Legacy project note: this was built circa ‘95, before switching to GUI full-time

Installer! was one of my first products to get out into the world. I started the project from the need to create a professional looking installer for one of the projects I had written (I don’t remember which). I scraped up some of the DOS window-drawing code and put together a quick scripting engine. I managed to jam as many useful functions as I could into it to determine disk free space, read files from the filesystem, double-buffered display building and other nifty tasks.

Here’s a snippet from one of my examples:

; One way to get the current directory
put "." into $dir
fexpand $dir
readfield 7 13 63 $dir
additem "PC Speaker" "P" 1
additem "Adlib (music only)" "A" 1
additem "Sound Blaster" "S" 1
additem "Sound Blaster Pro" "S" 1
domenu 20 10 60 15 23 31 31 "Select Sound" 0 #sound

This script produces a menu that looks like this:

These screenshots illustrate the default install script and the built-in documentation viewer:

Installer! became part of my “DevelTools” package, which included the Manual Compiler project and a mail-based automatic file request utility called “FileSlave” (lost to time).

Here’s the original Simtel announcement:

Installer! v1.08 is a script-based installation utility designed for installing DOS programs. It has a large library of functions including those for manipulating text and graphics screens during installation. Numerous samples are included to illustrate some of the more powerful features. A compiler (compiles to a proprietory format and encrypts the data) and syntax-checker are included in the package. A fairly long manual is also included to describe each function. Not crippled.

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