SINC-LINK

Vol. 8 No. 1 Jan-Feb -90

SINC-LINK IS A PUBLICATION OF THE TORONTO TIMEX-SINCLAIR USERS CLUB AND IS ISSUED 6 TIMES A YEAR. COPIES OF THE NEWSLETTER ARE $1.50 EACH FOR NON-MEMBERS. CLUB MEMBERS RECEIVE FREE COPIES AS PART OF THE $20.00 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEE. A NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION ONLY IS AVAILABLE FOR $12.00.

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PLEASE CREDIT THIS PUBLICATION . AND THE AUTHOR IF YOU COPY MATERIAL.

THE CLUB MEETS ON THE FIRST WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH AT FOREST HILLS COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE, 730 EGLINTON AVE. W. , TORONTO.

SEND CORRESPONDANCE TO:

Attention: SINC-LINK TORONTO TIMEX-SINCLAIR CLUB, 14 RICHOME

SCARBOROUGH, ONTARIO, CANADA M1K 2Y1

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS:

PRESIDENT, TREASURER SECRETARY ACTIVITIES: TAPE LIBRARIAN ZX81 : TAPE LIBRARIAN 2068: TAPE LIBRARIAN QL: PAPER LIBRARIAN: NEWSLETTER : LIAISON OFFICER: ( Out-of-town members )

EDITOR USERS COURT,

TORONTO TIttEX-SINCLfilR

USERS CLUB

NEW DECADE ISSUE

PS. 2

Editorial

3

President's Message

4,5 Bob's Notebook ^

6

Something Different

7

ZX81 Key Beep

8

QLips

9

Conputer Repairs

10

Microdrive Info

11.12

QL Networking

13

Digitising

14

QL News

15

Video Update

16

One Liners

17

More of Bob's

18

Mod earning

19

Turtle Graphics

20

AERCO I/F Fix

21

TS2068 Stuff

22

Raadisk at NASA

23,24

Advertisements

RENE BRUNEAU ( 531-9749 )

BILL LAWSON ( 444-8772 )

GEORGE CHAMBERS ( 751-7559 )

RENE BRUNEAU ( 531-9749 )

LYMAN PAQUETTE ( 482-4479 )

RENATO ZANNESE ( 635-6536 )

HUGH HOWIE ( 634-4929 )

JEFF TAYLOR ( 244-8583 )

JEFF TAYLOR ( 244-8583 )

GEORGE CHAMBERS, 14 RICHOME COURT,

SCARBOROUGH, ONTARIO, M1K 2Y1

( 416-751-7559 )

TORONTO TIMEX-SINCLAIR USERS CLUB

Editorial

The 1990 's are upon us! The first decade of the personal computer is over and a new one is beginning.

Timex and Sinclair computers are still being used and new products are still being invented. Why? Because a small core of dedicated users realized that Sinclair's little toys wren t such bad machines after all. These users weren ' t bedazzled by the lure of gigantic ammounts of memory, befuddled by izou different colours or blinded by CPU speeds now approaching 50 MHz. Sure, some of the new machines have some neat features but is the average Joe ever going to use them all? Does he really need them all? Probably not. . ~*

Look at Commodore's Amiga. With all it can do (in the hands of talented salesmen) it should be a great money-maker yet where does Big C make most of its bread? From the lowly C64. a computer that's 10 years old. Why? Because the C64 fulfils tne needs of the average home computerist.

The point I'm trying to make is that the big computer companies seem to have lost sight of what the ordinary home user really wants. It may be nice to own a Ferrari but wouldn t a Chevrolet do the job just as well? Think about it.

Whether you own a ZX81, TS2068 or QL, there are enough hardware and software products still around to get the jojd

d°The best way to find these products is to correspond with a user group. If they don't know, they can ask the user groups they correspond with. Most of the large clubs in North America regularly exchange newletters so an information network exists just waiting for you to tap into. All you have to do is ask. The Toronto Timex-Sinclair Users Club is one of these groups

If you need information, we're here to help you. Whether you want software, hardware, literature or repairs we can supply or direct you to the right source and it can usually be done very economically. Give us a try. I think you'll find us worthy.

Thanks

A few people deserve some recognition for helping me out. Renato Zannese for finding the correct pinouts to run a modem on my QL after I found that both the QL Manual and Mike de Sosa s book were in error. To Vernon Smith of the CATS group for directing me to the correct issue of his groups' newsletter to find the circuit I needed to mate my QL to a RGB monitor. Rene Bruneau for finding an elusive and intermittent connection on my 2068 RS232 interface. To Bill Jones of Update Magazine (see ad further in issue) for continually plugging Sine-Link and gaming us new members. , . , . _

To the SMUG group for supplying my digitiser board and to uonn McMichael for supplying software to run it.

Aren't user groups great? Let's keep supporting them in oraer to support ourselves.

Gone But Not Forgotten

An example of not enough support is the demise of Syncware News/Quantum Levels Magazine whose final issue I received in mid

SINC-LINK

December. Publisher Jeff Moore wrote that he was simply not getting enough good material to continue to put out a quality product. Back issues of this fine publication are still available so write to Jeff for more info at 602 S. Mill St,, Louisville. OH 44641. This is also an open invitation for any of the Syncware group of writers to have their articles published in Sine-Link. We want to hear from you.

Not Gone But Not Forgotten

Has anyone heard anymore about Time Designs? We have been hearing and reading conflicting reports about when (if ever) the next issue will be published. Will Tim Woods please stand up and let us know what is happening?

Keeping writing in and we'll keep writing out. That's all for now. See you.

J.T.

F=-F>EIS I DEIIMT * S MESSAGE

Happy New Year everybody! We've made it through another year in fine health, thanks to the time and effort of the Club Executive and to the great support of all of our members. We wish you health and prosperity throughout the new decade.

1990 marked almost 10 years since Clive Sinclair introduced the ZXS1 to the world as an inexpensive computer ($200.00 was cheap in those days - for a kit no less!) and this machine formed the

cornerstone on which the Toronto Tirnex Sinclair Users Sr -

built. Since the mid 80" s when Timex got out of the home computer scene and Sinclair sold out to Amstrad, we have watched with regret, the slow and inevitable exodus of members and vendors to other more lucrative markets. None the less, we still forge on, we dedicated few (read fanatic.), and strive to tread where none have been before. Witness the Larken Ramdisk for the 2068 and Wilt" Rickter's SRAM HiREZ package for the TS1000. Imagine if Sinclair knew in 1982 what we know now about the ZX81? Ah well, one can dream can't one?

We are survivors. How else would we have kept this club going? But, in order to continue, we need all of the support that you can give. We are not demanding that you give a demonstration or act in the executive, although any offers would be welcommed. Raise questions. Make suggestions. Comment. Write. Call. Our phone numbers are on the cover of the newsletter.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Sine er el y , Rene Bruneau President 1990

SINC-LINK

BOB'S NOTEBOOK

Many of us use our 2068' s for word processing with the main programs being MscriP* *nd Tasword. Most of my earlier files were done on Tasword but I've switched to using Mscript for most of my word processing and I decided to convert some of my Tasword files to Mscript. In the former, each line is exactly 64 characters long and often contains many spaces which are time consuming to remove. The main task then was to cull out these extra spaces and the two programs below are intended to do just that and only that. rnn. .

The first program listing is a loader/manager that runs in BASIC and controls the second listing which must be compiled via Timachine. The °J program- is a good example of how one can switch back and forth between BASIC and COMPILED CODE. If you haven't done much of this, examine the notes alongside the listings to see how it is done.

Typp in these two listings and compile the second one. Be sure to make a printout of the runtimes and variables when doing the Timachine compilation. If your "compilation produces different addresses from those shown in the loader, make the necessary changes to the loader listing. (Lines 100, ,-00, ^0, -05).

Nou Ln*d the first one which will load your compiled code and you are ready *o 'convert any of your Tasword files. You must know the length of any file you are going to convert: this is the value of variable <a> in the ;asword BASIC

Pr°ThTicader runs the code which then pops back to BASIC to get the name and length of the file you wish to load and loads it. It then pops back to the compiled code and does the workhorse job of taking out all the excess spaces. It even puts in a needed space at the end of any line that does not end with a space' Once again, the action pops back to BASIC to SAVE what you have . done by any name you select. Listing 2 could be enhanced to do more than t does, >uch as taking out Tasword printer control characters but I decided to leave it as it

15*Now load in MSCRIPT and then the file you have just saved. You will have some editing to do which will include: 1 ) netting up the paragraphs;

-) adjusting some of the spacing which the code did not catch;

3) rearranging any tabular material in your original text; .his i, the mos . difficult type of text to adjust and it is best to have a printout of ,.ie Tasword version to help in inserting the line feeds and tab spacing to make the Mscript version look like the orginal. ,_.

4) removing all Tasword control characters; those little blurs of Pixels,

5) Pntering Mscript control characters and commands.

But all this is relatively easy compared to trying to take out the extra spaces manually or typing the whole thing from scratch. Files with tabular material (tables, charts, etc) will contain a great many spaces and so the itngth of the Mscript file can be considerably less that the Tasword one. But even solid text will result in a saving of some bytes.

Why bother with all this? Well, first off, the printing of "script te.t is done much more professionally. Top and Bottom titles can be added to each page with Pages numbered if you wish. Other bonuses include: line width can nd changed at any Point in the text and can be more than 64; print er contr ol oodes can be set more easily for a wide variety of printers, blocks of t£t may be printed or saved; finding and changing textual strings of characters is faster and more reliable than via Tasword.

SINC-LINK

BOB'S NOTEBOOK

LISTING 1

10 REM tas>ms loader

100 RANDOMIZE USR 64745

200 LET addr=PEEK 65360+256*PEEK 65361

210 INPUT "file name? (max6) "? LINE n$: RANDOMIZE USR 100: LOA D n*+".CT"CODE addr

220 RANDOMIZE USR 64846

300 INPUT "file name for SAVE •;ma.:::6) H; LINE n$

305 LET len=PEEK 65356+256*PEEK 55357: LET len=len-46926

310 RANDOMIZE USR 100: SAVE n$+H.CT"CODE 46927, len: STOP 9000 RANDOMIZE USR 100: SAVE "tas>ms.BbH LINE 9900: STOP '-•=00 RANDOMIZE USR 100: _.jAD "tasJ--ms.Cc' CODE 10 GO TO 10

:tasword to mscript.

: calls code at 1st entry point

then back to BASIC to get addr value

from the code. :you input name of file to be converted

and then it is loaded.

:calls code at 2nd entry pt.

:code does its job and then switches to

BASIC to get the file name for SAVE. :The length of code is found from

the Timachine variable (j).

:The converted text is saved. :SAVE the loader.

:L0AD the code, and start the operation.

LISTING 2

1 REM

2 REM

3 REM REM LET INPUT INPUT

LPRINT

INT +j, tltaddi i LIST OPEN # j =46927

"tas len? ";tl "load tas file

to addr?

( . 27500) " 'add S STOP

9 REM 1 OPEN #

10 FOR :=0 TO tl

15 IF PEEK (i+add)=32 AND PEEK ( i+add+1 )=32 THEN GO TO 30

IS IF i/64=INT (i/64) AND PEEK (i+add)<>32 THEN POKE j,32: LET j=j + 1

20 POKE j i PEEK (i+add): LET

J=J + 1

30 NEXT i

40 REM 1 CLOSE #

i Timachine Commands.

: first entry point, sinitialise <j> :get tasword file length. :get address where tasword file will be loaded, addr+tl must be (46927 .'switches back to BASIC, isecond entry point.

: loops through from zero to end of text and removes extra spaces.

:if last character on line is not a space, put one in.

: pokes text into Mscript text area.

switch back to BASIC to SAVE converted file.

BOB MITCHELL 20 WILD ERIARWAY WILLOWDALE ONTARIO M2J 2L2.

SINC-LINK

AND NOU FOR SOtlETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

How would you like to wear your favorite TS2068 designed artwork? Uith a simple iron-on heat transfer process, it is now possible to permanently affix TS2068 generated art onto cloth in black or in FULL COLOR J The heat transfer process actually impregnates cloth with a non-bleeding and fully washable image.

Using the "COLOR COPY" software I developed for OKIHATE 10 & 20 or inters, the iron-on transfer is made by printing, with a black Sr£oi or thermal transfer ribbon, a full 24-1 ine screen dump onto clear acetate transparency sheeting such as that used witE overhead projectors. The size of the screen dump printout is determined by which OKI HATE printer and Plug 'n Print cartridge is used. There are three Possible tgSCoR COP Y 1 ° combinations that may be used with a TS2068 & COLOR COPY software :

1) OKIHATE 20 printer, IBH parallel Plug 'n Print cartridge, and AERCO Cor computable) parallel printer I/F.

Two dump sizes: 6.5" x 5.4" and 3.25" x 2.5 .

2) OKIHATE 20 printer, Commodore 64/128 Plug 'n Print cartridge, and Commodore serial port emulator I/F. CThe gSmmodore' serial port emulator I/F is available from me.) Two dump sizes: 3.25" x 2.5" and 1.6 x l.^d .

3) OKIHATE 10 printer, Commodore Plug 'n Print cartridge, and Commodore serial port emulator I/F.

One dump size: 4.25" x 2.5".

Creating the artwork is something that can be done using ang

of a number of drawing programs ava^ ^J1® ^n^ful nTni Sized emulated TS2068 . RLE pictures converted to SCREEN* , digitizea vTSeo picture!, and header SCREEN* from game software can also be u2ed. However you do it, anything that can be saved to tape a! a SCREEN* will work. Note: extremely fine details will not transfer well to cloth - especially cloth with a heavy weave. Hake Iny lettering as bold as possible and use 1 i ne sat least two Dixels wide in drawings. The iron-on artwork also needs to be amirror-imSge of the original. Host drawing programs have a "flip screen" option - be sure to use it just before saving your final screen.

Once you have printed your "reversed" artwork onto a transparency sheet, the next step is to iron it onto the cloth Ct-2hirt? handkerchief , jacket, etc .> that you ' ve chosen .A smooth, hard, heat-resistant work surface is required. The soft surface of most ironing boards is not suitable as a uork _lotth Surface. I use the metal top of a washing machine. Lay the cloth down with the surface area you wish to print to facing up, makina sure there are no wrinkles or folds in the area to be p^intld? Position the transparency copy face down on the chosen Srea of the cloth. Place a single sheet of white paper over the trtSork - this will be the surface you iron and is purpose is to keep the iron from directly contacting and melting th« transparency sheet. Next, using an iron on a dry medium-heat sett iSgT carefully and slowly Iron the paper oyer the entire artwork area while firmly pressing down. Keep the ir°2£am°^"iuf° as not to scorch the paper or meli the transparency. Be careful that the iransoarency sheet does not shift around while ironing orathehtranSfl?2deimag2hwill be smeared. Each transparency copy can be used for only a single ironing. Use care and follow these directions to insure a successful image transfer.

I can provide a ready-to-iron transparency copy in black or color? ih any of the previously listed sizes, from Xgur TS2068 artwork. A mirror image of the artwork can be made if you lack the software to do it yourself . Send your artwork saved to tape as a SCREEN* , the desired sizeCs) of the transparency copyCs ), Ind %5 per copy to: John HcHichael , 1710 Palmer Dr., Laramie, UY, 82070. Your tape and transparency Cs) will be returned no4t-Daid. If interested in the I/F and software I have to Mil For using OKI HATE 10 & 20 printers with TS2068 computers, please send a LSASE for info. /order form to the above address.

SINC-LINK

Beep, beep

Dear INTERFACE.

One cannot really complain of the limitations of the ZX81 computer at -uch a snip of a price, but one drawback seems to be the keyboard. This is a /ered plastic and metal film composition which is sensitive to small pressure of ie finger, and the only real way of knowing if you have pressed the key in the right place, or with sufficient pressure is to constantly look up at the TV screen.

The circuit shown causes an audible 'beep' every time a key is successfully pressed, thus alleviating neckache.

The circuit is snail enough to fit inside the case of the ZX8 1 just underneath the keyboard and is powered from the computers 5 V rail. The addition of this cir- cuit in no way interferes with any of the operations of the ZX81 .

A commercial version of this idea is on the market and costs over £10. The circuit described should cost no more than about £1 .50.

Circuit Description

The circuit is based on the 556 dual timer chip with one of the timers being used in a monostable mode of approx 50mS and the other being used as an as table to drive the piezo electric transducer. The circuit may be trimmed to ob- tain the resonant frequency of the transducer.

k/ey see p jjfegrrs

£| iovc ii uoJf ft<>\4v- R2 I0OK" (oK

PI 5"kr Tr^ot

Di- li

Article reprinted from ZX Appeal Artwork by Rene Bruneau

6v

Component side

Solder side

SINC-LINK

QT.IPS

We have all had that "crashing" experience with the QL, and I wonder how often the crash is our own fault? My own little beast of burden had a problem at one time, but after some operation on its innards, the crashing was not quite so frequent, until recently that is, when I installed a plastic Carpet saver under my chair. This, combined with our present day mixture of wool and man-made fabrics, both in our upholstery and our clothing, made an ideal breeding ground for STATIC.

The problem seemed to arise when I used the printer, I had also noticed that when I left the Work Station, and returned, I was often welcomed with a little jolt to my fingers as I approached the QL and/or my Music Centre which is within reach of the QL.

The solution?

I use a sheet of thick corrugated card-board on top of my desk, on which my equipment rests, (it is easier on the arms than wood). So I went to the hard- ware store and bought a roll of Aluminum Tape, about 1 1/2 inches wide, the kind used in duct- work. Now don't get the fabric type, get the METAL type.

I placed a strip along the front of my desk, about an inch from the edge and along the end, to the back of my desk. From there, I attached a piece of wire, which goes to the caseing of my disk power supply, which is the nearest ground I could get. To attach the wire to the aluminum strip, I bare an end of wire about two inches back, make this into a loose coil, lay it on top of the card-board, and place the tape on top of the coil. The other end is attached to the power supply by using one of the screws on the cover.

CAUTION: - Ensure that _ the aluminum tape is cleaned a little at this point, as the adhesive is not always conductive material.

Next step is to get some Scotch Tape, about 3/4 inch wide, and lay a strip of this along both edges of the aluminum tape, ensuring you do not cover up too much of the width of the aluminum tape. The reason for placing Scotch Tape along the edge of the aluminum tape, is to help prevent the edge of the aluminum tape from lifting, also, if the aluminum tape should wear out a bit in the centre, then there should always be a complete circuit under the Scotch Tape. Follow me ? ( Check continuity^ ) You must ensure there is an ample width of aluminum tape available for hand and arm contact, in the middle of the strip.

Now, when I approach my console, my hands MUST pass over or TOUCH this strip, grounding myself out. It is really surprising how often I get a jolt from this strip. Which goes tc prove that I was ^ at great risk very often, as also was my equipment. When I turn aside to the printer, I am always cautious to touch tne strip, ana also when I return to the computer, I again touch the strip. I do not have to consciously do this, as my hands have to cross this strip to reach ANY equipment on the desk.

The shiny appearance is a constant reminder of a static possibilty.

It costs only a few dollars, but can save so much damage being done, to nerves and equipment.

H.H.H.

SINC-LINK

Computer Repairs

Do you have a 2068 that isn't working properly? The problem can be traced to a defective SCLD chip. During the Christmas holidays I happen to repair two 2068 computers, and one had a defective SCLD. If you happen to have an extra SCLD chip and you want to replace the SCLD chip, don't use a socket for the SCLD. The socket adds capacitance to the address lines and it interfers with the operation of the computer. If you have computer that doesn't work, check for any chips that are very hot. The hot chips are the defective ones. A very hot intergrated circuit can cause a problem with the 2068 power supply, the defective chip can draw a lot of power.

After cutting the power to the defective leads on the hot chips the power supply should return to the regular rating. Defective memory chips will show a distinct pattern on the TV display. The other computer that I repaired had two chips that were very hot. The hot chips interfered with the power supply, instead of having a voltage of 5V, I only had a voltage of 3V and the computer wasn't operating. After clipping the leads to the two defective chips, the power supply returned to 5V.

The chips that I replaced were the memory chips. One of the chips was part of the 2068 display, and when I turned on the computer the monitor displayed a pattern on the screen, but I didn't see any copywrite notice. After that I tried to replace the rest of the 2068 memory with new memory. I pluged the computer and turned it on and I saw the copyright notice on my monitor. After that the the computer worked okay.

A warning to all computer users, when pluging or removing anything from your computer make sure that the power is OFF!!

Renato Zannese JAN/05/90

A LARKEN TS2068 printer driver tor a serial port The following listing has been supplied to a club member by Larry Kenny. It is designed to be used with the Larken Version 3 LKDOS cartridge and a printer with a serial port, using Ed Grey's ZSI/O serial interface boar d.

V3

10 REM R3232 DRIVER FOR LKDOS

15 RANDOMIZE USR 100: OPEN #4, " dd"

20 LET st=l?l: REM 8251 STATUS

22 LET dt=159: REM 8251 DATA 25 PRINT " SELECT PARAMETERS" ' 7

30 PRINT "1. 3/1/N AT 300 BAUD "?,,2. 7/1/E AT 300 BAUD" ' " 3. 3/1 /N AT 1200 BAUD" '"4. 7/1/E AT 12 □0 BAUD"

40 INPUT "Select 1 - 4" ;a 50 IF a=l THEN LET baud=lll 60 IF a=2 THEN LET baud=123 70 IF a=3 THEN LET baud=l 10 30 IF a=4 THEN LET baud=122 90 IF a>4 THEN GO TO 40 100 REM Initialize RS232 Port 110 OUT ST,0: OUT ST,0: OUT ST, □: OUT ST, 64: OUT ST, BAUD: OUT S T, 133

120 REM Install Driver in LKDOS cartridge using PRINT #4: POKE 130 FOR a=161Q0 TO 16109 140 READ v: PRINT #4: POKE a,v 150 NEXT a

160 PRINT #4: POKE 3216,16100 170 PRINT #4: POKE 16096,4 180 PRINT #4: OPEN #3," lp" 200 DATA 219, ST, 203, 37, 40, ^50, 2

41, 211, DT, 201 210 PRINT #4: POKE 16090,80

1000 PRINT USR 100: SAVE "driver

. Bl "

Update Magazine

1317 Stratford Ave. Panama City, FL 32404 904 871 3556

News and New Products

SINC-LINK

9

MICRODRIVE SPOTTING from Computer Shopper-UK publication

Sinclair must have sold millions of microdrive cartridges to Spectrum, QL, and One Per Desk users in the past five years. The design has changed several times, and new cartridges are substantially more reliable than the original ones. Every cartridge is date stamped when it is made, yet few users know how to tell the age of a tape.

If you pull the cartridge out of the box you should see four digits embossed in the elastic near the cushion that holds the tape against the drive head. The code is very simple, once you know it - the numbers tell you the day and the year wnen the cartridge was manufactured by Ablex in Telford.

The first three digits are the number of days since the beginning of the year, and the last digit is the year from 1980. In other words, a tape manufactured 1st Feb 1988 would be marked "0328", as January has 31 days. If you can't read the number, try turning it the other way up - Ablex is not consistent.

The main events in the history of the microdrive cartridge were design changes in midn1984, 1895, and 1987. In 1 9 84 Sinclair changed the plastic moulding so that any excess plastic on the moulding ended up on the outside the cartridge rather than inside, in the cramped company of 20 feet of narrow continuously-looped tape.

Plastic mouldings usually have a smooth side and a rough side - where the plastic was originally injected. Up until then, Sinclair had injection-moulded computers and calculators, which must look smooth on the outside but can have any amount of cack on the inside. But microdrive cartridges have moving parts, so they need to be smooth on the inside !

Cartridges made from the middle of 1984 onwards sound and work better i you can tell later ones at a glance from the text RDG. DESIGN APP. embossed near the number. Older tapes don't have this message n at least they definitely don't on the outside!

A year later the moulding was changed again. The part of the cartridge that covers the tape at the top left side was affected, near to the roller wheel clearly visible inside the cartridge. The new moulding meets the tape at a diagonal rather than at right angles. This reduces the risk of creasing while inserting the cartridge, but may cause loops to form when the cartridge is taken out of the drive.

In 1987 ICL persuaded Ablex to beef up the spring behind the tape cushion. Later tapes have a much wider copper spring holding the tape against the drive head, which makes them more reliable. It was not uncommon for the original spindly springs to fall out or snap

°ffThe length of tape inside each cartridge is said to have changed from time to time, although we have not been able to jonfirm it. ?n thelrv you can compare the length of tape In several cartridges by formatting them all in the same drive. The more sectors you get, tne longeTtne tape. - but this assumes that on taces run at the same speed, and in practice tSs does not seem to be true.

Drive motor speeds vary widely, so it's pointless comparing capacities between different drives unless youv'e matched their speeds. The method is explained below - but don't try it if you're ham-fisted .

Souped Up Microdrives

You can adjust the speed of a microdrive just like a cassette recorder. Dismantle the QL and tip the drive up after undoing the single screww under the drive, and two screws on the top of the drive, at the bottom left and near the top right corner. Do not loosen the two screws nearest the rubber drive pulley.,

Adjust the speed by pushing a sharp, flatnbladed screwdriver - no more than 2mm wide', at least lOmm long - through the rubber seal under the metal -cased drive motor. You should find a regulator screw 1 half a turn counterclockwise is enough to change the speed from that which gives 200 sectors on a typical cartridge, to 230.

If the QL says 'format failed' on a previous-tested tape, the motor speed is probably too high, so that less than 200 sectors were found. It makes sense to set both your drives to the same speed n a formatted capacity of 216-220 sectors should ensure reasonable compatibility with old and commercial copies.

We haven't tried this on Spectrum or ICL One Per Desk drives, but the same tweak should work. The mechanisms are virtually identical, apart from the rubber roller that moves the tape, which will do it's own thing regardless of the tape speed. We'd be interested to hear from readers who have adjusted their drives, but we advise you to leave well enough alone unless you're sure you can put things back the way you found them if you get into trouble.

This is not an exercise for the weakhearted - remember that the higher the capacity, the slower the access time and the greater the density of recorded data. Microdrives are quite tolerant of speed changes when reading, but there's no point adjusting the speed of your drives if you then find it difficult to read tapes formatted at the old speed. Don t say you weren't warned!

From ZX APPEAL. . .retyped by G.F.C.

THE FAR SIDE

By GARY LARSON

Tve got it agam. Larry an eerie feelirjg tike

there s something on top ot the Dea.

SINC-LINK

NETWORKING with QL. The following is a translation by Louis Laferriere of an article published in QL.DOC Issue # 9 .

The QL Network does work !! i! I saw it in OPERATION ! ! ! You must be realistic, if your QL gives up the ghost, you are in deep trouble, unless it is a minor problem , you can forget about having your QL repaired , because it is Just about impossible to get replacement parts in this country. Therefore, the only thing to do is to get a back-up QL. In the meantime you can hook-up your two QL's into a local network to really surprise your friends.

Before , this big splash , you must have TOOLKIT II in each of the machines on the network. You can have up to 64 QL's on the same circuit.

Td delve a bit more on the subject of networking , the following is an adaptation of an article by Mr. J. L. Dianoux (QLCF) e.g. from FRANCE, from QL_DOC.

" The QL , like all other complicated beings , was born prematurely , capable of accomplishing great things , but it

cannot survive in the hostile world by itself.

Communication is the greatest gift for both man and computer. Therefore the only thing missing for the new born computer " QL " to be able to communicate with his brothers and sisters is " FSERVE ".

This need can be satisfied by installing the irreplaceable TOOLKIT II by TONY TEEEY . You will then discover that the QL can and will communicate with others at 9600 bauds.

All you need is a connecting cable " with RCA plugs " to interconnect the two " NET " . If you have only two machines each can be called net 1 by entering : NET 1 . However you don't even have to do this , because each will be NET 1 to the other. If you have more than two then it is imperative to number each machine up to a maximum of 64.

Then you should enter on one or both machines " FSERVE this is the command to " FILE SERVER " , this magical command will allow the secomd machine to have access to all the peripherals of the first machine.

You neve then given the the authorisation to come and have access to your pocketbook, your microdrives , your diskdrives and also to print on your screen all kinds of messages as well as on your serial or parallel PORT and on your microdrive cartridges , your disks as well as RAMDISKS but it also can delete your valuable files. Eut the remote machine cannot format your microdrives or other devices.

EXEMPLE : two QL s are tied together , QL 1 has a printer and QL 2 is equipped with 2 diskdrives , a memory extension board as well as a MODEM to connect to outside sources of INFORMATION . Each will ENTER " FSERVE " . The first machine which had been having problems with his microdrives ENTER s as well " NFS_USE mdv, nl_flpl_, nl_flp2_ " . This means that in the future when it will ENTER or that a program will be looking for " mdvl_ " the machine will interpret this to mean " flpl_ of the other machine. The same applies also for " mdv2_ Therefore QL 1 will operating as if the diskdrives of QL 2 are his diskdrives will be able to get DIRectory etc. and the QL 2 will also have access to the printer of QL 1 with the command " COPY f lpl_texte_doc to nl_serl "..

You can even have fun by displaying on QL-1 the clock from

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•jL-2 and at the same time QL-2 will display the clock from OL-i :

open #3h nl_con s clock #3

ana an QL-2 :

open #3, n l_can : clack #3

And that is it ! 1 ! If there is a clash , what happens ? The communication is suspended , the software for NETWORK keeps on trying and then everything stops with the message " network aborted "...and then sometimes its starts all by itself !!!

And now for a few comments .

Vou can load and run on your own machine some programs placed an the peripherals of the other machine: e.g. LRUN N1_FLP1_B00T . As well EXEC_W Nl _FLP1_QUILL works quite well.

You can command transfer of a peripheral of the second machine to another peripheral : 5.g. COPY N1_FLP1_FILE_LIS to N1_SER1

A machine which forms part of a network of many QL's allows Che circuit to function even though it is not on.

So that QUILL and other PS IONS programs can identify the peripherals on the network you must proceed as follows '

to perform certain functions with the network, such as LOAD Nl_FLPl_document.doc ( " not found " ) , NFSJJSE must first be entered~with a different instruction of MDV on N1_FLP1_ . e.g. NFSJJSE mdv,nl_f lpl_,nl_f lp2_ . You will then ENTER F3>L0AD>mdvl_document_doc , and QUILL will be fooled and will .get the document on N1_FLP1_ .

to print directly on N1_SER1 for example, you must rpronfigured QUILL or other programs , using for the peripheral neither the PAR , nor the SER , but the " NON STANDARD PRINTER DRIVER " . You must then ENTER " N1_3ER1 " instead of PAR - To nrinr , the command will be " F3>pr int>whole>to printer".

The majority of other programs " THE EDITOR , FLASHBACK

, FAGE DESIGNER " identify directly the commands of the

network.

FSERVE usually has a higher priority , and would normally slow down your activities. You can still get the better by giving it a lower priority say : 1 .

All in all , the network, arrangement works quite well , although not as fast as ETHERNET ( 10 words/sec. ) but it should be good enough for every day usage.

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p.

These pictures are samples using the SMUG Digitiser and John McMichaeTs "VIDEOTEX" software on a TS2068.

Watch the next few issues of Sine-Link for reviews of McMichaeTs programs and more digitised pictures.

J.T.

Multiply by three the enjoyient that can coie froa your S.H.U.6. Video Digitizer 1 TS2068 with this new software:

V I DEOTEX : Capture a video laage froe a VCR, video caaera, etc., V view it in thirteen greyscaie levels!

VIDEO 3-D: Creates a 3-D representation of a video nage captured by VIDEOTEX in either norial 3-D or inverted 3-D. (See ad title for an exaiple of the 3-D effect.) Four different Z-axis 'depths' lay be selected.

VIDEDCOPY; Only for owners of an OK I HATE 20

color printer with IBM parallel Plug 'n Print cartridge. Allows a video mage captured by VIDEOTEX to be hardcop:ed in 13-level b/w greyscaie or in color. Very colorful hi -res 'aodern art' depictions of the original b/w viseo nage are automatically produced froi a video data file. A color editor is available for custoi 'colorizing*.

This software is priced at $9.95 post-paid each, and coaes with coaplete user notes t video digitizing suggestions. Send LSASE for additional inforaation and order fori to: JOHN HcfllCHAEL, 1710 PALMER DR., LARAP1IE, WY 82070

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13

QL -™™N NEWS

On Wednesday November 15, the QL Section met at my home in the fair City of Burlington, with the usual diehards in attendance. During the summer there have been a few meetings of this group, and everyone appears to have a good time, and agree that the meetings are worth while, and of value. Previous meetings have been well attended, as also was this one. Previous meetings of this section have been more on the lines of Question and Answer, This time the format was altered slightly. To make way for an educational evening.

At this meeting the early arrivals had a good chin-wag, exchanging news and views. The only problem at this time is getting a chance to say something as everyone is so enthusiastic, with their own discoveries, and asking questions. For a computer

which is dead or dying you

would not think it from those

meetings there would appear

to be an abundance of life. Which is good.

This meeting was primarily a presentation of the QL progrmming language, by Mike Ferris. The lecture concentrated on the uses and meanings, of Functions and Procedures, For /Next Loops, and Arrays. The presentation was very simple, and for this reason was very well received. So often we read something which we do not fully comprehend just because the presentation is made in a high flying way intended to portray the expertise of the lecturer or writer. Mike has a nice way of presenting something, and makes it very easy to understand, not too technical, not trying to make an impression of how smart he is, but someone who understands what he is talking about, knows what

he has to say, gets on with the job, and at the end, we have all learned something. I know that some of the things he said made a lot of sense to me, and that at the end, I understood in a new way, what I had been trying to learn from the manual. He punctuated his presentation with on-screen demos which were also excellent.

Before the meeting got under way, two QL's had been set up for networking, one with RGB and all the gadgets, the other with TV only, and after a coffee, Mike went on, with the assistance of Senen Racki, to give a short demo of Networking. Mike and Senen have worked together quite a bit in the past, and are well versed in the QL, and were able to give an excellent demonstration of this aspect of the QL's abilities. Messages were sent from 1 to 2, and replies returned. Very impressive.

Thank you Mike.

It was suggested that the lectures be continued on a monthly basis, Mike was enthusiastic about this, but as one in December would be too close to Christmas, it was decided to wait until the third Wednesday in January to continue