Z*Magazine: 5-Sep-89 #173From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/02/93-03:13:50 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 5-Sep-89 #173 Date: Sat Oct 2 15:13:50 1993 | ROVAC ZMAGAZINE | | Issue #173 | | September 5, 1989 | |Copyright 1989, RII| |This week in ZMagazine| User Group Update: New Jersey Robert Brodie Surge Protection Garry Jones Analog Computing Table of Contents 130XE Upgraded Mark Elliot Information on the Black Box Computer Software Services Washington DC Atarifest Update Bob Johnson ZMag Humor Scott Andersen |USER GROUP UPDATE: NEW JERSEY| |by Robert Brodie, Atari| Reprinted from ST-ZMagazine #36 To all Jersey area Atari users: On Saturday, September 9th, I will be attending a meeting of the Jersey Atari Computer Group. The members of the Jersey Atari Computer Group have scheduled appearances from ANALOG and Atari Explorer magazine as well. Scheduled to appear from ANALOG is Arthur Leyenberger, and from the Atari Explorer either Elizabeth Staples or John Jainschigg. I would like to encourage all Atari users in the area to attend this meeting. David Noyes of the Jersey Atari Computer Group has already contacted a number of other groups, including the Jersey Atari Computer Enthusiasts, ABE's ACES, Lehigh Valley Atari Users Group, Brooklyn Atari Society of Information and Communication, and the Ol' Hackers. The meeting will be held at the Bell Labs Auditorium on Mountain Ave, in Murray Hill, New Jersey at 9:00 AM. For further information or directions to the meeting, please contact Dave Noyes, at 201-852-3165 evening, or 201-953-7977 daytime. |SURGE PROTECTION| |by Garry Jones (Copyright 1987)| Reprinted from ZMagazine #64 When setting up a computer system, one piece of equipment which might get overlooked is a surge protector. The purpose of a surge protector is to protect equipment from: voltage spikes and surges caused by lightning strikes on power lines (c'mon, it never rains in Southern California, does it?), electrical equipment turning on and off (you didn't really plug your computer into the same circuit as your refrigerator, did you?), the crummy wiring in your apartment that your landlords won't fix because they're too cheap, and just plain lousy performance by your friendly local Edison Company. A surge protector works by clamping the voltage and preventing it from rising beyond 130 volts when a sudden increase occurs. To do this, a surge protector uses a device called a metal oxide varistor, or MOV for short. Of course, you want to know if they wear out, and when they do, how to tell. MOVs do have a finite life, depending on the number and severity of surges they're exposed to. When they fail, they typically create a short which will pop a circuit breaker if one is included in the circuit, immediately shutting off the power and saving the equipment. Buying a surge protector is something of a problem, since not all surge protectors are created equal. Good ones are fairly expensive (there's plenty of expensive junk out there, too). How do you tell the good from the bad, and what do you do for cash after you spent the last of it on some superwhizbang software for your new computer? Good news for you clever hacker types who can tell a hot soldering iron when you pick it up (by the wrong end): make your own surge protector. It's easy, it's cheap, and best of all, it might even work. For the rest of you who haven't developed opposable thumbs yet, watch the ground for pennies, steal candy from babies and sell it to bigger babies, see a loan shark, and read PC (can you say, "PC?" Sure. I knew you could. It does mean IBM, but your tongue didn't dry up and fall out of your mouth, did it?) Magazine's product tests and take their advice. Anyway, on to the project. You'll need: a power strip (make sure you get the kind you can disassemble with a screwdriver instead of a hacksaw), three metal oxide varistors (General Electric part no. V130LA20A (which means 130 volts 20 amps) or Radio Shack catalog no. 276-568B), some rosin core solder (DO NOT USE ACID CORE SOLDER OR FLUX--it will corrode the solder joints in time, ruining them), some miscellaneous tools, like Xacto knives, alligator clips, wire cutters, etc., and a soldering iron. Three hands would be nice, but you can probably manage with two--most of us do. Take the back off the power strip and look inside. If it has outlets, wires (three of them?), and a cord, it'll work. Notice the three wires inside: they're probably black, green, and white. White is the hot wire, green the ground, and black the common. Now, strip some insulation off the wires as shown in the illustration. Take one varistor and solder one of it's wire legs to the white wire, and the other leg to the green wire as shown below. Fasten an alligator clip to the leg being soldered between the solder joint and the varistor to prevent heat damage to the varistor while soldering. Do the same thing with the second varistor, except it should be soldered to the green wire and the black wire. Solder the third varistor to the black wire and the white wire. Clean the solder joints with a rag dipped in a little alcohol, and examine the joints. There should be a smooth shiny flow of solder between the wire leg of the varistor and the copper wire in the power strip. If the joint is dull, lumpy, or flawed in appearance, resolder it. When all the joints look good, reassemble the power strip. Sit back. Relax. You're done now. Wasn't that easy? Can you say, "Easy"? Sure. I knew you could. White T T #1 | O O |MOV| | #3 O P Green |MOV| U L #2 T U | |MOV| L G | E Black T S |ANALOG COMPUTING TABLE OF CONTENTS| ANALOG COMPUTING #77, OCTOBER 1989 FEATURES Double Six..............Pierre Roberge A colorful version of Backgammon for your Atari. Error Manual.....Matthew J.W. Ratcliff Here's a helpful program that'll turn those cryptic error messages into plain English. ANALOG Zooms Into the 24th Century......Frank Cohen Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation won't want to miss this interview with two of the hit show's artists. Keeping Your Atari Busy..Reid Brockway This tutorial shows you how to turn your computer into a clock and provides some valuable programming information along the way. Skull Island...............John Patuto You awaken to find yourself laying on the beach of a strange island. What dangers lie in wait for you? Can you get off the island safely? TX Cruncher..............Frank Martone Take control of Tx as he scoots across his electric grid, consuming energy and avoiding the Hulk Robots. Fast Move...............John W. Little For BASIC programmers wanting a convenient way to control Player/Missile graphics. REVIEWS Astronauts.......Matthew J.W. Ratcliff L.A. Swat/ Panther..........Matthew J.W. Ratcliff COLUMNS Boot Camp...................Tom Hudson BASIC Training..........Clayton Walnum Database DELPHI.......Michael A. Banks The End User........Arthur Leyenberger DEPARTMENTS Editorial...............Clayton Walnum 8-bit News M/L Editor..............Clayton Walnum BASIC Editor II.........Clayton Walnum Disk Contents |130XE UPGRADED| |by Mark Elliot, Innovative Concepts| The following changes have been incorporated in the 130XE computer. (In case there are people reading and shaking their heads, the 130XE is Atari's 8-bit computer (parent of the ST).) 1) RAMs used (4), are the 41464 (4464) types (compared to 16-4164 on old) 2) The O.S. has minor changes like: A) The MEMORY TEST (from SELF TESTS) tests the extra 64K now! (in 4 squares) B) Also, the MEMORY TEST checks the first 48K over TWICE as fast as before! C) The KEYBOARD TEST has the F1-F4 keys missing on top (function keys), although the code that interprets them is probably there (like XEGS) D) Also, it types out "COPYRIGHT 1985 ATARI" at the keyboard test when all tests are done (compared to COPYRIGHT 1983 ATARI, before), and E) The O.S. chip itself is on a 27256 EPROM, but only half of it is used! (compared to the original, which was on a 16K x 8 ROM, 27128 comp. 3) The PIA is a completely different chip--a 68B21! (compared to the 6520/6520A on all other Atari 8-bits. 4) Last, but not least, the Owner's Manual (Rev. D), is now paper-bound, compared to spiral-bound on the original. Hmmm, at least Atari went to the bother of updating the new machine (probably will save them money, being more reliable with less chips). |INFORMATION ON THE BLACK BOX| |by Computer Software Services (CSS)| There has been a great deal of interest since the announcement this spring concerning the Black Box, so hopefully this file will answer the majority of questions. The Black Box is a add-on board for the Atari 600XL (upgraded), 800XL, and 130XE 8-bit computers. It is a T-shaped board that plugs into the PBI port of the XL computer, or the ECI and cartridge ports of the 130XE. Connectors for both types of computers are built into the Black Box, so no adapter boards are necessary. A cartridge port is available on the board itself for 130XE users, since the board plugs in where cartridges are normally added. The board is 12 inches wide and 3 inches deep, sitting back 3 inches from your computer. It has two switches, two push-buttons, and a set of dip switches on the top. The Black Box provides many unique and useful functions. The three primary functions are: RS-232 serial modem port Parallel printer port SASI/SCSI hard disk port A fourth floppy disk port for connecting 3.5" or 5.25" floppy drives will be available at a later date. > The RS-232 port provides the full RS232 specification signal levels for a modem or other serial device. It emulates the Atari 850 interface very closely, but goes beyond by providing 19,200 baud capability. The R: driver is built into the Black Box, so it does not use ANY user memory! > The Parallel printer port interfaces to most all Centronics-type printers. You may assign the printer number and linefeed options from within the Black Box's configuration menu. The Black Box also provides you with a printer buffer if the board or your computer has extra memory. A printer buffer allows you to quickly dump your file to be printed into the buffer memory, then go about your business as the Black Box sends the data to your printer--a real time saver! The Black Box will use either its own RAM (if you order the 64K version), or the 130XE extended memory banks. It's all controlled by the configuration menu. > The Hard Disk port is the real reason for the design of the Black Box. You may connect most any hard disk controller that is SASI or SCSI compatible, or drives with embedded SCSI controllers. It is totally compatible with the current versions of MYDOS and SpartaDOS (which both have a limit of 16 Megabytes per logical drive), but a newer version of MYDOS is provided that is capable of 48 Megs per drive. Combine that with nine drives, and that's over 400 Megs available at one time! The Black Box also provides a conversion toggle for drives capable of 512 byte sectors only. Many of the embedded drives have this limitation, and previously were unusable. The Black Box splits each 512 byte sector into two 256 byte sectors, so your DOS will still only see what it requires. Another advantage is storage space. Many drives/controllers will give you more storage when using 512 byte sectors, some as much as 15% more! Currently, format software for the Black Box supports the following drives/controllers: Adaptec 4000A and 4070 Xebec S1410 Western Digital 1002SHD OMTI 352x controllers Maxtor embedded SCSI drives Seagate embedded SCSI drives A partition is defined as a part of the hard disk which is seen by the computer as a separate disk drive. Since many hard disks are very large, it is useful to create several partitions of the drive, instead of one single drive, as your DOS sees it. The Black Box goes one step further in not only letting you define the partition for each of your 9 available drives, but allows you to have a list of up to 96 partitions--with names! Since a partition can be very small, you can make up several small partitions of 720 sectors (the same length as a standard floppy disk), and sector-copy any of your non-protected programs to these partitions. Now you can swap that partition in as Drive 1 and boot your program at hard disk speed! The configuration menu is the "heart" of the Black Box. You can enter the menu from anywhere you are by simply pressing one of the buttons on the board. You may now edit the hard disk configuration, exchange drive numbers, enable/disable the modem and printer ports, or go into the 6502 monitor. After you are finished, pressing <ESCAPE> will put you right back into the program you were using! No memory or screen display is destroyed by using the menu! The 6502 monitor is very handy for machine language programmers. How often have you wondered where your program was, or what caused an apparent "lock-up"? Entering the monitor will show you all the processor registers and display the disassembly of the instruction it was about to execute when you entered pressed the button. Users of MAC/65's DDT will feel right at home with the monitor's use. The Black Box has other "goodies" in it. Any communication with your floppy drive will be in high speed if you are using a XF-551, a modified 1050, or a happy 810. This will work with just about ANY DOS or utility! A text or graphics printer dump of your current screen may be done at any time by pressing one of the buttons on the Black Box. (The graphics dump is only available for dot-matrix printers capable of graphics.) You may write-protect ALL of your hard disks by flipping another switch on the board. This can be a real life-saver when running a new piece of software. The Black Box provides disk I/O tones with separate pitches for disk reads and writes to your hard disk, so you can hear what's going on! This option may be disabled within the configuration menu. The Black Box also provides support for users who have used an MIO previously to store data on a hard disk. The MIO actually stores data inverted. This is fine as long as the MIO reads it, but when another host adaptor reads the same data, it will be meaningless. By setting a dip switch, a previous MIO user will now be able to access all the data on his drive using the Black Box with a small sacrifice of speed. If you have any more questions, please feel free to call. User group and dealer discounts are available. The retail price of the Black Box with no buffer RAM is $199.95, and with 64K, $249.95. Computer Software Services P.O. Box 17660 Rochester, NY 14617 (716) 586-5545 |WASHINGTON DC ATARIFEST UPDATE| |by Bob Johnson| WAACE Publicity Co-Chairman The 1989 edition of the WAACE DC AtariFest is in the final planning stages now, and every indication is that we are going to have a super show for you folks. Just to whet your appetites, here is a list of who's coming to date (more are being negotiated): Atari Corp. Alpha Systems ST Informer MichTron GENie Gribnif Software Gadgets by Small Word Perfect Accusoft ICD Best Electronics Orion Microsystems Toad Computers The Electronic Clinic WinterTech Softrek ASDE Inc/ST PLUG Double-click Software Codehead Software Seymour-Radix Cal-Com Joppa Computers Current Notes And there's more where this came from. We're just awaiting more firm confirmations by the parties involved. Also, we are conducting a large number of seminars and demos with some of the topics covered being: Desktop Publishing Telecommunications Graphics and Animation IBM and Mac Emulation Entertainment Business Applications Education and more Atari representatives will be speaking on the future of Atari, and a Banquet is planned for Saturday nite. The DC AtariFest 89 is taking place the 7th and 8th of October, with the hours on Saturday running from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Admission is free, and we will also be giving away hourly door prizes which will range from 8-bit and ST Software on up to a complete 520ST system, with a LOT of nice prizes in between (anyone for a hard disk?). The location is the same as in past years, at the Fairfax High School, in Fairfax, Virginia. This is shaping up to be perhaps the BEST DC 'Fest yet, and we are expecting to exceed last years total attendance by a good margin. If you have any questions or need more information, contact John Barnes at 301-652-0667. |ZMAG HUMOR| |by Scott Andersen| Reprinted from ZMagazine #67 At first it was just rumors. I'm sure you've heard some of them. Mergers and/or joint ventures. Atari and AT&T. Atari and Teledyne. Atari and whomever. But this one is confirmed. I saw the proof at last month's outdoors exposition. Atari is involved in a joint venture with Coleman Western, the outdoor products giant. The offspring of this marriage is the Coleman Camp Computer, hereafter known as the CCC. It was on display in one corner of the Coleman booth at the outdoor show, with an Atari rep in attendance to demo the machine. It is quite a machine. Its most impressive feature is its ability to function without a power supply; the CCC uses white gas (Coleman Fuel) like so many other Coleman appliances. After filling the tank with fuel and pressurizing the system by hand pumping, you start up by firing the pilot/burner. The gas flame heats a sealed fluid system which powers a micro turbine generator. This in conjunction with a regulator provides all the voltage you need to power the CCC and all of its peripherals. The CCC is a 128K machine that utilizes the 6502 processor. It has a new O.S. that is completely compatible with all Atari and third party software. Two built-in languages are switched on or off via a three way rocker switch. They are BASIC (of course) and Action!. Atari apparently had a large quantity of 400 keyboards that they decided to use up on the CCC. While being a pain to type on, the use of the membrane keyboard is understandable on a product that can be left out in the rain. Yes, the CCC is completely weatherproof. Rubber doors cover the 4 joystick ports, the I/O port, the serial/expansion bus, and the built-in disk drive and modem. The disk drive is a half height 5-1/4" that uses single or enhanced density. The modem is something completely different. It is said to be almost Hayes compatible, the exception being that it can't answer. This is understandable, you have no phone number. At the end of the 25 foot modem cable is a special induction device that you merely clamp over any phone cable. No pins, no plugs, no muss, no fuss. The device can only originate calls, but it can do it anywhere there is a telephone line, be it the backwoods or your back yard. All this and 1200 baud too. When you lift the cover on the CCC you'll see the best feature of all. The 9" Hi-Res LCD color monitor has a true 80 column screen that is compatible with most available software. If not, a rubber toggle switch will get you back to 40 column at any time. In either mode the characters are sharp and crisp and easy to read. All this and only 14.4 pounds. But if that seems too heavy for you backpackers, the fuel tank/ pump/burner/stand assembly can be detached. The remaining unit, at 8.3 pounds, can be used at any campsite simply by setting it on the campfire. Included in the $450 price are three new pieces of software. The first, "Campcalc", is a wilderness management program. The second, "Camp-Talk", synthesizes bird and animal calls. The third is a graphics masterpiece. It is a Conestoga Wagon simulator called "Yerass". No more boring evenings around the campfire. Coleman Camping Computer Update Yes, since announced in the June 1986 issue of Mile High Magazine, Coleman products, has barely been able to keep up with the orders for the Coleman Camping Computer, let alone develop any new enhancements for the popular system. Due to some heat disipation problems, the Camp Fire power system, has been dropped, in favor of a new system using 3-6 foot solar panels, generating enough heat to move a small turbine, which in turn is hooked to a generator. This seems to be a much safer system, than the camp fire unit, and is ready to ship as of this writing. Estimated cost is a reasonable $1250 plus shipping. Shipping, due to size, must be arranged by the purchaser, with local contacts for hauling, setup and crane services. Estimated weight is 2200 pounds. Third Party Support! Yes, with a great product like the CCC, there is undoubtedly going to be some inovative third party support. DuckPuck Direct, Wholesalers for Idaho has jumped on the CCC bandwagon with a couple of new products. Their feature product is a small nuclear power supply, much smaller in size and weight than Coleman's Solar system. This amazing power source will be very popular with the "way back in" campers. True, a waste water source of 200 cubic feet per minute is neccessary to prevent core meltdown. And true, plutonium is some what of a rare item,(though DuckPuck has plutonium available in their new catalog, and is rumored to be working on a reactor that will be fueled by, what else "DuckPuck"). Side advantages of the Alternate power source is that you can recover some of the cost of the plutonium by selling the additional unused mega-watts to the local power company. The large amount of heat generated is a definate plus for the artic campers. Included is your very own lead lined camping attire, sleeping bag, and water purification system to assure that you are not contamenated by the waste. All in all an exciting package for the CCC. DuckPuck has also announced some other enhancements for the Coleman system. These include: For the Camp Talk Synthsis System. Domestic Animal Data Disk! Wouldn't Old McDonald be envious. For those of you who live on a farm and would like to have exciting conversations with your horses, cows, pigs, and chickens. Requires version 26 of ODS (Out Door Operating system.) Exotic Bird Data Disk. Another fine data disk for the Camp Talk Module. This is for those of you planing a trip down the Amazon and would like to keep in touch with the local wildlife. Another useful product from DuckPuck. Also distributed by the amazing DuckPuck Folks is Apuck74! Those of you familar with the popular Amodem74 by our own Trent Dudley will feel right at home with Apuck74. As usual Mr. Dudley did a fine job of porting the powerful program over to ODS. One nice enhancement added to this version is optional core temperature monitoring with the DuckPuck Nucular power system. Rumor has it that DuckPuck is working on a Code name 'P' power enhancement for the Backpacking users. An Inside informer claims the P stands for potato and is the main component used in the new device. For more information on these and other outstanding CCC products contact: DuckPuck Direct The Software Wholesalers for Idaho P.U. Box 3 Duckpuck Idaho Thanks to The Puget Sound Atari Users for inspiration in creating this article. Scott Anderson is the current President of STARFLEET Atari User Group of Denver, Colorado. This was first printed in the MILE HIGH Atari Magazine and was downloaded from SKYLINE BBS (both of Denver). | Rovac Industries, Incorporated | | P.O. Box 59, Middlesex, NJ 08846 | | (201) 968-8148 | |Copyright 1989 All Rights Reserved| Reprint permission is granted providing ZMagazine and the original author is credited. CompuServe: 71777,2140 GEnie: ZMAGAZINE Source: BDG793 ZMagazine Headquarters BBSes: Centurion BBS--(618)451-0165 Chaos BBS--(517)371-1106 Shadow Haven--(916)962-2566 Stairway to Heaven--(216)784-0574
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