8-bit Software Disc Magazine (c) Duncan Webster 1991
Issue 14 (July 1991)
I will begin by apologising for the lateness of issue 14. The delay
was caused by late responses due to holidays plus the fact that I was
called away on a course for the week beginning the 22nd July which
clashed with the issue launch. To to top the lot there were a few
gremlins in the SYSTEMS software which is launched this month.
Consiquently, future issues will be affected so I propose put back the
launch date for issue 15 until the 01 September 1991. Apologies once
again for the inconvenience.
SYSTEMS Version 6a LAUNCH
At last! SYSTEMS server Version 6a is on this disc. This version of
SYSTEMS server is the largest upgrade done to date so please proceed
with caution - the next major upgrade is planned for the end of the
year so please keep your ideas flowing through.
The manual is massive but essential and VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND. If
you have any problems, then I am only a phone call away. Full details
are provided in articles within this magazine plus the manual itself.
CODES OR NOT?
One member has asked when spooling text to disc whether the codes are
required (as the Interword ROM would ask you). The answer is NO.
Just spool your text as plain ASCII if you are using this method.
Members might not be aware that the computer game of Risk! heralded
the beginning of PD for the 8-bit BBC Micro. The author wrote into
the Micro User stating that he had written a game, and should anyone
wish for a free copy then write to him. The editor of the MU remarked
that "is this the start of PD for the BBC?" - the rest you know.
One member has written in asking for a BBC Master 128 version of Risk!
is available? - I cannot say, but I can say that the computer game
Risk! is very shortly to be added to the TBI pool of 8BS.
Veterans (?!) of 8BS will remember that issue 7 was totally dedicated
to the game Urban War much to the delight of some members, and the
disgust of others. Many people have asked me about an upgraded
version, or better still, a sequel! Hugh Williams has informed me
that he HAS started on improving Urban War, and I do seem to remember
him telling me on the phone that a follow up might be around by the
end of the year. We can only wait and see ....
New membership to 8BS is now beginning to ebb a little (thank god)
thus giving me more time to concentrate on existing members of 8BS for
the time rather than constantly sending off enquiry replies. The
Micro User have left my name off their PD list for this month upon my
request, so I am counting on all existing members to continue their
I have also been asked on more than one occasion about why I allocate
members with user numbers. I am not going to bore you with the
technicalities, but I will say that this method WAS used in
preparation for the upgrade to SYSTEMS server. Each copy of the
program has the member's ID number written into the software (in many
places) primarily so I do not mix up different discs, but mostly in an
effort to curb piracy as I shall be able to trace any copy back to
it's source via the serial number. The user numbers are also provided
in further preparation for the automated Programmers Returns program
which is currently being constructed. Finally, they are all uniform
(as in the same length - 3 characters) thus making the file handling
routines in the 8BS database much easier, and a heck of a lot quicker
to cope with.
After a small delay, Andy Nibbs has come up trumps again with another
edition of Tech Tips. This second edition is much better and bigger
than the last one and contains a lot of useful answers. Andy hopes to
be able to issue an edition of Tech Tips every month from now.
*** IMPORTANT ***
As you may be aware the current format of the disc magazine (ie. this
format) was only intended to be temporary, but a lot of you tended to
like it a great deal, especially as you could print the articles at
will. I have to decide this month whether to adopt the current style
of the magazine permanantly, or to revert back to a mode 7 format
magazine, much the same as the TECH TIPS format. I need to know which
you would prefer - current style or Tech Tips style? Please let me
have your preferences amoungst your issue 14 returns.
On 10th July 1991, when I was about to start creating the issue 14
software and magazine, I realised that I had next to no articles or
information to enter onto the word-processor. By 15th July I have had
too much - the magazine "in tray" is now overflowing and contains a
lot of material that disc space just simply will not allow. I have
been considering ARCHIVING the magazine which members will have to
de-archive before reading. If any member can write, or can adapt a PD
version of BDARC (for example) that is EASY to ARC and deARC files on,
then please let me know - any submissions will be looked at but the
most SIMPLE, EASY TO UNDERSTAND one will be used constantly.
I have tried my best to mention all members who wrote in at least once
in this issue - if you are not mentioned and you HAVE written in, then
please bear with me as I have NOT forgotton you.
Unfortunately, switching to ADFS is totally out of the question at
present as over 30 members do not have access to this facility. I
also have NO time to create a cut down DFS version of an ADFS issue.
The only alternative would be to use TWO DFS discs. If I decide to do
this then members will be notified well in advance.
In order to answer about 50 questions in one paragraph of text, I will
now announce the following .... ALL back issues from issue 4 to the
present are available from 8BS. Members requiring a duplicate of a
back issue(s) already received can obtain copies free of charge (just
send disc and SAE). Newer members who did not join until issue 10 or
later should enclose a copying fee of 50p for each back issue
requested (should have joined earler eh?).
All members are now sending returns and letters on disc which is great
and I thank you all for maintaining your excellent level of response
and co-operation. However, as I print out all correspondence received
on disc before bunching them together, I have noticed that a few
members are not quoting their ID's within the text they submit.
Consiquently there have been a lot of returns published this month
with a user number of ??? which means that you did not quote your ID
within the letter you sent me on disc. Please be sure to quote your
user number at the top of your text when sending me returns on disc.
Just one other quick note in answer to a query from Mick Needham (6EE)
to say that it is perfectly acceptable to bunch all you Programmers
returns and letters etc. into one text file.
*** VERY IMPORTANT ***
One member has very kindly sent me a complete circuit board for a
picture digitiser along with full documentation. I regret to report
that I have lost your letter and cannot remember your name. Please
get in touch by phone or letter ASAP as I OWE YOU MONEY!!!! The
digitiser is great and is working fine and I am beginning to feel
really guilty about not being able to contact you.
REPLIES TO ADVERTS
Just a reminder that all members who wish to respond to other member's
adverts should contact me by phone or letter so that I may pass on the
advertisers details in order for you to make contact. It is then up
to you how you deal with each other. Please note that this is NOT a
licence to obtain any members name & address which will remain
Finally, members will have noticed an accompanying advertisement
within the issue 14 software for MWPD run by Martin Watson. Martin,
who used to format the 8BS magazine has now set up his own PD library
and has a great selection of software. His cataloue is enclosed and
contains a lot of stuff that 8BS hasn't got around to publishing yet.
For further information please write to Martin direct at the address
within the material.