Z*Magazine: 27-Jan-92 #202From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/09/93-04:22:27 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 27-Jan-92 #202 Date: Sat Oct 9 16:22:27 1993 | (((((((( | Z*Magazine International Atari 8-Bit Magazine | (( | --------------------------------------------- | (( | January 27, 1992 Issue #202 | (( | --------------------------------------------- | (((((((( | Copyright (c)1992, Rovac Industries, Inc. | | Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, NJ 08846 | (( | | (((((( | CONTENTS | (( | | | * The Editors Desk..........................Ron Kovacs | ((( ((( | * Z*Net Newswire...................................... | (((( (((( | * NAMM Show Report...........................John Nagy | (( (( (( (( | * The Black Box....................................... | (( (( (( | * 8-Bit Update......................AtariUser Magazine | (( (( | * Carolyn's Corner......................Carolyn Hoglin | | * New 8-Bit Support....................Jeff McWilliams | (( | | (( (( | | (((((((( | | (( (( | | (( (( | ~ Publisher/Editor..........................Ron Kovacs | | ~ Contributing Editor........................John Nagy | (((((((((( | ~ Contributing Editor......................Stan Lowell | (( | ~ Contributing Editor........................Bob Smith | (( ((((( | ~ Newswire Staff...................................... | (( (( | ~ Z*Net New Zealand.........................Jon Clarke | (((((((((( | ~ Z*Net Canada.........................Terry Schreiber | | |-------------| $ GEnie Address..................................Z-NET | ONLINE | $ CompuServe Address........................75300,1642 | AREAS | $ Delphi Address..................................ZNET | | $ Internet/Usenet Address................status.gen.nz |-------------| $ America Online Address......................ZNET1991 | | | Z*NET | * Z*Net:USA New Jersey...(FNET 593).....(908) 968-8148 | SUPPORT | * Z*Net:Golden Gate......(FNET 706).....(510) 373-6792 | SYSTEMS | * Blank Page.........(8-Bit FNET 9002)..(908) 805-3967 ======================================================================= * THE EDITORS DESK by Ron Kovacs ======================================================================= In a future edition, I would like to publish a list of Atari 8-Bit support systems. Please help us out by sending in your BBS or favorite system number in email on any of the services listed above. FNET UPDATE The Z*Net Conference is going to be included on AtariBase which debuts March 1, 1992 in FNET. Beta-Test and hardware set-up is taking place right now and all users and user groups are enouraged to sign-up for the Z*Net Online Fnet Conference. Bob Brodie will be participating via AtariBase, to be called officially, Atari Corporation Online, in the Z*Net Conference, the Lynx Conference, Star Trek Conference, FoReM SysOp's Conference and others to be named later. An additional note, User Groups are encouraged to hook-up to FNET via FoReM BBS software where Atari will call into your node direct so that all registered Atari User Groups can participate in the Atari User Group Conference. This conference, set-up exclusively for Atari User Groups will provide a communication link to Atari and Bob Brodie from all over the country. If your interested in more information on the Z*Net Atari Online Conference or the Atari User Group Conference, send email today to Node 593 in FNET. Stay tuned for further details as they become available. Since there is a month before the official debut, some of these comments may change. You can also contact Node 593 directly at 908-968-8148. ======================================================================= * Z*NET NEWSWIRE ======================================================================= PAGESTREAM OFFER - UPDATE A few months ago, Z*Net published a Soft-Logik User Group offer for a free copy of PageStream to Registered Atari User Groups. Soft-Logik has asked the User Groups that responded to the offer for their registered Atari User Group number, which is non-existent. Atari's Director of Communications, Bob Brodie does NOT assign any numbers to the groups. Soft-Logik has been made aware of this and there is no longer a need to call Atari Corp directly for this number. ATARI ADS APPEAR IN DISCOVER Discover Magazine, recently purchased by Disney will include a center- fold advertisement from Atari for the Portfolio and the new Atari Music Division. This ad will appear in the February 15th issue. This "World of Science" subcriber base exceeds 1.2 million readers. PORTFOLIO SELLS OUT On December 2, 1991, the Atari Portfolio was unleashed into 20 CompUSA stores. Last week in Tampa Florida, Atari made arrangements for a talking Robot powered by a Portfolio for the opening of the store there. The store sold out several hundred Portfolio's on the opening day. Next week there are similar openings scheduled in the Philadelphia and Chicago areas. Atari is also said to be assisting in radio and print advertising for these stores and events. ======================================================================= * NAMM - A First Person View by John Nagy ======================================================================= Atari Corp was virtually the only computer being seriously shown at the National Association of Music Merchants show last week. Sounds simple enough, just another trade show, right? Well, yes and no. NAMM is held twice a year in fashion similar to that of COMDEX (computer trade) and CES (consumer electronics products). Its a conclave of everything from sellers of guitar picks to makers of turn-key recording studios for the stars. It's a trade show in the same sense and scale as the others, but the emphasis on the musical arts makes it a very different affair... in the people it brings out. The Winter NAMM is traditionally held in the Anaheim Convention Center, just down the street from the original Disneyland in metropolitan Los Angeles, California. This year, it was Friday through Sunday, January 10-12. Spanning three huge interconnected convention halls, this NAMM offered more, louder, and more varied music products this year than in the past. Last year's Winter event was quite subdued, occurring just after the start of the Gulf War. The Summer event (in Chicago) was still smaller and lackluster. Recession or no, this NAMM made up for lost time. But the mix of PEOPLE was different, too. Far less green hair and see- through leotards. About the same amount of leather. Far more suits and ties (Brooks Brothers with Dreadlocks was an "in" look). And more serious business attitudes all around. In the middle of this musical phantasmagoria was Atari Corp's booth. I won't repeat the details of the new Atari Music Division or the FOSTEX announcements, as they were given in depth last week in Z*Net. But the "feel" of the show is news in itself. The Atari area was the largest yet at any NAMM, apropos of Atari's new commitment to its official new Music Division headed up by James Grunke. An open area accommodated as many as 25 work stations manned in COMDEX fashion with a host of third party developers. They included music specialty developers Hybrid Arts, Thinkware, Roland, Steinberg-Jones, Dr.T's, C-LAB, Fostex, JLCooper, Interval, Pixel, Korg, Hotz, and many more, each showing off their latest products for the Atari platform. For a change, non-musical software was also being shown. Codehead products, Tracker-ST, Calamus, PageStream, DiamondBack, and many other productivity titles were shown to musicians who had, in many cases, not considered using their MIDI computer for anything else. About a third of the Atari booth was a glass sound studio in which musicians were able to witness real-time use of Atari computers and software in a live and recording studio atmosphere. Here is where fairly continuous demos and press conferences were offered, educating an eager public to the virtues of Atari. And eager they were. Where prior NAMM showings brought respectful attention to Atari, this one brought a searing spotlight. It may be that only now are musicians realizing their need for computerized help, and Atari was the ONLY computer company with a satisfying booth. Or it may be that Atari is increasingly understood as the overall winner in price, performance, and accuracy when it comes to MIDI applications. I expect it is both. No APPLE/MAC at this show. No AMIGA. A trifling IBM booth showing... windows? Atari alone had the music technology specialty offerings for the entire conflagration of Music Merchants to view. And they did more than view. They Bought. They Bought BIG. In the first half day of the three day show, Atari had already penned more deals at higher bucks than at the entire show last year. And the sales pace kept up throughout the show. A major piano and organ chain opened its first purchase of Atari hardware with a six-figure order. To start. The crowds never let up inside the Atari booth, even when the isles and surrounding booths were on the wane. That was unlike any trade show Atari performance I have ever witnessed. It was EXCITING. It got more exciting when COMPUTER CHRONICLES, the National PBS computer series, arrived to interview, tape, and profile lots of people in the Atari booth. While their special show on MIDI/MUSIC that will air the week of February 25 will feature all platforms, expect a MAJOR portion of it to be about the Atari. They were visibly impressed, and filmed for hours. It stayed more exciting as countless face-recognition entertainment personalities sauntered through the booth, picking out what they planned to get next -- for their Atari. The usuals, including the towering Mick Fleetwood, of course. Plus everything from jazz to classical to acid to punk to funk. I recognized many of them by face (thanks to MTV), but their names aren't part of my repertoire. They signed a big autograph board, but I couldn't read most of them. Sorry. The hottest news of the show was the new alliance of FOSTEX and Atari, with C-Lab, Dr. T's, and Steinberg working together to create the first automated/computerized control studio. Fostex has integrated MIDI control of multiple track tape systems. Now, from the Atari console, full control of any and all tape functions can be executed or assigned to infinite combinations of controlled MIDI events. The motto is "Thread it and forget it." The Atari makes it possible, for the first time. The impact of this was NOT lost on the endless legion of professional recording engineers that stood, mouths open and drooling, over the equipment. Nor did they miss the impact of the remarkable Hybrid Arts Digital Master direct-to-disk recording and editing system. Featuring an Atari ST as the head end, this unit RETAILS for under $5,000, complete, and can record with CD digital perfection, up to 12 minutes of fully editable stereo sound. The EX version, to be ready for sale shortly, will feature 16 tracks and 4 output tracks, for true full recording studio power in an noise-free ALL ELECTRONIC media. Cheaply. And the STBook wasn't missed either. As a replacement for the STacy, the STBook was a hit as the ONLY "notebook" computer anywhere with built-in MIDI. Atari promised shipping in quantity for March '92. The line has formed already. Innovative incentives made potential dealers into signed dealers. A promotion called "Do the Loop" invited dealers to visit each and every station in the Atari area, qualifying them for a drawing for a TT030 system. By the time they were qualified, they were typically convinced to be dealers, too. The TT gathered support as a new top professional option for MIDI work. All of Dr. T's products work on at TT, CUBASE has been upgraded for the TT, and C-Lab has committed to upgrade ALL of their products for use on the TT030 by year's end. A music developer conference, numerous press conferences, and a party in James Grunke's suite on Saturday night firmed up more contacts and contracts than Atari ever imagined or hoped. NAMM '92 was an unqualified smash sucess for Atari, establishing it as, if not the ONLY serious music computer manufacturer, at least the ONLY one who cared enough to come to the musicians with the tools they need, want, and can afford. If this is "Atari '92," we are in for a GREAT year. ======================================================================= * THE BLACK BOX ======================================================================= Information on the BLACK BOX *NOW AVAILABLE* from Computer Software Services There has been a great deal of interest since the announcement of 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-in to the Black Box, so no adaptor 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, and a SASI/SCSI hard disk port. A fourth floppy disk port for connection 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-in to 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; its 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, and all Maxtor and 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 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 a 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 with 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 ======================================================================= * 8-BIT UPDATE ======================================================================= The following article is reprinted in Z*Net by permission of AtariUser magazine and Quill Publishing. It MAY NOT be further reprinted without specific permission of Quill. AtariUser is a monthly Atari magazine, available by subscription for $18 a year. For more information on AtariUser, call 800-333-3567. Many of you classic users have had difficulties getting product, or knowing who offers what. Well, here is your AtariUser 8-bit RESOURCE to answer all of those questions! Major Hardware/Software Developers for 8-bit Products: Computer Software Services is your contact for high performance upgrades. CSS offers several different ROM upgrades for both Atari 8- bit disk drives and computers. In addition to system RAM upgrades and a flock of utilities, there is a product called the MULTIPLEXER which will allow multiple classic computers to be interconnected, with the capability of sharing peripherals. The ultimate upgrade for the XL/XE systems offered by CSS is the BLACK BOX, which is a combination serial port, parallel printer port, hard disk host adapter, and floppy disk enhancer. A couple of additional unique features built into the 'BB' are a machine code debugger, and a print screen button. An expansion connector on the 'BB' will allow connection of parallel floppy drives (availability to be announced). CSS offers complete hard drive solutions, or just the components you need to finish off your custom design. You can talk to Bob at (716) 429)5639, or by mail at CSS, P.O. Box 17660, Rochester NY 14617. CSS also operates a24-hour BBS which can be called at (716) 247-7157, using 300, 1200, or 2400 baud. Innovative Concepts offers a wide assortment of used software and hardware, in addition to several different memory upgrades for your computer and enhancements for your disk drives. 'IC' has a large list of Printshop clipart and printer drivers, and a whole line of budget priced Public domain, shareware and commercial software. Contact Mark at (313) 293-0730, or write to I.C. at 31172 Shawn Drive, Warren MI 48093. One of the original and reliable resources for classic users looking for dependable products is ICD, Inc. Sadly, ICD is clearing out their 8-bit products (this may be your last chance to get that ICD product you have had your eye on!). One of ICD's most known products is their disk operating system called SPARTADOS. The latest version of SpartaDOS is called SDX, and is a plug in piggy-back cartridge, with many advanced features including a MSDOS look to their command line. A real-time clock cartridge called RTIME-8 is also offered by ICD and supported by SpartaDOS. If you need more RAM, their RAMBO upgrade will allow your XL (800XL and 1200XL) to be upgraded to 256K of memory, which is supported by various utilities and SpartaDOS. The P:R: connection is an inexpensive alternative to other serial and parallel adapters, and will work on all of the 8-bit systems (1200XL will require minor modifications). If you only need a printer interface, the PRINTER CONNECTION is the answer. For a complete solution to connectivity, the MIO (Multi-I/O) box will work with 600XL, 800XL, or 130XE (XE requires an adapter) computer to provide serial, parallel, and hard disk support. MIO's are available in either 256K or 1Meg RAMT and/or RAMdisk selectable by the built in configuration menu. The complete OSS line of languages including BASIC XL, BASIC XE, MAC/65, and Action! are also marketed by ICD. ICD can be contacted at (815)-968-2228 by voice, or (815)-968-2229 is their BBS number. Mail can be sent to ICD Inc., 1220 Rock Street, Rockford Illinois 61101-1437. ReeveSoft, as featured in the June '91 issue of ATARIUSER, offers the Diamond Graphical Operating System. This is a plug in cartridge which contains the complete GOS in ROM (a disk version is also available). They also have several programs which are Diamond compatible, including Diamond Write, Diamond Paint, and Diamond News Station. For more details on these, refer to the June ATARIUSER magazine, or contact ReeveSoft by phone (312) 393-2317, or mail at: 29W150 Old Farm Lane, Warrenville IL 60555. Alpha Systems produces a variety of software and hardware products for your favorite machine. The Parrot II sound digitizer allows you to capture sounds with your computer, and play them back later. Alpha Systems also markets a whole series of books and software relating to Software protection and system optimization. They can be contacted by phone at (216) 374-7469, or you can write them at 1012 Skyland Drive, Macedonia, OH 44056. DataQue, maker of the Turbo-816 CPU upgrade, is one of the few 8-bit developers still expanding their product line by developing new products and acquiring a few from others. Recently DataQue added the TransKey adapter to their catalog, which is a small PC board which will allow you to attach an IBM/PC/XT/AT keyboard to your 8-bit system. Other products offered by DataQue include a line of MS-DOS cross-development utilities (to target the Atari 8-bit systems), the Turbo-Calc spreadsheet, and currently in development the Turbo-C8 'C' language development cartridge. For more information, contact DataQue on GEnie/Delphi with the username of DataQue, or CIS PPN of 71777,3223. Additional information can be also requested by mail at Post Office Box 134, Ontario, OH 44862-0134. Replacement Parts, Software, and Hardware: These companies have many hard to find hardware and software items at reasonable prices. If you need a replacement part for one of your systems, or a program no longer in distribution, here are *the* contacts to check first (in alphabetical order): American Techna-Vision 15338 Inverness Street San Leandro, CA 94579 (415) 352-3787 Best Electronics San Jose, CA 95126 (408) 243-6950 B&C ComputerVisions 3256 Kifer Road Santa Clara, CA 95051 (408) 749-1003 San Jose Computers 640 Blossom Hill Road San Jose, CA 95123 (408) 224-8575 Software/Hardware Mail Order Houses: These mail order outlets offer a wide variety of software and/or hardware for your 8-bit Atari system: Black Moon Systems P.O. Box 152 Wind Gap, PA 18091 Compsult Post Office Box 3233 San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-3233 (805) 544-6616 Marcel Programming 298 Fifth Avenue Suite 141 New York, NY 10001 Software Clinic 4916 Del-Ray Avenue Bethesda, MD 20814 (301) 656-7983 Team Computers 22205 Kelly Road East Detroit, MI 48021 (313) 445-2983 Toad Computers 556 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd Severna Park, Maryland 21146 (301) 544-6943 Public Domain and Shareware Software Distributors: If you are interested in Public Domain, or shareware software, and other online services, the following companies offer such software at reasonable prices: Software Infinity 642 East Waring Avenue State College, PA 16801 Sagamore Software 2104 Arapahoe Dr. Lafayette, IN 47905 BellCom PO Box 1043 Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9J7A5 BRE Software 352 West Bedford Ave, Suite 104 Fresno, CA 93711 M.W.P.D.S. 890 N. Huntington St Medina, OH 44256 Vulcan Software P.O.B. 692 Manassas, VA 22111-0692 National Magazines which support the Atari 8-bit Systems: Prices listed are for one year subscriptions. Some magazines run promotional specials from time to time, so inquire about any specials when you order. All prices are in US dollars. AtariUser 113 W College St Covina, CA 91723 (818) 332-0372 12 Issues/year @ $18 Free through user groups Current Notes 122 N. Johnson Rd. Sterling, VA 22170 (703) 450-4761 10 issues/year @ $27.00 participating user group rates available Atari Interface Magazine c/o Unicorn Publications 3487 Braeburn Circle Ann Arbor, MI 48108 (313) 973-8825 participating user group rates available ZMAGAZINE Online Atari Magazine (8-bit support electronic newsletter) Z*Net/Rovac Industries P.O. Box 59 Middlesex, NJ 08846 BBS: (908) 968)8148 Published roughly monthly, available on GEnie, CompuServe, Delphi, F-Net, and private BBS systems - no subscription fee. ======================================================================= * CAROLYN'S CORNER by Carolyn Hoglin ======================================================================= This month's column is a departure from my usual discussion about word processing. But it does involve printing - the printing of color graphics. So far as I am aware, there are only two programs for the 8-bit Atari that will print screen graphics in full color: YEMACYB/4, by Michael L. Clayton; and PicPrint, by Kyle Dain. Each of these programs is designed for Epson-compatible printers using four-color ribbons. They employ a clever combination of yellow, red, blue, and black in dot patterns created in a 4 x 4 matrix that result in a hardcopy printout that may include any or all of the 128 colors available on the 8-bit Atari. Sample picture files are included with each program. Having only four colors in a color ribbon would seem to allow only seven hues plus the white of the paper, since red and yellow make orange, red and blue make purple, and blue and yellow make green (didn't I learn that in kindergarten?). However, the program analyzes the color of each pixel on the screen and mixes the colors of the ribbon in varying proportions in an attempt to achieve a printout that matches the screen display as closely as possible. A color's dot pattern may be made up of only one dot for a very pastel effect, or as many as 16 for the brightest hue. For instance, a pale pink might use only the red ribbon in a pattern of widely separated dots, allowing a lot of white to dilute the red. Orange would be achieved by printing yellow followed by red. Yellow and red would each be printed in the dot pattern required by the shade of orange in the picture. Each pass of the printhead prints first yellow, then red, blue, and black as required by the program's color analysis. Paint programs usually employ GRAPHICS 15 which allows your choice of four colors per picture consisting of 192 rows of 160 pixels each. To increase the apparent number of colors in a picture, a variety of patterns composed of the four colors are provided. YEMACYB/4 and PicPrint faithfully reproduce these patterns as well as the solid colors. With the judicious use of DLI's (Display List Interrupts - usually only understood by advanced programmers), a picture can even display all 128 colors at the same time. I have found that pictures loaded into either of these fine programs produce printouts virtually identical to one another. However, the programs themselves differ in many ways. YEMACYB/4 You may have guessed that the title of this program (pronounced "YEM-a-sibe") comes from the hues of a standard color ribbon - yellow, magenta, cyan, and black. (Magenta and cyan look pretty much like red and blue to most of us.) Incidentally, the original version of this program ("YEMACYB" without the "/4") is for non-color Epson-compatible printers and involves passing the same sheet of paper through your printer four times using individual yellow, red, blue, and black ribbons. The program provides a means of precisely aligning the paper before each pass. While the procedure is rather tedious and time-consuming, the final result is the same as if printed on an Epson JX-80 or a Star NX-1000r. This program requires BASIC, but is self booting. There are no DOS or AUTORUN.SYS files on the program disk, nor are they necessary. Only Drive 1 is supported. The program documentation states that your graphic file must be in standard 62-sector format (either GRAPHICS 7 or GRAPHICS 7+ [GRAPHICS 15]), but I found that it would load some, but not all, compressed files as well. After the file is loaded, the picture is displayed on the screen. Touching a key brings you to the color change menu. At this point, you may choose to change your picture to monochrome. Or, if you are printing in color, here is where you have the opportunity to change the colors in each register (line by line, if you wish). Unless you have a listing of the pokes to memory locations 708, 709, 710, and 712, and the colors they produce, this is likely to be a lengthy trial-and-error procedure. You may also load DLI data that has been saved on disk. When you have finished your changes, the picture is redisplayed for your approval. You may go back to the color change menu as many times as necessary. There is no provision to restore the original colors, or to go from monochrome back to color without reloading the picture. When you are satisfied with your picture, you have the opportunity to save the color changes you have made. This color data is not saved in a DOS format, but is unconditionally written, for future use, on the last six sectors of whatever single-density disk is in the drive. My test picture took about 15 minutes to print and was centered on the paper both vertically and horizontally. The number of the column being printed is displayed on the screen, beginning with 159 and counting down to 0. While printing is in progress, it can be either paused temporarily or aborted. With the differences among monitors, printers, ribbons, and paper, you may find that the printout does not match the screen display exactly. Included with YEMACYB/4 is a separate utility program to create your own modified color pallette to use instead of the default pallette provided. There are five more utility programs provided, as well as a menu to select them from. You must first load your favorite DOS, then run MENU.BAS. The program YFLIPPER.BAS will mirror flip a Micropainter picture file in GRAPHICS 7 or GRAPHICS 15, and resave it to disk. YSAVUSCR.BAS enables you to capture to disk a GRAPHICS 7 or GRAPHICS 15 picture that is displayed in a BASIC program. YDLISCON.BAS will convert that DLI data from the last 6 sectors to a DOS file and back again. YBAREBON.BAS is a few-frills GRAPHICS 7 editor with text entry capability. YWINDOWS.BAS confused me. Documentation needs to be provided for this program. YEMACYB/4 is a powerful program that does what it claims very well indeed. A very nice feature is the file COLCHART.PIC which creates a full-screen 128-color display that also functions as a reference color chart when printed. The DLI data on the program disk makes this possible. This reference chart is a great help when creating a custom pallette. The documentation includes a chart of the 45 dot patterns used to create various hues which makes the concept much more understandable. On the negative side, I found the program somewhat awkward to use at times, and wished it were possible to redisplay my picture without going round and round in the menu. If you load the wrong picture by mistake, you must proceed as if you intend to print it through quite a few commands before finally being offered the option of starting over. Michael L. Clayton Electronical Software P.O. Box 8035 Rochester, MI 48063 (313) 942-9504 PicPrint This program is extremely user friendly and has the immediate advantage of being able to load and display graphic files from just about any paint program written for the 8-bit Atari. In many cases the program automatically identifies the type of graphic file and displays it accordingly. A few files produced by programs using GRAPHICS 7, GRAPHICS 8, or mixed screens are loaded by pressing console keys according to instructions. Another advantage is that it supports not only Epson-compatibles, but also Atari XMM-801, and Canon thermal printers, in color or black-and- white. All drives are supported, including ramdisks. After the picture is loaded, it is displayed with an overlaid menu window which provides a great many useful options. Pressing "V" allows viewing of the entire picture until another key is pressed to bring back the menu. If you have selected a non-color printer, your picture is shown in monochrome. If you have a color printer, but want to make a monochrome printout (using a black or another single-color ribbon), you can change the display to black and white. In either case, you can change each color register by choosing its number (1 through 4) and then pressing + or - keys. I especially like the way you get instant feedback when making these changes. Display List Interrupt data cannot be originated from the program, but pressing "D" will load the .P? files from Philip Price's PD Painter program files. These files provide for displaying up to 128 colors in one picture. The DLI's won't show on your screen, but they will print on paper. You may also flip your picture - very useful for making T-shirt iron-ons. Pictures may be changed to and from GRAPHICS 8 monochrome mode. Whether you actually see monochrome on your screen depends upon what kind of Atari and monitor you are using. If you have an XE computer that outputs separate chroma and luma and a monitor and cord that supports this, the picture appears in black and white. If you are using an XL computer, or your monitor or cord only supports composite video, you may see a lot of purple and green due to artifacting. Since these colors are not "real" colors, they will not be printed as such, even on a color printer. In this GRAPHICS 8 mode, you can also switch to a negative image. This is great for pics that normally display white on a black background. Another plus is that you can restore colors in GRAPHICS 15 pics if you messed them up or have changed them to black and white. You can save your picture in standard 62-sector uncompressed format for use with other programs. If you press "C", the values of the color registers will be shown on the screen (behind the menu window). Unless you also want them on your printed picture for some reason, I don't advise using this option, as there is no way to undo it short of reloading your picture! When you are ready to print your picture, you can use console keys to enable double strike (great when your ribbon is fading) and/or disable ANTIC DMA to speed up the printing. (For some reason, this last feature didn't work for me.) The test picture I printed took about 18 minutes to finish. A nice touch is the moving bar on screen indicating printing progress. The printout will be centered horizontally, but not vertically, so you need to set your paper so that printing begins about one inch from the top. There are many factors that affect matching the colors on screen to the colors printed on paper. Try displaying the same picture on two different monitors, or on a monitor and a TV set. They seldom are the same. So which one is PicPrint to match? If you can see that the colors are not going to satisfy you, you can abort the printing, reload the pic and adjust the colors. There is no programmed pause-and-resume- printing feature, but I noted that setting my printer off-line did not cause an error for a good 30 seconds. Included on the program disk are two valuable utility programs. CONVERT.COM will convert pics to and from GRAPHICS 8, ST PI3, and IBM monochrome format. PAINTR.COM is Philip Price's DLI program. A brief explanation of PAINTR.COM is included with PicPrint, but you should really read the documentation in ANTIC Magazine's September 1984 issue to get the full benefit of this sophisticated and powerful program. Patrick Dell'era's enhancements to this program are documented in ANTIC's March 1985 issue. PicPrint is a compiled TurboBasic program and must be run on an Atari XL or XE computer. It will not run correctly under the OmniView OS, and you must be sure to disable BASIC when booting. If I could change anything, I would add the ability to pause the printout, and possibly disable BASIC automatically. But this is nitpicking. If you have a color printer (or even if you don't), contact Kyle Dain to purchase PicPrint! Kyle Dain MKD Systems 125 Goodview Drive Apollo, PA 15613 (412) 727-7987 ======================================================================= * NEW 8-BIT SUPPORT by Jeff McWilliams ======================================================================= Heads Up, Atari 8-Bitters!! This Is For YOU! Beginning 1992, the Atari 8-bit computers- and the community of USERS who still cherish these machines- have been officially discarded by Atari Corporation. BUT WE REFUSE TO ROLL OVER AND DIE AT ATARI'S COMMAND!! We believe there are enough of us left to pursue our 8-bit interests independently of Atari Corporation. Would you like to see a common forum in which users, developers, and vendors can communicate? A print medium wherein advertisers can be assured of reaching their intended audience, and where users can look with confidence for information about new products? A user-oriented publication to fill the void left by the collapse of ANTIC and ANALOG? My name is Jeff McWilliams, and I'm a dedicated 8-bit user. I want to present the Atari 8-bit community the chance to gather under one publication dedicated exclusively to the Atari 8-bit computers. A magazine that will unite our community and give it the strength it needs to survive. A forum where users can ask tough questions and read unvarnished product reviews. A magazine whose ads will be almost exclusively from 8-bit vendors. I propose a write-in campaign to Atari Interface Magazine, asking for a separate, exclusively 8-bit magazine called "Atari Classics". Atari Interface Magazine already has a strong presence in the Atari community. For several years AIM has been a combined ST/8-bit magazine whose publishers have indicated a willingness to support the Atari 8-bit community as long as interest warrants it. NOW is the time to ask them for our own magazine! As Campaign Manager, I will act as the focus for this effort. Now, you might be wondering, "WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?". That part is EASY! Just SEND me your NAME and POSTAL MAILING ADDRESS. I will mail you a FREE Information Kit describing our goals in greater detail. Included with the Kit is a stamped postcard on which you can express your interests and willingness to subscribe to an exclusively 8-bit magazine. (Or, if you disagree with our approach, you can just toss it away and that will be the end of it- BUT WE DON'T THINK YOU WILL!) You'll also be invited to indicate your willingness to PARTICIPATE in the magazine DIRECTLY by being a regular columnist, editor, or just writing about a special project you did or review a product you used. Ben Poehland, the former 8-bit Editor of Current Notes Magazine, is fully supporting this campaign and has offered to donate his services to "Atari Classics" when repairs to his fire-damaged home are completed later this year. The cutoff date for receiving the postcard responses is: MARCH 31, 1992 If by that time I have received 500 positive commitments via postcard, they will all be sent to AIM along with a petition requesting the formation of our proposed exclusive 8-bit publication "Atari Classics". If I receive less than 500 replies, then we will know that the 8-bit community has indeed become a lost and hopeless society. TIME IS RUNNING OUT. THIS MAY BE THE LAST OPPORTUNITY YOU WILL HAVE TO KEEP YOUR MACHINE ALIVE AND SHARE EXPERIENCES WITH FELLOW USERS. IMPORTANT!! Only the OFFICIAL Campaign postcards will be accepted! Those responding by other means will be mailed an Information Kit with which they can register their official response. Regrettably, due to limitations of time and cost, the Campaign will be restricted to addresses in the USA only. However, unofficial responses from outside the USA are welcome and will be included in the final count. PLEASE DO NOT SEND MONEY! If anyone wishes to assist the Campaign, they can do so by posting this release in its unmodified entirety to other on-line services, BBS's, usergroups, friends, and vendors. Additional assistance can be rendered by gatheringnames and addresses of Atari 8- bit owners and furnishing them to me so I can mail them an Information Kit. Jeff McWilliams 2001 G. Woodmar Dr. Houghton, MI 49931-1017 Genie address is J.MCWILL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To sign up for DELPHI service, call (with modem) (800) 695-4002. Upon connection, hit <return> once or twice. At Password: type ZNET and hit <return>. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To sign up for GEnie service call (with modem) (800) 638-8369. Upon connection type HHH and hit <return>. Wait for the U#= prompt and type XTX99436,GEnie and hit <return>. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To sign up for CompuServe service call (with phone) (800) 848-8199. Ask for operator #198. You will be promptly sent a $15.00 free membership kit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*Net International Atari Online Magazine is a weekly publication covering the Atari and related computer community. Material published in this edition may be reprinted under the following terms only. All articles must remain unedited and include the issue number and author at the top of each article reprinted. Reprint permission granted, unless otherwise noted, to registered Atari user groups and not for profit publications. Opinions present herein are those of the individual authors and does not necessarily reflect those of the staff. This publication is not affiliated with the Atari Corporation. Z*Net, Z*Net News Service, Z*Net International, Rovac, Z*Net Atari Online and Z*Net Publishing are copyright (c)1985-1992, Syndicate Publishing, Rovac Industries Incorporated, Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey, 08846-0059, Voice: (908) 968-2024, BBS: (908) 968-8148, (510) 373-6792. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*Magazine Copyright (c)1992, Rovac Industries, Inc... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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