8-Bit Software Online Conversion

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 running. 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 this package. 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 system. 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 *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. USING t/phone. 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. MERGER FILE. 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. |EdNote