Show Disappointment

By Derek Hilton

Originally published in EUG #10

I was disappointed on arrival at the Harrogate BAU show to find the stand allocated to Pres was occupied by another firm, leaving it an all 32-bit circus. Electro Music Research put on their (his) usual impressive demonstration, Acorn had their Notebook to Arc link running and, having done on the Friday, I even got to see Dominic Diamond [Who? - Will]. He was there to present prizes for some very good winning entries in a "Design an Acorn User Show Poster" competition run amongst local schools, and giving away models of Lotus cars to anyone who beat him on the new Arc Lotus racing game.

Still, got a free disk for entering the treasure trail competition even though my brain, usually good with anagrams, froze and I couldn't see the solution. Until five minutes after I got home, of course. If you want to try it, the letters were:

             A A C C D E E I I L N N N O O R R S S S T T U Y
and had to fit into seven words as:
      _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _     _ _    _ _    _ _    _ _ _ _ _

I'd like to take issue with "Chadders" on a couple of points in his letter in EUG #9. By definition, anything produced by Acorn (i.e. the Plus 3 with ADFS 3.5" Disk) is the standard, which other add-on manufacturers need to follow. Yes, I am aware that with so few made or sold, it made little enough impression but must still be treated as the standard.

Also, I understand that because of variations in disk tolerances, flexing of disks, etc, floppy disk heads do rub the disc surface like a tape recorder to ensure a good signal. Thus a floppy drive has to stop after each access to stop the head wearing away. Only the rigid and non-removable nature of a hard disk gives the accuracy needed to allow the heads to 'fly' microns above the disk rather than touching it, in turn allowing the platters to be spun faster and continuously.

Apologies to Chris Chadwick (and anyone else) but the DOSCOPY routine left little space for buffers on a BBC and there were other machine differences so instead of converting it I embarked on a machine code only Elk version. So far, this does a *CAT (or DIR in MSDOS) of the root directory (as long as there aren't too many entries), but further development is slowing down somewhat.

Why do I always seem to have trouble finishing any... [Snip]

Derek Hilton
Penwortham, Preston