Contents of the MM.DOC file
M A T H M A N I A C
The Intelligent Math Tutoring System
Copyright 1992, 1993 by Downsoft Software Company
All Rights Reserved
Table of Contents
1. Official Notices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2. Program Documentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3. User Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
4. Program Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
5. Shareware Definition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
6. Benefits of Registration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
7. Order Form. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
The Intelligent Math Tutoring System
Copyright 1992,1993 by Downsoft Software Company
All Rights Reserved
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY
THIS SOFTWARE AND MANUAL ARE SOLD "AS IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES
AS TO PERFORMANCE OF MERCHANTABILITY OR ANY OTHER WARRANTIES
WHETHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED. BECAUSE OF THE VARIOUS HARDWARE
AND SOFTWARE ENVIRONMENTS INTO WHICH THIS PROGRAM MAY BE PUT, NO
WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE IS OFFERED. GOOD
DATA PROCESSING PROCEDURE DICTATES THAT ANY PROGRAM BE THOROUGHLY
TESTED WITH NON-CRITICAL DATA BEFORE RELYING ON IT. THE USER
MUST ASSUME THE ENTIRE RISK OF USING THE PROGRAM. ANY LIABILITY
OF THE SELLER WILL BE LIMITED EXCLUSIVELY TO PRODUCT REPLACEMENT
OR REFUND OF PURCHASE PRICE.
Downsoft Software Company is an approved vendor and associate
member of the Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP). ASP
wants to make sure that the shareware principle works for you.
If you are unable to resolve a shareware-related problem with
an ASP member by contacting the member directly, ASP may be able
to help. The ASP Ombudsman can help you resolve a dispute or
problem with an ASP member, but does not provide technical
support for members' products. Please write to the ASP Ombudsman
at 545 Grover Road, Muskegon, MI 49442 or send a Compuserve
message via CompuServe Mail to ASP Ombudsman 70007,3536.
A Special Note to Teachers
Teachers who use PCs in the educational environment may receive the
REGISTERED program for free. You may either call and DOWNLOAD the
REGISTERED version directly from Downsoft, or you can pay shipping
charges only and have the program sent to you on diskette. All I ask
is that after using the program for 1 month, you fill out a short
evaluation form (included in the REGISTERED version), reporting on
your students' experience using the program, and that you notify
parents that the program is being used at your school and is available
for purchase from Downsoft Software. I have two sons, ages 4 and 7
years, and they have made substanial progress using MATH MANIAC, and
confirming these results on a large segment of school age kids would
be a great asset to me in my attempts to refine and improve the
Math Maniac is a full-featured math tutorial program that
entertains as it educates. It is set up like a flash-card system.
Math drills are presented, and kids are either "complimented" or gently
"insulted" depending on the accuracy of their answers. After 3 wrong
choices, the computer displays the correct answer and moves on to the
next problem. Records are maintained, and students are pushed to
achieve a level of mastery of each level, and the level of difficulty
is increased as each level is achieved.
The following is documentation for the Math Maniac (MM.EXE) program.
The order of explanation has been arranged logically so that these
functions are detailed in the same order as they are found during
execution of the MATH MANIAC program. If you are using the program,
any feedback in the way of suggestions, criticism, ideas, in other
words, anything that you think would make this program better and
more useful, would be sincerely appreciated. The simple aim
of this program is to provide kids of elementary school age with an
easy and fun way to practice math drills. The program tries to allow
each student to proceed at his or her own pace, and wants the student
to strive for a level of mastery of each level of difficulty before
proceeding to the next higher level.
If you have a hard disk and you would like to install the program to
it, you may run the INSTALL.BAT program. Log on to the drive that
contains the MATH MANIAC diskette by typing either A: [Return] or
B: [Return] at the DOS prompt.
Then run the Install program by typing:
This will automatically install the program onto your C: drive in a
subdirectory called \MANIAC, and all of the necessary files will be
copied to it. You can then follow the subsequent instructions for
running the program. If you want to install the program to a hard
disk other than C:, you must make a \MANIAC directory on the hard disk
that you intend to install the program to and then copy all of the
files on the original distribution disk (or the self-extracting .EXE
file) to the newly created subdirectory.
If you do not have a hard disk, or want to run the program first from
the floppy that it came on, follow these instuructions. To run the
program, you insert the program disk into the A: drive of any IBM PC
or compatible computer and after logging onto the A: drive, type:
This will execute the program. There is a file called DEFAULT.DAT
which is the data file which will be loaded if no other data file is
selected. The data file is changed when you "Select" a file from the
File menu, or you choose a Level or an Operation from the other menus.
You may also specify a data file when you begin the program by
MM [options] [filename] [Return]
where [filename] is the name of the data file (without the brackets).
Command line options include:
-S = No Sounds
-I = No Insults
-C = No Compliments
-T = Timer OFF
These commands can be typed in any order after the MM command. If no
commands or filenames appear on the command line, then the program
defaults to All options ON and DEFAULT.DAT is the data file of the
math problems presented.
The following are brief descriptions of the various menus presented in
the Math Maniac program. These duplicate the context sensitive HELP
screens found throughout the program by pressing [F1] at various
points during the program.
Enter Your Name
You can enter your name at this prompt. Math Maniac will keep track of
your activity, and optionally record your scores and times at the end
of each excercise. If no name is chosen, "Math Maniac" is used. The
shareware version allows you to choose 1 of 20 different names while the
REGISTERED version allows you to enter ANY student name.
The File Menu allows to choose from a list of file operations. You
can Select, Create, and Edit the data files. You also can exit (or
"Shell") out to the DOS prompt where you can run DOS commands or other
Execute the program using the selected .DAT file. If you Select a
file, then that file will automatically be run and you won't need to
select this menu choice.
This menu selection allows you to change the name of the student. The
shareware version allows you to choose from a list of 20 student names.
The REGISTERED version is personalized to allow you to type in ANY
student name that you choose (up to 29 characters). The .REC files
store this name with your test results to allow you to track progress.
If no name is selected, the default name "Math Maniac" is assigned.
This can be changed by selecting New Student any time while the program
Select A File
Use the arrow keys to move to the data file which you wish to select.
You can also enter the first letter of your choice and the selection
bar will jump to the first selection that it finds beginning with
that letter. Press [Enter] to select and run the data file which the
selection bar is highlighting.
Create a File
This menu selection allows you to create custom sets of problems which
can be used by the student. These files are not restricted to a
particular operation and operations can be freely mixed.
Enter Data File Name
Enter the name of the Data file that you wish to create. It can be any
valid DOS filename. Enter the first 8 characters only, without a period
('.'). The extension ".DAT" will be automatically be appended to the
filename that you choose.
Enter a Number
Enter the first number you wish to put in the new problem. Be sure to
press [Enter] after you type the number. Input is limited to 3 decimal
integers. The same instruction applies to the second number in the
Enter an Operation
Enter the math operation that you want for the problem. Your choices
are +, =, * and / representing Add, Subtract, Multiply and Divide.
Save This Problem
Enter 'Y' to add this problem to the new file. If the problem is not
correct or you wish to correct it, enter 'N' and the problem will be
This screen presents information about the program. It lists the
company information and programmer credits and how to contact
Downsoft Software Company for a copy of the program.
This choice allows you to temporarily exit the program. If you use
this selection, you must type "EXIT" at the DOS prompt to return to
the program. While outside the program, you can run DOS commands,
even other programs, provided the system has enough memory remaining.
This selection will end the program and return you to the operating
system. When you are with the program, use this option to exit the
program and return to DOS.
Level refers to the level of difficulty for each math operation. The
levels currently range from A to H, with A being the easiest and H being
the most difficult.
Levels range from A to H, with A being the easiest and H being the most
difficult. If you choose a level or an operation, then the data file
used will be the operation combined with the current level of
difficulty. (Example: Level B, operation Add will select ADD2.DAT).
This choice allows you to pick the math operation that the game will
use. The choices are +, -, *, and /, which refer to Addition,
Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. You can also create and use
custom data files which mix in some or all of the operations in a
single data file.
This option will select addition as the current operation and use only
data files that feature addition problems.
This option will select subtraction as the current operation and use
only those files that feature subtraction problems.
This option will select multiplication as the operation and use only
those files that feature multiplication problems.
This option will select division as the current operation and use only
those files that feature division problems.
This menu allows you to create and print test files for the student to
practice written tests on the problems presented in the current data
file. You can also view the contents of any of the record (.REC)
files to see the result history for each student.
Create Test File
Enter 'Y' to create a TEST file which can be printed and used for a
written test on the problems in the current exercise. The test will
print the problems randomly, and an ANSWER list containing problems
and answers in the same order. This makes it easy for the student or
teacher to correct the written test with a minimum of effort.
Enter 'Y' to print a TEST. It will contain all the problems in the
current file, printed in random order. A corresponding ANSWER list
will also be printed, making correcting the TEST simple for teacher or
This allows you to review the record (*.REC) files of all of the
students. The .REC files are contained in the current directory under
the name of the student. This allows you to review and track the
progress as each student improves with continued practice of the math
The Settings Menu lists the options that you can switch when the
program is running. You can turn the Sound on or off, along with the
display of insults and congratulatory messages. You can also select
how the problems are displayed.
This selection allows you to change the way in which the math exercises
are presented. You may choose Vertical, Horizontal, or Combined format.
Exercises will always be presented in the chosen format.
This selection will cause all subsequent problems to be displayed in
Vertical format. You can see an example of each format from which
you can choose displayed as you move from one format choice to the
This selection will cause all subsequent problems to be displayed in
Horizontal format. You can see an example of each format from which to
choose displayed as you move from one format choice to the next.
This selection will cause all subsequent problems to be displayed in
both Vertical and Horizontal formats. You can see an example of each
format displayed as you move from one format choice to the next.
This selection will toggle the timer setting On and Off. When On, the
time elapsed will be displayed upon completion of each exercise and
will be recorded in the .REC record file.
This selection will toggle Sound On or Off. When it is On, all sounds,
songs and sound effects from the program are audible. When Off, none
of these sounds are generated. The menu will always display the
current state of all settings.
This selection toggles the display of messages for WRONG answers On or
Off. When On, the user is gently insulted for making a wrong choice
and is encouraged to try harder. When Off, none of these messages are
This selection toggles congratulatory messages On or Off. When On, the
student is praised for each correct answer entered with a short message
posted above each problem. When Off, none of these messages are
This choice is used to exit the program. Selecting [Y]es will exit the
program and selecting [N]o will allow you to return to the program.
No or Yes
Please respond either with a 'Y' or a 'N'. If you answer 'Y', you
will exit from the program. A 'N' response will return you to the
program, with all the current settings still active.
1. Pick an easy level. It may seem obvious, but start off at an easier
level that you may believe the student is capable of. This will
give them a feeling of success and satisfaction, particularily if
they have not had a great deal of experience interacting with
computers. You want them to feel that using the program is enjoyable,
and adds to their learning experience.
2. Go to an appropriate level. Increase the level when they can
consistently achieve perfect scores at current levels of difficulty.
As you may already know, the computer will "BEEP" a song over the
speaker when a math exercise is completed perfectly. If you hear
too many songs coming from the computer, the math problems need to
be more difficult.
3. Review the results. Usually, kids will want to show you the result
screen immediately upon conclusion of each exercise. If it is not
convenient for you to review the results at that time, then have
your student "save" the results, and you can both look at them by
"Viewing" the record file, saved under their student "name"
(MATH_MAN.REC is the default record file).
4. Encourage speed. All of the exercises are timed, and the timings
are stored along with other test information in the .REC files.
Examine the previous test results and suggest that the student
strive to "beat" his or her previous time.
5. Use the printed tests. Tests are printed which will include all of
the problems in the selected math exercise, presented in random
order. I have created special test files, usually of 100 problems,
and I have the students attempt to see how many they can solve in
five minutes. Note the results, and subsequently retest them,
encouraging them to finish more problems each time the test is
taken. Instruct them to skip over problems that they don't readily
know the answer to. This will allow them time to come back and work
on them after they complete the problems that they can answer
quickly. The obvious advantage is that they will develop the skills
to take timed tests and will result in better scores on competitive
6. Roll your own. Every student has their own weaknesses. You can
best aid the student by examining the results and designing your own
exercises to stress the problems that each student needs particular
practice in solving. If you develop a set of examples that you feel
are especially good, please send them to us. We will see that you
are sent the next release of MATH MANIAC free of charge to thank you
for your contribution.
7. Use combined format. You should have the student use BOTH
horizontal and vertical formats, so that the format does not become
an impediment. Some larger long division problems may prove awkward
when presented in a horizontal format (e.g. "216 / 18 ="), but it is
more important for the student to recognize that it is the SAME
concept. They can easily convert to the format of their choice by
using a pad and pencil.
8. Write the tables. After younger students master the basics of
addition, teach them to write out their tables, BEFORE they attempt
multiplication and division. This will accomplish 2 key objectives.
First, they will quickly see that multiplication is simply shorthand
addition (computers don't multiply, they just add very quickly).
Second, they will have the practice of writing the tables, which
they should be allowed to use to solve the ensuing math exercise.
Each time they look up an answer in the tables that THEY have written
will reinforce and repeat the rote experience that some of us
remember from having to "write" our tables "10 times each", without
the muscle cramps we used to endure. DON'T let them reuse a table
that they have previously written. Make them write a new one from
scratch each time they do an exercise in multiplication or division.
EXCEPTION: They should be allowed to use the same multiplication
table for the division exercises on the same material. This will
reinforce the relationship between multiplication and division.
9. Be persistent. Make this program part of their *daily* routine.
I usually insist that my 7 year old son do 4 exercises, of 25-40
problems each and a written test, every day in addition to his
regular school work. If they have other computer games they they
enjoy playing, then insist that they do their MATH MANIAC first,
before pursuing other interests. My son is currently in the second
grade, doing addition and subtraction with results from 0-999; has
mastered multiplication of tables 1-6, and is currently working on
tables 7-12 in multiplication and division. He has been using this
program consistently for about 6 weeks. In the same time span, my 4
year old is adding and subtracting numbers from 0-20.
Try it out for yourself. I'm sure you will be rewarded for your
efforts, as your student shows improvement with continued use of MATH
Downsoft Software Company
There are different "songs" that may be heard upon successful
completion of each exercise. There shareware version contains 4 songs,
while the REGISTERED version has 25 songs.
You are asked upon perfect completion of an exercise, whether or not
you would like to go on to the next level. This will only have an
effect if you are using the ADDx, SUBx, MULx or DIVx data files, where
the level is represented by x and the filename becomes the next one
(x+1), until 8 (highest level of difficulty) is reached.
You can review student record (*.REC) files by choosing View from
the print menu. The files are stored under the name chosen from a list
of names in the shareware version; the REGISTERED version allows you to
enter a student name. Both versions function in the same manner. In
either version, if no name was entered, the record is stored under the
Unlike earlier versions, ESCape checking is disabled at the main menu
level, so that you must choose Quit either from the File menu or at the
Quit menu. Online, context sensitive help is now included, and an
appropriate help screen should appear when pressing F1 from anywhere in
Current limitations include that DATA files are limited to a maximum of
100 problems per filename. Record files are also limited to 100 records.
Problem operands may be up to 3 digits each, but the result must also
be limited to a 3 digit answer. Anything beyond those limits should be
in a more advanced program than this program is intended to be.
If there are files of mixed math operations (e.g. Addition and
Subtraction, etc...), the operations for each data file will be stored
in the .REC file upon completion of the exercise. You will see the
operations contained at the "Operations:" line of the View Records
Playback of any of the songs may be interrupted by ANY keystroke during
If you find any of the sets of data file either too easy or too
difficult for your child, feel free to create your own data files. If
you want, feel free to overwrite the ADDx.DAT, SUBx.DAT, MULx.DAT, and
DIVx.DAT files with data that you feel is most suitable for you own
child's level of math skills. I have selected what I thought to be
varying levels of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 8, but feedback on how
these levels work for your situation would be helpful in designing more
effective data files.
DEFINITION OF SHAREWARE
Shareware distribution gives users a chance to try software before
buying it. If you try a Shareware program and continue using it, you
are expected to register. Individual programs differ on details -- some
request registration while others require it, some specify a maximum
trial period. With registration, you get anything from the simple right
to continue using the software to an updated program with printed
Copyright laws apply to both Shareware and commercial software, and the
copyright holder retains all rights, with a few specific exceptions as
stated below. Shareware authors are accomplished programmers, just like
commercial authors, and the programs are of comparable quality. (In
both cases, there are good programs and bad ones!) The main difference
is in the method of distribution. The author specifically grants the
right to copy and distribute the software, either to all and sundry or
to a specific group. For example, some authors require written
permission before a commercial disk vendor may copy their Shareware.
Shareware is a distribution method, not a type of software. You should
find software that suits your needs and pocketbook, whether it's
commercial or Shareware. The Shareware system makes fitting your needs
easier, because you can try before you buy. And because the overhead is
low, prices are low also. Shareware has the ultimate money-back
guarantee -- if you don't use the product, you don't pay for it.
MATH MANIAC is a "shareware program" and is provided at no charge to
the user for evaluation. Feel free to share it with your friends, but
please do not give it away altered or as part of another system. The
essence of "user-supported" software is to provide personal computer
users with quality software without high prices, and yet to provide
incentive for programmers to continue to develop new products. If you
find this program useful and find that you are using MATH MANIAC and
continue to use MATH MANIAC after a reasonable trial period, you must
make a registration payment of $19.95 + $4.00 shipping to Downsoft
Software Company. The $19.95 registration fee will license one copy
for use on any one computer at any one time. You must treat this
software just like a book. An example is that this software may be
used by any number of people and may be freely moved from one computer
location to another, so long as there is no possibility of it being
used at one location while it's being used at another. Just as a book
cannot be read by two different persons at the same time.
Commercial users of MATH MANIAC must register and pay for their copies
of MATH MANIAC within 30 days of first use or their license is
withdrawn. Site-License arrangements may be made by contacting
Downsoft Software Company.
Anyone distributing MATH MANIAC for any kind of renumeration must first
contact Downsoft Software Company at the address below for authorization.
This authorization will be automatically granted to distributors recognized
by the (ASP) as adhering to its guidelines for shareware distributors, and
such distributors may begin offering MATH MANIAC immediately (However
Downsoft Software Company must still be advised so that the distributor
can be kept up-to-date with the latest version of MATH MANIAC.).
You are encouraged to pass a copy of MATH MANIAC along to your friends
for evaluation. Please encourage them to register their copy if they
find that they can use it. All registered users will receive a copy
of the latest version of the MATH MANIAC program.
This is the second revision of the first release, and the program has
no known problems. If you encounter a problem, please report it by
calling (310) 338-0715. We will fix it and send you a FREE update for
reporting the problem.
Questions, comments, compliments, and complaints may be sent to the
Downsoft Software Company
8726D S. Sepulveda Blvd, Ste. C91
Los Angeles, CA 90045 USA
Benefits of Registration
1. More songs. The REGISTERED version contains 20 additional songs
which are played when the student successfully completes an exercise.
2. More Data. The REGISTERED version has larger data files, and contains
bonus data files. The files that are included further refine the
learning curve and are designed to produce MAXIMUM results.
3. A Personalized program. The name requested by the REGISTERED user
is printed both on the opening screen and becomes the DEFAULT
student name. The student name is recorded and used in both the
.REC filname and is stored with each record in the .REC files.
4. Upgrade Notices. As the program evolves and upgrades are released,
registered users will receive notification of the availability and
enhancements contained in new releases. Upgrades will be released
at a nominal fee, to be determined by the value of the new features
and the amount of work that went into adding them. You will also be
made aware of other quality software as it becomes available.
5. A Money-Back Guarantee. The REGISTERED version is shipped with a
30-day, money-back guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with the program
sent to you for ANY reason, your money will be gladly refunded.
6. Nag Screen Removal. Removal of all REGISTRATION "reminders" on
program screens and printouts from the program, which appear on the
shareware version. All shareware statements are replaced by
REGISTERED VERSION messages.
7. User Support. Registration entitles you to one year of support
at Downsoft Software (310) 338-0715, should you have any questions
at all about the program. Support is available from 9:00 to 5:00,
Monday - Friday, Pacific Time. On Compuserve, you can contact the
author, Steve Downie, directly via EMAIL at CIS# 74716,521.
8. Data Compatibility. There are plans to implement more efficient data
formats for the data files in future releases of MATH MANIAC. As a
REGISTERED user, you are guaranteed that any future release of MATH
MANIAC will contain a conversion program to ensure that any data
created with prior versions of the program can be converted to the
current format. This guarantees that any special data that you create
using MATH MANIAC will always be compatible with the latest version.
9. My Sincere Gratitude. Registration is source through which the
program can continue to grow and improve, and other programs like it
can undergo development.
To receive a copy of the registered version of Math Maniac(c), which
includes the additional features described in the MM.DOC file, fill out
the order form that follows and send it, along with a check, MC, or VISA
number in the correct amount to:
Downsoft Software Company
8726D S. Sepulveda Blvd. Suite C91
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Using VISA or Mastercard, you can order over the phone by calling:
Phone: (310) 338-0715 (8 to 5 Mon-Fri PST)
Orders received by 3:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time ship that day.
You may also register MATH MANIAC through COMPUSERVE. Just type
"GO SWREG" and follow the instructions to complete the registration
process. Downsoft will be notified by Compuserve via EMAIL and the
REGISTERED version will be shipped the following day. You will be billed
$23.95 on your Compuserve bill, which covers the program registration
($19.95 plus the $4.00 shipping charge).
Downsoft Software Order Form
City: _______________________________ State: _____ ZIP:____________
Student Name: ________________________________________________________
___ Math Maniac 1.03 ($19.95). ___ 5-1/4 disks. ___ 3-1/2 disks.
Cost of order. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 19.95
California residents add sales tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1.65
___Next Day: $13.00 ___Second Day: $8.00 ___Regular: $4.00 $ _______
Total Cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ _______
Form of Payment
___ Check ___ Money order ___ Visa or MasterCard.
Card Number: _________________________________ Exp. Date:________
In order to help us determine how best to improve and market MATH
MANIAC, please tell us how you found out about MATH MANIAC:
BBS System: ______ Name: _______________________________________
Another User: ______
School: ______ Name: _______________________________________
Review: ______ Publication: ________________________________