I quickly altered my main module to support a GM827 keyboard, attached to my
IVC Card. This is supported by PEN, but is not ‘switched on’ in PEN when
supplied. I have also altered the default ‘lines per page’ to 20, and “Line
width’ to 76 as I find 20 line pages ideal for ‘skipping through’ [Ed. – Mr.
Bowden hasn’t found the -B and -C commands.] and 76 wide does not seem to stop
for Hyphenation so often. At the time of writing this, I have just bought an
EPSON FX80 Printer, and I hope to change a few things in the printer tables.
PEN contains tables for Proportional Printers but like the option for the
GM827 keyboard, this is also switched off when supplied, also the tables are
for Centronics and NEC printers, which will probably turn out different to
those used by the FX80. To fully support reconfiguration though, it is
necessary to alter HELP.OVL, and this is not easy, as the small bits of
machine code in the file prevent it loading with an Editor. To make the
support ‘suite’ complete, I feel that the source for HELP.OVL ought to have
been supplied, since all of the other “tools” to make alterations are
PEN can be entered in several ways. If the command PEN (Enter) is given,
then it is assumed that a new file is being started and a default name $$$.PEN
will be allocated. If a name is given, e.g. PEN STD.MAC – then the named file
will be loaded if found on the logged in disk. If not found then the question
NEW FILE ? Y/“C is asked. ^C allows recovery from a spelling mistake, whilst a
“y” will open a new file of the given name. Normal CP/M conventions are
supported so that:
A>B:PEN A:TEST.DOC is quite legal.
Note however that unless HELP.OVL is on B:, current USER or USER 0, or on A:
USER 0, it cannot be loaded, so it is best to put PEN, and any .OVL files onto
the default or A: disk before starting. Another good feature of PEN is that it
much more forgiving than most Programs if a Disk suddenly ‘fills up’ since PEN
allows one to change Disks without rebooting.
The top line of the screen displays the version number, current cursor
line, and Bytes free. If the cursor is off the screen, an indicator shows
whether it is before or after the displayed data. The bottom two screen lines
are command status lines. This leaves 22 lines (IVC Version) free for text
In common with most text Editors, PEN operates in two modes – Command and
Insert, and will be in Command mode when run up. Over 60 commands are
available, although many are infrequently used. The commands fall into several
groups, relating to specific functions such as Cursor movement, text
formatting or disk access. The various groups may be displayed on the screen
by calling up the HELP Overlay, by means of the “?” or -E command. When this
is done the lower part of the screen is cleared of text and a ‘MASTER MENU’ of
12 groups is displayed. Entry of the key letter will then call up a second,
more detailed and specific display describing commands relevant to that group.
It is thus possible to refresh one’s memory on all commands at any time. When
the HELP display is no longer needed, it may be removed from the screen.
The Insert mode is entered by either the I (i) – Insert, or A (a) –
Append command. If I is used the cursor does not move within the text, wheras
the “A” command moves it to the ‘end of text’ position so is more suited to
adding text at the end of an existing file. Either command causes the word
“Insert” to be displayed on the status lines at the bottom of the screen. The
cursor is displayed as a flashing Left arrow in Inverted video and it is non-destructive.