Monday, 1 June 2020

BASIC Programming

I’ve been busy putting the finishing touches to a program I’ve been writing using the BASIC programming language. Are you of a certain age and remember trying to program in BASIC (Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)?

I’ve found an app for iOS called cbmHandBasic.

That’s the ‘what it looks like in the App Store’ image. This allows you to do a bit of BASIC programming. 

But before you try out your own programming you wanna sample my terrible programming skills and play my interpretation of Hangman, don’t you?

Assuming you said yes to that question, here’s what you need to do. 

🔸Install cbmHandBasic on your iPhone or iPad 
🔸Copy the entire contents of my BASIC program which appears below onto your clipboard.
🔸Launch cbmHandBasic
🔸On a new line type Edit “hangman.bas” and hit the Return key
🔸A new screen should appear with something like  10 PRINT “Hello World”
🔸Just ignore this and tap the screen, so the cursor is on a new line
🔸 Tap the screen a second time and the options ‘Select | Select All | Paste’ should appear
🔸Tap on ‘Paste’ and the contents of the clipboard should appear 
🔸Tap on ‘Save’ at the top of the screen and you will go back to the original screen 
🔸Now on a new line type Load “hangman.bas” and hit the Return key
🔸Finally type Run, hit the Return key and the program should run

Don’t get too excited it’s far from perfect and there’s no graphics in the program. The word you have to try and guess is chosen at random from a selection of 52 words I’ve built into the program. There’s no check made as to what your previous word was so there is a possibility that you could get the same word twice in a row. 

If you’re feeling really adventurous you could add more words, which if you know BASIC you’ll easily see where they should go within the program. The only restriction being that you can only use letters a-z, no numbers, punctuation or spaces. It doesn’t matter if you use upper or lower case as the program converts all into upper case. 

If you do add more words it is most important to make sure the last DATA line reads: DATA “end”. An error will occur if this is not the last line. 

If carrying out the above procedure to get the program any subsequent times you wish to play Hangman you just need to type Load “hangman.bas” and hit the Return key followed by Run and hitting the Return key. 

Have fun! 😊

Here’s the program 


30 CLS

50 PRINT"HANGMAN by Jeff Wright"



110 INPUT "What is your name";NAME$

130 IF NAME$="" THEN LET NAME$="Anonymous"

150 IF LEFT$(NAME$,1)=>"a" AND LEFT$(NAME$,1)=<"z" THEN GOSUB 1000


190 PRINT"Hello ";NAME$;"!"


270 DIM W$(N)

290 FOR L=1 TO N

310 READ W$(L) 


370 NEXT L

390 LET G=INT(RND(1)*N)+1


410 PRINT"Let Us Play HANGMAN"

420 PRINT"You have 10 Lives"


430 PRINT "Guess the word, it has ";LEN(W$(G));" letters"

450 LET SOFAR$=""

470 Q=LEN(W$(G)):PRINT"So far guessed: ";

490 FOR F=1 TO Q


530 NEXT F


560 LET LIVES=10


590 PRINT"Make a guess: >";


630 IF K$="" THEN GOTO 610




670 FOR F=1 TO LEN(W$(G))

690 IF K$=MID$(W$(G),F,1) THEN LET FOUND=1



730 NEXT F

750 IF FOUND=1 THEN PRINT "Well done ";NAME$;", you have guessed a correct letter!"


760 IF FOUND=0 THEN PRINT "Sorry ";NAME$;", incorrect letter, you have lost a life!"


770 PRINT"You have";LIVES;"lives remaining"

773 PRINT"So far guessed: ";SOFAR$

780 IF LIVES=0 THEN PRINT:PRINT"Sorry ";NAME$;" you have lost all your lives"

790 IF LIVES=0 THEN PRINT"The correct word was: ";W$(G)

800 IF W$(G)=SOFAR$ THEN PRINT:PRINT"Congratulations ";NAMES$;" word correctly guessed!"


860 PRINT:PRINT"Would you like to play again (Y/N)?";


880 IF K$="" THEN GOTO 870

890 IF K$="Y" THEN GOSUB 1800

892 IF K$="Y" THEN GOTO 390

900 CLS:PRINT"Thank you for playing HANGMAN by Jeff Wright"

910 PRINT"Goodbye"

920 END


1020 LET K=ASC(LEFT$(NAME$,1))

1030 LET NAME$=CHR$(K-32) + RIGHT$(NAME$,LEN(NAME$)-1)



1210 FOR M=1 TO LEN(W$(L))

1213 LET T$=""

1215 LET K=ASC(MID$(W$(L),M,1))

1220 IF K>96 AND K<123 THEN LET T$ = LEFT$(W$(L),M-1)

1230 IF K>96 AND K<123 THEN LET T$=T$+CHR$(K-32)

1240 IF K>96 AND K<123 THEN LET T$=T$+RIGHT$(W$(L),LEN(W$(L))-M)

1250 IF K>96 AND K<123 THEN LET W$(L)=T$

1260 NEXT M



1310 LET N=0

1320 READ T$

1330 IF T$<>"end" THEN LET N=N+1

1340 IF T$<>"end" THEN GO TO 1320




1510 LET K=ASC(K$)

1520 IF K>96 AND K<123 THEN LET K$=CHR$(K-32)

1530 IF K$<"A" OR K$>"Z" THEN LET K$=""



1610 ALERT 1



1640 ALERT 5



1810 CLS

1820 PRINT"HANGMAN by Jeff Wright"


2000 DATA "Responsibility","Originate","Supernova","Treadmill","Wasteland"

2010 DATA "Locomotive","Fundamental","Dragonfly","Nincompoop","Outrageous"

2020 DATA "Posture","Publication","Rocketry","Monetary","Sandpaper"

2030 DATA "respiratory","scaffolding","seasonal","solution","consequence"

2040 DATA "uncharacteristic","upholsterer","voluntary","wavelength","worrisome"

2050 DATA "zigzag","aversion","backstroke","cabbage","dictaphone"

2060 DATA "esplanade","flapjack","garrison","historical","impassioned"

2070 DATA "juggernaut","kindergarten","lowland","mechanism","newfangled"

2080 DATA "orphanage","packaging","quotient","reception","seasonable"

2090 DATA "townspeople","unification","venturesome","windscreen","xylophone"

2100 DATA "youthful","zodiac"

5000 DATA "end"

5010 REM Hangman 

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Gobi - An App of Stories Created by Yourself and Followers

My never ending quest continues as I’m always on the look out for new or different apps for my iPhone and or iPad. There’s this app I’ve just found called Gobi, which I thought might be of interest to others. I see it’s available on iOS and Android, which has got to be a plus point. 

I haven’t really tried all the functions on the Android version so what appears in this blog post refers to the iOS version, although I hope and suspect the Android version would be much the same. 

The idea of the app is to create a story then add content to said story either as snaps and/or in video form with followers of the story subsequently adding their own content. Each snap/video remains in the story for three days. As the creator of the story you are the admin of same and control the content from followers. 

If you want to have a look, my username is the usual one I use for most apps ‘JeffersOnHere’, and I’ve created a story called ‘Jeffers 001’. If you do download the app and want somewhere to add content then feel free to follow this story and post your snap and/or video to it. What I receive then goes into a pending tray, which I have to approve before it actually appears in the story. 

As I said each snap/video remains in the story for three days, so although there’s something within the story as I write this blog there’s a possibility it may be empty when you look, but please don’t let that stop you posting content, I’ll still see what you’ve sent and will add to the story.

The look of the snap/video created has a Snapchat look style about it with the capability, if so desired, of adding text, emojis and freehand drawing to same. 

As previously stated I’ve created a story called ‘Jeffers 001’. After initial registration of an account you’ll see on the main screen there’s a ‘Find Stories’ option at the top of the screen, tap on this and type in ‘Jeffers 001’.

And then tap follow against the ‘Jeffers 001’ story.

Now close this screen by tapping the X, and you return to the main menu screen. 

You should now be able to add to this story with video or a snap by tapping on the blue circle at the bottom of the screen. 

The camera screen now appears. To create a snap then tap once again on blue circle or hold down on the blue circle for a video. You can now decorate your snap/video, if so desired. 

When you’re happy with your snap or video tap on the green arrow, at bottom right of the screen, to add to a story. 

You will be prompted as to which story you wish to add to. To add to the ‘Jeffers 001’ story obviously tap on that story. 

If you wish to create a brand new story of your own tap on the create option at top right of main screen. There’s another create story option below this, which is used to create a private story for viewing by yourself only, to be honest I don’t quite understand the point in this option, and find it rather confusing, so I’d recommend ignoring said option. 

The ‘Administrate Stories’ option is an important option if you are the creator of stories as you need to visit this area to approve content from followers of your stories. 

I’m still learning about this app, but that’s what I’ve deduced so far. Unfortunately, there seems to be very little available as to how things work and what does what, it’s find out as you go along. But saying all that the app hasn’t crashed on me yet, perhaps they’re still writing the instructions!

An interesting app that deserves to go places, my only real concerns are that potential users may find it too complicated to bother with, but once you get the hang of things I believe it has potential to be fun. My other concern is I think perhaps three days for content to remain within a story is just a little short, in my opinion at least seven days should be the bare minimum. 

Do let me know if you take the plunge and make use of the app Gobi, and why not send content to that story ‘Jeffers 001’, and advise me of stories that you’ve created. 

Sunday, 11 November 2018

The War To End All Wars

That’s what they said all those years ago, if only that was true. I wish I could write that the world has been at peace since the end of that war, which we now refer to as the first world war, which ended on this day 100 years ago. 

The human race is such an appalling race of individuals that as far back as history books go there is evidence that the world has been plagued with this blight of war. It’s a sad tale of legalised murder, but there’s more to it than that, there’s the systematic torture that conflicts cause, with the injuries, the heartbreak of losing loved ones, the appalling conditions that people are left to live in that can cause the spread of disease, malnourishment and eventually an horrific death. 

To this very day we appear still not to have learnt the lesson of what war can cause. Surely we are not such a barbaric race that we enjoy war and the suffering it can cause, looking through the history of the world it does make you wonder. Under the umbrella of war I include atrocities against fellow human beings because of their religious beliefs, because of the colour of their skin, because of their ethnic background etc, etc. 

Perhaps more prominence of this day should be taken to emphasise the horrors of war, to make the youngsters of this world fully aware that war is not fun, and to cause pain, injury or any form of mental or physical discomfort to fellow human beings, for any reason, is not fashionable, is not cool and most importantly will not be tolerated. 

Peace is a flower, water it!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Snow, Dogs, Diabetes and a Very Special Birthday

Hello, rather an eventful week at JeffersHQ, and glorious Eastbourne. 

The fun and games really started on Tuesday, with the arrival of the awful weather we’ve experienced this week. Many love snow, but I have to say the only place I believe snow looks good, and the only place snow should be is on Christmas cards. 

It’s cold, it’s disrupts everything and it’s dangerous, there’s been one very tragic death, that I’m aware of, this week caused most likely by this horrendous weather. 

Benji dog had his first experience of snow on this Tuesday morning. As I opened the front door he was not sure what to think. He cautiously put one paw on the front door step, seeing this didn’t cause any unexpected pain or distress he decided to go all the way out, and was soon walking along at great pace through this strange white stuff that appeared from who knows where. 

This particular Tuesday also happened to be the 13th birthday of a very special person, the one and only grand-nephew, Rio. There was a very strange coincidence with this birthday and the weather conditions, as on this very day 13 years ago, snow did fall over our glorious town. 

4.00pm on Monday 28th February 2005 I met young Rio for the first time and held him in my arms. Only 17 hours old at that point, and now 13 years old - how did that happen?

Unfortunately, Rio’s birthday fell on a school day this year so main celebrations took place during the previous weekend. But the present giving took place on his birthday, which included a device called a Nintendo Switch. 

As Rio’s mum and dad were putting Rio’s sisters to bed he and I had much fun playing with this new toy. It was like going back to the days, many years ago, of baby sitting a very young Rio, we used to have some fun in those days. 

Moving onto Wednesday in our week of cold weather, the day brought some more snow, but luckily for us not as much as the previous day, much to the disappointment of a certain niece, whom was hoping and wishing the transportation system would come to a complete standstill enabling some well deserved (her words, not mine) snow leave for her. The main feature of Wednesday was a bitter cold wind, making it a most unpleasant affair being outside. 

Here’s the nearby stream, with a thin layer of ice. 

The trip after work to Eastbourne town centre to stock up on essential supplies was a unbelievably arduous task that took much effort to complete, the wind and cold was relentless. A similar feeling when completing the Benji doggie walk later that evening. 

I’m going to bed. Pyjamas, dressing gown on, covered with two duvets, two blankets and some soothing gentle music playing, as I drift off to sleep. 

We now come to Thursday and yet another inconceivably cold day, the scene during the morning dog walk. 

The situation with the cold just gets worse. I’m sitting in the office at work, having great difficulty concentrating on what I’m doing. -3°C feels like -9°C is what it says on my phone. That wind is evil and gets in the slightest little crack or gap. My whole body just feels frozen, and that’s sitting in an office next to the heater turned to it’s highest setting.

The day progresses and in the afternoon I get a text message from niece Ashley to say you’ll be taking two dogs walkies tonight. Get home and I meet 4-year old Minnie. 

Dear Ashley has rescued Minnie and given her a home as her previous owner can’t look after her anymore. Minnie is the same breed as Benji, a shih tzu. A very friendly dog, came running up and greeted me with much enthusiasm, although I’d never met her before. 

Unfortunately, the rigours of the day with the insane cold prevented me from stepping outside to take Benji and our new arrival walkies. Ashley’s mum and dad took the two dogs out into that unforgiving weather. 

I soon retreated to my bed to the sounds of that wind still whistling the tune to which we were all now well and truly tired of hearing. Despite the additional bed clothes, as previous described, and the fact I went to bed fully clothed I awoke many times shivering, and having great difficulty in returning to sleep. 

Morning arrived after a night that lasted forever. Most other places in the UK are covered in snow, we in Eastbourne had very little yesterday, but we continue to suffer with the cold and bitter winds. 

The time comes to take doggies for their walk. Collars and leads all in place and myself wrapped up well, off we go on our umpteenth walk for Benji and initial walk for Minnie. 

There we are walking along, everything going well, despite the ever cold conditions. Benji stops to do that which doggies go outside to do. At this point a serious problem occurs as Minnie slips her collar and runs off. Benji has not finished what he was doing, but I have to pull him away as we have an urgent mission to catch Minnie before some tragic fate becomes her.

Luckily, she didn’t run too far and responded well when I told her to stop. The next task was to get the collar and lead back on, no easy task whilst holding on to both dogs and in the atrocious weather. This whole event made the rest of the walk a rather stressful affair, with me having to keep a close eye on Minnie, making sure we had no repeat performance of these events that could have had tragic consequences. 

Back inside, it’s agreed a new collar and lead will be purchased and off to work I go. Feels like the past few days have been like working in a fridge, a fridge set to it’s lowest setting. Every fibre of my body is feeling the cold, my legs are aching in this temperature. I’m still wearing my coat and scarf, and mittens, but although the heater is set at maximum I can not get warm. 

Time to seek help, another heater is found in a vacant office, I now have heat directed to me from two different locations, I start to warm a little. A busy morning ensues and eventually lunchtime arrives. Oh no, back out into that cold. 

I arrive home, sit on the side of my bed with the intention of testing my blood glucose level and taking insulin before I prepare and eat lunch. I look at the various medical equipment on my bed to carry out these simple yet essential tasks.

The affects of the cold over the past few days, the stressful situation with the dogs that morning and being busy at work had all taken their toll. I just could not think what to do with the items I had laid before me. My blood glucose levels had dropped too low, an unfortunate common problem diabetics suffer. 

I walk into the kitchen, were luckily my step brother sees the problem and feeds me with dextrose tablets to restore my sugar levels to a sensible level. At this point I’m soaking wet with sweat and shivering with intense cold caused by another affect of low blood glucose levels, the body temperature falling very low. 

I foolishly think I’ll be able to quickly get over this and get back to work, but that was just a pipe-dream. I eventually sorted out the sugar levels and rest in a warm room. 

Imagine my relief at the change in the temperature, lack of wind and the sun beaming it’s rays upon us on Saturday morning. 

That has been a difficult week.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Radio 1 - 50 Years of Pop Music from the BBC

During the very early hours on this day in 1967, exactly 50 years ago today, the BBC sound broadcasting services, the Home Service, the Light Programme and the Third Programme where in their death throws as it was all change at the BBC's Broadcasting House and to be radio by numbers, with the launch of four national networks instead of the current three.

Radio 4 was to be essentially the Home Service with news, current affairs, plays, documentaries, quizzes, comedy, some classical music and religious programming.

Radio 3 was to carry a similar content to the Third Programme with high brow output.

Radio 2 was to be a network carrying basically programmes formerly heard on the Light Programme together with new content, music mostly of a easy listening nature, quizzes, comedy and a daily soap.

Radio 1 was a new venture for the BBC, a pop music station. This had been brought about because it had been 'discovered' that the younger generation craved it's own pop music station. I say 'discovered' in a rather sarcastic manner as the need for a national pop station had been quite apparent for many a year, and became even more a much needed necessity following the government's outlawing of the offshore pop stations.

So Saturday 30th September 1967 and the BBC's pop station was launched, but the station had serious problems. There was very little money to spend on this new service, which caused Radio 1 to only be on air for 12 hours per day, with Radio 2 being broadcast over it's sole frequency of 247 metres Medium Wave for the rest of the day. 247 was a frequency which was the poorest for reception capability with many parts of the UK having great difficulty in receiving it's transmissions. Here in Eastbourne the listening on 247 metres came to an abrupt end each day at about 4.00pm with the trumpet call sign coming over the airwaves from Radio Tirane in Albania broadcasting with a much stronger signal and drowning out Radio 1. Looking at the Wireless World Guide to Broadcasting Stations from around this time I see Radio Tirane was broadcasting at a power of 240kW and Radio 1's local transmitter to us was in Brighton at a power of 1kW. With the South Downs hills in between Eastbourne and Brighton, you can appreciate Radio 1 was fighting a losing battle.

Another problem was the dreaded needle time restrictions, which stopped Radio 1 from filling it's programmes with records, but having to include much live music. This was not what the listeners wanted, especially after being spoilt with 24-hour a day non-stop music from the offshore stations for over 3 years.

But things over the years improved, Radio 1 eventually got it's own dedicated FM frequencies, the needle time restrictions were overhauled and transmission hours increased to 24 hours.

Of course musical tastes change over the years and Radio 1's music output has changed. I'm currently listening to a three-day pop-up station recreating those early days. If you yearn for the music output and the voices from the early years of Radio 1, such as Kenny Everett, Tony Blackburn, Johnnie Walker, Mike Read etc, etc then give Radio 1 Vintage a listen. It's on DAB and on-line from today until 2nd October.

Happy birthday Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Gudak - A New Old Camera App

I'm always on the look out for new and different apps. Apps that do things differently, or perhaps an app based on an old idea and made to work on today's modern technology. One such app that's been brought to my attention is Gudak, which is a make on Kodak, the famous camera company. 

Remember the days of popping down to the chemist to get a roll of film for your camera. This film allowed you to take 12 or possibly 24 snaps which when all taken would require you to return the film to the chemist for developing. A few days later your snaps could be collected and then for the first time be viewed as the chemist handed you the snaps on paper.

Some snaps you thought would come out to be a masterpiece disappoint as the intended subject was too far away or the lighting conditions were too dark or too light. It was certainly a skill in those days to get your photo just right, there was no previewing the photo and seeing it wasn't quite right and taking it again, as you didn't see the photo until sometimes weeks or even months after it was taken.

Don't you just long to take a trip down memory lane and sample, this, what may seem an archaic method of photography. Well, Gudak allows just this, from the small viewfinder, so you can't see a massive sample of what you're going to snap, to the fact you can't view any of your snaps until of have taken all 24 photos, and even then not until you've had them deleloped. Remember I told you about having to wait a few days whilst your photos were being developed, well even that 'feature' is provided, as on taking your 24th snap you hit the develop button and have to wait 3 days before being able to view your snaps.

On taking each picture you hear the sound of your camera supposedly rolling the next part of the film in place to take the next snap. Wouldn't it be fun if this 'rolling the film on' could be a manual process, so introducing the possibity of accidentally forgetting to 'roll on' and having a double exposure on your snap. Have you not done that before with your old style camera.

I can't tell what the photos I've taken are like, as I've only taken 5 photos so far of my film.


I wrote the above a few weeks ago, three days ago I took my 24th snap and took my virtual film down to the virtual chemist for developing. I've just been down the virtual chemist, paid my virtual 12 shillings and sixpence, and am ready to view the snaps.


First image, a banana

Second image, a selfie. Scrictly speaking selfies are not permitted, or perhaps I should say they haven't really been invented. As in the tradition of old style cameras Gudak only has a camera at the front, so to take this photograph I had to turn the camera around before hitting the snap button

The stapler used at my work place

A very welcome mug of coffee after arriving home following a hard days work

The world famous Benji dog, on his settee

A better photo of Benji dog

A beautiful tree taken during a Benji dog walking session

One of the lions that protects our house

A hanging plant thing (made of plastic) that hangs by our front door, not too far from the lion

All distinguished front gardens have a cement mixer placed by the wheelie bins, somehow we managed to have one as well

Flowers in our kitchen, changed every other week. Lovely display

A white rose, that sits on the dining table

Another photo of dear Benji dog, think he's been shopping with all those carrier bags around him

"Me Shopping", said Benji. "I've got more important things to do"

"Like chasing after this spider"

Benji has removed spider from the premises and is now waiting for his dinner

Oh dear, the lighting conditions where not right for this photograph

At work, this is the laptop assigned to do all the administrative work

One of my many tasks is to ensure we keep a sufficient stock of kitchen rolls

Really no idea, who this doggie is

Greatest rock band ever, with a few guest artists. All playing in a concert outside young nephew's house

An early morning photograph during a Benji dog walk. I call this road, the road of many trees, for obvious reasons

A letter box, flowers in bloom and many beautiful trees in that road of many trees

Final photo in this batch of 24. This is one of Benji dog's favourite toys

I guess you're either going to love or hate this app. Perhaps those of us that remember the days of purchasing a film, taking snaps with all the various restrictions I've already detailed, then having to wait to have film developed before seeing the snaps, will be most attracted. The generation that has never seen a camera that requires a film to be placed within will quite probably dismiss the app as total nonsense.

My opinion, it's quite a clever little app, not sure if I'll take the time to take another 24 snaps, if I do it will be over a very long period of time. The first camera I ever had produced black and white photographs, I wonder whether the photos Gudak produces should be only black and white.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Jeff's Cherry and Almond Rock Buns - Take 2

I know I've done this recepie before, but thought it would be a good idea to revisit this, and provide a slightly revised recepie that now also includes coconut in the ingredients. 

This morning I started to prepare for making the Cherry and Almond Rock Buns that I make about every 6 or so weeks which adds something a bit different to add to my diet, which being a diabetic I have to watch fairly carefully. Each one of these Rock Buns is approximately equal to a piece of fruit, such as a banana, orange or apple. Whilst making preperations I thought I'd attempt to document the proceedings on Snapchat, something I think perhaps I succeeded to do quite successfully. 

Before displaying the rest of the Snapchat photos, here for you recepie purists is a list of the ingredients:

8oz Self-Raising Flour
8oz Wholemeal Self-Raising Flour
8oz Low Fat Spread
4oz Caster Sugar
4oz Desiccated Coconut
2 Beaten Eggs
4-5 Tablespoons of Skimmed or Semi-Skimmed Milk 
3.5oz Finely Chopped Glace Cherries
3.5oz Flaked Almonds 
Few Drops of Almond Essence to your taste

And the method, that's in the Snapchat Story, that follows:

Hope you enjoyed reading and viewing the above and happy baking.