Scor­pio News


January–March 1988 – Volume 2. Issue 1.

Page 22 of 39

Improving GEMPEN, ZCPR3, and Providing On-line HELP

Some problems are also discussed.

by C.Bowden

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 SVC 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.

Page 22 of 39