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SYNTAX 

A PUBLICATION OF THE HARVARD GROUP 



VOL.5 NO.11 


ISSN 0273-2696 


NOV- 1984 


IN THIS ISSUE 


IS TIMESTAR A DARK STAR? 


Classified Ads.10 

Dear Editor.6 

Hardware Review.4 


Byte-Back Analog 
to Digital Converter 
for DC measurements 
with your ZX/TS or 
TS2068 and BB-1 con¬ 
trol module. 

New Products and 


Services.2 

News.1 

Speed and Style 

in BASIC.8 


Measured data on 
extra time required 
to execute ZX/TS and 
TS2068 programs with 
varying subroutine 
and FOR-NEXT loop 
placement plus rules 
to improve speed. 

THANK YOU for all your 
support, encouragement 
and business. SYNTAX is 
grateful to have so many 
perceptive subscribers. 


After months of very loud speculation, plenty 
of wishful thinking, and innumerable missed 
deadlines, where is the Timestar? What ever 
became of the Trinity Magnum Co? Well, Timex 
says they get the odd phone call, but no real 
proposal, no funds to bind a deal, nothing to 
regard seriously. In short, no negotiation. 

SINCLAIR FORECAST 

SYNTAX expects Sinclair Research to make some 
moves before the end of Apr.85. Recent rumb¬ 
lings in the rumor mill suggest it's grinding 
up something. Production and quality issues 
in the UK seem to be settling out. The CES 
showing included several new non-computer 
devices. UK magazines show Sir Clive's elec¬ 
tric tricycle. The Spectrum-i- trial balloon 
floats across the US. Sinclair's quietly 
talking to people in the US. This will all 
coalesce soon—SYNTAX will keep you informed. 

WILL JACKINTOSH JUMP ON QL? 

Reports from CES in Jan.85 suggest that Atari 
will position it's 68000-based machine at the 
same price as Sinclair's QL. Later news of 
low earnings at Commodore suggest that they 
will bear the brunt of Atari's 8-bit attack 
early in the year and the 16/32-bit blast 
later may find Commodore unable to respond. 
This leaves the 16-bit MSX, Atari, and QL to 
win your computer dollars later this year. 


Index of Advertisers 


Byte-Back.9 

E-Z Key.5 

G. Russell.3 


Despite technical and feature differ¬ 
ences of these machines, the battle will be 
won on marketing and product positioning. On 
the basis of experience, Jack Tramiel (Atari) 
does not usually lose these battles, Sinclair 
usually does, and the Japanese find a way to 
change the game. 


T-S Horizons 


10 


Why will it be different this time? 


1 






















NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 

Tom Woods is so impressed with the 
MSCRIPT word processor that he 
sells it. Of course, Tom offers an 
enhancement—available only through 
him, & free with your MSCRIPT 
order—for 2040 printers or TASMAN 
interfaces. $69.95 From Thomas B. 
Woods, POB 64 Jefferson, NH 03583. 
603/586-7734 VISA/MC 

Byte-Back offers new A/D converter. 
See hardware review in this issue. 
Also, they offer a Centronics 
Interface for ZX/TS or TS2068. The 
unit is cased, 5"Hx4"Wxl"T, & comes 
with software for the computer you 
specify when you order. The 4 1/2 
foot printer cable is permanently 
attached to the interface. This is 
the only printer interface known to 
us that provides an extender card 
to attach other peripherals. Price 
$84.95+$4.95 P&H from Byte-Back Co. 
Rt 3, Box 147, Leesville, SC 29070 
803/532-5812 VISA/MC 

Also from Byte-Back, the MD-2B and 
MD-68 modems with Smart Software to 
send and receive programs by phone. 
These modems include an RS-232 port 
to drive your serial printer—no 
separate interface needed. $119,95 
kit or $149.95 assembled +$4.95 P&H 

Tom Bent's 8K ROM modifications are 
available from Tom Woods, an EPROM 
that plugs into your ZX/TS & fixes 
bugs while providing an exit to 
your own LPRINT routine and much 
more ($24.95). 

" Powerful Projects with Your Timex/ 
Sinclair " offers you designs and 
instructions for control projects. 
This new (1985) book tells you how 
to build a speech output module, a 
power controller, an interface 
connector, a temperature sensor and 
other I/O devices. For each, you 
get a schematic plus some hints on 
construction. Photos and sketches 
help you build these projects. In¬ 
cludes software descriptions to run 


these devices. $12.95 , 256 pp. ISBN 
0-673-18038-7 Author: Jim Stephens 
Publisher: Scott, Foresman & Co. 

1900 E. Lake Av. Glenview, IL 60025 

" D. LIPINSKI SOFTWARE BUYERS GUIDE 
TO SINCLAIR - TIMEX PRODUCTS & SER¬ 
VICES " contains 800 software ti¬ 
tles, 100 book titles, 100 hardware 
items and services such as publica¬ 
tions. Data from 120 suppliers, 
published in 3-ring notebook for¬ 
mat. Price includes first update 
in Mar.85. $20 PPD in US & Canada, 

Overseas add $1.50 for surface, $5 
for Air Mail. From D. Lipinski 
Software, 2737 Susquehanna Rd. 
Roslyn, PA 19001. 215/572-6812 

SPEC-TAX (tm) for 1985 helps you 
prepare your 84 tax return on your 
2 068. Does 104 0 + most schedules, 
not good for sched F. You enter 
data as requested, 2068 computes 
entries you make to tax forms. 

Lets you enter multiple individual 
items and then totals them for you. 
Helps decide joint/separate returns 
and standard/itemized deductions. 

Use your 2040 printer to get hard 
copy. $16.95 PPD from Poretsky and 
Poretsky, Inc. 521 Argyle, Brooklyn 
NY 11218. For info call 718/469- 
5948 EVENINGS. Quantity prices for 
dealers and user groups. 

Brain waves control ZX/TS computer 
to give 256 commands. Can control 
a programmed english vocabulary 
with print to screen, printer, or 
voice synthesizer and can control 
an external robotic device. Or use 
Galvanic Skin Response unit to out¬ 
put % stress w/ english sentences. 
Can be used as talking lie detector 
Send $5 for brochure or $19.95 for 
book " Hu m an Brain W aves to Elec¬ 
tronic Speech. " Complete system w/ 
software $500. Rosetronix, POB 7464 
Chula Vista, CA 92012. 

John Meshna has 12 VDC green-screen 
monitors for only $25 plus shipping 
Call 617/595-2275 and get the new 
catalog sent to you. 


2 



SPECIAL OFFERS END MARCH 30, 1985 


N€UJ UF€ FOR VOUR TS2068? 


V€S! uuith 

ROMSUJITCH 

Lets you run Spectrum programs on your TS2068! 

* EASY INSTALLATION. No soldering, no drilling. 

* Just plug inside your TS2068 freeing edge connector & 
cartridge port for other uses. 

* External Stick-on switch selects Spectrum or TS2068 
ROM 

* Thousands of good British programs available, many 
from U.S. dealers incl. Us 

Price $54.95 assembled/tested, U.S. shipping incl. 
Canadians add $2., overseas add $5. shipping 


SPECTRUM MANUAL - Sa*e excellent book packaged w. computer - 
i«p. technical ROM info., SINCLAIR Basic Prgrsing. $10.95 


ROMSHITCH + 007 SPY cassette proqra# 154.95 total (save $9,951 
ROMSNITCH + NINKY BOARD 2800 - $69.90 total (save $8.) 

If INKY BOARD 2 + NEW KEY cassette - $24.95 total (save $4.50i 


UJINKV BORRD Cassette-Computer Interface 

* Solves your LOADing problems. 

* Duplicates ANY TS/ZX cassette 

* User friendly. Simply plugs into cassette- 
player & computer jacks. 

* Makes UPLOADER use easy on TS2068. 

UIINKV BOARD 2000 for TS2068, ZX Spectrum, TS1000/1500, 
ZX80/81 Price $22.95 assembled/tested, shipping incl. to U.S./Can. 
UIINKV BOARD2 for TS1000/1500, ZX80/81 
Price $18.95 assembled/tested; $15. kit 


SPECTRUM PROGRAMS NOW AVAILABLE with others soon to arrive: 
•807 SPY: Must have back-up copier -7 seperate programs. 

Copies all TS2868/SPECTRUM programs w/wo headers, stops 
nachine code programs & sore! $9.95 
•SUPERCODE 2: Superior Machine Code tool kit, 122 routines, 
lost relocatable in your programs. User friendly. $19.95 
•ASTRONOMY: Fun, educational utility for astronomers or 
astrologers. Simulates night sky, calculates positions of 
planets, comets, etc., plots constellations & sore! $19.95 
•SOFT TALK 1: Utility to add digitized speech to your programs 
from 78-88 word vocab.(eg. numbers, up, add, equal).$14.95 
•PINBALL WIZARD: Superb, colorful, fast-action graphics k 
sound. A top British game. With 5 skill levels. $14.95 
•6QLFIN6 WORLD: Series of interrelated games for 1-2 players. 

Choose club, direction, speed of greens, etc. $14,95 
•BRIDGE TUTOR 1 Beginners: 48 hands pre-dealt show fundamen¬ 
tals of bidding & card play. You bid k play cards. $14.95 
•MIND GAMES: Chess, Backgammon, Draughts, Invader Cube $24.95 
•WHITE LIGHTNING: SPRITES! Create fast moving graphics. Forth 
& Basic based. Tutor incl. 2 Ca5settes:demo, develop. $24.95 
•SPECTRE MAC MON: Macro assembler/editor, monitor/disassembler 
Also useful to assemble code for CPUs other than Z80. $24.95 


Information sheet, list of U.S./Can. retailers of Spectrum 
cassettes, & our complete catalog free. 

RUSSCll €l€CTRONICS 

RD 1 * Box 539 * Centre Hall, PA 16828 
814-364-1325 MasterCard/Visa 10am-8pm Check/MO 



SPEECH RECOGNITION SYSTEM 

* Train your computer to obey voice commands 

* Recognizes up to 8 spoken words 

* Includes speech amplifier unit, cassette program, 
documentation 

SRS2000 for TS2068 
SRS1000 for TS1000/1500, ZX81 
$32.95 assembled/tested; $27.95 kit 

COMPCOOIER Power supply-Computer Interface solves most 
overheating problems for TS1000/1500, ZX80/81 $6.95 

HI RES GRAPHICS PIRNS - TS1000, ZX81 interface $5. 

Utilities on cassette for TS1000/15000, ZX81 

KEY - unlock, merge, renumber $9 

HI RES PRINTER GRAPHICS $9 

ZXLR8 Fastload (not for 1500) $10.50 

Prices above include shipping to U.S./Can. i 


TS1000/1500/ZX81 HI RES 16K CASSETTE PRQSRAHS-resolution sase 
as TS206B without any hardware. See to believe! 

ROCKET MAN - action gaae $9.95 

FORTY NINER - action gases based on CA. gold siners $9.95 


TIMEX 16K RAM PACS Tor TS1000, ZX81 - $25. shipping incl. 









HARDWARE REVIEW 


Product: Analog-Digital Converter 

Machines: ZX81, TS1000, TS2068 
Price: $29.95 + $4.95 P&H 
From: Byte-Back Co. 

Rt 3, Box 147 
Leesville, SC 29070 
803/532-5812 

Used with your BB-1 I/O board, 
this converter outputs 255 at 0 V 
down to 0 at the full-scale input 
voltage and puts the data in memory 
You then read it out by peeking a 
memory location and use the data in 
your program. 

Housed in a plastic tube about 
1 inch in diameter and 4 1/2 inches 
long, this converter plugs atop the 
BB-1 with a built-in 50-pin connec¬ 
tor. An RCA jack at the left end 
accepts the DC voltage you wish to 
measure, and a pushbutton at the 
right end resets your converter at 
start-up. Eight DIP switches, 
accessible through the front, set 
one of five full-scale ranges: 

0.25 , 0.5 0, 2.75 , 5.00, or 10.0 VDC 
positive only. You can't open this 
device—it's epoxied together. 

SYNTAX made only simple tests 
of operation on two ranges—2.75 V 
and 5 V. In both cases the device 
behaved as we expected, based on 
the manual which comes with it. 
Except for the 10-Volt range, each 
full-scale value is individually 
calibrated by Byte-Back for your 
converter. Our 2.75-V range is 
actually 2.78 V; our 5 is really 
5.02. Since all SYNTAX'S tests 
used a 1.5 V battery, we saw only 
the lower part of these scales. 

Our converter consistently 
reads lower than the digital volt¬ 
meter by an amount that grows as 
the DC input increases. Thus, at 
1.488 V input, the computer said we 
had 1.437 volts on the 5-V scale— 
about 50 millivolts low. But at 
0.522 V input, the computer read 


0.519 V, only 3 mV low. Similarly, 
the 2.75-V scale read 42 mV low at 
1.492 V input and 9 mV low at 0.521 
V input. Since 8-bit resolution 
only measures within 0.5% of full 
scale, these are reasonable errors. 

Keep in mind that this A/D can 
only choose 1.471, 1.482, 1.493, or 
1.5 04 when the input is 1.492 on a 
2.75-V scale. Those are the 8-bit 
steps—spaced 0.0109 Volts apart. 
Similarly, resolution on the 5-V 
scale amounts to 0.0197 Volts. So 
you could probably get 2% accuracy 
with 0.5% resolution from this A/D 
at fixed temperature. Neither we 
nor Byte-Back express any opinion 
about temperature stability. 

Since this device has parallel 
output, you use all input lines of 
your BB-1 when you connect the A/D. 
If you need digital inputs as well, 
you need another BB-1. But you can 
still use 8 digital outputs. In 
fact, you can use some to connect 
the converter to multiple inputs. 

Well then, what use can you 
make of this device? Try it for 
applications where voltage changes 
are a few percent or more, but over 
a long interval. Or where fluctua¬ 
tions of your signal play a bigger 
role than the value. For example, 
a voltage in a piece of equipment 
with an intermittent problem. 

Generally, this type of device 
serves best for automatic input of 
medium-accuracy data. For example, 
reading a voltage every 30 seconds 
for 4 hours or hourly for 7 days. 

For best accuracy, store and 
process the bytes from the A/D. 
Then convert only the answer to the 
appropriate units. 

Related reviews include the BB-1 
Module (Jan.83,p.8) and the Votem 
A/D (Oct. & Dec. 82). Votem is a 
0-1 V input, serial output A/D that 
connects through the cassette jack. 


4 



CAT. NO. 
MD1 


TPIF 

TW2 

TSW 

UP2 


FL1/FL2 
SO 02 
0002 


OOS/DD 

FDS1 

SP DOS 

OOF 

F0S2 

GLP 

KBO 

MLP 

VC/VF 

GT2 

CB2 

JRC1 

JRC2 

JRC3 

ML 


ITEM 

2050 MODEM with Smart I Software (or TS1000 or 2068 *119.95 4 *500 S A H 

Designed especially for all TIMEX computers, the 2050 offers some exceptional features at a remarkable price. It's one of the new "Modular” hook-up modems Just plug the modem into your phone jack. The 
standard SMART I software that comes on cassette will allow you to use the 2050 with TIMEX 1000,1500, and 2068 computers and provides the capability to auto-dial and auto answer as well as access any outside 

(Jala DdSe 

SMART II Software for 2068 4 K s 4 H 

The optional SMART II software comes on cassette and provides auto-dial of up to 10 different phone numbers, each with it’s own preset access codes and log-on sequences! You can save and load other files 
containing phone numbers and other communication parameters making the auto dial feature capable of many more than the basic 10 numbers. It will also upload and download to and from memory. 
TASMAN PRINTER INTERFACE lor 2068 waoo $ $2 95 S 4 H 

A Centronic standard parallel interface which includes a 3-foot cable. LList and “LPRINT" software. Also includes FAST M/C, Hi-RES screen copy routines available for the 
Epson, Star Seikosha (Gorilla Banana), Centronics GLP and Radio Shack color printers IN COLOR "M 

TASWORD TWO WORD PROCESSOR for 2068 $49 95 4 1 95 S 4 H 

. .. 17,6 Passional standard word processor for the 2068 computer systems. A superb word processing program which is equal to Wordstar* (some say better). Interfacing is a cinch since Tasword Two drives 
full-width printers via the Tasman interface. NOTE: You can also use this with the TS2040 Printer!! 


SI9.95 A SI.95 S A H 


TASWIOE PRINT UTILITY lor 2068 

Allows your “BASIC” programs to output the display in 64 columns to your TV or printer! 

UPLOAD 2000 SHU* A 195 SAM 

Ji' 000 , 10 TS2 ?!i? Pr °. < l r Te^2 Ve ^ r , ™ s new program allows you to convert your library of ZX81, TS1000. and TS1500 programs into TS2068 programs! Now you don’t have to rekey all those programs to 
make them compatible with TS2068s. It works for programs written in BASIC, not machine code. Due to the difference in recording methods used, we recommend the use of a filter (FL1000) when loading TS1000 
programs into your TS206o. 

FL1000 (Filter for TS1000 Tapes - FL2000 Filter for TS2000 Tape - Please specify - FL1 or FL2) n or x 1 « « x u 

5'/a - Inch SINGLE FLOPPY DISK DRIVE (Shugart compatible) 11700 ?* m'S « x u 

5-/4 ■ Inch DUAL FLOPPY DISK DRIVES (Shugart compatible) ,29*95 A 10 00 S A H 

. , CL0 , S f E °i! T SALE ' bra {? new sin 9 |e - sided ' double-density Dual Floppy Disk Drives that includes power supply on/off switch, case and fan. (NOTE: You must supply the required controller board and cables 
to complete the system.) These can operate as single-density drives and can be used with other computers. 

DOS CONTROLLER BOARD A CABLE for TS1000/1500 *199 95 A 5 00 S A H 

F*trp T m!i! b fact i^'h 08 C ?^ SAVE * L0AD !° d ' Sk ? r ? SSett typC fr ° m T/S BASIC commands usin 9 this COMPUSA Controller board. Data files can be created using READ & WRITE physical track commands 
Extremely fast-loads a 32K program in 1 second. Extremely reliable - all files read & checked after beinn written r.nmp with 'o nano manual . Piirrh»a can<»«alu (nr tmnn 

FLOPPY DISK SYSTEM for TS1000/1500 

Complete Dual Floppy Disk System. Includes DDD2 and DOS/DD above. 

FLOPPY DISC INTERFACE for 2068 

SP-DOS offers these operating features: Loads 32K per second, Stores 820K per disk, 4 drives max. 

QUAD DENSITY FLOPPY (Required for Drive #1) 820K 

FLOPPY DISK SYSTEM for 2068 (Complete Floppy Disk System includes: SP-DOS and QDF, as described above.) 

80 COLUMN CENTRONICS GLP PRINTER 

Ideal for word processor above. Has both Draft and Near Letter Quality modes of printing. Handles cut sheet, roll and fan fold paper 
KEYBOARD for TS1000 *59.95 A *4.96 S A M 

.. mi S rv k 7 b0a I Cl does not have a case. The same key switch is used as is found in the expensive computers, such as: Hewlett Packard, Texas Instruments, Atari, DEC, etc. Multi-colored key caps are used with 
the TIMEX legends. It also has a space bar and six spare keys. No soldering required, as it just plugs into the computer board. 

MACHINE LANGUAGE PROGRAMMING ON THE TS1000 and TS1500 

This 250-page book describes how to do machine language programming within the environment of the T/S ROM. 

VU-CALC and VU-FILE (The Organizer) Getting Serious With Your TIMEX/SINCLAIR 

This new book describes how to inexpensively use Spreadsheet and File Management programs. 

GRAPHICS TABLET lor TIMEX 2068 (Interface and Software, and a 32-page Owner's Manual, ZebraPainter Quick Reference Card) 

COLORING BOOK SOFTWARE for above. (Allows screens to be displayed like a coloring book, then painted using only the NDALA Pad) 

SUPERTAPE for TS1000 and TS1500 

Has 45 programs, including: Secret ROM routine, Super f(n) plot, four 2K action games, Touch Type Teacher. 

COMPASS (Two Programs on one tape) 2068 INTEGER BASIC COMPILER (Limited Basic Set) and 2068 TWO PASS Z80 ASSEMBLER 

SIX 2068 PROGRAMS ON ONE TAPE (Text Edit) - Touch Type Learing Game, Hi-Res Lander, Three Game Pack, Oscilloscope, The Great Graphics Show. 

MAILING LIST for 2068 7 Fields, Can Search/Sort/Delete/Add by fields. 

SOFTWARE for ZX81/TSI000/TS1500 @ *8.00 each A *2.00 S 4 H or 5 for *25.00 A *3.00 S A H. or 10 for *40.00 A *4.00 S A H QUANTITIES LIMITED -Specify a second choice when ordering! 

Send *1.00 for a fully descriptive SOFTWARE catalog. 


1 second. Extremely reliable - all files read & checked after being written. Come with 32 page manual - Purchase separately for $10.00 - refundable. 

*429.95 A *10.00 S A H 

*199.95 A 3.95 S A H 

*289.95 A 7.95 S A H 
*449.95 A 8.95 S A H 
$299.95 A 5.00 S A H 


*14.95 A *1.95 S A H 

$19.95 A *1.95 S AH 

*119.95 4 *2.95 S AH 
$1*95 A $1.96 S AH 
*24.95 A *1.95 S A H 

*24^5 A *1.95 S A H 
*24.95 A *1.95 S A H 
*24.95 A *1.95 S A H 


Prices and availability are subject to change without notice. Call or write for current prices. Prices expire one month after publication Maximum S A H charged is $10.00 per order. 

Hardware carries Manufacturer's Warranty and our 10-day money back offer. Returned items must be in new condition and in their original containers with all instructions and documentation otherwise thev 
will not be accepted. Software is guaranteed to load. Defective tapes will be exchanged only. ’ mcy 


USE THIS ORDER FORM: 

□Check MO DVisa □MasterCard F©b. 1, 1985 
Card # 

Exp Date 

Send to 

E-Z HEV 

Suite 75, Dept. STX 
711 Southern Artery 
Quincy, Massachusetts 02169 
(617) 773-1187 


Qty. 

Item 

Unit Cost 

Item Total 

S&H 

Unit Cost 

S&H Total 





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Sub totals: 




Mass, residents add 5% sales tax 

Grand total: 


Signature 

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Dear Editor: 

Many users that I know share a 
single complaint. US vendors for 
the TS2 068 (as well as ZX/TS) don't 
advertise their products in any US 
Timex-Sinclair publication and, 
after we hunt them down, they don't 
deliver for months. Worse, they 
don't tell us when they'll deliver 
or warn us of delays. I mail-order 
software from England and have it 
in my hand in two weeks. 

Some vendors don't even order 
the merchandise until they have our 
money—but they don't say this up 
front. When we write, we get no 
answer. If they even have a listed 
phone, they don't answer. If they 
have an answering machine, they 
don't call back. 

As an industrial engineer I 
buy machines that take six months 
to deliver, I can deal with delay. 
But don't tell me you need two 
months and then take six. I waited 
from Jan. to May for a modem, then 
cancelled the order. In June, the 
company shipped it anyway and I 
refused it. 

Our members are subscribing to 
English magazines to find ads for 
software we can buy and use. Good 
stuff, not trivia. Shipped, not 
vaporware. Serviced, not ignored. 
There are vendors who want our 
business, we'll give it to them. 

Bob Dyl, Director 
Ocean State Users Group 
Newport, RI 02840 

SYNTAX shares your concern for the 
rude (and often illegal) behavior 
of some vendors. 

Locate & support the best & 
treat them honestly. Pay for what 
you use without exception. Three 
large UK software houses (Imagine, 
Rabbit, & Carnell) failed, despite 
product excellence, because of 


rampant copying. Sinclair User 
magazine reports a class of 26, of 
whom 17 own computers. All had 
copied a game, only 3 had ever 
bought one—KO. 


While John Slattery's system 
(VU-CALC review JUN.84 p 5) works, 
you can SAVE less and still have 
the necessary parts. 

First, add CLEAR as the first 
command in line 32 00. Then you 
SAVE "vc" CODE 29327,7000 to store 
the original MC program without 
data. You don't need the SCREEN? 
material it serves no computing 
function. (SCREEN? occupies 6912 
extra bytes on the tape—KO) 

Also, the program does not use 
all 37K without data. The BASIC 
part takes about 3K. The MC needs 
a little less than 7K—most space 
above RAMTOP holds data. 

I modified line 10 and added 
line 9990 as shown here: 

10 CLEAR VAL "29327": BORDER L 
N PI: PAPER LN PI: INK 9: CLS : 
PRINT FLASH l;"Leave Tape Runnin 
g as vcalc2 is being loaded.": L 
OAD "vc"CODE : GO TO VAL "3200": 

REM RLP mod 9/19/84 

9990 SAVE "vcalc2" LINE 10: REM 
rip mod SAVE "vc"CODE 29327,7000 

Does anyone know how/we can 
create 8-character vcalc columns? 

Robert L. Pekar, Columbus, IN 47201 


I need to erase a MC routine, 
stored above RAMTOP, so I can use 
the space. For example, I use a 
fast-load program to load a large 
application program. The fast-load 
sits above RAMTOP, mine sits below. 
When big arrays are DIMmed, I run 
out of space. How can I clear the 
memory, but not lose my program? 

H. Olsen, Prince Geo, BC V2N 2B2 


6 





You must move RAMTOP and ERR SP by 
poking the system variables, then 
execute 8 other pokes to recreate 
the 4 bytes just below RAMTOP at 
the new location & clear them from 
the old. You'll find the recipe to 
expand memory after a LOAD in the 
Jun.82 SYNTAX, p.15, with a crucial 
correction in Apr.83. Dave Wood 
gives a MC routine to move RAMTOP 
without erasing memory in his new 
book M L PROGRA MM ING ON THE TI M EX- 
SINCLAIR (Reviewed Oct.84). 

Before you expand the memory, 
you should POKE zeros from RAMTOP 
to the end of memory with a loop in 
BASIC, or write a small MC routine 
to do this. Dave Wood comes to the 
rescue again on p.64 of his book, 
showing how to use a ROM call to do 
this cleaning.—KO 


I'm having two problems trying 
to use the program for ZX/TS Home 
Budget (from SO, Spring 83) on my 
2068. It won't auto-RUN, nor will 
it SAVE properly once my variables 
have been entered. 

D. Brumfield, Jr, Roselle, IL 60172 

Change line 9900 to the 2068 
format SAVE "HOME BUDGET" LINE 100 
(or wherever you want to go) and 
get rid of 9905. My guess is this 
change will cure both problems—KO 


When I attach my 2040 printer 
to my ZX-81, and attach my 16K RAM 
I get only 8K of memory. Without 
the printer, it's fine. I've tried 
several computers and RAM packs; my 
problem follows the printer. 

Peter D. Aronson, NY, NY 10036 

You really know two things here— 
the problem is with the printer and 
it's related to address, not data. 
You almost certainly have a shorted 
address line. It's above A8, since 
the IK is unaffected, and below A14 
& A15 which play no role with a 16K 
RAM. Look for a short on A9-A13. 


Since all keys work (judged by the 
your sample program) I guess two 
address lines are shorted together. 
An open address line at the exten¬ 
sion connector would also reduce 
the memory addressed. 

Look for loss of shifted key 
functions in one or two half-rows 
when the printer is on the system. 
Shorts should affect the keyboard 
as well as the RAM. Opens leave 
the keys unaffected. 

Try a program to find missing 
addresses. Convert these to binary 
values and look for bits that don't 
change. This will identify a spe¬ 
cific address line and thus one pin 
on the connector. 

Look in the Connector first, 
then inside your printer. If you 
diagnose an open, the problem can't 
be inside the printer—it must be 
in the connector on the printer—KO 


I get no color with my 2 068 on 
my Amdek C 300 monitor. They tried 
the monitor and they say it makes 
fine color. Amdek says the monitor 
jack on my 2 068 may not be working. 

Do I need some adapter between 
the monitor jack and the monitor? 
Could it be the cable? 

Va. Stojanov, Mt. Laurel NJ 08054 

TS 2068 color signals are not up to 
standard and may not work with some 
monitors and TV's. We have no word 
that Amdek monitors work, but the 
Sears TV/monitor definitely does 
work. Try your computer on one of 
these in the store. Use the cable 
you have now. If it works on both 
TV and monitor, you know the Amdek 
is the problem. If not, your 2068 
needs repair, send it to the Timex 
Little Rock address in your manual. 

Readers with information on TV 
and monitor performance with TS2068 
computers may share it through 
SYNTAX. We'll publish a list. 


-7 





STYLE AND SPEED IN BASIC 


When you write a BASIC program, the 
order in which you carry out your 
tasks affects the speed of your 
program. This routine lets you see 
simple examples that show how the 
same task can take 42 seconds at 
the front of a program , but 78 at 
the end. When you've seen these 
results, you may rethink your 
notion to put a screenful of REM's 
at the start of your program. 


ADDITIONAL SECONDS REQUIRED FOR 
5000 GOSOBS AT SELECTED PLACES 


1 

1 

1 TOP 

CALL TO 

_ MID 

BOT 

1 

TOP| X 

+6 

+11 

CALL | 



MID|+12 

+18 

+2 3 

FROM | 



BOTl+25 

1 

+ 31 

+ 36 


Your 2068 and your ZX/TS (in 
FAST mode) take the same additional 
time for these tasks. For 2068's, 
X=42 seconds. In FAST, ZX/TS's 
take only 35 seconds because they 
use no time to control the screen. 
In SLOW mode, ZX/TS's will take 5-6 
times longer—both the fastest time 
and the penalty get magnified. 

SYNTAX measured these results 
using the listings reproduced here. 
Note that content of program lines 
is irrelevant—only the number of 
lines to skip affects the time. 
Also, these programs are not long, 
but we traverse them many times. 

You can rerun these tests with 
your changes. We just changed the 
target of the GOSUB to 10, 700, or 
1000 as desired. We always started 
with a clear screen and began the 
run with GOTO 2 , 2 00, or 2 000. 


we deleted lines 3, 300, and 3000, 
then tested. Sure enough, loops in 
the middle took 6 extra seconds and 
loops at the end took 11. Again, 
the 2068 came out a second slower. 

SYNTAX suggests the following 
rules to make your programs faster 
when that's your goal. Remember, 
speed costs readability. 

o Locate setups, REM's, and 
seldom-used pieces at the end. 

o Put often-used items and 
their calling routines at the front 
o Minimize the number of pro¬ 
gram lines preceding loops. 

o Trade complex instructions 
for fewer lines preceding loops. 

o Avoid subroutines called a 
lot by a loop near the end of the 
program—repeat the code in the 
loop instead. 

Program shown runs on ZX/TS. For 
2068, use lower-case variables and 
get a Syntactic Sum of 17683. 



Next we wondered if FOR-NEXT 
loops would take variable times, so 


8 





























BYTE-B ACK modules 

164-K MEMORY 


/ JF ’ -\ me Jules Carry 

/ /M’ 0 ■‘r —v 
/4^w\ 

\w&/ A) 

w/// A 

xaa a / 

vv / 


MD-2 SMART MODEM 
$119.95 KIT 

ASSEMBLED AND TESTED $149.95 

WITH NEW SMART, Menu Driven SOFTWARE 
Included FREE. 

• Send and receive Programs by Phone 

• Copy Information into memory from a Host 
Computer (such as CompuServe), Print it, Review 
it, Save it on tape. 

• Send Text from Memory 

• Use Timex 2040 Printer or Any RS-232 Printer 

• RS-232 Printer Port provided. 

• No need to buy a separate RS-232 Module to 
Drive your Serial Printer 

• No extra memory Required, But with 64-K 
Memory You Can Store Up To 60 Full Screens 

Use your phone to connect your “LITTLE" computer to th^ 
“LARGEST” computer networks in the world 

Order the MD-2B for your TS-llll 

Order the NO-48 for your TS-2048^Af J i 


PARALLEL PRINTER INTERFACE 

Tie your Tinex Sinclair to i S84 • 95 
full size parallel printer. ' % 

Cable and software included. u "'* i *” J 


W/f /7 Battery Back _up(fc «f AA 95 

$ 11 *. •* ASM MOLED & TESTEO ^ | ^ g(J 

the “ULTIMATE MEMORY, 

UM-64 NOt avai ^ ' * tk( Ts “28<8 

FEATURES: 

• Battery Backup - Computer and full 64-K Backed 

• PROM/ROM socket 

• Reset Switch-Reset without destroying Program 

• BYTE-BACK EXCLUSIVE FULL 64-K 

The 0-8K area is available You can execute a copy routine (provided) to 
copy the TIMEX ROM into the 0-6K area of RAM then flip a switch and you 
have your operating system in RAM You can modify it and create your 
Own customized operating system 


CONTROL THINGS WITH 
c o YOUR COMPUTER 

BYTE-BACK’S BB-1 
CONTROL MODULE 


$59 00 

INSTOCK! 

WIRED and TESTED $69.00 

• 8 Independent Relays 

(with LED status indicators) 

• 8 Independent TTL Inputs 

(with Schmitt trigger buffers 


ANALOG-DIGITAL CONVERTER <A-D> 

Plugs into your BB-I and allows * 2 9 ok 
_your caaputer to mature voltages * 3 


CompuServe SPECIAL!!! 
- HOUR 


S reg. *59.95 NON *29.95 


UM-64 wired and tested.$119. 

U1-44 Kit .$119. 

BB-1 wired and tested .......$49. 

BB-1 kit .$59. 

RS-232 wired and tested.$49. 

RS-232 kit .$59. 

ND-26 wired and tested.$149. 

ND-2B kit .$119. 

ND-48 wired and tested.$149. 

MO-48 kit.$119. 


lease specify computer type 

_ A-D converter for BB-1 .$29.95 

_ Test Lead for A-D converter ..$3.95 
_ Parallel Printer Interface ..$84.95 
_ Conpuserve Package .$29.95 

- Cable for RS-232 .$19.95 

SOFTWARE 

- Printer Software for RS-232 .$29.95 

. ZX PRO/FILE (TS18BI) .$14.95 

- ZX PRO/FILE (TS2I48) .$29.95 


Syntax 


Shipping and Handi n g SH 6 

ORDER PHONE (803) 532-5812 
Bill My □ Am. Exp. □ Visa □ M/C 

Card No---. Exp. Date_ 

Name _____ 

Address __ 

City/State/2 ip ___ 

Phone —. _ 


CHECKS 
MONEY ORDERS 



BYTE-BACK CO., RT 3 BOX 147, LEESVILLE, SC 29070 

















CLASSIFIEDS 


** ZX-TEXT ** 16-64K, 1300-6500 Words 
Write, Read/Edit, Print, Save,Clear 
Text. Full/Window-Screen Read/Edit: 
$19.95. ** ZX-CALC ** 32-64K, 15X30 
matrix,8chr/cell,Str labl,valu,frml 
All ZX81 fnctns,Cursor ent,dlt,algn 
Vert wdwg,Abslt/Reltv replctn, SUM/ 
Autocalc fnctn,Comptbl ZX/TS prntr: 
$19.95. A.F.R. SOFTWARE-1605 Penna. 
Av.,204,Mia.Bch,FI.33139.+FL si tax 

FASTFILE Professional Data Manage¬ 
ment System files anything quickly. 
Sorts 1500 5-byte records in 24 sec 
500 in 3 seconds. Searches Through 
1500 records in 1 sec. Adds up 1500 
decimal numbers in under 2 seconds. 
Write for more info or send $19.95 
+ $2.00 P&H to: TOM COLE 
1314 Speight #15 Waco, Tx 76706 

Thomas B. Woods has a big new cata¬ 
log with lots of brand new products 
NEW 8K ROM upgrade, Mscript WP, ZX 
Pro/File, Prowriter printers, Tas¬ 
man interfaces and much much more! 
Send $1 (refundable) to: 

Tom Woods Box 64 Jefferson,NH 03583 

**** GAM ES FOR THINKING PEOPLE **** 
For ZX81 or T/S1000, 16K or T/S1500 
KARTIK tm A crossword card game for 
2-8 players. Words scored across, 
down or diagonally. Lots of fun, 
and educational! 

TANGLE4 tm A new patented strategy 
game for 2-4 players. Uses board 
with hidden random directions of 
movement revealed by pieces. Will 
test your ability to think ahead. 
INTR SPECIAL $15.00 ea.(reg.$19.95) 
+ 6.5% tax (CA residents) +$2 S/H. 
Cassette or A&J Micro Drive Wafer. 
Check or MO to: Willcocks Research 
Consultants, 6321 W. 78th Place, 

Los Angeles, CA 90045. 

NEW INTEGRATED DATA SYSTEMS ADDRESS 
Specials: $40 TS1000, $25 TS 16K, 

$80 TS2040. P&H $5/ord or $1.50/ 
RAM. Cheque/VISA/M/C. Catalogue $2 
416/463-5510 Answering Machine 
35 W. Av, Suite B, Toronto M4M 2L7 


SERIOUS BUSINESS SOFTWARE for ZX81, 
T/Sl 000,T/S15 00. Send S.A.S.E. for 
catalog to: A.F.R. Software, 1605 
Penna.,Av.,2 04 ,Miami Beach,FI.3315 9 

FISHFINDER analyzes season, weather 
& solunar tables. Tells when, where 
& how to catch fish. Authored by No 


woods guide 30+ yrs. 2068 21.95 

SPECIAL PURCHASE (While they last) 
TS 1000's 29.95 

TS 1500's 49.95 

TS 2068's 119.95 

TS 2040's 89.95 

TS 16K Ram Packs 19.95 


Prices include shipping/handling 
BUDGETSOFT, 230 N Main Street 
Rushville, IN 46173 VISA/MC/CHKS 

COVERED ZX FEEDTHROUGH CONNECTORS 
Connector, extender circuit board, 
cover with side cable exit & screws 
as used on MW-100 printer. $10 ppd 
In stock, new—ORDER FROM SYNTAX. 



Each issue brings you 32 pages of usable in-formation, program 
listings, product reviews, programming articles, hardware 
projects, and applications -for your computer. T-S HORIZONS 
■features nationally known authors like Paul Hunter, Gordon 
Young, and others. The price is ONLY $15.00 -for a -full year 
(12 issues). AND -for a limited time only, new subscribers 
will receive our special telecommunications issue (#7, see 
below) *FREE* with their subscription. 


T-S Hirixinx 

A It o'dab** Quality lor Itta Time, Compute! Uset 

Ai(«t MT SL2S 



PROGRAMS BARR SWITCHING -4 

TIPS “ WORM "• CONCLUDED 

REVIEWS POWER SUPPLY? 

Rnn«rs A Gwiii Nee Celaaa 


IN T-S HORIZONS *7 
Byte Back Modem Review 
2068 Programming Tips 
How a Compiler Works 
Telecommumications 
•for Beginners 
Book & Game ^Reviews 
Rotating Globe Routine 
Articles By 'G. Young 
and Paul Hunter 
Sinclair In-fo. Network 
TS-1000 Power Supply 


-and more 1 1 1 



T-S HORIZONS 


$15 for 12 monthly issues. $2.00_sampl e or_back _[ssues_. 


’Enclose $15 (US) for 12-issue 
subscription, plus #FREE* back 
issue (while supplies last). 

$21 Canada, $25 other foreign. 
Extra back issue/samplei $2.00 

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STATE,Z1P_ 



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SYNTAX is published monthly by a wholly- 

owned subsidiary of The Harvard Group. 

Syntax ZX80, Inc. 

RD 2, Box 457, Harvard, MA 01451. 

Telephone 617/456-3661. 

Publisher: Kirtland H. Olson 
Editor: Eric K. Olson 
Consulting Editor: Ann L. Zevnik 
Technical Consultant: Kirtland H. Olson 

© Syntax ZX80, Inc., 1984. All rights reserved. 
Photocopying prohibited. ISSN 0273-2696 


OUR POLICY ON CONTRIBUTED MATERIAL 

SYNTAX invites you to express opinions related to any Sinclair or Timex com¬ 
puter or peripheral, or the newsletter. We will print, as space allows, letters discuss¬ 
ing items of general interest. Of course we reserve the right to edit letters to a 
suitable length and to refuse publication of any material. 

We welcome program listings for all levels of expertise, written in either Sinclair 
BASIC or Z80 machine code. Programs can be for any fun or useful purpose. We 
will test run each one before publishing it, but we will not debug programs; please 
send only workable listings. Ptograms submitted on cassette can be tested more 
quickly and with less chance of error. 

In return for your listing, we will pay you a token fee of $2.00 per program we 
use. This payment gives us the nonexclusive right to use that program in any form, 
world wide. This means you can still use it, sell it, or give it away, and so can we. 

We will consider submissions of news and hardware or software reviews. Please 
keep articles short (350-400 words). Again, we reserve the right to edit accepted 
articles to suitable length. We will pay 7 cents per 6 characters, including spaces and 
punctuation, for accepted articles. 

When you send in articles for possible publication in SYNTAX, please include 
the following information: 

• How to operate the program, including what to input if it does not contain 
prompts. 

• Whether you can run the program over again and how. 

• How to exit the program. 

• The Syntactic Sum (program published in June 81; 
send SASE for a free copy). 

• What RAM size program requires 

• What ROM program uses (8K, 2068, Spectrum). 

• For MC programs, what addresses must change to relocate the code and what 
ROM calls are used. 

We pay for this explanatory text at the same rate as we pay for articles in addi¬ 
tion to payment for the program itself. 

If you want us to return your original program listing or article, please include 
a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Otherwise, we cannot return submitted material. 


DEADSOFT (TM) 

Up to now, hardware freaks had 
all the fun. No more—now software 
junkies get an even break. SYNTAX 
offers you broken software to fix 
or use for parts in your projects. 

"At these prices we can't test 
'em." But it's the software that's 
bad—the tapes are fine. High- 
class stuff by famous authors, but 
production messed up. Load it, fix 
it, get working stuff and save big. 
We'd charge more for educational 
value, but the boss wants these off 
the kitchen floor, so out they go— 
cheap. Buy extras to give smart- 
mouths who call your ZX/TS a toy or 
put down your programming skills. 


TITLE _ FUNCTION _ PRIGS 

VIDEO PLAN* SPREADSHEET 39.95 
INVENTORY FILE MANAGER 49.95 
VIDEO AD SLIDE SHOW 24.95 
BREAKOUT (MC) GAME 11.95 
COMPUTACALC* SPREADSHEET 39.95 


* Reviewed in SYNTAX Mar.82 

SPECIFY DEADSOFT (TM) AND NAMES OF 
PROGRAMS WHEN YOU ORDER. 

YOUR PRICE S6/TAPE, $25/5 TAPES PPD 

SYNTAX, Harvard, MA 01451-0667 

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Winter 82-Summer 83) . $58 


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These offers expire Q3/31/85 — SUBSCRIBE NOW. 













Send us a copy of your SN label and 
your check or money order for $2 0 
and we'll send you all three issues 
of SQ magazine with the great John 
Oliger articles plus superb BASIC 
programs like the Federal Income Ta 
Planner, Syncwars, Home Budget, and 
Directory. Most of these programs 
will run on your 2068, some need a 
few minor modifications. Only $20 
with proof of your SyncWare News 
subscription. 

COMPLETE YOUR COLLECTION OF SYNTAX 

Send us a copy of your SYNTAX 
mailing label and you can get FREE 
back issues. Buy 1, get 1 FREE— 
mixed months, multiple copies—you 
choose your FREE back issues. Just 
what you 2068 owners need—get all 
the back issues dealing with the 
2068. Start with: 

o Nov.83 CITY for 2068 

or o Dec.83 FIRSTLOADER 

translates ZX/TS BASIC tapes 
to 2068. Completely documents 
your copy of UPLOAD. 

Remember, many ZX/TS programs work 
directly when typed into 2068's. 

OFFERS EXPIRE 31 MAR 85 


TVE 

H\RV\RD 

GI^OLP 

Bolton Road, Harvard. Mass 01451 




MW—100 PRINTER $14+$5 P&H 

when you buy Super Deal II at $126. 


NOT A MISPRINT— 

THIS IS A LIMITED-TIME SPECIAL 

YOU GET: 


50 Issues of SYNTAX, 

Nov.8 0 to Dec.84 $25 0 

All 3 Issues of SQ 27 

2 Custom SYNTAX binders _lfi 

Value Subtotal $295 
MW-100 Plain-Paper Printer 
works w/ ZX/TS only 55 

YOUR TOTAL VALUE $350 

YOU SAVE $210 

PAY ONLY $140 


Add just $10 for 15 rolls of 
extra plain paper 
Please include S&H 


INVENTORY CLEARANCE 

The ZX81/TS1000 Home Computer Book 
by David C. Foyt. Osborne/McGraw- 
Hill, ISBN 0-88134-106-1. Worth it 
for the program merge routines of 
appendix G alone. That's right! A 
way to combine BASIC programs from 
separate tapes in your ZX/TS! Use 
with LINESUM (SYNTAX Aug.84). Get 
this & more for only $5+$2 P&H. 

OFFERS EXPIRE 31 MAR 85 


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