Category : Printer + Display Graphics
Archive   : RPIC05B.ZIP
Filename : RPIC.DOC

Output of file : RPIC.DOC contained in archive : RPIC05B.ZIP
Welcome to RPIC, the fastest GIF(sm) picture viewer.

RPIC and RPICHELP software and manual are copyright (c) 1991 by
Rafael Ram¡rez de la Cruz. All rights reserved. Reservados todos
los derechos. The author can be contacted at:
Rafael Ram¡rez
Apdo. 35
35500 Arrecife

or on the following BBS:
Channel 1 BBS (617) 354-8873
You can call me ray BBS (708) 358-5611

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

This is the INTERNATIONAL (áeta) RPIC version 0.50 release.

To view this manual, use the up-arrow and down-arrow to scroll this
text through the screen one line at a time or PgUp and PgDn to do it
one page at a time. After you finish reading it, press ESC to exit.

Since 1987, a file format known as GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
has become the "de facto" standard for the storage and exchange of
certain type of pictures among personal computers. Files complaying
to this format are usually identified by a .GIF extension to their
file names (i.e. GIRL.GIF).

This format, developed and placed in the public domain by CompuServe
Inc, allows for the storage of compressed image data of resolutions
up to 65,535 x 65,535 dots and any 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 or 256
colors chosen between a palette of over 16 millions (16,777,216).
The GIF format was designed to allow for extensions of several types
to be added to the standard while still retaining basic compatibility
with the software created to manipulate it.

At the moment of this writing, two different versions of the GIF
standard have been issued. The GIF87a, released on May 1987, allows
only for the storage of blocks of data that represent images or image
information. The GIF89a, released on July 1990, is a superset of the
GIF87a, and allows for the storing of other type of data along with
images, like plain ASCII text comments and commands for the decoder
software such as "wait for user input before continuing" or "write
this text over the last picture decoded".

RPIC is a program designed for the fast processing of GIF87a and
GIF89a files and output of the images they contain to VGA and EGA
equipped compatible computers.

There are two versions of RPIC: the unregistered shareware version
and the registered one.

The first is distributed under the terms of "shareware", in which,
the owner of the copyright authorizes the user(s) to make as many
copies of the program as (s)he wishes and give them to others
freely. The user also agrees to, after a trial period of LESS than
14 days, either purchase the program or stop using it.

The registered version is distributed under a software usage
license. The user is authorized to run the software in only one
computer at a time and to make copies of the program and manual only
as "backup" for his personal use. Any other reproduction,
distribution, broadcast or modification of the program is prohibited.

Other than the usage license, the only differences between both
versions are that the shareware version is slightly larger in size,
slightly slower in execution and randomly displays a copyright
message on the screen for a few seconds on start-up.

Pictures are usually identified by their resolution (the number of
dots that form them) and their color resolution (number of colors
each one of those dots can be). When a particular image is said to
be 320x200x256 it usually means that it is formed of 320 dots per
horizontal line (width), 200 vertical lines (height) and each one of
its dots (320x200=64,000 dots) can be anyone of 256 different
colors. Each dot on the screen is also known as a pixel (PICture

The kind of pictures that GIF files can contain are of a special type
called mapped-image. Mapped images allow for more efficient storage
(they take less space) at the expense of color resolution. Mapped
images pick up a (small) number of colors from a (bigger) palette of
colors and allows each pixel on an image to be any of them. The
palette size in GIF files always allows for 16 million colors, of
which each pixel can be any of 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 or 256 of
them. Although this limits the maximum number of colors in an image
to 256, WHICH 256 colors can change from one image to the next, so
EACH image can use ANY 256 colors they want from the 16 Million
globally available in the palette, but no more than 256 at a time.

"VGA cards" are special display adapters which allow computers to
display data on CRT displays. These adapters allow for the viewing
of graphic data (pictures) at several different resolutions. The
best resolutions VGA display adapters offer are 320x200x16,
640x350x16 and 640x480x16, that is, 16 colors images made out of 480
lines of 640 dots each. Needless to say that 16 colors are too few
for life-like images, but VGA adapters also allow for one other
graphic mode of operation with a resolution of 320x200x256. Although
a picture of 200 lines of 320 dots each is not very sharp, the fact
that each dot can be of any of 256 different colors make images
displayed in the mode look far more realistic than the ones displayed
in 16 colors modes.

A number of display adapters are known as "Super VGA cards."
These are basically VGA cards which add some other modes of
operation, usually with higher resolutions or greater number of
colors. Since each manufacturer sets the characteristics of their
adapters, no standard way of programming these cards exist. Detailed
technical information on these adapters is needed from EACH
manufacturer for a program to take advantage of their extra
capabilities over VGA boards. These makes for large and hard to
program software if advantage of the extra modes of operation is
wanted, which justifies high prices and weak reliability.

RPIC improves on other GIF processing programs in several ways:

- Up to 100% faster decoding of images to 256 colors VGA modes.
Decoding of images to 16 colors EGA or VGA modes is considerably
slower, but still faster (up to 20%) than most other programs.
Display of images in the non-standard VGA modes of 320x400 and
360x480 is similar in speed to the 16 color modes.

- Support for images larger than the screen size. If an image is
larger than the resolution available on the screen, the image will
be decoded to conventional memory and then transferred to the
screen. You can then scroll the picture on the screen and view
the parts you would normally not see. These feature works as long
as enough conventional memory is available.

- Support for non-standard VGA modes in many adapters. If your
display adapter and monitor can handle it, RPIC supports operation
in 320x400x256 and 360x480x256 non-standard modes.

- With RPIC you can create 'slide shows'. Simply mark the pictures
you want to display from the directory and press enter to view
them in sequence. The delay time between pictures can be manually
changed. Alternatively, you can create an ASCII file with the
names of the pictures and ask RPIC to display them.

- Full support of the GIF89a extensions, including wait for user
input, delay blocks, comment text and textual information. This
feature will be available from version 0.7.

- Network ready operation. Use the environment variable RPIC to
select the settings for each user in a network. RPIC opens files
in shared mode.

- Easy configuring through modification of the program file. Simply
select your favorite setting and add the -w (write) switch.

- Auto selection of the display adapter in your computer. If you
don't know which VGA adapter you have, RPIC will try to find out
for you. This feature will be available from version 0.6.

- Auto selection of the best screen mode to display a picture,
including 16 color modes.

- Complete on line help.

- Small code footprint. RPIC is several times smaller than similar

- Outputs to GIF files. Alter an image contrast, brightness or
colors and them save it in a new GIF file. This feature will be
available from version 0.9.

- Support for 8bit DACS (full 16 million colors) adapters.

- Displaying of the specified directory, for easy 'point & shoot'

- On the fly change of display mode while the image is been shown.

- Constant display of the characteristics about the files in the
'point & shoot' directory.

- Dual monitor operation. Use your monochrome display to view the
directory and your VGA to display the images.

As you have probably figured by now, RPIC comes in a auto-extracting
file called RPICXX.EXE, where XX is the number of the RPIC revision.
When executed, the files RPIC.COM and RPICHELP.COM are created on
your default hard disk directory and a message asking you to type
RPICHELP is displayed.

When you run RPICHELP.COM you get to see this help messages. If you
want to print all this text, try running:

or, if that doesn't work, try:


Alternatively, you can also extract the text in this file to a plain
ASCII format file by typing:

RPICHELP -p >filename

where filename if the name of the resulting ASCII file you want.

RPIC.COM is the RPIC program file itself. It also contains a small
help text inside. RPICHELP does not need to be available for RPIC to
function. You may delete RPICHELP from your hard disk after reading
it if you want.

RPIC accepts two types of parameters: 'switches' and 'filespecs'. A
parameter is a piece of information that you, the user, supply to a
program to let it know what you want (it) to do. Both types of
parameters are optional, and you can start RPIC with no parameters at
all. Usually you supply parameters in the same 'command line' you
use to run the program. RPIC also allows you to optionally
comunicate the parameters you want by means of the environment
variable RPIC.

Environment variables are a special type of variables (places to
store values) maintained by the computer's operating system, so that
they are always available from the time they are set until the
machine is turned off. If you ask your operating system to set an
environment variable when the computer is turned on, programs
prepared to use them can access them at any time to see what they
contain, usually stuff (parameters) you want the program to know.
See your operating system manual for more information on environment

The same type of parameters that you can supply to RPIC on the
command line, can be supplied by setting the variable RPIC such as

SET RPIC=-b -E filename.GIF -d10

This allows for easy network operation maintaining only one copy of
RPIC. In case that parameters are supplied both through command line
and RPIC environment variable at the same time, when contradicting,
command line parameters will prevail. In case of conflicting
switches in the same parameter line, the ones typed to the right will

To run RPIC, type at the operating system command line:

RPIC [switches switches ... ] [filespec] [switches ...]

By [switches ...] we mean any number of switches (see below)
separated by at least one space. The fact that we show them between
brackets '[]' means that they are optional, that is, you are not
require to type any parameters at all if you don't want to.
By [filespec] we mean that you can [optionally] type a single
parameter expressing a file name or group of files. You can type
switches (if any) before or after the filespec (if any) or both.

[switches] are any of the following characters below preceded by the
'-' or the '/' signs. Switches tell RPIC to change something about
the way it operates from the time it is run until you exit the
program. Unless you save your settings (switches) by using the
special switch -w (write), the next time you start RPIC you would
have to type the switches again. Please note that usually the switch
case (lowercase or uppercase) make for different parameters, where
the uppercase one sets a feature and the lowercase one disables it.

B => Allow Background opening of files.
Except for the name, size and date of a file which are
always available, in order for RPIC to know more about a
particular file it must 'open' it. This process requires
access to your computer's disk, and might slow down
operation considerably.
So that RPIC can constantly display information about the
resolution and type of file being pointed in the 'point &
shoot' directory, it tries to open all the files in the
directory while waits for your input. This is the default.

b => This switch reverses the effect of -B.
If for any reasons opening all the files in the directory is
unacceptable for you (increased traffic in a network or
extremely slow hard disk), you can stop RPIC from doing it
with this switch.

Dxx=> Where xx is a decimal number between 0 and 99. This switch
sets a new default Delay value for RPIC.
When you run a slide show, if no '%Delay' command exists
RPIC will pause between pictures for the amount of time
specified by default. With this switch, you can change that
amount. The default value is also the one used to wait
between images marked in the 'point & shoot' directory.
The number you use is the amount of 9.1ths of seconds to
wait, except zero, which means do not wait at all, and 99,
which means wait indefinitely until a key is pressed.
Roughly, 10 units are equivalent to 1 second. Therefore,
the maximum delay time between pictures is 98=almost 10
This switch can be uppercase (-D19) or lowercase (-d5). Do
NOT type spaces between the switch and the delay. I.e. -d
10 is incorrect, should be -d10.

E => Automatically use 16 colors (EGA) modes.
RPIC has an 'automode' feature which allows for automatic
selection of the best screen mode that your display card
supports to view a picture. When this switch is set, if
RPIC encounters an image that uses 16 colors or less, it
will look for the best among the 16 colors modes (EGA modes)
supported by your display adapter and use it. On the
contrary, when disabled (-e), automode selection will use
ONLY the best 256 colors (VGA) mode to match the picture
resolution, regardless of wherther the picture uses only less
than 16 colors or more.
When set, the automode operation becomes 'automode+' in the
'directory screen' (see below). This is the default.

e => Do not automatically select 16 colors (EGA) modes.
Use this switch if your display cards supports the same (or
more) resolutions in 256 color modes than on 16 colors
ones. It will make RPIC operate a lot faster. Reverses the
effect of the -E switch.

F => Display the Filename and screen resolution while displaying
the image.
When set, this switch tells RPIC to display at the
bottom-center of the screen the name of the file being
viewed. This is the default.
NOTE: This feature is not supported on the non-standard VGA
modes 320x400 and 360x480 as well as in some cards with
non-supportive BIOS.

f => Do not display the images filenames while viewing.

M => Use secondary Monochrome display adapter for text output.
RPIC allows for simultaneous use of two monitors if both, a
monochrome (MDA) compatible display adapter and a main
VGA/EGA compatible one are present at the same time.
When set, this switch makes RPIC send most alphanumeric
output to the monochrome adapter and all graphics output to
the VGA/EGA one.
For this mode to work, you MUST have both adapters present
in your computer and the VGA adapter must be configured as
the main one (MODE CO80).
The only exception is the 'random wait' message,the help
output when the -? switch is used, and the closing message
which are always displayed on the VGA screen regardless of
the setting of this switch.

m => Do not use monochrome display adapter. Alphanumerics output
is sent to the same VGA/EGA adapter as the graphics output.
This is the default setting.

R => Always Reset screen mode.
When displaying pictures from a 'slide show' file or the
ones marked in the 'point & shoot' directory, RPIC has a
choice on wherther to change the screen mode EVERY TIME a new
image is displayed or only if the new image NEEDS a
different mode to be displayed. Changing screen modes is a
slow operation that usually produces screen disturbances,
which accounts for less than smooth transitions between
pictures. If set, this switch will make RPIC always reset
the screen mode between a picture and the next, with the
only advantage that the picture previously displayed would
be erased before the new one is displayed, so 'leftovers'
from old pictures can not show behind new ones. This is the
default setting.

r => Reset screen mode only when changed.
If set, this switch will make RPIC NOT to reset the screen
mode when a new picture is displayed if the ideal screen
mode is the same as the one used for the previous picture.
The advantage is smoother and faster transition between
images. The disadvantage is that, if the new image is
smaller than the one before, 'leftovers' from the previous
image may 'show through' the new one. This doesn't happen
if the new image is of the same size or bigger than the
previous one. This reverses the effect of the -R switch.

S => Make a beep Sound after successfully displaying an image.
When used, this switch tells RPIC to make a short *beep*
sound after an image has been displayed. No matter the
state of this switch, RPIC will always *buzz* when an
erroneous or corrupt GIF is processed. This is the default

s => Do not beep after successfully displaying an image.
Reverses the effect of the -S switch.

W/w=> Write current parameters permanently into RPIC.
This is a special type of parameter that allows for
permanent storage of your favorite switches setting in
RPIC. To do so, run RPIC once with the switches you want
and add the -w (or -W) switch to the command line. From
that moment off, when you RPIC would 'remember' those
switches and act as if the had been issued without the need
to type them again in the command line. If you are running
RPIC from a network, you must have write rights over the
RPIC program file to use this option.

? => When this switch is used, the operation of RPIC is limited
to the display of a help text in the main VGA screen. After
you finish reading one page of help, press any key to view
the next one or ESC to stop displaying help and exit RPIC.

XX => Where xx is a decimal number between 0 and 99.
This parameter tells RPIC which type of display adapter you
have. You can obtain a list of available display adapters
by running RPIC -?. If you use the 0 as your adapter
number, RPIC will try to find out which adapter you have
installed an auto-configure itself for it, defaulting to the
320x400x256 maximum non-standard VGA mode if it fails to
detect which VGA card you own.
If you use a number greater than the maximum as shown is the
list of supported adapters, an 'invalid switch' error
message will be displayed. I.e. RPIC -5 to configure RPIC
for the V7 Fastwrite/VRAM/1024i adapter with 256K of display

RUNNING RPIC - filespecs
The operation of RPIC changes depending on the filespec (if any)
specified in the command line. Here are the usual cases:

- The specified filespec names an existing file by itself or when a
.GIF extension is added. In this case that file is (attempted to be)
displayed at the best resolution mode found (according to the state
of the switch -E). I.e:
RPIC c:\demos\girl.gif
or RPIC c:\demos\gif\girl

will show the GIRL.GIF file in the c:\demos directory.

- The filespec starts with a @ and names an existing file by itself
or when the .RS (Rpic Show) extension is added. In this case RPIC
will (attempt to) run the file as a 'show file'. See below for more
information on 'show files'. I.e:
RPIC @c:\gifs\
or RPIC @c:\gifs\show

will display all the GIFs contained in the 'show file', which
resides in the c:\gifs directory.

- The filespec names a valid path to one or several files by itself
or when *.GIF or \*.GIF are added. In this case, all files meeting
the filespec will be displayed in a directory 'point & shoot'
screen. If no [fspec] are given, the *.GIF or \*.GIF ones will be
tried. I.e:
RPIC c:\demos\gif\na
will display a 'point & shoot' screen with the names of all files
starting with 'na' and with a .GIF extension found (if any) in the
directory c:\demos\gif. Is equivalent to RPIC c:\demos\gif\na*.gif.

RPIC c:\demos\gif
will display a 'point & shoot' screen with all the names of all the
files with a .GIF extension found in th directory c:\demos\gif. Is
equivalent to RPIC c:\demos\gif\*.GIF.

RPIC c:\demos\gif\*.*
will display a 'point & shoot' screen with the names of ALL files
found in the c:\demos\gif directory, not just the ones with a .GIF

- The filespec doesn't name any valid file(s) according to the cases
above. If this happens, an error message warning of an invalid
filespec in the parameters line will be displayed and then a
directory screen of all .GIF files in the current (default) directory
(if any) is shown.

- No filespecs are given. In this case, the names of all files with
a .GIF extension in the current (default) directory are displayed in
the 'point & shoot' screen (if any). Is equivalent to RPIC *.GIF.

By 'point & shoot' directory we mean a list of the file names
available in your disk that meet the conditions as specified in the
filespec supplied to RPIC. To display a 'point & shoot' directory of
your current disk and directory run RPIC *.*

This list is arrange in four columns of 20 file names each in your
screen, sorted by alphabetical order, with the size of the file
rounded-up to the nearest Kilobyte displayed to the right.

One of the files (the first one on the top-left corner by default),
will be displayed 'on top of' a blue bar. The file displayed 'over'
the blue bar is what we will call from now on the 'pointed' file.

You can move the 'blue bar' around the list by using the arrow keys,
effectively 'pointing' to different files as you move the bar.

While in the 'point & shoot' directory screen, the following
information is displayed:
- On the top-left corner, the name of the display adapter RPIC is
configured for.
- To its right, the 'wildcard' (last) part of the filespec is
displayed. Files listed in the directory as those whose name
match the 'wildcard' displayed here. See your DOS manual for more
information on 'wildcards' characters.
- Next comes the default delay value that RPIC is configured for.
You can change this value by either using the -Dxx switch (see
above) or by pressing F8 while in the 'point & shoot' directory
and typing in a new value.
- To its right, the current mode of the possible screen resolutions
is displayed. The modes can be either VGA (256 color modes) or
EGA (16 color). You may 'flip' between VGA and EGA modes by
pressing the F4 key while in the directory.
- Then the amount of available memory in Kilobytes is displayed.
- On the next line, right below the name of the adapter, a list of
the resolutions supported be your adapter is shown. This will be
the list of the resolutions of the screen modes supported in the
current mode (VGA or EGA) as specified above.

One of this modes (the first one by defect) will be displayed in a
brighter and different color than the rest. That mode is the
'selected mode' and is the one in which RPIC will display the
images. You can select other modes by pressing the plus (+) or F6
keys to select the next one or the minus (-) or F5 keys to select
the one before.

The first mode is always AUTOMODE or AUTOMODE+, depending on
wherther RPIC is set with the -e (no EGA) or with the -E (EGA)
switch. If selected, AUTOMODE will find the most appropriate from
the 256 colors modes available for the picture-to-be-displayed.
AUTOMODE+ works similarly, except that if the picture-to-be-
displayed uses 16 or less colors, it looks for the most appropriate
16 colors (EGA) mode instead of the 256 ones from those available
for your adapter.

If any of the other modes is selected, that's the one that would
be use to display pictures.

- Then comes the list of the files names (see above). You can
change the 'pointed file' by using any of these keys:

Arrow keys
move the 'file pointer' (blue bar) around.

moves the 'file pointer' to the first/last file of the list.

displays the next/previous page of available files (if any).

or by using the 'file locator', as explained below.

- At the bottom of the files' list, you can see the message "File
date." Next to it is the date the file being pointed was written
for the last time (modified or created).

Next to the file date you may see some more information about the
file or not, depending or wherther RPIC has opened it to see its
contents or not. See the -B switch above for more information.

If you do not see anymore information about the pointed file to
the right of the file date, press F3 to have RPIC open the file,
look into it, and report what it found.

If RPIC has opened that file, more information about it is
available. RPIC opens a file either automatically when the -B
switch is set, when you press F3 while the file is being 'pointed'
or when you (attempt to) display it. This 'extra information' can
be either a message warning that the file pointed MIGHT not be a
valid GIF file, or what type of GIF file it is (i.e. GIF87a or
GIF89a) and the resolution and number of colors of the first image
it contains (if found).

- Next, on the two bottom lines of the screen, a help message with
some of the special keys and their meanings is displayed.

** to be continued

** to be continued

** to be continued
The following commands are available while viewing either the
'pointed file' or the file specified in the command line:

- ESC or ENTER will stop viewing the picture and return to either
the 'point & shoot" directory or the operating system.

- ? displays a short description of the commands available.

** to be continued

To run properly, RPIC needs a PC machine running a DOS 3.1 compatible
operating system with a minimum of 65K of available RAM memory and a
VGA or EGA compatible display adapter.

RPIC also uses 32 bytes per each file displayed in the 'point &
shoot' directory and as much memory as needed up to 64K to store a
'slide show' file when 'playing' it.

To view pictures larger than the maximum resolution supported by your
adapter, you must have enough conventional memory free to store one
byte per pixel, regardless of the color resolution. This is also
true when an image's width is less than the screen mode at which you
want to display it, regardless of wherther the whole image would fit
in your display adapter memory or not. The same happens in all 16
color modes and on the special non-standard 320x400 and 360x480

In all other cases, you don't need any RAM memory in addition to the
65K RPIC uses to run itself.

Examples: (remember 1K=1024 bytes)
-To view a 640x400x256 color pictures in a screen size smaller than
that resolution (say 320x200x256), you would need 640x400=250K of
free RAM.
-To view ANY picture in a 16 color mode, you need as much memory as
the picture resolution. Say you want to view a 640x480x256 picture
in a 640x350x16 screen mode, you would need 640x480=300K of free RAM
-To view ANY picture in the 320x400x256 or 360x480x256 non-standard
VGA mode you need as much memory as the picture resolution. Say you
want to view a 320x200x16 then you need 320x200=63K of free RAM.
-To view a picture with a width smaller than the resolution you are
about to use, you also need as much memory as the resolution of the
picture. Say you want to view a 300x100x256 colors picture in the
320x200x256 screen mode. You would need in this case 300x100=30K.
Note that if the width of the picture would have been the same as the
screen resolution (320 instead of 300) then, since the whole picture
fits in the screen, you would not need any free RAM to view it.
-To view a 800x600x256 picture in a mode with a lower resolution
than 800x600x256, you need 800x600=469K of free RAM.

* A note to 0.5 version áeta testers: please, only distribute RPIC to
people you feel would be good beta testers in the sense they are
experienced enough with GIFs and have a good base of equipment and
GIF files to test the software with, as well as enough capability as
to report bugs back to me. Everyone who helps me substantially with
RPIC will receive a free registered copy of the final release
version. Thank you in advance. I really appreciate your time and

0.5 First áeta release.
This version is the first áeta release, not meant for general

It doesn't yet support the autoconfiguring of RPIC by means of
the -0 switch. When used, the -0 switch will default to the
non-standard VGA 320x400x256 maximum resolution configuration.
That will be fix shortly.

Support for GIF89a files is still partial. Comment blocks are
fully supported, as are delay blocks and user input. Full
textual data support is on the works.

It doesn't yet support the writing of GIF files.

áeta tests have been run only on computers equipped with Video
Seven adapters. All other adapters supported are UNTESTED, and
therefore, likely to fail. That's what beta tester volunteers
are for.

RPICHELP.COM is not yet 'developed'. So far, RPIC05.EXE is
distributed with RPIC.COM, RPIC.DOC and README.TXT. Also, the
manual is incomplete (you probably figured that out) and in a
rough-form. I'm working on that too.

Certain display adapters or monitor combinations are known not to
correctly support certain modes. Here are known anomalies reported
by users. If you find one not in this list, please, let me know.
Thank you in advance.

- Certain Video Seven display adapters display a few 'small
horizontal lines' when using the non-standard 360x480x256 mode. This
is known to happen to some VRAMs and VESA boards.

- Modes above resolution of 640x400x256 present problems in several
Video Seven VGA boards. If your manual clearly states that a mode is
supported but you still get weird results, check on the manufacturer
for you may need a hardware upgrade.

- If you don't see any output when RPIC is run, press ESC several
times and then run RPIC -m -w (notice the *lowercase* m). This
permanently configures RPIC to NOT output to a secondary monochrome
screen, but use the main VGA screen instead.

- If RPIC constantly complains of invalid switches or filespec in the
parameter line, check for errors in the RPIC environment variable.
Talk to your LAN manager or try typing:


at the DOS prompt to erase the environment variable RPIC.

- If your screen display gets "weird", with obvious erroneous
horizontal interferences-like "moving" lines and/or vertically
scrolling out-of-sync images, a number of reasons may cause the

RPIC is configured for the wrong type of display adapter. Notice
the name of the display adapter on the top left corner of the 'point
& shoot' directory screen. If that isn't the name of your display
card or the amount of memory is not the one you have installed,
re-configure RPIC for your display card. See the instructions of
configuring RPIC above.

Maybe your monitor or card doesn't support the display mode
selected by RPIC. This may happen specially if your monitor is of
the fixed frequency(ies) type, as oppose to the multisync ones. Try
using a lower or higher resolution mode by pressing the minus (-) or
the plus (+) keys while the picture is displayed, or manually choose
the resolution at which to display the picture from the 'point &
shoot' directory screen (with F5/F6 or -/+). I would appreciate it
if you would write to me with information on which display adapter
and monitor you own and which display modes work and which doesn't.
If your configuration is a common one, I would add configuring
options to RPIC so that automode would choose only modes viewable for
people in your case. Read the list of known "anomalies" above to
see if yours is a known case.

A third possibility is incorrect support of your adapter by RPIC.
As I mentioned earlier, is very hard to program for a wide variety of
incompatible and inconsistent display adapters from different
manufactures, which constantly change the way they are programmed from
one revision to the next. It is almost impossible to guarantee
support for all modes in all adapters. You may have a newer (or
older) version of the adapter than supported by RPIC or I might have
simply made a programming mistake I can not be aware of, since I do
not own ALL display adapters ever manufactured and therefore can not
test RPIC with it to see if it works properly or not. I REALLY need
your cooperation in this case. Let me know all the symptoms in
detail of the malfunction, such as if parts of the image are
displayed right and some aren't or if it starts correctly to be
displayed only to scramble the screen after the first quarter is
shown. Tell me all details you can, even send me photocopies of your
display adapter manual. I'll will contact you and try to fix it with
your help.

- If RPIC buzzes when trying to change the mode (resolution) while
viewing a picture by pressing + or -, that is caused by a lack of
enough conventional memory to perform the change. Try freeing up
more conventional memory. Review the "memory needs" section of the
manual above.

- RPIC might complain of a GIF being 'invalid, corrupt or
incomplete' while it seems to be perfect and displays correctly.
Maybe even other GIF processing software doesn't complain as RPIC
does. Well, in these cases RPIC is, as far as I can tell, always
right. The GIF format allows for not only one image but several to
be contained in a single file, not to mention other types of data
beside images, so a system has been designed to let the decoding
software know when the file has been completely and properly
decoded. If RPIC complains but the image seems to be complete and
correct, the error has occurred AFTER the image data, and therefore
hardly (if at all) affects the use of the GIF. It is recommended,
nonetheless that you write a new (correct) gif file by pressing 'G'
while displaying picture. Due to some bugs in very popular shareware
programs, many incorrect GIF files exist around. If still you
suspect your GIF file is correct and RPIC is wrong, contact me so
that I can test the GIF file in question with detail.

The author wants to thank the following people for their
contributions to better computing:

- Fabrice Bellard, author of the LZEXE program.
- David K. Buck, author of the DKB ray tracer and Aaron Collins, a
major contributor to the project.
- David Lee Crocker, author of PICLAB.
- Richard F. Ferraro, author of the book "Programmer's guide to the
EGA and VGA cards" (Addison-Wesley).
- Robert K. Jung, author of the ARJ file compressor.
- Steve Rimmer, author of the book "Bit-mapped graphics"
- Haruyasu Yoshizaki (Yoshi), author of the Lharc family of file
- The authors of COMPRESS, ARC, UNZIP, VPIC, CSHOW and many others
whose work have inspire programmers all over the world.

This program was developed in a 486/33Mhz machine using BRIEF 3.1,
TASM 2.01 and TDEBUG.

  3 Responses to “Category : Printer + Display Graphics
Archive   : RPIC05B.ZIP
Filename : RPIC.DOC

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: