There are two versions of this
program, one for the 400/ 800 and one for the XL models. The only
difference is in the program to make the Cassette Booster. Once
boosted a program can be loaded on any machine so you will have no
problem if you upgrade to an XL
Fed up with waiting fifteen minutes for
that program to load? Running short on cassette storage space? Look no
further for Cassette Booster will not only save you valuable time but
money as well.
WHAT IT DOES
The program will enable your own
programs to be saved out to tape 50% faster than normal and programs
thus saved are automatically loaded back in 50% faster. There is no
special loader program or reprogramming required once Cassette Booster
has been booted.
HOW DOES IT DO IT?
The cassette handling routine in ROM saves data out to tape at 600
baud (bits per second) but to take account of motor variations and
tape stretch etc. it can load data at different speeds, usually
between 300 and 900 baud.
The Cassette Booster inserts a new
cassette handler into memory which writes data out at about 900 baud.
This rate was chosen for two reasons. Firstly, rates in excess of 900
baud became unreliable with frequent loading errors and secondly, I
wanted to avoid the need for a separate loader program having to be
loaded prior to each program.
On loading, the computer calculates the
baud rate from speed data automatically saved out with the program and
adjusts itself accordingly to the faster rate.
HOW TO GET BOOSTED
The programs are in Basic and will run
with any size memory. The BASIC program will create a machine code
'boot' tape. Type in the version specific to your machine and, having
checked your typing with TYPO II, CSAVE a copy before running it. Now
RUN the program. There will be an introductory message and a short
wait before your computer 'beeps' twice. Place a blank cassette in the
recorder then press Record and Play on the recorder and any key on the
computer. The machine code data will be saved to tape.
When the recorder stops and the READY
prompt appears on the screen make sure that you have CSAVEd the Basic
program (just in case) and then rewind the machine code program you
have just created. You are now ready to boot in the Cassette Booster.
If you wish to use the Booster to save
your programs in future the following procedure should be followed
each time you switch on your computer. Make sure that the Cassette
Booster machine code program is in the recorder (NOT the Basic
version). Switch on the computer with the START key held down. You
will hear a single 'beep'. Press the Play key on the recorder and then
any key on the computer. The Cassette Booster will automatically load
into memory and protect itself from being erased by SYSTEM RESET etc.
(only switching off the power will remove it) and will then hand over
control to your BASIC or ASSEMBLER program.
You can now program away to your hearts
content and when you CSAVE or SAVE or LIST to the cassette, your
program will be automatically saved out faster and will henceforth
load in faster every time. It's as easy as that!
CAUTIONS AND ADVICE
The BASIC program POKEs the code for
the boot maker into page 6 of memory and the code for the cassette
handler into page 20. The USR call passes control to the boot maker
which then takes the data for the handler from page 20 and saves it
out to tape in boot format.
As page 20 is used for the data, this
BASIC program will not work with DOS installed. If you want to save it
to disk, save it before running it or the data will be corrupted.
The machine code Booster program
cannot, unfortunately, be used with DOS installed either as both use
the same memory area.
If you use English Software's ACE you
can still enjoy the benefits of the Cassette Booster by developing
your program with ACE installed as usual, saving the named program to
tape, booting in the Cassette Booster, loading your program back in
and then saving it out again at the faster speed. Interestingly, 100%
machine code programs can also be 'boosted'. If you use one of the
published back-up programs just install Cassette Booster first, then
load and run the back-up program. This results in the back-up being
saved faster, and as some of these programs normally take 10 to 15
minutes to load, the reduction to 5 to 10 minutes is a welcome
I hope that you find the program
useful. All who have used it are now busily going through their
program library and re-saving 'boosted' versions thus freeing more
tape for additional programs. Now you have no excuse for not typing in
all those long listings!
Booster for 400/800
Booster for XL/XE