Contents of the README.DOC file
Asc2Com.exe Version 1.25
Copyright 1989 By MorganSoft All rights Reserved.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1: Table of Contents
(Where to find What you Want)
2: Disclaimer and Shareware Notice
3: Archive Inventory
4: Program Description I
5: Program Description II
6: Output File Description
7: Output File Description II
9: Limitations and Programming Notes
10: Limitations and Programming Notes Cont.
11+ Address, Addenda, And whatnot
This program is shareware: For registration information
run regisfrm.com. Registration fee is $20.00 and entitles
you to use the program in any fashion you deem, is owned
by you personally, not limited to any particular computer.
MorganSoft assumes no liability for any damages, material
or financial that may occur through use of Asc2Com or any
programs generated by Asc2Com. Commercial registration
starts at $30.00 and will be negotiated on a case by case
basis, based on the number of people (not machines) that
will be actively using the program.
SHAREWARE: Please feel free to distribute the program archive to
any all. I only ask that you keep the archive intact. If
you're not familiar with the shareware concept, it's quite
simple: you try this program out and see if it fits your
needs. If it doesn't, you don't use it. If it does, you
fill out the registration form and send it back to me with
the fee. YOU ONLY PAY FOR SOMETHING YOU NEED AND USE. In
any event, I do thank you for giving Asc2Com and MorganSoft
a try. If you intend to distribute the files generated by
Asc2Com, you MUST register the product.
Programs in the archive are:
Asc2Com.Exe Executable program.
Readme.Doc This file.
Readme.Com This file's com clone.
Color.Doc & Color.Com: File detailing color
Tab.Doc & Tab.Com Example of tab
Regisfrm.Com Program to print the
DESCRIPTION: Asc2Com takes standard ASCII format file, such as
this one, and turns them into executable files that are
self-listing. Output display is command line switchable
from default, direct screen writing (Video adapter types:
CGA, EGA, VGA, MDA.) to standard output (redirectable),
enable Wait for Retrace, or Pause Mode. Colors may be picked
from any combination possible for CGA system and the programs
produced sense if a color type display is available on the
host system. If not, plain vanilla white on black will be
used. Finally, you have a choice of two types of listing
programs: one allows scrolling by a single line, the other
Asc2Com Syntax: At the DOS prompt, type the following:
C>Asc2Com myfile.txt /e # /l-
C>Asc2Com myfile.txt # /e
C>Asc2Com myfile.txt /l- # /3
This produces a file called myfile.com which contains the
contents of myfile.txt, and will list it to the screen.
The options above may be in any order or omitted, and do the
/e: Expand tabs. The default will treat any tabs found
in the source file as characters, displaying them
in direct write modes. This option will expand
#: Color Byte. This option determines the output
colors for the file (default is 1E hex, 31 Decimal,
or a white on blue). (See Color.Doc for a complete
breakdown on all possible color combinations).
Please note that 16 colors are available for the
background color, non-blinking. If the file will
most likely be used with the /s or /p options (see
below), Blinking will become active rather than
intensity AFTER THE FIRST SCROLL. Therefore, you
mostly likely won't want any of the high intensity
colors for the background if redirected output is
desired. Also, many TSR's will reset the
interpretation of the blink bit.
Output File Syntax: At the DOS prompt type the following:
The three options available for programs generated by Asc2Com
do the following:
/s: Disables direct screen writes, and routes all
displays through DOS. Use this method to have
output directed to a serial device or printer.
/c: Wait for Retrace. This option is only needed for
older CGA systems that produce snow when direct
video writes are used. If a generated program
produces snow, use this. Note, however, that
displays are slowed down using this.
(Cont next Page)
/p: This option is used when you want the program to
simply list, one direction only, to the screen. By
default, this uses DOS to write to the screen (in
exactly the same manner that the /s option does).
No back paging or scrolling is possible with this
option. You get a single run through the listing
before the program terminates.
With the /c option or no options, the 25th line of the
screen will list available active keys, which are:
PgDn Home Esc * UpKey
PgUp End (0-9) * DnKey
Movement keys all work very much as you would expect. The
two keys marked with an * will NOT be on the command line if
you have generated the file with a "/l-" switch (single line
scrolling will not be allowed). Pressing any digit will
cause the phrase "Page: " to appear on the bottom line, the
cursor will appear, and the user may then key in a page
number (999 max) to "jump" to.
SUGGESTIONS: Asc2Com, besides being fun to write, is designed
to be used by people who have something to communicate, often
to those who have very limited computer experience. Files
that offer instructions for computer programs (perhaps for
installation), caveats, warnings, limitations, or licensing
information are a natural. You need never depend on the
recipient of your material having a "browse" program handy or
using the DOS Type command (dicey at best). All you need do
is prepare a file called something like readme.doc or better
yet, run_me.doc, process it with Asc2Com, and you're in
business. A simple note enclosed with your disk telling the
user to type run_me and any further instructions are
instantly available to your user.
Manuals can be specifically written for Asc2Com (just
remember that a page = 24 lines) and a Table of Contents
shaped to steer the user to any piece of information needed.
With the use of the page option, a user can scan such a title
page, pick the subject he needs to know more about, ("Cursor
Control" page 19) and with four key strokes (any number to
get the "Page: " prompt, 1, 9, and CR) be right where he
needs to be.
LIMITATIONS: Asc2Com will truncate any characters past column
80 in a file, so if you have anything past that point, I
suggest that you edit the file before using Asc2Com. To be
honest, I'm not exactly sure how big a file can be
processed. Com file limits (65278 bytes - stack) apply of
course, the actual size of the ASCII file can be a tad larger
and still be packed into Com size. All Carriage Return/Line
Feed combinations are stripped from the program, so if your
file has a lot of individual lines, you'll gain one byte per
line (I have to use one byte for actual string length). You
lose the length of the assembler program off the top (about
1800 bytes) so I expect the practical maximum length is
around 62500 bytes. All displayable ASCII characters are fine
excepting those that are associated with file separation
(ASCII 28,29, etc).
Asc2Com was written in Turbo Pascal 5.0 and employs nothing
extraordinary. The program simply takes a typed constant
which is, in actual fact, a com format file for listing
assembler data records, and writes it out as a comfile.
Next, the source file is read in, the lines counted, and
written out byte by byte to that same comfile. Finally, a
Seek statement locates the proper file locations and
(Cont. Next Page)
writes out several control parameters. (line count, etc).
Lister.com (the actual listing program incorporated into
each output file) was written in 8088 assembler, compiled
and linked by Turbo Assembler 1.0. The command line
switches are very simple: if the parameters are not exact
matches, they DO NOT work. I only check to see: 1/. That
the command tail is longer than 0. If it is, I skip an
assumed space byte and check for a "/". If present, I then
check for either a "s", a "p", or a "c". The program
dumps you out if anything else is there.
T. G. Browning
2170 Raynor Street SE
Salem, OR 97302
Addendum 2: Thanks go to Jim Radcliffe of ON-AIR Software
for suggestions. The addition of numeric paging came from a
talk with him on the phone about the needs of his company.
Thanks also go to Bob Dodson for file searches on CompuServe
and putting the program up on same. As always, Bob's
programming ideas, comments, and tongue lashings have been a
Addendum 1: Thanks go to two people who've helped by beta
testing this program for me: Mike Heggen of Uff Dah
Systems and Bud Rasmussen. Mike informs me that his
monitor (a Herc clone) DOES NOT WORK on the default
option. Weirdness reigns because he also informs me that
using the "/c" option gives him a display. I'm at a
complete loss to explain that. So, if you've got a Herc or
Herc clone, be warned that you may be stuck with using either
one of the command line switches.
Version Releases and Escapes:
V1.25: This release. Incorporation of two different lister
programs (one with disabled single line scrolling). Changed
the command line of output programs.
V1.10B: First intentional release.
V1.10: Inadvertent release with a known bug. Bottom command
line on this can sometimes disappear. If you've got this
release, I sincerely apologize. Not certain as to how this
one got out.
V1.00: Beta copy. If you've got this one and your name
isn't Bob Dodson, Bud Rasmussen, or Mike Heggen, well, gee.
You're NOT supposed to have it.
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