F/Running Alice from a Hard Disk

Alice can easily be run from a hard disk. The only trick is that you have to tell Alice where two particular files reside on the disk.

For our purposes here, we will assume your hard disk is called C: as it is on most IBM PCs. The two files Alice wants to know about are "AP.INI", the initialization file where macros are defined; and "HELPFILE.HUF", the compacted help screens used by the Alice help facility. By default, Alice expects these files to be in the root (\) directory of the "current drive". If you work from your hard disk and have a prompt of "C>", then "C" is your current drive and everything should be fine.

The Alice program itself, along with the APIN program that translates regular Pascal programs into Alice format, should reside where you put other DOS commands. This is in some directory specified by the DOS path command. Refer to your DOS manual for details on the PATH command.

Moving the Initialization File

If you want to put your "AP.INI" file somewhere other than the "\" directory, or if you often change drives, you should tell Alice where it is by using a DOS "environment variable". You create these variables with the DOS "SET" command, documented in your DOS manual. Alice looks in the variable called APINIT for the location of your Alice init file.

For example, suppose you want to make a directory \Alice and you want to put the AP.INI file there. Make the directory by typing

C> mkdir \alice

Assuming that the file is on floppy drive A, copy the file with

C> copy a:ap.ini \alice\ap.ini

Lastly, set the environment variable with

C> set APINIT=c:\alice\ap.ini

You will want to put this SET command in the "\autoexec.bat" file you use when booting. Your DOS manual talks about autoexec files, which contain all the commands you want done every time you turn on your computer.

If Alice doesn't find the AP.INI file, it will say

Not enough key-macros defined

This means Alice expected a lot of keys to be defined in an AP.INI and it didn't get them.

Moving the Helpfile

You can also copy your helpfile to that directory, if you don't want it at the root. Start by entering

C> copy a:helpfile.huf \alice\helpfile.huf

Next you must edit your AP.INI file using a TEXT editor like EDLIN (provided with DOS). You must provide an "h=" (for helpfile=) option that says where the helpfile resides. Normally, Alice assumes that the helpfile will be found at the root of the file system. If you change the location of the helpfile, you should add the line


This tells Alice that the helpfile is in the \alice directory on the "C:" disk. Note that you should NOT put the ".huf" extension on the end. Alice does this for you.

If you are totally lost with talk of text editors and "autoexec.bat" files, find somebody who knows a little more about DOS in your area and ask him or her to help set it up. Otherwise, put everything in your hard disk root directory. This can be done with

C> copy a:*.* c:\

If you do this, Alice will work just like it does from the floppy, only faster.


You can change all sorts of things in your AP.INI file, by the way, including all your key definitions, the colours you use on the screen and your default indentation. Any command line option can go in the AP.INI file. Refer to the main body of this manual for details.