8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                                                      To: 999 (all members) From: 4WL (MARTIN WILSON) Subject: Watford V's WeServe Roughly two to three years ago I purchased by mail order a Panasonic KXP1123 from WeServe near Portsmouth. A couple days later the parcel arrived but on opening it I found that instead of a 1123 model they had sent a much cheaper 9pin model. If I remember rightly it was an 1180 or possibly 1170 model. I was obviously not too pleased especially as I'd been charged for the 1123. I rang them up and made my complaints and asked for it to be collected plus a full refund. It was collected the next day but the refund was minus the delivery costs. Great I thought they make the mistake and I have to pay for it. Anyway I wrote to them and got the postage money returned. I don't remember them being that polite or apologetic which is why I asked for a refund and not a replacement. Anyway I ordered the same model from Watford at a much better price and that came the next day, no problems. I realise it's not exactly the consumer test of the century but they did a better job than WeServe. One other point is normally I find Watford to be quite expensive but the Panasonic was at a very good price.  To: 999 (all members) From: 6EE (MICK NEEDHAM) Subject: HARROGATE SHOW I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AT THIS YEARS SHOW. WITH LUCK I SHALL ARRIVE EARLIER THAN LAST YEAR, WHEN I HAD A FEW PROBLEMS WHICH YOU MAY HAVE READ ABOUT IN AN EARLIER ISSUE. THERE IS A SMALL ADDITION TO THIS STORY, THE MAIN PROBLEM I HAD AT THE TIME WAS A FLAT BATTERY. WELL IT LET ME DOWN AGAIN DURING THE SNOW AND COLD WEATHER. BUT THIS TIME I WAS READY AND HAD THE CAR FACING DOWN HILL SO I COULD BUMP START IT. AFTER THIS I DECIDED TO GET THE BATTERY CHECKED. SO DOWN TO MY LOCAL CAR SPARES SHOP. WHEN THE CHAP SAW THE BATTERY HE SAID 'OH IT'S ONE OF THOSE', "IT'S A SEALED BATTERY" I SAID, 'NO IT'S NOT', HE SAID, AND WITH THAT HE TOOK A KNIFE FROM HIS POCKET AND LEAVERED OFF THE LID. UNDERNEATH WERE SIX PLUGS WHICH HE REMOVED. 'THE CELLS ARE DRY' HE SAID. HE THEN AT MY REQUEST TOPPED UP THE CELLS USING NEARLY 1 LITRE OF MINERAL WATER. HE THEN TESTED THE BATTERY AND IT WAS OK. I TOLD THIS STORY TO MY BROTHER-IN-LAW FROM WHOM I HAD BOUGHT THE CAR. HE SAID HE ALSO THOUGHT THE BATTERY WAS A SEALED FOR LIFE ONE AND DURING THE SIX YEARS HE HAD THE CAR HE HADN'T TOUCHED THE BATTERY. SO THE CONSIDERING THE BATTERY HAD NOT BEEN TOUCHED FOR A TOTAL OF SEVEN YEARS I DON'T THINK IT'S DONE TOO BAD. SINCE THEN I HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS, AND THERE IS A PRONOUNCED DIFFERENCE IN BATTERY PERFORMANCE. SO I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AT THE SHOW.  To: 999 (all members) From: K4V (Trevor Crapper) Subject: En Passant Dear Chris and Members, I would like to express my deepest sympthy to Paul and Ruth Matthews on their sad loss. Courage dear friends. Nice forty one Chris! The lasses and lads are really feeding you, noted a couple from the old medicine man himself. 'Aladdin' Richardson must rent one of the caves in his area to stash all the goodies in. Actually I have just sussed out why Gill Richardson can't go to the show, it's her turn to hold the rafters up in their front room! Seriously though it must be a worry finding space, and keeping it all secure and in ship shape. Z88 owners not writing to Jack Lawrie should do so, he really does have a wealth of info. Don't forget the postage though, with the amount of mail he gets this would be a rather heavy burden for a poor old pensioner to carry. (My words not his). He may even be able to sort out the Withered Toad! Since I am very deeply involved in learning to use View Professional I though it may be handy if this was passed on. Somebody could be in the market for what it has to offer. Thanks to both Steve Flintham and Fred Price for their comments. Having to read 8BS from cover to cover means that unless I fall asleep when doing the catalogueing I don't miss a thing! Now where have I heard that one before anyway I spotted their inputs. To Steve, I am for my sins repeating warnings given in the manuals I was using to verify my statements. To wor Fred, ya alreet hinny! And this from a Yorky bar kid! Anyway matters keyboard, would like the full story of the hose down job. All I can say is that somebody has got more bottle than me! Seen in Maplins catalogue keyswitches, will these fit the Beeb does anybody know? Not that I need any, got a spare keyboard for the Master which was given the WD40 treatment before being wrapped up. Nice Lottery solution Christopher! Trevor Crapper.  To: 999 (all members) From: D2C (ANDY BURGESS) Subject: Survey of Breakdowns? I am a new user of the BBC after being given one for my children to "play" with. I have been most impressed with its capability and I agree with many comments I have read that it provides a cheap, but challenging introduction to computing for all ages. My first question was however: can I still get software, spares and support? My conclusion was: Yes, but with some dfficulty. This was highlighted just before Christmas last year when the power supply gave up. After considering a new one from the limited suppliers costing £50+ and a significant time delay I looked in the local paper. A short drive and £20 secured a basic machine, cassette player, B&W TV and a few books and software. The power supply was transfered and we were in business again. My investigation of the power supply had shown that the fuse had blown, but a replacement was just blown again. No fault was apparent which suggests I couldn't have predicted the failure. I am sure this is probably the case for most faults. With a limited supply of new items I suspect that it would be wise to accumulate some second hand spares, but which ones? This long winded explanation now comes to my suggestion: could 8BS do a survey of breakdowns/faults/problems with the BBC and other equipment (I think the disc drive is also critical). If a pattern is evident it may help people wishing to keep their BBC going to take precautions. What do you think? Also has anyone any suggestions for repairing my old power supply? I can wield a soldering iron OK if anyone has any suggestions for the fault. EDITOR........... Thanks for the suggestion Andy. Anyone wishing to contribute should do so via the messaging system. Maybe a careful examination of messages in past issues may give an indication as to various problems that have cropped up.  To: 999 (all members) From: K6Z (DICK GOODALL) Subject: TO .... ALL.. ESPECIALLY CHRIS. SORRY TO HAVE JOINED 8BS AND THEN DISAPPEARED FROM VIEW. (NO PUN INTENDED !) I SPENT A LOT OF TIME LAST YEAR LOOKING FOR ANOTHER ABODE AND MORE TIME ARRANGING AND MOVING HOUSE. AT LEAST WE ARE NOW BEGINNING TO FIND WHAT WE PACKED. LUCKY I MARKED THE BOX WITH THE M128 WITH BOLD MARKS OR IT WOULD STILL BE LOST. HOPE TO TAKE SOME SORT OF ACTIVE PART IN 8BS THIS YEAR, IF ONLY TO ASK STUPID QUESTIONS TO WHICH EVERYONE ELSE KNOWS THE ANSWER. WELL someone HAS TO PLAY THE ROLE OF COURT JESTER. somewhere IS A KEYSTRIP FOR THE M128 WHICH I MADE UP TO ASSIST IN USING THE 8BS MESSAGING SYSTEM. I'LL FIND IT SOMEDAY (PROMISES, PROMISES !!) AND TRY TO MAKE MY MESSAGES MORE COLOURFUL. I GOT THE KEYSTRIP PROG FROM A BBC PD DISC AND FUNNILY ENOUGH I WAS BY A CERTAIN CJR, EVER HEARD OF HIM ?? THANKS TO ALL WHO SEND IN PROGS, LETTERS ETC AND ESPECIALLY TO CHRIS FOR ALL YOUR WORK FOR 8BS. LONG LIVE THE BEEB FAMILY !!  To: 999 (all members) From: K5P (ANDREW FAY) Subject: BRIAN RAW'S 312.5 LINES I thought I ought to make a comment on something that Brian Raw said in the last issue. He calculated the vertical and horinzontal line frequencies and worked out that this only gave 312.5 lines per frame. This is of course perfectly correct because we use an interlaced system in this country which displays 50 half frames every second. The cinema after it's first steps soon standardised on 24 frames a second as the best compromise to give a correct moving image. Television wanted to copy that, but to give a flicker free image without using slow phosphors gave rise to displaying the image as twice as many half frames. The raster scans the screen and draws the 312.5 lines, ending in the middle of the bottom of the screen. It then restarts and displays the next 312.5 lines in between the original lines. Thus the system only displays 25 full frames per second. As an aside the difference between 24/s and 25/s is why old cine films run fast on television. The Americans use a system called NTSC for the colour broadcasts, which suffers from colour hue changes and hence the definition; "Never The Same Colour". In Europe we get round that by reversing the polarity of every line which has the effect of averaging out any transmission problems and hence the name; "Phase Alternate Line", or PAL. The French use SECAM, but that stands for some French rubbish.....  To: 999 (all members) From: D2T (Jonathan Hamilton) Subject: NEW MEMBER Dear 8BS members, I have just joined 8BS, and have already made many new contacts. I have read through isues 40 and 41, and found them very good indeed, although it seems that the menu system takes up more memory than Solinets does, therefore reducing the amount of text available. I have been a member of Solinet for a year now, on and off, and have decided to finally take the plunge,and become a member of the much talked about 8BS. Let me explain my position. I am a 15 year old student, currently finishing off my first year of GCSE. I am doing a BBC related subject (partly), i.e. Design and Technology. For my main coursework project, I will be using the BBC in some form of Input, process, and output. If anyone has any helpful hints, or knowledge, then this would be invaluable. However, that is not my only occupation at the moment. I am going into PC, and many members at this point, will be saying.. oh yes we've heard it all before, he's getting rid of his BBC, etc. However contrary to the norm, I am going to stick with my BBC and will stay in touch with 8BS and Solinet ( that other user group look OK as well). Anyhow I am off the tack again. In order to make a few extra bob, I try to get hold of any BBC equipment which anybody is in need of or is interested in. I would therefore be honoured to be included in the regular contacts list, for any BBC computer related hard/software at all. Either contact me through the messaging system, or by phone/post. J.Hamilton 5 Garson Close West End Esher Surrey KT10 8LW (01372) 467625  To: 999 (all members) From: K2F (John Davis) Subject: They say that there's a secret place where elephants go to die. Do you think the same applies to user guides and manuals?  To: 999 + Paul Harvey From: K2F (John Davis) Subject: ByteBack ByteBack was fun while it lasted. Nice work, Paul. Cheers, John.  To: 999 (All) From: SUE (Susan Dodsworth) Subject: JUST STARTING Being a complete novice at computing, I approached the operation of my new BBC Master with a lot of enthusiasm and very little expertise. Luckily having a big brother, better known to you as the editor, I had someone to turn to as I stumbled along attempting to understand a little more about the basics of computing of which I was woefully ignorant. I am that species of creature much referred to as The Housewife, i.e a lady of leisure with at least, ooh, half an hour a fortnight to devote to reading computer guides. In my spare time I work as an Avon Lady, yes I know .....Ding Dong Avon Calling, and felt that a Computer could help me to keep track of vital information such as who likes perfumes, skin creams or sexy underwear. Plus of course the even more vital information of who hasn't paid yet, and how much money I have made so far. I was a bit dissapointed that the new car and Caribbean cruise would have to wait a bit longer. The most useful word processing program I have found so far is View Professional. It came with a refreshingly jargon free manual, which for a person who doesn't know her format from her doormat was essential. Having grasped the basics of this program I then proceeded to become too big for my boots and imagined myself a real whizz kid. So when I read in the Manual about Multi Sheet Documentation,"oh ho", I say to myself, "this is just the job for keeping records of each individual Avon customer". I can't go into all the awful details of what a mess I made of it, by the time I had wasted several hours trying and failing to set up the Multi Document I was convinced that not only had I messed up any previous data held on the disc but also that my husband was about to blow a fuse over the number of hours spent flicking through computer manuals hoping to find a magic wand to wave over the Disc Drive "Hey Presto" It's done! So in the end I did what any sensible person would do under these circumstances, I cried "Help Me" and luckily Big Brother was able to bail me out. Now I have my Multi Document with an index page listing each customer's basic details i.e Name, Address and amount spent in total, and then for each customer there is a separate page detailing what she (or he) has bought and in which brochure. My moral from this story to anyone like myself who is just starting in the new and fascinating world of home computers is : NEVER get embroiled in complicated functions you know nothing about and ALWAYS get expert advice when in a muddle.     