What the heck are USER AREAS?
Understanding USER AREAS
For someone who grew up with MS-DOS, USER AREAS takes some time to get used to.
But wait, everything is actually quite simple and well thought out. In the DOS world one would say USER AREAS are a kind of subdirectories.
I made it very easy for myself and quoted from chapter 7.3 from "THE COMPLEAT KAYPRO". Everything has been said here.
The major difference between using a Kaypro 10 and either of the smaller models is the tremendous storage capacity. To keep yourself from going crazy when you try to find needed files, you will probably make extensive use of the
CP/M USER AREAcapability which is present in all CP/M systems (including the Kaypro II and IV), but is really only useful for a hard disk machine.
On the Kaypro 10, the hard disk is divided into two "logical areas' labelled drive A and drive B when the hard disk is booted, and drive B and drive C when the floppy disk is booted. The floppy disk constitutes a third logical area.
The hard disk and the floppy disk are also divided into fifteen "user areas." Thus the storage space on the Kaypro 10 is divided into 45 individual cells, each of which can be accessed individually (see ...). When you log onto a drive after a cold or warm boot, you always end up in the bottom row, user area 0, of the selected drive. You can spend your whole life working only in that bottom row (as is usually done with the Kaypro II or IV), or you can decide to organize your files so that specific types of programs are situated in specific cells.
When the Kaypro 10 is shipped out of the factory, the supplied software has already been placed in specific cells. The locations are shown in Figure ...
If you think for a moment, you can easily see why the cell structure is used to its fullest advantage on the Kaypro 10. Assume that the average software package is composed of roughly 100K of programs. On a Kaypro II this means that one or two such packages can fit on its 191K disks; and on a Kaypro IV this means that three to four packages might fit on its 390K disks. In such cases, segregating programs by user area is probably more trouble than it's worth, and the only time it is usually done is to keep some files out of public view since files not located in user area 0 will not appear when DIR is executed in the normal fashion.
Now think of the Kaypro 10. At 100K a package, this machine can store about 100 packages on its hard disk. Assuming even five programs a package, this means that the directory would include about 500 program listings if something wasn't done to organize this mess. By dividing up the hard disk into 30 cells (2 logical units times 15 user areas), the average size of each cell becomes about 330K, which means that an average of only three software packages with about 15 programs will appear when the directory of a given cell is listed.
You also should know that while the hard disk divides its capacity equally between the two logical units, assigning each 5 megabytes, there is no actual limit on the size of each user area. If you want to dump fifty packages consisting of 250 programs into user area 0, you are welcome to do so. Just don't be surprised when you get eye strain from locating the programs needed to do a given task. Obviously, a much better idea is to continue with the strategy which Kaypro has promoted with their software assignments: using specific cells for specific functions. [...]
from chapter 7.3: THE COMPLEAT KAYPRO, Steven Frankel, Reston Virginia, 1984
The following figure shows how I set up my USER AREAS on the Kaypro 10.
This structure is also supported by the so-called MASTER MENU (masmenu). But this is another story.