Installing ViewMAX through DR DOS Setup
DR DOS Setup has a section that allows end users to choose basic
configuration options for ViewMAX. Available options include the
ability to select screen type, mouse type and port, and color
The DR DOS default for screen driver is VGA. If a user is not
sure what screen type to select choose the default. If a blank
screen appears when running ViewMAX the wrong screen driver has
probably been selected. Try Ctrl-Q to restore the DOS prompt.
Ctrl-Q is the keyboard shortcut for quitting ViewMAX. Check the
video card manual for the type of video card installed. DR DOS
comes with drivers for the most common types of video cards.
Setup also allows a choice of color palette. There are 8
different color palettes available, although more can be created
by editing the VIEWMAX.INI file. Two of the palettes
(Monochrome and LCD/Plasma) can be used on the special displays
that come with some laptops. These same two palettes are also
usable on color systems.
IMPORTANT for monochrome video displays
If a monochrome display is installed it is recommended that the
user choose the monochrome palette. Choosing a full color
palette could result in some sections of the ViewMAX screen
having the same foreground and background color.
IMPORTANT for CGA video displays
Because of the limited amount of video memory in a CGA video
card, ViewMAX can only display in black and white (2 color mode)
on CGA displays. Any of the color palettes can be selected when
installing ViewMAX for CGA but the screen may not be acceptable
when translated into black and white (this is the same problem
that was mentioned above for monochrome displays). It is
recommended that CGA users select the monochrome palette when
setting up ViewMAX.
IMPORTANT for EGA video displays
Early EGA displays did not come with enough memory to display
640x350 in 16 colors. If one of these cards is installed select
the CGA driver. If an end user is not sure what type of EGA card
is being used try the EGA driver. If it is one of the older
cards vertical stripes that may have blinking characters in them
will appear or the screen may fill with random characters as the
mouse is moved.
If the video adapter is not an EGA card and the screen gets
characters as mentioned above or simply gets a blank screen with
a cursor blinking in the upper left corner then the video card
is not 100% compatible with the video driver selected. Check
hardware manuals for compatibility.
At this time Digital Research does not offer any screen drivers
other than the ones found on the DR DOS 6 ViewMAX disk. If the
video card is not compatible with the drivers included please
submit an SPR form detailing the manufacturer, type and model of
the video card.
The ViewMAX setup offers 5 different choices for mouse. The
first option is for keyboard only support. The second option is
for Bus mouse or a pointing device that requires its own
driver. This option is the default. As long as the device has a
driver that can emulate a mouse then it can be used with
ViewMAX. This includes devices such as trackballs and graphics
tablets. The PS/2 mouse option is for any computer that uses a
PS/2 type mouse. The other options are drivers for the specific
IMPORTANT for mice that use drivers
If a mouse driver is loaded in CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT or
command line prior to running ViewMAX then the Bus Mouse option
(default) should be used.
This option is also recommended if there is trouble configuring
a mouse to work with ViewMAX. Set ViewMAX for bus mouse and load
the driver. If the problem continues make sure the mouse is
installed correctly. Most pointing devices come with their own
diagnostic software to help trouble shoot problems. When ViewMAX
is set for Bus it does not matter if the mouse is a true bus
mouse or is attached to a COM port. ViewMAX does not try to
control the mouse directly but instead communicates with the
The Microsoft and Logitech options in Setup are drivers. If a
driver is already loaded and either of these options is chosen
the mouse may behave erratically or not move at all. Either
unload the mouse driver or change the ViewMAX setup to bus mouse.
If you find yourself in ViewMAX with your mouse not working you
can exit ViewMAX with a CTRL-Q (holding the Control key and
striking Q ). If you wish to continue using ViewMAX a CTRL-RIGHT
SHIFT will toggle the cursor to keyboard control. This is not
the same as choosing keyboard control from Setup. When cursor
control has shifted to keyboard the HOME key takes the place of
the mouse button, not the ENTER or SPACEBAR key. To drag a
selection box use the END key. Double clicking is accomplished
by striking the HOME key twice quickly.
IMPORTANT for all mouse users
If you have trouble executing applications from ViewMAX (double
clicking) you may wish to adjust the double click speed in the
Options/Preferences menu in ViewMAX. The default setting is 3
(medium) but it may be easier for some users to select 1 (slow).
If you change this setting be sure to Save Preferences so that
this speed setting is preserved.
The final question in Setup is whether to load ViewMAX at boot
time. If the answer is yes then the ViewMAX command will be
added to your AUTOEXEC.BAT.
Users can enter Setup at any time and change the ViewMAX
configuration without affecting any other installation settings.
Changing the configuration through Setup will not affect any
User Preferences set previously nor will it affect configured
Configuration Tips and Common Questions about ViewMAX
ViewMAX requires 512K of RAM to run. ViewMAX memory requirements
can be reduced by disabling the clock and calculator accessory.
To do this rename VIEWMAX.ACC (for example to VIEWMAX.ACX).
ViewMAX will then not attempt to load the accessory. This will
save approximately 20K. Refer to the RENAME command description
in the DR DOS 6.0 User Guide.
ViewMAX will use approximately 20K of the available DOS memory
to execute an application. This is due to overhead required to
ViewMAX will not reduce DOS memory when executing an application
if TaskMAX is running and ViewMAX controls TaskMAX. Each
application that is executed from ViewMAX will be spawned as a
If ViewMAX is used to control TaskMAX it is recommended that the
Bus mouse option be used. This will allow the user to have mouse
control in other applications. It is important to remember that
any device loaded before TaskMAX is universal to all tasks. Any
driver or TSR loaded after TaskMAX is available only in the task
in which it was loaded.
The Format command in the ViewMAX File Menu does not pass
parameters. This means that if a computer has a high-density
drive then no low-density disks can be formatted using this menu
command. The workaround for this is to execute the FORMAT
utility in the DR DOS directory. ViewMAX will then ask for any
parameters that need to be entered.
Changing the date and time on the ViewMAX clock will update
system date and time in the CMOS. This is a convenient way to
update the clock without having to enter CMOS Setup.
Users who have complex sub-directory structures (such as network
drives) may wish to turn off the Tree. This is due to the fact that
ViewMAX reads the entire directory file structure when it starts
or returns from an application. Not displaying the Tree will cause
ViewMAX to read only the current directory, not the entire drive
Under some configurations ViewMAX may want a user to insert a
floppy disk every time that ViewMAX loads. The user has Saved
Preferences with a window open on a floppy drive. To stop this
from happening simply Save Preferences when no window is open on
a floppy drive.
Advanced User Configuration of VIEWMAX.INI
This section is primarily intended for advanced users who feel
comfortable with changing configurations and would like a better
understanding of how ViewMAX works. Novices will find the first
section of this note on DR DOS setup useful in understanding
what choices are available and how to do some basic trouble
shooting but we do not recommend that they try to directly edit
the VIEWMAX.INI file.
The file VIEWMAX.INI is an ASCII file that contains the
configuration information that ViewMAX uses on initialization.
The file includes parameters for screen colors, mouse type and
port, screen driver to be used, and programs that have been
configured. Also stored in this file are the User Preferences,
starting directories for each window, window size, and other
If a user makes a mistake and ViewMAX indicates that the
VIEWMAX.INI file is missing or unusable just copy the file from
the ViewMAX disk or better yet make sure there is a backup copy
before making any changes. The DR DOS Editor will automatically
make a backup with the extension .BAK when a file is changed and
Editing the VIEWMAX.INI file
The DR DOS EDITOR program or any other ASCII editor can be used
to edit the VIEWMAX.INI file. Keywords in the file are case
sensitive. For example, if a colorset is added it must be
spelled "ColorSet". The C and S must be upper case and all
other letters lower case or ViewMAX will not recognize the line.
Anything after a pound sign "#" is regarded as a comment and is
ignored by ViewMAX. Comments will not affect Setup's ability to
read the file but beware: Changing the VIEWMAX.INI file with
Setup will remove all comments.
Brackets "[ ]" indicate different paragraphs within the
configuration file. It is not recommended that the order of
these be changed.
[PREFS] A series of switches from the OPTIONS/PREFERENCES menu
where 0=off and 1=on. It is not really necessary to manually
edit these functions as ViewMAX has the ability to adjust these
[WINDOW] This section controls the size of the two ViewMAX
windows. While this may give the impression that users can
configure ViewMAX windows to any size they want on the screen,
there are only 3 windows sizes that can be used. It is recommended
that users not adjust these except via the ViewMAX program. Also
stored here are the sort order, view, path, tree and wildcards.
These are also easily configurable from within ViewMAX.
[PROGRAMS] This is for configured applications. The paragraph
contains information about the selected icon, the name of the
application, whether or not it takes parameters and what the
associated document extensions are. Do not change or modify the
first 6 entries that contain wildcards (*.exe,*.*, etc.).
ViewMAX sets aside a 1K buffer for the storage of the
information in this section. That amounts to approximately 35
configured applications. If you need to enter more applications
you can remove the GEM and DR DOS applications that are
preconfigured in this section.
a b c d e
| | | | |
(G:12,44) DRAW.APP *.GEM
syntax: (a:b,c) d [e]
a D = folder
G = GEM application
m = DOS, no params, needs full memory
M = DOS, no params
p = DOS, params, needs full memory
P = DOS, params
b,c internal id numbers for app and document icons; -1 means no
d application name; ~ means not applicable
e document type(s); ~ means none
[COLORS] This section is the one that will probably attract the
attention of most users. This is where information on colorsets
are stored for the various windows and dialog boxes. Remember
that CGA and Monochrome monitors will interpret the color to
black and white and so little will be gained by changing
palettes on these systems. MaxColors should equal the total
number of ColorSets. MaxColors will determine the total number
of colors listed in the OPTIONS/COLOR SCHEMES dialog.
CurrentColor indicates the palette that is currently selected to
be the startup palette. This value can be changed by both Setup
or the OPTIONS/COLOR SCHEMES dialog. If using the OPTIONS/COLOR
SCHEMES dialog be sure to SAVE PREFERENCES to change the
CurrentColor in VIEWMAX.INI.
Information contained in the ColorSets indicates individual
colors and fills for each component of a window. Below is a
listing of the ColorSet variables and a reference of where they
appear on the ViewMAX screen. Refer to page 20 of the ViewMAX
User Guide for a diagram of the ViewMAX screen.
ColorSet ViewMAX diagram page 20
NAME TITLE BAR (active window)
INFO INFORMATION TITLE
SLCTDNAME TITLE BAR (inactive window)
DESKTOP background color
BUTTON SCROLL BAR
The ColorSet called Button is also used as the color of ViewMAX
Each ColorSet setting has 4 numbers that are in groups of 2. The
first 2 digits are colors. The next 2 numbers establish the fill
by which the two colors are blended together. The following is a
section of a ColorSet called Bright. The name of the ColorSet
must be in quotes. The chart indicates what portions of the
sequence are colors and which ones are fill patterns. Commas
must be used as delimiters for proper syntax. All spaces are
Name= 2,0, 1,0
Info= 3,4, 2,4
ColorSet Color 1 Color 2 Fill Fill
-------- ------- ------- ---- ----
Name 2, 0, 1, 0
Info 3, 4, 2, 4
There are 16 possible colors in ViewMAX. Valid numbers are 0-15
with the first 8 as high intensity colors.
Color number Color
8 light gray
9 dark gray
10 dark red
11 dark green
12 dark blue
13 dark cyan
14 dark yellow
15 dark magenta
There are a total of 39 fills that can be used with the above
colors. ViewMAX will generally use the first few fills in its
As indicated earlier it takes a pair of numbers to define a
fill. If the first digit is 0 a hollow or white fill is
displayed. If the first digit is 1 then the first number is used
as a solid fill. In both of the cases the second digit has no
meaning. For example the fill 1,n has the same result as 2,8. If
the first digit is 2, then a pattern is generated where the two
colors are blended together in various proportions. There are 24
combinations possible whose values range from 2,1 to 2,24. A
first digit of 3 indicates a hatch. Valid values for hatches are
3,1 to 3,12. Some of these fills can be very busy so test them
first. If a color or fill is out of range ViewMAX will
substitute a 0 in its place.
Here are the total range of color combinations that are
possible. The letter "n" indicates that any number can be used.
Hollow Pattern Pattern Pattern Hatch Hatch
------ ------- ------- ------- ----- -----
0,n 2,1 2,9 2,17 3,1 3,9
2,2 2,10 2,18 3,2 3,10
Filled 2,3 2,11 2,19 3,3 3,11
1,n 2,4 2,12 2,20 3,4 3,12
2,5 2,13 2,21 3,5
2,6 2,14 2,22 3,6
2,7 2,15 2,23 3,7
2,8 2,16 2,24 3,8
[DRIVERS] This section is for screen and mouse drivers.
MaxDrv indicates the total number of drivers listed. DR DOS
comes with 4 screen drivers that can be used on 7 different type
of video cards.
CurrentDrv is the driver that ViewMAX is configured to use on
VidPatch sets internal switches for screen drivers. When ViewMAX
is configured to use an EGA or VGA display, it automatically
determines the current display type, either Monochrome or Color,
EGA, or VGA. If, for any reason, a different display mode is
required, ViewMAX can be forced to work with a specified display
type by editing the VIDPATCH keyword with the following contents:
VIDPATCH = nn
where nn is replaced by a digit between 00 and 03.
00 Monochrome EGA Display
01 Color EGA Display
02 Monochrome VGA Display
03 Color VGA Display
MouseType describes the type of mouse chosen in DR DOS Setup.
MousePort is the communications port to be used by the mouse.
Any device that uses the Bus mouse option will have 255 as the