Z*Magazine: 23-Oct-88 #128From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/12/93-05:24:42 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 23-Oct-88 #128 Date: Sun Sep 12 17:24:42 1993 ************************************************************************* Syndicate ZMagazine Issue #128 October 23, 1988 ************************************************************************* American Publishing Enterprises, Inc. Post Office Box 74 Middlesex, New Jersey 08846-0074 ************************************************************************* Publishers: Ron Kovacs/Ralph Mariano ZMag Editor: John Deegan Asst Editor: Carlos Hernandez ************************************************************************* Available on CompuServe * Delphi * The Source * UseNet * CompuServe Sign-up Offer: For a $15.00 of free online time and a sign-up kit, submit your request through any of the headquarter BBS systems or send a post card to the above address. ************************************************************************* _________________________________________________________________________ *-[[ CONTENTS ]]-* Editors Desk.........................................John Deegan Press Release from APEInc....................................... Sam Tramiel Conference (Another Article)........Michael Brubaker Analog #67 Contents............................................. CompuServe Atari Restructure.................................... Hacker Solution....................................Eric Tremblay 1050 Drive Select Switch................................Don Neff CIS Uploading Assistance...............................Don Lebow ARC Test (Another Comparison).......................Marty Albert Comments is any of the articles in this issue are those of the original author. These comments if any are not necessarily those of ZMagazine of American Publishing or it's staff. _________________________________________________________________________ Editors Desk by John Deegan On the subject of GEnie???? As the old saying sez... "If you have nothing NICE to say, then say nothing at ALL" For a FULL report on the GEnie episode, read ST-REPORT #58 available on this and other online services along with ZMAG. $$$$$$$$$$$$$ PRESS RELEASE $$$$$$$$$$$$$ PRESS RELEASE FROM APEINC/ZMAGAZINE-ST-REPORT 10/20/88 EFFECTIVE with this press release, ALL Issues of ZMagazine and ST-Report are to be removed from the GEnie Online Service. New talks started this week have generated an agreement problem. Since we cannot reach a an agreement with the GEnie management, we have requested that our account and files be deleted. This included the ST-Report Catagory #22 in the GEnie ST Bulletin Board. Effective with this press release, ZMagazine becomes EXCLUSIVELY released through CompuServe first and then to the systems carrying the publication soon after. We ask that our readers, DO NOT upload ZMag or ST-Report Issues to GEnie until further notice. The SysOps on GEnie have been instructed, to remove them upon uploading. Please note that the Exclusive release to CompuServe applies to Syndicate Zmagazine issues and NOT ST-Report or other APEInc publications. If you have any questions on this matter, Please direct them to PPN: 71777,2140. Thank your for reading ZMagazine, ST-Report. American Publishing Enterprises, Inc October 20, 1988 _________________________________________________________________________ FROM THE TOP-SUMMARY of COMPUSERVE CONFERENCE WITH SAM TRAMIEL by Michael Brubaker Editor, O.P.A.C.E. JOURNAL Ohio/Pennsylvania Atari Computer Enthusiasts Atari Corp. plans to be number two or three in the world personal computer market and hopes to make its ST computer line one of the standard machines in the US during during 1989 according to Sam Tramiel, Atari Corp. President. (Sam and his brothers Leonard and Gary work with their father Jack Tramiel running Atari which Jack Tramiel bought from Warner Communications in July, 1984.) Mr. Tramiel made these comments during a conferance on the Atari SIG on COMPUSERVE recently. (A transcript of the conferance can be downloaded from Library 15 on the ATARI16 forum on COMPUSERVE, or read in ZMAG Issue #126. The conference file is named SAM-T.CO.) Approximately 95 people joined in the electronic conference according to Ron Luks, SYSOP and conference coordinator. This was a record level of participation in an ATARI SIG conferance said Luks. Other topics of interest that Mr. Tramiel mentioned were: - At the present time Atari is shipping all of its announced new models (unnamed, but presumed to be the MEGA4 ST, MEGA2 ST, PS clone machines, and the XE computers) to Europe. It is also shipping its Abaq transputer to European developers. The Abaq is now called the ATW for Atari Work Station. - Atari plans to start shipping the above computers "in earnest" to the US market in 1989. - Mr. Tramiel blames the DRAM shortage for Atari's inability to make many of its computers available in the US. He said Atari cannot keep up with demand for its computers in Europe and other parts of the world, but hopes to improve this in 1989. Atari has just signed a major deal with a large DRAM supplier, he said. - Atari's current low level of advertising and marketing of its computers in the US is due to the above noted supply/production problems. "We feel that advertising wihout product availability is helpful in selling our competitors' machines, and therefore, will just waste money.", he said. Atari is already diverting products it could sell in Europe and other parts of the world to supply its "few but loyal" US dealers. - Many of the conferance participants expressed feelings that Atari's support for US software and hardware developers is minimal. They pointed out that Word Perfect Corp. seems to have put its ST product development on hold, and Compute has dropped its COMPUTE ST magazine. Mr. Tramiel's answers to these questions were essentially that Atari has lots of support available for developers and figures that its planned increase in US product availability and resulting increase in sales ("tens of thousands of ST's sold monthly in the US.") will attract third party development and support for its computers. Meanwhile, Mr. Tramiel encourages US developers to export their products to Europe where the ST is very popular. This "would help themselves and the (US) economy." - Highlighting European and world support for Atari's products Mr. Tramiel described recently attending the Annual Atari Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. Over 30,000 people attended the show in one weekend! Also, Tramiel said "we are selling many tens of thousands of the XL/XE line in Europe, and in the Middle East, and in Latin America. Atari plans to bring European ST software into the US market. - Atari appears to have few plans for further major support of the 8 bit computer line in the US. Atari perceives that "the US market seems to want more powerful machines." They are marketing the XE Game System in the US as a combination game system/computer. Their marketing positions the XEGS at the same price as a Nintendo system with an exercise mat. Atari is now offering a $50 rebate on the XE Game System which prices it at $99. - Regarding new ST products and beyond Mr. Tramiel said that a portable ST model is being worked on and will be shipped as soon as it is ready. Atari is also working on a 68030 TT computer. Mr. Tramiel made no further comments about the TT except "it will knock your socks off!" Atari has no plans for an IBM 286 type board for the ST line. - The new ST TOS ROMS should be available in early 1989 at a "reasonable" price. - Atari has just had three RECORD profit quarters. Mr. Tramiel attributed reoprts that Mike Dendo [VP-SALES] had told people in Michigan Atari had just had three soft quarters and needed a strong fourth quarter to survive to misquotes. ++++++++++++++++++++++++ ANALOG TABLE OF CONTENTS DECEMBER '88 ++++++++++++++++++++++++ FEATURES -------- Master Memory Map, Part 5............................Robin Sherer The most complete Atari 8-bit memory map ever published in a magazine continues. BASIC to Binary.................................Matthew Arrington A handy utility that'll let you convert BASIC programs into binary load files that can be loaded directly from DOS. DungeonLords........................................Brian Bradley The DungeonLords' world is filled with danger and intrigue. Can you battle your way past all the dangerous creatures and rescue the captives? Action! Graphics Toolkit............................Monty McCarty Action! programmers rejoice! Here's a set of graphics routines to make your favorite language even more powerful. D:CHECK in Action!...................................Steven Yates To help you type Action! programs more accurately, here's a reprint of our checksum program for Action! listings. REVIEWS ------- Panak Strikes.........................................Steve Panak This month Steve takes a look at Video Title Shop Graphics Companion II (Datasoft), Sons of Liberty (SSI) and Napoleon In Russia (Datasoft). COLUMNS ------- Game Design Workshop...............................Craig Patchett Database DELPHI..................................Michael A. Banks End User.......................................Arthur Leyenberger DEPARTMENTS ----------- Editorial..........................................Clayton Walnum Reader Comment................................................... 8-bit News....................................................... ST Notes......................................................... M/L Editor.........................................Clayton Walnum BASIC Editor II....................................Clayton Walnum @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ CIS RESTRUCTURE @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ *** October 18, 1988 *** *** Welcome to the NEW ATARI ST ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Forum *** NEW ATARI ST PRODUCTIVITY Forum This is one of two NEW ATARI forums to support the ATARI ST community. Be sure to also try out the ATARI ST PRODUCTIVITY Forum (GO ATARIPRO). We've moved the appropriate files from the old ATARIDEV and ATARI16 data LIBraries to their new classifications here, but it wasn't practical to move over the old messages. Be sure to check out the names of all the new message sections and data libraries by issuing the "DES"cription command once inside the forum. The sysop staff is the same, old familiar bunch but we hope you find the new forum configuration to be a big improvement. Be sure to check out all the forum ANNouncements, too. Although we've tried to port over the old membership, your high message pointers may or may not be reset properly. (New messages in this forum start at approx. 40 or so.) Any journalists who may be operating under a free flag should be careful to check the entry banner to make sure these flags carried over. It may take us a few days to get this situation in order, so please let SYSOP*Ron Luks know about any problems with special section access or special membership flags. OVERVIEW The Atari ST Arts Forum is comprised of a set of communication tools which together create a unique environment where you can exchange information with a whole community (located in different parts of the world) who share your interest in the exchange of information and programs relating to Atari ST graphics and entertainment (games). The Atari ST Arts Forum, like all CompuServe Forums, is comprised of the following major areas: MESSAGES The Message Board of this Forum is where you will find many people corresponding with each other on a 24 hour basis. Being that message correspondence does not require you to be online at the same time as the person you are exchanging messages with, you can log-on at any convenient time to read your waiting messages and reply to them in order to keep a conversation on-going. This is one of the best methods for meeting new people from all different types of backgrounds and who are located in different parts of the world. Enter "MES" at any Forum "!" command prompt or select the appropriate menu choice to access the Message Center. LIBRARIES The Libraries section of the Forum is a resource area containing thousands of programs, text files, picture files, help files, and text files such as past transcripts from online national conferences, professional reports, news, and reviews. Most text material can be read online or downloaded to your computer system for lasting reference. Our Libraries are also filled with a wide assortment of Public Domain and Shareware entertainment and graphics-related programs which will make your ST do some unbelievable things! Enter "LIB" at any Forum "!" command prompt or select the appropriate menu choice to access the Forum's Libraries. CONFERENCE COMMANDS /NAME - Allows you to set/shorten the name you use in conference. /ROOM # - Allows you to change conference rooms. /USERS - View the list of users in the conference area. /EXIT - Exit the conference area. /HELP - Obtain a complete list of conference commands. Remember - Press CONTROL-V to view your current text (which has not been transmitted). Press CONTROL-U to erase your current text (which has not been transmitted). Keep your text lines as short as possible (no more than 80 characters is recommended). End your lines with a "..." to indicate that you will be continuing your statement with the next line. End your line with a single period or a "GA" (GO AHEAD) to indicate you are done. We are really glad that you have chosen to join us here in sharing information and top-quality public domain graphics and entertainment software for your Atari 16-Bit (ST) computer system. SIG*ATARI has certain operational policies that were established to help make the forum run more smoothly and professionally. A list of these policies and other very useful forum information can be found in the Membership Information file which can be found in the ANNOUNCEMENTS area of the Forum. If you haven't read it yet, we urge you to read it at your earliest convenience. Most of the rules are very straight-forward and easy to follow. ** IMPORTANT: ** One of our policies is that we require all of our members to use their REAL FULL name in the forum; "Handles" or just first names are not accepted. If you made a mistake when the forum asked you to type in your name, no problem! As soon as you are at the Forum's MAIN MENU, type OP;NAME followed by pressing [RETURN] and the forum will ask you to type in your name again. REMEMBER -- your FULL REAL name! If you are confused or need assistance, the HELP command will work at most levels in the forum. If you are still confused or have a question or comment about your Atari computer, POST A MESSAGE! One of the Sysops or members will get back to you with a speedy reply. We are here to help you get the most out of your Atari and CompuServe so do not hesitate to call on us! _________________________________________________________________________ Hacker Solution by Eric Tremblay H A C K E R The Magma Project When you first look at the game you think to yourself "This is going to be easy" but you soon find out that it not as simple as it looks. The biggest question that everyone asks is what do the orientals want? Well you will soon find out in the solution that follows this text. For future enjoyment there is the sequel from Activision called Hacker II. If its available for your computer. And now the Solution: Logon: AUSTRALIA Security Check -------------- Level 1: MAGMA, LTD. Level 2: AXD-0310471 Level 3: HYDRAULIC Level 4: AUSTRALIA Items that you exchange for a piece of document ------------------------------------------------ Proper Item: Will Take: Swiss Cash $5000.00 Egypt Chronograph (Swiss Chalet) Greece statue of Tut (Emerald Scarab) India Emerald Scarab New York Swiss Chalet Japan Stocks & Bonds China Cultured Pearls (Stocks & Bonds) Carrabean Jade Carving (Swiss Chalet) London 35mm (Chronograph) San Francisco Beatles album Items for sale in different countrys ------------------------------------ Item Price Buy Country **** ***** *** ******* Swiss Chalet $9500.00 yes Swiss Chronograph $200.00 yes Swiss Emerald scarab $1500.00 yes Egypt Statuette of Tut $1000.00 yes Egypt Ancient artifact $1000.00 no Greece Grecian Urn $1000.00 no Greece The star of India $5000.00 no India Jeweled lamp $1000.00 no India 3KT Diamond $2000.00 no New York Stocks & Bonds $2000.00 yes New York Cultured Pearls $300.00 yes Japan 35mm Camera $300.00 yes Japan Ming Vase $2000.00 no China Jade Carving $2000.00 yes China Spanish Doubloons $500.00 no Carrabean Treasure Map $700.00 no Carrabean Beatles album $900.00 yes London Crown jewels $9500.00 no London Gold nuggets $1500.00 no San Francisco 49er tickets $200.00 no San Francisco Under Ground Map ---------------- * *************** *** ***************** 8 * * * * * * * * * * ******************O *** ***L*** * * 7 * * * * * * * * * *N***J* ***** *F* *W*** * ****S *G* * 6 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ********************* * * *E* *I 5 * * * * * * * Grid ***** ***** ***** * C******** * * *** 4 21X8 * * * * * * * * * * * * ******************* * ******* * * * * 3 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *** **A *** ***** * **T****** * * * 2 * * * * * * * ************* ********************* *** 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 E=Egypt L=London S=Swiss W=Washington C=Carrabean F=San Francisco J=Japan N=China O=New York I=India A=Australia G=Greece T=Starting Point Step by Step Solution This step by step solution is for the under ground tunnel system only and not every move you have to make in the game is here but only the steps you have to make in the tunnel system. When you see E6 this means you turn East and make 6 step by pressing East when done press GO and continue to the next instruction at the end of the steps you go UP and you are now at the location specified. If you ever make an error or miss a step you will have to start over because you have to do this exactly. You start at T (Starting Point) go E6, N4 you are now in Swiss From S to E (Swiss to Egypt) W4, N1, E6, S2, E1 you are now in Egypt From E to G (Egypt to Greece) E1, N1, W1 you are now in Greece From G to I (Greece to India) E1, N2, E2, S3, E1 you are now in India From I to O (India to New York) W1, N3, W16, S1 you are now in New York From O to J (New York to Japan) W6, N1, W14, S2, E5 you are now in Japan From J to N (Japan to China) W4 you are now in China From N to C (China to Carrabean) E1, S3, E2, N1, E4, S1, E2, S1, E2, S1, E8, N3 you are now in the Carrabean From C to L (Carrabean to London) E8, N2, W2, N1, E3 you are now in London From L to F (London to San Francisco) W3, S2, W12, N1, E1 you are now in San Francisco From F to W (San Francisco to Washington) W1, S1, E10, N2, W2, S1, W3 you are now in Washington Mission Complete congratulations HACKER +++++++++++++++++++++ Drive Modification +++++++++++++++++++++ Ctsy: Michigan Atari Magazine NOTICE: This article originally appeared in the September '88 issue of the Michigan Atari Magazine and may be freely distributed or reprinted in non-profit User Group publications as long as the article's author and Michigan Atari Magazine are credited AND this notice is reprinted with the article. All other publications must obtain written permission from Unicorn Publications, 3487 Braeburn Circle, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, Phone: (313) 973-8825 before using this article. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the figures mentioned in this article. Easy Hacking -- 1050 Drive Select Switch by Don Neff Preface When I began writing this hardware hacker's column, I thought it would be of interest to only the most experienced hackers. To my surprise, I find that there is a large number of beginners who are interested in hardware hacking but don't know how to start. Unfortunately, some of you started with my projects and found them to be too hard. Therefore, this month we'll address the needs of the beginning hackers. The following project is an easy one which can't hurt your drive if you make a mistake installing it. The Project We'll be installing a switch on the front of your disk drive to allow you to assign it as Drive 1, 2 or 3. To change the drive number on a standard Atari 1050, you must turn the drive around backwards and move the two hidden slide switches with a pen or screwdriver. Since I never seem to remember the proper positions of these switches, I had to spend a lot of time looking up the information in one of my books first. This meant that I, like most of you, never changed my drive numbers once they were set, and always booted off of the same drive. After a while that boot drive became noisey and finally wore out while my other drives received little use at all. The solution was to install an easily accessible switch on each drive and boot off of a different one each time I used the computer. The things You Need Everything you'll need is available from Radio Shack. When I mention each item for the first time, I'll include the Radio Shack part number in parantheses after the name of the item. Radio Shack stores display their parts in numerical order so you can locate what you need by the part number instead of the part name. Their sales people can help you locate anything you can't find by yourself but, they can't help you a bit with your electronic questions. (People who understand electronics don't have to work for Radio Shack wages.) First you'll need a low-power soldering pencil (64-2070), a stand (64-2078) to keep it off your work table, and some thin solder (64-005). Use stranded (not solid), soft copper wire (278-1307) of 22-24 gage for hookup wire (avoid any wire the phone company uses). Long-nose pliers (64-1843) and diagonal cutters (64-1841) are required for almost every project. If you find you can't strip wire with the diagonal cutters without amputating the end of the wire, you should also get an adjustable wire stripper (64-1952). The resistor color code is easy to remember if you know the story about Violet and the Bad Boys; however, this is a family magazine so I had better not tell you about it here. Instead, you can pick up a pocket guide (271-1210) which tells you the value of a resistor when you dial in the colors. This project requires only one part -- a Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT), Center Off, Toggle Switch (275-325). You'll need one of these three position switches for each of your drives. Getting started Clean off an area on your work bench or table to give a comfortable amount of room to work in. Wet the sponge in your soldering iron stand, set the soldering pencil in the wire coil and plug the power cord in to warm it up. We'll disassemble the drive while the pencil warms up. Opening the Drive Disconnect all the cables from your drive and set it upside down on the work bench. Unscrew the six phillips head screws which hold the case together. You'll be able to remove only the two which hold the front panel in place, the other four sit in deep holes. Hold the case together with both hands and turn the drive right side up again, allowing the four remaining screws to fall out. Set the drive on the bench and lift up the back of the top half of the case. The top half of the case will pivot at the front until the front panel snaps out. Set the top of the case and the front panel out of the way for now. The drive mechanism sits on four posts above the circuit board and is not fastened to anything. The wires connecting the mechanism to the circuit board are fragile and can not withstand any pulling so we will not attempt to remove them. The circuit board is held in place by two plastic tabs, one on each side of the drive mechanism. Gently lift up on the front of the circuit board (not the drive mechanism) as you hold each of the tabs back with a screw driver. Hold the circuit board and the drive mechanism together and lift them out of the case, front first. Four plastic washers on the mounting post may loosen and fall out as you do this , but no harm will occur. Turn the board and drive mechanism up side down on the bench so you can work on the bottom of the board. Set the bottom of the case out of the way. Preparing the Soldering Pencil Touch a piece of solder to the end of the soldering pencil to see if it's warm enough to use -- if the solder melts, it's ready. Wipe the tip of the pencil on the sponge to clean it off, and then coat the tip with solder. Wipe the extra solder off of the tip with the sponge. Apply more solder to the tip and try to get a coat of solder all over the tip. Once again clean the extra solder off with the sponge. The tip should now have an even, shiny coat of molten solder on it. This is the way it should always look when you are using it. If the tip gets dirty or the solder coating gets dull, you must clean the tip with the sponge again. Installing the Switch Figure 1 shows the area of the bottom of circuit board we will be working with. It is located at the rear of the board, in the corner with the black and white drive select switches. Cut three 15-inch lengths of wire, each a different color, and strip 3/8 of an inch of insulation from all the ends. Apply a little solder to the bare ends of the wires (this is called "tinning" the wire) by holding the tip of the soldering pencil, the end of a wire and the end of the solder together (you do have three hands, don't you?) until the wire is hot enough to melt the solder. Tinning is easier to do if you have a small vise (64-2094 or 64-2093) to hold the wire. Solder one end of each wire to a pin on the new SPDT switch. Do not apply too much solder (if your solder joints are little round balls, you used too much). If a wire moves before the solder cools, you must resolder that joint. Use the diagonal cutters to trim off the excess wire close to the pins so there are no shorts between the pins. The free end of the wire which is soldered to the center pin of the SPDT switch must be soldered to the connection point labeled A in Figure 1. The other two wires may be soldered to the points labeled B and C in Figure 1. It does not matter which of these two wires goes to either point as long as there is one wire on each point. Only the wire from the center pin of the switch is critical, and must go only to point A. Check all your solder joints to make sure they are shiny and smooth. If any of them are dull or wrinkled, do them over. If any of your joints are round balls, remove the excess solder with solder wick (64-2090) or a solder sucker (64-2086). Make sure there are no solder bridges between any two solder joints (use a good light and a magnifier). Hold the circuit board and drive mechanism together and insert them back into the lower half of the drive case. The new switch should be extending out the front and the drive mechanism must be resting on its four support posts again. Set the black and white drive select switches to the position for drive 1 (both switches moved away from the cable connectors) and reconnect the drive to your computer. Turn on the drive, set the new switch to its center position, insert a DOS disk and turn on the computer. The drive should boot as normal as drive #1. Now turn the new switch to one of its two side positions and call for a directory of drive #2 from DOS. If the directory of the same drive comes up on your screen, the switch is installed properly. If DOS times out without giving you a directory, turn the switch to the other side position and call up the #2 directory again. If you do not get a directory of this drive either time you must recheck your wiring and solder joints again. When you are successful at getting a directory of this drive as #2, leave the switch in that position and return the drive to your work bench. Locate a spot for the switch on the front panel and drill a 1/4 inch mounting hole for it. Insert the switch through the hole and fasten it in place with the supplied nut and washers. The switch should still be in the same position it was when DOS read the directory as #2 drive. Mark this position as #2, mark the opposite position as #3, and mark the center position as #1 drive. Use a can of compressed air (64-2325) to blow the dust out of the drive mechanism and apply some oil (64-2301) to the two metal rails which the head slides on. Snap the front panel and upper half of the case back into place and reinstall the six screws on the bottom. Make this modification to all your drives and spread the work evenly between them from now on. ######################### CIS Uploading Assistance ######################### Question: what is a 'file type' and why should CompuServe ASK me about it everytime I upload??? Glad you asked. When working in the Libraries, you're probably familiar with the series of menus that come up. Lessee .. we're putting up the DOC file, so first we tell CIS that we want to UPL MYFILE.DOC (catchy name, huh?) Got the protocol okay and ... wait a minute ... ANOTHER MENU?? 'file types available ...' As Dick Vitale says: 'FREEZE IT!' What is this 'type' stuff??? I JUST WANNA PUT MY FILE UP! Don't Panic. Time for Small Explanation. TYPE:BINARY A 'BINARY' (also called '8-bit') upload means that CIS will accept ANY character you send it with XMODEM. That means inverse characters, control characters, and all that other esoteric Atari stuff. *IMPORTANT* Note the implication. As explained below, on an 'ASCII' upload, you are LIMITED to characters with an ASC value LESS than 127! For this reason, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS USE 'BINARY' upload for any kind of program file, compacted file (ARC, ALF, DCM), or picture file (unless it's in GIF or RLE format in which case you can choose the appropriate choice from the menu.) If you DON'T specify 'BINARY' for files like these, chances are they will arrive at CIS in unuseable form, and you'll have to go through the upload all over again. No fun... There's a tag involved with binary UPLoads. Once CIS has your file merged, it ASSUMES that it's not READable in ASCII (that is ...Straight Text.) So it puts that /binary flag on it you've undoubtedly noticed on filenames. Result: if you try to <R>ead a 'BINARY' file online, CIS will first warn you that it contains 'non-ascii' characters. This goes back to the fact that CIS is a large service, whose users access it with a wide variety of machines. ASCII characters less than 127 are generally readable by just about any machine. Above that, you get things ranging from an Atari RETURN to IBM Graphics characters. Thus the warning. Normally, you will want to <D>ownload, rather than <R>ead a binary file. TYPE:ASCII Hmm .. with only two choices, would that imply we want to do an 'ASCII' (aka '7-bit') upload if we want the file Readable Online? All Right! Go to the head of the class. That's it exactly. But we have to play fair with Our Host, here, and follow some rules. If you select 'ASCII' upload, CIS will expect you to send a STANDARD ASCII file. CIS will <not> accept any character with an ASC value greater than 127. Any control characters in the file MUST be intended for ONLY their normal ASCII function. And THAT narrows the field down to just <TWO> allowable control characters. Control-M for End of Line. Control-J for Line Feed (hereafter referred to as EOL-LF) What we're talking about here is a file that is ONLY LETTERS AND NUMBERS. No inverse, no special characters like 'arrows', 'backspace', 'tab', etc. This is the kind of file that would be created by most word processors with a 'print to disk' (not 'SAVE to disk!') command. Catch the implication there? Your text file <CAN NOT> contain regular ATARI RETURN characters. Remember, that's a CHR$(155) and we just told CIS that we weren't gonna send it any bytes bigger than 127! *IMPORTANT* Here's the critical part. <IF> you are doing an 'ASCII' upload, you MUST REPLACE ALL RETURNS IN THE FILE WITH EOL-LF (control-m control-j)! Luckily, it's not that hard. If you have a word processor that does a straight 'print to disk', you can probably do it with a simple 'search and replace' on a 'printed to disk' file and subsequent save. (Hint: if you're not sure, use the DOS 2.x Copy File command to Copy your text upload file to the screen. If it's working right, you should see the file with no break between lines, and EOL-LF being the only 'non text' characters.) You can also use one of the several 'conversion' programs available in our libraries here. My favorite is FILEFIX.COM in Library 3. Have your file ready on disk, run FILEFIX and tell it you want to convert CR to EOL-LF. Viola! NOW, once you've got your file with all the nasty stuff removed, you can go ahead and confidently tell CIS you want to go '7-bit' and proceed. The result is a file with no '/binary' flag. Folks can <R>ead (and capture) it online. Note, though, that if you DOWnload a file like this the EOL-LF might still be there. But that's easily handled, again either with Search and Replace or FILEFIX (this time you'd want to Convert EOL-LF to CR) That's about it. Except for one thing. How about BYPASSING those menus all together? That's where the CIS command line comes in. When working in the Libraries, you can issue a single command that selects all those options for you! Uploading a 7-bit text file? At the DL! prompt, input something like this: UPL MYFILE.DOC/PROTO:XMO/TYPE:ASCII See? You've answered those menu questions all at once. If you wanted to upload an '8-bit' file, you'd use something like this: UPL MYFILE.BAS/PROTO:XMO/TYPE:BIN That should get you started. If you have questions, don't hesitate to yell. >>don [76704,41] ------------------------------------- A Look at ARC by Marty Albert Copyright 1988 ------------------------------------- THIS DOCUMENT MAY BE REPRODUCED AND FREELY DISTRIBUTED AS LONG AS IT IS NOT CHANGED IN ANY WAY. IT MAY NOT BE SOLD UNDER ANY CONDITIONS OTHER THAN THE NORMAL CONNECT CHARGES MADE BY ONLINE DATA SERVICES SUCH AS GENIE AND COMPUSERVE. EXCERPTS FOR EDITORIALS, ADVERTISMENTS, ETC. ARE PERMITTED AS LONG AS CREDIT IS GIVEN TO THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. OK, I know that the last time I did this, I said it would be the last. Well, I lied. So sue me! <grin> The reason for another look at ARC programs for the Atari 8-bit is the arrival of two new programs for us to use! The first is the SpartaDOS X cartridge from ICD, Inc. with its built-in ARC program. Next, we have the new Super ARC and Super Un-ARC from Bob Puff, the author of Disk Communicator and other fine programs. This time, I am sure, will be the last test and comparison that I will do for the Atari 8-bit ARC programs since there seems to be little room for improvement, but I'll get to that later. Since I do believe that this one is really the last, I have gone into more detail and the article is a bit longer than its predecessors, but trust me, it is worth reading! Those who have read the older articles that I have done on this subject will note the absence of Disk Communicator, SCOPY, and other "boot-disk" programs. The reason that I have dropped those is that comparing them to ARC is like comparing apples and oranges <or IBMs>. Just What is ARC, Anyway? ARC is short for ARChive. It is, basically, a way to reduce the size of a file, or group of files, so that they may be more efficiently stored or transfered by modem. The original ARC was written for the IBM by SEA <System Enhancement Associates> and has been around in various versions for quite a number of years. It has since been ported to the ST, Amiga, Macintosh, Tandy, CP/M, and other machines. ARC is very efficient, reasonably fast, and extremely reliable. <note that Commodore, Apple, and a few other machines have "ARC" programs, but they are +not+ compatable with the SEA ARC> The mark of the "real" ARC is compatability from one machine to another, that is, the ability of, say, an ST to recover a file ARC'd on an IBM. <note that all three of the ARC programs for the Atari 8-bit pass this test perfectly> ARC, when compressing files, will use one of five compression routines. These routines are: STORED -- No compression used. This is seen mostly with small files. PACKED -- Strings of repeated values are collapsed and replaced with "tags" that tell where what string goes on recovery. Note that all files are packed before the heavier compression routines are called. SQUEEZED -- This method uses what's called the Huffman system. Usually only beneficial for large binary files. CRUNCHED -- This is the famous Lempel-Ziv compression. It is the most effective of all compression routines in general. There are some files that MAY do better with Squeezed, but most will be Crunched. SQUASHED -- This is a modified LZ compression and is used by the PKARC program for the various 16 bit machines. Because of the size of the needed buffers, it may not be possible to ever do this type on the Atari 8-bits. ARC 1.2 uses only the first three methods of compaction, but ARCX 1.2 can indeed recover Crunched files. The only disadvantage to this is that ARC 1.2 could not make the smallest possible files. AlfCrunch uses a modified Crunch system as its only method of compaction. Because of this modification to the LZ routines, ALF files can not be recovered with ARCX 1.2 nor can ARC'd files be recovered with AlfCrunch. Super ARC uses STORING, PACKING, and CRUNCHING. Just as with SEA ARC 5.21, the SQUEEZED routine was dropped because it was so seldom used and not checking for SQUEEZED files increased the speed of ARC. I have yet to see Super ARC STORE a file. SDXARC uses all four routines. You could easily have one file in an ARC that is done in each of the routines. ARC 1.2, Super ARC and SDXARC will test each file before compacting it to see what routine will result in the smallest possible file with the least chance of error. This all takes time to do. Super ARC does have an option that allows you to force it to a Crunch Only mode where all files are Crunched and no testing is done. This option greatly increases the speed of Super ARC. All this talk about Packing and Crunching is really moot -- It is not really needed to use ARC but may help you to understand what is really going on when you ARC a file or recover one that you have downloaded. So, the bottom line is that ARC is intended to save you time in transferring files, and space when storing files. A Little History For many years, we in the Atari 8-bit world had nothing to compress a single file with. We had a number of programs to do "boot-disks" with, such as Masher, Crunch, Shrink, Scrunch, etc., but they were all unsuitable for doing a single file because they did no compression of the data. Then, from Bob Puff, came Disk Communicator. While still a boot- isk program, it did do compression. But, alas, we still had nothing to really work with. For a few years, we all stared longingly at the IBM and ST with their great ARC program, but had to live without it. Then, thanks to Ralph Walden, there was an ARC for us to use! Atari ARC is slow and has a number of bugs, but it was the best thing going for the past 2 years. 1988 saw an explosion in the Atari 8-bit ARC world. First, there was AlfCrunch, by Alfred, that taught us all a lesson in humility. Yes, the 8-bit CAN run faster than an ST! Next, there were "rumors" of a new ARC coming from the Rochester area, and then, "rumors" that ICD would put ARC into the SDX cart. Well, those rumors are true! Super ARC/Un-ARC and SDX ARC are both here for you to use, right now. At last, we have a "real" ARC, and not only that, but we also have a choice. What more could one ask for? Time is Money Anyone that uses one of the online data services, such as GEnie or CompuServe, can tell you this - time is indeed money! They can also tell you just how addictive the services are and how expensive all that "free" software can get! How can you save money online? That's easy to answer. .make things faster! How? Well, you can go to 1200 bps, or even 2400 bps. You can do Ymodem batch downloads of files. You could even use MNP protocol at 2400 bps to go even faster! But no matter how fast you get your system, you still have a certain number of bytes to transfer, and that is really out of your control. "Well", you ask, "can't we reduce the bytes that I need to transfer to get a working program?" You sure can! That's where ARC comes in. Since I am the Atari 8-bit SysOp there, I'm more familiar with GEnie, I'll just talk about that. At 1200 bps non-primetime, GEnie will cost you about $0.083 per minute. Using Xmodem CRC, you can transfer about 79 characters per second. What all this means, in everyday terms, is that if you want to download a file, or group of files, that is 80K bytes long at 1200 bps on GEnie, it will take you over 17 minutes and cost you $1.44 to do it. Now, if we ARC the file and reduce its size by 30% <not an unreal figure> we would only need to download 56K bytes, which t will take only about 12 minutes and cost a mere $1.01 to download. That 43 cent difference doesn't sound like much, but add it up. In a GEnie survey earlier this year, it was found that, of those answering the survey, over 300 users downloaded at least 500K total bytes per month in files. That works out to be a savings of nearly an hour of GEnie time per month! If you happen to be at 2400 bps or use Ymodem/1K-Xmodem, the savings are even greater. Just to clear things up, most users will not see a decrease in their GEnie bill. They will simply download more files and make GEnie an even better value for their money. What Was Tested? The programs that were tested were: AlfCrunch version 1.4 by Jeff Williams <GEnie address ALFRED> Super ARC/Un-ARC version 2.0 by Bob Puff <GEnie address BOB.PUFF> ARC/ARCX version 1.2 by Ralph Walden <GEnie address WALDEN> SpartaDOS X cart ARC version 4.16 by ICD, Inc. <GEnie address ICDINC> These are the latest versions that I am aware of. Any use of a non- urrent version is an over sight. System Used for Testing The system that I used for testing is the same that I use daily. It consists of the following: Atari 800XL with RAMboXL for 256K RAM Atari 1050 drive with US Doubler chips 1Mb MIO by ICD, Inc. Magnavox Color 40 monitor Atari SX212 modem via MIO Star NX1000 printer via MIO SpartaDOS X cartridge, version 4.16 <beta> The disk drives are set as follows: D1: --> MIO 192K RAMDisk D2: --> 1050 floppy D3: --> MIO 832K RAMDisk D4: --> Internal 128K RAMDisk The SDX CONFIG.SYS file is: USE WINDOWED DEVICE SPARTA DEVICE SIO DEVICE JIFFY DEVICE ATARIDOS DEVICE RAMDISK 4 SET BASIC SET CAR SET PROMPT=$L> The SDX AUTOEXEC.BAT file is: LOAD COMMAND.COM TIME DATE The machine MEMLO is at $1BBA There was a BASIC XE cartridge plugged into the SDX cart at all times. The Test Conditions Before each test was run, the SDX command COLD was given and MEMLO was confirmed by PEEKing the appropriate memory locations. Each test was run 4 times and the resulting times were averaged to reduce the impact of any errors in reading the stop watch. All times were kept with a stop watch. Note that I estimate the error factor to be less than +/- 1 second. All programs were run from the SDX command line except for ARC12 which was run from a batch file. In all cases, the screen was off to increase processing speeds. In creating the *.ARC/ALF files, the source files were on D4: and the *.ARC/ALF files were written to D3:. For recovery testing, the *.ARC/ALF files were on D3: and the recovered files were written to D4:. All byte counts are as shown by the SDX DIR command. Note that while the SpartaDOS X cart is not widely available yet, I used it to test all the programs. The reason for this choice is that the SDX ARC works only with SpartaDOS X. To pit Atari DOS 2.5 against SpartaDOS for speed would be crazy. This way, all the programs are running under the same conditions and have equal chance to perform. The Source Files The source files were NOT picked at random. I tried to select a group of files that would include one each of as many Atari 8-bit file types as I could and end up with a total byte count between 70K and 80K bytes. The only factors considered when selecting the files to be used were type and size. In the chart below, FILE TYPE is the type of file, SIZE is the byte count of the file, XMODEM is the number of Xmodem blocks needed to transfer the file, and COST is the approximate cost in dollars to download the file at 1200 bps non-primetime on GEnie using Xmodem CRC. The files used were: FILE TYPE SIZE XMODEM COST =================================================== Daisy-Dot Font 2307 19 0.04 Atari Font 1024 9 0.01 Virtuoso Show 6528 52 0.11 SAVEd BASIC 12078 95 0.21 AMS II Song 11984 94 0.20 RLE Picture 6550 52 0.11 MicroIllustrator Picture 7684 61 0.13 Koala Picture 1881 15 0.03 Compiled Turbo BASIC 11877 93 0.20 Binary 8634 68 0.15 ASCII Text 8740 69 0.15 --------------------------------------------------- TOTALS 79287 627 1.34 The Test Procedure The test procedure was a tedious one. As noted above, each test was run four times to minimize any errors in the timing values. Running the old ARC/ARCX 1.2 four times each was SLOW! In addition to this, each of the ARC'd files was recovered by ALL the other programs in order to check for cross compatability problems. <luckily, there were no such problems encountered> In other words, the file created by Super ARC was recovered by Super Un-ARC, ARCX12, and SDX ARC. <note that AlfCrunch can not recover ARC'd files nor can ARCX12 recover ALF'd files> The Test Results The following table gives the results of the tests. See the legend below for an explaination on how to read this table. System | Under | Test | | | File Created With \|/ | + | ALF | ARC12 | SUPARC | SUPARC2 | SDXARC | ========|=========|=========|=========|=========|=========| | | | | | | SIZE | 46018 | 57681 | 46424 | 46424 | 46815 | XMODEM | 360 | 451 | 363 | 363 | 366 | COST | 0.80 | 1.01 | 0.81 | 0.81 | 0.81 | % Reduced| 41.96 | 27.25 | 41.45 | 41.45 | 40.96 | ARC12-m | n/a | 7:14.45 | n/a | n/a | n/a | ARC12-r | n/a | 6:46.94 | 5:06.72 | 5:06.30 | 5:05.24 | ALF-m | 1:02.11 | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a | ALF-r | 0:37.47 | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a | SupARC-m | n/a | n/a | 1:10.65 | 0:40.45 | n/a | SupARC-r | 0:29.29 | 0:51.43*| 0:29.48 | 0:29.46 | 0:29.30 | SDXARC-m | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a | 0:46.07 | SDXARC-r | 0:29.71 | 0:26.95 | 0:26.75 | 0:26.77 | 0:26.53 | _________|_________|_________|_________|_________|_________| In the above table, the program names are as follows: ARC12 = ARC/ARCX 1.2 ALF = AlfCrunch 1.4 SupARC = Super ARC/Un-ARC SDXARC = SpartaDOS X ARC Note that there were two files created with Super ARC. SUPARC is the file created with the default setting of checking each for the type of compression to use. SUPARC2 is the file created with the Crunch Only mode on. SIZE is the size in bytes of the compacted file. XMODEM is the number of Xmodem blocks to transfer the file by modem. COST is the approximate cost to download the file from GEnie at 1200 bps non-primetime with Xmodem-CRC. % REDUCED is the percent of reduction in byte count as compared to the total bytes in the single files. A "-m" suffix is the "make" file area and a "-r" suffix is the "recover" file area. Example: To find the time needed by SDXARC to recover a file made with ALF, look down the left side to find "SDXARC-r" then read across to the right to the vertical column for ALF to find the time of 0:29.71. To find how long it took SDXARC to make a file, find the "SDXARC-m" area on the left side and read across to the "SDXARC" field in the vertical columns to find the time of 0:46.07. Note that the "*" indicates an error condition. Read the section on Super ARC below for more information. Editorial Comments The discussion that follows is an editorial. It is my opinion based on the above tests. It should not be taken to be the opinion of others. ARC/ARCX 1.2 Well, here we are again, talking about ARC/ARCX 1.2 for the 10th time! This will be short since it is obvious that Ralph's ARC/ARCX has served its purpose in the Atari world. We all owe a great debt to Ralph for doing the first version of ARC for us. Without his hard work, we might still be without ARC for the First Atari. Thanks, Ralph!! The only errors that I encountered in the testing involved ARC/ARCX. In the file created with ARC 1.2, when recovered, there were CRC errors on two of the files. This was the same no matter what program was recovering the ARC'd file. Both files were Squeezed, but note that not all of the Squeezed files had the CRC errors! So, based on that, it is fairly well proven that ARC has the flaw, not ARCX. Let's move on to bigger and better things now, though. AlfCrunch 1.4 Now we have AlfCrunch. This was the first of the new programs that started the 1988 ARC Revolution for the Atari 8-bit. Out of the blue it came, with no warning! When I spoke to Jeff "Alfred" Williams about it, he was flabergasted at the response from the Atari community. Sadly, ALF is not compatable with the "real" ARC in any way, but we were all ready to give up that portability for the speed that ALF gave us. Lightning fast and very reliable, ALF made us all think that somewhere, somehow, we may have missed the boat. If ALF is this fast, why can't ARC be at least as fast? Well, it can be. ALF has been the prime mover in the ARC War, the battle to get we Atari 8-bit users a usable version of ARC. Again, we all owe Jeff a great vote of thanks for getting us moving! Super ARC and Super Un-ARC First on the scene with a usable ARC for us was Bob Puff with his Super Un-ARC. This program not only recovers ARC'd files fast <faster in fact than the ST can do it!>, but also recovers ALF'd files faster than AlfCrunch can. It has the now characteristic excellent menus that made Bob and Disk Comm popular. Just like all of his previous works, Bob has made Super ARC/Un-ARC <just Super ARC from here on!> very easy to use, fast, reliable, and about as close to bug free as I have seen. The only hint of a bug was when Super ARC was recovering the "bad" file created with ARC 1.2. When the first CRC error was encountered, the screen came on and stayed on. That is why the time for recovering that file was so long. <see the "*" in the table above> Even at the 50+ seconds that it took, this is still quite fast! I personally don't see this as a bug. The system told me that something was wrong and wants to be sure that I know about it. In fact, I sort of like that. (NOTE: Bob has informed me that this is indeed NOT a bug, but a feature that he programmed into Super Un-ARC.) In the test result table, you'll notice that there are two files created by Super ARC. The one called SUPARC was done with the default settings where each file is checked to see what compression method would be best for it. The one called SUPARC2 was created by forcing the program to use only the Crunch method. Because using Crunch Only eliminates the need to test each file, there is a dramatic speed increase. With the files tested, Super ARC used the Crunch method in all cases anyway, so there was no difference in the size of the resulting file. Super ARC offers a number of handy items for you to use. First, it seems to work with almost any DOS <there are some problems with TOPDOS and disk swaps>, it allows disk swapping under most DOSs for those single drive users out there, allows recovery to a "null" device to check the integrety of an ARC file, with the screen off, you still get a status line that lets you know that something is happening, and much more. Bob has even put in support for SpartaDOS and DOS XL command line execution of the programs. Frankly, I see few, if any, problems with Super ARC. Now, the best part! Super ARC is ShareWare! Both files are now available online on GEnie for downloading. Don't forget to send Bob a few $$$$ for all his hard work! I personally know that Bob has spent a lot of time on these programs. SpartaDOS X ARC Well, here it is! The long awaited SpartaDOS X cartridge. And to make a good thing even better, it has a built in ARC program! SDXARC is fast, easy to use, and reliable. The command structure is almost identical to the commands used in MS/DOS ARC by SEA. This is intentional and ICD has at least two notices in the SDX manual that the "look and feel" of ARC has been licensed from SEA. SDX has a number of options that are not available from other programs, such as Freshen an ARC file, Move files to ARC and delete the old files, Update ARC, Delete a file from within the ARC, Suppress all compression, Suppress all notes and/or warning messages, and more. The biggest use that I have found so far SDXARC is that, with its ability to Freshen and Update an ARC, it is ideal for backing up my MIO RAM Disks. I can give the command to ARC FNH and it takes off, only adding files that have changed since I last did the backup. This is a real time-saver for me! So, Which ARC is Best? What is the best ARC to use is a hard question to answer. We now have a number of good choices to pick from, but that can make life hard sometimes! Because of speed and errors, we can drop ARC/ARCX 1.2. They simply can't compete anymore. AlfCrunch is an excellent program, but the lack of compatability is a serious draw-back. I think we will have to pass it by as well. If you have a bunch of ALF'd files on your disks, or if you SysOps have a bunch of ALF files on the BBS, don't worry... Both Super ARC and SDXARC can recover them, and recover them faster than AlfCrunch can to boot! So, that leaves with Super ARC and SDXARC. Which program you select will really be dictated by what DOS you use. Super ARC works with nearly anything. SDXARC is, of course, available and works only with SpartaDOS X. If you purchase the SpartaDOS X cart, why have another ARC program lying about? That just doesn't make sense. But, if you are one of those people that just simply does not like SpartaDOS, or you refuse to go out and buy the SDX cart, then the obvious answer is Super ARC! Both are excellent programs, easy to use, extremely fast, and very reliable. SDXARC was faster in recovering files in all but one case, but not radically so. When ARCing files, using the default compressing scan, SDXARC again was faster, but only by 30 seconds or so. <I just wonder what the speed of SDXARC would be like if it didn't scan every file for the best compaction type and just did Crunch....> But, the time differences are trivial. I for one don't have a lot of things that I could do in the 2.8 seconds that SDXARC saves me. So, I'm afraid that I can't be of much help for you. If you have or get the SDX cart, use SDXARC. If you don't have the cart, use Super ARC. My personal choice is SDXARC. I like the "look and feel" of MS/DOS ARC, and the SDX cart in general. For hard disk owners, the ability to do the ARC backup of the HD is almost indespensible. It can, as I stated above, also be of great use for the ICD MIO. In Conclusion Well, there you have it! The last comparison/review that I will do for Atari 8-bit ARC programs! <at least until the next one!> I hope that I have answered a few questions for you and given you a little more information to use when selecting just what would be best for you and your Atari 8-bit computer system. I welcome any questions or comments that you may have. I can be reached on GEnie in the Atari 8-bit RoundTable and by GEnie Mail at address: MARTY.A You may also reach me by US Mail at: Marty Albert Suite #6-216 PO Box 4005 Carmichael, CA 95609-4005 Credits I would like to thank ICD, Inc. and Tom Harker for the oportunity to Beta Test the SpartaDOS X cartridge and, in particular, the SDXARC program. Looks great, Tom! If *you* don't have SpartaDOS X yet, get it soon! Also, my thanks to Bob Puff for letting me help with the testing of Super ARC and Super Un-ARC. You have really helped out the entire Atari community, Bob! Keep the great 8-bit programs coming! Thanks to Jeff "Alfred" Williams for making us all get off dead center with the ARC issue. You have shown us that the First Atari is far from dead and still has more than a few tricks left up its sleeve! And lastly, thanks to Ralph Walden for starting this mess! Without Ralph's first effort at ARC for the Atari 8-bit, we would probably still be using a boot-disk program for file compaction! ************************************************************************* Syndicate ZMagazine (c)Copyright 1988 APEInc, Kovacs/Mariano Issue #128 October 23, 1988 Read ST-Report Online Magazine for the latest Atari ST News and Reviews. *************************************************************************
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