Z*Magazine: 11-Jul-89 #165From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/25/93-04:23:22 PM Z
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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 experience. |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).) |GENIE NEW 8-BIT UPLOADS| Courtesy of GEnie's 8-bit Atari Library No. File Name YYMMDD Bytes Access Lib 4473 JRV3BOASISBBS.ARC 890710 56700 4 27 Desc: 2 of 2 Oasis JR Version 3 BBS Softw. 4472 JRV3AOASISBBS.ARC 890710 59220 5 27 Desc: 1 of 2 Oasis Jr Version 3 BBS softw. 4470 V3OASISPALBETATEST.DCM 890709 74340 8 27 Desc: Beta Test 3.0 Oasis.PAL all 8 bits 4469 DRIVESET.ARC 890709 5040 5 26 Desc: corrected diamond drive set appl 4467 HARDRIVEARCERV12.ARC 890708 16380 11 27 Desc: Batch Archive hard drive files 4466 ARCMATE21.ARC 890708 12600 15 27 Desc: ARC BATCHER WITH DOS SHELL V 2.1 4465 CRCOM21.ARC 890708 8820 19 27 Desc: TEXT FILE CONVERTER W. DOS SHELL 4464 GLUCOM21.ARC 890708 11340 8 27 Desc: Revised version of GLU.COM 4463 M65OASISPALV21.ARC 890708 47880 4 27 Desc: MAC 65 SETUP FOR OASIS PAL V. 2.1 4462 OASISPALVERSION21.ARC 890708 21420 6 27 Desc: DOS shell for Atari 8 & SpartaDos 4458 Z164.ARC 890706 15120 81 13 Desc: ZMagazine #164 for July 4, 1989 4457 EPSON.ARC 890705 11340 31 2 Desc: Configure an Epson Printer from DOS 4456 MACREAD20.ARC 890704 10080 36 4 Desc: improved MacPaint viewer 4455 CRAZY6.TXT 890702 5040 16 12 Desc: SAGE'S SUMMER FUND-RAISER 4454 FILEORGUPDATE.ARC 890701 12600 9 2 Desc: New version of the File Organizer 4453 FILEORG20.ARC 890701 28980 18 2 Desc: New version of the File Organizer 4452 SOLARSCALER.BAS 890701 16380 12 3 Desc: Find out how big things really are. 4451 DREAMON.AMP 890701 10080 25 5 Desc: Dream On by Aerosmith in AMP 2 forma 4450 DIAMOND.ARC 890630 39060 33 26 Desc: Diamond utilities disk in ARC format 4448 ATARIFORSALE.TXT 890630 1260 50 11 Desc: Description of atari peripherals 4446 Z163.ARC 890628 13860 95 13 Desc: ZMagazine #163 for 27 June 1989 |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 recognize! 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 microprocessor. 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| |COMPUSERVE NEW 8-BIT UPLOADS| Courtesy of CompuServe's Atari8 Library Uploader address Filename/type Date Size Downloads [71511,415] DTBAT.COM/binary 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 booting. [71511,415] DTQ.COM/binary 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. [73217,2321] BAGELS.BAS/binary 10-Jul-89 6404 BAGELS is a game in which you must guess the Computers Secret Number. [73217,2321] AUTDEL.LST/binary 09-Jul-89 384 AUTODELETE is a LISTed subroutine that you can use to delete lines from a BASIC program. [73217,2321] BRDWAY.BAS/binary 09-Jul-89 21248 Accesses: 2 BROADWAY - can you produce a successful Broadway show? [73217,2321] BRICKS.OBJ/binary 09-Jul-89 4480 BRICKWORKS, a graphics creation utility from Analog magazine, Dec 86. [73217,2321] ACEDUC.BAS/binary 05-Jul-89 2944 Accesses: 20 ACEY DUCEY is a computerized version of the card game by the same name. [73217,2321] ADDA.BAS/binary 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. [73217,2321] ADDITN.BAS/binary 05-Jul-89 896 Accesses: 8 ADDITION is an educational game that teaches children how to add simple numbers. [73217,2321] ADDRBK.BAS/binary 05-Jul-89 10368 Accesses: 9 Clayton Walnum's Micro-Mail address book mini-database. [73217,2321] ANGLWR.OBJ/binary 05-Jul-89 10368 Accesses: 16 One or two players maneuver their angleworms in attempts to set up a block. [73217,2321] ASTRON.BAS/binary 05-Jul-89 17024 Accesses: 20 ASTRONOMY is a program for amateur star watchers that will plot the positions of planets and other key objects. [73217,2321] ATPOP.ARC/binary 05-Jul-89 28288 Accesses: 26 ATARI POP is a 1986 graphics and music demonstration from West Germany. [73217,2321] ATRAIN.BAS/binary 05-Jul-89 9216 Accesses: 5 Stan Ockers creates a literal 'Alphabet Train-er' for youngsters, in Basic (fun for us oldsters, too.) [73217,2321] SECAGT.OBJ/binary 05-Jul-89 7680 Accesses: 15 SECRET AGENT text adventure game from ANALOG magazine, June 1989. [71777,430] CISNDE.ARC/binary 04-Jul-89 9728 Accesses: 7 CISNDE.ARC contains the complete list of Compuserve nodes in alphabetical order. [76004,1764] FLASH2.TXT 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!!! [76004,1764] SALE2.TXT 02-Jul-89 3545 Accesses: 110 Super Summer Sale! [75026,1604] PROLOD.DCM/binary 02-Jul-89 62848 Accesses: 4 Proload program to D/L fonts to C]ITOH 8510 Prowriter printer equipped with additional 2K memory chip. [73177,160] ALEX.AMP/binary 01-Jul-89 6912 Accesses: 17 AMP version of 'Alexander's Ragtime Band' WITH LYRICS. [73177,160] SHANTY.AMP/binary 01-Jul-89 1408 Accesses: 11 AMP version of 'Shanty In Old Shanty Town' [71641,1650] MIDSUM.ARC/binary 29-Jun-89 9728 Accesses: 15 Excerpts from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Felix Mendelssohn for the Antic Music Processor. [71777,2140] Z163.ARC/binary 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! |WILL THE REAL SYSOP PLEASE STAND?| How Can You Tell a REAL SYSOP from an Imposter? 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 summer. -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 users. -Real sysops don't give access to someone just because they run 'Sherwood Forest XXIII' and have 300Meg. -Real sysops don't find it amusing when users leave phone numbers like: CAN-NOT-TELL OR PRI-VATE!!! -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 signoffs." -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 |FIXING THE MOUSE BUTTON| |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 button. > 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. |Z*NET NEWSWIRE 8-BIT EDITION| |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 "discontinuance". 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 kit). 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 (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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