Contents of the BIGECHO.DOC file
Documentation for BIGECHO
What it does
BIGECHO is a stand alone program which you can use at the DOS
command line and, more often, in BATch files. To see what it can
do, run one of the two sample BATch files included in the package.
If you have an ANSI compatible screen driver installed (eg
ANSI.SYS, NANSI.SYS, FANSI-CONSOLE or TALL SCREEN) and a color
(CGA or EGA) monitor installed, run ANSIDEMO.BAT; if not, run
BIGDEMO.BAT. These files use the public domain program WAITN by
Ken Goosens which we have borrowed and the ANSIDEMO file uses SEND
by Howard Rumsey and Barry Simon.
BIGECHO will display a message in characters 8 lines high and 8
wide. The usage is
The message can be up to 10 characters in length and can contain
any character with ASCII code 127 or less except for the slash
(ASCII 92). Any characters after the tenth are ignored and spaces
after the one required by DOS count so if you want to center
"hello!", place three blank spaces after the BIGECHO. Some of the
control characters have interesting patterns, especially the happy
faces, ^A and ^B.
The /FB is optional. If it is not included the default is to have
F= and B= so that the filled in parts (Foreground) of the
character are replaced with the solid block and the empty parts
(Background) by the blank space. In general, F and B can be any
ASCII characters. WARNING: if you put in / with no parameters and
two or more spaces, BIGECHO interprets that as F and B being
spaces and will display blank lines. Placing / without the spaces
will cause even more undesirable behavior.
Interesting combinations for /FB include ASCII 219,197 (/) and
ASCII 206,176 (/). The ASCII table in CTRLALT is ideal for
looking at and entering higher ASCII combinations.
The file BIGECHO.SPL contains samples of the output for various
sample command lines.
BIGECHO sends its output to standard output and it can be
redirected BUT the result will probably not be what you want! DOS
automatically wraps screen writes after 80 characters so the 640
characters produced by BIGECHO come in a stream without CR/LF
pairs. Thus most printers will not display things properly and
redirection to a file will not display properly either. The
sample file was produced by redirecting output and putting the
CR/LF in by hand with a word processor.
ansidemo.bat demonstration if you have ANSI.SYS and color monitor
bigdemo .bat demonstration otherwise
bigecho .asm source code for BIGECHO
bigecho .com the basic program
bigecho .doc this doc file
bigecho .spl samples of bigecho output
goodday .asm source for GOODDAY
goodday .com the GOODDAY program
send .com public domain program not in the package included for demos
waitn .com public domain program not in the package included for demos
GOODDAY is a standalone program using the same technology as
BIGECHO which responds depending on the time of day and on whether
it's Friday. Novices seem to like it run as the last program in
their autoexec.bat. And don't tell us that it's hardly evening at
11:30 pm or night at 5:55 am. We know but GOODDAY insists.
How it works
The monochrome adapter comes with its own character ROM, that is
built in programming telling the display the dot pattern to use
for each character but the CGA does not and the dot pattern must be
contained in ROM on the computer itself. Thus every IBM
compatible computer must have 8 by 8 dot patterns for each
character stored in its read only memory and it is this pattern
that BIGECHO accesses. Those dots in the pattern that are
"foreground" to the adapter are replaced by character F and those
that are background are replaced by character B. If you don't
like the pattern for some letter, don't complain to us as we
didn't pick them; complain to your computer maker!
A Bow and Two Disclaimers
BIGECHO was developed by Barry Simon and Richard Wilson.
GOODDAY is c(o) by Wilson. It is POSTWARE: if you like it, send
a postcard addressed to us at
Pasadena, CA 91125
Of course, we're glad to hear comments, suggestions about
enhancements, and even about complaints, incompatibilities and
bugs. Simon has a Compuserve number [76505,2315] . You can leave
messages via EMAIL or, preferably, at the IBMSW Sig. Suggestions
for enhancements would be especially welcome since we already have
some ourselves and plan a second version some time or other. You
can find the version of BIGECHO by using the DOS command "type
BIGECHO.COM". And if you like the program please give it to your
friends, place it on bulletin boards and otherwise spread it
around. While it is copyright by the two of us, we explicitly
allow use of it privately and in a commercial environment. You
may give it away but you may not charge for it or include it with
commercial software without our permission. An exception is made
for user groups and public domain software distributors who may
include it on a disk so long as a reasonable fee is levied.
While we have a connection with Caltech, we emphasize that
this program has no such connection.
And we make the usual disclaimer: this software is
distributed "as is" and is warranted for no purpose. Any risk
associated with its use including, but not limited to, loss of
data is borne by the user.