Contents of the README.DOC file
4DOS 5.5 - The award-winning
COMMAND.COM replacement for MS-DOS, PC-DOS,
DR DOS, and OS/2, with command enhancements,
over 50 new commands, many other features.
Part A, see 4DOS55B.ZIP for part B. For
optional reference manual see JP4REF.ZIP.
Shareware, $49 full registration.
10-12-94 release A.
4DOS Shareware README.DOC
Version 5.5 -- October 12, 1994
Copyright 1988 - 1994, JP Software Inc., All Rights Reserved. Published
by JP Software Inc., P.O. Box 1470, E. Arlington, MA 02174 USA, (617)
Greetings, and thanks for trying 4DOS!
This file contains a variety of information you should read before using
* Changes in version 5.5 * Technical support
* Files included with 4DOS * Bulletin board support
* Installation instructions * Shareware and ASP policies
* Upgrading from 4DOS 5.0
If you have tried a shareware copy of 4DOS and want to place an order,
see the product and ordering information in the file ORDERINF.DOC, or
call us at (800) 368-8777 (USA only, orders only please!) or (617) 646-
3975. An order form is included separately in the file ORDER.FRM. JP
Software also offers Take Command, an exciting new command processor for
Windows and Windows NT, and other products which complement 4DOS, like
the 4DOS Utility Disk; the QEdit editor for ASCII files; the multiple
configuration utility BOOT.SYS; and the Personal REXX language.
For complete installation instructions, see page 4. These instructions
cover installation procedures for both new users and those upgrading
from a previous version of 4DOS.
The license agreement which governs your use of 4DOS is included
separately in the file LICENSE.DOC. Please read it before ordering.
The text is written in plain English, and clearly explains your rights
and responsibilities as a user of 4DOS. For more information on the
shareware system under which you obtained this copy of 4DOS, see page
This file, like all our ASCII documentation files, is formatted at 58
lines per page, and contains form feeds and page footers. It can be
viewed with a file viewer such as the 4DOS LIST command, or printed on
most PC printers using the command:
copy readme.doc prn
Printing it with a program that formats the pages is not likely to work
due to the formatting included in the file.
4DOS 5.5 [10-12-94] README.DOC page 1
Changes in Version 5.5
Be sure to read the installation instructions in this file before
installing 4DOS 5.5!
Version 5.5 is a major new release of 4DOS. It coincides with
similar major releases of our other command processors: 4OS2 version
2.5 and 4DOS for Windows NT version 2.5.
If you are a current 4DOS user, be sure to check over the list of
changes in this version, in the file UPDAT55.DOC, BEFORE you begin
using version 5.5! The list below gives only a very small sample of
what's new in this version. If you're a new 4DOS user, you can skip
Here is a partial list of the new features in this version:
* The new FFIND command can quickly locate a file by name,
or find text within a file, anywhere on your system. You
can even use extended wildcards for both filenames and
text, allowing fast, flexible searches.
* The maximum file description length has been increased
to 511 characters.
* Colors can now be specified as either digits or the
color name to help those who are running out of room for
* LIST now supports wildcards in searches, so you can look
for text using all the extended wildcard features you
already use to search for files.
* KEYSTACK automatically calculates scan codes for you,
making it easier to enter keystrokes for troublesome
programs that require them.
* New variables and functions for batch programmers
include keystroke detection, binary file reads and writes,
string formatting, and conditional calcualations.
* Errors in batch files display the batch file name and
the line number where the error occured.
* All file processing commands now support file selection
by attribute (e.g. you can easily delete all hidden files
or copy all read-only files)
* Directory histories are inherited and can be global like
aliases and command history.
* @FINDFIRST/@FINDNEXT now support include lists.
4DOS 5.5 [10-12-94] README.DOC page 2
Files Included with 4DOS 5.5
Please note that the way your copy of 4DOS is "packaged" will vary
depending on the distribution method (5.25" disk, 3.5" disk, or on-
line). In general there will be three 5.25", 360K disks, or two 3.5"
720K disk. On-line copies will be in two .ZIP files, typically named
4DOS5A.ZIP and 4DOS5B.ZIP (on CompuServe), or 4DOS55A.ZIP and
You can also download the 4DOS, 4OS2, and 4DOS/NT Reference Manual
(the file is named REFMAN.DOC, and is typically stored in the file
JP4REF.ZIP). This is a large file and much of the same information
is available in the online help system, but we do make the ASCII
version of the manual available for those who wish to download it.
Similarly, if you have a printed version of the previous 4DOS 5.0
Reference Manual and want to download the addendum to update it to
version 5.5, look for the file JP4ADD.ZIP, which contains
ADDENDUM.DOC. The addendum is shipped to you automatically if you
order an upgrade to version 5.5 from JP Software.
ZIP files distributed by JP Software will display the message
"Authentic files Verified! # VHJ325 JP Software Inc." when they
are unzipped. If you do not see this message, the ZIP file you are
using has been modified. This does not necessarily indicate a
problem, but it does alert you to the fact that the file has been
changed since it was created by JP Software.
The following files are included with this version of 4DOS:
4DOS.COM 4DOS program file
4DOS.DOC ASCII copy of the 4DOS Introduction and
4DOS.HLP 4DOS help text
4DOS.ICO Icon file for 4DOS under Windows 3.x
4DOSM.ICO Same as 4DOS.ICO but for monochrome systems
4DOSOS2A.ICO Icon file for 4DOS under OS/2 2.x
4DOSOS2B.ICO Second icon file for 4DOS under OS/2 2.x
4DOS.PIF PIF file for running 4DOS under Windows 3.x
4HELP.EXE 4DOS help program
ADDENDUM.DOC Addendum to 4DOS, 4OS2, and 4DOS/NT reference
manual, for those with an earlier printed
reference manual (must be downloaded
separately, see above)
ALIASES Sample aliases
APPNOTES.DOC Information on using 4DOS with other products
BATCOMP.EXE Batch file compression utility
HELPCFG.EXE Color configuration program for the 4DOS help
4DOS 5.5 [10-12-94] README.DOC page 3
KSTACK.COM Memory-resident program used by the 4DOS
LICENSE.DOC The 4DOS shareware license agreement
ORDER.FRM 4DOS shareware and upgrade order forms
ORDERINF.DOC Ordering and product information
README.DOC This file
REFMAN.DOC 4DOS, 4OS2, and 4DOS/NT combined reference
manual (must be downloaded separately, see
SAMPLES.BTM Sample 4DOS batch files (all samples are
included in one file)
SUPPORT.BBS Information on Channel 1, the independent BBS
used for 4DOS support
SYSOP.DOC 4DOS information for BBS sysops
TOUR.DOC The 4DOS Guided Tour documentation
TOUR1.BTM Batch file used for the 4DOS "tour" (see
and TOUR2.BTM TOUR.DOC)
UPDAT55.DOC Information on changes in 4DOS 5.5
VENDOR.DOC 4DOS information for shareware disk vendors
(These instructions do not cover diskette installation, because when
4DOS is installed from diskette this file is not visible until after
installation is complete.)
Whether or not you presently have 4DOS installed, create a new
directory for 4DOS 5.5 (do not install it in the same directory as a
previous version of 4DOS). Decompress your downloaded 4DOS 5.5 files
into this directory. You can print any 4DOS documentation file by
copying it to the printer with the COPY command.
Please note that the 4DOS Introduction and Installation Guide is
about 80 pages long, and the Reference Manual is over 380 pages long!
If you don't want to print these files they can be viewed on-screen
with a file viewer such as the 4DOS LIST command. Most of what's in
the Reference Manual is also available in the 4DOS help system.
For a guided tour of 4DOS features see the instructions in TOUR.DOC.
To install 4DOS completely, follow the manual installation
instructions in Chapter 1 of 4DOS.DOC, disregarding the discussion of
extracting files from the diskettes.
Be sure you have a bootable DOS floppy disk (as described at the
beginning of Chapter 2) before installing 4DOS on your system. This
is not because 4DOS is likely to cause trouble. It's because a
mistake in the system startup files (CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT), or
a power failure or other disturbance during installation, could
prevent your system from booting properly. While such problems are
rare, any time you modify CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT you should have
a bootable floppy disk handy so you can recover if necessary.
4DOS 5.5 [10-12-94] README.DOC page 4
Upgrading from 4DOS Version 5.0 to Version 5.5
Be sure to go over the changes in version 5.5, in the file
UPDAT55.DOC, before you start using it. 4DOS 5.5 can be run in "test
drive" mode over previous versions of 4DOS, so you can test the new
version before fully installing it. 4DOS 5.5 should always be
installed in a different directory than any earlier version of 4DOS.
To upgrade from 4DOS 5.0 to version 5.5, make the following changes
in your system configuration:
* Modify the SHELL= line in CONFIG.SYS to reflect the new
directory where 4DOS.COM is stored. Make a similar
modification to any SET COMSPEC statements you have in
AUTOEXEC.BAT or other batch files.
* Modify any line in AUTOEXEC.BAT which loads KSTACK.COM to
reflect the new directory where KSTACK.COM is stored.
* If you keep any 4DOS startup or exit files (4DOS.INI, 4START,
or 4EXIT) in your 4DOS directory, be sure to move or copy the
old files into the directory where 4DOS 5.5 is stored. (If the
files are in the root directory of the boot drive they do not
need to be moved.) Also be sure to modify any path information
in these files to reflect the new directory for 4DOS (for
example, if you have a HelpPath directive in 4DOS.INI you may
need to change it to point to the new directory for the 4DOS
5.5 copy of the 4HELP program).
* If you use OS/2 2.x, be sure that any DOS_SHELL settings you
have explicitly set to 4DOS in your DOS session objects are
modified to reflect the new directory where 4DOS.COM is stored.
You can also highlight the DOS_SHELL setting and click on the
Default button; this will set the command processor for the
object to whatever is specified on the SHELL= line in
CONFIG.SYS. See your 4DOS Introduction and Installation Guide
for complete details on using 4DOS with OS/2.
* Obtain a copy of the BRAND program which came with your
registered copy of 4DOS version 5, put it in the same directory
as the 4DOS version 5.5 files, and run it with the command
BRAND. Follow the on-screen instructions to install your name
and serial number into 4DOS. The information needed to BRAND
your copy is on the small blue or yellow "Brand ID Card" which
came with your copy of 4DOS. If you cannot find this card with
your branding codes, you can order a replacement from JP
Software for $5.
Once you've made these changes, you can reboot your system and you'll
be running 4DOS 5.5.
4DOS 5.5 [10-12-94] README.DOC page 5
We support 4DOS in our own CompuServe area, section 10 of the PC
Vendor B forum (GO PCVENB). If you are not currently a CompuServe
subscriber, consider a special offer CompuServe has made to 4DOS
users: call 1-800-848-8199 (outside the US and Canada call 614-457-
0802) and ask for operator 178 to receive a free CompuServe
introductory membership, including user ID, password, and a $15
connect time credit.
For technical support on the Internet send mail to
Support is also available by phone (617-646-3975), fax (617-646-
0904), and mail (JP Software, PO Box 1470, E. Arlington, MA 02174).
Telephone support hours and availability may vary depending on our
current staffing pattern and workload; there may not always be a
support representative available when you call, in which case we will
take a message and call you back. We return calls as soon as
possible, and our normal policy is to return all calls within at most
24 hours (weekends and holidays excluded).
Bulletin Board Support for 4DOS
4DOS product support is always available on our support BBS, Channel
1 in Boston. Channel 1 is an independent BBS (not operated by JP
Software) which has generously offered to provide a home for 4DOS BBS
support. Phone 617-354-3230 to access Channel 1 at 2400 - 14,400
baud (no parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit).
If you have access to a local bulletin board which is a member of any
of the major BBS networks (RIME / PC Relay, ILink, SmartNet, or
FidoNet), you can discuss 4DOS with other users, and obtain limited
support from JP Software, by leaving messages in the network's 4DOS
Downloading 4DOS Files
You can download 4DOS upgrades and other files from CompuServe or the
Channel 1 BBS (see above), or from our Internet ftp site. To
download files from CompuServe, go to the PC Vendor B forum (GO
JPSOFT or GO PCVENB) and look for the files you want in Library 10.
On Channel 1, join conference 5 and then download the files you need
(as long as you join conference 5 before downloading you will be able
to download 4DOS files even if they appear to be too large for your
remaining time on the system). On the internet, download the files
you need via ftp from ftp.std.com, directory /vendors/jpsoft (for
general JP Software files) or directory /vendors/jpsoft/4dos (for
4DOS 5.5 [10-12-94] README.DOC page 6
Shareware Copies of 4DOS
If you obtained 4DOS from a shareware disk vendor, an on-line
computer service or bulletin board, a friend or colleague, or another
similar source, you have an unregistered (trial) copy. As the
copyright holder for this software, JP Software allows and encourages
you to use this trial copy without charge for a limited period of
time, under the terms of our license agreement (see LICENSE.DOC).
After this time is up, you must purchase (register and pay for) the
product to continue using it.
This method of distribution is known as shareware. It allows you to
determine whether the product meets your needs before you pay for it.
Payment of the shareware registration fee for 4DOS entitles you to a
complete copy of the product with typeset-quality printed and bound
manuals; the ability to download an upgrade to the next major release
of the product; continued technical support via electronic mail or
telephone; and a subscription to "The Prompt Solution", JP Software's
Association of Shareware Professionals
The authors and publisher of 4DOS are members of the Association of
Shareware Professionals (ASP), an organization formed to strengthen
the future of shareware. Its members, all of whom are programmers
who subscribe to a code of ethics, are committed to the concept of
shareware as a method of marketing.
The ASP sets standards for its members and their shareware products
which provide that programs produced by ASP members must be fully
documented, non-crippled, and offered with at least a minimum level
of support. It also sets standards for shareware disk vendors and
provides information to the public about shareware.
ASP Ombudsman Statement
JP Software is a member of the Association of Shareware Professionals
(ASP). ASP wants to make sure that the shareware principle works for
you. If you are unable to resolve a shareware-related problem with an
ASP member by contacting the member directly, ASP may be able to
help. The ASP Ombudsman can help you resolve a dispute or problem
with an ASP member, but does not provide technical support for
members' products. Please write to the ASP Ombudsman at 545 Grover
Road, Muskegon, MI 49442 or send a CompuServe message via CompuServe
Mail to ASP Ombudsman 70007,3536.
4DOS 5.5 [10-12-94] README.DOC page 7