Message-taking Utility Program
Copyright 1992 by Chuck Steenburgh and Tay-Jee Software
____|__ | (TM)
--| | |-------------------
| ____|__ | Association of
| | |_| Shareware
|__| o | Professionals
-----| | |---------------------
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Specifications. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Definition of Shareware. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Disclaimer -- Agreement. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Switches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Using BACK SOON! from within Popular Software Applications . 6
Errors and Troubleshooting. . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Files Contained in the Shareware Package . . . . . . . 7
Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Ombudsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Do you work in an office? Are you part of a busy family? If
the answer to either of those question was "yes," you undoubt-
edly have lots of little scraps of paper all around your home
or workplace. Notes from coworkers, family members, neighbors,
or secretaries manage to pop up everywhere. If you're like me,
these pieces of paper somehow NEVER manage to get thrown away,
but accumulate all over the place. Some we never see until it
is too late; others become such a common sight that they com-
pletely lose their effectiveness as notes or reminders.
BACK SOON! was written for several purposes. Primarily, BACK
SOON! is meant to replace all those annoying little pieces of
paper electronically. While electronic mail has begun to re-
place such things as the interoffice memo, Post-It (tm) notes
still end up adhered to computer monitors with messages from
visitors and callers.
BACK SOON! can also serve as a screen saver. Not the mindless,
flying-toaster variety that always seems to pop up just when
you DON'T want it to. BACK SOON! is not a TSR that will sit
in your machine, hogging memory and causing conflicts with all
sorts of programs. Instead, BACK SOON! is designed to be in-
voked intentionally by the user, and will function from within
just about any major application program. Use it when you KNOW
you'll be away from your machine and you want to protect your
monitor (and your privacy).
BACK SOON! performs the following functions:
- "Blanks" screen to prevent phosphor burn-in
- Saves screen contents for later restoration
- Displays a customizable scrolling message
- Accepts messages from visitors on your PC
- Stores messages for printing or later retrieval
BACK SOON! Version 1.0 has the following hardware/software
- IBM PC/XT/AT or compatible
- MS-DOS or PC-DOS 2.0 or higher
- At least 120k of free memory
DEFINITION OF SHAREWARE
This is the shareware version of BACK SOON! Although this
program is functionally identical to the registered and re-
tail versions, it is released with a unique form of license.
Shareware distribution gives users a chance to try software
before buying it. If you try a Shareware program and continue
using it, you are expected to register. Individual programs
differ on details -- some request registration while others
require it, some specify a maximum trial period. With
registration, you get anything from the simple right to continue
using the software to an updated program with printed manual.
Copyright laws apply to both Shareware and commercial software,
and the copyright holder retains all rights, with a few specific
exceptions as stated below. Shareware authors are accomplished
programmers, just like commercial authors, and the programs are
of comparable quality. (In both cases, there are good programs
and bad ones!) The main difference is in the method of
distribution. The author specifically grants the right to copy
and distribute the software, either to all and sundry or to a
specific group. For example, some authors require written
permission before a commercial disk vendor may copy their
Shareware is a distribution method, not a type of software. You
should find software that suits your needs and pocketbook,
whether it's commercial or Shareware. The Shareware system makes
fitting your needs easier, because you can try before you buy.
And because the overhead is low, prices are low also. Shareware
has the ultimate money-back guarantee -- if you don't use the
product, you don't pay for it.
DISCLAIMER - AGREEMENT
Users of BACK SOON! must accept this disclaimer of warranty:
"BACK SOON! is supplied as is. The author disclaims all
warranties, expressed or implied, including, without limit-
ation, the warranties of merchantability and of fitness for
any purpose. The author assumes no liability for damages,
direct or consequential, which may result from the use of
BACK SOON!" However, Tay-Jee Software will replace a DEFECTIVE
diskette at ANY time. Simply return the original, DEFECTIVE
diskette and we'll send you a new one for a nominal replacement
fee (currently $2) to cover the cost of replacement.
BACK SOON! is a "shareware program" and is provided at no
charge to the user for evaluation. Feel free to share it with
your friends, but please do not give it away altered or as part
of another system. The essence of "user-supported" software is
to provide personal computer users with quality software with-
out high prices, and yet to provide incentive for programmers
to continue to develop new products. If you find this program
useful and find that you are using BACK SOON! and continue to
use BACK SOON! after a reasonable trial period, you must make
a registration payment of $20 to Tay-Jee Software. The $20
registration fee will license one copy for use on any one com-
puter at any one time. You must treat this software just like
a book. An example is that this software may be used by any
number of people and may be freely moved from one computer
location to another, so long as there is no possibility of it
being used at one location while it's being used at another,
just as a book cannot be read by two different persons at the
Commercial users of BACK SOON! must register and pay for their
copies of BACK SOON! within 30 days of first use or their li-
cense is withdrawn. Site-License arrangements may be made by
contacting Tay-Jee Software.
Anyone distributing BACK SOON! for any kind of remuneration
must first contact Tay-Jee Software at the address below for
authorization. This authorization will be automatically gran-
ted to distributors recognized by the ASP as adhering to its
guidelines for shareware distributors, and such distributors
may begin offering BACK SOON! immediately (however, Tay-Jee
Software must still be advised so that the distributor can be
kept up-to-date with the latest version of BACK SOON!).
You are encouraged to pass a copy of BACK SOON! along to your
friends for evaluation. Please encourage them to register
their copy if they find that they can use it. All registered
users will receive a copy of the latest version of the BACK
The basic command line syntax for BACK SOON! is as follows:
BS [message] [/c] [/h or /?] [/m] [/n] [/p] [/r][:filename] [/s]
[message] - This is the name of a precomposed text message
that you would like displayed on the screen.
[/c] - Reconfigure BACK SOON! with a new message re-
[/h or /?] - Display help screen.
[/m] - Create new message for on-screen display.
[/n] - Display scrolling message only, do not accept
[/p] - Print registration form (shareware version).
[/r][:filename] - Retrieve messages from most recent session.
Optional [:filename] specifies name of file
to which messages were saved.
[/s] - Permit visitor messages to be saved to a disk
The first time BACK SOON! is run (or if specifying the /c
switch), the first thing you'll be asked is your name. What
you enter will become your MESSAGE RETRIEVAL CODE, which will
allow you to retrieve your saved messages.
After entering your name, you should see a list of saved message
files appear in a dialog box. Using the cursor keys, position
the cursor bar over the desired message and press ENTER. If
you don't wish to use a display message, or want to create a new
one, press ESCAPE.
To bypass the message selection dialog box, enter the name of
the message file you want displayed on the command line when
starting BACK SOON!
If you want to create a new message, either press ESC at the
message selection dialog box or start BACK SOON! using the /m
switch. You will then be able to enter up to eight lines of
text, one line at a time. After entering 8 lines, or entering
a blank line, your message will be saved in memory.
Once you have selected/created your display message, it will
begin scrolling down the screen. In addition, the words "Press
any key to leave a message" will also be displayed (unless you
have started BACK SOON! in no-message mode with the /n switch).
The message will continue scrolling down the screen until a key
When message display is interrupted, the user will be asked to
enter his/her name. If anything but the message retrieval code
is entered, the visitor will be able to enter a message of up
to nine lines. The visitor's name and time of message will be
automatically recorded by BACK SOON! Once the visitor has saved
his or her message, BACK SOON! will return to scrolling your
display message down the screen. (Note: if started with the
/n switch, BACK SOON! will record the visitors name and time of
visit ONLY and will not permit a message to be entered.)
If the message retrieval code is entered, the first message will
be displayed on the screen, along with a line telling how many
messages/visitors were logged by BACK SOON! After viewing the
message, press "P" to print a copy, "B" to go back to the pre-
vious message, or any other key to go forward to the next mes-
sage. After all messages have been displayed, BACK SOON! will
terminate and restore the screen to the same condition it was in
prior to start of execution.
If you have specified the /s switch when starting BACK SOON!,
you will be given the opportunity to save the messages left for
you. Type any valid, 8-character DOS file name when prompted.
By default, the current date is used, but you may type something
different if you wish.
If you entered a new display message when first starting BACK
SOON!, you will be given the opportunity to save it to disk
also. Again, you will need to enter a valid 8-character DOS
filename when prompted.
/c - Use this switch to specify a new message retrieval code.
/h or /? - Use this switch to display a brief help screen.
/m - Use this switch to enter a new display message.
/n - This switch will cause BACK SOON! to log visitors
names and time of visit only, not messages.
/p - In the shareware version, this switch will print a copy
of the registration form on your printer.
/r - Used by itself, this switch will recall the messages left
for you the most recent time BACK SOON! was executed. If a
colon followed by a filename is included, BACK SOON! will recall
the set of messages saved under that file name. These messages
can then be printed or reviewed as if you had just retrieved
/s - Use this switch to allow you the option of saving messages
left for you to a disk file.
USING BACK SOON! FROM WITHIN POPULAR APPLICATIONS SOFTWARE
BACK SOON! is compatible with virtually any applications pack-
age that supports an ability to execute DOS commands. The
low memory requirements of BACK SOON! make it easy to run the
program from within word processors, spreadsheets, or other
WordPerfect 5.0/5.1. The file BACKSOON.WPM contains a Word-
Perfect macro to run BACK SOON! After executing the macro,
you'll have chance to enter any command line options that you'd
like. Then, press ENTER to execute BACK SOON! When you exit
BACK SOON!, you'll automatically return to your current docu-
WordStar 5.x-7.0. The file BACKSOON.WSM contains a WordStar 7.0
macro script. To create a shorthand macro for use with versions
5.x-6.0, use the following keystroke sequence: Ctrl-KFbs.exe.
Quattro Pro. The file BACKSOON.WQ1 contains a Quattro Pro macro
to invoke BACKSOON; it is assigned Alt-B as a hotkey. Paste the
macro into your worksheets or a macro library.
Lotus 1-2-3 (or other programs). Other programs can access BACK
SOON! by executing their SYSTEM, DOS, or SHELL commands (or
something similar). You would then type your own command to
execute BACK SOON! just as if you were starting it from the com-
ERRORS and TROUBLESHOOTING
BACK SOON! will recognize most errors and handle them appropri-
ately. In the case of disk errors, you'll be given the choice
of aborting the program immediately or fixing the error and
trying again. The most common errors are disk errors, where,
for example, a floppy disk drive is not ready or write-protec-
ted. Printer errors will be reported (off-line, out of paper,
etc.) and you'll be given the opportunity to try printing again
or aborting the operation (but not the program).
BACK SOON! reads and writes all of its files from the directory
in which the BACK SOON! program is located. If the directory in
which BACK SOON! is located is on the DOS PATH, you can safely
start BACK SOON! simply by typing "BS" and pressing return.
Otherwise, you'll need to include the full path name on the com-
Special note to DOS 2.x users: BACK SOON! must be started from
the directory in which it is located, contrary to the above
paragraph. To help you in this, the file BS.BAT is provided on
the program disk. If this file is placed somewhere on your path
and the other BACK SOON! program files are stored in a directory
named BACKSOON on the same disk (and NOT on the DOS path), BACK
SOON! will operate as described above.
FILES CONTAINED IN THE SHAREWARE PACKAGE
BS.EXE - The main program
BS.BAT - Batch file to start BACK SOON! (DOS 2.x only)
BACKSOON.WQ1 - Quattro Pro worksheet containing a macro to start
BACKSOON.WPM - WordPerfect 5.1 macro to start BACK SOON!
BACKSOON.WSM - WordStar 7.0 macro to start BACK SOON!
BACKSOON.DOC - This documentation file
REGISTER.FRM - A registration form
SIGNME.TXT - Flyer advertising Tay-Jee Software's signature
COUPON.TXT - A "coupon" for $5 off the price of the scanning
SUPPORT.BBS - Where to obtain BBS support from Tay-Jee Software
*.MSG - Various display messages (out to lunch, gone to xerox,
The following files may be created by BACK SOON! at various
times during its operation:
BACKSOON.CFG - Configuration file containing your message re-
BACKSOON.MSG - Most recent set of messages
*.BSM - Saved message files
*.MSG - Additional display messages created by you
As noted above in the license, if you continue to use this
software beyond its evaluation period, you must register. The
registration fee for BACK SOON! Version 1.0 is $20, with a
discount for payment by cash, check, or money order of $5.
To register, print the registration form contained in the pack-
age or print the form from within BACK SOON! itself, fill it
out, and send with payment to:
P.O. Box 835
Lexington, VA 24450
Upon receipt of your payment, you will receive:
- Latest version of BACK SOON!
- Printed documentation
- Version 2.0 WHEN AVAILABLE
- A disk full of our other shareware products for eval-
- FREE technical support (but you pay for the call --
hey, if Microsoft can do it, so can we!)
This program is produced by a member of the Association of
Shareware Professionals (ASP). ASP wants to make sure that
the shareware principle works for you. If you are unable to
resolve a shareware-related problem with an ASP member by
contacting the member directly, ASP may be able to help. The
ASP Ombudsman can help you resolve a dispute or problem with
an ASP member, but does not provide technical support for
members' products. Please write to the ASP Ombudsman at 545
Grover Road, Muskegon, MI 49442 or send a CompuServe message
via CompuServe Mail to ASP Ombudsman, 70007,3536.