Auspice is a reminder system which will automatically remind you of events at any time the Auspice program is running, even if it is in the "background" while you are using another application. Normally you will make Auspice a "startup" application (see below) allowing it to automatically start and run all of the time your Mac is running. The major "trick" to using Auspice is that you usually never "Quit" -- just leave it running all of the time and use the "Iconize" menu item or the "Iconize" button to keep the windows out of your way. Auspice requires that you use either System 6 with MultiFinder or System 7.
-- Installation Instructions --
Use this paragraph if you are NOT currently using a previous version of Auspice. Copy Auspice to your disk and place it anywhere convenient. Under System 7, select Auspice and then choose "Make Alias" from the Finder's File Menu. Put the alias into the "Startup items" folder inside the System folder. Under System 6 with MultiFinder, select Auspice and then choose "Set Startup" from the Finder "Special" menu. Use the Set Startup dialog to automatically open the selected item (Auspice) upon startup. The first time you run Auspice, you will get an alert with a "Create" button to create an empty data file (this file is used to store your reminders).
-- Upgrading Instructions --
Use this paragraph only if upgrading from an earlier version. First, make a backup copy of your Auspice Data file (may be in the System Folder on some old versions) and the old program (in case you need to go back). Then, to upgrade from a 3.x version just replace the old program with the new one and make it a "startup" item as described above. To upgrade from version 1.x or 2.x, remove the old "Auspice Init" from the System Folder (or "Extensions" folder inside the System Folder) and remove the old Auspice application. You can leave the "Auspice Data" file in the System Folder or move it to another location. The first time you run the new version, you may see an alert telling you that Auspice can't find the data file; if this happens, use the "Find" button in the alert and then select the data file.
-- Preferences --
When you first use Auspice you may wish to set your own preferences by using the "Preferences" menu item on the "Reminders" menu. You can set the following:
Preference 1) The default time that is pre-set each time you enter a new reminder; this can be the current time when the reminder is entered or a fixed time. I have mine set for a fixed time of 5:00 AM as I prefer to get most of my reminders in the morning when I start the Mac; for meetings later in the day I change the time when I set the specific reminder.
Preference 2) Whether or not Auspice should automatically save (write to disk) after any change to a reminder or only when closing a file or quitting. The only time you would have to use the "Save" menu item with Auspice is if you have the auto save preference set to save only when closing or quitting and you would like to save changes without quitting. If you set this preference to auto save after any change you will never need to use the "Save" menu item. Auspice automatically saves when you Quit if there are any changes.
Preference 3) The word processor you prefer to use to access the text file created if you export reminders from Auspice (see "Exporting Reminders" below).
Preference 4) Whether or not you want Auspice to require manual save/delete after notification. If you check this preference, when Auspice sends you a reminder from the background (while you are using another application), an icon in the menu bar will blink until you enter Auspice and the reminder is presented a second time. This allows you greater flexibility in rescheduling the reminder but it is more work. If you run Auspice with this preference not checked, after Auspice sends you a reminder from the background, it will automatically reschedule the reminder if that reminder has a Recurring Interval or delete the reminder if it does not have a Recurring Interval.
-- Entering Reminders --
The easiest way to enter a reminder is to double-click on the date in the Calendar window. A dialog box will appear and the date you clicked on will already be entered. The time entered will be either the current time or a fixed time depending on how you set the "Default time" preference from the Preferences menu item. Enter a short reminder message and then use the tab key (or the mouse) to move to the time/date entry area. You can use the up & down arrow keys on your keyboard, the mouse, or just type in a different date or time. Hold the shift key and press the tab key to move backwards to the previous field. The date you enter is the date of the event for which you will be reminded. At the left below the event date is a box to enter the number of minutes, hours, days, weekdays, weeks, or months in advance of the event date by which you are to be reminded. For example, for a birthday on Sept.16 you would enter Sept.16 as the event date, and you might enter 2 weeks for the Advance Warning in order to be reminded early enough to have time to shop for a gift. If you don't enter an Advance Warning, the warning date/time will be the same as the event date/time. Next to the Advance Warning is a box for the Recurring Interval. That is the frequency that the event reoccurs (if it does reoccur). For a birthday, enter 1 year. By entering 1 year, after you are reminded of the birthday, Auspice will automatically reset the reminder for the following year (if you have the "Require manual save/delete after notification" preference off) or the Save dialog will automatically increase the event date by 1 year. Pop-up menus are used to set the Advance Warning and Recurring Intervals to minutes, hours, days, weekdays, weeks, months, or years. To use the pop-up menus simply hold the mouse down on the current setting of minutes, hours, etc. and then move the mouse to the desired choice while holding down the mouse button.
-- Propagating Reminders --
The "Propagate Reminders" menu item on the "Reminders" menu allows you to generate multiple reminders from one entry. For example, if you have a weekly meeting every Tuesday at 10:00 AM, you could enter the date and time of the next meeting and have Auspice create 52 (or some other number) of reminders 1 week apart. Personally, I would prefer to handle the same situation by just entering one reminder with the "New Reminder" command and give it a one week recurring interval; that way I always have only the next week's meeting on my schedule and each week it advances one week. If the meeting schedule changes, I don't have to find and change or delete 52 reminders. On the other hand, my calendar only shows the next week's meeting. It's a matter of personal preference.
-- Changing or Deleting Reminders --
In the Listing window, double-click on the reminder which you want to change or delete. This will bring up the change dialog. A slower way is to single-click and then choose "Change Reminder" or "Delete Reminder" from the "Reminders" menu.
-- Responding to Reminders --
While Auspice is running it will notify you whenever a reminder is due (i.e., when the Advance Warning date/time is reached.) If Auspice happens to be the "foreground" application at that time it will bring up the reminder and allow you to change or delete it. If you are running another application and Auspice is in the background, it will send you a notification with the message. After you've read the message and clicked the "OK" button on the notification, if you have not checked the "Require manual save/delete after notification" preference, Auspice will automatically delete the reminder or reset it for the next Recurring Interval. However, if you have checked the "Require manual save/delete after notification" preference, the menu (the Apple Menu if System 6, the Application Menu at the right of the screen if System 7) will continue to blink with the Auspice Icon. Whenever it's convenient you can return to the Auspice application. When you do, Auspice will immediately display the reminder again so you can indicate whether you want to delete it or save it for a future time (if you set a recurring interval when you first created the reminder, that date/time will already be inserted into the reminder.) "Defer" is like a "snooze" feature in that it leaves the reminder unchanged except for the warning date/time.
-- Sounds --
The "Sounds" item on the "Reminders" menu allows you to select the sound you prefer to hear when a reminder is due. You also have the option of telling Auspice to replay the sound every 1 to 60 minutes until you respond -- in case you are away from the computer when the sound first plays. Auspice will play any "snd " resource from an open file. No new sounds are included with Auspice but it will allow you to choose any "snd " resources you have installed in your System file.
-- Exporting Reminders --
The "Export Reminders..." menu choice exists primarily because I've had requests to add an option to print reminders. Since I haven't found the time to do that, exporting at least allows you to send the reminders to a text file which you can print from your word processor or spreadsheet. I know that's not very convenient and will try to add printing in a future release.
-- Calendar --
The calendar window shows the number of "Advance Warnings" set for a date as a small number to the left of that date and the number of "Events" for a date are shown to the right of the date. Double click on any date to enter a reminder for that date (this is a shortcut to using "New Reminder" on the menu). If you hold the Option, Shift, or Command key and double click on a date on the calendar, the list of reminders in the listing window will scroll to the first reminder with that warning date. The month and year displayed on the calendar can be changed by using the popup menus (click on the month or year at the top of the calendar) or by using the arrow buttons or arrow keys.
-- Auspice History option --
If History if turned on via the "History" menu item, Auspice will write a record of each reminder issued. This record is written into a TEXT file which you create or select via the "History" menu item. The TEXT file can be located in any folder you desire. If you use the "History" menu item to create the text file, first use the popup menu to select the application (e.g. Microsoft Word) which you want to use to read/print the history. This makes it possible for you to later double-click on the history text file and have the application of your choice open it. When you use your word processor to read or print the history file, if you make any changes to the file be sure to save it as a TEXT file (this is an option under the "Save As" menu item in many word processors). If the file is saved in the word processor's normal format rather than in the TEXT format, Auspice will NOT open it (since I'm not intelligent enough to deal with all the possible formats). If this happens, you can simply double-click on the history file to open it and then do a SAVE AS in the TEXT format.
-- Multiple data files --
Normally Auspice is used with only one data file - "Auspice Data" However, via the File Menu, the application can open or create additional data files. Be aware that Auspice can only have one file open at a time and that is the only file from which you will receive reminders. When you start Auspice it will automatically open the file which was open when you last quit.
-- Windows --
The position and size of the windows are saved when you quit so that the new position and size will be used the next time you run Auspice. Auspice also remembers which windows were open when you quit. I normally use the "Iconize" windows option to keep Auspice out of the way.
-- Find --
The "Find..." menu item allows you to search your reminders for any part of a date, time, or message. The search starts with the first reminder. If a match if found, the listing window is scrolled to the reminder which matched and the "Find" button changes to "Find Next" so you can continue searching for other matches. The search is not case sensitive.
-- Credits --
Wayne K. Meyers
1283 Mary Lee Way
San Jose, CA 95118
Auspice was developed for my own use and as an exercise in Macintosh C programming (Symantec's THINK C is outstanding!). Auspice is "postcardware" and you are welcome to distribute copies with this notice included. The official list price is one postcard (preferably a picture postcard from your area or associated with your interests or business). If you find it useful or if you find an annoying creature or feature, let me know. Please send me a postcard to let me know someone out there is getting some benefit from this (if you are) ! I will attempt to notify everyone who has sent a postcard of any future updates.
History of changes from previous versions:
Version 3.5.1 (August 1994)
* Auspice will now recognize when an unreadable (uninitialized) disk is inserted while it is the foreground application.
Version 3.5 (August 1994)
* Fixed a bug which could cause a crash if Auspice only contained one reminder and the Preference to "Require manual save/deletes" was not checked.
* Auspice will now display an alert message if a custom holiday name which is too long is entered.
Version 3.4 (May 1994)
* Fixed a bug which could cause Auspice to go into a loop and keep presenting the same reminder when running in the background. (Sorry about that!)
* Auspice will now save the most recent settings in the Defer Dialog (thanks for the many people who suggested this).
* If left on over midnight, the current date inverted on the calendar will now change (although no attempt has been made to change the month/year).
* Screens will now refresh if any data changes while Auspice is in the background.
Version 3.3 (February 1994)
* Added an "Iconize" button to the calendar and list windows.
* Added left and right arrows to the calendar window to move the calendar ahead or back one month at a time without using the popup menu. The arrow keys on the keyboard also accomplish the same task.
* New reminders with the same reminder date and time are now sorted by event date and time within reminder date and time.
* The "Save" button in the Reminder Dialog is now dimmed (inactive) if there is no message entered or if the reminder date is invalid.
* The popup menu on the Calendar window is now gray when the calendar window is not the active window.
* Fixed a bug that caused a cosmetic problem with ClarisWorks (System 6 only).
* Previous versions required a second entry of the Finder Shutdown command if there were any outstanding reminders to be saved or deleted when Auspice was in the background and the Shutdown command was chosen. Auspice now handles the Shutdown command correctly.
* The ability to "propagate" multiple reminders from one entry was added.
* Added the ability to have recurring intervals for some less usual intervals such as the 3rd Tuesday of each month or in accordance with a 4/4/5 fiscal schedule.
* Changed the "Help" window to a scrolling window.
* Changed the "About Auspice" window to a postcard format.
* Fixed a bug (unlocked Handle) which could cause a cosmetic problem in the text in the list window.
* Added the ability to choose the Reminder sound and the option to have Auspice play the sound every minute until there is a response.
* Added the option to have Auspice automatically delete or reset and save reminders which are presented while Auspice is in the background without the user needing to re-enter Auspice and deal with the reminder a second time.
Version 3.2 (January 1994)
* A beta test version including the features outlined in version 3.3 above.
Version 3.1 (May 5, 1993)
* Added an option when "Defer" is applied to a reminder to defer either from the current time or from the time the reminder was previously scheduled for. For example, if a reminder is set for 5:00 AM but isn't presented until 8:00 AM (because that's when you started the Mac), if you deferred one day from "now", the reminder wouldn't be presented until 8:00 AM the next day but deferring one day from the original time would schedule the reminder for 5:00 AM the next day. Whichever option is chosen automatically becomes the default for the future until changed again.
* Command-W (and the "Close" menu item) will now close the front window rather than closing the data file and all windows. To close the data file, select either "New" or "Open" on the file menu. A warning will advise that the current file will be closed before proceeding to create/select another file. (Most people only use one file and never need to close it anyway.)
* Fixed (I think) a bug that caused variable date (e.g. 3rd Tuesday of the month) custom holidays to sometimes (more often than not) display on the wrong date on the calendar.
* Fixed another minor cosmetic problem which occurred if a reminder was highlighted to select it for change or deletion and the change or deletion was then canceled.
* In the previous version, some dialog buttons were active when they shouldn't have been; for example, while creating a "New Reminder", the Delete button was active (not gray). If this button was used, it could cause a crash because the new reminder had not yet been saved and therefore couldn't be deleted. Version 3.0.2 makes the appropriate dialog buttons inactive when they should not be used.
* In the previous version, if a reminder was selected (highlighted) in the listing window, then scrolled past the top or bottom of the window, and another window was then selected, a cosmetic problem occurred with the highlighting. This had no effect other than on the appearance of the window. Version 3.0.2 fixes this.
New features in version 3.0.1:
* Version 3.0.1 is a major rewrite eliminating the Auspice init and allowing each Auspice reminder to be displayed at a specific time rather than just at startup as in previous versions. This requires the use of MultiFinder with System 6 or the use of System 7.
* Custom Holidays - you can now add "custom holidays" for holidays outside of the USA or to display additional holidays, anniversaries etc. The standard USA holidays can be turned on or off. The holidays are stored in the Auspice Preferences file along with other preference information.
* There is now an option to automatically save (write to disk) after every change to a reminder.
* Auspice can now be "iconized", closing all open windows and displaying one small window. It can be "deiconized" by clicking on the small icon window.
* Improved the reminder entry dialog, allowing better use of "tab" to move to next field, "shift tab" to move backwards, and "up" and "down" arrow keys to change dates and times.
* A "Find" feature was added to allow searching for a reminder containing a specified message, date, or time or portion thereof.
* An "Export" feature was added to allow all reminders to be copied to a text file. This was added primarily to allow the reminders to be printed from the exported text file since Auspice does not yet have printing capability.
New features in version 3.0:
* This version, with extremely limited release, contains a bug in the pop up menus.
New features in version 2.6:
* Weekday names and month names now obtained from System resource to get the names in correct language if a non USA System is in use.
* New international version created with Netherlands holidays.
New features in version 2.5:
* An option to have the Auspice Init automatically write a record of each reminder issued. This record is written into a TEXT file. The TEXT file is selected via the "History" menu item in the Auspice application.
New features in version 2.4:
* An option to have the Auspice application access data files other than the primary data file located in the startup System folder. This was primarily designed to allow access across a network to see the calendars of others in a work group.
* Automatic handling of international dates in Day/Month/Year order if appropriate for the country.
* New international version created with New Zealand holidays.
New features in version 2.1:
* Added a "Calendar" window to display calendar for selected month/year and to show the number of warnings and events scheduled for each date.
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