Quasar reads a list of data names (from the standard input device 5) to be extracted from the STAR archive file. This is referred to as the "request" list or file. This file also contains the names of the data blocks to be searched, and the names of the archive and output file (these are specified as extensions to "star_arc_" and "star_out_" respectively). If the archive and output files are not specified they are assumed to have the filenames "STARIN" and "STAROT". Requested data items are output in the order requested. The same data item may be requested up to five times. The archive file can be checked for logical integrity by entering the string "star_log" into the request list. No data items will be output in this case.
Quasar allows for "wild card" requests for data names. A data name request containing a trailing underline is a request for all data names matching the string preceding the underline. The request for "_" will return all data items in the specified data block. Data names are case insensitive.