View Full Version : LF dos menu program

October 9th, 2013, 09:54 AM
Back in the late 80's/early 90's my first computer was a Laser XT IBM PC clone.
It had DOS 3.0 I believe. There was a program on it just called 'MENU', that was typed into DOS to pull up a menu with 15 user programmable options. You just type the number and push enter and the application or game would be called up.

It was very simple looking, but pretty handy. I was wondering if anyone might know if that came with the computer, came from some package, or my uncle just compiled it himself.

Ours was configured to load quicken, ms. pacman(which was all ANSI characters), a battleship clone, QBasic GORILLA.BAS, EDIT.COM, and ZZT. I think there may have been a link to DOSSHELL also. It would be neat to have this app as I am trying to complete a machine to mimic my first computer.


October 9th, 2013, 10:33 AM
Unfortunately there were hundreds of "menu"-type programs in the 1980s and early 1990s, most commercial and shareware, some freeware. Unless you have a screenshot/photo of what you saw, there is almost no way to figure out what menu program you had.

Popular commercial menu programs of that era were Direct Access and MenuWorks, maybe those will jog your memory (or google search skills).

If you want a quick free tiny menu program, search these forums for "tinymenu", written by a forum member.

October 9th, 2013, 10:36 AM
Do you remember any additional details? Did it use cursor keys to navigate? Any color to it or submenus? On our Zenith we had a program called PowerMenu which was "menu" from the prompt.

A lot of folks also just wrote simple batch programs and threw out a menu from the autoexec.bat (create 1.bat 2.bat 3.bat, etc and just add echo statements to your autoexec 1. Accounting Program 2. Centipede , etc).

October 9th, 2013, 10:42 AM
Popular commercial menu programs of that era were Direct Access.....I've got a boxed Direct Access 5 if anybody's interested.

October 9th, 2013, 10:44 AM
btw, I'm not sure I understand the LF dos menu title? It does sorta sound feasible that it could have just been a batch file system though if you were still at the command prompt and just hit a number then enter to launch that bat file that shelled to the application.

It's also a good programming challenge that could fairly easily be done in something as simple as basic if you're looking for a fun beginner project. Pretty much in any language it'd just be learning the print statement/function/interrupt and how to query/input/interrupt for keyboard command afterwards :-)

As Jim eluded to, there were probably hundreds of roll your own dos shell solutions out there.

October 9th, 2013, 12:36 PM
What I remember it looking like was just a box drawn around the outside of the screen, with the double line ANSI characters, it said "Menu" in the center of the top, and had three columns with application names, each with a number next to them. There was no blinking cursor, and you may not have had to push enter to make a selection. if that's the case then there could only be 10 options on it. I will try to remember more.

It didn't have any colors so it looked like this screenshot, but with three columns. I don't remember it having the prompt after it, either.

Also thank you for the quick replies! I will probably just wind up writing one. Sorry that my description is terrible.