Z*Magazine: 10-Jul-87 #61From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/17/93-08:19:44 AM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 10-Jul-87 #61 Date: Sat Jul 17 08:19:44 1993 _____________________________________ ZMAGAZINE Atari News and Information _____________________________________ Issue #61 July 10, 1987 _____________________________________ Zmagazine is a weekly publication containing news and information about Atari computers. We also highlight news about other computers which we feel is of interest to our readers. Information contained in this text is copyright by the authors. Zmag is a free publication, no fees, no advertising dollars are accepted, and any information reproduced from this publication, unless otherwise noted, can be duplicated as long as the following appears at the top of each article. Reprinted from Zmag. and include the issue number. All issues are available on your local BBS system. If your favorite BBS doesn't carry Zmag, Leave the SysOp a note or call either of the following systems for more information: ZMAGAZINE INFORMATION NETWORK 300/1200 Baud (201) 968-8148 THE GATEWAY ST BBS 300/1200 Baud (609) 931-3014 _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG INDEX 61 _____________________________________ <*> ZMAG User Group of the Month ...Ol' Hackers User Group... <*> ZMAG Newswire ...Broderbund... ...House Passes Bill... <*> ZMAG Hardware Review ...The Spider (tm)... <*> Turbo Basic Compiler Dox <*> ST Magazine Information _____________________________________ Xx Zmag User Group Of the Month JULY .....Ol' Hackers User Group..... _____________________________________ A "BIT" OF HACKER HISTORY By Alex Pignato It started innocently enough. I read a message on a B.B.S. from another "poor soul" (Kevin Blaes) who was pleading for help so that he could upload and download with his 835 Atari modem. It had taken me six months to get a program to do this with my 1030 Atari modem, so I felt I understood his frustration. I told him to send me a disk with programs on it and I sent back the program he wanted and other public domain programs. The exchange of disks between us continued at a rapid pace, each of us trying to outdo the other. Somewhere within the next 1-1/2 years I kept addressing Kevin as "The Young Hacker," and signed notes as "The Old Hacker." He responded in kind. We also spoke on the phone frequently and in short order a friendship evolved. During this time, I was conversing with Jerry Ginsberg, an acquaintance, and found that he had an Atari, too; but no one in his family was using it. I told him about this "game" machine's ability to do countless other things. He got hooked, too, almost as deeply as me. His wife and children got into it to the point where they actually had to set up a schedule! When the Long Island Coliseum had a Computer Electronics Show, Kevin suggested we meet there in person. I brought Jerry with me and the three of us spent a great afternoon at the show. When we saw all that there was to see, we decided to have a chat over a cup of coffee. An hour later, finding it very hard to break up, Jerry suggested that we all meet again at his home in a couple of weeks. When we next met, we each brought Atari friends; and, suddenly, there were about eight men in our group. It was suggested that we start a user's group and so "THE OL' HACKERS ATARI USERS GROUP" was born in December, 1985. I was voted in as president, Kevin as vice president and Jerry was made corresponding secretary. When Jerry's house got too small, we moved over to Tom Carroll's house and took over his top floor. Tom, who is self- employed in the electronic recording field, has a studio with at least three Atari 800's (all modified), an I.B.M., and I don't know how many VCR's. We met once a month on a Saturday afternoon from 12 to 5 p.m. and had a ball at our informal meetings exchanging knowledge and data. When the group again got too large, we looked for new quarters; and, thanks to Jerry, we got permission to use our present meeting rooms at the Plainview Public Library at 999 Old Country Road, Plainview, New York. Interestingly enough, up until recently, the library was run on Atari 800's, so our group was made very welcome by the library. Our aims are similar to other Atari users groups. We exchange knowledge and information with each other and with about thirty other users clubs throughout the U.S.A., Canada and Europe. We have a few members who have technical knowledge and who are constantly looking for making modifications to the hardware. We also have members who are professional programmers for various banks as well as many amateur programmers. The members are all adults and are a cross-section of the community; there are blue and white color workers as well as many professionals. The club brings together people from all walks of life in a common interest and the results are very warm friendships and the growing enjoyment of our computers. The nicest comment we hear is that the members can't wait for the next meeting. And when we're at the meeting, we don't like to leave the library even after the meeting's end at 5 p.m. Meetings generally start at 12 noon and the first hour is spent in socializing and setting up the equipment (which many members contribute for the day). After we have an hour's business meeting, we break for coffee and cake and have a raffle contest. Then we break up into smaller groups for demo's and classes until 5 p.m. or until we are thrown out of the library! The club owns its own B.B.S. called "THE OL' HACKERS" (what else?) which runs off an Atari 130 XE, a 10 meg. hard drive, MIO, and we are using the Express B.B.S. program by Keith Ledbetter. It runs 24 hours per day, seven days a week through the courtesy of Sysop Kevin Blaes (our hard-working V.P.) and is quartered in his Lindenhurst home. We also have a network of about nine other B.B.S.'s run by our members. Of course, we also have the "OL' HACKERS NEWSLETTER" which comes out monthly and is exchanged with almost thirty other users groups around the world. Yearly dues are $25, or $2 per month if you join after January. There are many members who work very hard for the Club whose names I have not mentioned for fear that this report would become six pages long! But, we know who they are and we are very grateful to them. We are proud of our Club and what we have accomplished in a relatively short span of time. We are also proud to be picked as the "Zmagazine User Group of The Month. We also would like to thank Zmagazine for allowing The Ol' Hackers BBS, to become an official ZMagazine carrier. Listed below are those BBS's that are members of The Ol' Hackers BBS NETWORK 1 *The Ol' Hackers BBS 300/1200 Baud Express BBS 516-884-4140 2 *CLEARING HOUSE 300/1200 Baud Express BBS 516-483-7845 3 *WISE BYTE 300/1200 Baud Express BBS 516-349-7835 4 *GRAVEYARD 300/1200 Baud Express BBS 516-783-7034 5 *BANDITS HIDEOUT 300/1200/2400 Baud Express BBS 516-643-4963 6 *MISTER MESSAGE 300/1200 Baud Express BBS 516-454-7698 7 WET N' WILD 300/1200/2400 Baud Southn/AMIS 516-421-4161 8 S.OF THE BORDER 300/1200/2400 Baud Southn/AMIS 516-421-5489 9 *NASSAU COUNTY BBS 300/1200 Baud Express BBS 516-565-3932 10*Traffic BBS 300/1200 Baud Express BBS 516-737-6179 11*ASGARD BBS 300/1200 Baud PKAMIS 516-422-5363 _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG NEWSWIRE _____________________________________ BRODERBUND UNVEILS DATA MANAGER Broderbund Software Inc. has introduced a RAM-resident data manager for the IBM PC and compatible computers. The program, called MemoryMate, allows users to write, save and retrieve notes, addresses and lists without paying attention to filing systems. While the information is being saved, MemoryMate indexes every word, phrase and number. When its time for the data to be retrieved, instead of entering a filename, the user simply types any word or combination of words contained in the data. MemoryMate, which is available immediately, costs $69.95. However, a trial version is also available from Broderbund for $5.95. If after using the trial version the buyer wishes to upgrade to the full-featured version, the company will rebate the price of the demo disk. For more information on the trial version, contact: Broderbund Software-Direct P.O. Box 12947 San Rafael, Calif. 94913-2947. ANOTHER COMPUTER DISTRIBUTOR ENTERS BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS In the Minneapolis area, a third personal computer retailer has filed for Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Act. It is Top Tech, a two-year-old business made up of six stores that had been franchisees of a Denver -based business called Team Central. Top Tech President David Naas told The Associated Press he expects to continue operating pending a court review of the bankruptcy petition and preparation of a plan to satisfy creditors. He added that a number of factors led to the bankruptcy, including "a downturn in the consumer electronics business, a slackening of demand." The wire service notes that also in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Schaak Electronics, once the region's largest consumer electronics retailer, went bankrupt in 1985 and was liquidated amid problems in its personal computer business and allegations of management malfeasance. Meanwhile, as reported here earlier, Computer Depot is being liquidated after what the wire service terms "a several-year growth spurt that was wiped out by excessive inventories and curtailed demand." _____________________________________ Xx HOUSE BILL PASSES _____________________________________ House Passes Bill To Take Security Control From NSA Online information providers are delighted that the House of Representatives has passed a bill that puts control of government computer security in civilian rather than military hands. "There's also a provision at the end of the bill which makes clear that nothing in the statute provides the government with any authority to monitor or restrict private sector unclassified information," said Ken Allen, senior vice president of government relations at the Information Industry Association in Washington. HR 145, the Computer Security Act of 1987, passed the house by unanimous voice vote on June 22. Later that week, the Senate was ushering its version of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, through committees on the way to the vote. "We've made great strides," Allen said, "Last year the bill died in the House." Under the bill, the civilian National Bureau of Standards would develop standards to assure security and privacy of sensitive data, and would require mandatory training for all persons managing or using federal computer systems containing sensitive data. The legislation was proposed in part to head off Department of Defense suggestions that the National Security Agency be put in charge of all of the security of sensitive data in federal computers. The National Security Agency will not be in charge of security under the legislation, but will consult with the National Bureau Of Standards in an advisory capacity. A Presidential directive enacted in 1985 had led to visits last fall by the FBI, CIA and NSA to some of the on-line database providers. Those visits in part led to the removal of some sensitive but unclassified on-line data from one service. "We hope this legislation will stop the visits, but if the NSA asserts their other statutes out there, they may resurface," Allen said. "We haven't heard of any visits since this whole thing went public." BRODERBUND SETTLES SUIT Broderbund Software and Pixellite Software recently announced an out- of-court settlement on their copyright suit against Kyocera Unison. Under the terms of the settlement, Kyocera Unison of Berkley California, will pay an undisclosed sum to Broderbund of San Rafael California, and Pixellite, also of Berkley, and has permanently agreed to remove its Printmaster graphics program from the market. In return, Broderbund and Pixellite have agreed to drop pending claims against Kyocera Unison. In October 1986 a federal district judge in San Francisco ruled that the "look and feel" of Printmaster's user interface violated the software copyright on Broderbund and Pixellite's Print Shop program, a decision that has been relied upon in other software copyright cases. In December, the court ordered Kyocera Unison to stop selling Printmaster. Since then, the company has released Printmaster Plus, a version of the program that both sides agree has been significantly altered to avoid infringing Broderbund and Pixellite's copyright. _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG HARDWARE REVIEW .... The Spider (tm).... _____________________________________ General description: The Spider (tm) is the name of a series of intelligent serial interfaces. These devices contain four or eight RS232 compatible serial ports, 8K, 64K or 256K of memory, and their own processor and operating system, programmable from a computer attached to one of the ports. Uses for the Spider range from operating a multiline BBS from one serial port of a computer to sharing printers and other serial devices among several computers. Simple networking schemes between computers can also be set up using a Spider. Basically, the Spider is a device based on a 65C02 and has four or eight RS232 ports under direct control of that processor. The controlling computer connects to port 0 and other devices are connected to the remaining ports. A program running in the controlling computer can control the activity among all ports by command. A program running in the Spider, uploaded to it by command from the controlling computer, can also control the activity among the ports. Various combinations where some of the programming is done on the controlling computer and some is uploaded to run on the Spider is also possible. Programming the Spider: Since the Spider does have its own processor (the 65C02) and memory (8K, 64K, 256K or 1 meg) it was programmed to allow software to be added to it by uploading from the controlling computer. This software is sent to areas of memory determined by the uploading command and may be in the form of additional commands or as stand-alone programs. The Spider is a computer, with the CPU, RAM, ROM and I/O ports. A memory map and instructions for programming are available. Some instruction, adequate for most general applications, is included in the user manual supplied with the Spider. For more specific applications and for programmers intending to create packages to market, there is also a developer's kit available, which contains much more detailed information about how to program the Spider. Currently, all programming intended for upload to the Spider must be written in 65C02 machine language. However, there are a few people working on various interpreters for the Spider. When these interpreters are complete it will be possible to upload the interpreter to the Spider, then program the Spider directly using a terminal emulator on the controlling computer system. The finished program can then be sent back to the controlling computer so that it can be stored on disk. Position the Spider uploading commands into the proper places in the program and the file on the controlling computer's disk becomes an application that can be simply sent to the Spider directly by a user from any computer used as the controlling computer system. How to order a Spider: The Spider (tm) may be ordered directly from Nite Lite Systems. Only prepaid orders are being accepted for this device. Send a check or money order for the exact amount of the configuration you request, including the 5% Mass. sales tax if you are ordering from a Massachusetts address, plus $5.00 for shipping and handling to: Nite Lite Systems P.O. Box R Billerica, MA 01821 Different versions of the Spider will become available over the next few months. Currently, the four-port Spider and the developer's kit (a four-port Spider and developer's documentation, plus access to more help on-line) are available. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. Pricing for these units are as follows: 4-port Spider $209.95 Developer's kit $314.95 Any questions concerning this product can be directed to the SysOp either in any message base on this BBS or in a logoff comment. If you wish to be contacted by telephone, leave your name and telephone number in a logoff comment along with other information required to return your call. If you want your name added to our mailing list, leave a logoff comment requesting that and include your name and address with zip code. Dealer and distributor inquiries are invited. _____________________________________ Xx TURBO BASIC COMPILER DOCUMENTATION _____________________________________ The Turbo Basic Compiler can be used to compile programs in both Turbo Basic and regular Atari Basic. Doing so will yield a sometimes startling (and sometimes not so startling) increase in speed. Like Turbo Basic itself, the compiler (and compiled programs) can only be run on an XL/XE. Also like TB, it is NOT compatible with Spartados. REQUIRED! You need 2 files to use the compiler. Both are in the Utilities section of CompuServes' Atari8 SIG or on your local BBS system. COMPIL.OBJ is the actual compiler (and a BIG thanks to Warren Lieuallen for the translation job!!!) RNTIME.OBJ is the companion 'runtime' package. COMPILING PROGRAMS Load COMPIL.OBJ from the DOS menu, with an <L> binary load command. On the first screen, type the number of the drive containing your target program. (I usually have that on D8 for speed.) You'll then see a directory of the files on that disk. Use your cursor keys to highlight the 'target' file, then hit RETURN. As the compilation proceeds, you'll see the line numbers at the top of the screen. If no errors occur (see below), the program will then ask you for a filename for the new compiled program. An extender of .CTB (for Compiled Turbo Basic) is mandatory (see AUTORUN.CTB, below), as is a SAVE to D1:. Put the disk that'll hold your program in D1, type the name, then Hit RETURN. That's all there is to it! COMPILE ERRORS Like most Atari compilers, this one can be fussy. It will NOT compile an END statement (odd, huh?) Use STOP instead. It will also balk at compiling a FOR that has more than one NEXT attached, like so: 10 FOR X=1 TO 12:GET #1,BYTE 20 IF BYTE<32 THEN NEXT X 30 ? CHR$(BYTE) 40 NEXT X If you get an error message, you'll need to go back to your original Basic program and try to fix the offending code. In the above example, you would change line 20 to: 20 IF BYTE<32 THEN 40 RUNNING PROGRAMS Your new .CTB program is <NOT> true machine language; it's 'pseudo code'. THAT means you must have a 'runtime' program to handle the final translation. This is RNTIME.OBJ. Compiled programs won't run without it. You can use it in either of 2 ways. FROM DOS: Use the <L> command to LOAD RNTIME.OBJ FROM DISK: Copy RNTIME.OBJ to a disk containing DOS files and rename it AUTORUN.SYS, which allows it to boot automatically. AUTORUN.CTB RNTIME has an 'autorun' feature. When it runs, it will look for 'AUTORUN.CTB' on D1. If found, this file will automatically load and run. If NOT found, an error message will be displayed (FEHLER 9), along with a short menu. [Dos Run <again> Load]. At this prompt, press L, then type in the name of your compiled program. So, to construct a complete 'boot' disk, you should have on the same disk: Dos files (DOS.SYS, DUP.SYS) AUTORUN.SYS (RNTIME.OBJ) AUTORUN.CTB (compiled program) Hint: here's the TB '1 liner' that I use (compiled) as AUTORUN.CTB on my 'compiled programs' disk. 10 CLS:DIR "D1:*.CTB":STOP >>don lebow 70717,720 _____________________________________ Xx ST MAGAZINE DETAILS _____________________________________ The FaSTer Disk Magazine What is the FaSTer Disk Magazine? It's a new concept in magazine publishing for the Atari ST that we have developed over the last year and half and that has resulted in considerable enthusiasm among our subscribers and readers. The first thing people noticed when they first purchased their ST computers was the lack of a convenient programming language which would allow program listings and examples to be exchanged easily via the printed pages of a regular magazine. The solution we came up with was to create a "virtual" magazine which would contain all the enjoyment of the articles, reviews, illustrations, tutorials, with ready to run programs and source listings. We also elected to maintain full compatibility with all the existing Atari ST configurations, to include as much information within the limited space available on a single disk and for a more than reasonable price. (We have even tested our disks on a pre-release version of the BLITTER chip and it ran beautifully!) It wasn't easy, and we have encountered obstacles along the way since this endeavour is more akin to producing a commercial program every second month than to producing a magazine. We have also polished the interface so much that other Atari magazines have begun seeing us as somewhat of a threat to them since they usually also produce a disk version, but it never has the high quality GEM interface we supply for the same retail price. We do not "sell" you any advertising in the cost of the disk, so you get more "real" information for your money. Our reviews are no-nonsense and unbiased, our tutorials are authoritative, our programs are of a high quality, our interface is the cleanest and the easiest to use in town, and we include contributions from all over the world in every issue. How to reach us!! For any information, subscriptions to the magazine, inquiries or submissions, our mailing address is: FaSTer Disk Magazine P.O. Box 474 Boucherville, Quebec Canada J4B 6Y2 BBS: Line 1 --> (514)-489-0680 (9600 baud) Line 2 --> (514)-489-3489 (2400 baud) Line 3 --> (514)-489-3490 (2400 baud) (coming soon) This article will be published in full in the July 18th edition of the ST-Report. _____________________________________ Xx Zmag Update _____________________________________ Zmag can now be found on the MACH BBS in Maine. Number is: (207) 784-0631 More details next week. _____________________________________ Zmag Issue #61 July 10, 1987 Publisher/Editor : Ron Kovacs Assistant Publishers: Ken Kirchner Susan Perry _____________________________________ (c)1987 Ron Kovacs
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