SPRING AHEAD 1992 ISSUE

page 2 Club Stuff

page 3 Editorial

page 4,5 Bob's Notebook (2068)

page 6,7 Printer I/f«s Part 4

page 8 Gold Card bugs fixed

page 9 Graphic Screen$ Dump

page 10-12 QLips (QL)

page 13 Kempston Port Mouse (2068)

page 14,15 Tape Doctor Review (TS1000)

page 16,17 VideoFace Digitizer (2068)

page 18-20 Translation of QL Progs. (QL)

(2068)

(QL)

(2068)

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CITIZEN Printer Review Mods to SHREB-BP (TS1000) Things To Do With TK2 (QL) Steve Gunhouse Writes (2068) Family Trees (QL) ZX-91 Newsletter (TS1000) TTSUC QL SIG Meet (QL) Beautiful Lady (QL) Vendor Listing Newsletter Exchange

TORONTO TIMEX" SINCLAIR USERS CLUB

ill If

MAR-APR '92 VOL lO # 2

SINC-LINK IS A PUBLICATION OF THE TORONTO TIMEX-SINCLAIR USERS CLUB AND IS ISSUED 6 TIMES A YEAR. COPIES OF THE NEWSLETTER ARE SI. 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.

NEWSLETTERS ARE EXCHANGED, FREE OF CHARGE, WITH OTHER TIMEX-SINCLAIR USERS GROUPS.

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, 7 JO EGLINTON AVE. W. , TORONTO.

SINC-LINK IS PRODUCED ENTIRELY ON SINCLAIR AND TIMEX-SINCLAIR COMPUTERS.

SEND CORRESPONDANCE TO:

At tent i on: SINC-L INK TORONTO TIMEX-SINCLAIR CLUB, 14 RICHOME

SCARBOROUGH, ONTARIO, CANADA M1K 2Y1

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS:

PRESIDENT TREASURER SECRETARY ACTIVITIES QL CONTACT NEWSLETTER LIAISON OFFICER: ( Out-of-town members )

EDITOR USERS COURT,

2 mmtm

21

TORONTO TIHEX-SIHCLfllR USERS CLUB

(Area Code 416) RENE BRUNEAU ( 531-9749 ) BILL LAWSON ( 444-8772 ) GEORGE CHAMBERS ( 751-7559 ) LOUIS LAFERRIERE ( 820-3725 ) HUGH HOWIE ( 634-4929 ) JEFF TAYLOR ( 244-8583 ) GEORGE CHAMBERS. 14 RICHOME COURT SCARBOROUGH. ONTARIO. M1K 2Y1 ( 416-751-7559 )

TORONTO TIMEX-SINCLAIR USERS CLUB

SINC-LINK

EDITORIAL

As promised last issue, I've printed a list of the clubs and individuals with which we exchange newsletters and information on a regular basis. I've also included a list of vendors (courtesy of the VISTA newsletter) still in the T/S business. The purpose is to make readers aware of the facilities available to them. In order for clubs, newsletters and vendors to survive we must support them. There is more information out there than any one club can possibly hope to supply. So think about broadening your horizons in the Timex/Sinclair world and contact these groups.

Our swap meet last month (Feb. ) was a minor success. Everyone happily toddled off with some T/S item we didn't already have. Is there going to be a real fest somewhere this year? If you know of one, please contact our club with your info.

Special thanks to Rene Bruneau for assembling this issue. Due to an inordinate amount of overtime in the past couple of weeks, I would never have made the deadline without his help.

I sent a letter off to SINCLAIR USER last month complaining about how hard it was to find any UK Sinclair publications in the Toronto area anymore. I'm still waiting for a response. Does any reader know of any UK publication still available in North America? Drop me a line, please.

That's all for now...

J.T.

DEAD KJSY ROW

Dick F. I4agner

For several days the "A" to "6" part of the 2068 keyboard Has inactive except that sometimes a sharp rap on the case Mould get it going again. This seemed to indicate a poor connection? or an intermittent connection in the keyboard . Other circuit parts could be a keyboard diode or even the I 80 processor.

To el iminate a couple of pos sibil itieSf the keyboard Has replaced nith a spare and the 2 80 A CPU uas replaced. Still dead.' The set of 8 diodes Here next checked uith a good ohm meter set on the highest scale of 20 megohms. Checking both directions thru the diodes < revers ing test leads> all checked OK except the diode tied to the "A" to "6" keys nhich tested open. A good small signal diode Hill test about 3—6 segohms in one direction and nell over 20 megohms in the other d irection .

The diode Has replaced nith one testing about the same as the good ones. It Has possible to do the unsoldering from the component side and excess solder Has removed from the 2 holes nith a soldering nick. As soon as I started to unsolder the diode it separated in the middle of the glass case. I nonder hon long the glass had been fractured? To do a good Job of soldering the circuit board Has removed from the case so the solder ing could be done on the trace side.

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE

10 year accumulation of ZX81, TS1000, TS1500 and TS2068 computers, hardware, software, books and magazines. For a 3-page list, please send SASE to: John McMichael, 1710 Palmer Drive, Laramie, Wy. 82070

This repaired the bad keys and after rep lac ing the keyboard all is back in good shape.

from the PLOTTER newsletter

SINC-LINK

3

BOBS NOTEBOOK

Transferring Files Between Computers

This is a follow-up report on the article in Sine-Link by Rene Bruneau in the Nov-Dec 91 issue page 1 2.

With a new PC computer in my possession. I was anxious to copy ^ afew * ^ text files to it and Rene's article came along just in time. I have a 2400 baud full duplex m^fern inside my mini-tower and several software teie^mmun.cations programs to usewdh it Of these the one I selected to use was the one that came v«th themodem. it is called BitCom oTeit Software Inc of Fremont CA. The TS2068 has a TS2050 modem and the software I used was the Larken Maxcom for 300 baud.

I simply connected the phone cable from the 2050 to the line socket in the back of the mini- ^r^PUter* were booted up and the software loaded. I put Maxcom mi ,aH , up tax and then switched it to Terminal Mode. Rene had told me*at at this pondl NOT tc ^uduhe TS2068 keyboard again until a Connect was established from the PC. I had done this earlier with the result that the TS2068 keyboard locked up.

Back at the PC. I entered < C> to start the connect and then typed < ATA > which triggered a ^g of tones from the PC which was answered by th. 2050. For some «"^™; trying to make the connection from the TS2068 will no, work Now. on the PC £°nrtorl could see the letters < aattaa >. At this point I pressed < ENTER > and the word CONNECT appeared at the top left of the screen under the letters <aattaa>.

I then moved to the B1TCOM option menu and selected < 1 > for RECEIVE FILE and then <* to r^fve an ASCII file, i.e TEXT, entered TT20A.CT which was the name of the file I was attempting to download and finally pressed < ENTER X I then moved over to the TS2068 and selected Caps Shift 9 to choose ASCII transmit mode and entered the same file name TT20A.CT. This was. by the way. an Mscript file of about 1 5000 bytes.

I pressed < ENTER > and the transfer started. At the bottom right of the PC screen the words <Receiving TT20A.CT bytes > appeared and the screens on ^ J™*"^™* out the text. As this happened, the number of bytes transferred showed following *e word ■bytes- on th. PC monitor. When th. file was transferred, both screens becam. , st.ll except for a notation on the PC screen that the transfer was complete. I then hung up both modems and exited both of the modem files.

A ouick look at the directory in the PC showed that the file was indeed there and at that point floadtdrtL my word processor program within MSWORKS. The text w~*ere ne* : as could be and required little editing. A few Mscript control codes were removed and a few extra blank lines taken out and that was all that was necessary.

Now. I had two more parts to this text file. TT20B and TT20C. this Pining made necessary by the memory limitations of the TS2068. It was easy to concatenate *e th ee parts into one file in the PC. do a final edit of the whole file and then go on w,th a printout to the 24-pin dot matrix printer.

My next experiment involved transferring a BASIC file, my pet -Tax file- that I wanted to continue to use with the PC. After a few false starts, I went about it this way:

Rrst off. by reading my manual on QBASIC ( the version of BASIC that now comes with MS. DOS 5.0) I learned that QBASIC programs operate entirely in ASCII in the PC and it was

4

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necessary to transfer the TS2068 BASIC file in ASCII format To get the TS2068 file into ASCII. I saved it to a sequential file via the Larken system (ie. OPEN #3. name OUT and then LLISTod it to disk). Once this was done. I proceeded to transfer the text hie in the same way that I had done the earlier text hies.

With this file now on the hard disk as a text file. I renamed it as a BASIC file by simply changing the extension from TXT to BAS. Now I opened up QBASIC and loaded this BASIC file for editing. Editing was no small undertaking especially since saving the QBASIC file does NOT save the variables in the way the TS2068 does. Back to the manual! Here. I found that I would have to. of all things, save the variables to a SEQUENTIAL RLE! All that book- learning and experience with the LKDOS sequential filing system now came in handy. In due course, (many hours of work). I arranged the program lines to send the variables to disk and subsequently to read them back when required. Sinclair's very user-friendly method of saving files along with the variables would be sorely missed, if many QBASIC files were to be written and used.

However, everything is easy when you know how and I would now find it much easier to go through this sort of exercise again. There is a whole bag of differences between TS2068 BASIC and QBASIC and this is not the time to go into them. Perhaps, a later article might be useful on this subject but that will have to wait until I have learned quite a bit more.

All of this was a successful start to a major project of moving many of my Mscript and Tasword files (and even a few BASIC files, too) to the new computer and I pass on these experiences to those readers who have similar requirements. I should add that if many transfers were being undertaken, the CONNECT would not be broken until the end of the session.

So, thanks to Rene for his tutorial that got me started. I have since completed many successful transfers with many more to go and the only thing that slows me down is the 300 baud rate of the 2050 modem. But I'm retired so I can spare the time.

SINC-LINK

5

PRINTER INTERFACES AND DRIVER SOFTWARE A Primer by George Chambers - Part U - HACKSEL

Part three of this series dealt with the AERCO printer interface and software in this article we will cover the Hacksel interface and it's related software.

Peter Hacksel started making printer interfaces for the TS2068 probably about 198617. They were essentially a variation of the popular Aerco model There \ere two versions. One mounted in the customary place at the rear of the computer; the other occupied the cartridge dock. Both versions were uncased. Of course the cartridge dock vers, on hoc t no need of a case It was compact enough so that the dock cover could close completely. The ribbon cable to the printer came out the front and then could be passed under the computer to the rear.

The cartridge model was a unique idea. The cartridge there

were no cartridges being manufactured at that time, was little

Things changed shortly after, when the Larken d.sk system w,th ,t's dock cartridge came along.

When the Hacksel interface first appeared there was no pr inter dr iver software to go with it. Many persons made use of other software. Presently Peter developed software to accompany his product. ^ consisted of three blocks of code. These loaded in memory above address 61000. The three sets of code occupied different niches and they could be saved as a single block of code if desired.

The first article in this series, in the Sept/0ct>91 issue of SINC-LINK (Vol.9 No. 5) contains a description of this software. The same article provides the POKEs to be used, defines the "ASCII" and "2068 character" sets, and describes how to use them. I shaU not repeat that here.

However I have noticed one shortcoming about the LPRINT driver. Possibly it is because of inadequate instruct ions.

I could not set a line length value. For example, if I am doing a program listing I am unable to set the line length to 32 characters. Instead I would get a printout the width of the printer.

I found that the LLIST will hang unless I keep a computer key, any key, depressed throughout the printing. This may be a peculiarity of my computer set-up.

There are two listings in this article. Figure 1 shows a listing which uses the CHR$ form of printer control, while Figure 2 shows the OUT # method. Both approaches are pretty straight-forward. Note LINE 100 in both listings. LINE 100 "points" the computer to the code starting address.

LINE 120 puts the computer in the "ASCII" mode, mentioned earlier. In Figure 1 the LINE 120 appeared to be redundant. Printer control c°*ls"ere acted upon by the printer regardless of whether a 1 or a 0 were POKEd into address 65535. .

In Figure 2 LINE 120 was required, otherwise the printer did not

respond to the control codes. ^r__,£- f .

However when doing an LLIST I found that I needed a POKE 65535,1 in both listings ( LINEs 350 & 360) otherwise there was no linefeed action b the printer.

You will notice a number of lines through the Figure 2 program containing LPRINT CHR$ 10. This is to supply the printer with a LINE FEED

SINC-LINK

instruct ion. I found that when address 65535 contains a 1, an LPRINT CHR$ 10 is required for a paper advance. In Figure 1 the OUT 127, 10 provides a similar necessary function. In Figure 1 the i nstruct ion LPRINT CHR$ 10 could have been used instead of the OUT instruct ion.

I tried the second Hacksel code, "b+w63200" , but had very limited success with it. Possibly because it was not compat i b ie with a Fastext 80 printer. I set the printer into it's graphics mode, loaded a SCREENS, and called up the code with a RANDOMIZE USR 62300. I got the first line of graphics properly, then the printer put out about three lines of X'es. Somewhat of a washout for the "b+w62300" code.

I then looked at my copy of "color61 000" I found that while it was supposed to be 1300 bytes in length, my copy was only 130 bytes long. Obviously a case of a missing "0n in making a SAVE. Oh dear!!

Altogether I found that the Hacksel printer driver software was pretty much of a washout.

Figure 1.

Figure 2.

100 120 200 210 220 230 250 260 265 270 275 280 290 291 300 310 350 360 380

POKE 2670i+,25U POKE 65535, 1

LPRINT CHR$ 27;CHR$ 77;CHR$ 10 "This is Elite" CHR$ 10

CHR$ 27;CHR$ 80 "This is Pica" CHR$ 27;CHR$ i+5;CHR$ i+9 CHR$ 10

"This is under I ined Pica" CHR$ 10

CHR$ 27;CHR$ 77 "This is under I ined Elite" CHR$ 10

CHR$ 27;CHR$ i+5;CHR$ i+8 CHR$ 10

LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT LPRINT POKE 65535,0 LLIST STOP

100 POKE 2670i+,25H

120 POKE 65535, 1

150 LET m=1000

200 OUT 127,27: GO SUB m

202 OUT 127,77: GO SUB m

210 LPRINT "This is Elite"

220 LPRINT CHR$ 10

230 OUT 127,27: GO SUB m

231 OUT 127,80: GO SUB m 250 LPRINT "This is Pica"

260 OUT 127,27: GO SUB m

261 OUT 127,1+5: GO SUB m

262 OUT 127,1+9: GO SUB m 265 LPRINT CHR$ 10

270 LPRINT "This is underlined Pica" 275 LPRINT CHR$ 10

280 OUT 127,27: GO SUB m

281 OUT 127,77: GO SUB m

290 LPRINT "This is underlined Elite**

291 OUT 127,10: GO SUB m

300 OUT 127,27: GO SUB

301 OUT 127,1+5: GO SUB

302 OUT 127,1+8: GO SUB 350 POKE 65535,0: REM 360 LLIST 380 STOP

1000 IF IN 127<>108 THEN 1010 RETURN

m m m

GO TO 1000

P.S. One of our members, Steven Gunhouse, has responded to the last article (See letter elsewhere in this nil). In my article I mentioned that I had not been able to get the LPRINT CHR$ 1 to produce a screen graphic on my Fastext 80 printer. Steven has sent some pokes which work, after a fashion. The graphics are there, but the individual passes of the printer are upside-down. We shall have more in the next issue of SD INC-LINK .

SINC-LINK

7

MIRACLE MAKES GOLD CARD NETWORK RECENT JSU PROBLEMS SOLVED

by Hugh H- Howie

Last year I bought the Gold Card, and readers of this Newsletter will know that I have had my problems with the Gold Card. Those problems would now seem to be at an end.

'Way back in July 1991 I wrote to Miracle Systems in England and ordered the Gold Card, as I understood this was the last word for the QL. For me it almost was the last word.

The Gold Card arrived in the middle of August, I understand there was quite a hastle getting the huge number of orders out.

One of the first things I did after it was plugged in was to print a two-column letter composed in text87, and the result was a mess. The two columns were intermingled and the typeface used was liable to change in the middle of a sentence, and then revert back to the original. If you haven't seen that sort of mess you have missed nothing.

I wrote to Miracle who replied with a 2.22 ROM to replace the 2.15 with which my Gold Card was equipped. Something to do with a time dependency in the Gold I was told. I was happy with the print-out.

Meanwhile I had found that the Gold Card did not Network. I tried various things to find out what was wrong, and I discovered that the only time the Gold Card would Network was if it was in the same QL as Minerva (1.66 Minerva was the version I had) It did not matter which direction I was working, the Gold Card was no use with the JSU.

I wrote to Miracle, with lots of statistics and diagrams as to what I was doing.

Miracle said they were unable to duplicate my findings, and requested I send them an image of the JSU. Their reply was to say that the image I had sent was made with the Gold Card, and that the Gold modified the ROM when transferring it into high speed RAM, thus making the image not usable when blown into ROM.

They asked me to send them an imao made by Trump Card.. I not only sen. them the image made with Trump Card, but also made with Cumana, and also on three different QL's. A total of six different images. I thought this would be enough for them to work on.

Having been told by Miracle they could not isolate my problem, I was fortunate enough to try another Gold equipped QL, and found that this also was a No Net situation. This was now a matter of FIVE QL's not working with the Gold Card unless Minerva was present. This latest information was also passed to Miracle.

On the 11th day of February 1992, I received from Miracle a 2.28 ROM, and what do you know? IT WORKED, it not only worked but it NETWORKED. Not only that, but the problem I mentioned last month on failure to format MDV's, that also appears to be fixed.

I am well pleased, I am well pleased th-4- my efforts have been worth while, ^ I , happy that I now have a system which at this period of testing is probably second to none.

Yes, I have been persistent. Yes I have asked a lot of questions. Yes it has cost me a lot of unexpected expense in writing, and time in making tests to ensure I was correct. But it must also be remembered, that if I or anyone, spends a few hundred dollars on any given item, it is to be anticipated that the item will perform at no less a standard than the item which it replaces. Originally the Gold Card did not do so.

Now it does. Now it would appear that the Gold Card is compatible with the JSU ROM.

My thanks go to Miracle Systems for their attention to my complaints, and also especially to Mr M. Tomlinson for the manner in which those complaints were handled. I will not be concerned about dealing with them again. They have cc through with Gold Trumps. 021.,..

8

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GRAPHIC SCREEN* DUMP for the Tandy DMP105

hu:- CATUG

This printer is not supported by any software that I know of, having a non Centronics protocol but a fairly good 7 Pin head dot matrix with graphics capability. The 176 vertical pixcels divided by 7 do not result in an integer number. So, after a two hours session with Bob Swoger, the following program was developed and it worked, but SLOW, 15 minutes for the screen dump. Later on, I was able to convert the working part of the program to M.C. using the Timachine compiler. Now it only takes 20 seconds for Brooke* minus a piece of chin. B Integer out of range.

1 REM TANDY DMP105 PRINTER DRIVER by Abed Kahale 1/92

4 REM CLEAR 64769: REM Start address-l.

5 REM RANDOMIZE USR 100: LOAD 'PDRVR.CC'CODE 64770 20 RANDOMIZE USR 100: OPEN #3, 'LP'

30 RANDOMIZE USR 100: POKE 16092,0: REM no line feed, otherai se double spacing results. 50 RANDOMIZE USR 100: POKE 16093,32: REM LPRINTs & CHR$s sent to printer.

60 LPRINT CHR* 10: REM single line feed. 65 REM LPRINT CHR* 27; CHR* 19: REM PICA gives expanded pictu re BELOW.

80 LPRINT CHR* 27; CHR* 23: REM ELITE gives correct picture.

90 REM LPRINT CHR* 27;CHR* 20: REM CONDENSED gives hi-res ns rrou picture.

95 RANDOMIZE USR 100: LOAD 'BROOKE. C** SCREEN* 100 LPRINT CHR* 18: REM Puts printer in graphics mode. 110 REM RANDOMIZE USR 64770 120 REM !INT R,C,B: REM TIMACHINE Instructions. 130 REM ! LPRINT

150 REM ! OPEN #: REM TIMACHINE starts. 155 FOR Y=0 TO 175 STEP 7: LET R=175-Y: REM vertical pixels fr on the top. (STEP 8) for 8-pin head. 160 FOR C=0 TO 255: REM Horizontal pixels. 170 LET B=0

180 LET B=B+P0INT (C,R-1) 190 LET B=B+2*P0INT (C,R-2) 200 LET B=B+4*P0INT (C,R-3) 210 LET B=B+8*P0INT (C,R-4) 228 LET B=Brl6*P0INT (C,R-5) 230 LET B=B+32*P0INT (C,R-6) 240 LET B*B+64*P0INT (C,R-7) 250 LET B=B+128

255 IF IN 1270236 THEN GO TO 255: REM checks printer READY. 260 LPRINT CHR* B? 270 NEXT C

288 LPRINT CHR* 27? CHR* 90?CHR* 0: REM carriage return. 290 NEXT Y

300 LPRINT CHR* 30: REM Back to character node. 310 REM ! CLOSE #: REM TIMACHINE ends.

oirli

SINC-LINK

9

O L I P S

by Hugh H. Howie

QL VIRUS HITS

It is about a VIRUS which would appear to afflict and hosts of other Computerists.

OH Doctor, dear Doctor, What's wrong wi' my man? He's red-eyed and haggard - looks weary and wan. It's sometimes quite scary to lie by his side - He'll shoot up in bed with his eyes staring wide, And utter pure bilge at the pitch o' his lungs! Is he talking in riddles or speaking in tongues?

He talks of Minervas and Qimis and mice,

And some of his language is no' very nice;

He swears at the polis - at least at PCs -

But also Ataris, Amigas, and please

God keep him from gambling and starting to bet -

Wi' Gold Cards and Trump Cards, he's maybe in debt!

The flow of his ravings would fill you with awe; There's Qdos and Qload and long live Qlaw! And what the QL does he mean when he says He'll defend the QL to the end of his days? Oh Doctor, dear Doctor, my man is Qsick Do you have a Qpill that'll work the Qtrick?

"He's perfectly Qnormal, there's nothing to Qfear; You're over-excited - just Qdrink this m'dear.

and to

QUANTA

The QL Virus by

Robert Thomson.

10

Q L I P S

By Hugh H Howie

I have just been reading what Howard Clase had to say in the November issue of Sink-Link about the lack of feed-back on his tutorial which has been running in this Newsletter this past few months. In that same issue Howard also mentioned Alan Pywell. In case you don't know, Alan is the Software Controller for the Quanta Library, and he is a very humorous writer, and yes, it is true, he is complaining, no, complaining is not the right word, he is bemoaning the fact that there is a dearth of material coming in, he is also bemoaning the fact that there is no word of recognition or appreciation for the effort he is expending. He is asking "Would you please write and tell me how you like what I write, and also what do you want?" Some of the words used here are not necessarily what Alan uses but the intent is the same. He also said in an article in the August issue of Quanta, and I am going to quote his last sentence " f a Sorry this episode is a bit short and not very informative - f just feel that I'm wasting mj time "

What Alan is saying is that he would appreciate hearing from someone as to how his articles of instruction come across, and if his contributions are of value. This is exactly what Mr Clase is saying. "Is MY stuff of value to anyone oat there, or m I listing mj time.,.,?'

Another writer of note is Tim Stoddart who started a series of excellent articles in UPDATE Magazine, in which he dealt in depth with Trump Card, and all the wonderful things which it contained, as you know Trump Card contains TK2. This series was started in January 1990, and continued in July 1990. [ have not seen anything of his since last year. Did he also get tired of writing for no one? A great pity, as he had a lot of information on the abilities of Trump Card. To know all the intricacies of this Trump Card would be wonderful. Bid Tim get tired ?

Now it looks as if we might be losing Bill Jones who started UPDATE. He is selling off all his Sinclair stuff; if not all, then he is selling a complete 2068 system and also a complete QL system. We would hate to lose such an informed and humorous writer.

There have been many others lost because they did not know if their works were of consequence. Too often we hear the plea "Does anyone oat there read this?* Please drop our tutors a line, It is too late for Christmas, but at least make it in time for Easter. If you are not sure of something in their article, write and ask them about it. This way they might get ideas they can follow up.

Yes Howard, your tutorial IS being read, and it IS

being typed in, I have done it myself, and I know of others who have done it.

A comment which I have heard about various tutorials is that the program being used in the tutorial did not do anything that another program did not do as well.

A program used in a tutorial does not necessarily have to do something new, it is sufficient that it teaches. If you learn, you do not have to use. It is nice if both criteria can be met, but the teaching criteria in this case is more important than the program of itself.

One complaint I sometimes have with a tutorial is that the instructor sometimes gives the student more credit for intelligence and knowledge than the student really has.

I often try to follow a lesson, and I find that in many cases t do not know why a certain symbol or character is used, and this is essential to the understanding of a program. I recently came across a symbol that gave me considerable pause for thought. This was the '%' as used in many programs. I mentioned this to Howard when I was writing to him, and at the moment he has not had time to get back to me; but I have since discovered, once again from reading, that this means INTEGER. Thus we learn.

Therefore I would request that tutors give us NO credit for intelligence. When you start a tutorial, treat us as beginners, give a quick summary of such symbols/characters, to be encountered, and if a new one crops up as the tutorial progresses, then a short note to this effect would be in order. Such as in this case:- (% is an INTEGER value) Or do I ask something too much? Or do I do the student a dis- service?

As far as tutorials are concerned I do not think I will ever become a programmer. I say this because there is no need for me to become a programmer. I am not going to make a living out of it, much as I might have been tempted to in earlier years with my present state of knowledge of the computer. I am happy to read and glean as much information as I can from that which is presented to me.

I would be happy to know enough that [ can make minor changes to a program if I wish to. There are more than enough programs in existence to cater to my needs, but where the tutorial comes into play is when I come across a program which does not work in my system, or I wish to alter or adjust for one

cont.

SINC-LINK

11

Q L I P S

(continued)

reason or another. Then I would like to have enough knowledge to go into that program and at least try to do something with it. This is why 1 like the tutorials. I can learn a new approach to a problem.

What little I know of computing came from reading, from what others wrote. Perhaps it was only a letter, perhaps a tutorial, perhaps just a request that someone else made that triggered me off to look it up for myself. But whatever I know, someone else wrote about it first, then I read it and applied the knowledge. This is where the real value of a tutorial comes in, it teaches to you how to dig for that elusive piece of information. A teachers job is not always to teach you something, but rather to teach you how to learn.

The Howard Clase DIR tutorial has shown me how to start with something small and develop it into a full blown program. I did not realise what was meant by a structured program, but now I begin to see how it grows, and how you have to come back and forth to re-structure as you proceed. I thought you did all this at the one time! Now [ find you have to go back and forth! So although 1 doubt I will ever program on my own, at least I have a better understanding of what is involved, and as to why when one thing is changed it has an effect on something else a mile away.

Trouble is as I suggested before, an expert often gives us more credit than we deserve. But this does not absolve us from the responsibility of saying 'That was a nice concept you presented.' In a class you can ask a question which in itself shows a degree of interest, but on paper you have to take time to write.

So I am going to do that here and now, I am going to say a great big THANKYOU to (in no specific order of /or precedence) Howard Clase, Bill Jones, Bill Cable, Tim Stoddart, Tim Swenson, and all you other contributes to our collection of Magazines and Newsletters, and if I have missed anyone (as I am know I have) it is because there is not enough room to mention all your names, but you can be sure, if you write an article in any paper I get, that article is going to be read, and from each and every one I learn something.

So what am I going to do now? Why, I am going to sit down and write a note to some of those who have written articles I have learned from. (When I get around to it)

ARCHIVE ORDER PROBLEM:-

I have been making a very simple index of the contents of QUANTA, in the course of which I have three cards for som items, and I am having a problem getting them in order.

Example, I have three cards for PRINTERS, numbered or named printer 1/3 printer 2/3 etc, they were placed in the file in order, but when I Ordered the complete file I came up with printer 3/3 printer 1/3 etc. The spacing between printer and the number is the same in each case.

Where have I gone wrong, and how do I correct it.?

Hugh H Howie, 586 Oneida Dr. Burlington. Ont L7T 3V3 ««•'«

QL BACKSLASH 'V Tell me more

For some time now I have been playing with the BACKSLASH. 'V

It is a wonderful thing to reduce keystrokes in certain commands such as DIR \SER will send a directory of flpl_ to the printer.

DIR \RAM1 created on flpl_ a file RAMI DIR \RAM created on flpl_ a file RAM

Both files created were a Directory of FLP1__ Does anyone have ANY ideas as to why the change of designated device does not work, and what else can we use this 'V for? does the \ only apply to ser? Hugh H. Howie, 586 Oneida Dr, Burlington, Ont. L7T 3V3 •"•»«

MONITOR CUT - OFF AT SIDES

I had to get another Amber Monitor the other day, just an old cheap one as a replacement for my second system monitor which bust up.

It works fine, except there is a bit of cut-off at the sides which makes it tricky to see the cursor at times.

So when I switch on I press F2 for TV mode, then type in MODE 4

MS TO 100 ALL

120191

Problem solved.

Hugh Howie

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SINC-LINK

INCREASE YOUR PRINT FACTORY AND k <m OTHER SOFTWARE PACKAGE

productivity with a mouse "for your kempston port

Pop the last! three op four years I have heard several humors regarding people using a Cowwodore 64/128 cowpatible mouse with the TS2068. But due to its price (between *35 and *4©3 , I was not ready to experiment until I had confirming information to its compatibility. The November-December issue of Sinc-LinK with George Chambers letter to "Out of Townens" contained Just the information I needed to make that purchase.

The mouse I have purchased is the "Winner M3" mouse which is compatible with the Commodore 1350 and 1351 mice. The mouse plugs into any Kempston compatible joystick port. Since I have a Larken disk interface, I plugged my mouse into the Larken interface's Kempston port. To initialize the mouse you must press and hold down the right mouse button when you power on the computer. This move can be a little tricky if you wish to activate a Larken nUTOBOOT program from disk Cremember your must hold down the ENTEB key to activate an AUTOBOOT when powering up) .

My first application on which to try my mouse was the Print Factory's First Edition. As soon as the program came up, the mouse operated flawlessly as if were made for the TS2068/Spectrum?

And what are the advantages to using a Commodore compatible mouse? Let's see...

o One Hxnd OPER>moN

o Smooth Controlled Movement

o Quick xnd Easy "Fire Button" ^ctiv^tion

o No Need for Software or Pxttches to Existing Programs (Just and Plug xnd Go ! >

On the negative side...

o Only Works with Kempston Comp4ti&le Joystick Interfaces, bur Not the TS2068 Joystick Ports Cso far) .

o Mouse Cord is Much Too Short (xbout E4"/70cm long) and Limits Mobility without a Joystick Extent ion Cord (available from Radio Shack for arround $18, »Hb-ll/).

MiKe FelersKi

SINC-LINK

13

ZX81-Program Review

Tape Doctor by Sebastien Boisvert

Reviewed by Ron Campbell

Tape Doctor is a tape utility program for the ZX81 TS1000 and TS1500 type computers. It is really a set of ut i 1 i t ies that Sebastien has gathered together from various sources. He has put them together into one program that is panel driven and very easy to use. I did find his documentations 1 i tt 1 e 1 ack i ng but once you figure out what he is trying to do, it is easy to use. The program contains a relocating routine. This enables you to relocate the routines either in the 8k to 16k area if it is available or to anywhere wi th l n aval 1 ab 1 e storage . I had to adjust my ramtop and then I could relocate to location 28672 One thing missing from the instructions is the exact amount of storage the routines require.

When you first load the program in, you enter RUN 1630. You will then be prompted to give the address of where you want the routines to be loaded. A screen is then presented and you will have to make some changes to the program in order for the routines to be loaded at specific address's. Once you have done this initially, you do not have to do it every time you reload the program. The next time that you load the program the main menu will appear. Simply select the number of the function and follow the instructions.

There are 8 functions available.

1) Program Name Reader - this routine will read the name of a program on tape and if the printer option is ON, it will also print the name on the printer. Very useful if you have a tape and you don't know whats on it.

Reader 1 but time of the

2) Program Name and Time Basically the same as option it also displays the load program. One thing I found by accident and is not documented, after the name and time is displayed, just hit enter and it will continue to the next program .

kOU ! INES NOW RELOCRiEE- RT 231 CHRNGE ;:3i92:: IN LINE 950 TO

CHRNGE LINE 500 TO RERD :

CHRNGE LINE 220 TO RERD: 920 RRND U5h: 23375

CHANGE _INE 1530 TO RERD 1530 P.RUD U5R 22333

CHRNGE LINE 990 TO RERD: 990 RRND USR" 29725

RROGRRM NjOME "ERE'ER NOW RT 2^*<i VERIFY ROUTINE NOW RT 23572 -QRD ROUTINE NHU RT 23375 5R0K-UR ROUTINE NOW RT 22333 BRnRK ROUTINE NOW RT 22725

MENU

1. RROGRRM NRME RERD

2. RROGRRh NRME RND TIME RE*

3. LORD RROGRRh FROM 5RD "wi i, WE R I F Y RROGRRH

5. MRKE R 5RCK-UR

5. 5RERH RROGRRM

7= MRKE TRRE ^fiBELo

6 TOeGtE COPP)

14

SIIMC-LINK

3) Load a Program from a Bad Tape - I did not try this option but it is supposed to LOAD a tape that has a bad spot on it. After your program is loaded, the last complete line is found and the computer will create an empty display file and an empty variables area.

1= LOAD Z-h !R iTE ^ROGRAn

2, SAVE TO

3. EbiTEH : RAND U5P 2367i

4) Verify Program - This routine will let you verify a program saved on tape. After you SAVE the program to tape, rewind the tape and then run this routine. It will compare byte for byte, the program on tape against the program in storage and tell you if there is a m i smatch .

i. PLAY BACr *RGQPAM

IF UNSUCCESSFUL EPIFy OCCUR 5 REPORT CODE "P., O" UILL APPEAR

5) Make a Back-up <