8 Bit To: 999 (also 483 and K2B) From: K3J (Tony Hobday) Subject: SONGS OF PRAISE I would like to add my voice to those of others who praise Chris, and those who help him, in what must be quite hard work running the 8-Bit Group, producing the magazine and marketing software of such a high standard at bargain prices. I wish him continued success in the future. I do like the "atmosphere" of the club. I am especially grateful to 483 (Daniel Shimmin) and K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith), who, although they were not aware of it, helped me in obtaining certain items of hardware by providing contact names in the club magazine. It is so very much more friendly than the former Beebug Group, but I suppose a large group tends to be impersonal. From: 20G (Roy Dickens) Subject: Showpic (Picture of Ed's.) Thanks STEPHAN RICHARDSON for the pic. Did you know that the TV had a "Hammer Horror" week also? It was nice to see all four of you, honest. It was a very good picture. It will be good enough to show the police if these partners in crime abscond with the funds!!
EDITOR..... What funds?
From: 20G (Roy Dickens) Subject: Acorn Risc 600 (comments) Perhaps not first with the news (FRED NEVIN 0E7) but you gave a very good write up about the new machine. Your comment about insufficient machines to meet demand appears to be true. Someone in a comp. mag. is complaining already. Placed an order early and still waiting! Maybe they wait for an order or three then assemble a machine or two! Reminds me of my brand new ELECTRON (`200). I tried months before I could purchase one. (They are `10 now by-the-way.) To: 999 (all members) From: K2F (John Davis) Subject: Financial Tip This has absolutely nothing to do with computers, but the oodles of money it could save you will mean you have more to spend on discs from the 8BS PD pool. You can still pay VAT on gas, and maybe on electricity, at 8% next year instead of the threatened 17½%, by paying before April 1, 1995. The rate you pay relates to the tax point, which is the rate applying when they get your money. You can pay any amount in advance, but about a year ahead is the most economic, remembering that they now have your money to play with, not you. All you have to do when you send them any money is say when you want it to be used for your bills - i.e. from 1/4/95. Check with your local office for details. To: 999 & 19F (Theo Gray) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: Messaging system The way that CTRL-f6 pushes text off the right hand edge of the screen is not actually a bug. I admit it's not exactly satisfactory, but this (and a lot of other problems with editing messages) arise because of having to handle teletext control codes. The message editor cannot act like a wordprocessor because it has to let you put control codes in which cannot be disturbed. This means that it is almost impossible to arrange for the word pushed off the right hand edge to wrap around to the next line, because all of the rest of the message would also have to be reformatted and the control codes would end up all over the place. However, the wrapping of the word at the end of the line when the cursor moves over to it is a bug and I have fixed it in version 1.06 (I hope!) I'm afraid you will have to keep on using the insert lines facility when you want to add to the middle of a message - for the reason given above, it is impossible to implement any kind of continuous insert mode. To: 999 & 483 (Daniel Shimmin) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: Narrow-mindedness? I have to say that I feel this was a bit unreasonable. It's not so much that I disagree with the basic point (that you should be careful talking about things you aren't that sure of), it's just that I feel that the intentions of the people referred to are being misrepresented. The thing is, quite often you will know a reasonable amount about something, but there will inevitably be gaps in your knowledge since you can never know everything about anything. As an example, the author of the Archimedes DFS reader presumably knows quite a lot about the DFS, so it would be unreasonable to expect him to continually say things like, "It seems to me that..." and "as far as I know..." - if nothing else, this is hardly going to give the user much confidence in the program. To me, when the author says that he can't see why you would have 3.5 inch discs in DFS format, this sounds like he is only expressing an opinion anyway, rather than claiming it to be fact. Even if he had made this claim, I feel it would still be excusable since, as I said above, it would seem unreasonable for him to have to assume limitations on his knoweldge. After all, if he took this to extremes, he would have to allow for the fact that there might be an unknown-to-him DFS format which his program couldn't handle. Since no-one can ever be sure they know all the relevant facts in a situation, I consider that when anyone makes a statement, even a factual one, it simply HAS to be considered as simply "to the best of their knowledge" because it cannot possibly be known with certainty, although the probability of them being correct may well be very high (as if someone says that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow, since this is very unlikely to be false). In any case, the author could well be excused for not knowing that anyone would have 3.5 inch DFS discs because it IS a fact (as far as I know!) that no Acorn machines were produced with both a 3.5 inch drive and DFS as the 'standard' filing system. Although it does come on disc with the Compact, I did not see this mentioned when the machine was launched and so someone who has not stayed in the 8-bit field would not have had the chance to find out. As for the people who made derisive comments about the cursor being left on in the 8BS menu, they should perhaps have been more reasonable but it seems fairly obvious (!) that they were really saying "I think it's stupid of you to leave the cursor on" and so I would consider them to be expressing a strongly-held opinion. I hope no-one finds thes opinions offensive - but a bit of controversy is always enjoyable. Any more opinions? To: 999 & 483 (Daniel Shimmin) From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: Archimedes matters
Newer option on copy:
If you have the verbose option on, this does seem to tell you when it doesn't copy the file (<file> has an earlier datestamp). However, I really can't say whether it would be a good idea to have it on all the time - I have never had cause to use it. I would point out that this option's usefulness seems linked to the setting of the confirm, force and verbose options - I would investigate, but the permutations involved are slightly mind-boggling. If you do have it on all the time, all I can suggest is that you do some extensive trials with files of varying date stamps.
Archimedes PD libraries
Personally, I am using APDL at the moment. I do not order very regularly, but they have been very quick with the orders I have sent. Prices (the last time I ordered, which was a month or so ago) were £1.50 per disc, with a bonus disc for every 5 discs. A catalogue disc costs £1.00, but you can get one for 50p with an order and if you send your old catalogue disc back with an order it will be updated free of charge. High-density discs are available - two catalogue discs on one disc, but at the same price as two catalogue discs (apparently because the extra cost of the disc balances the saving on postage). They also sell some software individually - prices vary from 10p-50p per item, depending largely on size. In addition, there is a PC catalogue of PC software suitable for the PC emulator. As a final bonus, you can advertise free on the catalogue disc. The address is: APDL 39 Knighton Park Road London SE26 5RN
STOP PRESS! Since writing the above,
I sent an order off (Monday 25th July)
and it arrived this morning (Wednesday
27th July). I don't suppose they are
always this fast (it's not long
enough for a cheque to clear, and
they might not like to take chances
with larger orders) but it does
indicate the sort of service they
give. They have now taken over the
DataStream PD library as well. Prices
are still as given above.
I have in the past dealt with Arch Angel PD. They charged £1.25 per disc (although that was a year or so ago and it may have increased by now) and allowed any program to be ordered individually using a clever catalogue program. Individual program discs were £1.65 each, the number of programs obviously depening on how many fitted on an 800K disc. There was a small surcharge for postage. I don't know if they had any facility for handling high-density discs, but even if they didn't they may well have now. I am afraid I have no idea what the charge is for a catalogue disc. The address is: Arch Angel PO Box 41 Exeter Devon EX4 3EN This information may be out of date as I have not been in touch with Arch Angel recently. To: 999 (all members) From: K5A (Robin Moffatt) Subject: Messaging system Would anyone like to have a go at making the following additions to this already brilliant system: 1) Message to ASCII transfer, to allow viewing and printing of them in View etc. 2) Viewing messages on a program like the editor, so you could just press P to print the one that is currently being viewed 3) Automatic inserting of spaces, eg. if you type a word and miss a letter out you dont have to use CTRL-F6, you can simply move the cursor back and type the letter To: 999 (all members) From: K5A (Robin Moffatt) Subject: RISC PC Now that I am the proud owner of one (boast boast!!) I thought I would make further comments to my message in a previous issue. We got our machine (5MB, 210HD) for abot `1500 from Desktop Projects. It arrived in 5 days. It comes with around 70MB of files on the hard drive, which can be deleted. A large percentage of them are JPEG files nicked from a PC clipart CD. They are all photographic quality and come with a slideshow program to display them all. Also with the machine are bits of PD in the "Distractions" directory, like Tetris and Mines. Instead of the Apps directory being in ROM like in RISC OS 3.1, it is on the hard-drive, allowing you to customize what goes in it (The Apps directory is accessed by an icon on the icon bar, and when opened from there is read-only.) The configuration of the machine is done by double-clicking on !Boot, which runs the configure application. Within !Boot is a directory to put programs that you want to be automaticaly loaded. If you have VRAM (Video RAM) then up to 16 million colours are available, in numerous resolutions and screen sizes.
The machine is powered by an ARM 610
running at 30MHZ. After using an A3000
with ARM 2 for 5 years, it seems
increadibly quick, and most
screen-redraws do not even slow the
The floppy drive is a high density 3½" one at the front of the machine, and ca be covered up by a shutter, which reveals the words "RISC PC 600" when closed. The desktop has got pretty icons and textures, thanks to !NewLook, which is in ROM. You can choose what textures it uses, or define your own. The pallete icon has gone, being replaced with the mode changer icon. If you are thinking of buying an Arc, or upgrading a current one, then I would strongly advise a RISC PC with at least 1MB of VRAM, IF you want lots of powerful features and a high spec. machine, but if you don't, or don't have the money then look at the second-hand market where you can pick up an A5000 for around `600. If you are a bit weary of second-hand then Beebug do some good prices on "reconditned" machines. DO NOT get a machine with-out RISC OS 3.1, because you will find that companies do not, -or soon will not- support it. ARM 3 is reccomended, but ARM 2/ARM 250 is fine for most tasks, but can get a bit tedious after a while. To: 999 (all members) From: K6X Subject: Anagrams A few offerings using the letters of "Eight Bit Software" War! Foe get bits hit I bow at tree-fights It's bat-thief Gower Was it tight before? Feet grow, it's habit Fig-hater bites two Threat of wig-bites G.I. feather, two bits
I breathe two gifts
Figaro the best wit Gower fit, hit a best Wet gas fire bit hot I show a better gift
It beats white frog
Great wish to be fit Eat bits of her twig Tie few big throats I fight wet boaster Gets fit with a robe
I saw tot fight beer
It was right to beef I bite frog's wet hat Theatre of big wits Wigs to fit the bear What is bet? I forget Toast with fig-beer Gift to white bears
Threats to big wife
and now some that include someone with
putative (look it up!) blue blood! "H.R.H. Sir Acorn Disc" known to his underworld cronies as "Horrid Chinscars" but better known to you 'n' me as "Chris Richardson" C.R. fights torrid heat in BASIC shower Dr.E.H. Bairstowe can't fight cirrhosis however,
Boris Hirsch CAN fight dire toe-warts A carthorse first, with corgis behind Stitches after horrid crash in W. Gobi Cher's bid for Oscar win is "Tight Heart" ANY MORE OFFERS?