Z*Magazine: 11-May-87 #51From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/16/93-10:08:22 AM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 11-May-87 #51 Date: Fri Jul 16 10:08:22 1993 _____________________________________ ZMAGAZINE MAY HOT ATARI NEWS AND REVIEWS ISSUE 51 _____________________________________ May 11, 1987 _____________________________________ Zmag Staff: Publisher/Editor in Chief: Ron Kovacs Managing Editor: Alan Kloza Columnist: Eric Plent Asst Publisher: Ken Kirchner _____________________________________ This week in Zmagazine New Jersey <*> Commentary from JACG Zmag User Group of the Month. <*> JACG Newsletter and BBS info. <*> Zmag Flashback... Warner Sells Atari to Tramiel <*> Zmagazine Library This week we discuss ARC!! <*> Plent's Page Review of Koronis Rift <*> Compact Disk Update <*> Computer Predicts Future _____________________________________ Xx Zmag User Group of the Month ...Jersey Atari Computer Group... _____________________________________ ***An Editorial View*** from the JACG by Dave Noyes Editor - JACG Nesletter ------------------------------------- WHY A USER GROUP???? Two and one half years ago I purchased my first computer. It was an ATARI 800XL...supported by a TRAK ATD2 disk drive, a PANASONIC KXP-1090 printer and a SYLVANIA 13" color TV for a monitor. Believe me, I knew from nothing...when I got the package home - I didn't even have a DOS and, consequently, didn't get much accomplished. On my own, I discovered various books, and of course, ANTIC and ANALOG. In due course ( year later) I came across a JACG newsletter. A user group, I thought, "what a splendid idea". I bought the newsletter, attended the next meeting, joined the JACG...and I've been a member ever since. I would not be exaggerating to say that I learned more in the first two meetings that I attended than I did in my first year of ATARI ownership. I discovered a resource to answer every question that I had, learned where to buy and not buy, what to buy and not buy, and where to go and who to call when nothing with the ATARI was going right. If only I had known of JACG's existence when I first came into contact with ATARI! Now, through editing the JACG Newsletter...I can see first hand the dynamics of a user group - a GOOD user group. Symbiosis between those with a certain skill or knowledge, and those in need of that skill or knowledge. One in need at one point may very well be a purveyor of knowledge or skill at another point. There is give and gain - unselfishly. There is no "stupid" question, there is no "ridiculous" answer. From "just bought an ATARI" to a long time owner, from "400" to the "ST"... there is room for all, there is need for all - A USER GROUP - and the JACG sets well among the best of them. _____________________________________ Xx JACG Information ...Newsletter and BBS... _____________________________________ If you are interested in receiving the JACG monthly newsletter, or even interested in membership, please send a letter with your name, address, city, state, zip, home phone number, along with the date and prefrence of 1st class or third class mailing to: Robert P. Mulhearn 8 Crescent Road Pinebrook, New Jersey 07058 Membership for one year is $20.00. Add $6.00 if you chose 1st class mailing. Foreign memberships are $30.00 in US currency. For more information on the JACG, you can give them a modem call at (201) 298-0161. Stay in-touch with Zmag all this month for more information on JACG. _____________________________________ Xx Zmag Flashback .....Warner Sells Atari to Tramiel... _____________________________________ NEW YORK (AP)-- Warner Communications Inc. said today it sold the main parts of its loss-plagued Atari Inc. consumer electronics unit to a company led by Jack Tramiel, the former head of Commodore International Ltd. As a result of the sale, Warner said it expects to post a $425 million loss for the second quarter. Warner sold the home-computer and home-video segments of Atari, but retained its coin-operated games unit and other assets. Warner said Tramiel and his associates had invested $75 million in their new company, which acquired warrants giving it the option to buy 1 million Warner common shares in addition to the Atari assets involved. In exchange, Warner received $240 million in various debts of Tramiel's group. Warner also received warrants to acquire common stock of the new company, Warner said. Meanwhile, Warner said it would incur the $425 million second-quarter loss because of operating losses by Atari and because Warner reduced on its books the value of the Atari assets being sold. Atari, bought by Warner in 1976 for $27 million, made its video game "Pac-Man" a household name as the company led the video-game craze of the early 1980s. It also moved heavily into home computers. In 1982, Atari earned $323.3 million on sales of $2 billion, making it one of Warner's key profit centers. But then the video-game business -- scarred by bulging inventories, price cutting and declining consumer enthusiasm -- stalled and Atari's fortunes skidded. Last year, Atari lost $538.6 million on revenue of $1.12 billion, resulting in a net loss for Warner Communications of $417.8 million on revenue of $3.43 billion. Tramiel turned Commodore from a typewriter importer 25 years ago into the nation's leading maker of home computers. The New York-based company is estimated to account for more than 30 percent of the home-computer market. Tramiel stunned the industry last January by abruptly resigning, saying Commodore needed a more "professional executive" to take it over the $1 billion sales mark. Atari's red ink continued in the first quarter of this year -- its operating loss was $34.9 million, although Warner managed a profit of $30.9 million. Tramiel also issued a statement today saying, "Both the home-computer and video-game marketplaces continue, in my view, to offer great opportunities." _____________________________________ Xx Zmag Library ...ARC Discussion... _____________________________________ ARC-FILE.INF, created by Keith Petersen, W8SDZ, 21-Sep-86, extracted from UNARC.INF by Robert A. Freed. From: Robert A. Freed Subject: Technical Information for ARC files Date: June 24, 1986 Note: In the following discussion, UNARC refers to my CP/M-80 program for extracting files from MSDOS ARCs. The definitions of the ARC file format are based on MSDOS ARC512.EXE. ARCHIVE FILE FORMAT ------------------- Component files are stored sequentially within an archive. Each entry is preceded by a 29-byte header, which contains the directory information. There is no wasted space between entries. (This is in contrast to the centralized directory used by Novosielski libraries. Although random access to subfiles within an archive can be noticeably slower than with libraries, archives do have the advantage of not requiring pre-allocation of directory space.) Archive entries are normally maintained in sorted name order. The format of the 29-byte archive header is as follows: Byte 1: 1A Hex. This marks the start of an archive header. If this byte is not found when expected, UNARC will scan forward in the file (up to 64K bytes) in an attempt to find it (followed by a valid compression version). If a valid header is found in this manner, a warning message is issued and archive file processing continues. Otherwise, the file is assumed to be an invalid archive and processing is aborted. (This is compatible with MS-DOS ARC version 5.12). Note that a special exception is made at the beginning of an archive file, to accomodate "self- unpacking" archives (see below). Byte 2: Compression version, as follows: 0 = end of file marker (remaining bytes not present) 1 = unpacked (obsolete) 2 = unpacked 3 = packed 4 = squeezed (after packing) 5 = crunched (obsolete) 6 = crunched (after packing) (obsolete) 7 = crunched (after packing, using faster hash algorithm) (obsolete) 8 = crunched (after packing, using dynamic LZW variations) Bytes 3-15: ASCII file name, nul-terminated. (All of the following numeric values are stored low-byte first.) Bytes 16-19: Compressed file size in bytes. Bytes 20-21: File date, in 16-bit MS-DOS format: Bits 15:9 = year - 1980 Bits 8:5 = month of year Bits 4:0 = day of month (All zero means no date.) Bytes 22-23: File time, in 16-bit MS-DOS format: Bits 15:11 = hour (24-hour clock) Bits 10:5 = minute Bits 4:0 = second/2 (not displayed by UNARC) Bytes 24-25: Cyclic redundancy check (CRC) value (see below). Bytes 26-29: Original (uncompressed) file length in bytes. (This field is not present for version 1 entries, byte 2 = 1. I.e., in this case the header is only 25 bytes long. Because version 1 files are uncompressed, the value normally found in this field may be obtained from bytes 16-19.) SELF-UNPACKING ARCHIVES ----------------------- A "self-unpacking" archive is one which can be renamed to a .COM file and executed as a program. An example of such a file is the MS-DOS program ARC512.COM, which is a standard archive file preceded by a three-byte jump instruction. The first entry in this file is a simple "bootstrap" program in uncompressed form, which loads the subfile ARC.EXE (also uncompressed) into memory and passes control to it. In anticipation of a similar scheme for future distribution of UNARC, the program permits up to three bytes to precede the first header in an archive file (with no error message). CRC COMPUTATION --------------- Archive files use a 16-bit cyclic redundancy check (CRC) for error control. The particular CRC polynomial used is x^16 + x^15 + x^2 + 1, which is commonly known as "CRC-16" and is used in many data transmission protocols (e.g. DEC DDCMP and IBM BSC), as well as by most floppy disk controllers. Note that this differs from the CCITT polynomial (x^16 + x^12 + x^5 + 1), which is used by the XMODEM-CRC protocol and the public domain CHEK program (although these do not adhere strictly to the CCITT standard). The MS-DOS ARC program does perform a mathematically sound and accurate CRC calculation. (We mention this because it contrasts with some unfortunately popular public domain programs we have witnessed, which from time immemorial have based their calculation on an obscure magazine article which contained a typographical error!) Additional note (while we are on the subject of CRC's): The validity of using a 16-bit CRC for checking an entire file is somewhat questionable. Many people quote the statistics related to these functions (e.g. "all two-bit errors, all single burst errors of 16 or fewer bits, 99.997% of all single 17-bit burst errors, etc."), without realizing that these claims are valid only if the total number of bits checked is less than 32767 (which is why they are used in small-packet data transmission protocols). I.e., for file sizes in excess of about 4K bytes, a 16-bit CRC is not really as good as what is often claimed. This is not to say that it is bad, but there are more reliable methods available (e.g. the 32-bit AUTODIN-II polynomial). (End of lecture!) Bob Freed 62 Miller Road Newton Centre, MA 02159 Telephone (617) 332-3533 _____________________________________ Xx Plents Page ...Koronis Rift... _____________________________________ Koronis Rift Lucasfilm Games Division Created By Noah Falstein Atari Version Requires 48K RAM 24 Febrius, 2249 ---------------- "For three days your Scoutcraft has been traveling through empty space, on it's way from one forsaken part of the galaxy to another. You're a technoscavenger, making a living searching for abandoned technological systems - but for all the luck you've had in the past month, you might as well be an intergalactic drifter. Psytek, your Science Droid Analyzer, is monitoring the instruments. There isn't much to do - not much, that is, until suddenly Psytek flashes an urgent message:" "POWERFUL RADIATION FLUX DETECTED: COORDINATES 45:90 RELATIVE AZIMUTH AND ELEVATION." Powerful is right! Your instruments indicate rads in the ten thousand range. "Any idea what it might be?" you ask. "NEGTIVE. CHARTS INDICATE EMPTY SPACE FROM HERE TO STAR SYSTEM 583." And so the game goes. This is how you stumble on to the strange and little known planet called Koronis Rift... From movies to computer software, Lucasfilm has always been there with some of the best in entertainment for all ages. With the smash hit movie Star Wars, Lucasfilm started the ball rolling into the business. A few years ago Lucasfilm branched off once again and started the Lucasfilm Computer Games Division, bringing forth hit games such as BallBlazer, The Eidolon and this one, Koronis Rift. Koronis Rift places you in the pilot seat of a small land Scoutcraft, searching for the wreckage of abandoned technolgical systems that you can raid for old parts. Since these parts are worth something in the space junk market, you plan to sell them for credits. Of course, there are always SOME of the units that can be used for your ship. After all, you can expect the Guardian Saucers to put up a fight for those old abandoned hulks, since they are there to protect the Ancient technology from people such as you. Watch out! Two of them coming in! Shield at full power! Hellllpppp...! Enough of this. On to the actual program and game play. Koronis Rift is a little like the old Arcade program BattleZone. You pilot your ship over the scrolling playfield while shooting everything in sight (at least, all of the Guardians in sight...don't shoot the Hulks.) Since most of the time you will want the lowest level of play, the program will default to Rift 1. This level will give you a taste of the action without TOO many Guardians attacking. Drive around a bit to get used to the feel of the game. You will mostly need your trigger thumb, since you will almost always be attacked while trying to raid a hulk. The program will beep to let you know the Guardians are coming. You can move your target sight (a small crosshair) around the screen with the joystick. To fire, press the fire button. Now you are ready to play. Re-start the game and get to level one. You will be lowered to the planet by a tractor beam, controlled by Psytek the robot. When you hit the ground the game has started. Press your joystick up and you will start moving forward. Notice the large object in front of you. This is your first hulk of the game (they put it there to let you get the hang of the game faster). Run right up to the ship and stop by pulling the joystick backwards. Now pull down again and press the fire button. You should see a little cursor light up on either "Call Ship" or "Loot Hulk". Select "Loot Hulk" to send the little Repo-Tech Robot out. It will collect anything it can from the ship and return it to you. You can than place that module in to your ship's system now, or wait and have Psytek examine it later (by 'Calling' the ship). Let's have Psytek examine the module now to see what it is worth. Pull the joystick back again and select "Call Ship". The tractor beam will pull you in to the ship. The seen will change now, showing you Psytek and his work area. This is where you come to find the value of a module, or to replace a Repo-Tech Robot (in case you happen to shoot it...it can be done (hehe)). Position your cursor on the module you would like examined and press the fire button. Psytek will remove the unit from your ship and give you a status report of that unit's power level and value on the market. If you choose to sell that module, select "Disassemble" to get the credits. Now you can return to the game, save your position (in case you have a REALLY good game and would like return there the next time you play) load a saved position or quit the game. Overall, Koronis Rift is a fast paced game that will keep you at the joystick for hours. If you liked Battle Zone in the arcade, I would recommend this game to you. While not quite up to the Vector graphics of the arcade version, this will do very nicely. Highly recommended! Happy gaming!!! -- Eric Plent _____________________________________ Xx Compact Disk Update _____________________________________ Don't look now, but the new CD's you just purchased are already obsolete. That's right, it's almost as if little mischievous elves crept into the laboratories in the middle of the night and invented something better. Only the elves in this case work for Mobile Fidelity Labs. And what they've done is take your already-costly aluminum compact disc and coated it with a poly-carbonate bonded in pure gold. The latest in tip-toppermost of the poppermost sound innovation boasts increased lifespan, no sonic gaps, higher engraving and reading capabilities, and overall better quality. The elves at Mobile Fidelity Labs call it Ultradisc. Source: Copley Radio Network _____________________________________ Xx COMPUTER PREDICTS FUTURE _____________________________________ A Computer designed to analyze trends based on recent events, has scrapped it's own programming and started predicting the future. Some predicitons include: a new religion from the U.S., a 10th planet is discovered, superbeings from tibet and the usual Atlantis stuff and meteor crashes. A Dr. Gunter Telemann in East Germany reportedly told the magazine, "Tomorrow's Computer" the machine abandoned logic and started making wild guesses...just like a psychic. BELIEVE IT OR LEAVE IT! (strictly for laughs) Source: Copley Radio Network _____________________________________ Xx Zmag Weather Safety Report ...Tornado Safety Rules... _____________________________________ Tornado Safety Rules -------------------- WHEN A TORNADO APPROACHES -- YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION MAY MEAN LIFE OR DEATH Seek inside shelter, preferably in a tornado cellar, underground excavation, or steel-framed or reinforced concrete building of substantial construction. Stay away from windows! IN CITIES OR TOWNS In Office Buildings -- Stand in an interior hallway on a lower floor, preferably in the basement. In Factories -- On receiving a tornado warning, post a lookout. Workers should move quickly to the section of the plant offering the greatest protection in accordance with advance plans. In Homes And Small Buildings -- Go to the basement or to an interior part of the lowest level (a closet, bathroom, or interior hall). Get under something sturdy. Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to overturning during strong winds. Trailer parks should have a community shelter. Appoint a community leader responsible for constant radio monitoring during threatening weather or during watch periods. Leave mobile homes or vehicles and go to a substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert with your hands shielding your head. IN SCHOOLS Whenever possible, go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor. Avoid auditoriums and gymnasiums or other structures with wide, free-span roofs. If a building is not of reinforced construction, go quickly to a nearby reinforced building or to a ravine or open ditch, and lie flat. KEEP LISTENING Your radio and television stations will broadcast the latest tornado advisory information. Call the Weather Service only to report a tornado. REMEMBER: Tornado watch means tornadoes are expected to develop. Tornado warning means a tornado has actually been sighted. <The programs of the American Red Cross are made possible by the voluntary services and financial support of the American people> _____________________________________ ZMAGAZINE May 1987 Issue #51 Please contribute!! _____________________________________ (c) Copyright 1987 Syndicate Services
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