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MESSAGES SECTION To : All Members From : 0E7 Re : HELP PLEASE I am having difficulty in *SPOOLing two files. The files are in the form of two programs and are meant to be spooled according to the magazine, but after following the instructions given I get the message No such variable, the program hangs up and the file originally *SPOOLED becomes Bad Program. The part2 file is data and is *SPOOLed. The part1 file which contains the main program and data is then LOADed and *EXEC with the results as above. This is in accordance with the magazine instructions. Has anyone got any ideas on the matter? I have checked the programs for listing errors and can find none. Part1 will run OK by itself; Part2 is additional data to be added to Part1 to extend its range. -- This sounds fairly complex from your explanation. What magazine did the programs appear in? I'm sure another member will have found the same problem, or can check it out. There certainly seems to be something wrong here. To : All members From : 0E7 Re : Screen Dump program? Does anyone have a good Screen Dump program that will do either text or graphics that they could let me have a copy of, or can someone write one; preferably one that can be inserted into or called from another program please? -- There seems to be a more or less total lack of good screen-dump programs in the 8-bit public domain, for no particular reason I can think of. There is one on disk 50 of BBC PD but it isn't very good. Perhaps a member could write a better and more user-friendly screendump? To : 6EE From : 0E7 Re : Disks Agreed that Manor Court are the cheapest discs in town. What size are you interested in, 5.25" or 3.5"?. I could be interested in ten of whatever size you require. I have some Acorn User 3.5" discs in ADFS format for September 1991 to September 1992 if they are of any interest to you perhaps you will let me know. -- Chris Richardson and I are planning to order around 100 (or possibly more) 5.25" disks from Manor Court within a couple of months. If anyone else is interested in obtaining cheap 5.25" disks (24p inc. P&P/VAT), please contact either me or Chris as soon as possible, stating how many you want. On the subject of 3.5" disks, my university's Microcomputer society occasionally gets together to order a thousand or so of them, enabling us to buy 3.5" disks at around 33p each INCLUSIVE of postage and VAT. If anyone is interested in obtaining some of these, please let me have a definite figure of how many you would like as soon as possible (i.e. before 20th January). To : All members (999) From : 0E7 Re : Double Density vs. High Density disks Someone somewhere was enquiring if 3.5"HD discs were suitable for ADFS working. The short answer to that is YES. I use them and have experienced no problems. I believe that the BBC B and MASTER cannot format HD discs to their full capacity but they still work OK. The only point is that unless one gets HD discs other than paying for them they are a waste of money as their full potential is not utilised costing roughly twice as much as DD discs. -- I think the original question here was whether you NEEDED HD disks to use ADFS. As pointed out above, the answer is NO. Just to finally clear this one up, DD (48 or 96 tpi) disks will work fine with either ADFS or DFS, 40T or 80T. HD (more tpi) will work but are a waste of money. I think single density disks may work with 80T DFS or even 80T ADFS but no-one seems to sell them much any more anyway. To : 999 (All users) From : 204 (Carl Wheat) Re : Modem Wanted Has any member got a modem which they no longer use or are fed up with and they would like to sell, to be used with a BBC Model B. The modem must include necessary instruction manuals, software and cabling. To : 999 (All users) From : 15A (Steven Flintham) Re : Group project (continued from Issue 22) Following the rather lengthy reply to my vague suggestion regarding a group project in issue 22 of 8BS, I would like to clarify the situation. Firstly, I am not suggesting that the idea is necessarily viable - I just thought that it might be. Secondly, I was hoping that even if it wasn't practical, I might discover an interesting area of computing as a result of a suggestion. If anyone does have any suggestions for long computational projects which I could try on my own (they're a minor interest of mine), please let me know. (By the way, can I interest anyone in the first 30000 digits of PI?) -- I didn't suggest that the idea wasn't viable, just that other methods might be faster (and equally interesting from a parallel-processing point of view) for computations. I'd be quite happy to co-ordinate a multi-user computation via 8BS if the necessary software can be written, although I'm afraid the first 30,000 digits of PI sounds fairly dull to me (I suppose I could publish an archived version of the result, though.) Long computational projects? Um, 4D ray-tracing? From : 15A (Steven Flintham) To : 999 (All users) Re : My series on writing user- friendly programs Has anyone been reading this? If so, does anyone have any suggestions as to what I could cover after the screen layout? (No witty replies, please!) -- You did mention earlier that you were going to discuss disabling Escape and the cursor keys or something similar. I suppose that hardly makes up an article on its own, so I suppose you could add it together with "how to write clear instructions", "how to choose sensible control keys", "how to write meaningful prompts", "how to write programs that are 100% compatible", or any combination. If anyone else has any other ideas to contribute, or has their own opinions on how to write a user-friendly program, please let us know. From : 15A (Steven Flintham) To : 999 (All users) Re : Interesting graphics Has anyone got any programs which produce interesting graphics displays - the sort of thing that gets printed in *INFO in BBC Acorn User? If you have, why not consider submitting them to 8BS - they would probably fit onto the disc easily if they are short enought. Also on the subject of graphics, can anyone recommend a good book on 3D graphics - with enough information to be able to order a copy from a library, if possible (ISBN, publisher, etc)? -- 8BS published about fifteen of these simple graphics programs in an archive a year or so ago; I think they might have been in Issue 16 but I can't be sure. If anyone has any more I'd like to see them. There was a book called something like "Advanced Graphics on the BBC Micro" in my school's library. It included a very detailed and extensive section on 3D which I didn't have the patience to go into properly. Because I left school some time ago I haven't a clue about ISBN etc., but I will ask someone to go and find out. You could probably do just as well with a generalised book on 3D graphics, since the techniques etc. are likely to be far more significant than the actual programming. Does anyone have any suggestions? To : 0E7 From : 18E Steven Johnson Re : Software comments Thank you for your comments on Form Master and VAT Calculator. The reason Form Master crashed when the option for instructions was selected is because the file T.FormMas was not there. I think this is my fault for putting the file in directory 'T'. I have sent in another copy. The program does work, whether it actually picks the winners is another matter. Basically all it does is to award points to every horse's achievements, once all the data is entered the horses are then sorted into a list with the top rated horse at the top. Their rating is shown on right hand side of the list. The main items of data are re-printed just as a kind of double check that it has been entered properly. The VAT Calculator was designed to work this way round because I know many people who are self-employed and VAT registered. They are allowed to claim the VAT back on all materials, petrol, etc that they purchase. If a receipt is hand written with just a total (e.g. PETROL `20.00 or TIMBER `127.34) trying to find the correct amount of VAT is not easy unless you know the formula. You cannot just deduct 17.5% of the total figure. So I thought this was a good idea for a program and worked out the formula that performs the calculation myself. I admit the program could be altered to perform both options though. -- My apologies to everyone for missing out the Form Master instruction file from issue 22, another version (with working instructions) appears on this issue. To : (999) Everyone From: (19F) Theo Gray Re : Christmas wordpuzzle On this issue there is a wordpuzzle if you hadn't already realised. Last Christmas, my dad wrote a word puzzle for people to try and solve, with donations going to charity - last year Age Concern. This year, he's done another one with donations going to the charity ASPIRE - The Association for Spinal Injury Research, Rehabilitation and Reintegration. As he is trying to get as many people as possible involved, I offered (mad fool as I am) to type it all in to the computer so that it could be distributed around 8-bit Software friends and relatives. Everyone will be able to do some questions - it will give people something to do during those long winter nights ahead (perish the thought!!!). Just make sure that ALL ENTRIES ARE SENT IN BY END OF JANUARY!!!!! To : 999 (All members) From : 24K Has anyone got a program that converts ADFS disks to DFS? To : 999 All From : 6EE Mick Needham Re : ASIC error, ROM problems? Can anyone tell me what 'ASIC at line xxxx' means, I keep getting this error from time to time, also when SAVEing or LOADing I sometimes just get 'ASIC' with no other message. I have a BBC B with an ATPL ROM board fitted, all ROM slots are occupied so it may be a ROM causing the problem. Another problem I am encountering, after the BBC has been switched on a short time the ROM slots on the mother board, these are numbered 0 to 3 when the ATPL board is fitted, cannot be accessed at all, only ROM numbers 4 to 15 can be accessed, as these four ROM slots are there upon switchon I think it could be a faulty chip, possibly the ROM select chip. Can anyone help? -- This is not, so far as I know, an error given by any standard unexpanded BBC unless there is something seriously wrong with it. You can on occasion get garbled error messages like "OSCLI" or "OSCLIPLOTSIN" if you execute a piece of code wrongly or mess something up, but this I have never seen before. Personally I would be more inclined to suspect third-party hardware than the Beeb itself, but who knows? If the ATPL board can be easily disconnected, see if the error still occurs when it is removed. If not, it is either the board or some of the ROMs that were in it. Try testing all the ROMs with the machine to exclude some or all of them from being responsible for the problem. If it isn't the board or a ROM or anything else that can be identified, you will have to get the machine serviced. Then again, ASIC sounds as though it might stand for something; any ideas anyone? To : YJ2 Andrew Snodgrass + 999 From : 483 D.G.Shimmin Re : Machine code article, suggested hints article I'm afraid it looks as though Andrew Black's Introduction to Assembly Language series is unlikely to continue, as he has been out of touch for quite a few months, although I have written to him several times. In an attempt to replace this series, I may publish an article on the same topic that I wrote a couple of years ago (It has been published already by BBC PD, and was intended to be the first of a series, but I never got round to continuing it). As for a series on useful ideas for applications and tips for BBC BASIC, if anyone would like to write a few articles on this I would be very pleased. In the meantime, *FX16,0 (or just *FX16) will speed up the Master 128 (and possibly the BBC B as well) by around 1% by turning off the ADC. To : YJ2 Andrew Snodgrass From : 6EE Mick Needham Re : Tape to DFS/ADFS transfer A tape to disc utility called Vector 1 will transfer changing filename programs to disc and attempt to run them, it will transfer and run Arkanoid, it will also transfer Geoff Capes to disc but will not run it. To :YJ2 Andrew Snodgrass From :6EE Mick Needham Re :ROMs 'Enigma Disc Imager' try *HELP E. this will give you a help screen with all commands listed with syntax, the commands are as follows. *BSHOW - Displays all codes made to OSBYTE, A, X, Y registers displayed. *CLR - Clears memory from &400 to &8000. *DBACK - Intelligent disk backup. *DCOPY - Selective copying of files. *DFIND - Searches disc for string. *DISS - Memory dissasembler. *DTAPE - Selective dumping of files from Disc to Tape. *DUALFORM - Formats disc to be used in 40 and 80 track drives. *ENTER - Recovers deleted files, or alternate names for same file. *FORMAT - Standard disc formatter both sides, or with 60 file catalogue. *FREE - Gives free disc space. *IDEDIT - Screen editing of sector ID information of a track. *MEDIT - Memory editing in both Hex. or ASCII. *MOVE - Moves BASIC program from one area to another. *OSBYTE - User priority of OSBYTE, Overrides any call to OSBYTE. *RDIA - global or selective renaming of disc directories. *READ/WRITE - Read or write specified sectors to/from memory. *REPAIR - Will attempt to repair a damaged track. *ROMID - Lists information on all ROMs in the machine. *SEDIT - Sector editor, allows sectors to be read edited then written back *SFORM - Non standard Acorn track formatter. *SHIFT - Similar to *MOVE but different syntax. *SREAD - Reads non standard tracks *SWAP - Swaps catalogue on dual catalogue (60 file) discs. *TDISC - Automatic tape to disc transfer. *TLOCK - Locks a cassette based program, program can only be *RUN. *TXCOPY - Copies text in current text window to printer, any make. *TULOCK - Unlocks cassette based programs, use in association with *TDISC. *VERIFY - Verifies disc after formatting, faults reported. *WSHOW - Displays all calls made to OSWORD, A, X, Y registers displayed. To :999 All members From :6EE Mick Needham Re :Nightingale modem I have just bought a Nightingale modem with instructions for the basic modem, but it seems to have the 'Auto dial/Auto receive' board fitted and I have no info on this, I understand a setup disc is required for the 'Auto dial/receive' board can anyone supply me with a copy and/or any information? My address is:- 153 Firth Park Road, Sheffield, S5 6WU. To :999 All members From :6EE Mick Needham Re :Commstar ROM With the above modem I also obtained Commstar comms. ROM, without the manual of course, can anyone supply me with a copy of the manual or any information? To : 999 (All) From : 483 (D.G. Shimmin) Re : Help? While on the subject of second-hand ROMs obtained without documentation, can anyone either supply me with instructions for the any of the following and/or tell me what use they are: XTEND 1.0 Upgrade 3.00 Sleuth 1.05 Graphics Extension 2.09 Exmon II 1.00 Printer Server 1.00 StarBase 2.00 TERMINAL 2.02 PASCAL-T 1.0 BEEBPEN 1.22 STARBASE 2.00 Toolkit 1.20 & Tandata 1 The last two won't work on my machine, coming up with "No BASIC!" despite the fact that I have a working BASIC IV ROM installed, and then crashing. Any explanations anyone? To :999 All members From :6EE Mick Needham Re :Discs for sale Listed below are a few discs I wish to sell:- Repton, Tempest, Psycastria, Sphere of Destiny, Galaforce, Thrust, Impossible Mission, Imogen, The Sentinal. W.A.R., Cholo, Transact, Book-keeping system, Home accounts Manager. A few tapes:- Quest, Palace of Magic, Theatre Quiz, Knight Lore, Jetpac, Atic Atac, Sabre Wulf, Zalaga, Home Finance, 2002, Star Wars Trilogy, Orbital, Spycat. And a couple of ROMs:- Toolkit - Beebugsoft, Caretaker - Computer Concepts. All are originals, any offers? Mick Needham can be contacted on 0742 424474. To : 999 (All members) From : 2J3 (Chris Richardson.) Re : For Sale A large amount of odds and ends mainly for the BBC Model B. Acorn colour/green monitor. Cover. Plinth. BBC Model B with Watford DDFS. Twin watford disc drive 5.25/3.5 40/80. Single Pace disc drive 5.25 DS. Datacorder. Twin joysticks. BBC User guide, Advanced user guide, 30 Hour Basic. Software on disc: The Bank Manager, Castle of riddles, Arcadians, Draughts and Reversi, Time and magik, SPEECH!, The Gold collection, Revs, Knitwear designer, Funschool, Nursery rhymes, Cheat it again Joe 4. Software on tape: Escape from moonbase alpha, Laser command, Winged warlords, Felix in the factory, Manic miner, The Mine, Mini office, 10 computer hits,Graphic adventure creator, Lord of the Rings, Getset, Numberfun, Tablesums, Alien 8. Roms: Viewstore, Mega 3 includes Inter-sheet, Inter-chart, Inter-word, Pascal. All of these items are in pristine condition complete with Manuals and original wrappings. The owner of all this has said that he wants £250 for the lot. However I understand that probably nobody wants all of this, more likely some of you want the odd bit. Therefore I shall be open to offers for the bits you fancy. Contact me at: 17 Lambert Park Road Hedon HULL HU12 8HF Or Phone 0482 896868. To : 999 (All Members) From : 19F (Theo Gray) Re : Sound Envelopes I am at the moment coding a Guns 'n' Roses tune, but am not very good at working out envelopes. Please could anyone help out by writing me an envelope for the following instruments: Solo Guitar: needs to be a FLUENT but DISTORTED sound (heavy rock sound) Voice: must sound like voice - fairly fluent. Bass: simple, fluent, sustaining, clean, low-pitched sound Snare Drum, High Tom, Middle Tom, Bass Drum and Cymbal for Channel 0