Dec 232017
Instructions on how to load Word Perfect completely into memory.
File WPRAM.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Word Perfect
Instructions on how to load Word Perfect completely into memory.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
WPMDRIVE.TXT 9299 3809 deflated

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Contents of the WPMDRIVE.TXT file

========== WORDPERFECT IN RAM =================


Daryl Pope's article in the December 1985 WARUG NEWSLETTER (2:12) on
running WordPerfect in RAM was very useful, but it sets up one potential
problem: if you have WP installed in RAM and then leave it (perhaps to
run some other programs also in RAM or on disks), then return to WP by
typing E:WP, there is no automatic installation of a nontransient drive
to which files are saved. It is easy enough to forget to run the CHG
macro once inside WP, which means valuable files can be lost should the
computer power down or lock.

The problem can be avoided by having the WP command itself function as
a macro so CHG is installed wherever the loading command is initiated.


Pope used G:\ for the RAM drive and E:\ for the disk containing containing
the WP system files; E:\ would also be used to store text files. That
assumes a Winchester. In the command sequences that follow, I'll assume
just A: and B: floppies, with the RAM drive as E:. I'll get to the hard
disk command sequence later.

Pope's command sequence had separate command lines in the batch file for
transferring each of the WP files to the RAM drive. All of that can be
done with two commands:

COPY *WP*.* E:

Pope didn't include the help file in his list of files to be copied to
RAM drive, I assume because it is so bulky and because WP is so lucid
you don't need the help file once you've been using it for a while.
People who need the help file will be transferring that anyway, and
people experienced enough not to need it aren't taking up space for it
on their floppies or Winchesters. In any event, the WP*.* command will
transfer whatever WP files you are currently using.


These are the steps for installing WP on RAM drive and ensuring that
reinstallation will always save text files to a non-transient drive.

(1) On the drive or disk holding your WP files, type:


[We will have a WP.BAT file on the RAM drive. If two files with
the same prefix have .EXE and .BAT suffixes, MS/DOS will execute
the .EXE file. To make sure DOS "sees" the .BAT file, we alter
slightly the name of the .EXE file.]

(2) Create WORD.BAT file on your WordPerfect system disk. Assuming you
have it in the A: drive, from the A: prompt type:


The last line sets up WordPerfect on RAM drive (E: in this case)
and immediately executes the CHG macro, making B: the default
drive. Whatever you save will be saved to B:, not to E:. (If for
some reason you want to save temporarily to E:, tell the program
that when you get the bottom line prompt after pressing [SAVE] or

^Z ([CONTROL] Z, that is) indicates to DOS that you're done writing
the console command sequence. I've heard that if you type the ^Z on
the same line as the last command the program executes a half second
faster. I don't know if this is true, but the placement does no harm
in any case.

I use a lot of macros in WordPerfect--addresses, page formats, pitch,
modes, etc. You can store macros in any drive, but I find it most
convenient to store them on the WP system drive. If you're running
WP in RAM drive, the macros execute almost instantaneously--very nice.
I have, therefore, a command line in my WORD.BAT file to copy those
frequently-used macros. Copying to an electronic drive is much faster
than copying to a floppy, so the process only takes a minute or two.
The command sequence, operating from a floppy in A:, reads:


(3) Create WP.BAT:


This is what you use to load WordPerfect from A: or any other drive when
the files have already been transfered to the RAM drive. If you've come
out of WP to run some other operation, there's no need to go through the
entire copying procedure again just to get to the command line. Note that
this command line includes and immediately executes the CHG macro, ensuring
that all SAVE DOCUMENT commands from WP direct files to a non-transient
drive. Since there is no WP.EXE file on any of the drives, you invoke this
with a simple "WP".

(4) Go into WP and create the CHG macro:

[LIST FILES]=B: (or wherever else you want the text files saved)

When you boot up, the system will go to A: and will ask for DATE and
TIME, then you will get the A: prompt. Type "WORD" and the computer

--copy the WP files to E: (the RAM drive)
--change to E: as the active drive
--load WordPerfect in E:
--execute the CHG macro so the default drive for saving files will
be a floppy.

The CHG macro, as Daryl Pope pointed out, is EXTREMELY important because it
ensures that your files will be saved to disk. If you don't have the CHG
macro, your files will be saved to RAM, which means they disappear should
you ever have to reboot.


If you are working from floppies and will be booting from the WP disk, you
can do the whole thing with an AUTOEXEC.BAT instead of WORD.BAT. The only
difference is you would create an AUTOEXEC.BAT file:


...then everything else is the same.


Nearly everything is exactly the same with a hard disk except the drive
designations and the speed. I have a 20mb Winchester on my office Rainbow,
so I keep all the working programs I use regularly on drive E:. The
operating system, various utilities, WP and MINITEL are on the main
directory; I store others (such as dBase, FPRINT, and Multiplan) in
subdirectories to keep down the clutter. A backup set of the WP macros
are in a subdirectory named MAC. Since the Winchester has three partitions,
the operating system automatically installs the RAM drive on H: on booting.
The WP files default (in WP setup and in the CHG command) is set for drive
F:. I keep the working macros on F: too, since they are used mostly with
correspondence and having them on the default file speeds things up. Since
they are not in transient memory, they don't have to be ported over to RAM
when I have to reboot. My command sequence for WORD.BAT, therefore, goes:


Since the speller programs are not covered by the wildcards, the spell files
remain on E: and are not transferred to RAM. There's no point consuming all
that space for a dictionary; all you have to do is tell WP in the setup
program that the spell files will be found on E:.

When I have to load the files to RAM drive, the elapsed time between when I
type WORD at the E: prompt and see the cursor waiting for work on the WP
clean screen is 15 seconds. That includes transfer of the WP files. Since
I don't turn the computer off, the WP files and macros are in place all the
time except when I have to reboot, so the normal access time is only a
second or two longer than it takes to type "WP" from the E: prompt. (The
WP.BAT file with the three partition hard disk directs the system to G:
rather than E: drive.)


If you are going to run WP from RAM, remember to run the WP/S program and
tell the setup that the WP system files will be kept on E: (or a higher
designation if you have a Winchester installed). You just have to do that

In setup, WP looks for WP.EXE. Setup won't function with WPX.EXE. So to
change the setup options (telling the program where to look for the various
files and where to store backup files), change WPX.EXE to WP.EXE, make the
changes, then rename WP.EXE to WPX.EXE again. It looks confusing, but it's
really quite simple in execution.

If you have 896K RAM you could add other programs you're likely to run as
well--a comm program such as MINITEL, for example. With that much RAM,
you could add "COPY MINTEL:EXE" to the command sequence and still have
plenty of room to function. If you have 640K or so, you might partition
the MDRIVE with five 64K blocks and install only WP there.

If you have just 256K RAM you don't have enough room to run WordPerfect from
RAM drive. With 256K you can only set up two 64K MDRIVE sectors and
WordPerfect needs a minimum of three, preferably more. If you use WP
regularly and don't have enough RAM to run it from MDRIVE, consider
replacing those 64K chips with 256K chips. Hitachi 256K 150ns chips are
currently going for only $2.57 each, which means you can upgrade a 256K
Rainbow 100B to 896K for only $75 and about fifteen minutes of simple work.

Bruce Jackson

 December 23, 2017  Add comments

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