Z*Magazine: 28-Aug-87 #68From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/17/93-08:32:58 AM Z
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 4-Sep-87 #69"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 21-Aug-87 #67"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 28-Aug-87 #68 Date: Sat Jul 17 08:32:58 1993 ////////////////////////////////////// ZMAGAZINE 68 //////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////// August 28, 1987 (c)1987 Syndicate ______________________________________ Publisher/Editor: Ron Kovacs Assistants: Ken Kirchner Susan Perry Rich Decowski ______________________________________ Xx ZMAG INDEX 68 ______________________________________ <*> ZMAG Overseas Newswire By: Lennart Olsson <*> ZMAG Atari News Update From CIS Online Today <*> OSS Update From OSS BBS <*> Product Review "The Spider" <*> CompuServe Atari8 Bulletin <*> ZMAG Update <*> Carina II Preview ______________________________________ Xx ZMAG OVERSEAS NEWSWIRE ..Excerpts from Lennart Olsson.. ______________________________________ EasyPlex Date: 25-Aug-87 23:30 EDT From: Lennart Olsson Subj: Hello Again! Hello Ron! Long time since you heard from me? I think it's a little too long... I now know where and when I will go to the U.S. The seminar will be in Dallas, Texas. We will travel there via New York. We'll change plane there 13 and 17 september. I can give you more details if you want...... I got a glance at the Mega 4 ST and the laser printer last week. Seemed rather nice. However, no laser printer drivers were available yet...Atari Corp. Scandinavia will set up a meeting this fall with all user group officials, sysops, etc. A brand new ST user group was formed in Stockholm during the summer. I don't know anything more about it yet. Atari Corp. Scandinavia is planning to set up an own BBS this fall. Ok, that's it for this time. Perhaps we could meet in N.Y? Have a nice time! Lennart ______________________________________ Xx ZMAG ATARI NEWS UPDATE ..From CIS Online Today/AP ______________________________________ August 24, ATARI CORP. TO BUY CHAIN Atari Corp. wants to buy the Federated Group Inc.'s 65-store retail electronics chain for $67.3 million. By this Friday, it will tender an offer for the 10.7 million outstanding shares of Federated stock, seeking to gain control of stores in California, Arizona, Texas and Kansas. According to The Associated Press, Federated's seven-member board unanimously approved the $6.25-a-share offer, noting the firm "has had trouble finding retailers for its products. Among other things, the merger hinges on the approval of Federated's lenders." Federated lost $895,000 in the first quarter ended May 31, compared with a profit of $662,000 for the same period last year, the wire service says. Sales rose 2 percent to $91.1 million. Atari's own financial picture has improved lately. In the latest quarter, its profits were up 39.3 percent to $13.54 million, while revenue rose 16.4 percent to $70.69 million. August 25, ATARI NOT RULING OUT Atari Corp.'s move this week to acquire a retail electronics chain is not an isolated event. "If other transactions come along that fit into our business plans, we'll do additional acquisitions," says Atari treasurer Steve Kawalick. Atari Corp. wants to buy the Southern California-based Federated Group Inc.'s 67-store chain for $67.3 million, a move that would give it control of stores in California, Arizona, Texas, Kansas and New Mexico. The Associated Press reports that the deal, which is subject to approval by a five-bank consortium that has extended Federated a $48 million line of credit, was worked out with Federated founder/chief executive Wilfred Schwartz, who will continue to run Atari's Federated subsidiary. Schwartz told AP, "It's a marriage made in heaven. We felt we wanted to augment our resources with the human and financial resources available through a union with an extremely strong winner." The wire service notes, "Most of Federated's stores cover half an acre and boast a vast selection of electronic specialty merchandise, including Atari's bottom-line personal computers." Atari's Kawalick comments, "This particular acquisition gives us additional distribution channels in certain parts of the country." August 28, TRAMIEL SAYS PURCHASE ... Atari Corp. Chairman Jack Tramiel says his firm's acquisition of the 67-store Federated Group electronics store chain will be a mighty tool against Japanese competitors. Tramiel told The Associated Press, "Our Japanese counterparts all have their own stores in Japan. I like to copy success." He also said that there are "no consumer electronics companies today in the United States. We need to rebuild that and I think we can do it." Atari revealed Monday that it is acquiring Federated, which has stores in five Western states, for $67.3 million. AP quotes Tramiel as saying that Federated was bought in order to reduce the time it takes for products to be accepted by dealers. And "the move will also spread research and development costs over a larger organization," the wire service said. Federated has lost money recently to the tune of $5.2 million in the fiscal year ending last February, but Tramiel says it will start making a profit now "by slowing its recent expansion drive and gaining from more advertising and the addition of new Atari products," AP reports. --Charles Bowen;Online Today ______________________________________ Xx OSS UPDATE ...from the OSS BBS (408-446-3451)... ______________________________________ The Official Procedure: To Turn a SuperCart OFF: 1> Close I/O Channel 0 2> Wait for the LSB of RTCLOK ($14) to change value. 3> Do an SEI 4> Save $AFFF ... this is the 'cart status' register ... you'll need it if you wish to restore the cart 5> STA $D508. This turns the cart OFF. 6> Poke $3FA(GINTLK), 0 to tell the OS that there is no cart installed. 7> Poke $6A(RAMTOP),$C0 to tell OS that full RAM is available. 8> Do a CLI 9> Open #0,12,0,"E:" To Turn a Supercartridge back ON: 1> Perform steps 1-3 from above. 2> LDX with 'cart status' value saved in step 4 above. 3> STA $D500,X. This turns cart ON 4> Poke $3FA,1 to tell OS that there is a cart. 5> Poke $6A,$A0 to tell OS that less RAM is available. 6> Perform steps 8-9 from above. Notes: These should be obvious, but if you're a space case like me... The ON/OFF code MUST be 'safe'. That is, if RAM resident, it should not be overwritten by any application you may be running, whether under Cart control or not. (Especially the $AFFF value if you'll want to turn the cart back on!) Disk .COM files are a viable alternative. Once the cart is off, there MUST be a program IN PLACE to take over control of the computer! That may be DOS or it might be your own code. Depending on exactly what you're doing, some sort of RESET handler might prove useful. Again depending on application, XL/XE users may want to add PORTB manipulations. ______________________________________ Xx PRODUCT REVIEW ______________________________________ The first developer kits for the 4-port Spider were shipped on July 1. These kits consist of a 4-port Spider plus technical documentation required to program applications on the device. The Spider is a multiple RS232 port interface. It requires connection to a host system through an RS232 port. This uses one of the four ports on this Spider, leaving three ports for connection to other RS232 devices, including additional Spiders. If you purchase a Spider developer's kit, you also get a password allowing access to a developer's subboard here on Nite Lite. In this subboard is a message base and a file transfer section containing Spider command sets and other developer aids for the Spider. I will be shipping the first Spiders (without developer's kits) within two weeks of July 1. The manuals accompanying these Spiders contain all the information for programming applications on the host computer using the Spider's built-in command set. A Spider can be connected to any computer that has a standard RS232 port. Each port on the Spider can be programmed to run at a selection of 14 baud rates from 50 to 19200 baud. Parity, word length, number of stop bits, etc., are selectable independently for each port. Some command sets and independent applications will be available for free distribution. One application planned is a multiline chat board that runs completely within the Spider, not requiring a host computer once it has been booted from a host. It can be run, once booted, to support three lines plus a local line connected to a host or to support four lines with no connection to the host. Prices on these products are as follows: 4-port Spider w/documentation-$199.95 Developer's kit (4-port Spider, technical doc plus password for access to the Spider development subboard)- $299.95 Mass. residents add 5% sales tax to the above prices. No COD orders. Mail orders to: Nite Lite Systems P.O. Box R Billerica, MA 01821 ______________________________________ Xx MACHINE LANGUAGE PROGRAMMING PART 3 ______________________________________ By Dr. Warren G. Lieuallen In previous discussions, we have examined both how to load and store a machine language program, and a simplistic view of how the hexadecimal codes produce any meaningful results. This article will now deal with the specific commands available in the assembly language, and how they work to comprise a complete, working program. To make machine language programming a little easier for human beings, it was decided that the numerical codes which represent the actual commands would be given an associated "mnemonic" word, or label, describing the command. A mnemonic is simply something which makes remembering easier, due to associations which may be made between the mnemonic itself and the item being remembered. In other words, the command which is represented by the number 76 (or "4C" in hexadecimal) is also indicated by the mnemonic label "JMP", which stands for "jump". This JMP command is very similar to the GOTO command in BASIC, which is essentially a "jump" in the program's execution. So, by remembering "JMP", you can remember how this command functions (just like remembering "GOTO" in BASIC.). All the mnemonic labels have been reduced to three letters in length for the sake of consistency. Therefore, it's not too difficult to create a program which will accept the three- letter mnemonics, and convert them into the appropriate numerical codes, thereby saving us the trouble of looking all of them up in a table and performing the conversion ourselves. This is exactly what the various assembler/editor programs do (of course, they also do a lot more, but that's another story, or at least another article!). In this way, all we need to remember is the mnemonic labels, and not concern oursleves with the actual numerical, hexadecimal codes. Previous newsletter articles by Charles Brown have discussed that everything your Atari does is the result of changing certain memory locations, either with PEEK's and POKE'S, or just with other BASIC commands, which alter the memory locations for you (whether you realize it or not!). Machine language is no different; everything happens because of changes in the memory locations. The only difference is that in machine language, you do have to be aware of these changes, because it is your machine code which will produce these changes. BASIC's extra "helping hand" is no longer available, and much of the housekeeping functions must be dealt with by you directly. In actuality, this is not as bad as it sounds. The simple screen-fill routine we discussed last week will serve as a good example. This routine was made up of thirty-four numbers, which correspond to the thirty-four commands in this program. Here is the source code for that program (The "source code" is the set of mnemonics, understood by your assembler, and hopefully by you as well; the "object code" is the set of numbers generated by the source code, and saved as a binary load file.): Byte 1= PLA - get # of arguments CMP #$1 - is it 1? BNE #-2 - if not, kill program (infinite loop) PLA - get MSB of argument (not needed) PLA - get LSB of argument (character code) TAX - store it in X LDA $58 - store contents of $58 in A and... STA $CC - store A in location $CC LDA $59 - store contents of $59 in A and... STA $CD - store A in location $CD TXA - retrieve the argument into A LDY #0 - let Y=0 LOOP-> STA $CC,Y - store A at location ($CC+Y) INC $CC - increment location $CC BNE #-6 - if $CC<>0 then go back to loop INC $CD - increment $CD LDX $CD - store location $CD into X CPX #$A0 - compare X with $A0 (160) BNE #-14 - if X<>160 then go back to loop Byte 34=RTS - return to BASIC Depending on your background, this listing may or may not make any sense! What is shows, though, is that this program works exactly like its BASIC counterpart--it places the internal code for an asterisk in the memory locations corresponding to the graphics zero screen display. It does this by first checking to see that only one number was recieved (this number [the argument] is the internal code for an asterisk, which you specified in the USR call from BASIC, eg. X=USR(1536,10).). It then transfers this value to the X register (a special memory location used to hold values needed in the program, just as variables do in BASIC), and then gets and stores the pointer to the beginning of screen memory (this is location $58 in hexadecimal). It then retrieves the character code, and begins to place it in the memory locations. The rest of the program simply counts how many locations have been filled, increments the screen pointer and stops when one screen-full is done! A slightly more detailed discussion can be found in "Atari BASIC Faster and Better", by Carl M. Evans (published by IJG Enterprises). So, although you may not think so just yet, that's all there is to programming in machine language. While it certainly seems harder than other programming languages at first, with a little practice and familiarity, you'll find that it really is just another language in which programs may be written. Best of luck! ______________________________________ Xx COMPUSERVE ATARI8 BULLETIN ______________________________________ Don't forget that Monday night at 9:00 PM Eastern time, we will be continuing our series of ST Emulator COs in ATARI16. Our guest this time will be Darek Mihocka. Darek is the author of the latest ST Emulator, ST-Transformer. It emulates the 8-bit Atari 800. The emulator will be released to the Public Domain in ST-Log (from Analog). All SIG*Atari members, and other intrested parties are invited to attend. [Ed. As you all know, Zmag approached Darek a few months ago about his transformer. We will be here also to capture and see what happens. I hope to see John Nagy there to monitor it all with us.] ______________________________________ Xx ZMAG UPDATE ______________________________________ The FCC deadline has been extended to September 24, 1987 for comments. The deadline for reply comments has been extended to October 26, 1987. There is enough time to get your opposition letters in the mail. For more information on this entire subject, download all the support files from CompuServe or the Zmag BBS. In your letter, Please emphasize how these increased access charges will effect you!! Tell the FCC what database, BBS, or service you use and for what purpose. Include the following: -Monthly usage. -What you pay now. -How access charges would impact your use of these services. Current investigation of this matter shows the cost will increase by: -- $4.50/hr to the cost involving only dial-in service. -- $7-9/hr to the cost of connections involving both dial-in and dial-out access. -- $7-9/hr access charge for PCP users -- $4.50/hr for access to CompuServe, The Source, Quantum, GEnie. Address your letters to: The Honorable Dennis Patrick, Chairman Federal Communications Commission Washington, DC 20554 with copies to: Secretary Mr. William J. Tricarico The Cheif Common Carrier Bureau Mr. Gerald Block and copies to: Commissioner James Quello Commissioner Mimi Weyforth Dawson Commissioner Patricia Diaz Dennis On the letter indicate: "RE:CC Docket 87-215" Look for more information next week in Zmag.. We have also been given an interview with Keith Ledbetter, done by Chuck Leazott. We will publish this interview starting with Issue #71. We will divide it into 3 parts. ______________________________________ Due to pressing matters, I had to re-edit this weeks edition. Articles scheduled to run this week have been reassigned for future issue. Last weeks User Group Focus brought commentary by one of our readers. I read the users Email to me on the BBS, But due to the Email message base crash this week, I lost all the information sent in. Since we are trying to keep Zmag current as possible, news items will take priority over special features. Next week, we will continue the 65XE upgrade originally lined up for publication this week. The Wizard, Mike Brown will return next week. This week we will release ST-Report number 6. ______________________________________ Xx CARINA II PREVIEW ______________________________________ Welcome to your preview of: Carina BBS: Version II Brought to you by Drummer Boy This is a captured text file that has been re-edited. I called Jerry and asked to see what he'd done with version 2.0 of Carina BBS. He put up what he had worked on so far. This file is what I saw as Jerry walked me through this early (uncompleted) version. Jerry agreed that it would be a good idea for all of you who have access to level 3 on Carina BBS to see this file to get an idea of what's going on, what's new, and how it'll work. So make up your wish list, study this, and let Jerry know your constructive criticisms. _____________________________________ Calling Carina Version 2.0 on Tuesday, July 14th at 1:25 am. AT DP 305-747-9196 CONNECT Press |RETURN| Connected at 1200 baud in ATASCII Name or Account #: 1/CARINA [Editor's note: As you can see, there are now account numbers, and you do not have to wait for another prompt for p/w input. From now on, all comments made by me shall be in [brackets] and introduced by "Ed:".] Hello There >>> JERRY HORANOFF Caller # >>> 1 |Carina II|BBS-305-747-9196|Voice-9195| Section > Electronic Mail - Minutes > 050 Command : |Terminal/Chat| There is a configuration to make it not ask if you wanted to change the header or not... that is why it did not ask (in the case you were wonder- ing). Don't worry about it - let's see the guts! gotcha... |End Term/Chat| Section > Electronic Mail - Minutes > 050 Command : Menu [Ed: As you can see, we are already in a "section." Actually, it's another way of dividing the BBS into special interest groups (SIGs). Currently we're in the Electronic mail section. Now, for that long awaited new menu!] |Read |R|Ctrl-R|Read Messages | |Scan |S|Ctrl-S|Scan Msg Headings| |Post |P|Ctrl-P|Post a Message | |Feedback |F|Ctrl-F|Message to SysOp | |Sections |+| +|Section Titles | |Go |G|Ctrl-G|Go to New Section| |Topics |T|Ctrl-T|Message Topics | |Games |^| ^|Play a Game | |Logoff |L|Ctrl-L|Exit BBS | |Chat |C|Ctrl-C|Chat with SysOp | |Databases|*| *|Read a Database | |Users |U|Ctrl-U|List of BBS Users| |Status |%| %|Your Status | |Settings |S|Ctrl-S|Change Settings | |Vote-Poll|V|Ctrl-V|Voting Poll | |BBS-List |&| &|List of BBS's | |Bulletins|=| =|Current Info | |Callers |N|Ctrl-N|Today's Callers | |Menu |?| ?|This Menu | |Help |!| !|Extensive Help | |Directory|D|Ctrl-D|Download Files | |Browse |B|Ctrl-B|File Descriptions| |Download |<| <|Download a File | |Upload |>| >|Upload a File | [Ed: Looks like Jerry has gotten rid of the File-Tran/Sub-Cmds modules. You'll see why later. But look, for those users who complain, now you've got those 1 key commands. > = U/L.] Look for more from this text demo in the weeks ahead. ______________________________________ ZMAGAZINE 68 August 28, 1987 ______________________________________
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 4-Sep-87 #69"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 21-Aug-87 #67"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index