GRATIS #9, August12, 1996


GRATIS - a guide to free software and services of value -

Monday, August 12, 1996 - No. 9

          Dedicated to the proposition that
          Everybody deserves something for
          Nothing every once-in-a-while.

          -FWIW * From the Editor
           Never Put Off 'Til Tomorrow

         -HIND SITE
           Presto, Change-o - Dirsize Upgrade

         -BYTE SIGHS * Software 
           S.O.S. - Save Our (Windows) Screen 
           Talk, Talk, Talk - WinSpeech For Windows
           No Carry-Ons - Unpacker For DOS
           The Nearest Exit - W95 EZ Exit
           Mandlebrot Is Not A Casserole - AppleVision Startups 

         -VARIOUS & SUNDRY * All The Stuff That Fits
           Consult A Consortium - Edupage Newsletter
           The Crispen Files - ROADMAP96 "Net Guide
           What's The Meaning Of This? - Online Web Dictionary
    FWIW -- by Bob Collister
    Never Put Off 'Til Tomorrow
Walter Arbuckle is as much responsible for this and every other issue of GRATIS, past and future, as I am. His wife, Joanne is as much responsible as Walter. But this is not about her.

Walter never surfed the Web, never sent an e-mail, never downloaded a file, never understood computers, and never had much patience with them when he caused them to hang up. He told me once that he didn't have time to learn how to use a computer.

Very few of you who read this will know a lot more about Walter Arbuckle than I shall divulge here. I shall tell you simply that Walter was good friend who supported me and encouraged me, and that GRATIS would not exist were it not for him.

Knowing Walter, having him as a friend, broadened and enriched my life. I told him just a week or two ago, how much he meant to me. I'm glad I did.

I miss him already. And to top it all off, I don't have any idea as to who is going to proof-read this.

Walter Arbuckle passed away last Tuesday.

Thanks for being here.



DIRSIZ24.ZIP, featured in last weeks GRATIS (Tattle Tale - Issue No. 8), has been replaced by DIRSIZ25.ZIP. We have no word about the changes, but can assume that those that were made, were for the better. 8-) Our thanks to all who wrote to let us know about the change.

DirSize Author: Simon Carter, Crystal Software -


Software Stuff

SOSPER20.ZIP S.O.S. Pers. Ed. v2.0 Screen Saver For Windows

S.O.S. Personal Edition v2.0 is a customizable graphic screen saver for Windows. The freeware version of this program will display four user-definable bitmaps (.BMPs) in slide-show fashion. This version is expandable and upgradeable, and contains information on incorporating other formats such as .GIF, .PCX, .TIF, .JPG, etc. The S.O.S. archive is 332,330 bytes, and is at:

S.O.S. Author: Chuck Steenburgh, 72330.1776@CompuServe.COM

WSP201.ZIP WinSpeech 2.01 Win 3.1/95 text-to-speech program

WinSpeech reads text and produces speech. It has basic text editing tools for load, save, copy, paste and editing text. It supports DDE link that allows other Windows applications to send text for speaking. A special feature called "coach" provides audio instructions to users throughout the program, which lets the users hear the current program status and the message box contents. An exception dictionary and dictionary editing tool are provided for customizing words that are mispronounced. It works with any PC running Windows 3.1 or higher. A sound card is recommended but not required. 430,377 bytes in size, and available from:

Note: This release of WinSpeech has been out since April of this year. If you can't find it at the address below, try upgrading the filename to WSP202.ZIP or even 203. --Bob Collister

WinSpeech Author:

--- MUP119.ZIP DOS Multiple UnPacker For 18 Types Of Archives

MUP's configuration files make it unnecessary for you to remember the correct syntax for each unpacker program. With MUP you can enter the parameters of each unpacker in the configuration file once, and then it is used whenever you unpack an archive. MUP does not know how to unpack the files, it just looks in the configuration file to find out which archive type it is, and then calls the right unpacker (user-supplied).

MUP Features support for 18 types of archives: AIN, ARC, ARJ, DWC, GFB, HAP, HPK, HYP, LIM, LZH, MD, PAK, PUT, RAR, SQZ, UC2, ZIP, and ZOO. It also supports 5 kinds of SFXs: ARJ, LZH, RAR, SQZ, ZIP Freeware, you can download all 30,685 bytes of it from:

MUP Author: Morten Isaksen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark,,

--- EZEXIT95.ZIP Win95 Shutdown And Restart Utility

EZee Exit 95 adds an icon to the system tray of Win 95's taskbar and replaces the all the steps you would normally use to display the Shut Down Windows 95 dialog. EZee Exit adds an Exit icon which you can double click to Shut Down your computer immediately. Right clicking on the icon displays a popup menu from which you can choose to Shut Down, Reboot or Exit to the MS-DOS mode. Ultimately you will save yourself a quite a few extra mouse clicks. EZee Exit requires VB40032.DLL which is available from Simtel.Net as VB40032.ZIP. EZEXIT95.ZIP is 418,816 bytes ins size, and waiting at:

No author information is available.


This is a collection of 8 startup screens designed for use with the AppleVision 1710, 1710AV or similar monitor. They come complete with documentation, including instructions on how to create similar startup screens yourself. If you'd like to look at the documentation and preview the images before downloading, point your browser at:

These startup screens are being distributed as freeware and contributed by their creator. They are archived as:

/info-mac/art/grf/mandlebrot-startup-screens.hqx; 6262K

Author:John W. Blackburne, johnb@HK.Super.NET


All The Stuff That Fits


Edupage describes itself as "a summary of news items on information technology, provided three times each week as a (free) service by Educom, a Washington, D.C.-based consortium of leading colleges and universities seeking to transform education through the use of information technology."

That might sound a bit stuffy at first, but we'll bet that you'll find Edupage one of the most informative newsletters on the Internet. The term "information technology" covers a broad spectrum, including the tools and technology you are using at this very moment, and those you are likely to use in the future.

One of last months issues offered these stories:

        FTC Okays Time Warner Merger With Turner  
        "Orchid Club" Indictments For Pornography On Internet
        Intel, Microsoft Cross-License Agreement
        Net Results On "Reinventing America"
        Wireless LAN Standards Boost Market
You should also know that the folks at Edupage have a somewhat off- beat sense of humor that makes itself apparent in every issue.

To subscribe to Edupage, send mail to: with the with the message: subscribe edupage Firstname Lastname

Edupage is translated into Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, (whew!) Lithuanian, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak and Spanish. For translations and archives, see Or e-mail to for info on subscribing to any of these translations.


The InterNIC has posted the following: "The InterNIC is pleased to announce that it is now hosting the ROADMAP96 workshop series authored and led by Patrick Crispen (ON THE ROAD AGAIN - Issue No. 3). Subscription information and details may be found at the URL:

The posting, which appeared on several lists, goes on to say "We are in the process of preparing HTML versions of the lessons which will be hosted at the URL:

A reminder here that new workshop sessions start every two weeks. Send an e-mail letter to with the command SUBSCRIBE ROADMAP96 FIRSTNAME LASTNAME

in the body of your e-mail letter.

HTML, ZIP, and SEA versions of all of the Roadmap96 lessons will *eventually* be available on the Roadmap homepage at


O'Reilly and Associates has made their new book, _Dictionary of PC Hardware and Data Communications Terms_ freely available on the Web at The publisher claims to have created this online version of the _Dictionary_ in order to give you a convenient way to look up definitions "on the fly." Just might be that they also want you to buy the book.

There are more than 900 terms, and each has its own URL. The Web site also includes a search engine, so that users can quickly and easily access the needed term. Author Mitch Schnier is keeping the "Dictionary" current, so the terms will always be up-to-date. Email

You can help us to publish GRATIS and make improvements to this already well-received publication. Sponsorship space in GRATIS can carry your message to an estimated 12,000 (and growing rapidly) GRATIS readers every week. Send e-mail to gratis.editor@juno.comwith subject: RATES

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Please DO NOT send subscription and unsubscribe requests to the Editor, they will only be returned to you. In order to preserve what little sanity the Editor has remaining, the subscription process has been automated. with one of the following in the body of the message;

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GRATIS (c) Copyright 1996, Bob Collister * All rights reserved

You may freely distribute GRATIS to your friends. Permission is required for any other form of distribution or display.

Send this issue to your friends and tell them it's GRATIS.

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