Z*Magazine: 16-May-89 #157From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/25/93-04:08:01 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 16-May-89 #157 Date: Sat Sep 25 16:08:01 1993 | ROVAC ZMAGAZINE | | Issue #157 | | May 16, 1989 | |Copyright 1989, RII| |This week in ZMagazine| The 512K Atari 800XL/1200XL 1.1 Dan Schmidt Comprehensive MACE Show Report John Nagy CompuServe New 8-bit Files DataQue Software's Turbo-816 Z*Net Newswire 8-bit Edition Harold Brewer |THE 512K ATARI 800XL/1200XL V1.1| |by Dan Schmidt| CIS: 72347,354 GEnie: D.SCHMIDT4 An upgrade for the 800XL/1200XL | computers that already have a 256K | | RAMBO XL or Claus Buchholz upgrade | installed I've been using a RAMBO 256K XL for the last year. It has served me well without a hitch. Lately, I have been thinking of setting up a BBS. Between that and an unused set of 8 256K RAMS, I decided to expand to a half meg. I proceeded by downloading all the information I could find. Needless to say, I found nothing that described upgrading my trusty XL. Finally, I decided to make my own upgrade and here is what I came up with: >It uses 1 chip only (not including the 8 RAMS) >You can have access to the entire 448K of RAM disk, even when you are in BASIC. >No switches are needed. >Diagnostic ROM is available at any time, even though this upgrade uses this line (PB7) to select the added 256K of RAM. >The system remains 100% 130XE compatible in CPU mode. >Finally, I have included a patch file for fellow SpartaDOS users, that modifies RD.COM version 3.2 to support this upgrade. Unfortunately, for those without SpartaDOS, you are on your own. I'm sure that any RAMdisk handler which uses a bank select table could be modified without too much trouble. If you don't have a 256K XL yet, either build Claus Buchholz's upgrade or buy a RAMBO XL--they are identical. For those 576K XE users that have made it this far, by moving 2 wires in your XE and using this patched RD.COM file, you can also have all 512K of RAMdisk available from BASIC. However, you will have to use your little switch to select 256K mode before attempting a coldstart, or your machine will lock up. This switch may be then placed back in 512K mode as soon as the boot load starts and left there until diagnostics is required (i.e., BASIC's BYE command). For more information on RAMdisks and their handlers, call the CHAOS BBS at 517-371-1106 Parts List 8 256K Dynamic RAMs--150ns 8 16 pin sockets 1 74S139--Dual 2 to 4 line multiplexer. I have used a 74LS139 with some success also, but I won't recommend it as it is slower, less powerful and may cause the system to lock-up. 1 33 ohm, 1/4 watt resistor, Hookup wire 2pc 1" heat-shrink tubing Hot-glue gun Instructions Open up the computer, disconnect the keyboard and remove the RF shield. The upper metal RF shield will no longer fit with the top bank of RAMS in place. It must either be cut to fit or discarded. Carefully remove the 8 old 256K RAMS (U9 - U16) from their sockets. Take the 8 new sockets and gently bend pin 15 out on each of them. Solder a socket to the top of each RAM leaving a small gap for cooling between the RAM and the socket. Solder each of the socket's legs to the RAM below, except for pin 15. Take the hookup wire and run it from pin 15 to pin 15 on all the sockets. "Daisy chain" the 8 sockets together leaving about 1 1/2" wire between each. Replace the RAMs with the new sockets soldered on top of them into their sockets on the PC board. Take the 74S139 and bend out all the pins except for pin 8 and 16. Then clip in half all the pins that you have bent out. Take the hookup wire and connect pins 2, 13 and 8 together. Solder another piece of wire between pins 3 and 12. Take the 33 ohm resistor and clip it leaving 1/4 inch of lead on either end. Bend one end over sharply then solder that end to pin 6. Put the 74S139 aside for a moment. Take the board and locate U23 (CO14795), the PIA. If yours is socketed, you can pry it up and bend out pin 17. If it is soldered in, you can either have it unsoldered, or simply cut the trace where it leaves pin 17. Locate R108, a 33 ohm resistor, one of a pair, located immediately below the row of RAMs on the board. Heat up the innermost end and gently pry it up and out. Straighten the resistor end. I am not sure where this resistor is on the 1200XL's, but it can be located by following the trace leading from pin 15 on the existing RAMs back to it's origin at the 33 ohm resistor. Now take the 74S139 and solder pins 8 and 16 on the IC to pins 8 and 16 on U28, a conveniently located chip. Take a wire and solder one end to pin 1 on the 74S139. Attach the other end to the pad where you just removed one lead of R108. Run a wire between pin 4 and the lifted lead of R108, slipping a piece of the heat-shrink tubing over the wire before soldering it to the resistor. Run another wire between the 33 ohm resistor soldered to pin 6 and pin 15 on the newly added row of RAMs. Use the other piece of tubing to insulate this resistor also. Slide the tubing over the resistors, making sure no wire remains exposed and heat gently with a lighter. Run a wire from pin 11 on the 74S139 to the MMU U3 (CO61618), pin 6 (U14 on the 1200XL) Attach another wire between pin 15 of the 74S139 and pin 17 that you lifted on U23, the 40 pin PIA. Now take a look at the 256K circuitry. One of the chips is a 74LS153. On the RAMBO XLs, they are labeled as IC2. Solder a length of hookup wire between pin 14 on IC2 and pin 14 on the 74S139. Take the new 256K RAMs and insert them into their sockets on top of U9 to U16. If you had to remove the PC board from the case, replace it now. Leave the keyboard detached for the present. Instead, connect up the power and monitor and see if the computer starts up. If it doesn't start up, re-check your wiring job. Also make sure none of the RAMs have bent legs and that all are inserted properly. Tack the wires down neatly with the hot glue gun. They can easily be lifted later by running a hot soldering gun over them for a second. Replace the keyboard and the modified RF shield. Plug in the SIO line and reboot. Run the file PATCH_RD.BAS from BASIC. Insert a disk containing SpartaDOS's RD.COM on it into D1:. This file will be modified into a file called RDXL.COM. This is the 512K RAMdisk handler program. Load this program as you would RD.COM to give you 448K of globally accessible RAMdisk. Unfortunately RDXL.COM does not recognize unmodified 128K XEs. Also, 320K XEs are treated as 192K XLs. This RAMdisk handler is primarily for 512K systems, fully supporting both the 512K XL and the 576K XE. The rest of this is for XE owners. Those with 576k XEs who wish to use RDXL.COM and retain their entire 1/2 meg RAMdisk even from BASIC should remove U23 (CO14795) and bend out pin 17. Unsolder the wire attached to pin 11 and reattach it to pin 17. Straighten out pin 11 and replace the PIA in it's socket again. Then, find U3 (CO61618), the MMU. Remove the wire soldered to pin 18 and re-attach it to pin 6 on the same chip. When you reboot, you will have to switch your system to 256K mode momentarily as the OS accesses the diagnostic ROM during bootup. As soon as the drive kicks in, throw the switch back again to 512K mode. PORT B - Memory control register Bit: 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 D a b E c d B R D=0 enables diagnostic ROM and upper 256K RAM B=0 enables BASIC ROM R=1 enables OS ROM E=0 enables extended RAM abcd is the 4-bit extended RAM bank# The new RAM is now controlled by bit 7, but only when extended RAM is enabled. Otherwise it controls diagnostic ROM. Here are the bank control numbers in hex, as used by RDXL.COM. 60,64,68,6C 20,24,28,2C 40,44,48,4C E0,E4,E8,EC A0,A4,A8,AC C0,C4,C8,CC 80,84,88,8C 00,04,08,0C--This final set of banks are only used by XE systems. SpartaDOS and RAMBO XL are trademarks of ICD, Inc. 1220 Rock St. Rockford, IL 61101-1437, USA Atari 130XE, 800XL and 1200XL are trademarks of Atari, Corp. Dan Schmidt CIS: 72347,354 GEnie: D.SCHMIDT4 |COMPREHENSIVE MACE SHOW REPORT| |by John Nagy| Reprinted from ST-ZMagazine #20 Southern Michigan got barrel #1 of a double shot of Atari shows on May 6 and 7, when the Detroit user group MACE held the MICHIGAN ATARI COMPUTER EXPO. Barrel #2 will be the WORLD OF ATARI show, scheduled to be held only a few miles from the same site on June 24-25. Despite controversy and indecision on the part of developers as to which show (or both) to attend, the MACE show was a pleasing success. No official attendance count is as yet available, but most estimates put the Saturday gate near 1,000 and Sunday a slower 350 or so. Financial reports are also not yet announced, to determine how much (or if) the club profited by the show. Atari did have two tables, contrary to statements made by Sig Hartmann only weeks earlier. Although no Atari USA officials were present, Atari was represented by Dave Horton of Columbus-based INCOMM marketing and distribution and Mike Groh, the midwest MIDI distributer of Atari products. I am told that some Atari Canada officials were present at the show but not in any representative capacity, as they were outside their territory. The booth featured a MEGA DTP system and a 1040 ST running the Planetarium and other titles. Vendors were universally happy with the sales made during the show, which was largely retailers. Attending were SECTOR ONE, INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS, RITE WAY, BASIC BITS 'N BITES, HURRICANE SYSTEMS, all local to the Detroit area. CAL COMM, JOPPA, ALPHA SYSTEMS, and MARS MERCHANDISING rounded out the general product dealers. Software at remarkable prices was a huge crowd pleaser, although several local retailers objected to being plunged into price wars with CAL COMM, visiting from Maryland with a vengence. They showed a wide selection of 8-bit as well as ST software at below-mail prices (Timeworks DTP for $69, etc.). Other vendors joined in the price cutting to the delight of the product-starved midwest audience, in their first feeding frenzy in the last two years. Developers present at the MACE show included SOFTREK (Turbo ST), WORD PERFECT, GRIBNIF (NeoDesk), CODEHEAD (Multidesk, G+PLUS), ELECTRONICAL SOFTWARE (YEMACYB), DATAQUE (Turbo-816 for the 8-bit), ICD, NICE AND SOFTWARE, and MICHTRON. Michtron did a good business, showing FLEET STREET PUBLISHER running through ULTRASCRIPT (a Postscript emulation) into a HP Deskjet printer (in EPSON emulation). This is a new bundled package to be offered at quite a discount over buying ULTRASCRIPT alone. Existing owners of Fleet Street will be able to upgrade to Ultrascript for well under $100. Nice and Software of Ontario Canada showed a very complete point-of-sale and inventory system integrating bar codes for the ST. CRICIT will run a cash drawer through the MIDI port. Check it out at (519) 744-7380. A unique and constantly upgraded product for the 8-bit Atari is YEMACYB, a strange name but a competent full color print program using several passes in different ribbon colors on almost any standard printer. $29.95 ($2 handling). Electronical Software, Box 1106, Taylor, MI 48180. Codehead and Gribnif both sold their products at a good clip, rivaling the sales at the World of Atari show in Anaheim last month. Similarly, Softrek had lots of attention, doing a couple seminars to boot. Other seminars included a popular one by Darek Mihocka who introduced his latest version of the ST XFORMER 8-bit emulator for the ST. This one, V 2.4, is faster and more versatile than those before it, running at about 1/2 the full speed of a real 8-bit computer, and handling more software. Chuck Steinman of DATAQUE spoke about and showed the processor upgrade he offers for the 8-bit computers, and announced that while the circuit boards were available now, the programming and development info would not be ready for another month. ICD did a seminar on hard drives, Mike Groh did a talk on MIDI, and Bob Puff and Jeff Williams discussed the shareware market. Other exhibitors included COMPUWORLD, SCORPION/MICRODAFT, ACCUSTAR, DATAFREE, Index Legalis/ST INFORMER, and Unicorn Publications. The show floor was split into two rooms, with most of the action in the large hall (about 3,000 square feet), and several other booths in a small hall at the other end of the hotel, next to the seminar room. Unfortunately, this arrangement left many attendees unaware that they had missed part of the show after leaving the main hall. User groups present (in addition to MACE, of course) included CHAOS (Lansing, MI), GAG (Flint, MI), GLASS (Troy, MI), LUST (London Ontario, Canada), MAGIC (Warren, MI), NEOSTAG (Girard, OH), SAGE (Erie, PA), WAUG (Westland, MI), and WAUG (Windsor Ontario, Canada). Groups were accommodated in a hallway outside and running away from the main entrance to the main show floor. Although the hall was poorly lit, most attendees visited the groups either on the way in or out of the show. The clubs showed demos, sold disks and newsletters, and generally promoted the benefits of club membership. Several were selling discounted tickets to the upcoming World of Atari show. A comment heard any number of times at the MACE show was "this is the hit of the show" when describing the VIDI-ST, on display at the CHAOS user group table. This device allows capturing real life animation of video inputs, saving up to 125 frames at up to 4 per second of 16-shades of gray (or any Atari palette). Resolution is a good 320 x 200, making NEO or DEGAS pictures suitable for use in DTP or other applications. CHAOS was showing the unit for COMPUTER GAMES PLUS of California, and offered a $50 discount coupon through their club, reducing the $199 unit to $149 (watch ST*ZMAG and Z*NET for details on a similar offer soon, along with a full review of this breakthrough in real-time digitizing!) Some members of the groups were surprised to find that their volunteers working at the club tables were not extended free admission to the show floor. This is a common courtesy at user group and even commercial shows, and the charge was unexpected of a group who had championed the group merits of user shows. Additionally, show officials didn't visit or check on the user area during most of the show. Several club reps felt slighted enough by it all that they did not buy a ticket or enter the hall. Other low notes among the high included technical problems causing the Atari and Michtron (and other) booths to go without power much of Saturday. Michtron was particularly disappointed, as they were trying to show the Ultrascript DTP bundle in operation. And GAG's president, Jerry Cross, lost his entire 8-bit computer system (MIO and all) overnight in the hall, despite security patrolling. The MACE show appeared to be a commercial success, and was by any measure a success to those attending and taking advantage of the sale prices and selection. The first show experience for organizers Pattie and Bill Rayl, they say another show may be possible next year. They may have also learned the difference between accurate reporting and eventual results. In the May issue of their magazine, the Rayls take a potshot at ST*ZMAG's "track record for accuracy" for reporting that Atari would have no booth...and brag about how Atari officials were there. Well, there was a booth (a last minute aggreement with Atari), but no Atari officials attended to run it. Also, many developers and vendors were promised in MACE promotional literature, even as late as a week before the show, that did not appear. Among them: BEST ELECTRONICS, TOTAL CONTROL SYSTEMS (GOE for the 8-bit), DIAMOND (8-bit), MIGRAPH, ASTRA SYSTEMS, and more. Readers (and would-be publishers too) must realize that accurate news is only accurate until it changes. Keeping up with the changes responsibly is a full time commitment that we take seriously, and trust that others do as well, or at least will in the future. ST*ZMAG will provide online, instant reports from the WORLD OF ATARI SHOW coming to the Detroit area in June. Keep up with what to expect at that show in future articles in ST*ZMAGAZINE. |COMPUSERVE NEW 8-BIT FILES| Courtesy of CompuServe's Atari 8-bit Announcements |May 8 thru May 15| LIB 0 (General): [74746,3316] Scott Meredith CANLOT.BAS/binary 13-May-89 1408 THIS PROGRAM IS A SIMULATION OF THE CANADIAN 5/40 GAME. [75706,134] Grant Castillou AIHEAV.EN 09-May-89 2332 Text file re potential of future sentient AI. LIB 1 (General): [72327,404] Russel Babylon SAILIN.DCM/binary 10-May-89 64768 America's Cup Sailing. See how good a sailor you would make while racing for the Americas Cup. LIB 2 (Telecommunications): [72377,2045] Bob Puff BOBTRM.ARC/binary 12-May-89 43648 Here it is, Version 1.02 of BobTerm, the new 8-bit multitasking Terminal program! LIB 3 (System Utilities): [73537,3573] Richard Mier MIOQUP.ARC/binary 12-May-89 7168 a 256K MIO Upgraded to 1MEG using 1Meg RAMs. [72347,354] Dan Schmidt XL512K.ALF/binary 11-May-89 9533 A revised RAMdisk primarily for 800xl computers that already have a 256k upgrade installed. LIB 4 (Graphics/RLE/PICs): [73510,2527] Jimmy Holland BLASTO.GIF/graph:gif 10-May-89 27776 Space Shuttle Challenger at lift-off from Cape Canaveral. [73510,2527] Jimmy Holland PORSHE.GIF/graph:gif 10-May-89 5513 A simple GIF picture of a Porshe, not too bad for resolution on the Atari8 GIF decoder. LIB 9 (BBS Programs/Info): [76214,456] Ralph Enderby TRAINC.ARC/binary 11-May-89 9088 This is a new on-line game for Carina II or Carina I bbs's. |DATAQUE SOFTWARE'S TURBO-816| Courtesy of GEnie's Atari 8-bit RT |SURVEY SUMMARY REPORT| (as of 23:35EDT 05/06/89) 1. Are you at all familiar with the Turbo-816 from DataQue? 38 21% no, never heard of it 53 29% kinda, I have read one or two news items 48 26% I try to keep up on the project 43 23% very, I am actively seeking all available information 2 01% not sure * more information will be made available now that design is finished and units are shipping to consumers. 2. Providing that the Turbo-816 is all that it is advertised to be, what is the likelyhood of you purchasing the unit? 4 02% not likely, do not feel it can benifit me 56 30% not sure, have insuffucient information at this time 76 41% likely, I still need more information though 36 19% very sure, I think it is a major advancement 9 05% not sure 3. What machine would you most likely install the Turbo-816 into? 6 03% 800 unmodified 10 05% 800 upgraded to over 48k RAM 33 18% 600XL/800XL unmodified 0 00% 65/130XE unmodified * 54 29% XL/XE with over 64k RAM 76 41% 1200XL unmodified 1 01% 1200XL with over 64k of RAM 1 01% not sure * a few people evidentally were confused, as it should have just stated 'XL/XE with RAM expanded beyond stock amount. Wow, I just can't beleive all of those unmodified 1200xls, just yearning for expansion! 4. Would the target system include a hard drive system? 86 46% no 47 25% MIO as a host adapter 5 03% Supra host adapter 0 00% BTL host adapter 2 01% other host adapter 2 01% not sure 5. What would be your preference to a video adapter? 19 10% Stay with the current (Antic/GTIA) only 12 06% current, AND an 80 column text only mono ttl monitor 17 09% current, AND an 80 column txt/gra mono ttl monitor 39 21% current, AND an 80 column CGA compatible ttl monitor 57 31% current, AND an 80 column VGA compatible monitor 38 21% not sure * At this time a Analog-RGB, TTL Mono, and Composite combo video controller is being designed. Planned resolution maximum of 640x200 with 16 colors out of a pallette of 4096. Planned cost under $100. 6. How much general purpose RAM would you expect to want? 0 00% none 3 02% 64k or less 33 18% over 64K, but no more than 256k 83 45% over 256k, but less than 1 meg 41 22% over 1 meg, but less then 8 meg 4 02% over 8 meg 18 10% not sure * looks like 1 meg is about it in general, unless it is used for a RAMdisk, or multi-tasking, I would agree. 7. The Turbo-OS has an option to support ROM applications such as editors, applications, and utilities, which can be called up from other applications. How many of these 'resident' applications would be sufficient to support? 2 01% none, it is a dumb idea 11 06% one or two would be sufficient 57 31% two to four would be fine 57 31% four to eight would be 'mavalous' 15 08% eight to sixteen sounds like the ticket 5 03% must have over 16 to make be happy 34 18% not sure * version 1.00M of the Turbo-OS will support up to 8 applications from its built in menu. 8. Would battery backed support of data be a wanted feature? 16 09% naw, no use for it 49 26% a battery backed clock would be nice 23 12% I would like to see battery backed RAM 86 46% both battery back clock and RAM would be great 8 04% not sure * no problem, will be offered as an order option on RAM/PROM board. 9. Would you feel a resident (within OS) debugger would be of use? 26 14% 1- nope, would never use 103 56% 2- yes, if it had features I need 53 29% 3- not sure * a limited amount of resident debug features are available in the Turbo-OS version 1.00m. 10. Would support of a DMA (direct parallel as opposed to the current SIO) floppy disk drive be a consideration? 10 05% nope, already have enough 113 61% support of 360k/720k floppies would be welcomed 46 25% might be interested 13 07% not sure * at this time, we do not plan on releasing any dma peripherals other than our video controller. If the 'Black Box' is introduced at a reasonable cost, we will pursuade people to purchase it. If enough people still demand dma controllers we may introduce one. 11. Would you be interested in an external backplane (card cage) and if so, how large would be optimum? (Memory, disk controllers, and other adapters would be plugged into, and be powered by such a device.) 11 06% I do not see any use for it 51 28% a 4 slot backplane would be sufficient 58 31% 6 slots would be a nice reasonable amount 17 09% at least 8 slots would be needed 43 23% not sure * an 8 slot active backplane is currently being designed. 12. Would a built-in graphical operating system a deciding factor? If so which do you feel would be your choice? 29 16% no, I do not feel it is important 24 13% yes, I feel Diamond being resident would be benificial 27 15% yes, I feel GOE being resident would be benificial 48 26% yes, but a new, more powerful GOS would be needed 52 28% undecided * Due to the obvious dicontent with the current offerings we may be forced into introducing our own 80 column true graphical OS as an extension to the #13 question below. 13. Would a multitasking operating system be a wanted enhancement? 26 14% no, I have enough tasks already 121 65% yes, I think it would be a welcomed addition 34 18% unsure * it is obvious that people want multi-tasking windows, something that even ST users want. The Atari line of computers are the only ones currently available that do not support multi-tasking. IBM, Apple, and Commodore were doing it years ago. 14. There are several algorithms used for multi-tasking. Of the following, which would be your choice? 74 40% I do not know 32 17% real-time (event driven) 14 08% time-slice (time driven) 43 23% combination (both with some limitations) 18 10% Don't want to multi-task. * At this time a MT for the 8-bit would have real-time functions for the interrupt functions, and time-slice for the user applications. Note: that applications running under the Atari OS would have restrictions. 15. Would a floating point co-processor, with significant speed improvements, while maintaining compatibility with the current Atari FP routines, be a wanted device? 15 08% no, FP is fast enough 68 37% yes, I feel it would be worth $30 if it worked well 56 30% yes, It would be worth $40-50 if it was a real blazer 42 23% unsure * We are currently developing a combination accelorator for the 8-bit Atari which would allow up to a 300% static improvement, and up to 1000% dynamic improvement. 16. If you purchased a Turbo-816, would you support a bi-monthly newsletter which would cover programming hints, discounts, feature programs, and product information? 1 01% no, I know enough w/o a newsletter 18 10% yes, if is was free (online type) 38 21% yes, if it was relatively inexpensive ($10 or so a year) 29 16% yes, I feel any news is good news, as long as not outrageous 90 49% I think both #2, and (3 or 4) would be nice 5 03% undecided * We have approached several magazine publishers and will have a feature section in at least one of those by the end of the summer. |Z*NET NEWSWIRE 8-BIT EDITION| |by Harold Brewer| WORLD OF ATARI (Press Release) World of Atari is coming to Dearborn, Michigan, June 24 - 25, 1989 at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn. Make your plans to attend this great event for Atari users. Call (800) 842-9034 to make Hotel and Airline Reservations and receive FREE admission tickets when you call this number. (Chicago residents can receive round trip air fare as low as $38.) Call (503) 673-2259 (ST World magazine) for show details. Folks on GEnie, CompuServe, and St. Louis Atari bulletin boards are talking about the new terminal program BobTerm. Bob Puff (author of Disk Communicator, Super ARC! series, and MYDOS) has issued yet another fine piece of Shareware for the 8-bits. Look for a review or two of BobTerm in the near future. | Rovac Industries, Incorporated | | 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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