Improving GEMPEN, ZCPR3, and Providing On-line
Some problems are also discussed.
As readers may be aware from articles that have been printed in this magazine or
its predecessors, I use the ZCPR3 Operating System. This is the case both at home,
and on a couple of Gemini systems at my place of work. All of these systems are
equipped with a Winchester Drive, and the ZCPR3 Operating System makes using
the machine a pleasure.
I have developed one or two ideas that improve on the user friendliness of the overall
system by adding features to the BIOS, some of which have been described in earlier
articles. In this article I suggest how the Gemini
alternative screen can be used to provide an instant HELP screen.
I have modified ZCPR3 to improve even further system password security. I have
also recently discovered a problem that can arise when several other operating
systems such as CP/M 2 and CP/M 3 are also run on the same system as ZCPR3,
and I have been having a small problem with the ZCPR3 MCOPY utility. These
points are all discussed.
I also use the Gempen Editor a lot. However much I try I just cannot get to like
Wordstar. Even when run from a RAMDISK, I find it slow. I have extensively
customised it, to use the cursor keys, and changed menu’s and other command keys.
I acknowledge that it is much more powerful than Gempen, and can do things that
Gempen cannot, such as handle files longer than the TPA. I find it frustrating
however that it is necessary to save a document before printing it, and as for printing
an extract !
Gempen however, was not exactly forgiving if one made certain errors, and annoyed
me in the way that it carried out certain commands. Its lack of ability to write
selected blocks to disk also meant that to extract sections of text was quite a
problem. There was only one solution. I disassembled it, and modified it extensively.
Below I describe the modifications that I have made.