With version 1.3 I have substantially reorganized DAT's source code,
placing commonly-used routines in libraries and useful equates and macros
in separate files. From the user's point of view, however, there should be
no change in the program. Sharing code, equates and macros in this way
will make it easier for me to both develop and maintain other assembly
Many of the principal functions in DAT have been completely rewritten
for version 1.2. These changes will make it easier for me to revise the
program. From the user's point of view, though, nothing will have changed.
New to version 1.1 is the '-n' option to suppress display of the final
newline sequence. It will come in handy if you wish to mix output from both
DAT and some other program.
Ever wished you could keep track of program usage? Ever wanted to
display the current date and time without having to hit ? Ever
hoped for something better than "ECHO.|DATE" and "ECHO.|TIME", something
that would give you more control over the output format? If so then DAT is
the answer for you.
DAT is a simple assembly language utility to display the current date
and/or time preceeded by an optional message. Its output can be easily
redirected to a file so a log can be kept of program or system usage.
Running this program is a breeze. Assuming you've placed DAT.COM
where DOS can find it, type DAT -? to display a brief help message similar
to the following:
TifaWARE DAT, v1.3a, 08/28/90 - displays the current date and time.
Usage: dat [-options] [msg]
-d = display date
-n = suppress final newline sequence
-t = display time
-? = display this help message
msg is an optional message to display before the date or time.
[If you don't remember anything else from reading the documentation, at
least remember how to display this help message.]
If you invoke it with at least one argument, DAT will display neither
the date nor the time unless you explicitly tell it to (with the options
'-d' and/or '-t'). Also by default, DAT adds a final newline (CR/LF)
sequence unless you tell it not to via the '-n' option. These options, if
specified, must appear before any message text. As a special case, "DAT"
is equivalent to "DAT -d -t".
You can redirect DAT's output to a file, printer, or even another
program using DOS' redirection characters '>', '>>', and '|'. For example,
you could log usage of Quattro Pro with the following batch file:
DAT -dt QPro session started: >> QPro.Log
DAT -dt QPro session ended: >> QPro.Log
Notice that you should use '>>' rather than '>' unless you don't mind
overwriting whatever might already be in QPro.Log.
If You Have Any Trouble
DAT will attempt to let you know of any problems that arise. Here is
the only error message you might see and how you should deal with it:
dat: illegal option -- x.
- Type "DAT -?" for a list of valid options.
This message is written to the standard error device. In this way, it
won't disappear down a pipe or into a file when redirecting DAT's output.
Additionally, DAT uses a return code to convey information about the
success or failure of its operation. Possible return values are:
0 Program completed successfully
1 Help message was displayed
You can test for these codes using the ERRORLEVEL variable in a batch file.
TifaWARE DAT runs on machines operating under MS-DOS v2.xx or later,
and requires practically no memory. It does not use BIOS calls, make
direct writes to video RAM, or otherwise require machines to be
"PC-compatible". In fact, DAT even runs properly on a DEC Rainbow!
Who Owns It?
I am releasing this implementation of DAT into the public domain.
Since my involvement with MS-DOS began in 1984, I've been a heavy user of
public domain software. Public domain software is a terrific idea. For
the most part, programs are useful and the source code instructive, all at
no cost! With this small contribution to the public domain I hope to pay
back, in some sense, my gratitude to those other programmers who have made
my computing so much easier.
As a public domain program, DAT carries no obligation on my part to
support users or provide future upgrades. I have tried to write clean code
and believe it to be "bug-free". Nevertheless, you must use this program
***AT YOUR OWN RISK***. I strongly urge you to scan the source code
yourself, make any desired changes, and recompile the program, if this is
possible. If you make this standard practice with newly acquired public
domain software, you'll not only protect your system from worms and viruses
but also get a better feel for exactly how each program works!
As author of DAT, I ask of you two things: First, if you distribute
this program, please keep together my original source code, documentation,
and executable. This just makes it easier for others to use the software.
Second, let me hear what you think of DAT. You don't have to send any
money, just comments and suggestions.
Thanks to Ron Brandt of SATALINK BBS who inspired me to develop this
program. Ron runs a fantastic bulletin board system; give it a call at
+1 215 364 3324.
George A. Theall
506 South 41st St., #3M
Philadelphia, PA. 19104
+1 215 662 0558
[email protected] (ARPA Internet)