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best menu for dos

wdegroot

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
132
back in xt days, if you had a hard drive, a menu program made things much eassier.
we stasrted with Direct access and it used basrun and it often becanme corrupted
later versions behaved better.
were there any good sinmple menu programs ( other than batch files)
that work
I just installed direct access 5.1 on an older pc with a hard drive.
it takes me back.
 

Jorg

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Aug 31, 2003
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Tried and used many (even the MS-DOS 4 one) but mostly came back to a Norton Commander version that also let you make menus.
 

tezza

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The memory is hazy, but I think the program I used to use was called "Automenu" and the program was auto.com. It must have had an associated file (which you could edit with a text editor) which enabled the user to specify entries and pathways but I can't remember what that file was called. Anyway, it was public domain software.

I remember it being very easy to use. It was used extensively in our organisation.

Tez
 

tezza

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In fact, Automenu can be downloaded from here. Look for the file called auto47.zip.

There appear to be other directory shells there also.

Tez
 

Ole Juul

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As a longtime DOS user, I wonder what you guys are talking about. :) Of course I've seen those programs, but they make life much harder! I have set them up for people who are not familiar with DOS and that IMHO is what they're for.

I guess it's what you get used to. I use batch files, just like the early manuals recommended, and that is what "powers" my machines. The downside is my machines are quite personal, but they're faster than anybody elses. /brag :)

Actually, come to think of it, that is probably why I still can't quite understand the "desktop" concept. I have lots and lots of directories and drives that I can use for anything that I like. The organization is in my head.
 

Chuckster_in_Jax

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Jacksonville, Florida
I'm really surprised that Xtree has not been mentioned. It was probably the most popular utility for the early PC and compatables. It was mostly used for it's hard drive file utilities but also had a menu system built in. My first menu utility was LeMenu. It was easy to setup and worked well, but it didn't have all the bells and whistles that Xtree had.
 

wdegroot

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
132
my problem is my fingers

my problem is my fingers

since I am not a natural touch typist and sometimes I hit two keys at once,
the menu or menuing program makes things eassier
some programs required a batch file with switches to start in the proper mode.
such as TSR font programs
and dial up and start a bbs program.
made life easier.
I kept a game system for the kids
only games, all I did was maintain it

i did write batch files and dropped to dos and used them to start other programs.
 

wdegroot

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
132
xtree still have it here

xtree still have it here

I still have xtree loaded on this win 98 pc.
as well as ZTREE (32 bit)
xtree helps when I boot from a floppy while doing stuff.
the IBM in the corner has no windows at all.
 

Ole Juul

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Yes, Xtree is probably one of the best front-ends and it was very popular. I've never used it, but Norton Commander (NC) apparently had a following too. Just because I like to collect good programs, I have a vastly improved "Commander" in my collection.

For those that like speed and elegance (anybody?) there is an NC clone from Scandinavia called Dos Commander (DC). It is written by one Søren Kragh. "DC er en optimeret udgave af The Norton Commander, idet programmet er hurtigere og bruger mindre RAM." Looks like Danish to me. Anyway it uses MUCH less ram and is written entirely in assembler and as he says: "DC was coded in 100% assembly language for maximum speed and reliability and minimal RAM use. Thus, the program is not infested with BASIC, C or other such toy stuff." Looks like the guy is not shy about his abilities either (maby Sweedish then :) ). Anyway that sums it up. Anyone who wants to try it can find it (as usual) at simtelnet. Look for dc-sk.zip. Try it, you'll like it.
 

Ole Juul

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wdegroot: I kept a game system for the kids
only games, all I did was maintain it
Actually, I think that's a good situation for using a menu system. It esentially turns the machine into an appliance.

wdegroot: i did write batch files and dropped to dos and used them to start other programs.
That is the only way to run DOS. I have a seperate directory in my path with my bats. The "menu" is in my head :). I have a shortcut to there which I use to add files whenever there is something which I would like to automate - ie. anything that I'm likely to do several times. In most cases it takes seconds. A few times (eg. a mail sort) there's a bit of head scratching.

The batch language IMHO is the language of DOS - it is the user interface. The trick is to wean yourself off applications and stick to stringing utilities together. That way you always know what's going on and you're not stuck with someone else's way of doing things, like in a GUI. Of course if you're a programmer and have the source then I guess the GUI is also under your control. Most people don't have the time or skill to do that though. I don't, and that's why I'm stuck in DOS.
 

Chuck(G)

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Jan 11, 2007
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Pacific Northwest, USA
Dos 5.0 had a menu-type shell, didn't it?

If you're looking for vintage, I've got something here called Tree86 that's not bad.

There is/was also a very neat program for DOS called CENVID (you can find it in some of the DOS shareware collections). Basically a "C" interpreter for batch files. You can make a killer menu system with it.
 

Rkader

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Jan 30, 2009
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Location
Black Hawk, CO.
I always liked Q-Dos for file activities. It provided workable and easy access to directories and files.

(it was not the programing language)
 

cudasales

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Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
306
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Colorado, USA
I preferred "Hard Disk Menu" which was very easy to use and offered options such as changing the appearance (Colors). Hard Disk Menu was updated frequently back in those days and kept getting better all of the time. It's nothing fancy but was very solid with some nice options.
 

Unknown_K

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Sep 11, 2003
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I used XTREE Gold for most file management in the DOS era, still use it now. Never realy got into menus much, but its a good idea if you have a bunch of games installed and all you want to do is play them from a menu.
 
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