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MAGIC MENUS is a program that allows you to operate DOS and all your programs from simple pop-up menus. Specific DOS commands are also included for changing and listing directories, copying files, deleting files, renaming files, and setting the time and date. You can also run any other DOS command that you wish from MAGIC MENUS, or optionally return to DOS temporarily. MAGIC MENUS also has a DOS window in which you can execute DOS commands. It even remembers the last 10 DOS commands entered so that you do not need to retype them. With this program you may also create up to 10 menus that can automatically execute up to 100 programs. These menus may include a short menu description, prompts to switch disks, prompts for additional command line information, and a password level to restrict usage. Additional functions in MAGIC MENUS include menu options for sending printer control codes to the printer and a pop-up financial calculator. MAGIC MENUS can also define up to 10 options for your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. A setup menu is included for screen blanking, screen colors, the video mode, a password system for the program, and general file paths. MAGIC MENUS also has context-sensitive help to further simplify the operation of DOS and other program applications.
Disk No: 1196 Program Title: MAGIC MENUS version 1.70A PC-SIG version 1 MAGIC MENUS is a program that will allow you to operate DOS and all your programs from simple pop-up menus. Specific DOS commands are also included for changing and listing directories, copying files, deleting files, renaming files, and setting the time and date. You can also run any other DOS command that you wish from MAGIC MENUS, or optionally return to DOS temporarily. MAGIC MENUS also has a DOS window in which you can execute DOS commands. It even remembers the last 10 DOS commands entered so that you do not need to retype them. With this program you may also create up to 10 menus that can be automatically execute up to 100 programs. These menus may include a short menu description, prompts to switch disks, prompts for additional command line information, and a password level to restrict usage. Additional functions in MAGIC MENUS include menu options for sending printer control codes to the printer and a pop-up financial calculator. MAGIC MENUS can also define up to 10 options for your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. A setup menu is included for screen blanking, screen colors, the video mode, a password system for the program, and general file paths. MAGIC MENUS also has context sensitive help to further simplify the operation of DOS and other program applications. Usage: Menus for DOS/Program Applications. Special Requirements: Two disk drives; hard disk recommended. How to Start: Type GO (press enter). Suggested Registration: $29.95 File Descriptions: MANUAL ARC Archive containing documentation. MAGIC DIS Distribution file. MMINST COM Installation and configuration program. PRTR COM Printer utility. RBOOT BAT Batch file for configuring boot options. READ ME Program description. PC-SIG 1030D E Duane Avenue Sunnyvale CA 94086 (408) 730-9291 (c) Copyright 1988 PC-SIG, Inc.
╔═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗ ║ <<<< Disk No 1196 MAGIC MENUS >>>> ║ ╠═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣ ║ To start the program, type MMINST (press enter) ║ ╚═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝
Magic Menus (tm) User's Guide Second Edition -- June 1988 Copyright (c) 1987,88 by Custom Technologies All Rights Reserved 1-800-541-6234 (Orders Only, 24 hrs/day) (719) 597-8389 (Orders Only, 24 hrs/day) (719) 282-0402 (Questions and Support) Custom Technologies is a member of the Association of Shareware Professionals. Warranty and License Agreement Magic Menus (tm) is a trademark of Custom Technologies. - Warranty Magic Menus, and this manual, are provided AS IS without any warranty, expressed or implied, including but not limited to fitness for a particular purpose. CUSTOM TECHNOLOGIES SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES. IN NO EVENT SHALL CUSTOM TECHNOLOGIES BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF PROFIT OR ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL DAMAGE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR OTHER DAMAGES RESULTING FROM THE USE OF THIS PRODUCT. - License The Magic Menus software is the property of Custom Technologies. You are granted a limited license to use this software on an evaluation basis. If you use Magic Menus regularly, you must register your copy with Custom Technologies. If you wish to use Magic Menus in multiple locations (or on multiple computers) concurrently, you should register one copy for each location. You are free to make as many copies as you wish and may distribute Magic Menus freely (in its original form, including documentation). Recipients of copies you make are granted a limited license to use Magic Menus on a trial and evaluation basis. If the recipient wishes to use Magic Menus on a continuous basis, he should register his copy. You may not sell or ask any consideration for this product. SIGs and BBSs may ask a nominal fee to cover their copying and distribution costs. OEMs wishing to bundle Magic Menus with other products should contact Custom Technologies for details. Table of Contents Introduction..........................................................3 0.1 Greetings...................................................3 0.2 Features....................................................3 0.3 Shareware...................................................4 0.4 Other Products..............................................4 Chapter 1: Installing Magic Menus.....................................7 1.1 Hardware Requirements.......................................7 1.2 Disk Operating System.......................................7 1.3 First Time Installation.....................................7 1.4 Changing Magic Menus' Configuration.........................8 1.5 Suppressing Setup Options...................................9 1.6 Notes on the Maximum Memory Mode...........................10 Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial....................................11 2.1 Quick Install..............................................12 2.2 Running Magic Menus........................................12 2.3 Setting Up Applications....................................12 2.4 Other Menus................................................15 2.5 Pop-Ups....................................................16 Chapter 3: Things You Need to Know...................................20 3.1 The Bottom Line............................................20 3.2 The Top Line...............................................20 3.3 The Pull-Down Menu System..................................20 3.4 The Help System............................................20 3.5 Pop-Ups....................................................21 3.6 Date Formats...............................................21 3.7 Editing within Magic Menus.................................22 3.8 Suppressing Setup Options..................................22 Chapter 4: Menus.....................................................23 4.1 Adding a Menu Setup........................................23 4.2 Editing Menu Setups........................................24 Chapter 5: Applications..............................................25 5.1 Adding an Application......................................25 5.2 Editing Applications.......................................33 Chapter 6: Pop-Ups...................................................34 6.1 Directory Control Window...................................34 6.2 Printer Control Window.....................................36 6.3 Window to DOS..............................................37 6.4 Calculator.................................................38 6.5 List of Files..............................................38 Chapter 7: Boot Options..............................................40 4.1 Add a Boot Option..........................................41 4.2 Editing Boot Options.......................................43 Chapter 8: DOS Menu..................................................44 8.1 DOS Commands...............................................44 8.2 Run Any Command............................................44 8.3 DOS Shell..................................................45 Chapter 9: User Options..............................................46 9.1 Screen Delay...............................................46 9.2 Color Setup................................................46 9.3 Error Beep Setup...........................................47 9.4 Error Message Setup........................................47 9.5 Video Setup................................................47 9.6 Password Setup.............................................48 9.7 File Paths.................................................49 9.8 General Setup..............................................49 9.9 Printer Setup..............................................49 9.10 Drive Access Setup.........................................50 9.11 Order Form.................................................50 Appendix A: Prompt Definition Quick Reference........................52 Introduction 0.1 Greetings Welcome to Magic Menus, the Software Environment Manager. More than just another menu program, we created Magic Menus to be a complete system organizer. Magic Menus is packed with features that you will not find in any other menuing program. It allows you to define your own pull-down and pop-up menus to control the functions of your computer, as well as offering powerful pre-defined functions. It has five pop-up windows that range from an instant disk directory to a "Window to DOS", and even includes a useful financial calculator! Experienced users will enjoy Magic Menus "Boot Options", which let you effectively maintain ten different sets of AUTOEXEC and CONFIG files. Novices will appreciate Magic Menus' intuitive layout and ease of setup and editing. It is truly a system that has something to offer everyone. If you are eager to get started, chapter 2 of this User's Guide is a "Quick Start Tutorial" designed to introduce you to the Magic Menus' environment. 0.2 Features - Uses intuitive pull-down and pop-up menu system - Easy use for novices, extensive power for experienced users - Up to 100 user-defined applications in 10 user-defined menus - Powerful macro processors available for defining applications allowing pre-defined or flexible user inputs - Full screen editing - Easy pre-defined "DOS" menu with common commands - User-configurable "Boot Options" allow quick reconfiguring of your computer's memory usage - Five levels of password protection - User configurable colors, messages, and sound - Fast "direct" screen writing or optional "BIOS" writing for multitasking systems - "Maximum Memory Mode" for large programs - DOS shell - Pop-up file listing window - Pop-up directory control window - Pop-up printer control window - Pop-up "Window to DOS" that remembers past commands - Pop-up financial calculator with rolling tape - Includes extensive, context sensitive on-line help Introduction 3 0.3 Shareware Magic Menus, like many other fine "shareware" products, has been released by its authors to the public for evaluation. We allow and encourage free copying and distribution of the program (in its un- altered original form). We are committed to supporting and improving Magic Menus. If you find Magic Menus useful, you should register your copy. The shareware concept is meant to provide a full working copy to the user for evaluation, and NOT to give away the author's hard work. If you choose not to register, then erase or pass your copy on to someone else. You can register by sending $29.95 (plus $3 shipping and handling). When you register you will be placed on our mailing list, you will receive a complete, illustrated User's Guide, and you will receive the latest version of Magic Menus on disk. More importantly, you will have a license from Custom Technologies to use Magic Menus on a continuous basis. Make checks payable to Custom Technologies. Colorado residents please add 3% sales tax. Send your registration and all other correspondence to: Custom Technologies PO Box 62118 Colorado Springs, CO 80962-2118 (719) 282-0402 or call 1-800-541-6234 (VISA, MasterCard, or COD). 0.4 Other Products Custom Technologies produces other products in addition to Magic Menus. One of these is CheckMate (tm), our very popular bank account management system for home or business. 0.4.1 CheckMate CheckMate is designed to help you keep an accurate track of your personal financial activity... no more will you have to "guess" at your balance, or labor furiously to make your checkbook match your bank statement. CheckMate will record and maintain your transactions, with full editing capabilities at your fingertips. It will sort and print reports, search for selected items, help you reconcile your statements, and even print your checks for you. Your balances are automatically updated and reported, and your records are accurate to the penny... guaranteed! Introduction 4 CheckMate Features: - Uses intuitive pull-down menu system - Supports up to eight accounts simultaneously (total number of accounts is limited only by disk space) - Supports Checking and Savings accounts - Up to 32,767 transactions may be active per account - Prints reports in standard format or in Borland Intl's Traveling SideKick (tm) format - Reports and Checks may be printed in PICA, ELITE or CONDENSED print - Transactions may be edited or printed and search criteria may be specified on ANY field in the transaction - Check printer supports continuous feed AND standard checks (YOU define the check printing in the Check Set-Up form and can use your own checks!) - Allows 100 predefined transactions that can be called up at a keystroke (such as mortgage payments, utility bills, etc) - Provides a financial calculator for quick figures on loans, regular deposit accounts, and compounding - Helps you reconcile your accounts when your statements arrive, and prints a complete report of outstanding transactions - Includes extensive, context sensitive on-line help You can order CheckMate by sending $29.95 plus $3 shipping and handling. 0.4.2 CheckMate-GL We also have released CheckMate-GL, a fully functional, multiple- entry general ledger (accounting) package that integrates with CheckMate. If you need a more detailed break-down of your expenses and revenues, or if you run a business, then CheckMate-GL is for you. CheckMate-GL Features: - Uses intuitive pull-down and pop-up menu system - Fully implemeted "classical" general ledger system for both home and business use - Integrates with CheckMate (tm) Personal Financial Software - Supports up to 256 accounts simultaneously - Powerful search and filter routines available for all databases and reports - Unique "Quick-Look" reports (including pre-posting) - Flexible pre-defined reports with output flow control - Unique and powerful "custom" report command language for the power user with automatic generation for the novice - Fully editable journal entries allowing pen and ink corrections (no reverse entries!) prior to posting - Allows 50 predefined journal transactions that can be called up at a keystroke - Pop-up chart of accounts for quick reference Introduction 5 - Pop-up accountant's calculator with rolling tape - Includes extensive, context sensitive on-line help You can order CheckMate-GL by sending $39.95 plus $3 shipping and handling. Introduction 6 Chapter 1 -- Installing Magic Menus 1.1 Hardware Requirements Magic Menus will run on an IBM PC/XT/AT/jr (or compatible) with at least 256K of memory and 2 DSDD floppy disk drives. A hard-drive is recommended. Magic Menus may be used on a floppy disk, but its utility will be very limited. Magic Menus supports all IBM compatible displays including the EGA. 1.2 Disk Operating System Magic Menus supports (and requires) DOS 2.0 or above. Due to limitations of DOS 2.X, however, the "Maximum Memory Mode" feature is only available in DOS 3.0 and above. 1.3 First-Time Installation Magic Menus must be installed before it may be run. Installation requires the presence of two files: MMINST.COM (the installation program) MAGIC.DIS (Magic Menus distribution file) Make sure that both of the above files are on the same disk and in the same directory. Then type the command: MMINST <return> You are now running the installation procedure. Select option 1 (First Time Install) and you are ready to begin. Read the instructions and press any key to continue. The first question that you must answer is what drive you will be installing Magic Menus on. This is usually your hard drive. For instance, enter the letter "C" (without quotes) if your hard drive is C. You will then be prompted for confirmation. Simply type "Y" or "N" and press <return>. If you press "Y", Magic Menus will create the appropriate direc- tories on your disk and copy the Magic Menus executable files directly. You will then be asked several questions about your system and config- uration desires. If you are unsure about the answers to the questions, then press <return> with no answer and Magic Menus will use its default values. These defaults will work for most machines, and you can always change the setups later. The first question that you will be asked is whether or not your machine is an IBM PC or true compatible. Most "clones" fall into the compatible category and you should answer the question "YES". If you are using a machine such as the Tandy 2000 or the Zenith 100, then answer this question "No". (Technical Note: At this writing, Magic Menus has not been tested on non-compatible machines. We believe that Chapter 1: Installing Magic Menus 7 it should run, but can make no guarantees. Zenith 100 owners must run ZPC or another PC-emulation package. If you are successful in running Magic Menus on a non-compatible machine then please let us know so we may pass the information along to others). Next you will be asked whether you desire to use direct or BIOS screen writing. Direct screen writing causes Magic Menus to access the computer's video memory when reading or writing to the screen. This is very fast, but can cause problems in multi-user or multi-tasking systems (like DesqView or DoubleDos). Select BIOS writing if you plan to use Magic Menus in this type of environment. The BIOS screen writing, however, is much slower. Non-IBM compatible computers should also select BIOS screen writing since your video memory will most likely be different. The next question is simply whether or not you have a color moni- tor. This question is important since Magic Menus' default colors may cause an unreadable display on composite monochrome monitors connected to color graphics cards. Simply answer yes or no. After indicating the type of monitor that you have, you will be asked whether or not your monitor "snows" when writing to the screen. The original IBM color graphics adapter did not arbitrate memory contention and would could cause the snow. It is not harmful, but can be very annoying. If you have an old CGA, then answer this question "yes". If you are unsure, then answer "no" (you can always change it later). If you own a laptop computer with an LCD screen, then defin- itely answer "no" since the snow suppression routines can cause Magic Menus to runs very slowly on this type of computer. The last question that you will be asked is your primary printer port. The default answer is LPT1, although some people have serial printers and it may be COM1 or COM2. Consult your DOS reference guide for more information. If you are unsure of your system configuration, then just stick with LPT1. It is probably correct. After you answer all the questions, Magic Menus will be installed and ready to run. Just type: MAGIC <return> and you will see the system initialize and display the opening screen. Continue by pressing any key. (The opening screen will remain for approximately thirty seconds if no key is pressed). You will now be in the Magic Menus environment. Proceed to Chapter 2 now for "A Quick Start Tutorial" and an introduction to Magic Menus. 1.4 Changing Magic Menus' Configuration After Magic Menus has been installed, you may change its configur- ation in two ways. Many of Magic Menus' options may be altered while actually running Magic Menus (more about this later). You may also run the installation program again and directly alter the parameters. To do this, you must copy the installation program (MMINST.COM) to your Magic Menus disk and directory. (That is, make sure that MMINST.COM and MM.COM are in the same place). Chapter 1: Installing Magic Menus 8 To change Magic Menus' configuration, simply type: MMINST <return> The installation menu will appear. Select option 2 (Change Configura- tion) and you will be presented with another menu. Pick the option you desire to modify from this menu. IBM Compatibility: This flag is used to tell Magic Menus whether your computer is an IBM PC or tru compatible. Video Options: You may direct Magic Menus to use BIOS screen writing, indicate the type of monitor you have, and whether or not you need Magic Menus to suppress "snow" (or flicker). Program File Drive/Path: At first installation, Magic Menus puts itself into a directory called "\MAGIC". You may change that directory here. After changing the directory, you must create the new directory yourself and copy all of the program files (MM.COM, MM.000, MM.OVL, and MM.HLP) to the new directory. Data File Drive/Path: At first installation, Magic Menus puts its data files into a directory called "\MAGIC\DATA". You may change that directory here. After changing the directory, you must create the new directory yourself and copy all of the data files (MM.DEF plus any you create yourself) to the new directory. Batch File Drive: In "maximum memory mode", Magic Menus creates a batch file to execute commands. Since Magic Menus must "stuff" the keyboard buffer (to pass execution to the batch file), the file name (including the path) is limited to fifteen characters (the size of the standard IBM PC keyboard buffer). The batch file will be created in the root directory of the drive you indicate here. It will be automatically erased after control is passed back to Magic Menus. If you have a RAM disk installed on your computer, you can speed up program execution by making it your batch file drive. Printer Options: You may indicate whether you have a serial or parallel printer, and which port it is connected to. After you have set the options, select 9 to return to the main menu. You may then save your changes by selecting 9 again, or abort the process by selecting 0. 1.5 Suppressing Setup Options Once you have installed and configured Magic Menus, you may want to disable the setup features so that others may use the system but not be able to modify it. MMINST has an option for toggling the setup options on and off. Select option 4 from the "Magic Menus Installa- tion" and you will be asked whether or not you want to suppress the setup options. Answer the question appropriately. Chapter 1: Installing Magic Menus 9 1.6 Notes on the Maximum Memory Mode The "Maximum Memory Mode" in Magic Menus is designed to free up the memory that Magic Menus uses while running large applications. To this end, Magic Menus creates a batch file and invokes each command with a copy of the DOS "command processor". To do this, Magic Menus must be able to find COMMAND.COM. You should specify DOS's search path (with the PATH command) so that Magic Menus can find COMMAND.COM. This is usually the root directory of your hard drive. A command such as PATH = C:\ Usually does the trick. You should place this command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file so that it is automatically executed when you turn your computer on. Consult you DOS Reference Guide for additional information. Magic Menus passes control to the batch file (called MMTMP.BAT) by stuffing the PC's keyboard buffer. This may not work on some not-so- compatible machines. Also, the maximum memory mode is not available under versions of DOS below 3.0. Chapter 1: Installing Magic Menus 10 Chapter 2 -- A Quick Start Tutorial If you are like most people, you want to start using a software product "right out of the box". While Magic Menus has many advanced features that will require some thought and planning to fully exploit, it is also friendly and easy enough to use immediately. This tutorial, though brief, will lead you through the setup and main features. You can then take your time and study the rest of the User's Guide in depth. We are assuming that you have not yet installed or configured Magic Menus. If you have already installed it, skip section 2.1. If you've played with it some (and made some data entries), please keep in mind that the tutorial can't know this and some of the screens may not appear exactly as described. 2.1 Quick Install This "quick-install" feature assumes that you have an IBM PC (or true compatible) with a hard disk (labelled drive C) running DOS 2.0 or higher. If not refer to chapter 1, "Installing Magic Menus". Insert your Magic Menus distribution disk in drive A. Type: A: and then <return>. Now type: MMINST and <return>. The Magic Menus installation screen will appear. Select "1) First Time Install" by pressing a "1" and then <return>. Read the instructions that are displayed and press return again. When Magic Menus asked what drive you are installing, press: C and then <return>. Answer "Y" (and <return>) to the next question and away we go!. The installation program will have copied all of the Magic Menus file to the hard disk. Now you will be asked five questions. Magic Menus comes pre- configured for a standard IBM PC, so simply press <return> and accept the defaults for each. (Press <return> five times. The installation procedure will indicate that it has saved the new setups, and Magic Menus is ready to run!). Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial 11 2.2 Running Magic Menus After the installation, you will be in the root directory of your hard disk. To start Magic Menus, simply type MAGIC and press <return>. Magic Menus opening screen will appear. Press any key at this point to continue. You should now be in Magic Menus' main screen. Before we go any further, press the <F1> key. You will see Magic Menus' help window appear. The window is context-sensitive, and you can pop it up anytime for instant assistance. Use your up and down arrow keys, or the <PgUp> and <PgDn> keys to move through the help message. Press <ESC> and the help message will disappear. The <ESC> key is the universal back-up key in Magic Menus... you can always press <ESC> to get back to where you just were. Notice the menu bar across the top. Use your left and right arrow keys to move the high-lighted bar from choice to choice. Try it now. Now press <return>, and you will see that Magic Menus will "pull- down" another menu! The up and down arrow keys will move the high- lighted bar through the choices. Also try the left and right arrow keys. They still work as well! Press <ESC> and the pull-down menu will disappear. Try it. Now let's continue with the Magic Menus tutorial. Use your left arrow key to move the bar over the "DOS" choice. Press <return> to pull the menu down. You should see a list of familiar choices. The first one is "Directory". Make sure the high-lighted bar is over the word "Directory" and press return. Magic Menus will pop-up a window. Press <F10> now, and watch what happens. Magic Menus passed the "DIR" command to DOS, just as if you had typed it yourself! Press any key now to return to Magic Menus. Press <ESC> to exit the "Directory Window", and then <ESC> again to exit the "DOS" menu. Most of Magic Menus' functions work in this way. You may want to play with the functions available in the DOS menu a while to familiar- ize yourself with the concepts. 2.3 Setting Up Applications Magic Menus' main purpose is to allow you to create and execute your own menus and choices. Move the high-lighted bar over the word "Applications" and pull the menu down. You will see two choices: Add application Edit application We can't edit an application since we haven't defined any yet. Put the bar over "Add application" and hit <return>. The "Application Entry Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial 12 Window" will appear. Now I'm going to lead you through a simple application set up. Just follow my instructions, and you'll soon catch on. Steps: 1) Your cursor should be at the "Menu Prompt" field. type Directory and press <return>. 2) For the "Hot Key", type D and <return>, and then press <return> again (to skip the "Prompt for Disk" field). 3) You should now be at the the line that reads "Command 1:". Enter dir and press <return>. 4) Where it says "Pause", type Y and a "YES" will appear. 5) That's it! Press <F10> now, and Magic Menus will save your setup. After saving the setup, you will notice that Magic Menus clears the data from the window. That's because it is setting you up to enter another application. We're done for now, so press <ESC> to exit the entry window. See what's happened? Magic Menus has "magically" inserted your setup into the "Applications" menu! It should now look like this: Directory Add application Edit application Place the high-lighted bar over the word "Directory" (if it's not there already) and press <return>. You should now be looking at the directory on your disk! Press any key to return to Magic Menus. Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial 13 That's a pretty simple example, and it may not seem like much. But Magic Menus will allow you to execute your own programs as well (such as Lotus 123, WordStar, CheckMate, etc), as well as simple DOS commands. And you can execute more than one command in an application and use powerful parameter prompting commands. We're not going to talk about all of Magic Menus' features in this tutorial, especially the more advanced ones. They are covered in detail in the User's Guide. Let's try one more applications example. Select "Add application" again so that you are back in the "Application Entry Window". Now, follow the steps: 1) In the "Menu Prompt" field. type Type a file and press <return>. 2) For the "Hot Key", type T and <return>, and then press <return> again (to skip the "Prompt for Disk" field). 3) You should now be at the the line that reads "Command 1:". Enter type %1 and press <return>. 4) Where it says "Pause", type Y and a "YES" will appear. 5) Now keep pressing <return> until the cursor is in the "Prompt 1 (%1):" field. Type the following line: File to Type: and press <return>. Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial 14 6) You should now be in the "Response Length" field. Type 12 and then <return>. 7) Now keep pressing <return> until the cursor is in the "Description" field. Type the following line: This function types a file to the screen and press <return>. 8) That's it! Press <F10> now, and Magic Menus will save your setup. Press <ESC> to exit the entry window. Once again, Magic Menus has added the choice to the menu. Your menu should now look like this: Directory Type a file Add application Edit application Move the high-lighted bar over "Type a file", and press <return>. What you see now is a window asking you what file you want to type. You told Magic Menus do do that when you entered "File to Type" in the "Prompt 1" field! The space in which you have to enter your response is determined by the "Response Length" (you entered a 12). Enter the file name: AUTOEXEC.BAT in the window and press <return>. If that file is present in your current directory, DOS will display it on the screen. If not, DOS will display the message "File not found". Well, that's the jist of defining applications. There's a WHOLE lot more that you can do in defining the applications. I can't begin to discuss them all here. Turn to the chapter on "Applications" for discussion and examples! 2.4 Other Menus In the meantime, let's continue our tutorial on Magic Menus. You may notice that the "Applications" menu can only hold ten entries. Don't worry... you can easily expand that to meet your needs. Move the high-lighted bar on the main menu to the "other Menus" option and pull the window down. This menu looks a lot like the "Applications" menu, except that one choice is already defined (the "Main menu"). Select "Add menu setup" and the "Menu Entry Window" should open up. Now, follow these steps: Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial 15 1) Your cursor should be at the "Menu Prompt" field. type New menu and press <return>. 2) For the "Hot Key", type N and <return>. 3) You should now be at the the line that reads "Menu Name:". Enter My New Menu and press <return>. 4) Skip the "Password Level" and go to the "Description" field. Type: This is a New Menu that I have Defined. and press <return> again. 5) Press <F10> now, and Magic Menus will save your setup. Press <ESC> now to exit the entry window. Congratulations! You've defined a new menu! You should see it listed on the screen. Move the high-lighted bar over the "New menu" option and press <return>. The menu name in the lower-right corner of the screen should now read "My New Menu". Now, use the left arrow key to move the menu to "Appli- cations". What do you see? You should see that there are no applications defined. Where did they go? No where! They are still there, but if you want to use them, you must go back to the "other Menus" menu and select "Main menu"! You see, you can define up to ten menus, and each menu can have up to ten applications, for a total of 100. Again, this is just a brief tutoral to get you acquainted. Now let's go to some of the other features of Magic Menus. 2.5 Pop-Ups Go to the "Pop-ups" menu on the main screen (you should have a good handle on the pull-down menu system by now). Pull the menu down. Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial 16 Notice that the first five choices here have "<alt-key>" references? That is, you can pick these items by press their <alt-key> as well as from the menu. In fact, you can pop these windows up almost ANYWHERE inside of Magic Menus! You will find these to be a tremendous conven- ience! Try one out. Press <alt-C> (that's the <ALT> key and the letter "C" at the same time). A calculator should appear. (If you use CheckMate-GL, you should recognize this calculator!). Press <ESC> and you are back where you started. Now press <alt-L>. This is the "File Listing Window". What you see first is a prompt for a file spec. Just press <return> for now, and the window will open. It displays a simple listing of files on the disk. You can move the high-lighted bar around the listing with the arrow keys. Magic Menus can make great use of this window and the ability to select a file. Refer to later chapters in the User's Guide for more information. For now, just remember that this handy window is present, and press <ESC> to return to the "Pop-ups" menu. Let's give the "Window to DOS" a try. Press <alt-W>. What you see is a window that allows you to enter commands just as if you were at the DOS prompt! Try it... type dir and press <return>. Once again, a directory of the disk will appear. (We've found a lot of ways to get a directory of the files, haven't we? Remember that we're just using the DIR command as an example. You can type any available DOS command or application in the "Window to DOS"). Press any character key to return to Magic Menus. Notice that the command you entered ("dir") is still shown on the screen? This is because Magic Menus saves the last ten commands that you issue in this window. Press the up arrow key and see what happens. Magic Menus pulls the last command you entered into the command line. You can re- issue the command quickly, and you may even edit it first! But let's keep going now. Press <ESC> to pop back to the menu. The last two "Pop-ups" require that we enter some information before they will be of any use. Select "1: add a directory choice" from the menu. The "Directory Entry Window" appears. Now follow the steps: 1) Your cursor should be at the "Menu Prompt" field. type Magic Menus' Data and press <return>. Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial 17 2) For the "Directory", type C:\MAGIC\DATA and <return>. 3) Press <F10> now, and Magic Menus will save your setup. Press <ESC> now to exit the entry window. What have we done? Press <alt-D> and you will see... You should now be looking at the "Select Directory Window". Do you see the choice you just added? Put the high-lighted bar over it and press <return>. You may not think that anything has happened, but you have actually changed the active directory! Look at the "Current Path" (located in the lower right of the screen). It should read: C:\MAGIC\DATA Now, isn't that easier than typing "CHDIR C:\MAGIC\DATA" at the DOS prompt? Press <ESC> to go back to the "Pop-ups" menu now, and let's finish up. The last pop-up is meant to help you control your printer. Select "3: add printer string" to make an entry. In this window, you can define codes to change your printer's mode (such as putting it in near letter quality, italics, etc). Since there are literally hundreds of different printers available, we can't supply these control strings for you. You can find them in your printer's manual. Magic Menus uses a common way of entering the control strings. The method is discussed in detail in the "Pop-ups" chapter of the User's Guide. For now we'll just go through a quick example and leave the details to the User's Guide. Follow the steps! 1) Your cursor should be at the "Menu Prompt" field. type Just a Test and press <return>. 2) For the "Printer String", type \72\101\108\108\111\33\13\10 and <return>. 3) Press <F10> now, and Magic Menus will save your setup. Press <ESC> now to exit the entry window. Press <alt-P> to invoke the "Printer Control Window". Make sure that your printer is on, on-line, Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial 18 and has some paper. Select your new entry by putting the bar over it and pressing <return>, and you should get the message! (In reality you will use this window to send un-printable CONTROL strings to your printer. We just used this example here to demonstrate the principle, since we have no way of knowing what type of printer that you have). One final thing. Try pressing <alt-C> now. Now press <alt-W>. Now <alt-D>. See? You can pop windows up on top of one another (up to several layers deep). Remember, you DON'T have to be in the "Pop-ups" menu to invoke these windows. You can call them up almost anywhere inside of Magic Menus! To end your initial tour of Magic Menus, keep pressing the <ESC> key until you get the question: Exit Magic Menus? Answer yes, and you're back to DOS. We've just barely scratched the surface of Magic Menus' many abilities, so don't forget to ponder over the User's Guide. This tutorial should help get you started, however. The help screens also offer a lot of explanation as you look at some of the stuff we didn't cover here (such as "Boot options" and "Options"). Enjoy! Chapter 2: A Quick Start Tutorial 19 Chapter 3 -- Things You Need to Know This section discusses some of the "basics" of Magic Menus's operation. 3.1 The Bottom Line As you run Magic Menus, the bottom line of the screen summerizes the functions that are available to you. It is always present, and should speed your use of the program as you become familiar with its many capabilities. Many of Magic Menus' functions are activated by the PC's function keys. The bottom line identifies the operation of these keys (and others). 3.2 The Top Line The right side of the top line of the screen displays the status of your keyboard (CAPS LOCK, NUM LOCK, SCROLL LOCK). It also indicates whether you are in insert or overwrite mode (for text entry), and whether you are currently directing Magic Menus to write directly to the screen memory or through the BIOS. (NOTE: These flags can be turned off at the user's option. They may not work properly on non-IBM compatible machines). The left side of the top line is reserved for working messages. Do not be alarmed if they flash by too fast to read... that simply means that your computer is fast! 3.3 The Pull-Down Menu System Magic Menus uses the popular "pull-down" menu system as its primary user interface. After your start Magic Menus, you will see a row of "choices" for you to choose from. You may select any of the choices in one of two ways: first, by moving the highlighted bar to the item of your choice (using the left or right arrow keys) and then pressing "<return>" (which we will also refer to as <CR>), or, by pressing the capitalized letter of your choosing. Either method will instantly produce a secondary menu (with a bar that moves up and down instead of left to right). Select individual functions in the same manner. 3.4 The Help System Magic Menus includes built in on-line help. Just press <F1> at any time while running Magic Menus for instant help. Some help screens have multiple pages, so use the up and down arrow keys or the <PgDn> and <PgUp> keys to move through the message. The help screens are contained in the file "MM.HLP" and this file must be present in the Chapter 3: Things You Need to Know 20 program file path at runtime. The program file path is set with MMINST.COM. 3.5 Pop-Ups Magic Menus contains several "pop-up windows" to make managing your PC easier. These windows may be popped up anywhere inside Magic Menus. They will just be mentioned here as they are covered in depth later in this User's Guide. Calculator: Strictly for your convenience, we have implemented a financial calculator inside of Magic Menus. Pressing <alt-C> anytime will pop the calculator up. The calculator has a rolling tape to help you keep track of your math, and you can even direct the output to the printer! Directory Control: Press <alt-D> for the directory control window. You may define up to twenty directories that you can connect to quickly and easily. You define the directories under the "Pop- ups" menu. Printer Control: Press <alt-P> for the printer control window. From here you can send up to twenty different control strings to your printer. You define the control strings under the "Pop-ups" menu. DOS Window: For instant access to DOS commands (and other appli- cations) you can press <alt-W>. From here you can type commands in just as if you were at the DOS prompt. Magic Menus even remembers your last ten commands and lets you play them back with full editing features! 3.6 Date Formats One of the most annoying aspects of many programs is rigid data entry, especially DATES. We built a "free-format" date entry into Magic Menus. Whenever Magic Menus calls for a date to be entered, you can key it in almost any fashion you choose. Dates like 7-12-84, 3/5/86, 12 Sept 82, and so forth are all valid. So long as you include some delimiter between the month, the day, and the year Magic Menus should figure out what you mean. A delimiter can be a space, a dash, a slash, or virtually any non-number or non-letter. You can even leave all or part of the date out, and Magic Menus will use defaults (the DOS date). Chapter 3: Things You Need to Know 21 3.7 Editing within Magic Menus All data entry fields within Magic Menus are fully "editable." The following control-key combinations are defined within Magic Menus: Control Key Alternate Key Function ----------- ------------- ----------------------- Control-D right-arrow move one character right Control-S left-arrow move one character left Control-F move one word right Control-A move one word left Control-QD END move to end of text Contril-QS HOME move to start of field Control-E up-arrow move up one field Control-X down-arrow move down one field Control-G DEL delete character at cursor Control-T delete word right Control-QY delete field right Control-Y delete entire field Control-H BACKSPACE delete character left Control-V INS toggle INSERT/OVERWRITE Notice that the control sequences closely resemble those of MicroPro's WordStar. We chose these combinations because of WordStar's popularity. For your convenience we have also implemented the PC's standard editing keys as alternatives. 3.8 Suppressing Setup Options Once you have installed and configured Magic Menus, you may want to disable the setup features so that others may use the system but not be able to modify it. The Magic Menus installation program (MMINST.COM) has an option for toggling the setup options on and off. Select option 4 from the "Magic Menus Installation" and you will be asked whether or not you want to suppress the setup options. Answer the question appropriately. See chapter 1 for more details on changing Magic Menus' configuration. Chapter 3: Things You Need to Know 22 Chapter 4 -- Menus This chapter requires careful reading. The word "menu" is neces- sarily used often, and the text may appear to be somewhat tongue- twisting! In Magic Menus, you can define up to ten unique "menus" beneath the "other Menus" option on the main menu bar. When you select "other Menus", a pull-down menu appears that lists the menu choices available to the user. As with the other pull-downs in Magic Menus, the user may select his or her choice by moving the high-lighted bar over the desired option and pressing <return>. An alternative method of making a selection is to use the desired option's "hot key". When Magic Menus is installed for the first time, it automatically creates a menu called the "Main menu". It does this because you must always have at least one menu defined. The "other Menus" menu includes two additional options ("Add menu setup" and "Edit menu setup") that permit you to add, edit, and delete up to nine additional menus. Each menu in Magic Menus can have up to ten "Applications" assoc- iated with it. These "applications" are user-defined programs such as a word-processor, a spreadsheet, etc. (Applications are discussed in detail in chapter 5). By defining multiple menus under the "other Menus" option, you can logically group your applications together. Also, since you can password-protect entire menu setups, you may group applications together by user access. 4.1 Adding a Menu Setup When you select "Add menu setup", the first item that you must enter is the menu prompt (this is the name that will appear on the pull-down menu). For instance, if you are defining a menu setup to contain all of your bookkeeping programs you could enter "Bookkeeping" here. Magic Menus will automatically insert the option in the menu in alphabetical order. The next field is the "hot key". This key will automatically invoke the boot option (while the menu is active). You may, for example, want to enter "B" for "Bookkeeping". In the "Menu Name" field, you may enter a string of text that will appear in the lower right-hand corner of the main screen whenever the menu is active. For our bookkeeping example, you may enter "Accounting and Bookkeeping Programs". The menu name is intended to remind the user of which menu is currently active. You may password-protect the menu by entering a password level. If you enter level 0, no password will be required to activate the menu. See chapter 9 for a more thorough discussion of passwords and levels. The next field in the window calls for you to enter a line of text Chapter 4: Menus 23 up to fifty characters long. This is a short description of the menu setup. It will be displayed in Magic Menus' description field (on the main screen) while the high-lighted bar is over this option. It is simply another way that Magic Menus makes understanding and selecting menu choices easier. After you have entered all of the data, press <F10> to record your entries on disk. Magic Menus will insert the new selection in the menu, and it is now available to the user! 4.2 Editing Menu Setups When you select "Edit menu setup" under the "other Menus" menu, a window will appear and display the data corresponding to the first menu setup in the menu. You can edit and enter data in the same fashion as when entering new options (see section 4.1 above). You must press <F10> to make your changes permanent. Pressing the <F4> key will delete the displayed entry. To edit the other menu set- ups, use the <F7> and <F8> keys to move backwards and forwards through the list. Chapter 4: Menus 24 Chapter 5 -- Applications This chapter discusses the options available in Magic Menus for defining menu choices that will appear under the "Applications" menu. "Applications" refers to programs and commands that the user owns or purchases from other software vendors. These can range from a word processor to a checkbook program to a spreadsheet, etc. Many of these programs require (or accept optional) parameters when they are run. You may also need to change drives or directories before running an application, or perhaps insert a key or data disk. Magic Menus lets you automate and direct these functions! The "Applications" menu works like the other pull down menus. You select your choice by moving the high-lighted bar over the desired item and pressing <return>. You may also use the item's "Hot Key" to quickly select it (since you define these applications, you will need to define each hot key. The process is discribed below). 5.1 Adding an Application Under the "Applications" menu there are two pre-defined options. The first one is "Add application". It is in this module that you define your own menu choices. The first item that you must enter is the menu prompt (this is the name that will appear on the menu). For instance, if you are defining an application to run the PC-Write word processor, you could enter "pc- Write" here. Magic Menus will automatically insert the option in the menu in alphabetical order. The next field is the "hot key". This key will automatically invoke the boot option (while the menu is active). You may, for example, want to enter "W" for your "pc-Write" application option (notice that we chose to capitalize the letter "W" only. This emphasizes our chosen hot key). The "Prompt for Disk" field will allow you to enter a message up to forty characters long. You can use this field if you want Magic Menus to prompt the user to take some action before running the application (such as inserting a key diskette for a copy-protected program or inserting a data diskette). If the field is not blank (that is, it contains a message), Magic Menus will pause before executing the application and display the message you entered. For example, suppose you wanted to edit files on a floppy disk in drive B with PC-Write. You could enter: "INSERT DOCUMENT DISK INTO DRIVE B" as your "Prompt for Disk" message. Magic Menus will remind you to insert the proper disk at run time! Chapter 5: Applications 25 5.1.1 Commands The next five lines in the set-up window contain the actual com- mands that you tell Magic Menus to execute. For example, suppose that when you want to use PC-Write, you go to your PC-Write directory, execute PC-Write (the command is "ED"), and when you are done you want to go to your root directory. You would enter the following commands: Command 1: cd \pcw Command 2: ed Command 3: cd \ As you can see, the first command takes you to the correct directory, the second command runs the program, and the last one returns you to your root directory. The "Pause" field to the left of each command is used to instruct Magic Menus to pause (or not to pause) after executing that command. You would want to pause after a command if you need to read something on the screen. This is not necessary in the above example, but for commands like "DIR" you would want to set "Pause" to 'YES". 5.1.2 Prompts Below the "Commands" are five lines marked "Prompts". These represent a very powerful feature of Magic Menus. You can use them to direct Magic Menus to prompt the user for parameters that you want passed to the commands you entered above. You have a lot of options here, including automatically popping up the "File Listing", "Directory Control", and the "Printer Control" windows, and creating your own windows that can present the user with pre-defined and restricted choices. The simplest way to use the prompts is to enter a short line of prompt text and indicate a "Response Length". For instance, suppose you wanted Magic Menus to prompt you for a file to edit before running PC-Write, and then pass that file name to PC-Write. We would change the above example to read: Command 1: cd \pcw Command 2: ed %1 Command 3: cd \ The only change is the "%1" after the "ED" command. Magic Menus sees the "%1" and looks to the "Prompts" to resolve the variable. In this case, Magic Menus will look at "Prompt 1", since it corresponds to %1. In the "Prompt 1" field, we could enter the following text: Prompt 1 (%1): File to Edit: To the left of this field is another field labelled "Response Length". We could enter a "12" here, since file names have a maximum length of twelve. At run-time, Magic Menus will pause before executing the "ED" command and open a window displaying our prompt and allowing the user Chapter 5: Applications 26 to enter a string up to the length of "Response Length". (NOTE: the maximum response length is forty). After the user has responded and pressed <return>, Magic Menus will replace the %1 in Command 2 above with the users input. The prompts can be used in any order, and they can be freely mixed throughout the commands (and even the other prompts). Suppose, in our example, we also wanted to ask the user what directory to look for our file in before we ask for the file to edit. Let's change our commands as such: Command 1: cd \pcw Command 2: ed %2\%1 Command 3: cd \ Now lets change our prompts: Prompt 1 (%1): File to Edit: Prompt 2 (%2): Directory: Give Prompt 2 a "Response Length" of 40. Now Magic Menus will file ask for a directory name and pause. Then it will ask for a file name. After both entries, Magic Menus will combine the two and pass the complete parameter to PC-Write. You may use the "%" prompts more than once. Simply include the prompt as many times as you wish in the commands. Magic Menus will invoke the prompt window each time it encounters a "%" prompt. 184.108.40.206 The "@" Processor You may also use the results of a "%" prompt more than once without continually re-prompting the user. The "@" prompts use the results of the "%" prompts. Let's look at an example. Suppose that after we edit a file with PC-Write, we want to immediately print the same file out with PC-Write's printing program ("PR.EXE"). Change the above command list to: Command 1: cd \pcw Command 2: ed %2\%1 Command 3: pr @2\@1 Command 4: cd \ When Magic Menus builds the execution list, it will take the parameters you entered for %1 and %2 and replace not only the %1 and %2 prompts, but also the @1 and @2 prompts. You may use the "@" prompts as often as you wish as well. 220.127.116.11 The "+" Processor When you define the prompts, you can instruct Magic Menus to pop- up the "File Listing Window" instead of allowing the user to type a file name in. This is useful when you want to process existing files Chapter 5: Applications 27 but don't recall their names. The "+" commands MUST be entered in the "Prompts", however, and not in the "Commands". Example: Command 1: type %1 Pause: YES Prompt 1 (%1): + In the above example, we are using the DOS "TYPE" command to list a file to the screen. We want to ask the user what file to type, so we use %1 to invoke the prompt processor. Magic Menus looks at the "Prompt 1" field and sees a "+", so it opens the "File Listing Window". The user can select a file and press return. Magic Menus will replace the %1 with that file name! The "+" processor has some options as well. There are times when you may want to pass only PART of the file name to the command. Sup- pose, for instance, you want to assemble a file with MASM (MicroSoft's assembler) which assumes a file type of ".ASM". You can direct the "+" processor to return only the file name (and not the extension) as such: Command 1: MASM %1; Prompt 1 (%1): +2 The "2" following the "+" tells Magic Menus to return the name only (no extension). You may also return the extension without the name. Below are the options for the "+" processor: +1 : return both name and extension (same as "+" alone) +2 : return name only +3 : return extension only An additional option you have is to specify a file "mask" that the "+" processor will pass to the "File Listing Window". In our MASM example, we want to look only at ".ASM" files. Let's change our definition as such: Command 1: MASM %1; Prompt 1 (%1): +2 *.ASM In this case, the "File Listing Window" will only display files with an extension of ".ASM". With a little thought you can see how powerful this feature might be. 18.104.22.168 The "#" Processor You can also instruct Magic Menus to display the "Directory Con- trol" window at strategic times. You do this by including a "#" in the prompt definition. Chapter 5: Applications 28 Like the "+" processor, the "#" processor has several options. These are listed below: #1 : change directory, return nothing #2 : change directory, return directory name w/o trailing "\" #3 : change directory, return directory name with trailing "\" #4 : return directory name w/o trailing "\" #5 : return directory name with trailing "\" In the above list, choices 1,2 and 3 not only affect the "%" variable, but they also change the logged drive and directory to the one select- ed (this is how the Directory Control Window normally operates when you pop it up). Choices 4 and 5 do not change the current directory but do return the full directory name. Choice number one returns no value at all. Choices 2 and 4 return the directory name without a trailing "\", ie C:\MAGIC\DATA while choices 3 and 5 would return a directory name of the form: C:\MAGIC\DATA\ The exception is the root directory, which always ends in a backslash. Look at the following example to get an idea of usage: Command 1: type %2%1 Prompt 1 (%1): +1@2*.* Prompt 2 (%2): #5 We're getting into some of the true power of Magic Menus here, and this example will take a little thought. The command that we want to exe- cute is the simple DOS "TYPE" command. Choosing the file to type is the interesting part. The command is "type %2%1". As Magic Menus processes the line, the first prompt it comes to is %2. This prompt contains a "#5" which will immediately pop the Directory Control Window up. The user can then select any of the defined directories (see chapter 6 for a discussion on defining the directories). Magic Menus returns the full directory name and replaces the %2. Next, Magic Menus sees the %1. This prompt contains "+@2.*.*". Well, the @2 is immedi- ately replaced with the directory name that we got from %2. That name, plus the "*.*" file mask are then passed to the "+" processor and the "File Listing Window" appears. The user selects a file, and Magic Menus returns the file name. The file name is attached to the direct- ory name and the file is typed out. Study the example, and give it a try. Hopefully you will begin to see some of the complex setups that are possible with Magic Menus. And there is more to come! Chapter 5: Applications 29 22.214.171.124 The "$" Processor The "$" command in a Magic Menus' prompt field instructs Magic Menus to pop the "Printer Control Window" up. This window is used to control the mode of your printer (see chapter 6). As with the "#" processor, you have some options: $1 : immediate send control string, return nothing $2 : return printer control string The first option works just as if you had invoked the window yourself. It immediately sends the control string to your printer, but returns no value into the variable. The second option does not send the control string, but instead returns the ASCII string corresponding to the control string. Here is a simple example: Command 1: %1 copy %2 lpt1: Prompt 1 (%1): $1 Prompt 2 (%2): +*.pas This setup will pop the printer control window up and wait for a selec- tion. (The user may select near letter quality, draft mode, italics, or whatever). Magic Menus will then send the proper string to the printer, and then immediately pop-up the "File Listing Window" and display all files that end with ".PAS". When the user selects his choice, the file is printed out. Notice that in the above example, we put the command "copy %2 lpt1:" on the same line as our %1 prompt. This is OK here since the %1 prompt contains "$1", which will return no value. If the prompt contained "$2", we could not do this. We have supplied a small utility to aid you in using the "$2" option. It is a file called "PRTR.COM" and you will find it on your Magic Menus' distribution disk. It takes the following syntax: PRTR <printer port> \<decimal code>\<decimal code>... where <printer port> = LPT1: (or LPT2:, COM1:, or COM2:). The "\<decimal code>\<decimal code>..." syntax is the same that is used for the printer control window (see chapter 6). Therefore, the following setup would work functionally the same as the one listed above: Command 1: prtr LPT1: %1 Command 1: copy %2 lpt1: Prompt 1 (%1): $2 Prompt 2 (%2): +*.pas You may also use the "PRTR.COM" command to send "canned" printer strings to the printer during an application. Just enter the printer string in the command line rather than referencing the "$" processor. Chapter 5: Applications 30 126.96.36.199 The "=" Processor Magic Menus has another very powerful prompt processor. You can, in effect, create your own pop-up menus with pre-defined choices. These choices both assist and limit the user. Lets look at an example: Command 1: type %2%1 Prompt 1 (%1): +@2*.pas Prompt 2 (%2): =dir.pmt Prompt 3 (%3): Directory: Response Length: 40 In this example, the "%2" prompt references the "=" processor. If you start a prompt with "=", then immediately afterwards you must list a valid file name. The file is one that YOU create, and you must place it in the Magic Menus' data file directory. The file has the following format: <Menu Title> <Menu Choice #1>=<Item #1> <Menu Choice #2>=<Item #2> <Menu Choice #3>=<Item #3> . . <Menu Choice #10>=<Item #10> The file must be a straight ASCII file. You may define from one to ten different choices. Below is an example based on the above: Directories Current Directory= Root (Drive C)=C:\ Magic Menus' Data=C:\MAGIC\DATA\ Any Directory=%3 When the our application example is executed, Magic Menus will first see the %2 prompt and run the "=" processor. The file listed above will cause Magic Menus to create a menu with four choices. The title of the menu is "Directories". The menu will look something like this: +----Directories----+ | | | Current Directory | | Root (Drive C) | | Magic Menus' Data | | Any Directory | | | +-------------------- The high-lighted bar in the menu can be moved around with the arrow keys. You select an item by placing the bar over it and pressing Chapter 5: Applications 31 <return>. Magic Menus will return the value that each selection was set EQUAL to in the menu definition file. So, if you picked "Magic Menus' Data' from the menu, Magic Menus would return the string "C:\MAGIC\DATA\". Notice that the "Current Directory" option returns nothing. This should be obvious, since if we return no directory name, DOS will use the current (default) directory when it executes the "TYPE" command. Also notice that the choice "Any Directory" will return the string "%3". This is another prompt command, and Magic Menus will proceed to process it as well! In this case, another window will open asking for a directory name. (Please note here that the user must end his or her entry with a "\", or Magic Menus can't create a proper path name). With a little thought, you can begin to see some powerful and useful configurations are possible. 5.1.3 Finishing Up You may password-protect the application by entering a password level. If you enter level 0, no password will be required to execute the application. See chapter 9 for a more thorough discussion of passwords and levels. The next field is the "Information File" field. What Magic Menus expects here is a file name. The information file is an ASCII text file that contains instructions or information for the user. The use of this file is totally optional, and if you desire to use it, you will have to create it yourself. To do this, use any text editor that produces pure ASCII text (no control codes or soft characters). Enter any discussion that you feel will aid the user at the time of execu- tion. Magic Menus will display this file when the option is picked from the menu, and will pause (waiting for a <return>) while the user reads the screen. Please note that Magic Menus will only display the first 22 lines of the file, and allows only 80 characters per line. The information file must reside in the Magic Menus' data file path (This is usually \MAGIC\DATA. It is the same directory that contains the file MM.DEF). If Magic Menus cannot find the file you indicate here, or if the "Information File" field is left blank, Magic Menus simply skips the information display and continues. The next field in the window calls for you to enter a line of text up to fifty characters long. This is a short description of the appli- cation. It will be displayed in Magic Menus' description field (on the main screen) while the high-lighted bar is over this option. It is simply another way that Magic Menus makes understanding and selecting menu choices easier. The "Maximum Memory Flag" is the last field in the window. It is a "YES/NO" question. If you set it to "YES", Magic Menus will create a batch file to run the application and terminate itself. This frees up the memory that Magic Menus uses and allows the application to run with the additional memory available. The last command in the batch file re-loads Magic Menus and restores its operating state. Chapter 5: Applications 32 There are pros and cons to using the maximum memory mode. Obvious- ly, the additional memory can be useful (and may be necessary for large applications). The con is that the execution and return take a bit longer since Magic Menus has to terminate and re-load. The time is not excessive for hard disks, however, since Magic Menus saves its environ- ment and does not have to re-process the menu definition file. You may want to try applications in both modes and see which one best suits your needs. TECHNICAL NOTE: Magic Menus passes control to the batch file by "stuf- fing" the keyboard buffer with the batch file name. This feature works fine on IBM PCs and true compatibles, but may not operate properly on non-compatible machines. After you have entered all of the data, press <F10> to record your entries on disk. Magic Menus will insert the new selection in the menu, and it is now available to the user! 5.2 Editing Applications When you select "Edit application" under the "Applications" menu, a window will appear and display the data corresponding to the first application in the menu. You can edit and enter data in the same fashion as when entering new options (see section 5.1 above). You must press <F10> to make your changes permanent. Pressing the <F4> key will delete the displayed entry. To edit the other applica- tions, use the <F7> and <F8> keys to move backwards and forwards through the list. Chapter 5: Applications 33 Chapter 6 -- Pop-Ups Magic Menus has several "pop-up" windows that users will find very convenient. These windows may be popped-up almost anywhere within Magic Menus. 6.1 Directory Control Window One of DOS's most powerful features is the ability of the user to divide a disk into separate "directories". These directories contain files and can be used to logically group related files together. You may also create directories in a tree-like structure that will let you nest your files away in very intricate paths. This User's Guide is not a tutorial on the abilities of DOS, however. Consult your DOS Reference Guide or a good book on MS-DOS for more information on the power and usefulness of directories. What Magic Menus does for you is make the management of these directories much easier. Pressing <alt-D> while in Magic Menus will pop-up the Directory Control Window. What you will see is a window with space for twenty entries. Each one of these entries can allow you to immediately connect to a directory (that is, change the active directory). Before you can use this feature, you must enter your directories under the "Pop-ups" menu ("add directory choice"). While some programs releive you of this step by automatically reading in available directories, Magic Menus follows a different philosophy for two specific reasons: 1) Your menu choices may be given names other than the DOS directory names (names that make more sense). You could, for instance, name your spreadsheet directory "Lotus 123" (while the actual name might be "\WORK\SPRDSHT\LOTUS"). The name on the menu is easier for novices to understand. 2) You can also "select" which directories you wish to make available to other users. If you do not want a directory to be available, then simply don't include it on the list. Also, each choice can be individually password protected. To use the pop-up window, press <alt-D>. You may then use the arrow keys to position the high-lighted bar over your choice. Press <return> and you will automatically connect to the desired directory. You may also select a "hot-key" from the menu (letters A through T). The choice you made may also change the logged drive (see below). Also, note that Magic Menus does not check the validity of the path names nor does it create or unsure that the directories exist. If the path is invalid, or the drive is not ready, Magic Menus will simply abort the operation and will leave you in the currently active direc- tory. Remember that you can invoke this window almost anywhere within Chapter 6: Pop-Ups 34 Magic Menus. You can also set it up to appear at specific times automatically while running an "application" (see chapter 5). The discussion below details the definition and editing of choices within this window. 6.1.1 Defining Directory Choices Under the "Pop-ups" menu, you will see the choice "1: add direc- tory choice". Select this option by either moving the high-lighted bar over it or pressing the hot key ("1"). You will see the "Directory Entry Window" appear. This window needs three items. The first is the "Menu Prompt". This is the name that will appear in the Directory Control pop-up window. Select a name here that makes sense to you (or the people that will be using the system). Next, you need to enter the actual DOS directory. You must enter a complete path, and follow all of the standard DOS rules for directory names. For instance, the following directory entries are all valid: C:\ \DOS \WORDSTAR B:\CMATE\DATA Note that the only entry that should end in a back-slash ("\") is the root directory. Also note that you may include a drive name in the path. For more information on directories and path names, consult a reference on DOS. The last item that you need to enter in the Directory Entry Window is a password level. Chapter 9 discusses the use and set-up of pass- words within Magic Menus. Once you have entered all the information, you must press <F10> to save the set-up to disk and add it to the Directory Control Window. Magic Menus will insert the new choice alphabetically (based on the Menu Prompt that you entered above). This choice is now available within the pop-up window. 6.1.2 Editing Directory Choices. The option: "2: edit directory choice" under the "Pop-ups" menu lets you modify or delete directory that you have entered. The "Direc- tory Edit Window" will appear, and will contain the data for the first choice in the Directory Control Window. You may edit the contents as desired. Simply press <F10> to save your changes. Pressing <F8> will move you forward through the directory choices. The <F7> key will move you backward. To delete an entry, press <F4>. You will be prompted for confirmation before Magic Menus erases the selection. Chapter 6: Pop-Ups 35 6.2 Printer Control Window Pressing <alt-P> while in Magic Menus will pop-up the Printer Control Window. What you will see is a window with space for twenty entries. Each one of these entries can immediately send a control string to your printer. These control strings can do such things as reset your printer, change your printer from PICA to ELITE, enter near letter quality mode, etc. Since there are literally hundreds of different printers, and since the tastes of users will vary, you will need to enter these control strings yourself before you can use this window (see section 6.2.1). To use the pop-up window, press <alt-P>. You may then use the arrow keys to position the high-lighted bar over your choice. Press <return> and you will automatically send the control string to your printer. You may also select a "hot-key" from the menu (letters A through T). Remember that you can invoke this window almost anywhere within Magic Menus. You can also set it up to appear at specific times automatically while running an "application" (see chapter 5). The discussion below details the definition and editing of choices within this window. 6.2.1 Defining Printer Control Choices Under the "Pop-ups" menu, you will see the choice "3: add printer string". Select this option by either moving the high-lighted bar over it or pressing the hot key ("3"). You will see the "Printer Control String Entry Window" appear. This window needs three items. The first is the "Menu Prompt". This is the name that will appear in the Printer Control pop-up window. Select a name here that makes sense to you (or the people that will be using the system). Next, you need to enter the actual printer control code. Printer control codes are sequences of special characters that can change the operation of your printer. Instead of printing the codes out, the printer interprets the code and reconfigures itself. The codes are usually a sequence of characters following an ESCAPE (decimal value 27). The printer control codes can be found in your printer manual. The format for entry is \<decimal code>\<decimal code>\.... The back-slashes delimit the codes. Below is an example: \27\85 Chapter 6: Pop-Ups 36 This string represents an <ESC> 'U'. (That's an escape-capital- U). This is a popular means of defining printer codes. The last item that you need to enter in the Printer Control String Entry Window is a password level. Chapter 9 discusses the use and set-up of pass-words within Magic Menus. Once you have entered all the information, you must press <F10> to save the set-up to disk and add it to the Printer Control Window. Magic Menus will insert the new choice alphabetically (based on the Menu Prompt that you entered above). This choice is now available within the pop-up window. 6.2.2 Editing Printer Control Choices. The option: "3: edit printer string" under the "Pop-ups" menu lets you modify or delete printer strings that you have entered. The "Printer Control String Edit Window" will appear, and will contain the data for the first choice in the Printer Control Window. You may edit the contents as desired. Simply press <F10> to save your changes. Pressing <F8> will move you forward through the printer string choices. The <F7> key will move you backward. To delete an entry, press <F4>. You will be prompted for confirmation before Magic Menus erases the selection. 6.3 Window to DOS One common problem with menu systems is that they make it diffi- cult to execute quick commands directly. The menu can speed up all of the applications that you have defined, but if you need to do a quick "chkdsk" or "type" out a text file, you must often exit the menu program. Some systems offer a DOS shell (Magic Menus does also), but this is little better than exiting altogther when all you wish to do is enter one quick command. Magic Menus addresses this problem with a unique "Window to DOS". Press <alt-W> and the window appears. From the "Command:" line that you see, you can enter commands just as if you were at the familiar DOS prompt! This includes any command line parameters. You will also notice that Magic Menus displays your ten most recent commands. You may use the up and down arrow keys to "replay" the commands, and of course all of Magic Menus' sophisticated editing capabilities are available. Please note that the "maximum memory mode" is not available in the Window to DOS. If you need to run a command and don't have enough memory, you can do it under the "DOS" menu ("rUn any command"). Chapter 6: Pop-Ups 37 6.4 Calculator Magic Menus includes a pop-up financial calculator. Pressing <alt-C> anytime will pop the calculator up. The calculator has a rol- ling tape to help you keep track of your math, and you can even direct the output to the printer! When using the calculator, be careful to notice when the calculator expects an operation and when it expects a number. The data entry field will be reverse video when the calculator is expecting a number. Otherwise, an intermediate result is displayed and any numbers entered will be rejected. In any case, pressing 'C' (for clear) will zero the total and set the calculator up to accept a number. If you want to use the printer, make sure that it is ready before you press 'P'. Also, Magic Menus automatically asserts the "NUMLOCK" when the calculator is invoked so you may use the numeric keypad on the IBM PC (or compatibles). 6.5 List of Files One very useful feature in Magic Menus is the ability to pop-up the "File Listing Window". What this window does is pop-up a simple directory of the files on a disk. Press <alt-L> to activate this window. After you press <alt-L>, you will first be prompted for a file specification. Here you may enter a "pattern" that Magic Menus will use while creating the window. You may use the DOS wildcards "?" and "*" here, as well as specifying a drive and directory to search. For instance, after you press <alt-L>, Magic Menus will respond with the prompt: File Spec: Suppose you enter: A:\MAGIC\*.* Magic Menus will search drive A for the directory "\MAGIC", and will display all the files there (the "*.*" matches all files). If you leave the file spec blank, Magic Menus will default to the current drive and directory and will display all files. The window can display sixty files per page, and there are two pages. Press <PgUp> and <PgDn> keys will toggle between the two pages. If you have more than 120 files in the selected directory, only the first 120 are displayed. Inside the File Listing Window, you can move the high-lighted bar around over the individual file names. If you invoke the File Listing Window while you are in the data entry mode (that is, Magic Menus is expecting you to enter text) you can "pull" a file name into the data field by placing the bar over your choice and pressing <return>. If Chapter 6: Pop-Ups 38 you are not in a data entry field (such as when you are in a menu), no action is taken by Magic Menus. You can also press <ESC> to exit the window and select no file name. The File Listing Window can be very useful just for checking for the presence of files. It is also convenient to be able to pull the file names into a data field. You can, for instance, pop-up the Window to DOS (press <alt-W>), and then invoke the File Listing (press <alt- L>). Enter "*.com" for the file spec, and all of the COM files in the current directory will be displayed. Now you can move the bar over the command of your choice and press <return>. Magic Menus will pull the command into the Window to DOS. Press <return> again and Magic Menus will execute the command. The File Listing Window can also be made to automatically appear within an application. You can use this feature to pass a particular data file or document to a database or word-processor. See chapter 5 for details. Chapter 6: Pop-Ups 39 Chapter 7 -- Boot Options The IBM PC (and the MS-DOS operating system) brought a truly con- figurable environment to micro-computing. When you start-up ("boot") your computer, DOS looks for the presence of two files ("CONFIG.SYS" and "AUTOEXEC.BAT"). These two files determine the configuration and start-up state of your computer. See your DOS Reference Manual for more information on the setup and use of these files. The creators of DOS envisioned that most people would create these files once and for all, and then be content with the configuration of their systems. More and more, however, users have discovered that they frequently need to change their configuration files to meet a specific application. They then find that an hour later they need to change it back again. All in all, the constant shuffling of files and file contents can become unmanagable, not to mention down-right annoying. Magic Menus addresses this problem by supplying a "Boot options" menu and allowing you to define up to ten different configurations that you may quickly choose between. When you select a boot option from the menu, Magic Menus will: 1) Save your old boot files 2) Create new boot files 3) Prompt you to "re-boot" your computer You must re-boot after Magic Menus creates the new files since the new configurations will not take affect until you do. Usually, you can re- boot by pressing the <ctrl>-<alt>-<del> keys all at one time. You may also re-boot by turning your computer off and then on again (remember to wait a moment or two between powering your system down and then up again). Magic Menus saves your old boot files under the names "OAUTO.BAT" and "OCONFIG.SYS". Here is the text for a simple batch file that you can use to restore your boot files after changing them with Magic Menus: if not exist OAUTO.BAT goto Config del AUTOEXEC.BAT rename OAUTO.BAT AUTOEXEC.BAT :Config if not exist OCONFIG.SYS goto EXIT del CONFIG.SYS rename OCONFIG.SYS CONFIG.SYS :EXIT REM BOOT FILES RESTORED If you name this file "RBOOT.BAT", place it in the root directory of your boot disk, and make it the last option of your new AUTOEXEC.BAT file, it will automatically restore your boot files to their original state after booting with an option from Magic Menus. Chapter 7: Boot Options 40 7.1 Add a Boot Option The "Add boot option" under the "Boot options" menu will allow you to create a boot option and add it to the menu. When you select this function, the "Boot Options Entry Window" will appear. The first item that you must enter is the menu prompt (this is the name that will appear on the menu). For instance, you may want to call your usual configuration "Standard". Magic Menus will automatically insert the option in the menu in alphabetical order. The next field is the "hot key". This key will automatically invoke the boot option (while the menu is active). You may, for example, want to enter "S" for your "Standard" boot option since "Standard" begins with the letter "S". Next you will see ten lines (labelled lines 1-10). These lines represent the actual content of your files. Since there are two files to create (the AUTOEXEC.BAT and the CONFIG.SYS files), you will need to press the <TAB> key to toggle between the entry of the two files. You simply enter the contents of the files, line by line. Notice that <F5> will insert a line and <F6> will delete one. A big time-saver is the ability to "yank" a file into the entry window. Press ^KR (that's <ctrl>-K and then R) will the cursor is on one of the ten entry lines. A window will appear asking for a file to read. Enter the file name you wish to yank in (you may specify an optional drive and path). Magic Menus will copy the file starting at the cursor line. If the file is too long for the window, the overrun lines are discarded. You may also write the contents of the window out to a file. Simply press ^KW while the cursor is anywhere on one of the ten entry lines. Magic Menus will pop-up a window prompting you for a file name. Magic Menus will then copy all ten lines to the file. (CAUTION! If the file already exists, Magic Menus will write over it, so be careful with this feature!). Once you have entered the contents of both the AUTOEXEC.BAT and the CONFIG.SYS files, there are a few additional data fields to fill in. The "Prompt for Disk" field will allow you to enter a message up to forty characters long. Usually you will be booting from your hard disk, and you should leave this field blank. If the field is not blank (that is, it contains a message), Magic Menus will pause before executing the boot option and display the message you entered. For example, suppose you wanted to boot off of a floppy disk instead of the hard drive. You could enter: "INSERT DOS DISK INTO DRIVE A" as your "Prompt for Disk" message. Magic Menus will remind you to insert the proper disk at boot time! You may password-protect the boot option by entering a password Chapter 7: Boot Options 41 level. If you enter level 0, no password will be required to execute the boot option. See chapter 9 for a more thorough discussion of passwords and levels. The "Boot Drive" field designates the disk drive that Magic Menus will attempt to create your new boot files on. The default drive is the drive that Magic Menus was installed on. If you want to boot off of a floppy, be sure and change this to drive "A". The next field is the "Information File" field. What Magic Menus expects here is a file name. The information file is an ASCII text file that contains instructions or information for the user. The use of this file is totally optional, and if you desire to use it, you will have to create it yourself. To do this, use any text editor that produces pure ASCII text (no control codes or soft characters). Enter any discussion that you feel will aid the user at the time of execu- tion. Magic Menus will display this file when the option is picked from the menu, and will pause (waiting for a <return>) while the user reads the screen. Please note that Magic Menus will only display the first 22 lines of the file, and allows only 80 characters per line. The information file must reside in the Magic Menus' data file path (This is usually \MAGIC\DATA. It is the same directory that contains the file MM.DEF). If Magic Menus cannot find the file you indicate here, or if the "Information File" field is left blank, Magic Menus simply skips the information display and continues. The last field in the window calls for you to enter a line of text up to fifty characters long. This is a short description of the boot option. It will be displayed in Magic Menus' description field (on the main screen) while the high-lighted bar is over this boot option. It is simply another way that Magic Menus makes understanding and select- ing menu choices easier. After you have entered all of the data, press <F10> to record your entries on disk. Magic Menus will insert the new selection in the menu, and it is now available to the user! ADDITIONAL NOTES: The files that Magic Menus can generate are limited to ten lines of forty-five characters each. This is a practical limit- ation (we had to draw the line somewhere). These restrictions should not pose a problem for the CONFIG.SYS file, since the vast majority of users will have only a few declarations. The AUTOEXEC.BAT file, on the other hand, can pose a problem in some instances. If you have many lines to execute in this file, you can ease the problem by putting some of the files in a separate batch (.BAT) file. You can then execute the batch file from the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. For instance you could consol- idate the following lines in a file called "STANDARD.BAT": SETCLOCK PROMPT $P$G RXBAK The only problem with calling batch files from batch files is that DOS can't return to the first batch file after the second one is done. You can remedy that situation by invoking COMMAND.COM with the /C option Chapter 7: Boot Options 42 before calling the second batch file. The line you would enter in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file for the above example would be: COMMAND /C STANDARD That allows the original batch file to continue once the second one completes. A new problem has surfaced, however. Notice that STANDARD.BAT does not include a "PATH=" statement. The "PATH=" statement is very common within AUTOEXEC.BAT files, since it tells DOS where to look for commands. You can put this statement in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, but NOT in a secondary batch file that is pre- ceded by "COMMAND /C". Why? Because the "COMMAND /C" command loads a new copy of the command processor, and it has its own "environment". (See your DOS Reference for a discussion on environments). Hence, if you set the path in STANDARD.BAT, you are altering the environment of the "child" process, and this environment DISAPPEARS when you go back to the original batch file! The only problem that you will have, then, is when your "PATH=" statement exceeds the forty-five lines available to you in Magic Menus. You have an option, however. You CAN put the path statement in a separate batch file, provided that you do not precede it with "COMMAND /C". This simply means that the batch file with your "PATH=" command should be the LAST command that your AUTOEXEC.BAT file executes (since it will not return when it terminates). 7.2 Editing Boot Options When you select "Edit boot option" under the "Boot options" menu, a window will appear and display the data corresponding to the first boot option in the menu. You can edit and enter data in the same fashion as when entering new options (see section 7.1 above). Remember to press the <TAB> key to toggle between editing the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. You must press <F10> to make your changes permanent. Pressing the <F4> key will delete the displayed entry. To edit the other boot op- tions, use the <F7> and <F8> keys to move backwards and forwards through the list. Chapter 7: Boot Options 43 Chapter 8 -- DOS Menu Although Magic Menus allows you to create and execute applications quickly and powerfully, you may still sometimes need to use some of the basic DOS commands. We've chosen a few of the most common commands and built them directly into the "DOS" menu in Magic Menus. This chapter briefly discusses the available functions. Consult you DOS Reference Manual for an indepth disccusion of each one. 8.1 DOS Commands The following DOS commands are directly accessible from the "DOS" menu: DIR -- List a directory of the disk COPY -- Copy a file or files REN -- Rename a file DEL (or ERASE) -- Erase a file or files CHDIR -- Change the active directory MKDIR -- Create a new directory RMDIR -- Remove (delete) a directory TIME -- Set the DOS Time DATE -- Set the DOS Date FORMAT -- Format a disk IMPORTANT! The "DOS" menu executes the actual DOS commands. Most of these commands are built into DOS. The "Format disk" option, however, requires that the file "FORMAT.COM" be in the default directory or can be found in the DOS command "path". For more information on the "PATH" command, see your DOS Reference Manual. All of the parameters that you enter are fully editable. Some of the windows have multiple parameter lines (use <return> or the arrow keys to move between them). For consistency, press <F10> to execute the command once you have entered the parameters. You may assign a password level to all of these functions in the "Password setup" option under the "Options" menu (See chapter 9). 8.2 Run Any Command Window The "rUn any command" window lets you execute a command just as if you were typing at the DOS prompt. This window differs from the "Window to DOS" in that Magic Menus will allow you to specify the "maximum memory mode" here. This mode frees up additional memory that Magic Menus uses. Press <F10> to execute the command. Chapter 8: Dos Menu 44 8.3 DOS Shell From the "DOS Shell" window, you can spawn a "child" of DOS. What you are doing here is loading a new copy of COMMAND.COM. This file, therefore, must be present in the default directory or in the DOS command path. (See your DOS Technical Reference for a discussion of the "PATH" command). Press <F10> to execute the shell. The DOS shell will put you directly in contact with the operating system. You will see the DOS prompt, just as if you never ran Magic Menus in the first place. However, all you have to do is type "EXIT" to instantly return to Magic Menus. You may also direct Magic Menus to use the "maximum memory mode" here to free up additional memory. This window runs the standard DOS "DIR" command. Chapter 8: Dos Menu 45 Chapter 9 -- User Options This chapter discusses the various options available to configure Magic Menus to suit your needs and tastes. These options may be set under the "Options" menu. 9.1 Screen Delay Your computer creates images on your monitor by exciting chemicals on the backside of your monitor's CRT. If an image remains on the screen too long, it may permanently "burn" itself into the screen. This typically occurs over several months when a similar image appears on the screen for long lengths of time. To protect against this burn in, you may instruct Magic Menus to blank the screen after a period of keyboard inactivity. When you select the "screen Delay" option from the menu, a window will appear. In this window, you can enable or disable the screen save feature. You can also indicate how long that you want Magic Menus to wait before it will blank the screen. Remember that the screen will only go blank if no keyboard activity is detected in the indicated length of time. (NOTE: Delay times are approximate, and can vary based on CPU speed). You must press <F10> to save your setup to the disk. After the screen blanks, Magic Menus will display a slow-scrolling message indicating that the screen save feature is active. Press any character key to restore the screen to normal operation. 9.2 Color Setup You can customize Magic Menus' screen colors (if you have a color graphics card and a color monitor). Select the "Color setup" option from the "Options" menu. The window that appears will accept four parameters. Each color selection is entered as an integer. The foreground and midground colors range from 0 to 15, while the background and reverse video colors range from 0 to 7. The colors are as follows: 0: BLACK 8: DARK GRAY 1: BLUE 9: LIGHT BLUE 2: GREEN 10: LIGHT GREEN 3: CYAN 11: LIGHT CYAN 4: RED 12: LIGHT RED 5: MAGENTA 13: LIGHT MAGENTA 6: BROWN 14: YELLOW 7: LIGHT GRAY 15: WHITE The color setup window displays sample colors to help you pick the ones you prefer. The colors that Magic Menus uses will not change Chapter 9: User Options 46 until you exit Magic Menus and run it again. (This is necessary since Magic Menus saves screen images in order to remove pop-up windows). Remember to press <F10> to save your selections to disk. 9.3 Error Beep Setup When you select "Error beep setup" from the "Options" menu, you will be presented with a window in which you can control Magic Menus' error beep. You can change the length and frequency of the beep, or turn it off altogether. You are also asked in this window if your computer is an IBM PC or true compatible. If not, Magic Menus will use the terminal bell (^G) to indicate an error. (In this case you cannot set the frequency or duration of the beep). While setting the frequency or the duration of the tone, you can here what it sounds like by holding the left arrow down until the cursor "bumps" up against the left edge of the data field. This will cause the error tone to sound. Obviously you must have a speaker installed in your computer for this option to work. Remember to press <F10> to save your choices. 9.4 Error Message Setup Some errors within Magic Menus will cause a message to be dis- played as well as sounding a beep. In the "error Message setup" you can set the duration (length of time displayed) of the error message and also indicate whether or not you want the message to blink. Since the error message is accompanied by an error beep, the message will remain on the screen for the duration set here or for the duration of the beep (see above), which ever is longer. Again, press <F10> to save your changes to disk. 9.5 Video Setup The "Video setup" option under the "Options" menu lets you set two specific flags concerning how Magic Menus writes data to the screen. (Both of these flags can also be set in the installation of Magic Menus, by the way). The first option is whether or not you want to use BIOS screen writing. This is opposed to DIRECT screen writing, which accesses the PC's screen memory directly for much faster screen updates. We have included the BIOS option for two specific reasons: 1) Some people using Magic Menus may have computers which are not completely IBM compatible (and the direct writing may not work). 2) Some people may wish to use Magic Menus in a multi-tasking environment (such as TopView, DesqView, MultiLink, or DoubleDos) and the direct screen writing can "bleed" through to the other applications. Remember that the BIOS option runs much more slowly that direct screen Chapter 9: User Options 47 writing, so use direct wherever possible. SPECIAL NOTE: We have built in a quick "toggle" to help you easily switch between screen modes. Press <alt-B> and you will toggle from DIRECT to BIOS (or visa versa). You should note that the topline indicator will change to remind you what mode you are in. This toggle key has no effect on non-IBM compatible machines. The second option that you can set in this window is whether or not you monitor "snows" when Magic Menus is updating the screen. This "snow" is actually a brief burst of "garbage" that your video card reads while Magic Menus is writing to the video memory. The early IBM style color graphics adapter did not provide true memory contention resolution, and this is what causes the snow. It is not harmful, but it can be annoying. If you have a video card with this problem, you can tell Magic Menus to suppress the snow. It does this by waiting for a "vertical retrace" before writing to the screen. This slows the screen action down somewhat, but does eliminate the problem. If you have a newer color card (such as the EGA), set the snow suppression to "No" and Magic Menus will run faster. This flag has no effect for systems with monochrome adapters. SPECIAL NOTE: If you are using a computer with a non-CRT display (such as many laptops), set this flag to "No"! Many of these displays emulate the color graphics adapter imperfectly. If Magic Menus waits for a vertical retrace with this type of system, the screen action can slow down to an unbearable crawl! 9.6 Password Setup The "Password setup" option will open a window allowing you to enter five different passwords and set a number of password levels. You also turn password control on and off in this window. IMPORTANT: Once you set passwords to on, you cannot return to the password window without entering the level five password (the highest access password). Make sure that you make note of the level five password before turning the control on! The five passwords give you an ascending level of access. For instance, anyone who knows the level three password can access all functions that have a password level of zero, one, two, or three. That person cannot access functions with password levels of four or five. Level five, therefore, can access all functions. That password should be reserved only for the system manager, since anyone with level five access can change the passwords and level assignments. Do not leave any of the passwords blank, since that makes a carri- age return activate that level. That means that anyone can access that level (and all levels below it). Any function with a password level of zero does not require a password, and Magic Menus will not ask for one. The password levels that you set here are meant to help prevent accidental system crashes and unauthorized activity. For instance, if Chapter 9: User Options 48 you want to prevent people from leaving Magic Menus, then set the "Exit Magic Menus Password Level" to a higher levels. It is also a good idea to restrict the DOS shell and command processor (the "Any Command Level" also protects the Window to DOS). You will also want to protect the setup and edit features. In the "drive Access setup" (discussed below), you can also password protect access to certain disk drives. Most of the functions within Magic Menus can be assigned password levels. You may assign seperate levels to applications and menus, for instance. You will see a field for password level protection as you set these functions up. Remember to press <F10> to make your passwords and setups perma- nent. TECHNICAL NOTE: Magic Menus provides a low level of system security. It is not meant to be a rigorous defense against unauthorized system use. It will, however, provide an effective barrier against accidental and non-malicious access violations. 9.7 File Paths The "File paths" option will simply display the current Magic Menus' data and program file paths, as well as the selected batch file drive. These paths are shown for yor information only, and must be set by MMINST.COM (see chapter 1 for more information). 9.8 General Setup Under the "General setup" option, you can enter a title which will always be displayed on Magic Menus' main screen. You may wish to enter your name or your company's name here. You may also indicate whether or not you want the topline status to be displayed (probably you do, unless your machine is incompatible with an IBM and the status line does not work correctly). Lastly, you can instruct Magic Menus to provide an "anti-skid" cursor which simply flushes the keyboard buffer between mode changes. You may find this option handy if you tend to rest your fingers a little to heavily on the keyboard. Otherwise, you will probably wish to turn this feature off. Again, press <F10> to save your setups to disk. 9.9 Printer Setup This window ("printer Setup") lets you tell Magic Menus what type of printer you have. If you have a serial (versus parallel) printer, indicate that here. If you are unsure, answer "No", since most printers today are parallel. Also, most printers are connected to port 1. If your printer is different, indicate that here as well. Press <F10> to make your changes permanent. Chapter 9: User Options 49 9.10 Drive Access Setup The "drive Access setup" feature in Magic Menus is unique. It lets you assign password levels to different disk drives. Throughout the Magic Menus environment, the user will be monitored and access to the restricted drives will be preceded by a password request. Specifically, Magic Menus scans each command for reference to drives before passing the command to DOS. The only area in Magic Menus that is immune from the scan is the pop-up directories window (and you can assign password levels individually to these). This feature is particularly useful in restricting access to floppy disk drives (which can cause system crashes and unauthorized copying of programs and data). It is also handy in a network with multiple remote drives. You can assign levels to five different drives, and then assign a level to all remaining drives. Magic Menus will not prompt for a password for the default (current) drive, even if a level is assigned. Press <F10> to make your selections permanent. 9.11 Order Form Magic Menus is a user-supported program. It is distributed under the "shareware" concept. Shareware is a unique marketing approach that actually permits and encourages the free copying and sharing of soft- ware (rather than restricting it). Shareware programs, however, are copyrighted material and can represent considerable investment on the behalf of the author and shareware companies. The advantages to the user are two-fold. First, you get to free- ly try the software and see if it meets your needs. Secondly, should you decide to purchase the program, you generally get it a much lower cost than commercial counterparts. This is because shareware companies have lower distribution costs than commerical software companies. If you decide to use the software on a continuous basis, then you should "register". This means that you actually pay for the software, as if you were buying a commercial package. Custom Technologies sells its packages just as if they were commercial programs, and we send the customer a complete package (disk, manual, and telephone support). We also add you to our mailing list for notification of upgrades, new packages, and special offers. PAYMENT IS NOT OPTIONAL. Continued use of the software requires a license from Custom Technologies. If you decide not to register, you should pass your copy on to someone else or simply erase it. All computer users benefit from the existence of high quality shareware products. The honest and courteous support of satisfied users can help to ensure a steady supply of outstanding shareware. Chapter 9: User Options 50 Chances are that you are reading this User's Guide and enjoying the power of Magic Menus without having paid for it. That's fine... that is what shareware is about. (NOTE: Custom Technologies receives no royalties from disk dealers or BBS sysops. Any fees that you have paid for a disk are duplication charges, and do not represent payment for Magic Menus). The "Order form" option under the "Options" menu is provided to assist you in ordering a registered copy of Magic Menus. We have also included ordering information for some of our other products (if you have a checking account and are not using CheckMate, then you don't know what you are missing! CheckMate-GL, on the other hand, is the friendliest general ledger package ON THE PLANET). Quantity and multi-product discounts, as well as shipping charges and sales tax are automatically computed. Magic Menus will take your information and then print out a form that you can return to Custom Technologies. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! ORDER TOLL FREE AT 1-800-541-6234! MasterCard, VISA, or COD accepted. Lines are open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Chapter 9: User Options 51 Appendix A: Prompt Definition Quick Reference -- The Prompt "%" Variables: %1, %2, %3, %4, %5 -- The "@" Processor: The "@" variable return the values entered with the "%" variables. @1, @2, @3, @4, @5 -- The "+" Processor: The "+" processor pops the "File Listing Window" up. +1 : return both name and extension (same as "+" alone) +2 : return name only +3 : return extension only -- The "#" Processor: The "#" processor pops the "Directory Control Window" up. #1 : change directory, return nothing #2 : change directory, return directory name w/o trailing "\" #3 : change directory, return directory name with trailing "\" #4 : return directory name w/o trailing "\" #5 : return directory name with trailing "\" -- The "$" Processor: The "$" processor pops the "Printer Control Window" up. $1 : immediate send control string, return nothing $2 : return printer control string -- The "=" Processor The "=" processor pops a user-defined menu up. The menu is defined in a text file with the following format: <Menu Title> <Menu Choice #1>=<Item #1> <Menu Choice #2>=<Item #2> <Menu Choice #3>=<Item #3> . . <Menu Choice #10>=<Item #10> Appendix A: Prompt Definition Quick Reference 52 Appendix A: Prompt Definition Quick Reference 53
Volume in drive A has no label Directory of A:\ FILE1196 TXT 2005 10-26-88 5:54p GO BAT 38 1-18-88 1:38p GO TXT 386 10-25-88 2:05p MAGIC DIS 235136 7-28-88 6:09a MANUAL ARC 56306 7-28-88 6:35a MMINST COM 15992 7-28-88 6:03a PRTR COM 4956 8-15-87 1:53p RBOOT BAT 208 7-10-87 9:00a READ ME 7833 7-28-88 6:17a 9 file(s) 322860 bytes 35840 bytes free