Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 146 / NOVEMBER 1992 / PAGE G38

Noah's Reader. (utility program)
by Daniel Lightner

Last year (July 1991) we published Noah's Arc, a program that creates self-dissolving archive (SDA) files. People who use that program will find this short utility program for the 64 valuable.

Archiving is a convenient method for combining a number of related files into one master file. This process is convenient for uploading and downloading programs and instructions to and from a BBS. Many files and programs can be stored within one large file. When the SDA file is loaded and run, it dissolves into the original individual programs and saves them to disk.

The problem with archive files is that unless you have the filenames written down, there isn't any way of knowing the contents of the archived file. This is especially true if you have just downloaded a new file from a BBS or have come across a forgotten SDA file in your library. Dissolving the file will do the trick, but it's time-consuming and a bit awkward.

Noah's Reader solves this problem. Noah's Reader reads the beginning of the SDA files from disk and lists the names of the files that are stored within the archive file.

Entering the Program

Noah's Reader is written in machine language and will have to be entered using MLX, COMPUTE's machine language entry program. See "Typing Aids" elsewhere in this section. When MLX prompts for starting and ending addresses, respond with these values.

Starting address: 0801 Ending address: 09F7

Make sure that you save a copy of Noah's Reader before you exit MLX.

Running the Program

Noah's Reader loads and runs like a BASIC program. The first thing it does is to ask for an SDA filename. It then searches drive 8 for that filename and reads information until it locates the various filenames.

Noah's Reader then lists those files to the screen. The listing can be stopped by pressing any key. When the key is released, the listing continues until it prints the names of all of the archived files.

Run Noah's Reader again to read another SDA file.