8-Bit Software Online Conversion

Hi. Glad Tidings! You will all be thrilled to hear I'm off duty this year and intend to have a good time, no matter what. It's A Biggie! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Many thanks for the submissions this time. I have been really gratified by the sheer volume of marvellous submissions that you lot keep sending in. 2 weeks from the deadline and the issue was nearly full. With that amount of stuff already on the disc, knowing that the rush was yet to come, I decided to start up a disc for issue 47, a thing I usually do on the deadline to catch the overflow. I realised quite quickly that this disc too was going to fill. The only way out, I eventually decided was make issue 46 a one off double disc issue for DFS users. Disc one contains most of the messages and articles. Apart from this, I have tried to give both discs a mixture of software. The discs are independent of one another. Each disc has it's own (seasonal) menu. Each disc also has its own 'About This Issue' and 'Program Documentation' file. ADFS users will not need a second disc as everything is on this one disc. DFS users, if you haven't got disc 2, please send a disc with return postage. Those 50 or so of you that I have sent a freebie extra disc to, please return the disc sometime (no rush). I have put part 4 of the 8BS history on this issue as a sort of odd Chrissie Prezzie. Sorry for not waiting Daniel, but it has been more than a year! Even after making this a double issue, as I write this on deadline day, 3 excellent and large submissions have been held over for 8BS-47 as they will not fit on to this issue. Lots of goodies still to come! Thanks to people that have offered help in running the club, but really the best help anyone can offer is to: 1. Submit, submit, submit. 2. Buy, buy buy. Or 3. Complain. Daft as it sounds, constructive criticism is more welcome than praise. 4. Go out there and pester owners of software copyright for their stuff. More details on application. Disc labels and write protect tabs. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have come into a very large quantity of these. Most of you that receive this issue around December 95 will not only receive an 8BS Christmas card, but also a sample of the labels and write protect tabs that are available from 8BS at only a nominal charge of 10p for a sheet of 10 disc labels, and 5p for a sheet of 20 write protect tabs. Remember that this price does not include postage if ordering labels only of course. Menu. ~~~~~ I must tell you what I have done to the menu. Apart from the interference on the screen with all that white stuff again. I wanted to get it to build up this year, but with all the other things I have done to the menu, I thought I would not tempt fate. First of all, pressing SPACE (not BREAK any more) from mode 7 articles gets you back to the main menu. In most cases, when you return to the menu, you will find that the highlight bar is exactly where you left it. This is by popular demand. In all other cases, you will find it is not where you want it. Also by popular demand (I did ask for your opinions, and I got some fairly strong ones), I have written an 80 column to 40 column converter. It was only a simple BASIC program, I rattled it off in a couple of hours. Tanks to Brian Raw who finished it off with a bit of machine code. It reads any file from disc and prints out the readable characters in 40 column. If you look at the program, you will see that (for the purposes of the 8BS menu), I have REMmed out a PROCedure. Insert this back in and you will have a useful program (maybe). It is just not possible for me to spend time sorting out long 80 column articles into 40 column. If long 80 column articles are submitted to me nowadays, I simply check them and plop them onto the issue. In fact they take less room up on the disc in this form. Most of us prefer the large colourful text that mode 7 offers, so the program '3to7' was the simplest answer for me. New 8BS Questionnaire. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have put a new set of questions into an updated questionnaire program. Thanks to Steven Flintham for the program. PLEASE DO NOT USE QUESTIONNAIRE PROGRAMS OR DATA FILES FROM BEFORE VERSION 0.13. The new questionnaire is available on TBI-00 version 42 onwards. It is also available on disc two of this issue. If you feel like it, please submit a new questionnaire to 8BS. There are less questions, most only require single keypress answers. The information provided will help me quite a lot. Mug Shots. ~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks for the photo, that has flooded in. If you have not yet sent me a photo of yourself, please try to! I am collecting pictures so that they can be digitised in a sort of rogues gallery of members. Please let me know if you want the photo back or not. Speaking of digitising. I now have a scanner. Please read the 8BS advert for details of the 8BS scanning service that I am now offering. Changes to the TBI pool from last time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TBI-68 STAR and HT-24 printer dumps added. See message from L.Jenne. TBI-70 Tape To Disc Updated TBI-74 View Professional is now TBI-74-1. Guess why? Yup, I typed in the manual! TBI-74-2 View Professional Manual 1D TBI-79 DFS and ASCII utilities. This 1D disc, always on the move, severely updated by B.Raw. Well worth a lookee at. TBI-82-5 8BS Games 3. Updated with this issues games. TBI-89 Text Conversion And Z88 Transfer Utilities 1D. CJR-03 STD Database. All versions. Minor search bug removed. CJR-20 Updated with 3to7 CJR-21 Updated with 3to7 JGH-12 DFS File Indexer 512-3-12 BBC-PD WP 5 Mindreader Thesaurus 800K DOS+ 512-35 Dr Edit Program Editor IBM 360K 512-36 Mahjong Game IBM 360K 512-37 Mac Paste Macintosh Graphics Viewer/Editor IBM 360K 512-38 Collage Slide Show IBM 360K 512-39 PcPhoto Photographic Label Maker For Slides And Prints IBM 360K BBC-113 Bug Fixed. To fix it yourself, REMOVE line 110 of 'PDMenu'. The whole JGH section has been updated by JGH himself. JGH-01 changed from 2D to 1D The Ultimate Lottery Program. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ D4A had a problem with my program in issue 45. When pressing 'P' for a printout of the screen, everything ends up on the same line. This is due to his printer not giving line feeds. If you have the same problem, you can fix it by adding this line to the program and saving it: 1875 VDU2,13,3 Disc Drives ~~~~~~~~~~~ I just thought that I would mention this point about 3.5" and 5.25" disc drives. As far as your BBC is concerned, it has no idea what size drive is at the other end of the lead. So, as long as the leads fit, a 3.5" drive should work on your BBC or Master. A problem that I have found people having occasionally is that they find the disc drive they have fitted does not work, the problem has been this: Inside the drive is a little link or switch which tells the drive which number drive it is. You will find that it can be set to 0, 1, 2 or 3. Usually, the numbers are marked on the circuit board. The Visits ~~~~~~~~~~ 1. Jonathan Harston of JGH PD paid 8BS HQ a visit, he stayed for a few days, sleeping in the camper. It has just occurred to me, I wonder if he read the editorial a few issues ago when I described how the camper burst into flames. We spent the time tapping away at the various machines here. Jonathan did a number of jobs for 8BS: removing bugs, updating software and making himself generally useful. 2. Steve Hanson of Superior Software popped in too. Amongst other things, he brought a large box of about 300 second hand discs for me to use as freebies etc. A few days later I examined the contents more closely to discover that what I had was something wonderful! I made a phone call to Steve to say thanks and confirm that I was ok keeping them as they were. Steve had brought me a box full of what look like development discs for a lot of Superior Software games. Including Vertigo, Sams, Sim City, Repton Infinity, Pipeline, Galaforce 1 and 2, Firetrak (with screen designer), Cosmic Camouflage, Baron, Exile, the list goes on and on. These discs show the development of the games. I cannot copy these discs obviously, I cannot really lend them out either. But I want to keep them and show them to others. So whenever members pop in to 8BS HQ, or whenever we have meetings at events (or other peoples houses, watch this space!), I can get them out, just like the holiday snaps but a lot more interesting. 3. Bill Jowitt. Shame about the disc drive, hope the VP manual is ok for you. I found the stories fascinating, come again when you have more time and remember where you left off! 4. Fatticus Thackus. Hello Brian. I am a bit worried about Pat. Good job you know a bit about Ambulance Aid. 5. John Lawrence who popped in to 8BS HQ for a while having seen us in an advert somewhere. His user ID is D5L, he is keen to hear from other members with an Archimedes. I wish I had one, but there really isn't enough room on the desk. 6. Martin Johnson. I was an Ambulance cadet with him. He rang me up out of the blue to find out how to format a disc for a PC he was using at the time because the person in charge of IT was in a meeting. I ended up flogging him 50 HD discs. A born haggler can sell anyone anything. He got a good deal. 7. Eric Clapton. Fat chance, but his music is frequently on the CD player sat next to the 8BS tackle. 8. Richard Chamberlain with a load of stuff now in the 8BS advert. Members. ~~~~~~~~ I have had a look at the Z88 and been pretty savage. There were close on to 300 people listed in the 8BS database on the Z88. I knew that not all of these people were regular members as I had not heard from some of them for quite a while. I removed all members from the list that have not received issue 40 onwards. It is very difficult working out who is a member or not as some members don't get the magazine for instance. The result surprised me as I only removed 90 names from the database. We have close on to 200 active members in the group. The Best Laid Plans. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Of mice and men etc.. OK, last issue I wrote this long bit in the editorial about how to upset the editor of a disc based magazine. I wrote this because someone had upset me. Fortunately, just before the mag went out, the person that had upset me made amends and all was smoothed over, I removed the section of the editorial. Since then, a number of events have occurred that make it necessary for me to put you in the picture, as the saga is well worth repeating for reasons that are hopefully amusing. I advertised a copy of 3D Grand Prix on tape for £1.50. A newly joined member bought it. Shortly afterwards he wrote back to me, returning the tape, complaining bitterly that this game did not work. He was very upset and gave me a lecture on how I should be more careful about the stuff I sold. I wrote back explaining that it was not possible for me to check everything that I sold due to time constraints, especially with tape software. I explained that the usual procedure (unwritten admittedly), is to refund without question anything causing problems, and to assist with any problems. I mentioned that I was really upset by the tone of the letter. In fact this was the only letter that I have received from anyone in connection with 8BS that has actually upset me. Any way, all's well that ends well, The member wrote back apologising for the previous letter that he had sent. He made amends by saying that he had probably been a bit hasty in writing his letter. So that was it. 3D Grand Prix went back in the advert. I had tested it out twice now and it was ok. A second copy of 3D Grand Prix came in. It appeared in the last issue (two copies now available). If I remember right, someone bought a copy of it and it became lost with a few other things in the post for a month (turned up eventually). Meanwhile, the member that had upset me notices that there is another copy of 3D Grand Prix in the advert and writes back to me. I cannot remember which tape is the one I sent out, so I put the tape back into the player and have a listen at it. I cannot tell whether it is the first one or the second one and send it off with a note to that effect. The member writes back to me thanking me for the box. Unfortunately, he says that the tape is not in it. I read the letter and open up the tape player. Drat! The tape is still in it! So I post off the tape to the member. The member tries out the tape. Lo and behold, it still doesn't work, so he writes a letter and posts it back.... to himself! He forgot to re-address the envelope! When I get the letter, I give up and copy the tape on to disc for him with the proviso that the tape and disc are one, if he disposes of the tape, he disposes of the disc. Beat that. NO! Disaster! (Again) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, a series of disasters have made their way to 8BS HQ as per usual, the most notable of which so far is the 8BS pool turning into a real pool. I have given the 3.5" discs in the pool a good washing as they were getting a little grubby from all of the use that they have had. In fact what really happened was horrible. I was on the telephone. I had foolishly placed a freshly opened can on the 8BS desk. I then proceeded to open the drawer containing the 800+ 3.5" discs that are the back up of the pool that I use. I took out a disc from the drawer, the phone cable caught the can which then fell over, emptying the contents neatly into the open drawer. While I was cleaning up the mess, Gill switched on the PC and typed a message which you will find in the General Messages section. I had to verify the whole pool and replace about 30 discs which were ruined. The hairyest moment was when I realised that the backup to TBI-00 and 8BS-44 were in the same drawer. If all of these were corrupt, then I would have to write to someone asking for a copy of my own disc. The pool would not have been lost, but it would have been a very expensive, long, hard job replacing it. Daft ParaGraph. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Me. ~~~ Me Paramedic. Me work long 12 hour shifts that send me potty you no ring after 2000 hours as me go beddy byes around that time a lot that not matter to me but waste your money ring any time if you want as phone not wake me up never any more annal. Me illiterate anarl annat. The above gibberings are an example of what the rest of the 8BS issue would look like without the help of K6X who checks each issue thoroughly for blemishes (and splashes) before it is released to you, the discerning members of 8BS. So lots of hugs and kisses to Paul for this viRtUal service. Go on, don't be shy, show your appreciation. That be all for this time. So have a good Christmas. Those of you that are not 100%, take it easy, DON'T EAT TOO MUCH! And whatever you do, do not drink and drive, or drink and compute. The consequences of both are never joyous, I know from bitter (a pun) experience. Drugs have received a large amount of publicity recently. Don't forget that the ones that cause the most problems are still alcohol and nicotine. Cheers See you next time.