8-Bit Software Online Conversion

        Version 2.00 by Steven Flintham (15A) Introduction The messaging system is designed to allow 8BS members to send both messages for publication in the disc magazine and private messages to each other. Members use the program to write their messages which they can then send in to the editor on their submission disc. He then uses a separate program which helps to sort all the messages out ready for inclusion in the magazine. Inserting your submission disc When the program is run, it asks you to insert your submission disc in drive 0. If your submission disc in in DFS format you should press D, while if it is in ADFS format you should press A. If you are not sure, pressing SPACE will almost certainly work. If you are using DFS, you are strongly advised to put absolutely nothing else on the same disc as the message file. Of course, when you no longer need to edit the messages you can copy other files onto the same disc ready to send it off. You should leave the submission disc in the drive at all times. You should also avoid pressing BREAK Entering your user ID and name If you have not previously used this disc to store messages you will be asked to enter your user ID and name. You can just press RETURN instead of entering your name if you wish to remain anonymous. The main menu You can choose an option by either pressing the letters shown at the right hand edge of the screen or using the up and down cursor keys. When you have highlighted an option, pressing RETURN will confirm your choice. You can usually return to the main menu by pressing ESCAPE if you get stuck anywhere else in the program. Writing a new message To start writing a new message, choose the "Start a new message" option from the main menu. You will be asked for the user ID to send the message to. There are three possibilites. Firstly, you can enter the user ID of an individual member to send a private message to them. Secondly, you can enter the 'fake' user ID CCC to send in a comment on a program or article you have seen in the magazine. Thirdly, you can enter the 'fake' user ID 999 to send a general message to everyone. These messages appear in the magazine and can contain anything suitable for an 8BS issue. Once you have entered the user ID and pressed RETURN the main editing screen will appear. The message editor The message editor is used to edit both new and old messages. If you are writing a new message, the cursor will be placed on the subject line, ready for you to enter the subject. The message editor is a bit like a wordprocessor, although there are several important differences. Pressing RETURN will move you down onto the next line, as you would expect, and as you type words which don't quite fit at the end of lines will be moved automatically onto the next line. You can use the cursor keys to move around the message and whatever you type will appear at the cursor, as in a wordprocessor. When you reach the bottom of the screen, either by typing or by using the cursor keys, it will scroll to allow you to continue. There is a limit to the length of a message but this should not be a problem. If you run up against the limit you should consider rewriting the message as a complete article. The DELETE key works almost as normal but you cannot DELETE back past the start of a line as you can in some wordprocessors. If you delete words in the middle of a paragraph, the words from the next line will not move up to fill in the space. CTRL f6 inserts a space after the cursor, moving the rest of the line over, but as with DELETE, words at the edge of the screen will just be pushed off the edge rather than moved onto the next line. You can delete lines and close up the gap by pressing CTRL f8. CTRL f7 inserts a blank line above the current line. You can change the colour of the text by pressing f0-f6. An important point to bear in mind is that if you simply type over the recipient's ID at the top of the message, that will not change the recipient. You must also press SHIFT f9 and type in the new ID when asked. The ID of the person who will actually receive the message is always shown on the bottom line of the screen when you are editing a message. You should ensure that this is the same as the ID at the top of the message. If you find this confusing, simply take care to enter the correct user ID when first starting a new message and don't change the ID at the top of the message. When you are happy with the message, press ESCAPE to leave the editor and save the message to disc. Viewing, editing, deleting and printing existing messages To examine any messages you have already written, choose the view/edit/print option from the main menu. Each line in the menu begins with the user ID to which it will be sent and then has as much of the subject line as will fit. As with the main menu, you can use the up and down cursor keys to move the highlight. There are no other keys you can press to move the highlight on this menu. When you have highlighted a message there are several options. You can press V or RETURN to view the message. You can press E to edit the message. You can press P to print the message. You can press D to delete the message. Printing all the messages If you want to print all the messages, you can choose the "Print all the messages" option from the main menu. You will be asked if you are sure you want to print the messages and printing will only start if you press Y. You can press ESCAPE while the messages are being printed and the computer will stop. However, if you have a large printer buffer printing may continue - this is unavoidable. Tidying the messages When you delete a message it is not actually removed, it is just made "invisible". When you tidy the message file these invisible messages are removed. You are recommended to tidy the message file periodically so as to prevent it from growing too large. In particular, it would be a good idea to tidy the message file before sending your submission disc in, although this is not required. Re-entering your user ID and name Choosing the "Re-enter your user ID/name" options allows you to correct any errors you made when you were first asked for your user ID and name. Undeleting messages If you have accidentally deleted a message which you wanted to keep you can probably recover it by choosing "Undelete deleted messages" from the main menu. This will not work if the message file has been tidied in the meantime, but no harm will result from trying. Leaving the program To leave the program, you can either choose "Quit" from the main menu or press BREAK when the main menu is displayed. More advanced editing features This section is described in full in the unabridged instructions to be found on TBI-00 f7 and f8 insert steady and flashing control codes. SHIFT f7 and SHIFT f8 insert coloured and black background codes. CTRL f4 and CTRL f5 insert double and single height codes. There is some support for teletext graphics. CTRL f0-f6 insert graphics colour codes into the message and f9 enters a pixel toggling mode in which Q, W, A, S, Z and X toggle the 6 pixels of a teletext graphics character. Press f9 again to exit pixel toggling mode. CTRL f0 and CTRL f1 insert contiguous and separated graphics codes. CTRL f2 and CTRL f3 insert hold and release graphics codes. Reporting problems If you have any problems with the messaging system please let me know. The more information you can supply about the problem, the more likely it is that I can fix it. You should try turning the computer off, disabling any extra ROMs etc before running the program to see if that solves the problem - if it does then the program is incompatible with some feature of your system. If you can track down the incompatibility I will be pleased to try and cure it. PRESS SPACE