Disk Problems 2000

By John Crane

Originally published in EUG #46

I did promise Gus that I would try and write something for each issue but I didn't manage it last time. I just couldn't find much worth saying.

Anyhow, EUG #45 arrived today and I've had some inspiration.

First off the address has changed. 'Has Gus moved?' methinks. No, he's handed over to someone else, it would appear. Somebody says thanks to Gus for all his past work. Sort of a farewell message. But where's the intro? The "Hi, I'm ... and I've taken the reigns here at EUG. Please send all future submissions to me at the new address on disk label, etc, etc"?

After interrogating the floppy a bit and finding the same address on a previous EUG edition, I reckon our editor is Dave Edwards - or 'The Dave' as he seems to like to be known as.

Just one small niggle; the shutter (metal bit) on my disk was crushed and hence it wouldn't go in my drive. If sending disks in ordinary envelopes, they usually survive the journey if the disk is put in the envelope shutter down (i.e. at the bottom of the envelope) well away from the stamp. Mine was shutter UP (i.e. immediately behind the stamp) hence was probably crushed during the franking process in the Royal Mail machinery. Not to worry though. I managed to rescue it sufficiently to copy the mag to another disk.

I think someone recently wanted a Colour Screen Dump for printing. There is one available from 8BS PD library on disk number TBI 68. For further details, contact Chris Richardson at 8 Bit Software.

I've just thought of something else. Does it have to be DELETE to return to the Main Menu. Why not RETURN or SPACE? Or anything other than DELETE, BREAK or ESCAPE. Is it easy for me to change if I want? I had a go at listing the Menu program but I couldn't find anything. Then again, I'm no programmer in BASIC or anything else so I didn't really know what I was looking for!!

Anyway, I hope this isn't sounding like a whinge 'cos I actually very much enjoyed the new format EUG. The same but different, you might say. We must hear more about the 'Acorn Electron Haven' that our new leader runs. It sounds idyllic...a sort of heavenly place where 8 Bit Software and Hardware can be lovingly cossetted well into its old age - sort of. Very nice.

Incidentally, someone asked in Acorn User if it was possible to transfer files off those 3" double sided Amstrad disks onto 3.5" disks using an Elk or similar. I once bought a 2nd hand Elk with a 3" drive attached to an AP3 interface. Unfortunately, it didn't work and, although I was able to use the AP3, I have never been able to get it to work. Even if I did, I imagine the disks used on Amstrad machines have a different format. Chris Richardson also asked this question in a very early issue of 8BS magazine. I have yet to see any solutions!

That's it then for me now. Assuming another EUG before Christmas, Merry Christmas and if not, Happy New Year.

John Crane

This letter raises a number of points about the new EUG. Hopefully, most of them will be easily corrected as I discuss them.

I originally chose DELETE to switch from sub- to main menu as it's usually the key to hit immediately after you press a wrong key when typing. However, to change the key is a very simple operation. You need to locate the procedure PROCk (k is that small part of the program which waits for a keypress) and LIST it. In this issue's menu, LIST 520.

      520DEFPROCk:A%=GET:IFA%=127 AND M%<>1 THEN M%=1:VDU19,0,0;0;:EN
A% is the ASCII value of whatever character the user hits and M% is the menu the program is currently displaying. So stepping through this procedure, you'll deduce that A%=GET waits for a keypress and IF A% = the DELETE key, and MENU 1 (The Main Menu) is NOT being displayed, M% is reset to 1. The procedure then ends and the Main Menu is shown again.

The ASCII code for RETURN is 13; SPACE is 32. Substitute either of these codes for the 127 (DELETE) or alternatively, simply type, at the cursor A%=GET:PRINT A% (RETURN), hit the key of your choice and then use the code printed on the screen. Make sure to save the new version.

Regarding the lack of an intro to the new style magazine, you can hit the H key for the Help Menu. This will give you a list of contents and the new rules on submission. It's an option hidden somewhat by its location on the screen...but it's there!

Apologies regarding the disk and hopefully we won't have seen the last of Gus (or Will!) before we report on The Acorn Electron Haven.

Dave E, EUG #46