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Release 3 Change History

This page lists in reverse chronological order the improvements and bug fixes that went into the Release 3 ANSIPLUS drivers and utilities between 3/08/93 and 4/06/94. Changes for Release 2 and Release 4 may be found on their respective pages.

Release 3.10
Version 3.10 released.
 3/08/94 The NEWAPLUS installation and configuration utility should now be able to locate CONFIG.sys and the ANSIPLUS driver file on systems using Stacker or similar disk compression utilities that can have their hard disk drive letters changed around.  NEWAPLUS will now search other drives for CONFIG.sys when it is not found on the original boot drive, and it will also search other drives when the ANSIPLUS driver is not found where CONFIG.sys says it will be.  A system environment variable (SET ANSIPLUS=d:) may also be used to identify the drive containing CONFIG.sys and the ANSIPLUS driver, and this will override any search.
 3/06/94 The NEWAPLUS and SETAPLUS utilities now use second-level menus to directly select features for explanation or revision, rather than forcing the user to go through all the features in a group one at a time.  Features now can also be enabled or disabled easily with special keys or the mouse directly from the menu.
 2/28/94 The ANSIPLUS scroll-back functions have been extensively rewritten. Major improvements include:
  • The driver can now use expanded memory (LIM EMS 4.0) to hold up to 64k of scroll-back data (about 1,000 lines), roughly doubling scroll-back capacity.  Use of EMS for scroll-back instead of video RAM also eliminates compatibility problems with Windows video drivers caused by memory accesses to video RAM locations not visible on the virtual screen, or to RAM not retained by Windows.
  • When scrolling back, the Home / End, Page Up / Down and Tab / Shift+Tab keys now move instantly through the data, rather than a line at a time.
  • Under Windows, scroll-back lines now are captured as they are completed, rather than as they scroll off the top of the screen. This change was made because some Windows video drivers (eg., Microsoft VGA) trap BIOS scrolling requests completely when running a DOS session in a window, making it impossible for ANSIPLUS to know when the screen has scrolled if a BIOS call was used to do it.  Some important DOS programs now mix DOS output with BIOS calls for scrolling (eg., 4DOS 5.0 (and NDOS 8.0) when displaying multi-colored directories).
  •  2/26/94 Under Windows, when running a DOS session in a window using Microsoft's 16-color VGA video driver, only 13 distinct colors were available on the ANSIPLUS 16 color palette (ie., 3 colors were duplicated: brown was the same as dark red, light blue was the same as light cyan, and pink was white.) Other video drivers do not seem to have this problem because they do not try to adapt to color palette settings made by programs running in a window.  The standard ANSIPLUS palette has been adjusted slightly to allow brown to show as dark yellow and light blue as light blue under the Microsoft VGA driver. Pink can be converted to light magenta by running the program now provided with ANSIPLUS.  See "ANSIPLUS and Windows 3" in the documentation for more information.
     2/12/94 Two new scroll-back control keys have been added for deleting lines from scroll-back storage: Control-Home will delete all scroll-back lines that are before the lines currently on the screen, and Control-End will delete all lines currently on the screen and later.
     1/31/94 The ANSIPLUS Int 2Fh installation check now returns the ANSIPLUS version number in CX: CH = major version, CL = minor version.
     1/05/94 After the screen saver has blanked the screen, if the screen is then unblanked by a keystroke, the key will now be ignored as input.
     1/04/94 The text currently available for scrollback can now be saved to a file or sent to the printer (ie., to file PRN).  The function is performed by two new SETAPLUS command options:
    SETAPLUS SAVESCROLLTEXT <file>   saves all scrollback text to a file

    SETAPLUS SAVESCROLLANSI <file>   saves the scrollback text with ANSI escape sequences for color control

     1/04/94 Bug fix: Under the 4DOS and NDOS command shells, when bright key echoing is enabled, ANSIPLUS will highlight the entire DOS command line during entry, not just keys echoed on the screen.  Unfortunately, the Int 2Fh calls issued before and after command entries by older versions of 4DOS (before 4.0) and NDOS (before 7.0) are not the same as those used currently, and this caused output highlighting to remain in effect after a command is entered.  The special command line highlighting feature is now disabled for the older 4DOS/NDOS command shells.
    12/29/93 Bug fix: INSTALL/NEWAPLUS could hang while analyzing the system configuration if the system PATH referred to a non-existent drive.

    Release 3.02
    12/17/93 Version 3.02 released.
    12/17/93 Bug fix: The key input buffers are now cleared whenever the screen is frozen by the Scroll-Lock key, so type-ahead now will not be processed as Scroll-Back control.
    12/04/93 Bug fix: Programs that mix DOS character output and Int 10h BIOS scrolling, such as 4DOS 5.0 when it is using multiple directory colors, would sometimes have the entire screen added to scroll-back storage by the BIOS scrolling call instead of just the lines scrolled off the top.
    12/03/93 For systems with limited available XMS upper memory, ANSIPLUS can now load its shared code to expanded memory (EMS), leaving only about 5K of the driver that must be loaded into either low memory or XMS upper memory.  See the loading option discussion under "Changing the ANSIPLUS Startup Configuration" in the documentation for cautions on using this feature.  Configuration is handled by selecting the loading option in NEWAPLUS, or by the following CONFIG.sys command:
     9/30/93 To simplify setting up key reassignments when the system is booted, the new SETAPLUS SAVEKEYS <filename> command can now save all current key reassignments to a file which can later be loaded in AUTOEXEC.bat. If <filename> ends in ".com", the keys are saved as an executable program.  Otherwise, they are saved as an ASCII file that is loadable by the SETAPLUS LOADKEYS <filename> command.
     9/29/93 Bug fix: When the keyboard break interrupt was taken over by a TSR, ANSIPLUS would lose its ability to translate Control-Break into Control-C at the DOS prompt.  And when some applications bypassed DOS keyboard input (used Int 16h instead), but did not take over keyboard break, ANSIPLUS could defer action on a Control-Break entered to the application until after it terminated and normal DOS prompting and keyboard input was resumed.

    Release 3.01
     9/22/93 Version 3.01 released.
     9/11/93 Independent key reassignment has been extended to the gray keys on enhanced keyboards.  Gray keys that are also on the numeric keypad (for example, Home or PageUp) may optionally share reassignment with or be independent of the numeric keypad key.  Gray key reassignments may be defined either in SETAPLUS or by ANSI escape sequence.
     9/07/93 The screen saver blanking time can now be changed while the system is running, either with the new SETAPLUS BLANKTIME <minutes> command or from the SETAPLUS menu.
     9/06/93 The "typematic" key delay can now be controlled by ANSIPLUS.  Bootup configuration is set with NEWAPLUS, and runtime changes are made using the SETAPLUS menu or the new SETAPLUS DELAY <quartersecs> command.
     9/03/93 The SETAPLUS "Set Video Display Mode" menu now captures and displays VESA mode numbers instead of OEM mode numbers for VESA-defined modes.
     8/29/93 SETAPLUS INTERRUPT reports should now handle more driver and TSR combinations correctly.
     8/28/93 The screen saver now delays hooking Int 74h (PS/2 mouse events) or testing the MS-Mouse on Int 33h until after one minute of idle time passes (or half the screen saver blanking time, whichever is less).
     8/25/93 Key reassignment can now be applied either to keys entered through DOS or to all keys entered through both DOS and BIOS Interrupt 16h.  This new configurable feature now makes it possible to reassign keys for applications that bypass DOS and use Int 16h for keyboard input.
     8/21/93 Bug fix: As a "last resort" test for system activity, the screen saver was reading scan codes from the keyboard controller at port 60h. Unfortunately, on some computers, reading this port during timer ticks can interfere with processing of the arrow and page up/down keys on an enhanced keyboard and with a PS/2-type mouse.  Two changes were made to eliminate the problem: reading of port 60h by the screen saver is now a configurable feature (disabled by default); and when this feature is enabled, one minute of complete inactivity must elapse before the saver will read port 60h.
     8/03/93 Bug fix: To be consistent with the MS-DOS 4.0-6.0 ANSI.sys drivers, the escape sequence parser now generates a zero parameter when an omitted parameter is implied by the presence of a separator (so, for example, " Esc [;20H " is now equivalent to " Esc [0;20H ").
     7/19/93 Bug fix: SETCOLOR SCHEME HELP got stuck in an error message loop. Now, the current color schemes in file SETCOLOR.sch are listed, or, if the file cannot be found, a single error message is displayed.
     7/14/93 The driver now saves and restores the VGA graphics controller index (port 3CEh) when analyzing video modes.
     6/22/93 Bug fixes: In CGA modes 4 or 5, the ANSIPLUS color palette was being loaded into the PAL/DAC registers, which changed the colors from the CGA 4-color scheme (black, magenta, cyan and white) to something else. The driver also now reduces the foreground and background colors from 16 to 4 properly, assuring visibility of the foreground over the background for DOS output in the 4-color CGA modes.
     6/09/93 Bug fixes: INSTALL/NEWAPLUS refused to register drivers with serial numbers that start with zero.  Also, when the registered ANSIPLUS.exe driver was installed over the ANSIPLUS.sys Shareware driver, an incorrect DEVICE= line would be left in CONFIG.sys if the user had edited it to contain "ansiplus.sys" in lower case.
     5/29/93 Bug fix: If the "Prevent ANSI Key Reassignment Redefinition" feature was enabled in NEWAPLUS, subsequent executions of NEWAPLUS would terminate with a numeric overflow error.  This feature happens to use the 32nd feature bit, and operations to get/set this bit had a bug.
     5/25/93 Bug fix: SETCOLOR BORDER <colorname> was not setting the border to the correct named color.
     5/23/93 The INSTALL/NEWAPLUS program now will not copy ANSIPLUS files unless it was invoked by the INSTALL commmand.  If ANSIPLUS is already installed, running NEWAPLUS, even from a directory that contains INSTALL.inf, will only allow changes to the boot configuration for a currently installed driver.  In the installation copying process, NEWAPLUS will now check to be sure that the ANSIPLUS driver is not being installed in the same directory as it is being copied from.
     5/23/93 Bug fix: In ANSICOM, when a file was inserted via the Insert key, the screen was not updated properly after the insertion, and an execution error would sometimes be reported by the program.

    Release 3.00
     5/17/93 Version 3.00 released.
     5/11/93 The keyboard repeat rate can now optionally be controlled by the ANSIPLUS driver.  Rates from 20 to 300 characters per second are accepted by both the SETAPLUS and NEWAPLUS utility programs.  The feature requires an enhanced keyboard, and is disabled under Windows because timing is imprecise when Windows is running.
     5/08/93 ANSIPLUS can now load itself into high memory (HMA) under DOS versions before 5.0, or under DOS 5.0/6.0 whether DOS=HIGH is in CONFIG.sys or not.  The HMA is now allocated by calling DOS, by XMS driver call, or by using the "VDISK.sys" method.
     5/03/93 Setting the text height by escape sequence or IOCTL call (eg., by MODE command) can now preserve the contents of the screen using XMS memory. This feature is automatically activated if preserving scroll-back data with XMS memory is enabled.
     4/23/93 The NEWAPLUS, SETAPLUS, SETCOLOR and ANSICOM utility programs all now support use of the mouse for menu and other selections.
     4/20/93 INSTALL/NEWAPLUS now recognizes MS-DOS 6.0 CONFIG.sys files that have menus and multiple configuration blocks.  Installations require that the user select the configuration block to receive ANSIPLUS.  Updates to reconfigure a driver will select from only those blocks that refer to ANSIPLUS.  Several other maintenance changes were also made to NEWAPLUS.
     4/13/93 A TSR-capable version of the ANSIPLUS driver, ANSIPLUS.exe, is now supplied to registered users.  This ANSIPLUS version may be loaded into memory from the DOS command line, from a batch file (AUTOEXEC.bat), or from CONFIG.sys with DEVICE=, DEVICEHIGH=, or INSTALL= commands.
     3/30/93 To provide additional user control over color schemes of 16-color programs that set their own palettes or border colors, such as DBASE III or, ANSIPLUS can now lock the color palette, preventing such programs from loading the PAL/DAC and border color registers by BIOS calls.  This feature should only be used when all other means of control fail.  It can be enabled or disabled by the new and ANSIPLUS utilities in a batch file that executes the application to be controlled.
     3/19/93 ANSIPLUS can now preserve scroll-back data across video mode changes or when running graphics mode applications (including Windows) by saving the data in XMS memory.  DOS sessions under Windows 3.1 can use this feature as well if they can access XMS memory.  The feature is enabled or disabled in the Scrolling section of SETAPLUS or NEWAPLUS.
     3/17/93 Scroll-back capacity has been tripled for typical applications to about 500 lines by using compression techniques to store scroll-back data.
     3/08/93 Version 2.07 released.

    Release 4 history      Release 2 history

    © Copyright 2000-2007, Kristofer Sweger. All rights reserved.
    Rev. 11/01/07