Contents of the GCT.DOC file
GRAFCAT (GRAPHIC CATALOG) 3.0
If you like this program, please:
Send us $40.00, the normal user fee for this software.
Registered users of this software are entitled to phone support,
notification of upgrades and good karma. When you register
GrafCat we'll send you a copy of the latest version. Please tell
us the version number of your copy of GrafCat when you register.
Our address can be found at the end of this file.
Complete details of registration can be found later in this
document in the section on registration.
NOTE: Release three of GrafCat represents a complete re-write of
the package. Numerous things have changed... if you're familiar
with GrafCat from previous releases you're urged to read this
file all the way through.
NOTE: German users of GrafCat should contact our German
distributor, PD-SERVICE-LAGE, Postfach 1743, D-4937 Lage, West
Germany. A German language version of the package is available
from them as well.
NOTE: Australian users of GrafCat should contact our Australian
distributor, Budgetware, P.O. Box 496 Newtown NSW 2042. Phone
(02) 519-4233 FAX (02) 516-4236.
NOTE: We now have a bulletin board system. See the section on
contacting Alchemy Mindworks for more information.
Hardware and software
New features of the level three release
PC Paintbrush PCX
WordPerfect Graphics WPG
Deluxe Paint/Amiga IFF/LBM
PC Paint Pictor PIC
Windows 3 BMP
Microsoft Paint MSP
Encapsulated PostScript EPS
Using the main menu
Floppy mode printing
Dot matrix and inkjet printers
A word about memory
A word about resources
A word about dithering and halftoning
If you encounter a problem
Contacting Alchemy Mindworks Inc.
Source code and books
GrafCat is a tool to help you keep track of a large collection of
bitmapped image files. It will allow you to print up images
fifteen or sixteen to a page on any PostScript or LaserJet Plus
compatible laser printer. Note that this includes LaserJet II and
LaserJet III series laser printers.
GrafCat has numerous options to allow you to create the most
useful catalog pages possible. It will print images in either
portrait or landscape orientation. It can include simple or
detailed descriptions of each file it catalogs. It will handle
colour and grey scale files with up to 24 bits of colour,
reproducing them as dithers or as PostScript halftones.
GrafCat can catalog any mixture of the file types it recognizes.
A complete list of these files and the details of using them can
be found later in this document.
GrafCat will handle image files of any size. It will use extended
or expanded memory if you have some, and disk space if you don't.
It has a fast and easily understood user interface.
As it comes out of the box... or out of the ZIP... GrafCat is
configured like as follows. If you want to change some of these
parameters, see the installation section of this document.
- It uses virtual memory.
- It uses colour screen text.
- It prints detailed descriptions below each picture.
- It prints images in landscape orientation frames.
- It drives a PostScript printer.
- It uses error diffused dithering to handle colour source images.
HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE
GrafCat will run on any PC compatible system with at least 384
kilobytes of memory. We strongly recommend that you have at least
640 kilobytes. A megabyte of extended or expanded memory will
make GrafCat a lot faster if you like to run it while shelled out
of another application. Run on its own, it can get by exclusively
with DOS memory.
GrafCat will run under DOS 2.0 or better. We recommend that you
use at least DOS 3.3. You will need a suitable expanded or
extended memory driver in your system for GrafCat to recognize
your extra memory.
You should have received the following files in the GrafCat
- GCT.EXE - The GrafCat program itself.
- GCT.RES - The GrafCat resource file.
- GCT.DOC - Yes, you're reading it now.
- GCTINSTL.EXE - The GrafCat configuration utility.
- RMOVER.EXE - A general resource manager.
- EXAMPLE1.IMG - A monochrome picture file.
- EXAMPLE2.GIF - A sixteen-colour picture file.
- EXAMPLE3.GIF - A 256-colour picture file.
- ORDER.FRM - A registration order form
There is no EXAMPLE4, a 24-bit picture file, as the smallest one
we could find was over 400 kilobytes long. There are several 24-
bit files on our bulletin board, should you want one to look at.
NEW FEATURES OF THE LEVEL THREE RELEASE
The original release of GrafCat was fairly simple. It ran from
the command line and printed all the files it could find. It had
relatively few options. More people wanted to suggest ways to
improve it than were actually interested in registering it.
The release three incarnation of GrafCat embodies many of the
suggestions which were lavished upon it... at least, it embodies
those which we could figure out how to implement.
When you run GrafCat, it will display a file selector screen. If
you're familiar with our Graphic Workshop package, you'll
recognize this... everything works the same.
GrafCat can print in image frames which have either portrait or
landscape orientation. If you're primarily interested in
cataloging GIF files, you'll find that the latter is preferable.
Landscape oriented frames work out such that there's enough room
on the left side of the page to allow the pages to be bound.
GrafCat will print colour and grey scale files as Bayer or Floyd-
Steinberg error diffused dithers, or as PostScript halftones on a
PostScript laser. The latter looks slick but it's pretty slow.
Plan to leave the whole works running overnight if you'll be
using PostScript halftones.
GrafCat handles files using the same file format resources as
does Graphic Workshop, and as such it will read all the same
formats. This includes 24-bit formats, such as PCX and Targa.
Please read the section later in this document concerning
WordPerfect Graphics files.
Note that in dealing with minor bugs in GrafCat, we'll be
releasing versions with new revision letters. You can see the
current revision letter in the closing beg notice. It will not
appear anywhere else in the program.
GrafCat works exclusively with bitmapped image files. This is as
opposed to vector or line art files. Vector files include DXF,
GEM, CDR, Harvard Graphics, Lotus PIC and CGM files, among
others. GrafCat does not support vector files, nor is it likely
to in the immediate future.
In most cases, the specifications for image files are pretty
standardized, and GrafCat will reliably read and print image
files in its supported formats without difficulty. There are a
few exceptions to this, as will be discussed in detail throughout
These can come in two flavours. The most common one is straight
ported MacPaint files, that is, files having the "MacBinary"
header. The other is "headerless" files, these being the ones
used with PFS:First Publisher. GrafCat reads both types.
All MacPaint files have the dimensions 576 by 720 pixels. These
are the dimensions of the GrafCat image frame in portrait
There are actually quite a few variations on IMG files... they
handle monochrome and grey level images. The primary application
for IMG files is as the bitmapped image file format of Ventura
Publisher. GrafCat supports files with up to 256 levels of grey.
These are the files used to hold images for Z-Soft's PC
Paintbrush package. These can range from monochrome to 24-bit
images. All the various formats are supported by GrafCat.
These can range from monochrome to 256-colour images in any size
you can find 'em. GrafCat supports both the 87a and 89a versions
of the GIF standard. It will read the first image of GIF files
having multiple images.
GrafCat supports monochrome, colour and grey scale TIFF files.
Note that due to the wide variations among the programs which
produce TIFF files, GrafCat would be lying rather badly if it
claimed to be able to read all TIFF files. Specifically, it does
not read Huffman or LZW compressed TIFF files as yet, as we
haven't devised code to do this in a reasonable amount of space.
Colour TIFF files are another area in which GrafCat only handles
files from some sources.
If you have Graphic Workshop, you'll find its F4 details function
helpful in identifying problems which might crop up in reading
TIFF files with GrafCat.
These are the native import graphic files for WordPerfect. These
files can contain both bitmaps and line art, or vector graphics.
GrafCat can only deal with the bitmapped parts of them. If you
attempt to print a WPG file containing both bitmapped and vector
elements, the vector elements will be discarded.
WPG files which refuse to read with GrafCat are usually those
which contain only vector elements and no bitmaps.
GrafCat will deal with WPG files having one, four or eight bits
of colour information, that is, monochrome files, sixteen-colour
files and 256-colour files.
The WPG specification allows for 256-colour files. As of this
writing, WordPerfect itself would not read them.
These are the image files used by the paint program which came
with Microsoft Windows version 2. Don't confuse these with PCX
files... some versions of Windows 2 came with a Windows
implementation of PC Paintbrush from ZSoft as well. The two
programs... and the two file formats... are not compatible. MSP
files are monochrome only.
These started out on the Amiga. The IFF file standard is
extremely flexible, and allows all sorts of things besides
images to be stored in IFF files. IFF files are found on the PC
having been ported from Amiga systems. They are also created on
the PC by several applications such as Electronic Arts' Deluxe
Paint package and Digital Vision's Computer Eyes video scanner
board. In the first case they are given the extension LBM. In
the second they are given the extension CE. The basic file
structure is the same, however.
Note that GrafCat only reads "pure" IFF files, and will not
handle the countless variations on the format which have appeared
on the Amiga. Specifically, it does not read hold and modify, or
These are the files which are used as "wallpaper" under Windows
3. They can be created using the version of Paint supplied with
These should not be confused with Lotus 1-2-3 PIC drawing files.
PIC files are created by PC Paint (not PC Paintbrush) and are
used by Grasp, among other things. They come in many flavours.
GrafCat has been tested with the most common ones. In theory it
should support them all, but that's only a theory.
PIC files are structured exceedingly weirdly, especially in their
sixteen-colour manifestations. For this reason, it's necessary
for GrafCat to create a temporary scratch file while it's packing
or unpacking a sixteen-colour PIC file. You will note that upon
beginning to read or write one, the bar graph will appear to
pause for a few seconds before it starts to move.
By default, the temporary file will be written to the current
directory. However, you can direct it to somewhere else by
including the following line in your environment, for example:
This will cause the temporary file to be written to the root
directory of drive H:. You can, of course, specify any path you
like. If drive H: is a RAM drive, this will speed up the packing
and unpacking of sixteen-colour PIC files considerably.
The Truevision Targa format is used by several high end paint
programs and things like ray tracing packages. It can handle
images with up to sixteen million unique colours.
There are a lot of variations on TGA files, and GrafCat does not
handle them all as yet. Specifically, it only handles
uncompressed and run length compressed files. It ignores all
alpha channel information.
The EPS format... encapsulated PostScript... isn't really a
bitmapped format at all. However, it may contain bitmapped data.
PostScript cannot be interpreted directly by most PC
applications. As such, an EPS file which is to be imported into
an application such as Ventura Publisher or PageMaker also
includes a "preview". A preview is a small black and white TIFF
image which will show you a rough idea of what the EPS file will
If you import an EPS file into Ventura, for example, the screen
image you see will be the preview but the data printed to your
printer will be the PostScript data itself.
If you attempt to catalog an EPS file with GrafCat, you will see
the preview image, not the actual PostScript data. This will look
the same as the source data if you have translated a monochrome
file to EPS, and it will look like a very coarse Bayer dither of
the source otherwise.
Note also that if you attempt to read an EPS file without a
preview, GrafCat will tell you that it has encountered a
file read error. The EPS file itself may be fine... GrafCat,
however, can only read previews.
HALO CUT FILES
The CUT format is exceedingly awkward, and GrafCat makes a few
assumptions about how CUT files will be used in order to make it
workable. To begin with, CUT files don't know how many colours
they have in them. They rely on a second file, called a PAL file,
to define their colours.
GrafCat looks for a PAL file to decide whether a CUT file has two
bits or eight bits of colour. If it doesn't find a PAL file with
the same name as your CUT file, it assumes that the CUT file in
question only has two bits of colour. Otherwise, it assumes that
there are 256 colours in the file.
If you're using CUT files and have any suggestions to improve
GrafCat's handling of them, or if you encounter problems with its
CUT files, please get in touch with us. The CUT format, while
occasionally requested, turned out to be very weird.
A WORD ABOUT MEMORY
GrafCat will use whatever memory you have going. For the most
part, if you run it on a machine with 640 kilobytes of
conventional memory and nothing much typing up part of this...
not too many TSRs and no DOS shell... it will get along fine
without any recourse to extra memory.
There are three sorts of "extra" memory which GrafCat can use, to
wit, extended, expanded and virtual. Extended memory is also
called XMS memory, and is only available on AT and 386 systems.
Expanded memory, also called EMS or LIM memory, is available if
you have a LIM board and driver in your machine. Virtual memory
means using a big disk file and making believe it's memory.
Virtual memory is very slow compared to real memory.
You must tell GrafCat what to do about extra memory when you
install it. See the section on installation.
In addition to the three foregoing types of extra memory, GrafCat
can be configured to use "extended or virtual" or "expanded or
virtual" memory. If one of these options is chosen, GrafCat will
attempt to allocate a buffer from extended or expanded memory if
it can't do so with DOS memory. If it's unable to allocate a
buffer in extra memory, it will switch to virtual memory and see
if its luck improves. If there's no room for a virtual memory
buffer, it will give up and return an error saying that it can't
This shouldn't be necessary... in the unlikely event that it
needs extra memory at all, it won't need all that much.
By default, GrafCat configured to use virtual memory will use the
current drive and directory to write its temporary files. You can
change this by adding a line to your environment with the SET
command such as:
In this case, any virtual memory temporary files which GrafCat
wants to create will be written to the root of drive H:. If you
have a RAM disk, you should use the TEMP environment variable to
tell GrafCat to use it for virtual memory operations, as this
will speed things up considerably.
Note that if you will be using the floppy disk cataloging mode
of GrafCat and your memory situation will cause GrafCat to use
virtual memory, you should make sure you have a TEMP variable set
up. Otherwise, GrafCat will attempt to write its virtual memory
files to your floppies.
As is discussed elsewhere in this document in the section on
resources, GrafCat frequently swaps blocks of code and data in
and out of memory. In addition to the memory required for your
pictures, GrafCat must have memory to manage its resources and to
allocate small scratch buffers. This is called memory "overhead".
It's possible for GrafCat to allocate a lot of DOS memory for a
picture file and subsequently be unable to allocate enough memory
for the resource which will manipulate the picture.
To avoid this situation, GrafCat reserves a fixed amount of
memory for its own use before it attempts to allocate an image
buffer. The amount of this fixed memory is adjustable through the
GCTINSTL program, as is discussed in the section on installation.
As it's set in the distribution version of the software, it
should be adequate for all the operations the package can
perform. There are a few hypothetical cases in which this might
not prove true, for example, in unpacking enormously wide GIF
files. If you run into problems with allocating scratch buffers
or resource buffers, try increasing the memory overhead.
Finally, note that in order to access the extended or expanded
memory in your system, GrafCat must be able to locate a suitable
extended or expanded memory driver. Simply having several
megabytes of chips on your motherboard will not make that memory
accessible unless you have the appropriate driver in place and
A WORD ABOUT RESOURCES
The GCT.RES file is a list of resources. Resources are unrelated
bits of data and code which GrafCat might need. These could have
been kept as separate files, but keeping them all in GCT.RES
makes them easier to manage, requires less space on your hard
drive and allows GrafCat to get at them more rapidly.
Among the things in GCT.RES are all the code to handle specific
file formats and numerous small code and data objects which
You have no cause to meddle with the resources in GCT.RES. You
should, however, keep RMOVER on hand, as it may be called for if
you attempt to apply a bug fix or patch supplied by Alchemy
Mindworks to your copy of GrafCat.
A detailed description of RMOVER can be found in the
documentation for Graphic Workshop, should you be exceedingly
curious about these things. The complete source code for working
with resources... and that of RMOVER itself... can be found in
the book PC Graphical User Interfaces, as discussed in the
section on books later in this document.
A WORD ABOUT DITHERING AND HALFTONES
Laser printers can only print black and white... not grey. When
confronted with a colour or grey scale image to catalog, GrafCat
must sneak around this. It does so by reducing such images to
standard grey scale pictures and then printing them as some form
The most readily accomplished halftoning is called "dithering".
It uses alternating black and white dots to create the illusion
of grey. There are two sorts of dithering available under
GrafCat. Bayer dithering is very fast, but produces very coarse
results. Error diffused dithering... in fact, Floyd Steinberg
dithering in this case... produces somewhat better results with a
modest speed penalty.
Having been dithered, a picture can be downloaded to your laser
True halftones are available on PostScript printers only. They
look like the halftones you'll find in newspaper photographs.
However, they take eight times as long to download as dithered
images do. Printing a full catalog page of halftoned images with
GrafCat can take a long, long time.
Note that in all cases, dithering or haltoning an image will not
actually affect the source file it came from.
Laser printers exhibit an annoying aberration at 300 dots per inch
called "dot gain". This causes the black dots to be slightly
bigger than the white ones, with the result that a dithered
images will usually look a bit darker than you'd expect. To
overcome this, GrafCat lightens them up a bit before it dithers
them. This, in turn, causes images which are very light to begin
with to have some of their details washed out. It's a bit of a
balancing act... bear in mind that GrafCat is designed to create
reference catalog pages, not reproduction quality art.
IF YOU ENCOUNTER A PROBLEM
While we have tested GrafCat thoroughly, it's possible that you
may encounter a situation we hadn't anticipated, and perhaps a
file which will not read. If this happens, we would be interested
in knowing about it so we can deal with it in the next release of
GrafCat. Here's how to report a problem to us.
Problems should be reported using a 5 1/4 inch disk. We can't
accept 3 1/2 inch microfloppies for problem reports. Alternately,
upload the relevant files to our bulletin board. The bulletin
board is discussed in the section on contacting Alchemy
Copy your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files onto a floppy.
Include a screen dump of the screen of GCTINSTL as it was set up
when the problem occurred. Alternately, write down the settings.
Copy the image files which resulted in the problem and provide a
description of what you did and what happened.
If we can't recreate it, we probably won't be able to fix it.
Before you contact us with a problem in GrafCat, please make sure
you've read this document thoroughly and that you understand how
the software should work. Many problem reports which receive
aren't problems with the software at all.
USING THE MAIN MENU
GrafCat always shows you all the names of the image files it
knows how to deal with in the current directory, along with all
the visible subdirectory names, if any are present. If you are in
a subdirectory, you will also see a subdirectory entry which is
The cursor mover keys will move the file selector bar around. If
you move it to a directory entry... shown in dim text... and hit
Enter, you will move into that directory. If you select the two
period entry, you will move back up your directory tree by one
If there are too many files in your current directory to see all
at once, GrafCat will organize them into pages. The PgUp and PgDn
keys will step you through the pages.
Here are the keys which GrafCat recognizes for basic file
handling and session functions:
Hitting the question mark will cause GrafCat to display a menu of
the keys which control the main file screen of GrafCat. This box
also tells you how much free DOS memory is available, the printer
you have GrafCat configured to use and the type of extra memory
it's set up for.
The Esc key will allow you to quit GrafCat and return to DOS.
If you hit "T" the currently selected file name will be
"tagged". The "U" key will untag it. The batch operations
described below will work with multiple files if you have some of
them tagged. If you hit "C", all the tags will be cleared. If you
hit "A", all the tags will be set.
When you go to print files with GrafCat, only the tagged ones
will be cataloged. Note that all the tagged files will be
printed, even if they reside on pages other than the one which is
If you hit "L" GrafCat will allow you to log in a new disk drive.
A box will appear prompting you for the drive letter you want to
If you hit "D" you will be prompted to delete the current file.
Note that this is not a batch command... it only works on one
file at a time.
If you hit "R" you can rename the current file. Note that it the
renamed file will have the same extension as the old one, no
matter what extension you give it.
If you hit "S", GrafCat will attempt to shell out to the DOS
prompt. If you do this, GrafCat will still be in memory. Type
EXIT at the DOS prompt to return to it right where you left off.
If you change drives or subdirectories while you have the DOS
prompt active, GrafCat will restore the previous drive and
subdirectory when you return to it.
The alphabetic control keys can be upper or lower case. Other
keys will be ignored.
PRINTING - F1
If one or more files are tagged when you hit F1, GrafCat will
begin to print them to your laser printer. It will download some
fonts first if you're using a LaserJet Plus compatible printer.
The current status can be seen in the message area at the bottom
of the screen.
You can abort printing by hitting Esc. If you abort printing to a
LaserJet during a print phase, whatever has been downloaded will
be printed and the printer will be reset. If you abort printing
to as PostScript printer during a print phase, the printer may be
left in a confused state. To avoid this, if you must abort a
PostScript page, do so during a read, dithering or remapping
FLOPPY MODE - F2
Floppy mode works pretty much like the F1 mode, save that it will
allow you to catalog the contents of as many floppy disks as you
like, with all the files run together as if they all existed in a
If you have kept your floppies with unique volume names on each,
the volume names in the catalog listing will serve as an index to
To use the floppy mode, put a floppy disk in the drive you want
to catalog from. Log into this drive by hitting L followed by the
drive letter. Hit F2 to start cataloging. When the first disk is
finished, GrafCat will beep and prompt you to replace it with
another disk. Hit Enter to proceed or Esc to quit.
Making permanent changes to the modifiable features of GrafCat
involves using the installer, GCTINSTL.EXE. The configuration of
GrafCat is handled by a separate program in order to keep GCT.EXE
as small as possible, leaving lots of memory for putting graphics
The GCTINSTL program actually modifies GCT.EXE. In order for it
to work, GCT.EXE and GCTINSTL.EXE must be in the same directory
and must be so named. Both programs must be of the same version.
Be aware that as it directly modifies GCT.EXE, there is the
outside chance that a bug in the installer might crop up and kill
GCT.EXE beyond repair. Make sure you have a virgin copy of
GCT.EXE somewhere before you use the installer.
Place GCTINSTL.EXE and GCT.EXE in the same directory and type
GCTINSTL. A screen will appear which will let you edit the
runtime settings. You can use the up and down arrow keys
and the Home and End keys to move through the items of this
screen. Hitting Enter when the cursor is over an item which toggles
will change its state. Hitting Enter when the cursor is over an
editable field will allow you to type in a new data.
Note that you can run GCTINSTL and select this screen as often as
you want to adjust the settings of its various parameters.
When you're done changing things, hit F10 to save your changes or
F9 to abandon them.
Note that these items can be overridden by using command line
switches when you run GCT.EXE, should you need them set
differently from time to time.
This item allows you to set the screen colours. By default, there
are two sets of screen colours, to wit, a colour set which is
predominantly blue and a monochrome set. If you don't like either
of these, hit F1 when the cursor is on this item to create a
Hit Enter when the cursor is on this item to move through the
available extra memory options. See the section dealing with
memory elsewhere in this document for more information about
selecting the correct memory type.
This item selects which parallel printer port to print images to.
Note that you can only select LP1, LPT2 or LPT3.
This can be either PostScript or LaserJet Plus. If you have a
printer which can be set up to emulate both protocols, note that
all other things being equal, it takes GrafCat about twice as
long to print to a PostScript printer. However, PostScript
printers allow you to have true halftones, which as LaserJet will
not. Having said this, note that it takes eight times longer to
print a halftone than it does a dithered image.
Memory overhead (Kbytes)
This is an editable item. It selects the number of kilobytes of
memory overhead which GrafCat will reserve. See the section on
memory elsewhere in this document for more information.
This item selects the default orientation for printing graphics.
As a rule, select portrait if you'll be cataloging monochrome
clip art and landscape if you'll be cataloging GIF files.
Print colour images as
This item tells GrafCat how to handle colour and grey scale
images. There are three options, to wit, Bayer dithering, error
diffused dithering and halftoning. The latter is available only
if you'll be printing to a PostScript printer. Bayer dithering is
fast but ugly. Error diffused dithering is slower but pretty
respectable looking. See the section earlier in the document on
dithering and halftoning.
Scale to fit in frame
If this item is set to YES, all the graphics being cataloged will
be scaled up or down until they occupy the maximum area within
each frame. Note that the aspect ratio will not be changed. If
this item is set to NO, graphics smaller than the frame will be
inset into the upper left corner. Graphics larger than the frame
will be printed cropped.
Print detailed file names
If this item is set to YES, file names will be printed in six
point type, and will include the file name, source directory
volume and path names and the image dimensions. If it's set to
NO, only the file names will be printed, in twelve point type.
Page eject delay:
Some laser printers dislike having a lot of data blasted at them
while they're spitting out a page. This field sets a delay in
seconds during which GrafCat will do nothing after issuing a form
feed. Set it to zero to disable the delay.
Show page numbers
If this item is set to YES, GrafCat will print page numbers in
the lower right corner of each page it prints.
Beep for floppy changes
If this item is set to YES, GrafCat will beep when it prompts you
for new floppy disk in the F2 floppy disk mode.
This should be a complete path to the subdirectory and drive
where GCT.EXE and GCT.RES live. For example:
When this item is set correctly, you will be able to run GrafCat
from anywhere on your hard drive if its location is in your DOS
COMMAND LINE SWITCHES
When you run GrafCat by typing GCT at the command line, it will
run using the default settings, as configured by GCTINSTL. There
may be times when you'll want to override these settings
temporarily, and rather than running the installer, you can use
the command line switches. These only change the configuration of
GrafCat when they're used. The next time you run GrafCat, it will
return to its default configuration.
As a rule, command line switches should only be required in
You can always see a complete list of the command line switches
by running GrafCat as
In using the command line switches, make sure that each one is
separated on the command line by a space. Note that they are not
case-sensitive. For example, this is a legal invocation of
GrafCat with some command line switches.
GCT /DIF /lan /DtY
This has told GrafCat to print colour files using error diffused
dithering, landscape orientation and detailed file names.
The following are the command line switches which GrafCat
recognizes. Most of these options correspond to installation
options in GCTINSTL.
/LPn - set printer port (n=1,2 or 3)
/PSC - use PostScript printer
/HLJ - use LaserJet Plus printer
/POR - use portrait orientation
/LAN - use landscape orientation
/FIT - fit in frame
/DTY - print detailed file names
/DTN - print simple file names
/VIR - use virtual memory
/EMS - use expanded memory
/XMS - use extended memory
/XMV - use extended or virtual memory
/EMV - use expanded or virtual memory
/BYR - use Bayer dither
/DIF - use error diffused dither
/HFT - use PostScript halftones
/PGY - show page numbers
/PGN - don't show page numbers
/BWD - beep when done in floppy mode
/BPN - don't beep when done
DOT MATRIX AND INKJET PRINTERS
GrafCat doesn't support dot matrix or inkjet printers... it's not
likely to in the immediate future, either. While we'd like to have
it otherwise, we haven't been able to find a way to do so which
isn't incredibly memory hungry.
We have elected to have GrafCat do what it does reasonably well,
and not try to make it into something it really can't be.
For similar reasons, we have decided not to have GrafCat print to
a file. While it's probably capable of doing so, the average file
would occupy about a megabyte of disk space. While a nice idea in
theory, it's not really practical.
CONTACTING ALCHEMY MINDWORKS INC.
We hope you'll contact us to register GrafCat... see the section
about registering GrafCat elsewhere in this document.
You can contact us by mail by writing to us at:
Alchemy Mindworks Inc.
P.O. Box 500
We will attempt to answer questions from unregistered users who
write to us to the extent that their answers are needed for you
to fully determine whether GrafCat will suit your requirements.
We can also be reached through the Alchemy Mindworks bulletin
board. It's available twenty-four hours a day at (416) 729-4609.
As of this writing, the protocol was 300, 1200 or 2400 baud, or
9600 baud v.32bis, eight data bits, no parity and one stop bit.
The bulletin board always has the most recent versions of all our
shareware on it, plus bug fixes, drivers and other relevant
information. It only exists to support Alchemy Mindworks'
shareware... it does not have a general file area.
If you encounter problems with a file, you're welcome to upload
the errant file to our bulletin board. Actually, you can upload
any picture files you like to the board... we enjoy getting
If you have a question about GrafCat, feel free to leave it on
the bulletin board. We try to answer all questions within twenty-
four hours. Note that you must call back to retrieve your
answer... please don't ask us to phone you or to leave the answer
on another bulletin board.
Registered users of GrafCat will receive our voice and FAX
numbers for immediate technical support. The voice number is only
available for use from 10:00am to 5:00pm EST. If you call and get
our answering machine... it does happen... please leave us a
message or call back later. We are only able to return long
distance calls if we can call you collect. In this regard, please
note that as of this writing Canada has a very peculiar
electronic voice mail collect call system... if the phone
company's computer starts talking when you pick up the phone,
it's probably us returning your call.
We ask that in contacting us you appreciate that we are a small
company with limited resources. If you have not registered
GrafCat we will not tell you to go to hell, but please don't ask
us for half an hour of free technical support.
If you like this program and find it useful, you are requested to
support it by sending us $40.00. This will entitle you to
telephone support, notification of updates, a free copy of the
latest version of GrafCat and other worthwhile things. More to
the point, though, it'll make you feel good. We've not infested
the program with excessive beg notices, crippled it or had it
verbally insult you after ten days. We trust you to support
GrafCat if you like it.
If you want to see additional features in GrafCat, register your
software. If we had an Arcturian mega-dollar for everyone who has
said they'd most certainly register their copy if we'd add just
one more thing to it, we could buy ourselves a universe and
Oh yes, should you fail to support this program and continue to
use it, a leather winged demon of the night will tear itself,
shrieking blood and fury, from the endless caverns of the nether
world, hurl itself into the darkness with a thirst for blood on
its slavering fangs and search the very threads of time for the
throbbing of your heartbeat. Just thought you'd want to know
Our address is:
Alchemy Mindworks Inc.
P.O. Box 500
If you have previously registered GrafCat, you can update your
copy to revision three for $20.
If you have a FAX number, please include it in your registration.
We're hoping to be able to handle notification of future updates
of GrafCat by FAX where we can. This is both considerably faster
and a lot cheaper than mail.
The registration fee for GrafCat is $40.00 (CDN) plus seven
percent GST, or $42.80. If you live in Ontario, please add eight
percent PST to this, for a total of $45.80. We sincerely regret
collecting this tax on behalf of several levels of government
which will only squander it. If you sincerely regret having to
pay it, we urge you to express your regret by voting in the next
federal and provincial elections.
The registration fee for GrafCat is $40.00 (US). The exchange on
US funds pretty well covers the extra postage to the States.
The registration fee for GrafCat is $40.00 (US). If you pay us by
cheque, please make sure that it's a cheque drawn on an
international bank, and that it will be negotiable in Canada. If
there's no bank clearance number along the bottom of the cheque,
it will not clear. Please don't send us Eurocheques... they are
not accepted outside Europe.
PAYING BY CREDIT CARD
We can accept payment by Visa only. We need your Visa card number
and expiry date and the name which appears on your card. We also
need written authorization to debit your Visa account for the
specific amount you're sending us.
We cannot accept MasterCard, American Express or other credit
SOURCE CODE AVAILABILITY AND BOOKS
After considerable meditation and several bad experiences, we
have decided not to release the source code for GrafCat. We do
license parts of it for specific applications... if you want more
information about using some of the functions of GrafCat in your
software, please contact us.
If you're interested in writing programs which use graphics,
you'll find everything you need to know in "Bitmapped Graphics",
by Steven William Rimmer. It's published by TAB Books, (TAB book
3558). It features code to pack and unpack MacPaint, IMG, PCX,
GIF and TIFF files, as well as chapters on screen drivers,
dithering and printing.
There is a very rudimentary version of the source code for
GrafCat available in the book Bitmapped Graphics.
An additional book on this subject, "Extended Bitmapped
Graphics", (TAB Book 4102), will be available in mid-1992. It
discusses the GIF 89a, WordPerfect, BMP, IFF/LBM, TGA, MSP, 24-
bit PCX and colour TIFF file formats, as well as such subjects as
colour dithering and colour printing.
If you'd like to write applications which use menus, icons,
windows and all the other paraphernalia of a graphical user
interface, you might find the book "PC Graphical User Interfaces"
handy. It's published by TAB Books (TAB Book 3875). It includes
the C source for a complete graphical user interface library,
related code to manage fonts and bitmaps and a tiny paint
If your local bookstore doesn't have these books, they can be
mail or phone ordered from Christies of Cookstown, P.O. Box 392,
Cookstown, Ontario L0L 1L0, Canada. Their phone number is (705)
458-1562. It has a FAX machine on it after hours. As of this
writing, they're open seven days a week.
If you'd like to include GrafCat with your product, please get in
touch with us. We have several ways to help you do this so your
users get the most out of GrafCat and we don't have to set our
leather winged demon of the night on 'em.
We receive numerous requests for copies of GrafCat from shareware
distributors and we don't have the facilities to send out disks
in response to all of them.
If you're a fairly large shareware distributor, we can provide
you with a quad density, 5 1/4 inch floppy disk having most of
our popular shareware applications on it. This will include the
current versions of such packages as Graphic Workshop, GrafCat,
Desktop Paint, Desktop Paint 256 and several others. We will also
include a copy of our current newsletter, which will outline the
functions of these packages.
Note that this is the only format in which we are able to provide
If you'd like to request a copy of this disk, please send us a
copy of your current catalog. Your catalog must satisfy the
- It must be commercially printed. We are unable to accept
catalogs on disk, catalogs which have been duplicated with a
photocopier or mimeograph machine or catalogs which have been
created using a dot matrix printer.
- It must be comprised of descriptive listings for the shareware
it offers. Such a listing should be at least four or five lines
describing the software in question. We don't feel that a
single line of six point type which says something like
``Graphc Wrkshop 6.0 (Img fle cnvrtr)...........$2.00''
really does anything meaningful toward distributing our
- It must explain in a clear and prominent way that the software
being offered in the catalog is user supported software, that
paying your company for it does not constitute registering it
and that users who buy your disks and use the programs on them
are expected to register their software if they continue to use
If you don't have a catalog which meets the above description,
you can obtain a copy of our shareware disk for $10.00 (US).
Alternately, you can download the current versions of our
shareware applications from CompuServe in the GRAPHSUPPORT forum
or from our bulletin board at (416) 729-4609. You can also order
them from one of the larger distributors we use, such as Public
Brand Software, 3750 Kentucky Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46241.
They always have the current versions of our programs.
If you obtain current copies of our shareware, you have our
permission to distribute it under the following terms.
- That nothing be added to, deleted from or changed in the
archive files which contain our packages. This includes adding
ZIP file comments to them.
- That our shareware is not included in or bundled with other
hardware or software without our written permission.
- That no printed documentation regarding our shareware is
included with the package without our written permission.
- That hard copy explaining that our packages are shareware is
included with the disks.
You do have our permission to copy the ZIP files from our quad
density disk to multiple lower density disks for distribution.
Please note that we will send you one disk. We'll send you
updates of our software if you're able to provide us with an
account of how many copies of our packages you have distributed.
We regret that we've imposed this additional paperwork on you. We
realize that most of the shareware distributors who contact us
have good intentions and that many will actually distribute our
disks and get us registered users. We hope you will appreciate
that supplying our disks to everyone who asked for them in the
past has frequently meant that things like updates to our users,
software support, software enhancement and other things which
represent the paying part of our involvement with shareware have
been delayed. This isn't a situation we feel can continue.
OTHER ALCHEMY MINDWORKS SHAREWARE
The following are the other shareware packages we have available
as of this writing. Our newsletter, available for the asking,
will list all the current ones.
This is the last word in image programs. It converts, prints,
views, dithers, transforms, flips, rotates, scales, crops, colour
adjusts, scans, quantizes and wreaks special effects on MacPaint,
GEM/Ventura IMG, PCX, GIF, TIFF, WPG, MSP, IFF/LBM, BMP, Halo
CUT, Targa and EPS files. It drives CGA, Hercules, EGA, VGA and
pretty well all super VGA cards. It will drive PostScript and
LaserJet Plus laser printers, colour PostScript printers, colour
inkjets and most dot matrix printers. It features batch
processing, extended and expanded memory support, an intuitive
user interface and easy to follow menus. It allows you to convert
colour image files into superb black and white clip art for
desktop publishing, among other things.
DESKTOP PAINT 256
Desktop Paint 256 is a powerful super-VGA paint program. Desktop
Paint 256 will let you create and edit pictures stored as PCX,
GIF, TIFF and IFF/LBM files. It features a rich selection of
drawing and image manipulation tools, XMS and EMS support to work
on large images and a user friendly interface. Looking very much
like monochrome Desktop Paint in colour, it's a powerful
application which will be equally useful for picture collectors,
artists and desktop publishing users... it makes a quick and easy
to use editor for grey scale TIFF files, too. It supports
Paradise (and compatibles), Headland Video 7, Tseng Labs 4000
series cards, Trident cards which use 8900 series chips and ATI
VGA Wonder cards. Note that you must have one of these super-VGA
cards to use Desktop Paint 256... it does not run in the standard
320 by 200 pixel "standard" VGA mode. Desktop Paint 256 requires
a Microsoft-compatible mouse.
Desktop Paint is a powerful monochrome paint package fine tuned
for use with desktop publishing applications. It will read and
write MacPaint, Ventura IMG, PCX, WordPerfect WPG and TIFF image
files. It has EMS and XMS support to handle images of virtually
any size, an intuitive user interface and a wide selection of
image creation and manipulation tools. Desktop Paint can utilize
fonts from many other sources, including Ventura Publisher,
Macintosh FONT and NFNT resources and Windows FNT files. Desktop
Paint 256 requires a Microsoft-compatible mouse.
Cinema display a continuous "slide show" of image files. You can
set up the images to be displayed using a simple script language.
Cinema works with most super VGA cards, using the same drivers as
Graphic Workshop, and with CGA, EGA and Hercules cards. It works
with any mixture of GIF, PCX, MacPaint, TIFF, WPG, MSP, IFF/LBM,
EPS and IMG files.
GifInfo creates catalog files from your GIF collection, allowing
you to store fifty or more miniature full colour representations
of GIF files on a single quad floppy.
Storyteller is a hypertext program with a mouse driven graphical
user interface which will allow you to create reports, manuals
and interactive fiction, among other things, which has a tree
structure. Each page of a Storyteller document can lead to
related sub-pages, which can in turn have their own sub-sub
pages, and so on. It looks slick and is exceedingly user
friendly. Storyteller requires a Microsoft-compatible mouse.
If you can't obtain them from the usual sources of shareware,
they're available from us for $40.00 each preregisterd. They're
also all available for downloading from our bulletin board at
The author assumes no responsibility for any damage or loss
caused by the use of these programs, however it comes down. If
you can think of a way a picture program can cause you damage
or loss you've a sneakier mind than mine.
All the registered trademarks used herein are registered to
whoever it is that owns them. This notification is given in lieu
of any specific list of trademarks and their owners, which would
not be as inclusive and would probably take a lot longer to type.
GrafCat is a trademark of Alchemy Mindworks Inc.