Category : Utilities for DOS and Windows Machines
Archive   : ONCALL.ZIP
Filename : READ.ME

Output of file : READ.ME contained in archive : ONCALL.ZIP

Version 1.02

( Shareware Version )

December 1, 1987

(C) Copyright 1987 by
Forest Hill Software, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

On-Call is a trademark belonging to
Forest Hill Software, Inc.

This file contains the latest information about this release of On-Call. You
may want to print this file and have it available for reference as you use the
On-Call program.

Current list of files included on the On-Call distribution diskette:

READ.ME - Current information about On-Call (this file)

ONCALL.DOC - Master documentation file

ONCALL.EXE - The On-Call program

OCP.COM - A utility to facilitate switching programs

OCA.COM - The On-Call Accessory program

OCV.COM - A utility to be used as directed with specific software

Known compatibility problems and issues:
1.0 - Types of programs to watch out for
1.1 - Communications programs
1.2 - Programs which are not a single executable file
1.3 - Disk cache programs
1.4 - Programs which use EMS or EEMS memory

2.0 - Specific resident programs
2.1 - Mouse Systems Mouse
2.2 - Borland Sidekick
2.3 - Central Point PC-Tools
2.4 - Persoft Referee
2.5 - PRD+

3.0 - Other programs
3.1 - DOS version 3.2 and above
3.2 - Enable
3.3 - Software Carousel
3.4 - Deskview

4.0 - What to do if you have a problem

1.0 - Types of programs to watch out for

1.1 - Communications programs

On-Call will bypass communications interrupts during the time that it's
"popped-up". This protection has been installed to avoid an "Unexpected
interrupt" system hang-up. As a result, it is important that you only pop-up
On-Call at times when there will be no incoming and outgoing data on the
serial communications line. If any characters are received during this time,
they will be ignored. There is also a possibility that the interface will be
left in a condition which will prevent further communications. To avoid
Otherwise, there are no problems inherent with running communications programs
while On-Call is loaded.

1.2 - Programs which are not a single executable file

A very few resident programs load by executing a series of commands. You may
have trouble loading these programs into On-Call, especially if they require
execution of a batch file. Sometimes a series of commands are used to load
device drivers or install other support programs prior to loading the actual
resident program. If you have such a resident program you may be able to load
parts of it prior to executing On-Call, then load only the main part of the
program into On-Call. At this time, all such programs that we are aware of
have been updated by their manufacturers and are compatible with On-Call. If
you do come across one, either call the technical support department for that
software or the On-Call Customer Service Center.

1.3 - Disk cache programs

Disk cache programs are used to speed access to a disk drive and can
substantially improve overall performance. They operate by remembering
recently or frequently accessed information in RAM and only going to the disk
drive when necessary. Loading these programs into On-Call is not recommended
unless there is a way to "Flush" the disk caching programs buffers. The act of
flushing causes the program to forget any information it presently has loaded
and requires it to go to the disk for subsequent access. When using this type
of program with On-Call, it is imperative to flush all cache buffers each time
the program is activated. If you are not sure about your particular disk cache
program, you may contact its authors to determine if there is a way to flush
or reset buffers.

1.4 - Programs which use EMS or EEMS memory

Resident programs which directly access EMS or EEMS memory will cause errors
when using the On-Call auto-reload (/R) option. These programs request blocks
of memory from the Expanded Memory Manager (EMM) which in turn assigns
them exclusively to the requesting program. Any allocations made by the EMM
are only good as long as the system is not rebooted. If you reboot your system
and reload On-Call with the auto-reload option, a program which had previously
requested memory from the EMM will cause an error when it tries to access
it. This is because the EMM thinks the program is trying to access
memory not allocated to it and therefore refuses access to it. These programs
may only be used after an auto-reload if they can be prevented from making any
use of Expanded Memory. Consult the documentation provided with such a program
for any switches or configuration options which can prevent EMS access.

2.0 - Specific programs

2.1 - Mouse Systems Mouse

(Mouse Systems and Designer Pop-up are trade
marks of the Mouse Systems Corporation)

Using the MOUSESYS.COM driver and Designer Pop-up menus for the Mouse
Systems Mouse has presented a few problems all of which can be corrected by
following the procedures below.

1. When you first load the MOUSESYS.COM program into On-Call be sure to
use the "/M:xxx" option to set the desired space for any future Pop-Up
menus which may be loaded. I have found that 15000 bytes will be
adequate for most menus you will encounter.

2. The MOUSESYS program will cease to function if you:

a. Reboot your computer
b. Move the mouse or otherwise use the serial port it is connected to
while the MOUSESYS.COM program is not selected by On-Call.

3. To reactivate the MOUSESYS program:

a. Pop-Up On-Call and select the MOUSESYS.COM program
b. Enter the following command:
ocv c mousesys
c. The program should now be functioning properly. If so save it back
to the image data file by popping-up On-Call and pressing "Enter".

4. If you try to load a Pop-Up menu into the MOUSESYS program you will
receive a message indicating that it could not locate the MOUSESYS
program. To successfully load a Pop-Up menu:

a. Pop-Up On-Call and select the MOUSESYS.COM program
b. Enter the following command where "" should be replaced with
the name of the Pop-Up menu (i.e. "ocv c M_PLAIN"):
ocv c
c. The Pop-Up menu should now be loaded. Save the MOUSESYS.COM program
back into the image data file with this Pop-Up menu by Popping-Up
On-Call and pressing "Enter".

WARNING:Do not attempt to pop On-Call while the OCV.COM program is

To minimize problems with the MOUSESYS program, be sure not to move the
mouse unless the MOUSESYS.COM program is selected by On-Call. If you
accidentally do move the mouse and it does not function when the MOUSESYS.COM
program is again selected, you will have to return to DOS and perform
procedure #3 above.

2.2 - Borland Sidekick

(Sidekick is a trademark of Borland International)

Sidekick is a particularly difficult program when it comes to existing along
with other resident software. This is because it attempts to maintain
preemptive access to the keyboard. As a result, Sidekick must normally be
loaded last, after all other resident programs have been loaded. With On-Call
you may load resident programs in any order, and that includes Sidekick.
Unfortunately there are two other limitations when running Sidekick with

1. Sidekick must be loaded within On-Call. You may not load Sidekick
before or after loading On-Call.

2. On-Call will deselect Sidekick whenever you run a new program. This is
necessary so that On-Call can keep track of Sidekick's antics. Once you
are within a program, you may pop-up On-Call and reactivate Sidekick.
Sidekick may also be deselected when a program executes a subprogram or
overlay. This behavior is normal and a message window will inform you
when it happens.

2.3 - Central Point PC-Tools

(PC-Tools is a trademark of Central Point Software)

PC-Tools will automatically create overlay information in Expanded memory if
it is available. If you intend to use the On-Call Auto-Reload (/R) option, you
must direct PC-Tools to create the overlay file on a disk drive. You can do
that by including the /O option when starting PC-Tools as shown below.


The above command installs PC-Tools so that it will use 95K of RAM and
create the overlay file on drive C:. You may substitute a different drive if
appropriate (i.e. /OD). According to Central Point Software, specifying a
drive with the /O option will prevent direct use of Expanded Memory. It is
also our understanding that specifying at lease 138K of memory with the
present version of PC-Tools will avoid the need to create an overlay file.

For more information refer to section 1.4 above.

2.4 - Persoft Referee


This warning is not simply because Referee is perceived by some as a
competitive product. Actually, Referee and On-Call can not coexist because
they both monitor interrupts. Attempting to load a resident program into
On-Call while Referee is loaded will result in an "Incompatible Program (01)"
error message. If you receive this message and do not have Referee loaded you
should consult with the On-Call Customer Service Department.

2.5 - PRD+

Our current information on PRD+ is that PMENU is not capable of locating the
resident copy of PRD+ when it is loaded into On-Call. If you wish to use
PMENU, try the following:

1. Pop up On-Call and select PRD+
2. Change to the directory you would normally be in when running PMENU
3. Execute the OCV.COM program (distributed with On-Call) as follows:
Note:The optional parameter is to specify the drive and path
where DOS can locate the OCV.COM program. If you already have
that path specified in your PATH= statement, you will not require
it here. If you are running a DOS version earlier than 3.0, you
can not enter anything prior to OCV and may want to temporarily
copy OCV.COM to the directory containing PMENU.
4. Use PMENU as normal
5. Exit PMENU

WARNING:Do not attempt to pop-up On-Call while running the PMENU program!

The information we have at this time on PRD+ is from current users of
On-Call and has not yet been tested in-house. If you have any difficulty with
the above procedure or otherwise with PRD+, please call On-Call technical

3.0 - Other programs

3.1 - DOS Version 3.2 and above

Certain utilities supplied with DOS version 3.2 utilize interrupt vector 19
(HEX). As On-Call is distributed the setting for this vector is "0", meaning
that On-Call does not handle that vector. Attempting to load one of these
utilities into On-Call will result in the message "* Incompatible program *
(19)" being displayed in the Options field. If you would like to load any of
these utilities into On-Call you will have to set vector # 25 (the OCA program
requires entry of vector numbers in Decimal) to type "1" using the On-Call
Accessories program. For a description of how to use the Accessories program
refer to that section of the On-Call User's Manual.
Please note that this will cause a conflict with ENABLE as described in the
section below.

3.2 - ENABLE

(ENABLE is a registered trademark of THE SOFTWARE GROUP)

To run any version of Enable you will have to make sure that the setting for
vector 25 (the OCA program requires entry of vector numbers in Decimal) is
"0". This will cause a conflict with DOS version 3.2 which uses these vectors
in certain utilities. The conflict arises only if you intend to load those
utilities into On-Call. In any event the setting for vector 25 must be "0" to
run Enable (this is the default condition when you receive On-Call). The DOS
3.2 utilities which are known to use this vector are:


There may be other programs which will not be compatible with On-Call when
it is configured to run with Enable. If you try to load one of those programs
you will be presented with the message "* Incompatible program *" followed by
"(19)". If the parenthesized number is not 19 then you have a conflict with a
different vector number and should continue reading this file or call the
On-Call Customer Service Line.

For information on how to change the setting for this vector, read the
User's Manual section about the On-Call Accessory program.

The Enable Telecom functions, especially Capture, may conflict with On-Call.
Problems experienced to date are:

1. Occasional "Hang" during capture
3. Occasional "Hang" upon exit of Telecom

At this time there is no explanation for the problems with Telecom. Enable
employs certain "shortcuts" which do not conform to the DOS standard. They are
difficult to identify and hard to compensate for. On-Call has a good track
record with several other communications programs (see exception in item #1)
indicating that problems are not inherent with that type of software.

3.3 - Software Carousel

(Software Carousel is a trademark of SoftLogic Solutions)

The first release of On-Call was fully functional with Software Carousel.
Unfortunately, some problems have shown up in the current release which may
prevent you from loading On-Call prior to loading Software Carousel. To the
best of our knowledge, there is no problem with loading On-Call into a
partition within Software Carousel. This problem may be dependent on the
version of Software Carousel you have and we therefore have kept the following
information in this file. This problem should be fixed in the next version.

On-Call and Software Carousel compliment each other by making a large number
of resident programs available within each partition. There are two possible
approaches which may be used when implementing this combination.

a. Load On-Call prior to starting Carousel.

By loading On-Call before starting Software Carousel you will make the
same copy of On-Call available from all partitions. This means that if
you use On-Call to select a particular resident program while in one
partition, that when you change to another partition, the exact same
resident program will be available.

A disadvantage of loading On-Call prior to starting Software Carousel
is that the memory used by On-Call will be lost to all
partitions. Even if you do not require the use of On-Call from within
a particular partition, your available memory will be reduced by the
space required for On-Call and the largest resident program it has
loaded (plus the memory used by Carousel).

b. Load On-Call from within Carousel partitions using separate image data

If you have not loaded On-Call prior to starting Software Carousel,
you may load On-Call within the particular partitions where you would
like to have it available. Loading On-Call into one partition does not
make it available within another partition, nor does it waste memory
in a partition where it is not needed.

When loading On-Call, specify a data file name (using the "/D="
option) which will be unique for that particular partition. By doing
this you may have a set of resident programs which is custom tailored
to the needs of that partition and other sets more appropriate for
other partitions. Using a separate image data file for each partition
also ensures that the information you have in the resident programs
will not be affected by use of that program in another partition.

Please remember that if you intend to use the auto-reload option
("/R") of On-Call, that it must reload to exactly the same memory
location as when the image data file was first created. This requires
that all steps taken prior to loading Software Carousel, and after
entering the partition where On-Call will be reloaded, must be the
same (or result in exactly the same memory consumption) each time the
image data file is used. However, each partition may be different as
long as for any one particular partition the conditions are the same
as when On-Call was last loaded into that partition.

A disadvantage of this method is the relatively large amount of disk
space that will be required. A typical image data file requires any
where from several hundred kilobytes to well over one Megabyte of disk
space. If separate image data files are used for each partition, the
total disk usage by On-Call could easily run into several Megabytes.

c. Load On-Call from within Carousel partitions using the same image data

If you have not loaded On-Call prior to starting Software Carousel,
you may, as described above, load On-Call within each partition where
you would like to have it available. The difference with this
configuration is that all copies of On-Call will be using a single
image data file regardless of what partition they are in.

There are two major advantages to this approach. Using only one image
data file can save a considerable amount of disk space over method b.
More importantly though, a resident program may be used in one
partition, saved to the image data file and then called up in another
partition. When the resident program is activated in the latter
partition, it contains exactly the same information and is set to the
same status as when it was saved elsewhere. This provides a degree of
communications between partitions.

Several important points need be made about this type of operation.

1. To use the auto-reload option with the same image data file
requires that On-Call be loaded into exactly the same memory
location in each partition. Fortunately Software Carousel has
been written so that the active partition starts at the same
memory location as another partition would when it is active,
regardless of the size of the partition.

When loading On-Call into each partition, ensure that the SET
parameters (in the Environment) are exactly the same or add up
to exactly the same number of characters. If this is not the
case, On-Call will refuse to use the image data file and give
you the option of leaving it unchanged.

NOTE..Please note that the names of partitions are added to
the PROMPT parameter by Software Carousel. The length of
these names will effect the size of the Environment.
Make sure that all partition names are EXACTLY THE SAME
LENGTH. You may pad the partition names with periods or
hyphens to make them the same length.

2. You must consider the implications of the On-Call program
selection options when running in different partitions using
the same image data file.

a. Pressing ENTER with a resident program highlighted in
On-Call's program selection window will cause the
current resident program to be saved to the image data
file. If the same resident program is saved from
within one partition, it will overwrite what may have
just been saved from another partition.

b. Pressing ENTER with the currently selected resident
program highlighted will save that resident program in
it's present state to the common image data file. This
allows you to switch partitions and pick up that
resident program in the exact condition as it was in
the previous partition.

c. Using CTRL-ENTER to select a resident program will
prevent On-Call from saving the current resident
program before selecting the new one. Use this method
if you do not need to pass resident programs and their
data between partitions and you do not need to save
the status of the currently selected resident program.

d. Using CTRL-ENTER while the currently selected resident
program is highlighted will pick up the latest copy of
that resident program from the common image data file.

Please take time to play with On-Call and Software Carousel together before
you get back to serious work. Passing resident program images between
partitions can be a powerful tool but it does require some familiarity to be
used properly.

3.4 - Deskview

On-Call and Deskview are now somewhat compatible. On-Call may be loaded
either prior to Deskview or from within Deskview. However, the number of ways
that Deskview can be configured and the number of ways in which programs can
run under Deskview leaves some chance for conflict. We therefore suggest that
you be thoroughly familiar with Deskview before attempting to run it with
On-Call. If you would like to try combining On-Call and Deskview, you should
follow these suggestions and warnings.

1. If you are using a serial mouse with Deskview.

On-Call comes configured to manage resident programs which use the
serial communications support provided by hardware BIOS. If your mouse
is connected to a serial port, you will have to configure On-Call not
to manage the BIOS serial communications services. Failure to do this
will cause the system to "hang" if the mouse is moved while On-Call is
on the display. To do this configuration perform the following:

A. If On-Call is currently loaded into memory, remove it or reboot.

B. Change to the directory containing ONCALL.EXE and OCA.COM.


D. Select "Configure On-Call" by pressing "C".

E. Select "Interrupts" by pressing "I".

F. For "Interrupt #" enter "11" then press the Enter key.

G. For "Type [0/1/2]" enter "0" then press the Enter key.

H. Press "Y" to confirm the change.

I. Perform steps E through H again using "12" for "Interrupt #".

J. Return to the main menu by pressing the Esc key.

K. Exit the OCA program by pressing "Q" twice.

If you have loaded any resident programs into On-Call which use the
BIOS serial communications services or are not sure if you have, you
should delete the ONCALL.DAT file and run On-Call starting from
scratch. If you subsequently attempt to load a resident program that
uses those services into On-Call it will display one of the following

"Incompatible program (0B)" or "Incompatible program (0C)"

If either of these messages occur, you will not be able to load that
resident program into On-Call while it is configured for Deskview.

2. Loading On-Call prior to running Deskview.

Loading On-Call prior to running Deskview will allow you to access
On-Call, and any of the programs it has loaded, from within any
Deskview window or application running under Deskview. It will also
reduce the amount of conventional memory available to Deskview or
applications loaded from Deskview. This may cause Deskview to refuse
to load large programs due to lack of memory or may not leave Deskview
with enough memory to perform multitasking with smaller applications.

Certain resident programs can not be loaded prior to Deskview.
On-Call may not be able to solve such limitations and you should test
any resident programs you intend to load this way before relying on

3. Loading On-Call from within Deskview.

On-Call may be loaded from within Deskview and is itself compatible
with doing so. Unfortunately, many of the programs which can be loaded
into On-Call are not so well behaved. Any limitations on running those
programs must be considered when filling in the Deskview "Change a
Program" configuration screens. For example, many resident program
write directly to the display hardware buffer and therefore can not
run within a Deskview window. Others may require use of the math
coprocessor or have keyboard conflicts when run under Deskview. If
your resident programs have these limitations, be sure to make the
appropriate changes under "Change a Program" for loading On-Call. The
"Memory Size" value is determined by the size of the resident programs
loaded into On-Call. Typically, On-Call requires from 80k to 160K of
memory for itself and normal resident programs. If you start with a
value of 150K and find that you are unable to load certain large
resident programs into On-Call, you may increase this value to make
additional room. You may also want to make this value much larger to
accommodate other applications as described in the next paragraph.

The following is a quick review of the information required by
the Deskview "Change a Program" option. Use this list as a guide
for getting started, but keep in mind that certain resident programs
loaded into On-Call may impose additional limitations and require
changes in this information.

Change a Program

Program Name............: (as desired)
Keys to Use on Open Menu: (as desired) Memory Size (in K): 150
Program...: C:\OC\ONCALL.EXE (change as required)
Parameters: /R (you may not be able to use /R, see below)
(/D=xxxxx.dat may be required, see below)
Directory.: C:\OC (change as desired)
Writes directly to screen.......: [Y]
(Most resident programs do although On-Call doesn't)
Displays Graphics information...: [N]
(use Y if you load a graphics program into On-Call)
Can be swapped out of memory....: [Y]
(certain resident programs may require N)
Requires floppy Diskette........: [N]
(unless one of the resident programs does)

Change a Program Advanced Options

All options on this page are dependent on the resident programs
load into On-Call or the conventional applications you run after
it with the exception of:

Close on exit to DOS.........: [N]
Allow Close Window Command...: [N]
(we are not sure about the Close Window command yet)

When you load On-Call from within Deskview you will end up at the
DOS prompt after the On-Call summary screen has been displayed. If you
have set the "Memory Size" in the "Change a Program" screen to a large
enough value, you will be able to load conventional "non-resident"
software from that prompt. Resident programs loaded into On-Call can
be used with programs loaded in this way (only if loaded into the same
Deskview window). Unfortunately, the total memory available may not
be enough to load large application software.

Loading On-Call from within Deskview will leave more memory
available for other applications running under Deskview. Unfortunately
this means the resident programs selected by On-Call will not be
available from within other windows.

If you load On-Call more than once from within Deskview, be sure
that each copy of On-Call uses a separate data file. This is required
to prevent corruption of On-Call's data file and to ensure that each
copy will load and execute properly. Also, since Deskview may load
On-Call into different memory locations at different times, it may not
be possible to reuse a data file with the "/R" option (this limitation
is dependent on your configuration). To select a different data file
name for each copy of On-Call, use the "/D=" option when starting

There is not yet a large base of resident programs which have been tested
running under On-Call along with Deskview. Since there are so many possible
combinations and configurations related to Deskview, it is virtually
impossible for us to test them all. You are therefore encouraged to use
caution while testing your particular configuration, including having adequate
backup of your disk data. Use the above information as a guide, then if you
have any additional questions regarding the use of On-Call with Deskview or if
you find an interesting application for this combination, call the On-Call
Customer Support Department.

4.0 - What to do if you have a problem

If you have a problem which only occurs when On-Call is loaded, you should
follow these steps.

1. Rename your CONFIG.SYS file to CONFIG.XXX

2. Rename your AUTOEXEC.BAT file to AUTOEXEC.XXX

3. Reboot your computer. If your computer will not boot, try booting on a
copy of your original DOS distribution diskette.

4. Insert your working copy of On-Call or change to the directory
containing the On-Call program.

5. Start On-Call and load only one resident program then use the "Esc" key
to exit.

6. Pop up On-Call using the OCP command and select the resident program
you just loaded.

7. Test the selected resident program to see if it works as expected.

Repeat steps 3 through 7 for each resident program you want to load
into On-Call. If you have any problems, first check the rest of this
READ.ME file for information on that resident program or Call Customer

Repeat steps 3 through 7 loading the resident programs in different
combinations and finally all together.

8. Rename the CONFIG.XXX file back to CONFIG.SYS.

9. Perform steps 3 through 7 as before. If you have problems at this
point, use a text editor (i.e. EDLIN) to remove each item in the
CONFIG.SYS file until the item causing problems is located.

10. Rename the AUTOEXEC.XXX file back to AUTOEXEC.BAT.

11. Perform steps 3 through 7 as before. If you have problems at this
point, use a text editor (i.e. EDLIN) to remove each item in the
AUTOEXEC.BAT file until the item causing problems is located.

If performing the above procedure reveals a problem with a program not
listed in this READ.ME file or which you are not able to correct, contact the
On-Call Customer Support Department. We will make every effort to locate and
provide a solution for any incompatibility.

( End of READ.ME file )

  3 Responses to “Category : Utilities for DOS and Windows Machines
Archive   : ONCALL.ZIP
Filename : READ.ME

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