INMC 80 News

  

September 1980 – January 1981, Issue 2











Page 52 of 59











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A third toolkit

WATKINS TOOLKIT REVIEW

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On the closing date for copy for this issue a kind member said to me, "I’ve got the Watkins Basic Toolkit". I was tempted to reply that I hoped it wasn’t contagious, or perhaps he was boasting about some obscure operation I hadn’t heard of, but being my normal polite self and deciding to play it safe, I replied, "Never heard of it.". Anyway, he volunteered to give me a review of it, and as this issue contains reviews of the other two toolkits we know about, I asked him if I could have it yesterday, as this issue was already ‘put to bed’. Well, he was a bit slow for yesterday, but the day after (or do I mean two days after yesterday), it was duly in my hands. I must admit when I read it, it was a little unclear, but as he had kindly provided me with (an almost unreadable) copy of the instructions, I managed to unscramble it. This article has had to be edited quite a bit, and as I don’t know the animal at all, some of it is summize. My apologies to Mr. Watkins and Mr. Mathison if I’ve misinterpreted anything. – DRH.

The Watkins Basic Toolkit a software review by A. D. Mathison

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What you get

A cassette tape written in either N1 or N2 format containing on one side some demonstration and games programs, and on the other, a couple of copies of the toolkit. Also a couple of pages of badly copied, and at first reading, slightly misleading instructions.

Operation

It appears that the tool kit is a series of machine code subroutines which may be called from Basic. The call being made to a small routine which takes the parameter passed to it from the USR call, and uses that parameter to determine which routine is to be called. There are eight routines in all. I will confine myself to the N2 version, but I believe that the differences between this and the N1 version are minimal. (The instructions make no mention of NAS-SYS/NASBUG compatibility, but it certainly works on NAS-SYS 1, no tests have been carried out on NASBUG or NAS-SYS 3.) After power up, initialize Basic as normal using the ‘J’ command and unless memory size is to be restricted for your own reasons, type ‘ENTER’ in reply to the ‘Memory size” prompt. Get back into the monitor by using ‘RESET’ or ‘MONITOR’ and load the toolkit using the *R’ command. It occupies space from 0C80H to OFE3H. At the end of the read, re-enter Basic using the *Z’ command. The functions are now initialized by a “direct” DOKE 4100,3200 command or as statements within a Basic program.

Functions 0, 1, 2, 3 and 6 are best called with a 2USR(X) where X equals the function number. Functions 4 and 5 return a value into a variable X=USR(4) or X=USR(5) 7 and 8 are special and are entered as U=USR(7)A$ or U=USR(8)AS where A$ is the array to be saved or loaded. Functions 0 and 3 can be given maximum space by a CLEAR 0 but don’t forget to reset the string space otherwise there will be no string space available when you come to run the program.


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











Page 52 of 59