Coping Without XyWrite
How to Assemble a XyWrite System On-The-Fly

Suppose you're away from base and you forgot to bring XyWrite along. The local computer runs WinWord. Oy! What to do? Here's an emergency prescription that patches together an ad hoc XyWrite system in less than ten minutes – not perfect, but eminently functional.

Despite the recent (9/99), free availability of the latest Y2K-compliant Version 4 XyWrite Editors at TTG's website, there is virtue in retaining the “old” method of establishing a XyLite system when you are bereft of all support and can't remember all the details (who can?) of your setup arrangement. This “old” method, although somewhat laborious, establishes a dedicated XyWrite directory, configures several rudimentary support files (notably STARTUP.INT, SETTINGS.DFL, and a KBD file), may write a PRiNter file also, and generally sets you on a proper (albeit very basic) trajectory. Afterward, as a final step, download one of the new Y2K-patched Editors, either XyWrite IV for DOS v4.018 or XyWrite for Windows v4.13 (simply execute either of these *.EXE files from the DOS command line, to UnZIP the Editor that each contains).

“Old” Method (Xy4-DOS only):

Obtain the following files from TTG:

Launch command-line DOS (“MS-DOS Prompt”). Create a temporary subdirectory and locate in it. Execute XYDOSX.EXE, which unpacks 8 files including INSTALL.EXE. Execute INSTALL. Don't permit INSTALL to alter the computer's FILES setting (or, at a later juncture in installation, the PATH spec in AUTOEXEC.BAT) unless you're sure it's necessary (e.g. to operate the Microlytics speller successfully from any directory, the directory containing DICT.SPL must be part of the environmental system PATH). Select “New installation”. Answer the several queries appropriately (a particularly important question concerns your CUA|Xy3+ [“Common User Access” i.e. Windows-style, or DOS-style] keyboard mapping preference, and determines the type of .KBD file that INSTALL generates: XY4.KBD or XY4-3.KBD). Tell the program to install “everything” (you won't get everything – who does? – but you'll get what's available in downloaded file XYDOSX.EXE, including EDITOR.EXE). Eventually INSTALL crashes (which is fine).

Now peruse your new XyWrite directory. With luck, you'll find a PRiNter file for your printer; otherwise go get it at XyWrite 4 Printer Drivers – you want to retrieve the specific printer filename(s) listed in the “PP:#” stanza at the end of SETTINGS.DFL, which already exists in new directory \XY4. (You'll probably need to load a .PRN file to accurately format documents, even if you don't intend to print.) If you require LJ*.BIN for an H-P LaserJet, grab that too while you're browsing TTG's XyWrite 4 Printer Drivers directory.

UnZIP the contents (XY4.DLG, XY4.MNU, and XY4.HLP) from the downloaded files above into your new XyWrite directory, usually \XY4. (No PKUNZIP.EXE on this foreign machine? Fetch it now.)

If you accepted all the default directories suggested by INSTALL.EXE, it proposed to locate fonts in d:\BTFONTS. So situate in d:\BTFONTS, and extract BTFONTS.ZIP, which contains thirteen screen fonts, mostly Bitstream Speedos.

From your new XyWrite directory, launch EDITOR.EXE. It will beep and complain repeatedly, but in the end it will load. On the CoMmand line, ChangeDir to the main directory, e.g. “CD \XY4”. CAll STARTUP.INT. Comment out several STARTUP lines (prefix “;*;” disables a line):

;*;BX LOAD d:\XY4\PERS.SPLQ2 ;*;
;*;BX LOAD d:\XY4\DICT.HYPQ2 ;*;
;*;BX CD \DOCSQ2 ;*;

Change the following line :
BX NEWQ2 ;*;
to :
BX DIRQ2 ;*;

STore STARTUP.INT. QUIT to DOS. Now reload EDITOR.EXE. Presto:


Need to fill other gaps ? A spell checker perhaps? Download Microlytics' (U.S. English) DICT.SPL from the Internet. A thesaurus? Roget's International Thesaurus. Or grab several of IBM's free PCLEX dictionaries/thesauri, available in 27(!) languages. Graphical document display? AFPL Ghostscript, with GSView or Ghostview. XyWWWeb.U2? Specialty KeyBoarD files? Rummage around in TTG's XyWrite Support Files and XyWrite 4 Printer Drivers. How about Word-4-Word document format converters? User Manuals maybe? Encountering problems? Solve them at XySearch.

A XyWrite III+ system can be created as well, using similar means and procedures (download file EDITOR358.EXE from the Internet). Note that both the Xy3+ and Xy4 versions of XyLite provide, respectively, the final and the penultimate releases of EDITOR.EXE in their respective lineages (v3.58B and v4.017; v4.018 merely adds Y2K compliance). v3.58B is the network version of EDITOR so Xy3+ users need to login in the Xy4|XyWin manner: i.e. establish, in your main Xy3+ directory, a 4-byte file called e.g. HUMAN.LOG that contains just the function BC (command “new human.log”; command “pfun BC”; command “STore”), then add a line to STARTUP.INT that reads:

BC login HUMAN<carriage return>

Bon voyage.


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(RJH 6 Oct 97; LastRev. 18 Jan 2004)