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Here's a problem. There are a number of UNIX-like programs that use switches and command line options. None of these programs can be run from FILER since there is no way to enter command line arguments. The only way to use GREP, for instance, is to press <MENU> s and key in the program name and its command line switches and arguments.

I have enough of these programs on my 95LX that it was becoming a nuisance to use them. So I wrote two programs, RUN * and EXEC * to solve the problem of how to use UNIX-like programs from FILER.

Both programs do essentially the same thing. They prompt for input, store it within the RUN or EXEC program and pass it along to another program. In short, RUN and EXEC act as shell programs for other programs.

RUN is more flexible. It uses just the file name of the program you want to run, e.g. GREP.RUN clones a copy of COMMAND.COM, which searches the DOS path for the GREP program and runs it.

EXEC, on the other hand, calls for the complete path of the child program (e.g. A:\BIN\GREP.COM).

EXEC does not waste time loading COMMAND.COM and searching the path. It's a tiny bit faster than RUN. In either case, you need to write a small batch file that will drive RUN or EXEC. The batch file will look something like the one shown below.

rem run GREP.BAT

echo off


run grep

Look for RUN95.ZIP * in the HPSYS forum. This archived file contains RUN.EXE, EXEC.EXE, and RUN95.DOC.

[Ed Keefe is an author, programmer, computer science instructor, and long-time contributor to support publications for Hewlett-Packard computers. He is the president of the Fast Aid Company, 314 S.W. Logan, Ankeny, IA 50021. Ed's CompuServe ID# is [73277- 1064].]

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