8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                                                      From 4WL (Martin Wilson) To 999 (All) Subject THE ACORN A3010 ITS A CHEAP RISC COMPUTER AVAILABLE AT £299 BUT IS IT ANY GOOD? FIRSTLY THE PROBLEMS. IT COMES WITH ONE MEG OF MEMORY. IT NEEDS TWO MEG AS STANDARD. YOU CAN'T EASILY CONNECT A SECOND DISC DRIVE. EVEN THOUGH IT WOULD HAVE COST PENCE TO INCLUDE IT THEY HAVE NOT FITTED AN INTERNAL IDE HARD DRIVE CONNECTOR. ITS FITTED TO THE 3020 AND ONLY OMITTED FROM THE 3010 SO THAT THERE WOULD BE SOME ADVANTAGE TO BUYING A DEARER MODEL. IT HAS LOW PRESTIGE. ITS TREATED BY THE NEWSTAND ARCHIMEDES MAGAZINES AS A BIT OF A UNDERDOG OR GAMES MACHINE. DON'T EXPECT TO IMPRESS FELLOW RISC USERS WITH IT. NO COMPOSITE(COLOUR) OUTPUT FROM THE MONITOR PORT. THE FUNCTION KEYS ARE GREEN. IT ISN'T UPGRADEBLE TO ARM3 AS ITS ARM/GRAPHICS AND MEMORY MANAGEMENT CHIPS ARE INTERGRATED INTO ONE I.C. THE GOOD STUFF. THERE ARE SOME BRILLIANT GAMES FOR IT. CHOCKS AWAY, WOLFENSTEIN, STAR FIGHTER 3000, CHAOS, CANNON FODDER, ELITE, BIRDS OF WAR PLUS MANY OTHERS. RISC 3.1 IS THE BEST WIMP ENVIRONMENT I HAVE EVER USED. SIMPLE YET FLEXIBLE. I'VE USED WINDOWS, GEM, WORKBENCH AND THE MACS WIMP ENVIRONMENT. MULTIFORMAT SUPPORT. IT WILL READ MANY DIFFERENT DISK FORMATS AUTOMATICALLY. PC/ST ETC. YOU CAN FORMAT DOUBLE DENSITY DISKS TO HIGH DENSITY WITHOUT HAVING TO GET THE OLD BOSCH DRILL OUT TO MAKE THE EXTRA HOLE. IT WILL ALSO MAP OUT ANY BAD SECTORS AUTOMATICALLY. YES I KNOW YOU SHOULD USE HD DISKS BUT A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNT. IT HAS 2 MEGABYTES OF SOFTWARE BUILT INTO ROM. BASIC, ASSEMBLER, 2D CAD, ART PROG, CALENDER/DIARY, FONTS AND OTHER BITS AND PIECES. ITS THE ONLY ARC WITH A BUILT IN TV MODULATOR. ITS THE ONLY ARC WITH BUILT IN JOYSTICK PORTS. STANDARD ATARI TYPE PORTS. THE MOUSE PORT IS SEPERATE.SO IN FACT YOU COULD HAVE FOUR PLAYER GAMES. TWO ON JOYSTICKS, ONE ON MOUSE AND ONE OR MORE ON KEYBOARD. IT HAS FULL BATTERY BACKUP FOR CLOCK AND CONFIGURATION IT HAS A BIDIRECTIONAL PRINTER PORT(UNLIKE EARLIER ARCS). USEFUL FOR CONNECTING SCSI INTERFACES, SCANNERS AS WELL AS PRINTERS. THE MONITOR PORT IS SVGA/VGA COMPATIBLE AND THE A3010 AUTOMATICALLY BOOTS UP IN A SVGA/VGA MODE IF A SVGA/VGA MONITOR IS CONNECTED. THE SAME MONITOR PORT CAN BE USED FOR SCART TVS AND OTHER MONITORS. THE A3010 HAS 8 CHANNEL STEREO SOUND. ITS EXCELLENT QUALITY BUT ITS NOT DMA. SO THE MORE YOU USE IT THE MORE PROCESSOR TIME IT TAKES. THE GRAPHICS ARE EXTREMELY FLEXIBLE. IT HAS NORMAL BBC B MODES RIGHT UP TO 256 COLOUR SVGA MODES. IT HAS A PALETTE OF 4096. DO YOU REALLY NEED MORE THAN 4096. STANDARD PC LAYOUT KEYBOARD OF GOOD QUALITY. SUPERIOR TO THE EARLIER 3000. OVER 7MIPS OF PROCESSING POWER. AN AMIGA 1200 HAS 1.5 MIPS, A 386 ABOUT 2-3 MIPS AND A 486 ABOUT 8 MIPS OR MORE. THE SERIAL INTERFACE IS FULLY WORKING FROM DAY ONE. NO UPGRADE CHIPS TO BUY. ITS RELIABLE AND WELL MADE. THE PSU IS INTERNAL. NO DANGLING BLACK BOX. IT COMES WITH A BBC B AND BBC TUBE EMULATOR. WHICH HAS SOME DEGREE OF SUCCESS. THE MANUALS ARE GOOD AND EXTENSIVE. EXCEPT WHERE LANGUAGES ARE CONCERNED. YOUR EXPECTED TO BUY A SEPERATE BOOK FOR BASIC AND ASSEMBLER. FOOTNOTE... REMEMBER HOW ACORN USED TO DESIGN THEIR COMPUTERS WITH TONS OF COMPONENTS AND LITTLE INTERGRATION WHICH MEANT THEY WERE EXPENSIVE TO BUY BUT EASY TO REPAIR. ITS TURNED FULL CIRCLE THE A3010 IS AN EXAMPLE OF TOTAL INTERGRATION. THIS HAS MEANT LOW PRODUCTION COSTS AND HIGH RELIABILITY. THIS IS WHY ACORN CAN PROFITABLY SELL SUCH A BRILLIANT COMPUTER AT SUCH A LOW PRICE. I'D LIKE TO SEE A 3010 WITH A STANDARD 2MEG AND A BUILT IN HARD DRIVE. IF THEY PUT THE IDE CABLE IN AND A 3.5 HARD DRIVE CRADLE THEY COULD USE ANY CHEAP STOCKS OF HARD DRIVES THEY COULD OBTAIN. I MEAN 210MEG HARD DRIVES ARE AVAILABLE FOR 95 POUNDS PLUS VAT TO THE CONSUMER. TO A LARGE MANUFACTURER THERE PROBABLY 70 POUNDS OR LESS. SO WHAT WOULD THEY CHARGE FOR A AN 80MEG OR EVEN 40MEG. 40MEG OR 80MEG IS FULLY USABLE WITH AN ARC. I'M HAPPY WITH A 60MEG HARD DRIVE AND THERES STILL PLENTY OF SPACE LEFT. ANY WAY HOW ABOUT A 2MEG A3010 WITH A 40MEG HARD DRIVE FOR £399  To: 999 (all members) From: K4V (Trevor Crapper) Subject: GenComs Hi Chris, Lasses and Lads, Could get my whatsits chewed off if I started with fellow members, hence the frivolous bit. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope that Santa delivered the 'goods'. Issue 39 was certainly a seasonal one and very enjoyable. Unfortunately the Lottery selector did not pick the correct numbers so we are still poor! The Snowmen were very good, one little query - "How do they do that". Having not had time to examine the listing, not that it would tell me much in any case! If you don't know it, ask. Tim Parsons letter hits the nail right on the head, I do hope his request will not go unheeded. Tim seems to spend all his time helping others so when he needs a hand how about giving him one - a hand of course. I know Chris likes to put things into the library so that they generate more wealth for the club. My own suggestion would be to have something like the hints and tips supplied by the Wakefield User Group sometime back. It would be held ready for access on request. Other solutions would be a panel to answer questions sent in. A series of articles by contributers in serial form. The practice of writing to each other outside the confines of the magazines is fine especially if people are getting their heads together. But, in those instances where information is being passed that could be of value to others this is the route it should take. Via the editor! Trevor Crapper K4V  To: 999 (all members) From: K4V (Trevor Crapper) Subject: A Winters Tale. Just before Christmas I decided to give my Master keyboard a thorough cleaning. A few of the keys needed that little extra weight which after a while makes your finger ends numb. Switch off the computer, shake up the can of foam contact spray and away we go. Its frothy man - forgot what that advert was now, anyway it does not matter. Nicely cleaned and dried I switch back on - to put it very politely - oh deary me! Something has gone wrong and it can only be the keyboard. What is the matter with it I wondered - politely! Then panic set in, the usual questions were asked - the loss of marbles was one. After calming down and completing some work I was doing on my spare BBC B+ became resigned to the fact that I would have to get hold of another key- board. As luck would have it BackByte magazine arrived and with my salvation someone was selling keyboards. Contacted the gentleman and got my letter and cheque in the post. I was in contact with a couple members at this time and told them of my plight. Martin Pickering came back with a sug- gestion to try WD40. The keyboard was removed from the computer and given a really good dousing. After cleaning drying operations the keyboard was installed and the comp switched back on. What joy when I found it was working normally once more, the relief was tremendous. The moral of the story is don't clean your keyboard with foam cleaner! Finally I would like to point out that I do not know what long term effect WD40 may have on keyswitches. I have tried it in desperation and it worked for me. However, the editor, nor myself cannot be held responsible for anything going wrong should you try it. Trevor Crapper K4V EDITOR.... Try boiling your computer in bleach for 2 hours. That should do it, although throwing it against a wall followed by jumping up and down on it sometimes helps. Any hints for my Canon BJ310? Later.. Don't bother, I have slung it.  To: 999 (all members) From: 3PM Subject: Splash out? Come on Beebers, Shift and Break, K2B is all a quake Sweaty palms and knocking knees LOSE HIS BEEB? Oh really, please! Let us all increase our subs Caps lock on, and end the blubs Afore the poor man's hair recedes Find his wife an Archimedes!  To: 999 (all members) From: K8L (James Crump) Subject: Hello There! Hello! I am a new member of the group, so I thought I would introduce myself. One point raised in 8BS-39 concerned Watford Electronics and their low standard of service. I recently contacted WE who said "Our BBC range is very limited". Perhaps this is no great loss- leave them to Archimedes owners. Can anyone give me any details of BEEBUG magazine? EDITOR.... Beebug mag has died. 8BS has the whole collection of cover discs. See BUG 2 to 12  To: 999 (all members) From: K2B (Colin Culpitt-Smith) Subject: For John Ilsley's attention If you're still out there John, I'd very much appreciate knowing if you ever received the hard drive I sent you some time ago. If you can now pay me for it, I would also appreciate this as well. EDITOR........ I have repeatedly attempted to contact John and failed miserably up to now I am afraid Colin. I shall have another go.  To: 999 (all members) From: 8J4 (Charles Spender) Subject: General The Times Crosswords, had a note recently that hundreds of these puzzles are available on floppy disc for either PCs or Acorn computers, if anyone is interested the supplier is:-Akom Ltd., 51, Manor Lane London SE13 5QW at a cost of `14.95. Phone 081-852 4575. I wonder if we could put the question of Subscriptions to bed once and for all? I have mentioned my views previously, but as the subject keeps developing, perhaps I can be excused for a repeat. Chris is quite right I think in not laying down hard and fast rules, we are all a different lot in various circumstances but all with a firm allegiance to the Beeb. When you consider that a monthly comp magazine will cost up to 5 or 6 8Bit discs allied to all the hard work put into their presentation by the Editor I feel that some additional financial consideration should be given to ease his work if not physically as many members do but the means to reduce all those extra costs. Accordingly I feel that at the start of the new year or whenever one may join that a monetary sum should be added suitably in line with your feelings of what you get in return, nuff said, may I wish you all a very healthy and submissive year. EDITOR....... Cheers Charles. But please bear in mind that 8BS is supposed to be non profit making!  To: 999 (all members) From: K2T (Jack Tourle) Subject: Watford Electronics K7X asks for comments on dealings with Watford Electronics. I have no serious complaints with this firm. I have bought several items from them from time to time, including my present 40/80 DS disk drive. The only thing I have had to return was an aerosol which was received damaged, due to inadequate packing; they replaced it without query.  To: 999 (all members) From: K6E (ROGER LINGWOOD) Subject: B.B.C.TO ROMANIA As explained in issue38 OCT a consignmet of B.B.C.Bs were sent to ROMANIA to a school in CRAIOVA. This was to be followed by some more equipment in December but due to transport problems this will now be towards the end of February. The head of the school has written to me and confirmed the safe arrival of all the equipment and it's setting up in what they are calling their English Library room. This room contains not only the computers but a selection of English books of all kinds that we were able to obtain from some of the educational printers over here. Also, it contains some of the mementoes that the teachers themselves collected when they visited us last year. And they use these as prop's in plays in which the children must only speak English. I have received some more bits and pieces including some educational programs, another B.B.C. B and 40 track drive plus a large amount of software on cassette. All of this will be sent on the next load in February and I will inform you again when it arrives. my thanks again for all your help K6E  To: 999 (all members) From: K2F (John Davis) Subject: Radio Times Did you notice that the anagram of 'National Lottery' lurking in the listing of the 'Lottery' program in issue 39 has migrated, with a little help, to the 'And Finally...' slot of the letters page in the Jan. 21-27 issue of the Radio Times? You didn't?  PRESS BREAK