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Daqarta for DOS
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
Shareware for Legacy Systems

From the Daqarta for DOS Help system:



To EDIT or enter a comment, hit the E-key and a cursor will appear on the message line. Any normal keyboard text may be entered here. Comments are limited to 64 characters, which will be saved along with the data for file operations or for trace memory operations. You can use the EdAux and EdSav options to append additional comment lines to a running comment log file.

The comment line may be regarded as five separate "fields", each 12 characters wide with a single character space between fields. Values may be sent to any selected field directly from parameter entry operations to become part of the permanent record of that trace. Multiple-trace Memory Arrays may be sorted based upon the contents of any field.

Although the comment is normally considered a permanent part of the trace record, there may be times when you need to change it after the trace is already saved to file or memory. To do this, recall the trace using InDat or MemRd as needed, Edit the comment normally, and resave it to the same file name with OutDt, or to the same memory ID with MemSv. Note that when you do this, however, the trace time and date will be updated as though you had just recorded this as new data. You may also want to update the DQALOG.TXT file created by EdSav by inserting a note using any ASCII text editor.

There is no comparable way to change the comment for a DDisk file, so you will need to rely on DQALOG.TXT editing alone.


 ENTER      Accepts the text and exits the Edit mode.
 ESC        Exits the Edit mode and restores original text.
 DEL        Deletes a single character and moves text left
            to fill in.
 ALT-DEL    Deletes from cursor location to end of line.
 HOME       Moves cursor to left end of text.
 END        Moves cursor to right end of text.
 ALT-2      Enter ² (superscript 2) character.
 ALT-u      Enter µ (small mu) character.
 CTRL-INS   Toggles between INSERT mode (block cursor)
            and OVERSTRIKE (underscore cursor).
 INS        Insert a text macro string at the cursor.
 ALT-INS    Start/end storing a text macro string.
 TAB        Move right one parameter field (13 characters).
 SHIFT-TAB  Move left one parameter field.
Caps-lock, backspace and left-right cursor keys behave as for any text editor. Caps-lock only applies to text entry, and will be turned off on exit from Edit mode. It will be restored to its former state whenever text entry is again active, either for Edit mode of for file name entry, etc. The keyboard LED will indicate the status when text mode is active.

Note that NUM-LOCK is not available for text editing.


If you are collecting multiple traces, each with different values of key parameters like stimulus frequency or level, you will probably want to include these values in the comment line for the trace, to aid in later identification. This is especially important if you want to use the Memory Array option to view multiple traces on the screen at one time, since traces can be sorted based on comment field contents.

Rather than manually entering each parameter when you change it, you can automatically direct a copy of the value to any of the five 12-character (plus spacer) parameter fields. To do this, replace the ENTER or CTRL-ENTER (which would normally conclude value entry) with CTRL-1 to CTRL-5. The value will be accepted as usual for the menu item, and a copy will be sent to the selected field, complete with a relevant unit such as 'kHz' or 'msec' where applicable.

This is particularly useful when used with Key Macros that collect and save data automatically with different parameter settings, allowing a complete annotated record for each trace without operator intervention.

Copy-to-Field works with all menu items except those of the "pick list" and "toggle" type. It also works with certain non-menu options like Loop count, WaitS delay, and User Tone. (Basically, anywhere that you directly key in or scroll a parameter value before hitting ENTER.)

If you just hit ENTER to change a menu item, but then you don't do anything like scrolling or direct entry to change it, then this technique will not work... something must change. You can scroll up one and back down to the same value if you really want to record a value without changing it.

Any errors in direct value entry will cause an Alert, and return to the value entry system with the cursor at the offending character. But if you had ended your initial entry with CTRL-1 to CTRL-5 to designate a field copy, you will need to repeat that after the corrected entry.

Values sent to the comment field are in a slightly different format from the way you enter them. For example, the field entry will show:

    1.2345 mV
 for entries of:
    1m2345              (European notation)
    1.2345e-3           (Exponential notation)
The copy will reflect the value accepted by Daqarta, which may be different from the one you entered due to internal limits and quantization.

If you use exponential notation to enter a value that is outside of the range of standard prefixes, the copy will use a small epsilon as a prefix for anything under 'y' (yocto = 10^-24), or '!' for anything over 'Y' (Yotta = 10^+24).

Note especially that there is always a space before the units prefix for clarity of display, but you are not allowed to have any embedded spaces during direct parameter entry. Further, if there is no prefix there will be a space reserved for it anyway before the units label, if present, as in:

    10000  Hz

If you enter values "manually" to the comment field using the normal comment editor instead of parameter copy, you should follow this same prefix space convention. That's because the Memory Array expects this spacing when sorting values with the unit prefix after the number. It will also accept normal Euro or exponential notation.

If you do use manual entry of exponential notation and want the Memory Array to be sorted on this field, there are a couple of caveats that you don't normally have to worry about for parameter direct entry: You MUST use a lower-case 'e' to indicate exponential here, whereas parameter entry will accept either 'e' or 'E'. Also, while the parameter entry will reject exponents with more than two significant digits, the sort will simply ignore any extra digits.

It's perfectly OK for different traces to use different types of notation for field entries... the Memory Array will still be sorted properly.

Be sure to use TAB and SHIFT-TAB to insure any manual field entries are properly aligned.


SHIFT-E toggles EdSav mode. When this is active, every time you save a trace to file or memory a text line is appended to the DQALOG.TXT file. The line includes the trace file name or memory ID number, the complete comment line, and the trace time and date.

This can serve as a record of your work, and as a handy reference to help you keep track of files by providing more information than a simple directory listing of file names.

If you are saving Memory Array files, each trace saved to memory will appear in the log file in sequence, followed by the final save of the array to file. The log file can thus serve as an index of array files.

The DQALOG.TXT file format is standard ASCII text, which should be readable by any text editor or word processor. Each entry is a single line of 97 characters, with the time and date extending beyond the end of a standard 80-column display.

The time and date formats used for the log lines are set via the Trace Info menu.

The log file will be maintained in the directory from which you invoke Daqarta. Since you will probably want to keep the log file with the data files to which it refers, be sure to go to the relevant directory before starting Daqarta. If you have different directories for different types of experiment sessions, you can thus keep a separate log file for each type.


There may be occasions when you need more space for comment text than will fit in the single 64-character comment line. ALT-E will bring up the Auxiliary comment system, which will allow up to 128 additional lines of text. Text operations are identical to the normal comment Edit option, with the addition of up and down arrow keys to scroll to earlier or later lines.

In the EdAux system, ESCape only applies to the current line. Once you scroll to another line, the prior line is accepted and any changes to it will not be restored by ESCape.

ENTER accepts the current text line, exits the EdAux mode, and restores the normal comment display without advancing the current line. When you go back to EdAux mode you will still be on the same line until you scroll up or down.

If EdSav is active at the next file or memory save, all the text in the EdAux buffer will be appended to the DQALOG.TXT log file, right after the usual name-comment-time-date line. The EdAux lines will not include file name or time-date information, but will be indented to align with the comment of the preceding file/memory line. The EdAux buffer will then be cleared, ready for the next use.

If EdSav is off, the EdAux buffer will continue to accept lines of text until the next save with EdSav active.

Any text left in the EdAux buffer when you Quit the session will be appended to the log file automatically. In this case it will NOT be indented, allowing you to distinguish it from text associated with file or memory saves.

There may be occasions where you are not saving traces, but still need to record observations. In these cases, you may prefer to just leave EdSav off for the entire session if all your data will fit in the 128 EdAux lines. Everything will then be saved at the end of the session.

EdAux is also useful for recording running observations during extended DDisk acquisition.

Note that EdAux text is only saved to the log file. It is not included with data files or memory traces, in order to preserve a uniform and compact format.


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