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Acorn Arcade forums: General: Handy list of star commands and brief descriptions
  Handy list of star commands and brief descriptions
  filecore (11:30 25/11/2008)
  andypoole (14:59 25/11/2008)
    filecore (15:12 25/11/2008)
      RoryM (13:03 13/3/2009)
        arawnsley (14:07 13/3/2009)
          RoryM (15:02 13/3/2009)
            VincceH (15:31 13/3/2009)
              RoryM (16:12 13/3/2009)
                filecore (11:05 14/7/2009)
    trevj (03:59 10/9/2010)
      filecore (21:33 24/2/2011)
Jason Togneri Message #108855, posted by filecore at 11:30, 25/11/2008

Posts: 3867
Just thought this would be handy to paste and leave here, especially with the amount of new RISC OS users who have shown up recently asking about modules and suchlike.

*. (Star dot) : See *Cat.

*Access : Allowed one to change file attributes such as read-only, undeletable, etc.
*AddApp : Adds a user-specified program to Resources:$.Apps, the 'Apps' folder on the icon bar.
*AddFS : Adds a remote file server's disc to the list of known discs by NetFS.
*AddTinyDir : Adds a specified file, program or folder to the icon bar.
*ADFS : Selects the Advanced Disc Filing System as the current filesystem.
*Alias : Creates an alias to a command.
*Alphabet : Either displays the current keyboard layout, or lets you change it.
*Append : Opens a file, so that data may be added to the end of it.
*AppSize : Changes a program's memory allocation.
*Audio : Starts or stops the sound system.

*Back : Move back one level in the current filesystem.
*BackDrop : Places a sprite on the pinboard as a wallpaper, or adjusts it.
*Backup : Copies the used part of one floppy disk to another.
*BASIC64 : Starts BASIC VI (provided the module has been loaded).
*BlankTime : Sets the time (in seconds) until the screen blanks (a la the Windows "Blank Screen" screensaver)
*BreakClr : Removes a breakpoint at a specified address, or removes all of them if none specified. Fun.
*BreakList : Lists all set breakpoints.
*BreakSet : Sets a breakpoint at a specified address.
*Build : Opens a new file and directs to it all input received.
*Bye : Ends a filesystem session by closing files and unsetting all libraries. A nice fun command.

*Cache : Turns on/off the cache.
*Cat : Lists the contents of the current directory.
*CDDevices : Lists all CD-ROM drives connected to the system.
*CDFS : Starts the Compact Disc Filing System.
*CDir : Creates a folder of given name, and, under NetFS, a given size.
*CDSpeed : Reports read speeds of all connected CD-ROM drives.
*ChangeDynamicArea : Changes the size of the RAM Disk, font cache or system sprite area.
*ChannelVoice : Assigns a voice to a channel, 'nuff said. (The number of available voices can be expanded using the BASIC "voices" command)
*CheckMap : Analyses an E or F format diskc, checking checksums and the directory tree are correct.
*Close : Closes all open files.
*ColourTrans... : For internal usage only. Do not use them.
*Compact : Re-arranges files on a disk to increase available space.
*Configure : Sets an internal CMOS option to a specified value.
*Continue : Resumes from a breakpoint, using the saved state.
*Copy : Copies a file from one directory to another.
*CopyBoot : Copies the boot block from a DOS-format disc over another.
*Count : Gives a total size of the data in specified files.
*Countries : Lists all supported keyboard sets.
*Country : See *Alphabet.
*Create : Reserves space for a new file.

*Debug : Enters the debugger.
*Defect : Reports bad sectors on disk.
*Delete : Erases either a file or an empty folder.
*Desktop : Starts the WIMP. Cannot be used if the WIMP is still active.
*Desktop_... : For internal use only. Do not use, with the exception of...
*Destop_SetPalette : A now obsolete command. Has no effect whatsoever.
*Dir : Sets a directory (usually $) as the active directory.
*Dismount : Closes all active files, closes open libraries, and forgets the disc name of the specified disc. Ensures it is safe to remove said disc.
*Do : Passes a command to the CLI.
*DOSMap : Shows mapping between DOS 3-letter extensions and RISC OS types.
*Drive : Sets current drive, if NoDir is set.
*Dump : Displays a file in hexadecimal or ASCII.

*Echo : Displays a string on-screen.
*Eject : Ejects a CD from the CD-ROM drive specified, or current if none given.
*Enumdir : Creates a file of object leafnames from a directory that match the wildcarded pattern.
*Error : Causes an error (specified by error number) and displays error number and text. Good for a laugh.
*Eval : Evaluates the expression given.
*Ex : Same as *Cat, but also gives their corresponding file information.
*Exec : Tells the OS to take input from a specified file, or close the current exec file.

*FileInfo : Gives full information about a file.
*FilerAction : Begins a filer action. Intended for use only by applications.
*Filters : Lists all currently active pre- and post-Wimp_Poll filters.
*FontCat : Lists all available fonts.
*FontInstall : Adds a directory to those scanned for fonts.
*FontLibrary : Sets a directory as the font library.
*FontList : Lists all fonts in the font cache.
*FontMerge : Merges fonts into the existing !Fonts directory.
*FontRemove : Removes directories from the list of those scanned for fonts.
*Format : Formats a disc (in either RISC OS, Arthur, Generic ADFS, MS-DOS, or Atari format)
*Free : Displays free space on a disc.
*FS : Selects the current file server.
*FS_... : Changes passwords, locks or unlocks, or displays a computer's lock status.
*FwShow : Ddisplays all currently known Freeway objects.
*FX : Calls OS_Byte to alter status variables, and to perform other closely related actions.

*Go : Calls machine code at the given address.
*GOS : Calls command line mode - in other words, allows you to enter star commands.

*Help : Gives short help about every command. In a way, similar to the Linux man pages.

*I am : Selects NetFS and logs you on to a file server. (Your user name and password are checked by the file server against the password file before allowing you access)
*IconSprites : Merges a file's sprites with those in the WIMP sprite area.
*If : Conditionally executes a star command.
*IfThere : Looks for the presence of a given object, and executes one command if it exists (or another if it does not).
*Ignore : Sets the printer ignore character.
*InetChecksum : Another 'internal use only' command. Don't use it, please.
*InetGateway : Can be used to turn IP layer packet forwarding on or off.
*InetInfo : Displays information and stats about the current state of the Internet module.
*Info : Displays file information for the specified object.
*InitStore : Fills user memory with the specified value or register value.


*Key : Assigns strings to function keys.
*Keyboard, : See *Alphabet.

*LCat : Lists all contents in a named library or the current one if none specified.
*LEx : Same as *LCat, but lists file information as well.
*Lib : Selects a directory to be the filesystem's library directory.
*List : Lists the contents of a file, each line being numbered. Very useful for BASIC programs.
*ListFS : Lists file servers.
*ListPS : Lists print servers.
*Load : Loads a file.
*LoadCMOS : Loads a file into the computer's CMOS RAM.
*LoadFontCache : For internal use only, don't mess.
*LoadModeFile : Makes available all screen modes listed in the file.
*Lock : Locks the CD-ROM drive, preventing the eject command from functioning.
*Logon : Logs you into a file server.

*Map : Displays a disk's free space map.
*Memory : Displays the values in memory.
*MemoryA : Displays and alters values in memory.
*MemoryI : Disassembles memory into ARM instructions.
*ModelList : Displays available colour models.
*Modules : Displays info about all installed relocatable modules.
*Mount : Readies a disk for use by setting the current directory to root, and setting the library directory.

*NameDisc : Gives a disc a name.
*NameDisk : Same as *NameDisc
*Net : Selects the Network Filing System as the current filesystem.
*Netmap : Displays the current AUN map table either for the specified net, or for all nets if no parameter is specified.
*NetProbe : Checks if a workstation is accessible and active.
*NetStat : Gives the current status of a network interface.
*Networks : Displays the current AUN routing table. This shows the names of any local networks, plus others it knows how to reach.
*NoDir : Unsets the current directory.
*NoLib : Unsets the library directory.
*NoURD : Unsets the URD (User Root Directory).

*Obey : Executes a file of star commands.
*Opt 1 : Sets the filesystem message level.
*Opt 4 : Sets the boot action for the current filesystem.

*Pass : Allows you to set or change a file server password.
*Path : Allows you to set path variables.
*PathMacro : Allows you to set a path variable as a macro.
*Pin : Places a file on the desktop pinboard.
*Pinboard : Re-loads the pinboard, removing anything placed on there.
*PipeCopy : Copys a file to one or more output files.
*Play : Plays the specified track on an audio CD.
*PlayList : Shows all tracks (data and audio) on a CD, with start and end times.
*PlayMSF : Plays audio from the CD, from given start and stop times.
*PoduleLoad : Copies a file into an expansion card's RAM.
*Podules: : Lists all available expansion cards.
*PoduleSave : Copies data from an expansion card's RAM to a file.
*Pointer : Turns the mouse pointer on or off.
*Print : Prints the content of a file to the display.
*PS : Changes the print server.

*Qsound : Generates a sound, after a delay.
*Quit : Exits the current application.

*RAM : Starts the RAM Filing System.
*Remove : Same as *Delete. Will not give an error message if the file/directory does not exist.
*RemoveTinyDir : Removes an item from a TinyDir on the icon bar. If none exists, removes the TinyDir.
*Rename : Changes the name of an object.
*Render : Displays the contents of a file made with !Draw.
*Repeat : Scans a directory and applies a command to everything it finds.
*ResourceFS : Selects the Resource Filing System.
*RMClear : Deletes all relocatable modules from the module area. Be VERY careful - this command is uber-powerful.
*RMEnsure : Checks for the presence of a module.
*RMFaster> : Moves a module from ROM to RAM.
*RMInsert : Reverses the action of a previous *Unplug command.
*RMKill : Deactivates and deletes a relocatable module. Be VERY careful - another overpowered star command.
*RMLoad : Loads and initialises a relocatable module.
*RMReInit : Reinitialises a relocatable module, reversing the action of any previous *RMKill or *Unplug command. Powerful? Yup.
*RMRun : Runs a relocatable module.
*RMTidy : An obsolete command; has no function.
*ROMModules : Shows information about all relocatable modules active.
*Run : Loads, then runs a program.

*SafeLogon : Checks if a user is already logged on. If not, logs onto the file server using *Logon.
*Save : Saves a given area of memory to file.
*SaveFontCache : For internal use only. Do not use.
*SChoose : Selects a sprite from the system sprite area for use in subsequent sprite plotting operations.
*SCopy : Makes a copy of a sprite within the system sprite area.
*ScreenLoad : Loads a sprite file into the graphics area.
*SpriteSave : Saves the graphics area to a sprite file.
*SpriteDelete : Deletes a sprite from the system sprite area.
*SDisc : Selects a disc from the current file server by setting the current directory, the library directory and the URD.
*Set : Assigns a string value to a system variable.
*SetEval : Evaluates an expression, then *Sets it.
*SetMacro : Assigns an expression to a system variable. The expression is evaluated each time the variable is used.
*SetPS : Sets the print server.
*SetType : THE command. Changes a file's type from one to another.
*SetFlipX/Y : Flips a sprite horizontally or vertically.
*SGet : Gets a sprite from a rectangular area of the desktop.
*Shadow : Sets which bank of screen memory is used on subsequent mode changes.
*Share : Makes a local directory a shared disc.
*ShareFS : Starts the Shared Filing System.
*ShareFSIcon : Places a shared disc onto the icon bar.
*ShareFSWindow : Changes the size of the ShareFS transmission window.
*Shares : Lists all active shares.
*ShellCLI : Invokes a command as a WIMP task.
*ShellCLITask : Intended for use only from within an application.
*ShellCLITaskQuit : Intended for use only from within an application.
*Show : Displays all information on system variables.
*ShowFree : Displays free space on a device within a window.
*ShowRegs : Displays the register contents for a saved state.
*Shut : Closes all open files and directories on all filesystems.
*ShutDown : CLoses all open files, logs off NFS servers, parks drive heads.
*SInfo : Displays info on the system sprite workspace.
*SList : Lists all sprites in the system sprite area.
*SLoad : Loads a sprite into the system sprite area.
*SMerge : Merges a file's sprites into the system sprite area.
*SNew : Clears the system sprite area.
*Sound : Generates a system beep.
*Speaker : Supposedly turns the internal speaker on or off; actually does nothing.
*Spool : Sends everything on-screen to a file.
*SpoonOn : Sends everything on-screen to the end of an existing file.
*SRename : Renames a sprite window within the system sprite area.
*SSave : Saves everything within the system sprite area to a sprite file.
*Stamp : Timestamps a file with today's data and time.
*Status : Gives the value of a configuration option within CMOS RAM.
*Stereo : Sets the position in the stereo image of a sound channel.
*Stop : Stops playing the CD in the CD-ROM drive specified.
*Supported : Lists drive types supported by CDFS.

*TaskWindow : Starts a new task, in a window if input is required or output needed.
*Tempo : Sets the tempo for system sounds.
*Territories : Lists supported territories.
*Time : Shows the current system date and time.
*ToolSprites : Merges the sprites in a file with those in the WIMP's pool of border sprites (used to redraw window borders).
*Tuning : Adjusts the internal sound's tuning.
*TV : Adjusts vertical alignment and interlace.
*Type : Shows the contents of a specified file.

*UnAlias : Removes a previously set Alias.
*Unlock : Removes the lock on a CD-ROM drive's Eject burron.
*Unplug : Kills and disables all copies of a ROM resident module.
*Unset : Deletes a system variable.
*UnShare : Stops a directory acting as a shared disc.
*Up : Moves up one level in the directory tree.
*URD : Sets the URD (User Root Directory).

*Verify : Checks a whole disc is readable.
*VIDCBandWidthLimit : For internal use only - don't use.
*Voices : Lists all installed voices.
*Volume : Sets internal volume.

*WhichDisc : Shows the unique ID number of the CD in a CD-ROM drive.
*WimpKillSprite : Removes a sprite from the sprite area.
*WimpMode : Changes the display mode used by the WIMP.
*WimpPalette : Loads a WIMP Palette file.
*WimpSlot : Changes the memory allocation for the current and (optionally) the next WIMP task.
*WimpTask : Starts a task within a task.
*WimpWriteDir : Sets the direction of text entry for writable icons.
*Wipe : Deletes one or more items specified by a wildcard.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Andrew Poole Message #108860, posted by andypoole at 14:59, 25/11/2008, in reply to message #108855
Mouse enthusiast

Posts: 5558
Good idea. Of course, it should be pointed out that further details on all of the *commands is available in the User Guide and/or PRMs, and typing *help <command> will also give you more information on the command and its syntax.


[Edited by andypoole at 15:00, 25/11/2008]
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Jason Togneri Message #108861, posted by filecore at 15:12, 25/11/2008, in reply to message #108860

Posts: 3867
Good idea. Of course, it should be pointed out that further details on all of the *commands is available in the User Guide and/or PRMs, and typing *help <command> will also give you more information on the command and its syntax.
Yup, good points. Of course the commands are all available in the User Guide (which is probably the best documented user guide I've ever owned) but a lot of second-hand buyers are getting machines where the User Guides have long since been lost or thrown out. For those of you getting a 'new' (secondhand) RISC OS machine, I would advise you to read through the user guide - they are useful and informative.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
RoryM Message #109538, posted by RoryM at 13:03, 13/3/2009, in reply to message #108861
Posts: 8
Sorry to be a complete and utter newbie but is there anything which could be typed at the command line that would have the same effect as clicking on a particular icon on the icon bar which starts an application.

The main sources of my confusion are a) I don't know (and don't know how to find out) the file name relating to the icon in question and b) I don't know (and don't know how to find out) the path to said icon. Otherwise I'd type something like

run <path>.<filename>

where <path> is the path to the file and <filename> is the file name relating to the icon (obviously).

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Is what I'm trying to do impossible?
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #109539, posted by arawnsley at 14:07, 13/3/2009, in reply to message #109538
R-Comp chap
Posts: 595
Don't quite follow the question, but usually when an application is on the iconbar, it is considered to be running (with the exception of the AddTinyDir *command).

Once it is running, you'd have to simulate mouse clicks or whatever. And then... well, you'd need to code up routines to work out which icon on the iconbar corresponded to the task you wanted, then simulate the mouse click.

The only caveats to this are that disc icons can be "opened" using Filer_OpenDir <path> and applications can be run with Filer_Run <path>

For people writing applications, of course, there is a clear design decision as to whether something really needs an iconbar icon at all, and if it does, should it open a "main window" on load to reduce the number of clicks required to use it. I tend to have choices options to determine whether or not apps open their main windows on load, if they have iconbar icons. Applications which are simply "instant tools" often don't need to be on the iconbar at all (eg. !Configure that runs when you double click !Boot, just opens its main window immediately).
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
RoryM Message #109540, posted by RoryM at 15:02, 13/3/2009, in reply to message #109539
Posts: 8
Thanks for the speedy response Andrew. I had considered the possibility that an icon on the iconbar might be a distant cousin of a hyperlink on a webpage - a product of a program rather than a program in it's own right.

Simulating mouse clicks sounds like it might require far more spare time than I have at the moment. I was hoping against hope for a simple command line alternative to clicking iconbar icons that various applications (and games) I use create. The next step would have been putting a line of code in the !boot file on each disk to activate the deposited icon and go straight into the app.

I agree with you 100% that its questionable whether applications (or games) really need an iconbar icon at all. If fact if they didn't I wouldn't have the problem I have right now...
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VinceH Message #109541, posted by VincceH at 15:31, 13/3/2009, in reply to message #109540
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1600
You might find Druck's WindOpen handy. It provides the functionality that I think you were originally asking for.
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RoryM Message #109542, posted by RoryM at 16:12, 13/3/2009, in reply to message #109541
Posts: 8
Sounds perfect, thanks a lot!
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Jason Togneri Message #110570, posted by filecore at 11:05, 14/7/2009, in reply to message #109542

Posts: 3867
Right, since I notice that this is now a sticky, maybe we ought to make a proper informational stickies. So either this is added here, or some admin-type can remove it and make a second sticky.

Here is an excellent guide for setting up a secondhand RPC (should basically apply to A7000s too), with links to all resources, including the "normal" and "fancy" version of the UniBoot sequence, and is a great all round resource:

heart http://www.snowstone.org.uk/riscos/documents/newold.html

Riscos.info has a great software roundup page on their Wiki thing, which includes links to the above, as well as other software. Surf the rest of the Wiki for more links, too:

heart http://www.riscos.info/index.php/Recommended_software

If you're concerned about not having the tools and software required on a hard drive under RO3.6 or 3.7, you can download those as Zip files or HDD images (for emulators) as well as a load of modules, patches and other handy stuff from here:

heart http://acorn.riscos.com/acornftp.htm

If you have trouble getting any programs to work for lack of modules, you can probably find them from these modules pages:

heart http://www.riscos.org/support/modules.html

heart http://support.riscos.com/Support/Updates/index.htm

And last but not least, here's my in-progress guide on how to save various stuff via Linux to import into emulators, and so forth. If you have real box with network card, this is largely redundant, but it's still handy to know about:

heart http://www.filecore.net/riscos/public/filetransferlinux.html

Other threads that may be of interest to people from a noob and general management point of view are the help, my CMOS battery is covered in corrosion thread and the help, my !Boot is throwing up error messages thread.
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Trevor Johnson Message #115316, posted by trevj at 03:59, 10/9/2010, in reply to message #108860
Posts: 660
...typing *help <command> will also give you more information on the command and its syntax.
(I'm no time traveller ,so this post is late.)

There's also a file with what appears to be the collated help text/syntax as part of the RO3.7 disc image on the ROL site.
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Jason Togneri Message #116710, posted by filecore at 21:33, 24/2/2011, in reply to message #115316

Posts: 3867
Aaaaaaaand since it comes up so often, here's all the power-on options for RO3.7 and earlier:

R : reset all OS CMOS
T : as R but configure the opposite video sync
Delete : reset all CMOS
Copy : as Delete but configure the opposite video Sync
Shift : reverse the operation of automated boot
Keypad 0-9 : change configured monitor type to specified number
Keypad . : change mode, sync and monitor type to Auto
Keypad * : force start up to a command line (called the Supervisor)

In addition, under RISC OS 3.7 and before power on reset, Break and the reset button performed slightly differently, allowing 'soft' or 'hard' resets to be performed. From RISC OS 4, the operating system treats all resets as being 'hard'.

With RISC OS 4, the configuration of the monitor type was removed. With RISC OS 4.15, the system will boot into a menu environment ('Boot Menu') when the shift key is used. This can be used to boot from alternative devices or to configure different settings. With RISC OS 4.42, the only operations of these which remain are Delete, Shift and Keypad *.

In order to support multiple displays it is possible to configure the display which the system will use on startup. This can be a problem if the display configured is no longer present (for example, because the podule has been removed). If the 0 key (not the Keypad 0) is held during startup the display will (for this session) be forced to display number 0.

All infos from the official documentation. As always, RTFM.

EDIT: oops, broken href.

[Edited by filecore at 21:36, 24/2/2011]
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Acorn Arcade forums: General: Handy list of star commands and brief descriptions