CHRONOS User Instructions.
Revised: 22 Oct 1991
Copyright 1990,1991 Steve Estvanik / Cascoly Software / All rights reserved.
2. GETTING STARTED
3. INTERACTIVE HISTORY
4.2 EDITING OUTSIDE CHRONOS
6. VERSION NOTES
How old was Paul Revere when he rode into history? How old was Napoleon when
the Declaration of Independence was signed? How many years separated Cortez
and Michelangelo? In War & Peace, how old is Natasha when Napoleon captures
Moscow? Cascoly's CHRONOS historical timelines program examines these
questions and many more. Unlike conventional paper chronologies, CHRONOS
lets you decide which people and events to include. You can sort and select
by individual people and events, or groups and factions, developing new
insights and tracing patterns across different eras and cultures. CHRONOS
is used by history and art students, genealogists, teachers, writers and
others interested in exploring historical relations or cultural events.
It's also helpful to lawyers or otherswho need to establish and demonstrate
chronological or complex events.
2. GETTING STARTED
CHRONOS combines people and events into files called datasets. These are
the two basic elements of CHRONOS. Figure 1 shows the main CHRONOS menu.
File options are explained in section 4. This section describes how to use
the People & Events portions of the program to create new datasets or to
modify existing ones. Examples can be found in the datasets provided with
the program. These datasets are described in more detail in the References,
(Section 7) which also contains information that might be useful in creating
your own datasets. If you want to look at an existing application, you can
go directly to section 3. The remainder of this section describes how to
create a new dataset from scratch, and how to add new people and events.
Chronos is fully menu-driven. To use the keyboard, you can either use the
arrow keys, or the first letter of a menu word to select the action you
wish. Then press . To use the mouse, just move it to the item you
want and press the left button. To back up from a menu or to finish an
entry screen, press the right button, or .
CHRONOS considers 2 main types of information -- People and Events. As you
might expect, People items store information about historical persons or
fictional characters. You can add or edit these records using the data
entry window shown in Figure 2. If you don't know the exact birth or death
years, you can enter an approximate one. (Note that, since the month and
day are left out, age calculations can only be accurate to within a year.
For years before 1700, there are additional discrepancies, since the
acceptance of the Gregorian calendar reform did not occur everywhere at the
same time. English speaking countries did not start using the new calendar
until the mid 1700's and Russia accepted the reform only after the 1917
Revolution.) Also, if you decide to create a current dataset, containing
living persons, you could set the 'death' year to some arbitrarily high
value, such as 2030 or 2050, so that future ages can be calculated.
You can assign people to factions that you define using the Faction option
of the People submenu (Figure 2). This lets you group people into logical
categories of your choosing. These might be national or political, such as
Union, Confederate, British or French. You can also define vocations, such
as artist, musician, statesman and poet. Selection options (section 3.2)
let you display, sort and print by selected factions or vocations or the
entire dataset. You can assign colors to factions and vocations, and then
choose whether to use faction or vocation colors to help to distinguish them
on the screen.
The second main data element is the event. This is a specific historical
happening. It could be a battle, a political act, or the publication date
of a famous novel. You can append a 2 line description, along with time of
the event (a starting and ending year). Events use groups and nations in a
similar fashion to factions and vocations for people. Groups and nations
allow easier sorting and selection. For example, in the Revolutions dataset
you can choose to display only Americans, or only French events.
Events may be either specific events or of longer duration (eg, The French
Revolution). For the former case, just enter the same date for both
starting and ending years.
You can assign a colors to groups and nations, and then choose whether to
use the group or nation colors to help to distinguish them on the screen.
People and Event items are added, edited and deleted in a similar fashion.
From the parent menu (Figure 1), choose either the People or Events submenu
(Figures 2 and 4). Then choose Add, Edit or Delete. When adding a new
item, a blank entry window appears and you can fill in the requested
information. When you're finished with a window, press or the
right mouse button to accept it.
When you choose edit or delete, a picklist popup (Figure 3) shows a list of
all people or events. You can choose the one you wish to edit or delete. A
scroll bar allows easier selection if you're using a mouse. When you need
to add or edit a faction, vocation, nation or group, another popup appears,
so you don't need to remember the numbers for all groupings.
CHRONOS can handle up to 600 people and 600 events per dataset. However,
the window area required to display these depends on the span of years these
people and events occupy. If the span is less than 200 years, there should
be no problem. If it is greater than 200, you might receive a message :
"Unable to create [People/Event] window"
This might be due to an attempt to show too large a span for the number of
people or events you have. (In general, the number of items times the year
range must be less than 64,000. Thus if you have a 200 year span, you
would be able to have about 320 people and 320 events.) It could also be
due to an input error for one of the people or events. Check this by
printing a list of all people and events and checking the years entered.
The number of bytes required can be estimated by multiplying the number of
records by the span of years between the earliest starting date and the
latest ending date. The people and the events areas can each contain 64,000
3. INTERACTIVE HISTORY
Once a dataset is populated, you can begin your explorations using the
display and select options (Figure 1). To reduce the startup time for new
users, CHRONOS comes with several datasets already created:
REVOLT covers the historical period from the American Revolution thru the
French Revolution and Napoleonic era to the Civil War (1750-1860). It
concentrates on the course of political and technical revolutions.
RENAISS covers the Renaissance period in Europe from about 1450 to the end
of the 30 Years War in 1648. It emphasizes the interaction and ferment
among political, religious and cultural events.
CINEMA traces directors, actors, pictures and events from Intolerance,
Potemkin and Gold Rush to Goodfellas and Dances with Wolves.
ISRAEL contains one possible timeline of the kings and prophets of Israel.
Any of these can be used as the basis for a new dataset. Open the dataset,
then use the WriteAs option to save it under a different name. You can then
delete, edit or add other people and events to form a new dataset.
All datasets are dynamic -- they continue to grow and change as we do
further research, and users make suggestions for additions.
Registered users receive the latest versions of the previous datasets, and
in addition, receive new datasets:
MILLENUM covers the period of the first millenium, from about 900 to 1200.
It concentrates on the evolving struggle between Christian and Muslim worlds
and beginnings of nations.
TWENTY covers the twentieth century. An eclectic collection of people and
events from our century.
CLASSIC covers the last years of the Roman Republic through the reign of
Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
After editing People or Events, or after making a selection, choose DISPLAY
from the menu to show the latest subset of data. When you make selections,
it just restricts the elements that are going to be displayed, they are
still part of the dataset for subsequent selections.
Most of the commands and actions in this program are similar for keyboard
and mouse operation. You select a function and execute it. However, the
dataset display lets you explore and the commands to control mouse and
keyboard are quite different. Press for a summary of keyboard and
mouse commands. (Figure 8)
The CHRONOS display shows people and events on 2 linked but independent
scrolling windows. The left button controls movement of a window, and
scrolling. The right button controls selection and display of individual
items. In either mode, the current section is determined by the placement
of the mouse cursor. The bottom line shows which section is active, and
the current person and event.
The central scroll bar indicates your position within the complete range of
years. It moves as you scroll horizontally. You can also use the mouse to
indicate a quick jump to a particular area of the display.
Use the to select items, and the or escape to
exit. When using popups, a scroll bar on the right side of the popup lets
you use the mouse to jump to another part of the popup.
Figure 5 shows the scroll command map. If you want to scroll left or right,
click Left while in one of the areas marked 'b'. Both top and bottom
sections scroll horizontally at the same time, so people and events are
always synchronous. Areas marked 'c' control vertical movement. Here, each
section, people or events, scrolls independently. The 4 corners of each
section are similar to and keys. Left click on each to move to
that section of the dataset. For example, click on the lower right corner
to move to the lower right portion of the dataset. Note that in some data
sets, the upper right and lower left may result in mostly blank screens.
But if you scroll horizontally or vertically, you'll recover the data. This
sounds more complicated than it is. The easiest way to learn it is to
experiment with the datasets provided. Click on each corner to see how the
view changes. Then use the horizontal and vertical controls for finer
In addition, by clicking on the central scroll bar, you can jump to any
intermediate point in the window. The point where you click will become the
new left edge. The corresponding year will be displayed.
Right click of the mouse button shows details of a person or event. If a
person, it also shows their age in the year of the last selected event. If
an event, it shows the age of the last selected person. Thus, to follow the
course of a person's life, first select that person (right click on them),
then select the events you want to examine. For each event, the person's
age will be calculated.
Keyboard scrolling is handled by the arrow keys. These are analogous to
using the mouse in sections 'b' & 'c'. These keys scroll vertically and
horizontally, one row or column at a time. To move to the corners, use the
, , and keys. Experiment with the various keys to
see how the screen changes. The keyboard requires 2 keys to get to a
Two most useful are:
The other two are:
To change from one section to another, use the