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

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RAM UPGRADES DEMO by Lee Stanford 


10:30 PH) had on Interesting comment in it r s Random Access 
section at the end* Seems IBM is having e goodly number 
or problems with the hardware of it's new computers* They 
are also ere having trouble running MS DOS 3*3 [not 100% 
sure of that number as I am not into MS DOS). They have 
asked Microsoft to look into the problem. So you see, 
Atari's past problems with the 5Ts an XEs is no different 
then what any company has with new equipment t and you can 
expect some problems with the Megas and clones when they 
first come out. However, 1*11 bet Atari has less per unit 
trouble then IBM is having now and had with that load of 
bad hard disks a year or so ago. 

[The following is the meat From an article reprinted 
in the June STATUS Newsletter* It is from the NORWICH 
USERS GROUP, NOR W I CH , E NG L A ND , ) 


At the July meeting pf the Huntsville Atari Users 
Group, we will be presenting a demo on the different 
memory expansion kits that are available for the B-bit 
Atari computers* Among the different kits discussed and 
displayed will be the *RAMBD* upgrade, the * NEWELL 
INDUSTRIES 25GK* upgrade and the *AXLDN 25GK* upgrade. 
Other upgrades will also be discussed* Plan to attend as 
this demo could put new life into that faithful 8-bit 
you've had so long. 

From Your Editor 

Atari stock closed 4 June at $32 3/8* At that 
point, profit taking started* I guess making almost as 
much in the 1st qtr of 87 as SCI [a Fortune 500 company] 
reported making In all of 85 would tend to help stock 
prices* SCI had an income of $4,000,000 in the Jan/Mar 
87 period. Atari had an income of $15,256,000 in this 
same period, which Is 5.5 times more then the same period 
last year. Sales were up 45% over last year, same 
period. Now if only they would lower their profit margin 
a bit and start providing first class service support 
nation wide, Atari sales and income should do even 
better* At this rate JT could reach his goal of making 
Atari a billion dollar company within five years of his 
purchase* On 22 June 1987, Atari trade a two for one 
stock split* The stock closed for $15 1/S, which is 
equal to $30 1/4 at the old rate. To break the old 

record it will have to go to $16 1/4. 

I now have a full meg of RAM In my ST and a set of 
the new blitter ROMs, no blitter. They are nice. The 
slide bars and arrows now can scrool, which is very nice. 
They clear RAM faster when rebooting and seem a bit more 
positive and predictable in operation. They are NOT 100% 
compatible with the old ROMs. STARTGEM and STRTGEM2, 
which autorun an ST GEM program will not work. I can't 
create a RAM disk using 5DLDR PACK and Compute i r s reset 
proof ram disk is no longer reset proof. There may be 
others that use non-standard calls that will not work. 
Publishing Partner and Major Motion work fine. Booting 
from a hard disk is MUCH faster, I have noted some 
increase in floppy read speed, but also noted a 23% 
slowdown when saving this newsletter STWHITER file to a 
new rom formatted disk. 1 have only had them for a 
couple of days and used them only on a few small Files, 
so it is to early to pass judgement. 

[From ST World) Atari recently completed a 
successful European bond issue of $75 million at 5 1/4%. 
It will be used to expand business capital expenditures 
or acquisitions in the computer business and related 
areas * N5l , a chip and- board maker headquartered In 
Marlborough, Mass* announced that Atari has purchased a 
equity position in the company. N5I will be supplying 
Atari with chips for the Atari PC's. NSI has also 
licensed to LSI Logic, Milpitas, DA* , a Application 
Specific Integrated Chip [ASlD's] which were developed by 
NSI* NSI also manufactures five add-on boards and 
produces two EGA chips. NSI's goals are to provide IBM 
compatible makers upgrades to compete with the new IBM 
Personal System/2 line. No one will say what Atari's 
plans are. 

The June 20 TV issue of Computer Cronicals (PBS - 


TURBO-SASIC THE FIRST REPORT 
By Ken Ward 

.... In fact, its speed seems to be the main problem 
you'll have running ATARI BASIC programs in TURBO BASIC' 
In some programs you will have to add delay loops to slow 
it down! 

Problems With Bad Programming 

I have come across one program that was a bit of 
trouble, but that was due to poor profaning (which was 
surprising, because it was an Analog pro^aml ] * 

In the initializing section of the program there was 
the usual modifying of the display list by using: 

DLIST=PEEK [ 560 ] +256*PEEK ( 561 ] 

and then at the end of the init he had added another mod. 
By PQKEing directly into where the display list would have 
been in ATARI SASIC instead of using the DLI5T pointer! 

The other problem was more intriguing* It centered 
around a loop like this..* 

10 POKE 764, 255: POKE 53273,10 

20 IF PEEK (764 ) =20 THEN 100 

30 IF PEEK [7643=22 THEN 200 

40 IF PEEK (53279 ) =5 THEN 300 

50 IF PEEK (53279) =4 THEN 400 

60 GOTO 10 

It worked OK in ATARI BASIC, but in TURBO it popped 
straight out of the loop at line 40 even though the SELECT 
key had not been touched! He found that adding a short 
delay loop at line 15 allowed the loop to work correctly, 
as did PQKEing 53279 with 8 in line 10, which is the 
correct value to clear the CONSUL keys. 

TUBRO Sasic Memory Map 

TUBRO Basic is a full 16k of code, yet It gives you 
another 1.5k of free memory over ATARI BASIC! 

The bulk of TURBO BASIC is hidden under the operating 
system ROM at the top of memory. The VSLANK routine has 
been modified to flip between the twinned memory blocks, 
allowing access to both areas. 

The rest of TURBO BASIC sits in the block from 6320 
($20803 to 13864 ($9016). This is in the area normally 

used by DOS [and DUP when loaded] , which explains why 
after calling DOS you cannot go back to TURBO BASIC. 
Hhich in turn explains why DOS commands have been added to 
the language* 

Note that because of the re -arrangement of memory, 
the area occupied by the screen and display list at the 
top, and the variable tables, etc. at the bottom, are in 
new positions. Providing you use the pointers to find 
their new locations you'll be OK. 

Formatting Disks 

The only useful DOS command that is missing from 
TURBO BASIC is FORMAT. However, if you do get stuck and 


Page 1 


need to format another disk - the XIO commands still 
work. XIO 254,#t formats in the default drive 
format. If you have a 1050 and you need to format In 
single density use 253* 

Changing Variable Names 

The major problem I've found with my own programs is 
that I have been using variable names that are commands 

in TURBO BASIC! Names like MOVE* TEXT t DIR, MOD, DEC and 

HEXS are among my favorites! And of course it means I've 
nad to rename them to stop TURBO BASIC erroring out. 

Doing through the programs modifying every 
occurrence of a name can be time consuming if there is a 
lot of them. One way out is to use a word processor in 

’’Search and Replace" mode* but that means LISTing the 

program out and booting in the word processor* Again 
time consuming* In the end it prompted me to write my 
first routine in TURBO BASIC*... 

Type in the program and LIST it to disk. You then 
load the program you need to modify, ENTER the Renamer 
routine, and run it with 0.32000 

How It Works 

In line 32070 we find the length of the variable 
table and dimension KEN$ accordingly. The next two lines 
fill Ken$ with the complete list of variables. 

The end of a variable is marked by being an inverse 
character, so in the next loop, which prints all the 
variables on the screen, we check For an inverse 
character at line 32120, and convert it before printing 
it. If there are a lot of variables, use CONTROL- 1 to 
freeze/unfreeze the screen. 

You are then asked for the variable you want t g 
rename. Include the f [' if it's an array, and the '$’ if 
it’s a string. 

By printing the name you’ve typed in and positioning 
the cursor before getting an input, saves you the bother 
of typing ih the complete name. Just modify on© or two 
letters and hit RETURN. 

A check is then made to make sure the names are tha 
same length. [This subroutine only modifies the 
particular name - it doesn’t re-write the complete 
variable table). 

The last character of our first input is then 
inversed before using the INSTR command to find it's 
position in the variable table. If x=0 then you’ve tried 
to modify a variable that doesn’t exist! 

If all is well, the last character of the new name 
is inversed before using the MOVE command to move the new 
name into the table area. 

And that’s all there is to it. Don't forget the 
programs you modify must be SAVEd files. LISTed files 
won’t put the names into the variable table in the first 
place - the lines will just error out. 

He haven't bothered with TYPO codes oh this one - 
the easiest way to check it is to run it by itself (after 
you've LISTED out a copy to disk* of course!). After 
you’ve run the program, LIST it on the screen to check 
the changed names. 

32000 REH ******* ***************** 

32010 REH * VARIABLE RENAMER FOR * 

32020 REH * USE WITH TURBO BASIC * 

32030 REM * KEN WARD 6th Jan 57 * 

32040 REM * NORWICH USERS GROUP * 

32050 REM ************************ 

32060 REM 

32070 CLR : CLS :N=DFEEK( 132 ] -0PEEK[ 1 30] 
iDlM KEN$(N) ,VAR$(30) ,NXT$(30) 

320©0 KEN$=" ’’ : KENSl NJ= M " : K£HS(2>KEN$ 

32090 HOVE DPEEK (130) , ADR ( KENS ) t N 

32100 POSITION 2,0 

32110 FOR X=1 TO LENEKENS) 

33120 Y=ASC[KEN$(X,X));IF Y>127 THEN Y 
= Y- 1 20 : ?CHR$ ( Y ) : GOTO 32140 
32130 ?CHRS(Y); 

32140 NEXT X 


32150 ? "What is the name of the vanish 
le you";? "Want to rename INPUT VAR$ 

32160 ? "Please type in new ham© - REME 
HBER "name must be same Length!’’:? 

" ";VAR$; : POSITION 2 j PEEK [ 64 ) 

32170 INPUT NXT$;IF L£N ( WXT$) <>LEN[ VAR 
S) THEN ? GOTO 321 S0 

321 30 Y=ASC(VARS ( LENt VAR$) ) )*125; V AR$l L 
ENf VARS] )=CHRS(Y) 

321 S0 X=IN5TR{KENS,VAR$);IF X=0 THEN ? 

: GOTO 32150 

32200 Y=ASC[NXTStLEN[NXT$)J)^126:NXTS(L 
EN(NXT$))=CHRS(Y] 

32210 MOVE ADR(NXTS) , DPEEK [ 130)+X-1 ,LEN 
( NXT$) 

[E0 HAUG. I use the INSTR function in my ST programs and 
find it to be a very useful function. I find it very 
useful when combined with ON A GOTO xxx, xxx, xxx or ON A-Y 
GOTO xxx, xxx, xxx. Study its use and I think you will else 
like it.) 

Z MAGAZINE JUNE 15, 1957 
ISSUE 57 

ANTIC PUBLISHING INC,, COPYRIGHT 1907 
REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. 

By: NAT FRIEDLAND, ANTIC EDITOR 
6-BIT UPOATE 

We’ll start with, the good news for S-bit users. The 
XF5S1 disk drive is the big surprise. It’s a compact 5 
1/4 inch drive in XE gray, about 3/4 the size of the now 
discontinued 1050 drive and priced in about the same $160 
range as the 1050. The XF551 is also claimed to be 2.9 
times faster than a 1050 and boasts true double density — 
as well as automatic compatibility with ©very other 
density format ever used for the 6-bit Atari, It seemed 
clear from talking to a number of Atari sources that a 3 
1/2 inch disk drive for the S-bit computers is no *■ 
unlikely to be produced. 

The XF551 drive will have a new ADOS operating system 
which is nearing completion by OSS, the creators of DOS 2 
and DOS 2.5, Promised features of ADOS include a tree 
structure allowing directories and easy toggle between 
menu or command operations. 

According to Atari’s Jose Lopes, the key 
engineer/designer of the new XE products described in this 
dispatch, the first XF551 drives can be expected to start 
trickling into the stores by July. The same July arrival 
date now holds true for the 60-column XEP60 display box 
and the new 1200 baud SX212 modem. Valdes says both 
products have been delayed by a wait for delivery of main 
chips, but all other components and packaging are 
stockpiled in readiness For assembly at Atari’s Taiwan 
factory . 

Atari Hr iter Plus 60 was operati ng on the XEP30 in a 
razor-sharp 60-colgmn display at the Atari Booth. The 
SX212 modem will be bundled with a new version of Keith 
Ledbetter's famed Express software which the author is 
scheduled to demonstrate later in the show. 

ZMAGAZINE JUNE 22 f 19S7 ISSUE 5fl 
PUBLISHERS PAGE 

1 received news this week about the current status of 
the ■ ST Transformer. ANALOG MAGAZINE is purchasing the 
program and it will appear in the August or September 
issue. Stay tuned for details..... (From ED HAUG ,,, 
There are some copy programs out that un-copyprotect some 
6 -bit prog-ams, Now that the Transformer is soon to be 
here, there is on honest reason to have this kind of copy 
program* The only way to get a copy protected 5-bit 
program to run on the ST will be to transfer an 
un -copyprotected version to your ST. The key used with 
PaperClip may also work on the ST. I sure hope so.) 

IBM EMULATOR UPDATE 
Courtesy CompuServes Atari IB 
PC-Ditto - David and Sandy Small 


Page 2 


I spent awhile on the phone with Avant-Garde {like 
three hours] talking about PC-Ditto, so I thou^vt I'd 
pass some info along, since there's a lot of curiosity 
about it. 

Jerry called me up from Comdex and said it was 
amazingly good. He'd done all the things like under the 
table For a PC or inside for an 8036; it’s a software 
emulator, all right# Then, he got a bunch of his own 
software to test it on,, and !o and behold, it worked. He 
ran LapLink and DesqView on it, and while he says it's 
slow, it does work. Apparently the emulation is at the 
chip level. 

The guy who did It is' an ex-IBH T er and sales type -- 
he was s pro salesman, believe me — who's working on it 
with his wife, Horn and pop shop, so to speak. They've had 
lots of marketing offers and are very very busy. Don't 
expect to get through on the phone, it's always busy# 

My own experience with emulators is that you lose a 4X In 
clock speed with necessary overhead. So I'd expect about 
a 1-2 Mhz IBM out of this. The good thing is that I/O is 
done at 6S000 speed, B Mhz, so it will only appear slow 
when you get computation-bound, . like recalcing a 
spreadsheet# Burt just copying files, etc, it ought to 
scream along pretty nicely. 

The big thing that they told me was they wanted 
everyone to know they weren’t connected at all with the 
MS-EH people. Apparently they had received mucho negative 
feedback on that other product. 

They've tested and certified it with lots of 
different IBM products; they went through a top-40 I EM 
product list and it ran all that stuff. The guy who's 
doing it sounds technically competent and is a good 
salesman . 

Caveat: this is all based on a telephone conversation t 

but he does know what he's doing with emulators, and it's 
for real, 

I'd suggest getting them online on CIS a.s.a.p. to 
answer questions. It sounds like it'll be a good 
product, 

Discache For The 5T 
by Levin Soule' 

I recently received my copy of Discache for my ST. 
From the 5N, I suspect I may have the very first copy on 
the market. When I ordered it, I did not know what a 
cache (pronounced cash!} program really was or did. All 
I saw was the ad hype for increased read and write speed, 
When I ordered this program I informed the company that I 
was the newsletter editor and was going to write a 
review. As a result, they included four test prog'ams on 
the disk to Show off what it could do, Amgem, Xnc. says 
this is the only ST cache program that will work with the 
floppy disks# Contrary to what the ads for all cache 
programs would want you to believe, a cache prog-am will 
NOT always speed-up disk reading and writing. In fact 
it is possible that you could suffer a slight slow-down, 
like maybe 1%f On the other hand, a cache procj*am can 

give an APPARENT speed-up in floppy disk access of 200 
times (20 times for hard disk), and drastically reduce 
the number of disk accesses, A cache works very much 

like a RAM disk, but with some very important 

dl Ff erences , The very first time you read a group of 
sectors, there is NO increase in speed. But later reads 
of those same sectors are at RAM disk speed with no disk 
access as the input is from RAM# If your pro^am later 
writes to those same sectors, but there is no change in 

the information you are writing to those sectors, the 

cache detects this and makes no disk write. Therefore, 
the apparent speed-up of up to 200 times for floppies and 
20 times for hard drives. IF some of the information is 
changed, only those changed sectors in the file being 
saved are written to. The speedup in saving then depends 
on the ratio of unchanged to changed sectors. 

I was hoping the cache was a form of disk buffer 
that would load at max speed as much of any file you 
opened as the size of the buffer could hold and 
multi-task, so that if your program did a slow disk read, 


such as in random access inputs, the data input would be 
at RAH disk speed, which in random access is still not as 
fast as the speed of input when inputing a prog-am file* 
No way! In my membership pro^-am, the first read of the 

file was at the non cache speed# But, when the program 
had sorted the data and started the second 'sorted' read 
of the random file, the information came from the cache 
and not the disk# This gave a VERY nice speed increase 
with no disk access. The function I checked went from 100 
seconds bare to 38 seconds using the cache [35 seconds 
with the new ROMS, old disk format]. One thing that 
surprised me was the time it tock to do a disk write when 
running this test# The bare program took 23 seconds to 
write 120 reformatted records to the disk. The cache 
helped program run took 12 seconds to write these same 120 
records (11 seconds with the new ROMS]. No- where in the 
documentation was there any hint that a 100% new write 
would be twice as fast when going through the cache. I 
hope this was not a fluke, but a true feature. On the 
other hand, if you turn off write verify, you will get 
writes in about half time just as in the B-bits. Unlike a 
RAM disk, a cache writes to both the cache buffer and the 
disk at the same time if the sector (or record) to be 
written is different then when first read, although I 
noted on my membership program that this write through did 
not happen when it should have. It would wait until I 
returned to the menu and the program closed the file. I 
program my smaller database programs so that my records 
are written to both the RAM disk and the real disk, and 
then only when there has been a change to the record, so 
my saves end up being about as fast as when using a cache# 
On my largest database program, I do not have enough RAM 
to hold the data file but do have memory for a 64K cache. 
So t for random access use, a cache may not offer any 
advantage over a RAM disk, but for those times when there 
is no memory room for a RAM disk, the cache could result 
in a nice speed-up and reduction in disk access as it did 
for me. and also make for easier programing. j m expect I 
will be using this cache program a good bit in the future, 
once I learn what it can and can't do. A cache is a 
first-in first-out storage mechanism which contains 
recently accessed data. It is like a RAM disk with auto 
delete when new data is loaded and the RAM disk is full, 
with the write throu^i feature added, 

A cache would be very helpful when conpiling a 
program or when the same data has to be accessed several 
times. I used it to compile one of my 9K basic prog-ams 
using LWD Basic compiler. It saved 2,25 minutes in 
compiling and linking a program that took 8.75 minutes 
without the cache. There was also a significant reduction 
in disk access. I allocated 100K to the drive A cache and 
100K to the drive B cache. I then used a 200K RAM disk as 
the working disk. The same task was 3,3 minutes faster, 
but had a bit more disk access. If I had enough memory to 
copy all files to RAM and run every thing in RAM, even 
more time would have been saved. But, if my program had 
been longer, I could not have done the job at all with the 
RAM disk, and the cache would have been the only way. I 
then did the same thing with a 21 K basic program. The 
cache was overloaded and I saved NQ time. After I 
up-^-aded to IMeg, I compiled a 21K program in RAM in A 
1/2 min instead of the 17 min for disks. The cache would 
have helped but not near as fast as in RAM. 

From what I have read and been told by Amiga owners 
at work, the Amiga, unlike the ST, would really be helped 
by a cache, as it has to access the disk almost every time 
something on the workbench is used. Cache programs are 
big time on mainframe and multi-user systems, as they 
drastically reduce access time and run time of the storage 
device. The use of a cache on a 520ST in limited, 
although in wordpnocessing on a 520ST, where you do a lot 
of saves to prevent possible data loss, it could be very 
helpful. A cache will not do anything for a copy 
protected, write protected, or game disk. It should be 
much more useful on a 1040ST. I could not get it to work 
with either STWRITER or THUNDER , but then I did not try 
very hard. 

From what the letter included with my program said, I 


y 


Page 3 


suspect Discache was tested with the new blitter ROMs, 
although they called them 'special 1 ROMs* They say their 
special ROMs give a 25% speed increase ever the ones I 
have in my ST* From what I have read end been told about 
the new ROMs, this is about what to expect from the new 
ROMs when used as their test programs used them* The new 
ROMs format using a form of the twisted format. I ran a 
couple of the test programs they included on the disk for 
me. Their times were 2/3 the time my floppy drive took* 
After upgrading to IMeg and putting in the new ROMs , I 
timed one of their tests at 4*28 sec compared to their 
3.96 sec and my old 5.94 sec with the old ROMs. Without 
the cache, you can double the times. The disk is not 
copy protected. 

The test results by Amgem shewed a speed increase of 
10% to 40% on a hard drive when compiling, deleting and 
copying. Amgem says that "unlike either of our 

competitors, Discache works on both floppies and hard 

drives, Discache catches both individual sector 

reads as well as block. Either Michtrcn's nor 

Beckemeyer's caches do this. ... it will not write a 
sector to the drive unless it is different from what Is 
already on the drive. 1 ' 

Would 1 recommend the purchase of Discache? Yes and 
no. I believe there is a bug in the program that keeps 
it from working properly when writing to a single record 
in my random access program. I also wonder why I was not 
able to get it to work with Thunder. The people at 
Amgem, Inc. are going to get a copy of this newsletter, 
.and I hope They will fix this bug quick and send me an 
upgrade. This same problem was present when running the 
program using slow old ST SA5XC. The problem did not 
change with the new ROMs. They need to include on the 
disk a DDC file that has examples of how to setup the 
cache with several of the more popular ST prog-ams, like 
Thunder, DBrngn, 1st Hard, First Write, and 5T WRITER to 
name just a few. I also hope they will develop a version 
that will not only run as a cache, but will have a second 
buffer area for fast reads to help the alow sequential 
file and random access reads of GEM, Maybe an 
autO-ramdisk that could be loading while the program was 
reading or GEHD05 bypass of some kind could be used. I 
kept reading that GEM could never be AUTO started, but we 
now have STARTGEM and the new(?] ST told ROMs] will now 
AUTORUN like the oldt?) 8-bit Atari. SooooooJ This 
looks like it will be a very useful, worth while and fair 
priced program, after being debugged. 

Routines you can use 
by Jean Rowe El Dale Bryant 
[SBACE GAZETTE May/Jun 1987] 

Soviet! me s it is desirable to be able to print to a 
Graphics 8 screen. As most of you know, this is not a 
normal text mode for the 8-bit Atari computer. The 
following routine uses a machine language routine to 
print the text contained in a string to the screen, I 
wish we could give credit to the author of the routine 
but we are sorry to say we cannot. Anyway, whoever it 
was, thanks. He have modified it some so that the demo 
program also shows a couple of other programing 
techniques you might find a use for, 

0 REM L."0;GR8TEXT" 

5 DIM At 136):? CHR [125):? "Hang on],." 

10 0=0 : FOR A“1 TO 136: READ B:C=C+A*B:A 
[ A, Aj-CHRl S ] : NEXT A: IF COI 024302 THEM 
? "DATA ERROR": STOP 

12 DIM ME5(25] :MESS="58ACE-Uearning th 
ru doing" 

IS GOTO 300 
IB REM DATA FOR A$ 

20 DATA 218,24,166,87,105,120,183,177 
22 DATA 212 ,133,222 ,104,104,133,213 
24 DATA 104,133,212,104,133,215,104 
26 DATA 133,214,104,104,133,216,198 
28 DATA 216,169,0,133,221,164,216,177 
30 DATA 214,8,41,127,201,96,176,10,201 


32 DATA 32 , 1 76 ,4,105,84, 144, 2 , 233 ,32 
34 DATA 1 0 , 10,38,221 ,10, 38,221 ,133,220 
36 DATA 165,221,109,244,2,133,221,165 
38 DATA 212,24,101,216,133,218,165,213 

40 DATA 105,0,133,219,160,0,177,220,40 x y 

42 DATA 8,16 ,2,73,255 , 145,210, 165,21 S 
44 DATA 24,101,222,133,218,166,219,105 
46 DATA 0 , 1 33 ,219, 200 , 1 92 ,6,1 44 , 228 , 40 
48 DATA 198,216,16,167,96,39,19,19,9,9 
50 DATA 19,19,39,39,39,39,39,39,39,19 
52 DATA 39 

70 REM PROG ABOVE -DEMO BELOW 
75 L=LEN[ME5) :N=355:A=8: GRAPHICS A 
80 HL=USR{ ADR [A] , PE£K{S8)+256*PEEK [ 89 ) 

+N,ADR(MES] ,L] 

100 FOR B=1 TO 200 : HEX! B:FOR A=1 TO 5 
00; NEXT A:M=N+240:IF N>7410 THEN GRAPH 
ICS 0:END 
110 GOTO 80 

300 GRAPHICS 0: POSITION 2,3 

350 POKE 766,1 t? "15 A( 1 CHR[ 34 ) 

; A ( 1 , 80 ] ; CHR [ 34 ] : ? "CO NT" 

355 POSITION 2,0: POKE 842, 12: POKE 842, 

13: STOP 

356 POSITION 2,6 

360 ? "16 A 1 81 , 1 36 ] *= n ; CHR { 34 ) ; A [ 8 1 ,1 36 
] ? CHR{34}:? "CQNT" 

370 POSITION 2,0: POKE 842,12:P0KE 842, 

13: STOP 

380 POKE 842,12 

390 POKE 766,0:? CHR[12S) 

400 POSITION 2,3 

410 ? "10":? "CONT": POSITION 2,0: POKE 
842, 12: POKE 842 ,13: STOP 

415 POKE 842,12 

416 POSITION 2,3 

420 ? "18";? "CONT": POSITION 2,0: POKE 
842, 12: POKE 842, 13; STOP 
430 POKE 842,12 
4B0 RUN 

When the pro^-am is RUN For the first time it will 
READ the data statements and create two lines of code that 
are not present in the original program. They will bo 
lines IS and 16 which will have the object cede packed 
into a string. This makes for faster execution time as 
the data statements do not have to be READ each time the 
program is used. Also it will delete lines 10 and 18 
which will no longer be needed. If you desire you can 
delete all the data statement line numbers and the lines 
From 300 on after the program is RUN the first time. This 
routine will work with any mode higher than 3, Just 
change the graphics call and try it. Have fun with your 
Atari, we doi (Before running this program, LIST a copy 
to disk under a new name so you will have it available 
later if you bomb the original copy. ED HAUG) 


ATARI PRESS RELEASE 
June t , 1 987 


In an effort to increase its piece of the US computer 
market, Atari Gorp. is expected sometime this summer to 
release its first IBM PC compatible. Computer analysts 
think it will be among the lowest -priced clones 
available , 

Jerry Brown, recently hired Atari vice president for 
US operation, has told Paul Freiberger of The 5an 
Francisco Examiner, "He operate in the same style as the 
Japanese. Most companies in corporate America are 
bloated. Atari operates like a startup," 

Brown says he'll score in the PG-conpatiple market as 
Atari gradually builds momentum for its 5T line of 
products in the United States, but acknowledges he will 
need more retailers. 

Colleagues ag-ee, Says President Sruce Davis of 
Activision, "Their distribution has been a bit fragmented 
and constrained here in the US. (Atari needs) more places 
for consumers to buy their computers, whether it's 
dealers, discount stores or mail order." 


Page 4 


Freiberger says Atari is expected to spend $10 
million on TV ads this year, compared with about $2 
million last year , 

And, while the ISM clone probably will cj-ab the 
media attention , Brown also told the paper the company 
will release this summer a low-cost laser printer and a 
more powerful version of its ST called the Mega ST* The 
products t packaged together for about £3,000, are 
expected to court the desktop publishing market, 

Freiberger comments, "The question is whether these 
moves will be sufficient to persuade a major retail chain 
such as ComputerLand or Susinessland to carry the Atari 
line. * * . Brown also said Atari could opt to sell the 
inexpensive ST nationwide in mass-market retail stores/ 1 

This article ctsy of CompuServes 1 
Online Today fc] 1987 CIS 

From the Atari Booth, topped with a real Cessna 
Airplane, the word was "flying high with Atari 11 * The 
theme followed through into the exhibit space where 
Flight Simulator II played From a cartridge on a large 
screen monitor inside the cockpit of a Cessna. Atari 
chose to push its game side, and the new computer lines 
were not being shown. There was a PC Clone getting 
minimal attention but the absence of MEGA ST's, Laser 
printers, 1200 baud modems, Blitter enhanced ST's, IBM 
emulator, and 80 Column Cards, left little doubt that 
this was to be a game show. Recently appointed Vice 
President end General Manager of US operations, J* J * 

[ Jerry) Brown confirmed this in his press release stating 
"Atari intends to remain the leader in video game systems 
and to increase its share of the US personal computer 
market . " 

While this author's first impressions {as an Atari 
BUSINESS computer user) were quite negative, given that 
the preceding release, titled "ATARI ANNOUNCES AGGRESSIVE 
NEW MARKETING CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT VIDEO GAMES AND 
PERSONAL COMPUTERS” was simultaneously issued with 
releases titled "ATARI ANNOUNCES 40 NEW GAMES AND 
LICENSING AGREEMENTS MITH COMPUTER GAME AND ARCADE 
COMPANIES" and "ATARI TO BEGIN SHIPMENT OF NEW XE GAME 
SYSTEM BUNDLED WITH THREE POPULAR GA^ES" and given that 
no "business" computer releases were , made, a closer 
reading of the releases lead to some rbther surprising 
hypotheses of the situation* [See Following Article). 
The first page and 3/4 T s of the 3 page advertising 
campaign announcement is devoted to game machine 
promotions planned for the balance of this year, 
including national TV spots starting in September, comic 
book ads, in store hardware and software demos, and full 
repackaging of the game machines and XE T s. 

Not until the back pages did we note that 4 TV ads 
(starting late 3rd quarter and running through New Years) 
and a substantial portion of the new advertising budget 
(quadrupled from previous levels) would be devoted to the 
ST's! ( This as opposed to 3 new ads starting in 
September for the games}* The budget also calls for 
some major print ads to Follow and support the TV 
effort » 

Now the pessimist will assume that Atari is bent on 
forgetting the computers in favor of games* The more 
business oriented will notice that Atari Stock and Sales 
of ST's have been doing rather well, and that in the 
introduction of the ST 1 5 end MEGA the games assets of the 
company were nearly step-children* Further, the XE is 
almost in direct competition with the ST’s and likely in 
an overstocked condition at Atari. 

The optimist will, therefore, assume that Atari is 
on a campaign to liquidate the old stock in new boxes, 
maintain its game market share, and produce the liquidity 
and corporate energies to actively continue its 5T 
advantage* In assessing Atari's strategies, one must 
rememoer that the manpower of this company has sorely 
lagged it's growth in home computer market share, and 
that Atari had nothing to do with the conflicting 
schedules of CES and Comdex this year. With limited 
manpower and time to produce and to sell product, I am 


optimistic and! feel that Atari made the ricfit decisions in 
the face of the tough decision forced by The Interface 
Group's show timing. The balance of this quarter should 
tell! — Dave Groves [e] 1997 

[CES Gang] DARLAH> There were a number of 3rd party 
vendors in the Atari booth with some new products* Gordon 
can tell you about Michtron/Microdea! offerings [Air ball 
looked pretty slick!}* EA was showing Music Construction 
Set For the ST, written by Intersect, Looked pretty 
ni ce. 

Mindscape had some games like Plutos ( much **, expanded 
beyond the bootleg version showing up on BBSs) and a 3-0 
pool game. MidlMaze from Hybrid Arts is finally done*,, 
and is being copy protected -- should ship in 2 weeks. 
They added lots of new features like observer modes, smart 
and done drones , teams, and more — great game! 

One small company had a strange package called Easel 
that lets you put any DEGAS picture in place of the 
desktop background, tends to slow down the system overall, 
thou^i , 

Timeworks had a collection of utilities in the form 
of a desk accessory called Partner ST — a Thesaurus is 
included. Broderbund announced Printshop, Karateka, and a 
contained version of Art Director with Film Director (yay!) 
-- they have committed to attending the Santa Clara Atari 
show. Looks like they're backing us in a big way* 

Hicroprose Is finishing up Gunship and one of their 
other games (maybe F-15?7) Atari has shipped a few of the 
Arrakis educational programs like Biology, Algebra, and 
some others, aimed at middle school students* 

Psy gnosis has a hot new game called Barbarian -- a 
Fully graphic fantasy role-playing game -- point at an 
object end get a window with a list of things to do or 
descri be * 

Eidersoft had a sound digitizer called Pro Sound 
Designer . 

A company called the Robot Factory had a really neat 
gimmick — a Fuzzy doll robot that was hooked uc to the ST 
through MIDI and was playing the keyboard in time with a 
piano roll program from QRS. Its mouth moved in time with 
the voice of the announcer throuc^i a microphone — * this 
one got filmed by MTV News . 

There were sons other ST things too that were talked 
about, we'll have to pest these to the ST RT as we dig 
thnoy^i our notes* On the game side, We had the new XE 
Game System on display along with a finished version of 
Flight Simulator II on a 256K ROM cart (includes the 
prog-sm and the scenery disk) . There were S or 10 new 
titles for both the 7800 and the 2600* One-on-One for the 
7900 is done and is ^greatt (I am undefeated in the last 
year, it must be great!) and Desert Falcon is also done 
and in production. 

Even the new 2600 games were pretty impressive. And 
Activision and Epyx announced that they're doing their own 
titles for the 2600, and Atari Explorer and ANALOG will 
begin video game coverage on a limited basis* 

Atari will have their own booth at NAMM (National 
Association of Music Merchants] late in June, making us 
the First computer manufacturer to ever exhibit there. We 
want to OWN the MIDI market* 

That's about it for now, lets open the floor to ehaos 

now* 

<[MichTron] GORQON> before we do that we will let 
John Symes from Microdeal tell you about ail the new stuff 
Microdeal showed at CES' 

<MICRQD> I saw a 3d game player from sega 
today ..* .pretty good. Me were demoing Air-ball, a marble 
madness type game but with rooms, nearly 300 rooms and 
after 4 days of the show we are all still playing. You 
cannot put this down, *. shipping June 8th* Me also had 
REPLAY t our sound digitizer. This really does digitize 
great and has code for GFA as well* Me also showed OIGI 
DRUM the drum kit sequencer * 

MichTron was showing a demo version of a new GFA 
Product called GFA Object, Its similar to Antic's Cad 30 
but much easier to use and you can take the pictures and 
use them in BASIC, Vector and GFA DRAFT PLUS. 


P*jge S 


CLUB OFFICERS 


NOTICE 


President — Tom Brooks 882-91 65 

1st VP-CXL/XE] Lee Stanford -883-7602 

2nd VP [ ST) Lamarr Kelley 852-9596 

Secretary Bill Batchelor 837-401 8 

Treasurer — J* J, Moniz- 883-71 IS 

Board Member Jim Fly 882-2523 

Board Member Alan Winn- 837-9411 

Standing Committee Chairman 

Librarin Jim Gross 883-0185 

Editor Levin Soule f 534-1 SI 5 

Bullentin Board Charlie Mueller — 772-7103 

Technical —Gary Hitchcock---883-7560 

CLUB SUPPORTED and AFFILIATED BBSs 

T, HAUG Tr Official Club BBS 300/1200 baud, 

SysOp - Chari i e Mue Her 24 hr s * 461 - STXE 

"Bloom County 5T n 300/1200/2400 baud. 

SysQp-Penguin Opus- 24hrs . — 772-8526 

,T WRB" 300/1200 baud. 

SysOp-Bi 11 Batchelor 24hrs , 837-2025 

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$ HUNTSVILLE ATARI USERS GROUP NEWSLETTER $ 
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+ p ^ Up yp h_ p up y^-yji .p h_p jp J) . p L p ,Tl . p ^p yp Jp yp ._p y|ji rp rn yp -p ™T| - pi Zp rp Zp Z~T! Zp 


Huntsville Atari Users Group 
3311 W, Crestview, S.W. 
Huntsville, AL 35816-3607 


The name ATARI and the Fuji symbol 
are either Trademarks or Copyrights of 
Atari, Corp. Our use of them is not 
intended to be an infringement. We are 
an independent Users Group, not 
affiliated with Atari Corp. HAUG is a 
non-profit organization of dedicated 400, 
800, 600XL, 800XL, 1200XL, 130XE, 520ST 
and 10405T Atari Computer Enthusiasts 
[ACE), banded together for mutual help 
and support. Contact any club officer 
for further information on how to join. 
Dues are $12.00 per year, prorated to 
$1,00 per/ mo . for new members. 

The opinions expressed herein are 
those of the individual author and do not 
necessarily represent, nor reflect, those 
of H.A.U.G,, or its officers, or of any 
other commercial , or non-commercial 
organization. 

The Editor reserves the right to 
accept , reject , or edit any material 
submitted for publication. Unless 
otherwise noted, permission is given for 
reprint rights if credit is given to the 
author and the Huntsville Atari> Users 
Group . 



NEXT GENERAL 
MEETING 
7:00 P.M* 

Thursday , July 1 6th 
SU MO TU WE TH FR SA 
12 3 4 

5 6 7 8 91011 

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 
IS 20 21 22 23 24 25 
26 27 28 23 30 31 

AT 

UNIVERSAL DATA 
SYSTEMS 



. Thru Dec 1987 

I SLCC Ne»sle« er Enchant 

J'L B 8 °.nd‘r« ’^ 77 


520ST/1040ST SIG 


7:00 P.M. 

Thursday, July 23rd 
AT 

ABAX DATA SYSTEMS