8-Bit Software Online Conversion

3.5 DELETING PROGRAM RECORDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The process of removing Program Records from the file has been upgraded to save time and give the program a more professional way of operating. When you wish to delete a record from the disc you must firstly "MARK THE PROGRAM FOR DELETION". Doing this removes the Program Record from all catalogues and reports, but does not physically delete the record from the disc. This gives the user the opportunity to change his/her mind and therefore rescue the record if necessary. On a regular basis (say once a week) the user "Compresses" the database. Doing this will physically remove all Program Records marked for deletion and consiquently "renumber" all records held on the database. Compressing the database also attempts to "repair" any corrupted records (referred to as "tattered" records). The following paragraphs explain the process of deleting Program Records in more detail .... 3.5.1 Marking Program Record(s) for Deletion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In order to remove a Program Record from the database, it must first be marked for deletion. To do this, select the option "Programs For Deletion" from the main menu and press <return>. You will be presented with a secondary menu which provides various methods of deletion which will now be explained .... Deleting a Single Program ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option is used when you wish to delete just 1 Program Record from the database. The computer will prompt you for a program number. Enter the correct program number and press <return>. There will be a short pause whilst the computer finds the correct record before proceeding to mark it for deletion. You will then be returned to the Main Menu. Deleting a Range of Programs ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option is used when it becomes necessary to delete a "chunk" of Program Records that are grouped together on the database. For example you might have a database with Program Records numbering from 1 to 100 and you would like to delete records 50 to Record 57 inclusive. The computer will prompt you to "Enter Start Record Number" to which you would enter "50" and press <return>. You will then be asked to "Enter Finish Record Number" to which you would enter "57" and press <return>. The computer will then mark all records between these two numbers for deletion before returning you to the main menu. Deleting Selected Programs ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option is used when you wish to delete a selected number of records which do not fall into any kind of order. For example if you wished to delete records 1,5,9,13,4 and 33 then you would select this option to do this. Upon selection you will be presented with seven "Record" entries to complete. Just enter each record number you wish to delete and press <return>. It is not necessary to use all the 7 Record fields provided. Once you have finished just leave any remaining Record Fields blank by just pressing <return>. When you reach the last field the computer will mark all your selected Records for deletion before returning to the main menu. Deleting All Programs ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option will remove all Program Records resident on the database. Unlike the other options mentioned, this option will physically remove the database file from the disc without marking programs for deletion first. Remember: Using this option will irrevocably wipe all records on the database. If you select this option then you will be provided with another menu asking you to confirm your choice. Once confirmed the computer will wipe the database. Having done this, SYSTEMS server will "Re-Boot". This is necessary in order to reset program variables. It is suggested that you *COMPACT the disc before you embark on creating a new database record file. 3.5.2 Why are Programs Marked for Deletion? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With the exception of "DELETE ALL PROGRAMS", none of the above options ( - will actually remove a record from the database. Instead, a software "marker" is placed on the record which will make it invisable to normal program operations. The reason for this method is to keep accidental deletions to a minimum. It is quite possible to recover a deleted program as will be explained later on. 3.5.3 When are Programs Finally Deleted Completely? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Program Record which has been marked for deletion can remain (invisably) on the database for as long as the user wishes. "Marked" Program Records are actually deleted when the database is compressed (see below). 3.6 COMPRESSING THE PROGRAM FILE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option will "tidy" the Program Record file by performing the following operations .... a. Physically remove from the disc all Program Records marked for deletion. b. Mend any "tattered" Program Records. c. Renumber all Program Records. Firstly, all Program Records that have been marked for deletion on the database will finally be physically and irrevocably deleted from the disc. Secondly, all "tattered" records (see later) will either be recovered (or deleted if recovery is not possible). Finally, all the Program records on the database will be renumbered. Upon selecting this option you will be asked to confirm your decision before the computer performs the task. Once complete SYSTEMS server will perform a "Re-Boot" in order to reset program variables. It is recommended that this option be used on an infrequent, but regular basis. For example, it is recommended that the Program File be compressed once a week or once a month if used infrequently. 3.7 AMENDING & UPDATING PROGRAM RECORDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option will allow any kind of amendment to be made to a Program Record. It is also possible to recover programs marked for deletion if desired by using this option. THE RELEVENT PROGRAM NUMBER MUST BE KNOWN WHEN USING THIS MENU OPTION. To amend a Program Record, just highlight "Amend/Update Programs" from the Main Menu and press <return>. The computer will prompt you for a Program Number. Enter a valid number and press <return>. Once the computer locates the correct number, the whole Program Record will be displayed and the cursor will position itself on the first letter of the first field (the "Program" field). Use the following guidelines to amend a Program Record ... 1. To Begin Amending, just start typing - The computer will overwrite the existing data. Do not worry if your new data does not completely overwrite the old data - the computer will insert spaces at the end of the text if necessary to keep up presentation. 2. To leave a field unchanged - just press <return>. 3. When you reach the STATUS field - 2 possible options are accepted by the computer - either 0 (live) or 9 (marked for deletion). You may amend this field if desired (full explanation below). Once you have reached the bottom of the screen, you will be asked to CONFIRM or ABANDON the amendments. Use the left and right arrow keys to highlight the necessary option and press <return>. (If cursor keys do not work then use the "1" and "0" keys). The computer will perform any necessary updating before returning you to the main menu. 3.7.1 The "STATUS" Field ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You will probably have noticed that the last field on the screen when amending programs is marked STATUS. This tells us whether the Program Record is set at status 0 (live), or status 9 (marked for deletion) ... a. A STATUS OF 0 means the program is "live" and will therefore appear on all program catalogues etc. etc. b. A STATUS OF 9 means the Program Record has been "Marked for Deletion" by previous use of the "Programs for Deletion" option. This means the Program Record will not appear on any catalogues and will be physically removed from the disc file when the "Compress Program File" option is next used. 3.7.2 Rescuing Program Records Marked for Deletion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As stated earlier, it is possible to rescue a Program Record previously marked for deletion. This is acheived by amending the STATUS field (explained above) by means of the "Amend/Update Programs" option from the Main Menu. To rescue a Program Record, just amend it's STATUS back to 0 (zero). 3.8 LOADING PROGRAMS DIRECTLY FROM "SYSTEMS server" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The SYSTEMS server acts primarily as a Program Record database. However the option is also provided to load and run a program stored on one of the "program discs". As you may recall, when you added Program Records to the database, you entered the FILENAME, LOADING METHOD (*RUN, CHAIN etc) and DIRECTORY etc etc. Provided this information was entered correctly, there should be no problems in loading any suitable program. To load a program - Select "Load Program Only" from the Main Menu and press <return>. The computer will prompt you for a program number. If the program number is known, enter this and press <return>. If the program number is not known, just press <return> once, then enter the program name in full (Case Sensitive) and press <return>. Provided the correct program is found, the relevent loading details will be displayed on the screen consiting of the following ... PROG No <the program number> OPTION <loading method ie. CHAIN> DISC No <Your own disc ref.> SURFACE <disc drive No. ie. 0 or 1> NAME <title of program ie. SYSTEMS server VERSION 4> CLASS <classification of program ie. GAME or UTIL etc.> TAG <access tag - either granted or prohibited - see later> 3.8.1 If Loading Access is Granted ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Provided loading access is granted, you will be given the option to LOAD or ABANDON the option. Abandoning will return you to the Main Menu. Using the information provided on the screen, place the correct disc in the correct drive (you may remove the SYSTEMS server disc if necessary). Once this is done press <return>. The computer will then check for the correct filing system (moving to DFS or ADFS if necessary) before exiting SYSTEMS server and loading your desired program. The loading method used (ie. LOAD or CHAIN or *TYPE) will be the one stated in the OPTION field (see above). 3.8.2. If Loading Access is Prohibited ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Loading will only be prohibited if the "OPTION" field of your selected program is set to "MENU ONLY" in which case the computer will print all the loading infomation as before, but the option to load will not be given. See the next paragraph for details on the "MENU ONLY" option. 3.8.3 The "M" Option (Menu Only) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SYSTEMS server could be regarded as two program in one. On the one hand it provides a comprehensive database to store Program Records. On the other hand, it provides a usefule "Loading Gateway" so the user can run a program directly from SYSTEMS server without having to press <Ctrl> <Break> and entering CHAIN "<prog>" etc. etc. When you add Program Records to the database, you have to specify the "Loading Option" from a given table (see section 3.1 and refer to the OPTION field). Continued >>>>>>>> Entering M in the OPTION field causes that Program Record to be set to "Menu Only" which means the Program Record is only for database reference purposes only and may not be loaded and run by using the "Load Program Only" option. Listed below are some of the other reasons why it might be useful to set a program to "Menu Only" .... 1. The program is not readily available (ie. you have lent it to a friend or relative etc.) 2. The program is "Non Basic" (ie. AMPLE Music 5000 file) and therefore loading and running the program in BASIC will only cause the computer to crash. 3. The program is still being written and therefore is Incomplete. (however LOADing the program from SYSTEMS server should still work) These are only suggestions. It is completely up to you what settings you use for each Program Record. Don't forget, you can always change any setting by using the "Amend/Update Programs" option from the Main Menu. SECTION 4 ~~~~~~~~~ 4.1 USER and PROGRAM ERRORS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The SYSTEMS server has been extensively tested and, if used correctly, should not cause any problems. The most common errors are encountered when running programs via the "Load Program Only" option when the wrong disc is inserted or the Program Record settings are incorrect or the wrong DFS is used etc. etc. When an error is encountered the computer will stop the program and report the error. SYSTEMS server will then re-boot in an attempt to save the database Program Records. Errors that are reported in CYAN are minor errors are are usually caused by user mistakes (ie. wrong disc inserted etc.) Errors that are reported in WHITE are rather more serious. When this happens you should note down the error and the number it gives you (in brackets). Note down exactly what you were doing at the time and how the error came about. Then contact me (Duncan Webster) on the Resolve Communications Bulletin Board (0582 832653) or at the following address .... Duncan Webster (SYSTEMS support) 7, Ashdale Thringstone Coalville Leicestershire LE6 4LW. Registered users of the bulletin board operated from the above address may use the helpline phone number already provided for them. Please report all errors encountered - it will help future inprovements of the SYSTEMS server and everyone who spots a genuine error will receive a free, disc with the corrected program on straight away. 4.2 IDEAS FOR IMPROVEMENTS (have you written any software?) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Please use the above address (or Resolve Communications) as a meduim to forward any ideas or suggestions for improvements that you feel ought to be made. If you have written any program (game, utility etc.) that you would like to see published, then send a copy and all relevent documentation to the address given above. No matter how good or bad you think it is, I garauntee it will be made available through the PD library and various Bulleting Boards throughout the Country. Thankyou for taking the time to read this manual, I hope the SYSTEMS server works well for you and I hope you find it useful. Should you wish to receive all future releases of this and other SYSTEMS programs, then write to me at the address above and I will register your name. Duncan M. Webster. APPENDIX - Table of coded instructions ~~~~~~~~ When entering a program TYPE ...... U = Utility D = Datafile O = Other R = Rom Image N = Non Basic I = Imcomplete Program W = Word Processor File G = Game A = ASCII Text X = Not Known When entering a programs Loading Option (OPTION) ...... L = LOAD R = *RUN LS = *LIST LD = *LOAD C = CHAIN E = *EXEC M = MENU ONLY When selecting the disc SURFACE 0 = Drive 0 1 = Drive 1 2 = Drive 2 3 = Drive 3 A = ADFS disc format Useful Hints .... When accessing or searching for program records, the PROGRAM NUMBER works much faster than entering a program name as the computer can directly move the disc pointer to your selected program. Entering the NAME instead of the program number gives no technical disc ref. so the computer has to sequentially step through every Program Record thus making the process much slower. Pressing "E" <return> at most prompts ie. "PROG No" will abandon the command option. This is especially useful if you change your mind about marking a Program Record for deletion.