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IRIS: ELECTRONIC BOOKS MADE SIMPLE Binding sheets of paper together to form books was a landmark idea. Papyrus scrolls were suddenly obsolete. The book format made a table of contents and index practical. Steering the reader to another part of a book was as simple as citing a page number. Best of all, you never had to rewind a book. This was the beginning of random access. Iris has taken books one step further. Instead of citing page numbers, authors can cite topic names. Readers can select the names directly from the screen, or from a menu. Electronic books can ask questions and respond to the answers. Readers can jump from one topic to another with the flick of a key. Windows can change color and size, and be accompanied by pleasant tones. When you use Iris, the first thing you see is a friendly help screen and a menu of available books. This menu works like all Iris menus. A single sorted column with items that can be selected with cursor keys, or by typing the first letter of the item. If all the items cannot be shown at once, readers can quickly scroll up and down the list. The Iris distribution disk comes with two complete electronic (or "virtual") books. One is a tutorial. Another is a reference work. The tutorial and reference books cover Iris itself, including an introduction to writing virtual books. Both are good examples of what Iris can do with these types of books. Although a sample text adventure was not provided, it's obvious that Iris was designed with gaming in mind. If you already have material stored in an ASCII text file, converting it to a virtual book is a snap. Internally, Iris uses a format similar to the well-known DOS batch file. The major difference is that "unmarked" lines are displayed, while "command" lines take special prefixes. To get started, all Iris needs is an occasional "topic name." These look just like a batch file "label". Just type a colon followed by the name you want to give the following text. Topics can be any length. Rename the file with a .PGE extension, and you're in business. Of course, you might want to go on and take advantage of the many special features Iris offers, but that's optional. Note that Iris does not include an editor. To write a book, you must use your own text editor (or ASCII-capable word processor), and name your file with a .PGE extension. Burgeoning authors would also want to print a copy of the IRIS-XTR book for reference. UserWare is also building a "library" of virtual books. Your submissions are invited, and royalties will be paid. Catalogs will be distributed to registered users. A registered copy of Iris sells for $8.00. An advanced version, Prism, is $16.00. Prism adds many features that would interest people writing books themselves. Iris, a MS DOS program, uses 148k of free memory, and works well with both color and monochrome monitors. UserWare, 4 Falcon Lane East, Fairport NY 14450-3312. Features List: For readers: selectable screen colors, borders, and CPU speeds, sound switch, bookmark, topics list, view list, DOS shell. For authors: color, sound, windows, variables, arithmetic and logical operators, procedural commands, external programs, user input, link topics via menus or "hotwords", (advanced version also includes) autoplay, topic and variable listing, command trace, editor support. Capsule Description: Iris. "Electronic book processor." Link topics. Store input. Merge variables. Run programs. Use color, sound, windows. $8 registration. 148K, monochrome or color. Disk _____.
Volume in drive A has no label Directory of A:\ IRIS TXT 3667 9-11-89 11:59a IRIS EXE 84096 9-10-89 11:59a IRIS MSG 4856 9-10-89 11:59a CHKPRN EXE 1840 9-11-89 11:59a GETKEY EXE 4976 9-11-89 11:59a SHOW EXE 7168 9-11-89 11:59a !UPDATE MRK 2294 9-10-89 11:59a !UPDATE PGE 3222 9-10-89 11:59a IRIS-DOC CFG 524 9-11-89 11:59a IRIS-DOC PGE 100299 9-11-89 11:59a IRIS-DOC MRK 11199 9-11-89 11:59a IRIS-REF PGE 74366 9-10-89 11:59a IRIS-REF MRK 7104 9-10-89 11:59a IRIS-XTR PGE 9270 9-10-89 11:59a IRIS-XTR MRK 3204 9-10-89 11:59a HARDCOPY EXE 20704 9-11-89 11:59a HARDCOPY SET 1923 9-10-89 11:59a HARDCOPY PGE 1644 9-10-89 11:59a HARDCOPY MRK 2489 9-10-89 11:59a IRIS-REG 2072 9-10-89 11:59a IRIS-REG BAT 647 9-10-89 11:59a GO-IRIS BAT 2892 9-25-89 12:24p 22 file(s) 350456 bytes 2048 bytes free