Contents of the SHOWSCI.DOC file
SHOWSCI 1.0 - Displays Colorix SCI files in 320x200x256 mode
Copyright (c) 1992, Matthew J. Slattery
SHOWSCI is a little program I wrote to liven up my AUTOEXEC batch file.
It scrolls a Colorix .SCI file (explained below) from the bottom of
the screen, then scrolls it off the screen. This permits display
of a picture while your autoexec cranks away, loading drivers, etc.
SHOWSCI operators filename
in - Scroll picture up from bottom, stay in VGA mode
out - Scroll displayed picture down, reset to text mode
pause - Display picture, wait for keystroke, reset to text mode
The following example shows how to display a .SCI file at the
beginning of an AUTOEXEC.BAT, and how to clear it at the end of
the batch file:
REM Display a .SCI file
showsci in mjs.sci
REM Do everything else
REM Clear the picture
Note that you have to add ">NUL:" to any line between the "showsci in"
and the "showsci out". If you don't, these programs will write to the
screen, and you will see garbage displayed on your picture. Error
messages from executing programs will also mess up your picture.
The .SCI file format comes from a paint program called COLORIX. It
is primarily a SuperVGA program, but also allows you to create files
in the standard 320x200x256 VGA mode. These files have the extension
The .SCI file format is very straight-forward, and, hopefully, you will
have little trouble creating these if you do not own COLORIX. The file
format is as follows:
What Bytes Description
----------- ----- -----------
Header 10 4 bytes - "RIX3"
2 bytes - 40 01 - screen width (320)
2 bytes - c8 00 - screen height (200)
2 bytes - af 00 - 175, don't know why
SHOWSCI doesn't check for a valid header,
so you can put any 10 bytes you wish here.
Palette 768 256 groups of 3 RGB bytes. Each group
defines the red, green and blue values
(each ranging from 0-63) for each of 256
Picture Data 64,000 200 lines of 320 bytes each, where each
byte represents one of the 256 available
GIF2SCI is a utility to convert graphics files in the Compuserve GIF
format to Colorix's SCI format. To convert a file, run GIF2SCI,
passing the name of a GIF file. You may also pass it an output
filename, if you wish. If you don't pass an output file, a SCI
file will be created with the same name as the GIF file, but with
the extension SCI. Some examples are shown below:
GIF2SCI test - Reads TEST.GIF, writes TEST.SCI
GIF2SCI in out - Reads IN.GIF, writes OUT.SCI
GIF2SCI - Displays help screen.
The utility will display the GIF file and write it to the SCI file.
Hit any key to exit.
SHOWSCI forces your VGA card into a non-standard 320x200 mode to
accommodate smooth scrolling. It should work with any card that
is register-compatible with IBM's VGA standard. I have seen the
program balk on one type of VGA card, displaying four quarter-screen
copies of the desired screen. Please let me know if you have any
I also use this program to liven up my login script on a Novell network.
There are no problems doing this directly on the network, but I
sometimes call in over modems using a remote-control program. It is
advisable that your login script recognize whether you're dialing in,
and to not execute SHOWSCI if you are. Otherwise, your remote-control
program will have to send a lot of graphics data over the phone, taking
about 10 minutes at 2400-baud.
This is FREEWARE. There is no registration required, and no "donation"
needed to use this program. Distribute it freely. It may be used
in a corporate environment without compensation or penalty.
No alterations may be made to the original program, or included files.
No additional files may be distributed with this program, and none
of the original files may be excluded from distribution, without
express written consent from the author.
I make no warranty for this program, and may not be held liable for
damages or lost profits, incidental or consequential to use of this
Use of this software implies agreement to the above terms.
I am interested in your comments and suggestions, and will try
to solve any problems. If you wish to contact me, you may write me
at the following address. Please let me know which version of SHOWSCI
you have, and what brand VGA card is in your computer. Thanks.
Matthew J. Slattery
1698 Forest Hill Court
Crofton, MD 21114