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comp.os.msdos.programmer FAQ part 1/5

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comp.os.msdos.programmer FAQ Version 2003.08.14

This is the Frequently Asked Questions list for the newsgroup
comp.os.msdos.programmer.

COPYRIGHT

Copyright 2003 by Jeffrey Carlyle. All rights reserved. This article is
not in the public domain, but it may be redistributed so long as this
notice, the acknowledgments, and the information on obtaining the latest
copy of this list are retained and no fee is charged. The code fragments
may be used freely; credit to the FAQ would be polite. This FAQ is not to
be included in any static: archive (e.g. CD-ROM or book); however, a
pointer to the FAQ may be included. See <Q:01.14> [Where can I get the
latest copy of this FAQ list?] for a link to the latest version of the
FAQ.)

This is part 1 of 5 parts.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART 1: (this part)
Section 1.  General FAQ and Newsgroup Information
  <Q:01.01> - Is MS-DOS Dead?
  <Q:01.02> - What is this article for?
  <Q:01.03> - Who has contributed to this article?
  <Q:01.04> - How can I search this article for a particular topic?
  <Q:01.05> - Are the answers guaranteed to be correct and complete?
  <Q:01.06> - What is comp.os.msdos.programmer about?
  <Q:01.07> - Is comp.os.msdos.programmer just for C programmers?
  <Q:01.08> - What is comp.sys.ibm.pc.programmer?
  <Q:01.09> - Is comp.os.msdos.programmer available as a mailing list?
  <Q:01.10> - What's this netiquette?
  <Q:01.11> - How can I learn more about Usenet?
  <Q:01.12> - What other technical newsgroups should I know about?
  <Q:01.13> - Where are FAQ lists archived?
  <Q:01.14> - Where can I get the latest copy of this FAQ list?

Section 2.  General Reference
  <Q:02.01> - Are there any good on-line references for PC hardware
              components?
  <Q:02.02> - Are there any good on-line references for PC interrupts?
  <Q:02.03> - What and where is Ralf Brown's interrupt list?
  <Q:02.04> - Where can I find lex, yacc, and language grammars?
  <Q:02.05> - What's the best book to learn programming?
  <Q:02.06> - Why won't my code work?
  <Q:02.07> - Are there any good sources of example code?
  <Q:02.08> - What and where is SNIPPETS?
  <Q:02.09> - Is the source code MS-DOS available?
  <Q:02.10> - What are my alternatives for MS-DOS compatible OSes?
  <Q:02.11> - What and where is FreeDOS?
  <Q:02.12> - Where can I find out about batch files?

PART 2: 
Section 3.  Compile and link
  <Q:03.01> - What the heck is DGROUP > 64K?
  <Q:03.02> - How do I fix 'automatic data segment exceeds 64K' or 'stack
              plus data exceed 64K'?
  <Q:03.03> - Will Borland C code and Microsoft C code link together?
  <Q:03.04> - Why did my program bomb at run time with 'floating point
              formats not linked' or 'floating point not loaded'?
  <Q:03.05> - How can I change the stack size in Borland's C compilers?
  <Q:03.06> - What's the format of an .OBJ file?
  <Q:03.07> - What's the format of an .EXE header?
  <Q:03.08> - What's the difference between .COM and .EXE formats?
  <Q:03.09> - How do I create a .COM file?
  <Q:03.10> - Where is EXE2BIN located?
  <Q:03.11> - What does this message mean: 'A20 already enabled so test
              is meaning less?'

Section 4.  Keyboard
  <Q:04.01> - How can I read a character without echoing it to the
              screen, and without waiting for the user to press the Enter
              key?
  <Q:04.02> - How can I find out whether a character has been typed,
              without waiting for one?
  <Q:04.03> - How can I disable Ctrl-C/Ctrl-Break and/or Ctrl-Alt-Del?
  <Q:04.04> - How can I disable the print screen function?
  <Q:04.05> - How can my program turn NumLock (CapsLock, ScrollLock) on
              or off?
  <Q:04.06> - How can I speed up the keyboard's auto-repeat?
  <Q:04.07> - What is the SysRq key for?
  <Q:04.08> - How can my program tell what kind of keyboard is on the
              system?
  <Q:04.09> - How can I tell if input, output, or stderr has been
              redirected?
  <Q:04.10> - How can I increase the size of the keyboard buffer?
  <Q:04.11> - How can I stuff characters into the keyboard buffer?

PART 3: 
Section 5.  Disks and files
  <Q:05.01> - What drive was the PC booted from?
  <Q:05.02> - How can I boot from drive B:?
  <Q:05.03> - Which real and virtual disk drives are valid?
  <Q:05.04> - How can I make my single floppy drive both a: and b:?
  <Q:05.05> - How can I disable access to a drive?
  <Q:05.06> - How can a batch file test existence of a directory?
  <Q:05.07> - Why won't my C program open a file with a path?
  <Q:05.08> - How can I redirect printer output to a file?
  <Q:05.09> - How can I redirect the output of a batch file?
  <Q:05.10> - How can I redirect stderr?
  <Q:05.11> - How can my program open more files than DOS's limit of 20?
  <Q:05.12> - How can I read, create, change, or delete the volume label?
  <Q:05.13> - How can I get the disk serial number?
  <Q:05.14> - What's the format of .OBJ, .EXE., .COM files?
  <Q:05.15> - How can I flush the software disk cache?
  <Q:05.16> - How can I see if a drive is a RAM drive?
  <Q:05.17> - How can I determine a hard drive's manufacturer?
  <Q:05.18> - Where can I find information about the ATA/ATAPI
              specification?
  <Q:05.19> - How can I copy files to or from filenames containing date
              information?

Section 6.  Serial ports (COM ports)
  <Q:06.01> - How do I set my machine up to use COM3 and COM4?
  <Q:06.02> - How do I find the I/O address of a COM port?
  <Q:06.03> - But aren't the COM ports always at I/O addresses 3F8, 2F8,
              3E8, and 2E8?
  <Q:06.04> - How do I configure a COM port and use it to transmit data?

PART 4: 
Section 7.  Other hardware questions and problems
  <Q:07.01> - Which 80x86 CPU is running my program?
  <Q:07.02> - How can a C program send control codes to my printer?
  <Q:07.03> - How can I redirect printer output?
  <Q:07.04> - Which video adapter is installed?
  <Q:07.05> - How do I switch to 43- or 50-line mode?
  <Q:07.06> - How can I find the Microsoft mouse position and button
              status?
  <Q:07.07> - How can I access a specific address in the PC's memory?
  <Q:07.08> - How can I read or write my PC's CMOS memory?
  <Q:07.09> - How can I access memory beyond 640K?
  <Q:07.10> - How can I use the protected mode?
  <Q:07.11> - How can I tell if my program is running on a PS/2-style
              machine.
  <Q:07.12> - Is there a 80x87 math unit installed?
  <Q:07.13> - How can I power off the computer from a batch file?

Section 8.  Other software questions and problems
  <Q:08.01> - How can a program reboot my PC?
  <Q:08.02> - How can I time events with finer resolution than the system
              clock's 55 ms (about 18 ticks a second)?
  <Q:08.03> - How can I find the error level of the previous program?
  <Q:08.04> - How can a program set DOS environment variables?
  <Q:08.05> - How can I change the switch character to - from /?
  <Q:08.06> - How can I write a TSR (terminate-stay-resident utility)?
  <Q:08.07> - Why does my interrupt function behave strangely?
  <Q:08.08> - How can I write a device driver?
  <Q:08.09> - What can I use to manage versions of software?
  <Q:08.10> - What's this 'null pointer assignment' after my C program
              executes?
  <Q:08.11> - How can a batch file tell whether it's being run in a DOS
              box under Windows?
  <Q:08.12> - How can my program tell if it's running under Windows?
  <Q:08.13> - How can a program tell whether ANSI.SYS is installed?
  <Q:08.14> - How do I copyright software that I write?
  <Q:08.15> - How can I place date and time information into environment
              variables?

PART 5: 
Section 9.  Downloading
  <Q:09.01> - What are SimTel and Garbo?
  <Q:09.02> - Can I get archives on CD-ROM?
  <Q:09.03> - Where do I find program <mumble>?

Section 10.  Vendors and products
  <Q:10.01> - How can I contact Borland?
  <Q:10.02> - How can I contact Microsoft?
  <Q:10.03> - What is the current version of DJGPP?
  <Q:10.04> - What and where is DJGPP?
  <Q:10.05> - Are there any good shareware/freeware compilers?
  <Q:10.06> - Where is QBASIC?
  <Q:10.07> - What is a vendor's web site address?

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