Audit Companion
Quick Start Guide
Quick Start Guide contains instructions and examples to help you install Audit Companion (AC) and and try several of its features.
For advanced information, see the AC macro language reference.
Installation Info
Audit Companion creates a database with information about every file on your system. It gathers this information during the installation process, analyzes it, and arranges it for rapid retrieval.
Installation takes a is a disk-intensive process. It will run for several minutes on systems containing many files. Your screen will be updated throughout installation to keep you informed of AC's progress.
Two installation options are available.
AC Directory C:\AC
Adding AC to AUTOEXEC.BAT is highly recommended. It is only adds a few seconds to your boot process, and keeps AC's database updated.
Would you rather edit AUTOEXEC.BAT yourself?
Insert: C:\AC\AC start
Getting Started
Although AC is a text-based MSDOS program, every effort has been made to ensure its compatibility with Microsoft Windows. All of its tools and features can be used under MSDOS or Windows.
MSDOS is also recommended for installation.
If you are running Windows, press <Alt+F4> to exit now.
Insert your AC program disk in drive "A" then enter A:AC to install AC.
After AC has been installed you can begin to use it.
Reports are an essential part of the system and a good place to start.
Audit Companion includes several pre-defined reports which can be created easily. Let's try one of these, "Recent Files." This is a chronologically sorted listing of files which have been created or modified over the past two days.
Start at the Main Menu and make the following selections to create a "Recent File" report.
"File Reports"
"Recent Files"
AC reports are not just lists, because users can interact with each item on a report.
Double-click a file to view it. It will replace the report on the screen.
Text files are displayed normally, binary files display most characters, but some will displayed as spaces.
You can also perform a search on this file. <Control+F> starts a search and <F3> repeats it.
Press <Escape> when you want to return to the report.
Instead of viewing a file, you may want to add it to a "User List." A "User List" is simply a file which contains a list of file names. These can often be used by other software, such as backup and archiving programs. AC can also use these files. Either to view all the files on the list, or to search each of these files for text and binary data.
You should create a "User List" now, so you will have one to practice with later.
Right-click on any file name to add it to a list. Audit Companion will prompt you for a file name when you are finished viewing your report and ready to save your list. Please save your list before you continue.
Audit Companion offers users five destinations for the output of a report. Three of them, are standard. Users can send reports to the "Screen," a "Printer," or a "File." Let's examine the fourth destination now. It is a "Batch File" which allows users to process a list of files with an MSDOS command.
As you might have expected, it is time to create a batch file now.
You will start by creating another "Recent File" report, only this time you should select "Batch File" as your output destination.
AC has presented you with two different places to enter information. This is not an error, as you can see, they have different titles, "Before" and "After." Since this batch file is just an exercise, you should try entering two different words, one in each location, to see exactly how AC creates "Batch Files." For example if you entered "DIR" as your "Before" command, and "/W" as your "After" command, a sample line might appear as:
During actual usage, when creating these files, you would be entering a command line, exactly the way you enter it at an MSDOS prompt, but without a file name. Audit Companion will automatically insert the file names for you.
After you enter your command line, and click "OK," AC will request a name for your batch file. MSDOS requires these files to have a standard extension, or suffix, of ".BAT" for them to "run" on your computer. Therefore, if you enter a file name which does not contain any extension, AC will automatically add ".BAT" for you.
However if AC discovers a different extension, any extension at all, it will assume that you know what you are doing and it will not alter your name. An example ought to clarify AC's behavior for you.
If you attempted to save your batch file as "TEST" AC would automatically rename it "TEST.BAT" without requesting your approval.
However if you named your output file "TEST.TXT" with an extension of ".TXT" then AC would assume that you know what you are doing and not alter your name. In other words, AC is just trying to be helpful. When your select "Batch File" as an output destination, you can can omit the ".BAT" extension and it will automatically be added for you.
By now your file should hopefully have a name, and you can press "OK" and wait a few seconds for AC to create your batch file.
You can examine your report with AC's text browser. Audit Companion cannot edit or delete files, but it includes two handy file browsers, one for text files and one for "binary" files. AC automatically selects a browser for you based upon a file's content.
From the main menu, select "File" followed by "Open" and enter the file name. When the file is displayed you will see that each line of the file has a different file name between your "Before" and "After" commands.
Audit Companion's file browsers also recognize two commands. Press <Alt+B> to view text files as binary data. You can then press <Alt+T> to switch back to text mode. Please note that certain binary files, such as an executable program, cannot be viewed in text mode. If you were to press <Alt+T> while viewing these files, AC would just "beep" and stick with its binary viewer.
Press <Control+F> in either viewer to search a file for content. And press <Escape> in either viewer to exit the browser at anytime.
AC's binary viewer can view any file. It has been tested on binary files containing over fifty megabytes of data, which is probably larger than any file on your computer. It can be very useful when you want to examine a file which has been produced by other software, such as a word processor.
Audit Companion will let you see all the "control codes" that have been inserted by a word processor, so advanced users can understand, and possibly reproduce these files on their own, or even edit them with tools such as the "DEBUG" program which is included with MSDOS.
AC will search for file names, dates, or content. Find anything. Anywhere.
A File Name search understands two familiar "wildcard" characters.
? Matches one character
* Matches a group of characters
A Content search will recognize a "User List" if you precede its name with an ampersand (&)
Therefore, enter "&LIST" to search through all the files in "LIST"
This feature offers users the ability to combine a search with a report to quickly find data which might otherwise be "lost."
Here is one technique that anyone can use. "The International Widget Company" has just called you about a proposal you submitted last Summer. You do not remember the name of the file, or even the directory, but are sure that it is somewhere on your computer, and you know that it was created with a word processor.
Create a "date report" showing all the files which were created or modified during the appropriate time period, and try searching for a unique group of letters in the middle of a unique word that you are certain is part of this proposal.
Why the middle? Because word processors tend to modify the beginning and the end of words with control codes, but the middle should remain intact. So you might try searching through all the files in your list for content like "idge," "nternationa," or similar. You have an excellent chance of finding your file in a few seconds.
Other utility packages, like Norton Utilities, or PC Tools, might also be able to find your file. But they use a "brute force" technique which might take several hours. If it worked at all. But AC allows you to limit your search and even lets you reuse your "User List" if it was not successful during its initial attempt.
Follow these steps to practice using reports and lists together.
Select "Reports" from the main menu, and from the pre-defined reports, create a "File Size" report. Create a new "User List" from a few of the largest files on your computer. Exit the report, save your list, and conduct a content search for the word "Copyright" using the files in your list. Virtually all commercial software, should contain this word.
Keep in mind that AC's content searches are all "case insensitive." So a search for "Copyright" or "cOpYrIgHt" will yield identical results. Advanced users should find this particular search interesting because they will learn that many commercial software packages are built from parts, or "libraries" which were purchased from other companies. Try it and discover who really wrote that expensive software you bought!
And always remember that AC never modifies a file that it searches.
It is safe to use AC to search through any file on your computer.
You can even use AC to find "secret codes" in some games which some lazy programmer inserted verbatim, as alphanumeric text, in their executable files.
Congratulations! You just learned how to search for almost anything, anywhere on your computers. But that was simple. The next few sections will introduce you to some of AC's advanced features.
Would you like to repeat a search? Or browse through a file which required many keystrokes to retrieve?
Audit Companion includes its own programming language to automate these tasks.
You can use Audit Companion's macro language to record your keystrokes and mouse clicks. Then save your macro in a file and replay it anytime.
However macros do much more!
They can turn a report into a self-running "presentation" with comments and pauses. They can even play a tune.
Get to know macros. They are an extremely powerful tool.
Would you like your "presentation" to begin at a certain time?
Or would you like AC to exit at a certain time and optionally start another program?
Audit Companion includes an alarm which will display a message at the time you request.
Alarms can be used with quiet mode to run external programs after the alarm.
Audit Companion databases can be archived. Archiving saves the current database under a new name and replaces it with an "empty" database.
Archiving is never performed automatically, but it is easy to learn.
Create a new archive named "FEBWORK"
Use "FEBWORK" for Reports and Searches
Would you like to know what else AC can do?
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