Contents of the POPCOLOR.DOC file
PopColor Programmer's Utility
Copyright (c) 1987 by Resource Software, Inc.
PopColor (tm) is a programmer's utility that prints a color
window displaying the color attributes available on an
IBM (tm) or compatible CGA card.
It shows the decimal number of the attribute representing the
various combinations of foreground and background colors. It is
extremely useful as a screen design aid. It avoids the tedious
necessity of pouring through bit maps in various texts to obtain
screen attributes commonly used in direct screen write
For example : Fastwrite("Hello World",10,20,31);
This typical routine writes "Hello World" at screen position
row 10, column 20, with a color attribute of 31, or intense white
foreground on a blue background.
The PopColor (tm) window displays the number 31 in intense white on
blue, along with all the other attribute numbers in their respective
foreground and background colors (including blinking attributes).
PopColor (tm) is provided in two versions. PopColor.exe is the resi-
dent version and consumes only 9k to 10k of memory when installed.
It tries to be "well behaved" by monitoring the DOS busy flag, a BIOS
busy flag, and the critical error interrupt. It utilizes interrupt
28 for special access. PopColor (tm) works fairly well with other
terminate stay resident (TSR) programs such as SideKick (tm). (As
usual please load SideKick (tm) last. ) The access key or Hot-Key
can be customized for several combinations (see below).
However, as we all know, resident programs frequently collide with
various applications and other resident programs, causing a system
crash. PopColor (tm) is no exception. It will sometimes cause the
same problem (although we have tried to avoid it).
Therefore, we have provided a second version, DosColor.exe, which is
executable from the DOS command line, as any other program. This
version provides the same information, with the safety of no system
crashes (hopefully). The appropriate version is determinable by
The following files should be included in your PopColor (tm) package:
We suggest you try DosColor.exe first as it is the simplest version.
Simply type Doscolor at the DOS prompt.
Numbers will not show when the foreground and the background are the
PopColor.exe , the resident version, is activated by the key combination :
in the supplied configuration. (As mentioned this can be customized.)
Type Popcolor at the DOS prompt.
An installation message will then appear on the screen.
Type Ctrl+Right-Shift to activate.
As mentioned, PopColor (tm) can be changed so it is activated by other
key combinations, in case the supplied version conflicts with other
resident programs you may be using.
The available key combinations and their hex codes are :
Ctrl Right-Shift 05 (default)
Ctrl Left-Shift 06
Alt Right-Shift 09
Alt Left-Shift 0A
Ctrl Alt 0C
Left-Shift Right-Shift 03
Although the following process will be familiar for many programmers,
we have attempted to provide enough information to allow beginning
programmers to customize their version of PopColor (tm).
We have provided two files to simplify this process : Custom.bat and
ren popcolor.exe popcolor.xxx
debug popcolor.xxx < yourkey.txt
ren popcolor.xxx popcolor.exe
FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE......
SAVE A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF POPCOLOR.EXE !!!
Using a word processor or text editor that creates pure ASCII files,
edit the file yourkey.txt. The second line is the hex key code for
your key combination. Change this second line to your code. For
example change it to 06 for Ctrl Left-Shift. You must include the 0.
Do not add any carriage returns or line feeds. It MUST appear exactly
as above with no added lines. Save the new file with the same name
The DOS utility program DEBUG.COM must be either on your diskette, in
the current directory of your hard disk, or included in the path set by
the DOS PATH command.(DEBUG.COM is found on the DOS supplemental disk.)
Run the batch program CUSTOM.BAT
i.e. Type CUSTOM at the DOS prompt.
Several messages will then appear on the screen. Your modified version
of PopColor (tm) should now be available.
When you install your new PopColor (type POPCOLOR ), disregard
the message " Ctrl Right-Shift to Activate". Instead use your new key
The file CUSTOM.BAT first renames popcolor.exe to popcolor.xxx. Files
with an extension of .EXE are not easily edited by DEBUG.
The second line runs the program DEBUG using the script file (or command
file ) yourkey.txt. That is..... yourkey.txt runs DEBUG for you.
The third line then renames popcolor.xxx to popcolor.exe, the run file.
YOURKEY.TXT on the first line tells DEBUG to edit the byte at offset
address 18B0 hex.
The second line replaces the existing data with your key code.
The third line writes the new file to disk.
The fourth line quits DEBUG, returning execution to CUSTOM.BAT.
The programs Popcolor.exe and Doscolor.exe and this documentation
may be used, copied and shared without fee subject to the
- If you share these programs, all of the above mentioned
files must be included.
- You may not sell or distribute these programs for profit.
- These programs are provided on an "as is" basis.
- No warranty is expressed or implied.
- Resource Software, Inc. assumes no responsibility for any damages,
whether real or imagined, that may occur as a result of using these
- Resource Software, Inc. will attempt to answer any written questions
concerning these programs.
If you use these programs (especially in a commercial environment) and
find them helpful, please send a $ 5 contribution to:
Resource Software, Inc.
P.O. Box 8163
Gadsden, AL 35902
PopColor (tm) and DosColor (tm) are trademarks of Resource Software, Inc.
IBM and SideKick are trademarks of IBM Corp. and Borland International, Inc.