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Purpose of this manual
This manual is intended for VS system users, programmers, and administrators that wish
to know more about that amorphous group of files known as USERAIDS. A ragtag
collection of programs, subroutines, documentation, and demonstration systems,
USERAIDS were largely developed by Wang personnel in the early days of the VS and
rarely touched since. The better programs have found their way into the list of Wang-
supported utilities; the others have languished without much attention or interest. Without
much information on their origin or use, the intrepid user must resort to detective work
and supposition to discern the function and applicability of each.
The driving force behind my acceptance of this challenge was my personal curiosity. What
are all those files? How many could I delete without effect? How do they compare with
expensive utilities from commercial vendors? Do they even work?
History of the book
USERAIDS: A Guide to Low-Cost Software for Wang VS Systems
grew out of my work in the mid-1980s as a columnist for Access to Wang and
Wang user group member. Research began in 1987 and the book appeared in 1989,
enjoying modest international success. It disappeared two and a half years later with
the bankruptcy of Data Base Publications, the publisher of Access at that
The original work was composed on a single-diskette WangWriter, converted to Wang PC
Word Processing, and submitted electronically to the publisher in text format. The
text was converted to hypertext (HTML) using a combination of manual editing and
classic Unix text manipulation tools (sed, grep, cut, paste, etc.).
The completed HTML files languished in a ZIP archive on the site until expanded and
published again in August 2021.
Navigating through the material
This book was planned to answer several questions:
As I pondered these questions it became clear that the material had to be accessible from
several directions. Accordingly, I have created sections that present the information in
response to each of these needs:
- What are all these files? Which do I really need?
- How do I use them?
- How do I find the tool that solves my problem?
The multiple points of access to the material allows you to browse for information
informally or zero in on a solution immediately, depending on your needs and desires.
- Alphabetical List of File Descriptions: lists 363 known USERAIDS in
alphabetical order, describing them and noting any known dependencies.
- Documentation for Selected Utilities: in-depth information on 96
of the programs shown in the alphabetical listing. Includes user instructions,
programming information and examples.
- Cross-Reference by Program Function: programs grouped by function.
Assists in finding a tool for a particular purpose.
I encourage your comments and suggestions on this material. Please send them to
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