ScuzzBlog: Diaries June 2021

Entry 3rd June 2021: Post 1: Acorn A3020 - The Command Line.

Acorn A3020 - The Command Line.

For those that have used an Acorn and RISC OS you will appreciate
that unlike the Amiga the computer loads in the operating system,
plus a modest amount of applications from the ROM. Consequently
when the interface launches, even without a disk in the drive or
hard drive fitted you have the opportunity to carry out a whole
range of tasks and make good use of the computer.

What is even more beneficial is the way you can file manage and
disk manage from the 'Command Line' which can be accessed from a
one function key operation. Thing is if you didn't know where the
command line pops up then don't blink cus you may just miss it.

OK to appreciate these clever little key presses I will enlist the
use of the very splendid  Acorn A3020 running RISC OS3.1. Built in
1992 using the ARM 250 32 bit RISC CPU running at 12 MHz, this
computer has 1MB RAM and a 1 MB ROM. The red function keys were
a tilt to the BBC given that the model was a cost reduced computer
aimed at the school room.

To those key pushes. The battery has long been removed and although
there is a hard drive whirring inside, it does not work. So just
how do we get this baby running ? Simple, when switched on just hit
the DELETE key and in a few moments the computer will boot into the
OS and you will be greeted by the RISC OS3 interface.

So what if you don't have a mouse ? OK once into the system press the
F12 key and at the very base of the screen you will see a small
asterix and a flashing line prompt. This is the 'Command Line'. The
more you type in the bigger the command screen becomes. The 'asterix'
is key to the commands. To close it just press return with no command
and like magic you return to the interface. The command line lets you
undertake disk and file management even if you don't have a mouse.

Let me show you. Sadly the Amstrad isn't the most clear of monitors
and so the pictures can appear a little blurred. Sorry for that.

[ PS The sun didn't shine today. Thank goodness... whoo hoooo !! ]

Acorn A3020 - The Command Line.

Press the F12 Function Key and
up pops the Command Line.

The system is now ready to accept
disk and file commands.

Entering Format 0 and I can
format a floppy disk.

The operation is complete when the
160th track has been formatted.

'cat' shows you the disk directory structure.

Here is the disk from the interface
icon for the floppy drive.

!Edit is one of the apps on the ROM.
Clicking it puts it into the bottom
tray and then clicking that launches
the software. So type in something.

To save a file you use the middle mouse
key and then click Save or F3 and then
drag the TextFile icon to your floppy
window that you opened.

The file is now on the floppy disk.

Type in 'cat' at the prompt and you
will see 'TextFile' on the list.

OK let's rename the file to 'scuzzfile'.

Typing in 'cat' shows the renamed file.

To create a directory just type 'cdir'
and give it a name. It's that simple.

Typing 'cat' checks the directory is
there. Now we can copy 'scuzzfile'
to the new directory using this command.
copy 'scuzzfile clara.*' and like magic
we copy the file.

Renaming is equally as simple.

And there we have our copied, renamed
and new directory on floppy.

Note that the command line pane grows
ever bigger with each entry.

Next up we can run BASIC.

It is important to remember that
BASIC commands must be entered using
capital letters or nothing happens.

You can save and load using the command line.

All incredibly simple.

And now the BASIC program file appears
in the floppy disk window.

To close the command pane just press
RETURN with no command given.

1992 RISC OS 3 all on ROM and no need
to load any Kickstart or Workbench. So
easy to use and way ahead of its time.

Sadly the technology is defunct... Oh wait !!!
Isn't that an ARM chip in your mobile phone ?

I should cocoa.

PS the thing that wasn't fitted is fitted
and it lets you interact with the internet
from the rear port. I'm amazed they sold any
Amigas in the UK in 1992. Goodness me.

They also used VGA monitors and HD disks.

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Last updated 3rd June 2021

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scuzzscink 2021