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View Full Version : CP/M's HELP command



jonnymacuser
February 17th, 2012, 11:06 AM
This is a great question, and would save a lot of frustration, time, etc., if someone out there knows how to figure this out, or has a work-around to help with this problem.

Specifically, I'm looking for help with CP/M's HELP command and function.

When browsing the "Topics available" from typing the HELP command, a lot of times the situation occurs where a multi-page topic scrolls right by on the screen as the system displays multiple pages of information.

My question is, how do you force the HELP command to just display information one page at a time so that you have a chance to actually *READ* what is on the screen before it scrolls away?

Chuck(G)
February 17th, 2012, 11:25 AM
I assume you're talking about CP/M 3, as I don't recall a DRI-supported HELP command in CP/M 2.2. Take a look at the DEVICE command, in particular, the DEVICE CONSOLE(COLUMNS= , LINES= ) variant.

krebizfan
February 17th, 2012, 12:01 PM
Help at least in CP/M-86 includes a P option that is supposed to pause every 23 lines. So try

Help P

to see if it works on your specific CP/M version. It should also pause if you look at any command with HELP [COMMAND] P

or just try HELP HELP to get the switches relevant to the HELP utility shipped in your version.

Does CTRL-S and CTRL-Q work for you to pause then resume the display? Unfortunately, if you are working in an emulator, the entire information will display faster than anyone can press keys.

Chuck(G)
February 17th, 2012, 01:28 PM
Yup, it all depends on what version of CP/M one is using. The source for CP/M 3 is available on Gaby's z80.de site and there the HELP command checks the page length as declared in the SCB area for paging.

Pepinno
February 17th, 2012, 01:37 PM
Does CTRL-S and CTRL-Q work for you to pause then resume the display? Unfortunately, if you are working in an emulator, the entire information will display faster than anyone can press keys.

Ah, the Scroll Lock key, the only key whose usage you cannot emulate with an emulator...

barythrin
February 17th, 2012, 01:56 PM
Yeah or you can use the pause key on the keyboard possibly.

jonnymacuser
February 18th, 2012, 11:18 AM
Thanks! SCROLL LOCK does the trick.

I'm in Personal CP/M-86 Version 2.0/2.

(Funny how it was staring me in the face the whole time). I don't think that key is too popular anymore on today's computers. I wonder when it officially "died" and/or became obsolete?

jonnymacuser
February 18th, 2012, 12:04 PM
Help at least in CP/M-86 includes a P option that is supposed to pause every 23 lines. So try

Help P

to see if it works on your specific CP/M version. It should also pause if you look at any command with HELP [COMMAND] P

or just try HELP HELP to get the switches relevant to the HELP utility shipped in your version.

Does CTRL-S and CTRL-Q work for you to pause then resume the display? Unfortunately, if you are working in an emulator, the entire information will display faster than anyone can press keys.

Yes these do the trick as well.

From the HELP topic CNTRLCHARS:

CTRL-Q restarts screen scrolling after a CTRL-S.

CTRL-S stops screen scrolling.

JohnElliott
February 19th, 2012, 02:37 AM
You may also need to use SETDEF [PAGE] to make HELP (and the other CP/M utilities) pause every page.