Copyright (c)1991,1992, Eric J. Givler, All Rights Reserved.
Portions Copyright (c)1991, Dale Bechtel, Bechtel Consulting.
MEGA-CAT v1.00H User's Guide
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Warranty/Disclaimer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Dedication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Upcoming Release(s) Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Licensing And Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
2. GETTING STARTED
What You Should Have Received . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
What It Creates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
System Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
3. MANAGING YOUR CATALOG
Edit Catalog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Available Keystrokes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Special Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Options. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Catalog a Diskette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Browse Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
4. MANAGING LOOKUP DESCRIPTIONS
Remove Duplicates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Edit Descriptions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Import Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
5. UTILITY OPTIONS
Picklist Edit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Rebuild Disks Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Create Skeleton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Text Reader. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Label Diskette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Format Diskette. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Reindex Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Catalog Listing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Diskette Listing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
FMS Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
7. HARD DISK SUPPORT
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Deleting Old Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Finding Descriptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Copying Off New Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
8. SETUP AND OTHER INFORMATION
About Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Edit Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Edit Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Hot Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Error Handler. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Registration Info. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
With respect to the physical diskette sent to registered owners,
the author warrants the same to be free from defects in materials
and workmanship for a period of 60 days from the date of
registration. In the event of notification within the warranty
period of defects in material or workmanship the author will
replace the defective diskette. The remedy for breach of this
warranty shall be limited to replacement and shall not encompass
any other damages, including but not limited to loss of profit, and
special, incidental, consequential, or other similar claims.
The author specifically disclaims all other warranties, expressed
or implied, including but not limited to implied warranties of
merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose and the
program license granted herein in particular, and without limiting
operation of the program license with respect to any particular
application, use, or purpose. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE
LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF PROFIT, LOST SAVINGS, COMMERCIAL DAMAGE, OR
OTHER INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR
INABILITY TO USE MEGA-CAT EVEN IF THE AUTHOR Eric J. Givler HAS BEEN
ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, OR FOR ANY CLAIM BY ANY
I dedicate this program to my lonely girlfriend who spent hours
watching me program it. Hopefully, I can buy her a new dress with
"Where the heck did I put that file. I know it's around here some-
where?" I was saying that just a few weeks ago myself. Then...
MEGA-CAT, the file categorization system came along. MEGA-CAT will
help you organize your files and diskettes in such a way as to allow
easy lookups of any file or disk in your collection. See the FEATURES
section below for a list of MEGA-CAT's capabilities.
o "Windowed" environment with pull down menus for ease of use.
o Easy browsing of files that are catalogged. Searching allowed on
Disk Label, File name, and Description.
o Cataloging diskette function is practically automatic.
o Support for number of files or disks only limited to drive space.
o Enhanced error checking during Catalog Diskette option to ensure
o Allows 'restricted' search for Disk Label lookups.
o Personalize the program with your name, address (or company data).
o A disk volume label can be changed from within MEGA-CAT.
o You can attach a 43 character comment to each file in the catalog,
along with a class, subclass and BBS category (for Sysops).
o Comments can be imported from an ASCII text file, such as a BBS
listing via 'Skeleton' files in a master description database.
o Allows creating of a database within the program.
o Browsing the Disks used shows disk capacity, space used and space
free on each disk in the catalog to aid in optimization of disk usage.
o Produces a columnar FMS listing of all files for RBBS-PC sysops with
default description length (43).
UPCOMING RELEASE(s) FEATURES:
o Context sensitive help system with help index and 'colorization'.
o Mouse driven interface.
o Support for extended EGA and VGA video modes (80x43, 80x50).
o Customized colorization.
o Suggesting sequentially number volume labels for disks automatically.
* o Ability to *quickly* Uncatalog a diskette.
* o Ability to label a diskette in either floppy.
* o Ability to format diskettes (360k,720k,1.2Mb,1.44Mb) within the program.
o Easier Excluding certain files from being cataloged.
o Support for subdirectories on floppies (recursive directory calling).
o Support for hard disks.
* o Ability to do directory listings of all available drives including
a graphical directory tree.
o Support for ZIP, ARC, LZH and PAK compression algorithms when
Importing/Looking up descriptions. (Possibly other compression
o Reading comments from ZIP files (and other compressed files).
o Adding of Slack Space calculation for diskette space utilization.
o Ability to comment a disk.
o Ability to handle multiple catalog files.
* o Interface to the DOS PRINT spool manager if loaded.
o Ability to print user-defined labels (ie. disk labels) and disk
* o Reports. Reporting to screen, printer or disk file.
* o A configuration to handle such things as default catalog drive,
Drives Available, Catalog File Directory, Color Schemes/Setup,
and Monochrome override.
o Removal of DESCRIPTION database and its support programs in favor of
an option to import comments from a text file, ie. BBS listing.
* o Removal of Compare Diskettes procedure and further optimization of
Catalog Diskette option (Import).
* o Error handler that allows logging to printer or to a file: BUG.LOG
o Other media support (super hidensity floppies), Tape (QIC-40,QIC-80)
* o Drop to DOS Shell.
o More Pop-Ups, ie. Calendar, Calculator, etc.
o Much, Much More!
LICENSING AND DISTRIBUTION
MEGA-CAT is copyright and has been released as SHAREWARE. Please
note that a great deal of expense has gone into the development of
this program. It was written and compiled using Clipper 5.01,
along with several commercial libraries (IDL,POTLUCK). In addition,
extensive time and effort has been invested in the development of
You are granted a limited license to try MEGA-CAT for a reasonable
trial period without risk, ie. 30 days. If, after this time, you
find the program useful and intend to use it to manage your file/disk
tracking, you are expected to register.
If you feel something is lacking in the product and that is what is
keeping you from registering, please pass on your complaints or
suggestions to the author. You may receive a FREE registered copy
if your ideas are incorporated into future releases (and are not
already outlined above). RBBS-PC sysops are encouraged to supply
requests for program changes and enhancements.
The base registration fee is $15. This will entitle you to continue to
use MEGA-CAT beyond the trial period as well as entitle you to technical
support from the author. You will find a registration form at the end
of this User's Guide that outlines the procedures for registering your
copy of MEGA-CAT. Should you decide that you would like the latest
release, a pending release, or ** SOURCE CODE ** for the program,
appropriate information is contained on the same form. A list of
companion programs is also described.
Please keep in mind that I must have a registration form on file for
you before I can offer product support, unless you are simply making
suggestions for the program.
Operators of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS's) are encouraged to post
MEGA-CAT for downloading by their users. You may also upload the
program to commercial systems or pass it along to your friends.
Please do not separate the files that are contained in the distribution
archive. Doing so will severely alter the way in which this program
performs. A detailed description of files you should receive can be
found in GETTING STARTED.
No other person other than the author, Eric Givler, may accept payment
or royalties for this program.
The license to use MEGA-CAT does NOT include the right to distribute
or sell the program. The distribution shall follow the guidelines
2.0 GETTING STARTED.
WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED.
MEGA-CAT is distributed in the form of a self-extracting executable file
created with Pkzip v1.10 to registered users. Other archive formats may
be used for other releases. This file should contain the following
files when extracted (* = created during installation):
README.1ST - Latest news, important notes, etc. READ THIS!!
CATALOG.EXE - The MEGA-CAT program file.
CATALOG.DOC - The MEGA-CAT documentation file.
*CATAGORY.DBF - MEGA-CAT's Class/Subclass file.
*CATEGORY.DBF - MEGA-CAT's RBBS Sysops Categories (3 bytes each).
*CATALOG.DBF - MEGA-CAT's Master Repository of filenames.
*DESC.DBF - MEGA-CAT's On-line Descriptions.
*DISKS.DBF - MEGA-CAT's Disk Volume/Space Info.
RBBS-SKL.DBF - MEGA-CAT's Sample RBBS-PC Skeleton Import File.
*TEMP.DBF - MEGA-CAT's Lost Files/Volume data.
CATALOG.HST - Revision history for MEGA-CAT.
REGISTER.FRM - The registration form.
MEG_SRC.ZIP - Only available to *Special Registered Users*.
WHAT IT CREATES
Mega-Cat creates some files for your configuration and some internal
support databases, indexes, and report text files.
*.NTX - Created during indexing for quick look-ups.
COMPANY.DAT - Your company/user information.
CONFIG.DAT - Configuration Data.
DELETE.TXT - Report created during Compare diskettes of files to remove.
DISKS.TXT - Report created during Rebuild Disk Index process.
IMPORT.TXT - Results of importing last floppy appears at bottom of file.
BUG.LOG - Text file containing run-time error information. If you
catch any bugs, call me and describe what happened.
DUPES.DBF - Duplicate descriptions that were removed.
PATHS.ARR - Graphical directory tree and path information for each hard
disk. This is stored in the root directory of each drive
To extract the program, just run the program and files will be
automatically be extracted to the current directory.
o IBM PC/XT/AT or PS/2 or true compatible computer.
o DOS V3.10 or above.
o Hard Drive (the bigger the better!).
o A standard capacity floppy drive (360k,1.2Mb,720k,1.44Mb)
o 640K RAM.
3.0 MANAGING YOUR CATALOG.
This provides a full screen browse into your catalogged floppies,
initially sorted by file name. This is a feature you rarely see in
other programs - the ability to instantly see your data - ALL OF IT!
The screen is broken down into three distinct areas. The top of the
screen has the specifics about the currently hilighted file. This is
useful when panning to other fields. The middle of the screen contains
your data (in 25 line mode, you can only see nine records). The
bottom of the screen contains the options available.
Up Arrow - Move up one record
Down Arrow - Move down one record
Page Up - Move up one screen
Page Down - Move down one screen
Ctrl PgDn - Move to last record in database (or diskette)
Ctrl PgUp - Move to first record in database (or diskette)
Home - Move to leftmost column on screen
End - Move to rightmost column on screen
Ctrl Home - Move to first column
Ctrl End - Move to last column
Left - Move one field left
Right - Move one field right
Ctrl Left - Pan Left
Ctrl Right - Pan Right
Alt-R Reset browse scoping to file-wide after you have set it to
limited browse to a specific floppy (during Search).
Alt-V Toggle Video Mode. This was a quick 'Add-in' to allow
people with higher resolution monitors to see more records.
Toggles between 80x25 and 80x43. The mode will automatically
be reset when you return to the Main Menu.
Q)uit Return to main menu.
O)ther Other options:
Sort Order: Record Number, Name+Category, Description, Disk#
List Printer: Ad Hoc report generator/lister.
L)ocate Record locator.
D)elete Delete or Undelete a record. When a record is deleted, the
message "marked for deletion" will appear on top of the
screen. Records will not be *REMOVED* (gone forever) until
you run the Utilities: Reindex Files option.
E)dit Edit the record in a pop-up box. This allows you to easily
edit ANY field for this record. Use CAUTION when doing this.
I would recommed only editing: Description, Class and
SubClass. (BBS Category is available for Sysops to edit.)
A)dd Add a catalog entry. This is useful for adding a disk that
you do not want to specify files for. When doing this, you'd
probably want to leave the Diskname field blank so it is not
counted in your DISKS database tracking. It can also be used
for manually adding entries to floppies diskettes.
C)omments Currently unused. This feature would allow a free-form
comment to be attached to each file. It may be included in
the next release if sufficient requests are made.
S)earch Quick Search routine by: Name, Description and Diskette#.
Name: Enter File Name to search for. If an exact match
is not found, the cursor will be on the closest match
*after* your search criteria, otherwise it will be on
Desc: Enter Description to search for. These searches are
case sensitive. You are probably better off using the
Locate option although it is slower.
Disk: Enter disk to search for. If not found, the cursor will
be on the closest match *after* your search criteria.
Otherwise, you will be prompted to LIMIT your search to
that disk#. If you do, the Disk#/Name will flash in the
upper right corner of the screen and your record movement
will be limited to that diskette. Be sure to DEACTIVATE
the limited browsing before trying other options (like
searching again). ALT-R will 'reset' your browse-scope.
If you do not remember the name of a disk, you can press
[F4] to browse the DISKS database and select one by pressing
NOTE: Any blank records that you see appearing at the top of your
database are caused by the system finding invalid file entries for
a disk during the Catalog A Disk:Compare phase. This NULLs the catalog
entry and moves the description to the TEMP.DBF.
CATALOG A DISKETTE
This option allows you to add a *NEW* disk to the system or update
an *EXISTING* diskette in the master catalog. If you are running the
DEMONSTRATION version, and you already have more than 100 entries in
your catalog then this option will be unavailable.
It could be used for *OVERWRITING* an existing disk, but this is not
recommended. To *OVERWRITE* a diskette, we suggest Uncatalogging it,
Reindexing your files to remove the record(s) and then Catalogging it
as a new disk. It does NOT support subdirectories on floppies. These
features may be in the next release, depending on user feedback.
Before selecting this option, make sure there is a floppy in the disk
you are going to catalog. Upon selecting this option you will be
prompted to fill out some import information:
Import Drive - A or B. (Actually allows any valid drive letter for
your system, but catalogging HARD disks is currently
not supported). Based on default drive letter.
Volume Name - Enter the volume label here. If there was a volume
label on the diskette, it was filled in once you
this label or edit it.
If you do enter the label and the disk does NOT have a
label, two things can happen. If the label is in the
system, an attempt will be made to write it to disk and
the system enters COMPARE MODE. (If the disk is write-
protected, no label is written of course.) If the label
is not in the system, it will be written to the disk,
and you will proceed with entering other fields.
Class - Enter a class or leave blank. Entering an invalid
class will cause a picklist to be displayed. *ALL
FILES* that are imported will have this Class.
Subclass - Enter a subclass or leave blank. Enter an invalid
subclass will cause a picklist to be displayed. *ALL
FILES* that are imported will have this class.
Category - Used by RBBS Sysops only (the BBS category code, 3
Once this information has been entered, a box will display the type
of media importing from and the percentage complete. Once this data
is read in, the system looks for duplicates and looks up descriptions.
It will also update the DISKS database.
If in COMPARE MODE, it will also check the imported files and log the
differences in # of files on floppies and in the system and list files
in the CATALOG that are not on the diskette. (These files are moved
to a TEMP.DBF - temporary holding area).
At this point, a browse of the current disk import will be displayed.
Records that are hilighted have no descriptions. If you know the
description, type it in now. Otherwise, examine what happened. Press
nformation to see what the IMPORT results were. (This file is
always kept unless you erase it. You have to hit CTRL-PGDN to go to the
end of file to see the last diskette processed). You can also
selectively delete entries that you do want from this list (and off the
diskette), or edit fields by pressing
uit, and you will be asked to import another disk. DO NOT
REMOVE THE DISKETTE UNTIL IT ASKS TO IMPORT ANOTHER: Import Another?
This feature allows you to see your Disk Space Utilization - the
information about all the disks you have catalogged so far. It will
display Disk Name, Capacity, Files, Space Used, Space Left and Date
Catalogged. The "D" column is used to show you which disks you have
deleted (* UN-Catalogged *). Deleted Disks will not be *REMOVED*
(gone forever) until you select Utilities: Reindex Files. Be sure to
look out for diskettes that have MORE space used than their appropriate
capacity. This usually occurs when the disk has cross-linked files or
other corruption! Your options are:
S)earch - Search for a label. Enter label to search for and
. The database will be positioned to the
closest match *after* the search condition.
D)elete - Remove a disk from the catalog. You can *mark* a disk
for removal even if it contains files in the master
catalog. You will be prompted if there are files and
you can choose to mark them for deletion. You are not
allowed to delete a disk without removing its catalog
entries. Also, remember these entries are simply
"marked" for removal. They will not be deleted until
you select Utilities:Reindex files.
R)ename - Allows you to change the name of a disk. The new name
cannot duplicate any existing name. The entries in the
master catalog are updated to the new name.
** NOTE ** This option does NOT update the disk label
so use it with caution or make sure to use the Utilities:
Label Diskette option upon completion.
U)ndelete - Undelete (or RE-Catalog) a floppy that has been deleted.
This allows you to *recover* the records marked for
deletion. You cannot Undelete after reindexing files as
the entries are gone forever at that point.
I)ndex - Rebuilds the DISKS.DBF spaceused entry based on information
in the catalog. This is useful if you mark a file for
deletion in the catalog and you want to make sure your
free space tracking is up-to-date, i.e. it will not add
entries marked for deletion. This option is *UNDOCUMENTED*
on the screen.
[Enter] - Allows editing of the CATALOGGED field only - the date you
catalogged this diskette.
or to return to the Main Menu.
4.0 MANAGING LOOKUP DESCRIPTIONS.
This subsystem and its associated functions will most likely be removed
in the next release due to the incredible amount of disk space that they
can consume, or rewritten to allow for cleanup. IF you have suggestions
for a different DESCRIPTION handling module, please send them to the
The description modules allow the user to maintain all aspects of
the description database, including:
o Importing database files of the same structure, ie.
Number Field Name Type Width Dec
1 NAME C 12 0
2 EXT C 3 0
3 SIZE N 10 0
4 DATE D 8 0
5 DESC C 43 0
o Importing ascii text file lists (BBS Listings).
o Manually editing and adding.
o Duplication purging.
and are available from the Catalog Menu under Descriptions.
You can only import from database files of the same structure as the
description database itself (DESC.DBF). You can create such a
database inside this program using the Utilities:Create Skeleton
Option and then using Utilities:ASCII Import to bring in your data.
Once you have one and there are records in it to add, you select this
when it asks for the description file to
process *.DBF (this is the only type of file the program handles) and
a list of databases in the current directory will be displayed.
Select your database and press
to proceed. A progress box
will display Percentage Completion, File Names Searched, etc. ie.
ÕÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ[ Description Adder ]ÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ¸
³ [ Percentage Complete ] 1 % ³
³ [ File Names Searched ] 42 ³
³ [ Descriptions Added ] 0 ³
³ [ Total Records ] 8215 ³
The system looks for the file name in the description database, and
only imports it if it is a new name. After completion, a message
box will display the number of descriptions that were added. Press
any key to return to the CATALOG menu.
This option removes duplicate file names from the description database
and rebuilds the description index. The duplicate names are copied to
a backup database: DUPES.DBF so you can browse them (browsing of this
database not supported inside the program). When this option is
selected a Pop-Up box will be displayed with the following messages
appearing in the order they occur: 'Indexing Records...', 'Removing
Duplicates...', and 'Re-Indexing DESC.DBF...'. Upon completion of
the removal, a box will be displayed showing the old record count, the
new record count and the number of records purged. Press any key to
return to the CATALOG menu.
This uses a standard browse interface. It works the same as the
Catalog routine, minus a few of the 'bells and whistles'. Further
docementation would waste paper.
IMPORT LISTS (ASCII TEXT FILES)
Importing of ascii files is accomplished using skeleton files. These
are database files with a structure consisting of CHARACTER fields of
the same length as the columns of your ascii file. When this procedure
is executed, you will see the following steps taken:
o Explanation screen is displayed.
o Picklist for skeleton file.
o Picklist for ascii file (*.lst).
o Browse of imported data.
o Last chance for bailout.
o Extensions are stripped from filenames.
o Data is converted to proper format (ie: dates, numerics).
o New descriptions are added to database.
The skeleton file is created using Utilities:Create Skeleton. A
sample file is included for an RBBS-PC skeleton file importer.
Using it as a model, you should be able to create skeleton files
for other databases. If you cannot, let us know and we will send you
other skeleton files. You must specifically send us the data file you
are trying to import.
5.0 UTILITY OPTIONS.
This option allows you to edit the Classes/Subclasses file and the
BBS Categories file. You can dd,
elete, or [Enter]=edit entries
or pressuit (or
) to return to the Main Menu (with confirmation).
REBUILD DISKS INDEX
Use this option to rebuild your Disk Utilization Tracking File,
DISKS.DBF. The program should maintain this file for you, but
it can get out of sync if you manually add/edit/delete entries
to the catalog system in Edit Catalog. A progress box will
display the current disk being processed and the space left.
The report DISKS.TXT will be created during this process to
list invalid disks - disks that have more information stored on
them than they have capacity. This happens only if you manually
edit the catalog and enter erroneous data.
This allows you to create a database skeleton, used for importing
descriptions (BBS lists) into your description database. A sample
database skeleton is included. Upon selection, you will be asked
to enter the name of the database to create. Enter a name for the
file or press
ape. You can then optionally copy a structure in
from an existing DBF. We suggest you copy the sample skeleton file
RBBS-SKL.DBF. At this point, you will see the database structure
and appropriate headings for the columns. Correct the structure until
it will align all fields properly with your BBS listing. You must
include the fields: NAME, EXT, SIZE, DATE, DESC. Press ALT-Q to
exit and CREATE your Skeleton file. Here are the keystroke options
[Ins] - Add a field
[Del] - Delete a field
[Down], (auto-adds fields if at end of list)
[Right] - Normal cursor control
[Space] - Toggles field type when on that field
[Alt-Q] - Exit and create the database!
[Esc] - Quit
NOTE: *** Do not over utilize this feature as it will probably be
removed from the next release depending on user feedback. ***
This allows you to view text files that are located in the current
directory. A popup box of ALL files in the current directory will
be displayed for you to choose from. Position your cursor to the
file to view and press
. If it is a text file, you can
browse it, otherwise, an error box displaying: Invalid Read File,
This is a TEXT file reader! will be displayed.
This option allows you to label a diskette in drive A or B (no
hard disks). Once you enter the drive letter, the program reads
the label from the diskette and displays it in the Volume Label
field so you know if it had a previous label. Simply type in the
new label and press
. If the label that was on the disk had
a corresponding entry in the CATALOG and DISKS databases, you will
be allowed to change all the occurrences to the new volume label,
otherwise, the label will simply be written to the diskette.
This option allows you to format a diskette in drive A or B (no
hard disks). Once you enter the drive letter, the program reads
the media type from the diskette and displays it in the Drive Type
field (if it can be determined). Errors such as an open drive door
will be detected. Once displayed you will be prompted whether to
proceed with formatting, and then enter the format type for the
media. If the disk has already been formatted, you cannot change
the media type, so simply proceed if you want to format the diskette.
If the diskette has not been formatted, you will only allow be
allowed to enter format types that are available for that particular
drive. Upon completion you will be presented with the status of
the format operation and can proceed and format another disk or press
to return to the main menu. This will not create a 'bootable'
This option will reindex all* the databases in the system and remove
records marked for deletion. Be patient as this process can take
some time, especially if you have a large CATALOG file. A message box
will hilight the current file being processed and an indexing progress
meter will show the current progress.
* NOTE * This will not reindex the DESCRIPTION database due to its
possible size. If you do need to reindex the DESCRIPTION database or
create the description index, select: Catalog:Descriptions - Remove
This option prints a list of all the files that have been catalogged
in Name order. It lists the filename and extension, size, date,
description and the disk that the file resides on. During the execution
of the report a progress meter will be displayed at the top of the
screen. Upon completion, you will be able to view the report on the
screen. After viewing the report, you can send the report to the
printer or save it to a file. Version 1.00H adds the capability to
take advantage of the DOS PRINT spooler. If you loaded PRINT.COM,
MegaCat will submit the report jobs to the spooler for printing, freeing
your machine to continue catalogging diskettes. If you want to remove
the unneeded print job files, delete the *.PRN files from your Megacat
subdirectory. If you want to abort the report (during creation), press
any key. A dialog box will allow you to continue or abort the report.
This option produces a quick volume report of the catalogged floppies
(DISKS.DBF). It will list the disk name, its total capacity, the amount
of space used and the amount of free space. The amount of space used
includes the SLACK SPACE that DOS uses when it writes files on a sector
This option was added as a quick help to RBBS-PC sysops. Using the
BBS category and the CATALOG database, this will output an FMS
list for the *Entire* CATALOG. It will have a description length
of 43 characters. You can abort this report by pressing
The report will be called: MASTER.LST and reside in the current
directory upon completion.
7.0 HARD DISK SUPPORT.
The hard disk management features of the catalog program were added in
version 1.00G (REGISTERED USER VERSION ONLY). I think they are nothing
short of incredible! There are some factors to keep in mind so that you
can use these features to their best advantage and hopefully better
automate your hard disk/floppy management.
1) You generally perform these functions in the order that they are
presented in the menu. Delete all the old files that are already
backed up. Grab descriptions for the files that remain (shelling to
DOS as needed) and then copying the files off to the appropriate
categorized catalog diskettes. It might be useful to load a resident
cut and paste facility before loading the catalog program for
grabbing descriptions when you shell to DOS during the FIND
2) Use proper diskette naming conventions. If you want to separate all of
your utilities onto separate backups diskettes, use a diskette name
that has three characters, ie. UTL and then a numeric suffix, ie. 01.
Therefore, your disk would be UTL01. Other disk series categories
that I found useful included: WIN (Windows), GAM (Games), DBS
(database), etc. If you do not want separated diskettes, at least
follow a naming convention that starts with three (3) letters, ie.
BKP00001, with BKP being the root. The COPY FILE routine uses these
characters to search into the DISKS database to determine how to
optimally fill previous backup diskettes. The R)ename disks option
in Browse Disks may help you if your data does not conform to these
3) If you are going to copy files from a DOS subdirectory you MUST make
sure they all belong to the same category so they are placed on the
proper diskettes. This is true ONLY if you want to separate your
different categories of files onto different groups of diskettes,
i.e. keep all of your utilities diskettes in a series. The COPY FILE
routine CANNOT handle multiple categories for a DOS subdirectory.
This option may be added in a later release with additional tracking
of subdirectory vs. category identifier.
If you are confused about this, need help, or think there would be a
more flexible way of performing these options, please do not hesitate
DELETING OLD FILES
This option allows you to remove files out of a hard disk subdirectory
that are already backed up onto diskette, i.e. in the CATALOG.DBF. Upon
selecting this option, a list of files to be checked will be displayed
on the screen with the last path processed listed at the top. The
D)elete - Allows you to delete the file from the hard disk. Select Yes
to Delete, No to skip.
E)rase - This option allows you to remove ALL of the remaining files that
you see in the list from the hard disk. Use this with *caution*. I would
use this in conjunction with R)emove. Remove all the files from the list
that you know should not be deleted and then hit D)elete.
I)nformation - Pressing 'I' will display the information in the SUBDEL.TXT
file. Press Ctrl-PGDN to move to the end of the file. Other cursor keys
work as expected.
P)ath - Pressing 'P' allows you to select a new path (subdirectory) to
process. Once selected, the files in that path will be matched against
files in the CATALOG database based upon the ROOT file name (first 8
characters). If there is more than one possible match, a picklist box
will allow to select the 'BEST' match for the file. The exact processing
is logged to a file called: SUBDEL.TXT. Files that are in the
subdirectory but not backed up to floppy will NOT be displayed in the final
R)emove - This option allows you to Remove a filename from the list without
having to delete it from the hard disk. This is useful if you know the file
does not match anything and needs no further consideration.
V)iew - This option allows you to simultaneously view the file on the hard
disk and the file in your catalog (on diskette). Of course, only
compressed files: .ARC, .ARJ, .LZH, .PAK, .ZIP, and .ZOO are supported.
You will be prompted to insert the proper diskette in the appropriate drive.
You can scroll up and down in either list. Press
to move between
the lists. Press
to sort the lists by Name, Date or Extension. If
you see only one file being viewed, you may have had a disk read error on
the floppy disk (wrong diskette), or one of the files could have been
corrupted. If the files look like exact matches based on internal contents,
delete them. NOTE that this allows viewing of differing compressed formats
simultaneously too! (.ARJ on the hard disk, .ZIP on the diskette).
Q)uit - Returns you to the Main Menu and informs you of how much freespace
you have regained by performing this function.
Future enhancements to this may include the ability to copy/move a file off
the hard disk to the floppy to OVERWRITE a corrupted compressed file, and
to SHELL TO DOS to ensure that the file was corrupted via other utilities.
This option allows you to determine descriptions for files that reside in
a DOS subdirectory. The descriptions are written to a 4DOS/NDOS hidden
file, DESCRIPT.ION, in the directory you selected. Upon selection of
this option you can decide whether you want to continue where you left
off. Otherwise, you can select the path to process using the graphical
directory tree. The descriptions are looked up in the master catalog
and the description database. These may NOT be the correct descriptions
so make sure to edit the description list to match correct contents. The
few simple options include:
E)rase - Erase a file off the hard disk.
S)hell - Shell to DOS. You will probably determine what the file is when
you do the DOS shell.
[ENTER] - Edit the description field only.
Q)uit - Quit this module and return to the Main Menu. A message will be
displayed showing the results of creating the DESCRIPT.ION file in the
subdirectory you processed.
Future enhancements will include importing the descriptions from an
existing 4DOS/NDOS type description file or other DELIMITED, columnar
listings; and the ability to change the path without leaving the module.
COPY NEW FILES
This option allows you to copy files from a DOS subdirectory to diskettes
for a given category, ie. UTL, optimally filling the free space of
previous diskettes for this category and creating new ones as they are
needed. This option will NOT work unless there is an existing file:
DESCRIPT.ION residing in the directory you selected. Upon selecting this
option, you must select a path to process. (Once the path is selected,
the files and their descriptions from DESCRIPT.ION are loaded into a
database called COPYFILE.DBF.) After entering the path, you are prompted
for the default three (3) letter CATEGORY code for the subdirectory. The
program will look up these three letters in the DISKS database to determine
what floppies to place the files on. A status box will be displayed at the
top of the screen to show the progress of this operation. Insert the
diskettes as instructed. If you fill all the previous disks for a given
category, you MUST place a BLANK formatted disk in the drive to continue.
Other error messages will guide you along the way.
If for any reason you cannot finish the module during you current session,
do not fret, you can continue where you left off. Pay careful attention for
an error that says you placed the wrong floppy in the disk drive. This
occurs when the freespace from the floppy diskette does not match the
catalog database. In almost all instances that I have come across, this
error has only occurred when the diskette was damaged. EXIT the module
immediately and do a CHKDSK on the floppy. There are probably disk cross-
linked files or other allocation problems.
8.0 SETUP AND OTHER FEATURES (QUIT MENU).
This screen simply displays information about the author(s) and how to
contact them. The screen is displayed for 10 seconds and will fade
This option allows you to tailor the program to you. Most of the screens
will display your name on them, and this allows yout to edit this
information. Future versions of this program may find more uses for this
information, ie. Envelope Printer or Report Headers?. The information is
stored in the file: COMPANY.DAT. DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE IN DOS!
This function allows you to edit the default configuration for the
program. This option will automatically run if it does not detect
the file CONFIG.DAT (system configuration data) during startup. The
only option you can edit is the default floppy drive (ie, the drive
letter that is automatically used as a default for labelling,
formatting, importing and filling in missing disks.dbf entries).
Your current hardware configuration is shown in the rest of the box.
If you see an error in proper hardware detection, please notify me.
Select Install to install the program to your current hard disk
directory. If you already have a catalog database, it will prompt you
whether to install anyway. If you choose YES, or this is your initial
installation, all the files that the catalog program use will be
created along with their necessary indexes. *NOTE* Please do NOT press
at the Yes/No prompt box as the is processed as a YES!
"Hot Keys" are special keystrokes that enable features such as Pop-Ups
independent of where you are in the program. Mega-Cat features two
[F2] - Display Directory List Of Drive (hard disks supported!) If
you select the hard disk a graphical directory tree will be
displayed. Select the directory you wish to view and press
to see the files. If you have already scanned this
drive before, you will be asked whether to restore the tree
from disk rather than rebuilding it. If you have not changed
any directories on the drive, answer Yes to this prompt. You
also have the option to save the tree to the hard disk for
later use. I recommend saving the tree! It takes up a little
space AND resides in your root directory, but it does allow
quicker hard disk navigation.
[F3] - Display Memory Usage and Technical Support Screen
If an error should happen to occur while you are running MegaCat, a
dialog box describing the error will be displayed. A list of available
options will appear at the bottom. To make debugging easier, I've
included the option to Print and/or View the entire error log. The errors
are automatically logged to ERROR.LOG. If you choose Print, make sure your
printer can support graphic characters because the error and a screen dump
will be sent to the printer. The View option displays information in the
file: ERROR.LOG. Most likely, you should select QUIT and call me if an
This registration simply states a single-user pricing for Mega-Cat
v1.00H. Depending on your needs, quantity discounts may be available.
Contact the author if you desire quantity purchases. Also, contact
the author if you want source code to any of the library functions
or the Mega-Cat main program.