Z*Magazine: 6-Apr-87 #46

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/09/93-11:18:42 AM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine:  6-Apr-87 #46
Date: Fri Jul  9 11:18:42 1993

Published by:Syndicate Services
Editor in Chief: Ron Kovacs
Editor/Coordinator: Alan Kloza
Special Assignments:Steve Godun
Columnist: Eric Plent
Asst Publisher: Ken Kirchner
Xx User Group of the Month
         (217) 892-8889
          60 MEG ONLINE
Xx This week in ZMAG

<*> GEM for 8 Bit Atari's
<*> New IBM Release
<*> 1050 Disk Drive Fix
<*> Problems with CIS Bill
<*> CompuServe Offers Special Rates
<*> Product Review by Dan Rhea
Xx GEM for 8 Bits?? Read on!!!
Eight Bit Gem.

After finding the demo of GOS and
seeing the interest that it generated
I became anxious to speak with David
Sullivan who wrote the program.

After attempting to call Mr. Sullivan
to no avail on two occasions I
contacted ANTIC magazine.  My hopes
in doing this were that ANTIC would
be familiar with David Sullivan, GOS
or both.  As it turns out ANTIC
claimed never to have seen the
program and also that David Sullivan
was news to them.

Lets begin at the beginning. At ANTIC
I spoke with a few clerk types before
being connected with Charlie Jackson,
ANTIC's editor online for CompuServe.
He seemed very interested in a
graphic operating system for the
8-bit ATARI, so much so in fact that
he expressed a desire to obtain a
copy immediatly by down loading it
from the RIACE BBS.  I gave Mr.
Jackson the RIACE number and true to
his word he got online and downloaded
GOS the same afternoon. When I last
spoke to Mr. Jackson it was
understood that he would leave me a
message on CompuServe regarding his
success in locating David Sullivan
and getting a more complete version
of GOS.

I was back in touch with Mr. Jackson
on Friday afternoon.  He had indeed
reached David Sullivan and was at the
moment looking at a newer version of
GOS that David Sullivan had sent him
via David's BBS.  He told me further
more that David Sullivan had written
still a third version that is in
machine language, took up less memory
and is 100% graphics.  ANTIC went on
to say that they were willing to
purchase this GOS from David Sullivan
if he failed in his efforts to reach
an agreement with ATARI for purchase
of same.  Also ANTIC promised to
credit RIACE with pointing out the
benifits of this program to them.

Now I went ahead and gave David
Sullivan a call.  I told him over the
modem who I was and that I had called
ANTIC magazine. David came online and
agreed to go voice for a chat.  He
said he was quite surprised to hear
from ANTIC at this time since he had
sent them a copy of GOS when he first
wrote it as a demo way back in "85". 
He also sent a copy to ANALOG,
CompuServe and GENIE.  David said he
told all of them that he was giving
it away and they could do with it as
they please.  No response followed.

David explained how he had written
this program in one evening to bring
to a user's group meeting as a demo. 
He wanted to show it because on that
night this particular group was
showing an ST and an AMIGA.  David
thought it would be nice to show an
8-bit running on a graphic operating
system.  He placed it in the public
domain and went to work on a newer
version written in machine language
that has many additional features.

His new version which is under
consideration at ATARI as their new
operating system is 100% graphics.
It has windows and movable icons and
David who owns both an 8-bit and an
ST considers it to be a little faster
than the ST version, while almost
identical in looks and usage.

David Sullivan has written many
programs for the 8-bit ATARI. On many
occasions he has written a program
for a specific user's group and
allowed that group to do as they
please with the program, whether that
be to sell it or just distribute it
under the user's group name.  He said
that perhaps he could do somthing
like this for RIACE,  since he was
quite pleased that we had been the
cause of renewed intrest in the GOS
program via ANTIC magazine.  He also
said he hoped to be able to send us a
sample of the new machine language
version which is called DESKTOP.

All in all, it made for interesting
conversation and puts RIACE in the
enviable position of getting some
pretty hot inside information.  I
will do my best to follow up on this
and I will make copies of David
Sullivan's catalog for our membership
as soon as it arrives.
Xx IBM Release
  (C)1987 Knight-Ridder Newspapers

NEW YORK - International Business
Machines Corp., the besieged giant of
the personal computer industry,
this week unleashed its latest salvo
in the war for control of the market;
a new family of products designed to
be more powerful and harder to copy
than earlier models.

The new products, predicted by
experts to be the most important
change in the industry since IBM
introduced its original PC six years
ago, are known as the IBM Personal
System/2.  The group includes four
products in eight configurations.

Prices range from $1,695 for the
cheapest model to $10,995 for the
most powerful.  However, prices
normally are discounted from IBM's
suggested list.  Sales will be
restricted to an elite group of
dealers to prevent the new machines
from becoming mass-merchandise
products with low profit margins,
IBM said.

As often happens with IBM, the giant
computer is promising more than it
can immediately deliver. The cheapest
version of its advanced computer will
not be available until this July, and
the more expensive versions will not
be out until late this fall.

More important, the operating system
software, called Operating System/2,
will not be ready for sale until
early next year.  This software runs
the computers' internal operations,
will be able to perform more than one
task at once, and can handle
application software designed to use
large amounts of internal memory.
Xx CIS Bill Problems
As many of you have no doubt heard, 
CompuServe is one of the best
information services around. It is
also the most costly of the services.

While I have had a few large bills
from CompuServe, I never really got 
that far out of hand. That was until
this month. I got the bill from CIS
and almost had a heart attack! The
bill was over $500.00!!!!

You can guess what I did next. I got
right on the phone to CompuServe to 
ask about the bill. After much
talking with this one brainless phone
jock, I got some of the information I
wanted. He said that all of the calls
on my account were from the same NODE
I have always used, and that I would
have a hard time proving anything.
Nice guy.

I finally asked him to check again. 
This time he found "A few calls" from
a number in Connecticut! Pressing on,
I found there were enough calls to
make my bill as high as it is. I kept
asking things like "How possible is
it to get into the CompuServe
password file?" with no answers (at
least, no answer that gave me any

After all this, the guy suggested he
send me a printout of all the
charges, anlong with the NODE used to
access the service. I got this the
other day, and I found about 35 calls
from Connecticut listed! I am in the 
process of writing to CompuServe
about the matter, and asking them to 
put my billing in front of the 
CompuServe review board. If all goes
well I will get service credit for
the calls I didn't make. If not,
there are going to have one mad user!

What I am getting at is this: If you
are a CompuServe member, PLEASE
don't you might have the same problem
I am  having.

To change your password, enter "GO
PASSWORD" at any "!" in the system. I
would suggest you change it at least
once a month.

Ah well..After this I am going to 
change MY password every time I log
on the service!

         Happy Telecommunicating!
                         Eric Plent
Xx 1050 Drive Fix
Supplied by the CHAOS BBS
Reprinted From:
by permission.


Defective Head Park Switches


One possible failure of an ATARI 1050
disk drive that will cause endless
boot errors is a failure of the
sensor that detects if the read head
is parked.  This sensor is currently
NOT AVAILABLE as a repacement part,
but MUST be in working order for the
drive to operate.  This article will
help you to replace it with more
commonly available parts.


#2 Phillips head screwdriver
#1 Phillips Head screwdriver
30 watt maximum soldering iron
Small flat blade screwdriver
Small needle nose pliers
Epoxy or equivalent glue
Xacto Knife


Turn the 1050 on its back and remove
the 6 phillips head screws. Carefully
turn the drive back onto its feet and
set it down.  Gently lift the back of
the cover and slide it forward.  The
front bezel will come off with it.


The head assembly slides on tracks
and is driven by a stepper motor
located to the right of the disk
platter.  The head assembly has an
arm that sticks out to the left. This
arm slides into a u shaped sensor
when the head is retracted.

Connect power to the drive but do not
attach it to the computer.  Turn the
drive on (do not put a disk in the
drive).  As the drive powers up it
must find the location of the read
head.  If the head is parked, it will
index the head forward until it
clears the sensor and then repark it.
If the head was not parked, it will
retract the head until it is parked.

If the sensor is bad, the head will
index forward 1/4 of inch and stop. 
Every time the drive is turned on the
head will index forward.  Eventually
the head runs out of travel and will
bang repeatedly on the forward stop.
When connected to a computer, you get
a boot error because the drive cannot
find the boot sectors.

As a final test, disconnect the J10
connector on the circuit board.  Do
not pull on the wires!!!!!  Use the
needle nose pliars.  It is the next
to last connector on the back left of
the circuit board. When the connector
is removed, 4 pins will be exposed on
the circuit board. Jump the front two
pins on the board together and turn
on the drive.  If everything else is
alright the head will begin to
retract.  As soon as the head begins
moving, turn the drive off and remove
the jumper.  If the head did not move
backwards then the problem is in the
circuit board or the stepper motor. 
That is beyond the scope of this


The sensor is composed of an infrared
LED and an infrared photo transistor.
Either one of the pair could be bad.
I have not found direct replacements
for them, but, a pair made by Radio
Shack will work.  The LED is part
number 276-143A and the receptor is
part number 276-145.  Please note,
these parts are larger than the
original parts and will not fit into
the existing sensor housing. You will
have to fabricate a housing for them.


1.  Remove the sensor from the drive.
    The wire tie to the frame must be

2.  Cut the sensor from the wires.
    Orient the plug as it goes in the
    drive.  Place shrink tubing over
    the wires and then solder the
    parts to the wires as follows.
    The order is from front to back.

1st wire-emitter of part 276-145
2nd wire-collector of 276-145
3rd wire-cathode of 276-143A
4th wire-other lead of 276-143A

After soldering, position the shrink
tubing over exposed connections and
heat it.

3.  Plug the J10 connector back into
    the circuit board.

4.  Fabricate a mounting that
    positions the LED vertically
    looking down.  The mounting must
    have fore and aft adjustment and
    position the LED above the arm on
    the head unit.  The arm on the
    head unit must pass under the
    LED. Ideally,the photo transistor
    pair should face each other.
    Unfortunately, there is not
    enough room under the arm for the
    receptor.  By trial and error I
    discovered that the receptor can
    be placed on its side.  The LED
    though must shine directly into
    the receptor.

5.  Fabricate a mounting that
    positions the receptor
    horizontally looking toward the
    head mechanism.  The mounting
    must have fore and aft adjustment
    and allow the arm on the head
    unit to pass over it.  I cut the
    original housing into pieces and
    glued the LED and receptor to
    halves of the mounting.  I then
    used standoffs to set the parts
    to the correct height.

6.  Turn the drive on.  As the drive
    powers up it will position the
    head over the sensor pair.  If
    the head will not position, check
    to make sure that the wires are
    properly connected.

7.  Now that the head is being
    parked, make sure that it is
    parked in the proper place.  As a
    starting position the back end of
    the head mechanism should be 3/8
    of an inch from the inside boss
    that holds the arms that the head
    slides on.  If the location is
    wrong, turn the drive off and
    move the sensor pair as required.     When the drive is turned back on
    it will repark the head. Continue
    moving the sensor pair until you
    get the 3/8 dimension. The sensor
    pair is only moved with the drive
    powered off.

8.  Connect the drive to the computer
    and attempt to boot a disk.
    SPARTADOS is less sensitive to
    head location than DOS 2.5. If
    the disk boots, run some programs
    to check that the drive can read
    all disk sectors.  If the drive
    can not read all sectors or will
    not boot then move the sensor
    pair a little forward or
    backwards.  My two drives both
    held a dimension of 7/32 of inch
    on the gap referenced above.

9.  Be patient.  Eventually you will
    get the correct gap.  Reassemble
    the drive cover and you are finished.

Supplied by the CHAOS BBS
(517) 371-1106
Xx CompuServe Offers Special Rates
From April 1, 1987 through May 31,
1987, standard/evening connect rates
will be in effect during prime/
daytime hours (8AM-6PM,weekdays).
Standard rates will remain in effect
during the normal evening/night
hours.  The rates per connect hour
will be:
* $6.00 per hour up to 450 baud.
* $12.50 per hour for 1200 and 2400
* $29.00 per hour for 4800 baud.
* $44.00 per hour for 9600 baud.

Please note that 450 and 2400 baud
are not available from all locations.
Also, note that 4800 and 9600 baud
require a hardwired network
connection and are not available from
all locations.

Connect time is billed in one minute
increments, with a minimum of one
minute per session.  Connect time
rates do not include communications
Xx Product Review
Review by Dan Rhea
STatic Engineering, Inc.
P.O. Box 570
Bristol, Connecticut 06010

For those of you who are using Flash,
ST-Talk, Zoomracks, dbMAN, or just
about any other program that uses you
function keys, then this little
gadget is just what the doctor

The Function_aid is a precision
molded lexan device that straddles
the portion of your ST keyboard that
holds the function keys. What it does
is holds cards in an adjustable rack
that lets you write down what the
function keys do in various
applications. The rack may be tilted
to any one of 4 positions for best
viewing. There are about 6 blank
cards that come with the unit (front
and back are usable), so this should
cover most of your function key
needs. Of course if you are like me,
and reprogram your Flash function 
keys every other week, additional
cards can be ordered from STatic

Now I'm sure some of you with the
fold-over cardboard inserts are
asking, "why do I need this thing?"
Well, I'm gonna tell you. I used the
fold-over cards for quite a while and
had the following problems. When the
fold-overs are new, they quite often
cause the keys to stick (normally
they are wedged between the keys and
the case). When they get a little
older they fall out a lot. If you 
have more than one card you will have
them all over the desk. This is
certain since it follows my 2nd rule
of computers - "Computers attract
clutter, with or without obvious
human intervention." The Function_aid
solves this problem nicely by holding
all it's cards in the rack. You just
put the one you need in front. I
currently have 9 cards in mine and
there is room for more. Besides the 
Function_aid just looks better

Now for the bad points (always a
catch, hehe). If you, like me, have a
1040ST, the Function_aid will not
properly straddle the function keys.
This oddity is due entirely to the
fact that when Atari designed the
1040 they made that groove behind the
function keys about 1/8th of an inch
less deep. That extra depth allows
the Function_aid sit solidly on most
520STs (there are exceptions due to
differences in the moldings from ST
to ST). But don't lament all you
1040ST owners. I discovered that a
pack of cork table guards (those
things you put on the bottom of lamps
and stuff to keep from scratching the
table), from the hardware store(about
69 cents), solved my problem. I
simply tore one in half and stuck it
to the rear of the base along the
inside radius. This lifts the back of
the unit that extra 1/8th of an inch
and does wonders for stability (it's
stability, not your own). Two other
points to keep in mind. If you have
1040ST and hit reset a lot, leave
yourself plenty of room over the
Function_aid or you will be constantly
knocking it over. The other is for
you folks using Xanths STation. It
holds the disk drives at just the
right height for the Function_aid to
block drive access.

All in all, I am extremely pleased
with the Function_aid and I highly
recommend it to any ST owner who uses
all those function keys for something
other than trying to figure out how
to get out of a demo program.

(c) Copyright 1987, by Dan Rhea
Xx A Commentary
To whomever is listening:

As many of you know, there usually
aren't very many BBS's in a given
area.  This leads to us having to
call long distance to get the latest
public domain software. Lately,
though, many BBS SysOps have been
putting ratios on the numer of
downloads allowed per upload. From
the SysOps viewpoint this makes
perfectly good sense, but to those of
us who call long distance, another
view is seen.

I run a BBS in California, and can
sympathize with other SysOps about
the abuse of the BBS in general. I
also call many BBS's around the
country, and as a result, my phone
bills are well above the average.
Now, many SysOps are forcing those
bills even higher through required

I do have a solution to this problem,
but it will require the efforts of
everyone, not just the SysOp. On my
BBS, I have opted not to punish those
who don't upload, but to reward those
who do.

When a user is first registered,
he/she is granted 20 minutes of
online time per day. Each time he/she
uploads, the time is increased by 5
minutes, up to a maximum of 99
minutes.  Also, anyone calling long
distance automatically gets 30
minutes to start to offset the phone

I feel this is a very fair system, as
the users pay the phone bills to get
programs for themselves, not to give
them to a greedy SysOp.  If the SysOp
wants software in return, all he/she
has to do is call ME long distance,
and I'd be happy to oblige, as I'm
sure most long distance callers would

Any comments on this idea can be
directed to me on this BBS, my BBS
(the ConTech BBS (707) 437-3786
15:30-24:00 Wed-Sun), or on CIS (PPN
73016,1625).  I think giving long
distance callers a break would help
bring the telecommunicating community
closer together, and something needs
to be done soon.
                                           Douglas Wheeler

[Editor Reply]

Douglas, I have been running a BBS 
myself for 2 years non-stop through
all kinds of users and problems. I
think you are perhaps not giving
credit to many BBS users out there.
50% of my user base are long distance
callers. They participate in the 
message bases and the transferring
of files is low. Communications are
seemingly more important to them than
downloading files. Although I have
over 1000 files listed, There aren't
many long distance users taking any
files. Transferring should be done
on a local basis. Nationwide transfers
can be done through the time-sharing
systems like GEnie, CompuServe,
and the rest. I call all over the US
on a weekly basis and the highest
telephone bill to date has been under
$200.00, and now runs a regular 
75.00 a month. I decide to call, and
I feel if a user calls long distance,
they do so because they like the
particular BBS. Sorry I dont agree
with your letter.
                    [Ron Kovacs]
ISSUE 46  Please Contribute!!

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