S1E18 APX Diskette Librarian – Supplement

This episode features Diskette Librarian, originally released in 1981 by APX.  It was developed by Ronald & Lynn Marcuse.

Podcast: Download


As appeared in Fall 1982 APX Catalog:


Diskette Librarian in Action

At boot, from the BASIC READY prompt, you need to run it!  Though it has an AUTORUN.SYS file, that simply loads the bubble sort routine into memory.

APX Diskette Librarian Boot


Main Menu:

APX Diskette Librarian Main Menu


Module 1 – Auto Catalog

First, insert the disk to be cataloged in Drive 1:



Next enter a volume number.  Yep, use a sticky note to keep track of the highest number used, it won’t do it for you.  Also, even though this function is exclusively for disks, you must still tell it D.  Summary of files found and free space, then swap the program disk back in:



For each file on the disk you need to fill out this information.  You can leave it blank if you wish but that will limit your search options later:



Confirm the information is correct before it is added to the catalog (for each file):



Module 2 – List Directory

The same thing you can do from DOS.  Here for convenience…



Module 3 – Add Disk (Non DOS)

Enter all seven fields.  None are sanitized, but volume needs to be in volume format:



Confirm the new entry is correct:



Module 4 – Inquiry / List

The Inquiry / List menu.  Each option represents a field to search on.  Only one may be selected:



After searching on TYPE (sub option 4), and entering GAME as the criteria, there are 3 output options:



Choosing sub option 1 (INQUIRY), each whole record is displayed in succession:



Choosing sub option 2 (BROWSE), a summary of the records are displayed one screen at a time:



Choosing sub option 3 (LISTING), dumps out to the printer (80 columns required):



Module 5 – Update Record

Updating records begins with a search similar to the Inquiry function:



Matches are displayed in succession, edit a single field, or delete the entire record:



Module 6 – Sort Library

Sort asks which field you want to sort on, then for a confirmation.  This also reclaims space from deleted records:



Module 7 – Run Program

Only useful for BASIC programs, this allows you to run a BASIC program, provided you know the name of it.  It will find the disk number if it has been cataloged, then tell you to insert that particular disk.  Press Y to confirm and run:



The program STARLANE.BAS running after being executed from Diskette Librarian:




Diskette Librarian uses Atari DOS 2.0.  The contents of the disk can be seen in this screenshot:

The files on the program disk are:

  • AUTORUN.SYS is run at boot and loads the machine language bubble sort routine into memory.
  • PROGSORT is a short program called by the main program to read the entire catalog into memory and then call the sort routine loaded from AUTORUN.SYS.
  • PROGLIB is the main BASIC program.
  • PROBLIB.DB is the database file the catalog is stored in.

For cataloged disks, the file DISK.CAT is added which has the volume label in it.

The catalog consists of records 62 bytes in length.  Byte 62 is a delimiter (or delete flag).

Storage is approximately 1100 records with both DOS and DUP on the diskette.  Removing DUP will increase capacity to approximately 1200 records.


OCR’d Manual (with format corrections, original page content and numbers intact) download

Show Links:


Bit Rating 5


Intro music is an excerpt from a chip tune by Wizwars named 8 Bit Raceway.  It is used under Creative Common license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.

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