80-Bus News


May-June 1984, Volume 3, Issue 3

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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 supplied.

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 display.

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.


This is an OCR’d version of the scanned page and likely contains recognition errors.

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