Scor­pio News


April–June 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 2.

Page 29 of 51

Batch processing is supported in several ways. Normal SUBMIT type operation is possible. In addition to this Z3 provides ZEX command processor, and ALIAS alias generator. ALIAS is very easy to use. It prompts for multiple command input line exactly as one might type at the console, and converts this into a small .COM file that can then be invoked at any time to run the commands. Parameters are supported, so the facility is both powerful and quick to set up. ZEX is more sophisticated, and to date I have not had a chance to explore its potential.

MU3 is a memory debug utility. It may be loaded as a transient, or is the TPA is to be preserved, a version is provided that loads to the RCP area. MU3 enables memory to be displayed and edited. Several other commands are also available. DU3 is a Disk Editor similar to the various DU’s in the libraries. It is rather more interactive than these, with a better display.

General Utilities –

PATH.COM allows inspection and redefinition of the PATH.

Z3 supports comments. A ‘;’ in the first character position marks the line as a comment. The RCP and command file NOTE also mark the line as a comment. The command COMMENT.COM goes a little further, and replaces the CCP prompt with the word COMMENT.

The ECHO RCP and transient command will ‘ECHO’ the text that follows to the screen or printer The main purpose of ECHO is to send messages to the screen during multiple command processing. Otherwise there might be no output for long periods, and one could wonder what was happening. Since characters are sent without modification, this can be used to reprogram the printer. Output to the printer must be preceded by a ‘$’ character. ECHO $^L would send a form feed.

Menu Systems –

If the system is to be used by several persons, or where the users are non technical, extensive MENU type operation it provided. It is possible to lock the user into a MENU that does not permit escape back to the Z3 system. A menu check utility is also provided to ensure that the MENU is correct in format. A screen oriented system VMENU, is also available, with associated format checker. The Menu and Vmenu commands look for a command file of type .MNU/.VMN, and read it to obtain the commands to be processed. Menu’s may access other menu’s. Extensive .HLP files are provided for both these commands. Both MENU and VMENU are shells.

Flow control –

Beyond the flow control available in the FCP segment, additional Flow control is provided in the command IF.COM. Several options are supported that may be tested for True/​False, such as Null Files, Error Flags, File Existence, Null afn, Wheel, Register value, matching afn’s.

The above summary covers the majority of the Z3 utilities. There are others, but they will generally be more specialized, concerning things like redirected I/O and are fully described in the HELP files.

ZCPR3 in Use.

If possible the BIOS cold boot ‘sign-on’ messages should be altered to announce the use of 23, and any other enhanced features. The installation of Z3 will be gone into later, but the cold boot must also initialize some areas, and should set the Wheel byte, set up the default Path, and any startup commands. These can be quite extensive since there is room for 200 characters in the command buffer.

On my system, I send a different character set to the SVC (CPMUG Software), and use a Z3 command ECHO, to prompt for ^C or any key, and the Z3 command SAK (Strike a key), to wait for input. If it is a ^C, the system goes to the CCP

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