ANIMATE DOS COMMAND

This command was quickly made in order to animate the coloured-in marble bust of Thomas Addison for a website. It is IBM ONLY

It was made with DEBUG, so no source code is available.

It has also proven useful for making flashing GIFS, and even to create short videos from the cheapest of digital cameras, giving just twenty frames at about eight to the second.

It may have a small bug, causing it to stop accepting further frames (due to file-handles not being recycled). This will not damage your computer or files, but can be frustrating. There is no time to go back and double-check it. It tends to misbehave when file.gif prints as FILE.GI.

Contents: Program, instructions, floppy-disk label.
http://wehner.org/tools/animate.zip

245 kBytes expanding to 291 kBytes

Addendum 10 Jan 2009

The small bug was found to be a property of the operating system. It appears on Windows XP and on Windows Vista. Although on Vista it shows FILE.GI, it does not seem to refuse to accept further files. On Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, 2000 and Millennium Edition it behaves correctly.

It is possible to automate the process of assembling files, using the SHELL command of Qbasic:

SHELL "animate"
SHELL CHR$(13)
SHELL "mapturn.gif"
SHELL CHR$(13)
SHELL "1"
For n=1 to 20

SHELL CHR$(n+48)
SHELL "0"
SHELL "0"
SHELL "5"
SHELL "n"
SHELL "61"
next n
SHELL
END

In this way, Qbasic summons ANIMATE, and tells it to create "MAPTURN GIF", with a main picture as 1.GIF. Thereafter, it inserts twenty frames nil distance to the right, nil distance down, to last for 5 deciseconds each (1/20 sec), not to be replaced by the background, and to have transparent colour 61. The images are 1.GIF through to 20.GIF.

Although DOS and Qbasic are old technologies, they are still usable today. The Qbasic EXE must be in the same directory as the image files and as ANIMATE.COM.