If you've ever misplaced a file, you'll have no trouble realizing how helpful a good disk cataloging program can be. Disk Scan helps you keep track of the files on your floppies as well as those on your hard drive.
Disk Scan is a comprehensive and versatile disk cataloger with a flexible interface. Its functions can be accessed from menus, gadgets, and the keyboard. It has powerful searching and sorting capabilities to let you find any file or group of files.
Using the Program
To run Disk Scan from the Workbench, double-click on the Disk Scan icon, which can be found in the DiskScan drawer on this issue's companion disk. Disk Scan opens a custom screen. It's fully multitasking, so you can click on the screen-to-back gadget to flip back to the Workbench. You can also run Disk Scan from the CLI.
Dominating the DiskScan screen is the large catalog area, where you can view information about the files. Directly below the catalog area is the status line, where Disk Scan reports the success or failure of your operations. At the bottom of the screen is the gadget area, where five large gadgets let you choose Disk Scan's most common operations.
Disk Scan works by keeping a list of all the files from each disk you scan. You can load and save these lists, so you can keep different lists for different purposes. For instance, you might have one list that contains every file on every one of your disks. Another list might contain your Fred Fish disk library contents. Yet another list might hold the contents of all of your art and animation disks.
To help you manage these large catalogs, Disk Scan lets you delete filenames from these lists. One especially useful feature allows you to delete the icon (.info) files only. Note that deleting these files from the catalog does not delete them from the disk.
Another way Disk Scan helps you locate files and manage the list is by letting you sort the list. The normal sorting mode is alphabetically by filename, but you can also sort by date, protection status, size, disk name, and the filenote (also called a comment).
In Disk Scan, all files are equal. There are no directories or subdirectories displayed in the catalog. When a disk is scanned, Disk Scan traverses the entire directory tree to find all of your files. Disk Scan is reasonably speedy, but large hard drive partitions take a fair amount of time to be scanned.
All of Disk Scan's commands can be accessed from the program's pulldown menus. In addition, some commands have function key or gadget equivalents. The gadgets provided are Scan, Find, Load, Save, and Quit. Here's a complete list of Disk Scan's various menu options. Keyboard equivalents (if any) are listed in parentheses.
• Project Menu
Info. Info shows the number of files recorded and the number of disks that have been scanned.
Scan (F1). This is the cornerstone to the whole program. When you select this function, you're presented with the list of disk devices available to your system (click on the left and right arrows to scroll through the list). Click on the Cancel gadget to abort or on the name of the device to start scanning. The program scans the device, brings in the files, and sorts the list. If a disk of the same name has been scanned already, Disk Scan will ask if you want to replace the old disk's entries with this new one. Click on Yes, No, or Cancel.
Print. Prints the current list of files. Files that are currently selected are printed with an asterisk beside them. For best results, set your printer to 80-column width using your Workbench disk's Preferences program.
Load (F3). This lets you load a Disk Scan catalog. Catalogs are stored in a binary format that only Disk Scan understands.
Save (F4). This option saves the current disk catalog to disk. Be sure to make a logical choice when you choose a filename. You may want to use an extender like .dsk for Disk Scan files, so that you recognize them more easily.
Although you may want to keep your disk catalog on the same disk that you scanned, it's probably wise to have another copy on a special disk that you use only for Disk Scan catalogs or in a special directory on your hard drive.
Quit (F5). Choose this to exit the program. If you haven't saved your work, Disk Scan will ask you if you wish to do so before exiting. Answer Yes, No, or Cancel.
• Options Menu
Display (F7). When you select Display, you're presented with a list of the types of information known about each file—Name, Date, Protect, Size, Disk, and Comment. By default all file information is displayed, but using this option you can toggle individual fields on and off.
Sort (F6). When you select Sort, you're presented with a list of the types of information known about each file. It's the same list you see when you select Display. Click on the item you want the list to be sorted by. For instance, you can click on Size and the smallest files will be moved to the top of the list while the largest ones are moved to the bottom.
Move (F9 for top of catalog; F10 for bottom of catalog). There are several ways to move around the catalog list. Using the Move option's submenu, you can move to the top or the bottom of the catalog and scroll the list up or down by one entry or by a whole page. You can also scroll through the list by using the computer's cursor keys or the proportional slider gadget found on the right side of the screen.
• Highlight Menu
Find (F2). When you select Find, you're asking Disk Scan to find one or more files based upon a set of contraints that you specify. When an item has been found, it's shown in blue instead of gray. Files shown in blue are called marked files. You can also mark files by clicking on their filename. Click on a marked filename, and it returns to the standard gray color. Marked files can be removed from the catalog list by using the Remove menu's Marked Files option.
When you choose Find, you're asked to select Name, Date, Protect, Size, Disk, or Comment.
If you choose Name or Comment, you'll be asked to type in a search string. You'll also be asked if you want that string to be considered the exact filename or the beginning or ending of the filename. For instance, if you search for am2 as an ending and you've previously scanned Michtron's DevPac assembler disk, you may find the files genam2 and monam2; the DevPac assembler and debugger.
If you choose Date, you'll be asked to click on gadgets to specify the exact date.
If you select Size, you'll be asked to type in a size and whether you want Disk Scan to consider that size as exact or a minimum or maximum. For example, you can find all files larger than 5000 bytes by specifying 5000 and clicking on the requester's greater-than symbol (>).
If you select Protect, you'll be presented with a list of file-protection attributes. If you toggle the attributes so the only the Script bit is set, you'll find all of the script files that can be executed without the AmigaDOS execute command.
If you choose to search by Disk, you'll be given a gadget that shows a disk name. Click on the arrow gadgets to cycle through the names of all the disks that have been scanned. Click on the disk name to begin the search.
• Remove Menu
Icon files. When you select this option, Disk Scan removes all of the files that have a filename extension of .info. These files are generally unecessary for cataloging purposes since they're only used by the Amiga to store Workbench icon information.
Marked files. This option removes all files that are currently marked (the blue ones).
All files. Select this, and you essentially are removing the current catalog from memory. This is equivalent to exiting and then restarting the program. Be sure to save the current list before selecting this option.