Microcomputer NEWS

P.O. Box 2910, Fort Worth, Texas 76101__A

THE MICROCOMPUTER NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED FOR TRS-80 OWNERS

Newsletter Index In This Issue...

Color Computer Color Castle 13

Product line Manager's Page 11 t

Computer Club 1

Education Products

A Commitment to Education 18 ... • ••.'•-• '

Marketing Information Service 1

Model I/III Bugs, Erors, and Fixes Accounts Payable (26-1554) 4

Adv. Stat. Analys. (26-1705) 4 ■ - ' ."■•".""..--

Tape Mailing List (26-1503) 4

CLOAD KBFIX 5

Johnson/Caire Screen Print 5

Planting Seeds 6

Product Line Manager's Page 3

Quick Adder 6

Sort Routine Modification 5

Model II Bugs, Errors, and Fixes

Accounts Payable (26-4505) 8

General Ledger (26-4501) 8

Inventory Management (26-4502) 8

SCRIPSIT (26-4530) 8

Ideas 9

Product Line Manager's Page 7

Screen Dump, Revisited 10

UNPATCH/BAS 10

Notes on Previous Newsletters

December 1980 1

January 1981 20

Peripherals

Mysterious Line Feed 9

Product Line Manager's Page 16

Pocket Computer

Gas Mileage 14

Memory Aide 15

Programmable Timer 14

Simple Planetary 15

Telephone Book 14

String Along With String$ 6

View From the 7th Floor 2

Volume 3, Issue 4

RADIO SHACK ANNOUNCES AGRICULTURE'S FIRST ELECTRONICS MARKETING INFORMATION SERVICE

Computer Club

Southern Maine TRS-80 Group 15 Mountain View Road Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

207/767-2351 or 207/797-4898

Tandy Corporation/Radio Shack, in a joint announcement with Professional Farmers of America, in Chicago recently revealed plans for agriculture's first electronic marketing information service.

Called Instant Update, the service provides farmers and agribusinessmen immediate access to the market-making events that affect commodity prices, crop yields and other data important to improving farmers' business activities.

Instant Update information will be transmitted via telephone lines to VIDEOTEX terminals specially made by Tandy Corporation/Radio Shack for the Professional Farmers of America program.

"The Radio Shack VIDEOTEX system was selected because of its technology and cost effectiveness," stated Charles Phillips, senior vice president of Special Markets for Radio Shack. This Radio Shack terminal utilizes standard telephone lines and a standard television set (Continued on Page 20)

Notes on Previous

Newsletters

Mr. J. Michael Healy of Birmingham, AL recently sent us this note:

"I would like to tell you how much I enjoy your NEWSletter and I am enclosing a program change for the Base Conversion program (12/80) which makes the binary printout much easier to read. This change inserts a space between each four digits (nibble) of the binary conversion. It involves changing only one line [300] and adding lines [301-306] and [611-613]. I use this program for programming EPABX's (Telephone Computers) and it has made the printout much easier to work with. I have a Model II and a Line Printer IV and am very pleased with both. Remember our battle cry: WE HAVE ONLY BEGUN TO PROGRAM!!!"

(Continued on Page 20)

Retail prices in this newsletter may vary at individual stores and dealers, h The company cannot be liable for pictorial and typographical inaccuracies. J.

View From the 7th Flo&

by Jon Shirley, Vice President Computer Division

I am going to break my own rule and announce a new product before it's available. Soon we will offer disk drive head cleaner kits for both the SV4 and 8 inch drives. They will sell for $29.95 each and contain two cleaning diskettes and a bottle of cleaner. Each diskette can be used 13 times so at once a week you get a half years life per kit. There are some other head cleaning kits on the market but we picked this one by getting our 3 major drive suppliers to test every brand we could find and tell us which one absolutely would not damage the head or the pad. They certified only one and that's the one we will offer. I strongly recommend that every disk drive user get a kit and use it. If you are a light user clean the heads every two weeks and get a full year's protection of your data for only thirty bucks. That is cheap protection.

There seems to be a little confusion about the disk drives used in the Model III, judging from some articles I have read and some of your letters. The drives in the Model III are based on the Tandon design but they are manufactured from the ground up at Texas Peripherals in Odessa, Texas. The T.P. drives are 40 track and use a band actuator for fast head stepping. Texas Peripherals is a joint venture (50/ 50) of Datapoint Corporation and Tandy Corporation. There are 150 employees at Texas Peripherals and it was the first new industrial plant opened there in over 20 years. In case you have never been to west Texas, the whole place floats on OIL and almost all the local industry is concerned with oil exploration, drilling, storage etc.

While on the subject of the Model III I have noticed some enterprising types are now selling built-in drive kits for the Model III. When a Model III is expanded to one (or two) internal drives a lot of stuff is packed inside. Included are a disk controller board, another switching power supply, molded brackets to hold the drives, shielding to protect the drives and to maintain FCC compliance, cables to hook the whole thing up and, of course, the drive(s). If one of these non-Radio Shack kits tempts you to buy, you should be aware of two potential problems. First of all none of these kits are FCC certified as of February 14 when I am writing this. None of them have even been submitted to the FCC. So if you have one of these installed it is very likely that your Model III will not continue to meet FCC regulations.

The FCC will enforce its rules and either require compliance or stop the seller but it will take time.

The second problem that you will face is that we will not service your Model III with a brand X controller and drives and power supply inside. We are not being anti-free enterprise, mean or greedy, just practical. When a disk controller is installed it becomes an integral part of the entire computer and can effect its performance even in non-disk operations. Adding a disk controller is NOT like putting different tires on a car, its like replacing the entire intake manifold, carburetor and all. Do it wrong and you will bum valves (or worse). Since all our diagnostics for a disk system are disk based we would have no way of knowing what is creating the problem and of course we do not stock parts for non-Radio Shack products. So if you must buy a brand X kit be sure you can get service!

We hear about all sorts of different applications for the various TRS-80's and from time to time I would like to share some of them with you. For instance there is a talented programmer in Canada who has produced a very good scoring program for sailboat regattas. It runs on a 32K 2 disk Model I and really does it all. We used it here in Fort Worth this fall to score the World Youth championships which were sailed on Lasers and Laser 2s. (Bet you did not know we have a world class Yacht Club in the middle of Texas!) If any of you would like information on this program drop me a line... it's a personal recommendation as I set up the system here.

Another interesting sports application came to our attention from a news release put out by the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association. They tell the story as follows.

The Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association have stepped into the computer age with a microcomputer that continuously compiles, displays, and prints player and team statistics during the course of the game.

The Bucks organization has taken a big step into the modem age this season with the acquisition of a new computerized statistical scoring system. California based Sports Stats U.S.A. has designated their system the SS100 Basketball Scoring System. The SS100 system consists of a standard off-the-shelf office computer purchased from Radio Shack (TRS-80 —

Model III) and a special basketball data entry computer keyboard and computer software programs from Sports Stats U.S.A.

The system has virtually replaced pen, pencil and paper; strained eyes and cramped fingers with the miracle of micro-circuitry. For years, keeping stats fneant hash marks on a scorecard, adding columns, and filling out a box score by hand. The next morning, after the game, it was back to the office, pencil in hand, erasers aplenty, to add up team and individual highs and lows, check career marks, type up the results, and otherwise spend hours in the pursuit of a peculiar American sports pre-occupation known as "statistics."

This year, in contrast, all of the above is being done with the touch of a button. Stats are totaled and printed in box score form seconds after the game-ending horn. Later, the computer can produce all the cumulative and comparative data, as well as season highs and lows, in printed form suitable for reproduction and use in future press notes and news releases. Cumulative statistics are now compiled and printed in the time it used to take to complete a box score. Accurate up-to-the-second game statistics are displayed by the computer on video monitors to assist radio and television broadcasters in calling the game. During timeouts, and between quarters, quickie stats are printed and distributed. Comprehensive box scores are printed at half time and post game.

"The system is light years ahead of how we used to compile statistics," said Bucks' Publicity Director Bill King II. "The amount of information immediately available both on video monitors and through printed reports was heretofore not possible. But with the aid of the Sport Stats system we can virtually overwhelm even the most statistical oriented sports reporters and fans."

"The system has a very high profile courtside while it saves valuable office time for me," continued King. "The computer has allowed us to redefine the role and importance of keeping statistics by minimizing the vast amount of time required to compile statistics."

According to Sport Stats spokesman, Jim McCabe, the real advantage and revolutionary nature of computerized scoring lies in the inherant speed, accuracy, and video display capabilities of the computer.

(Continued on Page 17)

Model I/III

Product Line Manager's News

When you read my first comment that the Model III included the "best" of Model I plus a lot more it was a cold January We started looking then at the additions to the Model III and now we are already into the Spring. I will have to stop this discussion soon because we have a stack of new products to introduce to you, but let's cover some more Model III additions.

DISK BASIC

Editing your programs is a snap with:

Prints the previous program line on the screen

Prints the next line

Prints the current line

Edit the current line

(SHIFT) ♦ Z Prints the last line (left (SHIFT) key only)

Lxx list line xx

Exx Edit line xx

Dxx Delete line xx

Axx, inc Auto insert beginning at line xx

The DO file is a time saver and is also one of the most versatile tools that we have added for the applications programmer. You will find plenty of uses for this special file which is first created with the BUILD command. Put TRSDOS library commands or applications programs in the DO file in the order that you want them to execute. Then kick off the sequence with DO'Tilename" where "filename" is a DO file previously developed with BUILD. It's great for things like preparing a series of listings while you are at lunch, killing transaction files, initializing a communications channel before starting a session, beginning an application by setting FORMS for the printer, or initiating WP for protecting program files. Of course the major benefit of the feature is to insulate an operator from the processing procedures that would normally be required to use a business application. DO files also insure that the procedures are followed properly cutting down on frustration and lost time. Here is an example of the way it would work:

First from TRSDOS Ready, type BUILD EXAMPLE. You will then be prompted to type in up to 63 characters on each line to describe commands, or to provide text that will be used for input to a running program. When you are finished exit with the (BREAK) key and the commands will be saved in a "DO file" (which in this case is called EXAMPLE). You could have next typed AUTO DO EXAMPLE — Now when you reset or power up, a DO activity will begin. The "DO file" EXAMPLE provides automatic command input and will execute each command shown without any intervention from the keyboard (other than stopping for your INPUT requests from BASIC). Note that BASIC applications can be run from a DO file including automatic input of information normally entered from the keyboard. In those cases, the responses to the BASIC applications questions thru use of BASIC INPUT statements are saved in the DO file along with the name of the applications to be run.

Take a look: (For clarity, we underlined the parts which you would enter from the keyboard.) BUILD EXAMPLE (ENTER)

Hit BREAK to exit Type in up to 63 C h a r a c t e rs SETCOM (BAUD=1200 »WAIT) (ENTER) Type in up to S3 Characte rs FORMS (1*11 DTH=B0 (ENTER)

Type in up to G3 Characters

PAUSE INITIALIZING SERIAL INTERFACE AND

PRINTER (ENTER) Type in up to G3 Characters BASIC (ENTER)

Type in up to G3 Characters (ENTER)

Type in up to 63 Characters (ENTER)

Type in up to G3 Characters RUN"HISTOGRA/BAS" (ENTER) Type in up to 63 Characters (BREAK)

TRSDOS Ready

Now, to see how it works type:

DO EXAMPLE (ENTER)

TRSDOS Ready

SETCOM (BAUD=1200»WAIT)

NONE i WAIT MODE TRSDOS Ready FORMS (WIDTH=80) TRSDOS Ready

PAUSE (INITIALIZING SERIAL INTERFACE AND PRINTER)

INITIALIZING SERIAL INTERFACE AND PRINTER

Press <ENTER> to cont inue

(ENTER)

TRSDOS Ready BASIC

TRS-80 Model III Disk BASIC Rev 1.2 (c)(p) 1980 by Tandy Corp. All Rights

Reserved« Created 5-Jul-80 21706 Free Bytes 3 Files READY

>RUN"HISTOGRA/BAS"

HISTOGRAM

... (The program would continue from here, with inputs from the keyboard as usual.)

MODEL I/III Potpourri

A few comments... In answer to some of the predominant questions coming in about VisiCalc. You can use the Model III CONVERT utility on a Model I VisiCalc disk to transfer VisiCalc data files that were originally set up on your Model I. But transfer them to a Model III VisiCalc disk. Model I VisiCalc was not designed to run on a Model III and it won't. Accessing VisiCalc data files from BASIC is described in a document available at no charge as 700-2220. It is a VisiCalc addendum describing the Data Interchange Format... The LPC printer driver is now on the Model III TRSDOS disk as well as available for Model I (700-2007). Make sure that you read the Peripheral Product Line Manager's page this month for an understanding of the purpose of the LPC driver... A recent comment was made that RS software packages include instructions on user changes to make them run on Model Ill's. Not so —We have an exchange program available if you get a package without a III compatible tape or disk (if it is needed). In fact we have reworked our stock to include these tapes and disks so you won't need to get involved in any "user" changes. We do include

(Continued on Page 4)

Model I/III

a pamphlet with your Model III entitled "Instructions for Converting Specified Model I Programs for use on TRS-80 Model III." The changes in that pamphlet are "optional," since tapes or disks are available (with the changes already made) for those programs which are shown. The changes are given for your convenience since many of you already own our most popular cassette software and may prefer to modify these yourselves ... If you have used the SAVE command with the ASCII option to save a BASIC program—SAVE filespec, A—rather than the compressed format then you may have gotten the error message " DIRECT STATEMENT IN FILE ." This is caused by lines which exceed 255 bytes. Make sure you save your program first without the ,A option as you are liable to lose your program otherwise. To avoid the problem remember that the 255 byte maximum includes the line number digits and the space following the line number, all the characters and spaces in the line itself and 2 bytes for each line feed.

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