Z*Magazine: 3-Aug-88 #117From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/29/93-10:01:26 AM Z
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 10-Aug-88 #118"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 27-Jul-88 #116"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 3-Aug-88 #117 Date: Thu Jul 29 10:01:26 1993 ZMAGAZINE WEEKLY ONLINE MAGAZINE Wednesday, August 3, 1988 Issue #117 AMERICAN PUBLISHING ENTERPRISES, INC Post Office Box 74 Middlesex, New Jersey 08846 PUBLISHER MANAGING EDITOR ZMAG EDITOR Ron Kovacs R.F. Mariano John Deegan ZMag Hdqts North ZMag Hdqts Midwest ZMag Hdqts South Zmag Hdqts West (201) 343-1426 (216) 784-0574 (904) 786-4176 (916) 962-2566 ========================================================================= ZMagazine available exclusively on the following services: * CompuServe * GEnie * Delphi * ========================================================================= TABLE OF CONTENTS <*> Deegans Desk <*> Another One Bites The Dust <*> Atari Scuttlebits <*> Tips For Online Game Writers <*> 130XE Console Key Fix <*> GEnie Offers Ymodem Transfer <*> ZMag BBS Systems ************************************** DEEGANS DESK ************************************** by John Deegan (Editor) Here comes the slowest period for BBS systems and the services. Slow activity is expected as the summer begins it's 1988 close. I hope you all are enjoying your vacations and any time off! A few weeks ago we included a survey request, I have received approx 13 responses, I am really looking forward to seeing more!! So, PLEASE!! Let us know your thoughts on ZMAG going to a hard copy format. To get in touch with ZMAG directly, you can call the LAUNCH PAD BBS at (201) 343- 1426. Ron Kovacs will be there if you want to leave any feedback. A note for the Carina fans about the articles we printed over the last few weeks. Last weeks response written by Jim Stiles did NOT bring a single response from the people commented on. Perhaps the article produced the missing facts or back-up to previous comments made by Zmag. It is interesting though that no comments have been made. In this issue: Bob Kelly (Ctsy Current Notes) reports on the financial status of Atari Corp, Console Key fix for the 130XE (ctsy of AtariTech BBS) and much more.... Thanks for reading!! ====================================== Another One bites the dust! ====================================== by Gordon Totty [CIS: 73157,1212] I did it. I crossed over the line, fell off the wagon, gave up the faith, succumbed to temptation, sinned in my heart (but not like Jimmy, this time), slipped on one of life's little banana peels, flew the coop, went over the wall ..... yes, all of this, and more. There are so many ways to leave your lover, as Mr. Simon pointed out. Before you criticize me, though, answer where were you when I needed you. I faced this crisis all alone, and through my cursed weakness of flesh and meanness of spirit, failed. Yes, another eight-bitter bites the big bits, because I bought a 1040ST. That's why I haven't been around much lately. I have changed my habit patterns. I've been burning a lot of midnight oil playing with a mouse, and trying to coax it to do tricks for me. Too often, when I point at something particularly interesting and bang the little fellow on the head, the computer bombs out. I have created displays of up to ten bombs for one tiny infraction. But I'm having fun! While I am still very new to the 1040, it might be valuable to my friends still residing entirely in eight-bit land to read a few of my first impressions. Among these are... The 130XE still seems to have a better keyboard for typing, at least with respect to the "feel" of the keys. Neither keyboard, by the way, has a little raised bump on the "f" and "j" keys, something IBM and others offer. This is a nice touch for a touch typist to use to locate the home row keys with tactile assurance. I solved this on both computers with a small bit of tape on the two keys. It is amazing how little it takes to send a signal through the fingertips. The ST has many more keys for many more uses, as I am sure you know, but also has the advantage of placing the apostrophe to the right of the semicolon, just like IBM and others. This is the biggest stumbling block as I move from one computer to the other. I have to stop and think every time I make a contraction or possessive. Other key assignments differ, too, but none cause me the problem of the apostrophe placement. I suppose I should be embarrassed to admit that I did not know that the ST's three screen resolutions were not all available in color. The highest resolution is not. One of the things that motivated me to buy an ST was looking at a monochrome display of a word processor running on an ST. I was stunned at the clarity and crispness of the display. I leaned closer and peered through my bifocals to study each letter closely. I was looking for the fat pixels and the spaces between them, and saw none. "Wow!" I said, and that summed it up. Double wow. It was beautiful. It is also nonexistent on the color monitor. My early impression is that letter for letter, and considering that the 80-column display makes letters smaller than the 40-column display, I am experiencing a sensation of no better resolution doing word processing on an ST compared to my 130XE. This is a very subjective assessment, possibly influenced by bifocals and false expectations based on the monochrome display, so please don't write in to snow me with technical data. I merely caution those of you who have not crossed the big divide to consider the importance of this to you before you jump, and do some good A/B comparisons to experience it first. Avoid being disappointed like I was. Then jump; it's still worth the trip. As for resolution, the ST's medium resolution mode is weird! There is a distortion where the vertical is exaggerated relative to the horizontal. Things look tall and skinny, distorted -- there's no better word for it. This is another disappointment. It does not show up in a lot of the commercial software as they appear somehow to compensate for this in the graphics, but text is another matter. I see this distortion in the text of my word processor, though not quite to the degree as it appears in the icons in the initial screen. Speaking of software brings me to the major advantage of the ST. The programs are, largely, awesome. I am amazed to remember the days of the 400 with its 16K limit, and contrast them to today's ST software. It is nothing for these programs to use 200K, 300K, or more! I even have a couple of demo disks that will not run on an unexpanded 520ST. And, splurging on the bytes shows in what you see on the screen and what you can do. Thank goodness for the cheap chip. I'm going to stop here with that train of thought, as my intention is not to do a complete comparison (what would be the point!), or even to do a complete catalog of what might be right or wrong with the ST. I have shared with you what I intended: the most important of my first impressions. Unfortunately, some were strongly negative, but I am glad to be an STer. Overall, it is quite a machine! As of this writing, A.N.A.L.O.G. owes me 16 issues, as I renewed just as they ran into "printing difficulties". I am still wondering if the main printing difficulty is getting cash to the printer. So, while looking around for something else in which to read about the ST, I came across ST X-PRESS. By all means, get a copy of this magazine if you haven't seen it yet. It is jammed with ST news and reviews. The two issues I have seen are each about 80 pages long, and this is 80 pages of nearly uninterrupted text. So far, ST X-PRESS carries very little advertising. ST X-PRESS just celebrated the end of its first year of publication, and I hope my favorable comments haven't given it the "kiss of death." My regular readers (i.e., honey and the kids) will remember that I wrote a glowing review of Home Computer Monthly, just in time for that publication to die. In fact, my review may have been written after their last regular issue, although they did finish out my subscription with some less professional product. I am not complaining; they were honorable and paid off their obligation to me, which is much more than I can say about a certain not-to-be-named furniture dealer in North Carolina who took my deposit with him into bankruptcy court, and then sent me discount coupons in case I wanted to buy from his reconstructed company again! And that, friends, is what a southerner taught a northerner about the evils of reconstruction. End of history lesson. There are bargains galore in the Atari software market. It's scary. Seems like people everywhere are practically giving away the 8bit stuff, which I am still buying. Rumor has it that unfavorable announcements about the Atari market were made by Electronic Arts and Infocom. I won't repeat any of them as I have heard and read different versions of each. These rumors may have started another round of dumping. I was elated and depressed (a dangerous condition, I assure you) by a recent ST software sale. A local merchant decided to no longer stock ST software or hardware. Sales personnel told me two reasons. First, they are very upset over what they said Atari is expecting from Mega dealers. According to them, Atari was demanding that they attend a two week seminar at their expense, and buy a tool kit costing about $3000. The tool kit upset them more than the trip to the seminar. Second, they said that the Atari software took up too much shelf space. Ouch!! This store stocks Apple software, as well as Amiga and IBM. I think that the comment can only mean that proportionately they are making more per foot of shelf space on the other stuff, and believe the space devoted to Atari is holding the store's profits down. I will not name the store, as I might not have heard what I was told correctly, or I might have misinterpreted the significance of the comment about Atari software. For whatever reasons, however, this store ran one heck of an Atari sale --- 70% off all software. My elation, tempered by sadness at seeing another one bite the dust, came from my just happening to walk into this place at just the right time. The sale had just begun; the ad had not yet run! (Good Lord, poetry too?) I immediately grabbed about seven titles plus a book off the shelves, and went back the next morning to buy six more titles. A buyer's bonanza. It felt good, but I hope I do not see any more of this. Come on folks, I just got here!!! Let's stay in business, shall we? One thing that hurt was my budget. I walked away from a laser printer for less than $1,000. And I had to swallow an urge to say, "I'll take all of the software!" Wouldn't I have been a hero on rummage sale night! Or swap night, or whatever it is that we call my favorite meeting night. Last thought for this month: Are you an "Atarist" or an "Atarian"? I'm seeing Atarist showing up in publications lately. I prefer Atarian, because it preserves the Atari name, both when pronounced and when read. I hope this doesn't turn into another group splitting debate, like eight vs. sixteen you-know-whats. I plan to continue using both computers, and have already installed a data switch for both to access my printer. As for the names, whichever you choose has got to be vastly preferable to being described by as ugly a word as "Michigander". Good grief, I'd rather be goosed! P.S. Drop me a line on CompuServe, or on GEnie (GORDON-TOTTY). I'd love to get some reactions to my written rantings. Since my very first submission, when Anne McBain Ezell called me at home, I never know if I'm wasting your time or not. As for me, I usually smile when I see my articles printed (ego trip!), then fly into uncontrollable rage if the editor changes a comma (BIGGER EGO TRIP!!). That's not enough psychic income, folks, which may be the real gripe when people say volunteer work is "thankless." Please understand that I'm fishing for feedback, not just strokes. So, feedback, please. ====================================== ATARI SCUTTLEBITS Bob Kelly ====================================== Atari Market Happenings ....... I. Annual Report: In mid-May, as an Atari stock owner, I received the 1987 annual report. Some investors will tell you that a firm's annual report is largely a propaganda exercise. This simply is not correct. The reports are required to present general financial data in compliance with Federal statutes that are of value and interest. The table below, from the 1987 annual report, lists the major stockholders and salaries of those running the corporation. Common Stock Ownership* and the Five Highest Paid Executive Officers Amount Name (millions Percent Dollar (1) of Owner of shares) of Stock Compensation J. Tramiel 25.3 43.9% --- Warner Comm, Inc. 14.2 24.6% N.A. Sam Tramiel 1.1 1.9% 211,798 Leonard I. Schreiber .220 --- Samuel Chin .193 --- 158,207 Gregory A. Pratt .177 --- 157,632 Michael Rosenberg .050 --- Taro Tokai ? --- 198,720 Steven Kawalick ? --- 109,618 * As of April 11, 1988 (1) Compensation includes salaries, bonuses and employer contribution to life insurance policies. There are some unfamiliar names presented in the table. Mr. Chin is a Vice President and served as General Manager of Atari's Taiwan manufacturing facility from 1985 to 1987. Mr. Schreiber is, in essence, Jack Tramiel's personal counsel while also a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Pratt is the Vice-President for Finance/Chief Financial Officer for Atari. Mr. Rosenberg is a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Tokai is the Vice-President and General Manager for Atari, Japan. Mr. Kawalick is Atari's Treasurer. Except for Mr. Kawalick and Mr. Rosenberg, all senior executive officers at Atari worked for Commodore Ltd., at one time or another. A few of the more interesting facts/claims presented in the 1987 annual report are: <*> Federated stores' operating losses are expected to continue for the first three quarters of 1988. By year end, Federated is projected to achieve break-even by Atari. Comment: The fourth quarter holiday sales period is the critical variable in this projection. In essence, Atari's overall growth in the price of its stock by the end of 1988 will largely depend upon the speed of Federated's recovery. <*> Research & Development outlays, as a percent of sales, declined from 6% in 1986 to 5% in 1987. <*> In West Germany, Atari computers represent 10% of the total market for computers selling over 1000 Deutsch Marks (roughly equivalent to U.S. $600). <*> In Switzerland, the Atari ST's share is about 30% of the educational market. <*> In the United Kingdom, Atari sales accounted for some 40% of the 16 bit computer market. <*> In the U.S., over 1000 schools use ST's for math, reading, and language skills. In 1987, Atari's revenue (net sales) from the electronic products division (computers) was $362 million and for retail operations (Federated Stores) $131 million yielding a total of $493 million. The operating income was $72 million for the electronic products division while Federated stores experienced an operating loss of $6.4 million. Interestingly enough, of the total $493 million in revenues, $267 was generated in North America with Europe's share amounting to roughly $204 million. Europe's revenues were all computer related while Federated sales of $131 million must be deducted from the U.S. and Canada net sale figure to be somewhat comparable. Thus, as best can be determined, European computer sales were roughly $50 to $65 million more than those of North America. Finally, earnings per share for the electronic products division alone rose from 53 cents in 1986 to 80 cents/share in 1987, an increase of 51%. Considering this performance, one would expect Atari's current stock price to be on the rise. However, it remains below the average of $10 7/8 for the week prior to the Oct. 19, 1987 crash (as of early June the price per/ share ranged between $7 & $7 1/2). II. Glasnost and Atari: A U.S. firm will be the first to publish a personal computer magazine in the U.S.S.R. The magazine to be printed in the Russian language will be under the editorial control of the publisher of PC World - IDG. The first issue of the magazine is scheduled for publication this month and will cost the equivalent of U.S. $3.20 per copy. Currently, the number of PC users in Russia is small and little information about computer developments is transmitted to the general population. About a third of the magazine's content will focus upon developments in Russia with the remainder covering the U.S. and European computer markets. The first issue is expected to be a run of 50,000 copies. The Soviet staff of the magazine will consist of seven writers and editors. What does this have to do with Atari? Atari will advertise in the magazine. The other companies planning to advertise are: Ashton-Tate, MicroSoft, and Siemens. The first issue will be about 150 pages with 20% of the available space devoted to the advertisers. Ad space is not cheap. This looks like a major long-range marketing effort by Atari. The ultimate goal of this initiative, according to an unidentified Atari spokesperson, is for every computer classroom and factory in the U.S.S.R. to have an ST on the desk and a picture of Jack on the walls next to Lenin and Gorbachev. Za Zaslugi, Nagradit' Tramiela Dzhaka (Ordenom Lenina). III. Europe, Midi, and Atari: The Financial Times of London recently reported that the European recording industry is experiencing financial difficulties. Recording studios in Hamburg, Paris, and London are being forced out of business. The problem stems from the introduction to the music world of the personal computer and the midi interface. During the 1970's and up to the mid-1980's, recording artists did most of their rehearsing in record company studios. The ratio of rehearsal time to actual recording time was on the order of 6:1 (usually measured in months). However, in the past few years, an increasing number of recording artists are conducting their rehearsals at home with the aid of a personal computer, midi interface, and music design software. Some studios faced with the loss of the rental income from rehearsals have attempted to lure artist back by purchasing the latest, most sophisticated computerized recording technology. This has stretched the finances of many companies. Lately, the major European studios have been reducing their prices in an attempt to draw back former customers. The smaller companies, unable to purchase advanced recording equipment owing to capital constraints and the inability to significantly reduced prices have but one option available - close their doors. By the way, the home computer which dominates the European recording market is ... the Atari 1040. Now, you know the rest of the story and why Atari assigns such a high priority to attending the Midi Expos in Anaheim and New York in September and December 1988. IV. Video Games: A quote from a recent article in Advertising Age: "The demand is greater than supply, and the demand has stayed much stronger than expected . . . Last year, the majority of U.S. sales came from video games." The speaker was Michael Katz, President of the Atari entertainment electronics division. What he is really saying is the U.S. public's perception that Atari is a video game company is CORRECT. Total video game sales in the U.S. in 1987 amounted to roughly $1.1 billion and Atari has about 16% of the market based on dollar sales (market share is 35% for the number of game units sold). Nintendo has about 70% of the market based on dollar sales and between 55 and 60% when calculated on unit sales. The best "guestimate" is that XE game related sales accounted for roughly $140 to 170 million of Atari's total revenue in 1987. Atari has hired a new advertising firm to help market its video games. The XE game advertising account is valued at roughly $10 million. Note, the Atari computer division is without an advertising agency in the United States. I leave you with this fact to ponder and its implications for the priority assigned by Atari to Mega and ST sales in the U.S. for the remainder of 1988. Enjoy the rest of your summer and minimize the time on that computer till fall. That's all for now folks......... ====================================== Tips for Online Game Authors ====================================== by Jeff Kyle, ACORN I suppose everyone's been noticing a lot more games on their favorite BBS lately. What with the release of Carina II and BBS Express Pro, there are bound to be more and more games available to play on your logon. And of course, as will always come when there is such a market, there is the inevitable dreck. I'd like to offer some tips to the aspiring authors to help raise their games to popularity. I'll start off by discussing three different BBS programs and how they handle online games. Of course, the "big two" right now are BBS Express Pro (hereafter Pro) and Carina II (hereafter Car2). Here in Rochester, NY we have a third that is more popular (in terms of # of BBSs using it) than the other two combined, that is the beta test Puff BBS II (hereafter Puff II). I'll make notes of how the three compare from a game author's point of view. Carina II offers a nice way to write games, just by using a MOE (Modem Operating Environment). Simply put, MOE lets the programmer write their game simply writing to the screen like normal, except that when it is run through MOE, the text is sent through the modem and the modem user can send data back as if he was right there typing it. Also, it allows the programmer to easily imbed the person's name, password, or other stats into a print statement through a few simple commands. CarII also offers a few extra features of the MOE, that allow it to do such things as easily center text, depending on the user's screen width. However, they have to error trap for loss of carrier and sometimes other modem occurances. Pro uses by far the most difficult method, in that the programmer must use many special commands and calls in order to send or recieve bytes to/from the modem. This makes it virtually impossible to write one in Basic, so all Pro games have been written in Action or ML. Since it is so difficult to easily use the modem, the quality and sophistication of the games often suffers on Pro. Puff II uses a MOS (Modem Operating System) that basically performs the same task as CarII's MOE. It also has many built-in features to display various statistics as well as quick access to most stats. For instance, the programmer can even use a Position statement and the MOS will automatically use the correct cursor movements to perform the function. It also automatically supports the VT52 cursor positioning. In addition, the MOS also automatically traps for a loss of carrier as well as any other problems. Now for the actual tips on writing em! First off, TEST the programs, again and again. Try all things that the user might try and make sure that it doesn't cause an error and trap the user somewhere in the BBS. If you are using a high score list, make sure that your routine properly functions and doesn't die if the high score file is gone. And also test to make sure that it works online and doesn't die when played over the phone. Secondly, make it USER-FRIENDLY. Tell the user what they're doing and how to do it. Make sure that it is easy for the person to exit to the BBS easily if they want to logoff. And if you know of any problems that might influence the user, tell them about it so they'll know what to expect. You should also often have instructions somewhere in the program, so the new user can know what they're doing. Another aspect is SPEED. The users are tying up their phone lines to play your game, they don't want to have to sit and wait. One of the worst things to appear in online games is the DELAY loop. Different people have different speeds, so the faster the program can go, the better. This doesn't mean the program has to be in ML, just that it ought to never leave the user sitting. Basic is usually fast enough for most games. If you have something that the user should read, and then you're going to clear the screen, just put in a "Press Any Key" prompt, rather than a delay loop. This way, the person can read it as fast as they want. I've been a little wordy here, but I can't stress enough that your programs should be able to run as fast as possible. Another thing that can help a game is LOOKS. If a game looks good, people would rather play it than an ugly game that does the same thing. Cosmetics are important, and you should quickly decide if you want to have ATASCII character graphics. Some games don't need it (straight text games), others pratically scream for ATASCII. If you DO opt for ATASCII, you ought to have a flag in the program to check whether the user in in ASCII so you can have it be able to work correctly in both translations. Another thing is if you're writing for a BBS with many ST users it's always nice to have support of VT52 cursor movement. In fact, if you've decided to make it ST VT52 as opposed to regular VT52, you can include delete and insert lines, as well as color text which makes things interesting. An extension of speed is the way your program UPDATES the screen. If you can, it is usually better to use cursor positioning to update the screen instead of redrawing it. Also, plenty of clear-screens are nice as opposed to your text going off the bottom. More and more games are saving the top X high scores. This brings up the problem of whether to allow a person to have more than one score or not. I think that if you're saving the top 20, unless your program will be on a very populated BBS, you don't have to worry about one person hogging the scores. However, when saving the top 10 or 5, it's very easy for one person to dominate the list. That's when you should only allow one score per person. Another nifty thing to try to do with a high score list is put everyone's names in lower case, so as opposed to seeing, say JEFF KYLE on the high score list, you'd see Jeff Kyle which looks nicer. Another basic idea is your CONCEPT. There are games that should and games that shouldn't be online games. Some obvious games that are fun online are word games, such as Hangman and Lingo, and games that are simply too boring to make a game worth playing, such as Russian Roulette, Guess the Number, or Computer Mindreader, and the card game War. Other card games and board games often make fun games. A key thing is PRACTICE. A nice way to begin writing online games is translating them from other computers. A good way of doing this is by going to a bookstore and picking up a copy of a Microsoft Basic game book. I use Basic Computer Games, More Basic Computer Games, and Tim Hartnell's Giant Book of Computer Games. All three have many nice games that many of which will translate into good games. My games of Wumpus II, Four in a Row, and Calvacade of Puzzles were translated from Microsoft Basic. One thing that helps after you've got the program up and running with people playing it is to get FEEDBACK from the users. Ask them what they like and what they don't. Their input can be very valuable towards how popular and often-played your programs turn out to be. After you've read all this rambling on, I hope you've thought of some things you can do to improve any online games you might be thinking about. I hope this will help some people with their game writing, and "if at first you don't succeed, try try again"...that's the best advice. After mastering translations, go for some originals. So far, I've written SpuddoDOS 4.1 (a joke program), The Noose, Mixed, and Twenty-One! from scratch. It takes a while longer, but it's worth it to see people up there having fun playing your games and vying for the high score. So get out there and write some games! ====================================== 130XE CONSOLE KEY FIX ====================================== The Atari 130XE is one of the BEST 8-bit computers available today. But as with all computers, it does have a few small "warts". One of these is the keyboard itself, the console keys in particular. The type of keyboard used is known as a "Low-resistance contact", the resistance being about 1000 ohms or so. As you use the keyboard, the resistance of the contacts tend to go up. For the regular keyboard and the RESET key, this increase in resistance causes no problems. But the console keys (OPTION, SELECT, and START) are read by a different IC, and the change in resistance will eventually keep the console keys from working. (The HELP key is actually read as just another letter key). The fix to the problem is to add just enough resistance in parallel to the key so that it is high enough not to make the computer read the key as pressed, but low enough that when the console key is pressed, the computer will recognize it. The original idea for this fix came from Alan Haskell from the book "Mods, Fixes, and Upgrades" available from Best Electronics, 2021 The lameda, Suite 290, San Jose, Ca.5126. One minor problem with the fix, however - it wouldn't work on the 130XE that was given to me to repair. After several hours of pulling out my hair over this thing, (and anyone who has seen my balding head KNOWS I can't afford to do too much of that!) I determined the problem. The resistor value given - 3000 ohms - was too low, for this machine at least. This value was just slightly above what the computer registered as a key pressed. Any random electrical noise would cause the computer to read the key as pressed, which would cause problems with the BBS program that was being used. A higher resistor value was needed. Theres no "correct" resistor value to use, as it varies between different 130XEs. You may need to do some testing (as I did) to make sure it works properly. What You Need: Soldering Iron and Solder Wire Clippers (3) 4700 Ohm Resistors, 1/4 watt A small Phillips screwdriver Needle-Nosed Pliers How to do it: 1) Unplug all of the wires from the computer. 2) Turn the computer over and remove the four screws that hold the top cover on. 3) Turn the computer back over and THEN take off the top cover. 4) Lift the keyboard up and forward and you should see the ribbon connector at the lower right corner. Gently remove the ribbon from the connector. 5) Remove the screws that hold the motherboard to the lower half of the case. Lift the front part of the motherboard up and then forward to remove it from the case. 6) Straighten the tabs that hold the top and bottom shields on and remove the shields. 7) Turn the board over with the keyboard connector facing to the front. The connector pins are numbered from right to left. Pin #3 is the ground connection, and Pins #21, 22, +23 are the pins for START, SELECT, and OPTION keys, respectively. These are the connections you need to make for the repair. 8) Take the three resistors and solder the wire from one end of one resistor and solder it to the second resistor, at the spot where the wire comes out from the connector, being sure to cover them with a short piece of insulation as well. 9) Check your wiring to be sure that there are no shorts! 10)Use as little solder as possible, and make the connection as fast as you can, using as little heat as possible. Place a short piece of electrical tape under on the board under the resistors, if needed, and press the resistors close to the board. 11)Reassemble the shields and check to see that the resistors are not shorting against the lower shield. 12)Reattach the keyboard to the motherboard, taking care not to bend the ribbon - it WILL crack. It helps to insert one edge first, then carefully work the other edge into the connector. 13)To test the repair, power up the computer and in BASIC type: 10 PRINT PEEK(53279):GOTO 10 and type RUN. You should see a vertical row of 7's. Pressing OPTION will give you 3's. SELECT will give you 5's and START will give you 6's. The value should not change while any one key is held down. This should return the normal function of the console keys. Special Note for Techs: You can use the following method to determine the exact resistor value that you need. It might save you time and aggrivation: What you need (in addition): Multitester (digital best) 10K Multiturn Potentiometer Some short pieces of thin wire This should be done between steps #4 and #5 of the above procedure: A) Connect one short piece of wire to the center pin of the pot, the other to one of the other pins. B) Solder the free end of one wire to the ground pin (Pin 3). These connections will only be temporary. Solder the other free end to one of the console key Pins (21,22, or 23). C) Adjust the pot for maximum resistance. D) Reconnect the power and monitor. Reconnect the keyboard. Turn on the computer with the option key pressed - you should get the diagnostic screen. Select the KEYBOARD TEST and hit START. E) Adjust the pot until the tone just starts to sound intermittently. Measure the resistance by connecting the probes to the center pin and the unused pin on the pot. Subtract the measured value from the rated value of the pot to get the proper value. Record it. F) Adjust it again until the tone sounds continuously. Record the value the same way as in step E. G) Turn the computer off, and disconnect the cables and the keyboard. Unsolder the wires from the keyboard connector. H) The proper resistor value to use will be the closest value that is both HIGHER than the highest value recorded, but around DOUBLE the lower value. The resistors you will use will probably be between 3000 and 5000 ohms. Continue on to step #5 as above. If you have any questions about this or any technical questions about Atari 8-bit computers, you can call the AtariTech BBS at (813) 539-8141 or write to: AtariTech BBS P.O. Box 974 Clearwater, Florida, 34618 We have many files on easy-to-build hardware projects, memory upgrades, fixes and mods. ====================================== GENIE OFFERS YMODEM TRANSFER ====================================== (C) 1988 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari Roundtables. 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 (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type XJM11877,GEnie and hit RETURN. The system will prompt you for your information. Ymodem Download Help by Marty Albert Atari 8 RT SysOp Section 1 --- Terms Used The following terms will be used in this document and are correct for the actual meanings for use on GEnie. XMODEM A file transfer protocol where packets of 128 bytes are sent along with an ending arithmetical checksum to prevent errors. XMODEM CRC Xmodem CRC -- A file transfer protocol where packets of 128 bytes are sent along with a cyclic checksum to prevent errors. Note that Xmodem and Xmodem CRC are NOT the same and the terminal program must support the type selected for file transfer. Xmodem CRC is more error free than Xmodem and should be used if possible. 1K-XMODEM A file transfer protocol similar to the Xmodem CRC but with 1024 byte packets and the cyclic checksum. On many terminal programs, 1K-Xmodem is wrongly called "YMODEM". See the Ymodem type below. YMODEM Sometimes called "Ymodem Batch". This is a protocol whereby a group of files may be transferred all at once by the 1K-Xmodem method. The filename, extender, and file length <along with other unused data> are all sent as a "header" block of 128 bytes. The file itself is sent as a number of 1024 byte blocks. The CRC checksum is used. Section 2 -- 1K-Xmodem At this time, the only Atari 8-bit terminal program that supports 1K- Xmodem is Amodem 7.52. Amodem 7.52 calls this protocol "YMODEM". 1K- Xmodem, under ideal conditions, is faster than Xmodem or Xmodem CRC. But, if there is sizable line noise, Xmodem CRC may be faster. This is because if there is a line noise hit on the data block, 1K-Xmodem must resend 1024 bytes while Xmodem CRC need only resend 128 bytes. My own tests have shown 1K-Xmodem to be about 20% faster than Xmodem CRC. To download a file from GEnie with 1K-Xmodem, simply select that option from the download protocol menu. When GEnie tells you that the file is ready and to start your 1K-Xmodem receive, do so. WAIT FOR GENIE TO TELL YOU TO START! For Amodem 7.52, you may set up your receive file before you tell GEnie to download the file by pressing SELECT to go to the menu. Press "R" to receive a file. Type in your file name with device ID. <ie, D1:TEST.BAS> Then select the letter for the "YMODEM" transfer. <Amodem has wrongly called 1K-Xmodem this!> When GEnie tells you the file is ready, just press START to begin the download. It is rumored that PC-Term and Express! will soon support the 1K-Xmodem format. Let's hope that the names are right when they come out! Section 3 -- GEnie Commands The GEnie commands for 1K-Xmodem were covered in Section 2. This section will deal only with the commands for Ymodem transfers. Doing a Ymodem batch download from GEnie is easy! Just follow these simple instructions: 1> Determine the NUMBERS of the files that you want to download. 2> Select the DOWNLOAD A FILE item from the library menu. 3> At the "Download what file?" prompt, enter ALL the file numbers with a comma <,> between each file number. <ie; 3,39,463,2900> 4> GEnie will then show you a list of the names of each file entered and ask you if you want to download these files with Ymodem. 5> If no, press "N" and hit <return>. You will go back to the library main menu. 6> If yes, press "Y" and hit <return>. 7> GEnie will then tell you that the files are ready and to start your Ymodem receive. WAIT FOR GENIE TO TELL YOU TO START! 8> From here on, the process is automatic! GEnie and your terminal program will take care of file names and so on for you! See below for how to set up your terminal program for a Ymodem download. If you have a number of files that you want to download from GEnie, Ymodem is the way to go since it takes care of typing in the filenames for you. Section 4 -- Amodem 7.52 Commands This section will tell you how to set up Amodem 7.52 for a Ymodem download. There are really 2 different versions of Amodem 7.52 out. The first is the "standard" version as it was written. The other is a "patched" version that also supports the CModem protocol for use on CARINA II BBSs. This text will address ONLY the "standard" version. The procedure for the "patched" version is similar, but some menu items have been changed in so far as to what letter to press to get a given function. First off, it is much easier to set up Amodem for the Ymodem receive before you set up GEnie. This way, when GEnie tells you that it is ready, you need only press one key to begin the transfer. Just follow these instructions to do a Ymodem download: 1> Press SELECT to get to the Amodem menu. 2> Press "Y" for Ymodem Batch Receive. 3> You may be asked if the buffer may be cleared. Clear it to continue the download set up. 4> Next, you will be asked on what drive to store the files. Enter the number of the drive that you want the files to be sent to. BE SURE THAT THE DRIVE HAS ENOUGH ROOM TO HOLD ALL THE FILES THAT YOU WISH TO DOWNLOAD!!! 5> At this time, you will be returned to GEnie with the note from Amodem to press START to begin your receive file. 6> Refer to Section 3 to set up GEnie and begin your receive file. A Few Notes.... A few notes just for your information are in order about the way that the various transfers are handled. One of the disadvantages to Xmodem is that there may be a number of "extra" bytes appended to the end of the downloaded file. This is commonly called "padding" and is there to fill up the file to the next multiple of 128, or 1024 in the case of 1K-Xmodem. This means that with Xmodem/Xmodem CRC, you may have as many as 127 bytes of padding and for 1K-Xmodem you can have as many as 1023 padding bytes. Ymodem overcomes this by sending the file length as part of the header block. The actual file length is all that is saved on the receiving end. This alone should be enticement enough to use Ymodem! As stated in Section 1, when using Ymodem, you need not specify a file name. This is done for you. In other words, to download 4 files with Xmodem, you need to type in manually 4 filenames and actually set up your terminal program to receive 4 different files. With Ymodem, you do one set up with no filename. Ymodem does the rest for you. For those that wish to download a large number of files, this can be a real time saver! Conclusion Now you know how to do 1K-Xmodem and Ymodem downloads from GEnie with your Atari 8-bit computer. We hope that this will speed up your downloading considerably, thereby saving you time and money. Thanks for your support! ====================================== ZMAG BBS Systems ====================================== Here are a few ZMag BBS Systems! Reg. Number BBS Name Number ================================================== X004-609 CCCBS 609-451-7475 X006-718 Dateline BBS 718-648-0947 X008-301 Ratcom BBS 301-437-9813 S112-403 68000 Mice 403-242-0706 Z139-707 Elsinore Brewery 707-437-6366 Z154-415 Eagle BBS 415-565-9742 Zmagazine Issue #117 August 3, 1988 (c) 1988 APEInc All Rights Reserved.
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 10-Aug-88 #118"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 27-Jul-88 #116"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index