Chapter 10 – Spectrum Hints and Tips (The ZX Printer)

Error-trapping of entries
Line renumbering
The ZX printer, Looking after your LLISTings.

ZX printer notes

Whilst developing a long program it can be exceptionally tedious to have to search for and compare ‘pages’ of program listing. Hardcopy via the ZX printer will help you retain your sanity! A complete LLISTing is often unnecessary — just a few lines printed for comparison with the screen page of interest with … LLIST n (for line number) and BREAK when sufficient, is printed.

Storing program listing from the ZX printer
The metalised ZX printer paper is very sensitive to finger marks and should always be handled by the edges. If you are preparing a listing for submission to a magazine, I advise you to take the precaution of washing your hands immediately before touching the surface — accidents will happen.

Two widths of ZX printer will fit side by side on an A4 sheet of paper. A minimum of 20 mm margins at the top and bottom of the page is preferable — the listing trimmed with a Stanley knife and straight edge. Be sure to cut precisely between the lines of print. Sellotape the listings, very lightly, face down on old newspaper and spray the backs with aerosol adhesive. Now carefully apply the listing to the A4 sheet using a light pressure. Get the listing photocopied for your own reference and store the original listing — unfolded of course — in a strong envelope until needed.

A cheap A4 photograph album with cellophane leaf overlays is an ideal place for storing short programs, routines and graphic printouts. This also keeps them safe from prying (and dangerous!) fingers. If you do not possess (or your household objects to the use of) picture rails to suspend long listings, then rolling listings in the discarded cores of toilet paper may suffice — the dimensions are just right to give the necessary protection.

If a long listing is sent through the postal system in rolled form it must be supported on a firm core — like the one at the centre of the ZX printer rolls.