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8-BIT SOFTWARE ISSUE 21 - DOCUMENTATION - DISK MAGAZINE - The disk magazine this month contains no Teletext articles. As usual, all articles can be printed by pressing "P" before entering their article code, e.g. P101 <RETURN> to print the introduction and news. Members will no doubt be accustomed by now to my annoying habit of interrupting articles with ideas of my own, and replying to all messages whether I know anything about it or not. For the sake of clarity, everything inserted by me is enclosed in square brackets ( [...] ). My replies to messages are indicated by two hyphens. The articles are as follows: -Introduction / News A whole variety of important or interesting information -Results / Discussion An analysis of the results received so far from the questionnaire in issue 20, and discussion of what changes 8BS is/will be/won't be making as a result. Also the list of members' interests so that you can contact other members who share your interests -Comments / Accounts Members' responses to issue 20 and the software featured in it, followed by a brief outline of 8-Bit Software's expenses and income (for the enlightenment of those who disapprove of the 50p charge) -About this issue You're reading it, I hope -How to present programs An article by Steven Flintham (15A) explaining one way of presenting a neat-looking menu - hopefully the first of a lengthy series. The example programs mentioned are in the software menu -Finding Cheats An article by M.T. Farnworth (16C) outlining methods of finding cheats in complex machine code games, sample listing included -Introduction to C An article about C by Stephen Mumford (127); you don't need a C compiler or even any technical knowledge to read this! -Hardware Review My response to the fairly high score that "Hardware info" received in the questionnaire -Messages section This contains the usual hotch-potch of useful and/or interesting information, with less adverts this time (!). Actually most of the messages seem to be from me for some reason. Any messages to you specifically should be at the end of it -Sprite Handler Instructions The complete (extremely lengthy) guide to the game designer with which Power Raider was created. The actual Sprite Handling routines themselves are held within the file POWCODE from side 2 of issue 20 - if you read this manual carefully enough you should be able to work out where. At present the system, even with this manual as a reference, requires a detailed knowledge of assembler and a fair amount of guesswork to use. However, M.T.F will soon (hopefully) provide assorted utility programs and a beginner's guide to using the system - then everyone can write a game like Power Raider! -DIRlock Utility The instructions for Hugh Williams' DIRlock utility (see below) -Letterhead Designer Instrux Instructions for Steven Flintham's high-quality Letterhead printer (see below) -Welsh Boys' PD Catalogue The catalogue with the wide selection and the low, low prices needed to smash other PD libraries out of existence. Send off your order now! - SOFTWARE - The software menu is split up into a number of sections. Please note that a great deal of the software in this issue has been archived, so if you don't take the trouble to de-archive it you are missing a lot! (De-arching instrux at the end). IMPORTANT: As always, some of the software included will need additional disk space in order to run, for source files and output files etc. For example, the demonstration letterhead from Steven Flintham's programs can be printed from the 8BS menu, but the programs will need to be copied onto another disk in order to create your own letterheads. However, all the games, music and demonstration programs WILL run from the 8BS menu. NON-MENUED SOFTWARE Two ROM images supplied by John Carpenter of Resolve Communications are included, but not mentioned in the menu programs. Their filenames are ARCHIVE and DEARCHI, and they are advanced archiving programs which not only combine files, but can also compress them considerably, as well as running very fast. Simply load the ROMs into SRAM if you have it, initialise as normal, and *HELP for information. N.B. do not attempt to use the ROMs under ADFS until you have a directory loaded in (i.e. do "*." first). I would very much like to use these ROMs for archiving software on 8BS issues in the future, but as not everyone has SRAM I can't! (That is a little hint to BBC B owners without sideways RAM). GAMES Two games by Sattar Shakoor (1K1) are featured: Satellite Havoc II, which is a scrolling shoot-'em-up, and Loopy Loop II, a two-player version of the game on issue 20. M.T.Farnworth has supplied Jackpot, which incorporates some of the routines used by Power Raider and the Sprite Handler, and Roy Dickens has sent Letter Guess, which, as well as being a fun game, can help children to learn the alphabet. Full instructions are included in each program. MUSIC Two tunes this month - J.S. Bach's Little Prelude by Theo Gray, and a tiny (but rather fun) version of "Ghostbusters" from Mad Rabbit PD's MR-17 disk. LETTERHEAD PRINTER This extensive suite of programs, written by Steven Flintham, provides extremely high quality output. One example letterhead is supplied ready-to-print. Refer to the separate instructions file for full details. OTHER ITEMS This section of the menu contains, firstly, options to load both of the demonstration screen layouts for Steven Flintham's Presenting Programs article. Note that both the fonts mentioned ("Bold0" and "NewFont") are also on side two of the disk. It also contains an option to load in and execute the object code of Hugh Williams' DIRlock utility, which occupies &900-&AFF (see separate instrux file). This has been developed for ADFS (hence there is little point running it from the 8BS menu), to overcome problems such as those faced by the XBI disks. However note that the utility will not work with more recent BBC PD disks featured in the XBI disks, as these overwrite the area of memory used by the utility. The source code (DIRcode) is also included, so that you can re-assemble the code at a different memory location if you wish. Finally, this section contains the Number Converter by Chris Richardson (2J3), which will convert a number in decimal, binary or hex to all three. Full instructions are in the program. DE-ARCHIVE SOFTWARE This option will load up the Archiver program version 1.8 by Andrew Black. The archives on this disk are as follows: C.FntyDes C.Hacker C.TypTutr C.UtlsEtc C.FntyDes contains a suite of programs (supplied by John Carpenter (53B) of Resolve Communications) which either designs or helps you to play (I'm not sure which) a "Fighting Fantasy"-type game. The presentation is excellent and some instrutions are included. C.Hacker contains several programs. Firstly there is a utility which allows you to make a backup copy of disks protected using the 41-track method (such as Repton 2 and other Superior Software games). Please note that it is illegal to use this software to make copies other than for your own use. Secondly there are two Econet-related programs, PrimeSc and EcoScan. Consult the REM statements at the start of each for details. Finally, there is "Hacker", a very interesting little program that a friend of mine found buried in a protected directory on an Econet. C.TypTutr contains the best PD touch-typing tutor I have yet seen. This is partly a joke (because none of you seem able to type in any text to submit), and partly serious - because the ability to touch-type can be very useful. If you really want to learn, be determined - keep going and don't cheat. To select a lesson at the start, use up/down cursor keys and RETURN. Start at the first lesson! C.UtlsEtc contains the following software, all supplied by Resolve Communications: BAS>ASC This utility is intended to convert data stored in BASIC format (i.e. backwards) into standard ASCII. Envelop This is a quite complex program allowing you to edit and test sound envelopes. SfSave This program is designed to prevent you overwriting an existing file accidentally. It will come up with a warning message whenever you try to write to a file that already exists. Xaard This is a simple game with full instructions included. Tel>BAS This program will convert a MODE 7 screen (like the old 8BS menu screen) into a series of BASIC lines that you can incorporate into your own programs (like the new 8BS menu). This has a number of advantages; it saves filenames, reduces disk access, and also lets you reduce the size of the program by replacing consecutive identical lines with FOR...NEXT loops. I know similar utilities were included with Rafael Jay's X-TEL and on Andy Nibb's Masterdisk 4, but the X-TEL one doesn't work properly and the Masterdisk one is copyright. Actually Tel>BAS doesn't work totally either, but it's better than the X-TEL one. TELEdit This is the MODE 7 screen editor which was supplied with the Fantasy Designer (see above); it is written in BASIC and so a little sluggish in operation, but otherwise very good. I still use X-TEL myself because I'm used to it (and the fonts included are brilliant). HOW TO DE-ARCHIVE SOFTWARE You will first have to copy each archive from side 2 of this disk (filenames above) onto a separate blank DFS disk. Then load up the de-archiver from the 8BS Software Menu. Insert the disk with the archive on, and tell the program which drive it is in. Then choose "Decompress", enter the appropriate filename and wait; dearchive times for archives are displayed, but most archives take around five minutes. Once the process is complete, quit the archiver. The disk you are using should now contain the original archive PLUS all the dearchived software. There should be a !BOOT file; *EXEC !BOOT <RETURN> to either read information or start up the software. In the case of C.UtlsEtc, there is no !BOOT file; information on each file is above, and they can all (I think) be started up by CH."<filename>" <RETURN>. If you have any problems de-archiving software please get in touch. If anyone is wondering why we are back to using archiver 1.8, there seems to be something up with my copy of 3.0; Chris Richardson has kindly sent me a new copy, but I haven't time to test it and re-archive the software, since the issue is already late.