8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                                   8 Bit                    To : 999 (All Members) From : 2J3 (Chris Richardson) A very big thankyou to everyone that helped out for and at the show. Whether that be by actually being there in person or by the donation of equipment, software, time or cash. The coming weeks will determine whether it was a success or not as response trickles in through the 8BS letterbox. Extra special thanks are due to: Sorted alphabetically: 316 Supplies for the freebies Steve Cross for the monitor Peter Davy for turning up and donation. Steve Hanson for the software deal Paul Harvey for everything (see separate list!) Barry Maslin for donations Derrick Pritchard-Jones for help JoJo for not breaking down Frank Jones for help Mick Needham for help Lars Osterballe for turning a few heads with your programming Fred Price for help Geoff and Judith Potter for giving 8BS space at the show Mick Reeves for help Stephan Richardson for endless help Daniel Shimmin for being DGS Duncan Webster for showing up Margaret Wright for software Gill, without your help I could not have even contemplated the venture. One last point before I finish with the Acorn User show. Before the show started, I thought that I would probably have loads of time to chat with members who turned up. However, some members had to queue to speak with me. I apologise to those of you that turned up only to have a brief moment for a natter. Next time, turn up on the Sunday as this would seem to be the quietest day.  (K5B) David Macgraw has offered to continue the electronics articles series. He would like suggestions for future projects. I have given him a few ideas but it would be better if members could come up with some ideas.      Nothing stops the same around 8BS for very long. As mentioned in the Acorn User Show diary, the whole Acorn User collection is now in the 8BS catalogue including the special discs such as Calligraphy. Send for TBI-00 DFS or ADFS for details. TBI-47 the electronics disc has been added to here and there, mainly a couple of lightpen programs. 8BS issues used to be held on to for a couple of months before being released into the Public Domain. This all seems rather pointless now after 300 of issue 35 went out to all and sundry. Issues go straight into the catalogue from now on. BUG-00 added to the library. This is the magscan disc, a very powerul search database that will enable you to locate any item you are looking for from volume 1 to 12 in the Beebug magazines.  To: 999 (all members) From: K3W (Tom) Subject: General Having had my arm twisted by Tim and then by Chris I have become a member of the 8-Bit group. It will most probably benefit me more than you since I am a relative novice. I am impressed by the quantity and quality of the entries in the Issues I have seen so far. I have a BBC B and a Master Compact. Although the latter has more facilities I still tend to use the old Beeb for the greater part of my computing but the Compact does have ADFS and with a with a twin drive I am able to transfer programs in either direction. The Panasonic KX-P1180 is my trusty printer and I continue to find more ways of extending its capabilities thanks to the help given to me by other Beebuggers. There is a local Beeb club at Billingham which is useful in some ways but from my existing membership of Solinet (is that a dirty word?) I beieve the postal groups are way out in front. That's not to say the local club are not kowledgeable, quite the contrary, some of them are distinctly brilliant but the postal contacts I have made so far have been eager to help and have proved to be most invaluable. Since my other interests are fell walking, photography and genealogy I find that time is the scarcist commodity. When I become fully conversant with the 8-Bit Issue format I shall endeavour to contribute a little more. No doubt I shall feature more in the 'help' column than elsewhere!  To: 999 (all members) From: K2O (Stephan Richardson) Subject: Z88 User Group I would like to inform all 8BS members that the Z88 User Group (Z88 EPROM) is NOT closed but merely dormant (quick reference to Monty Python's parrot sketch?). I have spoken to Roy Woodward who runs the club and he has told me that there are insufficient funds at the moment to finance the next issue of the magazine. The magazine is partly financed by sales of spares, upgrades, and back issues of the magazine, but as there has been little activity in any of these areas, there is no income from these for the magazine. As a result of this he is not taking on any more new subscriptions. However, if any member wishes to obtain any of the past issues of Z88 Eprom (all are currently available) then he can supply them and hopefully boost the finances! As regards the spares and upgrades, I am still waiting to upgrade my Z88 from the 32k internal ram to 512k and the systm rom to the latest version. I already have 2x1Meg ram cards fitted to my Z88 and an internal upgrade is the last option left to me for more memory.  To: 999 (all members) +K2F From: 0E7 Subject: CEEFAX + 8BS My Tele doesnt recognise CEEFAX being an old steam model but I did spot the date on the reproduction in issue 34.  To: 999 (all members) From: K4V (Trevor Crapper) Subject: Home Address 11 St. Andrews Close Eaglescliffe Stockton-on-Tees TS16 9EW Tele. 0642 784003  To: 999 (all members) From: K4V (Trevor Crapper) Subject: Specialist Subjects I like the idea of having a section set aside for specialised subjects, witout wanting to steal anybodies thunder this opens up the full spectrum of computer usage for subject matter. There must be specialist in every area willing (hopefully!) to divulge some of their secrets. I don't think we belong to the Magic Circle yet! Project work is very much an individual thing, this being said there must be a lot of people put off doing something that they think is important because they have difficulty in getting started. All that may be needed is just a few simple ideas. It is surprising what sort of thing prevents someone from making progress. It is a case of 'With a little help from my friends' Before any project work can be undertaken we have to find out how to use the program that is needed to do this work. Most people will have struggled with instruction books, having first tried it without one! I'm no exception. It would be very helpful to be able to read through a set of simple get you started instructions. Having got underway then you would refer to more advanced instructions and in this way build up your knowledge. In my own case I have had to struggle with two wordprocessors, luckily the database didn't need much effort nor has the spreadsheet. However, I have to admit that my level of knowledge is only sufficient to get me through the initial stages. I have not gone into any of the programs in any depth. It is a case of taking things one step at a time. There is another point to be made here you only need to know sufficient to enable you to carry out your primary objective. It is a case of learning to walk before you can run.  To: 999 (all members) From: 2J3 (Chris Richardson) Subject: Questionnaire results Results of questionnaires in so far show that 8BS already supplies the items that are most in demand from members. Software, blank discs and labels are already in the advert secion. There are other items mentioned in the questionnaires that I shall deal with now: ROMS and EPROMS. Shortly 8BS will be obtaining a supply of EPROMS. It is a matter of finding a cheap supply. Does anyone have any suggestions? Lockable disc boxes. A good idea but too bulky and expensive to buy in large quantities. You may notice that 8BS does have a limited stock of small disc boxes though. Flippy discs. Can anyone suggest a cheap supplier of these sort of discs? Printer ribbons. A good idea again but, to buy all of the required ribbons in the quantities required to gain discount would be too expensive. Stick with re-inking.  To: 999 (all members) From: K5A (Robin Moffatt) Subject: The RISC PC Acorn have just released their latest mchine, the RISC PC600. This machine is to repace the A5000, which will probably cease production soon. It has got an ARM 610 chip which can be easily upgraded to the ARM 700 and (00 when they are released. The chip is easiy removed, and can be changed in about a minute. It has also got an improved video chip,allowing the machine to display 16.7 million colour modes. There is also Video RAM in the machine which can make redrawing graphics up 4 times quicker, and also allows 16.7 million colours to be displayed in the desktop. It is possible to expand the Ram upto a massive 128MB, and the VRam upto 2MB. It comes with RISC OS 3.5 which has got Acorns !NewLook built into it, as well as the ability to use outline fonts aswell as the normal system font for displaying filer windows etc. There are 3 models of the Risc PC, Model 1,2 or 3. The table below shows the differences. Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Memory(MB) 2 4 8 Video RAM(MB) None 1 1 Hard Disc(MB) 210 210 420 Expansion slots 2 2 4 Price 1 1249 1399 1699 Price 2 1649 1799 2099 Price 1=including 14in Monitor Price 2=including 17in Monitor (All ex. vat) The 'PC' part of the name is in the expansion capabilities of the machine, as it is possible to fit cards with PC processors on and either use just the Acorn part of the machine, Multi-task with the PC in a window or to just use the PC. I think that this is a much needed improvement in the Acorn market, allowing Acorn to seriously compeate with other machines, like the PowerMac and 486 PC's. What I think that Acorn hve got to do now is promote this machine, and show people that they don't have to have PC's to be compatible in business.  To: 999 (all members) From: K5A (Robin Moffatt) Subject:       After reading 19F's opinion on this topic, I would like to add my own comments i) A possible reason that RISC OS hasn't been upgraded much, and MS DOS has could be that it doesn't need to be upgraded constantly ii) Having RISC OS in ROM means that you don't have to spend ages installing new versions on disc, and that your machine can't be as easily messed up by viruses. iii) Although 19F's point about viruses is correct in that if the code is good enough then it can be deadly, having over 3000 viruses for the PC compared to under 100 on the Arc does slightly increase your chances of gettig one. iv) Games like F117A and Tornado are brilliant on the PC, and would be just as good if converted for the Arc, if only the authors wern't so tight with the source code.  To: 999 (all members) From: 4MD (Graham Gallagher) Subject: PUZZLE I was recently given the following mathematical/logic puzzle to solve which some members might wish to have a go at. It's not something you could write a program to solve the problem for you, it's more pencil and paper and some lateral thinking. Two old college friends who hadn't met since graduating recognised each other in the street and stopped to have a chat. After a short while one of them asked the other if he'd married the girl he used to go out with at college: "Yes I did, and we've now got three children." - came the reply. "Oh how old are they ?" "Well I remember how you used to always like to set puzzles for people to solve, so here's one for you..." "...Their ages when multiplied together equal 36 and the sum of their ages equals the number of your old room in your final year at college." After a few minutes of thought his old friend replies... "That's too hard for me to work out in my head, you'll have to give me a clue." "Alright. My eldest is a boy. Now can you tell me their ages ?" "Yes, now I know the answer." - He replied. The puzzle is to work out the ages of the three children based on the above information. I'll provide the solution in the next issue with the reasoning behind it.  From: K4B (George Lynch) Program: MESSAGE Dear Chris, This is the third attempt at using the 'system'. My fault,not yours.The system is great and well thought out.I just keep on losing my work for a variety of reasons, but I am learning as I go. My early efforts were most complimentary of 8BS and of yourself in particular.I was fair lyrical but take it as read as I had better make my point before you fall asleep. I understand the fraustration you feel when members do not make submissions and seemingly only enjoy the efforts of others. I feel however that there is a host of BBC Micro users who have no programming skills,have little time, too modest, too stupid or too old. If, like me, you are all of these things, then you cannot expect much. If contributions aren't submitted by members, then it would seem to me quite reasonable, that they should pay a little more than the 50p normally charged fore library discs. This suggestion may not be a popular one, may even have been already suggested, but I consider it worth thinking about if 8BS is to be sustained financially. You may like to insert the idea in a future Issue for discussion by members. My thanks for your help and attention Kind regards, George Lynch. EDITOR......... Here is a perfect example of someone coming to grips with the system! Well done George! As for the sentiments expressed though, 8BS greatfully accepts donations, but will not increase it's charges.  To 999 From 3WU Subject : The Last BeeBug Mag Well I will say two things that they did in their last issue, First they published a menu that incorporated 29 tracks plus the Boot and Menu it's something I have been looking for a while and secondly they showed on the centre of the front page MELVYNS WRIGHTS MUSIC MACHINE but they gave no more information about it, I have checked the MAGSCAN disc and I can't find any mention of it so can any one tell me if it's part of another program or where has it come from. Fred Price  To: 999 (all members) From: K5P (ANDREW FAY) Subject: 483 et al Thanks to Daniel for the information on Reference manuals. Yes Watford are doing their reference manuals for `5, but I was charged `10 first because their sales staff could't believe it either. They also do 512 boards for `49 and I bought one before seeing Daniels massage about Pyramid. Dabs press do some lovely books for the BBC machines and still seem to do them. I phoned them on 061-773-8632 and they were happy to take my order for some books. I noticed with interest the comments about Amstrads NC100. I read Micro-Mart quite regularly and saw the advert for them at `99 pounds and as I had fancied one before, I decided it was time to buy one. At this point I should point out that these are re-condtioned returned machines. The first machine turned up in good condition and all seemed to work until I tried to get the alarm to go off whenthe machine was off; no joy. So I phoned and was given a return number. `5 to send it back, it turned up a week later exactly as it had left me. I phoned again and was told that they couldn't find anything wrong so sent it back! Controlling my anger I got them to take it again (`5 again) and awaited the return. This time the alarm went off, but shame the printer port, serial port and back-up battery were faulty! This time I complained and must have got the right person because he arranged to collect the faulty one and deliver a new one the very next day. This one seems fine and I have bought a couple of memory cards to go with it. My two complaints about the system is that the calculator uses different keys tothe rest of the machine and that when transferring files onto the NC100, if they are too big it will wipe the memory and crash the machine. I would recommend any potential owner to buy a memory card, they are more reliable and greatly enhance the machine by adding more storage space. The point to remember is that any file is limited to 32k due to the way the memory is paged, even with a 1M card. Their newer NC200 has more memory, more applications and a disk drive. It is supposed to run for as long, but that is probably due to using HP11s instead of HP7s, (AA->C). The screen folds down onto the keyboard which I don't like, it is going away from the lightweight handy machine the NC100 was. The disk drive is handy, but I find serial transfer to the hard disk on my PC is almost as good, but doesn't weigh as much, or drain the batteries quite as much.  PRESS BREAK