80-Bus News


May–June 1984, Volume 3, Issue 3

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Kill Text

‘B’ will kill all text from cursor to the start of text, while ‘K’ will kill from cursor to the end of text. Smaller ammounts may be removed by using the Block Delete command. The ‘D’ command will kill text from cursor back to the previous ‘New line’, and so could kill several displayed lines. (See comment on lines above.)

Disk Commands

At any time a copy of the text in memory can be saved to disk by use of the ‘W’ command. Control returns to PEN. When the edit session is finished, the ‘E’ command will write the file to disk, and exit to CP/M. Editing can be terminated without writing to disk, by use of the ‘Q’ Quit command, but in this case the question ‘Are you sure’ is posed. In common with most programs of this type, two disk copies of a file are maintained, the most recent always becoming the Named file, whilst the other becomes the .BAK – Backup file. When the next edit is completed, the old .BAK will be deleted, and the previous master file will be renamed FILENAME.BAK. The newly edited file will saved as the new master, under the correct FILENAME.TYP. If the user wishes to retain the .BAK file on the disk before an edit, then it can be renamed. i.e. –


An unusual and very useful feature is the ‘O’ command, which change the name of the output file from within PEN. very useful for breaking bits of source code up into constituent parts, etc.

Another very useful command is the ‘R’ command. This will read another file from disk, and insert it into the file currently in memory, at the Cursor position. This is useful for things like Letter Heads, or EQUATES Source file listings.

Find Commands (with Replace option)

When activated, PEN prompts for the ‘Find’ string on the status lines. The required string should then be entered, and terminated with ^Z or ^C. A ^Z causes PEN to immediately start searching. If ^C is used, a second String is expected, and should be entered, terminated by ^Z If a second string is entered, it can be used as the replacement string as described below.

The ‘F’ command will search the entire file, (‘f’ from current cursor position) and display any text that matches the ‘Find String’. It will then stop. If ‘ENTER’ is pressed the next occurence is found. If the ‘Replace’ option is active, then pressing ‘ENTER’ will cause the String to be changed for the replacement option, and a further ‘ENTER’ will find the next occurence. Whenever a match is found, if ‘SPACE’ is pressed instead of ‘ENTER’ the substitution is NOT made, and the next match is sought. The last entered Find command can be re-activated, even after further editing, by use of the ‘^F’ command. Appart from changing spelling mistakes, or replacing abbreviations, one nice use of this command is to rewrite 8080 Source files to Z80 Mnemonics.


Overlays are a new feature of PEN. I am unable to comment on these in much detail because I have only had experience of the two supplied with PEN. The idea is good though, and it adds greatly to the power and versatility of PEN. The OVERLAY ‘Menu’ is activated by the “&’ command, which displays a list of overlays that may be available and used. The ‘OVERD’ overlay for example, will display the Directory of a Disk, or allow deletion of files.

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