Z*Magazine: 26-Jul-86 #9

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/03/93-08:38:37 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 26-Jul-86 #9
Date: Sat Jul  3 20:38:37 1993

Zmagazine #9         HOT Atari News
Ron Kovacs-Editor    Plus+++
Walt Drummond-Assistant Editor
July 26, 1986 
Xx Contents
<*> Zread16 Debuts
<*> Mail Order Blues
<*> Zmag Index
<*> Zmag Systems
<*> Zmag Notes
<*> Basic Help
<*> Zmag Newsletter
<*> Reader Request
<*> Wedge 130 Documentation
<*> Reader Comment
<*> Antic Notes

Xx Mailorder Blues

This story tells what happened when
I placed an order by mail with the
following mail order firm:

Business Computers of Peterborough
Upper Union Street, Box 94
W. Peterborough, NH 03468-0094

I still have a hard time believing
that a company can treat a person
like they treated me and get away
with it.

I mailed my company check in the
amount of $499.95 along with my
order for an "Orchid Conquest
Memory Expansion Board".

I phoned to see when the order
would be shipped. The receipt of my
check was acknowledged and I was
promised a shipping date of
05-21-86. The delay was to allow my
check to clear.

It's now nearly 2 weeks after the
promised shipping date and almost a
month and a half after they knew
they would need the product I had
ordered. I phoned to inquire on the
whereabouts of my order. I was told
that it hadn't been shipped yet but
that it would be shipped out that
week for sure.

I phoned again because the order
hadn't arrived yet. The girl began
to give me the exact same story as
on the previous occasion that I
phoned. I canceled the order and
requested a refund. I was told that
a refund check would be mailed
soon. I mailed a long letter to the
president of the company, William 
F. Gollan, explaining my problems
and asking for his help in
resolving the matter.

It has now been 2 months from the
day I placed the order. I phoned to
find out why I hadn't received the
refund check yet. She said my name
was in the refund file but she
didn't know when a check would be
mailed. I asked to speak to her
supervisor. She told me that his
name was John Hampson and that he
was in a meeting. She took my 
number and said he would call me.
He never did.

I wrote letters to PC WORLD and PC
MAGAZINE explaining my problems
with the firm and asked them to
warn their readers what the
consequences of mailing a check to
Business Computers could be.

I filed a complaint with the Postal

I phoned and spoke with Cindy. She
promised that a refund check would
be mailed the next day.

I phoned and spoke with Cindy
again. She said they were having
problems with their terminals. She
said she would ask Mr. Hampson to
return my call. She said that a
refund would be issued the next
day. Again, no one ever bothered to
phone me.

I filed a complaint with the
Consumer Protection Bureau of the
New Hampshire Attorney Generals

I phoned and spoke to Art. He did
the usual, took down my name and
number and promised that Mr.Hampson
would call. I asked to speak to Mr.
Gollan (the company President) or
Carol (the girl in bookkeeping) and
was told they were both gone. Art
was rude and very unwilling to
help. Again, no one bothered to
return my call.

waiting for 81 days I finally got
my money back.

The scary part was that NEVER, was
I allowed to speak with anyone
other than the customer service rep
that answered the phone. When I
would ask the rep to speak to her
supervisor he would always be "in a
meeting". They would never return a
call.  On several occasions during
normal business hours the customer
service number wouldn't be
answered. Of course you could call
the order line and they would
answer immediately. I wasted over
$20 in phone calls trying to get
my money back.

Had it not been for the Attorney
General, the Postal Inspectors and
the 2 magazines I probably would
have never gotton my money back.

BE WARNED!  If your going to do
business with Business Computers of
Peterborough DON'T MAIL A CHECK --
use a credit card and don't expect
them to do what they advertise.

Greg Susong [70635,1312]

Xx Zread16

Zread16 has been finished. This
newest Zmag file is the best so far
and a must for Zmag readers.

This file now allows you to read
print and select articles. Many
other functions and modifications
can be performed. If you are 
interested in getting this file,
call any of the Zmag BBS Systems
listed in Zmag Systems.

Syndicate BBS and Windy City now
have it available in their down
load sections.

Compuserve readers will find it 
very soon in DL 3.

Thanks go to Clinton Smith for his
find work!!

Xx Basic Help

This week I will list Atari Error
numbers and messages. This list
also includes errors in DOS.

Error 2 BASIC Insufficent Memory

Additional memory is required to
store the statement or to dimension
the new string variable. By adding
more ram or by deleting any unused
variables, this error can be 
avoided. This error can also be
caused by a gosub statement with
too many levels of nesting.

Error 2 DOS No Command File Found

The X-user-defined option of the
DOS 3 menu was attempted, but no
files of the form *.CMD were
contained in Drive 1.

Error 3 BASIC Value Error

A numeric value was encountered
that was outside of the allowed
range, too large or too small. This
error can also occur when a negative
value is returned when the value
should be positive.

Error 3 DOS Input Required

Only the RETURN key was pressed in
response to a prompt that required
an input.

Error 4 BASIC Too Many Variables

Over 128 variable names have been
specified. Any unused names should
be deleted.

Error 4 DOS No Cartridge

The To Cartridge Menu option of
DOS 3 was attempted; however no
cartridge was present and BASIC
had been deactivated.

Error 5 BASIC String Length Error

The program attempted to read or
write outside of the range for
which the string was dimensioned.
This also occurs when zero is used
as the index. This error can be
corrected by increasing the DIM
index size.

Error 5 DOS I/O Error

A generic input/output error.

Error 6 BASIC Out of Data

The data statements did not contain
enough data items for the variables
in the corresponding read statements

Error 6 DOS Invalid End Address

The end address for the save option
was entered as less then the start

Error 7 BASIC Line Number >32767

The line number is negative or
greater than 32767.

Error 7 DOS Error Loading Mem.Sav

The Atari has not been able to
reload the ram using MEM.SAV.
Possible causes include a faulty
disk or a dirty disk drive.

Error 8 BASIC Input Statement

An attempt was made to input a
non-numeric value into a numeric
variable. Be certain that the type
of data being entered corresponds
to the input variable type.

Error 8 DOS Error Saving MEM.SAV

The MEM.SAV file on disk is no
longer valid after this error.

Error 9 BASIC Array or String Error

The error occurs when the program
refrences an array or string which
has not been dimensioned. This error
also occurs when a dim statement
includes a string or array that was
previously dimensioned. Or if an
attempt is made to dim a string of
length zero or length greater than

Error 9 DOS Drive input error

An invalid device specification was

Error 10 BASIC Argument Stack Over

Too many nested parenthesis in an

Error 10 DOS Filename Input Error

An invalid filename was supplied.
Xx Wedge 130

The Basic wedge adds a 1k block
of RAM that is used just like Page


The default block is from $2000
to $23FF (8192-9215). The pointers
are altered to keep this area
protected against RESET, NEW, LOAD,
and other nasties. Uses?

   >Since it is on an even page
boundary, it can be used for a
character set, or PM graphics. No
more PEEK (106) complications.

   >It can be used for all of those
ML utilities that you haven't been
able to squeeze into 255 bytes, or
managed to make relocateable for
strings (First we get it to work,
THEN we massage, right?) Since you
have BLOAD for loading object
files, you can shuttle things into
Bigblock as they are needed, a real
boon when you're developing ML
subroutines for Basic programs.

   >You can even use this RAM to
Bload what would otherwise require
AUTORUN.SYS files (device handlers
 etc.), eliminating some of those
Low Memory conflicts that drive us
all crazy. Reassemble the source
listings and make your life


    For maximum flexibility, you
can change the size of Bigblock
with a couple of POKEs. The
procedure is outlined on the title
screen. The numbers you POKE are
the lo and hi byte of the address
you want to be the new LOMEM, the
bottom of Basic memory. (The RAM
below this address is protected.)
The simplest approach is to keep
the low byte at 0, and use Page
Numbers for the high. A couple of
freeing up that extra 1k. POKE
7432,0: POKE 7434,32.

   TO EXPAND BIGBLOCK to a full 2k
to  accomodate single line PM.
POKE 7432,0: POKE 7434,40.


   After you've POKEd the values,
hit RESET. Then type NEW, to
properly initialize the Basic
pointers. It's not quite like a
direct LOMEM command for Basic (the
thought has crossed my mind, but
the crude approach saves memory.)
Close though.


The text and background colors
displayed on RESET can be altered
by POKEs to 7442 (text) and 7444
(background) There is also a RESET
shadow for a custom character set
(a personal weakness.) POKE the
page number to 7452.


The Write DOS function in DUP.SYS
(H) doesn't work if you call it
with D8:MEM.SAV active. No MEM.SAV,
it's OK. Don't ask me, I just work
here. Remember that you can write
DOS.SYS from Basic with OPEN
#1,8,0,"D:DOS.SYS":CLOSE #1 and
copy DUP.SYS separately.

                         Xx Reader Request

A Zmag reader sent me a letter
asking to include information in
an issue about The X device.
Well I searched around and found
some docs, I hope this is what
you were referring too!

      *** THE 'X:' DEVICE ***
*                                 *
*  CHANGE NOTES:  fixes and mods  *
*                                 *
*   01/01/85   Calls to ATARI FP  *
*              ROM replaced with  *
*              integer math code  *
*                                 *
*  11/13/84  1. now supports BASIC*
*                PRINT statement  *
*             2. supports SYSTEM  *
*                RESET key properl*
*             3. some memory use  *
*                bugs fixed - now *
*                can CLOSE/OPEN   *
*                repeatedly withou*
*                using more memory*
*                                 *

The 'X' device driver is an 80-
column display device driver for
all ATARI computers. When loaded
into memory it installs itself
between addresses $2B00 and $35D0.
Since it is not yet relocatable
this places it high enough to allow
room for normal DOS users (DOS/XL,
OS/A+, DOS2.0s) and leaves space
for the 'R' handler if the 850
Interface Module is used. A
relocatable version is planned for
the future.

The 'X' device driver loads an 'X'
device entry in the Handler Address
Table and provides standard CIO 
interfacing to the driver, with
some caveats. When opened for
OUTPUT it performs like the 'E'
device; all usual cursor and
editing controls are followed and
inverse video is provided. When
opened for UPDATE it does not edit
out cursor control characters like
the 'E' device, but passes them
back to the caller like the 'S'

The 'X' device driver provides some
editing features that are not
offered by the 'E' or 'S' devices.
ERASE Line and Screen to and from
the current CURSOR position are
provided via XIO commands. Absolute
Cursor Positioning is also provided
via an XIO command.


OPEN #n,4,0,"X:" - open #n using'X'
CLOSE, GET, PUT  - as usual

XIO cmdno,#n,0,0,'X:' -special cmds
 cmdno = $10 - position aux1,aux2
 cmdno = $20 - erase line to CURSOR
 cmdno = $21 - erase line fm CURSOR
 cmdno = $22 - erase screen to CURSOR
 cmdno = $23 - erase screen fm CURSOR


ATARI DOS users should name the 
XDSPLY file AUTORUN.SYS on their
boot disk. It can be concatenated
to an existing AUTORUN.SYS file,
such as the RS232 handler. OSS
DOS/XL or  OS/A+ users can leave
the file as a .COM file and install
it by running it like any other
Extrinsic command.


XDSPLY does not replace the 'E:'
device. It can be used like it in
certain circumstances and you can
modify the OS's Handler Address
Table to substitute 'X:' for 'E:';
but not all of the 'E:' features
such as full screen editing are

Please report any bugs to me via
EMAIL on Compuserve at 70545,507
and I'll try to address them in the
next release.

Alex M. Stevens
Xx Zmag Newsletter

I am currently working on the
first edition of the Zmag Newsletter
and should have something ready in
a week or two. If you are interested
in getting a copy please send me
your address. The first edition
will be free of charge to Zmag
readers, Future editions will be
sold at a cost of $3.00. this
charge covers cost for copying
issues, and shipping.

The current schedule is as follows.
August 7th, and the first of each
month. Each issue will include the
previous months issues of NJ
Zmags and Chicago Zmags, I hope
to also include material which
was too long for publication in
the regular weekly Telecom issue.

If you have any information you
would like to submit for the
newsletter, send it to:

Zmagazine Newsletter
Post Office Box 74
Middlesex, NJ 08846-0074
Attn: Ron Kovacs

Xx Zmag Index

This is the 9th regular issue of
Zmag and our 14th edition to date.
Next weeks issue will include a
special area for past issues.
I will list all the issues and
the topics discussed. Past issues
of Zmag are available. You can
get a few on CompuServe in the
Public Access area and in the
Atari 8 SIG, in Data Library 7.

Zmag issues are also available 
through your local Zmag BBS 
system. If you want Zmag on a
BBS local to you, Please let me
know where it is!! I will do my
best to get Zmag on.

Xx Reader Comment

Software Piracy--What the companies
are doing, and what they should
be doing!

     In today's market, software
companies have been spending
millions trying to come up with the
solution to squelch "the pirate".
Here is what they have been doing
to keep their precious software
from being copied and modified:

   --They have organized a pseudo
company and hired CEO hotshot
Maynard Lapok to prosecute the
offender's, using a highly polished
legal staff in it's wings to punish
the "abuser".

   --They have expanded their
licensing programs for corporate
user's, so that as little as five
copies of the software can be
licensed for exclusive use by that
company, in return for a corporate
promise that their employee's will
not copy and distribute the
material.  The corporation's in
return have "forced" employees to
sign agreements that copied or
misued software is grounds for
immediate dismissal.

   --The software manufacturer's
have already spent million's as an
industry to try to stop the user's
ability to copy. Most of us have
encountered the result of their
efforts and money, and found that
the techniques are only short term
successes. The industry is not yet
convinced that any medium that they
push through that drive can and
will be copied by any determined
and experienced "pirate".

   --Software executives, the
programmer's themselves only a few
years ago, are now trying to find
highly educated and creative
replacements. They now feel that
they may be successful in stumping
the pirate by programming in high
more sophisticated languages.

   --Finally, they are exploring
the possibility of not only
copywriting the software before it
goes to market, but obtaining a
patent on it as well. They know
that the patent law is easier to
enforce and the penalties are
stiffer to the violator. The only
thing standing in their way is the
requirement that they reveal all of
their source code and they realize
that this information will be
available to the pirate and result
in making his task easier. Not to
mention competitive edge that would
be lost to those that they compete
with for markets.


What all this add's up to is money,
the software companies have been
screaming that they are losing
millions to the "pirate" in lost
sales.  They are in a real
"catch-22" situation. They will
wind up spending millions in
research and development and design
changes. They have also created a
lot of "bad law" with high priced
attorney's that failed to keep the
focus on one issue. In fighting the
war to prosecute "pirates" and to
keep competitor's from using
similar source code, they have
wound up making themselves
responsible for the product they
produce. Several cases have already
been decided that now hint the
software manufacturer can be
considered responsible under the
doctrine of strict liability as is
the manufacturer of a lawnmower.
Imagine a bug in a program used to
prescribe the proper medicine for a
specified illness, causing injury
or death to the patient.

     Once again, they will spend
millions in insurance premiums and
defense cost's in protecting
themselves from the law they are
creating. When they realize that
they themselves have cost the
industry from profitable success,
it may be too late. A few company's
have already made changes in their
outlook on copy protection, but the
problems will be created by a few
and lie in wait for all.

     If you read this article
looking for a solution, I have no
answer. It seems to me that the
escalation of costs for legal and
design research can be used in
educating the public on the result
of software piracy. Maybe if they
use the money in a more positive
way, they will have a positive
result. Only time will tell.

               -Larry Mihalik
                Syndicate BBS

Xx Zmag Notes

The New York City BBS is down for
the second straight week. A few
callers of this BBS have been 
trying to get Zmag ever since.
I will look into the problem there
and fill you in next week.

The West Coast Syndicate in Ca is
currently changing over to another
BBS program, users of this fine
system will be able to call soon!

The Atari Outpost BBS is down
for the rest of the Summer. This
BBS will return to the lines Sept
7th, callers of this BBS will be
connected to EBBBS. Where Zmag
issues are located.

The Syndicate BBS has been 
having great difficulties with
BBCS. New software is on the way,
so callers there please be patient!

I have been getting reports that
new Zmag addition Hospital BBS has
been down also, I tried calling
today and the phone kept on
ringing!! I know that the SysOp
is away at school or vacation, But
I have been told that the BBS 
would still be up. I will fill you
all in next week.

The Syndicate BBS also has gained
a new Sysop. Larry the Lion is
aboard along with Rum-Runner and
myself. Hopefully we will get our
problems cleared up and get on
with helping our callers!!

Xx Antic Notes

I really enjoyed the article on
building your own eprom burner in
the December 1985 Antic. After
constructing the circuit board, I
found that I can successfully
program an eprom, but the read
function returns many random errors
which change every time a read is
done. I have double-checked the
circuit completely.  Have any
readers experienced the same
problem?  What might cause it?

Allen Hurst

   We talked to Charles Cherry, who
built and tested the eprom burner
for Antic on his 800XL. Cherry says
one reader successfully built an
eprom that worked on his Atari 800,
but the eprom would NOT work on his
130XE. Cherry says slight
differences in the manufacture of
different 800XLs could be the cause
of some 800XL incompatiblities.
And as far as Cherry knows, the
do-it-yourself eprom burner will
not work with the 130XE.


   Sysop Syndicated Services
provides local BBS systems with
adventure stories, swashbucklers,
Sci-fi, private eye and spy
thrillers in the tradition of the
old pulp magazines.  The stories
continue weekly for about three
months.  For more information, go
to the national bulletin board (on
CompuServe) and read the notices
for the Keyword BBS, dated 3/31/86.

Douglas Arnold

   Does the new Atari XM801 printer
work with Print Shop?

   Gary Vimr

   We don't have a sample of this
new printer in house, nor does
Broderbund Software's Customer
Service department. Broderbund says
it's "too soon to tell" if the
XM801 will work with Print Shop. 
In the past, printers manufactured
by Atari only did character 
graphics and so were incompatible
with Print Shop. Broderbund 
suggests giving their tech support
department a call at (415) 479-1170
in a few weeks for more

   I would love to see a serious
series on ST Assembly Language
programming in Antic.  Trying to
learn 68000 programming on the ST
using generic A/L text books is
frustrating to say the least.

   ST user

   Our series on ST assembly
language programming starts in
the August, 1986 issue of Antic.

   After reading Stan and Susie
Subeck's review of the Tandy CGP220
printer (Antic, February 1986) I
decided to buy one.  It is a
marvelous piece of equipment.
However, the screen dump program
for MicroPainter works fine, but I
would like to use Micro Illustrator
withit instead.  (By the way,
readers might want to know that
Radio Shack has closed out the
CGP220 and are selling the last of
them at $299.)

   Use Charlie Jackson's Rapid
Graphics Converter, (a type-in
program in November, 1985 Antic) to
convert your Micro Illustrator
files to Micro Painter format
first.  --ANTIC.

   To answer John Hawkin's question
in the June issue of Antic, Amdek
hardware and software may be
purchased at The Computer Corner,
7101 Broadway, Merrillville, IN
46410. (219)738-3282.

Zmagazine Issue #9     July 26, 1986
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