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Introduction to File Management

The theory behind a directory utility such as Directory Opus 5 is
quite simple. Instead of having to struggle with a primitive
Command Line Interface and 'mysterious' AmigaDOS commands,
you are presented with an easy-to-use interface which shows the
contents of multiple directories, and presents the various
commands in a manner which makes them much easier to use. On
the screen, you open up one or more 'directory windows' or file
Listers. Into a Lister you can read and display the contents of a
directory from any device or volume accessible by the Amiga. You
select files and/or directories, then manipulate them almost any
way you like. Selected entries can be copied to other Listers,
deleted or renamed; text files can be read, picture files can be
viewed, and sound files can be heard. Directory Opus 5 offers
much more than these "barebones" features, and you will learn
more later in this manual.

Files and Directories

The Amiga's DOS (Disk Operating System) deals with two kinds
of data arrangement:- files and directories.

Each file and directory must be given a unique name; within a
directory you cannot have two files, two directories, or a file and a
directory with the same name.

Files

Any data you record on a disk is stored in a file. Files contain
information, which may be from a database, from a word
processor, from a painting program, or the entire contents of a
program.

The size of a file is expressed in bytes, each byte being equivalent
to one character. Storing the string "Hello" in a file would use five
bytes, since the word "Hello" is five characters long.

Whether a file can be displayed, executed, deleted, edited, or
considered as a script file, depends upon its attributes .

All files have a datestamp which shows the system time and date
when the file was last written to.

Files may also have a comment of up to 79 characters attached to
them.

Directories

To store information in a logical manner, files on disks are
generally organised into directories, which are often referred to as
drawers. If you picture a disk as a filing cabinet, with your
programs, database files and pictures as the actual files, then the
directories are the drawers of the filing cabinet. Some of these
drawers have further drawers inside them, called subdirectories,
which themselves contain drawers, and so on, indefinitely.

The directory or subdirectory containing any given subdirectory is
known as its Parent Directory.

The highest level of organisation is the Root Directory. If the
directory is a filing cabinet, then the root directory is the room it
stands in. The route you take along a directory tree to reach a file
is called the path. As you proceed along the path, each branch of
the tree is separated from the next by a forward slash '/'' character.

For example, on a hard drive named Work, the path to the
Directory Opus 5 directory should be Work:Opus5. To refer to the
Directory Opus 5 program, you would use what is called the
pathname. This consists of the file's path followed by the name of
the file. For example, Work:Opus5/DirectoryOpus.

The number of files and subdirectories any given directory can
contain is limited only by the amount of space on the disk.

For a more complete explanation of file structure, please consult
the Amiga Dos and Users Manuals.