Z*Magazine: 11-Jul-88 #114

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/29/93-09:57:20 AM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 11-Jul-88 #114
Date: Thu Jul 29 09:57:20 1993

            ZMagazine  #1 Weekly Atari 8 Bit Online Magazine
                  Atari News, Reviews and Commentary

 American Publishing Enterprises, Inc (APEInc)  PO Box 74, Middlesex, NJ 
Ron Kovacs         R.F. Mariano            John Deegan    Gary Gorski

Monday July 11, 1988   (c)1988 APEInc   Issue #114


<*> Message from the Publisher        <*> Editors Desk
<*> Line Noise                        <*> Pearl Harbor Again!
<*> Feedback on Issue #112            <*> SPC Newswire
<*> Redskins Star Hollers             <*> Editorial Reply
<*> AtariWriter Plus Update           <*> Programming Tips

Message from the Publisher
by Ron Kovacs

Please welcome our NEW editor, John Deegan.  He has taken over the editor
duties effective with this weeks issue.  I am sure you will notice the
difference in editorial style.  If you have any comments, we encourage
you to send them in.

Editors Desk            by John Deegan

I want to thank Ron Kovacs for allowing me to edit Zmagazine.  I will do
my best to provide the readers with the latest news and reviews and
occasional commentary.  There are many things to be said and brought out
about the Atari 8 Bit community. 

Ron has stated that I was to include messages and commentary about ZMag
Issue #112 in this edition.  I have done so and edited down the rather
large amount text.  

Line Noise

Line Noise and the Problems it Can Cause with File Transfers

 Many people have left messages on my bulletin board asking me why there
are so many 'garbage' characters on their screens and why file transfers 
are riddled with errors. These garbage characters are really line noise 
and can be introduced in many different places. Pure noise is a decimal 
255 (FF in hex), but most line noise is not 'pure'. It usually comes in 
as something less than 255, like maybe a 251 (a character that looks 
like this ''). Ever see that one before? Yup, so have I!

 One of the more common and familiar introduction points of line noise is
in the telephone company's system and even here there are several ways 
noise is introduced. A signal is routed through multiple stations before 
it eventually makes it to the other end and some of these stations aren't 
exactly new. Older areas may have older, less sophisticated equipment 
that is more apt to be affected by ambient noise. This is one reason some 
people continue to have noise problems even after hanging up and calling 
back multiple times.  Also, a given physical connection at one of these 
junctions may not be up to snuff. If your particular bout of line noise 
is solved by hanging up and calling back, then it's probable that you 
were previously connected through an intermittent or 'dirty' connection. 
Some of these trunk lines (large, multi- area that has alot of ambient 
RFI (Radio frequency Interference) present although this is not usually 
the case.

 It is possible that the problem is being caused at this end, but not if
the problem goes away when you call back and the line is clean -or- if 
you are one of a very few users experiencing noise problems. You may say 
that you are not having problems with other boards.....in which case the 
problem is more than likely the route that your call takes to get here. 
You may be going over micro-wave or through buried cable which for some 
reason are sub-standard. No matter how many times you call, you will 
probably be routed over the same path. Micro-wave problems are sometimes 
the hardest to track down because they can cause intermittent problems. 
Some interference only occurs during certain times of the day or week.

 Another common noise introduction point is in your home. Most residential
homes have televisions, radios, microwave ovens, VCR's, and if you are 
reading this, a micro-computer. All these devices radiate radio waves 
that can (and often do) get into the phone lines and cause noise. 
Electric motors and mechanical dimmer controls can introduce noise into 
the electrical wiring in your house and cause problems. If your line 
noise problem does not go away after repeated hanging up and calling back,
then you may be suffering from one of these household problems. If you 
are suffering from this problem, you can take steps to eliminate it. 
First of all, turn off EVERYTHING except the fridge (If it IS the fridge, 
then you're SOL. Can't live life with your ice box unplugged) and see if 
the noise persists. If it goes away, then start turning things back on, 
checking the computer each time until you see the noise start up again. 
It may be that a single device is not bugging you but several devices 
plotting together to annoy you. This elimination tournament may take 

 Another area to check is your wiring at the computer. Use noise
supressors on your power connections to both the PC and the modem (if
external). Use a shielded RS-232 cable to connect your modem to the PC.
Ribbon cables (especially long runs of it) are great antennas and will 
cause problems. Re-route the RS-232 cable so it does not run next to the 
PC power supply or any other transformer. 

 And now a little discussion about the modem itself. First of all, I'd
like to clerify a commonly misused term - BAUD. The term "Baud" is 
actually a man's name - J.M.E. Baudot (Pronounced: Baw-doe) a French 
Telegraphy expert. 1,200 and 2,400 Baud is NOT the same as 1,200 and 
2,400 BPS (Bits Per Second).  The usage of "Baud" to describe line speed 
in terms of data through-put is incorrect. 1,200 and 2,400 BPS modems 
both operate at 600 Baud. Basically, without getting to technical, a 
Baud is a "blip" of information. 1,200 BPS modems use four states per 
blip (or Baud) and 2,400 BPS modems use sixteen states per blip. If you 
want more information on what Baud and BPS mean and a full explanation 
of how data is actually represented and transferred by the modem, please 
refer to PC Magazine Volume 6, Number 9 (May 12, 1987).

 Modems operating at 2,400 BPS are much more intolerant of line noise than
are modems operating at 1,200 BPS. Conversely, modems capable of 2,400 BPS
operate better at 1,200 BPS than do 1,200 BPS only modems. If you are 
being hopelessly attacked by noise at 2,400 BPS, trying calling back at 
1,200 BPS.  It's very possible that the noise will be greatly reduced 
or disappear altogether. I know, you didn't buy a 2,400 BPS modem just 
to retard it to 1,200 BPS. The brand of the modem plays a part in the 
immunity to line noise.  Some modems can digest more noise (lower 
signal-to-noise radio) than others.  PC Magazine (same issue mentioned 
above) ran a test on 87 different modems.  You might check the results 
to see how your modem ranks. Most 2,400 BPS modems operating at 1,200 BPS 
have approximately -8 to -10 db error threshold while the same modem 
has about -16 to -20 db threshold operating at 2,400 BPS.  For this 
reason, line quality is much more critical at 2,400 BPS operation.

 Additionally, a friend of mine who runs a bulletin board from their
office has been plagued with line noise problems at 2,400 BPS but very 
little noise at 1,200 BPS. The culprit is the office's centralized 
telephone system. Many office buildings have a given number of trunks 
that actually enter the building while there may be many, many more 
extension within the building. These types of telephone systems have 
their own controllers and line assignment devices and are frequently 
not as high in quality as a hard-wired MaBell (or GTE) line. The 
acceptable signal-to-noise ratio in some of these inter-office phone 
controllers are lower than necessary for reliable 2,400 BPS operation 
but not too low for 1,200 BPS.

 If you get transmission errors while downloading or uploading a file,
don't fret it. The Xmodem (or whatever protocol) incorporates an error
checking/correction mechanism that automatically detects and corrects any
errors that may occur during transmission. The very fact that Xmodem 
reported the error in the first place means that he caught it and 
corrected it. The only errors you have to worry about are the ones that 
Xmodem does NOT report  Any reported error has already be corrected. 
Xmodem, especially the CRC flavored one, is a very reliable file transfer
protocol. Even if you got 100 errors during transmission, chances are 
still pretty slim that the file got corrupted. Occasionally, a file 
will be corrupted after transfer, but many times this may be due to a 
bad ARCing of the file or perhaps a disk error that may have occurred 
sometime during the files' past.

 I hope this text helped explain some facts about modems, line noise, and
file transfers. If you have other, more specific questions, concerning modems
or communications in general, leave a C)Comment to the SYSOP. I'll try to
answer them.

by T."Rex" Reade

Where are the history professors?  Where are the veterans?  Most of all,
what is wrong with the US purchasing public?  Is it really this easy to
forget?  Are we all really this blind?   What happened to our Senators and

Do you sometimes wonder how it feels getting up in the morning and brewing
your cup of coffee in the Jap percolator and then brushing your teeth with
the Jap power toothbrush...going out the door and getting into your handy
dandy Jap import car....driving to work (The Local Computer Plant) and
finding out you don't have a job any longer because the final blow has come
from the Jap whiz kids who have choked off the US Electronics Industry by
manipulation of the chip market.

It sure will be nice to see all the repossesions going back to Japan
because all the US suckers who had to buy Japanese products forgot Pearl
Harbor...Crazy you say?  Take a look at these points.....

The real victims of the chip squeeze (not just drams) are the Companies
that build the computers, laser printers, Fax machines and TVs (watch out
you couch potatoes).  Ultimately you the consumer are going get it in the
neck as you always do.....Hewlett Packard just hiked their prices on
memory boards by 25% blaming drastic Japanese wholesale price jumps.

To give you an example of the seriousness of this CHIP-RIP or DRAM-SCAM,
look at this...Tri-Data Systems in Sunnyvale,CALIFORNIA. had $400,000
worth of chips, approximately 33,000 chips stolen from it's warehouse, 
they now keep them in a steel vault and have posted a $5000.00 reward for
the capture of the perpetrator of the robbery.  Seems Loomis Armoured Car
Service is the only company benefiting from the CHIP-RIP/DRAM-SCAM.

Consider this, at the present rate of exchange, one ounce of 1 mb drams is
worth $785.00....that's worth more than gold!  Japanese industry has
accomplished what the entire Jap military could not do in WWII....they
have made a piece of plastic worth more than Fort Knox' contents..who do
we thank for allowing this to occur?  The chip shortage is now in crisis
proportions and it is time for the US MANUFACTURER to climb all over the
congressmen and senators from each district and say thanks for nothing!

In the year 1985, the Japs flooded the globe with chips.  The result is
exactly what they wanted....they destroyed the American suppliers and had
the entire globe's business to themselves. The BIG THREE in Japan were now
in control, they even wiped out the smaller Japanese companies!

                             FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Being an election year, many of the Congressmen who voted the for the
special trade agreement are not running for re-election...nor are the
KLUTZY politicians who voted to punish Toshiba for selling some high tech
stuff 2 years ago and setting down the punishment this year..amazingly
while the same high technology is freely exchanged with Russia now...makes
no sense to me except that TOSHIBA, NEC and FUJITSU are all in this
together and ....this reporter would not put it past these latent samurai
warriors from engaging in a "little avenging for the ancestors".  

It is time for the US Industry to wake up and stir the blood life of
independence back into itself...make the chips here and use the chips
here.  Even the UK (England) is about to loose it's computer industry as
result of the Jap scheme, wasn't and isn't England an Allies?  This entire
deal with the Japs is like going to war and buying the AMMO from the

Take a look around your home Mr. American, after you have taken an
accounting of the amount of goods from Japan, think of the enormous 
amounts of dollars they grabbed from our country and now, we the same
suckers are going to watch as they INVADE us by building their factories
here and put our people to work?  Wouldn't it be smarter to have US folks
and US dollars build these factories and laboratories to make the US
designed products and retake the world leadership we once so proudly had
and vainly thought we never could loose?

The latest CHIP-RIP/DRAM-SCAM deals are bordering on James Bond scenarios.
For example, Sen. P.Wilson (R-Ca) has charged that Jap chip companies have
stated to small high tech (US) companies.."give us the latest technology
you have and we will make sure you have all the chips you need"...When it
gets this bad, it is time for the US Gov. to fund the planning and
construction of manufacturing plants strategically placed to boost the
sagging economy around the good ole USA.  It is time to put these fanatics
out of the US marketplace by sheer competition and good ole Yankee
ingenuity!  Are we really going to let them have a strangle hold on the
computer market for many years to come?  Can't anyone see that it will
come to a point where THEY will tell us what we can and cannot have as far
as high tech and sophisticated electronics are concerned?

Give Japan a real shock...Let's begin to relieve the dependence on Jap
production to carry the US Electronics Industry, the US Automotive
Industry and the indirect control of all our lives.  BUY AMERICAN even if
it hurts.........

HATS OFF to Atari!  They are going to take the issue on head first!  Atari
will build a chip and computer manufacturing facility in the US in the
very near future.

Texas Instruments, Micron and Motorola are gearing up for enhanced
production of these chips.  They realize that the technology will soon
encompass the manufacture of co-processors, (Motorola makes the
68000), and associated chips which will be the mainstay of the industry 
for many years to come.

It is definitely up to the US marketplace, both the manufacturer and the
consumer, to put an end to the CHIP-RIP/DRAM-SCAM.  Let's all do our

Feedback on Issue #112
Captured from The Launch Pad BBS
Compiled by Ron Kovacs
Edited by John Deegan

<NOTE>: THe following are a few messages about Issue #112 of ZMagazine.

Message 12   The General Area
Left at 7/2/88 - 4:21:36pm
Sent to 1-Carlos Hernandez
Sent by 52-Bill Brown
Topic   Where
How many messages did you have on your bases and did ALL the bases get messed 
lp or just some..weird..I have not had ANY problems with my bases accept when 
I had my hard drive directory crash and lost some stuff..  

Message 13 The  General  Area
Left at 7/2/88 - 4:30:03pm
Sent to 22-RON KOVACS          
Sent by 52-BILL BROWN          
 Oh good, a place to find you...I saw that piece of reporting you did,
sorry to say I don't agree with it all (or even a small portion of it) about
the ONLY thing I agreed with was that the file validating system was and
is a bitch, holding files in 1 directory to be transferred to another is
not good (and wastes disk space) I ont see why he could have put all
files (validated or not) in the correct directory and then had a flag as
to if it was validated or not..then it would have only taken 1
second to change a flag instead of the waste it does now..but let me get
to the main bitch I got against your garbage report...

Where do you get off writing something like that?  Where are your facts?

Why is it few if any have the same major problems you have??  Yeah its
bad timing right now for me to write this on Carlos's board because of a
message problem but no one seems to be having the lock ups you are..
Carlos you?  Eric you?  John Handel of Sacremento?  Sean you??  Let me
list 20 more that aren't.. anyone having really ANY major problems besides
this message base and ron??   A guy in Canada had a lock up problem
awhile back, whenever someone hung up on the system it would lock up, I
uploaded a new waitcall and usercom and he was SET, works great.. Why Ron
when I asked you a few weeks go if your problems were hardware or
software you said "Hardware?" why??  I got a copy of the message...  Oh
well, I am annoyed..but I really don't care, your report will not stop
what is by many a superior BBS program (called by many IBM and Amiga and
ST users on my BBS as better then anything they call run on their own 
systems!  What did you do to fix the bugs? just Talk to Jerry? did you
ever get new files to see if yours were corrupted like the guys in Canada?
Are you using basic xl with a 1.2 or lower version number?  Could the
lockups be because the MIO is not accessing the hard drive?

Message 14 The  General  Area   Left at 7/2/88 - 4:33:34pm
Sent to 22-RON KOVACS    Sent by 52-BILL BROWN
I have lockups about once every 2-3 weeks and I thought it was the
software too for a long time..then I studied it for awhile and noticed
that if the MIO forgets the hard drive is around (error 138's) then
Carina Locks up because it knew something was there and continues to
search for the files etc...I say to you if its software why are few if
any having the same problems as you? why?
Your report was based on YOUR own bad luck, how about saying a software
is buggy with FACTS from a great number of other Carina II users..I got
about 30 numbers of boards running Carina II and I get on every time,
they don't have crashes, they don't have lockups and believe me if you ever
get your hardware/software problems fixed and run a BBS again you will be
hearing from EACH AND EVERYONE of them...with THEIR comments for ya...
No Basic XL cart used.
Lock-ups were caused by (As stated by Jerry Horanoff)
      1).  850 Interface... Bad timing
      2).  MIO
      3).  Possibly modem

Message 16 The  General  Area   Left at 7/2/88 - 4:45:01pm
Sent to 22-RON KOVACS    Sent by 52-BILL BROWN 
Ok, since your Zmag likes comments, how about me writing one..how about a
Bill Brown comment on Ron himself, since you can write comments and try
to ruin a BBS program from just YOUR private experience how about me
Lets say Bill wonders if Ron can run a BBS at all!  I mean you mentioned
yourself in your article you have gone thru something like 5-6 BBS
programs in less then 1 year...why is that?  Cant get your act together or
what? I mean really...I am not a major fan of Oasis but I never heard of
major problems with it, Express, same thing, Forem XEP..seemed ok..why
the switching and bitching?? I know I have no foundation for my comments
(but then again neither do you) do I seem upset, yeah..I am, I guess I
gave you more credit then I should have for being even minded...maybe I
will settle down..maybe not...but heres the same offer I made on Glenda's
BBS, call WCS, hang up, trash it..try your BEST to lock the system up..be
my guest..you wont..why? because it doesn't crash, I wont invite you to
do the same here or anywhere else cause the sysops might not like it, but
I want you to duplicate your problems on WCS ok....jeez
Ron what happened to you anyway?? 

Message 22 The  General  Area   Left at 7/2/88 - 6:17:29pm
Sent to 52-BILL BROWN    Sent by SysOp:1-CARLOS HERNANDEZ
I haven't read Ron's commentary as of yet, I will print out the issue
when I logoff and give you my comments...Overall however, Carina II seems
to have a few nasty little bugs that I feel should have been taken care
of considering the amount of time the program was in beta-test.  I'm not
one to bitch and moan however, but one to do my darned to help my
author seek out and destroy, if you will, the bugs in an otherwise
wonderful program.  

Message 26 The  General  Area  Left at 7/2/88 - 7:27:04pm
Sent to 22-RON KOVACS    Sent by 6-SEAN 
..problems that weren't my fault!  If you have no hardware problems, and
a clean bunch of files (mods not messing things) Carina II runs fine!  I
have heard nothing but bad things about your "review" but I will look
into it.
if my copy is the same as yours (and it is) and if mine works then something 
is wrong here...  

Message 43 The  General  Area  Left at 7/3/88 - 3:20:32pm
then the best thing is to post your ideas to Jerry or call him, from what
I heard Ron did little to fix his bugs.. humm, personally I don't have
really any bugs I can see..if you call having to go to each sig and type
"Validate" instead a new nice feature (which is coming on the utility disk
would be validate all, it automatically goes to each sig for you..i mean
there is a difference between bugs and needed features..


Bugs vs Features.  Here we go again into another argument.  Just like the
Hardware vs Software??  Who is right and wrong.  The bottom line to this
entire subject will be the owners.  Let's look into the Carina II 
software in 6 months and see what has changed. 

Final Word:

The following was done to attempt correcting "BUGS" with Carina II.

1). Changed equipment:
     A) Supra Hard Disk to MIO Set-up with 16 Meg Hard Disk.
     B) 130XE to 800XL to another 130XE.
     C) MIO to another MIO
     D) 850 problems???  (Would like to know exactly what the problem is)
     E) Latest software was used.
     F) Modem not changed.
     G) No printer was used online.

You make the decision Hardware or Software??

These comments, which I am sure are being discussed on a number of Carina
boards is just defensive tactics to take attention away from problems. I
am not sure what they are, just know that something is wrong.  To say that
I am the only person having these problems is totally ridiculous.

SPC Newswire 
Compiled by the staff of APEInc

ST-Report Confidential

(SUNNYVALE, CA.)  Atari in a turmoil over the revelation of D/S drives
shipped in 520STFM units to FEDERATED STORES.

(VEGAS - COMDEX)  Atari plans to revive all the enthusiastic support it
once enjoyed by what they plan to do and show here in NOVEMBER.

(NEW YORK, NY)    IBM has reportedly purchased huge amounts of scarce
chips to supply itself and render competition a severe blow.

(NATIONAL, USA)   ATARI Dealers are reportedly up in arms over the
alleged preferential treatment Atari has shown to Federated this year
over 1040, 520stfmd/S Drives, Mega delivery times, and service in general.

(WALL STREET)   COMPILED 07-08-88 [Fegers and Wise]
Reprint permission granted

Stock                 Sales    High    Low    Close   Net Chg. 
Dome Petrol        9,172,000  1 5-32  1 3-32  15-32   unch 
Texas Air          1,790,700  15 5/8  14 3/8  14 5/8  off   1/8 
Wang Lab B         1,319,600  10 3/4  10 1/4  10 3/8  off   1/4 
Amdahl Corp          962,600  53 7/8  50 1/8  50 1/8  off 2 7/8 
Echo Bay Mn          797,600  21 1/4  20 1/2  21      up    1/2 
NY Times             769,300  27 1/8  26      26 3/8  unch 
ATARI CORP          *694,400*  9       7 7/8   8 1/2  up    3/8 
Est Air              694,300  16 1/2  16 1/8  16 1/2  up    3/8 
Viacom               657,700  25 3/4  25 3/8  25 3/4  up    3/8 
Lorimar Tel          632,600  13 7/8  13 1/8  13 3/8  off   1/4 

Stock                       Sales      High    Low    Close   Net Chg. 
Apple Computer  (AAPL)  $195,227,000  47 1/2  45      45 1/4  off 1 1/4 
LIN Broadcsting (LINB)   167,195,000  64      54      58 1/8  off 5 7/8 
Apollo Computer (APCI)   157,968,000  15 7/8  10 1/2  10 7/8  off 3 7/8 
Sun Microsystm  (SUNW)   150,205,000  40 3/4  38      38 1/2  off   1/2 
Intel Corp      (INTC)   149,274,000  36 1/4  34 3/4  35      off 1 1/4 
MCI Commun      (MCIC)   117,825,000  15 1/4  14 1/4  14 7/8  up    3/8 
Microsoft Cp    (MSFT)   117,673,000  70 1/2  67      68 1/2  up    1/2 
Miniscribe Cp   (MINY)    69,499,000  13 3/4  12      13 1/8  up  1 
Novell Inc      (NOVL)    65,468,000  28 3/4  26      26 1/2  off 2 
MICRON TECH    *(DRAM)*   62,976,000  23 1/2  21 3/8  22 7/8  up  1 1/4 

Redskins Star Hollers Discrimination
by John Deegan

Redskins quarterback Doug Williams said advertising execs are shying away
from him for endorsements of goods because he is black.

Williams, M.V.P. in Washington's Super Bowl win over Denver last Jan., 
was quoted in Friday's USA Today as saying that if Denver's white 
quarterback, John Elway, had been on the winning team, corporate America 
would ''be knocking his door down.'' 

"You don't have to be a Phi Beta Kappa to figure out some things in this
world,"! said the Star Quarterback.

Williams has made only $127,500 since the Super Bowl victory for endorsing
goods.  While it's more than most folks make in a year, it is peanuts
compared to what was made by the last two Super Bowl quarterbacks, both 

The Bear's Jim McMahon made $3 million endorsing goods after the 1986
Super Bowl.  The Giant's Phil Simms made $1 million in endorsements after
the 1987 title game.

Ad Consultant Don Smith acknowledged that race is a factor in choosing 
advertising pitchmen. "If I have a product and I know that of the 1 million consumers who buy my
product, 980,000 of them are middle-class, white WASP families, damn it 
that's what I've got to appeal to," Smith said. 

           Williams has done two national endorsements this year:

[1] An end-of-the-game plug for Walt Disney World that paid him $75,000.

[2] Atari Video games TV campaign beginning in August that will earn him 
Reply to the Editor
Reply to Editorial of Zmag #112
by Larry Mihalik

After reading Ron's editorial of June 27th, I was quite surprised.  Not 
only has he confused numerous issues and blamed them on BBS software, but
has taken sides, something an editor is not supposed to do.  Well be it as
it may, he has and here are my retorical comments.

Issue #1 - Hardware

Ron claims to have numerous hardware problems and blames them on the BBS
program he happens to run this month.  Truth of the matter is, the hardware
he has been using is not only used but admittedly faulty.  The MIO he is
using does not even have the current Eprom that ICD issued with the
"fixed" MIO.  The resident RS232 handler in his MIO does not work.

I don't know anything about his hard drive, but honestly don't care too.
I have been running with my MIO and a 20 meg hard drive for a year now without
any problems.  I have not formatted it for that time and it continues to be
trustworthy and loyal.  I added a second 20 meg hard drive 3 months ago and
the story is the same.

Ron has had disk crashes for the past 3 years, actually as long as I have
known him, yet many other SysOps have had the same success I have had.

Issue #2 - BBS Software

Obviously Ron takes a look at his own bad luck and then transfers it to the
software he has been running.  Looking at his results, there is no good BBS
software just a tolerable failure.

I disagree.  I have been running Carina Software since version 1 was released
in July 1986.  I have yet to experience problems in the magnitude or frequency
that Ron claims to have had with Carina.  Once again, I should point out that
a large group of other SysOps of Carina software feel the same.

I am not here to discuss the pro or cons of any of the available software,
Jerry, Keith and Glenda have worked hard to provide a quality product for the
Atari 8-bit community and I fail to see how Ron has the right to attack any of
them until he has more information.

I proclaim that Ron has a responsibility to his readership, not only WAS Zmag
highly respected, but it provides a great service to the Atari community.

It is this readers opinion that he overstepped that responsibility with this
column and owes us all an explanation.  I challenge him to provide his readers
with an educated evaluation of software, run on reliable hardware.  It is not
acceptable to me that he can take personal experience and flash it like gospel.

Take a look in the mirror Ron, you know as well as I do that what you provided
was either irresponsible behavior or trash!

That is my opinion!  Let's here yours!

My Opinion:  by Ron Kovacs

I will spare the Carina comments since we have covered them enough.  The 
parts of your editorial that bother me are you facts.  I never stated to 
you what Eprom revision was installed in my MIO.

Over the last three years I have known you, I have not discussed any 
problems at length about my BBS software or hardware.

There was a period when you were relocating that you didn't even run a BBS 
fulltime.  Your personal attack is really not a basis for writing the 
above. It looks to me as an attack on me rather then with the issues.

Yourself and Bill Brown have produced extensive messages over the last two 
weeks against my character and reputation, which has been foolish to say 
the least.  I did not attack you or Brown in any shape or form yet you 
defend the character of BBS software?

My intention, as I told you voice last week was to produce positive 
results from the article.  I also stated this fact to Jerry Horanoff. The 
results are not conclusive, but they show problems exist out there and 
covering them up with your personal reflections about my character is 
totally off base.

This matter (*) is closed as far as I am concerned.  I feel Larry Mihalik
has not produced the other side of the issue he complains about.  When
there is one, I will print it.

(*) For the full message threads on this subject, call the Lions Den BBS,
The Launch Pad BBS, and The West Coast Syndicate.

AtariWriter Plus Update
Captured from CompuServe Atari8 SIG

 Atariwriter + isn't 'intuitive' when it comes to creating disk files for
electronic message streams.' But,even though I don't have it, I've
done some kicking of ideas back and forth here on the forum with those
who do, and (I hope I remember this right!) here's The Procedure we came
up with that seems to do the job...

 (at the top of the AW screen.)

You want to format for an 'electronic page', rather than a 'paper page.'
That requires some alterations. Specifically (I'm taking the 'letters'
from my old AW cart .. I think they're the same in the Plus version)....

  <t> top margin should be 0
  <b> bottom margin should ALSO be 0 (doing this will give you a
      'continuous' text file with no page breaks.
  <l> left margin should be set to 0.
  <r> right margin should be set to 75
  (!) CIS accepts lines up to 80 characters in length. There is no need
      to limit your 'input' to 40 columns for typing messages. (CIS
      automatically formats text being read to match the viewer's screen
 <d> set paragraph spacing to single.

 These are the important ones. You should be able to leave the other
values with their 'default' settings.

 Once you have this format line set up, SAVE IT to disk for future use.
Whenever you want to compose messages to upload, FIRST load this format
line into the editor.


 You can now type as normal in AW+. There is no need to use the
<P>aragraph marker (all this does is do an 'automatic indent.') Instead,
just END each paragraph with a RETURN, and indent each new paragraph by 1
or more spaces.

(RETURNS at the end of each line will be handled automatically by AW+
later.) Don't do any fancy formatting in the body of the text.  For
messages, the simpler the better.

 SAVING THE MESSAGE... Here's the tricky part *sigh*

 When you're done, PRINT THE FILE TO DISK, using normal AW+ commands.
(You might also want to SAVE a copy in regular AW format for later

AW+ does some 'extra' formatting at the end of a 'printed file.' To fix
it, you now need to RELOAD the file you just PRINTed!  Go to the end of
the text. You'll see a bunch of RETURNS. DELETE all of these. The LAST
character in the file should be the RETURN that ends your text file.

Got it? NOW, SAVE the file again, but this time, do it IN ASCII FORMAT.
And that should do it. A good way to check on the result of all of this
is to COPY the file to E: (the Atari Editor.) In DOS 2.5, you'd use the
C (opy Files) command in the DOS menu, answering the 'from and to' prompt


 (don't forget the comma.) In SpartaDOS, issue the command

 COPY D:filename E:

 In both cases, what you should see is a straight ASCII file, with no
extraneous RETURNS, control characters, etc. If it looks okay with this,
then, assuming you've followed the 'SIGMSG rules', it should upload okay
to CIS.

 feedback welcome ... don 76704,41

Programming Tips
Captured from CompuServe Atari8 SIG

#: 211546 S12/Programming    04-Jul-88  18:36:34
Fm: Curtis Jay Coleman 72571,355
To: All

I have recently decided to open my Dos 2.5 manual...I found that the
explanation of the 'NOTE' and 'POINT' command really lacked to indepth

                  Curtis Coleman


#: 211566 S12/Programming    05-Jul-88  00:13:30
Sb: #211546-NOTE/POINT
Fm: DICK KNISELY 75046,473
To: Curtis Jay Coleman 72571,355 (X)

Chris, reenter your query, the last part appears to have gotten chopped


#: 211595 S12/Programming    05-Jul-88  22:48:49
Sb: #211594-#NOTE/POINT
Fm: Curtis Jay Coleman 72571,355
To: SYSOP*R. Brudzynski 76703,2011 (X)

The question...again...

The manual (Dos 2.5 manual) has a pretty bad explanation of how and what
the NOTE and POINT commands work. I want to know a nice (and easy)
explanation of them...

           Curtis Coleman

#: 211598 S12/Programming    05-Jul-88  23:21:29
Sb: #211595-#NOTE/POINT
Fm: SYSOP*R. Brudzynski 76703,2011
To: Curtis Jay Coleman 72571,355


NOTE and POINT are your keys to the fast retrieval of data on disk.  You
can use NOTE to make a record of the precise spot at which data is stored
on a disk.  POINT will move the disk head to that precise spot to retrieve
the data.

If you have to store a lot of data to disk, NOTE and POINT will allow you
to retrieve data in a flash!

Here's a quick demo of their use from the old DOS 2.0 manual:

20 DIM A$(40)
25 OPEN #1,8,0,"D:DATFIL.DAT"
27 OPEN #2,8,0,"D:POINTS.DAT"
30 REM Read line of data from keyboard
42 REM If RETURN only, then stop
45 IF LEN(A$)=0 THEN 100
47 REM See where the data will be written
50 NOTE #1,X,Y
55 REM Store line of data
60 PRINT #1;A$
61 REM Store pointer to line of data
63 REM Let's show the location on your screen
65 PRINT "SECTOR # = ";X,"BYTE # = ",Y
90 GOTO 40
95 REM Indicate End of File
100 PRINT #2;0;",";0
110 END

Run this program and you'll end up with two files on your disk.  One
contains the actual data and the other contains the location of the data on
the disk.

Use DOS Option C (Copy) to examine these files on your screen. (Respond to
the 'from,to' prompt with filename,E: )

Now for the fun -- let's retrieve the data by reading the file backwards!

10 DIM B(20,1)
20 DIM A$(40)
30 OPEN #1,4,0,"D:DATFIL.DAT"
40 OPEN #2,4,0,"D:POINTS.DAT"
45 REM Read pointers into an array
50 FOR I=0 TO 20
60 INPUT #2;X,Y
70 B(I,0)=X:B(I,1)=Y
80 IF X=0 AND Y=0 THEN LAST=I:I=20
95 REM Retrieve file in reverse
100 FOR I=LAST-1 TO 0 STEP -1
110 X=B(I,0):Y=B(I,1)
120 POINT #1,X,Y
130 PRINT SECTOR # = ";X,"BYTE = ";Y
140 INPUT #1;A$
150 PRINT A$
160 NEXT I

The ability to move to any point in a data file is important when fast data
retrieval is a necessity and there is a LOT of data.

For example, I have to have quick access to a lot of court decisions on
environmental problems.  I associate a decision with a list of keywords and
the keywords with a set of Pointers to the decision.  When I search for the
keyword, I get a set of pointers to the location of the decision on the
disk and *POW*, my machine instantly displays the decision on my screen!

I could look for the keywords by searching the file from the beginning to
the end each time.  As a practical matter, I'd end up cooling my heels for
a few minutes while I read the entire disk.

NOTE & POINT get me where I want to go instantaneously.

Give it a try.  You'll be impressed with the power these commands give you.
You'll make your disk drive dance to your command!

 ____________________________________ _____________________________
|For the latest ST News and Reviews |For the latest Amiga News and |
|read ST-Report Online Magazine #43 |Reviews, read Amiga Report #2 |
ZMagazine available on: CompuServe  *  GEnie  *  Delphi  *  The Source 
ZMagazine Issue #114       July 11, 1988       Copyright (c)1988 APEInc 
Reproduction permitted unless otherwise noted in the article. All reprint
information must be included.  Comments detailed in this issue are those
of the author and not of ZMagazine or it's staff.

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