Contents of the TAPMARK.DOC file
TAPMARK Version 1.44 -- August 15, 1990
Copyright (C) 1988, 1990 Korenthal Associates, Inc. ] All Rights Reserved
Supported on CIS TAPCIS forum: Jim Korenthal [76164,237]
WHAT IS TAPMARK?
TAPMARK is an intelligent thread marking program to be used instead of the
TAPCIS "M" command. If used properly, TAPMARK can save you gobs of time and
enhance your enjoyment of CIS and TAPCIS. (TAPCIS is a CompuServe forum
"navigation" program written by Howard Benner and sold through the Support
Group, Inc. Call 1-800-USA-GROUP or 1-301-889-7893 for details.)
NOTE TO DISTRIBUTORS
This version of TAPMARK is NOT a public domain program. It is a copyrighted
work which may be distributed to the public for free or for a nominal
shipping, handling and media charge. TAPMARK may under no circumstances be
distributed without this accompanying documentation.
Note that there is an enhanced version of TAPMARK (designated by version
number 2.00 or above). The enhanced version may not be distributed except
under written license agreement with Korenthal Associates, Inc.
TAPMARK will work on a system which runs any version of TAPCIS. 140K free
memory is required, so if you run TAPMARK by shelling to DOS with TAPCIS'
Ctrl-F1 command, you should have at least 400K free before running TAPCIS. If
you don't have 400K free, you can always run TAPMARK by exiting TAPCIS,
running TAPMARK, and then reentering TAPCIS. (This method has additional
advantages -- see the "DOUBLE ARROW" section below.) Please note that if you
run TAPMARK with a marginal amount of free memory (about 115-130K), the
program will load, but may abort and display error message #116 or 255.
Registration for TAPMARK is free; however, it IS required if you use the
program on a regular basis. TAPMARK will prompt you to register every time
it is run. The prompt will disappear when you register TAPMARK.
When you do register, TAPMARK will present you with a series of questions.
Your answers will automatically be EasyPlexed to Korenthal Associates the
next time you go online using TAPCIS.
THE ENHANCED VERSION
By popular demand, an enhanced version of TAPMARK is now available which
supports, in addition to the features described herein, local keywords by
forum, phrase and wildcard keywords, an option to suppress absolutely by
keyword, graphic indication of progress through the screens, forum autoselect
when threads are selected, forums presented in Tapcis order, and the ability
to deselect threads no longer of interest FROM WITHIN TAPCIS.
You may order this version by sending $25 + $3 shipping and handling (add New
York State tax if applicable) to Korenthal Associates, Inc., 230 West 13th
Street, New York, NY 10011. You may also order through VISA or MasterCard,
either by calling (212) 242-1790 or by answering "Y" when the program asks if
you want to order and by supplying your credit card information.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF TAPMARK
The full value of TAPMARK cannot be realized unless it is run for at least
three or four CompuServe sessions, allowing the program to accumulate enough
information to be truly useful. Using the "Global preferences" capability
(to specify keywords of interest or non-interest) will allow you to derive
additional benefit from TAPMARK.
TAPMARK will save you time by performing the following functions:
1. Consolidate multiple threads with the same subject name (you only
have to mark the subject name once). Note that subject names are
case-insensitive for consolidation and sorting purposes.
2. Pre-mark threads which:
a) contain messages addressed to you (this guarantees
that you'll see all your messages in context).
b) you've read in a previous CIS session.
c) are in a section in which you've expressed interest.
d) contain a keyword in which you've expressed interest.
3. Pre-unmark (allow quick bypass of threads) which:
a) contain only one message to you which TAPCIS has already read.
b) you've bypassed in a previous CIS session.
c) contain a keyword in which you've expressed a lack of interest.
You can override TAPMARK's pre-marking or pre-unmarking at any time (for
instance, if you lose interest in a thread, or if one you've previously
bypassed suddenly becomes important).
Assuming you already know how to use TAPCIS, it's a cinch to master TAPMARK.
First, use the TAPCIS "N" command to create .QSN files for your "Q" fora.
Next, exit TAPCIS (or shell to DOS using Ctrl-F1 if you have 128K free) and
invoke TAPMARK, possibly with the parameters described below. Follow
TAPMARK's on-screen instructions to mark your fora, using the same keystrokes
that you're used to from TAPCIS (except that the "S" key works as a toggle --
see also SECTION PREFERENCES below).
When TAPMARK exits, reinvoke TAPCIS (or type EXIT if you've shelled to DOS),
and issue the TAPCIS "O" command to read the threads marked by TAPMARK.
TAPPATH ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE
TAPMARK must be able to locate the TAPCIS parameters file, called PARAMS.CIS.
Either run TAPMARK from within the same subdirectory from which you run
TAPCIS, or set an environment variable called "TAPPATH" to indicate the
TAPCIS subdirectory. For example:
Note that access to PARAMS.CIS is required for TAPMARK to perform its
functions. TAPMARK does not alter PARAMS.CIS, nor does it use any
information therein for any purpose other than that described in this
documentation. If you are uncomfortable with TAPMARK's access to PARAMS.CIS,
please do not use this program.
TAPMARK ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE
A second environment variable called TAPMARK may be used to specify options
that you always wish TAPMARK to utilize. The value of TAPMARK is appended to
the options that you specify on the command line when TAPMARK is run. For
example, if you always use Tapcis with the new forum software and want to
always suppress threads with single messages addressed to you (see below),
COMPOSITE MONITORS - THE "C" PARAMETER
If you are using a composite monitor attached to a CGA, or in general, if you
have any problems seeing TAPMARK's text on your screen, run "TAPMARK C" to
cause TAPMARK to always use standard monochrome display attributes.
CHANGING COLORS - THE "C=a,b,c,d" PARAMETER
TAPMARK provides a rudimentary mechanism for changing the colors of the
information it displays. If you specify the option "C=a,b,c,d", where each
of a, b, c, and d are integers, TAPMARK will use these numbers as display
attributes for its a) normal data display, b) highlighting, c) help
information, and d) global and section preference displays. Specify each
number by multiplying the background color value by 16 and adding the
foreground color value. Color values are: 0=black, 1=blue, 2=green, 3=cyan,
4=red, 5=magenta, 6=brown, 7=grey, and for foreground colors only, 8-15=the
high intensity versions of 0-7. For example, if you wanted yellow (which is
high intensity brown) letters on a red background, you'd calculate 4 * 16 +
14 and use the value 78.
Just as an example, the following tells TAPMARK to use all of its default
colors (and also to use the new forum software, just to show how you specify
multiple options to TAPMARK):
C>TAPMARK N C=27,31,111,47
You can specify all four colors, or let some of them default. For example,
this command runs TAPMARK with its default colors, except for the help
information, which is specified to be yellow on red (as calculated above):
Note that the "C" and "C=" parameters only apply to color display cards (CGA,
EGA, VGA). They will have no effect if you are using a monochrome card.
TAPCIS-STYLE SCROLLING - THE "T" PARAMETER
When a new screen is presented, TAPMARK normally highlights the first thread
on the screen. As you press down arrow, the highlight moves down to the
middle of the screen, then freezes in that position as the entire screen
scrolls up until the last thread in the group is on the bottom line of the
screen, at which point the hightlight continues to move down.
This "fancy scrolling" technique allows you to see maximum context around the
thread which is currently highlit, but has the disadvantage of operating
rather slowly on some computers and sometimes causing an undue amount of
flicker on the screen.
If you wish to disable the fancy scrolling for performance reasons, or if you
are simply a "die-hard" Tapcis user and wish maximal familiarity with the
"old standby," the "T" switch will tell TAPMARK to scroll in a Tapcis-
compatible manner, moving the cursor down the screen and then repainting the
entire screen after the last thread is reached (and similarly for upwards
NEW FORUM SOFTWARE - THE "N" PARAMETER
If you are using a version of TAPCIS later than 5.1c1 which communicates with
CompuServe through the "new" forum software, you MUST run "TAPMARK N" to
inform TAPMARK that the new forum conventions should be followed.
LONG MESSAGE FILES - THE "M" PARAMETER
If you've got _extremely_ long message files, you can speed up TAPMARK by
running "TAPMARK M". This will cause TAPMARK to ignore all message files,
and thus not automatically mark threads with messages addressed to you.
THREADS WITH SINGLE MESSAGES TO YOU - THE "S" PARAMETER
Experienced TAPCIS users may wish to enable a special feature of TAPMARK
which suppresses threads containing only a single message addressed to the
user. Note that if you enable this feature, the assumption is that you are
in the habit of reading all messages addressed to you _before_ going online
to read marked threads, or that, if you go online before reading your
messages, you press "1" or in TAPCIS to read messages before the
To enable this feature, add the "S" parameter (for "Suppress single
messages") to the TAPMARK command line, as in "TAPMARK S".
EXISTING MARK FILES
Normally, you will run TAPMARK once immediately after going online with
TAPCIS to pick up all the subject headers (the .QSN files). TAPMARK will
create corresponding "mark files" (.MRK) which TAPCIS subsequently uses to
decide which threads to "pull down" from CompuServe. If TAPMARK finds that a
forum with a .QSN file already has an associated .MRK file, it will present
you with three options: Append, Overwrite, or Skip to the next forum. If
you're running TAPMARK a second time to mark new fora, the appropriate option
is to press to skip the already marked forum. If you wish to redo
this forum from scratch, press "O" and TAPMARK will overwrite the existing
mark file. If you wish to change your mind about threads that you've already
marked (or haven't marked), press "A", and TAPMARK will present those threads
to you in two screens (one for threads you've marked, and one for those you
haven't marked), giving you an opportunity to make changes before you run
FORUM NAMES WITH EMBEDDED SPACES
TAPMARK cannot process a forum which has an embedded space in its name. If
such a forum (with an associated .QSN file) is detected, TAPMARK will warn
you that it cannot handle this forum and allow you to move on to the next
forum. In most cases, you can enable the forum for use with TAPMARK by
renaming it to a form that will still be accepted by CompuServe, but does not
contain any embedded spaces.
For example, let's say you have joined forum "HSX 100" using Tapcis. An
acceptable alternative to "HSX 100" is "HSX-100", so you would go into your
Tapcis subdirectory, type "rename hsx*.* hsx-100.*", then do the same in your
Tapcis storage directory (if different from your normal Tapcis directory),
and finally, enter the Tapcis "Forum" screen, delete "HSX 100", and add "HSX-
100" in its place.
A NOTE ABOUT MESSAGE COUNTERS
TAPMARK uses a slightly different system to show the number of messages in a
thread than does TAPCIS. Because TAPMARK consolidates threads with the same
subject name, it's impractical to show only the number of "replies" as
reported in the .QSN file. For example, what number should be reported if
one thread has no replies, and another with the same subject name has two
replies? TAPMARK instead shows the total number of _messages_ in all of the
consolidated threads with this subject name. In the above case, TAPMARK
would report four messages.
Note that for the majority of threads, TAPMARK's reported number of messages
will be exactly one more than TAPCIS's reported number of replies.
TAPMARK has the ability to remember keywords in which you've specified an
interest or lack of interest. This feature allows TAPMARK to pre-mark or
pre-unmark new threads, thus saving you additional time. When marking
threads, if you see a word of particular interest, press G, at which point
the cursor will move to the first word of more than one letter in the
subject. Use the left and right arrows to move to the word in the subject of
interest, and press Y. TAPMARK will ask you to confirm your selection, and
mark the current thread and all threads on that screen which contain the word
of interest. For the rest of this session and for all subsequent sessions,
TAPMARK will automatically pre-mark subjects IN ANY FORUM which contain this
Similarly, if you see a word which is generally not of interest, press G,
select the word, and press N. TAPMARK will pre-unmark subjects IN ANY FORUM
which contain this word.
If you wish to delete some of your global preferences, you can simply edit
the file called TAPMARK.TMK which TAPMARK maintains in the subdirectory where
your .QSN files reside. This is a simple ASCII file, with one line for each
of your specified words of interest, then a single blank line, then one line
for each of your specified words of non-interest.
MOVING THROUGH SECTIONS: TAB AND SHIFT TAB
You can quickly move to the beginning of the next forum section by pressing
the Tab key. Shift-Tab, or "backtab," will move you first to the beginning
of the current section (if you're not there already), and then to the
beginning of the preceding section.
ALT-S: SPECIFY SECTION PREFERENCE
TAPMARK, like TAPCIS, will mark an entire section for reading when you press
the "S" key. However, if you press "S" when the selected thread is _already_
marked, TAPMARK will _unmark_ the entire section.
In addition to marking or unmarking entire sections, you can tell TAPMARK to
remember that you've expressed a "section preference" for a particular forum.
In subsequent runs, TAPMARK will present new threads having the preferred
section pre-marked, on a separate screen. You accomplish this by placing the
cursor on any subject header in the section of interest and pressing Alt-S.
You will be asked to verify that you wish to specify this section preference
by pressing "Y." Note that pressing Alt-S does not mark the headers for the
current section on the current screen (it only applies to subsequent TAPMARK
runs). To mark the headers in this section on the current screen, press "S"
as described above.
Like "S", Alt-S works as a "toggle." If the selected section is already
specified for pre-marking, TAPMARK will ask you to confirm (by pressing "N")
that you no longer wish to treat the section specially.
ALT-R: REDO FORUM
If you press Alt-R (for "Redo forum") at any time while marking a forum,
TAPMARK will "throw away" any marking which you may have done, and restart
processing from the beginning of the current forum. Any global preferences
you may have set in this forum will be remembered, but any section
preferences which you may have set (with the "S" key) will be forgotten.
ALT-N: NEXT FORUM
If you press Alt-N (for "Next forum") at any time while marking a forum,
TAPMARK will discard any marks in the current forum (as it does for Alt-R),
and immediately skip to the next forum. Note that if you skip a forum, you
can simply rerun TAPMARK to mark that forum at a later time.
Note: It is not appropriate to use Alt-N (under normal circumstances) when
you are finished marking a forum. Alt-N causes any marking you may have done
to be ABANDONED, and the corresponding .MRK file will NOT BE WRITTEN. The
or keys are used when marking is finished (as in TAPCIS) to cause
TAPMARK to write out the .MRK file.
ALT-K: KILL FORUM
If you press Alt-K (for "Kill forum") at any time while marking a forum,
TAPMARK will erase any .MRK file which may exist for the current forum, and
also erase the forum's .QSN file. This effectively tells Tapcis that you are
not interested in reading any threads for this forum until the next time you
go online with this forum active.
ALT-C: QUIT TAPMARK
Alt-C immediately exits TAPMARK without writing the .MRK file for the current
(or any subsequent) forum. It is the TAPMARK equivalent of Ctrl-C (which is
equivalent to PgDn in TAPMARK because of WordStar key compatibility).
TAPMARK provides basic WordStar (tm MicroPro) key compatibility. If you are
used to the traditional WordStar "diamond," you can use all relevant
keystrokes instead of the cursor arrows and other function keys to move
through the threads.
During TAPMARK's beta testing, an incompatibility was noted with the
Northgate Omni Key/102 keyboard. It seems that if the PgUp, PgDn, or End
keys on the function pad are used with a large group of threads to be marked,
the program sometimes attempts to repeat the function until a different key
is pressed. This situation does not occur if the functions on the numeric
keypad or if the WordStar functions (Ctrl-R or Ctrl-C) are used, nor has it
occurred with any other keyboards tested thus far.
Upon further testing, the incompatibility was isolated to systems which use
both the Northgate keyboard and the KBFIX or FANSICONSOLE program. Systems
without KBFIX do not exhibit the behavior described above, nor do systems
with FANSI's autorepeat feature (turn RPT off in the setup).
THE TAPCIS "DOUBLE ARROW" SYMBOL
Tapcis "flags" the forums which have pending online activity with a double
arrow symbol (""). Normally, you use the "M" command in Tapcis to mark a
forum, and then Tapcis immediately displays the double arrow. When you use
TAPMARK to mark a forum, however, Tapcis will not show the double arrow
unless Tapcis is rerun after TAPMARK finishes.
Normally, the loss of the double arrow symbol is not a problem, but if you
use TAPMARK by "Shelling to DOS" with Tapcis' Ctrl-F1, or if you run TAPMARK
from a different DesqView window than Tapcis, for instance, you should be
aware that the double arrows will not automatically appear.
Korenthal Associates would like to thank Louis Offerman, Don Gloistein and
Barry Simon for their kind assistance during the TAPMARK beta test period.
Tracey M. Siesser and Lewis Horowitz of Korenthal Associates have also been
instrumental in the design and testing of this program.
The Sysops on CompuServe's TAPCIS forum have graciously provided a home for
the TAPMARK program and a conversation base for its initial users. We extend
our thanks to Howard Benner, Joan Friedman, Marilyn Ratcheson, and Richard
Wilkes in this regard.
TAPMARK would be a much weaker product without the lively information
exchange about the product on the TAPCIS forum. We're grateful to all who
have participated. In approximate order of appearance in the TAPMARK
discussions, these people are: Michael Mohle', John Wexler, Phil Starr, Mike
Bessy, Cameron Pitcairn, Jay Perkins, Mark Young, Sally Ryce, Mark Fisher,
Peter Strisik, Dave Hardy, Nolly Unvala, Bill Gordon, Ned Reiter, Ken
Leidner, Daniel Opperman, Dave Hoagland, Jeff Gulliford, Ed Still, Greg
Limes, Conrad Smith, David Frier, Bill Walton, Micheal Landesman, Davin
Church, Philip Burns, Jonathan Edwards, Michael Reed, Bill Morton, Drew
Wells, Don Strenczewilk, Scott Luther, Dave Cunningham, Donald Bostrom, Kerry
Wilson, Orest Skrypuch, Frank Cutre, Stuart Mulne, Scott Crom, A Elizabeth
Warren, Chris Bosshardt, Claude Bitner, Frank Haber, Ronald Doctor, David
Klatzco, James Lentz, Steven Vore, Larry Brown, Ron Forbes, Chet Wilkinson,
Bill Allen, Alexander Meisels, Julia Nawrocki, John Boyd, Geoff Edwards, Mike
Mitchell, Bill Lillycrop, Howard Feldstein, Lou Wiener, David Bell, Joseph
McDonald, George Mast, Jerry Criswell, Thomas Ferguson, Steve Coles, Leonard
Paris, Gary Dietz, Tom Ashley, Robert Tyson, Johnny Sewell, and Richard
Grossman. We apologize to anyone whose name we missed.
1.00 06/22/88 Initial release
1.01 06/22/88 Suppressed .MRK file creation if no threads marked
Updated EASYPLEX.SND in one swell foop
1.02 06/23/88 Fixed non-scroll when hitting "R" bug
Added Alt-N as synonym for Alt-S
Added processing of concatenated message files
1.03 06/24/88 Fixed abandoned thread recurrence bug
Omitted registration request for registered users
1.10 06/29/88 Fixed bug when .MSG file doesn't exist
Increased max size .QSN file (300 threads)
Added Alt-C as quick escape from program
Made subject names case-insensitive
1.11 06/30/88 Reworked display and terminal support to
solve "R" problem under Keyworks
Cleaned up memory to support larger QSN files
1.12 07/03/88 Assorted memory stuff to process larger QSN files
Made "S" key work as a toggle
Implemented pre-marking of an entire forum section
Substituted TAPPATH environment variable for TAPMARK
(now picking up storage path from PARAMS.CIS)
Eliminated Alt-S as a synonym for Alt-N
Added Tab and Backtab to move through sections
Added thread count display on right side of screen
Added "S" parameter to suppress single msgs to you
Allowed Append, Overwrite, or Skip existing mark file
1.20 07/05/88 Added "N" parameter to deal with new forum software
Removed code to check for all forums marked
Displayed cursor row and # of threads in category
Removed section pre-marking on "S", added Alt-S
Added second normal help screen
1.30 07/14/88 Added parsing of private forum messages
Added "C" parameter to deal with composite monitors
Added code to recognize EP names other than EASYPLEX
Added third help screen to remove Alt-N confusion
Added debugging code for Jay P.'s error 116 problem
Added TAPMARK environment variable to specify options
Added simple color changes via "C=a,b,c,d" option
Made right arrow act like Esc or F7
Allowed right arrow for ".MRK already exists" prompt
Added line about ASP
Added "Last Thread" indicator
Added "F" switch for faster display (no info on right)
Added code to exit to DOS without pressing another key
Sorted .MRK files in chronological order
Allowed left arrow to move to previous forum
Prompted to kill QSN file when no threads marked
Added Alt-K to unmark all threads and kill QSN file
Distinguished between original reg's & upgrades
Added "Got it from" registration question
1.40 07/21/88 Added "you" to question "Where did get TAPMARK?"
Fixed crash when Appending in new forum software
Miscellaneous changes to obtain more internal memory
Sorted marked threads chronologically by subject
Made "Q" a synonym for F7 (for Steve Kalman)
Removed debugging code for Jay P.'s error 116 problem
Added code to warn about forum with embedded space
Obtained user name from fixed position in PARAMS.CIS
Added "T" switch for Tapcis-like scrolling
1.41 07/23/88 More changes for additional working memory
Fixed left arrow bug (caused .TMK files format error)
Fixed section name display problem
Added second status line
Moved right side info to status area
Made "Last Thread" indicator follow actual thread
Changed "Last Thread" to read "End of Group"
Removed "F" switch (no longer necessary)
Added "working" indicator
1.42 07/31/88 Reversed left and right sides of status area
Gave section priority over keyword preference
Tap scrolling: cursor to top of page on PgUp/PgDn
Added beeps on PgUp at top or PgDn at bottom of group
Changed "fancy" PgUp/Dn so prev/next thread is shown
Made system smarter (maxkeys increased from 200-250)
Cleared keyboard buffer before each keypress
Added "K" switch to disable keyboard buffer clearing
Found Northgate Omni Key/102 problem (doc change only)
Added "working" when marking global preferences
Added minimal fatal error trapping
Allowed Easyplex to be other than first forum
Added ordering procedure for paid upgrade
1.43 08/17/88 Eliminated error reporting for bad .MSG format
Cut off TMK read at 300 lines to avoid 204 error
Marked threads suppressed with "S" for read next time
1.44 08/15/90 Allows MAIL* in addition to EASY* for TapCIS 5.3
Support for TAPMARK is provided on the CompuServe TAPCIS forum, as mentioned
above, or you may EPLEX Korenthal Associates directly at [76164,237]. We may
also be reached at the following address and telephone number:
Korenthal Associates, Inc.
230 West 13th Street
New York, New York 10011
We hope you enjoy using TAPMARK! ]