Contents of the SHO.DOC file
Documentation for SHOWDISK by Dwayne Melancon, 76417,600 (CIS).
What does it do?
This program provides a quick, easy way to check the space usage for a hard
or floppy disk drive. It provides a "gas gauge" style usage graph (character
based) that you can read at a glance. It also provides byte figures (in
kilobytes or Megabytes, whichever is appropriate) on the space allocated and
the space available.
SYNTAX: SHO [drive letter] [/M]
If no drive letter is specified, the current drive will be used.
A colon is not necessary but it won't hurt anything, either.
Name the program anything you like - I call it SD.COM on my system
(it's called SHO.COM here because a lot of people have the Norton
Utilities, in which the command "SD" calls Speed Disk).
/M forces monochrome "colors" for better visibility on composite
monitors and laptops. Monochrome monitors are automatically
Why use it?
I wrote this program because I was tired of waiting for CHKDSK to run when
all I wanted to do was get a quick check on how much of my disk was in use.
This utility will not give exactly the same readings as CHKDSK; the DOS
CHKDSK utility deals in exact bytes, while SHOWDSK deals in allocated
clusters. What's the difference? The bytes in CHKDSK indicate the number
bytes you would get if you added up the exact file sizes of all of the
files on your disk. My utility tells you how many bytes have been ALLOCATED
to those files. In other words, if you had a standard 30 Mb hard disk
using DOS 3.3 (512 bytes per sector, 4 sectors per cluster), CHKDSK would
tell you that you had 1 byte in 1 user file. While this is true, CHKDSK
DOESN'T tell you that DOS can only allocate space on this disk in blocks of
2048 bytes -- it makes you think you have 2047 more usable bytes than you
actually have. My utility would tell you that you had 2048 bytes allocated
on your disk -- more accurate, eh?
Using allocated clusters rather than actual file sizes not only gives a more
accurate indication of the space used on your drive, it makes the program
Upgrading from earlier versions:
The latest version of SHO is an EXE file. If you have a previous
version that was "SHO.COM", you must delete it for this one to run since
DOS will execute a COM file before an EXE if both exist in the same
SHOWDISK has run successfully on everything I have tried it on. It does
not write to any disks. It reads things. HOWEVER, I have written this
program for the sake of convenience only and will not take responsibility for
any incompatibilities, damage, loss of data or hair, or any damages,
consequential or otherwise resulting from the use of this program. When you
use this program, you agree not to get mad at me, say mean things about me,
sue me or any other negative things, as I am offering this program as a
utility that has been useful to me that I feel others may like as well.
Scary? Hey, this is a litigious society and I want to make it quite clear
that when you use this program, you do so at your own risk. Please keep in
mind, however, that the functions performed by this program are quite tame and
benign and that it has never been responsible for any data loss that I know of.
I use it daily, as do many of my friends/testers.
Comments on the program are welcome. Updates are possible, but no promises
can be made -- I do this stuff in my spare time, which has a tendency to be
allocated FOR me, rather than BY me.
This program is free. Distribute it as you wish. I only ask that you keep
this file (SHO.DOC) with the program when you give it away, and that you
send me a postcard from your city (with your city's name on it). If you
don't have one, go to your local Holiday Inn and acquire one. Please include
any comments you have about the program.
Dwayne A. Melancon
10049 N. Reiger Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Version 1.1 - Added video mode detection functions to make display more
readable on monochrome monitors.
Version 1.2 - Changed from EXE to COM file.
Version 1.3 - Only used by me and one test site.
Version 1.4 - Provisions made for very large hard drives and network drives
(special thanks to Randol Tigrett at PC Magazine's LAN Labs for
his help), and some diagnostic routines were added.
Version 2.0 - Switched windowing methods to make things a bit more efficient
space- and memory-wise.
Version 2.1 - Played around with "exploding" windows. This version was only
used by a few people to get a "user response". We judged it to
be "neat", but it makes the program seem slower and makes it a
little bit larger. Could easily be added as a command line
option if I get enough requests for it.
Version 2.3 - Back to an EXE, folks. I found a way to make it smaller and a
bit faster. The technique requires that the file be an EXE
because it doesn't work in Turbo C's Tiny memory model.
Version 2.3d+- The "plus" is for a shadow I added behind the bar to make the
readout look kind of "3-D" (hence the "3d").
Version 2.4 - Added /M (force monochrome) option.
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