8-Bit Software Online Conversion

            To: 999 (all members) From: K5B (David J.MacGraw) Subject: 512 and DOS+ Before launching into my own collection of tips and the like for enhancing the performance of the 512, a cautionary note based on experience! Some of them involve editing files/sectors at byte level; always try them first on floppy backups, NOT your master copies on hard or work disc! They have been determined solely by trial and error on 3 systems using Master 128's as host, DOS+ v2.1, expanded memory (ES), twin 5¼" floppies and a 20M Morley hard disk, ½ for DOS, ½ for ADFS. They are offered in good faith and will, I hope, inspire others to experiment further and report their results, problems etc. via 8BS. Some improvement in booting-up and file access times can be obtained simply by re-organising the files on your discs. Deleting, copying and editing programs causes files to become 'fragmented' and consecutive portions of programs can be physically placed anywhere on the disc. This increases loading time because the read/write head must jump about to find each file's next sequential section. Booting from floppy unfortunately means using ADFS 640K disks (as the DOS isn't yet installed) which, as all access is then routed via the ADFS, is not very quick (33 seconds on my system). TIP: Deleting 'LOGO.SYS' (the Digital Research logo display) and shuffling up 'DOSPLUS.SYS' and 'COMMAND.COM' to fill the gap speeds bootup slightly. Examine and run the accompanying 'NOLOGO' batch file on a 512 Disc 1 copy to try it. BETTER TIP: Install the FastBoot swram by Essential Software. This boots DOS+ using an 800K disc in about 14 seconds. EVEN BETTER: Use a Winchester hard disk which, although still using the ADFS, sets up DOS+ in under 10 seconds. TIP: When using a 640K floppy, only use it for booting DOS+ (ie.only 6502.SYS, DOSPLUS.SYS and COMMAND.COM are needed, in that order). Copy all the utilities that you need (plus COMMAND.COM) from the 640K boot disk to an 800K type as this format is accessed the quickest. If you need an AUTOEXEC.BAT file, put that on the 800K disc as well and call it AUTO.BAT (reasons to follow later). TIP: For back ups (you do, don't you?) always use blank 800K discs and create the sub-directory structure first, then COPY the files into them starting with those used most often (wildcards help). This process re-constitutes every file onto contiguous areas of what is now a new work disc, enhancing use next time. With hard disks, file fragmentation is not so apparent; however, the above tip is still relevant for backing up and/or archiving and produces a speedier load if files are copied back to a 'cleaned- out' drive. This necessitates deleting everything except 6502.SYS, DOSPLUS.SYS and COMMAND.COM (which, in that order, should be the first files on the drive) re-creating the directory structure and COPYing back all files, oft-used first. With large Winchesters this is a major job but is worth doing occasionally and keeps each file in consecutive sections which helps if recovery is ever needed. Whilst the above is probably 'old-hat' to most 512 users, it bears repetition if only to remind us all of the basics. Having booted DOS+, the 512 environment can be 'primed' to automatically set up and run a program by using an AUTOEXEC batch file. More on this next time with some byte-level editing suggestions to enhance your 512. PS. Why not send in your DOS+ tips etc? 8BS may well be the last vestige for us 512 users to exchange our ideas.  PRESS BREAK