Xref: helios.physics.utoronto.ca comp.os.msdos.programmer:28155 comp.answers:2084 news.answers:12933
From: brown@NCoast.ORG (Stan Brown)
Subject: comp.os.msdos.programmer FAQ part 1 of 4
Expires: Fri, 22 Oct 1993 14:09:54 GMT
Organization: Oak Road Systems, Cleveland Ohio USA
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 1993 14:09:54 GMT
Last modified: 24 Sep 1993
This is the FAQ list (Frequently Asked Questions list) for the newsgroup
comp.os.msdos.programmer. Parts 2 through 4 of this article are posted
as followups in the same thread. Starting 2 Feb 1993, new and revised
answers are marked with "new:" or "rev:" and the change date. The
changes from the previous issue are posted in a separate article, with
subject line "comp.os.msdos.programmer FAQ diffs".
If the posting date shown above is more than four weeks in the past, see
instructions in part 4 of this list for how to get an updated copy. (A
separate article, posted before this one, holds the changes from the
previous edition. Look for the subject line "comp.os.msdos.programmer
FAQ lists are intended to reduce the noise level in their newsgroups
that results from the repetition of the same questions, correct answers,
wrong answers, corrections to the wrong answers, corrections to the
corrections, debate, etc.
This list should serve as a repository of the canonical "best" answers
to the questions in it. The names of folks who have helped to improve
this FAQ list follow the table of contents. If you know a better answer
or even a slight change that improves an answer, please tell me! (Use
email, please. Traffic in this group is high, and I may miss a relevant
posted article.) See the "From:" line in the header, or simply reply
(rather than followup) to this article.
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Subject: Search tips
This list is in digest format (if it's set up right).
To skip one topic and go to the next: Search for "Subject" starting
in column 1. In trn and similar newsreaders, the command "g^Subject",
or a simple Ctrl-G, does that.
To search for specific topics: See the list of questions in the
Table of Contents (immediately below) to find which article (part 2, 3,
or 4) you need. Then, in that part, search for that question number.
For example, while you're reading part 2 of this list, the trn
newsreader command "g 203" (note the two spaces) goes to question 203.
If your newsreader doesn't support searches, you can extract these
articles to a file and use your favorite editor's search commands.
Subject: Table of Contents
(Sections 1-3 are in part 2 of this article; sections 4-7 in part 3, and
sections A-C in part 4.)
section 1. General questions
101. Why won't my code work?
102. What is this newsgroup about?
103. Is comp.os.msdos.programmer just for C programmers?
104. What's the difference from comp.sys.ibm.pc.programmer?
105. Is comp.os.msdos.programmer available as a mailing list?
106. What's this "netiquette"?
107. How can I learn more about Usenet?
108. What other technical newsgroups should I know about?
section 2. Compile and link
201. What the heck is "DGROUP > 64K"?
202. How do I fix "automatic data segment exceeds 64K" or "stack
plus data exceed 64K"?
203. Will Borland C code and Microsoft C code link together?
204. Why did my program bomb at run time with "floating point
formats not linked"?
205. Why did my program bomb with "floating point not loaded"?
206. How can I change the stack size in Borland's C compilers?
207. What's the format of an .OBJ file?
208. What's the format of an .EXE header?
209. What's the difference between .COM and .EXE formats?
section 3. Keyboard
301. How can I read a character without echoing it to the screen,
and without waiting for the user to press the Enter key?
302. How can I find out whether a character has been typed, without
waiting for one?
303. How can I disable Ctrl-C/Ctrl-Break and/or Ctrl-Alt-Del?
304. How can I disable the print screen function?
305. How can my program turn NumLock (CapsLock, ScrollLock) on/off?
306. How can I speed up the keyboard's auto-repeat?
307. What is the SysRq key for?
308. How can my program tell what kind of keyboard is on the system?
309. How can I tell if input, output, or stderr has been redirected?
310. How can I increase the size of the keyboard buffer?
311. How can I stuff characters into the keyboard buffer?
section 4. Disks and files
401. What drive was the PC booted from?
402. How can I boot from drive b:?
403. Which real and virtual disk drives are valid?
404. How can I make my single floppy drive both a: and b:?
405. How can I disable access to a drive?
406. How can a batch file test existence of a directory?
407. Why won't my C program open a file with a path?
408. How can I redirect printer output to a file?
409. How can I redirect the output of a batch file?
410. How can I redirect stderr?
411. How can my program open more files than DOS's limit of 20?
412. How can I read, create, change, or delete the volume label?
413. How can I get the disk serial number?
414. What's the format of .OBJ, .EXE., .COM files?
415. How can I flush the software disk cache?
section 5. Serial ports (COM ports)
501. How do I set my machine up to use COM3 and COM4?
502. How do I find the I/O address of a COM port?
503. But aren't the COM ports always at I/O addresses 3F8, 2F8, 3E8,
504. How do I configure a COM port and use it to transmit data?
section 6. Other hardware questions and problems
601. Which 80x86 CPU is running my program?
602. How can a C program send control codes to my printer?
603. How can I redirect printer output to a file?
604. Which video adapter is installed?
605. How do I switch to 43- or 50-line mode?
606. How can I find the Microsoft mouse position and button status?
607. How can I access a specific address in the PC's memory?
608. How can I read or write my PC's CMOS memory?
609. How can I access memory beyond 640K?
610. Where can I find a list of 80x86 opcodes?
section 7. Other software questions and problems
701. How can a program reboot my PC?
702. How can I time events with finer resolution than the system
clock's 55 ms (about 18 ticks a second)?
703. How can I find the error level of the previous program?
704. How can a program set DOS environment variables?
705. How can I change the switch character to - from /?
706. Why does my interrupt function behave strangely?
707. How can I write a TSR (terminate-stay-resident) utility?
708. How can I write a device driver?
709. What can I use to manage versions of software?
710. What's this "null pointer assignment" after my C program
711. How can my program tell if it's running under Windows?
712. How do I copyright software that I write?
section A. Downloading
A01. What are Simtel, Garbo, and wustl?
A02. I have no ftp access. How can I get files from the archives?
A03. Can I get archives on CD-ROM?
A04. Where do I find program ?
A05. How can I check Simtel or Garbo before I post a request for a
A06. How do I download and decode a program I found?
A07. Where is UUDECODE?
A08. Why do I get errors when extracting from a ZIP file I
section B. Vendors and products
B01. How can I contact Borland?
B02. How can I contact Microsoft?
B03. What's the current version of UNZIP?
B04. What's in Borland Pascal/Turbo Pascal 7.0?
B05. What's in Microsoft Visual C++?
B06. Where is Microsoft C 8.0?
B07. What is the phone number for a vendor's BBS?
section C. More information
C01. Are there any good on-line references for PC hardware
C02. Are there any good on-line references for PC interrupts?
C03. What and where is "Ralf Brown's interrupt list"?
C04. Where can I find lex, yacc, and language grammars?
C05. What's the best book to learn programming?
C06. Where are FAQ lists archived?
C07. Where can I get the latest copy of this FAQ list?
C08. How do I use ftp?
Through September 1993 this list was edited by Stan Brown, Oak Road
Systems, Cleveland, Ohio. "SB" in some answers refers to him.
Many articles posted in comp.os.msdos.programmer sparked ideas or
provided information for the first version of this list. Though they
are not responsible for any errors, thanks are due to the following
persons for posted articles or private email that led to improvements
in this FAQ list: Jamshid Afshar, Mark Aitchison, Sanjay Aiyagari,
George Almasi, Aaron Auseth, Robert Baker, Preston Bannister, Scott
Barman, Denis Beauregard, Per Bergland, Mike Black, Chris Blum, Mark
Brader, Jon Brinkmann, Andrew James Bromage, Glynn Brooks, Paul Brooks,
Ralf Brown, Shaun Burnett, Raymond Chen, Denny de Jonge, Eric DeVolder,
Alan Drew, Paul Ducklin, Gary Dueck, Roland Eriksson, Mark Evans, Markus
Fischer, George Forsman, Roger Fulton, Vincent Giovannone, Robert
Grunloh, B.Haible, Janos Haide, Klaus Hartnegg, Kris Heidenstrom, Tom
Haapanen, Joel Hoffman, Ari Hovila, Chin Huang, Joe Huffman, Michael
Holin, Mike Iarrobino, Byrial Jensen, Rune Jorgensen, Ajay Kamdar,
Everett Kaser, Jeff Kellam, Jen Kilmer, Reinhard Kirchner, Dave Kirsch,
Chad Knudsen, Samuel Ko, Benjamin Lee, Stephen Lee, Jim Lynch, Greg
Malknecht, Sidney Markowitz, Jim Marks, Dimitri Matzarakis, Fred McCall,
Ken McKee, Doug Merrett, Tom Milner, Bill Moore, Duncan Murdoch, Steve
Murphy, Daniel Neri, Mert Nickerson, David Nugent, John Oldenburg, David
Pape, Keith Petersen, Karl Riedling, Arthur Rubin, Gerald Ruderman, Timo
Salmi, Tapio Sand, John Schmid, Russell Schulz, Huseyin Sevay, Ajay
Shah, Steve Summit, Tom Swingle, Anders Thulin, Curt Tilmes, Rick
Watkins, Ya-Gui Wei, Joe Wells, Scott Winder, Gregory Youngblood,
New contributors this issue: Chin Huang
Subject: Legalistic stuff
This article is not in the public domain, but it may be redistributed so
long as this notice, the acknowledgements, and the information on
obtaining the latest copy of this list are retained and no fee is
charged. The code fragments may be used freely; credit would be polite.
Copyright (C) 1993 Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems. All rights reserved.
THERE IS NO WARRANTY ON THE CODE. All the code included below has been
tested; but the testing may not have been perfect, and machines and
configurations vary. (Except where otherwise noted, code was tested
with both BC++ 2.0 and MSC 5.0.)
The mention of particular books or programs must not be construed to
reflect unfavorably on any that are not mentioned.
(continued in part 2)
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems brown@Ncoast.ORG
Can't find FAQ lists? ftp to 'rtfm.mit.edu' and look in /pub/usenet
(or email me >>> with valid reply-to address <<< for instructions).