Wordsworth (Ian Copestake) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing

By Ian Copestake
BBC Model B

Published in A&B Computing 1.05


This is a disc-based Word-processing package for the BBC Model B, which is also available on cassette.

The package consists of a disc (or cassette), a function key strip, and a comprehensive manual. On the disc version, there is also a Help program which provides 'on-screen' information, in addition to the book.

I suggest that any one who purchases Wordsworth, reads the manual from cover-to-cover before even powering up the computer, as it is a complex and comprehensive program, which needs to be understood before the full appreciation of the package can be achieved.

The red function keys play an important role in this program, and as such all their uses are listed on the bottom two lines of the screen, while at the top, two lines tell you the 'status', displaying current line, the number of lines in store, the number of the top of the current display, and the position of the text markers.

Once entered, the program automatically turns off the caps lock so lower case letters are printed. To start typing you must press the appropriate function key and the bottom of the display shows you your current mode.

In the 'Type' mode, the options seem almost daunting, there are numerous ones from embedding in printer codes, to centralising text lines, to counting the words, to a keyboard lock, to lock the keyboard when you're away for any reason (Great if you've got young kids). It can even clear the Display and any key pressed, except the specified unlock key prints "Don't be nosey!" In this program it is very difficult to select the wrong option, as there are lots of built-in error-traps, to prevent this and one can at any time press a key to return you to the menu.

The printing option is superb. And if you've got an Epson printer, this package provides you with all the necessary options that you could want; and all directly accessible on any number of words or lines anywhere that you want; and all from embedded codes within the text! And for those without Epson, you can define *any* code you want and again call it at any time. Dare I say this but, these print optins are streets ahead of anything that Acornsoft's View gives its users. (Wash my mouth out!)

One thing i did not like about the program was the use of Mode 7. Although very, very clear, being only 40 columns across, and most printers printing at 80 characters per line, I found it very difficult to get used to getting my address in the correct place when composing a letter. Although there is a 80 column view option, the text must first be saved and then loaded into this option to view it.

This aside, it is an exceptionally good program, providing many useful features at a low cost. And even given the constraints of using the Mode 7 display, it proves to be a very powerful word-processing tool, providing an excellent quality print out with the minimum of fuss, ideal for reports although very long pieces would need to be saved as more than one document, due to the memory restrictions.

Dave Reeder

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