Saturday, August 22, 2015

Prescription Translator

  I promise the programs will get interesting sooner or later. This one is a simple menu of abbreviations and terms you might find on a prescription. If you aren't sure what is being said between your doctor and your pharmacist, it could come in handy. I think I might have written the program as an example of how to do a pre-mouse menu.

 I usually try out these programs in VICE before supplying you with the .d81 file that has that issue's programs on it. But I couldn't get the Prescription Translator to work from the .d81 file. So I tried SnapShotting the file and it worked with VICE. If you use VICE, download the .vsf file and attach it as a SnapShot file.
  Here is the Read It from 1990, pointing out the fact that I knew I was 100% in charge, since no one in the company ever looked at LOADSTAR. I could say whatever I wanted!

The powers-that-be here at SOFTDISK had a big meeting the other day to discuss spelling checkers. They asked me which one I used and I answered, “None. Can’t you tell?” Of course they couldn’t know, since no one here ever reads LOADSTAR except Jeff, Scott and me.
My answer was sort of facetious since I consider myself a pretty good speller and I don’t think too many typos get past us. (My most embarrassing error was on a recent LOADSTAR 128 disk where I spelled the French word “voila” as “viola”. My face is properly red, but then even the most sophisticated spell checker in the world wouldn’t have caught that one!)
Last issue a few of my editorial comments bordered on being anti-progress and a few of the beta testers pointed this out, so let me make it clear that I consider spell checkers a great boon for mankind. If I had one that worked with Edstar, LOADSTAR’s pet text editor, I’d probably use it.
However, spell checking doesn’t go far enough yet. I’m waiting for the next leap forward, the fact checker. Maybe when CD ROMs take over and complete encyclopedias are put on one CD, your computer will be able to check your writing for factual errors. Some of us may be shocked to see a whole screen full of reversed words, or worse, maybe the whole document will be reversed!
The first time I ever heard of a fact checker was in Jay McInerney’s book, “Bright Lights, Big City”. Apparently the big guys in the publishing field (THE NEW YORKER, SATURDAY REVIEW, even TIME!) hire Michael J. Foxish yuppies to check every sentence published in their magazines for accuracy. This definitely sounds like a job for a computer.
In order to keep LOADSTAR abreast of the big guys I splurged and bought a book called “The New York Public Library DESK REFERENCE”. It was cheaper than a yuppie. It’s supposed to have everything a writer needs to keep his drivel factual, if not interesting. I haven’t been through it all yet, but it looks pretty good. One of the charts had some information that I found quite useful, and maybe you will, too. I’ve written it up in a Run It program for this Diskovery. It’s a program that translates the cryptic prescriptions that doctors write to pharmacists. You see, it’s not only bad handwriting that distinguishes doctor’s writing; there’s also a code involved.
A disclaimer: the information in the Run It file is strictly that — information. I offer no medical advice whatsoever. I just happen to like knowing what my doctor is saying about me to my pharmacist.
Of course, you can always look at my code to see how easy it is to do menus of this sort. I use SCREEN SWITCHER 1990 to simulate windows and allow the menu to pop back in place, without having to be rePRINTed. The custom character set makes possible the little graphic symbols that doctors use.
Run It in good health!

  2015 here. I'm afraid tomorrow night is another woofer of a program. It's called Chief Execututor and it's mainly a way to show off some Print Shop images of the US presidents that we had.