Z*Magazine: 19-Aug-86From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 19-Aug-86 Date: Sat Jul 3 20:42:33 1993 _____________________^^^___________ Zmag/A\zine HOT Atari News and Reviews Editor Clinton Smith August 19,1986 Asst.Editor Jim Dobleski ___________________________________ Publisher:Clinton Smith Asst.Publishers:Jim Dobleski,Ron Kovacs,and the Wizard Columnists:Clinton Smith and Rune Master XxIn this issue *Editor Request *Call-Pak discussion at Scat *Manufacturers crack down on pirates *Interview with New Jersey pirate sysop *Atari Rumors *Spring into Action!-basic conversions *Zmag Mailbag *Zmag Update *Z-Notes XxEditor Request Before getting to the Atari news this week,I would like to ask that the Zmag readers please pray for someone who is very dear to me.My father recieved a severe head injury in a car accident last Thursday and is presently in Intensive Care.His name is Arthur Smith and he's a very kind,giving man.Please join me in praying for his recovery. XxCall-Pak discussion at SCAT meeting This message was taken from the SCAT BBS (312)462-9844.I'm looking for someone to pass Zmag to the Scat board,If you're interested leave me a message on one of the Z-Boards. Msg# 0617 Date:08/17/86 Time:02:35:12 From: JOHN CZERWIEC To: All Subj: Cal*Paks For all who missed the SCAT meeting with the IL Bell rep: It wasn't very revealing!She came with a "professional prepared"slide show of cartoons that showed why the "smiley-faced IL Bell will go boo-hoo if they don't say bysey-wysey to Cal*Paks"it wasn't very advanced it said little that wasn't already in the front of your local phone book. Bottom line:If you call lots of BBS's that aren't in your most nearby towns you will probably do alot cheap going with MCI or Sprint, both of which will be competing with Bell for semi-local access.She could have saved us alot of time if she just said that! Xx Pirate Board in Ohio gets sunk This message was taken from the August 9th edition of Zmag New Jersey. Twelve of the industry's leading software developers and the Software Publishers Association (SPA) announced today that they have taken direct action by closing down a notorious pirate BBS system located in Cincinnati Ohio. The "Star Chamber" bulletin board system had more than 40 megabytes of Atari 8 bit and ST software,with many hundreds of copyrighted titles available. The twelve publishers, all of whom publish Atari ST software are; Antic Software Batteries Included Digital Research Hippopotamus Software Infocom Megamax Michtron Procopy Quickview Systems Quantum Microsystems Regent Software Xlent Software The closing today of a major illegal BBS system through a joint effort of concerned publishers is only the first of several similar actions anticipated. In a joint statement issued by the group a commitment was made to aggressively root out similar law-breakers as they are found. "The days are over when someone can illegally transmit copyrighted software via BBS systems," said Mark Skapinker of Batteries Included. "We're all fed up with tolerating theft of our products and we intend on going after these scoff-laws aggressively," said Gordon Monnier of Michtron. As a follow-up to this success the companies involved are discussing the creation at fall Comdex 1986 of a permanent watch-dog group to make it clear to pirates that their days are numbered. For further information contact: Gordon Monnier Michtron (313) 334-5700 Mark Skapinker, Batteries Included (416) 881-9941 Gary Yost, Antic Software (415) 957-0886 Ken Wasch, Software Publishers Association (202) 452-1600 XxNJ Pirate Sysop interviewed The following story is from the August 9th Zmag New Jersey The following is the transcript of an interview with the Sysop of the Atari Connection BBS that was shut down last week. This is a follow up to the article which appeared in last weeks Zmagazine. The sysop has asked that I keep his name private. The sysop's responses are in upper case text. (Ron:) How long have you been running your BBS? (Atari Connection Sysop) WELL, LAST SUMMER I RAN A BBS CALLED THE 800 BBS, BUT I DIDN'T HAVE MUCH SUCCESS WITH IT, I PUT THE ATARI CONNECTION UP ON JUNE 2nd OF THIS YEAR. (R) Why wasnt your old BBS a success? (ACS) I THINK BECAUSE OF LACK OF ADVERTISING. BUT I WAS SHARING A PHONE AT THE TIME, AND SO MY HOURS WOULD WERE NOT LONG. (R) When you had your BBS up, What type of features did you have, and In your opinion what do you think was the cause of your being caught with pirated software, and also, Did you have alot of software in your download section? (ACS) I DIDN'T HAVE MANY OUT-OF-THE -ORDINARY FEATURES. IT WAS A BASIC BBCS BOARD. BUT I THINK THAT SOMEONE WHO WAS BLACKLISTED ON MY BOARD, PROBABLY REPORTED ME BECAUSE OF IT. AND I DIDN'T HAVE MANY DOWNLOADS AVAILABLE. ALTHOUGH I DO HAVE TWO 1050'S, ONE WAS BEING REPAIRED WHEN I HAD THE BOARD UP. SO AS A SPARE I USED RAMDISK. (R) Why did you blacklist callers, did they do bad things on your system? (ACS) ONE PERSON HAD THREE DIFFERENT HANDLES, AND WHEN I FOUND OUT, I BLACKLISTED ALL OF THEM. HE ALSO LEFT ME SOME NASTY MESSAGES ON OTHER BOARDS. (R) In the matter of your shutdown, can you explain what happened? (ACS) FIRST OF ALL, IT HAPPENED LAST MONDAY AT ABOUT 5:00pm, EXACTLY AN HOUR BEFORE I WAS TO LEAVE FOR A CONCERT. I GOT A PHONE CALL SAYING THAT IN A LITTLE WHILE, A DETECTIVE WOULD BE AT MY HOUSE INVESTIGATING SOME COMPLAINTS ABOUT A BBS. I IMMEDIATELY RAN DOWN AND ERASED MY USERLOG ON MY MAIN DISK, BUT I HID THE BACKUP DISK IN MY CLOSET. WHEN THE DETECTIVE ARRIVED, HE HAD SOMEONE ELSE WITH HIM. THEY ASKED ME A FEW QUESTIONS AND THEN TOOK MY MAIN DISK AND A FEW OTHERS, I GUESS FOR EVIDENCE. AND THEY TOLD ME THAT IF THEY GET COMPLAINTS AGAIN, THEY WILL REMOVE ALL OF MY HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE AND FINE ME $1000. (R) Did you get any specific details as to why they singled your BBS out? (ACS) THEY SAID THEY GOT COMPLAINTS FROM A FEW PEOPLE. BUT IT COULD HAVE BEEN ONE. BUT I DOUBT IF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS REALLY INTERESTED IN SHUTTING DOWN A SMALL BBS. (R) What is the current status of this matter? (ACS) RIGHT NOW I AM WAITING TO GET MY DISKS BACK. BUT I DON'T THINK I WILL HAVE TO GO TO COURT ANYMORE. (R) Did you get a court notice or any advice pertaining to a hearing before? NO, I WAS QUESTIONED ONCE BEFORE, BUT IT WAS ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE. (R) Did the Police Department give you any other warnings? (ACS) NO, I DON'T THINK THERE IS MUCH THEY CAN DO TO ME BESIDES FINE AND TAKING MY STUFF. (R) Can you put up another BBS?? And if so, Would you?? and what would you do differently this time? (ACS) I CAN PUT UP ANOTHER BOARD, BUT, THEY SAID I CAN'T PIRATE STUFF ON IT. I AM IN FACT, PUTTING ANOTHER BOARD UP IN EARLY NOVEMBER CALLED "THE CULT OF ATARI". IT WILL BE RUN ON BBS EXPRESS. THIS TIME I WILL BE MUCH MORE CAREFUL WITH WHO I LET ON. I WILL ASK MANY MORE QUESTIONS THEN JUST WHERE THEY LIVE. (R) How old are you? (ACS) 16, I TURN 17 IN OCTOBER. (R) What has been your parents view of this matter? (ACS) THEY DIDN'T CARE. THEY TOLD ME THAT IT IS MY PROBLEM AND I HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT MYSELF. (R) Given the chance, and you found out who was the culprit, do you have any words you would like to pass to the party? (ACS) WELL, FIRST I WOULD LIKE TO TELL HIM THAT I WOULD USE MY INFLUENCE TO GET HIM KICKED OFF EVERY LOCAL BBS. I WOULD ALSO SPREAD THE WORD WHO IT WAS, BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BE DISRUPTED BY THIS ACT. (R) Do you think BBS systems should allow use of pirated software on their systems? (ACS) IT IS UP TO THE SYSOP. BUT SINCE A MAJORITY OF THE BOARDS ARE, I DON'T THINK THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT. THE GOOD THING ABOUT IT IS THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY $30-$40 DOLLARS IN THE STORE. (R) I understand your thoughts about pirating, but other people reading this might say, What about the guy writing the software, shouldn't he be compensated for his effort, What is your opinion to this? (ACS) WELL, I THINK THAT THE AUTHOR OF THE SOFTWARE IS RIPPING OFF THE PEOPLE WHO DO BUY THE SOFTWARE. THE PRICES OF SOFTWARE ARE MUCH TOO HIGH. ONE EXCEPTION IS MASTERTRONIC. MASTERTRONIC KEEPS THEIR PRICES BELOW $10. AND BECAUSE OF THAT, I HAVE ALREADY BOUGHT A FEW OF THEIR THINGS RECENTLY. (R) In closing, Do you have any comments for other sysops on how they should run their systems now? (ACS) WELL, I THINK THAT IF THEY FEEL THEY ARE SAFE, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG. BUT THE PERSON THAT REPORTED ME MUST BE CAUGHT AND PUNISHED. HE IS A DEFINITE THREAT TO THE COMPUTING WORLD. (R) Do you have anything else you would like to add? (ACS) I WOULD LIKE TO THANK STEVE THE KID FOR HELPING ME OUT WITH THIS SITUATION. This interview was taken 8-7-86 ----------------------------------- Rebuttal by Chicago Zmag Editor After reading the preceeding interview,I was very disturbed. This youth is a criminal and has the nerve to say that the person who turned him in should be punished.Especially irritating is his statement that the person who turned him in is a definite threat to the computing world.This statement is a joke,in my mind it is he who is a threat to the computing world.Specifically,the Atari computing world.Many pirates respond to the arguement that the lack of new Atari software is caused by piracy,by the fact that a lot of Commodore pirating occurs and there is no lack of new software for that system.That would be a good reply if there were as many Ataris as there were 64s.Unfortunately, there are not.The number of 64s is great enough so that even after the pirates have their copies of a program,there are still enough paying users to ensure that the program makes money.The program makes money for the company and the company continues to work on 64 software since it is profitable.In response to the statement that software authors are ripping people off with high software prices.In most cases the author of a program has no say so on what a company is going to sell his program for.When you buy a piece of software for $25,there is a lot more then just a disk and a program involved.1)The company had to send the program to a place for copying.This costs. 2)The company had to design an eye catching box,because the majority of people are going to pass up a plain white package,to get the program which has an illustration of a massive space war.This costs. 3)The company has to print up instructions so you'll know how to play.This costs.4)The company has to advertise so people will know about the program.This costs. All this adds up to the $25 price tag.Out of this price,the programmer usually gets a royalty of up to 30%. That comes out to $7.50 for every copy sold.That isn't much,especially after the pirates get a hold of it and ruin the potential buyer base. Actually,the cop out that prices are too high on software is starting to lose it's validity.Back when the scale of software prices ranged from 30 to 50 dollars this excuse might have had a foothold.However,the majority of new Atari software programs cost $25 and under.The only exception are programs such as word processors and languages which require a great deal of research and development.I do sympathise with the people who buy software and it turns out to be a piece of junk. I myself have been burned by bad software.However,in most of these situations is was my own fault for not finding out wether the program was any good before I bought it. My suggestion is that you forget about buying your software in a place like Toys R Us.Go to a local dealer or to User Group meetings where local dealers sell at.In most cases,they are enthusiasts just like you and will point out any software that they think is no good and most will demo programs for you. The only excuse left for software pirates is the truth. You want software and you don't want to have to pay for it.The software companies could be selling their programs for $5 and there would still be people pirating. If I have offended anyone,I am sorry but this is how I feel. XxAtari Rumors New Jersey Zmag correspondent Steve Godun,has a contact at Atari who passed the following rumors to him.Please remember that these are only rumors and shouldn't be taken as fact. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.5" NEARING COMPLETION: The long- awaited Atari 3.5" disk drive for the Atari 8-Bit line is nearing completion. The drive will use 3.5" disks (The same used on the Atari 520/1040ST), and will run in single, double, and 1050 Enhanced densities. The DOS, written by OSS, will be included with the drive and supposedly will resemble and work like Atari DOS 2.5. This drive is supposed to replace the current Atari 1050 disk drive, but plans on dropping the 1050 are not yet definite. Expect to see this new drive at anytime between Mid- August to Late-September. ATARI 8-BIT HARD DISK: Atari has plans to produce a 10-Meg, 15-Meg, and 20-Meg hard disk drive for the Atari 8-Bit series. A complete hard disk package for 8-Bits are available from Supra, but Atari plans on cutting the price of their models to 25% lower than Supra's. (Way to go, Jack...) These new hard drives will use the port in the rear of the XL series and the Enhanced Cartridge Interface (ECI) on the XE line. A special inter- face (to be made available by Atari) will enable the 800 (or an enhanced 400) to also use the hard drive. The 400/800 interface will cost extra, however. No release date was set for the hard drive. OLD SOFTWARE PACKS: With the new generation of Atari XE's and new software with great graphics and gameplay, Atari may repackage some of their older titles (such as Hangman, Basketball, States and Capitals, and Biorythm) onto one floppy disk and market it as "Atari Classics". There are 3 volumes of this in planing, each containing from 3 to 6 titles, and each disk will run for about $20-$35 each. THE NEW 1050's: Anyone who has ac- cess to an Atari 1050 disk drive before Jack's takeover will want to pay attention to this. Remember that noisy GRINDING sound you're accustomed to hearing in the older 1050's? Say goodbye. I don't know how they did it, but the 1050's now in production are QUIET! If you've never heard an old 1050, the sound of it was described with great accuracy by a Syndicate user called RUM-RUNNER: "The 1050 is so loud, you could be making popcorn in the kitchen and hear a 1050 formatting a disk." I don't know how they silenced it, but it runs very smooth now. REDESIGNED DISK DRIVE: Although many rumors were spreading about a redesigned Atari 1050 disk drive (and even a few prototypes were constructed), plans for mass pro- duction of it have been put on hold. Why? Because of the 3.5" drives' arrival. If the new 3.5" drives don't sell as well as plan- ned, you probably will see a new 1050 out, but don't expect it! XxSpring Into Action!-Basic conversion Due to reader interest,SIA has returned.If you would like to contribute an article or some tips on Action! to this column,contact me via the Z-boards. The best way for the Action! begineer to start programming in this speedy language,is to use the knowledge he has acquired in Atari Basic. First though,let's look at the difference between Basic and Action. Basic is an interpreter,Action is a compiler.What does this mean? As a Basic program runs,Basic changes the instructions to the machine's language.This is similar to someone translating a speech from Spanish to English as it is being read.This slows down the process. In Action,you first write the program on a text editor and then Action compiles the entire program into machine language at once.Now, the program can run much faster because there is no interpreting time needed.This is similar to someone translating a speech from Spanish to English by recieving a copy of the speech the night before.This is why Action! is so much faster than Basic. To successfully translate a Basic program to Action,we must first understand the Action program structure. When you are using Action,you are in effect creating your own language.While this sounds confusing ,it's really quite simple.An Action program is made up of procedures. A procedure is the equivalent of a keyword in Basic.When Basic finds a keyword in a program,it jumps to a group of instructions(written in machine language)that is associated with the keyword.When you create a procedure,you are creating a keyword.Clinton(great name)Parker, the creator of Action! thoughtfully provided a group of procedures, functions,and arrays(we'll be discussing functions and arrays in a future column)that handle many of Basic's commands,in the language cartridge.Let's say that Clint didn't provide us with the Position command,what would we do? Simple, we could write our own. Proc Pos(Card X,Byte Y) PokeC(85,X):Poke(84,Y) Return Proc Test() Byte Y Card X Graphics(0) Do X=5:Y:11 Pos(X,Y) PrintE("Eureka") Od Return This simple program creates the Pos procedure(It takes the variables that have been passed to it(more on passing variables next week)X and Y ,and pokes their values into the memory locations that are used for positioning.Then the main procedure ,Test,sends the values of 5 and 11 to the Pos procedure.The statement Eureka is then printed to the Graphics 0 screen at position 5 over ,11 down.I hope this helps you understand how Action works,a little better. Now we're going to translate our first(small and simple)Basic program to Action.This is going to show you how to adapt loops to Action. Proc Announce() Graphics(0) Do PrintE("Atari Computers are Best") Od Return This is adaptation of a little Basic program that I'd always type in when I saw Atari Computers on display.(I also typed it in on rival computers) 10 GRAPHICS 0 20 PRINT"Atari computers are Best" 30 GOTO 20 This is what is known as an infinite loop,meaning it goes on forever. Notice how the Basic program keeps looping because it ends with Goto 20.This makes the program constantly return to the print statement at line 20.The Action equivalent does this with Do..Od. The program executes the instructions that are between the Do and Od commands continuously.Do and Od can also be used in finite loops. Basic* 10 FOR J=1 TO 100:PRINT"HELLO":NEXT J Action!* Proc Loop() Byte J Graphics(0) For J=1 to 100 Do PrintE("HELLO") Od Return Note:All Procedures must end with a Return command. The Od is pretty much the equivalent of Next in Basic. Next Week:More on the layout of Action programs and variable passing. XxZmag Mailbag These messages were taken from the Enchanted Castle BBCS. Board :ZMAG Message # :46 Date & Time :08/16/86 01:34:00 Replies :2 Subject :8-BIT GEM DOS UTL. To :ALL Sent by :ERIC GLOVER A FEW WEEKS AGO I SAW A COPY OF ZMAG WITH THE LISTING OF COMPUTES NEW DISKETTE MAGAZINE. AND WHEN I SAW THE PRICE I SAID THAT'S RIDICULOUS, 12.95 AND 59.95 FOR A YEAR. WELL I FEEL THAT COMPETITION IS THE NAME OF THE GAME IN AMERICA AN MY CORPORATION WOULD LIKE TO ANNOUNCE "LASER" THE FIRST, TRUE DISKETTE MAGAZINE THE ARTICLES AND PROGRAMS ARE ON THE DISKETTE, AND EASY TO PRINT TO THE PRINTER. THE TEXT IS IN FOUR COLORS AND OUR PREMEIRE ISSUE IS OUT NOW AND IS FREE.AND AN 8-BIT GEM UTL. IS INCLUDED FREE,OUR SUBSCRIPTION PRICE 15.OO PER YEAR, 12 ISSUES. CALL (312)-221-8398 Board :ZMAG Message # :47 Date & Time :08/16/86 01:50:50 Replies :0 Subject :8-BIT GEM DOS UTL. To :ERIC GLOVER (REC) Sent by :ERIC GLOVER PLEASE ASK FOR ME, ERIC GLOVER WHEN YOU CALL AND GIVE ME A CALL ANY TIME BETWEEN 5PM AND 1OPM --- ---- ------- --- --- ---- TO RECIEVE YOUR FREE ISSUE OF LASER AND THE GEM.UTL. 312-221-8398 ASK FOR ERIC GLOVER VOICE ONLY PLEASE. ANYTIME BETWEEN 5 AND 1OPM. ERIC Eric,good luck to you on this ambitious undertaking.I'm glad to see that Zmag had a small part in your decision to publish Laser,the AFFORDABLE Atari disk magazine. Board :ZMAG Message # :49 Date & Time :08/16/86 03:41:10 Replies :0 Subject :ZMAG0729 To :CLINTON SMITH (REC) Sent by :PAUL LEONG THATS GREAT! ANY INFO ON ACTION WOULD BE APPRECIATED. FOR STARTERS YOU COULD GIVE SIMPLE ACTION! EQUIVALENTS TO SMALL BASIC ROUTINES (ALA THE BACK OF THE ACTION! MANUAL). THEY GIVE SOME USEFUL EXAMPLES, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MANY MORE. ALSO, I AM INTERESTED IN SEEING SOME GRAPHICS BEYOND THE PLOT,FILL, AND DRAWTO OUTLINED IN THE DOC. HOW ABOUT SOME SIMPLE ANIMATION? I AM INEXPERIENCED IN ATARI BASIC (A MANUAL WASN'T INCLUDED WITH THE CART!)THOUGH I HAVE PROGRAMMED IN BASIC ON SEVERAL OTHER SYSTEMS (MOSTLY MICROSOFT BASIC). YOU MIGHT CHECK WITH OTHER ACTION PEOPLE (GREG WHITE FOR EXAMPLE)FOR HELP WITH THE COLUMN. THANKS AGAIN...PAUL LEONG Paul,well the first one is in this issue and I hope it helps.I'm going to be checking to see if other Chicago Action Programmers(Hey,that would be a great name for a specialized group.Anybody interested?) would like to contribute some tips to the column. XxZmag Update RuneMaster has fixed the U/l problem on his board,so let's see some more Atari U/ling at Runequest,people.Also, lets start using the Zmag mesg base there or it may removed. Chicago Zmag Boards Windy City Atari-(312)775-2970 Runequest-(312)430-4234 Enchanted Castle-(312)525-0688 Centari-(312)668-0984 Blue Moon-(312)457-2219 CL.A.U.G.-(312)889-1240 Skid Row-(312)439-5873 M-Club1-(312)730-1846 M-Club2-(312)349-8686 M-Club4-(312)458-8260 Software Plus-(312)520-1780 (In New Jersey) East Coast Syndicate-(201)968-8148 If you have a question about Zmag Windy City-Clinton Smith Runequest-Jim Dobleski,Rune Master Enchanted Castle-Clinton Smith, Wizard Centari-Jim Dobleski Blue Moon-Clinton Smith,Gerry Feid Claug-Clinton Smith M-Club 1,2,or 4-Jim Dobleski Skid Row-Jim Dobleski Software Plus-Jeff Williams East Coast Syndicate-Ron Kovacs Compuserve-Ron Kovacs,Tim Orosz Genie-Jeff Williams,Bob Retelle XxZ-notes I need someone to pass the latest issues of Zmag to Scat BBS. Would the readers be interested in participating in Zmag surveys?They would be on various Atari and computer subjects.This suggestion was made by the Wizard. Zmag needs your articles.Game Reviews are especially needed. Come on you ST readers out there. I know you're out there.Let's see some ST articles or columns.Once the ST Zread is done there will be a larger need for ST stuff.If you have an idea for an article,column ,or review read next item. Do you have an idea for an article,column,or review. Let me or one of the people in the UPDATE know about it.If it's a good idea we'll work out the easiest way for you to get the article,review,or column to Zmag. If you don't want to do the column yourself,we'll try to find someone who will.If you just have a little interesting fact or a suggestion just leave it in one of the Zmag mesg.bases and I'll put it in the Zmag mesg. section of the next issue. Finally,be sure to support the boards that carry Zmag.If it weren't for them you wouldn't be reading Zmag right now. ---------------------------------- Zmag-a-zine August 19,1986 Please Contribute ----------------------------------
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