Dec 262017
 
Official release of MegaReader ver 2.10 - now handles .QWK packets in addition to the MegaMail format. Has internal editor or use external.
File MEGAR210.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category BBS Files
Official release of MegaReader ver 2.10 – now handles .QWK packets in addition to the MegaMail format. Has internal editor or use external.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
DOORS.LST 33365 10452 deflated
EXPORT.BAT 90 83 deflated
IMPORT.BAT 94 87 deflated
MEGAREAD.DOC 164998 39506 deflated
MEGAREAD.EXE 282586 122864 deflated
PACKING.LST 567 280 deflated
READER.REG 1250 546 deflated
UPGRADE.DOC 441 258 deflated
WHATS.NEW 4092 1709 deflated

Download File MEGAR210.ZIP Here

Contents of the MEGAREAD.DOC file



















The MegaMail(tm) Reader
Copyright 1990, 1991 by Kip Compton
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Documentation for Version 2.1






























MegaMail(tm) is a trademark of Kip Compton.
This document and the program it describes are Copyright 1990,
1991 by Kip Compton, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.







2

Table of Contents


License Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Registering Your Reader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Special Thanks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

The MegaMail System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Note to Mouse Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

A Note about the "Pick Lists" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Installing the MegaMail Reader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Configuring Your Reader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
The Directories Category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
The PKZIP Category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
The Screen Display Category . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
The Message Handling Category . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
The Entering Messages Category . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Quick Scan Category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Miscellaneous Category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

The MegaMail Cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Use with the MegaMail Door . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Use with "QWK Standard" Doors . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Reading Mail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
The Statistics Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Help Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Viewing ANSI Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Leaving Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
The Enter Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Tag Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Deleting Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Editing Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Using an External Spell Checker . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Switching Between Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Printing and Saving Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
"Reverse" Threading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Zooming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
About The Personal Read Flags . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
"Another Reader" Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Quoting Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Quick Scan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
BBS/Conf/Thread Listing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Tagged Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Searching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38







3

Command Line Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Repairing and Purging Mail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Reading Bulletins, News, and New Files . . . . . . . . . . 45

Using John Hancock with MegaMail . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Receiving Files from QMail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Colors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

DOS Hotkeys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Keyboard Macros . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Appendix A : Summary of Available Commands . . . . . . . . 51

Appendix B : "Variables" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58







4



License Agreement

The MegaMail(tm) Reader ("The Software") is COPYRIGHT 1990, 1991
by Kip Compton, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

You may not engage in, nor permit third parties to engage
in, any of the following :

A) Making alterations of any kind in the software.

B) ATTEMPTING TO DISASSEMBLE, DECOMPILE, OR REVERSE
ENGINEER THE SOFTWARE OR THE FILES IT GENERATES IN
ANY WAY.

C) Granting sub-licenses, lease or other rights in
the software to others.


The author of the software grants you a license to use this
software as long as you meet the above conditions. Any violation
of the above conditions will result in the termination of your
license to use this software. Upon termination of this license
for any reason, you must stop using the software and destroy all
copies of it in your possession immediately. In addition, the
author reserves the right to cancel your license to use this
software at any time for any reason that he sees fit. The author
of this software is not liable for damages suffered as a result
of the improper use, proper use, or inability to use this
software. This type of disclaimer is prohibited by law in some
states, and is therefore void in those states.







5

Registering Your Reader

The MegaMail Reader is distributed as "Shareware." This
means that the reader is distributed freely to whoever wants
it, without charge, for a trial period. After you have used
the reader for a reasonable trial period (2 to 4 weeks is
normal), you should assess how much the reader is worth to
you. If the reader is worth something to you and you intend
to continue using it, you should register it. Registering
the reader ensures that there will be continued support and
new versions of the Reader. In addition, registered users
of the reader are given help before unregistered users when
seeking support.

The MegaMail Reader costs $20 to register. A file
READER.REG is included with the reader. To register your
reader, print out the READER.REG file and fill it in. Send
the completed form, along with a $20 check or money order
made out to Kip Compton, to

Kip Compton
P.O. Box 206
MIT Branch
Cambridge, MA 02139

Within a few weeks, you will receive a disk mailer in the
mail with your registered reader in it. The latest version
of the reader will always be sent. Your new registered
reader will not have the initial screen that is present on
the unregistered version.

If you have questions about your order, you may call our BBS
(The CONNECT 19.2 BBS) at (703) 690-7361. Note: You cannot
order on-line, the BBS is only for support.


About the Author

The author of this program (and its documentation) is Kip
Compton. Kip lives outside Washington, DC, where he
attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
Technology. Kip is currently a student at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in Boston. Kip has been producing
shareware and commercial software for four years. Kip is
also the author of PCRelay, a very popular BBS networking
software. Kip has run the CONNECT 19.2 BBS since 1986; its
number is (703) 690-7361.

Special Thanks

While countless people have helped with the debugging of the
MegaMail reader, the following people deserve special thanks







6

for their dedication and time: Dane Beko, Jim Hanoian, Jack
Howard, Leonard Hult, Bill Hunt, David Jones, Jordan Klein,
Ken Manuel, Mark May, Dan Moore, Bob Moss, Andreas Scheen,
Ron Simonton, Kazys Vasaitis, and Chris Waters. In
particular, Ron Simonton has been responsible for much of
the organization of the entire beta testing cycle. Without
each of these dedicated individuals, MegaMail would not be
where it is today.


The MegaMail System

The MegaMail System allows you to download and upload mail
to and from BBSs. The MegaMail Reader works with the
MegaMail Door and/or .QWK compatible doors (such as QMail,
MarkMail, and Tomcat!) to form a complete and powerful mail
manipulation system. You can download your mail from any
BBS using the a mail door and then use your reader to read
and reply to that mail. Your replies are then uploaded back
to the BBS using the door.

Why would you want to go to the trouble of using the
MegaMail System? The biggest advantage of the system is the
time you will save on-line. Instead of logging on to a BBS
and spending an hour reading mail, you can download your
mail and upload your responses in just a few minutes. This
convenience is especially desirable if you do long distance
calling!

In addition, MegaMail can be a blessing if you like to play
on-line games -- with MegaMail, you'll have time to explore
the BBS and participate in the message bases as well!

Another advantage that only the MegaMail System offers is a
consistent user interface. Since the MegaMail Door uses our
exclusive UTI technology, it is compatible with a wide
variety of BBS software. This allows you to use the
MegaMail Reader with virtually any BBS you call regardless
of the software that particular BBS is using. You use the
same commands to read and reply to your mail on all the
BBS's you call, thus saving you hours of learning time. In
addition, since the MegaMail reader supports the popular
".QWK Standard", you can use it with BBS's running the
Tomcat!, QMail, and MarkMail doors as well!

While it is marvelous to have a consistent interface, the
MegaMail Reader is also powerful, incorporating searching
algorithms usually reserved only for advanced databases.
These sophisticated techniques allow you to view your mail
in the particular manner that you wish. If you wish, you
can read the mail on a conference by conference basis, or
subject by subject. You can read your personal messages







7

first and then go back and read the rest of the mail. You
can even read all of the mail from or to a particular user
no matter which BBS or what conference the message was left
in!







8

Another important advantage of the MegaMail reader over
other readers is its ability to keep mail in the reader.
With other readers, you can only read the mail in the one
particular "packet" that you have in the reader. Thanks to
it's sophisticated database design, you can read mail from
any packet with the MegaMail Reader, making it much easier
to refer back to previous messages!

The MegaMail user interface is very user friendly. Instead
of complex, remote BBS menus and cryptic commands, you
select functions from easy to use bar menus. When entering
messages, you use a full featured screen-oriented text
editor instead of the usual BBS's cryptic line-oriented
editor. The MegaMail Reader even has built-in mouse support
for those who prefer to use a mouse!


Note to Mouse Users

The MegaMail reader contains a consistent mouse user
interface for those of you who prefer to use a mouse. The
mouse can be used to select options from either the menus or
lists, and is also available while editing messages. In
addition, the right mouse button functions as the Esc key,
while the left mouse button functions as the ENTER key.

In addition, many lists (ie, of conferences or BBSs) have
"scroll bars" on the right border of the windows. These
scroll bars can be used to move quickly through the lists
using your mouse.


A Note about the "Pick Lists"

"Pick Lists" are bar-menu screens that list items such as
BBSs or conferences. Whenever you are selecting an item
from one of these lists, you can search for a particular
item by typing the first few letters of the item you are
searching for. For example, if you were searching for the
"Unix" conference from a long list of conferences, you could
type UNI and it would probably be found.

Note that you can continue to add letters until the actual
item you want is highlighted. As you type, matching letters
will appear in the lower left hand corner of the listing.







9

Installing the MegaMail Reader

Unzip the MegaMail reader .ZIP file into a subdirectory that
you have created for your reader. It may be called anything
that you wish. The ZIP file will contain the following
files:

MEGAREAD.EXE
MEGAREAD.DOC
READER.REG
IMPORT.BAT
EXPORT.BAT
PACKING.LST
(additional files may be included; see PACKING.LST for
details)

Other programs that you will need to use this reader:

PKZIP.EXE
PKUNZIP.EXE

ZMODEM Communication Protocol

ZMODEM is necessary because the MegaMail Door of the BBS
that you will be calling only handles ZMODEM file transfers
at this time. Of course, if you plan to use the reader with
.QWK doors, you will need to have whatever communications
protocol they are using available so that you can upload and
download mail packets to the door.


Configuring Your Reader

Execute MEGAREAD.EXE. The first thing you will see is:

+================================+
| BBS Read Utilities |
+------------+---------------+-------------------+
| Repair/Purge | Required |
| Edit Macro | Direc+--------------------+
| Configuration | PKZIP| Upload Directory |
| Tag Lines | Scree| Download Directory |
| Colors | Messa| Work Directory |
| DOS Shell | Enter| PKZIP Path |
+---------------| Quick| PKUNZIP Path |
| Misce+--------------------+
+-------------------+







10

The configuration options are divided into several different
categories so that you can easily find the options that you
are looking for. Since you don't have a configuration yet,
the reader has automatically put you into the special
REQUIRED category. The required category has all of the
configuration options that must be configured for proper
operation of the reader. All of the rest of the options are
for fine-tuning the reader's operation to your own
preferences.

Each option is configurable for your particular setup. You
may choose the option you wish to configure by moving the
highlight bar, using the up and down arrow keys, to that
option. Then press the ENTER key to change it.

Since the reader will automatically find the path for PKZIP,
PKUNZIP and your work directory, the only fields that you
must configure yourself are the upload and download
directories.

Most of the options in the configuration are there simply to
allow you to customize the reader, and you can always come
back later to alter any of these options.

The upload and download directories may be different
directories or the same directory. The download directory
specifies the directory where the reader will look in order
to find the file you downloaded from the MegaMail Door on
the BBS you called. The upload directory is the directory
where the reader will put the file that you will upload to
the MegaMail door. These directories should be configured
to be the same directories that your communications program
looks for a file to upload and places a downloaded file. If
you're not sure what these directories are, you should
probably set them both to be the subdirectory where your
communications program is located.


The Directories Category

The directories category has all of the directory paths that
the reader needs to function. These include your upload
directory, download directory, and a work directory for the
reader to use. To change the options, simply highlight the
option that you want to change and press the enter key. You
will be prompted for a new directory at the bottom of the
screen. For descriptions of these categories, see above.

In addition to the upload, download, and work directories,
the directory category includes a Swap Directory, .QWK
"Stuff" directory, and an External Editor directory.







11

The Swap directory is the location where the reader will
place it's swap file if you have the reader configured to
swap to disk when it shells out to DOS. The reader will
automatically fill in this directory for you, but if you
have a ram disk, you may wish to put it's root directory (or
other directory) as the swap directory. To work
successfully, your ram disk will need approximately 300k of
free space available when you shell out.

The .QWK "Stuff" directory is the directory that the reader
will use to store news, welcome screens, and bulletins from
"QWK Standard" mail doors. The default value for this
directory is the directory QWKSTUFF directly under the
directory that the reader is installed in.

The External Editor directory is the directory where the
reader writes out quoted text and expects to find entered
text from the external editor. If you plan to use an
external editor and have a RAM disk available, specifying a
directory on your RAM disk will improve performance when
shelling out to your external editor.


The PKZIP Category

The PKZIP Category allows you to define how the reader uses
PKZIP and PKUNZIP. You can define the full paths to both
PKZIP and PKUNZIP, and whether the reader will swap to DISK
or EMS when it invokes PKZIP or PKUNZIP.


The Screen Display Category

Exploding windows are windows which "explode" open instead
of just appearing. Noisy windows are exploding windows that
make a noise as they explode. Both of these options are
simply personal preference, and you may wish to try out
different combinations to see what you like best. To turn
these features on or off, move the bar to that option and
press the enter key. When you press the enter key, the
value will change.

The Personal Beeper option beeps when a message addressed to
you is shown. Many people like this as it "marks" messages
addressed to them and aids in quickly reading through
hundreds of messages without missing any addressed to them.

The header line option controls whether a line is displayed
between the message header and the message text. To change
the option, simply highlight it and press the enter key.







12


The stats display option controls whether message base
statistics are displayed on the bottom of the screen while
reading mail. You can toggle this option on the fly while
you are reading mail.


The Message Handling Category

The Messages From You are Read option allows you to have
mail that you left (ie FROM YOU) marked read when it is
imported. This keeps you from having to read mail that you
left over again.

The reader also has a "door text in message" option. Each
time you use the MegaMail Door, the door sends you a listing
of what it did, along with any warnings about what didn't
get done. If this option is turned on, the listing from the
door is placed into a regular message instead of being
displayed when mail is imported into the reader.

The (NEW) Mail Marked as Read option controls whether mail
you enter in the reader is marked as read in the reader.
Usually you will want this option on so that you don't have
to read mail that you entered.

The Form Feed on Printed Messages option will automatically
append a form feed to each message that you print from
inside the reader. This is particularly useful if you have
a laser printer since they don't eject the page until a form
feed is sent, and it has the effect of putting each message
on its own page on a regular printer.

The Read by BBS/Conf/Thread option will cause the
BBS/Conf/Thread Listing to pop up whenever the conference or
BBS changes, thus letting you know when you are moving from
conference to conference. Some people like to have this
option turned on, some like it turned off -- it is purely a
matter of preference.

The Kill Exported Mail option will automatically kill mail
after it is successfully uploaded to the BBS. This option
is usually desirable since you will download the mail you
exported the next time you connect with the BBS.

The Protect (NEW) Mail Option automatically marks new mail
that you enter in the reader as being 'Permanent,'
preventing you from accidently deleting it before uploading
it. This option works well with the Kill Exported Mail
option and is usually desirable.







13

The Entering Messages Category

The quoting prefix is the character(s) that will precede
each line of quoted material. Quoting allows you to copy or
cite text from prior messages when you are entering new
ones. If you are not sure about this option, leave it set
to the default and you can come back later and change it.
You should not make your quoting prefix more than a few
characters. If your quoting prefix is too long, you will
lose characters at the end of each line of text you quote.
If you would like to have the initials of the person who
wrote the text you are quoting to be in your prefix, simply
put $I (dollar-sign upper case I) where you want the
initials to appear. The reader will automatically replace
the $I with the initials when you quote text.

The Move after Reply option controls whether the reader
automatically moves to the next message after you reply to a
message. This option is purely a matter of preference and
you can always come back and change it later.

The autoindent option controls whether the internal editor
starts in autoindent mode or not. Once again, this option
is purely a matter of preference, and you can change it at
any time by coming back to this menu.

The right margin option controls where the internal editor
word-wraps messages that you enter. By default it is 67.
The largest allowable value is 72, the maximum width of a
message text line. It is suggested that this value be kept
a few characters under 72 so that when people quote messages
you enter fewer characters are lost.

The external editor option allows you to define an external
editor (such as QEdit or WordPerfect) for use with your
reader. The editor you choose must be able to work with
ASCII text files. Before shelling out to the external
editor, the reader generates two files. The first file,
REFER.TXT, contains the entire text of the message that you
are replying to, with the quoting prefix placed at the
beginning of each line. The second file, MESSAGE.TXT, is
the file which you should save your message text to. (It
may also contain quoted text if you are using the auto-quote
feature.) An example configuration for Qedit might be "Q
MESSAGE.TXT REFER.TXT".

The Swap to External Editor option controls whether the
reader swaps to DISK/EMS when executing the external editor.
If you are using a large external editor such as WordPerfect
or a editor that requires a lot of memory, you should set
this option to YES. If your editor will work in less memory
(for example Qedit), then you should set this option to NO







14

because the reader will be able to execute the external
editor faster if it does not have to swap.

The Header in REFER.TXT option controls whether the message
header is included along with the text of the message that
you are replying to in the REFER.TXT file. This option is
purely a matter of personal preference, and you can always
come back and change it.

The Suppress Tag Lines option, which is only available to
registered users, allows you to disable the tag line option
on your reader. You may want to do this in order to use a
third-party tag line generator, or you may want to do this
because you do not like having the MegaMail Reader tag line
on each of your messages. (This option does not effect the
tag lines on messages you download -- only on the new
messages that you enter and upload.)

The Define Spell Checker option allows you to define an
external spell checker for use with the internal editor.
Before executing the spell checker, the reader generates a
file MESSAGE.TXT which contains the text of the message
currently being edited. After the spell checker has been
run, the reader reads this text file back in and replaces
the text that was being edited with it. A popular and
excellent choice for an external spell checker is ShareSpell
by Acropolis Software. If you are using ShareSpell, your
configuration should be "SS MESSAGE.TXT".

The Spell Checker Swaps option controls whether the reader
swaps to DISK/EMS when executing the external spell checker.
Once again, if your spell checker will run with this option
set to No, you should keep it set to No because the Spell
Checker will be executed faster because the reader does not
have to swap to DISK/EMS. However, many spell checkers
require a lot of memory, and if this is the case with yours,
you should set this to YES so that your spell checker will
have enough memory to run in.


Quick Scan Category

The Format String for the Quick Scan controls what the Quick
Scan displays and how it displays it. You have complete
control over what information is included in a Quick Scan
and where it is displayed through the Quick Scan format
String. Basically, the way it works is that the reader
replaces certain "variables" with their values when it
displays the quick scan lines. It leaves the rest of the
format string as it is. Here are the variables:







15


$BBS = BBS message came from/is going to
$CONF = Conference
$NUM = Message Number
$REF = Message's Reference Number
$DATE = Message's Date
$TIME = Message's Time
$PRIV = Is the msg private? (ie, Y or N)
$READ = is the msg read (ie, Y or N)
$ECHO = Echo Message on Network? (ie, Y or N)
$PERM = Is the msg permanent (ie, Y or N)
$EXPORT = Export this message to bbs? (ie, Y or N)
$IMPDATE = Imported Date of message
$PREAD = Personal Read flag on msg (ie, Y or N)
$FROM = Author of message
$TO = Addressee of message
$SUBJ = subject of message.
$TAG = check mark if tagged, a space otherwise.
$SYSTIME = System time (ie current time of day)
$SYSDATE = System date (ie current date)


All of these "variables" must be followed by a : and a
length specifier. for example:

$SUBJ:15

would be the first 15 characters of the subject. If you
leave off a length specifier all together (ie, no : or
number), the variable will be ignored.

To give you an idea of how this works, here is the default
Quick Scan Format String:

$TAG:1$BBS:10 $CONF:10 $SUBJ:15 $FROM:20 $TO:20

Note that you can put anything you wanted in it:

$BBS:10$CONF:10$SUBJ:15$FROM:20$TO:20

would give you vertical lines between the fields instead of
spaces. Note that these "variables" are valid in DOS
hotkeys, Tag lines, and keyboard macros as well. One
limitation of the quick scan format string is that there
must be a separating character (ie, a space or a vertical
bar, or whatever) between the metastrings that are
substituted for. Failure to have a separating character
will probably cause your machine to lock up when you enter
the quick scan.







16


The Anti-Skid Operation option causes the keyboard not to
"skid" during the quick scan. Generally, if you have a
slower machine, it is good to set this option on, but
otherwise it is a good idea to leave it turned off. You can
always come back and change these options by coming back to
this menu.

The Tagging Advances option controls whether the highlight
bar moves to the next item on the quick scan menu when you
press the space bar to tag an item.


Miscellaneous Category

Delete Default defines whether the default when you press
Alt-K (kill a message) is "Yes" - delete or "No" - don't
delete. Beginning users will probably want this default to
be set at No, thereby not allowing message deletion just by
pressing the Enter key and saving you from deleting a
message by mistake. More advanced users will probably want
this option to be yes as this allows you to more easily
delete messages. This option is a matter of personal taste,
and again you can change it at any time.

The Auto Unread Scan option allows you to have the reader
automatically scan for unread mail. If turned on, the
reader will start in a scan mode showing only those messages
that you have not read. (See the section on Searching for
details.) This option is a matter of personal taste, and as
you can change it later.

The Auto Import/Export option controls whether the reader
automatically manages the Importing and Exporting for you.
It is highly recommended that you leave this option at YES.

Use EMS when swapping controls whether the reader tries to
use EMS memory instead of disk when swapping to execute a
program. You should leave this option at YES unless you
observe unusual behavior when you execute external programs
such as your spell checker or external editor. Swapping to
EMS memory is much faster than swapping to disk, so it is to
your advantage to leave this option at YES.

The DOS Shell Swaps controls whether the Alt-D "anywhere"
DOS shell swaps to EMS/Disk. This proper setting for this
option depends on a variety of things, including what you
generally do in your DOS shell and how much EMS memory you
have. You can always come back and change this option by
coming back to this menu.







17

The Hide Work Directory option controls whether the reader
"hides" its work directory by deleting it when it is done
with it or not. In general you should leave this option at
Yes because it makes your directory structure a little
simpler because the work directory is not there.

The Text File Viewer option allows you to specify an
external program (such as LIST) for viewing bulletins, news
files, and welcome screens from "QWK Standard" mail doors.
The default value for this option is blank, which causes the
reader to use its own internal text file viewer.

The Text File Viewer Swaps option allows you to control
whether the reader swaps itself to disk or EMS memory when
it shells out to the external Text File Viewer. For optimal
performance, you should leave this option set to "No" unless
your external text filer viewer runs out of memory when you
shell to it.

The Keep .QWK Contents option allows you to control whether
the reader keeps the "contents" (news, welcome screens,
bulletins, etc) of the .QWK packet for viewing. If you
don't plan to ever read bulletins, news files, or welcome
screens, you can set this option to "No" to save time and
disk space.

The Generate Empty .REPs option controls whether the
automatic import/export system generates empty .REP files.
Normally, you would not want the reader to generate a .REP
file if there were no messages to be uploaded. However, if
you are writing scripts or batch files that assume that
there is a .REP file, you can set this option to "Yes" so
that there is always a .REP file, even if it is empty.

The Ask if U/Led .REPs option controls whether, on startup,
the reader asks if you have uploaded .REPs that remain in
the upload directory. If the automatic import/export system
sees a .QWK file from the BBS, it assumes that you uploaded
the .REP file for that BBS. This option controls the
reader's behavior if there is a .REP file but no .QWK file.
If this option is set to "Yes", then the reader asks you if
you uploaded the .REP file. If this option is set to "No",
the reader assumes that, since there is no .QWK file, you
did not upload the .REP file. It is suggested that you
leave this option turned on (ie Yes).

The Delete QWKStuff Directory option controls whether the
reader tries to delete the QWKSTUFF directory (the directory
where news, bulletins, welcome screens, etc. are kept from
.QWK packets) when the reader exits. If this option is on,
the reader will ask you upon exiting the reader if you want
to delete the files in the QWKSTUFF directory.







18

The MegaMail Cycle

The MegaMail system consists of two programs: the MegaMail
Door (or any "QWK Standard" mail door) and the MegaMail
Reader. The mail door runs on BBS systems and actually gets
the mail from the BBS's message bases and places the new
mail into the BBS's message bases. The MegaMail Reader runs
on the user's machine and allows the user to read the mail
that has been downloaded from the mail door:


BBSID.DL or BBSID.QWK
Messages and Conference Information
+----------+ ===>===>====>===>====>====>===> +----------+
| Mail | | MegaMail |
| Door | The MegaMail Cycle | Reader |
| | | |
+----------+ <====<===<===<====<====<====== +----------+
(BBS) New Mail and Conference Selections
(User)
BBSID.UL or BBSID.REP

Procedures for using the MegaMail Reader with the MegaMail
Door and with "QWK Standard" doors are slightly different.
Below, there are two sections, one for using the reader with
the MegaMail door, and one for using the reader with "QWK
Standard" doors such as MarkMail, QMail, or Tomcat!


Use with the MegaMail Door

Each BBS that is running the MegaMail door has a "BBSID." A
BBSID consists of letters and numbers, and may be up to 8
characters long. To find out what the BBS ID of the bbs(s)
that you wish to use MegaMail with, ask the sysop or open
the door. The door will show you what the BBSID of the BBS
is and then expect you to upload a BBSID.UL file. If you do
not have a BBSID.UL file, you should press Control-X until
you are returned to the BBS.

Once you know the BBSID of the board you will be calling,
you should run the reader and add the BBSID to the reader.
This is done by selecting BBS from the main menu:

+--------------------------------+
| BBS Read Utilities |
+--------------------------------+







19


You will be presented with a pull-down menu:

+--------------------------------+
| BBS Read Utilities |
+-+----------------------+-------+
| Conferences |
| News/Bulletins/Files |
| Reset |
| Export |
| Import |
| Add |
| Delete |
| Exit |
+----------------------+

As you might expect, you want to select Add from the menu.
You will then be prompted for the ID of the BBS to add.
Type in the BBS that you want to add to the reader. Then,
leave the reader by hitting Escape and the reader should
automatically make a new ".UL" file for you.

The reader and door work with two different types of files.
The first type of file, a ".UL" file, is the file that the
reader makes and you upload to the door. (UL stands for
UpLoad.) ".DL" files are the files that the door generates
that you download (DL stands for DownLoad). Assuming that
you leave the automatic import/export option turned on (the
default), the reader will automatically take care of your
.DL and .UL files for you. All you have to do is upload the
.UL file to the door and download the .DL file from the
door. It is STRONGLY recommended that you leave the
automatic import/export option turned on. The process of
generating a .UL file to send to the BBS is called
"Exporting" from the reader, and the process of reading the
.DL file into the reader is called "Importing."

Now that you have a .UL file to upload to the door, you
should call the BBS and open the door. After you open the
door, it will prompt you to upload your BBSID.UL file using
Zmodem. You should then upload your BBSID.UL file. After
you have uploaded your .UL file, the door will pause
briefly, say "Warning : No Instructions for Mail Extraction
Received," and generate a .DL file for you to download. You
will then be prompted to download the .DL file using Zmodem.
If your communications program has automatic Zmodem
download, it should start downloading your .DL file
automatically; if not, you will have to initiate a Zmodem
download.







20


After you have downloaded the .DL file, you should log off
of the BBS and run the reader. The reader will
automatically "import" the .DL file that you have just
downloaded.

Congratulations! You have just completed your first
MegaMail transfer. You uploaded an empty .UL file to the
BBS and downloaded an empty .DL file from the BBS. Your
reader is now initialized to work with the BBS -- it has all
of the conference information so that you can now select
mail to actually download and read. Your first MegaMail
transfer with a BBS will always be "empty"; this is because
your reader does not know about the conferences that the BBS
has until it has gotten at least one .DL file from it.

To select what mail you want to download the next time you
call, go to the main menu and select BBS. You will be
presented with a pull-down menu:

+--------------------------------+
| BBS Read Utilities |
+-+----------------------+-------+
| Conferences |
| News/Bulletins/Files |
| Reset |
| Export |
| Import |
| Add |
| Delete |
| Exit |
+----------------------+







21


This time, you want to select Conferences. The Conferences
option allows you to control which conferences you receive
mail from and how the door selects the mail that you
receive. When you select conferences, you will be presented
with a listing of all of the BBS's in your reader. Pick the
one that you wish to change. Then, a listing with all of
the conferences from that BBS will appear:

+-Select Conferences To Change, Press Esc When Done--+
|4 DOS : No Mail |
|Batch : No Mail |
|Common Net-Nati : No Mail |
|DESQview : No Mail |
|Finance : No Mail |
|For Sale : No Mail |
|GAP : No Mail |
|Ham Radio : No Mail |
|Hard Disks : No Mail |
|Jobs : No Mail |
|MAIN : No Mail |
|MegaMail : No Mail |
|New Users : No Mail |
|PKware : No Mail |
+----------------------------------------------------+

Next to each conference will be the mail selection that is
currently in effect. In this case, since it is the first
time that the conference list has even been looked at, all
of the conferences say "No Mail," meaning that no mail will
be extracted for download by the door. To change the mail
selection for a conference, move the highlight bar to the
conference and press return. You will be presented with a
list of mail extraction options:

+---------------MegaMail----------------+
|No Mail |
|All New Mail |
|Your New Mail |
|Last x Messages. |
|Your Mail from Last x Messages. |
+---------------------------------------+

The first option, No Mail, means that the door does not give
you any mail in that conference. The All New Mail option
gives you all of the new mail in the conference. This is
the recommended setting for normal operation in the
conferences that you read mail in. The third option, Your
New Mail, gives you only the messages that are addressed to
you from the new mail. The Last x Messages option allows
you to grab a set amount of mail from the conference,
starting with the most recent messages. The Your Mail from







22

Last x messages allows you to grab your mail out of a set
number of messages, starting with the most recent message.

The normal setting for conferences that you want to read is
All New Mail. If the conference is particularly busy, or
you only want to "watch" for mail that is addressed to you
in the conference, you can use the "Your New Mail" option.
Of course, for conferences that you do not wish to receive
any mail in, you should use the No Mail option. On your
first call, you don't want to ask for "All New Mail" in too
many conferences because you will get too much mail.

After you select your mail selection method, you will be
asked if you want to update your last read pointer:

+-----------Edit MegaMail Conference Mail Request-----------
| |
| |
| Update Last Read Pointer in this Conference? Y |
| |
| |
| |
| |
+----------------------------------------------------------+

Your last read pointer is maintained by the MegaMail door
and the BBS. Normally, you will want to update your last
read pointer so that you will not download the same mail
over and over.

You can change your conference mail preferences at any time
by coming to this menu and editing them just as we have just
done. The reader normally maintains your conference mail
requests from call to call; there is no reason to change
them if you wish to use the same mail selection request as
your last call.

Once you have defined which conferences you want mail in,
you are ready to call the BBS back. This time, you will
upload a .UL file, and, assuming you asked for some mail,
the door will extract messages from the BBS and put them in
a .DL file for you to download. The next time you run the
reader, it will automatically "import" the .DL packet and
put the mail in the reader for you to read.


Use with "QWK Standard" Doors

Beginning with version 2.1, the MegaMail Reader is capable
of working with "QWK Standard" doors as well as MegaMail
doors. As of the writing of this document, MarkMail, QMail,
and TomCat! are what is meant by "QWK Standard" doors; other







23

doors that are written to comply with this "standard" should
work with the MegaMail Reader as well.

Using the reader with these doors is as easy as using it
with the MegaMail door. Once you have initiated mail
transfers with the door, the reader will automatically
handle your .QWK (the analog of .DL files from MegaMail) and
your .REP (the analog of .UL files from MegaMail)
automatically. One major difference between "QWK Standard"
Doors and the MegaMail door is that the MegaMail door was
designed specifically with off-line conference management in
mind, while the "QWK Standard" doors were not. As a result,
the "QWK Standard" doors have limited off-line conference
management, since, in most if not all cases, it was added as
an afterthought. This means that it will be much easier to
use these doors if you configure your conferences in the
door while on-line instead of selecting them off-line in the
reader.

To start transferring mail with a "QWK Standard" door,
simply call the bulletin board, enter the door you wish to
use (ie, MarkMail, QMail, or TomCat!), and request mail to
be downloaded. The various doors have different methods of
doing this, but generally you should be looking for options
such as "Select Mail" or "Download Mail". Once you are
successful in telling the door to send you mail, you will
download a file called "IDCODE.QWK", where IDCODE is the
"idcode" of the bulletin board. The next time you run the
MegaMail reader, it will find the "IDCODE.QWK" file in your
download directory and automatically add "IDCODE" to your
reader and import the mail in "IDCODE.QWK." Of course, if
you do not have automatic import/export turned on in your
reader configuration (see the section on configuration
above), the reader will not do this automatically for you,
and you will need to manually Add the BBS and import it.

Assuming that you have the automatic import/export turned
on, the reader will also automatically create a "IDCODE.REP"
file for you to upload to the BBS if necessary. When you
call the BBS to get more mail, you should always upload the
.REP file if the reader has created one. If you do not, you
can confuse the automatic import/export logic in the reader
and cause some of your replies to be lost. To facilitate
using communications "scripts" to do this, there is a
configuration option in the reader that will cause it to
always generate a .REP file, making an empty one if
necessary. If you upload a .REP file but do not download a
.QWK file, you should use the Reset option from the BBS menu
in the reader. The Reset option will clear the export
status of the BBS so that the messages that you uploaded
will not be uploaded again next time.







24

Once mail from a .QWK door is in your reader, you can handle
it just as if it was from a MegaMail door. There is no
difference, it should be completely transparent to you that
the mail came from a .QWK door instead of a MegaMail Door.


Reading Mail

When you select the Read option from the Main Menu, you will
be shown the BBS/Conf/Thread listing, assuming that you have
the Read by BBS/Conf/Thread option turned on (the default):

+--BBS/Conf/Thread Listing New Your New Export Yours Total-+
|CONNECT 0 0 0 796 1821 |
| MAIN BOARD 0 0 0 230 457 |
| MEGAMAIL DOOR 0 0 0 3 3 |
| SUPPORT 0 0 0 132 254 |
| TESTERS 0 0 0 431 1107 |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+

(Note that your display may vary depending on what mail you have
in your reader.)

The BBS/Conf/Thread listing is a very powerful feature of
the MegaMail Reader. We will not cover all of its features
here, but only enough for you to get started. See the
section below on the BBS/Conf/Thread Listing for details of
the many features of this powerful display.

You can access this display while reading mail by pressing
Alt-L. In addition, if you have the Read by BBS/Conf/Thread
option turned on (the default), the listing will come up
whenever you move into a new conference or BBS so that you
will be aware that you are moving to a new conference and
also to give you a chance to select a different conference
to read next.

The BBS/Conf/Thread listing shows all of the BBS's,
Conferences, and, optionally, "threads" (subjects) in your
reader, along with pertinent statistics about each. Each
Conference is indented under its BBS, and each thread is
indented under its conference. You can toggle the display
of threads by pressing Alt-L while in this listing.

Next to each item on the listing is important statistics
about that item. Each column of statistics is labeled on
the top border of the window. The first column, "New", is
the number of New messages, or messages that you have not
read in that category. The second column, "Your New", is
the number of messages in that category that are addressed
to you that you have not read. The third column, "Export",
is the number of messages in that category that are waiting







25

to be uploaded to the BBS. The fourth column, Yours, is the
total number (read AND unread) of messages addressed to you
in that category. The fifth and final column is the total
number of messages in that category.

You will notice that there is a "selection bar" on the
listing. By moving this selection bar (with the arrow keys
or your mouse) and pressing enter, you can control which
messages you will read in the reader. For instance, in the
above example, if you wanted to read the messages in the
Testers conference, you would move the selection bar to
Testers and press return.

That's all we're going to cover right now. For detailed
information about all of the features of the BBS/Conf/Thread
Listing, see the section below called "The BBS/Conf/Thread
Listing."

After you leave the BBS/Conf/Thread listing, you will be
presented with your first message:


BBS: CONNECT Conference: Support Imported: 7/29/1990
To: NEW MEGAMAIL USERS Number: 123 Date: 7/29/1990
From: KIP COMPTON Reference: 0 Time: 8:23 pm
Subj: WELCOME! Private: N Read: N
Echo Flag: Y Permanent: Y Level: 1 Export: N Personal Read: Y

Welcome to the world of easy and fast message reading with the
MegaMail system! The time you spend learning how to use the
MegaMail reader will more than pay for itself in drastically
reduced online time and more efficient mail answering once you
are off-line.

Thanks for trying my product,
Kip

-> MegaMail v2.00 #1:Sleep?? What's That??!?


Entire Base This BBS This Conference This Subject Tagged
Total 1822/1822 1822/1822 255/255 1/1 0/0
Yours 796/796 796/796 132/132 0/0 0/0


As you can see, the screen is divided into three "windows."
The top window contains the message header. The middle
window contains the actual text of the message, and the
bottom window contains statistics about the mail in your
reader. (Note that the bottom window is completely
configurable and may not be present if you have turned off
the statistics at the bottom of the screen. You can toggle







26

the statistics display on and off while reading mail by
pressing Alt-B.)

It is important to understand all of the fields in the
message header because they are used often. The message
header contains such important information as who wrote the
message, who the message is sent to, and what the subject of
the message is. Here is a summary of the fields in the
message header:


BBS : This field is the ID of the BBS from which
this message was downloaded.

Conference : This field is the name of the conference or
message area from which this particular
message was downloaded.

Imported : This field is the date on which this message
was "imported" into the reader.

To : This field contains the name of the person to
whom the message is addressed. It will
contain "YOU" if the message is addressed to
you.

From : This field contains the name of the person
who wrote the message.

Subj : This field contains the "subject" of the
message.

Number : This field contains the number of the message
on the BBS. New messages that you leave in
the reader will have "(NEW)" listed as their
message numbers.

Reference : This field contains the number of the message
that this message is in reference to. If this
message is not in reference to another
message, this field will contain a 0.

Private : This field indicates the security of the
message, either PUBLIC or PRIVATE. PUBLIC
messages are intended to be read by everyone,
while PRIVATE messages are intended to be
read only by the person to whom the message
is addressed, the person who wrote the
message, and any SysOps who are allowed to
read the mail. You should note that there is
no guarantee that PRIVATE mail will not be
read by others.







27

Date : This field contains the date on which the
message was written.

Time : This field contains the time at which the
message was written.

Read : This field contains the read field from the
BBS. If the person has read the message, it
will say "Y". If the message has not been
read, it will say "N."

Echo Flag: This flag, which is supported by some BBS
software, indicates whether a message should
be "echoed" out onto a BBS network. For this
option to work, the BBS must be running
version 1.10 or later of the MegaMail Door,
and, in addition, it must be running a UTI
that supports the echo flag. You should not
post a message that you definitely don't want
echoed using the reader until you are sure
that the echo flag is working properly on
that particular BBS.

Permanent : This special field controls whether a message
can be killed or not. If the message is
marked as permanent, the message cannot not
be killed or purged until the permanent flag
is turned off. It enables you to protect
important messages from being deleted by
mistake.

Level : Level that the reader is currently accessing.
As you open "another" readers, the level will
increase by one for each reader you have
open. (See below for more details)

Export : This field controls whether a message will be
exported the next time you export the bbs in
the BBS field of the message.

Personal Read: This field indicates whether YOU have read
this message or not. This is a very powerful
field, because it allows you to search for
mail that you have not yet read.

Note that if you have a mouse and your mouse driver is
loaded, the reader will put left, right, up, and down arrows
in the header to the right of the Read: and Personal Read:
flags. Moving the mouse pointer to these "buttons" and
pressing the left mouse button is just like hitting the
right arrow, left arrow, page down, or page up. Thus, it is







28

easy to read your mail completely with your mouse if you
wish to do so.


The Statistics Display

At the bottom of the screen, there is a statistics grid
designed to give you easy access to important statistics
about the mail you have in your reader. The statistics are
arranged in two horizontal rows. The top row of the
statistics pertain to all of the messages in the base, while
the second horizontal row pertains only to messages that are
addressed to YOU. There are several vertical columns of
statistics as well, and they are labeled clearly on the
screen. Each statistic is in the form of ###/###. The
number before the slash is the number of messages in that
category that you have not read, while the number after the
slash is the total number of messages in that category.

The statistics, while very helpful, do take up 3 lines on
the screen that could otherwise be used for displaying
message text. Because of this, you can toggle the
statistics on and off while reading mail by pressing Alt-B.


Help Menus

The MegaMail Reader has some online help available. This
online help is not designed to be a substitute for this
manual, but as a set of "training wheels" to get you on your
way. There are help menus available while reading mail, in
the Quick Scan, in the Alt-L listing, and in the internal
editor. To display a help menu, press F1, or press both
buttons on your mouse at the same time. If you pull up the
help menu while in the BBS/Conf/Thread listing, you will
see:

+BBS/Conf/Thread Listing New Your New Export Yours Total+
+---------------------------+ 1 0 0 802 1831 |
| Toggle Subjects (Alt-L) | 0 0 0 230 457 |
| Quick Scan (Alt-Q) | 0 0 0 7 7 |
| Toggle Tagged Stat(Space) | 0 0 0 132 255 |
| Clear Tags (Alt-C) | 1 0 0 433 1112 |
| Tag All (Alt-T) |----------------------------------+
| Save Tagged (Alt-S) |
| Kill Tagged (Alt-K) |
| Permanent Tagged (Alt-P) |
| Prsnal Read Tagged(Alt-R) |
| Read Tagged Mail (R) |
| Exit the Reader (Alt-X) |
+---------------------------+







29

The help menus display all of the major options available
from the section of the reader you are in. Next to each
option is the key you would press to activate that option
directly from within the reader. At the bottom on the
screen is a one-line description of the option currently
highlighted. You can also access the option directly from
within the help menu by typing the highlighted letter for
the option you wish to activate, or, of course, selecting it
with the Enter key or your mouse.

The help menus are large and hide most of the underlying
screen, and they take a key stroke to activate. They are
not designed to be the principal method of accessing the
reader commands. They are designed as a type of "training
wheels" to help give you an easier start with the reader.

As you use the reader, you will find that you start
remembering the keystrokes that go with the commands you
most often use. Once you know the keystrokes that go with a
particular command, you will have no need for the help menu.
But it is always available for those commands that you may
only occasionally use or for those that you have forgotten.
You will notice that there is a help line on the bottom of
the screen. Whenever the helper menu is activated, the
bottom line of the screen contains a short description of
the highlighted command. As you move the highlight bar up
and down, the help line changes to match the item that you
have highlighted.


Viewing ANSI Messages

Some messages have "ANSI Graphics" in them. If you get a
message that looks garbled and think that it may be an ANSI
message, just press the A key. The reader will redisplay
the message using its built-in ANSI interpretation. Press
any key to return to normal operation of the reader.


Leaving Messages

There are two ways you can leave a message using the reader
: Reply and Enter. The reply function (Alt-R) is
specifically designed for replying to a message. When you
press Alt-R, a message header is placed on top of the screen
with all of the fields filled in for you. You have a chance
to change any of the fields you want to change by using the
Tab, Shift Tab, Up and Down Arrow keys to move around the
various fields and then Control-Enter (Ctrl-Enter) or Page
Down (PgDn) to save. You are then placed in an editor
(either the built-in internal editor or your defined
external editor) to actually enter your message text.







30

If you use the Enter function (Alt-E), the procedure is a
bit longer. When you press Alt-E, you will be presented
with a partially-filled in header. You will need to fill in
the To and Subject fields. You may also edit any other
fields in the header by moving around with the Tab, Shift-
Tab, up, and down arrow keys. When you are done editing the
header, press Control-Enter or Page Down. You are then
placed in an editor (either the built-in internal editor or
your defined external editor) to actually enter your message
text.

If you are using the internal editor, most Wordstar commands
are available while entering your message text. If you are
unfamiliar with the Wordstar commands, see appendix A for a
listing of these commands.

Note that while entering messages in the internal editor,
you can use the Alt-O key to "re-edit" the header on the
message that you are entering. If you are using an external
editor, you will be given a chance to re-edit the header of
your message when you return to the reader.


The Enter Key

When you are reading mail, the enter key is a "smart" key.
If you have any text blocked off and you press enter, you
are automatically placed in a reply with the marked off text
as quoted material. If you do not have any text marked off,
the reader goes to the next message that matches the current
search specification.

Blocking off the text you wish to quote with the F7 and F8
keys and then pressing the enter key is the fastest and
easiest way to reply to a message.


Tag Lines

A tag line is appended to the end of each message you leave
using the reader. Part of the tag line is not configurable
by you (the part that says "MegaMail"), but you can specify
what you want to appear in the rest of the tag line.

Usually, people put little phrases that they like or
messages in their tag lines. Sometimes sysops like to put
the name and number of their BBS in their tag line. You're
free to put anything you want in your tag line.

The reader allows you to specify up to 50 tag lines. You
can also specify how you want the reader to decide which tag
line to put on the bottom of your messages. You can have a







31

specific tag line placed at the bottom of all of your
messages, or you can have the reader automatically cycle
through all of your tag lines.

You can edit your tag line options by pressing Alt-T when
reading or entering messages. You can also edit them by
selecting "Tag Lines" from the Utilities menu.

When you press Alt-T or select Tag Lines from the utilities
menu, you will see a screen with your tag lines (if any) on
it:


+-----------------Edit Tag Lines-----------------------+
|Using Tag Line #1 |
|Tag #1 Sleep?? What's That??!? |
|Tag #2 |
|Tag #3 |
|Tag #4 |
|Tag #5 |
|Tag #6 |
|Tag #7 |
|Tag #8 |
|Tag #9 |
|Tag #10 |
|Tag #11 |
|Tag #12 |
|Tag #13 |
|Tag #14 |
|Tag #15 |
+------------------------------------------------------+

There are slots for up to 50 tag lines, and one slot to
specify which tag line to use. To edit a tag line, move the
highlight bar to the tag line you want to edit and press
enter.

To tell the reader which tag line to use, move to the top
line in the list of tag lines (The one that says "Using Tag
Line #1" in the screen above) and press enter. You will
then be prompted for the number (1-50) of the tag line you
wish to have at the end of each of your messages. If you
enter a 0 here, the reader will automatically cycle through
all of the tag lines that you have defined.

Although the reader's built-in tag line system is pretty
sophisticated, it is nothing when compared with the
abilities of John Hancock. John Hancock is a program
provided by The Silicon Frog. It provides very fancy and
sophisticated tag line manipulation. The MegaMail reader
supports the use of John Hancock; see the section on John







32

Hancock later in the documentation. If you like tag lines,
you'll love John Hancock -- look for it on your local BBS!

If you have registered your reader, you can disable the
reader's tag line by turning it off in your configuration.
See the Configuration section for details.


Deleting Messages

You can delete or "kill" a message from your reader by
pressing the Alt-K key. You will then be asked if you want
to kill the message. When you kill a message in the reader,
it does not kill the message on the BBS -- it just kills it
in the reader. Also note that if you want to kill a large
group of messages, you can use the Purge/Repair option or
the kill tagged messages function in the Quick Scan and
BBS/Conf/Thread Listing. See the section on tagged messages
for details.

Note that you cannot kill a "permanent" message. You must
turn the permanent flag off on the message before you can
kill it. To do this when you are reading mail, you can
press the Alt-P key. The Alt-P key toggles the permanent
flag on and off.


Editing Messages

When you are reading mail, you can edit the message
displayed on the screen by pressing Alt-O. You will be put
into a text-editing mode automatically, just as if you were
entering the text of the message. If you want to edit the
header of the message in addition to the text, you can do so
by pressing Alt-O again if you are using the internal
editor. If you are using an external editor, you will be
given a chance to edit the header when you return to the
reader.


Using an External Spell Checker

The internal editor in the reader supports the use of an
external spell checker. To use this function, you must have
first defined your spell checker in your configuration. See
the Configuration section for details. You must also have
defined the directory for the external editor, as this is
where the reader will write out the file to be spell
checked.

To access your spell checker while entering and editing a
message, press Alt-S. Your message will be saved to disk







33

(in the file MESSAGE.TXT, which will be put in the external
editor directory), and your spell checker will be invoked as
you have defined in your configuration. When your spell
checker is done, the reader will automatically read back in
the text from the disk (from the file MESSAGE.TXT) and
replace your old text in the internal editor.


Switching Between Editors

The reader is designed to make it easy to switch between the
internal editor and your external editor. While reading
mail, you can toggle the editor selection by pressing Alt-I.
In addition, you can switch editors on the fly. If you are
in the internal editor and wish to switch to the external
editor, simply press Alt-E. You will automatically be
placed in your external editor. If you are in your external
editor and want to switch to the reader's internal editor,
save your message and exit your editor. You will then be
presented with a menu. Select Internal Editor from the menu
and you will be placed in the reader's internal editor with
your message text intact.


Printing and Saving Messages

The Reader has a function specifically designed to help you
record important messages. When you press Alt-S, you are
prompted for the name of a DOS file or a device to save the
current message to. If you want to print the message, you
should specify PRN as the file to save the message to. The
Alt-S function will write out the entire message, along with
its header.

Note that if the file already exists, the Alt-S function
will APPEND the new text to the file, along with a line to
separate the messages. This makes it very easy to keep a
file of important messages for future reference.

If you just want to write out the message text, without its
header, you can block the text using the block begin and
block end commands (F7 and F8, respectively), and then use
the block write command (Control-K,W) to write the text out
to a file or to the printer. The block write command works
both when you are entering a message and when you are
reading messages.


"Reverse" Threading

The reader has a function designed for those times when you
receive a message and are not sure what the person is







34

talking about! When you press Alt-W, the reader will
immediately show you the message to which the current
message is in reference to. The Alt-W function works both
while you are reading messages and when you are entering new
ones. When you are done looking at the message, press Esc
to return to the original message. You can press Alt-W as
many times as is necessary -- this allows you to read a
thread "backwards" to its origin. This function is also
handy when you are replying to a message. Pressing Alt-W
when replying to a message in the internal editor will show
you the message to which you are replying -- great for
making sure your reply addresses the entire message!


Zooming

The reader has a "Zoom" function that allows you to "zoom
in" on the message text. This function is toggled by
pressing the Alt-Z key. When you are "zoomed" in, the
header of the message is not displayed, so that the entire
screen can be used for the text of the message. The reader
will remain in "zoom" mode until you press Alt-Z again.


About The Personal Read Flags

As you read the messages in your reader, the reader will
keep a running account of the messages that you have gone
through during that session. When you press the to
quit you will be prompted as to whether you want to "Update
Personal Read Flags? ". You will see:

+=================================+
| Update Personal Read Flags? Y |
+=================================+

If you press ENTER and accept the "Y", the reader will mark
all the messages that you have read during this session with
a "Y" in the Personal Read field.

Like all of the other fields, this field can be used in a
search. This function allows you to read only those messages
that you have not yet read in the reader.


"Another Reader" Function

Another Reader is exactly what it says. When you press Alt-
A when reading mail or entering a new message, "another
reader" appears.







35

This "new" reader is completely independent. All functions,
including leaving new messages, quick scanning, and
searching, are active.

One of the advantages of the Alt-A command is that it allows
you to quote or copy a message from one user to another
user, even across different conferences or BBSes. It is as
if you were starting into the reader afresh. You can search
for other messages or topics without losing your original
position in the message base.

When you press Alt-A, the "Level" number in the upper right
corner will rise. To return to level 1, or your original
reading position, press the ESC key until you have returned
to level 1.


Quoting Functions

You may quote from a message before you actually enter the
reply mode as well after you begin your reply. To quote
before you enter the reply mode, move the cursor, using the
up and down arrow keys, to the line you wish to start
quoting and press F7. Then, move the cursor to the end of
the section you wish to quote and press F8. Note that the
beginning of a block always defaults to the first line, so
that all you really need do if you want to start from the
first line of a message is move down the number of lines you
wish to quote and press F8.

Once you have blocked off your quote, press enter. You can
only quote whole lines although you can edit the quoted
section to shorten a line while you are in reply mode.

Getting More Quoted Text

Internal Editor

If, while replying to a message, you decide to quote
from the message you are replying to, press Alt-W. You
will be shown the entire original message. Block off
your quote in the same manner as described above. When
are you finished press enter to return to your reply.
You may also have multiple quotes from different
messages than the one you are replying to directly by
pressing Alt-A to generate "another reader." While in
the Alt-A mode you can use all of the normal reader
functions. When you have located the message and
blocked off your quote, Esc to return to your original
reply and use the Alt-Q key to bring in your text.
Note that if you want to quote someone without putting
your quoting prefix in, you can use the Control-K,C







36

block copy command. You can also use the Control-K,W
command to write out a section of marked text, or, if
you are entering message text, you can use the Control-
K,R block read command to read in text from a text file
on your disk into your message.

External Editor

When the reader executes your external editor, it saves
the text of the message that you are replying to the
file REFER.TXT. Using your editor, you can then block
copy the text that you wish to quote from the REFER.TXT
file to the MESSAGE.TXT file. Note that if you block
off the text and hit return to begin your reply, the
quoted text will be placed directly into your message
for you.

There are two attributes about quoted text which you have
control over. The first attribute is whether the reader
places a box around the quoted text or not. This option is
only available if you are using the reader's internal
editor. To toggle this option on and off, press control-
O,control-B while reading mail or editing text in the
internal editor.

The other attribute that you have control over is whether
the reader truncates or wordwraps the quoted text. This
option is toggled by pressing Control-O,Control-Q while
reading mail or editing text in the internal editor. This
option is in effect for both external and internal editors.


Quick Scan

The Quick Scan allows you to view the messages in the reader
in a concise manner, fitting many messages on the screen at
a time. To do this, each message is represented by a single
line of text. The contents of the line of text is fully
configurable. For details, see the Quick Scan Format String
in the Configuration section.

To invoke the quick scan while reading mail or in the
BBS/Conf/Thread listing, press Alt-Q. You will be presented
with a screen of messages. You can move the highlight bar
among the messages using the arrow keys, your mouse, or the
PgDn and PgUp keys. To read a specific message, simply move
the highlight bar to the message you wish to view and press
the enter key.

You can control which messages are displayed in the quick
scan by pressing Alt-Q again once you are in the quick scan.
You will be presented with a list of options for limiting







37

the mail that is displayed in the quick scan. A
particularly useful one is the Export option, which allows
you to see all of the messages that are waiting to be
exported from your reader.

In addition, the quick scan function supports tagging of
messages. See the section on Tagged Messages for details of
this powerful feature.


BBS/Conf/Thread Listing

The BBS/Conf/Thread listing allows you to view the mail in
your reader on a topical or categorical basis. It gives you
a quick summary of all of the mail in your reader, along
with vital statistics which should help you decide which
mail to read first, etc.

To access the BBS/Conf/Thread listing while reading mail or
from the quick scan, press Alt-L. You will be presented
with a list of all of the BBS's, Conferences, and,
optionally, Threads in the reader. You can move the
highlight bar through these options using the arrow keys,
your mouse, or the PgDn and PgUp keys. To read a specific
item, just move the highlight bar to that item and press
enter.

The BBS/Conf/Thread listing can optionally include Threads
in its listing in addition to BBS's and Conferences. To
toggle this option on and off, press Alt-L again once you
are inside the BBS/Conf/Thread listing.

The BBS/Conf/Thread listing supports tagged messages. For
complete information on this powerful feature, see the
section on tagged messages below.

Tagged Messages

The reader allows you to work with more than one message at
a time by "tagging" messages. Each message in the reader is
tagged or untagged, similar to a file in many DOS shells.
By tagging messages, you can deal with many messages (namely
all of the ones that are tagged) at a time.

There are several ways that you can tag messages. While in
the Quick Scan or the BBS/Conf/Thread listing, you can press
the space bar to toggle the tagged status of the currently
highlighted item. While reading mail, you can press the
space bar to toggle the tagged status of the currently
displayed message. In the lower right corner of the message
header, "Tagged" will appear when the message is tagged and
disappear when it is not tagged.







38

In addition, when you are in the quick scan, you can tag or
untag messages based on example. To do this, press Alt-F.
You will asked whether you wish to tag by example or untag
by example, and then you will be given an example to fill
in.

Once messages are tagged, there are many things you can do
with them. All of the following commands work both in the
Quick Scan and in the BBS/Conf/Thread listing:

Alt-C "Clear" all tags. (Make all messages
untagged)
Alt-T Tag all messages. (Make all messages tagged)
Alt-S Save/Print Tagged Messages
Alt-K Kill Tagged Messages
Alt-P Change the Permanent flag on all tagged
messages.
Alt-R Change the Personal Read flag on all tagged
messages.
R Read tagged messages only.


Searching

The Alt-F option allows you to set the search specification.
The search specification defines which messages will be
shown to you and which will not. You may search based on
any field or combination of fields in the header. For
example, you may search for a user name, your own name, or a
particular subject. You are shown only messages that match
the current search specification. Pressing the ALT-F key
will show you the following screen:


BBS: Conference: Imported: 1/01/1600
To: Number: Date: 1/01/1600
From: Reference: Time: 12:00 am
Subj: Private: Read:
Echo Flag: Permanent: Level: 1 Export: Personal Read:


This message header is called a search "example." It is an
example or template of the messages that you want to read.

When the reader displays the "next" message (ie., when you
press the right arrow), it actually searches for not the
just the next numerical message but the next message that
matches your example.

A message is considered to "match" your example if every
field that is NOT blank in your example exactly matches the
corresponding fields in the message. The initial example







39

(assuming that you do not have the automatic "unread" mail
mode on) is completely blank. (NOTE: 01/01/1600 is
considered a "blank" date and 12:00 am is considered a
"blank" time.)

To move in the header, use your Tab key to go to the next
field, Shift-Tab key to go to the previous field, down arrow
to go to the next field under the one you are editing, and
the up arrow to go to the field directly above the one you
are editing. When you are done filling in the example, you
should press Ctrl-Enter or PageDown.

For a complete listing of all the keys you can use when
entering a message header, see Appendix A.

All of the fields are exactly as described above for message
headers. Note that you can search based on all fields
except the "Level" field. The Level field will always have
the "level" you are at in terms of readers (see the section
on the "another reader" function for details)

The fewer fields you fill in when you are searching for a
particular message, the more messages you will see, and the
better your chances of finding the message(s) you are
searching for. The ALT-F command is not forgiving and will
search for the parameters that you specified EXACTLY. The
more fields you fill, the more likely for an exact hit but
also the more likely to have made an error and to miss the
message you are seeking. (Of course, if you enter too
little, you will have many messages to look through to find
the one you were looking for.)

If your search fails, press ALT-F again to change your
search spec. As you TAB through the fields, if you want to
BLANK out (erase) a previously entered field, press CTRL-Y.


There are several commands that relate to the search example
and the Alt-F command. Pressing Alt-C while reading mail
will clear the entire example, thus showing ALL messages.
Alt-U will first clear the example and then change the
Personal Read flag to "N", thus causing only those messages
that you have not yet read to be displayed. The Alt-Y key
will simply set the "TO" field to YOU, thus showing you only
those messages that are addressed to you.

Certain special searches are recognized and indicated by a
special character in the lower right hand corner of the
display near the memory left display. These letters are:

T - Tagged Mail Only
N - uNread Mail







40

Y - Your Mail Only



Command Line Parameters

You can manage your reader through the use of command line
parameters. This allows you to use your reader and obtain
your mail via a set of batch files.

Valid Command Line Parameters:

/NOMOUSE Disables mouse support.

/MONO Forces Monochrome operation.

/MACROFILE Specifies alternate macro file (default
is MEGAREAD.MAC) Correct syntax:
/MACROFILE FILENAME. There is no need to
create the new file; the reader will do
so the first time it works with it.

/HOTKEYFILE Specifies alternate hot key file
(default is MEGAREAD.HKY) Correct
syntax: /HOTKEYFILE FILENAME. There is
no need to create the new file; the
reader will do so the first time it
works with it.

/BASENAME Specifies alternate message base file
name. Cannot contain an extension.
Default is MESSAGES. Proper syntax
/BASENAME FILENAME Ie., /BASENAME
MYMAIL. There is no need to create the
new mail file; the reader will do so the
first time it works with it.

/CONFIGFILE Specifies an alternate configuration
file. The default is CONFIG.MGA.
Proper syntax: /CONFIGFILE FILENAME

/NOEMS Disables the reader's use of EMS memory.

/EXPORT BBSID Export mail from BBSID & return to DOS.

/IMPORT BBSID Import mail from BBSID & return to DOS.

/PACK XXX Pack and remove all messages imported
XXX days ago. (use /PACK 999 to just
"purify" and delete none)







41

/BIOSSCROLL Turns off the reader's "smooth
scrolling" routines for CGAs. If you
have a CGA card, using this parameter
will speed up the scrolling of text in
the reader, but the scrolling will be
less attractive.

/NOSNOW Turns off the reader's checking for
snow. Will drastically speed up screen
writes on CGAs, but may result in "snow"
on the screen.

/COLORFILE Specifies the file to use to store
information about the colors you are
using inside the reader. Syntax is
/COLORFILE Filename where filename is
the name of the file to use. The
default is COLORS.MGA.

/50 or /43 These command line options will cause
the reader to go into 43 line mode if
you have an EGA or 50 line mode if you
have a VGA. This allows you to see much
more of a message on the screen at one
time. They have no effect if you do not
have an EGA or VGA.

/NOZIP Causes the reader to skip the PKZIP and
PKUNZIP steps when importing and
exporting mail. See the section below.

/BUFSIZE # Allows you to set the buffer size used
when importing and exporting. The
buffer size is specified in bytes. The
default buffer size is 4096 bytes.
Different sized buffers tend to give the
best performance on different machines.
Larger buffers may give you better
performance, but they will cost you
memory. For example, if you wanted to
use an 8k buffer, you would put this on
the command line : /BUFSIZE 8192

/NOIMPORT This command line option will disable
automatic importing for this session
only. Useful if you want to run the
reader but for some reason do not want
to import the packets you have waiting.

/FIDO This command tells MegaMail to use a *
instead of a (#254) in its tag line.
Apparently, high ASCII characters do not







42

mix well with FIDO, and so this option
is provided for users of FIDO systems.
(editorial: I am confused as to why the
door authors don't strip these
characters out, since any user who
wanted to mess things up could simply
type them in, and even if the reader
striped them out, could simply edit the
packet after it was created...)


An example: a batch file that would do a complete MegaMail
cycle and pack the messages at the end, removing messages 10
days or older:

cd \megamail
megaread /export connect
cd\telix
telix {run a script}
cd \megamail
megaread /import connect /pack 10

Note that while the order of most command line parameters
doesn't matter, if more than one "batch" command line
parameters are to be specified, the actions are taken in the
order that they appear on the command line.

The /NOZIP Command Line Parameter

The /NOZIP command line parameter causes the reader to skip
the PKUNZIP and PKZIP steps when importing and exporting.
This is desirable if you are running under tight memory
restrictions. When using this option and importing, you
must first unzip the .DL file you downloaded into the
reader's work directory. Then you may run the reader and
import it. When exporting, you must export in the reader
and then use pkzip to put the files into the .UL file.

If you're using this option, you may want to make two batch
files that import and export a given node:

IMPORT.BAT:

c:
cd \mega\work
pkunzip c:\downloaddir\%1.DL
cd ..
megaread /nozip /import %1

EXPORT.BAT:

C:







43

cd \mega
megaread /nozip /export %1
cd work
pkzip -m c:\uploaddir\%1.UL

These batch files are provided in the MegaMail package for
you. All you should need to change is the uploaddir and
downloaddir, and possibly the c:'s (should be the drive in
which you have your megamail reader subdirectory) and the cd
\mega's (should be the directory where your MegaMail reader
lives.)

If you are operating the "QWK Standard" packets and the
/NOZIP option, you should turn off the "Keep .QWK Contents"
option by going to the miscellaneous configuration menu and
selecting "No" for "Keep .QWK Contents." This is because
the reader shells to PKZIP to ZIP up the bulletins, news
files, and welcome screen that are in the .QWK packet after
it imports it.


Repairing and Purging Mail

The Repair/Purge option, located on the Utilities menu, is
used to manage mail already in your reader. There are two
situations in which you would need to use this function.

The first, and most common, is to keep the amount of mail in
your reader from becoming large and unmanageable. Unless
you use this option, mail is never really deleted from your
reader. When you repair/purge your message base, messages
that have been killed are actually physically removed from
your message base.

In addition, the Repair/Purge Mail File option has two ways
of removing mail from your reader. The first way is based
on the date on which the messages were IMPORTED into your
reader and the second is by example (see below). When you
select the Repair/Purge option from the Utilities menu, the
first question you will be asked is whether you want to
remove any mail from your reader at all.

+----------------Maintain Reader Message Base-------------------+
| |
| Remove any mail from the message base when packing? Y |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+







44

You should respond "Y" if you want to remove mail from the
reader. (Note that even if you press "N" here, previously
killed mail will be removed from the reader.) If you answer
"Y", you will then be asked if you wish to remove mail based
on date. You should answer "Y" to remove mail by date. You
will then be asked the number of days old a message has to
be for it to be deleted. The date used for this process is
the date when the message was imported into your reader, NOT
the day that the message was left. This prevents "old" BBS
mail, that is new to your reader, from being deleted.

You should answer this question with the maximum number of
days you want mail to be kept in your reader. Purging can
take a long time, depending on the quantity of mail you have
in your reader and the speed of your computer. Note that
this option can be invoked from the command line. This
allows you to pack your reader's message base automatically
in an "event" or perhaps once a day in your AUTOEXEC.BAT
file.

The second way of removing mail from your reader is by
example. This is similar to searching, where any messages
that match the example you give, are purged from the message
base. This option is useful if you want to remove a group
of messages. For example, if you wished to remove all
messages that were in the conference "sysop" from your
reader, you could do so by purging with an example that
matched all messages with "sysop" in the conference field.

To use this option, choose the Repair/Purge option from the
Utilities menu and answer "Y" when the reader asks you if
you want to remove any mail from the message base when
packing. Then, type "N" when the reader asks you if you
want to remove mail by date. When you are asked if you wish
to purge by example, answer "Y". When you press ENTER, you
will be greeted by a "blank" example, just as in the Alt-F
function.

Now, since we want to remove all mail that has "sysop" as
the conference, we move over to the Conference: field and
type "sysop". To signal that you are done editing the
example, press Ctrl-ENTER or PageDown, and the reader will
begin packing the message base, removing all mail that
matches the example.

The other reason that you might want to run the Repair/Purge
option is to actually repair a message base. If you exit
the reader abnormally, your message base might become
"corrupted." This is due to advanced routines used to
manage your messages once they are inside the reader which
maintains a fair amount of information in memory. This has
the advantage of greatly speeding your reader up, but if the







45

reader does not exit normally, the information is never
written back out to disk.

If you get an error when you attempt to read, import, or
export mail, the first thing to do is Repair/Purge your
message base. It doesn't matter if you actually remove any
mail from the message base when you use the Repair/Purge
function. The Repair/Purge option will automatically
rebuild your message base, fixing any errors in it.


Reading Bulletins, News, and New Files

"QWK Standard" doors allow you to download system news,
bulletins, and lists of new files available for download.
The MegaMail reader facilitates reading these items through
the News/Bulletins/Files option off of the BBS menu. Note
that for this option to work, you must have told the door
that you are using to send you these items, and you must
have the "Keep .QWK Contents" option under Miscellaneous in
your configuration set to Yes.

Upon selecting News/Bulletins/Files, you will be presented
with a listing of all of the .QWK boards that have news,
bulletins, and/or new files listings available. Each BBS
will be accompanied by the date on which the files were last
updated. Select the BBS that you wish to view files from.
After uncompressing the information from the bulletin board
that you requested, you will be presented with a menu of the
files available for viewing. For example :

+---------------------Select Item to View-----------------+
| 8/26/1990 2K New Files |
| 8/26/1990 1K (MM-MENU) |
| 8/26/1990 2K Welcome Screen |
| 8/26/1990 26K Main Board Bulletin 5 |
| 8/26/1990 22K Main Board Bulletin 6 |
| 8/26/1990 1K Main Board Bulletin 13 |
| 8/26/1990 3K Main Board Bulletin 14 |
| 8/26/1990 0K Main Board Bulletin 15 |
| 8/26/1990 6K Main Board Bulletin 20 |
+---------------------------------------------------------+

The reader analyzes each filename that has been downloaded
from the board and presents it as a description of what the
file is. If the reader does not know what the file is (for
example MM-MENU in the above example), it displays the name
of the file in parentheses. Before each filename or
description, the date and size (in K) of the file is
printed. To view a file, simply move the highlight bar to
the filename or description that you want to view. When you
press (enter), the file will be displayed to you using







46

either the internal file viewer, or the external file viewer
that you defined in your configuration. (See the section on
configuration for details.) If you are using the internal
file viewer, you can press A to view the file with ANSI
graphics enabled.







47

Using John Hancock with MegaMail

John Hancock is a utility available as shareware from The
Silicon Frog that allows you to store and manipulate tag
lines. It allows you to do many fancy manipulations on your
tag lines, and, is in general simply a lot of fun.

To use John Hancock with MegaMail, you must set up John
Hancock as per the instructions that come with John Hancock.
Then, simply add a DOS "hotkey" that calls John Hancock.
The reader will automatically detect that it was John
Hancock that was run in the hotkey and get the new tag line
from John Hancock.

To create a hotkey for John Hancock, press Alt-H (for
Hotkey) and then press the insert key (for adding a hotkey).
You will then be prompted for the "Trigger Keystroke." This
is the key that you will press to activate John Hancock. I
use Alt-J. You will then be asked for the DOS command line
for the hotkey. If you are running under tight memory
conditions, you should put a * as the first character of the
DOS command line; this will tell the reader to swap to DISK
or EMS memory before running John Hancock. Then, type JH
and hit enter. You should then see the hotkey added to the
list of hotkeys in your reader. You can try it now; press
the trigger keystroke that you selected and John Hancock
should pop up.

Each time that you pop up John Hancock using your DOS
Hotkey, the reader reads the tag line that you select. The
reader will continue using that tag line until you invoke
John Hancock and select another tag. If you want to go back
to using the internal tag line engine, Press Alt-T to bring
up the tag line menu, and the reader will start getting tag
lines internally again.


Receiving Files from QMail

The QMail 4 door provides the ability to receive files in
your .QWK packet. This option is compatible with the
MegaMail reader assuming that you have the "Keep .QWK Packet
Contents" option turned on. If you have the "Keep .QWK
Packet Contents" option set to Yes, all you need to do to
get the file that was sent to you in your .QWK packet is to
extract the file from the file IDCODE.ZIP in your "QWKSTUFF"
directory. (The "QWKSTUFF" directory is configurable from
the Directories option off of the configuration menu; it
defaults to a directory under the default directory for the
reader called QWKSTUFF.) If you do not have the "Keep .QWK
Packet Contents" option turned on, you must extract any
files that the QMail 4 door sends you BEFORE importing the







48

packet, since the reader will delete the .QWK packet after
importing it.



Colors

Virtually all of the colors used in the MegaMail Reader are
configurable by the user. To configure your colors, select
"Colors" from the Utilities menu. You will then be
presented with a choice between choosing default color sets
or fine-tuning individual colors. It is recommended that
you try the predefined color sets before trying to fine tune
your colors. This is because there are approximately 130
colors that can be configured in the reader, and it can be a
tedious process to fine-tune everything perfectly.

If you select "Default Color Sets," you will be presented
with a list of predefined color sets, including the default
color set (ie the one use when no COLORS.MGA file is found).
By moving the highlight bar and selecting one of these, you
can change all 130 colors at once to a predefined color
scheme.

If you select "Individual Colors," you will be presented
with a scrolling list of all 130 colors. To change a color,
move the highlight bar to that color and press return. You
will then be presented with a table of all available colors.
There will be a white box around the current color for that
item, and you can move the white box using your arrow keys
or your mouse. When you have moved the cursor to the new
color, press (enter). Pressing Esc will leave the color
like it was before. Note that you can toggle the intensity
of the background color by pressing B while on this table.

After you have selected individual colors that suit you, it
is a good idea to copy your COLORS.MGA file to a backup
file. COLORS.MGA files can constitute a lot of work, and
keeping a backup COLORS.MGA file protects you from losing
yours.


DOS Hotkeys

The reader's DOS Hotkeys function allows you to execute
programs from the reader with a single keystroke. This type
of function can be very helpful for executing frequently
used programs directly from the reader.

To access the hotkey function, press Alt-H from anywhere in
the reader. You will be presented with a listing of any
defined hotkeys on it.







49

To add a hotkey, press the Insert key. You will be prompted
for a "Trigger Keystroke" -- the keystroke that you want to
be associated with executing the program. You will then be
prompted for the DOS command to execute when that keystroke
is pressed. If you want the reader to be swapped to EMS or
DISK when executing your program, precede your DOS command
with a "*". (For example, *WP might be used to execute
WordPerfect with swapping enabled.) If you want the reader
to leave the screen instead of clearing it before executing
the program, put "STAY:" at the beginning of the DOS
command. Note that if you wish to put both a "*" and a
"STAY:", the "*" must come first. The "STAY:" option is
useful for programs that read the screen.


To Delete a hotkey, move the highlight bar to the hotkey
that you want to delete and press the Del key.

To edit a hotkey, move the highlight bar to the hotkey that
you want to edit and press the enter key. You will be
prompted for the trigger keystroke and then for the DOS
command, just as if you were adding the hotkey.

Your hotkey assignments are stored in the file MEGAREAD.HKY.
You can use an alternate file to store the hotkey data; see
the section on command line arguments for details.


Keyboard Macros

The reader has powerful keyboard macro facilities built in.
From virtually anywhere in the reader, you can define a
macro or play one back. Also included is a powerful macro
editor that allows you to edit macros that you have defined.
The macro facility is so powerful that you can use it to
remap your entire keyboard in the reader. To define a
macro, you simply press Control-F10. A small window pops up
informing you that "macro recording" has been turned on.
Until you press Control-F10 again, all keys that you press
will be recorded. You then perform the task you want the
macro to perform for you later. When you are done pressing
the keys for the task, press Control-F10 again. You will be
prompted for the key to assign this macro and for a name to
give the macro. (The name has no bearing on the
functionality of the macro; it is only for display
purposes.) After you define a macro, whenever you press the
key you just assigned to the macro, the keys you pressed
will be played back.

Note that to delete a macro, you record an "empty" macro on
top of it -- Just hit Control-F10 two times in a row and
then press the key associated with the macro that you want
to delete.







50

You can also get a listing of your macros at any time by
pressing Alt-M. A listing of your macros with the key that
triggers them and their name will appear, and you can edit
or delete the highlighted macro by pressing (enter) or (del)
respectively.

The following information on macros is more advanced and may
not be of interest to more casual users.


The Macro Editor

The reader also has a built-in macro editor. You can edit
previously defined macros with the macro editor, or you can
create new ones. Go the Utilities menu and select "Edit
Macro." You will then be prompted for the keystroke
assigned to the macro that you wish to edit. When you press
the key, a window will open up with the contents of the
macro inside it.

It should be noted that you should never really need to use
the macro editor. If you want to alter a macro, it may be
easier to simply record it again and assign it to the same
key. The macro editor can, however, be useful for seeing
what keys a macro consists of or when making slight
alterations to a long macro. Several commands are
operational inside the macro editor:

Enter Quit editing and save changes
Esc Quit editing and abort changes.
Left Arrow Move Cursor Left
Right Arrow Move Cursor Right
Up Arrow Move Cursor Up
Down Arrow Move cursor Down
Ins Toggle insert mode on and off
Del Delete key at cursor

The macro editor operates in two modes : Command and Literal
(the current mode is displayed in the upper right hand
corner of the macro editor window.) In command mode, the
keys above perform their respective functions. In Literal
mode, pressing the down-arrow puts a down-arrow into your
macro. The scroll lock key always toggles Literal and
Command mode.







51


Appendix A : Summary of Available Commands


While Reading Mail :

Right Arrow Next message matching current search
specification. See above for information on
search specifications.

Left Arrow Previous message matching current search
specification. See above for information on
search specifications.

Alt-R Reply to the current message.

Alt-E Enter a new message

Alt-S Save/Print Current Message

Alt-K Kill Current Message

Alt-C Clear the current Search Example.

Alt-U Read Unread Mail only

Alt-Q Invoke the Quick Scan

Alt-Y Read Your Mail Only

Alt-X Leave the reader completely and quickly.

F1,
Both Buttons Help Menu

Alt-T Edit Tag Lines

Home Go to the beginning of the base

End Go to the end of the message base

Alt-O Edit the current Message.

Enter If Block marked: Reply to current message
with marked text as quoted. If no block
marked, move to the next message.

Alt-L Invoke BBS/Conf/Thread Listing

Alt-P Toggle the Permanent flag on the Current
Message







52

Space Bar Toggle the tagged status of the current
message.

Alt-I Toggle between the internal and external
editor, if defined.

Alt-B Toggle the Statistics Display at the bottom
of the screen off and on.

Alt-F Set current search specification. See above
for information on search specification.

Alt-A Another - gives you "another" reader. See
section on "Another Reader"

Alt-W What?!? - Shows you the message that the
current message is referring to. See section
on Reverse Threading.

Alt-D DOS shell - Shell to dos from anywhere.

Alt-H DOS Hotkeys Utility.



Commands for Scrolling Through Message Text (Both Entering and
Reading Mail)

Cursor up one line.

Cursor down one line.

Scroll display up one line.

Scroll display down one line.

Scroll display up one page.

Scroll display down one page.

Move cursor to top of display.

Move cursor to bottom of display.

Move cursor to beginning of message.

Move cursor to end of message.

Move cursor to the position indicated by the
mouse cursor.







53

Alt-Z "Zooms" the text window - removes header from
screen. Press Alt-Z again to return to
"normal" mode.



Block Commands Active when Reading and Entering Messages:
(See below for other block commands for entering message text)

Control K,B or
F7 Begin Block (for writing, copying, or
quoting)

Control K,K or
F8 End Block (for writing, copying, or quoting)

Control K,H Hide Block

Control K,W Write Block (writes current block to user-
specified file name)


Commands Active while entering message (replies or new messages)

Esc Exit message entry, saving if desired.

Alt-A Another - gives you "another" reader. See
section on "another reader" function.

Alt-W What?!? - Shows you the message that the
current message is referring to.

Alt-D DOS shell - Shell to dos from anywhere.

Alt-Q Quote message text. See section on quoting.

Alt-R Global Reformat of the Message Text

Alt-O "Oops!" -- allows you to re-edit the message
header.

F1,
Both Buttons Help Menu.

Alt-T Edit Tag Lines

Alt-E Switch to External Editor, if defined.

Alt-Z Toggle Zoomed Mode

Alt-S Invoke external spell checker, if defined.







54

Control K,C Copy Block (works just like in your word
processor)

Control K,V Move Block (works just like in your word
processor)

Control K,H Hide Block (works just like in your word
processor)

Control K,R Read Block (reads in a block from a user-
specified file) Available only when entering
message text.

Control K,Y Delete Block. Available only when entering
message text.

Cursor left one character.

Cursor right one character.

Cursor to beginning of line.

Cursor to end of line.

Delete character at cursor.

Delete character to left of cursor. If the
cursor is at the beginning of a line, the
line will be joined with the previous line.

Delete current line.

Delete from cursor to end of line

Delete word to right of cursor. If the
cursor is at end of a line, the following
line is joined with the current line.

Start a new line.

Move the cursor to the next tab stop. If
insert mode is on, any text to the right of
the cursor is moved to the right of the tab
stop.

Toggle insert mode on and off. A "fat"
cursor indicates insert mode; a "thin" cursor
indicates overtype mode.







55

Toggle auto-indent mode on or off. In auto-
indent mode, pressing while in insert
mode will cause the new line inserted to have
the same indentation level as the previous
line. Auto-indent mode also affects the way
that text is formatted when word wrap
occurs -- the new line will have the same
indentation level as the previous line -- and
hence the behavior of the reformatting
commands ( and ).

Toggle word wrap on and off. When word wrap
is on, any attempt to insert or append text
beyond the right margin will cause a new line
to be inserted following the current line and
all words that are at least partially beyond
the right margin to be moved to the new line.

Reformat the current paragraph.

Reformat the entire file. Use this command
with caution.

Restore original contents of the current
line.

or
Quit editing.


Commands Active while editing a Header

Tab Move to next field.

Shift-Tab Move to previous field

Control Enter,
PgDn Done Editing

Esc Abort Operation

Del Delete Character Under Cursor

Backspace Delete Character Left of Cursor

Ins Insert Mode On/Off

Control-Y Clear Current Field

Down Arrow Move to Next Field below current field

Up Arrow Move to Next Field Above current field







56

Commands Active During Quick Scan

Down Arrow Move down one item

Up Arrow Move up one item

PgUp Move up by one page of items.

PgDn Move down by one page of items.

Enter Read the currently highlighted item.

Space Bar Toggle the tagged status of the current item

Alt-C Clear all tags. (Make all messages UNTAGGED)

Alt-T Set all tags. (Make all messages TAGGED)

Alt-F Tag or Untag messages by Example.

Alt-S Save/Print all tagged items.

Alt-K Kill all Tagged items.

Alt-P Change the Permanent flag on all tagged
messages.

Alt-R Change the Personal Read flag on all tagged
messages.

R Read all tagged messages.

Alt-L Invoke the BBS/Conf/Thread Listing.

Alt-X Leave the reader completely and quickly.

Alt-Q Change the mail selection criteria.

F1,
Both buttons Help Menu


Commands active in the BBS/Conf/Thread Listing

Down Arrow Move down one item

Up Arrow Move up one item

PgUp Move up by one page of items.

PgDn Move down by one page of items.







57

Enter Read the currently highlighted item.

Space Bar Toggle the tagged status of the current item

Alt-L Toggle the inclusion of subjects (threads) in
the listing.

Alt-Q Invoke the Quick Scan.

Alt-C Clear all Tags (Make all messages UNTAGGED)

Alt-T Set all Tags (Make all messages TAGGED)

Alt-S Save/Print all Tagged Items

Alt-K Kill All Tagged Items

Alt-P Change the Permanent flag of all Items.

Alt-R Change the Personal Read flag of all Items.

R Read all Tagged Items

Alt-X Exit the reader completely and quickly

F1,
both buttons Help Menu







58

Appendix B : "Variables"

The MegaMail reader provides several very powerful
"variables" that are substituted with variable information
during reader operation. These "variables" are available in
the Quick Scan format string, DOS Hotkeys, Tag Lines, and
Keyboard macros. The variables are as follows:

$BBS = BBS message came from/is going to
$CONF = Conference
$NUM = Message Number
$REF = Message's Reference Number
$DATE = Message's Date
$TIME = Message's Time
$PRIV = Is the msg private? (ie, Y or N)
$READ = Is the msg read (ie, Y or N)
$ECHO = Echo Message on Network? (ie, Y or N)
$PERM = Is the msg permanent (ie, Y or N)
$EXPORT = Export this message to bbs? (ie, Y or N)
$IMPDATE = Imported Date of message
$PREAD = Personal Read flag on msg (ie, Y or N)
$FROM = Author of message
$TO = Addressee of message
$SUBJ = subject of message.
$TAG = check mark if tagged, a space otherwise.
$SYSTIME = System time (ie current time of day)
$SYSDATE = System date (ie current date)

These variables are replaced with their respective
information from the last message read. Note that all
variables must be followed by a : and a length specifier;
see the section on the Quick Scan format string in the
configuration section for details.

One caveat to using these variables in keyboard macros:
since keyboard macros record EVERY keystroke made, you
cannot make any mistakes while typing the names of these
variables. For example, if you type $SYYSTIME,
it will not be found and replaced by the reader because the
backspace keystroke is imbedded in the variable's name. If
you make a mistake while entering a macro, you can either
re-record the macro, or use the macro editor to fix your
mistake.







59

Index


.DL . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Another Reader . . . . . . 34
.DL packet . . . . . . . . 22 ANSI . . . . . . . . . . . 29
".DL" file . . . . . . . . 19 Anti-Skid Operation . . . . 16
".UL" file . . . . . . . . 19 Auto Import/Export . . . . 16
"explode" . . . . . . . . . 11 Auto Unread Scan . . . . . 16
"Reverse" Threading . . . . 33 Autoindent . . . . . . . . 13
"Shareware." . . . . . . . 5 Automatic import/export . . 19
"Unix" . . . . . . . . . . 8 BBS . . . . . . . . . . 6, 26
"variables" . . . . . . . . 14 BBS software . . . . . . . 6
(NEW) Mail Marked as BBS's . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Read . . . . . . 12 BBS/Conf/Thread listing 24, 37
$BBS . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 BBSID . . . . . . . . . . . 18
$CONF . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 BBSID.DL . . . . . . . . . 18
$DATE . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 BBSID.UL . . . . . . . 18, 19
$ECHO . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Check . . . . . . . . . . . 5
$EXPORT . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Colors . . . . . . . . . . 48
$FROM . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 COLORS.MGA . . . . . . . . 48
$IMPDATE . . . . . . . 15, 58 Command Line Parameters . . 40
$NUM . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Conference . . . . . . . . 26
$PREAD . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Conferences . . . . . . . . 21
$PRIV . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Date . . . . . . . . . . . 27
$READ . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Default color sets . . . . 48
$REF . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Define Spell Checker . . . 14
$SUBJ . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Delete Default . . . . . . 16
$TAG . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Deleting Messages . . . . . 32
$TIME . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Directories . . . . . . . . 10
$TO . . . . . . . . . . 15, 58 Door . . . . . . . . . 6, 18
/43 . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Door text in message . . . 12
/50 . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 DOS Hotkeys . . . . . . . . 48
/BASENAME . . . . . . . . . 40 DOS Shell Swaps . . . . . . 16
/BIOSSCROLL . . . . . . . . 41 Download . . . . . . . 6, 10
/BUFSIZE . . . . . . . . . 41 Downloaded . . . . . . . . 18
/COLORFILE . . . . . . . . 41 Echo Flag . . . . . . . . . 27
/CONFIGFILE . . . . . . . . 40 Editing Messages . . . . . 32
/EXPORT . . . . . . . . . . 40 Enter . . . . . . . . . . . 29
/HOTKEYFILE . . . . . . . . 40 Enter Key . . . . . . . . . 30
/IMPORT . . . . . . . . . . 40 Entering Messages . . . . . 13
/MACROFILE . . . . . . . . 40 Example . . . . . . . . . . 38
/MONO . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Exploding windows . . . . . 11
/NOEMS . . . . . . . . . . 40 Export . . . . . . . . . . 27
/NOMOUSE . . . . . . . . . 40 EXPORT.BAT . . . . . . 9, 42
/NOSNOW . . . . . . . . . . 41 Exporting . . . . . . . 16, 19
/NOZIP . . . . . . . . 41, 42 Exporting. . . . . . . . . 42
/PACK . . . . . . . . . . . 40 External editor . . . . . . 13
|MegaMail . . . . . . . . . 21 External Spell Checker . . 32
Add . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Form Feed on Printed
Advantage . . . . . . . . . 6 Messages . . . . 12
All New Mail . . . . . 21, 22 Format String . . . . . . . 14
Alt-L . . . . . . . . . . . 24 From . . . . . . . . . . . 26







60

Games . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Protect (NEW) Mail . . . . 12
Header in REFER.TXT . . . . 14 Protocol . . . . . . . . . 9
Header line . . . . . . . . 11 QEdit . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Header. . . . . . . . . . . 25 QEdit), . . . . . . . . . . 13
Help Menus . . . . . . . . 28 Quick Scan . . . . 14, 36, 37
Hide Work Directory . . . . 17 Quoting . . . . . . . . . . 35
Import . . . . . . . . 20, 22 Quoting prefix . . . . . . 13
IMPORT.BAT . . . . . . 9, 42 Read . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Imported . . . . . . . . . 26 Read by BBS/Conf/Thread . . 12
Importing . . . . . 16, 19, 42 Reader. . . . . . . . . . . 18
Keyboard Macros . . . . . . 49 READER.REG . . . . . . . . 9
Kill . . . . . . . . . . . 32 REFER.TXT . . . . . . . 13, 14
Kill Exported Mail . . . . 12 Reference . . . . . . . . . 26
Last Read Pointer . . . . . 22 Register . . . . . . . . . 5
Last x Messages . . . . . . 21 Registered . . . . . . 14, 32
Leaving Messages . . . . . 29 Registering . . . . . . . . 5
Level . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Repairing and Purging
License Agreement . . . . . 4 Mail . . . . . . 43
Macro editor . . . . . 49, 50 Reply . . . . . . . . . . . 29
MegaMail Door . . . . . 6, 18 REQUIRED . . . . . . . . . 10
MegaMail Reader . . . . . . 18 Right margin . . . . . . . 13
MegaMail(tm) . . . . . . . 1 Screen Display Category . . 11
MEGAREAD.DOC . . . . . . . 9 Scroll bars . . . . . . . . 8
MEGAREAD.EXE . . . . . . . 9 Search specification . . . 38
MEGAREAD.HKY. . . . . . . . 49 Searching . . . . . . . . . 38
Message Handling . . . . . 12 ShareSpell . . . . . . . . 14
Message header . . . . . . 25 Spell Checker . . . . . 14, 32
MESSAGE.TXT . . . . . . 13, 14 Statistics Display . . . . 28
Messages From You are Subj . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Read . . . . . . 12 Suppress Tag Lines . . . . 14
Miscellaneous . . . . . . . 16 Swap to External Editor . . 13
Money order . . . . . . . . 5 Swap to Spell Checker . . . 14
Mouse . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Swapped . . . . . . . . . . 49
Move after Reply . . . . . 13 Switching Between
No Mail . . . . . . . . 21, 22 Editors . . . . . 33
Noisy windows . . . . . . . 11 Tag Lines . . . . . . . . . 30
Number . . . . . . . . . . 26 Tagged Messages . . . . . . 37
PACKING.LST . . . . . . . . 9 Threading . . . . . . . . . 33
Permanent . . . . . . . 27, 32 Threads . . . . . . . . . . 24
Personal Beeper . . . . . . 11 Time . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Personal Read . . . . . . . 27 To . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Personal Read Flags . . . . 34 Trademark . . . . . . . . . 1
Pick Lists . . . . . . . . 8 Trigger Keystroke . . . . . 49
PKUNZIP . . . . . . . . 10, 42 Upload . . . . . . . . 6, 10
PKUNZIP. . . . . . . . . . 11 Use EMS when swapping . . . 16
PKUNZIP.EXE . . . . . . . . 9 UTI technology . . . . . . 6
PKZIP . . . . . . . . . 11, 42 WordPerfect . . . . . . 13, 49
PKZIP.EXE . . . . . . . . . 9 Work directory . . . . . . 10
PKZIP, . . . . . . . . . . 10 Your Mail from Last x
Printing and Saving messages . . . . 21
Messages . . . . 33 Your New Mail . . . . . 21, 22
Private . . . . . . . . . . 26 ZMODEM . . . . . . . . . . 9







61

ZModem. . . . . . . . . . . 19
Zoom . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Zooming . . . . . . . . . . 34


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