Dec 282017
Tips on setting long PATHs.
File PATH.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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Tips on setting long PATHs.
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User to User
by Jerry Schneider

Published in the May 1986 issue of the Capital PC Monitor.

"User to User" is a monthly column for the presentation and discussion
of DOS commands and utilities, and general programming tips and
techniques. Information for this column is collected from publications
of various user groups around the country. I welcome any suggestions,
comments, or articles for inclusion or consideration.

This month's column includes articles from NYPC, the official
newsletter of New York Personal Computer, Inc.; NJPC News, a
publication of the New Jersey PC User Group; and a
tongue in cheek product review from Sacra Blue, the newsletter of
the Sacramento Personal Computer User Group.

Setting Path to be Longer Than 127 Characters
James Cayz
New York Personal Computer, Inc.

Since there is an upper limit of 127 characters to the PATH variable as
configured in COMMAND.COM, ths is a problem to all us hackers used to UNIX.
But, with the help of DOS 3.1 and some real hacking, up to 25 directories can
be specified. The only restriction is the number of disk/RAM/other drives
that you access.

The SUBST command (available in DOS 3.10 and above) allows you to use the
drive designators A: through Z: as abbreviations for a directory pathname.
Now, since most of us use A:, B:, C:, maybe a D: and E: for RAMdisks, I start
at F: and go to Z:. Thus:

set path=c:\c:\com;c:-exe;c:\users\foo\bar\applications\test

can be redone as:

subst f: c:\com
subst g: c:\exe
subst h: c:\users\foo\bar\applications\test
set path=c:\;f:;g:;h:;

The only other modification is in CONFIG.SYS, the line "LASTDRIVE=Z" should be
inserted. This allows the system to acknowledge all those bogus "drives".

The time spend SUBSTing is far outweighed by the advantage of having the path
long enough for almost anyone.

Thanks to Mike at Logicon for suggesting SUBST for this purpose, and the IBM
User Group Support group in Boca Raton.

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