File handling in Timeshare BASIC

General discussions related to the Altair 8800 Clone

File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby mail@gabrielegan.com » December 7th, 2015, 8:27 am

The manual for Timeshare BASIC seems to say that the following is statement would be good for opening a disk file to output:

10 OPEN "O", 1, "DATAOUT"

But in fact this gives a syntax error. The manual includes lots of optional settings but indicates that these are all optional. Does anyone know the simplest statement for opening a disk file in Timeshare BASIC?

Regards

Gabriel
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Re: File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby toml_12953 » December 7th, 2015, 1:44 pm

mail@gabrielegan.com wrote:The manual for Timeshare BASIC seems to say that the following is statement would be good for opening a disk file to output:

10 OPEN "O", 1, "DATAOUT"

But in fact this gives a syntax error. The manual includes lots of optional settings but indicates that these are all optional. Does anyone know the simplest statement for opening a disk file in Timeshare BASIC?

Regards

Gabriel

When you initialized BASIC, you did answer the NUMBER OF FILES? question with a number > 0 and not just press return, right?
The default is no file I/O (but one file handle is dedicated for SAVE/LOAD). I don't know if that would give you a syntax error or not
but if you were just hitting return, try entering a number > 0 and see if it helps.

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Re: File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby AltairClone » December 7th, 2015, 2:32 pm

If the OPEN statement is creating the file, then I believe the statement must specify the protection mode (N, R, or W). Try the following with N (no password protection). No quotes around the N. I'm sure this one is obvious, but the "O" in quotes after OPEN is the letter "oh," not the numeral zero.

10 OPEN "O",1,"DATAOUT";N

I'll also fire up the Clone and look into it tonight.

Mike
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Re: File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby AltairClone » December 7th, 2015, 10:21 pm

Actually, you can't do file I/O in TS BASIC ver 1.1. Programmed file I/O was not added until version 2. Unfortunately, the only version of TS BASIC I've ever found is 1.1 and the only manual version I've ever found is 2.0, hence your confusion.

About a year ago, I did find a hobbyist with TS BASIC V2.0 on an original 8" floppy, however, he didn't have a working floppy drive at the time and wasn't comfortable mailing the disk to me. I've checked in several times over the last year but haven't heard from him again.

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Re: File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby mail@gabrielegan.com » December 8th, 2015, 5:45 am

Thanks for solving this, Mike: I could have spent a long time looking for a deeper reason! I guess a clue I should have picked up on is that Timeshare BASIC doesn't in its start-up sequence ask how many file handles are wanted (as single-user Disk BASIC does). Luckily file I/O is just about the last thing I'm teaching my students and it being near the end of term they've already formed themselves into project groups. So, instead of one terminal for each of the 15 students (using five Altairs running Timeshare BASIC for three users each) we can easily switch to one terminal for each group of three students (using five Altairs running Disk BASIC for one user each).

Regards

Gabriel Egan
Minimal Computing Lab
De Montfort University
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Re: File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby toml_12953 » December 9th, 2015, 11:44 am

AltairClone wrote:About a year ago, I did find a hobbyist with TS BASIC V2.0 on an original 8" floppy, however, he didn't have a working floppy drive at the time and wasn't comfortable mailing the disk to me. I've checked in several times over the last year but haven't heard from him again.

Mike


Do you think he would be amenable to selling the diskette? I'd buy it from him and send it to you to so you could create a disk image.
If you send me his email address, I'll try to contact him or you could relay my interest to him.

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Re: File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby AltairClone » December 9th, 2015, 2:03 pm

Tom,

He hasn't been responding to emails or phone messages in quite a while. Something may be up in his life at this time. Hopefully everything will turn out OK for him.

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Re: File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby AltairClone » February 2nd, 2017, 12:03 pm

I'm bumping this thread for an important update :) With many thanks to Bill Sgambati for providing his disks to me to archive, the Altair community now has access to Timesharing BASIC 2.0! Version 2 is an important upgrade from version 1.x in that it adds programmed disk I/O as present in single user Disk BASIC. Timesharing BASIC 1.x could load and save programs from disk, but programs could not do disk I/O.

Bill also provided a real-time-clock disk for BASIC. I'll be adding more information in a readme file for that disk soon.

The new disk images are available in the BASIC folder on the support page. The Timesharing BASIC 2.0 user's manual has also been added to the Altair Manuals link on the support page.

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Re: File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby mail@gabrielegan.com » February 3rd, 2017, 12:21 pm

This is great news! I'll be trying out Timeshare BASIC version 2 this week and if it all makes sense I'll be reconfiguring my lab of Altairs to take advantage of this. Out go the old DOS laptops being used as terminal emulators (via which Altair files were being dumped to real DOS floppy disks or read from them) and in come old dumb terminals and proper file I/O.

Regards

Gabriel
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Re: File handling in Timeshare BASIC

Postby jibanes » February 3rd, 2017, 9:40 pm

How many users can use it (on the clone); 1 local and 2 remote? Could they use the disk IO to communicate between instances?
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