NEW COPY CAUSES CORRUPTION
A NEW full-sized Centronics printer interface for the Spectrum has been launched by Cambridge Microelectronics Ltd. Called the Print-SP it allows the user to redirect the LPRINT and LLIST commands to the printer or to copy the screen.
As with many of the popular printer interfaces the software needed to run it is supplied on tape. That sits in the now unused printer buffer which has the advantage that it is compatible with software which uses memory above RAMTOP. It also has the disadvantage that NEW or COPY will delete it.
The software can be configured to give up to 80 characters per line and to give an automatic Line Feed (LF) after a Carriage Return (CR). The COPY routine can be configured for the Epson and Seikosha 100/250 types of printer and is called by a RAND USR call.
Also supplied on the tape is a text processor program called SPWRITE. This is a Basic program which effectively DIMs an array of up to 500 by 64 characters and then allows you to fill each element.
On the plus side the interface is inexpensive at £31.25 including cable and, due to the case design, is easily fitted to a full-sized keyboard. However, it does not have a through connector for other add-ons and there are many programs, such as Tasword II, which use the printer buffer making it incompatible. If Camel was to include software which sat above RAMTOP and dispensed with SPWRITE, which is of limited use then the interface would be a good buy. As it stands there is little to set it apart from the others on the market.
The Print-SP is available from Cambridge Microelectronics Ltd, One Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 1UY.