All My Ideas

By Chris Chadwick

Originally published in EUG #16

It's been nearly a year since I took an active part in EUG, and it tailed off in mid writing an article mode. So wedge your time hat on and let me take you back to the fizzy dizzy days of 1993.

There was at the time a boisterous debate on the merits of the View WP. I have to say, after uncommonly long consideration mark you, that I find it neither small nor slow. Using a Slogger MRB (And does anyone know if their products are still available?) you get a handsome speed increase (As tested by secretarial lightning typing) and a steady 25082 bytes to start in all modes under ADFS, or about five thousand words in the memory - more than enough to see off the bank manager! (Dear Mr Chadwick, We have two problem customers and Mexico is the other one, yours etc. Dear Jodrells, Hasta la vista baby...)

If you really need to express yourself over more than 5K of words in one sitting the continuous disk processing option of EDIT can be summoned. Now that is slow and tedious, but it enables files about the size of your disk capacity to be created. With a hard drive hooked up, there is no reason why the novel can't be edited in one lump. I don't know why you'd want to though, as most passages (Those bits with a common or distinctive thread within a chapter) come in at well under 5K words. I haven't the wit to think of any other use that wants a file bigger than 25000kB.

Experience Database For Newcomers

My contribution of the year before last about BASIC electroneering was an attempt to start an 'experience database' for newcomers and I had hoped that others would chime in with appraisals of the kit I'd missed. The fact that nothing like that has been seen except for Slogger's Click inclines me to believe there is either no take up or no desire to do it.

Because the Elk and its BBC brothers have such a strong reputation for being easy to use, tough enough to last and relatively cheap, I believe they will continue to attract those souls interested in learning to use or programming computers. These people are not likely to come in with disk systems akimbo ready to avail themselves EUG disks passim, and could surely do with a wad of literature on what's what in the (by now) rather arcane world of Plus What-have-yous with no standard disk system.

Because of this, I'd like to have a ready made 'Acorn 8 Bit Experience Database' on paper, about BBCs and Elks, available to new readers for the cost of copying and posting it. I'm willing to do the donkey work if someone out there will help fill in the gaps on the kit options. Write to me about Plus(ses) > 1 and other kitsome goodies, preferably on 3.5" ADFS or 40 T 5.25" DFS if you absolutely must, in a WP file.

As for the review of Electron User magazines from the dawn of history, get a move on, won't ya? There are seven years of these things, approximately eighty editions, and I suggest that unless we can get them listed at least at the rate of one year per EUG disk that we will all have grey hair by the time it's finished. And even that will take until 1996. Think about it!

May I suggest concentrating on reviews of kit still commonly available (new or secondhand), languages or programming techniques? I think we realise just how sophisticated we've become in terms of using the machine. I suppose the occasional nod towards stand out games as well, particularly that (hugely) brilliant article about Elite in January 1990.

I've noticed that later editions of Electron User carried a summary of preceeding copies, perhaps a way can be found to get these images scanned (Say from each July issue) into an ASCII file as an index to the excellent review work going on?

Back to databases, are there any Viewstore users out there? What do you think of it? Have you compared it with Slogger's Starstore? How did it fare? Is it as easy as View/Viewsheet? Write to me and get it in the database!

I ask this because I have Starstore and I'm not too impressed with it. It does everything it says it will, just not way I like it done.

Hot Tip For T2p3

I have discovered that it is worth having a !BOOT file for my T2P3 disk to *UNPLUG both banks in the ABR. If the ABR is inserted, it appreciably slows up the loading of the T2P3'd game. It is not necessary to *INSERT the ram banks after finishing with T2P3.

Christopher Chadwick

I thoroughly agree with you that Slogger's Starstore 1 & 2 are pretty feeble. I have recently got hold of Viewstore and, while I haven't yet had time to get into it properly, it looks good.

I have tried to contact Bill Bradbury who now handles Slogger products but I continually get his answering machine. I have left many messages (even offering him free advertising space in EUG #16) but he never gets back to me. One gets the feeling he is not really interested in Slogger at all. If that is the case, it would be nice if he passed it over to someone who is.

Did you like the database from EUG #14? I also have a new database courtesy of EUG programming boffin Richard Dimond. It will appear in a future issue but is designed to hold all that information I need to keep about the members: addresses, subs, members' codes, etc. HeadFirst PD also do a brilliant PD version utilising all of a 64K Electron's workspace.

I do like your idea of compiling a database of products. I have this in mind for EUG #20. See the editorial.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #16