Dec 282017
 
Comprehensive HD menu program.
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Comprehensive HD menu program.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
CNVTO40.EXE 36785 26249 deflated
MENU.BAT 14 14 stored
MENU.DAT 2100 75 deflated
MENU2.DAT 2175 113 deflated
MENUINST.EXE 143917 73710 deflated
MENUMATC.DOC 75858 23863 deflated
MENUMATC.EXE 60919 39222 deflated

Download File MENUMATC.ZIP Here

Contents of the MENUMATC.DOC file


Menu-Matic 4.0
from BC Enterprises

The Only System Menu Program You Need


Menu-Matic, simply put, is a menu program. It allows you to
create a menu from which you can call your programs with the touch of one
key. For the knowledgeable user, this will save huge amounts of time.
For the novice, this can mean the difference between using and not using a
computer. For executives in charge of computer operations, it can mean
countless hours saved by not having to train new workers in the
complexities of DOS.

Menu-Matic has the features you need. The features of the main
menu program include:

- execute up to sixteen options directly from the Main Menu,
plus link up to five additional options to each Main Menu
title, for a total of 80 choices using linked options
- reach any of 80 options using only 1 or 2 keystrokes, no
going from menu to menu searching for the program you want
- automatic screen blackout after five minutes
- shows system date and keeps time on the screen in 12 hr.
format
- shows system equipment and disk statistics at the touch of a
key
- ability to add arguments to any or all options
- mark any or all options for password protection, using a
single password, or as many different passwords as you want
- keeps a log of computer operations initiated from Menu-Matic
- keyboard macros to keep typing at a minimum
- make choices by touching number keys or using selection bar
- user defined screen colors
- execution of menu options at preset times
- ability to add a description line for each menu option

The features of the Menu Installation program include:

- easy to use pull-down menu system
- extensive on-line help
- automatic generation of menu records
- easy directory access from within the program
- fully functional data entry system
- multiple report options for printing a hard copy of your menu
system
- ability to test your menu records from within the Installation
program


Now comes the pitch. Menu-Matic is not a public-domain program.
It is copyrighted, 1987-1988 to Kevin Clark and BC Enterprises. A good
deal of work went to make this an easy to use, yet powerful, menu system.
We believe that this is the best menu system available at any price. For
all this, we ask a very small payment in return.

If you use this program and find it to be helpful, please send
payment of $25 for one copy, or $20 each for two or more copies. Site
licenses are also available at a low cost. Please send payment to BC
Enterprises, One Kidd Lane, Front Royal, VA 22630. We have been advised
that this price is way too low, and that people won't buy $20-$25 dollar
software. We hope you will prove them wrong. A good many menuing
programs we have seen cost between $50 and $100. There has been a trend
in Shareware recently to offer programs at a rather high price, $50 and
over. Please support this program, which is what Shareware ought to be --
professional quality at a rock-bottom price. And the only way to make
sure you always have the latest version is to register.

Registered users will receive notices of updates and will receive
updated versions of Menu-Matic for a very low fee. (If you include
$5.00 extra with your order, we will mail you an update when it is
released, rather than just a notification.) With your registration,
you will receive a typeset manual. You will also have the chance
to tell us about improvements you would like to see. Your sugges-
tions could become reality. Even if you choose not to send in the
registration fee, we still want to hear what you like or don't like about
the program. If you decide not to register, write to us and tell us why
you think the program is not worth the registration fee.

Now comes the disclaimer. Kevin Clark and BC Enterprises do not
warrant this software as suitable for any particular application. We are
not responsible for any loss of revenue or potential revenue, or for
consequential, special, indirect, or other damages or claims.

This is good software which we believe is also an exceptional
value. We don't think there is any way it could harm any hardware or
software. If you find any bugs in it whatsoever, we would like to hear
about them.


Introduction to Menu-Matic


About the Menu-Matic

The Menu-Matic is a program which allows you to call all (or most)
of your application software from one centrally located menu. It does
this by taking advantage of DOS's built in capacity to run BATCH files. A
batch file is a set of commands which are run as if they were entered
individually from the system prompt. When you pick a choice from the
menu, the Menu-Matic immediately writes the batch file onto the disk and
then executes it. You could theoretically type up your own batch files to
call, with just the touch of a few keys, each application program on your
computer, but this would be extremely cumbersome. For one thing, the
problem with 80 batch files would be that you would have to remember the
names of all these files. In contrast, the Menu-Matic allows you just to
"point and shoot" at the programs you want to run. It is infinitely
easier and more practical.

The Menu-Matic program itself is written in Microsoft QuickBASIC
4.00. If you don't already have a copy, we highly recommend that you get
one. It just don't get much better than this. With integrated program
development, compile, and debugging, programming has never been more
pleasant. The Menu-Matic program is roughly 900 lines of BASIC code (the
source file is about 25K long), and includes a couple assembly language
subroutines gleaned from outside sources. I give a nod of the hat here to
Thomas Hanlin III whose shareware assembly language subroutines, called
ADVBAS, are extremely helpful. You can glean similar subroutines out of
magazines and other places, but he has put together a wonderful collection
of them which is well-written and easy to use. Also, the MicroHelp
Toolbox from MicroHelp, Inc., is a nice little collection.

The Menu-Matic installation program is now written in QuickBASIC
also, having been converted from Turbo BASIC 1.00 by Borland. Turbo BASIC
is also a very fine program, though not, in my opinion, of the surpassing
quality of QuickBASIC. The conversion from Turbo BASIC made it possible
to use assembly language and other libraries in the installation program,
which is a big help. The source code for the installation program is over
3000 lines.

We bring up the size of the program to give you some idea of the
programming involved, i.e., a whole bunch. 4000 lines of source code are
not written overnight.


Requirements to Run Menu-Matic

To run Menu-Matic you need an IBM PC, XT, AT or clone running DOS
2.0 or higher with 256K of RAM. Menu-Matic only takes up RAM while it is
actually running. Once you begin an application from Menu-Matic, it does
not take up any memory. Menu-Matic has been run successfully on many
no-name clones, as well as on Kaypro, PC's Limited, and Commodore
computers, as well as on PS/2's. You will probably find that it is
impractical to use Menu-Matic unless you have a hard drive. While use
with floppy drives is possible, the tortoise-like speed of floppy drives
means that the program will run very slowly, especially if you have large
data files. There are some good floppy drive speed-up programs available
(there is one included in Mace Utilities that is excellent), and if you
have one of these you might brave it. This documentation file will assume
the Menu-Matic is running from the "C:" hard drive, although it can be run
from whatever hard drive or partition you want.

Files Needed to Run Menu-Matic

You should have seven files to run Menu-Matic. These files are:

MENUMATC.EXE -- the menu executable file.
MENUINST.EXE -- the menu installation program.
MENU.DAT -- data used by menumatc.exe. Comes with
3 slots used. You may keep them or
modify them as you like.
MENU2.DAT -- data file used to hold linked options. Comes
with options linked to "Dos Commands".
MENU.BAT -- batch file to call menumatc.exe
MENUMATC.DOC -- this file.
CNVTO40.EXE -- a program to convert Menu-Matic 3.X files to
4.X files (you must run this first if you are
upgrading from 3.X)

If you have no other files with any of these names in the main, or
"root", directory of your hard drive, then copy all these files to your
hard drive. Now, type MENU at the prompt. This will start the batch file
and call MENUMATC.EXE. If the MENU.DAT file is not in the current
directory, then you will be advised of this. Copy the file to the current
directory and try again. NOTE: the Menu-Matic will not run properly if
you type "menumatc" at the prompt. You must start it from the batch file.

If you want to have Menu-Matic come up when you boot the computer,
then add the command MENU as the last command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
If you have no such file, or don't know what one is, then type:

C>dir autoexec.bat

This will tell you if you already have such a file. If you have one, then
use your word processing program to add MENU at the end. If you do not
have any file by this name, then type:

C>copy con autoexec.bat
time
date
prompt $p $g
menu^Z

(^Z is typed by pressing the F6 Function Key.) This will create an
autoexec file to be run whenever the computer is booted. This file will

ask you for the time and ate, and then call the Menu-Matic program.

By making a few changes to the MENU.BAT file, and adding a command
to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file, you can make it possible to call the Menu-Matic
from any disk or sub-directory of your computer. The MENU.BAT file as it
is on the disk is simply:

menumatc
doit

(DOIT.BAT is the batch file which the Menu-Matic creates in order to run
your applications.) The first thing you must do is to put another command
in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file (before "menu"). This command is "SET PATH=C:\"
(do not type the quotation marks). That command means that whenever you
type in a command at the system prompt, it will search the main directory
of drive C:, where your Menu-Matic will probably be, if the program or
batch file is not found in the current directory. Now, use a word
processor to modify the MENU.BAT file to the following:

cd \
c:
cd \
menumatc
doit

(The first two lines are only necessary if you have more than one hard
drive, such as C: and D:.) Once this is done, you can call the Menu-Matic
from any drive or directory, simply by typing "menu" at the prompt. You
can make your life even easier by changing the name of the file from
MENU.BAT to just M.BAT, or creating a new batch file called M.BAT with the
command "menu". Then the Menu-Matic can be called into action from any
drive or subdirectory just by typing "m" (and return, of course).


Your First Menu-Matic Session!

If you are at your "C>" prompt and have copied all the files
onto your hard drive, then type "menu" to start the Menu-Matic. It will
take a second or two to come on the screen. Down the left side of the
menu are choices 1-8, and on the right side are choices A-H. Right now,
you have choices 1, 2, and 3. If you hit any other key it will tell you
that the choice is not available, and ask you to hit Enter. You can also
make a choice using the UP and DOWN arrow keys and then pressing Enter.

A Note About Monitors

If you have a color monitor, then you will see that Menu-Matic is
programmed in colors. We hope you like them. If you don't like them,
that's OK, because you can change them, anyway. If you have a monochrome
monitor and board, or if you have a monochrome monitor and color board,
the screen will appear a little differently. The program senses which
monitor you have and will adjust the display accordingly. However, the
default colors may be a problem if you have a monochrome monitor hooked up
to a color board. In this case, the Menu-Matic would run in color, but
you will probably want it to run in monochrome mode. In version 3.X, you
could force it to run in monochrome by modifying the MENU.BAT file so that
the line reading "menumatc" read "menumatc mono". However, this is no
longer supported, since it is easy enough to use the menu installation
program to choose your own colors. You may still, however, make the menu
installation program run in monochrome by adding the "mono" extension at
the end. For instance, typing "menuinst mono" from the prompt runs the
menu installation program in monochrome. If you run the installation
program from the Menu-Matic, you will need to add the "mono" the commands
that call it, i.e, change "menuinst" to "menuinst mono". (You must use
the menu installation program to change this one. You can't do it from
the system prompt or word processor. We'll talk about the installation
program in a minute.) In any case, the colors on the screen are just the
default colors, and you can use the installation program to change the
colors to whatever you want.

The Menu-Matic program also has a built-in feature which will make
your screen go blank after five minutes of non-use. This only works while
you are in the Menu-Matic, not while you are in other applications called
from the menu. The screen blanking should work properly with any monitor
or adapter card. It simply turns all the display colors to black and then
clears the screen.

Back to the Topic At Hand

The Menu-Matic is a two-level menu. On the first level you may
have one of two things. You can have options which execute directly when
you choose them (such as the "Exit to Dos" and "Setup Menu-Matic" options
on the screen), and you can have options which call up a sub-menu (such as
the option "-Dosatc wholandsandsae
mscreen). As you may have noticed,
options which call sub-menus have a dash ("-") as the first character of
their names.

Choose the option "-DOSatc mands", by moving down the selection
bar or by pushing "3". You will be presented with a sub-menu containing a
few simple DOSacommands. Use the selection bar or push "d" to choose
"Directory." Now you are asked to add an argument, or extension, to
command "dir". Type "*.* /p" and hit Enter to see your present
directory. This shows another important feature of the Menu-Matic, that
is, the ability to add run-time arguments onto any menu option. You will
find time and again that this is very handy.

While you are at the Main Menu screen, there are a few other keys
which are active. These keys are the 10 function keys (more about that
later), and the key combinations ALT-S and ALT-M. If you hold down the
ALT and hit S you will see a screen giving some statistics about the
hardware and software on your system. This will work fine for all IBM
compatibles, but the figures may not be correct, or the program may hang
entirely, for non-compatible computers. If you have a computer on which
this function does not work, please write and tell us so that we can
mention this or fix it in the next release.

The ALT and M key combination shows you which "Macros" are
assigned to the 10 function keys. These keys can be used in a number of
different ways, and will discussed in some detail under the section about
using the Menu-Matic Installation program.

Notice that from anywhere except the Main Menu screen, you may hit
ESC to cancel and go back to where you started. On the Main Menu screen,
you must choose the "Exit to DOS" option to end the program. Remember, to
return to the Menu-Matic, just type "menu" at the DOSaprompt.

Time Tracking Functions of the Menu-Matic

The Menu-Matic has built-in functions so that you can track how
much time you spend in your applications. The Menu-Matic does this by
writing a file showing when you entered the Menu-Matic, when you exited
from it, and which choice you exited to. Thus, by comparing the time when
you exited the Menu-Matic to, your database perhaps, with the time when
you re-entered Menu-Matic, you can see how long you spent in your
database. This is helpful for consultants, or accountants, or others who
bill by time. It is also interesting to see how long you spend doing
whatever you do.
The format of the file written by the Menu-Matic is the following:

Date Time -- Entered Menu-Matic
Date Time -- Exited to (Option Name)

In previous version of the Menu-Matic, the time tracking
capability was turned on by using a switch when calling the Menu-Matic.
In version 4.0, however, this is one of the options under the heading
Setup in the installation program.
If you choose to keep a "Cumulative" record, the program will
always append the log of your actions onto a file called MENU.LOG. If you
choose the "Daily" record, the program will keep a daily log of your
activities rather than a running day-to-day log. The daily log writes to
a file called LOG(date).MEN. For instance, on December 30, the file name
would be LOG12-30.MEN. This name is set from the system date, so be sure
your system date is correct. Your system date is set by typing DATE at
the system prompt, or putting DATE as a command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.



Using the Menu-Matic Installation Program


When you choose an option to run from your Menu-Matic, the program
writes a batch file and then executes this batch file. Obviously, then,
the program needs to know what commands are to be placed in the batch
file. This is done by using the Menu-Matic installation program. The
only way to set up your Menu-Matic for proper operation is to use the
installation program provided. Since the menu installation program is
basically a database, we will refer to the menu options as "records."
Each separate line of a record is called a field.

If you are presently running the Menu-Matic, then hit -2- to go to
the installation program (otherwise, start the program by typing "menu",
and then choose -2-). You may read the opening screen if you wish, and
then hit Enter. In the lower right hand corner, it shows the amount of
free memory you have, and also the amount of free disk space you have. If
either of these numbers becomes dangerously low, they will flash. A
flashing number does not mean immediate danger, but it means you should be
aware that it could become a problem. Running out of disk space is not
fatal, but running out of memory would probably cause a program crash.

Along the top of the screen is the pulldown menu system. This
type of menu system should be familiar to most users. It is a very simple
but effective type of menu. Along the top of the menu are the headings:
Level, File, Macros, Setup, Auto Exec, and Exit. You may access these
either by pushing the key corresponding to the first letter of the name,
or by moving the selection bar and hitting -Enter-. Once you choose one
of these main headings, you will be given a further list of choices.
After you choose one of these, you may be given still more choices.


LEVEL

As has been said above, the Menu-Matic is a two-level menu system.
The "Level" heading of the pulldown menu lets you specify whether you want
to operate on the main level menu records or on the sub-menu level
records. The sub-menu records are "linked" to the top level records.

If you choose to go to the "Linked Level", then you will be
prompted by a box on the right upper side of the screen. This box will
appear whenever you need to enter a record name or number. You will
notice that when the box comes up, it contains the name of the first
record. Also, a pointer appears at the left of the record names in the
list of records. Use the up arrow or down arrow to move the pointer to
the record you wish to select. The name in the box on the right will
change as you move the pointer. So, if you wish to work on the records
linked to "-DOSatc mandsa, you would move the pointer until it was on
"-DOSaCommands" and then hit -Enter-. The list of main level records will
disappear, and the list of records linked to "-DOS Commandsa will appear.
Now you may proceed with whatever operations you wish on these linked
level records.

When you want to go back to the main level, choose the "Level"
heading again and pick "Main Level." Of course, you do not need to return
to the Main Level to in order to exit, or to use any of the other
functions available in the installation program. You need only return to
the main level to perform operations on the main level records.

Note that in order to designate a main level record as being a
linked option (i.e., one that calls a sub-menu) you must place a dash
("-") as the first character of the record. There will be more on linked
options later.



FILE

Adding Menu Options

This option does just what it implies. It adds new records to
your Menu-Matic. You may place up to sixteen records on the main level,
and up to five records on the linked level. If you try to add beyond
sixteen or five respectively, the program will inform you that you are
attempting a no-no.

You may mark a title for password protection by placing a plus
sign ("+") as the first character of the title. There will be more about
passwords later as well. Note that this symbol can be combined with the
dash character. However, the dash must be placed before the plus sign if
they are combined.

After you enter the option name, you enter the DOSacommands
that you want this selection to run. These commands may be 60 characters
long, and there may be up to ten co wholands per menu option. If any command
can take another argument, to be added when it is executed, make an
asterisk ("*") the first character of the co wholand. For instance, if the
option is to be "Directory" then you might use the following commands:

Option Name: Directory
Command 1 : *dir
Command 2 : pause
Co wholand 3 : menu

When you execute this option from the menu, the program will ask you to
add an argument to the end if you wish: You might add on to the command
"d:*.*" for a complete command of:

>dir d:*.*

Or, you may decide not to add any command, in which case you could simply
hit -Enter-.

The ability to add arguments makes the Menu-Matic extremely
flexbile. For instance, you need only one option for getting all your
directories, rather than one option for every drive and subdirectory. Of
course, specifying that an option may take an argument will slow down
speed of execution since it will require an extra step at run-time. Only
use this if you think a certain command will often need an argument. For
instance, your word processor may take a file name when invoked, so that
you could use an argument from the menu. However, it might be just as
easy for you to enter the file name when you actually get to the word
processor. Experiment.

As has been said, you can mark a title as a linked title, with
sub-menus, if you place a dash ("-") as the first character of the title.
Now for some explanation of this.

Basically, marking something as linked title means that it is
going to be an option that does directly execute, but calls another set of
options (a sub-menu or sub-options). For instance, if you have three word
processors, you might make a title on the Main Menu "-Word Processors".
Then when you chose this option from the Main Menu, you would be presented
with three sub-options, your three word processors.

This may sound somewhat confusing, but linking options is not
difficult to do. As mentioned, you first must mark one or more of the
titles as a linked title by placing a dash as the first character. Note
that when marking a title as a linked title, you need not add any further
DOSaco wholands to it. Any DOSaco mands would just be ignored anyway, so the
title alone is sufficient. You may link up to five sub-options to any of
the records on the main menu. These options may also be password
protected by putting a plus sign ("+") as the first character of the
sub-option. Also, note that you may not want to start names of the
sub-options with the same letter. When in the menu, you can execute
sub-options by hitting the first letter of the option (which is
high-lighted), as well as with the selection bar. However, if more than
one sub-option starts with the same letter, then the first option will be
executed, regardless of where the selection bar might be at the time. If
you password protect any of the sub-options, then you may execute it by
hitting the letter after the plus sign.

The more sub-options you use, the greater the set-up time for the
menu will become. If you are using a slow computer, such as the 8
megahertz XT compatibles we use, then at some point you may feel the
set-up time is too much. If this happens you may want to delete some of
your little-used sub-options. If you are using a 286 or 386 based
computer, then the set-up time will not be very much even if you use the
entire 80 possible sub-options.

When specifying DOSacommands, you will probably want to return to
the menu when the sequence is done. To do this you must return to the
main directory and then execute the MENU.BAT file. You might use the
following commands from a subdirectory:

Command 3: cd \
Command 4: menu

You might use the following commands from a different disk and
subdirectory:

Command 4: cd \
Command 5: c:
Command 6: menu


After the data entry lines for your DOSaco mands, there are two
more lines. These are "Description" and "Password". If you choose to
enter something in the Description field, then this text will be displayed
on the bottom line of the Menu-Matic when the selection bar is placed upon
the corresponding entry. For instance, if you have an option named
"PC-Write" and you enter "For all your word processing needs", then this
text will be displayed when the selection bar is on "PC-Write". A
description can be entered for all records, including sub-level records.

The "Password" field enables you to enter a separate password for
each record, if you so choose. You can set a general system password
(under the main pull down heading Setup, then System Password) which will
be the password used if you do not enter separate passwords for records.
In other words, if you mark something for password protection, by placing
a "+" sign as the first character (or second character with the "-" sign),
and you do not add a password in this field, then the password expected at
run-time will be the general system password. If you do choose to enter a
separate password here, then that will be the password expected rather
than the system password. If you do not set a system password or enter a
password in this field, then the Menu-Matic will accept anything for the
password at run-time.

For security purposes, the Menu-Matic automatically adds the
command "echo off" at run-time as the first command of any option. This
means that the co wholands executed are not displayed oe
mscreen. If you
want the commands displayed when it runs, then make "echo on" the first
DOSacommand of the option.

Note: if you add or change a title and do not put any name in for
the title, then the number of the title will not appear on the screen. If
this happens, you can still change or delete this number, even though you
will not see it. If you leave it blank, then you will have a hole in
your menu corresponding to that number. There is nothing necessarily
wrong with this, we just wanted to warn you.

You will note that there is a box at the bottom of the data entry
screen with a list of the function keys and what each does. Besides these
function keys, the following keys and key combinations are available for
use with the data entry editor:

Moves cursor one character to the right
Moves cursor one character to the left
Moves cursor one word to the right
Moves cursor one word to the left
Moves cursor to the first data entry field
Moves cursor to the last data entry field
Moves cursor to the beginning of the field
Moves cursor to the end of the field
Erases everything from the cursor to the
end of the line
Delete character to left of cursor,
moves rest of field left one space
Deletes character at cursor position,
moves rest of field left one space
Toggles cursor between Insert and
Overwrite modes
Moves cursor down or right one field
Moves cursor up or left one field


The function key commands perform some very helpful and powerful
operations. The F1 key is the help key in the data entry screen, as it is
from almost anywhere in the Installation program. When the help screen
comes up, it will tell you about what the function keys do, and also offer
some editing help. To scroll the help down or up, use the up and down
arrow keys. Any other key besides these arrow keys ends the help.

The F2 key will bring up a directory of files for you. You may
supply a path, and you may use wildcards. If you enter a non-existent
directory or drive, you will receive the message "Error or no files
available." When the directory does come up, there will be a selection
bar in the top left-hand corner. You may use this selection bar to insert
the name of a file into the data entry screen. Simply move the selection
bar to the proper file and press -Enter-. The file name will be placed at
the spot where the cursor was prior to your bringing the directory up.
Note that this brings up only the first 400 matching files (why would
anybody have more than 400 files in one directory anyway!).

The F3 key is the Auto Generate key. This is a very handy
operation which saves you from a lot of typing. Normally, to place a new
option on the menu, you must type in the name of the program and all the
commands needed to run it and return to the menu. This function automates
the process by writing the proper data entry record for you. In order for
this to write the record for you, you must supply the name of the program
which you wish to add. Note that you must include the entire name,
including the "EXE" or "COM" extension. For instance, to automatically
generate a record for Microsoft Windows, you would enter "win.com", rather
than simply "win". (If you are not sure of what the full name of the
program is, then you can call up a directory to find out.) Once you enter
the program name, you must specify which drive the program is on. If you
only have one hard drive in your system, then this need never concern you
as you could always simply hit -Enter- to use the default drive. However,
if you have a drive which is partitioned into two or more logical units,
or if you have two or more physical drives in your system, then you will
need to specify the drive. This is done numerically; i.e., drive A is 1,
drive B is 2, drive C is 3, etc. As far as we know, this will work with
any number of drives.
If your program is found, then the appropriate data entry record
will be written. If the Menu Installation program recognizes the name of
your program, then it will include an "Option Name". Otherwise, you must
supply it. In any case, you may fine tune the record as much as you like.
Remember, however, that any previous contents of the record will be wiped
out. The new information takes the place of, and is not added on top of,
any old information. Of course, if you decide you do not want the new
information, you may quit without saving (F5).

The F4 key saves your changes and exits back to the main menu.

The F5 key exits from the data entry screen, but does not save any
changes you may have made. If you choose this, you will be prompted as to
whether you really want to quit without saving your changes. If you say
that you do not, you will be placed back in the data entry screen where
you may continue editing.

The F6 keys tests the data entry record you have made to make sure
that it works properly. This allows you to be sure your data entry record
actually does what you want it to do, without going through the trouble of
exiting the Installation program. When you choose this option, the
Installation program writes a batch file called TEMP.BAT which it
immediately executes. There are, however, some limitations to this
facility.
First, note that the batch file is not acted on exactly as it
would be in the menu program. For instance, you will not be prompted to
add paramaters, or arguments, to the batch file, even if you marked a
command to take a parameter. This function is merely to show you whether
the commands you have entered will work properly, so it is not really
necessary for you to be able to add a parameter.
Second, note that this function will work properly only if your
Menu-Matic and your Menu-Installation program are on the same drive and
sub-directory (highly recommended procedure anyway). If you change
sub-directories, then of course, your commands will not work properly, and
you will probably just get a lot of "Bad command or file name" messages.
Third, remember that while your record is being tested, the
Menu-Installation program is still in memory. This means that it will
occupy about 200K of RAM which you would normally have available to your
programs. The upshot of this is that you may get a message that you do
not have enough memory to run another program, if you are trying to run
something which is very large, such as a large database program. Getting
such a message does not mean that the data entry record will not operate
properly from the Menu itself.

The F7 and F8 keys perform operations on the data entry lines
which contain the "Commands" 1 through 10. The F7 key deletes the current
line and moves all following lines up. The F8 key inserts a line at the
current line and moves all following lines down. Hitting F8 will mean the
loss of whatever was entered in Command 10. These two keys do not affect
the lines "Option Name", "Description", or "Password". If you wish to
delete the contents of these lines, then use the Ctrl-End key combination.


Changing Menu Options

When you choose this option, the program first asks you which one
you want to change. Once again, a data entry box will appear at the right
of the screen, and a pointer will appear in the listing of data entry
records. Move the pointer to the record you wish to choose, and hit
-Enter-.

If you choose to change a record which is marked as a linked
option, then you will be advised of this and asked if you want to
continue. Note that there is no problem with changing linked options,
although it is somewhat more complicated than changing normal records. If
you say you are sure you want to go ahead, then you will be asked whether
you want to carry over the records which are linked to this record, or
whether you want the records deleted. If you are just changing the name
somewhat, then you will probably want the records carried over. If you
are changing the record entirely, such as from "-Word Processors" to
"-Programming Languages", then you will probably want to delete the linked
records.

The previous contents of the option will be displayed for you in
the data-entry screen. Then may change whatever you want. Hit the F4 key
to save when you are done, or the F5 key if you decide you do not want to
save the changes.


Deleting Menu Options

When you delete a menu option, please notice that it does not
delete that option immediately. The actual deletion occurs when you exit
the Menu Installation program. Deleting it while in the installation
program merely marks it for deletion. For this reason, you cannot delete
a title and then add a title if you already have 16 titles on the main
menu. You could however, simply use the Change option to change the
deleted title to your new title. If you decide you really want the
deleted option back, then use Change to go into the option and restore the
name to whatever it was before it was changed to "Deleted."

Note that under normal circumstances one would not want to delete
a linked option. Doing so will erase all the sub-options associated with
the option. The program will warn you if you try to delete a linked
option. If you persist, however, the program will allow you to delete it.


Exchanging Menu Options

The exchange function simply moves the menu options around on the
main menu. For instance, you might have the title "Data Base" in position
1 and want to exchange it with "-Word Processors" in position B. To do
this you would choose Xchange. Once again, an input box will appear to
the right and a pointer to the left. However, this time you need to
specify two records rather than one. Move the pointer to the first
record, and hit -Enter-. Then move the pointer to the other record to
exchange and hit -Enter- again. This command is not available for use
with the sub-options.


Printing Reports

The Menu Installation program provides a way for you to generate
very detailed, or very general reports of the menu system you have set up.
Once you choose the Print option from the File heading, you will be asked
to choose what type of report you want. The choices are: Everything,
Level, Specify, and Overview.

"Everything" does just what you would think it does. It prints a
listing of you entire menu system, with all of the main level records, and
all of the sub-level records which are linked to them. Be prepared,
however, as this generates a lot of paper.

"Level" prints a listing of the records on your current level. In
other words, if you are on the main level, then it prints a listing of all
main level records. If you are on a sub-level, then it prints a listing
of the records linked to the record above it. For instance, if you are
working on records linked to "-Word Processing", then it will print a
listing of all the records linked to "-Word Processing".

"Specify" allows you do designate a single record for which you
want a listing. Again, this is done through use of the input box and
pointer. Note that if you are on the main level and choose a linked
record, it prints only that particular record, and not any other records
linked to it.

"Overview" prints a listing of the general structure of your menu
system. It lists the names of the main level records and shows the names
of the records, if any, linked to them. It does not print a full listing
including commands, passwords, etc. of each record.

The reports generated are sent to the current output device. This
device can LPT1-LPT3 or COM1-COM2, or SCRN which sends the output to the
console. The default device is LPT1, which is probably the port to which
your printer is connected. However, you can specify any of the other
ports, if your printer is on one of those, or you may output to the screen
by specifying SCRN: as the output device (under the main heading "Setup"
on the pull down menu). If you choose a device which is not available, or
which is not on line, you will be notified of this unfortunate
circumstance, and will be given a chance to rectify a most regrettable
situation.


Directory

The directory listing available from the "Directory" option of the
main menu File heading is very similar to the directory listing available
from within the data entry screen. The only difference is that a file
name is not inserted if you hit -Enter-. Either -Enter- or -Esc- erases
the directory listing and returns you to the menu. As in the data entry
screen, the directory here lists only the first 400 matching files.


MACROS

The main pull down menu heading Macros contains two choices:
"Edit" and "Print". The Print command sends a listing of the current
macro settings to your specified output device.

The "Edit" command lets you add to or modify your macro settings.
The ten macros correspond to the 10 function keys on a standard keyboard.
The Menu-Matic uses the macro facility built into BASIC for these macros.
So, they have all the abilities and all the limitations built into BASIC.
The biggest limitation is that they can only be 15 characters long. The
good part is that you can do quite a lot with 15 characters.

When a macro is assigned to a function key, the string associated
with the key is executed just as if the sequence of keys had been typed at
the keyboard. For instance, if menu option "3" is called "-Word
Processors" and one of the sub-options under this is "PC-Write", you could
assign the string "3P" to a function key, and hitting the function key
will be the same as if you had typed "3" and "P" from the keyboard. Now,
suppose you had set up PC-Write to take a run-time argument, and you wish
to give it the file name of the document you want to edit, which is called
"read.me". You could assign to the function key "3Pread.me", which will
choose "-Word Processors" then "PC-Write" and then input the file name
"read.me". Thus, a great deal of typing can be saved.

But one thing is missing. If you set up the macro as described
above, the menu would be sitting and waiting for you to hit -Enter- in
order to go the PC-Write. So obviously, you need to be able to have a
macro with an Enter at the end. Since an -Enter- cannot be directly
placed within a macro, the exclamation point ("!") takes its place. When
setting up macros, simply use an exclamation point anywhere you want a
carriage return (Enter) character. Remember, however, that -Enter-
characters are not normally necessary, since the Menu-Matic takes the
characters you hit without having to push -Enter-. However, the -Enter-
key is necessary to stop entry when adding an argument or when entering a
password.

The editing keys are the same as those in the main data entry
screen. The available function key commands are listed in a box at the
bottom of the screen.

Macros are especially handy in situations where you work
frequently on one particular file. In this case, you can assign the name
of the file (and an Enter if you want) to one of your function keys.
These macros also are important because they work in tandem with the timed
execution function of the Menu-Matic, about which more will be said later.


SETUP

The Setup heading on the main pull down menu contains six
commands: "Exlpoding Windows", "Usage Tracking", "Screen Colors", "System
Password", and "Output Device", and "Message".

Windows

When you choose "Exploding Windows", you are given two choices,
"Exploding Windows" and "Mild-Mannered Windows". Exploding windows grow
as they come on the screen. Mild-mannered windows simply appear.
Exploding windows create a nice effect, but they are generally slower than
mild-mannered windows. On a monochrome monitor, exploding windows will be
almost indiscernible from mild-mannered windows due to the high display
speed. Mild-mannered windows is the default setting.

Usage Tracking

Under "Usage Tracking" you have three additional choices. You may
choose "Cumulative", "Daily", or "None". As mentioned above, Cumulative
tracking keeps a record in one (very) large file, whereas Daily writes a
new file for each day. No usage tracking is the default setting.

Screen Colors

When you choose "Screen Colors", you will see in front of you a
list of the colors you can set with an example of their current settings.
Choose the one you want to change from the list on the right. Once you
pick the one to change, use the arrow cursor keys to pick out the color
combination you want. The colors on the right will change as you move
around, so you can see exactly what you are picking. When you decide on
the right color combination, hit -Enter-. You can then go on and set
other colors, or you can exit the color setting function. You have three
choices at this point. You may Save and Exit, Exit with no save, or
restore the default colors.

You may change the colors as often as you like and restore the
default colors as often as you like.

Notice that some of the color settings on the Menu-Matic will be
based upon your other color choices. You do not have the opportunity to
directly set every last possible color for everything (we thought this
would be too much trouble for you). You can set just about every color,
and you can set all the colors at least indirectly.

Password

First a few thoughts on password protection in general.

Password protection is not a great deal of protection in reality.
It cannot stop someone who knows what he is doing from getting out of the
menu and into things he shouldn't get into. Let's face it, if someone a)
knows a little about computers b) has unsupervised access to your computer
and c) has a mind to do damage, then there is not a lot that a password is
going to do about it. Therefore, there is really a limited use for
password protection in a menu program. This is to keep out people who are
just trying to "play" with your computer while you are not around. Many
of your files may be sensitive to corruption (such as program source code)
or should be kept confidential. This will keep people from having easy
access to such things, and give you some measure of security. Enough
said.

When you set a password individually for a menu entry, the
password is held in the regular data entry file. The general system
password, since it would probably afford access to more than one menu
entry, is given a bit more protection from prying eyes. This password is
held in a file named PSW.MEN, which is encrypted numerically. It would
not be the hardest thing in the world to figure this out, but it is
something. Of course, someone can come into the Menu Installation program
and find out your password, so if you are going to use passwords, you will
probably want to password protect the Menu Installation program.

When you choose to enter a new system password, your old password,
if any, will be shown to you. Then you will be asked to type in the new
password. As mentioned above, the password is encrypted (in all program
versions 3.01 and higher). The password must be created from the
installation program. A file called PSW.MEN but not the right structure
will probably cause the Menu-Matic to give an error message and end. Make
sure the PSW.MEN file is kept in the same directory as the Menu-Matic. If
it is not, or if the file does not exist, then the program will take
anything as a password. The password can be up to 25 characters, but
anything longer than 10 characters becomes somewhat of a burden to type
every time you use the password. Note that when you are asked for a
password by the program, your response must match exactly, including case,
otherwise you will get the message "Access Denied".

You will probably want to password protect as little as possible,
since this will add time onto getting into whatever you are trying to run.
The strength of a menu program is in saving time and keystrokes, and
passwords take up more time and add keystrokes.

You can make this system password somewhat more secure by marking
the PSW.MEN file as a hidden file. There are many programs which can
change the attributes of files, so it shouldn't be too hard for you to do
this. However, if you do this, you will have to un-hide it before
changing the password. If you try to put a new password into a hidden
file, the menu installation program will give an error message and end,
after writing all files to disk.

Output Device

As mentioned above, this sets the device to which all "Print"'s
are sent. This includes the general reports, from the File main menu
heading, as well as the "Print"'s under the Macro main heading and the
Auto Exec main heading. You can choose LPT1-LPT3, which are parallel
ports, or COM1-COM2, which are serial ports. You may also set output to
be directed to the monitor, by choosing "SCRN:". If you direct the output
to the monitor, you can stop the scrolling by pushing Ctrl-Num Lock.
Pushing any key besides Ctrl-Num Lock will continue the scroll. Be
careful, however, not to push Ctrl-Break, which will end the program
abruptly without everything being saved. If you want to send output to
your printer, but you are not sure to which port your printer is
connected, consult your printer manual.

Message

This function lets you place your own message in the top center of
the Menu-Matic. The default message here is "Copyright 1988, BC
Enterprises", but you can change it to any message up to 50 characters
long. If you choose to modify this message, we hope you will use
something snappy, something with panache, something which radiates joie de
vivre (that's French, a new programming language). "Have a nice day!" is
rather boring, don't you think. And by the way, the program is still
copyrighted, whether or not the default copyright notice appears.


AUTO EXEC

The Automatic Execution function of the Menu-Matic lets you run
menu options at pre-selected times. This means, for instance, that if you
have a tape backup system, you might have the Menu-Matic automatically
execute an option to start the backup every day at midnight, while you
were at home. Or perhaps, you would like to have your important files
archived every day. You could easily set the Menu-Matic to call an option
which would perform this archiving. All this takes place without anyone
having to be on hand to start it going.

If you choose the "Edit" option from the Auto Exec main menu
heading, you will notice that you are shown a data entry screen containing
ten lines. These ten lines correspond to the ten function key macros. In
other words, let us say that you set the F1 Auto Exec to run every day at
midnight. At midnight each day, then, the Menu-Matic would operate as if
you had pushed the F1 function key. It would run whatever macro you had
set up with that key. So, as you can see, there is an interdependence
between the macro keys and the auto execute function. Both of these must
be set for the auto execute function to work properly. For example, if
you set the F1 function key to automatically execute itself at midnight,
but there is no macro associated with this key, then nothing will happen.

On each data entry line of the Auto Execute screen, there are four
fields to fill in. The first field is the "Frequency" field. In this
field you indicate how frequently you wish the option to be executed. You
can choose one of four frequencies. Put "D" in this field in order to
have the option executed every day. Put "W" in this field in order to
have the option executed once or more per week on certain specified days.
Put "M" in this field to have the option executed once a month. Put "O"
in this field to have the option executed one time only.

The next field is the "Days" field. This field need only be
filled in if you choose any options to be executed "W"eekly. This field
has seven spaces with correspond to the days of the week, with the first
space being Sunday. To make the option run on certain days of the week,
place a "Y" in the space corresponding to the day of the week. In other
words, to make an option execute on Monday and Thursday, then this field
would contain the following: NYNNYNN. Any character other than Y will
cause the option not to be executed on that day.

The next field is the "Date" field. Different parts of this must
be filled in depending on what you put for frequency. Something with the
frequency "D" for daily or "W" for weekly does not need anything in this
field. If you specified that the option should execute monthly, then you
need to fill in the day of the month it should run. For instance, if the
option should run on the 24th day of each month, then the field should
look like this: /24/ . If you specified that the option should run
one time only, then the entire field must be filled in, with month, day
and year. So, to run on January 24, 1989, the field should look like
this: 01/24/1989.

The final field to be filled in is the "Time" field. This must be
completed no matter what the frequency of the execution. Only the hour
and the minute are needed. Note, however, that this is based on a 24 hour
time format. To run at 10:42 p.m., then, you would enter 22:42 in this
field.

In order to move right across a line, use the -Enter- key. In
order to move up or down within a row, use the up and down arrow keys. In
order to move left, or backwards, in a line, use the -Esc- key.

To generate a hard copy of your automatic execution settings, you
can choose the "Print" command.


EXIT

Under this main menu heading are two commands: "Shell to DOS" and
"Exit". If you choose Shell then you will be placed out at the system
prompt where you may do whatever it is you want to do. When you are ready
to return to the Installation program, type "Exit" at the system prompt.

It is very important that you exit the program through the Exit
command. Exiting in any other way can cause some data or Menu-Matic setup
parameters to be lost. Furthermore, if you have made any changes in your
sub-level file structure, then exiting properly is doubly important,
because your MENU2.DAT file needs to be sorted in order to run properly.
Changing the file and then exiting improperly will cause the Menu-Matic to
work incorrectly with linked options. If this happens, though, you can
merely run the Menu Installation program and then exit normally, so that
the MENU2.DAT file will be properly sorted.

Please also note that you need to have sufficient disk space to write
a temporary file when the MENU2.DAT file is sorted. The temporary space
needed is equivalent to the size of the MENU2.DAT file. After the file is
sorted, the old file is kept but renamed to MENU2.BAK. The MENU2.BAK file
does contain any changes you may have made during the session, but the
file may or may not be properly sorted for use with the Menu-Matic. The
Menu Installation program also needs disk space if you delete any records.
Deletion of records is accomplished by writing a new file without any
records marked for deletion. This means that you will need as much free
disk space as your MENU.DAT and MENU2.DAT files occupy. If you run out of
disk space at any time, you will be prompted to Shell to DOS and delete
any unnecessary files. An even better idea, however, is to make sure that
you have enough disk space in the first place. If you keep about 60K of
disk free, you should not have any problems with running out of space.


Note to users of Menu-Matic Version 3.X

The program CNVTO40.EXE will convert your old MENU.DAT and
MENU2.DAT files into a format compatible with all Menu-Matic versions 4.0
and over. Make sure your MENU.DAT and MENU2.DAT files are in the current
directory when running the program. The program will tell you if the
conversion has been successful, or alert you to steps you need to take
(for instance, making more disk space available) before converting the
data files. Your old data files wild be stored in files named MENU.OLD
and MENU2.OLD. If, for some reason, you run the Menu-Matic and find that
the conversion has not worked properly, then erase your new MENU.DAT and
MENU2.DAT files. Then, rename your *.OLD files to *.DAT, and try the
conversion process again. If it still does not work, you can try one of
two things. First, you can just bite the bullet and retype everything, or
second, you can contact BC Enterprises and we will try to determine the
problem.



Appendix A

A DOS Primer

The Menu-Matic system is extremely simple to use, and with its
automatic generation of records used to call menu options, users with very
little experience are able to create a working menu system. Many menu
systems require a knowledgeable user to set them up, but just about anyone
can effectively use the Menu-Matic, no matter what their level of computer
expertise.

However, to get the most out of the Menu-Matic, and your computer in
general, you should understand some basic concepts. We hope to tell you
two or three things here which will help you understand how your computer
works, and what the Menu-Matic does.

1. Your Operating System

When you boot (turn on) your computer, it most likely loads a file on
the hard drive called the "Operating System". Your operating system is
probably called either MS-DOS or PC-DOS. These stand for Microsoft Disk
Operating System and Personal Computer Disk Operating System. The
operating system is the basis of all software that your computer runs. It
manages many of the operations which your computer performs. For
instance, when you type on the keyboard, the operating system makes sure
that the keys are displayed on the screen. When you send a file to the
printer, the operating system makes sure it gets there safely. When you
try to run a program on drive A:, but the drive door is open, the
operating system tells you it is time to close the door.

The operating system usually displays a prompt when you bring it up,
something such as A>, B>, or C>. This letter corresponds to your "logged"
(your current working area) drive. From this prompt, you may type in the
name of a program which you want the computer to run. For instance, in
order to start the Menu Installation program, you would type "MENUINST" at
the prompt. (Actually, it can be in capital or small letters, or a
combination of the two, and you don't type the quotation marks).

If you type the command DIR (for directory) at the prompt, the
computer will show you a list of all the files on your drive. Some of
these files will be computer programs, and some of these will be data
files or perhaps word processing files. You can type the name of one of
three kinds of files at the DOS prompt: EXE files, COM files, and BAT
files. (This refers to the three letter-extension at the end of the
files; the MENUINST file is really named MENUINST.EXE.) COM files and EXE
files load a series of instructions for the computer to carry out. They
are computer "programs". Files with the three letter extension BAT are
called batch files. Batch files are plain text files which contain
instructions to the operating system. These instructions tell the
operating system to run certain programs in a certain sequence, just as if
you had entered them one after the other from the keyboard.

Suppose you wanted to run Dbase III Plus (a database program) and
then immediately run Word Perfect (a word processing program). You could
create a batch file, called RUNBOTH.BAT, with two lines:

DBASE
WP

DBASE.EXE is the name of the Dbase III Plus program, and WP.EXE is the
name of the Word Perfect program. If you typed RUNBOTH at the prompt, the
operating system would run Dbase III Plus. When you exited from Dbase III
Plus, it would immediately run Word Perfect.

When you run programs from the Menu-Matic system, the Menu-Matic
writes a batch file. The operating system then performs all the commands
contained in this batch file. When you enter data in the Menu
Installation program, you are entering the text of a batch file.


2. Simple Commands You Should Know

There are certain DOS commands which are extremely useful -- indeed,
it would be difficult to function without them. The following commands
are type directly at the system prompt, or can be included in your
Menu-Matic commands.

DIR, as noted above, displays a directory. In order to display a
directory in a wide format, type "DIR /W". In order to have the system
stop after each screenful, type "DIR /P".

ERASE or DEL deletes a file. Type ERASE and then the name of your
file at the prompt.

COPY makes a copy of a file. The syntax for this command is COPY
then file to be copied, then name of new file. For instance, to copy a
file called "data.dta" to "data.bak", type "COPY data.dta data.bak".

TYPE shows the contents of a file on your screen. For instance, to
see the contents of file "data.dta", type "TYPE data.dta". Keep in mind
that the contents of many files will be meaningless when displayed this
way, as in the case of program (EXE and COM) files. However, word
processing or database files should look all right.

To learn more about these, and other DOS commands, look in your DOS
manual.


3. Directories and Sub-Directories

Your hard drive can hold a great deal of data. If you have a twenty
megabyte hard drive, then it can hold 20 million pieces of data. These
pieces of data are arranged into the files which you see on your drive.
If your average file is 10000 bytes long (10 Kbytes), then your hard drive
could hold 2000 files of this size. If you put all 2000 files into one
directory, there would be so many files that you could not keep track of
them.

That is why hard drives can be divided up into sections. Each of
these sections is given a name, and related files are kept in it so that
you can keep track of everything. Think of your hard drive like a cabinet
with many compartments. In a cabinet, you put similar objects into each
compartment to keep them neat and separated. In your hard drive you do
exactly the same thing.

If you have a word processing program, you will want a separate
subdirectory to hold your documents. If you have a database, you will
want a separate subdirectory to hold your data. You may want 20 or 30
subdirectories to hold different kinds of files. From your DOS prompt, or
from a program such as the MENUINST, you can ask for a directory of files
on your subdirectories. You can also "log" on to your subdirectories with
the CHDIR (change directory) command. If you had a subdirectory called
"DBASE" (to hold your Dbase III Plus Files), you could log into it by
typing, at the prompt "CHDIR DBASE". Under normal circumstances, you need
to be logged into a directory in order to access files residing in that
directory. In other words, if your copy of Dbase III Plus is in your
DBASE subdirectory, you cannot run the program by typing "DBASE" at the
prompt in your WP (Word Perfect) subdirectory.

In order to change directories, as we said, you type "CHDIR" (or just
"CD") and the name of the directory to change to. To create a new
directory, type "MKDIR" and the name of the new directory. To remove a
directory, type "RMDIR" (the operating system will remove the directory
only if there are no files in it). So that the computer will display
which directory you are in, you can type "prompt $p $g". Once this is
typed in, the computer will display your directory location (until you
turn the computer off or reboot). The above command can be added to your
AUTOEXEC.BAT file so that it is performed each time the computer is
booted. (The sample AUTOEXEC.BAT file shown earlier in this documentation
contains the above command.)

When you first boot up your computer, you are logged on to the "Root"
directory. This is the top level directory. You might think of it as the
trunk of a tree. From this trunk (root directory), branches
(subdirectories) shoot off in all directions. To return to the root
directory from a subdirectory, type "CD \". The slash symbolizes the root
directory, since it does not have a name. Your Menu-Matic and Menu
Installation program should be kept on your root directory. From the root
directory, it is easy to access all your programs and data files with the
least typing of names.

Most of the time, in order to run a program from the menu, and then
return to the menu, you will need to change directories, run the program,
change back to the root directory, and then load the Menu-Matic again. A
typical series of commands, would be the following, which would run Dbase
III Plus and then return to the menu:

cd dbase
dbase
cd \
menu

In the example, the first line changes directories to the Dbase
subdirectory. The second line loads the program. The third line changes
back to the root directory, and the fourth line loads the menu program
again.





Appendix B

How to Optimize Menu-Matic for Fastest Performance

The Menu-Matic is written in QuickBASIC which loads and runs very
quickly. Even with the menu filled to capacity, the load and execute
times should be very fast. Since QuickBASIC takes advantage of the math
co-processor chip if it is present, you may have slightly improved
performance if you have this chip. As has been previously said, however,
the larger number of linked options you have, the more start up time will
be necessary, even though the new (in 4.0) MENU2.DAT sorting speeds
loading time. A few things can be done to make the Menu-Matic, as well as
many of your other applications, run faster.

The first thing to do is to add a line to your CONFIG.SYS file.
(Read your DOS manual for more information on this file if you are not
familiar with it.) This line is "BUFFERS=20". Essentially a buffer holds
frequently used information, and, up to a certain point, the larger number
of buffers you have the better. 20 seems to be about right, since each
buffer does take up memory. Adding this line will make your batch files
run 50% faster at least, and will speed many other operations, such as
getting a directory.

The second thing you can do is to get a good disk caching program.
Like buffers, a disk caching program holds recently used information in
the computer's memory, so that when it is needed the next time, it is
already there. This will make all of your software run faster, not just
the Menu-Matic. There are lots of good disk-caching programs available,
many of which are Shareware and can be downloaded from bulletin boards.
Mace Utilities comes with a nice disk-cache made by Golden Bow Systems.
Highly recommended.



Appendix C
Menu Installation Error Messages

Below is a list of the errors which can occur while running the Menu
Installation program. The Menu-Matic itself does not trap for errors, so
that program size can be kept low and program speed can be kept high. If
an error is encountered in the Menu-Matic, then the program ends and tells
you what error caused the premature termination. If a persistent or
uncorrectable error occurs with either the Menu Installation program or
the Menu-Matic program, please contact BC Enterprises.



Out of disk space. Suggest Shell to DOS
to delete any unnecessary files.

This can occur at many different times, whenever data is written to
disk. However, you should be able to avoid it, since the program shows
you the amount of free space you have. The most likely occasion for
running out of space is when the program ends and writes all files to
disk. If this happens, use the Shell to DOS command to exit and clean up
your disk to allow the files to written.

Disk drive not ready.
Close door then hit Enter.

This is usually caused because the door of your disk drive is open.
However, it can also result if a specified drive does not in fact exist.

Printer error. Please check printer.
Hit Enter when you are ready to print.

There is some printer error. For example, the printer may be turned
off, or it may be off line. If correcting these problems does not do
correct the situation, then it is possible that there is a hardware
problem with the printer, or between the computer and the printer. You
might try printing something from your word processor to test your
printer.

The printer says it is out of paper.
Please correct, then hit Enter to print.

The printer is indicating it is out of paper. This condition, or
some other problems, may cause this error.


Sorry, you don't seem to have a printer at .
Hit Enter to cancel print.

Your system indicates that there is no available printer at the port
which you have specified as the Output Device. Use the Output Device
command under the Setup heading to choose a new device which is available.
If you have no printer available, you may want to choose "SCRN:" as the
output device.

Unknown error has occurred.
Suggest restarting program. If this
error continues, contact BC Enterprises.
Hit Enter to end program.

An untrapped error has occurred. This error may be corrected simply
by restarting the program. You should not lose any of your data if this
error occurs, because the program writes all data to disk before
terminating. The error number listed corresponds to the error numbers
returned by BASIC, so, if you have a BASIC manual, you can look the number
up and find out the problem. Such an error should not occur, but if it
does, please contact BC Enterprises with the error number and
circumstances under which it occurred or occurs.



Appendix D

Data Structures of Menu-Matic and Menu Installation

Because we at BC Enterprises feel that file and data structures
should always be made freely available, we include this information on the
structure of data files used in these programs. In this way, if any
problems with the data files arise, you may be able to reconstruct them.
This will also allow you to transfer the data into a format for use with
other programs if such a need arises.

The MENU.DAT and MENU2.DAT files are fixed-length files. This means
that they do not have either carriage returns or line feeds at the end of
lines. Rather, they are one long line of data. In other words, if you
loaded one into a word processor such as PC-Write, they would extend out
as one long line, rather than wrapping around. They can be imported by
any database which offers the importation of fixed length files. They can
also be edited by a word processor if no lengths are changed. In other
words, you could overwrite data without causing problems, but inserting
text anywhere would ruin the file. Editing such a file with a word
processor is rather dangerous, and should only be undertaken if absolutely
necessary.

The data structure of the MENU.DAT file is as follows:

Option Name: STRING, Length: 25
Command 1: STRING, Length: 60
Command 2: STRING, Length: 60
Command 3: STRING, Length: 60
Command 4: STRING, Length: 60
Command 5: STRING, Length: 60
Command 6: STRING, Length: 60
Command 7: STRING, Length: 60
Command 8: STRING, Length: 60
Command 9: STRING, Length: 60
Command 10: STRING, Length: 60
Comment: STRING, Length: 50
Password: STRING, Length: 25

The data structure of the MENU.DAT file is as follows:

Linked Option Name: STRING, Length: 25
Option Name: STRING, Length: 25
Command 1: STRING, Length: 60
Command 2: STRING, Length: 60
Command 3: STRING, Length: 60
Command 4: STRING, Length: 60
Command 5: STRING, Length: 60
Command 6: STRING, Length: 60
Command 7: STRING, Length: 60
Command 8: STRING, Length: 60
Command 9: STRING, Length: 60
Command 10: STRING, Length: 60
Comment: STRING, Length: 50
Password: STRING, Length: 25


The file MACRO.MEN holds the contents of the macro keys. It also is
a fixed-length file. Each record is 15 characters long, thus the file is
150 characters, for the ten macros.


The file AUTO.MEN holds the information for the automatic execution
functions. This file is a delimited ASCII file. This means that each
item is separated by a comma and surrounded by quotation marks. It can be
imported by any database program which allows importation of ASCII
delimited (also called Mail Merge) files. This file can be edited with a
word processor much more easily than a fixed-length file, since only the
proper commas and quotation marks, rather than field lengths, need to be
preserved.

The structure of the AUTO.MEN file is as follows:

"Frequency"
"Days"
"Date"
"Time"

This is repeated 10 times for the 10 possible auto execute
assignments. Even if only 1 or 2 auto execute functions is set, the file
still contains forty pieces of data.

The file PARAM.MEN contains four parameters for use with the two
programs. It contains variables relating to Windowing, Time-Tracking,
Menu Installation program output device, and Message. The variable
possibilities are as follows:

"Expl" or "Mild"
"None" or "Cum" or "Daily"
"LPT1:" or "LPT2:" or "LPT3:" or "COM1:" or "COM2:" or "SCRN:"
"Any text up to 50 characters long"




If you have any questions or comments please write:

BC Enterprises
One Kidd Lane
Front Royal, VA 22630


QuickBASIC, Turbo BASIC, PC-Write, Mace Utilities and any other programs
mentioned are trademarks of their respective developers.

End of File.


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