8-Bit Software Online Conversion

            From: K5B (David J.MacGraw.) Subject: 512 and DOS+ (Part 5) Probably every 512 user is aware of the remarkable set of utilities produced by Robin Burton and Mike Ginns, under the appropriate name of Essential Software. I have no connection with either, other than meeting with Mr.Burton one evening whilst he happened to be 'down my way', but can certainly recommend most of the programs as being essential software! The majority of programs use 'hotkeys', usually a combination of Crtl/Shift and some letter key, and reside in the host to minimise 512 memory use and interact directly with the system I/O hardware. The hotkey combination and condition of each loaded program can be displayed by using the STATUS and NEWSTAT utilities. The hotkeys may be easily changed using NEWKEYS, then SAVEKEYS to store the new definitions in a HOTKEYS.DEF file. The use of LOADKEYS in the 512 AUTOEXEC.BAT file will then automatically prime your set of hotkeys. However, this increases bootup time, more so if using floppies. A preferred hotkey set can be installed by editing only the first utility used. If you always run SUPRSTAR first, then editing this will prime all hotkeys for programs subsequently loaded. As usual, DON'T DO THIS ON A MASTER DISC, only on a backup or work disc. NB: This mod.has not been vetted by ES but it does work and saves running LOADKEYS every time. It also presets ES's CLMOUSE button and sensitivity settings and their SOUNDACK on/off setting (the blip-blip-bleep can be very disquieting - pun intended!). Analysis of the HOTKEYS.DEF file shows ES's hotkeys are based on host internal key numbers and Ctrl/Shift bit settings of the keyboard status byte. This data, plus ES's and my own settings for each utility is included in the accompanying file HOTDEF. This may be MOVE'd to DOS then loaded into ES's MEMOPAD by using PADLOAD HOTDEF thus allowing editing of the relevant program using a hex editor with the associated data immediately to hand or hotkey! Alternatively, reformat the file for printing etc. Offsets for each file's data table come from MY set and must be verified by a check for the hex string 37 25 23 42 before editing. The 50 byte data table occurs in all of the programs shown but only the FIRST one run needs to be edited; subsequent ones do not change the table contents, (except those that are meant to!). Each utility has an internal key byte and a parallel byte for Ctrl (b7) and Shift (b6) bits set respectively if required. The full set of internal key numbers is included in the HOTDEF file, including those for the Master Series keypad. For consistency, edit NEWKEYS.COM's default byte table so that everything agrees. My version of NEWKEYS.COM dated 16.6.91 doesn't recognise the FAXPRINT command; the above method is one way to achieve hotkey redefinition. Also my version of CURSOR.COM again 16.6.91, which enables the 512's cursor shape to be changed or even disappear, insisted on using ES's default hotkey Ctrl/Shft/Copy when run. As this conflicts with Problem Solver, I changed the byte at offset 0896 from 69 Copy to 28 underline; problem cured! My version of NEWSTAT.COM dated 10.6.91 didn't complete the box properly around the display on screen; changing the CR byte at offset 086F from 0D to 0A (LF) allows the box's lower line to be seen. I use a batch file to call ES's STATUS and NEWSTAT commands, separated by a PAUSE and CLS, as I usually need both! Next time, a salutary warning based on recent experience and some interesting tips/information gleaned as a result - Winchester users especially take heed!     