8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                                   8 Bit                        To: 999 & K2Q (John Nicholson) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: 'Dangerous' * commands in programs This may not be the best way of doing it, but if you want to *COMPACT a disc from within a BASIC program, why not try programming a function key to perform the command and then load/run the program again. For example: 10REM This program would normally be corrupted on running 20*KEY0 *COMPACT|MLOAD "DEMO"|MGOTO 60|M 30*FX21 40*FX138,0,128 50END 60PRINT "This is the program again!" I have not tested this actual program but I've tried the basic method and it should work. I know it uses a GOTO, but it's this sort of 'fringe' programming where I think it's justifiable. *FX21 clears the keyboard buffer, which is important because otherwise any keys the user had pressed would appear in front of the command produced by the function key and could stop it being executed. *FX138,0,128 just inserts f0 in the keyboard buffer. If just loading the program and then starting it from a particular line isn't good enough (it could be particularly annoying if the program gets renumbered, because the *KEY definition won't be changed), how about setting a resident integer variabe to indicate what to do on re-running and CHAIN the program. Something like this: 10REM This program would normally be corrupted on running 20IF A%=1 THEN GOTO 80 30*KEY0 *COMPACT|MCHAIN "DEMO"|M 40A%=1 50*FX21 60*FX138,0,128 70END 80PRINT "This is the program again!" However, you would have to set A% to some other value outside the program (in a !BOOT file, for instance) because otherwise A% might just happen to be 1 (or whatever) when the program is first run and it would then behave incorrectly. Of course, you could have several such routines and set A% to a different value just before each of them, with several IF-THEN lines at the start to handle them all. A little experimentation could work wonders here. Finally, judicious use of VDU 21 just before the END statement and |F (the control code to reactivate the VDU drivers) should stop any of this being visible to the user, if that matters. Consult the user guide for further information on the VDU drivers if necesary. I hope this helps!  To: 999 & K2Q (John Nicholson) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: Radio networking I read the message on this with interest - the idea sounds great, but I don't suppose it stands a chance with the heavy restrictions on radio transmission and the high (?) cost of radio equipment. I may be wrong but I don't think you can transmit anything other than speech without a class A amateur's license - something like that anyway, and since I believe you have to pass a test, including morse code, to get one the idea would not really be practical for most people. However, I seem to recall reading an article in Acorn User (1986-ish!) about some people who were doing something like this - I suppose if you have the appropriate equipment and license there's nothing to stop you. I certainly look forward to hearing comments from other members about this idea - perhaps one day the DTI (or whoever) will make special provision for this sort of thing. For all I know, they may do already - I await information from more knowledgeable people...  To: 999 (all members) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: InterNet/JANET Can anyone tell me what the InterNet actually is? - I've seen it mentioned a couple of times in BBC Acorn User but they just assume that everyone knows about it. I presume it's something along the lines of Telecom Gold, but I don't know anything about it. Is it a general service or is it aimed at one particular group? I'd also like to ask about JANET, which is some sort of educational network. What I really want to know is can anyone access it or do only universities and similar have access?  To: 999 & 483 (Daniel G Shimmin) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: A540 To the best of my knowledge, the A540 was fitted with an 800K floppy. This seems logical anyway, since it was made before the A5000 came out and I think the reviews of that machine said that a 'new feature' was the 1.6Mb floppy. However, I am not 100% sure. I think the A540 was actually originally fitted with RISC OS 2.01, although once again I'm not sure because I think I saw this in an old RISC User someone lent me. If I remember rightly, the main changes are modules to implement an SCSI filing system and the ability to handle up to 16Mb of RAM, which was not possible under RISC OS 2.00.  To: 999 (all members) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: Acorn User 5.25 inch discs I saw somewhere in a recent Acorn User that they have released all their 5.25 inch discs into the public domain (including the 'special' discs such as Calligraphy etc). I would advise you to actually check first, but if any members have any of this software they might like to consider sending it in for inclusion in the 8BS PD library.  To: 999 (all members) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: Help! My trusty BBC B seems to have developed disc drive trouble recently and so I turn to 8BS members for advice. It was working perfectly for a week or so before the trouble started, having been out of use for some time before then. One day it started giving disc errors all the time, but turning it on and off a bit sorted it out. The fault then recurred a day or so later - this time it stopped working for around half an hour, during which time I took the lid off and firmed a few chips in their sockets etc. It then worked for another half hour or so before the fault recurred again. This time it has not started working again - despite my pressing firmly on every chip in sight! I have swapped the disc drive (and therfore the ribbon cable) with one from another computer and that failed to work, so I deduce that the fault lies in the computer itself. The errors vary - they are usually either "Data CRC error at..." or "Sector not found at..." and there seem to be no pattern in the errors. Can any 8BS members suggest what might be wrong? I have an 8271 disc controller with the Watford DFS 1.30. I am a bit worried that the 8271 itself might be faulty - if this is the case, would members advise me to replace it or buy a 1770 disc interface? Any advice would be much appreciated.  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: Printing without paper! When developing programs that have printed output, it can be very wasteful on paper to keep doing trial runs, as our Editor knows!! You can make your BBC (B, B+ or Master) print out it's contents as a 'dry run' by typing *FX5,0 (zero!). This sends all the output to a printer 'sink', but you can see the results as you would with paper. To revert back to normal hard copy, type *FX5,1 for a parallel printer, or *FX5,2 for serial.  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: Master's *SRLOAD commands I've often found that when using various software that *SRLOADs into SWRam, it seems to prevent further use of the *SRLOAD command by issuing "Bad parameter" error messages. The only way I've overcome this is to switch the Master off, then back on - some thing I don't like doing. Does anyone else have this problem, or even the answer.  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: Master ref manuals Like so many others, I'm after these two manuals. Can anyone help, please? I can be contacted on 0738-812186.  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: Beebug magazines for sale I have the following Beebug mags for sale at `1 each, or `7 the lot + P&P. Consecutive issues from Jan/Feb '87 vol 5 no 8, to Aug/Sep '87 vol 6 no 4. Also Apr '84 vol 2 no 10.  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: BBC B keyboard links Further to the query from 8J4 and CJR's reply, the timings (in ms) given relate to the 8271 FDC chip only. If you have a 1770 or 1772, the timings are different, as the table below shows:- Step times in milli-seconds:- Link 3 Link 4 1770 1772 8271 closed closed 6ms 6ms 4ms open closed 12ms 12ms 6ms* closed open 20ms 2ms 6ms open open 30ms 3ms 24ms Note: the 6ms* has a longer settle and head load time than the other 6ms setting. For Master users, the settings are for the *CONFIG FDRIVE :- FDRIVE no. 1770 1772 0 6ms 6ms 1 (ADSF compen) 6ms 6ms 2 30ms 3ms 3 (ADFS compen)30ms 3ms General note:- for most modern drives, 6ms settings should be OK. I've found that older drives need 12ms or more. I set my B (1770) to 12ms, and the Master (1772) to FDRIVE 1. 40 track drives, or 40/80 switchable, should be set to 6ms or higher, depending on age.  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: Re K2Q's note on BBC support It's always useful to members to hear about good as well as bad suppliers of BBC software and hardware. One firm I've found to be excellent in terms of service and price, is Bell Computers, PO Box 418, Leighton Buzzard, Beds, LU7 7YN. Tel 0908-370405. As an example, I recently bought a pack of 5 Master key switches for `2.30 + `0.35 for P & P, and my order supplied within 5 days. They have a wide range of software as well as components. Do members know of other sources for components such as various chips that the BBC computers use - 6522, D7002, DFS etc., perspex function key strips, power supplies etc etc. It would be most useful to all of us, if members were to supply info which could form a 'SUPPLIERS INDEX'. What about it Ed? EDITOR... Good idea. Send me a list of your favourite suppliers and I shall compile them into an article for a future issue.  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: Roms for sale Edword (W/P) `3 ADFS (B or B+) `6 ViewSheet `6 ViewSpell `6 ViewStore `6 Teletext `6 2764 eproms `1.50 each Games tapes `1 each Replica 2 `2  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: A cautionary tale!! A local friend with a Beeb phoned me to say he had a problem with his disk drive. A wire had come loose from the white connector that fits into the Beeb's power supply. He thought he'd fix it by removing the connector and replaced it with a 13A mains plug!! He then plugged in hoping to restore use of the drive! After the smoke settled, he realised it wasn't such a good idea! The moral is that drives don't like 240 volts direct connection! Another moral is don't meddle if you don't really know what you're doing!!  To: 999 (all members) From: K3B (PAUL MATTHEWS) Subject: NEW MEMBER =====================================         It is two years since I sarted this computer lark,and I'm really glad of the existance of 8 BIT-SOFTWARE! When I first got a BBC B (for the kids of course!) I was told that it was a dead machine as only the primary schools used them any more. HOW WRONG THEY WERE!! I must admit that at first all I had was a motely collection of games and I was soon bored,so into the Welcome Guide I delved to learn more.I didn't find it easy at all at first (still don't!),but I gradually got the hang of it,'bit by bit'.I was soon able to write a very basic W/P and a filing system for my Brass Band music. I only found out about 8BS when I saw acopy of BYTE-BACK and saw an article about it,so off I sent my pennies and was amazed when I got my intro disc and issue 31 of the magazine,it's brilliant.It is very hard work on the part of the 'Management', and I am very grateful for their support. I soon progressed to a `30.00 Master 128 and it's mine,all mine!.I also use a MicroVitec 1441 monitor,dual 40/80 drives and an Epson LX400 printer.Now I am starting to get some goodies for it. PLEASE SEE THE ADS I am looking forward to a long and fruitful stay with 8BS,and even though I am a 'simple' basic programmer I might even submit something. Thanks to Roy Dickens for putting me onto FLOWCHART LTD because I have just got two brand new 80track 5.25" half height drives for a TENNER, it cost them more to post them (first class!!) ====================================== ====================================== ======================================  To: 999 (all members) From: K3B (PAUL MATTHEWS) Subject: JVC 3.5" DISC DRIVES =====================================   I recently bought a couple of JVC drives from BULL ELECTRICAL in Sussex,but I have a problem following the instructions they sent for making up the data cum power lead,I can't fathom it out as it seems illogical to me. DID ANYONE ELSE GET ONE AND GET THE LEAD MADE UP OKAY? 107 QUEENS DRIVE,MOSSLEY HILL, LIVERPOOL,MERSEYSIDE.L18 1JL. ====================================== ====================================== ======================================  To: 999 (all members) From: K3B (PAUL MATTHEWS) Subject: ITEMS WANTED ====================================== CAN ANYONE HELP ME WITH THE FOLLOWING BITS AND BOBS:- MORLEY AA or VINE MICROS ROM BOARD FOR THE MASTER A ROM IMAGE OF SCREENPRINT(COLOUR) AS MY ROM CHIP OF IT HAS GONE FAULTY EPROM ERASER NON-VOLATILE 64K RAM CARTRIDGE MASTER REFERENCE MANUALS 1 & 2(I KNOW EVERYONE WANTS THEM!!) VIEW USER GUIDE A TAPE TO DISC TRANSFER UTILITY TO ENABLE ME TO TRANSFER MY GRIFFEN SOFTWARE TELEPHONE:- 051-734-4023 amd ask for me!! ====================================== ====================================== ======================================  To : 999 (All) From : 2J3 (C.J.Richardson) Subject: For Sale ALL money from these sales go into the 8BS funds. A very noble cause. Software on tape: All software on tape is yours for 30p an item unless otherwise noted. This price does not include post and packing. BBC Welcome Tape. Software on disc: All items are £1.00 each unless otherwise noted. Prices do not include postage and packing. Gemini Database Bulletin Board system. Two discs £2.00 (Requires twin drive and modem) Dambusters. U.S.Gold BBC only Blockbusters. Domark Bruce Lee. U.S.Gold BBC only Brian Clough's Football Fortunes. Monopoly Watford Disc Drive utilities. Boxed, on disc with playing board and plastic tanks etc, Tank Attack 5.00p Hardware: Viewstore ROM with manual and disc 5.00p not including p+p. Books: BBC User guide. 5.00p (large) The Century Computer Programming Course for the BBC Micro. 1.00p (large) **Prestel System User Guide. Free ACORN DFS User Guide. 1.00p First Steps with your BBC Micro. 50p Watford DFS and DDFS Manual. 1.00p Programming tips from the BBC Micro. Selected articles from the first year of the Acorn User. 2.00p (Excellent!) Cumana disc drive guide. 1.00p Prices do not include postage. So for larger books (Acorn User articles for instance) postage will be about 2.00p. For smaller books about 50p. The book marked * is free because it is a bit dog-eared, but there must be some body out there that really needs it. Kits: For the John Ilsley electronics articles Project 1. Moisture detector £1.40 Made up £2.50 Project 2. Continuous alarm £2.20 Made up £3.00 Project 3. Light pen £3.00 Made up £3.74 Kit prices include p+p. These items unlike everything else from 8BS are NOT dispatched by return of post. There may be a wait of a couple of weeks occasionally. Although there are kits ready for dispatch as I write this (26.11.93). Also: New 5.25" DS DD discs £3.40 for 10 this price does include postage and packing. Order any quantitiy at any time. I always have a large number in stock. Contact: C.J.Richardson. 17 Lambert Park Road Hedon Hull HU12 8HF                                     