Contents of the RESQ.DOC file
**>> RESQ V2.1 <<**
RESQ is a utility, whose use bears some similarity to an UNERASE
program. In other words, you won't need RESQ until you need it,
but then you'll NEED it. However, RESQ reaches beyond file
unerasure, to recover text files which have never been saved as
disk files, and would otherwise be lost in the computer. How
does it do this? RESQ converts buffered text, left in your
computer's memory (RAM), to a disk file. If you've ever lost
hard-won text due to a word-processing glitch, or forgotten to
save that text file you just downloaded, or had to use the fire
exit while testing a new program, or given the wrong answer to
"Abandon current version? y/n", you can use RESQ.
*> dynamically finds the limits of computer memory
*> hunts between those limits for a text phrase you supply
*> shows you the text in the area of the new-found phrase
*> asks "Is this your text?"
*> if you agree, finds the beginning of the text
*> simultaneously shows and saves the text in RES.Q
*> closes the rescued file when you hit any key, or
*> when it finds the end of the bloc of text
Type RESQ or RESQ X and follow screen directions.
RESQ searches its own version of RAM with all high bits reset.
Thus it finds text made by WordStar as easily as plain ASCII. It
is unnecessary for you to remember the text which begins your
semi-lost file. Just give RESQ a phrase of up to 55 characters
anywhere in the bloc, and it will usually be able to get back to
the head of the text before beginning to save.
Accidental matches: Occasionally, while searching for simple
phrases, there will be another copy in RAM which accidentally
matches your search phrase. If what RESQ shows you (when it
asks: Is this your text?) is junk, or an accidental match to your
phrase, just answer "No" and RESQ will continue to hunt. On the
other hand, RESQ detects words in the midst of binary data just
fine, and also can be useful for finding text strings in programs
(which I called "junk" above).
Phrase entry: Search phrases should be entered exactly as they
occur in the text; capitalization and line breaks matter. On the
other hand, a single word is likely to be unique in RAM, so a
single well-chosen word will usually guide the search
Programs: RESQ works for any program which buffers regular text
above or below the point where RESQ itself resides. For example,
RESQ finds text left in RAM by DOS, WordStar 3.3, Mex-PC,
Sidekick, and the Turbo Pascal editor equally well. As for other
programs, because RESQ searches and requires no information about
where the text must be found, it will likely work too.
If you use TSR's (Terminate-Stay-Resident programs like
Sidekick), there may be TSR text below the currently active
location in memory where RESQ will load and start searching
upward. A new option in V2.1 allows you to easily handle this
situation. You can elect to search from the bottom of RAM to the
top, instead of starting upward from the top of RESQ. Just use
this command: RESQ $. ANY character on the command line
after RESQ (except blanks) will cause RESQ to start at the bottom
of RAM looking for your text. If you wonder why RESQ does not
find its own internal copies of your search string when you use
this option and RESQ searches itself, fear not. It does.
However, RESQ will ignore finds at addresses where it knows it is
storing your search string.
Some limitations: RESQ cannot recover all text. Some programs
which handle text do not store it in RAM, intact in a buffer.
Another occasional cause of wierd results is that some programs
buffer their text in an encoded form (for example, compressed)
which is unlike the onscreen version. And of course, buffers are
finite: RESQ can only save what was present in your program's
If you have done some computing before realizing that there was a
text you didn't save, your words may be divided into several
pieces by overwritten code or data. In this case, you may
recover a fragment, and it is a good idea to try another word or
phrase which might be likely in the lost part of the text. If
other pieces of your text are still in RAM, RESQ can find and
recover them. When used repeatedly, RESQ will add new text to
its file RES.Q. At the end of a session involving several saves,
RES.Q will contain the fragments in order of recovery, separated
by blank lines.
Version notes: As a result of tuning the critical code for
importing and examining RAM, RESQ V2.1 searches for text more
than threefold faster than V2.0, which was itself similarly
faster than V1.9. To complement this change, a clearer search
address indicator has been added, which shows the search position
as a bar graph stretching from the start to the end address. If
required, the progress of the search can now be followed from
across the room. Concatenation of new saved text in RES.Q is
new, and replaces the prior protocol in which new RES.Q's
replaced previous ones. It seemed more sensible that the user
shouldn't have to worry about erasing previous saves while
hunting for lost text. Finally, the option of a search through
all of memory, if the command line is lengthened, is new in V2.1.
Good luck; but you'll need less computer luck if you have RESQ.
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