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flashjazzcat

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

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I think it's going to be Monday or Tuesday for the next beta. Have wasted hours on some insidious little bugs. :( It's pretty cool pressing Start and watching the display flip between 80 and 40 columns.

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The download seems to be no longer valid. Is there another source? Or perhaps could it be downloaded to this thread?

 

thanks

M.

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The download seems to be no longer valid. Is there another source? Or perhaps could it be downloaded to this thread?

 

thanks

M.

Right-click, Save Target as works...

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40_80_Flip.wmv

 

Still a couple of small glitches, but it's nearly there! :D

That looks incredible. I finally have a printer hooked up to my 8-bit. I should provide documentation for my next project at work this way :)

 

Stephen Anderson

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I finally have a printer hooked up to my 8-bit. I should provide documentation for my next project at work this way :)

Use LW's print to disk facility in conjunction with Daisy Dot III and I'm sure you could! :)

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I finally have a printer hooked up to my 8-bit. I should provide documentation for my next project at work this way :)

Use LW's print to disk facility in conjunction with Daisy Dot III and I'm sure you could! :)

No - I was thinking that just the raw 24-pin dot matrix output will be good enough for them.

 

Stephen Anderson

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Quick update for those waiting for the beta: been coding like mad, and I now estimate it will be ready on Thursday. Will be reasonably feature-complete apart from the add-ins and multi-language stuff. I just want to test it with a few different DOSes first and make sure the extended RAM routines work.

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Looks like this version will have to be released without SDX 4.42 compatibility; hopefully I can correct this in time. I just wasted an evening wondering why the text banks are all scrambled up... back to version 4.22. Things were going so well, too! :)

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Problems with extended memory detection are plaguing the release of this beta. I've decided to handle things as follows for the time being:

 

MyDOS: The 'standard' RAMDisk banks will be avoided by LW. The MyDOS RAMdisk table is quite logically laid out and I haven't had too much difficulty decyphering it.

 

SpartaDOS 3.2: Unsupported.

 

DOS XE: Unsupported.

 

SpartaDOS X: DOS Banks and RAMDisk banks will be avoided by LW, which will occupy up to nine free banks.

 

DOS 2.5 and ALL OTHER DOS packages: The four 'standard' 130XE banks are left untouched by LW. In the final release, you'll be able to 'force' LW to use these banks if you're not using the standard DOS 2.5 RAMDisk. In any case, you can use a 64K RAMdisk with a larger memory expansion and LW will use whatever banks are unused by the RAMDisk.

 

In all cases, where more than one extended bank is available, LW will use one bank for buffers, freeing up 25K for the main text bank. If only one bank is free, the buffers will stay in main memory, giving you two 16K text banks.

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The Last Word version 3.0 Beta 1 now available from Atari8, or directly here.

 

This version still has a lot of bugs, most notably around the RAM detection routines (which are proving a bigger headache to implement across different DOS versions than I could ever have dreamed), so don't run it with a RAMdisk you don't want corrupted. This version is mainly intended to let people test the 40/80 column flip; you can do this (at the moment) with the START key. The disk menu is largely functional now, although batch and file copy operations haven't been tested much. There's still some cosmetic work to be done with regards to scrolling and screen flipping, and the keyboard handler has been totally rewritten so some keys probably won't work properly. Config files, fonts and add-ins from previous versions will NOT work with this one.

 

Although this release is rather sparse (just the executable), the finished program will include macros, help screens, documentation, add-ins, printer drivers, and a collection of superb fonts specially designed by Mr Fish.

 

Apologies for the numerous delays with this project (a combination of personal commitments and unforeseen programming problems are to blame), and I'm sorry the code is still so unfinished. The end is certainly in sight, however!

 

SDX users: you'll need at least 128K of RAM, because you MUST use an extended bank for DOS. LW now sits under the OS, so you can't use OSRAM, and USE BANKED raises MEMLO too high for use with LW.

 

I'll add more information as things come to mind...

Edited by flashjazzcat

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Yeah, hang in there. This is a great project! I just messed around with the beta a bit and love the 40-80 column switching. I also love how the program immediately recognized my ram expansion! Sure, there are some bugs to iron out, but that's to be expected. For example, on my 1200xl, the screen started blinking after switching back and forth from 40 to 80 columns. But holding the start button for a few seconds cured it. I'm really looking forward to typing some of my more straight forward text documents on this once it's finished.

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MyDos seems to have problems with 40 character screen flipping/ Start Key.

Multiple 80 to 40 screen flipping causes screen flickering.

This was noticed with and EMU, not tested on real hardware! Yet.

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MyDos seems to have problems with 40 character screen flipping/ Start Key.

Multiple 80 to 40 screen flipping causes screen flickering.

This is a known issue present with all disk operating systems. I think the display list interrupts get out of sync; should be easily fixed. I'm really interested in any problems which surface with expanded memory machines when LW puts the macro, paste and disk directory buffers in an extended bank (you can tell when this is the case when the main text buffer is upwards of 25K in size).

 

I could really use some annotated source code for the original DOS 2.5 RAMDISK.COM program. I'm unsure whether it always uses the same range of PORTB values regardless of whether there's more than 128K installed.

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Couple of things - when using the APE Warp OS (part of Steve Tucker's 32-in-1 OS) swicthing to 40 column mode causes the font to get corrupted. 80 column works fine, but 40 column displays garbage for spaces and periods. I've also got the screen flicker after swapping modes a few times.

 

I'm running a "Peterson" 320KB mod in a 130XE. Using DOS 2.5 I get 9 banks available with 17919 bytes free. When exiting to DOS it froze. It displayed a red screen with "Usage: LW [filelist]" (and a bunch more text). Pressing reset took me back to DOS. Not sure if this is intended behaviour.

 

Sparta DOS X 4.42 gave me 4 banks available with a 21759 byte buffer. I am using default memory settings (i.e., no external config.sys). Exit to DOS works fine.

 

*** EDIT ***

In the above configuration, MEM yeilds
Main:$106A,$106A
Ext:$70C8,$70C8
Use:BANKED

 

I will try additional Sparta tests later this weekend. The 40/80 column switch is very cool. I will definitely check out more of the features when I have some more time.

 

Stephen Anderson

Edited by Stephen

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Just found out about this... can't wait to try this.

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Couple of things - when using the APE Warp OS (part of Steve Tucker's 32-in-1 OS) swicthing to 40 column mode causes the font to get corrupted. 80 column works fine, but 40 column displays garbage for spaces and periods. I've also got the screen flicker after swapping modes a few times.

 

I'm running a "Peterson" 320KB mod in a 130XE. Using DOS 2.5 I get 9 banks available with 17919 bytes free. When exiting to DOS it froze. It displayed a red screen with "Usage: LW [filelist]" (and a bunch more text). Pressing reset took me back to DOS. Not sure if this is intended behaviour.

Everybody will have the screen flicker until it's fixed. The 40 column display will fail if the OS doesn't have a system font in ROM pointed to by KEYDEF at $79. I don't really have room to build the system font into the executable, so some additional info on Warp OS would be useful in this respect. It sounds like you just have corruption of certain characters, though, so more investigation is needed here.

 

The DOS 2.5 behaviour is definitely NOT intended: I'm aware that LW seems to be wiping out the RAMdisk contents, but you don't say whether or not you're running a RAM disk. I assume you are. This would certainly explain the Exit to DOS problem. Clearly the main buffer shouldn't be only 17K when there's extended RAM: that will also be fixed shortly.

 

It looks like all the problems are centered around banked memory and 40/80 column switching, which is more or less as expected. There are lots of other things still broke, though. :ponder:

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Well, the editor I've been in contact with has given me until the end of September to finish my manuscript. I'd just like to let you know, flashjazzcat, that I'll be using The Last Word to write this book.

 

Thank you for giving us all this most righteous Atari program!!!

Edited by dwhyte

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Couple of things - when using the APE Warp OS (part of Steve Tucker's 32-in-1 OS) swicthing to 40 column mode causes the font to get corrupted. 80 column works fine, but 40 column displays garbage for spaces and periods. I've also got the screen flicker after swapping modes a few times.

 

I'm running a "Peterson" 320KB mod in a 130XE. Using DOS 2.5 I get 9 banks available with 17919 bytes free. When exiting to DOS it froze. It displayed a red screen with "Usage: LW [filelist]" (and a bunch more text). Pressing reset took me back to DOS. Not sure if this is intended behaviour.

Everybody will have the screen flicker until it's fixed. The 40 column display will fail if the OS doesn't have a system font in ROM pointed to by KEYDEF at $79. I don't really have room to build the system font into the executable, so some additional info on Warp OS would be useful in this respect. It sounds like you just have corruption of certain characters, though, so more investigation is needed here.

 

The DOS 2.5 behaviour is definitely NOT intended: I'm aware that LW seems to be wiping out the RAMdisk contents, but you don't say whether or not you're running a RAM disk. I assume you are. This would certainly explain the Exit to DOS problem. Clearly the main buffer shouldn't be only 17K when there's extended RAM: that will also be fixed shortly.

 

It looks like all the problems are centered around banked memory and 40/80 column switching, which is more or less as expected. There are lots of other things still broke, though. :ponder:

Hmm - I didn't notice it was wiping out the RAMdisk until you mentioned it. That would explain it hanging when trying to reload DUP.SYS. I removed the RAMDISK.COM handler, but I still only get 17919 bytes free when under DOS 2.5. I can try testing a bunch of other DOSes and will break out my stock PAL 130XE this weekend if you need additional information.

 

Stephen Anderson

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Well, the editor I've been in contact with has given me until the end of September to finish my manuscript. I'd just like to let you know, flashjazzcat, that I'll be using The Last Word to write this book.

 

Thank you for giving us all this most righteous Atari program!!!

That's fantastic! It's my absolute pleasure to provide a program that people like well enough to use on a regular basis. This is the kind of thing that keeps me going...

 

Hmm - I didn't notice it was wiping out the RAMdisk until you mentioned it. That would explain it hanging when trying to reload DUP.SYS. I removed the RAMDISK.COM handler, but I still only get 17919 bytes free when under DOS 2.5. I can try testing a bunch of other DOSes and will break out my stock PAL 130XE this weekend if you need additional information.

It should be impossible to have the small main text buffer AND use extended banks... something's seriously wrong (sighs!)... I do need to do a lot more testing with these older DOSes. Extra information would be VERY gratefully received, thank you. :)

Edited by flashjazzcat

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