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Article #70 (74 is last):
From: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.reviews
Subject: Programming Kit / utilities / shareware
Reply-To: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa700 - Michael Current)
Date: Sat Oct 10 12:39:18 1992


Reprinted from Atari Interface, Vol. 4, July 1992


Programming Kit for the 8-bit
---------------

Ellen Lentz (ACCT)

     Here's another great package from Ron Fetzer of the Ol' Hackers Atari Club
of Oceanside, New York.  The Programming Kit consists of three disks--an
improved Turbo BASIC programming language; a compiler which compiles both Atari
BASIC and Turbo BASIC programs, making them run 10-15 times faster; a tutorial
(with many examples) that teaches you how to do programming in a structured,
modular way; programming modules that can be ENTERed and used in your own
programs; and tutorials on Arrays and five different types of Sorts.  The
Programming Kit is designed for the beginning and intermediate Atari user.

A Little History
     Turbo BASIC was originally written by Frank Ostrowski from Holland and has
been around for some time.  It works only on the XL and XE computers, although
there is a version available for the 800.  Turbo BASIC is completely compatible
with Atari BASIC and runs five times faster.  In addition to the regular Atari
BASIC commands, you get 42 more commands and 22 more functions!  You have a
usable RAM of 34,021 bytes, which is 1,747 more bytes than you get with Atari
BASIC.
     Turbo BASIC has been improved by John Picken of the Garden City ACE in
British Columbia, Canada.  The Time$ function has been fixed so it runs _on
time_ and does not gain 12 minutes each hour.  To create a self-booting file,
you now can give it any name but the extender has to be .ARB (Autorun BASIC). 
The prompt changed from READY to TURBO.  This will let you know you are using
the NEW North American (NTSC) version.  For advanced users, there is a machine
language routine which allows you to vector anywhere you want with the BYE
statement.

The Kit
     All three disks, both sides, contain Turbo BASIC and are self-loading. 
Hold down the OPTION key while you are booting them up.
     The Compiler is on side A of Disk 1.  The compiler instruction screen is
now in English, written by G. Meyer of Ames, Iowa.  Also on Side A is a
self-booting program which allows you to read or print the documentation for
the Compiler and the Turbo BASIC Update.
     As an aside, there are several advantages to using a compiler.  BASIC
reads each line and converts it into machine language before it can be
executed.  If it finds a GOTO or GOSUB, it starts at the top of the program and
reads each line until it finds the line referenced.  In the compiler, each line
is converted to machine language and the appropriate references are stored.  It
saves the time of conversion and searching, thus making the program run much
faster.
     The expanded documentation for Turbo BASIC, written by Dave and Laura
Yearke of the Western N.Y. Atari Users Group, is on side B of Disk 1.  It is an
autorun file which allows you to read or print the Turbo BASIC documentation.
     Disks 2 and 3 are the products of Ron Fetzer.  Ron is a retired math and
computer teacher.  His experience in teaching is reflected in the excellent
tutorials on these two disks.  Disk 2, sides A and B, are self-loading and
present "Programming Made Easy," with details on how to write very large
programs using Turbo BASIC and structured, or modular, programming techniques. 
As progessional programmers do, you break a program down into smaller pieces,
write them and then put them together to make the program.
     You are shown how to write a block diagram and a skeleton program.  This
is what I call Top-Down, Bottom-Up programming.  You create the modules you are
going to use (Bottom), then plug them into your skeleton program (Top), by
using the PROCedure-ENDPROCedure commands.  Once you learn this technique, your
programs become easy to read, easy to take apart, and are mostly
self-documenting.
     Disk 3, side A, contains close to 40 modules and utilities you can use in
your own programs.  Side B contains instructions on how to use them.  In
addition, lines 1 to 9 on each module contain explanations of what to do and 
how to use the module.
     The modules were stored with the LIST command, so you can load them into a
word processor and change variables with the SEARCH/REPLACE command if you
wish.  (Be sure to save them out as ASCII.)  You then load them into your
program with the ENTER command.  This will replace any command(s) with the same
line number(s), so be sure you have RE-NUMbered appropriately.
     The modules do everything from DOS commands to screen printing to sorting. 
There are five different Sort modules included.  The utilities include such
things as a program to change the cursor shape, a program to give you center
positions for strings, a HEXI/DECI converter, a word counter for your text
files, and a loan program module.  All the modules are very short and easy to
understand.
     Programming Made Easy shows you step by step how to use the modules, how
to string them together to form a coherent program and how to renumber your
code.  It also shows you how to use your RAMDISK as an effective tool in
constructing a program.
     Disk 3, side B, in addition to "How to Use the Modules," contains text
files on "How To Use Arrays" and "How To Do Sorting."  These are self-loading
and can be read or printed.
     You cannot sort unless you use an array.  Since String Arrays are not
allowed in either Atari BASIC or Turbo BASIC, you are shown how to write
"Pseudo String Arrays" that act exactly like regular string arrays.  Short
programs demonstrate these techniques.
     The text file on sorting explains the Bubble Sort in great detail.  There
is also a String Bubble sort.  In the Mini Sort, the smallest element is put
first in the array until the whole array is sorted.  The Shell Sort is also
explained.  In the Relational Sort, you have two arrays that must retain their
relationship, but only one array is sorted.  This kind of sort would be used,
for instance, for a Telephone Directory where the names are sorted but the
numbers always have to stay with the names.
     Ron is to be congratulated on this excellent Programming Kit.  As you
might recall, he is also the author of the Disk Management System, reviewed
here in an earlier issue.  To obtain this three-disk package, send $7.00, with
a check made out to the club's treasurer, Ron Fetzer, to:
     Ol' Hackers AUG, Inc.
     c/o Alex Pignato
     3376 Ocean Harbor Dr.,
     Oceanside, N.Y. 11572
Keep them coming, Ron.  As long as we have programs like yours, we really can
enjoy our Happy Atari Computing. 
-- 
 Michael Current, Cleveland Free-Net 8-bit Atari SIGOp   -->>  go atari  <<--
   The Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG is the Central Atari Information Network
      Internet: currentm@carleton.edu / UUCP: ...!umn-cs!ccnfld!currentm
     BITNET: currentm%carleton.edu@{interbit} / Cleveland Free-Net: aa700





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