Z*Magazine: 28-Mar-89 #150

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/25/93-03:45:55 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 28-Mar-89 #150
Date: Sat Sep 25 15:45:55 1993

          |    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

              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

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

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.


           |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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     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

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

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

                | | | | | | | | | |  
    | | | | | | | | | |  
|Oh?       |    | | | | | | | | | |  
|I CAN'T   |    | | | | | | | | | |  
|take the  |    | | | | | | | | | |  
|Hard Drive|    | | | | | | | | | |  
|in to play|  
|with my   |  |               The    |
|Jack and  |  |               FrogTub|
|Sam dolls?|  



         |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

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.



            |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

   DISKCOM (Disk Communicator)

Decoders for these file types are
available in LIB 3 of ATARI8 on
CompuServe and elsewhere.  In addition,
WHATIS will recognize these types of

   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?!    


          |by Clayton Walnum|

    Courtesy of GEnie Atari 8-bit RT

           Table of Contents
       ANALOG Computing, May 1989


 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

 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.


 Ace of Aces (Atari Corp.) by
  Matthew Ratcliff


 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


 Editorial by Clayton Walnum

 Reader Comment

 8-bit News

 M/L Editor by Clayton Walnum

 BASIC Editor II by Clayton Walnum


           |by Eric Lambeth|

      Federation of Atari Computer

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

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

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

 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

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.
     5. Additional Bonus disk each
month of extra programs.
     6. Access to F.A.C.E. text
     7. Access to F.A.C.E. software
 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:

     c/o Eric Lambeth
     1000 Westview Drive
     Springfield, MO

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)


           |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

"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

 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


 |   Syndicate Publishing Company    |
 | P.O. Box 74, Middlesex, NJ 08846  |
 |          (201) 968-8148           |
t  |Copyrigh1989  All Rights Reserved|

        CompuServe: 71777,2140
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            Source: BDG793

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