Z*Magazine: 6-Jul-92 #209From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 6-Jul-92 #209 Date: Sat Oct 9 16:42:18 1993 | (((((((( | Z*Magazine International Atari 8-Bit Magazine | (( | --------------------------------------------- | (( | July 6, 1992 Issue #209 | (( | --------------------------------------------- | (((((((( | Copyright (c)1992, Rovac Industries, Inc. | | Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, NJ 08846 | (( | | (((((( | CONTENTS | (( | | | * The Editors Desk..........................Ron Kovacs | ((( ((( | * AtariUser 8-Bit Update................Chuck Steinman | (((( (((( | * Telecommunications Update......................GEnie | (( (( (( (( | * Star*Linx Review/Rating of Blockout................. | (( (( (( | * Perusing The Internet................Michael Current | (( (( | * Crystal Mines 2 Codes............................... | | * Atari Classic Mail-In Campaign Update............... | (( | * Bob Puff and Jeff Potter Conference Highlights...... | (( (( | * UNARC.COM Instructions.............................. | (((((((( | | (( (( | | (( (( | ~ Publisher/Editor..........................Ron Kovacs | | ~ Contributing Editor........................John Nagy | (((((((((( | ~ Contributing Editor......................Stan Lowell | (( | ~ Contributing Editor........................Bob Smith | (( ((((( | ~ Newswire Staff...................................... | (( (( | ~ Z*Net New Zealand.........................Jon Clarke | (((((((((( | ~ Contributing Editor..................Michael Current | | |-------------| $ 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 Five weeks since the last edition of Z*Magazine, but the staff of all the online magazines are returning from vacation and renewed support and development behind the scenes will bring more issues. Have a great summer and see you in just two weeks!! ======================================================================= * ATARIUSER 8-BIT UPDATE ======================================================================= The following article is reprinted in Atari Explorer Online by permission of AtariUser magazine. It MAY NOT be further reprinted without specific permission of AtariUser. AtariUser is a monthly Atari magazine, available by subscription by calling (818) 332-0372. 8-BIT ALERT: Europe continues to turn out new and more ambitious software for the Atari 8-bit computers. In Germany, almost all 8-bit titles have all English screen prompts, even though the documentation will typically be in German. New software from Germany includes QUICK, a compiler language similar to ACTION! and C that supports use of an ST mouse, digitized sound, and more. Another product is S.A.M., Screen Aided Management, similar to DIAMOND in that it provides an ST-like mouse interface for the 8-bit. It features 80 column text handling, and has its own spreadsheet and word processor. Look for more on S.A.M. and other European products (and how to get them!) in the coming months here in AtariUser. THE 8-BIT STATE: Where Survival is Our Only Way of Life... If you're an active 8-bit Atari user, I am sure that there are programs you feel you couldn't do without. A computer is such a versatile appliance that every serious owner should have certain basic programs to be able to take full advantage of their system. This article will present what I feel is a well rounded 8-bit survival kit. As mentioned in my last ATARIUSER article, I feel that telecommunications is very important. Because of the wealth of information and files that are available through bulletin boards and pay services, I can't imagine what it would be like without a modem on my computer. As pointed out in that article, BOBTERM is one of the most popular telecommunications programs for your Atari computer. Because of the popularity of computer communications and the ever increasing complexity of programs, a simple way to combine and compress files had to be designed. The most popular way to do that on the Atari 8-bit systems is with the ARC utility. There are several implementations, with SuperARC by Bob Puff being widely used. This program not only will allow you to combine several files, but it will also reduce the total size of the file by a significant amount. This saves disk space and communications time, so you end up saving money. Since ARChived programs are not usable in their compressed form, you must use a program like SuperUnARC to return them to their original form before use. ARC utilities can't be used for every type of file. If you need to transfer files which are stored in a non-DOS format, or boot-type disks, then ARC won't work--it will only combine standard Atari DOS files. A utility such as DISK COMMUNICATOR (DiskComm) will read and convert the whole disk to a single file, complete with boot sector information. Every track on a restored disk will be identical to the original. This is handy for distributing versions of DOS, bootable games, and the data disks of some applications with custom file formats. SuperARC, SuperUnARC, and DiskComm were all written by Bob Puff and are shareware. Of course just about anyone with a printer needs a word processor. Even if you're a great typist, a word processor will be a significant improvement over a typewriter. One of the favorite word processors for the Atari is a program called TextPro by Ronnie Riche. This program has all the normal features, plus support for powerful macros. While you can print files with TextPro, you will be impressed with the output from a program called Daisy-Dot III (DD3). This program will take Atari text files and send them to your graphics compatible printer, producing hardcopy near laser quality results. You can also select from a wide variety of fonts (character types) and point sizes (letter size). This program is shareware by Roy Goldman. Another application program which cannot be overlooked is the spreadsheet. One which was originally featured in one of the Compute! magazine has been pretty popular on the services. Called SpeedCalc, it supports the common math functions and it recalculates fairly quickly. Of course, all work makes for a pretty boring day, so no survival kit would be complete without a few games. There are so many different games for the 8-bit, but I think a couple of the Tetris clones would be fun. Another popular choice would be a popular Xevious clone. I know, you are wondering... where do I get these files? Will I end up spending hours of online time downloading them? How am I sure that I have everything I will need? There's a simple answer to all of these questions... the ATARIUSER 8-BIT ATARI SURVIVAL KIT! All of the programs mentioned in this article (BobTerm is available separately, since it was featured in a previous disk offer) are available in a special disk offer. Here is what you get for a mere $9.95 (US) (Ohio residents please add sales tax to your order): TextPro 4.5 word processor (all three versions) TextPro fontload utility (lets you load your own font into TextPro) TextPro joystick cursor mover (move cursor using a joystick) Daisy-Dot III (including several fonts and the font editor) Printshop to Daisy-Dot III conversion utility Daisy-Dot print preview utility SuperARC, SuperUnARC, and DiskComm compaction utilities The SpeedCalc Spreadsheet DegasRead, APACView, and ColorView graphics utilities Two Tetris clones and a Xevious type game If you have not ordered the BobTerm disk from my last issue, you can order it as part of this disk offer for an additional $1.00(US). I can accept Money Orders, Cashier's Checks, or Personal Checks. In any case, payment must be drawn on a US bank in US funds (please!!!). Send your order to: Chuck Steinman Disk Offer AU8B02SK, Post Office Box 134, Ontario, OH 44862 USA. BIO: Besides writing for AtariUser, Chuck Steinman also helps out on GEnie and runs his own hardware/software business called DataQue Products. If you have any questions or suggestions, Chuck can be contacted on GEnie at username DATAQUE.1, or by writing to the above address. | | | TELECOMMUNICATIONS UPDATE | | | Special GEnie News! | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- Whether you're a serious business user seeking research tools and software to help you do your job, or just one of those people who simply can't get enough of a good thing, GEnie's "Hot Summer Days" sale is for you! From June 15 to September 7, GEnie's prime time hourly connect charge is being reduced from $18.00 per hour to $12.50 per hour; in Canada the reduction is from $25.00 to $16.00 per hour. That's savings of over 30%! And it makes GEnie Services rates most competitive with CompuServe's -- 24 hours a day. (Note: GEnie*Basic pricing is NOT applicable during prime time hours. Reduced prime time rates are in effect in the United States and Canada only, and apply at speeds up to 2400 bps.) If you're looking for software, GEnie has over 100,000 downloadable files of shareware, freeware and demoware covering the spectrum from business utilities and productivity tools, to graphics and fonts, and education and games. Software is available for virtually all personal computing platforms. GEnie also features online support from many hardware and software vendors. GE Mail is also included in the sale, with the same lower connect charges in effect. And when it comes to fun, don't forget GEnie's industry-leading selection of Multi-player Games! The lower daytime rates mean more competitive action in such hits as Kesmai's award-winning Air Warrior, the all-new MultiPlayer Battletech, Dragon's Gate, Federation II and Gemstone III. For the business user, or serious researcher, GEnie's new gateway to Advanced Research Technologies' ARTIST system provides an intelligent interface to databases provided by Dialog Information Services, Inc. The first three offerings are: GEnie Reference Center (keyword REFCENTER), with reference information on subjects such as business management and directories, industry news, the environment, computers, engineering, the sciences and world events. GEnie NewsStand (keyword NEWSSTAND), with access to more than 900 full- text publications, including 12 major newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post, plus hundreds of popular magazines and industry newsletters from 1980 to the present. GEnie BookShelf (keyword BOOKSHELF), which accesses the electronic version of R.R. Bowker's "Books in Print" directory of more than 1,000,000 titles and more than 40,000 book reviews. GEnie and ART will continue developing and providing new business- related services. Watch for their introduction coming soon. GEnie also offers access to: Dow Jones News/Retrieval (R) (keyword DOWJONES), one of the world's most comprehensive services for the investor and researcher, with more than 50 databases containing information from thousands of sources. Investment ANALY$T (keyword ANALYST), providing vital stock market information without requiring the use of specialized software. Three essential services are available to investors: Current and Historical Quotes, Stock Performance Analysis and Stock Screening & Selection. Charles Schwab Brokerage Services (keyword SCHWAB), the leader in cutting edge technology for fast securities trading at a discounted price. GEnie users receive an extra 10% commission discount on every online trade executed. You can trade in stocks, bonds options and mutual funds, enter special trade conditions on your orders, receive real-time quotes, check trade confirmations and review your detailed account balance and position data. Public Opinion Online (keyword POLL), a comprehensive collection of public opinion surveys conducted in the United States. POLL covers the spectrum of public interest: politics, government, public institutions, international affairs, business, social issues and attitudes, and consumer issues and preferences. The Trade Names Database (keyword TRADENAMES) is a worldwide directory listing more than 280,000 consumer brand names and their owners or distributors. It is the electronic equivalent of the Gale Research Inc. print publications "Brands and Their Companies" and "International Brands and Their Companies." The Business Resource Directory(TM) (keyword BRD), a searchable database that functions like an electronic "Yellow Pages," an electronic Personnel Service/Resume database, and an electronic reference library -- all rolled into one. The BRD is a marketing tool for businesses and for individuals looking for work, and a way for individuals or businesses to locate services, supplies, associations, agencies, wholesalers, distributors, software for business, and other business resources. The Official Airline Guides Electronic Edition (R) Travel Service (keyword OAG) not only offers access to airline schedules, fares and availability, but also arrival and departure information from selected major airports, access to more than 42,000 first-class and deluxe hotels, essential destination details like climate and visa requirements, and over 90,000 listings of vacation adventures, tours and cruises. But all good things come to an end, and so will this sale. These rates are in effect until September 7, 1992. Some services mentioned above are subject to additional charges. Check the online rate pages for additional details. So enjoy a Summer of Savings on GEnie, the home of Hot Summer Nights III and Hot Summer Days, too! ------------ Here are some questions about Hot Summer Days which may come up, along with the appropriate answers. 1. Are GEnie*Basic Services included in the Hot Summer Days Sale? No. This is a sale on GEnie's prime time hourly connect rate. GEnie*Basic Services remain applicable only during non-prime time hours. 2. Is 9600 baud service included? No. The sale is applicable on speeds up to and including 2400 baud. 3. Are remote access surcharges applicable? Yes. The sale does not affect our cost for those lines, so the $2 per hour charge will still apply. 4. Are all countries included? No. This sale includes the U.S. and Canada only. 5. What are the rates? The U.S. hourly rate will be $12.50 per our instead of the normal $18 per hour rate. The Canadian hourly rate will be $16.00 per hour instead of the normal $25.00 per hour. These rates are in effect Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM local time. 6. Are Chat Club rates in effect? No. Chat Club rates are in effect only during non-prime time hours. 7. Are databases and services subject to surcharges? Yes. The same surcharge rate structure which applies now will apply during the sale. This sale is only on GEnie's connect charge. 8. Can I use my Gift of Time during the sale hours? Of course! Gifts of Time apply to connect rates at any time of the day or night. 9. How long will the sale last? Hot Summer Days will be in effect from Monday, June 15 until Monday, September 7. 10. Why is GEnie offering this promotion? GEnie wants to make this summer an exciting time for its customers. GEnie hopes to attract daytime usage currently spent on other services. ======================================================================= * STAR*LINX BBS GAME RATING AND REVIEW OF BLOCKOUT ======================================================================= ---------------------------------------------- | | | | |G |C | | |L |P P| | | | | | |A |O | | |O P|A R| | | | |S |M |M |M | E | |N L|C E| O | | | A |O |U |E |L | X | C |G A|K S| V | | G | N |U |S |P |Y | C | H | Y|A E| E | +------------------+ | R | I |N E|I |L |N F| I | A |T A|G N| R | | 5: Outstanding | | A | M |D F|C |A D|X E| T | L |E B|I T| A | | 4: Great | | P | A | F|A S|Y E| A| E | L |R I|N A| L S| | 3: Good | | H | T | E|L C| S| T| M | E |M L|G T| L C| | 2: Fair | | I | I | C| O|& I| U| E | N | I| I| O| | 1: Poor | | C | O | T| R| G| R| N | G | T|& O| R| +------------------+ | S | N | S| E| N| E| T | E | Y| N| E| |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|----| CLAY | 5 | 5 | 2 | 3 | 4 |N/A| 3 | 4 | 4 | 3 |3.66| JOHN THORNBURGH | 4 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 4 |N/A| 3 | 4 | 4 | 3 |3.55| TREKKER | 3 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 3 |N/A| 2 | 3 | 2 | 3 |2.22| ARIC | 4 | 5 | 2 | 4 | 4 |N/A| 4 | 5 | 5 | 5 |4.22| DECKARD | 5 | 5 | 3 | 1 | 5 |N/A| 4 | 5 | 4 | 4 |4.00| PAUL B. PRICHARD | 4 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 5 |N/A| 4 | 5 | 4 | 3 |3.88| MIKE MAST | 4 | 4 | 2 | 2 | 5 |N/A| 4 | 4 | 5 | 4 |3.77| LASER EAGLE | 5 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 5 |N/A| 4 | 5 | 5 | 4 |4.66| IKE | 3 | 3 | 2 | 3 | 3 |N/A| 2 | 3 | 4 | 3 |2.88| NORMAN BATES | 4 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 5 |N/A| 5 | 5 | 5 | 2 |4.33| COMMANDER | 4 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 4 |N/A| 3 | 4 | 4 | 4 |3.77| ---------------------------------------------- GROUP AVERAGE (11) |4.0|4.1|2.8|2.8|4.2|N/A|3.4|4.2|4.1|3.4|3.66| ---------------------------------------------- Clay (Clay Moore from Tempe, AZ) 09:31:12 am Aug. 1, 1991 If you like Tetris, you will like it, the 3-D effect is very well implemented, I bet alot of computers could not do as well. There is only music at the title screen, it should be during the game too, only 3 sounds, a click when the paddle moves a square, a whish when it drops, and a clunk when it hits the bottom. Higher levels of 3D shapes are VERY difficult. Trekker (Al Horton from Lansing, MI) 09:35:08 am Aug. 3, 1991 I like Blockout on the ST, but the Lynx version left something to be desired. The worst thing about the game is that its sometimes hard to see what direction the block is actually facing as you rotate it. I found Blockout to be perhaps the hardest game to see on the Lynx. As for rating it, the only sound is the music at the title screen & the Buzzzz when you clear a level of blocks. Graphicly, not much really but sufficient. On a scale of 1 to 5, overall I'd give it a 2.5. Deckard (Theo Diamantis from Kitchener, ON, Canada) 03:25:38 pm Aug. 13, 1991 A very solid adaptation. This is not an easy game. Paul B. Prichard from Mesa, AZ 01:45:16 pm Aug. 25, 1991 As the package says: EASY TO PLAY, DIFFICULT TO MASTER, IMPOSSIBLE TO QUIT! I found that this game is actually difficult to play especially at the higher levels as the blocks travel faster than one can manuver them. I feel as though the player should have better control over the movements, other than this the game is great and like KLAX becomes addictive after much intense game play. I do like the fact that the player can tailor gameplay to his/her liking on the game setup menu. Ike (Isaac Black from Colorado City, AZ) 11:26:04 pm Oct. 11, 1991 This game is fun if you like Tetris. I like a challenge and therefore liked this game. Norman Bates from Stockton, CA 01:14:02 am Oct. 22, 1991 I must admit I was quite skeptical when I heard of this game but my Babbages discount card was full so decided to take a chance on it since it was only $16 after the $15 discount. I must admit I am properly amazed! Level 9 is suicide even at flat level. Again, I rated the packaging as poor because of the damned poster (and it isn't even a good-sized poster, at that!) Atarian (Dan Ramos from Ludlow, MA) 11:16:16 pm Oct. 22, 1991 If you like Tetris... you HAVE to like Block Out... this one even rivals the GENESIS version extremely well! It's exactly the kind of game that causes people to stop sleeping and play more games, alright! It's happened to me! ======================================================================= * PERUSING THE INTERNET Compiled by Michael Current ======================================================================= Date: 5 May 92 14:22:00 GMT From: DKAUNI2.BITNET!UJ1G@ucbvax.berkeley.edu Subject: MIO Cables To: Info-Atari8@naucse.cse.nau.edu Recently I talked to an "expert" on our university on the issue of MIO cables. He owns an Amiga and he have had exactly the same problems with signals breaking down while using long data/address/control cables. He hadn't been able to use cords longer than some 25cm (10"). Now he is able to transmit data over a distance of 2m (80"?, 3 ft + sth) He has managed this by redesigning his flat ribbon cable. Between each two data/control/address lines there _must_ be a line connected to ground (0V). This measure prevents the signal from flashing over to adjacent lines, which is especially true with long cables. The MIO cables don't seem to have additional GND lines inbetween each two signal lines. That way they aren't designed for long distance connection. I admit that it is hard to build a cable described above because as a matter of fact you'll need at least some 20 additional lines just connected to GND (monster cable if you are using a flat one). I think it is at least an interesting idea worth considering. It works great on an Amiga. BTW: the guy I asked doesn't think the idea of adding buffers to lines would help. Marek Tomczyk ------------------------------ Date: 5 May 92 12:47:31 GMT Subject: NTSC Atari in PAL-land: what problems will there be? To: Info-Atari8@naucse.cse.nau.edu I haven't read all the messages so far posted on this subject, but being someone in PAL land with NTSC Atari 8-bits I may be able to help. Dean, you have my telephone number so, if you wish, give me a call. Some interesting points have already been raised. I read with interest Dean's definition of a 65XE, as a cut down 130XE. This is true for the UK models. My PAL 65XE has the same mother board as my 130XEs. However, my NTSC 65XE has a completely different motherboard, without the extra IC places for the extra bank of memory. In fact, this 65XE looks more like my 800XLF (yes, you read that right - 800XLF is a standard 800XL with a Freddie chip, and is the prototype for the 65XE. A number of these beasts were released within the UK). I solved the NTSC compatibility problem by buying a TV that support PAL and NTSC (it also support SECAM - anyone got an 8-bit SECAM they want to sell?). You can modify standard PAL TV/Monitors to accept NTSC by adjusting cct timers, however, you will have no sound or colour. The adjusment is very small, however some TV/Monitors just won't accept the 60Hz signal. Colin Hunt Editor - 8:16 BTW: The subscription rate to 8:16 is now: UK - 5.50 UK pounds Europe - 9.60 UK pounds Rest of World (sea) - 9.60 UK pounds (air) - 16.80 UK pounds 8:16 is released quarterly and the above rates are for 4 issues. ------------------------------ Date: 6 May 92 02:00:00 GMT From: DKAUNI2.BITNET!UJ1G@ucbvax.berkeley.edu Subject: S.A.M and MIO (was Re: Favorite 8-bit software) To: Info-Atari8@naucse.cse.nau.edu > Marek, > Thanx for the info on S.A.M. > I have two more questions. Is there an english-language version of S.A.M.? > Is there an english-language version of "AtariMagazin"? > I hear that there is a lot of commercial software development going > on in Europe, especially Germany, for the Atari 8-bits, and I would You are lucky, at least on the S.A.M. issue. Like many other German commercial and non commercial software S.A.M. is entirely in English. Actually there isn't even a German version available. English has a great impact on German software production. In Germany you find more programs that are in English than in German (we are talking about programs written by German authors!). Many people here in Germany don't like this, they want to have more German speaking programs but there is no way of getting English out of German programs :-). Anyways, the docs for S.A.M. are in German. :-( You are out of luck according to english-language versions of "AtariMagazin" they are only in German (still published after a break!). Yes, there is some commercial software here in Germany produced by dedicated users and small companies. Take "Quick" for example which is a commercial compiler language a little bit like "C" and "Action!" and like "Assembler". It is very fast. You can even write procedures for the VBI. This language supports a ST-mouse, digitized sound, P/M graphics and lots more. I hope this gave you a vague idea about the situation in Germany. Marek Tomczyk ------------------------------ Date: 7 May 92 01:13:00 GMT From: DKAUNI2.BITNET!UJ1G@ucbvax.berkeley.edu Subject: S.A.M. (was Favorite 8-bit software) To: Info-Atari8@naucse.cse.nau.edu I've seen this other SAM on a C=64 too, but it's a different S.A.M. I'm gonna explain to Bill and all other interested people. S.A.M. stands for Screen Aided Menagement. It is a piece of commercial software produced by a small German software house. It is a user interface with integrated applications. It uses an 80 column screen on a standard TV set. It looks a little bit like GEM on the Atari-ST. You have pull down menus on the top of the screen where you can select items with your mouse or joystick. There are standard items like "directory, lock file, format disk, read sector, duplicate disk, etc.". Then you have some special applications you can pick up. They will be loaded from the S.A.M. disk. One of them is a spreadsheet program. Another is a program called "Memobox". It is a small database with the possibility of creating your own data cards. Also included are two character editors. One for standard B/W characters and the other one for GRAPHICS 12 color character sets. Next application is a painting program which uses 128 colors but only 4 on a single line (standard DLI). It has many usefull functions like fill and unfill!, draw lines, draw circles, mirror etc. Another part of S.A.M. is a word processor. It has all the functions I need like text formatting, cut, paste, block text, preview function (you see the whole layout of the page), support for Atari printers and Epson printers. Next item you can open is a monitor program to browse the memory. It has some kinds of display functions like showing screen code or ATASCII code or showing bytes in their binary appearence (eg. $A800: 01011100 ) so you can easily scan for character sets. I think I have described all the implemented applications. All of them have full 80 column and mouse support. But there is more. S.A.M. is a kind of extention of the operating system. There are documented interfaces for routines of S.A.M. so you can write your own software. For example you can use the "open window" routine just by putting the coordinates in a special location and calling the apropriate S.A.M. subroutine. Then just give your application a special filename extension and place it on the S.A.M. disk. Next time you use S.A.M. your application will be awailable in the pull down window. Due to this flexibility there are some new programs for S.A.M. available. To name one: a 'Breakout' game. Ok, I think that's all I remember about S.A.M. I hope this gives you a vague idea about it. Marek Tomczyk ------------------------------ Date: 8 May 92 23:24:40 GMT From: (Michael L Begley) Subject: hand-print recognition... To: Info-Atari8@naucse.cse.nau.edu In article <1LZFkB9w164w@cyberden.uucp> firstname.lastname@example.org. ca.us writes: >Going on about recognition of hand writing. Well, 1) does the Koala I don't recall what the resolution of the koala pad is, but it's plenty large for my purposes. If I can scratch an inch-high "A" on the pad and have the computer identify it, then I'll be happy. This isn't going to be very useful in the real-world because of the hardware involved (IMHO any useful hand-printing-based system must be completely portable). I'm more interested in the neatness of the project. The algorithm I'm planning to use is based on one described in the April issue of Dr. Dobbes Journal. It's far easier to do than I'd ever thought; I don't see any trouble in using the Atari for this project. Not much number crunching is involved, and I wouldn't even call it artificial intelligence. However, for at least the initial implementation I plan to use a unix system to do the analysis so the software will be more portable. The Atari will be little more than a digitizing pad. Later, I may start to move some or all of the analysis services over to the Atari. > I could understand the simplicity of a handwriting "translator" or > whatever you'd like to call it. Oh well, enuf useless babble. Well, I wouldn't call it simplicity...but I might call it "simpler than I thought". Actually this is one of those examples where the difficulty lies more in having a correct "vision" of the solution than in the actual implementation. I suggest that anyone interested in this sort of project get the april issue of Dr. Dobbs journal... Michael Begley ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 09 May 92 12:17:36 EST From: Jeff McWilliams <JJMCWILL@MTUS5.cts.mtu.edu> Subject: What is a PBI? To: Into-Atari8 Digest <Info-Atari8@naucse.cse.nau.edu>, Bill Kendrick wanted to know the differences between some of the 65xx processors. Here's my best.... The 6502 is pretty much what you expect it to be, and is the cpu in the 800 and 400 computers. The 65C02 actually are two different CPU's. One is the R65C02 made by Rockwell, the other is the 65C02 by Western Design Center. Both are low power, CMOS versions of the 6502 with some extra instructions added, but the R65C02 had more instructions added to it than the 65C02 did. The 65C02 is in the Apple //c. I believe MAC/65 supports the 65C02 extra instructions. It could be plugged into an Atari 800 or 400. The 6502C is an Atari custom version of the 6502 from what I gather. They added some extra buffers or something to chip. I also wonder if they corrected a bug in the 6502 as it was documented in my "Programming the 65816" Book. Because of the differences between the 6502 and Atari's 6502C, you can't plug in a 65C02 or even the Pin compatible 65802 and expect it to work properly. What is a 65802? It's another processor From Western Design Center that has all the extra opcodes of the 65C02 plus extras, like move memory commands, stack relative addressing, and the ability to set the Accumulator and/or the X and Y registers to 16 bits. The nice thing about the 65802 is that it is "Plug compatible" with the 6502 and 65C02, meaning you can pull out a 65C02 from an existing system, and plug in the 65802 and it will work. The 65802 has two modes, emulation and native mode. In emulation mode, the processor acts just likea 65C02 with all the extra opcodes. In Native mode, the registers can be changed to 16 bits. There are some other more technical differences, but probably not worth mentioning them here. Next comes the 65816. Another Microprocessor, only this one has a 24 bit addressing bus in addition to all the goodies of the 65802. This means it can easily address 16 megabytes of RAM. What more could you want? Well, WDC is working on the 65832, which according to the pre-release specs I have, will just have the ability to have 32 bit registers. In the 65816 documentation, WDC said the 65832 would have built-in floating point OPCODES, but apparantly that idea has been dumped (sigh). So in a nutshell, that is basically the differences between the various processors. I hope I've helped more than I've confused. Jeff McWilliams ------------------------------ Date: 13 May 92 20:12:47 GMT From: SMITHKLINE.COMemail@example.com Subject: MIO Cables To: Info-Atari8@naucse.cse.nau.edu Marek Tomczyk's comments on ribbon cables w/the Amiga were interesting (IA8 V92#106), since I did spend a little of my vacatiuon time last week taking another look at the problem. I'm generally skeptical of the validity of making comparisons to a similar problem on another machine w/out knowing what frequencies/ waveforms are involved. I'm also skeptical of signal crosstalk being a significant contributor to the problem. I did a little checking on ribbon cable specs. Crosstalk for a 3m (10-ft) cable was spec'ed at 1.5% for the near end to 2.6% for the far end. I have trouble believing 2% crosstalk will totally scramble a digital signal. Alternating sig-gnd-sig sounds like a step in the right direction, it would reduce crosstalk & improve RFI resistance somewhat. But for long cables you would need to do more than just isolate the signals. Crosstalk is a function of capacitive reactance. The reason cross talk is isn't a major factor is because- somewhat to my surprise- specific capacitance of 28AWG ribbon is actually rather low: about 12 pF/ft which is as good as the best lo-cap shielded cables. I don't see capacitance as the problem. What about DC resistance? Specific resistance of 28AWG ribbon is given as 0.08 ohms/ft. Ten feet of this cable will impose less than 1 ohm of resistance to any AC or Dc signal. That"s not even enough to cause a measurable voltage drop in most systems, forget about DC resistance as the cause. Of course, the total impedance of the cable is the vector sum of the reactances plus the Dc resistance. Having disposed of capacitive reactance & DC resistance as proximate causes of the signal degradation, that leaves one major quantity not yet considered: inductive reactance. It is my personal opinion that in fact inductive reactance is the real culprit here, all the other factors are minor contributors. Specific inductance for standard 28AWG ribbon is given as 80uH/ft. Eegads!! In other words, it's an RF *filter*! A 5-foot cable will impose a 0.4mH inductance upon the signal. People, that much inductance will attenuate *audio* frequencies; an RF signal will just plain be squashed. In other words, you can't do it, period. So, how do you get round the problem? Certainly not with ribbon cable! The only way to reduce inductive reactance is to increase the conductivity of the medium. There are 3 ways: 1.) Lower the temperature (liquid helium is nice); 2.) Use the most efficient room-temperature conductor (100% pure silver comes to mind); 3.) Use heavier gauge copper wire. Obviuosly the last alternative is the only practical solution. Combined with Marek's idea of isolating the signals w/grounds, it should work. So, what gauge cable should you use? I'm not sure, I didn't study up on the properties of other gauges, especially their specific inductance. There is some good news. Lo-cap shielded cable is readily available. I think the wire in these is typically #22AWG. Assuming inductance is a linear function of wire thickness, & if my memory is correct in recalling wires double in thickness every 3 standard values, then lo-cap cable w/22AWG conductors should attenuate only half as much as the same length of ribbon cable. This might be enough margin to allow lengths of 2-5 feet (I'm guessing). Each signal should be paired with its own local gnd return (twisted pairs) to provide a lo-impedance ground, with an overall braid grounded at one end to prevent the thing from radiating /attracting RFI. Since the MIO & BB do not actually use every finger connector on the PBI (I think there are only about a dozen signals), you should be able to get by with lo-cap shileded cable bearing 25 #22AWG conductors (12 twisted pairs + shield drain) terminated w/shielded DB-25 hoods. Of course, some weirdo adapter will be needed to go from 50-pin edgecard to DBN-25, then another adapter at the MIO/BB end. FOOEY!!! I'm right now in process of getting my BB online, & converting from edgecard to shielded round cables is a royal pain in the butt. For myself, I solved the PBI cable problem by buying a whole new desk! I needed more space anyway, to add 1.4M floppies & hard drives. "Swiss Army Desk", made by O'Sullivan, very nice, I got it at an office supply place. One of those things you have to assemble yourself, after you have recovered from the hernia you got dragging the heavy cartons from the car to the living room. - BEN POEHLAND The Alchemist ======================================================================= * DIGI-STUDIO INFORMATION ======================================================================= Digi-Studio is a new piece of software for the Atari XL/XE series. It allows you to play music using real sounds which have been digitized. Digi-Studio comes with a keyboard player and tune player. The keyboard player lets you use your computer keyboard like a piano keyboard to play tunes, but using real sounds, rather than computer-generated noises as is usually the case with this type of program. You can have 3 sounds in memory and can quickly change between them while playing tunes. The keyboard player has responsive keys so that the sound will only play for as long as you hold the key down. Just like a synthesizer!! The Digi-Studio disk contains many sounds for use with the keyboard player, ranging from church bells, to pig grunts, to a baby crying, to screams, and lots of synthesizer sounds. In fact around 25 sounds in all. Why buy a synthesizer when your Atari can do the same?! The tune player allows you to play pre-programmed tunes using any of the available sounds on the disk. Five tunes have been included on the disk for you to play. Digi-Studio comes on a DS/SD disk, and includes a printed manual. It is aimed at everyone, whether musically inclined or not! You may just want to use it for fun, or compose a tune with it! The comprehensive user manual makes it a joy to use! Digi-Studio will only work on XL/XE computers with 64K RAM. No extra hardware is required. The sound samples just play through your TV speaker! The full Digi-Studio package costs just 5pounds in the UK, and 7pounds for foreign orders, including printed manual, and shipping. All payments must be made in UK funds (pounds sterling) and paid by money order in sterling if you are ordering from a foreign country. Order your copy today! Package 1.5 for Digi-Studio is now also available offering more features for Digi-Studio and loads more samples and tunes. This extra pack is available with package 1 only. Check the next section for details of this new package. Digi-Studio Package 1.5 Digi-Studio Package 1.5 is a new set of programs which form part of the Digi-Studio suite of programs and utilities. It is NOT an upgrade to package 1. It is intended to be used in conjunction with package 1. Package 1.5 contains two new programs for Digi-Studio: The Sample Editor and the Tune Compiler. Also included are 26 new samples and 18 new tunes for use with Digi-Studio. The Sample Editor allows you to edit existing Digi-Studio samples, and also allows you to create your own by using a joystick. The Sample Editor has facilities for reversing samples (playing them backwards), copying pages of sample to other pages of sample, and also contains facilities to edit samples very accurately using a joystick. This edit facility also allows you to create your own samples. By using all the supplied facilities, you can create some very weird sounds! You can then save your samples to disk and use them in the Keyboard and Tune Players in package 1. The Tune Compiler creates stand-alone Basic program modules for including Digi-Studio tunes in your own Basic programs. The resulting modules are output in LIST format for merging into your own Atari Basic or Turbo-Basic programs. The modules are self-contained and do not require any Digi-Studio program to play. Just imagine your game starting with a chorus of God Save the Queen in pig grunts, church bells, electric guitar, ..., or your own sounds created using the Sample Editor! Also included on the disk are 26 new samples, including pan pipes, various guitars, dog woof, organs, synth sounds, and lots of effects! Also, 18 new tunes are supplied for playing with the Tune Player, or for compiling using the Tune Compiler. These include: Yesterday, Hey Jude, View to a Kill, God Save the Queen, Happy Birthday, This Old Man, and many classics. The manual is in A5 booklet format, and has been typeset using LaTeX, and printed using an Agfa Laser printer. The clear instructions make the software a joy to use! Package 1.5 is not much use on its own, so will be sold along with package 1. The two packages together will cost 8pounds (UK) including P&P. Copies to other countries will cost 10pounds (UK sterling paid with IMO). Just fill in the order form below and send it with a cheque/PO/ IMO payable to DEAN GARRAGHTY. Package 1 on its own is 5pounds UK, and 7pounds other countries. See the first section of this posting for full details of package 1. Please send me (tick relevant box): Package 1&1.5[ ] Package 1 only[ ] I enclose a cheque/PO/IMO for ______pounds NAME:______________________________ ADDRESS:________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ P.CODE/ZIP CODE:______________ Dean Garraghty, 62 Thomson Ave, Balby, Doncaster, DN4 0NU, ENGLAND. ======================================================================= * CRYSTAL MINES 2 CODES ======================================================================= Compiled by: Greg Littlefield and John Hardie Updated by Charlie Craft 5/11/92 Text file by: John Hardie 4/10/92 1 - TSLA Down In The Dirt 2 - UEPT Logan's Run 3 - MTFQ Blocks And Bombs 4 - IRTR Wren's Nest 5 - ZCXP Out With A Bang 6 - DPRX Tanya's Tangram 7 - OIGT Monster Go Boom 8 - YHYR Dan's Deadly Maze 9 - VYHK Rocky Horror 10 - ITCU It Grows On You 11 - QCFK Easy Trap Of Doom 12 - BXNG Rock And Roll 13 - MOXA Bombs A' Plenty 14 - IDWJ Catacombs 15 - RFVC Red Herring 16 - GHSI Behind The Lines 17 - SKHU Impervections 18 - TRFN Blasting Zone 19 - LQRE A Wrinkle In Time 20 - AURV Bolder Dash 21 - TYGU Mud Wrestling 22 - FUIX Buried Alive 23 - QFXV Crystal "Mines" 24 - XVXU Can't Touch This 25 - KYPO Felony Arson 26 - HBTR Sandbox Bullies 27 - SFEB Stake Your Claim 28 - HXRE Dry Vein 29 - TRVJ Quiver 30 - FQCS Boulder Mania 31 - ZOIH Pipe Hype 32 - LHJV Stuck In The Mud 33 - GVYU Rat Race 34 - EMTV Split Infinity 35 - OHXY Switch Swatch 36 - GSTB Minefield 37 - UXRC Chimney Sweep 38 - PWYH What A Blast! 39 - XQCE Hardrock Headache 40 - PNGU Nuke Zone 41 - DZDI Down Is Up 42 - PIPH Lucky Number 43 - PKAV Of Gravity... 44 - TBUM Shape Up 45 - CXRI Gravity Wise 46 - QIPZ Slime Pit 47 - HBJP Candlestick 48 - NXKU Bouncing Boulders 49 - IGPY Cloudbuster 50 - INUK Whirlwind 51 - LPHD Block Mania 52 - NEBX I Get Around 53 - JVNL Hot Pursuit 54 - CAQS Runny Stocking 55 - KEHL Cakewalk 56 - EMSE The Sewers 57 - ZLAE Crystal Factory 58 - MSXV Drop A Rock 59 - JXTD Magic Mirror 60 - SOVS Cache 61 - GHGV Rock Concert 62 - QVOZ Crystal Tomb 63 - ZCEL Make My Maze 64 - COYH Pardon Me 65 - HJHT Take Control 66 - DONQ Castle Mania 67 - VBHF Rad Drops 68 - JSMJ Crystal Cannon 69 - HTRA Tick Tock 70 - WBHD Crossroads 71 - MVJX Rain Dance 72 - ANZI Jungle Gem 73 - EDLA Zero Gravity 74 - PCMN Boulder Exchange 75 - YJKJ Monster Mania 76 - RAIQ Which Way? 77 - ZRWH Mud Boggin' 78 - ECMO Safe Cracker 79 - AOTP The Howling 80 - SVWK Trial -N- Error 81 - VRBO Squeeze Play 82 - SVYA Jailhouse Rock 83 - KRFH Dodge Ball 84 - CNQR Sidewinder 85 - YNXR Ghost Of A Chance 86 - CWQU Plumber's Helper 87 - YXFJ Change Machine 88 - SRDW Triple Threat 89 - PDSQ Out Of Order 90 - QKOA Robo Rooter 91 - CKLQ Riddle Me This 92 - KHBA Cheque It Out 93 - MZKM Joel's Conniption 94 - DYDO Saturn V 95 - IDIC To Boldly Go 96 - WVOM Who Knows? 97 - NJCU Pipe Dream 98 - WUQR Volcano Vacation 99 - BSZB Pipeline Puzzle 100 - RERF Asylum 101 - WNON Slime Jar 102 - IVLC Around The World 103 - PJOL Crystal Trap 104 - RGEI Central Square 105 - WCEF Down The Drain 106 - DSGY Creature Comforts 107 - PHUF Swamp Things 108 - NCDS Gravity Ball 109 - KOMZ Herringbone 110 - LFXQ Water Closet 111 - WAET Xenophobe Zoo 112 - YJNV Conveyor Belt 113 - TAUJ Mutation 114 - IMOZ Towering Inferno 115 - NBFD Take Your Pick 116 - ZAPR Shopping Spree 117 - BXFT Elevator Muzak 118 - GEFA Kaleidoscope 119 - QIKD Gemnastics 120 - GMWJ Death Zone 121 - MKIH Don't Be Greedy 122 - ULEL Multi-abuser 123 - KBDW Bombs Away 124 - QEFP Sound And Fury 125 - SFJX Make 'Em Yourself 126 - LQXW The Four Seasons 127 - INMQ Lobotomy 128 - NMAD Hell And Back 129 - RHEM Pipe Organ 130 - YHVR Newton's Nightmare 131 - FSHF Jail Break 132 - EIKJ Quantum Quarry 133 - CQCR Running On MT 134 - AIYA Haunted House 135 - SXOE Arrow Phlegm 136 - EKDR Bohemian Rhapsody 137 - DRVY Lift Lackeys 138 - RGUM Spacin' Vaders 139 - FEDC Avalanche! 140 - PRKL Evil Twins 141 - ONKO Leftright 142 - QXPL Meltdown 143 - JRXP Girls Best Friend 144 - PADJ Phase Shift 145 - KGLI Spiral Of Doom 146 - FDXR Mouse Trap 147 - BLKS Zen 148 - TJGB Freeze Frame 149 - QKBT Check Mate 150 - AUEC Terminus Bonus Levels ------------ 0 - ???? Secret Vault From Level -- 1 - KQVW Deja View From Level 9 2 - QATR No Time To Think From Level 18 3 - DBFQ Bonanza! From Level 27 4 - LEJM Nimbus From Level 34 5 - ODJY Monty Haul From Level 39 6 - BVOS Pinball Wiz From Level 43 7 - SKLR Ping Pong From Level 48 8 - JPGR Twist And Shout From Level 52 9 - BIOH Time's Up From Level 55 10 - BNRY Time Bomb From Level 59 11 - UJIL Time To Spare From Level 61 12 - NMXS Lava Slide From Level 66 13 - LKBI Slam City From Level 70 14 - RNSK No Way Jose' From Level 73 15 - STRA Hide-N-Seek From Level 78 16 - YTST Snake's Belly From Level 84 17 - HBJO Flood Gate From Level 89 18 - CHRN Killing Time From Level 96 19 - WIFC Way Out From Level 100 20 - ESBD Hermit Crab From Level 106 21 - TMCB Menagerie From Level 111 22 - GCSQ Yuchsville From Level 114 23 - PNZS Mine Shaft From Level 119 24 - KDVI Surrounded From Level 125 25 - DHZY Pool Queue From Level 130 26 - IVRQ Pit Of Lost Souls From Level 134 27 - OSNY Shoot The Moon From Level 138 28 - LOTL Tarmaze From Level 143 29 - MWOH Safety Dance From Level 146 30 - JCXZ Downtime From Level 149 *NOTE* Upon completing level 28, you are awarded a 1 million point super bonus. ======================================================================= * ATARI CLASSICS MAIL-IN CAMPAIGN: FINAL REPORT ======================================================================= A mail-in campaign to poll support for an independent Atari 8-bit magazine, to be called ATARI CLASSICS, was conducted during the 3-month period of January 15-April 15, 1992. The goal of the Campaign was to collect 500 hard commitments from individuals willing to spend $25 annually for a subscription to such a publication. The Campaign was conducted by a Campaign Committee consisting finally of six people, two in the U.S. and the other four in various countries around the world. The Campaign was managed and largely financed from the U.S. The Campaign Committee is pleased to announce that the mail-in campaign WAS A COMPLETE SUCCESS!!! As of this date a total of 556 written commitments have been secured, and late returns are still wandering in. Some statistics: 1512 campaign information packets were mailed (1100 in the U.S., 412 internationally) to individuals and usergroups. This involved a total of about 12,000 individual xerox copies, 2000 envelopes, 4000 printed labels, and an estimated total expenditure of US$1650 by the Committee. The entire effort was financed out of the pockets of individual members of the Committee, all of whom are dedicated 8-bitters. Internationally, returns were received from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, and Sweden. The overall rate of returns was 37%; the return rate in the U.S. was 36%, and 37% for international respondents. All the information collected from the postcard returns has been compiled in a database in TurboFile format on an XL computer. Not every 8-bit enthusiast was reached by the Campaign effort. Only about half the usergroups we had originally intended to send mailings to were actually contacted, and a number of individual requests for information packets were received after the official close of the Campaign and were turned away. The Committee regrets any disappointment caused by these unintended omissions and begs your understanding of the often chaotic conditions and limited resources available for the pursuit of this effort. The Committee acknowledges with deep appreciation the following 8-bit vendors who supported our effort by running ads, forwarding lists of names, and distributing Campaign literature: BaPAUG Publishing, B&C ComputerVisions, Best Electronics, Computer Software Services, Current Notes Inc., Gralin International, K.O. Distributors, and Unicorn Publications. The Campaign Committe consisted of the following people: Jeff McWilliams (USA), Campaign Manager Ben Poehland (USA), Logistical Support Mike Jewison (Canada), Distribution Colin Hunt (England), Distribution U.K. and Europe Dawn Scotting (New Zealand), Distribution Dave Blears (Australia), Distribution Its work now completed, the Committee is now disbanded. The comraderie shared between the various Committee members will remain a fond memory, and it is hoped the accomplishments of the Campaign Committee will stand as an example of what the 8-bit community can achieve when its members exercise initiative and pull together toward a common goal. What's next? Jeff McWilliams and Ben Poehland are presently engaged in forging the sinews of what will- we hope- become ATARI CLASSICS. The intention is to take advantage of all the best features of other well- regarded periodicals (ANTIC, ANALOG, AIM, Current Notes, PSAN, etc.) while hopefully avoiding their mistakes. The subject content of the magazine will be taken from comments on the return cards and from discussions in public forums on the various telecommunications networks. All interested 8-bitters are encouraged to offer their opinions/ suggestions, whether they participated in the Campaign or not. At this stage of things Jeff and Ben want to see as much diversity of opinion as the 8-bit community cares to offer. Communicate your ideas/suggestions to the Info-Atari8 newsgroup on INTERNET or the 8-bit Forum on Compuserve. You may also submit your ideas directly to: Jeff McWilliams, 2001G Woodmar Drive, Houghton MI 49931-1017 (INTERNET: firstname.lastname@example.org) or to : Ben Poehland, 179 Sproul Rd./Rt. 352, Frazer PA 19355-1958 (GEnie: B.POEHLAND, INTERNET: poehland%phvax.dnet@ smithkline.com). We shall not acknowledge individual communications, but be assured your ideas will be considered. We anticipate this phase should take about 4-6 weeks. Stay tuned for further announcements as we progress. The number of returns recorded in this report will be taken as the official tally of Campaign returns. However, returns received after the release of this report will be accepted by Jeff McWilliams and duly logged into the Atari Classics Campaign database. So, if you are still in possession of an information kit and have not returned your card because you thought it was too late, please send it in! You will still be counted when we present our results to Unicorn Publications. The Committee urges all interested parties to freely download/re-post/ re-print/mail unaltered electronic or hardcopies of this Report. Permission is also hereby granted to publish this Report in unaltered form in any newsletter, magazine, or other print media. Tell your friends! Finally, the Committee wishes to thank everyone who participated in the Campaign and returned their card. By so doing, you have cast your vote in favor of LIFE for your computer! LONG LIVE THE 8-BIT!! (Signed), The Committee: Jeff, Ben, Mike, Colin, Dawn, and Dave ======================================================================= * BOB PUFF AND JEFF POTTER IN CONFERENCE ======================================================================= Pattie) Tonight we have as guest speakers Jeff Potter, author of APACVIEW and other fine shareware programs for the 8bit, and Bob Puff, owner of Computer Software Services, a hardware and software company dealing only with Classic Atari's. Tonight Bob and Jeff are here to share with us how they keep finding new stuff for a machine that's approaching its teens! Bob Puff) I am honored to be asked here tonight. The 8-bit community seems to have dwindled considerably since the mid 80s, but I am very encouraged to see a recent resurgence of interest and activity within the past year. I am amazed every day at the number of new people that call CSS and request information. We 8-bitters haven't let our machines die yet! JDPotter) Thanks, Bob, Pattie. I too am honored to be invited here tonight. The 8-bit public is still alive in little pockets of users around the country, who still believe the old machine provides the level of performance they need for home use. It has given me great pleasure to develop my little graphics programs, and to hear from users all over the country (and the world), who enjoy them. We'll keep programming as long as YOU are out there! Pattie) Before we get to other's questions, can you tell us how long you've been working with Ataris? JDPotter) I have my original invoice right here...I've owned my 800 for 10 years and 1 month! Been programming...oh...most of that time. Bob Puff) I've had my 8-bit since 1981, and have been programming in machine language since 1983. Bob Woolley) Bob Puff - I have also seen many, many messages asking about CSS on local BBSes. Why is it so difficult to get the word out? Bob Puff) I'm not sure of all the reasons. CSS has been in business for 10 years, and has advertised in the national Atari magazines since its start. We are using a different advertising strategy, so hopefully this will yield increased awareness. Pattie) Jeff, do you have trouble getting word out about your programs too? JDPotter) Well, possibly so...as you know I don't advertise (yet), so word only gets out from the pay services and BBSes that carry my shareware programs. Todd Ornett) Jeff, what is your favorite language? JDPotter) Assembler of course. I have developed all my graphics programs on the Atari Macro Assembler (AMAC). My current project ("The Maze of Agdagon" game) is also being done in assembler, using C. Marslett's A65. I've of course used Atari BASIC (only for small stuff) and some of the C compilers (really not too bad), but that's about it. Being a hardware designer by trade, I tend to want to toggle the bits manually. Bob Puff) I've done work in Basic and Machine language, and pretty much everything I do is in ML. There is nothing like getting the most out of the machine, and ML is the way I do it. Bill Zaiser) Bob P.: Is there any possibility that you will take on any former ICD & OSS products? Bob Puff) Bill: I have had interest in doing such, and have spoken with ICD briefly concerning such, but I don't have the capital to invest in what they are looking for (at least at that time). Some of the products are in competition to what I produce, some are not. Unless circumstances change, ICD will probably be holding on to their products. I do wish to see the OSS carts available, regardless if I end up getting them or not. Pattie) Jeff, I understand you've been getting ahold of code for sending and receiving faxes...can you explain what you have in mind and/ or under development? JDPotter) I figured this question would come up... Well, it's really in the "market research" phase. BTW, leave some feedback everybody). It seems, at least according to Supra, that connecting a fax/modem to an 8-bit is indeed feasible. You would, of course, have to actually buy one of the things and have a P:R:Connection (or maybe 850) to talk to it. A controller program (hey, maybe BobFax?) could receive faxes into a file where an off-line program could view these or print them out (on your dot-matrix printer, maybe?). To send your own fax, you would have to create *something*, maybe a Daisy-Dot 3 file, that the fax program would interpret, and convert to CCITT class 3 or 4 bytes. (maybe later we can ask for creative suggestions) (or am I all wet?) Bob Woolley) Between the two of you, do you think a scanner would be in the works? JDPotter) I thought I heard of "Easy Scan," which appeared to be based on the old Antic article...where you mounted a phototransistor on your printer (without its printhead) and scanned a page underneath it. Pattie) BobW, what kind of scanner do you mean? Bob Woolley) I was thinking more of an SCSI flatbed unit. Like an HP. JDPotter) BobW> Aren't those expensive, though? Bob Woolley) JD> Not on the used market... Bob Puff) Jeff is the graphics man...I can provide the interface for it, if Jeff can interpret the data. <g> Pattie) Jeff, scans from flatbed scanners can be big! Several megs of data. Would the 8-bit be able to handle it? JDPotter) Hmmm...if BobP can provide the SCSI port...I'd have to read the specs on the flatbed scanner. I did write a program that could interpret TIFF files, as create by IBM programs from a hand scanner. Files could get a little large. Yeah, BobW, if you can get ahold of specs, send me some e-mail! Pattie) Perhaps you two can share your thoughts on how to keep the 8-bit alive? Vendors have said in the past that if Classic owners wish to have new products, they need to support the Classic vendors who are out there now. Is this true even more as Classic vendors become the exception, rather than the rule? Bob Puff) This is true. Without a demand, manufacturers are not going to provide product. I think part of the problem that exists is there is no excellent software to handle the needs of the majority of people, hence they go up to a different platform. This is something both Jeff and I are trying to address. CSS has irons in the fire for more products, and we will continue to support the 8-bit community as long as possible. There still is plenty of productivity that can be accomplished with the 8-bits (not to mention the games!). The goal is to impart that idea to the thousands of 8-bitters with their computers in the closet. JDPotter) I agree with Bob. I'm sure neither he or I have anywhere near the resources of the IBM, Nintendo, etc. software and hardware developers. I, being a shareware developer, have practically no overhead, but still must try to work on things that at least a sizable percentage of the 8-bit public would like to own. So I'm always open for suggestions (hoping you realize my leaning towards the graphics side). But, I refuse to be caught up in the negative feelings that likely accompany the "orphan" computer owner...hey, if we like and use the ol' 8-bit, why trade up? I use tremendously more powerful computers at work, but the 8-bit still retains its appeal to me. And so I hope that's still true for the couple hundred (thousands?) of 8-bit user for years to come. Bill Zaiser) Suggestion: One thing many of us CAN do is to reach out for new members in our individual user groups. I am helping to rebuild an 8-bit group here in Jacksonville, FL. JDPotter) Good to hear, Bill. Give me a call if you'd like a visit sometime! JDPotter) Hmmm...like I said, if there *are* users out there interested in a fax for the 8-bit machine, drop me a line. I'll be releasing V2.4 of APACVIEW shortly; I'll continue work on the Agdagon game (details forthcoming). And I'll be following the story on the Atari Classics magazine, if it becomes a reality. Hope we can continue meeting like this (at least the Sun. night regular co.) for years to come! Thanks! Bob Puff) There are many more new things to be done with the 8-bits yet. As much time as I have, I try my best. But we need others like Jeff who are able to produce good programs. I was speaking with Alfred (author of AlfCrunch), and he is considering a hard-disk/upgraded memory version of Synfile. But stuff like this comes about only when we hear from the users. It really makes things worth-while when you know more than 12 people are using your programs. Pass the word along to user groups, etc., that there STILL are people writing and developing NEW items for the 8-bits, and we'll hopefully be doing it in the years to come! ======================================================================= * UNARC.COM INSTRUCTIONS ======================================================================= This file is a short introduction to using UNARC.COM, the UnArc utility for Atari Classics, a Shareware program from Bob Puff. The current version is 2.4. It is recommended that you download SUPERA.ARC in this lib which has detailed documentation, along with the ARC utility that will enable you to compress files yourself (wonderful for backups!) We've made UNARC.COM available for those who don't have an UnArc utility to start with. (NOTE: earlier versions of an unarc utility were available under the general name ARCX ... we advise you use this one instead.) ARC is a common form of "file compression" which takes one or more files and "compresses" them into one easy to access file. Before using an ARC file, it's necessary to "extract" the individual file(s), which is where UNARC comes in. UNARC is a binary file. Load it from DOS (see your DOS manual) as appropriate. It is advised you do this with BASIC disabled, so you have more elbow room. You'll see the Main Menu, most of which is pretty self-explanatory. You'll probably have an ARC file you've downloaded (preferably on another disk) ready to extract, so let's give it a shot. If you're using a single drive system, especially in Single Density, you might want to check and see how big the extracted files will be. The [V]iew file choice in the Main Menu will allow you to see just how much room the extracted files will take up once uncompressed. Put the disk containing your ARC file in D1:, press V, then answer the query with the full filespec: eg. D1:SUPERA.ARC By using the directory function in the Main Menu (pressing a number from 1 to 9 will show you the directory of a disk in the specified drive), you'll be able to calculate whether the extracted files will fit (remember, these numbers are approximate.) If they don't, there are a couple of workarounds in the "options box" above the Main Menu that you'll find useful. You can access the options by pressing P in the Main Menu. Note the prompts. "Extract with Query" means that you'll be asked whether you want to extract each file in the ARC as it comes up. This is handy to "split" an UnArc over 2 disks (you might want to copy the Big Arc file to 2 separate disks, extracting a set of files on each one.) "Disk Swaps" will allow you to process an ARC file on one disk, writing the extracted files to another disk, using the same disk drive. This is somewhat slow, but it does work. Experiment! (always remembering to BACKUP FIRST in case something goes wrong), and the process will get clearer. Ready to go? Put the disk containing your ARC file in D1: and choose [A] to UnArc the file. First question is which file to UnArc, which you should answer with the FULL filespec (eg: D1:SUPERA.ARC) Next question is where you want the extracted files to go. You can just type in a drive number (eg. 1), and if it's the same drive that has the ARC, files will be extracted to the same disk (thus the options above.) If you have 2 drives, or a RamDisk, you might want to enter 2 or 8, etc. Optionally, if you're using SpartaDOS or MyDOS, you can specify a full filepath, instead. (eg: D2:>BASIC>) After that, the magic happens. You'll see a note on the screen as each part of the ARC is extracted and written. If there's an error, you'll get a beep, and a notice of what happened. When you're done, press H from the Main Menu, and you'll be returned to DOS (if appropriate for what you're running, make sure you have a disk with DUP.SYS in D1: first.) That's really all there is to it. It can be a little confusing at first, but with a little practice, you'll see how it works. And it *is* great. Remember, this is shareware, so if you like and use the program, consider a contribution to the author: Bob Puff 2117 Buffalo Road Suite 222 Rochester, NY 14624 Sparta Bonus: Super UnArc (and SuperArc) support command line options, bypassing the menu. Details can be found in SUPERA.ARC ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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*Magazine Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine is an occassionally released publication covering the Atari 8-Bit and Lynx community. Material that is published here 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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