Z*Magazine: 11-Jul-89 #165

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/25/93-04:23:22 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 11-Jul-89 #165
Date: Sat Sep 25 16:23:22 1993

          |  ROVAC ZMAGAZINE  |
          |    Issue  #165    |
          |   July 11, 1989   |
          |Copyright 1989, RII|
        |This week in ZMagazine|

         Editor's Monitor 
             Harold Brewer

     The 40/80 Column Battle 
             Frank Walters

     GEnie New 8-bit Uploads 

           Ratty's Rap 
            Matthew Ratcliff

      CIS New 8-bit Uploads 

 Will the Real SysOp Please Stand? 

     Fixing the Mouse Button 
             Brian Goluska

   Z*NET Newswire 8-bit Edition 
             Harold Brewer


           |EDITOR'S MONITOR|
           |by Harold Brewer|

My apologies to those Atari 8-bitters
who had problems viewing or printing
last week's issue of ZMagazine.

I will renew my efforts to ensure all
who take the time to receive ZMagazine
will have a nearly trouble-free


       |THE 40/80 COLUMN BATTLE|
           |by Frank Walters|

           T.A.C.O. Bell BBS

Harold Brewer pulled a fast one with
ZMagazine #164.  He made part of it in
40 column format and other parts in 80
columns.  I think the sly fox did it to
provoke each side on purpose, since a
mixed column issue dissatisfies both
proponents.  Touche, Harold, it
provoked this response from me.  Notice
my reply is not in 80 columns, so you
already know where I am coming from.

Atari is a 40 column computer.  I
happen to like 40 columns, especially
as these tired old fighter-pilot's eyes
don't seem to have the magic in them
any more and I like the big letters.
ZMagazine is an Atari support on-line
publication and should consider
primarily the target audience--the 40
column Atari users.  Some read it
on-line, others capture or download it
and read it off line. Most probably
read it on screen with a viewer program
or DOS copy function.  I even wrote a
text reader program myself, for both
text and ATASCII cartoon viewing.  It
is called Lazy Reader and uses 1 key
file select from any drive.  I can use
joystick or keyboard to pause/resume
and even has a screen dump with 'D' for
printout of a small section of
information for use later.  This and
many similar programs are widely
available for download on most Atari
bulletin boards.

Centurion BBS has a print utility file
right in the ZMag section called
DEMAPRNT.ARC that will print a three
column ZMag in ATASCII graphics on an
Epson compatible printer.  There are
similar useful programs for those who
want hardcopies of all the ZMags.

Now back to the current issue.  I
really like the ATASCII illustrations
that Harold includes from time to time
in the magazine.  It makes the
ZMagazine one of the truly unique
on-line format magazines and sets it
apart from the standard text type of
the other computer related on-line
media.  I put a short ML subroutine in
my own BBS that will automatically
translate any textfile from ATASCII to
ASCII prior to sending it via XON/XOFF
if the BBS is in ASCII at the time.
It takes less than 2 seconds for a 24K
full buffer and replaces control
characters with spaces, leaving the EOL
to be translated by the RS232 during
the send.

I realize most bulletin boards don't
have this feature, but then most ASCII
callers could care less about reading
an Atari specific magazine.  The STs
have their own ST-ZMagazine, too.

Why are so many Atari users apologetic
about having only 40 columns?  I see
messages all over the place left by
Atarians in search of the perfect 80
column setup.  Let's face it people,
the Atari will never have a perfect 80
column that works with all software.
There have been many successful
compromises, the best of which was
probably the old Bit-3 board with LJK
Letter Perfect, but even it had very
limited applications.  If you
absolutely must have 80 columns, you
are better served looking for another
computer than an Atari.  (You will
notice I call my computer an Atari and
nobody mistook that I was talking about
an ST.  The ST is always referred to
with the 'ST' label, with or without
the 'Atari'.)

Once you can accept in your mind that
you actually have a real 40 column
computer, then, and only then, will you
learn to enjoy it to its fullest.  Give
up the tireless quest and put your mind
to use in more productive areas.  Sure,
you can still use a few 80 column
programs, but try not to get carried
away by a hopeless obsession.

There is nothing inherently bad about
reading text in 40 column format.  The
newspapers have been using it for many
years and I've never seen any complaint
from readers about that.

I now keep back issues of ZMagazine on
disk files in ARC format instead of
printing them out.  With Harold's great
Index summaries, I can scan through the
index for the article I want and just
unARC the issue I need to refer back to
for some information.  My BBS carries
the ZMag in text format for either read
or capture, as I have limited file
storage capacity at one time (I also
hate hard drives).

Give me a chance to put on my crash
helmet and now you 80 columners can
take your free shots.

(Editor's note:  The "Index summaries"
 which Frank writes about are 
 compilations done by previous ZMag
 editors and others (except for the
 latest summary, that is).)  



Courtesy of GEnie's 8-bit Atari Library

 No.  File Name
      YYMMDD   Bytes   Access Lib

      890710   56700      4  27
      Desc: 2 of 2 Oasis JR Version 3
            BBS Softw.

      890710   59220      5  27
      Desc: 1 of 2 Oasis Jr Version 3
            BBS softw.

      890709   74340      8  27
      Desc: Beta Test 3.0 Oasis.PAL all
            8 bits

      890709    5040      5  26
      Desc: corrected diamond drive set

      890708   16380     11  27
      Desc: Batch Archive hard drive

      890708   12600     15  27
            V 2.1

 4465 CRCOM21.ARC
      890708    8820     19  27

 4464 GLUCOM21.ARC
      890708   11340      8  27
      Desc: Revised version of GLU.COM

      890708   47880      4  27
            V. 2.1

      890708   21420      6  27
      Desc: DOS shell for Atari 8 &

 4458 Z164.ARC
      890706   15120     81  13
      Desc: ZMagazine #164 for July 4,

      890705   11340     31   2
      Desc: Configure an Epson Printer
            from DOS

      890704   10080     36   4
      Desc: improved MacPaint viewer

 4455 CRAZY6.TXT
      890702    5040     16  12

      890701   12600      9   2
      Desc: New version of the File

      890701   28980     18   2
      Desc: New version of the File

      890701   16380     12   3
      Desc: Find out how big things
            really are.

      890701   10080     25   5
      Desc: Dream On by Aerosmith in
            AMP 2 forma

      890630   39060     33  26
      Desc: Diamond utilities disk in
            ARC format

      890630    1260     50  11
      Desc: Description of atari

 4446 Z163.ARC
      890628   13860     95  13
      Desc: ZMagazine #163 for 27 June


             |RATTY'S RAP|
       |by Matthew J.W. Ratcliff|

Atari's new hand held game machine,
affectionately called Game Pro by some,
is garnering a LOT of attention.  Some
of you may have heard of a similar
offering from Nintendo called the Game
Boy.  Does Atari's offering stack up?
YES!  Absolutely!

The Game Pro, at 160x192 pixels, has a
higher resolution than the Game Boy.
The Game Pro can display 16 colors, out
of a palette of 4096.  The Game Boy?
How about 4 exciting shades of grey?
But, golly, the Game Boy can be
EXPANDED to allow two players to
compete over an add on modem.  Can the
Game Pro do that?  NO!  It's BETTER!!!
Let's say you have a new Game Pro, and
a hot new game, and SEVEN FRIENDS just
dying to play too.  No sweat.  Plug all
the Game Pros together, daisy chain
style--simpler than adding peripherals
to the Atari XE home computer.  Player
one inserts his new game card, loads
the software, removes the card, and
passes it on to the next player.
Within moments 8 kids, standing on a
street corner, waiting for the morning
bus, are screaming with delight and
dancing a funny little jig that only
hard core coin op arcade fanatics will

Oh, sound?  The Nintendo Game Boy has
stereo sound.  Oh, wow.  The Atari Game
Pro has FM, 4 CHANNEL, STEREO sound and
it comes with stereo headphones.  This
is one extremely HOT TOY!  But, Atari
doesn't deserve all the credit.
According to some reports, this game
machine was designed by Epyx and
purchased outright by Atari.  It's an
extremely shrewd tactic on the part of
Atari, to make the FIRST and BEST move
in a market that Nintendo is working
toward.  But, Atari bought this
completed product design so they could
MARKET it themselves.  What is the LAST
PRODUCT Atari has marketed properly and
completely successfully in the United
States?  Can you say 2600?  I knew you
could!  Right now all we need is
software!  I think a lot of worried
Commodore 64 software developers are
drooling over the prospects of this
extremely cool toy.


Is the 8-bit dead?  Not in the eyes of
Atari.  The company no longer pushes
the hardware.  It sort of sells itself,
at a rather slow but extremely steady
pace.  I know of nearly a dozen NEW
titles, including some HOT coin-op
properties, being developed for XL, XE,
and XEGS owners.  All you 400/800
owners need to wake up and smell the
coffee.  Nearly ALL new game cartridges
from Atari do NOT run on 48k 400/800
machines.  In other words, Atari no
longer supports these machines.  I
suggest that you upgrade to an XEGS or
130XE soon if you are interested in
running any of the new software.

Xenophobe for the XEGS was demoed at
CES.  Althought its graphics aren't
quite as slick as the 7800 version, it
is more playable.  All Atari versions
of Xenophobe simply BLOW AWAY the
Nintendo implementation, however.  Once
the Nintendo is stretched beyond it's
basic strengths (running, jumping,
climbing games), its flaws begin to
show.  Tower Toppler is coming to the
8-bit very soon, too.  We may see Ninja
Golf by September.  We should see
between 4 and 8 ALL NEW cartridges for
the 8-bit Atari by the end of 1989.
And Atari is commited to producing
another 4 to 8 games for the XEGS in
1990 as well.

Applications?  Where are the
applications?  Well, somebody slipped
up (sound familiar?) and allowed Atari
to completely run out of Atariwriter
Plus.  It seems odd that Atariwriter 80
would start shipping at about the same
time.  However, I have been assured by
two sources within Atari (that's on the
TRAMIEL SIDE of that revolving door)
that a new production run of
Atariwriter Plus is being made.


Although I have been assured DOZENS OF
TIMES by John Skruch that Atari has the
XES2001 light gun in stock, ready to
ship to dealers, no one in the US has
ever seen this package.  This is
supposed to be a light gun and the Bug
Hunt game in a $30 package.  I was told
over 6 months ago that "they are in
stock, right here in our warehouse".
My dealer has asked for it repeatedly.
I've talked to half a dozen other
sources at Atari and no one knows
anything beyond the ONE TASK that is
his primary function at the company.
If you want a light gun, buy one for
the SEGA and hack it.  There is a 3rd
party company supplying light guns for
the Amiga, Commodore 64, and, yes, even
the Atari 8-bit home computers.  Antic
has a revew of it in the works.


Are you looking for Educational
Software?  Unicorn software used to put
out a very nice line of educational
products for the ST.  Atari liked their
offerings and bought the entire line.
Dealers haven't been able to get the
product since.  Why?  Was Atari simply
gobbling up the competition to Bently
Bear's educational series, or did
someone drop the ball in production and
marketing AGAIN?


Although getting support out of
Electronic Arts for the ST is nearly
impossible, they do continue to
distribute First Byte software.  First
Byte produces a line of "smooth talker"
educational software geared toward
small pre-schoolers, employing
digitized speech.


If you have children between the ages
of 2 and 5 I can HIGHLY RECOMMEND
"Mixed Up Mother Goose", from Sierra On
Line.  My boys, ages 3 and 5, love this
uncomplicated, and subtly educational
adventure, in which all of the Mother
Goose rhymes are mixed up.  The child
controls a character with a mouse,
keyboard, or joystick to collect items
and people and deliver them to the
proper location to complete the nursery
story.  Hints are given in text and
graphical form, so junior doesn't have
to be able to read to play.  The
graphics, and animation sequences are
quite well done, with charming music.
The animation presented for completing
a nursery rhyme is the reward for a job
well done, and my children want to see
them over, and over again.


Well, after puzzling over the cost of
an Amiga for several months, I finally
bit the bullet and bought another ST!
I got a deal I just couldn't refuse.
Will I abandon the 8-bit?  I certainly
don't intend to.  Software trickles in
for me to review, and I still have a
few TALKING program ideas to develop.
But, I want to get back into some more
progressive languages like C and
Pascal, on a REAL 16 bit


Well, I'm about out of new ideas.  Does
anyone have an idea for a useful
utility or small application for the
8-bit?  I've got some educational
software in the works, but they
entertain young children.  I've written
DIR3, 3 across directory lister, and
FTYPE, fast file typer--utilities for
Analog.  TALKEYS hooks 8K of speech
data and assembly language into the
RAM under your XL/XE/XEGS internal
BASIC.  Then, whenever you press a key,
your computer TELLS YOU what key you
typed.  It's a handy utility for data
entry, and also for little kids
learning to recognize letters and
numbers.  This will also appear in the
pages of Analog.  Do you have any
suggestions?  Drop me some EMAIL on
GEnie (MAT.RAT), or Delphi (MATRAT).
Or you can use the PMAIL (postal mail).
Send your ideas, comments, flames,
rebuttals, etc. to:

         |Matthew Ratcliff    |
         |Ratware Softworks   |
         |32 S. Hartnett Ave. |
         |St. Louis, MO  63135|



Courtesy of CompuServe's Atari8 Library

 Uploader address
          Date    Size    Downloads

        10-Jul-89 867

    DTBAT.COM is a module for DeTerm
v1.59 that will load/execute a list of
files/commands in a file named
DTBAT.BAT after DeTerm finishes

        10-Jul-89 2313    Accesses: 1

    This is a module for DETERM that
will implement the CIS Quick B transfer
protocol. Quick B is much faster and
more accurate than Xmodem and is the
transfer protocol recommended for use
on CIS.

        10-Jul-89 6404

     BAGELS is a game in which you must
guess the Computers Secret Number.

        09-Jul-89 384

     AUTODELETE is a LISTed subroutine
that you can use to delete lines from a
BASIC program.

        09-Jul-89 21248   Accesses: 2

    BROADWAY - can you produce a
successful Broadway show?

        09-Jul-89 4480

    BRICKWORKS, a graphics creation
utility from Analog magazine, Dec 86.

        05-Jul-89 2944   Accesses: 20

    ACEY DUCEY is a computerized
version of the card game by the same

        05-Jul-89 4096   Accesses: 11

    Atari Disk Directory Alphabetizer
(ADDA) is a utility that will
alphabetize an Atari disk directory and
then write the new directory to disk.

        05-Jul-89 896     Accesses: 8

    ADDITION is an educational game
that teaches children how to add simple

        05-Jul-89 10368   Accesses: 9

     Clayton Walnum's Micro-Mail
address book mini-database.

        05-Jul-89 10368  Accesses: 16

     One or two players maneuver their
angleworms in attempts to set up a

        05-Jul-89 17024  Accesses: 20

    ASTRONOMY is a program for amateur
star watchers that will plot the
positions of planets and other key

        05-Jul-89 28288  Accesses: 26

    ATARI POP is a 1986 graphics and
music demonstration from West Germany.

        05-Jul-89 9216    Accesses: 5

    Stan Ockers creates a literal
'Alphabet Train-er' for youngsters, in
Basic (fun for us oldsters, too.)

        05-Jul-89 7680   Accesses: 15

    SECRET AGENT text adventure game
from ANALOG magazine, June 1989.

        04-Jul-89 9728    Accesses: 7

    CISNDE.ARC contains the complete
list of Compuserve nodes in
alphabetical order.

        02-Jul-89 1730   Accesses: 58

    New! Printer drivers for Print Shop
and Print Shop Companion, to work with
the; Atari 1020 Printer/Plotter,
Okimate 10, and the LQ-500/800 (24-pin)
compat. printers!!!

        02-Jul-89 3545  Accesses: 110

    Super Summer Sale!

        02-Jul-89 62848   Accesses: 4

    Proload program to D/L fonts to
C]ITOH 8510 Prowriter printer equipped
with additional 2K memory chip.

        01-Jul-89 6912   Accesses: 17

     AMP version of 'Alexander's
Ragtime Band' WITH LYRICS.

        01-Jul-89 1408   Accesses: 11

    AMP version of 'Shanty In Old
Shanty Town'

        29-Jun-89 9728   Accesses: 15

    Excerpts from A Midsummer Night's
Dream by Felix Mendelssohn for the
Antic Music Processor.

        28-Jun-89 13056  Accesses: 53
     This ARCed news file contains:
Daisy-Dot III update, GEnie and CIS new
uploads, World of Atari--Dearborn
reports, August Analog contents, and
much more!



 How Can You Tell a REAL SYSOP from an

Here's how:

-Real sysops don't say they're getting
 a hard drive--they already have one.

-Real sysops have 1200 baud.  There are
 a few exceptions.

-Real sysops turn off their monitor as
 often as possible.

-Real sysops have their own phone line
 without 'Call-Waiting'.

-Real sysops disconnect their
 computer's speaker.

-Real sysops don't care if you say that
 you are putting up a board next

-Real sysops don't really believe that
 was 'Apple Bandit' who just posted on
 the 'Warez Board'.

-Real sysops know that it's not the
 mods that make a BBS great--it's the

-Real sysops don't give access to
 someone just because they run
 'Sherwood Forest XXIII' and have

-Real sysops don't find it amusing when
 users leave phone numbers like:

-Real sysops don't make excuses like
 "My dad is calling me" if they have to
 leave someone.

-Real sysops don't take their BBS down
 every five minutes to call a board.

-Real sysops don't say 'L8R', 'K-K00L',
 'B@SS' or any related terms.

-Real sysops don't leave mail to users
 asking them to post.

-Real sysops get angry if their boards
 are crashed.  FORTUNATELY, real boards
 are rarely crashed and real sysops
 make back-ups, anyway.

-Real sysops don't care about "Improper

-Real sysops don't think they are God
 or are better than everyone else.

-Real sysops try to help the new users;
 not cut them down.

-Real sysops couldn't care less about
 what some user posts about them on a
 loser board.

-Real sysops don't get out their handy
 dandy sector editor and plaster their
 name and number all over a new game.

-Real sysops take pride in their BBS.

-Real sysops know that it is their
 decision whether or not to sit in
 front of the computer all day.  They
 don't care what some idiot says.

-Real sysops know how to spell.

-Real sysops don't have a 'Pin The Tail
 on The Donkey' game on-line.

-Real sysops know that a disclaimer is
 useless, but they keep it for
 nostalgic reasons.

-Real sysops don't eat quiche!

   Downloaded from Wilmington-80 TBBS
            (919) 763-1850


       |by Brian Goluska, CHAOS|

  Courtesy of Great Lakes Atari Digest
               July '89 

It appears that the left Atari ST mouse
button, with heavy use, tends to go
bad.  Mine did.  I never knew whether a
click on the button would work or not.
This was an annoyance for using text
programs, like word processing,
spreadsheets, or drafting, and a
disaster for game playing.

So I was overjoyed to find mouse
switches for sale at the World of Atari
Show (Best Electronics, show price of
$3 for two buttons).  Here is how to
replace the mouse button:

> 1. Remove the mouse roller.

> 2. Remove the 2 visible screws on
       the bottom of the mouse.

> 3. Open the mouse.

> 4. Detach the cable where it plugs
       into the mouse circuit board
       (there is a small notch in the
       plastic to indicate which way
       to plug this back in later).

> 5. Remove the 2 screws that fasten
       the mouse circuit card to the
       bottom of the mouse.  Remove the
       circuit card.

> 6. Unsolder the 4 pins for the
       button.  Solder in the new

> 7. Reassemble.  You might want to
       clean the rollers while you have
       the mouse apart.

If you've never done any soldering or
repair before, get an experienced hand
to guide you the first time you do
this.  Especially, use a low wattage
(28 or less) iron, and don't heat the
circuit board too much.  Even though
the mouse card isn't too delicate or
intelligent, it's easy to overheat and
damage a trace.

After I was done, I took apart (broke
open) the failing micro switch.  It
looks discolored and deteriorated at
the contact point, probably from
carrying current more than mechanical
wear.  Could you clean it and repair
it?  Maybe.  If you break it open, then
clean the contact, you've broken 4
little (very little) plastic pegs that
hold the switch together.  Could you
clean the contact and glue it?  When I
tried, I got glue where the button
moves up and down, and glued it down.
So I don't know whether cleaning would
have worked.  I wouldn't try it unless
I had a new switch on hand in case I
destroyed the old one.


           |by Harold Brewer|

  There has been a rumor going
     around some of my area's bulletin
     boards that a company called
     Adaptec was discontinuing
     production of their 4000-series
     of hard drive controllers.  These
     3 controllers make up an
     appreciable percentage of all we
     8-bitters can use when making a
     hard drive system.  Even ICD and
     at least one mail order company
     were aware of this

     But a quick call to Adaptec and
     a query posed to Diane in Sales
     rectified all.  "...Continued
     availability and production..."
     were Diane's words to me.

     Will the story continue...?

  Dynamic RAM prices continue to
     fall.  A call to B.G. Micro in
     Texas confirmed the price of $4.50
     for one 41256--150ns DRAM chip.

     With these prices, an 800XL could
     be expanded to 256K for around
     $80 (including the ICD RAMBO XL

  With the K-P Hard Drive Interface
     back from obscurity (remember the
     Supra HD Interface?), Bob Puff's
     Black Box approaching the horizon
     with its HD interface, and the ICD
     MIO still being cranked out (in
     part for its HD interface), some
     users have posed the interesting
     proposition of a head-to-head test
     of all three as far as their hard
     drive interfaces are concerned.

     What do you think?


 |   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:     
      Centurion BBS--(314)621-5046
          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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