1 Dir For IBM PC/PCjr
Requirements: IBM PC/PCjr or
compatible with at least 128K RAM (192K recommended), at least one disk
drive, and DOS 2.0 or higher.
Whether you are a casual user or a "power user," getting the most from
your IBM PC or compatible requires a thorough understanding of how to
use MS-DOS. But the difference between merely understanding how to use
MS-DOS and really using it effectively may be like the difference
between walking around the block and competing in a marathon. With 1 Dir from Bourbaki, Inc., you can
easily run circles around MS-DOS.
(pronounced "wonder") stands for one directory. Its purpose is to
simplify the use of MS-DOS for any one, regardless of their level of
expertise. It is called a shell for DOS because it sits between you and
the operating system, simplifying command execution.
eliminates the DOS A> prompt and the need to type filenames and
commands on the command line. Instead, it presents a menu screen from
which all operations take place (see photo). At the top left of the
screen is an indicator showing which directory is being displayed; the
indicator is blank for your root directory.
The rest of the screen is divided into seven columns
grouped into three blocks. The first column displays the currently
selected disk drive and a "file cursor" -a reverse video cursor used to
select files from a directory. The next three columns list your
filenames, extension names, and file sizes. The following two columns,
grouped into another block, display the date and time that your files
were last accessed. (If you like, 1
Dir can also display system and disk statistics in this area
rather than file information.) The last column, separated from the
others in its own block, contains the toggle and setup information.
Toggles such as Caps, Print, Batch, and Edit are highlighted in reverse
video when turned on. You can also switch the Pause option on or off,
select which drive directory is displayed by default, and choose from
four ways to sort file directories (by name, extension, date, and
size). Each time you specify a different sort, the filenames instantly
rearrange themselves on the screen.
A horizontal block at the bottom of the screen
contains a "command cursor" and nine commands: Erase, Rename, Type,
Copy, Run, Compose, Execute, Date, and Time. By moving the command
cursor with the left and right arrow keys to the command you want, and
then moving the file cursor with the up and down arrow keys to the
filename you want, you can execute DOS commands without having to
remember the proper syntax. Just above the horizontal command block is
a oneline area for typing commands and responding to prompts.
1 Dir makes it easier to use MS-DOS
commands and file directories into
Let's say you want to erase three files on a disk
whose filenames are too different to permit use of a wildcard (which is
a risky way to delete files, anyhow). Rather than erasing each file
separately by typing ERASE A:FILE1.EXT, with 1 Dir you start by positioning the
command cursor on the Erase command and then moving the file cursor to
the first filename you want to delete. Press the + key to tag that
file. Then move the file cursor to the second and third filenames and
tag those files by pressing + each time. Although you've tagged the
files, nothing yet has happened. When you press ENTER, the screen
displays all three filenames and shows how many bytes will become
available by erasing them. If you answer Y to the "Are you sure?"
prompt, the files are deleted.
The Copy command works in much the same way. You
point to either an individual file to be copied or tag several files.
Then tell 1 Dir where the
file(s) should be copied to and press ENTER. If you want to copy an
entire disk, you can tag the whole directory with one keystroke rather
than tagging each file separately. You can also run programs simply by
pointing to them with the file cursor, positioning the command cursor
on Run, and pressing ENTER.
Batch Files, Too
One of the most powerful features of MS-DOS is its ability to execute a
group of commands with a batch file. Unfortunately, creating batch
files with Edlin (the MS-DOS line editor) can be difficult, especially
for novices and casual users.
With 1 Dir,
creating batch files is easy. The Batch Builder feature automatically
compiles a batch file as you issue the commands. In the Batch Builder
mode, you can use 1 Dir to
change directories, run programs, copy and erase files, or do whatever
you want. When you're done, just turn off the mode and 1 Dir constructs the batch file.
1 Dir also
lets you customize the command menu at the bottom of the screen. If you
use the Batch Builder first to create your commands, it's easy to make
menus corresponding to the batch files. You can put together customized
shells in very little time.
I've been running 1
Dir for several months on a two-drive AT&T 6300 computer and
have found it invaluable and easy to use. Although it's very useful on
a floppy disk computer, it's even better if your computer has a hard
disk. I set it up on a hard disk system accessed mostly by casual
users, and there's no question that this particular computer gets more
use because of 1 Dir.
A new version of 1
Dir, promised to be available by the time you read this, is
supposed to be even more powerful. It will have expanded color options,
password protection, a rewritten manual, the ability to rename
subdirectories, and custom commands that allow abbreviations or
descriptions to be displayed rather than actual command syntax.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced user, 1 Dir can simplify your
introduction to MS-DOS and make your time on the computer more
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