More On ROMs

By Tony Boarer

Originally published in EUG #25

Since writing the Click article, I have fitted another ROM128 to my main Electron system. This contains Wordwise+, XBasic, Addcomm, Elkman, the BBC Graphics Extension (which works on the Electron although I do not understand all of the syntax), Jafa's MODE 7 (Not the simulator ROM), AMX Mouse support SUPPORT and Forth. I have this plugged into the PAGE 13 position on Slogger's AP2.

The BBC Wordwise+ works with the JAFA ROM if using a computer suitably fitted out, as is one of my 64K Electrons. I make a mistake here for if I wish to use MODE 7 with Wordwise+, then I will have to load an image of the Jafa product into RAM! The only other snag with this ROM128 is that I do not get the full range of commands from Elkman, as I outlined in my note on ROMs in EUG #24. This does not worry me a lot for I can kill ROMs with Click and the remaining commands such as *RAMCLR are still useful.

Also I have had the ROM256 fully fitted out with eight pairs of ROMs. These are Interchart and Viewsheet, Starspell and View, Intersheet and SHEET, Pascal (two ROMs), Lisp and SERIAL ROM, PMS NTQ and FONTS, Starword and Starstore 2, and AMX Stop Press and SUPPORT. I now have to get down to seeing exactly what I can do with these ROMs. I started this letter with Starword but am finishing it with View, which is the very first time that I have used the latter. I must say that View can very quickly be picked up from the manual, but one must be careful with View as saveing to the same name overwrites the existing file, whereas with Starword one gets a beep and a yes/no overwrite question.

Also Starword is, I think, a bit more sophisticated and can be used in conjunction with Starstore 2. A good point in View's favour is the function strip - in the case of Starword the FUNC-1, etc, combination produces another series of letters to be used to get desired effects, and is not so amenable to the function strip principle and was not supplied by Slogger. View's greater use of the function key is a good point.

I have now started to use Viewsheet for the calculation of some data that I write into my financial databank disks instead of using a manual filing system for this function. Again, working from the manual seems easy although so far I have only used the first few pages.

Both View and Viewsheet seem to work perfectly well in 64K mode as does Starword and Starstore 2.

The BBC ROM's Interchart and Intersheet/Sheet will work on the Electron but only in 32K mode. I have not seriously explored these ROMs yet.


I have added a little gadget to Integra-B BBC, Slomo. It fits to the TUBE interface. I have been after this gadget for some time and saw that it was part of a BBC "job lot" offered in Micromart. I managed to persuade the seller to part with it separately.

Slomo has a different interface if it is to be fitted to the Electron.

It has two operating buttons and one control knob. One button is a freeze frame - if, say, one is running a graph it can be frozen at any point and on release of the button the graph will continue to be plotted. Slomo is off if this, and the other button, is not touched.

The freeze button is only for use for a maximum period of 30 seconds. For freezing for longer periods the other button and control knob is used. When this button is pressed, a diode is lit and Slomo is on until the button is pressed again.

With the button pressed, the control knob can be used to slow the graph plotting, for example, to a virtual standstill or anywhere in between this and normal computer running speed - quite neat. Certain commands, for example, LOAD and SAVE should not be used with the diode lit.

I imagine that Slomo could be very useful for debugging BASIC programs. Perhaps it could be used with TRACE or the utility Super Trace. I have not had occasion to try it yet.

Tony Boarer, EUG #25