Z*Magazine: 30-Oct-87 #77From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/17/93-08:06:41 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 30-Oct-87 #77 Date: Sat Jul 17 20:06:41 1993 ______________________________________ ZMAGAZINE 77 October 30, 1987 Atari News & Information (c)1987 Rovac ______________________________________ Editor/Publisher; Ron Kovacs Assistants; Ken Kirchner & Susan Perry ______________________________________ Xx INDEX 77 ______________________________________ <*> Correction Notice from Issue #75 <*> Atari News Update....Neil Harris <*> Zmag Technique.......Mr. Goodprobe <*> ARCX Help............From GEnie <*> DC AtariFest Report <*> 1050 Disk Drive Fix <*> SpartaDos Modification ______________________________________ Xx CORRECTION NOTICE ______________________________________ Errata for 850 Modification Article, from Zmag 75... Several errors in my original article have shown up and I think it best I correct these ASAP... First of all, the XE series DOES use the trigger input from joystick port four. It is now used as part of the cartridge interlock circuitry, however. The text should have mentioned that the XE series doesn't use the trigger input from joystick port THREE, not four. Change all occurences of "53265" (and "D011") to "53266" (and "D012"). The article is NOT accurate using location 53265. Note that these changes DO NOT mean modifying the hardware, if you've already started in on these mods. You only need to modify the software that you might write for these modifications, relative to the changes I have just mentioned. Sorry for the inconvenience... Mike Davis ______________________________________ Paid Advertisement Your Source for Sales and Service! Flat rate repairs on all Atari 8 bit! Quick turn-around on ST repairs! We also do flat rate repair on 8 bit Commodore equipment, and also can fix your Amiga or Apple computers! We also offer service contracts on all computers, call for rates today! Be sure to take advantage of our flat rate repair on VCR's, Video Cameras, and Camcorders---->$99(covers all parts and labor except heads and Nuvicon) Midtown TV------>27 Midway Plaza Tallmadge, Ohio 44278 (216)633-0997 ______________________________________ Xx ATARI UPDATE ______________________________________ The following is a letter sent as a reply. Written by Neil Harris and used here as an Atari Update News Report. September 25, 1987 CompUtah c/o A.C.E. of Salt Lake City P.O. Box 26664 Salt Lake City, UT 84126-0664 Dear Editor: In the editorial of your September issue, you take exception with my statement concerning the Atari XE Game System. Since the statement was a brief one, I'd like this opportunity to give you a clearer idea of Atari's position on this system and why it should be a good thing for 8-bit computer owners. At the time of the formation of the new Atari Corporation in the summer of 1984, the 8-bit line was not faring too well in the mass merchants. It seems that the computers were neglected during the last year or so of Atari Inc. The largest companies selling the computers, such as Sears and K-Mart, had taken the position that the 8-bit Atari computers were dead, and they proceeded to close out their inventories of computers, peripherals, and software at below- cost prices. Compounding the situation was the set of records that were inherited by the new company. According to our books, many of the big accounts owed us millions of dollars for products shipped. According to their records, though, Atari owed them millions for product returned. When two companies have many millions of dollars in discrepancies on the books, it is very difficult to do business together. In fact, the K-Mart account was finally settled this past summer, fully three years after the new company was formed. So we have the situation where the product lines were closed out at a loss, and the stores have the attitude that these products are old and dead. In some cases, the buyers at the stores were fired due to the losses they took at the end of the home computer era. These were not just due to Atari -- none of the mass merchants sell "home computers" any more; K-Mart does not (although a few isolated stores buy some Commodores from distributors), J.C. Penneys does not, Montgomery Wards does not, and Sears sells only business computers. At the current time, Atari U.S. has a substantial supply of 8-bit computers in stock. Very substantial. We have every motivation to sell 8-bit computers. At times we've been accused of trying to kill the line. Why would we want to? Because many of us came from Commodore, where we competed fiercely with Atari? Most of us had substantial respect for the Atari computers as competitors (as opposed to, say, Texas Instruments and Radio Shack). Personally, I have a fair amount of experience in Atari home computers dating back to before I joined Commodore -- check out Compute's First Book of Atari for one of the articles I wrote for them long ago. Despite our interest in selling 8-bits, they don't sell. During the past three years we've tried advertising, without success. We've released more new 8-bit products than anyone -- DOS 2.5, the XEP80, the SX212, AtariWriter Plus, Atari Planetarium, Silent Butler, Music Painter, Star Raiders II, etc. Not to mention the 65XE and 130XE computers. We are frustrated. Stores don't want to carry the products. We even offered to let them have the machines without paying for them until they sell! If you know anything about Jack Tramiel, this isn't something he likes to do. But stores value their shelf space, and buyers value their jobs, and we had little success. On the other hand, there's the video game business. We fully expected video games to be a dead issue upon joining Atari. After all, everyone knew the video game business was dead. At Commodore, we thought we'd killed it! But, we were surprised when the existing inventory of about a million 2600 systems sold during the first year of the new Atari Corporation, without any advertising and with little effort. As a kind of experiment, we built another million machines and sold them during the next year. "Aha," we said to ourselves. "Doesn't look like a dead business to us!" So we went forward with the 7800 system, for which parts were already available, and lo! and behold, we sold all we could make of them last year also. Now Nintendo and Sega have jumped in with high-end, $150 game systems. Nintendo in particular is doing very well indeed. They don't sell as many of these as we sell, but they sell for more money. So Atari took a hard look at the marketplace and determined that we should do a $150 system as well. Examining the products, it seems that Nintendo has decent graphics, a light gun, not much of a joystick... and a robot. What does the robot do? Well, it photographs very well in their commercials, but really it doesn't do anything to help in playing games. For the same $150, we can provide the consumer with a game system, light gun, three pieces of software -- and a computer-style keyboard. While not as dramatic looking, I'm sure all computer users know that some games just can't be played with a joystick alone. Flight Simulator II, which comes with our XE Game System, needs the keyboard. So do adventure games and most other strategy games. We can't get stores to carry the 8-bit computers. They won't even sell the software to their existing customers -- for a while software companies had to put the 8-bit programs on the back of the C64 disk to get shelf space at all! But when we showed the XE Game System to the buyers, they were totally enthusiastic. This is truly marketing in action. We have something like 50 cartridges in inventory from the old days, and are feverishly working on converting disk games to cartridge. With some clever programming, we can now get 256K of ROM on a cartridge, instead of the 16K in the old games. That's how we got Flight Simulator II *plus* a scenery disk onto a single cartridge. There is nothing different about the XE Game System to make this work -- existing 8-bit computer owners can use the very same cartridges. So what does this mean to you? In the beginning, all it will mean is that more games will be coming in 8-bit Atari format. But, what we hope is that this will be the springboard to revitalizing the 8-bit Atari computer line. Once the XE Game Systems start selling (and they have just begin arriving in stores this past week), we have a potential market of hundreds of thousands of consumers. At this time Commodore is selling around 300,000 C64's annually. With a market this size, the motivation for software developers to bring out new titles in our format is enormous. Remember, the XE Game System is totally compatible with your 8-bit computers. Once the customer takes the XE Game System home, they discover in the manual that the system includes the Atari BASIC language and that there is an SIO port for computer peripherals. We expect that people who may have been frightened of computers, or leery of spending the money on a computer with a drive ($400+) initially, may very well upgrade to a fuller system. And we hope that they will then demand the kind of software that we need to see developed -- serious applications software. While this is happening, we continue to sell the 8-bit computers. Contrary to some published reports, we cannot simply remove the motherboard from the 65XE's and put them in the Game Systems. It's a different board. So, we still have the large inventory of computers. And we expect that smart Atari dealers will use the advertising campaign for XE Game Systems and sell the computers as a compatible alternative. "Why," they might ask a customer, "should you spend $150 when you can buy the system ala carte, with a computer for $99 in a more compact case and then buy whatever software you want?" Lets all hope this works. Atari has tried just about everything in our power to keep the 8-bit computer line going. This is probably our best shot. One last fact -- for our customers in areas where there are Federated stores, Jack Tramiel has said that these stores will carry a full line of Atari 8-bit computers. So availability should be a whole lot better in California, Texas, Arizona, and Kansas. Thanks for giving me the time to explain in much more detail than I can online. We've been through some tough times together. Please try to keep the faith and bear with us just a little longer while we get the 8-bit situation straightened out. Best regards, Neil Harris ______________________________________ Xx ZMAG TECHNIQUE ______________________________________ Those Were The Good Old Days by Mr. Goodprobe Ah, remember when you could go down the boardwalk and smell the nuts roasting in the little shops, bikini's were the most eye-catching thing around beside mini-skirts, and skateboards had metal wheels? Some of the things from then I dearly miss, and others not at all! Those killer metal wheels on skateboards quickly disposed of several pairs of jeans in my teenage years, and accounted for numerous shredded elbows, knees and jackets! The Atari 800 had one of the finest keyboards available on the home computer market, and the entire unit was designed with longevity in mind. One nice touch the 800 possesed which was eliminated with the advent of the XL series was the internal speaker. I can remember a game I used to enjoy on the 800 whose name escapes me at the moment. The general idea was to spray the garden with bug spray to rid your plot of pesky bugs that would flutter about and devour your veggies. As the bugs appeared on the screen, from the internal speaker would arise such a clatter that you would really have to stop as it sounded for all the world that they were ACTUALLY inside your beloved computer...it was an uneasy feeling to be sure! Now, just because you upgraded to an XL/XE doesn't mean you have to do without this feature any longer! This will be one of the simpler projects you will undertake, but its rewards for the installer will far exceed the effort expended. This article will cover the version I whipped together for the 800xl, and next issue we will share the version for the 130xe with you. Parts you will need: 1. Diode: Part # ECG 177 2. Transistor: Part # ECG 123AP 3. Capacitor: .001 @ 50v 4. Resistors: 1k 1/2 watt 100 ohm 1/2 watt 5. Speaker: 8 ohm 1/2 or 1 watt variety (The smaller the physical size the better) 6. Small hook-up wire Construction: Dissemble your 800XL, remove keyboard, metal shield, and screws and place these items safely aside. You will not need to remove the PC board from the bottom of the case. 1. Attach wire to bottom side of C23. This capacitor can be easily located by first looking directly between the RF modulator and the cartridge slot on the right. find the middle ground between these 2 points, then mentally draw a line 3 inches long back toward yourself from this point and you see C23. Just above and to the right of this part is a small electrolytic standing on end. Found it? Good! 2. At the other end of the wire attach your 1k 1/2 watt resistor. 3. The neatest way to build this project is to build a large portion of the needed circuitry right onto the speaker itself. Using the lead placement chart solder the collector of your ECG 123AP transistor to one of the lugs on the speaker. | | \ * * * / \ E B C / \ / \------------------/ (Bottom view with pins facing toward you) 4. Grasp your ECG 177 diode, and connect the end which DOES NOT have the band on it to the same lug on the speaker as you connected the collector of the transistor to. 5. Connect the front (banded) end of the diode to the other lug of the speaker. 6. Connect the 100 ohm resistor to lug of the speaker with the banded end of the diode. 7. Connect the .001 capacitor to the base of the transistor. 8. Connect the free end of the 1k resistor to the base of the transistor. 9. Locate the small 8 pin IC. notice the small dot on the bottom left corner. This is pin 1. Count over to pin 4, this is the point we will use for ground. Connect a wire here. 10. Connect the other end of this wire to the following parts: A: The free end of the .001 capacitor B: The emitter lead of the transistor 11. Locate C14. This capacitor is located directly to the left of the modulator. The top of this cap is our 5v source. Solder a lead to this point. 12. Connect the free end of this lead to the free end of your 100 ohm resistor. All that remains to be done is locate a spot to mount the speaker inside of the cabinet of your XL. The smaller the physical size of the speaker you have chosen, the easier your task for finding the needed space will be. Also, it might be wise to use electrical tape to insulate all exposed wire leads of your add-on to avoid any future problems. Keep those Atari's hummin'! Mr. Goodprobe (on lend from) Midtown TV Atari 8/16 Sales/Repair (216) 633-0997 ______________________________________ Xx ARCX HELP ______________________________________ (C) 1987 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari ST Roundtable. May be reprinted only with this notice intact. The Atari Roundtables on GEnie are *official* information services of Atari Corporation. To sign up for GEnie service, call (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (no RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type XJM11877,GEnie and hit RETURN. The system will prompt you for your information. HELP for using ARCX v1.2 <file #1908> This is a short "How to..." on the use of ARCX version 1.2 as found in the GEnie 8 bit Atari RoundTable. This file is broken into two parts: 1> loading ARCX 2> running ARCX. Since there are few differences in ARCX v1.1 and ARCX v1.2, we will refer only to ARCX. It is strongly recommended that you download ARCX v1.2 as it is about 30% faster than v1.1 and will therefore save you some time off line when recovering files. ARCX is the program that you will need to be able to recover and use all of the files in the Atari RoundTable that are stored in the ARC format. See the file ARC.HLP for more info on the creation of an ARC'd file. LOADING ARCX ************ To load ARCX, place a disk with your DOS file(s) on it in D1: and turn on the computer. BE SURE TO HAVE ALL CARTRIDGES REMOVED AND ON XL/XE MACHINES, HOLD DOWN THE "OPTION" KEY TO TURN OFF BASIC. ARCX is known to work with Atari DOS 2.0 & 2.5, SpartaDOS <all versions>, and MYDOS 4.0 and up. ARCX ** WILL NOT ** work with SMARTDOS. Once to the DOS menu, you may set up your RAMdisk, copy files to the RAMdisk, etc.. It is recommended that you have a freshly formatted disk ready to receive the recovered files, so you might also want to format a disk now. Now place the disk with the file ARCX.COM on it in the drive and do a binary load of the file. From Atari DOS, this is option 'L' and the file name to load is ARCX.COM. From SpartaDOS, just type ARCX <RETURN>. ARCX will load into the computer and be ready to run. Note that ARCX will work with all Atari 8 bit computers with at least 48K of RAM and one disk drive. RUNNING ARCX ************ The first line of the ARCX menu will prompt you for a file name. If the file to be unARC'd has the extender of .ARC <as it should>, you need only type in the file name and not the extender. <ie to recover TEST.ARC, you need only type TEST> If the file to be recovered is in any drive other than D1:, you will need to give the device as part of the file name. <ie from a RAMdisk as D8, you would type D8:TEST> You may also see a directory of a disk by pressing the '+' key. NOTE: ARCX does not allow the use of wild cards, so you must enter the complete file name. Once you enter the file name to be recovered and hit <RETURN>, ARCX will ask for a destination drive. This is just a number from 1 to 8. There must be an active drive that is ready to receive the recovered file(s). If you want to send the recovered file(s) to D2:, put your formated disk in D2:, and press '2'. The last option that you will see is if you want the screen turned off or not while ARCX is working. Pressing the 'N' key leaves the screen on and pressing 'Y' turns it off. Unless you are just curious, it is recommended that you turn the screen off <answer 'Y'> because ARCX is about 25-30% faster with the screen off than with it on. Once you press the 'Y' or 'N' key, ARCX will proceed to read the source file and write to the destination drive. POSSIBLE PROBLEMS ***************** At the very start of the ARCX process, you may get several different I/O errors. I have found that most of these are because of the failure to give a valid file name. If this happens, make sure that you have given the COMPLETE file name with NO wildcards. As a matter of habit, I also enter the .ARC extender as part of the file name. Also make sure that the destination disk is freshly formated and is not write protected. If ARCX fails to do anything when you load it, MAKE SURE THAT BASIC IS OFF/ REMOVED. ARCX will lock up if BASIC is on. While ARCX is working, you may sometimes hear a high pitched beep. If the screen is on, you will also see the note "filename.ext Fails CRC Check". This means that ARCX has encountered a file in the ARC'd file that for some reason does not match the original source file. This DOES NOT mean that the file is bad! This often happens on text files and is due to the block padding that most Xmodem file transfer systems do. If you get a CRC error, try to run the recovered programs. Odds are, they will probably run with no problems. If you do find that they will not run, use ARCX to recover the *.ARC file again and see if the error occurs again. If you have more problems, please leave E-Mail to one of the Atari RT SysOps with the file name/number, and a full description of the problem. You may get a disk full error if you are using only one drive. ARCX supports the use of a RAMdisk and it is recommended that you use the RAMdisk if you can. If you have only one drive and no RAMdisk, you will be limited as to the size of the file that you can recover since both the source *.ARC file and the recovered file(s) must all fit on the same disk. As a rough guess, the *.ARC file should take up no more than 30% of the total disk space. Many people have left me mail saying that ARCX has "Locked up" when in reality, it was doing just what it should be. This apparent lock up is because ARCX is fairly slow and does little disk access, so not much seems to be going on. As a rule of thumb, allow ARCX 1 minute for every 5K of *.ARC file size. <5K=40 SD sectors=20 DD sectors> This way, you won't be expecting ARCX to just zip right through. Hopefully, this will answer many of your questions about how to use ARCX to recover the files here in the Atari 8 bit RT. If you should have a specific question, please feel free to drop E-Mail to one of the SysOps, and we'll be glad to help in any way we can. ...Marty...MARTY.A ______________________________________ Xx DC ATARIFEST REPORT ______________________________________ by John Ruley Show Report: DC Atarifest, 24-25 October 1987 I just got back from this show, which was held in one of the largest high schools I've ever seen. Lot's of activity! ATARI was showing its laser printer... and - the PC! Yes, it really DOES exist (and looks quite nice, actually). ANTIC had no booth, but their Cybermate and Spectrum 512 products were there, and moving nicely. The pictures, particularly some of the Voyager probe shots of Jupiter and its moons, are really something to see! Lots of Megas were at the show - we counted at least 6, but I think the only ones with Blitters were ours and Atari's. Dunno if they are shipping to regular customers yet, but it's obvious that they've got the production problems fixed. SEYMOR-RADIX's IMG Scan, which looks and acts like Thunderscan on the Mac, but costs $99 and works with ANY printer; was in evidence and running VERY nicely - we picked up a copy which I've been playing with for the last few days. ZAPHODYNE's (blush) revised (version 2.1 - 1.9.9 owners can get a FREE upgrade) version of the new VTX commo package for the ST was doing quite nicely, with full Ymodem and Kermit support (including server), and a silly script demo called the "Poor Man's BBS" set up to allow spectators to control the ST from a dumb terminal. We also announced our VTX-132 package, which adds 132 column and double width/height text to the VT-100 emulator (available in 2 weeks). DATA PACIFIC was showing a new, improved 'SAC which takes full advantage of the Mega's extra memory - VERY nice! AND... they finally got the conversion unit done so that you can use original Mac format disks. If I was Apple, I'd be worried! New Publications (at least I've never seen 'em before): RESET and ST-World. Both looked layed out pretty well, professionally printed jobs with some pretty nice articles. Spent an hour with Dave Ahl of Atari Explorer - they seem to be on track and going places - the latest issue looks awfully nice. Dave told me that they hope to go monthly next year. Overall, a darn nice show, and BUSY - the place was mobbed when it opened both days, and stayed that way until it closed. Next time, to heck with appearance - I'll wear tennis shoes. My feet STILL hurt! John Ruley (jruley) Zaphodyne Inc. ______________________________________ Xx 1050 DISK DRIVE FIX ______________________________________ This text file will (hopefully) tell to how to fix your 1050 drive ONLY if the following conditions are true. #1 The drive reads disc files okay. #2 The speed of the drive is correct. Their are Utilities in DL3 that you may use to check the speed. Just BRO/KEY SPEED. #3 The drive refuses to format when given the command and either formats the first two tracks or none at all and then just spins. Sometimes it will return an error #139. #4 It refuses to write and when given the command,just gives an error# 139. These are the problems that I had with my US doubler 1050. If you have the same EXACT problem, this fix MAY work for you also. CAUTION! If you are not hsay what it may do to yours. Still game? Okay,here we go. You will need a pair of needle nosed pliers, a phillips screwdriver, and a switch (I used a cheap Radio Shack pushbutton, less than $3.00). Also, about 10 inches of wire. I used a piece of small gauge speaker wire. And a low wattage soldering iron (25 watts will do). First, unplug your drive and turn your drive over and unscrew the four recessed screws that hold the top down. You should'nt have to remove the front two that hold on the face plate. Now turn the drive right side up. Lifting from the rear, remove the top. Be VERY careful not to disturb anything! On the left rear of the printed circuit there are four brown plugs that are marked (on the board) from front to rear as J11, J12, J1, J10 and J14. The one we want is J11, the closest one to the drive motor. Take a magic marker and mark the front of the plug, this will make it easy to know which side is the front. The two wires we want are the north pair of the four (when you're in front of the drive). In other words, of the four wires in plug J11, we want the first two, closest to the drive motor. Once it's marked, CAREFULLY remove the plug with a pair of needle nosed pliers. Carefully remove the some of the insulation from our two target wires. Take a small piece of wire and connect the two wires together. Tape them to prevent a them from shorting out against antthing. This is only temporary, as first we will test the fix to see if it works. Replace J11 (using the magic marker mark as thefront) and without replaceing the top, plug up your drive as usual. Load your dos. Using a blank disc, attempt to format. IF when the first two wires of J11 are connected together, the drive formats and writes then we are on the way! If the drive still refuses to format or write, then undo the jumper that you made on J11, tape the two bare spots on the two wires and replace J11. Replace the cover and send the drive out to be fixed. If the drive now formats and writes, then on we go! Unplug the drive and go back to J11. If everything is working now, we have to wire up a switch because connecting the two wires of J11 together over rides the write protect of the drive. You can now write to ANY disc, whether it has a notch, write protect tab, or no notch at all. So, we have to put in a switch so that we can go from the old NO format, no write condition to ALL format, all write condition. Remember those extra write protect tabs that you had? Put them on ALL your discs! Just in case the sensor starts working again and formats or writes when you least expect it. All you people that use both sides of a disc (a bad practice I'M told), will now be able to format or write to side two without making a notch. On to the finish... Remove J11 again and remove the jumper wire that connected the first two wires. What we want to do is solder a length of wire to each of the two wires (the bared portions). Once you've done this, tape each wire well and replace J11 on the board. (use your mark for front!). Each wire should now be separate with a length of wire coming from it. Now solder a wire to each of the two terminals of your switch. (first decide where you're going to mount it, I mounted my pushbutton on the lower sloping portion of the face plate). Without replacing the cover, plug your drive in and test it once again for format and write. If it does'nt write or format the first time then push the switch to the other position. It should now work. If it worked the first time, it should work now. If not, go over your work. Maybe you did'nt make one of the connections properly. If using a pushbutton switch, in should allow the drive to function as it should and out should restore it to it's former no write condition. Now mount your switch, (keep the wires away from the drive mech.) and replace your cover. As to WHY this works or what happened to break your drive in the first place, well sorry I don't know. I do know that it worked for me and I'm hopeful that this $3.00 fix works for you. Wpiii (Willie Pelzer 3rd ppn# 73247,206) ______________________________________ Xx SPARTADOS HELP ______________________________________ How many times have you wished you could call a binary file AUTORUN.SYS and have SpartaDOS load it automaticly for you but the program will not run with the key board buffer installed. Until now the only way was to use a startup.bat file to do a key off then load the program. Well I got tired of it and discovered that you can search the X32D.DOS file for three bytes and change them and the default on boot up will be the key board buffer off. Just get out the SpartaDOS Tool Kit and load the Diskrx sector editor. Search for these three bytes. 20 DB FF. Change them to EA EA EA. Thats all there is to it. I also changed the ver. number to X32k.DOS so I would know that it was the one with the default K.B. off. I think this makes a great dos even better. If you don't have Diskrx then format a disk with AINIT. Copy X32D.DOS to it. Load up what ever sector editor you have and go to sector 106. Now change the bytes 20 DB FF to EA EA EA. Gerald Cox ______________________________________ Zmagazine Issue #77 October 30, 1987 Please contribute!! !!!!!!Happy Halloween!!!!!!! Please Vote November 3, 1987 ______________________________________
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