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Full text of "Atari User Group Newsletter June to December 1987 Part 7"

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CHUCK DAL V Tel. 672-214? 


GARY TOTH Tel. 356-7407 

BOB HAHN (BBS) 8B5-0312 



LOCATION 6 DATE: General fleeting and ST Special Interest 
— Group --Truck ee Meadows Cosiunity College— Root 407 ; SAT. 
T. 17-10 S, MIST SIG — WED. OCT. 21— Round Table 
Pina, Did Town Nall— 7:00 pa 


ANNUAL DUES are 115.00. H you see a warning dot or 
notice on your label, please renew your neabership by 
sending your dues to: HI5UG; P. Q. BOX 2152; SPARKS, NV. 
09432. High Sierra Users Group is an independent 
organization for Atari Computer users in the Reno area. 

NOTE: H you want to see this group continue, to develop 
its fine prograe library and to publish this 
newsletter... THEN PAY YOUR DUES PROMPTLY.. . Don’t take 
these services for granted. Your dues are our only source 
of incoie, and we can’t continue without them. SEND YOUR 


TO: HISUB; P.D. BOX 2152; SPARKS, NV. B9432 






Articles for the JOURNAL are always welcoie. If you wish 
to subnit them in printed fore, please set your printer 
for a 3-1/2 inch wide coluan in condensed type face. 
However, as long as your copy is legible, even 
handwritten copy is 0.K. Articles will be printed as 
space persits, and according to the editor's judgsEnt of 
suitability. Letters to the Editor are also welcoie. 
Please send material to: Italo Savazzi; 325 Wilkinson 
Ave.; Reno NV 89502 by the tenth of the south for 
publication during that sonth . 


As a service to our aeabers, we will be printing a list 
of bulletin boards as a standard feature in every issue 
of the Journal. This has beer requested. The following 
list eay or eay not be up-to-date. If any of these need 
to be changed, please let «e know. 


.. 520 ST SYSTEM — 363-B1 1 ] — 24 Hrs. -Located in Las Vegas 
.. REBEL— 453-07B6— 24 Hrs. 

.. COMPUTER WORLD— 735-7264— 24 Hrs. 

.. FALLOUT SHELTER— 826-9633—24 Hrs. 

.. COLOSSUS— 627-5857— 5 pa to 8 aa 
.. BENTLY’S CRYSTAL CA5TLE-BE2-6248-24 Hrs. -1200 Baud 

.. COLUMBIA BBS— 882-8325— 10 pm to 6 ai 

.. THE RENO CONNECTION (TRO-972-46B2-24 Hrs. -300, 

1200, 2400 Baud 


.. SIERRA EIPRESS— 356-1418— 24 Hrs. 

.. LAIDBACK BBS-786-9518-6 pi to 8 an 
.. SPEEDWAY BBS— 577-2088— 10 pi to 6 an 
.. R.A.S.S. -322-8866-24 Hrs. 

.. MAGIC MANSION— 322-9338— 24 Hrs. 

,. BEACH HOUSE-353-9554-24 Hrs, 

CS*x. « Z) 


(PfK>m Pujc I) 

ICE FACTOR V — 7B4-5E96 — 2^ Hrs. — 300 Baud Only 
.. FALLOUT SHELTER— 026-9633—24 Hrs. 

.. COLOSSUS — B27-5857 — 5 pi to 8 aa— 300 Baud Only 
,, T.D.T.L. BBS— 852 -iO 18—24 Hrs. 

.. §2-876-8.062—24 Hrs. 

.. BENTLY’S CRYSTAL CASTLE— 882-6420— 24 Hrs. -1200 Baud 

.. COLUMBIA BBS — BB2-8325 — 10 pa to 6 aa 
.. THE DUDE— BB5-0I12— 24 Hrs. 

.. KONG’S PLACE — 885-0090 — 24 Hrs. -300 Baud Only 
.. RENO CONNECTION TTRC) — 972-46B2— 24 Hrs. -300, 1200, 
2400 Baud 

.. SUN VALLEY BBS— 972-6691— 24 Hrs.— 300 Baud Only 

All the Bulletin Boards above accept both 300 and 1200 
Baud, except as noted. The editor is relying on you nodes 
users out there to report any needed corrections to this 




there to quit griping about the lack of new software. 
Dust off that software which you've never really used, 
and really learn to do soaething with it. This is really 
a great opportunity to re-exaiine what you’re doing with 
your cosputer hobby, Ke all delude ourselves in all our 
hobbies— not only coaputers— that if we only could buy 
that great new piece of equipient or great new program 
then we could really do great things. NOT SO. The best 
photographer I know owned one caaera for years, lieited 
hiiself to black and white photography and really did 
great stuff with that equipaent. Then he purchased a 
larger caaera and a couple of lenses for it. But he’s 
still doing only black and white photography. However, tie 
really works at it— and turns out superlative photos. 
He’s kEpt his equipaent si Dp 1 e and he’s really learned 
how to use it — i nstead of following the usual path of the 
aaateur by constantly gathering equipient rather than 

There’s really no need to beaoan the lack of new 
equipient and software. Be happy that you don’t have to 
concern yourself with such distractions, and really learn 
sore about using your present hardware and software. 

Hy editorship has only two sore aonths to run. Then it’s 
ADIOS. Kenn Johnson is doing a fine job with the ST SIS 
portion of the Journal, ably abEtted by Cris Hanson and 
Syd Allen. However, we need soae help with the Eight-bit 
section, and we need soeeone to do the actual production 
of the Journal. Speaking of learning sore about your 
cosputer and putting it to good use, here’s your chance 
to try your hand at 'Desktop Publishing". 

There seeus to be soaewhat a scarcity of new software 
other than gases for the eight-bit Atari’s. Hy own 
interests do not include gases—but lie in the direction 
of applications and graphics, 

Since I’ve Bade oy own views abundantly clear in past 
cnluins regarding the folly of buying ever newer 
coaputers, I won’t belabor that point any further. 

The continual desire for new software itself constitutes 
a folly of another sort. The collection nf software just 
for the sake of collection seeis to be the fever that 
drives isny a pirate bulletin board. But software without 
docuientati on is very often nearly worthless, 1 lust 
confess that such of the software (docuaented) which I 
own hasn’t really been properly exploited. Early in ay 
first aonths with Atari, I acquired Microsoft Basic II. 
This has such lore capablility that Atari Basic. 
Excepting for converting soae astronouical programs to 
utilize its lore accurate aath, I haven't used it. Atari 
Chess— never pi ayed . RasBrandt— this has been used, but 1 
haven’t tried sany of its capabilities. SynCai c — used 
only enough to get a scraping acquaintance. There are 
others— all good, viable progress. 

So I would rEcomiend to you other eight-bit owners out 

a bjt 


Along the lines of what I was saying in the editor's 
column about better use of existing software, I'* 
reprinting the following itei from the Puget Sound Atari 
News by Wally Hong. The article has some pertinent 
comments about MAC/65, one of the better eight-bi t 

MAC/65 NO WORE!— How the mighty do die! According to Bill 
Wilkinson, of GSS IQptUized Systems Software, Inc*) and 
creator of ADOS (DOS for the new B^bit drives), as of 
August 1st, 19E7, OSS will no longer be producing the 
MAC/65! What 31AC/6 j's are left is what's on the dealer 
shelves and their suppliers' warehouses. Sad, Sad ^ Sad. 
For those unfamiliar with the product, MAC/65 is, without 
a doubt, the BEST nacre assembler and editor program for 
the Atari G-bit systems. Others nay be easier to use or 
providE other features, but none are as complete and as 
powerful as the MAC/65* You'd find one of these 

Oec P<%r e 3) 

Page 3 
(From Pa$t, Z) 

cartridges necr any serious Atari prograsser's coaputer. 
This say Pe a sorry indication of the future of the 
■Hits. Sagging sales of such an excellent product leans 
ihe interest in software development has declined. Yes, 
we have ACTION! and other excellent software developaent 
products but still, no latter what language you da use, 
lachine language routines are needed to add the necessary 
punch and power to your progress. The HAC/65 fits this 
bill, 1 suggest if you have any inclination toward 
software development or even if to dabble with assembly 
language, MAC/iS is soiething worth getting your hands 
on, 1 also suggest you hurry; no doubt, the prices on the 
HAC/45 will prcbably start to cliab; this is going to 
becooe a collector’s i ten ! 

Also fros Hally Kong’s cslusn in the Puget Sound Atari 
Nehs is the following short item, which also appears 
pertinent at this tine: 

Update on the XF-551 Dish Drive— Bill Wilkinson, of DSS, 
is writing ADDS, the new Disk Operating Syste# for the 
new, double-sided double-density, 5-1/4*, up to three 
tiies the speed of the 1050, soon to be shipped, soon to 
be on the dealers’ shelves XF-551 disk drive. The new 
drive KILL be 1001 cospatible with SpartaDos! A patch by 
ICO will enable the ’ultraspeed’ read/write on the new 
drive. It will have a suggested list price of $199.00 and 
probably will be discounted to around $169.00. 


ThE following article by David Cox of the Atari Coaputer 
Owners of Rochester, N. Y. (ACDRNJ appeared in the 
Septeiber 1937 issue of the 'ACORN Kernel’. It presents a 
very pessisistic view of Atari’s future, with which we 
don’t necessarily agree. But it does discuss soee hard 
issues, and it is thought-provoking and controversial. If 
it stirs you up enough to counter with a rebuttal, let’s 
hear from you. Kith soie editing to shorten its length, 
here it is: 

The Rise and Fall of Atari — A few years ago when it 
looked as though Atari would be no lore, Jack Traiiel 
bought the cospany and has since breathed new life to 
this reiote outpost of the coaputer industry. The oospany 
has gone public and Atari’s stock has soared. Despite 
apparent success, I fear that Atari will begin to fail 
during the next year. 

By fears are based on a nuiber of trends. The first is 
proaising new products and not delivering.. ..the PC 
emulator to attach to the ST... the PC clone,,. the 1200 
baud lodes. ..the SO-colunn card for the 8-bits., .the 

CD-ROM the laser printer. ..the Mega ST. ..the blitter 


The second trend is lack of support for the cosputers. 
Witness the cosplete lack of generally available 

documentation on the ST computers and the cosplete 
absence of documentation for the 8-bit cosputers. The 
only documentation froi Atari is part of a $300 
'developers' package, Contrast this situation with Apple, 
IBM and Cosiodore. All three of these companies sell 
polished technical manuals on their products at a 
fraction of the cost of the Atari developers kit. This 
documentation has been the catalyst for third party 
vendors to create and sell additional books ranging fros 
introductory eater i al to specialized namuls on various 
aspects of the cciputers. By providing docuientation, 
Atari would desonstrate its seriousness about supporting 
its products... 

The third trend is poor design of the cosputers. Tine has 
desonstrated that good coaputer hardware design allows 
for expansion of the original equipnent, Witness the 
original Apple II coiputers, the IBM PC’s and 
coapatibles, the new These coaputErs have 
been true sales successes. In large leasure, the success 
has cose fros users being able to transform their 
coiputers into soiething sore than the original without 
having to buy a whole new systes. The result has been a 
real cost savings to users... 

The fourth trend is a lack of hard disk drives. For other 
coiputers, hard disk drives car, be had for under $300, 
and dozens of brands are available. For the Atari, two or 
three brands can be found and cost close to $700, These 
days a coaputer is not a coaputer if it has no hard disk 

The fifth trend is lack of quality. When first shipped, 
■any Atari ST cosputers had loose chips that had to be 
reseated before the aachines would work properly... Two 
years after this problem appeared, Atari 5t cosputers 
still experience problems with loose chips.,. Other 
problems have been loose aonitor cables,. .Another problem 
has been with hard disk drives—when the nusber of 
subdirectories goes beyond a certain point, already 
existing files on the drive can be lost... these problems 
existed two years ago and persist today. 

The sixth trend is price. The ST cosputers were to sell 
prisarily because they cost so such less than any other 
coaparable cosputer. Two years after the ST’s 
introduction, IBM PC’c and eoipatibles now sell in thE 
ST’s price range. Soie coapatibles cosplete with 512K of 
senary, tonitor, 20-30 M£S hard drive cost around 
$1300. ..nearly identical to a coaparable 
ST. ..Additionally, PC cospatible users can benefit fros 
the wealth of docuientation and software available for 
the PC’s. 

Do you agree or disagree with the opinions expressed in 
the above article by David Cox? Do you think his gripes 
are legitimate^ or are they are exaggerated? Let’s hear 
fros you. 



Chairman: Kenn Johnson 

librarian: Maynard Smith 91 6-583-4332 

Our first evening meeting passed into history with mixed suceas. 
We discussed everything from the future of the group to the 
format for running the meetmp. 

Larry Elliot (Computer House) and Bod Coleman (Cimarron 
Computer) both expressed their concern that the group continue. 
They feel that the user group is an aid to owners with news, help, 
and unbiased aoftware/hardware reviews. 

It was decided to continue with the evening meetings but a 
different place would be condusive to a better meeting. The new 
meeting place is listed below. With everything else that was 
decided, we can only wait to see if the great experiment will bring 
more participants. 


Saturday October 17 

10:00AM Tmckee Meadows Community College Sdo* 407. 

Wednesday October 21 

6:30 PM Pizza and Setup Bound Table Pizza Old Town Mall 
7:00 PM Meeting 

At the Wedne sday meeting Greg Crapo will have a demonstration 
of PRINT MASTER, a graphics program by Unison World. 

Several members have expressed problems with a 1ST WORD 
print driver for the Panasonic J090L If anybody has one that 
works, bring it to a meeting or drop it by one of the dealers. 

1 am m the process of moving so my phone number is obsolete, but 
ssibly the Bell System will give out my new number. When I 
ve a place to set up my system again 111 update the newsletter. 


syd Allen 

Re-inking means darker ribbons but more clogging because of 
detritus picked up, to the point where a pin may not retract. 
This is what seems to catch and tear ribbons, not boles already 
there; a free pin retracts too fast to catch in anything. So, 
there is need, with many printers, to unscrew the head every 
few months, and dean it in denatured alcohoL But don’t get 
alcohol beyond the block where the pins come out unless the 
manual says ok.' 

Before removing the head, take out the ribbon and place a riiim of 
a thickness that can be made snug between platen and head 
by moving your paper- thickness- adjustment-lever. Write 
down where the lever ends up, so upon putting back the head 
you can reverse your procedure exactly and bring it to the 
correct distance from the platen again, 

Toshiba uses a .010" (1/100 inch) shim with the head at closest 
setting. That makes sense: 20wt tractor paper * .004 (.0039), 
ribbon * .004, leaving .002 leeway for ribbon movement (all 
measured on my Mitutoyo Combimike). If yon cannot find a 
single shim gauge at the auto store, send BASE to me and 111 
send you a .010 brass one: Syd Allen, PO Box 13S5, Westwood, 
CA 96137. 


Cris Man son 

I really did it this time... the new IBM emulator was too much to 
resist and just when I vowed not to spend another dime on my ST 
system for at least 6 months! PC DITTO comes along and WuWs 
my socks off (This is the much touted program that is designed 
to allow your ST to run IBM programs). Now, mind you, Tm in 
the very beginning stages of deciding whether it’s worth my hard 
earned money or not. So. let’s continue for a moment and 
determine if it will be a welcome addition to your ST library or 
doomed to the "SHELF, (shiver) 

The most sensible application 1 can think of would be if you 
already used an IBM (or compatible) at work and are tempted to 
turn yourself into an ’electronic cottage’ by taking your mountains 
of work home to complete. Having purchased your ST more than 
a year ago, PC-DITTO would seem to really justify ATARTe name 
around the house to your doubting spouse. 

Of course, you will note that I said ’sensible’. Yea, it will run all 
that it says it will (the list resting on the PC-DITTO disk itself). 
But what about the other 20,000 programs that are out there for 
the IBM? WeE, I’ve tried a couple off the wall ones and yep, it 
ran those too. My biggest hurdle has been working with one 
single-aided 3.5" drive. I guess you could call it a 20 foot wall 
instead of a hurdle, because I never got over att To reduce my 
threats of suicide, I received a 5 1/4" drive from hubby! Well life 
is a whole lot easier now, and I have been running a variety of 
neat stuff from PC-SIG disks, Project; Space Station (HE5), PC- 
Write, Word Perfect and Newsroom (Springboard’s desktop 
publisher). Ask me if I’m happy^go on, ask me! 

A couple of notations here. One is that if you want to run a 
program that uses graphics, it will run very alow. So far, for me, 
that hasn’t been a real big deal, but it may he for you, so weigh it 
carefully. Also, if you are a single density, single drive owner, 
don’t even consider it until you can fmagle a double sided 3,5" or, 
the simplest way, a 5 1/4" (and use the single for a data drive), it 
just wasn’t meant to be otherwise. 

I could do this like a real newspaper or magazine s 
you've seen the routine. It goes something like 







But I won't do that I will apoligize if the newsletter 
looks hurried, because I can assure you it was. Five 
minutes after I am done here my system will be in 
boxes awaiting it’s new ultra modem bench. I hope 
to be set up again in time to get next months articles 
out on time. Thanks Cris and Syd for your support. 

WRITE, Dealers are supposed to have a demo copy by the time 
you read thus. If it checks out, I may juat have to get a copy Fm 
one of the many still waiting for a class word processor* 




Kenn Johnson 

It's official now, Atari has bought Federated Electronics Stores* 
This gives them the retail outlet for the ST system they have been 
craving. One of the interesting aspects of the purchase is FES has 
a deal to sell the AMIGA 2000 system* Think about it, JT could 
cancel the deal or sell the systems and make money from a 
competitor. Which would you do? 

Here are some quotes dealing with the purchase, "I expect that 
this will boost our distribution on 520ST, 8-bit, and game systems." 
Neil Harris "Owning Federated will also give Atari an outlet 
for new electronics pro ducts— not computers— that the company 

S lans to introduce next year, Mr Tramlel said, declining to 
escribe the products*" NY Times 

Would anybody like to guess what other 'electronic products' Atari 
is thinking about? Maybe next Xmas HI be putting my daughter 
to bed with a story telling Jack Tramiel teddy. "Once upon a time 
in Commodore land there " 

Atari has released several previously announced products 
including the SX212 modem, the 65XE game system, and the 
XEP80 adapter board. The vapor is solidifying..* 

The SX212 modem is Hayes compatible and works with the ST or 
8 bit computers. The software to use it with the SIO port on the 8 
bit has not been released but 'real soon now'. It can be used 
through a 850 interface or something compatible. Suggested list 
price is $99.95. 80 column text on an 8 bit is possible with the 
XBP80 80 column interface board. Again the software to use it is 
not released. These include Atari Writer 80 and Silent Butler. List 
price is $79.05. For a mere $149.95 you can have the XE Game 
System which comes with a keyboard, a light gun, and three 
games ( Flight Simulator II, Mi sale Command, and Bug Hunt ). 

There has been a rash of new software releases in preparation for 
the upcoming season. Fve seen a list of over 30 new programs 
releasing in the next few weeks. Notables include FI 5 Strike 
Eagle, Word Perfect, Print Shop, Ultima 4, WordUp, and Marble 

TIP — Are you tired of searching for a program in a cluttered 
directory? Put it at the top by renaming it with a : as it's first 
character and have your options set to sort by name. You can use 
any legal ASCII character and they will be sorted in order. 0 
comes Before ; but personally :PRG is easier to find than 0FRG. A 
note of caution here, do not rename programs or files a program 
may call by name. An example would be 1 ST_PRNT.PRG* 
Renaming this will prvent l£?T_WQRD.PRG from finding it when 
needed to print. Do not use any of these either: * ? \ as they are 
wildcards used for directory searches. 

What was the hottest selling software for the summer? PC DITTO 
is relatively new but has been on the hot list since* Publishing 
Partner, Word writer, and Data Manager also sell well while 
FLASH is still a best seller. 

Time Bandits and Major Motion are still selling but showing their 
age. A flashy newcomer is Barbarian, both dealers have trouble 
keeping it in stock* Chess Master 2000 is very popular and 
FLIGHT SIMULATOR II continues it's popularity. 

No real suprises here but I predict big changes as loads of new 
software is releasing or scheduled to release in the next few weeks. 
I pick FI 5 Strike Eagle as a sure fire hit and I am hoping WORD 
PERFECT makes it despite it's price. A major software package 
sucess would finally legitimatize our favorite computer. 

Those of you that receive STart magazine may have noticed an ad 
by NEOTRON for their new word processing system. Called 
WORDUP, if it can do everything the ad claims, it could put a real 
damper on other new wordprocessors. WORDUP is to retail for 
$79.95 versus $395 for WORD PERFECT and $149.95 for MS 


Kenn Johnson 

Because I spend so much time at my computer, I have the need for 
certain items to make my time more productive* One of these I 
have already discussed is DCOPY which speeds up ARCXDEARC 
time by a tremendous amount* I also have the need for a printer 
buffer and a way to set my printer configuration. A way to format 
a disk without having to drop out of a program is also handy when 
making library disks. 

Fortunately the public domain has these available in several forms 
and so I can spend my allowance on other goodies. I have yet to 
find one program that will do everything I need, but it is easy to 
live with the accessories that I have. 

Xutilities is an accessory that has many useful functions* Among 
them is the ability to format in standard or extended forma* It 
also allows you to configure your printer output for the size of 
margins, lines per page, number of lines to skip the perforation* 
what size pitch, etc* Other options available are keyboard 
configuration, repair disk, and copy disk. I have not used any of 
these as I have no reason to change the layout of my keyboard, I 
don't have any bad disks, and I use PROCOFY to do all my disk 

A funny thing about this review, I had not noticed any bugs until I 
called it up to look at the menu while in Publishing Partner. 
CRASH! Ill It doesn't seem to happen in other programs Fve run 
with it so I suspect the two of them are fighting for the same 
memory space. Publishing Partner is very memory hungry. 
Knowing it now did not save the two hours of previous work* 

The other accessory I use is courtesy of the newspaper ST 
INFORMER It is a combination ramdisk^rint spooler called SI 
RAMDISK. It is configurable to any size ramdisk, spooler, or 
combination of, that leaves at least 128K of memory ior system 
use. It also has an auto load feature that will put your programs 
into the ramdisk on boot* Having a hard drive, I have no use for 
the ramdisk but I have tested it and it works. The print spooler 
or ramdisk can be installed at boot or while in the desktop* 

The spooler allows me to send output to my printer and gives me 
back the computer in a few seconds. The printing goes on in the 
background. A true time saverl 

Both SI RAMDISK and XUTILITIES have a save configuration 
function that sets the options you selected at boot. Both also have 
a memory available window though they never agree* 

SI RAMDISK comes with a doc file but not XUriLITIES. Both are 

Two very nice accessories that axe available from our library. Try 
them out. 


Cris Manson 

We are fortunate to have two ST'S in the house and along with 
that* several family members interested in flying. As a result, 
Flight Simulator II by SUB LOGIC is a very frequently used 
program. The boys decided to try the dual mode. They made an 
RS232 cable up (costing about $4.00 with parts from Computer 
House), hooked each end into the respective STs and WALAH1I 
They could see each other when flying and on the ground in all 
modes! I heard 'RADI' TrickP anti This is HOTI' all afternoon* 
After hours in the air, the only complaint that issued from the 
computer room was that in the WWIl mode, they were not able to 
shoot at each other, typical of teenagers* However, if gossip from 
the grapevine holds true {is that possible?), SUBLOGIC will be 
releasing JET for the ST in which you are supposed to be able to 
do just that. They're crossing their fingers. 

Page 5 

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p.a BOX 21 J2 
.SPfcftKS, JfEVfcDJk 39432 
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