NoBlink Accelerator, by Robert Adamson

Summary | How to use | Download | Known problems | Non-blinking Windows

A utility that creates a nonblinking cursor in DOS

NoBlink Accelerator 5.3, originally written in 1984-1989 by Robert Adamson, is a DOS-based memory-resident utility that creates a nonblinking block cursor instead of the standard blinking cursor. It runs under all versions of DOS, and works in DOS windows and full-screen DOS-boxes in Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, and OS/2, and in the similar command windows and full-screen command environments in Windows NT 3.x and 4.0, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP (all versions).

Mr. Adamson has generously permitted NoBlink Accelerator to be distributed as freeware from this site; he retains full copyright in the program, and it may not be modified or sold without his permission.

The program was originally written for a company called Nostradamus. Mr. Adamson retained all rights to the program when Nostradamus became Instant Replay, which in turn became ClearSand Corporation, the maker of MediaForge (originally developed by Mr. Adamson) and other innovative graphic software.

How to use

NoBlink Accelerator is a memory-resident (TSR) program that occupies 7,264 bytes of memory and can be loaded into high memory. It has no effect on the Windows cursor, and works only in DOS and in DOS windows. You will probably want to to make it available at all times when you use the DOS command line, and in all character-based DOS applications. To do this under DOS or Windows 95 or 98, run NoBlink in the autoexec.bat file. Under Windows NT, 2000, or XP, run NoBlink in the autoexec.nt file found in the System32 folder underneath the main Windows folder. Under Windows Me, run NoBlink from the cmdinit.bat file usually found in the c:\windows\command directory.

A typical command to run the program looks like this:

nbtsr /a /F1 /!

To run the program in high memory, and thereby make more room for applications, use the DOS lh (or loadhigh) command, like this:

lh nbtsr /a /F1 /!

These are the available command-line switches; all of them are optional:

/a [-/z] sets the color of the nonblinking cursor; in monochrome mode, only /a and /b are available
/F1 [-/F4] adjusts cursor movement speed; /F1 is normal; /F4 is fastest; set to /F1 if the cursor moves too quickly in modern computers
/! uses high-intensity colors for cursors /q through /z; experiment for best results
/& increases keyboard typematic rate from 10 to 30 characters per second
/}## sets DOS foreground color; ## is a number from 1 to 14
/{## sets DOS background color; ## is a number from 1 to 14

When the program is resident, you can toggle between the NoBlink cursor and the normal, blinking cursor by pressing Ctrl-Shift-5. You can also toggle between the NoBlink and normal cursors in a batch file by running the supplied programs, BLINKOFF.COM and BLINKON.COM.

To change program options while NoBlink is resident, open the NoBlink control panel by pressing Ctrl-Shft-4. The control panel displays the available cursor colors and provides other options to change the shape of the cursor (F5/F6), change cursor speed (F1 through F4), or blank the screen (3). Other options change foreground and background colors and related screen features; some of these features work slightly differently in full-screen DOS and in partial-screen Windows DOS boxes. Experiment for best results. (The options marked "Super VGA Solid," "VGA Clear," and "VGA Blink" apply only to Video Seven Super VGA cards, which have been obsolete for years.)

The cursor color can be changed from the command line or a batch file by running the supplied program NBCURSOR.EXE. The command syntax is:

nbcursor a

where "a" can be replaced by any other letter.

A summary of program options is available at any time by entering

nbtsr /?

Downloading and installing

Users of this program are expected to understand basic DOS concepts; no technical help of any kind will be provided, and Robert Adamson is not liable in any way for any damage or other effects that this program may have on your system. Keep in mind that in the fifteen years that the program has been available, no one has ever reported any harmful effects of any kind.

NBZIP.EXE is a self-extracting ZIP archive containing NBTSR.COM, NBCURSOR.EXE, BLINKOFF.COM, BLINKON.COM, and NOBLINK.TXT (a text version of this file). Save the archive to your hard disk, move it to the directory in which you want to install NoBlink, and run it. Then modify your autoexec.bat file and other batch files as suggested above.

Known (minor) problems

Because of the nature of DOS and Intel-based computer hardware, it is impossible for any program like NoBlink Accelerator to work perfectly with every combination of hardware and software.

You may find that the non-blinking cursor sometimes disappears in WordPerfect for DOS (especially in monochrome mode); the NoBlink cursor can be restored by pressing Ctrl-Shift-5 twice. NoBlink also sometimes makes the cursor invisible in programs that incorporate a text editor supplied in various Borland programming tools from the late 1980s. (The obsolete TapCis program is one example.)

Different video chips emulate the IBM VGA standard differently, and if you use a Matrox card (or any other card that uses the Oak VGA chip for basic VGA functions), you may find that NoBlink causes WordPerfect for DOS not to highlight blocked text in monochrome mode. Most other video chips do not have this problem.

If you discover any other problems, please notify Edward Mendelson at em36+at+columbia+dot+edu. Please use the word "NoBlink" in the subject field. The problem will not be fixed, but other users can at least be warned about it.

Non-blinking Windows

Under Windows XP (and other recent versions), you can turn off the blinking "insertion point" by going to the Windows Control Panel, choosing the Keyboard control panel, and, on the Speed tab, change the Cursor Blink Rate to "none."

Under Windows 95 and 98 (and possibly Windows Me, although I have not tested this) you can turn off the blinking cursor by making a change in the Windows registry and then restarting Windows. Instructions for making the change are available on Microsoft's web site, or you can download this registry file that turns off the blink. When the registry file has been downloaded to your disk, right-click on it; select Merge; then restart Windows. To restore the default insertion point blink rate in Windows 95 or 98, you can download this registry file that turns on the blink and restores it to its default rate. When the registry file has been downloaded to your disk, right-click on it; select Merge; then restart Windows.

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