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MASMENU - Master Menu

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MASTER MENUS
by Beverly Howard, Kaypro Austin Club, May 1987
(Some thoughts on Kaypro's master menus)

Starting with the introduction of Kaypro 10's, master menus were supplied with the operating systems in an attempt to make the computer's operating system less intimidating for computer novices. These "menu" or "front end" programs eliminate the immediate need for any knowledge of the operating system and reduce commands to cursor movements and typing in filenames. If you are still using these training wheels, it may be time to take a deep breath and plunge directly into the operating system.

Menus usually limit the user's flexibility and access to the computer's capabilities to a small fraction of its capabilities. Sticking to it is similar to having access to only three or four offices connected by windowless padded halls within an otherwise large and interesting building. While it's true that you are unlikely to trip and hurt yourself or your data in these transfer corridors, it could be nice to break free of these constraints. Your initial forays outside the menus can be initiated by selecting the "Exit to Operating System (CPM or Dos)" option and as simple as copying one file to a blank floppy or formatting a batch of new disks.

As you gain more experience, you will find that menus are simply "command typing" programs that type in the operating system command lines as you select the options presented, using SUBMIT or BATCH files to process a series of the necessary commands. The menu program itself is a .COM or .BAT file that is called by CPM or an AUTOEXEC.BAT file after a cold start, and the simplest way to stop the menu from being used automatically is to rename it. From "MASMENU.COM" TO "MM.COM" for example. Type "MM" to call it back quickly if you get insecure.

I do not really want to use many words at this point. Read the following excerpt from the PROFILES issue 1986/05 (p. 28-31) at your leisure and you will know everything about the "Master Menu".

Mastering your Master Menu - How to customize it for word processing and more.

MASMENU - Master Menu
MASMENU - Master Menu

Files and programs

  1. MASMENU.COM
  2. MASMENU.DAT
  3. MASMENU.TXT
  4. MASPREP.COM

The first two files are almost always on your Kaypro 10 or on the associated floppy disks. However, most of the time the files MASMENU.TXT and MASPREP.COM are missing. These are absolutely necessary if you want to create or customize your own menu (see: Mastering your Master Menu - The basic process).

Have a look at the file MASMENU.TXT, here you will find a detailed menu for the Kaypro 10. This menu also uses different USER areas!

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