Fixes Year 2000 problem on BBC Microcomputer range

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A background

All the newspapers ran articles, and everyone was made aware of the potential problems when the clocks ticked over to the year 2000, but for Master 128 owners (or indeed other BBC microcomputers with suitable add on hardware) the problem is very real. Fortunately this ROM solves the problem - allowing the machine to give years more use!

The number of people discovering the year 2000 problem with the Master 128 has been increasing. All of the disc user groups, such as EUG and 8 Bit Software have had articles, but you need not worry.

So what's the problem?

The system's clock wrapped round from 31-Dec-1999 to 01-Jan-1900 at the end of the millenium. If you don't have a Master series computer, but do have some form a clock upgrade in your machine it's quite likely this too will have the problem as they often use the same clock chip: try typing *TIME at the command line.

But Doomsday extends the available date range from 1900-1999 to 1900-2299 also accounting for the fact that year 2000 is a leap year whereas 1900, 2100, 2200 aren't. Non Master 128 users can check if the ROM will work in their machine by first running the OSWordDetect program available from the software part of these pages. It's been ZIPped, so you'll need to get the tokenised BBC basic unZIPper too.

Alternatively, brief details are given on the letters page of the June 1997 Acorn User, and OSWordDetect appears on that issues' cover disc.

Doomsday utility ROM
The Doomsday ROM fixes the Y2K problem and more

Commands added

The ROM also adds the following new star commands, which improve compatibility between the machines in the BBC microcomputer series.
Machine: Command: Purpose:
BBC Micro*ROMSLists OS recognised ROMS
BBC Micro*SHOWLists function key definitions
BBC Micro*CLOSECloses all files
All*CONFIGURE TIMEZONEAllows timezone offsets (see FAQ below)
All*CONFIGURE [NO]DSTSwitches between winter and daylight saving time
All*DRIVEReissues this as *DIR for ADFS users
All*DIRWith no parameters, reports the current directory
All*LIBWith no parameters, shows the current library

Doomsday FAQs

How easy is the ROM to fit?
There are details of fitting the ROM for BBC B, BBC B+, and Master series in the printed user guide supplied.

Does the 'timezone' command only handle European timezones?
No, the timezone command is flexible enough to add offsets in steps of 15 minutes from -13:45 to +13:45 hours onto the base time, so you could take it on holiday to New Zealand with you!

What about compatibility?

Product: Compatibility:
Tube 2nd processorsFine
MOS+ by Dabbs PressNot compatible, as MOS+ stores its alarm settings over Doomsday's software
Scrabble by Leisure GeniusCan hang during complex games as its heap of guesses grows from page &C upwards and can overwrite Doomsday's software. Patch available here.
BioRhythmsThough not directly related to Doomsday, the 'BIO' program on the BBC Micro Welcome cassette can't handle dates beyond Y2K. A simple 3 line change is required, available here.

What's the current version of Doomsday and how do I upgrade?
Currently, version 1.31. Users with earlier versions can upgrade by returning their ROM along with 3 first class postage stamps and your address details in a reusable padded envelope. You'll receive the latest version by return of post.

Doomsday availability

Orders can be placed online, or alternatively sent by post.

Option: Price: Comments:
Doomsday ROM
£12.00 inc inland UK postage
£14.00 inc airmail postage
Includes printed user manual

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