UTILITY -> Floppy disc and tape tool
© Nemesis (1989)
Minidos v1.0

Manual n° 1

MINIDOS INSTRUCTIONS ==================== GENERAL MINIDOS is a very useful and in most cases preferable alternative to CPM or AMSDOS. There are a number of commands available. Simply type the command followed by whatever parameters it requires and press enter/return. MINIDOS will accept abbreviations of any command down to a minimum of 2 letters. The commands are listed below, and you can obtain a list of them at any time by typing 'HELP'. It is advisable to practice using MINIDOS by formatting a MINIDOS system disc (see below) and saving a few dummy files on it, then try using the various file commands on this disc and CATalogue it to see what happens. MINIDOS is on the system tracks of the PROCOPY disc and if you want to run it without going through the menu just insert the PROCOPY disc and type ùCPM [ENTER]. Indeed you can use this procedure to boot MINIDOS for any disc which has been formatted with MINIDOS on the system tracks (see format command). CAT & CAT "FILENAME.EXT" Just entering CAT on its own will catalogue the files on the drive in the same manner as the CAT function available from basic. There are basically only two differences. Firstly you can specify which drive to catalogue. For example, to catalogue drive B you would type 'CAT B:' (don't forget the colon!). To catalogue drive A, type 'CAT A:'. If 'CAT' is entered on its own and no drive specified then MINIDOS will default to drive A (as it does on ALL occasions when no drive is specified). The second difference is that certain parts of the file extension may be highlighted. If the first character of the file extension is highlighted this means that the file is read-only. Any attempt to erase or overwrite a read-only file will fail. If the second character of the file extension is highlighted then the file is a system file, which simply means that it will not appear in a normal basic CAT, but it can still be loaded as normal (and saved as normal if it is not a read-only file). If there is an inverted E after the filename then it is an ERASED file. Erased files cannot be read, or written to, and do not appear on a normal Amsdos CAT or CPM DIR. If you wish to examine the specific details of a file then type CAT "FILENAME.EXT" substituting the appropriate filename and extension depending on which file you want further details of. For example, to cat the file "CODE.BIN" you would type CAT "CODE.BIN" followed by enter/return (the first double quote is obligatory, but as with AMSDOS the second double quote is not neccessary). NB: It is possible to use WILD CARDS as in CPM or AMSDOS. For example, if you wanted to examine all binary files you might type CAT "*.BIN". To catalogue all files you would type CAT "*.*", or to catalogue all files begining with "K" you would type CAT "K*.*". 'nuff said? CLS I'll let you figure out what this one does! COPY Perhaps the most useful command, this allows you to copy FILES from one disc to another, using any combination of drives you wish. Because of the way the COPY command analyses the directory you cannot copy files from a disc onto that same disc (not that you would ever want to anyway!).The syntax takes the form: COPY [source drive]: "filename.ext" [destination drive]: Remember that wild cards may be used and that drives do not necessarily have to be specified since MINIDOS will default to drive A if no drive is given in the command parameters. Here are some examples: To copy all files from drive A to drive A: COPY "*.*" or COPY A: "*.*" or COPY A: "*.*" A: or COPY "*.*",A: (note the use of a comma after the filename instead of a space. Commas and spaces are interchangeable in MINIDOS syntax) To copy all binary files from drive B to drive A: COPY B: "*.BIN" or COPY B: "*.BIN" A: note that drive B is specified in both cases, since if it wasn't MINIDOS would automatically default to drive A. To copy all binary files begining with "K" from drive A to drive B: COPY "K???????.BIN" B: or COPY A: "K*.BIN" B: or COPY A: "K*.BIN B: (note that I haven't bothered to use the second double quote, but remember that the first one is compulsory!) When copying any files MINIDOS will always ask for confirmation for each file with the prompt 'FILENAME.EXT Copy(Y/N)? '. This takes place before copying commences, meaning that people with double drives can go and make themselves a cup of coffee while MINIDOS continues to work on its own; although MINIDOS would probably be finished copying before they even got as far as the kettle, since it is a lot faster than A-M-S-D-O-S (snore). For those of you with a single drive MINIDOS will issue prompts when copying and wait until you insert the appropriate disc when it is changing between source and destination. MINIDOS is very friendly and will check to see that you don't do something silly, like put the wrong disc in the drive. ERASE The syntax for the erase command is the same as that for Amsdos and CPM. Remember that the first double quote is necessary and that wild cards can be used in the same fashion as the CAT or COPY commands. For example to erase all three letter files begining with 'K' and ending in 'V' (guess who): ERA "K?V.*" When a file is erased (by Amsdos, CPM, MINIDOS or anything else) it is NOT removed from the directory, it is simply marked in a special way to show that it has been erased, and that the areas of the disc it previously occupied are now free for use. This means that if you erase a file and then save something else on the disc, the part of the disc occupied by the erased file might now be overwritten, which means that unerasing it will subsequently be a useless exercise since it has been corrupted. The lesson to learned here is that if you erase something by mistake DON'T save anything else on the disc; load MINIDOS and try to salvage it using unerase it. FORMAT There are two basic types of format, DATA ONLY and VENDOR. Data only format has no system tracks and you can't put MINIDOS or CPM on it, since the whole disc (178k) is for your programs. The directory for the disc is held on track 0 sectors C1-C4. Vendor format (169k) has the first 2 tracks reserved for CPM, MINIDOS or whatever else you want to appear when you type ùCPM. The directory is held on track 2 sectors 41-44. When formatting a vendor format disc you are asked to insert a disc containing the desired system tracks. This must be a disc which was formatted using MINIDOS or CPM. To create a disc with MINIDOS on it simply pick vendor format and insert the original PROCOPY disc (or one that has already got MINIDOS system tracks on it) when asked for a disc with the desired system tracks. HELP Will provide you with a list of the commands available. KILL Kill will completely erase any files which have been previously marked as erased (eg. files with an inverted E following the file extension when a CAT command is given from MINIDOS). When a file has been KILLed it cannot be unerased. It is a good idea (although not essential) to do a 'KILL "*.*"' on a disc before you start doing any erasing (Not unerasing!!). This means that when you erase a file by mistake you won't be left with more than one erased file sitting in the directory (when unerasing MINIDOS will resurrect the first matched erased file found). Kill will ONLY destroy files that have been previously marked as erased, and will remove them TOTALLY from the directory, which means that they will be not be listed, even with the inverted E after the file extension, when a CAT command is given. There is no danger of Kill erasing any normal (ie. non erased) files, it ignores these completely. QUIT This will give you the option to exit MINIDOS. RENAME The syntax of this command takes the form: RENAME [DRIVE]: "OLDNAME.EXT","NEWNAME.EXT" some examples are: RENAME A: "FRED.BAS","ZIPPY.BAS" RENAME "ZIPPY.BAS","GEORGE.BAS" RENAME B: "GEORGE.BAS","BUNGLE.BAS" Wild cards cannot be used! R/O You may have catalogued a disc using Amsdos and found that some files had an asterisk printed after them. If you try to write to, or erase these files you will be presented with an error message and the computer will refuse to overwrite the file. This is because it is a Read Only file. MINIDOS shows these files by highlighting the first character in the file extension. The R/O command will change a file to Read Only. The syntax for this command is: R/O [DRIVE]: "FILENAME.EXT". Wild cards can be used and as usual if the drive is not specified MINIDOS will default to drive A. R/W This does the opposite of R/O and changes a file back to normal so as it can read from, written to, and erased. The syntax is the same as R/O. SYSTEM It has already been explained how erased files can still be in the directory, but not be visible when an Amsdos CAT or CPM DIR command is given. Another type of file which is invisible is a system file. It can be read from, written to etc. as normal, but will not appear in a standard CAT or DIR. A system file is shown in the MINIDOS CAT list by the middle letter of the file being highlighted. With the SYSTEM command it is possible to define whether a file is or is not a system file. The command syntax is: SYSTEM [STATUS]: [DRIVE] "FILENAME.EXT" Where status= "ON" if you want the file(s) to become system or "OFF" if you want the file(s) to be clearly visible (non-system). Wild cards can be used in the filename. UNERASE The Amsdos erase command is, I'm sure, the subject of much cursing and blinding for many of us. More than once I have erased the wrong file only to find that it's gone for good. Amsdos takes the same line on this as the Amstrad Customer Complaints Dept. does about complaints- "tough cheese matey". Fortunately help is at hand with the unerase command in MINIDOS. When you erase a file by mistake just boot MINIDOS and type: UNERASE [DRIVE]: "FILENAME.EXT" and the file will rematerialise. For example if I erased a file called "MININSTR.TXT" by mistake, and the file was on drive B, to unerase it from MINIDOS I might type: UNERASE B: "MININSTR.TXT". Please note that wild cards CANNOT be used for this command.

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