By Trevor Crapper K4V
I want to present a run down of the Disc Filing System (DFS) commands.
Please note that list is not comprehensive. Not all DFS's support all of these
commands and some have more!
When using these commands, please type them in as shown. There is a full
version and an abbreviated one for almost all. There is a list of the
abbreviations at the end of this article.
Files and programs will be shown as either <fsp> <file specification> or as
<afsp> <ambiguous file specification>. This is used when a wild card character
is included with the filename. Wild card characters are # and *. I shall also
use <drv> to denote drive, <source drv> to denote the source drive <dest. drv>
to denote the destination drive, and <dir> to denote directory.
Please type the commands in as shown, and press the RETURN key when finished.
In the abbreviated versions do not forget the full stop '.' at the end.
*ACCESS <afsp> (L)
This command will either 'lock' or 'unlock' a file. This will prevent the file
from being overwritten, added to or deleted.
*BACKUP and *FORM will overwrite a locked file.
*ACCESS PROG L
Locks the file PROG
Unlocks the file PROG
*BACKUP <source drive><destination drive>
This command is used to transfer files from one disc to another or, from one
drive to another. Before it can be used the command *ENABLE has to be typed in
*BACKUP 0 2
Will transfer files from drive 0 to drive 2 without removing the disc from the
*BACKUP 0 0
Will transfer files, but this time you are asked to exchange discs.
You may transfer files from any drive to any drive, stating the source drive
first and the destination drive second.
Please be very careful when using this command because any files on the
destination disc will be overwritten. Make absolutely certain you have selected
the correct drives because you could transfer a blank drive onto the side
containing your files and wipe the lot off! Be warned.
This command when entered will automatically give you line numbers starting
from 1. When you have typed in your information press ESCAPE to save the file.
The command is used to build files using commands that you will type in.
You can create a special file called !BOOT. This is the auto boot file.
1*BASIC (the computer will be in BASIC
2CHAIN"PROG" (the file to be auto run
3 (press ESCAPE now
You must now type in *OPT 4 3 and press the RETURN key. See OPT in the list of
commands for more information.
This will create a file called !BOOT on the disc. To use it, press and hold
down the SHIFT key, at the same time, press and let go of the BREAK key. Your
program should then run.
One of the widest uses of the !BOOT file is to run menu programs.
3 (press ESCAPE now)
A very simple file which will auto run the MENU program. Use the information
shown above to complete the task and to boot the MENU in.
Please note that generally your disc can only have one !BOOT file that will
run with SHIFT+BREAK. Some DFS's will allow you to SHIFT+BREAK on each of the
surfaces. Some DFS's default to side 0 on SHIFT+BREAK, others stay in the
current drive. Any other !BOOT files would have to be run using the *EXEC <fsp>
command, where fsp is the file to be run. See *EXEC for more details.
2*SRLOAD WORDWSE 8000 7 Q
4 (Press ESCAPE now)
This creates a file called !WW+ and it will automatically load Wordwise Plus
into slot 7 on a Master and call it up for you. To use it type in *!WW+ and
press the RETURN key.
Finally a simple way to auto run programs on other drives, for example:
*DRIVE 2 (press RETURN now)
*EXEC !BOOT (press RETURN now) and away you go. You could also *EXEC
<fsp> where fsp is the file to be run.
This command will catalogue the drive specified by you. Providing the disc has
*CAT 0 (press RETURN now)
Drive: 0 Option: 0 (off)
Directory: 0.$ Library: 0.$
You will see the above on a blank formatted disc. If it has programs on it,
you will see something like this:
Drive: 0 Option: 2 (RUN)
Directory: 0.$ Library: 0.$
A.ROBBERS L B.PLANES
Remember the names will be different!
Note the Option is set to 2 for auto run, the current directory and library are
set to default. The file ROBBERS is in directory A and is 'locked'. The file
PLANES is in directory B but is not 'locked'.
You may get a 'Disk full' error message at times when trying to SAVE a program,
if no single space is big enough to take the program. It may be that there is
enough space on the disc but, it has been split into small sections.
If you have been deleting files this will have left spaces around the disc.
This command moves the remaining files to the 'start' of the disc and leaves
the space as a continuous block.
There must be space on the disc for the command to work.
As the command 'works' it shows file details on the screen.
A note of warning. Because the files are being 'moved' there is a chance that
some of the data may get 'lost' in the transfer. *BACKUP the disc before
*COPY <source drv><dest. drv><afsp>
This command is used to copy any named file or files from disc to another.
*COPY 0 2 <fsp>
Will copy a file from side 0 to side 2.
*COPY 0 0 <fsp>
Will copy a file from side 0 of one disc to side 0 of another, in this case you
will have to swap discs over as requested by the program.
*COPY 0 1 #.PR*
Copies all files beginning with PR irrespective of directory they are in.
Because this command overwrites part of the computers memory, save
anything you may be working on before using it, otherwise it will get 'lost'!
This command will erase the file named by <fsp>, and the space created can be
used for other files. It will only delete one file at a time. Once a file has
been deleted it is not easy to recover, so don't delete anything you wish to
The command cannot delete 'locked' files, these must be 'unlocked' first using
the *ACCESS command. See above.
This assumes you are using the drive that PROG is on. If PROG is on another
drive then you must go to that drive before using the command. Type in *DRIVE
<drv> where drv is the drive you want and the press the RETURN key and now you
can delete your program.
Before using this command, you must first type in *ENABLE and press the RETURN
key. Now type in *DESTROY <afsp>
The command is used to delete a group of files in a single operation and is
normally used with wildcards.
Files deleted cannot easily be recovered, so take good care before using the
command that the files to be deleted are the correct ones.
In operation you will see the command 'Go' or 'Delete' on the screen with (Y/N)
beneath it along with a list of the files you have specified. This gives you
the chance to decide before pressing the 'Y' key!
It will not delete 'locked' files these must be 'unlocked' first using the
*ACCESS command, see above for details.
*DESTROY *.PR* (for instance)
Will destroy all the files beginning with PR irrespective of their directory so
be very careful because you may want to keep a file(s) that has the same
letter(s) but, is not specified! It is so easy to forget!!
This command is used to change the directory from the current to another one. A
directory is usually a single letter, however, it can be anything except these
four characters # * . :
When the computer is first switched on the current directory is $. When CTRL
and BREAK keys are pressed this resets the computer and the current directory
will be $ again.
You must save any files put into a new directory before changing to another
one, providing you wish to save the files of course.
This command can be used to store files on a drive which have the same name.
For instance you could have a file named PROG in the $.directory. You could
also have many more files named PROG but, they would all have to be in
different directories. And in order to run them you would have to specify the
directory in which a particular program was in. No doubt this would lead to a
lot of confusion for the user to sort out!
This command sets the current directory to A. Any files in this directory can
be accessed without having to specify the <dir> first. For example if you want
to look at A.PROG you must load it as "A.PROG" in directory A you simply type
in LOAD "PROG".
Any files now saved in this directory will be prefixed by the dir. letter using
either *SAVE or the BASIC SAVE commands.
Other directories are unaffected by any changes you may make.
In addition to altering directories you may also alter drives using this
If you are on side 0 in directory $ you could change to say side 2 and
directory A by :-
Or you can simply alter the drive by using:-
This command will change over to the drive specified by <drv> in the range 0 1
2 or 3 from the drive in use.
This allows you to save programs to drive 2 of your discs, or to any other
drive you want to use.
You must enter the drive on which the program you want is saved, in order to
run the program.
This command is used to list a file in its hexadecimal form, with the ASCII
equivalents on the right hand side.
It is useful for examining machine code listings.
When using this command the screen will scroll uncontrolled, to hold the screen
use the page mode by pressing the CTRL and letter N keys together and using the
SHIFT key to scroll the screen. As an alternative you can hold both the CTRL
and SHIFT keys down, and release one slightly to allow the screen to scroll,
then press it down to stop the scrolling again etc.
If you have used CTRL and N to stop scrolling, pressing the CTRL and O keys
will reinstate scrolling once more.
This command has to be used with the commands *BACKUP and *DESTROY. If you are
using a Master you can omit this command, however, when using *BACKUP, *DESTROY
and *WIPE on the Master if you do use *ENABLE the the operation will start
without delay. If you do not use *ENABLE with the above commands on the Master
then you will asked Y/N before anything happens.
This command can be used to run certain files that have been created using the
*BUILD command, see above.
It reads the file and prints out what is in it onto the screen. You may notice
these commands when auto running a program, immediately before the program
EXEC is ideal to use when you have to input data, such as programming the
function keys before starting work. BUILD the file with your own commands and
EXEC it before starting. It will save time and trouble remembering what the key
functions are every time!
This will run the file <fsp>.
If you want to examine an EXEC file use either the command *TYPE or *LIST, see
below for details.
*FORM 0 80 or *FORM 80 0 or *FORM80 0 etc!
Prepares a new disc for use. Can come in several forms, or not at all! You
will need to experiment to see which works for you. In this example the 0
represents the drive number and the 80 represents the number of tracks.
Help will display a list of commands available in the DFS. The two keywords are
DFS and UTILS.
This will list the commands you are reading now and give the correct way to
write (type) them in.
This will list the utilities available in your computer and again some of these
are in this list.
Typed in on its own will give you a list of all the ROMs in your computer and
any keywords associated with these ROMs. Use these keywords to get more
information about the uses of the ROMs. Try *HELP . (don't forget the dot)
Use this command to get information about a single or group of files. *CAT will
catalogue a disc but, this command gives the following information:-
The access restriction (if any).
The load address of the program.
The execution address of the program.
The length of the program in bytes.
The address of the first sector on which the program starts.
This will give the information shown above for the file specified by <afsp>
Typed in like this will give you the same information shown above for all the
files on a drive.
This command sets the library to the drive and directory that you have spec-
ified in <drv><dir>. Once this has been set you have the option of simply
typing *PROG (the name of the file you want to run) and the DFS will search
through the drive and directory that you set and run your program, without
having to actually specify the drive or directory.
This sets the library to drive 2 and the directory to A. The command *PROG has
the same effect as typing in *RUN :2.A.PROG.
For users with dual disc drives this command is ideal because you can keep a
utilities disc in drive 1 and use drive 0 as your working drive. Then all you
have to do if you want to use a utility is type *PROG and it will be run.
This command will list a text file named by <fsp> along with the line num-
bers used on the screen.
Please note that this command differs from the LIST command used to list BASIC
program files. *LISTing a BASIC file will produce something that you cannot
read and understand.
The command is normally used to look at Text or Data files. You can use it to
read !BOOT files.
Where PROG is the name of the file used by <fsp>
If the file is a big one, then the screen will scroll too quickly for you to
read the file. Hold down the CTRL key and press the letter N together to stop
scrolling, press SHIFT to move the screen. As an alternative hold down both the
CTRL and SHIFT keys together and release one of them to allow a screenful of
info to move down and press that key in again to stop the screen.
Press the CTRL key together with the letter O key and release them to reset the
This command will load a file into memory and start it running from the address
which was specified by your command or from the load address of the file when
it was saved.
*LOAD PROG 2000
This will load a program called PROG and run it from &2000.
Will load and run the program called PROG from the load address when it was
This command would be normally used to load and run a Machine Code program or a
Data file as part of a BASIC program. Of course it can be used on its own if
you want to try it.
*OPT 1 <number>
This command will set a marker in the computer so that every time it accesses a
disc file, information about the file will be shown on the screen. The info
shown is the same as that shown when using the *INFO command.
The command can be used to enable or disable messages. It is normally used to
show any changes made in addresses by the program itself when it runs.
*OPT 1 1
Will both enable messages
*OPT 1 0
Will both disable messages
The number 1, or any above this can be used to enable messages. A space between
the numbers or a comma between must be used with this command.
*OPT 4 <number>
This is an option command and it differs from the one above completely. There
are 4 <number> options 0, 1, 2 and 3, which are used with the command.
The 4 options are as follows:-
*OPT 4 0 SHIFT+BREAK no effect. (Used to reset previously set options)
*OPT 4 1 *LOAD a !BOOT file.
*OPT 4 2 *RUN a !BOOT file (usually a machine code program)
*OPT 4 3 *EXEC a !BOOT file.
Option *OPT 4 3, is used for !BOOT files that normally contain the BASIC
command CHAIN. See *BUILD for more details.
*RENAME <old fsp><new fsp>
You cannot have more than one file on a drive with the name PROG for instance,
at least not in the same directory. This is because the computer would not know
which program PROG you want!
If you want to copy a file to a drive that has the same name as a file already
on that drive you must first rename one of the files before copying.
You can also alter the directory of the file if you want to:-
*RENAME PROG A.PROG
Will put the program PROG into the 'A' directory.
*RENAME PROG PROG1
This changes the filename PROG to PROG1 as specified by <old fsp><new fsp>.
This command is normally used to load in and run machine code programs.
It loads in the machine code program to its *SAVEd address and begins execution
at the execution address.
Where <fsp> is the filename of the program you want to run.
This command can be used as part of a BASIC program to run a macine code
The command WILL NOT RUN a BASIC program.
This command is used to copy and save a part of the computers memory to disc.
It must not be confused with SAVE which is a BASIC keyword used to save BASIC
*SAVE is normally used for machine code where <start> is the 4 digit HEX
location of the start address. <end> is the 4 digit HEX location of the end
address. <exec> is the 4 digit HEX location of the execution address. <reload>
is the 4 digit HEX relocation address.
Both <exec> and <reload> addresses can be left out, the computer will them
assume these addresses are the same as the load address.
*SAVE PROG 2000 2800 2100 1900
Where PROG is the <fsp>, &2000 is the start address, &2800 is the end address.
Execution of the program starts at &2100 and, if the program is *RUN again, it
will load at &1900.
An alternative way to input:-
*SAVE<fsp><start>+<length><exec><reload> Where <length> is a 4 digit
Hexadecimal (&) value which must be preceeded by a +.
*SAVE PROG 2000+0900
Will save a piece of memory &900 bytes long which could be called PROG, the
<fsp>, with a start address of &2000+
The exec and relocation addresses can be left out if they are not required.
This command will prepare a file of the specified name <fsp> on the disc to
receive all the information which is subsequently displayed on the screen. It
is a very useful command, in particular for producing a text file from a BASIC
Where PROG is the name of the program loaded in.
This opens a file on the disc called PROG1 in readiness for receiving the data
from the screen.
Type LIST and press the RETURN key
This causes the program "PROG" to be displayed on the screen and at the same
time it will written into a file called PROG1 on the disc.
When all the information from the screen has been written into the PROG1 file
*SPOOL once more, press the RETURN key and this stops any further 'spooling'
and closes the file called PROG1.
This command can also be used to merge two programs together.
Let us call the two programs you wish to merge FIRST and SECOND.
Ensure that FIRST and SECOND do not have the same line numbers or else in this
example, the line numbers from FIRST will overwrite the lines from SECOND.
LOAD "FIRST" (Press RETURN)
*SPOOL NEW (Press RETURN)
LIST (Press RETURN)
*SPOOL (Press RETURN)
LOAD "SECOND" (Press RETURN)
*EXEC NEW (Press RETURN)
You just LOADed in the first file, then opened a file called NEW on disc to
take this file. You then LISTed the first file. The output went to both screen
and disc. When the information had been transferred, you stopped any further
output to disc by typing *SPOOL on its own.
You then LOADed in your second file SECOND and joined the file NEW to it with
the instruction *EXEC NEW.
You then saved the joined file to disc as "NEWONE".
You will of course use your own file names instead of the ones shown above.
*TITLE <disc name>
With this command you can title any or all of your discs or, re-title them. You
can use up to 12 characters, however, if there are any spaces in your title
then you must use " (inverted commas) before and another " after it.
*TITLE "GAMES DISC 1"
The title appears at the top left of the display when you use *CAT
This command can be used for reading text files if you don't happen to possess
a wordprocessor. As with *LIST it will not read a BASIC file properly, better
to use the BASIC command LIST <filename> with the program in memory for this
It can also be used to read data files no line numbers are shown.
Where <fsp> is the filename of the file you want to read or look at.
When using this command the screen will scroll unless you stop it. Do this by
holding down both the CTRL and SHIFT together and just easing up on one to
allow the screen to scroll.
Alternatively you can use this method. Press the CTRL key and at the same time
press the letter N key, then release them both. In order to scroll the screen
press the SHIFT key and release it. If the SHIFT key is held down, the screen
will scroll until you release the SHIFT key.
To reset the scrolling press the CTRL key once more together with the letter O
This particular system is called being in PAGE MODE, and a page is represented
by a single screen so that for each new page a fresh screen will be seen. The
computer uses a system which causes the screen to scroll and in order to read
information you must stop the screen.
This command will delete a file or groups of files from your discs. You will be
asked to confirm that you do want to delete the named file(s).
*WIPE PROG #
*WIPE <afsp> will remove the file given by <afsp> off a disc.
*WIPE *.PR* will remove all the files beginning with the letters PR off the
current drive in any directory on that drive.
*WIPE PROG # will wipe all files named PROG from any directory on the current
*ACCESS = *A.
*BACKUP = *BAC.
*BUILD = *BU.
*CAT = *.
*COMPACT = *COM.
*COPY = *COP.
*DELETE = *DE.
*DESTROY = *DES.
*DIR = *DI.
*DRIVE = *DR.
*DUMP = *DU.
*ENABLE = *EN.
*EXEC = *E.
*HELP = *H.
*INFO = *I.
*LIB = *LIB
*LIST = *LI.
*LOAD = *L.
*OPT = *O.
*RENAME = *RE.
*RUN = *R.
*SAVE = *S.
*SPOOL = *SP.
*TITLE = *TI.
*TYPE = *TY.
*WIPE = *W.
Can be used for example:-
*BAC. 0 2
Care must be used when using abbreviations as they may clash with other
commands from other roms you may have fitted.
Trevor Crapper K4V.