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

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1/© Connector 

The newsletter of t he San, Diego Atari Computer Enthusiasts 


June 1^31 


tSDACS * P .0 . BOX 203076 * SATl DIEGO * CA + 92120) 


Great American Bank 



mira mesa Blvd, 



Hillery V 


* Greenfc 

X 

>rd 

Here! 

♦ Bay wood 


t Flanders 



Black mountain Road 


t 

north 


Take mira 
mesa exit 


1-15 


This is tfie location of new 8-bit meeting, in Jdira Mesa. Meeting 
place change wilt take effect in July, for the July 2nd meeting. Tallow 
map to the X. The new facility , which housed the ’North County Meet- 
ing'' in the past, wilt allow vendors and sales, and is larger. If a better 
ptace can be found , which will be more accessible to those in the South 
flay area (we realize it's difficult for those in Chula Vista or San tjsidro 
to go alt the way to ?Tira Mesa, but no better solution could be found), 
which allows sales and is free, we would be witting to took, into another 
move. We 'Cl be discussing the possibility of moving the ST meetings to 
the Mira Mesa facility in the future, if this works out. 

Ptease park, along the street, and not in the residential spaces. The only 
drawback, to this Cocation is the lack- of decent parking area. Thank you. 

Once again, please note that the ptace wilt not take effect until July. 

^ The June meeting will be at the normal facility in North Park. If you 
have any questions , call the editor . Thanks . 


The San Diego Rtari Computer Enthusiasts 

(S.D.A'C.E.) is an independent, non-profit organization and user group with no connection to Atari Corp, 
Membership includes access to the program library, subscription to the I/O Connector, and access to 
any other club activities. Permission to reprint article^ from this newsletter in any non-commercial 
form is permitted wtthot specific authorization, as long as original credit is given. 

Commercial Rdvertising Rates 


$35 - Full page $30 - Back Page $20 - Half page $10 - Quarter page $5 - Business card 

S.D.R.C.E. Officers 


David Delgadillo 262-4829 VP. (8-bit) 


President 

V.P. (ST) Rick DeHaven 284-2365 

Secretary Bruce Lawson 229-0380 

Prg Director (ST) Frank Cascio 282-5208 

ST Libararian Mike Odegard 574-0106 

Newsletter Editor Peter Payne 560-4272 


Ron Miller 


748-7195 


Treasurer Tom Andert 287-4198 

Prg Dir (8-bit) Buck Bragunier 582-2730 

8-bit Librarian David Becker 280-1330 

Membership Officer Dick Haitt 463-8460 


(Call between 5 :00 pm and 9 :00 pm please) 


Correspondence address: 

San Diego ejfcari Computer Enthusiasts 

p.O. Box 20307 <5 
Son Diego, cn p2i20 

S.D.R.C.E. Rulletin Boards 

S.D.A.C.E. 8-bit BBS S.D.A.C.E. ST BBS 

Sysop: Eddie Woods Sysop: Rick DeHaven 

(6 1 9) 566-343 (619) 284-382 1 

Submissions To The Newsletter 

are most welcome,, and are due by the third Monday of the month, for the next month’s newsletter. Mail 
printed copy or returnable disks with text files (ST single sided format please) to the club's P.O. Box, 
or upload the file to one of the S.D.A.C1. bulletin board systems. 


Buy/Sell/Trade 

ads, available on a space-available basis, are free to club members. The Editor will accept ads at 
meetings, through the club's P.0. Box, or via telephone. Deadline for classifieds is the same as 
articles. 


Editor's Feedback 


from the, desk of ttours Tnt£ti. . . 


Veil, ft's me again, typing at ya from behind 
my ST keyboard. Only this time, instead of 
working from the ST Vriter menu. I'm using the 
Magic Sao (tm) Mac emulator with a program 
called Ready Set Go. I intend to use RSG from 
now on, as I feel it makes the newsletter a lot 
better (RSG blows Publishing Partner away). 

Incidentally, folks, if you're at all interested 
in learning more about the Magic Sao, by all 
means, come to the ST Hands On Meeting /Magic 
Sac S1G meeting, which is held the first 
Thursday of the month, in the same location as 
the 8-bit meeting, the meeting hall at the other 
end of the North Park Rec Center. Also, if 
you’re a new user, or want some help with a 
programing problem or some-thing along those 
lines, show up! People just do what they want. 
Bring your computer, and til see you at the 
next meeting. It's a "free verse" meeting, and 
there's no ajenda, so just show up and jump 
right into the discussion. 

Speaking of 8-bit meeting places, the 8-bit 
meeting are being moved very soon to Mira 
Mesa, where the old "North County Meetings" 
were held (note : not the bungalow facility near 
the church off of Mira Mesa, where the NC 
meetings were held before they were moved, 
see map on the front cover). This location was 
chosen because 1) it was decided a new place 
for the 8-bitters to meet would be a boon to 
that SIG, 2) vendors and sales will be allowed, 
and 3) a better location could not be found. The 
new place is very nice, has enough room for 
our needs, and there is even a pool for anyone 
who wants to use it. Note: the June meet- 
ing will be held at it’s 'normal place! 
The change of location does not take 
effect until the July meeting date on 
July 2nd! If the new location works out well 
and is not too far to drive for some users, we 
may consider moving all meetings to the Mira 
Mesa facility , depending on the feedback we get 
from the membership. 

We have a new 8-bit vice president! His 
name is Ron Miller, and he’s an experienced 8- 
bit user who wants to help get some real life 
going in the 8-bits again. Please join me in 
welcoming Ron to the SPACE officers’ slate, 
and let’s all help him any way we can. Taking 
responsibility and stepping forward is not an 
easy thing to do, so let’s support him and the 8- 
bit SIG. Also, David Becker, the new 8-bit 
librarian, will be helping the club stay current 


in the world of 8-bit PD software. We 'll be 
having at least one new disk of the month for 
the 9-bitters at the meetings from now on. Not 
being too optomistic, it looks like the 8-bit 
computers will be emerging from their slump, 
as we get some fresh interest in the best little 
computer in the world. 

Guess what? The ST BBS might be getting a 
cheap Habba 10 meg hard disk to enhance the 
system and allow more space for files. We're 
getting a good price on the drive — around 
$175— and it will be paid for by the ST mem- 
bership. it’s still up in the air right now, but 
IT] keep you posted. 

I’d like to invite all of you to submit articles 
to the I/O Connector for publication. I’ve been 
editor for almost half a year now, and i’ve yet 
to receive any substantial help from the non- 
officer membership with regards to filling the 
newsletter. Most of you have probably .noticed 
that an awful lot of he articles in this news- 
letter are reprinted from ether clubs’ news- 
letters. t would just like a little more help, 
that’s aTl. If you have a software product you 
can write a review of or an article you want to 
write, please do so, and drop it in the mail to 
me via the club’s P.O. box. Thanks. 

Are you on GEnie? You should be. As a 
recent subsciber to the General Electric Net- 
work for information Exchange, I can tel! you 
truthfully that it’s definetly worth looking at. 
All you need is a modem (1200 baud strongly 
recommended) and a brain. You don’t even have 
to pay the $1 8 sign-up fee, thanks to an Atari- 
sponsored program to generate interest froum 
the Atari community. The ST Round Table is 
the third most active SIG on GEnie (after the 
Macintosh and IBM PC SIGs), and the Atari 8- 
bit RT is 5th. It’s $5.00 an hour during non- 
prime time (after 6) and it is definetly worth 
it. So sign up and see if you like it, I guarantee 
you will. 

I’ve probably said this before, but are there 
enough users of GFA BASIC on the ST to 
warrant a special group? If so. I’ll be happy to 
organize a GFA SIG. Talk to me at the ST and 
8-bit meetings if you’re interested or have any 
input. 

Ok, well, I guess I have talked long enough. 
Until next month, stay safe, and happy com- 
puting. 

• Peter Payne 






The Prez Says.. 


Many changes are 3 coming. To begin with, we see 
the loss of another Atari oriented store, Sysware. San 
Diego can be a tough market for the comptuer biz. i 
also suspect that some of the problem is from Atari 
itself. Atari Corp. may be doing better than in years 
past, but their support to both the user and the dealer 
seems to be the same as it was in the olden days. 

1 really believe that users 1 groups are the way to go 
for information. Another recent area of support is 
corning from third party vendors* if you have a 
modem, try to get yourself on GEnie. Supra, Soft 
Logik , Data Paoifio (makers of the Magic Sac), 
Michtron, Atari Corp. and many others are online with 
help and answers. 

As you know, the 8-bit SIG will be seeing some great 
changes very soon. I'm happy to announce that Ron 
Miller is the new 8-bit Vice President, Ron has vast 
experience with the 8-bit machines and is the unofficial 
Crown Prince of the 400 . Let's all help Ron out the best 
way we can. Also, Dave Becker and his wife, Margie, 
are updating the 8-bit public library and will have at 
least one new disk of up to date PD software hot off 
GEnie and other places for the Disks of the Month. 
Finally, the 8-bitters can look forward to some fresh 
new interest in the SIG. 

Of course, the biggest change is the proposed meeting 


change starting in July . Check the map on the cover for 
directions. From what we could tell at the May 
meeting, most of the 8-bit folks did not feel that Mira 
Mesa was too far north to travel, and since a more 
centralized location could not be found , the change was 
proposed. The advantages to the new place are size, 
freedom (we're not bound by the North Park Rec 
Center's tough impositions), and vendors. Yes, bring 
all your software and hardware for sale, cause now 
you can. 

The ST Beginners’ SIG /Magic Sac 310 /ST Workshop is 
taking off better than expected. That group will 
continue to meet on the first Thursday of the month at 
the North Park Rec Center (the same night as the S-bit 
SIG), at 6:30 PM. A little bit of everything is tried at 
the meeting, so bring your questions, concerns, 
reviews, and don’t forget to bring your computer. 

Rumor has it that the ST BBS may be getting a 1 0 
meg hard disk soon. It was heartening to see ST 
members at the April meeting contribute up to $75.00 
toward this purchase. All I can say is, "Atarians, 
aren't they great? 11 

In closing, I would just like to thank all for putting a 
tittle extra in during these times of financial troubles. 
Our bank account is looking good and after a few 
months, we should be fine. I hope to see all of you at 
the next meeting, especially the 8-bitters, Later, 




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ISSUE 11 


January 1987 


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LETTERS AMO PROBLEMS 

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or see an Atari Dealer near you. If your Dealer does not carry stuser. 

Have them call us at 613-230-7750 


ST Writer Mail Merge: Let's Glue It H Try 


Orwjinofly fcvj H. Monroe 
Reprinted from Current Notes 


ST Writer is considered the best word processor 
available for the Atari ST series by many . Seven other 
programs have been studied but ST Writer always 
seems to beat them. The reason for this is in part due 
to the massive features available to ST Writers, such 
as double column printing, AtariWriter compatibility. 
Mail Merge, and flexible formatting options. More 
likely it's the absence of GEM and the slide-bar window 
editing, which slows down editing to a snail's pace. In 
any event, we're going to look at how to set up a mail 
merge in ST Writer. 

Many people working with the ST Writer mail merge 
feature have trouble fine-tuning it to do exactly what 
they want. Here's a short demo for you to try out. 
Are you ready? Good. 

See the short letter presented below? Suppose you 
want a copy of this letter to go to three friends: Rick, 
Dave and Peter. You want the names and addresses to 
be inserted in the right areas of the letter. Type the 
following letter in ST Vriter : 


May 15, 1987 

Your name 
Your address 
City, state, rip 

? 

o 

? 

Dear ?, 

I'm writing you a form letter using ST Writer's easy 
to use Mail Merge feature. Thanks for supporting 
SDACE! 

Sincerely , 


Your Name 


The question marks you see in the letter are actually 
a mail merge symbol, which appears in red and can be 
accessed by pressing [F9] (so be sure and use the 
merge character when typing the letter, and not a 
question mark character). When this letter is printed, 
the mall merge symbol tells ST Writer to ask you if you 
want to enter the variable data (names, addresses, 
etc.) from the keyboard or from a file (don’t print it 
yet. I'm just telling you what will happen when you 
doO. If you already have a data file, you would press Y 
and enter the filename. You would select to print on# 
(0 copy only, as the merge will take data from the 
data file until it runs out of names and addresses. 

Now, save that file, and create a new one. Delete 
the format line at the top of the file and replace it with 
the following : 

“TO *B0 *L1 *Y2 

This will set up the merge file so that, when you 
print it to the disk as an ASCII file, it will not have 
extra headers, footers, or margins that will play havoc 
with the merge. *T (control* T) means a zero line 
header, ‘B zeros the footer, *L sets the left margin to 
t , and *Y sets the page length to two half- lines, or one 
line. 

In the data file, carriage returns are used to indicate 
the end of a data record. In your file, no extra text or 
returns can appear, unless the merge letter is already 
set up for it; all records must be continuous. 

Here's the merge file : 


‘TO "BO 'LI ‘Y2< 

Rick Dehaven< 

80 Track Drive < 

San Diego, CA 921 00< 
$T Vice-President< 
Dave Delgadillo< 

1 Fleet Street< 

San Diego, CA 921 00 < 
Mr. SDACE President 
Peter Payne < 

10 Tennis Ct.< 

San Diego, CA 921 24< 
Lazy Newsletter Editor < 


— Note: the symbol indicates a return. Note how I 
didn't put an extra return in between the names, to 


( make it look a little clearer, and not so run together. If 
I had wanted to do this, 1 would have had to add an 
extra merge symbol directly above the salutation in the 
letter above, so that there would not be an extra 
< (blank) record to screw things up. 

Once your file is ready , you'll need to print it to the 
disk. Remember, don't try to use an ST-Writer format 
document as your data file in the merge: the program 
will crash and return to the desktop, causing much 
gnashing of teeth. You must use an ASCIMile for your 
data file. To print it to the disk, seleot Print from the 
menu, D for disk/ then enter a file name. When asked, 

1 answer yes, you want to print the whole file. The file 
will then be printed, and everything will be fine. Now, 
save your data file once more, and go back to your 
letter. Check it for possible formatting errors and 
typos (there's nothing worse than completing a 50 
address merge only to find you had a typo in the root 
letter!), and print it, being sure to specify one copy. 
When the program comes to the first merge symbol, 
it'll ask you if you want to use data from a file. 
Answer yes, and type the filename of the ASCII-printed 
data file (remember, don't use the .STW format file, ST 
Writer will crash causing much cursing and gnashing of 
teeth). Now your file should print out three letters, 
inserting the correot names, addresses, and city/ 
state /zip, and the proper DEAR [title] also. A good idea 
is to print your letters with the Print to Screen option, 
to make sure everything is fine with your document 
l| before you’ve comitted anything to the printer spooler. 


LISTING OF SAN DIEGO AREA ATARI BBSs 

Area code 61 9, 300/1200 BAUD, 24 hours a day 
unless otherwise noted 


Code Name 

Computer 

Baud 

Number 

1 

Sherwood Forest 

8-bit 

2400 

276-5603 

1 

Polaris 

8-bit 

300 

566-6210 

3 

The Highlands 

8-bit 

3/12 

298-8475 


The Atari Fortress 

8-bit 

3/12 

426-4253 

3 

8-bit SDACE 

8-bit 

3/12 

566-3430 

1 

Penthouse Suite 

8-bit 

3/12 

279-2722 

1 

! Aardvark 

8-bit /ST 

2400 

272-5553 

4 

ST-SDACE 

ST 

3/12 

284-3821 

4 

ST MIDI Connection 

ST 

2400 

452-7535 

4 

! Computer Blvd. 

ST 

2400 

589-0565 

4 

Computer Plus BBS 

ST 

3/12 

691-7862 

4 

* Computer Outlet 

ST 

2400 

282-6815 


t * TCxe, 2 ■ Forem, 3 = BBS Express 
4 = Michtron (ST) 


(*=Limited hours, NMagic Sac support) 

For corrections or ■additions, p tease 
contact tfie editor/ 


The Supra 1 200RT Modem 

Reprinted- from The MiL4t«rt Mews fetter 

Supra's 1200AT modem is one of the three no- 
interface 1 200 baud modems available for the Atari 8- 
bit (the other two being Q til's Q-Modem and Atari's as- 
of-yet unreleased unit). j 

The Supra 1200AT works right from the box, 
requiring no external interface such as an 850 or a 
P:R: Connection. The documentation which comes with j 
the modem is mediocre at best — the user is left to 
guess how the cables should be connected, and how to i 
set the thing up. It was no problem to figure out, but - 
they should provide better documentation. A 9 volt \ 
adapter is provided as a power supply (more cords to 
tangle!). j 

The software which comes with the modem. Smart- I 
Term, requires a disk drive. The software, which 
works from a menu, is easy to use, but lacks the f 
features of, say, 850 Express! or TC Modem (both of \ 
which are in the publio domain — you oan substitute them j 
if you get the Hayes modem driver from Supra). 80 
columns are supported, as are Xmodem downloads, j 
ASCII support, and others. 

Incidentally, the Supra modem is basically an Avatex 
redesigned, There is a button which selects between 
300/1200 baud, just like on an Avatex, and the Avatex Y 
sticker is stuck to the bottom (hidden by the Supra i 
sticker). So basically what the 1200 AT is is an Avatex 
1 200 with an interface built in. 

Basically, the modem is good. It's pretty much ’ 
Hayes compatible (yes, it has the SI 1 feature, which \ 
means that you can dial the phone ten times faster than 
normal, a feature even the Hayes and Mitsuba 2400 's t 

do not have), and the software works well enough to • 
use. There is no way to hang up the modem through 
software — you must press the voice /data switch to do 
that — but that's not too bad. With a driver available 
from Supra, the modem can be used with 850 Express! 

After about six months of using the Supra 1200AT, ! 
have gotten used to the minor quirks and enjoy using it. 

At $160.00, however ,_it‘s not the most logical way to 
go, and I think that prospective modem buyers could do 
better for less. For example, if you pick up an P:R: 
Connection (which will interface both a modem and a 
printer — the AT’s interface is modem only), and an 
Avatex (which are hard to find, but oan be had for $90) 
or an Avatex HC (which is a 101 S Hayes compatible 
modem, which sells for around $120-$150), you'd be 
better off. Other alternatives include buying an 850 
and one of the above modems (850*s are considered the 
Rolls Royce of modme /printer interfaces, and are 
around $100), or an ATR-8000 (which, again, is an 
excellent modem/printer interface, which also has the 
ability to run true CP/M and generic floppies and hard 
disks), or go for cheap and get a 300 baud modem 
(although you'll regret not getting 1200!). 


Donald Duck's Playground 

All It's Quacked Up To Be 

ST ‘Sle.vie.w by diitt and Christie Hoes 
Reprinted from Current Notes 

He was born in 1934, during the Great Depression. 
Toughness, that's what it took to make it through - i 
time like that, let 'em know you’re there. And he did, 
rising to stardom and becomming one of the best known 
and most popular screen figures of all time. 

If Frustrated, ornery, loud-mouthed, and irascible, he 
had one other quality : he was lovable. All of that was- 
-and is — Donald Duck. 

Donald Duck’s Playground, a software program for 
the ST, presents Disney's cartoon character in a 
somewhat varied light. Hardworking, Donald must earn 
money and then purchase playground equipment for his 
i three nephews. The change-making process, the 
primary educational goal of the program, is skillfully 
presenteted at the stores as you make your own change 
for the purchase. 

;; This is a program that the targeted age group (ages 
7-11 years old) should find to be a challenging and 
enjoyable experience. It’s one my 1 1 -year-old daugh- 
ter, who (she claimed) already knows how to make 
change, greatly enjoyed. 

In the game, the player chooses which level he or she 
wants to play- at : beginner, intermeadiate or advanced. 

There are three places to work in order to earn the 
money needed to purchase the playground equipment for 
Donald’s nephews: a toy store, a train depot, or a 
produce stand. The player goes to work, playing each 
scenario, and earns money. Each place stresses a 
different skill in a semi-arcade fashion. 

One thing players learn in this game, althogh they 
i: may net be aware of it, is the real-world aspects 
developed into the game. If you want more money , you 
have to work harder. It’s advantageous to work on 
something for which you have some talent. And if you 
want to make it to some recreation, your own effort 
will dictate the amount of fun available. (At least these 
are real-world concepts for us idealists). 

The player has the option of using the keyboard, 
joystick or the mouse. The joystick seems to work the 
best, although it must be plugged into port zero, where 
the mouse usually goes (Micky has asked that we make 
no mouse jokes). This is especially a problem for T 040 
users, but it’s not too hard to live with, and joystick 
cable extenders ©an be found in any Radio Shack, which 
will solve the problem. 

In low resolution, the graphcis are colorful and bold, 
although there is not much real detail. The program 
also works in monochrome, so anyone can use it. 

The $24.95 program, made by the makers of Vinnie 
the Pooh, Sierra, presents Disney characters in a 
quality, clean fashion. I thought it was definetly worth 
the investment, and 1 am glad t found this program. 


/ / Macintosh Emulation: 

Finally a Reality! 

By Tfitfftp S. Gallo Jr. , TfrD 

Rick DeHaven has asked me to write some notes 
regarding my experiences with the Magic Sac, I am in 
somewhat of a unique position to write such a review, 
since 1 own both a 1 meg 520ST and a 51 2K enhanced 
Macintosh. The two computers sit in my den virtually 
side by side, casting suspicious glances at each other. 
As a consequence, 1 have gained some reasonable 
insight into the mysterious inner workings of the Mao, 
and ! can port software over to the ST in a flash and 
try it out. 1 should point out that there Is quite a tong 
review of the Magic Sac, written by Bob Kelly, on the 
SDACE ST BBS, and \ urge everyone with a modem to 
read it. It goes into far greater detail thatn l will be 
able to do in this space. There are some errors, which 
I will attempt to address in this article, but for the 
most part it is excellent. Without further ado, here are 
some answers to the questions that people most often 
ask me. 

How good is the emulation? - Quite good. One 
thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the Magic Sao 
emulates a Macintosh that is no longer being made. The 
ROMs and the appropriate system files that work with 
these ROMs are the ones from the original 1 2SK Mac 
and the 51 2K "Fat" Mao. Neither of these machines is 
currently being made. They featured 64KR0M5, 400K 
drives that were very slow at I/O operations, and a 
CPU that ran at about 6 mhz. The present Maos (51 2kE 
and Mao Plus) have 128K ROMs, a new heirarchial disk 
file structure, fast BOOK drives, and a CPU that runs 
about B mhz. When David Small, creator of the Magic 
Sao, waxes enthusiastic about how much faster the 
emulation is than a real Mac, take it with a grain of 
salt. CPU speed is 20^ faster than the old Macs, but 
the Magic Sac's disk 1/0 is even slower than the old 
4Q0K Mao drives. And the Mac spends a lot of time 
talking to its disk drives. The Mac Plus or 512k£ will 
run rings around the Magic Sac. The emulation is slow, 
but it is certainly useable, and is comparable to a 'Tat** 
Mao* 

How much does one have to know about the Mac? - A 
whole bunch. Because the Mac and the ST share a 
mouse, an icon oriented interface, pointing, clicking, 
double clicking, and dragging, people tend to assume 
they are more alike than they really are. The Magic 
Sac is not really emulating a Mac, it's turning the ST 
into a Mac. With one exception that the ST can't eject 
it*s own disks, the emulation is almost exactly like a 
real Mao. Here are a couple of examples of teh 
differences between the two machines. Most of us keep 
our ST program disks locked to prevent accidental 
change or damage to the files. You cannot use a locked 
disk with the Magic Sac. Back in the days of the 
woefully memory shy 123K Mac, a tradition of 






I 


programming developped in which operations that nor- 
mally would occur in memory were written to 
temporary files on the disk, in addition, the Mac spools 
all of its print files to disk. So you can't lock your 
disks, and you had better have at least 23<, preferably 
50K, free on each disk for the temporary files and print 
spooling. Another difference: although two disk drives 
make life easier with an ST, it will perform quite 
adequately with one drive. Try using a single drive 
with a Mac (or Magio Sao) and you'll throw the whole 
thing up against the wall in sheer frustration after a 
couple hours. Get a very simple beginners book about 
the Mae and do some homework in order to get the most 
out of the Magic Sac. Many of the complaints about the 
Magic Sac are really the result of people not 
understanding how a Macintosh works. 

When will it be able to print real Mac fonts and 

graphics? - Right now. David Small is negotiating 
with a Canadian company, GDS Softworks, to bundle 
their Epson printer driver with the next update of the 
Magic software. However, despite statements you may 
have read to the contrary , Epstart Version 1 .0 will 
permit the Magic Sac to print flawlessly (well, almost 
flawlessly) to an Epson compatible printer. Graphics 
programs such as MacPaint print best in what is known 
as "standard” mode. No problem here. Text needs to 
be printed in “high quality" mode which requires a 
double pass by the print head. The Epstart driver 
increases the width of each line by. 20S5 over what 
would occur on the Imagewriter. The result is beautiful 
quality print which is a little stretched out. Vith text 
alone, the fix is to just modify your margins. When 
text and graphics are mixed, the graphics do look a bit 
wide, but the overall effect is still generally very 
pleasing. I don't know whether this represents a bug in 
Epstart, a bug in the emulation, or a basic 
incompatibility between the dot densities of the Image- 
writer as compared to an Epson printer. I can per- 
sonally vouch that it will print on the Citizen MSP 20, 
the Star Gemini NXIO, and the Panasonic 1091. 1 

strongly suspect that there are a number of other 
printers that will work as well. The only printers it 
has failed with are the Gkidata's and C. Itoh's older 
Prowriter series. 

While in Maaic Sac mode . can I access a Mac BBS and 
download PD software that is immeadiatelu useable? - 

No Problem^ 

Is the emulation that runs on the color monitor as 

useless as theu sau ? - It depends. If you use it just 
as it comes, with red, green, white and black all 
smeared together on the screen, it is. However, there 
is enough memory left over in a t meg machine (the 
only one the color emulation will run on, not a 51 2K) 
that an Atari Control Panel can be put on the Magic Sac 
boot disk. If you change red to black (0,0,0) and green 
to grey (3,3,3), and save the desktop for future use, 
you will have a screen that is reasonably legible, not 
much worse than some ST programs. For light word 
processing, printing out posters, signs and graphics, it 
is quite useable (this review was written on a color 


monitor with MacWrite), For serious work, you will 
want the monochrome monitor (editor's note: the color 
emulation is slower than the standard monochrome, but 
is useable. The new version of the software supports 
split-screen, so no loss of readability exists. But take 
my word for it, you will definetly want to get a 
monochrome monitor). 

When will the Magic Sac be a true clone? - Bob 
Kelly says by this summer. I say probably 
never. Everyone agrees that there will have to be 
either a hardware modification to existing drives, or 
new drives will have to produced, in order for the ST 
to read the idiosyncratio Mao format. David Small is 
currently working on an I/O device which will connect 
in between your ST and your disk drive, which will 
alter the frequency of the data being sent to the 
computer from the disk drive. The result will be that 
the ST will be able to read all unprotected Mac disks, 
and even some protected ones. There is no speculation 
as to how much-this device will cost. In addition, 800K 
drives are now supported (double sided SF314's), and 
hard disk support should be included in the next update . 

With all of its problems , is the Maaic Sac reallu 

worth but t ing ? - Absolutely, positively, beyond 
the shadow of a doubt! With a few exceptions, Mac 
software is superb. Only the top 1 to 29H of ST 
software can held a candle to it. They have been at it a 
lot longer than we have. ST software is catching up, 
but there will always be things the Mac can do better 
than the ST, just like there will always be things the ST 
can do better than the Mac. How many people, besides 
ST owners, can own an ST and a Mac for less than the 
price of a Mac alone? With all the bugs, and the fact 
that it will only run about 5095 of Mae software, it is 
worth having. It will double your enjoyment of 
computing. 

Editor's Note: recent fixes and breakthroughs in 
the emulation have increased the number of -programs 
that will run vith the Magic Sac, and the list of 
programs that run is very long. The compatibility 
should be approaching 80-95^ percent in the next 
software update. Take it from me, folks, it is definetly 
worth having. Ready Set Go (which is being written on 
the ST, by the way) creams Publishing Partner thorou- 
ghly , and I wouldn't use anything else. If you're serious 
about computing, go to the ST Workshop meeting. 


(619) 745-2044 


SSL ENTERPRIZES 

Atari Parts and Service 


1334 Mimosa Ct, 

STEVE LAWRENCE Escondido, CA. 92027 








mmmMffiEH^aggBaaag 



ST SIG 


Jltcfc DeHaveti sans. . , 


tt‘s now the very lest day in May and in the news 
for S.D.A.C.E. is a new hard-disk for the olub's ST BBS. 

An inexpensive source for the older Haba-disk was 
found. The fact that we could buy a 10 megabyte hard- 
disk for around $150 was astounding. News of this deal 
surfaced at the last ST-SIG meeting and a collection 
was taken up for the purchased of the hard-disk. In all, 
over $60 was raised to go towards the drive. I have 
checked into the compatibility of the drive for use on 
the BBS and was told that a Haba-disk had been in use 
with the Michtron BBS software for several month's 
with no problems at all. Good news indeed. 

The Summer CES show is going on at the this 
moment. Not too much news as yet from the show, 
only word is that a math co-processor board for the ST 
using the 638S1 chip is being shown. No firm price or 
date available. $700-800 would be a good guess at the 
price, most of the cost in the 68881 chip itself. 

Latest rumours are that the Mega-ST*s are shipping 
now to Europe. This was to be expected, the reason is 
the same as the last time. To sell computers in the US 
you must have it approved by the FCC. This process 
takes 90 days. Atari can sell units in Europe now while 
the Mega's await approval. Available first, the Mega-4 
will mostly likely not have blitter chip in them. The 
reason is that they will be in short supply at first. No 
details of any plans to offer them as a low cost upgrade 
(like TOS ROM's) or no cost upgrades. The ROM's in the 
blitter machines wit! have an additional selection under 
the 'Options' menu on the desktop. You will be able to 
switch off the blitter for those programs that refuse to 
work properly with it installed. In addition \ have been 
told by Neil Harris that there is an XBIOS call that will 
allow you to turn it off and on from within a program. 
Mega- 2 should arrive shorty afterwards with the 
planned Mega-1 being scrapped. This I feel is a smart 
move. The 104GST is a solid value and another Imeg 
machine would only contuse the issue even more. I 
have not heard any firm pricing on the new machines as 
yet. 

Vhile on the subject of new machines Atari has 
slipped a new one in on us with out any of the 'dry- 
testing' and with out fan fare. The new and improved 
52GSTfm. The new 520 is now' built like the 1040 
computer, one piece now with the (still) single-sided 
drive built in. Still with 51 2K of rarn and with 
composite and RF outputs as well. The 520STfrn 
mother board is identical to that in the 1040. Even the 
holes for the second bank of 256K RAM chips is there. I 
doubt it'll be too long before we see 520STfm+'s since 


it appears that the upgrades will be rather easy to 
complete. I want to know when Atari will add the 'm' to 
the 1040. I know that quite a few buyers would love to 
have the RF and composite outputs so that they could 
record the output or display it on a larger screen. 

Migraph has released 2 new fonts and a 24 pin 
printer driver for Easy Draw. The main benefit is that 
it prints quite a bit quicker, needing only 1 pass now to 
print a line opposed to 2 passes with a 9 pin printer. 
$1 9.99 for the printer driver and $29.99 (hearsay) ter 
the new fonts. 

CAD 3D 2.0 is out! IVe been waiting for this one for 
a long time. In addition to all the new things that 2,0 
does you also get the Cybermate animation language. A 
super deal at $89.99. 

Magic Sac Version 4.32 was released fixxing a host 
of problems. This thing is getting real good t 

I'm sorry to have to say that San Diego has lost one 
of its original ST supporting stores. Sy svare closed 
its doors for the last time on Saturday 5/30. Thier 
contibutions to the ST community will be missed. I 
wish the best of luck to those that were involved. 

Anyways that about wraps it up for this month. 
Remember if you hear something let me know about it 
so \ can get the word out. The more informed we are 
the better we are. 

Rick DeHaven 


Schedule 

8-bit and ST Workshop: First Thursday of 
the month. ST SIG: Third Ulonday of the 
month. 

June - S-bit meeting and ST Workshop vill 
be on Thursday , June 4th, at the Ilorth Park 
Rec Center, on Idaho off of University, at 
6:30. ST meeting •will be at the north Park 
Rec Center at 6:30 . 

July - 8-bit meeting vill be at the nEW 
facility in fflira fflesa, at 6:30 on July 2nd. 
ST Workshop vill be that night also, but 
over at the nort Park Rec Center vhere is 
has been meeting. The ST meeting vill be 
July 20th, at the Rec Center, at 6:30. 

note: There are tvo ends to the north Park 
Rec Center, if you don't find a meeting at 
one end, try the other end . 



Atari Amateur Radio Interaction 

btj ltd Gtatnfcoiski 
Jtfepnnted jrom SLO- JOKES 


The question often comes up: what else can we do 
<th our Atari computer besides games? Perhaps we 
se that question in an attempt to justify having a 
nome computer. On the other hand, it may be a 
continuing challenge and excuse to play with these 
expensive toys. Regardless of the personal drive. 
Packet Radio is another fun utility for the computer, 
What is Packet Radio, you 3sk? Well, let me lay it 
on you. 

Packet Radio is a utility whereby the computer 
interacts with an amateur radio transceiver. Don't 
stop reading because you are not a Ham radio operator, 
because this is technolically interesting in the work a 
computer does for you when thus programmed. 
Packet Radio is a fancy form of radio-teletype, (t 
requires your Atari computer, a packet control unit 
(called TNG, and commercially available at a number of 
third party companies), and an amateur transceiver. A 
disk drive and a printer are helpful, but not essential. 
Packet Radio gets its name from the fact that each 
transmission consists of a "packet" of digital data, 
including call signs or he originating station, the 
destination station, and any relaying stations in 
between . 

There’s virtually no interface. When you're 
connected with someone, your TNC will recognize and 


June 1987 


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interpret only those packets addressed to you. 
You'llhear the others going by , but nothing will show on 
your screen. Since each packet is a brief burst, there's 
room in between your packets for the packets of other 
stations. So, one frequency can support several 

messages simultaneously (time sharing). The TNC will 
also ignore any packet that doesn't "add up right". Part 
of the coding in each packet is a "checksum" that your 
computer reads. If the packet is garbled in any way, 
the checksum will be wrong and your TNC will refuse it. 
Okay , now what do we do this lashup for? 

All this adds up to a system for message transfer 
virtually error free for at least the following tasks: 

* Packet Bulletin Board Systems of any distance, 
leaving out Ma Bell (and her tab). 

* Electronic Mail — sent/received “ during these 
actiYies, you need not be at the station at the time of 
transmission. Emergency traffic (fire, earthquake, 
etc.) information can be sent error free. 

* Up /downloading computer programs. 

In summery, t might say the user can transfer 
information between stations without the need of the 
telephone system (twisted pair) at a baud rate of 9600. 

Amateurs are using this means internationally now, 
and it is just a matter of time before CB Radio users 
take off with it also. 


July 1987 


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AATARf 


PLCOM Jamiga 



HORNER 


SOFTWARE 

COMPUTERS 

ENGINEERING 


OVER 

300 

TITLES IN STOCK 

WARNERS 

3546 MIDWAY DRIVE STE-’C’ SAN DIEGO. GA 92110 


San Diego Compter Society 

Atari- SIG 

P.O. Box 81444 

San Diego, C A 92138 

30114. all correspondence to: 

San Diego Atari Computer Enthusiasts 

P.O. Box 203076 

San Diego, CA 92120 

“ — EXP: 

SLCC NEWSLETTER EXCHANGE 

BOX 1525 

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Permit No 1518 
San Diego, Calit 


June 8 -bit meeting s- 3T Workshop will be Thursday, June 4th, 6:30, 
in North. Park (not in Mira Mesa). ST meeting will be Monday 
June 15th, 6:30. 

July 8 -bit meeting will be Thursday, July 2nd, at the new meeting 
place in Mira Mesa. 3T Workshop will be same place is has been, in 
North. Park, opposite end of park from where the ST _3IG meets. Same time, 
different places. Normal ST meeting will be July 20th, at 6:30.