Nifty James' Famous Free Memory Display Program
Version 1.12 of 06 May 1987
Version 1.13 of 07 May 1987
Version 2.00 of 19 May 1987
Copyright 1987 by Mike Blaszczak
All rights reserved
NJFRERAM is a short, terminate-and-stay-resident utility.
It remains in memory, and allows the user to maintain a
display of free user memory in the upper right corner of
NJFRERAM is installed in memory simply by typing NJFRERAM.
The program will run and load itself into memory; it takes
about ~1300 bytes of memory.
NJFRERAM is activated and deactivated by pressing the
and keys simultaneously; that is, depress the
key, depress the key, release the
key, and then release the key. This key
combination is used to keep conflicts to a minimum -- I
know of no other programs that use the +
| key combination. (And, if you do use a program that makes
| use of +, you can use NJFRE2.COM, also
| included in this archive. It's the exact same program,
| except it watches for +.
| Once NJFRERAM's display has been activated, NJFRERAM will
| update the display of free memory at the top right corner
| of the screen every second. From Version 2.00 up, NJFRERAM
| is also capable of displaying the amount of memory
| available on the popular "EMS" or "EEMS" cards. NJFRERAM
| will work on either the "EMS" cards, from Intel, or the
| "EEMS" cards, from AST Research. If you have an E/EMS
| card, pressing + a second time, after the
| program has been activated, will display the amount of
| memory not in use on the card. This number is only
| accurate to 16 kilobytes (that is, 16368 bytes), since that
| is the size of the memory blocks that the E/EMS driver
| software allocates.
| If you don't have an E/EMS card, pressing
| + again will turn off the display. If you
| have an E/EMS card, pressing the keys while the E/EMS free
| display is up will turn off the display.
Once the display is off, you can again press the keys to
turn it back on.
I've tested this program heavily, using the various
programs that I use from day to day. The program is
compatible with every piece of software that I use
regularly. However, if you find a program that doesn't get
along with NJFRERAM, please let me know. If it is
possible, I will try to update the program to keep it
working in as many environments as possible.
| It has been brought to my attention, however, that NJFRERAM
| is *not* compatible with Instant Recall.
Also, please note that NJFRERAM only monitors the memory
"seen" by DOS. If you have Intel's EMS or AST's EEMS
memory in your computer, its presence will not be
refelected by the display that NJFRERAM generates.
This program was an idea of RAY M, one of the other users
of the IBMSIG on The SOURCE. Ray is a great guy, and gave
me the idea to write this useful little utility.
Special thanks to DR FILE FINDER and BOB BRODY. Without
their support, Version 2.00 wouldn't be a reality!
Also, great thanks to the people in my "marketing
department", who helped me decide on a name for the
Points of Interest
------ -- --------
The first thing that you'll probably notice when you
install and run NJFRERAM is that it shows you have 48 bytes
of memory free. This is memory that DOS leaves 'lying
around', for its on use. When a COM or EXE program is run,
DOS automatically allocates all of the available memory to
the program, leaving only these 48 bytes.
For some reason, when DOS is sitting at the command prompt,
these 48 bytes are also only marked free. You do indeed
have more free memory than this. Strangely, if you type
the command EXIT at the DOS prompt, DOS will release
that memory, and the real amount of memory avaialble will
be apparent to NJFRERAM. (At least, that's the way it is
under DOS 3.10, my operating system of choice.)
Also, due to the way that some programs run, the NJFRERAM
display will be stuck at 48 bytes. This is not a problem
with NJFRERAM; this is actually the amount of memory that
DOS 'sees'; remember that it allocated all the free memory
to the program that was running. Generally, I've found
that programs that were written in C, and some programs
that were written in Assembly Langauge, will allow NJFRERAM
to show the proper amount of free memory. More information
relating to this 'phenomena' can be found in the book "The
Developer's Guide To MS-DOS", on pages 80-95. The book is
published by the Waite Group... it's well worth the
investment to most programmers.
I've worked with several programs, and it seems that EDWIN,
the popular user-supported editor, is one of the programs
that does not allow NJFRERAM to display the correct amount
of memory. However, EDWIN does have a command to show the
free memory. The program works properly with my other
editor, The Lattice Screen Editor, which was written in C.
| I've come to another interesting find. In the DOS
| Technical Reference Manual, IBM instructs programmers to
| free a TSR programs' Program Segment Prefix area. This
| usually frees betwee 48 and 480 bytes of memory. In
| theory. Actually, no memory is freed up. Since this
| memory is lying around inbetween two allocated blocks, DOS
| will not use it. So, the amount of free memory that you
| see at the DOS prompt is not always 48 bytes; sometimes
| it is zero, sometimes is over 1k. But, the value will
| never be correct until you type the EXIT command.
If you find this program useful, please send a small
contribution. $7 or $10 is very adequate. You'll sleep at
night knowing that you helped an aspiring young programmer!
Thank you very much!
Don't rip off shareware authors. Please send a donation if
| you use this program. I noticed that this program was
| downloaded from the IBMSW forum on CompuServe more than 150
| times in three days. Obviously, this program is *very*
| popular. But, as of today, I have received no
| contributions for it. That's quite disappointing. If I
| had received controbutions from only 10% of the people, I
| would be $100 to $150 richer, and I wouldn't be
| complaining. Come now, if you use it, contribute!
Mike "Nifty James" Blaszczak
112 Verlinden Drive
Monroeville, PA 15146-2041
Participate On The Source: NIFTY JAMES
Participate On NWI : MIKE B or NIFTY JAMES
The KCA PC-Guru BBS, in Pittsburgh: MIKE BLAZAK
On The SOURCE: BCB922
On CompuServe: 76210,1546