Category : Databases and related files
Archive   : BETACART.ZIP

Output of file : BETAMENU.DOC contained in archive : BETACART.ZIP


A set of utilities for
enhancing the operation of the
SONY (tm) BVC-10 BetaCart

Copyright 1992 by
Elwood H. Edwards, Jr.
On-Air Operations Mgr &
Master Control Supervisor
12276 Wilkins Avenue
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 230-1550 - ext. 273

14173 Royal Oak Lane
Centreville, VA 22020

VOICE (703) 968-8472
FAX (703) 968-8326


BETAMENU is a set of utilities for manipulating data to and from the SONY (tm)
BVC-10 BetaCart system.

System requirements:
- 286 (minimum) with at least 512K RAM, running MS-DOS 4.0 or greater
(An XT will work but it's SOOOOO slow!)
- Hard-drive
- 3.5" 720K or 1.44M drive configured as the B drive
(Note: the BVC-10 uses only 720K disks!)
- CGA (at least)
- Serial Port configured as COM-1
- Printer on LPT1

Additionally, the following files are required, since BETAMENU calls them for
the creation of playlists and the printing of pull-lists:

(All of these were written by Richard Carter and are included in this zip.)


BETAMENU was written with Microsoft QuickBasic 4.5 and undergoes revision
from time to time. I have just obtained PDS 7.1 so I'll be redoing the
whole thing in a while.



There are several aspects of BETAMENU that were developed with WFTY-TV50 in
mind and, therefore, probably will not perform satisfactorily in another
plant. TV50 uses the Marketron System in its Traffic Department and the
capturing of the program log is simply a dump from one of their printer ports
to the COM-1 port on the PC in our VTR room. BETAMENU performs some filtering
on this log file to strip out lines of characters that don't pertain to the
operation of the BetaCart, such as log page numbers, voice-overs, movie
titles, and so forth. An added benefit to this is that the resulting captured
file is 45K-50K in size, where the original file is 110K-120K in size, saving
that precious space on the hard drive.

Modifications to BETAMENU can be made (re: configuration, program log
characteristics, etc.) for a reasonable fee. If you wish to discuss this
further, please contact me. I'm quite sure we can agree on $$$ that will
fit into your budget. Believe it or not, SONY has something that will do
what BETAMENU does for about $4,000! ...and they also have an editor for
playlists that costs about the same. Phew!

The other programs by Richard Carter look for the log file that BETAMENU
creates, so the main changes should be limited to BETAMENU's capturing and

Well, we'll see.


At WFTY-TV50, our files are given the following names:
- Program Log file : LOG-XXX.DAT (where XXX is the day; Monday is MON,
Tuesday is TUE, etc.)
- Playlist files : A-XXX.LST - Sign On to 12Noon
B-XXX.LST - 12Noon to 6PM
C-XXX.LST - 6PM to 12Midnight
D-XXX.LST - 12Midnight to Sign Off

These names will be referred to in the balance of this documentation.

Now, to the menu selections.....


* BETAMENU performs hard-drive functions ONLY *
* in the directory it was started from!! *

When BETAMENU is started, it begins with these menu choices:



After selecting this, you are presented with another menu that allows you to
select the day of the week that the new playlists will be for. You are
prompted to insert the BetaCart disk into the PC's drive before making a menu

Make new Playlists for:
Q-Main Menu

If you select, say, D for Thursday, a dialog box will pop up:

| Make Playlists for THURSDAY.. |
| |
| Are you sure? (Y/N) |

Answer N and you'll be returned to the menu for selecting a day; answer Y and
the following will happen:
- a log file for that day, if any, will be renamed with a .BAK extension.
(in TV50's case, LOG-THU.DAT becomes LOG-THU.BAK)
- playlists for that day, if any, will be renamed with a .BAK entension.
(A-THU.LST becomes A-THU.BAK, B-THU.LST becomes B-THU.BAK, etc.)

This is an important safeguard, as you'll see in a moment.


***MAKE NEW PLAYLISTS*** (continued)

After the files have been renamed with the .BAK extension, the capture mode is
entered. At the top of the screen is a reminder that you may cancel the
capture by pressing ALT-Q (hold down ALT and press Q).

(If you do this, the capture is terminated & all of the files renamed with
the .BAK extension are again renamed to what they were before. This is
that "safeguard" I mentioned won't lose Monday's files if you
accidently start the Monday capture again and then terminate it.)

After the capture is started, Traffic is told to send the log. BETAMENU is
presently configured:
COM1, 9600, 8, 1, N

As the file is received, the screen reflects the processed lines and the file
is saved to the hard-drive as LOG-XXX.DAT. When the end of the file has been
reached, the capture mode will close.

* WFTY's Traffic Department has formatted the end of each log so *
* the string "END OF LOG" is the last thing sent. BETAMENU looks *
* for this string in its capture filtering to know when to close *
* the log file and end the capture. *

After a successful capture, BETAMENU shells to Richard Carter's AUTOGEN, which
looks thru the log file, creates the playlists and prints the pull-lists.
BETAMENU then resumes operation. If the playlists have been successfully
created, the BetaCart disk in the B drive is looked at. Any existing .LST or
.LOG files are deleted from this disk and the new playlists are copied from
the hard-drive to it, ready for the new day.

Note: we print the AS-RUN log from the BetaCart disk at the end of the day,
which is at 6:30A, and it becomes part of the official log. Since we don't
make new playlists until mid-afternoon, there is plenty of time to get this
information if, say, a printer is on the fritz.

When the file copy is completed, BETAMENU terminates.

* If the printer on LPT1 is not working when you select this *
* option, you will be given the opportunity to EXIT and fix *
* the problem or CONTINUE with the log capture with NO pull *
* lists printed. (see PRINT PULL-LISTS, page 8) *



This presents the following:

| P -Print the AS-RUN Log. (Insert the BetaCart disk!) |
| Q -Main Menu |

So you insert the disk into the B drive and press P.

1st, a file called CASSETTE.RPT is read (or created if it doesn't exist) and
the number of plays for each cassette are stored in an array.

2nd, the AS-RUN LOG is read from the disk in the B drive and it's data is
stored in another array.

3rd, the number of plays for the cassettes in the AS-RUN log are added to the
plays for those cassettes in the "report" file and CASSETTE.RPT is re-saved
with the new information.

4th, the AS-RUN LOG is printed on the printer connected to LPT1, formatted
like so....

AS-RUN LOG PRINTER / Copyright 1991 by E. H. Edwards, Jr.
Schedule Actual Title Dur No. VTR Error Messages
Log Date 02-23-92 ------------------------------------------------------

06:29:20 06:29:11 SIGN ON/OFF 00:29 #5031 1
06:29:49 06:29:41 STATION ID 00:13 #5047 2

Log Date 02-24-92 ------------------------------------------------------

06:31:08 06:31:11 ANNE MURRAY 01:33 #1169 3
06:42:13 06:42:12 HEARTLAND/PATSY 01:33 #1609 4
06:56:28 06:56:27 8 PM MOVIE 00:20 #3105 1
06:56:48 06:56:47 CHRIST LIFE MIN 00:30 #1685 2 SERVO UNLOCK
06:57:18 06:57:18 WHEEL SAFETY 00:23 #4158 3
06:59:10 06:59:10 HE-MAN WEEKDAYS 00:10 #3202 4
06:59:20 06:59:20 DON EDW MILLER 00:30 #1895 1

and so on, until the last entry, which is followed by:

There were 337 events.


***AS-RUN LOG PRINTOUT*** (continued)

5th, and last, the BC_USAGE.RPT is appended to (or written, if it does not
exist) with the following information for that day...

Filename: BC_USAGE.RPT Printed on 02-26-1992 at 08:52:29 Page 1

#1 played 92 cassettes, totaling 0 Hrs. 58 Mins. 38 Secs.
#2 played 91 cassettes, totaling 0 Hrs. 46 Mins. 08 Secs.
#3 played 91 cassettes, totaling 0 Hrs. 50 Mins. 06 Secs.
#4 played 89 cassettes, totaling 0 Hrs. 54 Mins. 08 Secs.
TOTAL TIME ON-AIR: 3 Hrs. 29 Mins. 00 Secs.


#1 played 95 cassettes, totaling 1 Hrs. 19 Mins. 09 Secs.
#2 played 95 cassettes, totaling 1 Hrs. 03 Mins. 12 Secs.
#3 played 97 cassettes, totaling 0 Hrs. 52 Mins. 25 Secs.
#4 played 88 cassettes, totaling 1 Hrs. 03 Mins. 01 Secs.
TOTAL TIME ON-AIR: 4 Hrs. 17 Mins. 47 Secs.



Sometimes, a BetaCart disk can become damaged or just fail because of age or
other factors. (I've even seen them get stepped on!) When this happens, you
can't load the playlists! Oh, BUST, whaddaya do now!?!?

With this menu selection, playlists that already exist for a specific day can
be copied to another BetaCart disk (we keep one labeled EMERGENCY for just
such a situation).

1st, insert the standby disk into the B: disk drive.
2nd, select the appropriate day for which the playlists are needed.
(The menu selections are the same as those of MAKE NEW PLAYLISTS.)
3rd, after answering Yes, the directory on the hard-drive will be searched
for those specific playlists. If theyÕre found, they'll be copied to
the 3.5" disk. If not, you will be given an error message.

This function is simply a way to get the lists on another disk without needing
to get another log upload from Traffic, especially if the disk gets trashed at
4AM! I don't know about your station.....but Traffic isn't here then!



Sometimes, problems with the printer can prevent the Pull Lists from being
printed. This can be due to misfed paper, a broken ribbon, a bad cable or
maybe the printer has simply died!

Well, once the printer problem has been corrected, this function allows you
to make another attempt at printing the Pull-lists from existing playlists!

* Pull Lists can only be printed from EXISTING playlist files!! *
* If the log file transfer was not successful, do not use this *
* function!! You must select MAKE NEW PLAYLISTS & get another *
* upload from Traffic! *


This is the printing of a simple text file that is appended to with every
printout of the AS-RUN LOG (see page 6). The file is called BC_USAGE.RPT.

(Generally, we print it out on the first day of the month.)

It requires a password, which with this version is WFTY.

After it has been printed, you are given the option of erasing the file.



With each printing of the AS-RUN LOG, the number of plays for those cassettes
contained in it are added to the CASSETTE.RPT file.

It requires a password, which with this version is WFTY.

When you select this option, the CASSETTE.RPT file is read; then you are given
the opportunity to enter a cassette number and see how many times that one has
played. This is especially useful when a cassette seems to be wearing out
(such as a station ID or movie bumper) and you wish to verify the number of
plays it has had.

We also use it to keep an eye on those most played cassettes so they can be
replaced before causing a problem.


At present, this option has not been implemented. You'll be told that if you
select it.

BETAMENU - Page 10

Future features (planned, anyway....maybe "hoped for" would be a better way of
saying it.....)

- a SETUP option so BETAMENU may be configured by the user, rather than
hard-coded in.

- a DIRECTORY option so you can see whatÕs on the BetaCart disk.

- a PLAYLIST EDITOR (yeah, right...and then, I'll write a replacement for
EXCEL and 1-2-3! Seriously, I'm still learning a lot of things and I
plan on building an editor for playlists.)

- saving the AS-RUN LOG and Pull Lists to the hard-drive if the printer
isn't working. That way, you don't lose them if the disk gets trashed
before the printer is fixed.


Please drop me a line, fax me, or call me if you'd like more info about
BETAMENU. I'd really like your thoughts, suggestions, and input.

  3 Responses to “Category : Databases and related files
Archive   : BETACART.ZIP

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: