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This disk is dedicated to a special category of utilities: programs for PC user logging, timekeeping and documenting job starting/ending. For example, PC-Logger gives you a computer use log that creates a PC FILE III database for later sort/print. These types of utilities are a must for anyone who needs to document machine-time, for taxes or other reasons. How to Start: To read DOC files, enter TYPE filename.ext and press <ENTER>. To run an EXE or COM program, just type its name and press <ENTER>. For instructions on running BASIC programs, please refer to the GETTING STARTED section in this catalog. Suggested Registration: SYSLOG has a suggested donation of $25.00 File Descriptions: -------- --- Time Keeper -------- --- PC-Logger TIMSTALL COM Install program for TIMEKEEP -------- --- PC-Logger TIMEKEEP EXE TIMEKEEPER (Ver 3.0): produces job log report TIMEKEEP DOC Documentation for TIMEKEEP STARTLOG COM Writes date & time to log DEFAULTS COM Defaults.com creates log file PCUSELOG DOC Documentation USELOG RPT PC-FILE III report file listing database USELOG HDR PC-FILE III header file defining log database STOPLOG COM Reads log, calculates time -------- --- SYSLOG SYSLOG EXE SYSLOG (Ver 2.0): system use log (128K;DOS 2.0) SYSLOG DOC Documentation START EXE compiled version of start log program START BAS START/END: Logs start & end of jobs with comments END EXE compiled version of end log program END BAS BASICA version of end log program ONTIME EXE Part of TIMEKEEP utility OFFTIME EXE Part of TIMEKEEP utility
20 OPEN "A:TIMES" FOR APPEND AS #1 30 PRINT #1, "End: ";DATE$;" ";TIME$; 32 INPUT "Comment about session: ",X$ 34 PRINT #1, " ";X$:PRINT #1, 40 CLOSE #1: SYSTEM
PC User Log Copyright 1984 John MacEntyre Allen Page 1 PC USER LOG: USER SUPPORTED TAX LOG PROGRAM COPYRIGHT 1984 by John MacEntyre Allen ALL RIGHTS RESERVED We recommend that you read this document in order to gain some insight into the organization of the database, as well as obtaining tips on operation. YOU SHOULD ALSO MAKE BACKUP COPIES OF ALL FILES ON THE PC User Log DISKETTE AND YOU SHOULD PLACE A "WRITE-PROTECT" TAB ON IT. PC User Log is a utility for maintaining a log of the use of your IBM Personal Computer. It creates a data base using the file format of PC-File III, a general purpose "Data Base Manager" program written and distributed by Jim Button under the "user-supported software" concept. Together with PC-File III (or earlier versions), the PC User Log provides the IBM PC user with a versatile tool for complying with the 1985 tax rules requiring a contemporaneous record of computer use. To use PC User Log with floppy drives, it is best to keep a separate disk with all of the PC User Log files on it. The files used by PC User Log are: USELOG.HDR PC-File header file defining the database USELOG.RPT PC-File report file for listing database USELOG.DTA will be created by PC Use Log to hold data USELOG.INX will be created by PC-File when you SORT the data DEFAULTS.COM Creates the file DEFAULTS.LOG DEFAULTS.LOG Holds default User Name & Description, and the starting date & time of use STARTLOG.COM Writes date & time to DEFAULTS.LOG STOPLOG.COM Reads DEFAULTS.LOG, calculates duration & writes new record to PC-File database PCUSELOG.DOC This file, with instructions and invoice For those intuitive individuals who already know enough to put PC User Log to work, here are the quickest instructions: 1) Run DEFAULTS.COM to enter your most likely user name and description. 2) Before using an application run STARTLOG.COM, then 3) after using the application run STOPLOG.COM. 4) Always SORT the data first when you use PC-File, to make the index. That's all there is to it! PC User Log Copyright 1984 John MacEntyre Allen Page 2 The .HDR, .DTA and .INX files are the PC-File data base files. The .DTA file will be created by STOPLOG.COM the first time it is run, but it must be present each subsequent time that STOPLOG.COM is run, or it will be created again. If that happens, just rename one and MERGE them using the directions in the PC-File utilities documentation. The HDR file is used only by PC-File when reading the data. Always remember to SORT the database every time you use PC-File so that the index file will be created. The file DEFAULTS.LOG will be created by the program the first time that DEFAULTS.COM is run. It contains the default user name, machine, use code and description, as well as the starting time and date (if STARTLOG.COM has been executed). STOPLOG.COM reads DEFAULTS.LOG before calculating the duration and writing the new record to USELOG.DTA. DEFAULTS.LOG must be present in order to use PC User Log. Execute DEFAULTS.COM when you first use PC User Log, or any time you wish to change the default User Name or Description. STARTLOG.COM and STOPLOG.COM are the programs that you will use to record your computer usage. STARTLOG.COM gets the system date and time, then writes them to DEFAULTS.LOG, which already contains the default user name and description. STOPLOG.COM reads DEFAULTS.LOG, calculates the time elapsed since you executed STARTLOG.COM and allows you to edit the new record before it updates USELOG.DTA and USELOG.INX. STOPLOG.COM will also allow you to abort without updating the data files. STOPLOG.COM and DEFAULTS.COM use a full screen form to display the data record for you to edit. They both use two lines of the screen to show you a menu: "Save Edit Abort" on the top line and a description of the highlighted choice on the second line, as in Lotus 123 and Microsoft Word. This menu is easy to use; the arrow keys control the cursor to mark the highlighted choice and display a new descriptor. Press the first letter of a choice to activate it, or move the cursor to it and press "Return". When editing the record, use the arrow keys to move from one entry to the next. When you press a key to begin changing an entry, the entire entry will be erased before your new keystrokes will appear. If you press "ESC" while you are editing a field, the previous value will be entered again. Pressing "Return" enters the new data and takes you to the next field. If you press "ESC" while moving the cursor from field to field, the menu will appear again. To use PC User Log with a hard disk, just remember that it expects to find the necessary files in the logged directory. PC User Log Copyright 1984 John MacEntyre Allen Page 3 COPYRIGHT AND COPY PERMISSION PC User Log is NOT a public domain program. It is Copyright 1984 by John MacEntyre Allen. Your permission to copy this program is similar to the arrangement with PC-File. Users of this program are encouraged to send $10 to the author if they find the program suitable to their needs. Customizing is possible; mail your requests to the author. Individuals are granted permission to copy this program for their own use and for others to evaluate, so long as no price or other consideration is charged and no changes are made in the documentatin or program. Computer clubs are granted permission to copy this program and share it with their members as long as the no price is charged beyond a $6 distribution cost and no changes are made in the documentatin or program. PC-FILE: GENERAL INFORMATION. In order to use the PC User Log database most effectively, we recommend using PC-File III, although earlier versions will work almost as well. One can obtain a copy of PC-File III directly from Jim Button by sending a $45 check to: Jim Button P.O. Box 5786 Bellevue, WA 98006 [MasterCharge and Visa are accepted (telephone: (206) 746-4296)]. The remainder of this documentation assumes that you are reasonably familiar with one of the versions of PC-File. [If not, then at least study "LISTING THE RECORDS" from the PC-FILE USERS GUIDE before proceeding any further]. The data base has already been DEFINED for you. --------------------------------------------------------------------- For those of you who want to initiate payment through your company accounting system, or wish to have an invoice for tax purposes, the following invoice is provided. --------------------------------------------------------------------- PC User Log Copyright 1984 John MacEntyre Allen Page 4 ------------------- INVOICE ------------------- Purchased from: John MacEntyre Allen The PC User Log 6201 N. 10th St. #218 Philadel[hia, PA 19141 DATE: / / Invoice No. 8412-001 ----------------------------------------------------------------- PRODUCT QTY EACH TOTAL ----------------------------------------------------------------- The PC User Log database 1 $10 $10 * ---------------------------------- PLEASE PAY THIS AMOUNT => $10 * ----------------------------------------------------------------- * $15 if we provided diskettes, mailer, and postage. +-----------------------------------------------------+ | Please make check payable to: John MacEntyre Allen | +-----------------------------------------------------+ Note: You may retain this Invoice for your tax records.
10 '================START================ 20 OPEN "A:TIMES" FOR APPEND AS #1 ' ACCUMULATE ALL TIMES 30 PRINT #1, "Start: ";DATE$;" ";TIME$ 'THIS DOES THE RECORDING 40 CLOSE #1: SYSTEM 'WRAP-UP;RETURN TO DOS
S Y S L O G System Log Utility User's Manual by Richard W Cobb Version 2.0c PC/MS-DOS 2.0 or Greater (C) Copyright 1984,1985,1986,1987 by Apex Resource, Inc. All Rights Reserved This software product is protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 United States Code). Unauthorized reproduction and/or sales may result in imprisonment of up to one year and fines up to $10,000. Copyright infringers may also be subject to civil penalties. This product is licensed for use only under the terms and conditions set forth in the Software License Agreement in the User's Manual. Copying, selling, or using the product contrary to the terms of the Software License Agreement may be in violation of the law. IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines, Inc., 1-2-3 and Symphony are trademarks of Lotus Developement Corp., MS and the Microsoft logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corp. SYSLOG is a trademark of Apex Resource, Inc. Source Document Revision ARS00284K-F, January 1987 (C) Copyright 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 by Apex Resource, Inc., All Rights Reserved. CONTENTS License Agreement ........................ 1 What is Syslog ........................... 2 Differences from Earlier Versions 3 Getting Started .......................... 4 System Requirements 4 Installing Syslog 4 Using Syslog ............................. 5 Entering Parameters 5 Parameter Options 6 Learning Syslog 7 Setting Up A New Log - /N 7 Making Log Entries - /I, /O 7 Finish and Continue Options 9 Repeat Option 10 Nobreak and Quiet Options 10 Suspending Time - /S, /R 11 Hold and Lock Options 11 Edit Open Entry - /E 12 Display Last Entry - /L 12 Printing the Log - /P 12 Shorthand Date Qualifiers 13 Operator and Type Options 14 Printing Old Logs 14 The Noparameter Parameter 14 Practice File 15 Program Limitations 15 EDLOG Logfile Editor ..................... 16 Using EDLOG 16 Display an Entry - [L] 16 Delete, Undelete Entry - [D], [U] 17 Add Replacement Entry - [A] 17 Check Log for Errors - [C] 18 Upper & Lower Case Conversion 19 Make a DIF File - [M] 19 Make a PRN File - [P] 21 dBase II/III Files 21 Lotus Spreadsheets 21 Quit EDLOG - [Q] 21 Advanced Features ........................ 22 Logging to Another Drive 22 Syslog Exit Status Available 22 Converting Old Log Files 23 Suggestions .............................. 24 Floppy Disk Logging 24 Fixed Disk Logging 24 Automatic Logging 25 Tax Logging 25 Project Names and Type Codes 26 Working Late 26 HELP! .................................... 27 Syslog Error Messages............. Appendix A Quick Reference Card ............. Appendix B Registration Form ................ Appendix C LICENSE AGREEMENT _________________________________________________ A limited license is granted to all users of this program to make copies of the Syslog program and the accompanying documentation and to distribute them to other users only on the following conditions: 1. No fee or other consideration is to be charged for copying or distributing the program without the express written permission of Apex Resource. 2. The program and its documentation are not to be distributed in modified form. 3. Commercial users are required to register their copies. 4. If you do like the program and find it useful, please register. Although the fee is small, it does help provide support for the product. Everyone thinks 'let someone else do it', so nobody does. Your registration makes a difference! If you have any question about this policy, please contact me at Apex Resource, Inc. and I will happily explain the rules! Registration of your program entitles you to the following: 1. Production copy of the program, including a program binder, serialized diskette containing all of the utility programs described in the documentation, and a printed user's manual. 2. Notification of any updates to the program. 3. Upgrades if you return your original program diskette. 4. My sincere thanks for your support. A registration fee of $30.00 (a legitimate tax deductible expense for business users) is all that is required. For your convenience, a registration form is included (Appendix C). An Important Note: The utilities available for Syslog are only provided to registered users, so if you find that you would like to have the 'extras', you will need to register your copy. Comments and suggestions will be gratefully received and ac- knowledged. Please tell us what you think about the software and documentation. If it doesn't meet your needs, tell us why. We want to make Syslog more useful. Richard W. Cobb Apex Resource, Inc 23 Christine Court Stormville, NY 12582 914-221-2611 ___________________________________________________________________ -1- WHAT IS SYSLOG ____________________________________________________ Syslog is a utility program which automatically logs the usage of computer time. Information logged includes login date/time, oper- ator, project name, project type, logout date/time, and elapsed time. Active percent for each session is calculated to help you determine utilization. As a computer time logging utility, Syslog offers some very advanced features including: Command Driven Operation Elapsed Time for Entries Cumulative Time Tracking by Percent Extensive Reporting Options Log Data Exporting to Other Software Depending on your particular information needs, and the type of computer system you use, Syslog can be installed to provide fully automatic logging, or manual logging of session data. Syslog is being used by both fortune 500 corporations and individuals alike to solve a wide range of time logging problems. Some users employ the power of Syslog to monitor the usage of company computers. The information they collect is used to deter- mine when equipment is being effectively utilized or effectively overworked. There are also installations where the time logged is used for billing purposes. The time records are printed by job code or department and the accumulated time is used to allocate costs. Other Syslog users are maintaining logs of their computer time for tax purposes. Tax experts agree that the most effective way to substantiate a tax deduction for computer use is a log. Syslog includes a business and non-business breakdown of usage for exactly this purpose. WARNING: If you are planning to claim a tax deduction for your computer, Syslog does provide some of the records you will need to help support your claim, however, some individuals or businesses may be required to keep additional records. You should discuss your individual tax situation with your CPA or tax advisor before relying on Syslog as the sole means of record-keeping. Whatever your needs are, you will probably find that Syslog has the power to meet them. With Syslog's extensive reporting options, you will quickly determine who uses the computer, what they do, when they do it, and how long it takes! Apex Resource also offers commercial versions of Syslog which include features suitable for productivity oriented logging. For instance, you can monitor idle time in the background to determine if a computer is being left on without actually being used. -2- DIFFERENCES FROM EARLIER VERSIONS If you are currently using an earlier version of Syslog, you might like to know what is new and what has been changed. If you are currently using any of the version 1.xx shareware releases, you are in for some real treats! There are a whole new range of features available. While we have retained the command structure that Syslog user's have always liked, we've enhanced every feature. Most significantly, the structure of the log file has been changed and is no longer compatible with the 1.xx versions. This was done to improve disk space utilization (by 38%!). If you are using any version 1 release of Syslog, you will have to start a new log file, or use the SYSLCONV program to convert your old log to the new format. Since there are so many improvements, changes and new features, we suggest that you treat this release as if it were a program you were totally unfamiliar with (believe us, you are!). You should begin with the GETTING STARTED section, and keep reading. Users of earlier version 2.xx releases will find that most of the differences are in the form of additional features. The only change which requires a special mention is the implementation of command options. In particular, this has changed the way you select records for printing. In order to select the operator field for printing, you now use the 'O' as a parameter option rather than a qualifier. This change was made to be consistent with the other new features. You should read the section on the /P parameter in the USING SYSLOG section for further details. ___________________________________________________________________ -3- GETTING STARTED ___________________________________________________ This section explains how to install Syslog on your computer. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS The following configuration is the minimum which is required to access all of the features of Syslog: IBM PC/jr/XT/AT or Compatible w/128K Disk Drive, Double Sided Preferred Monochrome or Color Display Printer PC/MS-DOS 2.0 or greater One Blank Diskette It is recommended that the following optional equipment be available to improve program performance: Clock/Calendar Card w/software to set date/time (included with many multi-function boards) Syslog uses the system date and time to stamp the entries in real time as they are created. Therefore, it is important that the date and time are correctly set when the computer is first turned on. For this reason it is recommended that a clock/calendar card be used to automatically set the date and time at startup. Although we have not tried to run Syslog on any non-IBM equipment, you should be able to do so with no trouble. Syslog is dependent only upon the DOS interface to the computer for all hardware access. This makes the program somewhat hardware independent. INSTALLING SYSLOG Syslog is very flexible, it can be used in a variety of ways. Logging solutions can range from fully automatic to manual. Familiarity with the program will help you determine the 'best' installation for your situation. Perhaps the most convenient way to begin is to simply work from a backup copy of the program disk. The next section of the manual is written in a hands-on tutorial style that explores the various features so that you will become familiar with how things work. In the SUGGESTIONS section of the manual are some recommendations you can follow to install Syslog in a manner which will more closely suit your needs. There are suggestions for fixed disks, automatic logging, tax logging, session logging, and how to minimize the 'floppy shuffle' on floppy disk based computers. Before making any decisions, it is suggested that you complete the next section, USING SYSLOG, to learn how the program works. ___________________________________________________________________ -4- USING SYSLOG ______________________________________________________ This section of the user's manual explains how to access the features of Syslog. In this section you will learn how to command Syslog to start a new log, make and edit entries in the log, and examine the contents of the log. At this point, it is assumed that you have properly installed Syslog on your computer. If you have not, you should follow the installation instructions in the GETTING STARTED section before proceeding. NOTE: If you do not have a clock/calendar card installed in your computer to automatically set the date and time, you should make sure that the date and time are correctly set when the computer is started. ENTERING PARAMETERS Syslog commands are entered as parameters. Parameters are specified at the DOS prompt when the program is executed. This method should be familiar since many DOS commands work in the same way. The general format for parameters is: SYSLOG/po qualifier1 qualifier2 In the above example, '/p' is the parameter where 'p' is a valid parameter letter, and 'o' is one or more parameter options (option codes are discussed separately, below). The two qualifiers that follow the parameter are optional on most commands. Upper or lower case letters may be used to enter parameters. Only one parameter may be used per invocation of the program; multiple parameters are not supported (although options are available, as you will see). Many parameters also accept time, date, entry number, or text qualifiers to further limit their response. Either '-' or '/' may be used to separate numbers when entering dates (ex. 1-1-84 or 7/4/84). When entering time data you must use military time and ':' must be used to separate the numbers. Only hours and minutes are entered (ex. 7:45 or 17:00); seconds are not used in any entries. Military time is very easy to use with just a little bit of practice. For any time after noon, simply add 12 to the hour. To include an entry number in your command, precede the number with '#' (ex. #1 or #327). The number is checked for validity. A text qualifier may be entered by typing the desired text enclosed in single quotes (ex. 'Computer'). You can include a single quote in the text itself by using it twice (ex. 'Jim''s Computer'). In this example, 'Jim''s Computer' would appear in the log as: Jim's Computer. -5- Parameter checking is minimal, invalid command, option, and qual- ifier combinations are ignored and the command is executed as if there were no qualifier or option. If conflicting options are used, the option specified first will be given priority. Checking is done to make sure that time/date entries are legal values and '#' entries are checked to make sure they are valid numbers. An entry number which is less than one is assumed to be one. An entry number which greater than the number of the last log entry is assumed to be the last entry in the log. If at any time while you're working with Syslog you make an error, you can terminate the program by pressing the [Ctrl]-[Break] key combination. This has the effect of canceling the operation in progress. NOTE: Appendix B contains a complete list of available parameter, option and qualifier combinations. SYSLOG PARAMETER OPTIONS As mentioned above, there are also options available for some of the Syslog commands. These options provide variations and exten- sions to the various Syslog parameters. As noted below, some op- tions work with more than one parameter, others are restricted to a single parameter. In this version of Syslog, the following options are available: R - Repeat: On login, repeat the previous entry. C - Continue: On login, if last entry is open, continue session. F - Finish: On login, close last entry if open. H - Hold: After suspend, wait for the [Esc] key to Resume. L - Lock: After suspend, get a password and wait to Resume. O - Operator: On printing, use Operator field for entry selection. T - Type: On printing, use the Type field for entry selection. N - Nobreak: Disable [Ctrl]-[Break] key and blank entries. Q - Quiet: Suppress screen messages. To use a parameter option, you place the letter of the option (upper or lower case) immediately after the parameter letter on the command line. Options may be combined, and can appear in any order, but they must NOT be separated by spaces or any other characters. Actual usage of these options will be discussed in detail in the following sections. -6- LEARNING SYSLOG For the remainder of this section, we suggest that you try to experiment with Syslog. Don't worry about making any errors, when you are finished practicing you can erase the practice log file. SETTING UP A NEW LOG - /N Before you can begin logging entries with Syslog you will need to set up a new log file. At the DOS prompt type: SYSLOG/N [Enter] You will then be prompted for the serial number of the computer. The serial number can be found on the back panel of the system unit or on the shipping container for the system unit. Type this number and press [Enter]. A new log file will now be created in the root directory of the default disk drive. The file will appear in the disk directory as 'SYS2yy.LOG' (yy is the current year). For example, if the current year is 1986 then the log file name will be 'SYS286.LOG'. Syslog determines the correct log file name each time it is run. Therefore, at the start of each year you will need to start a new log. If you do not create a new log at the start of the next year, you will get the error message 'Log File Not Found'. WARNING: If the /N option is selected and a log file is found to exist already, you will be warned that continuing will permanently erase the existing log. Use caution! MAKING LOG ENTRIES - /I, /O There are two ways to make log entries, the first of which is to login. Login (/I) is used to create a new entry in the log. The second way to make a log entry is to logout. Logout (/O) is used to close an existing entry. In order to visualize what happens, it is useful to understand what the log contains. The log is maintained with eight pieces of information in a com- pleted entry: Date-In, Time-In, Operator, Project, Project Type, Date-Out, Time-Out and Elapsed Time. Whenever a login is performed, the first five items are filled in. The computer will supply the date-in and time-in, while you are required to provide the operator, project, and project type. The date-out and time-out are left blank. Log entries which do not yet have the date-out and time-out completed are called OPEN entries. An open entry is always the result of a successful login. Whenever a logout is performed, the date-out and time-out infor- mation is completed. Once the date-out and time-out are entered, the elapsed time is calculated and is added to the appropriate -7- business or non-business cumulative total, then the entry is then SHUT. A closed entry is always the result of a successful logout. You are now ready to login; at the DOS prompt type: SYSLOG/I [Enter] At the 'Operator  :' prompt, enter the operator's initials and press [Enter]. A maximum of three characters may be entered for the operator; longer entries are truncated. The number three in brack- ets is included in the prompt as a reminder of this limit. You can type in either upper or lower case, but Syslog will convert the entry to upper case for storage in the log. This is done to make retrieval of entries easier. Next you will be prompted to enter a description of the project. At the 'Project  :' prompt you may enter up to 16 characters and then press [Enter]. Again, longer entries will be truncated. Finally, at the 'Type [B] :' prompt you may enter any letter of the alphabet, however the default entry is 'B'. It is assumed that if you simply press [Enter] without typing anything, you meant to type 'B'. The type code provides an extended means of grouping entries for later retrieval with the report printing commands. You can use the type code to allocate the time collected to departments, cost centers, or some other scheme relevant to your particular situation. In this version the codes can range from A - Z. All codes are also allocated to either a business or non-business category which appears on all reports. This is done by dividing the alphabet equally in two. All codes A through M are allocated to the business category, while codes N through Z are allocated to non- business. If you are monitoring computer usage for tax purposes, this will be of interest, otherwise it is of little importance. If you make an error at any time during the login process, you can cancel the command by pressing [Ctrl]-[Break]. If you realize you've made a login error after the command has been executed, you can correct it with the Edit Entry command which we will discuss shortly. Having now completed a login, you now have three ways available to close the open entry just created. 1. Logout the entry using the current date and time. Type: SYSLOG/O [Enter] at the DOS prompt. 2. Logout the entry using a specified date and time. Type: SYSLOG/O hh:mm mm-dd-yy [Enter], substituting the closing time and date that you need. The time may be specified alone; in that case the current date will be used. -8- NOTE: If the time and date supplied precede the login date and time or are future times, an error results. 3. Logout the entry and then login a new entry. To do this type: SYSLOG/I [Enter] at the DOS prompt. You will be prompted for the closing date and time of the open entry before the new entry is created. We are going to use the first method now. At the DOS prompt type: SYSLOG/O [Enter] This will close the entry you just made. You may also complete the login process from the DOS command line by typing the operator, project, and type in the format: SYSLOG/I 'operator\project\type', where 'operator' is the initials to be used for the operator, 'project' is the text to be used for the project, and 'type' is the project type code. You may include all or some of the information fields. Information not supplied will be prompted for by Syslog. For example, try typing: SYSLOG/I '\training\b' [Enter] This will cause Syslog to prompt for the operator, use 'training' as the project entry, and 'B' for project type. To figure out what goes where, Syslog uses the '\' character to determine which item goes in which field. You must include this character to identify the entry field positions. This feature is especially useful for cases where you would like to completely automate the logging process from a batch program. Later on, we will show you how you can do this. One last item about logging from the command line. Information entered at the DOS prompt is treated as if it were typed at the program prompts in terms of errors: Long entries are automatically truncated, and the default type is 'B' for business. If Syslog encounters an open entry when the login request is made, the user will be prompted for a closing time and date. Finish and Continue Options If you attempt to login and the previous entry is not yet closed, Syslog will prompt you for the proper closing date and time. While this is a perfectly logical choice to offer, there are cases where you might not want to offer any choice at all. The Finish (F) and Continue (C) parameter options give you a predetermined way to handle these open entries. The 'C' option instructs Syslog to continue the login. Instead of prompting for a logout date and time if an open entry is found, Syslog will simply ignore the login request allowing you to -9- continue the current project. If the last entry is suspended, then Syslog resumes counting elapsed time (we'll get to that topic in more detail, so be patient!). The 'F' option instructs Syslog to finish the last entry before starting a new entry. Instead of prompting you for a closing date and time if an open entry is found, Syslog will close the entry using the current date and time. With either of these two options, if the last entry is already closed then the login proceeds as if the option were not selected. These codes only have an effect on open entries. The F (finish) option is mutually exclusive with the C (continue) option. They may not be used together. Repeat Option While the finish and continue options give you a choice of how to handle previously opened entries, the repeat option gives you a choice of how to create the new entry. The 'R' option instructs Syslog to repeat the last entry information in the new entry. With this option, Syslog will copy the operator, project, and type codes from the last entry to the new entry rather than prompt for the information. This is a real time saver if you find yourself working on the same project for multiple sessions. To use this option, simply include the 'R' next to the '/I' parameter. For example: SYSLOG/IR [Enter]. Nobreak and Quiet Options There are two other options which we should probably bring up now also, they are the 'N' and 'Q' options. These two options are usable with all Syslog parameters although they are particularly useful here. The 'N' (Nobreak) option has two effects on the operation of Syslog. When the Nobreak option is selected, Syslog will ignore the [Ctrl]-[Break] key combination and will check for empty log entries. If you attempt to bypass an entry or enter blanks, Syslog will not proceed. This is useful for environments where you wish to enforce logging. The 'Q' option puts Syslog into the Quiet mode. This suppresses all screen messages from appearing, except for error messages, and in- put prompts. This is great if you are operating Syslog in a fully automatic mode, and don't want to see unnecessary screen output. All of these options can be used singly, or together in any com- bination. For example, the following command line: SYSLOG/IFRN [Enter] -10- tells Syslog to login closing the last entry if open, then repeat the last entry information. Nobreak is also selected to prevent the entry from being bypassed. As the example shows, there are numerous possibilities. You might want to experiment with a few of them just to see what you get, but try to leave yourself with an open entry when you're done. You'll need one to try some of the following parameters. SUSPENDING TIME - /S, /R Except for a very few dedicated, hard working people most of us find it nice to occasionally take a break from our computing tasks. When you are ready to leave the computer, you can always just log out and then log in again when you return. But if you intend to return shortly and continue the same project, there's a better way! At the DOS prompt type: SYSLOG/S [Enter] The /S parameter invokes the Suspend timer command. This stops the elapsed time from continuing to accumulate. To continue the job again type: SYSLOG/R [Enter] The /R parameter Resumes counting again. It is worth noting here that the /S and /R options do not actually affect the computer system clock. If you should happen to be run- ning any software that depends upon the clock, Syslog will not interfere in any way. Hold and Lock Options There are two options available to use with the Suspend parameter, 'H' and 'L'. The 'H' option instructs Syslog to Hold after completing the Suspend. Syslog will wait for you to press the [Esc] key, and then will issue a Resume command. This has the effect of connecting the two commands together. This option is convenient if your memory is short (like ours!). If you just issue a simple suspend, you may return to the computer and forget to Resume. The 'L' option instructs Syslog to Lock the keyboard after doing a suspend. This is very similar to the Hold, accept you are prompted to enter a three character password for the lock. This is only to prevent casual passers-by from putting you back to work prema- turely. The password is not stored anywhere, and the Lock can be defeated by simply turning off the computer. This is really in- tended for use in an office environment where you don't want to have to place signs on the computer to explain what's going on. -11- EDIT OPEN ENTRY - /E This option is provided to permit fixing a simple typing error without starting a new entry. The use of this feature is restricted.The edit option will only work on the last entry in the log, and then only if the entry is still open. This option will not work on an entry which is suspended or has been closed. To edit an open entry, at the DOS prompt type: SYSLOG/E [Enter] At this point you will be prompted to enter new information for the operator, project, and type. You may also enter the editing information from the command line in the same manner as with the login (/I) command. You cannot change the login date or time with this feature (see EDLOG). DISPLAY LAST ENTRY - /L Sometimes you will want to look at the last entry in the log. The /L parameter displays the last log entry on your display screen along with other information about the log such as date started, number of entries, status of last entry, cumulative log time and computer serial number. At the DOS prompt type: SYSLOG/L [Enter] You may also choose an entry number for display by using the '#n' qualifier to specify the desired entry number ('n' is the entry number). At the DOS prompt type: SYSLOG/L #1 [Enter] This will list log entry number one. You may also list multiple en- tries on the screen. To exercise this feature, you should type a '+' sign after the entry number you wish displayed. This has the effect of filling the screen with up to 14 entries. You can page through the log in this manner until the last entry is reached, or you can stop the listing when the screen is full by pressing the [Esc] key. For example, typing: SYSLOG/L #1+ [Enter] will cause en- tries to be displayed beginning with entry number one. Note that the '+' must be last character typed, and the number must be a valid entry number. PRINTING THE LOG - /P Printing the log is an essential feature. If you can't show your log to anyone, it won't be of much use to you and accordingly, Syslog has numerous printing options. The /P parameter allows you to print the current log or a log from any other year. You may also specify a date range, entry number range, operator, project, or type to print selected entries from the log. To print the entire contents of this year's log, the /P parameter is used alone. At the DOS prompt type: -12- SYSLOG/P [Enter] NOTE: You can terminate a long printout at any time by pressing [Ctrl]-[Break]. To select specific entries for printing, there are three methods: 1. Entry number qualifiers can be used to select a particular entry or range of entries for printing. To do this, at the DOS prompt you would type: SYSLOG/P #f #l [Enter] where 'f' is the first and 'l' is the last entry number to print. If only the first number is supplied, then only that entry is printed. You may also use a '+' sign in conjunction with the first entry number to print to the end of the file (see the discussion of the technique in the section on /L, above). 2. A text qualifier can be used to select or target entries for printing. The entire log is searched for entries which contain the target text and only those that do will be printed. To do this, at the DOS prompt you would type: SYSLOG/P target [Enter] (target is a line of text enclosed in single quotes). If, for example, you wanted to print the log entries which had 'train' in the project field type: SYSLOG/P 'train' [Enter] Matching entries might include 'training' or 'train schedule'. An exact match is required for the entry to be printed. In the above example, 'Training' would not be printed since we specified a lower case letter 't' in the target text (if case conversion is desired, EDLOG can handle that task, as you shall see). 3. Date qualifiers can be used to select a particular date or range of dates for printing. At the DOS prompt type: SYSLOG/P m1- d1-y1 m2-d2-y2 [Enter] (m1-d1-y1 is the first and m2-d2-y2 is the last date to print). If only the first date is supplied, then only entries made on that date will be printed. The same technique of specifying a date is used to print a log from another year. If you wanted to print the entire 1983 log (assuming, of course, that the 1983 log file is located in the root directory) you would type: SYSLOG/P 1-1-83 12-31-83 [Enter]. Shorthand Date Qualifiers There are two special qualifiers available that provide a quick and simple way to specify the current date or a date range. You can use @D or @d for the current date on the command line. For example, SYSLOG/P 5-1-85 @D [Enter] will print a report of all entries which occurred between May 1, 1985 and today (whatever today is). The shorthand notation @Mn or @mn, where 'n' is number of a month from 1 - 12, can be used to specify a month date range. For example, SYSLOG/P @M1 [Enter] will print a report of all entries -13- for the month of January. This has the same effect as typing both the starting and ending dates, the difference being that Syslog supplies the correct dates. Operator and Type Options By default, Syslog searches the project field for selected entries when a text qualifier is used. A variation of this format is used to select entries which contain the 'target' text in the operator part of the entry. At the DOS prompt type: SYSLOG/PO target [Enter]. The 'O' option tells Syslog to check the operator for the occurrence of target instead of the project. If, for example, you wanted to print the log entries which had 'JCW' in the operator field type: SYSLOG/PO 'JCW' [Enter]. You can also use the 'T' option to select the type field. This would be used to print, for example, all deleted entries, or entries that contained a particular type code. Again, since Syslog expects to get upper case operator and type codes, the conversion is made automatically (we don't like to type any more than you do!). The O (Operator) and T (Type) options are mutually exclusive, and therefore can not be combined. If you make a large number of different reports on a regular basis, you should consider creating a batch file of Syslog commands to print the reports. The batch file is a particularly elegant way to simplify the report generation process. Given the power and flexi- bility of the reporting features (and the typing that goes with it!) you will probably also find that this approach will save quite a bit of time. Printing Old Logs If you wish to print a report from another year, you can use the print options to get details. Do this by using the date as the second qualifier. For example, SYSLOG/PO 'CBS' 1-1-84 [Enter] will cause the entries in the SYS284.LOG file to be searched. THE NOPARAMETER PARAMETER Finally, before we conclude our discussion of parameters and options, we should point out that if you type: SYSLOG [Enter] With no parameters at all, Syslog will display a list of all currently defined parameters and options. This is intended as an easy means of jogging your memory should you forget which commands are available. If you need additional help, there is an extensive Quick Reference Card at the back of the manual. -14- PRACTICE FILE If you are using a practice log file, now is a good time to erase the log file and start a new log using the '/N' parameter. You can do this by typing: SYSLOG/N [Enter] When you see the message 'WARNING - Log Will Be Erased, Continue [Y/N]?' respond with a 'Y' and you will be able to begin a new log. PROGRAM LIMITATIONS There are several limitations to the program of which the user should be aware. There can be a maximum of 9999 entries in the log. While this number is somewhat arbitrary, it should pose no problem for most applications. In practice, a log file this size would require nearly 300K bytes of disk storage space. If for some reason you should reach this limit you can always copy the log file to another diskette and start a new log. Calendar dates are limited to the range of January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2069. We think only the most tenacious PC users will find this limitation to be a problem. The maximum elapsed time that Syslog can calculate is 21 days, 23 hours, and 59 minutes. If you find that this limit is a problem, you will have to logout and then login again to continue the project (however, we think that you are probably working too hard!). The maximum elapsed time that Syslog can display is 99 hours, 59 minutes. Elapsed times greater than this will appear in the log as '--:--' to indicate display overflow. This limitation is on the display format only and does not affect the cumulative totals. ___________________________________________________________________ -15- EDLOG LOGFILE EDITOR ______________________________________________ EDLOG is a separate, menu driven program that provides a means to remove the effect of an entry that has incorrect time or date in- formation. The features included in EDLOG to allow you to display an entry, mark an entry as deleted or un-deleted, add a replacement entry, check the log for errors, create DIF and PRN format files for export to other programs, and perform upper and lower case conversions on log data. USING EDLOG EDLOG is an easy to use menu driven program. The only prerequisite to using it is that there can be no open entries in the logfile. You should be able find your way through the program with little difficulty. There are, however, two suggestions before using EDLOG. First, make a backup copy of the logfile and do your editing on the backup, then if you should make any mistakes you can go back to the original. Secondly, you will find it useful to have a printed copy of your log for reference while using EDLOG. You should do this with Syslog using the '/P' parameter before beginning. To start EDLOG, at the DOS prompt type: EDLOG [Enter] You will see a menu appear on your screen. Pressing the key in brackets selects the adjacent menu option. The following discus- sions explain the details of what effect the menu options actually have on the log. By default, EDLOG will use the logfile in the current directory. For example, if the DOS prompt is 'B>', then EDLOG will look on drive B for the logfile. Since you should do the editing on a backup copy of the log anyway, you may want to copy the logfile onto your Syslog diskette for editing. EDLOG can be forced to use another logfile by specifying the logfile name on the command line when you start EDLOG. For example: EDLOG B:MY.LOG would tell EDLOG to use the logfile MY.LOG on drive B:. This will be useful if you are working with an old log. DOS path names are supported. DISPLAY AN ENTRY - [L] This option works exactly like the Syslog '/L' parameter. The dis- play format is the same. After you select 'L', you will be prompted for the entry number to display. This feature is convenient for confirming the correct deletion of an entry, or just reviewing the current status of the log. The '+' -16- operator may be added to the starting entry number to list multiple entries (see the discussion of this feature in the section above on the SYSLOG/L command). DELETE, UNDELETE ENTRY - [D], [U] There may come a time when an entry is sufficiently inaccurate to warrant deleting it from the log. Unfortunately, we won't let you go quite that far. Deleting an entry would compromise the accuracy of the log, and we don't want that to happen, so we've developed a simulated removal. The deleting that EDLOG does simply changes the entry type to an asterisk ('*') which symbolizes a deleted entry. The asterisk tells Syslog to ignore the elapsed time for that entry when making reports. The entry will still be printed, and it can be readily identified by the asterisk. If you delete the wrong entry, you can undelete it and it will again be recognized by Syslog. To delete or undelete an entry, simply press 'D' or 'U'. You will then be asked which entry number to delete. In order to permit you to undelete an entry, EDLOG saves the old type ('B' or 'N') as the end character of the project name. This means that if your project description fills the entire project field, then the last character will be replaced with a 'B' or 'N'. During an undelete, if EDLOG cannot determine the old entry type (i.e.,'B' or 'N'), it defaults to 'N'. After a delete or undelete you may want to display the entry to see the results of your handiwork. You will notice that the accumulated totals now reflect the adjustment. During a delete, each entry is tested for the occurrence of any control characters (ASCII value less than 32 or greater then 126) embedded in the operator, project, or type fields. Such characters are replaced with a period (.) during deletion. This is done so that damaged entries can be successfully displayed and printed (we will cover this topic in more detail below). Note that the test for control characters is made irrespective of the current deletion status. Even if an entry is already deleted, it is still checked and corrected if necessary. The advantage to this is that you can still correct an entry which has been damaged even if it has already been deleted. Since deleted entries are not actually removed from the log, this feature is essential to avoid sending most printers to 'control code heaven'. ADD REPLACEMENT ENTRY - [A] Any entry which has been deleted may be given a replacement entry. This allows you to add a corrected entry to the log. Replacement -17- entries are added to the end of the log, and the old entry is marked with a reference to the new entry. Several restrictions apply to this option. An entry must be deleted before it can be replaced. Once an entry is deleted, only one replacement entry is permitted. Also, once a replacement entry is created, the old entry is permanently marked for deletion; it can no longer be undeleted. After selecting this option you will be prompted for the entry number you want to replace. The information from the old entry is used to create the new entry, this is done to minimize typing. Next you will be prompted to type in the new entry information. The old entry item is displayed in brackets next to the prompt. Simply press [Enter] if you want to copy the old item to the new entry. Once all of the entry items are typed, the completed entry is displayed for final acceptance. You will be prompted 'Is This Correct [Y/N] ?'. If the entry is correct, type 'Y [Enter]'. Type 'N [Enter]' to re-enter the information. Once the information is accepted, EDLOG saves the entry in the log, and then marks the project field of the old entry with the number of the new entry. The number appears at the end of the project field in the format: '^nnnn'. The caret, '^', is used to indicate that the number points to a new entry. CHECK LOG FOR ERRORS - [C] This menu option checks the log for consistency. This feature is included to aid in the recovery of a log file which has been partially damaged in some way so as to render some entries unreadable. This can be caused by a bad disk sector, or some other disaster (natural or otherwise). You may want to run the check from time to time just to reassure yourself that the log is safe. When the check is started, each log entry is checked for correct elapsed time, and the entire log is checked to insure that the accumulated totals are correct. Bad entries will be flagged for correction. Errors in the accumulated totals are flagged and corrected. The test begins by reading each log entry beginning with entry number one. A negative elapsed time, or an elapsed time greater than that indicated by the login/logout times causes an error flag. Log entries are also checked for the occurrence of any control characters (ASCII value less than 32 or greater than 126) embedded in the operator, project, or type fields. Such characters will cause the entry to be flagged as bad. -18- Once all the log entries are examined, the test terminates if any bad entries were flagged. These entries must be deleted or replaced before the test will continue. If no bad entries are found, the test continues and checks the accumulated totals for accuracy. Any errors at this point are flagged and are then automatically corrected. A log that has no numerical defects will get the message 'File Checks OK'. This doesn't, however, preclude the possibility of in- accurate entries, it simply implies that all of the information is consistent. Upper and Lower Case Conversions When the check is successfully completed, you will be asked if you want to convert the operator or project fields to/from upper or lower case. This feature is nice if you need to standardize the data format for printing purposes. Note that this can only be done to a log file which checks OK. MAKE A DIF FILE - [M] Another feature we think can be quite useful is the ability to create a DIF (Data Interchange Format) file from the Syslog log file. Using this option, you can create a DIF file that can be read by any program that supports the DIF file standard. Some programs that support DIF files are Lotus 1-2-3, Symphony, and Visicalc. There are others, no doubt, but our testing has been limited to these three products. The beauty of this standard lies in the fact that it IS a standard. By following the DIF rules, we can virtually guarantee data compatibility with all software that supports this standard. For example, using Lotus 1-2-3 we were able to make graphs, sort entries, and combine logs from different computers. There are many possibilities for reworking the data collected by Syslog for presentation in different ways. After selecting this menu option, you will be prompted to enter the letter of the destination drive where the newly created DIF log file will be saved. Type the letter of the drive you want to use and then press the [Enter] key. If you press [Enter] without typing a drive letter, Edlog assumes you meant the currently logged (default) disk drive. Next you have the option to select the range you want to convert, up to the entire file. The range of possible entries is included in the prompts, so you don't have to remember this bit of trivia. You will first be prompted for the starting entry number. If you press [Enter] without typing a number, EDLOG assumes that you meant to start with the first entry. Now you will be prompted for the -19- ending entry number. If you press [Enter] without typing a number, EDLOG assumes that you meant the last entry. With all that done, EDLOG reads the log file, converts the selected range of log entries into the DIF format, and then creates a DIF log file on the destination disk drive. Be patient, the DIF files can be quite large since they are stored on the diskette as standard text files, so this may take some time. EDLOG will automatically provide a name for the DIF file that it creates. The file name will be in the format 'Lnnnnnn.DIF' where 'nnnnnnn' is the first seven digits of the serial number of the computer. This technique is used so that you may save log files from different computers on a single diskette. Lastly, we will explain how the log information is formatted to go into the DIF file. This is important since you will not understand what you see when the information is loaded into your application program. Below is a sample of the what the DIF information might look like after it was converted to '.WKS' format and loaded into a spreadsheet like 1-2-3. The column headings are not included when the DIF file is created, they are added here to help explain what is included in the file. The spacing of the data will depend on the column width settings of the spreadsheet. MI DI YI IH IM OPR PROJECT T MO DO YO OH OM EM 12 21 84 06 12 CBS tax planning T 12 21 84 09 40 208 12 26 84 09 21 JCW tax planning T 12 26 84 11 53 152 12 29 84 11 35 SDB prep tax form T 12 29 84 16 12 277 12 31 84 08 16 JCW income tax T 12 31 84 12 12 236 The first three columns are the login month (MI), day (DI), and year (YI). Following that comes the login hour (IH), and minute (IM). Next come the operator, project, and type. The logout date and time are in the same format as the login data items, followed by the elapsed time in minutes. Remember that the data under each column heading is saved as a separate item. This format is especially convenient when used with Lotus 1-2-3, or Symphony. The date and time functions provided by Lotus will allow you to manipulate this information if you are so inclined. You could also select entries by a particular month by just using the numbers under the 'MI' heading. The elapsed time was left as a single number to permit doing elapsed time sums and other calculations without having to rework the numbers. That's about all there is to it! If you are going to use the DIF file with Lotus 1-2-3, you will need to use the Lotus Translate utility to convert the DIF file to the Lotus '.WKS' format. This is a menu option selected from the first menu after you start the Lotus access system. Other applications will probably have a similar utility included with them. -20- MAKE A PRN FILE - [P] This menu option creates a text file that is directly compatible with dBase II/III, and Lotus spreadsheets. This option was added to permit loading log data into either dBase II or III. However, you may prefer to use this option instead of the DIF file to create a file for reading by a Lotus spreadsheet since you can then skip the Translate step required for DIF files. DBASE II/III FILES Included on the Syslog Program diskette are sample data base files which can be used 'as is' to read the PRN file created by EDLOG. To do this, USE the appropriate .DBF file and APPEND FROM logfile.PRN SDF DELIMITED. This will append the records from the print file to the dBase data file. LOTUS SPREADSHEETS A PRN file can be directly read into 1-2-3 and Symphony using the Lotus File/Import/Numbers options. In fact this method is preferable to using a DIF file since you can skip the Translate step required to convert a DIF file to Lotus worksheet format. Included on the Syslog Program diskette is a sample worksheet that can be used to create graphs of logfile data. It contains some sample data to demonstrate how it works. You can use this with your own data by erasing the Data Input Range, and loading your own log data (try using the PRN file for this). NOTE: This spreadsheet makes use of some of the database features of 1-2-3. These features seem to cause the most trouble for the 'uninitiated', so be patient and carefully read the 1-2-3 manual to help you understand how this works. Although this spreadsheet was not tested with Symphony, it should work if you rename it with a .WRK extension. QUIT EDLOG - [Q] This menu option returns you to DOS. One final note! We deliberately kept these features separate from Syslog to avoid increasing the size of Syslog unnecessarily. You should not need this capability very often and therefore should not have pay the disk space penalty. We suggest that you use EDLOG to remove a bad entry immediately after you realize the error. You should also keep in mind that you can correct errors in the operator, project, or project type from within Syslog using the '/E' parameter. ___________________________________________________________________ -21- ADVANCED FEATURES _________________________________________________ The following features are available to meet the needs of those users who require especially elaborate logging schemes. LOGGING TO ANOTHER DRIVE You may not want to keep your log file in the root directory of the default disk drive. Here's how to tell Syslog that the log file can be found on another disk drive and/or directory. At the DOS prompt type the following: SET LOGFILE=D:\DIRECTORY [Enter] You may substitute any valid drive letter for 'D', but you must in- clude the colon if you specify a disk drive. You may also specify a directory path. Syslog will look for the logfile in the specified drive/directory without regard to the default setting. This information is stored in the DOS environment and normally is included it in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. NOTE: Make sure that there are NO spaces in the line! Spaces are illegal in file names. Any occurrence of a space will cause the specification to be ignored. Be especially careful of spaces on either side of the equals sign. You can also use the SET LOGFILE= command to force Syslog to use a logfile name other than SYS2xx.LOG. Precede the pathname with an asterisk and include the filename in the path. Consider: SET LOGFILE=*c:\dos\my.log This tells Syslog to use MY.LOG on drive C: in the DOS directory. SYSLOG EXIT STATUS AVAILABLE Syslog returns an exit status code to DOS that can be used to detect various error conditions which occur during execution of the program. The following values are returned by Syslog: N Exit Status 0 Normal Termination, No Errors 1 Logfile Not Found 2 Command Line Error (Bad Date, Time, etc.) 4 Unknown Command 6 Command Conflict (i.e., Attempt to Resume an entry not Suspended, etc.) 8 Disk is Full 9 Terminated By User (Ctrl-Break) These codes can be checked via the 'IF ERRORLEVEL n' batch command. There are several uses for these codes. For installations which use forced logging you could, for example, test to see if the user attempted to avoid logging their use of a program. -22- The following program demonstrates how this could be done: ECHO OFF IF %1x==x GOTO NOPARM :START GOTO LOGIN :ERROR9 ECHO ********** ERROR ********** ECHO You MUST Enter Your Initials! ECHO ***************************** :LOGIN SYSLOG/I '\%1\b' IF ERRORLEVEL 9 GOTO ERROR9 %1 SYSLOG/O GOTO END :NOPARM ECHO ERROR - Program Name Not Entered ECHO Usage: LOG [program] :END This file is included on your diskette as LOG.BAT. To use this batch program as it stands, you would type: LOG program [Enter] substituting the name of the program you want to run. There are many other logging solutions that can be implemented through batch programs. You are invited to experiment with the exit codes and see for yourself just how flexible this approach can be. Note: Remember that the 'IF ERRORLEVEL' batch command evaluates to TRUE if the exit code is equal to or greater than the tested value. For example, the test IF ERRORLEVEL 1 will evaluate to true for ALL errors since every possible error code is equal to or greater than 1. If you want to test for each possible error code the statements must be listed in descending order by value. CONVERTING OLD LOGFILES The SYSLCONV utility can be used to convert the logfile created by any of the version 1.x versions of Syslog into a file that can be read by any of the version 2.x releases. To run the program, type SYSLCONV at the DOS prompt and follow the prompts. You supply the name of the old log (e.g., SYS85.LOG) and the name of the file you wish to create. DOS paths are supported so you don't have to have all files in the same directory. WARNING: Be sure you don't overwrite an existing logfile when you do the conversion! It is recommended that you use the 'OLDyy.LOG' name convention for converted logfiles so that you don't confuse them with original logs. ___________________________________________________________________ -23- SUGGESTIONS _______________________________________________________ The following suggestions are offered to help you get the most out of Syslog. FLOPPY DISK LOGGING Users of computers that rely upon floppy disks for permanent storage are faced with a slight problem when it comes to logging computer usage. Since there isn't any permanently available disk storage for the computer to access, most software, including Syslog, must depend upon the user to insert the appropriate diskette when needed. Controlled, periodic access to the logfile is needed. One solution involves creating a master diskette which you will use to startup your computer and applications. This disk would contain only those files needed at boot time such as software to set the system clock, electronic disk, print spooler, super saver, etc., and DOS. We have included a sample batch program called RUN.BAT that you can use to create semiautomatic log entries if you use this 'Session Logging' technique. RUN.BAT uses the program name for the project, the entry type defaults to 'B'. Syslog prompts for the operators initials. You can use this batch program by simply typing: RUN program [Enter] Substitute the name of the program you want to run for 'program'. The batch program prompts you to insert disks as needed to complete the logging. If you want your log entries to reflect the actual work being done, we suggest you read the section below on Tax Logging. The methods used in that setup are 'Task Based'. One other note regarding floppy disk based computers. Log entries use 30 bytes each in disk storage space. At 500 entries per year, this amounts to a log file which will reach about 15K bytes. While this is not a very large file, it may exceed the available space on your boot disk if you are using a single sided disk drive. One way around this problem is to start a new log each month. This is very easy to do if use the following method. Using the DOS RENAME command change the logfile name to 'SYS2mm.LOG' where 'mm' is the month. Use '01' for January, '02' for February, etc. That way you can still retrieve the log for printing with Syslog. FIXED DISK LOGGING Fixed disk users may want to keep Syslog and the logfile in a sub- directory. This is somewhat neater since you won't be filling up the root directory of your disk drive unnecessarily. If you want to take this approach, you should include the appro- priate PATH command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file to tell DOS to look in that directory for Syslog. If you are not familiar with the PATH -24- command, see your DOS manual. You will also need to use the SET LOGFILE= feature mentioned in the ADVANCED FEATURES section. On our systems, we keep Syslog in a DOS directory which includes (in addition to the contents of the DOS disk) our other software utilities. Using PATH \DOS allows us to execute Syslog from any other directory. By using SET LOGFILE=\DOS we also keep the logfile in this directory. The LOG.BAT file mentioned earlier is also an excellent general- purpose addition to the hard disk. You can use this batch program to execute any application you have installed on the fixed disk which can be found by the currently set PATH. AUTOMATIC LOGGING For installations that are looking for fully automatic logging to determine what the actual usage rate is for a computer, we suggest an approach which does not require any input from the user. In this case, you are only interested in determining how much computer time is really active time. For example, on a fixed disk based system, you would probably be much better off using a modified version of the LOG.BAT program mentioned in the ADVANCED FEATURES section. This allows one batch program to be used with any application. You could even provide a small measure of security by including the PATH statement directly into the batch program. We've included a batch program on the Syslog diskette under the name AUTO.BAT which fits these specifications. This program allows the user to execute any program in the Wordstar, Lotus, or DOS sub- directories, and instructs the user to call the Information Center in the event that the login is not completed for some reason. By enabling and disabling the PATH from the batch program, the user cannot execute the application without knowing how to either change the directory or set the PATH. TAX LOGGING To facilitate logging for tax purposes, you will want to set up a system that you can use for logging which will be as simple to remember as possible. The following approach fills the bill very nicely, and lends itself quite well to what we call task logging. In general, the approach to use in protecting your tax deduction is to establish a solid pattern of regular record keeping. You don't want any questions of how diligent you were in keeping up your log. To facilitate this process, we recommend using a batch file on each application diskette that will store the log information on a single common diskette or logfile. We do not recommend that you put Syslog directly onto your application diskette. The reasoning is that you will only be creating a log of the use of that application. You would not be -25- accurately recording all of the use of your computer since the log would be 'application' based. The method we have suggested allows the log to be 'task' based. You will find a sample batch program called RUNAPP.BAT on the Syslog diskette which has been set up to work with Lotus 1-2-3 and is suitable for task logging. To use this batch program you would COPY it onto the 1-2-3 System Disk, RENAME the existing AUTOEXEC.BAT file to OLD.BAT, and then RENAME RUNAPP.BAT to AUTOEXEC.BAT. This batch program can be adapted to any other application by simply changing the line that contains 'LOTUS' to the name of program you want run. (If your software is loaded on a fixed disk, you can accomplish the same thing by using the LOG.BAT batch program mentioned earlier.) One other suggestion on tax logging: Always retain copies of your logs. A separate disk for the log files, as well as extra printed copies would be a good idea. In short, treat your log as you would any other important document. When you need a copy for that IRS audit three years from now, you won't regret your prudence. PROJECT NAMES AND TYPE CODES In a busy office where project times are used for billing purposes, you should try using a project number instead of a task description. Perhaps you could use the sales order number or some other number that relates the entry to a customer or job. By combining the project description and the type code, you can devise some very elaborate means of grouping projects for printing. Businesses which allocate computer expenses to departments should use the type code for this purpose. The match list option is very well suited to this task since individual users can be assigned project/type code combinations. Remember that you can convert the log entries to upper or lower case using the Check Log feature in EDLOG. This will make retrieval of grouped entries much easier. WORKING LATE? There is a bug in DOS which sometimes causes the date to stay the same instead of changing at midnight. If this happens, Syslog will give the error message 'Logout Precedes Login' when you attempt to logout. As far as we know, this problem is restricted to DOS versions 2.0 and 2.1, but make sure the date and time are correctly set if Syslog starts to complain. You can simulate this situation yourself by setting the time at the DOS prompt. Type TIME 23:59:55 [Enter] and wait a few seconds for the clock to tic into tomorrow, type 'DIR [Enter]' to generate some disk activity, then check the date. You'll see that it failed to change. ___________________________________________________________________ -26- GETTING HELP _____________________________________________________ In spite of our best efforts to give you every bit of information you need to use our software quickly and easily, you may find yourself in a position where you are completely stumped. Here are some suggestions on how to resolve those unresolvable problems. The first step to take when trouble strikes is to carefully read the sections of the documentation relating to the problem. Have you misread something? This is a common mistake which happens when we are in a hurry and make assumptions without reading the fine print. Sometimes instructions which are explained in terms which the writer believes to be clear and concise are subject to interpretation in unimagined ways. If you find that you are unsure of what something means - try it. Many of the questions we get could probably be answered by some simple trial an error testing. Remember, you cannot hurt the computer and a few simple experiments can shed light on the most difficult of problems. For registered user's, if all else fails, you should call the Apex Resource Technical Support Hot Line at 914-221-4858. Before you do so, you should be prepared with the following information to help our technicians: Program Name Software Version # Program Serial Number Problem Description Remedies You've Tried If you can do so, it is a good idea to be at or near your computer when you call. Often it is possible to 'talk-through' a problem, and this arrangement can facilitate the process. One final word--there is no such thing is a dumb question, just questions that don't get asked. ___________________________________________________________________ -27- Appendix A SYSLOG ERROR MESSAGES _____________________________________________ Syslog returns a variety of error messages if it finds a situation it cannot resolve. Below is a list of these messages along with the probable cause and possible solutions. Current Time Precedes Suspend - When logging out, Syslog found that the current time is prior to the time the entry was suspended. Check to make sure that the date and time are correctly set. Disk is Full - When creating a new entry, Syslog did not have enough room on the disk to add. Remove unneeded files, or start a new log to reduce the space needed. Future Time Not Allowed - An attempt was made to use a time or date which is later than the current date and time. Check to make sure that the date and time are correctly set. Invalid Date - The date qualifier was not a legal date (i.e., February 31), or contains invalid characters. Invalid Entry - The operator initials used were not found on the match list. In order to complete a login when the M option is used, the operator must appear on the list. Invalid Number - The number qualifier was not a legal number. Make sure that the number contain only numeric characters, and is preceded by a '#' sign. Invalid Qualifier - Syslog did not recognize the qualifier given on the command line as either a date, time, number, or quoted text. Make sure that qualifiers are properly formatted. Invalid Time - The time qualifier was not a legal military time. Military time runs from 00:00 (midnight) to 23:59 (11:59 PM). Last Entry Not Closed - You attempted to open a new entry without first closing the last entry. Last Entry Not Suspended - A resume command was given, but the last entry was not suspended. Last Entry Not Open - A suspend command was given on an entry that is either closed or already suspended. You can only suspend elapsed time counting on an open entry. Log is Full - You have reached the maximum number (9999) of log entries. You will have to start a new log file with the /N parameter in order to continue adding log entries. Logout Precedes Login - An attempt was made to close an entry using a time prior to when the session was started. Make sure the date and time are correctly set. -28- Password Didn't Match, Re-Enter - After a suspend and lock command, an incorrect password was entered. If you don't remember your password, you will have to restart the computer to bypass the check. System Log File Not Found - Syslog could not find the logfile in the expected directory or subdirectory. Make sure the date is correctly set. Syslog expects the file name to include the last two digits of the current year, i.e., if the current year is 1986 then the logfile name should be SYS286.LOG. If the SET LOGFILE=directory command is used, make sure that no spaces occur in the command, especially on either side of the '=' sign. Syslog will ignore the specification if it contains spaces. Time Must be Entered - An attempt was made to logout using a date qualifier without specifying a time. You must use a time if you want to give a date. ___________________________________________________________________ -29- Appendix B SYSLOG PARAMETERS _________________________________________________ /P [date] [date] - Print Log. If given, select entries from first [date] through second [date] using the year to select the log file. If only first date given, then select date. /P #n[+] [#n] - Print from first number #n to second number #n. If only the first number is specified, only that entry is printed. If a '+' is specified, print to end of log. /P [O/T/G S] 'target' - Print all entries that contain the 'target' string. Use Operator field with 'O', Type field with 'T', or Group fields with 'G'. If 'S', print Summary. /I [F/C][R/M] - Make New Log Entry. If 'C' option, then continue last entry if open. If 'F', then close last entry if open. If 'R' option, then repeat last entry info in new entry. If 'M', get entry info from match list. /S [H/L] - Suspend elapsed time counting. If 'H' option is used then wait to resume. If 'L' is used then get password and lock keyboard. /R - Resume elapsed time counting. /E - Edit operator, project, type on an open entry. /O [time [date]] - Close Log Entry. Use [time] and [date] if given. /L [#n[+]] - List Entry number [n] to screen. If no number is given, then list last entry. If '+' is given, then page through log beginning at [n]. /N - Start New Log. PARAMETER OPTIONS _______________________________________________ C - Continue last entry on login F - Finish last entry on login R - Repeat last entry on login L - Get password to resume H - Hold for resume on suspend O - Select operator field T - Select type field to print N - Disable the break key Q - Suppress screen messages EDLOG MENU OPTIONS ______________________________________________ [D] - Mark an Entry as Deleted. [U] - Mark Entry as Undeleted. [A] - Add Replacement for Entry. [L] - Display an Entry. [C] - Check Log for Errors. [M] - Make a DIF format file. [Q] - Quit EDLOG. [P] - Make a PRN format file. _________________________________________________________________ -30- Appendix C PRODUCT REGISTRATION FORM _________________________________________ SYSLOG, the System Log Utility, Version 2.0c APEX RESOURCE, INC 23 Christine Court Stormville, NY 12582 (914) 221-2611 My registration fee is enclosed ($30 + $3 Shipping, NYS Residents add tax), please add me to the list of registered SYSLOG users and send me a production copy of the program including: program binder, diskette, and manual. I understand that registration also entitles me to notification of future updates to the program as well as upgrades if I send in the original serialized program diskette. Oh!... I almost forgot... Please Hurry!! Shipping Information (Most orders shipped in 48 hrs) Name ___________________________________________________ Company ________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________ City ___________________________________________________ State ______ Zip _________ Phone _______________________ Payment Information Check/Money Order# __________ Master Card ____ VISA ____ Credit Card Number _____________________________________ Credit Card Expiration Date ___________________________ Signature (if charging) ________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ -31-
Volume in drive A has no label Directory of A:\ TIMEKEEP DOC 16128 6-28-85 1:24a TIMEKEEP EXE 53246 7-08-85 8:24p ONTIME EXE 21120 6-27-85 6:20p OFFTIME EXE 20444 6-27-85 6:21p TIMSTALL COM 14621 6-27-85 11:39p -------- 4 8-20-85 8:01a DEFAULTS COM 18877 1-08-85 8:48p STARTLOG COM 11003 1-08-85 8:52p STOPLOG COM 21645 1-08-85 9:12p USELOG HDR 85 1-08-85 9:14p USELOG RPT 154 1-08-85 9:48p PCUSELOG DOC 9232 1-08-85 9:42p ------- 4 8-20-85 8:04a SYSLOG EXE 34373 1-15-87 2:02a SYSLOG DOC 84733 1-15-87 2:02a START BAS 216 6-19-84 9:04p START EXE 18176 6-19-84 9:09p END BAS 256 8-06-84 12:33a END EXE 18304 6-19-84 9:14p GO BAT 792 1-28-87 9:01p 20 file(s) 343413 bytes 8192 bytes free