8-Bit Software Online Conversion

                      To: 999 (all members) From: E3Y (3.Spaceman) Subject: New kid on the block Hey there 8 bitheads! I've only recently joined-up so I've got a few things to say and submit. Hopefully you'll find them around this and the mags to come. I can't say that when I went looking to see if any 8 bit PD libraries were still going that I expected to find such an exciting group going on. I think Chris should be nominated for some sort of 8 bit M.B.E. for services above and beyond the call of duty to the Acorn market! Another man who's doing wonders if you hadn't heard is David Bradforth over at ProAction. Give him all the support you can people! Speaking of ProAction, I felt the review of their TimeSlip game in 8BS-56 was overly critical. Okay, the fact that the game won't actually work on a standard Beeb is a pretty clear pointer that somebody in the testing department must have been slacking off but the game DOES have a password feature and a couple of very enjoyable subgames. On the subject of games... Whilst trawling through Chris's extensive disc pool catalogue I came across 8BS-43 which features "cheats for Ghouls and Destiny". Destiny? I don't ever remember hearing of a game called Destiny except as a rumour of a forthcoming Superior release from years back (obviously). Has anybody heard of this game - or is it just me in the dark? AnD aNoThEr ThInG! All those mystery *FX calls that just didn't get documented in the (t)rusty User Guide. Rooting around in Andrew York's disc utility program (as featured in 8BS issue 56) I identified the *FX command that was doing strange things to my 3½" disc drive. It was *FX255 and it causes my disc drive to work faster and also controls the soft-break reset MODE. The number after the 255 can be used to set this. For example: *FX255,200 will restart in MODE 0 when BREAK is pressed. *FX255,207 restarts in MODE 7, etc. I don't know about anybody else but I never knew that before. As I say, it's not in the User Guide. Anyway, that's goodnight from me and goodnight from him and I better get this in the post if I want to catch the deadline - honestly, it's just like being back at school! Ta-ta, 3ason Spaceman  From: 15A (Steven Flintham) Subject: Article idea Just a thought if any hardware people are reading this and looking for an article idea... Years ago (early 90s?), Acorn User did an article on repairing a BBC B and showed that at the time all the spares you could possibly need were (if I remember correctly) still available. It would be interesting (well, I think so!) to see what the situation is today with regard to obtaining spares (preferably new). For instance, are the RAM chips used in the BBC B still produced?  From: D6F (John Crane) Subject: Jon Ripley A3010 Drive Castle Technology Ore Trading Estate Woodbridge Rd Framlingham Suffolk IP13 9LL They do a floppy drive for `35 inc vat.P+P is extra. I occasionally have problems with mine as well.Although not to the extent Jon has.Sometimes it throws a disc error or is disc formatted error ? The discs which can cause problems in my case are always the older formats,ADFS M or L and DFS when using the !DFS utility and usually it's discs formatted on a pre RiscOs machine.Having a Hard Drive,my floppy drive doesn't see a lot of use and I've never had any bother with 800k (D) or (E) or 1.6MB format discs.Also my "computer room" can get very cold and condensation could be a contributing factor. If I leave my A3010 on for a while and then switch off and reboot this often helps. If a new drive is bought, I would be interested to know the outcome.  From: E4P (W. Woodall) Subject: New Member My aim: To support users of any of the BBC computers for as long as possible. Many of you may already know me from past contact. My knowhow has accumulated over the past twelve years+. So I am reasonably competent. My main interest is Basic programming and I am willing to give info or advice wherever it is needed. So feel free to drop me a line any time at: 89 Monks Dale, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 3JB The latest 8BS software use some excellent methods on the TB1-00 disc. I look forward to a fruitfull exchange of ideas and programs, for many years. Although I dabble with DOS on my Master 512, PC's are not on the agenda, unless my wife wins the Lottery. Cheerio for now! Bill.  From: 3WU (Fred Price) Subject: Xmas Time That annual thing called Xmas is just round the corner again, when parents are pushed by the younger ones wanting everything on God's earth, including TeleTubbies, but it has one advantage, It's only once a Year So let me take this chance to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year Fred PS.Keep up the good work Chris.  To: 999 & 4WL (Martin Wilson) From: D7Y (Andrew Medworth) Subject: BT - Free calls You may have noticed our little discussion in recent issues of 8BS about the possibility of free local calls being offered by BT. (If you missed it, most messages are on the last message files in 8BS-56, 57, and 58.) First of all someone (I've forgotten who, sorry) wrote in to ask why BT didn't offer free local calls like some cable companies have been doing. I very hastily wrote a reply which stated that BT would not be offering this service because of a recent gridlock in the USA caused by Internet users. Then Martin Wilson wrote back, rightly pointing out several mistakes I made in my rushed piece in 8BS-57. First of all, Martin is right in saying that the Internet need not necessarily mean that BT will not offer free local calls. He also raised some good points about offering a limited free call service. In the light of these points, I felt my piece was shown up as the overstated case it is, but I did not mean it to be, and so I will try to explain. I said that BT would not offer free local calls in any form because of a recent interview in an internet magazine with a BT representative, who stated this fact, not because of my own belief because of the AOL saga. Secondly, I agree with Martin that BT is a ripoff and a monopoly, and it is not good to have to pay them anything at all (!). I meant to say (without explaining properly) that paying for individual calls has some advantages as well as the obvious disadvantages. Thirdly, if BT were to offer this system, they would make us pay for calls to Internet providers as we have to at the moment, in other words you pay 1p a minute or whatever when you are on the Net. This is what cable companies, notably Cable & Wireless, have been doing with their free call systems. Therefore, we have to ask the question "Are BT really going to offer us a deal that entails us paying them less than we are at the moment?" That depends on how many people would actually pay them more, because they don't make many calls (there would have to be a flat rate everyone pays, and that could be larger than the amount someone pays on their standard bill), and how many would pay them less because they make lots of calls. So, Martin, you are more right than I was! I hope members now realise that I don't really like paying BT, so I can now be crossed off your "total idiot" blacklist. Although sometimes I wonder... Andrew Medworth D7Y  From: D6G (Sprow) Subject: Sales galore! Sorry for missing the deadline to the last issue - time just slipped by! I assume that Chris will have combined two lots of submissions into a big Christmas issue though. Thanks go to all those who have ordered odds and ends from me in the past months - over the summer I was able to make a donation to Guide Dogs for the Blind for *** NINETY FOUR POUNDS *** which they were of course grateful for. There are however still things to buy and a snippet from the list is included elsewhere on this issue. There are some Christmas offers too so make the most of this rush of blood to my head! Hope you find the utilities I've sent handy, Sprow. email: rps102@york.ac.uk 8BSmail: D6G fax: 01625 431067                    