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PC-PROMPT is a unique, memory-resident DOS help program that automatically provides information for DOS commands as you type them. The F10 function key can display additional help whenever needed. Help screens can also be invoked for EDLIN, DEBUG, BASIC and Borland's Turbo Pascal editor. Since PC-PROMPT is memory-resident, it stays loaded in memory until you reboot the PC. It automatically activates at the DOS prompt, and deactivates whenever you execute any DOS command, batch file, or program. Because of this, it is compatible with most software, even with programs which do direct screen memory operations without using DOS. It is even compatible with various other memory-resident programs such as RAM drive emulators, printer spoolers, and Borland's SideKick.
Disk No: 558 Disk Title: PC-Prompt PC-SIG Version: S3.1 Program Title: PC-Prompt Author Version: 3.0 Author Registration: 10.00 Special Requirements: None. PC-PROMPT is a unique, memory-resident DOS help program that automatically provides information for DOS commands as you type them. The F10 function key can display additional help whenever needed. Help screens can also be invoked for EDLIN, DEBUG, BASIC and Borland's Turbo Pascal editor. Since PC-PROMPT is memory-resident, it stays loaded in memory until you reboot the PC. It automatically activates at the DOS prompt, and deactivates whenever you execute any DOS command, batch file, or program. Because of this, it is compatible with most software, even with programs which do direct screen memory operations without using DOS. It is even compatible with various other memory-resident programs such as RAM drive emulators, printer spoolers, and even Borland's SideKick. PC-SIG 1030D East Duane Avenue Sunnyvale Ca. 94086 (408) 730-9291 (c) Copyright 1989 PC-SIG, Inc.
╔═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗ ║ <<<< PC-SIG Disk #558 PC-PROMPT >>>> ║ ╠═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣ ║ To print User's Guide for PC-Prompt, type: ║ ║ COPY HELP.DOC PRN (press Enter) ║ ║ ║ ║ For further instructions, type: TYPE README.TXT (press Enter) ║ ║ ║ ║ To read author's notes, type: TYPE NOTES558.TXT (press Enter ║ ╚═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝ (c) Copyright 1990, PC-SIG Inc.
PC-prompt USER'S GUIDE Lake Medici Software 17 Medici Court Baltimore, MD 21234 Copyright (c) 1985,1986 Anthony J. Spuria All rights reserved CONTENTS PAGE Introduction ..........................................1 Installation ..........................................2 Starting PC-prompt ....................................3 Using PC-prompt .......................................4 Stopping PC-prompt ....................................5 PROMPT Command Considerations .........................6 In Case of Trouble ....................................7 Appendix A -- Using an AUTOEXEC.BAT file ..............8 Appendix B -- A Sneak Preview ........................10 Appendix C -- PC-prompt Licensing Terms...............11 Appendix D -- Customized Prompts and Help Screens.....12 Appendix E -- Benefits of Registering PC-prompt.......13 Introduction PC-prompt is a unique memory-resident help utility for the IBM PC, XT, AT, and compatibles. It looks for DOS commands as you type them and automatically displays their syntax definitions in inverse video on the last line of your monitor screen. Pressing the F10 function key instantly displays a help window for the command being entered. This window overlays whatever information was on the first 23 lines of the screen. The command being typed still shows on line 24, and the proper format for the command is still displayed on the last line. You can leave the help window on the screen as you finish typing the command, or you can press the F10 key again to return to your previous display. Leaving the help screen activated lets you finish entering the command while you can still see examples of its use and descriptions of its parameters and options. In either case, the command syntax remains on the last line as a reference. If the help window is still active when you press the Enter key, it will automatically be replaced by your original screen before the command is executed. Pressing the F10 key while at the DOS command level calls up a help window which lists most of the commonly used DOS commands. You can toggle back and forth at will between this window and your previous display by pressing the F10 key. Since PC-prompt is memory-resident, it stays loaded in memory until you reboot the PC. It automatically activates when DOS reaches the command level, and deactivates whenever you execute any DOS command, Batch file, or program. Because of this, it is compatible with most software, even with programs which do direct screen memory operations without using DOS. It is even compatible with various other memory-resident programs such as RAM Drive emulators, printer spoolers, and even Borland's SideKick. If you can't wait to see PC-prompt in action, jump ahead to Appendix B -- A SNEAK PREVIEW. However, be sure to come back and read the rest of this User's Guide as soon as you have sampled PC-prompt in action. 1 PC-prompt INSTALLATION PC-prompt has two modes of operation. The Full-Help mode operates as described in the introduction. The current version of PC-prompt requires about 33K bytes of memory for this mode. If this leaves you without enough memory for some particular application, you can still get the pop-up command syntax descriptions by selecting the Prompts-Only mode of operation. This mode uses less than 14K bytes of memory. The Full-Help mode requires the files: HELP.EXE HELPF.CMP HELPPOPF.CMP HELPCMDF.NCP HELPTABF.NCP The Prompts-Only mode requires the files: HELP.EXE HELPP.CMP HELPPOPP.CMP HELPCMDP.NCP HELPTABP.NCP For convenience you can copy all files required for the mode(s) you intend to use onto your boot disk. You only need these files to start PC-prompt after you boot your computer, so it is not actually necessary to keep them on your system disk. However, this allows you to automatically invoke PC-prompt with an AUTOEXEC.BAT command file. See Appendix A for further information about using an AUTOEXEC.BAT file. 2 STARTING PC-prompt All of the required HELP files must be in the default drive (and subdirectory) when you start PC-prompt. The default drive can be set by entering its drive letter followed by a colon and then pressing the Enter key. For example, if the files are on drive A, issue the command: A: and press Enter. If the files are in a subdirectory, use the CD command to change to this directory. For example, if the files are in a subdirectory named "HELP" just below the root level on drive A, issue the command: CD \HELP and press Enter. After you have set the default drive (and subdirectory), issue the command: HELP and press Enter. The PC-prompt disk can be removed after the program has initialized itself; it is not needed again unless you reboot. When you start PC-prompt, it lets you select either the "Full-Help" or "Prompts-Only" operating mode. As an option, you can make this selection when you start PC-prompt by appending an F (for Full-Help) or P (for Prompts-Only) on the command line as follows: HELP F or HELP P By doing this you avoid having PC-prompt explain your options and request your selection. This makes it possible to start PC-prompt automatically each time you boot your PC. To do this, simply put the HELP F or HELP P command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT command file. See Appendix A for information about using an AUTOEXEC.BAT command file. 3 USING PC-prompt PC-prompt uses the last line of the display as a prompt line. When it first recognizes the standard DOS command prompt (for example, A> ), it explains that you can get a list of DOS commands by pressing the F10 function key. Try it. Press F10 again to restore your old screen. You can toggle back and forth between the current PC-prompt help screen and your normal screen whenever DOS is waiting for you to enter a command. Once PC-prompt has been started, it continually monitors keyboard input and screen output made using the standard DOS console device handler CON. When it recognizes a DOS command, it automatically prompts on the bottom line of the screen with the general format for that command. This may be all you need, but if you have selected the Full-Help mode and you want more help just press the F10 function key. A pop-up help window for the command will appear giving examples of its use and describing any parameters or options it may have. You can continue typing the command while the help screen is still being displayed, or you can press the F10 key again to restore your old screen before you continue. If you leave the help window on the screen, PC-prompt will automatically restore your previous screen when you press Enter. Although PC-prompt is mainly an aid for using DOS at the command level, it also provides help while you are using BASIC, DEBUG, EDLIN or Borland's Turbo Pascal editor. Within these programs you can toggle back and forth between the help screen and your normal screen by pressing Shift-Alt-F10 (press and hold Shift and Alt keys, then press F10). This three-key "hot key" combination is used to prevent accidentally interfering with programs which use the function keys alone or with the control, shift or alt key. 4 When PC-prompt is activated within one of these programs, Shift-Alt-F10 can be used to restore your normal display screen. Since BASIC and the Turbo Pascal editor sidestep the standard DOS keyboard and screen routines, you should restore you screen before typing any command within these pregrams. When using DEBUG or EDLIN, however, you can use the automatic screen restoration that takes place when you press Enter. Note also that help for Turbo Pascal applies only within the editor portion of this program. DO NOT press Shift-Alt-F10 within other portions of this program or you will exit back to DOS without saving your work. STOPPING PC-prompt PC-prompt can be temporarily disabled by changing the DOS command prompt as described below under "Prompt Command Considerations". In order to recover the memory it uses, however, you must reboot by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del. If you started PC-prompt with an AUTOEXEC.BAT file, you can either: 1. Modify AUTOEXEC.BAT to remove the HELP F or HELP P command. or 2. Rename AUTOEXEC.BAT to another name so that it will not be executed when you reboot. You MUST do something of this sort before you reboot or PC-prompt will just be automatically restarted. 5 PROMPT COMMAND CONSIDERATIONS PC-prompt monitors all DOS operating system output to the screen and looks for the normal A> ( or B> or C> ) command prompt. If you have changed this standard prompt with the PROMPT [prompt-text] command, either manually or in an AUTOEXEC.BAT file, it won't find this and won't do its automatic command prompting. You can correct this situation by reissuing the PROMPT command without any prompt-text parameter. You can use this PROMPT command with and without the prompt-text if you ever want to temporarily disable and enable PC-prompt. If you want to modify the command prompt and still keep PC-prompt active, you must follow one simple rule: The last characters in the prompt-text MUST be $_$n$g These are special meta-characters used by the PROMPT command which function as follows: $_ returns the cursor to the start of the next line $n is replaced by the default drive letter $g is replaced by the ">" symbol These meta-characters must be entered exactly as shown, in lower case with no spaces between them. A commonly used prompt command which shows your current default drive and subdirectory is: PROMPT $p This command temporarily disables PC-prompt. You can reenable it either by issuing the PROMPT command with no prompt-text, or by entering the command: PROMPT $p$_$n$g This command displays your default drive and subdirectory on one line, followed by the normal DOS prompt on the next line. 6 IN CASE OF TROUBLE If PC-prompt ever stops working, issue the command: PROMPT with no parameters. This will restore the standard DOS command prompt if it has been changed. See the section "PROMPT COMMAND CONSIDERATIONS" for more details about using the PROMPT command in conjunction with PC-prompt. If you have restored the normal DOS command prompt but PC-prompt is still not working, it may be necessary to change the order in which you install memory resident software in your system. For example, RAM disk emulators often must be loaded before any other resident software. Other programs like BORLAND's SIDEKICK, for example, want to be the last resident programs loaded. Try starting memory resident programs in another order to see what works best in your particular situation. In some cases you may have to choose between PC-prompt and some other program if the two are not compatible. 7 APPENDIX A -- USING an AUTOEXEC.BAT FILE In its simplest form, a batch file is just a text file with DOS commands on each line. When the batch file is invoked, these commands are executed one by one. AUTOEXEC.BAT is a special batch command file that is invoked automatically whenever you boot your PC. If you don't have such a file, you can create one using EDLIN or any other text editor that produces pure ASCII text files. Another way to create an AUTOEXEC.BAT file is to issue the command: COPY CON: AUTOEXEC.BAT and press Enter. Each line you now type will be copied into a new file called AUTOEXEC.BAT. You can use the cursor keys, Ins key, Del key, etc. to correct any typing errors before you press the Enter key. When you do press the Enter key, the command line you have typed will be added to the file. When you have finished entering all desired DOS command lines into this file, end the file creation operation by pressing the F6 function key and then pressing Enter. Alternatively, you can use a batch file named AUTOHELP.BAT which is on your PC-prompt Working Disk. If you have a two drive system, you can copy the AUTOHELP.BAT file onto your boot disk by putting the PC-prompt Working Disk in drive B and your boot disk in drive A and issuing the command: COPY B:AUTOHELP.BAT A:AUTOEXEC.BAT For a one drive system, you can put the PC-prompt Working Disk in drive A and issue the command: COPY A:AUTOHELP.BAT B:AUTOEXEC.BAT When told to insert the diskette for drive B, remove the PC-prompt Working Disk, insert your boot disk back into the single drive, and press the space bar. 8 If you already have an AUTOEXEC.BAT command file, you can use EDLIN to add either the command: HELP F or HELP P to it. If you omit the F or P you can key in this selection each time you boot. Remember that the required HELP files must all be in the default drive (and subdirectory) when PC-prompt is started. If necessary, insert commands into the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to assure that these defaults are set correctly as described in the section "Starting PC-prompt". 9 APPENDIX B -- A SNEAK PREVIEW This appendix explains how to get a sneak preview of PC-prompt in action even before reading the rest of this User's Guide. If you feel uncomfortable with the level of explanation given here, then you should probably go back and read the details given above. If you do feel comfortable, however, then jump right in and get started. If you have an AUTOEXEC.BAT file, temporarily rename it to AUTOEXEC.TMP. Next, reboot your PC (Ctrl-Alt-Del). Then put your PC-prompt diskette into a drive and set that drive as the default. Now issue the command: HELP and read the selection information. Just press Enter to select the Full-Help mode of operation. When the help prompt appears on the bottom of your monitor screen, press the F10 function key. This displays a window listing DOS commands and explaining briefly the pop-up command formats. Press F10 a few times and watch the screen toggle between the help window and your previous display. Type a command like DIR, but before pressing Enter, press the F10 key. Note that PC-prompt has recognized the command and displays the appropriate help window for it. Note also that the general command syntax definition appears in inverse video on the last line of your screen. After you have finished sampling how PC-prompt works, rename AUTOEXEC.TMP back to AUTOEXEC.BAT. Be sure to read the rest of this User's Guide to get the maximum benefit out of PC-prompt. 10 APPENDIX C -- PC-prompt LICENSING TERMS PC-prompt is NOT public domain software, it is a COPYRIGHTED PROGRAM distributed by Lake Medici Software. You are hereby granted a limited license to use PC-prompt, and to copy it and further distribute it, under the following conditions: 1) No fee may be charged for such copying and distribution. 2) PC-prompt may ONLY be distributed in its original state, without any modifications or changes to the program itself or to any of its data files. 3) Use by commercial or governmental organizations must be limited to a reasonable time (e.g. about a month) for evaluation purposes only, after which time a $20 per copy (per machine) price must be paid to LAKE MEDICI SOFTWARE 17 Medici Court Baltimore, MD 21234 (Print the file HELP.INV if your organization requires an invoice to make this payment.) 4) The per-copy (per machine) price for commercial and governmental organizations at one site reduces with volume as follows: Copy Number Per-Copy Price 1 - 5 $20 6 - 10 $15 11 - 25 $10 26 - 100 $7 101 - infinite $5 5) Backup copies may be made as required for safe operational practice, but not to circumvent payments. 6) We would greatly appreciate a small contribution of $10 from personal (non-business) users to help support future development. 11 APPENDIX D -- CUSTOMIZED PROMPTS and HELP SCREENS If you become a Registered User by sending $10 for personal use or $20 for business use, you will receive the latest version of PC-prompt, along with the source for the online prompts and help screens. You will also receive a utility program together with instructions for modifying the standard prompts and help screens or creating your own customized online prompts and help screens. 12 APPENDIX E -- BENEFITS of REGISTERING PC-prompt User supported software (sometimes called freeware or shareware) attempts to provide useful programs to the PC community at low cost by reducing the dependence on conventional marketing channels. Several software developers have proven that the concept works, to the mutual benefit of the independent program authors and the PC community itself. The user benefits by the availability of low cost software which he can evaluate on his own system before making the decision to purchase it. The author benefits by being able to enter the software market without extensive monetary risks. The user community determines which products succeed based on their true utility, rather than on their marketing achievements. Some of the benefits of registering as a PC-prompt user are: 1. You will receive the most recent version of PC-prompt. 2. You will receive the source for the standard version of command prompts and help screens. This source is ONLY distributed to registered users and NOT through any User Supported Software channels. 3. You will receive a utility program and instructions for creating your own customized prompts and help screens. This utility program is copyrighted and is NOT available as User Supported Software. 4. You will be helping to reduce future software costs for yourself and other PC owners. PC-prompt represents many, many months of work designing, coding, testing and documenting. Several distinct versions of the program were Beta tested before the first public release of the software. The financial rewards for this effort pale in comparison to the amount of labor involved. Nevertheless, knowing that a fairly large group of PC users have found the program beneficial enough to become registered users gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment. Here's hoping you will find PC-prompt useful too. Enjoy! 13
Program name: PC Prompt Author name: Anthony J. Spuria Address: Lake Medici Software 17 Medici Court Baltimore, Md 21234 Suggested Donation: $ 20.00 Program Description: PC-prompt is a memory resident program that provides the format for DOS commands in an on-line mode. It would be of interest to most users and programmers especially those just beginning to use DOS commands. The Function 10 key is used to toggle back and forth from the help screen. There are also Help screens for BASICA, Borland's Turbo Pascal, Debug and EDLIN. The program needs 32 K to run in the full help mode while the Prompt only mode needs only 14 K to run.
PC-prompt is a unique, memory resident DOS extension that automatically provides syntax prompting for DOS commands as you type. The F10 function key can be used to display additional help whenever needed. Help screens can also be invoked for EDLIN, DEBUG, BASIC(A) and Borland's Turbo Pascal editor from within these programs. AUTOHELP BAT Batch file for automatically installing PC-prompt HELP DOC User's Guide for PC-prompt HELP EXE PC-prompt...Memory resident, automatic DOS Help HELP INV Printable invoice for business users HELPCMDF NCP Full Help mode command file HELPCMD3 NCP Full Help mode command file for DOS 3.2 HELPCMDP NCP Prompts-Only mode command file HELPDOS3 BAT Renames NCP and CMP files for DOS 3.2 HELP HELPF CMP Full Help mode compressed Help file HELP3 CMP Full Help mode compressed Help file for DOS 3.2 HELPP CMP Prompts-Only mode compressed Help file HELPPOPF CMP Full mode Popup DOS command prompts HELPPOP3 CMP Full mode Popup DOS command prompts for DOS 3.2 HELPPOPP CMP Prompts-Only Popup DOS command prompts HELPTABF NCP Full mode decompression table HELPTABP NCP Prompts-Only mode decompression table README TXT This file description text Registered users will receive the source for the command prompts and help screens together with a utility program and instructions for creating their own online customized prompts and help screens. Read the file HELP.DOC for more detailed information about using PC-prompt and about the benefits of becoming a registered user. NOTE: If you are using DOS versions 3.0 or above, set the default drive to the one containing this diskette and execute the batch file HELPDOS3.BAT before installing the HELP files. This batch file will rename files as follows: HELPCMDF.NCP will become HELPCMD2.NCP HELPF.CMP will become HELPF2.CMP HELPPOPF.CMP will become HELPPOP2.CMP then HELPCMD3.NCP will become HELPCMDF.NCP HELPF3.CMP will become HELPF.CMP HELPPOP3.CMP will become HELPPOPF.CMP This will replace the full HELP files for DOS 2.1 with those for DOS 3.2 which has several new and modified commands.
Volume in drive A has no label Directory of A:\ HELPF CMP 18959 9-18-86 9:36p HELPPOPP CMP 1122 4-04-86 2:28a HELPPOPF CMP 965 9-18-86 9:33p HELPP CMP 844 4-04-86 2:28a HELPCMDF NCP 334 9-18-86 9:33p HELPTABP NCP 272 10-15-85 10:45p HELPCMDP NCP 334 4-04-86 2:28a HELPTABF NCP 1238 9-17-86 7:44p HELP EXE 15872 2-04-87 10:14p README TXT 2352 3-09-87 9:24p HELP DOC 25004 2-04-87 8:31p HELPDOS3 BAT 194 3-09-87 9:33p AUTOHELP BAT 51 9-29-85 10:22p HELP INV 2382 9-23-86 6:17p GO BAT 40 1-01-80 6:00a GO TXT 804 1-01-80 6:34a NOTES558 TXT 985 5-26-87 7:42p HELPCMD3 NCP 412 2-04-87 9:22p HELPF3 CMP 30005 2-04-87 9:26p HELPPOP3 CMP 1446 2-04-87 9:22p FILE0558 TXT 2147 8-29-90 3:02p 21 file(s) 105762 bytes 49664 bytes free