To: 999 (all members) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: Compression techniques Does anyone know anything aboutcompression techniques, particularlyLZW and similar methods, or can theyrecommend any books on the subject? To: 999 (all members) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: Master 128 internal battery Firstly, does anyone know where to getreplacements and how much they cost?Mine isn't dead yet (I don't think it'sa rechargeable, is it?), but I'd liketo know so that I'm ready. Secondly, isit still used when the computer isswitched on? In other words, does thebattery last longer the more you usethe computer? I would expect this to bethe case, but I'm not all thatknowledgeable about such matters. Editor: I get my replacements from thelocal dealer where I bought themachine; they should be fairly widelyavailable, though I don't know of anynation-wide dealer or mail-orderstockist (Watford might be able tohelp...); does anyone have anysuggestions? I think they are aroundfive pounds, maybe a little less. Asfor the rest, I really don't know,though I expect you're right. To: 999 (all members) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: The Help ROM 1.01 I have recently received a letter fromsomeone using this (available from BBCPD) who has some sort of problem withit. Unfortunately, I don't entirelyunderstand the letter and I can't seehow to solve the problem anyway. Canany 8BS members shed any light on thematter? I have reproduced the importantpart of the letter below, exactly aswritten: ...I use a BBC 'B' issue 7 model withan Aries B32 Shadow Ram Board fitted.Also fitted are DNFS 1.2, Mega 3(Inter-Sheet, Inter-word & Inter-Chart)and Inter-Base Roms. The HELPROM can be loaded into rom 14on the Aries Board and when I *HELP theexistence of the rom is given at thatpoint, using up 8K of the 16K which Irequested on starting up. When Iattempt to *HELPLOAD the example fileBASIC the drive whirrs for a second ortwo and when it stops and I ask for*HLP I am told that no keywords arepresent in the text, and if I *HLP (anykeyword) I am told that the keyworddoes not exist on the file and to *HLPfor a list of keywords. Obviously therom is aware of a file having beenloaded but is unable to read it.(Steven's comment: I can't see how theuser knows the rom is aware of the filehaving been loaded - is this beinginferred from the drive access?) Having regard to the fact that I useInter-word, I wrote out another textfile from that WP and SPOOLed the fileas IWBASIC before attempting to*HELPLOAD it. Again to no avail! To : 2J3 (Chris Richardson) From : 0E7 Re : BDARK, merging programs Yes Chris I used BDARK this time withno trouble so you see at least onemember reads and de-archives yourarticles and programs. Thank you also for info on *SPOOL likeeverything else it is easy when youknow how. My problem is remembering it,or where I have written it down. As so often happens, in between times Ireceived the following info in thelatest issue of BEEBUG which is, Ihope, OK to pass on. To merge or spool two programmes(Master only): Load one listing Type EDIT Save under new filename via key f3 Come out of EDIT Load second listing Type *EXEC<filename> where filename isthe name of the first listing saved Then save the final listing; it works! Editor: There is also another way ofdoing this on the Master, possibly alittle faster; try: LOAD "<file1>" <RETURN> EDIT <RETURN> Use <f3> <file1a> to save <f1> <BASIC> <RETURN> to leave EDIT LOAD "<file2>" EDIT <RETURN> <shift>+<f2> <file1a> <RETURN> Remember of course that both of thesemethods require the BASIC programs tohave different line numbers. Forexample, listing one could be numberedfrom 10 onwards by RENUMBER 10<RETURN>, and listing two from 5000onwards by RENUMBER 5000 <RETURN>. To : 8J4 + 999 From : 0E7 Re : how/where to obtain ADFS and SWRWhen I had my BEEB some eight years agoI decided that I wanted to fit ADFSwitha SWR board, so I took my computeralong to my local Injun agent calledHCCS. They took the machine apart,installed the board and the chips,tested it fully, and some twentyminutes or so later I walked out withmy wallet some `110 pounds lighter. Theinstallation and testing out was allfree. At today's cost I do not know but Idon't suppose it will be much cheaperassuming that ADFS chips and SWR/RAMboards are still available (Ed.: seebelow) Unless you are conversantworking with chips (I am an expert withthe fish variety) it could be a bittricky, and it is not exactly a case ofjust plugging in the chips etc. as somestraps are to be cut and links altered.If you are prepared to spend this muchhave you considered a 2nd hand Masteror even a new one? After putting yourBeeb in in P/E or selling it privatelyit may not cost you much more, assumingthat it will suit your purpose, sinceADFS and SWR with VIEWWORD andVIEWSHEET are already installed withthe latest version of BASIC. Wishingyou the best of luck and hope thisadvice is of some use. Editor: a 2nd-hand Master 128 (or maybea Compact, see elsewhere) is certainlyworth considering, since ADFS on theBeeb is not really that good (if youhave both ADFS & DFS running PAGE risesto &1F00 which leaves you with hardlyany memory, whereas the Master has 12Kof Private RAM and 20K of Shadow RAM inaddition to the four 16K SRAM banks, soyou get around 28K of main memory freewhatever you're doing. Plus all theextra bits of course). To: 27N (John Ilsley) and 999 From: 19F (Theo Gray) Re: NLQ Design Following your query on NLQ Font Designlast issue, I know of 2 ways ofdefining extra NLQ character fonts. The first is as described in printerhandbooks. A 'PCG Ram Kit' may beinstalled, allowing extra NLQ fonts tobe defined by downloading dot patterndata from the computer, "a verypowerful feature allowing a limitlessnumber of fonts to be created anddownloaded when required". The onedrawback is the amount of data requiredper font; 48 bytes per character has tobe calculated and sent to the printer,leaving a whole character font needing6000 bytes to be sent from thecomputer, each byte being manuallycalculated from binary dot patterns. The second is by using the 'WatfordElectronics NLQ Designer'.Unfortunately after thinking I hadbought this second hand, I found thatall I had was the box, the manual, adisc with free fonts on (!), and somefunction keystrips, with the wrong ROM.I did begin to read the manual thoughwhich makes this ROM look verypowerful. I hope this helps. To : 8J4 + 999 From : 3SQ Re : ADFS and SWR on a "B" If I haven't already sold it alreadyyou are more than welcome to my old BBCB which has both ADFS and Sideways Ram.Seriously though it is very easy to fitADFS into a BBC B, but you do needeither the Watford Electronics Mk 2Disc Interface kit, which comes with aDouble Density WE DFS, or otherwise theAcorn Version with which you only get anormal (boring) Acorn 1770 DFS, theONLY snag I have found with ADFS fittedin a BBC B is the higher PAGE, but toovercome this I fitted a WE Shadow RamBoard, which by the way puts up PAGEanother &100 for it's Control ROMsworkspace, although I admit this can bemoved to say &900 etc., but I feel surethis would clash with something, italways does. Via Solinet I have a copy of theSolidisk ADFS which keeps page at &1900unless you need more than one file openlike with a Database. But of coursewith both ADFS and DFS switched on PAGEis up to &1F00. (Editor: Does theSolidisk ADFS have *TYPE built in, sothat you don't need DFS switched on? Ifso, it's probably a better idea, unlessit lacks something else). Sideways Ram is also easily availablewith several types of Rom Boards, whichyou will have to have with all theextra Rom Sockets you shall need withADFS and the Shadow Ram Control Rom, onmy Solderless WE Rom board I have got16k of SWR in the guise of two 6264 8kRam chips which are also backed up by aBattery, I have previously, also triedthe WE Rom/Ram Board that has got 128kof SWRam (8*16k) fitted which is brillwhen used as a Ram disc, the 128k ofSWRam is also very good if you havelots and lots of Rom images on disc!Like I said earlier all of these areavailable on my BBC B (including theShadow Ram), which I may sellseparately, get in touch you may belucky! Editor: Watford Electronics can, Ithink, be contacted on 0582 487777. Ithink various Beeb ROM/RAM upgrades arestill available, but are quiteexpensive, the last advert I have hasprices starting at £32 and going up toover £100 for a ROM/RAM facilitysimilar to the Master series, and thenadd VAT + carriage. So think about a2nd-hand Master... To : 8J4 + 999 From : 3SQ Re : ADFS to DFS Do you have a Master or a "B"? For the Master only, I can recommendthe following: the FICOPY command thatcomes with a Morley Rom Board ControlRom or otherwise an identical programon Disk called MBCOPY; they both usethe 64k of Sideways Ram and are veryvery quick. For both Master and BBC B Ican recommend the Rom called ADT it'scommand XFER can deal with almostanything, going the other way DFS toADFS you can use the ROM called ADU butthis is a little slow in comparison.Get in touch I should be able to sortyou out with something! There isanother Rom called Helping Hand whichcan work in conjunction with ADT butthis has proved unreliable for me. To : 999 From : 3SQ Re : Hardware I have recently upgraded (from a "B")to a Master 128 fitted with a Turboboard. I have already received a lotof help from several friends, one ofthe gems that I have acquired is theMOS+ Rom from Dabs Press which curesall known bugs in the original 1megabit OS Rom, it is only recentlythat I have learnt (from Beebugmagazines) that Acorn actually boughtout an improved version of the 1megabit OS Rom themselves in recentyears, with apparently a much fasterADFS chip and other improvements forTurbo Users, would any of the 8BSmembers have any knowledge of this chipand its compatibility with existingFirmware and Software for exampleSpellmaster? (Editor: sounds unlikely,but if anyow knows where I can get holdof this I would be very grateful). I have also acquired a Morley Rom Boardwhich I can recommend without anyreservations, although I admit mineonly cost five pounds, not the £45 of anew one, which is of course if they arestill available? I have had it on good authority that itis possible to get a lot of old "B"games (and Roms?) working on the Masterby simply "blowing" a copy of Basic IIand fitting this, unplugging Basic IVand re-configuring the Language, withthe Morley board and an EXEC file thisis very easy. Somebody also sent me a Rom image ofACP's 1770 DFS for a Master which isdirectly compatible with WE 62 file catDFS Disc's and also WE DDFS DoubleDensity Disks of which I have lots, Isoon found that my WE DDFS didn't workon my Master, the ACP DFS also allowsyou to use the 64k of SWRam as aRamdisk which can be configured as anyDrive number from 0 through to 8 whichof course allows it to work with mostsoftware. To : 19F Theo Gray From : 6EE Mick Needham Re : TD ROM Unfortunately the TD ROM like all othertape to disc utilities will not run allprograms loaded from tape, so it is potluck whether a particular tape gamewill run. When using the TD ROM youonly need to press the letter at theside of the program you wish to run, itwill then attempt to run the program,if, as happened to you, 'Searching'appears on screen then this usuallymeans it cannot run that program, checkto make sure CHAIN or RUN has beenentered correctly in the TD ROM runmenu, try the slow load option andvarious values of PAGE, the HELP pageson the ROM will explain how to do this,if all this fails then sorry but theprograms won't run, try another tape todisc utility, you might get lucky. To : 999 All members From : 6EE Mick Needham Re : Amstrad disc drives Can anyone tell me if Amstrad 3.5" and5.25" disc drives can be made to workon a BBC and if so how to connect them!(Editor: does anyone have an easy wayof transferring Amstrad CF2 format toany BBC, PC or Arch format?) To : 999 All members From : 6EE Mick Needham Re : BBC faults article The January issue of Televisioncontained an article called 'BBC ModelB Computer Fault Notes', this articlecontained details of 59 'stock' faultsfound on the BBC B and how to correctthem, also details of the power supply,giving faults and diagnosis. If anyoneis interested in this article then sendme two first class stamps. 153 FirthPark Road, Sheffield, S5 6WU. (Editor: and make sure someone keepsit, as it could come in very useful atsome stage in the future). To : YJ2 (Andrew Snodgrass) From : 6EE Mick Needham Re : Reading disc catalogue Can't help with a detailed discriptionbut I have a program that will read thedisc catalogue, then run the filenames,it was on a PD disc of digitisedimages, the program reads the filenamesthen runs them one after the another,any files you don't want to run can beomitted, you may be able to convert itfor your own use, send me a disc if youwant a copy. Editor: I'm not quite sure what waswanted here, but if you want to go intodetail about it, according to theMaster Ref. Man. pt.1, OSGBPB (&FFD1)can be used to read filenames from anADFS catalogue by putting &08 in theaccumulator. Let me know if you wantdetails of the parameter block requiredetc. To : 15A, K1B, 999 From : 6EE Mick Needham Re : ASIC error Thanks for the comments, I had come tothe conclusion a ROM was the culprit,but because it only happens now andagain, I have not yet discovered theoffending ROM. Typing REPORT just gives'ASIC'. Must admit had not thought ofASIC being part of "BASIC". K1B I havespare ATPL documentation, let me haveyour address so I can send it to you.