Z*Magazine: 14-Mar-89 #148From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/18/93-05:16:32 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 14-Mar-89 #148 Date: Sat Sep 18 17:16:32 1993 |SYNDICATE ZMAGAZINE| | Issue #148 | | March 14, 1989 | |Copyright 1989, SPC| |This week in ZMagazine| Editor's Monitor Harold Brewer Z*Net Press Release Syndicate Publishing Company Turbo BASIC Command List Dave and Laura Yearke Indus GT Modification Rich Mier Bill Williams' Necromancer Richard Brudzynski Oasis 4.3 Update News Glenda Stocks Z*Net Newswire Harold Brewer |EDITOR'S MONITOR| |by Harold Brewer| This is my second issue editing ZMag. My thanks go to Ron Kovacs, John Nagy, Craig Thom, Bob Puff, and many more Atarians for their assistance and support. Editing ZMag is fun, and not much of a strain on either me or my 8-bit. I have been, and will continue to hunt for ZMag readers' opinions. Whether a reader would like to see a particular topic covered in an article, has a commentary he would like to promulgate, or actually wrote an article he would like printed in ZMag--I'm all ears. If you would like to drop ZMag a note, commentary, or article, a listing of ZMagazine "haunts" can be found at the end of this issue. Either leave a message at the Syndicate Publishing number or at any one of the three pay services or five bulletin boards listed. ZMagazine is responsive. Here is wishing everyone a happy Saint Patrick's Day from the folks at ZMag! |Z*NET PRESS RELEASE| |by Syndicate Publishing Company| Introducing Z*NET - The International ZMAGAZINE Newsletter Supplement The producers of the successful online ATARI-interest publications ZMAGAZINE and ST*ZMAGAZINE now bring you "Z*NET", a new concept in computer news distribution for user groups! After piloting ZMAG for over three years of weekly online publication, Ron Kovacs now makes Z*Net available to Atari clubs world wide, with interest shown so far in the USA, Canada, Germany, England, Mexico, Panama, and Australia. The 12 page "hard-copy" Z*Net insert is designed for inclusion in participating newsletter-magazines already being produced by Atari user groups. The insert features news, reviews, and interviews, much like that which is now included in (and WIDELY REPRINTED from) the current ONLINE versions. Over 1,500 issues through five publications make up the pilot release this March, 1989. Look for the premiere Z*Net in the newsletters of ABACUS (San Francisco, CA), COMPUTAH (Salt Lake City, UT), GREAT LAKES ATARI DIGEST (Lansing and Flint, MI), JACG NEWSLETTER Pinebrook/Newark, NJ), and MVACE (Dayton, OH). Most groups we have talked to are excited about the idea, and we realistically expect to add 100 groups this year to the Z*Net family. While we hate to have to keep saying this, we are repeatedly asked by users, dealers, writers, manufacturers, etc... NO, ZMAG, ST*ZMAG, and Z*Net are not affiliated in any way with ST-Report. Although Ron Kovacs did create that online magazine, it has long since become independant and unrelated to ZMAG. WHAT Z*NET IS Z*Net is a monthy newsletter designed to go inside user group newsletters! It features both Atari ST and 8-bit material in a balanced way. Z*Net carries national advertising and distributes the income of that advertising to the user groups that use it. Groups remain in control of their newsletter, and merely "wrap" their material around Z*Net. In this way, groups have as much room for their own news and articles as they wish, while having Z*Net provide the national news and features, much like TV Network news supplementing local TV station newscasts. When possible, Z*Net will even include additional pages of articles that can be used or "banked" for later by the clubs. The material in Z*Net is largely original, NOT merely recycled ZMAG or other online articles! Nationally known writers from major magazines as well as personalities from ATARI and the major Telecommunication services are regular contributors. Commitments have been made by: Ron Luks (CompuServe), Darek Mihocka (ST-Transformer), John Nagy (Computer Shopper), Darlah Pine (GEnie), Matthew Ratcliff (Analog/Antic), Alan Reeve (Diamond), David Small (Magic-Sac/Spectre), and many more. Sig Hartmann of Corporate ATARI has promised to provide direct input and involvement on a regular basis. And we also solicit our participating groups for contributions. HOW Z*NET WORKS Z*Net comes camera ready, for use as-is or reduced as desired by the publishing group. Both "full" (8.5" by 11") and "2/3" format page dimensions (8.5" by 14" sideways, folded) are easily supported. The local editor(s) collect locally written feature material, club specific material, and local ads (if any) and add the Z*Net section to make their newsletter. The specifics of the size, content, and pricing to the clubs are entirely up to the clubs and editors. Local duplication and distribution continue the same as before Z*Net was included. The benefits of the supplement are numerous. In addition to having 12 pages of ready-to-print news (that you probably would have wanted to include in your newsletter anyway), Z*Net PAYS YOU to include it. It is possible for a group to include what could be an ADDITIONAL 12 pages of news with NO increased production costs! HOW Z*NET PAYS YOUR GROUP Z*Net includes about four pages of national advertising, secured by Z*Net. Each month, the local publishers provide proof of circulation (mailing receipts, printer bill, or affidavit), and Z*Net PAYS the publishers 20 cents for each copy after a threshold of the initial 100 copies. Thus, a club that regularly distributes 200 copies is paid $20 each month, and one that put out 600 copies receives $100. This arrangement pays Z*Net ad revenues directly to the clubs in proportion to their value in ad sales, with the balance paying for the expenses of production. As overall circulation and revenues go higher, the rebate rates and threshold will be adjusted. Participating groups each pay a $25 yearly fee to Z*Net to partially cover actual mailing costs. Additional benefits of participation in the Z*Net project will occasionally be special discounts or even free offers from software and hardware manufacturers for local publishers. We also maintain a special Z*Net area on GEnie telecommunication services, and sponsor monthly conferences for participating clubs. WHO IS INCLUDED The Z*Net supplement is being offered to any REGISTERED ATARI USER GROUP, although it may be limited to only a single publisher in any given area. It is Z*Net's belief that the highest quality publication and the most communication value will arise if nearby clubs join together to produce a combined "Node" magazine effort. Combining efforts will also provide the highest return on the economies of scale for BULK MAIL, PRINTER COSTS, and REBATES. Obviously, if 5 groups that each produce 120 newsletters were each to independently offer Z*Net, they would pay 5 yearly registration fees, and each would receive the monthly rebate for only 20 issues. By joining forces, 4 registration fees would be saved, and the publisher would get rebates for 500 issues. Additionally, the "node" would qualify for a bulk mail permit, saving 35 to 55 cents on each magazine mailed, and the printing costs would be much lower on a single run of 600 than on 5 runs of 120. Advertising for local dealers and vendors is also much easier to get if a larger reader base is available. The benefits of cross- club communication cannot be as easily measured, but they have been readily apparent in similar operations across the country. CONTRACTS Z*Net requires that a simple contract be made between the Clubs, their local publisher (editor), and Z*Net. The contract principally requires the publisher to keep financial records open to all clubs participating in the local magazine. Z*Net is not available to private commercial magazines, as these cause legal problems and may limit the use of otherwise free reprint material. Naturally, the entire Z*Net system has a vested interest in the appearance and general presentation of each Node Magazine. Compatible CLIP ART with icons and suggested visual formatting are offered by Z*Net as they become available, but their use is optional. However, the "Z*NET" cover logo must appear somewhere on the front cover of all node magazines. Any Z*Net pages must be printed TOGETHER (continuously) within the local magazine. Additionally, ALL advertising that is within the ZMAG supplement MUST be included in EACH final magazine release, else we can't charge the advertiser and pay the groups! IN SHORT... To summarize the transactions, each month, the nodes send Z*Net: 1. The last month's issue (two would be nice!) 2. Proofs of circulation/production numbers 3. Any contributions for the national Z*Net (on disk please!) We send back: 1. A check for the rebate amount 2. The new master copies of the new Z*Net (with extra pages to optionally use--when available) 3. Any disks sent to us in the previous month 4. (Sometimes) Software for review or bonus offers 5. Our INTERNAL newsletter with items of specific interest to our node management groups 6. Any new production aids and clip art Z*Net also makes the commitment to communicate with EVERY node publisher EVERY month. WHAT NOW? Right now there are likely to be many questions in your mind about this project, not the least of which is "WHEN CAN I START?" If Z*NET sounds good to you, CALL US NOW! Ron Kovacs is looking for CONTRIBUTERS, ADVERTISERS, and participants of all kinds. We expect Z*NET to go to hundreds of groups within the first year of production...we hope YOURS will be one of them! Contact Ron at 201-968-2024 for more information and a list of current commitments. Or write: Z*Net Box 74 Middlesex, New Jersey, 08846. Z*NET is a user support effort, mounted by people who have established their support and credentials in the ATARI community. It could be the best thing to ever happen to your club newsletter! |TURBO BASIC COMMAND LIST| |by Dave & Laura Yearke| (This documentation is provided by the Western New York Atari Users Group and may be reprinted freely provided this credit is included.) In case you've just landed from Mars, or just plain haven't heard yet, "Turbo BASIC" is the exciting new Public Domain BASIC Interpreter that we received from the Atari Users Group in Holland. It works on the XL or XE series of Atari computers. It's almost too good to be true and should be a definate must for all XE or XL Atari owners. Turbo BASIC, in addition to offering 42 more commands and 22 more functions than Atari BASIC, gives the user 1603 more bytes of program space by "hiding" part of itself under the XL/XE's operating system. It also runs 3 times faster than Atari BASIC, includes most DOS commands, has advanced graphics and programming functions, and is insensitive to lowercase or inverse characters for most commands. | Turbo BASIC Commands: | *** Disk I/O *** BLOAD BLOAD "D:name" Binary loads file 'name'. (DOS option L with /N). BRUN BRUN "D:name" Binary load and run file 'name' (DOS option L). DELETE DELETE "D:name" Deletes the file 'name' (DOS option D). DIR DIR Disk directory (DOS option A). DIR "Dn:*.*" Directory drive 'n', note wildcard may be used. LOCK LOCK "D:name" Locks the file 'name' (DOS option F). RENAME RENAME "D:old,new" Renames the file 'name' (DOS option E). UNLOCK UNLOCK "D:name" Unlocks the file 'name' (DOS option G). *** Graphics *** CIRCLE CIRCLE x,y,r Plots a circle with center at x,y and radius of r. CIRCLE x,y,r,r2 R2 is an optional "vertical radius" for true circles or ellipses. CLS CLS Clears the screen. CLS #6 Clear screen opened in channel 6. FCOLOR FCOLOR n This determines fill color. FILLTO FILLTO x,y A fill command analagous to the BASIC commands "POSITION x,y: XIO 18,#6,0,0,"S:" PAINT PAINT x,y Another type of fill command, this one is a recursive routine that will fill any closed object as long as x,y are inside it. TEXT TEXT x,y,a$ Bit-blocks text in a$ at x,y. *** Memory *** DPOKE DPOKE m,v Pokes location m,m+1 with 2-byte integer v (0 <= v <= 65535). MOVE MOVE m,m1,m2 Block transfer; moves m2 (number of bytes) from starting position m to new starting position m1. -MOVE -MOVE m,m1,m2 Same as MOVE but copies starting with the last byte of the block. BPUT BPUT #n,adr,len Block Put; same as FOR I=0 TO len-1:PUT #n,PEEK (adr+I):NEXT I BGET BGET #n,adr,len Block Get; same as FOR I=0 TO len-1:GET #N,A: POKE adr+I):NEXT I %PUT %PUT #n,a Until now, there was no convenient way to put numeric values onto disk or cassette files other than by using PRINT, which converted them to strings first, a slow and cumbersome process. %PUT puts the number to the device "as is" in 6-byte FP format. %GET %GET #n,A Get a number stored with %PUT from the device and store it in variable 'A'. Again, this is much faster than using "INPUT #n, A". *** Structured Programming *** REPEAT REPEAT Start a REPEAT-UNTIL loop. UNTIL UNTIL <c> Terminate when condition <c> met. WHILE WHILE <c> Start a WHILE-WEND loop to end when condition <c> met. WEND WEND Terminate a WHILE-END loop. ELSE ELSE Optional extension for IF. The IF condition must not be followed by a "THEN", but terminated by end-of-line or colon. ENDIF ENDIF Ends an IF-ELSE-ENDIF or IF-ELSE condition. Note that this allows an IF condition to span more than one BASIC line, provided the "IF" statement is structured as shown in Note 4. DO DO Starts an "infinite" DO loop. LOOP LOOP Cycle back to the start of a DO loop. EXIT EXIT Exit a DO-LOOP loop. PROC PROC name Start definition of procedure. ENDPROC ENDPROC End definition of procedure. EXEC EXEC name Execute procedure 'name'. *** General Programming *** PAUSE PAUSE n Pause processing for n/50 seconds. RENUM RENUM n,i,j Renumber the program starting at line 'n', first number is 'i', increment is 'j'. This function will handle GOTOs, TRAPs, and all other line references except those which involve variables or computed values. DEL DEL n,i Delete lines n-i. DUMP DUMP Display all variables and values. For numeric arrays, the numbers are the DIMed values plus one. For strings, the first number is the current LENgth of it and the second number is the DIMed size of it. DUMP also lists procedure names and labels with their line values. DUMP name DUMP to device 'name', such as "P:" or "D:DUMP.DAT". TRACE TRACE Trace program during execution. TRACE - Turns trace mode off (Default). DSOUND DSOUND n,f,d,v Form of SOUND which activates channel-pairing for increased frequency range. DSOUND Turns off all sounds. GO TO GO TO n Alternate form of GOTO. *L *L Turn line-indent on (Default). *L - Turns line-indent off. *F *F (or *F +) Special mode for FOR..NEXT loops which corrects a bug in Atari BASIC. Seems that in Atari BASIC, an "illegal" reverse loop like "FOR X=2 TO 1:PRINT X:NEXT X" will execute once even though the condition is met initially (X is already greater than 1). Turbo BASIC fixes this bug, but leaves it available for Atari BASIC programs which may take advantage of it. *F - Turns off the special FOR..NEXT mode to make Turbo BASIC act like Atari BASIC. *B *B (or *B +) Command which allows the break key to be trapped via the "TRAP" command within a program. *B - Turns off the special BREAK key mode. -- -- Special form of REM which puts 30 dashes in a program listing. *** Line Labels *** # # name Assigns the current line number to the label 'name'. This is a convenient way to get around the problem of renumbering when using variables as line numbers. Labels can be thought of as a special form of variable, as they occupy the variable name table along with the "regular" variables. We also believe that the number of variables allowed has been increased from 128 to 256 to allow for the addition of these labels. GO# GO# name Analagous to the GOTO command. *** Modifications *** CLOSE CLOSE Close channels 1-7. DIM DIM a(n) Will automatically assign a value of zero to all elements of the numeric array being dimensioned, and null characters all elements of a string (The LEN is still variable, however, and initially zero). GET GET name Wait for a key press, assign the value to 'name'. Same as: "OPEN #7,4,0,"K:":GET #7,name:CLOSE #7" INPUT INPUT "text";a,b... Prints 'text' as a prompt before asking for variable(s), same as Microsoft BASIC. LIST LIST n, List program from line 'n' to end. ON ON a EXEC n1,n2,... Variation of ON...GOSUB for procedures. N1, n2 and so on are names of procedures to be run. ON a GO# n1,n2,... Similar to ON...GOTO except that line labels are used instead of line numbers. POP POP This command now pops the runtime stack for all four types of loops. PUT PUT n Same as "PRINT CHRn)"; RESTORE RESTORE #name Restores the data line indicated by the label 'name'. RND RND Parentheses are no longer needed at the end of this command, but it will still work if they are there. SOUND SOUND Turn off all sounds. TRAP TRAP #name TRAPs to the line referenced by the label 'name'. | Turbo BASIC Functions: | *** Arithmetic/Logic *** HEX$ HEXn) Convert n to hex string. DEC DEC(a Convert hex string A$ to decimal. DIV n DIV i Integer quotient of n/i. MOD n MOD i Integer remainder of n/i. FRAC FRAC(a) Fractional part of a. TRUNC TRUNC(a) Truncates fractional part of a. RAND RAND(n) Generates random number 0-n. $ $nnnn Allows input of hexidecimal numbers, but they are converted to decimal. Ex: "FOR I=$0600 to $067F" => "FOR I=1536 to 1663". & n & i 8-bit boolean AND. ! n ! i 8-bit boolean OR. EXOR n EXOR i 8-bit Exclusive-OR. *** Memory *** DPEEK DPEEK(m) Double-PEEK of m,m+1. TIME TIME Time of day(numeric). TIME$ TIME$ Time of day string, HHMMSS. Unfortunately, the time commands don't work properly because they were written for the European Ataris which operate at 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz like American ones. The net result being that they gain 12 minutes each hour. INKEY$ INKEY$ Returns last character typed. INSTR INSTR(x$,a Returns relative location of start of string A$ within X$ (returns 0 if not found). The match must be exact; strings with the same letters but differences in case or type (normal or inverse) will not be found. INSTR(x$,a$,i) The 'i' specifies the starting point of the search. UINSTR UINSTR(x$,a Same as INSTR, does not distinguish between case or inverse characters. Ex: UINSTR("HeLlO","hello") returns 1. UINSTR(x$,a$,i) Specifies optional starting point. ERR ERR Value of last error number. ERL ERL Line last error occurred at. *** Constants *** %0 %1 %2 %3 These four constants simply stand for the numbers 0-3, respectively. The difference with using these in a program is that "X=1" requires 10 bytes, whereas "X= %1" only needs 4 (numbers require 7 bytes, 6 for the number plus an identifier preceding it. It is always a good practice to make variables for numbers that are used more than three times in a program). | NOTES | 1. Variable, Procedure and Label names may contain the underscore (_) character. 2. To print a double-quote (") in a text string, use two of them together, instead of the Atari BASIC method of using CHR(34). Ex: "TEST";CHR34);"TEXT" becomes "TEST""TEXT" in Turbo BASIC, both of which produce the output => TEST"TEXT. 3. Upon initial boot-up, Turbo BASIC looks for a BASIC file named AUTORUN.BAS. If it finds this file, it will automatically load and run. 4. Turbo BASIC also prints out English descriptions of all errors, including several new ones for errors involving the new commands: Error - 22 ?NEST = Loops not properly nested. Error - 23 ?WHILE = WEND with no corresponding WHILE. Error - 24 ?REPEAT = UNTIL with no corresponding REPEAT. Error - 25 ?DO = LOOP with no corresponding DO. Error - 26 ?EXIT = EXIT is outside a loop. Error - 27 ?XPROC = Error executing PROC. Error - 28 ?EXEC = ENDPROC with no corresponding EXEC. Error - 29 ?PROC = Procedure does not exist. Error - 30 ?# = Label does not exist. Also, Error 15 has been expanded to include an UNTIL which relates to a REPEAT which has been deleted. 5. A multiline IF is constructed like this: 10 IF X > 10 20 PRINT X-10 30 GO# TOO_BIG 40 ELSE 50 PRINT X 60 GO# X_IS_OK 70 ENDIF Note also the use of line labels in the GOTO statements. Enjoy your new programing toy... Bill Beerbower Laura Yearke Dave Yearke WNY ATARI Users' Group (Editor's note: Disk-based SpartaDOS is not compatible with Turbo BASIC. Both want to use RAM under the OS. The new SpartaDOS X, however, does work with Turbo BASIC when used in conjunction with an Atari XL/XE having more than 64K of RAM. The SpartaDOS X User's Manual gives more details.) |INDUS GT MODIFICATION| |by Rich Mier, SPACE, St. Paul, MN| CompuServe: 73537,3573 GEnie: RBMIER My Indus Disk Drive had a lot of miles on it and, alas, was coming up with some strange errors. After swapping all the socketed chips on the main board, I determined that it must have a bad read/write head. By now I had been using the drive with the case removed, the deck resting on the top of the front panel, and a wooden pencil across the rear beneath the deck. The Tandon read/write head Part No. is 211014-001 but after checking around town, I could find no replacement deck anywhere. Everyone I talked to said I'd have to send it back to Future Systems, or at least go to them for a new deck. I can't afford to lose my disk drive. I only have one, as I have a 320K XE and a 256K MIO. All I need is one drive since I have 2-192K RAMdisks available. American Techna-Vision advertises a direct replacement mechanism for a 1050 drive so I called them to see if it would work in the Indus. They didn't know and couldn't even give me a Tandon Part Number. They did say that they have gotten orders from small companies that repair Indus drives. Taking a chance, I ordered one on the condition that I could return it if it wouldn't work. $47.50 plus shipping and UPS 2nd day Air totalled $56.00. Cheaper than what it was going to cost me if I had to take it to a dealer or send it out to be fixed. Monday evening I ordered it and Thursday afternoon it showed up. I checked the Part Number first. Different!: Part No. 216024-019. Digging out the wires, I found a couple markings that were the same. Mechanically, it was the same, but on closer examination there were several differences: 1) There was no timing hole sensors. 2) The plug coming from the stepper motor had 6 wires versus 5 on the old deck (both have a 6 wire connector). Also, the colors were completely different. 3) The wires coming from the drive motor were the same color, but about 3 inches shorter. (The drive motors were identical.) 4) The micro switch against the rod used to twist and engage the floppy had 3 wires on it and the old one, 2. 5) There was 1 less connector plug. Cutting some plastic tie-wraps on both decks, I traced out the wires. Here's what I found: The missing connector is 'J12' (4 pins) on the old deck. It is the timing hole sensor. Well, Atari doesn't use the timing hole. Ignoring it, I went on. The three wire connector marked '14' on the new drive is the micro switch marked '5' on the old one and isn't used. The two wire connector marked 'J12' on the new drive is also 'J12' on the new one. It is the front LED and isn't used on the Indus. 'J11' on both decks is the write protect sensor. 'J10' on the new deck is the same as 'J09' on the old one. The head 'track 00' sensor. The wire from the r/w head is a 5 pin connector, same as the old drive, and is long enough to work. There is a difference in colors of the wires to which pins, but the ground is right. I assumed the difference in wire colors is because of a different manufacture of the head itself and that the plug was wired correctly to work. The last one was the stepper motor plug, 'J3' on the old one and '15' on the new deck. A six wire connector. The stepper motors were made by two different companies so maybe it would work as is. Also, on the Indus motor control board, pin 6 was not used. No foil connected to it. Here is what must be done to make this 1050 mechanism work in an Indus: 1. Remove the motor control board from the top of the old drive. Note that all the plugs are marked on their top side. 2. The two screws on the top right of the new drive must have the lock washers removed so the motor control board will fit. 3. Arrange and tape the wires coming from the r/w head the same as the old drive. 4. Now the only tricky part of this. The wires coming from the motor are too short. On the motor control board, remove the 4 wire connector (marked 'J4' on the board) for the motor plug, 'J1'. Use a small soldering iron and a solder 'sucker'. Turn it around so the pins are pointing to the left and re-solder it in place. 5. Install the motor control board and cardboard insulators on the new deck, taking care to position the r/w connector and that the board and insulators clear the top floppy idler hub. 6. Connect the r/w, 5 pin connector with the '0' up, the same as it was on the original. 7. You will have to cut some plastic tie-wraps to free the drive motor wires. Turn the connector UPSIDE-DOWN, so the 'J1' marking is down and the 4 pin retaining slots are up and plug it into the connector pins that you turned around. Be sure they won't interfere with the head movement. 8. Run the stepper motor connector up through the frame as was done on the old deck and plug into the 6 pin connector, the marking '15' up. On mine, the 2 red wires were towards the front of the drive, pin 5 and 6. 9. Locate and clean the two mount holes on the left side of the drive where the lable is. 10. On the left side of the old drive, mark on the frame above the 3 plugs, the 'J' number found on each of the 3-4 pin connectors as you remove them. 11. Loosen the two screws holding the front panel to the Indus frame. On older drives, you might have to remove it as the panel connectors on the bottom board where too high for the deck to clear them. 12. Remove the old drive, 2 screws on each side of the frame, and lift it out. Now is the time to fix that front door if you've had problems with it. 13. With a screwdriver, pry off the front lever on both drives and swap them. The lever on the new one is too long to fit through the front panel and work. 14. Keeping the wires clear, install the new deck, adjust it's position, and snug the two screws holding the front panel to the frame. Plug the rear flat cable into the control board. 15. There should be four connectors at the left rear. The two wire (J12) and the three wire (14) won't be used. Tuck these away at the rear so the are out of the way and won't short to anything. 16. Find the connector marked 'J10' and plug this into the front-most pins where 'J09' was on the old deck. 17. Find the connector marked 'J11' and plug this into the rear most pins where the old 'J11' was. There, that's it. The now unused pins, 'J12', won't be used and aren't needed. They were for the timing hole sensor. If you REALLY want to, you could maybe pry out the LED and sensor from your old drive and reinstall them, but WHY? They aren't needed. One thing I did learn from trouble-shooting my problem. The floppy controller chip used is capable of controlling a double-sided drive. It's a Western Digital, 2797 type. Anyone need a challenge? How about a kit for a 5 1/4 inch double-sided, double density drive or how about a 3 1/2 inch drive? 80 tracks, double-sided is 720K. |BILL WILLLIAMS' NECROMANCER| |Richard Brudzynski| Courtesy of CompuServe Atari8 SIG I've been seeing an old favorite of mine--Bill Williams NECROMANCER--in the stores as of late. Atari had the wise idea of bringing this classic "back from the grave" for the XE Game machine. Necromancer author BILL WILLIAMS always found new ways to use a joystick. In an early APX game, Salmon Run, one had to pilot a fish up stream by a combination of jumping and swimming movements that was quite unlike anything ever seen before (or since). In a later work for Synapse, BILL had an Alley Cat which the user had to keep madly jumping on a clothesline, trying to hit a target some distance away. Unlike most "jumping" games there was an element of randomness, unpredictability, and gravity in the joystick control. The player could never be quite sure of hitting the target. Necromancer was BILL's most notable achievement in new forms of joystick control--the action was "spongy". The user would move the joystick and it would take a fraction of a second for the corresponding action to take place on the screen. The action always lagged behind the joystick movement, and you could return the stick to neutral and watch the action complete itself on screen. With a BILL WILLIAMS' game you knew you'd always have to learn to use the joystick in a way that you hadn't used it before. Always interesting, always challenging. A second notable feature of a WILLIAMS game was the emphasis on romance as the object of the game. In Salmon Run, the player piloted his salmon upstream and, if successful, was rewarded by a big, wet, sloppy kiss from his lady fair (complete with smoochy sound effects). His Alley Cat was prompted in his adventures by his desire to impress his girlfriend. Both the Salmon and the Cat got the girl at the end of each level and were rewarded by increasing levels of on screen bliss. I imagine that the successful completion of all the levels of a WILLIAMS game would probably result in a degree of pure ecstacy known only to the Finnish Commission on Eroticism and Public Health. All of BILL's works projected a sense of joy and good humor--they were true "feel good" games. NECROMANCER was a distinct departure from Bill's usually light-hearted style and the closest he's ever come to a traditional blow-the-enemy-away game. Our Necromancer protagonist is charged with the responsibility of restoring light to a world from which the light has been stolen. Actually there are three games which are part of the larger game in Necromancer. In the first game, we have to arm our Necromancer with the tools he'll need to successfully complete the second game. Our Necromancer must grow an entire forest to use in the second game. In the course of this process, he and his forest are under attack by trolls and venomous spiders which grow ever stronger. Here is a really brilliant twist--a gamer who tries to counter the opposition by becoming increasingly stronger will lose badly. The correct strategy in this section of the game is to maintain and gradually diminish the Necromancer's strength so as to finally expire at precisely the "right moment" when the forest is at its most powerful. A gamer who tries to "stand against the wind" will lose his entire forest; a gamer who knows when to bend and eventually break will pass on to the second game well-armed. In the second game, our Necromancer has an opportunity to prevent his adversary (an evil mage) from arming himself (with more venemous spiders). The goal is to use the trees to prevent the adversary from hatching spiders from five levels of crypts. Each spider prevented from hatching denies a tool to the adversary in the third game. All five levels are basically the same game but as the gamer progresses through the levels, he has to learn precisely when to change strategies in order to preserve his forest and diminish the evil mage's minions to the max. In the third game, our Necromancer faces a duel to the death with the evil mage. In this game, WILLIAMS presents the gamer with a difficult problem to solve. The Necromancer is under constant strenth-diminishing attacks by the mage's minions. He can reduce the attacks by attacking the minions. He can regain strength by attacking the mage. He can progress to the next level of the third game by attacking the mage's hiding places. The trick in the third game is to find the right combination of attack-the-minions, attack-the-mage, and attack the hiding places so as to pass onto the next level with the maximum remaining strength. This is a problem I've been unable to solve despite years of play. Knowing WILLIAMS' style, I keep playing because a real graphic treat awaits the player who successfully completes the third game. Necromancer is a true arcade game. Quick reflexes and an agile mind count for a lot. Nevertheless, strategy is also critical. A BILL WILLIAMS game is always distinctly different from anything else. Trying to describe it is a lot like trying to give a narrative description of a Beethoven symphony, the Mona Lisa, or a first kiss. ATARI deserves to be commended for bringing Necromancer back from the grave. >From time to time I wonder whatever became of BILL WILLIAMS. A few years ago I found a set of excellent 1020 plotter routines written by a "Bill Williams". I like to think that BILL is still hacking away out there somewhere. |OASIS 4.3 UPDATE NEWS| |by Glenda Stocks|  I just posted Oasis 4.3F for beta testers. It now includes optional grafix support menus for all movie menus and all main menu file sending options. I would like to see beta testers with these until March 30th. If, at that time, there are no BUGS, then I would like to post Oasis 4.3 to all OASIS sysops around April 1st. If this happens, then I can go on and add a couple more things for Oasis 4.4 for beta testers to test for release much later. Those added options would include message threading and separate SIG capabilities. I am excited about the GRAFIX support in Oasis 4.3 and would like to see all Oasis sysops enjoy it. Please spread the word around that I intend to post OASIS 4.3 by April 1st if TESTING goes well.  Oasis 4.3 supports COLORED TEXT for Commodore, ANSI and ST users. It also supports all ATASCII graphics and cursor controls. The BBS automatically COLORIZES all 220 lines of the text prompts used to interface between the BBS functions and the user. The SysOp does NOT have to enter ANY codes at all for the color. The sysop is responsible for CUSTOMIZING his 220 BBS prompts with a TEXT EDITOR (not sector editor).  Oasis 4.3 has many new commands for use while reading messages. Below is a sample menu: [A] Read the CURRENT MESSAGE again [P] Post a NEW MESSAGE [B] Read next message BACKWARD [D] Download Filename In Subject [R] Reply to the current Message [S] Scan Subjects TOGGLE [K] Kill the current message [Y] Send Message to Printer [E] E-Mail A Private REPLY [Z] Zip to another message base [F] Read Next Message FORWARD [U] Unlock the current message [W] Copy Message To another base [V] View ARC of file in subject [G] Goto a CERTAIN MESSAGE number [X] Exit back to the main menu [J] Jump to a CERTAIN message number [*] Run the filename in subject [L] Lock the current message [N] Read NEXT message FORWARD [C] Continuous Scroll TOGGLE Among the new commands is the ability to run online games directly from a message, and the user is returned to the same message afterward.  Other miscellaneous changes: 8 Timed events New Waitscreen New PassWord Application procedure New Quick Logon Faster Disconnects Better modem connects. More MAC65 equates and routines. requires system subdirectories.  What's in store for Oasis 4.4? We will add the separate S.I.G.S. and message threading to Oasis 4.4, and then Oasis 4.X will be finished. Oasis 5 is due out in December 1989, with loads of goodies. |Z*NET NEWSWIRE| |by Harold Brewer| ==>ICD's SpartaDOS X cartridge-based DOS is up to version 4.20. The only notable change from SDX version 4.19 being that version 4.20 now supports AtariWriter Plus. This change is reflected in one file--X.COM. But SDX 4.19 owners need not get an upgrade ROM just yet--the changed X.COM file is available free on the pay services and ICD's BBS under the name of XX.COM. Darned spiffy of ICD, eh what? ==>Roy Goldman's DaisyDot NLQ printer utility series continues. On GEnie, Roy describes some of the additions planned for DaisyDot III: "Ok, here's the latest DD3 update. I haven't had much time, but I've managed to complete almost every editing feature in the font editor, including: vert. & horz flips, 4 way scrolling, inverse images, mirrored drawing, adding or deleting columns or rows, flood fills in two patterns, automatic lines, rays, boxes, and circles, options for controlling the the max height for each font and the underline points (indicates how a font will be underlined), and constant X,Y coordinate updates." "The last editing feature I need to add is touch pad support. I've tried a last ditch effort to buy one, uploading my request as a file. If I can't buy one, I'll have to ask to borrow one." ==>The March 1989 issue of the wholly Atari magazine Current Notes has 8-bit software reviews in abundance. Games, utilities, and application programs are written about. | Syndicate Publishing Company | | P.O. Box 74, Middlesex, NJ 08846 | | (201) 968-8148 | |Copyright 1989 All Rights Reserved| CompuServe: 71777,2140 GEnie: ZMAGAZINE Source: BDG793 ZMagazine Headquarters BBSes: Centurian BBS--(314)621-5046 (618)451-0165 Chaos BBS--(517)371-1106 Shadow Haven--(916)962-2566 Stairway to Heaven--(216)784-0574 The Pub--(716)826-5733
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