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Review: S.E.C.S. (Rainbow 1981-09)

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Home / Publications / Rainbow / Rainbow 1981 / Rainbow 1981-09 - Review: S.E.C.S. (Rainbow 1981-09)

Do you need SEX...oops, we mean S.E.C.S., the Screen Edit Control System from DATASOFT?

S.E.C.S. is really three programs in one, and, although only one of these will work on a 4K system, it’s probably those of you who have 4K machines who need SEX (there we go again!) the most. That is because S.E.C.S. will provide you with an editor, which isn't available unless you have Extended Color Basic which you can't have if you don't have 16K, which...means you need S.E.C.S.

For anyone who has spent hours and hours retyping lines because there is no editor available to make that little correction at the end of a long lines, S.E.C.S. from MICROSOFT ($29.95, 19519 Business Center Dr., Northridge, CA, 91324) is a big bonus.

Because the editor is screen-based, you don't have to learn a lot of different commands, and the S.E.C.S. editor will do things a lot of other editors won't -- such as combine lines, relocate lines and the like. This gives a whole new dimension to editing in addition to the familiar adding, deleting or changing elements within lines, which S.E.C.S. also supports.

Moreover, the editing it simple. You use the right and left arrow keys to insert or delete spaces and the break key to define a line. When you are through, you simply ENTER the line and the edit is complete.

Don't make the mistake of thinking S.E.C.S. is only for 4K systems. It’s a good editor for those with more memory as well.

If you have more than 4K, you can use the other two programs that are a part of the S.E.C.S. tape. One of them gives you access to high-res graphics without Extended Color Basic, the other allows you to generate a custom character set on the graphics screen.

The graphics generator wipes out your Extended Basic, but gives you back the high-res capabilities. If you doubt this is powerful, just take a look at the logo by Steve Bjork. It will give you a taste of what CAN be done in high-res graphics.

The graphics program allows you to plot lines on the screen, select background and line colors and use medium-high or full-high res modes. The syntax is easy to follow and learn.

The graphics are especially good with the character generator, which is really a good program. Using the generator, you are given a character set, and the ability to modify it at will. This is done by your selection of the letter or symbol for modification and pressing ENTER.

A matrix will appear in the upper right corner of the screen, with the cells that have been "set" colored in. There is a tiny cursor which you move through the matrix by pressing the arrow keys. When you come to a cell you want to change (either from "on" to "off" or from "off" to "on"), all you do is press the space bar. Once you have designed the character. Just press ENTER again, and the matrix disappears and your character is set.

Because the individual characters are capable of being run together, you can create large-size letters and symbols, too. We've done a giant arrow and the Starship Enterprise with almost no trouble at all.

Each character set can be saved to tape, so that you can work on one creation and then keep it for future use. However, there does not seem to be a way for the taped character sets to be used unless S.E.C.S. is resident in the COLOR Computer.

Once a character set is established, it can be easily set up on the graphics screen. You can also use a regular BASIC program in conjunction with the graphics and character generator programs -- and you. can edit with the Screen Editor. This is a powerful capability.

We think you will find S.E.C.S. a fine utility.

Transcriber's notes: In the third paragraph says from MICROSOFT and I think it should be DATASOFT


See this article as it appeared in the magazine, page 16