4OS2 Shareware README.DOC
Version 1.0 -- June 8, 1992
[Copyright 1992, JP Software Inc., All Rights Reserved. Published by JP
Software Inc., P.O. Box 1470, E. Arlington, MA 02174 USA, (617)
646-3975. 4OS2 is a trademark and 4DOS is a registered trademark of JP
Software Inc. OS/2 is a trademark of IBM Corporation. Other product
and company names are trademarks of their respective owners.]
Greetings, and thanks for trying 4OS2!
This file contains a variety of information you should read before using
Release notes (page 2), includes:
* Files included with 4OS2
* Installation instructions
* Technical support
* BBS support
Using 4OS2 with other software (page 7)
Changes in 4OS2 since the version 0.95 pre-release (page 8)
If you have tried a shareware copy of 4OS2 and want to place an order,
see the product and ordering information in the file ORDERINF.DOC, or
call us at (800) 368-8777 (USA only, orders only please!) or (617) 646-
3975. The order form is included separately in the file ORDER.FRM.
The license agreement which governs your use of 4OS2 is included
separately in the file LICENSE.DOC. Please read it before ordering.
The text is written in plain English, and clearly explains your rights
and responsibilities as a user of 4OS2.
This file is formatted at 58 lines per page, and contains form feeds and
page footers. It can be viewed with a file viewer such as the 4DOS or
4OS2 LIST command, or printed on most PC printers using the command:
copy readme.doc prn
Printing it with a program that formats the pages is not likely to work
due to the formatting included in the file.
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 1
4OS2 Version 1.0:
This is the official shareware release of 4OS2 and supersedes the
previous "pre-release" version (version 0.95) of 4OS2.
If you have been using 4OS2 version 0.95, see page 8 for changes in
This file and most other 4OS2 documentation refers frequently to
4DOS, JP Software's award-winning command processor for DOS. If you
are not familiar with 4DOS we suggest that you obtain a copy
(available from the same place where you got 4OS2), and if
appropriate, install it on your system before or along with 4OS2.
4DOS and 4OS2 are complementary and offer the same functions in your
DOS and OS/2 sessions.
Files Included with 4OS2 1.0:
Shareware copies of 4OS2 come with two manuals: the 4DOS manual
(4DOS.DOC, with ASCTAB.TXT) which also documents most 4OS2 commands
and features, and the 4OS2 manual (4OS2.DOC) which describes
differences between 4OS2 and 4DOS, and features unique to 4OS2. We
divide the manuals this way because the great majority of 4OS2 users
also use 4DOS, and the substantial overlap of content would make it
cumbersome to have complete, separate manuals for each product.
The way your copy of 4OS2 is "packaged" will vary depending on the
distribution method (5.25" disk, 3.5" disk, or on-line). In general
there will be one 5.25", 1.2 MB disk, or one 3.5" 1.44 MB disk. On-
line copies will be in two .ZIP files: one -- usually 4DOS4D.ZIP or
4DOS40D.ZIP -- containing 4DOS.DOC and ASCTAB.TXT, and one -- usually
4OS210.ZIP -- containing all other files (including 4OS2.DOC). If
you have an on-line copy and have only one .ZIP file, check to be
sure you are not missing the 4DOS manual or other files before
ZIP files distributed by JP Software will display the message:
Authentic files Verified! # VHJ325 JP Software Inc.
when they are unzipped. If you do not see this message, the ZIP file
you are using has been modified. This does not necessarily indicate
a problem (for example, some BBS sysops "brand" 4OS2 with their BBS
name using software from us; 4OS2 ZIP files on these BBSes will not
show the JP Software verification message). However it does alert
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 2
you to the fact that the file has been changed since it was created
by JP Software.
The following files are included with this version of 4OS2:
4OS2.EXE 4OS2 program file
4OS2.DOC 4OS2 ASCII manual
4OS2.INF 4OS2 help text for use with OS/2's VIEW.EXE
4OS2A.ICO A sample 4OS2 icon (see page 4 for more
4OS2B.ICO Another sample 4OS2 icon
4OS2H.MSG 4OS2 quick-help text (for "/?" help)
LICENSE.DOC The 4OS2 shareware license agreement
ORDER.FRM 4OS2 shareware and upgrade order forms
ORDERINF.DOC Ordering and product information
README.DOC This file
SHRALIAS.EXE Utility program for retention of global alias
and history lists
SUPPORT.BBS Information on Channel 1, the independent BBS
used for 4OS2 support
SYSOP.DOC 4OS2 information for BBS sysops
VENDOR.DOC 4OS2 information for shareware disk vendors
4DOSA.ICO A sample 4DOS icon for use under OS/2 (see
page 4 for more information)
4DOSB.ICO Another sample 4DOS icon
Installing a Downloaded Copy of 4OS2:
(These instructions do not cover diskette installation, because when
4OS2 is installed from diskette this file is not visible until after
installation is complete.)
Whether or not you presently have 4OS2 or 4DOS installed, create a
new directory for this version of 4OS2 (do not install it in the same
directory as a previous version of 4OS2 or 4DOS). Place all of the
downloaded files into the new directory.
You can print the manual, or any 4OS2 documentation file (including
this one), by copying it to the printer with a command like this:
copy 4os2.doc prn
The documentation files are formatted at 58 lines or less per page,
and contain form feeds and page footers. Printing them with a
program that formats the pages is not likely to work due to the
formatting already included in each file.
Please note that the 4OS2 manual is about 64 pages long, and the 4DOS
manual is over 360 pages long. If you don't want to print these
files, they can be viewed on-screen with a file viewer such as the
4OS2 LIST command. Much of what's in the manuals is also available
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 3
in the 4OS2 HELP system. However the HELP system is organized
primarily for quick reference, and may not be the best way to get an
overview of 4OS2's features or to learn about a topic in depth.
If you do print the 4DOS ASCII manual, ASCTAB.TXT (which comes with
it) contains a complete ASCII table for pages 336 and 337. It is
separate from 4DOS.DOC because many printers can't handle the control
codes it contains. If you wish you can print ASCTAB.TXT on your
printer if possible, and paste it into the manual. However you
should be aware that the control codes in this file may make the
printed output completely unintelligible! As an alternative, there
is a complete ASCII table in the 4OS2 HELP system.
To test drive your copy of 4OS2 see the installation instructions in
Chapter 1 of the manual. To install it completely, follow the manual
installation instructions in Chapter 1, disregarding the discussion
of extracting files from the diskettes.
BE SURE YOU HAVE A BOOTABLE FLOPPY DISK or a copy of your OS/2
installation disks (as described at the beginning of Chapter 1)
before installing 4OS2 on your system. This is not because 4OS2 is
likely to cause trouble. It's because a mistake in the system
startup files or a power failure or other disturbance during
installation, could prevent your system from booting properly (though
this is less likely under OS/2 than under DOS). While such problems
are rare, any time you modify CONFIG.SYS you should have a bootable
floppy disk handy so you can recover if necessary.
Be sure to read the notes in chapter 1 of the manual about modifying
the BOOKSHELF environment variable to make 4OS2's full cross-
referenced help work properly, and about modifying the DPATH variable
to make the "/?" quick help work properly.
Installing 4OS2 Icons:
We provide several sample icons with 4OS2. The "A" icon files show
the 4OS2 / 4DOS logo and product name on a background that matches
the current folder or desktop color. The "B" files are the same but
include a border (you may want to use these for windowed sessions, so
that the border reminds you the session runs in a window). You can
edit any of these icons with the icon editor which comes with OS/2.
To use any icon file for a particular object visible on your OS/2 2.0
desktop (in this case, for objects which start 4OS2 or 4DOS
sessions), open the Settings notebook for the object, click on the
General tab, and then click the Find button next to the current icon
display. In the Find window click Locate; in the Locate notebook
click the Path tab. Fill in the path to the directory where the
desired icon file is stored (fill in only the directory name, not the
full file name) and click OK. Back in the Find window, click the
Find button. When the window opens showing the item(s) found, click
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 4
once on the desired icon, then click the OK button. Finally, close
the Settings notebook.
To display a specific icon when a 4OS2 session is minimized, copy the
icon file to the directory where 4OS2.EXE is stored and name it
4OS2.ICO. This step is separate from and independent of the
instructions above for attaching the icon to a desktop object.
We support 4OS2 in our own CompuServe area, section 10 of the PC
Vendor B forum (GO JPSOFT or GO PCVENB), and in the ibm.vendors/4dos
conference on Bix. If you are not currently a CompuServe subscriber,
consider a special offer CompuServe has made to JP Software
customers: call 1-800-848-8199 (outside the US and Canada call 614-
457-0802) and ask for operator 178 to receive a free CompuServe
introductory membership, including user ID, password, and a $15
connect time credit.
Our CompuServe ID for direct access to our technical support
personnel is 75300,1215. Use this ID for technical support issues
only. If you have direct CompuServe access please use the PCVENB
forum (as opposed to Mail) whenever possible. For technical support
via BixMail send your mail to "jpsoft"; on the Internet send mail to [email protected]
Support is also available by phone (617-646-3975), fax (617-646-
0904), and mail (JP Software, PO Box 1470, E. Arlington, MA 02174).
Telephone support hours and availability may vary depending on our
current staffing pattern and workload; there may not always be a
support representative available when you call, in which case we will
take a message and call you back. We return calls as soon as
possible, and our policy is to return all calls within at most 24
hours (weekends and holidays excepted).
Bulletin Board Support for 4OS2:
4OS2 product support is always available on our support BBS, Channel
1 in Boston. Channel 1 is an independent BBS (not operated by JP
Software) which has generously offered to provide a home for 4OS2 BBS
support. Phone 617-354-8873 to access Channel 1 at 2400 baud; other
phone numbers are available once you sign up. To download 4OS2 files
join conference 5 and then download the file you need. The file name
for the latest version of 4OS2 is 4OS2xx.ZIP, where "xx" is the
version (e.g. 4OS210.ZIP for version 1.0). On Channel 1 you will be
able to download 4OS2 files even if they appear to be too large for
your remaining time on the system.
If you have access to a local bulletin board which is a member of any
of the major BBS networks (RIME / PC Relay, InterLink, SmartNet, or
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 5
FidoNet), you can obtain support for 4OS2 by leaving messages in the
network's 4DOS conference.
4OS2 is distributed directly to over 150 bulletin boards worldwide by
JP Software, and uploaded to many more. It is impossible for us to
list the enormous number of boards that have the latest version of
4OS2, but we encourage you to check your favorite BBS, or use Channel
1. If you are a BBS sysop, see SYSOP.DOC for information on
obtaining a copy of 4OS2 for your BBS.
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 6
Using 4OS2 with Other Software
4OS2 is compatible with virtually all OS/2 software, including OS/2
versions 1.2, 1,21. 1.3, 1.3.1, and 2.0.
The only compatibility problem we are aware of as of the release of 4OS2
is that IBM's Installation Aid program (INSTAID.EXE) does not work
properly with 4OS2 as the command processor. INSTAID is most often used
when installing the OS/2 LAN Services or Extended Services products. To
install these products when 4OS2 is your default command processor, set
up an icon which runs the program x:\OS2\CMD.EXE (where "x" is your OS/2
boot drive). Start a session for that icon, and from inside the session
enter the command:
Then run the installation program from that session. When the
installation is done type EXIT to return to the OS/2 desktop.
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 7
Changes in 4OS2 Version 1.0
This section explains the significant changes in 4OS2 between the
shareware pre-release version 0.95 and the final release of version 1.0.
If you are not using version 0.95, you can skip this section.
The change descriptions given here are brief. For more information on
features mentioned here see the 4OS2 or 4DOS manual.
There are several enhancements to 4OS2.INI:
* [Primary] and [Secondary] sections are now fully implemented as
* 4OS2.INI settings are now inherited in secondary shells, just
as in 4DOS. This includes SETDOS settings (except SETDOS /I).
* 4OS2 now looks for 4OS2.INI in the 4OS2 directory, then in the
root directory of the boot drive. It no longer looks in the
root directory of the drive where 4OS2 is stored.
* The new WindowState directive controls whether 4OS2 maximizes
or minimizes its own window when started in a windowed session.
* The new ParameterChar directive sets the character used to
specify all or all remaining command line arguments.
* The new LocalAliases and LocalHistory directives control
whether 4OS2 starts with local (as opposed to global) alias and
history lists, respectively. The old LocalLists directive
which controlled both lists together has been removed.
The command line length at the keyboard has been increased to 511
Include lists can be up to 255 characters long (the previous limit
was 79 characters).
The "Cancel batch file?" prompt is now sent to STDERR rather than
STDOUT, in case batch output is redirected.
Drive changes will now save the old drive and directory so it can be
retrieved with a "CDD -".
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 8
Variable expansion will now work when the variable is within an alias
and is embedded in the first item on the line. For example:
c:\> alias mycopy=copy /r
c:\> set xx=py
c:\> myco%xx file1 a:
will copy file1 to drive A:, and prompt if the destination file
For compatibility with CMD.EXE, 4OS2 now allows you to run executable
files without executable extensions (e.g. some LAN Services programs
run files with .PGM extensions which are really .EXEs).
4OS2 now minimizes its own window when an application starts, and
restores the old window state when the application exits.
If possible, 4OS2 now displays a 2-line title when its own window is
minimized while an application is running.
4OS2 now waits for all applications to exit before continuing with
the next command (unless you use START). Previously some
applications were allowed to run and 4OS2 would return to the prompt
ATTRIB: Now has a /P(ause) switch to make it easier to display
attributes for groups of files.
DESCRIBE: Now supports HPFS long names in the description file.
IF: Integer tests (i.e., "if 5 lt 12") have been modified to allow
for - and +, so you can now test things like "if -1 lt 1".
INKEY: Now translates the ENTER key to its scan code (@28) to
simplify detection of this keystroke.
PROMPT: Has a new symbol: $r displays the return code of the last
SETDOS: Has a new /P switch to set the character used to specify all
or all remaining command line arguments.
START: Added three new switches. /LA and /LH make the alias and
history lists local to the session when a 4OS2 session is started
(the /L switch still works, and is equivalent to /LA /LH). /WAIT
will wait for the new session to finish before continuing. Also, /BG
and /FG can now be abbreviated as /B and /F respectively.
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 9
UNALIAS and UNSET: Have a new /Q(uiet) option to disable error
messages if the alias or variable does not exist.
Local alias and history lists did not work properly in windowed
SHRALIAS was losing the shared alias and history lists if the session
from which it was run exited immediately after SHRALIAS was loaded.
%_CPU: Was causing a trap on 286 systems.
%@DATE: Did not work correctly with non-US date entries (i.e.,
yy-mm-dd or dd-mm-yy).
CANCEL: Was failing to terminate succeeding commands on the same
line in a parent batch file.
FOR: (@filename) did not work correctly with long lines (>=80
characters). The maximum line length now is 255 characters.
LIST: LIST would get lost during a Find command if input came from a
pipe with LIST /S.
SETLOCAL: Could fail if the environment size was increased between
SETLOCAL and the corresponding ENDLOCAL.
4OS2 1.0 [6-8-92] README.DOC page 10