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P€RSONfll COMPUT6R MflGnZINC 



ViKWiM 



1-982:6 



Issue No. 11, August 1983; $1.00 



Working with words 
wordprocessing feature 

The story of CP/M 

CalcStar spreadsheet 
program reviewed 

New Commodore 64 column 




Sord 

Franklin Ace 1000 

Mannesmann printer 




CREATIVE COMPUTER 
Why your family will want one 
. . .or two! 



No hidden costs! $775 buys you EVERYTHING to connect the M5 to your std TV and cassette recorder. Included are two 
challenging games and a BASIC-I (Introductory) cartridge — to start you off in the computer world. 

For the first time, sophisticated 1 6-colour animation and soind-Qffects are EASILY accessible via SORD's unique BASIC-G. 
32 User- definable shapes ("sprites") allow you to create complex animation and games, complete with sound-effects and 
music from a 3-channei, 6-octave sound generator. The BASIC-G cartridge includes 8K of additional user memory. 

Homework, budgeting and record-keeping can be done with the FALC information processor cartridge. Use single-key 

commands 1o enter, sort, search, calculate and graph any information you wish — without programming! 

Numerous games cartridges instantly provide arcade*style entertainment — even more fun with the optional joypads! 
Game fapes are tremendous value with a wide variety of full colour/sound games available — two per tape! 

As your needs grow, so will the M5. Other programming languages, games cartridges and tapes can be added, as can 32K 
of memory, an RS-2 32 interface, a fully-supported graphics printer and 1 60K microfloppy disk drives. 

The SORD M5 Creative Computer has unmatched features and maximum flexibility at an affordable price! 



CPU: 

Video Controller: 



Sound Generator: 



ROM: 

Video RAM: 
User RAM: 
Keyboard: 



M5 STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS 



Z8OA(3.6MHz>withZ80ACTC 
TMS9918A (256 x 192 resolution; 4 screen 
modes including 40 x 24 text mode: 32 
User-definable sprites) 
SM764B9A 3 channel. 6 octave with 
"enveloping" and noise generation 

8K monitor (up to 16K extra in cartridges) 

16K {User addressable) 

4K (Up to 32K extra in cartridges) 

55 key typewriter layout, 8 shift modes 



Colour TV Output: 
B/W Video Output: 
Audio Output: 
Cassette Recorder 
Interlace: 
Printer Interlace: 
Joypad Interfaces: 
Cartridge Socket: 



1 6 Colou r PAL Vitf eo & Sou nd 
ForBWTVormoniior 
For optional speaker 

2000 bils'second with remote control 
Centronics-type parallel 
2 Joypads available seoaralety 
For plug-in software (ROM & RAM) 
cartridges, and expansion options 




Available 
from September 
from SORD dealers 
and distributors. 



BITS 6 BVTES 

August, 1983 Volume 1, No. 11 ISSN 01 1 1-9826 



Contents 



Word Processors 

Tho answer 10 all ilioae who ask of personal computers. "But wliat use 
ate they?" 

Brian Strong, a writer, explains how word processing on his Apple has been 
a boom to hint. 

Neil Whitehead tell how he's getting on with the Osborne he bouQhi for 

word processing. 

Mary Matthew reviews Sank Street Writer, a word processor she believes 
could start a revolution in the country's English classrooms. 

Reviews — Hardware 

The Sord M5.. .compact, nice graphics, and versatile soltwa'e, 
sayo our (oviower. 

The Franklin Ace tOOO. John Wigley, of Auckland, says it's * good buy 
at the price. 

Review — printer 

The Mannsemann Tally MTI60L. Shayne Doyle, our man in Wellington 

rates it compact, sturdy verastile. 
Reviews — software 

VIC games: Two really kiwi aarnes rote high oraise from A. J. Petre 
Other software reviews 12 and 20. 

Micronews 

Four pages of news from the micro world. New machines, intormation 
trom Britain, and how computer science may help cricket umpires 

Tips for ail 

De-bugging: Paul BieloSkl has wide experience in computing. He shares some 
tips on de-bugging 
Beginners 

On the) blackboard this week are soma tips about programming. 
Gordon Findlay k&eps his standard up. 

CP/M 

What it is, how It was developed. The first ot a series that will be run 
from time to timo on this disk operating system. 

Farming 

Can you use a computer on your (arm? How to pick Oftc? 

Business 

CalcStsr, the CP/M spreadsheet that interlaces with other programs 
Education 

A look at a fine piece ot mathematics software from America 

Books 

Three titles for the beginner. Gordon Findlay ranks them. Warren Marett 

looks at a fourth. 
International 

Pip Forer reports on the rise ol new computer languages- This was 
discussed at an international conference he attended in Britain. 



Columns 



Commodore 64: Overseas information sources and adapting PET 
programs 42 



8 
10 
12 

14 
18 

13 
19 

3 to 6 
22 

38 

33 
28 
34 

20 

52 
26 



Apple; Shape tables — how to create them 

VIC: The "get any key" routine 

TRS SO/System 80: Using time in your programs 

Sinclair: How to adapt the 16K for use as a pockel calculator 

BBC: A look at ROM-based software 

Microbee: Some useful BASIC subroutines 



44 
40 
55 
47 
49 
51 



MAIL ORDER 
SOFTWARE 

Best range available in 
N.Z. for home computers 

ZX81 

ZX Pilot 

ZXMan 

ZXTrek 

ZX Penetrator 

ZX Casino 

ZX Word etc etc 

Mystery House Adv. 

VIC 20 

Frogger 

Defender 
Chopper Raid 
Space Maze 
Shark Attack 
Traxx etc etc 

CBM64 

Business programs 
New games 
all just arrived 

Send for our catala 



ALL DISPLAYED 8t 

DEMONSTATED 

Ma ft Orders We f come 

BANKCARD - VISA - CASH PRiCES 

K'RD 

Video & 

Computer 



Editorial 
Club contacts 
Classifieds 



Regular features 



2 Letters 

58 Glossary 

60 Advertising index 



24 
59 
60 



65 PITT St.. AUCKLAND 
Ph. 399 655 



BITS S BYTES August. 19B3 



BITS & BYTES is published 
monthly, except January, by 
Neill Birss, Dion Ciooks and 
Paul Crooks. Head office - 
first floor. Dominion Building, 

91 Cathedral Square. Postal 

address: P.O. Box 827, 
Christchurch. N.2. 
Telephone: 66-566. 



Advertising 

Co otdinaio* - Paul Crooks, telephone 

66-566, Christchurch. 

Representatives - 

Auckland: Wendy Whitehead, 

telephone 504-649 iwi, 545-328 In). 

Box 534, Auckland. 

Wellington: More Hoymann, 

telephone 858 481 *r 844-985, P.O. 

Box 27-205. Wellington. 

Editorial 

PiMar - MtJI ftris. P.O. Box 827, 

Christchurch. 

Ropiosemntives 

Auckland: Cathy and Selwyn 

Arrow. 30A Bracken Ave., Tofcgpyna. 

Wolington: Stiayrsc Doyle, 18 

Hotdswoth Ave.. Upper Hun. 

telephone 280-333 ext. 892 (w). 

278-545 (h|. 



CDITORIRL 



antH*iiMMMp 



Merchandise 



Book djb a-"J software manager: Dion 
Crooks. 



Subscription 



Subscription rat*: *8 o year ill issues) 
adults And 46 a year (or school pupils. 
Subset! ptiont; begin from the issue of BrTS 
& BVIfcS aftci the subscription is received. 
Subscription •ddrOMi: When tondng in 
subscriptions please include postal zones 
tor the ewee. If you* label is Incorrectly 
oddrcsscd please send it to us with the 
correction marked , 

Distribution 

Inquiries: Bookshops - Gordon and Gotch. 
ltd Compule* stores - direct to d» 
puDiihen. 



Disclaimers 



OPINIONS: The view* of reviewers and 
Other contributors era not necessarily 
shared iiy the publishers. 

COPYRIGHT; Al articles and ptogtanis 

pr«>tcd an ilus magarine are copyngh;. They 
should not be sold or passed on to rv»n- 
aubsCnbcis In any form- priniod. o« in tape 
oi disk format. 

UABillTY: AlthOi/njh material used In BITS 
& BYTES is checked lor accuracy, no 
ItDb'itv can be assumed for any losses duo 
to the uie al any material in thin magazine. 

Production 

Production Manager: Oion Crooks. 

Asililonts: Roger Browning. Graeme 

Patterson. 

Cover and graphics: Stty VWaamj. 

Technical a.fHor Chris O'Oonoghue. 

Typesetting: Focal Point. 

Printed in Christchurch by O.N, Adams, 
Ltd. 



Garbage in, gold out 

A start at last. That's what many high school teachers must feel 
about tho announcement by the Minister of Education, Mr Wellington, 
of a central cemputer development from next February. With a staff of 
two and other teachers seconded to it, this will evaluate existing 
programs used in schools and provide.information and advice. 

But it is clear that the main drive for the use of computers in schools 
will still have to come from teachers, parents, and school boards. This 
is not alt bad. Schools that must evaluate for themselves may gain 
greater knowledge and motivation than whon the "gen" comes 
packaged from the bureaucracy in Wellington. A diversity of brands 
may stimulate more original programs and lead to greater skills as 
teachers turn to adapting programs from different machines. 

Some will argue that the politicians' apathy will mean that schools in 
poorer suburbs and newer schools will be at a relative disadvantage in 
giving their pjpils equality of opportunity In computer education. But 
polytechnics' courses in micro programming are being swamped. There 
are opportunities for schools to use their micros to run evening and 
week-end adult classes, earning money for the teachers and paying for 

some of tho equipment costs. 

And most are aware that the ridiculous computer tax has the great 
benefit of allowing schools to upgrade their equipment by enabling 
them to sell their old micros at a price that approximates that of new. 
tax-free equipment. 

It's true tnat successive Governments Have blundered in their 
computer policies. The benefits outlined above arc accidental side 
effects of 12 years or more of stumbling, often ignorant, generally 
wrong, political and high-department reaction to computers and to new 
technology generally. 

But the growing core of local expertise and enthusiasm in schools, 
filling the void where a national computer policy might have been, will 
undoubtedly form a pressure group that will improve computer 
education. v\e may eventually get a better system than if we had from 
the first been working under a national, co-ordinated policy on school 
computers. 

If the politicians can't lead in this matter, let's take them along with 
us. 

- Neill Birss 

Our opinions. From now on, all editorials !n "Bits & Bytes" writ appear over a 
name. (This pelicy is retrospective. The editorial about the computer tax 

in the JuJy isSjd was by Paul Crooks.) 



We're nearly a year old! 

. . . and that means It's almost lime Tor founder subscribers 
to renew their subs! 

If you subs:ribcd from ihc October, 1982, edition you'll need to renew 
your sub from next month. You can do it in advance: jusl use the 
subscription card in this issue. (Remember to tick the renewal box.) 
P.S.: if you've forgotten when you subscribed look a) Ihc code on the 
magazine label. H7A or H/S means your sub expires in September. 

Remember it's cheaper by subscription. 



Post uour subscription 
todou 



BITS & BYTES AucjM. 1983 



MICRO MEWS 






, ,.„.,„,.... 



!■ 1 1 mm 1 1 ii i in ii mwpiw iw n im aitmnihi m i m m iw i 1 1 wy i iniwiiii 



New Radio Shack agents 

Radio Shack, manufacturers of 
the TRS 80 range of computers, 
has appointed Porterfield 

Computers Ltd as official Radio 
Shack agents for the Auckland 
area. 

Radio Shack has also released 
the new Model 4. This model 
looks similar to a Model 3 but has 
several new features. 

Some of the standard features 
are 64K RAM (optional 128K). 
RS232 interface, parallel printer 
interface and a 280 operating at 
4mHz, twice as fast as the Model 
3 microprocessor. 

Also standard are 80 column 
display or 40 character display, 
software selectable or when using 
TRSDOS 1 .3 or LOOS 5.13 either 

6'1 or 32 character display is 

available. 

The Model 4 takes full 
advantage of the vast software 
pool that has been written and is 
available for the Model 3 by 
executing all Model 3 software 
without hardware or software 
conversions. 

Probably the most interesting 
feature is the Model 4's ability to 
run CP/M as the hardware is built 
in and only requires a CP/"M 
diskette to be loaded before 

running programs. 

Porterfield Computers will be 
importing Model 4's at 95995 

Computer of the year in New 
Zealand 

The computer recently named 
"computer of the year" by 
Australian computer magazine 
"Your Computer" has now been 
released here. 

It is the NEC APC (Advanced 
Personal Computer^ a 16 bit 
machine (8086 compatible 
processor) which comes in two 
basic models. colour and 
monochrome. Both models 
incorporate 12 inch (across the 
diagonal) monitors and display 25 

lines of 80 characters. 

The monochrome model, priced 
at around S73O0, combines a 
green/black high resolution 
monitor, 128K bytes of RAM, a 
single 8 inch floppy disk drive 
(upgradeable to a second drive) 
giving a solid one megabyte of 
storage and a detachable 
keyboard. 



The colour model, which 
includes two disk crives, is priced 
at 510,900. It is otherwise 
identical except that its high 
resolution monitor displays eight 
colours. 

And in spite of the fact that APC 
is aimed at the business market (it 
runs CP/M 86 and MSDOS 
operating systems) it has an 
incredible graphics capability. 

Graphics resolution is 1024 by 
1024 pixels of which a movable 
640 (horizontal) b> 475 (vertical* 
pixel "window" can be displayed 
at one time. 

But more on that in our full 
review of the APC which will 
appear shortly. Nsw Zealand 
agents: for the APC are Scollay 
Computers, P.O. Box 2377, 
Wellington. 

New Epsons 

Demand is running high for the 
new Epson QX 1 rang e which will 
be released in New Zealand this 
month. There are three models: 
the first has 64K RAM and runs 
CP/M and MBASIC; the second, 
with 192K RAM, has CP/M and a 
special multi-font BASIC giving 16 
print styles on screen; the third, 
with 256K RAM runs special 
VALDOCS software which users 
are sajd to be able to learn in 
minutes. 

The first three shipments of the 
64K and the 192K machines have 
been pre-sold. The machines will 
sell in New Zealanc at: $5120 for 
the 64K, including dual disk drive 
and screen; $5851 for the 192K 
model also with drives and screen; 
a price has yet to be decided on 
for the third model. The national 
distributor, Microprocessor 

Developments, LtC, reports that 
the smaller Epson, the HX20. is 
still in demand. Since its release in 
December, about 500 have been 
sold in New Zealand. 



Tl here late this year 

The Texas Instruments Model 
99/4A Home Computer will be 
available in New Zealand some 
time during the 4th quarter, 1983. 

Negotiations ere currently 
underway with several 

companies, and an announcement 
will be made later in the year 
regarding sales outlets and retail 
price in New Zealand. 

VIC 20's 

The VIC20 will soon be on sale 
in department stores. This follows 
the appointment of Fountain 
Marketing as a sub-agent. Stores 
who will sell the machines 
include: Farmer's, Smith and 
Brown, Wright son NMA, and 
Wilson NeilL 

Another one 

The new machines keep coming 
and coming. Mattel, a big 
American corporation that 
specialises in toymaking, Is 
bringing out a personal called the 
Aquarius, which will sell for about 
SUS300 in America. * 



THE SOURCE 

for Computer Books 

We deal with hundreds 

of publishers world-wide, 

ensuring that even If the 

computer book you 

require is not in our 

extensive stock at present, 

we can get it for you 
Further to Go, More to See 



University Drive, ILAM. 
ph 488579. Private Bag, 

Christchurch 



COMPUTER OWNERS 

we will market your software in n.2.. australia anq the u.s.a. 

Any Original application qr games program will be 
considered. 

for further information write to: 

THE REMARKABLE SOFTWARE COMPANY LIMITED. 
P.O. BOX 9535. HAMILTON, N.Z. 



BITS & BYTES Auflwat. 1983 



MICRO N€UJS 



■■--- ■ ,.-:■■< 



■ ■'-,; ■i,i,--i-i.ii 



Putting computers into 

Two Indian engineers are trying 
to solve the problem of 
controversial cricket umpiring 
decisions by computer science. 

The scheme involves linking 
radio transmitters in bat and pads 
to a giant electronic scoreboard. 
Their aim is to "enable the umpire 
to make decisions based on fact, 
not personal judgement". 

it all began when India's cricket 
captain, Sunil Gavaskar, walked 
off the pitch with his opening 
partner, Chetan Chauhan. in 
protest against an umpiring 
decision during the 1981 test 
series against Australia. That 
incident was smoothed over but 
umpiring controversies have since 
become a regular feature of the 
game. 

Now, a 32-year-old researcher, 
Krishna Kant, a senior systems 
engineer in the government's 
electronics commission, helped by 
his former colleague. A.K. 
Teckchandani, now settled in 
USA, has come up with a 
computer system which tells an 
umpire whether the ball touched 
pad or bat or both and if both, 
which one first. 

The system envisages a small 
transmitter into the bat. If the ball 
touches the bat, the device would 
transmit a radio frequency signal 
to a computer near the 
scoreboard. 

A similar set-up could also show 
if the ball hit the batsman's pad. A 
ball striking both bat and pad 
would shew up on the computer, 
which would detect which signal 
came first and display it on the 
screen. 




t." I^F 






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£•&:*&%•&&■}>>:■ 

















On leg-before-wicket decisions. 
It would be helpful but not 
definite, because the umpire 
would still have to decide whether 
the ball would have hit the stumps 
had it not been deflected by the 
pads. 

The system requires large 
display screens so that umpires 
can see them from the centre of 
the ground. 

The main technical problem 
appears to rise from the possibility 
of a malfunctioning of the sensors 
or a break in the connection, and 
how the devices would be 
replaced. 



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¥ * * * 
New Casio 

A new Z80A based Casio 
microcomputer has just been 
released by Monaco Distributors 
of Auckland. 

Priced at just under $7,000 the 
basic unit comprises computers, 
keyboard, monochrome screen, 
dual 640K disk drives and MX-80 
type III printer. 

CP/M based Wordstar-, Mail 
Merge, Supersort, Supercalc, 
COBOL, PASCAL. Z80 Assembler 
are included in the range of 
system software available. Plus 
the IAL Charter Series, the IMS 
Ascent Series and the usual 
games. 

Options available are I/O 
Expansion box: RS 232C; 16K 
RAM PAC {with battery back-up* 
and ROM PAC, whilst CP/M is 
available on disk. 

In addition to the full QWERTY 
keyboard and programmable 
function keys there is a full 
calculator keyboard. 

This powerful system comes in 
well designed stackable units with 
tumble stand for the monitor and 
is the "CASIO" FP 1000 
microcomputer. 



BITS & 8VIES Aufluat. 1983 



MICRO NGUJS 



w»n?A9em™*> 



British scene 

Recent sates charts indicate 
that the 16-bit competition in 
Britain is heating up, as is the 
business micro war generally. The 
more expensive machines over 
$2400 are now topped by the 
portable, 8-bit Osborne which 
qualifies as expensive only by 
Virtue Of its pricing, including 
disks and softwere. The more 
exciting competition is for the 
second slot. This is taken at 
present by the Sirius, a more 
substantial desk-top system not 
directly in competition with the 
Osborne. However, both Digital 
Equipment (DEC) and IBM are 
challenging for the top slot in the 
desk-top market. IBM has risen to 
No. 3 in the last few months, the 
utu Kainbow slipping in at No. 8 
and rising. 

In the cheaper market the Apple 
Me has begun to rise, and a Sord 
computer has entered the best- 
seller list for the first time. 
Meanwhile, price cutting has 
reduced the Texas 99/A to below 
100 pounds. 

Acorn late 

Predictable news of the month. 
The new Acorn computer, the 

Electron, will be delayed two 
months in its launch. When will 
someone buy Acorn a project 
scheduling program? 

Hard disk swaps 
Apple U.K. is already into 

replaceable hard disk cartridges. 
The Genie 5 + 5 has crossed the 
Atlantic with 10 megabytes in 
two 5% in hard disks, one of 
which has cheap (by comparison) 

COMPUTER SOUTH CHCH 



replaceable cartridges. The disks 
have gained in price on the way, 
up to 3800 pounds. 

Accelerator II 

Another way of speeding up 
your Apple is on the market fn 
Britain: the Accelerator, a second 
processor boarc based on the 
6502 B processor. This chip is 
identical to the 6502 used by the 
Apple but runs at 3.6 times the 
speed. Execution speeds on all 

processing with a low 

input/output component are 
enhanced 2.5-3.5 times according 

to "Personal Computer News" 
benchmarks. 

Micro-drive 

The latest date for the U.K. 
release vf Sinultii'a inici-odrive (a 
100K, $100 storage device for 
the ZX-81 and Spectrum) is 
August. Technical details are still 
hazy but each computer will need 
a $70 expansion interface. 
However, this wil also allow serial 
communications, links to 64 other 
Spectrums and up to 8 
microdrives on one interface. 

Portable package for life 
agents 

Sirius Systems Limited has 
developed a software package to 
assist life insurance agents. It will 
ba marketed by Sirius under the 
name Prompt ard is designed to 
manage the agent's contacts with 
clients and potential clients. 

Prompt is designed to operate 
on the Osborne portable 
microcomputer. 

The system maintains 
information under three 

categories: 

LTD 78 Oxford Terrace P.O. Box 22713 



• 'suspects' which are people 
with whom no actual contact has 
yet been made, but where the 
agent is endeavouring to establish 
such contact. 

• 'prospects' with whom contact 
has been made and where 
proposals are being formulated or 
considered. 

• "clients' with whom business is 
being or has been conducted. 

The system keeps track of 
appointment dates as well as 
family and policy anniversaries. 

The agent can select a subset 

from any category on the basis of 

age, area, financial status etc, and 
provision is made for producing 
mailing lists for use with the 
Wordstar word processing 
system. 

Sirius Systems has developed a 
package of business-oriented 
plotting programs for use with 
microcomputers. 

The new package will be known 
as Schema and is written in BASIC 
for easy implementation on a 
wide-range of hardware. 

Techniques have been 

incorporated to facilitate rapid 
adaption for most plotters. 

Data may be drawn in any of the 
commonly used graphical 
presentations; pie-charts, line 
graphs, or histograms. Also 
included Is the means to create 
diagrams or pictures from a 
combination of geometric shapes. 

Japan standards 

Fourteen Japanese manufac- 
turers have signed a technical 
agreement that will lead to 
common standards for their 
personal computers. The 

standards were developed by 
Microsoft. 

Phone 60-504 Christchurch 



HALF PRICE APPLE II COMPUTERS 

Pre-owned Apple II plus computers with 

disk drive and green screen, complete 

with 90 day warranty 

From $2400 

COmpUTER>OUTH 




BUS & BYTES August. 1983 



MICRO N€UJS 



;..:,.;:■. ;::::■:■■' 



Sord upgrades 

A plug in 16-bit processor 
cartridge that enables the Sord 
M23 to run MS-DOS software as 
well as CP/M has been put on th« 
market. 

Also in the pipeline is -a 
68000-based 16-bit system, the 
M68. This will have a "slave" 
Z80 p rocesso r so that it can run a II 
M23 software as well as software 
for the 68000. 

Large crowds at exhibition 

Queues of people waiting to 
gain entry were a common sight at 
the fourth annual Microcomputer 
Exhibition in Auckland. 

The one day display held on 
Saturday, July 2 attracted more 
than 7500 people in spite of cold, 
windy weather. 

The result was the 35 
commercial exhibitors and the 
various computer user groups 
were kept very busy answering 
questions, giving demonstrations 
and finding enough brochures etc 
to quench the thirst for 
information. 

New computers on display 
included the Colour Genie, Jupiter 
Ace, Franklin Ace. Casio FR 1000 
and NEC APC (see other articles 
this issue for more details). 

And if vou are wondering who 




Visitors at the K'Rd Video and Computer and "Bits & Bytes" 
at the Auckland Microcomputer Exhibition. 



the man in the white suit and 
bowler hat s, he is Mr Chris 
McEwan from the Canberra 
Microcomputar Club. He was a 
quest of the exhibition organisers 
the New Zealand Microcomputer 
Club and no doubt his Auckland 
television appearance and Queen 
St strolls helped boost interest in 
the exhibition. 



Commodore 64 

The 64 Portable models will not 
be released in New Zealand until 
later this year. The Commodore B 
700 and BX 700 series will be 
released at the Systems '83 show 
in Auckland this month. The BX 
series is a 16-bit machine. 



Colour Genie from Video Genie makers 



Two new computers have 
been released here by a new 
computer company, Rakon 
Computers. 

The first, a home computer, 
the Colour Genie, is a new 
offering from the same company 
that produced the Video Genie, a 
TRS 80/Systern 80 clone. The 
Colour Genie also has a Z80 
processor but unlike its 
predecessor is only partially 
compatible with TRS/80 System 
80s. 

However Rakon says it already 
has more than 80 programs 
available with more coming. 

The Colour Genie does have an 
impressive amount of basic RAM 
available, 32K, together with 
16K ROM of Microsoft BASIC 
and an array of interfaces built- 



in. These include an RS232C 
serial port for a modem, a light 
pen port, a parallel port for a 
printer, cassette recorder port, 
(which can load and save 
programs at a fast 1200 baud) 
audio and video outputs and an 
extension port for adding up to 
three disk drives. 

The price tag on the Colour 
Genie is $795. BITS & BYTES 
hopes to have a full review soon. 

The second computer system, 
the SAGE II and IV are in the 
super-micro class with the virtual 
32 Bit Motorola 68000 chip 
giving two million instructions 

per second. The smallest 
configuration (if it can be called 
small) SAGE II with 128K or 
RAM and cne 640K floppy is 
aimed at becoming the ultimate 



homo and essential small 
business computer at around 
$6,900.00. The configurations 
are flexible up to the SAGE IV; 1 
megabyte of RAM and 240 
megabytes of hard disk all in the 
same cabinet. 

SAGE II and IV are fully 
supported with software, each 
coming with the powerful p- 
System which converts software 
originally written for 8 and 1 6 Bit 
computers in Pascal, Basic and 
Fortran. Modtila 2 and Hyper- 
Forth systems are available 
together with CP/M - 68K which 
with its C compiler will allow 
UNIX software to be compiled. 

Rakon Computers (P.O. Box 
9308, Auckland) is part of Rakon 
Industries, Ltd, a manufacturer 
of piezo quartz: crystals. 



eiTS-ft BYTES August. 1983 




Give me 



one good reason why I should 
choose a VIC 20 home computer" 



1. VIC is outstanding value 
for money. No other colour 
home computer can give so 
much for only S595. 

2. Total standard memory 25K 
made up of 20K ROM and 5K 
RAM. 

3. Fully expandable to 32K of 
user RAM. 

4. Microsoft Basic interpreter as 

standard. 

5. Accessible machine language 

as standard. 

6. Connects direct to monitor or 

standard television. 

7. Full size typewriter-style 
keyboard. 

8. Full colour and sound. 

9. All colours directly 
controllable from the keyboard. 

10. 62 predefined graphic 
characters direct from the 
keyboard. 



1 1. Full set of upper and tower 
case characters. 

12. 5 12 displayable characters 
direct from the keyboard. 

13. High resolution graphics 
capability built into the 
machine. 

14. Programmable function 
keys. 

15. Automatic repeat on- 
cursor function keys. 

16. User-definable 

input/output port. 

17. Machine bus port for 
memory expansion and ROM 
software. 

18. Standard interfaces for 
hardware peripherals. 

19. VIC 20 is truly expandable 
into a highly sophisticated 
computer system with a 
comprehensive list of accessories 
( see panel below). 



Accessories Include; 

■ Cassette tape unit. 

• Sngfc *ivc5H 'floppy din uiil 1 1 7C* bytes capocrtyl. 

• flC-cclLTridDTmiuixQiinier 

■ 3K,8K,and 16K RAM expansion cartridges. 

• Programming aid packs, machina r.cxfe nxinilof cmnfige. 
programme's' aid canri^e. high roaoiitiwi flta0<vcs cam idgc. 



POV. Eiuansion cartridges. 

BS 232C cOTinuin .susn cartridge. 

Mpnory ctoansOn board. 
lEEE'468 interlace eartnOge. 
1 Joysticks, l-ghioern. paddMsarxl mo tor controllers. 



20. Full range of software for 
home, education, business and 
entertainment on disk, cassette 
and cartridge. 

21. Boolcs, manuals and learn- 
ing aids from Teach Yourself 
Basic to the VIC programmers' 
reference guide (a must for 
advanced programmers!. 

22. National deafer network 
providing full service and sup- 
port to VIC owners. 

23. Expertise and experience 
— Commodore are world 
leaders in microcomputer and 
silicon chip technology. 

24. Commodore is the leading 
supplier of micro-computers tn 
New Zealand to business, 
schools, industry and the home. 

25. VIC 20 is the best-selling 
colour home computer in the 
world. 

How many reasons was it 
you wanted? 

commodore 
VIC 20 

The b*st home computer 
in (he world. 



fr 



COMMODORE COMPUTER (IM.Z.) LTD 

P.O. Box 33-847, Takapuna, Auckland 

Telephone 497-081 



or 



Contact your 
local dealer 



WORD PfiOCCSSING 



just 
any 
But 



A writer 
looks at 
word 
processors 

By BRIAN D. STRONG 

Microcomputers can do 
about everything. Ask 
enthusiastic salesperson . 
being gullible machines, they can 
be fooled into thinking they are 
something else, such as a 
typewriter. 

Word-processing software has 
added an extra dimension to 
computing activities and given 
computer users two machines, a 
computer and a word processor, 
tor the price of one. 

Choosing a word-processing 
package isn't as easy as it may 
seem as they range from very 
simple to extremely complex in 
operation. Some have a very 
limited range of commands and 
are designed for straight-forward 
tasks such as writing lists or 

personal letters. Others may have 

literally hundreds of editing and 
formatting commands available 
enabling the user to produce work 
in various formats. 

Professional writers use the 
second type as some publications 
have preferred manuscript layout 
and unless you meet these, then 
it's "no sale". The advantages of 
word processing over hacking an 
article such as this out on a 
conventional typewriter are like 
comparing the steam with the jet 
age- I can hammer happily away 
at the keyboard as my thoughts 
occur, ignoring typing errors, 
missed words and carriage returns 
at the end of every line. When 
finished I can shuffle paragraphs 

around, eliminate stupid 

sentences that seemed like a good 



idea at the time, correct spelling 
mistakes and change words if I 
feel like it. 

Gone, too. is the stress factor 
associated with conventional 
typing of having to completely re- 
type a whole piece over and over 
until it comes right. With a short 
article this isn't such a big chore, 
but if you are writing a book it can 
be a daunting and time-consuming 
task. One of the aims of all this is 
to present a coherent and error- 
free manuscript, something that 
can be done faster and easier with 

word processing. 

But there is word-processing 

software and word-processing 
software. Boih types have one 
thing in common. The advertising 
always speaks very highly of it. 
The ideal < ol course, is to try it out 

ill iht; bluit; btjftiie you buy, bin 

this is not always possible if the 
package is no: locally available, or 
you have to buy by mail order. 
What may sound terrific on paper 
may turn out to be terrible in 
practice, but you should keep in 
mind that judgement of word- 
processing software is a 
subjective matter. Another writer I 
know who his the same system 
as myself {Apple 11+) uses a 
software package that B just 
couldn't come to grips with. He 
swears by it. I swore at it. 

Cost is another factor. There are 
some professional standard 
packages available at a reasonable 
price, just as there are some that 
are overpriced. There are also 
other factors we in New Zealand 
have to consder. In the case of 
word processors there is not a 
great range available, so some 
purchases may have to be 
imported. 

This means that to the basic 
United States price is added air 
freight, currency exchange rates, 
and import duties. Even dodging 
wholesale anc retail mark-ups this 
significantly increases the base 
cost several times. Unfortunately, 
writing professionally requires a 



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package that will do many things 
so my purchases have often been 
based on as much research as 
possible and a large dollop of blind 
faith. 

Because of this high cost factor 
I possibly expect more from some 
packages than they actually offer 
when compared with their sales 
presentations, but it would be 
interesting to know if some 
developers of word-processing 
software bothered at any stage to 
collaborate with a professional 
writer. 

As I write for a range of 
publications and have a particular 
interest in word-processing 
software there are certain criteria I 
look for. First, how does the 
product match the advertising? 
Some descriptions, while 

technically accurate, are rather 

grandiose and open to different 
interpretations between manu- 
facturer and user. 

Another thing I look for is printer 
compatability, a spin-off from 
about three years ago when I 
bought a package only to find it 
was designed for one particular 
printer. A paragraph in the badly 
produced documentation impar- 
ted the wonderful news that if I 
had a different printer then all I 
had to do was to change that part 
of the program which had been 
made accessible. There had been 
nothing to suggest printer 
exclusivity until I opened the 
package. 

Someone, somewhere, also 

assumed every purchaser could 
write programs. Admittedly the 
package concerned was 

presented as a word processor of 
modest abilities and didn't cost 
much, but it's the sort of "hidden 
factor" that should have been 
made clear in the sales material. 

Some word processors have 
special features which become 
available only with the addition of 
boards, special plugs, etc. In some 
cases the same features are 
already available in another 
software package without the 
added expense of extra hardware. 

I tend to think of word 
processors as simple, advanced, 
and professional, not expecting 
too much at one end of the scale 
and probably too much at the 
other. 

My writing covers articles, 

BITS a BYTES August, 1963 



WORD PROCCSSING 

books. radio scripts, and 
screenplays and for these I at 
present use the original version of 
Magic Window and Screenwriter 
II. 

Magic Window, as many will 
know, is a nice package and easy 
to use with a "what you see is 
what you get" capability. A big 
advantage it offers is that you see 
your actual page dimensions 
outlined on the screen. 

Screenwriter II, an excellent 
package, is in a different league. 
With its dozens of formatting 
commands the same piece of text 
can be presented in many 
different ways. But for one fault it 
is almost a professional package, 
a fault that most wordprocessing 
software has in common, the lack 
of page break indicators. 

For some types of writing, such 
as screenplays and scripts, it can 
be necessary at times to know 
exactly where your pages start 
and end. If certain things run from 
one page to another, then the 
following page has to carry 
additional information. Without 
any indication of where the page 
ends (allowing for any embedded 
formating commands) the user is 
forced to fall back on repeated 
print-outs and text insertions as 
things are progressively shuffled 
into place. This is time 
consuming, does dreadful things 
to blood pressure and only makes 
paper manufacturers happy. 

Before everyone bursts into, 
print to defend their favourite 
word processor, let me freely 
admit there are a number I have 
never seen or tried, and there are 
updated versions of some I have 
used in the past. These brief 
observations are based on reading 
other reviews, opinions offered to 
me, attempting to read between 
the lines of sales literature, and 
several word processing packages 
gathering dust in rny desk drawer. 



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Interested in robots? Those 
interested in robots for hobby or 
industrial use, in general 
automation, etc, and who may be 

interested in subscribing to or 

contributing to a newsletteron the 
subject, are Invited to write to 
Neill Blrss, 21 Whitby Street, 
Cfiristchurch, 5. 

BITS & BYTES August. 1983 



MICROCOMPUTERS 

55 Upper Queen Street, Newton, Auckland. 

P.O. Box 69474, Auckland, New Zealand. 

Telephones (09) 773-389, (09) 793-619 



TWA 2139 
9 



WORD PROCESSING 



Mmi E:.:: • '-■ mmmii 



Wellington nuclear scientist, Neil Whitehead, who reviewed 
the Micropro fessor in an early edition of "Bits and Bytes", now 
has an Osborne. H&'s using it particularly as a word processor. 
He reports on the machine, and on Wordstar his word- 
processor. 



Good words 
for and 
from the 
Osborne 



The Osborne 1 portable 
computer included Wordstar with 
the machine, had dual floppies, 
64K core, was compatible with 
must pi illicit imaginable, and 
included CP/M, a complex, and a 
fascinating program called 
SuperCalc for obvious tasks, two 
good versions of BASIC. This with 
10 floppies, cost me just over 
$3800. It'll cost you a little more 
now. 

It has a legendarily small screen 
2cm) - perhaps they have been 
afflicted by the idea of micros — 
which produces text slightly 
smaller than typing, but very clear 
indeed. And I confess to 
amazement that it is quite 
readable, and my desire to feed it 
into a larger monitor has faded a 
lot. And I work on it for hours a 
night. 

Portable? Oh, I suppose so, but 
really! I carried one home from 
DSIR once {my branch has two) 
and all I can say is that it's just as 
well I do 5BX exorcises each 
night! About equivalent to a 
heavyish suitcase, and I've 
always hated carrying them. 

I also considered the Kaypro II, 
which is very similar to its 
portability, a much bigger screen, 
but is about a kilo buck dearer and I 
doubt the wordprocessing 
program they give you is quite as 
good. You may be also interested 
to know that the Kaypro 5 and 1 
are also portable but have 5 and 
10 Mbyte hard disks. Yes, you 
read correctly! The prices for 
these are of course beyond 5 
kilobucks. The present upper end 
of the portable market is the 
Otrono Attache, which has a 
reputedly superb keyboard, good 
screen, good software and makes 

to 



a good nolo in your bank account 
to match. 

I see the future, however, 
producing very large magnetic- 
bubble memories. I don't think 
they'll be very long coming and 
they will avoid the problems of 
close tolerances and moving parts 
that plague present disks. 

Osborne, Kaypro and Attache 
are touted as small business 
computers and I think that's fair 
enough - 

Well, the critical question is 
how good is the Osborne to use? 
For me that defends on how good 
Wordstar is (I'm writing a book) 




and also to some extent on 

generaf machine characteristics, 

The keyboa'd is a geniune touch 
type one, and I have mainly slight 
criticism that it feels rather tight. 
Do you know what I mean when I 
say that if I hold a key down and 
release it suddenly I hear a slight 
"ringing" sound caused by the 
springs under the key? It feels as if 
the keyboard is flimsy to touch, 
though I doubt it is. But really it's 
quite adequate for all its 
"plasticky" feci. 

One of our machines at work 
has had problems with the plug 
connection a*, the back, and my 



machine and one work one, have 
had problems with BDOS errors 
which arise from other than 
stupidity. In at least one case the 
problem disappears with a warm 
up of a few minutes, and one 
wonders a little if the double- 
density floppies (about 180K 
bytes! have tolerences which are 
simply too critical. 

CP/M. for the uninitiated, has an 
appalling feature that if disk read 
or write is faulty for some reason, 
you tend to get "BDOS" error, 
which often loses you lots of data, 
and may crash the system back to 
the CP/M monitor - many other 
systems at least give you some 
protective 'out'. 

I have one other doubt. The 
catch which holds the case shut 
has a plastic hinge which relics 
solely on the flexibility of rather 
stiff plastic for the movable part. 
The ones I have seen are already 
white with fatigue (the hinge is 
black). If it fails I don't see how 
you'd carry the computer any 
more. 

I admit to being already spoiled. 
I've used very high quality 
wordprocessing programs at work 
for years (Digital Equipment 
Corporation), and was unwilling to 
settle for less. But lof course) I still 
wanted that for about in Oth the 
cost so I looked around. 

I became a little disillusioned on 
my hunt. So many micros were 
lovely machines, but I was 
astonished how fast prices rose 
when CP/M was used and floppies 
included, and groaned when I saw 
the meagre facilities for editing 
and wordprocessing. I swore I 
was not interested in BASIC in any 
version, I didn't want graphics or 
colour, and a simple printer would 
be quite good enough. I did insist I 
wanted dual floppy disks for 
convenience. What did I find? 
That the Osborne I is very good 
value for money and may be even 
for purposes beyond mine. 

Why did I buy it? For the book. 
Only. I thought. However, I find 
I'm also writing this article on it, 
and that's a symptom. Even with 
strong will to buy a computer for 
one purpose only, you'll still find 
you end up doing other things. 

I should have expected it. 
Young relatives of various 
vintages insisted i produce games 
to entertain them, and I've even 

BITS S BYTES August. l9S3 



WORD PROC€SSING 

had to gel into graphics, which are 
possible on the machine but best 
described as "chunky". I fear also 
I'll be finally using some of the 
Supercalc features for some of the 
research for the book. How much 
of this is another application of 
Parkinson's law - if you've got 
something you'll use it? Perhaps 
there is a computer law which 
says if you've got some feature 
you'll have no option but to use it 
sooner or later! In that case you'd 
better beware what you buy! 
Perhaps the micros are really 
taking us over! 

And so to Wordstar. An older 
program now, but still costing 
about S6O0 by itself and 
obviously best bought as a 
package with the computer. Much 
more sophisticated than most, 

except even mure expensive 
systems. A friend told me her firm 
is spending 50 kilobucks on a new 
system. But honestly, it doesn't 
do a lot more than what I have 
here. 

Wordstar is better than I 
expected. It is designed for use on 
a pretty general computer 



keyboard, so doesn't use fancy 
extra keys except 'control' and 
'escape'. You have to hold the 
former down for almost every 
command - and there are 
dauntingly many for a start and it 
is obviously best for touch- 
typists^^ 

'Good value 
for money' 

Wordstar is screen oriented, so 
your text appears on the screen, 
and a cursor flits round it at your 
command. You can insert, delete, 
overtype, append, copy or shift 
blocks of text, search and replace 
named strings, and extensively 
format text for printing and 
manipulate files. It has two 
specially nice features. 

The first is automatic wordwrap 
- i.e. you don't press carriage 
return. It works out when that 
should be done, shifts you to the 
start of a new line and fitls out 
lines with spaces. You put 
carriage returns at the end of 



paragraphs. 

The other feature is quite 
brilliant. If you are changing the 
line length a single command will 
reformat a paragraph for you, but 
it will stop if it comes across a 
word it thinks you could 
hyphenate — and in most cases it 
is correct. Quite a class algorithm 
for that one, I think. 

All this may seem rather like 
hearts d-esire, but nothing is 
perfect, and I have a few small 
niggles. For my style of typing 
there are always some features I 
do repetitively and wish were 
commands in Wordstar. I guess 
everyone has different ones. Are 
you condemned to the eternal 
torment of repetition? Not 
necessarily, at least not on the 
Osborne. It has a keypad, which 
via a Setup program can be 
programmed to stand for such 
operations. For example, on my 
machine I have programmed 
things so that when I use my 
Wordstar disk and press one of 
the keys plus the inevitable 

'control' it performs a sequence of 

operations to change my line 



The Portable 
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BitS & STIES Auguai. 1983 



11 



UJORDPROC«SING 

length sizes. Another brings my 
cursor to the beginning of the next 
line down without inserting a 
carriage return. 

There are a maximum of 80 
keystrokes one can share 
between the 10 programmable 
keys. They also are not restricted 
to Wordstar use. This really 
amounts to the ability to set up 
miniprograms within Wordstar 
also, and I find that very useful 
indeed. The main restriction 
seems to be that you can't do this 
recursively - that is, if you try to 
include one of the programmed 
keys in the microprogram of 
another it simply won't. 

I know some word processing 
programs which include the 
possibility of setting up extremely 
complex subprograms. Some of 
the DEC editors do this, end I 
believe Spellbinder by software 
house Ashton-Tate has this also. 
But such programs are usually at 
least as expensive as Wordstar. 

I also have to confess I think 

such sophisticated programs are 
much more use in the scientific 
setting than for writing more 
normal text. 

What are the advantages of 
writing a book using a word 
processing system? In my case 
immense and almost essential. My 
wife is a first-class journalist with 
the ability to produce text ready 
for her newspaper on at worst a 
second rewrite. I can't. I have to 
retype and retype and retype. . . 
unless with s program like 
Wordstar I can merely correct 
offending bits. It saves literally 
hours. There is another possible 
way to increase your productivity 
with these machines, and that is 
to use abbreviations liberally, and 
get the machine to fill out the text 
with the full words later. If you are 
clever enough you couid almost 
type in a kind of shorthand I 
guess. 

I've actually improved my 
writing, too. For one type of 
writing I actually get the machine 
to search for every occurrence of 
some common words I should 
never use. I'd miss a lot of them if 
I searched manually. I also make it 
search for passive grammatical 
constructions. Perhaps one day I'll 

simply avoid writing them, but till 
then the computer is valuable as a 
teaching aidl 

12 



Important 
new word 
processor 



The Bank Street Writer. For 
Apple U and He, Atari and 

Commodore.. Available from 

Ash ton Scholastic for $150. 

Reviewed by Mary Matthew. 

Since the rave review in "Time" 
magazine, ol March 14, we've 
been waiting to see this new 
word-processing package. The 
Apple version is now available in 
New Zealand and bids fair to start 
a revolution in English classrooms. 

I was cautious about it when I 
first had a lock at it. I'd heard that 
it was "very cheap" and "not 
really a proper word-processing 
program; more an educational 
one," so I was prepared for it to 
clank a bit. At first it seemed to. 

Designed 

for use 

in classroom 

as I was having to unlearn the 
cursor controls of Screenwriter II 
(Bank Street Writer is like 

Applewriter in using the ordinary 

editing- keys!, and I was aware 
that the "professional" programs 
have many features not available 
in Bank Street Writer. 

Gradually, however, as I used 
the program with adults who had 
no previous experience of 
computers {English teachers at a 
conference called "Language 
Cultures Change"! I became 
convinced that it is tio toy. As I 
watched a ocal seven-year-old 
work his way through the tutorial 
program with his mother, 
reluctant to stop and let his older 
brother have lis turn at the end of 
each lesson, I could see that it 
was ideal for families with 
computers. After introducing it to 
a young woman at the Crippled 
Children Society who plans to 
learn commercial word processing 
next year at the Auckland 
Technical Institute, but was 
finding Magic Window off- 
putting, I wanted it for everyone. 



Bank Street Writer was 
developed to improve the writing 
skills of primary and junior high 
school students. Word processing 
packages intended for offices are 
difficult to use in classrooms, as 
students have to learn a series of 
codes before they can 
satisfactorily write, revise, save 
and print out text. Writing 
specialists at the Bank Street 
College of Education in New York 
saw the need for an easy system 
with on-screen prompts. The 
result is the first in a new 
generation of user-friendly writing 
programs which anyone can use. 

Write mode 

Bank Street Writer prompts 
appear along the top of the 
screen: the program starts in write 
mode, where you are told to "type 
in text at cursor". You are 
reminded that the arrow keys are 
used to delete characters, and 
that the escape key will get you 
into edit mode. 

In edit mode you have a diagram 
showing you which keys to use 
for cursor movement, and are 
given a choice of erase, unerase, 
move, movcback, find, and 
replace functions. All of those 
include step-by-step directions, 
and are fun to play with. There is 
another on-screen reminder: the 
escape key gets you back to write 
mode. 

In transfer mode, the options 
are: retrieve, delete, save, init, 
rename, quit, clear, print-draft 
(which prints exactly what you 
see on the screen, 38 characters 
wide) and print-final. The last 
function allows between 40 and 
126 characters per line, with 
single, double or triple spacing, 
optional page numbering at the 
top or bottom of the page (starting 
at page 1 or 2), and a pause 
between pages. 

You can type in a heading for 
the first page, and if you wish, you 
can print only a portion of your 
text or print one file as a 
continuation of another. Before 
printing out, you can check for 
"windows" and adjust each page 
break using the cursor keys. 

Each file can be up to 1300 
words with a 48K Apple, and 

3200 words with 64K. The 
retrieve function on the transfer 
menu allows you to combine two 

BITS & SYT6S August. 1983 



UiORD PROC€SSINO 



™mi ii Mmm» i mn iiii M™i i MH ii »nimi i '>ii nm w— « 

files in the work space, provided 
the second is not too long. 

Moving block 

This brief review can't convey 
the thrill I felt when I moved 
highlighted blocks of text here and 
there. "Cut-anrf- paste" stuff is far 
easier with BSW than with any 
other word processing programs 
for personal cornpu lers, as far as I 

know. Qn the other hand, 
correction of spelling or typing 
errors seemed slower than with 
Screenwriter, as you have to 
change to edit mode (escape key) 
for cursor movement. We may see 
improvements in later versions of 
BSW. 

The manual is intended for 
English teachers, and has 
excellent suggestions for 

classroom use. It also includes a 
nine -page student guide which 
can serve as a ready reference 
when you are starting to use 
BSW, although the program is 
really pretty self explanatory. 

If you have an Apple, Atari or 

TK! Solver available 

Software Arts creators of the 
VisiCalc program for personal 
computers has announced that its 
newest product, TKISolver, is 
now available in New Zealand. 

TKISolver is said to be an 
entirely new application for 
personal computers. It is the first 
interactive personal computer 
program that solves business, 
financial, science, engineering and 
educational problems without 
programming. 

The power of TKISolver comes 
from the ease with which users 
can set up problems, vary 
assumptions, and display results. 
All the facilities needed to solve 
the problems are built-in and need 
not be developed by the user. 

In addition to the basic program, 
Software Arts has developed 
TKISolver Packs, which are 
designed to be used with the 
TKISolver program to solve 
problems in specific fields such as 
financial management, mech- 
anical engineering and many 
others. 

The New Zealand distributors 
are Martin Spencer and 
Associates Ltd., P.O. Box 2502, 
Auckland 1 . 

bits a evres a U [w«. 1983 



Commodore, you'd be wise to 
have- a serious look at this piece of 
new software. Certainly every 
school with an Apple computer 
and e printer needs to get Bank 
Street Writer as soon as possible. 
It is becoming more obvious 
that schools need sets of 



computers soon, especially in 
areas where students require a 
great deal of help with their 
written English. Make it your 
business to let school authorities 
know that a tool -for real 
educational advancement is at 
hand! 



WITH ALL THE 

PERSONAL 

COMPUTERS 

ON THE MARKET 

TODAY, WHO HAS 

THE EDGE? 









■II ■■■ ■ 


•pfe^',' 




*i -HL. 



h 



Panasonic 

If you're dose to a decision on a small 

business computer, look into the versatility, 

expandability and affoidabtlity of Panasonic's 

new-technology 16 bit JB-3000. Tte new 

Panasonic can handle word processing, 

financial modelling, order entry, invoicing, 

general ledger, payroll, pb costing, 

invenory - just about everytlwig a small 

business needs. All with trie quality of a 

computer made by Panasonic and backed 

by Fisher and Paykel 

GET THE PANASONIC EDGE AT 



llffl 



THE MICROCOMPUTER 
ELECTRONIC COMPANY LTD 



27 Great South Road, Newmarket. 
P.O. Box 9224, Auckland 
Telephone: (09)504-774. 



13 



HARDWARE fi€ VI€W 



awmMnamiBBBPiK 



A good 
machine 
for games 

By CHRIS O'DONOGHUE 

The Sord M5 is a compact home 
computer with nice graphics and 
versatile sound software. The 
most likely use would be for 
playing and writing games, 
though with the RAM expansion 
pack serious uses are conceivable. 

This computer is compact and 
easy to set up. The keyboard is 
rubber with a QWERTY lay-out 
with the exception of a space key 
instead of a space bar. There is 

OlSO a funcLiun kwy, from which 

BASIC keywords are easily 
generated, and a reset key which 
in conjuction with the control key 
acts as a break. The keys have 
auto repeat and there is a small 
tactile movement, making {for 
rubber keys) them surprisingly 
easy to use. 



—nmMwwmnwiwiiiim 




The top rear ol the machine 
hinges up to reveal a bus for ROM 
packs, i.e. languages, games, or 
other specialised software; RAM 
pack, which can have up 10 32K; 



THE N.2. 

COMPUTER 

GAMES CLUB 



CALLING ALL HOME 
COMPUTER and 
HOME VIDEO GAMES 
SYSTEM OWNERS 



MEMBERSHIP OF THE N.Z. COMPUTER GAMES 
CLUB MEANS YOU CAN: 

1. Hire computer and video games to try in your home 
before purchasing. 

2. Mire games on a weekly basis at a fraction of their cost 
and exchange for different games when you wish. 

3. Purchase games by mail from the largest seJection in 
N,Z. at discount prices. 

Fill In The Form Below For Details Of Cost, Titles Available Etc. 

Post to: THE N.Z. COMPUTER GAMES CLUB, 

P.O. Box 93, Rangiora. Phone 6200 Rangiora. 

Name _^ 

Address 



ATARI _ 

-100(800 Li 

ATARI 

CX2600 !_ 



APPLE □ 

SYS 80 
TRS 80 D 

PET □ FQUNTAINC1 



VIC 20 
2X81 



□ 



SPECTRUM I I 



WIZZARD " 
TUNiX D 
BBC D 



or other hardware including an 
RS-232C communications 

cartridge, and a 190K 3 Win Hippy, 
floppy drive. These goodies will be 
available one to three months 
after the release date. 

At the back of the M5 are a 
number of sockets, power, video 
output, audio output, cassette 
I/O, RF modulated output, and 
two joypad input sockets. All are 
well labelled. The joypads are 
eight directional disks, which 
must be pressed on the edge of 
the direction you select. 

I found these quite difficult to 
use, especially in one of the 
games supplied which was four 
directional. The joypads also have 
an attack button, which returns a 
4-bit code, but I found that on the 
game supplied, which had two 
functions on the one key, there 
was not enough definition 
between them. 

The cassette interface is 1200 
baud, but I found that it could not 
handle volume fluctuations as well 
as some other home computers. 

There are three versions of 
BASIC for the M5: BASIC-I 
(introductory), BASIC-G 

(graphics) and BASIC-F (floating 
point). Of these I tested the 
BASIC-I and G. 

BASIC-I is a simple, easy-to-use 
BASIC with simple character level 
graphics. BASIC-G is a much more 
sophisticated super- set including 



14 



MS & BYTES AugwM. 1983 




Colour Gonlois riow availabte in New Zealarvdotlering the home/business 
user o sophisticated computer with Z80 CPU and full size lype-wnter style 
keyboard, a system of Immense power and ftexibity at a low affordable 
cost $705.00 

Colour Genie has as standard a massive 32K RAM-oo*mafy o very 
expensive extra lot mpost home computers. 

Colour Genie has considerable software already avodobte ar>d supports 
Ihe equipment to translate the vast Byary of TRS fiO pf ogrom-nes onto the 
Colour Genie system 

Colour Genie comes with tun colour and extensive graphics. 28 pre- 
defined. >28 user -definable, a total of 256 graphics set- The t^n speed 
cassette interface runs at 1200 baud which allows 15K to bo saved m lOO 
sec orals. 

Colou r Genie con take irvee ajsc-o"rives. a master with expander and 8K 
boot-up ROM included and two od-d-on drives. Each drive wHoe s.ngte 
density. dO irack with 1SOK Bytes formalied-a total of 450K en disc and 32K 
RAM on board 1 

Colour Genie has superb sound which connects directly to television or ony 
Ifi Fi system The custom chip o*ows four arguments: channel C*3). octave 
(1-8). note (CM2) and amplitude (M5)r in addition, there is otso a noise 

"special effects" channel 
Specifications 

Processor ;oC Clock Speed 22 M'j RAM v- ROM '-6K 

Language ttfeided Microsoft BAStC. laud Bait, 12CO. Standard Accessories ? 

Users Manuals 1 Demonstration lopo. I Cossot to Recorder Connector Cable 

Video Video oi-tnut or Rf with sound moduQroa output Text Mod* l »a:r»ng cu«w; 

upper and towor cose 

Display <10cr>aroclGrsby24llres. Resolution 160 * 96 pixels 

Keyboard rvp«-wrlt*ws style ASCII 5«-kov keyboard with repeat key and cursor 

conlrol keft.4 (*oar ammooie f unction Kayi atowing 3 deacoiedorpraoAJrnrrttote 

funcnons 

I/O Port* One parufeH pert, one RS-232G port, one cassette port, or>>viaeo output 
po* I. ono Auato oulput port, one OF + sound TOOutotod output port, ore InM pen port, 
one expansion port 



ABCDEFGH 

:T! LMNO! 

Q STUV'-X 



Optional Accessories: 

EG20Q Cef*<xKaPnrte»lnlaitoc«n-*tic(K*i 
(GJOU jovslc*Contro«erKooi) 

tSIOl* lipWPisn 

(G ?Ot6 Cossetie Peccaei 

EG?30O tAMtt-awe.lSfX 

K-?30COMusto'(jiivecnJ1o<ldofidr"Voin 

wma eo» 300k 

EG2310 Aoa-ooOrwi.lSOK 

CSJOfl pooy-chart cable 

(<S»J0 Sc'r-are.'rtTitf-itxeMonjc' 

IGfiO? Do»<r**WG'i*>f*»ft.rtof 

Doctor enquiries welcome 



-■■■■-■: 

■ .:■-. 

S1K-SO 
WB500 

SIW5.00 
S035OO 
SM-1SO 

SO350O 




Available now at Ihe following dealers- 
Porterfield Computers Ltd 
Ml Eden, Auckland 

Orconlocl thoNewZ^CTandctotnoutCrfiRAKONCOM^ 

RakOA Computers. 9 Geof Qe street, M t Eden, P.O. Box 9308. AucWarvj. Telephone 604358/600/.21 



K'RD Video Computer Co. 
Newton /Auckland 



83 



HflRDUJAR€ R€VI€W 

some fanGy graphics routines. For 
example the CIRCLE command 
can draw simple circles of any 
radius or it can draw polygons, 
ellipses, pie charts, segments, and 
arcs. 

There are also commands such 
as BOX, which draws a rectangle, 
and BAR. which draws a solid 
rectangle. The PAINT command 
fills in an enclosed area with 
colour, although there is a 
warning about donu-t-shaped 
areas, (That is, rings or toruses); 
the machine may hang or it may 
just not do it. 

There are 32 levels of sprites 
(i.e. a sprite on level 2 will pass 
behind a sprite on level 1 J. By the 
way a sprite is a picture which can 
be treated as if it were one point; 
it can be moved, turned on or off 
easily. The sprites on the M5 are 8 
x 8 or 16 x 1 6 pixels and can be 
joined to other sprites making an 
even larger sprite. 

Behind these 32 levels of sprites 
is a background which can be 
drawn upon. Finally, there is 'a 
backlight which can be coloured. 

There are four screen modes on 
the M5: text. Gl, Gil and multi- 
colour. Text moda can display text 

in an 8 x 6 matrix, allowing eight 
more characters per line. 

Gl mode is similar to text but 
characters are 8x8, allowing use 
of the graphics characters. 

Gil and multi-colour are the 
graphics modes. Multi-colour 
mode has 48 x 64 pixels, but any 
colours may be shown in any 
combination. 

Gil has 192 x 256 pixel, but 
colour is limited to two colours in 
arfy unit. A unit is a 1 x 8 block 
i.e.: 

niiimi 

I found this limitation easy to 
avoid when programming in the 
Gil mode by having different 
colours in adjacent units. 

Sound is easy to use on the M5 
via the PLAY statement, there is a 
range of note forms (such as 
organ, piano. . .) available. There 
are three sound channels and one 
noise channel via an SN76489A 
sound-generator chip. Output is 
produced on the audio output 
channel and the RF output 
channel. Three note chords and a 
variety of sound effects can be 
produced. 



Microcomputer Summary 



Name: 

Manufacturer: 

Micro processor: 

Clock speed: 

RAM: 

ROM: 

User RAM: 
I/O: 



Keyboard: 

Display: 

Language: 

Graphics: 



Sound: 

Cost: 
Options: 



Reviewer's 
ratings: 



Sord M5 

Sord Computer Systems 
280A 
3.6 MHz 
20K 

SK monitor and up to 8K language, game, etc. 
pack. 

4K and up to 32K expansion box. 
RF and video and sound outputs, cassette I/O 
parallel printer port. Expansion cartridge 
connector, 2 x jovpad channels. 
Rubber QWERTY layout with space key, 
function key, and reset key. 
Upper/lower case (no descenders) x 32. 
BASIC-I (simple introductory BASIC). 
256 x 191 pixels, 16 colours, two alternate 
screens, 32 sprite levels per screen and 
background level. 

Ihree sound channels and one noise chonnol, 
via RF output or audio output. 
Under $1000 

32K RAM pack. BASIC-G (graphics BASIC), 
BASlC-F (floating-point BASIC), carrying case, 
PS-232C interface, specialist printer, joypads, 
microfloppy 3 ft in disk-drive. 
Documentation: 2 
Ease of Use: 4 

Language: 4 

Expansion: 3 



(Review unit from Challenge Computers) 



A nice feature of the BASIC is 
32-character variable names 
(Including labels). This makes it 
easy to wrte meaningful names 
and labels. The BASIC also has 
quite good interrupt handling. The 
interrupt handling is of the form. 
ON condition (GOSUB, GOTO) 

and the conditions are ALARM, 
which would issue an interrupt 
after a period of time. It is of the 
form, ALARM time, then ALARM 
ON, or ALARM OFF. EVENT 
issues an interrupt at set periods. 
It is set n a similar way to 
ALARM. 

KEY issues an interrupt if a key 

is struck and similarly with PAD, 
which issues an interrupt if the 
joypads ere pressed. COINC 
issues an interrupt when two 
sprites collide. 

ERROR interrupts allowing you 
to handle errors easily. 

Another software package 
included with the test machine, 
FALC, is an information- 
management system which will 
sort, search, up-date data and 



then display it in easily assessable 
form. Because of the RAM 
limitations (4K) I found this only 
moderately useful. Perhaps the 
table of information can be 
enlarged from 8 x 60 with the 
addition of the RAM pack. 

The documentation that arrived 
with the M5 was in tutorial form. 
There was no reference except for 
a small statement listing at the 
back. Tutorial documentation is 
good for learning to use the 
software but an index or cross 
reference could be handy once 
you have learned the language 
and just need a reminder on the 
syntax of a seldom used 
statement. 

Summary 

All in all this is a very good 
machine if you want to play, 
games, or write them, but the 
limitations of its memory anc( 
documentation makes 

unsuitable for larger scale 
applications — unless you 
purchase the extra memory. 



16 



BhlS & BYTSS Aiiguti. ISM 



tes 



.«hp- Colour 
Computer 



Now every family can 
afford their own personal 
computer! 



The incredible h&ps&.&u 
DICK SMITH VZ 200 
Personal Colour Compute 

Here it is at last • the breakthrough you've 
been waiting for! Apersonalcokmrcomput- 
erwil h all the right features: colour graphics, 
sound standard Microsoft BASIC for easy 
programming, a whopping 8K bytes of RAM 
memory, the ability to work with a standard 
TV set, or monitor If you prefer, and much 
more. Yel thanks to modern electronics and 
our buying power, the DickSmith VZ 20© will 
cost you only 5349.00 - far loss thart any 
comparaWe computer* There'll never be a 
better time lo invest in your family's future 

Yes. lor just $349.00 the Dick Smith VZ 200 
gives you amazing computing power - far 
more than many machines two, three or 
even four times the price. Now you can find 
out what computers are all about. The kids 
can use it with their school work. It can *eep 
track ot your home budget. It can even help 
you in your business! 

Still not convinced? Try our exclusive 7 day- 
money back satisfaction guarantee. 

Buy the Dick Smith VZ 200 Colour Computer 
and try it in your home for up to 7 days. If 

you're nut absolutely delighted, you can 
return it in original condition and packaging 
for a full refund. 

You'll owe nothing - not even an explanation. 





MAD WHAT THE BCPntTS SAT: 
'Ov&rall, this is a umai llllfe com- 
puter, and one mar is likely to 
change th« face of Australian per- 
sona. Fcompulirtg'. 
And from ihe editoc 
Tm certainly gning lo buy one'. 
iMay 1983 issue. Australian 
Personal Computer) 



• Simple and sa'e to use 

Operates from low voitag-e via a mains adaptor, 
which is included in the price. Absolutely safe - 
even for children 

• Works with any normal TV set 

It simply plugs in, no need to buy an expensive 
monitor (unless you prefer to use one)). 

• Uses a normal cassette recorder 

No need to buy a high cost computer type 
recorder 

• Easy to read manuals. Demo cassette. 
When you buy theVZ 200, yougetnotonebui two 
manuals, a User's Manual ana a BASIC Manual, 
plus a Demonstration Cassette, and a book of 
simple programs 

A complete, ready-to-go computer that plugs 
Into your TV set! If required, these options will 
be available shortly: 

16K MEMORY Cdx-rsoa 

EXPANSION MODULE: $149.00 

PRINTER INTERFACE C81X-7210 $99.00 
MODULE: 

DATA CASSETTE: &c*7207 $1 29.00 

That's the- incredible 



DICK SMITH VZ 200 

ONLY AVAILABLE FROM 

DICK SMITH Electronics 

98 Carlton Gore Road, Newmarket, Auckland 1. 

Tfileohone: 504 409 SPEEDV MAIL ORDER SERVICE: Just phone Auckland 5O4d09._ 
■ bivki ""'*■ 9nr-m fls(( )()f mgjl or( , e(S and qu0 , e e,ther your Bankcard or Visa card No. HH 

MAIL ORDERS: Private Bag. Mewmarket Your order will recehe immediate attention. 



SOFTWARE - 

To get your computer up 
a ncf running, 

GAMES: 

Matchbox: Cat X-7231 

Poker Catx-7232 

Blackjack; CatX-7235 

Hangman: CatX-7233 

Slot Machine/Knock off/ 
Russian Roulette: Cat X-7234 
Circus: Cat X-7236 

Bio rhythm/Pair Matching/ 
Calendar Cat X-7237 

EDUCATIONAL: 

Statistical: CalX-7251 

Statistics 11: CatX-7252 

Matrix: CatX-7253 

Tennis Lesson/Goll 
Lesson: CatX-7254 

FINANCIAL: 

Portfolio 

Management: Cat X-7261 

Discounted Cash Flow 
Analysis: Cat X-7262 

Financial Ratio , ,.„„ 
Analysis: Cat X-72S3 

ALL ONE PRICE! ^ 



$29.50 



EA 



BUSINESS HOURS: 

Monday - Friday 9.00 am - 5.30 pm 

Saturday mentoo; 9.00 am • 1 2 noon 




nUE fNZ032/JGP 



HflRDUJnfi€ review 

Playing the 
Ace from 
Franklin 

by JOHN WIGLEY 

After all the fuss about Apple 
clones, this review has been 
written in the lounge of my house, 
not looking through the bars of a 
prison cell. What was all the fuss 
about? 

Apple took exception to people 
who, in their opinion, were 
copying the Apple II plus and 
cashing in on their market. Some 
were straight copies,, and some 
were look-alikes. Franklrn as a 
look-alike survived a court battle. 
What is the Franklin like? 

It's a 6502-based machine that 
can run 64K of memory. It will 
take plug-in cards For expansion 
just like the Apple; in fact, the 
same cards can be used. 

But as originally received it does 
not run as an Apple. Load in the 
special disk (an EPROM will be 
available shortly), and then you 
are free to run Apple programs. 

I tried a wide range of Apple 
programs, wrote some of my 
own, and there seemed to be no 
problem, except for a couple of 
games programs that used some 
of their own special routines. 
Obviously, a few addresses are 
not the same. I didn't have 
enough time to sort out which 
they were, but I don't think this 
would be any great hassle to an 
owner. 

The Franklin Aco has upper and 
lower case built in, and a numeric 
keypad. So it is an improvement 
on the Apple II plus. At the same 
time as I was reviewing the 
Franklin the Apple He became 
available. The He also has upper 
and lower case, and the keyboard 
has been revised, but it doesn't 
have a numeric keypad. Memory 
has been increased, so the 
Franklin Ace is a sort of parallel 
but divergent development. 

The Franklin is better than the II 
plus, has upper and lower case, 
and will expand as the lie, which 
has the same improvements, with 
the different keyboard. 

If you are used to the Apple plus 
keyboard and would like an 




mflff^ 




i ii .M i.;i ri 11 





9 


f-f- 1 


1 





The Franklin ACE 1 000 keyboard includes a 12-key numeric pad, an 
alpha lock key and keys with special VisiCalc designations. 



improved version, or if you are 
looking for a computer that has a 
large range of software, readily 
available, then the Frankh'n Ace 
has to be on your shopping list, 
and the price is right. 

A few quick words for those 
who don't know the Apple system 
, ■ , The Franklin or Apple with 
one disk drive makes a very nice 
system. Apple DOS commands 
make for an easy user interaction. 

Beginners seem to take to it like 
a duck to water. As you progress, 
faults start to show up, which is 



why other brands still sell well. 

You pays your money and you 
takes your choice, and the 
Franklin Ace is a no- corn promise, 
full keyboard computer. At the 
price it's a good buy. 

A very fast servicing network 
has been established for the 
Franklin, Use is made of the N.Z. 
Courier service for a one-day 
transit time, and the intention is 
one day service with return that 
evening by N.Z. Couriers. This 
should set the standard for its 
competition. 

;■...; .-.-.'■■ 



Microcomputer Summary 



Name; : 

Microprocessor: 

Clock speed; 

RAM: 

ROM: 

INPUT/OUTPUT: 

Keyboard: 

Display: 
■Languages: 

Graphics; 

Sound: 

Cost: 

Peripherals: 



Review unit from-'. 
Reviewer's ratings; 



Franklin Ace 1000. 

6502. 

1;G22MHz. • 

64K plus 16K language card. .;-...;. j 

Monitor plus space for SEPROM's of 2K : H 

each. 

Eight expansion slots plus joystick^paddle; \ ; 

connections. Video. Output.. ; 

Full-size, 72-key, including numeric key p&cf, 

PAUSE (CTRL-S) and BREAK iGTRL^Cl and ^ 

Autorepeat. Keys are capacitor switched. : 

24 lines x 40 characters. Upper/lower case. 

Inverse video, No colour... \ 

Applesoft BASIC (loaded from disk J, Wide 

variety available: PasCaT, LOGO, $nd rrtany r 

others. - 

40 x. 80 VERT, resolution. 40 x 40 with 4 t; 

lines text (split screen graphics text). High : 

resolution 280 x 192. 280 x 160 with 4 "■■■] 

lines text (as above). 

Speaker" included. Programmable sound '"' 

from BASIC. 

$3950, including Disk controller and one ;■ 

drive, and green screen monitor. 

Will accept all Apple II boards and disk 

drives; a CP/M card with 64K will be 

available shortly. 

Selwyn College, Auckland, 
documentation 4, ease ol use 5. language ;: 
4, expansion 4. value for money 4. support 

'Ms :. - ■ ■ 



18 



BITS & BYTES August, 19B3 



SOFTWARC 

A 'cracker 1 
VIC game 

Southdown. Expanded VIC 
(Minimum 8K). Lab 

Software, 51 Te Kanawa 
Street, Otorohanga. $12. 
Reviewed by A.J. Petre. 
This is a cracker of a game. It is 
intended for one player, but the 
family is bound to join in with lots 
of good (?) advice. It is also a 
game that can bring home a few 
commercial truths to young 
minds. 

Southdown is a freezing works 
with a $2.5M deficit, and you are 
brought in as manager with a two- 
year deadline to make a profit, you 
are given export contracts for 
meat, you can select some local 
contracts of your own, and you 

get a weekly report and make 
weekly decisions on your way to 
fulfilling monthly contracts - and 
to making a" mo nthly profit or loss. 

Mess it up and miss your 
contracts, and you will end up 
getting fired. 

First off, you have to buy stock 
(at prices which vary sharply) and 
set aside money for works repairs. 
Too little stock and you can't 
meet your contracts. Too much, 
and your grazing fees go through 
the roof. Too little on repairs, and 
your production is cut by 
breakdowns. 

Ttien there's the union. Hiring 
men keeps them happy, but 
pushes up your wages bill. It 
raises the kill rate, but it you run 
out of stock before the end of the 
month, you are paying the men for 
nothing . Fire men, and the union is 
likely to strike for more wages. 
Wage bargaining can be 
protracted - and while the strike 
is on, production (but wages too) 
are at zero. 

You can pay an occasional 
bonus to help forestall strikes and 
keep the men happy. Reactions 
range from, "Gee. thanks Boss!" 
to "Cheapskate", according to 
the size of the bonus. 

Then, there's what that union 

man calls "the Gummint". Every 

now and then they're likely to 
spring a general wage order on 
you, which really messes up your 
wage/production calculations. 
Every time you give in to wage 
demands the wage rate - and bill 



— creeps higher. 

Kill too much stock, and you 
may be able to sell it on the local 
market — it also can go towards 
next month's contracts. 

After a month meat "goes off" 
so you can't just keep the cool 
stores filling up. Miss your 
contract, and bLyers may accept 
the situation, or reduce your 
contract price, or even cancel the 
contract. You get monthly 
reports, you get taxed at 50c in 
the S every March, you pay utility 

charges every two months, plus 
bank interest fees and feed costs. 
Top marks for this program — it 
is imaginative, realistic, does not 
crash, and seems bug-free. Unlike 
so many these days, it even has 
the spelling right. It should go well 
in Australia, too. 8ut those further 

afifilri might hp fl lililp mvstififiri. 

My rating for ihe tape: 

Loading and instructions: very 
good. Colour and graphics: text 
and figures only. Value: Excellent. 
Player Interest: Excellent. 

Good value 
for $20 

Tore, High Finance, Solo 
Poker, Acey Deucy. 

Urrexpanded VIC. lab 
Software, 51 Te Kanawa 
Street, Otorzhanga. $20. 
Reviewed by A.J. Petre. 
This games tape is a good one. 
The start of some of the programs 
needs tidying, but it is good to see 
games for more than one player, 
and there is plenty of 
entertainment fcr the price. Good 
written instructions, and well 
"crash-proofed" programs, too. 

Tote is a horse-race game for up 
to six players. Check the form and 
the odds, place your bets (up to 
two eachifrom your $500 purse, a 
starting shot, and the "horses" 
are off. Six numbered squares 
race up the greei "track", off the 

top of the screen and back on the 
bottom about three times before 
the finish line appears. The 
winnings anc losses are 
calculated, form updated, and on 
you go for another nine races — 
after which all gains and losses 
are shown. 

Not a bad game, but players 
found interest aalled before 10 
races passed, the "horses" were 
graphically disappointing (it does 



We ere Australia's largest 
supplier ol special purpose 
and scientific software (or 

OSBORNE 

PERSONAL COMPUTERS 

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UTILITIES 

LANGUAGES 

GRAPHICS 

PERSONAL 

EDUCATIONAL 

SCIENTIFIC 

BUSINESS 

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STATISTICS 

MATHEMATICS 

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VIC 20 GAMES 

200! - TOTEiHiGM FINAt*Cf . ACEY DEUCY. 
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ALSO available Irom NZ Computer 

Games Cl ub. P.O. Bo. 93, RANGIORA 



COMPUTER 
SOFTWARE 

APPLE -VIC 20 
-SPECTRUM -ZX81 

Over 100 programmes available, 
games, demos and educational. 
Also blank CIO Computer Casset- 
tes S2.00. Send .stamped and ad- 
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and prices, stating preference. 

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fit in 5K afte- all), the lack of 
"scorecard" showing players' 
financial positions was annoying, 
and a simple "clear screen" 
command at the start of the 
program would ensure that the 
"number of players?" prompt did 
not appear at the bottom of a 
screenful of searching/ 

found/loading/OK instructions. 

High Finance - a stockmarket 
game for up to six players — has 
great appeal. Each player starts 
with S 1 00O and has to turn it into 
$1M to win. There are price 
swoops, bonus issues, brokers' 
fees, and 20 per cent interest on 
any overdrafts. A well thought- 
out game, realistic and complex 
enough to interest adults, and also 
able to hook youngsters. 

Acey Deucy is modelled on the 
card-game: four can play, and the 
aim is to pick that the value of the 
third card you are dealt is between 
that of the other two. It is not hard 
to break the bank, and interest. 
falls accordingly. Graphics are 
good. 

In Solo Poker, the player gets 
25 cards, dealt one at a time, and 
has to place them anywhere in 25 
blank spaces to make up the best 
poker hands. You aim to make 12 
hands: . five horizontal, five 
vertical, and two diagonally, so it 
takes some careful thought. 

More instructions in the 

program woulc help: people lose 

bits of paper, and when a function 
key has to be used, it is easy to 
forget, if you don't play the game 
often. 

My rating for the tape: 

Loading and instructions: Good. 
Colour and graphics: Good. Value: 
Good. Player interest: Fair to High. 



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20 



CDUCnTION 

Good maths 
series from 
U.S. 

Milliken Maths Series, 
from the Milliken Publishing 
Co. 1980. Obtainable from 
the Milliken Research 
Company, 7 WO Research 
Boulevard, St Louis, Missouri 
63132 Reviewed by C.A. 
Wright, a lecturer at the 
Christchurch Teachers' 

College. 

The Milliken Maths package 
consists of 12 disks, a teacher's 
manual, and a strong, vinyl- 
backed folder to carry the disks in. 
It is a good example of what can 
be done when sound teaching and 
psychological principles are 
followed. No commercial teaching 
program should ever be written 
without a good educational 
psychologist or a teacher in the 
programming team. 

Twelve maths areas are 
covered: the four rules, integers, 
equations, percentages, fractions, 
decimals, measurement, laws of 
arithmetic, and number readiness. 
The total course is designed to 
cover the syllabus from grade 1 to 
grade 8, which should take New 
Zealand children up to about Form 
3. 

Each disk is designed to be used 
by up to 100 children at a time, all 
working at their own pace at 
individual programs {if the teacher 
could find time to set them up). Or 
if you prefer, you can organise 
your class in groups, each 
working at a different level. Each 
child land the teacher) is assigned 
a code name to prevent people 
from clobbering one another's 
programs. The class management 
routines are flexible and simple to 
administer and enable the teacher 
to run truly individualised 

instruction in a large class without 
growing ulcers. 

This is a true CAL package. 
the child makes a mistake twice. 
on a specific problem he 
corrected immediately and led 
through a simple step-by-step 
procedure to remedy the difficulty 

BnS & BYTES August. 1983 



CDUCftTION 



:«{«4W0«M««4ft«XMW«H< 

before going on. If he makes too 
many mistakes (the failure level 
can be pre-set by the teacher) the 
program automatically drops him 
back to an easier level and then 
works its way back up. 

The mathematical procedures, 
while they are not always those 
which are fashionable in the New 
Zealand primary syllabus, are 
certainly compatible with it. Only 
one method is used for each 
procedure. Subtraction is taught 
by the decomposition method for 
example. So the program will not 
develop understanding by 
exposing the child to a variety of 
methods. However, it might 
ensure thorough mastery of the 
chosen method. The format and 
the methods used are ideal for 

slower learners and for remedial 
maths and, in fact, we had 
dramatic success with the first 
pupil we placed on the program. 
He caught up over two years in his 
maths over about three months of 
daily practice. 

The manual is clearly laid out 
and easy to follow. One example 
of every level of difficulty is given. 
The catch is that the teacher has 
to set the assignments before 
each child can begin, but this is a 
small price to pay for the flexibility 
gained. You can set the mastery 
level and the failure level manually 

and get a detailed report on the 

progress of every child in the 

programme. In short it is a truly 
individualised program. 



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Vol 2 $32.55 
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Magsoft Distributors, 

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Screen formatting is attractive 
and uncluttered. Reinforcement of 
correct responses Is done 

instantly using little humorous 

animated graprics sequences. 
You need a colour monitor to 
make the best use of this feature. 
The program has real possibilities 
for teaching maths to deaf 
children. We found ths graphics 
were very slow "dissolving" 
before the next frame and felt that 
the sustaining of interest might 
have been improved by switching 
to a random reinforcement 
schedule once the intitial learning 
routine for each level was 
established. A wider range of 
graphics routines would definitely 
improve any new edition Milliken 
are considering. 

The initial cost in New Zealand 
currency if you import directly is 
around $500. which sounds a lot 
until you consider that you're 
getting an entire primary school 
maths course for 100 children. 
The disks are write protected on 
track three which makes it 
difficult for schools to make their 
own back-up ccpies but I must 
say my sympathies are with 
Milliken when they are marketing 
a product of this quality. You need 
to consider this back-up problem 
before purchasing. 

Summary:— The Milliken Maths 
Sequences is an excellent 
package for use either with 
individuals or with classes and 
good value for rroney. 

N.Z. agent 

E.C. Gough Ltd, has been 
appointed New Zealand agent for 
Minato Electrodes, of Japan, 
which specialises in equipment 
ranging from LSI/Memory test 
systems to PROM programmers- It 

recently introduced the 1860 
series of PROM programmers to 
its range. 

IBM retirement 

Mr Frank Cary. chairman of the 
board at IBM from 1973 to 
February of this year, and ihe 
corporation's chief executive from 
1973 to 1981, has now retired as 
an employee cf the cornpany- 
However, he will continue as 
chairman of the board's executive 
committee. 



And If you think that's 
impressive, wait till 
you see the catalogue 

But tow prices are only one 
feature of our new catalogue. We 
think you wil start using it as an 
invaluable reference tool. 270 
programs, 80 pages. 
And that's not all. 
As we pub-fish new software we 
send you an update. Our offer is 
to keep you abreast of new pro- 
ducts, new services and our 
regular special prices. 
Fill in the coupon and return it to: 

Molymerx Ltd. 
P.O. Box 60152 
Titlrangl, 
AUCKLAND 
NEW ZEALAND 

Tel.: (817) 4372 




Please send n copies of the 
Molymerx Software Catalogue. 

PW9M u** BLOCK C.WTTALS 



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ijif»auii (fan tiAin ki A»»»x.*«»n.3oF»*{i CAU 

Itao Sjilemi ScArat. UmttoC Ifiwo 5**we 
fcxw SofMnre. l>*iiui*»;. «C. H-nW. 



BITS S BVTFS August, 1983 



1' 



HINTS 



'**&-*^*J**ttWF'W&&VPH&Wttt{t*t*f*'- l '*tt , **f*^^ 



How to 
wage war 
on bugs 

by PAUL BIELESKI 

Popular wisdom has it that the 
term, "bug," was established in 
1 945 in the famous Mark I built at 
Harvard by Howard Aitken with 
hQlp from IBM. The operators of 
this machine were baffled by 
errors it was making. The problem 
was solved when someone found 
a moth in the works. The memory 
was in the form of electric relays 
(adding two numbers took a third 
of a second) and the bug was 
caught in between contact points. 
The moth was extracted with 
tweezers and still resides in the 
run log book. 

From then, computer errors 
raised suspicions of another 
'"bug" in the works and the 
"debugging" process was initially 
to uncover it. These people, and 
generations of programmers to 
follow, found it hard to accept 
their own fallibility and always 
expected "bugs" to be caused by 
a machine fault rather than their 
own faulty programming efforts. 

Whatever the fault is, there is 
always a reason, even if you never 
find it. If only for mental peace, 
each and' every bug ought to be 
tracked down lest it obscures 
other more important faults. 

If you have a program that does 
not operate as planned, it is 
wasting time to presume anything 
other than incorrect programming. 
Bad data is the second most 



common cause of a fault, but this 
is far less common that 
programming errors. 

Compiler errors and machine 
malfunctions are even rarer these 
days. 

Just as programming is a mental 
process, so too is debugging. It 
can be more intellectually 
satisfying than programming. I 
know because I have done so 
much debugging of my own 
programs! My first program on an 
old machine never worked and it 
took me several years to find the 
cause. 

The bug exists to be discovered 

and it requires superior skills to 
make use of the information 
available and apply the correct 
tools to track the bug"" down 
whatever its cause. Here are some 
hints. 

The tools of trade 

The skilled worker knows his 
tools and makes them work for 
him. The most important tool of 
debugging is caNed the "trap". 
This term now includes software 
traps as well as hardware traps. 

A bug s stopped in its tracks by 
trapping some invalid operation 
that is attempted. This usually 
implies that some programming 
fault lies prior to the invalid 
request. 

The cassic hardware trap is 
made on an attempt to divide by 

zero, for which computer 

hardware does not provide. 

High level software such as 
BASIC includes software traps for 
such things as divide by zero, 
square toots, or logarithms of 
negative numbers. Some faults 
are trapped and a message 
displayed on the screen. Serious 
faults such as out-of-bounds 



subscripts result in a message and 

the halting of the program. The 
careful programmer usually builds 
traps into his programs as a 
matter of course. 

The "dump" is a debugging too! 
that is not so much in vogue now,: 
Perhaps it is a bit crude antf 
"messy". The first popular 
computer in this part of the world 
was the IBM 1401 which had 
concealed switch known to aH 
programmers. When operated 
caused all of memory (4K-16K) to 
be automatically listed on the 
printer. This enabled the 
programmer to see the final values 
of every variable in his program 
and check the program for 
damage done tiy a wild untrapped 
subscript error. 

Using a high level language 

such as BASIC, the programmer 

does not know where the 
variables are, so such a printout 
would not mean much. It is all a bit 
crude these days to wallow in 
dumps. For skilled use, the! 
programme* can insert his own 
PRINT statements at the end of 
the program to obtain a user- 
programmed, end-of-job for) 
matted dump, of carefully 
selected specific variables. 

The "trace" is an important 
tool, but it needs some skill to 
apply it selectively. It can 
overwhelm the user with too 
much information. 

The trace is usually a high- 
language built-in facility that 
switched into use as required. 
Most interpretive BASICs feature 
TRON and TROFF which can be 
used as a statement within a 
program or as a command. 

In a compiled BASIC such as 
CBASIC, the compile process is 




3N51 TlasMfie Ma is Easij! 

Sij Ssrij Partosr 



This book is just what beginners and 
experienced ZX81 programmers need to 
learn the art of machine language. 

Easy to understand and sample programs 
for Horizontal and Vertical Scolling etc. 

Available only from 
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HINTS 



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run with a "toggle" $E set. This 
causes the compiler to insert extra 
instructions into the INT module 
to make a trace of the program 
action. With only the toggle used 
the running program will identify 
the statement number as well as 
the cause for any trap made of an 
error condition. 

In addition, when running the 
program, a full trace can be 
obtained with a command such as 
RUN PROGRAM TRACE 1 25,285. 
This will result in each of the line 
numbers in the range 125 to 285 
having its execution logged on the 
screen as it is reached, enabling us 
to follow the program's flow of 
logic in the specified range. This 
form of trace is called a "logic 
trace". 

An alternative form of trace 
called the "arithmetic trace", 
which few if any BASICs seem to 
have, requires the nomination of 
variables rather than statements 
for extra instruction creation 
during compilation. This trace 
when invoked causes each 
arithmetic operation on the 



nominated variables to be logged 
on the screen. 

This enables the user to see the 
development of unexpected* 
arithmetic results. In both cases 
bugs need to be localised to a 
Specific area before use of a trace, 
because of the large volume of 
output that can be produced and 
has to be studied before the error 
can be detected. 

Finally, the "spy" is a bit of 
extra code that the user inserts 
into a program to send out 
intelligence from within the 
program. 

It can be in the nature of a trap, 
a dump, or a trace. It is important 
that it does not interfere with the 
ordinary operation of the program. 
It can be very selective compared 
with the other three tools, but it 
requires some skill and experience' 
to use. 

One has tc have an idea of what 
information needs to be known 
before the spy is sent on its 
mission. 

Next month: Applying the do* 
bugging took. 



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The Apple II 

Dear Sir. 

I was interested to read Mikel 
Malloy's assessment of Ihel 

Australian Personal Computed 

Show in your June issue. I would 

like to make a couple of points. 

Firstly, as regards Lisa 
understand that the Australian] 
price of Si 2,000 does indeed! 
include 5 Mgbyte hard drivesl 
together with the six application] 
packages. 

I suspect Mike's comnie 
regarding the "boring bread 
butter" Apple He was somewhf 
tongue in cheek as the Apple 
expects to supply its millionth] 
Apple II {the latest version being] 
the Apple He) within the next six| 
weeks or so. The He is, 
unde-rctand, the first computor ml 
mass production to incorporate 
VLSI techniques, one of the few! 
machines to use full ISO standard] 
keyboard and includes many other 
features such as self-tei 
diagnostics, the ability to provide| 
one English and one foreign] 
character set switch selectat 
and other features which werel 
previously only available an 
optional extras on the Apple I 

It is a pity that the Apple II is] 
boring to Mike, particularly as it 
has been the sole reason for Apple 
Computer Inc., to become the first] 
company in history to reach SUSt 
billion sales within five years of I 
commencement, tt should also be 
noted that the Apple II is a top 
seller, not only throughout the 
world but in New Zealand where it 
is estimated there are 5,000 units] 
in daily use. 

For Apple Computer Inc. andl 
ourselves "bread and butter" thel 
Apple II certainly is, but boring -| 
never!! 

— B. Eardtey - WilmotJ 
Director J 

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INT€RNOTIONRL 

Short 
Circuit 3: 

Beyond 
Logo 

By PIP FORER 

This last brief look, at overseas 
computing focuses on language 
and begins at a most unlikely but 
very rewarding meeting. This was 
the conference of the Society for 
Artificial Intelligence and 

Simulated Behaviour, held at the 
University of Exeter. Apart from 
the papers at this conference by 
far the most significant aspect of 
the whole meeting was who 
attended. Not the sparse crowd of 
esoteric researchers that might 
once have been expected by 
some, but a host of practising 
teachers and administrators from 
primary lovel upwards, many from 
the least numerate of the school 
disciplines. What had attracted 
them? Basically, a potentially 
explosive conference built around 
the themes of two distinct 
computer languages: Logo and 
Prolog. 

One clear trend in educational 
microcomputing is that more 
purpose-specific languages are 
becoming available. Each does 
different things in different ways. 
BASIC was adopted as friendly 
and suited to small machines and 
has survived to become our de 
facto common language. Pascal 
has pushed in to satisfy the 
demands for structure in a classic 
scientific type of language. The 
list-based languages have arrived 
with their ability to build their 
own, on-going vocabulary: Lisp 
for early work in artificial 
intelligence and Forth more 
recently for graphics freaks. As 
mainframes shed their languages 
downward and the growing user 
base and capacity on 
microcomputers spawns more 
approaches to language so new 
names enter the arena. Logo and 
Prolog are just part of this 
process. 
A Logo user's Logo 

However, they represent very 

26 



different aspects of computer 
applications-, both generally and in 
education, Let us look at Logo 
first, since almost every New 
Zealand high school has the 
language available on Apples. In 
my earlie* series on graphics I 
mentioned the Logo turtle as one 
aspect of what is a very powerful 
general language. 

The important thing about Logo 
is the philosophy that underlies its 
development. It was set up as a 
language to nurture inquisitive 
thought and problem-solving 
skills. Its main medium for this 
was turtls graphics. The user 
taught the screen turtle to draw 
(through Logo) and on the way 
learnt a lot about programming 
and geometry. De-bugging was 
visual (bad drawings) and rewards 

immediate and aesthetic (good 

drawings). The process of 
learning tnese skills was to be 
explorative and pupil centred. 

At Exeter, Logo was to be 
represented by Seymour Papert, 
its initiator and chief publicist, and 
Bob Lawler, both from the Centre 
Mondiale. in Paris (of which 
more). In fact, Jim Howe, from 
Edinburgh, stood in for Papert at 
the last minute, substituting 
canniness for charisma. Howe's 
careful analysis of how a 
flamboyant language has been 
harnessed to a Scottish 
curriculum I suspect left delegates 
cooler, bu: better informed, than 
Papert's acknowledged evan- 
gelical skils. 

In any =ase Bob Lawler was 

there to remind us that Logo as a 
language ias soul. Lawler is a 
large, generous, and enormously 
human American who writes 
regularly on Logo (see the August, 
1982 "Byte") and assisted- by his 
young daughter (resplendent in 
newly-acquired Lawler tartan 
from head to foot) we were 
treated to an exposition on Logo 
the Liberating Language. What 
helped enormously was that 
Lawler was demonstrating not 
just Logo aut a new Apple Logo. 
Although other Logo's for Apple 
and other machines were on 
display, this one outshone the 
rest. It featured two components, 
one of general interest to Apple 
users and one just to Logo 
afficionados. 
The first of these is that the 



Logo used an Apple screen wit 

normal limits to high resolutio 
but 16 independent colours 
How? The answer lay in a 20cn 
long peripheral card with its ow 
video signal, RAM for scree 
image and firmware. This will b 
marketed soon alone for §200 t< 
S300, possibly under the name 
'Arcade Card'. 

The logo component is softwai 
providing an enhanced languag 
that takes advantage of thes 
new facilities. This languagt 
includes up to 1 6 simultanec-ui 
turtles of chosen shape. 1 
sprites with precedence fol 
display (a sprite is at 
independently program me< 

coloured shape} and a host of nevi 
commands to let you use these t< 
create a "graphics microworld" 

Fun it isiai i utt, d background can I) 

drawn with some commands; 
sprite shape can be called up an 
edited to look like a dog; and th 
sprite can be set walking acros 
the screen. The sun (or severa 
suns) can rise or set. For a chil 
(and most adults) it is like 4 
glorious, animated colouring 

book, with all the shortcoming 
and all the extensions tha 
metaphor implies. 

Three demonstrations stick iri 
my mind. One is simply a sat oi 
"skydiver" turtles arrayed in a 
circle and then spiralling out, each 
leaving a vapour trail as he or she 
falls. A second was a man-shaped 
turtle in a maze, viewed from 
above. The user could program 
how the turtle reacted whenevei 
he hit a wall, and from this see 
what decision rules allowed him tc 
escape and which ones kept hirr 
bottled up. 

The final demonstration waa 
unreal in that it was a Logo 
microworld written entirely in 8 
dialect of the Senegalese. This 
was a product of the Centra 
Mondiale, a French agency 
established either to a; promot 
the humane educational uses o 
computers globally; or b: buj 
American software brains and pu 
them alongside French hardwar 
(you choose a or b depending 01 
your cynicism^. Th 

demonstration of the Senegales 
microworld made a nice poifl 
about computational portability! 
Quite what it did for th 
Senegalese is harder to judg 

BITS & BYTES Auflj-.- I 



INT€RNRTIONfll 



-/-■..,■.„...- .■.,-, 



^»«»h"(»(ii«i« 



since they were absent. So, too. 
were the inhabitants of the 
Marseilles district, who were the 
recipients of another Centre 
Mondiale project: saturation by 
free computers just to see what 
would happen! Tha unreal aspects 
of the Centre Mondiale aside. 
Logo captured both people's 
interest and affection. 

In the other camp came Prolog, 
headed by Bob Kowalski, of 
Imperial College. London. Prolog is 
more recent than Logo and on 
micros much less widely available. 
The version we saw demonstrated 
worked only on the Research 
Machines 380-Z; this is not likely 
to diffuse it instantly to the world. 
A Sinclair version now offers 
greater things, at least in 
availahitity The Japanese- attach 
great value to its capabilities, 
which may well mean this limited 
use is a temporary situation. 

Prolog is logic programming 
language. Unlike a language such 
as BASIC or Pascal, which work. 
with numbers and files. Prolog 
works with symbols and 
relationships between symbols. If 
the symbols and their 
relationships express real-world 
relationships then Prolog can be 
used to solve problems or to find 
answers from a set of such 
relationships. One application of 
this is the so-called expert system 
where the user can interrogate a 
computer primed with factual 
knowledge about particular 
phenomena, for instance legal 
precedents. Commercial interest 
in such systems is strong. 

The educational implications of 
Prolog are also quite significant. 
Such a language makes it far 
easier to program intelligent 
dialogue, since the computer can 
combine all its logical 
relationships to produce a wider 
variety of responses lhan were 
first fed in. For instance, the 
archetypal example of a Prolog 
program tells the computer certain 
relationships about kinship. John 
and Howard are the children of 
Rangi, and Helen and Anne are 
children of Howard. It also defines 
certain relationships such as a 
descendant is either a child of 
someone or a descendant of a 
child of someone. From this base 
Prolog can answer a query such 

BITS & BYTES ftvB«*i J 9 03 



as, "Who are Rangi's 
descendants?" It can generalise 
from the limited knowledge of 
parent/child in its data base to the 
widest lengths of ancestry 
through the logical conditions 
defining descendancy. 

That may not sound an 
enormous feat but try 
programming that in BASIC for a 
big data set, or more particularly 
PILOT. Prolog will handle it 
simply, and easily extend the 
program's capabilities. The 
implications for tutorial use of the 
computer may be considerable 
since, if the computer can be 
programmed with the relevant 
information to a :opic, the user 
can exoect a much more fluid 
response than the old "trap an 
answer and branch" methodology 
of Pilot and its peers. 

In demonstration. Prolog 
disappointed a little and clearly its 
full potential awaits a more 
powerful machine and a friendlier 
user interface. One example was a 
"who-done-it?" based on a body 
found in a bog (which turns out to 
be a mummified, Stone-Age 
sacrifice). The user can ask 
questions about the body and 
Prolog replies. However, with 
some input questions from the 
audience it beca me clear that even 
this example depended rather on 
the questions posed being 
"anticipated" ones. Nonetheless 
Prolog impressed. Most delegates 
left the conference delighted by 
the jiew Logio's and quietly 
thoughtful about the inevitable 
impact of Prolog-like languages. 

In terms of my short circuit that 
was about the lot. The one 
remaining experience in the U.K. 
was briefly running into 
Structured BASIC for the Apple. If 
anyone reading this has bought a 
copy from U-Microcomputers and 
is using it educationally I would be 
keen to know. Essentially, the 
upgrade to Applesoft resides in 
memory and is a transparent 
addition ot some 32 new 
commands. These include 
procedures with local arguments, 
and a typical set of procedural 
support features such as 

REPEAT. . .UNTIL. . .WHILE. . . 

ENDWHILE. . .1F/ELSE/ENDIF. 
They also include features which 
simply verbalise certain POKEs. 
PEEKS and monitor CALLs (i.e. 



HIRES as a verb switches 
between High nrftj Low resolution 
modes). 

Also mere are some new 
general features including a 
SUPERIMPOSE to merge screens 
1 and 2 and enhanced error 
detection. Most interestingly 
procedures called but not in the 
program can be loaded in from 
disk during running, used, and if 
no longer needeo" removed from 
RAM therefore freeing the 

memory again. At its simplest a 

program could be entirely calls to 
procedures, all of which were on 
disk. As an easy path to 
structured programming (you 
simply enhance what you already 
work with! this approach may 
appeal to Applesoft users 
accpticol of tho real place of 
Pascal. It will cost ninety pounds 
though. 

So finally, back home. Los 
Angeles this time yielded 
somewhat more information as I 
discovered two great truths for 
those seeking micro magazines. 
The first was that the suburbs, not 
downtown, were the place to go, 
The second was that the Santa 
Monica bus (among many others) 
hides just across Sepulveda 
Boulevard from the airport, costs 
35 cents for a seven-mile journey 
and runs every 20 minutes. 
Beware the well sign-posted 
airport buses at $4.60 single. A 
lesson here on the uses and 
abuses of information provision. A 
lesson, too, for some of our less 
specialist computer retailers from 
a Santa Monica computer store 
where the countermen not only 
knew how what they sold worked 
but were sufficiently interested in 
both it and the buyer to compete 
with each other with good, and 

often critical, advice. 

Replete with magazines it was 
on to Air New Zealand and home. 
Approaching New Zealand over 

the blue ocean the first sight in the 
dawn light seemed to be The 
Sales Tax rising above the long 
white cloud. 



Post that 

subscription 

today 



27 



FARMING 

Before you 
buy your 
first 
machine 

By C.R. McLEOD 

This month, we will look at the 
different ways you could go about 
deciding whether you could use a 
computer, arid how to decide 
what to get. This subject has 
already been covered in previous 
articles, but I think some points 
could do with further discussion. 

As is the case with any decision 
you have to make, it is important 
to collact as much information 
about the subject as possible. This 
information is usually collected 
from several sources, and then 
analysed before a decision is 
made. There are several sources 
of information about computers, 
and their use on farms. Some of 
these sources are better than 
others. 

A great deal can be learned 
about computers by reading. 
Probably the best information in 
this area comes from magazines. 
For the best up-to-date 
information on hardware, and 
general purpose software the 



American and English computer 
magazines would be hard to beat. 
The trouble with these 
magazines is that a fair proportion 
of the equipment and software 
they cover is unavailable in New 
Zealand - they are probably best 

reserved for having a look to see 
what is likely to happen in the near 
future. 

For the New Zealand situation, 
you are reading the best magazine 
at the moment. "Bits & Bytes" 
has information on the hardware 
and software that is available in 
New Zealand, and as such, is the 
best single source of computer 
information in New Zealand. It is 
intended that agricultural 

software will be reviewed in "Bits 
& Bytes", so that should also be a 
good source of information. 

Manv newspapers now run 

articles on computers. Some of- 

these articles are very good, 
although others should be read 
with seme discrimination. I get the 
impression that some of the 
articles are written by the people 
selling the computers (this is not 
necessarily bad; it is just that the 
articles show a certain bias). 

This brings us to the glossy 
brochures which computer 
suppliers present with their 
equipment. These glossies can be 
important sources of information, 
but they never point out the 
weaker points of the system (one 



. - ■-»■' *iM 



wouldn't except them tol). By al 
means read these advertising 
glossies, but don't accept wha 
they say as the complete stori 
about the product, because yo 
can bet your boots it won't be. 
The same applies to the sale 
people in the computer shop; 
Some are much better tht 
others, but because the sale] 
pitches of some are somewh 
suspect, it is best to accept whi 
they say with caution. If yo 
believe half of what some sa) 
you are probably believing tc 
much. Another thing when talkin 
to sales people, if they use tern 
which you don't understan 
don't nod your head knowingi 
and let them carry on. Tell thei 
you don't understand what the 
mean, and ask them to explain, 
you don't, you will end 
knowing less than when yoj 
entered the shop. Understand^ 
the jargon will help when you ta 
to these people, but if you dor 
understand it, that doesn't met 
that you don't understand th 

principles involved. 

salesperson should be able 

explain the system to you in plaj 
English without all the jargon, 
they can't, then you are wastinj 
your time listening. 

Probably the best place to get 
good basic understanding of wfo 
computers can do, and how yo 
could use one on youx farm is at 



FARMERS... 

Save time and money! 

Let Rural Computer Systems take you into the computer 
age. At last farming programs a_re available in New 
Zealand. Produced by farmers with the assistance of a 
specialist farm accountant. Next time you are in 
Chnstchurch contact Alisier Burbury at 160 Tuam St, or 
phone 796-734, or fill in the coupon below. Sit behind a 
microcomputer with Rural Programs and you'll find it hard 

totearyourselfaway! 



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28 



•Slock Recording 
•Financial Plarmk 
•Feed Budgeting 

I* Word Processing^ 
•Gross Margins 
•Farm Diary 
recording 

BITS a BYTES August! 



FARMING 



, --„„-.,.:. 



computer workshop. The Kellogg 
Farm Management Unit at Lincoln 
College runs several of these 
courses each year, and the 

Ministry of Agriculture and 
Fisheries has just finished a 
workshop at Telford (just out of 
Balclutha). 

There may be others around the 
country, but these are the only 
ones I am aware of. 

At these workshops, you w i" be 
taught the basics of how a 
computer works, what some of 
the jargon is. some programming, 
and get some hands-on 
experience of some of the 
software which is available. If you 
are considering buying a 
computer, this sort of information 
is invaluable, because you will 
have far more information with 
which to make a decision (hence 
the decision is much more likely to 
be the correct decision). Many of 
the advantages and problems 
associated with computer use on 
farms can only be fully 
appreciated with hands-on 
experience, and these courses 
provide that experience. 

'Start off 
small' 

There are many night-school 
classes around the country which 
teach computing in one form or 
another. These courses could be 
of use. especially as a way of 
learning all the jargon, and as an 
aid in understanding the general 
principles of a computer. Because 
they do not deal specifically with 
the on farm application of a 
computer, however, they would 
only be of a limited use. 

For those people who want to 
buy a computer, but do not fully 
appreciate the use of a computer 
on the farm {and lets face it, that 
would cover just about everyone 
who wants to buy a computer), I 

would suggest that you start off 
small. 

Before you go out and spend 
maybe S 10.000 on a computer 
and software, buy a small 
computer and use that to teach 
yourself what a computer can and 
can't do. It may turn out that the 
small computer can do all you 

BITS v BYT€S August. 1983 



want to do, so you won't have to 
waste a lot 0* money on a bigger 
system. On the other hand, if after 
using the small computer for a 
while you find that you need a 
more powerful system, you will 
know a great deal more about 
what you want. This will mean 
that when you ccme to buying the 
big system, you are much more 
likely to make the correct decision 
as to what to buy. 

The small computer will not 
have to be thrown out, it could be 
sold (there is a much better 
market for small computers than 
for large ones, especially if they 
are second hand), or passed on to 
the kids for playing on or learning 
on. 

In my mind, the best small 
computer for use on farms is the 
Commodore VIC 20. This is 
because Primesoft has written a 
range of programs for this 
machine {see last issue of "Bits & 
Bytes" for details). Considering 
the size of the computer this 
software is written for, the 
Primesoft software is excellent. 
At a cost of about $3000, you can 
venture into on-farm computing 



with a system which is most 
useful, and which will give you a 
good understanding of the 
principles of farm computing. 

If this system turns out to be 
too small, don't feel that you must 
expand the system you havo. It 
would be much better to look at all 
that is available, and make a 
completely new decision (maybe 
it will be best to just expand the 
system you have, on the other 
hand that may be an expensive 
option). 

One other source of information 
about on-farm computing is 
farmers who already have 
computers. They will have a good 
idea of the problems associated 
with deciding what to buy, end 
also they will appreciate how a 
computer can be used on the 
farm. Bear in mind that their 
farming system may be different 
to yours, and hence require a 
slightly different sat up. 

I will finish by once again 
pointing out that when you are 
deciding what to buy, decide on 
software before you start looking 
for hardware. 



New farm computing 
service 

Agricalc. a new computing 
service designed to assist the 
farmer, small business owner, 
community organisation or private 
individual who does not want or 
cannot afford to purchase his own 
computer, has been established 
by Ken and Janet Talbot of 
Governors Bay, RD 1 , Lyttelton. 

Agricalc is equipped with an 
NEC computer and specialised 
software from the Kellog Farm 
Management Unit and other 
sources to produce: Farm and 



business budgets, weekly and 
monthly reports, cash flow 
analyses, individual enterprise 
reports, mailing lists, circulars, 
invoices, stock and inventory 
controls, word processing and 
customised computing to suit 
individual needs. 

Records can either be mailed or 
dropped into the Talbot's, 
meaning the service is available to 
anyone in New Zealand. 



Please support 
BITS & BYTES 

advertisers 



FflRM€RS! Now you can have all the advantages of computer 
power anywhere in New Zealand without the technical hassles 

AGRICALC 

The no worry Computing Sefvlcs for Farmers, Business people 
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For free information send lo: PENINSULA COMPUTING SERVICES, LTD 

name Governor's Bay, 

AnnQec - IRDLyltelton. 

address Phone Gov. Bay 893 



29 



PftlNTCfi ft€VI€UU 

Compact, 
sturdy, 
versatile 
and $1856 

by SHAYNE DOYLE 

Made by *he American 
Mannesmann Tally Corporation, 
this printer retails in Mew Zealand 
for $1404 plus $452 sales tax, 
and is marketed by Anderson 
Digital Electronics. The review 
machine was supplied by 
Warburton Franki. 

Amazingly compact, being only 

35.6cm (14in) wide by 30,5cm 
(12in) deep {including tractors), 
and 15.2cm (6in) high, the printer 
weighs a substantial 5.89 kg 
(131b). Most of this is because of 
the robust, solid, cast-metal 
chassis. It gives the impression 
that it will offer many years of 
reliable operation in a commercial 



HHHW l * ii" H ) mHl ' l i 1Htt H W 'l l i lii iH*iM| 




The WIT 160L 

installation 

Both of the two versions of Ihe 
MT160 have dot-graphics 

capability, but the L model also 
offers correspondence-quality 
priming. The normal draft-mode 
character matrix is 7 x 9, but for 
letter mode it does a second pass 



overprint, stepping in half-d 
width increments, effective 
using a high-density 40 x 18 d 
array. The print speed is 
characters per second in dn 
mode, 40 cps in letter mo<J| 
Character pitch can be varied; 1 
12, 16.5 and 20 characters B 



CONFUSED ABOUT MICRO COMPUTERS? 



Arc you thinking of 
purchasing a computer? 

Have you recently 
purchased a computer? 

Do you want to find 
out how they can help 
your business without 
being pressured to buy? 




Have you got sufficient 
backup staff if your 
operator should leave? 

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Familiarisation courses 
for school learners and 
businessmen 

it Operator training 
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it In house training of 
your own staff 



THE COMPUTER TRAINING CENTRE 



PO BOX 47-327 

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Telephone 734- 104 
accommodation arran; 

for visitors to A ucklam 



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30 



BITS 6 BY1ES AuguM. 



UFTOUT 



UFTOUT 



The BITS 6 BVTES Computer 

Book Club 



SOFTWARE 



// 



Cracker of a game" 







You've always said you could run a freezing 
works. Well, here's your chance. Because 
that's* what Southdown, an economy game 
requiring at least 8K memory expansion, is all 
about. 

"A cracker of a game" in the words of Bits 
and Bytes' specialist reviewer. 

Our price S12 

Tote, I ligh "finance. Solo Poker, Auey Deucy. 
An omnibus games tape covering horse racing, 
the stockmarket, poker and cards. Rated good 
value by Bits and Bytes' reviewer. 

Our price $20 

Typing program for BBC 

Practise your touch typing and evaluate your 
performance. A sentence or phrase is selected 
at random (the computer has 100 to choose 
from) and printed. You copy it as quickly and 
accurately as possible. 

After 10 such phrases, you are told how long 
you took, the number of words and sentences 
typed, and words per minute. And how many 
times you used the DELETE key. 

A graph is printed showing each key and the 
number of times you pressed the wrong key, 
showing where you go wrong. 

Available for 68C model A and B micros, and 
expected to be available for the Commodore 
range - PET, VIC and 64 — soon. 

Our price $15 



one up on your 
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Running Wfld: The Next Industrial Revolution 

Adam Osborne 
Uft yOur head ham iho terminal (or a row hours' 
aad have a good »cod ol what the electronics/ 
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Anton Braun Quist 

A very lunny book M of anecdats* about things 
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Eugene M. ZumchaV 
Contains ovorv aipoct of microcomputer design 
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Microsoft Basic (2nd edition) 

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IH€ BUS tV fiVTCS BOOK CIU8 



r'SH 



Miciixomputere 
in Plain English 

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Microcomputers in Plain English far New 
2«8landers B v Brian Strong 

The first computer booV (or New 
Zcalandors, and the book lor first-time 
computer users. Clear, precise and often 
humorous introduction to the world of the 
microcomputer lor business people, those 
ai home, farmers ana teachers, industrial 
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Assuming no previous knowledge of 
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Basic Programming on the BBC Neil and P,ii Cryer 
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BITS & BYTES? 

We strongly suggest you order any missing back copies 
NOW. 

Issue No. 2 (October, 1 982) is no longer available and 
stocks of other issues are running very low. We won't be 
reprinting any issues again! 

To remind you here is a list of major articles in our first 
year's rssues; 



September What to look for in your first 
Issue 1 computer, start of series on 

graphics, Kellogg farm software. 

October Start of series explaining BASIC 
Issue 2 computer language, feature on 

microcomputers for doctors and 

dentists, start of series on 
designing business software. 

Review of BBC computer and 
Microprofessor 1 , start of series 
on selecting a micro for a small 

business, feature on 

microcomputers for accountants. 

December/ Review of Colour Computer. 
January feature on farm computing, 
Issue 4 . sdventure computer games. 

February Hand-held computer feature, 
Issue 5 review of Sirius 1 and Epson HX- 

20, start of farming and education 

columns. 



November 
Issue 3 



March Reviews of Microbee, Hitachi Peach 
Issue S and Apple III. 

April Review of IBM PC NEC PC 8000 

Issue 7 and New Zealand made disk drives 
for System 80. NewSord column. 

May Computers in business feature 

Issue 8 Review of Commodore 64. 

June Guide to farm software, reviews of 
Issue 9 Olivetti M20, Dick Smith Wizzard, 

Visicalc. 

July Reviews of Spectrum. BMC 800, 

Issue 1 Supercate. Compute Mate printer. 
Start of Microbee column. 



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Two graphics densities are 
offered: 50 or 100 dots per inch, 
and reverse field may also be 
selected - a bit like inverse video 
on a VDU. Normal text can be 
underlined, and there is a 
subscript and superscript facility 
for priming one halMine height 
above or below the current line. 

The print-head electronics gives 
logic seeking bi-directional head 
travel, a feature one expects of a 
printer these days. This printer 
also offers extensive margin 
control and horizontal and vertical 
tabulating facilities. In conjunction 
with margin control, the user may 
centre the text or align it to either 

margin. 

Both parallel and serial 
interfaces are standard; paper 
handling facilities cover tractor- 
feed fanfold, roll paper and single- 
sheet friction feed. Both the 
tractor module and roll*feed* 
assembly are easily removed and 
interchangeable. Paper maybe fed 
through either a rear or bottom 
mounted slot. The ribbon is 
contained in a snap-in cartridge 
and quoted life is approximately 2 
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those who struggle with the fiddly 
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31 



touch switches labelled YES or 
NO. Press NO on its own and the 
printer responds with a list of the 
current configuration. 

Pressing both switches together 
causes it to enter an interrogative 
self-programming mode, each 

question requiring only a YES or 
NO answer. 

The resulting configuration is 
retained in non-volatile memory 
until next altered. With the 
exception of the communications 
options, the other parameters may 
also be changed by the host 
computer sending the appropriate 
groups of control codes. 

In practice, it turned out to be 
the quietest dot-matrix printer I 
have used. At 160cps, lengthy 
program listings were quickly 
finished, even on the 1200 baud 
serial interface. Wot having a 
compatible parallel plug, I was 
unable to use that option. I spent a 
full day using the printer to 
prepare documentation for a 
system at work, and the finished 
product, printed in letter mode, 
was equal in appearance to the 
original typed specifications. 

Using both fanfoid and single 
sheet paper. I have only one 
criticism of the paper-feed 
mechanism. For single sheet 
friction feed., the opposing rollers 
are an integral part of the hinged 
plastic tear-ofl bar. I found that if I 
positioned the sheet of paper such 
that the top was fairly close to the 
print head and therefore 
underneath the tear-bar, the sheet 
quite often jammed against the 
underside of the bar when the first 
couple of line feeds were 
actioned. To avoid this, The sheet 
had to be placed fairly high (first 
print line about 5cm-2in down). 
This was not a problem when 
using single sheets attached to 
fanfoid backing. 

The user manual is quite 
sufficient to enable anyone to 
make use of all the facilities 
offered bv the printer. It would, 
however, benefit from a more 
detailed chapter on using the dot 
graphics facility, with more 
examples. 

Over all, in the seven days I had 
the printer, I could find only the 
one minor problem; the single 
sheet feed snag as mentioned 
before. This primer performed 
faultlessly. My only regret is I 
cannot afford to buy one for 
myself. 



BUSINESS 

Computer 
cuts typing 
bureau costs 



By CATHY ARROW 

What do you do when the 
typewriter needs replacing and 
the debtors-processing machine is 
virtually beyond repair? To 
Heather Jackson. managing 
director of Copy Office and 
Personnel Services, of New Lynn, 
Auckland, the most sensible and 
economical solution was "buy a 
microcomputer". 

"Choosing a computer," says 
Heather Jackson, "took time and 
research." Six machines were 

investigated in depth, befuie she 
decided on an NEC PC 8000, with 
64 K memory. 5% in, double-sided, 
double-density disk and colour 
monitor. 

She chose a Diablo daisy-wheel 
printer to enable top quality 
presentation for har clients. 

Work the office undertakes 
includes letters, specifications, 
reports, catalogues, tenders, 
quotes, minutes and general 
public typing. "Wordstar" was 
therefore a very important part of 
her purchase from Software 
Architects, of Parnell. 

On installation of the system, 
Heather Jackson's, first job was a 
12 -page price list. This, she 
believes, helped her become 

familiar with operating the 
machine and to use the Wordstar 
program comfortably. 

Heather Jackson has 

discovered a computerised 
system does lack two features 
which those 'amiliar with 
typewriters tend to take for 
granted: a numerical key for 
representing "half" and "one and 
a half" line spacing. 

Advantages to clients now that 
she has changed to computer are 
cost savings, greater flexibility, 
and convenience. 

The most expensive task is the 
initial keying in Storing of 
information for repeat projects 
such as price lists and catalogues 
enables quick updating as the 
product description often remains 

and only minor price changes are 



made. This results in the client 
obtaining a faster and cheaper 
service. 

Everything going through is 
registered and left on disk for a 
few days before deletion. This 
allows customers to get another 
copy of a letter or document; 
either in original format or with 
alteration to name, address or 
relevant information.. 

Clients cover a wide range of 
business people, all with varying 
needs. Many use technical 
terminology and some have 
interesting handwriting. Thus the 
ability to insert a variable when 
typing from notes and have the 
computer program search and 
replace when the correct word is 
confirmed by the client is a real 
advantage. 

In pre-computer days an error 
meant the retyping of the 
document, or waiting for 
correcting fluid to dry. The time 
saved now by easy correction is 
considered one of the greatest 
assets. 

Heather Jackson feels the 
computer could also enable top 
efficiency from younger, less 
experienced operators. 

"Although it could teach a 
school leaver terrible habits," she 
said with a laugh. 

When buying the system 
Heather envisaged returning to 
debtors work for clients. She also 
intended to visit local 
businessmen to familiarise them 
with form letters (letters with the 
same text but addressed to 
different people) which are easily 
produced on a computer system, 
with the other office services the 
company offers. 

Neither of these projects has yet 
been undertaken as the firm has 
been inundated with word 
processing. It is hoped that, in 
time, the debtors ledger package 
bought with the machine will be 
fully used beginning with the 
general ledger for the office being 
set up soon. 

Heather Jackson confesses that 
since the installation of the 
machine she has become very 
much an owner operator in the 
business and with another 
operator almost fully trained the 
system is in constant use. 



32 



BITS 6 BYTES Auqiki. 1983 



CP/M 



The story 
of CP/M 

by JOHN WIGLEY 

Mainframe computers in the 
early days, apart from their size 
and cost, had one thing in 
common: very little memory. They 
could store things on tape or hard 
disk, but actual RAM or core 
memory was limited. 

To make the best use of this, 
methods were developed to 
ensure that the data could be 
switched into memory from 
storage tape or hard disk, and 
then worked on, restored, and 
some other process then took 
place, the results were stored, and 
the first data altered, and so on. 

A lot of theoretical research had 
been done into the most efficient 
ways of doing this - a fact that 
seems forgotten now. 

AH of this pushing and shoving 
and getting and fetching and 
storing gets complicated; what's 
needed is an operating system. 
That's exactly what the 
mainframes got. With the prices 
of the early mainframes a little bit 
of extra expense for a system 
made sense. 

It wasn't long before the 
operating system became very 
sophisticated and very expensive. 
Enter the smaller computer, 
sparked off by Intel and its 
microprocessors, the 8008 and 
the 8080, and then the MITS Altar 
8800 microcomputer. 

Now we have a very primitive 
computer: Small with limited 
memory. The cycle repeats itself 
and the only way to push and 
shove data, fetch it, get it, store 
it, process it, etc., is to get a 
system. 

Mainframes have them, but by 
now they have grown and the 
mainframe operating system 
would not fit on the puny small 
computer. Enter Gary Kildall (now 
head of Digital Research). Using 
the Intel development system as a 
base, he came up with an 
operating system. So did other 
people. But his system was 
different. It appealed to the 
owners of these pew small 



computers - programmers and 
technicians. 

So the mairfrarne programmer 
had a system to use on his toy; a 
system to develop programs. So 
programmers wrote programs for 
their toys anc they wrote them 
with CP/M. 

CP/M stands for Control 
Program for Microprocessors. 

All computers handle files. 
Programs are files, data is files, 
and so on. To get these files in and 
out we rieed an input/output 
system: in fact, the Basic 
Input/Output System (BIOS). 

Remember ;his is way back in 
1975, and there is the console 
(teletype to ycuj. We are using TT 
machines with keyboard input and 
printer output; we don't have 

glass tftlfltypas (that is. visual 
display units). Thus we have the 
Console Co-nmand Processor 
(CCP). 

Now Gary Kildall wrote a very 
simple, primhive, disk operating 
system for tie 8in floppy disk 
drives then becoming available 
and being usei on mainframes. So 
the Basic Disk Operating System 
(BDOS) was born. 

Remember that users were 
principally mainframe types used 
to disks, even if they were hard 
disks. They knew how to use 
BDOS. 

Anyway we can now through 
the CCP get the BIOS to call the 
BDOS to load a progam into the 
program area which is called the 
Transient Program Area (theTPA). 



It is almost a system; but how do 
we start it up. Before we look at 
this, let's look at memory. 

Remember that in 1 975, most 
computers had 4K of memory; 
CP/M requires at least 16K. CP/M 
is set up so that you set it for the 
memory you have available, 
starting at the top. 

Let's put BIOS in, say: 1.5 K 
BIOS; then say 2.5K BDOS, and 
say 0. 5K CCP. The rest is TPA and 
this expands as we expand 
memory. Well, not quite, as we 
have to set it up properly and 256 
bytes are reserved at the bottom. 

In machines such as the 
TRS80/Sys(em80 or the Sorcerer, 
the computer is forced by 
hardware to a power-on jump to 
the monitor. This loads the first 
sector of the CP/M disk. Yes, you 
need the CP/M disk: without it, no 
CP/M. This then loads CCP, 

BDOS, and BIOS. Now everything 

is ready. 

What are the advantages of 
this? CP/M works on any memory 
size: 16, 32, 48, and 64K. 

Tracking files 

The next thing to look at is the 
filing system. Each file is given a 
name which consists of two parts: 
the name and the type of file, e. g., 

"BIGFILE.BAS". Now BIGFILE is 

the name and BAS, in this case is 
short for BASIC, is the type of file. 
Each file is stored as 12 8-byte 
block records on disk. Where the 
records are stored is unimportant 
Turn to page 57 



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BUS & BYTES August , 1893 



33 



BUSINCSS 

■ ■■- ■•■•■■■- - ■-■■< ■ ■ ■■' 

CalcStar — 

a 

spreadsheet 

that 
interfaces 

with other 
programs 

BY PETER BROWN 

Users with CP/M have the 

advantage of being able to choose 

from a wider range of software 
packages than those who can only 
chooso from packages specifically 
written for their particular 
machine. CalcStar (a product of 
MicroPro International) is one of 
the options they have. 

CalcStar is an electronic 
spreadsheet program which can 
be used on most popular makes of 
microcomputer, provided they 
have CP/M. 

Electronic spreadsheets are 
'number-processing' programs 
designed to turn your computer 

into a calculating, planning, and 

forecasting tool. Properly used, 
and understood, they are an 
invaluable aid for keeping your 
business competitive. 

Your computer's memory 
becomes a giant sheet of squared 
paper, with the VDU being a 
'window' onto a small portion of 
the sheet. The 'window' car* be 
moved around to see any pan of 
rhe spreadsheet you want. 

With practice, you will be able 
to construct models of most likely 
outcomes of any business 
decision, as well as a few unlikely 
ones. You can then 'play' with the 
numbers until you find what 
decisions produce the most 
satisfactory result. 

Electronic spreadsheets are 
especially useful in taking the 
work out of preparing routine 
financial reports, balance sheets, 
cash flow forecasts, and budgets. 
They remove the need for pencil, 
paper, and eraser, letting you 



produce the finished report in a 
fraction of the :ime tend effort)}. 
Always leaving you in complete 

control, electronic spreadsheets 
simply take the drudgery out of 
calculating, erasing and 

recalculating f.gures — leaving 
you free for the creative thinking 
you should be doing about the 
structure of the problem you're 
trying to solve. 

CalcStar is one of the more 
interesting spreadsheets I've 
come across while researching 
these articles. 

Like all spreadsheets, it has the 
basic arithme:ic functions of 
addition, su btra ction, mult iplica- 
tion, division and exponentiation. 

Each cell on the spreadsheet 



some other spreadsheets), there 
are also some financial/economic 
applications for which 

trigonometric functions may be 
useful. 

CalcStar does, however, have 
some very worthwhile features 
that compensate for this. 

One is called Automatic Form 
Mode, whereby you can pre- 
format the worksheet for data 
entry so that staff can enter 
routine updates to the worksheet 
without any danger of their 
accidentally changing or 
destroying your model. The cursor 
is taken automatically from one 
data entry location to the next, 
according to a pre-set series of 
input steps. 



r,*<or itovKi-t- I -CoiMndi- i followed by I Hlise- 

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E* K Jfl* [I Jetete H Help Order H Uhil ? Space If lata T«l 

? Col A «»1 nm IE Ed*« I tM'f > * MM <TM> Gat* |<ISC>C*ftcel 

i,ifl i' it " ie 



1? Ccl A ne«t «• It E«« I I«J 
CalMft 

rev 

161 Ift«M tai 
1)1 

181 ICT MCQ* 

m 

Ml Project ten of Sales tn '85.. 
eil Projection af Sales v/ 

221 Mverliiing at: 1IM 

831 S«d»«rt.*ins Expense Heeded 
24| te Peach Sales of *I5,«M 



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current! C?4 



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can hold a formula, a constant, or 
a label, and it is possible to lock 
titles and headings into place so 
that you can easily identify the 

row or column you are working 
with. 

Once finished, your report or 
model can be saved on disk or 
printed out for inclusion in reports 
and letters. Explanatory 

comments can be added during 
the printing process. 

One group of functions not 
found with CalcStar are the 
trigonometric functions. This 
greatly reduces CalcStar 's 
usefulness for o:her than business 
and financial work. It would be of 
only limited use in engineering 
applications, for example (unlike 



A typical CalcStar screen display 

With CalcStar it is possible to 
merge two or more work files, or 
even parts of files, into the current 
display. 

This allows you to create little 
modules, for specialised tasks, 
and then to "mix 'n' match" them 
to produce a wide variety of 
different combinations of 
worksheets and models for 
reports, etc. The only real catch is 
that you must be sure that any 
formulas in the modules you are 
merging reference locations 
internal to that module only. 
(Otherwise your results will be 

quite unpredictable.) 

CalcStar also has facilities to 



34 



SITS & BYTES AmiuBt. 1983 



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perform logical operations on 
data, to alter the order of 
evaluation of formulas in the 
■worksheet, to vary the decimal 
precision of results, and some 
sensible defaults for the many 
commands. 

There is a linear regression 
■function so you can use historical 
information to accurately forecast 
the future, This is very useful in 
the right hands, but novices 

should be a little wary. (In real life 
the relationships between data — 
if relationships exist — are not 
always conveniently linear.) 

Perhaps the one really 
significant feature of CalcStar is 
the ease with which it interfaces 
with other packages from 

MicroPro. 

There are dangers in being tied 
too much to one software 
supplier, but it can be pleasant to 
be able to use your work, created 
with CalcStar, as input for a word- 
processing program (WordStar), a 
data base management system 
(InloStar), as well as sort 

programs and mailing-list 

managers. It can also be 
interfaced with BASIC programs. 
These advantages make 
CalcStar a powerful tool for 
professional and skilled users. 

CalcStar is oven less suitable 
than other spreadsheet programs 
for inexperienced or nervous 
computer owners- 
Even those who are prepared 
for the complexities of CalcStar 
will have to spend a considerable 



amount of time learning to use the 
program, and they should not 
expect very much help from the 
manual. 

The documentation provided 

with the software earns no points 
at all. While it seems all the 
necessary information is included, 
the layout and style of the manual 
is cluttered, confusing, and so 
unclear that it is a major effort 

tracking things down. 

There are no photographs, no 

diagrams, and nc colours (other 
than black), to break up the pages 
of closely-typed text. Even the 
sample screens are presented in 
the same style as the explanations 
that go with them. 
All in all, it's monotonous, 

boring and unlikely to be read by 

any but the most dedicated. Much 
as I liked this package, I'm not so 
enthusiastic that I would want to 
have to cope with the layout of 
the manual every time I needed to 
look up the syntax of some 
obscure commanc. 

However, if you have the 
patience, and certainly if you 
already have ether MicroPro 
programs you want to integrate 
into with a spreadsheet — 
perhaps to create a complete 
information-processing system — 
then CalcStar is worth 

considering. 

The version reviewed here (1.2) 

was supplied by MicroAge and 
retails normally fof $380. A 
CalcStar version 1 .45 has 
recently become available. 



Software 
Summary 



■■:■- 

■■ 



SK 



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"-"•"" "■ 



B€GINN€RS 



*"Y™ w ™m« m *™-.v"^^™v™.v'^^ 



Steps of 
program 
design 

By GORDON FINDLAY 

This is the tenth article in this 
series and the previous articles 
have covered most of the BASIC 
language, with the exception of 
graphics. sound, and other 
machine dependent (but 

interesting) aspects. The 

difficulties DeoDle have with 



programming are not usually with 
ihe details of the language, but 
with designing ths program in the 
first place. There are a few things 
that I can write atom, but most of 
the skill of designing a program 
comes from experience, which is 
just a polite v/ay of saying, 
"comes from seeing it done 
before". To design a program 
formally requires five steps. 



1 



First, the programmer must 
decide exactly what the program 
is to do. No half measures — 
exactly what is to happen in every 
possible eventuality. As a slightly 
gruesome example, a payroll 




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38 



programmer might well worry 
about what should happen if an 
employee were to die, after his 
pay cheque had been computer- 
printed, but before he was paid. A 
games program must be able to 
handle the situations where a 
player tries to make an illegal 
move, or tries to cheat, or just 
makes a typing error. 



^ Next, the programmer must 
find a method by which the 
program can take whatever goes 
in — data, information, player's 
commands — and do whatever it 
is that must happen. If the 
command to "move a ship left" is 
given, the programmer must have 
a method in mind or on paper for 
doing so. If income-tax returns are 
to be computed, the programmer 
must have, or obtain, the method 
for computing the various 
amounts requi red. Just as he must 
cover every eventuality in the first 
step, the programmer must cover 
every eventuality in this step, as 
well. 



O This step is to do some hard 

thinking about the "data 
structures" involved, "Data 
structures" is just a 30-dollar 
phrase meaning, "what must the 
program keep track of, and how 
will the program refer to each 
piece of information it is given or 
works out". Before coding, I 
recommend making a list of all the 
important variablos which will 
need to be used. 

As an example, in a game such 
as "Space Invaders", some of the 
things that the program needs to 
know are: 

• The score so far; 

• Top score so far; 

• How many ships the player has 
left; 

• When to award an extra ship; 
•The number of "invaders" on 
the screen; 

• Their positions; 

• Which direction they are moving 
in; 

• The rata at which bombs are 
being dropped; 

• Whether the player is firing; 

• The whereabouts, and state, of 
his "bases". 

This is a very large example, 

BITS 8c BYTES August. 1983 



B€GINN€RS 



..... — ...... . 



■ -■■ :■ :■■ : 



and I have just listed these as they 
coma to mind. The important 
thinQ is that the actual listing 
makes it less likely that one of 
them will be forgottenl Also 
decide which , if any, can be 
handled in arrays — the trouble 
involved in using an array is 
almost always worth it, 



4 



The next step is to do the 
coding. There are all sorts of ways 
in which vou can tackle ttiis. 
There is top-down, and bottom- 
up, programming; there is the 
"start in the middle and work out" 
approach, tha "start at the 
beginning and work to the end" 
method; and many others. In fact, 
I doubt whether any programmer 
ever uses iust one of the 
techniques which are written 
about. Most of us use a mixture, 
and it isn't until you've done quite 
a lot of programming that you can 
tell the difference anyway. My 
only suggestion here is that 
almost all BASIC programmers do 
not make enough use of 
subroutines, and that using them 
will make your programming much 
more manageable in three ways — 
you can use subroutines 
repeatedly; they are shorter and 
therefore easier to write; and 
debugging becomes much easier 
when each bug is f ixable (usually) 
in one localised subroutine. 



O This step (which can easily 
become the sixth, seventh, eighth 
and soon!) is test, debug, and test 
again. This is, lor some 
programmers, the least fun. For 
others, it is the most enjoyable 



part, and it becomes a game 
against the machine. One thing is 
certain — a programmer who 
hasn't had to do some debugging 
hasn't ever written a program! 

I don't want to make this sound 
too formal. After all, most of us 
are programming at least partly 
because it is fun. The five steps 
are not so separate really; often 
they overlap, and most may be 
done mentally. But the best piece 
of advice I was ever given was, 
"Don't program at the keyboard." 
I often do, and often wish I hadn't! 

Let's try an example. This is an 
unexciting program, but I hope it 
will exemplify the attack above. 
We will construct a program 
which is to input a -child's choice 
of a multiplication table, and run 
through the table, nhftr.king the 
user's answers. If the child asks 
for the "six times" table say, the 
computer will respond by asking 
"6x 1", and letting the child type 
in the answer. 

First step:— specify exactly 
what is to happen. Here goes, in a 
more formal way than would ever 
be used except in print; 

1 . Get, from the user, the 
multiplication table to be tested. 

2. Ask a series of questions. As 
each is asked, allow for an 
answer. If the answer is correct, 
print, "Well done!". If it isn't, give 
the correct answer. 

3. Once the series of questions is 
finished, give the number of 
questions answered correctly. 

Is this an exact specification? 
Of couise not, otherwise I 
wouldn't have asked. Here are 
some missing detais: 

Where do the questions appear 
on the screen? 



Does each question replace the 
one before on the screen, or 
appear underneath? 

What questions anyway? I 
suppose we have been mentally 
thinking of "1 x 6", "2 x 6", and 
so on, up to "12 x 6". 
Let's revise the specification: 

1. Clear the screen, and print a 
welcoming message. 

2. Ask for the multiplication table 
to be tested. 

3. Ask 12 questions, from "one 
times" to "12 times". Each 
question is to be printed on the 
third line of the screen, replacing 
the previous. 

4. After each question is 
presented, get the user's answer. 
If it is correct, print, "Well done". 
If it isn't, print, "Sorry, the 
answer is", and the correct 
answer. Wait two seconds 
between each question. 

5. Once the questions have all 
been asked and answered, the 
screen is cleared, and the number 
of correct answers displayed in 

the form: "You answered 

questions correctly". 

The things that the program 
needs to keep track of are (I've 
given them names): 
TB — the multiplication table 
being asked; 

X - the other number in the 
question "TB x X"; 
CT - the correct answer; 
AN — the user's answer; 
SC — the score — the number of 
questions answered correctly. 

I've done all the hard work! 
Over to you now. Next month I 
will finish this program, and try to 
explain how I go about It, In the 
mean time, you try, and see how 
you get on. 



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BITS 4 BVTES Ai-QuM. 1983 



39 



VIC 



"Get 

any 

Key 



By PETER ARCHER 

One of the commonly used 
routines in BASIC programming 
involves the computer displaying 
a message or a screenful of text or 
Instructions, and then waiting for 
the user to indicate he/she is 
ready to move on to the next part 
of the program. 

Programmers uflon do this by 

using the "get any key" routine. 
For instance. Commodore 
machines (VIC, PET, 64 and CBM) 
use a variation of: 

100 PRINT "HIT ANY KEY TO 

CONTINUE" 

110 GET AS : IF AS = ""THEN 

110 

Other Microsoft BASIC machines 

use similar routines. 

When the program reaches line 
110, the machine looks for an 
input of a single character from 
the keyboard. If no key has yet 
been pressed and the character 
being "got" is therefore a "null" 
(i.e. there is no real character in 
the keyboard buffer, indicated in 

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the program listing by the empty 
quote marks and not to be 
confused with q jote marks with a 
space between them which 
indicates the use of the space 
bar), then the program keeps 
looping back to the start of line 
110. 

This will continue until the 
computer detects the presence of 
a real character as AS. The 

program will than run on to the 

next line. 

Other ways —There are 
numerous alternative ways to halt 
program execution until the user is 
ready to continue. The "get any 
key" routine does have the 
advantage of not being too 
machine specific. It will work on 
all Commodore machines and on 
some other brands too. But there 
are also more elegant ways. 

One of the least used BASIC 
keywords is "WAIT". Most 
people avoid it because they 
cannot understand the complex 
way it works - and the usual 
explanation in manuals and 
textbooks certainly doesn't help. 
However, a full understanding is 
not necessary to its successful 
use in your programs. 

A useful alternative to the "get 
any key" routine uses the WAIT 

function this way: 

100 PRINT " PRESS ANY KEY TO 
COMT. " : POKE 198,0 
110 WAIT 198,1 :P0KE 198.0 
Location 198 on the VIC and 

C64 holds the number of 

characters in the keyboard buffer. 
I On the PET, the 198 should be 
changed to 158). POKEing 198 
with zero sets to zero the number 
of characters present in the 



keyboard buffer; and the first part 
of line 1 1 then has the computer 
"WAIT" until there is one present 
again, ie a key has been pressed. 
Clearing the keyboard buffer out 
again with another zero POKE is a 
good practice to prevent an 
unwanted character lurking there, 
waiting to foul up a subsequent 
part of your program. 

Specific keys — There may be 
times when you feel it is desirable 
to require one specific key only to 
be pressed before the program will 
continue execution. 

This is an elegant way of 
waiting on the press of either 
"shift" key: 

100 PRINT " PRESS SHIFT TO 
CONT." 

110 WAIT 653,1 : WAIT 653,1,1 

When the computer's BASIC 

interpreter reaches line 1 10, it will 

cease all activity and just wait for 
the press of the shift key. Any 
other key presses, etc, will be 
ingored. In line 110, the "WAIT 

653,1" awaits the press of the 
shift key and the "WAIT 
653,1,1" awaits the release of 
the shift key. 

Peek — A good way to have the 
computer wait until the press of 
any key you like to specify is to 
use location 203 on the VIC and 
C64. Memory location 203 
always contains a number which 
is different for every key on the 
keyboard and changes whenever 
a key is pressed. This routine 
awaits the press of the space bar: 

100 IF PEEK (203)032 THEN 

100 

110 POKE 198,0 

To page 44 



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Commodore 
VIC 20 + 64 



40 



BITS & BYTES August. 1983 



■ ■ " * ? * * rT _ 





THIS IS THE COMMODORE 64 



This is ihc new Commodore <H Personal Cemputcr, 
H cosK S 1295. Not bad fot a brilliant pwx of technology with a 64K manory. 
But then, it's a Commodore. 

And as one of the world's leading high-performance micro-computer corapaiiics, 
we're not exactly unknown when it comes to ouLMamSing achievements. 

LOOK AT THESE FEATURES FOR EXAMPLE 

1. A total memory capacity or S4K, 38K directly available to BASIC. When not 

using BASIC a full 54K is available for machine code programs. 

2. Interface adapiota will allow the use of a compfctc range of hardware Ferpherals 
:nc;i!;i:ti;nHi- urm. c'-mcl div. nattfeaorJdusj wmcI prinlas, ne t wof fau gaadtapdi, 
much more. 

3. A complete range of business software including word processing- infocmauoji 
handling, financial mode lling, accounting and many more specific application padtages. 

4. Other computet languages such as 1.000, UCSI) PASCAL. COMAL and 
ASSEMBLER are being developed. Existing VIC and 40 column PET BASIC 

programs can be easily converted. 

5. The powerful sound chip gives 3 totally independent voices each with a range of 
9 octaves. Ustr control over music envelope, pitch and pulse shapes provides theability 
to make your Commodore 64 sound like a vari«v of musical instruments, soto a in 
harmony, 

6. 62 predefined gra phic c haraderc plus full alpha numerics with upper and tower 
case letters, all available directly from the keyboard and djspfeyablc in norma! cr reverse 
video in any of 16 colours. 

7. 40 column by 25 lines colour display. In high resolution graphics mode, abit 
mapped screen gives 320 x 2(K> individually addressable pixels. 

8. The dedicated video chip allows the use of high resolution muhieolourcd 
'•Sprites" (moveable object blucisl Sprites can be moved pixel by pixel, tnxfcpcndcntly of 
anything else in the screen. 

9. Sprites can abo beset up in 8 "U>enf giving full 3 dtrnenajnal effects with, if 
required, automatic collision detection between sprites and any other screen object. 

10. Machine bus port win accept ROM can ridges foe many applications, including 

business, ed ucatioiul, home and leisure software . 

11. A second processor option using the 2^0 gives the Commodore 64 tie ability 
to support CP7M * 



O 



HOW THE COMMODORE 64 LINES UP 

FEATURES 



Base Price 

ADVANCED FEATURES 



> 1 295 



Built-in user memory 

Programmable 

Real typewriter keyboard 

Crap) tics diameters 
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Upper el lower case tellers 

Function keys 
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AUDIO FEATURES 



64K 
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YES 

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Intelligent Pcnphcrals YES 
Serial Peripheral Bus YES 

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CP/M*Opiion 

(over 1000 packages) 

External ROM canridge 
slot 


YES 
YES 



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P.O. BOX 33-847, Takapuna, Auckland 
Telephone 497-081 



or 



Contact your 
local dealer 



COMMODOfl 

Getting 
software 
for the 64 



By STEVEN DARNOLD 

Since writing my review on the 
Commodore 64 for "Bits and 
Bytes," I have received several 
letters from new owners, asking 



me for information on software. I 
have answered each letter 
individually, but some of my 
comments may be of interest to 
other readers of 'his magazine. 

Like most new computers, the 
Commodore 64 has arrived in 
New Zealand nearly naked. So far 
there is little in the way of 
software available here. This, 
however, is not the case 
overseas. All sorts of programs 
are available for the 64 in 
America, and the number is 
increasing at an impressive rate. 



CONVERTING PET PEEKS. POKES AND WAITS TO THE 64 



40-53 . 
141-143 

;'V44':-; ' 



Commodore 64 owners in New 
Zealand should seriously consider 
acquiring programs direct from 
America. It is not difficult. Most 
American mail-order firms accept 
VISA card numbers in payment. I 
have used my VISA card several 
times in this way, and the charge 
shows up on my monthly VISA 
account in the usual way. Be sure 
to specify air mail in your order. It 

costs only a few dollars extra for 

most items, and it could save you 
five months' waiting for sea mail. 

If you are going to order 
programs from overseas, you first 
need to know what's available. A 
good source of information for the 
Commodore 64 is "COMPUTE!" 
magazine. It is available on most 
New Zealand magazine stands, 
and it carries a lot of Commodore 
advertisements. The only problem 
with "Compute!" is that it's 
already four months out of date by 
the time it gets here. 

i subscribe to "Compute!" by 
air mail, but it' s a bit expensive for' 
the ordinary user. However, 
"Compute!" has recently 
launched a new magazine called 
"COMPUTE's Gazette", which is 
solely about the Commodore 
VIC-20and64. 

The airmail rate for 12 issues is 
only $US4S. This is nearly 
$NZ70. but that is what you 
would pay for 1 2 issues of 
"Compute!" at the local 
bookshop. 

I highly recommend 

"COMPUTE's Gazette". Not only 
does it have the latest advertisers 
for 64 software, it has news, 
reviews, programming tips, 
program listings and a children's 
column. The address is 
"COMPUTE's Gazette", P.O. Box 

e-mc' e-mc' e-mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc e=mc' e=me' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e^mc' e=mcL 



pointers: change to 43-56. 
clock; change to 180-162. ! 
POKE 144.88 disables stop key: change to POKE 
788.52. 

PEEK 15V *s used to see which key ie held down 
(255-none): change to 197 {64=none) - key 
values are different from PET. 
shift key: change to 653. 

number of Characters in keyboard buffer: change to £ 
,198..: 
similar to: PET 151: change "to 203 ■■'■■*■ 

POKE 167, O turns on cursor; change to 204*; 
keyboard buffer: change to 631 -64<3.'™-' 
cassette buffers (machine code is often POKEd 
here): the 64 has space from 920-1019. 

v screen memory (see article). 

POKE; 59464 pi ays note (T=higb, 255=iow>: (see 
note below.) 

note below.) 

POKE: 59467, 16 turns on sound logoff): (see note 
below.} 

POKE 59468. 14 ssislowar ease mtfde 
:<12=graphics); change to PRINT $$&$&^^**Z4z 
(1 42=graphics). 

NOTE: ■converting sound commands can take a long time. Leave these 
PGKEs until tfie.rest of the program is working perfectly (they have no 
!effeeton the 641. 



152 : : 

158 

tee ; 

167 : 
623-532 ; 
634-T017; 

;3278&:33767 

•59464 ; :: : :: ;r- : ; 

59466 ;;;;;■;:: 
:59467 . 



COMPUTERS FOR ALL 



FROM 



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Wellington Branch 

1 77 Willis Street, P. O. Box 27-1 38 

WELLINGTON. Tel: 851-055 



Auckland Branch 

369 Khyber Pass Road, P.O. Box 8602 

AUCKLAND. Tel; 794-045 



t-mc e=mc' e=ntc' e=mc' c=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc> e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=me* e=mc' e=mc' b=m' 

42 

BITS & BYTES August, 1383 



COMMODOR€ 



. I lll| W illi IIIIII H 1MI— Hill H I IIIIIMIIB Mllll M ill 1 1 1 1 1 1 



•a « >- »iitt— l—m—™" ii mm i ■— — ■— — n * n ~ r*—-*i*trs***-. — — — J 



961. Farmingdale, NY 11737. 
U.S.A. Send a VISA number land 
expiration date) or a bank draft. 

Another good source of 
information on the Commodore 
64 is the Toronto PET Users' 
Group. TPUG started out several 
years ago as an ordinary local user 
group, but it has grown beyond all 
expectations. It now has over 
6000 members in 32 countries. 
For SUS30 you receive a monthly 
magazine Ithe TORPET) and 
access to the club library of 
thousands of public domain 
programs, 

Members are constantly 
contributing new programs to 
TPUG, and each month three 
disks of programs are compiled: 
one for the PET. ore for the VIC 
jmH one for tho 64. Tho quality of 
the programs is variable; but the 
utilities, in particular, are 
excellent. The address is: Toronto 
PET Users' Group. 1 91 2A Avenue 

Road, Suite ffl, Toronto, Ontario, 
Canada M5M 4A1 . They do not 
accept VISA. 

A New Zealand source for the 
TPUG programs is the Nelson VIC 
Users Group. NVUG is an 
associate member of TPUG and is 
acquiring all of its Commodore 64 
programs. Membership of NVUG 
is $10 and there is a small copying 
charge for the programs. The 
address is Nelson VIC Users 
Group. P.O. Box 860, Nelson. 

Another good source of 
programs for the 64 is the PET. If 
you know of a local PET owner, 
COMPUTER SOUTH CHCH 



it's well worth while making 
friends with him. Most PET BASIC 
programs can readily be adapted 
to the 64, particularly if your PET 
friend has a Toolkit, POWER 
Basic Aid or similar utility with a 
FIND command. Do a FIND for 
PEEK, POKE, WAIT. SYS and 
USR. If there are none, the 
program will work perfectly. If 
there is a SYS or USR. the 
program will probably crash, and 
you'll need to know machine 
language to fix it. 

PEEK. POKE and WAIT all refer 
to memory locations which differ 
between the PET and the 64. 
Changing them usually takes 
about five minutes. See Table 1 . 

Some of the FEEK.S and POKEs 
will probably be to the PET's 
eeroen memory (3276G-337C71. 

Setting 64 to match PEfs 

screen memory 

POKE 56,127 :CLR 

POKE 56576,149 : POKE 

53272,4 

POKE 643,1 28 

POKE 792,116 : POKE 

793.164 

The first line lowers the top of 
memory to make room for the 
screen. The second line moves the 
screen. -The third line tells the 64 
where it is lo -PRINT Ion the 
screen, of course!). The fourth line 
disables the RESTORE key 
(otherwise, a RESTORE will mess 
up the screen). 
LTD 78 Oxford Terrase P.O. Box 22713 



There are two ways to handle this. 
If there aren't too many, change 
thorn to the 64's screen memory 
(1024-2023). Otherwise, change 
the 64's screen to match the 
PET's by adding a new line to the 
beginning of the program. See 
Figure 2. 

One final problem is lhat the 
PET POKEs to the screen have no 
colour. They will probably be 
invisible on the 64. You can solve 
this by adding a POKE to the 

colour register (55296-56295) for 
every POKE to the screen- 
However, this may take some 
time if there are a lot of POKEs. It 
is much simpler to POKE the 
colour registers all at once, 
immediately after the screen is 
cleared (or scrolled). For example, 
to make all POKEs to the screen 
white, use this routine: FOR 
1=65296 TO 56295: POKE 
l.1:NEXT. 

The above steps should make 
most PET BASIC programs 
available to users of the 64. Add 
to this the numerous programs 
advertised for the 64 overseas, 
tho programs available -from 
TPUG. and the program listings in 
"COMPUTF.I". Clearly, the 
Commodore 64 owner has plenty 
with which to clothe his naked 
computer. 



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43 



VIC 



Apple 



From page 40 

Thirty-two is the contents of 
memory location 203 whenever 
the space bar is pressed. 

Other keys will put different 
numbers into location 203, of 
course. There are tables giving 
these in both Commodore's "VIC 
Programmer's Reference Guide" 
and the book, "VIC Revealed". 

But it would be a useful and 
instructive exercise to make up 
your own table of the contents of 
location 203 by using this simple 
routine: 

100 PRINT PEEK <203| 
110 GOTO 100 

Run this little program, and note 
the contents of location 203 for 
every key you press. 

There are many other variations 

of the routines listed. Don't be 
afraid to experiment at the 
keyboard to discover some of 
them for yourself and then use 
them in your programs. 

The wars 

For those of you who don't get 
"Time", a recent issue reported 
on what it called the Hardware 
WarSi with Commodore 64's 
retailing for under SUS200. and 
Timex Sinclairs for SUS29.97 

each. The TRS80 Color Computer 
is selling for under SUS200. 



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Creating 

shape 

tables 

By DAVID WHITAKER 



Anyone who has read the 
Applesoft Programming Manual 

(pp92-10Qi on the procedure for 
creating shape lables will have 
noted the inherent difficulties. 
Each shape plotted involves three 
stages: deriving a series of 
'plotting vectors' for a given 
shape; coding the plotting vectors 
in binary; and finally receding the 
binary to hex. Snce each shape 
plotted is defined by numerous 
vectors, the task of setting up, 
say, the set of 95 characters 
which make up the upper and 
lower case symbols for writing on 
the high resolution screen is very 
laborious indeed. This article 
outlines and provides a program 
that takes the agony out of shape 
table creation. 

The Shapes program is written 
in Applesoft BASIC and a shape 
table is created and stored in 
memory by simply drawing the 
required shape on the high 
resolution screen using the 
keyboard. 

Listing 1 shows the initial 
interaction with the user where 
the number of shapes to be 



LISTING 1 









































































































plotted and the grid size for 
drawing each shape is designated. 
Note that 'fineness' defines the 
size of the mesh and the product 
of width or height and fineness 
should never exceed the 
dimensions of the high resolution 
screen, 280 by 1 60 respectively. 
Plotting a sha-pe starts at the 
elected co-ordinates, which in the 
case of Listing i, is the top left- 
hand corner of the grid as denoted 
by the dot. Shapes are plotted by 
moving the dot about the grid with 
the use of seven keys. The keys, I, 
K , M, and J cause the dot to move 
up, to the right, down and to the 
left respectively. These keys are in 

keeping with the Apple editing 
moves with the difference that it 
is unnecessary to use the ESCAPE 
key. 



r 





1 










J 




K 



M 



i 



NUMBER OF SHAPES/2 

GRID SIZE (WIDTH, HElGHT)?5.10 

FINENESS?15 

START OF PLOT?l,1 



Movements can be made with 
'plot on' or 'plot off according to 
which of the keys 1 or O was last 
depressed. 

[Tj plot on 

GS plot off 

Two other keys are used: 

H| to end a shape 

H 1o deloto ihe piovious plot 

The latter seven keys provide 
the means of plotting any shape 
Ort the grid. If other keys are 
pressed or the dot attempts art 
illegal move then the Apple beeps 
and the dot remains as it is. In 
particular key I with plot off 
cannot be pressed twice in 
succession. This is because a hex 
code of GO may result whicK end's 
the shape definition prematurely. 

As an illustration, the moves of 
Listing 2 define the tetter T, 



44 



BITS & BYTES Augusl. 1 963 



flPPLC 



EW« W »I MH ! » *W mW MC X M MWtm 



LISTING 2 


Kay 




Action 


Presses 


Action 


sols to plot OKI 


1K . .. 


moves to right 




K 


moves TO right 




K 
K 


Istill plotting) 








M ... 


moves down 
(still plotting) 


sots to plot of 


OJ . .. 


moves to left 




J 


moves to loft 
Istill not 
plotting) 


sets to plot on 


1M . . 


moves down 




M ... 


moves down 




M 

M 


(still plotting) 








M 






K 


moves to right 
(still plotting! 


sets to plot of 


OK ... 


moves to light 




K 


moves to tight 
(Still not 
okrtlinoi 




E 


ends the ships 



to record the shape. If the shape is 
not saved in the mamory then the 
shape number is tnchanged. Not 
saving a shape provides a let out 
for bad plotting. The shape table is 
saved beginning at location 
$9000 (36864). This can be 
altered by redefining HIMEM and 
variable B2 in line 1 of the 
program in Listing 4. Shapes may 
be checked using the plot option, 
but only after they have been 
saved in memory. The user 
proceeds to the next shape 
definition until the designated 
number of shapes s reached or an 
earlier exit is made. 

LISTING 3 



A shape may start and end 
anywhere, although when shapes 
are created it is often useful to 
have them a constant width. For 
example, plotting upper and lower 
case letters is best done by 
starting at the top left hand corner 
and ending just outside the right 
hand side of the grid. Note that 
once a or 1 is depressed then 
'plot off or 'plot on' are in 
operation until changed by 
pressing one of the keys again. 

Listing 3 shows the interaction 
with the user after a shape is 
ended. The hex code for the shape 
is printed on the VDU and ft is 
usual to save this code in memory 



ir- 


*"1 

I 

1 




s 












i 








v 








\ 























SHAPE 1 

2D 2D DE 36 36 6E Ol 0O 
PLACE IN MEMORY7Y 
PLOT YOUR SHAPE S?N 
ANOTHER SHAP€?Y 

Before exiting the program 
information upon the BSAVE 
command is given to enable a 



shape table to be stored on: disk. 
In the example of the 
listings BSAVE FILENAME, 
AS9O0O,L$200E is output (see 
pp92-93 DOS reference manual), 

Once the shapes have been 
created using the program 
SHAPES and saved on disk they 
can be loaded into memory either 
at the locations where they 
originated or another designated 
location with the command 
BLOAD FILENAME or BLOAD 
FILENAMES $8000 where $8000 
is a new starting location. It is 
necessary to protect the shape 
table from overwriting with a 
HIMEM command corresponding 
to the lowest memory location of 
the table IHIMEM 36864 for 
$9000 upwards}. Also the shape 
table's reference locations (S-00E8 
dud 0OOE9) muat be set to this 
lowest location with commands 
POKE 232,0 and POKE 233,144 
for the latter example (see p96 
Applesoft Programming reference 
manual!. 

Listing 5 gives an example of a 
program that references the 
created shape table of this article 
and plots the Jth shape with the 

command DRAW J AT 50,50. 

Experience with shape plotting 
suggests that numerous moves 
(large grid size, small mesh) are 
needed to give large scale 
DRAW'S and the best shapes are 
achieved by plotting left to right 
methodically rather than 

haphazardly or up and down. 
Happy shaping. 




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&TS & BYTES Ai»pu*T. 1983 



45 



Apple 



LISTING 4 

] RROti 34W4i KCNE !K = im 

? DIHHmi>,A!i<5l),A»(SI>: UTtt 
21 i INPUT "IK HO. OF SHAPES 
Fit* 

3 81 ■ KiQ • II -* 2 > N5 * 2 

4 SH- 1 

5 INPUT '»ID SUEtUIDTH.HEl&KI) 

'•;XI,YI 
7 INPUT *F»CNCES?*lIC: INPUT *S 
TART Of SHAPC?*;IX,1Y;IX • I 

x - niTf ■ rr - 1 

6 POKE SI^CS: POM 61 « l.liU- 

BiiPl- 4)M ■ Hi 60SQB III 
1:33 « 232: 60SU8 1141:61 • 

N«2 

11 PRINT 'SHAPE 'iSt 

12 G0SU8 5H 

21 6CSU8435 
it &0SU8S4 

« INPUT 'A PLOT Of WW SWPES? 
•|V7»l IF V7t - T* TH» GOSU8 

47 IF SH > NS THEN PRINT *EN0 

F SHAPES': GOTO 2811 

48 INPUT NWQTHER SHAPE?' ;V7»! IF 

V7I ■ T THEM II 

49 GOTO 7811 

58 REN E&ftWT fWES TO BINMT 

then ho 

55 U« IjW« I 

m ci- "«■ law- " 
71 II - 1 

81 N ■ H(V):V" V> * I 

III IF H - 8 ftO I « I THEN IN 

mi ir n> sftoi « 2thbia*- 

'Hin* • A»: GOTO 141 
121 IF«"3ff»M>3ttH»i 
> net ID- I:AI* a ll' * AS 

; WTO 144 
I3I6A ■ 2:PL-3:83«H: &OSU8 J 

III 
HI M * BT1 • MiK » K ' I 
131 IF < ( ■ 3 THEN 84 
< At At - RI6HT1 (A* ,8) 
181 GOSUB33I 
IN IFH- 8THBIA1 ■ ■llllllll 

•:K-4:Ci- •R*': SC-SUS 33 

I: RETURN 
218 IF 10" I THEN. 14> ■ l:K - ll 

M ■ ": GOTO III 
?ll SOT0 4I 
3 Jl R$t PRINT HEX COOt «D TO II 

EJtGRY JF PiWIKD 
335 B1 ■ Hfiffll (M,4>; 6QSVB 45 

I :Alt - s* 
341 81 ■ LEFT1 <A8,4>; WSV8 454 
:A2»« S* 

341 PRINT A2liA1l;* "| 

342 A2»(V2) * A2«:AUCV2> ■ AlltM 

2-V2 »l 



344 IF £» » '• TtW 444 

345 PRINT | INPUT "PLACE IN HBO 
IWiUnt IF V74* T THEN 
347 

344 50TB 431 

3*7 03 ■ - B2:8A ■ 14:PL ■ 4: G0SU8 

IIH 
348 83 - 81: GOSUfl 1141 
34? 81 ■ 81 I 2:SH ■ SH I i 
375 FOR L = 1 TO V2 - I 
388 2(2)- ASC U2l(L»t!(l) ■ ASC 

MMUO 
3N 6CSU8 3741 
411 PCKfl,Pit=9» 1 
M NEXT L 
431 CS ■" 
441 RETURN 
451 m BDUff TO HE* SIN6U 01 

63 T 
455 S" I 

441 FOR I = ITO 3 
4718* UAL ( Ntm <dl t 4 - I,l>> 

481 S - 5 I 8 I 2 ' I 

4N NEXT 1 

541 IF S < * 9 Tl» SI » STM 

(S): RETURN 
511 St » CHSKS* 55): RETWN 
524 RBI SET UP SCREB* 
548 K6R i HCOL0R" 3tSX ■ 4I:FX - 

SX t XI i IC 
ssi sr * i:Fr» sy « n » ic 

541 FOB H = ST TO FT STEP IC 

578 HP10T SX,H TO FX.H 

SSI NEXT H 

Ml FDR U] ■ SX TO FX STEP IC 

441 HTPlQTUI.ST TBYl.Ft 

611 NEXT VI 

t>H X - & - K • DM - «T • IC • 

IV: 6CSU9 1811 
431 RETURN 

435 M* SHOW NEWS CH SCREEN 
437 IA ■ I 
441 GET A44 
445 IFA41 = CHM (I) A* LA > 

i if© w« w- \i\ »mu») 

: eOSUB HII:1P« I: SOTO 74 

I 
451 If A4t = V THFX IV ■ 8i GOTO 

441 
441 IF A41 - "I" THE* W = 4: 8OT0 

441 
471 IF A4I « '!" TMEMH- IV: &0T0 

731 
481 IF A44 = '%' T«H M - IV • I 

: 6OT0 731 
SN IF A4$ = '«• TB94 M ■ IU ♦ 2 

I GOTO 731 
7M IF A4* = -J" THJ4H= W * 3 

: GOTO 731 
711 IF Ml » 'E"THB1H.» 8: OTD 

731 
??J MIHT C»t (7); 6OT0 641 



731 3FN>IMmiA- II- I TW 
721 

735 IKW) ■ H:W « LA 111 IF M ■ 

6 THBS 8N 
741 IF H < ■ 3 TK04 HCOl(R» I 
751 3F H > ■ 4 TMBI HCaOfc 3 
741 IF IP = I THEN 6&SU8 Nl 
745 IF IP ■ I TKEN GOSUB IMI 
77* 2 - H * I: CH 2 (SOTO 781,794, 

MI,lll,78i,7N , ,8ll,SII 
781 T ■ Y - IC: GOTO 821 
7N X ■ X t ICi GOTO 821 
841 T - Y * IC: GOTO 874 
411 X * X - IC 
824 IF X < OSH»X« SX:IP • 1 

; 60TO87I 
831 IF X > FX1I«X»FX:1P« 1 

; SOTO 871 
841 IF Y < SYTWIY" SY:IP« 1 

: 6CT0 87I 
858 IF Y ) FY THEN Y- FY:IP« I 

: GOTO 871 
841 SOTO 881 

871 HINT tHB4 <7>tlA = tA- 1 
888 IF IP ■ | THEN KC0L0O ll GOSUB 

911 

882 HCIX0R- 3t GOSUB 1881 

883 IP -I 
3*5 COT0 44I 
m LA ■ \A - I: RETURN 
m REN CLEARS OR FILLS GRID IU 

IT 
II EN ■ IC: FOR I ■ I TO EN • I 
»ll X3-X t 1:X4-X t IC - 1iT3 

»Y4 I 
»2I HPLOT X3,Y3T0X4,Y3 
>34 NEXT J 
■<| BETUH 
;NI RSt tEC TO /HJTNER BASE 8 

A UITH PL PLACES 
421 FOR I > I TO PL - 1:8(1) ■ 

4: NEXT I 
'43* 5 ■ 1 : IF 03 ■ I THEM UN 
;I4I FOR I - I TO PL 
1*1 IF S > 03 THEN 1188 
1141 $ ■ S I BA 
1171 NEXT I 

1184 IU- !)■ INT (03 in/ S 
):03" 03 - S • 8(1 - I) /8 

At IF 03 ( > I THBt 1134 
UN 8TF - ": FOR I « PL - 1 TO 

I STEP - 3:AB4 - STftf (6(1 
)) 

llll IF 6KI> > 9 THEN Ml « CHRf 

(55 * 8(1)5 
III) BT1 • BTI • A8»: NEXT 1 
1121 REW 
1141 REN SPLIT HEX TO DEC THEN 

mo 

I!5t FOR II •• TO 2 STEP 2:12 - 

II / 2:1(1) * ASC ( NIDI (B 
Tl,4 - Il t a»:7,42) ■ ASC ( HIM 

(BTI.3- II.U):8CSWI2ll! 



POKE 63 i l?,P 

ii4i Hen n 

1174 RETURN 

1281 »Qi HEX TO DEC 

I2HPM 

1211 FOR I ■ I TO 2 

l!H IF 2(1) < 56 THtt 2(1) ■ 2( 

I) - 48 
1731 IF 2(1) > 44 THBt 2(1) - 2( 

I) - 55 
1241 P- P* 2(1) • HM1- i) 
1251 NEXT || RETURN 
1511 REN PLOT THE J TH SHAff 
1515 INPUT •SHAPE,SCfllE? , iJ.S: SCALE- 

S 
1*41 IM'I THBt 1541 
1511 HSR : HCOL0R- 3 
1526 Oft* i AT 51,54 
1531 80TB 1515 
1511 RfTUm 
1411 R91 WON&KVE 
Ull IF N > > Oft K ■ 4THENH" 

2: SOTO 1441 
1431 IFN*! WN-5THWH- 

3: 60TO 1441 
1441 IF H * 2 Oft H » 4 THEN Mi 

I: 60T0 L444 
I4SI If H > 3 OP H - 7 THEN H * 

1 

i44i rehsn 

1881 REM PLOT DOT 
1811 X3« INT (X < 10/ 2>:T3 - 
INT (Y * IC/ 2): "PIOT X3, 
Y3 
1829 RETURN 
2181 REM 8SAVEHO40RY DETAIIS 

2112 HOME 
2«5 TEXT 

2111 PL*4;BA» IdtOa 82i 68SUI 
\%\t-JA - ST«:B3- • 82: &0SU3 

iniiu ■ in 

2121 PRINT "TO Wi YOtt SHAPES 
USE MOHW*:*': PRINT ■ 
8SAUEFILfiWC l AS*s«tVrL 
4';U' 

N3I PRINT "AfTER THE PR06IAN EN 
DSUH1CH ISNOU!' 

2441 ENO 



Post your subscription 
to us today 



LISTING 5 

IB HH1B1; 36864.; POKE 232, 
POKE 233,144 

14 HONE 

15 VTAR 21 

2B INPUT 'TOUR SHAPE WO 

SCALE?'' ;J,S 

22 HGft : HCOLOfr 3 

25 IF J = 8 THEN. 48 

31 SCAIE= S: ROT" 8 

41 D*rU JUT 5* ,58 

59 60T0 20 

61 TEXT 

n W 



Afl 



BUS & BYTES Auguil. 1983 



SINCLAIR 

"■■ — 

Using the 
16K as a 
desk 
calculator 

By R.J. SPARKS 

Calculator is a program that 
allows the 16K ZX-81 to be used 
as a desk calculator. Eleven 
registers are available whose 
contents are permanently 
displayed on the screen. One, the 
X-register, holds the result of 
calculations performed in 
immediate mode, e.g. entering 
4*3 places the value 12 in X. In 
addition there are 1 registers 
labelled A to J thai Can be used to 
store the results of calculations or 
as variables in expressions to be 
evaluated e.g. entering A=4*3-1 
places the value 1 1 in A. 

To store a value in one of the 
registers A to J, the register name 
must appear on the left of an 
equals sign; on the other hand, X 
cannot appear on the left of an 
equals sign, although it can be 
used as a variable in an 
expression. 

An input string can consist of up 



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to 20 arithmetic or logical 
expressions seperated by colons 
i:i. and these are evaluated 
sequentially from left to right; e.g. 
A=3;B=A' - 2:2"B will place the 
values 3,9,18 in the A,8 and X 
registers, respectively. Incident- 
ally, the program can be used to 
solve the centre! problem of 
Hamlet: 2"B OR NJOT 2"B is 2*B 
every time; no wonder he went 
mad. 

Calculator recognizes 4 
command symbols, permanently 
displayed on the screen for easy 
reference. These are: S to store an 
expression string: R to execute it; 
P to print it without execution; M 

to switch between FAST and 
SLOW modes during calculations. 
An expression string preceded by 
the symbol S. e.g. 

SA'"2:A=A+1. results in the 
string being sto'ed in memory 
without execution. Entering the 
command, R, causes the stored 
expression string lo be evaluated. 

A stored string :an be displayed 
without being evaluated by 
entering P. Evaluation of complex 
expressions can be rather slow, so 
the option exists for switching to 
FAST mode during the 
calculations. This is carried out by 
the command M, which switches 
between FAST and SLOW. The 
current mode is displayed on the 
screen in inverse characters. 

Error traps detect the use of an 
invalid register name or an 
attempt to have more than 20 
expressions in a single expression 



string. The latter situation results 
in a STACK FULL message. 

Long, frequently used 

expression strings can be 
preserved by saving 

CALCULATOR on cassette with 
the required string stored in 
memory. This can be conveniently 
done by exiting from the program 
end executing a GOTO 9900 
statement in immediate mode. 
This will result in Calculator being 
saved such that when reloaded 



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47 



SINCLAIR 



later it will self-start, preserving 
the data originally present. 

ZX-81 Calculator 

10REMDIMRM0) 

20DIMZI21I 

25 LET ESS-EXPRESSION" 

30 LET S>*=" 16 spaces" 

35LETGf= ,, 0" 

40 LET X=0 

4? FORO=1 TO 10 

44G0SUB 1O40+-10'G 

46 NEXT Q 

47 REM ••■»««•«••»»•••••••• 

48 REM 'SET UP THE SCREEN" 

49 REM 

50 PRINT AT 0.10;"|CALCULATOR1"; AT 
2,20;"S TO STORE": AT 3,20; "R TO 
EXECUTE"; AT 4.20; "": "'. ES; AT 5,22; 
"SE PARATOR": AT 6, 20; "P PRINT' '; AT. 
7.22; E$; AT 8.20; "M FAST< >|SL0W1 
"; AT 3,0; "X"; X 

60P0RO=1 TO 10 

70 PRINT AT 0+4. 0; CHR9 (0+37); " ": 

R(Q1 

80 NEXT Q 

85tfTG0FAST = 

90 PRINT AT 16.0; ES 

96 REM 



97 REM • MAIN PROGRAM LOOP ■ 

98 REM 

1 00 LET INSP=0 

102 INPUT FS 

1 04 IF F$="P" THEN LET INSP»1 

110 IF FS = "R" OR INSP THEN LET 

FS=GS 

1 20 IF FS="S- THE GOTO 600 

1 25 IF F5="M" THEN GOTO 700 

1 26 REM "*• 

12? REM 'PRIM THE EXPRESSION" 

128 REM 

130FORL=17TO 21 

140 PRINT AT L.O;SS+SS 

1 50 NEXT L 

160 PRINT AT 17.0;FS 

1 70 IF INSP THEN GOTO 100 

1 80 IF GOFAST THEN FAST 

195 REM 

1 96 REM "SCAN THE STRING FOR ' 
197 REM "SEPARATORS: * 

138 REM 

200LETL=1 

210LETZ(L)=C 

220F0RK = 1 TOLENFS 

230 If FSIKX > ":" THEN GOTO 270 

240 LET L=L+ I 

250 IF L 20 THEN GOTO 1000> 

^WJLfcl £tU=K 

270 NEXT K 

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2&0LETZIL»=LENFS 

296 REM •" 

297 REM 'EVALUATE EXPRESSIONS' 

298 REM -BETWEEN 1 SEPARATORS* 

199 REM " 

300 FOR K=2 TO L 

310 LET PS=F5IZlK-1)+l TO ZlKl 

-1-HK+LU 

320 IF LEN P* = 1 THEN GOTO 340 

330 IF P$)2)»" = " THEN GOTO 500 

340 LET X=VAL PS 

350 PRINT AT 3,2;SS;AT 3,2;X 

355 SLOW 

360 GOTO 570 

495 REM 

496 REM 'EXPRESSION RESULT IS" 

497 REM 'TO BE STORED IN ONE* 

498 REM 'OF THE REGISTERS A J' 

499 REM " 

500 LEI Q=C0DE P9H1-37 

510 IF Q<1 OR Q">10 THEN GOTO 550 

520 LET RIOIsVAL P3I3 TO LEN P$> 

525GOSUB 1040+ 10-Q 

530 PRINT AT 0+4. 2;SS:AT Q+4.2; 

RIOI 

540 GOTO 570 

550 PRINT AT 17.0;S$+S$; AT 17,0; 

"laNVALID REGISTER NAMEI" 

570 NEXT K 

580 GOTO 100 

595 REM 

596 REM "STORE THE EXPRESSION" 

597 REM ■ 

6O0LETGS=F$ (2 TO LEN F$) 

610 GOTO 100 

69b REM «-••••••• • 

696 REM 'CHANGE FAST/SLOW MODE' 

697 REM "' ■ •»••#■■«*« 

700 LET G0FAST=1 GOFAST 

710 IF GOFAST THEN PRINT AT 8.22; 

"[ FASTI <> SLOW" 

720 IF NOT GOFAST THEN PRINT AT 

8.22;"FAST<? (SLOW!" 

730 GOTO 100 

995 REM * • 

996 REM 'MORE THAN 20* 

997 REM 'SUB- EXPRESSIONS 1 

998 REM ""* 

1000 PRINT AT 17,0:S$4.S$: AT 17,0 
"[STACK FULL!" 

1010 GOTO 100 

1045 REM ' 

1046 REM 'INSERT VALUE INTO' 

1047 REM 'APPROPRIATE REGISTER* 

1048 REM 

1050 LET A=R(1) 

1055 RETURN 

1060 LET B=RI2) 

1065 RETURN 

1070 LET C=RI3I 

1075 RETURN 

1080 LET D--RI4I 

1085 RETURN 

1090 LET E=R(5) 

1095 RETURN 

»10QiETF=Rie> 

11 05 RETURN 

1110LETG=R (7) 

11 15 RETURN 

1120LETH=R(8) 

11?5 RETURN 

1130 LET t=R(9) 

1135 RETURN 

1140 LET J=R|10) 

1 145 RETURN 

9900 SAVE "CALCULATOR" 

9950 GOTO 50 

9999 REM ' • * END OF PROGRAM * ■ * 



48 



BUS & BYTES August. 1983 



BBC 



^y^m-wv-iw/l 



A ROM 
with 
a view 



By PIP FORER 

The idea of reviewing the 
Beeb's entire software base has 
got me a little worried: the 
undertaking is a tittle too 
ambitious. Instead. I have decided 
to go only half way into software 
this month. We look at what some 
call firmware: hard software, or in 
this case the ROM-based software 
on the Beeb. In particular, this 
choice has arisen because I have 
been experimenting with two new 

Boob ROMs, the word processors. 

Wordwise and View, which will 
soon be available in New Zealand. 
The first comes from Computer 
Concepts and the second from- 
Acorn itsel f . Looking at these may 
tell us a bit about the idea of 
paged ROMs and a bit about the 
quality of this emerging firmware. 
First, we had better establish 
just what the ROM slots on the 
Beeb are, and how they work. If 
you have ever peeped under the 
lid of the BBC computer you wrli 
have noticed that in the right-hand 

corner nearest to you, close to 
being underneath the 'break' key, 
are a series of either empty slots 
or large ROM chips. These are the 
so-called sideways ROMs. In total 
there are five slots there, and 
these contain at least two ROMs 
in most machines. These two 
represent the machine operating 
system IMOSt and the BASIC 
language ROM. Each is 16K and 
between them these two ROMs 
account for 32K addressing 
space, leaving the remaining 32K 
as free RAM. If you have a disk 
operating system (DOS) in your 
machine, then not only are you 
fortunate, but you will have a third 
ROM in your slots. The remaining 
empty slots can be used for a 
variety of purposes by plugging in 
extra ROMs. Econet takes one 
slot, alternative languages such as 
BCPL take another each. Graphics 
systems ate being designed for 
these slots. However, the first 
marketed products to use them 
have been word processors. 

BITS & BYTES August. 1383 



Addressing ROMs 

All of these extra ROMs can be 
accessed immediately from the 
keyboard by issuing the relevant 
commands. Thus a Beeb can have 
several languages or applications 

on ROMs and switch between 
them instantly ir so far as they do 
not conflict in their memory 

usage, furthermore, there is an 
automatic precedence over which 
ROMs are brought into play at any 
time. Apart from system functions 
such as MOS, the right-most 
language or apalication ROM is 
accessed first. When turned on 
the machine starts up in the 
sppl ication or la rguage there. T his 
may be BASIC as you are 
accustomed to. It may just as well 
be another lancuage or a word 

processor. 

I ought to add that the five initial 
slots can be extended internally 
and externally to expand your 
number of slots. In terms of 
having facilities up and ready to 
go instantly the installed (but 
removable) ROM offers benefits 
over disk or tape-based software. 
It also saves memory space. The 
disadvantage, say for a network 
system, is that you cannot down- 
load a ROM to a set of machines: 
each must have one. 

Some readers may be asking, 
"What is a word processor?" 
Essentially, it is a program that 
allows the user to type in 
documents and modify them on 
the screen before sending out a 
printed copy. Or the way it does 
all sorts of tediojs chores for the 
author, such as centring titles. 

Indicative software? 

The two ROMs discussed here 
(Wordwise and View) are of 




BBC 



interest in thai they may be an 
indicator of the quality of further 
products. How can we gauge 
them against other word 
processors that are around? Of 
course there is no simple answer 
to such a question but we can 
make a few comments. First, both 
systems, Wordwise and View, are 
friendly. 

If you have any word 
processing experience you will 
find them easy to use and adapt 
to. If you are fresh to the field the 
documentation is sufficient and 
accurate on both. Apart from a 
technical manual both systems 
give introductory help: View 

through an outstanding tutorial 

booklet "Into View" and 
Wordwise through a cassette tape 
with a sample doeumont. Both 
systems offer either disk or tape 
based storage and access to 
system commands from within 
the word processor. 

In terms of word-processing 
power these systems would be in 
the middle range and they do most 
of the standard chores quite 
effectively. Both support search 
and replace, where the user can 
check throughout an entire 
document for a particular word 
and change it (remembering this 
was for a non-American audience 
I had to do that with "program" in 
this document). View has a more 
flexible and acceptable approach 
here. 

Both allow you to count the 
number of words at any time {799 
up to here). So far both represent 
similar products, although View 
offers more commands and better 
use of the special function keys 
(29 functions as opposed to 10). 
View also orovides some unusual 



Computer now available — $1995 

Over 100 programs in stock from 

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49 



BBC 



capabilities for a package of this 
sort. Among them is a "two-sided 
page" facility for use with page 
headers and footers. You know, 
for instance, how a magazine has 
its page numbers to left or right of 
the page depending on whether it 
is an odd or even page number? 
View handles that positioning 
automatically. 

The real test of the ROMs is 
perhaps the degree to which the 
systems use the BBC's special 
features. The world is full of word 
processors running on equipment 
and not using its capabilities to the 
full. Wordwise scores quite well 
here. It uses colour to show where 
a control character has been 
imbedded. Normally working in 40 
column mode 7. it also has a 
facility to see your document in 
80 column splendour as it will 
appear on the page when printed. 

View, however, has the edge. It 
allows you to choose the BBC 
mode you work in and make your 
own trade-offs between visible 
text and high memory usage. 

More to the point it allows you 
to continuously edit a large 
document continuously using 
disks. Loading the document with 
this simply puts a first section into 

memory for working on. The 

command, "More", stores that 
pant and loads a new section. This 
way you get to keep your 
document whole and get around 
the memory limitations of an 80 
column screen. This is a well- 
thought-out design tailored to the 
Beeb's needs and strengths. The 
View ROM also gets away from 
the annoying BASIC demand that 
all commands be in upper case. 
View is generally the more 
powerful editor of the two. 

What are the shortcomings of 
the ROMs? One would find it hard 
to fault them on crashability. The 
error catching is of a high 
standard. For instance neither will 
allow you to choose a mode that 
destroys your current writing 
through the mode's memory 
needs. I have two complaints to 
date. One is that deletion is not 
reversible. If you remove a line by 
accident with View (and with 
triple use of the special function 
keys thai is very easy to do) you 
have lost it. That is extremely 
unfriendly. The other is that View 



fails to make it plain how to 
transfer a cont'd code to a printer 
to change text size or some other 
function (although the British 
magazine, "Beebug," reports this 
use with Wordwise). Experi- 
menting to date suggests 
that this is not easily achieved. 
With View, it is necessary to buy a 
separate printer drive program 
(the COvftr documentation says 
this is just for caisy-wheel printers 
but then cites the popular Epson 
MX-80 as ore). This separate 
driver is a surprising glitch on the 

program and its capabilities and 
implications are poorly 

documented in the View manual. 
Since efficient printer driving is 
essential to using a word 
processor well this aspect leaves 
a question mark over View. Since 
neither ROM supports subscripts 
and superscripts normally (so a 
user might want to use printer 
control characters to allow this to 
happen) this question of printer 

driving could b* very important to 

some users. 

For programmers 

The band of hobbyist 
programmers is by now asking 
what all this has for them. For 
authors maybe, but is there any 
other use of the word processor? 
The answer in short is yes. The 
word processors mentioned here 
potentially allow you to load a 
BASIC program or any text file for 
editing, as long as the file has 
been placed into text mode using 
SPOOL (i.e. 'SPOOL name. LIST, 
•"SPOOL). That puts a whole new 
range of editing facilities available 
to you. for instance the immediate 
changing ot a variable name 
throughout a program or 
enhanced fea:ures for copying 
sections of programs about. 

That is worth a lot of time if you 
area keen programmer involved in 
long programs. Again there are 
questions as tc how this works in 
practice but certainly some things 
can be done in this area. 

Wordwise is vary well set up for 

this job but View is much less 
clearly suited because of the way 
it inputs and outputs its stored 
text. In fact I found its use 
hazardous. 

Over all, these ROMs set a good 
standard. Although they support, 
tape commands it would be 



dishonest to pretend (as is 
sometimes implied) that they are 
much use without the speed and 
reliability of disks. In Britain, 
Wordwise was released earlier 
and at lower cost then View. The 
final products in fact differ in their 
capabilities and strengths: the 
specialism and power of View 
against the easier interface to the 
outside world of Wordwise. 

Both products have clear 
evidence of quality that bodes 
well for their success, but both 
have minor blemishes. Look 
around though. At least one disk- 
based word processor is for sale 
and a new ROM aimed at the 
educational market is under way 
in Britain. In the meantime we will 
try to report back on the question 
of control character usinq the 
View printer driver and its use for 
program editing. 

Acorn Rivals 

Following the Vie w/Word wise 
rivalry and the Torchpack 
alternative second processor and 
disks comes a new disk-operating 

system ROM from an independent. 

supplier. The Disk Management 
Filing System (DFMS) claims it 
can be co-resident with the 
normal DOS ROM but offers 
enhanced features such as more 
and longer file names, a more 
efficient use of disk space, more 
flexible file control and the ability 
to read CP/M disks. Not only that, 
but its makers claim it is available 
now and free of chip supply 
shortages. 

New Sharp model 

Beechey & Underwood have 
released a new model of Sharp 
business computer, the MZ 3540, 
which runs both the Sharp FDOS 

and the standard CP/M based 
operating systems. 

The basic unit is released with 
128K RAM expandable to a 
maximum of 256K RAM. 

This machine features futuristic 
styling, a separate super-thin 
keyboard with shift lock lamp, 
twin Z80A processors, running at 
4mHz and has dual 320K 5%" 
disk drives built in to the main 
processor unit which use double 
sided double density diskettes. 

The 12" monochromatic green 

Turn to page 58 



50 



BITS & BYTES Aucust. 1983 



MICROfs€€ 

. n y.V ■ 

Some useful 

BASIC 

subroutines 

By Shayne Doyle 

Here is a list of the most useful 
BASIC subroutines accessible for 
the Microbee by the user. 

Subroutines Jump Table set: 
Name: MCHINW Address: 80O6H 

This subroutine waits for a 
keypress and returns the ASCII 
value in A. The input device 
system is not used, the scanned 
keyboard is directly accessed. 
Destroys AF. 
MCHINL - 8009H 

Scans the keyboard, returning 
NZ and the ASCII key volue in A if 
a key was pressed, otherwise 
returns 2. Deslroys AF. 
DGOS-VDR - 80OCH 

Takes the ASCII representation 
of the character in the B register, 
and treats this as a code to be sent 
to the VDU, i.e. control codes 
such as CR and LF will cause 
these functions, but normal 



;WVV'*A , *WF^iWii*Prt'WWW|T«^W*MWWWW*pV**W'»t«**^ ^. 



characters will be printed in the 
next location on the screen. 
Requires ASCII character code in 
B, destroys nothing. 
fiDBYTE - 8012'H 

Reads the next byte off tape in 
Kansas City Standard and returns 
its 8-bit value in A. This 
subroutine must be used in 8 
continuous fashion for reliable 
data transfer; intervening routines 
must not take longer than about 2 
bit times. The tape speed must be 
previously set up in "lo- 
cycles=00E9H", 4 for 300 baud 
and 1 for 1200 baud input. 
Returns character off tape in A. 
Destroys AF. 
WRBYTE ~ 8018H 

Writes the 8-bit value in A to 
tape- Extreme care must be taken 
when using this routine to ensure 
that the delay between calls is 
preferably less than 1/1200 
second or the tones generated will 
not be continuous, and garbage 
will be read back later on. Speed 
should have been set up as for 
RDBYTE. Requires byte to write in 
A, destroys nothing. 
RDBLOK ~ 801 5H 



This routine reads a block of B 
characters from the tape at fhl) 
and decrements DE for each byte 
read. A check sum is expected at 
the end of the block and this 
routine will crash if this is wrong 
Requires block destination in HL, 
number of bytes to read in B, total 
byte count in DE (not actually 
used by this routine). Destroys B 
and C. Returns block of 
checksummed data at (HL), end of 
block+1 in HL, total bytes left in 

DE. 

WBTBLK - 801 BH 

This routine writes out the block 
at (HL) for length B with a check 
sum at the end. Requires address 
Turn to page 57 



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BOOKS 



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Books for 

the 

beginner 

"Beginning BASIC' (Second 
Edition} By P.E. Gosling. 
MacMillen, U.K., 1982. 

Paperback, 15.5 x 23.5 cm, 106 
pages, $11.95. 

"Program Yovr Microcomputei 
in BASIC." By P.E. Gosling. 
MacMilfan, U.K., 1981. 

Paperback, 15.5 x 23.5 cm, 91 
pages, $13.95. 

"instant BASIC. " (Second 
Edition}. By Jerafd R. Brown. 
diUthiurn Press (U.S.A.). 1982. 
Paperback, 21.2 x 27.8cm, 196 
pages, 425.95. 

Reviewer: Gordon Findlay 

"Of making many books there is 
no end." And nowhere is rhis 
truer than in the computer field. It 
seems as though every man and 
his dog is writinc a book on BASIC 

for beginners. These three are just 

that - books on programming in 

BASIC, for beginners, with the 
stated intention of being machine 
independent. All have their good 
points, and all have their bad. 
There are many others I could 
have included ir this review, but 
there are obvious limitations of 
time and space, not to mention 
endurance. 

I have listed the books in 
approximate order of size, and in 
order of increasing content. All 
purport to start at the same place 
- absolute zero. 

"Beginning BASIC" moves 
slowly into BASIC. first 

investigating "what is a 
computer?" and "Talking to a 
Computer." This second chapter 
gives step-by-step instructions for 
using a typicel teletypa-based 
interactive system (the actual 
examples are n Data General 
Eclipse's dialect). It moves 
through- the standard arithmetical, 
input and output statements, 
giving a fair number of examples. 
The book moves on to loops and 
print statements, spends a good 
deal of space on lists and arrays, 
briefly mentions function 

statements, remarks, and finishes 
with further details on saving and 
loading programs, with 

instructions about, operating a 



52 



paper-tape reader/punch. 

The tone of the book is very 
didactic, and almost all the 
examples are algebraic or 
scientific in nature - calculating 
various function values, finding 
averages, solving equations. The 
book concludes with 16 
"specimen" programs, all 
mathematical, and frankly, boring. 

The full title of the third book is 
"Instant Freeze-Dried Computer 
Programming in BASIC. 2nd 

Astounding! Edition." and this will 

give you some idea! of the style. It 
is a very informal book, with lots 
of pictures, cartoons, little notes 
in the margins, a bookworm which 
lives in the spine of the book, and 
absolutely no modesty 

whatsoever! The book also 
contains a substantial amount of 
information on BASIC. 

"Instant BASIC" is the easiest 
to read, and gives a good 
coverage- The two books by 
Gosling a-re designed for different 
environments, and may suit those 
who only want an introduction - 
"Beginning BASIC" for scientific 
types. "Program your micro- 
computer in BASIC" for general 

use. 

I fear that the book, although a 
"second edition", is fairly dated. 
It gives a very restricted coverage 
of BASIC (no mention of strings), 
subroutines, etc., and has a 
narrow range of examples. 
Presentation is workmanlike, 
although unexciting; but a few 
listings are reproduced badly. No 
attempt is made to teach how to 
design a program in the first place, 
before coding. This is chiefly 
because the author never gets 
involved in an example of more 
than a few lines. 

The second book by Gosling is 
quite unlike the first. Again it 
begins with a survey of the 
hardware, concentrating this time 
on microcomputers. This would 
be a very useful survey for the 
beginner. The second chapter 
covers the use of BASIC to make 
calculations, using arithmetic 
operations, input and print 
statements. Thereafter the book is 
divided into 19 "activities", each 
dealing with a group of 
instructions by way of example, 
and intended to be worked 
through at a machine. The 
examples were obviously run on a 

BITS & BYTES Augusi. 1983 



BOOKS 



PET, but are pretty much 
machine-independeni. As well as 
the material covered in the first 
book, the author included strings, 
subroutines, the ON -GOTO 
statement, more output 

formatting, and a wider range of 
examples. The programs listed all 
produce text, and some are not 
very user-friendly, but on the 
whole a good collection. The book 
finishes with a very good chapter 
on "Bug-hunting". Presentation is 
again tidy, with many illustrations 

in the first two chapters, and 
virtually none is the rest of the 
book. 

Getting 
started 
in BASIC 

"Professfonai Programming 
Techniques Starting with the 
BASICS", by Richard 
Galbraith. 

Published by TAB Books 
Inc., 1982. 

Paperback, 301 pages. 
$21.95. Reviewed by War- 
ren Marett. 

Despite the tacky title, and the 
fact that the title is not indicative 
of the contents of the book, this 
book is not without merit. 

Essentially it is a book that tries 
to teach programming in BASIC, 
starting with simple commands 
and ending with handling large 

files and fancy print formats. It 
covers most programming situa- 
tions in a straightforward nar- 
rative style. 

The book should not suggest, 
as it does on the cover, that it 
shows the reader "how to start 

off with good habits". 

For example, the REM state- 
ment (for remarks) is not descri- 
bed until over a third of the way 
through the book. The author con- 
cludes his section on the REM 
statement with the words: 

"The use of remarks along 
with spacing within your 
statements will go a long 
way towards making your 
programs understandable. 
The remarks and any extra 
spaces do take up space in 
the computer's memory, so 

BITS & BYTES Augu&t. 1983 



don't go overaoard explain- 
ing each line. No amount of 
explaining will make up for a 
poor design, and a good 
design does not need too 
many remarks to make it 
understandabl-e." 

Chapters 1 and 2 give 
background information on com- 
puters, including explanations of 
commonly used technical terms. 
Perhaps these chapters do go too 
deep in parts, with the danger that 
they might put the beginner off 
before he gets into the practical 
work — particularly since the 
book is packed fdl of words with 
few diagrams or other 
mechanisms. 

Starting with chapter 3 the 
book goes through most of the 
concepts that wil hn needed by 
the BASIC programmer. It finishes 
with four useful appendices: Ideas 
for Programming Practice, Stages 
of Program Development, BASIC 
Grammar, and BASIC Dictionary. 
The index is sufficient but not 
generous. 

For all his hard work, the author 
may have attempted too much 
with this work. The beginner 
needs a book even more patient 
(and certainly more interestingly 
presented) and the more advan- 
ced reader might not get past the 



introductory chapters - even 
though it would be worth his 
while. 

Many people will disagree with 
that last phrase, particularly for 
non-trivial programs. And com- 
ments about REM statements tak- 
ing] up space should be qualified 
with the observation that this is 

To page B7 




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Some 
timely 
help 

By GORDON FINDLAY 



Time for some thoughts an time 

(sorry)- Time and date calculations 

are often difficult and time 

consuming to code (he's done it 

again!). I have collected some 

tricks, and invented some more, 

to provide some help. I wilt write 

them for disk BASIC, but the 

conversions to level II are stratgnt 

forward; sing out if you get stuck. 

First, in all these routines use a 

string variable, TMS. This string 

contains the time, in the form 

hh:rnm:ss. For example, this tine 

is being typed at 07:48:16. Your 

program will need to set this string 

as required. In disk systems. TMS 

is always available as RIGHTS 

(TIMES, 8), and is kept up to the 

second automatically. However, 

TMS will not contain the actual 

clock time, unless you set the time 



from DOS READY. Otherwise, the 
value is the elapsed time since 
DOS was last booted. For most 
purposes, tho elapsed time does 
as well as the clock time. 

Remember that the DOS time- 
update is done from software, and 
might be turned off by some 
programs. That's what CMD 
does - turns off the DOS 
interrupts which do the timing to 
avoid upsetting the delicate timing 
(of a different son) required for 
tape I/O. 

The time may be set from a 
program, by loading the 
appropriate locations with the 
values you want. The locations 
are as follows, for the Model I 
(including Svsterr-80) and the 

2 REM "BYTES" 

6 IF PEEK 16576 = 

B QOTQ 2S0 



Model II 
16919 
16920 
16921 



Model III separately: 

Model I 
Seconds: 16449 

MiiHJiw: 16450 

Hours: 16451 

Of course, computations cannot 
be dona with the time in this form. 
First we must convert to 
"seconds". This is to convert 
TM$ to 'seconds after 12:00:00': 

SE = IVAL (LEFTS(TMS.2I) ■ 60 + VAL 
IM1DSITMSA21I I ■ 60 t 
VAL [RIGHTS tTM$,2M 

Conversion the other way is 
equally easy: 

HR = INT(SE'3600): MN = 
INTUSE 36O0-HRJ/60): SC = SE - 60 " 
(MN 4- 60 ' HR| 

TM$ = RIGHTS("0"+ MID$lSTR$(HR|. 
2,2l.2t + ":" + RIGHT* ("0"+ 
MID$lSTR$(MN;.2.2l2r + ":" + RIGHTS 
rO"-t-MID$(STR$<SC) f 2,2),2| 



10 THEM GOTD lCK? 



ICO LET B = 
I 10 FOR I = 

* if e O 

IAG IF BO 
150 nex r : 
60 PRINl 

170 PRINT 

ISO PRINT 

190 PR mi 

200 LIST 10 

2 JO PRINT "ENTER 



O 

~0 200 

.THEN GOTO 150 
(U877+I) = 1 IS THLN 
a AN!) PE5K * 16579+r 1 



LET B = PEEK C 16380*1) 
20 THEM GOTO 210 



"LINX 10 USES *'; El 1&377+4?" BYTES, 
.INE 20 US.ES ";B+«j" BYTES, - 

LINE.S lO AND ; r O. THEN RUN." 



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BITS ft BVIES Aug-jst. 1983 



55 



TRS80/SVST€IW 80 



"vvm-— ~w«nv-™,y»i™^v-*"«" 



The "MID$" functions are 
involved here because the STRS 
function allows for a sign by 
appending a space at the 
beginning of each "STRS". The ' 
"0" + RIGHT$( ' manipulations 
ensure that the hours, minutes 
and seconds each have two digits. 

To find the time between two 
events, find the TM$ for the first, 
convert to seconds, and repeat for 
the second. The difference gives 
the time between them. This may 
be used to time parts of a 
program. 

This TMS may also be used to 
'time out' a program; in other 
words to allow a fixed time, and if 
no input is received within this 
time, to move on. Here is an 
example: 

10 PRINT "VOII HAVE JUST TWO 
SECONDS TO PRESS A KEY!" 
1 5 TMS=RIGHT$(TIMES ,8| 

20 'CONVERT TO SECONDS: 

25 SE = (VAULEFT3{TM$.2)| ' 80 * 
VAUMID* (TMM.2II 60 +VAURIGHT5 
(1MS.2H 

30 SE = SE + 2:REM TIME ALLOWED 
TO REACH NOW CONVERT THIS TO 
STRING FORM 

35 HR = oNTlSE/3600): MN = 



INTUSE-3600-HR1/60) 

40 SC = SE tO ' (MN +60 ■ HR) 

45- TM$ = RIGHT9I"0" +MID$<STRS 
IHRJ.2.2J.2I + ":" ■+ RIGHT$("0" + 
MIDSISTRS|MN(.2.2).2I+ ":" +-RIGHT$ 
("0" + MID5lSTR$ISCl,2,2».2) 

50- X9= 1NKE>J:IF X$«>'" THEN 
GOTO 60 

55 IF RtGHT$(T!ME3,8> > TMS THEN 
GOTO 70 ELSE GCTO 50 

60 PRINT "WELL DONE - YOU GOT 
ITl":END 

70 PRINT "TIME'S UP.":END 

The processing in the keyboard 
reading loop does mean that the 
key pressed rray be missed if 
pressed only briefly. 

Another useful trick with time is 
to date each run of a program. 
This means automatically 
including the date that a program 
was used in the text. Here is one 
way to do so, t involves adding 
the following lines to the 
beginning of any program which is 
to be dated in this way: 

1 REM '•" the Asterisks will b6 

replaced with the dato 

2 ST =PEEK< 16548) + 256 ' 
PEEK (16549) 

3 PRINT "TYPE DATE IN FORM 
DO/MM/YY" 

4 INPUT DT5 

5 IF LENlDT£|oe THEN PRINT 



"WRONG FORMAT" : GOTO 3 

6 X =ST -f 4:FOR I = 1 TO S:POKE X+t. 
ASClMIDSIDTS r l.1)):NEXT 

7 SAVE "piogram nome" 

10 REM PROGRAM PROPER STARTS 
HERE. 

An explanation of the above. 
Line 2 locates the start of the 
program text. Once the date is 
given, it is POKED into the places 
originally occupied by the 
asterisks in the REMarkof line 1.X 
is advanced by 4 from the start of 
the BASIC text to allow for a line 
number, a link to the next line, and 
one byte for the REM token. 
WARNING - don't store the 
program on disk with the "A" 
option! Replace "program name" 
in line 7 by the actual file name. 
This works for tape as well - use 
CSAVE of Co-urse. The dating cart 
be avoided by using RUN 10 
rather than RUN if you wish- 
Disk users can set the date from 
LEFT-rriMES,8) rather than an 
INPUT if the date was entered 
when DOS was booted. 

That's all for now. Remember, 
write with your problems, and 
your clever Ideas to share. 



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BITS 4 BYTES Augost. 1983 



MICBOB€€ 

.-:■: ■ - ■ ■-■:■■:■: .... ■ ',:-■ 

From page 51 

of block to write in HL, number of 
bytes in block in B, total number of 
bytes left in (DE) (not used by this 
sub). Destroys B and C. Returns 
end of block+1 in HL. number of 
bytes left in DE. 
RUNO - 801 EH 

Causes immediate execution of 
the current BASIC program in 
memory as if the RUN command 
had been given. The address of 
this jump can be put into the auto 
execute jump word at 00A2H, 
and then the program will 
automatically run after RESET or 
at switch-on. 
WARM - 802 W 

This jump vector reverses the 
effects of an auto-run situation. If 
this routine's address is loaded 

into the rocot jump word at 
00A2H then normal resetting will 
occur. 

Initialises the PCG graphics 
scratchpads and clears the screen 
as if a BASIC HJRES command had 
been issued, allowing use of the 
SET, RESET etc routines in HIRES 
mode. The "vdmode" byte at 
00E5H is set to indicate this 
mode. 

LRS-INIT - 8027H 

Sets up the PCG with LORES 
chunky graphics and sets the 
"vdmode" byte to reflect this, 
allowing use of SET. RESET etc in 
LORES mode. 
INV-INIT - 802 A H 

Fills the PCG with Inverse (black 
on white) characters and sets the 
"vdmode" byte accordingly. 
UND-IMIT - 802DH 

Generates underlined char- 
acters to be put into the PCG and 
sets the "vdmode" byte 

accordingly. 
SET-SUB - 8030H 

Attempts to set a dot in the 
current graphics mode. Requires X 
co-ord in HL. Y co-ord in DE. 
Returns Z if successful. HZ if co- 
ords out of range or the PCG is 
full. 
RESET-SUB - 8033H 

Attempts to reset a dot. 
otherwise identical to SET-SUB 
(above). 



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INVERT-SUB - S036H 

As for SET-SUB except it 
attempts to invert the dot. 
TEST-SUB - 8039H 

Returns the status of any 
graphics dot in the current 
graphics mode- Note that no 
distinction is made between co- 
ords out of range and dot set 
conditions. Requires X co-ord in 
HL, Y eo-ord in DE. Returns Z if 
dot not set, NZ if co-ords out of 
range or dot set. 
PLOT-MEM - 803CH 

Performs the appropriate 
graphics operation (Set, Invert, 
Reset) in the current graphics 
mode at each of the best 
approximation points to the line 
specified by the X and Y start and 
end co-ordinates. Requires X start 
nn-ord at (gr-Psoudo+1 8J, X end 
co-ord at (gr-pseudo+14), Y start 
at (gr-pseudo+20i. Y end at (gr- 
pseudo-H6), plot mode character 
(S=set, R=Reset l=lnvert) at 
(plot-type=OOE8H). Note that gr- 
pseudo = 0OEBH 
STREAM-IN - 803EH 

This routine allows access to all 
BASIC input devices normally 
available through the IN# 
command. The devices from 
which input is desired (only 
simultaneous input is possible for 
devices and 1) should have 
binary ones placad in the bit 
numbers of the reqjired devices in 
the "in-dev=O0E4" byte. e.g. for 
input from device 4, load 
'0010000' binary (20 hex) into 
O0E4H. Requires irput device bits 
set in "in-dev". Returns NZ if no 
characters available, else Z and 
character from selected device in 
A. 
STREAM-OUT - S042H 

Allows access to the output 
devices normally accessed by the 
OUTfl command. Requires output 
devices bits set in (out- 
dev=00E2H), character to send to 
all selected devices in A. 

I trust these calls will be of use 
to those of you dabbling in 
machine code. Thare are more, 
but 1 have only summarised the 
most likely to be used ones here, 
anyone wishing to obtain a full 
copy of this list can write to me at 
18 Holdsworth Avenue, Upper 
Hutt. 

Please also write if you have 
anything of interest to other 
MicroBee users. 



From page 53 

not true with programs compiled 
using a BASIC compiler or can be 
disregarded given sufficient 
memory, as is often the case now 
with modern microcomputers. 

More time could have been 
spent on describing good pro- 
gramming practice. An attempt is 
made to introduce the concepts of 
structured programming, but it 
fails dismally. 

However, the author, who is a 
systems and programming super- 
visor with the Arizona Department 
of Education, has tried hard to be 
patient with the reader and has 
covered many of the points that 
need to be raised in teaching the 
novice programmer. 

CP/M 

From page 33 

because a file control block (FCB) 
keeps track of this. A file may 
have 16 units, each unit up to 128 
records, i.e. up to 16K bytes, so 
this means 16x1 6K= 256K bytes. 

That very briefly is CP/M 
version 1.4 or so. Obviously a lot 
has been left out and glossed 
over, but the basic is here. The 
system was improved as time 
passed, and version 2 came out. 
This can handle files of 8 
Megabytes 

Version 1.4 had no way of 
locking files, but version 2 does so 
that they can be read only, write 
only, or accessed only by a user 
number. 

A system has now been 
announced that is a further 
progression not version 3, but 
CP/M 80 Plus. This is a great 
improvement and now has a HELP 
feature. When all else fails, you 
type HELP. Until now. CP/M has 
been notorious for its compact 
enor messages. 

CP/M also has disk buffering, 
file passwords, a hashed direct 
access, date/time stamp, and 
paging, and last, but not least, a 
kernel BIOS. 

The new facilities provide a lot 
less disk-drive access. By 
paging, more can be stored in 
memory and recalled as needed. 



BITS ft BYTES August. 1983 



57 



CLUB CONTACTS 



BBC MICROCOMPUTER USERS GROUP OF NZ. 
P.O. Bo* SG92. Wellington. Local meetinrjs:- 
Aucktand: 2nd Wednesday of the month ai 
VHF Clubioomo. HojoI Awe. Ml Rosfcill. Ph: 
Dovo t l.ii:ln 770-630 exl 518 ib) 
Wellington: 4th Thursday of the month at the 
Corrospondflnco School statfroom. 1st floor. 
Portland Cre». Thurndoo, 7.30pm. Ph: 
Anion, 286-269. 

SEHADO & HARI APPlf COMPUTER CLUB. 
Keiii'.cl High School. Kenken. Lessons. 
I2^15t0 1:15 weekly. Contact: S. Shearman 
79 982 (Kerlketil or Fairway Drive. K«nk&il. 

WHANGAREI COMPUTER GROUP: Tom Allan. 
3 Mounu Hd. Whungwei. Phono 83-063 Iwl. 
Mccis ovary second Wednesday of the 
month oi NcrJvlnnd Community CoJtefle. 

NZ MICROCOMPUTER ClUB IMC." P.O.' Box 
6210. Auckland The monthly Meeting i* 

hoW on the hrii Wednesday of each month ai 
Iho VNF Ckrbrooms. Hruel Ave. . Mt fiosk>ll. 
Iron* 7 30pm Visitors are also welcome to 
the coftWutef workshop «i the- dubrooms. 
10*m-5p«n. on the Saturday foEowing the 
above meeting. 

The loBowing dhi g/ous-s are part of the 
club. AH meetings shown s*jri 7.30pm at the 
VHF CiubKOffl. 

Oinur active usnr groups within The club ere: 
APPLE. CP;M. DREAM 6800. SMALL BUSINESS. 

KIM. LNW. SORCERER. 1802 and 2690. 

They can all be contacted at c!ut> meetings or 

vin NZ miaocomnutoi Club. P.O. Box 6210. 

Auckland. 
APPLE USERS' GROUP: Bruce Given, 12 InrenpJ 

Rd.. One Tree Hill. Phone 667-720 (hi. 
ATARI MICROCOMPUTER USERS GROUP: Brian 

or Dean Yokw, Ptiono 8363 060 mi. 

Meetings: Second Tuesday. 
BBC USERS' GROUP: Dave Fielder. Phone 

770 630oKl618UvJ. 
BIG BOARD USER GROUP: Stove Van Veen. Flat 

5, 1 11 Melrose Rd, Ml Rosklll, Auckland 4. 

Phono (091 669 991 <h). 
BUSINESS USERS' GROUP John Hawthorn. 1 1 

Seaview Rd. RetmiBiB. PliOiw 542-714 |h). 

876-169 (w|. Meetings monthly. 
COMMODORE USERS' GROUP: Doug. Mtei. 1 8 

Wc4deno Ave.. Glenfield. Phono 444-961 7 

(h), 497-081 (w). Meetings: Third 

WodneMay- 

CP/M USERS" GROUP Kern/ Koooert, 2/870 

Dominion Id., Batmo«al. Phone 69*5355 IM. 

Moetmgs: Micro workshop. 
DREAM 08O0 USERS: Peter Whelm, 22 Ketsion 

St. New Lvnn. AucUand. Phone 1091 8)75110 

In). 
KIM USERS: John Hfast, 1A Norlhbtwo Rd, 

Tekaouna Phone (09) 497 857 [hS. 
LNW USERS: Ray Jamea. Phorw (09) 30-839 

Iw), 695-587 |h>. 
SINCLAIR USERS' GROUP: Do-up; Farmer. Phone 

567-589 (hi. Muotlngs: Fourth Wednesday. 
SORCERER USERS' GROUP (N7): Sclwyn Arrow. 

Phone 491-012 [hi. Meetings: Micro 

workshop. 
SORO USERS' GROUP. Gioome Hall, 5 Brooder 

Place. Manurowa (266-8133) (hi. 
1802 USERS* GROUP.' Brian Contiuflr. Phono 

666-984 (hi. 

The above contocia cen usually be found ai 
NZ Microcomputer Oub Meetings, or via P.O. 
Bo«62IO, Auckland 

Oilier Auckland baa-d groups. 
ACES (Auckland Computer Education Societyl: 

Ray Claikej. 1 Dundee PI., Henderson. Phone 

836-973?" (h). 
BBC Oub: See ontry at head of this Bst. 
CMUG (Combined Mciocomputei Users' Ciouol: 

This it an association of Microcomputer 

Clubs. Groups, elc. formed to co-ordnate 

activities end to give a combined voice on 

top** concerning all mi-cro users. 

Rcpiocniairon from el Clubs and Groups is 

welcomed) to: CMU<3 C; P.O. Box 6210, 

Auckland. 
EPSON HX20 USERS' GROUP. CofltKtr C.W. 

Stghy, 14 Domett Avenue, Epsom. 

Auckland. (Ansaphorwi, 774-28B1. 
HP4IC USERS' GROUP lAucUandJ: CI- 

Calculator Centre. P.O. Box 6044. Auckland: 

Grant Buchanan, 790-323 Iw). Moats third 



5a 



Wednesday, 7pm ai Centre Computers. 

Great South Rd.. Epsom. 
NZ THS-BO MICROCOMPUTER CLUB: Olaf 

Skatsholt. 203A Godley Rd.. Tlttranga. Phone 

ftl 7-6638 (h). rVtoota first Tuesday. VHF 

Clubroems. Mazel Ave.. MtRoskiH, Auckland. 
OSl-BBC USERS' GROUP (Ak): Secretary: Ken 

Hatley. 77 Boundary Road, Auckland. Meets 

Ihird Tuesday, VHF Clubrooms. Hanoi Ave., 

Ml R03MI. 
SYMPOOL INZ SVM USER GROUP): J. 

Robertson, P.O. Box 5B0. Manurowa. Phone 

266-2188 fht. 

A.2.T.E.C.: Brian Mayo, Church Street, KaMkatf. 

Plione 490-326. Members um all nferr)*, 
TAURANGA MICROCOMPUTER CLUB: C. Ward. 

Secretary. P.O. Box 6037, Broo*»-oid, 

Tauranga. Phone: 89-234. 
BAY OF PLENTY C3MMOD0RE COMPUTER 

CLUB: O.J. McViy, of 40 Eli; Street. 

Tauranga. 
ATARI 400/800 USED ClUB: Dave Brown, P.O. 

Box 66S3. Ham*on. Phono (0711 54-692 

(h). 
HAMILTON SUPER 8C USERS': Bruot White, ft) 

4-36-878. 
MORRINSVILLE COMPUTER SOCIETY; Contact: 

Alison Stonyer. 49 Coronation Road, 

Morrinsville. Phon) 6695(h). Meets 1st and 

3rd Wednesdays, 
fitRRORNF MinROPfllirFSSnR t ISFRK' RBOUP: 

Stuart Mullen -Mtrr rick. P.O. Box -*86, 

Gifborne. Phons 68-828. 
ELECTRIC APPLE USERS' GROUP: Noel 

Briogemfln, P.O. Box 3106. Fitrroy, New 

Plymoulh. Phono 80-216 
TARANAXI MICRO COMPUTER SOCIETY: P.O. 

Box 7003, Bofl Block, Nov* Plymouth: Mr K. 

Smith. Phono 8566. Woiteru. 
HAWKE'S BAY MICROCOMPUTER USERS' 

GROUP: Bob Brady. Plnrnal Pharmacy, 

FVimal Plaza, Naprar. Phono 43B-016. 

htOTt: II yw« rtuborwouplarrmTMeo/drop 
a i*>o with the detail* to; Club Coniacta. BiTS ft 
SYT£S, Sox 827, Chfistthwch. Tb« deoatWw t« 
•additions" and altftrati-ani is the **cond weekend 
ot tne momh before vn> nart itaue. 

MOTOROLA USER GROUP: Marry Wiggins. 

IZL28FR). P.O. Box 1718, PaJmorston Noah 

Phono <063> 82-527 <M. 
MICRO AND PEOPLE W SOCIETY (MAPS): L«vin. 

meets on secooc and fourth Thursday of 

each momh. D. Cole. 28 Edinburgh Street. 

Levin. Phone 83 904. or W. Withei. P.O. Box 

405. tevin. 
WAIRARAPA MICTOCOMPUTER USifiRS' 

GROUP: Davtd Carmine. 64 Herbert Si- 
Mast enon. Phone 86-1 76. 
CENTRAL DISTRICTS COMPUTERS IN 

EDUCATION SOCETY' Rory Butler. 4 John 

Street. Levin. (049) 84-468 or Marrjarel 

Morgan, 1 8 Standon Street. Karorl. 

Wellington. (04) 767-187. 
UPPER HUTT COMPUTER CLUB: Shane Doyle, 

18 Hofdwonh Auonuo. Upper Hull. Plhone 

2 78-645. An atl-machine club. 
BBC USER GROUP: Usera of other machines 

wolcomo too. Wrrto P.O. Box 1681, 

Wellington, or Phcno 861-21 3, Wellington 
BBC Club: Soo ontty at hoad of this IM. 
MICROBEE USERS' CLUB: P.O. Box 871. 

Wetlingion, 2nd Sunday of month. 
NEC COMPUTER USf fiS' GROUP: Cr- P.O. Box 

3820, Woliinglon. 
OSBORNE USER GROUP; Or Jim BaHexe, Cr*- 75 

Ghuinee Street. Weflington 1. Phone (04) 

728-658. 
N.Z. SINCLAIR USERV GROUP: P.E. McCvrel. 

1 1 Miro Street. Lower Hutt. 
N2 SUPER 80 USERS' GROUP- Cl- Pe>anu1 

Computers. 5 Dundee Pl.. Cm art-well, 

WeKngton 4. Phone 791 -1 72. 
OHIO USERS' GROUP. WWrngton. 

Secret jry/Treasurjr : R.N. Hrstop. 658 

Awatea Strrrat, Parfrua. 
ATARI USERS' GFOUP. Weflatgton: Eddie 

Micfetess. Phone 731 024 (w). P.O. Box 

1 601 1 . Mce-tings: first VYodnosday of month. 
WELLINGTON MICROCOMPUTING SOCIETY 

INC.: P.O. Box 1681, Wellington, cr Bill 

Parkin ih) 725088. Me*iir»gs a«o held in 



Wang's Building, 203-20$ Wrlhs Street, on 

the 2nd Tuesday each moriih at 7.30pm. 
WELUKGTON SYSTEM 80 USERS' GROUP: 

Contact: M. Tricketl, Phone: 724-3SI (w). 

662-747 fh». 
NELSON MICROCOMPUTER CLUB: Dr Chris 

Feliham, Marsden Veaoy Rd, Uelaon. Phone 

1064) 73-300 |h). 
NELSON VIC USERS' GROUP: Pew Archer, P.O. 

Box 860. Nelson: Phono 1054) 79-362 |hl. 
BLENHEIM COMPUTER CLUB: Club night socond 

Wednesday of month. I von Moynotl, 

Secretary, P.O. Box 668. Phdnfl IW 86-207 

or tw) 87-834. 
CHRIST CHURCH ATARI USERS GROUP: 

Contact Edwin Brandt. Phono 228-222 (hi, 

793-428 (w). 
CHRISTCHURCH '80 USERS' GROUP: DevM 

Smrth, P.O. Box 4118, Chnstchurch , Phone 

63-1 1 1 (h). 
CMRISTCKURCIt PEGASUS USERS* GROUP: 

Don Smrth. S3 Farquhars Rd. Redwood. 

Chndtchurch. Phone (03) 526994 Ih). 

64-544 (w). ZL3AFP. 
CHRISTCHURCH APPLE USERS QflQUP; Paul 

Ne*derer, Cl- P.O. Box 1472. Chrisichurch. 

Phone 796-100 lw|. 

OSI USERS' GROUP (CH): Barrv Lonfl. 377 

Barrington St.. Soreydon, Criri|l<hurch. 

Phone 384-560 [hi. 
CHRISTCHURCH ATAP.I USERS' GROUP: Edwin 

Brandt. 61 Ensign Street. Chnstchurch 3. 

Phong 228-222. 
CHRISTCHURCH SINCLAIR USERS' GROUP: Mr 

J. MilcheB, Phonn 386-141. P.O. BOX 

33-098. 
CHRISTCHURCH COMMODORE USERS' 

GROUP. John Kromor, 886-533 and John 

Sparrow. Phono 896-099. 
ASHBURTOM COMPUTER SOCIETY: Mr J. Clerk. 

52 D-iicp I*. c'd Avenue. 
SOUTH CAWTERBURY COMPUTERS' GROUP: 

Cows for all machines (or ZXB1 to IBM34, 

Geoff McCaughBn. Phone Tlmam 84-200 oi 

P.O. Box 73. 
NORTH OTAGO COMPUTER CLUB; Contecl: 

Peter George, P.O. Box 281. Oamaru. Phone 

29-106 (b) 70-646 IW. 
LEADING EDGE HOME COMPUTER CLUB: Elaine 

On. Leading Edge Computers. P.O. Box 

2260. Duncdin. Pho nc 6S 268 Iw], 

DUNEOtN SORO USERS' GROUP: Terry Sh.»nd. 

Phone (024) 771-295 (w>. 881 432(h). 
CENTRAL CITY COMPUTER rNTEREST GROUP: 

Robert Edgeler. Eoipse Rao-0 and 

Coonptit^rs. Box 5270. DuTWdMi. Phono 

773-102- Meetings every second Tuesday 
SOUTHLAND COMMODORE USER GROUP: (VIC 

20 and 64si. Address: Cl- Office EQulomeni 

Southland. Bon 1079. Invercargi 1 !. 

NOTE; Clubs would nppracioto a stamoed. 
self -addressed enve'opa with any vvrllteni inquiry 
to them. 

From page 50 

high resolution CRT has a non 
glare screen. 

The MZ3540 interlaces a 
variety of peripherals. 

1. Additional mini floppy disk 
interface. 

2. Cemonics parallel interface 
which is compatible with a wide 
range of printers and X-Y plotters. 

3. RS232C interface to add off 
main unit interfaces to the system 
when another printer or RS232C 
device is necessary. 

The MZ3540 retails at 
$7,490.00 through a nationwide"! 
network of independent agents I 
and Armstrong and Springhall 
branches. 

BITS & BYTES Augiint. 1983 






GLOSSARY 



Algorithm: A list ul instructions (or carrying ou( 
some process stop by step. 

Applications program : A program written to carry 
out a specific job, for example an accounting 
or word ptocflsamij B'Ofl'am- 

Array: A d-ata type found in high level languages, 
which is stored in a contiguous block of 
memory. Accessed by the array name and an 
tndei making It easier 10 process groups of 

cfeis In many situations, 

BASIC: Beoinners" All purpose Symbolic 
Instruction Coda. I ho most widely used, and 
e-nsiest to leam. high level programming 
lonouage for microcomputers. 

Baud; Spaed of tranafoirino, limn, measured In 
bits per second. 

Binary: The system of counting In 1 's and O's 
L.sed by all digital computers. The 1 's and O's 
are represented m (ho computer by electrical 
pulses, cither on or oil. 

Bit: Binary digit. Each bit represents B character 
in a binary number, that is either a 1 or . The 
number 2 cquoIs SO tn binary and is two tuts. 

Boot: To load the operating system Into the 
compuier from n disk or tope. Usually one ol 
the first stepa In piepor.ng the computer for 

Buffer: An eroa o( memory used (or temporary 
StO'age while tramfnrring data to or from a 

penpherai such os 9 rxinier or a dfsk drive. 

Bug: An error in a program, 

D|f(«. fDyfti tih». a hotter ot numoe/ ts usually 
ft present cd in a computer by a series ol eight 
bits catted a byte and the compute handles 
these .is oio unit or "word" . 

CAl: Computer Aidant Learning CAL programs 
are written to tefco different actions on 
different student finswArs. 

Computer language: Any group of letters, 
numbers, aymbor'n ami punctuation marks 
that enable a user to Instruct or communicate 
with a computer. See also Programming 
languages and Machine- language. 

Courseware: Name for computer programs used 

in teaching applications, 

Cpl: Means character per inch. A common way 
of describing character density. i.e., how 
r.'osa together characters are in printers. 

CP/M: An operating system lor Z80 based 
rnachinos. 11 ta by fnt the most widely used 
DOS for Z80 based machines and there Is an 
extremely large software baa* for it. Sea also 
disk operating systems. 

CpS: Characters per uocond. A common way o' 
ihuaiaing speed in printers. 

Cursor- A mark on a video that indicates where 
the next character* wilt Do shown, or whore a 
change can next bo mode. 

Data: Any information used by the computer 
either I/O or internal tarotmation. All internal 
information Is represented in binary. 

Disk: A flat, circular magnetic surface on which 
the computer can store and retrieve data and 
programs. A flexible or floppy disk is a single 
8 inch or &% inch disk ot flexible plastic 
enclosed in an envelope. A hard disk is an 
assert-by of several discs ol hard plastic 
material, mounted) one above; another on the 
same spindle. The head disk holds up to 
lund-cds o' rnftons ol bytes - wMe floppy 
links typeafly hold Between 1 40.000 and 
three mill on bytes. 

Disk drive: The mechanical device which rotates 
the disk and petitions the read/write head so 
inlormrition can bo rotitcvcd ot sent to the 
disk by the compuier. 

Diskette: Another namo for a '■ i inch floppy 
disk. 

Disk operating system: A set of programs that 
operate and cor" trot one or mare disk drives. 
See CP-M fc one) example. Othe- examples 
■i«c TRSDOS ton TflS 80) and DOS 3.3 (for 
Apples.. 

DOS: See dJsk ope-otmg aystem. 

Dpi matria: A type ot print head, made up of e 
matrix of pins, e.g. 8x8. When a charade' is 
to be printed the appropriate P*>s> push out 
and st'iko the ribbon to paper forming tho 
character. 

Oat graphics; These grannies are inOwidual 
screen pixels. Used by either turning on or off 
one pixel. 



BITS S BVTES August. 1983: 



Doubt*- density: Floppy drive* that store twice 
the standard amouii of data in the samo 
•pace. This has teen mAdo possible by 
advance in the modkim and the drives. 

Dump: Popular term lor sending data from a 
computer to a mast storage device such as 
disks or tape. 

Enecuta: A command Dhat tells a computer to 
carry out a users instructions or program. 

Fanlold: A type of paper thai although a 
continuous shoot folJs into set length sheets. 
This is achieved by way of a perforated line at 
set intervals. It also makes its easy to tear of 
a length of paper. 

File: A continuous collection of characters Cor 
bytes) that the user considers a unit (for 
example on accounts receivable filet, stored 
on a tape or disk for later use. 

Firmware: Programs fixad In a computer's ROM 

(Head Only Memory}; *s compared 16 
software, program held outside the 
compute*. 

Floppies: Thin plastic disks with a megnelic 
coating used lor stcring information. Coiled 
floppies because ihcy ate flexible. 

Friction feed: A type of sapor-feeding system For 
primers: normal popy <n a continuous sheet 
is gripped between t no friction rollers as on a 
typewriter. 

Hardware: The computer lltetf aivl pehprwoi 
machines for stortno, roarithg. ■> i"" 1 n»>«i>ng 
out Information 

Hex: Abbreviation for hexadecimal notation, a 
base- 1 6 numbering system convenient to u so 
with computers. 

High level language: Ary Englishtike language. 
such as BASIC, that provides easier use for 
untrained programmers. There are now many 
such languages nnc dialects of tho samo 
language (for iDtample MtcroBASiC. 
Poly BASIC etc!. 

HIMEM: Denotes the tighest address that is 
available in a memory map. 

Input: Any kind of Info (motion that one enters 

alto a computer. 
Interactive: Refers to 1»e "conversation" or 

cornmuni cation between a computer and the 

operator. 
Interface: Any hardware/software system that 

links a mictocompuKr and any othor device. 
I/O "Input/output". 
Inverse video: When tho Background is coloured: 

e.g. on a black ant white screen white 

becomes background and characters are 

written in black. 
K: The number 1024. Cemmonty refers to 1024 

bytes. Main exception is capacity of 

individual chips, wheo K means 1024 bits. 
KILOBYTE (or K): Rooresenis 1024 bytes. For 

example 5K rs 5120 iytcB (5 x 1024). 

Vr* feed: A control codr character found in the 
ASCII character set. Us normal purpose is to 
move the cursor down one tine Ion screen) oi 
move paper up one lire (on printer). Does not 
return the cursor to tin left hand margin. 

Machine language: Tho binary code language 
that a computer can directly ''understand' . 

Mainframe: The vary lorn ) computers than banks 
and other large busnesses use are called 
mainframes. Also ir rrtactcrrnput**! tho 
term is sometimes used to describe the core 
of the machine. I.e. tho CPU plus memory. 

Mass storage: A place m which large amounts o* 
information are stored, such as a cassette 
(apt* or floppy disk. 

Megabyte lor Mb): ftcproionts a million bytes. 

Memory: The pan of tie microcomputer that 
stores information and Instructions. Each 
piece Ot information or instruction has a 

unique location asugnad to it within a 

memory. There is internal memory inside tho 
mrcrocorrtputer itsel*. and external memory 
stored on a peripheral device such as disks or 
tape. 

Memory capacity? Amount ol available storage 
space, in Kbytes. 

Menu: List of option* •vtthin a program that 
allows the operator tc choose which part to 
interact with (see Interactive). The options 
aia displayed on a tereen and the operator 
chooses one. Menus iltow user to easily orvj 
quickly set Into programs without knowing 



any technical methods . 

Microcomputer: A small computer based on a 
microprocessor. 

Microprocessor: The central processing unit or 
"intelligent" pan ol a microcomputer. It is 
contained on a singlo chip of silicon and 
controls ail the functions and calculations. 

Modem: Moduiatoi-dWmoUuljtor. An instrument 
that connects a microcomputer to a 
telephone and allows it to communicate vrilh 
another compute' over the telephone lines. 

Network: An intorconneclod group of compuicrj 
or totminals linked together for specific* 
com mu nlco t ion g . 

Output: Tho informstion a computer displays, 
prints or transmits alter it hus processed the 
input. See input end I/O. 

Parallel interface: A typo ol communications 
interface used mostly for printers It sends a 
whole character ol datB down eight 
"commonly)' Snes, one bit down each Sne. 
The most common type of parallel interface 
tor printers is tho Centronics, inter lace. 

Pascal: A high- level language that may 
evonluelly nval BASIC tn popularity. 

PEEK: A command that examines a specific 
memory location and gives tho operator tho 
value there. 

Peripherals: All external mp«t or output devices: 
printer tetmnai. drives otc. 

Pixel: Picture element. Ihn rmin* im n «/-.*«»i i» 

graphics. 
POKE:: A command that miens a value into a 

specific memory location 
Piogram: A set of collection of mstruciirytt 

written m a particular programming language 

that causes a computer to carry out or 

execute a given operation. 
RAM: Random access memory is the very hist 

memory ins-ida yout compuier. The access 

time for any piece is the same. Ycur program 
and run-time data are usually stored in RAW. 

REM statement: A remark statement in BASIC. It 
ic-vesiasamemo toprogiariiirio'i. ard plays 
no part in the runnuvg prorjiam. 

Resolution: A measure of the number of points 
I pixels- 1 on a computet screen. 

ROM: Read only memory. Any memory in which 
information oi instructions have been 
pctmQnemiy fiywf. 

Serial Interface: A typo of COmmunicat'OnB 
interface used for a wido vorlety of purposes 
(printers, terminals, telephone correction 
etc.). It uses a rninl-THjm of two wires, and 
sends the tfata orw bit at a ilmo down one 
wire. The most con-mon type o* serial 
interface ts BS232C. 

Sheet feed: A type of paper feeding system 
normally used lor high-quaMy document 
printers. A special device picks up a srtgei of 
paper and feeds It Into friction rolleis. 

Simulation: C-cation of a mathematical model on 
computers that rrjllocts a realistic system. 

Software: Any piograms used to operate a 
computer. 

System: A collection of hardware and software 
where the whole »s greater that the sum of 
■he pans. 

Tractor feed: A type of paper feeding system lo- 
printers. Special computer paper with hoUn 
along both s>des Is led by the lraetoir> 
grippirtg these holes. 

VOU: Visual display urvt. A device thai shows 
computer output on a television screen. 

VVotd: A group ol bits Ihai are processed 
together by the computer. Moat 
microcomputers use eight or 16 bit words. 

Kellogg agents 
A list of agents for Kellogg 

farm software was omitted 

from the June farm software 

feature because of space 

requirements. A list of the 
agents can be obtained from 
the Kellogg Farm Management 
Unit, C7- Lincoln College, 
Canterbury. 

59 



anssiFiCDs 



ZX81, power supply, tape 
controller, System 80 keyboard 
completely wired with stand, leads, 
manual. Worth over S300. Sell $200 
ono. Write Grant King, 105 
Champion St, Chrislchurch. Phone 
67-517. 

FOR SALE. System 80 (Blue 
Series), 12" Video Monitor and 
cassettes ($200). $1000. Phone 
837-115 (Wellington) after 5.30 pm. 

MRS GWENDA HILL, formerly of 
30 Gebbic Street, Mosgicl, please 

contact "Bits & Bytes" Book Club. 

MR M.M. RYDER, of Palmerslon 
North, please supply your full 
address • to the subscriptions 
department, "Bits & Bytes". 
Omitted when you sent in your 
payment. 

COMPUTERS AND FARMING. 

Paul Bieleski, of Baker Road, R.D. 
I, Tc Aroha, a national councillor 
of the Computer Society, is trying to 
set up a "special interest group" for 
people interested in computers and 
farming. Anyone interested should 
write to him enclosing three 24-cent 
stamps and information about 
themselves. This should include 
details of their computer (if any), 
software they are using, and the 
type of farm they have, the type of 
computer applications they are 
interested in, and whether they are 
prepared to act in an organising 
role. 



FOR SALE. Pegasus micro- 
computer. $520 ono. Includes 4K 
Basic ROM. 8K Forth ROMS, 4K 
Ass/diss. Manuals, Software. 
Phone Clinton, 82-112 Hastings, 
evenings . 

FOR SALE. TRS80 Model 3, 48K 

RAM complete with cassette and all 
manuals. $2500 ono. Telephone 
Work 661-013. Home 693-393 
<Auckland). 

I OWN a ZX8I home computer and 
have a Creed Teleprinter. I would 
like to hear from anyone who has or 
can interface these to each other- 
Contact John Wilkinson, 13 
Augusta Street, Hamilton. Phone 
54-653. 

ANIMATE: Cartoon graphic 
animator for TRS'80, System 80. 
Full edit, playback and save 
facilities with instructions, $18.00. 
Phone Wellington 286-786. 

INFORMATION WANTED on 

how (o communicate between 
OSBORNE I and APPLE II 
computers, both are using CP/M. 
Contact L.P. Harris. P.O. Box 771, 
Hastings. 

KAYPRO USERS. Any Kaypro 
owners interested in joining a users 
group for the purpose of setting up 
a programme library/exchange and 
receiving a newsletter please contact 
G. Badraun, P.O. Box 37-193, 
Parnell. Phone 790-1 98 Bus. Hours. 



ADVERTISER INDEX 



Access Data B.'C 


25 


Advanced Control 


48 


Agicalc 


29 


AN2 Books 


52 


Ashby Biko & Computer Centre 


39 


AshfOfo" Tol-OviSron 


40 


AVM 


54 


Byte Shop 


47 


Canterbury University Bookshop 


3 


Checkpoint 


51 


Commodore 


7. 41 


Compudata 


l/B 


Compu-shop 


33 


Campu-tocti 


49 


Computer Con if o 


31 


Computer Games 


14 


Computer Plus 


24,54 


Computer Pomx 


38 


Computer South 


5,43 


Computer Training Centre 


30 


Computet World 


Z2 


Conray Software 


20 


Control Microcomputers 


9 


Dick Smith 


17 


Einstein Scientific 


42 


Excelsior Supply Co. 


35 


Five Star Auctions 


56 



Gadget Co. 40 


43. 47 


J. Durham 


51 


James Electronics 


54 


John Gilbert Electronic 


4 


KRD Video 


1 


Lab Software 


20 


Magsoft 


21 


Microprocessor Developments Ltd 


23 


Microcomputer Electronic Co. 


13 


MicroAge 36 


45. 54 


Micro Mart 


37 




19 


Micro '81 


20 


Molvmetx 


21 


N.Z. Fine Chains 


8 


Poly processor Products 


57 


Portorfield Electrorics 


55 


Rakon Computers 


15 


Remarkable Software 


3 


Rural Computers 


28 


Scorpio Books 


53 


Sinus Systems 


11 


Software Exchange 


19. 44 


Sord 


l/F 


Supatech Eleclronins 


47 


Tetaneki Micro Electronics 


54 


Turners 


54 


Whitehall Books 


53 



FREE CLASSIFIED ADS 
BITS ft BYTES offers free 

classified advertisements of up 
to 20 words to members of 
micro clubs, students and 
hobbyists generally. Each word 
above 20 will cost 20c. If the 
advertisement is to appear more 
than once, then after the first 
insertion, the cost is 20c per 
word per issue. 



Computers VIC 20 $580, VIC 

Printer $860, VIC Disk. Drive $ 1 245 . 
Mail order freight included. Write 
Micromax, PO Box 33-485. 
Takapuna, Auckland 9. 

OS1-CIP with double disk, monitor 

and primer. Loads of software for a 

small business. Open to otters. 
Phone Rod 895-431 Chriscchurch. 



DISKS SSDD 

requirements, S50 

(guaranteed). Phone 

Chrislchurch. 



excess to 

per 10 

Rod 895-431 



FOR SALE. Unused Microsoft Z80 
CP/M card and software For Apple 
$600 ono, Disk Drive $600 ono. Ph 
Rotonia 55-266 nights. 

VIC CASSETTES: 2 games — 
Light cycles, Skiing. Send $15 and 
stamp addressed envelope lo>: 
ELECTRIC SOFTWARE, 1 1 
MIRO ST, LOWER HUTT. 

MICRO PROCESSOR 2 computer 
64K RAM arid Apple compatible, 
with colour. All sound capabilities, 
RF modulator and full sized 
keyboard. 2 months old. $820 ono. 
Phone 267 -63S1. 



Coming Up in 
Bits & Bytes 

• Customising the System 80. 

• Paul Bieleski looks at de- 
bugging strategy. 

• Ken Ryba on computer literacy 
policies in overseas schools. 



And every month; 

• Hardware reviews. 

• Book reviews. 

• Machine columns. 



60 



BITS & BYTES August, IS 





How to keep the computer revolution 
from becoming a revolt. 

Computersarecreatiny a revolution in the way we work. But because they sometimes lose or contuse infor- 
mation, ihey also create frusirdting problems. 

But noial) cotnpuier errors are the computer's fault. Sometimes, it's a faulty flexible disk. Because of 
surlace inconsistencies, some disks can lose Iheir magnetic properties. Andalonq with them, your information. 

The answer: Daial iTe* flexible disks. Certified lOO^t error free and backed by a 5-year warranty, they 
perform flawlessly rime nfler time. 

So now you en n join in the computer revolution without losing data or your temper. Use Datalife by 
Verba rim," the world's leading producer offlcxiblc disks. 



Call your nearest Verbatim dealer or master ,\ew Zealand distributors Auckland: ph 44j-6os5. ti.x ma$ 

Bo* 3213. 
Wellington: Ph 8SI-S48, TLX 3WW 
l)0\ I ■!'■>!. 



COMPUDATA MEDIA SYSTEMS LTD 



THE PORTABLE 



DOES IT ALL! 




TO STEP INTO THE FUTURE, 
ALL YOU NEED IS ACCESS. 

If you've been think ing about joining 
the computer revolution, consider the 
advantages o f owning a computer 
that's on the front lines. 

The Access Computer. 

Access solves the problems of putting together a 
computer system because it is a computer system. 
One that contains a computer, printer, modem, 
electronic typewriter, and more. Totally 
integrated in one neat package. 
Never before lias there been a computer to offer 
so much capability, so many features, and so 
much versatility, combined with go-anywhere 
portability at a price that's about half what you'd 
pay for a comparable desktop system. If there 
were a comparable desktop system. 



The fact is. Access gives you everything you need: 

■ 5 Microprocessors 

■ Z-80A Main Processor 

■ 64K User RAM 

■ 7" Amber Display 

■ 2 Double Density Disk Drives 

■ 80 CPS Dot Matrix Printer 

■ High Resolution Graphics 

■ Detachable Kevboard with 15 Function Keys 

■ CP/M~ M Basic™, C Basic™. Communications, 
Fancy Font™. Perfect Writer™. Speller". Filer", 
Calc" 

■ Diskette Storage 

■ Double-Sided Disk Drive (Option) 

And more. All standard. 

AU in a package designed to take you where you want 

to go. Access. The future . 

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DATA CORPORATION LIMITED 



Ph: Auckland 


686-577 


Hamilton 


393-743 


Taupo 


86-004 


Napier 


436-079 


Wellington 


722-941 


Christchurch 


795-659