Dabbelfeature and MOVEDRV
Is Dabbelfeature the first known example for nagware
History will decide
Dabbelfeature would probably have never come to exist without the constant
nagging of Werner Buthe
a true maniac. Werner was a relentless and thorough beta tester of some
of my code, and he had the rare gift of persuasion by perseverance: Whenever
he would need a new feature, he would pick up the phone to call me -
and would not stop talking until I gave in into adding it for him.
Even if this took him (actually, us) hours. Most of the time, he got what
Dabbelfeature serves two purposes: First, it can switch off the grow/shrink
box animation effect when opening or closing windows, thus speeding up
the system slightly. Second, it redirects drive accesses. This was actually
not only useful for Werner ("Dabbelyoo"), but also for myself: At the time,
I had Atari systems at two different places and, when travelling from A to B,
just took my hard disk(s) with me. One of the systems was an Atari TT with
built-in hard disk, the other one a Mega ST, and so I was constantly
struggling to keep those partitions in the same drive letter sequence -
- otherwise, many applications would not have found their
config or data files anymore.
Dabbelfeature solved that problem. It allowed to rearrange the drive/partition
sequence after the system was booted up, liberating users from the
drive letter assignment strategy of the system and hard disk driver.
For instance, TeX was installed on drive H: on my TT, and tried to find
config files on that drive. On my Mega, the same drive showed up as drive
F:, and TeX would no longer run. With Dabbelfeature, it was a breeze
to fix that on the fly, without reconfiguring boot sequences and the like.
But why did I combine those two completely disparate features into one
GEM accessory? Good question. If I remember correctly, both Werner and I
almost always needed both features
to be resident in memory, and loading one accessory instead of two simply
was more efficient. (Plus, before the advent of
you could not run an additional accessory without rebooting.) Reason #2:
Hey, what a great pun we would have lost if the tool
had had only one
Later, I actually wrote a stand-alone tool called MOVEDRV which implements
only the drive redirection part.