I have now done a 'web site' for CIA - click here

Tuesday, 25 March 2003 Been having a go at converting my accounts progs to XP, and giving them to the world. Main prob is in getting the DOS BASIC statement - 'LPRINT' to work. In WIN98 it printed to a dot matrix printer, but can't get it to do even that in XP. Looked on the web, but nothing there that works. I'll have a go at finding a way to use DOS as an alternative OS. If all fails, I'll put the progs and source code on the site and let people sort it out. Should make a good challenge for them!
Thursday, 27 March 2003. Eureka! I have found it! (As the penguin said as he had a pee in the snow!)
Got the 'LPRINT' statement to work. By trial and error found that the IBM ProPrinter driver suited my Canon PW-1080A dot matrix printer.
Found a prob in the random access file code, as XP has a different file system - but, I even cracked that.
I am going to keep a log on the progress of converting my accounting progs for XP.
I have also decided to 'give' them to the world FOC. Be interesting to see who makes the first million out of them!
As I convert the progs, I am surprising myself of the excellence of them - OOHH -- I am a clever man!
Friday, 28 March 2003. I am having going to have to write a bloody manual. Never got around to that before! Not my favourite task!
The prob with the random access files was that I had a record length of 512. But, it put a lot of garbage on the records. By trial and error, I changed the record length to 313, and it works. Don't ask me why - it just does!
Thought about using the facilities of XP to simplify the system, but changed my mind. It will help people who want to make changes to the source code, to see how I developed the progs.
Probs with the $SEGMENT statement (large prog!) and sorted. Then with the TAB statement - now OK.
I had to use the SCREEN statement to set the screen and text size for XP (didn't need it for WIN98) - looks OK.
The error routines have been changed.
I will put the system in a zip file. It will contain the progs & source code, manual, set-up info, and all the folder set-ups and relevant data files.
It all runs without using START>RUN>COMMAND! Just put a shortcut on the desktop, and offt you jolly well go!
The progs should work OK on WIN9X. I'll test them out.
Took out my business address that prints, and now have a file for user's details.
All in all, that's it finished ................... Bar the bloody manual!
Sunday, 30 March 2003. That's the progs complete and all running including the Final Accounts modules. Sod sorting out the errors that develop in converting the progs. The calculations take a while to complete. Must be due to the to & froing in the memory.
Printer working fine. May have a go at making csv (comma separated files) and text files to output the info for printing by Windows printers.
Tuesday, 01 April 2003. I have started to u/l the accounts info. The progs are finished, but I am having second thoughts about putting the full progs on here. They are valuable. I expect that I will make a cut down version that only takes one 'client'. Also, to change the progs to suit the current IR Schedule.D return. I am very pleased with my progress!
Thursday, 03 April 2003. Not been feeling too good - had a bit of (kidney?) prob.
But, you now have something to chew on. I have started a training exercise for you.
See here.
I will upload the progs for the training later.
Friday, 04 April 2003. Feeling better! Done a practical
training example. Follow the link from the menu to ensure that you have got all the background.
Saturday, 05 April 2003. Progressing well. Have now done the
final accounts section. But, BEWARE, in practice it is not as easy as I have made it seem!
Make sure that you d/l the latest version of the system as I develop it.
The info is here. The latest is an update of M2FILE.EXE (Now redundant). I found a bad fault - the totals were not re-set to zero, and in the trial balance module there was the possibility of getting double values! This can happen when you are cutting up a prog and revising it.
I am having deep thoughts of whether I should put unrestricted progs on here and/or put the source code on here. There could be a lot of cash in it - but then - who cares?!
Thursday, 10 April 2003. I'm brilliant! I have done a good re-write of the progs and got them looking more like Windows progs. That makes the previous versions not compatible. Those who have d/l the previous versions should not worry. The data files will be able to be transferred to the new progs. I will give instructions when the progs are ready.
For a 70yo, I have not done three badly! Can't remember names, but Oh boy, how I can program! Even got the Schedule-D module running. That was the part most appreciated by clients, as it produced a "Pay Slip" each month showing, them how much tax was due to date. I have spent about 50 hours on the conversion - not bad.
I have decided not to put the source code up. The system has a high potential for remunerative exploitation. The progs will be there for your use, with some restrictions, but the full CIA system will be held in reserve.
Monday, 14 April 2003. Well, they say pride cometh before a fall! After the self-praise above, yesterday, I 'lost' some progs when I was doing a routine backup. Never mind, I got it sorted. Took about two hours.
So, it is all ready to download. Because I think there may be money in it, I have restricted the system to two 'clients', X101 (now used for training), and X102. It is also time-locked for 31/12/03. If anyone uses it for their own business, they should contact me and I will help. The value of the system is in establishing CIA agencies, and could be a little earner.
I know that when the programming 'experts' look at the programming, they will have a bit of a chuckle. But, remember the programming adage, "If you can do it on the back of an envelope, don't write a program for it!" This system is written in basic BASIC. In my book, I say that the computer is just a typewriter, and calculating machine. That is all that you need for doing accounts. The programs do exactly what is needed with the minimum of keystrokes, and give the exact output required. What else do you need?

To start downloading the system. Go to
Saturday, 19 April 2003. Been making the 'training' exercise for the accounts system easier to follow. It is now as a down-loadable file 'demonstration.txt'. You will find it on the CIA site
Going through the system, it makes me realise how effective it is.
Mark mentioned that it might be better with a GUI. But, using the programs, proves that the DOS 'one key hit' menus are ergonomically better than the mouse/keyboard menus.
What is lacking in PowerBasic is the ability to output to a Windows printer. Nevertheless, there are ASCII printers available, and putting the printout to file, and then printing, is no big deal. It's a golden opportunity for exploitation - (M2 profit in two years, plus 6000/month!) Would do it myself if my 'get up and go' had not 'got up and went'!
One problem is that I am in the 'riches trap'. I get 2,000/year benefits. IF! I live for another five years, that is 10,000. So, I've got to make a good sum to make up for losing that.
Tuesday, 22 April 2003. Now updated the 'demonstration' text file on the accounts site to include the instructions for setting up new clients. These are also in the zip file, but this makes the instructions in the 'demonstration' file complete.
All on
Mark found a site with a prog that allows DOS progs to print to a Windows printer - costs 65. I may have a look at the trial version. As I get used to the system using of a tmp folder to hold the print files, it seems as good as, if not better than, the direct print, as you are able to format the files more flexibly, and view them on screen. Also, you can move the files to the clients 'doc' folder, for future use.
Friday, 25 April 2003. By popular request?! I have now opened the programs so that they are not 'time locked'. They can be used for two accounts. Also, I have started a 'proper' manual. The updated version of the progs is 9.01. See the updated instructions, and manual, on the 'Set-up System' page on