Dumper (MacGowan Consultants) Review | Dragon User - Everygamegoing

Dragon User

By MacGowan Consultants
Dragon 32

Published in Dragon User #030

Screen Dumper

Dumper is a sophisticated screen dump program from MacGowan Consultants, the company that produces Printer Control. The copy reviewed here was configured for the Epson printer, but MacGowan can supply a copy suitable for use with almost any printer, given the appropriate control codes for graphics on/off etc.

The tape contains two programs. A Basic program is first loaded in and run; this loads in the machine code screen dumper and copies it to low memory. You can then save a copy to your own tape at the default position at the top of memory, or at a different place. This is particularly useful for Dragon 64 owners, who want to use the program in 64 mode. As well as operating on the Dragon 32 and Dragon 64 (in either mode), the program is also compatible with DragonDOS. The Basic program has an option to save to disk but MacGowan has made the classic mistake of typing in the program without DOS attached, so that all you get is a Syntax error if you try to use this option. The answer is to type EDIT 300, and press ENTER, which tokenises the line correctly.

Dumper is accessed from within your own Basic programs using the USR function, with a command string similar to that used in the PLAY and DRAW commands. Various parameters can be changed, such as Margins, Density, Section of screen to be copied, number of copies etc. All of these parameters have useful default values, and can be reset by the X command.

For example, the string "SC1EC32SL1EL24" would produce a straight forward dump of the current screen (as set by the PMODE command). Screen dumps can either be horizontal or vertical, with sizes of 1, 2, 4 or 8. If this all sounds familiar then that is because the options available are almost identical to those in the Printer Control program.

The documentation supplied consisted of two sides of text explaining how to load, copy and use the program, as well as some useful information for users who want to access Dumper from within their own machine code programs.

This is certainly the most powerful machine code, stand alone, screen dump program I have seen and it only occupies 1K of RAM. However, even at £5, I can't help but feel that most users already have adequate screen dump programs for their printers - several have appeared on the pages of Dragon User. But if you have one of those printers for which nobody seems to have a screen dump, then MacGowan could be your answer!

Brian Cadge

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