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Neptune Reference Manual
Table of Contents
1. Introduction146
2. Start-up procedure146
3. The screen146
4. Commands147
4.1 Scrolling147
4.2 Selecting files and operations147
4.3 Changing the filter148
4.4 Displaying a file148
4.5 Other commands149
5. Disks and directories149
5.1 Switching to a different disk150
5.2 Switching to a different directory150
1. Introduction
Neptune is a file utility program for managing file directories on Alto disks. Using Neptune, you can examine directories, delete files, copy files from one disk to another, and display their contents and attributes. Neptune can be used on either single-disk or multiple-disk Altos, including systems with Trident disk drives.
2. Start-up procedure
There are no command line options, so to execute the program, simply type
to the Alto Executive. After displaying the available directories, the program waits for you to issue commands.
Neptune’s normal start-up procedure depends on whether your Alto has one or two disk drives and on what disks you have loaded into the drives:
If you have only one disk drive, or you have two but you haven’t loaded a disk into the second drive (DP1), Neptune displays the directory for the standard Alto disk (DP0) on the left side of the screen and a blank window on the right.
If you have two disk drives with individual disks loaded into each one, Neptune displays the directory for DP0 on the left and for DP1 on the right. In this case, if the disk in DP1 is password-protected, Neptune will require you to type that disk’s password before you may proceed further.
If you have two disk drives with the two halves of a double-disk file system loaded into them, Neptune will treat them as a single disk of twice the normal size and will display their combined directory in the left window only.
3. The screen
The display consists of five major windows which are outlined with black lines. Directory information is displayed inside, or just outside, these windows.
At the very top of the screen is the system window where general information and error messages are displayed. A "ready" message will be visible in this window when Neptune is waiting for you to enter commands. To the left and right of the system window are the words Start, Quit, Clear, and Type enclosed in gray boxes; these are commands that you can invoke by clicking them with the mouse, as will be described in section 4.
Underneath the system window, the screen is divided into two parts, a left and a right side. Each side contains information about one directory.
The upper window on each side is a status window. Just above this window appear the owner name and disk name for the disk shown on that side. Inside the status window is displayed such information as the number of free pages on the the disk, the total number of files, and the number of files for which you have selected various operations. Directly underneath the window are the disk drive, the directory name, and the filter used to view the directory.
The major portion of each side consists of a directory window where the names of the files are displayed in alphabetical order. You can scroll the directory to view other parts of it.
4. Commands
Neptune is controlled partially by the mouse and partially by the keyboard. You can do three things using the mouse:
scroll the directory windows, much as in Bravo;
select individual files that you want to manipulate;
invoke commands.
The keyboard is used only for text entry and for confirmation of certain commands invoked by the mouse.
4.1 Scrolling
A directory can be scrolled very much like a document in Bravo. Just to the left of each directory window there is an invisible scroll bar. When the cursor is over this bar, the cursor takes on the shape of a vertical double-headed arrow. Pressing and releasing RED inside the scroll bar moves the text opposite the cursor to the top of the window. BLUE scrolls in the opposite direction, moving the text at the top of the window down to the cursor position. While you are holding down RED or BLUE, the cursor changes to an upward or downward-pointing arrow, respectively.
YELLOW positions the directory in the window in proportion to the cursor’s position along the left edge of the window. The top and bottom of the scroll bar correspond to the beginning and end of the directory. When you hold down YELLOW, the cursor turns into a triangle, and another, stationary triangle appears to show where the directory is presently positioned.
The beginning and end of the directory are indicated by
~~~~~ END ~~~~~
4.2 Selecting files and operations
Neptune’s most useful operations on individual files are copy and delete. You select which files you wish to manipulate by pointing at them, and you specify which operation you want to perform on each one by clicking a particular mouse button. The operations are not performed immediately but are deferred until you invoke the Start command, which tells Neptune to perform them all.
To select a file name, move the cursor over the name and press a mouse button. The button does not have to be released over the name for the file to be selected. This means that you may select a number of adjacent files by holding down the mouse button and sweeping the cursor over the group of names.
There are three possible operations, corresponding to the three mouse buttons. Selecting a name with a mouse button has one of the following meanings, depending on which button you press:
REDMake a copy of this file in the other directory.
YELLOWCopy this file under a different name.
BLUEDelete the file from this directory.
While a name is selected it is displayed white-on-black rather than black-on-white. The operation that is to be performed is indicated by a special symbol in the narrow column along the inner edge of the directory window. This operations column is separated from the directory names by a gray line.
If you select a file name with RED, an arrow will appear in the operations column, pointing toward the other directory, indicating that the file is to be copied into the other directory. If you select the file with YELLOW rather than RED, Neptune will immediately request that you type a name (terminated by CR or ESC) which is to be the new name of the file in the other directory. This name will be displayed just below the selected file name, with the words "change to" in the operations column.
If you select a file name with BLUE, a large X will appear next to it in the operations column, indicating that the file is to be deleted.
If you select a file name that is already selected, the file name will be deselected and the operation on that file cancelled.
When you are satisfied with the selections, start execution of the operations by positioning the cursor over Start (in the upper-left corner) and clicking RED. Neptune will now begin performing the operations you have selected, displaying messages in the system window to tell you what it is doing. When it is done, it will update the directory windows and say "ready" in the system window. You may select a maximum of 100 files before issuing the Start command. Operations are performed in the order that they were selected. Neptune may turn off part of the display while it is performing the operations. This is so that it can use the memory occupied by the display bit map as buffers to speed up disk transfers.
4.3 Changing the filter
Initially, all the file names in a directory are displayed in that directory’s window. You can change this by specifying a file name pattern or filter to describe some subset of the file names you wish Neptune to display. The filter currently being used to display a directory is shown underneath its status window, along with the disk drive and directory name; this appears something like
DP0: <SysDir> *.*
In this case, DP0 is the disk drive, SysDir is the directory name, and *.* is the filter. When you start up Neptune, the initial filter for each window is *.*, which matches all files.
To change a filter, position the cursor over the existing one and click RED. A small blinking square will appear to the left of the filter. Next, type the new filter, terminated with CR, ESC, or TAB. All the file names that match this filter will now be shown in the corresponding directory window. You may include "*" in the filter to match any sequence of characters, just as in the Alto Executive. If you strike DEL while typing the filter, the default filter *.* will be used.
When you change a filter, any file operations you have selected but not yet executed in the affected window are cancelled. This avoids any possible confusion about file names that are selected but are not visible in the directory window because they don’t match the new filter.
4.4 Displaying a file
Neptune can display file attributes and contents in much the same fashion as the Executive’s FileStat and Type commands. To display a file, position the cursor over Type (near the upper-right corner of the screen) and click RED.
At this point, Neptune will temporarily deselect any file names that you may have selected previously, and a message will appear in the system window requesting you to select a file name. Position the cursor over the name of the file you wish to display (in either directory window) and click RED.
As soon as you do this, Neptune will replace the two directory windows with a single window in which the first page of the file is shown. Other information about the file, including its length, serial number, creation date, etc., is displayed in the system window.
You cannot scroll the file window, but you can view successive pages of the file, one page at a time. To move on to the next page, type a space. When you reach the end of the file or you strike DEL, Neptune will restore its normal display (including any selections you made prior to invoking Type), and revert to the "ready" state.
4.5 Other commands
The Start and Type commands have already been described. In the upper-right corner of the screen are two other commands, Quit and Clear.
To leave Neptune, click RED over Quit. Normally, Neptune will give control back to the Alto Executive immediately. However, if you have selected any file operations and have not yet performed them, Neptune will request that you confirm by typing CR or ESC. In this case, you may cancel the Quit command by striking DEL.
You can cancel all selections in both directory windows by clicking RED over Clear. You must then confirm this command by typing CR or ESC, or cancel it by typing DEL.
5. Disks and directories
Neptune has facilities for dealing with disks other than the standard Alto disk, and with directories other than the standard one on each disk. Most users won’t have occasion to use these features. If you find that you have accidently entered a mode in which you are asked to choose a new disk drive or directory, strike DEL to return to the "ready" state with the previous selections intact.
Displayed between the status and directory windows, on each side, are the current disk drive, the directory name, and the filter used to display that directory. When you start up Neptune, the left-hand window’s disk drive is DP0, its directory is SysDir, and its filter is *.*. Whenever Neptune is in the "ready" state, you can change any of these by pointing at it and clicking RED. This section describes how to change the disk drive and the directory; the method for changing the filter has already been described (section 4.3).
A disk drive has a name consisting of a drive type and drive number. The two Diablo drives (the type used in standard Altos) are named DP0 and DP1. On Altos that have Trident disk drives attached, the eight possible Trident drives are called TP0 through TP7. If a Trident model T-300 drive is attached, there may be up to three independent file systems stored on a disk pack mounted in that drive. You identify the one you want by use of ficticious drive names; for Trident drive 3, they are called TP3, TP403, and TP1003. See the Trident documentation in the Alto Subsystems manual for more information about T-300 disks.
On any given disk there are one or more directories containing the names of files stored on that disk. The directories are themselves files and have names. The standard directory on any disk, and the one you always refer to if you don’t say anything else, is called SysDir.
In Neptune, the current disk drive and directory name for a window are not entirely independent of each other. You may change the directory name without specifying a new disk drive, but changing the disk drive may require that you then select a directory name.
5.1 Switching to a different disk
To select a new disk drive for the left or right side of the screen, position the cursor over the current disk drive name for that side and click RED. Neptune will clear out the directory window and display in its place the names of all possible disk drives, i.e., all drives that are connected to the Alto and that have disk packs loaded and ready. Choose the desired disk drive by pointing at its name and clicking RED.
If the disk you selected is password-protected (i.e., a password was specified when the Operating System was installed on that disk), Neptune will require you to enter the password at this time.
After you have chosen one of the disk drives, Neptune will look for directories on the disk loaded in that drive. Ordinarily the only directory present will be SysDir, and Neptune will revert to its "ready" state after displaying the directory in the normal fashion. On the other hand, if the disk has alternate directories available, Neptune will now request that you select one of them, as discussed below in section 5.2.
Directly following the list of available disk drives is the phrase "No Disk". Selecting this rather than a disk drive name leaves that side of the screen undefined, i.e., not referring to any disk drive. A side with no disk is indicated by the phrase "No Disk" as its drive name and a gray outline around its directory window.
5.2 Switching to a different directory
Before we discuss how to change the current directory name, a warning about the use of alternate directories is in order. The only fully-supported directory in the Alto file system is the one called SysDir. The Operating System does give limited support to other directories, but not all Alto programs will recognize them. More information about alternate directories is given in the Alto Operating System manual.
To change the directory name for a window, point at the current one with the cursor and click RED. Neptune will then look for directory files on the current disk. All the directories that it finds will be displayed in the directory window. Choose the desired directory by pointing at its name and clicking RED. Neptune will now display the file names in that directory and revert to its "ready" state.
If you wish to create a new directory rather than selecting an existing one, then instead of clicking RED over an existing name simply type the new directory name followed by CR or ESC. There must not already be a file by that name. After you have done this, the directory window will of course be empty. You can now put files into this newly-created directory by copying them from the other directory window.