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Necromancer's DOS Navigator - overview

NDN is developed out of the famous DOS NAVIGATOR 1.51 source code
by RIT-Labs. Necromancer and a lot of other people packed this Norton
Commander-clone with features, which i will try to list so you can get
a little feeling of what NDN is capable of. At the moment there are 3
target platforms of NDN developed: DPMI32, WIN32 (w9x,WNT+), LINUX.
(NOTE Not all features described in this document are working in all 3
Btw, NDN complies to a lot of the standards introduced on this website
- The FILE PANEL is what you see when you start NDN for the first time.
It displays the directories and files of the current directory on the
current drive. Additionally NDN handles the contents of many archives
(like ZIP/RAR) as if it would be a normal directory. NDN also uses the
FP to display contents of the internal TEMPORARY DRIVE and the FIND FILE
results. These are called VIRTUAL FILE SYSTEMS/VFS. A lot of useful
information is displayed as you move the cursor on an object in the list
(like size, attributes...).
- support for long filenames in D32/W32 under W9x/NT
- quick drive change with CTRL-LEFT/RIGHT
- Drag-and-Drop with files ideology.
- works with files and subdirectories - copy, move, delete etc.
- copy/move:
- check for free disk space (optionally);
- verifying disk writing (optionally);
- the possibility to append files to already existing files ( even if
moving in space of one disk ) is present;
- if destination of Copy is TEMP: files will be copied on TEMP drive
of the disk.
- creation of file-list of selected files. You may create a batch file,
each line of it is outcoming from string `Action' - if it doesn't
contain any name macros (i.e. !.!, !), then file name will be simply
added to end of Action string, otherwise macros will be proceed.
- able to print files.
- split/combine long files into/from parts.
- uuencode/uudecode files.
- when erasing files, if "Direct disk access" option set on,
erasing files will speed up.
- Archive processing:
- 28 different archive types support:
ACE - Ace (c) Marcel Lemke
AIN - AIN (c) Transas Marine Ltd
ARC - Arc (c) NoGate Consulting
ARJ - ARJ (c) Robert K. Jung
BSA - BSArc v1.xx (c) PhysTechSoft
BS2 - BSArc v2.xx (c) PhysTechSoft
CAB - CABinet (c) Microsoft corp.
CHZ - ChArc (c) Dialogue
HA - HA (c) Harri Hirvola
HAP - HAP (c) Hamarsoft
HPK - HPack (c) Peter Gutmann
HYP - Hyper (c) P.Sawatzki & K.P.Nicshke
LHA - LHArc (c) Haruyasu Yoshizaki
LIM - Limit (c) J Y Lim
QRK - Quark (c) Kunz Robert
RAR - RAR (c) E. Roshal
SQZ - SQZ (c) J.I.Hammarberg
TAR - Tape ARchiver for *NIX
UC2 - Ultra Compressor II (c) Ad Infinit
UFA - UFA (c) Igor Pavlov
ZOO - Zoo (c) Rahul Dhesi
ZXZ - ZXZip (c) Michael Kondratyev
IS3 - InstallShield
INS - installSHIELD archiver
TGZ - Tape ARchiver for *NIX/packer GZip
DIR - CDDIR (c) Igor Grabelnikov
SWG - SWAG (c) SourceWare Archival Croup
- you can enter an archive such as an usually directory (optionally)
- if destination of Copy/Move is <archive descriptor>:<archive name>
the files will be copied/moved into desired archive.
Archive descriptor can be: ARC, ARJ, BSA, BS2, CHZ, HA, HAP, HYP, LHA,
- it is possible to unpack, to view, to erase, to test selected files
or subdirectories from archive.
- comparing of 2 directories: you can compare files in the directories
that are displayed in the 2 FP windows, compare options are:
size, time, attributes, contents,short names, mark equal/different files,
- visualization of file list in FP:
- NDN handles file descriptions in files like DIRINFO.FILES.BBS as in
4DOS and many other filesmanagers (it also displays directory info
from FILE_ID.DIZ or README.TXT if no file-descriptions are found or
you are on an object that has no description). They are displayed in
the INFORMATION PANEL (CTRL-L). When you copy/move/delete a file these
descrptions are also handled. You can also easily create/edit new
descriptions for the current object with ALT-INS.
- NDN can highlight files which are divided into groups of files
(like executables: *.bat,*.cmd,*.exe,*.com...)
(Options|File Manager|Highlight groups).
- files are possible to sort not only on standard (i.e. name, ext, size
etc.), but also on colors if highlight option is set on.
- you have full control about the data displayed for each entry in the
file window depending on the VFS you are in (ALT-K)
- you can tell NDN what do display in the INFORMATION PANEL (options.
filemanager.information panel)
- installation multiple filter for file list - for example:
"*.exe; *.pas; *.tpu ".
- powerful filter where you can select what files you want to have dis-
played in the FP windows (ALT-S), also possible with ADVANCED FILTER
- Point-and-shoot (run files dependend on its type):
- file can be processed with several key combinations -
<ENTER>, <Shift-ENTER>, <Alt-ENTER>. You can assign a user menu to
each filetype and each key combination if you want.
Example: you are on a file called '123.asm', hit <return>, if you have
associated ASM in the extension file this could be the output:
"tasm 123.asm"
"tlink /t 123"
- the number of extension is unlimited.
- several powerful marcos are available like: $:/!: for drive in passive
or active panel (like in USER MENU)
- specify filename/mask, string to search for... with a lot of options
to choose from, support for REGULAR EXPRESSIONS
2. User menu:
- multiple menu nesting is possible
- after a menu selection the batch file is started. You can use different
macros allows processing with current and passive panel of File Manager.
3. Work with disks:
- edit of label of volume on disk ( on network disks it is not
executed, unfortunately )
- unpacking of disk images
4. File editor:
- multi-level undo
- block operations uses Clipboard.
- streamed and vertical block (sorting of lines in vertical mode!)
- 10 text macros you can define in OPTIONS.HIGHLIGHT for each filetype
you associate in there.
- powerful syntax higlighting with many options
- support for UNIX/MAC/DOS linetypes
- direct switch from editor to viewer
- support for 9 bookmarks you can set in the file and goto on the fly
- powerful search possibilities including REGULAR EXPRESSIONS
- reload file (no need to close window and open again)
- text formatting (upcase line/word/block etc...)
and many other features that make editing files easier
- you can associate filetypes with other EXTERNAL EDITORS which will
- SMARTPAD support where you can write down notes while working with NDN
5. File viewer:
- it can view(TEXT) and edit(DUMP/HEX/DISASSEMBLER)
- it handles DBF, PKT/MSG, TDR files
- smart editing (overwriting 1F with 1F doesn't mark the file as changed)
- HIGHLIGHTING and UNDO of modified bytes/data
- a lot of file manipulating features (filesize, remove/insert bytes...)
- RELOAD like in editor
- support for many codepages (which can be created by the user too)
- the DISASSEMBLER quite accurate, features 16/32BIT code, can jump
in local code segments
- you can associate filetypes with other EXTERNAL VIEWERS which will
- Header Editor supporting MZ/PE/NE/LE executables at the moment
(moving to entry point, changing values, ...)
6. Calculator:
- it is possible to calculate (complex) formulas, many functions are
- hexadecimal, octal, binary and decimal operations
- common Clipboard with editor.
7. Spreadsheet:
- the function evaluation is possible: SUM, MUL, IF, sin, cos, tg, ctg,
arctg, sqr, sqrt, ln, lg, sign, rad, grad
- it is possible export in text file.
8. Games - Tetris/Pentix
9. Extended text modes support ( type 13260, 100x25 etc. ).
Be sure that 'Standard cursor' in Mouse Setup is set off because many
mouse drivers do not support extended video modes (I think only OS/2
mouse driver works correctly).
10. Advanced file search. It is possible to search for files by filter
( e.g. *.bak;*.$$$;*.tmp ), by text string, by date, size and attributes.
In addition, File Find works in background (i.e. you can switch to
another window while search processing)
11. It is possible to work with file lists and create TEMP: drive
( usual file list, but you can include files with different location)
You can copy, move, view etc. files from these lists.
12. Working with keyboard macros:
Shift + Alt + n - record ( 1-9 ) / the end of record
Ctrl + Alt + n - play macro n
13. It's possible to separate groups of commands for batch processing on
commandline - they must be separated by '||'
14. CD-ROM player working with MSCDEX.EXE (or VCDROM.SYS under OS/2).
15. Arvid streamer board support.
16. Almost everything is very customizable, a lot of different options exist
17. Support for multiple languages (ENGLISH and RUSSIAN at the moment...)
18. Detection of ALT vs. ALTGR depending on the system you use.
19. Additional features without special description (because to many...):
Screen Savers, Alarm Clock, Multiple File Operations, Directory Trees,
Memory Information, Calendar, ASCII-Table, Edit OS-Environment, Directory/
View/Edit/Commandline Histories, Count directory length, Quick Directories,
QuickView, Customization of every color on screen
Compared to other popular file managers NDN peeks out because it has so many
more features, and it's constantly updated/being worked on.
DNOSP recently gave up the DPMI32 port, so NDN is the only one still being
worked on at the moment. FAR is great, but W32 only, and has by far not as
many options as NDN. Btw, an OS2 port of NDN is not impossible either...
This is the version to use in DOS/W98, it has the most features of all of the
3 currently developed targets. It is stable and fast, but unfortunately it
cannot be used easily in WinNT/2k/XP anymore as in W9x because NT doesn't
support the old WINDOWSAPIs anymore, but it will still be worked on.
Recommended for NT/2K/XP. It works faster and more stable in NT based OS's.
Clipboard/Mouse works (D32 doesn't in NT+). Not as much features as D32,
but lots of new things are planned!
The LINUX version is in very early stage, but it looks very promising
(an OS like LINUX cannot be easily supported like DOS and WINDOWS).
MC is good and stable, BUT it has less possibilites than NDN (f.ex.):
VIEWER/EDITOR, options/customizations, FILE FIND....
A lot of work will flow into this port in the near future...
OS2: maybe later this year?!