Dec 242017
 
Menu-Matic version 4.5 Menuing system. Many features, including: easy set-up, macro keys, password protection, unlimited menu options, timed execution of options, user-defined colors, etc.
File MNUMTC45.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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Menu-Matic version 4.5 Menuing system. Many features, including: easy set-up, macro keys, password protection, unlimited menu options, timed execution of options, user-defined colors, etc.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
APPS.MN2 8700 376 deflated
APPS.MNU 2800 161 deflated
DOS.MNU 11200 741 deflated
DOSCOMM.MEN 2685 1108 deflated
MENU.BAT 16 16 stored
MENU.MN2 1450 126 deflated
MENU.MNU 3500 190 deflated
MENUINST.EXE 146801 76907 deflated
MENUINST.HLP 12287 4741 deflated
MENUMATC.DOC 61553 18986 deflated
MENUMATC.EXE 54204 36150 deflated
PROGRAMS.MEN 4646 1456 deflated
SETUP.EXE 43958 29150 deflated

Download File MNUMTC45.ZIP Here

Contents of the MENUMATC.DOC file


Menu-Matic Version 4.5
by BC Enterprises


Table of Contents

Introduction ................................... p. 1
Shareware Notice ............................... p. 2
Installing Menu-Matic on your Hard Drive ....... p. 3
For New Computer Users ......................... p. 5
Requirements to Run Menu-Matic ................. p. 7
Your First Menu-Matic Session! ................. p. 8
Active Keys .................................... p. 9
Time Tracking Functions ........................ p. 9
Using the Menu Installation Program ............ p. 10
Adding New Menu Options ........................ p. 12
Loading a New Menu File ........................ p. 14
Macros ......................................... p. 18
Setting Menu Parameters ........................ p. 19
Auto Execute Function .......................... p. 20
Optimizing the Program for Speed ............... p. 23
Special Symbols Used ........................... p. 24
Modifying PROGRAMS.MEN and DOSCOMM.MEN files ... p. 25


Please remember that this manual is meant only as a
reference. You can probably use the program perfectly well just by
the on-line help.


Menu-Matic4.5p.1

Menu-Matic 4.5
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.

**** Attention new computer users! ****
**** Attention new computer users! ****

DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT READING THIS WHOLE MANUAL! You don't
need to. You just want a basic menu system that lets you get your
work done quickly and easily. And that's what you're going to get.
You should only read three sections: "Shareware Notice" (skip this if
you really need to), "Installing Menu-Matic on your Hard Drive", and
"For New Computer Users". After reading these three sections, you'll
know everything you need.

If you hit a wrong key in the Menu-Matic, a help window will
pop up. If you get stuck while in the Menu Installation program, push
F1 for help.


**** Attention advanced computer users! ****
**** Attention advanced computer users! ****

You probably don't need this manual at all. Menu-Matic is
very straightforward. The Menu itself does just what you'd expect it
to at all times, and if you hit a wrong key, a window pops up showing
you valid options.

The Menu Installation program (MENUINST.EXE) uses simple pull-
down menus and has extensive on-line help. Just hit F1 at any time.
The only thing you may want to brush up on are the couple of special
characters Menu-Matic uses (in Appendix B, near the end of this DOC
file). These are the real power of Menu-Matic; but, even use of these
special characters is explained in the on-line help.

This manual is meant as a reference. Refer to it if you
have any problems (which you probably won't). Right now, my advice is
to stop reading and start using the program!

Menu-Matic4.5p.2

Shareware Notice

Menu-Matic is not a public-domain program. It is
copyrighted, 1987-1990 by Kevin Clark and BC Enterprises. We
believe that this is the best menu system available at any price.
We ask a small payment in return.

If you use this program and find it to be helpful, please
send payment of $35 for one copy, or $30 each for two or more
copies. Site licenses are also available at a low cost. Please
send payment to BC Enterprises, P.O. Box 18, Front Royal, VA
22630.

When you send in your registration, you will receive a
typeset manual, and the latest version of the program, at no
additional cost. You will receive notices of updates, and
updated versions of the program will be made available to you for
a nominal fee. You will also have the chance to tell us about
improvements you would like to see. Your suggestions could
become reality. (Even if you don't register, we'd still like to
have your suggestions.)

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. In no event shall the liability of BC
Enterprises or Kevin Clark extend beyond the purchase price of
this software. This statement shall be construed, interpreted,
and governed by the laws of the state of Virginia. Your use of
the program signifies your acceptance of these terms.

Menu-Matic4.5p.3

Installing Menu-Matic on your Hard Drive

The Menu-Matic comes with a utility to copy the files
from the floppy disk onto your hard drive. This is only a
convenience if you are performing a first-time installation, and
you do not need to use it if you do not want to do so. However,
it is the easiest way to get the program up and running, whether
you are a novice or experienced computer user.

If you are upgrading from an earlier version of Menu-
Matic, then you should definitely use the SETUP.EXE program
since it converts file structures to the 4.5 format.

To use the SETUP.EXE program:

1. Place the distribution disk in your A: or B: drive. Type
SETUP and press -Enter-. A menu appears where you can
specify first-time installation, or upgrade from previous
version.

2. Next, the SETUP program asks which drive to copy the
Menu-Matic files TO. You choose your hard
drive (probably drive C: but the program shows you
which drives are available). Then the program
asks where to copy the files FROM. You choose the drive
containing the distribution disk (probably A:).

3. The program asks you for the directory to copy the files
to. It is recommended you put it in the main, or "root"
directory. To do this, simply hit Enter.

4. The SETUP program then copies the files to the directory
you specified. If you are setting up the menu for the
first time, you are asked if you want to modify your
AUTOEXEC.BAT file to run the menu whenever you turn on your
computer. You will probably want to say that you do.

5. Also, if you are installing for the first time, the
setup program will ask if you want to put the Menu-
Matic in your path. A "path" is where your computer
looks for programs if they are not in your current
directory. If you say that you do want the Menu-Matic
in your path, then the setup program will modify the
"Path=" statement in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file, and will
also modify the MENU.BAT file. In this way, you will
be able to run the Menu-Matic from any subdirectory or
drive, just by typing MENU at the prompt. This is
quite handy, so you will probably want to say that you
do want the Menu-Matic in your path. (The new path
becomes effective only after you reboot.)

6. If you are upgrading from version 3.11 or 4.0, then
the SETUP will convert your old files to the new


Menu-Matic4.5p.4

format(s). If you are upgrading from version 3.11,
then your MENU.DAT file and MENU2.DAT file will be
converted and the PARAM.MEN file will be upgraded. If
you are upgrading from version 4.0, then only the
PARAM.MEN file is changed. If the MENU.DAT and
MENU2.DAT are converted, then the old files are
renamed to MENU.OLD and MENU2.OLD.

7. If you are upgrading from 3.11, then you need to run
the MENUINST.EXE program. This will be done
automatically, and all you need to do once the program
comes up is exit.

8. Installation is then complete. If you wish, reboot
your computer (by holding down Alt-Ctrl-Del keys at
the same time) and the Menu-Matic should run. Or,
simply switch to the directory in which the Menu-Matic
is located, and type "menu" (do not type the quotation
marks).


Menu-Matic4.5p.5

For New Computer Users

First, relax. Second, don't read this manual any farther
than this section. The Menu-Matic system is extremely simple to
use. You only need to know a few simple commands.

Chances are you only have a few programs you use
regularly that you want to put on your menu. This is how to put
a new option on your menu.


Step 1: Run the Menu-Matic program

Do you currently have the Menu-Matic running? If not,
then you can type MENU at the prompt to run the program. (If you
put the Menu-Matic in a subdirectory -- which you probably didn't
-- then you'll have to change to that directory with the "CD"
command.) If you told the SETUP.EXE program to add MENU to your
AUTOEXEC.BAT file, then you can also run the program just by re-
booting.

We'll assume you do have the Menu-Matic up on the screen
by now.


Step 2: Choose "Setup Menu-Matic" from the Menu

The Menu-Matic system is really two parts. The actual
menu, and the Menu Installation program. The Menu Installation
program is what you use to add to, delete from, or change the
options on your menu. You run the Menu Installation program from
the Menu-Matic by choosing the option called "Setup Menu-Matic".
(You can also run it by typing MENUINST at the prompt.)


Step 3: Add your new option

The opening screen of the Menu Installation program talks
about shareware. Read it or not, then hit Enter. Now, at the
pull-down menu system, type R for record. Now type A for Add.

You are now at the screen where you add your new option.
Push the F3 function key for Auto Generate. Now you need to type
in the name of the "executable" file you want this option to run.
For example, if you want to run PC-Write, you would type ED.EXE,
because that is the name of the "executable" PC-Write file. If
you want to run WordPerfect, then you would put WP.EXE, because
that is the name of the WordPerfect executable file. The
executable file name is the command you would type at the prompt
to run the program, except that you also need to add its
"extension" (either .COM or .EXE).

What if you don't know the executable file name? Well,


Menu-Matic4.5p.6

have you ever run the program before? What did you type to run
the program. Just type this, and add either .EXE or .COM. Try
adding .EXE first, then .COM if that doesn't work. Or look in
your program manual.

Once you put the executable file name in and hit Enter,
the program asks you which drive it is on. More than likely, you
have only one hard drive. Your current drive (probably C:) is
already highlighted, so just hit Enter.

The Menu Installation program then searches your hard
drive for the program you specified. If it finds your program,
it writes the necessary commands to add it to your menu. You'll
still have to give this option a name though -- something
descriptive so you'll remember what it does.

Now, push F4 to save your new menu option. Then, push E
for Exit and E again for Exit Program. This should take you back
to your Menu-Matic, with your new menu option on the screen.
Push the corresponding key and your program should run.

To add more options, just follow the procedure outlined
above. Of course, you do not need to exit the Menu Installation
program after each new entry. Add as many as you want, then exit
when you are done.

That is all you need to know to use Menu-Matic. You can
investigate some of the advanced features later, if you want to,
but you don't need them.


Menu-Matic4.5p.7

Requirements to Run Menu-Matic

To run Menu-Matic you need an IBM PC, XT, AT, PS/2 or clone
running DOS 2.1 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, Laptops,
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.
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 twelve files on your Menu-Matic diskette.
These files are:

MENUMATC.EXE -- the menu executable file
MENUINST.EXE -- the menu installation program
MENU.MNU -- sample menu file used with MENUMATC.EXE
MENU2.MNU -- data file used to hold linked options. Comes
with options linked to "Dos Commands".
DOS.MNU -- sample menu file of DOS commands
APPS.MNU -- sample applications menu
APPS.MN2 -- "" "" ""
MENU.BAT -- batch file to call MENUMATC.EXE
MENUMATC.DOC -- this file
DOSCOMM.MEN -- file of DOS commands used with MENUINST.EXE
PROGRAMS.MEN -- file of program names used with MENUINST.EXE
SETUP.EXE -- a program to copy the program to your hard
drive and update your files if necessary


NOTE: You must start the Menu-Matic using the MENU.BAT batch file.
Typing MENUMATC at the prompt will not work properly.


Menu-Matic4.5p.8


Your First Menu-Matic Session!

Start your Menu-Matic session by either rebooting, or logging
into the subdirectory containing Menu-Matic and typing "menu". You
will notice you have several menu options on the screen. You can
choose to run an option by pushing its number (1-8) or its letter (A-
H), or by moving the selection bar to it and pushing -Enter-.

The Menu-Matic is a two-level menu. On the first level you
may have three different kinds of options. 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 "Utilities" on the
screen). As you may have noticed, options which call sub-menus have a
dash ("-") as the first character of their names. The third kind of
option loads a whole new menu file, such as the option DOS Commands.

Choose the option "Utilities", by moving down the selection
bar or by pushing "3". You will be presented with a sub-menu
containing a few utilities. Use the selection bar or push "d" to
choose "Directory." Now you are asked to add an argument, or
extension, to command "dir /w/p". Type "*.*" 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.

After your directory comes up, you will be back in the
Menu-Matic. Now push "4" to load another menu. This is a menu
composed entirely of DOS Commands. If you run any commands from
this menu, you will come back to this menu when it finishes. To
get back to the top menu, push "H". You can have as many of
these different menu files as you wish, and they can call any
other menu files.

The other sample menu is called "Applications". This has
samples for how you might enter Word Processors, Databases, etc., onto
your menu. These may or may not actually work, depending of course,
on whether you have the program in question, and if it is the
subdirectory specified. If not, you'll just get a "Bad command or
file name" message. The point in including this menu file is so you
can have something to refer to when setting up your own menus.


Menu-Matic4.5p.9

Active Keys

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, ALT-M, and ALT-A.
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.

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.

The ALT and A key combination shows you what options are to be
run at pre-scheduled times. This works in combination with the macro
function, discussed later.

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 DOS
prompt.


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.

The format of the file written by the Menu-Matic is the
following:

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

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.


Menu-Matic4.5p.10

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". A collection of records for your Menu-Matic is
called a "Menu File".

If you are presently running the Menu-Matic, and are at the
top menu, 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.

Along the bottom of the screen is a line which shows you the
current Menu File. It also 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.

Along the top of the screen is the pulldown menu system. This
type of menu system should be familiar to most users. Along the
top of the menu are the headings: File, Records, 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. You will notice that, in certain cases, you may be
unable to choose a command from the pull-down menu. This is
because the command is inapplicable, such as trying to change a
record in a blank Menu File.

You can hit F1 from just about anywhere in the Menu
Installation program to receive context-sensitive help.


FILE

Open

Open retrieves a previously created menu file for you to work
on. You will be given a list of all files in the current directory
with the extension *.MNU. Choose one of these to work with.

New

New lets you create a new menu file. Just type in the name of


Menu-Matic4.5p.11

the new file, the extension .MNU is automatically added. If you type
in the name of already-existing file, that one is retrieved for you.

Print

Print lets you print nice reports of your menu structure.
When you choose this you will have several further options, which
should be self-explanatory.

Top Level and Linked Level

The Menu Installation program starts out at the top level of
the Menu File. 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 "-Utilities", you would move the
pointer until it was on "-Utilities" and then hit -Enter-. The list
of main level records will disappear, and the list of records linked
to "-Utilities" 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 "Top
Level" command. Of course, you do not need to return to the Top 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.

Directory


This shows you any directory you specify, although only the
first 800 files are shown. To see the current directory, just hit
-Enter-.

About

This tells a little bit about the Menu-Matic Menuing
System. You may like to pay attention to listing of the size of
the MENUMATC.EXE program and the MENUINST.EXE program. If these
do not match the actual size of the programs you have, then there
could be a problem. You may want to contact BC Enterprises for
original program diskettes straight from the source. These are
available for only $5 each.



Menu-Matic4.5p.12

RECORDS

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.

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. If you want to password-
protect all your options, then use the "Password Everything" option
from the Setups/More Options heading.

After you enter the option name, you enter the DOS
commands that you want this selection to run. These commands may be 60
characters long, and there may be up to ten commands 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 command.
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
Command 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-.

You can also add a user prompt in combination with this. A
quotation mark on a line containing the "*" symbol means that
everything following the quotation mark is a prompt. So, for the
above, you could use:

Command 1: *dir "Enter a file mask

The ability to add arguments makes the Menu-Matic extremely
flexible. 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


Menu-Matic4.5p.13

might be just as easy for you to enter the file name when you actually
get to the word processor. Experiment.


Linked Options

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 DOS commands to it. Any DOS commands 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 an

8 megahertz XT compatible, 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. Setting up separate Menu Files is
much faster than using sub-options.


Returning to the Menu-Matic

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

Command 3: cd \


Menu-Matic4.5p.14

Command 4: menu

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

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


Loading Another Menu File


To have your menu record load another Menu File, you use the
symbol "#" as the first character of Command 1:. After the # sign,
you type the name of the Menu File to load, without the .MNU
extension. For instance, to load a Menu File called DOS.MNU, you
would put:

Command 1: #dos

You do not need to put anything else on the other command lines,
because it would be ignored anyway.

In each Menu File you use, you will want to put a record which
allows you to get back to the previous menu file, or to another menu
file. If you don't put an option to return to a different menu file,
then you may find yourself stuck. If that happens, hit Ctrl-Break
several times, then choose one of the options on the menu. Then, the
computer should ask you:

Terminate batch file?

To which you say Y (for yes). Then run MENUINST and add an option to
load another menu file.


Description and Password

After the data entry lines for your DOS commands, 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.

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,


Menu-Matic4.5p.15

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 commands executed are not displayed on the screen.
If you want the commands displayed when it runs, then make "echo on"
the first DOS command of the option.



Active Keys

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 F1 key is the help key in the data entry screen, as it is
from almost anywhere in the Installation program. To scroll the help
up or down, use 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. When the directory
comes up, there will be a selection bar in the top left-hand corner.
You can 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. This brings up
only the first 800 matching files.


Menu-Matic4.5p.16

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. You can supply the name of the program you wish to add, or
you can pick from a list by pushing F1. If you supply the name then
remember 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 will be prompted with a
list of all available drives in your system, with the highlight bar on
the current drive. You must choose which drive to search for your
program. If you only have one hard drive in your system, then just
hit -Enter-. 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, or if you are on a network, then you will need to
specify the drive.
If your program is found, then the appropriate data entry
record will be written. If you picked a program from the list, then
the Menu Installation will include an "Option Name" and "Description".
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).
If you use the "Pick from list" function with auto-generate,
please remember that the executable file names of programs tend to
change from one version to the next. The list may or may not be
accurate depending on the version of the program you. However, you
can edit the file containing this information to bring it up to date
(see Appendix C).

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.

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. It also
tells you if the commands you have specified return to the drive and
subdirectory where they started. If they do not, then the Menu-Matic
would probably not load correctly when returning from this option.
When you choose this option, the Installation program writes
a batch file called TEMP.BAT which it immediately executes. Upon re-
entry, you are notified if the set of commands does not return to the


Menu-Matic4.5p.17

directory where it started. You would normally want to return to the
directory where you started if you want to reload Menu-Matic.
Limitations to this testing facility:
First, 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.
Second, 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. This may cause you to 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 database program.
Getting such a message does not mean that the data entry record will
not operate properly from the Menu itself.
Fourth, records that load other Menu Files with the "#"
command cannot be tested.

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.

F9 shows you a list of DOS Command with some explanation of
their use. When you find the one you want, hit -Enter- and it will be
pasted into the record.


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 port over the records which are linked to
this record, or whether you want the records deleted.


Menu-Matic4.5p.18

Deleting Menu Options

When you delete a menu option, 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 menus. 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.



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. Macros can be a maximum of 15 characters long.

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


Menu-Matic4.5p.19

"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.


SETUP

Return To:

This specifies what Menu File to load when returning to the
Menu-Matic. The default is the Menu File that loaded the Menu
Installation program, but you can change it if you wish.

Output To:

This designates where any reports are sent to, if you print
any. It affects only the Menu Installation program, since the Menu-
Matic itself does not print anything.

Message

This function lets you place your own message in the top
center of the Menu-Matic. The default message is "Copyright 1988-90,
BC Enterprises", but you can change it to any message up to 50
characters long.

Password

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 go 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.


Menu-Matic4.5p.20

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".

PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON THIS PASSWORD SYSTEM FOR SECURITY. IF
YOU HAVE SENSITIVE FILES OR NEED REAL SECURITY, THEN GET IT, BECAUSE
THIS PASSWORD WILL NOT KEEP OUT ANYONE WHO IS DETERMINED. YOU HAVE
BEEN WARNED.

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.


Other Setups

These setups are pretty self-explanatory. Use the space
bar to toggle options, the F1 key for help, and the Esc key when
you are finished.



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.


Menu-Matic4.5p.21

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. 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-


Menu-Matic4.5p.22

key.

NOTE: If you use Auto Exec to run an option which is password
protected, your macro will also have to include the password and the
-Enter- symbol (!). Otherwise, the computer will be sitting waiting
for the password, and the option will not be run.


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 Program (not the "Shell to DOS") 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
*.MN2 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 *.MN2 file will be properly sorted.

Please also note that you need to have sufficient disk
space to write a temporary file when the .MN2 file is sorted.
The temporary space needed is equivalent to the size of the .MN2
file. After the file is sorted, the old file is kept but renamed
to .BAK. The .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 some free disk space. 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 100K of disk free, you should not have any problems
with running out of space.


Menu-Matic4.5p.23

Appendix A

How to Optimize Menu-Matic for Fastest Performance

The Menu-Matic is written in BASIC 7.0 which loads and
runs very quickly. Even with the menu filled to capacity, the
load and execute times should be very fast. 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.X) .MNU 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 MUCH faster, not just the Menu-Matic. If you don't have one
yet, get one. You'll bless us for this advice.


Menu-Matic4.5p.24

Appendix B

Special Symbols

As mentioned above, there are several special characters which
the Menu-Matic uses to denote different things. If these look
intimidating to you, or you think that it is just more to learn, don't
worry because you can set up a perfectly functional menu system
without using a single one of these special characters. If you are
new to computers, and you don't need the bother of learning more
archaic commands, then skip this section entirely.


- First character of option name denotes that this option
brings up a sub-menu . Using linked options lets you have
up to 80 options per menu file. Otherwise, you can only
have 16.

Example: Option Name: -Word Processors

+ First (or second, if used with "-") character of an
option name denotes password protection. If you intend to
password protect everything, then use the Password
Everything function under Setup/Other Setups.

Example: Option Name: +For My Eyes Only
Example: Option Name: -+My Word Processors

* First character of a Command 1-10 line denotes that this
option allows further parameters when executed.

Example: Command 3: *qb
Example: Command 3: *qb "Enter a QuickBASIC file name

" Used in conjunction with the "*" to give a prompt to the
user when entering a run-time parameter

Example: Command 2: *ed "Enter a word processing file name

# Used as the first character of Command 1, this loads a new
menu data file.

Example: Command 1: #dos
Example: Command 1: #games


Menu-Matic4.5p.25

Appendix C

Modifying the PROGRAMS.MEN file and DOSCOMM.MEN file

The DOSCOMM.MEN files and PROGRAMS.MEN files are meant to
be easily modifiable, primarily for multi-copy installations, as
well as for consultants and third-party vendors. Tailoring these
files to your needs, or the needs of your clients, makes setting
up the menu much easier. Both files are straight ASCII text in
comma delimited format. Needless to say, though, you would be
well-advised to make a backup of either file if you edit it.

The DOSCOMM.MEN is by far the simpler of the two files.
It contains DOS commands which can be popped up in a window and
pasted into records in the Menu Installation Program. It
contains one DOS command per line, with the command (in all
capitals, though it need not be), then two dashes, then a
description of use, then an example.

In order to add new DOS commands to this list, or edit
the old ones, just open the file with an ASCII word processor.
Follow the format as outlined above. The first 8 characters of
each line are considered to be the DOS command itself. When this
is pasted into the record, it is trimmed of trailing blanks.
Remember two things. First, try not to make a line longer than
the longest current line, or else the symmetry of the box will be
thrown off. Second, you can only have up to 100 DOS commands.

The PROGRAMS.MEN file is a little more complicated, and
you'll have to be careful to keep the right number of fields,
etc. The PROGRAMS.MEN file has four pieces of information per
line, separated by commas and enclosed in quotation marks. First
is the title of the program, e.g., "Word Perfect". Second is the
actual exectuable file name of the program, e.g., "wp.exe" for
Word Perfect. Third is the description of the program, e.g.,
"For all your word processing needs". Fourth is a user prompt to
enter a parameter for the program, e.g., "Enter a Word Perfect
file name" for the Word Perfect record. You can have up to 400
programs in this pick list.

If you modify this file, you must be careful to make sure
that you keep the proper number of commas and quotation marks per
line. Particularly remember that, even if you leave one of the
four fields blank, you still need to put a set of quotation marks
and a comma. If you don't keep the proper structure in this
file, then the "Pick from list" function will not work properly
at all. An experienced programmer, computer manager, consultant,
etc., should have no trouble understanding and maintaining the
proper file structure. If you do not feel competent to do this,
then don't try to change this file.


Menu-Matic4.5p.26


If you have any questions or comments please write:

BC Enterprises
P.O. Box 18
Front Royal, VA 22630

or call:

Phone (703) 635-9998
BBS (703) 635-7528

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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