Skip to main content

Full text of "Sinc Link"

See other formats


SINC - LINK 
13, No.6 


Vo 






i 


- 
` 

= 

‘a 
mem 
= 

s 






aS TE 
RS EBL Pia 
es MIR scoot 
GER ee Hind 3 pC: 
3 PERT (iF E ExeG 





CHENGED, FREE P Gt 











- Tm a rg 
: RE-MAN USER SRO 


a 
kai 

1 
w 


ARTERIAL 13 DP THE PUBLIC. DUNST 


TENTE DESEE 
HORLEY, hy 


ITA "m 
SITAR IO 











PERSONNA BASICARE SYSTEM 


HELP! HELP!! Can anyone help me with information 
on how to use a PERSONNA ZX81 BASICARE system, I 


have the Personna, Minimap, 
Pericon C, Sonus, and RAM16 modules. 
to be minimum documentation 
system, and I'm lost. I would appreciate 





There seems 


2 

2 

Drom with Userfont, l 
1 
provided for this 7 
3 


hearing[ 


Nov. -Dec , 1985 


NEWSLETTER INDEX 


NON-CLASSIFIEDS PG 1 
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE PG 2 
TEXT MANIPULATIONS PG 2 
SINCBITS PG 3 
ZX81 NEWS PG 4, 5 
TELECOMPUT ING PG 6, 7 
TAPE AMPLIFIER PG 8 
LARKEN DISK SYSTEM PE 8, 9 
2068 TIP NOTES PG 10 
MODEM WOES PG 11 
TELECOM TREATS PG 12 


FOR SALE 
- TS2068 Computers $150 ea. 
- 752040 Printers $60 ea. 
- A & J Microdrive & I/face $159 
= Rotronics Dual H/drive $175 
i = Rainbow Emulator tS 
0 - lafadrive Wafers =- 


from anyone who has such a system, with a view to three sizes 34 ea, 
sharing information,tips,etc. on its operation. Contact: 
My address is: Evelyn Memillan, 5851 Pt. Pleasant Heil Naragno 


Or., Halifax, N.S. Canada, B3H 187 





TORONTO TIMEX - 
P.O. Box 7274 S 


325 Woodward Avea, Hamilton, Ont., L3H 574 


SINCLAIR USERS CLUB 
tn. A Toronto, Ont., MSW IX9 


Pananda 









DITE 


Kd 











pem 
Tr Ut 





WM e 
jim wc 






iniu jn. hid eorr zi 


iit 3 
Mw A UEL d 








42 4oc!dy 
p 















pans 


DH 


P 
ü} 


Tie 









xc en 
Hn dn am 





PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 


"uo 
e 
3 
e 
= 


m 
-~ € 
—- (nj 
"S 

apa 

v 
vo 
Qa 
uod 
QI 
vu + 
cw 
nd oo 
t 


With the start of the Christmas season I 
like to extend to all our members 


to our newsletter contributors a 


Joyous Christmas, 


we are 


lub 
this trend 


With the help of many of our members 
concluding a very successful year in our c 


and 


ion of 


inuat 


d to a conti 


I look forwar 





MASH! 


Have a MERRY CHRIST 


ai iDBi ta 


Tam Robertsona 
tospuserve 72157,3401 
FIIO Net iii/Nnde 408 


UPBATES: The revised Larken DOS iepros) has been delivered tn 
our members, who have this system, and the concensus is - ‘it 
works like a charm, all the bugs are gone’. Remember, this is 
(the only) system compatible with the Spectrua! So auch so is 
fact that George Chambers has SCRABBLE on disk!! Now that is a 
long program! The November issues of all the UK Sinclair related 
»agazines are carrying pictures plus descriptions (hands-on) of 
the new Sinclair 128, Needless to say it has 128k and is 
Spectrum 48k compatible. Before you rush to your credit card to 
purchase one, be advised that it is preseatiy being sade and 
sold in Spain only. Sinclair is also supposed to be readying a 
1924k computer called "The Enigua’, which will have two 3.5° 
drives built in, all the 8L bundled pragraas on ROM and a 
printer and RGB monitor, retailing in the 300 to 1000 pounds 
range, Í have just received the Zebra 05-64 cartridge and mill 
evaluate it over the next few weeks. At the moment it looks like 
à creat idea, BUT, nobody seems to know how to take advantage of 
the 44 column ande it provides, Now that the dL price has 
dropped ta $299.00 (US) maybe more of us will be gning is» that 
direction. Think about all that great bundled software! 


T87048: I finally made the plunge and am now a full fledged 
wesber of the disk-drive-comaunity. I bought the RAMEX/Amdek III 
system from Ramex International Ltd. 17620 26 Wile Rd. 
Washington Michigan 49094 (315-781-5500). The price is $259.00 
(US) for the COMPLETE system, which includes the DD iaterface, 
cables, utility disk and the Amdek III drives. The Aadek III 
comes completely encased with two 3' Hitachi model FI305S 
drives, power supply and a fan. This system uses SPDOS, by 
Abbeydale Designers, which is also used in the UK by Vatford 
Electronics and by Keapston (latest eprom version) in their DD 
intertaces. After formatting the DODS diskettes I have 184k 
useable on each side, Like the Timex Portugal system, each drive 
has only one disk read head and the diskettes must be flipped 
aver by hand. Not too had a price to pay, al] things considered! 
With the invaluable help of David Ridge 1 am becoming fairly 
DD/computer literate. Mow it is not that this systes is 
difficult, it is simply that I have never used a DP before. My 
only comments are! (1) "HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON?" and 
12) "I CAN NOW DO SEVERAL THINGS, WITH THE COMPUTER, IM THE SAME 
TIME IT PREVIOUSLY TOOK TO 20 ONE, WITH CASSETTE!", For exaaple, 
to use Loader IV, Tasword II and Mtera to upload/download files, 
with the 2050 andea, was a tedious task which could take up to 
30 minutes, if an error Was Bade in the file and it had to be 
edited out after loaded into Mtera. Now the same thing takes 
less than 5 minutes (at the aost). See how it allows the user to 
perfora more tasks in the same tiae period! I can not say enough 
good things about this systes as it has enhanced ay computing 
tise and abilities in a aost positive manner, The only negative 
aspects of this system is: (1) the DOS occupies RAM from 48999 
to 53599, and (2) the documentation should be iaproved to cover 
all asperts of this system in a aore "user friendly” aanner. I 
understand both of these itess are being addressed by Ramex and 
by Abbeydale Designers. In the meantime our resident genius, 


SINC-LINK NOV/DEC 1985 


p (€ i a i ai ene RSA Deer CONFERS at A Ir PIA oA A i 
r = AATE rns Manne MN a ni a e a LE TEN ienaam medi REN = 
m iud — 


David Ridge, is working on a utility to bypass this RAN 


situation. 


SPECTRUM! Latest Spectrum hardware item is the ANX NOUSE, which 
comes with 4 pieces of software at the astronomical price of #80 
(pounds sterling], Already there is an ARTWORK type program 
which is reported to be compatible with it. Look for THE ARTIST 
(version 2) to also have a 'rodent-of-sorts* compatible with it! 
My 2 microdrive became so noisy (obviously very bad @A at 
Sinclair) that I had to return it to Sinclair (under the one 
year warranty of course).We shall see if their serviet is as bad 
aS everyone Says it is! OCP has a new word processor on the 
market that is getting 5 star reviews, It is the "WORD MANAGER” 
and retails for approx. $13.00 (pounds sterling). It cam even be 
purchased on disk - how TS times are a changing! Bob Dyl, of THE 
ENGLISH MICRO CONNECTION 15 Kilburn Court Newport RI 02840 (401- 
849-1805) carries this program and all other good Spectrum and 
QL software. Call first as he does not take plastic, I cannot 
remember Bnb's price on this as this was only nne of the many 
items we talked about in cur last 20 ainute telephone call. Bab 
also carries 2 very good Spectrum DD Interfaces - the BETA at 
$159.00 and the KEMPSTON at $120.00 [5130.00 for a 2088 version 
edge connector), both are US prices, The BETA has a switch to 
"save to disk’ and only uses 128 bytes of RAM. They also work 
with the AMDEK III drives. As a bonus the BETA is coapletely 
compatible with Interface 1. Think of it - use either disk 
drives, mirrodrives or cassette, as you require! These DBI’s are 
definately worth thinkiag about if you "Spectrumize' sore than 
you use the ‘as is’ 2048. Again, before you buy talk to Bob Dyl. 


GL: With the advent of price cutting this computer is starting 
to sell in large numbers, I just read that Sinclair is producing 
5000 a week and still cannot keep up with the demand. This means 
that the Hardware and Software people are getting more aad more 
involved, because now they can sell in quantity. Bob Dyl is 
selling a combination DD/Centroaics interface with 128k resident 
RAM for $289.00 and will be getting a 254k ‘internal’ add-on 
RAM, which goes inside the 8L, not stuck on the left side like 
the others. So, with this additinal memory plus the combination 
DOI/CPI you would have a 512k GL complete with “bells and 
ahisties". Total price you ask - why it's $299 t $289 + $179 - 
for a total of $767.00 (US). ALI you add is “LOVE” and a mOhitor 
(plus Canada Custoas and delivery of course). 


EDITORIAL COMMENT: Our "WORLD OF TS COMPUTING" is bigger and 
better than ever! Witness the new Sinclair products forthcoming, 
the pricing and the hard/software support, Who could have 
imagined, back in Jan. 83, when I bought my first TS1000 that a 
Timex/Sinclair system would have disk drives, a modes, an 80 
column printer, graphics tablet, a Spectrum Mode, RGB sonitor 
plus the "thousands" of programs available, 1 as = truly 
impressed!!! Even the 64k 1000 now has a disk drive, modem, 80 
rolusa printer, JLO video upgrade, a 44 column screen and 
tplour!! With the increase in business software, 
telecommunications capabilities, word processing capabilities 
and a general improvement in programming techniques, we have one 
of the "BEST, MOST COST EFFECTIVE SYSTEMS ON THE MARKET". 
Remember that, the next time someone says something disparaging 
about OUR SYSTEM. 


Page 3 


BOS NEWS 
#5 IN A SERIES BY PETER M*MULLIN 


ure files when you're having fun. lugh!) The festive 

be upon us by the tiae aany af you read this. 

happy Yuletide and a promising New Year! Hope you 

E instalment for 1785. In view of last aanth’s 
, D promised to keep this intro short. It was. 


ui m 


xx BUG ALERT ** BUG ALERT ** 
Dwnerz of AEREO CP-IX Vers. 2.2 Centronics interfaces please 
take note. The SERCO CP2,2 RON has, in addition to an ASCH 
printer driver, a Disk Boat routine patched into the machines’ 
initialization. On power-up, it checks far an AERCO Disk 
interface, and if there is one, it praceeds to load the 
Directory page from Drive A. 1f there's no Disk system, the 
initialization continues, and up comes 9/0 (!), This is 
because during the Disk? check, the CP2.2 actually forces the 
machine ta execute a BASIC line embedded in the EPROM code. 
Thus, the sachine comes up with a 0/0 instead of a K cursar, 
To the goint: in the gidst of this exotic initialization 
scheag, the CP2,2 somehow sets up addresses 1450/7 and 18508 ta 
hold a critical status flag far the operating system. Tu the 
normal 24/75 ROM, these two bytes are completely unused and 
ignored. They frequently get used as a “cache-all” register by 
many Machine Code prograns (e.g. HOT-2, IXLRB8, & many 
“toglkits"). The problem is, with the CP 2.2 interface 
attached, ANY PROGRAM which loads in from tape with values 
other than ? in 15507/15508 will crash if you try to BREAK it. 
Even if a program loads in with these bytes OK, if it changes 
their value at any time, you are probably out of luck. 


Some programs which exhibit this problea can be "cured" by 
loading the program without the interface attached} Break, 
then POKE 15507 and 15508 with 0, and re-SAVE the poked 
version ta tape, The new version should now LOAD land Break) 
GK with the interface attached. 


AERCO now have available an improved version af their CP-ZX 
Vers, 2.3, which they claim has the problem eliminated, 
u have a 2.2 or earlier version of the AERCO 1X CPI, you 
d plies about getting an updated version (either free 
very nominal price) froa AERCD, 7608 Robalo Rd., 
X 78737. 


ù T 
ustin, Ti 


I 


in pe 

Zr ua ES 
os 

= 3 


Xa orn 


HARDWARE USER REPORT 3** 


SUBJEE E The JLI Video Upgrade Project, available from 
The Jahn L. üiiger Co., 

11491 Whi dhey Dra, Cusberland, IN 4422? 

INTRODUCTION: Since Mr. Qliger manages to keep quite busy 
without doing any real advertising, a lot of füiks are unaware 
af the fine products he has available for the 2481, A certain 
mystique has built up around JLO products, which I hope ta 
dispel. Yes Virginia, dohn Qliger is a real person, who 


answers gail, ships orders on a realistic schedule, and has 
some pretty neat ideas. 


& RESOURCE T 
SINC-LINK VOL.3 NO.6 DEC/8S 


t sort of peripheral is this Video Project? Let me 
in with a sweeping analogy: the Video Upgrade Project is 
t like a video annitor, a disk interface, of a fullsize 
nter, Once you jon up a monitor and get used to it, the 
just won't do anymore. When you get a disk driva, 
you madly transfer all your software, and then avoid cassettes 
like the plague. When you get a real printer, the 2046 
generally becomes a hi-tech paperweight. 

Likewise, after having the Video Project (VP from here an) 
for a couple sonths, I loathe going back to the flashing, 
flickering snail’s pace of "noraal" video which I have lived 
with for so long. 


dus 
i 


i 
set 


WHAT IS IT? Remember the ill-fated Kolorworks board, and the 
Colarsingi? Beth were color video boards for the 2181, which 
never really hatched due to various impracticalities. The JL 
VP surpasses both. It is elegantly siaple, thug economical. 
The firmware integration ta BASIC reflects the same qualities, 
and is virtually transparent to 994 of existing software, 

The VP consists af 2 circuit boards which plug the 
back of your compuler, These boards edge 
connection only, and are meant to plug into a antherboard. 
Coapatible motherboards are available from JLO, or from Maplin 
or Eprom Services in the UK, 

Viden Board "A" halds a Texas Instruaents THS?P18A Video 
Display Processor, 16K of dedicated Video RAM, and 1 decoder 
chip. This video RAM does not occupy any of the 290’s address 
space- the 280 communicates with the VOP & videa RAM through 
1/0 parts 3F & 7F. 

Video Board "B" has sockets for two 2764 (86) EPROMS, and 4 
decoder chips. Eprom "A" is @apped ta the O-BK area, and 
overrides the internal ROM in your computer. It is identical 
to the 7X BASIC ROM, except for the parts which deal with 
generating a video diplay. All the real work is now done by 
the YDP. The 180 just sends it the necessary data and is free 
froa the actual task of generating video. 


inta 


have a male 


WHAT DOES IT DOG? Two advantages which are immediately 
apparent are speed, and continuous display. In SLOW ande, the 
computer is now alanst as fast as in FAST ande. In fact, it 
can be difficult to tell which sade you're in at times. In 
FAST ande, the display doesn’t go blank. It just resains 
static until you come to a PAUSE, INPUT, or SLOW command. 
There is absolutely no screen "jusp", flashing, or flickering, 
at all, in either SLOW or FAST mode. Entering and editing 
BASIC prograas is a real pleasure, especially in FAST anode. 
The ald screen reformatting games of the I181 are qone! When 
you Enter a line, it singly (zap) appears in the listing. LOAD 
and SAVE are rather interesting. When you enter a LOAD ar SAVE 
command in FAST gode, the command stays on the screen through 
the tape operation, SAVE and LOAD activity is shown by the 
border rapidly flashing through a sequence of 14 colo 
effect is similar ta that of the 2048 LOAD & SAVE patt 
How about software compatibility, kit building de 
the bottom line? 


PAGE 4 


ZX¥81 NEWS & RESOURCES SINC-LINK VOL.3 NO0.56, DEC. 85 


SOFTWARE COMPATIBILITY: As mentioned, the JLO VP is compatible 
with just about ail software. The main exceptions are fast 
machine code arcade gases, like Frogger, Pac Rabbit, etc. They 
run, but so fast they’re generally impossible to play. By the 
sane token, zame games that were boringly slow before are now 
a real challenge, Psion Flight Sisulator now responds like a 
iet fighter rather than a Cessna. Mazogs is siaply a hoot. 
BASIC programs with lots of calculations or plotting really 
Benefit, toc, The only software I have found that's truly 
inceapatible with the VP uses software-only seans to simulate 
hi-res with the standard machine, or tries to peek the 
character generator of the ROM to get pattern data, This 
includes games like Forty Miner, Sea Mines, and 2Xtricator, 
and utilities like N. El@aleh’s SW HI RES and Callisto’s 
Sraphica. fou simply have to unplug the video boards and use 
standard video for these programs. 


AVEATS, THE BOTTOM LINE, ETC.: The Video Project, as the nane 
iaplies, is available oniy in kit fora. You may purchase 
either just the bare circuit boards with instructions, or get 
an lalmast) complete kit of parts. For $48.95 U.S., you can 
get both boards and ali parts except far the actual VDP chip 
and its crystal, The TMS97i8A VDP chip is available from 
several parts suppliers at widely varying prices. The best 
I’ve seen is $9.95 from Jaseco Electronics, in Montreal, The 
10.7385MHz, crystal is also generally available for about 
18,00, When you order a VP kit, JLO will include a listing of 
the current best sources for the VBP & crystal. By the tine 
yau account for all the tidbits, allowing for a actherboard if 
you don't already have one, etc., this whole thing is roughly 
a $100,00 proposition. 

The kit instructions are complete and reasonably clear, but 
I really can’t recomend this as a first-time project for the 
prospective kit builder. You aust he able to do very fine 
soldering on these circuit boards, and some familiarity with 
good electronic assembly & soldering practices is truly an 
asset, My only complaint is that, for sconomy’s sake, the 
tesdthrough holes on the double-sided circuit boards are not 
plated through. This means you aust solder in a healthy nuaber 
sf tiny sire ‘eedthreugh conductors before mounting any parts 
on the circuit boards. Believe ae, this is a tedious and tine 
consuming task, after which soldering the actual parts in 
plate is a breeze. 

A ainor acdification aust be done inside your computer to 
permit functioning of the VP, The NMI line between the ULA and 
the CPU aust be cut, and a dinde and resistor added. This is 
very sisplg to do, and does not affert the normal operation of 
the computer. This aod is much easier ta do on the older Issue 
1 2331 boards than on the later Issue 3 layout. 


Last hut not least, you must supply and program your own 
4 54 EPROM for the aodified operating systes. Mr. Dliger will 
upply a tape for his 2764 prograaser, which contains the 
necessary code and will automatically program yaur new EPROM. 
lost af the cade is gotten from your resident ROM, so if you 
have, for sample, Tom Bent's SK ROM UPGRADE, all the 
lapravenents in it will also appear in your new video ROM, 


John Oliger has kindly put his operating code in the public 
domain. If you don't have an Eprom prograsger, don't despair. 
Tom Bent will supply the VP EPROM with his Yers.1Q ROH 
improvements: as well, for $25.00. 1 can supply a VP EPROM 
based on the T81000 ROM for $10.00, to cover cost af the EPROM 
and postage, In either case, you must specify whether you want 
15K or &4K RAMTUP initialization, default paper, ink, and 
border colors, etc. That's the lazy way cut, though, An EPROM 
programmer is a really handy gadget to have around, and 
represents a aodest investment. JLÜ's programaer is a snap te 
asse&ble- it uses plated through holes. Building up a 
motherboard & EPROM programmer is good practice- it'll sharpen 
up your soldering skills (and confidence) before tackling the 
Video Project. And you'll learn a lat more. 


ADVANCED FEATURES: So far, We've discussed only how compatible 
the VP is with existing software, By executing certain RAND 
USR coamands, you can choose hatween normal IX characters, or 
lower case instead of inverse on the screen. The old system 
variable MARGIN is now the COLOR system variable: you cai poke 
different values to this address to select INK and PAPER fron 
{4 different colors. That's the limit of the extra comaands 
available from BASIC, but hy using aachine code to communicate 
with the VDP, it is capable of 32, 40, or 54 coluan screens, 
true hi-res colar graphics which are in some respects superior 
to 2058 graphice rapahilitiss, end real sprites, definable on 
32 differant planes! In addition to this, the VP removes 
virtually all the funny display-dependent limitations of the 
machine. Minor modifications will perait machins code ta run 
anywhere in 64K, and even Mode 2 interrupts can be used. For 
machine code programmers, the IX register is now available for 
use, and the R register is used in the noreal 780 fashion, Ne 
limitations exist on the location of OFILE in RAM, and 
illegal" characters fi.e. tokens) can even be poked inta the 
DFILE without causing a crash. Since the character patterns 
are stored in video RAM rather than in ROM, it is possible to 
have progrags load in with user-defined character sets- 
excellent for games and wordprocessors. l'a now running Word 
Sinc II.3 with upper and lower case onscreen, as well as 
special symbols for control characters. Prospective software 
support is exciting, too: Silicon Mountain Software now have a 
tape version of Memotext with a 44 col. onscreen viewing 
option, as well as a &4-col. hi res color extended BASIC for 
release in the not too distant future. And Callisto Software 
will be producing an exotic graphics toolkit for use with 
BASIC, as well as a hi-res screen, color version of 
Sinc-artist! 


IN CONCLUSION: The JLO Video Upgrade Project is an extreaely 
well conceived and executed product. For the 2%81/781000 
hobbyist, this is an excellent opportunity. It gives you speed 
and video capabilities at least equal to the 2028 {the video 
is actually MUCH aora stable), and iaproves the perfarsance af 
aost existing saftware. You get SUPPORT, too. If you can't get 
your kit ta work, you can send it back to JLO along with 
$15.00, and he will locate & fix the problea for you. 

FEATURED NEXT ISSUE: THE AERCO FD-IX FLOPPY DISK 


PAGE 5 


197/23/35 - Wed 


TELECOMPUTING 5 
by David C. Rig 
First I would like to citar us 
s couple of Bees 





that in lazi ticis lI 
told you 2 r2ed to 
= t xcept 
= ts 
iain sigi! sorry 





a You Simply type GO 
LUE at any <1) prompt and you 
ill be taken to the land af 

the orphaned computers. Aisa I 

n 


mentionez that a one year 
sabzcmription to AN LINE TODAY 
magazine is included with your 


gs. 
CompuServe starter kit, The 
subscriotion is actually free 
for as long as you are an 
active user. 
Ok, you’ve all been crying 
"where’s the beef!" sa in this 
article we will learn a little 
maden magic. Nothing up my 
sleeve...herse we go! 
Certainly the most 
misunderstood and poorly 
documented aspect af using the 
Westridge 2940580 modem is the 
area of sending and receiving 
programs, especially machine 
code. Before I get into that 
area however I think I should 
first clear up the confusion 
surrounding the parameter 
settings for your modem. I will 
"at give an in-depth 
explanation of what Duplex, 
word size and Parity mean as 
that would require much more 
space than we have here and 
besides even I'm not totally 
sure what some of the details! 
Instead I will simply give you 
the settings that you will need 
for the vast majarity of your 
telecommunicatinsg. 
iI have found that the almost 
inivergsel settings for 
communicating with any BBS are 
as follows:DUPLEX-full, CR-off, 
F-off, CON-none, STOP-1, 
UOFRD-7, PARITY-even. Experience 
has shown that these settings 
Thay not be the best for other 
madems (although I don’t see 
way not) but will work just 
fine for the Z959g. The only 
time these settings need to be 


Fy. 6 


changed is when ,ou are 
communicating directly with 
another micro such as another 
2682S user or when you are 
Sending/receiving a program, or 
when the BBS that you are 
connected to recommends 
different settings. Bare in 
mind however that T have found 
that even when they do 
recommend different settings, 
the ones described above work 
just fine. 

When you are cannected to 
another micra, your Parity must 
be set to odd and tie dunlex ta 
half, While we are an the 
subject of micro to micro 
madening, I should mention the 
easiest way of accomplishing 
the connection. The simplist 
wey that I have found is ta 
first communicate with the 
other person by voice. Then 
both of you should enter a 
MODEM CMD M (caps shifttenter 
while in the terminal mode) at 
the same times. Do not hang up 
the phone at this point. When 
the screen tells you that you 
are connected, you may bath 
hang up the phone. At this 
paint, anything that either of 
you type will appear con both 
screens! 

Now if you are sending a BASIC 
program, you must go ta the 
data buffer menu and empty the 
buffer then change ta CON: HEX. 
Next get back to the main menu 
and exit to BASIC. Load the 
program just as you normally 
would. When loaded, cail up 
MTERM with PRINT USR 34916 and 
connect with your party as 
described above. Make sure that 
the person you are sending to 
has their CON:HEX and the 
buffer is empty. The receiving 
party does not have to open the 
buffer manually. I vill show 
you how the sending party can 
do this. ünce you are both 
Communicating on screen, the 
receiving party can sit back 
and leave the driving to the 
sender, 

The sender will now open the 
buffer af the receiver by 


sending a gontrol "R". As 
decribed in the MTERM manual, a 
gontrol character is invoked by 
first pressing caps shitt/7 and 
then thz desired letter. After 
openiogs the receiving buffer, 
go to your data buffer menu and 
press T for transmit. Hit enter 
three times to get back to 
terminal mode and lines of hex 
Should start scrolling across 
the screen. When the scrolling 
stops, the transmission is 
Complete. You must now close 
the receiving buffer by sending 
a control "T", That"s it!! The 
person at the receiving end 
Should have the same number of 
Bytes as vou in the buffer. 
They can now simply exit to 
BASIC and there should be a 
program there, ready to run or 
save! Note that directly after 
the receive buffer is closed 
You can type to them to 
indicate that you are finished 
the upload and to check the 
results. 

Sending and receiving machine 
code is by no means complex but 
it is a little trickier than 
BSGTIC gm iisten up. [he 
settings should be the same as 
sending a BASIC pragram 
however, you must expand the 
sending buffer to the same 
number of bytes that you are 
sending. The method for doing 
this is as follows. 

First find the number of bytes 
wou are going to send and plug 
it into the formula below. This 
farmula will give you the pokes 
you need to expand the buffer. 
LB=A-256XINT(A/256) 
HBsINT(A/254) 

where A is the number of bytes 
you wish to send + 26718. 

Now that you have the correct 
pokes you must follow this 
procedure exactly. Load MTERM 
II and clear the Suffer, then 
exit to EASIC. Next make the 
fcliowing pokes-23527,LB and 
22622,HH8. Call up MTERM II and 
axit to BASIC again. Mow da the 
pokes again. I don’t understand 
why these pokes have to be done 
twice but you do not get an 


Pa. 1 


accurate buffer expansion 
unless you do. Now at lang last 


you can load in the machine 
code but you must load it in at 
location 25719. You can do tris 
b; using the following 
command: LCAD "filename" CODE 
26°18. 
After the code has loaded you 
can call up MTERM II and 
connect with the receiving 
RPariy. jain, the receiving 
Darty must have the butter 
empty. The sending procedure is 
the same as BASIC. Now the 
person at the receiving end has 
to fool around a little. First 
they must write dawn the number 
of bytes in the buffer then 
exit to BASIC. Mext they must 
Save the bytes with this 
command: SAVE "filename" CODE 
24/7ig, bytes in buffer. Now, the 
receiving person has to know 
the correct location for the 
coda to run at. The code is 
then loaded back in to the 
correct location with this 
command: LOAD "filsname" CODE 
flocation>. Then the code can 
be resaved now from it's 
carrect location. 
Whew! Wasn't that easy? You can 
send TASWORD files with the 
same method as sending Machine 
code but your CON Should be 
NONE and you may have to hit 
ENTER after every line goes by 
an the screen as it is being 
transmitted because TASWORD 
does nat embed a line feed or 
carriage return at the end of 
each line. I will be covering 
TASWORD file transmisson in a 
later column. 
There is an alternative to all 
this fooling around to send 
machine code and TASWORD files. 
There is now a fantastic 
utility for MTERM II available 
called LOADER IV by Kurt Casby. 
This utility not only makes 
sending M/C and TASWORD files a 
snap, it also provides an extra 
28 auto-dial numbers and auto 
redial when busy! I highly 
recommend it. The best part of 
ali is the price. Just $7.75 U. 
s. 
Send to:kKurt Casby 

25 Battle Creek Court, 


St. Paul, MN. SSL1i? 
Well that’s all for this time! 


TAPE AMPLIFIER FOR LOADING 
WEAK TAPES 


Tapes which are recorded at a 
very low level are difficult + 
This little amplifier wil 
any tape output areater 
;iaif a volt and convert i 
Square wave of about Av 
a peak. This fits nicaly 
he 2868's preferred range 
It also works with 

x permitting a great 
tude in volume control 
ings for a successful load. 
e tape head alignment seems to 
be more critical than with 
hovever. 


fi n 


err cv od 
iD oo 
a 


re rt ba 
= 

3 

-— 


a 


-b 2 
eto 
40 
P4 OL et t oa 
rt 
ü 
E 
x 
LI 


LO rcr ene 
z 


comm 


the 


The circuit is extremely simpla, 
using a 741 op amp as a standard 
inverting amplifier with a gain 
of 18 operating from a Singis 
power supply. I mounted mine on 
a small piece of perfboard and 
enclosed it and the battery in a 


1"*2'»4" project box. I used a 
jack for the input and a short 
length of shielded wire with a 
male phone plug for the output. 
The entire circuit draws lees 
than óma with no signal so the 
battery should last a fair 
length of time. The battery 


could be replaced with a 9v plug 


Back if you had a spare wall 
outlet. 

ZX-SHlers who need a non- 
inverted  cutput for FASTLOAD 


could simply use a 1458 dual 741 
and add a second inverting 
stage. 


LD Crawford London T/S Club 


IOK 








EAR 


LARKEN DISK CONTROLLER FOR THE TS2068 
A REVIEW 


by GF. Chambers 


The LARKEN disk controller is a relative 
newcomer to the Timex/Sinclair scene, However 
four of our club members now have the LARKEN 
system up and running, and it is appropriate that 


its performence be reviewed, 


The specifications for the Controller are as 
follows: 
= 160K bytes per Disk 
~ 125K bits per second loading speed. 
- Uses a SHUGART SA455 Drive or compatable 
- Provides single density, double sided 
operation. 
- Handles 3 data types: i.e. BASIC programs, 
arrays, and machine code, 
= Disk contro] possible from immediate mode, 
from within a program, or from M/C routine. 
- Disks are formatted for 80 1960-byte tracks. 
- System holds a maximum of 54 files per disk. 
- Provides commands DIRECTORY, FORMAT ,LOAD, SAVE 
DELETE, EXIT on the EPROM DOS 
- Provides above commands pius MOVE,COPY, 
and BADBLOCK in the Disk version of DOS. 
~ Six error messages are provided, 
- Handles both 132068 and Spec/ROM modes, 
- Relocatable DO0S'es, including a SCREEN DOS. 
~ Controller requires 5VDC/400ma. 
- Drive reqires 5VDC/400ma. and 12V0C/800ma, 


The controller is supplied as an unhoused 
board, and includes a short connectorized cable 
that plugs into the rear connector of the 2068. 
The other end of the board has a male connector, 
and the unit fs supplied with a short 
connectorized cable to connect it to the disk 
drive. In addition, a connector with 4 short wires 
was provided as means of supplying power to the 
drive, The power supply is not provided, though a 
Schematic is supplied to permit you to construct 


your own. 


LARKEN ELECTRONICS 
R.R. #2 NAVAN, ONT, 
z CANADA K4B 1H9 


e — 


A 10 page (8 1/2" X 11") instruction manual is 
supplied, This provides both the installation 
instructions as well as the operating 


instructions. The manual, such as it is, is a bit 
sketchy and will require careful reading to glean 
the necessary information requireD to get the 
system up and running. Some improvements are 
required here, i 


The LARKEN controller is supplied uncased. 
Lying flat on a table in that state is both 
unsightly and an invitation to accidental 
electrical shorts, etc. The sketch provided in the 
manual shows dt lying parallel to the 2068, 
projecting out on the right rear corner of the 
2068, I found this to be an entirely 
unsatisfactory approach, Instead I installed it in 
a second drive housing, running it straight out at 
the rear of the computer. The drive rests on top 
of the housed controller board, with the TV set on 
a platform above it. This makes for a neat compact 
installation. The 2040 printer plugs into an edge 
connector on the controller board, resting in just 
about its normal position. The only difference is 
that the Printer connector is turned to face 
rearwards and plugs into the controller board. 


The board is provided with no means of mounting. 
There are no holes for standoffs, and the traces 
are too close to the edge for convenient rall 
mounting. I did mount mine in a set of rails; 
however it was necessary to move one of the 
soldered connecting wires to provide enough 
clearance. 

The system is supplied with a 2K EPROM which 
holds the resident DOS. Via bank switching this 
DOS occupies the top 2K of memory, and reserves 
a further 2K of memory for data manipulation. 
Three other DOS! are supplied on disk. If the DOS 
in upper memory overlays data that you wish to 
SAVE or LOAD, then you call in one of the other 
three DOS. These DOS's are designed to be located 
at the 28K, 48K,and in the display file areas of 
memory. You choose the particular DOS to be used 
in tne SAVE/LOAD operation so that it does not 
conflict with the program/ data being SAVEd, 


How does it work out in actual practice. Very 
well in fact. I have successfully SAVEd to disk a 
Spectrum program called SCRABBLE, that has a short 
BASIC program plus 40951 bytes of code starting at 
address 24380. | also have successfully placed 
TASWORD II on disk, which as some of you may know 
is spread out all over memory. As well, I have 
SAVEd one disk of games, with a front end menu to 
call up any game with a single key operation. 

This may sound simple, but in practice it 
takes a bit of careful manipulation, What this 


means is that once you have your drive,your 
problem aren't over, you still have some work 


ahead to get your programs onto disk; its more 
than a matter of ur pressing a few keys. I wound 
up writing several software routines (in BASIC) to 
make the system relatively user-friendly. Not that 


this is a problem unique to the LARKEN system. I'm 
sure al] systems need the same sort of massaging. 


Py 9 


The system has a COPY facility. On a single drive 
system, this means that it can copy one program 
(or block of data) at a time, and requires 
Swapping disks during the process. There is a 
constraint that a program to be copied be not 
longer than sixteen 1960-byte blocks. 


There is a MOVE capability. This allows you to 
LOAD data into a differest location than it was 
SAVEd from, a useful capability. ` 


There is no MERGE function, Initially I thought 
this to be a minor shortcoming, however | now see 
that it would be useful in placing utilities in 
programs on occasion, The designer, KENNY Larken, 
says that it could be provided, if there was 
sufficient interest. 


What do I think of the system? Just great. 
I would wholeheartedly recommend this system for 
the type person who feels capable of providing a 
Power supply; to housing the unit; and to writing 
or otherwise obtaining userefriendly (BASIC) 
operating routines, For those who want a 
ready-to-use system, better look elsewhere. 
However, may I make a caution, For the 2068 you 
may have to look long and hard. I suspect that, 
despite assurances that may be given, not many 
systems for the TIMEX are really any more 
user-friendly. 

The experience of our four users 1s unanimously 
favourable. The first vintage that came out had no 
display file 005 and had several "'bugs' in it. 
These flaws have been overcome, and our experience 
in dealing with Larry Kenny with these problems 
has been most encouraging and supportive. 


Shortcomings? Well, it supports only one drive, 
Larry Kenny says that it would not be difficult to 
redesign for a second drive. However he is not 


convinced the demand is there for it. (The board 
has a place reserved on it for a second cmp, for 
what that's worth). 


Except for the 2K EPROM it has no onboard ROM, 
therefore it has to make use of the 2068 RAM for 
its operation. Hence the need for the relocatable 
DOS's. 

It requires about 25 keystrokes to get the 
DOS up and running. Larry talks about the 
possibility of a push-button start, which might 
occupy the cartridge slot. I am using a  5-second 
endless-loop cassette tape with a l-line BASIC 
program on it. 

It does not support sequential filing. I'11 
leave that for you to assess it's significance. 


Lack of a merge capability, Sce text. 


If these constraints do not trouble you, by all 
means BUY IT!! I can say that I'm very pleased 
with it's performance and glad that I chose the 
LAKEN system, Price CAN $120 + $4 S&H, 































e ri pesto wt a fy “w ay! r 
rH oh CEU a ben 3 m di » "m ns 
H Papa c -— dudo m om ug 
iom is ce ve D ae th tT ox 
| "n M ^ m wen wm wE w d moe fme 
4 D m ew Meg uw tr Ch seed bee DN 
qd EU Gel oe Ip Eme nsn ifl bl ` 
= EA Wb. e codd wt nl mv gon i m mon 
il þe Ww ate a Wp sea thd ul £8 0 xo du 
T o h LA E oM et enu tx Wo XR 
h A wakti hi Ga zu c a zodu E 
BE ase at. IL 5 i i amt uu e Hb 0. 
v^ E E... | (AN H Bip net med tnt Hi A Se a 
woo 3 Qu UE . "lu š Wb wm. 
[3 "E fm o d z MI Tis wk tb vb dI C 
" Mm bep s dul d mov s TE t ln eom 
w Eoo UN pert ie E Xo e aes o d n me d ` be m wee 
tt BM LE !| nM auo dg ee fir Ea en dad 1 A pum ees ratam e Tn 
- P xu 600 9 P S ua e ce Hans ttes P og. í 
^ me UM Wi. ue 3d err ae cr Cumas Chapa He eg mma pa zm H- ČE 
a wedi} dl ! rm "m |IMu wg qw" oma fle pere a Hum mtm pL FA FO ET Ted opel i cat "mm 
B s vee Nat E "m " rit "na e ^ EL "m "n EN won I mta boa PR teet mt hg a 
plo ue. chm RT i now gem mmu) Camur Grae ra . "ou m 
mt b r me p H- wed] UE et ni Jd P bs m 
Mu i im t m m T m "E kil i Mi ple k ki N -] pa Lead Lenin) M $ 
va IE DA Mo Wee, Ht E HG E E, Bd UH U es uuu ea os) E = cm E RI Wee ] 
PERAE PE md ad wed Pt PE Lud ul Pet Le ID uh s fib 4.4.4 CI For AAR e i vt & Wd uu E MEC NOI C T 
11 fm hove l v) ET agb m | Durum Ele c 
m wa tb infa in t aea E Lorie ofa) alo — finc m UPD ewe RA A LeU ed utar ie ur a Za m CE E ey ce ey chy 
9 Ma ed naui Ps ns m m Pn TY E es D P P e Ld De DID P P Tfl E uno c ara a 
in un P n a iD n LE Un d Bn Qui dai e G LAD Hp 000 G O epgmeucmu wee ond Ke P M, P bee FET 
120 nc en em ] 





ro Sere cul bd net ent i lu Cn ae euin 











































o 
" m 
e) dd mcm! aa Vo gh os LoL et fe Veo dL o nom d axo m goes! nl di uve? chum up he We md Ga» 
its m up P Ld ES los FOE t sd t za mim EL um nu doe; ut LE VETT ES GW meson Cx 
Moet mam Wn id Coie Sa cB pd Ce Le. e En. dg mom mo - no 
Ebo "bees Apes un um » Meu hut unit V E m AE Doe Um mie e E d ofa Sts 
uo "T Bo dn Enc 3 EUR EIC. gea De] m ^ -a L) 
TI us om "a Eam mu meme mu m denm oc e U cmm e d nm 
KR fe eva "o P + ras gi Je üà x e. Hy Meal en n gy o be res " me u UO 
— mm Urn ul M ELT) am ss ut m. vw umano o m EE i "gm eed ord 
E ER Cn "uc mug mge à zie py mue mengaud — aM en E Qu germ M 
ut E Wy ts ha Eecu Den] CI cmpd PO e n bad t a me v. 
i y f mo Acie ies n um ^ A Ch Ribes ape CI IRR e gu ruft t D LE 
eese a EE tt dg ul m om mee on Beds grauen cuag Ub € mM Xm. Ja 
be ona om tant Buy eke up veto nbn ud v vl vl he D oo D 
: M9 i E a Du] Eh de sus Wo a Cy ty g ss ODT des m q 
—— wnt ae AY) ond 1 “HD My o cn yl Saget aed gn d an e ? ftb uv i 2h 
1 DU Re at eae) Meo ED soc) e md AA are D fi nm 
un > oh ou i ree H fa Ae M Á 
Mi dit) e! e ul ^ acm mma the 
Qu Qeon Mb Dn he EE Em s 
ammi ey) dm em een em ul ^d fo Com mn mu 
vd CE Cm GO Eh us og) me! Og s En wr Cs er) ene ee apy he a mae 
m ILI m oou te eet Oo) i ag Soe ate Eh m ye th ^ 
UO "m w UP Meca ee 9 ce em EDD) AK - — a2 up m es a ^ "m B uu 
3 " dl m. uzhu men dg (GAS qame qe bd mo c - e up 
DER i'n tet bag rH en Nee o es en ee DD aimi n Mp on rm T m 
MIS E € ocu m ru EREZA ER d cs n" ü qun 
VES zT EUM wi ham da dd HEEL -9 9 y zem mu - om + 
Wi dd ni os rg T 0g qLUÓP ox Mage unl m dul ^ n [mi uUo 0 D 
up en OI e (mI S rd e Mj "d mm RS a met EE ou. DR mee moon v) aM DS bw ont bd 
cn s HN ijo à edo yN A È h vios m er Ce La ad IU fen eh Wt UA P NT ETE 
Sad Ue RC tt D ez "m ommossrcaoamos MW SD ec mune 
be Uy s badges» Peleo Hjpece o bc Rec e d d eO up ul m fe be MD et erben 











aL. 


= 
cote In tese 


a © 








ace 
= 
Th 
mao 
iz 
na 
io 
ie 
ird 








Da 
LAWI 


TRADE/ SWAP 


I have 22 program tapes and 12 books for the 7X81. 
I would like to swap these for a TS 2040 Printer, 


Please write to PAUL Burbridge, 162 Henderson 
Ave,, Ottawa, Ont., Canada KIN 7P6 ; or phone. 


MODEM WOES, TELECOM TREATS 
by Mel Richardson 


While waiting for delivery of 


a 2050 Modem for my T/S 1000 


system, I purchased a Compuserve 


starter kit and was ready to go 


when the 2050 arrived. 
With no previous experience, 


logged on to Compuserve easily, 


registered and began poking 
around, 


The tumble of messages 


I 


and information left me a little 


dazed and dissappointed as it 


scrolled af the the screen, gone 


forever. 
The modem broke, 
crash in the dialling sequence 


and soon I was out of business. 


Reading through the warranty 


More about this later. 
It began to 


page of the Westridge manual, it 


became clear I would be out of 
business for some time. 

The owner is advised to call 
Westridge in California before 
returning a modem for repair. 
called after six P.M. far the 
cheaper rates and it’s still 
three P.M. on the coast. I 
learned that Anchor Automation 
handles the repair werk now. 
You must call 1 818 "97 775ü 
and not the number in the 
manual. For my $2.50 or so I 
Was routed to the service dept. 
and explained the problem to a 
serviceman. He gave me a code 
number to quote in a cover 
letter and mark on the package. 
Pretty painless sa far. 


A trip 


I 


to customs with purchase receipt 


and orisinal import papers to 
register everything and it vias 
on the way. 

After six weeks I had the 
modem back, 
problem and within a few uses, 
the unit went completely dead. 

Repeating the whole process, 
detailed the defect more 
carefully in the cover letter 
and sent it aff again. This 


Anchor had found no 


trip lasted ten weeks, but to be 


fair, I sent the modem parcel 


post. Oh ves, I also asked 


Anchor to put a value of repairs 


in the packing slip to satisfy 
customs, 

This time, Anchor replaced a 
chip and things work as they 
should so far. 


The good news. I bought a new 
terminal program called "MINI 
XMOD". It promised to 
up/download Timex programs tor 
158 or 464K machines, something 
MTERM or MTERM II will not do 
for the T/S 1000 or 2x31. It is 
available for Westridge or Byte- 
Back modems. 

XMOD will do this and more. 
The user can toggie a SAUE 
function at will and store 
anything displayed onscreen for 
later viewing or printout. 

Since the program resides above 
ramtop or in low memory with 
64K, a Timex/2X8l program can be 
downloaded and run or saved to 
tape ar printer. I found I 
could download Apple routines 
and send them to the printer. 
With 64K, quite a long session 
on Compuserve can be saved and 
viewed at leisure affline. 
EMail can be composed and 
Programs prepared for uploading 
before connecting. 





Postmaster, if Undellvered Return to : 


Toronto Timax - Sincidir Users Club 
P.O. Box 7274 Stn. A 

Toronto, Ont., MSW 1X9 

Canada 





“MODEM will not auto-dial or 
ansuer as MTERM will but I fina 
SMODEM easier to operate in ali 
functions, It is also easily 
converted to fast load formats. 
Thirteen 8.5 by 11 pages provide 
thorough documentation. 

For those with T/S/ZX modems 
feeling shortchanged by the 
software, I highly recommend 
MINI XMOD. 


MINI XMOD for 


Westridge or Byte-back modems: 
(specify make) 
$20.00 U.S. includes ph 


WEYMIL Corporation 
Box 5904 
Bellingham WA 
90227-5904 


And for modem warranty repairs: 


ANCHOR AUTOMATION 
6624 VallJean Ave 
Van Nuys Ca 71406 
1 818 997 4493 


Pa. 12.