80-Bus News


November–December 1984, Volume 3, Issue 6

Page 8 of 55

Similarly, “return” would behave as follows. It would remove the name of the program to return to from the top of the stack, and put it i na file called (surprise) “$$$.SUB”. Then it would end execution of the current program.

These two procedures would be included in each of the programs in the system of programs, so it is fortunate that Hisoft have put a “library file” facility in their compiler. You only have to type them once, into files with “.LIB” extensions.

(Just a thought, in the midst of the white heat of Pascal monster programming, is all this stuff interesting to YOU, or are you bored by it? Do you wish I would go back to writing about hardware? (Not what I am best at!) Help shape the magazine by answering these questions, if you feel like it. Otherwise I could ramble on for ages with no audience! (I wrote this before seeing the recent survey, but it isn’t necessarily redundant, as you can always write to me as well as doing the survey. No prizes for writing to me though!))

The other thing each program in the system needs to know, Pascal being what it is, is the names of all the programs that are likely to get called. At least, this is so the way I have done it. There may well be lots of better ways, and if you know them, you can save me some time by telling me where I can find them! Again, use the library facility to include the names in each program. Then when you add a program to the system, you only need to edit the library file, and recompile all the programs.

As another aside, and by way of partial explanation of the reasons why I want to be able to produce systems of programs the size of my disks, rather than sticking to the 64K limit of the Z80, I have a question I hope one of you can answer. The run-time routines for HP4 are quite a lot larger than those of HP5. So the same program, compiled by each of the compilers in turn, should be smaller when HP5 is used. Well it isn’t. I noticed this some time ago, and have just retried it, with the result that an 8K source file compiled to 54 records with HP4, and HP5 made 63 records of it. The effect is even more marked with some programs. Anybody know why? I would ask Hisoft, but I don’t like to disturb them in case their super programmer, David Link, is working on a compiler for Modula 2, the language I want to learn next! Ada? Don’t make me larf...

Loops, Rings and Mobile Rust.

Nascom 1 users who are interested in setting up a tape based software swapping group should write to Kevin Wood, __ ______ _____, Sturry, Canterbury, Kent, ___ ___. He seems to be a hyperactive programmer, so there should be some good programs going round that loop.

A disk called Son of Ring of Iron arrived here not so long ago, with some interesting new utilities on it. There was a version of Pacman for 80 column displays, which looked very strange on my old 48 column tube. A program to enable modem users to access Prestel, looked interesting, and I would have liked to read the source file for that one, but it wasn’t there! A program called 512X512.COM would do nothing on my system, probably something to do with a board I have not got.

And that’s all you get this time! Sorry, but I am very busy with some software for fucre, and anyway, who knows which year this will get to be printed?

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