User Defined CHR$ v1

By Will Watts

Originally published in EUG #00


Having the option to re-design the Electron's entire character set has always been one of the machine's strong points. You can change the shape of letters to produce new fonts or print them in blocks and create simple animation sequences. But if you've ever spent hours with pieces of paper drawing 8x8 grids and trying to calculate the sums of the new bit patterns, you'll know just how boring and frustrating the task can be!!

What you need is a program to do the calculating for you - and here it is! When run, a grid of 32x24 squares is printed; each represents one pixel within a character. The numbers that surround the grid show where one character ends and the next one starts. You will notice that you can re-define twelve characters at a time and when the definitions are eventually printed out, the first will be that of the character beginning at the top left corner of the grid and the last that of the character ending in the last corner. The cursor is the small square at the top left of the grid.

Game Controls

The keys used to move the cursor are:-

Z - Left, X - Right, * - Up, ? - Down

To turn a pixel on, use >. To turn a pixel off, use <.

Once you have designed the characters to your satisfaction, press P and you will be given the choice of Mirroring the grid, Flipping the grid, Wiping the grid or printing out the definition data. If you choose the Print option, you will be asked to input a number that the sequence of characters should start from. 224 is the start number of the Electron's block of undefined characters so that will do for now. Enter it and press RETURN and all twelve definitions will be printed out.

You can now either make a note of the definitions on paper or press S to stop the program and use the 'end tagging' method to store them as with the music program elsewhere in this issue. If you choose to transcribe the definitions onto paper you can then press G to return the grid, Mirror or Flip it then print out these new definitions.

Next Issue

In the next issue of EUG, we will add a routine to store the definitions directly onto tape or disk!

Note also that the listing, like all others in EUG, is open to constructive criticism and any improvements or alternatives to it will be welcomed!!

Will Watts, EUG #0