Dec 222017
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File WHAT2.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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Labels subdirectories and files so you can identify them later.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
WHAT.COM 41683 26107 deflated
WHAT.DOC 10583 3687 deflated

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Contents of the WHAT.DOC file

WHAT - The Directory Documentation Utility
Version 2.00 Copyright (C) by Bill Newell, 1987

Why use WHAT ?
In the dark about some of the files contained in your directory ? Ever
wonder what that obscure program you added in 1984 called FROG.COM does, and
where it came from in the first place ? Are you afraid to execute that
program CRASH.COM, because you've forgotten what it does...., but you don't
want to delete it because it really may be useful ? Ever wish DOS filenames
were longer ? Or wish DOS gave you a facility for keeping track of the
contents in your sub-directories ?

If you've answered YES to any of these questions, then WHAT is for you !


WHAT is a neat, fast program which allows you to give descriptions to
programs out there in your directories. You can view and update them
anytime you want.

The best news is that you can use this program and not pay for it unless you
like it ! I wrote this program to solve my own problems, and want to share
it with you. If you like it and use it, then please send 15 bucks to keep
me encouraged to write more programs, and to reinforce my faith in human
nature !

I hope you enjoy this program and find it useful.


Bill Newell

What is WHAT ?
WHAT is a utility program designed to help you keep track of the contents of
your disk directories. It will work with DOS 2.0 or later.

The WHAT program maintains a description file (WHAT.DIR) for each of
your diskettes, or disk directories; and you can attach a description (up to
61 characters) to each entry in your directory.

Once you have set up your initial directory description file using WHAT,
then you can use WHAT's search facility to display your description records;
either all of them, or a sub-set based upon a search argument that you

Since the WHAT.DIR directory description file is an ASCII file, you can also
use your favorite text editor to access/maintain this file.

The WHAT help screen:
There are no complicated commands to remember; anytime you forget what
options are available to you, just enter WHAT /? and the following help
screen will appear:

>>>> WHAT - The Directory Documentation Utility <<<<

Ways to use WHAT:
WHAT - Prompts you for any missing descriptions.

WHAT /U - Prompts you to Update the descriptions of ALL
your files.

WHAT /U FileName - Prompts you for descriptions of your files,
starting at FileName.

WHAT /A - Displays all records in your Directory Description

WHAT XXXXX - Displays all records containing XXXXX, where
XXXXX is a sequence of characters (any length),
appearing in either the filename or description.

WHAT /D XXXXX - Same as above, but displays only records where
XXXXX appears in the description.

What /? - Displays this screen.

Creating/Updating your Directory Description File:
Set your current DOS directory to the sub-directory you want to work with
and then execute WHAT. If a Directory Description File does not exist, then
it will be created, and you are prompted to supply a description for each
entry in your directory. If a Directory Description File does exist, then
it is updated to reflect any deletions or additions made to your directory
since the last time you executed WHAT. You are prompted for a description
for any added items, as well as for existing entries that do not yet have a

Additional processing options are available, such as WHAT /U and WHAT /U
FileName. Please refer to the Help screen for a description of these

When WHAT prompts you for a description, a screen similar to the following
will appear:

WHAT - The Directory Documentation Utility
Version 2.00 Copyright (C) by Bill Newell, 1987

Reading directory: C:\MYDIR
Sorting directory entries
Please enter a description for: WHAT.COM


Last Description: The Directory Documentation Utility

Saved Description:

F1: Save Desc F2: Use Saved Desc F3: Use Last Desc Esc to quit

Editing keys available when entering a description:
The following keys can be used when entering/updating a description:

The cursor left, cursor right, backspace, insert and delete keys perform as
you would expect them to.

The Home key takes you to the beginning of the description.

The End key takes you to the end of the description.

The Ctrl-End keys clears the field from the current cursor position to
the end of the field.

When you are finished entering the description, pressing the Enter key
updates the Directory Description file.

Pressing the Esc key processes the remaining file without prompting you for
any more descriptions. This option is useful when you want to enter
descriptions for just a few files in your directory at a time.

There are two additional options on this screen that you may find useful:

WHAT displays the "Last Description" it has read. If you want to use this
as the description for the current entry, then just press F3 (make any
additional changes you want), and then press the Enter key.

You can also press F1 to save a "current" description (before you press
Enter), and recall this description anytime by pressing the F2 key.

You should run WHAT to update your Directory Description Files on a regular
basis. This will ensure that your file reflects any additions and/or
deletions you have made recently, and also allows you to readily enter
descriptions for any new items while you can still remember what they are.

Using the WHAT search facility:
Once you have created a Directory Description File, then you can use WHAT's
search facility to display your description records.

To see all the records in your Directory Description file, enter WHAT /A

Additional search options are available, such as WHAT XXXXX and WHAT /D
XXXXX. Please refer to the Help screen for a description of these options.

When WHAT has found all the records you requested, you see a screen
similar to this:

WHAT - The Directory Documentation Utility
Version 2.00 Copyright (C) by Bill Newell, 1987

Searching for: "WHAT"

File Name D e s c r i p t i o n
------------ ------------------------------------------------------------
WHAT.COM Directory Documentation Utility
WHAT.DIR Directory Description File
WHAT.DOC Documentation file for WHAT

Home End PgUp PgDn Esc to Quit Sort Print 3 records Top of File

The following keys can then be used to change the display:

The cursor up and cursor down keys scroll the display one line at a time.
(The cursor left and cursor right can also be used, if you prefer.)

The Home key displays the first screen of your file.

The End key displays the last screen of your file.

The PgUp/PgDn keys display any preceding/succeeding screens.

Press the Esc key to end the program.

Pressing S (Sort) asks you whether you want to sort by (N) Name or (D)
Description. Then Press N or D to sort the records you have selected. For
those power-users that prefer (F) FileName to (N) Name, pressing the F key
also works. And if you are a super power-user, and know what it is you want
to sort on: N, D, (or F); you don't even have to enter the S (for Sort)
first. Just pressing N, D, (or F) will do just fine.

If you want a printout of the records you selected, press P (Print).

The remainder of the status line displays the number of records that have
been found, as well as an indication on whether you are at the Top of the
File, Bottom of the File, or somewhere in-between.

Some Limitations:
As with all good things; there are some limitations to the capacities that
WHAT can handle.

Using WHAT to maintain your Directory Description Files, you are limited to
1,000 directory entries. Nothing bad will happen if you have more than
that, but just the first 1,000 entries will be processed. (If you have more
than 1,000 entries, you should REALLY consider re-organizing your disk, as
your DOS access time will be abominable !!)....

WHAT keeps all "selected" records in memory (for fastest access). When you
use WHAT's search facility there is a limit of 400 records that can be
stored during any one search. Again, nothing nasty will happen if WHAT
finds more than 400 matching entries, but only the first 400 will be

In addition, should more than 400 entries match your search criteria, you
will see a blinking message on the status line, to make you aware that the
maximum number of selected records has been exceeded.

Error Messages:
I have gone to great pains to make this program as user-friendly as
possible. When an error is detected, you are given a message describing the
probable cause of the error and the remedy to correct the error.

Warranty & Other Stuff:
This program is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either
expressed or implied.

If you find this program useful, and you believe in the "ShareWare" concept
of distributing software, a small contribution ($15 suggested) would be
greatly appreciated. It is only with the support of users that software
such as this can be developed, as well as to encourage program authors to
write more nifty stuff !!

Please send all correspondence and contributions to:

Bill Newell
249 Foxden Circle
Naples, FL 33942

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