Contents of the DISCOVER.DOC file
DISCOVER Version 1.5
William C. Parke
DISCOVER is a MS-DOS utility which creates a printed diskette sleeve
insert to show the contents of a selected disk.
Although there are many such utilities available, DISCOVER has several
1. Both 3.5" and 5.25" disk inserts can be created,
2. Printer output can be redirected to a file or selected device,
3. A variety of printers is supported,
4. The current disk volume label may be used as an insert title,
5. The disk files may be sorted in horizontal or vertical form,
6. The printed cover will be dated using the date of the most
recent file on the disk.
7. All files (ordinary, hidden, and system) will be displayed.
In addition, the volume label and directories are shown at the
beginning of the file list.
8. For disks with many files, several foldable panels will be
printed for one cover,
9. The user settings of DISCOVER may be saved for future runs,
10. DISCOVER will work on any MS-DOS machine (IBM PC
compatibility is not required).
DISCOVER [drive:] [/s]
where [drive:] is a valid drive index,
[/s] represents optional switches:
/3 or /5 to make 3.5" or 5.25" insert,
/V or /T to use disk volume or type insert title,
/G or /H to gather files vertically or sort horizontally,
/R fname to redirect printer output to file-device: fname
or /D or direct result to default printer,
/M mm to make left side margin with mm spaces (0-54),
/I to inspect disk files before making disk insert,
/S to show current settings of DISCOVER,
/P to pick new printer from list,
/C to clone DISCOVER with new settings.
DISCOVER will print a diskette cover (or produce a print file) with a
header containing the diskette title or volume label, the amount of free
space (in bytes) remaining on the disk, and the date of the most recent
file currently on the disk. If the volume label is not being used as a
title, it will be given as the first entry in the file listing. Any
directories will also be displayed first. Files are listed in four
columns, with the file size also shown for 5.25" diskette covers.
Hidden and system files will appear as well. Files are sorted by file
name in either horizontal or vertical columns.
All default display and printer settings may be changed with the 'clone'
option described below. Default settings for switches mean these
settings take effect without having to be specified on the command line.
Explanation of Optional Switches:
/3 or /5 Diskette Size Switch:
The initial default setting for the diskette size is 5.25". If you wish
to make a disk cover for a 3.5" diskette, use /3 on the command line.
Covers for 3.5" diskettes will still have four columns of files, but the
file sizes will not be printed.
/V or /T Label or Title Switch:
If you want to use the volume label currently stored on the diskette in
the heading of the printed cover, use the /V switch on the command line.
If /V is used and no volume label is found, you will be prompted for a
title. With /T (default setting), DISCOVER will ask for a title for
/G or /H Gather vertically or Horizontally Switch:
File names can be sorted alphabetically in vertical columns or
horizontal rows (initial default)using the /G or /H switch. If you
expect lots of files extending over more than one cover panel,
horizontal sorting is preferable.
/R fname or /D Redirection or Default Printer Switch:
The '/R fname' option can be used to redirect output to a file or
another device, such as to a second printer on another parallel or
serial port. For example, 'R LPT2:' will send DISCOVER output to the
second parallel port (assuming it exists), or 'R COM1:' sends output to
the first serial port. File redirection will be very convenient when
generating diskette covers for a whole set of floppies. By using the
switch, '/R COVERS', the set of covers generated by DISCOVER will be
contained in the file called COVERS. Using file redirection, the time
to process a set of floppies is typically shortened since one does not
have to wait for the printer between insertion of floppies in a disk
drive. Later, the generated file can be sent to the default printer
with the DOS command:
COPY COVERS PRN:
or spooled to the printer with the DOS command:
The initial default setting of DISCOVER is to send output into the current
printer PRN:. If your printer is not ready and DISCOVER attempts to send
its results to PRN:, you will be asked (by DOS) to 'Abort, Retry,...'.
Use the 'Retry' option after turning on your printer and putting it
/M nn Make a Margin:
The left margin space can be selected with this option. The default
setting is no space. The value nn is a decimal number from 0 to 54,
representing the number of columns to shift. There are 17 column spaces
per inch (6.7 per centimeter).
/S Status Switch:
If the /S switch is included on the command line, DISCOVER will show its
current status for all default switches, redirection file or device, and
/P Pick Printer Switch:
The /P switch lets you pick another printer from a list of supported
Epson FX/RX/MX, IBM Graphx, AT&T
Epson LQ, IBM Proprinter, Brother
Hewlett Packard Laser
Okidata Plug/Play and ML
The newly selected printer can be made the default printer using the
/C switch described below.
Alternatively, you may choose to create you own printer initialization
and printer reset strings using the option:
You will be asked to give a printer INITIALIZATION string which must
cause the printer to set:
-> 17 characters per inch horizontally;
-> 8 lines per inch vertically;
You may add other optional printer settings or page header text.
Use decimal values for ASCII control characters and surround
ordinary keyboard characters in single quote signs, e.g.
can be used for an Epson compatible printer. The first number, 27,
is the ASCII decimal value of the ESC code. The number 15 is the
ASCII decimal value for the SI code. If a value of 0 is used,
any following string will not be sent to the printer. Thus, an
initial response of 0 will mean the printer will not be initialized
by DISCOVER. (You may have already initialized the printer for
compressed 8 ln/inch printing before running DISCOVER.)
Your printer manual should contain a description of the necessary
codes needed to make the above settings.
After the initialization string is given, you will be asked for
the printer RESET string. This string should:
-> 10 characters per inch horizontally;
-> 6 lines per inch vertically;
-> Other printer resettings.
Again, use decimal values for ASCII control characters and surround
ordinary keyboard characters in single quote signs. Use a value of 0
for no reset string. For example,
can be used to reset an Epson compatible printer.
/C Clone Switch:
With the /C switch combined with any other switches, the drive index and
any of the settings given above can be made the new default settings
stored in DISCOVER. After DISCOVER is 'cloned', none of the switches
(nor the drive index) which were given explicitly with the /C switch
need to be re-entered. If you wish to return to the initial default
settings, use the /C switch again without any other switch or drive
index. The initial default settings are:
Ask for drive index,
Ask for diskette size,
Sort files horizontally,
Direct result to default printer,
Ask for title,
No disk inspection,
No status display.
Use /P and /M together with /C to reset the printer and margin settings.
Any cloned switch which has two options may be temporarily overriden by
simply using the second option on the command line.
will generate a help screen for the program.
will start the program. If you have not cloned DISCOVER with any
new default settings, you will be asked what drive will be used
to read the diskettes for which you wish to make sleeve inserts.
You also will be asked what is the disk size and what cover title
should be used. DISCOVER will ask you to press the space bar
after you have inserted the diskette in the designated drive. A
carriage return instead will end the program. Output will be
sent to the default printer. You will be able to print any
number of covers for a series of disks.
will start the program using drive B: to read the diskettes for
which you wish to make sleeve inserts. You will be asked what is
the disk size and what cover title should be used. Output will
be sent to the default printer.
DISCOVER A:/R PRFILE/5/G/V/I/P/S/C
will clone the program to assume 5.25" diskettes, vertical file
sorting, volume labels, and selected new printer. A status
report for the new configuration will be displayed. The program
asks if disk is in drive A:. You will be able to inspect the
files on the disk as they are displayed on the screen. DISCOVER
will then ask if you wish to make a disk insert for the displayed
disk. Output will appear in the file PRFILE. If the file PRFILE
exists, DISCOVER will append the new output to that file. If
DISCOVER is run again, no parameters or switches need be given;
the cloned ones will still be in effect.
will re-establish the original default settings of DISCOVER. Note,
however, that if a new printer or margin setting was picked and
previously cloned, that printer and margin will remain as the
default setting until DISCOVER is cloned with new settings for the
printer and/or margin.
1. Since DISCOVER uses the date of the most recent file for the date
on its header, some care should be used in adding new files to
archival disks. If necessary, the file dates can be changed to
reflect their true creation or update time and date using REDATE (also
by the author of this program).
2. Cloning DISCOVER requires that the program be able to find itself
on your working disk drive. Under DOS 3.x, the current program name
and path are available to the program. Under DOS 2.x, DISCOVER must
assume its name has not been changed, and that you ran it from the
current directory. If not, the cloning will fail.
Selected drive is invalid.
The response for a drive index was out of range. The range of valid
drive letters is displayed by DISCOVER when the drive index is
requested. Pick the letter corresponding to the drive you intend
to insert a diskette.
Selected disk size is invalid.
Only the values of 3 or 5 are accepted. A carriage return will
end the program.
Command line syntax error.
The drive index or one or more switches were not valid.
Error opening print file.
The print file given after the /R redirection switch could not be
opened for writing or appending. The name you used could be a
read/only or hidden file.
MS-DOS 2.11 or above required.
A version of the operating system below 2.11 cannot be used with
DISCOVER. DOS 3.1 or 3.3 are preferred.
Cannot find DISCOVER to clone.
If you are running DISCOVER under DOS below 3.x, DISCOVER may not
be able to find itself to perform a clone. To use the clone
operation under DOS 2.x, DISCOVER must not be renamed and must
be in the current directory.
Print string syntax error.
The custom printer string did not conform to the syntax of decimal
numbers and/or single-quoted strings, separated by commas.
Invalid choice for printer.
Allowed choices are indexed, starting from 0.
Version 1.0 - 1.4 Beta Test Versions, not for general release.
Version 1.5 - Improvements by Douglas Clark, including
extensive debugging of ASM code, inspect switch
and corrections to documentation.
DISCOVER is supplied for personal and private use. It is not
intended for any commercial distribution without explicit
arrangements with the author at:
William C. Parke
1820 S Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20009.