ADAM Related Write-ups and Articles


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Exploring SmartBASIC Parts I-XIII by Guy Cousineau "The Exploring SmartBASIC series by Guy Cousineau is one of the finest set of articles written about SmartBASIC. The series originally appeared in The ADAM User Friendly Group (AUGF) newsletter and was very wisely brought over to NIAD..." (updated 3/10/00)

Exploring SmartBASIC: Mathematic Functions by Guy Cousineau "In several of the previous articles on SMARTBASIC, I have mentioned variable commands. Although most of them are mathematical functions, a few are not; notably FRE and USR. Variable commands are those commands which pass a parameter within brackets: eg INT(123.45). The parameter is evaluated by the function in order to determine the result..." (added 1/2/00)  

EOS Date Stamping by Alan Neeley "The ability to stamp the date on files being stored in a computer is a very useful feature. It provides the user with a method of going back and determining when a file was created or the last time it was edited. The latest versions of TDOS have this feature (besides keeping track of the DATE and TIME when the file was created, TDOS also keeps track of when it was last accessed). The ADAM's EOS also has date stamping capabilities. Most ADAM owners know little about them or how they can be made use of. This article is for those readers who want to learn more about date stamping and how it can be made use of in the EOS..." (added 9/20/00)  

Playing with Random Numbers by Guy Cousineau "I have written on several occasions about random numbers. I will probably continue to do so until such time as we have exhausted all the questions, gripes, and hacks. This expose will explain how and why RANDOM works, and help you get the most out of it..." (added 12/28/99) 

Generating Random Numbers by Bob Currie "Every time that we "run" this program, we will get exactly the same set of numbers shown above, even if we change the 1 in line 20 to a 12 or any other positive integer value. This is because RND(x) does not generate true random numbers..." (added 3/5/00)

Machine Code in SmartBASIC by Mel Ostler "And finally, one of the best reasons that one might want to learn more about the accessing of the routines of the EOS, and the setup and operation of the video chip and sound generator; is that although these things are constantly being improved, more advanced models of these programs and hardware items generally rely upon models presently being used, and are therefore, more often than not an advancement of present things, as opposed to brand new, radically different systems or devices. Thus by the learning of the things available to one in the ADAM, (a very straight forward and well planned system), one prepares himself adequately for his future programming efforts if and when he moves on to other computer systems..." (added 1/31/00)

Saving the HGR Screen by Scott Gordon, programs by Solomon Swift "The following SmartBASIC program will allow you to save an HGR screen to tape/disk/ hardrive. The program splits the screen into four files, 2,560 bytes in length each (which shows up in the directory as 3K). These four files are arranged in the following format..." (added 12/31/99)

The SmartBASIC Tutorials Chapters 1-10 by ? "Although a little rough around the edges, this 10-chapter tutorial submitted to A.N.N. several years ago is an excellent primer for those interested in learning SmartBASIC. The tutorial is ideal for the user who has little or no experience with SmartBASIC and written in a very casual demeanor..." (added 1/28/00)

Video Output Control by P.R. Dick "The following POKES can add professional appeal to your own projects and can even enhance some commercial software..." (added 1/31/00)

How to out SMART "SmartBASIC" by ? This is the first of a series of newsletters that discusses the capabilities of ADAM SmartBASIC. The first few newsletters will concentrate on the Video Display Processor. We will then continue into the SmartBASIC Interpreter and Operating System.

SmartBASIC TidBits and Hints by varous This section of the site has compiled varous articles on SmartBASIC and placed them here. Duplicate coverage by differant authors tends to be sorted together, so enjoy these short articles.

Beginning SmartBASIC I by ? Beginning with this issue, we will be studying how to program in SmartBASIC. For many of you, this series should help you to understand the fundamentals to Basic programming. We will start with the very basics, and work up in our study with each succeeding issue.

Introduction to SmartBASIC Lesson Two by Charles A. Smith You may have noticed that everything shown on the monitor screen is composed of little dots. These are called pixels and we can use these to tell ADAM how to make pictures. Here's how that is done-

Introduction to SmartBASIC Lesson Three by Charles A. Smith At this point you may want to dig out the SmartBASIC Manual that came with the ADAM. In my view it's not too well presented and is far from being a complete text on BASIC but you should be able to learn a lot from it after what you've covered here. There is really no end to the programming possibilities at your finger tips. I suggest you look at these areas-

Introduction to SmartBASIC Lesson Four by Charles A. Smith In the last lesson reference was made to some parts of the SmartBASIC Manual for study and I thought we might begin this discussion with a look at those aspects of programming: ARITHMETIC ORDER OF OPERATIONS - What does '2 plus 3 times four' mean? The answer could be 20; or it could be 14 depending on the order in which you do it. ADAM has a rule; it multiplies and divides first and then adds and subtract.

Introduction to SmartBASIC Lesson Six-Graphics by Charles A. Smith Perhaps the most interesting aspect of BASIC programming is GRAPHICS. We've talked a little about Low Resolution Graphics but I'm sure you'll find that the most satisfying way to add pictures to your programs is Hi-Res.This is the method used in Arcade games and the possibilities are almost limitless.

ADAM Graphics Workshop by Solomon M. Swift After I became familiar with a few of the BASIC commands, my first real objective was to add color to BASIC. I had located a color chart for ADAM's video chip and concluded that the standard TEXT screen color was a value of 240. I went PEEKing around in the interpreter hunting every single value of 240 and (there are 50 occurrences of that value in the Interpreter) changing It to 23 (black letters on a cyan backdrop).

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The Development of TDOS by Guy Cousineau "TDOS has a long story. This article outlines the steps which led to the development of this operating system. Although it may be of limited use to some people, it can serve to show just what you can do when you set your mind to it..." (added 2/6/00)

CP/M Stuff by AUGment "The CP/M operating system, has some good stuff that will help you overcome some of your frustrations and will also answer some questions you may want answered while working with other ADAM software..." (added 1/31/00)

TDOS, SmartKEYs and You by Bob Blair "But did you know that in addition to having the SmartKEYs type the name of a command on the screen, you can also have them automatically execute that command without you having to press the RETURN key? It's easy!" (added 2/6/00)

Getting Into CP/M by Solomon Swift "When working with any sophisticated piece of software you need to master the fundamentals first. As obviously simple as this sounds, most of us aspiring hackers too often allow ourselves to be overcome with eagerness. Admittedly, having a firm background in SmartBASIC and some experience with Z80 encoding will augment your understanding of CP/M. However, you’ll find this powerful operating system to be most useful if you “conquer” it in a logical step by step process..." (added 12/28/99)
From the October 1986 issue of Nibbles & Bits (PDF)

Advanced CP/M Parts 1-8 by Ron Collins The ADAM, just like any other computer, has a great deal of capability wrapped up in that box of electronics hardware! It can perform untold thousands of tasks far quicker than the best of us could do by hand. It can out compute Einstein, out think Newton, track your finances with a degree of accuracy far greater than any accountant and even turn on your TV set! Unfortunately, no computer knows how to do any of these tasks on it's own, you must first tell it what and how.

How To Use Library Files by Ric Stilfield What is a library file, you ask? Well, it's a collection of files that are usually related that have been put in one file with extension LBR. A lot of these files inside a library file are squeezed or crunched.

More CP/M 2 : NULU & UNCR by Stan Wong Once you get into CP/M a bit more, you'll find that there are certain utilities that are just absolutely essential! For example, have you ever noticed CP/M files that have .LBR as an extension? This means that this file is actually a library made up of one or more smaller files. By using the appropriate program, one can compress a whole mess of files into one neat library that takes up less space on a tape than all the files would separately.

Tinkering with TDOS Parts 1-9 by James Poulin I have been asked to write a series of articles to familiarize our readers with the T-DOS operating system. During the course of these articles, I will use passages directly from the T-DOS documentation files. This is done because I feel that the existing documentation explains technical matters better than I might be able to. A brief explanation of what T-DOS is is in order. T-DOS is a public domain CP/M replacement operating system written by Tony Morehen...

Creating Self-Booting Programs Using TDOS by Jack MacKenn During the past few years, various members of the Adam community have developed methods for creating self-booting CP/M programs. The purpose is to provide a convenience in allowing an Adamite to automatically start a CP/M program (Wordstar, Mex, VDE, etc.) by inserting the desired media into the A drive and pulling the reset switch. The CP/M system would be read in followed immediately by the desired program. Voila`! Like magic, Wordstar (or Mex, or VDE, etc.) would appear on your screen ready to go. For the remainder of this article, I will use MEX as the example program.


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The LOGO Notebook Parts I-XI by Ron Mitchell "The LOGO Notebook is one of the best tutorials for anyone who's had interest in SmartLOGO. Not only is Ron's style interesting and easy to read, each new command or concept is consistently backed up with engaging, well thought out examples." (updated 3/12/00)

Learning with LOGO Parts I-VI by Richard Gerlach "From out of thin air I stumbled upon this great tutorial in issues of A.N.N. and NIAD. Informative and insightful, the "Learning with LOGO" series helps give users a fresh new approach to learning the finer points of SmartLOGO..." (added 2/6/00)

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Byte - April 1984 - ADAM System Review.pdf

Coleco Adam -












ColecoVision Experience Vol. 1 No. 1.pdf by Coleco In house Mag

ColecoVision Experience Vol. 1 No. 1-Errata.jpg

ColecoVision Experience Vol. 1 No. 1.5 - Summer 1983 (early Fall ;83 Draft).pdf

ColecoVision Experience Vol. 1 No. 2.pdf by Coleco In house Mag

ColecoVision Experience Vol. 1 No. 3.pdf by Coleco In house Mag

Electronic Games - ADAM page-1.jpg

Electronic Games - ADAM page-2.jpg

Family Computing - Issue-05 1984 Jan - Coleco ADAM Hands-On.pdf

Family Computing - Issue-10 1984 Jun - Coleco Adam.pdf

K-Power - Issue-01 1984 Feb - ADAM Rising Stars.pdf

K-Power - Issue-03 1984 Apr - ADAM Hands On Review.pdf
Popular Mechanics - 1983 April.jpg

Popular Mechanics - 1984 February.jpg

Popular Science - ADAM Cover.jpg

VideoGaming Illustrated - July 1983.pdf

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Faster SmartWRITER Part I: Some Basics and Proof to the Theory by David Sands "So, what can we do with SmartWRITER to make it perform better for us? My suggestions are based on four years use of the ADAM primarily as a word processor, two of them as editor of a monthly ADAM user group newsletter that was entirely produced on the ADAM computer and it's printer. There are some ideas here that may be new to you as well as some old tricks..." (added 2/4/00)

Faster SmartWRITER Part II: A Miscellany of Techniques by David Sands "I covered some of the basics of faster SmartWRITER in the first of these columns, and now I want to deal with a miscellany of techniques for getting the job done in less time and hopefully with less aggravation. In no particular order, these ideas are some that I've used successfully and can recommend..." (added 2/4/00)

Faster SmartWRITER Part III: Other ADAM Word Processors by David Sands "SmartWRITER, dear to the hearts of so many ADAM owners, isn't the only word processing program for our favorite computer, and it may not be the best, either. There is a selection worth considering if you need something the built-in doesn't offer..." (added 2/6/00)

Beyond SmartWRITER Part I: The First Wave - Strategic Software, Inc. by David Sands "Since 90% of all computers, including ADAMs, are used for word processing, it's not surprising that the biggest selling computer programs are word processing. Our ADAM was shipped with its own word processor, the SmartWRITER, we all know and love. This article will survey three replacements for the built-in; Strategic Software's MultiWRITE, MicroWORKS and NewsMAKER..." (added 2/10/00)

Beyond SmartWRITER Part II: A Review of SpeedyWrite V2.0 by David Sands "SpeedyWrite V2.0 is an easy program to like. It may derail my series on word processors for the ADAM by being so likeable I won't want to go on to VDE266, Wordstar, or anything else..." (added 2/12/00)

Beyond SmartWRITER Part III: A Review of SpeedyWrite V2.0 (cont.) by David Sands "If you know how to use SmartWRITER, you have very little left to discover about it, and it has given you all it can. As an entry-level word processor, SW was judged better than most. But, it lacks so much that better programs, like SpeedyWrite, offer, that you owe it to yourself to investigate alternatives..." (added 2/12/00)

Beyond SmartWRITER Part IV: The VDE Story by David Sands "VDE is like the fellow who is the featured speaker at a convention: somebody always stands up to say he needs no introduction, and then proceeds to introduce himself..." (added 5/5/00)

Put It In Writing! Part I: Another Word Processing Option for ADAM by Thomas Keene "When Coleco introduced the ADAM, the major selling point was the integral word processor that was offered. At that time, this was unheard of. Even the Commodore (UGH!) had to use a separate software program to write text..." (added 2/12/00)

Put It In Writing! Part II: Capabilities Abound Throughout VDE by Thomas Keene "There are quite a few User Options, not all of which are of interest to everyone. One which I should call to your attention is the alternate video in header..." (added 2/12/00)

Getting to the End by ? When working with Smartwriter (the word processor), you can reach the end of any document quickly by using the search function to search for something that you know isn't there.

SmartWriting by ? SmartWriting will be the column to guide you through easier word processing all around. First; we are going to give you a label making process...

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Nibbles & Bits

Hacker's Delight: EOS Game Controller Input by Solomon Swift "The game controllers are read through any of the double port pairs starting at number 224. These same ports are used by the sound chip for output. Thus, it is not possible to send a value OUT to a PDL..." (added 1/3/03)


GODOS Readme by Solomon Swift "GoDOS (with GoBASIC) introduces the graphic operating system to the ADAM family computer. There are over 300 GoBASIC commands and over 600 GoDOS functions..." (added 1/13/02)  Text Version

Getting Started by Solomon Swift "Just turn the system on according to Coleco's instructions, insert the medium in any drive and pull the computer reset. Two title screens will appear as the program loads into memory. When finished, you are presented with six software options; select GoBASIC..." (added 1/13/02)

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The ADAM Survival Guide by A.N.N. The ADAM Resource is bringing the ASG to the internet! Take a peek at how the work is progressing!

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Welcome to the World of ADAM!
Chapter 2: Nostalgi-A-DAM
Chapter 3: The Creation of ADAM
Chapter 4: The "Base ADAM"
Chapter 16: ADAM Infinitum

Typing with ADAM: Using Easy-to-Learn SmartWRITER™ Word Processing by Deborah J. Miller and Deborah Q. Voosen. The original manual included with the Coleco ADAM. Take a peek at how the work is progressing!

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Powermate Q&A by Mark Gordon "Thank you for referring the questions that you've received on the Micro Innovations Powermate products. All interest is genuinely appreciated. However, before I get into detailed answers, please allow me give you a little background on the products..." (added 1/12/00)  

Powermate IDE Hard Disk Installation and Operating Instructions by Mark Gordon. The original PowerMate Instruction Manual (added 5/7/00)

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A Lesson in MIDI Parts I-V by Ron Collins "Although not a composer myself, I found the "Lesson in MIDI" series to be an intriguing set of articles that outlines the basics of how MIDI works. From the perspective of an everyday user, Ron takes you through the ropes, explaining basic concepts and terms along the way..." (2/6/00)

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The Care of the Digital Data Drive by Claude Ferland "Can anything be done to help minimize the error count? The answer is YES. Temperature control, routine maintenance and operating speed verification are the keys to attaining maximum performance from your data drives..." (added 5/4/00)

Digital Data Drive Replacing Rubber Roller by doubledown If you have a Digital Data Drive that runs a tape all the way to the end, then starts making a clunking noise, without loading a program, you should check to see if the Digital Data Drive has rubber on the pinch roller. The problem can be that the rubber outer wheel is gone but the aluminum hub is still present and spin able.

The All Important Backup by Jim Notini "Although more reliable than the cassette players used by systems older than the ADAM, the data pack is still a non-reliable way to read and write information on the ADAM. Many people have experienced all types of problems using these drives while others have used their ADAM for five or six years without the loss of one data pack or even the need to replace the original digital data drive!" (added 5/5/00)

Coleco's Disk Drive Test Software by Phil Kosowsky "The most useful disk drive software that Coleco made that the average person can use is R.I.D., which stands for Recording Interchange Diagnostics Test, and is now available in the N.I.A.D. Public Domain amongst others..." (added 4/26/00)

Keeping ADAM Running Part V by John Burns "Ever had disks that suddenly just won't work?. It can drive you crazy. This article might save you a lot of grief..." (added 2/5/00)

Keep Your ADAM Running Part VI: Databases on the ADAM by John Burns "What's a database? You hear all kinds of talk about them and you know they refer to a lot of computer stored information, but what are they really?" (added 5/7/00)

Digital Data Drive Instructions "Installation of the ADAM Digital Data Drive is quite easy and fast by following these simple instructions..." (added 3/10/00)

Tool Times with the ADAM: Printer Fan Installation by Guy Cousineau "Some time ago, I asked David Cobley (VISA) about installing a cooling fan in my printer. He graciously sent me a copy of an article from Bob Stroud (Calgary) which contained detailed instructions... I found that I had to be a bit more creative than initially anticipated, but the whole job took about two hours..." (added 2/6/00)

Print Head Whines Fix by ? Many ADAM printers exhibit a common problem, The print head moves to the right, then stops and whines, There is a simple(?) remedy for this problem

Maintaining Your Disk Drive by ? Periodic maintenance of your disk drive will insure fewer I/0 errors.

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Telecommunications: 1986 by Joe Blenkle "The world of the ADAM computer never fails to amaze me. One day the system will seem on the verge of collapse, the next, there seems to be new life breathed into it..." (added 9/16/00)



Sol Swift and the ADAM by Rich Drushel "The 'Solomon Swift debacle' was the story of a swindle which didn't start out as a swindle. Around 1986, a man calling himself Dr. Solomon Swift (not his real name, not really a Dr. either) began publishing a good, highly technical and assembler-oriented newsletter called 'Nibbles and Bits'..." (added 6/16/00)

A Silly Millimeter Longer by Pat Herrington "A full PowerPAINT workspace takes up only about 7/8 of a page in length, and if you want a full page, you can add another half-cell or so in length at the bottom of the page. But the same workspace, printed with a 24-pin printer, is almost exactly the size of the page." (added 5/7/00)

MOVE & COPY Tutorial by Pat Herrington "If you are not yet familiar with all the functions of the MOVE/COPY key, now is the time to learn! You will get infinitely more use from your YULE TOOLS and PowerPAINT when you know how to manipulate all the design elements..." (added 3/12/00)

Using ADAM and the EVE VD-MB 80 Column Unit to Access ADAMLink III+ by Robert Slopsema "Finally admitting defeat, I asked for a little help from the ADAMites on CompuServe. Terry Kayser kindheartedly left a message with the solution to the problem, which hopefully will be of help to anybody else who is a stranded with the EVE unit..." (added 1/31/00)

ADAM Makes News from the November 1984 issue of AUGment. Excepts from general media reaction to the latest Coleco software products of the day. It's fun to see USA Today write: "Tarzan [is] a highly graphic jungle hunt featuring the lord of the apes in four new adventures. Entertaining and playable." (added 1/28/00)

Separate Audio/Video Hack by Sean Kelly "This is a rather feeble attempt at describing the hack to the ColecoVision video game system to give separate audio and video outputs to the system. I am what I call an "Electronics Tinkerer" meaning I have no formal education in electronics and basically only know what I have been able to figure out by ripping apart everything I own!" (added 1/28/00)

Nostalgia! by Geoff Oltmans "I stopped by the library to find some information on the TMS 9918 VDP that's used in the ADAM and stumbled across this. I also found an informative article on how to program 68701 microcontrollers as well." (added 1/14/00)

What Makes A Good Program? by Ron Mitchell "How often have you paid good money for a piece of software that disappoints you or that you felt was overpriced? Or perhaps you've written a program or two yourself, left them for a while, and returned sometime later to find your masterpiece is not nearly as brilliant as you'd first considered it to be..." (added 1/11/00)

Ideas for a National AUG by Barry Wilson "Perhaps this should be designated as a Federation of Adam Organizations across the USA or something similar. It is NOT dissolving your local AUG, it is NOT giving up your independence, etc. I know what it is not but I don't know what it is. Actually that is part of the whole idea, some nationwide organization or loosely aligned group made up of local AUGs, etc. For such a creature to actually be national, it cannot be made up of my ideas or thoughts, etc. It must be a sharing of the ideas and thoughts of all the member AUGs..." (added 1/10/00)

A Look at the ADAMOUSE by Ron Collins "Well, I have just acquired the "pivotal point" in Adam hardware for the next few years. It's been called a lot of things by a wide range of computer distributors, but it's only now been made available to the Adam Computer owner. It's called a mouse. Such an un-assuming name isn't it? Don't worry! This one doesn't squeek, crawl under your feet or scare the daylights out of your loved ones when seen! It's just another hardware device... or is it?" (added 1/10/00)

ADAM Inn Action by Robert Jones "In the hotel I manage in Smithfield, RI, I have an ADAM hooked up to our master TV amplifier and run cable-TV style bulletin board messages to all 117 guest rooms. These messages provide information about guest services, local restaurants and more. The system is programmed in SmartLogo and runs continuously on Channel 3..." (added 12/28/99)  PDF version

A Bill Rose Conversation by Geoff Oltmans Some Coleco insider information. I actually designed much of the hardware. My code was primarily the drivers specific to my hardware design. It had to be written in assembler to operate efficiently. The hardware had some very specific requirements that few of the software team were able to fully understand to write the code. Very timing specific to handle the DMA without impacting the Z80's operation.

This Week With My Coleco Adam Computer by Rich Drushel This archive contains HTML versions of all the articles that I have written in my This Week With My Coleco ADAM series. From the first article on 22 September 1996, TWWMCA has been literally what I did with my Coleco ADAM computer in the previous week.

Large Directories by Michael Lyons With the ADAM, a disk or DDP has two limiting factors in its ability to hold information. The first is the number of blocks on the media. (256 for DDP, 160 for original disk drives) The second factor is the number of 'pigeon holes' set aside to hold file names and related information.

Get The Picture - RLE by Rich Lefko RLE is a method of transmitting encoded graphics information to your computer. It was designed as a standard, so many different types of computers can utilize them, similar to the concept of CP/M. RLE is composed of a header sequence that tells the program whether a medium resolution or a high resolution file follows, then a series of ASCII character pairs, each representing the number of pixels to be background (turned off) and foreground (turned on). The number of Pixels to be turned on...

ADAMCalc Questions by ? If you don't need those templates that come with ADAMCalc, you should delete them, as you have done, to save space (on your WORKING copy, of course... never on your master backup! Someday you may want those templates!) But, I think you forgot that, if you deleted them from ADAMCalc, it automatically made a backup of each one, just in case. The backups don't show from ADAMCalc, but they take up exactly as much space as the originals!

ANN News Network Disks reading them in Virtual ADAM by Jim Notini and Joe Blenkle The method you have used where all the formatting is lost at times. Load Virtual ADAM, browse through the directory listing on the left hand window and click in the ANN disk image you want, then in the right hand window a directory listing will appear, click on the filename...

Super Games Mod by James N. Walters All Coleco Super Games contain a file manager table. This table includes the start block, amount of blocks in the screen, and the buffer location, (where the screen is to be put in memory). I learned this from the first Technical manual that I got my hands on. The information was a little vague, but with a little trial and error I was able to locate one of the tables. The job at hand was to simply change the blocks to fit on a 160K disk.

Bypass/Disable Adam SmartWriter by Rich Drussel and Jim Notini SmartWriter ROM can be bypassed all together. Just have the system ignore the SmartWriter ROM and continue searching for a valid boot device on AdamNET. It's doable, but tricky.  An ADAM cold boot does the following:


Special Acknowledgement to: Scott Gordon
For Collecting many of these articles.
His blood, sweat, and
tears went into the site.

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