01 января 1987


ISSUE 02           OCTOBER, 1987

From: JOHN TAYLOR..........02-06

To:   JOHN TAYLOR..........07-09

From: JOHN NICHOLLS........10-26

To:   JOHN NICHOLLS........27-30

From: John Taylor, Grantham.

Thank you for issue one of
OUTLET. I admit I ordered it
with some misgivings as so many
people mean well when embarking
on a new venture but  often fail
miserably to reach their own
high expectations.

Such is not the case however
with OUTLET. The presentation
and graphics are first class.
The concept of a Microdrive
Magazine has been undertaken
with flair and considerable
imagination and the Publishers,
if that is the correct word,
deserve to be well supported.

This point needs to be stressed.
If the high quality is to be
maintained, or dare I say it,
improved.  The following are
important to all of us if OUTLET
is going to succeed.

CIRCULATION. A large dedicated
following is an absolute must as
even with the best will in the
world it is difficult to
maintain the impetus if there is
only a small demand.

CONTRIBUTORS. The first issue is
good and I have no doubt that
the authors have other exciting
ideas for us, but there is a
vast amount of talent in the
Microdrive community and I would
like to see some real

competition for space on OUTLET.

FEEDBACK. The authors, I don't
know which one is editor, really
do need to know what the
reaction is and your letters
therefore are essential. I wrote
this using JOTTER which is
simple to use and looks very
effective. So get your thoughts
on the screen and don't worry
too much about the spelin,
punkchewasian and such. Ritein
iz ded eazy wiv a bit ov

I must wish everyone connected
with OUTLET, readers or writers,
every success for the future and
may I see you again & again &

Now comes the crunch bit. How do
I get an 8 column margin using
an Epson compatable printer and
JOTTER? I know I need to open a
"b" channel to send the control
code CHR$ (9), but where do I
put the code in your program?

The LOADING program for my
cartridge is KICKSTART by P J
Tester. The master program puts
a loading program on the
cartridge with multiple saves
for quick loading. Thereafter
the program is self maintained
no matter what programs are
added or removed. A great
advantage is only BASIC programs
are listed so the screen isn't
cluttered up and you don't have
to remember which is which.

P J T. has written several
exciting programs for the
microdrive but except for a
short appearance on Telesoftware
they haven't really been made

Many thanks, John Taylor.

To John Taylor from Brian.

Thanks John! Regarding
circulation we have plans to
promote OUTLET further following
the tremendous response to our
initial mail/mailbox shots.

To get an 8 column margin in
JOTTER print-outs (through
Interface 1) you need to edit
line 8180 by adding OPEN #4;"B":
PRINT #4;CHR$ 27;"l";CHR$ 8
after OPEN #S;"T" but to save
the hassle we've saved a patch
on this Issue 2 cartridge so
just break into JOTTER, put the
issue 2 cartridge in drive 1 and
enter: MERGE *"M";1;"JPATCH".
Then run JOTTER and re-save it.

Yes, we've seen 1 or 2 of P.J.
Tester's programs which are very
good. However, CHEZRON do a menu
loader called CATLOADER which
we're convinced is superior to
KICKSTART in flexibility and
presentation. It's mine and
Ron's most-used program - we
think of it more as an operating
system - it's brilliant!

We've given a lot of thought as
to whether to include other
CHEZRON software such as
CATLOADER in OUTLET but realize
that it would be unfair to
readers who have previously
bought such programs from us.
There may be one or two items we
can include in OUTLET but
anyway, CATLOADER is on our

UTILITY TAPE 'A' AT `3.50. We'll
give more details of CATLOADER
and our other software in future
issues of OUTLET.

  - Brian

From John Nicholls, Birmingham

Dear all at Chezron,

Outlet!! OUTLET!! Cor!

Firstly, the damned tape kept
getting stuck. OK, I know I
supplied the cartridge, but it
was one that had been LOADed but
a few times, and was one of the
sweetest running ones that I
possess. However, it seems to be
running OK now.

Your section "LOOKOUT" will not
LOAD at all, and LOADing other
sections frequently resulted in
the error report "FILE NOT

Am returning the cartridge in
the hope that you can do
something with it. (I am told
that immersion of the cartridge
in petrol and the judicious
application of a lighted match
cures all loading faults.)

The letters section was
nauseating!! I understand your
need to invent letters for the
first issue, but did we have to
suffer such a load of trash?

The lecture on mankinds' pursuit
of pleasure produced no earth
shattering revelations. It was,
in fact, nothing but a
continuously repeated statement
of the very obvious. In short,
it was a complete waste of tape!

I refuse to admit that I enjoyed
reading it in case Brian is thus
encouraged to take up philosophy
instead of sticking to his

I do hope you appreciate my
words of encouragement!!

However, being ever the
optimist, I can look upon the
bright side. When a publication
is this bad, it can surely only
get better!! And I doubt if you
could produce another one as bad
even if you tried.

I did appreciate the "AUTOCHARS"
prog.That was very good,and is a
useful utility to have standing
by to use in ones' own progs.

No doubt the animation prog was
good, too, but I haven't looked
at that well enough to make any
sense out of it yet.

The game of MATCHTAKES was
certainly good, and I enjoyed a
couple of games. But not being a
gamester, I have to hope that in
future issues you will not
devote too much of the valuable
100K (approx) to games, though I
agree that you have to try to
cater for a wide range of

I am enclosing my cheque for the
sum of `25.00 for the next 12
issues. After all, as OUTLET is
by CHEZRON, I have no doubt that
future issues WILL be good.

In fact, had the name of BRIAN
CAVERS been mentioned in your
first communication, you would
have had my cheque without my
even sending for a trial issue.

Re your request for information
on discs. The best I have found
for 3.5" disks.

       Athene Consultants,      
       33 Holly Grove,          
       Hants. PO16 7UP

   Qty       DS/DD      SS/DD

   10        `11.95     `10.95

Special prices for quantities:-

   Qty       DS/DD      SS/DD

    50       `51.75     `48.88  
   100      `100.05     `94.30  
   150      `146.63    `138.00  
   300      `267.38    `250.13

All disks are supplied with
labels. All disks are supplied
with a lifetime guarantee, plus
a seven day money back

Disk Manufacturer:- WABASH.

All prices include VAT and

For Express Same Day Despatch,
add `1.00 per 10 disks. (First
Class Postage).

That is the best I know of,
especially when disk quality and
efficiency of service are also

And now, as CHEZRON sounds like
a good shoulder to cry on, I'm
about to relate my current moan.

A short while ago I sent off to
Cut Price Software Ltd., for the
package "LASER GENIUS". The
price was in the region of
`12-`13 or so.

In due course, my "LASER GENIUS"
arrived, but on LOADing the
first of the two tapes, I got
nowhere at all. Further
investigation revealed that tape
No. One was, in fact, a

mislabelled copy of tape Two.

I wrote back to Cut Price
Software, enclosing the tape and
asking them to replace it with a
correct one.

After the usual wait that one
experiences with most software
houses, CPS wrote back to me,
returning the faulty tape. They
regretted they could not
exchange the tape as they had no
further copies of "LASER GENIUS"
in stock. (Huh!!)

They requested me to send the
tape to OCEAN, who would
exchange it without further ado.

This I did, but no tape came

back from OCEAN, not even my
faulty one. I have sent two
further letters to OCEAN, and
had neither reply or
acknowledgement. I have since
learned that OCEAN have gone out
of business.

(I wonder what happens to mail
addressed to a company which has
ceased trading? Is it just
destroyed? Does someone read it,
have a laugh and then throw it
away? I'll bet that had I been
sending a cheque for some
reason, there would have been
someone there to cash it, but
not to send any goods out!!)

So now I have a "LASER GENIUS"
manual, tape No. Two of the

package, and nothing else.
Without the faulty tape, I
cannot even return the package
to CPS for a refund.

I wonder if someone, somewhere,
would be willing to let me have
a copy of TAPE ONE of "LASER


I was sorry to hear that OCEAN
had gone out of business. They
produced some good programs. I
wonder if they became victims of
the piracy which is not only
rampant, but is actively
supported by people who would
never dream of walking into a
shop and stealing a cassette,

even though piracy is
essentially just the same thing.


Does anyone provide a utility
which gives 48 characters per
line on the screen?

I know Tasword do "TASWIDE",
which gives 64 chrs., the same
as in "TASWORD", but I find the
print a little on the small side
for general use, while the
SINCLAIR 32 chrs is too big for
some purposes..

I do have a program, keyed in
from some magazine or other,
which gives 48 chrs per line,
but it is rather cumbersome to

use, as the text has to be
constantly put into strings.

I haven't the slightest idea of
how "AUTOCHARS" was
constructed,but I wonder if a 48
chr font could be created in a
one or two line program in a
similar way? It would be ideal
to MERGE into ones' own program,
without the need to load
separate code.

I, for one, would be willing to
pay a few pounds for such a
utility. I'd be even happier to
see something along those lines
given away free with "OUTLET".
(Or with corn flakes, for that

NEXT MOAN (or comment)

I think it's rather a pity that
most software houses which
produce utility programs, take
it for granted that their
customers have some degree of
common sense. Many excellent
utilities are produced which
seem absolutely simple to use by
the writers, and they frequently
produce stunning examples to
demonstrate what can be done
with their masterpiece.

No doubt well experienced
programmers seize upon their
work with little shrieks of joy,
and immediately set to to
produce work of equal, or even

superior excellence.

But what of the poor old thicko
who two months later is still
trying to fathom out how to
produce a passable result from
the prog?

It would be nice if that thicko
had the option, for a few extra
quid, of sending for a more
detailed instruction tape or
cartridge which would take him
in gentle stages, and in words
not exceeding two syllables,
from first loading the program
to actually getting some of his
own work, via examples, onto
screen and into a SAVEable

I don't wish to name any
specific software house, but I
do have one program which has
fascinated me, but from which I
have so far failed to produced
anything. You may possibly have
heard of it. The prog is named


I seem to have almost come to
the end of my current moans. I
think I could be getting my
moneysworth from CHEZRON just by
having someone that I can moan
to, (or at), even if nothing can
be done to remove the cause of
those moans.

On your order form, you have a
box for people to tick who are
enclosing contributions or
letters for publication. But you
have no box for people who are
writing in just to you.

I certainly do not intend this
letter to be for publication,
though of course you have my
full permission to do with it as
you will. Some of my comments
would hardly be good publicity,
I fear. Your best course of
action would be to do as other
software houses do, and ignore
me completely.

Bye for now. I'll be in touch
again as soon as I can find
something else to moan my head

off about.

Best of luck in your new

        Yours etc.,


        Mr J E NICHOLLS.

PS. I bet you DAREN'T publish
this letter as it is.

PSS. If you do, I bet someone
says you wrote it yourselves.

To John Nicholls from Brian

Nice one John! PSS? (Tee hee!
Shall we tell him? - No!)

Sorry about loading trouble -
you should have a new copy by
now. If anybody else gets a
loading problem - don't hesitate
- send it back and we'll replace
it. You can also get your money
back on any Chezron program,
within a reasonable time, even
if you simply don't want it! -
We don't quibble. (creep, creep)

Now I have to say that we had
trouble cramming your letter in
the dustbin, sorry! I mean in
this issue! Seriously we'd love
to have lots of such 16K letters

but are still looking at ways to
squeeze more in each issue such
as hard copy text or TWO
cartridges each issue, any other
suggestions anybody? Meanwhile
send in what you like but you've
more chance of getting published
with a shorter letter.

Incidentally, We may edit any
letter or program that comes in
for various reasons but we
don't, of course, try to alter
the substance of your

You thought our dummy letters
were nauseating? You should see
the new mag: ACE!

You ENJOYED a couple of games of
MATCHTAKES? - Careful! We can't
have too much of that sort of
thing can we?

Thanks for disc info..

Piracy? There's a SHOUTBURST
article in this issue that'll
make your hair curl!

I have got a 50 odd char a line
routine that uses LPRINT to
print to the screen but it's not
my own code so I can't put it in
OUTLET. I half-wrote something
similar... Mmmm If I can find
the time... - but don't hold
your breath! (Incidentally these
routines need more than just a
new font to work - they require

their own special PRINT routine
but it COULD be put in a REM...)

The BONABANNER instructions you
got ARE the special ones we
wrote for thickos! Seriously,
we'll try and get a v. simple
step-by-step instruction in your
OUTLET wallet. (No room here -
some thicko's sent in this b.
long letter...)

Your comment about the order
form noted - we'll think about

  - Brian

Другие статьи номера:

Outlet editorial - a new concept in electronic magazines for the Spectrum

Shoutburst 2 - no hex please, we're british.

Shoutburst - piracy: good or bad?

Autochar instruction












Wrecked Tangles

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