|★ APPLICATIONS ★ DIVERS ★ TOOLBOX|COMPUTING WITH THE AMSTRAD) ★|
|Toolbox (Computing with the Amstrad '88/05)||Toolbox (Computing with the Amstrad '88/06)|
INSTEAD of a single main utility we've decided this month to give you three shorties, none of which are big enough to merit a full feature in their own right, but nonetheless are very useful.
As any disc drive owner knows, before a new disc can be used it must be formatted. This is a process during which the Amstrad lays down tracks where it can store information. Normally this involves digging out a CP/M disc, booting up, and using a utilitv. This isn't very convenient and might be the only time you use CP/M. Fastformat does away with all that; it's a disc formatter and verifier which runs from Amsdos. Apart from having to use CP/M, it also has the advantage that with it you can add a format option to your own programs.
I wanted to keep things short and simple, so I opted to stick with data format as used on the CPC6128. For CPC464/664 owners this means it isn't for discs you want to use with CP/M2.2. If you do use CP/M2.2, there's nothing gained by having a formatter to work from Amsdos, and you should continue with CP/M's formatter. On the other hand if you only ever use Amsdos, you get a bit more space - 178k - on each disc.
Type in Program I, which generates some machine code saved as format-.bin. Whenever you want to format a disc you need to load and initialise the machine code with a routine such as Program II.
Once you've done that, to format a disc type:
where n is 0 for drive A, or 1 for drive B. The formatter doesn't verify the disc as it goes along, which is why it's so quick. Most of the time this will not present any problems, but if you want to verify the disc, type:
Again, n will be 0 or 1. This only checks data format discs; any other format will show up as a bad disc. If a disc doesn't verify properly after trying to reformat, you should scrap it.
Over the last three years we've published a number of screen dumps, but this is still the most common request from newer readers. Even those who have the earlier dumps will find Multidump has something new to offer. It produces monochrome dumps in three sizes.
The smallest is half the width of ordinary listing paper, and works well in Mode 1 and Mode 0, but isn't so good for Mode 2. The intermediate dump is the full width of the paper and works in any mode.
The largest dump also works in any mode, and is approximately A3 size for making posters and notices. These are printed in halves, and you'll find some marks at the corners to show you where to make the join and trim to size.
When you run Program III you'll find you have two RSXs:
|MULTIDUMP is the screen dump, and it needs two parameters. The first is the size, 1 being the smallest and 3 the largest. The second is the ink number you want to be the background, in other words the one that's left as white. In most cases this will be 0, so to get the largest dump you'd type:
The other RSX command, |MCONFIG, configures the dump to work with the two main types of printer. As written, Multidump drives the later Epson compatibles such as the Amstrad DMPs, the Panasonic KXP1080, and so on. If you have a printer such as my Shinwa which uses ESC K to give 640 dot bit image mode, typing |MCONFIG will alter the dump to work with it. Typing |MCONFIG again swaps back.
Multidump is some of the first machine code I wrote, so it's not the world's best bit of programming, but it works well and has proved very useful.
Last year we published my ill-fated base 64 data maker, a program to convert an area of memory into a Basic loader such as Programs I and III. The compacted format didn't go down too well in some quarters, so we reverted to the usual method. Hex loader generator, Program IV, is the version I wrote to produce the type of listing you see in the magazine, and judging from the submissions we receive, plenty of people need it.
Just run the program, and it will ask you for the details it requires such as the start and end address of the area to be converted. The loader will then be written to tape or disc.
L'alinéa 8 de l'article L122-5 du Code de la propriété intellectuelle explique que « Lorsque l'œuvre a été divulguée, l'auteur ne peut interdire la reproduction d'une œuvre et sa représentation effectuées à des fins de conservation ou destinées à préserver les conditions de sa consultation à des fins de recherche ou détudes privées par des particuliers, dans les locaux de l'établissement et sur des terminaux dédiés par des bibliothèques accessibles au public, par des musées ou par des services d'archives, sous réserve que ceux-ci ne recherchent aucun avantage économique ou commercial ». Pas de problème donc pour nous!
CPCrulez[Content Management System] v8.7-desktop/cache
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.