IDRAGON

From AtariForumWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
                     The Ivory Dragon Packer
                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                         V2.6   (C) 1991
                         ---------------
                        By Vermilion Pawn
                        -----------------


Contents :


Page      Description

2.        General information and the file selector.

3-5.      The Icons.

6.        Compacting a file and Compact Icons Layout.

7.        The Compact Icons.

8.        The Flash and Message Menus

9.        The Actual Packing Bit and Miscellaneous info.

10.       When it`s Finally all Over.



























What is a packer?

     A packer is a piece of software that will take data and 
convert it into a form that occupies less space. That is to say, 
it squeezes the file into a fraction of its original size then 
stretches it out to its original size when required. This means 
it takes up less space on a disk.

How does a packer work?

     Basically it looks for repetions of a byte or bytes and 
saves an offset to these bytes instead of the bytes themselves.

Good. So now we have a little background, lets see how to go 
about packing some files.

                         GETTING STARTED

First get a disk with the file/s you wish to pack on it.
Make a backup of this disk in case something untoward happens.

Load up the packer. You will see a central fileselector flanked
by six icons.

At the bottom of the screen are three rows of numbers.
The left number shows the amount of available free memory.
The central number shows the size of the file pointed to.
The right number shows the available free space on the disk.

Use the cursor keys up and down to scroll the fileselector.
The file that will be operated upon is the one that the two 
arrows are pointing to.
If it is a folder, the word FOLDER will appear in place of the 
central number at the bottom of the screen.
Push return or enter to go into the folder. Once in the folder,
you will see two folders more than there should be.
These are  .   and  ..
The single dot means to go back to the root directory (the one 
you started in)
The double dot means to go back to the folder you came from.














                            The Icons
                            ~~~~~~~~~

These are central to packing files and performing various other 
tasks.

To select the icons press either the RIGHT cursor key or the LEFT 
You may then use the cursors UP and DOWN to highlight the 
appropriate icon. Push return or enter to select a particular 
icon. (Don`t do it yet thought!)
Use the cursors LEFT and RIGHT to return to the file selector.


                    Icon Layout For Main Menu
                    -------------------------

Drive Select Menu                             Delete File

   Swap Disk                                  Compact File

   Batch Menu                               Exit to desktop


                   Icon Layout for Batch Menu
                   --------------------------

Drive Select Menu                       Run Batch(Compact files)

Add file to batch                             View Batch

   Clear batch                            Return to Main Menu


** Pressing HELP when an icon is highlit will give help on it. **


                        Icon Description
                        ----------------

                       Drive Select Menu :


This is a menu for changing drives, making folders and renaming 
files.
Use the function keys 1 to 5.

F1   Change Read Drive
F2   Change Write Drive

Pressing these will cycle through the available drives.

* Note that the drive changes will not come into effect until F5 
has been pressed. *


F3   Create Folder

This will make a folder onto the READ drive.

Type in the name of the folder and press return to make it.
There is a limit of 12 characters for the name.
eg.       FOLDER.CAT

If you decide not to make a folder then pushing escape will
return you to the Drive Menu.


F4   Rename File

This will rename the file currently pointed to on the READ drive.

This is exactly the same as for making a folder. Type in the name 
to change it to.
Escape will quit to the Drive Menu.


F5   Change Compact Speed

This allows you to alter the speed at which the packer runs.
If you opt for a fast speed, the data will not be as compact,
and a slow speed will compact the data as much as possible.
Use the function keys to select speed. A dot will appear beside
your selection.


F6   Exit

Returns to main menu


                           Swap Disk :

This will read in the directory from a new disk if you have 
swapped disks.


                       Select Batch Menu :

This will select the icons for the batch menu.


                          Delete File :

Deletes the file currently pointed to. No warning is given and 
the file cannot be retrieved (at least not without mucking about 
first) Folders cannot be deleted.


                         Compact Disk :

This is used to compact a single file as opposed to the batch 
files. It will compact the file pointed at. See later for further 
info.
Folders cannot be compacted.(As if you would try)


                       Return to Desktop :

Self-explanatory.


                     THE BATCH MENU ICONS :


                         Drive Select :

Identical to main menu.

                          Add to batch:

This adds the currently pointed to file onto the batch for later 
compaction.
See later on for icon descriptions.
There is a maximum limit of 20 files to be batched.

                          Clear Batch :

This is used to delete all entries in the batch.
Use this once a batch has been compacted as the filenames will 
still be in the batch in case you need to re-pack them etc.

                           Run Batch :

This will compact all the files in the batch one after another.
Make several cups of coffee or something while this is being 
done. See compacting later on for more info.

                          View Batch :

This displays the contents of the batch (Just the filename, no 
pathnames)
They will be displayed in reverse order, so the entry you just 
put in will be first on the list.
Press any key to leave the list or to display the next page of 
filenames if more than 10 items in the batch.

                      Return to Main Menu :

Toggles back to the main menu icons.



                        Compacting a file
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     When you select the compact disk or the add to batch icons 
you will be presented with another series of 9 icons to choose 
from. These will determine the characteristics of the file you 
wish to pack.


                        The Compact Icons
                        -----------------

 Flash     Type 1        Message     Type 2       Compact?
 -----     ------        -------     ------       ----------
  On       Multi-part    On          Executable   Abort

  Off      Single-part   Off         Data         Do Compact

The state of the icon will be shown by a red ball.

The icons are in four pairs;
Flash, Multi or single part, message and file type.
Abort will quit any compact operations.
Select an icon by using the cursor keys. Press return to select.

Eg. If you wanted the screen to flash on depacking, highlight 
Flash on and push return. The red ball will appear over Flash on 
and disappear from Flash Off.


                   Compact Icons Descriptions


Flash On and Flash Off :

If flashing is selected, the screen will flash in various garish 
colours while depacking.
Just before the file starts to compact, a flash menu will appear 
so you can select the flash type.

If flashing is off, the screen will simply turn black while 
depacking.


Message On and Message Off :

With message on, you can enter a message that will be displayed 
while the file is being depacked.
As for flashing, a menu will appear where you can enter your 
message.




Multi part file :

If you have an executable file that needs to load data files, 
then the executable file must be saved as a multi part file.
This ensures that when it finds any files it will automatically 
depack them. This depacking is oblivious to the program and it 
will run completely as normal.
Note that if several program files load one another, there is no 
need to make them all multi parted. Simply multi part the first 
file that gets loaded. The Doc viewer is a multi part as it loads
other packed files.

Single part file :

If your program does not require any data files you should save 
it as a single part file. This saves a few hundred bytes.
It also means that about 200 bytes less memory are used.(Big deal!)
The Packer is a single part file as it loads no other packed files.

Executable file :

Select this if the file you wish to compact is one that you 
double click on to load. Executable files normally take the 
extenders of  .PRG, .TOS, .TTP or .ACC
I`m unsure if TTP or ACC files will load properly as it is rare 
to pack these kind of files, so make a backup first or write to 
another disk before packing these files.(TTP or ACC)


Data file :

Basically anything that you can`t run from the desktop.
For example  .DOC, .ID, .DAT, .S files.
Anything that doesn`t have an executable extender.


** A data file cannot be multi-parted, single-parted, have flash 
or a message so these settings are ignored. This means that if 
you wish to pack a data file you need not worry about any 
settings.  A data file will depack with the same flash as the 
program that loaded it.

** If you don`t want to use multi-pack then load DEPAK_V4.PRG 
before executing any files. This does exactly the same job, 
except that when a multi-packed file quits to desktop, the 
depacker will no longer work.


Once you are happy with the settings select  Compact File.

If you have come from the batch menu, you will now be returned to 
there. Your settings have been remembered.
However, if you have come from compact disk, you will be at 
another menu or compacting will have started.

                         The Flash Menu
                         --------------

     If you have selected flash on then you should now be here.
The menu is as follows. Use function keys 1 to 8 to select and 
keys 1 to 8 on the keyboard for colour levels.

F1.  MOVE           F2.  EOR
F3.  OR             F4.  NOT
F5.  AND
F6.  RED            F7.  GREEN
F8.  BLUE           F9.  NONE
F10. NONE
T    SCREEN OR TEXT

MOVE : makes a very strong coloured,thin flash.
EOR  : had weak, palid colours
OR   : has soft, pastel colours. Works well with colour levels.
  Colour levels will not affect MOVE or EOR.
NOT  : This makes a very large area of colour with thin lines of 
  opposite colour on it. All colour levels are reversed here, so 
  full colour gives black.
AND  : This is a good one. Set all the colour levels to zero then
  you can have flashing individual colours by putting, say blue up 
  to full(Key 8) or you could mix a variety of colours together.

F9 (none) will switch off any colour levels so black and white 
  effects can be achieved.

T Toggles between having the text flash or having the background 
  flash.

Use F10 once you have burned your eyeballs sufficiently.


                        The Message Menu
                        ----------------

     Here is where you get to put your name up and to 
introduce your program.
     There are four lines that you can use, each with a limit of 
38 characters.
     All text is automatically centered.

Press keys F1 to F4 to select the line you wish to use.
Next type in your message.
The text will appear automatically centered in the appropriate 
place on the screen. This is how it will appear on depacking.

The lines can say anything, but for convention I have adopded 
Presentation, Program Name and two "blurb" lines so as to easily 
label the lines.
Push F5 when finished.

                     The Actual Packing Bit
                     ----------------------

Hopefully, you will at last be here. The top line of the screen 
shows the name of the program that is being packed.

The four icons below depict the settings of the file.

Below that are two vertical lines.

The bar on the left shows how far through the file the packer is.
So when it hits the bottom, that`s the file packed.

The bar on the right show how compacted the file is. (The shorter 
the better, and if it`s longer then I would panic!)

The compacting will take anything from a few seconds to hours 
depending on the size and complexity of the file.

                       ** ABORT, ABORT **
                       ------------------

If at any point during packing you do not wish to pack the file 
after all, hold down  LEFT SHIFT  to abort.
This will only abort the currently packing file and not affect 
batched files.


                          Miscellaneous
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Already Packed Files :

The following packed formats will be recognised and discarded.

The Pompey Puffs
The Jam Packer
LSD 1.5 Packer
DEK Packer
Sharaz Jek Packer

Huge files :

It is unwise to try and pack files that are bigger than or almost 
as big as the available memory.

Errors :

If you get an error message, push any key to continue.
Non critical errors, eg. no disk in the drive will not affect the
program. Simply insert a disk and push return.
Some errors may return you to the bouncing ball bit.
If this happens, push any key to restore the screen.

Once all packing is finished :

When at last, the work is done, a message will prompt you and the 
drive lights will flash on and off. This is not doing anything to 
your drive or the disk in it. It is handy in case you have 
switched off your T.V. or found a better use for it while 
packing and you can instantly see when the packing has finished 
without having to turn on your T.V.\monitor

Mono Users :

Sorry, neither the document viewer nor the compactor will work in 
mono. Run it through a T.V. instead.

If a multi-part data file doesn`t work :

Sometimes the program that wants to load the data reads bits of a 
file instead of the whole one. In this instance a packed file will
not work.
     If your data file does not work then depack it and try to 
load it again. 


     Well. There you are. Now even lesser mortals should be able 
to pack a file as they want it without any problems.

           I hope you will find this program useful.
                         Vermilion Pawn

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

                    General Purpose Depacker
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     This is a very useful utility for depacking crunched files.
When it is loaded it will terminate and stay resident so it will 
appear that nothing has happened. However it will lurk about 
inside your ST waiting for any packed files and when it finds 
them it will depack them without the computer knowing.

     This is so you can pack a program and its files and DEPAK 
will uncrunch it whenever they are found but it will not affect 
the program in any way.

     This is exactly the same as making a file a MULTI part 
except that you will be returned to the desktop after loading.
     
     DEPAK is particulary handy for depacking and saving files.
Simply load DEPAK, drag your file on the desktop to copy it, the 
file will be decruched and is ready to save. You will have to 
rename the file to save before saving it.

     DEPAK can be run from an Auto folder as a substitute for a 
MULTI parted file.

So, basically if you wish to depack a data file, load DEPAK and 
copy the file exactly as you would a normal one. The file
will be saved in the same form as it was before compaction.

Wow. I hope you can understand all that!

          Vermilion Pawn


Back to Packer/Depacker