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ALTO NON-PROGRAMMER’S GUIDE
ALTO NON-PROGRAMMER’S GUIDE
The subject of printing is somewhat complicated because of the large number of variables involved. To begin with, there are many different programs that you can use to prepare documents for printing—Bravo, Draw, Markup, Sil, etc. Then there are various file formats defining the representation of documents stored in files—Bravo-format, Press-format, plain text, etc. Finally, there are several different types of printers—Dover, Sequoia, Slot/3100, Pimlico, etc.
This section first presents some introductory information on programs, file formats, and printers. Following that are a few of the most common procedures for printing documents.
7.1 Programs and file formats
Each of the programs you can use to prepare documents deals with information in a particular format. Bravo deals with text interspersed with special information about looks (fonts, paragraphs, etc.), and document files written by Bravo’s Put command are in Bravo format, which only Bravo can read. The same can be said about Draw, Sil, and a number of other programs.
In order to be printed, a document generally has to be in Press format, which is a file format designed principally for representing printed pages. It follows that to print a document that is in some other format you must first convert it to Press format.
Programs that have their own special document formats also provide facilities for generating documents in Press format. For example, when you are using Bravo and you issue the Hardcopy command, Bravo first converts the document you are working on into Press format (this is why Hardcopy takes so long), then sends the resulting Press file to a printer. By using the File option of the Hardcopy command, you can tell Bravo to write the Press file on your disk rather than sending it to a printer.
The important point is this: a given document can be represented in several different formats. When you issue the Put command in Bravo you store the current document as a Bravo-format file, but when you issue the Hardcopy command with the File option you store the same document as a Press-format file. But while these are two different representations of the same document, only the Bravo-format file can be read back into Bravo (using the Get command), and only the Press-format file can be sent to a printer. You can’t read a Press file back into Bravo. This is why it is important to choose file names in such a way as to identify their formats—the extension .Bravo to identify Bravo-format files, .Press for Press-format, .Draw for Draw-format, etc.
There are a few programs that deal exclusively with Press files. Markup is an illustrator that can both read and write Press files. PressEdit is a program used to manipulate Press files in various ways, such as combining several small Press files to create a single large Press-format document.
7.2 Printing servers
To print a document you send it through the network to a printing server, which is an Alto connected (usually) to some Xerographic printing device. The means by which you do this depend both on what kind of document you have and what type of printing server you are sending it to.
There is a bewildering array of names you will hear associated with printing servers. These names fall into three categories. There are family names that identify the type of printing device attached to the server Alto—a Dover is based on a Xerox 7000 copier, a Sequoia on a 3100, a Pimlico on a 6500, etc. Then there are names for different types of printing software used on the server Alto to control the printing device—Spruce and Press are the principal ones in use at present. Finally there are names identifying individual printing servers—the names by which you specify which particular server is to print your documents. Examples of names of printing servers in Palo Alto are Clover, Menlo, Daisy, and Turkey.
To complicate matters further, while every printing server accepts Press files to print, there are different kinds of Press files and not all printers are capable of printing every kind of Press file. A Press file can contain a wide variety of information: text, straight lines, smooth curves, raster-scanned images, and even color. Obviously, if you send a Press file containing color to a black-and-white printing server you will not obtain the results you might desire; but there are other restrictions as well, most arising from technical considerations that will not be discussed here. As a rule, however, most printing servers will attempt to print any Press file as best they can and will tell you about whatever difficulties they may have encountered.
Here are some brief descriptions of the types of printing servers presently in use.
Dover is the predominant work-horse printer. It is based on a Xerox 7000 copier and is capable of continuous high-volume output (one page per second). It is best at printing documents consisting primarily of text, though it has limited capabilities for printing simple illustrations such as those produced by Sil. More complicated graphics (e.g., curves produced by Draw or raster-scanned images produced by Markup) can only be printed crudely if at all. Also, Dover prints pictures containing large solid black areas very poorly.
Sequoia is a smaller and slower printer, based on a Xerox 3100 copier. It can print more complex pictures than can Dover, and it prints solid black areas very well.
Pimlico is a Xerox 6500-based color printer. TC-200 is based on a Xerox Telecopier. Versatec is an electrostatic printer, some models of which can print on very large sheets of paper. Slot/3100 is similar to Sequoia. All these printers are capable of printing any kind of Press file (with the exception, of course, that color information is ignored by black-and-white printers).
Certain Press files contain copies of graphical information in two or more alternate forms. For example, curved lines produced by Draw are represented in the Press file both by mathematical descriptions and by Alto screen-resolution bit maps. Printing servers that understand the mathematical descriptions will use them to produce smooth curves, whereas servers that don’t understand the mathematical descriptions—principally Dover and Sequoia—will print the bit maps instead, producing rather crude curves.
There is a large array of fonts available for printing text. All fonts are named according to a standard convention:
family-name point-size face
The family-name describes the overall style of the font; e.g., TimesRoman or Helvetica. The point-size specifies the height of the font in points (one point is 1/72 inch). The face, if present, describes one or more additional properties of the font: B for bold, L for light, I for italic, C for condensed, and E for expanded. For example, Helvetica10B is a font in the Helvetica family, 10 points high, bold-face; TimesRoman12BI is TimesRoman, 12 points high, bold-face, italic.
A Press file containing text includes the names of the fonts to be used to print the text, but does not include any information about what the characters actually look like. Rather, each printing server maintains the printing representation of the set of fonts used most commonly by users of that printer. Many servers have a limit on the number of different fonts they can keep (related to the size of the disk attached to the server Alto). If you try to print a Press file containing text in a font the printing server doesn’t know about, the server will substitute some other font and will tell you about this.
Programs such as Bravo that format text according to how wide the individual characters are obtain the necessary information from a standard widths file named Fonts.widths, which must be present on your Alto disk. Additionally, in order to display text on the Alto screen you must have the appropriate screen fonts contained in files named font-name.al. You can usually obtain these files from the <AltoFonts> directory in your file server. See section 4.6 of the Bravo manual for further information on how Bravo deals with fonts.
Here are a few fonts that most printing servers know about. There are samples of some of them at the end of the Bravo manual.
FamilyPoint-sizesFaces (aside from normal)
TimesRoman8, 10, 12B, I, BI
Helvetica7, 8, 10, 12B, I, BI
Gacha8, 10, 12I
Cream10, 12B, I, BI
You should consult your support staff to find out what fonts are available on your local printing servers.
7.4 Printing from your Alto
After you first initialize your disk and before you attempt to print anything, you must edit your user profile (file User.cm) to declare the name of the printing server you intend to use regularly. See section 2.4 of the Bravo manual. All programs except Laurel that generate hardcopy look in User.cm to find out where to send Press files to be printed. For Laurel, you must also edit your Laurel profile, file Laurel.profile, described in section 3.6 of the Laurel manual.
Generating hardcopy directly from Bravo is easy: you just issue Bravo’s Hardcopy command, described in section 2.4 of the Bravo manual. If instead of just printing hardcopy you wish to distribute a document on-line (say, by storing it on a file server so as to make it available to other Alto users), then rather than distributing the Bravo-format document you should make a Press-format file and distribute that. To do this, use the File option of the Hardcopy command and specify a file name with extension .Press.
Once you have a Press file on your disk (having either created it yourself or retrieved it from a file server), you can send it to your printing server using the Empress program. If you just type
one copy of the document will be printed by your default printing server. If you want more copies or you want to print on a different printing server, you can use the /C and /H switches; for example,
>Empress 3/C Menlo/H filenameCR
will cause three copies of the document to be printed by the printing server named Menlo.
To print a file that is in some other format, say Draw or Sil, you must first create a Press-format version of that file. The means by which you do this are described in the appropriate manual, i.e., in the Draw manual for Draw-format files, the Sil manual for Sil-format files, etc. Once you have a Press file you can print it using Empress as just explained.
There is an additional file format called plain-text. Basically it is a text file containing no font information and no formatting. You can create a plain-text file using Bravo if you start with an empty window and never type any CTRL-CRs or looks, but do type ordinary CRs at the ends of lines. A non-programmer is unlikely to encounter plain-text files very often; but, for example, User.cm, Laurel.profile, and Executive command files (see section 8.2) are plain-text files, as are documentation files with extension .tty that you obtain from a file server (section 9.2).
You can print a plain-text file using Bravo Hardcopy, but there is an easier and much faster way: just type
Empress will discover that the file is plain-text rather than in Press format, and will convert it into Press format before transmitting it to the printing server. Empress will normally use a single font, Gacha8, for this purpose. You can change this to something else by editing the [HARDCOPY] section of User.cm to include a line such as
FONT: TimesRoman 10 B
The foregoing procedures for sending Press files to printing servers apply to those printers that run in server mode, i.e., that wait for someone to send them a Press file over the network and automatically print any files they receive. There are some printers that do not operate in server mode, usually because they cannot safely be left to run unattended. To print a document on one of these printers, you have to go to that printer’s Alto, use FTP to retrieve the Press file you want to print, and type
>Press Print filenameCR
There are sometimes additional operating procedures which you will find posted near the printer.
7.5 Printing from Maxc
If you want to print a Press document or a plain-text file that is stored on Maxc, you can retrieve it to your Alto using FTP and send it to your printing server using Empress, as already explained. However, you can alternatively tell Maxc to send the file directly to the printer.
Before you do this, you must tell Maxc the name of your printing server. You do this by creating (with Bravo) a plain-text file containing the single statement
where server is the name of your printing server. Then Put onto file DocGen.prt, Quit, and use FTP to transfer DocGen.prt to your directory on Maxc.
Whenever you want to print a document that is stored on Maxc, you should connect to Maxc’s server Executive using Chat and issue the command
where filename is the name of a Press-format file (extension .press) or a plain-text file (e.g., extension .tty). You cannot use the Press command to print other kinds of files—in particular, Bravo-format files.
If your DocGen.prt file on Maxc also contains the line
then Maxc will attempt to notify you as soon as it has actually sent the file to the printer. Maxc will display a message on your screen if you are still connected to Maxc’s server Executive at the time; otherwise, it will send you a message that you will receive next time you run Laurel.
You can compose the various parts of a document with Bravo, Markup, Draw, Sil, or other programs that produce Press files, and then put together the complete document with a program called PressEdit. You can also use PressEdit to extract pages from an existing Press file. PressEdit has some other features, some of which are documented here and the remaining ones in the Alto Subsystems manual.
The use of PressEdit for assembling documents has one major advantage: the resulting complete document can be left on a file server for printing by anyone who needs a copy. If you are producing a document for large-scale printing outside, on the other hand, it is probably easier to assemble it by hand than to go through all this ritual. One restriction you should be aware of is that every printing server has a limit on the size of Press file that it can handle (this is principally a function of the capacity of the disk connected to the server Alto). Most printing servers can handle Press files up to about 50 pages long (printed pages, not Alto disk pages), though some can handle documents substantially larger than that. If you have a very large document, you should distribute it as several Press files, each containing no more than 50 pages.
The simplest use of PressEdit is to append together two or more smaller Press files to create a single large one. For example,
>PressEdit Manual.press ← Chapter1.press Chapter2.press Chapter3.pressCR
creates Manual.press by concatenating the three other Press files in the order given. Be sure to type a space both before and after the "←". You should also remember that the new Press file will occupy as much disk space as the three existing Press files combined; check that you have enough free disk pages before you start.
You can copy selected pages out of a Press file and put them into a new Press file by a command such as
>PressEdit Short.press ← Long.press 3 6 10 to 14 18 to 22CR
This extracts pages 3, 6, 10 through 14, and 18 through 22 from Long.press and puts them in Short.press. Note that the numbers refer to consecutive pages in the source Press file, counting from 1, and have nothing to do with any page numbers that actually appear on the pages themselves.
The concatenate and extract operations may be combined in one command to produce a document with pages from two or more source documents interleaved. This is particularly useful for inserting illustration pages into text documents. For example,
>PressEdit Report.press ← Text.press 1 to 3 Figures.press 1 Text.press 4 to 8 Figures.press 2 Text.press 9 to 14CR
This produces a document consisting of pages 1 through 14 of Text.press, with page 1 of Figures.press inserted between pages 3 and 4 of Text.press and page 2 of Figures.press between pages 8 and 9.
If you want to make a document that has pages containing both text and illustrations, there are two ways to merge selected pages of different Press files. Both techniques are unfortunately rather cumbersome. The first method involves interleaving the pages of the text and illustration Press files, as just described, and then using Markup to copy material from one page to another in the resulting file. This procedure is documented in section 4 of the Markup manual. It is very slow and requires a lot of manual labor, and it does not always work for illustrations produced by any program besides Markup.
The second technique requires you first to put special marks in the text and illustration Press files to show how you want the illustrations to be positioned. You then run PressEdit, which merges the source Press files automatically to produce the desired document.
Each illustration must be contained in a separate, one-page Press file. Somewhere in the illustration must appear an "arrow" consisting of the following piece of text:
There should be no spaces or other characters either before or within this piece of text; you must position the arrow using the text positioning facilities of the illustrator you are using.
The main text document must also contain an arrow to show the position of every illustration. Inside each arrow must appear the name of the Press file that contains the illustration to be inserted there; for example,
Again, there must be no spaces or other characters either before or within the arrow; you must position it by setting the left margin appropriately and possibly by using the vertical tab feature—see sections 3.2 and 3.6 of the Bravo manual.
Having prepared all the Press files, you merge them by typing a command of the form
>PressEdit/M Document.press ← Text.press Fig1.press Fig2.press Fig3.pressCR
After the "←" you must type the name of the main text file followed by the names of all the illustration files you are inserting into the final document. You may list the illustration files in any order, and if you are inserting a particular illustration into more than one place in the final document, you need type its name only once.
Now, each time PressEdit encounters an arrow in the text document, it merges into that page the illustration contained in the Press file whose name is inside the arrow. PressEdit positions the illustration on the page by aligning the two arrows, then removes the arrows.
PressEdit also has a facility for adding fonts to Press files. This is useful primarily when you want to edit the Press file with Markup and add text in some font that does not already appear in the file. For example, to add fonts Logo24 and Helvetica12 to file Example.press, type
>PressEdit Example.press ← Example.press Logo24/F Helvetica12/FCR
The next time you read Example.press into Markup, the new fonts will appear in Markup’s font menu in addition to the ones that were there before.
8. Other things
This section describes various facilities and procedures that you will probably find useful at some point. Browse through them now just so you know where to find them.
8.1 Copy and Rename
To copy one file to another, say
>Copy new ← oldCRdon’t leave out the spaces
The "←" is to remind you of the direction the copying is done.
To change the name of a file, say
>Rename new ← oldCRdon’t leave out the spaces
or:>Rename old newCR
There must not already be a file called new. However, if old and new differ only in capitalization, Rename may be used to change the capitalization.
8.2 Command files
If you have a sequence of Executive commands that you wish to execute repeatedly, you may put them into a command file, then invoke the command file at any later time. To create a command file, use Bravo to enter the exact commands that you would issue to the Executive, then Put the document onto a file with the extension ".cm", the standard extension for command files.
To execute a command file named, say, Cleanup.cm, type
The Executive will display the first command in the command file, perform the command, and then go on to the next command, continuing until it has executed all the commands in the file. To abort execution of a command file, type Cc, which will stop it at the end of the current command, or SHIFT-SWAT, which will stop it immediately.
Actually, you may substitute the contents of a command file for any part of an Executive command line. For example, if file ListOfFiles.cm consists entirely of the text "Alpha Beta Gamma Delta" (with no CR at the end), and you type
>Delete @ListOfFiles@ EpsilonCR
the effect will be exactly the same as if you had typed
>Delete Alpha Beta Gamma Delta EpsilonCR
A number of commonly-used programs, most notably FTP, are capable of accepting their own commands from the Executive command line used to invoke them. Normally, when you start up FTP simply by typing
FTP then expects you to type commands to its own keyboard command interpreter. But if you start it up with, say,
>Ftp Ivy Store/C Memo1.bravo Report2.pressCR
FTP will make a connection to the Ivy file server, store the files Memo1.bravo and Report2.press on your Ivy directory, and return control to the Executive, with no further action on your part, except to type in your password if you haven’t already logged in.
This capability may be used in conjunction with command files to permit you to deal with large groups of files all at once. For example, if you have a set of Bravo documents comprising one large report, you can create a command file, say, Report.cm, containing the names of those files, then issue the command
>Ftp Ivy Store/C @Report.cm@CR
to transfer a complete, consistent set of those files to a file server.
You should be aware that the language used to control FTP from the command line is not the same as that used to control it from the keyboard, though it is similar. You should read section 4 of the FTP manual before attempting to create FTP command lines.
8.3 Dump files
The Executive’s Dump command gives you a way to package up a number of files into a single, so-called dump file. You can then transport the dump file around as a unit, and later recover one, a few, or all of the files from it using the Load command. This is especially useful in maintaining consistent sets of related files.
To make a dump file, type
>Dump Alpha.dm file1 file2 ... CR
Here "Alpha.dm" is the name of the dump file; by convention it has the extension "dm." You can list as many files as you want to be dumped. Often the * feature of the Executive is useful here, and of course you may obtain the list of files from a command file.
To get files back from a dump file, type
You will get a list of the files in Alpha.dm, and after each one you will be asked whether you want it loaded or not. If you leave out the /v all the files which don’t already exist will be loaded; if you say /c instead, all the files will be loaded whether or not they are already on your disk.
The FTP program has facilities for accessing dump files on a file server: you may transport a collection of files on your disk to or from a remote dump file without ever having to put the dump file on your disk. That is, the command
>Ftp Ivy Dump/C Alpha.dm file1 file2 ... CR
will package together files file1, file2, etc., and store them as Alpha.dm in the file server, not on your Alto disk. Similarly,
>Ftp Ivy Load/C Alpha.dmCR
will access Alpha.dm on Ivy and load the constituent files onto your Alto disk. You will probably find that this is more convenient than using the Executive’s Dump and Load commands. See sections 3 and 4 of the FTP manual for complete information.
8.4 Neptune and DDS
The Neptune program provides convenient facilities for managing files on your Alto disk. Basically, it displays the names of all the files on your disk in a window that you can scroll just as in Bravo, and it permits you to specify operations on individual files simply by pointing at their names with the cursor. It can delete files, display the contents of text files, and (if your Alto has two disk drives) copy files from one disk to another.
The Neptune manual is included at the end of the Alto User’s Handbook. If you read sections 1 through 4 of that manual you will know enough to start using Neptune.
There is another program called DDS which is considerably more powerful than Neptune and provides a number of useful capabilities that Neptune lacks. However, it is rather slow and takes up a great deal of space on your disk, so it is not included on the BASIC NON-PROGRAMMER’S DISK. You should try it out and see whether its features are valuable to you. The DDS manual appears as part of the Alto Subsystems manual (see section 9.2).
There are currently three major programs for drawing pictures on the Alto:
Markup:good for pictures involving images, free-hand drawing or painting. Markup is also useful for adding pictures to a text document produced by Bravo; these pictures can come from Draw or Sil, or they can be drawn by Markup itself.
Draw:good for pictures which contain lines, curves and text.
Sil:good for forms and pictures with only horizontal and vertical lines. For such pictures it is much faster than either Markup or Draw.
Manuals for Markup and Draw are included in later sections of the Alto User’s Handbook. Sil is also suitable for general use; unfortunately, the present Sil documentation is rather terse and is oriented principally toward users of the Design Automation system, of which Sil is a part. You can obtain this documentation, such as it is, by printing <Sil>SilManual.press.
The simplest use of the CopyDisk program is copying the contents of one disk pack to another on an Alto equipped with two disk drives; it was described in section 2. CopyDisk can also copy the contents of a disk pack from one Alto to another over the Ethernet. To use it in this mode, you need two Altos; in the example below they are called Banjo and Flash.
Put the disk you want to copy from into one Alto (say, Banjo), and use the NetExec to invoke CopyDisk (see section 3.4). Put the disk you want to write onto into the other Alto (Flash), and start CopyDisk on that Alto also. You will type all commands on Flash, i.e., the Alto containing the disk you want to write onto.
You should now go through the following dialogue:
*Copy from: [Banjo]DP0CRthe digit zero, not the letter O
Copy to: DP0CR
Copying onto DP0 will destroy its old contents.
Are you sure this is what you want to do? [Confirm] Yes
Are you still sure? [Confirm] Yes
In the above example, in response to "Copy from:" you type the name of the other Alto (the one you are copying from) in square brackets, followed immediately by "DP0" (with no intervening spaces). If you don’t know the name of that Alto, you can instead type its Ethernet address (displayed in the black bar on that Alto’s screen) followed by a #. In response to "Copy to:" you type simply "DP0", meaning the disk pack in drive 0 of the Alto on whose keyboard you are typing.
After you have confirmed your intentions, the copy should proceed. When CopyDisk is done, if all went well you will see the message "Done. [Banjo]DP0 and DP0 are identical" followed by the "*" prompt. You may now type QuitCR to each Alto.
8.7 Version numbers
There is an optional version number facility that permits you to keep multiple versions of a particular file on your Alto disk without having to invent a different name for each one. This can be particularly valuable when you are making a number of successive changes to a document but want to keep earlier versions around in case you change your mind. Files stored on file servers always have version numbers, but use of version numbers on Alto disks is optional.
Unfortunately, the version number capability has not been integrated fully into all Alto programs (in particular, the Laurel message system). Furthermore, the relatively small amount of storage available on an Alto disk makes wholesale maintenance of multiple versions impractical. For these reasons, the version number facility is disabled on the BASIC NON-PROGRAMMER’S DISK. If you wish to use it, you may enable it by doing an Install, asking for the "long installation dialogue", and answering the questions appropriately.
If the version number facility is enabled, a file name may end with an exclamation point followed by a number: for example, "Alto.Manual!4" is version 4 of the file Alto.Manual. The basic rule for version numbers is this:
When you read a file, you get the one with the largest version number (the current version), unless you include the version number you want in the file name.
When you write onto a file for which the current version is n, a new version n+1 is created, and becomes the current version, unless you include the version number in the file name. Furthermore, if version n−1 was around, it gets deleted, so that just two versions of the file are kept, the current one (with the largest version number) and the next earlier version. The number of versions kept may be changed at Install time.
For example, if version 4 is the current version of the file Alto.Manual, there will probably be "Alto.Manual!4" and "Alto.Manual!3" around. If you write onto "Alto.Manual" (e.g. by doing a Put from Bravo), "AltoManual!3" will disappear, and "Alto.Manual!5" will appear with the new information on it. "Alto.Manual!4" will still be around unchanged, so you can get the old version back from there if you need it. On the other hand, if you write onto "Alto.Manual!4", that file will be changed, and no new versions will be created.
If a file name doesn’t have a version number, most programs will not make any new versions, but will just write on the single version. Bravo is an exception; it always makes new versions if the version number facility is enabled.
9. Software distribution and documentation
Alto software and documentation are publicly available from file servers. Most file servers maintain duplicate copies of common files. In Palo Alto, most software and documentation of interest to non-programmers is stored on Maxc; in other places, on the local IFS. You should consult your support staff for the exact maintenance policies used in your organization.
9.1 Obtaining new software releases
When new versions of the various programs are released, they are normally announced by messages to all registered Alto users. You can obtain a new version of a service called, say, Alpha as follows:
If the release announcement includes instructions for installing the new version of the program, follow those instructions. Otherwise:
Using FTP, attempt to retrieve <Alto>Alpha.cm from your file server. If this succeeds, leave FTP and type to the Executive
This will cause FTP to be invoked again, some files to be transferred from your file server, and perhaps some other activity. When everything settles down, you will have the new version.
If there is no <Alto>Alpha.cm, retrieve <Alto>Alpha.run. This will be the new version of the program. You don’t have to do anything else.
It is a good idea to keep fairly up-to-date. New versions of programs are sometimes released to fix serious bugs or to reflect important changes in operating procedures. If you run into trouble while running an obsolete version of some program, you are unlikely to receive much help or sympathy from the program’s maintainer or from your local support group.
The best way to obtain a complete set of new software, and clean up your disk at the same time, is to obtain a fresh disk, initialize it from the BASIC NON-PROGRAMMER’S DISK as described in section 2, and then use FTP to transfer all the files you want to keep from your old disk to the new one, as described in section 6.5. If you have an Alto with two disk drives, you can put the old disk in one drive and the new one in the other, then use Neptune to copy files between disks. See sections 1 through 4 of the Neptune manual.
An alternative way to make a BASIC NON-PROGRAMMER’S DISK is to put the disk you want to initialize into an Alto, boot the NetExec as described in section 3.4, then type
You will get a fresh version of the operating system, which will ask you if you want to Install. Say Yes, ask for the "long installation dialogue", and say that you want to erase a disk. After a minute or so, you will have a clean disk with nothing on it except the Executive and FTP. Use FTP to retrieve the file <Alto>NewNpDisk.cm from your file server. Then type
This will automatically transfer all the needed files from the file server, and do any other necessary initialization. It takes about 20 minutes, and puts a significant load on the file server, so use this procedure only when you can’t find the BASIC NON-PROGRAMMER’S DISK. During the operation, there will be an automatic Install of the operating system; answer its questions appropriately. You will have to type your name and password at various points in the procedure. There will also be an automatic initialization of Bravo, and you should do a Quit when it is finished.
Documentation for all the standard Alto software can be found in the <AltoDocs> directory on Maxc and other file servers. As a rule, each major piece of documentation appears as a Press file which you can obtain and print by means of the procedures explained previously (section 7). Short documents are available as files with the extension "tty"; these are plain text files that you can transfer to your Alto and read with Bravo or print with Empress.
To see what is available, you can Chat to your file server and type
on IFS:@List <AltoDocs>*.press <AltoDocs>*.tty
on Maxc:@Dir <AltoDocs>*.press <AltoDocs>*.tty
Here is a short guide to on-line documentation likely to be of interest to non-programmers but not already contained in the Alto User’s Handbook. All are stored on the <AltoDocs> directory except where noted otherwise.
Alto Subsystems, files Subsystems1.press and Subsystems2.press.
This manual, which is about 150 pages long, contains documentation for a large number of Alto programs. Included is comprehensive information on Chat, CopyDisk, Empress, and the Executive, which are only partially described in the Alto User’s Handbook. An additional program of interest to non-programmers is DDS, which enables you to display and manage your Alto disk’s file directory in ways much superior to Neptune.
Alto Subsystems Catalog, files SubsystemsCatalog.press.
This is a summary of Alto subsystems, organized by function.
Sil, Analyze, Gobble, Build Reference Manual, file <Sil>SilManual.press.
Sil is an illustrator specialized for very rapid composition and editing of pictures consisting of straight lines and text. It is part of the Design Automation system for digital logic development, but Sil is useful in its own right as a general-purpose illustrator.
Printing at Palo Alto, file Printing.press.
This is a comprehensive summary of Press printing facilities, formats, and programs. Despite its title, it is applicable more-or-less everywhere.
How to Use IFS, file <IFS>HowToUse.press.
This is a complete user’s manual for IFS, presenting a fair amount of material not covered in the Alto User’s Handbook.
The Alto User’s Primer, file AltoUsersPrimer.press.
This document contains some introductory material on Alto hardware and software. It is oriented towards newcomers to the Whole Alto World, and its main purpose is to describe what exists and how to get it.
Whole Alto World Newsletter.
This is a monthly newsletter that serves as a vehicle for communication of Alto-related information among Alto users throughout Xerox. Each month’s edition is stored as WAWNewsm-yy.press; for example, WAWNews8-78.press is the August 1978 edition.