Z*Magazine: 26-Jul-86 #9From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/03/93-08:38:37 PM Z
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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. 04-25-86 I mailed my company check in the amount of $499.95 along with my order for an "Orchid Conquest Memory Expansion Board". 05-02-86 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. 06-02-86 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. 06-10-86 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. 06-23-86 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. 06-24-86 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. 06-24-86 I filed a complaint with the Postal Inspector. 07-02-86 I phoned and spoke with Cindy. She promised that a refund check would be mailed the next day. 07-07-86 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. 07-08-86 I filed a complaint with the Consumer Protection Bureau of the New Hampshire Attorney Generals Office. 07-14-86 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. 07-15-86 THE CHECK FINALLY ARRIVED!! After 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 address. 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 32767. Error 9 DOS Drive input error An invalid device specification was supplied. Error 10 BASIC Argument Stack Over Too many nested parenthesis in an expression. 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 Six. BIGBLOCK 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 simpler. LOMEM RESET 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 examples: TO ELIMINATE BIGBLOCK 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. NEVER EVER POKE 7434 WITH A NUMBER LESS THAN 32. UNLESS, OF COURSE, YOU'RE INTO DEAD COMPUTERS. 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. RESET DEFAULTS 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. 1 MINOR HASSLE 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. sheesh... 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' device. 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. COMMANDS 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 USAGE 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. CAVEATS 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 supported. BUGS 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 70545,507 _____________________________________ 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. COMMENTARY ---------- 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 Sysop 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 Q: EPROM ERRORS 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 A: 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. -- ANTIC. SYSOP SYNDICATE 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 Q: NOT YET Does the new Atari XM801 printer work with Print Shop? Gary Vimr A: 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 information. --ANTIC. ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE -- AT LAST 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. --ANTIC. TANDY PRINTER CONVERSION 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. AMDEK SHOPPING 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 Please contribute _____________________________________
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