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

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HJGH 5JEMM 

USERS GROUP 

Hi!!';'-' V, 

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I«"I^ 

JDUHNfli. 




FiiimiiitniH 


RTRRI 


REND, NEU 


BOARD OF DIRECTORS... 


CHUCK DftLY Tel. 673-2149 

KILLIAN WATSON ...Tel. 049-0480 

GARY TOTH Tel. 356-7407 

BOB HAHN I BBS) 805-0312 

ITALO 6AVAZZI (EDITOR) Tel. 329-9946 


MEETINGS. . . 

Eeneral meeting and ST SIE— Truckee Meadows Community 
College— Room 214; SAT. SEPT. 19 — 10 A. PE. EVENIN6 
MEETING, STSIG— Pizra Hut— S St. & 22nd 
St.— Sparks— Sept. 23— 7i00 pm 

ANNUAL DUES. . . 

ANNUAL DUES are 115.00. If you see a Naming dot or 
notice on your label, please renew your membership by 
sending your dues to: HISUG; P. 0. BOX 2152; SPARKS, NV. 
89432. High Sierra Users Group is an independent 
organisation for Atari Computer users in the Reno area. 

NOTE: If you want to see this group continue, to develop 
its fine program library and to publish this 
newsletter... THEN FAY YOUR DUES PROMPTLY... Don't take 
these services for granted. Your dues are our oniy source 
of incone, and we can’t continue without then. SEND YOUR 
DUES IN NON! 


MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION 
OR RENEWAL 

TO: HISUG; P.0. BOX 2152; SPARKS, NV. 89432 

NAME 

ADDRESS 

CITY-STATE-ZIP 

TELEPHONE.... 


ARTICLES FOR THE JOURNAL... 

Articles for the JOURNAL are always welcome. If you Nish 
to submit them in printed fora, please set your printer 
for a 3-1/2 inch wide column in condensed type face. 

However, as long as your copy is legible, even 

handwritten copy is O.K. Articles will be printed as 

space permits, and according to the editor’s judgment of 
suitability. Letters to the Editor are also welcome. 
Please send material to: Italo Savazri; 825 Milkinson 
Ave.; Reno NV 89502 by the tenth Df the month for 

publication during that month. 

BULLETIN BOARDS... 

As a service to Dur members, we will be printing a list 
of bulletin boards as a standard feature in every issue 
of the Journal, This has been requested. The following 
list may or may not be up-to-date. If any of these need 
to be changed, please let me know. 

FOR ATARI ST COMPUTERS: 

.. 520 ST SYSTEM— 363-8 1 1 1--24 Hrs. -Located in Las Vegas 
.. REBEL— 453-0786—24 Hrs. 

. . COMPUTER HORLD— 735-7264— 24 Hrs. 

.. FALLOUT SHELTER— B26-9633— 24 Hrs. 

.. COLOSSUS — B27-5B57 — 5 pm to B am 
.. BENTLY’S CRYSTAL CASTLE— BB2-624 B— 24 Hrs. -1200 Baud 
Only 

.. COLUMBIA BBS— 892-3325— 10 pm to 6 am 

.. THE RENO CONNECTION (TRC 1-972-4682-24 Hrs. -300, 

1200, 2400 Baud 

FOR ATARI 8-BIT COMPUTERS 

.. SIERRA EXPRESS — 356- 1 4 IB — 24 Hrs. 

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

.. MAGIC MANSI DN-322-9338-24 Hrs. 

.. BEACH HOUSE— 358-9554— 24 Hrs. 

Cfzc. fyc z ) 


Accordingly, these are being reproduced as the following 
articles. They have been edited soaewhat. 

REVIEW OF FONTMASTER 




.. ICE FACTORY— 786-5596— 24 Hrs.— 300 Baud Only 
.. FALLOUT SHELTER— 826-9633— 24 Hrs. 

.. COLOSSUS — 827-5857—5 pa to B ai-300 Baud Only 
.. T.O.T.L. BBS— 852-601 B— 24 Hrs. 

.. S.N.A.C.C. 12-876-8062-24 Hrs. 

.. BENTLY’S CRYSTAL CASTLE-B82-6428-24 Hrs. -1200 Baud 
Only ' 

.. COLUMBIA BBS— B82-8325— 10 pa to 6 as 
.. THE DUDE— 885-0312— 24 Hrs. 

.. KONG’S PLACE— B85-B090— 24 Hrs. -300 Baud Only 
.. RENO CONNECTION 1TRC) -972-4682-24 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 aodea 
users out there to report any needed corrections to this 
list. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE ! 


By Doug Van Hook—JACE 

...FONTMASTER Hill run on any 8-bit Atari with at least 
48K. It Has written in ACTION by Hike Fulton, of Cypress, 
California. In the docuientation, he does offer to 
provide continued support for the prograa and reguests a , 
siall donation. 

This superb prograa was designed to print out files, 
ftt ar i wri ter included, in any of 2B styles of font. It 
will also print all of the graphic characters. Another 
bonus is the ability to prinT SYNCALC Spreadsheets 
sideways using ANY of the available character sets. 
FONTMASTER provides 28 different character sets to 
choose froa, and prints at either 960 dots per line, or 
at 1920 dots per line. 


YOUR EDITOR HAS BEEN EDITING THE JOURNAL SINCE JANUARY OF 
THIS YEAR. AFTER DECEMBER, HE KILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO 
CONTINUE AS YOUR EDITOR. ANYONE WHO KANTS TO TAKE OVER 
THIS JOB OR TO HELP KITH IT, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH KITH ME 
AT 329-9946 OR WRITE: ITALO 6AVAZZI; 825 KILKINSON AVE; 
RENO, NV. 


DIRECTORS MEETIN6... 

The Board of Directors, at their latest Meting, set 
several nen policies. The disk libraries Hill be 
available at the aeetings for copying: there Hill be a 
noiinal charge for copying disks. An atteept is being 
aade to set the ST SIE seeting during the neek rather 
than on Saturday (ornings. There Hill be no further 
coipliaentary advertising in the Journal; all ads Hill be 
paid for. 

The next seating of the Board of Directors will be held 
at Italo (Pete) Gavazzi’s house at 825 Wilkinson Ave; 
RenD at 7:00 pi on October 6 (Tuesday). Anyone who is 
interested in the future direction of HISUE say attend. 
You do not have to be a sesber of the Board of Directors 
to attend. 

fl B J T 

ATARI BDQXL NEI15 



Of the articles in the various newsletters this aonth, 
twc softnare reviews in the Jersey Atari Coaputer Group 
newsletter (JACG) caught ay attention. 


To use the prograa, I siaply la) loaded it, (b) asked for 
a directory, (c) loaded the font called 'Cursive', and 
(d) printed the file called README. DOC. What could be 
easier than that? 

The author ci aiied that the fonts could be used witf 
other prograas, so I iaaediately loaded TYPESETTER and 
successfully loaded all but one of the character sets to - 
the screen-27 out of 28 ain’t bad! 

...Hove over DAISY DOTS, I think ne’ve got you non. Here 
are the aenu selections for FONTHASTER: 

1 Print Text File 

2 Line Width (characters per line) 

3 Load Character Set 

4 Charge Character Set 

5 Top/Bottoa Margins 

5 Sideways Syncalc Print 

D Dots per Line (Printer Resolution! 

P Change Printer (Epson FX/6e#ini) 

M Disk Directory 

6 Suit Prograa 

Font Master is available for 13.00 this aonth as the 
disk-of-the-aonth froa the Jersey Atari Coaputer Group. 
To order by sail, write to: Bret Callegari: 306 Division 
St.— Floor 2; Boanton, NJ 07005. 

REVIEW OF SNAPSHOT 

By N. Van Dost, Jr,— JACG 

Non that I have your attention, 1 nant to tell you about 
the greatest printer picture duap . prograa that I have 
ever coie across. It nas wr i t ten by Richard Q. Fox for 

’-e 3 J 


3 

f From f*je_ -O 

'iy Fox Productions. If you are into collecting picture • 
les, anything by Joy Fox is right up there on top of 
your collecting list. If you own an Okimate 10, Epson, or 
Epson-compatible printer (it works super-great with a 
Star Mi cronies SE-10 or NX-101, then this is the printer 
dump program for you. 

SNAPSHOT has five sain features! (1) 50 colors on the 
Qkisate 10, and true grey scale on Epson and Epson 
compatibles. (2) Picture translation from one eode to 
another. 13) The ability to change colors for printout 
purposes by means of joystick or touch tablet. (4) Prints 
in noraal or double density on Epson or Epson compatibles 
(SS-IO Dr NX-101 . (51 Soee DOS file functions. 

SNAPSHOT will load, translate and print pictures from 
Coiputereyes. Fun Kith Art, Graphics Master, 
Micro-Illustrator, Micro Painter, and Versawriter. It 
runs under Basic, and the author states “...written in 

Assembly and glued together with BASIC.* 

You will like the easy to use menu, which gives you a 
choice of seven options, They are file Directory, Load, 
Save, Delete File, Change Color, Translate and Printout. 

I particularly liked the menu overlay technique used, 
~hich i’ll let you discover for yourself. 

you have Computereyes or collect Graphics ? (16 shade! 
pictures, high contrast Graphics 7.5 pictures, low 
contrast Graphics 7.5 pictures, normal Graphics S 
pictures, four-shade or eight-shade Graphics 8 

picturess— you will be amazed at the true 
screen-to-printer copy. 

About the only other thing 1 can say in praise of 

SNAPSHOT is: Hhat you see on the screen is what you get 
on the paper. So what are you waiting for? Hurry out and 
buy a copy of SNAPSHOT! 

For further inforaation on this prograa, contact: Joy Fox 
Productions; 1364 Caapbell St.; Orlando, FL 32806. 

STRONGER POWER SUPPLY 

(The following article appeared in the August 1787 issue 
of the Puget Sound Atari News. It was reprinted in turn 
from the January 19B6 issue of STATUS via ACE1, It is 

included in the Journal just in case you ever have need 
of replacing your power supply. It appears to be a 
superior design to that of the original power supply 
which came with your B-bit computer. 

using the circuit diagram (see Figure 1) and following 
the construction notes which follow, you can have a 
“beefy* power supply which will handle any demand the 
800XL can place on it. And yes, it will indeed power a 
RaiDisk modification. As an added feature, I’ve included 
surge protection with the power supply. 


The heart of this power supply is a LH323K +5 volt 
regulator IC. With the proper heat sink, the regulator 
can provide up to 3 amps to your computer, The BOOH 
requires less than 1.5 amps, and the 130YE requires less 
than 2 amps. So with a 3 asp rating this regulator is 
ideal for the power supply. 

/For connecting to your computer, you may purchase a 7-pin 
■ *DIN* connector or you say cut the cable from your old 
supply. If you look at the diagrae (see Figure 3), you’ll 
see pins 1, 4, and 6 are the +5 volt output. Pins 3, 5, 
and 7 are the ground connections. Kith an Dheseter, find 
the wire which you cut connecting to pins 1, 4, and 6 and 
tag it with ‘+5 1 for future use. The other wire is the 
ground, and it connects to pins 3, 5, and 7. Follow the 
schematic (see Figure 1) and wire your project carefully. 
Observe the polarity of the electrolytic capacitors and 
study the pin-cut configuration of the LH323K (see Figure 
2) before making the connections. 

Connect the Metal Oxide Varistor (as shown in the 
diagram) for surge protection. Connect the black and 
white wires of the line cord to the input of the 
transformer. A fuse holder should be wired to one of the 
inputs of the transformer. The green wire iif you are 
using a three wire cord) should be connected to the metal 
case of the transformer. 

One final construction note. The LM323K must be mounted 
on a hEat sink. 1 chose a plastic project case with a 
metal top (see Parts List) and eounted the LM323K to the 
metal top with hEat sink compound. As an option, you can 
mount the regulator on a heat sink designed for a ‘TD-3‘ 
transistor case. I also recommend a TG-3 socket for the 
regulator for easy installation and removal. 

Before connecting the power supply to your computer, 
power up your unit and check for +5 volts at the output. 
If all seems well, then try your computer. If you notice 
any “ripple 1 on the screen, then recheck all your solder 
connections. It may be necessary to connect the casE of 
the 12 volt transformer to ground. In extreme cases, you 
may have to shield the entire transformer with a piece of 
metal connected to ground. 

PARTS LIST 

T1--12 Volt transformer (Radio Shack 273-1352 or 
equivalent) 

8R1— Bridge rectifier (RS 276-1146 or equiv.) 

IC1--LM323K (available at local electronics suppliers) 

Cl— 2200 mfd electrolytic capacitor (RS 272-1020 or 
Equiv. ) 

C2--1.0 mfd capacitor (RS 272-1050 or equiv.) 

C3-1Q mfd electrolytic capacitor (RS 272-1013 or equiv.) 
MOV— Metal Oxide Varistor (RS 276-571 or equiv.) 

Rise.— Project enclosure (RS 270-232 or equiv.) 

Fuse Holder 


(See Back Page for Circuit Diagram) 


SEPTEMBER 1987 


page 4 



Chairman; Hann Jnhnsnn E73 - \BHU 

. 

Librarian: Hlaunarri Smith 31G-5B3-L332 


5T RHfTIBLING 

KENN JOHNSON 

RAMBLE CtxtnlxD To write or talk or without iKjtiencv of Ideu 

lam sure that you have noticed the difference in our 
newsletter. Publishing Partner was used for layout and the 
printing was done on a HP Laser Jet courtesy of Cimarron 
Computer. This is a superb program and has great potential 
Manufacturer support is in a word 'fantastic*. I will have a 
demonstration at this months meeting. 

Since taking over the duties of ST SXG chairman, my computer 
is no longer mine. It belongs to the user group in spirit if not 
an substance. My time is spent working up demos* 
downloading from BBS's, and moat of all word processing. I 
grope through a half meg of text every month looking for that 
item to make the meeting and/or newsletter interesting and 
informative, for example the ROM info in this issue. So with 
all this word processing came problems, pre-eminent was 
memory. Alert boxes telling me You are almost out of memory 7 
exasperated me. Just what I did not need in the middle of a cut 
and paste routine. When I bought my ST, it never occurred to 
me that someday 51 2K would not be enough; TLook into my 
crystal ball sayeth the Gypsy Lady/ The decision forced on me, 
now I had to find the right upgrade for the right price. It 
couldn't be piggy backed memory ala Eye Bee Em, that's just 
asking for trouble. I didn’t want to do any soldering on the 
mother board because rumor has it that the blitter upgrade 
will be a board swap. So all I had left was the plug in kind of 
which only a few exist. I settled on a board from Tech 
Specialties of Houston, TX for several reasons. First the price 
was right. Si SO retail but bought cheaper. Second, the 51 2 K of 
ram on board is able to be tossed when the megabyte chips get 
down to a reasonable price (read cheap) and expanded to 2.5 or 
4 meg. Third, installing it, though not a snap, was relatively 
easy. The usual amount of care was taken for static electricity, 
and proper alignment of pins. If you're not a hacker and don't 
want to see the guts of your ST, Tm certain one of the dealers 
will gladly get one and install it for you. Do 1 have any 
problems with it you ask? Not with the board, but the 
documentation stinks, in size, quantity, and quality. Anyway, 
no more out of memory messages and according to that lady's 
crystal entertainment center, FlI never have the need fox more 
than one meg. 

Hiehtron has announced some new goodies for release in the 
next month or so. One of note is the Weide Math Coprocessor 
that fits into the 520 or 1 040. It's lists for a hefty 499.95 but if 
it uses a 68881 , the price is reasonable because the chip also 
carries a hefty price (1200). 

ATARI USA president Jerry Brown is already out and Jack T 
has again taken over the reins. Does that mean something to 
us? Probably notl 

see page 5 


MORE ON DATA MANAGER ST 

SYD ALLEN 

Lisa from Timeworks called me, and was very helpful. I had 
already cleared stylistic codes from DMST fries in 1ST WORD by 
simply rubber- banding everything, turning off all styles, and 
restyling to plain. Don't know why it wasn't that easy at first. 
The program has many features which take trying and rereading, 
trying and rereading... 

Yes, improvements needed, but this is almost the first version. 
They will notify all owners for the update, late this year or early 
next. The only true block to my using the program lisa explained 
as a GEM bug: in any program that uses GEM, the top margin 
setting must not be zero-- it must be *1* or more if you place 
anything on the top line, including headers in a report and the 
first line of an address label. I confirmed this bug with 1ST 
WORD and A-CALC PRIME. She said a GEM upgrade is 
expected, and I said don't hold your breath for Atari, and she said 
they are good compared to Commodore... 

For mailing lists, I can get 3 to 5 lines by including the state in 
the 3rd trough 5th Line (whichever it falls in naturally), and 
having Zip as a separate field following each of those 3 lines. Zip 
will be the only concatenated (doses to left on printing) field as 
the program cannot seem to do two on the same line. So state 
cannot be sorted; only both names and Zip. Also, Zip will be in 
piles according to number of label lines... 

Yet Fve decided the program is now worth having. The multiple 
sort is great: in each next sort it simply subsorts upon the 
previous one, without rearranging any sort that has already been 
done, etc. The Calculation Entry and Edit box includes some 
math, logical opera tors and IF THEN ELSE, but haven't fried this 
yet. No independent cell concept as in a spreadsheet. The 
graphics ability looks good, but I can't use it because we have a 
Toshiba. ..Xisa says Timeworks is very busy but is planning for 
more printer drivers in all ST programs. Also, they are coming 
out with their own desktop publishing program for the ST. 

[Syd Allen] 


IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN 

Kenn Johnson 

I received a letter from Ralph Walden the author of DCGPY 
reviewed in last months column. He brought to my attention that 
for those of you wishing to use the file selectory boxes, just give 
DCOPY a .PEG extension. On the problem with the print 
command there is a way around it and Hi Let him explain. "After 
using the <T> command to 'type' the file, use the <3> to save the 
see page 5 


FLASH: ATARI CORP. has made an offer of$67 : 
million to buy FEDERATED ELECTRONICS 
STORES, FES has 66 stores in the west and sells 
consumer electronics i,e. VCR's, TV’s, Stereo, CD’s, 
and MIDI. FES lost $5.2 million on sales of $459 
: mi llion last year . 


The following comes courtesy of ATARI'S Neil Harris via GEnie: 

TOS ROMS - BLITTER VERSION 

The 1987 revision of TOS is scheduled for release in 
conjunction with the new "blitter” chip. The new TOS has been 
upgraded to include support for the hardware blit a a well as 
retaining the software blit functions for full compatibility with 
older software which relies on hardware timing (a definite 
no no). 

Changes in the new ROMs are: 

RS232; The RS232 handler has been completely rewritten. 
RTS/CTS handshaking now works. Baud rates 50 and 75 now 
work. 

CLOCK: Support is now included for the Mega ST’s built-in, 
battery-backed-up realtime clock. The realtime clock is 
automatically used by the XBIOS get time and settime functions 
for the IKBD. The GEMDOS clock is reset from the realtime 
clock at the termination of every program. 

STARTUP: Memory clear at system startup is much faster, 
improving performance on multi-megabyte systems. 

DESKTOP: The desktop now includes a control for 
deactivating/activating the blitter chip. Also, the Save Desktop 
and Print Screen selections will request confirmation. Spurious 
characters are no longer written to the DESKTOP. INF file. 
Doing a PRINT or SHOW from the desktop will now display 
characters with ASCII codes above 127, SHOW and PRINT use 
a larger buffer now. Single drive copies now require fewer disk 
swaps. 

CART: Cartridge handling has been revised, eliminating the 

need for "CARTSTART" code and allowing .TOS and .TTP 
programs. Lower case letters will now be accepted and passed 
to an application horn the "Open Application ... Parameter" box. 

AES: The AES will now send repeat clicks if the mouse 

button is held down on the arrow or page controls of a window, 
which lets a window smooth scroll. The AES underscore bug is 
now fixed, APPL_TPLAY and APPL.TRECORD now work. 
The limit of 30 characters on a line in an alert box is now rigidly 
enforced. 

MOUSE; The mouse redraw can now be set to XOR mode. 
The system will return after a single click if this is what was 
requested. 

DMA: The DMA bus can now have more than one device 

attached at powerup time, without any special software. 

FLOPPY: The floppy read/write code checks for more errors 
now. In prior version®, the system would not report a CRC 
error under certain circumstances; now it will. This hurts some 
copy protection schemes. The format of the floppy disk has been 
skewed from track to track to improve disk speed; the XBIOS 
supports this by using -1 for the skew value and placing a 
pointer to a one word per sector skew table in the previously 
unused longword. 

VDI: The VDI will now draw arcs with small angles. 

BIOS: Character out routines are much faster. 


BLITTER: Automatic blitter chip support is included in line- A 
and VDI calls. The extended inquire will report a larger 
performance factor than before, allowing applications to check 
for the presence of the blitter. A new XBIOS call has been 
added to check for the blitter and to activate or deactivate it. 
The blit is not reentrant — line- A and VDI should not be called 
from within an interrupt. 

REGISTER: The registers DO, Dl, D2, AO, Al, A2 have always 
been forfeit when a trap call was made. Now the demise of 
these occurs under more conditions than before. 

MEMORY: Slightly more HAM is used by the system. 
Programs that were close to the edge on a 520ST may no longer 
fit, 

VARIABLE: Most undocumented system variables have been 
moved. You were warned! 


NOTES AND WARNINGS: 

1 . Some programs depend on the OS always being at $FCOOOO. 
This is *not* cast in stone and will probably change soon. To 
find the OS header, use the pointer "sysbase" as documented. 

2. The 4 megabyte ST puts the screen near the end of accessible 
RAM. Sloppy programs that have been writing past the end of 
the screen will give bus errors if they do so on the 4 meg ST. 


ST RAMBLING 

CONT. 

In the 'Oh NO! Not More’ column we have MICROPRO sueing 
MICROPROSE for having a name to close to theirs. I wonder 
if they will sue INTEL for naming their idea the 
MICROPROCESSOR. Or maybe we will have IBM sueing 
CP/M and they in turn will sue M&M. Enough is enough, who 
cares if a name is close or a product has th< same look and 
feel 1 . How about eliminating lawyers and either put more time 
into new products or dropping the prices on existing one*. 

ATARI has announced the prices of the MEGA's (subject to 
change). Mega ST2 $1 699 Mono or $1 899 RGB and MEGA ST4 
$2399 Mono and $2599 RGB, Interestingly, in this issue of 
Computer Shopper there are ads for HP Laser Printers for 
under $1900. These are complete units and not the stripped 
down version ATARI is touting for $1500, Quick to announce 
and slow to market may really hurt them. 


IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN 

coni. 

file, and enter <-P> as the filename. The next version will accept 
-P, P, or P: as this version should have.* So there you are, the 
answers to an excellent program - enjoy it. 

For you gamers, in our library we have STONEAGE DELUXE. 
Similar to BQULDERDASH, it is a game of logic. You try to get 
Poor Willi thru the mazes to eat all the cabbages using your 
joystick. It is a slick game that allows you to pick your maze, 
level of difficulty, and how hard to make it It even offers you 
practice sessions. You will find it under the name STONEDLX. 
If your ambitions run to arcade shoot-em-up, we have those also. 
TRIFIDES is a version of GALAGA. Running in low resolution, 
the speed of play and graphics are very good. It also play® with a 
joystick. I find it a tough game, but playing against my nephew®, 
they make every game I play tough. 

That’s this months sampling of what is available in our ST 
library. If you wish any of these, drop by a meeting, <Kenn> 


page 5 




ZZSfr6 ‘oyawai n5s 

gn-in . XOQ CM 

no dwoa oyaNyai ms 


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To^/g.t- Z (Sec- 'S' -^rr &<ZSCs~ ' 'p~h' 0 r> 3