Contents of the TCHELPME.DOC file
* * * Turbo-C Online Function Library Helper Version 1.0 * * *
Copyright (C) 1987 Ray C. Horn Jr.
All Rights Reserved, SHAREWARE
TCHELPER is a TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) program that allows TURBO C
programmers to have access to the Reference Guide without having to waste
time turning pages to locate the needed information about any of the TURBO C
library functions. TCHELPER may be expanded beyond the built-in TURBO C
library functions and may be made to access up to 5 files worth of docs!
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Once you have started using TCHELPER you may not want to stop!
TCHELPER is a SHAREWARE product and may be distributed to anybody in
executable form FREE of charge. However if the user likes TCHELPER and would
like to purchase the source code to see how TCHELPER was written, then please
mail the amount of $20.00, money orders only please, to the following address:
Ray Horn Jr. (303) 771 - 3190 or (303) 694 - 4200
7625 East Quincy Avenue, #105
Denver, Colorado 80237
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I will send ALL of the source necessary to reproduce TCHELPER. One of the
more interesting apsects of TCHELPER are the stream file routines. TURBO C's
fopen( ), fgets( ), and fclose( ) functions would not work in the TSR's
environment, they had to be rewritten.
TCHELPER makes a fairly good tutorial on how to produce TSR software almost
entirely using TURBO C. TURBO C really made TCHELPER possible as well as
necessary. Producing Something like TCHELPER with Microsoft's C 4.0 would
have been much more difficult without a lot of MASM support.
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Please feel free to distribute TCHELPER, executable(s) and document files
only, FREELY to anybody that can make use of it. Users who purchase the
source code may NOT redistribute or sell TCHELPER's source code period!
I reserve both the rights and privelges of doing so myself. Users may NOT
make modifications to TCHELPER and then redistibute the modified product
for profit or anything else for that matter. Also users may not use any part
of TCHELPER's source code in ANY commercial products until a source code
license has been purchased for $20.00! Users MAY however use any part of
TCHELPER's source code in any other FREEWARE product(s) that are possible
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FREEWARE or SHAREWARE products that make use of TCHELPER's source code
fragments must carry appropriate credits for both Ray Horn Jr. and Dean
McCrory and may not be distributed for profit.
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The display that you are reading now is NOT ALL that the program does. This
is my way of introducing you to the read me file called "TCHELPME.DOC". To
continue reading this file simply PRESS ANY KEY to continue when the message
appears at the bottom of this window. To quit reading this file press the
ESCape key and you'll be in TCHELPER. This read me file will only be
displayed the first time TCHELPER is activated after it is loaded. After
you get past it this once it'll be out of the way until the next time you
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TCHELPER is based upon another SHAREWARE product called TCHELP written
by Edward V Dong for TURBO C. I really like the idea of what TCHELP
could do for the programmer. The ability to display online documentation
is a tremendous benefit and timesaver for programmers. TCHELP
demonstrated that the concept of online docs is a very good and useful
idea. Since I used TCHELP's documentation file for the development of
TCHELPER you could make use of it quite readily and save quite a bit of
time and effort in creating your own documentation file for TURBO C.
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TCHELPER would probably never have been a TSR without the help and
support of Dean D. McCrory! The complexity of making C source level
programs TSR-able is staggering, especially if you want them to work
properly. It would have taken me several man months just to figure out
what interrupts to handle aside from the main issues of making TSR's
live with DOS. I am very grateful to Dean for ALL of his help with
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I would also like to thank Dana Cline for all of his help and support
in making it possible for me to distribute TCHELPER as a SHAREWARE
product. Without both Dean McCrory's and Dana Cline's support this
product would never have been possible to more than a very small
handful of programmers. I thank them both.
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Introduction to the Installation of TCHELPER:
Since you're reading this file you've either succesfully loaded and activated
TCHELPER at least once or you've found this file and you're cheating by just
typing it out on the console. No matter, this information will be important
however you're reading it. Good luck!
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Once you've gotten past this information, by pressing ESCape at any time, you
will be faced with a menu of files -- that is if you have installed a list of
files for TCHELPER to look at. However if there are no document files
installed then TCHELPER will still display a menu of files to select from but
the menu will be blank and pressing any key will result in an error message
and the blank manu reappearing. If this happens simply press the ESCape key
and you'll be back at the DOS prompt.
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How to Install Document Files:
TCHELPER requires both a PATH type of environment variable and a list of files
set up as environment variables. The PATH type of variable is called TCHELP.
TCHELP would specify a path to the document files by listing the one
subdirectory that contains ALL of the document files you wish to access with
TCHELPER. Here's an example:
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This is how TCHELP's definition would be installed. As always environment
variables may be defined in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file so that TCHELPER will be
constantly ready to use after your machine boots up. The TCHELP definition
may only be 66 characters long, like any DOS path.
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Once TCHELP has been installed you'll be ready to install the list of document
files that you want to access. This is done by setting up a list of
environment variables called TCHELPDOCn's. The following is an example:
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This sets up the list of document files that TCHELPER will look into. These
file names may be any valid DOS type of file name possible. Included in the
TCHELPER distribution ARCHIVE file should be a file called TSR's.DOC. This
TCHELPER document file will contain all of the TSR function declarations
that were used to create TCHELPER. TSR's.DOC will help the TCHELPER user
with both writing a TSR-able application and creating TCHELPER document files.
The sample AUTOEXEC.BAT file will provide the user with valuable information
necessary for the installation of TCHELPER.
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How to Use TCHELPER after Installation:
Once ALL of the necessary environment variables have been installed and
TCHELPER is made resident. The user may activate TCHELPER by pressing the
ALT key and either SHIFT key, right or left, at the same time or by pressing
BOTH SHIFT keys at the same time. These key combinations were chosen to keep
TCHELPER form interfering with any other TSR that the user may want to use
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When TCHELPER becomes active it will pop-up a window near the center of the
screen and display the contents of this file, only the first time activated,
and then display a menu of document files to look at. The user can press the
ESCape key at any time to exit back to whatever application TCHELPER was made
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Document Files Menu:
The user can use the Up and Down Arrow Keys to select the file to look at and
then press the ENTER key. TCHELPER will then display a flashing cursor near
the upper left corner or the TCHELPER window. This indicates that TCHELPER is
waiting for keystroke(s). The user may type the name or any part of the name
of a library function and then press ENTER. TCHELPER will begin searching
the selected document file for the entered name.
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The search algorithm is very simple. If the user entered the letter `a'
TCHELPER would search for and find any library function names starting with
the letter `a'. For instance, TCHELPER would begin displaying the following
TURBO C library function names:
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This is very handy if the user remembers only the first few starting letter
of a function name but recalls which document file the name is in. TCHELPER
will continue displaying library function information as long as the search
criteria are met. Whenever TCHELPER must skip over a library function it will
display a `.' beginning just after the entered name and continuing just to
the left of the selected document file name. TCHELPER will appear to be
displaying and erasing periods until another library function name is found
that matches the search cirteria or the end of file is encountered.
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At any time during the document file search the user may press the ESCape key
to quit searching and begin another search. TCHELPER will again display the
document files menu and the user may press ENTER to select the same file as
before or select another file from the list. If the user is finished
searching document files then pressing ESCape from the files menu will
deactivate TCHELPER and put the user back into the previous application.
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How to Build TCHELPER Documentation Files:
The TCHELPER document file layout is very simple. The library function name
is always preceded by the `:' character and appears on the first line alone.
The following is an example:
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abort - abnormally terminates a process
USAGE void abort( void);
Prototype in stdlib.h and process.h
Description This function writes a termination message on stderr and
aborts the program via a call to _exit, with an exit code
Return Value This function does not return a value.
Portability Available on UNIX systems.
see also assert, _exit, exec..., exit, spawn...
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The `:abort' line would not be viewed by the user of TCHELPER but the
following lines down to the next `:name' line would be. TCHELPER always
fills the display window with text until the next function name is found
or until the display window fills. TCHELPER will display a message at the
bottom of the display window indicating what action may be taken by the
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I sincerely hope that this SHAREWARE product becomes as useful to you as it
has become to me. I developed TCHELPER to work best within the TURBO C
programmer's environment but it may be used by almost any PC-DOS programmer
that needs an online reference manual. TCHELPER's source code was only
designed to work with TURBO C however, and would require some effort to
make it work with any other C compiler. It is hoped that TCHELPER will
inspire other C programmers to purchase TURBO C once they see just how
easy C language TSR's may be written using TURBO C with very little MASM
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I welcome any comments that the use of TCHELPER may have caused as well as
any constructive comments concerning the improvement of TCHELPER as a
product. I have planned many refinements to TCHELPER and will make them
available in the future as SHAREWARE if enough users voice their interest
in updates by purchasing the source code for $20.00. Future enhancements
will result in a much smaller load module, perhaps half the current size,
and easier usage via an improved user interface.
Thank you and good luck using TCHELPER.
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