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flashjazzcat

The Last Word - A New Word Processor for the XL/XE! (now NTSC-compatible)

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My 80 column system owes a lot to the excellent ACE-80....

Thanks! I'm glad to contribute a little bit to the fine job you're doing. Back in the day I modified Letter Perfect to work with ACE-80 but it was not optimal. What you're doing should be the final word (pun intended).

Edited by ClausB

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I'm happy with the memory detection routines, the scrolling is now working beautifully apart from a couple of minor glitches... you will like the disk menu, which now displays 80 filenames in a four-column scrolling list. The cursor co-ordinates on the status line now refer to the line number in the document rather than the row number on the screen (useful for those who want to use LW as a program text editor: set the display to 200 columns and you'll have line numbers on a horizontally scrolling 80 column display - like XEDIT but in 80 columns; I'll carry the line number feature over to the 40 column version as well as it's pretty handy). Print preview will now be displayed on the normal 80x20 window in the usual scrolling format, but will be faster. There'll be the option to have a 16K main text bank with the paste and macro buffers between MEMLO and $3FFF, or paste and macro buffers sharing an entire extended bank between them, leaving more than 25K for the main text bank, plus up to nine extended 16K text banks. :)

 

I'm wondering what to call it... LW80? A new splash screen would be nice, too.

 

Anyway, I'm working hard to get something ready by Friday. :D

Edited by flashjazzcat

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You ought to consider setting up a paypal donation page. I always feel better using stuff that someone really worked hard on if I have a chance at least to offer some small token. It's important for the community. I plan on using the hell out of this fine software.

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You ought to consider setting up a paypal donation page. I always feel better using stuff that someone really worked hard on if I have a chance at least to offer some small token. It's important for the community.

I've been thinking the same thing myself. I'm sure I could have sold The Last Word back in the day but by the time I wrote it in 1999 I realized it had to be regarded as a labour of love. Nevertheless, donations would certainly encourage me to keep going, and would help with hardware acquisition (I've just ordered an SIO2SD :)).

 

I plan on using the hell out of this fine software.

Good! That's what it's for and the best motivation for me to keep going is the fact that people are interested and want to use the program.

Edited by flashjazzcat

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Seconded. I would be happy to donate and I certainly look forward to using the new version. I'm already using some of your Sparta utils daily :)

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It also would be nice to buy this program in a beautiful box like Yoomp! or Hobgoblin.

Perhaps GR8 Software could do the packaging.

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It also would be nice to buy this program in a beautiful box like Yoomp! or Hobgoblin.

Perhaps GR8 Software could do the packaging.

I'm thinking of designing some kind of logo for the program to incorporate into the splash screen (eventually - lots to do before that happens). Is there an easy way of porting a bitmap design from, say, Photoshop to the Atari so it could be converted to a graphics 8 screen?

 

The coding's going slowly today, but the "view file" and disk utility screen is just about done. I'll take a break this evening and hopefully cover a lot more ground by Saturday. There's a bug which is knocking the document line number out of sync when scrolling upwards; that's hard to trace because the program builds a list of line lengths when scrolling down through the document which is used when scrolling back up again. Then there's the added problem of the macro buffer having to move: if it's not at a fixed location any more, binary add-ins won't work. I think the version I'll release on Saturday will be a bare-bones editor designed to check that the core code is bullet-proof. I can add the niceties later on...

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Is there an easy way of porting a bitmap design from, say, Photoshop to the Atari so it could be converted to a graphics 8 screen?

 

Yea. Just save your photoshop file as a 1-bit bmp. Then write a short conversions program in BASIC or whatever.

Edited by MrFish

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Is there an easy way of porting a bitmap design from, say, Photoshop to the Atari so it could be converted to a graphics 8 screen?

 

You can also just save it in photoshop as a jpeg and convert it with "A8JDPEG", a utility for the Atari.

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Is there an easy way of porting a bitmap design from, say, Photoshop to the Atari so it could be converted to a graphics 8 screen?

 

Yea. Just save your photoshop file as a 1-bit bmp. Then write a short conversions program in BASIC or whatever.

Thanks - I think that's the technique I'll adopt. I've looked into what bytes to skip in the BMP header, so I should have no problems.

 

I'll definitely release a beta version tomorrow. :D I'm fairly happy that the core code works, and apart from the macro buffer and paste buffer (which still need somewhere to live), most of the remaining work is cosmetic (such as altering the display list during VBLANK to avoid screen glitches, making the print preview screen white, etc). Actually I wasted best part of a day's work debugging the disk menu after changing it to be faster with the 80 column display. There are a few lingering gremlins, too, which might have more to do with the OS banking than the 80 column display, but hopefully these will be tracked down during testing. And on a positive note, the executable has actually shrunk slightly.

 

Here's a shot of the disk menu showing a folder with sixty files in it:

 

post-21964-1232133880_thumb.png

 

I think the 26K main text buffer will have to be reduced in size to make way for the macro and paste buffers: ultimately I'll add the option to house these in an extended bank, but the test version won't include this facility. I'll also add the option to display full SpartaDOS style directory listings eventually...

Edited by flashjazzcat

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Stop taunting us with screen shots !!!

 

Seriously can't wait to try this out now. :)

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You realise this means I'm not going to get anything done this afternoon don't you ;)

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I was supposed to fix the garage door opener today. Forget that! :D
You realise this means I'm not going to get anything done this afternoon don't you ;)

I've been getting a lot of hassle lately from my wife over the length of time I'm spending on the PC! :D

 

There was a nasty bug which prevented the cursor getting past the end of the screen in the original upload which I've just fixed, so please download again:

 

http://www.atari8.co.uk/downloads/LW80TEST.zip

 

Anyway, now that's fixed, a bit more information about this release (I was in a hurry uploading it at lunch time, as you can probably tell)...

 

Firstly: this version RUNS UNDER THE OS ROM, so won't work with SpartaDOS 3.x, DOS-XE, SDX using OSRAM, or any other DOS occupying $C000-$FFFF.

 

Many features are incomplete or known to be buggy.

 

Known bugs:

 

• The print routine outputs the page number at the extreme left of the line preceding a header or footer containing a page number reference.

• Tagged files on the disk menu don't show up properly.

• The status line is subject to corruption after an aborted print preview.

• The filename input routine leaves an extraneous cursor character behind after return is pressed.

• The disk menu often has screen corruption when first called up.

 

Incomplete features:

 

• The disk menu filename buffer is small and not subject to bounds checking yet. Cataloguing more than a screen full of files will likely crash the program or cause screen corruption.

• Extended memory text banks are not yet implemented (actually disabled until everything else is done).

• There is no built-in keyboard buffer; characters will be dropped unless the SDX buffer is active. LW will eventually have its own key buffer which won't buffer auto-repeat keys.

• Horizontal scrolling is not properly windowed yet (test it with SHIFT+CTRL+W and set with width to 240 characters).

• The option to store the paste buffer and file catalogues in an extended bank isn't implemented yet.

• The memory needs totally reorganizing and tidying up.

 

No doubt there will be many more problems to fix...

Edited by flashjazzcat

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Garage door fixed! I immediately booted up LW and though I've only typed a few sentences on it, I must say this is absolutely the best thing I've seen yet for the 8bit! I love the title screen. The font looks great. One interesting thing-- once the program started both the L1 and L2 lights on my 1200xl lit and stay lit. Hopefully, I'll have some time later tonight to really get into it. Again, FANTASTIC WORK!!!!

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Garage door fixed! I immediately booted up LW and though I've only typed a few sentences on it, I must say this is absolutely the best thing I've seen yet for the 8bit! I love the title screen. The font looks great. One interesting thing-- once the program started both the L1 and L2 lights on my 1200xl lit and stay lit. Hopefully, I'll have some time later tonight to really get into it. Again, FANTASTIC WORK!!!!

Great! And thanks. :) The 1200XL lights must be to do with the PORTB mask used to select the main text bank; I'll look into that. As long as you're using the hastily fixed second upload, otherwise the cursor comes to a halt after you've typed a screenful of text. :ponder: I'm glad you like the title screen. I've been trying to design a new one using a 1-bit bitmap on the PC with true-type fonts but I can't come up with anything that looks as good as the original.

 

A couple of general tips particularly relevant to speedy use of the 80 column editor: use the SHIFT+CTRL+UP and DOWN arrows to quickly move up and down the document by a screenful of text. CTRL+A moves to the start of a line, and CTRL+Z moves to the end of a line. CTRL+D opens up the disk menu, and CTRL+V opens a print preview.

 

Sorry I haven't included help screens with this version, but they'll need to be completely redesigned for the new display. Pretty much everything in the original manual still applies, though.

Edited by flashjazzcat

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The program is amazaing! I'm sitting here in front of a 15 inch screen with my 800XL connected over RF (yes I can't be bothered to unplug the kid's Playstation from the Scart socket right now) and there is perfectly readable 80 column text with zero flicker in front of me :-o

 

OK 2 small "features" not listed above that I've seen:

 

1) Print preview stayed in the window after I went back to the editor. This was with a very small amount of text in the editor window. The preview text was visible in the lower part of the window.

 

2) I need to hit reset after a quit since it leaves a screen full of "snow" behind.

 

Minor, minor things but I thought you might like some feedback since you didn't list them.

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Google Video has LW80 at 7.16mhz.

 

Just search 'Atari 7.16'

 

Forgive the video - this is a bench 1200XL with no mods.

 

LW80 is very nice!

 

Bob

 

 

Garage door fixed! I immediately booted up LW and though I've only typed a few sentences on it, I must say this is absolutely the best thing I've seen yet for the 8bit! I love the title screen. The font looks great. One interesting thing-- once the program started both the L1 and L2 lights on my 1200xl lit and stay lit. Hopefully, I'll have some time later tonight to really get into it. Again, FANTASTIC WORK!!!!

Great! And thanks. :) The 1200XL lights must be to do with the PORTB mask used to select the main text bank; I'll look into that. As long as you're using the hastily fixed second upload, otherwise the cursor comes to a halt after you've typed a screenful of text. :ponder: I'm glad you like the title screen. I've been trying to design a new one using a 1-bit bitmap on the PC with true-type fonts but I can't come up with anything that looks as good as the original.

 

A couple of general tips particularly relevant to speedy use of the 80 column editor: use the SHIFT+CTRL+UP and DOWN arrows to quickly move up and down the document by a screenful of text. CTRL+A moves to the start of a line, and CTRL+Z moves to the end of a line. CTRL+D opens up the disk menu, and CTRL+V opens a print preview.

 

Sorry I haven't included help screens with this version, but they'll need to be completely redesigned for the new display. Pretty much everything in the original manual still applies, though.

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The program is amazaing! I'm sitting here in front of a 15 inch screen with my 800XL connected over RF (yes I can't be bothered to unplug the kid's Playstation from the Scart socket right now) and there is perfectly readable 80 column text with zero flicker in front of me :-o

 

OK 2 small "features" not listed above that I've seen:

 

1) Print preview stayed in the window after I went back to the editor. This was with a very small amount of text in the editor window. The preview text was visible in the lower part of the window.

 

2) I need to hit reset after a quit since it leaves a screen full of "snow" behind.

 

Minor, minor things but I thought you might like some feedback since you didn't list them.

Thanks! The "snow" is a known issue which I forgot to list; it sometimes goes away after a couple of seconds, sometimes not. It needs fixing. The print preview problem is a new one on me. Hopefully my SIO2SD will arrive soon and I can test the program on my 130XE (the 80 column version was entirely designed under emulation).

 

This kind of feedback is exactly what I wanted. :) The original program went through a huge amount of testing and once the NTSC bug was fixed it was reasonably bullet-proof. I want this one to be the same...

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:) nice.

 

Control +L load the text file just fine. But to clear the screen after viewing and printing the text file I have to Control+CLR and then press the reset key. Also to clear the screen after a HELP+# I have to press reset to clear the screen.

Nice font very readable.

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:) nice.

 

Control +L load the text file just fine. But to clear the screen after viewing and printing the text file I have to Control+CLR and then press the reset key. Also to clear the screen after a HELP+# I have to press reset to clear the screen.

Nice font very readable.

Thanks for reporting those... they're added to the fix list. :)

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Rats. The lcd monitor at my office (where I really had hoped to use this) really screws up the characters. They get smudged to the point of being unreadable. Is there any way to change the background/text color combinations? It seems like a light background with dark text (like the menu bar) is much clearer.

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