Arthur S. Covert
112 Front Street
Schenectady NY 12305
I have just noticed that my last communication or edition was dated August 15, 1986, an error but not of great importance, it was really September 1, 1986. To avoid a reocurrence I have dated this September 5 although it is really only September 3. If it take me more than two day to fill a reasonable amount of space things may go to hell again datewise.
SIX LETTER GAME
Having mastered the six letter word game in a program called LATTARI 6, which overcomes the space limitations of OSS Pascal with great ingenuity, I decided that you too should benefit from my work. I transferred it to the Osborne via the Comnet Bulletin Board. Now compiled it with Turbo, there were minor changes, I had to remove several subroutines which duplicated things available in Turbo, change some file opening statements, it ook about five minutes to revise and compile to a program that played the game. With OSS it took more that twelve minutes just to compile it. But now comes the moment of truth (?). I ran it and it took nine minutes to process the first guess. It had taken about 1.8 minutes of the ATARI. If you consider these numbers you become aware that the 520 is pleastly fast and OSS is god awful slow and Turbo is a wonderful compiler. What makes it nice is that if you program by modules and check each module as it is written you have almost the same speed and freedom that you have with an interpretive program like BASIC.
I am going to do a bit more thinking about handling the dictionary.
I purchased today a new quarterly magazine for the ATARI, comes with a disk. I will now have more to say about this below, but it contained a review of OSS Pascal which I have been using and complaining about. The reviewer says he came to OSS from using Turbo in the fact he head waited until as Pascal compiler was available before buying his ATARI. In general he thinks it is quite wonderful but under a paragraph with the title Rapid Compiling he says it may be a little slow although he compiled a small program in a minute and a half (LATTARI6 takes about twelve minutes), but this may be avoided using a RAM disk. Now it happens I have a freeware one, although I saw one for sale locally for $35. He added that it will be nice if you have the 1040 ST (which has a megabyte of memory). It was only when i tried my Ramdisk that I appreciated the subtly of the latter statement. 512 is nice but 370 is available and if your ramdisk takes 270 there is only one hundred for the compile, the editor, the linker, the library, and your program to work in. I can edit LATTARI6 but not compile it or link it, I can run the compiled program from the ramdisk but this has no greater advantage except to read it in the dictionary and read it out.
It turns out that these magazines are worse than the camera magazines where you have to read between the lines to find out what’s wrong with a camera. It’s easy to understand most of their news comes as press releases from the manufacturer that they are tied to. Info World is reliable but they are only interested in IBM, clones and the Macintosh.
I enclose the beginning of what I hope will be another enlightening controversy. I was a little hurried in my response it should have read as follows. “And if you are driven to an early demise by worry over this problem, your loved ones will be faced with a serious environmental problem. There are some who favor the traditional land fill option and others who believe in the more modern incineration. It is certainly not a subject on which all agree.”
Before my visit to you I had a fling at the circle square bit using the ASCII characters for graphics. I had found it pretty uninteresting because of bad choices of parameters. After hearing of your success I tried it again and found it interesting to take the next step of using the OSS graphics. I enclose some of the results. In effect I duplicated the first and third illustration in the magazine.
OUTDOOR ART SHOW
Today the seventh was the Outdoor Art Show. It was much more revolting than usual. In the past the prizes have been circulated among a small local group of incompetents who teach art in local schools. They alternated as judges and prize winners, year in and year out. Some how this cycle has been broken and this year it was schlock. Some rather strange schlock the main prize going to an almost surreal hairy and muscular male athlete sitting with a crushed beer can in front of a classic nude female and reclining. It was hard to believe. I hope I have recorded it all on film and tape.
The musical electrical comrade has informed me that he will be moving out soon to take up residence with some friends when satisfactory accommodations. This means maybe next month or maybe next year.
Well here we are at the end again. It will be interesting to see what the printer makes of all this.