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N€UJ Z€fiLfiND'S P€RSONfJL COMPUT€R MflGflZINC 




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FREE!! Alpine software 
catalogue inside 



Communications feature! 

Bulletin boards 
Making a modem ^ 

Intricate drawing with 
the Bit-Stik # ^ 

The 32 bit era 






April 1984: $1.50 


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First NZ review of the BBC's little brother! — \Jt\Q Electron 

also reviewed: # 

AMUST portable 

Digital's Rainbow £ ^ 

Pencil II home computer # 



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BITS B BYTES 



April, 1984 Vol. 2, No. 7 



ISSN 0111-9826 




Telecomputing 

Bits & Bytes gives its readers a view of how the dawning age of the 
Wired Society, in which microcomputers and telephone links will 
create a new world of communications. 

1. Selwyn Arrow gives an overview and looks at a bulletin board 
experiment in Auckland 10 

2. Pat Churchill describes Wellington Bulletin-board plans 12 

3. John MacGibbon reports on "phreakery" —.the American use of 
bulletin boards as an aid to the unauthorised breaking into computers 13 

4. Jay Mann reports on modems, the link between computers and 
telecommunications: whether ultimately builders or buyers this is of 
value to all micro users 13 

A bit more 

The 32-bit age: First it was 8 bits, then 16 bits. Nick Smythe reports 

on what he sees as the newest microcomputer 'plateau' 38 

Beginners 

Gordon Findlay continues his series on languages. This week it's 

good old BASIC 47 

Education 

There's a revolution on in primary schools. A report from the front, 

by a front-line man. teacher Brian Sullivan 35 




Digital Rainbow 18 



• ' 



■ i i i i i i i i i • i i i i i 
i i-i-i ii i. i-i-i-i i i r 



:. '. 




Electron 22 



Hardware reviews 

The Acorn Electron, a cut-down BBC at a cut-down price 
The Pencil II. Games and cheap expandability to CP/M 
The up-market business machine, the Digital Rainbow 
A portable with loads of disk-storage space, the Amust 



22 
26 
18 
33 





Pencil II 26 



Apple - Bit Stik 


42 


BBC - PACE and ED-NET 


45 


IBM — PC Jun still months 




away 


28 


Sord — New away lap 




machine 


58 


Commodore: New 64K 




machine 


51 



Books 
Book club 
Classifieds 



Spectrum: help from algebra 44 
TRS/80System 80: Faster tape 
speed 54 

VIC: A machine-code saver 50 
ZX81: A 16K game 55 



REGULARS 



56 


Club news: Sorry back next 




29 


month 




60 


Glossary 


59 




Micronews 


3 




AMUST 33 



BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 - 1 



BITS & BYTES is published monthly, 
except January, by Neill Birss, Dion 
Crooks and Paul Crooks. 
Head Office: First Floor. Dominion 
Building, 91 Cathedral Square. 

P.O. Box 827. Christchurch, 

Telephone 66-566. 
Auckland Office: Daytone House. 53 
Davis Cres, P.O. Box 9870. Newmarket. 

Telephone 549-028 (advertising and 

editorial enquiries only). 

Advertising 

Co-ordinator — Paul Crooks, telephone 
66-566, Christchurch. 
Representatives — 

Auckland: Paul O'Donoghue, telephone 
549-028 Iwl, 699-050 (h). P.O. Box 
9870. 

Wellington: Marc Heymann, telephone 
844-985. P.O. Box 27-205. 



Editorial 

Editor — Neill 
Christchurch. 



3irss, P.O. Box 827, 



Consulting editors — Cathy and Selwyn 

Arrow 

Representatives — 

Auckland: Gaie Ellis, telephone 549-028 

P.O. Box 9870. 

Wellington: 

Shayne Doyle, 18 Holdsworth Avenue, 

Upper Hutt, telephone 280-333 ext. 892 

(w), 278-545 IK). 

Pat Churchill, 5 Lucknow Terrace, 

Khandallah, telephone 797-193 (h). 

Merchandise 

Book club and software manager: Dion 
Crooks. 

Subscription 

Subscription rate: $12 a year 111 issues) 
adults and $10 a year for school 
students. 

Subscriptions being from the issue of 
BITS & BYTES after the subscription is 
received. 

Overseas subscriptions: 
Surface mail — $23 a year. 
Airmail — Australia and South Pacific, $45 
a year; North America and Asia, $72 a 
year; Europe, South America, the Middle 
East, $94 a year. 

Subscription addresses: When sending in 
subscriptions please include postal zones 
for the cities. If your label is incorrectly 
addressed please send it to us with the 
correction marked. 

Distribution 

Inquiries: Bookshops — Gordon and Gotch, 

Ltd. 

Computer stores — direct to the 

publishers. 

Disclaimers 

Opinions: The views of reviewers and 
other contributors are not necessarily 
shared by the publishers. 
Copyright: All articles and programs 
printed in this magazine are copyright. 
They should not be sold or passed on to 
non-subscribers in any form; printed, or in 
tape or disk format. 

Liability: Although material used in BITS & 
BYTES is checked for accuracy, no liability 
can be assumed for any losses due to the 
use of any material in this magazine. 

Production 

Production Manager: Dion Crooks. 

Assistants: Roger Browning, Graeme 

Patterson. 

Cover and graphics: Sally Williams. 

Typesetting: Focal Point. 

Printed: in Dunedin by Allied Press. 



25,000 readers can't be wrong! 

At least 25,000 people read BITS & BYTES every month. This is one of the 
facts to emerge from our reader survey. 

This depth of readership is matched by its width in terms of computer 
interest. While 57 per cent said their primary computer interest was hobby and 
home use, substantial numbers ticked business and professional use (23 per 
cent) and use in education (1 1 per cent). 

It was interesting to note that almost half our readers find business and 
professional articles "useful" or "very useful". 

We believe these figures justify the decision to make BITS & BYTES a 
personal computer magazine, not just a home computer magazine or a 
business computer magazine. 

The figures support our belief that readers are, or over time will be, 
interested in more than one aspect of microcomputer use. For example, a 
person may initially be attracted by games but later move on to word 
processing, spreadsheets, and so on. 

Thus we have provided coverage of all the major areas of microcomputer 
use and will continue to do so. 

The mix of this coverage may change, however. A few survey replies 
complained about too many hardware reviews (although the vast majority of 
readers found these "useful or very useful"). We don't agree but we do agree 
there hasn't been enough coverage of software and peripherals. That will 
change this year. 

Support from advertisers has increased dramatically as they have 
discovered the large readership of BITS & BYTES and the fact that our readers 
are market leaders and innovators. This support is essential if we are to 
continue to increase the quality and size of BITS & BYTES and we urge all 
readers to support BITS & BYTES advertisers and mention BITS & BYTES 
whenever contacting them. 

Reader comments were generally favourable about the magazine, the 
biggest bug-bear being articles continued several pages on. We try to avoid 
this but inevitably one or two articles a month will be affected. 

In all, we received 2100 survey forms back of which 1000 were 
independently processed by Dr T. Barker, a senior lecturer in marketing, at the 
University of Canterbury. 

We don't wish to reveal too much more here (the survey was designed to 
help us, not our competitors) except to say we now have a clearer picture of 
what you want to read and intend to provide just that. In most cases you will 
also read it first (if not only) in BITS & BYTES, as several new computers will 
be reviewed first in the magazine this year. So keep on reading. 

A breakdown of reader demographic statistics is available to advertisers on 
application. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 



Life agent package 

Sirius Systems Ltd has 
developed a software package to 
assist life insurance agents. It will 
be marketed by Sirius under the 
name Prompt and 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: 

Suspects, who are people with 



whom no actual contact has yet 
been made, but with whom 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 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 WordStar 
word processing system. 



COMPUTER OWNERS 

WE WILL MARKET YOUR SOFTWARE IN N.Z.. AUSTRALIA AND THE U.S.A. 
ANY ORIGINAL APPLICATION OR GAMES PROGRAM WILL BE 
CONSIDERED. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION WRITE TO: 

THE REMARKABLE SOFTWARE COMPANY LIMITED. 

P.O. BOX 9535, HAMILTON, N.Z. 



2 - BITS 8. BYTES - April, 1984 



For Professionals on the move! 
-Now you can cany your office with you- 



It's no toy. The AMUST Executive 816 is an exciting 
breakthrough computer package designed for the 
businessman on the move. 

The 816 has all the features of a regular desk top 
computer, and more, for a fraction of the cost. So why have a 
computer that just works from 8.30 to 5? The 816 works 
whenever and wherever you work. It makes other computers 
old hat. The 816 is state of the art. 

The AMUST Executive 816 fits into an ordinary 
Samsonite briefcase and can be operated wherever there is a 
power source, be it 230 volt, 1 15 volt or with the use of an 
adapter, 12 volt. 

The AMUST Executive 816 will make 
on-the-road sales and management 
quicker and easier and cuts 
down on the paper work. Dial 
up your host computer using 
the AMUST acoustic coupler. 
It is ideal for professionals 
on the move. 

The AMUST 
Executive 816 , only 
S6.175.00. 

Plus 12 software 
packages absolutely free! 

The AMUST 
Executive 816 is incredible 
value. 



Buy almost any other computer and each program 
would cost you anything up to $950.00 each. With the 
AMUST Executive 816 they're free and of course all 
guaranteed. 

Optional extras include: 12" screen, a selection of 
matrix and daisy wheel printers and a "mouse". 

Remember, the AMUST Executive 816 is more 
powerful than most desk computers, is completely 
portable, comes packaged with 12 software programs and 
costs only $6,175.00. Now isn't that a powerful set of 
reasons to buy one? 



Accounts receivable 

Accounts payable 

Inventory management 

General ledger 

Project costing 

Membership system 

Word processing 

Super calc (cash flow 

projection) 

Time & Cost ledger 

Communicate (for talking to 

other computers) 

Database (design your own 

program) 

Payroll 



• 5 inch easy 
to read screen 



1 .6 megabyte 
disk storage 



• Serial keyboard 
with cursor keys 




64 KB memory 



Ports:— Printers. 
Acoustic Coupler. 



CP/M2.2 operating 
system 



"Good Value for money . . . a nice package"— Bits & Bytes Review 

Now available at 
Computer Warehouses Ltd at the Computer Centre 10 O'Conndl si (end of \ ulcan Lane), Auckland. Ph 34964 

Computer Warehouses Ltd. 

* The One Stop Computer Shop 

Mail Order & major credit cards accepted. Freight $5 extra. Dealer enquiries welcome. 



MICRO N€WS 



■--.■.. v.v.'.v.v.v.v.v.v.v.v.V. .v.v.v.v.-:.v. 



Dick Smith pounces on Apple 

Hard on the heels of releasing an 
IBM compatible computer (although 
it is not yet available in New 
Zealand), Dick Smith Electronics 
have announced an Apple lie "work- 
a-like" in Australia. 

The Dick Smith Cat is made in 
Japan and is expected to sell for 
about a third the price of an Apple 
lie. 

In New Zealand the price is 
expected to be $1295 for the 
standard unit. 

It will be able to run about 70 per 
cent of existing Apple II software 
unchanged and can be expanded 
with an emultator (expected to cost 
around $200 here) that increases the 
degree of compatibility. 

The Cat has 32K bytes of ROM- 
memory and 64K bytes of RAM. An 
80-column capability is standard and 
the machine has 81 keys on its 
keyboard versus the 63 keys on the 
Apple lie. 

At the price rumoured in the 
reports the Cat is likely to take a 
large share of the market. It is not 
expected to run into difficulties with 
Apple copyrights. 

Watch for the review in BITS & 
BYTES. 

South Korea 

South Korea's big four electronics 
companies are planning to get into 
microcomputer exports. In 1983, 
about 50,000 personal computers 
were sold in South Korea, the first 
year* of production. Two brands are 
on the market, Samsung and Gold 
Star, each with three models. 
Daewoo, and Hyundai, the huge 
industrial firm in everything from 
construction to cars (its Hyundai 
Pony is on sale in New Zealand) also 
plan to begin producing computers 
this year. To gain technology, the 
Korean firms are looking to joint 
ventures with American corpora- 
tions. Last year South Korea 
exported computer equipment worth 
more than $NZ74 million. By 1986, 
the South Korean Government 
expects annual computer exports to 
be worth close to«$NZ900 million. 

High-speed chip 

IBM researchers have developed a 
64K memory chip that works with 
unprecedented speed — between 1 6 
and 20 billionths of a second 
(nanoseconds). Most present 64K 
chips have access speed of 70 to 
300 nanoseconds. The new chip 
also can discharge its information in 
blocks of 16 bits at a time. 



Last Year 

one 

New Zealand 

company 

introduced: 



97 



SOFTWARE PRODUCTS 

41 CP/M 

SOFTWARE PRODUCTS 

196 # , PP kz 
SOFTWARE PRODUCTS 

99 COMPUTERBOOKS 




4 - 3ITS & BYTES - April. 1984 




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"The An of Software" 

IMAGINEERING MICRO DISTRIBUTORS LIMITED. 
P.O. Box 8497 Symonde Street, Auckland 3. 
Suite 11 13 Atawa Street Auckland 3 



Send coupon for the complete 
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NAME: 



ADDRESS:, 



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I a^B 1 Phone: 396-124 396-125 Telex WICONZ NZ 60238 ■ 



MICRO N€WS 

9CMMMMM«WWM4M0eM0&:-X- 

IBM compatibles 

American computer dealers are 
using Lotus 1-2-3 and a Flight 
Simulator, by Microsoft, to test the 
dozens of machines which are 
claiming compatibility with the IBM 
PC. The Wall Street Journal quotes 
Mr Jack Hooper, president of a 
Washington computer-store chain, 
as saying: "Lotus 1-2-3 literally 
exercises every hardware feature of 
the IBM PC. That's not a 100 per 
cent guarantee (of compatibility), 
but it's as close as you're going to 
come". Mr Joe Harmon, president of 
a computer-shop chain in Texas is 
quoted as saying he tests 
compatibility first on running Lotus 
"straight out of the box", then on 
Lotus graphics, and finally on 
whether it will run the IBM PC's 
Flight Simulator. 

IBM PC add-ons 

An IBM PC add-on market is 
appearing in New Zealand. This 
comes after the huge growth in this 
market overseas and it should be 
further stimulated here by the 
release of a number of IBM PC 
compatible and partly compatible 
computers this year. 

One particularly interesting add-on 
is Quadlink, a plug-in board that 
allows the IBM PC to run Apple 
software thus opening up a whole 
new software library. The New 
Zealand agent is Anderson Digital 
Equipment (offices in Auckland, 
Wellington, and Christchurch). 

A number of other add-ons are 
available from Skellerup Micro- 
systems (P.O. Box 19-648, 
Christchurch). These include: 

PC-Net — A local area network 
allowing multiple PCs to be cable 
connected and share resources. 
Price $1794. 

AST-6 Pack Plus - A board that 
provides memory from 64K to 384K 
plus Async adapter, clock/calendar 



. ->K0MMMNM^H 



with battery check-up, printer 
adapter and game port. Price 
$788. 

Colmon - Plugs into the back of 
the IBM colour/graphics adapter card 
to give graphics capability on an IBM 
monochrome screen. Price $252. 

Sweet-P Plotter — A colour 
graphics plotter. Price $1713. 

IBM portable 

IBM is to sell a portable version of 
its Personal Computer, which will 
put pressure on many of the look- 
alikes on the American market. The 
portable has a 9in amber screen and 
in standard version 256K main 
memory and a single disk drive. At 
30lb it will be heavier than some of 
the look-alikes but the retail list price 
in America is $US2795, slightly 
under the list price of the top-of-the- 
line main competitors. 

And a network 

The IBM Corporation has also 
announced in America a new 
network system, the Personal 
Computer Cluster Program, which in 
a typical package that would link five 
IBM personal machines, will retail for 
$US2540. 

Take-over 

Computer Consultants Ltd, has 
taken over the assets of Data 
Control, Ltd, a wholly owned 
subsidiary of United Publishing and 
Printing. Data Control Ltd, which 
employs about 20 people, has a 
micro-software unit in addition to 
providing bureau services. 

Timex out 

Timex, the big electronics firm 
controlled by the Norwegian 
shipping magnate, Fred Olsen, is 
another corporation to withdraw 
from manufacturing home com- 
puters. It made Sinclair products in 
North America. 



Mousers shorn 
interest 



A number of people have 
expressed interest in the 
Wellington Micro Computing 
Society's micro-mouse 

competition. 

Micro users from two 
Wellington technical institutes 
have made inquiries with a view to 
a possible class exercise, accord- 
ing to society spokesman, Bi 
Parkin. 

And a Christchurch man who 
has a line-following machine is 
interested in modifying it to a 
micro-maze type of mouse. 

The society has organised a 
May get-together of interested 
parties to give them an idea of 
what is going on. No date has yet 
been set for the final contest. 
Parkin said. 

(Those interested can make 
contact via the Wellington Micro 
Computer Society 



U.S. magazines 

Some interesting circulation 
statistics on American computer-] 
magazine circulations: Personal] 
Computing is way out in front with| 
more than half a million copies a 
month. Computers and Electronics is I 
next with more than 450,000 
copies, followed by Byte, with more 
than 400,000 copies. Of magazines 
for specific brands, the IBM 
magazine, PC World, leads the field 
followed by 99' er Home Computer 
(Texas Instruments) and then Softalk 
(Apple). 
BBC price cut 

The retail price of the BBC 
microcomputer has been reduced by 
$300 and is now $1699. 



Best Value Daisy-Wheel 
Printer on the market today! 

(reviewed Bits & Bytes March '84) 



Logitec 

WP-500 

$1350 




Bvie !■ 
J 



P.O. Box 2191. 

1 Fort St. Auckland. I'll. 32-860 



6 BITS& BYTES April. 1984 



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Lost when il comes 
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First Book ot 
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Tried ana trusted 
programs tor the 
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easy-tr> under stand 
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Cat B-7202 



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An e noting collection 
oi some tavourtte 
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DATA CASSETTE 

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Store your programs on this deluxe 
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Games take on a whole new dimen- 
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Printer 
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Lets your VZ 200 talk 

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BITS & BYTES April, 1984 - 7 



MICRO N€WS 

WMWWWW WD I W I II W0DIIOWIMOWWfr>x:-::::::::-: 

New Sharp model 

A new Sharp computer, the 
MZ-721 Family Computer, has been 
released in New Zealand by Excelsior 
Supply Co (P.O. Box 16063, 
Wellington). Priced at $995 the 
MZ-721 has a typewriter keyboard, 
64K of RAM. and a built-in data 
recorder. Space is also included in 
the standard unit for a four colour 
plotter/printer costing $325 to be 
fitted. 

The MZ-721 can be connected to 
a television set or monitor and 
displays 40 characters by 25 lines 
and has a graphics capability of 80 
by 50 piels (eight colours). 

Unlike some other new computers 
on the market, the MZ-721 does 
appear to have a reasonable amount 
of software already available for it 
with approximately 50 titles listed. 
Future enhancements will include 



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twin disk drives, joy-sticks, CMOS 
RAM and 80 and 132 column 
printers. 

ICL 16-bit 

ICL, recently in the news because 
of staff lay-offs in New Zealand, has 
introduced a 16-bit personal 
computer with a colour terminal 
facility and with a multiple-user 
version of CP/M-86. Up to four tasks 
can be run concurrently from one 
work station. "For the first time you 
can write text while printing other 
documents while another user can 
be looking at directories without 
leaving his application program. Still 
another user can also be editing 
programs while the computer 
compiles," said an ICL spokesman. 
The 16-bit machine will come in two 
versions: one with twin floppy disks 
of 256K RAM, synchronous 



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Vic Games for Kids $27.20 

Compute's First Book of Vic Games $27.20 

Compute s First Book of 64 Games $27.20 

Commodore 64 Graphics $27.20 

Compute's First Book of the Commodore 64 $27.20 

Compute's First Book of Atari $27.20 

Compute's Second Book of Atari $27.20 

Atari Graphics $27.20 

Mapping the Atari $31.40 

The Atari Basic Source Book $27.20 



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communications, six input/outputl 
ports, multi-user CP/M-86 and 
personal BASIC; the other with a 
10Mb hard disk instead of the 
diskettes. 

Optical disks 

Sony, of Japan, says that by the 
end of this year it will be selling 
equipment that will read both audio 
and video disks. Optical disks hold 
great promise for microcomputers, 
as they can hold up to 55 megabytes 
of information (the equivalent of 500 
of the new 3in floppies). Sony, and 
Philips, of the Netherland, have 
reached a common standard for the 
disks. Sony expects that by 1986 it 
will have available, in one box, the 
capability of reading audio, video, 
and data storage. 

Microdrives 

The long awaited microdrives and 
interfaces for the ZX Spectrum are 
now available in New Zealand. But 
the expansion will cost Spectrum 
owners up to $800 as each 
microdrive costs $395 and Interface 
I, required to link the microdrives to 
the computer, also costs $395. 
Interface I can take up to eight 
microdrives (minimum capacity 92K 
each) and also has an RS232 port for 
a printer and the ability to link 64 
Spectrums in a local area network. 

Also available is Interface 2. This 
costs $99 and allows 48K ROM 
cartridges to be plugged-in and two 
joy-sticks to be added (at extra cost). 
About 10 cartridges, all games, are 
currently available. 

Both interfaces are compatible 
with 16K and 48K Spectrum models. 

The microdrives take three 
seconds to load a 48K program and a 
maximum of nine seconds to search 
for data. 

Corona availability 

The Corona microcomputer's 
availability in New Zealand has been 
assured by the outcome of an 
American law suit. IBM charged that 
Corona Data Systems had copied the 
IBM PC's input-out system. The suit 
has been settled with Corona 
agreeing to make a slight change to 
its operating system. The new ROM 
is already in production. 

B20 sales 

Burroughs says that more than 
200 of its B20 Burroughs micro- 
computers have been sold in New 
Zealand. Specialist software 

developed for the B20 includes 
packages for lawyers, the manu- 
facturing sector, wholesalers and 
distributors, chartered accountants, 
contractors, and local bodies. 



8 - BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 




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BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 - 9 



T€l€COMPUTING 

Telephone 
plus micro 
equals a 
new world 



By Selwyn Arrow 

Is your computer feeling a bit 
lonely these days? Does it sit forlorn 
in the corner because the family have 
tried out all the games in its library? 
Perhaps you would like to experience 
something different with your 
computer for a change? Tele- 
computing has now arrived in New 
Zealand so how about expanding 
you and your computer's horizons by 
combining the usefulness of your 
computer with the access of the 
telephone. 

Since January, Auckland micro- 
computer enthusiasts have been able 
to dial into a Remote Bulletin Board 
System (RBBS) to 'read' messages 
and bulletins on a variety of subjects, 
to 'post' for sale advertisements, 
and transfer programs to and from 
the RBBS host computer. 

This is made possible by the use of 
a device that couples the digital 
signals in the computer to the audio 
signals of the telephone. Called a 
modem (MOdulator/DEModulator) 
this device comes in a variety of 
coupling methods and a range of 
prices. The type in most use at the 
moment is an acoustic coupler. This 
connects to the RS232 port of the 
computer and a telephone handset is 
pushed into rubber cups to provide a 
non-electrical (acoustic) connection 
to the telephone. 

To use this device the RBBS 
number is dialled on the telephone. 
When the ringing stops and a tone is 
heard the handset is placed firmly 
into the coupler. 

Unfortunately, there are a few 
problems with this device. It is likely 
to pick up room noise which can 
garble the received message and the 
microphone in the handset is itself a 
source of noise at times. Despite 
these problems the acoustic coupled 
modem is the only real option at the 
moment for home and hobby use. It 
does have advantages over the 
alternative: it is readily available, 
portable, and cheap. Prices range 
from around $800 for a commercial 
model to $1 50 for an assembled and 

10 BITS& BYTES April, 1984 



■ 



tested circuit board that needs a 
case, cables, connectors, power 
transformer and rubber couplers to 
make it ready for use. 

The. only alternative available to 
us, at the moment anyway, is to hire 
a direct coupled (DC) modem, called 
a Datel set, from the Post Office for 
an installation charge and a two 
monthly rental of $60; in addition 
you will also need to pay business 
rates for your phone. This situation is 
most unfortunate as most overseas 
administrations provide for type 
approval of equipment to be 
connected to the telephone system 
so that it would be possible to buy a 
DC modem that just plugs in to the 
phone line. There are many 
advantages in using a DC modem. 
No microphone noise is picked up as 
the phone is disconnected. Control 
signals can be sent from computer to 
modem to automatically dial any 
number. The modem can even 
automatically answer incoming calls 
to provide your own RBBS service. 

RS232 port and 
program ne eded 

Whichever type of modem you use 
you will need a serial port, preferably 
RS232, plus a communications 
program to provide communication 
between computer and modem. 

Unfortunately. some personal 
computers still do not have an 
RS232 port fitted as standard. These 
include the TRS-80, System 80. 
Apple, VIC-20. and early 
Commodore computers. These will 
need to be fitted with an expansion 
unit or plug-in board to allow them to 
operate with a modem. Some 
computers such as the Atari 400 
have a joystick port which can be 
pressed into service. 

Most computers released in the 
last couple of years such as the 
Commodore 64 and MicroBee plus 
many earlier small business 
computers have an RS232 port 
available. 

Two types of communications 
program are available for most 
computers: Dumb and Smart. A 
dumb-terminal program would 
provide a means of sending 
characters from your keyboard and 
displaying incoming characters on 
your screen. Usually some of the 
more advanced features are also 
included, such as the ability to load 
programs. 

A smart-terminal program is more 
complex, allowing text to be 
prepared in advance of transmission, 



placing selected information in a 
buffer for later saving to disk or tape, 
or even echoing the session to a 
printer if desired. 

Many other options and 
commands are usually provided. For 
instance, my program interacts with 
my word processor for complex 
editing. I find this great for long 
messages. I have been able to save 
chunks of a session and later edit 
them for inclusion in the club 
magazine as a guide for new users. 

There is a wide variation in price 
for these communications programs. 
Some simple ones can be typed in 
from magazines, while others are 
available commercially for about 
$100. Price alone is not an indication 
of usefulness. Some of the better 
programs have been written by 
enthusiasts and placed in the public 
domain, free for all to use non- 
commercially. Several of these are 
available from User Group libraries or 
even via RBBS. 

In many cases to 'download' such 
a program all that is necessary is to 
use a very simple dumb terminal 
program! These programs are of 
course very specific to each brand or 
model of computer so the best way 
to tune-in to such software is to join 
a computer club. 



Your own secret 
password 

The RBBS is a special 
communications program that 
controls a .sophisticated host 
computer and an auto answer direct 
connect modem. B When contact is 
made it will send you a sign-on 
message and ask for your 
'username'. If this is your first time 
on the system it will ask a series of 
questions about your computer and 
your address and then request you to 
enter your own secret password. 
This is necessary to prevent 
unauthorised use of your name and 
files on the system. 

On successive calls the RBBS will 
recognise you and ask for your 
password. This is the only time it will 
not echo your input back to your 
screen so that your password 
remains secret. The RBBS then 
searches your file to see if anybody 
has left you a message, if so it will 
give you the chance to read them 
before requesting the input of a 
command to proceed. 

Depending on the system, there 
are many functions and commands 
available. One of these would be to 
check if any items are addressed to 



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All. This is a special function of such 
a system, to be able to send 
messages for all (or even a particular 
group) to read and act upon. For 
instance, the Attache Systems RBBS 
in Auckland now has up-to-date 
information on most local club and 
user group activities, a for-sale 
section, and even a message 
detailing computers and peripherals 
stolen in a recent robbery. 

At any time you can type 'help' to 
get a summary of commands such as 
'scan' (summarise), 'read', 'enter', 
'kill', 'answer', or 'forward' (send 
with comments) any message. There 
are usually commands to check a 
particular bulletin board contents, 
find the user names of other 'users' 
to send them messages, and of 
course 'bye' to log-off. 

These are just a few of the 
available commands of a typical 
RBBS. Other functions would be to 
'download' programs from a user 
group library into your computer. If 
this program originated in a 
computer similar to your own then it 
can quite likely be run with no 
modifications, otherwise it can 
usually be edited to your own dialect 
of BASIC, etc, before saving and 
running. 

Of course these programs would 
need to be 'uploaded' by someone 
else in the first place and the more 
this is done the better the choice. It 
is even possible for the same 
program to be modified for several 
different computers then uploaded 
to be available online. The 
'download' feature alone can recoup 
the cost of your modem in no time at 
all. 

Conferences held 

over months 

As if that is not enough, the 
boundaries of telecomputing are 
wide open. For instance how about a 



.v.- -.■■.V.-.VV.-...-.-.W v.,v.V.SWASSWA»^^ 

conference on some topic of special 
interest where the participants do 
not have to find time to meet face-to- 
face. Teleconferencing takes the 
form of a session or forum via the 
RBBS where each person checks in 
when they have a few minutes to 
spare to see what others have 
contributed on the subject. They 
then add their own comments and 
observations on the topic at their 
leisure. Several conferences have 
been known to last months, with 
summaries of previous discussions 
provided from time to time to save 
everybody having to wade through 
tons of words. 

In the United States there is a 
specialised program called The 
Conference Tree which runs on an 
Apple computer. It uses a tree 
structured (hierarchical) database of 
messages divided into categories 
and sub-categories to allow easy 
access to a particular item for people 
new to the system. 

Such a dedicated set up is possibly 
too advanced for us yet, but several 
forum subjects are already appearing 
on the Auckland system. Subjects 
suggested so far are Games, 
Adventure hints. Technical help, 
and, of course, Communications. 

Another worth-while use for the 
RBBS and modems is as a means of 
communication over the phone for 
someone who is deaf. Can you 
imagine being able to communicate 
only visually, and how much it would 
mean to be able to use a computer 
and modem to call a variety of 
people, all with different interests for 
a chat session or even for 
assistance? 



Wellington 
bulletin I 

experiment 

By Pat Churchill 

The Wellington Micro Computing 
Society has the chance to undertake 
a bulletin board experiment. A 
Wellington printer has offered time 
on its LSI 11-23. 

The system, operated by Bryce 
Francis Printers, is equipped for 
computer typesetting with input 
from a variety of floppy disks. A 
more recent feature has been the 
auto answer modem set up to accept 
material straight down the line. This 
is configured to operate on the same 
standard as the Post Office's Oasis 
service. 

The society has been offered 
facilities for short-term experi- 
mentation with a view to developing 
a billboard system although to date 
progress has been limited, according 
to a spokesman, Mr Bill Parkin. 

"We recently had contact with the 
Auckland group regarding cheap 
acoustic modems," he said. Mr 
Parkin runs a CP/M based machine 
which can act as a terminal and trap 
whatever is coming down the line to 
a disk file and to transmit from a disk 
file, -but does not as yet have the 
software to convert the machine to 
act as a terminal. 

Bits & Bytes readers will be kept 
posted on progress. 



For further information on the 
Auckland system you are welcome 
to dial (09) 762-309 (modems only), 
or to write to the NZ Microcomputer 
Club Inc. PO Box 6210, Auckland for 
membership information. 



If its micro news ii 

Wellington — telephone Pat 

Churchill, 797-193. 



TELEVIDEO 

PORTABLE 

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COMPUTER 

I PLUS 



12 - BITS* BYTES - April, 1984 



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T€l€COMPUTING 

Phreakery 
on bulletin 
boards of 
America 

By John MacGibbon 

Ever wonder what happened to the 
freakery of the "Sixties? Was it 
totally replaced by button-down 
conformity among the youth of 
America? 

Well no, Fritz the Cat's syndrome 
is still with us, only today heads are 
more likely to be turned on by 
microcomputers. Even Timothy 
Leary, who once exhorted everyone 
to "turn-on, tune-in and drop out", 
now has an IBM-PC and modem, and 
invites the populace to join the 
network nation: "Turn on, tune in, 
and communicate." 

They're tuning in, all right, to 
commercial services such as the 
Source and CompuServe. But many 
prefer the fast expanding grass-roots 
network of tiny systems based on 
private electronic bulletin boards. 
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of 
these bulletin boards are run by their 
own sysops (systems operators) out 
there in the American electronic 
heartland. 

The boards act as local clearing 
houses for public notices, messages 
and discussion. Some cater for 
general interests, but most are 
special interest boards. 

These interests are not always 
strictly kosher. Recently a number of 
New Zealand Apple users have taken 
a fascinating glimpse into the darker 
side of American telecommunica- 
tions, thanks to the circulation of 
floppy disks full of text files 
downloaded from bulletin boards 
devoted to the ignoble arts of 
software piracy and phreaking. 

Software piracy is, by now, a well- 
understood quantity. Phreakery, 
which is less well-known, is defined 
as: 

"The systematic lor at least semi- 
determined) attempt to crack 
open, and/or break into and gain 
access to a computer system 
which the phreaker does not have 
any real right to be accessing. " 

Source: The Jolly Roger 
bulletin board. 

Anyone who has seen the movie, 
"Wargames", will know what it's all 
about. 



---.-.VHeOMMOMCMMOOMMMMCMOOaK-;-: " . . .'/wmsvmwaw. 



THE JOLLY ROGER 



C PRESS SPACE BAR TO END LISTING] 



♦ * A= 

B.B. ACCESS ! B= 

'S' = SCAN ! C= 

'P' = POST ! D= 

'R' = REMOVE! E= 

'«c' = SELECT! F= 

H=S.O.S. (HELP) 1= 

J=DISC STUFF K= 

L=PIRATE STUFF M= 

N=SET NULLS 0= 

Q=GAME STUFF T= 

U=CASE CHANGE V= 

W=CLIMB ABOARD X= 

Y=PIRATE STATUS Z= 
The Jolly Roger menu 

According to "Cruncher II", the 
Jolly Roger's sysop, phreaking is an 
offshoot from the activity of 
"freaking out" phone companies 
with black or blue boxes. These 
boxes are devices used to make toll 
calls without paying for them. 
Needless to say, the phone-freaking 
fraternity took to microcomputers 
and modems like ducks to water. 

Cruncher II warns his audience 
that the legal situation is shaky at 
best, but says the worst penalty he's 
heard of for computer phreaking is 
five years probation meted out to an 
English enthusiast for making an 
obscene phone call to a local bank's 
computer. 

However, he warns that phone 
phreaking is more serious: "Ma Bell 
Inickname for America's private 
telephone system] is an active 
prosecutor, and she doesn't fool 
around, she goes for the throat." 
(Would-be phreakers in New Zealand 
can be assured that the NZPO has a 
similar taste for the jugular.) 

Cruncher concludes his somewhat 
amoral introduction with a warning 
to play it cool. "If phreaking sounds 
like it's for you, by all means feel free 
to join in. If not, leave the phreakers 
alone with their phreaking and refrain 
from leaving derogatory notes 
criticising phreakers," he pleads. 

The Phreaker disk files contain an 
enormous amount of material left on 
the bulletin board for the benefit of 
the phreaking fraternity. 

Jolly Roger's sysop kicks off 
the electronic discussion with 
information on logging on to systems 
in the Telenet directory. He lists 
150 numbers, many for sensi- 
tive organisations such as 



APPLE TIPS 
OTHER PIRATE BBS 
CHAT W/JEAN LAFFITE 
PILFER SOME BOOTY 
SEND NOTE IN BOTTLE 
MUTINY (FEEDBACK) 
GENERAL SECTION 
SHIP INFO 
KRACKING KORNER 
OTHERS ABOARD 
WALK THE PLANK 
TIME ABOARD 
VIDEO WIDTH 
EXPERT PIRATE 
SYSTEM NEWS 



Warner Communications systems. 
Burroughs NYC Data Centre and the 
Bankers' Trust Customer Service. 

A character calling himself Z-80 
CPU is a fund of information on how 
to log on to private systems. He 
suggests methods for defeating 
protection against unauthorised 
access, and discusses modifications 
which will free the systems up for 
fellow phreakers. 

Most of the messages are cryptic: 
don't expect literacy gems or long 
explanations in Z-80 CPU's world. 
Example: "CHDNCO usually has no 
password, and you just 'LOGIN 
CMDCO' to get in." 

On October 19, the Devil Himself 
calls, with a long list of what he 
claims are the only true full duplex 
access port numbers in Houston. He 
signs off with a declaration that if he 
doesn't get something in return, the 
bulletin board will hear no more from 
him. 

The warning works, and a couple 
of days later the devilish phreaker 
comes back with the following 
message: 
"Note on the use of credit cards. 
Find your credit card on a pay 
tone, then use it at home!!! once 
III It takes them two times on the 
same fone to trace them 
correctly." 

Freak King logs on and leaves a 

series of "interesting" access 

numbers. He tantalises the Jolly 

Roger audience with the information 

that he has 

". . .30 mor like that, but not for 

public distribution. OK guys, now 

let's see some "real" phreak 

action - like has anybody got the 

BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 - 13 



T€l€COMPUTING 

bank numbers. I got Bank of 
America and some others, but 
looking for Sears, and some 
others. " 

The Executioner calls with access 
and authorisation numbers for the 
Stamford CT. He's also asking for a 
password to the Source - just for a 
day. He thinks he can create some 
accounts of his own and says he and 
a friend crash their school Prime all 
the time. Nice fellow. . . 

Someone named Keypulse posts 
the following message: 

"Here are the frequencies for the 
MF System for those of you who 
have not come across them. But 
be careful. . . Remember the 
earlier message. Ma Bell does go 
for the throat. Do not use from 
your home on any regular basis. 
You will likely be spotted unless 
you have a method to hide it. " 
(Information follows) 

Security is a constant concern. 
(Security for the phreakers, that is - 
let's not get conscience-stricken 
about private computer systems.) 
The Hacker warns users he's 
************************ 
**** 



found out that the FBI, Bell and local 
people are looking for blue boxes in 
the Houston area, so "better hide 
your boxes". The sysop himself 
wonders if, due to the (ahem) 
delicate nature of its activities, the 
Jolly Roger should become an 
"anonymous caller" board. 

Most messages left on the board 
are directly concerned with 
phreaking, but not all. 

We are told by one Merrick 
Johnson, of Collossal Cave 
Maintenance, that calling 660-8159 
and typing "collossal" gets you into 
the best adventure game ever 
designed for a computer. 

Our old friend, Keypulse, wants to 
know the whereabouts of Doorbell, 
formerly of New York. Keypulse also 
asks if anyone has a tape of a 
12-year-old program from an 
underground radio show dedicated 
to the memory of Dom Tuffey, a 
New York telephone security man 
who was legendary in the early days 
of blue boxing. 

The bulletin board also contains a 
good many standard Apple 
programming tips, plus some 



mmtMMWWMMO "-vtMMlHK 



advanced software-cracking tech- 
niques, supplied mainly by a fellow 
by the name of Krackowicz. 

The Jolly Roger is by no means the 
only bulletin board operating in the 
dubious electronic netherworld. 

Cruncher II thoughtfully supplies 
the names and numbers of no less 
than 31 other boards devoted to 
nefarious activities. There are 
probably many more. Undoubtedly 
some have become anonymous 
caller boards, while many of the 
listed boards appear to be specialist 
Apple boards. What are all those 
IBM, Atari and Commodore users ud 
to? 

One thing is for sure: this activity 
will spread to New Zealand, and the 
problem of security for personal 
information held on private 
databases will become an important 
issue. Will we look back with 
nostalgia to the days when the 
Wanganui Computer Centre was the 
extent of our worries? 

Next month John MacGibbon will 
look at the role of bulletin boards in 
software piracy. 



**********************#**************4 HMMHMH( .*. )MMt 



THE BASICS OF KRACKING I: ROMS AND PROMS 



KRAKOW ICZ * S KRACK I NG KORNER 

AND FB'S 

THIS SERIES, WHILE AIMED AT THE BEGINNING TO INTERMEDIATE KRACKIST, WILL 

STILL ASSUME A REASONABLEKNOWLEDGE OF ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE. IF, ON THE OTHER 

5, ™ ™™ T ™ ISIS ALL BENEA ™ YOU, JUST KEEP A KNOWINGSMIRK ON 
YOUR LIPS Ab YOU SKIP LIGHTLYOVER THESE EPISODES - THERE MIGHT 
BESOMETHING YOU MISSED BECAUSE YOU HAD A BAD HANGOVER ONE DAY IN 
KRACKING 101 ) . 

*************************** Introduction to Krakowicz's Kracking Corner 

e =mc e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e =mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mc' e=mci. 

u 
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Commodore 64K BBC Micro •,.• Hewlett Packard 

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We look forward to your visit. Write for Mail Orders. 

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Wellington. Telephone 851-055 



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14 - BITS & 8YTES April. 1984 



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S232 



Modulator 
(oscillator) 



Low-pass 
filter 



Demodulator £■ 



Band pass 
filter 



Figure 1: Acoustic-coupled modem 

Buying or 
building a 
modem? 
Some tips 

By Jay Mann 

So you want a modem to link your 
computer with the outside world! 
Other articles in this issue of Bits & 
Bytes will tell you about the 
advantages of such link-ups. I will try 
to summarise the advantages and 
disadvantages of different modem 
designs, and discuss whether you 
should buy or build. 

Begin by making a short list. 
Consider: 

(a): The state of your bank balance 
and/or the friendliness of your bank 
manager. 

(b) Your ability with a soldering iron, 
(cl The urgency with which you need 
to get into operation, 
(d) How important error-free 
transmission is to you. 

It is possible to build a modem 
from scratch. (I'm an expert on this 
... on the same level as Mark 
Twain, who was an authority on 
giving up smoking because he'd 
done it so many times.) However, 
building a modem that is stable and 
reliable is quite another matter. To 
understand the difficulties, a bit of 
technical information has to be 
surmounted (see Figure 1). You may 
be interested in some of this data 
even though you don't plan on 
building your own modem, since it 
may save you from costly errors and 
will at least give you some 
appreciation of what goes into the 
design of a seemingly simple circuit. 

In New Zealand, Australia, and 
Europe, 300-baud modems have to 
fit the CCITT V21 standard. This 
standard specifies a well chosen set 
of frequencies that are definitely not 






the same as the Bell 103 modems so 
popular in America. If you manage to 
import an American modem, it will 
not give you access to any New 
Zealand networks, nor will it even 
get you through the New Zealand 
phone network to any of the United 
States databanks. 

Even should you find someone else 
with another American modem, your 
communications will utilise 

frequencies that in New Zealand are 
reserved for "supervisory" 

functions, such as long-distance 
tolling. So anyone with an American 
modem will be left out of the local 
action, and can expect a serious 
discussion with a Post Office 
inspector at any time. It is 
unfortunate that most of the new 
generation of American computers 
with built-in modems, can only 
operate at the Bell 103 frequencies 
that are unsuitable in most of the 
world. 

What are these frequencies? 
Actually there are two pairs of 
frequencies, because two-way 
communication is involved. In a "full 
duplex" system, both your computer 
and the remote computer talk 
simultaneously. In "half-duplex" 
links, one terminal talks and displays 
characters on its own screen without 
waiting for an echo. Then the talker 
shuts up and the other party begins 
to talk. Full-duplex is more useful. 

The CCITT standard specifies that 
the device or computer originating 
the conversation should transmit on 
the lower channel at frequencies of 
980 and 1180 Hz representing 'V 
and '0' respectively. Thus the large 
"host" computer need only have 
hardware for the receive channel at 
1650 and 1850 Hz. 

This brings us to one of your first 
decisions: can you settle for a 
modem capable of transmitting only 
on the lower (originate) band, or do 
you need one capable of working in 
either originate or answer mode? If 
all you plan to do is to link with a 
large computer or information 
network, originate-only will be 
sufficient. However, if you want to 
swap programs with your computer- 
owning mates, at least one of you 
must own a modem that can 



generate the upper channel signals. 



Computer's link 
with modem 



Now let's work backwards, 
starting at the computer-to-modem 
connection, until we reach the phone 
network. The standard way of 
attaching a computer to a modem is 
through the RS232 standard. RS232 
refers both to a set of voltages and, 
usually, to an expensive 25-pin 
connector, in which only three to six 
pins are normally wired up. 

Almost invariably commercial 
modems will utilise the 25-pin 
connection, but if you are devising 
your own connection to the 
computer a cheaper three or five pin 
DIN' plug is satisfactory. Don't buy a 
25-pin plug until you actually have 
the modem in your hand: there are 
both male and female versions for 
both socket and plug. 

Furthermore, don't buy a pre- 
wired modem-to-computer cable 
unless you actually see it working in 
your system. Because of some 
confusion in the RS232 standard, 
you may find that the 
transmit/receive connections on pins 
2 and 3 of the modem need to be 
swapped over. Commercial modems 
supply extra information to the 
computer, but most personal 
computer software disregards the 
additional signals. 

It is your computer's responsibility to 
feed the modem with serial 
information, bit by bit, at a rate of 
300 bits per second or 33 
milliseconds per bit. Some 
computers have this serial port built 
in, but others will need additional 
hardware. You will have to check 
with your local dealer or users' group 
to find out what serial hardware is 
needed for your computer. 

It is sometimes possible to use 
computer software to toggle the 
tape recorder output voltage at the 
correct rate. (There is a program for 
the TRS80 to accomplish this.) The 
trade-off is that the system cannot 
do true full-duplex communication. 
Instead, it transmits one character, 



BITS & BYTES April. 1984 - 15 



T€l€COMPUTING 

then checks to see if anything is 
coming in, and if not goes ahead and 
transmits another character. 

The actual voltages for RS232 are 
from -3 to -12 volts for 'V, and +3 
to +12 volts for '0'. (Note that 
careful regulation is not important 
within this range!) It your computer 
has only a positive power supply, it 
might be worth trying a +5 versus 
volts linkup to the modem. Most 
RS232 receivers block off negative 
voltages, and at 300 baud "settling 
time" will not be important. For 
home-built modems, a TTL linkup is 
likely to be quite satisfactory. Optical 
isolation may be advisable to protect 
your computer against a modem 
failure that could produce high 
voltages. 

Next we come to the signal 
generator. Its task is to provide the 
980/1180 or 1650/1850 Hz sine 
waves, depending on whether it is an 
originate or answer mode, and 
whether a '1' or a '0' is to be 
transmitted. Change-over from ' 1 ' to 
'0' should be smooth and glitchless. 
Numerous oscillators have been 
used, such as the 566 voltage- 
controlled oscillator, and the 
XR2206. 




The receiver or demodulator is 
another matter! The sort of chips and 
circuits that work in amateur radio at 
a leisurely 50 baud rate simply aren't 
good enough at 300 baud. (In fact, 
the CCITT standard merely 
guarantees reception at 200 baud 
and leaves it up to each national 
phone service to determine whether 
to give it a go at 300 baud!) 

Remember that for the lower 
channel of 980/1 1 80 Hz. a 300 baud 
rate means just over 3 milliseconds 
per bit, i.e., the circuitry has only 
three cycles to decide whether it has 
received a 'V or a '0'. 

The leading contenders for the job 
are the XR2211. the Am7910. the 
14412, and the 565. The latter two 
are really not in the race: the 565 
because it is not stable enough, and 
the 14412 because although it is a 
well designed digital detector used in 
American equipment, it is poorly 
suited to 300 baud New Zealand 
operation. The XR2211 costs 
something like $10, the 7910 more 
than $100. The latter, however, is a 
complete world-modem on a chip. It 
is able to transmit/receive at both 
American and New Zealand 
frequencies, can handle the 1200 



baud V.23 speeds used for videotext 
operation, provides internal digital 
filtering, and can leap over tall 
specifications with a single bound. 

Modem building not a 
simple afternoon job 

Are you beginning to get the idea 
that building a modem is not a simple 
afternoon job? Keep reading! To get 
the signal into the detector or 
"demodulator" you need to amplify 
the faint signals picked up from your 
telephone, but must reject the very 
similar and much louder tones being 
generated from your own 
transmissions. Mechanical coupling 
and intentional feedback from your 
telephone mouthpiece to the 
earpiece conspire to sneak your own 
frequencies back at you. Filters will 
be needed with a very sharp 
separation between the desired and 
undesired frequencies. They must 
also respond rapidly to changes, 
without ringing, and with equal 
phase delay (i.e., all frequencies of 
interest must be delayed by the same 
amount). You must build these filters 
with top quality, 1 per cent precision 
resistors, and the best capacitors 



Order any 1 back issues for only $ 1 

(individual copies $1.50 each) 

— all back issues contain hints and programs 
for popular brands, a host of microcomputer 
information and the following major articles! 



Nov Review of BBC computer and 
Issue 3 Microprofessor 1 , start of 

series on selecting a micro for 
a small business, Feature on 
microcomputers for 
accountants. 

Feb Hand-held computer feature, 

Issue 5 review of Sims 1 and Epson 

HX-20. start of farming and 

education columns 

April Review of IBM PC NEC PC 

Issue 7 8000 and New Zealand 
made c'isk drives for 
System BO. New Sord 
column. 



June 
Issue 9 



July 
Issue 10 



August 
Issue 1 1 



September 
Vol. 2 No. 1 



Guide to farm software, 
reviews of Olivetti M20. 
Dick Smith Wizzard. 
Visicalc. 

Reviews of Spectrum, 
BMC800, Supercalc, 
Compute Mate printer 
Start of Microbee column 

Reviews of Sord M5, 
Franklin Ace, Mannesmann 
pnnter. Calcstar. Word- 
processing feature Start 
of Commodore 64 column 

Reviews of V2200, 
Colour Genie, Multiplan. 
Communications feature 



November 
Vol. 2 No 3 



Dec/Jan 
Vol2No4 



Feb 

Vol 2 No 5 



October Reviews of NEC APC , 
Vol. 2 No. 2 Epson QX-1 0, Casio 

FP1000andJR100. 

1 6 Bit feature 

Please note issues 1.2,4 and 6 are sold out and other stocks are limited (issue 7 is available minus the cover) 



May 
Issue B 



Computers in business 
feature. Review of 
Commodore 64. 



Reviews of Casio PB 100. 
Proteus. Cromemco C-1 0. 
Round-up of portable 
Computers. 

Summary of all computers 
under S5000»iNZ. 10 pages 
of programs. Reviews of 
Spectravideo, One 1 , Comx 35. 
Printers under S2000. 

Summary of all computers 
$5-1 0.000 in N.Z. Reviews 
of Sega, TI99. Franklm 
Ace 1200 and Epson 
FX-80 pnnter 



ORDER FORM is on the card in the centre of the magazine 

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16 BITS (4 8YTES April. 1984 



T€l€COMPUTING 



■ 



you can find. You will will need to 
fine-tune these filters, which calls for 
a well calibrated frequency generator 
plus a good oscilloscope. 

Finally, we come to the connection 
between your modem and the 
telephone network. Undoubtedly the 
best way is through a "direct- 
connect" modem, which plugs into 
the telephone jack. 

Only modems that have been type- 
approved by the New Zealand Post 
Office can be used. A major 
breakthrough in Post Office policy 
seems imminent, with approval of 
privately sold direct-connect 

modems being rumoured. At the 
moment the only legal direct- 
connect modems are those hired out 
by the Post Office. 

Most readers will settle for 
acoustically coupled modems, in 
which the telephone handset fits into 
a carefully cushioned unit with a 
speaker and a microphone replacing 
the human mouth and ear, 
respectively. These units are 
reasonably effective, particularly if 
your phone is not too far from the 
switchboard, and if your home 
is reasonably quiet. (Children 
practising musical instruments are 
almost certain to cause inter- 
ference.) Some carbon microphone 
insets need to be tapped to restore 
sensitivity; the latest telephones 
have much better sensitive dynamic 
microphones. 

There are no legal restrictions on 
using an acoustically coupled 
modem so long as you keep to the 
official CCITT frequencies and limit 
your transmission power below 1 
milliwatt. In any case, excessive 
transmit power would make filtering 
out your own signal more difficult. In 
addition, high power levels can 
cause signal spillover to adjacent 
channels. 

You will have gathered that I don't 
really recommend modem construc- 
tion to the average reader. Most of 
the published designs are for 
American frequencies and not easy 
to change. If you feel competent and 
have more time than money, you 
might try the version worked by a 
South African micro club, as detailed 
in Byte, September 1983, pages 
484-487. There have been some 
simple one-channel designs pub- 
lished in Australian and English 
magazines. I have heard that these 
are not very stable, and may need 
frequent readjustment of trimmer 
pots. 

Wireless World, July 1983, pages 
33-35, presented a complete design 
for a direct-coupled modem using the 
XR chip set and a swept-up Reticon 



R5631 monolithic switched- 

capacitor band-pass filter. If you 
want the option of using either 300 
baud or 1 200 baud rates, the choice 
is between the rather complex 
design from ETI, October 1982, 
pages 18-27, or designing your own 
with the AM7910 (the local agent is 
G.T.S. Engineering, Ltd., P.O. Box 
9613, Newmarket, Auckland). 

For less adventurous souls, the 
Auckland Micro Users' Group has 
been making a very good 
acoustically coupled modem with a 
cost of $150 for an assembled 
board. By the time you add a power 
transformer, cabinet, sockets, etc., 
the total would be around $200. You 
should have some knowledge of 
electronics or at least a know- 
ledgeable friend, before tackling the 
job. 

Ready-made modems have been 
selling in the region of $700 or $800. 
This is not excessive considering the 
kind of attention to design and 
construction needed for a reliable 
commercial device. For hobbyist 
use, however, lower costs are 
needed. The increased market 
penetration possible from lower 
prices might lead to some economies 
of scale. The Bell 103 frequencies 
used in the United States are 



significantly harder to work with 
than the CCITT frequencies, yet the 
low cost of modems there shows the 
effects of competition. 

The booming New Zealand sales of 
home computers together with the 
rumoured liberalisation of Post Office 
attitudes might stimulate compar- 
able cost reductions here. 



Business move 

Mr D.O. Walker, who recently 
retired as managing director of the 
country's second biggest company, 
N.Z. Forest Products Ltd, has moved 
into the computer world. He has 
become a director of the Auckland 
based company. Telephone Market- 
ing International Ltd. Mr Walker 
predicts that telephone marketing 
in conjunction with computer 
technology will reduce expense and 
time spent on travel by executives 
and sales staff. 



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address? 

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label with the new 
address marked on it. 




CALLING ALL HOME 
COMPUTER and 
HOME VIDEO GAMES 
SYSTEM OWNERS 



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



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

Hire games on a weekly basis at a fraction of their cost 
and exchange for different games when you wish. 
Purchase games by mail from the largest selection 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 
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600 800 

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BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 17 



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DEC Rainbow 

Many extras 
and a price 
that's 
competitive 

By Warren Marett 

When Digital Equipment Corpora- 
tion released its Rainbow 100 
microcomputer just over a year ago it 
was thought that the attractive 
machine could capture a large share 
of the business microcomputer 
market. 

Unfortunately, DEC did not find a 
pot of gold at the end of the 
Rainbow. The success of the IBM 
Personal Computer has eclipsed all 
other computers in this class. 

Nevertheless, the Rainbow has a 
role to play in the market. It is worth 
while to review the machine, with an 
emphasis on its special features and 
the advantages of observing it a year 
into its life. 

The principal special feature of the 
Rainbow is its dual-processor design. 
A Zilog Z80A 8-bit processor is 
coupled with an Intel 8088 16-bit 
processor, giving the computer the 
ability to run both 8-bit software and 
16-bit software. 

The Rainbow's CP/M-86/80 
operating system automatically 
selects the correct processor when it 
loads either an 8-bit program or a 
16-bit program into memory. 

System functions are also divided 
by the two microprocessors, using 
a parallel-processing technique. 
Reading or writing to the floppy disks 
is controlled by the Z80A, while the 
video display, keyboard, serial 
printer port, communications port, 
and options are controlled by the 
8088. 

What exactly is this operating 
system called CP/M-86/80? 

In the beginning, there was CP/M, 
an operating system for various 8-bit 
microprocessors. Then its owners, 
Digital Research, built CP/M-86, 
which is little more than a 16-bit 
version of CP/M. 

But the many thousands of 
programs that run on an 8-bit 
microprocessor under CP/M will not 
run on a 1 6-bit microprocessor under 
CP/M-86 unless they are rewritten or 
converted for the different micro- 
processor and different operating 




The DEC Rainbow 
system environment. 

Many of the most popular 
programs, such as WordStar and 
Multiplan, are now available under 
CP/M-86, but there are other 
programs still only available in 8-bit 
form. In addition, many organisa- 
tions have a substantial investment 
in 8-bit software and do not want to 
go out and buy 1 6-bit versions of the 
same programs when they install a 
16-bit microcomputer. 

DEC has combined CP/M and 
CP/M-86 into an operating system 
which it calls CP/M-86/80. With 
its dual-processor architecture and 
CP/M-86/80 the Rainbow can 
happily digest both programs that 
run under CP/M and programs that 
run under CP/M-86. 

As time goes on, and the amount 
of 16-bit software available 
increases, the benefits of DEC's 
approach become less important. 
But today many organisations may 
find the flexibility useful. (Of course, 
not all CP/M and CP/M-86 software 
can run on the Rainbow. Just as it is 
not possible to freely interchange 
CP/M programs between different 
CP/M machines, because of 
hardware differences and disk 
format differences, so it is not 
always possible to migrate a CP/M 



program or CP/M-86 program to the 
Rainbow.) 

MS-DOS proving 
more popular 

DEC has also released the 16-bit 
MS-DOS operating system for the 
Rainbow, which is turning out to be a 
more popular operating system than 
CP/M-86. 

Locally. DEC has been able to 
catalogue more than 1 50 packages 
or programs that will run under 
CP/M-86/80 or MS-DOS. Many 
others will also run. 

A number of the catalogued 
packages and programs are 
supported directly by DEC, with a 
12-month warranty if purchased 
with a Rainbow (which also has a 
12-month warranty). 

They include the IMS general 
accounting packages, the Charter 
Series from Interactive Applications. 
Ltd, the MicroPro programs 
(including WordStar), the SELECT 
word processing program, the 
Multiplan spreadsheet package, TK! 
Solver, MBASIC, CBASIC, and a 
number of other languages. 

In terms of hardware design the 
Rainbow has been highly praised. A 
standard Rainbow consists of three 



18 BITS & BYTES April, 1984 



EOnOGDO 




wwmw 




High quality, field proven 
Bairibow 100 software. 



Private Ledger 
Financial Modelling 
Debtors 6? Sales Analysis 
Time and Cost/ Job Costing 
Order Entry 



Software packages include: 

• Trust Accounting 

• Contacts — Contributory 
Mortgage and Trust 
Accounting System. 

• Word Processing 



• Creditors 

• Payroll 

• Information Storage & 
Retrieval 

• Investment Register 



All available on Rainbow 100 and 100 Plus. Also compatible with IBM PC. 

Raiobow 100 -Personal Computers 
with the Digital Difference! 

Rainbow 100 Z80/8088 Dual Processor which distributors of all DEC Personal Computers as well 

runs both 8 bit and 16 bit programs. This is a low as Terminals and Peripherals. And by bulk buying 

cost, high performance personal computer. we can offer the full range at prices nobody can 

Business Computers Ltd are authorised beat 



•il 



Remember: 
it's the Software 
that Counts 

Contact Stuart Columbus or Alan McGhee. 




HDIDD0D 



Business 
Computers Limited 

Cnr Colombo Street and Bealey Avenue 
P.O. Box 13309. Christchurch. 
Telephone (03) 791-427 

Authorised distributors (or Dujital Equipment Corporation. U SA 
BITS & BYTES - April, 1984 - 19 



HARDWARE R€VI€UU 



•:■:■:■:•:■:■:■:•■:■:—-.:•:--:■■:.:-■:■:.:.:-■:•:. 



components: a system unit, a 
monitor, and a keyboard. 

The system unit contains the main 
electronics, the power supply and a 
pair of 5% -inch floppy disk drives. 
There is room for another pair of disk 
drives in the system unit, or 
alternatively a five or 10-megabyte 
hard disk. 

It is not even necessary to own a 
screwdriver to get access to the 
internals of the system unit, or 
remove a component for repair. 
Installing a system option or 
removing a component is as simple 
as turning a few screws. 

Three option slots are available on 
top of the motherboard for the 
addition of optional modules such as 
increased memory or the graphics 
option. (Most purchasers will want 
to start with 128K bytes of 
memory.) 

An optional floor stand is 
recommended to mount the system 
unit vertically alongside your desk, 
rather than taking up valuable desk 
space. 

Another advantage of using the 
floor stand is to get away from the 
noise of the fan in the system unit 
and the surprisingly-noisy disk 
drives. 

The 5 % -inch diskettes hold 400K 
bytes each, but still only are single- 
sided. It is natural to try to pull the 
disk drive doors open, until one 
realises that it is a lot easier to just 
press on another part of the door for 
entry. 

Diskettes go a different way into 
the A drive than the B drive, which is 
slightly awkward. However, DEC 
diskettes are clearly marked to show 
the right orientation. Sometimes, on 
removing a diskette, the write- 
protect notch catches on the side of 
the drive. 

A standard Rainbow can be 
ordered with either a white, green or 
amber display. The monochrome 
video monitor is a compact unit with 



••«:•":■:«">:■:«■:■:■:■:•»:■:■:•:■>:•: .,„■■„,.,..., ,...-.,.,... 



excellent character definition, and an 
almost total absence of glare. It is a 
wedge-shaped unit that fits well on a 
corner of your desk. 

105 keys on well 
designed board 



The Rainbow's keyboard is also a 
well-designed unit. The keys feel 
wishy-washy at first, but within a 
few minutes you realise that they 
encourage fast and effortless typing. 
There is a special set of editing keys 
(including the cursor control keys) 
between the traditional keyboard 
and the numeric keypad. These keys 
are used by the CP/M-86/80 screen 
editor (RED) and the SELECT word 
processing package. Above these 
keys is a HELP key and a DO key, 
used by some tailored software. 
Across the top of the keyboard are 
18 other function keys and there are 
four function keys above the numeric 
pad. 

With 105 keys, DEC could not be 
accused of skimping on the 
keyboard's design. If an application 
program used all the keys you would 
get a tired arm moving across the 
large keyboard! 

The Rainbow hardware has some 
"soft" features that are alterable 
through a "Set-Up" key. Typical 
features that can be changed are the 
screen width (80 characters or 132 
characters), tab stops, printer 
settings, communications options 
(particularly so that the Rainbow can 
act as a terminal to another 
computer system), and keyboard 
characteristics. 

In the hardware design, major 
software products, and documenta- 
tion, DEC has tried hard to make the 
system understandable to the 
neophyte computer user. 

A computer-based instruction 
diskette comes with the Rainbow to 
provide a gentle introduction to the 



computer and its software. Th 
course covers the basics of trt 
Rainbow, getting started wit 
CP/M-86/80, an introduction to file 
and information about the com 
mands and utilities in CP/M-86/80. 

CP/M-86/80 itself has a helj 
feature (which, strangely, does no 
use the HELP key). 

The Rainbow manuals are orientet 
much more to the unsophisticatet 
user than the knowledgeable user 
Unlike DEC's traditional manuals 
they do not provide the backgrount 
information that an expert user migh 
find helpful. 

For their intended audience th< 
manuals are good. They are th< 
modern, smaller size, spiral bount 
and boxed in heavy cardboard files 
Perhaps they would have been bene 
in ring binders so that they can b< 
updated easily. 

Each manual set for a software 
product starts with an easy-to-follow 
"getting started" manual. There is « 
notable absence of reference cards 
(although most software has on-line 
help which largely supersedes suet" 
reference cards). 

The preferred word processing 
package for the Rainbow is 
SELECT-86, from SELECT Informa 
tion Systems, Inc. It is wel 
integrated with the machine and is 
one of the better microcomputei 
word processing packages. 

Well integrated 
word pro cessor 

A one-line menu at the top of the 
screen reminds you of SELECT 
commands, and a comprehensive 
computer-based instruction course is 
provided with the package. Included 
with SELECT is a spelling checker, 
callable from the main SELECT menu 
and easy to use. SELECT can also 
pick up spreadsheets created with 
Multiplan and incorporate them into 
a document. 



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48 Kitchener Road, Milford, Auckland 9, Ph. (9) 499-458 



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Enquiries 
Welcome 



20 BITS & BYTES April, 1984 



HARDWARE R€VI€UJ Microcomputer summary 



A good reason for using SELECT 
on the Rainbow, rather than some 
other word processing package, is 
that the CP/M-86/80 screen editor, 
called RED, is a subset of SELECT. 

Multiplan is the preferred 
spreadsheet package for the 
Rainbow. It also uses some of the 
keyboard's special keys, but 
Multiplan is so well presented that it 
hardly needs this assistance. 

Feedback from users of the 
Rainbow indicates that DEC has 
established an excellent support 
service for the computer. 

For any problem, hardware or 
software, the owner rings (collect) 
an Auckland hot-line, which 
attempts to sort out the problem 
over the phone. Hardware 
maintenance is provided by the local 
DEC office and can include on-site 
visits. 

The hardware and major items of 
software have an unusually long 
warranty period of 12 months. 

The standard Rainbow has 
recently been joined by the Rainbow 
100+ which has 128K bytes of 
memory and a 10-megabyte disk 
drive included. It sells for $12,882. 

These personal computers are also 
members of a family of DEC 
microcomputers, which includes a 
special word-processing system and 
a microcomputer with the PDP-11 
instruction set built in. 

Locally, DEC has sold nearly 400 
Rainbows since the product's 
release in the middle of last year. 
Considering the competition this 
indicates a good penetration and 
shows that many buyers appreciate 
the extra features and competitive 
price of the Rainbow. 



Name: 

Manufacturer: 
Microprocessors : 
Clock speed: 
RAM: 

ROM: 

Input/output: 



Keyboard: 

Display: 
languages: 

Graphics: 

Sound: 
Cost: 



Options: 



Software: 
Peripherals: 
Reviewer's ratings: 



Rainbow 100. 

Digital Equipment Corporation. 

Z80A and 8088. 

4 MHz (Z80A) and 4.8 MHz (8088}. 

64K bytes, with additional 64K-byte or 192K- 

byte optional boards. 

24K bytes, containing system boot, diagnostics 

and terminal emulation routines. 

White, green amber or colour monitor. 

Dual 5% -inch floppy disk drives, each 400K 

bytes. 

Serial RS232/423 printer port. 

Asynchronous/Synchronous RS232/423 

communications port. 

105 keys, including separate editing keys, 

numeric keypad and 24 special function keys. 

24 lines by 80 or 1 32 characters. 

MBASIC-86, CBASIC-86, MWC-86 <C 

Compiler), Pascal/MT-f 86 and others. 

Optional graphics module with GSX-86 

software, 800 X 240 or 384 X 240 resolution. 

Bell. 

Basic system with monitor, dual floppy disk 

drives and no software, $6897 (including 40 

per cent sales tax). 

Colour monitor, add $1 1 15 to system price. 

Two additional floppy disk drives, $2242. 64K- 

byte memory addition, $681. 192K-byte 

memory addition, $1 140. Five-megabyte hard 

disk, $3177. Ten-megabyte hard disk, $6365. 

Extended communications option, $1127. 

Graphics option, $1039. 

CP/M-86/80, $155. MS-DOS, $360. 

Multiplan-86, $478. SELECT-86 word 

processor, $692. Numerous other packages. 

LA50 personal printer, $1564. LA 100 draft 

and near letter-quality printer, $3475. LQP02 

letter-quality printer, $4777. 

Documentation, 4; Ease of use, 4; Value for 

money, 4; Support, 5; Expansion, 4. 



Review machine supplied by Digital Equipment Corporation, 
Christchurch. 



HOME COMPUTER SPECIALIST 




Commodore 64 — $995 ($250 Deposit) 
BBC — $ 1 695 ($400 Deposit) 

Electron — $795 ($200 Deposit) 

Spectrum — (16K$499) 

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Colour Genie - $550 ($100 Deposit) 
• Vic 20 -$495 ($100 Deposit) 



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experience and can heir you with the 

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home user or small business. 

— Patrick offers you personal service before 
and afier the purchase of \our computer. 



BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 - 21 



HARDWRRC R€VI€W 



■ ■:•;».% ■;■; •;•: ■:■:■:■;■ >;■:■;■;■: ■» ;■ '■'.•'. ■ ■ i •'•'.•'. • ■ • 



■ 



corn 4^sl«ctron 




/ - / ■ I • I ■ I ■■ I I 

I* ,.»,» |«. ,;« ,«,. | , 

/ *»0 / »>!» / DM* | <« | M10 | IK | MO 

, « i w | ouw I « I MUM | Wl | Wl< | UMfi | hi i i»«- 



• i ! ' * \ \ 




The Electron 

Cut-down 
BBC for 
about $800 

By Pip Forer 

With some 1 8 issues under its belt 
Bits & Bytes has reviewed in detail 



well over 30 microcomputers and 
commented on a legion more. The 
New Zealand mini-market has 
attempted to embrace almost every 
microcomputer under the sun, from 
the IBM-PC to the Albanian Zog 
Electronic Abacus, and Bits & Bytes 
has faithfully chronicled the 
progress. Of all of these machines it 
is clear that perhaps 10 or 12 will 
survive in significant numbers: 1984 
will be a chill year for many of the 
others. What price then yet another 
8-bit machine at the low-cost end of 
the market? Surprisingly for the 
Acorn Electron, the starting odds, at 



From the makers of 
the BBC micro . . . 

ACORN 
Electron 



/ ; / i i i ii I I • i • I ill \ 
/ / / -i ill- i-l l-l I I \ 




The new personal computer with the most 
sophisticated graphics facilities for its price! 
Acknowledged as Britain's most exciting new 
micro with limitless potential for education and 
home entertainment! 

JOHN GILBERT 
ELECTRONICS 

PARNELl RISE. AUCKLAND. PHONE (09) 30-839. 

Open Saturday Mornings, 9-12 noon. 



ONLY 

$ 795 




EST 1932 



ALSO 
AVAILABLE: 



Complete 
Starter pack! 

Special tax-tree price 
available to schools. 



48K Speclrums S525. Vic 20 & Cassette S495 - . BBC Micros. Software, 
Magazines, Books. Peripherals & Accessories * (Limited Offer/ 



The Acorn Electron keyboard 

least, are very favourable. 

I was asked to look at the Electron 
because of my dabbling with the 
BBC microcomputer. Although that 
may mean I have a natural leaning 
towards what the Electron offers it is 
also appropriate since it is hard to 
evaluate the Electron without being 
constantly aware of its very close 
similarities with the BBC machine. 
The Electron is essentially a very- 
good piece of hardware. What gives 
it that added attraction, however, is 
its links to the considerable BBC user 
community in education and the 
home market. It is on considerations 
like these and the quality of the 
software or the operating system, 
rather than the hardware itself, that 
all machines now stand or fall. 

The Electron's hardware, how- 
ever, first needs description. It 
comes as a small, compact keyboard 
unit with a power supply external to 
the unit. Without parroting the 
brochures and advertising hand-outs 
too much these are its salient points. 

Essentially the Electron is a 
stripped-down BBC computer aimed 
to price in better with the home 
consumer market. It has a 6502 
processor running at 2 megaHertz 
and 64K RAM. Of this, however, 
1 6K goes in its operating system and 
16K for its outstanding structured 
BASIC, which is good enough to put 
any other commonly available BASIC 
(and certainly the Microsoft 
versions) to shame. 

This memory allocation, which 
leaves the user with 32K free RAM, 
is a limitation to program size, but a 
boon in the quality of the system it 
offers. The operating system and 
BASIC are the standard BBC issue. 
Apart from a slower processing 
speed (about 35 per cent down) and 
the absence of a Teletext chip to give 



22 BITS& BYTES April, 1984 



HflRDWnR€ R€VI€UJ 

screens of teletext coloured text, 
most BBC software runs on the 
Acorn. Certainly, the BBC's 
outstanding colour graphics and 
graphics commands are preserved 
completely intact. The sound has 
lost channels, however. 

At under half the price of a BBC 
what features have been sacrificed? 
The main difference between the 
BBC and Electron is the loss of the 
various input and output ports with 
which the BBC bristles. The Electron 
has a cassette port and three video 
options (TV, straight video, and RGB 
monitor) but no more. The user will 
be able to expand up to include all 
the various features the full BBC can 
manage through an expansion box, 
the slot and anchoring screws for 
which are provided at the back of the 
machine. For a home unit this makes 
sense in some areas (the 1 
megaHertz BUS for instance) but the 
absence of a built-in printer port is a 
regrettable omission. The details of 
the expansion box (or boxes) have 
not been released, but already the 
British market has produced a variety 
of non-Acorn expansion options 
such as a joystick port. It would 
seem that the Electron could handle 
any of the expansions of the BBC, 






including a 32-bit second processor 
and sideways ROMs, with the 
correct expansion options. 

The Electron has gained a few 
points, too. For the home it is small 
and (at long last from a British 
machine) elegant to look at. 
Certainly more so than the utilitarian 
BBC and arguably more than any 
other 8-bit micro. Its keyboard is a 
reduced version of the BBC with 
several keys apparently missing. 
However, in fact, the same range of 
functions and more are provided 
through a dual purpose capitals 
lock/function key. When held down 
this allows the 10 numeric keys to 
behave as programmable special 
function keys. It also gives a third 
'value' to all the other keys on the 
keyboard. 

In some cases this is used to allow 
three characters to be accessed from 
one key (cursor move, pound, and 
scroll bracket for instance). On most 
of the keys, however, the effect is to 
produce BASIC verbs at a single 
stroke, or useful commands such as 
'RUN, Carriage Return'. The key- 
words are clearly but discreetly 
etched on the side of each key. This 
would be useful for any micro. It has 
especial advantages in BBC BASIC 



where variable names may be any 
length and in upper or lower case. 
Programmers often like to make their 
program easier to interpret by using 
lower case for variable names. On 
the BBC this means using the shift 
key a lot since the BASIC commands 
must be in capitals. On the Electron 
you can by-pass this. The keyboard 
is a full-travel keyboard and very 
pleasant to use. 

The Electron comes with three 
aids to its use. The Electron Guide is 
in the excellent tradition of the BBC 
User Guide with the irrelevant parts 
removed and the welcome addition 
of an improved section on assembler 
programming. Most of the intro- 
ductory programming sections have 
also gone. This is mainly because the 
second item is a short (140 pages) 
but useful text on programming in 
BBC BASIC. Finally there is a 
welcome tape with 1 3 programs on 
it. These include a keyboard 
familiarisation program, some games 
and some graphics demonstrations 
published elsewhere for the BBC. 

The only odd thing about the 
Electron's total packaging is that the 
British model has no on/off switch: it 
needs switching at the mains I 
understand thought is being given to 



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Incorporates latest 3.5. 
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Transportable. 




Whatever your requirements, 
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needs from their versatile range. 

From the world famous BBC 
Microcomputer designed primarily 
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developed specifically for both per- 
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These are supported by a wide 
range of software for Educational, 
Professional and Commercial Use. 



BARSON COMPUTERS LTD 
2 Davis Cresent, Newmarket, 




BBC 

MICROCOMPUTER 
SYSTEM 

Approved for use in New 
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first choice of most teachers 

because of its simplicity, 
power and high resolution 
graphics. 



sinus 

BUSINESS COMPUTER 

Powerful small business 
computer with great expan 
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with most other personal 
business computers. 




MAL5785 



HnRDUUHR€ R€VI€UJ 

installing a switch on the power lead 
for the New Zealand market. 

In summary, the Acorn is good 
8-bit hardware with the potential for 
upgrading along the design path of 
the BBC computer. Its strengths on 
its own are its outstanding BASIC 
and high quality graphics. Apart from 
its one or two noticeable flaws (the 



■.w.V.'.v.v.*.-.v.v.-.v, 



-■>--■ .-■ 



printer port and power switch) it 
offers a good entry system machine. 
What marks it as a winner is that it 
has links to an established user 
community. Overseas this means the 
British computer market, along with 
the education system from primary 
upwards. In New Zealand it relates to 
the fact that, with the Apple II, the 



Microcomputer summary 


Name: 


Acorn Electron. 


Processor: 


6502 at 2 MHz. 


ROM: 


32K. 


RAM: 


32K. 


Input/Output: 


Cassette Port. 


Keyboard: 


Full travel QWERTY with 55 keys with 3 shifts 




(Shift, CNTRL and FUNC). 


Display: 


Connects to Video, TV, or RGB Monitor. 


Language: 


BBC structured BASIC. 


Graphics: 


Five modes: Maximum 16 colours or 640 by 256 




pure bit mapped. 


Peripherals: 


Disks 400K when available. DOS will be BBC DOS 




when the interface is ready. 


Price: 


Around $800. 



Review unit supplied by Whitcoulls Ltd, Christchurch. 




for a full 12 month period (not 3 or 6) 



SPECTRUM 48Kg $525 

ZX PRINTERS $175 

MICRODRIVE $275 INTERFACE I $275 

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BBC computer is really the de facto 
standard in New Zealand schools. 
Software and expertise seem far 
more likely to be available for this 
machine than many other cheap 
offerings, particularly the Japanese 
and some of the US machines which 
are having discontinued production 
overseas. 

The Electron is expected to sell at 
under $800 tax paid. This places it 
above the bargain basement 
machines and below the more fully 
configured and flexible offerings 
such as the Apple II and BBC. Its 
closest price competitor is probably 
the Commodore 64. In a straight run 
these two should come pretty close. 
For some users, though, the BBC 
relationship may prove the deciding 
factor. 

It may well prove popular with 
parents who have children at BBC- 
based schools and for primary 
schools with links to secondary in 
mind. (It will need a good LOGO 
cartridge for the expansion box to 
meet some of the demands from the 
latter, however). 

It may also have a future as a 
"cheap keyboard" option for school 
networks. The expansion options are 
claimed to include the ability for an 
ECONET interface. Since for a 
network station a lot of the extra 
user ports on the BBC are 
unnecessary many schools may look 
to an ECONET with a few fully- 
configured BBCs (for printers and 
disks) and a lot more Electrons for 
most of the keyboard work. If the 
ECONET expansion is cheap enough 
schools may be interested in a 
functioning microcomputer unit at 
around the $500 mark. All this, 
however, hangs on forthcoming 
upgrades. At this point in time it 
should be judged 

as a 'stand-alone', cassette-based 
machine. 

In short, the Electron scores on a 
lot of dimensions apart from its 
attractive hardware. At the moment 
any machine reviewer should not just 
comment on the machine as 
equipment but as a long-term 
survivor. A lot of good hardware will 
go to the wall in 1984: the real 
question is whether a new machine 
can secure a market niche. Given 
prompt and reliable supply the 
Electron will and it will survive and 
thrive. It deserves to. 

Wizzard blue 

The Wizzard column that was 
printed in the last issue of BITS & 
3YTES was mistakenly headed 
/Z200. Our apologies. 



24 BITS & BYTES - April, 1984 




THE TELEVIDEO 
PORTABLE COMPUTER. 
$4591 (tax paid) 



TELEVIDEO" PERSONAL COMPUTERS. 
PICK UP ON THE PORTABLE BOOM. 

The easiest way to keep your business moving up is with the computer that 
keeps you moving ahead: the Tele Video "Portable, complete with CP/M' 
operating system, word processing, spreadsheet and graphics software, plus a 
slock control, debtors <& invoicing package. 

//)c TeleVideo Portable is the powerful stjnd-jlone ( omputer thM < an />c< omeparl of j 
TeleVideo off k e network with plug-in simplh ity. And it comes with two communication 
ports: one tor ,1 printer and one for ,) modem that enables von to keep in touch with your 
office ( omputer resoun es and (/.i/.i servii es. 

The TeleVideo Portable Computer is styled for < omfort; it even 
has a ten-key a< < ounting pad not normally found on portables 
And its 9" vellow phosphor s< reen gives you .) good look .1/ 
all the information stored on .1 double-sided double-density 
5'A" flopp) di-.k drive. 



/'/< k up on the TeleVideo Portable Computer. And net 
in on the boom. 




data peripherals 

nz ltd 

132 HURSTMERE ROAD, TAKAPUNA, AUCKLAND 10 
TELEPHONE 491-303 TELEX 2589 



BITS & BYTES - April, 1984 25 



HRRDWflR€ R€VI€W 

Games and 
CP/M for 
not too much 

By Shayne Doyle 



The Pencil II has just been released 
in New Zealand this month. From 
Soundic Industries, Hong Kong, the 
Pencil is placed right in the highly 
competitive $300-800 band, 
although it can be expanded to full 
CP/M capability at quite a reasonable 
price. 

Of eye-catching appearance, the 
Pencil is an average-size, black 
plastic enclosure with the keyboard 
in contrasting grey. Each row of keys 
is delineated by a blue band. On the 
bands are printed the pre-encoded 
statements and functions assigned 
to each key. As may be expected of 
a machine in this price bracket, the 
keyboard is a "chiclet" type, with 
rubber keys. When a key is pressed 
an audible indication is given, and 
this is necessary as a key can be 
pressed on the edge without its 
registering. 

There is a normal-size space bar 
and RETURN and SHIFT are double 
sized as on a normal keyboard. To 
the right are four cursor keys, and at 
the top is a row of six programmable 
function keys. These only hold eight 
characters, which is not enough to 
be of much use. In my opinion a 
useful function key should be 
capable of referencing at least 40 
characters. All keys have auto repeat 
at a good speed. I do not like these 
keyboards, but this one was all right 
for slower typing. The cursor keys 
are used for the full screen editor, 



.■.v.v.-.v.v.-.-.-.v.v.v.-.v.v.-.v.-.v.'.%v.v.v. 




The Pencil II 

and if shifted, perform insert and 
delete operations. All the 
alphabetical keys are both upper and 
lower case. 

On the rear of Pencil's case are 
sockets for power supply (plug 
pack), TV output, composite video 
output to a monitor, cassette 
recorder, left and right joysticks, and 
parallel printer port. On the right end 
of the machine are two slots, one for 
the memory expansion modules or 
games adaptor, the other for system 
expansion modules — modem, 
RS232C interface, or disk drive 
controller module. In the top right 
surface is a slot for language, games, 
or applications software cartridges. 
By inserting the appropriate 
conversion module in the memory 
expansion socket. Pencil runs Coleco 
and Atari video game cartridges. 
Each of the system expansion 
modules is designed to stack on the 
end of the computer and match it in 
size, shape, and attractive delivery. 

Two cartridges lent to me were 



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4 voices 

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In-built diagnostics 



ATARI 400 Computer 1 6K 
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ATARI 800 XL Computer 64K 
ATARI 1010 Programme recorder 
ATARI Disc Drive 
64K RAM Expansion for 600 XL 
Touch tablet 



$395.00 
$695.00 
$995.00 
$199.00 
$995.00 
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Mail and phone orders with Visa and Bankcard welcome 



Zaxxon and Smurf — both featuring 
superb graphics and really showing 
off the capabilities of the video 
controller chip, a TMS 9918. Some 
of you will indeed be familiar with 
Zaxxon — a 3D penetrate-and- 
destroy style arcade game in which 
the scenario scrolls diagonally from 
top right to bottom left while the 
player(s) pilot their ships through the 
various hazards battling sundry foes, 
gauging the ship's altitude from the 
shadow on the ground. The Smurf 
game illustrates well the sprite 
facility of this chip. 

Unfortunately, the S-BASIC 
cartridge supplied with the machine 
is rather "basic", having absolutely 
no graphics commands at all. To use 
graphics with this BASIC requires it 
to be done in machine code — an 
easy task for an experienced low- 
level language programmer, but 
quite out of the question for the 
average person buying this 
computer. However, an enhanced 
version conforming to the new 
Japanese MSX BASIC standard is to 
be released in 1984 as an 

option. This will enable the home 
user to make full use of the very 
powerful capabilities of the 
TMS9918 video chip and SN76489 
sound generator chip. 

The supplied S-BASIC has most of 
the standard commands, but there 
are a few limitations. Strings may 
only be a maximum of 32 characters; 
RESTORE does not have a line 
number variable; the INPUT 
statement does not allow an 
associated literal; IF structures are 
limited to IF ... THEN and IF . . . 
GOTO; and there is no provision for 



26 BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 




BACK IN '83 

MYPARENTSDECIDED 

WE COULD DO WITHOUT 



A PENCIL COMPUTER 



i IMJ 






Oh. don't think I didn't 
plead my case 
"I'll flunk maths tor a start," 
I announced, threateningly 

"Kids who've got Pencils can 
help but get ahead — it actually 
makes learning fun." 

At this. Dad chimed in with the 
old standard. "I didn't have fun 
when I was at school", followed by 
the egualiy predictable "$595 is one 
helluva lot for a new Pencil, ha. ha." 

To Dad. the Pencil computer was 
clearly just another fancy video 
game. 

And. unfortunately, its superb 
arcade duality graphics and 
renowned compatibility with Atari 
and the like, made the enjoyment 
possibilities all too obvious 

But. I argued strenously, the Pencil 
is also a vital educational tool — 
much like the lead HB variety Dad 
was accustomed to. Why. it was so 
simple even he and Mum could use 
it — for jobs like bookkeeping, 
inventory analysis and household 
budgeting. 



John Gilbert Electronics 

Parnell Rise, Parnell. 

Computer Room, 

177 Ward Street, Hamilton. 

Haseldeans Hobbies 

45 The Square, Palmerston North. 





. --' 



♦V ^ 



The old man's eyebrows lifted, 
almost imperceptibly, as he 
sensed the opportunity to keep 
an eye on Mum's housekeeping 
But. in the end, they decided 
Dad should have a new set of golf 
clubs, and that was that. 

Tragedy. I didn't even get the 
chance to impress him with Pencil's 
vast memory expansion capabilities. 

Or the fact that Pencil is the 
cheapest colour computer to run 
the popular CP/M software. 

He died the very next day of a 
heart attack, while trying to dig 
himself out of a bunker on the 13th. 
And me? Well, suffice to say. next 
year I hope to be promoted to 
Moon Base Despatch. 




u* 



c5 



A computer so simple 
an adult can use it. 

For more information on the Pencil 

Computer write to: 

Computer Marketing Manager 

Fortuna Industries Limited 

P.O. Box 25014 Wellington 

Or phone 873-155 

Wellington. 

mmmmmmmmUmm 



i . 



BITS & BYTbS April. 1984 27 



HARDWARE R€VI€W 
Microcomputer summary 



.■.■•'.■..•..•.■.■•'.v,..v.v/.v.v.y/..V/>'.v,y/.y.v 6MMHMMM ■' ' 



Name: 

Manufacturer: 

Microprocessor: 

RAM: 

ROM: 

Input/output: 



Keyboard: 
Display: 

Languages: 
Sound: 



Cost: 
Options: 



Peripherals: 

Review machine 



Pencil II. 

Soundic Electronics Ltd, Hong Kong. 
Z80A. 

16K User RAM, expandable to 80K bytes. 
8K Monitor ROM, 12K BASIC ROM cartridge 
expandable to 32K ROM. 

Video — RF TV output and composite video. Monitor 
output. Joysticks sockets. Cassette I/O port at 600 
bps. Parallel printer port. Program cartridges ROM slot. 
Memory expansion/game adaptor slot. 

System/Peripheral Expansion bus slot. 
59 key rubber chiclet type, auto repeat on all keys, 
upper & lower case. 

TMS 9918 Video display controller. Character display 
- 24 lines x 32 characters, 24 x 80 with 80 column 
module. Graphics display - 256 x 192 pixels. 16 
background, 16 character/pixel colours. 
S-BASIC interpreter ROM pack. MSX BASIC ROM 
cartridge optional. 

SN76489 sound chip - 3 audio channels + white 
noise channel. Audio output through TV speaker or 
video monitor speaker. 

Including power pack and S-BASIC cartridge $595. 
16K RAM cartridge $115. 64K RAM cartridge $245. 
Coleco or Atari game adaptor T.B. A. Joysticks with 
numeric keypad (pair) $59.95. RS232C serial interface 
module $118. Telephone modem module T.B. A. CP/M 
80 column module $145. 

Data cassette recorder (with counter) $80. CP/M SSDD 
disk drive package $995. CP/M DSDD disk drive 
package $1195. Parallel printer T.B. A. 
supplied by Fortuna Industries, Ltd, Wellington. 



print formatting. 

Variables may be fixed or floating 
point, named by the usual first two 
characters convention. There is a 
COLOR command; a SOUND 
command for control of the sound 
generator; PRINT# and INPUT# to 
write/read cassette data files; a full 
quota of string and numeric 
functions; and all the usual relational 
and logical operators such as NOT 
AND OR. There is some syntax 
checking on input, with a series of 
two character error codes associated 
with each error message. 

As I mentioned earlier, there is an 
80-column module, and a choice of 
two disk-drive packages — single- 
sided, double-density or double- 
sided, double-density. As these were 
not available at the time of writing 
this article, I cannot comment on 
their performance. However, at 
$995 the disk drive package is quite 
well priced, as it includes the half- 
height drive, drive controller, power 
unit, cable, and CP/M disk. 

I was most impressed with the 
colour quality on my TV. It had a very 
sharp picture with virtually no colour 
wash. The sound was excellent as 
well — no overlying hum or noise at 
all. 
One thing to watch is the RESET 



key. It is easy to press accidentally, 
being on top next to the function 
keys. 

A very good feature is the 
provision of a parallel printer port. 
Many low-cost computers these 
days still require a reasonable 
expensive add-on to use a printer. 
The port also permits experimenting 
with other input/output devices. 

Fortuna has sourced a very 
attractively priced, printer, and 
details will accompany the official 
launch of the computer. 

It is the policy of Fortuna 
Industries to back this computer 
completely with both hardware and 
software support, and it would also 
like to encourage the formation of 
user groups. 

In summary, I feel the Pencil II has 
a good future in the New Zealand 
market; with the more powerful 
MSX BASIC. The good line-up of 
accessories and peripherals, 

together with enthusiastic dealer 
support, means it should be able to 
capture a market share. 

New Wellington contact 

The micro news contact in 
Wellington is now Pat Churchill, 
telephone 797-193. 



IBM 

PC Jun. still 
months away 
— at least 

Those who went to the IBM 
product seminar in Wellington 
recently expecting to see the PC 
Junior were disappointed. The 
previous year, the corporation 
launched its PC, but there was 
nothing so dramatic this year. 

Instead, the rows of reporters in 
the IBM seminar room heard the New 
Zealand chairman, Mr Basil Logan, 
describe how the firm had had a 
much better year in 1983 after 
dipping in 1982 because of 
exchange losses. 

IBM has 530 employees in New 
Zealand, and is clearly tooling up to 
seek a larger slice of the market. For 
example, in 1983 it hired 15 new 
graduates to join its marketing staff 
compared with 10 in each of the 
previous two years. It has also 
bought 3.1 hectares at Petone for a 
warehouse and distribution centre, 
and for training. 

The conference was told that the 
IBM dealer network was successfully 
selling PCs and software, some of 
which is not handled by IBM product 
centres. 

The dealers can expect to have 
stocks of the PC Junior in the second 
half of this year at best, and it could 
be as late as 1985. 

IBM has made considerable sales 
of the PC to universities with an 
educational discount last year, and 
this marketing will be continued. The 
PC also has a toehold in at least two 
of the country's secondary schools, 
and the corporation will be trying 
hard to further its links. 

The firm sees education as an 
important market for the PC, and by 
the end of the year it will have two 
staff members involved in marketing 
to the educational sector. Any 
software development will probably 
be in association with the Education 
Department. 

The IBM PC has been chiefly 
selling to business users, who have 
in many cases preferred to buy the 
PC's big brother, the XT, sales staff 
explained to the reporters who were 
shown through the Wellington 
headquarters in relays. 

The conference was a far cry from 
less than a decade ago, when the 
news media expressed so little 
interest in IBM that the firm even 
went to the extent of holding news 
conferences in different centres to 
arouse interest. 



28 BITS & BYTES April, 1984 



The BITS 6 BVTES Computer 

Booh Club 



A couple 
for your 
Spectrum 



Use your bonus points and 
save money on these Spectrum 
specials. 

Each bonus point you cash in 
is worth $1.50 off the price of 
either book, or the combined 
cost if you buy both. 

OR 

Buy at the advertised price 
and earn two bonus points for 
each book bought. 




Drive Your Spectrum 

Anthony Camacho 

■ 
■ 

Our price $15.70. 



Programming 
Spectrum 



Arcade Games 



your 
Adrian Jones 



■ 

Our price $15.45 



MICROSOFT 
COBOL 



KEN SEIDEl 




The club: how 
it works and 
what you get 

All you have to do to join the club 
is buy a book. Just pick out the 
books you want, fill in the coupon in 
the middle of the magazine, and post 
it in FREEPOST. 

We offer savings on the cash price 
you pay for each book PLUS we give 
you bonus points on each purchase. 
These are stored to your credit and 
may be used to save money when 
buying special offers at a later date. 

Please allow two or three weeks 
for orders to be processed and the 
book distributors to get the books to 
you. 



Save with 
bonus points 



Your bonus points can save you cash 
on these mighty books. 

Each bonus point you use is worth 
$2 off any of these three books or 
the combined cost of two or three of 
them. 

OR 

Pay the advertised price and earn 
three bonus points for each book 
bought. 

Microsoft COBOL 

Ken Seidel 

MS-DOS 

■ 

COBOL i 

Our price $31.30 



FORTH Fundamentals: Volume 1 

C Kevin McCabe 

'q-FORTM 
and FOR ' ■ of wotds 

and ii'oy ' ' 'i-FORTH 

I 

Our price $33.75 



The Birds of Babel: Satellites for the Human World 

HalGlatzer 

1 poM«:ai 
iior social 

Sams Our price $25.85 




BITS& BYTES - April. 1984 - 29 



THf BITS & OVT€S BOOK CLUB 






The Commodore 64/VIC 20 BASIC Handbook 
Douglas Hergert 

Our price $20.85. Save $1.10 
and earn 2 bonus points. 

The VIC 20 Connection James W. Coffron 

■ 

■ 
■ 
Our price $17.05. Save 90 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 

VIC Revealed Nick Hampshire 

: 

ns ol BASIC P ' 

Our price $26 55. Save $1.40 
and earn 2 bonus points. 

VIC Graphics Nick Hampshire 

Our price $26.55. Save $1.40 
and earn 2 bonus points. 

VIC Games Nick Hampshire 

Our price $26.55 Save $1.40 
and earn 2 bonus points. 

Vic 20 User Guide John Heilborn & Ran Talbott 

Designed lo help vou enioy your computer lime whether lot 
entertainment or practical applications Shows how to 
operate the VIC 20 and all its peripherals, program in VIC 
BASIC use the machine's lull range ol colour graphics and 
sound capabilities, build a custom character set. and learn 
advanced mathematical programming 
OsborneMcG.awH.il Our price $29.80. Save $1 .60 
and earn 2 bonus points. 
Putting Your VIC 20 to Work Tom Lau 

Our price $16.10. Save 85 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 

Fitly Outstanding Programs tor the VIC 20 

Tim Hartnell 

Our price $22.75 Save $1.20 
and earn 2 bonus points. 

Zap. Pow, Boom: 30 Games tor your VIC 20 

Mark Ramshaw 

" 

Our price $26.35. Save $1 40 
and earn 2 bonus points. 

VIC 20 Starter Book 

Jonathan A Titus. Christopher A. Titus & 
David G. Larsen 

. 

Our price $31.90 Save $1.60 
and earn 3 bonus points. 

VIC 20 Programmer's Notebook Earl R. Savage 

Our price $29.85. Save $1.55 
and earn 2 bonus points. 



VIC 20: 50 Easy-to run Computer Games 

Edward Burns 

' 

Our price $11.90. Save 60 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 

VIC 20: Games, Graphics and Applications 

David C Busch 

Our price $17.90. Save 90 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 



IIB 

Quick Keyboarding Vonnie Alexander 

Sub titled •Competent Keyboa.d.ng in 6 Hours", this book 
by New Zealand Vonnie Alexander has a unique method for 
teach yoursell competent keyboarding. A wall chart ol linger 
positions is included. 

Methuen Our price $6. 50. Save 45c. 

and earn 1 bonus point. 

Keyboarding for Information Processing 

Robert Hanson 
Enables a person to develop basic touch keyboa.ding skill in 
a minimum time. The person who completes the book will be 
able to key in alphabetic, numeric and symbol mto.mat.on 
input numbers on a seperate 10 key pad: keyboard 
intormation quickly and accurately: understand some ol the 
basic vocabulary used in keyboa.ding Can bo used lor 
classroom or individual, sell-instruction 

Osbo.ne McG.aw H.ii Our price $8.95. Save 57c 

and earn 1 bonus point. 



eneral 



The Joy of Computers Peter Laurie 

I 

■ 
Our price $33.20. Save $1 75 
and earn 3 bonus points 

Illustrating Computers (Without Much Jargont 

Colin Day & Donald Alcock 

Our price $6.60. Save 35 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 

Basic Computer Knowledge John Moss 

■ 

Our price $18.55 Save 95 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 

Computer Technology and Social Change 

Michael Wall 

■ 
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Our price $4.90 Save 30 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 
Foundations of Programming John Moss 

. ■• 

Our price $14.20. Save 75 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 

The Good Computing Book for Beginners 

Dennis Jarrett 

■ 

. ■ ■ 
Our price $7.55. Save 40 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 

Microcomputer Colour Graphics Systems 

Donald Bell 

Our price $23.50. Save $1.25 

and earn 1 bonus point. 

Introduction to Data Processing John Moss 

■ , 

: 

■ 

Our price $18.55. Save 95 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 

Buy now! 



■ 



-ommodore 



Basic Subroutines for Commodore Computers 

Eddie Adams 

Easv to use manual which offers access to more than 30X3 
BASIC subroutines powedul building blocks you can 

combine and adapt to create programs tor a wide range of 
business, educational and personal applications Explanations 
for each subroutine with suggestions for modifying it to your 
needs. Each program is ready to run on any Commodore 
system. 

Wiley & Sons Our price $30.35. Save $1.60 

and earn 3 bonus points. 

How to Use The Commodore 64 Jerry & 

Deborah Willis 

Our price $8.55. Save 40 cents 
and earn 1 bonus point. 

More Than 32 BASIC Programs for the 
Commodore 64 Computer Tom Rugg & Phil 

Feldman 

■ 

■ 

Our price $45.55 Save $2.40 
and earn 4 bonus points. 



BBC 



100 Programs for the BBC Microcomputer 
(Models A & B) John Gordon 

Published in association with Acornsoft. this book sets out to 
answer the question, what do you use a microcomputer fi 
Routines cover home, business, school and recreational us«-*> 
Programs are clearly presented and the author provides a b**-' 
explanation with each. 
Prentice Hall Our price $25.55. Save $1.35 

and earn 2 bonus points. 

Cassette available: 

Our price $47.45. Save $2.50 

and earn 4 bonus points. 

Structured Programming With BBC 8ASIC 

Roy Atherton 

. 
■ 

■ 

Our price $31.30. Save $1 65 
and earn 3 bonus points 

Basic Programming on the BBC 

Neil and Pat Cryer 
You've seen the machine on television, and this is the book 
prepared to go with programme. It's designed (or the new 
BBC Teaches how to write programs, draw and animate 
pictures and graphics m full colour, design sound effects and 
program games Detailed glossary 

Prent.ce-Hall Our price $ 19.25. Save $ 1 05 

and earn 2 bonus points 

Assembly Language Programming for the BBC 
Microcomputer Ian Birnbaum 

A guide on how to get the most from your BBC Covers 
addition and subtraction, decision making and loop structure 
in assembly language, indexed addressing, multiplication and 
division, the stack, subroutines and interrupts Offers some 
utitlity programs and provides answers to exercises 
MacMiiian Our price $33.20. Save $1.75 

and earn 3 bonus points. 



The IBM PC DOS Handbook Richard Allen King 

■ ■ 
■ 

i ■ 
Our price $20.85. Save $1.10 
and earn 2 bonus points. 

Useful BASIC Programs for the IBM PC 

Stanley R. Trost 

■ 
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Our price $18.95. Save $1.00 
and earn 1 bonus point. 



30 BITS& BYTES April. 1984 



icusnnn 
X81 GAMES 
ROAKA CRAWLA 
IUNCHEES 
ALAXIANS & GLOPS 
UBSPACE STRIKER & ZOR 
RADER 

TARQUEST & ENCOUNTER 
IONEER TRAIL 
AMPER ft GLOOPER 
OSMIC PROTECTOR 



[JCEAN TRADER 
I HACK STAR 
[)S DEFENDA 
llS ASTEROIDS 
|)S INVADERS 
IjS SCRAMBLE 
j'URPLE TURTLES 
|.OUAPLAN (64) 

IING OF POWER 
f;UINTIC WARRIOR 

HE GENERATORS 
JIEEBART 
liUVABOO 
I'RIUXX 
IjRID RUNNER 
llNT ATTACK 
SYNTAX (CANADA) 
1 YCLONS 64 1641 

'YCLONS (VIC) 

RITTERS (VIC) 

ANK WAR (VIC) 

RABS (VIC) 

10MIK SOFTWARE 

WORD OF HRAKEL 

EDES AND MUTANTS 

JUAORANT 

LPHOIDS 

ITTLE WIZARL MICRO 
<EBEL DEFENDER IVIC) 
ILTIMATE TANK (VIC « 64) 
;HIMP CHASE (VIC) 
.OSMIC CRYSTALS (VICl 
ILASTEROIDS (VIC) 
.RIBBAGE (VIC a 64) 
■SSEMBLER/EDITOR (VICl 
IC AMORTISATION (VIC) 
IC TRIP * PARTY PLANNERS 
IAIL IT (VIC S 64) 
TOCK MASTER (VIC ft 64) 
RONIC CYCLE (VIC ft 64) 
UPER SPRITE (64) 

VTARI PROGRAMS 
1AGIC WINDOW 

ERMINAL (UK) 
■CRAMBLE 
SET LOST 

€VERSI/LINE UP 4 
iRIDDER 

<ETEOP BLASTER 
ERMINAL INVADERC 
PECTRUM GAMES 
.PACE INTRUDERS 
/ETEOR STORM 
HE CHESS PLAYER 
.ASYSPEAK 
IME GATE 
<INED OUT 
RADER 

« WORD PROCESSOR 
\STRO BLASTER 
iSTRO BLASTER 
,fiENZY 
'IC 20 GAMES 
ORNADO 
KYHAWK 

• UBSPACE STRIKER & ZOR 
*RADER 

iTARQUEST ft ENCOUNTER 
1ARVESTER ft BRAINSTORM 
'IXEL POWER 
10MIK (UK) 

^ULTISOUND SYNTHESIZER 
'IME DESTROYERS (VIC) 
ADONS OF JUPITER (VIC) 
SEA INVASION (VIC) 
SPACE FORTRESS (VIC) 
.IIND TWISTERS (VIC) 
STRATEGIC COMMAND 
SUPER NINE (ZX81) 
MARTIAN RAIDER (VICl 



PHARAOH S TOMB (VIC) 
ZORKS KINGDOM (VIC) 
TINY TOTS 7 (VIC ft SPECTRUM) 
GAMES PACK 1 (VIC) 
GAMES PACK 2 (VIC) 
SLAP DAB (VIC. SPECTRUM) 
MOON BUGGY (64) 
3D TIME TREK (VIC ft 64) 
THE DUNGEONS (VIC) 
OUR OWN NEW ZEALAND 



MONOPOLY64 

DELTA RACE 

ERICS MATHS TUTOR 

PROWORD/64 WORDPROCESSOR 

BREAKEVEN C64 

DIG DUG (VIC) 

KNIGHTS QUEST (VIC) 

LUTHUATHIA RAID (VICl 

CRICKET (64) 

PAINT PIC i64) 

MAC GAMES (UK) 
SPACE TRAVEL 
GAMES PACK 1 

ABERSOFT(UK) 

INVADERS (ZX81) 

MAZEMAN (ZX81 ft SPECTRUM) 

ADVENTURE 1 (ZX81 ft SPECTRUM) 

CHESS 1-4(ZX81) 

THE WIZARD S WARRIORS 

PHOTOTRONICS(UK) 
BLACK GOLD (64) 
HOLOCAUST (64) 
GLOBETROTTER (64) 
BANANA REPUBLIC (64) 
ARMAGEDDON (64) 
LOST IN SPACE (64) 
BOMBER (64) 
NINE LIVES (64) 

I.J.K (UK) 
STAR TREK (BBC) 
CANDY FLOSS (BBC) 
HANGMAN 
KRYPTOGRAM 
DICE 
BEETLE 

GRAND NATIONAL 
MUSIC (BBC) 
MUTANT INVADERS 
BREAKOUT (BBC) 
BEEP-BEEP (BBC) 
BEEBMUNCH (BBC) 
SUPER HANGMAN (BBC) 
30 MAZE (BBC) 
FLAGS (BBC) 
HYPERDRIVE (BBC) 
INVADERS (BBC) 
ATLANTIC (BBC) 
STRATOBOMBER (BBC) 
LEAP FROG (BBC) 
PONTOON AND PATIENCE 
5-A-SIDE SOCCA (BBC) 

SIMON HESSEL (UK) 
TRAVEL GAME (BBC) 
INHERITANCE (BBCl 
GB LIMITED (BBC) 

DRAGON GAMES 
MINED OUT 

BBC PROGRAMS 
MINED-OUT 
MUSIC PROC 
WIZARD 
PROTECTOR 
OUIMSILUf" 
ZX81 GAMES 
CROAKA CRAWLA 
MUNCHEES 
GALAXIANS & GLOPS 
SUBSPACE STRIKER * ZOR 
TRADER 

STARQUEST ft ENCOUNTER 
PIONEER TRAIL 
DAMPER ft GLOOPER 
COSMIC GUREILLA 
OCEAN TRADER 
BLACK STAR 
OS DEFENDA 
OS ASTEROIDS 
OS INVADERS 
OS SCRAMBLE 
PURPLE TURTLES 
AOUAPLAN (64) 
RING OF POWFR 



computer 
games 
cata ogue 




IpiriB computing ltd 



ANIROG 



ANIROG 

STABBASE 
^. -D£F ENCE 

STACK HOHT RIHF 

OB JOYSTICK 



■*lmi 



COMMODORE 64 




MOON BUGGY 

Experience all the thrills oi the arcade game as your patrol craft manoeuvera ovei Ihegianl pol 

holes 

3D TIME TREK 

A 3D Star Trek game with real arcade action Battle with the aliens 

DUNGEONS 

Enter the realms of fantasy with superb use of Sprite graphics Battle with the tearlul fire- 
briMthing Red Dragon. 

FROG RUN 

A popular arcade game brought to life with brilliant animated garphics 

GALAXY 

Pure actionas your fighter is under attack by fighters and its mothership 2 player option and 100 
screen- including challenge stage. 

STARBASE DEFENCE 

The martial race of Teno have developed dangerous new weapons — can you defend our 
colonies with the new high power lasters? 

COSMIC COMMANDO 

Your own shooting gallery. Targest hover and weave just out of range. Fast reaction- required in 
this one 

INDIAN ATTACK 

The homestead is under attack by hostile redskins Once these character- are In the cabin, » alps 
will be lifted 









NIROG 



VIC-20 

VIC-20 16K EXP 
KRAZY KONG 

Popular arcade game brought to life in this presentation with four screens, multi-colour graphics 
plus hi-score table. A game to enthr.il the whole family 

GALACTIC ABDUCTORS 

Experience the terrifying, relentless sound of the approach of the C > Krn.tu spai e hawks While 
vou try to protect yourself from the awesome content- "I their pod-. the\ feed greedily on the 
helpless humanoids. All machine code programme that till- the whole of the screen with 
stunning graphics while it tests your -kill- to the ultimate 

3D TIME TREK 

A brilliant Star Trek game with a difference Spectacular 3D graphic- real arcade action plus 
Strategy again-t marauding space pirate- 

STAR DEFENCE 

Alien commandos and their robots are attacking in force Defend Earth. Full Defender-type 

action with Mutants. Landers and Smart Bombs 

FIRE GALAXY 

Mission Impossible should be the name ot this game 8 different stages of pure action 

XENOII 

This all machine code game is for true arcadians with super-last reactions and nerves ol steel 
under pressure. The fourth screen will lest vou to the limit as the power source guardians 
bombard you while your shots are (-lucked by whirling SUiCtde space ships 

SKRAMBLE 

An all machine code game with -i\ sectors and similar to the t>4 version 



VIC-20 UNEXPANDED GAMES 

MINI KONG 

Mini version of VIC's famous Krazy Kong Rolling barrels, lift, handbags, running score, hi-score 
plus expanded screen and brilliant multi-colour graphics. 

BATTLEFIELD 

The enemy hasassembled in strength and is attacking Destroy them and set up barriers by flying 
your glider across the battlefield. 10 levels and 10 screens. 

SLAP DAB 

A fast-moving comical game involving skill and strategy. Sam, the painter man, is chased by 
woodworms he uncovers while painting a large area. He must paint with skill to isolate them and 
make tnps to fill the paint pot. 





ANIROG SOFTWARE 



Anirog Software 

DRACULA/LOST IN THE DARK 

Two superb graphic adventures. 

FROG RUN 

All machine code game inviting you to guide your h-ogs across a very busy highway, a grassy 
bank populated by snakes and then a stream full of turtles, logs and ferocious crocodiles. 

DOTMAN 

Ghosts chase vou as vou try to eat the dots. Based on the famous arcade game but with a big 
difference — the ghosts have been given intelligence and will try to corner you. 

SPACE PEDE 

A multi screen and multi skill level game with last and furious action 

CAVERN FIGHTER 

Pilot your -.hip through the tortuous tunnelsand caverns destroying enemy missiles, fuel dumps 
and airborne fire saucers. 10 skill levels. 

CRAWLER 

All machine code version of Centipede with homing spiders and mushroom-laying fleas. A fast 
and furious game with 10 skill levels. 

TINY TOTS SEVEN 

Super games pack for young children with games like Santa. Simon. Os and Xs. Super Snap, 
Bomber, etc. 




ADVENTURE GAMES 

DARK DUNGEONS 

Second in the series of four. Definitely NOT for the laint hearted 



16K 



ZOK'S KINGDOM 16K 

In the year 2973, your starcruiser, badly damaged in a meteor storm, is forced to crash land on the 
planet, ruled by ZOK, a time-space generated image of Count Dracula. ZOK is evil, cunning and 
cruel. Your chances of rescue are nil asall the galactic patrolsgive this planet a wide berth. You are 
hungry, frightened and know that ZOK is watching and setting traps. 



PHARAOH'S TOMB 16K 

The Pharaoh's lomb was desecrated by the tomb robbers and now abounds with evil. Only by 
entering the chamber with Triangle of God can you remove this evil. The key to the chamber was 
smashed to pieces, which you must find. Beware the traps set by the ancient Egyptians to punish 
all those who enter the sacred tomb. 














4 


£ '^M 


8 



PHARAOHS TOMB 





SPECTRUM 16K, 48K 

MISSILE DEFENCE 

Brings the well-known arcade game to life Defend your cities from the missile attack and smart 
bombs. 10 skill levels. 

SLAP DAB 

Giant insects hiding under the old paint surface are released by your paint brush. Fast action and 
quick thinking to outwit them and finish the panel. 

GALACTIC ABDUCTORS 

Giant Space Hawks whirl and wave in intricate patterns as they drop deadly homing mines. 
While you are busy defending yourself, the Hawks will feed on /our helpless population, 
returning only their skulls. All machine code game complete with high score table that will blow 
your mind with its graphics and sound effects. 



FROGRUN 

Popular arcade game. Features include snakes, crocodiles, lady frogs, turtles, cars, trucks & logs. 

TINY TOT'S SEVEN 

Super games pack (or younger children, with bright colour and sound. Everybody's favourite 
Simon plus Super Snap, Os and Xs, Word )umble. Bomber, Duck Shoot & Mad Drivers. 




COMMODORE 64 

QUINTIC WARRIOR — Stand alone against Sinstrr Crabmen 
jnd Mangeled Mutants 

RING OF POWER — Search through the kingdom tor the mystical 

ring. Graphics Text Adventure. 

AQUAPLANE — sk. through Marine Maniacs but beware the deadl) 

snapping -.hark-. 

lot/slid or Keyboard. 

PURPLE TURTLES — Turtle bobbing with the cute Purpilius 

I urtiliorum 

BOOGA-BOO (THE FLEA) — Now available fo. the 
Commodore M Incredible action. 

STING — Hive-cade action! Beriie Bee needs help defending the hue 
Fight 0(1 the invading swarms Battle the bees and defend your Queen! 



BBC B32K 



BEEB-ART — High Qu.ilny Art Design prgramme for versatile 

manipulation of the BBC's graphics abihtv 

THE GENERATORS — Superb Character • teletext UtiM) 



VIC-20 



SKYHAWK — Features multi-colour, hires 3D effect graphics 

Scrolling landscape, aircraft landing .ind refueling, radar and aircraft status 

displays, high score save, lull sound effects, varying formations ol attacking 

aircraft, extra life al MOO pts, fuel kw warning, realistic explosions Requires 

joystick 

fa ih,- VIC-20 + 3K Expansion 

SPECTRUM 16K, 48K 

THE SNOWMAN — An enchanting game based on episodes in 
Raymond Bird's ama/ingl> successful book and film. 

LAZER ZONE — Control two defending spaceships and destroj the 
incoming alien-. Plunge for the "Electro" button and blast your enemy into 
expanding cloud-, oi space junk. 

DRAGONSB ANE — A mythical Graphic adventure in the dark and 
deadly halls of Earthstone Castle Battle the legendary beasts in order to 
rescue the beautiful Princess Paula. 

GRIDRUNNER — Spectrum version of VIC 20 No. 1 best seller. 
Spectrum 48k (ltK). 

AQUAPLANE — Aquatic Action. 
Spectrum 4SK 

XADOM — Battle through a sophisticated alien maze on this 
Arcade Adventure 
SprrfrufH 4Sk 

3D S TRATEGY — A battle ol nervesand *mn Fasterthana speeding 

bullet! 

Spectrum IbK. 

BUGABOO (THE FLEA) — \o fleas on this prgramme Itch) 

action 
Spectrum 48K 

SOFTSOLID 3D ANT ATTACK — Battle the ants ,n the 

walled city ot Antescher. 

Spectrum 48K. 

VELNOR'S LAIR — Battle the Denizens of the Goblin Labyrinth 
and the Evil Wizard Velnor, 
Spectrum 48K. 

SMUGGLERS COVE — You are caught in a fable full of horror 
and Black Beard's Treasure 
Sprctrnm 48K. 

TRAXX — Pilot your way through the Grid 

Spectrum 48K. 



HARVESTER 




■(■] = , k.V.il»I< 



VIC20 GAMES FROM 

QUICKSILVA 



V1C20 UNEXPANDED 

A Cut-Thro»t g*me ot Swarrgy ft Fun 
Plus - BRAINSTORM 

PIXEL 




vicao 

l JOYSTICK 



VIC 20 

TORNADO — In the midst o' theC olom War Shipsareattai king you 

from the air, you have three types ol ground base to bomb. 
By Charm- for the Unapmded VIC20 + lot/stick 

PIXEL GAMES 

HARVESTER & BRAINSTORM — A cut-throat strategy 

game to reap valuable boOSterspaCe around the planet Delta. 

For flu- Unexpended Vh 20 

STARQUEST/ENCOUNTER — a voyage ol dl rj and 

adventure in the cosmos. With the help ol youronboardcomputeryouseeka 

habitable planet amidst the perils of deep Space 

For llu- VIC20 + ltK RAM 

PIXEL POWER — A graphu s work-hup packed with useful Features 

SU( b a- Create. Amend. Save and View Set 
Fo» Ih,- VIC20 with 8K or mon added RAM. 

SUBSPACE STRIKER & ZOR — It comes out of nowhere and 

then vanishes back into the deadl) ether With your deadl) antimal 
torpedoes, you unleash havoc in the Federation's Spacelanes 

For ;/„• V1C20 + UK RAM 

I KAL/bR — A trilogv of lr.K programmes that combine togivean epk 

4Skgraphic adventure Asa galactic trader, you deal with some vcr\ bizarre 
customers indeed With you live to tell the tale' Supplied in a box with 

extensive instruction booklet. 



PIXEL 
POWER 



STARQUEST 





J/V -■-..>•.' | 



VIC208ORI6K 

to create usef-aerlnaBle characters 
In >«ur own programs 

PIXEL 




ZX81 + RAM PROGRAMMES 

3D Black Star 

Damper and Glooper 

Pioneer Trail 

Ocean trader 

Cosmic Guerilla 

Croaka Crawla 

Munchees 

Galaxians and Gloops 

Subspace Striker and Zor 

Trader 

Starquest and Encounter 

QS Scramble 

QS Invaders 

QS Asteroids 

QS Defenda 



SPECTRUM + 16K PROGRAMMES 

Astroblaster 
Frenzy 

Meteor Storm 
Space Intruders 
3D Strategy 
Gridrunner 



ATARI 400/800 + JOYSTICK PROGRAMME 
Magic Window 



DRAGON PROGRAMME 
Mined-Out 



VIC 20 + 3 OR 8K RAM + JOYSTIC K PROGRAMME 

Skyhawk 



BBC MODEL A OR B PROGRAMME 

The Music Processor 



UNEXPANDED VIC20 + JOYSTICK PROGRAMME 
Tornado 



BBC MODEL B + 16K + JOYSTICK PROGRAMME 
Protector 



UNEXPANDED VIC20 PROGRAMME 
Harvester and Brainstorm 

VIC20 + 8K OR 16K RAM PROGRAMME 
Pixel Power 



VIC20 + 16K RAM PROGRAMMES 

Trader 

Subspace Striker and Zor 

Starquest and Encounter 



BBC MODEL B + 32K RAM PROGRAMME 

Wizard 

Beeb Art 

The Generators 

BBC MODEL B + 32K 1.0 & 1.2 OPERATING 
SYSTEM 

Mined-Out 



COMMODORE 64 
Purple Turtles 
Aquaplane 
Ring of Power 
Quintic Warrior 



LYNX + 48K 
Mined-Out 



SPECTRUM + 48K RAM PROGRAMMES 



Trader 

The Word Processor 

Mined-Out 

Timegate 

The Chessplayer 

Easyspeak 

Aquaplane 

Xadom 

Velnor's Lair 

Smuggler's Cove 



The Flea 

Traxx 

Soft Solid 3D Ant Attack 

Games Designer 




The Game Lords 




ROMIK 



Romik promise a minimum 
of one new game every month! 




MARTIAN RAIDER 
For the Unexpended Vic 20 

Skim .is close .is you dart 1 to the 
surface of the planet, devastating 
the Martian cities, shooting down 
the ground to air missiles and 
UFOs, dodging or blasting the 
meteorites 



VOUR SCORE 

0009K40 



HIGH SCORE 

001 12:10 




ZAPPY ZOOKS 

For the Commodore 64 
(For use with Joystick mlvi 

Guide Whirly along space corri- 
dors, avoiding the 7ooks and 
collecting alpha particles. 






<T> 



VX 



«T> 



* 



i 



SPACE ATTACK 

For the Unexpanded Vic 20 

Space attack is a game of skill. You, 

as the pilot of an intergalactic 

battleship, have to light your wav 

through wave after wave of various 
alien space ships 



T» 


• • 


* • 


♦a 


» 


. 


: ; 


. • . . 



:: ..• •••? 



MIND TWISTERS 
For Unexpanded Vic 20 
Four games (0 stretch your brain 
Blackjack, Decipher, Four Thought 
and Teaser. Versions of very popu- 
lar home games and will test your 
mental agility and skill. 



■^W^ W^^ 


u 


3* 


XX 


X 


X 


X 




X 



SEA INVASION 

Fur the Unexpended Vic 20 

Fight off the attacking sea 

creatures for as long as you can. 

Watch out for the crabs, starfish 

and octopi. 




k^ 



SPACE FORTRESS 

For the Unexpanded Vic 20 
A computer malfunction throws 
you off course, where you encoun- 
ter the evil Sistorian space fortress. 
You must battle with its various 
deadly defence forces, then des- 
troy the fortress. 



® 



COMMODORE 64 

Dicky's Diamond O 
Zappy Zooks O 

Stellar Triumph 
Tombs of Xeiops t 

Fool's Gold J 

Pottit O 

Forth — The Language 
Multisound Synthesizer 

BBC 

Birds of Prey O 

Atom Smasher O 

Alien Break-In (Mod b 

only) O 



Animal Magic ; 

Pedes and Mutants O 

Zorgon's Kingdom * 

Quadrant O 

Caterpillar 

Alphoids O 

bisector 

Mind Twisters * 

ORIC 

Loch Ness Monster O 

Galactic Trooper O 
Colour Clash 

Shark Attack O 

3D Monster Chase O 

Spectra Smash O 



MOONS OF JUPITER 

For the Expanded Vic 20 (you can use 
3JC 8K or 16K RAM) 
You are commanded for a fleet of 
destroyers "lour destroyers have 
to dodge and blast the UFOs. 
Watch out for the Gologs, they can 
smash your destroyers but you 
cannot harm them. 

SHARK ATTACK 
For the Unexpanded Vic 20 
You are in shark infested waters. 
Your only protection is an atomic 
net. Beware of stopping or cover- 
ing your tracks for too long. Watch 
out for the octopi. 

ZORGON'S KINGDOM 

For the Expanded Vic 20 (You can use 
8Kor 16KRAM) 

Will you ever be able to defeat 
Zorgon's minions & evil devices to 
face the monster Zorgon himself? 



ELECTRON 




Plus Breakout 




Birds of Prev 


O 


Astroplaner 


O 


Atom Smasher 


O 


Sub 


O 


DRAGON 




ZX 81 




Strategic Command 
Convoy Attack 
Romik Cube 


-'- 


Super Nine 





* 


Galactic Trooper 
Bubble Bugs 




o 


Cyclops 
White Crystal 


1 


Galaxy Jailbreak 
Bank Robber 


u 
o 


VIC 20 




LYNX 

Power Blaster 


n 


Martian Raider 


( ) 










Atom Smasher 


i 1 


Shark Attack 


o 










Flovd s Bank 


i > 


Sea Invasion 


o 


3D Monster Craze 


n 


Space Attack 


u 






Time Destroyers 









Moons of Jupiter 


o 


ATARI 




Space Fortress 


o 


400/800/600XL/800XL 


Space Escort 


o 


See Saw Scramble 


o 


Multisound 




Silicon 





Synthesizer 


* 






Power Blaster 


n 


j Arcade 




Atom Smasher 


o 


t Text Adventure 
• Graphic Adventure 




Sword of Hrakel 


i 


.'.- Strateg) 




The Golden Apples 


♦ 

+ 


* Family Entertainment 




of Zeus 









DICKY'S DIAMONDS 

For the Commodore 64 
Dicky (The Owl) has to retrieve the 
diamonds stolen by Stephen (The 
Spider). Catch the diamonds as 
they fall. A highly addictive game. 
70 different starting levels. A 
selectable skill option for 
everyone. 



TOMBS OF XEIOPS 

For the Commodore 64 
A classic textual adventure set in 
the Egyptian dessert. Enter the torn 
bs, search for treasures and bring 
them safely out. Beware the cobra. 
Over 100 rooms to search! 



*v ; 



terminalAsoftware 



SUPER SKRAMBLE 

Commodore 64 
Well-implemented with 
beautifully smooth scrolling and 
very nice graphics. 




SPACE ISLAND 

Spectrum 48K 

A Real-time graphic adventure in the strange 
world of an ancient civilisation. 




VAMPIRE VILLAGE 

Spectrum 48K 

A Real-time graphic adventure where every 

game is different. 




SUPER GRIDDER 

Commodore 64 

A novel, exciting and compul- 
sive tactical arcade-style game 
with superb SPRITE graphics. 



SUPER DOG FIGHT 

Commodore 64 

Simultaneous 2-player action realistic sound. y 




> 




COMMODORE 64 
STELLAR DODGER 

With skill and anticipation, dodge through 

asteroids. 

HUNTER 

Fast action, where your pursuers gain in 

speed and intelligence as you master each 

screen. 

SPECTRUM 48K 
CITY 

A Real-time game for 1 to 4 players. 

SPACE ISLAND 

A Real-time graphic adventure in the strange 

world of an ancient civilisation. 

MISSILE DEFENCE 

10 skill levels. 

The well-known arcade game in glorious 

colour. 

SLAPDAB 

Combining fast action with strategy. 

Exciting. Based on the arcade game. 

GALACTIC ABDUCTORS 

Large animated graphics and superb sound 

effects. 

VIC 20 

SKRAMBLE 

joystick or keyboard. 

An arcade classic. 

GRIDDER 

joystick or keyboard. 

Novel, compulsively tactical arcade style. 

LINE UP 4/REVERSI 

Keyboard. 

2 traditional games for the price of one. 

GET LOST 

Keyboard 

Sophisticated 3D maze game. 

METEOR BLASTER 

joystick or keyboard. 

Unique arcarde-style game. 

TERMINAL INVADERS 

Keyboard 

All the excitement and nostalgia of the 

original arcade craze. 

CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF 

Keyboard (Requires 16K RAM Pak) 

Every game different. 

RESCUE FROM THE CASTLE DREAD 

Keyboard (requires 16K RAM Pak) 

A test of logic and cunning. 

MAGIC MIRROR 

Keyboard (requires 8K or 16K RAM Pak) 

A classic adventure to test reasoning & 

imagination. 

PINBALL WIZARD 

Experience fast action and 

realistic gravity as never before. 




PHOTRONICS 



2* 



LOST IN SPACE: After having to abandon your spacecraft following an explosion, you are left in 
your survival capsule to avoid asteroids and hit alien ships. A fast-moving and exciting test of speed 
and co-ordination. This game features sound, colour and high resolution user defined graphics. 



BLACK GOLD: An adventure-style game in which each player operates an Oil Well. The object of the game is to 
obtain foreign revenue by means of exporting refined crude. The game starts with each player competing for road 
transport to take crude to the central refinery for processing, and eventual shipping overseas. High-resolution map 
of the territories and graphics make this programme very enjoyable. Compiled basic and machine language. Disc 
and Cassette versions. 



1* 



EVIL ZAPHOS: Zaphos, King of the Zaphians, is trying to invade planet Earth. Using your photon 
topedo launcher, you must fend off his sometimes devious attack. This game features, sound, 
colour and high resolution user defined graphics. 



BANANA REPUBLIC: As recently appointed president of a small country, you have to attempt to keep all factions 
happy, of course, failure is rewarded by revolution or assassination! A challenge to anybody that THINKS they 
could be a head-of-State. Compiled basic and machine language with high-resolution graphics. Disc and Cassette 



versions. 



1* 



BOMBER COPTER: A challenging game where your aim is to land your copter safely between the 
skyscrapers. To do this you have to bomb your way clear but you are losing height with each 
successive pass. Featuring sound, colour and user defined graphics. 



GLOBETROTTER: Travel the world and seven seas collecting souvenirs, the first person back with 7 wins the 
game! All forms of pitfalls lurk in hiding for the traveller including hurricanes, railroad failures and customs 
confiscating your souvenirs. A high-resolution map of the world any many graphic features ensure an entertaining 
holiday. Compiled basic and machine language. Disc or cassette versions. 

NINE LIVES: A word game for two players based on the ever popular Hangman. Sound, colour 
and high-resolution user defined graphics add a new dimension to learning through play. 

ARMAGEDDON: A tri-partite battle for nuclear supremecy with the world itself as the bargaining point. The player 
has the task of placating all parties and keeping the status-quo. Do you fancy the job? High-resolution graphics. 
Compiled basic and machine language. Disc and Cassette versions. 




m 



MOUSE MUDDLE: An anagram game in which you must solve the puzzle before the mouse 
manages to steal all the cheese. A wide variety of themes are included which would be of interest to 
a wide age range. Features colour, sound and sprite graphics. 



HOLOCAUST: The world is on the verge of total conflict, with three or four players controlling the armies, each 
person has the task of eliminating the opposing forces. This game is almost purely based on the skill and judgement 
of each player and leaves little to chance. Again this programme uses a high-resolution map of the world and 
excellent graphics throughout to aid the enjoyability of combat. Compiled basic and machine language. Disc and 
Cassette versions. 



m 



CHEMTEST: A relatively painless way to learn the 105 elements of the periodic table. Arranged in 
three sections of increasing difficulty, you have to spell correctly the element corresponding to the 
randomly selected symbol displayed. This programme features sound and colour. 



Latest Addition: TYCOON: A Brilliant game — Ask about it. 




SOUTH PACIFIC SOFTWARE 



DEBTORS — Runs on a CBM 64 Microcomputer with a 1541 disk drive and 80 column printer (1515, 1525, 1526). 

* 500 debtor account capacity utilising 1 data disk. 

* Sales analysis of up to 99 classifications grouped in area or department. 

* Daily batch entry of invoices and receipts will keep your Debtors Ledger up to date. 

■* The system generates statements, aged trial balances; overdue and sales analysis reports. 

* Standard Rediform Stationery is required except where 1515 printer is used. 
PRICE: $250 RETAIL 

CREDITORS — Runs on a CBM 64 Microcomputer with a 1541 disk drive and 80 column printer (1515, 1525, 1526). 

* 300 creditors account capacity utilising 1 data disk. 

* Cost analysis of up to 99 classifications grouped in area or department. 
Daily batch entry of creditor invoices and payments will keep your Creditors Ledger up to date. 
The system generates creditor listings, aged trial balances, remittance advices, cost journals and an overdue report. 

* Standard Rediform stationery is required except where 1515 printer is used. 
PRICE: S200.00 RETAIL. 






GENERAL LEDGER — Runs on a CBM 64, 1541 single disk drive and 80 column printer (CBM 1515, 1525, 1526). 

s system caters for a maximum of 299 general ledger accounts and up to 3000 individual transactions. Budgets are retained for 1 2 months along 

with monthly figures from last year's trading for comparison. 

* Service Accounts — load profit and loss appropriation accounts. Load, change, delete and print accounts. 

* Ledger Reports — print out of accounts and their balances. 

* Monthly Update — close of the month's transactions. 

* Yearly Update — close of the financial year's transactions. 

* Post to Accounts. 
PRICE: $250.00 RETAIL. 

BUSIWRITER — A quality word processor for the CBM 64. 

The text resides in the computer's memory and the editor displays the text on the screen. 

BUSIWRITER operates in two modes: a) Business b) Graphic. 

The user is able to delete text, or blocks of text, restore deleted text, move blocks, use tab functions, enter control characters, set end of text, 

vertical cursor control, change device unit number, perform arithmetic functions, view the command summary, manipulate files and printing, 

use mailer function. 

Good word processing at an affordable price. 

PRICE: $125.00 RETAIL. 

BUSIMAILER 64 — A simple but effective mailing list designed to run on a CBM 64, 1541 single disk drive and a 1500 series CBM printer. 

Used in conjunction with Printlink 64, it will allow you to use any Centronics parallel printer such as the EPSON series of printers. The mailing list 

will cater for 1500 records consisting of a name, an address, suburb, post code, state and a two alpha-numeric digit category code. 

A powerful sort is included allowing you to sort and extract records on any of the above fields and use the records as a mailing list, or generate a 

disk file with names and addresses of selected records to be subequently used with Busiwriter for mail shots; and/or a label printing run using 

standard two up labels. 

PRICE: $135.00 RETAIL. 

THE PERSONAL FINANCE ASSISTANT — Allows you to keep track of your deposits and withdrawals; savings, credit card and cheque 
accounts, etc. You can search for and edit transactions and print out reports or balance sheets. 
PRICE: $125.00 RETAIL. 

WRITER'S ASSISTANT — An easy to learn word processor for the CBM 64. The Writer's Assistant allows you to configure the programme to 
suit your own needs, to copy, edit, print or rename a file, format disks, list disk directory, delete, insert, centre,' justify, locate and move text, create 
headings and footings, set and change tabs, adjust top and bottom margins, number pages and so on. The Writer's Assistant readily interfaces 
with the Spreadsheet Assistant and the Filing Assistant to form a complete electronic office. 
AVAILABLE ON DISKETTE — PRICE: $149.00. 

THE SPREADSHEET ASSISTANT — An electronic spreadsheet which is ideal for budgets, financial projections, balance sheets, income 

statements and job costing. 

AVAILABLE ON DISKETTE — PRICE: $149.00. 

DATA HANDLER — CBM 4/8000, 64 — A powerful programming tool allowing the programmer to use machine language power whilst 
programming in BASIC. Data Handler caters for those functions which are tedious and lengthy to achieve in BASIC such as controlling input 
from the keyboard and insuring its integrity. 
/lV/UL4BLE'ON DISKETTE — PRICE: $99.50. 

TYPING TUTOR — Do you feel that your fingers become all twisted and tangled up when you are working the CBM 64 keyboard? Do you feel 
that it is taking you too long to type up your work? Do you just want some exercises to keep your fingers "in tune"?. If any of these questions are 
answered yes, then the TYPING TUTOR is a must. 
AVAILABLE ON DISKETTE — PRICE: $39.95. 

WEATHER WAR II — Do you have troublesome neighbours? Well here's a chance to get rid of them. The object of the game is 
to destroy your opponent's house using nature's weapons. The forces of hail, rain, tornado and lightning are at vour command. 
AVAILABLE ON TAPE — PRICE: $29.95. 



vibersoft 



r 




MAZEMAN 

16K/48K ZX Spectrum 

Grasp the magic ABERSWORD 

and pit your wits against 

the HOBGOBLINS. 

Fast action graphics with 

sound effects! 



UK 



BBC COMPUTERS 



CASSETTE ONE — 

STAR TREK. A superb version with 8x8 Galaxy Klingons. 
Phasers, torpedoes, etc. CANDY FLOOS. A tremendous new 
game in which you run a candv floss st.ill on Blackpool's 
Golden Mile. But watch the weather and the donkevs. 

CASSETTE TWO — °"'- v J34 - 95 Model A Model B - 

Contains an exciting collection of games with music and 

graphics to keep the family amused for hours: HANG-MAN. 

KRYPTOGRAM. DICE. BEETLE. GRAND NATIONALand MUSIC. 

Only S24.95 Model A Model B 

CASSETTE THREE - 

MUTANT INVADERS. A brilliant new game. You can destroy 

the mutants before they land and try to destroy you with their 

radioactivity. BREAKOUT. A terrific version of the arcade game 

Only $34.95 Model A Model B 

CASSETTE FOUR - 

BEEP-BEEP. Excellent version of the popular 'Simon' game. 

Very much enjoyed by children 

Only $24.95 lor Model B (or + 32K) 

CASSETTE FIVE — 

Contains BEEP-BEEP. Our version of the record-breaking 

PACMAN arcade game. Stunning hi-resolution colour 

graphk - 

Oidy S34.95 lor Model B lor + 32K) 

CASSETTE SIX — 

Contains SUPER HANGMAN. I he special teature of this version 

is the hi-resolution animated man. Categories from educational 

to just plain fun! 

Only S24.9S for Model B (or + 32K) 

CASSETTE SEVEN — 

Contains 3D MAZE. Pit your wits against the computer's logic 

in this highly realistic graphical game. 

Only $24.95 lor Model B (or + 32K) 

CASSETTE TWELVE — 

FLAGS. A superb educational program. The flags of the world 

are drawn in hi-resolution colour graphics. The program then 

tests sour knowledge of flags and geography Have fun while 

learning. 

Only $24.95 for Model B (or + 32K) 



THE WIZARD'S WARRIORS 

48K Spectrum 

Pit your wits against the 

denisens of the 

WIZARD'S CRYPT. 

But beware — for they become 

ever more difficult to evade. 

Fast action graphics and 

sound effects! 



CASSETTE THIRTEEN — 

HYPERDRIVE. A new, very addictive machine code arcade 
game. Guide your laser tanks around the network of passages 
destroying the drone Aliens — but beware, evil OT I'O lies in 
wait! 

Only $24.95 for Model B (or +32K) 
CASSETTE NINE — 

Contains Model B Invaders. A superb feature adaptaion of the 
arcade 'Space Invaders' game in machine code and hi- 
resolution colour graphics. 
Only $34 95 lor Model B (or + 32K) 
CASSETTE ELEVEN — 

ATLANTIS. The superb fast action arcade game written in 
machine code to illustrate to the full the machine's fantastic 
graphics and capabilities. This game includes all the usual 
ATLANTIS/SCRAMBLE features. 
Onlv $34.95 for Model B (or + 32K) 
CASSETTE FOURTEEN - 

STREATOBOMBER. Arcade game. Can you keep the enemy 
fleet at bay, destroy the rogue Star Ship before it destroys your 
home planet? Superb graphics. 
Only $34.95 for Model B (or + 32K) 
CASSETTE FIFTEEN — 

LEAP FROG. At last the fabulous FROGGER game reaches the 
BIK Muro Superbh written lull colour machine code I he 
best version. 

Only $34.95 for Model B (or + 32K) 
CASSETTE SIXTEEN — 

PONTOON b PATIENCE Excellent rendition of the two very 
popular card games. 
$34.95 for Model B (or + 32K) 
CASSETTE SEVENTEEN — 

5-A-S/DE SOCCA. At last! The 2 player m/c game you have all 
been asking for. Uses joysticks or keyboard. Really exciting. 



$34.95 for Model B (or + 32K) 




All The Best For The 64 



Now you can stop waiting for the imported software — 
All this top award-winning software for 

COMMODORE 64 

is at your authorised COMMODORE dealer — RIGHT NOW! or he'll get it for you fast 



POOYAN (KONAMI'S) 

CROSSFIRE (QUICK SILVER) 

BEACH-HEAD (ACCESS) 

ACCUBALL 

SENSIBLE 64 (BOOK) 

SNAKMAN (MICRODITIAL) 

PROTECTOR II (SYNAPSE) 

CRITICAL MASS (SIRIUS) 

LODE FLUNNER (BRODERBUND) 

HESMON (HES) 

HESWRITER (HES) 

STAR CROSS (INFOCOM) 

ZORK 1 (INFOCOM) 

ZORK 2 (INFOCOM) 

ZORK 3 (INFOCOM) 

DEADLINE (INFOCOM) 

PROGRAMING KIT NO. 1 (TIMEWORKS) 

WALL STREET (TIMEWORKS) 

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN (TIMEWORKS) 

ROBBERS OF THE LOST TOMB (TIMEWORKS) 

DUNGEON OF THE ALGEBRA DRAGONS 

TURMOIL (SIRIUS) (TIMEWORKS) 

MASTER TYPE TYPING TUTOR (LIGHTING SOFTWARE) 

GYPSUM CAVES (ADVENTURES) 

CASTLE VON CLAUS (ADVENTURES) 

WORLD CONQUEST (ADVENTURES) 

SPACE SENTINEL (T&F) 

SPEED RACER (T&F) 

CANDY BANDIT (T&F) 

PAINT PIC (KIWI SOFT) 

ATTACK OF THE PHANTOM DEVILS (PHANTOM SOFTWARE) 



JUMPMAN (EPYX) 

FROGGER (SIERRA ON-LINE) 

JAW BREAKER (SIERRA ON-LINE) 

FAST EDDIE (SIRIUS) 

REPTON (SIRIUS) 

SQUISH "EM (SIRIUS) 

SWORD OF FARGOAL (EPYX) 

6502 DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM (HES) 

TEMPLE OF APSHAI (EPYX) 

UPPER REACHES (EPYX) 

CURSE OF RA (EPYX) 

CRUSH, CRUMBLE & CHOMP 

PAKACUDA (COMMDATA) 

ESCAPE MCP (COMMDATA) 

APE CRAZE (COMMDATA) 

CENTROPODS (COMMDATA) 

SUPERCUDA (COMMDATA) 

PEGASUS ODYSSEY (COMMDATA) 

TURTLE GRAPHICS (HES) 

SPACE RESCUE — BENJI (HES) 

SNAKE BYTE (SIERRA-ON-LINE) 

BLUE MAX (SYNAPSE) 

GENESIS (DATASOFT) 

O'RILEYS MINE 

SPARE CHANGE (BRODERBUND) 

PARALLAX (LONDON) 

WAVY NAVY (SIRIUS) 

BANDITS (SIRIUS) 

WAY OUT (SIRIUS) 




pine Computing Lid 

P.O. Box 33-865 TAKAPUNA 






ALPINE BRINGS YOU THE 
WORLD'S BEST SOFTWARE 



Available from selected FTC stores throughout New h 



FTC 



FARMER! 

TMDING C0MP4NY LIMITED 




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For queries on the range, 

or location of your local stockist: 




ipne 

Compuling Lid. 

Vivian House. 18 Northcroft Street. Takapuna. Auckland 9. 
Telephone: 493-438. P.O. Box 33-865. Takapuna, Auckland 9. 

ENQUIRIES FROM DEALERS WELCOMED 




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TRS 80 Data File Programming: A Self- 
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Computer Crime! 

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More Real Applications lor the 2X81 

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Z80 Assembly Language Programming 

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32 BITS & BYTES - April, 1984 



HflRDWniTC R€VI€W 

Amust portable 

Plenty of 
disk room 
on this one 

By John Wigley 

Compact computers are in. The 
size and the area occupied (footprint) 
are becoming selling points. With its 
briefcase size case the Amust 
Executive 816 is at the top of the 
table. 

While the computer is small, the 
disk capacity is large: 790K bytes 
per disk. As it has twin disk drives 
this is a total of 1.58M bytes. With 
this large disk capacity is included 
a small, 125mm screen. The 
characters are well defined. The 
contrast of this green screen is good, 
so that it really can be used at home 
without needing a larger monitor. 

The Executive 816 is housed in a 
well-finished executive style case, 
complete with combination lock. It 
weighs kilograms, so do not attempt 
to carry it very far! Lift the case on to 
a table and open up. On the right are 
stacked the two disk drives. In the 
middle is a screen and on the left a 
brightness control for the screen, a 
reset button, a power switch, and 
the screen release, which lets the 
screen angle up to about 20 degrees, 
just about correct for viewing. 

The back panel contains all six of 
the ports: a keyboard connector 
(serial mode); an RS232 serial port 
connector; a parallel printer 
(Centronics) connector; an 8" floppy 
disk drive connector; a hard disk 
connector, and a 'Mouse' connector. 
The 'Mouse connector' is most 
intriguing. Are we to be overcome by 
a plague of Lisa type mice? 

Also on the back is a line voltage 
selector, with a protective cover and 
an input plug for 12V DC. 

On the top is a receptacle for an 
Instant User guide. This small book is 
crammed with useful information all 
printed in type the size used for the 
conditions on an insurance form. In 
the front panel is a small slot, 
sufficient to hold a few disks. The 
keyboard is separate and attaches 
with a long coiled cable. A numeric 
keypad on the right has five 
additional keys and the four cursor 
control keys. Along the top are five 
function keys. The angle and feel of 
the keys is good. 

The colour is executive black. 



.x^x-x-:-:-:-::.:*:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:*:-:^^^ 



■.■.•.'.■.•.■.•.•.•.■.'.• .V 



.-.•..-..v.v.,v. x . : ,,.. ..,,,..,-.,,,,,.. .,., 




The Amust Executive 816 . . . top of the table 

The Software 



A short while ago the typical 
software package consisted of 
CP/M, some sort of BASIC, and if 
you were lucky, a few utilities. Now 
each manufacturer aims to include 
as much as possible. The Executive 
816 has quite a bundle: IMS 
accounting, project costing, 

membership system, office costing, 
ARM database, SuperCalc, 

SuperWriter and DEAD. 

DEAD is a disk editor and 
diagnostics package that has been 
set up so that a novice or beginner 
can use it. It works with CP/M and 
lets the user check disks for bad 
sectors and then hide them, and also 
read files and edit them. It is the only 
time you need to know that CP/M is 
being used. The rest of the software 
is menu driven (a menu appears on 
the screen and an option is selected 
by means of a single letter). This is 
easy to use and saves learning 
obscure commands. For those who 
want it, CP/M is available from the 
menu". 

SuperWriter is a word processor 
and spelling correcter combined. It 



lets you type in letters or forms and 
then edit them as needed, correct 
the spelling, format them (on screen 
if required) and print them. Half 
finished letters can be saved and 
completed at a later date. Once you 
have learnt how to use it, any other 
method is passe. 

Once again it is menu driven and 
easy to use. Help screens are 
available if you get in trouble, and 
these can be called up at any stage. 
This feature helps learning to 
program, avoiding constant 

reference to the manual. Forms can 
be set out and there are many 
options and features too numerous 
to mention. It is also able to pick up 
Data from SuperCcalc. 

SuperCalc is a spreadsheet. Ideal 
for reports, financial workings, and 
all the things that management love 
to spend time on. Again, the program 
is menu driven and help screens are 
available. This version seems tidier 
and easier to use than other 
spreadsheet versions used. 

ARM Database is a data-filing and 
manipulation program. Data is 
stored, listed, sorted, relisted, 



oitc b. nvTrc 



Microcomputer Summary 



Name 

Processor 

ROM 

RAM 

Input/output 



Keyboard 

Display 

Software 

Peripherals 

Price 

Reviewer's ratings 



Amust Executive 816 

Z80A at 4MHz 

4'K (monitor) 

64K (60K usable) 

2 RS-232 ports, one used for the keyboard. Centronics 

printer port. Disk drive 8". Hard disk drive. Mouse port. 

Video output. 12 v DC input. 

Serial type. QWERTY with numeric keypad and cursor 

keys and five function keys. 

Built in 125mm screen. 80 x 25 green type. Emulates 

ADM-3A. 

CP/M 2.2 with package (see text). 

Disk drives as required including Hard. Screen. Mouse. 

$6175.00 

Documentation 4, ease of use 4, operating system 4, 

expansion 4, value for money 3. 



Review machine supplied by Computer Warehouses, Ltd, 10 O'Connell Street, 
Auckland. 



New Advanced Software 
for TRS-80 / System 80 users! 



Over 400 programs 
now available! 

Programming Utilities 

Communications 

Disk Operating Systems 

Education 

Home and Personal 

Arcade Games 

Simulation Games 

Adventure Games 



Exclusive 

inNZ 
to Molymerx j 

Strategy Games 

Maze Games 

Numerical and Problem Solving 

Languages 

Data Management Systems 

Business Management Packages 

Word Processing and W.P. Utilities 



Send now for your copy of our latest 
90 page Catalogue only $4.50 

as we publish new software we send you free UPDATES. 

Our offer is to keep you informed of NEW products, 

NEW services and our regular special prices. 



Fill in the coupon and return to: 

Molymerx Ltd. 
P.O. Box 60-152 
Titirangi, 
AUCKLAND 
NEW ZEALAND 

(817)4372 

Please send copies of the 
Molymerx Software Catalogue. 




Please use BLOCK CAPITALS 

Name Company 
Address 

Zone 



I enclose $ 



at S4.50 per copy 

TRS-80 Catalogue 

Australasian distributors lor AaraVark Acorn B«g Five C A U 

A J Harding He.aoon ICR Fuluresoll Logcal Systems 

Micro Systems Software Mumlord M-cro Systems 

Pioneer Software. Understanding ABC Powersoft 

Dealer Enquiries Welcome 



34 BITSS BYTES April. 1984 



HRRDUURR6 R€VI€W 



>:v:-:-:o:-:v-:--x-:-:-::-:-:-.-:-.-.-.-.v.-.-.-.-. 



printed, and moved around ill 
endless combinations. It is not as 
powerful as some databases but] 
would be quite adequate for most 
users. Once again it has been tailored 
for the Executive 816 and is easy to 
use. 

Office costing and project costing 
would be very useful for a small 
engineering or similar business. With 
these programs it is possible to cost 
out the time spent on a job and the 
number of people involved and 
readily produce costings. These two 
programs are not startling in concept 
but most offices would find a use for 
them. Definitely worth while. 

The IMS accounting package is a 
small business accounting system. A 
stock control package is included, 
with accounts receivable/payable, 
and the general ledger, which 
includes a profit and loss and balance 
sheet. This package, while suiting a 
small business, could also be used 
for branch, or internal accounting, in 
a larger business. 

Utility programs are provided to 
allow communication between any 
computer that will run the special 
communications package, and a 
program allows the Executive 8 1 6 to 
read CP/M disks from other 
machines such as the Kaypro, 
Osborne, DEC Rainbow, IBM PC and 
so on. (Just beware, reading is not 
understanding!) 

To go with these programs are a 
number of instruction books. These 
books are well bound, give plenty of 
information, and are a definite 
improvement on some I have seen. 

Summary: This is an Australian 
made and designed computer. Used 
with a normal screen in the office it 
can be taken home and used quite 
happily with the built in screen. As it 
is packaged it represents good value 
for money. A comprehensive range 
of software is included and the 
hardware has all the necessary bits 
and pieces. A nice package. 

BBC add-ons 

A Z80A co-processor board 
(including 64K of RAM) for those 
who want to run CP/M software is 
now available for the BBC. The Torch 
board (from the same stable as the 
Torch disk pack which also has a 
Z80A but includes twin disk drives 
as well) plugs into the Tube interface 
and is available for $1480 from New 
Zealand agents Tower Computing 
(P.O. Box 25-091, Christchurch). 
Tower also has available a hard disk 
for the BBC (see BBC column) 
starting at $8500 (education price 
$5950) for 10 megabytes. 



€DUCHTION 

-•■■>:v:^:-x->:'-':-'-:'-:-'-:-:->X'-:'--x-.-x-:---::-:-:- 

Revolution! 

in primary 
schools 

By Brian Sullivan 

In very recent times an exciting 
revolution has been quietly gathering 
momentum and spreading through 
our primary schools. 

For many years it was considered 
that children first, learn to talk, 
second, learn to read, and last by far, 
learn to write down or record. In 
fact, some children never master this 
last skill. The plight of the non-reader 
is also well known and has been 
widely documented. 

Since writing was first taught, 
teachers have been trying to 
encourage children to put a mark on 
paper, or clay tablet, or leaf. Many 
teachers thought that topics stymied 
the children, so lots of topics were 
found to assist the children to fill the 
page. Teachers would regularly, 
once or twice a week, trot out a topic 
and say "go to it" in effect. An 
example: The Most Unforgettable 
Character I Ever Met Was . . . There 
were and still are brightly coloured 
books full of elaborate ploys to 
motivate, or cyclo-styled sheets 
already with an illustration and the 
first sentence. 

I can remember those panic- 
stricken times as a pupil myself, 
looking at a beautiful, blank, white 
page and finally writing some stilted, 
stumbling, stricken prose. It was 
many years into adulthood before I 
picked up a pen again and started to 
find my "voice". 

Professor Donald Graves has 
turned all that on its ear! Since 1 972 
Donald Graves has been studying 
how children learn or acquire the 
craft of writing. 

He and his co-workers discovered 
(some say re-discovered) that when 
children start school they have an 
exceptionally high confidence in their 
ability to write. Higher than their 
reasonable assumption that they are 



Kvv.Xv:.™-™.:.:-:.::™^^ ,...•.-.•.•.•.•.•.•.•.•.■.•.•„.■ 




Tony Robb and Rebecca Burgess, 
Alphabet Squares. 

going to learn to read. Further, it was 
subsequently found that if this 
confidence is nurtured and 
encouraged the children in most 
cases will develop fluency in writing 
and reading together. 

Children in many classrooms up 
and down New Zealand are now 
spending upwards of 30 minutes 
every day writing stories about 
things that they want to write about. 

Wait! I hear you say, or I hope I 
hear you say. What about children 
who can't spell, don't know capitals 
and lower case, full stops, commas 
and all that other stuff? 

Don't stop their enthusiasm, but 
help each child to his or her own 
ability. If a child can't spell go one 
step back, see if he or she can write 
the first letter. If children can't 
physically form the letters then write 
the words they give you and then let 
them copy or go over that. What is 
important is that the story is theirs! 
Once the story is down then 
progress on to the next step for each 
child. 

The children write down their story 
if they like it, they correct it, and if 
necessary make another copy. In 



of the Kaiapoi North School, playing 



discussion with the teacher they 
make a series of draughts before 
they come up with the final copy 
which they can then publish by 
keying into the word processor 
(computer with suitable software 
booted). They can type into a word 
processor?? What! Five to seven 
year-olds? The short answer, yes! 

The computer is a System 80 
using Scripsit word processor. The 
monitor is set at the 32 character 
width screen format. The actual 
word processor at 30 width for 
screen, and the right margin and left 
margin are adjusted in the following 
settings: R.M. 4 and L.M. 34 and 
double spacing. The printer is a 
C.ltoh 8510 and is set to double-size 
print. 

In the accompanying story written 
by Brigit, aged six years seven 
months, you can see how this turns 
out on foolscap paper. The story, 
incidentally, will be known to many 
younger readers from their own early 
days. 

Last year was the first time that I 
introduced the computer into the 
classroom on a regular basis. 

I was aiming for one day a week 




(ITS & BYTES April, 1984 35 



€DUCflTION 



but the popularity and the amount of 
work and time that children wanted 
to spend with their work obviously 
meant I would have to double this 
time. I now regularly use the 
computer twice a week, on 
Tuesdays and Thursdays. A brief 
synopsis of how the computer is 
introduced during the year is 
probably the best way to show you 
how I intend it to be used. 



Story, graphics and 
turning pages 

During the first term I introduce 
the computer and we have a story on 
the screen with moving graphics to 
make it interesting. The children read 



the story together with the teacher 
and different children turning the 
page, just an ordinary shared book 
approach. Except, that here the 
child turns the page by using the 
space bar and in this particular story 
(Billy Goats Gruff) the goats walk 
across the bridge and the troll jumps 
up to stop them. 

Needless to say, this is enjoyed by 
children, who come back time after 
time to read the story, and pretty 
soon they know what a space bar is. 

Along with this we have our very 
own home-grown game (previously 
published) Alphabet Squares. On this 
game up to three children sit at the 
computer with an alphabet in front of 
them and try to guess or find out 




JOHN GILBERT 
ELECTRONICS 

PARNELL RISE P.O. BOX 37-245 AUCKLAND 1 
PH: 09 ' 30839 

Please send me further information on 
the Beasty 



Phone 



what letter comes after or before a 
letter displayed in a box on the 
screen. Pretty soon these children 
know where the letters of the 
alphabet are on the keyboard; this is 
the purpose of the game. On this 
program I have added a sound 
routine so that if a child gets stuck 
and keeps answering incorrectly 
then chords very much like 
Beethoven's Fifth boom out and then 
I can help, or better still one of the 
other children can help. 

In the second term we start 
publishing stories (print-outs of what 
the children have keyed in on A4 
paper; these the children then 
illustrate and display). These are of 
sufficiently high standard at first to 
encourage everyone to try well. 
Although I know that some children 
are working to their capacity I need 
early on to find some children who 
will become experts and help others 
as editors. That is what they become 
known as. The job has status and is 
sought after by many. By the end of 
the second term every child will have 
typed in, with help where needed, at 
least one story. 

In the third term I find it difficult to 
get space to display all the stories. 

A nice development has been 
sharing reading their stories to the 
class. Children then can tell the 
author what they think of his or her 
story and the author can thank them 
for their comments. 

My first thought was that the 
computer would be a great carrot to 
motivate, and this has been so. 
Children are clamouring to be the 
next to get their story printed and 
"published". It is common to hear 
children saying, "Oh! Goodie, time 
to write stories," or "Mr Sullivan, 
we haven't had story time yet." 

The word processor goes further 
than that. 

A test to feel 

the difficulty 

children have 

Some children find it extremely 
difficult to write letters. If you wish 
to get an idea of how difficult it is for 
them, sit in front of a mirror and try 
to write intelligible prose by looking 
through the mirror. It's difficult but 
possible. 

Now do the same thing with the 
hand that you don't normally write 
with. Not so easy? 

These children have not yet 
developed the finer motor skills to 
achieve this, but they can find a 
"voice" and write. Using a word 
processor they need only push the 



36 BITS& BYTES April, 1984 



EDUCATION 



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^x.:-:v:v:-:v:-x-:-:v:-':-::'::>:-::x.::-- 



Leigh Adams and Kurt Ba 
Leigh is the editor. 

required key and they are away. 

Some children sit fascinated and 
just type the letters. Even for them 
the processor has another 
advantage. It is locked into a 
language format, it always starts at 
the top left hand corner and 
progresses to the right; it simply 
cannot start at the bottom of the 
page unless the writing has got 
down to the bottom of the screen. 

The computer is a valuable tool. I 
can teach without it, but I can 
improve the language experience of 
children with it. It is my firm belief 
that here in the primary school is 
where computers should be, if for 
nothing else than the sheer 
motivation that they bring about. 

The word processor, the Three 
Billy Goats, and the Alphabet 
Squares are a few of the programs I 
have used in the classroom, but 
these are the foundation and the 
others are extra and aimed either at 
individuals or groups of children with 
an identifiable need. 

One group of children have a need 
for a small reading word vocabulary 
commonly called a "sight" list which 
is just what it is these words the 
children need to identify by sight. I 
am using a program which brings up 
these words in giant size letters 
slowly a letter a time across the 
screen. Each word is followed by a 
sentence. For example; three dashes 

are shown in the top left hand 

corner. Directly underneath them the 
giant upper case letters appear: 
THE one at a time slowly. 
After that the three dashes appear at 



, of the Kaiapoi North School, type in their story. 



the bottom of the word so it looks 
something like this 

T__H_J 

After this a sentence is shown, in 
this particular case after the is shown 
comes the sentence the cat. The sole 
purpose is to learn the words and to 
get the idea of direction. The status 
or glamour or whatever that is 
associated with computers is all the 
motivation they appear to need. And 
I suspect that it is fun, and learning 
can be and should be an extension of 
play — it is how a young child learns. 

Another program for children who 
need to extend their reading 
vocabulary is based on the idea of a 
Tachistoscope, where a word or 
sequence of numbers is flashed on to 
the screen for a set time. 

If the child can't type in the 
matching word then another word is 
shown at a slower rate until the child 
succeeds. When this happens it 
starts to increase again until the child 
can't see it and it slows. 

This program runs on a bank of 
words from the Dolch list, a fairly 
elementary list of words known to all 
teachers. This program, with a voice 
synthesiser, would be of immeasur- 
able value as a game for children to 
play and learn both by sight and 
sound. Is there any sponsor out 
there? 

The only computers in primary 
schools have been put there by the 
teachers themselves, and I cannot 
afford disk drives so carry on with 
cassettes. 

I have been using a computer in 



my spare time to make and develop 
programs because I can see the 
benefits, and other teachers have 
been doing the same. But this takes a 
lot of time and to develop software 
requires quite a lot of "hands on" 
experience which you don't get if the 
computer is sitting in a cupboard at 
school. 

I hope not too many computers are 
going to be bought in the heat of the 
moment and "then left when the 
enthusiasts move on. Having a 
computer in the classroom doesn't 
make teaching any easier. It presents 
a whole new set of relationships in 
the class and if your class isn't going 
too well then forget it! This is no 
panacea for good, old-fashioned 
teacher interaction. It is only an 
adjunct and a very useful teaching 
tool. 

In my initial use of the computer in 
the classroom I have concentrated 
on using it for language rather than 
for mathematics. The main reason is 
simply because most people 
associate computers with number 
crunching or arcade games. 

I have steered clear of both though 
I have them up my sleeve and have 
used them on very special occasions 
like class parties and stalls at school 
fairs. 

I hear that most computers in high 
schools are used for applied maths. I 
hope I'm wrong, their value in the 
English Department is immense. To 
keep pupils locked into programming 
only is short-sighted and certainly in 
the primary school computers' main 
use will be with developed software 
as learning machines. 

Brian Sullivan is a primary school 
teacher at Kaiapoi. North Canterbury. 

One for Apple 

An American Government 

Department has dealt a blow to 
Apple copies imported into North 
America. The United States 
International Trade Commission has 
ruled that micros from Taiwan and 
South Korea, selling in America as 
the Orange and Pineapple 
respectively, infringed Apple patents 
on its operating system. Imports of 
the computers, which have been 
selling at a third of Apple's prices will 
be banned. 

Chairman retires 

Mr Thomas Watson, aged 70, has 
announced he will not stand for re- 
election to the board of IBM this 
month. After joining IBM in 1937, Mr 
Watson has been president, chief 
executive, chairman, and his present 
post of "chairman emeritus." 

BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 37 



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Now it's 
the 32-bit 
plateau 

By Nick Smythe 



With last month's release of the 
Apple Macintosh and the 
announcement of Clive Sinclair's QL, 
both based on the Motorola 68000 
processor, the microcomputer world 
began to lift itself in earnest on to a 
new plateau of performance: the 
32-bit plateau. Although the early 
68000's and similar chips were 
originally classed at the start of the 
1980s as 16-bit processors (on the 
basis of their 16-bit data bus) the 
jargon is now of the 32-bit micro for 
these chips (even where their data 
bus is still 16-bit). We may not 
approve of the advertising hype but 
let's adopt it for now. 

The new 32-bit machines leave the 
micro user in a three-level 
marketplace. At the lower end are 
the 8-bit faithfuls, most endowed 
with software ready to solve almost 
any problem that lies within their 
processor power. On the top of these 
lie the largely Intel-based 16-bitters 
with a growing software availability 
and enhanced power. Of these the 
IBM-PC has proven dominant, while 
a few others such as the Sirius and 
NEC APC have carved out significant 
niches for themselves. Finally the 
32-bit machines come new to the 
software scene with a raw power 
jump that makes the previous 
transition from eight to 16 bits seem 
a relatively small increment. 

The 32-bit processors (of which 
the 68000 and the somewhat more 
powerful National Semiconductor 
16032 are best known) offer 
considerably enhanced processing 
power, enlarged memory range and, 
perhaps most fundamental, an 
enhanced architecture. Typically, 
their clock speeds may be up to 
twice those of their 8088/8086 
counterparts, and their potential 
memory range is 16 times the size 
(up to 16 megabytes). The 
comparison figures will depend on 
the particular variant of the chips 
being considered. The memory is 
also addressable as a single extent 
through 24 bits from a 32 bit 
register. 



This compares very favourably 
with the 8088/8086 family, which 
uses a 16-bit register plus a 4-bit 
offset for addresses. In effect, this 
arrangement means the RAM is set 
up in 64K blocks and the software 
user has either to work within the 
limits of this or consciously define 
the current 64K section he is 
working in. For instance, an 8086 
BASIC may use one segment for its 
interpreter, one for the program, one 
for string variables, one for numeric 
variables, and so on. You can handle 
some larger programs than on an 
8-bit machine (where all of these 
must fit into 64K or use paged 
memory) but you can still knock your 
head on the ceiling long before you 
fill your potential megabyte of 
storage. With the 32-bit chips the 
memory can be more flexibly 
configured as a single block. In 
addition, the machine-code 




The Macintosh 

commands are of far greater scope 

and power. 

The shift is such that the 32-bit 
machines may well represent a 
plateau for much microcomputing. 
With associated new peripherals, 
discussed later, the spare power and 
space in this family of chips could 
arguably provide more than enough 
room for the slower-to-react 
software industry and user 
community to play around in for the 
rest of the 1980s. 

Even beyond that, many of the 
new driving inventions of 
microcomputing may well run on 
similar chips. One might suspect that 
for many small users the trends of 
recent years, where new processors 
have thrown up new dominant 
products, is past. Already software 
is a dominant factor in machine 
choice. In the near future software 



38 BITS& BYTES April, 1984 




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may combine with the market 
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processing base, however, may well 
remain the 32-bit chips. This power 
will become cheap enough to fill the 
Christmas stocking for junior, but 
strong enough to handle almost all 
tasks outside of research and big 
business. 

Apple Macintosh 

a major 

development 



None of this should be news if you 
have read past issues of Bits & Bytes 
(See October, 1983). What brings it 
back into prominence are the two 
recent releases mentioned above. 
The Apple Macintosh is a major 
development, mainly because it 
comes from Apple and was expected 
to be a cheap, popular computer: an 
upmarket adjunct to and eventual 
functional replacement for the 
widely used and much loved Apple II. 
Yet it has some unusual design 
features that raise issues that invite 
us to look at the wider issues of the 
marketplace it finds itself in, and the 
needs of the user in that 
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of the microcomputer scene and] 
about current microcomputing 
myths? 

First, Apple believes in the 32-bit 
plateau and believes in the 
limitations of the 8088/8086 family. 
Its market strategy has been to skip 
the transition phase from 8-bit to 
32-bit microcomputing. That has 
meant ceding a lot of ground to the 
conservative product and hypnotic 
three initials of IBM. However, it may 
prove worth while because Apple 
has an advanced idea of what the 
32-bit plateau should mean and 
getting there first may have a great 
deal more to say for it than leading 
the transition phase. 

In this skipping race the Lisa has 
been an image builder: released 
initially as much to prepare the user 
community for advanced user 
interfaces (from Apple being the key 
point) as actually to make large 
sales. The concepts of Lisa were to 
be ported down to the Macintosh 
and also to the Apple II through 
Mouse II, a mouse and peripheral 
card bearing the same pull-down 
menus and windowing concepts of 
Lisa in a reputed 80K of ROM. In this 
way the skip could also perhaps 
prove to be a squeeze on the 16-bit 
market from below as well as above. 

The second principle grasped by 
Apple was that industry standard 
operating systems and user 
interfaces were inappropriate 
concepts for mass computing; 
concepts begotten by software 
designers too versed in traditional 
practices. Who actually likes using 
MS-DOS, PC-DOS, or (shudder) 
CPM-86? How many comparative 
reviews of these systems end up by 
saying one or other is better, but the 
better of a disappointing pair! Apple 
opted for a user interface fully 
realisable only with computing 
power far greater than an 8086 
could provide. The glorified graphics 
playground, rich in icons and 
metaphors that Apple has chosen for 
its 32-bit family user interface and 
operating system, set it poles apart 
from any of the legion of pre-existing 
68000-based machines. 

Why have the Corvus Concept, 
the Fortune 16/32, and their 
compatriots failed to make impact? 
Essentially, they were too dear and 
too similar. The companies behind 
them took the easy step of designing 
a 32-bit microcomputer but never 
considered the best way of using 
their additional power and never had 
the resources or courage to write the 
software to break the moulds 
established by minicomputers and 
the 16-bit chips. 



40 BITS& BYTES April, 1984 



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Compatability is 
not everything 

A similar stance is that 
compatability doesn't mean 

everything. Starting off with the 
ability to run neither IBM-PC nor 
Apple II software the Macintosh 
simply accepts that you do not get 
the best from a powerful system by 
adopting existing software designed 
within the constraints of less 
powerful processing. A lot of the 
early 16-bit software was just that: 
8-bit material ported across and 
performing suboptimally. The 
Macintosh design philosophy makes 
a clean and totally appropriate break. 
The Macintosh is raised here 
because, fail or not (and for the sake 
of courageous men, I hope not), it 
represents a refreshing and radical 
application of intellectual aesthetics: 
it is elegant, fun, and innovative. 
There are still too many unknowns 
about it to praise or condemn it, 
although with its initial 

demonstration software it is great 
value for a wet afternoon. There can 




The Lisa 

be little doubt, however, that it is at 
the cutting edge of a new generation 
of microcomputers and they will sell 
and be useful by fitting the operating 
systems and user interfaces to 
people's needs and intuitive ways of 
working. 

One significant question must 
surely be, 'Who has similar 
packaging under wraps?' If the 
answer is no-one, or no-one with 
anything ready for a year, Apple will 
be on a clear winner. Having seen an 
IBM-PC and a Macintosh in a room 
together two images come to mind. 
One is an evolutionary tree, with MS- 
DOS being the branch of Neanderthal 
Man. The other is of a 1950's gas- 
guzzling De Soto alongside a trim 
1980's coupe. 

In its present form the Macintosh 
is short of memory, rather slow on 
printing, and limited in disk capacity. 



It will blossom through 1984 and 
1985 as cheap laser printers, colour 
monitors and high-capacity disks 
become standard and higher This is 
not so far away now. The first laser 
disks have been released in Britain at 
a price of £5000 (about $NZ1 1 ,000) 
a drive and £200 ($NZ440) a disk. 
Storage is 1 Gigabyte with 1 
Terabyte versions predicted. At 
present you can read files endlessly 
but write just once to these drives. 
Some quick arithmetic shows that 
the disk capacity is equivalent to 
5000 low-capacity floppies and the 
cost is equivalent to 25 cents a disk. 
This is right at the start of production 
when competition and high volumes 
have not even started to drive prices 
down. 

However, even now the 
Macintosh's real contribution is in its 
kernel: the way that its processing 
power has been harnessed to 
friendlier computing. As all the 
peripherals fall more into line with (or 
excede) the power of the core, users 
will begin to consolidate on the 
32-bit plateau using the power in just 
this way. 

What about present and upcoming 
competition? For other 32-bit 
manufacturers the battle will be on 
to win the hearts and minds of the 
software authoring community. 
Machines such as the BBC (with a 
16032) can provide the processing 
punch during 1984. However, can 
they also provide the similar 
software interface for the user, and if 
so when? What of Sinclair and, 
meanwhile, what of the 16-bit 
fraternity? They will continue to 
provide solutions off the shelf and 
enjoy a considerable advantage for 
many applications for some time. A 
good 16-bit machine will solve a lot 
of problems quite adequately, as, in 
fact, will a good 8-bit one. However, 
prices will tumble and it will be 
interesting to see who and what gets 
squeezed out. The real knell for these 
machines will be when their 



processing power becomes 

inadequate against the improving 
capabilities of new peripherals that 
are widely available and affordable. 
Then they may be too cumbersome 
for the home user and too slow for 
the professional. In New Zealand 
that could be some time off yet. 

A final thought in all this cut-throat 
chaos. How will Mr Merv Wellington 
handle all this change with micros in 
schools? Already his list of five has 
become a de facto list of two, and in 
spite of the dated and secretive 
nature of the report on micros for 
schools many schools are ignoring 
quite adequate machines because 
they are not on the list. Pretty soon 
someone in Wellington is going to 
have to face the problem of new 
recommendations. 

Most inconveniently, the world 
outside is producing QLs, Peanuts, 
and Macintoshs. Can the political 
will be mustered to cull some 
machines from the old list? Can new 
machines be added to it? As the 
32-bit plateau approaches the 
technology will probably continue to 
outpace the response of many of the 
institutions utilising it. However, it is 
to be hoped that the adaptation is 
even easier and this time the plateau 
will provide a better breathing space. 

Business plotting 

Sirius Systems has developed a 
package of business-oriented plot- 
ting 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 
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Bit Stik 

Low cost 
step into 
design 

By RICHARD SIMPSON 

The Bit Stik is sold as an 
interactive input and control device 
designed to be used with an 
extended Apple II. It consists simply 
of a three-buttoned black box with a 
joystick that is based in a swivelling 
dome, and the relevant software 
stored on floppy disks. The market is 
aimed towards architects, designers, 
artists, draughtsmen and engineers. 
At present in New Zealand, most 
interest has been shown by 
Engineers. 

The joystick directs the x, y 
movements of a small cross 
(representing the cursor) about the 
screen. In addition to this function 
the joystick features a rotatable knob 
at the tip of the stick. Functions of 
this knob depend on the current 
menu selection and include the 
thickening of lines, changing of 
window dimensions, and altering the 
radius of a plotted circle on the 
screen. 

The accompanying buttons have a 
number of purposes, including the 
selection of options from the menu 
and picture unit library (contains sets 
of symbols, e.g. the set of analogue 
electrical symbols to help in circuit 
drawing), and initiating actions such 
as drawing a line, etc. 

Using the Bit Stik the user can 
copy and manipulate stored picture 
units from the library disk. This 



Bit Stik: main menu options zoom 



Draw Display drawing palette 

and control drawing 

functions. 
Paint Display paint palette and 

colour fill areas of page. 
Trace Input via graphics tablet. 

Erase Erase elements of 

drawing. 
Find Locate end points of lines. 

Move Move a picture unit. 

C & LT Change the colour and line 

type of drawings. 
File Save the drawing on a 

library disk. 
Copy Select a picture unit from 

the library disk and copy 

to the drawing. 



Page 



Full 



Digit 
I/O 



Misc 



Wipe 



Select a portion of the 

drawing and enlarge to fill 

screen. 

Re-draw the complete 

picture at the original 

scale. 

Clear the menu to allow 

drawing on that portion of 

the screen. 

Display the digit menu. 

Display the input/output 

menu for storing or 

manipulating files on the 

work disk. 

Miscellaneous menu; for 

text, storing a zoomed 

area, or starting a new 

session. 

Clear the page and new 

data from memory. 



makes it simple to build up quite 
complex designs. Further tricks 
using this system include trailing 
(gives a time lapse trail of a 
translating object on the screen,) 
drawing arcs from three specified 
points (start, finish, and a point on 
the arc), and compression which is 
effected by altering the x:y ratio. 




An important capability of the Bit 
Stik is its capability to zoom in on 
detail. In this procedure a window is 
directed about the screen by 
manipulation of the joystick, to 
select the portion about the screen 
to be enlarged. This is a very useful 
feature since it compensates for the 



poor resolution available on typical 
monitors or TV sets. 

A work disk is used to store copied 
picture units, complete pictures or 
screen images. Pictures and screen 
images may be plotted or printed as 
many times as the user wishes. 

The equipment required to make 
full use of the Bit Stik is set out 
below with the current approximate 
New Zealand prices: 
Bn St.k $1500 

64K Apple HE 1 

Colour monitor J $4781 {package deall 

Disk drive J 

Extra disk drive $1113 

Hewlett Packard and 7470A plotter 
(and interface) $3066 (A4 size! 

• Graphics tablet $600 $2000" NB. Optional 
extra - only required (or use of Bit Stik's 
Trace option. 

Thus the Bit Stik provides the user 
with access to computer aided 
design (CAD) facilities for about 20 
per cent of the cost of some of the 
more advanced systems at present 
available. 

Documentation is provided in the 
form of a reference manual and an 
introductory booklet called 

"Quickdraw". Service facilities are 
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Auckland. 




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42 BITS & BYTES April. 1984 



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SP€CTRUM 

Help from 

Boolean 

algebra 

By Steven Cragg 

The ZX Spectrum has been criticised 
for its lack of an ON - GOTO/GOSUB 
facility. However, with a small amount of 
programming this can be easily rectified. 

The way in which this is done relies on 
two features - the computed 
GOTO/GOSUB and Boolean algebra. 
Boolean algebra has many uses and a 
working knowledge of it can only 
improve your BASIC programming. 

To understand how Boolean algebra 
works on the Spectrum try the following 
program. 

Note the brackets are important. 

10 LET X = 10 

20 PRINT (X =10) 

You may be surprised at the result as 
after running the number 1 gets printed 
on the screen. If you now change line 20 
to 

20 PRINT (X = 20) 
and run gets printed on the screen. The 
reason for this is as you may have 
guessed, is Boolean algebra. The 1 
corresponds to the condition in brackets 
being true and the corresponds to the 



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condition in brackets being false. 

It should be noted that the condition 
does not have to be of the (X = . . . ) 
variety. Indeed it can be any condition 
that could be put in between IF and 
THEN in an IF. . THEN statement. The 
only constraint is that you must enclose 
the condition in brackets. 

Some examples of conditions are: 

(X = 10 AND Y = 15) 

(a$ = •Hello" OR B = 0) 

<(Z< 0.5 OR V = 55) AND j =6) 

Note how they can be used with any 
type of variable. 

Now on to how they can be used in 
GOTO's and GOSUB's remembering that 
if a condition is true then it produces a 1 
then a line such as 

GOTO (X = 10)*500 + (X> 101*600+ 
(x< 101* 700 

can produce a jump to lines 500, 600 or 
700 depending on the value of X in the 
program. This comes about as X must 
either be greater than, less than or equal 
to 10. 

GOSUB can be used in exactly the 
same way as the GOTO. The advantage 
of using computed GOTO's and 
GOSUB's instead of an ON- 
GOTO/GOSUB is that you can test for 
any type of variable and for any value. 

When using the above method in a 
program be careful that you cover all 
possibilities of the destinations of the 
jumps. For example: 
100 GOTO (X = 10)*100+(Y + 5P193 
At first glance it may appear that the 
only lines that can serve as destinations 
for the jumps are lines 100 and 193. 
However, what about if both the 
conditions are true? Then the program 
will jump to line 293. Also if both 
conditions are false the program will 
jump to line 0. This sort of eventuality 
must be planned for. 

So now you have seen one use of 
Boolean algebra, but for the games 
players/writers among you the following 
lines are probably familiar. 
100 IF INKEY$ = "5" THEN LET X = X-1 
110 IF INKEY$ = "8" THEN LET X = X + 1 
120 IF INKEY$ = "6" THEN LET Y = Y+1 
130 IF INKEY$ = "7" THEN LET Y = Y-1 



However, this can be much shortened 
by the use of 

100 LET X = X + (INKEY$ = "8")-(INKEY$=| 
"5"l: LET Y = Y+ (INKEY$ = "6")-(INKEY$. 

"7") 

With a small amount of though: 
conditions for keeping the object withini 
the confines of the screen can be 
incorporated for example - 
100 LET X = X + (INKEY$ = "8" AN0| 
X <31)-IINKEY$ = -5" AND X 0) 

Both of the above are faster and less] 
time consuming to type. 

The final use to which I am going tol 
apply Boolean algebra to is a recursive 
FOR-TO-NEXT loop. I apologise in 
advance for what can be considered bad 
programming practice, but it has an 
advantage over other methods, speed. 
The method I am going to use relies on 
the capacity of a FOR-TO-NEXT variable 
to be reset inside the loop. 

For example try: 
10 FOR X=0to 2 
20 PRINT X 
30 LET X=1 
40 NEXT X 

Break after running as this loop will 
never end because X has to reach 2 to 
exit the loop. However, this can be used 
to your advantage. To see how, try the 
following program: 
10 LET Y=1 
20 FOR X=0 TO 1 
30 LET K = K-1 
40 LET X = (Y=10) 
50 NEXT X 

As you can see line 40 resets X to zero 
each time, as long as Y remains less than 
10 and thus the loop continues. 
However, as soon as Y=10, X is set 1 
and the loop is exited. 

I hope this short article has helped you 
gain a working knowledge of Boolean 
algebra and the uses to which it can be 
put. 

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44 BITS & BYTES April, 1984 



BBC 



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Hard disk 
from PACE 
and ED-NET 

By Pip Forer 

The time has come for the long- 
promised hard disk report, and so the 
friendly interface article will continue 
next month. Ten days ago I had the 
opportunity to examine the 10 megabyte 
hard disk from PACE and to get 
some initial information on ED-NET, 
an alternative networking system to 
Acorn's Econet. Tower Computing, of 
Christchurch is the agent for PACE and 
has imported the hard disks along with 
PACE and Watford disk-filing systems. 
Here are some reactions to the system. 

The hard disk itself is currently a fixed- 
disk system housed in a substantial and 
rugged case. The manufacturers are 
reported to have developed the system 
under a military contract, and it is 
certainly well built. If you want to run a 
single BBC computer with a hard drive 
the user simply replaces (or augments) 
the DOS sideways ROM with a hard disk 
filing system ROM (accessed by *WFS, 
for Winchester Filing System). The hard 
disk can then be used. 

Like many systems using hard disks on 
micros the operating system essentially 
divides the disk's area into a series of 
virtual disks, termed in this case sub- 
drives. These behave exactly like a 
floppy drive. New, if somewhat 
confusingly named, operating calls of 
"GOSUB and "GOTO allow the user to 
access a particular sub-drive. Sub-drives 
can be defined in a simple hierarchy with 
drives at a lower level on the hierarchy 
being accessible from the next level up. 
Any sub-drive can vary in size from 5K to 
1 megabyte but there are advantages for 
back-up in keeping below your maximum 
floppy storage capacity unless you are 
backing up to a fast tape spooler or 
videotape through your own software. 

Apart from this the user can employ 
the same disk commands as the PACE 
extension of BBC DOS. which makes for 
easier program creation and develop- 
ment for someone already used to the 
system. It also allows the user access to 
15 character file names, but not the full 
directory structure promised by Level III 
Econet file servers. The WFS ROM also 
provides some additional commands 
including ones to back-up sub-drives to a 
floppy and another to "revive" a floppy 
on to the hard disk system intact. Since 
you can use "DISK and "TAPE as well as 
'NET or "WFS you can also down or 
upload individual files quite easily using 
floppies. 

The market for a stand-alone system 
on a BBC is limited, but considerable 
interest may be shown by schools with 
networks. Against the fixed disk system 
is its cost and the problem of backing up. 
On the other hand the larger storage and 
fast access make it attractive for a 



network data base. With the PACE 
system the hard disk can be networked if 
the machines use an EDNET rather than 
ECONET ROM system. The hard disk can 
then be shared among users. This is very 
conveniently achieved with EDNET by 
allocating each user a private sub-drive 
and also allowing access to a common 
area of library programs. This allows 
both shared resources and private work 
space. Access to the system is 
controlled by a password and status on 
the system by a priority level. This 
priority is set by the system controller for 
each user and can be used to allow 



preferential access to files and utilities 
for particular users. The available 
controls are pitched at a nice level for 
simple school use: relatively powerful 
but not too complex. 

Although the WFS is running in 
Christchurch the EDNET systems had 
still to arrive so my comments are based 
on advanced documentation. This is 
comprehensively laid out for the first- 
time user and. from experience with the 
WFS documentation appears likely to be 
reliable. From this documentation the 
system seems generally attractive. 
There are some particularly nice features 




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BITS & BYTES April, 1984 45 



BBC 



of the EDNET WFS implementation. 
Printers, for instance, can be run from 
any work station without an additional 
ROM, but with only marginal impact on 
the work station being used. A command 
•MEXEC allows multiple users access to 
an EXEC file (not normally possible under 
Acorn DOS as EXEC files are, 
inappropriately, opened for update 
during use, thus denying multiple user 
accessesl. Commands such as 
•NETOFF, "NETON, "SHOUT. 'TELL, 
and "REPORT extend the facilities 
available to users under Econet level 1 
and allow greater control of the network 
by a supervisor ("SHOUT, for instance, 
broadcasts a message to all network 
users). 

In the context of a school network (or 
any network for that matter) EDNET with 
WFS offers an easy to-learn path to 
operating a shared, large central data 
base or a centralised receptacle for the 
workspace of many individuals. It is a 
robust product with a simple and clear 
software design philosophy. Certainly it 
is a great enhancement on ECONET level 
1 (the small file server) but that is a 
limited datum for comparison. The great 
disappointment for me is that there are 
no true hierarchical file names as 
ECONET III promises. 

The other consideration is that while 
the system closely parallels Econe* the 
two are not entirely compatible. A 
network on this system would be a part 
of a slightly different user community 
and software source community than an 
ECONET one. For many purposes this 
may be of no concern at all. For class 
programming, for instance, either 
environment would apparently be 
suitable. The main question would be 
how much you intended to use CAL 
software tailored to a network 
environment in terms of using inter-user 
communications or saving mark files. 

It seems on the surface that EDNET 
and ECONET could both handle the 
needs of such a user but would do things 
in different ways. However, one major 
point in its favour is that, without the 
need for a second processor, the system 
is available now. PACE has managed to 
steal a lead on Acorn again and has 
managed to get ttiis to the English and 
New Zealand markets in time to tempt 
significant response from users. 

Next month, more on friendly 
interfaces. 



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46 BITS & BYTES April. 1984 



SOFTWARE R€VI€WS 

Dragon's Eye 
(for Apple II) 



Dragon's Eye, from Epyx, for the 
Apple II. Reviewed by Nick Smythe 
Adventure games for the Apple are 
now fairly numerous. The standard 
sequence involves a quest for 
adventure that involves numerous 
conflicts with monsters, occasional 
use of magic and all too frequent 
death for the player. The designer of 
an adventure game has several 
options open to him or her in creating 
a fantasy world within the 
constraints of a home computer. 



Many early games opted for simply 
using text to describe the sights and 
riddles the adventurer encountered. 
Latterly graphics entered with the 
player being shown maps, views of 
the land or the maze they are in. 
Some designers have also included 
an interactive sequence of combat 
where the player chooses how to 
wield weapons and sees the combat 
depicted on the screen. 

Behind this needs to be a set of 
puzzles and challenges that are 
consistent and interesting, in 
addition to which the whole exercise 
needs to run at a reasonable speed. 

Dragon's Eye sets out as a 
standard scenario with a single 
player adopting the guise of a sword- 



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Please send copies of the 
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Colour Software Catalogue 



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wielding, spell-casting, bow-firing 
mediaeval version of Bruce Lee. The 
aim is to find the Dragon's Eye 
(which has all sorts of supernatural 
properties) and return it to the Good 
Magician within 21 days. The 
adventurer has certain attributes of 
strength, intelligence, et cetera 
although in this game these seem 
more obscure in their function and 
derivation than in others. 

The action takes place in two 
areas: on a map of the Seven 
Provinces (where the user has to 
work his way around between 
numbered locations on a network of 
roads) and on a 'combat screen' 
where nasty creatures appear when 
they attack you and where the 
battles are fought out. 

Dragon's Eye is a reasonable blend 
of design choices. Its map is less 
flexible than that in Wilderness 
Campaign, its graphics less exciting 
than Transylvania and its combat 
less impressive than Swashbuckler 
(although it is well enough done). 
However, it combines elements from 
all three of these approaches in one 
packet. It is an order less 
sophisticated than the magnificent 
Wizardry series but provides 
nonetheless an introduction to 
adventure games that would satisfy 
the newcomer to the field (and on 
any machine but the Apple would be 
faced by far less competition). It is 
gripping enough to get my 10-year- 
old shattering the Sunday early 
morning peace with a cry of, "I got 
the dragon," but not so good as to 
get me up to indulge. 



Quieter 

C. Itoh of Japan is testing dot 
matrix printers using ink jet and 
thermal transfer instead of the more 
usual impact type. The thermal 
printer uses plain paper and a ribbon 
using heat as a transfer medium. 
Sensitised paper is not needed. 
Models are being developed for both 
the business and home sections of 
the market. 

"Noise reduction", said Mr K. 
Miyamoto, of C. Itoh Japan, "is an 
important consideration in current 
printer production." High speed with 
colour and better letter quality are 
also directions for constant 
development. 

Mr Miyamoto, General Manager, 
Electronics Division of C. Itoh, was in 
N.Z. with Mr Hideaki Ochi, from C. 
Itoh, and Mr Koichi Yagame, of 
Tokyo Electric Co, Ltd, to attend the 
opening of Control Microcomputers 
new premises at Mt Eden. 



B€GINN€RS 

LANGUAGES, No.2 

BASIC: great 
for quick, 
short programs 

This is the second article in a series 
on programming languages by 
GORDON FINDLA Y. 

If importance is measured by 
frequency of use, BASIC is the most 
important for use with micro- 
computers by a large margin. This 
month I want to examine some of the 
features of BASIC, some of the 
problems with it, and try to 
determine just why it is so important. 

BASIC was invented by John 
Kemeney and Thomas Kurtz, for use 
with a large time-sharing system at 
Dartmouth College, in the United 
States. At the time (the mid-1960s), 
communication with a computer was 
by means of a teletype - no 
graphics, colour or sound, just (real 
slow) typing. BASIC reflected the 
state of the hardware it was 
designed for use with. 

BASIC is, as everyone knows, an 
acronym for Beginners All-purpose 
Symbolic Instruction Code. That is, it 
was intended for use by beginners, 
learning to program. Why did it 
become so widespread? 

The main "culprit" here is the firm 
which became Microsoft. It wrote an 
interpreter for BASIC which could be 
put into ROM, so that it was 
immediately available, as soon as the 
computer was turned on. This 
interpreter was small enough that 
the earliest hobby computers, the 
Altair for example, could use it, even 
with their very limited memory, 
simple microprocessors, and limited 
input and output facilities. 

This interpreter, "Microsoft 
BASIC", has become a sort of de 



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,..-.■.,-..-.-.. .■..•.•.•.,.•.•,.•,■.:.,:,.,:.„: ....... 



facto "standard", against which 
others are measured. Once BASIC 
became established, it became 
imperative for all manufacturers, 
who started to appear in profusion, 
to offer it. After all, nothing 
succeeds like success. And so 
BASIC became the first language of 
almost every computer, and hence 
the only language of most. Changing 
the language would require either 
hardware changes, or loading 
another into RAM. This is scarcely 
feasible from tape, and anyway, 
many didn't have that much memory 
to spare. 

BASIC now comes in a very large 
number of "dialects". There is an 
irresistable urge to add to BASIC to 
allow for such things as graphics, 
sound, special features of each 
computer. And that's why, for 
example, Apple Computer has added 
commands to the "core" of BASIC 
to support high and low-resolution 
graphics. 

There is now a distinct division 
among BASICs. There' are those 
which are close to, or at least similar 
to, Microsoft, and those which 
aren't. The most common ones 
which are not are Sinclair (ZX- 
series), Hewlett-Packard, and Tarbell 
BASICs, and CBasic, used in 
commercial programming. For a bit 
now I will be writing about Microsoft 
style BASIC only. 

There is a joke among program- 
mers that BASIC is a language 
designed to train students in keeping 
track of line numbers! The lines of a 
BASIC program are all numbered, 
and the computer automatically 
ensures that lines are kept in 
numerical order. Having to remember 
to type the numbers can be a pain at 
times, but the purpose is plain — to 
avoid the use of an editor or word 
processing program to construct the 
text of a program. 

BASIC is deficient in almost every 
criterion used by computer scientists 
to discuss languages. It has little 




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BITS & BYTES April. 1984 47 



B€GINN€RS 






■■■■•:•:•:•■■•■•:-■■:■■:■■■ ■ 



.■:-.v.v.-:-.-.-.-:-.'.-.-.-.v.'.'.'.-.'.'.v.'.v. 



program structure, has no real data 
structuring, and allows almost 
anything. It makes it easy to write 
rubbish, and almost encourages 
programmers to write tricky, hard-to- 
follow code. But it is easy to use, and 
learn. The use of an interpreter 
makes program development and 
debugging straightforward. There is 
no need to learn about editors, 
compilers, system libraries, as 
required by other languages. The 
beginner can make rapid progress at 
his keyboard and is able to inspect 
and modify his programs with a 
minimum of inconvenience. 

Microsoft-style BASIC is available 
for almost every computer. To name 
a few, these are some of the family: 
PET, IBM, BBC and Atari BASICs, 
Applesoft, TRS80 level 2, MBasic, 
and BASIC-80. 

Compilers are now available for 
many of the versions of Microsoft 



BASIC. Often, there are minor 
differences between the interpreted 
and compiled forms, but this does 
allow for maximum of convenience 
for programming, and gets over, 
partially at least, the speed limitation 
imposed by the interpreter. 

Other BASICs are often less like 
Microsoft BASIC than other 
languages. Versions which do not 
use line numbers require the use of 
an editor. This may be an advantage 
or a disadvantage, depending on 
your point of view. Some, such as 
Tarbell BASIC for example, allow the 
use of subroutines with parameters, 
and local variables, which can be 
great advantages, allowing programs 
to be better structured, and helping 
programmers to build programs 
using modules from libraries of sub- 
routines. Some BASICs add instruc- 
tions such as REPEAT-UNTIL and 
WHILE-WEND which make programs 



easier to read, and therefore to 
debug. There are probably no two 
versions of BASIC which are exactly 
the same! 

Originally, BASIC was intended for 
short programs — of the order of a 
few lines to a few pages. The 
universal availability of BASIC has 
meant that it has been used for quite 
gigantic programs, such as some 
accounting packages, data-base 
software, and so on. BASIC is great 
for quick, short programs, but begins 
to show its limitations when big 
programs are tackled. One thing is 
for sure — it will be around for a long 
time yet — until something else 
which is as easy to learn, and as easy 
to put into ROM, comes along. Even 
then, the investment in software, 
literature and training is so large that 
we could well have BASIC with us 
for ever. That might be a good thing. 





THE ALIEN 



VOICE BOX 

A SINGING SPEECH SYNTHESIZER 
FOR THE COMMODORE 64 AND VIC 20 



Y°'ca 



****, 



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We're proud to announce a new accessory for 
the 64 and Vic 20 — the Alien Group Voice 
Box — a singing speech synthesizer. 

CONSIDER THESE FEATURES 

1) No interfacing headaches, expensive cables or compatibility 
problems - the Alien Voice Box is designed lot use with 64s & Vies 
and plugs straight into the user pot I 

2) Software utility programs (disk or tape lor the 64. tape lor the Vic) 
are provided at no extra cost — use them on their own or merge with 
your own programs. 

3) Pitch and inflexion can be controlled by external knob or Irom your 
software 

4) It even sings 1 A sample tune. 'Daisy', is included in the tree 
software 

5) Additional software is available lor the 64 to maximise the Voice 
Box's capabdiues 



VOCE BOX HARDWARE, complete with manual and utility software. 
S325.00. Software available on tape lor the Vic 20. tape or disk lor 
the C64 Includes spelling tutor program 

COMPREHENSIVE MUSK SYSTEM, C64 only including manual 
S79.50. Contains a library ol 30 songs lor the voice box. plus utility 
programs to allow you to produce your own songs Also has a 
program which displays a high res lace on screen which moves its 
lips «i synch with the singing! Also leatures synthesijer utility lor 
creating music with the 64's SIO chip 

OCTIONARY/lDiTOR, C64 disk only, includes manual. $66.25. 
Contains three dictionary programs ol common words (which you can 
add to) to help with correct inflexion and pronunciation High res 
talking lace program with lips moving in synch with the speech 1 




Name 
Address 

Please send me lurther mlormation. I I 

Please send me the Mowing items 

VC 20 ! . C64 IAP[ [] C64 DISK 

14 DAY MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE 
IF NOT COMPLETELY SATISFIED 



THE GADGETS COMPANY, P.O. BOX 52081 , AUCKLAND 3. PH: (09) 862-260 

SOLE NEW ZEALAND AGENTS • DEALER ENQUIRIES WELCOME 



THE VOICE BOX IS ALSO AVAILABLE FROM: 



PEANUT COMPUTERS 
HARRIS ELECTRONICS 
K'RD VIDEO & COMPUTERS 



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5 DUNDEE PL. CHARTWELL, WELLINGTON 4 

PHONE (09)658-416 

653 MANUKAU RD. EPSOM, AUCKLAND 3 

PHONE (09)399-655 

65 PITT ST, AUCKLAND 1 



AND OTHER COMMODORE DEALERS 



48 BITS & BYTES April. 1984 




COMPUTER FURNITURE 

MODULAR VERSATILE 
ERGONOMIC GOOD VALUE 



These well planned and made units are all in 
Polished Silkwood Walnut or Blonde finish. 

They not only function well, they look good too! 

All units fit together to make a work station as 
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Any of them can be used with your existing 
furniture if you wish. 

ERGONOMIC COPY STAND (ECS) 
For under $100 in Auckland you can eliminate neck 
strain and speed up entering work. This unit can be 
used on any desk — there is even a lowered 
keyboard version if your desk is too high. 

MATCHING BOOKCASES, DESKS 
CABINETS, CUPBOARDS, ETC: 
You can furnish a complete office well and 
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Phone or write for comprehensive Data Sheets and 
lists of outlets. 




THIS 
OPENS 
OUT TO THIS 




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Phone 298 7089 (Auckland) 




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and facility for adding multi-box power outlet. From 
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PM Printer Mobile. 
Takes most printers Feed 
from top adjustable shelf 
to paper tray at back. 
From $119 Auckland 



MFU. Mobile File Unit. 
Suspends 2 sizes 
Computer files and 
standard files. Extra 
surface on lid. From $97 
Auckland. 





PS. Printer Stand. Takes printer with paper below 
or monitor. Shelf height adjustable. From $39 





ECS. Ergonomic Copyholder Stand. Places copy 
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adjustment provided to suit most seperate keyboard 
computers. From $98 Auckland. 



BITS& BYTES April, 1984 49 



MAIL ORDER 

HARDWARE & 

SOFTWARE 



Best range available in 
N.Z. for home computers 



ZX81 

ZX SPECTRUM 

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65 PITT St., AUCKLAND 
Ph. 399 655 



VIC 

...■.■.■.■.•.-'.•.•.■'.■■...v. 

Machine 

code 

saver 



By Tony Graham 

This is a routine in BASIC, which 
allows machine code to be saved to tape 
or disk. 

There is no VIC command to allow this 
to be done unless a machine code 
monitor cartridge is used, but it is 
possible to manipulate pointers used by 
BASIC to achieve the same result. 

The "pointers" are memory locations 
that the VIC uses to keep track of its 
own operation. By POKEing new values 
into the pointer locations the VIC can be 
made to perform many useful tasks. 

The advantage of being able to save 
machine code becomes apparent when 
you consider the number of LISTings that 
create machine code by POKEing in 
DATA. 

Each byte of machine code requires 
between two and four bytes as BASIC 
DATA, plus a few extra bytes for each 
line number of the word, DATA, with an 
additional one or two lines of program to 
READ and POKE in the data. On each 
occasion such a program is RUN there is 
a time delay while the data is loaded. 

With the MC SAVER program it is 
possible to RUN a loader program and 
save the resultant machine code. The 
loader program can then be discarded 
and the memory space it previously 
occupied becomes free for other use. 

The program operates by POKEing 
new values into the pointer locations for 
the start and end of memory to be 
SAVEd. the reLOAD address, the device 
number and the position of the file name 
in memory, followed by a SYStem call 
into the normal SAVE routine. 

To use MC SAVER first type in and 
SAVE the program as listed. Next LOAD 
the program that creates your machine 
code. Before RUNning look carefully for 
the lines that READ and POKE in the 
DATA, as this gives the address at which 
the machine code will be located. 

A typical loader is used in the Print & 
routine page 54, Feb 84 of Bits & Bytes. 
The machine code start and end 
addresses are found from the lowest and 
highest values of X in line 15 of that 
program. Other programs will be similar. 
Note these addresses then RUN the 
program. Now type NEW. The memory is 
not erased although it is lost to BASIC. 
Load and run MC SAVER. Enter a file 
name but do not use quotes. When 
asked for start address enter the address 
previously noted; the same applies to the 
end address. After entering the device 
number 1 for tape or 8 for disk, MC 
SAVER will automatically SAVE. 

To LOAD tapes made by MC SAVER it 
is necessary to enter LOAD "File Name" 
.1.1 and for disk .8.1. The additional .1 
is to tell the VIC not to relocate the 



■—.-■•.•.■.•..•.■..-.■ ■.■... ......v.:.-::-:::-:--::.-'.-: 



program but to use the load addresses 
found on the tape or disk header. 

Protection from BASIC is required for 
programs loaded this way, but how to do 
this will have to wait for a following 
article. 

p| III! ""JIliKI l| 111!" 

t I |i- I 1 1 Hi 

mi i ii » - i-r '| iii iM " ->< 

GOSI if ; I 

POKE1! ' HsPOl M ' ' 

I '( || |; | --I Hi! 01 I 

[NPIJT"SRVE TO "r" 

B170 
POKE I ■"• Hsl IK I ' '4 I 
INPUT" I" Dl VICE " -" 

POI E \ ':'■■■ " 

■: . I ■|.p . . . — ■ .<-■ I H-'b El ' '"' 

I lit E183 PEEV ■ "•- ' 
L87,PEEK'.V 

; i , i i .i • 

pi ii E i 85 ! sSV 6310 ■ 
M-HU i a 36 ■ :1 =fl ' H* li 
RETURN 



■ 
-i i 
-Hi 

60 

H. 

I mi 
I in 

1 20 

I ;_, 

140 
I 60 

i re 

1 - M 



New Commodore 
user group 

By Pat Churchill 

An advertisement in Bits & Bytes 
brought forth a couple of dozen inquiries 
from PET and C64 owners interested in 
forming a users group. 

The initial meeting was held on 
February 14, and a committee was set 
up to organise formation of a club. 

At a later committee meeting officers 
were chosen for a six-month period after 
which another general meeting of 
members will be held to assess progress 
and hold a formal election. 

The group is planning monthly 
meetings and will cater for all levels of 
computer competence. The committee is 
particularly keen that absolute beginners 
will join in activities. 

There are already nearly 40 Wellington 
Commodore users on the group's mailing 
list and committee members have visited 
various Commodore retail outlets 
advising of the group's existence and 
providing contact numbers for new 
Commodore customers. 

For the moment the chairman is Peter 
March (home telephone, 886-701) and 
the secretary, Robert Keegan (home 
telephone. 789-157). 

The Wellington Commodore Users 
Group can also be contacted at P.O. Box 
2828, Wellington. 

Another group for C64 and Vic 20 
users has been started in Wainuiomata 
and the contact person there is Sharyn 
O'Hara, telephone 645-830. 



Post your 
subscription 

today 



50 BITS 8. BYTES April, 1984 



COMMODOR€ 64 

64K machine 
to succeed 
the VIC 20 

By Steven Darnold 

The latest news from the United 
States is that Commodore will soon 
release a new computer called the 264. 
It will have 64K RAM and an extended 
BASIC, including a built-in assembler and 
special commands for graphics, sound, 
disk operations, and structured 
programming. However, don't throw 
your 64 in the rubbish - the 264 is a 
replacement for the VIC-20, not the 64. 

The VIC-20 has been around for a long 
time, and its 5K memory and 22 columns 
have been overtaken by the new crop of 
inexpensive microcomputers. Moreover, 
the VIC's primitive Microsoft BASIC 
compares unfavourably with many of the 
newer micros. Commodore has 
responded to these criticisms by giving 
the 264 a full 60K bytes free, 40 
columns, and a huge 32K BASIC. In 
addition, it has improved the keyboard, 
and boosted the number of colours to 
128. 

Commodore 64 owners can be 
forgiven for thinking that the 264 is 



,-.•.-.■".•.-.■.•..■.'•■.■.■....'.-.'■'.'■■■■"■■■ ■.■.•.■.',•.•.■.,•■■■,— .■.,., 

better than the 64. However, the 64's 
advanced graphics and sound are totally 
lacking on the 264: it has no sprites and 
no sound synthesiser. For games, in 
particular, the 264 is no match for the 
64. As a result, the 264 will probably be 
targeted at schools and small 
businesses, while the 64 continues as 
the premier home computer. 

The 264 will initially sell for about the 
same price as the 64. However, it is 
likely that the price of one or the other 
will fall closer to the level of the VIC. 
Probably this will be the 64, but not 
necessarily. After nearly two years of 
production, the graphics and sound chips 
in the 64 are still quite expensive to 
produce. That's why the 264 doesn't 
use them. In the long run the 264 will 
probably be cheaper for Commodore to 
manufacture than the 64. This may 
result in a lower price for the 264. 
Interestingly enough, there is a rumour of 
a 264 with a rubber keyboard and 16K 
RAM to sell for less than the 16K 
Spectrum. 

At any rate, Commodore 64 owners 
have nothing to fear from the 264. The 
64 is now well established and will 
continue from strength to strength. 

Speech synthesiser 

Until this month the only speech 
synthesiser available for the 64 in New 
Zealand was the "Type 'N Talk", costing 
nearly $700. However, thanks to 
Gadgets in Auckland, we now have a 
much cheaper alternative: the Alien 






Group "Voice Box", at $325. 

The Voice Box is a solidly built unit 
that simply plugs into the user port and 
fits snugly and ubobtrusively against the 
64. The little box is completely self- 
contained. No outside speaker is 
required and there are no wires to plug 
in. On the top of the box are knobs to 
control volume and frequency, and on 
the side is an output jack for earphones, 
tape recorder, or external speaker. An 
external speaker would rarely be 
necessary; the built-in speaker is more 
than adequate, even for classroom use. 

Full instructions come with the Voice 
Box on how to produce sounds in BASIC 
using code numbers. In addition, 
comprehensive machine-language rout- 
ines are provided on the tape to convert 
normal English text to speech. These 
routines may be appended to BASIC 
programs. Also on the tape are two 
sample programs: one that sings a song 
and one that gives you a spelling test. 

The Voice Box produces reasonably 
clear sound. The K's and hard C's sound 
like T's, and the G's sound like D's, but 
otherwise the sounds are recognisable. 
Sometimes, the irregularities of English 
fool the text-to-speech routine, but such 
words can be correctly pronounced by a 
more phonetic spelling. For example, 
WORK sounds better when it is spelled 
WERK. 

Two optional disks are available with 
the Voice Box. The first is a music 
system which includes 30 pre- 



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Kong. Rubiks Cuba, Draughts, Backgammon, Puckman, Death Calls, 

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EDUCATIONAL: Orgal, Spall a Plctura. Synthesizer. Pick and Match, 

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BUSINESS: Bank Account 

UTILITY PROGRAMMES Zan. Disassembler. Graphics Master. 

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List Utility, PCG Edit. 




unbelievable Prices! 




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ARC Electron* . 

Papatoetoe. 

Ph 278-398* 

K Road Video ft Computer Co. 

Auckland 

Pi\ 399-655 

Goto Systems 9090 

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Supstech Electronics. 

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Ph 605-216 

Dollar Save Comput-A-Centre 

Hamilton 

Ph 393-545 

NZ Distributor 



David B'ice Electronics Ltd 

Feildmg 

Ph 37-141 

Snorelma Electronics. 

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Ph 776-351 

Moonshine Computers ft Peripherals. 

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Parlo Computers Lid. 

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Bay Office Supplies. 

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Ph 81-009 



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Ph 794-339 

Computer Plus. 

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Ph 488-519 

Custom Computers Ltd 

Chnstchurch 

Ph 596-074 

Computer Tech. 

Gore 

Pn 7520 

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ocomputer Services Ltd. 



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Manawatu TV ft Sound 

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Ph 67-184 

State Electronics. 

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Eclipse Radio ft Computers Ltd. 

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Ph 778-102 



RAKON COMPUTERS LTD 9 GEORGE ST MT EDEN AUCKLAND PO BOX 9308 TELEPHONE 600421. 604358 




BITS & BYTES - April, 1984 51 



COMMODOR€ 



:o:*:v:*:-x*v*:v>x-:*:-:-:*:*:-:-:-:-x^^^ .■-.■-■.■.■.■.■.■.■.-■■.■.■.■■.--.■-,.-■-.■.■.■-.■.■-.■.-.■.-.■■,-.-.■-.■ 



programmed songs and enables you to 
compose songs for the Voice Box 
accompanied by music from the 64. This 
disk costs S80. The second disk is a 
dictionary system for setting up the 
exact phonetic equivalents for words. It 
costs $66. Both disks include a routine 
to display a high-resolution face, which 
moves its mouth according to the 
phonemes. The face occupies the full 
screen, and the animation is very good. 

The material which comes with the 
Voice Box is compeletely adequate, and 
there is no need to buy the optional 
disks. However, the optional disks will 
be of interest to some people, 
particularly those intending to use the 
Voice Box for singing or speaking in 
public. This would include teachers, 
advertisers, and computer dealers. 

It is likely that in the future many 
commercial programs for the 64 will use 
speech synthesis. However, at this 
stage, it is unclear which speech 
synthesiser will be supported. The Voice 
Box, for example, doesn't work with the 
VIC-20 Adventure cartridges, which 
support the Type 'N Talk synthesiser. 
For, although both the Type 'N Talk and 
the Voice Box plug into the user port, 
one uses the RS-232 line and the other 
uses the 8-bit parallel lines. To make 
matters worse. Commodore will 
probably release its own speech 
synthesiser later this year. It is likely that 
the Commodore synthesiser will be 
incompatible with both the other two. 

Kong 

Kong is an interesting game which has 



recently arrived in New Zealand from 
Anirog in England. It is being distributed 
by Alpine on cassette tape, and it costs 
$24.95. 

Kong is a reasonably good copy of the 
popular arcade game, Crazy Kong. Using 
the keyboard or joystick, you manoeuvre 
a little man around a network of girders, 
jumping obstacles and climbing ladders. 
If you reach the highest girder, you 
advance to a new level. There are four 
levels in all, each with different obstacles 
to overcome: from conveyer belts to 
elevators to collapsing girders. 

Kong makes good use of the 64's 
graphics and sound. The colours are 
bright and clear, and the sounds are 
generally pleasant and appropriate. Of 
particular interest is the detail on the 
animated sprites. The little man, for 
example, wiggles his nose whenever he 
jumps over a barrel. 

The only significant problem with 
Kong is that the jumps require exact 
timing. If you aren't precisely in the right 
position, you crash and lose a life. This 
can be very frustrating, until you develop 
enough skill and experience to jump 
correctly in every situation. This is not an' 
insurmountable obstacle for keen game 
players, but some people may find Kong 
just too demanding. 

In some respects Kong is similar to 
Ape Craze (which I reviewed in 
December); however, Kong is far 
superior. Not only does it have better 
graphics and sound, but it also is much 
more fun to play. Add to this Kong's 
significantly lower price, and it's a real 
winner. I hope we will see many more 




ACCUTRACK 

5W FLOPPY DISCS 

Single side, Double Density, Made in U.S.A. 
Life time guarantee ^ _ -^ _ -^ 

PRICE ONLY TUlVV 

ALSO AVAILABLE 5Va" d/s d/d Disks and 
8" Floppy disks — prices on request. 



ORDER FORM: SEND TO 
ADDRESS 



Please Send 

Boxes of Accutrack Discs at $48.50 PLUS $1.50 - $50.00 per box 

I understand this to have a lifetime guarantee, and if not satisfied will return 
the Discs for a full refund within 7 days. 

Post Now. Enxlose cheque to Mirage Wholesalers Ltd. 

PO Box 47-284, Ponsonby, Auckland, 

8 Murdock Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland. Ph 762-725. 



such high quality programs in New 
Zealand for under $25. 

Moon Buggy 

Moon Buggy is another Anirog 
program sold by Alpine for $24.95. 
However, it is not nearly as good as 
Kong. 

The main problem with Moon Buggy is 
that it is fiendishly difficult at the 
beginning. The craters are difficult to 
jump, the bombs are difficult to dodge, 
and the laser bolts are difficult to avoid. 
Add to this the mines and rocks, and the 
poor beginner doesn't have a chance. I 
must have died 50 times before I finally 
managed to get through the first 10 
seconds. 

Once you learn to survive, Moon 
Buggy is not too difficult. However, the 
obstacles are positioned randomly, and 
sometimes appear in combinations 
which are impossible to survive. This is a 
bad feature. Moon Buggy would be a 
much better game if the obstacles were 
positioned according to some plan. Then 
the game could start easily and progress 
to more and more difficult combinations. 

Moon Buggy makes reasonably good 
use of bit-map graphics and sprites. 
Mountains scroll from right to left in the 
background as the buggy moves 
realistically in the foreground. In total, 
the graphics are effective, but somewhat 
repetitive. The sounds, however, are 
disappointing: there is no music and 
there are only a few sound effects. 

Joysticks 

All of this game playing can be very 
hard on a joystick. In fact, in the last six 
months, I have broken two joysticks. It's 
not surprising. Open up a Commodore, 
Quickshot, or Atari joystick, and you will 
find an amazingly flimsy mechanism 
inside. It's a wonder that these joysticks 
last as long as they do. 

Cheap joysticks are okay for those 
who only play games occasionally, but 
hard-core games addicts really need 
something better. Fortunately, the Wico 
joystick is available in New Zealand. It 
costs three times as much as a cheap 
joystick, but it is so solidly built that it 
will probably outlast 10 cheap joysticks. 
In addition, the Wico joystick's precision 
and reliability usually enhance a player's 
performance. Before I bought a Wico 
joystick, my highest score in Jumpman 
was 108,325. Subsequently, I reached 
270,150. What more can I say? 

Competition 

The winner of February's competition 
was Aaron Cook, of Upper Hutt. Aaron 
has been sent a copy of Supercuda 
(donated by Alpine Computing). 

The prize for this month's competition 
is a cassette tape of Kong. Entries close 
on 24 April. The winner will be selected 
randomly from among the correct 
entries. Only one entry per person. 

Your task this month is to write a 
program which produces six pips, such 
as those you hear every hour on the radio 
(YA stations). Send this program with 
your name and address to Kong Contest, 
P.O. Box 201, Alexandra. 



52 BITS 8. BYTES April, 1984 



CDmPUTflSHDP. 




DAISYWHEEL PRINT ELEMENTS 

A New Zealand's largest selection ot print elements IN STOCK. 
B To tit Diablo, Qume. Dataproducts. Fujitsu. Hokushin. Tec. 

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C The following are on indent Xerox. Olivetti, Silver Reed. 

Wang, Triumph. Adler. Ricoh, Nokajima, Oiympia at 

appropriate prices. 

Distributed in New Zealand by: 

COMPUTER STORE 

A Oivision ol Albertland Enterprises Ltd. 
48 Kitchener Road. P.O. Box 31-261 , Milford. AUCKLAND 9 Phone (9) 499-458 
Dealer Enquiries Welcome 



Subscribe to: 

The Electric Apple 

Mew Zealand's only monthly magazine devoted entirely to the 

Apple Computer. Gain access to International Apple Core disks, 

and Apple Technical notes. $24 / 12 issue subscription. 

Contact Noel Bridgeman 

P.O. Box 3105 New Plymouth 



CCP's 

Apple ] [ Lower Case Package 

A replacement character chip for Rev.7 and later models (post 1 980), and 
disk of extensive BASIC & Pascal lowercase utilities. Complete 
documentation. Simple installation. 

$40.00 post paid from: CCP, Box 29-1 59 (1 7 Konini St) 

Christchurch. 



WordStar $595 
DataStar $440 




>]DISTRIBUTOR 
/ FOR N.Z. 

MailMerge $216 
ReportStar $410 



' SpellStar $322 
' CalcStar $380 

IBM PC AND APPLE FORMATS AVAILABLE 
MicroAge International (NZ) Ltd 
P.O. Box 13-054 353-357 Hereford St, Christchurch. 
Phone 891-109 




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COMMODORE 64 & VIC20 

ATARI Lay Buy 

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EARN 14V2 % INTEREST WHILE YOU SA VE 

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TRS-80 Software 




Genuine Radio Shack Model 1 & Model 3 Software 

eg VisiCalc Enhanced Model 3 

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Some Model 2 Sollware also available 

and Colour Computer ROM packs 

Write lor tree Sollware List to N.Z. s 

Radio Shack specialists:- 

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P.O. Box 12-1 29, Christchurch 

or telephone (03) 35-087 

or visit our store 141 Colombo St 

System 80 owners we have TRS DOS manuals tor $25' 



C0I 



III 



IE 64 



Now Available From 

JAMES ELECTRONICS Ltd 

Pollen St 
Box 527 
THAMES 
Ph. 86-893 




NOW $995 
Games Cassette— 5 Games 
Snake, Concentration, Ball in Bucket, 
Maths Game and Line Game 
ONLY $25 post-paid 
Also available payroll and cashbook programs. 
Write lor details. 



Business software Now available . . . 

by James Electronics Ltd 



1 . Debtors ledger 

up to 500 cust per disk 
3000 trans per month 



. Cash Book 
with bank reconciliation 



3. Gen Ledger 
Up to trial balance 



. Payroll 
Up to 1 1 8 employees 
full tax calculations 



Write for details to James Electronics. 
Box 527, Thames, Ph 86-893 or contact 
your nearest Commodore 64 dealer. 



BITS & BYTES - April, 1984 53 



TRS80/SVST€A/l 80 



. 



.■.-.■.v.w.v.-.-.-.v.-.v.v.-.v. ■ ■■■-■■:v:-'.-vXvv:'v:v:v'':-:v:v:v:v.' ---■:■■■-:.:■:••:•■:■■:■■:■:•:•:■:•:•■:•":■. 



Improving 
tape speed 

By Gordon Findlay 

I hope you have sorted out last 
month's article by now! It was all in order 
when it left me, but somehow along the 
editorial trail it got assembled in the 
wrong order. My apologies, but it really 
wasn't my fault! ILast month's column is 
reprinted in this issue, in right order. - 
Editor. I 

The inquiries I get suggest that many 
of the newer, and not so new, users of 
the '80 would like to use their machines 
for storing data permanently. For disk 
users that is fairly straight forward, but 
the majority, I suspect, are using tape 
systems still. Storing data on tape is 
dead easy, but oh so slow! 

The reason for the glacial speed is well 
known. Every time the machine 
encounters a PRINT #- 1 statement, it 
turns the tape recorder on (if it is a 
System-80), then writes a 256 byte 
leader on the tape, which is, for practical 
purposes, blank. So this short output 
routine 

100 FOR l°° = 1 TO 10 
110 PRINT #-1, l% 
120 NEXT 1% 
outputs 10 integers (20 bytes) and 10 
leaders (2560 bytesl for a total of 2580 
bytes. Only 0.8 per cent of the output is 
useful! 

I here are two ways to improve the 
speed of tape I/O. The first is to rewrite 
the machine code routines, as is done in 
some of the sophisticated, anti-piracy 
loaders to be found in games software. 
This is a bit beyond us here, but those 
who would like to 'have a go' may like to 
know that the tape timing routines in 
ROM are not optimised. It is possible to 
read and write tapes on the TRS-80 
model I at 1500 baud, three times 
normal speed. Interchanging tapes 
between machines becomes more 
difficult, as tape recorder head alignment 
becomes critical, but it has been done. 

The other way is to buffer input and 
output. This means holding all the output 
until enough is accumulated, then 
writing it all out. Input is the reverse- 
reading a block, and then splitting it up. 

In BASIC, the usual way is to use a 
buffer array, and to combine elements of 
the array into a long string. This string 
can be written to tape, thereby writing 
many numbers at once. 



Converting numbers to strings is easy 
- use the STR$( function. This converts 
any number, real or integer, to string 
form. Negative numbers will have a ' — ' 
sign as the first character; positive 
numbers a space. 

The numbers, converted to strings, 
may be concaterated with ' + '. Be careful 
not to make the result more than 255 
characters long - that's the maximum 
Basic can handle. The result will look 
something like this: 

10 DIM BUFF (...) 

15 ... . 

20 REM Calculate N numbers, store them 

25 REM in the array BUFF 

30 

40 REM Output section 

50 USED = : 0PSS = "" 

60 OPS = OPS - STRS (BUFFIUSEDI) 

70 USED = USED + 1 

80 IF LENIOPS) > 245 THEN GOTO 100 

90 IF USED > = N THEN GOTO 120 ELSE 
GOTO 60 

100 PRINT # 1. OPS 
110 GOTO 90 
120 REM finished - rest of program 

It is important that you keep count of 
the number of output strings you 
produce, so that the same number are 
input when the data is recalled. 

Recall means reading strings, and 
breaking them into individual numbers, 
by looking for the blanks or negative 
signs. 



Reprint 

The production-staff gremlins 
got into Gordon Findlay' s 
TRS80/System80 column last 
month. An illustration was left out 
and the order of the paragraphs was 
jumbled. Bits & Bytes apologises to 
Gordon Findlay and to 

TRS80/System80 users for the foul- 
up. Last month's column is here 
reprinted in, cross fingers, the right 
order. 

Of lines 
and 'stairs' 

One of the problems with TRS-80 
graphics is that diagonal lines are not 
easy to draw. Not only is there a need to 
calculate which points lie on the line, it is 
also necessary to decide exactly how the 
line is to be drawn. I have shown in the 
diagrams two different sets of "stairs", 
approximating the same diagonal line 
between the two points (X1. YD and 
(X2, Y2). Which should be used? Unless 



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the line is at forty-five degrees (exactly) 
to the horizontal, there is always more 
than one way of connecting the two 
endpoints. 



(X1. Y1I 





IX2, Y2I 



(XI, Y1 



IX2, Y2I 



Mainframe programmers have, for 
many years used the technique shown in 
the listing printed here for approximating 
a diagonal line: 

it '.-,.,.' . i . 

Xtf <8 THEN SiOM 
_,«:i IXSiGUSUB iVvl 

Dra iw 



it 






'subroutine draws a line 


:^ 


rung points ixi.vi) ana 




1 . *^l no matter where 


■■ 


' tney ate on the screen. 







. . 


i i 








■ 112 


■ l - Y0 








. 


/a 










HX=SbNlDX> 


:DX = 


HBb(DX) 




140 


UY^bLiN(UY) 


:UY= 


AbLi(UY) 




ibia 


,^i ro 


DX 






178 


Xtf=--A(fl+flX 








lBw 


H=H+DY 








. ■ 


if f>>= DX 


I Htr. 


Y0=Yia+SY 


R=R-DX 


<>00 


be, (X0, Y0> 








<lVI 


-1 ■ 








220 


Hfc iUHN 









One point is plotted for each X-value 
between X1 and X2, that is, each time 
around the loop the value of X changes 
by 1. The value of Y changes by the 
SLOPE of the line, which in terms of the 
subroutine is DY/DX. This value 

may not be an integer (whole number), 
so it must be truncated. The subroutine 
keeps track of the amount of error this 
introduces, and as soon as this exceeds 
1 , Y-values are incremented an extra 
time. The subroutine is confused a little 
by the need to plot lines from left to right 
or right to left, and by the fact that the 
method I just explained only works if the 
slope is less than 45 degrees. Hence the 
bother with the SGN(X) function, which 
is rarely used, but returns 1, -1, or 
depending on whether X is positive, 
negative or zero. 

To really appreciate the method, add 
the line 

195 PRINT @ O. XO. YO. R; 
and you will see the way the Y-value is 
manipulated. 

Whether or not the method makes 
sense, it is very effective, and probably 
the best that can be done. Naturally it is 
faster in machine code than BASIC, but if 
you try it, you will find it isn't that slow 
even in BASIC. As I say, it is a method 
which has been around for a long time: I 
first saw it in 1973. The same technique 
can be used for moving a ship along a 
line, or even plotting on a printer. 



54 BITS & BYTES April. 1984 



ZX81 

Gibbins and 
gold 

This game for the 1 6K ZX81 , by Scott 
French, aged 12, of Hamilton, has the 
player, depicted by a graphic asterisk, 
set to find treasure, depicted by a 
graphic dollar sign, without being caught 
by a pursuing ghost (a graphic quote 
mark) or without running out of time, in 
which case the ground caves in. In both 
cases it is then GAME OVER. 

To help when typing in the program 
note: 
LINE 40: the printing contains 29 graphic A's 

of the checkerboard-type graphic 

character. 
LINE 150: The printing contains a graphic 

(inverse! asterisk. 
LINE 160: The printing contains a graphic 

(inverse! quote. 
LINES 1 80 and 270: The printing contains one 

graphic A as in LINE 40 



Program map: 
10 set counter to zero 
20 clear screen 
30 50 set up screen 
60 set lives to 6 
70 add to counter 

80 90 set starting position of 'you' 
1 00 - 1 30 set starting positions for ghost and 
treasure (both random) 



.:.:.x->x.:*:.x.x.:.:.y.'-:.:.x.:.:.x.w.!.:.x.:.:.:. 



-..x...:.:.:. -:■-:■■ ■.'■.■.x:x-::v: 



140 set time limit loop 

150 160 printing 'vou' and ghost 

1 70 display space representing ground cave 
in. 'you' can jump over these as they 
only serve to indicate how much of the 
ground has caved in. 

180 covers up 'trail' o( ghost 

190 sees if ghost has caught you 

200 210 moves for ghost 

220 (same as line 190) 

230 prints treasure 

240 sees if you have got to the treasure 

250 sees if you have run out of 'lives' 

260 checks if key was pressed 

270 covers your trail 

280 290 your movement 

300 returns for next turn 

310 clears screen 

320 sets loop 

330 prints at random position an asterisk 

340 returns loop 

1000-1010 sets loop 

1020 1030 prints game over message 

1040 returns loop 

1050 prints asterisks 

1060 returns loop 

1070 prints score 

1080 returns to print game over message 

again. 



Keys for play 

I up 

J - left. K right 

M - down 

note: once you have got to the treasure the 

game loops back to start again. 



Our ZX81 editor comments: 

By changing lines 280 and 290, different keys 
can be used to control the game to make it 
easier for your fingers. 

IP let c-p 
se ci_s 

30 FOR 1=1 TO 19 
43 PRINT TBB 1, 



iRNC'ilS+IJ 

IHHD1S9+1! 
IBNOl 16+1J 
(RNP*2S+1) 

5 



TO 
SC 1 



90 
100 
Iter- 
120 
ISO 
14-i? 
XSG 

170 



HE *T 

LET 
LE 
LE ' 
LET 
LET 
Lfc 1 



LI;5. 

E=i§ 

X --I NT 
■I =INT 
G = INT 
H = IN"> 

T = l TO 



LET 

FOR 

PRINT ST Fl ,B; "E ' 

PPT'-T BT X,Y; B" 

PRIM? AT RNDilBt-1 ,KNi>*3C+l, 



ISO RPIfiT BT X,i'; B" 

ISO IF R=X HND B=v THEN LET LI= 
LI - 1 

200 LET X=X- (X.-ft) * fX-RS 

210 LE - Y =Y - f Y : B ?- -> < / < S J 

320 IF P.=X AMD B=Y THEN LET LI= 
Ll-J 

336 PRINT ST G,HJ"H" 

24.*? IF tR=G OR R = L?+i OR R-S-l) 

HND (6 = i OR C=H»1 ..I. fc=!-l-li THEN 

GOTO 20 

250 IF LI;l THEri SOTO IBBO 

2SR IF "LNK£Y*="" rHEfc iCTO 150 

27C PRINT flr B,B; a 

230 LET B=fl+3* I INKEYS- "H" AND rt 

<1S'J -2* <INKEY* = "I" SMt fi>0l 

290 LET B = 3i2t i IKrEV 5 . r< " OND 6 

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'30O NE »' T ' T 

310 CL'i 

320 FOR -> = 1 TO lOO 

330 PRINT Pi RND*£e.F,SfD*3lS, "*" 

34-Q NE.-T \j 

ioaa Fen :< = i to 3 

10 lO FOR v' = l TO ae 

1020 Pi .:.. j t! iu ; KSHaEEEH ' ' 

103S PRIrJT HT 10, 10; "GAME BOER" 

104.0 NEXT Y 

1050 PRINT RT 10,10; 

1060 NEXT X 

10T/3 PRINT ftr 

NT iflNDtlSBHJ 

lose fop z = i to ie.o 

109C NEXT 2 

200S1 GOTO 10 



1 **t** 



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BITS & BYTES April. 1984 - 55 



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Complexity 
made easy 



"How to Write a TRS-80 
Program" by Ed Faulk, 
Prentice-Hall, $27.70. 

Reviewed by Gordon Findlay. 

Many people find that even once 
they know the elements of a 
programming language, and are 
comfortable with small programs, 
they still cannot design a program of 
any complexity. This book, one of a 
series for various computers, sets 
out to show how to design a 
complex program and how to make 
the writing as easy and effective as 
possible. 

Many readers will have heard of 
"structured" programming. The 
author sets out to describe how to 
program in a structured way, and 
how to minimise errors, maximise 
the ease of debugging and testing, 
and produce useful, readable 
documentation. This is undertaken 
primarily by developing an example 
program (one for maintaining a 
reasonably complex set of records 
about cheque accounts) with the 
reader looking over the author's 
shoulder. 

The hard part, of course, is 
actually applying these techniques in 
practice yourself. The author also 
gives some very pertinent advice 
here. 

The book is written in a down-to- 
earth style which is very easy to 
read. Occasional asides ("Like sex, 
debugging is not a spectator sport") 
enliven the book, as do numerous 
drawings and cartoons. A number of 
misprints were noted, but none were 
serious. One diagram (or cartoon?) 
was missing in my copy. 

Thoroughly recommended for all 
who have written short programs, 
but not long ones, and those who 
have written long programs, but not 
quickly enough. 

Shines in 
parts 

"Mastering Visicalc" by 
Douglas Hergert, Sybex. 
$26.95. Reviewed by John J. 
Vargo. 

This is a tutorial-based book 
intended to take you step by step 
through the original electronic 
spreadsheet which has given rise to 
so many "Visi-clones". It covers the 
different commands of the 
"language" which gives this 



'..-■-.■.■.■.-■-■.■.-.'.■■■--.■.■■.■■■.-.■■:■.■■■:■:•:■- 

software tool its power. The 
chapters are laid out in an easily 
understood style which uses simple 
examples to establish understanding 
of each command. 

Somewhat more attention is given 
to the mathematical functions 
available for Visicalc than in the 
standard manual which comes with 
the software. Other than this, I did 
not find the book to have much 
advantage over the standard manual 
in explaining the Visicalc commands. 

The area where the book does 
shine is in its emphasis on the use of 
Visicalc in conjunction with the 
BASIC programming language via 
DIF files to solve problems that 
would be impossible or at least 
difficult for Visicalc alone. The 
author has taken the time to give a 
thorough explanation of DIF files, 
how to create them and how to use 
them, calling DIF files from BASIC 
programs, passing the files back 
again so that Visicalc can read the 
files are covered in detail. 

Mr Hergert makes the point that 
Visicalc is only one of a group of 
productivity and software 

development tools available to us, 
and we need to learn to choose the 
best tool or combination of tools for 
each application. 

A brief introduction and appendix 
on writing programs in BASIC 
assumes no prior experience. I don't 
believe this appendix is a 'suitable 
substitute for a fuller treatment of 
the language, and algorithm design. 
The author does include a complete 
BASIC program for sorting a DIF file 
once it has been read. 

This would be a good addition to 
the library of the setious Visicalc-er, 
primarily for its discussion of DIF file 
and interfacing with BASIC. 



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56 - BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 



..'.■.■■.'.,•..•,.•.■.-■.-.-.•.-.•.-.'.•.■.-.■■'.-...-.'.■.■.■.'.■.■.'■- 



BOOKS 

•.•.■.•.•.■.■.■.v.-.-.v.v.-.-.-..-.-.-.-:-:-;-.-.;-: 

Promise with 
more polish 

"VIC 20 User Guide" by John 
Heilborn & Ran Talbott, 
Osborne/McGraw-HHI, 388pp, 
$31.40. Reviewed by Steven 
Damold. 

In recent years, Osborne/McGraw- 
Hill has released three editions of its 
very popular "PET User Guide". The 
first edition was a bit disorganised, 
but by the time it got to the third 
edition, it was a very useful book 
indeed. Now Osborne/McGraw-Hill 
has turned its attention to the 
VIC20. 

The "VIC 20 User Guide" has 
profited from the earlier PET 
editions. Its format is very similar, 
and it uses many of the same charts 
and appendices. In addition, new 
sections have been added to cover 
the VIC's graphics, sound and game 
controllers. 

Overall, the book provides solid 
coverage of the computer and its 
main peripherals. However, like the 
first PET edition, it really needs 
further polishing. 

The sections written especially for 



the VIC are not as clear as those 
inherited from the PET editions. 
Moreover, in some sections the 
balance is wrong: a few topics are 
given redundant coverage while 
others are inadequately dealt with. 
Add to this some significant 
typograhical errors, and the book 
would profit from a thorough 
revision. 

However, it compares favourably 
with other reference books for the 
VIC. It is better than "VIC Revealed" 
and is probably more useful for the 
beginner than the "Programmer's 
Reference Guide". However, I do 
hope Osborne/McGraw-Hill brings 
out a second edition. 



Accessible 

ready 

reference 



"The Timex/Sinclair WOO 
BASIC Handbook" by Douglas 
Hergert, Sybex, 164pp. 

$17.95. Reviewed by Stephen 
Baker. 
This book contains, alphabetically, 



ail the ZX-81/Timex 1000 BASIC 
keywords and function keys. 

Each entry heading gives the name 
of the keyword or function, together 
with its entry mode and the key on 
which it is located. Most entries are 
then organised into the following 
sections: 

• a description telling what the 
keyword/function does and how to 
use it correctly in a program. 

• a sample program and an 
explanation of how it works using 
that particular BASIC word. 

• a copy of the screen display and 
results of that program. 

• "notes and comments" - 
interesting tips and practical uses of 
the particular BASIC word. 

Also included are definitions of 
various commonly used words and 
phrases of computer jargon. 

All explanations are easy to follow 
and the sample programs allow you 
to try them for yourself so that you 
can see how they work. 

This would be a very handy 
addition to any ZX81/Timex 1000 
owner's library. Whether you are just 
beginning to write your own 
programs or fairly experienced, it will 
provide a ready reference to all 
BASIC keywords and functions in 
one easy-to-use book. ___ 



JEW 



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BITS & BYTES - April, 1984 - 57 



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New lap 
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The dynamism of the Japanese 
computer industry is reflected in the 
confidence and drive of Mr Takayoshi 
Shiina, president of the Sord Computer 
Corporation of Japan, who was in New 
Zealand last month. 

He was brimful of news about new and 
forthcoming models and excited about 
his latest venture, which is into a cable 
television/home computer network with 
a big Japanese private railway company. 
This will take Japan a big step towards 
being perhaps the world's first wired 
society. 

The railway company had the idea of 
diversifying into a cable network which 
could carry television programs and 
personal-computer data when it 
considered how it could make better use 
of the communications links which serve 
its network of railways. Now it and Sord 
will interchange shares. In it for Sord is 
the possibility of an order for a million 
visual display units. 

With him in New Zealand, Mr Shiina 
had Sord's new lap-computer, the IS1 1 , 
similar to the type put out by Casio and 
Tandy, and a generation ahead of the 
Epson which pioneered the field. The 
IS1 1, with 32K of CMOS RAM enabling 
it to be run from torch batteries, 64K of 
RAM, PIPs, a word processor in ROM, a 
RS232 port, and a printer port will sell 
in New Zealand for about $2000, full-tax 
paid. (This will be reviewed in Bits & 
Bytes next month). 

Mr Shiina has high hopes that the 
popularity of lap computers will spread 
from businessmen who can use it on 
planes, and while commuting, to 
education. Sord is pioneering this field, 
he says, by putting out microcassettes 
for the IS 1 1 which, on one side, have 
instructions on using the machine. These 
are listened to when the microcassette is 
played on a recorder/player. On the other 
side of the tape is computer data to be 
fed into the IS1 1 itself. 

Sord believes that this dual use would 
be excellent for correspondence 
education: pupils could listen to 
instruction and then work through 
program examples. 

The Japanese corporation will be 
bringing out a 16-bit. 128K machine, 
about October, which when it reaches 
New Zealand may sell for as little as 
$1200 or $1300. Mr Shiina also 
promised soon a new machine fully 
compatible with the IBM PC. 

Sord is producing a wide range of 
micros. It is still pushing its own system 
PIPs, but increasingly the machines will 
be offered with other options, such as 
MS-DOS and CP/M, but surprisingly, not 
the new Japanese "standard" MSX. 

Sord, founded by Mr Shiina 14 years 
ago with a capital of $2000 that he had 

Turn to page 59 



58 BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 



GLOSSRRV 



■..■.■—.-.•.■.-.-.*.■.■.•.-.■ .-.-.■.■. ■.•.•.•-.•.-.*..-. ■.-.■.-.■.-. -...'.■....■...■.'.■.•.■.■.•.•—.-.•*.•.•.■■.■..■.•.■.■.■.,•.•.-.■.•.■. 



Acoustic computer: Connects the RS232 part of a 

microcomputer to a telephone handpiece. 
Algorithm: A list of instructions for carrying out some 

process step bv step. 
Applications program: A program written to carry out 
a specific job. for example an accounting or word 
processing program. 
Array: A data type found in high level languages, 
which is stored in a contiguous block of memory. 
Accessed by the array name and an index making 
it easier to process groups of data in many 
situations. 
ASCII: American Standard Code for Information 

Intercharge. An 8-bit code. 
BASIC: Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction 
Code. The most widely used, and easiest to 
learn, high level programming language for 
microcomputers. 
Baud: Speed of transferring data, measured in bits 

per second. 
Beeb: The BBC microcomputer. 
Binary: The system of counting in Ts and O's used 
by all digital computers. The Ts and O's are 
represented in the computer by electrical pulses, 
either on or off. 
Bit: Binary digit. Each bit represents a character in a 
binary number, that is either a 1 or The number 
2 equals 10 in binary and is two bits. 
Boot: To load the operating system into the 
computer from a disk or tape. Usually one of the 
first steps in preparing the computer for use. 
Bubble memory: A non-volatile memory (i.e., it is not 
erased when the power is turned off). The 
information is stored as microscopic pieces of 
magnetic polarisation. 
Buffer. An area of memory used for temporary 
storage while transferring data to or from a 
peripheral such as a printer or a disk drive. 
Bug: An error in a program. 

Byte: Eight bits. A letter or number is usually 
represented in a computer by a series of eight 
bits called a byte and the computer handles these 
as one unit or "word". 
CAL: Computer Aided Learning CAL programs are 
written to take different actions on different 
student answers. 
CCIT: An abbreviation for International Telegraph 

and Telephone Consulting Committee. 
Computer language: Any group of letters, numbers, 
symbols and 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. 
cpi: Means character per inch. A common way of 
describing character density, i.e.. how close 
together characters are in printers. 
CP/M: An operating system for Z80 based machines. 
It is by far the most widely used DOS for Z80 
based machines and there is an extremely large 
software base for it. See also disk operating 
systems. 
cps: Characters per second. A common way of 

describing speed in printers. 
Cursor: A mark on a video that indicates where the 
next character will be shown, or where a change 
can next be made. 
Data: Any information used by the computer either 
10 or internal information. All internal 
information is represented in binary. 
DC: Direct coupling (telecomputing); or direct 

current. 
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 5 '/« inch disk of flexible plastic enclosed in 
an envelope. A hard disk is an assembly of 
several disks of hard plastic material, mounted 
one above another on the same spindle. The hard 
disk holds up to hundreds of millions of bytes 
while floppy disks typically hold between 
140,000 and three million bytes. 
Disk drive: The mechanical device which rotates the 
disk and positions the read- write head so 
information can be retrieved or sent to the disk by 
the computer. 
Diskette: Another name for a 5% inch floppy disk. 
Disk operating system: A set of programs that 
operate and control one or more disk drives. See 
CP-'M for one example. Other examples are 
TRSDOS (on TRS 80) and DOS 3.3 (for Apples). 
DOS: See disk operating system. 
Dot matrix: A type of print head, made up of a matrix 
of pins, e.g. 8x8. When a character is to be 
printed the appropriate pins push out and strike 
the ribbon to paper forming the character. 
Dot graphics: These graphics are individual screen 
pixels. Used by either turning on or off one pixel. 



Double density: Floppy drives that store twice the 

standard amount of data in the same space. 
Dump: Popular term for sending data from a 
computer to a mass storage device such as disks 
or tape. 
EPROM: Erasable, user-programmable, read-only 

memory. 
Execute: A command that tells a computer to carry 

out a user's instructions or program. 
Fanfold: A type of paper that although a continuous 
sheet folds into set length sheets. This is 
achieved by way of a perforated line at set 
intervals. It also makes it easy to tear off a length 
of paper. 
File: A continuous collection of characters (or bytes! 
that the user considers a unit (for example on 
accounts receivable file), stored on a tape or disk 
for later use. 
Firmware: Programs fixed in a computer's ROM 
(Read Only Memory); as compared to software, 
programs held outside the computer. 
Floppies: Thin plastic disks with a magnetic coating 
used for storing information. Called floppies 
because they are flexible. 
Friction feed: A type of paper-feeding system for 
printers: normal paper in a continuous sheet is 
gripped between two friction rollers as on a 
typewriter. 
Hardware: The computer itself and peripheral 
machines for storing, reading in and printing out 
information. 
Hex: Abbreviation for hexadecimal notation, a 
base- 16 numbering system convenient to use 
with computers. 
High level language: Any English-like language, such 
as BASIC, that provides easier use for untrained 
programmers. There are now many such 
languages and dialects of the same language (for 
example MicroBASlC. PolyBASlC etc). 
Input: Any kind of information that one enters into a 

computer. 
Interactive: Refers to the "conversation'' or 
communication between a computer and the 
operator. 
Interface: Any hardware/software system that links 

a microcomputer and any other device. 
I/O "Input/output". 

Inverse video: When the background is coloured; e.g. 
on a black and white screen white becomes 
background and characters are written in black. 
K: The number 1024. Commonly refers to 1024 
bytes. Main exception is capacity of individual 
chips, where K means 1024 bits 
Kilobyte lor K): Represents 1024 bytes. For example 

5K is 5120 bytes (5 x 1024). 
LCD: Liquid-crystal display. 

Laser: Light amplified by stimulated emission of 
radiation. In computing chiefly in printing, where 
a laser can farm characters on paper. Also in the 
reading of video-disks, a future storage medium 
for micros. 
Line feed: A control code character found in the 
ASCII character set. Its normal purpose is to 
move the cursor down one line (on screen) or 
move paper up one line Ion printer). Does not 
return the cursor to the left-hand margin. 
Machine language: The binary code language that a 

computer can directly "understand". 
Mainframe: The very large computers that banks and 
other large businesses use are called 
mainframes. Also in microcomputers the term is 
sometimes used to describe the core of the 
machine, i.e. the CPU plus memory. 
Mass storage: A place in which large amounts of 
information are stored, such as a cassette tape or 
floppy disk. 
Megabyte (or Mb): Represents a million bytes. 
Memory: The part of the microcomputer that stores 
information and instructions. Each piece of 
information or instruction has a unique location 
assigned to it within a memory. There is internal 
memory inside the microcomputer itself, and 
external memory stored on a peripheral device 
such as disks or tape. 
Memory capacity: Amount of available storage 

space, in Kbytes. 
Menu: List of options within a program that allows 
the operator to choose which part to interact 
with (see Interactive). The options are displayed 
on a screen and the operator chooses one. 
Menus allow user to easily and quickly set into 
programs without knowing any technical 
methods. 
Microcomputer: A small computer based on a 

microprocessor. 
Microprocessor: The central processing unit or 
"intelligent" part of a microcomputer. It is 
contained on a single chip of silicon and controls 
all the functions and calculations. 



•"■■•■■■■■^ 
Modem: Modulator-demodulator. An instrument that 

connects a microcomputer to a telephone and 

allows it to communicate with another computer 

over the telephone lines. 
Network: An interconnected group of computers or 

terminals linked together for specific 

communications. 
Output: The information a computer displays, prints 

or transmits after it has processed the input. See 

input and I 0. 
Parallel interface: A type of communications 

interface used mostly for printers. It sends a 

whole character of data down eight (commonly) 

lines, one bit down each hne. The most common 

type of parallel interface for printers is the 

Centronics interface. 
Pascal: A high-level language that may eventually 

rival BASIC in popularity. 
PEEK: A command that examines a specific memory 

location and gives the operator the value there. 
Peripherals: All external input or output devices: 

printer, terminal, drives etc. 
Phreaking: Breaking into guarded computer systems 

via telephone links. 
Pixel: Picture element. The point on a screen in 

graphics. 
POKE: A command that inserts a value into a specific 

memory location. 

Program: A set or collection of instructions written in 

a particular programming language that causes a 

computer to carry out or execute a given 

operation. 
RAM: Random access memory is the very fast 

memory inside your computer. The access time 

for any piece is the same. Your program and run 

time data are usually stored in RAM. 
REM statement: A remark statement in BASIC. It 

serves as a memo to programmers, and plays no 

part in the running program. 
Resolution: A measure of the number of points 

(pixels) on a computer screen. 
ROM: Read only memory. Any memory in which 

information or instructions have been 

permanently fixed. 
Serial interface: A type of communications interface 

used for a wide variety of purposes (printers. 

terminals, telephone correction etc.). It uses a 

minimum of two wires, and sends the data one 

bit at a time down one wire. The most common 

type of serial interface is RS232C. 
Sheet feed: A type of paper feeding system normally 

used for high-quality document printers. A 

special device picks up a sheet of paper and 

feeds it into friction rollers. 
Simulation: Creation of a mathematical model on 

computers that reflects a realistic system. 
Software: Any programs used to operate a 

computer. 
Sysop: Systems operator. Person(s) who runs a 

bulletin board. 
System: A collection of hardware and software 

where the whole is greater that the sum of the 

parts. 
Tractor feed: A type of paper feeding system for 

printers. Special computer paper with holes along 

both sides is fed by the tractors gripping these 

holes. 
TTL: An abbreviation for transistor transistor logic. 
VDU: Visual display unit. A device that shows 

computer output on a television screen. 
Word: A group of bits that are processed together by 

the computer Most microcomputers use eight or 

16 bit words. 



SORD 



■■:<■:*:«*:■:■>>:■:■:■:•:■:■>:■:■:•:■ 



From page 58 

borrowed, had sales of about 5140 
million in the year to February 20. Mr 
Shiina expects growth to continue 25 to 
30 per cent over the next 10 years. 

He sees technical spin-offs coming for 
the Japanese microcomputer industry 
from the country's quest for the fifth- 
generation computer technology, and 
from developments such as optical-disk 
(video-disk) technology, which he 
expects will provide greatly increased 
external storage and faster access. 

BITS & BYTES April. 1984 59 



CLASSIFIEDS 



Addresses wanted: Bits & Bytes would like the 
following contributors who supplied material 
without their addresses to write to the editor: D. 
Montgomery and Peter Passuello. 

FOR SALE — System 80 (48K), 9" monitor, and 
Sharp PC 1211 pocket computer with printer. 
Phone 63-172 Dunedin after 5pm. 

C-64 PROGRAM: "Mail-book". Store Address 
Data. $10. Write D. Lynch RIM, Wellsford. Ph: 
5122 WFD. 

TRS-SO/Syslem 80 M/C Game "Drakula" 16K 
or 32K tape version only $15. Send to RMB 
Software, 141 Winchester Street, Levin. 

"SYSTEM 80 FOR SALE — Blue Label with 
inbuilt colour board, 2 disk drives (X-4060/1), 
32k expansion unit (X-4020), and Sword green 
screen monitor. Will also sell large quantity of 
software, manuals and books. Contact P. 
Dodge, 143 Main Street, Greytown. Phone 
Greytown 49-528. 

FOR SALE ZX81 second hand software, I and 
16K. Also moving keyboard. Please write J. 
Walker, 2 Arthur Street, Oamaru. 

WANTED: RS232C — Kitsel or made up and 
either acoustic or D.C. modem for System-80. 
P. Clarke, 8 Norway Slret, Kelburn, Wgtn. 

COMPUTER RAM PACK — 8K Ram for Sharp 
PC 1500. Cost $200. Sell $100. Phone 358-774 
Porirua. 

FOR SALE — System 80, plus software. Micro 
80. 80 micro magazines. $500 o.n.o. 58 Inverneer 
Street, Dunollie. Phone 361, Runanga. 

HANDHELD COMPUTER: Sharp PC 1211 
with printer. New Price $704. Almost new with 
programming books, $375 ono. Write to Phillip 
C/o Box 121 Napier or Phone 447-224 Napier. 

WANTED: System 80 Technical Manual to buy 
or borrow. Contact Brian Wood, 30 Betley Cres, 
Hamilton. Phone HN 59-098 pte, HN 492-872 or 
Auckland 592-759 bus. 

ZS0/Z8UA machine code programmers wanted 
to "translate" our clients' existing games to run 
on Spectravideo, Colour Genie and VZ200 for 
developing markets. Sorry, no fortunes yel — 
but very worthwhile returns for spare-lime work. 
Please send details of your experience in 
confidence to Dave Delmont. Redeployment 
Services, 21 Meadow Road, Pinner, Middx, HAS 
IEB. England. 

"Sinclair ZX8I Software: Would like to 
exchange I6K games and business software. 
Phone Michaela 439-777 Auckland. 

FOR APPLE II — Video keyboard enhancer. 
Gives full keyboard, with user macros $140. Also 
PAL colour card $100. Ian Jackson, Cashmere 
High School, Christchurch. Ph: 39-129, AH 
487-452. 

Spectravideo: Anyone interested in a users- 
group? Please write: M. McQueen, Medwyn, 
Reservoir Rd, Sawyers Bay. 

FOR SALE — Sharp PC 1500 Portable 
Computer, ll.SK Ram, with CE150 Printer and 
Cassette Interface, $495 also Sony Portable Tape 
Recorder for Programs, $95. Phone Auckland 
292-4773 or Write to P.O. Box 529, Papakura. 

FOR SALE — Bank Street Writer, Word 
Processor for Apple 2 or 2+ , original disks and 
manual, hardly used, $65. Phone 292-4773 or 
Write to P.O. Box 529, Papakura. 



The Doodler. a machine code drawing, painting, 
writing programme for the 48K Spectrum. 
$16.00 including postage. Send cheques or 
money order to Tyson Computing, 124 Hukanui 
Road. Hamilton. Trade enquiries welcome. 

FOR SALE — EasyScript 64 wordprocessor for 
Commodore 64. All new. Manual and disks, $95. 
Phone Blenheim (057) 81-809. 

FOR SALE - Radio Shack ANSI 74 Cobol 
Compiler. Retail $550. Sell $300. T. Mackrell, 
Ph: Tokomaru Bay 455. 

NEC PC-8000 Computer. Includes dual disk 
drives, and a high resolution RGB colour screen. 
$2800 ono. Ph: 596-249 Christchurch. 

Mystery back copy order — would the person 
who ordered 10 back copies with a Visacard 
number but didn't include their name and 
address please contact BITS & BYTES. P.S. The 
person also owns a VIC 20. 

Part-lime commission salesman required to 
sell our games software to retail outlets in the 
South Island. Please coalact: 

Micro 81 

P.O. Box 80075 

Auckland 

Commodore 64 software. Job register, a 
general purpose data storage and retrieval 
program, $21 .50. Music teacher, learn to read 
music on your 64. $14.95. Prices include 
postage. Please send payment to freepost 
690 Compusoft. Box 290. Manurewa. 

1. C64, 3 disk drives, new $849 each. Ph: Auck. 
482-119. 

2. Micro-Vox speech synthesiser, new $695.00. 
Ph: Auck. 482-119. 

3. Cardco Interface for C64, new $158.00. Ph: 
Auck. 482-119. 

4. CP/M cartridge for C64, new $99.00. Ph: 
Auck. 482-119. 



Mr Laurence Tolmie. 




63A Alton Drive, 




Northcote. 




Ph: 482-119, Auckland. 




Advertiser Index 




Associated Book Publishers 


32 


ANZ Books 


56 


Auckland University Bookshop 


56 


AVM Electronics 42 


53 


Barr Bros 


40 


Barson Computers 


93 


Brother Distributors 


55 


Business Computers 


19 


Byte Shop 


6 


CCP 


53 


Check Point Computers 


38 


Compudata Media 


l/B 


Computech Systems 


46 


Computer Plus 


12 


Computer Store 20 


53 


Computer Warehouses 


3 


Custom Computers 


54 


Data Peripherals 


25 


David Reid Electronics 


9 


Dick Smith Electronics 


7 


Einstein Scientific 


14 


Electric Apple 


53 


Excelsior 


11 


Fortuna Industries 


27 


Gadgets 


48 


Harris Electronics 


47 



Programs 
welcome 



Bits <£- Bytes welcomes submission 
of programs for inclusion in its 
regular program features, and in 
other sections of the magazine. We 
pay for good programs used. 
Please nole, however: 

• If the listing is required back, 
enclose a stamped, self-addressed 
envelope. 

• Programs will be stored until 
used. Those not used will 
eventually be discarded. 

• Listings should be printed on 
white paper, and (he ribbon of the 
printer should be in good order. 

• Your program stands a better 
chance of being printed if (he 
print-out is set so that the lines are 
as close as possible to the column 
width of Bits & Bytes. 

• For long programs, a tape or 
diskette would be welcome so that 
we can see how it works. These 
will be returned in due course. 

• Don't forget to include full 
details of your address and name. 

• Don't forget to say which 
machine your program runs on. 

Address programs to: 
Programs Editor 
Bits & Bytes 
Box 827 
Christchurch 
And keep them coming in. . . 



Hi-Tech Programming 


35 


ICL 


B/C 


Imagineering 


4, 5 


James Electronics 


53 


John Gilbert Electronics 


22, 36 


K'Rd 


50 


Manakau Computers 


24 


Micro Age 


53 


Micro '81 


41 


Mirage Wholesalers 


52 


Molymerx 


34, 46 


N.Z. Computer Games 


17 


N.Z. Computer Yearbook 


39 


N.Z. Fine Chains 


58 


Pitman Publishing 


57 


P.C. World 


43 


Rakon Computers 


51 


Remarkable Software 


2 


Silkwood Manufacturing 


49 


Software Supplies 


44 


Solstat 


l/F 


Spectrum Software Club 


44 


Supatech Electronics 


21 


Tower Computing 


45 


Triad Computing 


53 


Viscount Electronics 


8, 58 


West City Computer Centre 


26 



60 - BITS & BYTES - April. 1984 





How to keep the computer revolution 
from becoming a revolt. 

Computers are creating a revolution in the way we work. But because they sometimes lose or confuse infor- 
mation, they also create frustrating problems. 

But not all computer errors are the computer's fault. Sometimes, it's a faulty flexible disk. Because of 
surface inconsistencies, some disks can lose their magnetic properties. And along with them, your information. 

The answer: Datalife" flexible disks. Certified 100% error free and backed by a 5-year warranty, they 
perform flawlessly time after time. 

So now you can join in the computer revolution without losing data or your temper. Use Datalife by 
Verbatim? the world's leading producer of flexible disks. 

Call your nearest Verbatim dealer or master New Zealand distributors Auckland: Ph 444-6085, tlx 6O835 

COMPUDATA MEDIA SYSTEMS LTD ""^mSs™"" 1 



When it's time to 

stop playing games and 

get down to business... 



Unfortunately, many of today's desk top 
computers are designed with too much 
emphasis on home use. That's fine, if you want 
to balance your chequebook, play "space wars" 
or draw pictures. But when you have serious 
business requirements for a computer, you want 
one designed specifically for business. 

The ICL Personal Computer is just that. A 
computer designed specifically for business 
applications, incorporating a host of features 
optimised for the business environment. 8- or 
16-bit microprocessors allow users to choose 
available 8-bit — or newer 16-bit — applications 
software. And an integral high-capacity 
Winchester disc drive — plus provision for 
additional hard disc support — provides 
sufficient on-line storage for virtually any 
business application. 

Advanced communications software allows 
the ICL Personal Computer to connect to 
mainframe systems and networks. And 
expanded RAM memory supports simultaneous 
access from up to four user workstations. 

So if you're serious about a computer for 
business or professional use, contact ICL Trader 
Point. We're not playing games. 



Clip the coupon and send for literature and 
the name of your nearest Trader Point Distributor. 

I 1 

NAME . 



' POSITION HELD _ 
I COMPANY NAME . 
I ADDRESS 



.TEL NO. 



Send to- FREEPOST 242, ICL Trader Point. PO Box 394. Wgtn 



I 

I Send to- FREEPOST 242. 

iCL" 

Personal Computer 

The Business and Professional Computer 



J