Z*Magazine: 6-Apr-87 #46From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/09/93-11:18:42 AM Z
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 13-Apr-87 #47"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 30-Mar-87 #45"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 6-Apr-87 #46 Date: Fri Jul 9 11:18:42 1993 _____________________________________ ///ZMAGAZINE APRIL /// ///ISSUE 46/// _____________________________________ APRIL 6, 1987 HOT ATARI NEWS/REVIEWS _____________________________________ 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 _____________________________________ HARD DISK USERS GROUP Headquarters: NETWORK: ATARI HD EXPRESS! BBS (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 ____________________________________ IBM PINS HOPES ON NEW COMPUTER LINE (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 information). 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 CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD OFTEN! If you 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: MICHIGAN ATARI MAGAZINE by permission. ATARI 1050 DISK DRIVE REPAIR Defective Head Park Switches By D. R. HAULSEE DESCRIPTION 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. TOOLS NEEDED #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 COVER REMOVAL 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. DIAGNOSIS 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 article. DESCRIPTION OF THE SENSOR 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. PROCEDURE 1. Remove the sensor from the drive. The wire tie to the frame must be cut. 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 surcharges. _____________________________________ Xx Product Review Review by Dan Rhea _____________________________________ Function_aid 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 ordered. 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 Engineering. 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 (grin). 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 uploads. 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 bills. 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 be. 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] _____________________________________ ZMAGAZINE NEW JERSEY APRIL 6, 1987 ISSUE 46 Please Contribute!! _____________________________________
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 13-Apr-87 #47"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 30-Mar-87 #45"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index