80-Bus News


July–October 1982 · Volume 1 · Issue 3

Page 14 of 51

More matters arising.

While I am still in self congratulatory mood, I wonder why Jeremy Gugenheim uses DDT to alter MONITOR.COM? It is perfectly capable of amending itself and putting the new version on the disk for you! Use the M command for the modifications, and then P0100 0A00 to invoke the disk save routine. The only decent substitutes for DDT.COM are ZSID.COM (not very nice) and Hisoft’s MON.COM (excellent!) [Ed. – What about GEMDEBUG.COM?]

When changing ZEAP, you will get error 90 messages until you correct the checksum, at whatever location it is at in your version of ZEAP. I helped a user of ZEAP to do this once by writing a short program that added all of ZEAP into the accumulator, and kept incrementing the checksum byte until the result of the mighty addition sum came to zero. This worked rather well, and is worth a try, if you know where the checksum is in the version you have. The sooner that is fixed, the sooner we are likely to see a disk input/​output fix for Naspen, which is something I could do with…

Persecution of the consumer – shock horror probe!

I have been a member of the Computer Book Club since it started, and at first all those stories you hear about book clubs seemed to belong. to folklore.

Everything worked well for some time, although I was a bit put out when it took them two months to replace a book that the Post Office had folded (a hardback!). Then one month, I ordered a book they had run out of. Their computer sent me an invoice, which was amended in manuscript by their accounts department, telling me I didn’t have to pay for the book. Fine, so I didn’t pay for the book they didn’t send. Next month they invoiced me for the same book again. I phoned them and was given a stock answer about it being a “computer error”, and was told that everything would be OK. The next month, the latest book I had ordered did not arrive. Instead I got a very unpleasant letter telling me my account had been “frozen” until I paid up the (imaginary) debt. When I rang up they said of course it was a mistake, and the fault would be put right straight away. It was all the fault of their computer programmers, I was told, and was easily put right. I waited and waited. No book. So I wrote to them. And waited, and waited. They had not replied after six weeks, so I decided to write this, and send letters about them to all the other computer magazines as well. The very day I had finished the first version of this article, the last book I ordered arrived, so this is version two of this paragraph. Had they bothered to write and apologise, or explain what was going on, I might have edited out the whole paragraph. But they have not done so, and that makes me feel that you might like to know what happened when they blundered.

I hope I haven’t bored you too much, going on about them like this, but I feel that it is vital to make a fuss when this sort of thing happens, or they will just keep treating people in the same offhand way.

And finally....

The mighty lists of computer clubs in Personal Computer World never mention this club. Rather than moan about this, I am going to write and tell them we exist. Let’s all write and tell them! (Did I say I work for the Post Office?)

END. {A sort of Pascal joke, that!}

Page 14 of 51