Dec 232017
Catalog your video cassettes. Good program.
File VIDEOCAT.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Databases and related files
Catalog your video cassettes. Good program.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
VIDEOCAT.DOC 26788 7287 deflated
VIDEOCAT.EXE 34991 15513 deflated

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Contents of the VIDEOCAT.DOC file


Video Cassette Database Program
Version 4.0

(C) COPYRIGHT 1986 by W. A. Jackson


VIDEOCAT Version 4.0 User Documentation


MINIMAL INSTRUCTIONS...........................................1
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS............................................2
GENERAL TIPS...................................................2
DEVELOPMENT HISTORY............................................3
COMMENTS AND BUG REPORTS.......................................3

A)dd a movie to the catalog....................................4
C)hange a record in the catalog................................7
D)elete a record from the catalog..............................8
P)rint complete catalog listing................................9
R)eview current changes.......................................10
S)earch catalog...............................................11
T)alley statistics............................................13
U)pdate data base.............................................14
E)xit from program without updating...........................15


VIDEOCAT is a specialized database program designed for
cataloging a collection of movies and other materials stored on
videocassettes. The catalog can be printed out in its entirety
or can be searched for items meeting specified criteria.


VIDEOCAT.EXE must be on a diskette with enough unused space
available for the program to create work and data files and must
be run from the logged drive. The first time you run the program
you must enter I from the main menu to I)nitialize your permanent
data file. Use A to A)dd records. The records you A)dd will not
be in the disk file and available for other functions until you
U)pdate. Most output is to the printer. If your printer is not
ready, the program will hang up.


This is "user supported software". It is NOT in the public
domain but is protected under the copyright laws of the United
States. You are granted a limited license to use, copy and
distribute VIDEOCAT subject to the following conditions:

(1) you may make only personal, non-commercial use of

(2) you may distribute VIDEOCAT to others for their
personal, non-commercial use;

(3) you may not charge any fee for copying and distribution
other than actual costs of copying, bulletin board on-line
charges, and similar nominal costs.

Voluntary contributions are welcome and will encourage
further maintenance and enhancement of VIDEOCAT. They may be
sent to:

W. A. Jackson
6529 Matilija Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91401

A contribution of $20 or more will guarantee that you will
receive a copy of the next update on diskette by mail when


Did you seriously expect warranties with user-supported

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 1

software? Just to make sure that everything is perfectly clear,
this software comes without any warranties, express or implied,
including warranties of merchantability or suitability for its
intended purpose. It is distributed to you "as is" and "with
faults". Under no circumstances shall the author be liable for
any consequential damages.


Although not experimentally verified, the minimum system
required to run VIDEOCAT is believed to be:

- IBM PC or compatible
- 128 K or more of memory
- 1 floppy disk drive
- MS-DOS or PC-DOS, version 2.0 or later
- color or monochrome monitor
- printer


VIDEOCAT.EXE should be on a system disk. It should always
be on the logged drive when it is run, because it will look on
the logged drive for the data file when run. Leave plenty of
room on the diskette for the creation of data and work files.
Any other files on the diskette will diminish the maximum size of
data file which VIDEOCAT can create.

The first time you run VIDEOCAT you must select I from the
main menu to I)nitialize your data file. DO NOT I)NITIALIZE ON

Most output requires a printer. The program directs printed
output to PRN:. If you have a parallel printer, just turn it on
and be sure it is connected and ready. If you have a serial
printer, you will need to run the appropriate DOS commands to
redirect PRN: to your serial printer before you run VIDEOCAT. If
your printer is not properly connected or ready, VIDEOCAT will
either hang up or send output into the Twilight Zone.


The program is menu-driven. Each menu option is described
in detail in the pages which follow. Remember that input data
will not be reflected in the data file until U)pdate is

All items of input data can be any combination of letters
and numbers. All alphabetical characters will be automatically
converted to upper case. Leading and trailing blanks are always
ignored; however blanks between non-blank characters are treated
as significant. Only certain entries are mandatory (title, year,

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 2

subject, type); others can be omitted by simply hitting return.

It is prudent to make a backup copy of at least the data
file on another diskette. If your collection is large, you will
spend many hours building your data file. Physical damage to the
disk or abnormal termination during an update could result in
loss of your entire data file. If you have a backup, you will
not have to reconstruct the entire file, but only the items added
since the last time you made a backup copy.


Versions 1 and 2 were written in UCSD Pascal for the Apple
II series of computers. Versions 3 and 4 were written in C and
compiled by the C86 compiler for the IBM PC familiy of computers.
Since Version 4.0 is the first to be published, there is no need
for further discussion of differences between versions.


Your comments, complaints, suggestions and reports of bugs
in this program are welcome. Contributors of useful suggestions
may, at the discretion of the author, receive a free update on
diskette. No other compensation will be provided to contributors
for their ideas.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 3

A)dd a movie to the catalog

This is the basic function for adding an item to the
catalog. It need not be a movie, although in general the formats
used in this program are primarily adapted to movies. Note that
records created by A)dd are temporarily stored in RAM and not
actually placed in the data file on diskette unitl U)pdate is

This function is invoked by entering A while in the
main menu. The initial response will a message telling you to
get ready to enter data for a movie record and hit when you
are ready to continue. Then various items of data will be

Title ->

Enter the title of the movie or other item. The maximum
size is 40 characters; any excess characters will be truncated.
It is suggested that "A", "An" or "The" at the beginning of a
title be appended to the rear. For example, instead of entering
THE". For an episode in a series, it is suggested that the series
title be entered first, then the episode title. For example:
BRAIN". A title can begin with, or even consist entirely of,
numbers. Since the program sorts titles in ASCII sequence, such
titles will come before titles beginning with letters. Thus the
movie "1941" will be placed at the beginning of the list, not in
the N's, as is common in the organization of published movie
directories. The title is a mandatory entry; the program will
drop any entry lacking a title. More than one item can have the
same title (thus allowing for remakes), but the program will not
permit two items to have both the same title and the same year.

Year ->

Year is the year of release of a production, normally
expressed as 4 numeric digits, e.g. "1939". The program treats
the year as a 4-character string, so non-numeric characters will
not be rejected. Any characters beyond four will be truncated.
Year is a mandatory entry, as the combination of title and year
constitutes the "key" for identifying and sorting records. If
you don't know the year for sure, either look it up in a
published guide or make a reasonable guess. You must enter

Star 1 LAST name ->

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 4

The program allows for the recording of the names of three
actors and one director. The first prompt asks for the LAST name
of the first of the three actors. The maximum combined length of
first and last names is 30 characters; any excess will be
truncated from the first name. In response to the LAST name
pompt, enter the actor's last name, including prefixes and
suffixes which are properly a part of the last name. For
example: "VON STROHEIM" and "FAIRBANKS, JR.".

Star 1 FIRST name ->

Now enter the first name. For example, "ERIC" and
"DOUGLASS". If middle names or initials are important, they
should be appended to the FIRST name. For example: "LESLIE ANN"
and "GEORGE C."

Star 2 LAST name ->
Star 2 FIRST name ->
Star 3 LAST name ->
Star 3 FIRST name ->
Director LAST name ->
Director FIRST name->

Respond to these in the same manner described above. Note
that these entries are all optional and can be omitted by simply
hitting return.

Subject code ->

A list of character codes corresponding to 42 enumerated
subject catagories will be displayed on the screen. Pick the one
which seems most appropriate and enter the appropriate single
character. At the moment you must choose one of these 42; future
versions may include more choices or the possibility of user-
defined codes. The screen will recycle if you enter anything
other than one of the enumerated codes.

Form Code ->

A list of character codes corresponding to 24 enumerated
form descriptions will be displayed on the screen. As in the
case of subject codes, the current version limits you to these
predefined possibilities.

Rating Code->

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 5

A list of character codes corresponding to 8 enumerated
rating descriptions. As in the case of subject and form codes,
you must choose one of the enumerated possibilities. Whether you
rate an item based on your own personal opinion or that of
professional critics is up to you.

Cassette No. ->

This entry may be up to 4 characters long and may be any
combination numbers and letters. It can be omitted, although in
the cataloging of a large collection this is the most useful
single piece of information.

Index No. ->

This entry may also be any combination of letters and
numbers up to 4 characters in length. If you have multiple items
on the same cassette and wish to record the tape index number for
the starting point of each item, this entry may be used for that
purpose. It may be omitted.

After all items of data have been entered, the complete
record will be displayed on the screen and you will be asked if
it is correct. If you answer "Y", the record will be placed in
RAM storage to await the next invocation of the U)pdate
procedure. If you answer "N", the record will be discarded.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 6

C)hange a record in the catalog

The purpose of this procedure is to change the data recorded
for a record already in the catalog. Note that it cannot be used
to change the key record items, title and date. In the current
version title and/or date can be changed only by D)eleting the
entire record and then A)dding a replacement in a subsequent
update cycle. Any other items of data can be changed using the
C)hange procedure.

To invoke C)hange, enter C when in the main menu. You
will be warned that when you enter the data the title and year
must exactly match an existing record in the data file or else
the change transaction will be discarded. Otherwise the C)hange
procedure acts almost exactly like the A)dd procedure in terms of
data entry. Note that in the current version it is necessary to
enter ALL requested data for the complete record, i.e. both
changed and unchanged items.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 7

D)elete a record from the catalog

The purpose of this procedure is to delete a record which
already exists in the catalog disk file. It will not delete a
record which is in the current work batch awating U)pdate.

To invoke D)elete, enter D when in the main menu. You
will be warned that when you enter the data the title and year
must exactly match an existing record in the data file or else
the delete transaction will be discarded. The program will then
prompt for entry of title and year in the same manner as
described under A)dd. No other data items will be requested.
You will be asked to verify the correctness of the transaction.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 8

P)rint complete catalog listing

The purpose of this procedure is to print out a complete
catalog listing on the printer. The current version does not
give the option of using any other output device. It is assumed
that printing will be on pages 80 columns x 66 lines. The
catalog will be printed in ASCII sequence by title. All data
items for each record will be printed.

To invoke P)rint, enter P from the main menu. Be sure
the printer is properly connected and ready. There is no way to
halt the printing other than by Ctrl-S to suspend or Ctrl-Break
to terminate the program.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 9

R)eview current changes

The purpose of this procedure is to review changes (adds,
changes and deletes) which have been entered but not yet
processed through U)pdate.

To invoke R)eview, enter R from the main menu. The
transactions awaiting posting will be displayed on the screen.
The current version does not permit individual transactions to be
changed or deleted prior to U)pdate. If the list contains
errors, the only alternatives are to U)pdate and then try to
correct the errors in a subsequent batch or E)xit without
updating, thus discarding the entire batch of current

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 10

S)earch catalog

The purpose of S)earch is to search through the data file
for those records containing some specified data item and print
out a list of only those records which contain the item sought.
The current version sends the output to the printer and does not
offer any option to direct to any other output device. The
current version also does not provide for any combination of
search criteria.

To invoke S)earch, enter S from the main menu. The
search menu will then appear giving you choices between six types
of searches.

T)itle search

Enter T to search by title. The program will then
prompt for entry of the title in the same manner as in the A)dd
procedure. All entries having the specified title will be

Y)ear search

Enter Y to search by year. The program will then
prompt for the entry of the year of production in the same manner
as the A)dd procedure. All entries having the specified year
will be printed.

N)ame search

Enter N to search by name. The program will then
prompt for the entry of a name in the same manner as the A)dd
procedure (i.e., last name, then first name). All entries having
the specified name will be printed, regardless of whether the
name is placed in the Star 1, Star 2, Star 3 or Director field.

S)ubject search

Enter S to search by subject. The program will then
prompt for a 1-character subject code from a displayed list in
the same manner as the A)dd procedure. All records having the
specified subject code will be printed.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 11

F)orm search

Enter F to search by form. The program will then
prompt for a 1-character form code from a displayed list in the
same manner as the A)dd procedure. All records having the
specified for code will be printed.

R)ating search

Enter R to search by rating. The program will then
prompt for a 1-character rating code from a displayed list in the
same manner as the A)dd procedure. All records having the
specified rating code will be printed.

E)xit to the Main Menu

Enter E to exit from the Search Menu and return to the
Main Menu.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 12

T)alley Statistics

The purpose of the T)alley procedure is to compile and print
certain statistics about the composition of the entire collection
represented by the data file catalog. In the current version,
the statistics are numbers and percentages broken down (1) by
subject, (2) by form, and (3) by rating.

To invoke the Talley procedure, enter T from the main
menu. Output is to printer, so be sure that the printer is
properly connected and ready.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 13

U)pdate data base

The purpose of this procedure is to update the data file
with adds, changes and deletes entered during the current
session. These transactions are held in memory for batch update
to the disk file in the interest of efficiency. As the disk data
file grows larger, the time consumed by a file update will
increase. Batch updating minimizes the amount of physical
reading and writing of disk files. Do not forget to U)pdate
before exiting from the program, however, as current changes are
in volatile memory and are not permanently recorded until U)pdate
is performed.

To performe U)pdate, enter U from the main menu. The
only screen output will be a note that the update is in progress.
You should see and hear occasional disk activity. U)pdate
creates a temporary file merging the old records with the current
transactions. Upon successful completion of the merging, the
contents of the merged file replace the old contents of the data
file. If there is not enough room to create the merged file, the
procedure SHOULD abort without destroying the existing data file.
(This has been planned, but not tested). Be very careful to
avoid any abnormal termination of the program during the U)pdate
procedure. This could result in making the data file unreadable.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 14

E)xit from program without updating

The purpose of this procedure is to terminate the program
normally and return to DOS. If you have entered any adds,
changes or deletes during the current session, be sure to U)pdate
before exiting.

To invoke E)xit, enter E from the main menu. In the
current version you will exit immediately; there will be no
warning that you should be sure to update first.

VIDEOCAT Documentation Page 15

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