Common Questions and Mistakes

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There are some common mistakes people make that I get a lot of calls about. I'm going to attempt to point these out so that you don't waste a long distance call over something that's in the book.

When running MarxMenu as a menu you type MARX menuname and not MARXMENU menuname. You must run the MARX.BAT file in order for MarxMenu to be able to execute other programs.

MarxMenu MUST be in your search path. When you type PATH at the command line, make sure that the MarxMenu directory is in the path. If it isn't, put it in because MarxMenu will not work unless it is added to the path. If your menu is stuck in a loop and you can't get out, it is because MarxMenu is not in the path.

When running MarxMenu on a network, MarxMenu will want to create it's temporary batch files in the same directory where MarxMenu is located. The user must have enough rights to create these files. If you don't want to give the user rights in this directory then set an environment variable TEMP to point to a directory where the user does have rights. If you notice that you (as supervisor) can run the menu just fine, but your users get errors, it's because they don't have enough rights.

When using MarxMenu to logon to or logoff from the network, you need to follow all the rules in the sections on network usage. It is very tricky to do these functions and there are things you can do and things you can't. There are things that you think should work but don't. So, I strongly suggest that you follow the instructions. I have spent hundreds of hours fighting these issues and I have pretty much figured out what you can do and what you can't do.

If you are getting "Bad Command or Filename" errors when running MarxMenu, edit the first line of MARX.BAT and turn ECHO ON. Then you can watch what is happening. You can also put PAUSE in so it won't go by too fast that you can't see it.

Another common question is, "Do you have a command that does this?" The quickest way to hunt up commands is to use the MarxHelp TSR. Besides being highly cross-indexed, it also has word search capabilities.

Several of the example files have Include files. I use the INC extension on these files. Commands like AddChoice and CornerStretchBox are procedures that are defined in these Include files and are not MarxMenu commands. This is also where the menu colors are defined.

When using the Novell menu translator you may get a "Window Out Of Bounds" error. This means that the Novell menu has more choices than will fit on the screen. The solution is to break up the menu into submenus.

Also, when running the translator you type MARXMENU NOVTRANS menu, not MARX NOVTRANS menu. Since the menu translator is being used as a translator instead of a menu you use MARXMENU instead of MARX.

When upgrading MarxMenu from a previous version, you must chase everyone out of the menu before upgrading. Otherwise the MARXMENU.OVR file is locked and can't be overwritten. I suggest deleting the old MARXMENU.OVR file first. If you can delete it then everyone is out. I get calls about this where the supervisor swears everyone is out of the menu when they aren't. If you can't delete the file then someone has it open.

When you upgrade MarxMenu the MRX files need to be recompiled. If the MNU files are available and the users have enough rights then this happens automatically. But, if the users don't have enough rights they won't be able to run the menus. You will have to go in and recompile them. IMPORTANT! Do not lose the MNU files. The MRX files cannot be uncompiled and if you don't have the MNU files, you have no way to alter your menus.

You must have some free environment space for MarxMenu to use. If you get an "Out of Environment Space" error, it means that you are out of environment space. First check to see that you have SHELL= command in your CONFIG.SYS file. Then use RAMMAP to see it you are loading more than one COMMAND.COM. You can also use the FREE.EXE program to show you how much environment space you have. If FREE doesn't show that you have very much free space then you are going to have to figure out why.

When Novell installs their utilities they flag files as "Sharable Read-Only". Don't do this with MarxMenu. This is a bad idea and is a left over from DOS 2.11. Even though Novell still does it, don't you do it. It can, and often does, cause problems.

Not all programs are compatible. Sometimes you never know why. The solution often is to find a work around. MarxMenu supports many kinds of work around tricks. Sometimes the trick is to exit the menu with the keyboard buffer stuffed to run a program from the command line.

Because of the power and flexibility of MarxMenu, many new users try to do complex things too fast. I recommend that you start with the basic menu examples and get familiar with the software. Once you are familiar with MarxMenu you aren't as likely to get in over your head with it's more complex features.

Q.) This is a big manual. Will it be hard to learn?

A.) No. MarxMenu is one of the easiest menus to learn and install. You don't have to learn hundreds of commands to make it work. Just start with the sample menus. But, if you want to do complicated tasks, the commands are there. But the more complicated the task the more effort it will take to make it work.

Q.) I type MARXMENU QUICK and when I try to run something it dumps me back at the command line.

A.) To run a menu you need to run the MarxMenu from MARX.BAT. You should type MARX QUICK instead of MARXMENU QUICK.

Q.) I'm getting "Error accessing Overlays!"

A.) MarxMenu requires the file MARXMENU.OVR file to be in the same directory as the MARXMENU.EXE file. In previous versions of MarxMenu the EXE and OVR files were combined. This causes file sharing problems on some networks and dumb multitaskers such as Windows. So we had to separate the overlay file.

Q.) Everything was working fine and then I moved the files to another directory and now I'm getting "Bad command or File Name".

A.) The MARX.BAT is generated for a specific directory. Use your editor or MARXEDIT to edit MARX.BAT to run in the new directory. If you are still having problems change the ECHO OFF to ECHO ON and watch the batch file execute. You can type MARXMENU INST to recreate the batch files.

Q.) I get stuck in the menu and it won't exit. Just keeps looping.

A.) The MXSTOP.BAT, BATEXIT.BAT and DROPTO.BAT files need to be in the same directory as MARX.BAT and MarxMenu. MarxMenu must be on your search path in order to work.

Q.) I'm running LANtastic and when two people use the menu at the same time I get a "File Sharing Violation" error.

A.) This is solved by setting the MARXMENU.OVR file to "Read Only".

Q.) I tried changing the menu colors by editing the NOVELL.INC file but no colors changed. What am I doing wrong?

A.) MarxMenu automatically recompiles when you change the menu file because it compares the date of the MNU file to the MRX file. Include files are not compared this way. What you need to do after changing an Include file is to force MarxMenu to recompile. This is done by typing MARXCOMP <menu> or by deleting the MRX file.

Q.) When I run some programs, (MultiMate) and come back to the menu my colors are gone. It comes up in black and white.

A.) Some programs change the video mode to BW80 and leave it that way. MarxMenu comes up black and white when this happens. Add the command MODE CO80 after the offending program and your colors will come back.

Q.) Under an OnKey statement, I'm mixing batch file commands and MarxMenu commands (using the "|" (vertical bar)). It seems that all the MarxMenu commands execute first rather than in the order that I specified.

A.) Yes, since MarxMenu is a zero "k" menu system, all batch files commands are written to a batch file and executed when MarxMenu exits. It is also important to remember that when you return to MarxMenu that you come back to the beginning of the menu and not the last line you left.

Q.) On my Novell network, I get "Error creating BAT file" when users try to run programs from the menu.

A.) This is caused when users don't have enough access rights for MarxMenu to create temporary batch files. Use the SET TEMP=directory to point to a directory where the user has full access rights.

Q.) I'm trying to execute a program and read the DOS errorlevel code and it isn't working. What am I doing wrong?

A.) To read a DOS errorlevel code into a ReturnCode you must use the MarxMenu Execute command. You must also set UseCommand to Off and you need to specify the COM or EXE extension. You also can't use the DOS piping or redirection commands.

Q.) Can I run Windows with MarxMenu?

A.) Yes, MarxMenu works just fine with Windows. It can start Windows and when you exit Windows it comes back to MarxMenu.

Q.) When I try to log off a Novell network from the menu I get a "Missing Batch File" error.

A.) The reason you get a "Missing Batch File" error is because MARX.BAT is on the network and is no longer accessible after LOGOUT runs. Under MarxMenu the correct way to log off is to create an OFF.BAT file in the SYS:LOGIN directory and run |Logoff under an OnKey command. MarxMenu will automatically find this batch file and run it.

OnKey 'L' |LogOff

Q.) When I call your BBS I get a lot of arrow characters on my screen. What am I doing wrong?

A.) My BBS uses ANSI sequences. Turn on your ANSI or VT100 emulation in your terminal program and it will work just fine.

Q.) MarxMenu doesn't see my groups on my Netware 4 server. What am I doing wrong?

A.) Be sure to set the bindery context to include the branches where the users and the groups are defined.

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