Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 41 / OCTOBER 1983 / PAGE 204

Atari Master Disk Directory

Joseph M. Apice

With this program you create a single disk "library" incorporating the contents of all your directories. The menu gives you six options – the program is truly multipurpose.

Master directories are an essential part of any computer system. We often take them for granted in the larger minicomputers simply because they exist. These multi-user systems utilize some kind of central library containing a list of all the user directories and their files.

In our smaller home computers, we do not have this luxury. And after working on a mini all day, I find it difficult to do without a master directory so I decided to incorporate some of the nicer features of the larger system into my personal computer. Though it is impossible to exactly duplicate the features, I found I could make a reasonable addition.

I had read several articles dealing with various types of master directory programs. All of them were good, but many required the constant swapping of disks. I needed something that could quickly display the contents of any directory in my library as well as locate any file that I wanted to use without searching through my entire library.

With this in mind, I used the Atari forced read mode to load the contents of every directory in my library as a series of DATA statements in the "Master Disk Directory" program. I could then use the program to examine the contents of any disk, search for any file, and even print labels for my disks without loading any other disk.

The program is menu driven and structured so that each menu function is a subroutine. This allows the user to follow what is being done and to make any desired changes.

Running The Program

After you load the program and type RUN, a menu will display the six options available. Enter the number preceding your selected option and press RETURN.

1. Directory Update. This first option is selected each time you enter a new disk or update the listing of a previous disk into the master directory. At the prompt, simply enter the disk name or label and press RETURN. Any additional files which may have existed in the previous disk are automatically deleted when the most recent copy is installed.

2. Disk Search. Use this option to review the contents of any disk directory previously installed. Enter the name of the disk you wish to view, and the contents of that disk directory will be displayed to the screen.

3. File Search. One interesting feature of the program is that it can quickly locate any named file and its resident disk. The wild card feature is always active if the full name is not specified. Multiple listings of any file will be displayed along with their disk locations. The message NO MATCH FOUND will be displayed if the named file does not reside on any disk.

4. Print Labels. Those of you who own a Gemini 10 or Epson MX-80 compatible printer can use this option to print directory labels. The program will allow up to 24 files and one header on any standard (4 × 1-7/16 inch) label. Additional files are printed on the next label.

5. Install Update. When you have completed the transfer of all the directories, use this option to install the most recent update into the Master Disk Directory program. The SAVE feature is automatic; when it is completed, the program will return you to the main menu.

6. Exit. This option allows you to exit the program and return to BASIC. A word of caution here: This option should be used after option 5 if any updates are being made as it will erase the Master Disk Directory program from memory when it is selected.

DATA Locations

Each directory group of DATA statements is allowed a maximum of 64 lines. This corresponds to the maximum number of data files allowed by DOS on any one disk.

Line 2000 will be the first DATA line. Do not renumber the program without making the necessary changes to the variables LINE, LINCNT, and FIRST.