Skip to main content

Full text of "ZXir QLive Alive"

See other formats


Timex/Sinclair NorthAinericMi User Groups 


»» 2Iir §Um AUmi «« 

Tine^isclwr NorthAmericm User Grtwpt Aibwn, Indiuw 

Volume I, Number 1 Spring 1991 



T/SNUG Chairmen 

T/SMUG Information 

ZXir QLlve Alive' Article Contributions . 

Contributors to this Issue 

T/SMUG Meetings 

From the Chairnians Desk 


SYSOP's Twisted Pair 


Software List 

Special Deals and Buys 





And now a word from our venders 


Here Is the list of 1991 T/SNUG Chairman and how I 
them. We wish to support at least the following SIGS, ZXB0/ZX81, 
SPECTRUM/TS2068/TC2068 and QL. If you have questions about any 
of these fine machines contact the Chairman. 


Chairman Don Lambert 219-925-1372 Chief Motivator 

Vice-Chairman Bob Swoger 708-837-7957 News letter /BBS Sysop 
Vice-chairman Al Feng Rltt-trimtf MM /CATUG QL 

vice-chairman Rod Gowen Plotter/CCATS 
Vice-chairman Bill Harmer TS Bullitin 

vice-chairman Open QL 

Vice-Chairman Open Dues and Purchasing 

Vice-Chairman Open Librarian 
Vice-chairman Open What can you do? 

Copyright (C) 1991 Timex/Sinclair NorthAmerican User Groups 
ZXir QLive Alive! 

Kick-off AnciotiQceinsni 

is DEAD! 


If a doctor saw no life in a 
body for six months he would 
presume that body was dead! If 
our user group doesn't hear 
from another user group for six 
months we presume It is dead 
and we cease to exchange 
newsletters with It. We have 
waited long enough for the 
leaders of SNUG to MOVE but 
they haven ' t ! Do you all 
remember "Lead, follow or get 
out of the way! "? 

The folks at the helm presently 
must not be thought of as bad, 
they just don't have the time 
to devote to this undertaking. 
Therefore, let us not chase 
them away as we will need their 
help, let's just ask them to 
step aside and let us get 
moving. As Larry Kenny points 
out all the time "being 
negative causes destruction and 
lose. The SNUG officers are 
fine men, they are just 

Since SNUG was supposed to be 
US, the SINCLAIR community, WE 
must be the ones to get it 

and HAS the SPUNK to motivate 
Others who will MOVE . That man 
is Don Lambert of AUBURN, 
INDIANA, formerly of CRAGIST, 
the newsletter of the CEDAR 

RAPIDS, IOWA group. T/S user 

groups, let's give Don his 
head, as you would let go of 
the restraints of a horse, and 


to a place that gives you a 
warm feeling! 

What I am proposing here is 
that WE allow Don to be the 
CHAIRMAN of a NEW organization 
T/SNUG, the 

T/S users group to motivate a 
VICE-CHAIRMAN from their group 
to add their names to the list 
of vice-chairman for the 
purpose of maintaining activity 
in T/SMJG. The present 
conventional officer set-up of 
SNUG makes no sense! The 
...president has to call meetings 
and have the other officers 
present. For a continent wide 
outfit, HOW? How can you vote 

A good number of T/S users are 
retired and have talent. Let's 
get this show on the road and 
use that talent! 

If Don took the reigns as 
Chairman, and other men took a 
vice-chairmanship for other 
tasks, Don would not have to 
wait on others to get an OK to 
move from a few officers, he 
could move on his own from what 
he gets from a pool of about 
20. Also, Don has most of the 
equipment. What say we give him 
a try? At first he will be the 
whole thing, but as each member 
group adds to the list o£ 
vice-chairman willing to do 
some task, this thing can grow. 

Don would see to it that 

software libraries were built 

up and listed in the 
newsletter periodically. 

Don would build a list of 
every known T/S user in North 
America and make it available 
to all user groups. 

The T/SNUG newsletter would 
always be available on BBS so 
that all the INFO(could be 

The T/SNUG newsletter would 
also include printings of 
: catalogs FREE to the 

and then, ask each 

CATUG did offer SNUG newsletter 
help and SNUG did not take it, 
we offered BBS help and SNUG 
did not take it . Don will 
accept help from all of us. 

How do we give this a try? Find 

someone in your group who is 
retired and willing to send 
copies of your newsletters to 
Don in hard copy and S 1/4" 
disk in one of the formats he 
mentions in his letter and see 
what he does with it. A small 
check of encouragement would be 
nice to get this moving^ as for 
FUNDS? They would be in the 
future the same as for SNUG and 
if SNUG has any left on hand 
now, they could forward those 
funds to Don eventually. Don 
must not do this out of his own 
pocket, for sure, his wife 
would kill him! 

As for a mailing list, if Don 
can't obtain a list from SNUG, 
he can build a new list from 
the user groups. 

If you feel as I do, talk this 
over with your user group, find 
a vice chairman for T/SNUG and 
have him or her get in touch 
with Don. 

Many thanks to Al Feng for the 
newsletter name, ZXir QLive 
Alive! It expresses the wish of 
many to keep the ZX/TS/QL 
family of computers going for 
decades to come. 

Bob Swoger, Representative 
Chicago Area Timex Users Group 

T/SNUG Information 

ZXir QLive Alive ! is the 
newsletter of T/SNUG, the new 
Timex/Sinclair Nor thAmer lean 
User Groups. We are committed 
to put out at least four 
newsletters a year. For an 
annual contribution of S12.00 
for individuals or $15.00 for 
user groups you can become a 
T/SNUG member with full 
membership privileges, we will 
earn your support! For now, 
send your contribution to: 

ZXir OLIvs Allva NawalatUr 
AUBURN IN 46706 

T/SNUG, the Timex/Sinclair 

group who will take charge of 
sending us your user groups 
news letters and other 
correspondence. If you desire 
to reprint any articles that 
appear here, please provide 
credit to the author and this 
newsletter . 

We encourage your user group to 
copy this newsletter and 
distribute it at your regular 
meetings to your members. 

Articles appearing in this 
newsletter can be obtained by 
downloading this newsletter 
from our BBS. You may reprint 
it using this means if you 

ZXir QLive Aliwl 

If you would like to contribute 
an article to the newsletter, 
upload a file to our BBS called 
TSNUG . ART . If you have an AD 
for the newsletter UPLOAD a 
file called TSNUG. ADS. If you 
have NEWS to POST about your 
group, UPLOAD a file called 

If you need help contact the 
SYSOP by mail, E-MAIL on the 
T/SNUG BBS, or by phone: 



STRZAMWOOD IL 60107-1647 

It is preferred that you call: 
H708/837-7957 or W708/576-806B 

If you can only contribute hard 
copy or disk format, send your 
inputs to: 

It is preferred that you call: 
H219/925-1372 before sending. 



Don Lambert 



T/SNUG, the Timex/Slnclair 
Nor thAmer lean Users Group, 
can't hope to have meetings if 
we are spread all over the 
continent, so we will meet in 
user group newsletters . Each 
user group can express the 
needs of the T/S community in 
open letters to T/SNUG. 

One meeting of T/SNUG is 
possible at DAYTON in August as 
we are finding that ISTUG, 
CATS, SMUG and CATUG will all 


Happy 1991! The turn of the 
decade certainly has heralded 
many changes. 1991 sure started 

was a phone call i 
Swoger after he read i 
wrote to CCATS 
asked for a disk with my letter 
to CCATS on it and here is a 
portion of that letter; 


Dear T/Sers, 

Is there a SNUG? That depends 
upon what you call it. I talked 
to Paul Holgren and the next 
issue (is It 13) is about ready 
to be mailed. I got a firm 
promise of that before the next 
meeting of ISTUG (March 30th) 
but also at the last meeting I 
got assurances it would be 
mailed within two weeks. 

I assure you it does me no good 
as an editor not knowing when 
it will get published and 
mailed so that I will know what 
material was used in the issue 
so that I can lay out the next 
issue. I do have the material 
for the next few issues and 
some material of my own to 
include . 

This is not by my design but 
what has been given to me, I do 
not have the list of addresses 
of members or I would have dug 
into my pocket and gotten 

something out. For some reason 
they or Paul wants to retain 
the control of the printing and 
mailing. And Paul is 155 miles 
away and letters go unanswered 
and telephone calls get 
expensive. They requested me 
to be SNUG newsletter editor 
last November and so far not 
much has been done. That 
seems typical of SNUG. 

If I had the information to be 
able to mail out to the SNUG 
members, something would have 
been done, at least by last 
Christmas. Nothing fancy but at 
least let everyone know that 
SNUG was still around. Several 
times I almost gave up but I 
keep thinking that it will get 
going. I hope that it will, 
before all the T/Sers leave the 

Rumors and hints of a pending 
election of SNUG officers means 
maybe someone can be elected to 
get this going. I will admit 
that I am not a political 
animal but more of a doer and 
maybe that is what is needed. 
Of course, if I were an officer 
I might antagonize some members 
but that would be better than 
what is going on now. 

About elections, I would accept 
an office, I don't know the 
duties of any but I would not 
turn down any. But I would want 
to continue the SNUG newsletter 
if at all possible unless 
someone with better 

qualifications comes along. It 
will be a thankless job I know 
but if anyone sends mematerlal 

Look not only at a persons 
ability but also at their 
ability to devote time to it. 
Nominate someone that will work 
at it, not a name that just 
hasn't time to do it. By 
default you are almost looking 
at retired people to do the 
necessary work. But also most 
retired people have their time 
well scheduled and want to do 
other things too. For example, 
Bill Jones of UPDATE. I am 
proud to have known him even if 
it was by telephone and letters 

As far as my abilities with the 
T/s computers, I am still in 
the beginners stage in many 
ways. I will admit that since I 
have attended the ISTUG 
meetings beginning back in 
October (I missed the January 
meeting, swap meet too) I have 
learned so much more. Not what 
I would go to the meetings to 
find out but what was there to 
learn and what the others 
wanted to explain. I still have 
problems but I am further along 
than before I moved into ISTUG 

I only work with the ZXBO, 
ZX81, T/S1000, T/S1500 and the 
the T/S2068. I do have one 
T7S2068 with the SPECTRUM BOM 
but r have not used it. when I 
feel that I have learned the 
T/S2068 I will be ready for the 
SPECTRUM. Since the QL and the 
Z88 do not use the same 
language I am not interested in 
them. At present, the only time 
I would want to have a QL Is 
when I need to copy an EPROM. 

I have much hardware for the 
above computers and lately, 
March 2nd, I performed a 
marriage and now have the 
Lar Ken/01 lger disk systems 
(SUPER DOS J running on ray 
working T/S2068 computer. I did 
not do the complete hardware 
modification of the LarKen dock 
board since I did not bend out 
pin 1 of the "74HCT74 chip on 
the OLIGER SAFE board and tie 
it to pin 14 so that I could 
power up with both interfaces 
active without the computer 
freezing up as suggested by 
Larry Kenny. The only problem 
is that I cannot LOAD my Oliger 
version of MSCRIPT VS. 5 with 
the LarKen board enabled. If I 
do and I try to LOAD a file the 
computer does a new! a quirk I 
can live with since I an now 
aware of it. The reason I did 
not bend out pin 1 is that the 
chip is soldered in. 

On the ZX81 I am trying to get 
an AERCO disk interface working 
with double sided 40 track 
drives. The used system that I 
have has one single sided 35 
track drive and the docs 
confirm that it was from the 

days of 8 inch drives and when 
the first 5 1/4" drives were 
single sided 35 track and quite 
likely single density since the 
software asks when you FORMAT 
if it is single or double 
density. Changing drives 
requires a new interface EPROM. 
AERCO still makes the system 
and supplies the EPROMs. I have 
the LarKen ZX81 disk system but 
to SAVE a program that has 
machine code in it you have to 
POKE the start address and the 
length of the code and I do not 
know how to find that out. 

On the T/S20S8 I have been 
transferring my LarKen MSCRIPT 
files to Oliger by way of a 
cassette version of MSCRIPT 
V5.0 which I converted to LOAD 
LarKen and to SAVE Oliger. That 
does beat SAVEing to cassette 
and reLOADing to the other 
version of MSCRIPT which I did 
a few times before I got the 
LarKen/Oliger marriage 

Anyone with comments to send in 
to SNUG please do this, ask for 
help, got something to sell, 
want to buy something, got a 
problem, got a solution to a 
problem you have had. Anything 
at all about any of the T/S 
computers including the clone 
of the ZX81, the PC8300 (or 
IQ8300) . 

If you write and want an answer 
please use a LSASE so that I do 
not have to dip into my 
allowance to reply. My postage 
bill is high enough and the new 
rate does eat into my allowance 
even more. Can't believe how 
fast the stamps go, I buy them 
about 40 at a whack and it 
seems like I have to do it more 
than once a month. Same with 
telephone calls, I am willing 
to talk anytime except that my 
wife when she is home does like 
to have me do other 

Bob Swoger is the Editor for 
the Glenside Color Computer 
Club, the Chicago Area Time* 
Users Group, and both President 
and Editor of the Motorola 
Microcomputer Club in Illinois. 
5 He suggested that I take the 

bull by the horns and become 
the chairman of a new group 
that would do what SNUG was 
supposed to do. Now, Bob is 
some kind of salesman and he 
feels that we will get the 
backing of the T/S community if 
I accept this chairmanship and 
we, the T/S community, break 
loose from SNUG and 'RUN WITH 

IT 1 so to speak. OK, I am 
willing to give it a try. 

I will need your help, I can't 
do it alone, but I assure you 
that when I say that the 
Tlmex/ Sinclair NorthAmerican 
Users Group is going to be 
moving forward in innovative 
software, user support, and 
product assistance; you are not 
hearing the rumblings of a 
madman nor the visions of a 
lunatic. You are hearing the 
convictions of one who knows 
the binding power of this 
fellowship, and the collective 
desire to 'help the person next 

Don Lambert, Chairman 
Timex/Sinclair NorthAmerican 
User Groups 



!!! REMEMBER !!! 
We now have a 24 hour BBS and 
encourage you to exchange mail 
and contribute to the Download 
Section. Use it and have fun! 


* 708/576-7072 * 

* Type at the > prompt : * 


* BYE to log out * 

are: DIR, TYPE, MAIL * 
UPLOAD filename. type * 
DOWNLOAD filename. type * 


In this spot we will give you 
an accounting of our finances, 
you have a right to know. 

for the year 1991 forward, 
please be ready to include your 
ZIP+4 code when you renew your 


DAYTON ComputerFest August 

It has been reported by Bill 
Heberlein, the President of the 
SMUG group that CATS, CATUG, 
ISTUG and SMUG are planning to 
be at the DAYTON ComputerFest 
in August. The exact date is 
still not known yet but we hope 
the Sinclair community will 
take this opportunity to make a 
good showing. We will let you 
know of the exact dates and 
other details when we find them 



I have gotten Involved with 
disk drives and different disk 
operating systems (DOS) for 
both the T/S2068 and the ZX81. 
Currently I have two different 
DOSs for each. I started out 
with the LarKen DOS for the 
T/S2068 and I thought that was 
the very best. It will support 
3 1/2" or 5 1/4" Single or 
Double Sided, Double or Quad 
density SHUGART compatible disk 


cassette commands but with 
a prefix. To LOAD you would 
enter rand USB 100: LOAD 

"XXXXXX. [A or B Or C)X". As you 
can see you have six 
characters, a mandatory decimal 
place and then a mandatory A or 
B or C and then an optional 
character but there has to be 
one. Contrary to cassette, you 
have to format a disk before 
you can SAVE a file to it. Once 
you have done the key punching, 
the LOADing or SAVEing or other 

change drives you use: RAND I 

100: GOTO (0 or 1 or 2 or 3 or 
4) with 1 being the RAMDISK. 

The main difference between 
RAMDISK and the regular drives 
is the speed of LOADing and 
SAVEing and also the fact that 
it is silent. I thought that 
was great . 

Then Bob Swoger of CATUG 
(Chicago) sent me a copy df 
LogiCall which is an Auxiliary 
Operating System for the 
LarKen. LogiCall is installed 
on every disk you have and only 
takes up one track, when you 
power up the computer LogiCall 
is LOADed by autostart. The 
LarKen disk CATalog is 
displayed on the screen and a 
DRIVE? prompt is displayed at 
the bottom of the screen. If 
you wish to go to another drive 
you hit 0 thru A then the ENTER 
key. It automatically displays 
the CATalog of that disk on the 
screen. It then displays the 
PROGRAM? prompt at the bottom 
of the screen, You may now 
either type in the file name of 
that program or just hit ENTER. 
If you just hit ENTER, the 
first file name in the CATalog 
is highlighted and the file 
name also appears to the right 
of the PROGRAM? prompt, iou use 
the arrow keys to move the 
highlight box around the 
CATalog. Then hit ENTER and 
that program will LOAD. Saves a 
lot of key punching but it can 
be slow if the program you want 
is at the bottom of list. 

LogiCall not only loads the 
BASIC programs into the machine 
but also displays SCREENS saves 
using the .C5 file extension 
right to the screen for you to 
see. It also displays word 
processor files that end in .CT 
and . Cm to the screen from 
disk. It erases files from the 
CATalog and renames files, it 
LOADS in the word processor, 
terminal software, AUTOSTART, 

HELP screens, MOVE and FORMAT 
programs with just 2 key 

Changing drives is done by 
entering the drive number you 
wish to go to and then ENTER at 
either the DRIVE? prompt or the 

PROGRAM? prompt . You can get 
the DRIVE prompt to return by 
keying D then ENTER and refresh 
the CATalog with 9 and ENTER. 
Frank Davis says LogiCall is a 
'MUST' for LarKen owners. 

One feature of LarKen that I 
didn't mention is that the 
FORMAT f COPY and MOVE programs 
are on disk so when you wish to 
FORMAT you have to LOAD that 
program. Also, you need a disk 
of utilities since there are 
many things not in the LarKen 
EPROM. [This was done to allow 
for Sequential and Random 
Access file manipulation, a 
true program MERGE command, 
windows and other graphic 
commands not possible in the 
Oliger system. The T/S 
community has yet to TAP these 
resources. ] 

Since I am in Oliger country 
and I am to be the T/SNUG 
newsletter editor I needed to 
be compatible with the local 
group. I had checked and the 
Oliger disk interface plugs 
into a mother board that I had 
from when I got it for an EPROM 
programmer. So all I needed was 
the two Oliger disk boards and 
while I was ordering I ordered 
the Oliger printer interface. 
The first thing that I noted 
was that the manual was more 
detailed and that there was no 
disk for utilities. There is a 
small program listed inside the 
cover of the manual for the 
menu/loader program. And then 
the differences began to show. 

The LarKen will Format 35, 40 
or 60 tracks. The Oliger will 
format from 2 tracks to 256 
tracks. If there is enough 
magnetic medium on the disk you 
can FORMAT to many more tracks. 
[Unfortunately, if you try this 
trick, you may wind up running 
the head stepping mechanism of 
your disk drive against one end 
of its travel knocking your 

folks have already experienced 

manufacturers. We will try to 
get a list.] 

Testing some disks I 
successfully FORMATed on an 80 

track drive to 90 tracks. And 
that gave me capacity of 90 X 2 
X 5K is 900K and with track 0 
using 5K that leaves 895K for 
files. And track 0 has about 
1 . 5K reserved for the 
menu/ loader program so that it 
doesn't even use any file area. 
And the commands are like the 
cassette commands except that 
you put a slash after the 
command like: L0AD/"ten 
characters". If you have a disk 
with the menu/loader on it in 
drive 0 and you have just 
turned on the computer you 
enter LOAD/ and press ENTER and 
the menu goes to the screen and 
there is a cursor and no matter 
which key you use it hops down 
the screen and back to the 
start if you overshoot. Unlike 
Logical 1, you can't move back 
up to a file if you overshoot, 
you must go all the way through 
the directory again to get back 
to the program you want to LOAD 
in but it moves faster than 
LogiCall. When the cursor is on 
the program you want to LOAD 
press ENTER. Oliger does save a 
lot of keyboardlng when LOADlng 
and doing other things. If you 
want to change drives you: 
LET/D=X (X is 0 to 3) and 
ENTER. Of course the LarKen 
RAMDISK will not operate. 

There is one other program 
which is a utility and that is 
DFM ABC which greatly helps 
when copying disks . It also 
will arrange the file names In 
alphabetical order so that when 
the files are copied they are 
copied in that order. I used 
that today to arrange my 
address files that I use to ADD 
the addresses to my letters. 

Both systems have a HQ snap 
shot SAVE. Both use a lot of 
disk space when they do that. 
The LarKen SAVES all below 
RAMTOP and optionally the 
screen area as well while the 
Oliger SAVES all of memory 
including what is above RAMTOP . 
Both require an extra command 
to Load the program, on the 
LarKen it is CODE and on the 
Oliger it is ABS. 

LarKen systems have two boards, 
a Disk Controller Board which 

pluas into the BUS connector on 
the rear of the T/S2068 and 
provides a BUS extension, and a 
DOS Board which plugs in the 
dock port. That means that dock 
port cartridges can not be used 
when you use the disk interface 
(unless you plug EPROMs 
containing the dock port 
programs into the LarKen DOS 
board in the socket over the 
RAM] The Oliger system has 
three boards, the Disk 
Controller Board and the DOS 
Board plug into a mother board 
which in turn is plugged into 
the rear of the T/S2068. [The 
need of this third board is why 
the JLO system is priced so 
much higher. J 

Now that does enable us to do 
something quite amazing and 
that is have both systems going 
at once with the same disk 
drives being used for either. 
To do this you will need V2.54 
or later EPROM for the Oliger 
system. [John Oliger as of late 
has released his version V2.55 
EPROM to work with the LarKen 
LKDOS version 03 EPROM. V2.53 
would wipe out the directory 
track on the LarKen disks and 
cause Bill Jones' update 
readers to come away scratching 
their heads.] 

And you will need a Special 

EPROM for the LarKen dock 

board, do a line cut and solder 
in a disable switch, my Oliger 
already had the switch 
installed otherwise I would 
have had to do it. With the 
LarKen board modified and 
installed and the Oliger board 
disabled (another set of lead 
cutting and soldering would 
eliminate this) power up and 
the computer is in LarKen but 
using the two Oliger interface 
boards. Now if you enable the 
Oliger board and do this : 
RESTORE /S and ENTER then the 
Oliger is also enabled and 
which ever disk command is 
given is which disk system is 
used. If you have an Oliger 
disk in and use a LarKen 
command the computer is not 
bashful to report disk I/O 
ERROR. If the program will 
break you could LOAD in on one 
disk DOS and SAVE it to the 

other, conversely, if it was a 
snapshot SAVE it could be 
LOADed in one and NMI 
snapshoted to the other . 
However, in that case you have 
to disable the DOS not being 
used or else both will fight to 
do the NMI SAVE. That is the 
need for a disable switch. With 
the LarKen, if you want to SAVE 
and have no FORMATed disks 
handy, you ate sunk. But with 
the Oliger, you can FORMAT a 
disk since it FORMAT is EPROM 
resident. Thus you can avoid 
the problem of not having a 
FORMATed disk. I use a word 
processor on my T/S2068 
called MSCRIPT and the version 
I like to use is VS. 5. I had it 
in LarKen DOS and I could not 
find the SAVE and LOAD commands 
to convert it to Oliger but I 
have since found an Oliger 
copy. But since I seem to be 
using Oliger DOS all the time 
and most of my files are in 
LarKen I wanted to convert the 
LarKen files to Oliger. I have 
a much earlier version, V5.0, 
which I got as a cassette 
version and I could find the 
LOAD and Save conniands and so I 
made the LOAD LarKen and the 
SAVE Oliger. Fine and dandy It 
worked and I got a bunch of 
files SAVEd to Oliger. Then 
using the BACKUP command in the 
word processor i SAVEd that 
version of the word processor. 
But later when I went to use it 
again, I could not get it to 
LOAD and I got that can't find 
report or else wrong file type 

Finally, I realized that it was 
a CATCH 22, I had SAVEd it in 
Oliger mode but the program was 
written to use the LarKen mode. 
I finally realized how to do it 
so I LOADed the earlier version 
again and got back into the 
program and changed the LOAD 
and SAVE and then I pushed the 
NMI snapshot SAVE button. And 
when I NEWed and tried to LOAD 
it came right up. I named the 
file "mscriptl- o» so I would 

Last night I tried to FORMAT a 
disk for the LarKen but as soon 
as the program went to the disk 
drive it hung up. I wonder if 

it is because I did not do one 
modification to the LarKen dock 
board. I had to install the 
pure LarKen disk system to get 
a disk FORMATed . [Don did not 
realize that LarKen 03 DOS used 
for SUPER DOS requires the 
FORMAT . Bo program, not 
FORMAT. Bl, to format a disk]. 
Everything else seems to work 
except the LarKen RAMDISK will 
only work with the LarKen 
enabled but with both LarKen 
and the Oliger enabled so I 
wonder since I do not plan to 
u3e the LarKen much if I should 
even consider modifying the 
board. It requires bending a 
leg out on one chip and running 
a wire from it elsewhere. And 
since the chip is soldered in 
it might be hard to get the leg 
cut and bent out. Will try to 
find out at the ISTUG meeting. 
That pretty much covers the 
T/S2068 and my disk system 
except that there are about 
1700 disk systems for the 
T/S2068 and of those about 5B% 
are either LarKen or Oliger. I 
would like to be compatible 
with ail but there is a limit, 
especially since some systems 
were only made in two's and 



Bob Swoger and Larry Kenny 

The Kay 1989 issue of Capital 
District T/S Computer Club' s 
newsletter told of two members 
using T/S2068's with LKDOS 
having trouble reading each 
other's disks. It seemed that 
Fred Lewis could read John 
Warrens disks but John could 
not read Fred' s disks. This 
sounded familiar to me as I 
once had trouble reading disks 
that came from Rod Gowen and 
Larry Kenny. 

The problem I had was head 
stepping rate. The drives I use 
have a 30ms stepping rate. This 
means that to move from track 0 
(the directory track) to track 
40 requires 1.2 seconds. A 6 ms 
stepping rate requires only 
240ms. what the controller chip 
does is wait a period of time 
to begin reading or writing the 
9 disk to give the head time to 

get to the desired track! The 
information for the stepping 
rate is placed in track 0 when 
the disk is FORMATed. 

There is no problem reading the 
directory track because the 
head starts there, but the head 
on John's drive is not yet over 
the correct track when the 
controller tries for the read. 
For this reason John Warren 
could not read Fred Lewis's 
disks. Fred either has a newer 
controller chip or has drives 
with a S is stepping rate and 
FOBMATed his disks accordingly. 

I could not read the SYSTEM 
disk that Larry Kenny sent me. 
Larry had not run into the 
slower drives up to that point. 
Mine are DEC dual drive units 
using TEAC drives purchased in 
the early 80's as a group buy 
and are so reliable I just 
won't give them up. 

Larry was sure he had the 
answer when I phoned him and to 
get me started back in February 
of 19B8, he sent a program to 
the club BBS at 2 AM while I 
slept to fix his disks so that 
I might read them. I tried it 
and it worked! I re-wrote it 
and called it steprt.Bl The 
stepping rate information ia In 
track 0 and his program fixes 
the disk to the 30 ms stepping 

Now about controller chips, 
Larry stated that he started 
using the new Western Digital 
chips that could only select 
6 ms or faster head stepping 
mechanisms. I told him, each 
time I ordered, to send me only 
the old WDC WD1770 controller 
chip in units he built for me 
and my friends as over 200 of 
these TEAC units are in the 
area and we all want to be 

When passing around disks for 
the LarKen disk operating 
system be sure they are 
formatted single side 40 track 
with a 30 ms head stepping rate 
so we all can read them. 

To read unreadable disks, just 
load in the program below, it 10 

will autorun. After removing 
the write protect label from 
the faulty disk, place it into 
DRIVE 0 and press <ENTER>. 
Follow the instructions and you 
will be able to read it from 
then on. I have tested it on 

LARKEN and RMG disks. 


for the LARKEN DSK-400 system 
110 REM Written and placed in 

the public domain by 

Bob Swoger 

613 ParkSide Circle 

Streamwood, IL 60107-1647 
120 REM Use to change the head 

step rate on Track 0 
260 CLEAR 39999 
300 PRINT AT 2,4; INK 2; PAPER 


PAPER 1;AT 4,4; PAPER 2; INK 7; 

" Head Step Rate Changer " ; AT 
6,5;" 1988 Robert Swoger " 

310 INK 7: PLOT 0,108: DRAW 0, 
62: DRAW 255,0: DRAW 0,-62: DRA 
W -255,0 

320 INK 7: PLOT 8,114: DRAW 0, 
50: DRAW 238,0: DRAW 0,-50: DRA 
W -238,0 


1020 PRINT AT 10,0;"The head st 
ep rate is importantfor proper 
operation of the diskdrive. "; ' 1 
"Too fast and others may not 
beable to read your disks. 
Too slow and your drive may 
purrwhen moving from track to t 
rack.": INPUT " Press ENTER whe 
n ready >" ; LINE pS 
1025 PRINT AT 10,0; "The LarKen 
DSK-400 Floppy Disklnterf ace 

presently comes in twoversions. 
Version - L3 uses aWD1770 
controller chip and canhandle 
head stepping rates of6, 12, 
20 and 30 mS. Version L3Fuses a 
WD1772 controller chlpand 
handles the newer and fasterdri 
ves with head stepping ratesof 
2, 3, 6 and 12 mS.": INPUT " Pr 
ess ENTER when ready >"; LINE 

1030 PRINT AT 10,0; "If your sys 
tern is Version - L3and you wish 

to send disks toothers usin 
g versions A3, L3, 03or R3, use 
the 30 mS step rate. If you sen 
d a disk to users ofversion 
L3F, use the 12 mS steprate. T 
his may mean that you canno 

longer read or write to thatdi 
sk. If you receive a disk 
thatmakes your drive 'purr' the 
n runthis program to fix the 

foryour particular head step r 
ate.": INPUT " Press ENTER when 
ready >"; LINE pS 
1035 PRINT AT 10,0; "This progra 
It changes the headstep rate on 

track 0. Head steprate is the 
minimum speed in mSwhich a head 

stepping mechanismcan travel 
to get from one trackto the nex 

; the writeprotect la 
i the diskwhich needs 
i ratechanged int 

pS: IF pS<>"" THEN IF pSU)-"n" 
OR pS(l)="N" THEN GO TO 9998 
1050 INPUT "Head speed 2 3 6 12 
20 30 mS?"; LINE pS 
1055 IF pS-"q" OR p$="Q- THEN S 
TOP : GO TO 9998 
1060 IF pS-"2" THEN LET pS="20" 
1065 IF pS-"3" THEN LET pS-"30" 
1070 IF pS<>"6" AND pS<>"12" AN 
D p$<>"20" AND pS<>"30" THEN GO 
TO 1040 

1075 LET s-INT { (VAL pS/6)>-(l+ 
<pS— 30")) 

1080 RANDOMIZE USR 100: GO TO 0 

1090 RESTORE 1150 

1110 FOR A-40000 TO 40030 

1120 READ B: POKE A,B 

1130 NEXT A 

1150 DATA 243,205,98,0,175,50,2 
9, 32, 205, 126, 0, 205, 123, 0, 62, s, 5 

1240 PRINT AT 20,12; FLASH 1;"W 

1250 RANDOMIZE USR 40000 

1260 PRINT AT 20,12; FLASH 1;"F 


1270 REM GO TO 9989 
1280 GO TO 9998 

1360 FOR B=40000 TO 42000: PRIN 

T PEEK B; »,"; : NEXT B 

9989 RANDOMIZE USR 100: GO TO 4 

9992 RANDOMIZE USR 100: SAVE "s 
teprt.Bl" LINE 100 

[ 100 

< 100: LOAD "L 

To put an AD in the BBS and 
newsletter, upload a file with 
the filename. filetype: 

! ! ! Our ADS are free ! ! ! ! 

FOR SALE: ON 910209 

{42 MB / 40 US) + EVEREX EV-332 









1 mdv) 345 

CALL: Al Feng H(708) 971-0495 

FOR SALE: ON 900721 

W708/576-2112 H708/9G9-6603 

for /m infamtiaJ or tricxsj axirt 

lilt HKIfllS!!'