8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                      To: 999 (all members) From: K6N (Brian Raw) Subject: 3.5" discdrives Recently I purchased a 3.5" double discdrive from SPROW aiming at making the jump from 5.25" to 3.5" discs. While this drive does work it is somewhat steampowered and did not give me the confidence to scrap my 5.25" discs altogether. Since my 386 was in bits and otherwise redundant I thought I'd just try out the 1.44M discdrive on the Master using the case and powersupply of the aforementioned drives. I put it in place of drive 1 and gave it a wizz and it worked! So then I also have a 486 which was quickly stripped of its drive and gave that a wizz again as drive 1, this also worked! Next try them as drive 0 and drive 1, one of the drives had a jumper on it labelled DS0 DS1 , I switched this to drive 0 , replaced it with the other drive and it worked wonderfully. Looking at the drive from the 386, which I purchased new about 6 months ago, I noticed that instead of having a jumper for DS0 DS1 selection it had a surface mount 0 ohm resistor which would be a bit fiddley soldering job should you require to switch drive select on one of these. ( It seems all PC drives have DS1 selected, the other drive being catered for by a twist in it's IDC cable. ) Now all this sounds wonderful but here is the downer. Sound in my new found knowledge that 1.44M drives work on the Master and the fact I now had two gaping holes in my 386 and 486 I went to the local Computer Fair to get two more, my only requirement being an easily accessible drive select jumper. No problem 15 pound each brand new. Got them home tried them on the Master and guess what? Yes, they didn't work. Fortunately though they now have homes on my aforementioned PC's. Next step, to rig my two working 1.44M drives as two twin setups paired with a 5.25" discdrive. No problems here once you have the correct adaptors and mounting kit for a 5.25" case, these cost 2-3 pounds each. One of these rigs is now working happily with my Master. The second rig I wanted for my BBC B which I still keep around for testing compatibility of software I write and also lots of the software around circa 198x will only work on the BeeB. There is a problem though as I discovered by trying out ( don't believe everything you read!) that the 1.44M drives that work on the Master do not work on the standared BeeB i.e. fitted with a 8271 disc controller. But you correctly deduce that they worked on a BeeB fitted with a 1770 upgrade, I just happened to have one of these lying around (fortunate or what!). Finally one last experiment. Take one HD disc, cover the bottom right hand hole with a piece of sticky tape, this is the hole which tells the drive that it is a HD and not a DD disc, so effectively preventing it from turning its extra biasing on, similar to DOLBY Copy some files onto it and reload off the disc, they seem well and truly recorded to me! Now having a modern discdrive fitted allows you to run it at the fastest seek time of 3ms if you have a 1772 fitted use *CO. FDRIVE 2 My 5.25" discs have now been superseded EDITOR....... DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO USE HD DISCS IN A BBC DRIVE! It is my experience that the BBC will eventually ruin an HD disc when written to repeatedly, you will lose your data.  To: 999 (all members) From: K6N (Brian Raw) Subject: 3.5" discdrives 2 The make of the two 1.44M drives I have working on the Master are :- Sony MPF520-1 Mitsumi D359T5 and the noncompatible one is a Mitsubishi MF356F-250MG If anybody else is in a position to test other models then please do so as I am sure this information will be most useful in the near future! It turns out that as for PC's you can also have two discdrives set as the same drive (0 or 1) the difference between them being detected from the cable which has a twist in it, no more unscrewing of cases and adjusting jumpers. I have a single 3.5" drive on both my Master and BeeB, now if I wish to do some duplicating or I need a 5.25" drive, I simply plug it into the spare socket so then the drive appears as drive 1. Cable Diagram. ************** P S S L K K U T T G 0 1  1     3     5     7  INDEX    9  DR 0    11  DR 1    13     15  LD HD    17  DIR    19  SK SP    21  WRITE    23  WR EN    25  TRK 0    27  WR PR    29  READ    31  SIDE    33    P S S L K K U T T G 0 1 There are several variations you could do to produce this for instance build a circuit board having three sockets the third one being for the lead to the computer. Note that despite pin one normally having the RED marker cable to it, it is however connected to ground.  To: 999 (all members) From: K6N (Brian Raw) Subject: What's Wonderful Has anyone been converted to the new radio station in town "Talk Radio"? Well on Friday afternoons between 3-4pm is what is known as the wonderful hour where folk ring in to air just what is wonderful to them. What a breath of fresh air this program is to be reminded for a short while of those little things that make it all worthwhile. So, lets see if it can work on these pages too.        To: 999 (all members) From: L1X (Mark Usher) Subject: Thankyou 1 & all Hi. As one of the newest new members, ( Chris tells me the first via the Internet) I must say a big thankyou to you all for the pleasure you have given me already. As Chris will be able to confirm, I have been doing my homework and in the last 6 weeks or so have read issues 29-55. I am very much involved with the BBC through the Internet, and have several projects on the go, one of the main being getting BBC documentation together and putting it in electronic format, before it all gets lost forever. One of the other things I've been doing recently is building a circuit that will enable you to connect a BBC via the RGB to a VGA/SVGA monitor. A few people have said that it can't be done, but so far I've managed to split the horizontal and vertical syncs, and double up the output to 31.5kHZ. It's steady, but has two thin vertical lines in the picture. I hope to get this working someday soon, and will let you all know the results when I do. If anyone else has experience with the above, then please contact me, I'd love to have a natter about this. The best way to contact me as Chris can confirm is via email - telephone calls to Austria are a bit on the expensive side. Here is the email address... marku@magnet.at  To: 999 (all members)+K8G From: 0E7 (F.W.NEVIN) Subject: Fate of 3.5" Disks. Sorry I wasn't more explicit with my earlier comments which were written with the proverbial tongue in cheek and were intended to be read as such and had the general trend of PC's in mind rather than being specifically for the BBC. I know that CD-ROMS are only available now as information discs and that CD-ROM disks are available to record data and not I understand at the moment reprogrammable but who can say what future developements there will be or what will replace the CD-ROM. I realise this is most unlikely to happen but who knows, perhaps next week the CD-ROM's will be obsolete or more likely computers as we know them. Back to the ABACUS what!!! Re 3.5" DD Disk Drives with PSU (I do hope that I have got that politically correct this time). I would very much like to know the name and address of any dealer who can supply a suitable drive. There is no problem in obtaining drives for a PC but all enquiries have been met with gasps of utter amazment and comments such as, Whats that mate? or What drives it? Steam!!. If only one could see their faces as the voice conveys utter disbelief. Rather reminiscent of being in the butchers during the war and some Lady asks for two pound of the best fillet steak and is not rationed with the butcher and has no ration book to boot. The butchers face used to take on a resemblence of fillet steak. It was an experience not to be missed and a joy to behold. Ah well sorry folks got carried away again what with the coming election and all,life is just too hectic at the moment. It would appear to be possible to obtain single drives very easily and cheaply without a case for a PC (Which I assume will not be suitable for a BBC) but not for the BBC. But no doubt someone out there knows differently. Cheers.  To: 999 (all members) From: E2G (Derek) Subject: World speed record Don't know if anyone saw this in the paper a while ago? But I thought it might be of interest to some. 36m'Star Trek computer shatters the world speed record The fastest computer in the world capable of making 125 million calculations in the time it takes a high-speed bullet to travel one foot, has been built in America. The 36million pound supercomputer shattered the speed record by performing more than one million million calculations a second for over an hour and twenty minutes. It is so powerful it can peer inside human DNA and simulate nuclear explosions. By comparison, it would take almost 500 years for every man, woman and child in Britain to perform one million million calculations using hand held pocket calculators! One of the chief developers of the project said it marked the beginning of a computer age that would allow incredibly powerful machines to be assembled from simple building blocks. "It's a baby step towards being able to do a real simulation of the physical world, which is what the 'holodeck' is all about on Star Trek," said Justin Rattner, an Intel supercomputer expert. Depending on the application, the Tflops is up to 100 times more powerful than the fastest machine used today. The previous record was 3.68 gigaflops, or a thousand million calculations a second, held by the Japanese firm Hitachi. The one-teraflops breakthrough, considered to be the Holy Grail of high performance computing, is notable for not using customised supercomputer chips. Instead, it crunches numbers using 9,072 Intel Pentium Processors, one of which is found in many PCs today. The chips work together in "massively parallel processing. The computer is contained in 76 large computer cabinets covering 1,600 sq ft, enough to fill a moderate sized home." Anyone got a spare 36 million pounds to buy one?! Actually I personally find that I have a job keeping up with my BBC most of the time, let alone getting anything faster!!! Chau Vrrmmmmmmmmmmm.....!  To: 999 (all members) From: E2G (Derek) Subject: SCRABBLE Dear All, Thankyou to those that submitted so much to the last issues. I've enjoyed them. Here is something that some may like to take up... 1 3 1 3 1 4 1 A P R M E W A 1 S H 4 2 G S 1 1 O L 1 1 I O 1 1 N I 1 4 V P 3 2 D A 1 S N M L W A E 1 1 3 1 4 1 1 Elsewhere in this issue should be a program that chooses 7 letters for each of four players at Scrabble. Well,above you will find four sets of letters. The challenge is to see who can make the highest scoring word from one of the four sets of letters. Send it in for the next issue to 999 SCRABBLE. And they should all appear together through the messaging system. Another question I would like to ask is: would anyone be interested in joining me in developing this program further. In a sort of joint effort just for fun? The first thing would be a board for example.. Which Mode would be best? Only Mode 2 would give us the right colours for example coupled with the graphics capabilities that we would need. Each month we could present something towards the project... say an"8 Bit Scrabble game". More next issue...... Bye for now Best Regards to all Derek Hill E2G  To: 999 (all members) From: E2G (Derek) Subject: HELP A big thankyou to all who have given me some great help over the last few months. I have sent thanks personally so there is no need to mention names here. Just to say publicly though that if you are looking for help, it is amazing the help that is available through the user group. So don't despair if you are stuck on something, there may well be someone out there who can help! All for now, Bye Derek Hill E2G                    