Product: 8 Bit Software #46
Publisher: 8BS
Compatibility: BBC B/B+/Master 128
Reviewed by: Richard Dimond
Originally published in EUG #24

After reading Chris Richardson's article in EUG #23, I sent for the introductory disk package and found it to be quite interesting - with one or two reservations.

Firstly, by running the disks on my A3010 with BBC emulation I was able to view the teletext Mode 7 screens in the format they were produced in and, at first glance, it all looks very nice with all those different colours! However, my colour portable isn't up to much as a viewing screen and so I found a lot of stuff very hard to read - especially the dark blue text which just seemed to merge in with the background. There is the option of reading all the text in 80 column black and white which I found to be a lot easier to read. Strangely enough though, this facility wouldn't work on the A3010 but performed admirably on the 64K Electron. The only drawback, of course, if that you can't see any graphics on the Electron without Mode 7 capability! 99% of the disk is text though so it's not so bad.

Compatability

An A3010 running the BBC emulator read all of 8BS-46 (The magazine disk, issue #46) except the first choice on the Main Menu, "About This Disk". As I've already said, 80 column mode (Press 8 instead of RETURN) had no effect; it just continued in Mode 7. Also, some articles designed to automatically read in 80 column mode, such as the editorial, would not scroll beyond the first screenful. Pressing the cursor arrows as instructed simply returned to the Main Menu. TBI-00 (The PD catalogue and introductory disk) worked in a similar fashion.

8BS-46 worked fine on the Electron in 80 column mode as described above. However I had bother with TBI-00 which gave "No room" errors. My L-shaped Acorn Plus 3 takes PAGE to up to &1D00 with ADFS which I know to be a problem. Fortunately though, my Electron has a Slogger 64K MRB fitted so I was able to run TB1-00 in 64K mode with no ill effects.

Overall

Anyway, the upshot of it all is I like what I've seen so far of 8BS and so I've enrolled for membership. As I understand it, Chris is studying the Electron so the club should become more "Elk-friendly" as time goes on. Certainly the PD library is incredible and is getting bigger all the time. It's worth being a member just for that and also the EPROM-programming service he offers. As far as I'm concerned, it will never replace EUG but it's definitely worth supporting.