TI Writer

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TI Writer was a text editor using an 80 column wide screen which was windowed to show 40 characters width at a time. It was supplied on a module but also required a disk. Consequently users also required a disk controller, disk drive and expansion ram plus an RS232 controller and a printer. The program manual was very large and heavy.

Facilities (found on TI-Writer)

Full screen editing

The cursor can be moved in a number of ways, using preset tabs, word tab, block movement (24 lines at a time) and the usual cursor control keys.

Text can be deleted or inserted.

Movement of paragraphs to different places in the text. Ability to merge files, and save parts of files.

Ability to change one word in the text to another, wherever it may occur (for instance, replacing 99/4a with 99/4A).

Centering of text is possible using TI Writer, as is 'right justification', where all lines finish in the same column at the right (the normal style of a book). TI-Writer does this by inserting extra spaces between words. The result is quite effective.

Mailing list option

It is possible to write personalised circular letters (the sort which begins: Dear Mr Smith, You have been selected from the people in Acacia Avenue.....)

File compatability

The module is compatible with programs which have been LISTed to disk (eg LIST "DSK1.PROGNAME") which allows programs to be inserted into text, and also manipulated with the various editing options allowed.

TI Writer can also be used to create or edit any disk file using 'DISPLAY VARIABLE 80' format, such as the Editor/Assembler uses for machine code. You may use the TI Writer to edit data created and used in your own programs.

TI Writer can load DV80 and DF80 files. It will also load DV and DF files longer than 80 BUT only load the first 80 characters!

DV80 files from Vn2 will not load with Vn1 but there is a fix- see link.

Screen Format

The screen is changed to 40 columns, but the TI Writer page is 80 columns long. These 80 columns are displayed in three windows, covering columns 1 to 40, 20 to 60 and 40 to 80.

Although the page is 80 columns wide, by using the commands provided with the TEXT FORMATTER (one of the TI Writer programs), it is possible to print up to the maximum length your printer will allow.

Printer required

The module allows the use of any printer connected to the RS232 Card, using either the serial or parallel interfaces.

The command codes used by your printer can be inserted into your text, to allow you to switch say from normal print to italic print.

Menu Option 3: Utility

Option 3 is a LOADER for MACHINE CODE PROGRAMS in memory image format - shown as PROGRAM on disk directories. The TI Writer loader creates a unique environment, and is intended to be used for utility programs specially written for the module (none were written) but in practice you may find you can load many machine code programs with this option: if the console locks up or does strange things, it is probably because the program requires a specific part of the Editor/Assembler environment which is missing.

TI Writer Tips

TIW Editor : Unfortunately, word wrap takes a finite time, and many even moderate typists will find that it pays to check the first word at the start of the wrapped line for missing letters - our console lacks a keyboard buffer, and any keys pressed while word wrap is in progress are ignored.

TIW Formatter : You can output to disk using the FORMATTER option:— it adds a line feed to the end of every line.

TIW Formatter : Do you wish to prevent the FORM FEED at the END of printing? Make the last line of your letter etc: .PL 1 and the form feed is suppressed! NB: Do not forget to reset PL if you have another document to print!

Menu Option 1: Editor

OPTION 1. This creates a full screen editor, on which you create your text.

The screen is 80 columns wide, and is shown to you 40 columns at a time. You do not have a full single character horizontal scroll - the screen is split into three columns of 40 characters: the leftmost screen display is the first 40 columns, Then if you move the cursor to the right, you will trigger a switch to display columns 21 to 60, and finally 41 to 80.

When you select EDITOR you will note the cursor appears at the top of the screen, on what is called the COMMAND LINE.

At the top of the screen some words, with some letters in CAPITALS? For instance Edit... the capital E means that it you ENTER an E on this line you go into EDIT mode.

To return to COMMAND line, you press the keys FCTN and 9 ("BACK").

Printing a document

From the Editor Command Line:

PF for PRINT FILE enables you to print your text, and is followed by the printer name: ENTER PF, and then when prompted, ENTER printer name (eg PIO).

Default Carriage Return

TI Writer NORMALLY sends a carriage return and line feed at the end of each line, and life is much easier if you switch the internal dip switches in your printer so that your printer does not itself add an automatic carriage return and line feed at the end of each line!

If both the printer and TI Writer add a line feed, you end up with double spacing, whether you want it or no.

Printer control card software switched

The TI RS232 card contains a number of software switches, and if you use RS232 as your printer name you will certainly know all about those! However PIO users generally have little call to use them and so remain unaware!

You can instead of using just PIO, name your printer as PIO.CR or PIO.LF - if you use the Formatter, you may NEED to use PIO.LF even if PIO on its own is OK when printing from the Editor.

If you ever use a Graphics program, you will need to use PIO.CR to prevent an automatic carriage return every 80 characters- something that can make your graphics look a little untidv.

In case of difficulty with line feeds, go through all the possible printer names and use the one that is best, be it PIO.CR or PIO.LF or possibly even PIO.CR.LF

It makes life easier if you can switch the auto line feed off at the printer - consult your printer manual.

Send only ASCII 32-126 to printer

Not every printer uses the Epson control codes.

You can instruct TI Writer to print the text file but to strip out the control codes- that is to print only the "printable" characters ASCII 32 to 126 - to do this, instead of using the output device name of PIO you use C PIO - that is, a capital C followed by a space followed by the normal printer name.

Cancel print job

Cancel a print command with FCTN 4

Print part of text

PF can also be used:
To print PART of a text file by using line numbers in 
   conjunction with the printer name:
1 16 PIO will print lines 1 to 16 to PIO 
24 E PIO will print from 24 to the end to PIO

Print to Disk File for another program

To print text to a disk:

Using PF instead of SF, you do NOT save the TAB settings to disk: important if you are using TI Writer to create a file which will he used as input for another program, such as Pilot 99, C-99 etc.

Formatter Bug when using .CE

If you wish to use .CE you MUST first use .LM and set it to a value of 1 or higher.

This is probably a bug in the Formatter program, but .CE does not like it at all if you rely on the default left margin setting, and even gets confused if you try to use .LM 0.

DV80 files won't load

Some TI Writer files may not load with your version of TI Writer. European TI Writer files may not load with US/UK versions. This does not apply if the file produced on the European Version 2 was saved using PF (which strips tab data) instead of the usual SF.

In order to produce those odd European characters, printers use ASCII codes outside the usual range of Vn 1 of TI Writer, so Vn 2 was modified to accept them, and the tab info had to be modified as well. And as their tab data is outside the capabilities of Vn 1 to handle, the result is a console lock up.

If you are using the Vn 5 editor of Funnelweb that can handle the differences transparently- you won't see them.

One odd resolution to allow Vn 1 users to access Vn 2 files is to append a valid version one tab file at the end. This little program will do that:

100 REM MAKE VN 2 TI WRITER 
    FILE ACCEPTIBLE TO VN 1 
    based on an idea by     
    Peter Walker. UK. 1988. 
110 DISPLAY AT(2,2)ERASE ALL
:"INPUT NAME OF FILE TO BE":
"MODIFIED:"                 
120 DISPLAY AT(6,2):"DSK1." 
130 ACCEPT AT(6,5)SIZE(-12):
FILE$ :: FILE$="DSK"&FILE$  
140 OPEN #1:FILE$,DISPLAY,VA
RIABLE 80,APPEND            
150 A$=CHR$(128)&CHR$(134)&C
HR$(128)&CHR$(212)&RPT$(CHR$
(213),16)&CHR$(128)&CHR$(136
)                           
160 PRINT #1:A$             
170 CLOSE #1 :: PRINT "DONE"
180 END

Some Function Keys

See table below for a summary.

FCTN 0 is a toggle which enables you to display or not display the line numbers on the left side of the page - they are not printed anyway.

FCTN 2 is INSERT CHARACTER. Under normal circumstances, it opens up a line for text to be typed in. When done, remembering to end with a space! - press CTRL 2, which is REFORMAT.

FCTN 8 is INSERT LINE, and works by moving the line the cursor is on DOWN, leaving the cursor on a blank line.

CTRL 3 changes the screen colour combinations - not very many choices but better than none!

CTRL 0 (zero) toggle: WORD WRAP -. when you switch on, the cursor is a solid block, and control keys work as above. If you toggle word wrap, the cursor becomes an open box...

See PC99 article on how to key CTRL and a number with that emulator.

If you have an underline cursor you are in Control Mode, which toggles with CTRL U and enables you to type characters 0 to 31 from the keyboard..

Editor Short Cut Keys Summary

When in the Editor mode, pressing FCTN key or CTRL key and one other key at the same time will control a number of functions in TI Writer.

Users of the Funnelweb program should note that in some cases different keys were used. Users of the PC99 emulator should note some CTRL keys were not directly available, see article for help.

Note that some commands have two possible key combinations.

Editor Command: FCTN CTRL Editor Command: FCTN CTRL Editor Command: FCTN CTRL
Back tab T Ins Blank Line 8 0 Quit "
Start of line V Insert Char 2 G Reformat 2 or R
Command Escape 9 C Last Para 6 or K Right Arrow D D
Delete Char 1 F Left Arrow S S Roll Down 4 A
Delete End of Line K L Margin Release Y Roll Up 6 B
Delete Line 3 N New Page 9 or P Screen colour 3
Line No Toggle 0 New Para 8 or K Tab 7 I
Down Arrow X A Next Para 4 or J Up Arrow E E
Copy line 5 Next Window 5 Word Tab 7 or W
Home cursor L Ooops! 1 or Z Word wrap toggle 0

LF LoadFile Hint

When you type LF to load a file, the command line will show DSK and the cursor will appear to the right of the DSK for you to enter a number and the dot and a file name. DSK_

However if you wish to use the same disk as before and have the cursor appear after the dot ready for the file name, when you type LF follow it with two spaces then press enter and the cursor will be on the file name start. DSK1._


Command Line Commands

Users of Funnelweb should note that commands were extended and modified and refer to that article for amendments. RecoverEdit was removed.

The Command Line commands LF, SF and PF - a summary:

Load Files:LF (enter): DSK1.FILENAME Load entire file FILENAME
3 DSK1.FILENAME Merge filename into text after line 3
3 2 10 DSK1.FILENAME Merge lines 2 to 10 from FILENAME after line 3
3 12 DSK1.FILENAME Load lines 3 to 12 from FILENAME
Save Files: SF (enter): DSK1.FILENAME save entire file to FILENAME
3 12 DSK1.FILENAME save lines 3 to 12 to FILENAME
Print Files: PF (enter): PIO Print to parallel incl control chars
C PIO Print to parallel exclude control chars
L PIO Print to parallel, 74 chars wide plus line nos
F PIO Print to parallel fixed 80 format
3 14 PIO Print lines 3 to 14 to parallel with cont chars
DSK1.FILENAME Saves text but NOT the tab settings
Delete Files: DF (enter): DSK1.NAME Deletes file from disk
Move lines: M (enter): 2 6 12 (move lines 2 to 6 to after line 12)
2 2 12 (move line 2 to after line 12)
Copy lines: C (enter): as move but leaves original in place
Find String: FS: /string/ (will look for string in entire file)
2 32 /string/ (will look for string in lines 2 to 32)
Recover Edit: (RE) Y or N May undo last edit