Z*Magazine: 11-Dec-87 #83From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 11-Dec-87 #83 Date: Wed Jul 21 09:05:36 1993 ______________________________________ ZMAGAZINE 83 "Special Edition" December 11, 1987 Volume 2 No.50 ______________________________________ ZMAG BBS (201) 968-8148 300/1200 24 hr ______________________________________ Modifications and Technical Help Issue ______________________________________ Part 1 Publisher/Editor: Ron Kovacs Special thanks to the following for thier assistance this year. Ken Kirchner Susan Perry Mr. Goodprobe Steve Godun Calamity Jane John Nagy Rich Decowski Mike Shoenbach Ron Luks and the systems carrying Zmagazine each week. Check out the end of year issue dedicated to the Zmag Systems. ______________________________________ Xx Index 83 ______________________________________ The following columns have appeared in Zmagazine New Jersey during the past year. These articles will pertain to modifications, fixes, technical help, and other articles. These are reprinted and re-publication of this material is granted as long as ZMAG is credited. This series of Special Issues will contain three parts. <*> 1050 Disk Drive Fix....W. Pelzer <*> SpartaDos Help........Gerald Cox <*> VCR Cable Hook-ups....Dawn Gordon <*> MyDos Modification....J. Wallace <*> Textpro/Express.......Don Lebow <*> ARCX Help.............GEnie Atari <*> Hayes 1200 Fix........F. Walters <*> Joystick Port.........C. Grimsby <*> Terminal Comparisons..F. Seipel The following BBS has been added to the Zmag System List. Mall Five Opus (617) 625-5348 or (617) MAL-LFIV ______________________________________ Xx 1050 DISK DRIVE FIX ______________________________________ by Willie Pelzer This text file will (hopefully) tell to how to fix your 1050 drive ONLY if the following conditions are true. #1 The drive reads disc files okay. #2 The speed of the drive is correct. Their are Utilities in DL3 that you may use to check the speed. Just BRO/KEY SPEED. #3 The drive refuses to format when given the command and either formats the first two tracks or none at all and then just spins. Sometimes it will return an error #139. #4 It refuses to write and when given the command,just gives an error# 139. These are the problems that I had with my US doubler 1050. If you have the same EXACT problem, this fix MAY work for you also. CAUTION! If you are not handy with drive internals, or do not want to take responsibility for trying this,then send the thing to ICD for repair (or any drive repair service). Why am I being so cautious? Because while this fix DID cure my drive, I wanted to let you know that I can't say what it may do to yours. Still game? Okay,here we go. You will need a pair of needle nosed pliers, a phillips screwdriver, and a switch (I used a cheap Radio Shack pushbutton, less than $3.00). Also, about 10 inches of wire. I used a piece of small gauge speaker wire. And a low wattage soldering iron (25 watts will do). First, unplug your drive and turn your drive over and unscrew the four recessed screws that hold the top down. You should'nt have to remove the front two that hold on the face plate. Now turn the drive right side up. Lifting from the rear, remove the top. Be VERY careful not to disturb anything! On the left rear of the printed circuit there are four brown plugs that are marked (on the board) from front to rear as J11, J12, J1, J10 and J14. The one we want is J11, the closest one to the drive motor. Take a magic marker and mark the front of the plug, this will make it easy to know which side is the front. The two wires we want are the north pair of the four (when you're in front of the drive). In other words, of the four wires in plug J11, we want the first two, closest to the drive motor. Once it's marked, CAREFULLY remove the plug with a pair of needle nosed pliers. Carefully remove the some of the insulation from our two target wires. Take a small piece of wire and connect the two wires together. Tape them to prevent a them from shorting out against antthing. This is only temporary, as first we will test the fix to see if it works. Replace J11 (using the magic marker mark as thefront) and without replaceing the top, plug up your drive as usual. Load your dos. Using a blank disc, attempt to format. IF when the first two wires of J11 are connected together, the drive formats and writes then we are on the way! If the drive still refuses to format or write, then undo the jumper that you made on J11, tape the two bare spots on the two wires and replace J11. Replace the cover and send the drive out to be fixed. If the drive now formats and writes, then on we go! Unplug the drive and go back to J11. If everything is working now, we have to wire up a switch because connecting the two wires of J11 together over rides the write protect of the drive. You can now write to ANY disc, whether it has a notch, write protect tab, or no notch at all. So, we have to put in a switch so that we can go from the old NO format, no write condition to ALL format, all write condition. Remember those extra write protect tabs that you had? Put them on ALL your discs! Just in case the sensor starts working again and formats or writes when you least expect it. All you people that use both sides of a disc (a bad practice I'M told), will now be able to format or write to side two without making a notch. On to the finish... Remove J11 again and remove the jumper wire that connected the first two wires. What we want to do is solder a length of wire to each of the two wires (the bared portions). Once you've done this, tape each wire well and replace J11 on the board. (use your mark for front!). Each wire should now be separate with a length of wire coming from it. Now solder a wire to each of the two terminals of your switch. (first decide where you're going to mount it, I mounted my pushbutton on the lower sloping portion of the face plate). Without replacing the cover, plug your drive in and test it once again for format and write. If it does'nt write or format the first time then push the switch to the other position. It should now work. If it worked the first time, it should work now. If not, go over your work. Maybe you did'nt make one of the connections properly. If using a pushbutton switch, in should allow the drive to function as it should and out should restore it to it's former no write condition. Now mount your switch, (keep the wires away from the drive mech.) and replace your cover. As to WHY this works or what happened to break your drive in the first place, well sorry I don't know. I do know that it worked for me and I'm hopeful that this $3.00 fix works for you. Wpiii Willie Pelzer 3rd ppn# 73247,206 ______________________________________ Xx SPARTADOS HELP ______________________________________ by Gerald Cox How many times have you wished you could call a binary file AUTORUN.SYS and have SpartaDOS load it automaticly for you but the program will not run with the key board buffer installed. Until now the only way was to use a startup.bat file to do a key off then load the program. Well I got tired of it and discovered that you can search the X32D.DOS file for three bytes and change them and the default on boot up will be the key board buffer off. Just get out the SpartaDOS Tool Kit and load the Diskrx sector editor. Search for these three bytes. 20 DB FF. Change them to EA EA EA. Thats all there is to it. I also changed the ver. number to X32k.DOS so I would know that it was the one with the default K.B. off. I think this makes a great dos even better. If you don't have Diskrx then format a disk with AINIT. Copy X32D.DOS to it. Load up what ever sector editor you have and go to sector 106. Now change the bytes 20 DB FF to EA EA EA. Gerald Cox ______________________________________ Xx Tv-VCR CABLE HOOK UPS ______________________________________ Copyright 1986 Dawn Gordon If you've ever had a problem hooking up your TV and VCR to a cable system with scrambled channels you know what the word painful really means. But you're in luck cause if you want to be able to restore programmability to your VCR, restore remote control to your TV, restore time shifting, and the ability to tape both regular channels and scrambled cable channels, here's the answer: SUPPLIES 1 Two-way splitter (a type with as little dB loss as possible--you can even get one with a built-in amp) 1 A/B switch 5 Coaxial cables with attached F connectors PROCEDURE 1) Take the main cable that normally goes into the cable box, and put a 2-way splitter on it. 2) Take a coax cable and attach it to one of the outputs on the splitter with the other end going to the cable box input. 3) The other output of the splitter goes to the A input of the A/B switcher. 4) The output of the cable box then goes to the B input of the A/B switch. 5) The output of the A/B switch then goes to the VCR RF input. 6) The VCR's RF output goes to the TV. Here's how it looks graphically: Main : Cable : ****** Splitter -> * * --------------- ****** : : : : : ************** -------- : * Cable * : : * Box **************** *************** A/B * * Switch * *************** : : : *************** * VCR * ------------- * * : *************** : ******************* * * * TV * * * ******************* Well that's how it works. With the switch in the A position on a standard TV you get VHF channels, and when in the B position you get the output of your cable box, which unscrambles pay channels. If you own a cable-ready TV and/or a cable-ready VCR you can get all cable channels (except scrambled ones) in the A position. PAY CHANNELS & ROOF ANTENNA If you have both pay cable and a roof antenna and wish to mix them here's what you do: SUPPLIES 1 A/B Switch 3 Coaxial cables with F-connectors attached PROCEDURE 1) Take the main cable and connect it to the input of your cable box. 2) Connect a coaxial cable to the output of the cable box and run it to the B input of an A/B switch. 3) Take your main roof antenna cable and attach it to the A input of the A/B switch. 4) The output of the A/B switch then goes to the VCR RF input. 5) The VCR's RF output goes to the TV. Here's how it looks graphically: Roof : Antenna Main : Cable : : : : : : : : : ************** -------- : * Cable * : : * Box * *************** ************** * A/B * * Switch * *************** : : : *************** * VCR * ------------- * * : *************** : ******************* * * * TV * * * ******************* When you switch the A/B switch to the A position you get your roof antenna, and when you switch it to the B position you get your cable box. ______________________________________ Xx MYDOS MODIFICATION ______________________________________ by Jon Wallace This is the correct version of the mod. The other one works until you try and make your ramdisk bigger or smaller. Mydos 4.1 fix for Basic XE. For you rare owners that use Basic XE,Mydos 4.1, and a Ramdisk(of course you would have to have a Ram upgrade) here is a little fix so that you can write to your ram disk in EXTENDED mode of Basic XE without a lockup. Simply type in these four statements in basic and then go to Dos and re-write Dos files. POKE 5487,133 POKE 5488,49 POKE 5489,9 POKE 5490,175 Then you have to modify a byte in Dup.sys. I used Disk Wizard 2 and scanned dup.sys for 8D 70 15 (in hex) and changed the 70 to a 72. You can use omnimon and change 2E15 STA $1570 to 2E15 STA $1572 and re-save Dup.sys. Don't know if that is the fastest way to solve the problem but it is the way I found first. (Second) If you have any questions let me know. ______________________________________ Xx TEXTPRO and EXPRESS ______________________________________ by Don Lebow Here's my method... First, create a TEXTPRO/EXPRESS MASTER DISK containing the following files: DOS.SYS RAMDISK.COM TEXTPRO.COM (version 2.5r only!) TEXTPRO.CNF (config file) TEXTPRO.FNT (custom font) TEXTPRO.MAC (default macro file) EXPRESS.COM (1030 Express v 3.0 only!) IMPORTANT: if you wish to use a joystick driver with Express, you <MUST> use the customized DOS 2.5 driver available in this DL as TPXPST.OBJ As with the original joystick driver (see JOYSTK.DOC in DL2), you should append Express to the driver using the /A parameter in DOS 2.5 (for example: select <C>opy File then input: D:EXPRESS.COM,D:TPXPST.OBJ/A After you've got it appended, Rename as appropriate.) CONFIG.EXP (express config file) PHONE1.LST (default phone # list) Got it? NOW do some renaming... RENAME TEXTPRO.COM to DUP.SYS (that means that it will automatically be saved to D8: when you boot with RAMDISK.COM) Before you do this, make sure you've erased the <ORIGINAL> DUP.SYS to prevent duplicate filenames.) RENAME EXPRESS.COM to AUTORUN.SYS You're ready to go! Boot up your XE as normal with Express using your new master disk. Turn on your 1030 modem, then the drive, then turn on the computer while holding down the OPTION key to cancel Basic. When the load is done, and the Express menu is up... MOST IMPORTANT: DELETE 'D8:MEM.SAV' using the 'J' command in Express! Dial up wherever and capture whatever text you want to D8: text files. When you're done, sign off as normal and you're back to the menu. NOW... <MAKE SURE> that you have your master disk in D1: (or any disk that has the TEXTPRO aux files on it) Ready? Press RESET. You'll see TEXTPRO (remember, we've fooled the computer into thinking it's DUP.SYS) loading (fast!) and then the aux files loading from D1: Viola! You are now in TEXTPRO <without> having to do a re-boot! The text files you have on D8: are still there. You can now go ahead and edit, do replies, whatever, using TEXTPRO's power. DO NOT turn off your 1030 modem! When you're done editing (at this point, I usually have a text file of replies and msgs on D8:), and ready to get back On Line.. <MAKE SURE> you have a disk in D1: with EXPRESS and it's aux files (that Master Disk, again, is REAL handy.) Use the TP <SELECT-CONTROL-W> command to do a binary load. At the prompt, input AUTORUN.SYS (or whatever name you have Express saved under.) Providing you've followed the above steps, you'll see Express loading (again, no need to re-boot!) and you'll be back in Express, ready to Upload your new text files! Note that D8: still contains any files you've saved. Just like they say in the DOCs, it's functioning as a clipboard (though Mr. Paranoia, here always saves anything vital out to D1:, just in case...) That's all there is to it. I've found that you can continue swapping back and forth between the two programs with no degradation in performance. If you run into problems, leave me a message and I'll see if I can help... >>don [70717,720] ______________________________________ Xx ARCX HELP ______________________________________ (C) 1987 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari ST Roundtable. May be reprinted only with this notice intact. The Atari Roundtables on GEnie are *official* information services of Atari Corporation. To sign up for GEnie service, call (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (no RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type XJM11877,GEnie and hit RETURN. The system will prompt you for your information. HELP for using ARCX v1.2 <file #1908> This is a short "How to..." on the use of ARCX version 1.2 as found in the GEnie 8 bit Atari RoundTable. This file is broken into two parts: 1> loading ARCX 2> running ARCX Since there are few differences in ARCX v1.1 and ARCX v1.2, we will refer only to ARCX. It is strongly recommended that you download ARCX v1.2 as it is about 30% faster than v1.1 and will therefore save you some time off line when recovering files. ARCX is the program that you will need to be able to recover and use all of the files in the Atari RoundTable that are stored in the ARC format. See the file ARC.HLP for more info on the creation of an ARC'd file. LOADING ARCX ************ To load ARCX, place a disk with your DOS file(s) on it in D1: and turn on the computer. BE SURE TO HAVE ALL CARTRIDGES REMOVED AND ON XL/XE MACHINES, HOLD DOWN THE "OPTION" KEY TO TURN OFF BASIC. ARCX is known to work with Atari DOS 2.0 & 2.5, SpartaDOS <all versions>, and MYDOS 4.0 and up. ARCX ** WILL NOT ** work with SMARTDOS. Once to the DOS menu, you may set up your RAMdisk, copy files to the RAMdisk, etc.. It is recommended that you have a freshly formatted disk ready to receive the recovered files, so you might also want to format a disk now. Now place the disk with the file ARCX.COM on it in the drive and do a binary load of the file. From Atari DOS, this is option 'L' and the file name to load is ARCX.COM. From SpartaDOS, just type ARCX <RETURN>. ARCX will load into the computer and be ready to run. Note that ARCX will work with all Atari 8 bit computers with at least 48K of RAM and one disk drive. RUNNING ARCX ************ The first line of the ARCX menu will prompt you for a file name. If the file to be unARC'd has the extender of .ARC <as it should>, you need only type in the file name and not the extender. <ie to recover TEST.ARC, you need only type TEST> If the file to be recovered is in any drive other than D1:, you will need to give the device as part of the file name. <ie from a RAMdisk as D8, you would type D8:TEST> You may also see a directory of a disk by pressing the '+' key. NOTE: ARCX does not allow the use of wild cards, so you must enter the complete file name. Once you enter the file name to be recovered and hit <RETURN>, ARCX will ask for a destination drive. This is just a number from 1 to 8. There must be an active drive that is ready to receive the recovered file(s). If you want to send the recovered file(s) to D2:, put your formated disk in D2:, and press '2'. The last option that you will see is if you want the screen turned off or not while ARCX is working. Pressing the 'N' key leaves the screen on and pressing 'Y' turns it off. Unless you are just curious, it is recommended that you turn the screen off <answer 'Y'> because ARCX is about 25-30% faster with the screen off than with it on. Once you press the 'Y' or 'N' key, ARCX will proceed to read the source file and write to the destination drive. POSSIBLE PROBLEMS ***************** At the very start of the ARCX process, you may get several different I/O errors. I have found that most of these are because of the failure to give a valid file name. If this happens, make sure that you have given the COMPLETE file name with NO wildcards. As a matter of habit, I also enter the .ARC extender as part of the file name. Also make sure that the destination disk is freshly formated and is not write protected. If ARCX fails to do anything when you load it, MAKE SURE THAT BASIC IS OFF/ REMOVED. ARCX will lock up if BASIC is on. While ARCX is working, you may sometimes hear a high pitched beep. If the screen is on, you will also see the note "filename.ext Fails CRC Check". This means that ARCX has encountered a file in the ARC'd file that for some reason does not match the original source file. This DOES NOT mean that the file is bad! This often happens on text files and is due to the block padding that most Xmodem file transfer systems do. If you get a CRC error, try to run the recovered programs. Odds are, they will probably run with no problems. If you do find that they will not run, use ARCX to recover the *.ARC file again and see if the error occurs again. If you have more problems, please leave E-Mail to one of the Atari RT SysOps with the file name/number, and a full description of the problem. You may get a disk full error if you are using only one drive. ARCX supports the use of a RAMdisk and it is recommended that you use the RAMdisk if you can. If you have only one drive and no RAMdisk, you will be limited as to the size of the file that you can recover since both the source *.ARC file and the recovered file(s) must all fit on the same disk. As a rough guess, the *.ARC file should take up no more than 30% of the total disk space. Many people have left me mail saying that ARCX has "Locked up" when in reality, it was doing just what it should be. This apparent lock up is because ARCX is fairly slow and does little disk access, so not much seems to be going on. As a rule of thumb, allow ARCX 1 minute for every 5K of *.ARC file size. <5K=40 SD sectors=20 DD sectors> This way, you won't be expecting ARCX to just zip right through. Hopefully, this will answer many of your questions about how to use ARCX to recover the files here in the Atari 8 bit RT. If you should have a specific question, please feel free to drop E-Mail to one of the SysOps, and we'll be glad to help in any way we can. ______________________________________ Xx HAYES 1200 PROBLEM ______________________________________ by Frank Walters SysOp, T.A.C.O. Bell Panama City, FL When attempting to set up an Oasis BBS system, a fellow sysop contacted me to see if we could figure out a problem it had with recognition of connect and disconnect. Here is what we found out. He has a 'new' model Hayes 1200, while I have the 'old' model of the same modem. The new model has 10 dips, while the old model has 8. That's how we tell them apart, especially if you only have one. After talking with the technical representitive at Hayes, it turns out there was an undocumented change in how the 1200 baud model handles DSR (data set ready). Since most terminal/BBS software uses the DSR signal as part of the STATUS check, it is critical for proper operation that you understand what you are getting. The 'old' model, like most modems, sets DSR high at carrier detect. Actually, the Hayes has a jumper between pin #6 (DSR) and pin #8 (CRX) so that when it sets CRX high, it automatically sets DSR high. The STATUS call will send a value of 8 to address 747 (decimal) for CRX high and 128 for DSR for a total increase of 136 in address 747. Most software depends on this higher value to determine 'connect' after dialing, or (for BBS software) to determine that a caller has connected. The 'new' model (10 dip switches) of the Hayes 1200 changed the jumper to pins #6 (DSR) and #5 (CTS), the latter normally not even connected by cable to the 850 interface. However, when the modem sets Clear to Send high, it is BEFORE carrier detect, and since it is directly connected to DSR, it also sets DSR high before connect, resulting in a false connect signal to the software. How do you get the 'new' modem to act like the 'old' model? 1) Modify the modem. Nobody wants to mess with the modem warranty or screw that up. 2) Modify the software. Most people don't know how to do that at all, and you would have to change every program you use anyway. 3) Modify the cable. This appears to be the best solution. Here is how we did just that: Disconnect the wire at pin #6 on the RS-232C end. Disconnect the same wire (also pin #6) at the 9-pin D plug for the 850 or P:R: Connection. This will insure that the false DSR will not be sent from the modem. Then to simulate DSR at connect, solder a jumper wire at the 9-pin D plug (850 interface end) between pin #6 (DSR) and pin #2 (CRX). Now when Carrier Detect is set high, it also sets DSR high. This cable will work with the older models too. Here is a diagram of the new cable: 850 (9 pin/D-male) RS-232C (25 pin) _________________ ________________ #1 DTR >------------------> DTR #20 ++#2 CRX <------------------< CRX #8 + #3 SEND DATA >-------> REC DATA #3 + #4 REC DATA <-------< SEND DATA #2 + #5 SIGNAL GND ------ SIGNAL GND #7 ++#6 DSR <--/(disconnect)/--< DSR #6 #7 RTS (not used) CTS #5 #8 CTS <-------< HI SPEED INDIC #12 #9 (not used) ++NOTE: Jumper between pins 2-6 so that DSR is set high whenever CRX is set high by the modem. NOTE: #8 CTS to #12 HI SPEED INDICATOR is only for auto answer with some BBS software for baud recognition but otherwise not required. Avatex modems do not have #12. Some BBS software depends on the RING INDICATOR to force the program to send an ATA to the modem. In this case you can use #8 CTS to #22 RING INDICATOR instead of the 8-12 as shown. Call Hayes Microcomputer Products at 1-800-241-6492 for further information. ______________________________________ Xx HACKING THE JOYSTICK PORT ______________________________________ By Chuck Grimsby As every Atari Basic programmer knows, the joystick port can be used to produce nine different actions or commands (excluding the center or 'null' position), utilizing the STICK(x) and STRIG(x) commands. The numbers your programs look for are: value stick posistion ----- --------------- 14 UP 13 DOWN 7 RIGHT 11 LEFT 6 UP RIGHT 5 DOWN RIGHT 9 DOWN LEFT 10 UP LEFT 15 CENTER (NULL) 0 FIRE, (USING STRIG(0) 1 NOT FIRE You may have noticed that there are some numbers missing from that list, and from all lists that show you how to use the STICK(x) command. Where are the numbers 0-4, 8 and 12? Well, actualy those numbers are there and are readable, but you can't use a normal joystick to produce them. You either need a numeric keypad (like the old Atari CX-85) or a special 'joystick' consisting of buttons in place of a single stick. I built myself a special joystick to use as a non-moving mouse (my desk space is VERY limited) and discovered I had also created a joystick that would produce those non-standard numbers. My brother has dubed this device a 'Dead Mouse' and it has proved to be very handy. It also works great as a very accurate joystick for MicroPainter. The new STICK(x) list using the Dead Mouse looks like this: VALUE BUTTON(S) PRESSED ----- ----------------- 0 UP DOWN LEFT RIGHT 1 DOWN LEFT RIGHT 2 UP LEFT RIGHT 3 RIGHT LEFT 4 UP DOWN RIGHT 5 DOWN RIGHT 6 UP RIGHT 7 RIGHT 8 UP DOWN LEFT 9 DOWN LEFT 10 UP LEFT 11 LEFT 12 UP DOWN 13 DOWN 14 UP 15 NONE (NULL) The numbers produced through the Dead Mouse can also be used to simulate the numeric keypad IF you have the proper AUTORUN.SYS file AND press the FIRE button with the other keys. The following list shows the funtions that the Dead Mouse key presses will return. Remember to ALWAYS press the FIRE button as well. FUNCTION DEAD MOUSE KEYS -------- --------------- DELETE UP DOWN LEFT RIGHT YES UP DOWN LEFT NO UP DOWN RIGHT - NONE (NO KEYSPRESSED) +ENTER UP 0 UP DOWN 1 DOWN LEFT 2 UP LEFT 3 LEFT 4 DOWN LEFT RIGHT 5 UP LEFT RIGHT 6 RIGHT LEFT 7 DOWN RIGHT 8 UP RIGHT 9 RIGHT The construction of the Dead Mouse is simple, due to the fact that every joystick made actualy uses four buttons on the inside activated by moving the stick. All you need to make the Dead Mouse are five momentery contact buttons, a female D9 conector, a six conductor cable, and a project box. You can save yourself some time and trouble by using the cable from an old broken joystick, or buying a joystick extension cord and cutting off one end instead of making a new cable. Start by drilling five holes for the buttons in the lid of the project box a little bit larger then the size of the buttons, and one hole in the side of the box for the cable to the computer. Next mount and secure the five buttons in the holes and pass the cable through the hole in the side of the box. Make a knot in the cable on the inside so the cable wont pull out. Now solder the wire from the cable to the switches following the table below. NOTE: Solder to ONLY ONE SIDE OF THE BUTTON!! u 1 2 3 4 5 u \ O O O O O / u\ O O O O/u 6 7 8 9 PIN # BUTTON ----- ------ 2 RIGHT 3 LEFT 4 DOWN 5 UP 9 FIRE Now solder pin #7 to the other side of ALL the buttons. This is the common or "ground" line. Put the lid on your box, and your Dead Mouse is ready to use. From experience, the Dead Mouse is a very poor joystick, Don't even bother to try and use it for game playing. It is, however, a more profesional looking device for use as a mouse than a joystick, and a accurate drawing tool for MicroPainter. ______________________________________ Xx TERMINAL COMPARISONS ______________________________________ Written by Frank Seipel All terminal programs for the Atari were not created equally. Certain applications can best be performed by only one of the popular terminal programs, three of which will be examined in this article: Backtalk1.2 Amodem 7.50 Express 3.0 All three of these programs exist in various versions, so that they work with all popular modem types: MPP/Supra 1030/835/XM301 RS232c modems. Backtalk, written in 1985 is nearing its third birthday. This program offers some unique features. I like this program best if I am reading text; even at 1200 baud, all text fine scrolls off the screen. It is a lot easier on your eyes (good for those late-night telecommunications sessions). This program also offers a huge capture buffer -- under my configuration of MyDos 4.3, it amounts to around 10,000 characters. Most programs offer capture to disk, but the larger the buffer is, the faster the transfer will take place. One thing which makes this program extremely powerful is its ability to accept macros. A macro is a string of text with imbedded commands. You can write scripts to call a board and download files, read messages, and then logoff. This could be useful, say, for dialing a long distance BBS late at night when phone rates are at their lowest. This program offers more versatility in writing macros than any other available for the 8-bit Atari; it offers many more commands than the competition. Perhaps the most useful application of macros is repetitive commands; if you use the flat-rate long distance service PC Pursuit, then this program is definitely for you. Amodem was one of the first Atari 8-bit terminal programs available. Over the years, it has evolved quite a bit. The latest version -- a single Basic program -- runs on an MPP/Supra, 1030/835/XM301, or an RS232c modem with no modifications! All you need to do is switch handlers. (in the past different versions had to be used for different modems). Since 7.0 the program has been improved drastically; it is numero uno for file-transfers, with X-Modem SUM and CRC being supported, as well as Y-Modem CRC and batch. No other terminal programs for the Atari support Y-Modem. It works in a similar manner to X-Modem, but block size is 1,024 bytes as opposed to 128 bytes. There are less handshaking delays and the transfer goes about 20% faster. All the newer BBS programs support Y-Modem protocol. If you are using a 130XE and Basic XE, you may wish to try out a special version of Amodem -- v7.3. It is a modified version of the older Amodem 7.0, but with a major improvement - the extra memory in the XE is used as one big buffer! Express is by far the easiest terminal program to use. It offers a better autodial system than either of the above two programs. Although it doesn't handle Y-Modem, its file transfer routines are very reliable. So many good things have been said about Express that it would seem useless here to bore you with the details. The Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator can be especially useful in certain instances. This hard-to-find program emulate a myriad of different terminals. It can also act as a file server and supports Kermit protocol. If you only need VT100 emulation, there are a number of programs which support this which are in the public domain! They even display 80 columns on the screen. However, the text is compressed and difficult to read. Still this program's advantages far outweigh its disadvantages if you need the full screen editing that a VT100 terminal offers. Backtalk 1.2 AP0154 $19.95 The Catalog 544 Second Street San Francisco, CA 94107 Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator AP0113 The Catalog 544 Second Street San Francisco, CA 94107 Express, Amodem, and VT100 programs are in the public domain and can be found on the A.c.e.c. user group BBS (614)-471-8559. ______________________________________ Zmagazine Issue #83 December 11, 1987 Special Edition ->Technical Help<- (c)1987 Syndicate Services/Rovac ______________________________________
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