Graffiti - A Cookie/Sigmonster Server
|"Graffiti is one of my favorite programs. I'd even pay a modest amount for it. If you knew how cheap I was you'd consider that a compliment <g>." - AH, Montana.
"WTF! How in Hell did that get there?" - Hospital Administrator, Texas.
"Thanks for the Graffiti app but I'll be flying under the radar for a while" - BLG, Texas.
Dude - that's awesome! I love it! - RD, Oregon.
Graffiti is a free sigmonster program for Windows written for our own amusement because we missed the original RSX-11M program when we were forced to move to the graphical environment from the command line. Graffiti is supplied without warranty, guarantees of suitability, functionality and political correctness.
You can download the current version of Graffiti from this page - this release includes support for 32 and 64-bit systems running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Administrative rights are only required during installation - the application can run at a standard user privelege level. This installation includes the C++ source code and a copy of the original DECUS cookie ASCII text files which will be copied to the C:\Users\Public\Documents\Graffiti directory.
Graffiti is a "Fortune" application (aka sigmonster, cookie, or quotefile program) that lives in the toolbar on any modern Windows based computer supporting Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. At intervals it will read a "cookie" from one of a number of files supplied and display it on the screen for a short period of time. The "cookie" may be anything from the sublime to the obscure and the user has the ability (if they so wish) to add additional cookies, edit, or remove cookies as all the data is stored in simple ASCII text files. The "cookies" can also be automatically written to signature files to produce random signatures with many common e-mail applications.
We wrote Graffiti for our amusement because we had enjoyed a similar program on RSX-11M, VMS and UNIX systems. Graffiti is a well behaved Windows application, it runs in the background and displays its fortune cookies on the screen using the Windows "tool-tips" interface and/or writes them to an output file.
Most of the fortune cookies here can be found on the original DECUS release of COOKIE - others have been collected from various USENET groups etc. The only commercial involvement that we have in the Graffiti application is the right-click menu which contains a some links to our web site if you care to use them. Graffiti is not spy-ware and does not "phone home" or contact us in any way.
When installed in the Windows GUI toolbar the Graffiti application displays a small "bubble" icon that responds to mouse clicks. A right-click on the toolbar icon displays a menu that allows Graffiti to be customized while a left double click toggles the "active" status of the application - a small red "x" is displayed on the icon when Graffiti is paused and not serving any cookies. Two left double clicks will always generate a cookie on demand.
The Graffiti program is controlled by the right mouse button on the toolbar icon (or from the Program menu if the icon has been hidden). The following control options are supported:
- About... displays the current version number and allows the user to check for graffiti updates.
- Customize... displays a setup and control menu for Graffiti.
- Pause toggles the "cookie" status - no cookies are served when paused.
- Hide removes the Graffiti icon from the toolbar but leaves the program running in the background.
- Copy places a copy of the most recent cookie in the cut and paste buffer.
- Home opens a browser at the Motion Lab Systems, Inc. home page.
- Links opens a browser to display a page that displays links to many useful biomechanics web sites.
- Help displays this web page from the Internet.
- Exit closes Graffiti and removes the toolbar icon.
How to customize Graffiti
The Graffiti application has a large number of customization options allowing it to function in a number of different situations. The frequency of cookie display, duration and appearance are completely adjustable. Additional options can play sounds when the cookies are displayed or even suppress the screen display and simply update a .sig file to produce rotating e-mail signatures.
Graffiti is normally controlled via the right click menu from the Windows toolbar but even this option can be hidden from the user, allowing the program to run in the background without any user interaction.
There are four "time" options
- Start showing Cookies after "n" seconds - Graffiti will not display any cookies until the application has been running for this length of time.
- Show Cookie for "n" seconds - This controls the length of time that each cookie remains on the screen. The time shown is multiplied by the number of lines in the cookie so that longer cookies are displayed long enough to read them.
- Time between Cookies "n" seconds - Sets the length of time that Graffiti will wait before displaying another cookie.
- Limit number of cookies play to - If checked then Graffiti will pause after a specified number of cookies have been displayed.
There are four screen options
- The box "Place cookie on Display" must be checked if cookies are to appear on the screen display. If this is not selected then cookies will continue to be generated (thus updating the sig file etc) but they will not appear on the screen.
- Cookies will appear in the lower right corner of the screen, by the toolbar icon unless the option "Place Cookie at Random Location" is selected. This will cause Graffiti to display the cookie at random positions on the screen. If you are working on an application and a cookie appears in an inconvenient place you can remove the cookie by simply clicking on it - the cookie will then disappear.
- You can specify a sound to be played whenever a cookie is displayed by checking the "Play Sound when Cookie pops up" box - click on the speaker icon to select any wav file - several sample .wav files are supplied with the installation or you can create your own.
- The font, size, and color used to display the cookie can be set via the font icon.
There are two signature options
All signature files must be plain ASCII text - unicode, rich text, and HTML signature files are not currently supported.
- Mail Signature File - you can specify a mail signature file as the cookie destination - if this option is selected then Graffiti will open the specified ASCII file and look for the RFC signature delimiter in the file "-- <CR><LF>" and will write the new cookie after the delimiter, replacing any previously existing cookie. You may have to search around to find the location of your e-mail signature file - for example, Outlook 2003 uses the directory C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures. This signature file file must be ANSI format, not Unicode or UTF-8. If you set everything up and don't see any signatures then you've probably saved the file in the wrong ASCII format. Note that the double dash delimiter MUST be followed by a space.
- Text File - if selected, this will write the current cookie to a file named output.txt as a single line of ASCII text without any formatting or line breaks. Graffiti will then look for a file called output.bat and run it if it exists - you can use this option to copy the output.txt file to a com port for an external LCD display example. The text file option always overwrites the previous cookie - thus the output.txt file always contains the ASCII text of the most recently generated cookie.
Source Code and Cookie Collections
Graffiti uses a simple ASCII file format to store the cookies so it's very easy to create your own cookie files or edit any of the many cookie files supplied. All cookie files use the .SRC file type but the files can be edited by any ASCII editor program such as Notepad, EMACS, VI, ED etc. Don't use Word or other "word processor" programs to edit the cookie files unless you know how to use the program to edit ASCII text files. The cookie file format is simple - start and end each "cookie" with a double percent character "%%" on a single line - this is identical to the original VAX format used by the "Fortune Cookie" system.
Cookie files can contain any text - many people have created their own quote collections, including verses from the Bible, the Quran, Shakespeare as well as high school and college revision notes.
Graffiti can select cookies for one or more files specified in the "Files being used" list shown in the customize dialog box. Use the "Add" and "Remove" buttons to select the cookie source files from the list shown. Note that cookie files that might offend some people are only installed when you select the "custom" option during installation and check the (in)appropriate files. Don't install these if there is a chance that you might be offended by scatological or political humor - if you don't know what scatological means, or don't find politicians of all parties funny, then you should not select these files.
The source code for the Graffiti application is included with the full installation - this compiles in a MS C++ environment. Please let us know if you improve the program.
Cookie file format
All cookie files are ASCII text files that have a .SRC file type. Cookies may be any length and should wrap at appropriate breaks with a CR/LF. Each cookie is delimited by a single line containing %% which signals the end of one cookie and the start of the next cookie. As a result, it's very easy to create completely new cookie files with your own favorite quotes or even make a flash card display to help memorize information as cookies.
An additional "quotefile" format is supported where each cookie is stored on a single line, delimited with a CR/LF. This format is suitable for single line cookies or quotes and is included for compatibility with older source files only - it's not recommended for new cookie files. An example of this is included in the installation as "quotefile.src" when "additional cookies" is selected in the custom installation.
Installation Notes - updated October 5th, 2016.
- Updated the installer to store the cookie files in the C:\Users\Public\Documents directory for easier access. Cookies are now sorted into "Offensive" and PG categories although this is no gaurentee of suitability.
- Version 1.25 updates the http links for this page and our "web links" pages to reflect the new web site organization.
- Version 1.24 adds support for mail signature files, allowing the cookies to be automatically appended to ASCII text signature files used by many common mail clients and news readers that respect the RFC dash-dash-space convention. In addition, the installation has been updated to allow you to check for, and download updates to graffiti via the internet. Select the "About" box and click "Check for Upgrade" if you want to check for, and optionally download, any updates.
- Version 1.20 adds an option to the right-click menu to save the most recent cookie to the cut and paste buffer.
- There are three installation options - "Typical", "Compact" and "Custom" - the "Typical" installation is a standard installation with a selection of cookie files ... generally with G or PG contents but your opinion may differ. "Compact" installs the application and a single default cookie file, while "Custom" allows the user to select several additional cookie collections with contents that may offend some people - if you think you might be offended then don't install these cookie files.
- Even if you select Custom installation you must still deliberately check the "offensive" cookies selection to get copies of the "offensive" cookie files on your system. Don't come whining to us if you don't like them - in fact, don't even think of installing them if you would even consider complaining about their contents. You have been warned. Life is not fair.
- Graffiti stores its configuration information in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER Registry key \Software\MLS\Graffiti. When a single computer is used by several different people, each user on the system will maintain their own configuration choices.
- By default Graffiti is run when you log into Windows - Graffiti starts via the graffiti key using the standard Microsoft registry method in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ ...\CurrentVersion\Run - this registry key can be edited to include the switch -hidden if you wish to start Graffiti running in hidden mode without any toolbar controls visible (you should know where to find this key if you have sufficient clue to be editing the Registry). The -hidden switch has the same effect as selecting "Hide" from the right-click menu except that the user will never see the graffiti controls...
- If Graffiti is running in hidden mode you can regain control of the application by running Graffiti again - this will deselect the hidden mode without starting a second copy of the application. You can then regain control of Graffiti via the toolbar icon, change the settings to customize it and hide it again. When the computer is restarted it will keep the new settings.
- Graffiti will remember its installation directory (the default is "C:\Program Files\Graffiti") and will reuse this directory if you reinstall the application. Reinstallation will overwrite the existing Cookie files - if you want to start your own personal collection then create a "personal.src" file otherwise a later installation may delete your entries.
- The installation script (1.10 version) will shutdown Graffiti if it is running and then restart it when the installation completes.
- You can remove Graffiti via the standard Control Panel "Add/Remove" option - this will remove the application, all files supplied with it and all Registry changes.
- This application runs on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 (update - and Windows 10 too).
- You can download the installation program which include the application source code.