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RapidFile & Windows XP

How to persuade Windows XP to run the RapidFile database usefully

The RapidFile software is a DOS-based, database application dating back to 1986. Although RapidFile was not designed for other operating systems it can, nonetheless, be used under various versions of Windows and also under GNU/Linux in conjunction with the DOSemu software. This page gives a few tips for users of Windows XP.
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Screen configuration

When RapidFile was created in 1986 the standard screen size was 80 columns and 25 rows and consequently RapidFile was created to use exactly that much screen space and no more. However, the command console of Windows XP is not limited to an 80x25 screen and will often open with 80 columns and, say, 50 lines which means that the RapidFile software will then appear to occupy only half the screen. It is, however, possible to make RapidFile run in full-screen mode within the Windows XP command console.

First create a new short-cut on the desktop. For the name of the command you should enter cmd.exe which is the name of the program that creates the command console. Once you have created the shortcut and proven that it more or less works (i.e. it brings up a command prompt) right click the shortcut icon so that you can change its properties. You need to click through the various tabs and change the items noted below:

  • Options tab:
    • Display options:
      • Full screen
  • Layout tab:
    • Screen buffer size:
      • Width = 80
      • Height = 25
    • Window size:
      • Width = 80
      • Height = 25

You can also experiment with changing the font but on the system; I tried it didn't seem to do anything in my case, but another person has reported that they did need to change the font size. The other settings, in my case, were sufficient to deliver an 80x25 screen.

It is possible to toggle the display of the command console so that it either occupies an ordinary window on the desktop or occupies the full-screen. You can toggle by pressing ALT-Enter.

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