NOTE: This program is compatible with enhanced mode Windows 3.1. (Even when Virtual memory is enabled.) Unfurtunately, it does NOT work under Windows 95.

Common knowledge says, that it is possible to speed-up installation process of big programs by copying installation disks on hard-drive. It's good thing to do, because when you speed-up installation two times (by this trick), you can save up-to half an hour. (Yes. There are programs, which took 60 minutes to install.)

35sec package offers something even better: With 35sec floppy-disk accelerator it is possible to read/write floppy-disks on background - You'll save even more time and you will not need any hard-disk space.

And 35sec provides even more...

You are working in your favourite text editor, when friend comes with 1.44MB of texts, you are interested in. You will not stop working with text-editor, you just press some sequence of key combinations (^^A 1 in case that disk fits into A:) and continue working with editor. Disk is being read on background. After 35 seconds, computer beeps, indicating you that disk's memory image is ready. Now you can decide, if you want to see that texts (access to them is now as extremely fast - as fast as ram-drive). If you decide to do some changes, you can, but before removing floppy you need to save them back. You can do also other things: for example you can make diskcopy of that disk without need to read it again.

35 seconds package


Version 1.4


The ultimate floppy-disk caching program

35sec disk accelerator is able to read floppy disks completely on background. It is nice feature, which can save you lot of time. Computer is slowed down only by some 10%, difference is unnoticeable (when not running benchmarks). You can even remove floppy from drive (if disk is error-free). You can work on it, and it is as fast as ram-drive. You can even make changes on it. Than you can write memory image onto floppy, you can decide to discard changes, can make copies of that disk, everything completely on background.

When there are some problems with reading floppy, remember to leave it inserted in drive. When 35sec is not able to read something (it will tell you after reading), you should leave floppy inserted. BIOS may still be able to read that data. Be sure to retire such floppies, as they became slow and unreliable.

Warning about bad discs

Please be carefull when using 35sec with bad disks (disks that are not read completely). In case 35sec can not read entire floppy, it reads only its parts, and when data are requested from unreadable part, it tries to read them through bios. So if operation is done but with errors, be sure not to remove floppy from drive.

35sec.com - kernel

35sec.com should be loaded from your autoexec.bat file. It is resident and takes about 3KB of RAM. It may be loaded high by your memory manager in order to save memory. 35sec.com contains kernel, which is responsible for doing all low-level operations. This kernel provides services to other programs from 35sec package. Interface between 35sec.com and other programs is described in 35tech.txt. If you decide to use that interface, please let me know. Note, that you can't distribute 35sec along with your own programs (see 35lic.txt).

35secW.com - Windows compatible kernel

35secW.com is equivalent of 35sec.com, except that it is compatible with enhanced mode Windows.

35secW requires mem.386 VxD to be running on machine, and requires Microsoft's VFD to be replaced by slightly modified version of VFD. See instalation section for details. 35secW no longer works under DOS. If you want to use 35sec under both DOS and Windows, you have to load both 35sec and 35secW. 35secW is no longer compatible with Standard mode Windows.

35cache?.com - cache interfaces

After loading 35sec.com, you need some program to call its services. You can select from 3 versions of this program (called 35caches.com, 35cacheo.com and 35cacheb.com). All these shells should be loaded from autoexec.bat. They have all same keyboard controlls - they differs only in responses they give to you. You can even decide not to install 35cache? and control 35sec from command line using 35mon, but it is not really comfortable and it is slow.

35cacheb.com - gives information by beeps. Problem about this is, that it may be hard to recognize what information does it want to give you. Generally, two same beeps mean that something is O.K. and accepted, two (or more) different beeps mean that something went wrong. It is the smallest one.

35caches.com - gives information in text form only. Window in center of screen pops up informing you on what happend. Then, you are expected to press any key to continue. The message pops up even if you are in graphics mode (and you will not be able to see it), so this is not recommended to install when you use graphics mode application frequently.

35cacheo.com - gives information by beeps and in text form. Text message appears after you press report last message (^^C) combination (see below), so there are no problems with graphics modes.

All 35cache? programs require parameters: you have to specify what shifts do you want to use. I recomend you to use 35cache? ac to select Alt+Control+???? as hotkey. Run 35cache? without parameters to get help.

  Buffer selection        Deselect
          
 1  2  3  4           0  
                         
         


  
   Q  W  E  R  
                 B:
   
    A  S  D  F  
                  A:
    
      ^   ^   ^   ^
               
                Write whole memory image onto floppy
             Write chaged parts of memory image onto floppy
          Assign buffer to drive
       Read buffer from drive

     
      Z  X  C  V  
                  
      
        ^   ^   ^   ^
                 
                  Cancel current operation
               Report last message (not in 35cacheb)
            Report progress of current operation (not in 35cacheb)
         Free buffer

Commands are Ctrl-Alt-Letter (Ctrl-Alt-??? can be overriden to something else on command line) followed by buffer number (if required).

Well, few more comments about commands. ^^V (Cancel current operation) has a little bit problems: First cancel operation, then remove floppy from drive.

For ilustrative pictures, run README.bat.

35mon

35mon is event-driven utility that allows you to view state of 35sec floppy accelerator. It can send commands to 35sec, so you could use instead of 35cache? interfaces. It can be controlled from command line, use 35mon /? to get help. Mount and UnMount batches are examples of 35mons usage.

35monW

35monW is interface for usage of 35secW under Windows. It is pretty self explanatory, I hope. Remember to select buffers between starting operations. I hope incompatibility with virtual memory is not really critical - you don't need much memory when installing new software (that is probably best time to use 35secW).

eXtended Disk Copy

eXtended Disk Copy (XDC) allows you to copy floppies (as it's name implies), but it is not its main purpose - 35cache can do that to. It can copy floppies to files and can work with 35sec floppy images.

As an example of using XDC, I prepared a batch file (empty.bat) which will create empty 1.44MB floppy image for you into buffer 1. You can copy files onto it (works like ramdrive), but if you decide to, you can save it on floppy (^^F 1 to save it onto A:). And you can even save only changed areas (using ^^F 1 to save onto A:). Note that you can create your own images of empty diskettes using xdc {source} {filename} /1, images of full disketes by same code but without /1, and use such images by xdc {filename} {buffer_number}: [/1].

Compatibility

35sec is compatible with FDformat/FDread. It is not compatible with programs that use other sector size than 512 bytes (such as 2M package).

35sec requires 386SX or better, with FDC compatible to my FDC, just try it (no-name computers are probably O.K.). Requirement of 386+ is not essential, but I'm too lazy to do 32-bit aritmetics on 286-. If that is problem for you (i.e. you own 286 or even XT), please let me know, but I don't think I'll help you.

Please do NOT use 35sec for disks with non-DOS file system (like LINUX disks), it can cause 'Division by zero' in foreground application.

Installation

Copy all files to hard-drive. Install 35sec.com and one of 35cache?.com (you'll need shift keys, ac is default) in autoexec.bat file. 35sec.com (and/or 35secW, if you are windows user) must be loaded after XMS memory manager and before any inteligent disk-cache program.

35secW requires mem.386 VxD (it will load automagicaly) to be running on machine, and requires Microsoft's VFD to be replaced by slightly modified version of VFD.
That is done by replacing
device=*vfd
line in system.ini file with
device=c:\some...path...\vfd.386

Example AUTOEXEC.BAT
d:\win\xmsmmgr
c:\utl\35sec
c:\utl\35cacheo ac
c:\utl\hyperdkx ...

Registration

After 21 days evalution period, you must register. Registration means, that you will send me $10 and I will send you registered copy of 35sec accelerator. (Just put money into envelope so they are not visible from outside and send it to my snail-mail adress. Send me note if you are able to. Or do you have some better idea how to deliver me $10?) By registering, you allow me to create new versions (for example for W95 - on my current hardware its almost impossible to install W95) and other programs.

After registering, you'll get much smaller version (even with smaller resident kernel). Pause on start-up will disappear, too.

Note for people from Czech republic: Vzhledem k tomu, ze od nikoho z vas neocekavam, ze mi poslete deset dolaru, bude bohate stacit, kdyz mi poslete stopadesat korun, nejlepe slozenkou na nize uvedenou adresu.

Note for hackers

This program should be un-crackable.

Note for advanced hackers

This program of course is NOT un-crackable, but don't try that.
(Previous line can save much of your time.)

Note for really advanced hackers

If you'll successfully crack 35sec.com and if you tell me about it, you may become registered user of 35sec.

Versions

There are 3 separate versions of 35sec - first for usage under DOS, second for use under Windows (w/o virtual memory, w/o dos boxes) and third (registered) version for both environments.

History

  1.40 - 35secW is now FULLY COMPATIBLE with Enhanced mode Windows 3.1
         35secW no longer works under DOS
         35secW now allows you to run DOS applications in same
         9 buffers now supported
         any key ends report (instead of Alt-RShift)
         when empty buffer is assigned to drive, speeded up
         added 35short resident with description of function keys
         added detection if requested program is not already there
  1.30 - fixed problem with using A: & B: at same time
         fixed problem with attempt to read/write when reading/writing
         added XDC program, create empty floppy images
         default sector sliding set to 2 for A: & B:
         buffer for A: is set to 1 and for B: to 2 by default
  1.20 - added cancel function
         added MOUNT / UNMOUT batches
         added 35mon program
         added 35monW program, Windows interface for 35sec
         added 35secW program, Windows compatible kernel
         hotkey selection allowed
  1.10 - added detection of installed disk drives
         removed problem with freeing memory while reading/writing
  1.01 - minor documentation changes
  1.00 - first released version

Comments

Any comments are welcome, even from non-registered users. This is not version 1.0, but some bugs may have survived. Please report me, if you find one.

  My adress is:
          Pavel Machek
          Volkova 1131
  198 00  Praha 9 - Cerny Most
          Czech republic

  Phone:  +42-2-866 233
  E-mail: machek@k332.feld.cvut.cz