Contents of the READTHIS file
WELCOME! June 1988
Welcome to HELP! Version 4.0. If you are a previous user of
HELP! you will notice some very big changes in this version.
A lot of effort went in to making this program very reliable
and to have it not blow up. If you have never used HELP!
before, sit back and feel the power as you command your
system like you have never done before.
HELP! is a program designed to get the most out of a HARD
Disk based computer system. It was originally conceived as
a way to help beginners use their systems. It soon became
much more than that. As a professional engineer who was in
charge of many PC based systems in a large corporation, I
conceived HELP! to be a valuable tool in maintaining these
systems. One of my primary goals was to incorporate all of
the valuable utilities I have used or felt I needed into one
powerful package. HELP! includes an extensive help system.
At any time you can press and get help on the current
subject. Pressing H from the main menu will give you an
index to the help system so you can read about any command
or feature of HELP!.
HELP! is not a memory hog when it executes other programs.
In fact it takes up less than 2K of memory. HELP! is also
not memory resident. This means that other memory resident
utilities should work fine. The way it works is this. The
file HELP!.COM is loaded into memory first. This program is
small and stays in memory as long as HELP! is running. This
then calls HELPRUN.EXE. This is the guts of the program.
This program is large, but does not stay in memory when
another program is run from within HELP!.
IBM PC, PC/XT, AT, PS/2, or compatible.
Monochrome, Color, EGA/VGA Display Adapter or equivalent.
Hard Disk (Recommended).
256K Memory Minimum.
DOS 2.0 or greater, 3.0 or greater for directory renaming.
List of Features for Version 4.0
* Copy a File or Tagged Files to different drive and/or
* Erase will erase one or more files with one command.
* Equipment Check displays CPU & Coprocessor type,
display adapters, parallel and serial ports and
extended and expanded memory present.
* Move a File or Tagged Files to a different drive or a
different directory. This differs from the move in
that it does not make a copy of the file, but moves it
* Locate a File or Files on your disk. This allows you
to search for a file name in all of the directories of
* Change the file Attributes of a file. This will allow
you to protect and unprotect a file from change with
the read only attribute or you can change the other
attributes as well including the time & date Stamp.
* Send files to your printer in either formatted or un-
formatted styles. Also Hex-ASCII-EBCDIC file dumping
* Tree gives you a visual map of the directory structure
of the disk. This is a quick way to change directories
when cleaning up your disk. This also will have the
directories marked which contained matches from the
* View allows you to view 1-4 text files on the screen.
There is also a scan & compare command so you can see
where files differ.
Features Added or Changed in Version 4.0
Version 4.0 has one less file than it had before. This will
clear up a lot of the errors people experienced when HELP!
could not find the overlay file.
The help system has been totally redone and is now an
indexed system. What this means for the user is that it is
much faster retrieving screens. Also when using the Help
command from the main menu you can randomly access the help
screens. It is almost like having then HELP! manual online
at all times!
The view command has been totally redone. The screen layout
and the command sequences have been changed and are much
more logical now. Many commands have been added to help you
navigate your file. Among these is the Search command and
the Scan & Compare command. Scan & Compare allows you to
compare two to four files from any point in the files (not
necessarily the same point) and it will stop scanning at the
The screen combinations have been enhanced also. You can
now turn off the key status display and gain the file
attributes display. This allows the viewing of far more
files than the verbose file display. Also you can turn off
the status window and have just a file window that fills the
For EGA/VGA users I've added a 43 line mode for EGA/VGA and
a 50 Line mode for the VGA. HELP! auto configures itself by
default. What this means is that if you are running an EGA
that is in a 120 col X 43 line mode, HELP! will use the
whole screen and add columns and rows to the file display
and view displays and so on to use all of screen. The only
requirement is that the display adapter use the EGA/VGA
conventions of storing the size in low RAM. This covers
most EGA style adapters. If your EGA/VGA does not have
these modes the 43 and 50 lines are available from within
HELP! and can be automatically used at the programs start.
Your color selections have also been enhanced and are
selectable from the options menu as they have always been.
DOS's Mode BW80 can be used to send HELP! into it's
monochrome color set for color adapter users who run with
monochrome displays. This can also be turned on from the
The Erase Subdirectory command has been eliminated and is
now included in the Erase Command. This, I am sure, will be
The Equipment command has been added to the Utilities menu.
This will display the Display Adapters and Monitors in your
system, the number of serial & Parallel ports you have and
the Processor & Co-Processor Type. Any Extended & Expanded
Memory amounts will also be displayed. I've found this
command to be an asset in maintaining multiple systems in a
business. With two key strokes you can instantly inventory
The Print Command has been redone also. It is faster and
now prints margins correctly. Also the ability to send
output to other than LPT1 has been added. You can send
output to any of your serial or parallel ports. You can
also automatically program your serial ports on startup.
There is room to display disk drives A - L on Drive and
Format Commands. They do recognize A - Z however.
The Expert Level Can be set to get rid of some of the
prompting such as Are You Sure? Are You Sure You Are Sure?
and so on.
In the Past error checking has been handled poorly by HELP!.
This has all changed now. No more will the screens be
messed up with Abort, Retry, Ignore? Trying to erase Read-
Only files will not blow up the system, copying them will be
allowed. Try it! I'm sure you'll like it! If you are
printing and you run out of paper or you jam or something
else occurs, this is now handled eloquently.
Format now truly recognizes if it is a HARD Disk you want to
format and prompts you as such.
The Attributes Command appears on both the Main Menu and the
Utilities menu where it used to be.
The Locate Command now reads the tree when it is running.
Any matches found will be flagged in the TREE so you can
remember which directories contained the matches.
The TREE Command will not be re-read when you make, erase or
rename subdirectories. This is handled automatically now.
You can flag directories with special attributes in the tree
display. TREE & Locate will now operated to the maximum
depth allowed by DOS. The TREE Display will automatically
configure itself for the screen size and the maximum depth
of the directories on your disk. This allows the entire
disk structure to be seen without horizontal scrolling. You
can also rename directories from within the TREE Command.
Renaming directories only works on version 3.0 or later of
The Date & Time Commands now allow you to set an AT
compatible battery clock. This is prompted after the
internal clock is set.
There are many more changes that were made and there are
many more planned for the future. Please if you have any
suggestions or things you would like to see, write me.
If you have an older version of HELP! already, erase the
files HELP!.COM, HELPRUN.000, HELPRUN.COM, HELP!.HLP and
HELP.CFG before installing the new version.
There are 4 files supplied with HELP!. These are HELP!.COM,
HELPRUN.EXE, HELP!.HLP, and this READTHIS file. The first
three are all that is needed to run HELP!.
The simplest way to configure your system, is to copy these
files into a directory and type HELP! to start. This is the
easiest but not necessarily the best way to start HELP!.
The recommended way, is to copy these files into a directory
that the DOS Variable PATH points to. This will give the
advantage of being able to start HELP! anywhere you might be
on the disk. Of course if you are going to use HELP! all of
the time this would not be an advantage, but it would not
hurt either. If you do not need the online help system you
can get rid of HELP!.HLP.
Any Memory resident utilities should be loaded before
HELP!.COM is started. If they are not, the system will
probably not run correctly and will not release the memory
used by HELP!.COM when you quit HELP!. Some of DOS's
commands are memory resident and should be run before HELP!.
These are PRINT, GRAPHICS, MODE and others.
And now the Pitch...
HELP! is distributed under the user supported concept. This
concept is an alternate way of distributing software. My
belief is that you should have a chance to try software
before you buy. This software is here for you to try. This
does not mean that this software is free. I distribute my
software this way because it offers the lowest overhead and
I can keep my price low. This benefits all of us. Many
good software writers have abandoned this method because
people abuse it's intent.
In a nutshell, try this program for a reasonable period of
time, if you intend to continue using it, send $30. If you
don't send $30, please do not continue using HELP!. In
return I will send you the latest version and the
documentation. Whether you choose to use it or not, feel
free to pass it along to others.
Quantity discounts are available as well as site licensing.
Send all inquiries and monies to:
Bruce A. Taylor
1103 Mendoza Drive
St. Peters, Mo.
As a Registered user you are entitled to
install this copy of HELP! on any
machine you will be using so long as you
or anyone else will not be using it at
the same time on two machines.
Non-Registered Users have the right to
try a copy of HELP! to determine if they
would like to register their copy.
After a reasonable trial period, it is
expected that the user will register
their copy or cease using HELP!
Under no circumstances shall a business
use this software without registering
that copy. Businesses can obtain a
multicopy license in which they are
limited to a certain number of copies.
Any user whether registered or not is
entitled to give away a copy to any one
interested in trying HELP! but please do
not include the documentation or the
HELP!.CFG file when you make the copy.
By not including the HELP!.CFG file you
are distributing a copy of HELP! with
all of the default options in force.
A distribution copy must include either
the file HELP!.ARC if you got the
program as an archive or the following
SysOps of bulletin boards and
Distributors of Public Domain Software
may distribute this program for a
reasonable copy fee plus a reasonable
compensation for your time and effort
but may not distribute with the intent
to profit from the sale as though you
were the author.
Bruce A. Taylor makes no warranty of any
kind, express or implied, including
without limitation, any warranties of
merchantability and/or fitness for a
particular purpose. Bruce A. Taylor
shall not be liable for any damages,
whether direct, indirect, special or
consequential arising from a failure of
this program to operate in the manner
desired by the user. Bruce A. Taylor
shall not be liable for any damage to
data or property which may be caused
directly or indirectly by use of the
In no event will Bruce A. Taylor be
liable to you for any damages, including
any lost profits, lost savings or other
incidental or consequential damages
arising out of your use or inability to
use the program, or for any claim by any
QTY Description Unit Price Total
____ HELP! (Latest Version) $ 30.00 $ _____
Please Subtract Any Discounts (see chart below) $ _____
TOTAL $ _____
10 - 24 15% Discount
25 - 49 20% Discount
50 - 99 25% Discount
Site License and Limited Copy Agreements are also available.
Bruce A. Taylor
1103 Mendoza Drive
St. Peters, Mo.