80-Bus News


July–October 1982, Volume 1, Issue 3

Page 11 of 51

because that would ruin your enjoyment of the success you will achieve if you do that… oh, what a giveaway! The cave system seems to be huge, and the messages on the screen contain considerable variety and humour. They don’t always appear in the same form in a given situation, and are full of interesting insights into the mind of the author. There are very few spelling mistakes in the text, but there are more than I expected to find. Three weeks after starting to play the game, I am still getting messages I have not seen before, every so often. The text compression method must be a beauty, since I am sure I have read more than 32K of it! The use of text compression also has the advantage that you can not just copy the program into the screen memory to get clues as to how to behave in order to get past some of the more difficult obstacles. I am really looking forward to the 700K disk version! (Want any help with writing it, Syrtis?) Owners of the earlier 16K version can get an upgrade for a lower price, and it is well worth getting, chaps. It is a shame more people don’t work in this way, to name but Digital Research…

I refer to these as “thoughts”.

If you send a disk with 340K of data on it by first class post, which takes under 24 hours, you are achieving a data transfer rate of at least 322 Baud. (I wish I had a pound for every time I have seen that word printed as Band.)

Here is a nice idea, if you are short of ideas for what program to write next. Write a program that will read in a completed program from disk, and produce the specification for that particular program. This would be of considerable usefulness to all the people who hate the chore of writing a specification before getting on with the exciting program design and coding. The program could be tested by feeding it a copy of itself, and seeing if it produced this paragraph, in much the same way that Pascal compilers are supposed to be able to compile themselves…

When you have done that, you could go at least one better by writing a program which, when fed an article like this one, would use a dictionary of synonyms and circumlocutions to pad the article out so that it would earn more. Any suggestion that I may already be in possession of such a program will be treated as being flattery…

Short Hisoft Pascal 4 review, with free Procedure.

As with the Adventure review, you are all going to have heard that this program has finally appeared long ago. (I think he means you heard long ago that it had appeared! Syntax Checking Editor.) Hisoft Pascal 3 was for use with Nas-Sys, and highly recommended by just about everybody. This latest version of the compiler is for use with CP/M systems, and is probably very closely related to version 3. The manual lists the features of standard Pascal that are absent, as follows:–

(i) FILEs may only be of type CHAR,
(ii) a RECORD type may not have a VARIANT part, and
(iii) PROCEDUREs and FUNCTIONs are not valid as parameters.

Now it is possible that you find the preceding lines as close to double Dutch as I do, on account of not knowing Pascal. I am still in the process of learning the language, or trying to anyway, and am not sure whether the limitations mentioned above are at all severe. The manual makes it clear that it is not designed to teach you Pascal, and that you should buy a suitable book if you don’t know the language. I see Rory O’Farrell says P.J. Brown’s new one on this subject is good, and I have ordered it from Computing Toady’s book service on these grounds. If I learn it fast, perhaps I can get in first with a series on how to write in Pascal; mind you, it looks as if I will have to type fearfully fast to beat Dave Hunt to it! Then again, some of us learned BASIC from the early Nascom BASIC manual (and a few have not yet recovered from this awful experience!) Some of my short experimental programs work quite

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