Your Spectrum
Issue 16, July 1985 - Letters Page
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At Eldon Square in Newcastle the assistant in the computer shop needs a visit from the big boys.
When I visited the shop with a Commodore user (his name's Paul Mallabar but I don't suppose you're interested) (Nope. Ed) and asked if the assistant had a Spectrum in stock, he said no. What's more, he even gave my friend a letter saying that compared with the Commodore, the Spectrum's just a toy.
I think this man's a real (at this point the letter has a nasty attack of the editorial red pen. Ed). Do you agree? If I get this letter published I'll take it into the shop and show it to him. That should make him feel a bigger ... (more red pen. Ed) Jonathan Barry
Tyne & Wear

Don't start dragging us into your squabbles. And as for the big boys, there's no one at the YS Tower Block over 3ft 6ins. Honest. Troubleshootin 'Pete.

FOR ...

May I add a point to your Speed Trial review in issue 14? I may? (S'pose so. Ed) Thanks. I bought a Wafadrive in December '84, and I got what I thought was a wrong 'un.
Well, a letter to Rotronics brought an offer of a replacement and this was despatched before they received my Wafadrive. A phone call came the same day the Wafadrive was delivered enquiring if things were OK. They weren't, so they suggested my Speccy spent a holiday at their place for a check-up where a faulty ULA was found and replaced.
Marvellous service, don't you think? The Wafadrive may not be as fast as some but this more than makes up for it.
Finally, how about a Patching Up the Drives for Wafa owners?
A E Denison

Any takers on that one? Ed.


After seeing your bit on the Wafadrive in Frontlines of November'84, I sent to SMT for more info. I was impressed, so I thought, great I'll send for one. Forty-two days later (another twenty-eight day promise down the drain) it arrived.
Having scanned the manual to find out how to load a program, I tried to load
f o r u m

Write to us - there's a bundle of free Spectrum software for this month's Star Letter! Write to Forum, Your Spectrum, 14 Rathbone Place, London W1P 1DE.
Why else would I put you in the awkward and potentially dangerous situation of publishing this insinuating piece of garbage!? (Sense at last. Ed). I just hope that he doesn't box you in the ear- socket, that's all! He might even sack you!! (I should be so lucky! Ed.)
You really ought to be more careful about offending your boss you know.
My kindest regards to Bodger, I mean Rodger for all the hard work he's put into YS as Editor, and good luck to you Kev. (Hmmm, we'll have to think of a nickname for you too!)
Anthony Mayers

Nickname? Huh, they'll be giving me a number and locking me away if I receive any more loony letters like this. What do you think has really happened to Roger? Still, they say he's being well looked after and there's a bed reserved for me. Ed.


Pssst, wanna be an instant hacker? Then load a copy of YS MegaBasic right now (you do have a copy don't you?).
Once it's loaded, you're asked to Press 'm' to copy to a microdrive (aaargh, I feel an attack of BAD SECTORS coming on). Instead, quickly press the following sequence of keys: g,a,m,l.
Do it as quickly as possible as you've only got four seconds to press all four keys. For all your hard work you'll be greeted with a message usually hidden from yer average Speccy user.
Andy Taylor

And of course, there's no chance of us letting on what the secret message is. You'll just have to take a butchers at your own copy of YS MegaBasic for that.
Now, what we'd really like to know is, what do the letters stand for? We can work out m.l, no problem, but who's g.a? C'mon Mike, name the mystery person - we think the world should be told!

Star Letter

After your request in Program Power for a short routine that would only allow kings to be placed on empty files in the Patience game, YS issue 14, here are my alterations to allow you to do just that.
First of all, modify line 1628 to read:
PRINT INK 4;AT W+2;"<3 spaces>";INK 0;":"
Spectral Writer. After several error messages, it finally loaded. A few days later I had another go. No luck. So I rang Rotronics who said I probably had a faulty wafer and I should send it back. The replacement also failed to load.
This was not the only problem. The tape inside the 64K wafer had snapped and the 128K had packed up altogether. The Wafadrive O/S was also refusing to accept legal commands. All the wafers were entrusted to the postman. A fortnight later I received a call apologising for the problems and then the new wafers arrived.
My troubles are still not over. The Spectral Writer wafer has given up the ghost again though I did manage to save it to tape this time. The O/S still fails to accept commands and another 128K wafer has packed in.
Is it just me?
Robert Emery
Sheringham, Norfolk

Could be. But then again we'll wait and see how others have fared. Troubleshootin 'Pete.


In Circe, YS issue 14, why is Tim Hartnell holding a book upside-down? Is it because he's Australian?
Please tell me as I've never managed to program upside- down.
James Harrington

OK, James you spotted the mistake. The photo was, of course, printed the wrong way up. The book was really the right way up all the time but Tim, being an Australian, should have been upside- down. Ed.


Don't keep us nosey-parkers in suspense any longer! Where has Bodger Munford, I mean our, good ol' Ed, gone skedaddling off to lately? Could the rumours be true? Has he really done a bunk with the petty cash and you- know- who's missis!? (Tell me more. TP.)
Of course, I fully realise, thing (I can call you thing, can't I?), (Call me whatever you like, just stop writing me letters. Ed.), who your new boss is.

Trainspotter cartoon
Trainspotter certificate Keep your eyes open and you too could be catching a YS Trainspotter's award!

OK, the game's up! I found the mistake. Yes, believe it or not, I have. Guess where?
I was reading through the
May Top 20 and at number 16, there's Chequered Flag. Well, the bit at the end says "Rev right up and win the race in this speed bike fun!"
Bike? BIKE? It's about CARS! Spelt C-A-R-S. Honestly, I couldn't put you in charge of a C5. You silly boy, Ed! Take 10,000 lines! Wally, Bikes? Hah!
Keith Whitmore (aged 11)

I must not have any more sill ideas like the YS Trainspotter Award. Ed.
I must not have any ...

Secondly, renumber line 1643 to 1642, and then include the new line:
1643 IF ATTR(3,pp*4)=36 AND c$(1)<>"<graphics M>" THEN GO SUB 1784: RETURN
J Sneideris
Gildersome, Leeds.

Well, we didn't have to wait long for that. I s'pose you're a Jack of all trades. Troubleshootin 'Pete.


I wasn't very happy with issue no. 14 of Your Spectrum. I'm moaning because of the Jetman program you printed. After typing it in, my mate and I spent about fifteen minutes figuring out why it wouldn't work. Finally, after much stompin' about, we found there was a bug in line 460. It should have read LET P=65278. I find your mag by far the best for the Speccy (there is no other serious contender), though it was a bit of a shock after typing in the excellent MacMan to find Jetman. Please keep the standard high.
Neil Forster

Feeling better now? Good. You might have liked Jetman better if you'd typed in our version instead of your own! Your correction to line 460 may have got your program working, but line 460 is already correct in our books. You'd better check that you haven't made a typing error somewhere else in the program, and that your line 460 edit is not just a patch-up. So there! Not very happy ... moaning ... Someone pass me some of the grovelling letters to cheer me up. Troubleshootin! Pete.


At last, I've done it! I've found a POKE to get rid of Jet Set Willy!! It's: POKE JET SET WILLY, BIN. And it works.
Mal Goodman

Nice one, Mal. We've found a similar POKE for the Ed. It's POKE ED, PUB. Works every time! Troubleshootin 'Pete.


Aaaaagh! Disaster! Save me! You've guessed it! Another one back to Sinclair! If I remember rightly that's the fourth one in two years. Another two months without a Speccy! I can't stand it! In
December, when I had a Speccy, I sent off for YS MegaBasic and on the seventh of Feb, I received a little parcel addressed to me. (So we got something right then? Ed) I immediately dashed up half the stairs and hopped up the other after bashing my toe on the wall, gave the Speccy a 9 volt dinner and typed in the famous phrase - none other than LOAD "". I then started the tape and waited for two minutes and seventeen seconds.
I only have one complaint. Why does it keep crashing if you make a mistake on a MegaBasic command? (But I thought YS readers didn't make mistakes. T.P.) And also, who is George? Why is he waiting?
Anyway, now I must go back upstairs, trying to avoid
bashing my toe and lie back in a darkened room to wait for the arrival of my Speccy.
Ian Comerford

Are you sure it was just your toe you bashed? George? Waiting? Will someone explain or I'll start to think it's me who's nuts. Ed.


Not all of us sit around on Saturday mornings contemplating our navels (well we don't all live by the sea like you. TP.) (Idiot! Ed.), Oh, no! Some of us type in the listings contained within your wonderful mag. (Careful, I can feel an attack of crawling coming on. Ed.)
On one certain Saturday morning recently while sitting at my MFI budget computer desk, banging away at the
rubber keys, I discovered that someone at YS had messed around with the UDGs listing on page 17 of the May issue. The last column of this should read 255,239,213,85,85,42, l6 and 0.
After altering the data and running the program I was overcome by the fumes from my ZX printer, and what's more, I was rushed into intensive care, but I dare not go into detail over where the tubes where placed. (Have I missed something here? Ed.)
As a result I am demanding compensation of either a Porsche 924 or a Trainspotter Award (whichever is the more valuable).
St Annes-on-Sea

Can there be any doubt about their relative merits! As it is you're not getting either. Ed.


Recently, I bought a Tandy DMP 105 Printer to use with my Spectrum. The main reason for choosing it was the price (under £200 complete with
tractor feed) and the fact that it supports RS232. It was also easy to wire - Tandy's instruction book gives all the details, especially bearing in mind the odd way Sinclair insists on sending data via the RXD line. Anyway, it worked fine first time and it's giving good service.
My only problem was that I didn't have a hi-res dump program, so remembering Andy Pennell's Dumps of Distinction in issue 4, (how could any one forget it? Ed) I decided to have a crack at the necessary modifications.
The main problem is that Tandy in their wisdom only allow for 7 dot feeds in graphics mode. However, in character mode you can select as few or as many as you need. So, it's necessary to select the elite mode and adjust for 3 dot line feeds before changing the printer to graphics and entering the routine. Then returning to text mode before doing a line feed and back to graphics prior to doing the next line. That done, the bit pattern for printing needs to be flipped and have bit 7 set (ie. add 128).
The assembler listing shown is a Zeus dump of my efforts.
Finally, may I join the ranks of many readers to congratulate you on your excellent magazine. It is without question, in my humble opinion, full of useful and interesting information, programs and reviews.
Derrick Lambert
New Milton, Hants.

C'mon, cut the crawling. I dunno, some people will say anything to get into print. Since when has a YS reader had a humble opinion? Still, one bit of useful and interesting info is that Dumps of Distinction is this month celebrating its first birthday! Celebratory champagne may be sent to the usual address. Ed.

[see assembler listing below]

00010 ;  Shade Copy for the
00020 ; TANDY DMP 105 Printer.
00030 ;Adapted from A.Pennell's
00040 ; Routine YOUR SPEC. #4
00050 ;
00060 ORG 50000
00070 ENT
00080 START LD   A,27  ;select
00090       CALL OUTCH ;elite
00100       LD   A,23  ;chars.
00110       CALL OUTCH ;*******
00120       LD   A,27  ;set
00130       CALL OUTCH ;small
00140       LD   A,91  ;line
00150       CALL OUTCH ;feeds.
00160       LD   A,3
00170       CALL OUTCH ;*******
00180       LD   A,18  ;Graphic
00190       CALL OUTCH ;*Mode.*
00200 ;
00210 ;Andy's Routine Starts..
00220 ;
00230       LD   C,0
00240 NLINE LD   B,0
00250 NXY   PUSH BC
00260       CALL #22AA
00270       LD   B,A
00280       INC  B
00290       LD   A,1
00300 L1    RRCA
00310       DJNZ L1
00320       AND  (HL)
00330       EX   AF,AF'
00340       LD   A,H
00350       RRCA
00360       RRCA
00370       RRCA
00380       AND  3
00390       OR   #58
00400       LD   H,A
00410       LD   B,(HL)
00420       EX   AF,AF'
00430       LD   A,B
00440       JR   NZ,INK
00450       RRCA
00460       RRCA
00470       RRCA
00480 INK   AND  7
00490       LD   HL,TABLE
00500       ADD  A,A
00510       ADD  A,A
00520       LD   E,A
00530       LD   D,0
00540       ADD  HL,DE
00550       LD   B,3
00560 OUTLP LD   A,(HL)
00570       CALL OUTCH
00580       INC  HL
00590       DJNZ OUTLP
00600       POP  BC
00610       INC  B
00620       LD   A,B
00630       CP   176
00640       JR   C,NXY
00645 ;           ***
00646 ; Andy's routine ENDS
00650       LD   A,30  ; Char.
00660       CALL OUTCH ; Mode.
00670       LD   A,13  ;  Do
00680       CALL OUTCH ;  C/R
00690       LD   A,18  ; Graph
00700       CALL OUTCH ; Mode
00710       INC  C     ;CONT.
00720       JR   NZ,NLINE
00730       LD   A,30  ;Char.
00740       CALL OUTCH ;Mode.
00750       LD   A,27  ;Reset
00760       CALL OUTCH ; to
00770       LD   A,91  ;Twelve
00780       CALL OUTCH ; dot
00790       LD   A,12  ;line
00800       CALL OUTCH ;Feeds
00810       LD   A,27  ;set to
00820       CALL OUTCH ;Std.
00830       LD   A,19  ;Char.
00840       CALL OUTCH ;set
00850 END   RET
00860 TABLE DEFB 135 ; Black
00870       DEFB 135
00880       DEFB 135
00890       DEFB 0
00900       DEFB 131 ; Blue
00910       DEFB 134
00920       DEFB 131
00930       DEFB 0
00940       DEFB 133 ; Red
00950       DEFB 130
00960       DEFB 133
00970       DEFB 0
00980       DEFB 134 ; Magenta
00990       DEFB 128
01000       DEFB 134
01010       DEFB 0
01020       DEFB 132 ; Green
01030       DEFB 130
01040       DEFB 129
01050       DEFB 0
01060       DEFB 130 ; Cyan
01070       DEFB 128
01080       DEFB 130
01090       DEFB 0
01100       DEFB 128 ; Yellow
01110       DEFB 130
01120       DEFB 128
01130       DEFB 0
01140       DEFB 128 ; White
01150       DEFB 128
01160       DEFB 128
01170       DEFB 0
01190       PUSH HL
01200       RST  8   ; CALL
01210       DEFB #1E ; RS232
01220       POP  HL
01230       POP  BC
01240       RET
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