Trs-80 strings... (column) Stephen B. Gray.
rings . . . trs-80 strings . . . trs-8
As we pass the fifty-first planet in the solar system known only as TRS-80, we see ahead of us a cassette magazine for the Color Computer, CLOAD magazine on disk, three books recommended for the Color Computer, how to make sure a program is SAVEd to disk, flippies, a school newsletter, and short program that's screen editor.
Cassette Magazine for Color Computer
The publishers of CLOAD magazine (for the TRS-80 Model I and III) announced a cassette magazine for the Color Computer with an ad in these pages back in June 1981.
Now that I've had Extended Color Basic with high-resolution graphics added to my Color Computer, I can finally review Chromasette Magazine (Box 1087, Santa Barbara, CA 93102). A subscription is $45 a year for 12 issues, which have six to eight programs on each cassette. Six issues are $25; a sample one is $5.
Chromasette is very much like CLOAD, with a cassette wrapped in an accompanying letter that lists the programs, gives their PMODE and PCLEAR values (if needed), their locations on tape, several paragraphs of documentation about each (sometimes suggesting program alterations that change or improve the results), a variety of information about the Color Computer and some of the hardware and software available for it, and some ads.
Each issue, as with CLOAD, starts with a cover, just like a regular magazine. The first issue, dated July 1981, was described in March 1982 (p. 36). Briefly, the first cover shows the Chromasette name in script, moves it left, right, up, down, etc. The listing includes seven strings of 192 characters each, according to the letter, which goes into nice detail on how the program was written.
All programs are recorded twice, and are written for Extended Color Basic; 16K is required because many programs are long. Back copies of all issues are available; they'll send you a list on request.
Later Chromasette Issues
Subsequent issues of Chromassette magazine contain a version of Lunar Lander, tutorials on debugging programs, a high-precision calculator (to 900 places), "repeat-the-musical-pattern' game, Motorcycle Jump, Morsecode tutor, typing tutor, disassembler, Rubik's Cube, String Art, disk editor, Star Map (with constellations), Equations (matrix manipulation), Display Demo (28 display routines), Tape Inventory (catalogs tape programs), disk cataloger, Astromines, Pong (the original videogame), Life, Curve Fit, plus many other games, utilities, educational programs, and some great color covers.
Incidentally, in just little more than a year, Chromasette overtook CLOAD, and has more subscribers than the parent; by the end of this year, it may have twice as many, according to editor Dave, who also says his crew is working on a disk version of Chromasette. (Dave signs only his first name to the CLOAD and Chromasette letters, in keeping with their informal air.)
CLOAD on Disk
Speaking of disk, CLOAD has been available on disk since last October, at $95 a year for 12 issues (the cassette version is $50 a year), $55 for six issues, and $11 for a single copy (Box 1448, Santa Barbara, CA 93102).
If you've gotten used to the convenience and speed of disk, you may be willing to pay the extra for CLOAD on disk. In much less time than it takes just to find the program you want on tape, you can have the disk version up and running.
Just get into Basic, key in
RUN "AWAY' and the program menu is displayed. Any time you want to get back to the menu, just a BREAK and
RUN "AWAY' will recall it, unless the program is in machine language, in which case you'll have to hit the reset button and then get back into Basic again. That's all there is to it.
The Lone Survivor
Of the several TRS-80 Model I cassette magazines that were started over the past few years, only CLOAD is still in business. The December 1982 issue (the most recent I have on hand at this writing) is the 58th, and runs on Models I and III, either cassette or disk systems.
CLOAD seems to contain a little higher percentage of games than several years ago. The last three issues of 1982 contain 23 programs, of which three are covers and nine are games. (Two of the latter, Swarm and Cave Raider, seem impossible to beat.) The others include Bond (financial), Air Nav (flight polanning for pilots), Disk Copy (for one-disk systems), Menu (reads the disk directory, displays it in menu form), Loan Amortization, Logic Trainer (teaches logic circuits), Planets (shows relative positions for a given date), and Net Worth (computes yours).
For a good mix of games, utilities and practical programs, try a sample copy of CLOAD or Chromasette, or a six-month subscription. It's well worth the money.
Three Books for the Color Computer
Three fine books for the Color Computer were recently issued by Reston Publishing Co., part of Prentice-Hall. Two are on graphics, and the third gives an idea of what can be done with this computer.
Photo: Figure 1. Chromasette's first cover makes use of the cassette-magazine's logo, moving it all over the screen, in duplicate and quadruplicate, and in various colors.
Photo: Figure 2. The second cover of Chromasette (August 1981) is a demonstration of the DRAW command, using the Scale, Color, and Angle modes, and the No-Update option.