From: D5B (Jon Ripley) Subject: BUG Issue 5 BUG Issue 5 comes out on 1st April 1997. If you would like a copy please send 1 pound (or 1.50 if you require a disc) and return p+p to me at the following address. Jon Ripley, BBC User Group, 56 Longstone Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3SJ. Or telephone: 01323 732597 (ansa) If you have anything you would like to submit then please feel free to. You can use the Messaging System on this disc to send messages or any wordprocessor. From: 0E7 (F.W.Nevin) Subject: SHAGGY DOG STORY N0.1 In the small coastal mining village of Easington Colliery in the midst of the once abundant Durham coal field of somewhere in the region of 140+ mines, lived a breed of men we may never see the like of again, and for which the world is left all the poorer for their passing. The tales of their fortitude in the face of great adversity are legend, as are the tales of their love of Whippets,Greyhounds and Pigeon racing, and the resultant gambling fostered by these activities. In our pit village of Easington Colliery lived our intrepid hero Geordie and his marra Tommy. Both these stalwarts of their time liked nothing better than a bet on the races, and their pint on a Saturday night after a hard weeks work at the pit.
One day after a win on the geegees
they were at a loss as to what to
do with their winnings.
After much argument and deliberation they decided to invest in the ownership of a Greyhound. They visted the local dog track which was really a field behind the pit and after much deliberation eventually purchased a young hound with 'Great Potential'. They returned home with 'Great Expectations' in the dog's ability to win them a fortune and commenced it's training forthwith, eventually enteringit in the local races. To their great dismay the dog came last in every race.The problem was that it just did not seem able to to run round the bends of the track when running in an anti-clockwise direction. As all the local tracks ran the races in an anti-clockwise direction, it was apparent that their dog would never be capable of winning any race as it could not negotiate the left hand bends. They needed to find some solution to this problem.They decided after much deliberation that they would have to bias the dog somehow so that it could negotiate the bends of the local tracks.However much thought they gave the matter a solution escaped them. After weeks of research and heated arguments they were taking the dog to the track, their hearts heavy with the thought of yet another failure, when Tommy in a moment of great inspiration cried "Whi man if we put some lead in his left ear that'll mak im lean ower so he'll flee rund the bends an Bob's yer uncle".
Geordie very low in spirits gave this
suggestion his every attention for all
of a split second before muttering
"Aye an awe reckon it'll be best applied oot'o' the barrel owe a gun". From: K6X (Cluke) Subject: Owning-up time! For over two years now, Chris has been sending me the ( nearly ) final version of the issue discs for me to check over for spelling mitsakes etc, a job which I volunteered for as my contribution towards the running of our merry band. They usually plop onto my doormat a day or two after the deadline date, I then sit up 'til 2 or 3am for the next few nights, after the family have all gone to bed, casting the ole eagle eye over the entire disc contents emending errata, and sending the finished issue to Chris. He has been privately very fulsome in his gratitude to me for thisservice, but has recently been going sofar as to sing my praises on the issue discs, thanking me for all my hard worketc. It is in fact all this public praise which forces me to admit to a rather large deceit, and one for which I must apologise mainly to Chris, as he is the one that I have most deceived. He has thought that all this time I have been laboriously checking all of the discs, and I haven't; all the work has been done by a rather special piece of software which I had given to me. It came from my cousin in the U.S. of A. Her name is Mona T Witz ( she won't tell me what the T. stands for but she insisted that I use it when I told her that I was going to own up ) and she used to work in a department which is responsible for checking all the complicated specifications that are issued to companies tendering to make components for NASA. It used to be a much larger dept, but with funding being reduced they had to find a way of cutting the amount of both time and staff involved in checking the specs, so they hired a whizz-kid fresh out of M.I.T., told her what they wanted, and left her to it. Within two months she had written a piece of software which not only checked for correct spelling, but also whether a word was correct in the context of the sentence in which it was being used. In 6 languages! As some of the specs for even quite mundane items like nuts or screws can be over 40 pages, and are sent to all the suppliers on the approved list, any errors in the final draft can be very costly in terms of time and money to both NASA and the suppliers. Mona's software ( she was the whizz- kid from M.I.T. ) had it's first major success with a 7400-page spec. for the refractory tiles which shield the body of The Shuttle from the temperatures generated during re-entry. A team of 15 people had spent 9 weeks working at refining the engineering design team's mountain of notes and drawings into a more usable and cohesive document. It was regarded as a finished project, and was about to be printed up to be sent out. They decided to give Mona's program a tryout on the document, and it spotted what nobody else had, not even the spellchecker built into the word-processors on which the document had been compiled. The tiles should have been specified as being self- coloured, ie the base materials from which they would be made would need no added colouring. This had somehow been typed in as shelf-coloured! NASA were so impressed with this, and further successes of Mona's software, that they built it into their word- processors at all of their facilities, sacked the team of 15 that had first prepared the tile spec, and made over 80 more in the dept redundant. Mona was so upset that she had caused so many to lose their jobs, she herself resigned and came to work in England, which is how I come to have a much- modified version that works on my 128. By way of apology, I have sent it to Chris for this issue. Warning!! Read the Program Documentation Article before trying to run the Program. From: K8P (B.Tallowin) Subject: Poem
When surfing the Net,
Fingers travelling Cyberspace,
Distance no obstacle to
Diverse data flowing into your
Do we need all this data?
Gaining a life of its own
constantly spanning the globe,
24hrs every day,
Immediate decisions being asked
Will there be time for quiet
To: 999 (all members) From: D6G (SPROW) Subject: Updates Listfix,which was on last month's disk and fixed the indent problem with LISTO7 on BASIC's < 4,has been updated. I found while ambling through old Micro Users that location &37 contains the most recently unpacked token.This discovery greatly simplifies the program's task as it no longer has to scan along the next line looking for "NEXT" or "UNTIL". The resulting space saving (that was V1.10) means that there is room to include a check on the current BASIC version. This gives V1.20, available from my homepage: www.york.ac.uk/~rps102/bbc/bbc.htm Keep BBCing... Robert Sprowson. To: 999 (all members) From: K6N (Brian Raw) Subject: BeeB-Master incompatabilities
While the Master is a vast improvement over the BeeB, having many functions sadly lacking on the BeeB, if you were to use any of them then you limit the program to being a Master-only program The most noticeable incompatibility is the DFS or rather the disc controller; 8271 in the BeeB, 1770 in the Master. Most if not all the pre-Master sector editors will not work on the Master even in DFS mode. If you have a BeeB then you are more than likely to be running Basic II, Master owners having Basic IV. (What happened to Basic III?) Now I find it very strange that the function that opens a random access file, OPENUP on the Master, is not available from Basic II, especially since such a file is available on a BeeB by using OSFIND with A=&C0. To: 999 (all members) From: D5B (Jon Ripley) Subject: Labels, Labels, Labels... As Richard Harker and Derek Hill have both said in recent issues label upon label may grace a disc; each telling a different tale can be found. The same goes, I find, for envelopes. Having travelled many hundreds - or perhaps thousands - of miles. Layers and layers of labels and tape. It certainly is an interesting way to spend an evening - if there isn't anything else to do - peeling back the layers of time. I wonder what Postman Pat makes of all this? To: 999 (all members) From: D5B (Jon Ripley) Subject: Perfect Disc Copies...2 In addition to my message in issue 54. I would like to add - with many thanks to Stephan Richardson for pointing thisout to me - that some games manufacturers used protection techniques that even ADI and other gooddisc copiers couldn't manage. A prime example is the game 'Superman' and other disc games from the same company. (Sorry but I can't remember their name!) A series of articles and programs covering all apsects of the DFS filing system is currently running on BUG - myuser group magazine. Regarding the disc copier ADI. I am told that it should be fully compatible with the Electron and BBC B when the computer has the 1770 or 1772 disc interface fitted. To: 999 (all members) From: D5B (Jon Ripley) Subject: Thanks... I would like to say a big... TTT H H A N N K K Y Y OOO U U ! T H H A A NN N K K Y Y O O U U ! T HHH AAA NNNN KK --- Y O O U U ! T H H A A N NN K K Y O O U U T H H A A N N K K Y OOO UUU !...to all the people who helped with myneed for info about my Taxan printer. To: 999 and 0E7 (Fred Nevin) From: D5B (Jon Ripley) Subject: 5.25" Floppies I agree with Fred Nevin's point that it seems that 5.25" floppies are no longer made nowadays. Certainly the supplies of brand new discs are dwindling. Perhaps it would be better for us all if we switched to 3.5" discs on our BBCs. Good quality new DSDD 3.5" discs although probably out of production seem to be more readily available at better prices than their 5.25" counterparts. To: 999 and K6X (Paul Clucas) From: D5B (Jon Ripley) Subject: Those damned ele-chimps... Just for a laugh I decided that in line with my message from the last issue that I might ask my BBC how it counted... I find that with a bit (pun?) of practise you can do it this way...(!!!) 1...Quartz Crystal...2...Quartz Crystal...3...Quartz Crystal... It gets a bit toungue tying after twenty seconds (vibrations) or so! If you want to try your own method of timing this simple program may help. 10 A=GET:TIME=0:REPEATUNTILGET:PRINT TIME/100 Type RUN, press any key when you are ready to start and press another key when you are done. The number of seconds you have taken will be printed. To: 999 and K6X (Paul Clucas) From: D5B (Jon Ripley) Subject: Underground Messaging System! A reply for Paul Clucas. Paul Clucas mentioned the possibility that there are a hard-core of people who are sending personal messages to each other through the issue bypassing the publicity of 999 and CCC. Rarely do I not send in messages and it is usual for me to bombard Chris with 30 to 40 messages for each issue. In most cases around a quarter are for individuals, another quarter are replys to individuals but sent in for all to read. Lastly the final messages are mainly general messages and can be about anything. To: 999 and K6X (Paul Clucas) From: D5B (Jon Ripley) Subject: Underground Messaging Part 2! Firstly I would like to say that I think that it is a pity that many of the messages we send to individuals would be of use to the group as a whole and could be sent to 999 with a footnote to say that the reply also applies to a particular person. Obviously some messages are too personal to make public but why not follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Harston and me (following him) by making many of our replies to individual's questions available to all. Or it would be possible to send the same message over and over again to each and every member but Chris might get a bit annoyed. And anyway...Who wants to type out the same message 200 times! Lastly I would just like to say hello to everybody who all those members out there who haven't plucked up the courage to send in anything yet. Get typing! To: 999 (all members) From: D5B (Jon Ripley) Subject: Archimedes... If any members with Archimedes computers whatever their setup want some advice, info or just want to swap software please get in touch! Also, due to much demand I am considering a regular Archimedes section on my user group magazine (BBC User Group - BUG!) disc. This will include whatever people want it to! (Just in case people are worried, the magazine will stay focused on the BBC Micro.)