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PC99menu - a resource for users of the PC99 TI99/4a emulator

PC99menu is a DOS program that will work in Windows 9x.
If you wish to run PC99 from DOS but do not have it, FreeDOS is available which can boot from your floppy drive without any need to repartition your hard disk.
NOTE: This file has been placed on the web in html format (but using text presentation) for ready reference.

Due to a significant shortage of registrations development work has ceased.

pc99menu is for the dos version of pc99 - from 1st November 2016 a Windows version of pc99, pc99w, has been sold complete with the dos version and the TI encyclopedia The Cyc. pc99w uses a configuration program with its own drop down list of modules.

- Viewing this file
- Version
- About PC99 Menu
- Installation
- IMPORTANT note for PC99A users
- Files
- Placing a shortcut on the Start Menu
- Placing a shortcut on the Desktop
- Adding an icon to Program Manager
- Version history
- Starting the menu
- Making a selection
- What will happen when you make a selection
- Getting more information
- Quitting
- How to specify what goes on the menu
- The order of the menu
- Using disks
- Using the Myarc RAM card
- Using Myarc Extended Basic
- Customising the title bar
- Editing PC99.MOD
- The benefits of registering
- How to register
- Upgrading
- Uninstalling
- Reporting problems
- Known problems
- Future plans

This is the documentation for PC99 Menu version 1.2 by George Shaw.
(C) Copyright George Shaw 1999

Viewing this file
If you are viewing this file in Notepad, you are advised to Maximize the window so you can see all of the text correctly. This file is word wrapped to 77 columns, so few programs should have difficulty displaying or printing it.

About PC99 Menu
=============== PC99 Menu is a menu which allows you to choose a module to have in slot 1 when you start PC99. In addition, you can also instruct the menu to insert a set disk into DSK1 with the module (although until you register this is limited to PC99.DSK and MYARC.DSK). Finally, you can also mark some modules as requiring the Myarc Ram Card.

You are free to distribute the unregistered version of PC99 Menu, so long as you do not charge a fee for it. You must supply the 3 files PC99MENU.EXE, 99MENU.BAT and PC99MENU.TXT, or alternatively just supply MENUINST.EXE if you still have it.

If you do not distibute BRUN45.EXE, then you must make sure anyone who was to get PC99 Menu from you knows that a required file is not supplied (if you have QuickBASIC, you will have this file any way).

You must NOT distribute the registered version of PC99 Menu.

To install, copy the file MENUINST.EXE to the directory that contains PC99 and then run it. This will extract the neccesary files to your PC99 directory. If the installation was successful, you may then safely delete MENUINST.EXE. The file BRUN45.EXE is a library which is required to run PC99 Menu. You are advised to move this file to a location which is in your PATH (for example, C:\WINDOWS is normally in most people's PATHs), so other programs can use it as well.

IMPORTANT note for PC99A users
My menu program will only run PC99. It will not run PC99A. If you NEED to use PC99A (e.g. if your system doesn't have enough memory to run the full version), then copy PC99A.EXE over PC99.EXE, so that they are both the same file before you use the menu program. You are advised to make a backup of PC99.EXE first, just in case your circumstances change and you wish to use it again.

99MENU.BAT Run this batch file to display the menu. This should be in your PC99 directory.
BRUN45.EXE This is a library used by PC99 Menu. You are advised to put it in your PATH.
PC99MENU.EXE This is the menu itself. This should be in the PC99 directory. Please do not run this, but run 99MENU.BAT instead.
PC99MENU.TXT This README file. You can put this where you like. You can even rename it if you wish.
TEMP.BAT This is a temporary file created by the menu. It is placed in the root directory of drive C:. You can delete it whenever you find it so long as PC99 isn't running at the time.

Placing a shortcut on your Start Menu
1. Open the Taskbar Properties dialog, by selecting Start, Settings, Taskbar & Start Menu. Alternatively, right-click a blank space on your task bar and then select Properties.
2. Select the Start Menu tab.
3. Click the "Add..." button.
4. Follow the on-screen instructions. The command-line to use is
x:\dir\99MENU.BAT, where x:\dir\ is the directory that contains PC99 and the menu.
5. If you wish to modify the shortcut you just created (e.g. to change the icon), follow steps 1 and 2, then click the "Advanced..." button. Then navigate to the folder that you placed the shortcut to PC99 in to. Right- click the file then select Properties. Make the modifications you wish to make then click OK. To rename the shortcut, select Rename instead of Properties on the right-click menu.

Placing a shortcut on the desktop
1. Right click in any blank space on the desktop and select New, Shortcut.
2. Follow the on-screen instructions. The command-line to use is x:\dir\99MENU.BAT, where x:\dir\ is the directory that contains PC99 and the menu.
3. If you wish to modify the shortcut you just created (e.g. to change the icon), right click the icon and select Properties. Make the changes you wish to make then click OK. To rename the shortcut, select Rename instead of Properties on the right-click menu.

Creating an icon in Program Manager
1. Either click on, or use the Window menu to choose the program group to place the icon in. To create a new program group, select File, New... and then select "Program Group" and click OK. Enter a name for the program group and click OK again.
2. Select File, New...
3. Select "Program Item" then click OK.
4. Enter the name you wish to be displayed for this program item in the "Description" box.
5. For the Command Line, enter x:\dir\99MENU.BAT, where x:\dir\ is the directory you keep PC99 and the menu in.
6. Click "Change Icon..." (a message should be displayed indicating that the selected file has no icons, click OK when this is displayed).
7. Double-click the icon you wish to use. If you can't find a good icon from the selection shown, click Browse... to choose another file to look in for icons (hint: C:\WINDOWS\MORICONS.DLL is a good file to look at for icons!)
8. Click OK to all the dialog boxes open (starting with the top most one).

Version history
1.2 Modified PC99 Menu for general use. Added customisation of title bar.
1.1 Added support for Myarc hard ware and disk switching.
1.0 First ever version.

Starting the menu
To start the menu, run 99MENU.BAT from your PC99 directory.

Making a selection
First go to the page that contains the module you wish to use. Valid keys for doing this are:
Page Up - Next page
Page Down - Previous page
Ctrl+Home - Goto page 1

The current page number is shown in the top right corner of the screen.

Now there are many ways of selecting the module to use from those shown on the screen
+ Use the Up/down/left/right keys to select the module. You can also use Home/End to select the first/last item.
+ Enter the number of the item. If you make a mistake in entering the number, press space, then re-enter the number.
+ Use the mouse to click on the item.

To run the item, either press Enter, or use the mouse to click on it again.

What will happen when you make a selection
The menu program will store the instructions it wants executed in a file called C:\TEMP.BAT. Next, the menu program will exit (to free up memory), and this batch file will be executed. This batch file will do the following (in this order):
1. Reconfigure PC99 to use the chosen module
2. Run PC99 so you can use the module
3. When you quit PC99, return to the menu

Getting more information
Use the instructions above to select a module. However, instead of running it, press the I key on your keyboard for more information. The following information is displayed:
+ Internal name (the name used in PC99.MOD)
+ Display name (how it is displayed on the menu)
+ Display number
+ Module files used (GRM and ROM files)
+ The disk file used (if you are using one)
+ Does the module require the Myarc RAM card?

To exit the menu, simply hit Esc while at the main menu screen.

How to specify what goes on the menu
The menu takes the menu headings from the items listed in PC99.MOD. To add a menu item simply add it into PC99.MOD. It doesn't matter how you specify it in PC99.MOD (all upper case, all lower case or mixed), since menu items will always be displayed with the first letter of each word as a capital letter, and everything else in lower case. Remember, you must also list the GROM and ROM files that the module uses, or PC99 won't know where to find the module on the disk. Here is an example of how to add the module "Mancala" to the menu:

This assumes that you keep your PC99 modules in \PC99\MODULES, and that you haven't renamed any of the files. You will need the Mancala files in order for this to work of course.

The order of the menu
PC99 Menu will list the modules in the same order they are listed in the PC99.MOD file. So, to move an item on the menu, move it in PC99.MOD.

Using disks
The PC99 Menu can set the active DSK file for DSK1 as well as setting the active module. To do this, place a line that reads "# DISK:xxx.DSK" under the heading of the module you wish the disk to be used with. For example:
[my module]

The space after the '#' is required. Do not put any other spaces in the file name. Do not use the Windows 9x long filenames. Do not include an absolute path (i.e. do not use a path that begins with '\' or 'x:\'). My menu program assumes all DSK files are stored in the DSK sub-directory which is in your PC99 directory. If the DSK you wish to use is in a sub-directory branching off the DSK directory use:
# DISK:dir\disk.DSK

If you have a DSK file in your main PC99 directory, use:
# DISK:..\disk.DSK

If the DSK file is in a directory which branches off the main PC99 directory, use:
# DISK:..\dir\disk.DSK

If the DSK file is in a directory which branches off the root directory of the drive, use:
# DISK:..\..\dir\disk.DSK

At the moment you cannot use DSK files stored on drives other than the drive PC99 is stored on.

If the DSK file you specify doesn't exist, it will be created using the current contents of the file DSK1 in your DSK directory.

The syntax used in the first example above should suffice for most people's purposes.

The way that my program places the DSK file into your TI disk drive is by copying it over your DSK1 file (stored in the DSK sub-directory of PC99). When you have finished using the disk, DSK1 is copied back to the original disk file.

NOTE: PC99 Menu assumes that the DSK1 file stored in the DSK sub-directory is the file that you use for your "DSK1." device in PC99. If it isn't, you can change it to dir\DSK\DSK1 (where dir\ is the directory you store PC99 in) using the CFG program provided with PC99. See your PC99 documentation for more information.

WARNING: When you select a menu item from the PC99 Menu, the existing contents of DSK1 are lost. If you wish to store data to DSK1, do not use the default disk (unless it has been put there by PC99 Menu, in which case it will be put back safely again when you quit), but use the "cd 1" command instead to make another DSK file the active file for DSK1, in which you can store data safely without worrying about it being overwritten.

If you are an unregistered user, then you will only be able to use this disk switching facility if one or more of the following conditions are true:
- The DSK file is called PC99.DSK or MYARC.DSK.
- The module's name begins with "myarc".
- The module uses the Myarc RAM card.

Using the Myarc RAM card
Sometimes, you might need to use the Myarc RAM card. This might be because you need the extra memory it provides, because you wish to use Myarc Extended Basic, or for any other reason. To do this, simply put in a line reading "# MYARC" under the heading for the module that needs the Myarc RAM card in PC99.MOD.

Using Myarc Extended Basic
Myarc Extended Basic needs the Myarc RAM card and the Myarc Extended Basic disk in to work. However, although some versions of Myarc Extended Basic used to require the Myarc Extended Basic command module as well, this is not required with PC99 (and I don't think it is available for PC99 either).
To add Myarc Extended Basic to the PC99 Menu, add the following to PC99.MOD:
[myarc extended basic]
You don't actually need to specify any GRM or ROM files here. P1300R0.ROM isn't really a module, but it suffices as a dummy to use (a bug in my menu at the moment causes an error to be displayed if you get information on a menu item that has no GRM or ROM files). You cannot use the dummy module files supplied with PC99 as the size of these is greater than 16KB (Myarc Extended Basic cannot work with more than 2 module files in slot 1). You can load a different module that uses only 1 or 2 files, if you like. 128KOS (Myarc Extended Basic) is only listed on the TI module selection menu if the module in slot 1 is either non-existant or fairly small.

Customising the title bar
The title bar normally reads "PC99 Module Menu". This can be changed to read whatever you like be placing "# TITLE:whatever you like" on the second line of PC99.MOD. It must come after your registration information in order to work. You must be a registered user in order to use this facility.

Editing PC99.MOD
I would recommend that you edit PC99.MOD using a text editor like Notepad or the MS-DOS editor, and not a word processor. This is because it is too easy to accidentally save the file as a format other than text in a word processor.

If for some reason you can't use a text editor then you can use a word processor like MS Word or Wordpad. If you do though, make sure you save the file as ASCII text (only use "ANSI Text", "Windows Text", or "UNIX Text" if you have no other choice). To guarantee this, use File, Save As... to save the file instead of using File, Save. Check that in the file type box a text format is listed. If not, change the selection to a valid text format.

Be careful that you save the file as PC99.MOD - not PC99.TXT. Some programs will automatically save the file as PC99.txt or PC99.MOD.txt, so you will have to rename it later. To do this you are advised to use the MS-DOS Prompt rather than Windows Explorer if file extensions have been set not to show in Windows Explorer (this can be changed using View, Folder Options...). First, rename the original PC99.MOD to something like PC99BAK.MOD (don't delete it just in case you make a mistake). If this back-up file already exists, you can safely delete it first. Now rename PC99.MOD.txt or PC99.txt to PC99.MOD. The MS-DOS Prompt commands you will need for doing this are:
C: Change to drive C:
CD \PC99 Change to the directry \PC99.
DEL PC99BAK.MOD Delete the file PC99BAK.MOD.
REN PC99.TXT PC99.MOD Rename PC99.TXT to PC99.MOD.
EXIT Leave MS-DOS Prompt.

The benefits of registering
+ The ability to use disk files other than for Myarc.
+ You can customise the title bar to anything you like.
+ The please register message on exit will be replaced with your name!
+ The "(unregistered)" message on the title bar will disappear.
+ It will clear your conscience.

How to register
Please Contact me using a subject name containing pc99. I will advise you of where and how to send (as cash only please) $8 (or GBP 5)

Make sure that you send an accompanying letter that tells me:
+ Your name (as it is to be shown on the exitting screen)
+ Your E-mail address (so I can send you the registration code)
+ The version you have (I plan to change the registration code in the future)

If you upgrade to PC99 Menu version 1.x, there is no need to reregister - the same registration code will still work with the new version. However, if you upgrade to PC99 Menu version 2.0 or higher, please send $4 (cash only please) to the above address along with the following information:
+ Your name (as you used to register the first time)
+ Your old registration code (as shown at the top of PC99.MOD)
+ The version of PC99 Menu that you have already registered.
+ The version of PC99 Menu that you are upgrading to.
+ Your E-Mail address (so I can send you the new registration code)

To uninstall PC99 Menu, simply delete the following files from your PC99 directory:

If it exists, you are advised to delete TEMP.BAT in the root directory of your drive C:.

Also, if you created any shortcuts or program items pointing to PC99 Menu, you can delete them once you have deleted PC99 Menu (simply highlight them, then press Delete on your keyboard). For items on your Start Menu:
1. Select Start, Settings, Taskbar & Start Menu.
2. Select the Start Menu tab.
3. Click Remove...
4. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Reporting problems
If you have any problems, feel free to write a letter to the address shown above, or e-mail (see below)

Please include the following information:
+ Your address (so I can respond),
+ What happened in detail,
+ The error message displayed (if any),
+ A print-out of PC99.MOD (use your text editor to do this),
+ A directory listing of your PC99 directory (use "DIR > PRN" at the MS-DOS Prompt to do this, while you are in your PC99 directory),
+ Which module you selected (if any) when the problem occured,
+ Which operating system are you running (MS-DOS, Win95, Win98, WinNT, etc.)
+ Was MS Windows running at the time? If so, which version?

Known problems
After using some programs in Windows 9x (particually ones that make a large amount of use of high resolution graphics), either the PC99 Menu or PC99 itself will experience problems (like the keyboard locking up, quitting unexpectantly, and constantly typing Ctrl+A (shown as a smiley face or ^A)). This is a problem that affects most DOS programs run from Windows. To rectify the problem just restart Windows (select Start, Shut Down..., then select Restart).

Getting information on a menu item that uses no module files will result in an error message telling you that another program modified PC99.MOD.

You cannot use a mouse without an MS-DOS mouse driver - the Windows mouse driver will not suffice (i.e. even if the mouse works in Windows, it may not work in DOS unless you have an MS-DOS driver).

Contact me - Please use subject: To George re PC99menu