Contents of the PLUCK.DOC file
PLUCK v1.0 17 April 1990
NOTE: V2 allows proper display of the help guide.
WHAT IT DOES
PLUCK.COM is a tiny (well under 2 Kb) TSR that can get a line or lines
from the current CRT display. It can then do any one of the following:
'p' send directly to the printer
'f' open a disk file for the information (either append or
initiate a new entry, more on that later)
's' put in a temporary 2 Kb buffer from which the information
can be later inserted into a new location or file, via
the 'g' command
This program is based on SNIPPER, a "cut and paste" type program which
appeared in PC Magazine for 1987 and was copyrighted by Tom Kihlken.
PLUCK uses a different concept since it is more of a "block line move".
SNIPPER uses a window method that needs a left margin and a right mar-
gin. It then saves that entire window, regardless how many "trailing
spaces" may be involved that are unneeded and should be removed, later.
The programs are therefore substantially different in concept. It is
entirely possible you may have needs where BOTH would be beneficial to
retain on your system.
SETTING UP PLUCK.COM
To be the most useful, a line should be added to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file:
and the PLUCK.COM program then placed in any normal path area. It will
be automatically added to your system at bootup.
Many editors have "cut and paste" and/or "block move" capability, but
these are unavailable if not using that editor. PLUCK may be used at
any time the keyboard is available, giving it a broad, universal value.
USING THE PROGRAM
To activate PLUCK at any time you see something on the CRT screen you
would like to save, just depress the CTL key and while holding that,
touch the ';' (semi-colon) key. This unusual combination is quite un-
likely to be duplicated by any other program. It is also very simple
for any "touch typist" to use, since the ';' key is the "home key" for
the right little finger. This makes it very convenient to use the "Cur-
sor Diamond" control set which has been added to the PLUCK program.
After typing 'CTL ;' an auxiliary cursor will appear somewhere in the
left margin. (Top left, first time the program is used since rebooting,
else wherever it was last left.)
That auxiliary cursor can then be moved up or down to the initial line
you wish to use via CTL-X (down) and CTL-E (up). When at the desired
starting line, use CTL-D to start the block. Then CTL-X to move down to
the last line of the block. You will notice the entire line of text
changes to reverse video. A blank line appears as though it is being
ignored, but that is not the case - just that it has no text, hence no
When on the last line desired, use one of the keys mentioned above, 'p'
to send that block to the printer, 's' to save to a small buffer tempor-
arily, or (most common) a 'f' (or CTL-F either one) to open a file.
The default file is CRT.SAV. If is then use, it will append the
current block to that file. If a CTL-S is used instead, it will clear
any information previously captured and start a new entry. (SNIPPER has
no such feature.) A new file may be selected instead of the default
file. Again will append to that file or CTL-S will start a new
Note: If a new filename is desired, you don't need to
backspace out CRT.SAV - just type the new file-
name and the initial character typed has already
deleted the CRT.SAV name. (Again a change over
At any time, typing the key will abort the PLUCK program and put
things back to normal.
SNIPPER originally used the four 'Cursor Arrow keys'. Those may still
be used, if desired, although not in the same manner:
Up Arrow or CTL-E moves the auxiliary cursor up
Down Arrow or CTL-X moves the auxiliary cursor down
Right Arrow or CTL-D opens the first line of the desired block
Left Arrow or CTL-S retains the information as an initial entry
or appends the information to the file
(SNIPPER uses the left-right arrows to establish the left margin and the
right margin of the window it generates. This is the basic area where
the two programs differ quite radically in major concept. PLUCK makes
a block instead of a window.)
CUT AND PASTE
Both programs work the same in this regard. Just type 's' when the
block (or window) is complete and the information will be placed in a
small 2k buffer temporarily. You will then be back to normal. You
would move to the location in the program where you would like to in-
sert that information, or select the appropriate file. Then call up
PLUCK again (via CTL 😉 and type 'g'. It will insert the information
at that location.
Note: It may take some "assistance" to dump all the infor-
mation in that buffer. Just hit an extra time
The following is an example of using PLUCK, but also demonstrates
how it is automatically brought up as a TSR whenever rebooting:
path c:\;d:\;e:\;c:\dos;d:\util;d:\new; [etc. for rest of path]
sa bright yellow on blue
cursor <<-- makes a blinking block, no underline
pluck <<-- makes PLUCK.COM a small TSR
This should pretty well cover the differences between PLUCK and SNIPPER
and give the user an option as to which program sounds more convenient
for his use. PLUCK is more simple to use, since you never bother with
the left or right margin, nor does it save any unwanted trailing space
characters as the block is based on the text in each line, rather than
a squared-off window.
PLUCK also offers the CTL-E, CTL-X, CTL-S and CTL-D controls. Many
people have used the "Cursor Diamond" control set for many years and
will find that far more convenient than using the Cursor Arrow keys.
Those, however, are optionally available.
By the way, another very small program (523 bytes) by Chris Dunford
is available, named SDUMP. That one is "too simple for words" to use.
You also add that to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file, with the line: sdump
That lets you save the entire CRT with one simple 'LeftShift Print'
command. It opens a file SDUMP.TXT and appends the text from the cur-
rent screen to that file. That program may well be all the user would
normally need, although requires the use of an editor, later, to chop
the display to whatever you may prefer. (It's not often you want to
copy the ENTIRE CTR display.) That program was written 17 May 1985.
To Tom Kihlken for writing SNIPPER, a really great program that provided
a nice base for us to come up with PLUCK as a complimentary, optional
And especially to Dennis Vallianos whose valuable contributions and
comments made this program possible when I was discussing things I
would like to have available.
- Irv Hoff