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Full text of "TCS (1979-03)(Tidewater TRS-80 Users Group)(US)"

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P.O. BOX 10281 

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA 

23513 



MARCH/APPIL 1979 



PUBLISHED ON-PAINY'SHEEKEWDS 

Hello, 

We got to play with the. new Voice Synthesizer (26-1180) 
that is a little high at S399. But it works surprisingly 
well and programming it doesn't appear to be too hard to 
learn. Each phoneme . is .programmed separately and a simple 
word like "zero" tlas as many" a i six phonemes: sss eee' ah 
eh are oh. Combined'Thto-a word- i-t sounds very realistic 
and complete sentences are -almost natural, not as halting 
as expected.... The'mimeric keypad is now standard on new 
TRS-80 's and older units can be upgraded with this 
feature by ordering 26-1103 for $89. We added our own 
last summer for only $7 and we will tell you how if you 
send an SASE.... The Telephone Interface II (26-1171) is 
a full answer and originate acoustic coupler for $199 and 
we've seen it in action with a terminal program talking 
to a big computer at a college.,.. We understand that new 
Expansion Interfaces are being designed with a different 
printed circuit board layout. They will include the 
buffers added with the "pregnant" interface cable so it 
will no longer be needed and the new layout yill reduce 
other glitches discovered in the existing units. 

Also from Radio Shack is a factory-authorized 
modification to eliminate' cassette loading problems. 
Incoming data pulses set a flip-flop which is reset by a 
delayed count from the computer's timing chain. This 
chops off the incoming data pulses into 150 nanosecond 
slices that are automatically synchronized to the 
computer and is immune to noise, distortion or amplitude 
variations caused toy ground loops or dropouts due to 
inconsistant oxide deposits on tape. It is a small 
printed circuit board about one inch square containing 
two IC's, two diodes and a resistor plus six flying leads 
to connect to the main computer board. We have it 
installed in one of our units and it works perfectly. We 
have both Level I and Level II in our.. computer and almost 
any tape can be loaded with any volume setting between 4 
and 10 on our CTR-41. So we just leave it on 7 and forget 
it. Ask for XRX-III and your local Radio Shack will have 
it installed for $13. It's well worth it. 

If any of you find errors in ANY Radio Shack manuals let 
us know so we can spread the word. Even if it has already 
been reported widely, we are compiling a list that will 
be made available to anyone upon request and many newer 
owners are unaware of errors reported before they bought 
their units. The lates£*.j/e ' have is on page 75 of the 
Editor Assembler manual (26-2002). In the left column at 
RR(IY+d) change 00011110 IE to read 11111101 FD. We 
confirmed that with the Zilog Z-80 Assembly Language 
Programming Manual on page 187. The member who caught it 
has been working on improvements to Editor Assembler that 
can be made by changing a few bytes here and there. For 
example, if you ever used "B" to exit to BASIC and then 
tried to jump back you discovered it didn't work right 
and had to be reloaded from tape. A 30-byte change 
remedies this. Another 20-byte change allows you to jump 
back and forth between Editor Assembler and a high memory 
version of TBUG. For a copy of these changes" and more 
send $1 for duplication .and postage. 

We got one of the first TRS-80 ELECTRIC PENCIL'S (we're 
using it for this letter) and think it's great. On the 
tape following the .main-, program we recorded a short 
dictionary of the words we have the most trouble spelling 
like: peripheral, preferred, incidentally, and 
exaggerated. Then, after loading the PENCIL, we just read 
in the dictionary if we think we are going to need it. 

For those of 'you waiting for ELECTRIC PENCIL on disk, it 
is now available for $158 fro Michael Shrayef'Software, 
1253 Vista Superba Drive, Glendale, CA 91205. It uses 
some TRSDOS 2.1 routines; and comes on cassette which you 
transfer to disk ,Th£ best %ewe is reglsieced owners of 
the <ion-disk version can trade it in for an *8$f=crefcit 
toward purchase of the disk version.... Small,, System 
Software, Box 366, Newbury Park, CA 91320 also sells 
ELECTRlCTENCtL'Vseve'ral machine language monitors, and 
now, the famous-CP/M Operating System for $145.... CP/M 
is also available for TRS-80's at $150 from FMG Corp., 
Box 16020, Ft. Worth, TX 76133 (817) 738-0251. Their ad 
also mentions information about FOPTRAN and COBOL..., 
TRS-80- FORTRAN and Z-80 development software is now 
available for $350 from the same people who developed our 
Level n BASIC. For a free overview write Microsoft, 
1S*00 NE Eighth, Suite 819, Bellevue, WA 98004.... 



Percom, 318 Barnes, Garland, TX 75042 (800) 527-1592 
(tpll free) sells a disk drive compatible with the TRS-80 
for $399. One of our members who already had a Radio 
Shack disk drive bought a/ Percom unit as a second drive. 
He reports they work well together and the Percom seems 
to be faster and quieter. It also allows the use of both 
sides of the disk. However, he had to -buy an extender 
cable because the electronics are in a different location 
and the Radio Shack cable was too short to reach the plug 
without leaving the cover off. 

The marketing of TRS-80 compatible peripherals has been 
slow while manufacturers have waited to see what standard 
bus Radio Shack would use or develop. Well, they don't 
seem tq be using or developing one. Their Expansion 
Interface does not contain a motherboard and is merely a 
universal interface of different kinds of connectors for 
their own printers and disks plus sockets for memory and 
an RS-232 board. It has a floppy disk controller and dual 
cassette relays whether you want those features or not 
and there is no room for anything else internal. Any 
further expansion must be plugged into the single 
expansion connector like the one on the back of the 
keyboard unit. 

So now several companies are developing true expansion 
units with motherboards of common sockets. Some will use 
the S-100 bus and others are developing a new bus. We 
have the pin designations for a 44-pin bus that will be 
used by at least three manufacturers which we will send 
you upon request. You can expect to see more TPS-80 
add-ons that will fit in these units pretty soon. 

CREATIVE COMPUTING now has a monthly column devoted to 
the TRS-80 and is an excellent source for new products. 
Their March issue contains a good review of the TRS-80 
floppy disk system compared to the MITS system.... 
KILOBAUD continues to have good TRS-80 articles. The 
February issue has a nice index for the Level II 
reference manual and the January and April issues have 
articles on tape controllers including an automatic dual 
cassette interface for Level I computers.... The third 
issue of TRS-80 COMPUTING ($15 for 12 issues from CIE, 
Box 158, San Luis Rey, CA 92068) received this week has 5 
whole pages of TRS-80 software titles and sources 
reprinted from Robert Elliot Purser's Reference List.... 
CHICATRUG is a dandy new newsletter with some good 
programming hints from the Chicago TRS-80 User Group. 
It's available for $9 a year from Emmanual B. Garcia t 
Assoc, Apt. 2310, 3950 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 
60613. 

Here we are in the new year and it is ooing so fast we 
find ourselves oetting behind already. Our croup has 
grown so large we've had to do Borne deep tKinking about 
what new direction, if any, to proceed in. As 
individuals, we can't afford the costs of mailing our 
letters as we have been doing in the past and we don't 
feel the world is ready for another TRS-80 newsletter to 
subscribe to. So, finding some new volunteer help in the 
local user group, we have decided to continue on a FREE 
membership basis as long as there is an interest. 

To help keep costs down we need to control our 
circulation so we are asking you to become a "member" of 
TCS by returning the enclosed registration form. That way 
we are sure only TRS-80 owners INTERESTED in receiving 
our free letters are on our list. There is no cost or 
obligation and your name won't be sold to anyone else 
unless you authorize it on the form. If you have been 
receiving our letters but fail to return the form we will 
keep your name but at the bottom of our list and you 
won't hear from us nearly as often. 

One of the ways we pay our costs is by mailing flyers for 
companies selling TRS-80 related products. That's why we 
need as many "members" as possible so we urge you to *make 
copies of our registration form for your friends or just 
send us their names and addresses so we can send them 
one. Also, if you buy any of these products be sure to 
let them know you got their flyer from TCS. 

We are compiling a list of local and national user groups 
that is updated monthly and is free upon request. Please 
send us information on your group including the name and 
address of a representative, meeting location, times and 
dates, dues, etc. Inform your members about us and send 
us a roster with addresses if possible. If your group 
has a newsletter, feel free to reprint any information in 
our letters that you wish. If you can include us on your 
mailing list it would be appreciated. We'll make sure you 
get all our letters and mention you frequently which 
should be good for business. 

Anyone writing for additional information should at least 
send a self-addressed stamped envelope or, preferrably, a 
dollar bill which would pay for a stamp and help pay 
duplication costs. Thank you and have a nice day. 



If TCS is new to you, let us introduce ourselves.... 



TCS MEMBER'S BULLETIN BOARD 



We are small groups of TRS-80 users who have become r 
larger group by establishing a network of communication. 
We would like you to join us, either as a user group or 
as an individual. We like to think that TCS stands for 
TRS-80 COMPUTER SOCIETY but actually it is the acronym of 
a computer services organization which supports our 
goals, contributes to our efforts, and allows us the use 
of their facillities. 

We communicate with local user groups across the country 
and share information. We support all the national 
newsletters and user groups and encourage membership in 
as many as you can afford. However, we feel there should 
be at least one FREE group that has no purpose other than 
serving the basic informational needs of most TPF-80 
users without seriously competing with any other group. 
It is our intention to: 

* inform you of TPS-80 articles in computer 
magazines so you can go buy the issue if 
you didn't already see it 

* comment on contents of user group newsletters 
so you can tell what you're missing if you 
don't subscribe to all of them 

* inform you of sources of new products and 
accessories available for the TRS-80 

* inform you of errors in manuals and POP's 

* provide whatever assistance we can, through 
personal letters, in applications, programming 
problems or interfacing 

You will notice we do a lot of reporting without going 
into "details" of things like hardware modifications and 
software fixes. That can take up a lot of space which we 
can't afford so we leave the bulk of it to user group 
newsletters and outfits like TPS-80 COMPUTING and 
SOETSIDE who can do a better job. But we will let you 
know what they are doing and can provide details of some 
things for those of you who want it and will send SASF's. 
We are working on summaries of things like errors in 
Radio Shack operating manuals, ROM's, modifications, 
etc., and we'll announce them as they become available. 
By the way, we need inputs for these. 

We've provided personal assistance to fellow users since 
late 1977 but, becoming aware of a continuing need, ve 
have only formalized and intensified our efforts in the 
past few months. Essentially, our service is FRFF. Ml 
we ask is that you register with us so we know you want 
to receive our letters. If you belono to a local user 
group please send us a roster or make copies of our 
registration form for your members so we can include them 
in our mailings. This goes for anyone else you know of 
who has a TRS-80. 



SOFTWARE 

SATTRK 

An amateur radio operator satellite tracking program for 
Oscar 7 and Oscar 8 adapted to the TRS-80. Level II 16K, 
$5.00 - John Blair, 122 Dumont Pt., Norfolk, VA 23505 

PRINT 

A 225 byte machine language printer driver utility routine 
that allows you to select number of characters per line, 
lines per page, spaces between lines, head delay for 
certain printers and generate form-feeds, if desired, when 
using Level II printer commands. Specify 4K, 16K, 32K or 
48K version, $5.00 - John Blair, 122 Dumont St., Norfolk 
VA 23505 

* DICE 

A craps game demonstrates this sophisticated graphics 
routine of rolling dice which can be incorporated into 
your own game programs. Level I or II, 4K. $5.00 - TCS 

* HAPPY 

Single alphanumeric characters selected at random are 
displayed in large block form for young children. When 
matching key is pressed acknowledgement is given by 
appearance of large, winking "happy face". Level II 16 K 
$5.00 - TCS 

* DOODLE P 

First letters of commands left, right, up, down and angle 
plus numerical length draws graphic patterns on display to 
quickly evaluate ideas or entertain kids. Level I or II, 
4K. Three versions included for $5.00 - TCS 

* GRAPH 

Utility subroutine that accepts keyboard entry of data and 
displays 12 month vertical bar graph with scale 
automatically calculated or selected by preset inputs. A 
second version displays 24 months by offsetting two 12 
month periods for comparisons. Starts with any month. 
Level I or II, 4K. Both versions included for $5.00 - 
TCS 

* DEMO 

A full lbK demonstrator to show off TRS-80 to friends. 
Includes guessing game, random math problems with 
automatic grading, price/quantity comparison for shopping, 
and cost analysis using home insulation as example. Level 
I or II, 16K, $5.00 - TCS 

* WATER 

Of interest to water systems engineers. Calculates open 
channel flow (trapazoidal or circular cross-section) , 
normal flow, critical flow, normal depth, critical depth, 
backwater or drawdown by direct step method, pressure pipe 
flow (Darcy Weisbach) and multiple reservoir flow from or 
to single junction. In 3 parts for Level I, 4K systems. 
$5.00 - TCS 



We can't afford to include everyone in every mailing so, 
unless you represent a group, we rotate the names on our 
list. We are attempting to reach more people each time 
by raising additional money for printing and postage with 
sales of software and cooperative mailing with 
manufacturers. If you sell any TPS-80 related product or 
service, please inform us so we can include you in an 
index we are preparing. If you advertise by direct mail, 
we can save you money mailing your flyers first class-. 
Write for details and next mailing date. If you buy from 
advertisements we send you please let them know TCS was 
responsible. 

In the next column of this sheet you will find individual 
member's ads, a new service which we welcome anyone to 
participate in. There is no charge for placina an ad. 
If any sales result we would appreciate a small 
percentage (you determine the amount) as a commission to 
help pay future printing costs for this space. But 
you're not obligated so send in a short ad for some 
program or subroutine and see if anybody needs it. 
You've got nothing to lose. If you need something, we 
accept "want ads" also. 

Almost all of the ads this time are from local people to 
help kick off the ad column but next time we want to see 
some from other people. If no address is given just 
order through TCS. Pome items are ours and some we will 
just take orders for. If more than one item marked with 
an asterisk (*) is ordered, it will be contained on a 
single cassette and their combined price may be reduced 
25%. 

If you have any questions, write. We'll answer. 



CALENDAR 

Creates 1979 wall calander on a printer having 10 
characters/inch and 6 lines/inch. Features nude girl 28" 
high formed by standard typewriter symbols. Level II 16K, 
$10.00 - TCS 

* BOWLAVG 

Stores bowling scores on data tape and displays entire 
season graphically. Also calculates series required to 
increase average by one pin. Level II 4K, $5.00 - TCS 

HARDWARE 

BUFFER BOX , 

Connects in series with cassette recorder to prevent relay 
failures in computer due to high current load. Also 
provides pushbutton override control of recorder. $20 + 
$2 postage - Art Bosshart, c/o TCS 

PLUGS 

Expansion port connectors for keyboard unit will accept 

40-wire ribbon cable, $7.50 - TCS 

RS-232 INTERFACE SCHEMATICS 

For use without expansion unit. Indicate equipment to be 

used. $5.00 - TCS 

LEVEL I ROM'S 

For those who wish tjhey had kept their ROM's when they had 
Level II installed and now want both I and II in their 
computer. $20.00 when available. Write TCS to put your 
name on the waiting list. If you want to sell your ROM's, 
let us know and we'll send you the name of a buyer. Please 
indicate whether it is a one-chip or two-chip ROM set.