Documentation for the PC-Catalog disk cataloging system
(C) Copyright 1989 - 1991 by Dale R. Andrews
All rights reserved
| Version 3.2
YOU MUST REGISTER TO USE THIS PROGRAM LEGALLY
| PCAT32 is being distributed freely but that does not mean it
is free. You are welcome to make as many copies as you please as
long as you follow the rules given below. Just remember, you have
to register (pay for) each copy that you continue to use. The
| lowest cost single copy registration fee is $19.95 and the highest
is $39.95. As an added incentive, besides not having your
conscience continually reminding you that you are a criminal,
additional programs and features are available to registered users.
| These will make PC-Catalog even more productive. Those who have
| registered also get the next version mailed to them free as soon as
| it is available. A registration form is included at the end of
| Making copies of PCAT32:
| You are encouraged to make and distribute copies of PCAT32 to
others so that they may try it. The only constraints are:
1. The program must not be changed in any way.
2. This documentation file must be included and unchanged.
3. You must tell the person you give the copy to that federal law
requires that they MUST register their copy if they expect to
| Note: A "|" at the far left indicates a change since PCAT21.DOC.
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 2
The PC-Catalog disk cataloging system is a group of programs
that allows you to keep track of all of your files in an easy to
learn, simple to use manner. The main program is menu driven,
mouse aware, and reads any type of disk. It lists the members of
libraries by automatically extracting information from inside files
with extensions of "ARC", "LBR", "LZH", "PAK", "ZIP", "ZOO", and
| self extracting files. It even extracts descriptions from inside
PAK, ZIP, and ZOO files. The number of disks and files that it can
| maintain is effectively limited only by the amount of RAM and disk
space that you provide. It has provisions for effectively
unlimited keywords and descriptions for each disk, subdirectory,
file, and file member. You can search for names, keywords,
descriptions, times, sizes, and duplicates. You can customize your
report printouts and write to a printer directly or to a disk file.
While using the program, you can view the contents of a file with a
single keystroke shell to your favorite "TYPE" replacement program.
You can automatically add descriptions that have been extracted
from bulletin board catalogs (or any other ASCII file). Registered
users get additional programs to create and maintain the master
file of automatic descriptions. A sample file is included in the
| PC-Catalog now will use a EMS memory (LIM 4.0) or disk for
overflow records when RAM memory has been exhausted. The original
version of the program was limited to less than 10,000 files per
catalog. I have personally tested this version using an EMS
RAMDISK for temporary storage with more than 75,000 files. There
were no problems except the expected slow down due to disk access
| rather than direct memory reading. Using EMS memory directly
| rather than as a RAMDISK is much faster and is almost imperceptibly
| different from having the entire catalog in RAM memory. There are
| still limits to how much you can get in one catalog and how much
you can display on the screen at one time (16,000 files, 8000
subdirectories, 8000 volumes, etc...) but 1000 floppy disks in one
catalog should normally work. The types of disks being cataloged,
the amount of RAM, and the size of the temporary storage disk or
| EMS memory available, will all affect the practical limits. Anyone
who runs out of capacity after cataloging say 8000 disks can always
just create a second catalog and get another 8000.
The system consists of the following files:
| PCAT32.EXE The main program.
| PCAT32.OVR Overlay file for the main program
| PCAT32.DOC This documentation.
| PCAT30.DSC Sample file for automatic descriptions.
| PCAT30.NDX Index for above descriptions.
| PCATXLT1.EXE Translate to and from other database formats.
| PCATXLT1.DOC Documentation for the translate program
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 3
The following files are created by PCAT.EXE and should NOT be
included in any distribution:
PCAT.OPT Option file. If you have this file, just delete
it and PC-Catalog will create a new one with
defaults that are appropriate for your machine
PCAT.CAT This is the default name for a catalog.
The following additional programs are NOT included in the
shareware distribution but are in the package received by level 2
and 3 registered users:
CLNDSC11.EXE A program to take bulletin board session capture
files or any ASCII file and extract descriptions.
PC-Catalog can automatically add these
descriptions to the files that you have
| MRGDSC12.EXE A program to merge automatic description files.
NDXDSC11.EXE A program to create an index file that PC-Catalog
will use to speed up its search through the
automatic description file.
FIXDSC10.EXE A program to check an automatic description file
for usability and remove any lines that are not
acceptable to PC-Catalog.
| CONVOPT2.EXE Converts option files of registered users of
previous versions to current version.
Like many others, I am a collector of software. During the
past 5 years, I have reviewed several methods of maintaining a list
of the files I had, where I was keeping them, and what they were
for. Every program I tried had at least one major flaw that
prevented me from using it on a regular basis. Probably the most
frustrating thing about some of these programs was that you would
have to spend literally weeks entering descriptions manually and
when you went to update the catalog, they would throw all that work
away and make you reenter the descriptions for files that had not
I discovered that other people had also had similar problems
maintaining a list of files and had given up. They would print a
directory of their "backup" diskettes with either a shareware
product or simply DIR A: > PRN. This worked if they knew the name
of the file that they were looking for, didn't have hundreds of
disks to look through, and weren't worried about damaging the
floppy by inserting a piece of paper in the jacket with it. Then 3
1/2" diskettes came along and they had a problem. Now they were
forced to identify disks and keep the paper separately. Hard disks
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 4
were impossible to maintain. Every change required a new directory
and the paper had to be inserted in a folder or book. Short of
hand copying, there was never a description included so that if
they didn't remember the file name (or even that they had it), a
file could get lost in the system.
So here we are in the third decade of the personal computer
and at last I have a solution that I feel works; I wrote my own
system. It doesn't forget everything it knows just because a disk
has changed. It allows you to create a keyword system for fast
location of related files. It not only reads the names, sizes, and
creation dates of the files that are on your disks, it can read the
contents of those files. This includes the contents of "ARC",
| "LBR", "LZH", "PAK", "ZIP", "ZOO", and self extracting files and
even comment fields in PAK, ZIP, and ZOO files. You can choose the
format of the printed outputs and you can search for things in
almost any way that you want. It can automatically add
descriptions by matching the names of your files to those in a
master file of descriptions. This means that I can supply you with
pretyped descriptions for tens of thousands of public domain and
shareware files so you don't have to type them. It also knows how
to use a mouse.
It has too many other features to list here conveniently and
it is so user friendly that you might even want to stop reading and
| try it right now if you haven't already. PC-Catalog now uses
| overlays. This means that you will need to make sure that both the
| ".EXE" and then ".OVR" file are in the same directory, preferably
| the default. After making sure that you are on the same disk and
| directory as the PCAT programs, just type PCAT32 at the DOS prompt.
The only other warning you need is that the program will want to
create an option file when it can't find one. This will go to your
default disk if you don't add a drive designation when you are
asked for the name. Be sure to come back and read all of this
documentation later since, although most people can use the program
effectively without the documentation, I don't know of anyone who
has managed to find all of the programs features without it.
Now that you have tried the program, lets see what happened
when you started. The first thing you should have seen was that
the program could not find an option file. You were then asked if
you wanted to create it. If you didn't see these messages, delete
| the PCAT.OPT file and run PC-Catalog again. If you now get a
| "Program too big for memory" message, you have a corrupted copy of
| the program. PC-Catalog (as well as all other products from Acorn
| Engineering in the past two years) has contained self checking code
| to protect itself from viruses. The "too big" message is just our
| way of saying we will refuse to execute a copy of the program which
| is different from what we shipped.
The reason I ask everyone to create the option file from
scratch is to get the benefit of the automatic reading of the type
of monitor and to set the default filenames, print formats, colors
(highlighting for mono users), etc. Setting up the defaults is
only done if a ".OPT" file can't be found. If one is found (which
should happen from now on), it will be used.
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 5
Some of you were asked if you saw "snow". This seems to occur
only on true IBM CGA boards. You will know it when you see it. If
everything looked normal you should have pressed [N]. If you
pressed [Y] then the snow will not bother you but the program
displays will be much slower.
You can change many of the program parameters and defaults
with the Main menu > Options selection. If you want to create
multiple option files, you can. Just create them with the Options
selection and use a different name when asked for the name to use
to save them. When you run PC-Catalog, add the option file name on
| the command line after PCAT32. For example; PCAT32 PCATMONO.OPT
will run PC-Catalog with the options stored in PCATMONO.OPT instead
of the usual PCAT.OPT. If you want to change option files between
catalogs without leaving PC-Catalog, you can use Options > Read
After loading the configuration file, you were presented with
a copyright page. Next you were possibly asked to verify the name
of the catalog to load. I say possibly since this is an option
that can be enabled or disabled. If you have not found this option
yet, you were not asked. See Main menu > Options > File names for
a description of how to turn it on. If you were asked, you can
either accept the name given by pressing [ENTER], change it, or
stop the loading by pressing [ESC]. Choosing to load a catalog at
this point is similar to selecting Read a catalog from the Main
menu (see below). Once the loading is complete, or you choose not
to load a catalog, you will be presented with the Main menu.
One of the cardinal rules of good documentation is that the
author makes sure the reader is never left in doubt about what the
author means. Well, I've broken that rule already by using a
couple of symbols you might not be familiar with. The first is
that anything enclosed in 's represents a single key stroke.
[ESC] is the escape key, [CTL] is the control key, and [ENTER] is
the enter key. [CTL] does nothing by itself. You press it first
and hold it down while typing the key that follows.
I have also used the symbol ">" to signify a relationship
between menu selections. Main menu > Options > Colors is intended
to imply that Colors is one of the selections available on the
Options menu which is in turn one of the selections available on
the Main menu.
I have and will continue to use the term volume to imply a
disk. Its name is the volume label. I will totally ignore the
fact that DOS 4.x and OS/2 create a serial number for each disk.
You are free to use this number as your volume label if you wish
but I won't force you.
There are also a few items that apply throughout the program
and this is as good a time as any to discuss them. First, menu
items are selected by moving the highlighted bar with the arrow
keys, [HOME], and [END] and then [ENTER] or you can just press the
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 6
first letter of the entry. [ESC] will take you back toward the
previous menu or start the process of quitting the program if you
are on the main menu.
If you have a mouse, it will be detected automatically and a
cursor will appear on most displays. The left button is [ENTER] or
[Y] and the right is [ESC] or [N]. In keeping with the theory of
programming for the least common denominator, the middle button
does nothing. On displays that have multiple pages, clicking the
left button anywhere on either the far left or far right side of
the display will move to the next page in that direction. Many
displays require you to double click your selections. The first
selects an item (moving the highlighting bar also) and the second
confirms that you want to use that item.
The [ESC] key is equivalent to [N] when you are asked for a
yes or no response. It is also a general escape from whatever you
may be doing at the time. It doesn't always get you completely out
but it goes in that direction. For example, while modifying an
entry, [ESC] will cause the program to stop stepping through the
fields and ask you "Is this correct". If you press [N] or [ESC]
you will be out. If you press [Y], all of the changes that you may
have made will be accept. When in doubt, press [ESC]. You can not
lose any data without verifying that this is what you want to do.
Anytime you are asked for a filename to read or write, you can
| add a drive and path. You can also press [F9] to see a directory
| of all files currently available. I have "reinvented the wheel"
when it comes to editing inputs. I feel that it isn't expecting
too much to demand a program know what [END], [HOME], etc. means
when typing information. [RIGHT], [LEFT], [UP], [DOWN],
[CTL][RIGHT], [CTL][LEFT], [INSERT], [DELETE], [TAB], [BACK TAB],
[ESC], etc. generally work the way you think they should. Editing
always starts in "overwrite mode" and [INS] toggles to "insert
mode". You can change this to always start in "insert mode" with
Options > Keyboard.
One key that is occasionally confusing is [TAB]. It will take
you to the next field if you haven't already started to change the
default and a number of characters to the right if you have. The
number of characters is user definable with Options > Keyboard.
[ENTER] is used to accept an entry and move to the next. When
modifying the catalog, you get between keywords by using [TAB] to
get to the next field. You move to descriptions with [ENTER] of
the keyword entries. A well hidden feature (since most people hate
reading documentation so much that they never get this far) is that
you can use [CTL][ENTER] to recover the last entry that you typed.
This allows you to enter the same keyword or description multiple
times without having to type it all every time. See, it isn't such
a waste of time to read the directions!
There are many places where you will see the option of
selecting [F5] to print. This initiates printing of everything
that matches the find criteria if you are in Find things or it will
| initiate printing the all or part of the catalog in other sections.
Pressing [F5] will cause a menu to appear which asks if you want to
print to a file or printer. If you choose to print to a file, you
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 7
will be asked to supply a name which can include a drive and path.
| If you choose a filename that already exists, you will be given the
| option to append the new information to the end of that file or to
| write over the existing file. See Main menu > List/Print Catalog
| for more information on printing.
[F9] allows you to see the complete record of an entry or view
the contents of a file as described in Modify entries > File. This
is called a detail display. While viewing a detail display, you
sometimes see [F8] modify as an option. This will allow you to
modify that record. Modifying a record with [F8] is similar to
selecting it through the Modify entries menu. See that section for
a complete description.
Main menu > Update entries:
This is the selection that you use to start creating or
updating a catalog. After selecting this item, you will be asked
which disk. The only allowable entries are the letters "a" through
the highest disk drive reported by DOS as available on your system
or [ENTER] will select the default which is displayed in the
prompt. If you have a drive that PC-Catalog won't let you access,
then you need to consult your DOS manual to find out how to tell
DOS that it exists. Many people who only have drives A: and B: and
possibly C: will see the ability to select D: and E:. DOS thinks
you have these drives by its default. Don't worry about it. If
you try to select these, you will just get an error message.
After selecting a drive letter, PC-Catalog attempts to read
the volume label from that disk. If none is found, you will be
asked to supply one. PC-Catalog will accept 1 to 11 characters.
It does not check to see that these characters would also be
acceptable to DOS. This can be useful if you want to be a little
more descriptive than DOS will allow. Any letters that you type
will be converted to upper case and leading spaces will be ignored.
If PC-Catalog does find a volume label on the disk, you will be
asked if you want to change it. If you press [Y] the program will
produce a cursor so you can edit the label that was found.
| By popular demand (some vehement), PC-Catalog will now ask if
| you want to permanently modify the volume label on your disk any
| time that PC-Catalog didn't find one or you chose to modify the one
| that was found. I have included this feature against my better
| judgement since DOS has always been buggy (and still is as of
| version 4.01) when it comes to Volume labels. For example, I have
| been able to add a new label to a disk with characters that were
| supposed to be illegal. DOS never complained. Then I tried to
| correct it and DOS suddenly decides that the old label is illegal
| and won't allow it to be changed! This is one of the reasons that I
| have resisted changing labels in previous versions of PC-Catalog.
| Anyway, just be careful. PC-Catalog only checks to see if DOS
| thinks the label is legal. It doesn't inspect the entire root
| directory and character set to see if it really is legal. If you
| do create a label that DOS later doesn't like (or multiple labels),
| they can be changed by other utilities designed specifically for
| this purpose. You should make sure that you use a labeling program
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 8
| that supports your version of DOS since the only way to reliably
| change volume labels varies in each version of DOS.
I suggest that you give every disk a permanent, unique volume
label. I have found that the best labeling system for me is
sequential numbering. It's terrible for knowing what is on the
disk (that's what PC-Catalog is for) but it is simple, you don't
have to remember what cryptic abbreviations mean, and you don't
have to change the label every time you change the contents of the
| disk. To make this easier, if PC-Catalog finds that there is no
| label on a disk, it will search any entries in the current catalog
| and create a new volume name from the numerically highest label
| found plus one. This is the label that is given as the default
| when you are asked to supply the label.
After a name has been read and verified or entered manually,
the program checks to see if there is any record of this disk
having been read before. If it finds a previous entry, it will ask
if you want to update or replace it. Replacing is quicker since
PC-Catalog just erases the previous entry and adds the new one as
if the previous entry had never existed. Updating is slightly
slower but it can display a complete record of the differences
between the disks if you have selected this option with Option >
The root subdirectory is read and displayed first. Sometimes
there is a slight delay reading the root subdirectory. DOS is
getting the disk size etc.. This delay should not occur on
subsequent subdirectories of the same volume. It also takes much
longer to read a new disk than to update one if you are reading the
contents of files. Lastly, reading descriptions from inside
library files (not to be confused with automatic descriptions)
takes some time. See Options > LBR/ARC/ZIP files.
Depending on how you have chosen to display the subdirectories
(see Main menu > Options > Display Options), you will be shown all
of the files that were added in one color, all those that were
modified in another, and all those that were deleted in yet a
third. The subdirectory name at the top of the display (in this
case "\") takes the color of "Modified" unless everything is new in
which case it is shown as "Added". All of the "Deleted"
subdirectories will be displayed after PC-Catalog has finished
reading the disk. While viewing a modified subdirectory, you can
select a file to see the details, view it, or even start adding
keywords and descriptions. You do this with [F9] to get a detail
display and [F8] to modify it. These are described in the Modify
entries and General notes sections of this documentation.
[PAGEUP], [PAGEDOWN], [HOME], [END], [CTL][HOME], [CTL][END] and
the [UP] and [DOWN] arrow keys should all be fairly easy to learn
how to use.
After the root subdirectory is read and displayed, the name of
the next subdirectory, if there is one, will be displayed and you
are asked if you want to read it. If you press [N] it will be
considered not to exist and PC-Catalog will go on to the next
subdirectory. Note that if a subdirectory is "considered not to
exist", there can't be any subdirectories inside it so PC-Catalog
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 9
won't try to read any. If you respond with [Y] then you are asked
if there will be any more subdirectories that you don't want to
include. If you respond [Y] then the program will continue to ask
these questions for each subdirectory that it encounters. If you
press [N] you will not be asked about including subdirectories
again until you update another disk. All of the remaining
subdirectories found will be included.
You were not asked, and you can not eliminate the root
subdirectory (every disk has one!). If you really don't want the
files in it included, you can use hidden files (see Options >
Hidden Files/dirs) which is sometimes messy or you can use Delete
files in the Main menu to delete them after they have been entered.
You will have to repeat this deletion process every time that you
update the disk. It might be easier to move the files in question
to a separate subdirectory and either tell PC-Catalog not to
include this subdirectory when it asks or hide that subdirectory
and tell PC-Catalog not to read hidden subdirectories.
If you want to quit reading a disk before all subdirectories
have been read, the easiest way is to reply [N] or [ESC] repeatedly
when asked about subdirectories. You will rapidly be back in the
root subdirectory and, if you don't have a lot of subdirectories
off the root, continuing to press [N] or [ESC] should get you out
in a second or two. After the last subdirectory has been read, you
will be back at the prompt requesting which disk to read. You can
either type a letter to start this process over with another disk
or escape back to the main menu.
Main menu > Modify entries:
After selecting this item, you are first asked what you want
Main menu > Modify entries > Volume:
Having chosen this item, you are presented with a list of all
the volumes (disks) in the current catalog with the last entry
being to add a new volume. You select one by using a mouse or the
arrow keys, [UP], [DOWN], [PAGEUP], [PAGEDOWN], [HOME], [END],
[CTL][HOME], and [CTL][END] to highlight the one that you want to
| modify and finally [ENTER] to select it. You can also just type
| the first letter of the entry to move the highlight bar.
Once you have selected a volume to modify or add you will be
given a "detail" display and the cursor will be positioned at the
start of the name field. You can either modify the name and press
[ENTER] or just press [ENTER] or [TAB]. You will then step down to
the space free field. If you choose to modify a field, the editing
functions work as described in the General notes section. You can
continue entering data or you can just press [ENTER] or [TAB] to go
down through the display until you get to keywords. Keywords are
slightly special in that whenever you press [ENTER], you will step
down to the description. To enter or modify several keywords, use
[TAB] and [BACK TAB] to step between them.
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 10
At any point you can press [ESC] to quit modifying fields but
don't do this if you have started to modify a field and want to
keep those changes. In that case, press [ENTER] first. When you
press [ESC] you will be asked "Is this correct". If you answer [N]
everything that you may have changed on this display will be
forgotten and you will be back to the state that you were before
you started to modify this volume. If you answer [Y], everything
will be kept.
If you don't know what [CTL][ENTER] does, you need to read ALL
| of this documentation. [CTL][W] has been added to adjust
| descriptions to the line ends (Word Wrap).
| After completing the modification of a Volume, you are
| returned to the display of all volumes ready to select another.
| You should notice that the cursor has moved down to the volume
| below the one last selected. This should make it easier to modify
| a number of volumes all at once.
Main menu > Modify entries > Subdirectory:
This starts off similar to modifying a volume in that you will
be asked which volume you want to modify. After you have selected
one, the subdirectories on that volume will be presented and you
are asked to select either an existing subdirectory or add a new
one. Selecting one of these will cause the detail display of that
subdirectory to appear and the name will be ready to modify.
Modifying all of the entries is similar to modifying a volume. You
might want to notice the use of "\" in subdirectory names. If you
add a subdirectory and forget the leading or trailing "\", it will
affect the sort order of the new entry.
| After completing the modification of a subdirectory, you are
| returned to the display where you selected the volume. The cursor
| should still be on the volume that you last selected. If you press
| [ENTER] you will see the subdirectory display as before except the
| cursor should now be on the entry below the one last selected.
| Again, this makes it easier to do repetitive changes.
Main menu > Modify entries > File:
You start modifying a file by first selecting a volume and
then a subdirectory. After you have done this, all of the files in
that subdirectory will be displayed for your selection. If you
select ADD A FILE, you will be asked if you want to add it as a
member of another file rather than as a separate file. This allows
you to create the structure of an library file. If you press [Y],
all of the files will be displayed again and you are asked to
select the file that you want to add a member to. You can not, at
this time, add a member file to a file that is already a member of
When adding keywords and descriptions, it is sometimes handy
to be able to see what is in the file to refresh your memory.
Therefore, when you get to the detail display and are ready to
start entering changes, you will see that you can press [F9] to
view the file. Doing this will cause PC-Catalog to shell to any
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 11
program that you wish to use to replace DOS TYPE. You can also
just use TYPE if you have nothing better. See Options > File names
for a description of how to specify which program will be used.
You are then asked what drive the file is on. PC-Catalog then
takes the program specified by Options, adds the drive,
subdirectory and filename currently being modified as parameters,
and executes it just as if you had typed all of this information at
| the DOS prompt. If the catalog that you are working on takes too
| much RAM memory, you will may be asked for a disk to use for the
| overflow. You will only be asked once and the disk that you supply
| will be used from then on whenever overflow space is needed. Also
| see the comments about EMS memory under Main menu > Options >
| Overflow Disk below.
Main menu > Delete entries:
The selection process for deleting entries is similar to the
selection process for modifying entries. You are presented with a
menu asking whether you want to delete a volume, subdirectory or
file. Selecting one of these will step through the selection
processes just like Modify entries. After selecting an item to
delete, you will be asked to verify that you really want to delete
this item. You can not delete the last subdirectory on a volume
since every disk has to have some type of directory in which to put
files. If you really want to delete all of the subdirectories,
just delete the volume instead.
Main menu > Add descriptions:
This is where you can automatically add descriptions and not
have to type all of them yourself. After selecting this item, you
will be asked for the name of the description file to use. You can
maintain several different automatic description files if you wish.
The next thing to happen is the ".NDX" file with the same name is
compared to the ".DSC" description file you specified to ensure
that they match.
You are asked if you want to select from close filenames when
an exact match can't be found. If you know that what you are
looking for will definitely be found, then you can answer [N] and
the process of looking for descriptions will go slightly quicker.
Since there have been so many different library formats and
extensions, I usually answer [Y]. If the first part of a filename
matches one or more of those in the automatic description file but
the extension doesn't then you will be presented with a list of
descriptions to chose from. You can either select one or [ESC] to
continue with the next file. For registered users who can create
their own automatic description files, you can have several
different standard descriptions for any filename by assigning each
description to a different extension.
After answering the previous question, the catalog is read and
all files which do not have a descriptions are flagged. Lastly,
the automatic description file is consulted to determine what the
description should be for each of the flagged files. If you decide
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 12
that this is taking more time than you have available (or you got
here by accident) you can get out by pressing [ESC]. It may take a
few seconds to clean up the mess so be patient. It will let you
out eventually. At the conclusion, you are told how many
descriptions were added.
Main menu > List/Print catalog:
When you select this item you will be given a menu which
allows you to select the screen, printer, or a file for the listing
| of the entire catalog.
| Main menu > List/Print catalog > Screen:
If you select the screen, you will next see a list of all of
the volumes in the catalog. You can select one the same way as was
described under modifying entries including the options to [F5]
print and [F9] see the details. If you select a volume, you will
then be presented with the subdirectories in that volume if there
are more than one. Selecting a subdirectory gets you down to the
file list. You can use [F9] at any point to see the detail of any
item. Finally you can view the contents of a file by using [F9] to
see the detail of that file, [F8] to start the modify process, and
[F9] to view it. If you really don't want to modify the detail
page, just press [ESC] after viewing the file and answer [N] when
asked if this is correct.
In case you haven't already figured out what all the things
are on the various displays, here is a summary:
The first seven keywords and the first 80 characters of the
description of the highlighted volume are on the second and third
lines. To the left of each volume name is the space used on that
volume. The numbers in the lower right corner represent the
highlighted volume number/total number of volumes and current
The current volume name is centered on the first line. The
first seven keywords and the first 80 characters of the description
of the highlighted subdirectory are on the second and third lines.
Subdirectory names are truncated to 40 characters but they are in
alphabetical order and the complete name can be found by
highlighting the item in question and pressing [F9] to see its
details. The numbers in the lower right corner represent the
highlighted subdirectory number/total number of subdirectories in
this display and current page/total pages.
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 13
The current volume name and subdirectory name are centered on
the first line. The first seven keywords and the first 80
characters of the description of the highlighted file are on the
second and third lines. The size of each file follows the file
name. Members of library files are offset to the right and each
library format has a different graphic connector to the library
file itself. The date and time that the highlighted file was last
modified is displayed in the lower left corner. The numbers in the
lower right corner represent the highlighted file number/total
number of files in this display current page/total pages.
| Main menu > List/Print catalog > File:
| If you select to send the output to a file, you are first
| asked to supply the file name for the output. You can get a
| directory of existing files with [F9]. If you supply the name of
| an existing file, you are asked if you want to append the catalog
| to the end of the existing file. This allows you to create a
| single report from several different catalogs. If you don't want
| you append to the end of the existing file, you are asked to verify
| that you want to overwrite the existing file.
| After determining the name of the file to use, you are then
asked if you want to list volumes, subdirectories and files
separately. Separately means that all of the volumes will be
printed first, followed by all of the subdirectories followed by
all of the files. Pressing [N] means that the first volume will be
printed, followed by the root subdirectory of that volume, followed
by any files in that subdirectory. It will then print the next
subdirectory and its files if one exists. When all of the
subdirectories of the first volume have been printed, it will start
printing the second volume, etc..
| The last question before starting to write the file is "Do you
| want to exclude library members?". Some people would like to see
| all members in their catalog but only want their reports to contain
| the filenames that actually show up on their disks. Eliminating
| library members does this.
| The format of the report generated is described under Main
| menu > Options > Printer Formats below.
| Main menu > List/Print catalog > Printer:
| Sending a catalog to the printer is very similar to sending to
| a file. Instead of being asked for a file name, you are asked for
| the printer. PRN is the default printer and the one you should use
| unless you know that you have a second or third printer attached to
| your computer.
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 14
Main menu > Find things:
This used to be called Find Files but many people failed to
read the documentation and, reading Find "Files", assumed that the
program would only find files. Having tired of repeatedly
explaining that the program looks for more than just files, it has
been changed to Find things. (Not a pretty phrase but maybe it
will sink in.) The program can and usually does look for more than
| When viewing the results of a Find Things search, you can
| press [F5] to generate a report. This is very similar to
| List/Print except the report generated will contain only those
| items that match the find criteria. The standard report will
| contain all volumes, subdirectories and files that match the
| selection criteria. One difference between printing here and under
| List/Print is that, you are not asked if you want to print volumes,
| subdirectories, and files separately. They are always printed
| separately. Also, after selecting whether or not to eliminate
| library members, you are given the option of sorting the files.
Volume names are always sorted. (For how, see Options > Display
Options). Subdirectory names are always sorted in alphabetical
order by Volume. Files are normally sorted alphabetically by
volume, subdirectory, library and filename. Responding that you
want to sort by filename here causes only the filename order to
change. Files will be sorted alphabetically by filename.
There are several things you can search for with Find Things.
The first is:
Main menu > Find things > Name:
When you select this item, you will be presented with an input
field large enough to specify the longest path name that DOS will
accept. If you are looking for a filename or volume name, this is
obviously too long but you don't have to fill it. Just use what
The input can contain the wildcards "*" and "?". These work
slightly differently than they do in DOS commands. In PC-Catalog,
a "*" means zero or more characters will match. A "?" means one
and only one character will match. DOS requires "*" to be the last
item in a section; PC-Catalog does not. DOS allows "?" to match a
space; PC-Catalog does not. In DOS commands, both "*" and "?" vary
in the filenames that they match depending on the command issued.
For example, DIR * will display all files but COPY * only copies
those with no extension. PC-Catalog usually works the same in all
functions (see below for the one exception). The easiest way to
explain this is with examples.
"*" is the default and will match everything.
"*." would only match items that ended in "." (filenames
with no extension are the only thing that should
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 15
"*.*" would match everything that had a "." somewhere in the
name whether it was followed (or preceded) by any other
characters or not (filenames are the only thing which
"A*B*C" would match anything that started with "A", had at
least one "B" somewhere in the middle, and ended with
"*A*B*.C" would match any file that had at least one "A"
followed at some point by at least one "B" in the first
part of a filename and ending with an extension of "C".
"?*B?*" would match anything that had at least one character
preceding and at least one character following a "B".
"???" would match anything that had three and only three
characters in it's name.
This may seem strange at first if you are used to the way DOS
works, but in a short time, you may wonder why DOS is so
complicated and inflexible.
I have had to make a concession to the way PC-Catalog finds
file names. It seems many more people than I would have ever
expected use DIR XXXX to find all filenames that have XXXX as the
first part of the name and any extension. DOS only allows this
type of matching with DIR. DOS doesn't allow this with COPY or
DELETE or RENAME, etc.; just DIR. DOS doesn't even work the way
they expect if there is a subdirectory by that name. I never used
that feature since I many times prefer to edit previous commands
(DIR XXXX.* followed by DEL XXXX.*). This wouldn't work if I
didn't use ".*" consistently. Evidently, others have never been
bothered by this inconsistency in the way DOS works. They must be
retyping the whole line after they find what they want. They
insist (some vehemently), if PC-Catalog won't find a file without
specifying either an extension or "*", then PC-Catalog is wrong
(one person used the term worthless!). Since I'm the one trying to
sell the program and they are the ones who ultimately will have to
decide whether or not to buy it, PC-Catalog is slightly larger,
minutely slower, and a lot less consistent than it used to be but
it will now sometimes ignore extensions on file names just like
Once PC-Catalog has located the matching names, it will start
with a display of the files. This is changed from the initial
release which displayed volumes first since lots of people didn't
know what the first display was but they knew it wasn't their
files. At this point you can press [ESC] to revise the pattern to
match, [F5] to print everything that matches or [F9] to get detail
displays of particular items. Escape will take you back to find
another name. [F5] and [F9] work the same as always and are
described in the general notes section including modifying and
viewing files. To see the subdirectories and volumes that were
found, press [CTL][S] or [CTL][V] and to get back to files,
[CTL][F]. If no matches were found, you will see a message stating
this and you will have to acknowledge it by pressing [ENTER] as
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 16
instructed. When you do, you will automatically step to the next
group in order (i.e. Files to Sub.s to Vol.s to Files...).
Main menu > Find things > Keyword:
This searches for matching keywords or things that don't have
keywords. It is handy to be able to find things that don't have
keywords if you are using a keyword system and want to add them to
any new entries. You are asked for a keyword pattern to match. If
you press [SPACE] [ENTER], everything that has no keywords will be
found and presented just as it was under Find things > Name above.
You can obviously also enter a keyword pattern to match. The
wildcards "*" and "?" work the same way as they did above under
Find things > Name but it is suggested that you only use them if
you have to. The reason for this is that they slow down the
search. Specifying the exact keyword you are looking for results
in a much faster response. Again, the displays will be the same as
Main menu > Find things > Description:
This is similar to keywords in that you are asked for the
pattern to look for. Wildcards are allowed and, in this case, do
not reduce the search efficiency as much. The reason here is that
searching descriptions isn't all that efficient to begin with.
This is because descriptions have variable lengths compared to the
fixed lengths of keywords. They are also usually long so there is
more data to look through. If you are going to be doing a lot of
structured searches, then you should consider a fixed set of
keywords for describing entries. If you want flexibility, just
type descriptions that really describe what it is and pay the
penalty in time to find things in the long descriptions.
Personally, I tend to favor the latter. You don't have to be exact
with your choice of descriptors and it isn't that slow. You might
want to try both before choosing to spend a lot of time entering
data in one method or the other.
Again, leaving the pattern blank will cause only those entries
that don't have descriptions to be found. Remember, you should
usually precede and follow your selection criteria with "*". You
can also use "*" as many times as you wish. Leading and trailing
spaces are ignored but spaces between other characters are
considered. For example " * * " = "* *" and matches anything with
an at least one imbedded space. To save some time, I have decided
to ignore upper and lower case distinctions. "Description" will
match the pattern "*dEsC*". If you think this is wrong, please let
Main menu > Find things > Size:
You are asked to supply the smallest size to match and then
the largest size. Only Volumes and files are searched since the
size of a subdirectory is rather nebulous. It depending on whether
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 17
you use the total of the files or the total clusters used. For
that matter, the size of a volume could be just as ambiguous but
everyone seems to agree that the space used and space free is in
clusters. Not knowing what you might want to find, I have chosen
to say that a volume matches if either the space used or the space
free value is within the size limits that you specify. You can use
0 for the smallest and 999999999 for the largest size to ignore
that limit. Subdirectories are totally ignored in the displays.
Main menu > Find things > Time:
Similar to Size in that you are asked for the earliest and
latest dates to select. Again, subdirectories are ignored. Volume
dates are the latest modification date; that is, the most recent
date that it was read by PC-Catalog or an entry inside it was
modified by PC-Catalog. The earliest legal time is 1/1/80 and the
latest is 12/31/41 (2041). These aren't my choices but rather they
were defined by Microsoft when they released PC-DOS 1.0. Anyone
think they will still be using DOS in 50 years?
Main menu > Find things > Multiple copies:
This is useful when you have a lot of files and a lot of
places to put them like I do. It will find all of the duplicates
that seem to appear from time to time. Since PC-Catalog reads
library files and determines their contents, duplicates can
multiply but they can't hide. Multiple copies are defined as
identical names of the same type. For example, volume names match
volume names but not subdirectory or file names. Sizes and dates
are ignored. One annoying feature in this section is that all of
the root subdirectories are shown as multiple copies. I considered
deleting these since every disk has to have at least one
subdirectory and it usually has the name "\". I didn't because I
thought that not seeing subdirectories that really exist might end
up being more confusing in the long run. Let me know if you agree
Main menu > Options:
There are options for changing the number of lines to display
on each screen, colors (or highlighting, underlining, etc.) to use,
sounds, whether to consider hidden objects, whether to read the
various types of library files, when to display files, File names
to use as the defaults, formats to use when printing to a file or
printer, printer initialization string, tab length, insert mode
default, memory allocation, and several more. These are each
described in the following pages.
Main Menu > Memory Allocation:
If you are just trying the program, you will see all of the
functions of this option but will not be allowed to change the
memory allocations since the sole purpose of the unregistered
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 18
version is to demonstrate the program well enough that you can
decide if it is worth the purchase price asked. It is not intended
to be public domain. As an unregistered user, you can see
everything that would happen here. You just can't change the
fields. We hope you understand why we feel that this is necessary.
If you like the rest of the program, we hope that you will feel it
is well worth the registration price asked.
For registered users, this option allows you to customize the
memory space that is dedicated to certain fixed arrays. You can
change the maximum number of volumes per catalog. You can also
change the maximum number of files and subdirectories that can be
sorted or displayed at one time. This does NOT necessarily limit
the total number that can be kept in one catalog. I have created
test catalogs with over 35,000 files when the maximum files number
was set to 500. On the other hand, there are some functions that
will fail if the numbers are set too low. For example, if you ask
for Find things > Multiple copies, the program will attempt to
match every file in the catalog to every other file. This requires
sorting everything at once so if you have set the maximum files to
a number less than the total number in the catalog, it will fail
and you will see a display of a large number of files that may or
may not be duplicates.
To help set reasonable numbers, each volume, subdirectory and
file specified here will take the space of about 1 tenth of a
record. During Find operations, an addition 1 tenth will be used
for each volume and 2 tenths for each subdirectory. You obviously
can not have fewer subdirectories than volumes.
Since memory space will be rearranged during execution of this
option, any existing catalog in memory will have to be deleted.
You are not allowed to select this item if you have modified a
catalog and not saved it yet. If you have an unmodified catalog,
you will be warned that it will be erased and given the opportunity
Main menu > Options > VGA/EGA/CGA etc.:
When you select this item, you are first asked if you have a
color display. Answering [Y] when you don't can result in an
unviewable screen. If you press [N] then you are asked if you have
a color card and a monocolor CRT. The answer to this question will
definitely result in a blank screen if you answer incorrectly. If
this happens, just reboot and start over.
If you answered that you had a color display or card, then you
are asked how many lines you want to display on each page. There
is nothing magic about this program that will allow it to produce
50 lines on a CGA that normally only displays 25 lines but if you
have an EGA you can have 43 lines and a VGA allows 50. Anyone
wishing to run PC-Catalog in a multitasking, windowing environment
might want to try various other numbers of lines to produce smaller
windows. I can't guarantee that it will always work but it may.
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 19
Main menu > Options > Colors:
The color option presents a menu of the various types of text,
backgrounds and highlighting that the program can do. Selecting
one of these gives a sample line of text in the currently chosen
colors and an array of all of the possible colors. As you move the
cursor around this array, the sample line will continually show the
selection. When you are satisfied with a choice, press [ENTER].
If you are using a mouse, the first time you select a color with
the left button you will see the sample line change. If you press
the left button again on the same color, it will be selected as if
you had pressed [ENTER]. Pressing [ESC] at any point will return
you to the menu with no change having been made. The following are
the various types of text:
Normal Text - "Page" that everything else is written on.
Warnings - Messages that tell why the program won't do what
Errors - Messages that tell you why the program is so
unhappy that it is quitting.
Menu Text - Unhighlighted items in all menus.
Selection bar - Highlighting for selected menu items.
Borders - Copyright lines and menu outlines.
Highlights - Bottom line prompts.
Files > UNCHANGED - Files that are identical to the last update.
Files > ADDED - File name is new to this update.
Files > DELETED - File name was found during this update.
Files > MODIFIED - File date, time or size is different or, in
the case of files with members, at least one
of the members is added, deleted or modified.
Main menu > Options > Colors > Default colors:
This will set the colors to those that I would choose for your
type of monitor. I considered only three basic types: Mono, CGA
and EGA/VGA. You can try the default colors and change them later
if you don't like my choices.
Main menu > Options > Sounds:
Selecting this item will cause two types of sounds to be
defined. Pressing [HOME] will cause the default sound to be
selected for each and [END] will cause that sound to be silenced.
Otherwise you can first select the sound that you want to hear for
key stroke prompts. This sound is produced whenever the program is
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 20
waiting for a key to be pressed. Since the response to each
keystroke is usually very quick, it may seem like a key click
sound. Using [UP], [DOWN], [LEFT], and [RIGHT] will each affect
the sound. Pressing most keys will demonstrate the sound.
When you are satisfied with the prompt sound press [ENTER] and
you will be asked about the sound to make for errors. This sound
will be made for both warnings and errors. You can change it the
same way that you changed the key prompt sound.
| Main menu > Options > Overflow Disk:
| You can define the default type of memory to use when there
| are too many entries to keep in normal RAM memory all at the same
| time. When PC-Catalog finally runs out of memory it will try to
| put the overflow to either EMS memory or Disk. Since EMS memory is
| the most desirable in terms of speed, it will try there
| automatically first. If, however, it runs out of EMS space (or
| disk space), the program will have to terminate. This option lets
| you better control where the overflow will be kept.
| First you are asked if you want to use EMS memory when regular
| memory is full? This requires memory above 1 Meg. which has a
| driver installed that supports the LIM Expanded Memory
| Specification version 4.0 or later. It you answer no, you will be
| asked if you want to use the same disk for overflow every time.
| Answering yes will mean that you won't have to answer every time
| you run the program when you run out.
Main menu > Options > LBR/ARC/ZIP files:
When you select this item, you will be asked if you want to
include the contents of files with each of the various types of
library formats. In the present version these include "ARC",
| "LBR", "LZH", "PAK", "ZIP", "ZOO" and self extracting files created
by PKZIP and LHARC. If anyone wants any others included, please
let me know. I would suggest that you include all of them EXCEPT
| the self extracting files unless you are having a space problem.
It doesn't take any longer to update a disk if none of that type
| are found. I don't recommend doing self extracting files since
| they will slow down the updating function significantly but you
| have the capability if you want it. If you do chose to read self
| extracting files, you should definitely update volumes rather than
| replace them. This will eliminate the delay for all EXE and COM
| files which are really programs rather than self extracting files.
After you have answered [Y] or [N] for each type, you are
asked if you want to update the contents whenever a file is
updated. If you press [Y] then the contents of every file with an
acceptable extension will be read each time the disk is updated.
This can take a long time. If you answer [N], then the contents of
these files will be read only when they are added or either the
date, time or size has changed. I find it rare to change the
contents of a library file that I don't also change either the size
or the date. If you have a lot of library files, only reading them
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 21
when they change makes a large difference in the amount of time it
takes to update a disk.
Lastly, you will be asked if you want to include descriptions
from library files. Some library formats (PAK, ZIP, and ZOO)
include the provision to insert a description of the library and
descriptions for the individual files inside the library. If all
your have for descriptions are advertisements for bulletin boards
(boo, hiss again), then you probably want to press [N]. If, on the
other hand, people have inserted meaningful descriptions, you won't
have to type them again if you press [Y].
Main menu > Options > Display Options:
This item will ask if you want to view the files found in each
subdirectory as they are read. Responding [Y] will provide the
most information since you can then see each file with color
highlighting to indicate if it is unchanged, added, deleted or
modified. On the other hand, it obviously takes time to display
and view these. If you respond [N] then the disks will be read and
updated as fast as possible without displaying or keeping any
information about the status of each file. Regardless of how you
answer this question, the file status information will not be kept
after your opportunity to view the subdirectories during updating.
Next you are asked if you want to use left justification and
are told that it has something to do with sorting volume names.
Earlier I told you that I use sequential numbers for volume labels
and I recommended that you do also. Well, in the first version of
PC-Catalog, several people did this and reported that PC-Catalog
would then sort disk 11 before disk 2. Unfortunately, they were
right! I failed to tell you that I add zeros at the left of each
number so that they are all the same size. I use a three digit
number on each disk starting with 001. These people had started
with 1. PC-Catalog was left justifying everything and produced:
1 1 1
10 2 Now if you 2
100 A select right 10
11 B justification 11
: If it had used 10 (answer [N]) :
19 right 11 you will get ----> 19
2 justification, : 20
20 it would have 19 which is what 21
21 produced -----> 20 "humans" think :
: 21 of as correct 100
A : sorting. A
AA AA AA
AAA AB AAA
AB 100 AB
B AAA B
| Next you are asked if you want to include hidden and system
files. Some people want to see these; others don't. Take your
pick. Lastly you are asked if you want to include hidden
subdirectories. Again this is your choice. If you have copy
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 22
protected software (boo, hiss) on a hard disk, you probably have
several hidden files or subdirectories that could be confusing to
see in the catalog.
Main menu > Options > File names:
You will be asked to supply the drive, path and filenames for
several files that the program creates or uses. The first is the
catalog file. The default extension is ".CAT". This is the file
that contains all of volumes, subdirectories, and files and all of
the detail information for each. The name that you supply here is
only the default and can be overridden whenever you want to read or
write a catalog.
After supplying the catalog file name, you are asked if you
want to read this file at startup each time. This is handy if you
have only one catalog or you always want to start with the primary
one. Even if you press [Y], you will still be given the chance to
change the name or press [ESC] to abort the reading of this file
| during startup. Here is another feature buried so deeply in the
| documentation that no one will find it. You can skip the verify
| step above if you precede the file name above with the letter "@".
| In other words, PCAT.CAT will give you an opportunity to change the
| name before reading and @PCAT.CAT will just immediately read
| PCAT.CAT. Note that the real name does not include the "@".
The next file name requested is the automatic description
file. The usual extension is ".DSC". A second file is also
required with the same primary name but the extension of ".NDX".
This is the index file and must match the description file. If you
haven't registers at level 2 or above, you don't have to worry
about this since you won't have the programs to create and modify
automatic description files.
Lastly, you are asked to enter a filename of the program to
view files. If you don't have a good "lister" program, you can
leave this entry blank and DOS will use TYPE which is only
marginally better than trying to read the magnetic fields on the
disk with a magnifying glass! If you are in this position though,
I can give you the tip that [CTL][S] will both start and stop the
scrolling. Microsoft didn't think that was important enough to
document. They tell you to use [CTL][NUMBER LOCK] which doesn't
bother to scroll complete screens before stopping. You frequently
get duplicate lines displayed which can be very confusing. You
also have to use a different key to get it started again. Another
tip is that you can use [CTL][C] instead of [CTL][BREAK] to abandon
viewing a file completely. Although they both do about the same
thing, [CTL][C] is much easier for me to reach quickly.
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 23
Main menu > Options > Printer format:
First you are asked to specify the number of lines per page
and the number of characters per line.
Next you are asked for a printer initialization string. These
are control characters that will be sent to the printer before
starting every report. They will also be included at the beginning
if you select "File" as the device to print to. The printer
initialization string can be used to tell a printer to print in
compressed mode, letter quality, etc. See your printer manual for
the codes to use for the various modes. PC-Catalog requires that
each code be represented by a decimal number between 0 and 255.
Each number is separated by a comma. Extra spaces between numbers
You are next asked to specify a format for printing volume
lines and headers. The default in the editing field is also shown
in an expanded form at the top of the screen. Edit it as you would
any other entry. When you finish press [ENTER] and the expanded
form will be updated and you are asked if it is correct. After
finishing the volume line format, you will do the subdirectory and
Selecting formats for printouts is done by specifying a series
of characters which represent the fields that you want printed.
These characters are:
" " = space "V" = Volume name "F" = File name
| ":" = column divider "f" = space free "s" = file size
"/" = line feed "u" = space used "d" = file date
"P" = Page eject "U" = date Updated "t" = file time
"K" = Keywords "r" = time updated "L" = Library name
"D" = Description "T" = Truncated sub. name "S" = full Sub. name
Some warnings are in order. Keywords and descriptions apply
to the record that is being printed. If you are in the process of
printing a line for a volume entry then K would print the keywords
for that volume. Many fields are undefined until the item they
apply to is accessed. For example, "F" (file name) is meaningless
except when printing a file entry. Including it in the volume of
subdirectory formats will give unpredictable results.
Since both keywords and descriptions have an indefinite
length, you might want to consider putting a line feed after each
of them if anything is to follow. This will eliminate the
rreeaallyy lloonngg lliinnee syndrome. You don't need a line feed
at the end of the format statement. One is included automatically.
A "S" full subdirectory name is 67 characters long. If you
rarely or never use long subdirectory names, you should use the "T"
truncated name which is only 23 characters.
Notice that "U" and "r" are not the same as "d" and "t". The
former are dates and times that the volume was updated. The latter
is when the file was last modified. You probably want to use the
former on the volume lines only and the latter on file lines only.
Any other usage may occasionally produce unpredictable results.
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 24
| Using the column divider, ":" (colon), will allow more than
| one entry on each line. Some people only want filenames for
| example and you can get about 6 across on an 80 character page.
| Unfortunately for this version, the entries are printed
| sequentially, horizontally across the line. I know this is dumb
| but it sure is easier for your computer. OK, OK, I hope to have it
| fixed by the next version.
Lastly, any characters not listed will give a warning but are
accepted anyway. They will be printed on the heading line and in
the appropriate place on each line. A good candidate for this is
"|" to draw vertical separator lines.
Main menu > Options > Keyboard:
First you are asked how many characters you want [TAB] to
move. This, obviously, is also the length of [BACK TAB]. Most
people won't find this useful but one user wanted a way to know
when he had exceeded a 45 character description. He just wanted a
marker that would tell him how to edit long descriptions provided
by others to a size that would fit his existing reports. This
variable length tab is a solution. He sets it to 45 and then while
editing descriptions, pressing [TAB] of [BACK TAB] will move the
cursor to the maximum position of his field.
The next question is, do you want to start editing in
overwrite or insert mode? Overwrite causes each character that you
type to replace the one at the current cursor position. Insert
moves everything to the right of the cursor to the right and
inserts the new character. You can always switch between modes
with [INS]. This question just determines how the editing
Main menu > Options > Read Option File:
If you have two or more different catalogs such as one for
floppies and one for hard disks, you may want to have different
options set for each. This menu item allows you to read a
different option file without leaving the program. Since you can't
change the memory allocation parameters with a catalog in memory,
you may be asked if you want to delete the catalog. The alternative
is that the memory allocation parameters will not be read.
Main menu > Options > [ESC] to quit:
When you press [ESC] from the main menu, you will be asked for
a file name to use to save the options. The default name is
PCAT.OPT on the default drive. If you respond [ESC] again, any
changes that you have already accepted will only apply as long as
the program is running. Having different option files allows you
to change many options quickly. You can either use the Read Option
File command described above or you can start with a different
option file, as was explained near the beginning of this
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 25
Main menu > Read a catalog:
This will read a catalog. If you already have a catalog
loaded you will be asked if you want to merge the existing one with
a new one. If you choose not to merge the new one in and the old
one has been modified or you created it with Update, you will be
prompted to save it before loading a new one. If you choose to
save it, the program reacts just as if you had selected Save a
catalog. Whether you choose to save the old catalog or not, you
will then be prompted for the name of the new catalog to load. You
can include a drive and path in this name. If you choose to escape
at this point, the original catalog (if one existed) will still be
available. Otherwise, this is the point where the old one is
deleted and the new one loaded.
Main menu > Save this catalog:
This will save the current catalog. You will be prompted for
a name which can include a drive and path. You can also escape
with the [ESC] key.
Main menu > Information:
| Selecting this menu item will display 3 pages of information
| about the current status of the program. The first page is the
| same copyright screen you see when you first start the program.
The next page contains statistics that are most useful if you are
just trying to figure out where you are and possibly how you got
there. It is most useful in debugging the program and probably not
too useful in normal operation.
The last page contains a count of the current records. I find
the most significant number on this page to be the number of
records available which is displayed on the first line. Volumes,
subdirectories and files take 1 record each. Keywords and
descriptions also take up record space. If you delete records, you
will not always get back all those that were used. Any modify or
update operation deletes some records. If you run out of space,
you might try saving you current catalog and immediately reading it
back in. You may get a few more records to work with but don't
expect this to make a major difference. If you are operating on a
very large catalog with the majority on temporary disk storage, it
may take a long time to read everything for the summations on this
page. The program only updates the complete display after each
volume is completed (and then only partially) so there may be
periods where nothing seems to be happening. You will know it is
finished counting when the prompt reappears on the bottom line of
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 26
Main menu > [ESC] to quit:
This is how you terminate execution of PC-Catalog. Since you
may accidentally get to this point, you are first asked if you
really want to quit. To quit you will have to press [Y]. If you
have a catalog that has been modified and not saved, you will be
asked if you want to save it before leaving. Whether you answer
[Y] or [N], this will be your last chance. Don't expect to press
yes and then try to escape from the save step back into the
program. You will just drop out to DOS and lose the changes that
you made to your catalog. If you have been using temporary disk
storage for a large catalog, it may take a few extra seconds to
clean up the temporary storage area.
The following files are available for level 2 and level 3
registered users only:
The easiest way to get brief descriptions for files entered
into PC-Catalog is to let someone else do the typing. Ideally, all
you will have to do is run CLNDSC, MRGDSC, NDXDSC and PCAT. Sound
interesting? Here's how it works.
Many bulletin boards have software available for downloading
and keep a catalog containing the names of the files and a brief
description of each. CLNDSC reads these and extracts as much
information as it can. It removes exact duplicates but leaves
duplicate filenames that have different descriptions. The
resulting file is sorted into alphabetical order and can be read
and corrected with an ASCII type word processor.
Since I believe that computers should work for you rather than
vice versa, you don't have to specify the format of the file that
you want to extract descriptions from. CLNDSC should recognize any
line that has a filename and extension separated by a "." or one or
more spaces, a size consisting of at least one number with at least
one space on either side, a date that consists of a total of 6
numbers separated by a space on either end and spaces, "/"'s or "-
"'s between pairs of numbers or pairs of numbers on either side of
a three letter abbreviation for a month, and a description. You
can even have the size after the description rather than after the
name. Leading spaces will be ignored. Also ignored is everything
preceding a filename that has a '.' between the primary name and
It also creates a file called GARBAGE.CAN for everything that
it decides isn't a filename and description. If you run CLNDSC
multiple times, it will add lines to the GARBAGE.CAN. None of
these programs ever "empties" the GARBAGE.CAN file so it just keeps
growing until you delete it. Before you delete it, you can look
through it to see if anything valuable has been thrown away. If,
for some reason, CLNDSC has thrown away what you consider to be
good descriptions, you can use your word processor to rearrange
these entries just enough for CLNDSC to recognize them and run it
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 27
MRGDSC will merge two description files (or one with itself)
and attempt to remove all duplications. If two or more entries are
found that are identical, they will be removed automatically. If
they are just similar, you will be asked to choose the one that you
wish to keep. You are also allowed to edit any of the fields
except the file name.
When you are satisfied with the description file that you have
created, run NDXDSC to create the index file that PC-Catalog uses
to speed up its searches for descriptions.
Since the description files are in plain ASCII text, you can
modify them external to the PC-Catalog system of programs with your
own word processor. The only restriction is that you maintain the
plain ASCII format (no special formatting characters) and, while
editing, maintain the alphabetical order. Since modifying the
description file outside of the programs that I have written could
result in "human" error, I also provide FIXDSC to scan a supposedly
correct description file and remove any lines that won't be
acceptable to PC-Catalog including errors in order.
These programs and documentation are provided "as is", without
warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but
not limited to any implied warranty of merchantability and/or
fitness for a particular purpose.
You, as the user, assume all risk when using these programs.
In no event is the author liable to you for any damages resulting
from the use of this software, even if he has been notified of the
possibility of such damages.
These programs and documentation are the property of:
Dale R. Andrews
44 Ridgelane Dr.
Decatur, Illinois 62521
They are all copyrighted 1989 and 1991 and all rights are
reserved. You may copy and use them in any way that you see fit as
long as you do not modify the program or documentation in any way
not specifically granted you by the copyright law of the United
States and you register each copy that is used.
There are several trademarks mentioned in this document. I
assume that most people who are intellegent enough to be able to
read it will have seen these before and will know which ones might
belong to me and which don't. If you see one of yours and want it
highlighted so that no one is confused, just notify me and I will
be glad to clearly state the obvious.
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 28
| Registering your copy of PCAT32 so that you can legally use it:
There are three levels of registration:
1.This allows you to use a single copy of PCAT. You will
receive a copy of the latest version. This version will
allow you to specify the memory allocation and therefor
not get many of the "Too many.." messages. You will also
receive the next major update to PC-Catalog free of charge
as soon as it is available. Registration at this level is
2. In addition to a level 1 registration, you will also
receive a single copy of each of the support programs that
allow you to create and maintain your own description
| files. Registration at this level is $29.95.
3.In addition to a level 2 registration, you will also
receive a complete automatic description file. At the
time I am writing this, the file contains descriptions for
almost 40,000 files. The file that you receive will
contain even more. Registration at this level is $39.95.
Quantity discounts are also available. Contact me with your needs.
To register, simply fill out this order form and send it, along
with your check or money order, to:
44 Ridgelane Drive
Decatur, Il. 62521
City, State, Zip: ------------------------------------------
Level of registration requested:
| 1: Unlimited version of PCAT and free update...$19.95 ___
| 2: Level 1 plus support programs...............$29.95 ___
3: Level 2 plus huge file of descriptions......$39.95 ___
What type of disk do you use? 5 1/4" 3 1/2"
| Where did you get your copy of PCAT32?
| Do you have any suggestions for improving PCAT32?
What other types of programs would you like to see written?
PC-Catalog Disk Cataloging system - version 3.2 Page 29
Some people insist on having a pretty title page for their
documentation but I find that it is annoying to have to page
through it every time I want to read the documentation with a
lister program in my "paperless" office. I almost never have a
hard copy of documentation. (The place is enough of a fire hazard
as it is with books everywhere.)
Be that as it may, for those of you who prefer printed
documentation, here is your title page. It requires an IBM
graphics printer or compatible.
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³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³
ÆÍÍÍÍ¾ ³ ÍÍÍÍ ³ ÆÍÍÍÍµ ³ ÆÍÍÍÍµ ³ ³ ³ ³ ÍÍ¸
³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³
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Documentation for the PC-Catalog disk cataloging system
(C) Copyright 1989 - 1991 by Dale R. Andrews
All rights reserved