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* * * * THE LUMBERJACK PRESENTS….. * * * * SOFT/DOC 001 * * * * A SYSOP'S GUIDE TO AE * * * * Written by * * THE LUMBERJACK * * Rev 1.0 * * * * WRITTEN FOR: * * * * THE MILL 213-393-6501 PW=WOOD * *

   ASCII Express is the most widely used programs for the distribution of

software. With all of its powers, AE still need some minor fine tuning. Hopefully, with this article, AE sysops will know a little more about their boards.

   First of all, most sysops want to know how to customize their messages.

Instead of "Goodbye…" they may want "Later dude". Making a mod to AE itself is pretty easy if you know how AE prints out a message. Whenever AE prints something out it does a machine language equivalent to a GOSUB and the data following that GOSUB is printed out character by character until it reaches a zero or null. When it reaches that null, the program returns to a point after the null. That is why if you tried to replace "Entry :" by "Password", AE would probably crash.

   Almost any sector editor will allow you to find the messages and

alter them. If you opt to change messages this way, be sure that the message you put instead in exactly the same number of characters. If you want to extend the message, you must place a seperate subroutine somewhere in memory. I chose $300 (of 768 in decimal). I am pretty sure that area of memory is not being used. Well, some of it is, but it should be free from $300 to $380. Here is a sample program to make a longer message:



15 POKE 768,32 : POKE 769,128 : POKE


20 FOR X=1 TO 124 25 GET A$: PRINT A$; 30 IF A$ = CHR$(17) THEN 45 35 POKE 770+X,ASC(A$) 40 NEXT X 45 POKE 770+X,0:POKE 770+X+1,96 50 PRINT CHR$(4)"BSAVE MESSAGE.OBJ,

   This mini-editor will write the subroutine, you need only to alter AE to

call this subroutine rather than allowing AE to print out it's own message. The way AE is set up, the ideal messages to change would re the "Entry :" or the "Goodbye…" message. The way to change them is to use a sector editor to scan the disk until you find the message. The first three bytes in front of the first letter should be $20 $80 $2F. You need to change that to $20 $00 $03. Then, you need to change every letter in the message and the $00 following the message to $EA. Here is a sample (in hexadecimal):


  00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07    ASCII

00- 4F 20 80 2F 45 6E 74 72 . @/Entr 08- 79 20 3A 00 A9 04 8D 11 y :@)DMQ


00- 4F 20 00 03 EA EA EA EA . @Cjjjj 08- A EA EA EA A9 04 8D 11 jjjj)DMQ

   Please note, the locations and values in this example are not exactly what

you would see with your sector editor. It would also be wise to try this on a back-up copy of AE. You could probably changge almost any message in AE, however, "Entry :" and "Goodbye…" are highly recommended for this type of patch.

   To complete the patch, just BLOAD the MESSAGE.OBJ into memory and then


   There are some other minor notes that I thought I would include in this

article. At the present time, I know of no back door to AE 4.2, but I wouldn't doubt one exists.

   If you are not sure of the serial number of an AE line, call it up, and

type ctrl-D ctrl-I ctrl-S. I don't know if this has any value though.

   If you need to post a message on your AE line, while someone is

connected, just chat with him. Tell the user not to type. Go into local with a ctrl-Q, clear the copy buffer with C, go back to local with ctrl-Q, turn on copy buffer, type your message while in chat mode, go back to local with ctrl-Q, and turn off the copy buffer. You now have your message in your copy buffer, just write it to disk with the W command.

   A popular method of crashing AE is to type V for view and then (space).

This puts the AE line into local, and leaves the phone off-hook. To stop this one can go into 'Install' and suppress the (space) which has a hexadecimal value of $20.

   Another way to prevent crashing AE (spacebar method) and allow the space-

bar to function is by re-routing the RTS to the proper Menu after the View command has been aborted:


   AE also allows you to put individual passwords on seperate drives or

volumes. Most people already know how to do this, but here is a review. Create a text file named "AE.NOACCESS" (no qoutes). In that text file, you may have one line of text, that text may be up to 38 characters. That line of text is the password. Simply put that file on the drive/volume you wish to lock out.



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