Kiwi Compliments

By Alan Richardson

Originally published in EUG #10

Wow! What a fine effort. I must admit to a little trepidation when I heard that EUG was going to disk but the result is really good. Congratulations on a fine job. How can I print out the title page?

Getting the printer going really adds to the first impression. There was quite a lot of paper.

Can anyone assist with instructions for Cyklone? I think I mentioned this last issue. Most of it is self-explanatory but I always think I may be missing something if I don't have the instructions. I find that Cyklone will backup some programs that Image won't.

Was Toolstar produced for the Elk or is it Electron-compatible anyway? I believe that Viewstore could handle most of the requirements for a database of software and books for the Electron. Once I had found all the keys on the Electron that corresponded to the BBC keys and had made a function card strip, I have found it works well. I have Viewstore v1.1. I think no Elk version was produced.

I like the idea of having defined keys available when editing. I just need to type the program in. I am puzzled by the facility SA (filename). I understand the only version of View for the Elk is E1.00 which automatically uses the displayed filename when SAVE is entered. Perhaps a BBC version of View is being used?

Mr Headfirst complains about his Electron's reliability. My several machines have been quite reliable apart from the need to clean the ULA contacts from time to time. One machine lost its BASIC and another required the chip controlling output to tape to be replaced. The worst problem I have had was when the cat couldn't get out and decided that an Electron keyboard was the place to let go. That was a real cleaning job and I've replaced several keys since then. Can't blame Acorn for that one!

My son enjoys Sim City on his Electron and has not reported any problems.

On transferring programs from tape to disk, I find the *XFER provided by Pres's ADT utility works well. It handles locked program as does Cyklone. Both will do tape to DFS, ADFS or Cumana DFS which operates with PAGE at &E00 - ideal for getting some tape games to work from disk!

I like the idea of someone (not me!) producing a list of everything known that was, and is, produced for the Electron. I have listed most of what I have on disk using Viewstore - tapes, disks, cartridges and books. It would also be useful to have a list of BBC programs that will run on the Elk. It could save a lot of time and frustration! There is a library in Palmerston North (central N Island) which claims over a thousand Elk titles but I believe some of them may be for the BBC. The address is:

42/4A Bennett Street
Palmerston North

This is a subscription library that one joins for a fee. It supplies a comprehensive catalogue of programs grouped in categories and advises whether each program runs on an Electron with data recorder, an Electron with disk drive or a Master Compact. The educational section comprises nearly one third of the catalogue.

I have the flight manual for the BBC B version of 737 Flight Simulator by Salamander. I'd expect most of the keys to be the same and Gerry Emson is welcome to a copy if he thinks it would help.

Was Franklin's Tomb produced for the Elk?

How about Electron Supply Addresses as the last item on the menu?

One idea for printing out the newsletter - can it be set to skip the perforations?

I've been reading the discussions on data recorders with interest. It has become one of my pet interests, having graduated from a Sinclair ZX81 after getting to the stage of being confident it would load and save first time. I believe that the automatic level control (ALC) is one of the problem makers. One of my data recorders is an Asahi Fairmate which will do a fine job recording a ZX81 program but will not work with the Electron. I have found that it drops its recording level too severely at the beginning of each block of data. A reasonable quality mono machine without ALC and set to the optimum signal strength should produce a recoding that can be read by any other machine in good working order. This also results in the proper difference in level between the tone and a data block. I believe the professionals use machines without ALC for producing program tapes. I am also of the opinion that the Elk puts out a fairly high signal level when writing to tape and some ALCs find it difficult to cope with, resulting in a slightly blurred recording. Any experts care to enlighten us? With properly functioning equipment, I believe that the tape filing system should be quite reliable, rising damp notwithstanding.

Alan Richardson
Auckland, New Zealand

In order to print out the EUG title page (and the graphics screen submitted by Simon Pilley that appeared on EUG #9), you will need a Mode 0 Screen Dump program. A basic program that should do the job appears on this disk but don't expect the print to be quick!

Has anyone got a machine code version? The "Easy Print" program that appeared in the July 1990 issue of Electron User can probably be used to instruct your printer to skip perforations.

I have never seen a version of Franklin's Tomb for the Elk myself. Can people help with Alan's other questions please?

Will Watts, EUG #10