Notes on DROPKICK dp-j 12Jan96
Dropkick is an excellent utility for the installation and searching of text
information in Sideways Ram. It was written by Jeff Tullin and presented in
Acorn User of June 1990 and has now been released on 8-Bit Software Pool disk
No. TAU 90-1 (ADFS) or TAU 90-6 (DFS).
The reason for this note is twofold:-
1)To provide some information for TAU 90 users who may not, in the absence of
the original Acorn User article, have been able to get the software up and
2)To provide an update of the original software on TAU 90 in order to permit
Dropkick to function properly in a wider environment.
What's the problem.?
Well unfortunately Dropkick causes problems when other concurrent software,
eg a word processor, makes use of zero page. For example, VIEW can crash or
corrupt if Dropkick is accessed from View's command screen. The problem was
pointed out in Acorn User of September 1990 and changes to the program were
presented. These are not currently incorporated in the TAU 90 disks. Rather
fortunately, in fact, since they suffered from disastrous transcription errors
which, as far as I know, were never picked up in later issues of Acorn User.
I have sorted this out and the modified source code <HIDE> and its associated
object code <!hide> replace the original files <DK1> and <header> respectively
as catalogued on the TAU 90 disks.
This upgrade of the code necessitated a change to the text datafile load
address. In view of this I renamed the above files to avoid confusion and
included the demonstration files from TAU 90 concerned with Dropkick along with
INSTALLATION of DROPKICK header code.
When Dropkick source code <HIDE> is run an object code file named <!hide> is
automatically saved to disk. This has already been done for you so it only
needs to be loaded from disk to an available Sideways Ram bank, say number 'n'.
On the Master 128 use *SRLOAD !hide 8000 n Q or the equivalent for your
Next, inform MOS with:- ?&2Ax=&82 where x is n+1
This initialises the ROM without needing <Brk> or <Ctrl/Brk>.
Issuing the command *SEEK or *seek will return the following message if
all is well:- No (more) records found.
Text files can now be appended to the header code.
INSTALLATION of DROPKICK text data.
For demonstration purposes three files are included:-
<DK2> <BasHelp> <Ww+Help>
DK2 is a small file of telephone numbers written as DATA statements.
CH."DK2" will write the data to disk with the filename <t/phone>. You can of
course add to or change the DATA lines on the listing but the last line must
always end:- DATA "|" or DATA "| followed by an identifying label."
There is a prompt "Put blank disc in drive an press SPACE" but this can be
ignored provided our Editor has left a bit of space for the file in this Issue
of 8-Bit Software.
Load the disk file into the SAME Sideways ROM as <!hide> above:-
*SRLOAD t/phone 8219 n Q
and inform MOS ?&2Ax=&82 where x=n+1 as before
The <!hide> code has the | marker (Ascii 124) as a terminator at &8219 which is
overwritten by the appended data file, so check the *SRLOAD command carefully.
*HELP or *H. returns the *seek syntax, file load address (&8219) and the
name of the file currently residing in Dropkick, provided of course you have
given your file a name immediately after the end | terminator.
To get Acorn's no.:- *seek Acorn or *seek rn or *seek 01, or any bit you can
remember! But it won't find acorn. It's case sensitive. So if you want Bill, or
bill, or William then just *seek ill. Longer strings are also acceptable, such
as *seek Tony Blair's realpolitik. (*seek air might be more promising though)
A tip for installing your own records. Prefix every record with - ,or whatever,
then *seek- will display the lot. Use * prefix for that one record frequently
needed, but never remembered! *seek* and you've got it.
THE OTHER FILES, <BasHelp> and <Ww+Help>.
t/phone is an example file to be used if you don't want to use an editor/word
processor to construct the text data.
The others are demo help files for Basic keywords/tokens and Wordwise Plus
keywords/embedded commands. They can be *SRLOADed directly, (no CHaining), in
place of t/phone in exactly the same way. There is no need to reload <!hide>.
Try *seek= or *seek- to see what's there.
The two files are simply Ascii text files which can be written/modified on
your own word processor or editor and saved, (spooled if need be), to disk.
*TYPE <BasHelp> to see the necessary | terminator at the file end. Don't
forget to end with a CR after the final identification label.
Having found the search string the relevant text between the enclosing CR
points is printed out. A maximum of 255 characters between CR's is allowed.
The combined header <!hide>, and a data/text file can be merged into one file
using the program <MERGE>. This is complete with prompts for the appropriate
filenames. The combined file is then ready to *SRLOAD, preferably from your
disk's !BOOT file. <MERGE> is essentially as <DK3> on TAU 90 disks but renamed
because of the address change to comply with <!hide>. Better use a separate
work disk for this as it creates another file.
Well that's it. About 15K of data can be accommodated which survives Ctrl/Brk.
An excellent program by Mr. Tullin which I have used since 1991. There are many
vital applications needing instant access: Calendar, birthdays, wife's name,
speed of sound versus altitude, ....even this file (That'll fool you. There's a
| marker referred to within this text! Look at the "current data:" returned by
*HELP to find where it is. Get it? That's why *seek our Editor won't find
him. Because he's on the wrong side of the bar. So that's new? Hell, now my
Issue 48's been junked too).
If any bugs should materialise please inform 8-BS.