# Dos TYPE command problem

jackson6612
dos "TYPE" command problem

Hi

You can see in the video that I have text file "hello" in "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator". But when I try to access it using the "TYPE" command it fails. Could you please explain the reason for this failure?

The "type" command displays the contents of a text file or files. Syntax: TYPE [drive:][path]filename

Video:

Thanks.

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Mentor

Spaces in the path break the syntax. Try to use quotes around path and file name.

jackson6612

Hi Borek

I think I have used the command as told in the help file. I have never seen quotes being used with DOS commands. I still don't understand what's wrong with it. Perhaps, the "TYPE" isn't used to show the contents of a text file!

jackson6612

You were right. I have used qoutes as:

It works now. I still don't understand how the spaces break the syntax because they are natural part of the path; how else would you write "Documents and Settings"?

Thanks a lot.

Mentor

Command may take many arguments, they are separated by spaces. There is no way to tell if spaces separate arguments, or are part of the string. That's a problem that was not present in early DOS times, when spaces were not allowed in file names, once they were allowed it added ambiguity.

Mentor

in early DOS times, when spaces were not allowed in file names

Also file names could be no longer than either six or eight characters, plus three for the extension. So a name like "hello.txt" was OK, but not "hellothere.txt" or "my file.txt". As far as I know, most operating systems had this kind of restriction until the mid 1980s. I first used long file names with a Macintosh in 1985.

jackson6612

Also file names could be no longer than either six or eight characters, plus three for the extension. So a name like "hello.txt" was OK, but not "hellothere.txt" or "my file.txt". As far as I know, most operating systems had this kind of restriction until the mid 1980s. I first used long file names with a Macintosh in 1985.

Hi JT

I have searched it. It's called 8.3 filename, e.g. TEXTFILE.TXT. It was used by older versions of DOS. I wonder what was the reason for this limitation. Could you please help me with it? Thanks.

Mentor

I have searched it. It's called 8.3 filename, e.g. TEXTFILE.TXT. It was used by older versions of DOS. I wonder what was the reason for this limitation.

When you had something like 100/200 kB on disk, using long names is a waste of space. It is also much easier to implement file system with a rigid format of file names.

Mentor

something like 100/200 kB on disk

These were floppy disks, of course. Hard disks were a luxury on personal computers in those days. My first hard disk, an external unit for a Macintosh, had a capacity of 20 megabytes (yes, MEGAbytes) and cost about $700 in 1988 (probably equivalent to at least$1500 now).

Mentor

Luxury gradation these days: one sided floppy, two sided floppy, two two sided floppy drives in one computer, hard disk. I have skipped one sided part (although I think I do remember one sided floppy disks being sold). We were a little bit late with computers in this part of the world, I think we catch up around 386/486.

Around 1990 I wrote in Pascal program that was able to read/write/import/export files from some version of CP/M and TOS (T=Timex, not tape), we (editorial staff of Bajtek and Top Secret magazines) used it to transfer files between Spectrum with FDD3000 and PC. Program was called Borek Utilities

jackson6612

Thank you, Borek, JT. You both have really helped me. Borek, thanks a lot for always being there to help me. I wish you good health and happiness.

These were floppy disks, of course. Hard disks were a luxury on personal computers in those days. My first hard disk, an external unit for a Macintosh, had a capacity of 20 megabytes (yes, MEGAbytes) and cost about $700 in 1988 (probably equivalent to at least$1500 now).

After reading yours and Borek's posts I believe you guys really lived in a technologically expensive times. Thank God that I was born in modern times after '88.

Homework Helper

8.3 filename, e.g. TEXTFILE.TXT. It was used by older versions of DOS.
Still used on FAT partitions by windows. The file name entry is 8.3, and is the "short name" of the file. If actual file name is greater than 8.3, then following the 8.3 name entry, a set of fixed size (16 byte) entries (with "hidden" and "volume" attributes set) are used used to contain the "long name" as a zero terminated string.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_filename

Gold Member

After reading yours and Borek's posts I believe you guys really lived in a technologically expensive times.

Well, it wasn't that it was expensive, it's that it was right on the bleeding edge.

I'm not sure what the current equivalent bleeding edge technology would be today. It doesn't even really apply, since current advancements happen on the order of months/weeks instead of years. Even 4G or the latest iPad is just another incremental change - old news.