QUESTIONS & ANSWERS by Richard Karsmakers
This time, I have a small story to accompany some questions of my
own that I had a month or so ago. I sent them to the people at
GfA Systemtechnik, at which I got the answer "Due to the
difficulty of your questions, we are not able to answer them".
There were indeed a few very simple questions in my letter as
well, like "When did you decide to write GfA Basic", "Is there a
list of known bugs for both the compiler and the interpreter",
and a small interview with the writer (Frank Ostrowski, to whom I
had addresses the letter). Apparently he didn't have time or he
just didn't want to answer my questions. I understand he must be
busy right now, but supporting the users of his program is just
as important as writing it, I think. So let me give you one hint,
dear reader: Never write to Mr. Ostrowski with more difficult
questions than "What the name of GfA Basic?"...
Well, these were my questions to Mr. Ostrowski as far as I
desperately needed answers to them. I now hope you will be able
to answer them, for which I would be eternally greatful!
How do I load a font (character set) into my program, and how do
I activate it?
How do I work with working scrollbars and other window features?
How large is the part of memory used by GEM of which the address
can be obtained by the VDIBASE command? How is this part of
memory set up?
What is the meaning of the bytes between "GfABASIC" and the first
variable names in a SAVEd GfA Basic program when looking at it
with a disk-monitor? I need this information desperately since I
am writing a book called "De ST Floppy Reference Guide" (in
Dutch) in which I'd also like to explain the layout of a GfA
Basic normally SAVEd file.
How do I make the last menu entry light?
How can I program more than one pull-down menu title in the
leftmost pull-down menu (except for the desk accesories)?
Now, some more questions (and answers)...
Is it possible to switch resolutions in a C-program without
resetting the system?
Ernst Blok, Middelharnis
I only know that it is possible in GfA Basic using the XBIOS
function 5 (setscreen). I know it must be easy to convert it to
C. The line is:
Resolution can be: 0 low
Unfortunately, working with pull-down menus and some other GEM
features will still be awkward then. I am myself looking for a
method that also allows the use of pull-down menus, etc. after
switching the resolutions.
I am looking for a routine (in C?) to make a harcopy of the
screen on a General Electric TXP-1000 printer. De built-in
scr_dump() creates a tiger-printout. Who can help me?
Ernst Blok, Middelharnis
I am looking for contacts in France, since I mainly use my
AZERTY-keyboarded ST for French word-processing (I am working at
the department of French on the free University of Amsterdam).
Leo H. Hoek, Uithoorn
I am currently working on a desk accesory in C, but after having
displayed an alert-box, this one won't disappear after the
closing of the accesory. With other words, no message is written
to the AES buffer that the desktop should be cleared (and I do
use the form_dial #3 function - first of course I used form_dial
with function #1). How do I take care that the box disappears? I
am looking for a C-source to achieve this.
Egon Lubbers, Castricum
I have had some troubles like that myself a little while ago, but
with GfA Basic; I had programmed something that used menu bars,
and on a disk-TOS ST the accesories seemed to leave a garbaged
screen behind in my own program (it was compiled). But that's not
the case when one works on a ROM-TOS ST. If you have disk-TOS,
this might be the solution, but if not I fear you'll have to
depend upon our readers to answer your questions for you!
How can a single Cumana disk drive (which can only be used as
drive B when working with two disk drives, since there is only
one plug for drive-cables on the back) be used as disk drive A
together with an SF354 as drive B?
Ruud v/d Kruisweg, Hattemerbroek
The solution is really very simple. The computer selects drive A
when it wants to access drive A, and it selects drive B to access
drive B. So you want the computer to think that drive A is B and
drive B is A. Well, this can be simply achieved by taking your
floppy-to-computer cable and take the cover off of one of the two
sides (only one side needs adapting!). All you have to do is swap
pins 5 and 6 (drive 0 and drive 1 select) - so the wire that is
originally attached to pin 5 should be tightened to pin 6 and
vice versa. Have a look at "ST Intern" or your ST's manual to
look which pins are which (although it is also specified on the
plug itself!). If all goes well it should be a green and a purple
wire that you change places with.
This method is proved to work with all drives as far as we know
(we tested it twice), and you don't even have to solder. But be
careful with the tightening-ring; it's difficult to get back on
Arjan Pot & Richard Karsmakers
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.