8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                            To: 999 (all members) From: K6N (Brian Raw) Subject: Resistor codes Unless you mind going to Maplin's and asking for a brown black orange resistor this program will convert from colour codes to the more familiar 10K M type codes. It should be noticed that at no time are real (floating point) numbers used in the program, which is the reason for using this program, since I intended to convert it into Small 'C' which does not support real numbers. Small 'C' so far had defeated me, it would not compile at all, but after much reading and countless runs it actually accepted a short nonsensical program and compiled it. From there it was a matter of making small changes and seeing if it was still o.k. this was a little like putting a monkey to a typewriter and eventually getting Shakespeare out of it, but rest assured it does get easier as you progress. The BASIC version is constructed in the manner of the 'C' version for comparison. Quirks of Small 'C' ******************* printf the 'C' version of PRINT is much more versatile and you would do well to standardise your use of it eg PRINT"hello" is printf("½nhello") where ½n causes a CR which is fine until you want to print on the same line in which case ½n is omitted. Also when you CLS:PRINT"hello" in BASIC this behaves as if TAB(0,0); preceeded it so again in 'C' the first line printed has ½n omitted. printf also allows VDU type statements, but these have to be given as octal numbers which are taken as signed so numbers above 277 octal or &7F are treated as negative which it will not accept. To get round this for mode 7 displays, assign to a string first. eg char col[2]; col[0] = 131; col[1] = 0; end of string marker printf("½n%shello",col); If you build your own strings up, the end of string marker must be included. Logical AND's , OR's are not supported eg (exp) && (exp) !! (exp) instead use bitwise AND's , OR' eg (exp & exp ! exp) TRUE in BBC BASIC = -1 TRUE in Small 'C' = 1 This subtle difference causes havoc. eg BASIC num=c-48+(c>58)*7 which coverts key codes to Hex numbers becomes in 'C' num = c - 48 - (c > 58) * 7 Hopefully I will get the other half of this program, to convert from numerical to colour codes done for next time.          Version 2.00 by Steven Flintham (15A) Main differences from version 1.08 Although version 2.00 has been largely rewritten, so there will be many small differences, this section attempts to describe the main improvements over version 1.08. Message file corruption Version 1.08 often corrupted the message file slightly if an error occured while trying to save a new or edited message. It is almost impossible to prevent these errors from occuring but version 2.00 has been changed so that although the message being saved will be lost, the message file will not be corrupted. There is also a new utility, ChckMes, which can be used in the now hopefully rarer cases where the message file does become corrupted. This should also work on files produced by earlier versions. The message editor Although the keys used have been kept the same, the message editor has been rewritten and should now be faster. Even if it is still too slow, it should no longer lose characters if you type too fast for it. Viewing, editing, deleting and printing existing messages Instead of stepping through the messages with the left and right cursor keys the message you want to view, edit, delete or print is now chosen from a menu. This should be much more convenient, especially for accessing the later messages in the file. Also, scrolling through a long message when viewing it should now be as fast as it is when you are reading the magazine. Undeleting messages The undelete facilities have been improved quite considerably. Instead of undeleting all the messages and probably running into the 25 message limit, you are now asked which messages you want to undelete. The earlier versions also made no distinction between messages deleted by you and messages deleted automatically because they had been replaced by new, edited versions. Version 2.00 keeps track of why a message was deleted and undelete ignores messages which were automatically deleted. These two improvements should make undelete much more useful but you should still try not to rely on it too much. On-line help The on-line help has not been included in version 2.00. It was probably not detailed enough for new users and unnecessary for experienced users and removing it has allowed more memory to be used for other parts of the program.          Version 2.00 by Steven Flintham (15A) Technical information This section provides information which most users will not need but which may be of interest. It includes an explanation of some of the restrictions imposed by the program. DFS restrictions The advice to avoid putting any other files on the same disc as the messages when using DFS is given because DFS cannot shuffle files around on a disc as ADFS can. When adding a new message or editing an old message (which amount to the same thing), the messaging system needs to extend the message file. If there is another file physically following the message file on the disc, there may not be enough space for DFS to extend the message file and it will give a "Can't extend" error. Not being able to keep anything else on the disc is a bit inconvenient - probably the best solution is to use two discs (or both sides of one disc) to prepare your 8BS submissions, one for messages and one for everything else, and then copy the contents of one onto the other when you are ready to send it off. If anyone has any suggestions as to how this limitation can be overcome I would be pleased to hear them. ADFS can move files around to prevent this from happening but if the free space on the disc becomes too fragmented then a similar problem may occur. This is unlikely to occur but you may like to *COMPACT the disc regularly. The message editor The main limitation of the message editor is the lack of any form of automatic paragraph reformatting when words are inserted and deleted. The real difficulty is that the editor allows the use of mode 7 control codes to implement colour and graphics. This means that any code to reformat paragraphs would have to try to keep any control codes inserted in the text to change the colour and it would ideally also have to avoid distorting any graphics in the message. Tidying the messages To understand why tidying the messages is necessary, an explanation of the message file format is necessary. Because messages vary considerably in length, allowing each one a fixed amount of space in the message file would be very wasteful. Each message can be up to 4K long, so this amount of space would have to be left in the file for every message, even if it really only took up a few bytes. To save space, each message is stored using exactly the right amount of space. This means that when a message is edited, it cannot be saved back to the same place in the file. If it was then smaller, then the rest of the messages in the file would have to be moved 'down' so that they all followed it. Similarly, if it was then larger, the rest of the messages would have to be moved 'up' so that it had enough space. Instead, the new version of the message is saved at the end of the file and the old version is marked to tell the program to ignore it. This means that it is effectively deleted but it still takes up space in the file. If fixed size messages were used then when a message was edited, it could be saved over the old version of itself as it would be guaranteed to fit, avoiding the above problem. When the file is tidied, a new copy is made which contains only the messages which are not being ignored, so that old versions of edited messages do not appear in it. When a message is deleted because you request it, using D from the message list, the same method is used and the message is simply marked to be ignored rather than being physically removed from the file. Tidying also removes these messages, which is why you cannot undelete after tidying the file. Using filing systems other than DFS and ADFS The program is only designed to work with DFS and ADFS. If you have another filing system then the program may work but no guarantees can be given. Pressing SPACE at the prompt to insert your submission disc will leave the current filing system selected. The file format If you want to write any utilities which handle message files (or even write your own replacement message creation program!), the file !Mesg has the following format: Version byte - 0 at present (see below) Sender's ID - a three character string read using BASIC's INPUT #chan%, id$ command Sender's name - a twenty character string (padded with spaces at the end) read using BASIC's INPUT #chan%, name$ command. It may be just spaces if the sender wishes to remain anonymous. Number of messages - the number of messages (not counting deleted messages) read using BASIC's INPUT #chan%, num`mesg% command This is followed by each message, in the following format: Destination ID - a three character string read using BASIC's INPUT #chan%, id$ command Deleted flag - a single byte (see below) The message itself - pure mode 7 "text" containing control codes and terminated by a 152 byte Your program must complain if the version byte is not zero, as this will indicate that the file format has changed. The version byte was zero for earlier versions of the messaging system but there is in fact a small change in the handling of the deleted flag. As no-one has, to my knowledge, written programs to handle the message files I have changed the format slightly without changing the version number for convenience. This means that if you use earlier versions of SendMes with files which have been edited by version 2.00, or vice versa, you should not use the undelete option. The deleted flag can be any of 0, 128 or 255. 0 means that the message is not deleted. 128 means that the message has been deleted but that it should not be considered for undeletion. This is used for messages deleted automatically when a message is edited. 255 means that the message has been deleted and that it is OK to undelete it. This is used for messages deleted at the user's request.  Simple Database. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ By C.J.Richardson. This database was written as an example to try and fathom out what was required by someone that was running a catalogue. This person had never laid hands on a computer before and wanted to simply keep a total of what customers had spent and how much they owed. In the event, the whole exercise was abandoned as the only suitable software was far too complicated for the person involved. It seems a shame to consign the program to the dustbin. So here it is. The program is meant to be simple to operate. Each record has only 3 fields. Move between records using the right and left cursor keys. Move between fields using the up and down cursor keys. Enter data by typing when the highlight bar is over the field you wish to alter. Finish by pressing RETURN, typing the maximum allowed for that field, or pressing a cursor key. Field 1 is the name and may be 18 characters in length. When 18 characters have been typed, the field is full. If a further character is typed, the field will be cleared. Field 2 is a number field. The maximum length for this field is 6. Only the characters 0 to 9 . and - will be accepted. Field 3 is also a number field with the same properties as field 2. When first run the database will create a blank record. Further blank records are created as needed by pressing the right cursor key. For this reason, if you are using DFS, you should only run the database after compacting the disc or start with a new disc with the database saved onto it first. Printout of the data is possible by pressing @. End by pressing ESCAPE. This closes the data and ensures everything is saved to disc correctly. Remember, this database is very simple and therefore very limited. Important! The program will not run from a write protected disc due to the OPENUP command used. File Name : TotDB Data File Name: Data      