The History of
GET-DIZ was first developed in 1992 during the RA 2.00 beta cycle, which was the version of RA that introduced the RA FileDataBase. At that time the FILE_ID.DIZ descriptions were new to the BBS world, and were only supported by PCBoard software. GET-DIZ was originally created just for my own personal use, to get the FILE_ID.DIZ descriptions into my BBS's filedatabase. It was a quick-and-dirty little utility I wrote in assembler one afternoon, and I had not planned on releasing it when I wrote it, as I assumed that by the time RA 2.00 was released it would handle FILE_ID.DIZ descriptions on it's own. Unfortunatly that was not the case, so in January 1993 I wrote the documintation (which took alot more time then actually writing GET-DIZ) and released GET-DIZ version 1.00.

I had not planned to release any further versions of GET-DIZ, but one of the other RA beta testers (David Gibbs) suggested that I allow GET-DIZ to use a universal archive extractor such as PolyXarc so that any archive type could be used. I personally only used zip archives on my board, but it was a good idea and took only a minute to implement it, so GET-DIZ 1.1 was released.

Soon afterwards I recieved complaints from several people that GET-DIZ would not run at all under 4DOS. It turned out that 4DOS was not compatible with the way that GET-DIZ was shelling to to perform a copy operation. After installing 4DOS on my system, I released GET-DIZ version 1.2, which was 4-DOS compatible.

A year went by, and I still recieved some complaints: People wanted to just process one archive under the cursor, but GET-DIZ was designed to to process all the files below the cursor as well. Another problem was that some FILE_ID.DIZ files contained a control-Z at the end of their description. Ctrl-Z is an "end-of-file" marker which some text editors add to the end of a document. GET-DIZ was not filtering these ctrl-Z from the descriptions it was importing, which would cause the file area listing to end before the last file is displayed. So in Febuary of 1994 I rewrote GET-DIZ for the last time. This version was smaller, faster, and filtered out any of those nasty control-Z characters. It also allowed processing just one file, or all the files below the cursor as the previous versions allowed.

Previous versions of GET-DIZ were freeware, but I desided to try an intresting marketing concept with 1.3, called beerware. I asked people to either drink a 6-pack of beer in honor of GET-DIZ, or at their option they could buy me a 6-pack of beer instead. Then they could send in the registration form, and they would be registered. Unfortunatly only a handfull of people bothered registering it, even though most RA sysops were using it at the time. This discoraged me a bit, so I desided not to continue it's development at that point.

Soon the GET-DIZ clones started appearing. One of the first ones that appeared was called "The Inquisitor" by Toby Marsh and was clearly a reverse-enginered copy of GET-DIZ with it's own keyboard stuffing routine added. This had a $10 registration and was crippled (only one file could be processed unless registered). Another GET-DIZ clone appeared called "IMP" by Christer Andreasson. At least this one was freeware. :-) My favorate GET-DIZ clone is LiveSystems "What-Is" by Gerhard Hoogturp. What-Is has more features then any of the other DIZ importers on the market.

I still use GET-DIZ on my BBS, even though I'm no longer running RA, I still use RAMGR and the RA Filedatabase under other BBS software. I also use a replacment for RAMGR called MagicList, which has it's own DIZ importer built-in to it.

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