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Hardware: Telecom/Network
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John Gilbert
Chris Bourne


Miracle Technology has extended its line of WS modems with the WS-4000, for the 48K Spectrum. It includes all the features of the 1000-3000 models, some advanced extras and the chance to up-grade its capabilities as your comms knowledge increases.

The set-up is simple. Plug the serial interface into the back of the WS-4000 and slot the other end on to the Spectrum edge connector. Load in the Dataspectrum software and you're ready for action.

You don't need a telephone to dial your favourite database number, but you can attach one to the PSTN socket at the back of the modem to check the clarity of the line. The modem contains an autodial facility which is hardware based but software controlled. Type in the command AT followed by D (for dial) and the number of the bulletin board you want to access. Press enter and the on-line pilot at the front of the modem will light up as the number is automatically dialled.

When the modem has finished dialling the Auto Answer light will flick on. If it doesn't find a carrier signal in 30 seconds it will go off-line and return control of the comms package.

The modem offers bauds speeds of 1200/75, 75/1200, and 300/300 which are set with a three-way switch on the serial interface There are two communications modes: viewdata and teletype. Viewdata handles the static graphics of systems such as Prestel and Micronet, while teletype copes with the scrolling text of MUD.

The WS-4000 is one of the few modems which can gain access to a wide variety of bulletin boards. You may find that some of the boards listed in a special leaflet which accompanies the modem require special transmission format. Those are set using a menu within the comms package itself.

You can send pre-prepared documents to the Prestel Mail- box. or similar facilities, by storing your message frame in the Spectrum.

A frame processor views and lists the screen frames you have in the Spectrum's Ram. It also calls frame files from, and saves them to, cassette.

The WS-4000 can also download telesoftware from Micronet and Prestel - a simple matter. Wait for the host to display its instructions then press Caps and Symbol Shifts followed by q.

Each frame is down-loaded and, depending upon the in- formation supplied, the program will either run automatically or be saved to cassette.

Miracle Technology's Dataspectrum comms pack and WS- 4000 modem are an unbeatable combination and the system is both flexible and powerful. The only problems are the complexity of operation and in under- standing the general functions of the modem. If you want a simple method of getting on line, the WS-4000 is not for you. If, however, you want an advanced feature modem, look no further.

The WS-4000 package costs £149.95 and is available from Miracle Technology (UK) St Peters Street, Ipswich IP1 1XB.

John Gilbert

Not Rated