DOS Interactive Command Editor Page 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2 GETTING STARTED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
3 OPERATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
3.1 To Exit DICE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
3.2 Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
3.3 Command Line Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
3.4 Display And Buffer Operations . . . . . . . . . . 3
3.4.1 Command Stack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.4.2 Command Buffers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.4.3 Argument Buffers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
3.5 Command Prompt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
4 PROGRAM AND DOCUMENTATION USAGE . . . . . . . . . . 7
Copyright (C) 1986,89 Eric S. Adams
DICE (DOS Interactive Command Editor) is a command line editor.
It provides features which enable more efficient entry of typed-in
commands for DOS or OS/2 full screen command mode. It's features are:
1. Enhanced editing capability for the DOS and OS/2 command
2. Saves command line commands on a stack as they are entered.
3. Supports tag, save and recall of often used commands and
4. Display of tagged arguments, commands and stacked commands.
5. Help function that shows a summary of DICE commands.
2 GETTING STARTED
The easiest way to start using DICE is to run the STRTDICE.BAT
file under DOS or the STRTDICE.CMD file under OS/2 full screen command
mode. These procedures will start either the DOS version or the OS/2
version of DICE. The DOS executable is DICE.EXE and the OS/2
executable is DICE2.EXE. At this point, a prompt and command line
appear on the screen and command entry is much like that of DOS or
OS/2 full screen command mode with added features.
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The following sections describe the operation and features of
3.1 To Exit DICE
If you want to exit DICE, press X (hold the "Alt" key down
while pressing the "X" key). You will then be asked whether or not
you want to save your commands and buffers. Pressing the "Y" key will
cause DICE to exit, pressing the "S" key will save the command stack
and buffers to a file and then exit or pressing any other key will
continue. The location and name of the file used to store the command
stack and buffers is described in the section "Display and Buffer
You can get help displays of the DICE commands and startup
parameters by pressing H or the F1 key. The first screen gives a
short description of the DICE commands. If you press "Y" when this
screen is displayed, a short description of the DICE startup command
line arguments is displayed.
3.3 Command Line Editing
The following list summarizes the basic editing functions for the
DICE command line:
1. Left or Right arrow - moves cursor one character.
2. Left or Right arrow - moves cursor one word.
3. Home - moves to the start of the command line.
4. End - moves to the end of the command line.
5. Del - deletes the character at the cursor.
6. Backspace - deletes the character in front of the cursor.
7. Ins or I - toggles the edit mode between insert mode and
8. K - Deletes from the cursor to the end of the command.
9. Toggle command - T (or F3) alternately clears the
command line and moves the command or argument at the pointer
to the command line. (The pointer is described in the
section "Display and Buffer Operations").
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10. A Semi-colon is a command line delimiter and can be used to
include comments in the saved command buffers. For example:
CD C:\MYDIR ; Change to my directory
If you want to actually enter a semi-colon on the command
line, type two semi-colons together. For example:
This example will become "masm myfile.asm;".
11. A comma is a command delimiter and can be used to put
multiple commands on a single command line or command buffer.
C:,CD C:\MYDIR ; go to drive c and change to my directory
If you want to actually enter a comma on the command line,
type two commas together. For example:
This example will become "masm myfile.asm,;".
3.4 Display And Buffer Operations
To display the Command Stack and tagged commands and arguments,
press B (buffers display).
The following commands are used to move the buffer pointer. Note
that these commands are in effect even if the buffers are not being
1. Up or down arrow - moves command/argument pointer up or down
2. PgUp - scrolls arguments or commands up 5.
3. PgDn - scrolls arguments or commands down 5.
4. N - moves the pointer to the next buffer group.
5. PgUp - moves the pointer up to the command or argument
6. PgDn - moves the pointer down to the command stack or
Each time DICE is started, it attempts to read the buffer
information from a disk file. The buffers can be written to this file
by pressing S (save buffers). The information can also be read
from the file by pressing F (fill buffers). The file that is
used is identified by environment variables. The DOS version uses the
environment variable "DICEDAT" and the OS/2 version uses the variable
"DICE2DAT" to identify the file to use. For example, if you want to
use a file called "DICE.DAT" in a directory called "c:\util", you can
setup the environment variable as follows: "set
DICEDAT=c:\util\dice.dat". Note that environment variables cannot be
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set from within DICE.
If the environment variable does not exist, then the DOS version
of DICE uses a file named "DICE370.DAT" and the OS/2 version will use
a file named "DICE2.DAT". The default files will be located in the
directory that was the current directory at the time DICE was started.
3.4.1 Command Stack -
As commands are entered and executed, they are pushed onto the
command stack. The command stack can be displayed along with the
other buffers by pressing B. Previously entered commands are
moved back to the command line as the pointer is moved up or down
through the stack (using the up or down arrow key). You can also push
a command from the command line onto the stack without executing it by
pressing P (push). When a command is pushed onto the stack, one
of the other commands in the stack is removed. If an identical
command exists within the stack, it is removed, otherwise the command
at the top of the stack is removed.
3.4.2 Command Buffers -
The command buffers contain saved commands that can be executed
by entering a user defined pneumonic of 1 to 4 characters. For
example, changing the current directory to "c:\project\source" can be
done by entering the command "cd c:\project\source". You can define a
command called "ps" to do this by typing in the following:
This will enter the command and pneumonic into memory. If you want to
save it to disk, press S.
You may delete this defined command from the command buffers list
by moving the pointer to the command (using N, Up and Down arrow
keys) and pressing D.
You can search the command buffers list by entering a tag
followed by an equal sign and then pressing the C for example, if
the above command tag was entered, then entering the following:
Will change the command line to:
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Command buffer tags must be terminated by a space, comma or
. When a tagged command is processed, the remaining command
line is appended to it. For example if the tag "d" has been added to
the command buffers list as follows:
Then the following command will perform a directory of all the *.asm
Command buffers can be nested. For example, if the following
command has been added to the command buffers list as follows:
pur=del *.bak, del *.lstc
Then the following command buffer and tag could be created (using
the "ps" tag created in an earlier example):
psp = ps,pur C ;purge source directory.
Typing "psp" will change the current directory to
c:\project\source and delete the files *.bak and *.lst.
Command buffers also support argument passing using the %1 - %9
variables in a manner similar to batch or command files. For example,
if the command is defined as follows:
pur=del %1*.bak,del %1*.lst
Entering "pur project" will delete all project*.bak and project*.lst
Command strings can be echoed to the screen as they are being
executed by pressing E. Pressing E again turns off the
command echo. For example, if E is pressed before the command
pur (from the previous example) is executed, the following command
strings will be shown on the screen as they are executed:
DOS Interactive Command Editor Page 6
3.4.3 Argument Buffers -
Argument buffers can be used to store frequently used command
arguments. Stored arguments can be entered on the command line by
typing the user defined argument tag followed by L or L.
Argument buffers and tags are added to the argument list in the
same way that command buffers are added except that an A is
pressed. For example:
Will enter the argument "c:\project\source" into the argument buffers
list. Typing "psL" will cause the tag "ps" to be replaced
by the literal "c:\project\source" on the command line. When an
argument tag is typed on the command line, it must be preceded by an
non-alphanumeric character (normally a space). This is so that the
program can figure out where the tag begins. If you wanted to list
the directory for c:\project\source, then the following could be
When the L is pressed, the command line becomes:
Now when is pressed, the directory will be displayed.
Arguments can be deleted from the argument buffers by moving the
pointer to the argument and tag and pressing D.
You can search the argument buffers list by entering a tag
followed by an equal sign and then pressing the A for example, if
the above command tag was entered, then entering the following:
Will change the command line to:
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3.5 Command Prompt
DICE generates it's own command prompt which is configured by
specifying command arguments when the program is invoked. The DICE
command arguments are as follows:
1. $nnn - display attribute of the prompt, command line and
2. $$ - puts a dollar sign in the prompt string.
3. $_ - does a carriage return/line feed.
4. $bnn - sets the idle time in minutes before screen blanking.
If nn = 0, screen blanking is disabled. This feature is not
supported in the OS/2 version.
5. $cttt - executes saved command buffer with tag "ttt" upon
startup of DICE, the tag must be terminated by any
6. $d - puts the current date in the prompt string.
7. $g - puts in the ">" character.
8. $l - puts in the "<" character.
9. $n - puts in the drive letter.
10. $p - puts the current drive and directory into the prompt.
11. $t - puts the time of day into the prompt.
12. $v - inserts the DOS or OS/2 version number into the prompt.
13. ASCII characters go into the prompt string unaltered.
For example, if DICE is invoked as follows:
EXAMPLE: DICE $10$Cpon $d $t $p $_DOS$g
The display will be in light green (CGA color 10) and the command
buffer with the tag "pon" will be executed at start up. The prompt
for command entry format will be as follows:
Wed, Oct 1,1986 2:00:30.01pm C:\COM
4 PROGRAM AND DOCUMENTATION USAGE
The programs DICE.EXE and DICE2.EXE and the manual DICE.DOC are
intended to be copied and/or distributed for non-commercial use only.
The programs and documentation come without warranty of any kind
either expressed or implied.
If you're using DICE and find it useful, you should register your
copy. The registration fee is $5.00 per copy. To register, send your
name, address and $5.00 to the location listed below. Also if you
have comments or suggestions for the program, please mail them and we
will consider them for future revisions.
DICE Software Factory
29284 Willow Lane