APPLICATIONSCREATION GRAPHIQUE ★ GOLDMARK SYSTEMS: CHARACTER FONT DESIGNER AND PRINT BUFFER|CPC COMPUTING) ★

Goldmark Systems: Character Font Designer and Print Buffer|CPC Computing)Applications Creation Graphique
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WHEN a company is best known for one type of product it's often difficult for it to branch out in other directions. The name Goldmark Systems probably brings to mind tape-to-disc copiers, but now it has released a few packages which deépart from this image.

Character designer and printer buffer

Designing characters for displaying on the screen can be a tricky task for the inexperienced, and redefining the printer's character set a real headache. Assuming your printer has this facility, the manual will probably attempt to describe the process involved in that marvel of modern linguistics, Japlish - an English translation from the Japanese by a Japanese.

Consequently many people ignore the feature. Thankfully, if you have an Epson-compatible printer, Goldmark's designer handles most of the complexities leaving you free to get on with the actual designing.

At the top of the display is a series of 32 blocks allowing 16 screen and printer characters to be redefined and stored. The display shows two grids, one representing a screen character and the other for the printer. This means that it is possible to redefine how a character is printed without altering its on-screen appearance.

The new characters can then be saved to disc or tape, and you can choose between the two at the start of the program. A slight oversight is that you cannot change from disc to tape or vice-versa without re-running the program.

Loading previously-stored character sets allows further editing at a later date, but there's no facility to catalogue the disc. So if you forget the filename you'll have to quit, do a CAT, and run the program again.

The save and load commands are selected from a short menu which has many other options to help with character definition. These include clear, inverse, move, mirror and rotate, all of which adds up to a fairly comprehensive editing package. Finally, to download the new graphics to the printer you run the installation program which uses the saved data.

One problem is that many printers have only 2k or less of RAM. This can limit the number of redefined characters, and you may find yourself sitting around waiting for text to print out because of limited buffer size.

The answer is an additional printer buffer, or to enlarge the one fitted. Surprise, surprise, if you have an Amstrad DMP series printer Goldmark also produces an upgrade. It increases the printer's internal buffer to 8k, which will hold nearly four pages of text.

This is quite useful, as you can send this much text to the printer, and while it is busy your CPC is free for use. A short instruction sheet explains how to fit the buffer, which is simply a RAM chip, and what changes to make to the printer's circuit board. If you are a novice you may want to get somebody qualified to do it for you.

CPC Computing

★ PUBLISHER: GOLDMARK SYSTEMS
★ YEAR: 1988
★ CONFIG: 64K + AMSDOS
★ LANGUAGE:
★ LICENCE: COMMERCIALE
★ AUTHOR(S): ???
Price for Character Font Designer: £11.99 disc, £7.99 tape (CPC464 only);
Price for DMP Printer Buffer: £12.50;

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.