Contents of the DECORATE.DOC file
for I.B. Magazette by Karl Minor
DECORATOR was written to aid anyone who must occasionally
rearrange a roomful of furniture, and particularly for people who
consider room-rearranging to be an enjoyable indoor sport. It takes
the guesswork out of placing furniture by allowing the user to create
the room layout on the computer screen before ever moving a single
piece of furniture. This is done by obtaining the room dimensions and
characteristics from the user, along with the dimensions of all
furniture to be placed in the room. You may then move the pieces of
furniture around on the screen until the room is arranged
satisfactorily. If you have a IBM Graphics or compatible printer, you
can then print a copy of the room layout. All rooms and furniture are
stored on disk for later sessions.
We have tried to make the program easy-to-use and self-prompting.
However, you should read the following documentation at least once
before using the program for any real application.
CREATING A DECORATOR WORKDISK
We suggest that you copy the DECORATOR program onto a separate disk
before use, since it will create datafiles when run. You should keep
one WORKDISK for each separate house or office that you intend to work
with. The instructions below tell how to create a DECORATOR WORKDISK.
Repeat the instructions for each WORKDISK you wish to create.
1. BOOT your computer in DOS.
2. Place your blank WORKDISK in drive B.
3. Type> FORMAT B:/s
4. Type> COPY A:BASIC*.* B:
(Compatible users should also type COPY A:GWBASIC*.* B: )
5. Remove the DOS disk from drive A and replace it with the
MAGAZETTE disk. Type> COPY A:DECORATE.* B:
6. Type> COPY CON: B:AUTOEXEC.BAT
F6 (will show as ^Z)
7. Remove the disk from drive B and label it DECORATOR
This disk is now a self-booting copy of DECORATOR. To run the program,
insert the disk into your default drive and press CTRL-ALT-DEL.
RUNNING THE PROGRAM
Required 128K IBM PC or 256K COMPATIBLE
hardware : 1 DISK DRIVE
(optional) IBM GRAPHICS PRINTER OR COMPATIBLE
If you have created a self-booting diskette, run the program by booting
with the WORKDISK. Otherwise, type RUN "DECORATE" from BASICA.
You will see a picture of a desk and the DECORATOR logo. Press any key
to continue. At this point, if there is a furniture file on the disk,
the program will load it into memory. You will then be presented with
the main menu.
THE MAIN MENU
The MAIN MENU consists of three SUBMENU and three ACTION selections.
The SUBMENU selections take you to different areas of the program. The
ACTION selections allow you to toggle between METRIC and ENGLISH
systems of measurement, remove all furniture from all rooms, or EXIT
1. Design a room - Allows you to create a room and store it
on diskette. When selecting this option, you will be given a
chance to return to the previous menu. If you do not, the
program proceeds to ask you for the dimensions of the room to
be constructed. The room will be displayed on the screen, and
you will be presented with another menu. This is the WORKING
IN ROOM menu, and is where most work in DECORATOR will be done
from. This menu will be discussed more later.
2. Create, delete, or view furniture - Allows you to enter
the shape, size, and name of your different pieces of
furniture. You must CREATE furniture before you can work with
it in a room. The FURNITURE menu will be discussed more later.
3. Work in a room - Takes you directly to the WORKING IN
ROOM menu with the room currently being arranged. If a
room has not yet been selected, a menu of rooms available on
the disk will be presented. If there are no rooms to WORK in,
you will be taken to the DESIGN A ROOM section.
4. Change to Metric/Feet and Inches - Allows you to toggle
back and forth between Metric and English forms of measurement.
This may be done at any time during the program.
5. Remove all furniture from all rooms - The equivalent of
moving all your furniture onto your front lawn. If any
furniture has been put into any rooms, this selection will take
it ALL back out. If you accidentally select this option, you
will be given a chance to abort.
6. Exit to BASIC
CREATE OR DELETE FURNITURE MENU
This menu allows you to add to or modify the furniture stockpile, as
well as letting you view individual pieces of furniture. All furniture
is kept on one file on the diskette. This is referred to as the
furniture STOCKPILE. It is loaded from disk at the beginning of the
program, and is saved to disk whenever a ROOM is saved, or when you
EXIT the program. If you exit the program with a CTRL-BREAK, you may
lose any changes to the furniture STOCKPILE. It is safe to exit the
program with F8, or with any of the EXIT options within the program.
1. ADD A PIECE OF FURNITURE - Use this option to add pieces
of furniture to your STOCKPILE. Up to 90 items can be added to
a single furniture file. You will be asked whether the
furniture is rectangular or circular. These are the only two
shapes supported by the program, for purposes of speed and
simplicity. Oval furniture should be represented as a
rectangle, and complex desks or sofas (such as L-shaped items)
should be entered as two separate rectangles. Large, permanent
pieces of furniture, such as bars, hot tubs, and waterbeds,
should be entered as a PERMANENT FIXTURE in the room. This is
described in the WORKING IN ROOM section below. Any piece of
furniture over eight feet in diameter or width should be
entered as a permanent fixture also. After you enter the shape
of the item, you will be asked for its measurements. The only
measurement required for circular objects is the diameter (the
width). Rectangular pieces of furniture must be given a length
and width. It makes no difference which measurement is the
length and which is the width, as long as you can keep up with
it. You will be asked for a label to be assigned to the
furniture (i.e. BLUE CHAIR, OAK TABLE, etc.). This label can
be up to 12 characters long.
2. DELETE FURNITURE - When selecting this option, you will be
presented with the FURNITURE STOCKPILE MENU. The item you
select will be erased from the STOCKPILE. You can escape this
option by pressing ESC or answering NO to the "Are you sure"
3. VIEW A PIECE OF FURNITURE - If you need to review the
furniture STOCKPILE, this is the selection to use. You will be
shown the items available and allowed to pick a particular item
for view. That piece of furniture will then be displayed along
with its dimensions.
THE FURNITURE SELECTION MENU
In certain parts of this program, such as the VIEW FURNITURE or DELETE
FURNITURE options, you are required to select a piece of furniture from
the STOCKPILE. This is accomplished through the FURNITURE SELECTION
MENU, which operates as follows.
UP and DOWN arrow keys move the pointer (>) vertically among the items.
LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys move the pointer between the two columns.
If there are more than thirty pieces of furniture, The PG UP and PG DN
keys will switch between the sets of thirty items.
ESC will leave the menu without a selection.
WORKING IN ROOM MENU
Most of the work is done from this menu. It is used to add doors,
windows and fixtures to the room, and is also used to move furniture
into or out of the room. Doors, windows and fixtures may be added to a
room at any time. Remember to SAVE the room before exiting the program.
1. ADD A DOOR - This allows you to add a door to the room
you are working in. When selecting this option, you will be
asked to move the cursor to the point at which the HINGE of the
door will be. It is important to mark the HINGE first when
creating a door or it will open backwards. For more
information about using the cursor, refer to USING THE ARROW
CURSOR below. After you have marked the hinge, mark the other
side of the door. You will then be asked whether the door
opens into or out of the room. If the doors opens in, a curved
path of the door will be drawn, indicating the area which must
be clear for the door to open properly. You can add up to ten
doors, but they can only be entered on the outside walls of the
room. If you have a closet door which is not on the outer
perimeter of the room, you can use the PERMANENT FIXTURE option
to indicate where the closet door will be.
2. ADD A WINDOW - This option works much like the ADD A DOOR
option, with the exception that windows don't have hinges and
don't open in or out. You simply mark both ends of the window.
3. ADD A PERMANENT FIXTURE - You should use this to add any
features to the room that can't be entered as doors, furniture,
or windows. Some examples would be poles, room partitions,
steps, or bathroom fixtures. When selecting this option, you
will be asked if the item is rectangular, circular, or
diagonal. If entering a circular object, you will be asked for
the diameter and the point in the room that the object's center
will be located. If entering a rectangular object, you will
mark the upper left and lower right corners of the object. The
diagonal option is not limited to diagonals. It essentially
asks for two points in the room and draws a line between them.
NOTE: Permanent fixtures cannot be moved or deleted once
they are placed.
4. SAVE THIS ROOM AND CONTINUE - This stores the room and
everything in it to disk. It is a good idea to save the room
often if you are working in a complex room. When selecting this
option, you will be asked for a name for the room. If the name
you give the room is the same as a room already on the disk,
the room on the disk will be erased, so be sure to give each
room a different name. Room names are limited to eight
characters and can consist of letters and spaces only. The
furniture file is saved to disk also whenever this option is
5. WORK WITH FURNITURE - This routine is what DECORATOR is
all about. It allows you to select a piece of furniture from
the stockpile and place it anywhere in the room. The furniture
can be moved about the room with the ARROW KEYS and SHIFT-ARROW
combinations. Furniture can be rotated around its axis by
pressing the + and - keys. If a piece of furniture is moved
off the screen, it will be returned to the center of the room.
When the furniture is placed where you wish to leave it, press
ENTER. The furniture now becomes part of the room and will be
saved to disk as being located in that particular position in
that particular room. This routine also lets you remove a piece
of furniture from the room. Select the item from the menu and
press ESC to return it to the list. The room will be redrawn.
To move a piece of furniture that has already been placed in
the room, select it from the FURNITURE menu. The room will be
redrawn and you will have control over that piece of furniture.
6. REMOVE ALL FURNITURE - This option will remove all
furniture from this particular room and return it to the list.
This is similar to the option on the main menu, except that it
only removes the furniture from the room that is currently
7. VIEW THE FURNITURE - This selection is the same as the
VIEW A PIECE OF FURNITURE option under CREATE AND DELETE
8. RETURN TO MAIN MENU - Brings you back to the Main Menu.
USING THE ARROW CURSOR
In several areas of the program you will be required to use a graphics
cursor to enter room features or to move furniture. This cursor is
shaped like an arrow and will always point toward the upper left corner
of the screen. The point on the screen that the arrow points to is
directly beneath the tip of the arrow. To move the arrow, use the
arrow keys, located on the numeric keypad on the right side of the
keyboard. Pressing the arrow keys by themselves will move the cursor
arrow in increments of one inch if you are using English measurement, or
one centimeter if you are using Metric. By pressing SHIFT+arrow key, you
will move the cursor in increments of feet or decimeter, respectively.
POSITION BOX - When using the arrow cursor to mark doors, windows, or
fixtures, a box will appear on the right side of the screen. Within
this box are four numbers indicating how far the cursor is from each of
the four main walls. For example, the number between the arrow and the
top of the box indicates the distance between the cursor and the top
wall of the room. This let you see exactly where you are in the room,
allowing you to precisely position doors and windows, etc..
MARKING DOORS AND WINDOWS - When creating doors and windows, you will
notice that the cursor cannot be moved away from the walls. These
features cannot be placed in the middle of the room.
MARKERS - When marking a box, line, window, or door, the cursor will
usually leave behind some sort of marker to indicate where you placed
the first corner or point.
ROOM FILES - Each room is saved as a separate file on the diskette.
No provisions were made for deleting a room after it is created, to
eliminate the chance of accidentally erasing a lot of hard work. If you
need to erase a room file or the furniture stockpile file, do so with the
KILL or ERASE commands from BASIC or DOS.
SCALE - Although the furniture and room are all scaled to each
other, the horizontal and vertical axes may not be scaled to each other
perfectly. This is rarely noticeable, and will cause no problems when
moving furniture. If your computer uses an LCD screen, chances are the
display will look odd.
HARDCOPY - IBM DOS includes a file named GRAPHICS.COM that will
allow users with IBM Graphics Printers or IBM Graphics compatible printers
to obtain a hardcopy of a room layout. Before entering BASICA, type
GRAPHICS. If using a self-booting disk, add the command GRAPHICS to
AUTOEXEC.BAT before the BASICA DECORATE command. This will modify the
SHIFT-PrtSc routine so that it will print a Graphics dump of a room layout
screen. To get this dump, press SHIFT-PrtSc while the room is on the