Hello again. I know you were all saddened by the lack of a 'club meet' this year due to there being no Acorn User show at Harrogate this year. Cheer up though, because Jonathan Harston has thrown his doors open to us. Yes, on the 19th 20th and 21st of July this year, you can turn up and meet the other members of 8BS. I shall be at Jonathan's house from about mid day on the 19th until late on the 21st. Jonathan has lots of computers, but bring your own setup and/or favourite piece of software/hardware for us all to have a look at if you want. You are all welcome to show up. More details such as maps, stop over arrangements etc to follow. If you want to come, please contact me as soon as possible so that I can gauge the sort of interest there is in this event. Any questions, just fire away! Jonathan's address is: 70 Camm Street, Walkley, Sheffield S63TR. It is a big empty house, just right. There are already 4 members that have confirmed that they are coming and stopping over. It would seem that we are going to have to seriously consider using local B+B as well as Jonathan's house. More later... Don't Forget! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Next issue (50) is going to be a double DFS issue again. DFS users, please send two formatted discs, ADFS users need only send 1 disc. Don't worry! Both DFS and ADFS versions will contain exactly the same software. Ta. ~~~ Thanks to the work of both Jon Ripley and Jonathan Harston for all their hard work for 8BS. Between them they have re-shaped Steven Flintham's 8BS menu system. FUTURE 8BS issues (hopefully from 50 onwards) and TBI-00 (from 20.4.96) will feature the new systems. To you the user, it will not really appear too different. This was the object. A number of extra facilities have been added. Pressing the usual f0 for help will reveal the new facilities. I will give full details of any changes in the next issue. I's all the same. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ron Marshall of 'Solinet' (see the 'Regular Contacts' article) always sends me his disc based magazine for perusal. I received the latest (11.3) at the end of April, just after having finished compiling this issue. Reading through it, I noticed this time that a number of items are the same as in the 8BS magazine. I apologise to all of you that are receiving these items twice and to Ron with whom I agreed that we would try to avoid this happening. Unfortunately I have spotted the duplications too late to remove them. I will repeat my request from a while ago. Please try to avoid sending the same programs and articles to both Ron and myself. If you send something to me that you have also sent to Ron, please tell me. Speech Synthesizer Project. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have a very interesting article as a project for a willing volunteer. Peter Shaw has sent me an electronics project on 5 sheets of paper. Two of the sheets are drawings, one is a listing of a program to run the synthesizer, one is a parts list and one sheet is a short article on how to do it. It is a speech synthesizer for the BBC. I am looking for a volunteer to have a go at making the synthesizer and putting the instructions on to disc. At the end of it I would hope to see an article suitable for the magazine enabling others to reproduce the synthesizer and a synthesizer to test it all out myself. It looks simple enough to make up, consisting of around 14 components for the synthesizer and 9 for the amplifier. Anyone interested, please contact me and I will send you copies of the article. Another Error. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I was in error in issue 48. K2F's program was in fact a Craps calculator. I apologise to John for titling the program incorrectly and thank D4H for pointing out the error of my ways. Master copies of 8BS-48 amended. Changes to the pool since last time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 8BS-47 Available on 40 track. 2 DFS DS discs 8BS-48 Available on 40 track. 2 DFS DS discs TBI-57 Europhile now also available in single sided format on 2 80 track discs. TBI-74 View Professional available in 40 track DFS format TBI-97 Bazzasoft Touch typing tutor. 1D. 22 Lessons. Lesson Generator. TBI-98 Archimedes Disc Accessers. ADFS only. TBI-99 8BS Rogues Gallery. 2D. A collection of mugshots. TBI-100 Food file 4D. Huge database containing lists of 2510 different foods and what is to be found in them. TBI-101 BBC<>PC Graphics conversion. 2D. Complete with example screens showing how worthwhile it is having a go. Thanks to D.Robinson for this disc of utilities. TBI-102 Compression Routines from 15A. 2D TBI-103 NOT PD. Electron, BBC, B+, Compact, Master Welcome discs. DFS and ADFS. Thanks to Wendy at Acorn TBI-104 1996 Australian Grand Prix. Digitised Screens. 2D Thanks again to Janny Looyenga for more discs for the Master 512 section. Please note that the 512 discs will only work if you have a MASTER with the 512 board fitted. 512-54 Games 800K DOS+ 512-55 Adventures. 360K DOS. 512-56 PC ART. 360K DOS. 512-57 Blackbeard Utilities. 360K DOS 512-58 Games. 360K DOS 512-59 VDE Word Processor. (Similar to Wordstar). 360K DOS EDU-01 Now has a games catalogue added. JJR-12 The Odyssey. By Homer 4D JJR-13 The Iliad. By Homer 5D Rewrite of TBI-00 The 512 section appears separately and only on the ADFS version of TBI-00. This section of the catalogue is included on the ADFS version of this issue. I have attempted to fill in a little detail into the disc contents description. 8BS Statistics. 2.5.96 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So far this year, 39 new members 245 Active members. The TBI section has broken the 100 barrier. There are over 173 megabytes in the 8BS library and at least 18,000 programs! There are 715 entries in the catalogue, but over 900 discs in the 8BS pool due to DFS and ADFS versions. The 'Discs Issued' total in my Z88 has gone over 10,000! So far this year, 682 items of post through the letterbox. I have stopped counting phone calls, it was hopeless trying to keep the record updated. I received 868 from the first of January to the 31st of March. Accounts are still looking sad, the turnover is quite substantial due to all the services that I provide for you now. Sadly the outlay still seems to be slightly more than what comes in. I forecast that this will change shortly as the loft is so full now that I can hardly get into it. Just examine the 8BS advert to see what I mean. If you want to see a printout of the latest accounts, please ask and send an SAE. (-£233.72) In use: 2*Masters. One Master 512 the other is a 512 with the 1 meg upgrade. 1*Compact 1*BBC 1*Z88 to keep the club records 1*30 Meg hard drive 5*twin drives three of which 3 are 5.25 to 3.5, one 3.5 to 3.5 and one 5.25 to 5.25. Modem Eprom Programmer Epson Stylus 400 printer Hand Scanner Video Digitiser Music 5000 Light pen Mouse Parcel Farce. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I saw the Watchdog program on BBC the other week. Did you? They showed how 8 out of 10 parcels that they sent through the system became damaged. They showed parcels being thrown around on conveyor belts. Frightening really when you consider the sort of things that we post to each other. Jon Ripley has sent a message about this, please read it in the General Messages section. It would seem that he has had bad experiences with Parcel Force. Watchdog did a test, they wrapped 10 parcels up and sent them through Parcel Force. 8 became damaged. They had wrapped a vase up in bubble wrap and not surprisingly it got smashed. They also wrapped a folding metal step ladder up in brown paper, the wrapping came off. Again this was not a surprise to me. Any one with half a brain cell can work out how things should be wrapped. To me it seems a bit irresponsible for these people to wrap up objects like this badly. One of their step ladder legs could have easily gone through someone elses parcel for instance. I would not be surprised if it was their stepladder that smashed their vase! The step ladder should have been in a suitable box. The vase should have been wrapped and put in a large box filled with polystyrene chips. I like Watchdog and watch it most weeks as it keeps me informed of things to be wary of. However, I am worried by items such as this as they seem to be over sensationalising the problem, it makes me wonder what else they are embellishing too. I say this because of my own personal experience with Parcel Force (and the Royal Mail), compared with other carriers. So far this year I have sent 35 insured parcels and 83 ordinary parcels through Parcel Force, none of which I have had to claim for. I have received so far this year around 30 parcels via Parcel Force, none of which were damaged. In theory, out of those 148 parcels there were at least 112 claims for damage. In fact, as far as I am aware, nothing has arrived in a worse state than it was posted. I am at a loss here to understand where the problem is. Is is maybe certain areas that have problems, ie certain staff that like to smash parcels? As for the Royal Mail, recently there have been problems from certain areas. Letters going missing or becoming damaged. But in general the service is excellent. So far this year (to the end of March), I have received 523 items of post, as far as I know, 2 letters have become lost. Another was ripped by the machinery and taped up by the Royal Mail nothing was lost. Another was heavy paper in a thin envelope, the envelope was open but nothing missing. Another was a £1 coin missing, but it had been placed loose in an envelope and had made a neat exit wound in the envelope. Some discs seem to get 'fogged' in transit, this may be due to Post Office machinery although they reckon not, it could also be due to other people's post maybe emitting strong magnetic fields getting to close to the discs. The Post Office do say that you should pack discs in a very thick wrapping to avoid this, I have found this a bit expensive and unnecessary though. In all the thousands of items sent through the post over the last 3 years there has only ever been 1 claim made for what looked like deliberate damage by postman Pat. I have received parcels via (or had parcels lost by) other carriers. Securicor managed to lose two batches of 500 floppy discs for me and Federal Express turned an envelope into a mud bath for some reason. Please let me know what you think and what your experiences are. Personally, I think a lot of it is down to correct wrapping and clear labelling of fragile items. Power Up Bulletin Board. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am informed by Peter Shaw (!Shawty) that a new bulletin board for Acorn machines has been launched. Andrew Brown is the SYSOP of Power Up BBS. Call 01207 542437. If enough interest is shown apparently an 8 bit area will be set up. It is an 80 column ANSII BBS open 24 hours. Peter is to be found in the Acorn area of the BBS. His address is: shawty@lashley.demon.co.uk D2T Jonathan Hamilton. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I understand that a number of people have had problems when buying or selling items via Jonathan. Just a word of warning to you all! New BBC User Group. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Don't forget to give Jon Ripley's new user group a look over. His advert for the grand opening is to be found on this issue. Me. ~~~ I am an Ambulance Paramedic. I work 12 hour shifts from and to 0600. You are welcome to ring me any time, but please avoid ringing after 2000 hours (8pm) as I quite often go to bed very early. See the shift calculator program that I have written and placed on this issue, to see when best to ring me. The algorithm used to calculate the shift is hopeless. It starts from a known date and works its way sadly to the chosen date. I know that there must be a better way that uses a calculation that knows how many days there are in a year, how many days in a shift etc and presents the right one immediately. So come on you mathematicians out there, hows about a program that easily takes a rota and projects it for umpteen years? The program is easily adaptable. In fact it should be very easy to alter to work for any shift rota. I have included full info in the program. That's it again. See you next time.