Power Tip

From CADD Master Ray

CADD 5.0 on a Laptop
I must admit that the lump in my throat that I experienced while installing Generic CADD 5.0 was not fully attributable to my excitement at getting to use all the new features.

It was caused, at least in part, by a message on the very first installation screen: HARD DISK REQUIRED.

It's not the fact that I don't have a hard disk. In fact, I have several. But two of my laptops do not. I often used these machines for field work, and really would like to put 5.0 on one of them.

So I wondered...what is it about 5.0 that requires a hard disk? Why can't it be run from floppies? This column answers these questions (there are two reasons, and it can), and explores how to do it.

The first reason that 5.0 wants a hard disk is size, and the second reason is size, too. First of all, it's bigger. The program files are bigger, and printing and desktop conversion are integrated, so you can't get rid of them to save space. But you still should be able to fit enough of it to run from a 1.2M 5.25" floppy or a 1.44M 3.5" floppy. Not small enough to run on ANYTHING, but not exactly a hard disk either.

Secondly, the files are compressed on the release disks and expanded into their final destinations. By default, an entire group of files is expanded at one time, whether you need them or not, so they would tend to clog up even a high capacity floppy disk. Fortunately, there are several ways to get around this. The easiest method, if you have at least one computer with a hard disk, is to install 5.0 there first, then port over only the files you actually need (see below) to the laptop.

An alternative method is to expand the files from the release disk to the other disk manually. For example, to expand the file DRIVERS.EXE from A: to B:, place the release disk in A: and type DRIVERS B:, followed by pressing the [ENTER] key. This will expand all of the drivers onto B:, and you can delete the ones you don't need. In the end, you can copy all the required files onto one working disk.

If you have a single-floppy machine, simply insert a blank diskette when asked for disk B:. Almost all single-drive laptops allow the lone drive to be alternately addressed as both A: and B:.

The following files will be required to run 5.0, and should be copied to your final diskette:

a video driver (*.VGD)
a pointer driver (*.IPD)

You may also want a printer driver, a font, your favorite hatch patterns, and the default macro command file:


To save space, use one of the small video drivers. Set up a separate disk with the configuration program and all of the drivers on it for doing configuration (CONFIG.EXE, *.VGD, *.IPD, *.TPR, *.TGD, *.TPL). After configuring with this disk, copy the required driver you need by looking in the CONFIG.FIL, which must also be on the final disk. You can examine the contents of CONFIG.FIL by typing TYPE CONFIG.FIL at the DOS prompt.

By utilizing these techniques, I was able to get CADD 5.0 running on a laptop with a single 720K disk drive. Additionally, I used CONFIG to shut down virtual memory to zero percent, so that CADD wouldn't try to use any of my disk for temporary files. If you are saving your drawings on a second floppy, assign the virtual and shell paths to that drive instead of your program drive.