Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 1 / FALL 1979 / PAGE 17


150 Pocono Rd.
Brookfield, CT 06804

This is one of the first word processors available for the PET. It now is also available in an expanded version for the NEW PET. I have just received a review copy of that new version and will be able to report on it next issue. The version for the OLD PET is very good. I used it to do my last few newsletters and enjoyed using it very much. All that is needed to use this word processor is an 8K PET. It can display its final output on either the PET screen or a printer. I have received tapes by mail that were data tapes to be used with this program. These tapes are used as input and then printed out on my printer. I could set up my own line length etc. This is very nice.

This is a line oriented word processor. As you enter the text it is automatically assigned a line number. Each time you hit return you go on to the next line number. Lines can be moved, replaced, inserted, changed, and deleted. Printer commands are put right in with the text. They are refered to as directives. There are two main modes of operation. In Command Mode you can look at lines, change things, save the text on tape, etc. The other major mode is INPUT MODE. While in this mode you are entering the text, line by line.

Even though your text is entered and assigned sequential line numbers the lines are not printed that way. When printed, all the lines are treated as one long string of data (and directives for the printer). Sentences are printed one after another. A new paragraph is started only when a) a directive is encountered, or b) a line begins with a space. This word processor is very versatile and flexible, but does require getting used to the commands and directives. I use a small index card with the commands summarized on one side and the directives on the other. Commands and directives are represented in a very logical and easy to remember manner. I had very little trouble getting used to them.

You will have to get used to thinking of your text as a series of lines sequentially numbered. You are always positioned at the ‘current line number.’ This doesn't have to be the last line you typed in. You can move to any line you wish while in the Command Mode. Many of the commands use the ‘current line number’ as a reference point. For example you may wish to go up 5 lines. The program takes the line you are now at and puts you at the line 5 above it. The program will always print on the screen the text in the line you currently are on.

FREE BYTES. For example, to find out how many free bytes are left you enter the command ‘FREE’ or simply enter ‘F’. The program then would respond and tell you how many bytes were free.

DOWN. Moves the current line pointer down as many lines as you specify. It will not go past the last line number currently assigned. For example, if you are at line 75 and go down 10, but line 80 is the last line, you will be placed at line 80.

UP. This command will move the current line pointer up the number of lines you request. It goes up as far as line number 0. If you are on line 5 and ask to go up 9 you will end up on line 0.

GO TO. You can go to any line you wish with this command. If you wish to make a correction to line 51, simply go to that line.

REPLACE. The Replace command allows you to replace any line with the next one you type in.

CHANGE. This command is very handy for correcting spelling errors or changing words. First go to the line you wish to change. Then specify what string you wish to change, and what you wish to change it to. For example, you might change ‘their’ to ‘there.’

MOVE. You can move any number of consecutive line numbers to another location very easily. All line numbers are reassigned to once again be in correct ascending order.

INSERT. To insert a line or several lines in between 2 existing lines, simply go to the first of the two lines (the one you wish to insert after) and go into INPUT mode. All line numbers already in your text after that line number will be increased by one for every line you insert.

ERASE. Lines may be erased a whole line at a time, or even whole group of consecutive lines at once using this command.

TYPE. This is different than PRINT. Print is your formatted text. Type will type out the lines as they are stored presently. They can be typed onto your screen or to your printer.

PRINT. This command prints your text either to your screen or to your printer in its finished form. All directives within the text are followed.

SAVE. Your text is saved as data onto cassette tape on cassette unit #1 with this command. I have found the data saved to be very reliable. It would LOAD later without problems.

LOAD. This allows you to load in text previously saved by this program. You can start with an empty text and load in one to work with. Or you can add to the current text in memory. To add to your current text simply set your ‘current line pointer’ at the line you wish this text on tape to be after. Then LOAD in the tape.

INPUT. Of course there is the Input command. It puts you into "Input Mode". I will describe this mode and its "Directives" next.

DIRECTIVES. All directives must start in the first column of a line or they will be treated as text. You use the directives to instruct the printer how you would like your output printed. All directives begin with a ‘.’. For example, .ce is the directive for center the next string (as for a heading).

CENTER. You can have headings centered very easily with this directive. Be careful not to try to center a 40 character string within a 30 character line length.

LINE LENGTH. You can change the line length at any time during the printing of the text. The default line length is 60. The line length begins at the Left Margin and creates a Right Margin that many spaces to the right.

LEFT MARGIN. The left margin is set at 1 by default, but you can assign any left margin you wish, and it can be changed at any time within your text. For example, you currently have a Left Margin of 10 and Line Length of 60. That means your Right Margin is at 70. Now you can change your Left margin to 30. Your Right Margin now would be 90 since you did not change your Line Length.

LINE SPACING. Your text is printed single spaced unless you specify otherwise. You can print double or triple spaced text. Once again, this can be changed at any point within your text.

SKIP A LINE. You can add blank lines with this directive. It will skip as many lines as you specify.

NO LINE FEED. You can overprint using this directive. This line will be printed without a line feed on the printer. Underlining is available without having to use this feature.

REPEAT CENTERED. Any string can be repeated as many times as you wish and then centered on the page. For example, ‘XO’ repeated 5 times would be ‘XOXOXOXOXO.’ It would be centered on the line. This is handy for creating dividing lines on your page.

NEW LINE. Your need to be able to tell the printer when to start a new paragraph. A new paragraph is started any time a directive is encountered. You may also have the printer start a new line by leaving at least one space at the start of that line. Your paragraph will be indented by the number of spaces you begin the line with.

PAUSE. This directive is handy if you wish to do personalized form letters. The program waits until you hit a key on the PET before continuing. This allows you to use the keyboard on your printer (if you have one) to type in the person's name, etc., before continuing with the text.

SEND ASCII CODE. You can direct the PET to output any ASCII character code you wish. I have used this to have it ring the bell on my Teletype 43.

THE TEXT. Any of these directives can be interspersed with your text. To enter your text, simply type it in. The delete key works as usual to erase typing errors. You can hit RETURN after any word, though it is optional. I find it best hit return after every sentence, although it is not necessary. This way, I can move lines around later and don't have to worry about partial lines, etc.