Your Spectrum
Issue 8, October 1984 - Letters Page
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After visiting a certain computer stockist in Belfast, I felt compelled to write to you on the subject of software piracy.
We all realise it's reached epidemic proportions and it's hardly surprising that program authors are trying to take practical steps towards halting this illegal practice. But already we're seeing ads in magazines which allow user access (for instance) to Jet Set Willy - without having to use the colour card. While in the Belfast shop, I saw a young assistant demonstrating CBM 64 joysticks and distinctly heard him offering a prospective customer a copy of The Hobbit for £1.00. If this is not utter stupidity, I don't know what is. Not only is he cheating Melbourne House of sales, but he is also damaging the reputation of the shop in question - which shall remain nameless. (Perhaps it shouldn't. Ed)
I therefore call upon all software houses who have recently raised their prices in an attempt to curb piracy to reconsider their actions. It's not the computer users who copy software, but assistants in shops who are willing to uphold this illegal practice. They should stop this stupidity at once, for the sake of their own trade! I'd be interested in hearing what other angry users have to say about this.
Chris Hall, Belfast


Have you noticed the ads recently for a storage box for Microdrive cartridges - for around £7! I've been using a similar system for the past six months. I bought four interlocking boxes from a local tool shop - I imagine the system was originally intended for storing screws, etc - and each holds 14 cartridges. All this for around £3.50.
My advice to anyone still looking for a suitable storage system for their Microdrive cartridges is to check out the nearest DIY centre.
KJ Wheeler, Eastleigh


I've made certain modifications to your Dumps of Distinction program featured in issue 4 so that it now works on the Shinwa CP80 printer.
At first, the line feed

Is there something you're not telling us? Write to Forum, Your Spectrum, 14 Rathbone Place, London W1P 1DE.
Projects which make the Banyan Tree and Conservatory Roof possible). Some not published are POKE 35899,0 (immunity to arrows) and those to get the first landing object - 56347,0; 56350,0; 56357,170; and 56358,170. For a larf, try POKE 36901,85 or POKE 37805,60. Tee-hee!
Encouraged by my machine code success, I even tackled the error in Graphic Definitions (issue 6) and came up trumps.
One last thing, have you thought of having a prize for the star letter of the month?
David Fox, Alverstoke

Great, keep sending those POKEs in - but not to Forum, send them to Andrew Pennell who's going to be looking after our Hacking Away column in Frontlines. As to your question the answer's 'Yes'. Ed.


Thank you for printing my letter in August's Forum. However, you may have had some irate readers telling you that it doesn't work - since you omitted the last four lines! The missing lines are as follows:

4996 GO TO scan
4997 LET line= PEEK(a+1) +256 *PEEK a: RETURN
4998 LET len= PEEK(a+2) +256 *PEEK(a+3): RETURN
4999 GO SUB peekline: GO SUB peeklen: LET nextl=a+len+4: RETURN

Don Smith, Kirbymoorside

Sorry 'bout that. Ed.


After reading your article about Jet Set Willy in issue 4, I must ask: why have the Software Projects covers for the initials NCB? Is it 'National Computer Board' or have they gone a bit over the top with the success of 'Miner Willy' games and affiliated themselves to the National Coal Board? Please tell us it's driving us up the wall!
Matthew Paul & Mark Freeman, Weymouth

Aaargh! Its' driving me mad now!! Ed.


After Toni Baker's comments on self-modification in Graphic Definitions, YS issue 6, it's ironic that a bug should have crept into the object code about halfway through the section headed NEW_PIX,
distance seemed too long, giving circles an elongated appearance. I tried altering the code for the LF to 2/72, but this made the circles too short in the horizontal direction. Whilst perusing the printer manual, however, I noticed that the LF could be set at N/216 which has certainly made the dumps a bit better.
Nick Lytton, London N10


I am a follower of that great language Basic. However, after reading the Hacker's Guide in issue 4, I collected all 83 objects in ... ssshh, you know what ... with the help of the map and 18 of my own POKEs (including two from Software
Kawasaki Z650 screen dump
 100 CLEAR 32349
 110 RESTORE 1000
 119 REM POKE the setup routine
 120 FOR i=32350 TO 32369
 130 READ a: IF a=-1 THEN GO TO 150
 140 POKE i,a: NEXT i
 149 REM POKE the routine itself
 150 LET c=0
 155 FOR i=32370 TO 32531
 160 READ a: POKE i,a
 170 LET c=c+a
 180 NEXT i
 190 FOR i=32532 TO 32599
 200 READ a: IF a=-1 THEN GO TO 220
 210 POKE i,a: NEXT i
 230 POKE 32478,205: POKE 32479,20: POKE 32480,127
1000 DATA 1,191,227,62,129,237,121,62,15
1010 DATA 237,121,24,7,-1
1100 DATA 62,27,205,20,127,62,65,205,20
1110 DATA 127,62,8,205,20,127,14,0,62
1120 DATA 27,205,20,127,62,75,205,20,127
1130 DATA 0,0,0,0,0,62,16,205,20
1140 DATA 127,62,2,205,20,127,6,0,197
1150 DATA 205,170,34,71,4,62,1,15,16
1160 DATA 253,166,8,124,15,15,15,230,3
1170 DATA 246,88,103,70,8,120,32,3,15
1180 DATA 15,15,230,7,33,244,126,135,135
1190 DATA 95,22,0,25,6,3,126,205,20
1200 DATA 127,35,16,249,193,4,120,254,176
1210 DATA 56,199,62,13,205,20,127,62,10
1220 DATA 0,0,0,12,32,159,62,27,205
1230 DATA 20,127,62,65,205,20,127,62,12
1240 DATA 205,20,127,201,224,224,224,0,192
1250 DATA 96,192,0,160,64,160,0,32,64
1260 DATA 128,0,96,0,96,0,64,0,64
1270 DATA 0,0,64,0,0,0,0,0,0
1280 DATA 243,197,1,191,226,30,14,237,80
1310 DATA 203,66,32,250,6,224,237,121,6
1320 DATA 227,237,89,28,237,89,251,205,84
1330 DATA 31,210,0,13,193,201,-1
If you'd like to get some distinctive dumps out of your Shinwa CP80 printer a la Nick Lytton, this code is what you need.

that is the very instruction which modifies CHEAT $-1. The code at 811B (33051 Dec) should read 322881 and not 322C81. I wouldn't have spotted the bug had I not taken the bone idle route of using a monitor instead of an assembler. However, what really threw me was paragraph 10 in the 'things you can do' column. For example, 'if the kettle has boiled, make tea'. It hadn't, so I didn't. With 10 defaulting I got a 'variable not found' at 13. Putting 6 a little earlier solved the problem.
Having used the routine to define a set and SAVEd it, I decided to play on, but found the first set a distraction; therefore, I tagged a few bytes on to Toni Baker's code which resets the UDGs to their initial state. The code (implemented by RANDOMIZE USR 33129) is:
All it does is take characters A-U from the ROM character set by the scruff of their collective necks and sling them into the label, UDG.
Rather than let the Speccy work out where 'A' is via CHARS and a little arithmetic, I've pointed it to 'A' directly in case a user-defined character set is on-board and in use - and so clashing with the data at 8000 Hex. On the other hand, the UDG label is used as the destination should more than one set exist - or if the only UDG is not resident at its usual address.
Anyone who wants no distraction can load HL with 5B00 Hex (the printer buffer) and fill the UDG set with nothing! Those who cannot work without distraction should try loading HL without zero.
Although we are primarily
concerned with UDGs, loading HL with appropriate values allows us to have a shufty at any part of the character set and the opportunity to mess around with it.
Lastly, 16K Speccy bods (and 48K Speccy bods who've been flash and placed the main code elsewhere) should note that START in the JumP instruction is as in Toni Baker's routine ... 8056 Hex.
David Roberts, London.


I am writing in connection with an article from issue 4 of YS, concerning connecting of the Spectrum to a Casio Synthesiser. Here are my questions:
1. Could I connect the lead from the Casio straight into my Fuller Master Unit? If so, would the wiring be the same?
2. If you use a cassette recorder do you plug the wire from the Casio into the EAR socket on the cassette recorder and then the MIC to MIC on the Spectrum?
3. Assuming I have everything connected, would I be able to enter a tune on the Speccy and play it through to the Casio, where I could alter it and then
SAVE it in tape?
4. Can you play directly on the Casio and then save this on tape through the Spectrum?
5. You say "it will only load monophonic music (although you can play along with it once it's loaded)". Does this mean it plays a tune like the Spectrum but with improved quality? Or that once it's loaded you can use this as background music and play along with it?
Sorry about asking all these questions but I'm very interested in the idea and want to know more.
Dale Gregory, Rotherham

To answer your questions simply - 1. No. 2. Yes. 3. No - it's a one- way link from the Speccy to the Casio, and not vice versa. 4. No. (See the answer to question 3.) 5. Once it's loaded, you can use it as background music and play along with it. Until my brother, Sam, comes up with the appropriate code to solve all your problems, that's the situation. Simon Goodwin.


I find your magazine very interesting and of extremely high standard. But, as so many
            ORG 33129
21083E      LD HL,3E08   ;'A' in ROM
ED5B7B5C    LD DE,(UDG)  ;No Comment
01A800      LD BC,00A8   ;21 x 8
EDB0        LDIR         ;Sling
C35680      JP START     ;Hi Toni

of your articles require a reasonable understanding of machine code, why don't you run a series to teach machine language to those who know nothing about it?
If you could plan a series explaining the basic principles of machine code, I would be extremely grateful and I'm sure other readers would find it helpful too.
If you are unable to do this, please at least recommend a book on the subject. At present, so much of the literature seems to be aimed towards teaching Basic to beginners.
JP Barker, Cambridge

Unless you're prepared to hang around fora 26-part magazine feature on learning machine code, you'd be best to divert your enthusiasm towards a book. As a magazine, we can provide a number of useful and fun routines through which you can see the power of the language - and hopefully inspire you to better things. That said, there are plans afoot for us to provide you with a basic guide to machine code, but I'm afraid you'll still have to provide the hard work. A few paperback titles to try in the
meantime are Practical Machine Code by Steve Webb (Virgin), Mastering Machine Code On Your Spectrum by our own Toni Baker (Interface) and Understanding Your Spectrum by Dr Ian Logan (Melbourne House). Best thing to do is lock yourself in your room at the keyboard for a couple of days with all three ... Ed.


Although I feel you deserve congratulations for being the first to produce a magazine purely for 'Speccy' owners, I think your mag lacks one essential quality. Being an adventure game enthusiast (Level 9 in particular), I couldn't help but notice the lack of a regular adventure spot.
Could you please set aside a page - or even half a page - each issue for this purpose; I'm sure thousands of fellow YS readers will agree that it would make a very worthwhile addition to the magazine.
Meanwhile, may I offer assistance to anyone who needs help with Level 9's Colossal
Adventure, Snowball or Lords Of Time - all of which I have managed to complete. Fellow adventurers can write to me at the address below, or phone at anytime of the day or night (Shome mishtake shurely. Ed.). I'm always at the keyboard until around 5am!
Neil Mackintosh, xxxx n xx/x, nn xxxxxxxx xxxx, xxxxxxx. Telephone nnn-nnn nnnn

Just the sort of loony we've been looking for! Seriously folks, that's what's happening next month ... ace adventurers Peter Shaw and Clive Gifford will be presenting a page of reviews and helpful hints for players stuck at the Gates of Doom not knowing whether to catch the bird or pick up the iron bar. Check us out next month. Ed.


I want to make a stand in your favour. EG Matthews of Dorset (Nurd, July), I hope you're reading this: SPECCY, SPECCY, SPECCY!
It's this sort of informal approach which makes your magazine appealing to those with any normal sense of
humour. I also like the refreshingly witty Ed's comments and your good- natured (?) contempt of the Acorn toy (Ian McNaught- Davies, etc).
Keep all this up 'cos it makes me larf (and not much does these days).
S Rouse (three-year old geology undergraduate), Tarleton

Your cheque's in the post. Ed.


Avid readers of Forum may recall Jet Set Loony, from a smart Alec who went into great detail about locations we'd missed in our Jet Set Willy review. Well, we had a jolly good laugh at it in the office and wanted to share the joke with you. It seems that more than one reader took it seriously and sat up until 11:45pm (Matthew-time) trying to find the missing locations. So next time we decide to pull a fast one on you, we'll include a hefty pinch of salt with each mag; unless it's April Fools' that is! Ed.
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