INMC 80 News

  

September 1980 – January 1981, Issue 2











Page 48 of 59











BASIC

A Comparative Review of Two Toolkits for Nascom.

by James Weatherson-Roberts

Some time ago I saw an advert in one of the mags for a BASIC toolkit for my Nascom 2 from Bits and P.C.s, so after a lengthy ’phone conversation I ordered it by Barclaycard. The next day a friendly but apologetic gentleman rang from Yorkshire to tell me that Barclaycard said I couldn’t have a Toolkit, but thank you for the thought anyway. The day after that a most unfriendly gentleman rang from Leeds to tell me that Barclaycard would be very pleased never to hear from me again.

A few days later, I happened to walk into my friendly local Nascom Distributor with (yet again) some problem or other.

“Oh, it’s you, what is it this time Young Man ? Oh look, you probably need this (mutter,mutter)”
“What is it ?”
“A Bloo...Basic Toolkit, of course (mutter,mutter)”
“Oh”

Under this enormous pressure, I found that I had bought a Basic toolkit with my Barclaycard (and still had my problem). When I got home, there was a neat little Jiffy bag from Yorkshire on the doormat, since Barclaycard had paid up after all.

So, I now have TWO Basic toolkits. Is this so bad ? Well, really it’s quite an advantage, as the facilities offered by the two are sometimes quite different. So I here present a comparative review !!

FACILITIES OFFERED (N/A : not available)
Henry’s ToolkitBits and P.C.’s
N/AAPND <filename>
Appends file <filename> to the end of existing file. This is a most useful facility since you can then keep a tape of subroutines and APND them onto the end of your existing BASIC file.
.A<start,increment>AUTO<start,increment>
Auto line numbering. Both work; I prefer the Bits and P.C.s version as you can change the sequence by overtyping the existing number before entering the line.
.CN/A
Brilliant! This produces a cross-reference of all line numbers, functions and variables (array or otherwise) Find out why your program crashes in an hour instead of a week! (...er, perhaps I should have used two variable names in that 65K Deserttrek...)
.D<start,end>DELE<start,end>
Obviously “delete”. Both work.
N/ADUMP
Again a very useful debugging facility. This command dumps all simple variables (including strings but unfortunately not array variables) with their values at the end of the run. Must be used immediately after run ends (i.e. no editing) for accuracy.











Page 48 of 59