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Less is More: The Orthodox File Manager (OFM) Paradigm

by Dr Nikolai Bezroukov

Content : Foreword : Ch01 : Ch02 : Ch03 : Ch04 : Ch05 : Ch06 : Ch07 : OFM1999 : OFM2004 : OFM2012


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CN -- Connect or IBM HandShaker

CN (also known as Connect or The IBM HandShaker) is a freeware product written in  Kharkov, Ukraine, by Ian Balter and Dmitry Orlov. It was first  designed as an integrated environment for the embedded system software and hardware developers, but eventually it has become OFM with its own (although very primitive) scripting language and debugger. In this sense it is the first representative of the new generation of OFMs -- OFMs with its own scripting language.  It was later opensourced and the full source is available from kiarchive

I tested only one version of CN and was immediately impressed. It is definitely the greatest freeware OFM for DOS. CN looks a lot like a Borland-style integrated environment. Like DN it is written in Turbo Pascal using Borland TurboVision.

CN can be downloaded from several sites (check with Google): 

Level of compatibility

I did not evaluate the level of compatibility of CN with the OFM1999 standard.

Advanced features implemented

Keyboard macro editor and player. Enables to quickly record, edit and play any sequence of keystrokes and commands and reassign any key or any sequence of keys in the editor, File Manager or1 terminal windows.

Very impressive support of  a clipboard concept. One can copy/paste data not only from any of the program windows and input lines, but also from any launched program output screen (via special snipper component).

Interface is very flexible and has well developed mouse support. If you investigate the interface with the mouse you will quickly discover that there are many context sensitive areas. Press both left and right mouse buttons when attempting to use drag and drop copy in file manager (and editor). Many file manager setting dialogs (e.g., display options, archive settings) are accessed through a right button pop up menu in file manager (same for the terminal). To view DBF files select a dbf file and invoke the VIEW command.

Build-in viewer has some interesting features:

CN contributions

CN made two important contributions to the OFM doctrine.

The main contribution of CN is a built-in script language compiler. CONNECT built-in script language is a very simple unstructured language, but its a language, and here CN is definitely the pioneer. Unfortunately scripting is limited to editor and serial protocols connections. It also has built-in script language debugger with the ability:

The second important contribution is HTML viewer. It has the following capabilities:

CN  has the most capable built-in editor among OFMs that I know about (the authors claim that it is as powerful as MultiEdit 6.0 -- I doubt that this is true, but the claim itself is an interesting one). The editor has scripting language support and is capable of processing files up to 1M. It has: 

CN also has a very powerful multi-window hex editor.  It has:

Among other features one can mention dBASE file viewer. It has the following capabilities:

CN was designed as a programmer integrated environment and has the ability to run various programming tools such as cross-assemblers, compilers etc. with the user-defined parameters depending on currently active window, or current file name. For example, one can run an assembly code compiler for the newly edited text, view a report generated by the compiler in a special Message window, and quickly go to the source line which caused an error, if necessary. 

Like DN, CN also has built-in terminal and a lot of pretty interesting programming tools. Among them:

CN also has special context-sensitive help system, but probably HTML-based help system would suffice (zip archive can be used for compression, if needed). Anyway CN help-system includes help compiler and decompiler;  it supports: 

There are many files in Connect help format in kiarchive

Among other features worth mentioning are:

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Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

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