with D.COM. Well this one is SUPER D.COM. A must for hard disk owners, this program, with the right instructions, will check any specified or all user areas, print the directory in a disk file or on your printer, including libraries, file sizes, and file attributes.

  9. RECVER21.COM. You you blew it, like we all have, and erased a file you did not mean to. A menu-driven program, RECVER21 will bring back from the dead your erased file, if you haven't written over it. Apparently its close cousin worked in IRANGATE, as that is how they recovered some documents from a hard drive, but I always have problems with it on my Kaypro 10. Whenever I run it the extra line comes on with SYSTEM STATUS 2. Why??? [I don't know. Try using DD.COM, the Kaypro specific small super directory program and UNERASE19.COM. DD.COM will list all erased files on a drive if you tell it DD D#:<cr> and UNERASE19 will recover the files nicely, even allowing wild cards. I've never had problems except when there were two files with the same name that were both erased. You need a disk editor like DU.COM to fix those situations. -- bhc]

This only begins to scratch the surface of what is available but I think its a good place to start.




CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 77

Getting the Essentials

by Benjamin H. Cohen

How and where can you get Jon Shimberg's essential programs for CP/M users? Through CFOG, of course. Every one of them is available at our Sunday meetings in Skokie and Thursday meetings in Downtown Chicago. And just for the fun of it, let's compare Jon's list with what FOG and CFOG include on their "Starter Disk" and "New Member Disk" respectively.

FOG does include NewSweep 2.07 and RECVER 2.1. FOG includes FBAD57, an older program than BD05, which does not tell you what files were located on the bad sectors locked out, and NULU 1.1. FOG's selection omits LRUN, MFDISK, DISK, VDE, and SD. On the other hand, FOG includes two disk utilities, DU 8.7 and EDFILE. [To what extent new CP/M users are ready for these programs (especially DU) is questionable, though they have remarkable abilities. If one is to be included, perhaps SUPERZAP would be better since it has more online help for infrequent users.] The FOG Starter Disk was created in 1985 and has not apparently been updated since, as one of my recent disks with articles came back on August 22, 1988 with the Starter Disk on it, unchanged in three years.

The CFOG New Member disk has various versions for Osborne and Kaypro users, with machine specific programs on each. A special supplement for Commodore 128 users is also available. Both Osborne and Kaypro versions include NSWP 2.07, NULU 1.51, and RECVER21. Neither LRUN, DISK, nor VDE, is included. BD04 is included on the Kaypro disk, but FBAD58 is on the Osborne disk. While SD is not included, D3 (directory in 3 columns, for 52 column Osbornes) and D4 (4 columns wide for 80 column Osbornes) are on the Osborne disk and DD (a special directory program for Kaypro graphics, which shows any drive and user area and can show erased files) is on the Kaypro disk. The Kaypro disk includes three versions of MFDISK for various Kaypros.

The CFOG New Member disks also include BANNER (to print banners across the page), BISHOW (bi-directional type utility), COMPEN (to compare two text files, including WordStar files), DIRFILES (a utility to annotate your directory), FIND 5.1 (to find strings in text files), FU 1.5 (fast unsqueezer), NEWPIP (PIP with automatic verify, reset drives, and quick repeat), MCAT45, CAT, and PUTCAT (to catalog your disks and print lists), and UNERA 1.9 (to unerase files, wild cards accepted).

The CFOG New Member disk hasn't been updated in a while, either. Consideration should be given to changing some of the files on it: the fast unsqueezer might well be replaced by UNCRunch, and CRUNCH added. BISHOW is a bit passe compared to QL 40. As mentioned above, QL might well substitute for NULU, since it allows you to view plain, squeezed, or crunched files in LBR files and also to extract and uncompress them with ease. The latest version of BD ought to be substituted for FBAD. NCAT 3.72 probably ought to replace MCAT45. And I can't believe that we let an Osborne New Member disk out without FK.COM and SET.COM!

It won't hurt to expand the New Member disk so that it's more than one disk of programs. It'll probably be necessary to accomodate Jon's whole list and the programs that we have been providing. VDE could then be added, along with LRUN. SD could be added, along with a note that for systems other than two floppy disks it needs to be configured and assembled in order to properly deal with all the drives available.

In two of his last CP/M columns in ProFiles Ted Silveira nominated NSWP, UNERASE, BD, SD, MEX, IMP, VDE, Outliner, GkEY2, QWIKKEY, SEARCH, FINREP, PAIRX, MAGE31, SAVESTAR, RESQ, HARDSOFT, FILT7, NULU, CRUNCH, and UNCRUNCH for his list of essential CP/M public domain programs.

Next issue I hope to have another article on some of these indispensables. If you'd like to write a word or two about your favorites, please drop me a note at Box 1674, Chicago, IL 60690, or leave a message at 726-3569. You've gotten plenty: give a little back!

After some thought on your submissions we'll assemble a set of disks containing our members' nominated essential CP/M public domain programs, generic for all users, one Osborne specific for Osborne users only, one Kaypro specific for Kaypro users only, and one Commodore 128 specific for C128 users. But we need input from YOU to make the most of this. Don't put it off, write today!

[Any CFOG member may obtain a copy of the latest version of CFOG's New Member disks at any meeting without charge. If you want a copy but can't get to a meeting send $5.00 to CFOG, Box 1678, Chicago, IL 60690. Maybe the disk will be updated as indicated above. But watch for our new offering of U-NEEDEM disks, a collection of essential programs for old and new users alike.]




CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 78

dBase Hint: Report Command

by Mike Rulison
Raleigh Osborne Computer Club

The dBase II Report command is a powerful report generator, but it provides no means of revising a filename.frm file once it has been made. This can be done with a word processor, however, as the file is a very straightforward ASCII format file.

Revising the file with the word processor is especially useful if you want to make significant reorganization, such as moving the last column several columns to the left. That is readily accomplished with a block move, starting with the line that contains field width and field name or expression, followed by the column heading (or blank line if this is omitted), and, if the field is numeric and you have asked for totals, a 'Y' or 'N' depending on whether you want totals for that field. (This adds up to 2 or 3 lines.)

Be careful, however, in revising such a file NOT to allow a blank line at the top of the file. Such blanks will result program failure and messages about format or syntax errors. Remember this also should you decide to create your filename.frm file totally with a text editor, rather than with the dBase II Report command. It is relatively easy to do that, too.




CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 79

The Z-System Operating System and Mini Winnie Hard Disk: an Unending Source of Delights

by Rick Charnes

[A number of folks have asked me recently about where to get a hard disk for their Osborne or whatnot. For a 10 or 20 Mb hard drive one of the few CP/M sources is Advanced Concepts E & C, 8926 SW 17th St., Boca Raton, FL 33433, 1-407-482-7302. Their Mini-Winnie 10 Mb 3.5 inch drives are $595 and 685. Mini-Winnies work with Kaypros, Morrow MD-2 and 3, Osborne 1, Xerox 820, Sanyo MBC Series, Epson QX-10, and many other CP/M systems. For Kaypro users, ACE&C offers a special version of the Advent TurboROM for $79 (when purchased with a Mini-Winnie) that boots directly from ROM and increases the formatted capacity of the Mini-Winnie, along with all the other advantages of the TurboROM. ACE&C also offers a 5.25 inch half height external kit for $389, you provide the drive. The drive from you Mini-Winnie can be removed and installed in an MS-DOS machine later if you decide to make that change.

Rick Charnes wrote a series of articles and columns for the Morrow Owners Review, a magazine published for owners of Morrow CP/M computers from April 1984 through the end of 1987. MOR is gone, but the articles remain, and Rick has kindly consented that we republish them. This review originally appeared in the MOR December 1986/January 1987 issue and is copyright 1986 by Rick Charnes. Rick opened his article noting that Morrow Owners Review had made special deals available to its readers, Morrow owners, for a bootable Z-System and a Mini Winnie hard disk system. There have been a number of developments in the Z-System world since Charnes wrote this review and his other columns. In particular, read the June 22nd issue of PIP about NZCOM and Z3PLUS. NZCOM works nicely with the Osborne 1 and Mini-Winnie, I have been told by one user who has the combination. -- bhc]

I would like to share some of my own experiences with the dynamic duo of Z-System bootable disk for Morrow computers and the Mini Winnie hard disk in hopes of conveying just a little bit of the extraordinary nature of this new computing experience.

For the last 4 months I have been using on my Morrow a combination of a Mini-Winnie hard disk and Z-System, the replacement operating system from Echelon, Inc. that is taking the 8-bit world by storm. Quite simply it has been the most enjoyable and pleasurable experience I have had in my 2 1/2 years of computing, and I would recommend without reservation this combination for anyone who is interested in taking advantage of the fullest power of our Morrow computers and in using the most advanced operating environment available on our sturdy machines. Its elegance, sophistication, flexibility, and the sheer number of features makes anything else pale in comparison.

About 6 months ago, I had an important decision to make. I was at a crossroads in my computing. Initially attracted to computing for its ability to help me with my writing, I was beginning to use my MD-2 1/2 (pet phrase for a double-sided MD-2) less and less as a tool and more as something enjoyable in itself, something to experiment with, learn about, and explore. Starting with the extraordinary MexPlus modem program -- the commercial version of MEX -- I got my feet wet and began doing some easy and simple programming, writing beautiful and fancy menu displays for myself and learning to master the amazing and complex interfaces between a computer bulletin board and my own computer. Being practically a language in itself, MexPlus affords the beginning programmer and modem aficionado the perfect introduction to test his or her mettle in an interactive environment.

But all this had one side affect after a typical heavy session of making sure the proper parameter was correctly stored to the right string variable, the number of floppy disks which all the auxiliary programs I was using required started making my desk look like the day after an amateur frisbee tournament. I was beginning to accumulate programs the way I used to collect stamps when I was a kid, with one exception: my stamp albums were expandable.

All the MS-DOS propaganda was beginning to get to me, too. As a radical at heart, I don't really buy the pro-CP/M argument which says, "if you've got something that works, why change?" I was getting restless. That argument is fine for folks for whom application is more important than process, but I was fast moving away from that world. And my friend with an MS-DOS business was hot on my heels to get me a IBM clone "cheap".

Then I happened to read Ted Silveira's series of articles in Bay Area Computer Currents (still available from MOR on disk) about an operating system and environment called Z-System. At first I didn't really understand it fully, but I was nevertheless extremely intrigued. I had heard of ZCPR3 (one component of a full Z-System) before, but had always assumed it was for folks on a higher technical plane than myself and furthermore, that it needed to run on a hard disk. But Ted explained that he had been running it on his floppy-based MD3 for quite some time.

I started looking around and investigating. There is a non-commercial version of ZCPR3 for Morrow computers travelling through the bulletin board circuit. Considering the amount of courage it took me to install ZCPR1 on my system a year or more ago (which turned out to be incredibly easy), I was initially quite hesitant. After a few false starts, however, I found installation it to be not at all past my level of expertise and soon found myself running ZCPR3 for most of my day-to-day operations.


'Z-System' is a full replacement operating system for CP/M computers, complete with a new BDOS, called ZRDOS; whereas ZCPR3, for 'Z80 Command Processor Replacement version 3', replaces only your CP/M 'console command processor' or CCP, that part of your operating system that deals with commands that you type in from your keyboard at the system prompt. In any case, when you're running it, all of your old CP/M software runs fine, only better.

I found the new things I could do with my new system most exciting. It opened up a whole world to me, one that a blossoming but still new computer learner such as myself felt extremely happy to be in. The only other time I remember being so excited computer-wise was when I first discovered the wild and wonderful world of modeming.

I should first say, though, that ZCPR3 is not for everyone. Those who will enjoy it the most are those for whom the joy of experimentation and learning is important. Those who necessarily spend most of their time within a single application or program probably will not find it that useful. If you're the kind of person, like myself, for whom your computer is a wonderful, magnificent toy (in the good sense!), ZCPR3 can promise you rewards and magic the likes of which you've probably never before even imagined.

I ran ZCPR3 for about 3 months on my floppy-based MD3. But I was still engaged in the old debate: whether to stay with my Morrow and the CP/M-compatible world or to join the MS-DOS crowd. My experiences with ZCPR3 were having the effect of pushing me in the direction of the former, but that money I had saved was burning a hole in my pocket. Visions of 640K RAM had the impudence to remain dancing before my eyes. I also had my eye on a nice RAM disk from Westwind. I was attracted to the idea of fast and -- having recently gone through an ordeal with noisy disk drives that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy -- quiet, computing. But then again, ZCPR3/Z-System cannot run on WestWind products. [It has been reported that this problem has been solved by the Bridger Mitchell of Plu*Perfect Systems, utilizing NZCOM. We'll have a report in the next issue of PIP. -- bhc] How devoted was I to my new operating system -- would I sacrifice the advantages of a RAM disk for it? It seemed that talking with 3 people would get me 5 different opinions of which way to go.

Then I heard about the Mini-Winnie hard disk, which is, as I type, receiving these words onto its commodious 20 megabyte storage space. The key to why this can run Z-System while other hard disk systems can't is simple: other hard disk software locks you into its own modified operating system, while this leaves you with what you started: pure CP/M Digital Research 2.2, from which you are then free to load Z-System or whatever CP/M-compatible environment you choose.

The Mini-Winnie ('Winnie' stands for 'Winchester', the generic name for hard disks) is about the most inexpensive hard disk one can stick on to a Morrow, and from the several reviews I've read in addition to my own experience, the quality doesn't seem to suffer a bit. It appears to be a top-notch, well-made product. And it comes with one important extra, something that is on the rare side in the computer field: customer telephone service that just won't quit. If you have any doubts about there being friendly, courteous, decent and helpful people in the computer world then Tony Nicotra, president of AC&E, will disabuse you of any notions to the contrary. After reading a positive review of the Mini-Winnie in San Francisco's local computer magazine, I wrote Tony a a rather long, eight or nine question letter outlining some of my admittedly rather arcane but to me important concerns. When I received a phone call 3 days later at 10:00 p.m. Florida time from Mr. Nicotra, who took a full 45 minutes with me to answer my questions and then some, the feeling started growing in me that this was something I wanted to do.

I had not heard of the Mini-Winnie before, as most of their sales have previously been with other CP/M computers, but a growing number of satisfied Morrow users are now owners of this hard disk system, and Advanced Concepts is making special efforts to be available to our community.

The Mini-Winnie hooks up to your Z80 socket, so those whose chips are socketed and not soldered to their circuit boards will have an easier time. It comes with everything necessary to run: fan, power supply, cables, enclosure, interface card, and software. Installing it to your system is accomplished through a fairly clear-cut, two-step process. First you create a new system/SYSGEN image with your own MOVCPM program. This moves your operating system down 2 or 3 K, enough space for the hard disk software to do its thing. Next you run the Mini-Winnie's INSTALL program, which asks you 6 or 7 questions (Morrowites can mostly use the defaults). It then links to your just-created system image. After an initial problem and a phone call to Tony (who ascertained that I had reversed the connecting cable) I was up and running. I would heartily recommend this system to anyone looking for a hard disk add-on to their Morrow, and for those wanting to run Z-System as well it is an indispensible piece of hardware.

For one like myself who spent a year and a half doing nothing but using Newword to write text on an MD2 (with single-sided drives), the combination of these two has been a completely new experience for me, one which continues to give me much pleasure each time I use it. The sheer number of things one can do and the flexibility and ease with which one can do them can pour fresh blood into even the most tired of CP/M-ers.

Now that I have a hard disk, one of the really nice features of Z-System and something I've now come to use daily is opened up to me: its elegant and sophisticated menu system. [If you don't like menus, don't let Rick's infatuation with them deter you from interest in Z-System: they are not inherent in or required by Z-System. But they are fairly easy to set up if you want to tailor a system for a user so that the user NEVER sees a system prompt. -- bhc] Based on a demo menu available on BBSs, I have created my own personal series of visually pleasing menus, complete with reverse video, blinking prompts, and dim and normal text. From these menues I can do practically any task I frequently do, occasionally do, never do, or can't even dream of ever doing but like to have there for the sheer fun of it -- simply by pressing a single keystroke. Seeing an attractive menu of this sort that you have created for yourself through your own programming effort and pleasure -- something that looks as good or better than any professionally written commercial program that probably can't do half the things your menu system does -- is a very satisfying feeling.

The key to this is one of Z-System's nicest features that I alluded to briefly before, a 200 (that's TWO-HUNDRED!) character 'multiple command line buffer.' In other words, in back of the menus you can put in a l-o-n-g series of commands, whatever you like, up to characters long, along with the key 'identifier.' Then when you're back in your menu, you simply hit this key identifer (you don't even have io hit <RETURN>) and away it goes. You just sit back and file your nails or (what I like to do) just watch. But that's not all.

I have paid special attention to and received special enjoyment out of these menus as I have long thought that CP/M always needed some "prettying up." I have seen the beautiful graphics and art work done on other operating systems, and I have known my Qume 102A terminal and most Morrow terminals are capable of much more along the lines of attractive displays than they are usually given by application programs. Through Z-System's 'ECHO' command, which sends control codes and escape characters as well as text directly to the console, I simply send my terminal's codes for reverse video, blink, underline, dim, etc. This creates a friendly, personalized environment that adds a very nice touch and for me fills in something that I have long thought missing from most applications.

Almost of your old CP/M programs can run without modification on Z-System. The bugaboo that has scared some people away from ZCPR3/Z-System, the TPA that it does take from you for its own needs, seems to me to be greatly exaggerated. The programs I run daily -- NewWord, Wordstar 3.3, dBASE II, and MexPlus (which is much more memory-hungry than its public domain counterpart) along with the myraids of CP/M utilities I've used for years -- all operate without any problems whatsoever.

It is, of course, most enjoyable on a hard disk. There are over 100 utilities that run only on ZCPR3, and it's very nice to have access to them. On the other hand, I used ZCPR3 for 3 months before getting my Mini-Winnie, I know several people who do the same, and I know one of the country's top ZCPR3 programmers operates from a floppy machine. The lack of a hard disk shouldn't deter anyone. For those who are interested in the Mini-Winnie, MOR has negotiated a very reasonable price with Advanced Concepts for bulk purchases.

I would encourage anyone eager to enhance and modernize their computing to try Z-System on the Mini-Winnie hard disk. Z-System is a continuously evolving, ever-changing, organic entity, one that is has given me much pleasure. Its rewards are tremendous, and promise to be so for many years to come.





CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 81

CP/M Library Update

The disks in the CP/M library have been renumbered. Don't worry, the labels will still reflect the old numbers, too. An updated (and corrected) MAST.CAT sbould be available at the next meeting. A few disks are missing from the Sunday meeting set: if you inadvertently took one home, please return it.

Older disks are listed at the CAT-A.DOC and CAT-B.DOC that Glen Ostgaard created when he was disk librarian. We need someone (1) to update the CAT-A and CAT-B docs by adding the new disk numbers and (2) to make a similar set of documents for the newer disks. It's not terribly difficult, though time consuming. SD will make a disk file listing the files on each disk (including the members of LBR files). A quick search and replace of the separator between files with a <cr> puts the list into the desired format. All that's needed is to write a few words about what each program does. This is an educational opportunity for someone who would like to put a little back into CFOG: you'll have custody of a complete set of the library, and you will learn more about the files than most members will ever know. Volunteers, contact Rand Gerald at a meeting or leave a message on our 24 hour answering machine (726-3569).




CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 82

MS-DOS: Where It's Going and What to Do About It

by Bill Kuykendall

[This initially appeared as a message on CFOG II, our remote access system. Members who are not using CFOG II are missing out on the earliest access to new software, the best place to get questions answered (there are callers who NEVER come to a meeting, even non-members including Eric Meyer, author of VDE), and a lot of good information that never winds up in PIP. -- bhc]

Several years ago I was delighted with my Osborne and Televideo 64k Z80 machines. Imagine my delight when I discovered that I could buy a 16 bit version that would run much faster and could even address a full megabyte of memory! We all know the punch line, and you guys probably think I'm the only idiot left who would admit to having bought a CPM-86 computer.

In fact, CPM-86 WAS a giant leap forward from the 8bit world -- or at least it could have been if there had been any programs written to support it. Unfortunately, the CPM-86 computers became available at just about the same time IBM released its PC running MS-DOS. (CPM-86 was available for the PC too, but it cost more than MS-DOS and nobody bought it.)

The '286 machines have been here just about forever now it seems, but they're still relegated to running the old 8088 MS-DOS software. As of right now there is finally an operating system to take advantage of the '286 chip but there are still no programs because developers are waiting for the Presentation Manager to be completed and released. We're getting close... just a couple more months now.

An interesting thing has happened while we've waited. The '386 has been here for over a year and a half. Developers wishing to take advantage of its features have released a number of applications which run on top of good ole MS-DOS. Even IBM has joined the '386-only market with its Interleaf Publisher package. And Microsoft is running scared, working with all speed to beef up OS/2 to take advantage of the '386 chip.

There will undoubtably be OS/2 software for the '286. It's reported that $ 1/2 Billion has been spent on OS/2 software development already, and another $ Billion will be spent in the next 12 months. Some of that will be '286 compatible to be sure but more will take advantage of the '386. When '386 sales overtake '286 sales (early next year) you will see fewer and fewer '286 programs. Just about the time software developers begin to really understand and take advantage of OS/2's new features, the '286 market will be dead.

But you don't care about OS/2 at all. It costs 5-7 times as much as MS-DOS and requires $1000-2000 worth of additional hardware to even boot up. You'll continue to run good ole MS-DOS at home.

You won't see many new MS-DOS applications. The 8088 has gone the way of the 8080s and Z-80s of the past. You will see new '386 programs that run on top of MS-DOS. You probably won't see many '286 programs.

The moral of this story is this: If you want an 8088 processor the 80286 is faster. But if you want future software compatibility you'll need an 80386. The good news is that several manufacturers have announced low end '386-on-a-16-bit-bus versions which will be available next year in the $ 1000 (stripped) range. You may want to wait.




CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 83

ROMBO for Osborne 1

by Hanns Trostli, Itu, Brazil

I installed recently ROMBO, the RAM and ROM extension supplied by Worswick Industries, San Diego. In a few words: it's PRACTICAL, it's FAST, it's GREAT!

Having little contact with other microcomputer users I have to judge the value of purchases by what I read. The ads in FOGHORN attracted me, then I read two favorable reports in FOGHORN, so I decided to upgrade my Osborne 1. The cost: $249 for ROMBO and $35 for an EPROM eraser. That's a lot of money compared with the value of an O1, but, at least for me, it is worth every cent of it.

My case is probably not quite common, but I want to describe my experience in detail. One never knows when somebody else will profit from one's experiences.

For my purpose the O1 is still a very practical tool that satisfies my needs. At this stage I can't foresee any valid reason for switching to a newer computer, I may do so when I decide to go into desktop publishing or if the intermittent disk drive trouble becomes intolerable. I still have 52 columns, I use WordStar 2.26, Supercalc 2 and dBase II and, rarely, MBasic. (I just received WordStar 4.0 but have not yet installed it.)

Before buying ROMBO I wrote to Worswick asking them whether I could use it at the same time as my RT60-A clock, which I find essential in my work, and SmartKey. I received a long letter from Mr. Bill Montgomery, explaining that I would have to use a special 57K version of CP/M which should work. I ordered it and installed the board with the new Z80A CPU and the 8 EPROMs. Installation was easy, the instructions for it are very clear.

I put WordStar 2.26, SuperCalc 2 and dBase II into EPROM, then XXDIR.COM (the directory program for RT60-A clocks, giving date and hour of saving or update of all files), FUSA.COM, (which I prefer to NewSweep, it works about the same), and DU, version 8.7. The EPROM directory takes up 2K, 6k is needed for warm boots, so I have 22k left in ROM. In RAM the whole 256k can be used as a RAM disk, with the exception of 2k for the directory. You can also reserve up to 32k for a print spooler. One way or the other there is more space in RAM than on Osborne single-sided floppy disks.

Now for the results. The increase in speed when using programs in ROM is fantastic. The ease of switching programs, of saving files (especially when they are in the RAM disk) is spectacular. I tested the following: saving a 3k file in WordStar, getting out of WordStar and into SuperCalc and then loading a 4k SC file took 27 seconds with ROMBO: without ROMBO it 78 seconds! All O1 users know that loading a SuperCalc file is a tedious affair -- now the sign-on message appears immediately, the second screen almost at once and loading the file itself is also much quicker. Consequently I save my SuperCalc files ever so often, using my SFK 1, programmed =A1<cr>/S<ESC><CR>BA<CR>; in WordStar I use ^KS^QP as much as possible.

While I formerly separated my data files, keeping WS files on one disk, SC files on another, DBF files on a third and organized my work in such a way that I stayed within one program as long as possible, I now keep my datafiles according to subjects and switch from one program to another with ease.

I must confess that I have a curious sort of trouble. I must load CLOCK.COM first and then SmartKey together with a definition file. Loading SmartKey without a definition file or loading CLOCK.COM only crashes the system. When using SuperCalc I avoid SmartKey, it takes away about 6k from the anyway limited memory. -- Thus I can't have CLOCK either. Worswick is looking into this strange problem, I am still waiting for a solution.

Another great advantage using ROMBO: disk drives are used much less, just for saving files. And just now my B drive isn't working. No problem: with ROMBO designated as A drive, my A drive renamed B, I can use my computer as I usually do with no complications. (One of these days I'll send in an article "What to do when only one disk drive is working". Regrettably, I have some experience in finding ways out of this quandary!)

ROMBO heats the innards of O1 and especially disk drive A considerably, so I had to install a fan to keep the temperature down.

Using my other O1 I now realize how slow it is. I have thus ordered another ROMBO for that one and look forward to enjoy the great advantage of using RAM and ROM, with little disk access.

Final note: Worswick may not know that "rombo" in Portuguese means "a crash"!




CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 84

PIP Schedule Revised

Your editor has had a hectic time this summer. As a result PIP has not appeared as regularly as scheduled. With this issue we're catching up with the calendar. I expect one more issue (of similar size) later this year (tentatively scheduled for December 1).



CFOG's PIP, October 1988, Volume 7 No. 5, Whole No. 67, page 84

CFOG Meeting Schedule:

Our schedule of meetings at the Skokie Public Library has been extended through the end of this year. If you haven't been to a meeting, you're missing a good bet: our meeting room is large, there is comfortable seating, there is a stack of tables we can pull out as needed, and parking is not far from the door. The elevator is conventionally located near the library's front desk for those who need it. Best of all, for CFOG's financial health, the meeting place is free.

Our normal date is the last Sunday of the month, but for November and December we move earlier to avoid conflicts with holidays: November 20 and December 18 are our dates for those months.

Downtown Meetings Scheduled

Our downtown meetings resumed in September and continue on the Second Thursday of each month: November 10, December 8, 1988.