Santa Clara County PacFORMS
Revised August 4, 2012

Notice to Santa Clara County ARES/RACES Personnel:

PacFORMS is now installed using the combined Outpost/PacFORMS installer available here. You do not need to install PacFORMS separately.

About PacFORMS:

Santa Clara County ARES/RACES has developed a system called PacFORMS, which is a system where Web forms (HTML forms) can be generated from paper or other HTML forms so that the information can be entered via a computer and ultimately be transmitted by Packet radio.

This is a "stand-alone" system that does NOT use the internet, but does require that the browser being used supports JavaScript.   A PacFORMS HTML file can be run on any PC (even Apple) using a browser.   Since Packet radio is generally a slow speed link (like 1200 baud), the form is programmed, when submitted, to only send form-field IDs and the field entries as a text file.   Then once sent, the Packet operator on the receiving end can "reverse" the process and put the text back into the HTML form.   This process is accomplished by executing the program pac-read.exe either manually or through the Packet program Outpost (version 2.2.0c227 or later).   The pac-read.exe program currently only runs on a Windows PC.   The file generated by the pac-read.exe program is a stand-alone HTML file that is the same HTML Form filled out originally, but contains the information entered into it prior to sending via Packet.   This file can be transferred to any PC that has a browser that recognizes JavaScript.   Note also, that the form field information in this reversed HTML file can be edited and "submitted" again.

This PacFORMS release contains the Santa Clara County version of the ICS 213 Message form and is called Message.html. It can be used for transmitting messages by Packet Radio, as described above.   Two other city to Santa Clara County OES forms are also included:   The "City-Scan" Flash Report (to report current status of the city after an emergency has happened), file city-scan.html and Logistics Request form (to request logistics support from the county), file logistics-request.html.

After the user fills out the form fields in these forms, the JavaScript in these forms provides two methods of extracting the form field information by means of selecting one of the two "Submit" buttons at the end of the form.   One "Submit" button sends the form field text directly to Outpost, version 2.2.0c227 or later, available at http://www.outpostpm.org/#Downloads.   NOTE: It is important that you upgrade Outpost to version 2.5.0 c32 or later to work optimally with this PacFORMS update.   The other "Submit" causes a new window to open with the form field IDs and entered text in an ASCII format.   This text can then be captured and saved in a text file to be processed later in Outpost or other Packet application.

The ZIP file presented below contains files that the user is free to modify.   However, modifying any of the HTML files could destroy the ability of the program pac-read.exe from operating correctly.   Software support for these files cannot be guaranteed for users who are outside of the Santa Clara County ARES/RACES community.

This release includes the following changes to the Forms files (Note, read the Release Notes for more details):

Pac-Read changes: A change to Outpost was made to report the time and date that a message was received in Outpost, which was different than the time and date that the message was sent or received at the BBS. PacRead was changed, by default, that the date and time that a message was received in OutPost is printed at the bottom of all PacFORMS. In the message.html form, this is also reported in the lower right hand corner of the form. A directive has been added to packread.ini called TOFROMLINE that provides the option to NOT print any time and date at the bottom of the form, print just the time and date received in Outpost, or print the time and date that the form was Sent, Received at the BBS and received in Outpost.

PacFORMS changes: In order to pass the Received at Outpost date/time, two new parameters were added to the !OUTPOST! record that Outpost adds to the front of the ASCII file that is received by Outpost from the BBS and passed to pac-read.

The file PacRELEASE-Pub37.zip (click to download) contains the following files:

  • ReleaseNotes-Public.pdf - The Release Notes for this package.
  • ICS-213-SCC-Message-Form.pdf - Acrobat version of the Message Form
  • ICS-213-SCC-Message-Form.doc - Word version of the Message Form
  • Message.html - PacFORMS version of the Message Form, HTML Version 2.3.5, 02/13/12
  • city-scan.html - PacFORMS version of the "City-Scan" Flash Report, Version 3.5.6, 02/13/12
  • logistics-request.html - PacFORMS version of the Santa Clara County Logistics Request Form, Version 2.4.7, 02/13/12
  • pac-read.exe - The "Reverse" program discussed above, version 4.3.6, 05/02/12
  • pac-read.bat - A Batch file that executes pac-read.exe with the correct parameters to enable reversing multiple files in the directory where the ASCII text files are saved.
  • pac-read.ini - The initializer file that contains directives to the location of the directories for the browser of choice and the data and exectuable files in this package.
  • install-Win98.bat - For Windows 98 and ME: The install batch file which sets up the C:\PacFORMS\... directory structure (if it does not already exist), copies files to the appropriate directory and sets up a "desktop directory" icon containing the HTML files and pac-read.bat.
  • install-Win2KXP.bat - For Windows 2000 and later: The install batch file which sets up the C:\PacFORMS\... directory structure (if it does not already exist), copies files to the appropriate directory and sets up a "desktop directory" icon containing the HTML files and pac-read.bat.
  • PacFORMSManual-Pub.pdf - This document contains the following information: What is pacFORMS, PacFORMS Install instructions, how to modify pac-read.ini, how to save a PacFORMS file manually, how to run pac-read.exe manually (not from Outpost), a list of the version numbers, and pac-read.exe command line definitions.

PacFORMS author, Phil Henderson, KF6ZSQ

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