8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                                   8 Bit                    Tim Parsons 40 Coniston Road Flitwick Beds MK45 1QH 0525 715013 Dear Membership In these days of modern technology, our old Beebs are naturally enough getting left behind, in the words of a well known saying, "The Devil you know is better than the Devil you don't know". I shall try and resist the temptation of the more powerful and faster computers as long as I can, providing my Beeb keeps going. In the meantime, we can of course fairly easily get a more modern printer, such as 24 pin Dot Matrix, Ink Jet and Bubble Jet, which have of course come about in recent years, many many years after the good old Beeb. These new printers are of course perfectly suitable for PC's. It then stands to reason that these "new age" printers are capable of a lot more than our Beebs can throw at them. I would like to encourage people with these printers to tell CHRIS what we have got, then we could find out, who have got identical makes etc. with this information I would think that folk with similar printers could pool there knowledge of how they control there "new age" beasties and therefore help EVERYBODY to get as much as possible out of them. Personally speaking my recent acquisition is an Epson Stylus 800+, at the moment I only use it, very successfully, for TEXT (mostly via my Z88), but I would be very pleased to know of people who have managed to print Beeb Graphics, in fact if anybody with an Ink or Bubble Jet printer has printed Beeb graphics I would love to know how you did it. TA. I do believe that that the 800+ model isn't much different to the 800. I do know that Stephan Richardson is trying to develop (or adapt) a Beeb screen dump for my particular model, but I would think it may even work on other models, the Canon BJ range being a very popular alternative. Apart from the above request, for members to pool there printers manufacturer and knowledge, can I mention something else, which may well drag up again the does and dont's of Printer Ribbon Re-Inking. Does anyone know any of the facts associated with the does and dont's of Re-Filling ink jet cartridges ?, I notice that in the Micro Mart, there are a lot of companies that sell Re-Fill kits, but naturally enough the printers manual, warns against doing this, for fear of clogging the Jets, which I guess must be 10 times more complex than the head on a dot matrix printer, which are also supposedly clogged by re-Inking methods. Maybe or maybe not this re-filling is shunned even more with a Canon BJ because the Ink Jets are "disposable" i.e. when you renew the Ink cartridge you also replace the Ink Jet head. Z88. Due to ill health, now fully recovered, a gentleman by the name of Jack Lawrie has had to relinquish his dream, of helping ALL fellow Z88 owners, members may recollect that I published Jack's address in a recent issue, while I was going on about how good the Z88 is. Can I "officially" ask members not to write to Jack, we dont want him to be ill again, do we!. Jack has, however passed on to ME, his Master copies of a series of Z88 Hints and Tips which, over a period of time, he has gone to great deal of trouble compiling. Therefore if any 8BS members, who also have a Z88, who would like these Hints and Tips, a total of 14+, would you please drop me a line, THANKS. Please dont write to Jack, however in keeping with Jack's tradition !, a S.A.E. would be very helpful, if not mandatory, TA.  To: 999 (all members) From: K6X (Cluke) Subject: Is there anybody out there? Why does it seem to be the same score or so of names cropping up all the time on both the messages and other contributions? Is it because they are the only ones that can bend these infernal machines to their will? Do they suffer from a superiority complex that drives them to show the rest of us how easy it is? ( It isn't, I know, I HAVE tried! ) Is it because nobody else thinks they have anything worthy of communicating to the rest of the membership? If so, you are WRONG! I know virtually diddly-squat about how these here things work, and I am sure there are loads more of you out there who know the jargon but don't really understand it. There are, aren't there? Am I the only one in this predicament, or just the only one who is prepared to admit it? Pluck up your courage, tuck your skirt into the legs of your bloomers and go for it! Write a message. Offer an opinion. It don't matter if you think that everyone else will think that you are stupid. Look, it ain't stopped me!  To: 999 (all members) From: K6X (Cluke) Subject: Charges/subs etc Although I have only recently become a member of 8BS, I know from reading the back issues that the matter of whether/what to charge has long been the subject of debate. Well, for what they're worth, here's my thoughts on the matter. The idea of subscription pre-payment as floated by Robin Moffatt in 8BS 38 has its merits. If the 8BS Year had a specific start-date, we could all send in our dosh at the same time, perhaps enabling Chris to budget for spending it in large dollops on bulk purchases, copyrights (fire extiinguishers?) etc. However, with new members joining throughout the year, would their subs be proportional to the remaining part of the Year, or would their 6/12 month subscription period commence when they join? With issues about 6 weeks apart, ( and cos 6 don't go into 26 or 52 ) perhaps the subs. period would better relate to the number of issues than a calendar period? As we are about 200 strong, keeping track of who is due for renewal when shouldn't be too difficult, and the necessary reminder could be put into "Messages to You" on the final issue disc of the member's subs. period. However, there will be, inevitably, those who will be late in paying, or (hard to believe) don't wish to renew. How to tell a late-payer from an ex- member? Further written reminders take time and postage, pushing up running costs, which leads on to the subject of charges. The amounts now charged are really paltry sums if you stop to consider what you get for them in terms of the software alone, not to mention all the behind-the-scenes efforts to keep us all happy. But the bottom line is that we are not a commercial organisation, so income need only cover expenses. Chris has said in the recent past that he does not feel the need to increase the charges, and until HE changes this view the matter is not our concern. As to the tiresome matter of having to remember to send in our discs for each issue, surely the very act of doing this is the best way of showing our continuing interest in, and support of, Eight Bit Software? Judging by the number of those who replied to the Questionnaire and said that they owned an Archimedes, I don't see any need to include it in the 8BS portfolio. One of the reasons that I ceased my membership of Beebug (who?) in '87, was that I felt that it was devoting too much space to the Master (although I do now own one), and was no longer catering sufficiently for those of us who were still quite happy with our old steam-driven Beebs. From what little I have seen of the Arc, it does seem an amazing machine, no doubt with its own User Group or few; there is no reason why an Arc owner could not join one of those. I am not suggesting that Arc owners should be disbarred from 8BS, as obviously some of them own old Beebs and Masters as well, but my concern would be that supporting yet another machine, to the depth which it no doubt merits, would only dilute the strength of support for those of us with no wish (or no cash!) to own one. Anyway, its a 32-bit machine, so its far too big for our gang. So there!  To: 999 (all members) From: K6X (Cluke) Subject: I.D. How are our I.D. alphanumerics allocated, sequentially, at the capricious whim of the editor, geographically, or what? EDITOR..... When Duncan Webster first thought of using User ID's he tried to allocate an ID that was in relation to location of the member. However this idea floundered in the early stages. When I took the group over, it was suggested to me by Daniel Shimmin (who was caretaker of the group for a while) that I start using the letter K as this had not been used yet. This I have done. Starting at K1A and presently at K8C.  To: 999 (all members) From: K2K (Peter Davy) Subject: Chris Richardson's long diary in Issue no.38. In the short time since I joined 8-BS I have often wondered how Chris manages to do what he does. I found his diary to be compulsive reading. Now I have a much clearer notion of what he actually does I am even more astounded. Everything I have sent to him has always been dealt with promptly and expertly. It beats me how he manages this with all those letters and packets coming in every day to say nothing of the telephone calls! What a contrast with two other organisations, purporting to support the BBC micro, to whom I sent money months ago. One has cashed my cheque, both have sent me nothing and have not responded to my chasing up letter. Your dedication, Chris, is greatly appreciated. EDITOR... So are your kind comments Peter (appreciated that is, not dedicated, although I am sure that everyone knows what I mean. There look, I'm gibbering).  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: CCC The following written by K2B's other half!! ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH TO LET YOUR WIFE SEE THIS? Do you sit alone with ITV, While he's working with his BBC? Do you sit and vegetate, While he's busy with his Z88? Do you want to chat away, But he doesn't hear a word you say? Does he notice if you get sloppy, Or only care about his floppy? Does he need a new hard drive, To make YOU really come alive!! Are you heading for disaster, Since he bought that blasted Master? Did he really get a bargain, Or changed your life with computer jargon? With DEFs and DIMs and DRIVEs and STRING$, CHAINs and REMs and ROMS and things, GOTO, GOSUB, PROC and MODE, READ and RAM and SAVE and LOAD. Now listen men, you've gone too far, Have you forgotten who we are? We're flesh and blood, not bytes and bits, Are you surprised when we have fits? We look ahead and see no future, While we compete with your computer. Come on fellas, our life's a mess, We can't compete with 8BS. Remember the way it used to be, Before disc drives, monitors and BBC? Those passionate nights we used to savour, Have somehow lost their loving flavour, Since our family increased to three, Husband , Wife and BBC. The time has come for us to fight, To reclaim what should be our right. We'd like back our former lives, So we can be your loving wives. Cooking, cleaning and conjugal rights, Are you wanting us to go on strike? This poem is just to let you know, THAT DAMNED COMPUTER'S GOT TO GO.  To: 999 (all members) From: K5B (David J.MacGraw) Subject: 8bS Subscription In last month's issue, K5A suggested a 6 or 12 monthly subscription to 8bS. Might I second (third, fourth, fifth?) this proposal, subject to our Editor being able/willing to handle the extra burden? After all, many of us must have subscribed to BeeBug at `18.40 a year. Wouldn't this be a reasonable figure with which to start? Maybe any submitted discs containing articles, messages etc. could simply be returned with the next subscription disc?  To: 999 (all members) From: 3PM Subject: Econet Re my request for help in issue 38 I want to express my appreciation to Stephan Richardson and Colin Culpitt- Smith for their generous supply of information and hardware, all I could want. I have noted over the past year or so that Stephan and Colin are a considerable asset to 8BS for their knowledge and helpfulness as witnessed by a surprising number among my own acquaintances. I am sure that many members would wish to join me in offering our gratitude for their time and effort throughout 1994.  To: 999 (all members) From: K3T (NEIL TAYLOR) Subject: MAXIPLY PALINDROMES I enjoyed playing with palindromic numbers and particularly MAXIPLY in the last issue, and in doing so realised that all the palindromic numbers up to the limit of the processor contained only 0's, 1's and 2's. On the assumption that this is a feature of palindromic numbers, advancing a further sequence using only these digits and trying them out on MAXIPLY fairly quickly reveals a predictable pattern. I tried to write a routine to do this to insert in place of the input line in MAXIPLY, but time and my lack of BASIC programming skills defeated me in the end. The sequence is advanced like this, beginning with: 100001 = 10000200001 101101 = 10221412201 102201 = NOT PALINDROMIC 110011 = 12102420121 111111 = 12345654321 112211 = NOT PALINDROMIC 120021 = " " 121121 = " " 122221 = " " 200002 = 40000800004 201102 = NOT PALINDROMIC With only 10 numbers to try out of 100,000, the sequence can be advanced very rapidly. The above samples should give clues as to which even larger numbers will work, and I found that there is no limit to size.  To: 999 (all members) From: K5A (Robin Moffatt) Subject: Wolfenstein 3D Having bought this at the recent Acorn World show I thought I would share my impressions of it with the rest of the world (or at least BBC/archimedes owning world?!) The game installs on the Icon-bar, allowing you to flick between it and your work, although be warned that once you start playing it you will get very little work done anyway! It can be installed on the hard-drive, and comes with a program to do so, or can be run off floppy. In the former case the master-disc still has to be put in for piracy-protection, but once the game has loaded can be removed. Clicking on the icon-bar icon starts up the introduction with a lovely sequence of a guard turning to shoot you, and then you shooting back. All with lovely sound effects. Be warned now that if you object to violence in computer games and on TV then you will find this game extremely objectionable. After the introduction you are given a menu with the usual options of high-scores, controls etc. A nice feature is being able to have about 10 games saved at once, allowing you to save something and then come back to it. From the main menu there are six different scenarios to choose from, each one increasing in difficulty. Once you have chosen one you can set the difficulty level, ranging from "Can I play daddy" to "I am death incarnated". Selecting one of these takes you into the actual game (at last, I hear you cry!) The game plot is set in the second world war, and you are some sort of hero caught in a Nazi prison, and have to escape. The view is a 3-d one, with lovely textured walls, nasties and blood. You can see a view of the current weapon in front of you, and then the rest of the scene. Some levels are maze like, but some require just brute force and firepower. You can collect 4 different weapons - commando knife, revolver, semi-automatic and a 6-barrel-super-doopa-very-fast-kill- everything-that-gets-in-the-way-of-it These can either be obtained in secret rooms, or by killing Nazis that have got them. Each level has got nine stages to it, each one getting bigger and harder. At the end of each level is a big baddie that you have to kill. This is where a very useful feature comes in handy - you press F1 and your current position is saved, and can be recalled by pressing F2. So you collect loads of ammo and health, press F1 and go and find the baddie. The baddie then re-decorates the walls in a intresing colour called hint-of-brain. You are then taken back to the beginning of the stage with one less life, and only a revolver and 8 bullets to keep you company. Aaaarrrggghh! - Panic! But fear not - press F2 and hey presto - there is the nice comforting sight of a 6-barrel super gun and 99 rounds of ammo. You can then go and find the baddie yet again, and repeat this until a) you kill him or b) get so sick of it you put your fist through the monitor The game is very smooth, with no jerks or flickers. You get digitised sound effects and some nice music with it, both of which can be turned off. Rating 9/10 Highly reccomended!  PRESS BREAK