8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                    8 BIT SOFTWARE                                                          From: L1L (Jock Smylie) Program: 8BS Messaging System Congratulations must go to Steven Flintham for an excellent utility. This is the first message I have entered using the system, and I must say, it couldn't be easier.! The inclusion of a function keystrip is greatly appreciated. More programs should make use of these keys - an under used yet valuable facility of the Beeb. And those progams that do use function keys benefit remarkably by having a printable keystrip.          From: K2H (Ron Boyce) Program: 8BS MENU READER A first-class and most useful Program but may I suggest that, to make it really foolproof (for people like me!) that you add a note to the effect that the 'end DIR' should be CATed to see if there are other files which belong to the Program concerned? For instance:- in ISSUE 33 the ADFS Extra Menu Program 'Phoibos Digipics' has a large number of associated files in the IV5 Directory which must be copied in order to transfer this Program to another disc.  From: K2H (Ron Boyce) Program: ISSUE33 An excellent mix, and well up to 8BS standards. Well done, Chris. Keep up th good work. The ELECTRICAL COSTS Program was interesting and works very well, provided that you are prepared - in my case - to run backwards and forwards to the garage to read the meter! The SLIDING BLOCK PUZZLE picture was really good, but I think there might be more explicit instructions on how to 'play' the game. 3-D ROLLER BALL and FUNFAIR might also benefit in the same way. The classic cars in Phoibos Digipics were excellent - shows what the 128 can do. SEVENS and BLACKJACK were games I have not seen before and could well become very time-consuming!  Comments from 483 "Shopping" A very amusing program. One suggestion to make it easier to see what is happening would be to print either, "You gamble and win" or "You gamble and lose" each time someone gambles, so that it is quite clear. The screen gets quite crowded in MODE 7, so clearing it before putting up the next message or prompt more often might be a good idea. "Caterpillar" A very interesting variation on an old theme - having a picture of a flower to eat away at made this version so much more fun than the others. The game would be much more exciting if it could be speeded up at all (even by a tiny bit). Only re-printing the score on the screen when it changes might be one way of doing this. Another way of making the game more challenging would be to make the caterpillar increase its length a lot more quickly. If time allows, having more than one level - perhaps with a different flower (or some other sort of landscape?) on each one - would make the game a lot more entertaining. Other minor improvements might include moving the score readout to the top of the screen (perhaps enclosing it in a box, and maybe having a time readout with it), and making sure that the caterpillar starts moving as soon as the game begins. You could also make the caterpillar make a noise every time he moves a square, and a different one every time he eats - unfortunately this would slow things down of course, so it would be quite difficult to do without spoiling the game. "History of 8BS" An excellent and fascinating article which tells us how everything started and why we are organised as we are, and which will hopefully be continued soon. I can't wait to write my section!  From: 20G ((Roy Dickens)) Program: 8BS Menu Reader v2 Again our ED. comes up with another improvement with path names etc. It seems to me that what ever some- one asks for, it gets done. I bet that he has a magic wand plugged in his machine. If anyone has one of these add-ons going cheap let me know! History of 8BS I found this very interesting and hope to read more. I only wish that I had been with 8BS from the start. Sliding Block and X-word A couple of nice programs from L1L. Lovely flowery scene to slide around. Sevens and Blackjack(ADFS) Miroslaw (L1J) put in just what I like card games (no zappin!). I think its great when the machine counts up for you and when you say that 'I can't go' it say's 'Oh yes you can'! Pete A bit of fun from Fred Price (By the way Fred when my wife read it she said 'He hasn't spelt that right!) 3-Droll An amazing maze, not finished it yet. I know that our ED. gave us the keys but it would have been better if S. Johnston had put a little info at the beginning of the prog. Electrical Costs. Interesting to see this program by K2F, the bills are bad enough without VAT. A gadget soon to come on the market was shown (08/03/94 Tomorrows World) on TV, that you plug in with a kettle say and you can watch the pennies add up. Didn't give the price of the thing tho'.  From: K1H (J W FULLBROOK ) Program: CROSSWORDS I enjoyed this program very much, well written and presented, I would like to see more programs as professional as this, if the donor wrote this, he will probably be head hunted by Superior.  From: K1H (J W FULLBROOK) Program: SEVENS Another well written and graphically perfect program, I have enjoyed playing this game and crosswords, although I rarely play games I found these two addictive.  From: K1H (J W FULLBROOK) Program: MESSAGING SYSTEM Athough I had no complaints about the previous edition of the system, I find this one much more user friendly, very simple to use.  From: K1H (J W FULLBROOK) Program: MENREAD Very useful this, saves a lot of time trying to fathom out the name of the program that you want to copy off the disc, I am trying to catalogue the back issues in a similar way, I find that lately I have been kept busy with one thing or another, and sometimes problems arise with software that require a remedy to put it right, and all to often I forget that I have a wealth of information on back issues etc, to go through each disc would be to time consuming, has inevitably I would get sidetracked on each disc.  Comments from 483 "New 8BS Questionnaire" This was a very well-presented program and seemed more reliable than my version. However, when I started it up, I had loaded my 8BS-33 disk in ADFS, but wanted to send in my submissions on a DFS disk (which was in drive 0). After the program asked me to insert my submissions disk in drive zero and press a key, it crashed because it could not read the DFS disk. It might be a better idea to add an option for users to use * commands to select filing system if necessary. There seem to be a number of instances where several "yes/no" type questions could be compressed into one multiple choice question on a single screen, reducing the total number of questions (thus making the questionnaire seem less intimidating), and speeding things up. For example, the various questions asking whether members own particular computers could be compressed into one screen with a number key to toggle yes/no for each machine, and another number key to be pressed when finished. A similar method could be used with the questions about what disk sizes/types are available to people. With the questions on what VDU people have, it would be better to have them all on one screen and for the question to be "which one of these do you normally use", because the results would then be rather more meaningful. Some of the questions ought to have been longer in order to make clear exactly what they meant. For example, the question about second processors might also have mentioned 65C102 co-processors, as these are functionally equivalent, although faster. "Do you use Econet?" might be better replaced with "Do you have access to or interest in Econet?", and Questions 35 and 45 could also be more clear. It might be better to use the term "Acorn 32-bit computer" rather than "Archimedes", as some people seem to consider that only some of Acorn's 32-bit computers are actually Archimedes as such (A300 etc). One question that might be worth adding would be about how 8-bit users feel about Archimedes-related articles; do they find them annoying, consider them a waste of space, want to read them, or simply have no interest in them? EDITOR..... Thanks Daniel, the questionnaire will be updated from time to time. I shall bear these comments in mind when programming the questions next time. I must add that there has been a great response from members with the questionnaire with only one or two problems reported. 8BS has a much better view of the membership with the new questionnaire results than before. The info can be processed by the software that 15A has written to give me a very clear picture of what the 8BS membership wants from the user group. Most members have always something else to say and generally either ring or write. This form of communication is far better than any questionnaire. If you have any comments on the questionnaire please let 8BS have them! Incidentally, Steven Flintham has ALREADY updated the questionnaire program. This will not see the light of day for a year or so though as it is incompatible with the new existing 8BS database.  To: 999 (all members) From: K2T (Jack Tourle) Subject: History of 8BS History is not my favourite subject, by a long way, but I read Duncan Webster's contribution with great interest, especially as he reveals what TBI stands for. I have been longing to ask whose initials they were, but refrained, to avoid being thought Too Bloomin' Ignorant! Thanks, Duncan. Next instalment eagerly awaited.  From: L1L (Jock Smylie) Program: New 8BS Questionaire Well done Steven Flintham on another valuable and easy to use program. By following in the same style as the 8BS messaging system, the 8BS questionaire is establishing a familiar program format. This should enable new users/ members to quickly learn to use the programs as they both use the same environment. I would just like to make a comment about program compatability and Shadow Ram boards. In the questionaire program, Steven makes use of the *SHADOW 1 command to enable Shadow mode if one is using a Master series machine. If a Model B is being used then this command would simply be ignored. However, I came across a problem which other Model B owners may also experience. I have a third party Shadow Ram board for my Model B. When the questionaire issues the *SHADOW 1 command, if not previously enabled, my shadow Ram will be enabled but also requires a soft reset. The questionaire crashes asking me to press <BREAK> to enable shadow mode. Upon re-!Booting the disk and hence the questionaire it crashes again with the message that the answers file can not be found. After a few trials this was remedied by enabling the Shadow Ram with *SHADOW 1 before !Booting the disk. This problem can be avoided by testing which machine is being used with the INKEY(-256) command. Then, if the machine being used is a Master shadow mode can be entered using the *SHADOW command. Else, if the machine is a Model B, the command can be ignored. A software patch that could be used:- K%=INKEY(-256) IF K%>=245 THEN *SHADOW 1 This would enable Shadow mode on a B+, Master or Compact computer and not on a Model B. Model B users with shadow ram boards would need to issue the *SHADOW 1 command before !Booting the disk, and this could be stated in the associated program documentation. This technique may be useful in other similar situations where a program may require to know which machine it is running on. Below are the values returned with INKEY(-256) for the various Acorn (8 bit) machines. Machine Value of INKEY(-256) BBC B, OS 0.1 0 BBC B, OS > 0.1 -1 Electron 1 BBC B+ 251 BBC Master 128 253 BBC Master Compact 245  From: K3X Program: key strip for messaging Got in a mess with this one. Couldn't print out graphics to get the lines visible in modes other than 7 as my husband's printer has internal dipswitches which are difficult to use. So I altered the program to use print only. A bit of fiddling about gave me the info roughly parallel with the keys and I'm using it now. Many thanks it's jolly useful. From Margaret.  From: K3B (PAUL MATTHEWS) Program: ALL PROGRAMMES ====================================== I MUST CONGRATULATE ALL THE PROGRAMME CONTRIBUTORS WHO PUT IN MANY HOURS OF KEYBOARD TIME TO KEEP US ALL IN SOME WAY EDUCATED/AMUSED/INFORMED OR ANY COMBINATION OF THESE. HANGMAN FROM ISSUE 31 I FIND TO BE AN EXCELLENT BRAIN STIMULANT (EVEN IF I DON'T KNOW WHAT HALF THE WORDS MEAN!!) SEVENS FROM ISSUE 33 WAS AN INSTANT HIT WITH THE CHILDREN AND THE GRAPHICS ARE EXCELLENT.HAS ANYONE GOT A VERSION OF PATIENCE SIMILAR TO THE ONE YOU SEE ON THE PC WINDOWS SETUP? PITTLIN' PETE FROM ISSUE 33 IS A VERY ENJOYABLE DIVERSION, MORE, MORE, MORE, PLEASE!!(ALBERT & THE LION?) ====================================== ************************************** ======================================  From: 0E7 (Fred Nevin) Program: MENU READER Thanks once again Chris The latest version is a great help. Once the Menu is printed out and with the help of 'What this issues about' I can easily get to and 'lift' the data required  From: 0E7 (Fred Nevin) Program: Money Thanks Roy. Another very useful little program that I am sure everyone at sometime finds very useful. I intend putting them all to very good use indeed when I win the pools.  From: 0E7 (Fred Nevin) Program: Slide Very nice Graphics but a tantalising puzzle to solve  From: 0E7 (Fred Nevin) Program: X-Word Nice and clean Graphics I find that overtyping letters a bit offputting as I want to try and enter other answers as in a pencil and paper crossword When I try to resolve the problem I find the program tends to lock up on the small crossword                               BLAM!                                                   