Z*Magazine: 28-Mar-89 #150From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/25/93-03:45:55 PM Z
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 4-Apr-89 #151"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 21-Mar-89 #149"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 28-Mar-89 #150 Date: Sat Sep 25 15:45:55 1993 |SYNDICATE ZMAGAZINE| | Issue #150 | | March 28, 1989 | |Copyright 1989, SPC| |This week in ZMagazine| Editor's Monitor Harold Brewer XE Console Key Fix The Traveler Thunder Fox and Tower Toppler Matthew Ratcliff "WHATIS" File Identifier Bill Aycock Analog Computing May Contents Clayton Walnum F.A.C.E. Eric Lambeth Z*Net Newswire Harold Brewer |EDITOR'S MONITOR| |by Harold Brewer| Spring has come early to the St. Louis area. Trees are leafing out, robins are spying their supper, and the 8-bits are readying themselves for more hardware/software releases. The Diamond OS cartridge's Diamond Paint is shipping, with other application programs eagerly awaited. (Someone like to write a review on Diamond Painting?) The GOE OS cartridge should begin being betatested in a few weeks. The Express! cartridge has been demonstrated to at least one user group. I for one am looking forward to competition for my Amodem 7.52 and BASIC XE... Atari is coming out with new game titles on cartridge. Cartridge? Cartridge? Cartridge? Do I perceive a trend? I'd like to commend the third-party developers in their efforts to bring good hardware and software to our computers. The May edition of Antic contains their Antic Achievement Awards for 1988. Hats off to all those so honored. This issue of ZMagazine concludes my first month as editor. The work involved was greatly offset by my feeling even closer to the Atari 8-bit and the community of 8-bit users. I hope to continue in this frame of mind for many months more. |ATARITECH BBS! XE CONSOLE KEY FIX| |by The Traveler| Courtesy of CompuServe Atari8 The Atari 130XE is one of the BEST 8-bit computers available today. But as with all computers, it does have a few small "warts". One of these is the keyboard itself, the console keys in particular. The type of keyboard used is known as a "Low-resistance contact", the resistance being about 1000 ohms or so. As you use the keyboard, the resistance of the contacts tend to go up. For the regular keyboard and the RESET key, this increase in resistance causes no problems. But the console keys (OPTION, SELECT, and START) are read by a different IC, and the change in resistance will eventually keep the console keys from working (the HELP key is actually read as just another letter key). The fix to the problem is to add just enough resistance in parallel to the key that is high enough not to make the computer read the key as pressed, but low enough so that when the console key is pressed, the computer will recognize it. The original idea for this fix came from Alan Haskell from the book "Mods, Fixes, and Upgrades" available from Best Electronics, 2021 The Alameda, Suite 290, San Jose, CA 95126. One minor problem with the fix, however-- it wouldn't work on the 130XE that was given to me to repair. After several hours of pulling out my hair over this thing (and anyone who has seen my balding pate KNOWS I can't afford to do too much of that!), I determined the problem: the resistor value given--3000 ohms--was too low for this machine at least. This value was just slightly above what the computer registered as a key pressed. Any random electrical noise would cause the computer to read the key as pressed, which would cause problems with the BBS program that was being used. A higher resistor value was needed. There is no "correct" resistor value to use, as it varies between different 130XEs. You may need to do some testing (as I did) to make sure it works properly. |What You Need| Soldering Iron and Solder Wire Clippers 3 4700 Ohm Resistors, 1/4 watt A small Phillips screwdriver Needle-Nosed Pliers |How to do it| 1) Unplug all of the wires from the computer. Turn the computer over and remove the four screws that hold the top cover on. Turn the computer back over and THEN take off the top cover. 2) Lift the keyboard up and forward and you should see the ribbon connector at the lower right corner. Gently remove the ribbon from the connector. 3) Remove the screws that hold the motherboard to the lower half of the case. Lift the front part of the motherboard up and then forward to remove it from the case. 4) Straighten the tabs that hold the top and bottom shields on and remove the shields. 5) Turn the board over with the keyboard connector facing to the front. The connector pins are numbered from right to left. Pin #3 is the ground connection, and Pins #21, 22, and 23 are the pins for START, SELECT, and OPTION keys, respectively. These are the connections you need to make for the repair. 6) Take the three resistors and solder the wire from one end of one resistor and solder it to the second resistor at the spot where the wire comes out from the resistor body. Repeat this procedure from the second to the third. You should have the three resistors soldered to one common wire. Cover this wire with a short piece of tubing (known as "spaghetti") or some insulation stripped from a piece of scrap wire. Connect this wire to Pin #3 of the ribbon connector. This is the common connection for the console keys. Solder the other end of each resistor to Pins # 21, 22, and 23 of the connector, being sure to cover them with a short piece of insulation as well. 7) Check your wiring to be sure that there are no shorts! Use as little solder as possible and make the connection as fast as you can, using as little heat as possible. Place a short piece of electrical tape on the board under the resistors, if needed, and press the resistors close to the board. 8) Reassemble the shields and check to see that the resistors are not shorting against the lower shield. 9) Reattach the keyboard to the motherboard, taking care not to bend the ribbon--it WILL crack. It helps to insert one edge first, then carefully work the other edge into the connector. 10)To test the repair, power up the computer and in BASIC type: 10 PRINT PEEK(53279):GOTO 10 and type RUN. You should see a vertical row of 7's. Pressing OPTION will give you 3's, SELECT will give you 5's and START will give you 6's. The value should not change while any one key is held down. This should return the normal function of the console keys. |Special Note for Techs| You can use the following method to determine the exact resistor value that you need. It might save you time and aggravation. What you need (in addition): Multitester (digital best) 10K Multiturn Potentiometer Some short pieces of thin wire This should be done between steps #4 and #5 of the above procedure: A) Connect one short piece of wire to the center pin of the pot, the other to one of the other pins. B) Solder the free end of one wire to the ground pin (Pin 3). These connections will only be temporary. Solder the other free end to one of the console key Pins (21, 22, or 23). Adjust the pot for maximum resistance. C) Reconnect the power and monitor. Reconnect the keyboard. Turn on the computer with the option key pressed--you should get the diagnostic screen. Select the KEYBOARD TEST and hit START. D) Adjust the pot until the tone just starts to sound intermittently. Measure the resistance by connecting the probes to the center pin and the unused pin on the pot. Subtract the measured value from the rated value of the pot to get the proper value. Record it. E) Adjust it again until the tone sounds continuously. Record the value the same way as in step D. F) Turn the computer off, and disconnect the cables and the keyboard. Unsolder the wires from the keyboard connector. G) The proper resistor value to use will be the closest value that is both HIGHER than the highest value recorded, but around DOUBLE the lower value. The resistors you will use will probably be between 3000 and 5000 ohms. Continue on to step #5 as above. If you have any questions about this or any technical questions about Atari 8-bit computers, you can call the AtariTech BBS at (813) 539-8141 or write to: AtariTech BBS P.O. Box 7974 Clearwater, Florida 34618. We have many files on easy-to-build hardware projects, memory upgrades, fixes and mods. Scene #1 Bzzzt! Crackle! | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Oh? | | | | | | | | | | | |I CAN'T | | | | | | | | | | | |take the | | | | | | | | | | | |Hard Drive| | | | | | | | | | | |in to play| |with my | | The | |Jack and | | FrogTub| |Sam dolls?| |THUNDER FOX AND TOWER TOPPLER| |by Matthew Ratcliff| Courtesy of GEnie's Atari 8-bit RT |Thunder Fox| Thunder Fox is an odd little game. It has spectacular sound effects and very good graphics. Playability is difficult--it's TOO FAST. Depth--very little, only 3 screens. What is it? You fly your "Thunder Fox" from your mother ship up against an enemy ship. You fly over it, sort of like the Millenium Falcon flying across the under belly of a star destroyer. There are some gravity stabilizer towers that you have to shoot 5 times each. Once they are destroyed, you can "warp into the ship". Then you have to fly across some sort of laser power grids or something--all timing. Next you have to shoot the ship's main power source before it shoots you. Nearly impossible! But if you do it, the bad guy ship is a gonner and then you start it all over again! However, I'd almost recommend this game just for the graphics and sound effects (mostly the sound), even though the subject matter is lacking in originality and depth. |Tower Toppler| Tower Toppler is a very interesting game. I had the PC version for a while. It is another graphics adventure game with a new twist. You must help this little alien climb a tower and topple it, I guess. It's kind of like a round Rubic's Cube or something. Each level is another puzzle to solve. You guide the man into a hole, the tower rotates this way or that, and then he pops out--only to have to avoid a bouncing ball or some attacking creature. You always view this tower from the outside, as it spins about, your little man bobbing in and out of the rooms, jumping over and avoiding obstacles. When travling outside of the tower, he is generally walking along a thin ledge. It's easy to fall off. Graphics are superb. Sound is probably good on the Atari but, as always, they stink on my PC. It has a high frustration factor since it's so difficult to master. And you will get knocked off a lot and have to START OVER. There doesn't seem to be a way to jump to higher levels over areas that you have already mastered. Still, it seems to be a fairly unique version of the climbing, jumping, adventure scenario. Mat*Rat |"WHATIS" FILE IDENTIFIER| |by Bill Aycock| WHATIS File Identifier, v1.6 (c)1989 by Bill Aycock WHATIS is a simple utility that will identify 23 different types of files. Running the program is very simple--just binary load the program from any DOS. When you're asked for the name of the file to identify, type in its name. If you don't include a device specification, WHATIS will add D: to the filename. WHATIS will then read the first few bytes of the file in question. If these bytes match a known file "signature", WHATIS will tell you what type of file it is (or will say "TEXT (or data)" if the file doesn't match any of the known types. The program will then wait for you to press the START key before returning to DOS. SpartaDOS users: you have the option of passing the filename on the command line if desired. Also, you won't be prompted for the START key, since Sparta doesn't clear the screen when entering the command processor. So far, WHATIS can recognize files prepared with these compression utilities: ARC ALFCRUNCH CRUSH DISKCOM (Disk Communicator) MASH SCRUNCH SHRINK Decoders for these file types are available in LIB 3 of ATARI8 on CompuServe and elsewhere. In addition, WHATIS will recognize these types of files: SAVEd BASIC programs EXTENDed BXE (BASIC-XE) programs SAVEd MAC/65 code OBJECT code (machine language) DaisyDot fonts GIF pictures compressed KOALA pictures SpartaDOS X (SDX) external commands as well as these types of ST files: executable ST programs ST-Writer files Degas pictures (.PI?) Cyber (.SEQ) animations Spectrum pics (.SPC and .SPU) It _is_ possible to fool WHATIS. If a data file happens to start with the same bytes as one of these file types, it will be identified incorrectly. Also, SpartaDOS X device handlers will usually show up as DISKCOM files. WHATIS was based on Roy Goldman's Compactor Detector, a BASIC program which identifies files and allows renaming them to have a "standard" extender. WHATIS was written in Action! and compiled with the RunTime Library, both of which are available from the fine folks at ICD. Some of the I/O routines used were written by Don Davis. I'm always looking for more file types to support in WHATIS. If you know of a particular type of file that always start with the same few bytes, please let me know--I'll be glad to add it in! (Editor's note: WHATIS.COM can be a boon to BBS SysOps and Users alike. Many are the times when I have no idea what kind of file (or kind of compression routine) I received late last night. WHATIS and the Compactor Detector saves me much time and many keystrokes determining what this file really is.) Scene #2 . . The Hard Drive did what?! |ANALOG COMPUTING MAY CONTENTS| |by Clayton Walnum| Courtesy of GEnie Atari 8-bit RT Table of Contents ANALOG Computing, May 1989 |FEATURES| Super Command Processor by Bryan Schappel Here's a memory-resident DOS that allows you to add your own commands--and all that flexibility in less than 2,000 bytes! The Ultimate Graphics File Converter by Lee S. Brilliant, M.D. Share your graphics between Newsroom, Print Shop and MicroPainter with this handy conversion program. What's New in Consumer Electronics by Arthur Leyenberger The Winter '89 CES didn't offer much for Atari 8-bit owners, but there were many items of interest for those who want to stay on the cutting edge of technology. Master Memory Map, Part X by Robin Sherer The concluding installment of ANALOG's official Atari 8-bit memory map. Crazy Clown Jumper by Brad Timmins Can you make it in the circus? Here's your chance to try--without nets. A 100% machine language arcade game. |REVIEWS| Ace of Aces (Atari Corp.) by Matthew Ratcliff |COLUMNS| Game Design Workshop by Craig Patchett Database DELPHI by Michael A. Banks The End User by Arthur Leyenberger Boot Camp by Tom Hudson BASIC Training by Clayton Walnum |DEPARTMENTS| Editorial by Clayton Walnum Reader Comment 8-bit News M/L Editor by Clayton Walnum BASIC Editor II by Clayton Walnum |F.A.C.E.| |by Eric Lambeth| F.A.C.E. Federation of Atari Computer Enthusiasts While there remains a large number of users of the Atari 8-bit series of computers, there is a dwindling number of companies which support and/or carry software for this fine line of computers. Antic magazine and the online support groups are nearly the only good source of quality programs. While Atari user groups often provide excellent public domain software and shareware, it is difficult to distribute this software. In addition; many users live in secluded areas, or areas that just plain don't have many other local Atari users. That is why the Atari 8-bit community should work together to make sure that the Atari series doesn't become just another orphan. F.A.C.E. (or the Federation of Atari Computer Enthusiasts) is an international organization of Atari users. The objective of this organization is to provide support for all Atari users wherever they live. Here is the way that F.A.C.E. works: 1. First and foremost, F.A.C.E. is there to support the individual user. Anyone worldwide may join. In order to join, you should simply send $8 for one year's membership dues to the address mentioned at the bottom of this file. You might also want to provide a little information about yourself and what you use your Atari for. These dues will cover a one year subscription to the F.A.C.E. diskette and newsletter (mailed 5 times a year). This disk will contain the best of public domain software that has been obtained from users groups or submitted by individual members. It will also contain bulletins and news files from F.A.C.E. In addition, this $8 fee ($10 Canada, $15 international) will entitle you to request programming resource materials and correspondence courses from the FACE library. (Additional information will be provided with registration.) This will also allow you to attend F.A.C.E. workshops (in some areas). Finally, all members will have access to the F.A.C.E. BBS, which will contain 32 megabytes of downloads, and all members will have unlimited credits. If there is enough interest, the BBS could be made multi-line, more megabytes, and perhaps even an 800 number. 2. It is an alliance of users groups. All users groups that wish to become part of F.A.C.E. should send the names of the group officers (and addresses if possible), a member list, and $8 per member (or $100 maximum) for one year's dues. What this will entitle the users group to is: 1. Disk for each member (15 maximum) which may be reproduced and distributed to other members. 2. Users Group Newsletter, a quarterly newsletter with articles about how to stimulate attendance, what is new in which area, and general users-groupish type things. 3. Unlimited access (one account per member) on the F.A.C.E. BBS(s). 4. Eligible to attend F.A.C.E. workshops. 5. Additional Bonus disk each month of extra programs. 6. Access to F.A.C.E. text library. 7. Access to F.A.C.E. software library. The Users Group may also wish to contribute portions of their library to F.A.C.E. (We currently have about 800 programs.) The Atari users will decide the future for themselves. If there is not enough response to this letter to justify the costs, then F.A.C.E. will cease to exist, and so will the Atari computer. For a free sample of the FACE disk, or for more information, send a SASE large enough to hold a diskette to the address below: F.A.C.E. c/o Eric Lambeth 1000 Westview Drive Springfield, MO 65807 GEnie : E.LAMBETH1 CIS : 72657,3046 QuickBBS Net : Eric Lambeth/Rebel Hideaway BBS Scene #3 | | | | | Lurie LTD. | | | Parts | | Warehouse | | For Frog's | | | | Hard Drive | | | | | | | 10000 LB. CAPY. (All cartoons courtesy of The Frog BBS at 314-776-0321 and Harold Brewer) |Z*NET NEWSWIRE 8-BIT VERSION| |by Harold Brewer| From GEnie's Atari 8-bit RT comes this user's experience: "I saw the first public demo of the new EXPRESS CART from Orion Micro Systems. "It was demoed at our User's group meeting (G.R.A.S.P.) THURSDAY MARCH 23rd and the ones that demoed the EXPRESS CART were none other than Keith Ledbetter and Chris King!!! "The Cart they had was not a finished one...they still had stuff to put in...but with what they had already built in it was enough to knock you off your feet... "Some of the things the EXPRESS CART has is drop down windows. The dial menu is an exploding window!!! You can have, I think, up to 50 numbers in a dial list, and each has about 10 items you can set for each board you call. "You can even boot the CART without even using the a disk drive. In other words, you can take an XE Game System and begin to call boards stright from the box with needing a disk drive!!! "You can exit the program and go to the DOS you are using (it is better to use SpartaDOS). When you are finished, you can go back to the Express Term program and still be online and your dial list will still be there!! "You also will be able to do 4800-9600 bps captures!!! "The carts they will be using will be one of the finest available--why scrimp on cost when you have the finest term software... "It WILL BE out by JUNE 1 if not earlier!!! It should go out to the betatesters this coming weekend (April 1)... "The price is very cheap compared to what you get!!! We need to get behind Keith and Chris and show them our support of their fine products "They are taking pre-orders with a discount if you order by June 1!!!" Duane Brankley!!! (Editor's note: See ZMagazine #144 for Express! cartridge ordering information.) Also from GEnie's Atari 8-bit RT comes some information from DataQue affirming the ongoing development of its Turbo 8-16: "For those interested, here is the current memory map of the Turbo-OS version 0.7x which is in the final testing stages at this very moment! "Any comments here are appreciated... FFFFFF ----------------------- ! Turbo-Bus I/O ! ! Hardware Ports ! F00000 ----------------------- ! Undedicated ! ! User Memory Area ! ! for Customization ! C00000 ----------------------- ! Future Products and ! ! Additional Memory ! 800000 ----------------------- ! General Purpose RAM ! ! 1M/256K DRAMS Specd ! 210000 ----------------------- ! User PROM/SRAM Card ! ! Applications Can be ! ! Up to 1Mb on 1-16 ! ! Cards holding up to ! ! 8 Applications ! 010000 ----------------------- ! Atari XL/XE Emulate ! ! Motherboard Mapping ! ! Area. (64k) ! 000000 ----------------------- DRAM chip prices are falling. The April Computer Shopper has at least one advertiser who lists 41256 150ms Dynamic RAM chips for under $9. So as of now, an 800XL user wishing for a 256K memory upgrade could spend under $100 (mail order, minus shipping, DIY). Mat*Rat was overheard on Gateway BBS ((314)647-3290) to say DRAM chips should continue to fall until late this year. | Syndicate Publishing Company | | P.O. Box 74, Middlesex, NJ 08846 | | (201) 968-8148 | t |Copyrigh1989 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
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 4-Apr-89 #151"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 21-Mar-89 #149"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index