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

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Hunts mil? 
Atari" 
Harrs 
(group 


Volume 6 
Issue 2 
December 1987 


-From "Near" the Top- 

The November meeting appeared to be 
enjoyed by all. 55 members signed the 
attendance log. A special thanks to 
those who brought their equipment and 
helped with the ST demo(s) J Bill Sock, 
Steve Terry, Kirk Paradise, Doug Holmes, 
Charlie Mueller, Oean Nichols, and Levin 
Soule 1 - We may have a Few Q-bit owners 
upgrading after seeing the ST in action, 

Oon T t Forget that December will be 
another "dual" meeting [Dec. 17th]* The 
Election of officers is the main agenda. 
So far the following have "volunteered" 
to be nominated for the T 88 slate of 
officers. Tom Brooks - President, Brian 
McClendon - ST Vice President, Bill 
Batchelor - Secretary, Levin Soule 1 - 
News Letter Editor, Jim Fly and Alan Winn 
At large member of the Board of 
Directors, Jim Gross - Chief Librarian, 
Charlie Mueller - Sysop, and Lloyd Root 
(for whatever is open and only as a last 
resort]- Lee Standford Cist Vice 
President [0-bit]) said he'd only run for 
re-election if he can get more than the 
0 % input from the members he received 
this year for demo suggestions, J* J. 
Moniz (Treasurer) would like to be 
replaced but we might still be able to 
talk him into continuing . If there's a 
POSITION (read; job with all the work 
slung out of it] still open, I'll 
volunteer to fill it. Now, how about the 
rest of you out there' ! ! What will you 
volunteer to run for? If you've got any 
gripes or don't like the way things are 
being run, jump in and help* It's your 
c 1 ub , too , 

A motion was made, seconded, and 
passed to increase the dues to $15.00 per 
year effective Dec, 1, 1987, Your club 
membership entitles you to numerous 
benefits, including repair work on your 
0-bit and ST computers- The cost to a 
member is PARTS ONLY, We now have a 
complete diagnostic kit for the ST 
computers (courtesy of Bob Macintosh, 
whom we will repay) , Where else can you 
get that? Also, there are now 3 Atari ST 


BBS's in Huntsville, all running 
F.o.R.e.M. ST software (version 2.0). 
All offer club members an access level 
higher than that of regular callers, 
"WRB" at 837-2025 , privately run by Bill 
Batchelor, was recently upgraded to an ST 
for board #3. 

The ST library (HAUG portion] is 
being sorted and as soon as it's 
re-organized (by Dean Nichols on his 
home-made hard drive] we'll be compiling 
a list of the files on each disk- This 
list will then be printed in the 
newsletter , even if it takes 3 or 4 
issues. The ABAX portion of the library 
is still at ABAX ( disks numbers starting 
with an "A", i.e,, A1 , A12, etc,] behind 
the front counter * The ABAX disks are 
for any new user/ owner of an ST. The 
HAUG disks are for members only and will 
be returned to ABAX when they're finished 
[and archived), I T I1 try to keep 
publishing lists of all new disks added 
to the library. Perhaps we can take 
"orders" for disks with the proceeds 
going into the treasury ( and make money 
available for new acquisitions). 

The I.E.E.E. computer fair will be 
held Feb, 26th and 27th (1988) at the Von 
Braun Civic Center. Make plans now to 
attend and help man cur booth . Last year 
we had the best and most popular exhibit 
there. The club voted to pay entrance 
fees, if any, for those members who bring 
their equipment to the fair and/ or help 
man the booth. 

See you ail Dec. 17th. Hope you had 
a happy Thanksgiving. 

Lamarr Kelley, 

ST Vice President . - . . , 

FROM YOUR EDITOR 

I have read that Atari has raised 
the retail price of STs by $100, It is 
believed this is because they are selling 
so well! The retail price should still 
be less then $1000 for a color 1 0405T . 
However , JT is having lots of management 
problems it seems. His efforts at 

vertical marketing just may be resulting 
in him shooting himself and Atari in the 
foot - Business is war , but just who is 
Atari at war with? Themselves? His 
methods are costing him potential 

dealers. Atari is not IBM and JT can't 
hope to conduct business like IBM. Jim 
Gross was TOY to Caiiforina for a couple 
of weeks recently and visited some 
Federated Stores there and in Texas. 


Pa ge 1 


Seems JT has overloaded them with Atari 
things without first checking on just 
what the stores can handle and without 
training the sales people. They did not 
know the difference between a 130XE and a 
2600 Game Machine. Jim said you had 
troubie finding regular stock for the 
excess Atari stock. Prices are full 
retail. The word direct from Atari is 
the new S-bit drives will not be out 
until after the first of the year, and 
there are no 1050 drives available as the 
only ones on hand are those held in 
reserve as replacements. 

Per Frank Sommers of Current Notes. 
"With quality control down to only five 
out of 25 good chips, NU (name unknown) 
at Atari made the decision to take out 
the functions that were causing the 
problem. So the original eight blitter 
functions were cut in half. The fill 
function and the three text Formatting 
functions were quietly exercised, like 
devils Incarnate, leaving you with the 
A-line function for graphs, screen 
replacements , block moves and the line 

drawing function About 15% of the 

popular heavy sellers have problems 
running on the Mega ST4, , Andy 
Nicola of Futuretronics in Cleveland, 
Ohio has annotated where the problem lies 
in 115 of 650 programs tested. rt 

I for one wish someone would make a 
good autorun program for the new ROMs , 
That toy AUTOGEM program from MICHTON is 
a disgrace to use. It really makes the 
ST look like a toy[ It eats almost 18K 
of memory, interferes with operation of 
some other programs, and is slow, slow, 
slow. I am glad I looked before I 
bought . I also wish Atari would put the 

5 1 / 4” PC drives on the market. IF the 
ST 3,5” will work, as I have read, on the 
Atari IBM clones, then the clone drive 
should work on the ST. At under $170, I 
would buy one tomorrow along with 
PC-OITTO . $270 for a IB drive is just to 

much. $250 might be QK if it could read 
and write PC/MS-DOS, ST formatted 5 1/4”, 
and all 8-bit Atari formats to include 
the new double-sided format. I T 1I bet 
Happy could do it if they wanted to, and 
for $250 or less for such a drive, I 
think they would clean-up. 

T0Y5-R-US is advertising the new XE 
game machine , The December COMPUTE! had 
several programs for the 8-bit Atari . 
That issue of COMPUTE! looks like it did 
a year or two ago with the amount of 


space devoted to Atari . Hope the 

turn-around is for real . 

From a report in BETWEEN BYTES, the 
JACS newsletter. Want 4096 colors on the 
5T7 Eidersoft has demonstrated a soon to 
be introduced 4096 color paint program. 
How about 24,3897 It has been done by 
Trio Engineering Inc, the people who 
wrote Spectrum 512. If you own 

Computereyes you need this program . It 
makes the digitized Amige pictures look 
pale by comparison. PC-DITTO now 

supports monochrome monitors, Eidersoft 
also has shown an expansion cartridge 
from Weide which includes a Motorola 
MC6888 1 math co-processor . They also 
have 3 1/2 Tf and 5 1/4” drives for the ST. 
Supra has the FD-10, a 10 meg removable 
floppy drive system for $855. The disks 
will go for $20 to $30 EACH. Note that 
10 meg Bernoulli Box cartridges go for 
$75 each. 

ZMAGAZINE 76, October 23, 1987 
ATARI OCTOBER NEWS ROUNDUP 
Compiled For B.A.S.I.C. and Dateline by 
Larry Richards. Copyright (c ) 1 987 
B.A.S.I.C. and Dateline BBS Ail rights 
reserved * 

NEW ATARI HARDWARE NOW SHIPPING! 

After what seemed like an eternity of 
pushed-back deadlines, last minute 
glitches, and excruciatingly slow boats 
from the far east, the long- awaited new 
Atari hardware is finally starting to 
appear on the dealers’ shelves. Leading 
the "parade” is the SX212 1200 baud 

modem, featuring both a standard RS232 
serial connector (for use with the ST or 
an 850/P : R : Conn , interface on the 8-bit 
Atari computers] and an S-bit style SID 
daisychain connector for use with the 
Atari 8-bit computers with no interface. 
There is only one SIP connector, however, 
so the 5X212 will have to be the last 
item on the serial bus . Also , because 
Keith Ledbetter T s new version of Express 
for the 5X212 (”SX Express”) was not 
finished in time to accompany the modem, 
Atari will be selling a separate package 
for 8-bit users containing SX Express, a 
new SX-compatible R; handler that supports 
1200 baud, and an 510 cable, at a later 
date. Initial disappointment over this 
by 8-bit users was tempered somewhat when 
it was discovered that the R : handler from 
the old R:Verter modem adaptor seems to 
work fine with the SX212 as long as the 
terminal program used with it does not 


Page 2 


contain its own R; handler (as is the case 
with 1030 Express and 050 Express). 
Programs like Amodem and He me Term work 
fine with the new modem and this handler. 
The SX21 2 retails Far $99 . 95 and is said 
to be completely Hayes-compatible. Since 
the 5X212 must be the last item on the 
8-bit SIO daisychain, it would seem to 
prevent the use of a printer at the same 
time without having to use an 050-style 
interface. However, the next new product 
from Atari will solve that problem. 

The XEP-30 is a screen adaptor for 
the entire Atari 8-b‘it line that will 
produce a true 80-column display when 
used with the proper monitor [NOT on a TV 
set). It connects through the joystick 

ports and also contains a parallel 

printer port. All software making legal 
calls to the E: device for screen 
displays will work fine with the XEP-80. 
This includes programs such as Atari 
Basic, Basic XL/XE, and many others. 
Programs which set up their own custom 
screen displays, such as Atari Writer 
(and Plus), and PaperCIip, will not work. 
However, Atari has announced that a new 
version of Atari Writer Plus which WILL 
work with the XEP-00 will be out short ly . 
Programs from other publishers will 
follow. The XEP-00 will even allow a 
form of hi -res monochrome graphics. 
Retail price is $79 . 95 ( TT A dollar a 
column . ,T ) . 

Also shipping at present is the 
"new" XE Super Game System, Retailing 
for $149.95, the XE SGS is Atari r s newest 
entry into the revitalized video game 
market, doing battle with Nintendo and 
Saga (not to mention Atari f s own 2600 and 
7800). The XE SG5 comes with 64K RAM, 
24K ROM, a detachable keyboard (with a 
much nicer feel than the XE keyboard) and 
an SIO port for attaching disk drives and 
other peripherals. In other words , the 
XE SGS is a 65XE in video game clothing. 
All XL/XE compatible Atari S-bit computer 
programs will run on the XE SGS. This 
includes a library of literally thousands 
of existing 8-bit Atari games, including 
hundreds of cartridges which don f t 
require a disk drive. This gives the XE 
SGS a running headstart over Nintendo and 
Sega, which only have a handful of titles 
each. Add that to the fact that a number 
of software publishers have already 
committed themselves to converting their 
disk-based software to cartridge form, 
including Electronic Arts and Epyx. Also 


included with the XE SGS is a light gun 
and three game carts, including a 25GK 
cartridge version of Sub-Logic’s Flight 
Simulator. The XE SGS seems to have 
stirred up renewed interest in the Atari 
0-bit line from both software producers 
and retailers, as many dealers who had 
previously shunned Atari 8-bit hardware 
and software have signed on to carry the 
XE SGS and its software. That’s good 
news for all Atari 8-bit users. 

The final new hardware item now 
shipping from Atari is the "crown jewel" 
in the product line, the Mega. The first 
production units were finally shipped out 
recently and the blitter WAS included. 
Atari is now off on a "Mega rollout tour" 
as they seek to introduce the new 
machines to ’’professional" dealers 
throughout the country. Atari has also 
lined up a number of "professions 1" 
software publishers, such as WordPerfect, 
which will be debuting the ST version of 
WordPerfect on the tour, to accompany 
them. Yes, "professional" seems to be 
the operative word here, as the Mega will 
have "professional" dealers, 

"professional" software, and a 

"professional" price! The retail price 
for a Mega 2 is $1699 For a mono system 
and $1899 for color. The Mega 4 goes for 
$2399 mono and $2599 color. Add this to 
stringent Mega dealer qualifications and 
a STRICT no mail order policy, and it 
becomes evident that discounts on these 
prices will be very hard to come by, at 
least for now. This may account for the 
recent surge in sales of the 5205T and 
1040 ST, as people who were patiently 
waiting for the Megas to arrive got wind 
of the new prices and decided that "Power 
without the Price" was better than "Power 
WITH the Price". In any case, other 
"professional" features of the Mega 
include a attachable keyboard with much 
improved feel , an internal expansion 

socket, a 68000 bus extender socket (for 
external expansion), a battery-backed 

internal clock, new ROMs, an internal DMA 
port and power supply tap, and, of 
course, the long-awaited blitter chip. 

ZMAGAZINE 77, October 30, 1987 
Atari News & Information (c)1987 Rovac 
ATARI UPDATE 

The following is a letter sent as a 
reply. Written by Neil Harris and used 
here as an Atari Update News Report. 
September 25, 1387 


Page 3 


CompUtah c/o A.C .E. of Salt Lake City 
P.Q, Box 26664 Salt Lake City, UT 841 26 
Dear Editor: 

In the editorial of your September 
issue, you take exception with my 
statement concerning the Atari XE Game 
System, Since the statement was a brief 
one, I’d like this opportunity to give 
you a clearer idea of Atari’s position on 
this system and why it should be a good 
thing for 8 -bit computer owners. 

At the time of the formation of the 
new Atari Corporation in the summer of 
1984, the Q-bit line was not faring too 
well in the mass merchants. It seems 
that the computers were neglected during 
the last year or so of Atari Inc, The 
largest companies selling the computers, 
such as Sears and K-Mart, had taken the 
position that the 8-bit Atari computers 
were dead, and they proceeded to close 
out their inventories of computers, 

peripherals, and software at below- cost 
prices. 

Compounding the situation was the 
set of records that were inherited by the 
new company. According to our books, 

many of the big accounts awed us millions 
of dollars for products shipped. 

According to their records , though, Atari 
□wed them millions for product returned. 
When two companies have many millions of 
dollars in discrepancies on the books, it 
is very difficult to do business 

together. In fact, the K-Mart account 
was finally settled this past summer , 
fully three years after the new company 
was formed. 

So we have the situation where the 
product lines were closed out at a loss, 
and the stores have the attitude that 
these products are old and dead. In some 
cases, the buyers at the stores were 
fired due to the losses they took at the 
end of the home computer era . These were 
not just due to Atari -- none of the mass 
merchants sell "home computers" any more j 
K-Mart does not ( although a few isolated 
stores buy some Commodores from 
distributors ] , J.C. Penneys does not, 
Montgomery Wards does not , and Sears 
sells only business computers. 

At the current time, Atari U.S, has 
a substantial supply of 8-bit computers 
in stock. Very substantial. We have 
every motivation to sell 8-bit computers. 
At times we f ve been accused of trying to 


kill the line. Why would we want to? 
Because many of us came from Commodore, 
where we competed fiercely with Atari? 
Most of us had substantial respect for 
the Atari computers as competitors [as 
opposed to, say, Texas Instruments and 
Radio Shack). Personally, I have a Fair 
amount of experience in Atari home 
computers dating back to before I joined 
Commodore -- check out Compute’s First 
Book of Atari for one of the articles I 
wrote for them long ago. 

Despite our interest in selling 
8-bits, they don’t sell. During the past 
three years we’ve tried advertising, 
without success. We've released more new 
0-bit products than anyone — DOS 2.5, 
the XEP80 , the SX212, AtariWriter Plus, 
Atari Planetarium, Silent Butler, Music 
Painter, Star Raiders II, etc. Not to 
mention the 65XE and 1 30XE computers. We 
are frustrated. 

Stores don’t want to carry the 
products. We even offered to let them 
have the machines without paying for them 
until they sell’ If you know anything 
about Jack Tramiel, this isn’t something 
he likes to do. But stores value their 
shelf space, and buyers value their jobs, 
and we had little success. 

On the other hand, there’s the video 
game business. We fully expected video 
games to be a dead issue upon joining 
Atari. After all, everyone knew the 
video game business was dead. At 
Commodore, we thought we’d killed it! 
But, we were surprised when the existing 
inventory of about a million 2600 systems 
sold during the first year of the new 
Atari Corporation, without any 

advertising and with little effort. As a 
kind of experiment, we built another 
million machines and sold them during the 
next year. "Aha," we said to ourselves. 
"Doesn’t look like a dead business to 
us!’’ 

So we went forward with the 7800 
system, for which parts were already 
available, and lo ! and behold, we sold 
all we could make of them last year 
also . 

Now Nintendo and Sega have jumped in 
with high-end, $150 game systems. 
Nintendo in particular is doing very well 
indeed. They don’t sell as many of these 
as we sell, but they sell for more money. 
So Atari took a hard look at the 
marketplace and determined that we should 
do a $150 system as well. 


Page 4 


Examining the products , it seems 
that Nintendo has decent graphics , a 
light gun, not much of a joystick,,. and 
a robot. What does the robot do? Well, 
it photographs very well in their 
commercials, but really it doesn’t do 
anything to help in playing games. 

For the same $150, we can provide 
the consumer with a game system, light 
gun, three pieces of software -- and a 
computer-sty le keyboard. While not as 
dramatic looking, I ’m sure all computer 
users know that some games just can f t be 
played with a joystick alone. Flight 
Simulator II, which comes with our XE 
Game System, needs the keyboard. So do 
adventure games and most other strategy 
games . 

We can’t get stores to carry the 
8-bit computers. They won’t even sell 
the software to their existing customers 
for a while software companies had to 
put the 8-bit programs an the back of the 
064 disk to get shelf space at ell! But 
when we showed the XE Game System to the 
buyers, they were totally enthusiastic. 

This is truly marketing in action. 

We have something like 50 cartridges 
in inventory from the old days, and are 
feverishly working on converting disk 
games to cartridge. With some clever 
programming, we can now get 256K of ROM 
on a cartridge, instead of the 16K in the 
old games. That’s how we got Flight 
Simulator II ^plus£ a scenery disk onto a 
single cartridge. There is nothing 
different about the XE Game System to 
make this work — existing 8-bit computer 
owners can use the very same cartridges . 

So what does this mean to you? In 
the beginning, all it will mean is that 
mare games will be coming in 8-bit Atari 
format. But, what we hope is that this 
will be the springboard to revitalizing 
the 6-bit Atari computer line. Once the 
XE Game Systems start selling [and they 
have just begin arriving in stores this 
past week), we have a potential market of 
hundreds of thousands of consumers . At 
this time Commodore is selling around 
300 , 000 C64 T s annually ■ With a market 

this size, the motivation for software 
developers to bring out new titles in our 
format is enormous . 

Remember, the XE Game System is 
totally compatible with your 8-bit 
computers . Once the customer takes the 
XE Game System home, they discover in the 
manual that the system includes the Atari 


BASIC language and that there is an SIO 
port for computer peripherals. We expect 
that people who may have been frightened 
of computers, or leery of spending the 
money on a computer with a drive [$400+) 
initially, may very well upgrade to a 
fuller system. And we hope that they 
will then demand the kind of software 
that we need to see developed — serious 
applications software. 

While this is happening, we continue 
to sell the 8-bit computers. Contrary to 
some published reports, we cannot simply 
remove the motherboard from the 65XE f s 
and put them in the Game Systems. It's a 
different board . So , we stil 1 have the 
large inventory of computers. And we 
expect that smart Atari dealers will use 
the advertising campaign for XE Game 
Systems and sell the computers as a 
compatible alternative, tT Why,” they 
might ask a customer, ’’should you spend 
$150 when you can buy the system ala 
carte , with a computer for $99 in a mare 
compact case and then buy whatever 
software you want?” 

Lets all hope this works. Atari has 
tried just about everything in our power 
to keep the S-bit computer line going 
This is probably our best shot. 

One last fact — for our customers 
in areas where there are Federated 
stores, Jack Tramiel has said that these 
stores will carry a full line of Atari 
8-bit computers. So availability should 
be a whole lot better in California, 
Texas , Arizona , and Kansas . 

Thanks for giving me the time to 
explain in much more detail than I can 
online. We’ve been through some tough 
times together. Please try to keep the 
faith and bear with us just a little 
longer while we get the 8-bit situation 
straightened out- 

Best regards, 

Neil Harris 

ZMAGAZINE 78, November S, 1987 
OVERVIEW OF COMDEX 1987 ATARI BOOTH 

[Las Vegas, NV -- Comdex Fall 87) In 
a series of major product introductions, 
Atari Corp emerges as a maker of a 
complete line of high-performance , low- 
cost solutions for the business world. 

New technology is showcased by Abaq, 
an ultra-high-perf prmance workstation 

with blazing speed and dazzling graphics 
The Abaq , based on a sophisticated 


Page 5 


transputer" chip, runs more than 10 
times faster than a PC/AT technology and 
more than 5 times faster than the 88020 
with math processor. The parallel 
processing capability of Abaq lets a 
single system multiply its processing 
power by adding extra transputer chips. 

Atari unveiled its new CD player 
capable of reading CO-RQM disks and of 
playing musical CD disks. The CD-ROM is 
supported by a Mega and ST-compat ible DMA 
interface, and will retail in early 1988 
for under $600 . 

Atari f s connectivity answer is a LAM 
which is compatible with the NETBIOS 
standard used by IBM and Novell. It 
communicates data at 1 megabits -per - 
second to PC's and over 250K bits-per- 
second over Appletalk. Atari is planning 
to manufacture "PromiseLAN" adapters for 
the Mega, ST, and PC computer lines. 

The Atari Mega computers are 
showcased with a variety of solid 
business solutions. Desktop publishing 
is represented by both the Atari SLM804 
Laser Printer and by G.O. Graphics, who 
are porting their Deskset program 
[ CompuGraphics compatible) which Atari 
will market. Word Perfect is displaying 
the recently shipped Word Perfect ST and 
Atari is displaying Microsoft Write, A 
group of vendors are appealing to VARs 
with vertical packages running under the 
IDRIS multi-user multi-tasking operating 
system. Several new high-end CAD 
packages are on display including 
Foresight r s Ora fix 1 , 

Atari expanded its PC-compatible 
offerings by adding two new models, the 
PC2 [PC XT compatible) and PC4 [PC AT 
compatibile ) , both with EGA graphics, 
high clock speeds, and low price tags. A 
variation of the PC3 will operate in VGA 
graphics mode as well. The PC2 and PC4 
will be offered with 3.5" or 5.25" floppy 
disks and with hard disks. These new 
models join the PCI , which at $799 is a 
basic 512K PC XT compatible , suitable for 
use as a LAN workstation and for stand 
alone personal computing The PC2 
includes XT-compatible slots, while the 
PC4 f s slots are PC AT compatible. 

"We offer complete systems for the 
office," said Atari president Sam 
Tramiei. "I can see Atari Mega computers 
with laser printers as desktop publishing 
stations exchanging data with a satellite 
group of PCI r s as LAN stations. An 
entire office environment can be created 


The PC, the Macintosh, and the Atari 
computers co-exist. Each can do the 
things they do best." 

VERSION 2.0 - LOW BASIC 
Sy Levin Soule f 

Move over GFA Basic, the NEW stand 
alone LOW BASIC is here! For $90 it 
looks like it will do everything GFA 
Basic, GFA Companion and GFA Compiler put 
together can do for $210. For an 
additional $50, (total outlay $260 
retail] GFA Vector will let GFA Basic do 
real time animations. This is something 
LOW does not claim to do at this time. 
On the other hand, you can program LOW 
Basic with or with-out line numbers and 
with one or multiple commands per line, 
up to 255 characters per line with the 
proper editor. No one command limit per 
line as in GFA And a review of GFA 
Companion in the October ST Informer did 
not speak kindly of GFA Companion * 

LOW comes with MicroEmacs as an 
editor, but 80 characters per line in 
this version seems to be the usable limit 
without additional instructions, which 
are not included. MicroEmacs 3.01 will 
give the full 255 characters per line. I 
use MicroEmacs 3 . 8i It lets you use the 
mouse to move the cursor. Other then all 
the commands being different, 3.0i works 
much the same as STwriter, but with the 
option of having a scrolling screen. The 
version supplied must be an old one as it 
still refers to MS-DDS in the command 
file listing The point is that you can 
substitute any editor you want, even 
Atari Basic [old or new) as the editor. 
1st Word gives 160 characters per line. 
The syntax of LDW Basic is such that many 
(no carry over of peeks or pokes) program 
listings written for GW Basic, PC Basic 
[IBM], Applesoft Basic, Atari 8-bit 
Basic, C-64/12S Basic, or Microsoft Basic 
can run with only a few, if any, changes 
The book says that Macintosh basic 
programs that have a lot of calls to the 
Mac Toolbox (their GEM) convert to LDW/ST 
basic GEM programs with ease So there 
is a large source of programing already 
available. GFA source files may take to 
many changes to convert to a Microsoft 
Basic form, so it could be hard to make 
GFA work with LDW However , one of the 
example programs, without line numbers, 
looks a lot like a GFA source file 

You can use desk accessories while 
running your compiled basic program. You 


Page 6 


can program all the GEM functions in your 
basic program, using the new one or two 
word commands . There are a few commands 
I have never seen in any basic before. 
Several benchmarks show it to be faster 
then GFA COMPILED Sasic, while a some 
show it to be slower . Benchmark 
performance depends on how the benchmark 
was written and what the person wants his 
benchmark to prove! Benchmarks show it 
ranges from almost as fast to much faster 
then ’C’ * In addition to the standard 
OIM statement , it has DIM STATIC which 
fixes the size of the array at compile 
time. Static arrays are processed much 
faster then the dynamic arrays. This cut 
my sort time almost in half! Integers 
can be either two or four bytes long, so 
the range can be either S4K (normal in 
other basics) or 4MEG (normal in LOW), 
This same range applies to MKlS, CVI, 
CINT, etc. The revised instruction book 
is an added chapter to the original 
version 1,1 book, with 130 pages of 
simple new commands for accessing GEM , 
VXD, and AES The total addition looks 
like it will do mast of what ’C r can do 
and is MUCH easier to learn to program 
with. It could provide an easier way to 
learn T C T programing It r s calls to 
assemoly let it do anything the ST can 
do. Even grade school kids will be able 
to use it , as th^ command structure they 
learned on their Computers at school will 
work with LOW Basic on the ST with few 
changes, I saw \some serious Applesoft 
basic programs done by 11 to 13 year olds 
on Computer Chronicles a couple of months 
ago. The 5T now has THREE basics that 
are almost as fast or in some things 
faster then r C T , Who knows, but these 
new basics now coming out for many 
machines may well put one big dent in the 
use of ’C ’ . 

A mid October issue of CQMPUTERWQRLD 
has an article that says ’’Basic will not 
only serve as the batch language for 
Microsoft Carp 1 s 05/2 and Presentation 
Manager but will also evolve into a 
general purpose macro language that will 
compete against others such as that in 
Lotus Development Carp’s 1 -2-3 , according 
to Microsoft officials . The firm used 
the kickoff of Quickbasic 4.0, a language 
product, to explain its far-reaching 
Basic strategy intended to expand the 
popular language T s life into the next 
generation of MS OS/2 and the 
Presentation Manager." The November BYTE 


says "QuickBASIC 4,0, the latest version 
of Microsoft’s MS-DQS BASIC compiler, 
finally delivers on the promise of its 
name* Using an incremental precompiler 
(ED HAUG - as in DTACK basic for the ST) 
and a threaded p-code interpreter. 
QuickBASIC 4.0 gives BASIC programers the 
Fast feedback of a BASIC interpreter 
without sacrificing execution in finished 
programs*” Now who said that BASIC was 
useless for serious programing? 

With the ST now in the county 
schools, just think what this could da 
for the local sales of Atari in a couple 
of years! Most kids (parents) buy the 
same type of computer they were 
introduced to in school, and with the 
power and price of an ST and an easy to 
learn basic! 

NFL QUIZ 

Disseminated by Jim Qysie 
The ACCESS KEY 

Can you match the correct names of 
the NFL teams with the following list of 
clues? 

1 Trained to hunt and kill 

2 Roman Catholic religious leaders . 

3 Kings of the Beasts. 

4 Credit card users 

5 Shoplifters. 

8 Midnight Snackers . 

7 One dollar for corn. 

8 Streakers. 

9 Peter, Paul and Mary* 

10 Opposite of ”U”s 

11 Six shooters. 

12 Wise sunbathers 

13 Unwise sunbathers 

14 Soldier insects* 

15 7~2. 

15 Equine rodeo participants 

17 Patrick Henry. 

18 747 ’ s . 

19 Used to be girls 

20 Six rulers * 

21 Tribal leaders 

22 Half bovine/half man 

23 Lubricators . 

24 Barbie with fish arms 

25 Loaders 

26 Protected species 

27 Master Charge correspondence 

28 Marine birds 

Answers in the January 88 
newsletter I'll print almost anything 
to get you to rejoin. ED HAUG 


Page 7 


CLUB OFFICERS 


£*** NOTICE **** 


President — Tom Brooks 882-91 65 

1st VP-EXL/XE) Lee Stanford -883-7602 

2nd VP [ST) — Lamarr Kelley 852-9596 

Secretary-- — Bill Batchelor 837-4018 

Treasurer ---J. J, Moniz 883-7118 

Board Member Jim Fly --Q82-2523 

Board Member — Alan Winn 837-9411 

Standing Committee Chairman 

Librarin- Jim Gross 883-0185 

Editor Levin Soule h -- 534-1815 

Bui lent in Board Charlie Mueller- -772-71 03 

Technical — Gary Hitchcock 883-7560 

Club Supported and Affiliated BBSs 

"HAUG" Official Club BBS 300/1200 baud, 

SysOp-Charlie Mueller 24hrs , --461 -5TXE 

"Bloom County ST" -300/1200/2400 baud, 

SysOp -Penguin Opus 24hrs . -772-8526 

tf WRB" -300/ 1 200 baud. 

SysOp -Bil 1 Batchelor 24hrs . -837 -2025 

1^ f|^ fj^j fjjj^ fj^ l^j ^ 

$ HUNTSVILLE ATARI USERS GROUP NEWSLETTER $ 

$ Advertising Rates S 

$ Business Card Size,,,,. .$7.50 $ 

$ Gne-Quar-ner Page Ad $i£ 50 3 

$ One -Ha If Page Ad $20 00 $ 

$ One Full Page AD, $30.00 $ 

$ Call 534-1 81 S^^f^IpTformat ion I 

$$$$$$ $$ $$$$$$$$ $$ $^ 

T- ; : *7 \ A 

Huntsville Atari Users Group 
3911 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 nc 
intended to be an inf ringement . We are 
an independent Users Group , not 
affiliated with Atari Corp, HAUG is a 
non-profit organization of dedicated 400, 
800, 600XL , 800XL, 1200XL, 1 30XE , XE Game 
System, 520ST , 1040ST, Mega ST and Atari 
PC, Atari Computer Enthusiasts [ACE], 
banded together for mutual help and 
support. Contact any club officer for 
further information on how to join* Dues 
are $15,00 per year. 

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 
no n -comme r c i a 1 


or 


other commercial , 
organization * 

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


Weary &, 

‘ ' r> , 




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Thursday, December 17 
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Record 129) Thru Dec 1907 
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