80-Bus News


July–October 1982 · Volume 1 · Issue 3

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Doctor Dark’s Diary – Episode 12.

This article comes to you on time, and with far less than my normal quota of spelling mistakes, because I have run out of home brewed beer. And the last episode [Ed. – And this!] was printed with a very ordinary heading, instead of the usual fancy text. So, I’m in a meeeean mood…

Matters Arising.

First of all, a plea for help. Dave or other radio owner, does your Cardboard Box radio ever crash Nascoms that are nearby? I think my neighbours may be responsible for the crashing of the system that happened to me just now. And me in the throes of an urgent episode, on account of the magazine coming out so fast these days.....

Secondly, what nice things people are saying about MONITOR.COM, the CP/M program that breaks all the CP/M rules, but lets you use your old programs. (Somewhere out there, I bet, is a guy who has written a NASBUGT2.COM for his really old programs…) Don’t forget that if you send a disk and a quid, I will send you a copy, and save you all that tedious typing. As some of you know, I also tend to copy silly programs of my own onto your disks, for your entertainment or something. If your disk has interesting programs on it that you wrote, I may even send the quid back with the disk!

And thirdly, it was nice to see that the Hisoft-Ringdale Engineering situation is not an on-going one. I hope I wasn’t too sarcastic in my comments, as it was really none of my business anyway. I wonder if my beer is ready yet?

Syrtis Software Big Adventure review.

Adventure is a thing we have probably all heard of, and thought that it needed an enormous mainframe to run, and disks to store all its text on. I have certainly read quite a few articles about Adventure programs in the past, and it has always sounded as though it would need a humongous computer to handle it. In fact, the possibility of running programs like that in the home is one of the reasons why my system is constantly expanding. The adverts for the latest Adventure program from Bridgwater (not spelled correctly in Computnig Toady’s version of the ad!) software firm Syrtis tempted me greatly, and in the end I sent off my twenty quid. A week later, or thereabouts, and the cassette arrived, and some documentation. The latter warned that the 1200 baud side of the tape might not load, and indeed it did not. Fortunately, the other side of the tape is at 300 baud, and as soon as I had fitted the speed change switch I had meant to add for about a year, I loaded the program, using MONITOR.COM, of course. Actually, the word “soon” is not valid in the context of loading 32K at 300 baud! The reason the 1200 baud version won’t load is simple. It is recorded about 20 dB too quiet, according to the VU meters on my tape deck. (Syrtis, please note, for the sake of the poor devils who can’t load it onto disk!)

“Enough of the flannel!” cries Bored of Accrington. “Is it any good?” You can’t blame him. Now bearing-in mind that I have no experience (well almost none) of using mainframes, I am glad to be able to tell you that I am very impressed with the program. It really is worth the money, Bored of A., and why do you have such a silly handle? (Picked that one up from one of them Citizens’ Bondage chaps.) The game is very difficult, otherwise I would have cracked it by now, of course. Bad things can happen, and it is a relief to the beginner to find that the situation can be stored on tape, in case you get killed. I am not going to tell you what sort of things can go wrong, because with games of this kind, a lot of the fun is in having them happen to you just when you thought you were winning. In the same way, it would be a bad idea for me to say, for example, that you can get past the chasm by typing “leap”,

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