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PC-SIG Diskette Library (Disk #3113)

[PCjs Machine "ibm5170"]

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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 _____.

Directory of PC-SIG Library Disk #3113

 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