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"Two-for-One" (WMatch32 and CaseRename)

by Alan German

I really like utility programs. Always have. There are always tasks which the operating system, and the associated accessory software, either can’t do at all, or doesn’t do very efficiently. This situation provides the niche in which the clever programming chappies can work their magic and come to rescue of we mere mortals. 

My recent application has been managing a web site with over 200 individual files, most of which are HTML code, and many of which are frequently being updated. I actually do keep frequent backups of all this material -- (gasp!) -- every time files change, for which I use floppy disks. I also switch the files between my machine at home, my machine at work, occasionally a laptop computer, and the previously mentioned floppy backup disks. Furthermore, I use a mix of Windows 95 and Windows NT file utilities, and DOS copy commands. Thus, there are lots of opportunities for files to get out of synch, and their names certainly switch case with monotonous regularity (which is a problem with a case-sensitive web server!) 

So, here’s one situation where two small utility programs come in very handy… 


In the good old days I used PC Magazine’s DOS-based utility, DirMatch , with its two-panel view, to synchronize files in two directories. Eventually, I switched to WMatch -- the GUI successor to DirMatch. This program works just fine -- until it encounters long file names. At this point the insidious tilde character enters the fray, and essentially it’s game over! 

To avoid such trauma, I have steadfastly maintained a file system with 8.3 file names and extensions. But, all good things must come to an end. I recently discovered how to develop on-line, server-side processed forms. The downside is that my ISP insists that the associated code files must have a .shtml extension, so I’m now stuck using long filenames - like it or not. 

Fortunately, PC Magazine came to the rescue with the release of a 32 bit version of WMatch which, among other features handles long file name with no difficulty (no tildes!) 

Installation is simple. Unpack the archive (ZIP file) into a specific directory, and create a desktop shortcut to the executable file. There are no registry entries, no DLLs scattered across the disk, just a ready-to-run file system. 

Similarly, operation is simplicity itself. Disk and file directory selection is through a Windows-Explorer like menu. Two selected directories are displayed side by side with options to compare All Files, Different Files, or Alike Files. Individual files can be tagged, or one check box will tag all displayed files, in the selected window. Tagged files can be deleted, copied or moved to the other window. Thus the backup task is easy -- simply copy all the "different" files from the working directory on the hard drive to the backup floppy disk. 

There are a couple of nice new features of the 32-bit version of WMatch (over the operation of the earlier 16-bit program). Directory selection is made with a single mouse click, rather than having to double click. Also, the program continues working normally when the floppy disk is switched. In the earlier version, in this situation, the program was unable to read the new disk’s directory structure. 


As noted, the use of multiple machines and different operating systems can lead to changes in the case of file names -- with files appearing in lower case, upper case, and even first character as upper case, depending on the application accessing the file. One seems to be able to resolve this problem by going down the list of files in Windows Explorer and over-typing the leading capital letter with the equivalent lower case character in rename-mode. With dozens of such files spread through a directory of hundreds of files this isn’t a welcome proposition! 

Chris Taylor, OPCUG’s all-knowing SYSOP, came to the rescue by suggesting a couple of utility programs which change the case of filenames automatically. In my view, the slickest of the two is CaseRename. 

Like WMatch32, installation consists of unpacking the archive to a directory on the hard drive and creating an appropriate shortcut (my preferred method of file startup). Operation is intuitive. Running the program (written and compiled in Borland Delphi 3.0) creates a three-panel box on the screen. The middle panel is marked "make lowercase". Drag a bunch of file onto this panel and their file names in the original directory are quickly changed to all lower case characters. My kind of software! 

Bottom Line:

WMatch32 (Freeware)
PC Magazine, November 7, 1995
Author: Michael Mefford
Revised for 32-bit Windows by Neil J. Rubenking

CaseRename (Freeware)
Version 1.3
Author: Kjetil L. Nygård

Originally published: October, 1999

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