Z*Magazine: 7-Aug-87 #65From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/17/93-08:25:52 AM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 7-Aug-87 #65 Date: Sat Jul 17 08:25:52 1993 ///////////////////////////////////// ZMAGAZINE 65 /////////////////////// ///////////////////////////////////// August 7, 1987 (c)1987 Syndicate _____________________________________ Publisher/Editor: Ron Kovacs Assistants: Ken Kirchner Susan Perry Rich Decowski _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG INDEX 65 <*> ATARI NEWS UPDATE <*> THE WIZARD OF OASIS <*> USER GROUP FOCUS <*> LANUGAGES AND CARS <*> ZMAG UPDATE <*> BBS MODIFICATIONS _____________________________________ Xx ATARI NEWS UPDATE _____________________________________ From CompuServe Online Today Atari Corp. profits are up 39.3 percent and sales are up 16.4 percent in the second quarter. According to The Associated Press, this puts the Sunnyvale, Calif., computer maker's net income for the quarter at $13.5 million, or 23 cents a share, compared to $9.7 million, or 22 cents a share on fewer outstanding shares, a year earlier. The wire service says sales for the quarter were $70.7 million compared to $60.7 million for the same quarter last year. Looking, then, at the first six months of this year, net income for Atari was $28.8 million compared to $12.4 million, an increase of 132 percent. Sales for the first half were $135.8 million compared to $105.6 million for the same period last year, an increase of 28.6 percent. --Charles Bowen Atari's new Mega ST computer has been released for sale in Germany and Switzerland. The 2 Mb version of the Mega ST is selling for 3,000 Swiss Francs -- about $2,000 US -- and the 4 Mb model is an additional 400 Swiss Francs ($270). This confirmed comments made last month by an Atari executive that release of the new model was imminent. The Swiss model was released without a "blitter", a newly developed coprocessor chip that acts as a high-speed memory manager. Among other tasks, the blitter is expected to control animation and screen graphics. Some US observers were disappointed that the first machines were manufactured without the coprocessor but Neil Harris, Atari's director of marketing communications, said that he expects US machines to include the blitter. Commenting on why the Mega ST showed up in Switzerland before the US, Harris told OLT that, "We tend to give first shipments to areas which are being most successful. Right now, the German market is the hottest ST market for us. Since Switzerland is a German-speaking nation, they also received some." John Feagans, who is working on keyboard development for Atari, told OLT that he had been working with a blitter-equipped ST for more than a month. He also said that blitters for all STs will be available and that "there will be a place to put it." Some potential buyers had been concerned that a socket for the coprocessor would not be assembled into US versions of the ST. US release of the Atari Mega ST2 and Mega ST4 is anticipated for September. --James Moran _____________________________________ Xx THE WIZARD _____________________________________ I would like to start off this week's column with a special anouncement to ZMAG readers. Read the entire column for a special limited time coupon for ZMAG readers only! Our first question this week comes from Scott Lampert of Smithtown, NY. Scott sent a short note with his order for the Oasis. Scott's question was will the Oasis function properly with the ATR8000 interface using the AT_RS232.COM handler that comes with SpartaDOS? The answer Scott is simply NO. There is a problem with using that particular handler which will cause a user to be logged off the system whenever his e-mail is checked. Therefore we supply a Public Domain ATR RS232.COM file on the disk for those of you who are using the ATR8000. This handler has been used on many Oasis boards using the ATR and has been found to be extremely reliable so please use it. Our next problem of note this week is one which we discovered quite by accident and one which had not appeared before that I know of. It happened on Ron's own ZMAG board. For some strange reason the system would lock up whenever someone tried to either leave e-mail or reply to e-mail. I had several conversations with Ron on the problem trying to make sure he had the system configured properly. He did! I got the setup he was using on his board and placed it on my backup system exactly the way Ron was using it on his system. It took a while, but I was able to duplicate the problem. As of yet there has not been any fix done to the actual BBS code itself, but here is the problem and the simple fix for you if you experience it. Ron's e-mail base and password files were both on drive 3. He is using one of the older Supra's with the old ROM chip in the interface which only allows for a fake floppy drive 1 and a BIG drive 3. The fix was to move them from the hard disk to ramdisk on drive 5 <the only reason I had him put them on drive 5 was because when I checked it out on my backup system that is what I had it set at.>. It cured the problem. When time permits I will check into it further, but there does not appear to be any problem with this on any other drive number. Sort of weird to say the least. Also for those of you with the older Supra 10 meg drives, Supra does have a new ROM chip for the interface which will allow you to configure your hard drive to drives 1, 3 and 4 which can save you a lot of trouble if you have a hard disk crash. Instead of having to reformat and restoring the entire drive 3 which is something like 38,000 you would only have to format and restore half the data. My last bit of information this week is a somewhat undocumented feature of Oasis. It is truely a SysOp friendly feature. As a SysOp I am sure you get tired of users posting messages in the WRONG message base. Oasis has a message copy function that will allow you to move the message from one base to another. It is the "W" command. If you wish to move a message after you have read all the messages in a given base, go back to the message you want to move. Then hit the "W" and you will get the To: prompt. Either type in the name or just hit RETURN. You will then be propted to enter the Subject: line of the message, after this is entered the BBS will then print a list of your message bases, just hit the corresponding number of the base and Oasis will copy that message over to the correct base. This "W" function is extremely handy for SysOps who use a message base to describe their new download files. If you enter as follows: n\SUBDIR\FILENAME with the "n" being the drive number in the subject line, when a user finds a file he wants to download he would only need hit the Q command from the message base to download the file without having to look thru all your downloads to find it. It allows you to copy that upload message you had send to e-mail out o the message base you need it in and save you re-typing a description of the upload file, as well as giving your user credit for the upload. Now for that special offer mentioned at the beginning of this article. ************************************* * ZMAG COUPON * * for ZMAG readers! * ************************************* * * * With this coupon you can order * * the Oasis BBS System which * * usually sells for $15.00 for * * only * * $10.00 * * * ************************************* * All orders must be post marked * * no later than August 15, 1987. * ************************************* * Send your check to: * * Leo Newman * * 3900 N Woodlawn #17 Chisholm * * Wichita, KS 67220 * ************************************* * A printed copy of this coupon is * * necessary to receive the ZMAG * * limited time special price. * ************************************* Now how is that for a deal to you ZMAG readers. If you are a SysOp now is your time to act, this is a one time offer thru ZMAG only! If you have any questions about the Oasis BBS system call (316)-683-7514 a 24 hour BBS at 3/12/2400 baud and leave a message to the SysOp, or write: Leo Newman 3900 N Woodlawn #17 Chisholm Wichita, KS 67220 Your answer or reply will appear in the next Zmag issue. Until next week... _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG USER GROUP FOCUS ...By Mike Brown... _____________________________________ Welcome to another edition of the User Group Focus. I am still winging it, as I have yet to have anyone submit data on their user group for Focus. What a perfect way to reach a HUGE potential number of members! Send those newsletters and data sheets in right away! The address is: Z-Mag User Group Focus Mike Brown 268 E. Fourth Street Box 32 Ashland, OH 44805. Or you can upload text files of user group data to: The Balloon Works (419) 289-8392 300/1200 24hrs. One more thing and then I will get on wih biz. I want to apologize to all of the EXPRESS BBS SYSOPS that carry Z-Mag. I forgot that EXPRESS does funny things with the "and" sign. Bearing this fact in mind, I promise to never, ever submit an article with "and" signs in it again!! (boy, is my face red). I know that some people will claim favoritism, but this FOCUS is on a user group that has many blood and sweat stains on it of my own making. A little over two years ago, a half- dozen persons that had never seen or spoken with each other (in the conventional sense) before, met at a semi-sleazy bar in Ashland, Ohio. The group had communicated before by E-mail and by the various BBS systems in the area. Why were they making the step to face-to-face meetings? They had all agreed that there was a un-met need for guidance and support for the Atari Computer users in the Central Ohio area, and wanted to discuss the possibility of doing something about it. Unknown to them, in the same general area and at the same time, there already was a small group of Atari diehards that had been meeting in each others homes to exchange information and tips; The North Central-Ohio 6502 Computer Users Group (NCSCUG) headed by Chuck Steinman. In a few weeks the efforts of all would give way to what would become a consolidation of the various special interest Atari user groups in the area, the Mid-Ohio Atari Computer Users Group was born. A local manufacturer, Gorman-Rupp Pump Company, offered the use of their facilities for a meeting place for the fledgling group, and the generous donations of individuals and local businesses covered the copying costs of the newsletter for the first few issues. Dave Cress, the first newsletter editor, established a tradition of high-quality club newsletters that continues today. It soon became apparent that more than the modest club dues would be needed to produce the newsletter if the cost of copies and postage was taken into account. After a fair amount of discussion, it was decided that two events would be held to raise funds for the support of the club: A raffle ($.25 a chance) would be held at meetings in the summer months to help boost attendance and raie money, and that a $1 per ticket "LOTTO" would be offered to the public with a grand prize of a brand new Atari 800XL computer system! Both events were a smashing success, and managed to net enough profit to not only put the newsletter on sound footing, but to allow the club to purchase a 256KXL, A USD enhanced 1050 Disk, and a video monitor to be used for presenting demos at club functions. Fortunately, this year, Frey Scientific Company (a major educational supply company) has sponsored our need for inexpensive duplication services for the club. During that first year, a constitution was drawn up and approved by the membership. This document clearly defines the responsibilities of the club officers and the obligations of MAUG to its members. The other milestones achieved by MAUG were the establishment of a user support BBS, and a public domain software library for the use of its memership. MAUG conducted a series of "new user" special interest meetings in cooperation with a local school district that is a heavy user of Atari 8-bit computers. Because of this involvement, MAUG was invited to demo at the first annual Richland County Educational Computer Fair held at the Mansfield branch of the Ohio State University. Several local teachers were amazed at the educational potential of the 8-bit line and the LOGO learning language. Member/educator Cathy Buscher's "Radio Controlled" LOGO turtle caught even the attention of nearby IBM and Computerland exhibitors! While Dave Cress wowed the children in attendance with computer "snapshots" from Computereyes ST. After a wild spurt of explosive growth, MAUG has of late been losing membership and member support. I hope that this is merely due to a settling in process and a result of the usual downturn in hobbyist computing during the summer months. If you live in the central Ohio area and would like to learn more about what MAUG has to offer, contact them at this address: Mid-Ohio Atari User Group P.O. Box 1324 Mansfield, Ohio 44901 or call the BBS at: (419) 529-5197 (300/1200) __________MAUG Data Sheet:___________ Meetings Held at: Gorman-Rupp Company 305 Bowman St. Mansfield, OH Officers- President______________Mike Brown Treasurer______________Dave Cress Secretary/Librarian____Doug Roberts Newsletter Editor______Bill Cleveland Your comments on this feature are appreciated! _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG HUMOR _____________________________________ Permission is granted to reprint only if the following copyright and credit is given. (c) 1987 Leo Newman/ZMAG Hey all! What another article from me in the same issue of ZMAG? This one is just for chuckles, I hope you enjoy it. No doubt you have figured out by now that I do not make a living off the Oasis BBS System! So what does Leo Newman do for a living, well folks I am one of those guys all the TV shows make fun of. Have you ever wanted to spend a nice boring evening at home, then call an insurance agent out to your house. Well that's how I make my living, I am and have been an insurance agent for the past 14 years. The following are actual statements that have been collected over those many years. They are statements found on actual insurance claim forms where car drivers had attempted to summarize the details of an auto accident in the fewest words possible. The instance of faulty writing serve to confirm that even imcompetent writing may be highly humorous. I hope you enjoy. Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have. The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intentions. I thought my window was down, but I found out it was up when I put my head through it. I collided with a stopped truck coming the other way. A truck backed thru my windshield into my wife's face. The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him. I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment. In my attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole. I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision and I didn't see the car. I was on my way to the Doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way, causing me to have an accident. My car was legally parked, as it backed into the other auto. I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident. The pedestrian had no idea which direction to run, so I ran over him. A pedestrian hit me and went under my car. I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of he road when I struck him. I saw a slow moving, sad faced old gentleman, as he bounced off the roof of my car. An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car, and vanished. I told the police I was not injured, but on removing my hat, I found that I had a fractured skull. The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy with a big mouth. I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was found in a ditch by some stray cows. To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian. The telephone pole was approaching, I was attempting to swerve out of its way, when it struck the front end. As I approached the intersection, a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident. [Ed... Thanks Leo, What I am gonna say in the future??] _____________________________________ Xx COMPUTER LANGUAGES AND CARS _____________________________________ From The KB8CI Amateur Radio Packet Bulletin Board System in Cleveland: Programming Language The following is a reprint of a humorous article I came across recently. Selecting a Programming Language Made Easy By Daniel Salomon & David Rosenblueth; Department of Computer Science;University of Waterloo; Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1 With such a large selection of programming languages it can be difficult to choose one for a particular project. Reading the manuals to evaluate the languages is a time consuming process. On the other hand, most people already have a fairly good idea of how various automobiles compare. So in order to assist those trying to choose a language, we have prepared a chart that matches programming languages with comparable automobiles. Assembler - A Formula 1 race car. Very fast, but difficult to drive and expensive to maintain. FORTRAN II - A Model T Ford. Once it was king of the road. FORTRAN IV - A Model A Ford. FORTRAN 77 - A six-cylinder Ford Fairlane with standard transmission and no seat belts. COBOL - A delivery van. It's bulky and ugly, but it does the work. BASIC - A second-hand Rambler with a rebuilt engine and patched upholstery. Your dad bought it for you to learn to drive. You'll ditch the car as soon as you can afford a new one. PL/1 - A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, a two-tone paint job, white-wall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and fuzzy dice hanging in the windshield. C - A black Firebird, the all-macho car. Comes with optional seat belts (lint) and optional fuzz buster (escape to assembler). ALGOL 60 - An Austin Mini. Boy, that's a small car! Pascal - A Volkswagen Beetle. It's small but sturdy. Was once popular with intellectuals. Modula II - A Volkswagen Rabbit with a trailer hitch. ALGOL 68 - An Aston Martin. An impressive car, but not just anyone can drive it. LISP - An electric car. It's simple but slow. Seat belts are not available. PROLOG/LUCID - Prototype concept- cars. Maple/MACSYMA - All-terrain vehicles. FORTH - A go-cart. LOGO - A kiddie's replica of a Rolls Royce. Comes with a real engine and a working horn. APL - A double-decker bus. It takes rows and columns of passengers to the same place all at the same time. But, it drives only in reverse gear, and is instrumented in Greek. Ada - An army-green Mercedes-Benz staff car. Power steering, power brakes and automatic transmission are all standard. No other colors or options are available. If it's good enough for the generals, it's good enough for you. Manufacturing delays due to difficulties reading the design specifications are starting to clear up. _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG UPDATE _____________________________________ In the update department, I would like to announce that we have added Ralph Walden to the Zmag staff. Mr. Walden will be doing articles on "C". This new column will debut within a few weeks. Here is our current staff: Ron Kovacs Publisher/Editor in Chief Ken Kirchner Assistant Publisher Susan Perry Assistant Publisher Rich Decowski Assistant Publisher Bill Shefski Copy Editor Mike Brown User Group Editor Leo Newman Special Features Editor Calamity Jane Columnist Ralph Walden Columnist Larry Mihalik Columnist G.S. Halden Legal Advisor ===================================== COMMENTARY By: Ron Kovacs ==================================== In an effort to clear up some of our problems, I have decided to change a few of our policies. For more information on this subject, Please read COMMENT3 available on the BBS. If you write any type of article, Please take the time to include a copyright notice, source of article, reprint instructions and any other information that will help us and others, process files in a legal manner. For more information on copyrights, Please read the July/August issue of Analog. I want to thank Mr. Neil Harris for allowing us to print the GEnie News on CompuServe. (Issue #62) Also thanks to Mike and Ron on the ATARI8 SIG on CIS, for their help n this matter. _____________________________________ Xx BBS MODIFICATIONS PART 1 .....By:Frank Siepel..... _____________________________________ Modifications to BBS Although much of the information which follows applies to Carina, many of the ideas can be used to construct similar programs with other software. My BBS has been up almost a year now. I have made many, many, modifications to it. Most of them are small, cosmetic changes. In this file, I plan to describe some of the best ideas I have had, and, I hope, at least some of which you will find useful. Networked message bases ----------------------- First, I am on the flat-rate long distance service P.C. Pursuit. I pay $25, no matter how much I call out. Calls can be made from 6pm - 7am weekdays, 6pm Fri - 7am Mon. I can reach 25 area codes. So I modified my BBS to call other system(s) every night and exchange messages. The other system(s) need not be running Carina, but, if they don't run Carina, you will have a fair amount of work ahead of you. Even if you don't run Carina, if you are interested in establishing any networked message bases, you should read on; principles used in this implementation can be applied to any BBS program. Whenever a message is posted on my BBS, or any of the other BBS's in the network, a second copy of the message is APPENDED to a text file, in the following format: [ALL PADDED TO GIVEN LENGTH WITH SPACES!!] field |length|example Title  obvious From  obvious To  obvious Base (name)  NETWORK Filename of base  Dx:Filename.DR? (standard) 3-line header: Posted on BBS NAME at hr:ms:se TIME ZONE on dd/mm/yr <Return> (NOTE: Header is not required, but is a nice feature, so that one knows the origin (BBS) of a message, and the time/date it was posted on (in that time zone!). Message contents /S Next message, same format. Note: MESSAGE LENGTH MAY NOT EXCEED 48 LINES!! Carina's message editor module has been altered to append only messages posted in a base called "NETWORK" to this file, which is called "NEWMS" (new messages). The message editor has also been modified so that it is capable of ENTERING messages into the actual message base from a NEWMS format file. Whenever someone logs off my BBS, a program called CONTROL is run. CONTROL first checks to see if any new messages are in my OWN NEWMS file. If so, it promptly appends all of these messages to the "mailbox" files, and then clears my NEWMS file. Each BBS in the network has a mailbox file. It contains messages to be sent to that BBS. Next, my BBS checks the time. If P.C. Pursuit is inaccessible, it re-runs WAITCALL. If it IS accessible, my system loads a disk file, which contains the last transfer date of messages for each BBS in the network. If all of their last transfer dates are equal to today's date, it re-runs WAITCALL, else, it picks randomly one of the boards whose last transfer dates is equal to today's date. Then it runs this BBS's log-in program. This program's format is as follows: Write out phone number, baud rate, to disk file. RUN CALLBACK module, which uses P.C. Pursuit to connect with the BBS. (or just ATDT a local BBS) LOG-IN like a normal user, entering <Return>, password, last four, etc. CHANGE HEADER to NETWORK: ------------------------- Atari on at xx/xx/xx xx:xx. Go to File-Tran. Execute commands DLNEW and ULNEW. DLNEW will download that BBS's NEWMS file. Once it has been received, a special program called FILEMAIL is run. This program appends the NEWMS file to every mailbox, except the one from hence it came. ULNEW uploads that particular board's mailbox file to that BBS. Of course, the NEWMS file is cleared after it is received, as is the mailbox file, so as to avoid duplicate messages. Once the new messages are received on the BBS end, the modified message editor is run, which, of course, enters the messages. This system is very versatile. You can have as few as one system in the network, or as many as you like. And it is entirely automatic! Now, to network your BBS with, say, an A.M.I.S. system, you follow the exact same process -- except your log-in program will do a READ ALL NEW instead of downloading a file. It will buffer and save each message. When it is finised, it will use "E" to enter messages into that BBS. Finally, a special program will need to be run to convert the buffered message file to NEWMS file format. Then it is just business as usual. Some things to remember -- Handle: a) no new messages b) line noise c) padding fields with spaces! d) Messages over 40 columns (split an 80 column line into two 40 column lines) Store high message on disk, if the BBS lacks a read all new command. Note that, if the BBS supports, say, only 20 line messages, your program will need to split longer messages into two or three messages. This can, of course, go both ways; the other BBS might support 75 line messages. All files having to do with network are in the public domain. The modified MSGED module may only be used by registered Carina BBS owners, as it is copyrighted. All files having to do with network can be downloaded from Pandora BBS at (614)-471-9209. Simply request that they be put up for download. CONTROL, CALLBACK, FILEMAIL, and original log-in modules were written by Frank Seipel, and the credit line in these programs should not be removed. If you are running a BBS in a P.C. Pursuit accessible area, I am interested in networking with you, and, if you already have a network, any BBS's you are already networked with; I have no qualms about making this very big by networking networks. If you aren't running a Carina board, I am not interested unless you are willing to write the code (see note). Final note: If you are networking with non-Carina boards, things can be made much easier, if you have THEIR end modified, so that you need only to download one file, and upload another! This is the method I suggest, as it avoids possible transmission errors. _____________________________________ Zmagazine 65 August 7, 1987 (C)1987 _____________________________________
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