TRS-80 Cassette Software – The Cassette Gazette Page 13

written by Matthew Reed

The Cassette Gazette was a 1983 one issue advertising newsletter that was a joint production of Lemons Tech and KWIK Software. The Gazette described the products sold by the two companies, mixed in with operational advice and interesting facts about using cassettes with your TRS-80. It appears to have been written by Wayne Lemons, the founder of Lemons Tech. The Gazette is reproduced here page by page with permission from Wayne Lemons' family.


KWIK Cassette Operating System.
TRS-80 Model I, Level II, 4K to 48K

A machine code enhancement to BASIC that adds the high-baud KWIK taping capability, provides an improved storage format, and corrects other shortcomings of the Model I. The added KWIK commands are easy to learn, simple to use, and operate from the READY mode just like other BASIC commands. KWICOS uses about 1700 bytes for memory, but can be cut to 1150 bytes by KILLING its machine code taping features. Located in the low end of user memory, KWICOS is compatible with most SYSTEM utilities that are used for BASIC programming. For programs tapes by KWICOS, some advantages are:

  • Faster tape storage; select 1000 to 3000 baud.
  • Write, Read, Verify, Search, Test-Read, and Catalog BASIC programs, also any block of RAM (core image) as an executable machine code program.
  • Chain-load BASIC programs from tape.
  • Easy conversion; load 500 baud BASIC programs with CLOAD… the re-save with KWICOS.
  • Graphic guide for setting playback volume.
  • L O N G program names… up to 32 characters.
  • Password and/or commented titles if wanted.
  • Reveals length of BASIC program.
  • Refuses to LOAD or chain-load unless there is enough open memory for the final program.
  • Automatically ‘gaps’ between tapes programs.
  • Active BREAK key while taping… no lock-outs.
  • Stops if bad tape… no ‘garbage’ loads.
  • Built in ‘backup’ for making KWICOS copies.
  • Adjustable debounce, if needed.
  • Controllable LIST scroll-rate, TRON speed, and BASIC program execution speed.
  • Keyboard on/off control of CTR motor.


KWIK Cassette Operating System, TRS-80
Model III, Level II, 16K to 48K

KOS3 has essentially the same features as KWICOS, except that the KWIK tape transfer rate is fixed at 2200 baud, and simple commands are added to:

  • Turn the clock display on and off.
  • Set the clock (hours/minutes/seconds).
  • Set the calendar (day/month/year).
  • Set the standard cassette baud to High or Low.
  • Enable or Disable the BREAK key.
  • Initialize or alter the Input/Output routing.

KWICOS (and KOS3) is mainly a system enhancement to BASIC, and must be loaded in (booted) for the KWIK features to be available for use. The machine code save feature requires knowing the ‘start’, ‘end’, and ‘entry’ address of the memory block to be saved, and is similar to the TRSDOS “DUMP” command.

KWICOS and KOS3 are not appropriate for making copies of ‘user’ system programs that reside in low-memory, such as the EDTASM, SCRIPSIT, TBUG, LVL3, etc. For these, use KWINK or KLOAN.


High-Speed ‘SYSTEM’ Copier, TRS-80
Model I, Level II, 4K to 48K

Load in this machine code utility, feed it a standard (unprotected) 500 baud ‘SYSTEM’ program, and KWINK will make fast-loading high-baud copies. Very easy to use… just make single-key responses to simple prompting messages; no addresses or memory locations are needed. The target program can be for any location in user memory, and any number of copies can be made from one read-in.

KWINK can handle system programs up to within 800 bytes of memory size. You may choose a copy speed of from 2x to 6x, and you may make the copy an ‘autostart’ version that is up and running as soon as it loads in, without explicit execution.

The KWINKed copy is made in the high-baud KWIK format, but it starts with a short ‘gear-shifter’ that makes it a stand-alone version. KWINKed copies are loaded back in by the Level II “SYSTEM” command… no separate ‘loader’ program needed.


High-Speed ‘BASIC’ Copier, TRS-80
Model I, Level II, 4K to 48K

A machine code utility that makes stand-alone fast-loading copies of any BASIC program in the program memory. You may select 2x to 6x baud for the copy speed, and use up to six characters for the program name. A KLOADed copy is loaded back in for use by the standard “SYSTEM” command, but at high speed and as a BASIC program.

If memory protection is set (per instructions), KLOAD need be loaded in only one time, then can be called up for use whenever needed. Even without memory protection being set, KLOAD may still be loaded in at any time for immediate use.


High-Speed BASIC ‘Downloader’, TRS-80
Model I, NETWORK and/or DOS, 32K/48K

For high-speed network downloading to 16K Level II slaves… or for high-baud tape backup of BASIC programs. Compatible with Disk BASIC and Model I ‘network’; handles BASIC programs to 15+K bytes.


‘SYSTEM’ Program Copier, TRS-80
Model III, Level II, 16K to 48K

This machine code utility will copy any other standard 500 to 1500 baud SYSTEM program. Very simple to use, no addresses or memory info needed. Just feed KLOAN your system prompts, and write out copies on your own CTR, at your choice of either 500 or 1500 baud. You also have the option of making the KLOANed copy ‘auto-start’, so that it will execute immediately upon loading (load-and-go). The program to be copied may be any length up to within 500 bytes of your memory size, and can reside anywhere in user memory.

There is a hidden bonus for Radio Shack SCRIPSIT users… KLOAN will read in SCRIPSIT at 500 baud, then make 1500 baud copies. When a KLOANed copy is used, the tape saves/loads of text is also at the high 1500 baud.

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Categories: Cassette Gazette