Contents of the TICKLE.DOC file
Comprehensive Reninder Program for the PC
*PLEASE UPLOAD TO YOUR LOCAL COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS! *
This documentaion was prepared on 07-31-87.
This documentation is updated to version 1.2 of the program.
In my profession as a patent attorney for a large coporation, it is
my duty to meet deadlines and to remember a large number of date sensitive
tasks to be done. TICKLE was written to assist me in this effort. I hope it
will be useful to you also.
D. The Author
The author is a registered patent attorney working with Rockwell
International Corporation in Cedar Rapids, IA (the old Collins Radio Company).
He can be contacted on Compuserve (ID No.: 71016,1355), or GEnie (Address:
L.MURRAH), or by mail at the following address:
10 Cottage Grove Woods, S.E.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
The home telephone number is (319) 365-6530. Please feel free to call about
TICKLE during weekend and early evening hours.
E. The Software
The development of TICKLE began in June, 1987. New versions will be
released as features are added and corrections are made to previously released
TICKLE is written in Turbo Pascal. The source code is included, but
it may be used only in accordance with the license stated below.
F. Latest Version
The latest version of TICKLE can usually be found on GEnie. The
latest version can also be obtained by sending a FORMATTED diskette and a
stamped, self-addressed diskette mailer to the author at the above address.
When example command lines are shown, the sequence "" means to
press RETURN or ENTER.
II. Equipment and Program Configuration
TICKLE can be run on the IBM-PC and compatibles having 192K of memory
and one floppy disk drive. A hard disk is not required, although you will find
that a hard disk will enhance operation of this and any other program.
Your CONFIG.SYS file should authorize at least 20 files. This can be
done with the following statement:
FILES = 20
CONFIG.SYS may be edited using a word processor or program editor.
B. The System Clock
TICKLE depends upon the system calendar being set correctly. If you
have a real time clock, you will have a program which automatically sets the
clock and which is usually run in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. If not, you will
need to set the date and time with the DATE and TIME DOS commands.
III. Your Right to Use TICKLE
As you may have noticed I have retained the copyright in TICKLE,
primarily in order to control its orderly development. However, I have granted
the right to anyone to use the program for private, non-commercial use without
further permission from me. That is, you can copy it, use it, and share it so
long as you do not charge any money for it.
You may use and change the source code so long as (1) you retain my
name and copyright notices, and (2) you provide me with a copy of any modifi-
cations along with your permission to include them in future versions of
Several users have asked me whether I require payment of a "shareware"
fee in order to use the program. The answer is "No"; but if you would like
to support TICKLE with a small contribution (say $5), we certainly would not
refuse your generosity. It would certainly help in continuing to improve
IV. Using TICKLE
When a response from the user is called for, the default response,
i.e., the response which is automatically entered if RETURN is pressed, is
indicated in pointed brackets, e.g., ''.
B. Batch File Use
One of the most convenient ways to use TICKLE is in the AUTOEXEC.BAT
file which is run each time the the computer is turned on. Place it last in
the batch file so that you are forced to look at the TICKLE notes each time
you use the computer. Select the time period (and thus the command) that is
most convenient for you.
An example AUTOEXEC.BAT file, which can be created with a word
processor (ASCII output mode only!) or a text editor is as follows:
C. Command Line Modes
TICKLE has three command line modes as follows:
1. No Argument Mode
If command line is entered with only the program name, i.e.,
the main title screen will be displayed along with a list of commands.
2. Entry Mode
Notes may be entered into the TICKLE note file by using the
following command line entry:
TICKLE MM-DD-YY Text of note
where "MM" is the month, "DD" is the day, and "YY" is the year of the note.
Months, days, and years must be entered as two digits each, and the wild card
character "?" may be used in place of any date. For example, if you wish for
a date to be redisplayed every year without deletion and re-entry, you can
enter a command line such as the following:
TICKLE 01-01-?? New Year's Day
If you wish monthly redisplay, you can enter a command line such as the
TICKLE ??-01-87 Pay electric bill
The text of the note following the date can be up to 80 characters in length.
3. Command Mode
In addition to the entry of notes, you can ask TICKLE to perform
several function on the stored file by using the following command line:
where "%" is a one letter command as discussed below.
1. Valid Range
All date comparisons and calculations in TICKLE assume that dates
are in the range January 1, 1901 and December 31, 1999. Dates outside this
range will not work!
2. Date Format and Content
Dates must be entered in the MM-DD-YY format using two digits for
MM, DD, and YY. A date such as "2-7-87" will be rejected. The proper format is
"02-07-87". Date content is not checked. Thus 13-56-87 will be accepted even
though it is not a real date. Either "-" or "/" will be accepted to separate
the month from the day from the year. Thus, "MM/DD/YY" is also an acceptable
Invalid dates may be used for special purposes. For example, if
you wish to specify that something is to be done during a month without
specifying a particular date, you can use the day "00", e.g., "07-00-87". The
same trick could be used for the entire year, e.g., "00-00-88".
If you wish to enter non-date-specific notes, you can use an
invalid date such as "00-00-00". However, this will make your non-dated
notes appear at the beginning of the file. To make them appear at the
end, you might use "99-99-99". The invalid date "50-50-50" may not be
used for this purpose.
3. Wildcard Dates
If a wildcard ("?") is used to replace any digit in a date, then
both digits are assumed to be wildcards. Thus, if you enter 01-01-8?, it will
be interpreted as 01-01-??.
4. Date Shorthand
When entry of a date is expected, you can enter a one character
shorthand for several common dates as follows:
"=" - Today's date
"-" - Yesterday's date
"+" - Tomorrow's date
"`" - One week from today (character is reverse apostrophe!)
"~" - One month from today
E. Examining the Notes File
1. Display Conventions
When notes and their dates are displayed on the monitor screen,
the notes may be accompanied by several symbols which convey important
information about the note.
A "-" before the date means that the note is overdue, i.e., it
has a date earlier that the current date.
A "*" before the date indicates notes having today's date.
A "+" after the date indicates the the date contains wildcard
1. Looking at All Notes
All the notes in the TICKLE file can be examined by entering the
following command line:
2. Looking Ahead
You can display notes in the TICKLE file for several selectable
future periods as follows:
TICKLE T - Today's notes
TICKLE D - The next day
TICKLE W - The next week
TICKLE M - The next month
TICKLE Q - The next quarter
TICKLE Y - The next year
3. Checking a Particular Date
If you need to check a particular date as when you are sheduling
an appointment, you can use the following command:
F. Manipulating Note Dates
1. Calculating a Date
If you do not know the date on which to enter a date and instead
know only that it is a certain number of days ahead, you can calculate the date
using the following command:
You will be prompted for the start date (the default date is the current
date in your system clock) and a number of days to be added to the start
date. Currently months and years cannot be added to the start date--only
2. Rescheduling a Note
If you would like to reset the date of a note without reentering
it and erasing the old note, you can use the Reset command as follows:
When this command is invoked, you will be asked to identify the date of the
note to be reset. When the note is located, you will be asked to enter a new
date in the MM-DD-YY format.
G. Searching for a Note
If you cannot remember the date of a note but do remember a word (or
a fragment of a word) in the note, you can search for it using the following
Enter the "search string" (i.e., word, part of a word, or character
combination) when prompted.
H. Removing Notes
1. Single Notes
Notes can be removed one at a time using the following command:
The user will be asked to enter the date of the note to be removed and will be
asked whether to remove each note appearing on that date.
2. Overdue Notes
The user can review all overdue notes (that is, notes having a
date earlier than the current system clock date) regardless of date using
the following command:
The user is asked whether to remove each overdue note.
I. The Log File
Instead of simply erasing a note from the file, you may wish to move
it to another file for later review. If you do a monthly report, this "log"
file may be a handy reminder of what you did last month.
1. Logging Notes
When you have finished with a note, you can move it to the log
file with the Log command as follows:
When this command is invoked, the user is asked for the date of the note to be
logged. When the date is found, the user is asked whether to log the note.
If several notes are listed on the same day, the user is given the
opportunity to log each one individually.
2. Viewing the Log
You can view the log by issuing the View command as follows:
3. Erasing the Log
When you are finished with the log, you can erase it and start
over using the Erase command as follows:
4. Printing the Log File
At the end of the month when you do your monthly report, you
print a copy of the log file with the following command:
5. Filing a Note to the Log File
Sometimes you may wish to simply enter a note in the log file
without having first entered it into the note file. This would most often
occur when you do a task as soon as it arrives at your office and you want to
remember it for your monthly report. The following command will accomplish
J. Printing the Notes File
The entire notes file can be printed in chronological order on a
line printer using the following command:
A suggested use of the Print command is to make a hardcopy for the current
early in the day and use it as your to do list for the day.
K. Backing Up Data Files
You can back up the TICKLE.DTA and TICKLOG.DTA files to either drive
A: or B: using the following command:
Be sure to have a formatted diskette ready, and enter the desired backup drive
V. We Need Your Feedback!
As I continue to improve TICKLE, it is helpful for me to have your
feedback about what you like about TIKCLE, what you don't like about it, any
bugs or cosmetic defects you have discovered, what you would like to see
changed or added, etc. Please take the time to fill out and mail the form in
the file FEEDBACK.FRM to me. It would be much appreciated.
If you would like to have the latest version of TICKLE, please send a
FORMATTED diskette and a self-addressed, stamped diskette mailer along with
your feedback form.
A - List all notes in TICKLE file Q - List TICKLE file for next quarter
B - Backup TICKLE file R - Reset date of TICKLE note
C - Calculate TICKLE date S - Search for TICKLE note
D - List TICKLE notes for tomorrow T - List TICKLE file for today
E - Erase TICKLE log V - View TICKLE log
L - Save note to log file W - List TICKLE notes for next week
M - List TICKLE notes for next month X - Delete TICKLE note
O - Remove overdue TICKLE notes Y - List TICKLE notes for next year
P - Print TICKLE notes file');