Nifty James' Famous Chimer
Version 1.00 of 25 June 88
(C) Copyright 1988 by Mike Blaszczak
All Rights Reserved
THIS PROGRAM MAY NOT BE REDISTRIBUTED OR RESOLD WITHOUT THE PRIOR
WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE AUTHOR. THE PROGRAM MAY NOT BE OFFERED AS
INCENTIVE TO PURCHASE; DOING SO IS A CRIME.
"Oh, Papa, but this one, she's for you!"
-- Breaking Away
For quite some time, my dad has supported my meanderings with the
computer. He wouldd off be doing yardwork while his teenage son
hacked away at the computer. So, for all those years of patience, I
have written my dad a program that he will certainly like. It is for
his birthday later in July. Of course, I will probably get him
something else, perhaps for his model planes or something. But I
sure hope he will have fun with this program.
My father, you see, seems to be fascinated with clocks. Back when I
was much younger (yes, there is life before eighteen), he built this
big old grandfather clock from a kit. It made three different
chimes, and it was certainly the cat's meow for some time to come.
Now, we my parents also have a similar wall clock in their kitchen.
I have since moved out to my own apartment to start working and go to
This clock could play three different chimes. They were modeled
after several famous tower clocks around the world. There were the
Saint Michael's chime, the Whittington chime, and the Westminster
From the chimies of old, I have converted the old whirring and
clinking mechanisims into structures and bytes, pointers and offests.
NJCHIME is a terminate-and-stay resident program that attaches itself
to the BIOS timer-tick interrupt. The program counts the time
internally, so that it does not bring any overhead into system
throughput by using DOS functions. When the program realizes that
the time is nearing the hour, the program starts chiming.
In its default mode, NJCHIME produces "Time Tone" beeps. These
consist of three short beeps, starting at three seconds before the
hour. Then, at the hour, a longer and higher beep is given. Many of
the dial-up time services provide such a time tone.
NJCHIME can be given the /M option on the command line to provide the
different clock chimes. Using
would setup NJCHIME to use the Westminster chimes. These are the
available chimes and their codes:
M0 - Time Tones
M1 - Westminster Chimes
M2 - Saint Michael Chimes
M3 - Whittington Chimes
The Westminster chimes are the chimes that are played by Big Ben, the
most famous of all clock towers. From its home in London, England,
the clock plays a melody based on a composition by Handel.
The Saint Michael Chimes are also from England. However, the Saint
Michael Chimes were cast by an English craftsman for a church in
Charleston, South Carolina during the Revolutionary war. However,
the British captured this city by battle, and took the bells back to
England. Amazingly enough, the American rebels stole the moulds for
the bells, and a second set of bells was cast and installed in the
The Whittington chimes were named for Lord Mayor Richard Whittington.
Whittington started life in poverty. However, he made money in great
volume by trading. After his terms as Lord Mayor of London, he
became a philanthropist.
If you select the M0 option of the program, NJCHIME will only become
active at the hour. Otherwise, NJCHIME will faithfully reproduce the
chimes for each quarter hour of the clock. The program will also
strike the hour by "Bonging" for each hour, or striking just once for
the half hour.
NJCHIME takes a little less than 1024 bytes of DOS memory. As with
other TSR programs, it is advisable to install NJCHIME before you use
SET to set up any additional environment variables.
NJCHIME should be compatible with every program -- it is not
illbehaved in any way. If you use another program that accesses the
speaker port while NJCHIME is chiming or striking, the speaker may
sound fuzzled for a few notes. However, due to the nature of the IBM
speaker output system, NJCHIME will recover gracefully after a few
Whirrings And Klunkings
NJCHIME is a rather intricate program. If you are familliar with
Microsoft BASIC, you will understand that NJCHIME implements much of
the PLAY command with its "Music Background" mode.
NJCHIME basically monitors the system clock, counting the time in its
own internal representation. At each clock tick, NJCHIME checks
through each of several modes that it can be using. If NJCHIME is
Playing a note, resting between notes, bonging for the hour, waiting
between bongs, or selecting the next note, the program executes
slightly different code. Of course, much of the program is skipped
over for most of the time. The majority of the time, the program is
simply dormant. However, while striking the hour or chiming, the
program excutes the remaining code.
I have a personal version of NJCHIME that plays the opening bars of
"Stairyway To Heaven". I am also considering converting some sheet
music from Pink Floyd and Rush compilations that I have. If you would
like to have NJCHIME play another tune or function when you use it,
please register your copy and send me a copy of the sheet music which
you would like to have coded. I'll do my best to reply to each of
these requests in a prompt manner!
Of course, my father got his copy free. But, if you find that you're
enjoying NJCHIME, I'd like to request that you send a donation that
you feel is appropriate for the program. I would request a
contribution of $10, but you can send more or less, as you see fit.
Thank you for your time!
Mike "Nifty James" Blaszczak
35 Ginger Lane #229
East Hartford, Connecticut
NWI: NIFTY JAMES
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