Gareth's Gripes

By Gareth Babb

Originally published in EUG #11

In response to Alan Richardson's request, Advancecd Computer Products (now Pres) did at one point sell the BBC Viewstore with an addendum and new keystrip for the Electron. Acorn never did a specific Electron version, which is strange as they did View and Viewsheet.

EUG #9 and EUG #10 have not been readable by the drive on my Electron (Mitsubishi) although they are fine on my A5000. However, I can't understand why you go on about disk space and then fill loads of it up with the uncompressed 20k EUG screen!

Dennis Parker's questions on my article about hard drives should note that all it was concerned with was modifying the ADVANCED PLUS 5 (AP5) to allow you to use a hard disk. It wasn't about the hard disks themselves! If you don't need the tube i/f (I do!) or user port then get one of the Solidisk ones you mention.

ADFS, Winchester wise, should work with the Solidisk i/f as you address the hard drive directly and thus it can't use a different controller. Whether ADFS will drive the floppy side of the Solidisk is another question. The small Pres 1Mhz bus (as mentioned in the article) uses a PAL to do the address decoding/timing and thus cannot be modified, I will talk to the designer of this i/f and see if he will produce a reprogrammed PAL allowing the hard drive to be addressed, if anybody is interested.

A 'normal Beeb hard drive' means any drive that will work on the BBC will work on the Elk, whether it be using the 1Mhz->SASI->ST-506 cards or just the 1Mhz->SASI card and a willing SCSI drive.

I have a MRB fitted and have had no problems, though I don't have it in shadow mode as a) I don't trust Slogger's OS and b) I don't need shadow RAM as I have the second processor. The times I have temporarily put it into shadow mode, I've had no problems.

Gareth Babb
Grimsby, South Humberside

Cor blimey, Guvnor! It's a fair cop, you got me banged to rights and no mistake! Text in the form of BASIC programs and uncompressed screens are not very efficient uses of the disk space. I received a few suggestions for improvement and have finally settled on a piece of code written by Richard Dimond that can load and display View files directly. It allows for all the mail to be called from the main menu instead of just filling the disk with ordinary word processor files and saying to the readers, "There you are, get on with it!".

Software to compress/decompress graphics screens would probably be a great help, although the only example of this kind of utility I have ever seen in action took almost ten seconds to decompress and display a 20k screen. If anyone can offer practical advice on these matters, I'd like to hear from them. I don't know what could have caused your disk loading problems. Apart from one disk which was returned as it had somehow become corrupted, I've had no other complaints from ADFS users. Perhaps the problem is unique to your Mitsubishi drive.

Will Watts, EUG #11