Z*Magazine: 11-Jun-91 #195From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/03/93-03:21:36 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 11-Jun-91 #195 Date: Sun Oct 3 15:21:36 1993 ==(((((((((( == Z*MAG/A\ZINE ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE =========(( === June 11, 1991 =======(( ===== Issue #195 =====(( ======= ---------------------------------- ==(((((((((( == Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Ind Inc.. Publisher/Editor : Ron Kovacs Assistant Editor : Stan Lowell ----------------------------------------------------------------------- CompuServe: 75300,1642 GEnie: Z-NET Z*NET BBS: (908) 968-8148 BLANK PAGE BBS: (908) 805-3967 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- ***** NEW CIS PPN NUMBER LISTED ABOVE ***** Xx Z*NET NEWSWIRE ================= ATARI SELLS MANUFACTURING PLANT - Atari has announced that it has signed a contract for the sale of its property in Taiwan. The facility will be sold for $60 million, and closing is scheduled for later this month. The sale is contingent upon certain conditions of closing being met. Atari noted that assembly operations have been relocated in a move to increase efficiency and reduce costs. COMMODORE - issued a number of announcements last week at CES concerning new technology, distribution, applications and compatibility for the CDTV Interactive Multimedia player. CDXL will increase the capability of the CDTV player by bringing enhanced motion video with no hardware upgrade required. CDTV-PIP is essentially a 1/3-screen window, which allows NTSC video to be displayed simultaneously with a running CDTV application. CDTV-PIP is incorporated into a specially designed plug-in video card that replaces the current video card yet requires no software upgrade. Commodore announced that CDTV is planned to be compatible with Kodak's new Photo CD system. Photo CDs, planned for June 1992 can store up to 100 35mm photographic images on writable CD-ROM discs. Commodore introduced two new packages this week for its Amiga 500 line. The new packages are designed to complement the successful Amiga 500 Bonus package that is currently offered by Amiga retailers. The new Discovery Pack is an entry-level package, ideal for parents who want a computer that their children can use for both education and entertainment. The package features four titles, including KindWords, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?, Ports of Call, Deluxe Paint II. The Discovery Pack also includes a TV adapter, which enables the use of a television as a monitor. The suggested retail price is $599. NEW APPLE SOFTWARE - MacX 1.1.7 is the latest version of Apple's X Window System display server for the Macintosh operating system. It provides X Window System access and functionality for customers using Apple Macintosh computers in multivendor environments. MacX 1.1.7 provides support for System 7, Apple's latest version of the Macintosh operating system and will be available August 1991. MacX 1.1.7 is $295. Upgrades are available for current MacX 1.0 and 1.1 customers for $95. NINTENDO UPDATE - Philips has announced that it has granted Nintendo a license to develop and market video games on Compact Disc format for play on Nintendo's new Super Famicom and Super Nintendo Entertainment System 16-bit home video game hardware systems. The new Compact Disc video games, according to Nintendo, will be played on a low cost CD ROM -XA Compact Disc player. Consumers will be able to attach these CD ROM -XA players to their Super Famicom and Super NES hardware units. HP REDUCES PRICES - Hewlett-Packard has reduced the list prices on its HP Vectra personal computers by up to 10 percent and on its mass-storage products by up to 33 percent. HP also has reduced the list price of the HP ScanJet Plus scanner from $1,595 to $995. Numerous other HP product prices have been reduced and more information in available by calling HP at 408-720-3824. NEW DRIVES FOR NOTEBOOK COMPUTERS - Mitsubishi announced the availability of a new floppy drive designed specifically for "notebook" computers. The MF355E is a 3.5-inch 2 megabyte unformatted, magnetic floppy drive that is less than 15 millimeters in height. The unit weighs less than half a pound and offers a variety of connector types including a 26-line, 26-line FFC, and 34-line pinhead connector. All connectors include the signal interface and power interface in one connector. Xx ATARIUSER 8-BIT ATARI COLUMN =============================== by Chuck Steinman Reprinted from the June 1991 AtariUser Magazine by permission. No further reprinting of this article is permitted except by permission of Quill Publishing, 818-332-0372. Subscription and distribution information for AtariUser is available at 800-333-3567. 8-Bit Alert: An aquisition agreement between Michael St. Pierre (of Micro Solutions) and Chuck Steinman (of DataQue) has been made which will allow DataQue to continue production of the TransKey adapter for the Atari Classic computers. This device will allow you to use a standard IBM type keyboard on your favorite machine. DataQue will support anyone who purchased their TransKey from Micro Solutions. Contact DataQue, P.O. Box 134, Ontario, OH 44862, USA. 8-Bit Alert: GEnie telecommunications service has decided to eliminate their Atari 8-bit section in their bi-monthly 'LiveWire' publication. At first GEnie claimed not be able to find anyone willing to write the short section, while now they say "There just is not enough room because we have additional new advertisers, and we do not want to increase the page count." Anyone who feels that the Atari Classic computers deserve coverage should contact FEEDBACK on GEnie. THE 8-BIT STATE - DIAMOND: A New Look for your Classic Atari Diamond Graphical Operating System (GOS) from ReeveSoft offers an ST/GEM like operating system for the Atari 8-bit series of computers. You can use an ST mouse, joystick, touch tablet, track-ball or your keyboard as a pointing device. Although available for over two years, Diamond has been recently reworked to add new features and increase performance. If you've been considering updating your older version or jumping into a graphical environment for the first time, Diamond 3.0 is worth looking at. A "stacking" cartridge, Diamond will work alone or with other carts. Why would you want a GOS on your classic Atari? Common claims for adding a GOS to a system are 'because the ST has one', or 'it's the wave of the future'. I feel that those are pretty poor reasons to buy something. If a GOS serves some useful purpose, that's a good reason to consider adding it. If you don't like working from a command line interface (SpartaDOS or OSS DOS) or DOS menu (AtariDOS or work-alike), then Diamond may be the picture to save you typing those thousand words. Most of the DOS (Disk Operating System) functions are available directly from the desktop, with little or no typing required. You can also view and print text files, or launch (execute) programs by selecting a file with your pointing device. There are also options on XL/XE machines to exit Diamond to another cartridge or to internal BASIC. While Diamond will work with floppy disk based systems, its real power is the ease of use it adds to systems with hard drives. Moving from one directory to another is very simple, using only the pointing device. Functions like copying or deleting files are just as simple, although being so simple makes it so easy, the proverbial two year old can simply make a mess in no time. One of the major new features of Diamond 3.0 the file selector, now incorporated into the cartridge. With this improvement, new applications (programs) will not have to provide their own selector. It frees up valuable memory and provides a consistent interface for programs which use the selector. Another nice addition to Diamond is that the type of DOS being used is automatically detected, saving the user from having to enter that information. The desktop colors and pointing device are also user selected and saved in a configuration file. This small file is loaded from disk when Diamond is started up. For drawing pictures, ReeveSoft offers Diamond Paint. With Paint, you can load and save in many different picture formats including, clip-art, Micro Illustrator, and straight binary. All of the normal drawing utilities are provided, including cut and paste. Diamond Write is a word processor which offers a single user selectable font at a time, but multiple styles of that font possible. A variety of fonts are supplied, including an 80 column emulation font. Other features are user programmable margins and justification. Diamond News Station ($29.95) will allow you to turn out professional looking small newsletters and documents with pictures, multiple-sized text in various fonts, and clip art. Pages are broken into eight plates, and you can edit one plate at a time in a "WYSIWYG" (What You See Is What You Get) fashion. ReeveSoft offers the $29.95 Diamond Develop package for those with a desire to program applications with all those windows popping and dialog boxes growing. Diamond Develop assumes you know assembly language, and have the MAC/65 assembler (available from ICD, Inc). ReeveSoft offers to refund the cost of Develop to programmers who write a 'significant' application for Diamond. There are a few rough spots in the Diamond desktop system. First, you must avoid using sub-directory names which have extensions. Second, if you want to exit Diamond back to the resident DOS, it isn't simple--and it should be. If there are functions your DOS supports which are not supported directly by Diamond, the only option provided is to exit Diamond. Third, the new file selector seems to be reluctant to keep filenames and directories inside the selector box with SpartaDOS. At times the SpartaDOS timestamp spills outside the file area of the selector box, overwriting other information on the screen. Finally, the Diamond utilities (Write, Draw) and News Station, suffer from little quirks here and there. While they don't prevent the use of the programs, they do impair the ease of use that a graphical user interface should provide. The Diamond GOS itself does seem to be very stable, and Reevesoft seems committed to continued support. The full Diamond package currently runs $79.95 and includes the cartridge plus the Write and Paint applications. Upgrading from an earlier version of the Diamond GOS cartridge is $30. Diamond systems are by ReeveSoft, 29W150 Old Farm Lane, Warrenville, IL 60555, (708) 393-2317. MAC/65 and SpartaDOS are from ICD Inc., 1220 Rock Street, Rockford, IL 61101-1437, (815) 968-2228. - Chuck Steinman BIO: When not writing for AtariUser magazine, Chuck Steinman can usually be found out perusing telecommunication services such as GEnie, Delphi, and Compuserve. An avid supporter of the Atari Classic Cause, Chuck is known for several Public Domain, Shareware, and commercial products sold under the DataQue name. Of several dozen of the 8-bit systems, the only models not in his vast collection are the 65XE and XEGS. (Anyone have either of those to sell cheap?) Xx RUMBLES..RAMBLES...RUMORS ============================ by Stan Lowell What, Why, Where ---------------- Question: "Where is ZMAG, where have you been, what are you doing, plus a few other unprintable things..." Answer: I got out of 'Sync' with ZMag when everybody took their vacations. All "heck" broke loose nearly everyplace. I hope to get back in the swing of things and just be 'late' with these articles (instead of gone). My thanks to those of you who missed me and expressed concern. My apologies to those who have been lamenting and languishing, I'll try and do better. STart/Antic ----------- As most are aware, Start has ceased publication. Will it surface again with another publisher/name/format? We are all waiting to find out. Will it contain any 8-bit info? We can hope for the best, but probably not too likely. Where can we get information? ZMagazine, your LOCAL user group, your local BBSs, AtariUser magazine, user group publications like PSAN, Current Notes, AIM, etc., and just about any BBS that offers a Networked Atari(8-bit?) message base. If you call a BBS with a networked message base, be active. Leave a message answering a question, or asking one. Leave a message thanking the SysOp(s) for having the base availiable for you. If you don't use it, you may lose it! If all you do is download files, the SysOp may wonder why he is putting out the effort and expense to support us! SysOps NEED an "Attaboy" every now and then! At this point in time, we would be in deep sneakers without them! More on Inter-BBS Networking ---------------------------- After further checking into the Inter-BBS Networking, Bob Puff and Craig Carter have come up with a universal format for it. After hearing many good things about Craig and his programming prowess, I spoke with him. Craig was very helpful and informative. He expects to have "something" out around "the end of summer." Craig recently released his Pro SysOp's Toolkit to the Public Domain. From what I have heard from Pro SysOps, it is VERY handy! More Dealers ------------ Software Infinity 642 East Waring Avenue State College, PA 16801 Write for their free catalog. In addition to lots of PD and shareware stuff, they now carry NEW, COMMERCIAL releases from a company called KE-SOFT which is from Germany. Prices are very reasonable...about $10- $15 for the commercial stuff, $4 for PD and shareware theme disks. ------------------------------ Try Rising Star 1-800-252-2787 for ST and 8-Bit support and A little company called Data Cent, P.O.Box 24004, Huber Heights, Ohio 45424- 0004 for 8-bit service and software support.. ------------------------------- IB Computers 9244 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale HWY. Beaverton, OR 97005 503-297-8425 They have brand new atari stock 800xl power supply of all types and all other stuff. They stock tons and tons of ST type of computer hard/software. Write to em and they'll send you their list. Some prices I feel are a bit high but the going cost of this Atari computer seems to have overall risen!! Rumors ------ The Chicago Atari Show will have a *room* dedicated to the 8-bits? New things are in the works for the "old" Supra interface now owned and sold by K-Products. Not a rumor, but fact: K-Products has purchased "Hardback." Bob Klass plans some 'changes' to it, and a price reduction from $39.95 to $20.00! Anyone purchasing it NOW will get the updated version when released. BBS Express! Pro Multiline -------------------------- BBS Express! Pro Multiline is out! It is alive and well and running on several 8-bit boards. Also availiable are the batch upload mods for use with "Pro." I tested the Y-modem batch a while back using my laptop and Procomm+ and it worked flawlessly. Bob Klass is doing a fine job of supporting "Pro!" For you BBS Express! Pro SysOps(or wanna bes) out there, here is an order form: K-Products Order Form Mail Order To: K-Products P.O. Box 22122 A.M.F. Salt Lake City, Ut. 84120 _____ BBS Express! Professional . . . . . . . . . . . $39.95 _____ BBS Express! Professional Multiline. . . . . . $89.00 _____ BBS Express! Professional Multiline & Hardware $235.00 _____ BBS PRO ExpressNET! Networking Disk . . . . . . $10.00 ( includes network modules and printed doc's ) _____ Hardback & Restore Hard Drive Utility . . . . . $20.00 _____ Bank_Mio.CMD & MioCfg.Cmd . . . . . . . . . . . $15.00 (Special offer to PRO Sysops - normally $20.00) _____ Batch Upload Protocals with new core. . . . . . $20.00 _____ Disk Updates with documentation. . . . . . . . $20.00 (for Sysops who did not pay Keith's Fee) _____ Transfer of ownership from one owner to another.................................... $ 5.00 Add Shipping/Handling $ 4.00 Total ________ Rush My Order To: Name: ______________________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________ City: _______________________ State: _______ Zip: ________ Node number if applicable:_________ Say, Whatever Happened to... ---------------------------- One of the things that Craig Carter told me, was that Bill Wilkinson was still around to answer questions about 8-bits. For a long time Bill's article was the ONLY reason to buy Compute! magazine! He knew lots of stuff about the Atari 8-bits. It was *ALWAYS* a pleasure to read his column (he even mentioned the "NCT Turbo 810" once)! Humor... -------- The following message is from my BBS. I thought it was funny, so thought that I would share it. (If you just got in after spending a few hours behind the wheel of your Edsel, this might not set too well!) 8-) Msg# : 4346 - Msgs 8-Bit - Net Sent : 06/09/91 at 12:19 AM To : BRYAN EDEWAARD From : DAVE A! Subj : Top 10 Reasons for 8-Bit Ref# : 4324 Rep# : 4388 4392 (WARNING: Seriously humor impaired should immediately go to the next message!) Straight from the home office in Sunnyvale, CA. Late Night with Dave A! presents the Top 10 reasons you should still own an Atari 8-bit computer: 10) Gives Coleco Adam owners someone to share misery with. 9) Using it on Friday nights keeps you from watching Full House. 8) Time has never been better to make a killing in the 8-bit Atari magazine market. 7) Commodore 64 is too lightweight to make really good door-stop. 6) Just t'aint fittin' to buy one of those gosh-darned new-fangled ST contraptions. 5) Don't have to worry about blowing Christmas Club money on software for yourself. 4) Nintendo is really last gasp Communist effort at world domination. 3) Ashamed kids actually look better with bags on their heads. 2) Can explain Star Wars defense system to Dan Quayle using Missle Command game. And the number one reason to still own an Atari 8-bit!!!!!!: 1) Looks great on your desk next to the Beta VCR and 8-track tape player! (Just a joke, Ok folks???) Dave A! Ya gotta keep smiling! Until next time! If you would like to submit a review, article, or a rebuttal (ANYTHING is welcomed!), feel free to upload to myself or Z-NET Online BBS. I can be reached on my BBS (908-805-3967), GEnie(S.LOWELL), and on Z*Net Online BBS(908-968-8148). SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL USERS GROUP! SUPPORT ShareWare Authors and others who write for the Atari 8-bit! Support THOSE who support YOU! Xx ICD 8-BIT BLOW-OUT SALE ========================== Yes, it's true. The time has finally arrived for ICD to clear out the 800/XL/XE 8-Bit line of products, dust off the shelves and make room for more inventory. Our basic reason for this sale is that we can no longer show any profit margins for these products, nor produce any large quantities to keep in stock, but we can and will continue to support the end-users. Because of Atari's decision to drop the XL/XE line, followed immediately by the decline and fall of 8-Bit support throughout the national dealer community, ICD must close out our complete stock of 8-Bit products, including both the OSS, Inc., and ICD, Inc. lines. However, we will continue to provide quality technical support during the warranty period of these close-out products. As heartbreaking as this news may be to you and us, the truth is that it had to happen sooner or later. To be honest, it was later. We at ICD, long supporters of the 8-Bit Atari community, have held out for as long as we possibly could manage. There is, however, one bright note in this sale. It is YOU, the end-user, who benefits from the Super ICD Blowout Clearance Sale! Our entire stock of 8-Bit items, including spare manuals, parts, pieces, and assorted used equipment, must go now! For information on purchasing parts and assorted components to these products, call ICD voice at (815) 968-2228. Everything from our door-opening US Doublers and SpartaDOS, the complete line of OSS programming languages (including Personal Pascal for the Atari ST, the only ICD ST product included in his sale), all the way up the line to our Multi I/O (MIO) interfaces and the all-new SpartaDOS X cartridge. We are determined to see that you have the products that you need to survive, so rather than drop the line completely and toss all of our hard work into a dusty corner, we also intend to sell the rights to these products! Once the rights have been sold, the new owner(s) can continue to manufacture all these superior products just for you. If you are interested in the rights to these items, please call ICD voice to discuss terms. Have you been looking high and low for your ICD product manual? Is your copy bent, folded, stapled, mutilated, torn up and dog-eared? For that matter, did your dog eat it? Have you taken so many notes in it that you can't read the original text? It doesn't matter! Whatever reason you have for wanting a new manual, now is the time to get your new copy. We have a few spares, and they are now on sale! Never underestimate the power of your Atari 8-Bit computer system, regardless of which one you own. These systems have been well developed, and frankly, are the most researched and documented home computer systems available. There has never been a more widespread appreciation for these computers. They were the "Cutting Edge" in their time, and still are for the new computer user. These systems are excellent starter systems, perfect for the children of the die-hard club. Unfortunately for all of us, those in Atari Corp that make the decisions sometimes do so in haste. This, then, directly affects dedicated 8-Bit users, and we come full circle to where we are today...suffering withdrawal symptoms. Suffer no more! ICD is offering you one final chance to own those products that you have been saving your hard-earned pennies for, for so long. There are litterally thousands of folks out there that have learned to use these systems, and are willing to assist you in every effort to learn and understand them, not counting ICD. This is your last chance to buy them from ICD! Once our stock is depleted, your chance is gone. Almost all of these products are now on sale at over 50% off! Get them while they are available. This sale will end sooner than you think since products will now be in demand at these prices. Don't wait! You've been warned! You can order these items on the ICD Support BBS (815-968-2229), where the sale prices are ALREADY on-line! Please don't ask if you can get any better prices. You can't...anywhere! The prices listed are already over 50% off! How To Place Your ICD Sale Order -------------------------------- Mail Orders: To order by mail (Pre-Pay), and pay no shipping charges, simply complete the order form below, and mail it with your enclosed payment to: ICD, Incorporated ATTN: 8-Bit Sale 1220 Rock Street Rockford, Il. 61101. BBS Orders: Ordering On The BBS is as simple as calling the ICD BBS at 815-968-2229 and placing the orders while on-line (Option-$ from the main menu), 24 hours a day. You can use VISA, MasterCard or COD payment methods on the BBS as well as phone orders. FREE SHIPPING WITH PRE-PAID MAIL AND BBS CREDIT CARD ORDERS! Phone Orders: Phone orders are welcome Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST by calling 815-968-2228. All COD phone orders will include a nominal shipping and handling charge. Payment: Please include full payment with all mail orders. Illinois residents add 6.25% sales tax. If ordering COD, you must call for a quote on shipping costs. No personal checks will be accepted on COD orders (cash or money orders only). Refused orders will be subject to a $15.00 service charge. Shipping: Orders are shipped UPS whenever available. For prompt delivery, please be sure to give us your complete street address (no P.O. Box numbers are allowed by UPS). Additional shipping charges are required outside the continental U.S.A. Please call ICD for further shipping instructions. Product Name / Description - Price ------------------------------------- Action! Language Manual - 6.95 Action! Programming Language - 39.95 Action! RunTime Manual - 5.95 Action! RunTime Package - 14.95 Action! Tool Kit - 14.95 Action! Toolkit Manual - 5.95 BASIC XE Language Manual - 6.95 BASIC XE Programming Language- 39.95 BASIC XL Language Manual - 6.95 BASIC XL Programming Language- 29.95 BASIC XL Tool Kit - 14.95 BASIC XL Toolkit Manual - 5.95 Flashback! (Backup Utility) - 14.95 FlashBack! Utility Manual - 5.95 MAC/65 Cartridge Manual - 6.95 MAC/65 Programming Language - 39.95 MAC/65 Tool Kit - 14.95 MAC/65 Toolkit Manual - 5.95 Modem Cable (PRC or MIO) - 6.95 Multi I/O (1 Meg Version) (*)- CALL Multi I/O (256 K Version) (*)- CALL Multi I/O Manual - 7.95 Multi I/O to 130XE Adapter - 12.95 P: R: Connection - 44.95 P:R: Connection Manual - 5.95 Personal Pascal (Atari ST) - 44.95 Personal Pascal Manual - 9.95 Printer Cable (PRC or MIO) - 6.95 Printer Connection Manual - 5.95 R-Time 8 Cartridge Manual - 5.95 R-Time 8 Clock Cartridge - 34.95 Rambo XL 256K Manual - 5.95 Rambo XL 256K Upgrade - 19.95 Rambo XL RAM Chips (Set of 8)- 32.00 SpartaDOS Construction Set - 19.95 SpartaDOS CS Manual - 6.95 SpartaDOS Tool Kit - 19.95 SpartaDOS Tool Kit Manual - 5.95 SpartaDOS X Cartridge - 39.95 SpartaDOS X Manual - 5.95 US Doubler 1-4 Chip Set - 19.95 US Doubler Manual - 5.95 US Doubler W/SpartaDOS CS - 34.95 (*) Call for availability Order Form For 8-Bit Sale Only ------------------------------ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- - Name: _______________________________________ Date: _____/_____/_____ - Address: ____________________________________________________________ - City: ____________________ State: ____ Country: ________ Zip: _______ - Work Phone: (____) _____-________ Home Phone: (____) _____-________ - --------------------------------------------------------------------- --Quantity- Name / Product Description - Price Each - Total ----------------------------------------------------------------------- -- - - - - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- - - - - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- - - - - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- - - - - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- - - - - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- - - - - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- - - - - - ---------------------------------------------------------------------- - Il Residents Add 6.25% Tax - - - _____ Master Card (Min $40) ------------- - Sub-Total- - - _____ Visa (Minimum $40.00) ------------- - $5.00 COD- - - Credit Card Number _______________________________ ------------- - S & H- - - Bank Name On Card _______________________________ ------------- - TOTAL- - - Expiration Date: ____/____ Bank Number ______ ------------ - - _________ Personal Check _________ Money Order _________ COD ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Xx ATARI 8-BIT UPDATE ===================== New and useful Information by Eugene R. Case (C)1991 ERC Products. ERC Products are in the Public Domain, and This text may be re-printed, as long as this (C) Notice, and all text are not altered, or edited, and Full Credit is given the Author. So as of last writing, you all hopefully took heart, and wrote all those companies I gave the addresses for. On that note, CSS' Ron (don't know his last name) has sold the rights to CSS to none other than Bob Puff, yep, the writer of the BobTerm, and Super ARC/UnARC, Disk Communicator, and maker of the Black Box. Ron is moving to the west, as his wife is an RN, and is being transferred to the west, and his daughter (2) will need that attention that only a parent can. I feel CSS is in good hands, and Bob will enhance it even more. The CSS name will probably be changed, and all of those who know and love CSS will obviously Panic. Don't worry, Bob will come through. It will help all of those who want that help, and give those information that was either, unavailable, or just not within your reach. As far as NEW software is concerned, there is a BBS in Texas, Called "The Excalibur BBS" in San Antonio, and there's a user there that posted a reply to someones message, about a shop there that still sells several titles for the XL/XE, and still has some in stock. The Repair Shop BBS, home of the New (C) holder for Express Pro!, and the old Supra Hard Drive Interface, now the KPI Hard Drive Interface, for the XL/XE, (XE with the PBI Adaptor from ICD), Networks with that particular BBS in Texas. I asked that person what the address is, and I am still waiting on the Net for the Reply. That is soon to come. I personally have recently acquired several Atari games that were either not actually released, or just saw the first dawn of the Retailers Shelf, and then was never to be seen again. First is Moon Patrol, that Arcade Game that was a Favorite of mine, and I'm sure others too. The Graphics are Excellent for an 8-Bit thought Dead, and the Game is of great importance to those who are new to the Atari world, or even an Old Hand at the Atari. If the writer of the program had a little more ingenuity, the 3-D effect would be phenominal. It's not too prevalent, but if you look hard, you can grasp the effect well enough to actually see the 3-D. The next game is James Bond. This little game is ok for what it is, and could have been a great one, if the Atari world was still happening when this was written. You are JB in a boat, and venture through 4 different Movies. These are interesting to say the least, and entertaining too. Another is Drop Zone. Not too easy a Shoot'em up type game. Though this one has several things you must do to complete a section/zone, it still has a great appeal to be played. The graphics are Arcade style, and it can be played, as other games can, by two players. So you say these are just USELESS Games? Well, as do some others, this doesn't mean that the Atari 800XL/130XE is just a GAME MACHINE. If you've been reading up on Atari, they have put a package together, that includes the 520STfm, a Color Monitor, and several "GAMES" and some Utilities, and are calling it the "Super ST Game Machine" Blowout. This was in the Computer Shopper last year, and since that time, it has come about. As I look back and see the NEWS items that were printed up in various Atari Support Magazines, it makes me wonder just how far Atari has taken the 8-Bit, and why the Atari we all know, and some love, has taken a BACK SEAT to all the other manufacturers. I was discussing this point with a Club Secretary/News Letter Editor, Harvey Cannon, and he said "Sam Tramiel, had Signed and agreement with Commodore, to not make, or continue making, the Atari 800XL/130XE Computer in the US." This made no sense to me. That would give Commodore the MARKET so to speak, for the 8-Bit line. This is part of the reason Atari has discontinued the support and software, for the XL/XE. Another thing he told me, "The USER is what made the computer happen, not the software companies." Well this is also true. I have several newletters I wrote for an Atari Club I was in, in California, and I was Blasting alot of the 8-Bit users there, because I saw no USER Support for the Atari. If those USERs that "Pirated" software, had taken the time to Write New Software, instead of "Cracking" someone elses, the Atari Community would have flourished, and abounded with software. If there are any of you left out there, please take the time to "Create" new material, not "Hack" at an old piece and then "Distribute" it for Money, or just because, send it to a BBS for that critical upload count that you so desperately want. That is actual "Piracy", and against the law. As for new, and useful software, well this is being written on an Atari 800XL with the Rambo XL (C) ICD installed, and a Beta Test version of TextPro, TextPro 4.55XE. It has several of the abilities that prior versions have, and more. Since I am on this subject, well I had sent a Message to Ronnie Riche, on the Support BBS, The Multi Bug BBS in Louisiana, asking him to incorporate a way to determine the actual "RAM" size of your computer. Say you have the Rambo XL, it had that extra boost to 512K, and your Text file is oh...60K or so. Wouldn't you want your Editor to handle that without that ,C command at the end of the Load D:FILENAME.EXT,C? 15K is small, and the original TextPro had a full 20K Editor. It should have gotten Bigger, not smaller. Just think, you could read an entire copy of "Z*MAG/A\ZINE", and not continue to load it everytime you came to the end of the first portion of the text. Another feature that would be a help to all of the people that use a Word Processor everyday, is a Spell Checker. Something like Fleet Systems II had. This would help, I think, several people who are "BAD SPELLERS" to get it right. Also the Fleet Systems II for the Commodore had a Theausaurus, and that utility for TextPro 5.0 would be a great enhancement for those who know they want to specify in an out of way manner, a specific statement. Well, all of those who are BBS Users, the SysOp of the Southern Nevada Atari Computer Club, SNACC, runs the SNACC BBS, and is a programmer at that. He wrote a little program for the Express Pro! BBS, and what it does is tell you when you log on, there are NEW FILES in SIG # and such, and asks you if you want to Jump to the Sigs. This is a great enhancement to his BBS, and the program is Share Ware, and to get a demo version, call GEnie, or The SNACC BBS to see what this is. 702-438-2208 at 3/12/2400 24Hrs. I would reccomend ATASCII for all. ST users, well VT52 is your option. This file pointer, is not only in my opinion, a help, but the Next best thing to actually having the BBS just Jump you right to the File Sigs, and Automatically DL the New Files for you, but that would take all the fun out of BBSing. Well that's about all for this time, so if you, or someone you know, is interested in a Computer, make sure of two things. 1: Am I going to PLAY GAMES on it ALL the time? 2: If I am using this for Desktop Publishing, what should I use, and how much MEMORY do I need? In answer to 1. If I plan on playing games all of the time, I don't need a COMPUTER, but a Game Machine. Lynx, Gameboy, NES, Neo-Geo, or several other Atari products, the 7800, 2600, or 5200 Game Machines. Even the original Pac-Man Home game, a friend of mine has one, and it's a Classic to say the least. In answer to 2. Since all computers have the ability to do word processing, graphic processing, typesetting, and general page layout, the choice is yours. Memory for the Atari is no longer a LIMITing factor. Last time I told you about RAM Upgrades. Ease of use, and availabilty of Software will determine the Hard Core Desk Topper, and those who have some inkling of it, well choose a small system first, then you can either, upgrade the system, or get a completely new system. Well all you Atarians keep it cool, and tell a friend you can do all these, and more with an Atari Computer System, be it 800XL/130XE, or even the ST. These are great systems, and have many years of useability over most others. Remember, this is an Atari 8-Bit Program that the text you are reading was created on. TextPro is (C)1986/1991 Ronnie Riche RamboXL is (C)1986 ICD. Inc. Atari, 800XL, 130XE, ST are (C) Trademarks of Atari Inc. (Comment: As I recall. Commodore dropped _ALL_ support to the 64 *before* Atari announced they would cease marketing the Atari 8-bit, but would continue to do repairs, etc. - Stan) (The mail order address for the Repair BBS follows below - Stan) K-Products P.O. Box 22122 A.M.F. Salt Lake City, Ut. 84120 Xx WAACE ATARIFEST '91 UPDATE ============================= This posting is an attempt to answer some questions that have been posed in recent weeks. Hardcopy vendor packets will be sent out around the 15th of June. The Fest is scheduled for 12 and 13 October '91. The show hours are from 10 to 5 both days. We also expect to sponsor some special events on Friday evening. The show will feature a full round of seminars and demonstrations. There will also be a swap meet. There will be a cocktail party and a banquet on Saturday evening. The Fest will be held at the Sheraton Reston Hotel in Reston, VA, which is within 20 minutes of downtown Washington, DC and within 5 minutes of Dulles International Airport. This is the same location we used last year. For those who did not make the '90 event let us simply say that this is a pleasant, spacious conference facility located in a parklike suburban setting with plenty of free parking. Hotel rates are $59 per night for single or double occupancy, $66 for triple and quad. These rates are valid from October 10th through the 13th. Virginia hotel tax (4.5%) must be added to the above prices. In order to obtain these rates you must mention WAACE AtariFest '91 when making your reservations. The admission price has not been determined yet except to say that show visitors who are guests of the hotel will receive a free ticket for each night that they book (limited to two tickets per room per day). Registered show workers will also receive free two-day passes. Members of non-WAACE Atari User groups may register as show workers and receive a free two-day pass. Please contact the WAACE representitives below for details on registering as show workers. The basic rate for a single booth will be $500. There is a 30% discount for vendors who reserve their booth space before 31 July (by including a 50% deposit with their reservation). The booth payment is for a single 8 x 8 ft booth. Pipe and drape decoration, electrical outlets, tables, and chairs are provided. Prices for multiple booths are as follows: 2 - $850, 3 - $1100, 4 - $1350. A one half page ad in the WAACE Atarifest '91 Program is included in the single booth price. Vendors may upgrade the half page ad to a full page for $75. Standard full page ads may be purchased for $125. Note: Small vendors that wish to pool their resources and share a booth space may do so, but must elect a single point of contact with WAACE for vendor business transactions. In addition to participating as a vendor at the AtariFest, WAACE provides additional areas for Atari developers and User Groups to participate: Seminars : One hour long presentations of topics of interest to the Atari community. Interested seminar presentors should contact the General Chairman below to reserve a seminar slot. Please indicate the topic of discussion as well as a preferred time slot. Demo Rooms: On going demonstrations of special interest topics (i.e. MIDI, DTP, Games, MAC & IBM Emulation, Productivity, Swap Room). Any Atari User Group or individuals interested in helping out in a demo room should also contact the General Chariman. Demo rooms also feature periodic demonstrations by Atari Developers of the latest hardware and software. Fest Program: Features articles written by many popular magazine authors in the Atari community. Interested authors should include a brief summary of their article to the General Chariman. For additional Information please contact either of the following: General Chairman Vendor Coordinator Charles S. Smeton John D. Barnes P.O. Box 0122 7710 Chatham Rd Columbia, MD 21045-0122 Chevy Chase, MD 20815 GEMail: C.S.SMETON GEMail: J.D.Barnes CIS: 73047,2565 DELPHI: JDBARNES FNET: Charles Smeton, Node 500 Internet: JOHNBARNES@ENH.NIST.GOV Booths Ad Pages Standard Price Discount Price ** ------------------------------------------------------------ 0 1/2 $75 $53 1 1/2 $500 $350 2 1/2 $850 $595 3 1/2 $1100 $770 4 1/2 $1350 $945 0 1 $125 $88 1 1 $575 $403 2 1 $925 $648 3 1 $1175 $823 4 1 $1425 $998 ** To qualify for the discount price a 50% downpayment must be received with the reservation by July 31, 1991. Payment may be in the form of check or money order for all payments made by September 12, 1991. Payment after this date must be in the form of money order, travelers check or cash (sorry, no exceptions). Xx THE PROGRAMMER'S WORKSHOP ============================ by Dave Arlington, JACG It's true folks. Programmer have become sexy. Sure there used to be a day when programmers were viewed as faceless entities huddled in a basement over an Atari computer. Nowadays though, are there any active 8-bit users who are not familiar with names such as Roy Goldman (Daisy Dot), Ron Riche (TextPro), Bob Puff (BobTerm), and our guest for the May meeting, Kris Holtegaard. I think this sudden surge in popularity for programmers has to do with the fact that these fine folks are viewed (and rightly so) as the last remaining lifeline for the 8-bit line of computers. But hey, why let them have all the fun? This column is the start of a series aimed at imtermediate level programming types (or those who want to become so) to teach all those neat tricks that all the pros know how to do. Originally, I had done a tutorial for Action!, and while it was well recieved outside our group, there didn't seem to be enough people interested in Action! in the JACG to attempt to start it up again. So, this time around, this column will attempt to cover ALL the major ATARI languages I can think of. For me, this means BASIC, Action!, PASCAL, C, LOGO, and even some Assembly Language. (Sorry to all you diehard PILOT programmers out there!) For example, this column has demos in four different languages. Also, I will try not to 'chapter'-ize this series like the Action! tutorial. That way, if you miss an issue of the newsletter or come in late, you won't be totally lost. Each entry will be more of a stand-alone module. So, before we start, let's cover a few ground rules. First, you should get a minimum set of necessary tools. The things you should have in your possesion by next month (and should be part of any serious programmer's toolbox) is the following: A calculator that has hexadecimal numbers. They are pretty cheap these days and as you'll find out why next month, very, very handy to have. I'll explain more next month, but try to get your hands on one. A few good Atari reference books. The more, the better and the ones Tom Graf suggests above are an excellent start. At a very minimum, get a good memory map book like Mapping The Atari. And of course, _your_ favorite language. One word of caution. I am reluctantly including BASIC so as to reach the widest audience, but I do have my standards! For that reason, I will be using Turbo BASIC, the public domain BASIC from Germany that is easily available from our club library. You can try following along with Atari BASIC, but I can guarantee you'll have a very hard time converting from the things we can do in Turbo BASIC to Atari BASIC. So please, if you don't already have a copy, get a copy of Turbo BASIC from the club. You'll end up thanking me! (Oh, and if you're using something like BASIC XL or BASIC XE, you should be all right with those for the things we'll do.) The other languages I'll be using for this column are Action!, Lightspeed C for the C programs, Kyan PASCAL for the PASCAL programs, Atari LOGO for the LOGO programs, and MAC/65 for the Assembly Language listings. I know the public domain ACE C is an OK substitute for LightSpeed C, and you can probably get by with the Atari Assembler/ Editor cart instead of MAC/65. There is a public domain PASCAL, Draper PASCAL, but as I've never seen it, I can't vouch for how compatible it is with Kyan PASCAL. (This, of course, does not mean you have to worry about any more than one language, YOUR favorite. Just look for those listings and ignore all the other languages unless you want to learn something about how those languages work. As far as the level of expertise I expect you to have to make good use of this column, it goes like this: Action! programmers should have read the first five parts of my previous tutorials and feel comfortable with that stuff. BASIC programmers should know how to do IF-THENs, FOR-NEXT loops, GOTOs, and GOSUBs. C and PASCAL folks should know the similar things (and also WHILEs and REPEAT-UNTILs), but I understand that some of you are not that familiar with these languages and I hope you'll be able to learn something about them by comparing them to the one(s) you know. I'm mostly presenting LOGO for instructional purposes and to prove it is a very useful language, so if any LOGO programmers really exist out there, please let me know! So, you have a month to pick up a calculator, a reference book, and a copy of Turbo BASIC if you need one. And I'll see you next month! What's that? Did I mention demo programs above? Oh yeah, sorry, there is one thing I want to talk about before I wrap up; something that is left over from the Action! tutorials. I got some nice comments from across the country on the Action! tutorials, but a couple of knowledgeable Atari users told me I had made a mistake in one of the parts where I was comparing Action! to C. I had mentioned that Action! was not a recursive language like C or PASCAL and a couple readers pointed out to me that this was not true, that Action! could indeed handle recursion. Well, they seemed to know their stuff, so I gave it another look. The conclusion? I guess it depends how you define recursion. If you define recursion simply as a language having the capability of calling a procedure, function, or subroutine from within the procedure or function itself, then yes, I guess Action! is recursive. However, I think you have to have a little stricter definition of recursion than that. Using the definition above, ALL Atari languages that I know of are recursive and the term really doesn't mean anything any more. So, I claim that Action! is NOT recursive for reasons I'll show in a couple of paragraphs from now. First though, I need to have a little discussion of global and local variables; what that means, what they are, and how they are used. Let's say you start a programming club and one day you read a great book on Atari computers, De Re Atari. You think this book is so good, you think everyone in the club should use this book. Now, if there is only one copy of this book for the entire club, then whatever one person does to the book affects everyone in the club. If Joe K. writes in the margins, and Sam C. cuts out some pages, and Dave N. spills coffee all over it, everyone in the club has to live with those written on, coffee stained, cut out pages. This is the concept of global variables. These are the only kind of variables that BASIC has. For instance, if you declare a variable BOOK in your BASIC program, then if it gets changed somewhere in the program, regardless of which subroutine or part of the main program it gets changed in, it takes effect in the whole program. There is only one copy of the BOOK varaible existing in the program at any time. Now let's go back to our programming club analogy and say that instead of having one book for the entire club, everybody in the club gets their own copy of De Re Atari. Now it doesn't matter if Joe K. writes in the margins of his book, and Sam C. cuts out pages of his book, none of that affects _YOUR_ copy of De Re Atari. You still have all the pages in your copy with no writing on them. This is the concept of local variables. BASIC doesn't have them, but Action!, C, PASCAL, and LOGO all have them. You can pass variables to a procedure or function and have the procedures or functions use their own private copies of the variable you passed, just like each club member had their own private copy of De Re Atari. Look at the first demo program below: EXAMPLE 1 PROC Test2(BYTE num) num==+5 PrintBE(num) RETURN PROC Test1(BYTE num) num==+5 PrintBE(num) Test2(num) PrintBE(num) RETURN PROC main() BYTE num num=5 PrintBE(num) Test1(num) PrintBE(num) RETURN OK, here's the blow by blow. In the main program, the variable num us declared and given the value of 5 which we print. We then call the Test1 procedure which gets its own local copy of num which it adds 5 to to get 10, which we print. Then it calls the Test2 procedure which gets its own local copy of num and also adds 5 to it to get 15 which we print again and the RETURN. Now we're back in the Test1 procedure, but remember, it's copy of num like Test2's is local and not affected by what happens in the Test2 procedure. So when we print it out again in Test1 after Test2 ends, it still has the value of 10. And likewise, when Test1 ends and we get back to the main program, the main program's copy of num is unaffected by what happened in the two Test procedures and still has the value of 5 as you'll see if you compile the program and run it. Now let's combine what we just learned about global and local variables with recursion (procedures of functions calling themselves). The following 4 programs all look alike and are supposed to do the same thing. Basically, they take a number and count up to it. For instance, if you do COUNTDOWN 5 in LOGO, you will see the numbers 1 through 5 printed on the screen in order. Now, I did say they're supposed to all do the same thing. One does not. First, the examples: EXAMPLE 2 - LOGO TO COUNTUP :NUM IF :NUM > 1 [COUNTUP :NUM - 1] PRINT :NUM END EXAMPLE 3 - PASCAL PROGRAM Demo(Input,Output); PROCEDURE Countup(num:Integer); BEGIN IF num > 1 THEN Countup(num - 1); Writeln(num); END; BEGIN Countup(3) END. EXAMPLE 4 - C countup(num) int num; $( if(num > 1) countup(num - 1); printf("%d\n",num); $) main() $( countup(3); $) EXAMPLE 5 - Action! PROC countup(BYTE num) IF num > 1 THEN countup(num - 1) FI PrintBE(num) RETURN main() countup(3) RETURN Now, you can probably guess by now, it is the Action! version that does not work like it should. Why not? Well, first, how does the program work? Like our other example, when the program first starts countup is called with a value of 3, and it keeps a local copy of that variable handy. It checks and sees that num is greater than one, so it calls the countdown procedure from within itself with the value of num - 1 (or 2). countup(2) calls yet another countup procedure (since 2 is still greater than one). So, by now, we have three versions of the same function running at the same time and they all havee their own local copies of the num variable. countup(1) finally is not greater than 1, so it prints 1 and then ends. Back to countup(2) which prints the value of its local num variable which is still 2 and it ends. And so on. Well, the key as to why this works OK in C, PASCAL, and LOGO but not in Action! has to do with how these languages handle local variables. In C, PASCAL, and LOGO, when a new procedure is called while another is still running, the value of local variables are stored temporarily in a special place in memory called the stack (which we'll discuss in detail in a later column). Then when they are needed again, they are pulled out of memory with their original values intact. So, in these languages, if three versions of countup are running all at the same time, their local variables all have three different places in memory where they are stored where they won't affect each other. Action!, however, doesn't play by these rules. When you compile any procedure, in this case countup, it only sets aside ONE place in memory for each of its local variables. So, no matter when or where you call the countup procedure, the local variable always get stored in the same place. Action! doesn't take recursion into account in this scheme. For instance, in the example program, when your call countup(2) from countup(3), the 2 gets stored in the same place where the 3 used to be! Likewise, countup(1) overwrites the 2 with a 1. So when countup(1) ends and we go back to countup(2), it looks in the local variable storage place and sees a 1! So instead of counting up to 3 like the other three versions, Action! just prints three 1s. So that's why I claim Action! is not a recursive language. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you have a language that wants to have local variables AND recursion, that recursion isn't any good if it doesn't keep the values of local variables intact after it is done. Note that BASIC doesn't get involved in this discussion since it does not have local variables at all. Now, to get you in the spirit of this column, here's a challenge for next month. Write a COUNTUP PROCedure in either TURBO BASIC or Action! that simulates local variables. You'll need a place in memory to store your local variables and some sort of pointer to know which local variable you want to access when. HINT: Page 6 (locations 1536 and on) is a good place for BASIC to use. In Action!, I'd think about an array to hold them. Answers to the challenge will appear next month along with the friendliest guide to (please don't run away until you've read it!) hexadecimal numbers you'll ever see. And I promise to someday talk about just where Action! does store those local variables and how you can use it to your advantage. 'Til next month! Xx Z*MAGAZINE ARCHIVES ====================== Reprinted from Issue #5, June 1986 LEDBETTER RELEASES MPP EXPRESS MPP users now can get Express!! Keith Ledbetter released three versions of Express, the terminal program. GO ATARI8 on CompuServe to get these new versions. ATARI PLANNING SUMMER PRODUCTS - June 5, 1986 Atari Corp. is holding some product announcements from the CES and scheduling them for later in the summer. Compatible with the ST product line, the new products will include a 3.5 floppy with 10MB storage capacity, a super-hi-res graphics board with 1,000 line resolution and a new sound chip. Other new products are memory and multitasking upgrades as well as a new expansion box for holding the multiple upgrades. ATARI'S 32-BIT MICRO COMING SOON - June 6, 1986 Atari has a 32-bit computer in development. The company recently signed a Unix licensing agreement with AT&T and Atari chairman Jack Tramiel has indicated that the new machine will run under Unix. When the new computer is introduced, current ST owners will be offered an option to upgrade their machines to use the Unix operating system. No release date was specified for the new computer. ATARI TO QUIT TAIWAN PLANT - June 6, 1986 Jack Tramiel is planning to shut down Atari's production line in Taiwan. In remarks posted on a bulletin board service after he met with Atari owners in Massachusetts, the Atari chairman said that under the right conditions computers could be constructed in the US with the same cost efficiency as in Taiwan. Tramiel set no deadline for the manufacturing changeover but he did indicate the move was not in the immediate future. ======================================================================= Z*MAGAZINE Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine is a bi-weekly magazine covering the Atari and related computer community. Material contained in this edition may be reprinted without permission, except where otherwise noted, unedited, with the issue number, name and author included at the top of each reprinted article. Commentary and opinions presented are those of the individual author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Z*MAGAZINE or the staff. Z*Magazine Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine, Z*Net Atari Online Magazine, Z*Net are copyright (c)1990 by Rovac Industries Inc, a registered corporation. Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey 08846. (908) 968-2024. Z*Net Online BBS 24 Hours, 1200/2400 Baud, (908) 968-8148. We can be reached on CompuServe at 75300,1642 and on GEnie at Z-NET. ======================================================================= Z*Magazine Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine Copyright (c)1986,87,88,89,90,91 Rovac Industries, Inc.. =======================================================================
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