Like anything it takes a bit of getting used to, but once
there it is really quite easy. There’s no more tedious mucking
about trying to remember how to get the
‘funny-bent-thing-with-a-blob-on-the-end’ out of the keyboard or
having to print strings of CHR$(n). And it is FAST.
The BASIC program produced consists of 14 lines (line
numbers in increments of ten) the format of each being :–
<line No.> PRINT"---- 47 chars ----"
NASCOM BASIC doesn’t print the graphics characters when
listed so what you see is “garbage”. These lines cannot be
edited in BASIC, even with the TOOLKIT as they are too long.
However, it should be possible to edit such lines in BASIC if
you have EBASIC by Level 9 Computing. When listing with this
utility program the graphics characters are shown as they will
be PRINTed and the EDIT command allows the EDITing of BASIC
lines up to about 700 characters long ! Of course you can go
back and EDIT them in NASPIC – probably much easier.
The advantages are clear, so what are the disadvantages
and/or annoyances ? Well the lack of wrap around is certainly a
nuisance and the lack of use of the normal line editing
facilities of NAS SYS i.e. opening lines with <SHIFT/CURSOR
RIGHT> etc. can be frustrating at first as it is usually second
nature to NASCOM owners. But I forgive the writer of NASPIC
(Peter West by the way) as it would certainly have complicated
things for him. After all, there are only so many things you can
tram into 2K. A few other annoyances are apparent as described
Overall NASPIC is a well presented, easy to use and very
useful graphics package as an adjunct to’ BASIC programming.
However, there is no need to limit it’s use to BASIC. It should
be possible to extract the code out of a BASIC program for use
with machine code programs, etc. It certainly comes a lot
cheaper than some graphics packages for NASCOM BASIC being
advertised at the present time.