Professional, ROM Chip Expansion
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Review (Electron User)
ELKMAN is a sideways ROM designed for use with an external ROM expansion board such as Slogger's own ROMBOX (Not the Plus 1), and is identical to the ROMs that BBC owners have been using for years.
ELKMAN is a ROM manager so needs to have priority over all other ROMs present to operate properly. This means that it is best placed so that it appears as ROM 15 to the operating system.
Placing it in the rightmost socket on Slogger's ROMBOX achieves this. You'll have to check the manual on other systems. ELKMAN is a service ROM, which means that all its commands are available while another ROM is in use, using a * command. These commands can even be used within a Basic program.
While writing this review using View I can test each function without leaving the Word Processor.
*HELP ELKMAN reveals the ROMs 16 commands and their syntax. One of the simplest is *PROMS which lists all the ROMs present, their state and size. ROMs can be in one of three states. They are either on, off or killed. *OFFROM and *ONROM can be used to enable or disable a ROM.
If it has been disabled it will not respond to any commands and cannot be used. This is useful if two ROMs have the same name for different commands. The offending ROM taking the command can be switched off. Even though a ROM may be off, it can still reserve memory. *KILLROM is equivalent to physically removing a ROM. I found it useful for disabling the Plus 3 when playing games on tape.
*PEEK is a memory lister which can be used to display any section of memory, even sideways ROMs. The output is in hexadecimal and ASCII. *POKE will place a series of bytes or a string anywhere in memory.
ELKMAN contains a complete 6502 disassembler, which again is capable of operating on sideways ROMs. The hex address, object code, mnemonics and ASCII codes are listed.
There are several commands which operate on sideways RAM. These can clear the RAM if fitted, load it with data from memory, tape or disc, and save it to memory tape or disc.
ELKMAN is well written and simple to use. The documentation is excellent. It comes with a very smart 21-page manual which explains fitting and use in a clear and easy-to-read manner.
Even if it's the only ROM you have, you'll still find most of the utilities useful. I can recommend ELKMAN to all serious Electron users.
Roland Waddilove, ELECTRON USER 2.10