ARC - THE FILE ARCHIVE UTILITY by Jos Schilders
A new programm appeared recently in the public domain librairies:
ARC. In the PC World, the program is already very common, and
many people use it, especially in mailboxes etc. But what is ARC,
and more, how to use it? I'll try to make it clear to you in this
ARC is designed to store much files in a compact, easy-to-handle
way, by crunching, squeezing and compacking the original files
and copy them in one large file, which can be stored on diskette,
harddisk, and even a CD-rom in the future. The archive file can
be as long as you like and can contain as many programs (or
datafiles) as you like. the ARC file occupies mostly about half
the size of the original programs. but mostly, if you use
something like fifty small programs of plm. 300 bytes or so, the
saving of diskspace will be even more, since every file takes at
least 1024 bytes, even it is only one byte long. Also, one long
file is much easier to manipulate as dozens of small ones,
especially if you are copying "Krabat 2.0" with the desktop with
only one drive. (Wouldn't recommend it...).
For easy handling of the ARC file, ARC has many commands for
adding, moving, extracting and running programs to and from the
The common format of a ARC Command is:
XY T:ARCNAME.EXT S:FILENAME.EXT S:FILENAME.EXT ....
X is the main function (like adding a file or so). Y is a
secundairy option, it can be used to surpress warning messages or
so. ARCNAME.EXT is the name of the ARC file to store and extract
from. It can include drive-specifications and pathnames. FILE
NAME.EXT is the file to store in or to extract from the ARC file.
It can contain pathnames, drive-specifications, and wildcards.
You can type as many filenames as you like.
AH D:DOCS.ARC A:\GFABASIC\*.LST B:\1ST_WORD\*.DOC
Adds all files on drive A: in the folder GFABASIC with the
extension .LST and all files on drive B: in the folder 1ST_WORD
with the extension .DOC to an archive file with the name
DOCS.ARC on drive D:, and waits for a key before returning to the
desktop when finished.
Here is a complete list of all ARC I know. Type then on the
command line if you use the ARC.TTP file. If you use a DOSshell
like COMMAND.PRG, type them after the filename with a space
between them (usefull if you want to add many files at once, or
if you have nested folders). For lazy persons there is a GEMshell
on the same disk, but I find the .TTP file much easier to use.
A ADD Adds files to the archive.
M MOVE Adds files to the archive and deletes them on the
U UPDATE Adds files to the archive, but if a file already
exists in the archive then this file is overwrit
F FRESHEN updates a file only if it is already in the
archive. Otherwhise the file is ignored.
D DELETE delete a file in the archive
X EXTRACT extracts files from the archive.
E EXTRACT extracts files from the archive. (Silly)
R RUN extracts files one at a time from the archive,
loads them in memory and starts them.
P PRINT extracts a file and dumps it on screen or printer
(add >LPT: for printer)
L LIST gives a list of all files in the archive.
V VERBOSE gives a verbose listing of all files in the
archive, including original size, size in archive,
reduction rate, date, time and checksum.
T TEST tests all files in the archive on CRC (checksum)
C CONVERT Copies the entire archive, thus adapting files
created by an older version of arc to new packing
Then there are some secundary commands, to suppress errors etc.
B BACKUP Leaves a backup of the archive before the last
change on the disk
S SURPRESS Surpresses packing of the files. Usefull if you
PACKING want to add much files in a short time, you can
use C afterwards to compress the whole file at
W WARNINGS Surpresses warnings of ARC
N REMARKS Surpresses remarks
E.. ENCODE E is directly followed (without a space) by a
password. The packed file is then encoded trough a
EXOR with the characters of this password. A
simple, but very usefull method. Don't forget the
password, since by a password of three characters,
there are already 16777216 possible passwords...
H HOLD Holds the screen and wait for a key before
returning to the desktop, allowing you to read the
messages on the screen.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.