Contents of the MSS15.DOC file
Program: Message Screen Saver
Author: George Spafford
Date: January 10, 1992
To allow a user to type a program name (MSS), instead of having a TSR
resident in memory, which will display a user-defined message on the
computer screen in text mode. While displaying this message, the
program will augment the message's position on the screen in order to
prevent any "Burn In" from occuring. And, if desired, to provide a
rudimentary password system to slow up tricksters while you're out of
"Message" is the user defined, one line message.
Example: MSS I am at Lunch <- Displays "I am at Lunch"
If a message is not displayed, a simple ascii symbol set made up
of ascii symbols 174, 1 and 175 will appear on the screen.
To regain control of the system, simply press a key.
"Password" This is any character combination you want except for
the "\" key. The "\" key is reserved to allow a user
to flush the input buffer in the case that an erroneous
or unauthorized keystroke has been entered.
The above process will write the password in a file entitled "MSS.PWD"
which will be located in the dircetory from which MSS executed from.
This directory specification is provided to MSS by DOS services, so you
do NOT need to worry about providing it. Just enter your password.
The next time you run MSS, rather than pressing any key to exit the
program, you must type your password in exactly as you saved it. The
passwords are NOT case sensitive. If you hit the wrong key, or somebody
messed with your system while you were out and filled the buffer, hit the
"\" key to clear the buffer. Then enter your password.
If you want to get rid of the password permanently and you want to
run MSS normally, just go the directory where you have MSS.EXE located
and delete the MSS.PWD file from your drive. MSS will then operate as
if no password exists & will exit when any key (other than space) is
pushed. (Note, the entire password process activates if the MSS.PWD
file is found. If you don't want a password, delete the file, don't
just blank out the contents.)
Note, the PW option is not bullet-proof. It is meant simply to hamper
people who are goofing off. Anybody serious can easily bypass this
program by either rebooting the system or by booting with a floppy disk.
I am rather lucky in that my ESDI drive requires a device driver to work.
Only I and my boss know this. I have MSS in my autoexec file & I have the
BREAK turned off both in the config.sys and in the autoexec.bat file.
Thus, it is much harder for somebody to get into my system. Because they
must boot with the device driver in order to access my HD. I just want
you to be aware that this is not a full blown security package. If you
need that, look at PC-Vault or one of the many other security packages
that are available.
People were having problems reading long messages. Now, if the msg
is less than 10 characters, there is a 2 second delay. If it is longer
than 10 characters, there is a 5 second delay.
Screen positions are now more random. Gee, the things people notice!
MSS now allows a password to be stored. Hopefully this will stop some
of the goofballs from playing with your computer while you are out of
MSS will now identify monochrome monitors and produce output that
they can handle. Sorry guys.
A user reported underlines being generated on the screen. Thus, I
rewrote the screen clearing routine such that it actually performs
a clear screen rather than blanking the field that contained the
previously displayed message.
9/05/91 v1.1b Bug Fix
Have you ever had one off those days? I zipped the wrong .EXE file.
Reworked the screen draw routine to take into account the length of the
message before it starts randomly generating the horizontal position.
I hope this program helps you evaluate some of your problems
or even makes some solutions/benefits clear. This program is
released as shareware. Its price is $5 for each concurrently
used copy. If you have any suggestions or comments, I'd REALLY
like to hear those too.
3001 LakeShore Drive, #329
St. Joseph, MI 49085
Data: (616) 468-5026 Queued Access BBS 14.4Kb USR Dual HST
FIDOnet: 1:2340/0 NEC/NC Site
Sysop: Tim Akright ... 600+ Meg Online.
MSS IS DISTRIBUTED AS IS. THE AUTHOR (GEORGE SPAFFORD) MAKES NO
WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED
TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE,
WITH RESPECT TO THIS SOFTWARE AND DOCUMENTATION. IN NO EVENT SHALL
THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, LOST
SAVINGS, OR ANY OTHER INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING
OUT OF THE USE OF OR THE INABILITY TO USE THIS PROGRAM.