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
SEVENS and BLACKJACK were games I have not seen before and could well become very time-consuming!
Comments from 483
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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'
Thanks, Duncan. Next instalment
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:-
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
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