Epson Apex+ Download Manual

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Apex by Epson User’s Guidefor the Apex Plus and Apex Plus 20
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Epson America makes no representations or warranties, either express orimplied, by or with respect to anything in this manual, and shall not be liablefor any implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particularpurpose or for any indirect, special, or consequential damages. Some states donot allow the exclusion of incidental or consequential damages, so thisexclusion may not apply to you.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, storedin a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the priorwritten permission of Epson America, Inc. No patent liability is assumedwith respect to the use of information contained herein. While everyprecaution has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Epson
America assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Nor is any liabilityassumed for damages resulting from the use of the information containedherein. Further, this publication and features described herein are subject tochange without notice.
Apex is a trademark of Epson America, Inc.
Epson is a registered trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation.
Hercules is a registered trademark of Hercules Computer Technology, Inc.
IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corp.
Kraft is a registered trademark of Kraft Systems, Inc.
MS-DOS, GW-BASIC, and Microsoft are registered trademarks of
Microsoft Corp.
XTREE is a registered trademark of Executive Systems, Inc.
Copyright 1988 by Epson America, Inc.
Torrance, California (250188021iiFCC COMPLIANCE STATEMENT
This equipment generates and uses radio frequency energy and if notinstalled and used properly, that is, in strict accordance with themanufacturer’s instructions, may cause interference to radio and televisionreception. It has been type tested and found to comply with the limits for a
Class B computing device in accordance with the specifications in Subpart Jof Part 15 of FCC rules, which are designed to provide reasonable protectionagainst such interference in a residential installation. However, there is noguarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If thisequipment does cause interference to radio and television reception, whichcan be determined by turning the equipment off and on, you are encouragedto try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:l Reorient the receiving antennal Relocate the computer with respect to the receiverl Move the computer away from the receiverl Plug the computer into a different outlet so that the computer andreceiver are on different branch circuits.
If necessary, consult your dealer or an experienced radio/televisiontechnician for additional suggestions. You may find the following bookletprepared by the Federal Communications Commission helpful:“Television interference Handbook”
This booklet is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington DC 20402. Stock No. 004-000-00450-7
Note: If the interference stops, it was probably caused by the computer orits peripheral devices. To further isolate the problem:Disconnect the peripheral devices and their input/output cables oneat a time. If the interference stops, it is caused by either theperipheral device or its I/O cable. These devices usually requireshielded l/O cables. For Epson peripheral devices, you can obtainthe proper shielded cable from your dealer. For non-Epson periph-eral devices contact the manufacturer or dealer for assistance.
WARNING:This equipment has been certified to comply with the limits for a Class Bcomputer device, pursuant to Subpart J of Part 15 of FCC Rules. Onlyperipherals (computer input/output devices, terminals, printers, etc.)certified to comply with the Class B limits may be attached to thiscomputer. Operation with non-certified peripherals is likely to result ininterference to radio and TV reception.
The connection of a non-shielded equipment interface cable to thisequipment will invalidate the FCC Certification of this device and maycause interference levels that exceed the limits established by the FCC forthis equipment.iiiivContents
Introduction ........
How to Use This Manual.
....... 3
Where to Get Help
......... 4
Chapter 1
Setting Up your System
1-1l Unpacking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Removing the disk drive protector cards. ......... 1-2
2 Choosing a Location
........ 1-3
Arranging the components
............. 1-4
The front panel ......... 1-5
The back panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-7
3 Connecting the Monitor
............ 1-9
4 Connecting the Keyboard
........... 1-12
5 Connecting a Printer
........ 1-13
Parallel interface
....... 1 - 13
Serial interface
......... 1-15
6 Connecting the Power Cord
......... 1-15
7 Turning On the Computer and Loading MS-DOS ......... 1-16
Safety rules
......... 1-16
System startup
......... 1-17
Initial screen display. ........... 1-18
Loading MS-DOS on the Apex Plus ......... 1-19
The command prompt
........... 1-21
8 Copying System Diskettes ........... 1-22
Copying diskettes on the Apex Plus ............ 1-22
Copying diskettes on the Apex Plus 20 ......... 1-24
9 Setting the Real Time Clock.
............. 1-25
Contents vChapter 2
Using Your Apex.
Special Keys on the Apex Keyboard
.......... 2-1
Selecting Execution Speed
............ 2-4
Stopping a Command or Program
............ 2-5
Resetting the Computer
....... 2-5
Turning Off the Computer.
........... 2-6
Using Diskettes and Diskette Drives
.......... 2-7
How diskettes work
...... 2-7
Choosing diskettes for the Apex
......... 2-8
Caring for your diskettes and diskette drives.
............ 2-9
Inserting and removing diskettes.
....... 2-10
Write-protecting diskettes
............. 2-12
Making backup copies
........... 2-12
Using Your Hard Disk.
....... 2-13
Using a single diskette drive system
............ 2-14
Preparing the hard disk for moving
...... 2-15
Chapter 3
Using MS-DOS with Your Apex
............ 3-1
Introducing MS-DOS
Starting and Exiting MS-DOS
.......... 3-2
Changing the Default Drive.
........... 3-3
Entering MS-DOS Commands.
......... 3-3
Creating Files
............ 3-4
Naming a File
........... 3-5
Creating and Using Directories
......... 3-6
Creating directories
...... 3-8
Changing directories
............ 3-8
Using pathnames
........ 3-9
Other directory commands
............ 3-10
Copying from one directory to another.
......... 3-11
Displaying a list of directories
.......... 3-12
Removing a directory
........... 3-13
Formatting Diskettes.
........ 3-13
Formatting diskettes with an Apex Plus
......... 3-13
Formatting diskettes with an Apex Plus 20
............ 3-14vi ContentsCopying Data ........... 3-15
Using the DISKCOPY command.......3-16
Using DISKCOPY with an Apex Plus ..........3-16
Using DISKCOPY with an Apex Plus 20 .........3-18
Using the COPY command............ 3-19
Using the BACKUP command.........3-21
The HELP Utility......... 3-22
Examples ......... 3-23
Messares .......... 3-24
The XTREE Utility......... 3-24
What XTREE does ........... 3-24
Using XTREE........ 3-25
Cautions .......... 3-28
Starting your Application Program.......... 3-32
Using an AUTOEXEC.BAT File........... 3-32
Creating an AUTOEXEC.BAT file ............3-33
Chapter 4
Installing Option Cards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1
Removing the Cover........ 4-2
Inserting the Option Card ............ 4-3
Replacing the Cover......... 4-7
Post-installation Setup........ 4-8
Removing Option Cards...... 4-8
Chapter 5
Troubleshooting ......... 5-1
The Computer Fails to Start Up............. 5-2
The Video Display Does Not Appear.........5-2
The Computer Locks Up...... 5-3
Diskette Problems ......... 5-4
Hard Disk Problems..........
Software Problems ......... 5-6
Printer Problems .......... 5-7
Option Card Problems........ 5-7
Expanding Your System....... 5-8
Cnntents viiAppendixes
Appendix A
Setting the DIP Switches. ........... A-1
Switch 1 (serial port) ........ A-2
Switch 2 (parallel port) ....... A-3
Switches 3 and 4 (monitor and adapter type). ......... A-3
Appendix B
Preparing a Hard Disk for Use ............. B-1
Using HDFMTALL .......... B-2
Formatting and checking options ........ B-2
Conditional format (normal) ........... B-4
Unconditional format ........... B-7
Destructive surface analysis ............. B-9
Non-destructive surface analysis ........ B-10
Using FDISK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B-11
Using SELECT .......... B-13
Finishing Your Installation ........... B-14
Appendix C
Specifications. ........... C-1
Main Unit ....... C-1
Interfaces ...... C-1
Keyboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C-1
Mass Storage. ............ C-2
Power Requirements ......... C-2
Environmental Requirements .......... C-2
Physical Characteristics (CPU Only) ......... C-2
Video and Display Options ........... C-3
Other Apex Options ......... C-3
Glossary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glossary 1
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index 1viii ContentsIntroduction
Your Apex
TMby Epson

personal computer comes in two ver-sions: the Apex Plus with two 360 KB (kilobyte) diskette drives,and the Apex Plus 20 with one 360 KB diskette drive and one
20 MB (megabyte) hard disk drive.
Both versions have 512 KB of internal memory, called randomaccess memory or RAM. RAM determines the size of softwareprograms you can run and the data files you can create. With
512 KB of RAM, you can run most large programs and createlarge data files.
Most software programs expect a computer to have two diskettedrives, one for the program diskette and one for a data diskette.
The Apex Plus provides two diskette drives so you do not haveto spend time switching diskettes. The Apex Plus 20 hard diskdrive and diskette drive provide the same convenience and letyou take advantage of the hard disk’s large storage capacity andfaster performance.
Depending on your needs, you can use either a TTL mono-chrome monitor or an RGB (red-green-blue) color graphicsmonitor with your computer. The Apex monochrome monitoris a good choice if you are using word processing and spread-sheet programs. The Apex color monitor is an excellent choiceif you use software designed for color graphics.
Your Apex comes with a multi-graphics adapter (MGA) card soyou can display color or monochrome graphics on your monitor.
The card is already installed in one of the five option slots in thecomputer. The MGA card also includes a game port so you caneasily connect a joystick to your computer. You can replace the
MGA card to use another type of monitor, such as an enhancedgraphics adapter (EGA)monitor or a video graphics array
(VGA) monitor.
Introduction 1Your Apex includes built-in parallel and serial interfaces that letyou connect almost any peripheral device to the computer. Aperipheral device is one that you attach to your computer, suchas a printer, mouse, or modem. You can use the parallel interfaceto connect an Epson printer or plotter or any other parallelprinter. You can use the serial interface to connect a serialprinter or a mouse.
Your computer comes with version 3.2 of the MS-DOS’ diskoperating system and the GW-BASIC
programming language.
An operating system controls how programs run on the com-puter and supervises all input and output. MS-DOS is one ofthe most commonly used operating systems. It supports mostpopular software programs available, including those designedfor the IBM” personal computer.
GW-BASIC is simple to learn and provides advanced featuresfor the experienced programmer.
If you have used MS-DOS or GW-BASIC before, you’ll findthese programs work the same way on the Apex. Checkyour Apex MS-DOS or GW-BASIC reference manuals fordescriptions of special features added by Epson.
You can add more devices by installing an option curd in one ofthe computer’s five option slots. An option card is an installablecircuit board containing a device, such as a modem, or provid-ing an additional interface to connect other devices. You canuse most of the option cards designed for the IBM PC on your
You can also install an optional 8087 math coprocessor to speedup the computer’s ability to perform calculations. You may wantto add a coprocessor if you frequently use your computer forspreadsheet or other calculation-intensive applications.
2 IntroductionHow to Use This Manual
This manual describes how to set up and care for your computer.
It also introduces the basics of using MS-DOS and shows youhow to install option cards so you can connect optional devices.
You may not need to read everything in this manual; somesections may describe a particular option or accessory you don’thave.
The information in this manual applies to both the Apex Plusand the Apex Plus 20 computers unless indicated otherwise.
Chapter 1 provides instructions on setting up and usingyour Apex computer.
Chapter 2 describes general operating procedures forusing the computer.
Chapter 3 explains how to use MS-DOS with your Apex.
It also introduces the XTREE
utility provided by Epsonand describes how you can use XTREE to perform manyfile operations.
Chapter 4 provides the steps for installing option cards.
Chapter 5 contains troubleshooting information and aquestion and answer section about expanding your system.
Appendix A shows how to change the DIP switchsettings in your computer. You can use DIP switches to setor change the configuration of your system. You do notneed to change the DIP switches unless you add or removehardware from your system.
Introduction 3Appendix B describes how to prepare an unformattedhard disk for use.
Appendix C lists the hardware specifications, operatingrequirements, and options of your computer.
The glossary defines the computer terms used in thismanual.
Where to Get Help
For warranty repairs and technical assistance for your Apexcomputer, call toll-free 1-800-922-8911 (24 hours a day, sevendays a week) for the location of your nearest Epson Customer
Care Center.
To purchase accessories such as printer ribbons and optioncards, check with the store where you purchased your computeror call toll-free 1-800-922-891 1 for the location of your nearest
Epson Customer Care Center.
4 IntroductionChapter 1
Setting Up Your System
Setting up your Apex personal computer is easy - just followthe steps in this chapter and you’ll be on your way. You can alsocheck the “Read This First” sheet included with your computer.
Inspect each component as you remove it from its carton. If youdiscover any missing or damaged items, contact the place ofpurchase to obtain the missing items or an exchange. If you areunable to obtain an exchange, please call 1-800-922-891 1 forthe location of your nearest Authorized Epson Customer Care
Center. When you call, please have the serial number of yourcomputer available.
Be sure to keep your packing materials. They provide the bestpossible protection for your computer if you need to move orship it later. When you unpack your Apex, you’ll find thefollowing:The main unit and power cord
The keyboard with an attached cable
An MS-DOS operating system diskette (version 3.2)
A diskette containing supplemental MS-DOS utilities, the
GW-BASIC programming language (version 3.2), and the
XTREE utility
An MS-DOS reference manual and a GW-BASICreference manual.
Setting Up Your System 1-1You’ll also find a registration card with your Apex; fill out thiscard now and mail it to Epson. With this registration card onfile, Epson can send you update information.
Removing the disk drive protector cards
A protector card occupies each diskette drive in your computer.
This card is inserted at the factory to protect the disk driveheads that read from and write to diskettes,
Be sure to remove the card from each diskette drive before youturn on the computer. Turn the latch that covers the disk slotuntil it is horizontal and carefully pull out the card.
1-2 Setting Up Your SystemSave these cards to use whenever you move the computer. Also,if you don’t intend to use your computer for a week or more,insert the cards to help prevent dust from entering the drives.
Choosing a Location
Before you set up your Apex, it’s important to choose the rightlocation. Make sure it provides the following:A large, sturdy area and surface, such as a desk or table,that can easily support the weight of your Apex and all itscomponents.
A flat, hard surface. Don’t set the Apex on a soft surfacelike a bed or a carpeted floor. Soft surfaces attract staticelectricity, which may erase data on your diskettes anddamage the computer’s circuitry. Soft surfaces can alsoprevent proper ventilation.
Good air circulation. Your Apex needs air to circulate freelyunder it as well as behind it. Leave several inches of spacearound the computer for proper ventilation.
Moderate environmental conditions. Avoid extremes intemperature and humidity; also avoid direct sunlight orother heat sources. High humidity also hinders operation, soit’s best to select a cool, dry area for operation. Dust andsmoke, which can cause damage to diskettes and disk drives,could cause you to lose valuable data.
Appropriate power sources. Static charges can be damaging.
Connect all equipment to three-prong, 120-volt, groundedoutlets. You need at least three outlets, one for the mainunit, one for the monitor, and one for your printer. If youneed more outlets, you may want to buy a power strip.
Available at any electronics store, a power strip providesfour to eight additional outlets. A power strip with surgesuppression is recommended.
Setting Up Your System 1-3No electromagnetic interference. Choose a spot for yourcomputer away from any device that generates an electro-magnetic field (like a telephone).
Arranging the components
Decide how you want to arrange your system components. Theillustration below shows a typical setup. The monitor is on top ofthe main unit and the keyboard is directly in front. This leavesenough space for you to insert diskettes into the disk drives.
If you have special computer furniture, you can arrange your
Apex components to suit your own particular needs.
Before you begin to connect the cables, take a look at the frontand back panels of the main unit.
1-4 Setting Up Your SystemThe front panel
On the front panel you see the power light, the power switch,and the keyboard cable socket. If you are using an Apex Plus,your computer has two diskette drives. If you are using an
Apex Plus 20, your computer has one diskette drive and onehard disk drive.
Here’s how the front panel components work:Power switch. Press this switch to turn the main unit onand off.
Power light. This light is on when the power is on. Your
Apex computer can operate at two different speeds. Thelight is orange when the system is running at 4.77MHz
(megahertz). The light is green when the system is runningat 9.54MHz. Do not change the operating speed while youare running a program. See Chapter 2 for more information.
Keyboard cable socket. Use this socket to plug the keyboardinto the computer.
Setting Up Your System 1-5Diskette drives. In the Apex Plus, both the top and bottomdiskette drives use 5 l/4-inch, 360 KB diskettes. In the
Apex Plus 20, the diskette drive also uses 5 l/4-inch,
360 KB diskettes.
Disk lock/release latch. After you insert a diskette, turn thislatch down until it is vertical. To remove a diskette, turn itup until it is horizontal.
Diskette drive light. This green light is on when the drive isin use. To avoid losing data, never remove a diskette or turnoff the computer’s power when this light is on.
Hard disk drive. In the Apex Plus 20 (shown below), thehard disk drive is the bottom drive. The green light on thehard disk drive panel is on whenever the computer iswriting to or reading from the drive.
1-6 Setting UP Your SystemThe back panel
Take a look at the back panel and note the power inlet,the universal power supply, the DIP switches, the built-ininput/output ports, and the option card access slots.
Do not connect the power cord until you have connected theprinter and any other optional devices. Always check to see thatthe power switch is off before you connect or disconnect theprinter.
The back panel components are:AC input. This inlet supplies electrical power to yourcomputer when you plug in the power cord. Always turnthe power switch off before you plug the power cord fromthis inlet into an electrical outlet.
DIP switches. These switches give the computer informa-tion about its video card type, and parallel and serialinterfaces. The switches are preset to match your system
Setting Up Your System 1-7configuration. Do not change them unless you are addingoption cards that require different settings. Appendix Adescribes how to set these switches if you change yoursystem configuration.
Parallel port. Lets you connect any printer or plotter with aparallel interface.
Serial port. Lets you connect any serial device, such as aserial printer or a mouse.
Option card access slots. The Apex has space for five optioncards to control any peripheral devices you add. Themulti-graphics adapter (MGA) card, which allows you touse either a monochrome or color monitor, occupies one ofthese slots. If you have an Apex Plus 20, the hard diskcontroller card occupies another slot. You can use the otherslots to add special devices, such as an internal modem, toyour Apex system.
Monitor port. Lets you connect an RGB color graphicsmonitor or a TTL monochrome monitor.
Color/mono switch. Set this switch to color or mono,depending on the type of monitor you are using.
Game port. Lets you connect a joystick, track ball, or otherpointing device.
1-8 Setting Up Your System3
Connecting the Monitor
It is easiest to connect the monitor cable if the backs of themonitor and the main unit are facing you.
Your Apex comes with an installed multi-graphics adapter
(MGA) card. You can connect an RGB color graphics monitoror a TTL monochrome monitor to the port on this card.
The way you connect your monitor depends on the type youhave, so check your monitor manual for instructions, or followthese guidelines:1. If necessary, connect the monitor cable to your monitor.
Some monitors have permanently attached cables.
2. Connect the monitor cable to the connector at the backof the main unit.
Setting Up Your System
1-93. Tighten the screws (if any) on the plug with a screwdriver.
4. Plug the monitor’s power cable into an electrical outlet.
5. Set the color/mono switch on the back panel for the type ofmonitor you are using.
1-10 Setting Up Your System6. Make sure the DIP switch settings are correct for the typeof monitor you are using. The Apex computer is set at thefactory to 80x25 color, for a color graphics monitor. Ifyou are connecting a monochrome monitor, you need tochange the DIP switch settings. See Appendix A for moreinformation.
If you are using a monitor other than a color graphics or
TTL monochrome unit, you’ll need to install another videocard in your computer. See Chapter 4, “Installing Option
Cards,” for instructions. You’ll also need to check the DIPswitch settings (defined in Appendix A) to be sure they areset correctly for the type of video card you are installing.
Setting Up Your System 1-114
Connecting the Keyboard
Follow these steps to connect the keyboard:1. Insert the keyboard connector into the keyboard socketon the front panel of your Apex.
Do not force the connector, but make sure you completelyinsert it.
2. If you would like to adjust the angle of the keyboard, turnthe keyboard over and lift each leg upward until it locksinto place.
1-12 Setting Up Your SystemYou can lock each leg in a 15 degree position or an 11degree position. To lock a leg into the 11 degree position,lift up the entire leg and then push the portion marked
15” back until it snaps into the keyboard.
Connecting a Printer
Follow the steps in this section to connect your printer to eitherthe parallel or serial interface.
Parallel interface
Your Apex computer has a parallel interface to which you canconnect a printer. Of course, Epson offers a full range of printerproducts for you to choose from. Check with the store whereyou purchased your computer or call 1-800-922-891 1 for the lo-cation of your nearest Authorized Epson Dealer.
To connect a printer to your Apex, make sure you have an IBM
PC-compatible printer cable. Then follow these steps to connectyour printer to the parallel interface on the main unit:1. Place the printer next to your system.
2. Before you connect the printer, make sure the powerswitches on the main unit, monitor, and printerare off.
Setting Up Your System 1-133. Connect the printer cable connector to the parallel porton the back panel of the main unit. If the connector hasretaining screws, tighten them with a small screwdriver.
4. Connect the other cable connector to the printer. Securethe cable by pressing together the squeeze locks from theprinter port and pushing them into each side of theconnector.
5. Plug the printer’s power cord into an electrical outlet.
1-14 Setting Up Your SystemSerial interface
If you have a printer (or another peripheral such as a modem)with a serial interface, connect it to the serial (RS-232C) porton the back panel. The Apex uses a DB-25P connector, so besure you have an XT-compatible cable. To connect a serialdevice, follow the same steps as for connecting a parallelprinter.
You need to ensure the serial port is set up so it functionsproperly. If you are using the port for a serial printer, you mustalso redirect printer output to the serial instead of the parallelport. Use the MS-DOS SETMODE program (or the MODEcommand) to make these changes. See your MS-DOS referencemanual for instructions.
Connecting the Power Cord
To avoid an electric shock, first insert the power cord into the
AC input connector on the back panel as shown below, thenplug the other end into the wall socket.
Setting Up Your System 1-157
Turning On the Computer and
Loading MS-DOS
Before you turn on the computer, be sure to read the safety rules.
Safety rules
Follow these rules to avoid accidentally damaging your computer orinjuring yourself:Never turn the computer on with a disk drive protectorcard in the disk drive.
Do not attempt to dismantle any part of the computer.
If there is a hardware problem you cannot solve afterreading Chapter 5 on troubleshooting, contact your
Authorized Epson Customer Care Center.
Do not unplug cables from the computer while the powerswitch is on.
Never turn off or reset the computer when any disk drivelight is on. This can destroy data stored on a disk or makean entire diskette unusable.
Always wait at least five seconds after you switch thepower off before switching it on again. Turning the poweroff and on rapidly can damage the computer’s circuitry.
Never leave a beverage on top of or next to your Apex orany of its components. Spilled liquid damages the circuitryof your components.
To install or remove an option card, always turn off thepower, disconnect the main power cord, and wait for aminute before removing the cover from the computer.
(Installing option cards is described in Chapter 4.)
1-16 Setting Up Your SystemSystem startup
Now you’re ready to turn on your Apex. Follow these steps:1.
Make sure one end of the power cord is securely pluggedinto the power inlet (AC input) on the back panel of themain unit and the other end is plugged into a 3-prong,
120-volt, grounded electrical outlet.
Turn on the monitor so you can see messages that appearas your computer starts up. If you have a printer, turn iton.
You can turn on your computer with or without a systemdiskette in the top disk drive, but for now, leave the driveempty. Press the power switch on. The power indicator on the front panel lights up and thecooling fan inside the main unit starts. After a few seconds, thecomputer begins to perform a power-on self test.
Setting Up Your System 1-17Initial screen display
Before the self test begins, a message similar to this displays:Phoenix 8088 ROM BIOS Ver. 1.00
Copyright (c) 1984, 1985, 1987
Phoenix Technologies Ltd
All Rights Reserved.
Then the computer immediately begins to test the memory. The
Apex computer checks each kilobyte of memory twice, countingfrom 0 to 512 and then starting over again. It displays thismessage as it performs the test:RAM Testing . . . XXXKB
The test takes about 45 seconds to complete. You can skip thememory test by pressing the space bar after you turn on thecomputer.
If you can’t see the screen display clearly, make sure the powerlight is on. Then use the controls on your monitor to adjust thebrightness and contrast until characters on the screen are clearand bright.
If you have an Apex Plus, the following messages display:Non.-system disk or disk error
Insert system diskette in drive Aand strike any key when ready
These messages tell you that the computer is ready to load anoperating system from a diskette in the top drive. The Apex Pluscomes with MS-DOS version 3.2. Continue with the sectioncalled “Loading MS-DOS on the Apex Plus.”
1-18 Setting Up Your SystemIf you have an Apex Plus 20, your computer automatically loads
MS-DOS version 3.2 from the hard disk drive. The MS-DOScommand prompt C > displays. Continue with the section called
“The command prompt.”
Loading MS-DOS on the Apex Plus
Before you can use a software program designed to run on the
MS-DOS operating system, MS-DOS must be running in thecomputer’s memory (this is also called booting the system).
Once MS-DOS is loaded, you can give instructions to thecomputer and begin to use various software programs.
Follow these steps to load MS-DOS on the Apex Plus:1. Make sure the disk latch is in the horizontal position.
Hold the diskette with the label up and the notch to theleft as shown. Insert your MS-DOS system diskettecompletely into the top drive.
Setting Up Your System 1-192. Turn the latch down until it locks in the vertical position.
For a complete description of inserting diskettes, see
Chapter 2, “Using Diskettes and Diskette Drives.”
3. Press any key to begin. Your computer begins loading
MS-DOS into memory.
If you did not insert your system diskette, or you insertedanother diskette by mistake, you see these messages:Non-System disk or disk error
Insert system diskette in drive A:and strike any key when ready
4. In this case, insert your MS-DOS diskette, and press anykey to continue.
After MS-DOS is loaded, the operating system title andversion number display on the screen. Then you see thedate prompt, which appears every time you boot thesystem:Current date is DDD mm-dd-yy
Enter new date:1-20 Setting Up Your System5. You can enter the correct date or leave it unchanged bypressing Enter. For now, press Enter to leave the dateunchanged.
6. After accepting the date, MS-DOS displays the timeprompt:Current time is hh:mm:ss
Enter new time:You can enter the correct time or bypass the prompt bypressing Enter. For now, press Enter to bypass the prompt.
The system now displays the MS-DOS command prompt,
A>, which is your starting point for putting MS-DOS towork.
The command prompt
The command prompt tells you that MS-DOS is loaded andyour computer is ready to receive instructions. The commandprompt also identifies the current operating drive: A, B, or C.
It displays on the screen when you load MS-DOS, complete an
MS-DOS command, or return to MS-DOS from an applicationprogram. If your current operating drive is A, it looks like this:A>
On the Apex Plus system, the top drive is drive A and thebottom drive is drive B. On the Apex Plus 20 system, thediskette drive is drive A and the hard disk drive is drive C.
MS-DOS reserves the label B for a second diskette drive,whether or not it is installed.
If you are using an Apex Plus 20 and you booted from the harddisk; you’ll notice that your prompt is not the MS-DOS defaultcommand prompt c>. Instead, your prompt looks like this:c:\ >
Setting Up Your System 1-21That’s because Epson changed the prompt by adding a commandin a file named AUTOEXEC.BAT. This file contains a series ofcommands that your computer automatically runs when youturn it on. One of these commands is PROMPT $P $G, whichmodifies the prompt to display your directory location on thedisk. For simplicity, all of the examples in this manual show thedefault command prompt, A> or C>. For more information about the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, see
“Using an AUTOEXEC.BAT file” in Chapter 3, or see your
MS-DOS reference manual.
Before you continue, make a working copy of the diskettecontaining the MS-DOS operating system and the diskettecontaining GW-BASIC; then store the originals safely away.
Copying System Diskettes
Follow the steps below to make copies of your two systemdiskettes. Use these working copies for daily use and store theoriginals in a safe place.
The procedure for copying a diskette differs slightly dependingon whether you have an Apex Plus or an Apex Plus 20. Followthe procedure below that applies to your system. In either case,you will need two blank 5 1/4-inch, 360 KB double-sided,double-density diskettes. Make sure the system diskettes arewrite-protected to prevent accidental erasure (see “Write-protecting diskettes” in Chapter 2).
Copying diskettes on the Apex Plus
1. The A> prompt should be displayed on the screen. If itis not, follow the steps in the previous section, “Loading
MS-DOS on the Apex Plus.”
1-22 Setting Up Your System2. Type:DISKCOPY A: B:and press Enter. The screen displays these prompts:Insert SOURCE diskette in drive A:Insert TARGET diskette in drive B:Press any key when ready...
3. Insert the MS-DOS system diskette you want to copy (thesource) into drive A.
4. Insert a blank 5 l/4-inch, 360 KB diskette (the target) indrive B, the bottom disk drive, and close the diskette drivelatch.
5. Press any key to begin the copy process. If the diskette indrive B is not formatted, the DISKCOPY program formatsit. Then the program copies the data from drive A to theformatted diskette in drive B.
When the copy is complete, the screen displays thefollowing prompt:Copy another diskette? (Y/N)
6. Press Y so you can make a copy of the diskette containing
GW-BASIC. Remove the diskettes from drives A and B
(turn the latch on each drive to remove the diskette).
Then insert the GW-BASIC diskette in drive A andanother blank diskette in drive B. Follow the prompts tocopy this system diskette.
When the copy is complete, this prompt displays again:Copy another diskette? (Y/N)
Setting Up Your System 1-237. Press N to return to the MS-DOS command prompt.
8. Store the original system diskettes in a safe place.
9. Properly label the working copies you just created.
Copying diskettes on the Apex Plus 20
1. The C> prompt should be displayed on the screen. If it isnot, type C : and press Enter.
2. Type:DISKCOPY and press Enter. The screen displays the following prompts:Insert SOURCE diskette in drive A:Press any key when ready...
3. Insert the MS-DOS system diskette (the source) into drive
A and turn the diskette drive latch to lock the diskette inplace. Then press any key.
The DISKCOPY program copies the contents of thediskette to the computer’s memory and then displays theseprompts:Insert TARGET diskette in drive A:Press any key when ready...
4. Release the disk latch and remove the MS-DOS systemdiskette from drive A.
5. Insert the blank diskette (the target) in the drive and turnthe diskette drive latch to lock the diskette in place. Thenpress any key.
1-24 Setting Up Your SystemIf the diskette in drive A is not formatted, the DISKCOPYprogram formats it. Then the program copies the data fromthe computer’s memory to the formatted diskette. Whenthe copy is complete, you see this prompt:Copy another diskette (Y/N)?
6. Press Y so you can make a copy of the GW-BASICdiskette. Follow the instructions above and the promptson the screen to make the copy.
When the copy is complete, this prompt displays again:Copy another diskette? (Y/N)
7. Press N to return to the MS-DOS command prompt.
8. Store the original system diskettes in a safe place.
9. Properly label the working copies you just created.
Setting the Real Time Clock
Your Apex computer includes a real time clock. This batterypowered clock stores the current time and date even if you turnoff the computer.
To set the real time clock, use the SETRTC program suppliedby Epson on your GW-BASIC diskette.
You cannot set the real time clock using the MS-DOS TIMEand DATE commands; when you reset or turn off the computer,any time or date settings you make are erased from memory.
Setting Up Your System 1-25To set the real time clock, follow these steps:1. If you are using the Apex Plus, insert the GW-BASICdiskette into drive A. At the command prompt, type thefollowing and press Enter:SETRTC /I
The screen displays a prompt similar to this:Set Real Time Clock Ver. 1.00
Current Time is 12:05:31 Enter New Time:2. Using a 24 hour format, type the new time and press
Enter. Use colons to separate the hours, minutes, andseconds. It’s not necessary to type the seconds.
The screen then displays a prompt similar to this:Current Date is Wed 05-25-88
Enter New Date (mm-dd-yy) :3. Type the new date and press Enter. Use dashes to separatethe month, day, and year.
4. The screen displays the current time and date you set andreturns you to the command prompt.
1-26 Setting Up Your SystemChapter 2
Using Your Apex
This chapter covers these basic procedures for using your Apexcomputer and keyboard:Using the special keys on the keyboard
Changing your computer’s operating speed
Interrupting a command or program
Resetting and turning off your computer
Using diskettes, diskette drives, and hard disk drives.
Special Keys on the Apex Keyboard
Some of the keys on your keyboard serve special functionswhen your computer is running application programs.
Using your Apex 2-1Take a look at the special keys and their functions:Key Name Purpose
Perform special functions withinapplication programs.
Moves the cursor to the right innormal mode (and to the left in shiftmode in some application programs).
Works with other keys to performspecial control functions, such asediting operations in MS-DOS and
Produces uppercase characters orsymbols when used with the maincharacter keys. Produces lowercasecharacters when Caps Lock is on.
Works with other keys to enteralternate character codes nototherwise available.
Moves the cursor back one space,deleting the character to the left.
Ends a line of keyboard input orexecutes a command (may be calledthe Return key in some manuals).
Changes the letter keys from lower-to uppercase; changes back to lower-case when pressed again.
Cancels the current command line oroperation.
2-2 Using Your ApexKey Name Purpose
Changes the function of thekeys on the keypad from numericentry to cursor movement; changeswhen pressed again.
Controls scrolling in someapplications.
When you hold down the Ctrl keyand press this key, it sends a breaksignal to the computer to terminatethe current operation.
Prints the screen display on a dot-matrix printer.
Within application programs, thesekeys control cursor movement.
Turns the insert function on and off.
Deletes characters to the right of thecursor position.
The Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock keys work astoggles, that is, they alternately turn functions on and off whenyou press them. When the function is enabled, the correspond-ing light on the top right corner of the keyboard is on to showthe feature is on. When the function is disabled, the light is off.
Using Your Apex 2-3Selecting Execution Speed
The Apex can operate at two speeds: 4.77MHz or 9.54MHz.
At 9.54MHz, the Apex performs all tasks faster. Certain appli-cations may have specific timing requirements and only operateat the slower speed. See the application program manual todetermine the best operating speed.
When you turn on the computer, it runs at 4.77MHz. Anorange power light indicates the system is set at the slowerspeed.
You can change the execution speed by typing a keystrokecombination, or by running the SPEED program that Epsonsupplies on the GW-BASIC diskette.
To change the execution speed using the keystroke combina-tion, hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys and press the slash (/) key.
The computer changes from one speed to the other each timeyou press Ctrl Alt /.
You can also change the execution speed by running the SPEEDprogram. To change the execution speed to 4.77MHz, type thefollowing and press Enter:SPEED /1
To change the execution speed to 9.54MHz, type the followingand press Enter:SPEED /2
When you change the speed to 9.54MHz, the power light isgreen and the computer sounds a high-pitched beep. When youchange the CPU speed to 4.77 MHz, the power light is orangeand the computer sounds a low-pitched beep. You can alsodisplay the current execution speed by typing SPEED andpressing Enter.
2-4 Using Your ApexNOTE
If you want to set your computer to run at 9.54MHz every timeyou turn on or reset the computer, insert a SPEED command inyour AUTOEXEC.BAT file. See “Using an AUTOEXEC.BAT
File” in Chapter 3 or your MS-DOS reference manual for moreinformation.
Stopping a Command or Program
You may need to stop a command or program while it is run-ning. To stop the operation of an MS-DOS command, holddown Ctrl and press C or hold down Ctrl and press Break. Bothcombinations send the ASCII code 03, which is known as the
Break signal, to the computer.
You can try the same approach to stop the operation of anapplication program. If it the program does not stop, you mayneed to reset the computer, as described in the next section.
Resetting the Computer
Occasionally, you may want to clear the computer’s currentsettings or memory without turning it off. This is calledresetting the computer.
You may want to do this if an error occurs and the computerdoes not respond to your commands. In this case, you can resetthe computer and try the same operation again. However, sinceresetting erases all data in the computer’s internal memory
(RAM), you should reset your computer only as a last resort.
Using Your Apex 2-5WARNING
Do not reset the computer simply to exit a program. Someapplication programs classify and store new data when you exitthe program. If you reset the computer without properly exitingthe program, you may lose data.
To reset the computer, hold down Ctrl and Alt and press Del
(on the numeric keypad at the right of the keyboard). Thescreen is blank for a moment, then MS-DOS is loaded from thediskette in drive A or from drive C.
If this does not correct the problem, remove any diskettes fromthe disk drives. Turn off the computer. Wait for five seconds,then turn off the monitor and any peripherals. Wait for anotherfive seconds, then turn the computer, monitor, and peripheralson again.
Turning Off the Computer
Normally, when you are through working with an applicationprogram, you save your data, exit the program, and remove alldiskettes from the disk drives.
If you are using an Apex Plus 20, run the HDSIT program toposition the hard disk drive heads. Running HDSIT moves theread/write heads away from the recording area. See “Preparingthe hard disk for moving” in this chapter.
Turn off the computer first, then turn off the monitor and anyperipherals.
2-6 Using your ApexUsing Diskettes and Diskette Drives
The disk drives in your computer let you store your work andprograms for use at any time. Apex Plus systems have two 360
KB diskette drives. Apex Plus 20 systems have one 360 KBdiskette drive and one 20 MB hard disk drive.
Read the following sections to learn how diskettes work and howto do the following:Choose diskettes
Care for your diskettes and disk drives
Cl Insert and remove diskettes
Write-protect diskettes
Cl Make backup copies of your diskettes.
If you have an Apex Plus 20, also read these sections to learnhow to do the following:Use a hard disk
Use a single diskette drive system
Prepare the hard disk before moving the computer.
How diskettes work
The diskettes you use are made of flexible plastic, coated withmagnetic material, and enclosed in protective jackets. Like arecord, a diskette has circular tracks on both sides. Your com-puter stores the data you enter as magnetic patterns on thesecircular tracks.
Using Your Apex 2-7A small read/write head in the computer’s disk drive interpretsthe magnetic patterns. When you put a diskette in a drive, theread/write head is directly over the large oval hole. The holeallows read/write head access to the diskette so you can store,retrieve, and delete data. The data is stored magnetically soyou can retrieve it, record over it, and erase it - just as youplay, record, and erase music on cassette tapes.
Choosing diskettes for the Apex
The Apex uses diskettes that are 5 l/4-inch, double-sided,double-density, 48 TPI (tracks per inch). The diskette boxesare usually marked DS-DD or 2S-2D, soft sector, 48 TPI. Eachdiskette can hold 360 KB of data, which is the equivalent ofabout 150 pages of text. For best results, use only high-qualitydiskettes with reinforced hub rings - the added reliability iswell worth the extra cost.
These diskettes are compatible with those used with the IBM
PC. This means you can use diskettes on the Apex that wereprepared and used on another IBM-compatible computer.
You need to format new diskettes before you can use them with
MS-DOS. The process of formatting erases all data on a disketteand prepares it to receive new data, so be sure to format only
2-8 Using Your Apexnew blank diskettes or diskettes that contain data you want toerase. See Chapter 3 (or your MS-DOS reference manual) forinstructions on how to format diskettes.
Caring for your diskettes and diskette drives
Follow these basic precautions to protect your diskettes and helpyou avoid losing data:Keep your diskettes away from dust and dirt. Smallparticles of dust or dirt can scratch the magnetic surfaceand destroy data. Dust can also ruin the read/write headin the disk drive.
Keep your diskettes away from magnetic fields. (Remem-ber that diskettes store their information magnetically.)
Be careful of the many sources of magnetism in andaround your home or office, such as electrical appliances,telephones, and loudspeakers.
Do not place diskettes on top of your monitor or near ahard disk drive.
Keep your diskettes in a moderate environment. Theywork best at normal room temperature and in normalhumidity. Don’t leave your diskettes sitting in the sun, orin extreme cold or heat. Extreme temperatures inside acar in the middle of summer or winter can damage adiskette.
Never touch your diskette’s magnetic surface. Even theoils on your fingertips can damage it. Always hold adiskette by its protective jacket.
Store your diskettes properly. Do not store diskettes flator stack them on top of each other. When you are notusing them, keep your diskettes in their protectiveenvelopes and store them in a diskette container.
Using Your Apex 2-9Do not place anything on top of your diskettes, and donot bend them. A diskette does not rotate properly in thedrive if it has been damaged.
Never wipe, brush, or try to clean diskettes in any way.
Carefully label diskettes. Attach the label firmly butgently, and only along the top of the diskette (next tothe manufacturer’s label). Do not stick several labels ontop of one another; too many labels can prevent thediskette from spinning freely in the disk drive.
It is best to write on the label before you attach it to adiskette. If you must write on a label that is already on adiskette, use only a soft-tip pen, not a ballpoint pen or apencil.
Do not remove a diskette from the disk drive or turn offthe computer while the drive light is on. The light yousee indicates that the computer is copying data to or froma diskette. If you interrupt this process, you can destroydata.
Remove all diskettes from the disk drives before you turnoff the computer.
Inserting and removing diskettes
When you insert a diskette into a disk drive, hold it with thelabel up and the write-protect notch to the left (so that theread/write slot is away from you). Then gently slide the disketteinto the disk drive.
2-10 Using Your ApexWhen the diskette is all the way in, turn the latch down untilit locks into the vertical position. This keeps the diskette inplace and lets the read/write heads in the disk drive access thediskette.
To remove the diskette, turn the latch up until it is horizontal.
Carefully pull out the diskette, place it in its protective enve-lope, and store it properly. Keep your diskettes in a specialdiskette container.
Never remove a diskette or turn off the computer while thedrive indicator light is on. You could lose data. Also, be sure toremove all diskettes before you turn off the computer.
Using Your Apex 2-11Write-protecting diskettes
You can write-protect a diskette to prevent its data from beingaltered. When a diskette is write-protected, you can read datafrom it, but you cannot store new data on the diskette or deleteany files it contains. If you try to change data stored on a write-protected diskette, the computer displays an error message.
To write-protect a diskette, cover the small, rectangular notchwith an adhesive write-protect tab. These write-protect tabsusually come in the box with new diskettes when you buy them.
If you need to change data on a write-protected diskette, removethe write-protect tab.
Making backup copies
Always make backup copies of all your data and systemdiskettes. Copy all diskettes that contain programs, such as themaster system diskettes that come with your Apex, and use onlythe copies. Store your original system diskettes in a safe placeaway from your working diskettes.
2-12 Using Your ApexCopy your data diskettes regularly (preferably every day, orevery few hours if you’re creating a lot of data) to keep yourbackup data current, then store the backup copies away fromyour originals.
Chapter 1 describes how to use DISKCOPY to copy your
MS-DOS system diskettes. To make backups of other MS-DOSdiskettes, use the DISKCOPY command or the DU (Disk
Utility) program. See your MS-DOS reference manual forinstructions on using DISKCOPY and DU.
If you are using an Apex Plus 20, it’s best to put most of theprograms and data files you use regularly on the hard disk.
Keep backup copies of all your program files on diskettes andregularly copy important data files to diskettes as well. Formore information, see “Copying Data” in Chapter 3 and refer toyour MS-DOS reference manual.
Using Your Hard Disk
The Apex Plus 20 system includes an internal 20 MB hard disk.
Here are some precautions to take when using a hard disksystem:Never attempt to open the hard disk drive. The diskitself is enclosed in an airtight container to protect itfrom dust.
If you are going to move your computer (even toanother part of the room), run the program called
HDSIT to prepare the hard disk for moving. See
“Preparing the hard disk for moving” in this chapter formore information.
Working with a hard disk is very similar to working with adiskette. MS-DOS treats files on a hard disk just like files on adiskette. However, the hard disk provides several advantages:Using Your Apex 2-13The 20 MB hard disk can store as much data as 55
360 KB diskettes.
Your computer can read from and write to a hard diskfaster than when using a diskette.
You can store all your frequently used programs anddata files on the hard disk, reducing the amount of timeyou spend swapping between diskettes with differentinformation on them.
The added storage capacity makes it easy to move back andforth between different programs and data files. However,because it is so easy to add programs and files to your hard disk,you may find yourself trying to organize hundreds of files.
MS-DOS lets you keep related files together in directories andsubdirectories. Epson also includes the XTREE utility with your
Apex system, which gives you an easy-to-understand visualrepresentation of your directory structure. XTREE containsmany powerful features that let you move, create, delete, andrename files and directories, and view and execute files. See
“The XTREE Utility” in Chapter 3 or your MS-DOS referencemanual for instructions.
Using a single diskette drive system
An operating system expects the computer to have at least twophysical disk drives, and it displays prompts and messagesaccordingly. Although the Apex Plus 20 system has a singlediskette drive, MS-DOS recognizes this one drive as two logicaldiskette drives. This helps you perform operations that normallyrequire two diskette drives.
For example, if you give a command to copy from one drive toanother, MS-DOS copies from the first diskette you place in thedrive to the computer’s memory. Then MS-DOS prompts you to
2-14 Using Your Apexinsert another diskette and copies from memory to the newdiskette. When copying is complete, you see a prompt to insertthe original diskette.
Because you may often swap diskettes this way, it is importantto remember which diskette is which. One way to avoid acci-dentally losing data is to hold the diskette for one drive in yourleft hand and the diskette for the other drive in your right. Youcan also write-protect your source diskette.
Preparing the hard disk for moving
If you need to move your Apex Plus 20, even across the room,you should prepare the hard disk for moving to avoid damagingit. To do this, run the HDSIT program just before turning offthe computer.
The HDSIT program moves the read/write heads away from thedisk surfaces and securely locks them into position. If the headsare not secured and the computer is subjected to shock or vibra-tion, the heads may bump the disk surfaces and the drive maybe damaged or you may lose valuable data.
To run HDSIT, at the command prompt type:HDSIT and press Enter. The screen displays a message remindingyou that the heads will not be unlocked until you reset thecomputer or turn it off and on again. The heads are locked andthe keyboard is disabled. You can now turn off the computerand move it to a new location.
Using Your Apex 2-152-16 Using Your ApexChapter 3
Using MS-DOS with Your Apex
In this chapter, you’ll learn the basics of using MS-DOS withyour Apex. The MS-DOS operating system manages the routinework of your system, such as keeping the computer’s memoryorganized, controlling the monitor display, accepting keyboardinput, and directing external communication.
Introducing MS-DOS
Your application software cannot communicate with your Apexhardware without instructions from MS-DOS. The operatingsystem controls the system input and output, and the operationof all disk drives.
Before you can use an MS-DOS application program, MS-DOSmust be running in the computer’s memory. This means youmust first load MS-DOS so that the operating system can acceptyour instructions and make the right connections.
To communicate with the operating system, you need to enter
MS-DOS commands. How much you need to know about the
MS-DOS commands depends on how you plan to use your
Apex. If you plan to use it only for running application pro-grams, the few MS-DOS commands you need are introduced inthis chapter. If you plan to use advanced features or create yourown programs, you’ll want to know as much as possible about
MS-DOS. See your MS-DOS reference manual.
Using MS-DOS with Your Apex 3-1Starting and Exiting MS-DOS
Before you can run an MS-DOS application program, MS-DOSmust be running in memory. Follow these steps to load
MS-DOS:1. Turn on your monitor and any peripherals, such as theprinter.
2. Turn on the computer.
3. If you have an Apex Plus, insert your MS-DOS systemdiskette into the top drive and press any key.
If you are using an Apex Plus 20, your system is set to boot
MS-DOS automatically from the hard disk when you turn on orreset the computer. To boot from the hard disk, make sure thatdrive A does not contain a diskette. You can load MS-DOSfrom the diskette drive instead of the hard disk drive if youinsert your MS-DOS system diskette before you reset or turn onyour computer. Your computer, however, remembers that youloaded MS-DOS from drive A and prompts you to insert thesystem diskette whenever it needs to access a command.
4. If you have an Apex Plus, respond to the Date and Timeprompts, or press Enter twice to skip them.
Now you see the MS-DOS command prompt, which tells youthat MS-DOS is loaded and identifies the current drive. Youcan now enter commands to instruct MS-DOS to perform tasksand run application programs.
Always end your sessions with MS-DOS from the commandprompt. Then it is safe to remove your diskettes, turn off thecomputer, and all peripherals.
3-2 Using MS-DOS with Your ApexChanging the Default Drive
When you see the A> prompt, you know that MS-DOS isoperating from drive A.
If you want to run a program or find a file on a different drive,however, you must specify that drive. You can do this byincluding the drive identifier with the filename or by logging onto that drive. The drive identifier is the letter of the disk drivefollowed by a colon.
For example, to log on to drive B (the bottom diskette drive),type B : and press Enter.
Your screen now displays the B> prompt. This means that youare now operating from drive B as the default drive. The systemcontinues to read from drive B until you log on to anotherdrive, or turn off or reset your computer.
To access a program or file without changing the default drive,use a drive identifier with the filename. For example, if you arelogged on to drive A and want to access a file on drive B, typethe drive identifier and the filename together like this:B:README.TXT Entering MS-DOS Commands
You can enter an MS-DOS command whenever you see the
MS-DOS command prompt. To enter a command, type thecommand name and any necessary parameters, and then press
Enter to execute the command. Parameters include items thatidentify the data you want to process and switches that alter theeffects of a command.
Using MS-DOS with Your Apex 3-3You can enter command names and parameters in either upper-case or lowercase letters. However, you must separate commandnames and parameters with delimiters; most commands requirespaces or commas as delimiters.
If you make a mistake when typing a command and you noticeit before pressing Enter, you can do one of two things:Use the backspace key to back up and correct the error
Press ESC to cancel the command line.
If you press Enter and a command line has an error in it, you seethis message:Bad command or file name
Then MS-DOS displays the command prompt so you can tryagain. Just type the correct command line and press Enter.
Creating Files
All your data and programs are stored in files. A data file storesinformation, such as words, numbers, or pictures. A program filestores instructions that the computer can understand andexecute.
The kind of file you can create depends on the MS-DOScommand or application program you use to create it. In general,a data file that you create using an application program is storedin a special format. If you use a different application program toread that file, you may encounter problems.
Once you create a file, you need to give it a name. You mustname your files in a certain format MS-DOS requires.
3-4 Using MS-DOS with Your ApexNaming a File
Each file requires a unique filename. The filename consists oftwo parts: the file’s name and the file’s extension.
You can use up to eight characters in a filename. Create a namethat identifies the information the file contains. The name cancontain any characters or numbers except for blank spaces andthe following symbols:*\/{}:I<>+=;.?
The file extension is optional and can be up to three characterslong. You can use these characters to describe what type of fileit is, such as a text file or program file. Some application pro-grams add extensions to the files you create. The applicationprogram uses the extension to determine whether it is a compat-ible data file. Avoid using the same extensions your applicationprograms use. When you use an extension, separate it from thefile’s name with a period. For example, an MS-DOS filenamemight look like this:DATA.TXT Do not use uppercase and lowercase letters to distinguishbetween files. MS-DOS does not recognize the difference anddisplays filenames in uppercase.
Using MS-DOS with Your Apex 3-5Creating and Using Directories
MS-DOS stores the names of the files in directories. This makesit easy for you to organize and find your files. A directorycontains specific information about each file such as its name,size, and the date and time you last updated the file.
As you create more and more files within a directory, you mayfind it difficult to quickly locate files. You may want to createsubdirectories within your main directory so you can group filesmore efficiently. This kind of organization is called a tree-structured directory.
At the top of the tree-structured directory is the main directory,also called the root directory. The root directory can containmany subdirectories, and each subdirectory can contain othersubdirectories. The structure of a directory may look like this:The root directory does not have a name, but is always identi-fied by a backslash


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