Contents of the TOTCAP.DOC file
Explanation of TOTCAP
Totcap is a memory resident screen capturing program for MS-DOS computers. It
works on IBM PC/XT/AT compatible computers, along with the MDA/CGA/EGA/VGA
Totcap is different from other screen capturing programs in that it works in
virtually every display mode available for the various display adapters made for
IBM/compatible computers. Because Totcap automaticly detects and saves the video
mode the computer is in, you don't have to worry which of the other countless
screen capturing programs you need to run. You only need one program, and that
program is Totcap.
Totcap is a TSR, meaning Terminate & Stay Resident. This type of program remains
in memory no matter which other program you run, so Totcap can be used with your
favorite word processor, drawing program, desktop publisher, graphics
environment, game, or almost every other program that runs under MS-DOS.
Along with the Totcap screen capturing program comes Compress. Compress is a
program which takes an image file saved by Totcap and shrinks it using a method
called Run Length Encoding (RLE). Because many pictures have large areas of the
same color/or pattern, these parts can be reduced by only writting one byte for
a part of the screen, and one byte for the number of times that part is
repeated. Image files can be reduced by thousands of times using this method.
How to use Totcap
To run Totcap, type, at the dos prompt: Totcap
You will see a message, along with my address and phone number. Also shown is
the hotkey for Totcap, which is . Below that you will
be asked how many EGA/VGA planes to save. Because the EGA/VGA modes store pixel
information in bit planes (4 seperate 32k areas on the display card), each one
must be saved to a different file. If you want 16 color EGA/VGA images, you must
enter 4, the maximum number of bit planes. If you want black and white EGA/VGA
images, enter 1. You may enter 2 or 3 for the number of bit planes also. You may
tell Totcap how many planes you want to save through the command line. So
instead of just typing 'Totcap' to install it, type:
Replace the ? with the number of planes you want to save.
Once Totcap knows how many EGA/VGA planes you want to save, it is ready to go.
To save a screen, just press keys
After the image is saved, you will hear:
1 Beep-Image Save was successfull
2 Beeps-In screen mode not supported by Totcap
3 Beeps-DOS error
Depending on the which video mode the computer was in at the time of the save,
Totcap produces a filename:
------------------- Possible Filenames --------------------
Filename Screen Length
?.TXT -40x25 or 80x25 text image 2007 or 4007 bytes
?.MDA -80x25 monocrome text image 4007 bytes
?.CGA -320x200x4 or 640x200 CGA image 16007 bytes
?#.EG1 -320x200x16 EGA image 8007 bytes per plane
?#.EG2 -640x200x16 EGA image 16007 bytes per plane
?#.EG3 -640x350x16 EGA image 28007 bytes per plane
?#.VGA -640x480x16 VGA image 38407 bytes per plane
?.256 -320x200x256 VGA image 64007 bytes
Where ?=file counter. When you first install Totcap, the first ? will be A then
B then C. Totcap moves down one letter after each screen saved. This allows you
to save multiple screens without having leaving your application program.
Where #=the plane number of the EGA/VGA image. This only applies to images saved
in EGA/VGA modes. Remember Totcap saves each bit plane in a different file, so
the second character in the filename denotes which bit plane it is. So suppose
you save a 640x480 VGA screen, then the result would be four files being made
(if you wanted to save all four bit planes):
The first character is dependent on how many other screens have been saved prior
to this one.
*********** IMPORTANT ************
To prevent a system lockup (crash) before & while Totcap is saving and image,
ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, TAKE THESE PRECAUTIONS:
#1-NEVER press the hot key sequence when a disk drive is being accesed. For
instance, if you are in a word processor, and you are loading a file, don't
press the hotkey sequence until the drive is done!!!(light is out). Totcap does
not check the MS-DOS envirnoment before saving an image, so failure to take
precaution #1 will ALWAYS cause the computer to lock up.
#2-DO NOT move the mouse (if you have one), and DO NOT press a key while Totcap
is saving an image. Doing so will cause the image to become distored and may
also cause a system crash.
#3-AFTER TOTCAP SAVES AN IMAGE,WAIT 3 SECONDS BEFORE PRESSING A KEY
This is an extension of precaution #1. Since Totcap access the disk (it writes
the image file), you must wait until the disk stops(drive light out) before
returning back to whatever program you happen to be running at the the time.
Failure to this will ALWAYS cause the computer to lock up.
#4-DO NOT press the hotkey twice. In other words, don't try to save in image
while Totcap is already in the process of saving an image. Doing so will will
cause cause the computer to lock up.
********** Special Notes **********
When you tell Totcap to save a file, Totcap determines the screen mode by using
BIOS video service 0fh. This service returns the screen mode so that Totcap
knows how to save the file. Some environments, such as GEM DESKTOP, fool this
service (not intentionally) and therefore return the wrong screen mode to
Totcap. For this reason, I have include, in the registered copy, forced video
save. This allows you to save an image regardless of what mode the BIOS thinks
the display is in.
How to use Compress
To use COMPRESS, type 'compress' at the dos prompt.
You will be asked for the source filename. Enter the Path/Filename of the saved
image and press return.You will then be asked for the destination filename.
After the names are entered, compress attempts to read the source filename and
if it can't find the file, it will display an error message and prompt you to
enter a new filename.
Once the source file is found, compress quickly packs it and writes the new,
compressed data into the destination file. Again, if compress encounters a disk
error, you will be prompted to enter a new filename. Once compress is done, it
will ask you:
(1) Compress another file or (2) exit to dos
If you wish to compress another file, type 1, if not press 2.
************* Special Notes ***********
There are two types of image files that Totcap saves that should not compressed.
* Text image (40x25,80x25,80x25 MDA)-because text modes interlace the
characters and their attributes, no two bytes will ever be the same.
The result will be a compressed file twice as long as the original!
* 320x200x256 VGA image-because there are 256 possible colors for each
pixel, most images in this mode are more efficient un-compressed then
compressed. Also, Compress may crash when compressing a 320x200x256 image
How to use Loadpic
Loadpic loads compressed and uncompressed image files saved by Totcap. To run
loadpic, type 'loadpic' at the dos prompt. You will be asked to enter the
filename of the image to load. If you want to load a 16 color image, enter the
filename of the first bit plane file. For example, if you saved a 16 color vga
image, and the filenames happen to be:
A1.VGA A2.VGA A3.VGA A4.VGA
enter 'A1.VGA'.If you ever rename plane files, make sure the second character
(the plane) number is preserved. For example, if you saved an image to C1.VGA
and want to change it to 'drawing', change it to 'd1rawing.vga'.The second
character needs to be preserved for LOADPIC only, it is not necessary for the
file itself.It is necessary for LOADPIC due to the way loadpic automaticly loads
a chain of bit plane files.
Once you enter a filename, loadpic tells which type of file it is and whether or
not is compressed. You will then see:
Press (L) to load different file, (V) to view file, (X) to exit to dos
If you don't want to see the file, but want don't want to exit, press 'L'
If you want to leave loadpic, press X.
If you want to see the image, press 'V'.If the image is a EGA/VGA bit plane,
Loadpic will ask you whether it should load all four planes files (16 color).
If you only want to load 1 plane (Black and white), press 'N'.If you want the
full 16 colors, press 'Y'.The other bit plane files must be on the same disk and
must all conform to previously discussed filename (2nd character preserved.
If the file is a CGA image, loadpic will ask you if you want to view it in
320x200x4 or 640x200x2 CGA mode. A CGA image can be viewed in either mode. Once
the image is loaded, press any key to view a new file
**************** Special Notes **************
If you attempt to view an image that was saved in a display mode not supported
by your particual system, no image will be displayed or it will be severly
distored. A VGA can emulate all the other modes, an EGA card can emulate MDA or
CGA, and a CGA card can only CGA and TXT files. MDA can only load MDA files.
If you purchase the registered copy of Totcap, other features, such as the
saving of the palette/color registers, forced video saved +more will be
available to you.
For technical information on how to use these or any other image files, enter 3
at the main menu (technical info for programmers).
How to Contact the Author
To receive a registered copy, which includes features as:
* The saving of the VGA palette/color registers for exact image duplication
* Extended support for the VGA 320x200x256 mode
* Forced video save
Along with the registered copy you will receive:
* The Totcap User's Newsletter for 1 year (Published quarterly)
* Any future versions of Totcap for FREE!
* Programs to interface with Basic, C, Pascal, and assembly
* Unlimited technical assistance
Send a check or money order in the amount of $20.00 with your name, address,
telephone number and type of video card/monitor you have to:
3702 Terrapin Lane #1716
Coral Springs, Fl 33065