WHAT.COM V1.3 11/21/1985 Written By Kevin Ross
HARDWARE: IBM or compatible, running DOS 2.0 or greater.
Runs on hard or floppy disks. WHAT.DAT must be in root
WHAT.COM is written in TURBO-PASCAL 3.0. The source code should be
distributed with the program.
WHAT.COM is a handy little program that keeps little notes about
files on your system. I am an avid collector of programs, and I download
alot of files from various BBS's. If you are like me, you have many
files that you can't remeber downloading, or what they do. That is where
WHAT.COM comes in handy. When you are finished downloading a program,
and back at the DOS prompt, you can write a one line description of the
file. This comes in real handy when you are looking at your hard disk
directory three months later, and can't remember what CRASH.COM does.
Thats one of those file names that you don't dare try, without knowing
exactly what it will do. Using WHAT.COM, you will be able to remind
yourself with a quick little note.
WHAT.COM is most useful for those with fixed drives, though it
should work just fine with floppy drives. WHAT.COM creates a file in the
root directory called WHAT.DAT. This is just a sequential file
containing the data for the program. Each entry starts in the first
column with the filename. It must be in uppercase letters. WHAT.COM
formats the file so it can be printed neatly, with columns for the
filenames, and descriptions. Descriptions can be up to 60 characters
long. That should be more than enough for a quick reminder of what a
SETTING UP WHAT.COM
First, you should initialize the WHAT.DAT file. This is done by
giving the command:
You will be asked if you want to create the file. If you answer
'y', a new WHAT.DAT file will be created. If there is already a WHAT.DAT
file, it will be overwritten, and all the data will be lost. You should
only use this command once.
(** WARNING: WHAT.DAT SHOULD NOT BE EDITED WITH A TEXT PROCESSER. I HAVE
TRIED THIS, WITH SEVERAL EDITORS AND IT BECOMES IMPOSSIBLE TO ADD NEW
DATA TO THE FILE. I SUSPECT IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE WAY THE
TURBO-PASCAL APPEND COMMAND WORKS. I HAVE HAD SUCCESS SORTING THE FILE
WITH THE DOS SORT FILTER, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SORT THE FILE FOR
PRINTING A HARD COPY. **)
Next, you can start entering your program information. This is
done by giving the command:
WHAT NEW filename.ext
You will be asked to enter a 60 character description of the
file. Enter anything you like. WHAT.COM will automatically include the
name of the file, so you don't have to re-enter it. (Hint: Enter only
facts about the program, just enough so you will know what the file
does, and perhaps how to get help with the program.) When you are done,
press enter, and WHAT.COM will ask if this is correct. You can enter 'y'
if it is, and the data will be saved to the file. If you enter 'n',
WHAT.COM will ask for another description of the file. If you enter 'q',
WHAT.COM will stop, and the description will be lost.
To find out WHAT a file IS, you enter the command:
WHAT IS filename.ext
WHAT.COM will then search the DATA file for matching filenames.
If WHAT.COM finds a filename that matches, it will print the description
on the screen, then look for another match. If it does not find the
filename, it will tell you that the file was not found. WHAT searches by
comparing the characters that were entered at the keyboard, with the
first characters on each line of the data file. If you enter:
WHAT IS PROGRAM.COM
WHAT will output the description for PROGRAM.COM.
If you enter:
WHAT IS PROG
WHAT will output descriptions of all files starting with PROG.
There might be a PROG.COM, or a PROGA.COM, or PROGRAM.COM. It will match
the first characters on the data line with the filename. You could
WHAT IS Q
and all descriptions of files starting with Q would be written
to the screen.
The last command you can give WHAT.COM is the print command.
This will send the contents of the WHAT.DAT file to the printer. You
might find it useful to have a printed copy of WHAT.DAT, in case you
want to browse through the files.
WHAT.DAT can be sorted with the DOS utility SORT. Best way to
use it is to give the command:
SORT < WHAT.DAT >WHAT1.DAT (then rename WHAT1.DAT to WHAT.DAT)
This will sort the file WHAT.DAT, then save the sorted list back
in WHAT.DAT. This way, when you print the WHAT.DAT file, it will be in
some sort of order.
This program and its source have been released to the public
domain. No charges are allowed for its distribution or use.[email protected]