Window Master- Advanced Features - Without OS-9
Have you ever seen a product advertisement you couldn't believe? You know the kind - " ... it slices, it dices ... all for $19.95."We've all seen unbelievable ones. When I saw the advertisement for Window Master, I believed about half of what I read. However, seeing is believing, and once I saw this program in action, I became a believer.
Window Master is a point-and-click graphics operating environment that uses either a 320-by-225 screen with 16 colors or a 640-by-225 screen with four colors. The program requires a Color Computer 3; 51 2K is recommended. (There is a 128K version, which works well, but it has a limited range of features. In this review I 124 THE RAINBOW February 1989 will discuss only the 512K version.) The program also requires a disk drive, a HiRes joystick adapter, a color or monochrome monitor, and a mouse or joystick. The program provides the user with a wide range of new features through Wh7- dow BASIC, an extension of Disk Extended BASIC that uses normal BASIC command__ to control windows, pull-down menus, buttons, icons, edit fields, etc. This version of BASIC is automatically installed in your system when the progran1 is loaded into the CoCo 3. In addition, the progran1 is fully compatible with Disk Extended BASIC and takes none of CoCo's BASIC memory. Window Master is easy to load- just type RUN"W" and the BASIC program willloadandexecute Window Master's installation code. In a 512K system, the program installs two RAM disks. Using this program, you can create BASIC applications that use multiple windows. Window Master supports a maximum of 31 windows onscreen at once. Overlapping windows are also supported. You have a choice of six different window styles and any window size or screen position. You use your mouse to move the windows _mywhere on the screen. Dido 't they say only OS-9 could do all that? Move over, Multi-Vue . Window Master features tme eventtrapping- a capability that allows a progrrun to detect and respond to certain events and branch to the appropriate routine. Events that can be trapped include time passage, selection of a menu item or a keyboard key, etc. The program also includes a set of menu statements and functions that give you all the tools needed to create custom menu-bar options and subtopics under these new headings. The Mouse statements let you incorporate the mouse into any program. These statements can identify the location of a mouse on the screen- including the window number - and whether or not the mouse has been clicked. In addition, the Mouse statements let you enable or disable the mouse and set the type of mouse pointer displayed. Other Window Master statements include Edit Field statements (useful for those of us who must create forms), the Pen Size statement, a Protect statement and WEdit. The Protect statement is used to protect a specified num her oflines in the current window, which can keep the top of the window from scrolling off the screen. The WEdit statement allows the use of a built-in screen editor for editing BASIC program lines. Although you can still use the regular Edit command, I found WEdit much easier to use. The program features a fully buffered keyboard that allows you to type ahead of the display - even when inserting text. You can also enter command_; or answers to prompts when the system is busy loading or saving files to disk or printing to the printer. The buffer will hold up to 48 characters, including ENTER. (Remember, this is Disk BASIC.) The program's large number of programmable function keys can be used for anything from complex command sequences to a single word or phrase, all at the touch of a key. Window Master automatically loads a set of function keys when it starts up, all of which can be changed, deleted, loaded or saved. So you can save your own customized function key set.
You can display up to 212 characters per line, in eight different character-enhancement modes -bold, italic, underline, double width and height, quad width, super and subscript, and regular characters. Any of these features can be selected at any time, and more than one feature can be enabled at the same time. In addition, the program has a built-in graphics character font for printing special symbols. The system includes several printer drivers and allows the user to print either the current window or the entire screen.pages of understandable documentation. With the information provided, I was able to produce a program ufjlizing eight windows on my screen. In fact, I was so fascinated that I wrote several programs. The system is a delight to use!
Window Master comes on a somewhat copy-protected disk. You can make backup copies with the BACKUP command, but the backup isn't bootable. You must boot up with the original disk and then replace the original with your backup. If the original disk is damaged within a year of the purchase date, it will be replaced free of charge. The program disk comes with many demonstration programs, like a calendar program, an MGE graphics viewer and a graphics editor. Cer-Comp promises more in the future. The company is also producing an advanced programming guide designed for Window Master users, and the company would like to bear from those of you using this product. If you produce some great software with Window Master, Cer-Comp might want to make you an offer. The program has made Disk Extended BASIC very powerful. Window Master is reasonably priced and (dare I say it?) offers so many features that it is probably underpriced. I recommend this software to all CoCo 3 owners.
-Brian R. Smith