Your Spectrum
Issue 20, November 1985 - Letters Page
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Good news. I've got both the Saga 1 keyboard and a copy of YS MegaBasic (Whoopee! Ed). The keyboard is good, very good and with it the Speccy's a very effective word processor. Trouble is MegaBasic just didn't work. So, following your advice in YS 18, I contacted Saga for their free add-on that remedies the problem. I am shaken and delighted to report that by return of post the bit arrived and it worked first time. (Whoooopeeee! Ed). This is rare and very impressive. Thank you Saga and YS.
Barrie Fairest
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Oh, it was nothing really - nice of you to mention it. Bask, bask. Not that we can take all the credit (Oh, yes we ruddy well can! Ed). OK, we're taking all the credit but if anyone wants to thank Saga or acquire their own free and gratis add- on, give 'em a ring on (04862) 22777. Troubleshootin 'Pete.


If you've got a 'real' Speccy keyboard, here are a couple of tips. If you want the dull thud of an IBM rather than the cheap klack as you hit each key, try the draught excluder method. This involves carefully prising off each key and laying strips of rubber draught excluder under each line of keys so that they hit it just at the end of its travels. You'll find this method works well with the Dk'tronics, Fuller, FDS, Transform and the new LMT.
Another trick to make the keys feel more solid is to invert each individual key and fill them with plasticene or hot candle wax!
Andrew Tisdall
Swords, Co. Dublin
And if you come over here, boys and girls, I've got one that we prepared earlier. What d'you mean, it's dripping candle wax all over the floor? How was I to know you were going to switch it on and use it? You know how hot they get! Hahem, on to the next item, kiddies ... Ed.


Hellooo. I'm writing on two matters of intergalactic importance. First, referring to ish 18, I have not, nor wish to have any connection with this Rump Numbrain person who is just an unoriginal wally. (Phew, I'm glad we got that one straight. People were starting to talk. Ed)
Secondly, I'm appealing to
f o r u m

If you've got something to say for yourself, then speak out! The star letter writer is in for a bundle of free software! Mail us a missive to Forum, Your Spectrum, 14 Rathbone Place, London W1P 1DE.
This command gets around the problems involved in a 'crash set' ERR_SP by resetting this system variable. Also, there's no need for an EI, as this command is automatically executed at the end of the routine. Plus, the RST 8 is now redundant as NEW eventually drops back into Basic anyway.
If all this sounds too good to be true, let me admit now that there is one disadvantage. You'll find that the system variables RAMTOP, P_RAMT, RASP, PIP and UDG are preserved by the routine but you can skirt round this with a bit of judicious POKEing (or LDing).
The only other minor annoyance is that any screen display is erased and you can't get round this with any amount of POKEs. But if all you're after is a spot of hacking, then this shouldn't have you tearing your hair out.
Now this really was an obvious piece of coding, so come on Ed, give Pennell a POKE up the user prot.
David Shaw
Founder member of the 'I think Gollum deserved everything he got' society.

I've consulted all the major medical dictionaries but as yet no luck on locating Andy's prot. If this is another sordid example of the Shaw family sending each other coded messages in their fiendish bid to take over this letters paaagh ... Ed. Now he knows where his prot is! Well, we Shaws have got to stick together. T.P. Grrr ... pass the superglue ... Ed.


Now look here Mr so-called Editor, I am a v. annoyed Speccy owner from Caversham, somewhere on the third moon of Jupiter and I have several problems. (You're telling me! So-called Ed). OK, insanity is one of them. 1 Why do I pay a six horned paper thing that rode all the way to your planet and back to fetch me YS only to find that they do not accept Mega noodles as currency in your mangey newsagents?
2 When I got YS 18 in my scaly paw I typed in the JSW II POKEs only to find that Eddie, my computer, NEWed. Is it me, is it Eddie or is the management prepared to accept responsibility?
3 There's no Star Letter in the August ish. Now come on, the drink can't affect you boys and girls at Castle Rathbone that much, can it?
4 If you don't print this I'll
the squillions of people who read your purely incredible (kereeep!) mag. Does anyone have a Brother HR-5 printer and a Kempston 'E' Centronics interface? How do I get hi-res copy to work properly on it? Oh, come on, there must be someone? Anyway, until someone writes in, I'll keep headbanging my brick wall. S'long!
Thomas 'The Original Erauqs' Smith

No, tell me it's not true. (It's not true. T.P.) Tell me there can't be two of them. (There can't be two of them. T.P.) I couldn't stand it if they both kept writing in repeating each other. (... repeating each other. T.P.) Aaargh! Ed.


Finally, you've driven me to dig out my copy of Tasword Two and pen this letter of complaint. Well, not a real complaint but a slap in the face for T.P. Take that. (Ouch, that hurt! TP.) In YS 18, he came up with a method of using the screen by addressing it directly. Could he have made it any more long-winded or more difficult? (Probably. Ed) Now, here comes my program. Just type in this code using an assembler or hex loader - aaaargh! (Well he hit me first! TP.)
LD B,N 06 N load y co-ord into B
LD C,N 0E N load x co-ord into C
CALL 22AAH CD AA 22 call ROM routine
LD (NN),HL 22 NN save HL
LD (NN),A 32 NN save A
RET C9 return

All numbers are in hex.

Now to use the program, POKE the two co-ordinates and run the code then PEEK the address and bit number. The address is contained in the location where the HL registers were saved. So, why couldn't T.P. do that? (Where shall I start? Ed)
Please note that I haven't done any crawling. I've also not asked for a Trainspotter Award
though one would be nice to fill the space left on the wall where my last poster fell down. (I'll pop a life-size piccy of Tony 'Slim' Samuels in the post to you - that should cover most of your bedroom walls and some of the ceiling as well! Ed)
Richard Relf
Epsom, Surrey.

Bet you think you're really clever don't you? But your solution hasn't got any pretty diagrams, has it? Na nardy na. Troubleshootin 'Pete.


In computing circles (so I've heard it said)
There's a growing concern for a fellow called Ed.
He writes weird little comments on letters he's read
And we think that he isn't quite right in the head!

To add to the problem he's joined by a freak
With the terrible title of Troubleshootin' Pete
(Poetic licence, that bit) (Huh, off licence, you mean! TP.)
We've tried to decide which one is the worse -
But they're neither as bad as this horrible verse!
Miss J R Wood
Altrincham, Cheshire

Well, JR, what can I say?
Your verse quite takes my breath away,
T P.'s a freak, I must agree,
But what's this rot you say about me?
Writing here does take some guts
'Cos reading your letters just drives me nuts! Ed.


Cast your minds back to Hacking Away, YS 18 and you'll remember J Eagleson's cries for help in escaping from machine code programs. Well, there's a simpler solution to the problem than using EI followed by RST 8. And what is this magical instruction? Why, 'tis JP 11B7h. (Tip o'me tongue! Ed). It jumps to the Speccy ROM routine that performs a NEW command.

keep phoning T.P. and tell him how mega amazing he is and what a good editor he'd make until he's unbearable.
From just your normal average one horned, three eyed guy,
Caversham, Jupiter

1 Change your newsagent, or better still take out a subscription.
2 The management admits nuzzing. It's you but it could be Eddie. Have you tried using a Spectrum?
3 Hic!
4 More unbearable? Impossible! Ed


Yahoo! Yippee! Ha haa! Whoop! Wahoo! (Pass the scissors, Pete, I'm gonna have to exercise my editorial prerogative. Snip! Ed). Whoo- eee! Whahoo! Eureka! (Still there, eh? Snip, snip. Ed). Burp, yeuch. (SNIP! Ed). I've found it, I've found it, I've (OK, wise guy, you were warned, here comes the
editorial red pen. Take that. Ed). Say, those JSW II POKEs sure are good. Of course, I could've told you how to crack it but I didn't want to show you up in front of your fan. (Careful. The pen is on standby. Ed).
Finally, I know who this month's trainspotter is. Yep, it's yours truly! (Well, it's not - so all you're getting is an editorial short back and sides. Ed).
John Hawke
Roy Bridge, Bonnie Scotland

P.S. I'm a Devonian by birth.

I knew there had to be an explanation. T.P. went to Devon on his hols this year and he's never been the same since. Not that he was the same before, of course. Ed.


I have kidnapped Dave Nicholls. Unless you send me a Porsche 924, a Trainspotter Award, a Discovery 1 disk drive, a VTX 5000 modem and
£1 million worth of Speccy software, he will be released.
Anyway back to semi-sanity. You made a right cock-up of last month's YS, didn't you? (There now follows a string of falsehoods, libellous accusations and perfidious pretenses that won't make it to the page, as no Trainspotter Award is forthcoming. Ed). Were you so gobsmacked at the disappearance of the hairy Hacker? If not, why not? If you give me the aforementioned objects, I may persevere in perusing your puny pamphlet. If not, I'll tell all my mates (Think of a number less than two and then halve it! Ed) not to read your mag. OK? (OK! Ed).
P.S. Hurry up with the ransom, he's getting up my nose.
Brian 'Wimpo' Hitch
Grimsby, Sth Humberside

OK, OK you win - the goodies are in the post. All except the Trainspotter Award - you must know by now that no-one has ever managed to beg, borrow, steal or blackmail one of these coveted awards. And may his Hairyness forever moult over your carpet. Ed.

Star Letter

Through rain and shine, I battled my way through Frank Bruno's Boxing. My head was smashed in by the Canadian Crusher and my ribs were decimated by Fling Long Chop. But finally I came through and KOed Peter Perfect - and for what I ask? I'll tell you what - a bit of cheap advertising for Scooby Doo and a line about extra boxers on a new tape! So now my thoughts are so rebellious to good ol' Franky and the Elite mob that I've negotiated with my pet do to dish out the vibes to all the wimps who can't play the big fist on their own. First though, you'll have to use my game name JAY, before entering the following EVBA membership codes:
Fling Long ChopA9SINBD9A
Andra PuncheredovF3WIOLBAB
Tribal TroubleO7QIOIJC5
Ravioli MafiosiB4XIONFC7
Antipodean AndyABRINMDO7
Peter Perfect92VIICBAA
Scooby DooM3VIIBEI4
Yours forever brain damaged
Jason Hinney
Borehamwood, Herts

Right then, better get the glove on and get out there - into the black 'n' blue corner. Take that! Ed


Toni Baker's Interrupt Manager in YS 16 [sic] worked wonderfully until I tried it with a Kempston interface attached, when it NEWed. That's because the value on the data bus when an interrupt occurs can be any number from 0 to FFH, so the way in which the interrupt vector routine was initialised meant that the program couldn't work.
This is where yours truly comes to the rescue. First, load the Interrupt Manager and type in this program carefully:
10 CLEAR 61419
20 FOR a=61420 TO 61460
30 READ a: POKE a,b: NEXT a
40 SAVE "intruptmng" CODE 61420,123
50 DATA 33, 253, 253, 54, 195, 35, 54, 21, 35, 54, 240, 33, 103, 240, 17, 104, 240, 1, 80, 0, 113, 237, 176, 33, 0, 254, 1, 253, 0, 113, 35, 16, 252, 113, 62, 254, 237, 71, 237, 94, 201

Save the new version of the program and call the routine with RAND USR 61420. The only drawback is that you can't store anything from 65021 to 65281.
Richard Chaney
Hull, North Humberside

Now why didn't I think of that? Troubleshootin 'Pete. Answers on a postcard please! Ed.


You asked for it. Here's the most useful modification to JSW II that I can think of. And this is what you do. First, load in the Basic and find the RAND USR start address. Set the variable A equal to this value, then enter the following line of Basic:
POKE A,195: POKE A+1,0: POKE A+2,0
Needless to say that this works on JSW and JSW II as well as a lot of other games that are on sale in the shops at the moment.
Since the only letters that appear in Forum have a creep in them, I suppose that mine had better have one. I can honestly say - with my fingers crossed - (Worra creep you are. I'm not gonna print that! Ed)
Ian Ravenscroft

I can honestly say (without my fingers crossed) that your amendment to JSW is the most mega I've yet come across. And no, I'm certainly not letting you lot into the secret of what it does. So, don't come creepin 'round me. Troubleshootin 'Pete.

Trainspotter cartoon
Ah-ha! think you can catch all of us mere mortals out by changing the piccies round, eh?
OK, it's just because I don't work at YS and I don't get sudden urges to start rambling on about large amounts of Hex - my simple computer logic is: IF object = game THEN PLAY object, ELSE leave for someone else to explain it.
Rambling again. This letter's about my amazing bit of trainspotting in YS 18. Correct me if I'm wrong (Don't worry, we will. Ed) - I mean I only have Quackshot - but, you appear to have swopped the screen shot with some unknown game called Metabolis. [Note]
Please can I have a Trainspotter Award, nice Mr Headman, he whose shining armpits are the very substance of life to so many YS underlings (T.P. included). (That's what you think, matey. I wouldn't like to tell you what sustains me through the long hard grind that is YS, but it's certainly not his lordship's armpits. T.P.)

Peter Plumbley, but to all
sane people, Matthew Exley, 14 + 2 weeks.
Easton -in- Gordano, Bristol

C'mon, made-up name, made-up town, in-Gordano my foot. But you're still this month's trainspotter. And for why, you ask? Well, just look at what I had to wade through. Threats from Crispin 'Hawkeyes' Tucker - "this is voted Trainspotter Award by my gerbils, Harry and Angus, who'll bite your ankles if it isn't". Oh no, not the gerbils. Or this from a Vogon called D B Edwards, "So, Earthlings, I present you with a simple choice, either die in the vacuum of space ... or tell me I've won the award." Such is the hoover of life, eh? Then there are jokes like this one from Paul Edwards - "I went to the Costa del Sol for my holiday this year, does this make me worthy of the Spain Trotter award?" Did I say jokes? And then there's Chris Richardson going for the sympathy vote, "Just send the award to the above address and I'll be happy. If you don't I shall cry." You're all gonna have to do better than this next month! Ed.

NOTE: The issue 18 Joystick Jury page on this site has the screenshots the correct way around.
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