Contents of the BUFFIT.DOC file
BUFFIT v3.0 a screen text capturing program
Written by: D.T.Hamilton
How many times have you done a 'dir' and had the top few filenames scroll
off the top of your screen then wished you could get them back? Or you are
working in 'debug' and you have just traced 10 more instructions and wished
you could see what the registers were before you traced the 10 instructions?
How about when you 'type' a long text file and want to re-read one of the
first lines after they are gone?
To solve these and other problems use BUFFIT. BUFFIT becomes memory resident
and can be invoked whenever a program is awaiting keyboard input by typing
a 'Hot Key' (the 'Hot Key' is user definable). BUFFIT will automatically
capture and when invoked, allow you to redisplay all text output through DOS
(but not text output directly to the video buffer or through Interupt 10H).
You may move through the captured text a single line at a time or a page at a
time. You can also go directly to the top or bottom of the captured text. Some
of BUFFIT'S other features include printing the capture buffer or writing it
out to a disk file.
NEW FEATURES ADDED SINCE VERSION 2.4
-BUFFIT can now use Extended Memory (XMS) Upper Memory Blocks (UMB's). See the
notes at the end of this document for details.
-Control Panel Functions have been integrated into the Main Display.
-BUFFIT can now unload itself from memory.
-The method used by BUFFIT to determine if it is already presenst in memory
has been changed to be compatible with NOVELL Netware and BANYAN Vines.
-Screen handling has been improved and simplified. Also better support for
EGA/VGA 43 and 50 line modes has been added.
-Interrupts are now turned back on while BUFFIT is doing background processing
of DOS functions.
BUFFIT will run on any IBM PC/XT/AT/PS2 or compatible with either a CGA, EGA,
VGA or Monochrome monitor. BUFFIT will use about 10K of resident memory plus
the size of the capture buffer (capture buffer size is user definable and
defaults to 20000 bytes, which is enough to capture about 15 - 25 pages of
screen text). BUFFIT will print to any standard 'parrallel' type 80/132 column
printer that is attached to the port configured as 'LPT1' or 'PRN'.
To load BUFFIT just type the command BUFFIT from your DOS prompt or put the
command BUFFIT in your AUTOEXEC.BAT startup file if you have one. Note that
the file 'BUFFIT.COM' must be in your current directory or in your DOS search
PATH to load succesfully. You need only load BUFFIT once and it will remain in
memory until the next time you re-boot. Note that if you are using a memory
resident command line capture/edit program like DOSEDIT, CED or SUPERKEY that
these programs should be loaded BEFORE you load BUFFIT for the best
performance. BUFFIT may also be loaded with several optional command line
parameters to customize its performance. The valid parameters are;
/B This parameter must be followed by a decimal number which represents
the size of the capture buffer that BUFFIT will use. This valuemust
be between 1000 and 40000 and will be adjusted automatically ifnot
divisible by 4.
/K This parameter must be followed by a string which will tell BUFFIT what
'Hot Key' to use for invoking. The string consists of a letter chosen
from the following list:
N for normal keys
L for the Left shift key
R for the Right shift key
C for the Ctrl key
A for the Alt key
Next must come a quote character then the letter, number or symbol
for the key you wish to use followed by another quote character.
The function keys are indicated by the letter F followed by the
appropriate number (use F0 to represent F10) instead of the letter,
number or symbol explained above.
/E or /V These parameters will activate support for EGA 43 and VGA 50 line
modes. This will cause BUFFIT to use 4K of additional memory.
/L This parameter forces BUFFIT to allocate and use regular DOS ram (LOW)
even if an appropriately sized Upper Memory Block (HIGH ram) exists.
/R This parameter will cause BUFFIT to wait for video retrace when writing
to the video screen. This will eliminate 'snow' during BUFFIT displays
if your video controller is subject to snow. Only use this parameter
if you have snow as it slows down BUFFIT's display rate.
/C This parameter will cause BUFFIT to use black and white attributes for
video displays even if you have a color monitor.
/U This parameter is used when BUFFIT is already loaded and will cause
BUFFIT to unload itself from memory. If BUFFIT detects a problem
trying to unload it will issue an error message and remain in memory.
/D This parameter is used when BUFFIT is already loaded and will cause
the 'Hot Key' to be disabled, using the command a second time will
cause it to be re-enabled. Use this parameter if you need to use
BUFFIT'S 'Hot Key' for something else but you don't want to take
BUFFIT out of memory.
Parameters may also be entered using a '-' in place of the '/' and you may
string parameters together, for example the command:
would cause BUFFIT to load with the default capture buffer size of 20000
bytes, wait for video retrace on displays and use 'Alt Z' as the 'Hot Key'
for invoking it. The command:
BUFFIT /KC'F0' -C /B25000
would achieve the same results as:
which would cause BUFFIT to load with a capture buffer of 25000 bytes, use
only black and white display attributes and use 'CTRL F10' as the 'Hot Key'
to invoke it.
If you have entered any invalid parameters or there is some other problem
BUFFIT will tell you the cause and abort loading. Once BUFFIT has loaded
succesfully it will print a start-up message indicating the selected
'Hot Key', whether HIGH or LOW ram is used, capture buffer size and video
INVOKING AND USING BUFFIT
Invoking BUFFIT to redisplay captured text is as easy as pressing the defined
'Hot Key'. For example if you chose 'CTRL F10' as your 'Hot Key' you would
hold down the CTRL key and then push the F10 function key. If the 'Hot Key'
has been disabled by using the /D command line parameter you must re-enable it
before BUFFIT will invoke. If you are not sure if the 'Hot Key' is enabled or
disabled or you forget which key you have selected as the 'Hot Key' typing the
command BUFFIT at your DOS prompt will cause BUFFIT to display it's current
'Hot Key' status. If the status is enabled it will also show you the current
'Hot Key' setting, if disabled BUFFIT will show the command used to re-enable
Note that BUFFIT will not allow you to invoke it if your screen is in a
graphics mode, if this happens BUFFIT will give a couple of strange tones in
your speaker when you press the 'Hot Key'.
Once invoked you will see a portion of captured text redisplayed on the screen
with a special status line at the bottom.
From the main display screen the following keys can be used:
Up Arrow - moves the display window up 1 line if not already at top of
Dn Arrow - moves the display window down 1 line if not already at bottom
of captured text.
PgUp - moves the display window up 24 lines if not already at top of
PgDn - moves the display window down 24 lines if not already at bottom of
Home - moves the display window directly to the top of captured text.
End - moves the display window directly to the bottom of captured text.
H, ? or F1 - will bring up the Help Window which contains a list of all
available keys with a brief explanation of each. Press any
key to remove the Help Window.
W - will bring up the File Name Request Window which is fully explained
in the WRITING BUFFER TO FILE section below. Press ESC to remove the
File Name Request Window.
P - will cause BUFFIT to print all the text currently in its capture
buffer to your printer. If BUFFIT encounters any difficulty during
printing it will give a message telling you the possible cause. You
may then correct the problem and press any key to continue or ESC if
you want to abort printing.
K - This is for Keep Buffer Position which will allow you to exit
BUFFIT and then re-invoke it and still be at the same position in
the buffer you were at before you left (BUFFIT normally positions
you at the bottom of the buffer whenever you invoke it). The status
line will indicate Yes if this feature is active and No if it's not.
C - This is for Screen Text Capture which will allow you to turn off
BUFFIT's abillity to capture text. The status line will indicate if
capture mode is On or Off.
T - This is for Text Line Terminator which will cause BUFFIT to treat
either a carriage-return (CR) or a line-feed (LF) character as the
end of a line (some programs don't output line-feeds with their
text, you will see this as a bunch of lines writing over the top of
each other when you use BUFFIT to review them). The status line will
indicate what the current Line Terminator is.
E - This is for Empty Capture Buffer which will allow you to clear from
BUFFIT's capture buffer all previously captured text.
ESC - this will cause you to exit the text redisplay screen and return to
whatever you were doing before invoking BUFFIT.
WRITING BUFFER TO FILE
BUFFIT will allow you to dump its capture buffer to a disk file. When you
select this function you will be prompted for the name of the file you wish
to dump into and it may include a drive specifier and/or path name. Press
ESC to abort the dump or press RETURN with no file name specified. BUFFIT will
check to see if the file specified already exists and if so will give you
the opportunity to Overwrite the existing file, Append to it or pick a New
file name. If BUFFIT encounters any errors during the dump you will be
informed of them at the bottom of the screen.
NOTES ON XMS AND UMB SUPPORT
Upper Memory Blocks are areas of Extended Memory that are mapped into the 640k
to 1meg regions on an i386 or i486 class machine. BUFFIT will automatically
recognize if your machine has a XMS driver loaded that supports Upper Memory
Blocks and attempt to allocate a UMB large enough to relocate itself into. If
BUFFIT does relocate into a UMB it will use zero bytes of regular DOS memory
(this feature can be disabled by using the /L parameter described in LOADING
BUFFIT above). Several commercial products such as QEMM by Quarterdeck and
Blue Max by Qualitas support XMS UMB's. There is also a shareware product
called LASTBYTE that will provide this support. You may mail inquiries for
LASTBYTE to: KEY SOFTWARE PRODUCTS, 440 Ninth Avenue, Menlo Park, California
94025 or call: KEY SOFTWARE PRODUCTS at (415) 364-9847.
DISCLAIMER AND COPYRIGHT NOTICE
BUFFIT has been released is 'SHAREWARE', I hope you enjoy this program and
find it as usefull as I do. If you find that you do please send a $10 or $15
or so donation. Also feel free to drop me a line if you have any problems or
suggestions. BUFFIT may be freely distributed provided no charge is made for
such distribution and that this documentation file accompanies it in it's
original form. Site licences will be accepted please contact me for info. Use
BUFFIT at your own risk, I take no responsibility for damages of any kind
caused while using this program. Trademarks and/or Product names mentioned in
this document are the property of their respective companies.
David T. Hamilton
8149 Hesperia Ave.
Reseda, CA. 91335
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