8514/A Adapter Interface Version
Shareware Release 0.50
The Screen Capture Program
for MS-DOS and 8514/A-Compatible
DOCUMENTATION AND TECHNICAL NOTES
November 26, 1992
Copyright 1991, 1992 by
Gerald A. Monroe
All rights reserved.
YOUR LICENSE TO USE THIS SOFTWARE:
This documentation file and the GR4AI.EXE program are Copyright
1992 by Gerald A. Monroe. All rights are reserved except as
expressly provided here.
These files have been distributed as part of the GRABBER(tm)
screen capture package, under the terms of a shareware license
that is fully set forth in the file GRABBER.DOC. (GRABBER.DOC is
the reference manual for GRABBER.EXE, which is the main program
module in the package.)
The shareware license terms on the last page of the GRABBER.DOC
file are incorporated here by reference. This license permits
you to freely copy and distribute this documentation and
GR4AI.EXE, provided that: these files are always distributed
together with each other and with all the other files in the
GRABBER package; none of the files is modified in any way; and no
fee, premium or donation of any kind is charged or requested for
their distribution except as permitted on the terms described in
the GRABBER.DOC file.
Continued use of any of these programs for more than a 10-day
trial period requires you to register your use of the software
with the author. For more information about the benefits of
registration and how to go about registering, please refer to the
full licensing and ordering information in the GRABBER.DOC file.
Table of Contents
Shareware License Terms ............................ 1
Overview of GR4AI.EXE .............................. 3
About this documentation ........................... 4
Using GRABBER and GR4AI simultaneously ............. 4
Modifying the GR4AI hotkey ......................... 4
GR4AI's audible error indicators ................... 5
Features not available with GR4AI .................. 5
GR4AI installation options ......................... 5
DEFAULTDRIVE .................................. 6
MOUSE and NOMOUSE ............................. 6
UNLOAD ........................................ 6
SOUND and NOSOUND ............................. 6
PROMPT and NOPROMPT ........................... 7
SWAPMODE ...................................... 7
"Thanks for trying GRABBER" messages ............... 7
Offspring file compatibility with other systems .... 8
Offspring file command-line options ................ 8
Converting GR4AI offspring to PCX and GIF formats .. 9
GR4AI(tm) Documentation & Technical Notes Page 3 of 9
OVERVIEW OF GR4AI.EXE
GR4AI(tm) is an alternative version of the GRABBER screen capture
program. It is designed exclusively for capturing high-resolu-
tion 640 x 480 and 1024 x 768 graphic images from PC systems that
are compatible with the IBM 8514/A Adapter Interface, and which
are running in "real mode" under MS-DOS. (GR4AI, like GRAB-
BER.EXE, does not capture screens from Microsoft Windows or
The Adapter Interface, or "AI," is a programming interface that
lets application programs work with your high-resolution video
adapter. Usually, the AI is loaded as a memory-resident (TSR)
program in your computer's memory. When it is present, it allows
GR4AI to capture certain types of high-resolution graphics.
GR4AI can only capture a screen if the foreground program that is
generating the image is actually using the AI to do its screen
work. Note that this is not always the case. For example, if
you have an IBM 8514/A adapter, or another manufacturer's card
that is compatible with IBM's 8514/A at the register level (such
as an ATI 8514/Ultra, Graphics Ultra or Graphics Vantage card),
then it is possible for some application programs to work with
the screen by writing directly to the adapter's hardware regis-
ters and ignoring the AI completely. GR4AI cannot capture any
screens from such applications, because unless the AI is being
used for screen output, GR4AI has no way of knowing that the
adapter is in use at all.
Therefore, if you have an application from which you want to
capture screens, and the application's installation or setup
allows you to choose between AI-compatible and 8514/A register-
level compatible video, then you should choose the AI-compatible
Whatever kind of video hardware is installed, GR4AI expects to
find an AI driver resident in memory when you install it, and
when you ask it to capture a screen. If an AI driver is not
present, GR4AI will not capture the screen. (With the IBM 8514/A
and the ATI 8514/A-compatibles mentioned above, the AI driver is
called HDILOAD.EXE. If you have a different brand of adapter,
the driver file may be called by a different name.)
Note that you do not have to have an adapter that is register-
level compatible with the 8514/A in order to use GR4AI. All you
need is an adapter that comes supplied with an AI driver, and an
application program that uses the AI for its screen output.
GR4AI(tm) Documentation & Technical Notes Page 4 of 9
ABOUT THIS DOCUMENTATION
GR4AI can be installed in memory and operated in much the same
way as GRABBER.EXE, and the two programs have a very similar look
and feel. For the most part, this documentation for GR4AI covers
only the aspects of GR4AI which differ from GRABBER.EXE. To use
GR4AI effectively, you should read the GRABBER program documenta-
tion and become familiar with GRABBER's operation.
USING GRABBER and GR4AI SIMULTANEOUSLY
GR4AI is designed to be compatible with GRABBER. Both programs
can be installed in memory at the same time.
The default "hotkey" sequence for GR4AI is [Ctrl Alt F10]. That
is, you hold down the [Ctrl] key and the [Alt] key at the same
time, then press the [F10] key, then release all three keys.
MODIFYING THE GR4AI HOTKEY
GR4AI allows you to modify your hotkey sequence from the default
[Ctrl Alt F10] to practically any other key sequence you choose.
In this respect, GR4AI is exactly like GRABBER. There is no
separate documentation here which covers the procedure for
changing your GR4AI hotkey. GR4AI uses the exact same hotkey
procedures as GRABBER. You can read about these in the GRAB-
BER.DOC manual, at page 35 and at Appendices A and B. (To view a
list of valid KEY= codes for GR4AI, use the command GR4AI KEY=?.
To view a list of valid SHIFT= codes, enter GR4AI SHIFT=?.)
GR4AI(tm) Documentation & Technical Notes Page 5 of 9
GR4AI's AUDIBLE ERROR INDICATORS
If you press GR4AI's hotkey and hear one or two short, low-
pitched tones from your PC speaker, it means that GR4AI is unable
to capture the screen because an error condition exists.
One low-pitched tone indicates that no AI driver is currently
loaded in memory.
Two low-pitched tones indicate that an AI driver is loaded in
memory, but that it is not presently in use by a foreground
application, or that the adapter is presently operating in a
video mode that exceeds GR4AI's capabilities. GR4AI is able to
capture these four -- and only these four -- common AI modes:
* 640 x 480, 16 colors * 1024 x 768, 16 colors
* 640 x 480, 256 colors * 1024 x 768, 256 colors
(Three low-pitched tones indicate a probable disk error during
the screen capture process. See "Errors During the Screen
Capture" on page 16 of the main GRABBER program documentation
FEATURES NOT AVAILABLE WITH GR4AI
The BATCHCAPTURE options that are available in GRABBER.EXE are
not supported by GR4AI. Also, the option which GRABBER.EXE
offers for capturing screens from inside other applications (by
calling INT 16h/AX=4752h) is not supported by GR4AI.
GR4AI INSTALLATION OPTIONS
GR4AI accepts the following command-line configuration options.
Each of these optional switches is also available in the GRABBER
program. For more complete details concerning the purpose of
these options and how they work, consult the section beginning on
page 16 of the GRABBER.DOC manual which is headed "Grabber
GR4AI(tm) Documentation & Technical Notes Page 6 of 9
Purpose: Tells GR4AI to capture screens to whatever drive and
directory path is the current DOS default. As with
GRABBER, this switch can substitute for the drive/path
parameter which is otherwise required to make GR4AI
stay resident in memory.
Option: MOUSE and NOMOUSE
Purpose: To enable and disable, respectively, GR4AI's recogni-
tion of the "mouse hotkey," which allows you to capture
screens by holding down both the left and right mouse
buttons for about two seconds.
Please note: The mouse hotkey function is available in the
GRABBER program as well as in GR4AI. If you have installed both
programs in memory simultaneously, do not use the MOUSE switch to
enable the mouse hotkey with both programs. Strange results are
almost guaranteed to occur, and it may even lock up your computer
when you use the mouse hotkey. It is acceptable to use the MOUSE
switch with either GR4AI or GRABBER, but not both.
Purpose: Removes GR4AI from your computer's memory. GR4AI
cannot be removed from memory if, after you initially
installed it, you loaded other memory-resident software
which is activated by any of the same hardware or
software interrupts which GR4AI uses. If you are using
GR4AI and GRABBER simultaneously, both programs can be
removed from memory, but only in the reverse order in
which they were initially installed. In other words,
"last in, first out."
Option: SOUND and NOSOUND
Purpose: To enable and disable, respectively, GR4AI's use of
sounds through the computer's speaker. When enabled,
the sounds accompany the on-screen filename prompts,
and are also issued to indicate the successful comple-
tion of a screen capture operation.
GR4AI(tm) Documentation & Technical Notes Page 7 of 9
Option: PROMPT and NOPROMPT
Purpose: To enable and disable, respectively, GR4AI's on-screen
filename prompts. When the prompts are disabled, GR4AI
creates offspring files on your disk without asking you
first what each file should be called. Instead, the
program assigns a sort of "serial number" name to each
file that is created. These files are named
AISCRN00.EXE, AISCRN01.EXE, and so forth up to
AISCRN99.EXE, at which point they return again to
AISCRN00.EXE. Please consult the description of the
PROMPT and NOPROMPT options on page 17 of the GRAB-
BER.DOC manual for more important information.
Purpose: To enable "DOS Swap Mode" of operation, which can
eliminate some of the delays you may experience in
getting GR4AI to pop up after you press the hotkey.
The SWAPMODE switch is valid only when you are initial-
ly installing GR4AI in memory, and has no effect after
the program is already resident. For more information
about this option, see page 19 of the GRABBER.DOC file.
"THANKS FOR TRYING GRABBER" MESSAGES
Because this is an unregistered, shareware version of GRABBER,
the images which you capture using this version will all contain
a small message in the lower right corner of the screen which
expresses our "Thanks for trying GRABBER." These messages will
appear each time you execute a high-resolution graphic offspring
file, such as those created by GR4AI.EXE.
By including these messages, we only hope to remind you that this
version of GRABBER is shareware, and to encourage you to register
the program if you continue to find it useful.
Users who register with the publisher (for the full $59.00
version) will find that the registered version of GR4AI.EXE which
they receive creates offspring files that do not include this or
any other message superimposed on captured screens.
GR4AI(tm) Documentation & Technical Notes Page 8 of 9
OFFSPRING FILE COMPATIBILITY WITH OTHER SYSTEMS
As mentioned above on page 4, GR4AI can capture four different
types of images from AI-compatible video adapters. The four
* 640 x 480, 16 colors * 1024 x 768, 16 colors
* 640 x 480, 256 colors * 1024 x 768, 256 colors
Each type of image can be displayed on a different system than
the one from which it was originally captured, if the destination
system has an AI driver (such as IBM's or ATI's HDILOAD.EXE)
resident in memory.
In addition, each type of image can be displayed on a system
which is compatible with the VESA video BIOS extension, even if
no AI driver is loaded.
A 16-color, 640 x 480 offspring image can be ported to any VGA-
compatible system -- even one which does not have an AI driver
loaded and is not VESA-compatible.
Some types of screens have special video memory requirements:
* 1024 x 768 x 256 images require at least 1 Mb of video memory
* 1024 x 768 x 16 images require at least 512 Kb of video memory
* 640 x 480 x 256 images require at least 512 Kb of video memory
OFFSPRING FILE COMMAND-LINE OPTIONS
GR4AI offspring files support the same command-line options as
are supported by GRABBER.EXE offspring files. This includes the
/? help option, the "FADEIN" and "FADEOUT" options, the /Tn
option for timed execution, the /F and /N options for exiting
without erasing, and the /K keylist option. Each of these
options is fully explained in the main GRABBER program documenta-
tion (GRABBER.DOC), starting at page 24.
Including the /? switch on the GR4AI offspring file's command
line will display on-screen help and other useful information
about the image and the current hardware setup.
GR4AI(tm) Documentation & Technical Notes Page 9 of 9
OFFSPRING FILE COMMAND-LINE OPTIONS (continued)
However, you should note that for technical reasons it is not
always safe to use the /F and /N command-line options with GR4AI
offspring files. These two options can cause a system crash when
you are executing a GR4AI offspring at the DOS prompt or within a
batch file, and should not be used in those situations. You may
use these two options when executing a GR4AI offspring from
inside another program by way of a SHELL or EXEC-type function,
but only if the parent program re-initializes the AI (with the
AI's HINIT or HSYNC functions) or closes the AI (with the HCLOSE
function) immediately upon return from the child program.
CONVERTING GR4AI OFFSPRING TO .PCX and .GIF
GR4AI is supplied along with two companion utilities which
convert captured AI screens to the PCX and GIF file formats. The
utilities are called GRAI2PCX and GRAI2GIF. These utilities
function in exactly the same way as the GR2PCX and GR2GIF pro-
grams which are also included in this GRABBER package. However,
here is the difference: GRAI2PCX and GRAI2GIF are designed to
convert only offspring screens created by GR4AI.EXE, while GR2PCX
and GR2GIF are designed to convert only screens created by
For instructions on using GRAI2PCX and GRAI2GIF, consult the
CONVERT.DOC documentation file.
* * * End of GR4AI.DOC * * *