Still Skipping

By Alan Richardson

Originally published in EUG #45

I wrote to Chris Richardson about 8 Bit Software and got a reply by e-mail. So now it's up to me. The system is working! Thanks to whoever it was for that information.

As always, time moves on. We have moved and one of the causalities has been the old computers. My C64 is packed away, my Memotech MTX500 is packed away, and my ZX81 is packed away - tale of woe! The Electron is still in current use, however.

With a change of job involving Y2K solutions, compliance testing, etc, the pressure increases to become part of the "industry standard" MS-DOS world. You know, the one where you wait forever for the computer to stop preening itself and give you control?? I can handle e-mail on the Elk but Internet is another thing. When I become Internet-capable, I shall be able to look at the Spectrum website and, oh yes, the EUG one too!

I believe you have mentioned concern about supply of 3.5" DD disks. They can still be sourced from Hong Kong. I recently imported 5000 for the local Amiga club which sends out its magazine on DD disc. Even if no longer touted on the high street, you should find some importers or distributors that still have stocks. I may be able to help if you really get stuck. I still have some 5.25" DD disks.

Back to the problem of skipping perforations, I am using "standard" 11-inch paper so my page is 66 lines. If perforation skip is 6 lines either side of the perforation, that is, totalling 12 lines then each page should have 54 lines of print, not 60. This could be my problem, anyone else's as well? With a page 72 lines long on must be using foolscap. I can set my printer to a 12-inch form length but I don't have the paper for it.

By changing variable "lns" to 54, I should get a satisfactory printout. Thanks, Richard.

Concerning credit cards in N.Z. I have found that the local service provider, in this case for Visa, would reverse any transaction, especially from overseas, if the cardholder could show that it was an unauthorised debit. Of course, one must check the debits on one's card first to become aware of such scams, especially for small amounts. Most member of my family don't check their EFT-POS [Say what? - Ed] statement debits, as far as I know!

Auckland is about to have an I-Max screen. About eight storeys high. anyone for a stiff neck?

I appreciate Richard Dimond's efforts with the perforation skip problem. I still have the problem but it is not as serious. Just one or two lines go over the perforation. This is after setting the variables as advised by Richard and allowing for my differently sized paper. It's 11 inch rather than the A4 that Richard's settings were for. I've printed out the last mag and posted it to him so he can see the problem.

Have recently bought an Olivetti JP50 second hand and notice from the handbook that Epson compatible printer commands are a thing of the past, or maybe a thing belonging to impact dot-matrix printers. The JP50's commands are in PCL III (printer command language) so I shall have some work to do with setting a new driver or two.

Stephen Le Guen of WLCS has recently advised that he has a Cumana disk drive cartridge for the Elk. I am currently arranging to purchase if from him. Also heard that Ray Thomas is sending the club a Pace Comms cartridge. That is what I am using in my Electron setup. I access the local BBS with it set at 9600 using a 14400 MODEM. Works quite well except for a small handshaking problem that I haven't quite sussed out. Is anyone actually using one apart from me? If anyone is I'd like to hear from him or her.

I was pleased to hear about the emulator from Warm Silence. Cold be very useful in alleviating withdrawal symptoms when one finally upgrades.

Also very interested in the letter from Dave E and the Electron Haven concept. I intend writing directly to establish contact and send a copy of my catalogue. It is something I noted a few years ago in this column - the idea of cataloguing/collecting everything written - books and programs - for the Elk. At that time I think the idea didn't even rate comment or reply.

Back to Ray Thomas' letter, it is interesting to note how fast an old 8-bit machine can operate in machine code compared with more recent machines (not Acorns) that, although much faster, are bogged down by inefficient clumsy coding. I'd like to get to grips with assembly language programming but haven't made much progress in that area.

Alan Richardson

Your new EUG magazine is now a product of the Electron Haven and the proposed database will appear in the year 2000.

You'll note that there is an option for one pass printing on this disk but which uses different code than that of the new menu system. We hope this doesn't cause you yet more problems.

Dave E, EUG #45