Acorn's Archimedes series of computers was - and remains - wonderful. This is largely due to the operating system, RISC OS. A proper GUI mixed with a powerful command line, multi-tasking, bloody good RAM disk support, and much more made it truly special in the eyes of its devoted followers. Of course, there were times when that command line came in very useful indeed. Usually this was when things went wrong, and the WIMP died (the WIMP being the GUI).
Enter the star commands - an illustrious set of commands one could enter at the CLI to perform a wide and varied range of tasks, from reloading the WIMP to changing file systems (long live ADFS). And now, for your viewing pleasure, here they are - the RISC OS 3.60 star commands:
*. (Star dot) : See *Cat.
*Access : Allowed one to change file attributes such as read-only, undeletable, etc.
*AddApp : Adds a user-specified program to Resources:$.Apps, the 'Apps' folder on the icon bar.
*AddFS : Adds a remote file server's disc to the list of known discs by NetFS.
*AddTinyDir : Adds a specified file, program or folder to the icon bar.
*ADFS : Selects the Advanced Disc Filing System as the current filesystem.
*Alias : Creates an alias to a command.
*Alphabet : Either displays the current keyboard layout, or lets you change it.
*Append : Opens a file, so that data may be added to the end of it.
*AppSize : Changes a program's memory allocation.
*Audio : Starts or stops the sound system.
*Back : Move back one level in the current filesystem.
*BackDrop : Places a sprite on the pinboard as a wallpaper, or adjusts it.
*Backup : Copies the used part of one floppy disk to another.
*BASIC : Starts BBC BASIC V .
*BASIC64 : Starts BASIC VI (provided the module has been loaded).
*BlankTime : Sets the time (in seconds) until the screen blanks (a la the Windows "Blank Screen" screensaver)
*BreakClr : Removes a breakpoint at a specified address, or removes all of them if none specified. Fun.
*BreakList : Lists all set breakpoints.
*BreakSet : Sets a breakpoint at a specified address.
*Build : Opens a new file and directs to it all input received.
*Bye : Ends a filesystem session by closing files and unsetting all libraries. A nice fun command.
*Cache : Turns on/off the cache.
*Cat : Lists the contents of the current directory.
*CDDevices : Lists all CD-ROM drives connected to the system.
*CDFS : Starts the Compact Disc Filing System.
*CDir : Creates a folder of given name, and, under NetFS, a given size.
*CDSpeed : Reports read speeds of all connected CD-ROM drives.
*ChangeDynamicArea : Changes the size of the RAM Disk, font cache or system sprite area.
*ChannelVoice : Assigns a voice to a channel, 'nuff said. (The number of available voices can be expanded using the BASIC "voices" command)
*CheckMap : Analyses an E or F format diskc, checking checksums and the directory tree are correct.
*Close : Closes all open files.
*ColourTrans... : For internal usage only. Do not use them.
*Compact : Re-arranges files on a disk to increase available space.
*Configure : Sets an internal CMOS option to a specified value.
*Continue : Resumes from a breakpoint, using the saved state.
*Copy : Copies a file from one directory to another.
*CopyBoot : Copies the boot block from a DOS-format disc over another.
*Count : Gives a total size of the data in specified files.
*Countries : Lists all supported keyboard sets.
*Country : See *Alphabet.
*Create : Reserves space for a new file.
*Debug : Enters the debugger.
*Defect : Reports bad sectors on disk.
*Delete : Erases either a file or an empty folder.
*Desktop : Starts the WIMP. Cannot be used if the WIMP is still active.
*Desktop_... : For internal use only. Do not use, with the exception of...
*Destop_SetPalette : A now obsolete command. Has no effect whatsoever.
*Dir : Sets a directory (usually $) as the active directory.
*Dismount : Closes all active files, closes open libraries, and forgets the disc name of the specified disc. Ensures it is safe to remove said disc.
*Do : Passes a command to the CLI.
*DOSMap : Shows mapping between DOS 3-letter extensions and RISC OS types.
*Drive : Sets current drive, if NoDir is set.
*Dump : Displays a file in hexadecimal or ASCII.
*Echo : Displays a string on-screen.
*Eject : Ejects a CD from the CD-ROM drive specified, or current if none given.
*Enumdir : Creates a file of object leafnames from a directory that match the wildcarded pattern.
*Error : Causes an error (specified by error number) and displays error number and text. Good for a laugh.
*Eval : Evaluates the expression given.
*Ex : Same as *Cat, but also gives their corresponding file information.
*Exec : Tells the OS to take input from a specified file, or close the current exec file.
*FileInfo : Gives full information about a file.
*FilerAction : Begins a filer action. Intended for use only by applications.
*Filters : Lists all currently active pre- and post-Wimp_Poll filters.
*FontCat : Lists all available fonts.
*FontInstall : Adds a directory to those scanned for fonts.
*FontLibrary : Sets a directory as the font library.
*FontList : Lists all fonts in the font cache.
*FontMerge : Merges fonts into the existing !Fonts directory.
*FontRemove : Removes directories from the list of those scanned for fonts.
*Format : Formats a disc (in either RISC OS, Arthur, Generic ADFS, MS-DOS, or Atari format)
*Free : Displays free space on a disc.
*FS : Selects the current file server.
*FS_... : Changes passwords, locks or unlocks, or displays a computer's lock status.
*FwShow : Ddisplays all currently known Freeway objects.
*FX : Calls OS_Byte to alter status variables, and to perform other closely related actions.
*Go : Calls machine code at the given address.
*GOS : Calls command line mode - in other words, allows you to enter star commands.
*Help : Gives short help about every command. In a way, similar to the Linux man pages.
*I am : Selects NetFS and logs you on to a file server. (Your user name and password are checked by the file server against the password file before allowing you access)
*IconSprites : Merges a file's sprites with those in the WIMP sprite area.
*If : Conditionally executes a star command.
*IfThere : Looks for the presence of a given object, and executes one command if it exists (or another if it does not).
*Ignore : Sets the printer ignore character.
*InetChecksum : Another 'internal use only' command. Don't use it, please.
*InetGateway : Can be used to turn IP layer packet forwarding on or off.
*InetInfo : Displays information and stats about the current state of the Internet module.
*Info : Displays file information for the specified object.
*InitStore : Fills user memory with the specified value or register value.
*Key : Assigns strings to function keys.
*Keyboard, : See *Alphabet.
*LCat : Lists all contents in a named library or the current one if none specified.
*LEx : Same as *LCat, but lists file information as well.
*Lib : Selects a directory to be the filesystem's library directory.
*List : Lists the contents of a file, each line being numbered. Very useful for BASIC programs.
*ListFS : Lists file servers.
*ListPS : Lists print servers.
*Load : Loads a file.
*LoadCMOS : Loads a file into the computer's CMOS RAM.
*LoadFontCache : For internal use only, don't mess.
*LoadModeFile : Makes available all screen modes listed in the file.
*Lock : Locks the CD-ROM drive, preventing the eject command from functioning.
*Logon : Logs you into a file server.
*Map : Displays a disk's free space map.
*Memory : Displays the values in memory.
*MemoryA : Displays and alters values in memory.
*MemoryI : Disassembles memory into ARM instructions.
*ModelList : Displays available colour models.
*Modules : Displays info about all installed relocatable modules.
*Mount : Readies a disk for use by setting the current directory to root, and setting the library directory.
*NameDisc : Gives a disc a name.
*NameDisk : Same as *NameDisc
*Net : Selects the Network Filing System as the current filesystem.
*Netmap : Displays the current AUN map table either for the specified net, or for all nets if no parameter is specified.
*NetProbe : Checks if a workstation is accessible and active.
*NetStat : Gives the current status of a network interface.
*Networks : Displays the current AUN routing table. This shows the names of any local networks, plus others it knows how to reach.
*NoDir : Unsets the current directory.
*NoLib : Unsets the library directory.
*NoURD : Unsets the URD (User Root Directory).
*Obey : Executes a file of star commands.
*Opt 1 : Sets the filesystem message level.
*Opt 4 : Sets the boot action for the current filesystem.
*Pass : Allows you to set or change a file server password.
*Path : Allows you to set path variables.
*PathMacro : Allows you to set a path variable as a macro.
*Pin : Places a file on the desktop pinboard.
*Pinboard : Re-loads the pinboard, removing anything placed on there.
*PipeCopy : Copys a file to one or more output files.
*Play : Plays the specified track on an audio CD.
*PlayList : Shows all tracks (data and audio) on a CD, with start and end times.
*PlayMSF : Plays audio from the CD, from given start and stop times.
*PoduleLoad : Copies a file into an expansion card's RAM.
*Podules: : Lists all available expansion cards.
*PoduleSave : Copies data from an expansion card's RAM to a file.
*Pointer : Turns the mouse pointer on or off.
*Print : Prints the content of a file to the display.
*PS : Changes the print server.
*Qsound : Generates a sound, after a delay.
*Quit : Exits the current application.
*RAM : Starts the RAM Filing System.
*Remove : Same as *Delete. Will not give an error message if the file/directory does not exist.
*RemoveTinyDir : Removes an item from a TinyDir on the icon bar. If none exists, removes the TinyDir.
*Rename : Changes the name of an object.
*Render : Displays the contents of a file made with !Draw.
*Repeat : Scans a directory and applies a command to everything it finds.
*ResourceFS : Selects the Resource Filing System.
*RMClear : Deletes all relocatable modules from the module area. Be VERY careful - this command is uber-powerful.
*RMEnsure : Checks for the presence of a module.
*RMFaster> : Moves a module from ROM to RAM.
*RMInsert : Reverses the action of a previous *Unplug command.
*RMKill : Deactivates and deletes a relocatable module. Be VERY careful - another overpowered star command.
*RMLoad : Loads and initialises a relocatable module.
*RMReInit : Reinitialises a relocatable module, reversing the action of any previous *RMKill or *Unplug command. Powerful? Yup.
*RMRun : Runs a relocatable module.
*RMTidy : An obsolete command; has no function.
*ROMModules : Shows information about all relocatable modules active.
*Run : Loads, then runs a program.
*SafeLogon : Checks if a user is already logged on. If not, logs onto the file server using *Logon.
*Save : Saves a given area of memory to file.
*SaveFontCache : For internal use only. Do not use.
*SChoose : Selects a sprite from the system sprite area for use in subsequent sprite plotting operations.
*SCopy : Makes a copy of a sprite within the system sprite area.
*ScreenLoad : Loads a sprite file into the graphics area.
*SpriteSave : Saves the graphics area to a sprite file.
*SpriteDelete : Deletes a sprite from the system sprite area.
*SDisc : Selects a disc from the current file server by setting the current directory, the library directory and the URD.
*Set : Assigns a string value to a system variable.
*SetEval : Evaluates an expression, then *Sets it.
*SetMacro : Assigns an expression to a system variable. The expression is evaluated each time the variable is used.
*SetPS : Sets the print server.
*SetType : THE command. Changes a file's type from one to another.
*SetFlipX/Y : Flips a sprite horizontally or vertically.
*SGet : Gets a sprite from a rectangular area of the desktop.
*Shadow : Sets which bank of screen memory is used on subsequent mode changes.
*Share : Makes a local directory a shared disc.
*ShareFS : Starts the Shared Filing System.
*ShareFSIcon : Places a shared disc onto the icon bar.
*ShareFSWindow : Changes the size of the ShareFS transmission window.
*Shares : Lists all active shares.
*ShellCLI : Invokes a command as a WIMP task.
*ShellCLITask : Intended for use only from within an application.
*ShellCLITaskQuit : Intended for use only from within an application.
*Show : Displays all information on system variables.
*ShowFree : Displays free space on a device within a window.
*ShowRegs : Displays the register contents for a saved state.
*Shut : Closes all open files and directories on all filesystems.
*ShutDown : CLoses all open files, logs off NFS servers, parks drive heads.
*SInfo : Displays info on the system sprite workspace.
*SList : Lists all sprites in the system sprite area.
*SLoad : Loads a sprite into the system sprite area.
*SMerge : Merges a file's sprites into the system sprite area.
*SNew : Clears the system sprite area.
*Sound : Generates a system beep.
*Speaker : Supposedly turns the internal speaker on or off; actually does nothing.
*Spool : Sends everything on-screen to a file.
*SpoonOn : Sends everything on-screen to the end of an existing file.
*SRename : Renames a sprite window within the system sprite area.
*SSave : Saves everything within the system sprite area to a sprite file.
*Stamp : Timestamps a file with today's data and time.
*Status : Gives the value of a configuration option within CMOS RAM.
*Stereo : Sets the position in the stereo image of a sound channel.
*Stop : Stops playing the CD in the CD-ROM drive specified.
*Supported : Lists drive types supported by CDFS.
*TaskWindow : Starts a new task, in a window if input is required or output needed.
*Tempo : Sets the tempo for system sounds.
*Territories : Lists supported territories.
*Time : Shows the current system date and time.
*ToolSprites : Merges the sprites in a file with those in the WIMP's pool of border sprites (used to redraw window borders).
*Tuning : Adjusts the internal sound's tuning.
*TV : Adjusts vertical alignment and interlace.
*Type : Shows the contents of a specified file.
*UnAlias : Removes a previously set Alias.
*Unlock : Removes the lock on a CD-ROM drive's Eject burron.
*Unplug : Kills and disables all copies of a ROM resident module.
*Unset : Deletes a system variable.
*UnShare : Stops a directory acting as a shared disc.
*Up : Moves up one level in the directory tree.
*URD : Sets the URD (User Root Directory).
*Verify : Checks a whole disc is readable.
*VIDCBandWidthLimit : For internal use only - don't use.
*Voices : Lists all installed voices.
*Volume : Sets internal volume.
*WhichDisc : Shows the unique ID number of the CD in a CD-ROM drive.
*WimpKillSprite : Removes a sprite from the sprite area.
*WimpMode : Changes the display mode used by the WIMP.
*WimpPalette : Loads a WIMP Palette file.
*WimpSlot : Changes the memory allocation for the current and (optionally) the next WIMP task.
*WimpTask : Starts a task within a task.
*WimpWriteDir : Sets the direction of text entry for writable icons.
*Wipe : Deletes one or more items specified by a wildcard.