Category : Communication (modem) tools and utilities
Archive   : OZCIS4.ZIP
Filename : FORUMS.DOC

Output of file : FORUMS.DOC contained in archive : OZCIS4.ZIP



When you work with forum messages, you use the same editors discussed
in the CISMail chapter. The editor commands for forum messages are
virtually identical to those used when you're working with CISMail
messages. On the other hand, configuration, and the methods of working
with forums, are much different from those for CISMail.

Uploading and downloading binary files will not be covered in this
section of the documentation. See FILES.DOC for more information.


Forums are special areas of CIS for topical discussions and for
exchanges of files often relating to those discussions. A forum might
focus on a manufacturer's products, a kind of computer or software, or
some other topic of interest to a specific group of people. Some
forums are general, like the ISSUES forum, where there are discussions
place on everything from the day's news events to UFOs; some forums
are specific, like the DATASTORM forum, where that company's products
are supported. Some forums are only for discussions and have very few
files available for download. Others have relatively few messages but
lots of files in their libraries.

All forums have a common user interface. A forum has one or more areas
("sections") where messages are stored and exchanged, and usually one
or more areas ("libraries") that contain files available for
downloading. Most forums also have conference rooms, facilities for
members to chat together online. From time to time most forums post a
set of announcements that provide up-to-date information on news of
the forum, a "sysop roster" where the names and PPNs of the sysops are
listed, perhaps a forum conference schedule, and other information.


Here are some terms you've seen before and a couple of new ones:

CATALOGUE: Conventional CIS term - the file generated by a long scan.

DOWNLOAD: Receive a file from CIS and store it on your computer.

LIBRARY: The area of a forum where binary files are stored.

LONG SCAN: The part of a "pass" that gets extensive file information
(more than you get in a short scan) - each file description may be
several lines long.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 75

MERGE: Process an uploaded file, making it available for others to
download. Uploaded files go into a special holding area; the sysops
are responsible for checking out the uploads (making sure they match
the forum's topic, doen't contain viruses, and so on.) before making
them available to forum members. Files checked and approved by sysops
are then "merged" into the library.

NEW MESSAGES: As-yet-unread messages from anyone in the forum to
anyone else in the forum.

PENDING MESSAGES (or PENDING UPLOADS): Outgoing forum messages (or
files for uploading) you have not yet sent to the forum.

QUICK SCAN: Retrieving a list of forum message headers (headers only).
The result is a list of "quickscan headers"; you select (tag) them to
tell OzCIS which messages to retrieve in their entirety during its
next pass to the forum.

SCROLL: Each forum has a fixed number of message "slots." Whenever a
new message is posted to a forum, the oldest message "falls out" and
is discarded, whether or not it has been received by its addressee.
Old messages' "falling out" is called also "scrolling"; a message that
has been discarded in this manner is said to have "scrolled off."

SCROLL RATE: How long it takes from the time a message is posted to
the time it scrolls off. The scroll rate is a function of how many
message slots the forum has been given and how busy the forum is;
some busy forums have average scroll rates of only 2 to 3 days, while
others' rates may be as long as two weeks. The typical scroll rate is
around a week.

SECTION: The part of a forum in which specific topics are discussed.
Sections have names, but CIS navigation programs usually refer to them
by number.

SHORT SCAN: The part of a forum pass that gets brief (single-line)
information about files in a library.

SLOT: Each message occupies a "slot" in a forum's message database.

SYSOPS: The people in charge of a forum.

THREAD: A series of messages having the same subject matter (same
subject-line in the message headers).

UPLOAD: Transmit a file from your computer to CIS.

WAITING MESSAGES: Conventional CIS terminology: as-yet-unread forum
messages addressed specifically TO YOU.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 76


Virtually all CIS navigation programs work on a "1st pass / 2nd pass"
basis: You log onto CIS and make a 1st pass for forum messages. This
includes retrieving forum messages written specifically to you; and/or
retrieving ALL new mail; and/or retrieving only "quickscan" headers.

Then comes the 2nd pass: Having looked over quickscan headers, you
select (tag) the messages that look interesting and log back onto CIS,
retrieving tagged messages in their entirety. Normally in a 2nd pass
you also transmit any outbound mail you're writing to the forum. The
2nd pass might also involve uploading or downloading binary files to
one or more forum libraries and retrieving the text of one or more

The differences among 1st- and 2nd-pass options in many CIS navigators
are quite distinct. OzCIS blurs this distinction by allowing you a
number of choices of what to do during a 1st or 2nd pass.

In general: During a 1st pass, OzCIS stops at any forums you have
marked "active." It retrieves messages written to you; or retrieves
quickscan headers; or retrieves ALL messages you haven't read yet. You
can toggle these options on or off. You can also tell OzCIS to process
pending (out-going) forum messages or binary file uploads or
downloads during a 1st pass.

During a 2nd pass, OzCIS stops only at forums for which there is
pending work: Replies you're making to forum messages, new messages
you're posting, or files to upload and download. However, there are a
few operations (like getting "waiting" mail) that you can also have
OzCIS do during a 2nd pass.


You'll recall the suggestion in INTRO.DOC that you have OzCIS make a
full profile configuration pass for one or more Host entries. A good
reason to do so, even if your CIS options were already set before you
started using OzCIS, is that the config pass retrieves an up-to-date
list of forums - a description of each, along with its associated "GO"
name. The forum information is stored in a file called OZCIS.FN in the
main OzCIS directory. Use of this file will be explained shortly.

You must join a forum before you can participate in it. Joining is
usually a quick process that puts your name into a list of forum
members. OzCIS can automatically join a forum for you if you're not
already a member.

After initial forum setup and before doing any work in the forum, you
should have OzCIS do a forum configuration pass - a short, automated
operation during which OzCIS retrieves up-to-date information about

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 77

the forum's section names and numbers. This information will be
important later as you work with the forum's sections and libraries.


From the main screen, select CONFIGURATION > FORUMS MAINTENANCE. An
AVAILABLE FORUMS windows opens at the upper-left of the screen (it
looks much like the AVAILABLE HOSTS window you've already seen). If
you have not unpacked the FORUMS.DB file from the OzCIS distribution
archive OZCIS3.EXE, OzCIS will first display an alert reading:


and the AVAILABLE FORUMS window will open with "**NONE**" in it.
Otherwise, the name of the sample forum in the .DB file will appear in
the window.

The main menu bar items are temporarily replaced by EDIT, DELETE, ADD,
SORT, and QUIT. We've already discussed using EDIT, DELETE, and QUIT
with respect to Host names; the method of selecting these commands is
identical when you're working with forums. The SORT command will be
discussed later in this file.

Select ADD. A small dialogue called EDIT FORUM ENTRY appears at the
bottom of the screen. This is one of several OzCIS dialogues that
contain hints on available commands in the window border and hints (at
the bottom of the screen) on the purposes of data fields. The
following representation of the dialogue has all of the box-drawing
characters removed; the "[o]" represent's the dialogue's "close
without saving changes" check-box; "[x]" represents the dialogue's
"close and save changes" check-box.

.-[o]-[x]----------- Edit Forum Entry --------------------.
| Forum Title Desktop Publishing |
| "GO" Command DTPFORUM |
| Service prefix CIS |
| Files Path C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM |
| User Name Aaron Aardvark |
| Remove duplicate messages when reading? Y |
| Autosave Outbox messages when sending? Always |
| Set Options |
`------- list, accepts, abandons --------'

The dialogue's data fields:

FORUM TITLE (initially blank)

Type a description of the forum here; it doesn't have to be the
forum's "GO" word. For example, if you are configuring DTPFORUM,
you could type "Desktop Publishing" here.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 78

Do you need to see a list of available forums? If you had OzCIS make
a full profile configuration pass, you now have a file called
OZCIS.FN in the OzCIS directory. In that case, "F2 list" appears in
the window border when the cursor is in the FORUM TITLE field. (If
there is no .FN file or you've moved it to a place OzCIS can't find
it, "F2 list" will not appear at all.) Press F2 to pop up a pick-
list (COMPUSERVE FORUM NAMES) showing all forums listed in
the OZCIS.FN file.

The pick-list contains a brief description of each forum in the left
column and the forum's "GO" word in the right column. Select a forum
name from the list; the pick-list window closes. OzCIS then puts the
description - the text in the left column - into the FORUM TITLE
field of the dialogue and the "GO" word from the right column into
the GO COMMAND field. You can change the FORUM NAME field if you
prefer another description, but don't alter the "GO" word.

"GO" COMMAND (initially blank)

Enter the "GO" word required to log onto the forum. Again, if
OZCIS.FN is in the OzCIS directory, you can press F2 to open the
pick-list of current forums and select the information that way.

SERVICE PREFIX (defaults to "CIS")

CompuServe is not just one service, but rather a collection of
services accessible through the general CIS network. CompuServe
Information Service (CIS) is the one with which most people are
familar; others include CompuServe Business Services and ZiffNet
(operated in conjunction with Ziff-Davis Publishing, publishers of
PC MAGAZINE, COMPUTER SHOPPER, and several other publications.)

When you join CompuServe you do so via one of these services, which
is then your "home" service. If you joined CIS through the usual
channels (sign-up kit purchased at a software store, membership
arranged by calling CIS directly, and so on), CIS is your "home." If
you joined by using the information provided in one of the Ziff
publications, ZiffNet is your "home." Most of these services are
interconnected via CompuServe's network, so you can call one local
number for access no matter which service is "home." A few are
"private" - specialty services operated under contract between
CompuServe and other corporations, and not accessible to the general
member population.

Your "home" is the only place to go for certain CompuServe services.
Example: Each service has its own private mail area, and you can get
access to it only via your home service; a user whose "home" is CIS
cannot use the private mail facility of ZiffNet. No matter what
service you are using at a given moment, a "GO MAIL" command will
always take you to your home service. (But most other ZiffNet areas
are accessible by CIS members and vice versa.)

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 79

In some cases, the services have forums or other areas that are
named the same. The SERVICE PREFIX field tells the network on which
service the forum or other area you want resides. This eliminates
ambiguities and facilitates switching from one service to another.

The majority of users will have CIS as their home service. OzCIS
therefore defaults to "CIS" as the Service Prefix. If the forum you
are configuring is on a different service, make sure you provide the
correct prefix. For ZiffNet, use "ZNT." To get the right initials
for other services, consult your CIS sign-up agreement.

FILES PATH (initially blank)

Where do you want to store incoming and outgoing message files
and/or binary files downloaded from this forum? We suggest you
create special subdirectories for forums. For instance, if you're
configuring DTPFORUM and your main OzCIS directory is C:\OZCIS,
you might type "C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM" into the FILES PATH field.

There's no need to create the subdirectory BEFORE you start the
forum configuration - more about that shortly.

Leaving the directory field blank tells OzCIS to store ALL forum
files in the main OzCIS directory itself (we don't recommend this;
you'll end up with far too many files for comfort in the OzCIS

USER NAME (initially blank)

The name you'll use for yourself when you post messages to this
forum. If you'd rather use a name other than the one you gave when
you did the Host configurations, type the new name into this field.
If you leave the field blank, OzCIS uses the name you entered for
yourself in the name-field of the Host configuration dialogues.

NOTE: Most forums do not permit handles in lieu of real names.
Check with sysops before using a handle in their forums.

In the list of fields, below, OzCIS' default selection is shown in
parentheses; other options are shown in square brackets.


It's possible at times you'll see the same messages twice when
reading forum messages. It's likely to happen if you have configured
OzCIS to retrieve all "waiting" messages in a forum as well as read
other new messages (those options are explained below). Answering
"Y" to this question forces OzCIS to suppress the display of
duplicate messages. (The duplicates will not be deleted from the
file containing the forum messages.)

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 80


Determines whether and/or how OzCIS saves outgoing forum messages.
If "NEVER," outgoing messages are never saved. If "ALWAYS," the
current group of outbound forum messages are saved to a file whose
name is the first 8 characters of the forum's "GO" word, with an
.OBS extension ("outbox save"). If "ASK," OzCIS asks you to decide
at the time whether to save the messages.


"ENTER" appears in this field, meaning that the only option here
is to press ENTER. Doing so brings up the main forum configuration


Don't faint when the configuration dialogue opens. We'll explain the
options by and by.

For now, just notice that all but two of the "Y/N" questions are
answered "N". The two answered "Y" are in the bottom part of the
are all you need for a forum configuration pass. You'll do the config
pass, then complete the forum configuation afterward.

Close the configuration dialogue, then close the EDIT FORUM ENTRY
dialogue, saving changes.

Just then, if the subdirectory you specified a moment ago doesn't
exist, OzCIS asks if you want it created. Answer YES. If you answer
NO, the dialogue won't close. Either let OzCIS create the directory or
else supply the name of an existing directory.

From the main screen, drop down the FORUMS menu. This also opens an
AVAILABLE FORUMS window (which will always be in view when you are
working in the FORUMS menu).

Left-click the name of your newly-added forum. Alternative: Press
ENTER. Because the cursor bar is initially on SELECT FORUM, pressing
ENTER activates the AVAILABLE FORUMS window). Move the cursor bar to
the name of the new forum and press ENTER.

When the AVAILABLE FORUMS window is accessible, its border will
contain hints on available commands. When the window is not
accessible, the border will not contain any hints or other text.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 81

When you've made your selection, the forum's name appears at the top
of the screen, and other FORUMS menu items are now accessible. They
are never accessible until a forum name is selected.

NOTE: If you drive OzCIS from the keyboard, there's a shortcut for
forum selection when the cursor bar is not on SELECT FORUM:
Pressing the TAB key puts the cursor bar into the AVAILABLE
FORUMS window right away. Move the cursor bar to the name of
the forum you want and press ENTER. This gets the job done with
the fewest keystrokes and, when you're done, leaves the cursor
bar on the present menu item.


OzCIS goes into terminal mode and dials CIS. Any CISMail to send or
retrieve is processed first. Then OzCIS logs onto the forum you're
configuring, joins it, sets various forum parameters for you,
retrieves current section and library names and numbers, logs off, and
returns to its main screen. (If you are already a member of the forum,
OzCIS skips the "join" step.)

NOTE: Once OzCIS goes into terminal mode, you can press ESC to abort
dialing until the word "ESC" has disappeared from the window in
the middle of the terminal-mode screen.

Suppose the forum you joined is DTPFORUM. When the config pass is
over, there will be a file called DTPFORUM.SEC in the directory you
specified during the first forum configuration step. The .SEC file
contains a list of the forum's section and library names. Don't move
it from the directory, nor rename it; you'll be needing it later.


Sometimes you see a forum name in the COMPUSERVE FORUM NAMES pick-list
that turns out not to be a forum at all, but rather a "gateway" - a
menu that leads to other forums. The "gateway" has a "GO" word, but
trying to auto-join or auto-configure a "gateway" doesn't work. OzCIS
cannot join forums via these gateways.

If you inadvertently pick such a pseudo-forum, you'll see OzCIS try
to log onto it during the configuration pass, then come to a halt.
You'll probably be left at a CIS "!" prompt. OzCIS won't be able to
complete the configuraton pass.

Press ESC - ONLY ONE TIME. A prompt appears asking if you want to
abort immediately, not abort, or go into on-line-terminal mode. Press
"T" for terminal mode. Then select EXIT from the menu at the top of
the screen. The EXIT command does a proper disconnection from CIS. If

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 82

you choose to abort instead (by answering "Y" to the prompt rather
than "T"), OzCIS drops carrier.

NOTE: Logging off CIS by dropping carrier is not a good idea; doing so
during mail processing can confuse CIS. When you drop carrier,
the CIS "meter" continues running. However, it will usually
stop running about 30 seconds after the carrier drop.

At one time you would have needed to log immediately back onto
CIS, then log off again, to reset the "meter." This is no
longer necessary when you've dropped carrier.


Now that the auto-configuration pass is done, re-open the forum
configuration dialogue and finish the setup process.

From the main screen, pull down the FORUMS menu and select the forum
to be configured, if it is not already selected.

Select FORUMS > PASS OPTION SETTINGS. The large forum configuration
dialogue opens. With some of its fields filled in, it might look
like this:

.-[o]-[x]------- AutoPass Primary Options for DTPFORUM ----------------.
| Include this forum in 1st Pass? Y |
| Read NEW Messages |
| QuickScan Headers 1,2,6,7,12,13,14,17 |
| Reset HIGH Message Number after QuickScans? Y |
| Purge old messages by Always Save purge? N |
|---------------------- Other 1st-Pass Options ------------------------|
| Read WAITING messages? Y Send PENDING messages? N |
| Get pending DOWNLOADS? N Send pending UPLOADS? N |
| Permanent script Read WAITING on 2nd Pass? Y |
|--------------------- 1st/2nd One-Pass Options -----------------------|
| New HIGH Msg Num |
| Update sections names list? N Configure forum options? N |
| Scan Libs (Long) N Sec 5,12 Update? Y |
| Scan Libs (Short) N Sec 5,6,12,17 |
| Read announcements |
| New Default Sections |
| Temporary script |
`------------------- accepts, abandons --------------------'

It is divided into three sections:

The top part is AUTOPASS PRIMARY OPTIONS. It contains options relevant
ONLY to a 1st pass. The middle part (OTHER 1ST-PASS OPTIONS) sets
options for work to be performed during either a 1st pass or a 2nd

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 83

pass. The lower part (1ST/2ND ONE-PASS OPTIONS) sets other options for
work to be done during either kind of pass.

As you work in this dialogue, keep your eye on the window border and
the bottom screen line for helpful hints.

In the list of fields, below, OzCIS' default selection is shown in
parentheses; other options are shown in square brackets.

(Options controlling basic 1st-pass processing)


If "Y", the forum will be processed any time you request a 1st pass.
If "N", the forum will be skipped.

When you select "Y", OzCIS considers the forum "active"; its name
will be marked with a "*" character in the AVAILABLE FORUMS window.

READ NEW MESSAGES (blank by default)

(That's ALL messages you haven't read yet.) Here you enter the names
of forum sections from which OzCIS will get new messages. Press F2
to open a pick-list showing sections by number and name. If you want
only one section, highlight it with the cursor bar and press ENTER
(or left-click on it).

Each time you select from the pick-list that way, any information
now in the field will be replaced with a single section number. To
select MORE than one number from the pick-list, move the cursor bar
from one entry to another, selecting by pressing the space bar. A
check-mark will appear next to each selected section. Press F10 or
ENTER to confirm, closing the window. This puts multiple section
numbers into the field.

Or type the numbers yourself, separating them by commas (thus:
1,2,4,6,12). Use a hyphen to indicate a range of sections - like:
1,3,4-7,10 for sections 1 and 3, 4 through/including 7, and 10. Do
not type spaces within the string of numbers and commas. To select
all of the forum's section numbers, type the word "all" into the
field or select "ALL" from the pick-list.

NOTE: The pick-list is available only after OzCIS makes an auto-
config pass for this forum and writes the .SEC file to disk.


During a 1st pass, shall OzCIS retrieve subject-matter header lines
for you to review off-line? If so, type the desired section numbers

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 84

into the field, separated by commas. Press F2 to open a pick-list of
section names and numbers if the .SEC file is now in the forum's
subdirectory. Enter section numbers, separated by commas and/or
hyphens, as discussed just above.


Shall OzCIS reset your "high message" (last-read) number for the
forum after getting a list of message headers? If "Y" the quickscan
AFTER that will begin at the next highest (unread) message number.
We recommend you set this option to "Y," especially if you do NOT
have OzCIS read "new" messages (via the "read new" option, discussed
above). "Read new" automatically re-sets the high message number;
others kinds of message retrieval do not.

PURGE OLD MESSAGES BY (Always) [ Never Sessions Days ]

Toggle the settings by pressing the space bar. The options mean the
same as they do in OzCIS' general configuration dialogue. As before,
selecting SESSIONS or DAYS opens a PURGE COUNTER field within the
dialogue; use that field to chose the number of sessions (or days'
worth) of mail to retain.

The fewer "sessions" you keep on hand, the faster OzCIS indexes the
message file each time you start reading forum messages.

NOTE: If you use the "Always" setting, a 1st pass will replace all
old messages with the new ones. However, a 2nd pass will ADD
new messages to the old ones. Example: You do a 1st pass to a
forum and get waiting message and quickscan headers. This
removes all old messages. You tag quickscan headers and make
a 2nd pass soon afterward. Even if the "PURGE" field is set
to "Always," the 2nd pass will APPEND the new messages to the
ones you just retrieved during the 1st pass.


"Y" tells OzCIS to save purged messages into a file. If you were
configuring DTPFORUM, the purge file's name would be DTPFORUM.PRG. A
.PRG file can be read (and messages within it replied-to) via

(Options for work performed during either a 1st pass or 2nd pass, and
performed EVERY time you make a 1st or 2nd pass.)


If "Y": During a 1st pass OzCIS will always download new forum
messages addressed specifically TO YOU before it does anything else.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 85

If "N": OzCIS will take no extra steps to get messages addressed to
you. Messages to you will be retrieved from a section for which you
have the "read new" option set. "Waiting" messages in OTHER sections
will be ignored.


If "Y": OzCIS will send any outgoing messages FROM YOU during a 1st
pass. If "N", it will send them only during a 2nd pass.


If "Y": during a 1st pass OzCIS will download any binary files
you've requested; if "N": it will do so only during a 2nd pass.


If "Y": during a 1st pass OzCIS will upload any binary files you're
sending to the forum; if "N": it will do so only during a 2nd pass.


Enter the name (including path information, if need be) of an OzCIS
script file that will be executed during EVERY 1st pass to this
forum. The script is always executed when OzCIS has completed all
other normal work for this forum. Scripts are discussed in detail in


If "Y": OzCIS will read any waiting messages during a 2nd pass in
the forum - not only during a 1st pass. A "Y" setting in this field
tells OzCIS to retrieve waiting messages even if you have the 1st-
pass "retrieve waiting?" field (see above) set to "N".

(Options controlling work performed during either a 1st or 2nd pass,
but performed only ONCE; to have the work done again, you must re-
enter the configuration dialogue and re-enable the options.)


This is an alternative to having OzCIS set the "high message" number
following a quickscan. Here, enter the message number to become the
"last-read" message. OzCIS automatically blanks out this field
following the pass. Use the field if you find you're seeing mail
several times that you've already read one or more times and if you
HAVE told OzCIS to reset the "high message" number following
quickscans. CIS' own software has a bug that sometimes causes a

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 86

"reset high number" command not to work properly. This is a way of
defeating the bug.


If "Y": OzCIS updates all section and library information for the
forum, creating a new .SEC file in the forum's directory (e.g.,
DTPFORUM.SEC if you're working in DTPFORUM). The update will be
done during either a 1st or 2nd pass. As soon as the pass is over,
the "Y" is automatically reset to "N".


If "Y": OzCIS will do an auto-configuration pass in addition to any
other work performed during the pass. The auto-config takes place
during either a 1st or 2nd pass. When the configuration is done, the
"Y" is automatically reset to "N".

SCAN LIBS (LONG) (blank)

Enter library numbers into the data field just as you entered
section numbers into the READ NEW MESSAGES field (and others - see
above). Press F2 to see a list of libraries for the forum (if you
made a configuration pass and OzCIS wrote a .SEC file for this
forum). NOTE: Unlike message section number lines, you CANNOT use
the hyphen to denote sequential library numbers. In other words,
this is legal: "1,2,3,4,6,8" and this is not: "1-4,6,8".

Note the "Y/N" field to the left of the section-numbers field. The
default setting is "N". When you're ready to do a scan, change the
"N" to "Y", then close the configuration dialogue, saving changes.
When OzCIS has finished the scan, the "Y" will be automatically
reset to "N".

Make sure to enter library numbers, NOT SECTION NUMBERS, into the
field - and the same with the short-scan field (see below).

UPDATE? (N) [ Y ]

A "long scan" writes a file with the extension .L?? into the forum's
subdirectory (where "??" is a a forum library's number). Library
contents change all the time. Set this option to "Y" to have OzCIS
perform a long scan in selected libraries but retrieve ONLY new or
changed information. Using "update" rather than scanning from
scratch can save much time on-line, especially in large libraries.

Updating writes a file with the extension .U?? into the forum's
subdirectory - with "??" again being a specific library number.
Later, when you view the long-scan information, OzCIS merges the
contents of the .U?? file into its associated .L?? file, then
deletes the .U?? file.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 87


Enter library numbers into this field if you want OzCIS to make a
"short scan" of selected forum libraries.

As with the SCAN LIBS (LONG) option, this one also has a "Y/N"
field, set to "N" by default. As with the other one, change the "N"
to "Y" when you're ready to do a short-format scan and tell OzCIS to
save changes in the dialogue. When the scan is done, OzCIS
automatically resets the "Y" to "N" again.


Forums often have announcements about new products, services, files,
real-time conferences on specific topics, and so on. Press F2 to see
a list of possible announcement topics. Enter the desired
announcements into the field, again separating the numbers by
commas. Select multiple announcement numbers with the space bar,
then press F10 or ENTER to have OzCIS automatically type the numbers
into the field. Do NOT enter SECTION or LIBRARY numbers here.

Announcement names and numbers are the same in virtually all forums,
though it is up to sysops whether all possible announcement numbers
are used at all times. If an announcement isn't available at a given
moment, OzCIS' attempting to read it won't have any ill effect.

When the pass is completed, OzCIS writes files to disk containing
the text of the announcements. If the forum were DTPFORUM and you'd
asked for announcements 2, 3, and 5, your DTPFORUM subdirectory
would now contain files named DTPFORUM.AN2, DTPFORUM.AN3, and

NOTE: There is no reader within OzCIS that automatically opens
the announcement files. But you can use the General Editor
to read them; from the main screen, select WINDOWS > EDITOR
and then specify the path and name for an announcement file.

After the pass that retrieves the announcements, the READ
ANNOUNCEMENTS field is automatically blanked out.


CIS stores a list of sections you normally visit - set to "ALL" when
you join a forum. OzCIS' own work in forum sections does not change
the default. Entering section numbers here DOES change the default.
Restricting default sections can save you a bit of time on-line. You
can always enter new information into the field later to alter the
default setting.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 88


Here you can specify the name of an OzCIS script file to be executed
only ONCE - the next time OzCIS enters the forum. The temporary
script takes precedence - one time only - over any other script you
normally run in the forum (see information about the PERMANENT
SCRIPT field, above). The script is executed when OzCIS has finished
all other work in the forum. After the end of the pass during which
the temporary script is used, the TEMPORARY SCRIPT field is
automatically blanked out. For more information on OzCIS scripts,
see the documentation file TERMINAL.DOC.

To save the settings in the forum configuration dialogue, press F10.
Or press ESC to quit without saving the settings.


The dialogue you open via FORUMS > PASS OPTIONS SETTINGS is a subset
of the full configuration routine. It is usually all you need once you
have done the initial forum setup. But if you ever need to change,
say, subdirectory information, do so via the CONFIGURATION menu.
up the first config dialogue you saw; then you can change directory
information or the other options not available via FORUMS > PASS


Answer: There are no "right" options. What you tell OzCIS to do in the
configuration dialogue is entirely dependent on your needs with
respect to forum messages and files.

Many people use a 1st pass only to get waiting messages and quickscan
headers. They read and reply to the waiting mail off-line and tag the
quickscan headers for retrieval of forum messages in their entirety.
Then they do a 2nd pass in which OzCIS retrieves the full text of
tagged headers and sends any replies. Uploads and downloads are
usually sent or retrieved only during a second pass, too. Other users
prefer always to capture all new messages in some or all sections of a
forum, to eliminate the second "2nd Pass" that sending replies might
require. Some users intermix the two methods, depending on the forum,
level of message traffic and other factors.

We suggest you experiment a bit with pass option settings until you
arrive at a routine you like. Remember that you can use CIS' forum
called PRACTICE to carry out these experiments without piling up
connect-time charges (although you might be charged for certain
connection surcharges related to your use of a particular Host).

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 89


The main screen's ONLINE menu also has 1st- and 2nd-pass selections.
The difference between them and a pass selected from FORUMS menu: When
THIS FORUM, the pass is made only with respect to the CURRENTLY
SELECTED FORUM. CISMail (if any) is processed then as well, but no
other forums are entered.

When you select ONLINE > 1ST PASS, OzCIS enters ALL forums you have
marked "active."

When you select ONLINE > 2ND PASS, OzCIS enters ALL forums for which
there is 2nd-pass work pending.


From time to time symbols (flags) appear in the AVAILABLE FORUMS

* Forum is "active"

Means: This forum has been marked "active" - you've answered "YES"
to the question "Include this forum in 1st Pass?" in the forum
configuration dialogue.

NOTE: Shortcut - move the cursor bar within the AVAILABLE FORUMS
window to a forum name and press F2 to toggle its "active"
status on and off. The corresponding field in the forum
config dialogue automatically changes from "Y" to "N" or back
again, depending on how you've toggled "active" status in the
AVAILABLE FORUMS window. Likewise, changing the setting in
the config dialogue will toggle the "*" on and off in the

"2" (SUPERSCRIPT) 2nd-Pass work pending

Means: There is 2nd pass work to be done the next time OzCIS enters
this forum. For example, you might have tagged quickscan headers.
The "2" appears next to the forum's name until OzCIS logs onto CIS
again and performs the pending 2nd-pass work, which could include
messages to be sent, library scans you've requested, or files to be
uploaded to or downloaded from the forum.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 90

CHECK-MARK Unread mail

Means: There are new forum messages you have not read yet.

Note: If you erase the forum message file (the one with the
extension .MES), the check-mark will sometimes appear in the
window, anyway.

"SMILEY-FACE" (the ^A symbol) Unread personal mail

Means: There are "waiting" messages you haven't yet read. If your
new mail includes messages to you, this symbols take the place of
the check-mark - but only if "read waiting" is part of your forum
configuration settings.

? Quickscan headers

Means: OzCIS has retrieved quickscan headers, but you haven't
yet tagged any of them. The first time you start a "tag headers"
routine (discussed below), the "?" disappears from the window).


You can change the order of forum names in the AVAILABLE FORUMS
FORUMS window opens not in the center of the screen, but in the upper

First highlight the name of the forum whose position you want to
change in the list. Select SORT from the menu bar. (Notice the hint
that appears at the bottom of the screen.)

Move the cursor bar to the forum name BELOW WHICH you want the
selected name to be moved. Press ENTER. The name you selected first
(the one that was highlighted when you pressed Alt-S or left-clicked
"SORT") will be moved below the presently-highlighted name. To move
the name to the top of the list, highlight it, select SORT, move the
cursor bar to the very BOTTOM of the list, then press ENTER.


After configuring a forum, make sure the configuration options include
getting quickscan headers or waiting messages in one or more forum
sections, then have OzCIS make a 1st Pass there.

Even if this is your first time in the forum, go ahead and tell OzCIS
via the forum configuration dialogue to check for waiting messages;
there won't be any for you yet, but you won't do any harm by setting
the option to "Y". If you know you'd like to see ALL mail in

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 91

particular sections right off the bat, put the desired section numbers
into the configuration-dialogue's field for "NEW" mail.

Make sure you have the right Host and forum names selected. From the
main screen, select FORUMS > 1ST PASS IN THIS FORUM. (If you want to
begin collecting mail in more than one forum, mark the desired forums
"active" - as discussed above - and select ONLINE > 1ST PASS. The
following discussion assumes you're doing the pass via the FORUMS
menu, however).

OzCIS logs onto CIS, processes outgoing and incoming CISMail (if any),
logs onto the forum, collects the messages you've told it to get, then
logs off and returns to the main screen.

New forum messages are written to a file whose base name is the first
8 characters of the forum's "GO" word and whose extension is .MES
(example: DTPFORUM.MES for the DTPFORUM). The quickscan information
(message headers only) is written to a .QS file (example:
DTPFORUM.QS). Both files are stored in the directory you specified
during forum configuration (example: C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM\DTPFORUM.MES).


After OzCIS has retrieved new forum messages, from the main screen

There will be a short pause as OzCIS indexes the messages. If you have
configured it not to display duplicated mail, an alert containing
"Removing duplicates" will appear briefly. Then the Message Reader opens.

The first thing you see is a kind of greeting-message. Using DTPFORUM
as the example - the greeting looks something like this:

#: 0 S0/Forum Header Announcement
02-Jan-92 17:41:37
Sb: Pass 1 Header
To: Melvin Cowznofski 12345,6789

Welcome to Desktop Publishing Forum, V. 2G(31)

Hello, Melvin Cowznofski
Last visit: 02-Jan-92 15:02:22

Forum messages: 161081 to 167918
Last message you've read: 167780

Section(s) Selected: All
2 members are in conference.
You have 2 messages waiting.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 92

This is essentially the same screen you'd see if you were to log onto
the forum manually from the CIS prompt. The "last message" number will
be the lowest message number in the forum if this is your first visit
(aside from the forum auto-configuration pass). If it is your first
visit, the "You have 'x' messages waiting" line does not appear.

The line reading "Fr: OzCIS" indicates that it's a message to which
you cannot reply; if you try to make a reply here, nothing happens.

When the Message Reader is used to read forum messages, virtually all
of its commands and functions are identical to those available when
you use it with CISMail, including commands that pertain to moving
within and between "groups" of messages. We won't go over all the
Message Reader commands again here, but will note a couple of
differences in its OTHER menu:

DELete online - DEL key

This command is accessible ONLY if the message you're reading is
either to you or from you. Its purpose is to remove the message from
the forum's message base. Pressing DEL opens an alert in which OzCIS
asks you to confirm deleting the message the next time you're on-
line in the forum. Press "N" or "ESC" if you don't want to do this,
or "Y" if you do. The message will be deleted during either the next
1st pass or the next 2nd pass. A flag reading DELETE ONLINE will
appear any time you view this message. Pressing DEL again will
toggle OFF the "delete on-line" status, and the flag will disappear.

Deleting your own messages on-line is not usually necessary for
forum housekeeping purposes and in fact is frowned upon by some
sysops, although some strongly prefer that you delete messages
posted PRIVATELY by or to you in the forum. Deletion of publicly-
viewable messages can disrupt message threads or keep others from
seeing useful information. If you've posted a message you later
decide you really don't want others to see, go ahead and delete it.
If in doubt about forum policy, post a message to the sysop or
sysops and ask for further information.


This command allows you to forward a copy of the current message to
another user, either in the forum or via CISMail. You will be
prompted for the destination and the addressee's information. See
the "Forward Copy" command in CISMAIL.DOC for more information,
especially concerning copyright on messages.


Moves to the previous ACTIVE forum in your list of forums.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 93


Moves to the next ACTIVE forum in your list of forums. In either
case (F7 or F9) OzCIS looks for a ".MES" file containing messages.
If none exists in the next forum area, OzCIS presents a "file not
found" error message.

There are also several commands that jump rapidly from one message
"thread" to another:





returns to the message you were reading when you first began reading
the thread (might not be the same as the very first message in the


One major difference in what you now see in the Message Reader is the
way messages begin. A typical forum message has a header that looks
like this (here we use a fictitious section name):

#: 167828 S2/Advanced Keyboard Designs
02-Jan-92 13:10:04
Fm: Aaron A. Aardvark 00000,111
To: Irving Arglebargle 12345,6789

The first line of the header shows the message number, the section
number ("S2" for "section 2" in this example), and the section's title
(in this example, "Advanced Keyboard Designs"). The next line shows
the date and time the message was posted to the forum. The third line
is the subject-matter line, where you can see if the current message
is a reply to another.

In that example, Mr. Aardvark has posted forum message number 167828,
a reply to Mr. Arglebargle's message number 167783, the subject being

Sometimes "#" characters appear in the subject-line. They are inserted
automatically by CIS.


means the message is a reply to message 167883.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 94


means the message is a REPLY TO A REPLY to message 167883.

From time to time other flags appear at the ends of "To:" lines in
forum messages:

(X) Message has been received by addressee.

(P) Message is private.

(T) You have used a CIS procedure, not an OzCIS procedure, to
tag the message for later retrieval.

(H) Message has been placed "on hold" by a forum sysop, who might
have deemed a particular message important enough to keep around
rather than allow it to scroll out of the forum's message base.

"[F]," appearing between "To:" and an recipient's name, means the
message was manually forwarded by a forum sysop to the recipient,
perhaps from another section. A sysop might forward a message once
addressed to "ALL" if its content indicates it should be sent to a
particular forum member, not to "ALL". Sysops sometimes forward
messages that have been inadvertently mis-addressed.

A sysop can also forward a forum message via CISMail - sometimes done
when the addressee has not yet read it, it's about to scroll out of
the message base, and the sysop deems the contents important enough
that the addressee should see the message.


You start a reply to a forum message the same way you start a reply to
a CISMail message. The screen splits, and the cursor moves into the
lower window - OzCIS' Reply Editor. You can move from one window to
another, scroll text in both windows, and copy text from the upper
window into the lower one, just as when you reply to CISMail.

Remember that when you're using the Reply Editor, F5 and F7 load the
next message in the current group, and the previous message in the
current group, respectively, into the upper window. You can use these
commands to copy text easily from several messages, pasting them into
a SINGLE reply (the one you're working on in the lower window).

IMPORTANT: As with CISMail, NEVER begin a line in a forum message with
a semicolon. If you have to have a semicolon as the first
character on the line, start the line with at least one
space. Otherwise, OzCIS will become mighty confused; it
uses semicolons in its own headers (normally not visible).

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 95

Always press ENTER at least one time following the last
character of the last line of a forum message. Otherwise,
the last line might be cut off.


The Address Book is available when the window is not split, and you
can have OzCIS enter names automatically into the Address Book as is
possible with CISMail messages.

But there is a major difference: When you're reading forum messages,
you have the choice to enter either the name/address information in
the "Fm:" ("From") line into the Address Book, or else the
name/address information in the "To:" line. Selecting ADDRESS from the
top-line menu opens a small window in which you choose either the "To"
line or the "From" line. Then the Address Book opens; the procedure
thereafter is the same as you've seen before for CISMail. If you want
to put the information for both sender and recipient into the Address
Book, make a couple of passes with the Address Book here.

These Address Book commands are available when you're looking at a
message in the Message Reader but NOT when the window is split and
you're using the Reply Editor.


When you're done in the Reply Editor, give the SEND command (pressing
ESC, on the other hand, allows you to quit the reply without saving).

If you were working with CISMail, you'd then see a window in which you
select "Standard" or "Return Receipt". There are different options
(flags) for forum messages:


A standard "save" allows CIS to format the reply (wrap the lines)
in a way that suits the terminal type of each reader. This may not
be desirable if you want a message's lines to remain as you've
typed them.


"Unformatted" prevents CIS from wrapping the lines to suit the
reader's terminal type, preserving your original line endings.
Suppose you make a reply that includes quotes taken from the
"parent" message, marking the quoted lines with ">" - thus:

> So, when the keys got stuck, what did you
> figure you were going to do about them?

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 96

CIS, in reformatting such a message, will probably bring the second
">" up onto the first line. Using "save unformatted" prevents the


Some forums support private messages, which stay in the forum (they
aren't sent via CISMail), but only the senders and recipients can
see them. If you don't know for sure that private replies are
allowed in a given forum, ask the sysops about this. If you post a
private message in a forum, a reply to it and any reply to THAT
reply will always have the "private" flag set.

Both Pri/Unf

A private reply is normally saved "formatted." This option makes
the reply private (within the forum) and prevents CIS from doing its
own line-wrapping.

NOTE: No one other than the sender and recipient of private messages
can see the messages, but it is possible that once in a great
while, a software error could make public a message intended to
be private. If you desire more secure mail, post via CISMail.
Even then, you should be aware that no electronic mail can ever
be considered truly private.

Via CISMail

This is, in our opinion, a better way of making a private reply,
even if a forum supports private replies WITHIN the forum. Private
replies take up space in the forum's message base; if people go hog-
wild leaving private replies, they take up too many message "slots,"
limiting the number of public messages the forum can hold at a given
time. This can become a nuisance to all forum participants.

This flag does not place the reply into the file containing your
other outbound CISMail messages. When OzCIS transmits your outbound
forum messages, a "Via CISMail" message is routed to CISMail at the
moment OzCIS finishes posting the message. This option always saves
messages "unformatted."

Change Info

This opens a CHANGE REPLY ADDRESS dialogue, containing SEND TO,
SUBJECT, and SEC (section) fields. The fields will already be filled
in with the existing name, address, and subject information. You can
call up a pick-list of section numbers by pressing F2 when the
cursor is in the SEC field. Change information as needed and press
F10 to close the dialogue and save changes - or press ESC to close
it without making any changes.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 97

Confirming new name, subject, or section information closes the
dialogue but leaves the window containing "Standard," "Unformatted,"
et al., on the screen.

Choosing any option BUT "Change Info" completes the reply, closes the
Reply Editor, stores the reply in your outbound forum message file,
and returns you to the Message Reader.

OzCIS stores outbound forum messages (replies and brand-new messages)
in a file whose base is the first 8 characters of the forum's "GO"
word and whose extension is .REP. As with .MES and .QS files, the .REP
file is stored in the forum's own subdirectory.


Select FORUMS > NEW MESSAGE COMPOSE from the main screen.

Writing new forum messages is like writing new CISMail; you use the
New Message Editor in both cases. But when you choose SEND from the
menu, the MESSAGE ADDRESS dialogue options are different:

As before, you enter the recipient's name and UserID, and the subject
matter. But there are also fields for the forum section number and for
flags you might need to add ("Private," "unformatted," or "Via

You can leave the flag-fields blank, but you must fill in the NAME,
SUBJECT, and SECTION fields. Otherwise OzCIS beeps, puts an alert on
the screen reading "ALL FIELDS MUST BE PROVIDED," and refuses to close
the dialogue (unless you press ESC to cancel addressing the message).
The ADDRESS field can be left blank so that you can post a message to
"All" ("All" doesn't have a UserID number of its own, of course.)

You can also address messages to particular people, omitting their
UserID numbers from the ADDRESS fields. It's entirely possible the
recipients will see the messages the next time they log onto the
forum. However, if they log on to check ONLY "waiting" mail, they will
not get any messages missing the UserID numbers - CIS alerts them to
"waiting" mail by reference to UserID numbers, not names.

TIP: If you need to post a message to a forum sysop but don't know
his or her name or UserID number, post to "*SYSOP" (without the
double quote marks but WITH the asterisk). CIS will send a
message, thus addressed, privately to the sysop; when he or she
replies, then you'll know the name and UserID number and will be
able to store the information in your Address Book if you want.
This kind of message is stored privately within the forum; it is
not sent to the sysop via CISMail.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 98


As with CISMail, you can compose a new message and use F4 to begin
saving it instead of selecting SEND from the menu bar. As long as you
go on using F4, confirming the name/address (etc.) information will
save the message and leave you in the New Message Editor with a new
blank editing screen.


The menu item FORUMS > VIEW OUTGOING MESSAGES is accessible when
you've made replies to forum messages or composed entirely new
messages (that is, when OzCIS has written a .REP file in the forum's
subdirectory). The command opens the Review Editor, whose commands are
the same as those you've seen when reviewing CISMail.

Selecting "KILL" from the top line of the Review Editor has the same
effect as selecting "KILL" when you're reviewing outgoing CISMail: It
gives you the choice to remove the message completely from the
outbound mail file (the .REP file).

It's not the same as the "DELETE" command that can be given when you
read forum messages in the Message Reader; in that case, the "kill"
doesn't occur until the next time OzCIS goes on-line in the forum.


As with CISMail, when you quit the Review Editor, OzCIS asks if you
want to save the messages - IF you set the configuration dialogue's
"auto-save?" field to "ASK." If you reply YES, ALL of the new outbound
messages are stored in the selected forum's subdirectory. The "save
file" has a base name consisting of the first 8 characters of the
forum's "GO" word and the extension .OBS (for "outbox save"). This
file is a "folder" that can be opened later via the command FORUMS >
MESSAGES IN FOLDERS. If you put "ALWAYS" into the configuration
dialogue's "auto-save?" field, the outbound messages are saved in the
.OBS file at roughly the time they are being posted in the forum.


CISMail messages can be up to 512 Kbytes, but the maximum length of a
forum message is only about 2,100 characters. As you write, keep an
eye on the character count displayed in the New Message Editor's (or
Reply Editor's) status line.

If the message length exceeds the maximum figure, OzCIS automatically
splits it. At the end of each section, it inserts a line reading:
"[OzCIS: Continued in next msg]" and at the beginning of the next
section, it inserts a line reading "[OzCIS: Continued from previous

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 99

msg]". A split always occurs at the beginning of a line - never in
the middle of a line.

The automatic split does not take place until after you have finished
composing the message and have closed the editor. You'll be able to
see the "splits" when you review the outgoing mail.

There are times when you might want to force a split at a particular
line rather than let OzCIS make the decision. In that case, use the
SPLIT command (in the menu bar). Selecting SPLIT inserts a ^S
character into the message at the present cursor position. A
highlighted letter "S" appears there. This split will occur FIRST,
over-riding any decision OzCIS makes UNLESS you put the "split
character" too far down in the message body (in which case OzCIS will,
itself, split the message, THEN read the manually inserted ^S).
(You can confirm the cursor position - number of bytes "into" the
message - by watching the readouts in the editor's status line.)

If you are replying to an existing message, all "splits" are sent as
replies to the original message, unless the first message in the split
group is flagged "Private" or "Via CISMail."

When you compose a NEW multi-part message (i.e., not a reply to
someone else's mail), whether split manually or automatically, OzCIS
sends the second and any additional segments as a reply to the first
message of the REPLY. In other words, when you see the message in the
forum during your next pass, you'll see the second segment of the
reply addressed TO YOU - even though you'd addressed the first part
will to the recipient. This method best preserves message-thread

Exceptions: Again, in multi-part new messages posted PRIVATELY to a
forum, or posted using the "Via CISMail" option, the original
recipient's name will be used in all of the "TO:" lines of the message


The outbound-message file OzCIS writes - the .REP file - is a plain-
text file stored in the directory you've established for the forum.
Each message within the file has a distinct header area you don't see
when you're writing or reviewing outbound messages (unless you use the
General Editor to view or edit the file). See "Custom Message
Services," below, for information on quickly opening forum mail or
other files without having to quit OzCIS and run a text editor.

Editing the text of an outbound message is simple enough; use the
Review Editor. And you should use it for changing body text, rather
than the General Editor. See note below for the reasons. But what if
you need to change the header of a given message?

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 100

Here's a typical-looking header as it appears in the .REP file:

;REP 168277;;Bjorn MacFeldman 12345,987;Peculiar names;2

This would be a reply (REP) to message number 168277. The double-
semicolon marks the place where a message-formatting instruction might
be inserted. In this example, the formatting "field" is blank,
indicating that CIS will apply "standard" formatting. The recipient is
Bjorn MacFeldman, CIS UserID number 12345,987. The subject of the
message is "Peculiar names." The message is to be posted in section 2
of the forum.

If you wanted to send the message "unformatted," you'd add the flag
"UNF" to the header between the double semicolons. Thus:

;REP 168277;UNF;Bjorn MacFeldman 12345,987;Peculiar names;2

If it were not a reply but an entirely new message from you, the
header information might look something like this:

;COMP;;Bjorn MacFeldman 12345,987;Peculiar names;2

... with "COMP" standing for "compose new message." This is also a
message to the infamous MacFeldman and is also posted to section 2.
Note, again, the double-semicolon string.

Other formatting flags that might appear in such headers:

PRI: private and with standard CIS formatting

UNF PRI: UNformatted and private

;MAIL;;Bjorn MacFeldman 12345,987;More about weird names;2

The line just above means the message goes to Mr. MacFeldman not in
the forum but via CISMail. Formatting flags won't appear in a via-
CISMail message posted initially to a forum. Note that the section
number still appears at the end of the line.

If you need to open a .REP file and change any header information or
message text, make VERY sure that:

1) You save the file in plain-text format; 2) You do NOT add or remove
any semicolons in the header area; 3) You do NOT alter the string
"EOM" at the end of each message. "EOM" will have on each side of it
two "highbit" characters - box-drawing characters; do not alter or
remove either of those.

OzCIS' General Editor always saves in plain-text format, so consider
using it - if only to save time - when you need to alter .REP file
headers (see "Other FORUM Commands," below).

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 101

IMPORTANT: If you edit a forum message outside the Reply Editor or the
Review Editor, OzCIS is NOT able to keep track of the
message size such that it can automatically place a "split"
character into the message body when need be. For this
reason, PLEASE limit custom editing done with the General
Editor (or your own text editor) to changing header
information ONLY, and use the Review Editor to change the
message body itself.


The procedures are the same as noted elsewhere (for saving individual
outgoing or incoming CISMail messages). You can save an individual
message written TO you, using any file name you want. One difference
between this procedure and the CISMail procedure: OzCIS stores the
name of the last "save file" you used and puts that name by default
into the data field that appears when you choose "SAVE".

Saving a message FROM you stores the message in a file whose base name
is the first 8 characters of the forum's "GO" word and whose extension
is .OBS. The .OBS file is stored in the subdirectory containing all of
the other files for this forum; you cannot supply alternate path or
file name information for an outbox-save file. As with CISMail,
messages stored this way can be read again, and replied-to, via the


When you go on-line and collect quickscan headers from a forum, OzCIS
writes a file with the extension .QS in the forum's subdirectory. You
peruse this file off-line, looking for messages of interest and
selecting those you'd like OzCIS to retrieve in their entirety during
the next 2nd pass to the forum.

NOTE: Later, during a 2nd pass when you retrieve messages in their
entirety, OzCIS appends the new messages to the end of the file
(if any) containing existing forum messages. This is different
from the result of making a first pass and retrieving "waiting"
or "new" messages, either of which will cause an existing forum
message file to to be OVER-WRITTEN.

Selecting FORUMS > TAG QUICKSCAN LIST opens a window that shows the
most recently retrieved headers. If you'd collected headers for the
DTPFORUM, the display might look something like this:

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 102

Quickscan Headers, 19:24:10 06-Jan-92 0 Msgs Tagged

Reality of tech support #169607: S 1 / The Corner Pub
5000 degrees KEVIN?? #169590: S 1 / The Corner Pub
Latest scanners (1) #169602: S 6 / Scanners & Gizmos
Font prices, etc. #169609: S 12 / Type & Typography
PFM->AFM? #169612: S 12 / Type & Typography
Direct-to-plate tech. (6) #169605: S 13 / Printing & Prepress

On each line OzCIS displays the subject of the message, the number of
replies to that message (in parentheses), the message number, the
forum section number and section name. In the above example, message
169602 has one reply; message 169605 has 6 replies.

This is a stamdard pick-list. You can scroll the list up and down with
PG UP and PG DN (or use the mouse and the scroll bars and scroll
arrows) if the list is longer than one screen. The other commands are:

SPACE BAR Tags the message now highlighted by the cursor bar. Tagging
a message puts a check-mark next to it and moves the cursor
bar to the next line. The space bar is also used to UNtag
tagged messages. You can also left-click on a given line to
tag a message.

ALT-T Tags ALL messages in the quickscan list.

ALT-U UNtags ALL messages in the quickscan list.

ALT-S Send (store) the tagged selections.

ESC Close the window without saving tagged messages.

When you save the list, OzCIS writes a file with the extension .GET
into the forum's subdirectory (in this example, it would write
DTPFORUM.GET). During the next 2nd pass, OzCIS reads the .GET file and
retrieves in their entirety all messages you've tagged, including all
the replies, plus any replies posted in the forum since you did the
quick-scan. (You might end up with more messages than you originally
thought you'd retrieve.) The .GET file is deleted when OzCIS is done
retrieving the messages.

NOTE: Tagging a quickscan list and saving the selections ALWAYS
causes any existing .GET file to be over-written.

Can't remember whether or not you've tagged the latest crop of
quickscan headers? It's easy enough to forget if you have made
several passes to a given forum on the same day. Keep an eye on the
Available Forums window, always visible when you have the FORUMS menu
dropped down. If a "?" appears next to a forum's name, there is a
quickscan file that you haven't yet inspected. (The first time you

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 103

open it, whether or not you tag headers, the "?" flag disappears from
the Available Forums window.)

If you re-open the quickscan-headers window before going on-line to
get the tagged messages, the check-markss will still be there. Alter
them if you need to, then use the SAVE command to save the altered
list. If you don't need to make any changes at all, press ESC to close
the window. OzCIS then asks if you want to save the tagged headers. If
you made NO changes, answering "N" will have no effect on the present
tagging. Answer "Y" if you made changes and want to save them.



Selecting FORUMS > MESSAGE IN FOLDERS opens a sub-menu with four
items. The first three mentioned below are accessible only if OzCIS
can find specific files it considers "folders".


Opens a .SAV file whose base name is the first 8 characters of the
selected forum's "GO" word. This is the file you create or add to by
selecting "SAVE" when you're in the Message Reader. You can also
give such files another name (see "Manual Selection," below).


Opens an .OBS file whose base name is the first 8 characters of the
selected forum's "GO" word. The .OBS file is created by OzCIS when
you select "SAVE" in the Review Editor.


When you configure a forum, you can tell OzCIS to save any forum
message "sessions" it removes from the current message file (the
.MES file). The purged-but-saved messages are stored in a file with
the extension .PRG (as before, its base name is the first 8
characters of the forum's "GO" word). This menu item opens the
forum's .PRG file, if any.


Allows you to select a "save file" for which you've assigned the
name (rather than use OzCIS' default name). Selecting this item
opens a window containing a data field for the file name (supply
path information if need be). Entering a name including wildcards
gives you a standard OzCIS file pick-list.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 104

If the file you specify is not in the correct format for a "folder,"
OzCIS displays an error message and refuses to open the file (for
more information about the correct file format, review the "messages
in folders" section of the OzCIS documentation for CISMail).

Selecting a "folder" opens the Message Reader. The previously-
discussed Message Reader commands are available there, including
access to the Reply Editor.


Selecting FORUMS > CUSTOM SERVICES opens a sub-menu with three items:


Selecting this item opens a Custom Message Services window on the
right side of the main screen - a pick-list with about 30 selections
for custom processing, including retrieval of forum messages with
specific message headers, messages posted in the past 'x' days (you
specify what 'x' is), and so on. As you move the cursor bar through
the list, text explaining the purpose of each selection appears at the
bottom of the main screen. We think the hints are informative enough
that the selections do not need to be discussed here one by one.

Two of the items (near the top) contain your OWN CIS UserID number.
The initial OzCIS configuration you did automatically inserts the
number into this part of the pick-list. The first item is a custom
command to read all messages written by you; the second reads all
written TO you.

There are a few items toward the bottom of the pick-list that pertain
to collecting message headers (only). Most other ("read") options
retrieve forum messages in their entirety.

Some of the items, when selected, will bring up one or two additional
windows into which you enter forum section numbers, subject matter
text, date information, or someone's UserID.

These fields are all fairly long, but if you happen to fill a field
completely, the cursor disappears from the field and the highlighted
text in the field changes to the regular text attribute. The contents
of the field are temporarily un-editable - but: Notice that there is a
command name in the field, containing a single highlighted letter.
Press that letter. You will be able to resume editing the field.

Custom processing commands are stored in the forum's subdirectory in
the .GET file - the same one where OzCIS stores information about any

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 105

quickscan headers you've tagged. Each new custom-processing command
you select is added to the .GET file. During the next 2nd pass, OzCIS
executes the custom instructions in the order you entered them.

NOTE: The .GET file is ALWAYS OVER-WRITTEN each time you tag
quickscan headers. Therefore, if you want to retrieve tagged
messages AND have custom-on-line-processing executed, do all of
the tagging first, THEN select the custom processing commands.


This menu item allows you to make a custom scan of the selected
library, selecting scanning criteria in ways not supported via the
scan options of the forum configuration dialogue. The command opens a
window called CUSTOM LONG SCAN IN , containing these


The numbers of libraries where you want to search for files. As with
other such data fields, enter the numbers separated by commas, or
press F2 for a pick-list from which you select libraries.


Here, type a file name or file name "mask." If you wished to
do a custom long scan for all of the OzCIS files in the IBMCOM
forum, you could type a name like "OZC*.*".


Enter a number representing how many days back you'd like to have
OzCIS check for files matching the name-criteria just entered.


Enter a keyword you are hoping to find within the keywords "field"
for the files in question (maximum, 17 characters). For more
information on keywords, see the OzCIS documentation file FILES.DOC.


Customization information of the sort that you would normally enter
at a CIS forum prompt when searching for files.

Close the dialogue in the usual ways. A custom scan will be executed
on either the next 1st or 2nd pass that visits this particular forum.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 106


This is the second sub-menu item for custom message services.
Selecting it opens an ONLINE FILES window on the right side of the
screen, containing a list of files OzCIS reads and writes when
processing forum messages. For the purposes of this explanation,
suppose we're talking about DTPFORUM and that you've created the
subdirectory C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM for it. These are the ONLINE FILES
window's menu items:


C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM\DTPFORUM.REP is the file containing all of your
replies and all newly-composed mail to be posted to the forum.


C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM\DTPFORUM.GET contains information pertaining to
any quickscan headers you've tagged - and/or: any custom-on-line-
processing information you've created via the command FORUMS >


C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM\DTPFORUM.SEC is the plain-text file OzCIS created
when you had OzCIS make the automatic forum configuration pass.


C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM\DTPFORUM.UL contains information about any binary
files you are going to upload to one or more of the forum's libraries.


C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM\DTPFORUM.DL contains information about any binary
files you will download from one or more of the forum's libraries.


C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM\DTPFORUM.MES is the file containing all forum
messages retrieved by OzCIS during 1st or 2nd passes.


C:\OZCIS\DTPFORUM\DTPFORUM.QS contains the list of quickscan headers
you peruse (and tag) off-line - not the list of headers you have
already TAGGED for later retrieval in their entirety.

The files with the extensions .REP, .GET, .UL, and .DL are deleted at
the end of the pass in which OzCIS reads them to get forum message or
file processing instructions.

OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 107

All of these menu items are accessible whether or not the files in
question exist. If you select a file name that doesn't exist, OzCIS
notifies you that it can't find the file, and you are returned to the

Otherwise, OzCIS finds and opens the file at once in the General
Editor. This is a convenient way to edit or view the various utility
files without having to run the General Editor and then specify a full
path and file name (or via choosing from a file pick-list).

NOTE: When you open a file this way, you are looking at the "raw"
file, including all header information OzCIS normally does not
display when you're using the Message Reader, Reply Editor, or
Review Editor. And this method of opening, say, the .MES file
does NOT provide you with a way to reply to the messages in it.

When you have one of these text files open in the General Editor, take
careful note of the formatting for instruction lines within the file.
It is especially important that if you need to edit an instruction
line, you leave its general formatting as-is.

That is: Don't add or remove any semicolons; don't add or remove any
"highbit" characters or character strings reading "SOM" or "EOM"; if
an instruction appears entirely on one line, don't allow the line to
break or wrap. If you change the subject-matter part of the header in
an outgoing message, make sure it doesn't exceed the 24-character limit.

IMPORTANT: If you edit a forum message outside the Reply Editor or the
Review Editor, OzCIS is NOT able to keep track of the
message size such that it can automatically place a "split"
character into the message body when need be. For this
reason, PLEASE limit custom editing done with the General
Editor (or your own text editor) to changing header
information ONLY, and use the Review Editor to change the
message body itself.


Selecting FORUMS > 1ST PASS IN THIS FORUM runs a 1st pass during which OzCIS
visits ONLY the currently selected forum. If you want to run a 1st
pass to ALL forums you have marked "active," use the ONLINE menu.


Selecting FORUMS > 2ND PASS IN THIS FORUM runs a 2nd pass during which
OzCIS visits ONLY the currently selected forum. Again, if you want to
do a 2nd pass and process instructions for ALL forums that have 2nd-
pass work pending, use the ONLINE menu.


OzCIS 1.0 Copyright 1992 Steve Sneed Page 108

  3 Responses to “Category : Communication (modem) tools and utilities
Archive   : OZCIS4.ZIP
Filename : FORUMS.DOC

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: