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QuickPak Professional for DOS - The Most Comprehensive Collection of BASIC Tools Ever Produced
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readme.md

readme.md

On October 26th, 2018 I purchased the software assets of Full Moon Software. Full Moon Software used to be known as Crescent Software. They produced a line of excellent development libraries for MS-DOS. The supported environments were QuickBASIC 4.x, Microsoft Professional Development System v7.x, and Visual Basic for DOS.

The idea behind obtaining these products was to release them to the public domain to ensure that people could still access these things in the future. While most developers will have no use for these products in a modern develoment environment, they still have value as an example of "how it was done" back in the heyday of x86 DOS development.

The software in this repository hasn't been modified from how I received it from Ethan Winer, the original author. While all the source files carry some kind of Copyright notice, the software is now in the public domain.

The original distribution disk files and documentation are available here:

http://annex.retroarchive.org/crescent/index.html

Gene Buckle, October 27th, 2018

About Crescent Software: After 20 years as a professional recording engineer and musician, Ethan Winer founded Crescent Software in 1986, quickly building it to become the leading provider of add-on products for use with Microsoft compiled BASIC for DOS. During that time Ethan wrote numerous articles about DOS BASIC and assembly language for all of the major programming magazines, and also served as a contributing editor for PC Magazine. Ethan also received Microsoft's MVP award every year since 1996 for his assistance in the Microsoft BASIC programming newsgroups. In 1992 Ethan sold Crescent to his partner Don Malin, and retired in order to pursue his musical interests.

I've attached the text from Full Moon Software's catalog description of QuickPak Professional below.


QUICKPAK(tm) PROFESSIONAL FOR DOS

The Most Comprehensive Collection of BASIC Tools Ever Produced

QuickPak Professional is a programmer's toolbox of more than 500 BASIC and assembly language subroutines, designed to help developers improve the quality of their programs and complete them faster. Included are routines for windowing, access to DOS and BIOS services, searching and sorting any type of BASIC array, creating pull-down and Lotus(r) style menus, accepting data input, and much more. Extensive documentation (700 pages) is provided with additional tutorials on files, arrays, subprograms, sorting, compiling and linking, plus many other related topics. The manual is clearly written, and includes a wealth of information useful and pertinent for programmers at all levels of experience. We provide pre-built Quick and linking libraries for use with all current versions of Microsoft BASIC for DOS--simply load the appropriate library, and you're ready to go. The high-level routines written in BASIC are easily loaded as source modules.

QUICKPAK IS EASY TO USE

All of the routines in QuickPak Professional are extremely easy to use. The number of parameters is kept to an absolute minimum, and detailed instructions are included for each routine. Where appropriate, the routines are designed as functions that return a value directly. For example, to read the disk volume label for Drive A:

 Volume$ = GetVol$("A")

The DOS services permit many operations that are not possible using BASIC alone. Routines are included to obtain a list of file and directory names from disk, retrieve and set the default drive, copy files, determine the total and free space on a disk, read or change a file's date, time, and attributes, and directly read or write disk sectors. A complete set of file and printer routines is also provided to eliminate the need for ON ERROR. Other low-level routines include string and file encryption, file and array searching and sorting, date and time calculations, access to mouse services, and extensive string manipulation. A sophisticated Print Screen routine operates in all BASIC-supported graphics modes and works with any printer that honors either the standard Epson/IBM dot matrix or HP LaserJet control codes. All of the routines that process strings and string arrays are also provided in an alternate version that ignores capitalization. The video routines operate on any screen page and automatically support the 43- and 50- line EGA and VGA text modes.

IF YOU NEED IT, QUICKPAK PROBABLY HAS IT

QuickPak Professional also includes many complete applications that may be added to your programs. Dozens of callable BASIC modules are provided, such as a spreadsheet and a full-featured text editor with word wrap, row and column block operations, and built-in mouse support. Other routines include a pop-up calculator, calendar, ASCII chart, file manager, plus a browse program that handles text files of nearly any size. Additional major utilities are a complete pulldown menu system with mouse support, vertical scrolling menus that accommodate any number of choices, and recursive TYPE array and file sort routines that can handle any number of sort keys. The editor and menu subprograms operate either normally, or in a unique multi-tasking mode that lets you display several menus at once and poll them in sequence. Also supplied is a comprehensive set of financial and scientific functions, including every function offered in commercial spreadsheet programs. Many routines are provided for sophisticated window handling. The window manager accommodates up to ten levels of window nesting and may be easily expanded to handle even more screens if needed. A special assembler routine lets you close just a portion of a larger window. Other unique subroutines let you write to two monitors at once, create bit arrays that occupy just one bit per element, run .BAT and .COM files, evaluate complex numeric expressions, create delays with microsecond accuracy, and load or save entire string arrays to disk many times faster than is possible using BASIC alone.

THE BEST FEATURES

Other unique features include routines for storing screens and data in expanded (EMS) or extended (XMS) memory, a string manager that overcomes QuickBASIC's 64k limit on string data, and a greatly simplified method for handling DOS errors. Tutorials include a comparison of procedure methods, dynamic versus static arrays, saving text and graphics images to disk, debugging, calling QuickPak routines from a pure assembly language program, and a discussion about handling critical errors. Current versions of QuickPak Professional also include the following features added in version 4:

 * A full complement of mouse-aware dialog box routines that support
   polling, command and option buttons, check boxes, text entry fields,
   and list fields (vertical menus).

 * A masked input routine that lets you specify valid data types (letters,
   numbers, convert to caps, etc.) for each character position in the
   field. Any characters may be used as field delimiters (such as the
   dashes in a Date or Social Security Number field), and they are skipped
   over automatically during data entry.

 * A real expression solver that lets you enter variable names and
   assignments, perform calculations, and even set up Watch expressions
   just like the BASIC editor.

 * Numerous low-level routines can search all of memory for a string, tell
   if a key on the PC's keyboard is currently being pressed and held,
   parse strings using multiple delimiters, execute another program and
   retrieve its return code (DOS error level), search the PATH for a file,
   read CMOS setup information, determine drive types and tell if they are
   fixed or floppy or on a network, and much more.

THE FULL MOON PHILOSOPHY

Full Moon Software is owned and operated by Ethan Winer, author of QuickPak Professional and P.D.Q. Ethan is well-known for his innovation and leadership in the BASIC add-ons market, and for his many contributions to PC Magazine, Microsoft Systems Journal, and other programming magazines. His products have won numerous "Editor's Choice" awards including BASICPro (now VB Programmers Journal), Byte, and Databased Advisor. As with all our products, full source code is provided at no additional cost, so you can see how the routines were designed and even modify them if you want. We genuinely want you to understand how our libraries work and be able to learn from them. All of our products are reasonably priced and include free technical assistance, but they are licensed for use by only one person using one computer at a time. Royalty payments are not required when our routines are incorporated into your compiled applications. However, you may not distribute our source, object, or library files. If your customers need to rebuild your program, they will need their own copy of our product(s).

THE BOTTOM LINE

QuickPak Professional for DOS costs $199 and works with QuickBASIC 4.x, PDS 7.x, and VB/DOS. Add $8 for UPS ground shipping to US addresses only (no P.O. boxes); Connecticut residents must add 6.0% sales tax or show proof of tax- exempt status when ordering. Please call us for overnight and foreign shipping costs. We accept checks, MasterCard, and VISA. We do accept purchase orders, but they must be accompanied by full payment.

QuickPak(tm) is a trademark of Crescent Software, Inc.

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