Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 134 / OCTOBER 1991 / PAGE 134

Q-DOS 3. (file management software) (evaluation)
by Charles Idol

Even if you feel right at home with the DOS directory and file structure, you may find hard disk housekeeping tedious using only DOS. You may also have trouble every now and then remembering where you put a particular file, or, if you have more than one disk partition, where you put a particular directory.

One solution calls for a graphical user interface (GUI). Some of us don't like GUIs. They tend to be slow and to require such involved procedures that by the time you finish with all the GUI protocol, you might as well be back with DOS. A prime example of a better solution, Q-DOS 3 won't slow you down at all. The program installation puts Q-DOS 3 in your path statement, so you can call it from any directory. Q-DOS 3 occupies only about 9.5K RAM and provides very convenient mouse support, though a mouse is not essential. The first option on its command line is Directory, and if you click on that option or type D, the directory structure of your current drive appears as a tree with your current directory highlighted. Want to change directories? Use the mouse or arrow keys to choose your destination, click again, and you'll see a listing of files in that directory, with size and date.

Want to look at another drive? Click on the Change Drive box, and you'll see a list of your drives. Click on a drive, and you'll see a tree of the directories and subdirectories of that drive. Click on your choice, and you move to that directory of the drive.

The Q-DOS 3 command line remains available always. Can't find a file? Click the Find box on the command line. You'll be asked for the filename as well as whether you wish to search all drives or only the current drive.

Deletion of a directory which has subdirectories seems interminable using DOS. You must go from one subdirectory to another, deleting files, then return to the parent directory and delete the subdirectories one by one. Finally, DOS will let you delete the directory - unless there are hidden files somewhere, which the DOS Delete command will not touch. Not so with Q-DOS. One click brings up the tree, another highlights the undesired directory or subdirectory, a third gives the Erase command, and a fourth confirms that you really wish to do this, after which the directory and all its subdirectories and files, hidden or not, go away.

The program boasts many other fine features. To name just a few, you can alter file attributes (hidden, system, read only, and so on), rename files and directories, and erase or unerase files. Its response is snappy, and its documentation is good. Personally, I have habitually despised file handlers, grumbling, "I know how to handle my files and directories, thank you. I don't need any help from any dumb program." Q-DOS 3 has changed my mind.