Contents of the BLAB.DOC file
NonSense v1.1 (C) 9/28/92
Ed T. Toton III, All Rights Reserved.
A while ago, I was playing around with Ultima-7 by Origin Systems.
After I won the game, I noticed people on Prodigy talking about a cheat
menu. I quickly figured out how to use it and found a room in the game
where Lord British (a good guy) condemns you to death for cheating. After
exiting the room, all objects were now called "Oink" by the game, and Lord
British would talk in non-sensical "MadLib" sentances. I thought it would
be great to have such a thing giving quotes to people as they log on to
my BBS, so I wrote Quick-Quotes.
After playing with quick-Quotes for a while, I found it to be somewhat
predictable. Although you never know what words it will pick, the sentances
in general are not a suprise to me anymore (after all, I DID program them in
myself!). So now I wrote Nonsense, more commonly known as Blab (that's it's
Using Nonsense is easy. It can run from DOS or a BBS, it can use color
or go without, it can generate one paragraph, or keep generating them until
you press 'Q' (with a pause between each), or it can churn out a pre-defined
number of lines at once with no pauses.
To control it's activity, you must use command-line parameters. If you wish
to have color, you MUST support ANSI. Most BBS's already do that, but if you
are running it from DOS (such as in your Autoexec.Bat file), you MUST have a
thing in your Config.Sys file that reads something like "Device=Ansi.Sys" or
Syntax: BLAB [parameter1] [parameter2] [parameter3...]
Blab has a few restrictions. It's memory storage system is not as efficient
as it could be. I've found that if it loads a 40k file, it'll use 50k.
Remember though, it will use all the available free memory it can get. So
if you tell to load tons of files, it will load as many as possible, then
stop. Once blab uses all the memory it has available, it will stop loading
files, and go right to the text.
On my computer it gets 514k to work with. I have 599k free RAM. Basically,
keep in mind that the program itself is 21k, it has a 32k stack, and a 32k
data segment. 599 - 21 - 32 - 32 = 514.
The parameters are below:
/F* - Replace the asterisk with a file mask and it will load those
file(s) to use as data to make it's text. The files must
be in the CURRENT directory.
Examples: "/Ftext.txt" loads "text.txt"
"/F*.DOC" loads all DOC files in the directory.
You may specify as many of these as you wish.
/MX# - Define the maximum line length. It is recommended that you make
it no smaller than 30. Default=75. Max=255.
/MY# - Define how many lines to output. The program will usually go
over this number by 1 to 3 lines. Range= 1 to 2,147,483,647.
/P# - Define average length of paragraphs in SENTANCES, not lines.
/PR# - Turn on the pause, and define how frequently it will appear.
Defaults to 0 (off). Recommended number: 20.
/SP# - Put spacing (a margin) on left, and define the size.
Default = 0.
/NA - Non-Ansi mode (no color)
/A1 - True Ansi... use this for DOS and non-WWIV BBS's
/A2 - WWIV-Ansi... use this for WWIV BBS's
/C1 - Use color set 1 (default, green and yellow)
/C2 - Use color set 2 (blue and cyan)
/? - View the help stuff.
/S# - Shuffle the random number generator the given number of times.
Number can range anywhere from 0 to 32,000 (default is 0).
/SC* - Replace the * with a file-name, and Nonsense will use it as a
Note- You must replace the "#" in the parameter with the number you want.
To use a script file, you must specify one with the "/SC" parameter. The
script should be an ascii file, with ONE parameter per line. The parameters
are the same as above. Script files allow you to set up an easy way to
use a lengthy list of parameters.
A sample script:
If you use various documents as source material that include a lot of page
numbering, page headers, chapter headers, and all kinds of others strange
stuff, you will get a fairly messy result. For best results, use PURE text.
For instance, it you wanted to use THIS file, you would want to remove the
parameter lists and examples, copyright notices, version numbers, and so
forth. They make the results more confusing.
Remember, the program can handle making over 2 billion lines of text. I
do not suggest attempting it, however. Here are my reasons..
DOS output to screen is somewhat slow, I realize that. But nevertheless,
it took nearly 14 minutes for it to generate 65536 lines on my 486-33DX
(a total of 79.24546 lines per second). I calculated that on MY computer
(one of the fastest around) that it would take 313.647 DAYS to generate the
MAXIMUM number of lines the program can handle.
Additionally, if it were to generate 65536 lines at an average of 70
characters each, the resulting text file (if you were to save it) would be
about 4.5 megabytes. The maximum number of lines the program can generate
would total to roughly 150 gigabytes (that's 0.15 Terrabytes). Needless to
say, it is a rediculous amount of diskspace. I don't know about you, but
I can't afford a gigabyte hard-drive let alone a terrabyte.
BLAB /na /f*.txt >quotes.txt
This one would generate the default 20 lines of non-ansi sentances,
without pausing. With the Dos I/O redirection, all the quotes would
go to a file called "quotes.txt" instead of appearing on screen.
Note that it loads it's source material from all TXT files.
BLAB /a1 /fsample.txt
This is what you should use if you want it in your Autoexec.Bat.
(true ansi color)
This loads it's source material from "sample.txt".
This is best for WWIV BBS log-ons. It uses WWIV ANSI.
since there is no source material listed, the text will be generated
from the 2 built in sentances.
BLAB /a1 /sp5 /mx70 /ftext.1 /ftext.2
This configuration puts a margin of 5 spaces on the left, with
a maximmum line length of 70 (which leaves at least 5 spaces free
on the right as well), using true Ansi-Color.
The source is taken from the files "text.1" and "text.2"
BLAB /a1 /s300 /f*.doc
This configuration uses true Ansi-Color, as does the previous one.
But the addition of the "/s300" will do 300 shuffles, allowing for
a different set of outcomes than without it. You may want to consider
changing the shuffle number every month or so if you are using it in
The source material comes from all DOC files in the directory.
BLAB /a1 /c2 /p8 /mx60 /my100 /f*.doc /f*.txt
This tells BLAB to use normal ansi, with the cyan colors.
Additionally, it uses an average paragraph length of 8 sentances,
maximum line length of 60, and 100 lines of text. If you want it to
create a text file, put it on the end the same way as in example #1.
This takes it's source material from all the DOC and TXT files
in the directory. Note that if the memory gets filled all the way
with the DOC files, the TXT's won't be used.
1.1 - A bug fixed with the wild-cards...
This program is being distributed on the "shareware" concept. It is by
no means completely free. If you think the program is of use to you, please
send a registration fee of $5. If you think that is rediculous, then send
less (or more for that matter). If you hate the program or found too many
bugs, write me and tell me, and include a graphic explanation (but don't
be too harsh!! Heheheh). In any event, write to:
Ed T. Toton III
7101 Talisman Lane
Columbia Md 21045
And WHY should you register it?
1. To support my continuing efforts to bring you some level of
functional programs. If I get no cash, you get no improvements
in these programs, and I won't be encouraged to make new and
2. To get that warm glow for knowing that you supported the author
of at least one of the many shareware programs you probably use.
3. To find out if there is a newer version. All you need to do is
ask! But letters with money take priority!
4. You could be sick and demented and thus register everything you
get your hands on.
I have made several programs (not including the 7 or so games I made
in quick-basic a while back) that may be of interest to you. Here is
a list of some of them: (as of 9/28/92)
Quick-Quotes : =Generates silly random quotes and text. You can have
it do a "quote of the day" when you boot your computer,
or a quote for when someone logs onto your bbs, or
you can generate megs of nonsensical text.
Blaze v2.6 : =VGA screen-saver. Supports password security,
and a customization system (config file). Has
been known to travel quickly through BBS's.
CompWar v2.6 : =Latest release of CompWar, the on-line game for
use with WWIV BBS systems.
Date-Matcher v1.2 : =On-line match-maker program for BBS's that support
DOS interrupt driven door programs (such as WWIV).
Virus Farm : =On-line game. Players are viruses attempting
to take over the hard drive.
T-Robots v2.0 : =(one of my masterpeices) T-Robots is a system in
which you program robots to fight one another. It
uses a simple programming language, and you create
the programs with your favorite text-editor. Great
for competitions! Supports VGA, EGA, CGA, MCGA,
Hercules, and many more graphics devices.
AT-Robots v1.0 : =Advanced T-robots. Extremely similar to T-Robots 2.0
except the system has been improved. It supports most
graphics adapters in existance (CGA, EGA, VGA, MCGA,
Hercules, etc). In this one you program the robots
using ATR assembly (Advanced T-Robots Assembly). Now
you design your own subroutines, and access specific
device ports and memory locations. The ultimate in
competions of logical thought.
StratSys v2.0 : =A 2-player VGA combat strategy game. VERY flexible.
Comes with 4 game scenarios (Cival War, Naval Battle,
Robot Conquest, and a medieval scenario). Expansion
packs are available (at the moment one with 12
scenarios). Comes with an editor for the images and
maps, so you can make your own scenarios!
Dragon's Domain 1 : =A graphic adventure game. The first in the series.
Each sequal also brings improvements to the graphics
and the interface.
Dragon's Domain 2 : =The story continues, and the challenge gets more
Dragon's Domain 3 : =Yet another one!! Will it never end??
Dragon's Domain 4 : =Now it supports Adlib! Will wonders never cease??
My-Gags set 2.1 : =A set of small gag programs that I have made. They
are designed to be placed in the autoexec.bat file.
Over Half of them are TSR's, including one that
creates "line-noise" through the keyboard buffer,
one that beeps occasionally, and one that keeps
changing you caps-lock/numlock/scroll-lock.
Toton Utilities 1.0 =A set of 8 SMALL but potentially useful utilities.
Most are TSR's. Several of them make alternate
drive-lights out of other peripherals. You can make
a drive LED on your screen in the corner, or make
your scroll-lock act as a drive light. Included
is also a program to make clicking sounds as you
press keys, and a program to turn your num-lock
off during boot-up (for those of you that hate your
num-lock staying on after boot-up).
This program is provided "AS IS" and I make no gauruntees about it's
performance. I will not be and can not be held responsible for any damages
incurred during it's use. It's on a "use at your own risk" basis. Nothing
at all should happen, the program is harmless, but I have to say it anyway.
This program may be freely distributed (which is actually encouraged)
AS IS. No one may modify this program in ANY way. ESPECIALLY where names
and credit is given, and INCLUDING all the documentation and data files.
It may NOT be used for comercial or profit-turning ventures of any kind,
including sale by disk vendors, without the written consent by ME, with
ONE exception. Disk vendors MAY sell it without my written consent ONLY
if they charge no more than $4 higher then the cost of the disk, AND they
register it first. NOTHING may be added to it either. NO BBS ads are
allowed EXCEPT as zip comments, or as a single SEPERATE text file.
If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, criticisms, donations,
remarks, praise or opinions, please write! I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!
(the address is listed above).
Ed T. Toton III