8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                             From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: BBC MIDI Interface ReplyTo: 3SQ (Tim Parsons) It is fairly simple to add a MIDI interface to the BBC. It's not something that is specific to the PC. In fact, MIDI on the PC is something that is notoriously difficult to implement. On one of the disks from my PD library, JGH-007, there is a circuit diagram for a BBC MIDI interface and some software to patch into the SOUND code to direct all sounds to the MIDI interface. Disks are available from the library for £1.00, and if you mention it I'll enclose a photocopy of the diagram. For £20.00 I can build and supply the interface myself. JGH, 70 Camm Street, Sheffield, S6 3TR  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: Windozzzzz... ReplyTo: 20G (Roy Dickens) Yes, there are so many PC/DOS/Windows books available because the damn thing is so difficult to use, and also because out there, there are people who know this and realise that they can make a fast buck if they write a bad book, give it a nice shiny cover and a £50 cover price. I recently tried to find ONE book that would teach me 80x86 machine code in detail. It was impossible. I can't afford to buy dozens and dozens of books on the off chance that one of them might be useful. Because of the massive plethora of useless books it is difficult to ask the local library to inter-library-loan one because I would have to give them a list of about a hundred books so I could go through them to see which one is actually what I need.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: Acorn Manuals, etc I run a small publishing concern, and am gradually building up a list of old Acorn and BBC manuals that I intend to reprint. I'll probably do it in small quantities as and when people request them. I am aiming to keep the prices of them as low as possible, keeping in the spirit of mutual self-help amongst those of us still dedicated to the trusty Beeb. Currently the list includes the following hard-to-get-hold of items: BBC B/B+ Service Manual Econet Advanced User Manual Advanced (8271) Disk User Guide ... I am writing notes similar in layout to the above giving technical details of the 1770 DFS and hardware. and some others. Most of the easier-to-get books and manuals are available from CJR.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: Transferring BBC<->DOS ReplyTo: K2Q (Jon Nicholson) You can access DOS disks up to 720k in size on any BBC series machine with a 1770 disk controller. That is, the Master, Compact, most B+s, and some Bs with 1770 upgrades. You cannot access DOS disks with the 8271 controller. Any machine with a serial interface can transfer files to a PC via its interface. There are various ways of doing this, and I'm currently writing a couple of programs to help do this. The biggest difficulty is that PC serial ports are unbuffered, and so you have to be careful not to miss bytes arriving.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: Teletext Adapter ReplyTo: D6E (Richard Harker) You say that you plug in an Acorn Teletext adapter, and when you do *HELP you get: ATS 2.59 Morley. Well, you either need a Morley Teletext adaptor to go with your Moreley ROM, or an Acorn ROM to go with you Acorn adapter. The ROM is the easiest option, and they are available from me or CJR. I believe we both charge the same.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: Master Compact ROM images ReplyTo: D6E (Richard Harker) I can supply you with all the ROM images on disk, however, if you need them because you MOS ROM is knackered, bear in mind that they all go into one single 64k ROM (eg 27512). Blowing each one into a 16k ROM is unlikely to work correctly, particulary the Utils which needs to be in bank 15.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: CP/M on the BBC Z80 ReplyTo: K2Q (John Nicholson) If the Z80 you have is the Acorn one, I can help you. I have all the software that comes with it which I can duplicate for you. If it is the Torch Z80, then I would recommend nailing it to a wall as a nice piece of decoration. It is increadibly difficult to get the Torch Z80 card to do anything other than exactly what Torch wanted it to do. You can't even make MOS calls to bypass CP/M and access the gubbins of the BBC. Anyway, I can also transfer files to and from most formats of CP/M disk.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: Reading directories ReplyTo: K2Q (John Nicholson) You ask, where can I read the ADFS directory from memory... etc... NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! You should ask "How can I read the filenames from the directory?" You should never try to sneak past defined operating system calls, especially when they have been put there for you to use, unless you have a seriously desperate reason to do so. People ignoring the standard calls and just fiddling a system is the biggest single cause of programs not working on other people's machines. Anyway, OSGBPB with A=8 is the call to read the filenames in the currently selected directory. A short program to read all the names in a directory into an array follows: DIM ctrl% 20,data% 20,name$(80) OSGBPB=&FFD1 ptr%=0:n%=0 REPEAT ctrl%!1=data% ctrl%!5=1 ctrl%!9=ptr% X%=ctrl%:Y%=X%DIV256:A%=8 CALL OSGBPB ret%=ctrl%!5 ptr%=ctrl%!9 IF ret%=0 THEN data%?(1+?data%)=13: .... name$(n%)=$(data%+1): .... n%=n%+1 UNTIL ret%<>0 (.... means that the line continues. Don't press RETURN.) This fragment will read all the filenames into the array name$(), counting from zero, and n% will be set to the number read. On various of the disks from JGH-PD there is a program MCat which is comprehensively REMmed to explain how to read filenames and how to 'walk' up and down a directory tree. There are also various packages available that provide in effect a text-based desktop front-end to navigate disks with.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: ADDCOMM ReplyTo: K2Q (John Nicholson) The sort routine that ADDCOMM uses is in ADDCOMM. There is no sort routine in any BBC or Master OS, as there is no filing system in any OS that needs to sort filenames. The only filing system present in any OS is the Tape Filing System. DFS sorts file names before displaying them, but it sorts them by flagging each name as it displays them, it doesn't actually sort them. ADFS stores filenames in order, so it doesn't need to sort the prior to display.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: Master Compact Welcome Disk ReplyTo: L1M (Janny Looyenga) The Master Compact Welcome disk is available from CJR, with the DFS rom image on it. CJR can also blow it into an EPROM for you.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: BBC Lemmings ReplyTo: D4A (Paul Richmond) The only instructions for the BBC Lemmings cover disk is in the April 1994 Micro User itself. I can send you a photocopy for two first-class stamps.  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: Real-Time Clocks ReplyTo: D5B (Jon Ripley) HADFS implements a pseudo-real-time- clock on machines that don't have one. The code is fairly simple and can be incorporated into any sideways rom software that you write. Contact me for details  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: More on CP/M ReplyTo: D6K (Mike Mallett) To run CP/M, you need a CP/M system disk, in a similar way to you needing a DOS system disk the first time you install DOS. Almost all the BBC CP/M documentation is also applicable to the Master. I have come across a total of four books dealing specifically with the BBC Z80. I may be able to reprint them if people need them. From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: MOS+ and MOS 3.50 ReplyTo: K5P (Andrew Fay) Dabs Press's MOS+ basically gives you all the features of the MOS 3.50 upgrade, so it would be pointless having both. If you already have MOS+, continue using it, unless you desperately need a spare rom socket  From: W79 (Jonathan Harston) Subject: BBC B Repair & Service Manual ReplyTo: K6E (Roger Lingwood) I have and can reprint copies of the BBC B and B+ Service manual. It is about 200 A4 pages with large A3 diagrams of the computers. I can supply it full-size for £12.00 inc of p&p. Alternatively, I can reduce the text pages down to A5 and just keep the diagrams as large sheets for £6.00 inc of p&p. My address is: 70 Camm Street, Walkley, Sheffield, S6 3TR.  From: D6E (Richard Harker) Subject: Help Offer I can copy software between ANY of the following formats, providing that the disks have no copy protection on them. BBC 3.5" ADFS or DFS BBC 5.25" ADFS or DFS Archimedes 3.5" L D E and F formats PC 5.25" 1.2m and 360k PC 3.5" 1.44m and 720k Atari 3.5" 720k and 360k It is your responsibility to ensure that no copyright laws are broken. Make sure that you backup all disk(s) that you send me. Please send me the disk(s) to copy from, the disk(s) to copy to, and an SAE. My adress is: Elmlea, Sewardstone Road, Chingford, London, E4 7RG. Tel. 0181 5241210 (evenings, weekends)  From: D6E (Richard Harker) Subject: Help (Exile) I have an Exile map, and solution. The map covers 2 A4 pages. The solution covers 17 pages, and is over 8000 words. I have professionaly printed it on an Archimedes at 300dpi I can photocopy these 2 for you, at a cost of 6p per page, if you send me a large (preferably A4) SAE, and the money Or if you send me a blank disk, and SAE, I can send you the solution as 4 Text files which you can print out. The text files total over 40k. ************************************ ** The solution and map are NOT my ** * own work, and nor do I say or * * imply that they are mine. Also, * * I have been given no permission * ** by the author to distribute them ** ************************************ Tel. 0181 5241210 (Evenings, weekends) OR WRITE TO : Richard Harker, Elmlea, Sewardstone Road, Chingford, London, E4 7RG.  From: K4V (Trevor Crapper) Subject: Hardware projects Having read lots of things about using the function keys as a means to keep on going, while this does help in the short term the problem is not going to go away. Here are some alternatives:- 1. Buy a keyboard from the editor, or from anyone who has one for sale. 2. Buy a can of WD40, put the plastic pipe in the spray nozzle and inject WD40 around the keys that aren't working. Now tap these keys until they start to work. 3. Take the keyboard out of the Beeb and do the same as above only this squirt the WD40 down between all keys. NOTE: WD40 does have a strong smell and it will run, so do this job in an open area rather than in small enclosed space, open the windows if you do the job indoors. (Chris I don't want to go into the job of removing and replacing the keys on an individual basis, or the drastic job of replacing all the keys because I have not done it before. I was given instructions on how to tackle it by Martin Pickering, if you want a name) Your ROM Chip removal and replacement is something else that could be given more airings too. Trevor Crapper  From: D6G (Sprow) Subject: Master Cards TO ALL VIGLEN/CARE CARTRIDGE USERS. These are the little ROM packs that plug into the 'ashtray' on the left hand side of the BBCs keyboard and which prevent you continually having to open up the case to swap ROMs. If you use these, or were intending to move over to them, but are put off by them being useless on the Master 128 then I may have the solution... I have designed (based on Acorn approved circuitry) a little card that plugs directly into the cardridge slot on a Master,which then has a slot in the top of it for accepting a Viglen/Care ROM cartridge.Called the 'MasterCard'. Hence,if you ever have the need to use the packs in either or both machine's you can use the same packs on both. I am currently in the process of choosing a company to make up the double sided printed circuit board required by the design, but before I commit any money to the cards I need to guage the interest. Hence,if you think you might want to buy such a addon, or want more details, write to me, or register your 'vote' by phoning me: *Send no money now *These are a brand new design (C)1996 *I intend to keep the price below `9 *They are fully Acorn compatible For details or to reserve a card Robert Sprowson, 6 Bollinbrook road, MACCLESFIELD, Cheshire. SK10 3DJ. Telephone (01625) 431067 8BSmail me on D6G  To: D7X and 999 From: K3H (ALBERT SCHOFIELD) Subject: SNAPSHOT DISC UTILITY. Hello Martin. Welcome to the club. I read your article with great interest. I too am an avid SNAPSHOTter. I usually use it as a sort of half-way house for getting a game to work on disc unaided. The main reason that SNAPHOT will not work on some programs is because the *WAIT command uses the 6522 USER VIA TIMER. This unit is used mainly to drive the printer and user port. Unfotunately some games also use this unit and this interferes with the *WAIT command. Sometimes SNAPSHOT will not shoot at all. Sometimes it shoots repeatedly and the solution is, as you say, to press break at the right time. Sometimes it shoots much too early and the solution then is to use a much higher number with the *WAIT command. Sometimes as high as forty or fifty. When SNAPSHOT does not shoot at all this can sometimes be got round in various ways. It is true that SNAPSHOT will not normally work with ELITE but if you can get SNAPSHOT to shoot before ELITE uses the 6522 timer then you will succeed. When ELITE is first run, the usual ACORNSOFT screen comes up with a window in the middle containing the title, in this case ELITE. This stays on the screen for about five seconds. During this time SNAPSHOT will work. This calls for a bit of tricky timing and several attempts may be necessary. I usually use *WAIT 2, then wait for about seventeen seconds and then enter *ELITE2. The disc cannot be BOOTed as pressing break disables SNAPSHOT but *EXEC !BOOT may be used. I have the superior software version of ELITE but I should think that it is basically the same as the original Acornsoft version. Also some games use the 6522 timer in the instructions or the initial screen. In this case just load the game itself. Sometimes SNAPSHOT will not shoot at the first attempt but will succeed at the second attempt so don't give up too easily. Finally if you have problems transfering any particular program I am always ready to give help. More next month.  From D6K (M.Mallett) Subject DUAL FORMAT DISCS It is possible to format 5.25" discs so they can be read on a BBC and a PC ! On the PC use the following on a 360k disc : FORMAT A: /4 /1 A: is the drive, or B: /4 is only if you use a 1.2 mb drive /1 formats only one side The last 'switch' is rarely used but is still in DOS to allow it to read discs from some very early drives. On the BBC in DFS use : *FORM 40 2 2 formats the side which has not been used by the PC 40 is for 40 tracks, you can use 80 or you can use similar commands in your favourite formatter. I don't know if this is possible using ADFS. I hope someone can find some practical use for this !  From: 3WU (Fred Price) Subject: DFS & ADFS Since last Christmas when I got my Master and since then I have used ADFS as well as DFS and found them both very interesting to use in their own way, As word processing go's I use the View-8 3000 program in DFS on all my radio scripts in DFS. So how could I store them in ADFS without using the control disc or other method? It's very easy: When I have a prog on the screen in View or a Basic prog in DFS, I simply put my ADFS disc in and do an A Break. That puts me into ADFS, then just save it. It's a similar thing changing from ADFS to DFS as long as you change the disc to the format you are going to use when you do the D Break. This may seem a bit confusing but it is very simple and easy to use and now I use this system a lot and only use other programms for bulk copying. A short while ago there was an item about selecting ADFS/DFS by using Ctrl/A/Break - Or A/Break Or *ADFS or Ctrl/D/Break - Or D/Break Or *DISC, you can also try Shift/D/Break for DFS also in ADFS don't be frightened by the Break key as you will find you will use it more often to control things. But do not forget when you use this system to change the disc, otherwise the drive is hunting for something that's not there. HAPPY HUNTING.                    