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Issue 7, Winter 




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News: 

.SEAL-O-RAMARepor 
' OS 3.9 First look 

Reviews: 

fxSCAN 3.0 
ScanQuix 5 
ArtEffect 4 
Bubble Heroes 
PD Paradise 

Support: 

ProNet Setup 
Start-up Problems 
ArtEffect Tutorial 
Shell Scripting 



Sans, By Amigans, On Amigas 




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NEWS 



NEWS 



Contents 

News 

SEAL-O-RAMA Report 5 

News Items 7 

AmigaOS3.9 Preview 10 

PCI Update 12 

AmigaOS4PPC? 13 

Czech Amiga News Interview 14 

Features 

Scanning Explained 16 

Reviews 

fxSCAN3.0 20 

Mustek Paragon 600 Scanner 22 

ScanQuix5 23 

Scanner Software Roundup 24 

ArtEffect4 26 

EZMouse PS/2 Adaptor 32 

Bubble Heroes 34 

Key to Driving Theory 35 

PD Paradise 34 

40 

Support 

ArtEffect 4 Tutorial 29 

Top Tips 36 

Pronet Step-by-step 38 

Back 2 Basics - Scripting 41 

Solving Startup Problems 43 

Back Issues 46 

Next Issue 46 

Gallery 48 




We'd like to make Clubbed more "in- 
teractive" so we need your input! 

Got a question you'd like answered 
or an opinion you'd like to share? 
Write to us and we'll include it in a 
letters page. 

Got a tip for other readers or even an 
article up your sleeve? Send it in and 
you could very well see your name in 
print. 

Got a suggestion or comment on the 
magazine? Let us know and we'll try 
and make Clubbed better for you. 



IF 



Chairman 

This issue of the magazine I 
would just like to tell you about 
our SEAL event "SEAL-O- 
RAMA" which took place on September 
the 10th. We (SEAL) had been so im- 
pressed with the Kickstart shows (well 
done again guys & girls of course!) that 
we decided to hold one of our own (as I 
mentioned in the last issue), and I can 
tell you that at first we were very ap- 
prehensive about doing it, but we had 
alot encouragement from the likes of 
John from Forematt Home Computing 
who has helped SEAL from the very 
beginnings with offering credit card 
paying facilities for subscribers of 
"Clubbed" magazine and distributing our 
flyers for both the user-group and maga- 
zine. 

Only a few days after announcing the 
show to the world we had several com- 
panies on board wanting to attend and 
co-sponsor which was a big relief I can 
tell you! Thanks to Gary Storm with his 
promotional tactics (I don't know or 
wanna know how he did it), it was only a 
matter of weeks before we had ALL the 
tables booked and were looking to 
reduce the number of tables exhibitors 
were able to have (due to our hall not 
being the largest in the world), not only 
that, Gary had managed to "persuade" 
all the companies attending to offer us 
prizes to give away! 

Analogic did us proud by announcing 
that every subscriber to "Clubbed" at the 
show would receive a free gift (a track- 
ball) which was not to be sniffed at plus 
several hard drives. Thanks to them and 
all the companies (nearly all) who 
donated prizes. Also I would like to men- 
tion that Hyperion gave us a copy of 
Heretic II to give away as a prize for the 
Heretic II competition and Amiga (Petro) 
gave us two A1200 Magic Packs and 
loads of promotional goodies, even 
though they didn't attend the show. 
Crystal Interactive Software brought 
along a special SEAL-O-RAMA version 
of their brand new game Bubble Heroes, 
which was nice! 

Several user groups came along to 
show what they are up to and these in- 
cluded ANT (Amiga North Thames), 
ASA (Amiga Support Association) and 
Kickstart who you cannot keep away 
from any event! Some members of 
HAUG (Huddersfield Amiga User Group) 
came all the way down from Yorkshire, 




By 
Mick Sutton 

and several SEAL 
members intend to 
return the compli- 
ment on the 24th 
of February when 
they are putting on 
a similar style 
show (go for it). 

So on reflection, we needn't have 
worried about getting the com- 
panies/exhibitors to attend at all, now all 
we needed to do was to get the punters 
through the doors, in my opinion that is 
the hardest bit. We put the announce- 
ment on all the news sites and several 
companies agreed to send out flyers to 
all their customers and of course a big 
bonus was having a news article in 
AmigActive (thanks guys). 

But on the day we were pleasantly 
surprised when around 180 people 
turned up, which I didn't think was too 
bad for our first ever event. From per- 
sonal comments, articles on mailing lists 
and news groups it would seem that 
most who came along enjoyed them- 
selves. From feedback I have had from 
exhibitors most of them did well enough 
in sales to make it worth their while com- 
ing along, and nearly all have stated that 
they would like to come along next year 
if we decide to do it all again. Another 
success was the games arena which 
pulled the crowds and helped sales of 
games, particularly Heretic II which com- 
pletely sold out by the end of the day! 
This game sold itself, by being played 
people got to see what all the fuss was 
about which no review or screenshot 
can do. This just proves how important 
shows are in an Amiga market where 
there are no shops demonstrating 
Amiga wares. 

In summary I would like to thank all the 
exhibitors for their support and the 
people who turned up not knowing what 
to expect. Without doubt the heroes of 
the day were the SEAL members who 
got this thing off the ground and kept the 
momentum going (where have I heard 
that?) in particular, Robert who done all 
the promotional artwork and posters, 
Gary for mugging companies into com- 
ing, Jeff Tony & Glenn who ran the 
games arena faultlessly , Roy for selling 
so many subscriptions of this wonderful 
magazine and not least Sharon and 
Mandyleigh for all their hard work in the 
kitchen a.k.a. the Turkish bath! 



SEAL-O-RAMA 
Show Report 

by Gary Storm and Robert Williams 

We didn't know whether our first show 
would be a success or not. As far as we 
were concerned if we could get around 
150 people coming through the door it 
would be a great start. If we didn't get any 
more than a hundred it would probably be 
our first and last show :) 



As it was we had nearly 100 Amigans rush 
the gig in just half an hour after opening. 
At the end of the day the final attendance 
was about 190, which is fantastic for our 
first show. Of course this is in no small part 
in thanks to the brilliant support of Czech 
Amiga News, Amiga.org, Amiga Active 
magazine and everyone else who helped 
to get the show known (I must point out 
here that Gary himself and Mick Sutton 
were the guys behind the shows publicity 
and obviously they did a great job, Ed.). 

Setting Up 

SEAL members and exhibitors arrived at 
our venue in Basildon at 10am to set up 
everything for the 12 noon opening. 
Setting up was pretty painless, even 
though there were lots of Amiga's (and a 
couple of PCs - cough) being used for 
various things. About our only problem 
was that the parking area was being in- 
vaded by the cars of a junior soccer team's 
parents (who had a match on which we 
didn't know about), but after we bran- 
dished our baseball bats they disappeared 
for some reason. Strange. 

Robert Williams (SEAL God and editor of 
Clubbed magazine) (BLUSH, Ed.) had 
printed loads of posters for the exhibitors, 
and also some for us to stick on the road- 
signs to show where we were. Mandyleigh 
(my fiance www.mandyleigh.co.uk), Dave 
(not my fiance) and myself went and il- 
legally plastered the signs up with some 
gaffer tape. We even had a police car drive 
by us as we were doing it, but they didn't 
stop to beat us up, which was a shame. 

Exhibitors 

Once the doors were open to the general 
public, a deluge of Amigans filed into the 
venue for the princely sum of £1 each, and 
were handed a raffle ticket each for the 
multitude of prizes that were on offer. 
There was enough to see, even though 
Mick Tinker and the mythical beast of a 
BoXeR couldn't make it, as well as iFusion 
PPC (which I was hanging out for, al- 




The Mediator PCI board got its first 
UK showing at SEAL-O-RAMA 

though I am assured it should reach us 
fairly soon). 

Blittersoft had a sexy looking Mediator PCI 
running with a Virge graphics card, which 
looked great on a motionless screen. 
Unfortunately there wasn't any application 
or game running at the time I was there to 
see how it performed under working con- 
ditions, but it's very exciting. The excellent 
Payback game was on a separate AGA 
Amiga. Payback looks and plays brilliantly, 
and it's not even finished yet. You 
definitely have to buy this game if you liked 
Grand Theft Auto in any way. 

Later in the show Bart, the programmer of 
"Fubar" showed up to demonstrate his 
Cannon-Fodder/Command & Conquer- 
esque game, which looks very promising. 

Eyetech had what I think was one of the 
most interesting tables, thanks to the stock 
they brought with them which included 
XSurf Ethernet cards, BVisions and their 
many A1200 products and the d'Amiga 
system that was running. 

Analogic didn't bring anything to demo, but 
had a few bargains, including 17" Compaq 
V70 monitors for £120. I grabbed myself 
one of those baby's. Yum. 

Forematt Home Computing brought along 
quite a bit of good software, old and new, 
games and serious stuff. We were happy 
to see they had brought along some of the 
new releases such as Heretic II and you 
could order anything they didn't have and 
still get the show price. John and his lovely 
wife kept on smiling all day, which makes 
me wonder what drugs they were on, and 
where I could get some :) 

Mark Hinton and Russell from Amiga 
Active magazine weren't looking so im- 



ClubbedLinfo 

Clubbed is published quarterly by South 
Essex Amiga Link. For subscription details 
see the back page. 
Editor: Robert Williams 

Design: Robert Williams 

Contributors: Elliott Bird 

Roy Burton 

Gary Storm 

Mick Sutton 

Mike Woods 
Proof Reading: Sharon Sutton 
Printing: Jeff Martin 

Cover Art: Robert Williams 

Contact Us 

If you have any queries suggestions or 
want to contact us for any reason please 
use one of the following: 
EMail: clubbed@seal-amiga.co.uk 
WWW: http://www.seal-amiga.co.uk/ 
Post: Clubbed, 26 Wincoat Drive, 

BENFLEET, Essex, SS7 5AH, 

ENGLAND. 

Telephone: +44 (0) 1268 569937 

(19:00 - 22:00 GMT only please). 

Only Amiga Made it Possible 

Clubbed is designed and laid out using: 

Hardware: 

Amiga 3000 

CyberStorm PPC/060 

CyberVision PPC 

64Mb RAM, about 8Gb HDD space. 

Software: 

PageStream 4 by Softlogik 
ImageFX 4 by Nova Design 
Photogenics 4 by Paul Nolan 
Final Writer 5 by Softwood 
There are also some essential utilities we 
couldn't live without: Directory Opus 5, 
SGrab, MCP, Turbo Print 7, MakeCD. 
Our thanks to the creators of this and all 
the other great Amiga software out there. 
Clubbed is entirely created on the Amiga, 
no other machines are used at any stage of 
the design or layout process. 



Legalese 

The views expressed in this magazine are those 
of the author of each piece, they do not 
necessarily reflect the views of the editor, other 
contributors or SEAL. 

Please Note: Clubbed is produced by SEAL 
members in their spare time, while we will always 
strive to produce the magazine on time and 
include all the advertised contents this is not 
always possible due to other commitments. The 
price you pay for Clubbed covers our costs and 
nothing more, we don't make a profit from it. 
If you wish to contact a contributor please send 
your message to one of the addresses above and 
we will pass it on. 

Amiga is a registered trademark and the Amiga 
logo, AmigaDOS, Amiga Kickstart, Amiga 
Workbench, Autoconfig, Bridgeboard, and 
Powered by Amiga are trademarks of AMIGA Inc. 
All other trademarks mentioned are the property 
of their respective owners. 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



NEWS 



NEWS 



pressed on their stand when I was 
wandering around... or maybe it's 'cos I 
was there, and joking about Mark's gay 
Amiga following :). Amiga Active had an 
absolutely outstanding huge poster behind 
them as you'd expect (even bigger than 
our SEAL and Clubbed ones, grrr, Ed.), 
and a lot of their excellent magazines on 
show. Unfortunately Andrew Korn didn't 
make it. I was doing a bit of Amiga Active 
magazine promoting, and most of the 
people I spoke to were already sub- 
scribers. One guy even said he didn't want 
to subscribe because he ordered it through 
his local small newsagent and wanted to 
support them even though it cost him 
extra. If you haven't experienced the 
delights of the best commercial Amiga 
magazine in the world yet (OK, the only 
commercial Amiga magazine in the world), 
then get your ass to www.amigactive.com 
and subscribe. You have no excuse not to, 
as it's brilliant and is delivered all over the 
world. 

Crystal Interactive premiered and sold 
Bubble Heroes, which is a game very simi- 
lar to 'Bust A Move 2" on the Playstation 
(you can read a review on page 34 of this 
issue). Anyone who's played that knows 
how addictive and fun it is, and Bubble 
Heroes is a fantastic Amiga rendition, and 
well worth buying. Andrew also gave a 
popular demonstration of Gilbert 
Goodmate, Crystal's new point and click 
adventure game, this was running on a 
laptop PC and Andrew was keen to judge 
the reaction to an Amiga version. 

Unfortunately I didn't get to see the 
Gasteiner stand, but it's nice to have had 
them at an Amiga show again. 

ldeas2Reality had brought along a working 
QNX system, which looked very interest- 
ing. Bernard and his accomplice were nice 
to chat to, and very interested in the 
response (which was pretty positive). They 
didn't really bring much to sell, just a 
couple of pc keyboards and mice really, 
but they came to gauge reaction to the 
QNX RTOS and I think they were pleased. 

Kickstart were doing a great business of 
selling registrations to MooVid for PPC 
and non-PPC Amiga's for the author. 
MooVid is a great .avi and .mov video 
player, and I've always wanted it for my 
PPC. It's a real pity that the Frogger 
author didn't trust Kickstart enough to let 
them sell his program at the show as well, 
as it's much less of a pain in the arse to 
buy shareware through Kickstart than 
trying to get get foreign money posted off 
to God knows where. So c'mon all you 
shareware authors... let Kickstart do the 
biz for you. 

SEAL ourselves were there promoting this 

very magazine and issue 6 was released 

at the show. We sold another 20 subscrip- 




The games arena was popular all day. 



tions, and loads more single issues. A 
large number of these sales were down to 
Roy Burton who spent most of his time 
behind the SEAL table, thanks Roy. 

Usergroups ASA and ANT where there too 
attracting new members and selling a 
variety of second hand bargains. ANT's 
Michael Carillo who isn't known for his shy- 
ness also did a great job of helping us out 
throughout the day. His loud voice came in 
useful with announcements (as we had 
three separate halls), and during the prize- 
giving at 4pm. 

Gamesi 

The games arena was the area we were 
most worried about but in then end every- 
thing went off very smoothly thanks to the 
hard work of Jeff Martin, Glenn Pudney 
and all the other members who helped out. 
We had three games Wipeout 2097 and 
Heretic II representing bang up-to-date 
Amiga gaming and the classic Sensi 
Soccer. Wipeout was running throughout 
the afternoon, with people trying to better 
the best time on a certain track. The 
winner got a copy of Wipeout 2097, kindly 
donated by Blittersoft. I used to be great at 
this game on the Playstation, but everyone 
was beaten by some kid who'd played it 
once or twice on a friends PSX. Brat :) 

Heretic II was played on two PPC's op- 
posite each other, networked in a death- 
match. I got through to the quarter-finals 
but was trounced. I blame the lack of a 
mouse-mat myself :) The prize was Heretic 
II of course, donated by Hyperion them- 
selves. 

Finally there was a SEAL-O-RAMA! 2000 
Sensible Soccer tournament, where I was 
knocked out after an own-goal in extra 
time (a shot deflected from a defender) 
and a couple of other goals just to make 
sure. The final was between Paul Qureshi 
and Glenn. It wasn't Paul's day, as Glenn 
beat him here, and he'd also lost his long 
standing best time on Wipeout 2097 to that 
talented bratlet. Glenn is actually a SEAL 
member who had organised the Sensi 
comp, but in no way was it rigged (or I'd 
have won) :). Glenn had the grand prize of 
an Amiga 1200 Magic Pack from Amiga 
and a 3.2 gig 2.5" HD from Analogic to go 
into it. 



All three of these games are just fantastic, 
so if you have any interest or equipment to 
be able to play them... do it. Get them. 

The Prizes 

After many tickets were drawn only to find 
that the winner was no longer there (it was 
probably YOU), other prizes to be handed 
out at 4pm were: 

• A 6-month subscription to Amiga Active. 
This had been won by one dude, who 
because he was already a subscriber, 
kindly donated the prize back to be re- 
drawn. Excellent dude. 

• OS3.5 from ldeas2Reality. 

• Various great game and utility CDs from 
Forematt Home computing. 

• Another Amiga 1200 Magic Pack. 

• Port Plus Junior, STFax 4 and other 
things from Eyetech. 

Thanks again to all the exhibitors for 
donating the prizes. Brill. 

Special thanks must go to Analogic as 
their give-away helped to sell many 
Clubbed subscriptions and to Forematt 
Home Computing who have been a great 
support to SEAL right from the start. John 
of Forematt eagerly supported SEAL-O- 
RAMA and was the first to book a table. 
He also sends out Clubbed flyers and 
provides our credit card subscription ser- 
vice, thanks John! 

All in all the day was fantastic. SEAL 
members did a sterling job throughout the 
day and the way everyone worked 
together was really fantastic. Cheers espe- 
cially to the hard working ladies who 
sweated it out in the kitchen - Sharon & 
Mandyleigh. The kitchen was seriously a 
sauna. Of other note from what I saw were 
Roy, Jeff, Glenn, Robert, Mick, Dave and 
David who was tied to the door for most of 
the day. Well done to those and all the 
people we didn't see or have forgotten. 

After the show we contacted all the 
retailers who attended and almost all of 
them seemed very happy with how the 
show had gone. We were very pleased 
that everything went so smoothly, there 
really were no major problems although we 
do have a few ideas to make a future show 
even better. To top it all off the final tur- 
nout significantly exceeded our expec- 
tations, not bad for out first show! 

Thanks to all of you who came, and all of 
you who made it worth coming to :) 



o 



Squeeze! 

Sorry that there was not room for an 
Editorial or SEAL-Update this issue... 
they will return! 




OS 3.9 
Is Here! 



Amiga and Haage and Partner surprised 
most people in the Amiga community by 
delivering a new version of the 
AmigaOS at the World of Amiga show 
held in Cologne, Germany in December. 
The new OS version has a range of new 
features and lots of new bundled 
utilities. Some of the major features in- 
clude: 

• Multimedia programs 

• Internet suite with unrestricted 
Genesis TCP/IP stack. 

• New OS utilities including: AmiDOCK, 
lomegaTools, Un-archiver and Find 

• New powerful Shell 

• Extensive HTML documentation 

For more details turn to our AmigaOS 
3.9 first look feature on page 10 or visit 
the OS 3.9 website at: 

http://www.amiga.eom/3.9 

OS 3.5 

BoingBag 2a 

Soon after the release of 3.9 Amiga also 
made available an update to OS3.5, 
called BoingBag 2 this includes a variety 
of minor bug fixes and it was nice to see 
purchasers of the older version hadn't 
been abandoned with the new release. 
Note: the initial release of BoingBag 2 
was updated to 2a very soon after it was 
released due to the wrong version of 
some files being included if you got the 
earlier version you should grab 2a now. 

BoingBag 2a can be downloaded from 
the Support section of Amiga's OS3.5 
website: 

http://www.amiga.eom/3.5 



Amiga Show "oop North"! 



Huddersfield Amiga User Group are 
holding the first Amiga show in the North 
of England for many years on Saturday 
the 24th of February 2001 . Christened 
the Alternative World of Amiga (alt.WoA 
for short) the show venue is The Old 
Cornmill on the outskirts of Huddersfield 
only about one minute from Junction 25 
of the M62. 

At the time of writing the following com- 
panies were confirmed as exhibiting at 
the show: 

• Eyetech Group 

• Wirenet 

• Classic Amiga 

• Cartridge Club UK 

• Forematt Computing 

• Ram Jam Consultants 

• Weird Science 

• Epic Direct 

• Trogladite Software 

A number of usergroups will also be 
attending including: The Amibench 
Team, Kickstart, Amiga North Thames, 
the Glasgow Amiga User Group and of 
course SEAL. 




There will be plenty of things to see and 
do at the show. In the games you can try 
your hand at Heretic II (which is being 
organised by SEAL), Napalm and the 
ever-popular Sensible Soccer. An 
Internet Cafe will let everyone have a go 
at surfing plus door prizes and 
demonstrations are also planned. 

We wish HAUG all the best with the 
show and hope to see you there! 

For more information and directions visit 
the show website at: 
http://www.alt-woa.org/ 



Storm C 



Haage and Partner have released a 
major new version of the their StormC C 
and C++ development suite. The major 
change in version 4 is a move to the 
open source GCC compiler, this is 
designed to aid portablility to the new 
Amiga DE. Currently StormC runs solely 
on classic Amigas but H&P say that this 
move will make future porting easier. 
GCC has been modified to be very com- 
patible with the Storm compiler from ear- 
lier versions and outputs the same 
debug file format. The PowerPC version 
supports H&P's WarpOS PPC system. 

Several networking features have been 
added to version 4 such as support for 
the Concurrent Versions System (CVS) 
which allows several developers to work 
on the same project and distributed 
make which allows the task of compiling 
to be spread over several machines on 
a network. 




Other new 
features include: 

• Enhanced Editor 
(Shows 
Prototypes of 
Functions). 

•Storm DOC to 
manage ToDo- 
lists, bug reports and so on. 

• Enhanced debugger (for GCC also). 

• Debugging of Tasks and Shared 
Libraries. 

• Global full text search. 

• Comprehensive Online-Help. 
StormC 4 is available now and costs 
498DM (about £170) upgrades for users 
of older versions are 198DM (£70). 

For more details or to order on-line visit 
the Haage and Partner website: 

http://www.haage-partner.com 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



For more big news see our news 
features starting on page 10! 

© 



NEWS 



NEWS 




Can You Save 
the Planet? 

Earth 2140 is a real time strategy game, 
a genre that first appeared on the Amiga 
with Dune-ll and went on to be hugely 
successful on the PC with games like 
Command and Conquer. E2140 was 
originally written for the PC by Topware 
Interactive and has been ported to the 
Amiga by Pagan Games, it is published 
by Epic Interactive GMbH. 

This is the first Amiga RTS game to use 
16bit graphics and therefore a graphics 
card is essential, 640x480 and 800x600 
resolutions are supported. The game 
also requires an 040 or above processor 
with at least 24Mb of RAM, 32Mb and 
an 060 and or PPC is recommended. 
The PPC support is via WarpOS. 

Earth 2140 promises to be a huge 
game, there are 50 levels to play and 
over 100 units to command along with a 
large selection of buildings. There is 
also a long rendered intra movie and cut 
scenes to help the story of the game 
flow and a CD audio track completes the 
experience. 

Earth 2140 costs about £30 and is avail- 
able from most dealers. 

We can already tell you that the game 
CD comes very nicely packaged in a 
DVD-Style case with instruction booklet 
but you'll have to wait for the next issue 
for our review! 

For more information and to download a 
demo visit Pagan Games at: 
http://www.pagan-games.com/ 

and Epic Interactive at: 
http://www.epic-interactive.com/ 



Simon Released! 



Epic Interactive have been busy over 
the last couple of months, as well as 
Earth 2140 they have also released the 
long awaited sequel to Simon the 
Sorcerer which is called (surprise, 
surprise) Simon the Sorcerer 2. 

Simon 2 is a point and click adventure in 
the style of the classic Monkey Island 
series. It features beautiful hand drawn 
hand drawn back grounds and all the 
dialogue is spoken (in English, German 
and Italian subtitles are also provided). 
The game has over 80 locations, about 
100 characters who you can talk to, all 
these are portrayed with an amazing 
total of 50,000 frames of animation! 

The game was ported to the Amiga by 
Paul Burkey of Foundation fame, you 
can find some updates to the release 
version on his website at: 
http://www.shoecake.com/simon2.html 



If that tickles your fancy Simon 2 costs 
about £30 from your favourite Amiga 
dealer, more details and screenshots 
can be found at Epic Interactive: 
http://www.epic-interactive.com/ 




Eyetech Amiga One 



At the World of Amiga show held in 
Cologne, Germany in December 
Eyetech announced that they will be 
producing an official PPC based 
AmigaOne system, designed to work 
with A1200s and A4000s giving 
AmigaDE and classic Amiga compatibil- 
ity. Eyetech say that the AmigaOne 
boards are stand-alone computers 
capable of running AmigaDE alone how- 
ever because they have access to a 
classic Amiga motherboard they should 
be able to provide a high level of classic 
software compatible. 

Both models will have 6 PCI slots, an 
AGP slot, PowerPC G3 or G4 CPU and 
local memory. There will be no pass- 
through for an Amiga accelerator so we 
assume all Classic Amiga programs will 



run under emulation on the PowerPC. 
The AmigaOne boards will fit in exiting 
A1 200 towers which can take a ZIV 
board (Eyetech Z4, Power Tower etc.) 
and we assume the A4000 version will 
also require a tower. A fitting kit will be 
available to allow fitting in a standard 
ATX PC tower for those who don't need 
Amiga chipset compatibility. 

On their new AmigaOne website (see 
below) Eyetech have announced a chal- 
lenging schedule for the release of the 
AmigaOne boards which will see the 
end product available in March this year. 
For further details visit: 

http://www.eyetech.co.uk/amigaone/ 



Amiga SDK for Windows 



Amiga have released their Software 
Developer Kit (SDK) for the Amiga 
Digital Environment (AmigaDE) for PCs 
running Windows in addition to the Linux 
version already available. The SDK 
needs a PC with an Ethernet card, 
Windows 95B, 98, NT Workstation 4.0 
(with SP3), 2000 or ME, 64 MB of RAM 



(128 MB recommended), 100 MB of 
hard drive space and a 200mhz 
Processor or faster. 

More details are available on the Amiga 

website: 

http://www.amiga.com/ 



Colour screen shots from Earth 2140 and 
Simon 2 on the back cover... 



Even More 
Perfect 

Haladjian Georges has released ver- 
sion 2.4 of his fantastic freeware paint 
program, Perfect Paint. It supports edit- 
ing graphics from 1 to 24bit and now 
has a very wide range of effects, and 
useful features like anti-aliasing on all 
drawing operations. 

The major addition to version 2.4 is the 
Raylab factory, this is a simple GUI, in- 
tegrated into Perfect Paint, for the 
freeware Raylab 3D renderer. A range of 
pre-defined shapes can be selected or 
you can use a 3D font, then you select a 
texture and lighting. Finally you can 
rotate the object to get the effect you 
wish. The completed image can then be 
painted onto your Perfect Paint picture. 
This new feature looks like it would be 
ideal for creating quick web graphics 
and adding a bit of spice to flat images 
and compositions. 

Other new features in 2.4 include im- 
proved design of some requesters, 
colour level adjustment, a new rotated 
ellipse tool and several bug fixes. 



Download Perfect Paint 2.4 from: 
http://qothic.fr.free.fr/amiaa/index.html 




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Got a Micronik 
Bus 



If so you want to take a look at Mike 
Woods' support page it covers the 
various bus boards made by Micronik 
and what Zorro cards and fast slot ac- 
celerators (for the Z3 models) they are 
compatible. If you have some experien- 
ces of tips on getting cards working you 
can submit them to Mike for inclusion on 
the page. 

Surf along to: 
www.microniksupport.freeservers.com 



& 



100% Amiga 

no, it's not a dodgy game show on Channel 5 :) ^^^ 



Our friends at FORE-MATT Home 
Computing along with "another 
prominent Amiga company" have 
announced that they are working on a 
new monthly CD based Amiga maga- 
zine called 100% Amiga. They plan to 
include news, software reviews, pre- 
views, tips, cheats and many other 
features. 

The first issue , January 2001 , should 
be available by the time you read this 
and will include the 

new real time strategy game Exodus, 
the brilliant sequel Simon the Sorcerer 



2, a review of OS3.9 and sneak peaks at 
PAYBACK and EARTH 2140 including a 
demo. The feature this month will be the 
AmigaONE presentation from Eyetech. 

100% Amiga is priced at just £5 for 
single issues, £30 for 6 month subscrip- 
tion or a 1 Year subscription for just £48. 
Overseas postage is an additional £1 .50 
per issue. 

For more information contact Forematt 
on their new phone number +44 (0) 
8700 11 22 34 or visit their website: 

http://www.forematt.free-online.co.uk/ 



EZCam Makes 
Digital Cameras EZ! 



Eyetech have announced a new product 
that should make a far wider range of 
digital cameras available to Amiga users 
and also overcome the problem of slow 
download speeds across the serial 
port... sounds good! The product is the 
EZCam which connects the A1200's 
PCMCIA slot and adds some additional 
logic enabling it to ready any size 
PCMCIA memory card. Adaptors from 
all types of digital camera memory card 
(Smart Media, Compact Flash and Sony 
Memory Stick) to PCMCIA are widely 
available so with one of these and an 
EZCam any camera should work (it 
would probably still be wise to check 
with Eyetech before buying a camera). 
The EZCam connects to the PCMCIA 
slot via an extension cable, the card slot 
can be fitted into a 3.5" drive bay at the 
front of a tower. 



The other benefit is that the PCMCIA 
slot is much faster than a serial port so 
pictures can be copied from a memory 
card almost instantly (we have seen 
figures of 5MB per second quoted)! The 
Eyetech software presents the memory 
card as a Volume icon on the 
Workbench so you can copy images 
onto another drive, or even load them 
directly into a graphics program. 

We expect to have a review of the 
EZCam next issue. 

The EZCam costs £49.95 but remember 
you will also need a PCMCIA adapter 
suitable for your digital camera. For 
more information visit the Eyetech 
website at: 
http://www.eyetech.co.uk/ 



DrawS tudio from KickSoft 



We are pleased to be able to report that 
the excellent structured drawing pro- 
gram, DrawStudio which we use for 
some of the graphics in Clubbed, is now 
available again thanks to the Kickstart 
user group. 

Although DrawStudio is no longer in 
development it a very powerful package, 
certainly the best of its kind on the 
Amiga. It is ideal for creating images 
and logos to be used in word processing 
documents and also very good in its 



own right for single page layouts like 
posters, CD covers and many other 
jobs. 

Because Kickstart now handle the sales 
of several software products they have 
setup a new company dedicated to soft- 
ware distribution, KickSoft. KickSoft cur- 
rently supplies GoldEd 6, DrawStudio, 
Metaview and MooVid. 

They have a new website at: 

http://www.kicksoft.co.uk/ 

complete with secure on-line ordering. 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



NEWS 



NEWS 



AmigaOS 3*9 

First Look 



Haage and Partner surprised most 
Amiga users by announcing OS3.9 
in September and shipping it in 
December, as they promised! As I write 
this feature I've only had the new OS for 
two weeks so I've just taken a look at the 
main additions in 3.9, there are some more 
minor changes and may be some things 
I've missed, but I've tried to include all the 
important ones. 

New Utilities 

Several new utilities are now shipped with 
OS3.9, some of them are updates of exist- 
ing free and shareware programs and 
others are completely new developments. 

Find allows you to search one or more 
devices for a file with the name you 
specify or which contains the words you 
enter (this could be used to search for 
wordprocessor document containing a cer- 
tain phrase for example). The list of 
matching files is displayed in a separate 
window, double clicking on a file tries to 
launch it as if you double clicked it on 
Workbench, you can also open the 
Workbench window containing the file or 
copy its path to the clipboard. 

Deflcons is a utility which improves the 
functionality of Workbench's Show All Files 
view, instead of just showing a project icon 
for data files or a tool icon for programs 
Deflcons looks at the content of each file 
and displays an icon according to its type. 
Each file type icon can have its own 
default tool and other settings so, for ex- 
ample double clicking on a JPEG picture 
could load it into a viewer while a word 
processor document could load it into the 
appropriate application. A Deflcons utility 
was included with the Newlcons package 
so this idea isn't new but the OS3.9 ver- 
sion as two important improvements firstly 
it is system legal using new features of 
Workbench and secondly it has a preferen- 
ces editor so you can define the new types 
of file (the Newlcons version used a fixed 
file that was difficult to edit). As more and 
more Amiga users get on the Internet han- 
dling a variety of files many of which are 




Deflcons prefs is used to define types of file. 



not supplied with an Amiga icon becomes 
increasingly important, so I feel this is a 
useful addition to the OS. 

UnArc provides a simple way of dealing 
with lha, Izx, DMS, zip, Gzip and tar ar- 
chives, you simply select the archive and 
the directory where you want it extracted 
and click extract. By default it is set-up to 
work with the Deflcons utility so when you 
double click an archive without an icon 
UnArc pops up allowing you to select a 
destination and extract. While seasoned 
Amiga users have archive handling down 
to a fine art this will be of great assistance 
to many less experienced users, especially 
those who have discovered the delights of 
the Internet (and Aminet in particular). 

Stephan Rupprecht's RaWblnfo has now 
been included in the OS, this provides a 
new Workbench icon information window, it 
uses Reaction to give a resizable interface. 
There is also some new functionality in- 
cluding the display of file version informa- 
tion. In the menus you will find icon 
manipulation options allowing you to con- 
vert icons to the new format, one par- 
ticularly useful option is to convert a Magic 
Workbench icon keeping the correct 
colours. 

Another Stephan Rupprecht creation in- 
cluded in the OS is the ASL preferences 
editor, this enables you to set the defaults 
for the Amiga's standard file, screen and 
font requesters. You can now select how 
the list of files will be sorted and where the 
requesters will appear on the screen, an 
option allows you to override the settings 
built into many programs. 

Other utilities added include BenchTrash 
which gives you a configurable trash can 
on the Workbench. It has quite a range of 
options, for example you can set it to auto- 
matically delete trashed files after so many 
days. WbClock which uses Workbench's 
new icon features to provide a highly con- 
figurable clock on the Workbench. 

AmiDock 

Quickly accessing programs and utilities 
has never been a strong point of 
Workbench, the only way to avoid trawling 
through directories is to leave files out but 
that quickly leads to a very cluttered 
screen. Many third party utilities are avail- 
able which let you launch programs from 
menus or button bars, AmiDock is another 
utility of this type, included with OS3.9. 
After installing the new OS version you will 



OS3.9 was released so 

quickly can it be any 

good? Robert Williams 

investigates. 

notice a small tool bar (known as a dock) 
at the bottom of the screen holding icons 
for some of the new utilities. A single click 
on one of these icons launches the pro- 
gram and you can open a particular file in 
a program by dropping the file onto the 
program's icon (you could view a picture in 
multiview by dropping the picture's icon 
onto Multiview in the bar). Adding pro- 
grams to the dock is very easy, you just 
drop their icon onto the background, you 
can also add drawers to the AmiDock bar 
in the same way, clicking on their icon 
causes a Workbench window for that 
drawer to open. 

At the end of the bar is a handle area 
which can be used to move it to other 
areas of the screen, it also contains a 
button which pops up a menu of options 
for the bar. Selecting Edit here opens a 
Reaction based configuration window 
where allows you to change some settings 
including the order of the icons on the bar. 
You can also add "pages" to the current 
bar or additional bars. Each page can hold 
a different set of icons, you can select the 
page from the pop-up menu. Additional 
bars can be placed independently on the 
screen and can have a different back- 
ground pattern. AmiDock is a really neat 
little utility and does a good job of giving a 
lot of flexibility without being over com- 
plicated. One feature I miss is the ability to 
launch shell and AREXX programs (as it is 
you would have to setup an icon for them 
on Workbench), this would make it easier 
to create an AmiDock bar to run 
Workbench controlling scripts. 




| Flash icons 



■f\ Show re 



In AmiDock's configuration you can define 
multiple tool bars and catagories. 

Multimedia 

Three "multimedia" player programs are 
now included in the OS. Action plays 
QuickTime and AVI video clips which are 
commonly found for download on the 
Internet. Based on MooVID It can be used 
in its own window or on a separate screen, 



sadly it does not support all the latest AVI 
and MOV formats such as Intel Indeo. 
Some of these formats are supported in 
the MooVID but could not be included in 
Actions due to licensing issues. Amplifier 
can be used to play various audio files 
although it is clearly designed with MP3 
(again a format that is very common on the 
Internet) in mind. The mpega. library which 
is now included with the OS is used to 
decode MP3 files, this is available for both 
68k and PPC. Amplifier has an play list 
and on-screen equaliser and you can use 
WinAMP skins to change the look of these 
windows. The other new multimedia utility 
is PlayCD and this also supports skins so 
you can customise its look. Apart from this 
PlayCD is a utility to play an audio CD in 
your CD-ROM drive, while it offers the 
standard features like programming and 
random play there is no option to manually 
name your CDs and tracks or download 
them from CDDB (an Internet database of 
CD titles and track listings). 

More Preferences 

Some of the standard Preferences pro- 
grams have been enhanced over 3.5. The 
Workbench preferences program now 
allows you to set several options which 
could previously only be modified via an 
external program. The most important of 
these is the icon memory setting, this 
allows systems with graphics cards or run- 
ning FBlit to store the icons in fast RAM 
which stops high chip RAM uses on 
drawers with lots of icons. Note that there 
is a section in the OS 3.9 FAQ on running 
FBlit with 3.9. The WbPattern prefs now 
allows you to select how to fit a back- 
ground image to your Workbench screen, 
you can now centre it, scale it to fit or tile 
as normal. 

Genesis 

Probably the most disappointing aspect of 
OS 3.5 was the time limit on the version of 
Miami included, to rectify this problem 
Haage and Partner have decided to in- 
clude the Genesis TCP/IP stack (also used 
in Netconnect 3) with 3.9. This is a full un- 
restricted version and included the 
Genesis Wizard which helps you setup an 
Internet connection step by step. Genesis 
has always used MUI for its interface so to 
fit in with the rest of the OS software 
Haage and Partner have started to convert 
it to Reaction. For the initial 3.9 release 
they have completed the control window 
(which is used to go on and off-line) and 
the Wizard but not the main Prefs program 
itself. If you need to alter any settings after 
running the Wizard to create your con- 
figuration or set it up from scratch you will 
need to install MUI and the group- 
pager.mcc class, neither of which are in- 
cluded on the OS 3.9 CD. 



As in 3.5 two other pieces 
of Internet software are 
included, AWeb which has 
been updated to the latest 
version (3.4) and 
AmigaMail which has had 
a few bug fixes. 

WbMenus 

The OS3.5 Workbench 
allowed users to add items 
to its Tools menu, in 3.9 
this facility has been ex- 
tended to allow the crea- 
tion of as many new 
menus as you like so, for 
example, you could add an 
Applications menu to hold 
your favourite programs. 
Menus and menu items 
are added by sending commands to the 
Workbench AREXX port, this means you 
currently have to write a script to setup 
your menus and then run it after 
Workbench has loaded (for example in the 
WbStartup drawer). A package to allow 
conversion of ToolsDemon (a hack to add 
menus to older Workbench versions) 
setups to a suitable script has been written 
by John Nelson and is on his web page at 
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/amigadude/ . 
Several people including John have men- 
tioned that they are working on a GUI so 
new menus and items can be added com- 
fortably so hopefully something better will 
be available soon. 




AsyncWb 



This screen shot shows some of the new utilities in action: 

AmiDock in the top right, UnArc working from an lha Deflcon in 

the Downloads drawer and Bench Trash in the bottom left corner. 



locked until the file operation is complete 
(of course any other programs already run- 
ning will continue to multitask). Adding 
multi-threading to all aspects of 
Workbench would be a major job so in 3.9 
Olaf Barthel has been working on allowing 
some operations to be replaced with alter- 
natives that can run while Workbench does 
other things. Stephan Rupprecht is work- 
ing on a package called ASyncWb which 
will replace the Workbench operations, we 
expect it to include Delete and Copy and 
perhaps other slower functions. Hopefully 
ASyncWb will be included with the first 
BoingBag update for 3.9 (not to be con- 
fused with Boing Bags 1 , 2 and 2a already 
released for 3.5). 



The OS 3.9 Workbench itself is largely un- 
changed over 3.5 apart from much faster 
icon loading which is actually due to op- 
timisation of the icon. library. One major 
feature which we hoped might be included 
in 3.9 was multi-threading but unfor- 
tunately this wasn't ready in time. Multi- 
threading means that Workbench can per- 
form more than one operation at a time, for 
example if you start copying a large 
number of files in you cannot do anything 
else in Workbench until the copy has com- 
pleted. As for many users Workbench is 
their main means of launching programs 
this can mean your Amiga is effectively 



More Information 



http://www.amiga.eom/3.9/ 
The official AmigaOS 3.9 site from 
Amiga, any updates and BoingBags 
released will be found here. 

http://www.gregdonner.org/ 
Greg Donner has an in-depth review of 
OS 3.9 on his website which covers all 
the upgrade's features. He also com- 
piles the official OS3.9 FAQ which is 
essential reading, especially the in- 
stallation section. 



Conclusion 

Although less seems to have been done to 
the core OS and Workbench in OS3.9 the 
new utilities are genuinely useful and I 
think most users would now find a basic 
install of 3.9 an acceptable system with out 
installing any third part add-ons. If you al- 
ready have 3.5 your impressions of 3.9 will 
probably depend on what you have added 
to your system. Users who already have 
registered Internet software and lots of 
other utilities, in particular Opus Magellan, 
won't find that much new, others will find 
the upgrade of much greater value. For 
anyone with 3.1 or earlier I would say 
OS3.9 is pretty much an essential buy, it 
updates many aspects of the OS and 
makes it much more pleasant to use. 
Amiga have stated that sales of OS3.9 will 
be used to judge the demand for future 
AmigaOS versions and buying it also 
rewards the many programmers who have 
contributed to the project and given a great 
deal to the Amiga community over the 
years. So all in all there are many reasons 
to buy OS3.9, the final one is the price, 
less than 30 pounds. 



e 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



* 



FEATURES 



PCI Update 



PCI promises cheap high- 
spec add-ons, no wonder 
the market is buzzing! 
By Robert Williams 



While there are good reasons 
that Amiga hardware is ex- 
pensive, it is still frustrating to 
see similar or better PC hardware selling 
for a fraction of the price of the Amiga 
equivalent. A clear example of this was 
when I bought an Ariadne II Ethernet card 
for my A3000 last year, it cost £80, a few 
days later I bought an Ethernet card for 
the family PC so I could network it to the 
Amiga, this cost just £1 2 and it turned out 
to be based on the same chipset as the 
Ariadne III The obvious solution to this 
problem is to find a way to use standard 
expansions on the Amiga, the de facto 
standard for expansion cards on the 
PC is PCI (Peripheral 
Component Interconnect) 

Many Amiga Zorro 
cards have used a 
PCI bridge to connect a 
chip designed with PCI in 
mind (such as a graphics proces- 
sor or an Ethernet controller) to 
the Amiga's Zorro bus. However 
now Elbox of Poland have pro- 
duced the first expansion to offer 
PCI slots which allow any standard PC 
card to be connected, this device is called 
the Mediator bus board. The first Mediator 
model requires an A1200 in a tower, it con- 
nects to the belly slot and provides a pass 
through for an accelerator. Because of its 
design the Mediator does suffer from a 
limitation, A1200 accelerators are only 
designed to address only 16Mb of RAM 
via the accelerator slot. This is because 
the A1200's processor address bus is only 
24bit due to the 68EC020 used. When the 
address space of the various other system 
components such as the ROMs and 
custom chips is taken into account this 
only leaves 8Mb for the Mediator. Now 
nearly 2GB can be address across the PCI 
bus so to get around the problem the 
Mediator contains logic which automati- 
cally switches between 8Mb chunks so the 
full range can be accessed. Elbox claim 
that their system will not offer any 
problems and so far this seems to be the 
case, although we have yet to see a 
Warp3D driver running on the Mediator 
(please note that I am in no way implying 
that a Warp3D driver is likely to cause 
problems). 

Two other models of the Mediator have 
been announced, one of which works 
along side a ZIV bus board in an A1200 
tower and the other for A4000 desktops 
fitted in a tower case. Both of these 



solutions allow Zorro and PCI cards to be 
used side by side. The A4000 solution 
comes in two parts, a bus board (with 5 
PCI, 7 Zorro and 1 video slot) and a 
Mediator core logic card which activates 
the PCI slots. Elbox displayed the bus 
board, which is designed to fit their E/Box 
4000 tower, at the recent World of Amiga 
show in Cologne, Germany. However the 
core logic card was not ready for the show, 
it should be out in January 2001 . 

Drivers 

Now we can connect PCI cards to the 
Amiga the next step that needs to be 
taken is creating drivers for a 
range of PCI cards, while we 
can never hope that 
most PCI cards will 
be supported 
with luck 
drivers will be 
written for a small 
selection of popular 
well regarded cards. 
As it stands Elbox 
provide a SANA 2 
driver which works 
with several network 
cards and a Picasso 96 
driver for the Voodoo3 range 
of graphics cards with the 
Mediator. Vision Factory 
Development also supply an S3 Virge 
driver for their CyberGraphX system. 

PPC 

Elbox have one final string in their 
Mediator bow, the Shark PPC card. This is 
a PCI card which holds a PowerPC 750 
processor running at 400 or 550Mhz along 
with up to 1GB of SDRAM local memory. 
According to the Elbox press release an- 
nouncing the Shark it will allow both the 
68k Amiga processor and the PPC to work 
simultaneously and also access any in- 
stalled PCI cards. At the WoA show Fleecy 
Moss of Amiga said that they were in talks 
with Elbox to bring the new Amiga environ- 
ment to Shark PPC systems. It has not yet 
been made clear if WarpUp (or PowerUp) 
will be available for the Shark to provide 
PPC support within AmigaOS and back- 
wards compatibility with existing Amiga 
PPC applications, games and utilities. The 
400 and 550 Mhz Shark boards are priced 
at 390 Euros (about £240) and 520 Euros 
(£320) respectively, Elbox hope to have 
them available early in 2001. 




Other Options 

Since the last issue of Clubbed two further 
PCI bus boards have been announced, the 
Predator from Eyetech and the GRex from 
DCE. Both of these differ from the 
Mediator in that they connect directly to 
the local bus slot (usually used by a 
BVision or CVision PPC graphics card) of 
the ex-Phase 5 Blizzard and CyberStorm 
PPC accelerators. This method of connec- 
tion has the advantage of a faster bus and 
full 32bit addressing without the need for 
the Mediator's "memory window" however 
it does mean that a PPC accelerator is 
required. Just before we went to press 
Eyetech announced that they have 
decided not to continue with the Predator, 
and will instead stock the GRex which has 
a very similar specification. 

DCE showed pre-production versions of 
the GRex for the A1 200 up and running at 
WoA and hope to ship boards early in 
2001 . After the A1 200 board is out a 5 
Zorro/5 PCI version for (we assume 
towered) A4000 desktops and a 3 PCI slot 
version for the original A4000T should 
follow. DCE have announced that the 
boards will ship with CyberGraphX drivers 
for several Voodoo graphics cards and 
SANA 2 drivers for popular network cards. 
Further drivers for sound, SCSI and TV- 
tuner cards are then planned in the follow- 
ing few months. 



Warp 3D 



So far I have only mentioned 2D graphics 
card drivers which seem to be coming 
along nicely for both Mediator and GRex. 
3D drivers to accelerate 3D games and 



More Information 



http://www.vgr.com/cybergfx 
The CyberGraphX home page which 
also reports all graphics card related 
news. They also have a special page 
dedicated to the Mediator. 

http://www.egroups.com/group/amiga- 

mediator 

A busy mailing list populated by 

Mediator users. 

http://www.elbox.com/ 

Elbox's home page carries all their 

press releases but sadly no product 

information. 

http://www.dcecom.de/ 

DCE's home page for information on 

the GRex. 




FEATURES 



This prototype 

GRex has 

graphics and 

network cards 

installed. 

applications will also be needed to take 
advantage of cards like the Voodoo3 
whose forte is 3D. Fortunately drivers for 
the Voodoo 3 are currently being devel- 
oped by Hyperion (who have announced 
that the V3 is the only card they will be 
supporting for the foreseeable future) who 
are also busy porting several 3D intensive 
games to the Amiga (the excellent Heretic 
II was their first release). Warp3D support 
for the Voodoo3 is particularly eagerly 
awaited because it has become clear that 
the major bottle neck in the speed of 
Heretic II (and presumably other future 3D 
games) is not the processor power but the 
speed of the Permedia 2 chip on the 
BVision and CVision PPC cards. Hyperion 



showed a beta version of their Warp3D 
Voodoo3 driver running Heretic at the WoA 
show using a pre-release GRex so it may 
well be ready soon. Hopefully there will be 
a version for the Mediator as well. 

Trouble 

When the Mediator was first released it 
was announced that Vision Factory would 
provide CyberGraphX Virge drivers and 
that they were working on a Voodoo3 
driver. Soon after this VFD announced that 
they had entered into a contract to develop 
Voodoo drivers for DCE's GRex board and 
that the Mediator drivers were on hold. 
While it has never been made totally clear 
that CyberGraphX Mediator Voodoo 
drivers will never be developed the an- 
nouncement caused Elbox a problem. Not 
being a company to be easily put off they 
announced that they would release their 
own Voodoo3 driver and a few weeks after 
the CyberGraphX announcement they did 
so, releasing a driver for the Picasso96 
RTG system. According to posts on the 
Mediator mailing list the initial driver was 



quite slow and buggy, a new version 1.1 
was released a few weeks later that was 
usable and much faster and as I write ver- 
sion 1 .2 is supposed to be imminent. 
However just as we thought the 
CyberGraphX debacle had died down the 
Picasso 96 authors issued a press release 
claiming that Elbox had developed their 
driver without permission, which according 
to the P96 license agreement should be 
sort for commercial developments. As we 
go to press this issue had not been 
resolved but the Picasso 96 authors had 
just posted that they will develop Voodoo 
drivers themselves, it is not clear if they 
have reached agreement with Elbox or 
have decided to do this "off their own bat". 

So it is an exciting time in the Amiga hard- 
ware world, at this point it is hard to guess 
how things will pan out and which options 
are best for the future. That said high per- 
formance PCI cards are so reasonably 
priced that if you are looking to add a 
graphics or ethernet card to your A1200 a 
Mediator (or GRex when it is available) is 
probably already the cheapest option. 



Opinion by 
Robert Williams 



AmigaOS 4 PPC? 
S 



ince the last issue of Clubbed 
AmigaOS 3.9 has been announced 
and released, much to the surprise 
of most Amigans! In an update posted to 
the Amiga website on the 22nd of 
November Bill McEwen stated that "If OS 
3.9 sells well, and we see a continuing 
need to produce for the existing Classic 
Amiga platform, then there is a strong pos- 
sibility of a 4.0". So the "classic" AmigaOS 
seems to be on the move again and in 
active development, which must be a good 
thing whatever your view of 3.9. 

Naturally with the possibility of OS4 has 
come all manner of speculation on what a 
major update like this might contain. This 
seems to have centred on whether this 
release would mark the transition of the 
AmigaOS to a new processor, with the 
PowerPC being the most likely candidate 
because PPC accelerators are already 
available. A recent poll on amigart.com 
had attracted over 1300 votes for a PPC 
Amiga OS at the time of writing. Then on 
the 9th of December at the World of Amiga 
2000, Cologne, Germany, Fleecy Moss of 
Amiga revealed that 50000 sales of OS3.9 
was the "magic number" that would prove 
AmigaOS 4 to be a viable product both in 
terms or paying for its development and 
providing a user base for developers. 

50,000? 

So the question now is will OS3.9 sell in 
those sort of numbers? Personally I think it 



o- 



is unlikely to for two main reasons. 

Fristly the Amiga has a very limited base of 
active users which sadly in the current 
climate must be shrinking all the time, it 
was sad to see the number of high-spec 
Amiga systems for sale on Amibench over 
Christmas. While the release of AmigaOS 
3.9 and the prospect of future revisions 
might keep some existing users from leav- 
ing the Amiga it is hard to imagine any sig- 
nificant number of new users being at- 
tracted. 

The other factor that will effect 3.9 sales is 
whether it has enough improvements and 
new features to attract the majority of 
remaining users. Most of the new features 
are provided by the integration of existing 
freeware and shareware programs, there 
are fewer additions to the OS itself then 
there were in OS3.5. In my opinion many 
users who decided to buy OS3.5 are likely 
to be on the Internet, will have registered 
some shareware products and maybe run- 
ning a Workbench replacement like 
Directory Opus. For this type of user 
OS3.9 offers little. For users still sticking 
with OS3.1 or earlier then 3.9 is a good 
buy as it includes everything from 3.5 and 
the additional features at a lower price. 
However it is hard to imagine that the 
number of users who decide to go directly 
from 3.0/1 to 3.9 will exceed the number 
who do not bother to upgrade from 3.5. 

Rumour has it that sales of 3.5 have been 
around 20000 copies, given that OS3.9 



has less major features than 3.5 and in the 
intervening year the market place has 
almost certainly contracted I feel it is un- 
likely that 3.9 will achieve the same 
number of sales as 3.5, let alone over 
double. 

Amiga should decide soon! 

While it might seem a rather odd thing to 
say I think the most important thing Amiga 
can do is to make a final decision on 
whether OS4 will go ahead and roughly 
what it will include and make it soon. Even 
if they decide not to go for 4 I feel it would 
be better for what remains of the market to 
know quickly. From a developer's point of 
view it would allow them to put their devel- 
opment efforts into a project with a future 
and users would be able to plan upgrades 
and software purchases. If OS 4 doesn't 
happen or it explicitly won't be aiming for a 
PPC (or other processor) native OS then 
other projects, in particular MorphOS, will 
assume much more importance and 
probably support from both developers 
and users. Now Amiga has set the 50000 
copy barrier there obviously needs to be 
some time for the sales to be achieved 
however I hope this doesn't mean that a 
decision on version 4 will be delayed in- 
definitely. In my view they should make a 
clear and final statement of their future 
classic intentions before the middle of 
2001 . The last thing we need is yet 
another year of uncertainty. 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



<& 



FEATURES 



FEATURES 



Paul "ExfE" Strejcek 

of Czech Amiga News 

In just over two years Czech Amiga News has become one of the premier 
Amiga news sites, Gary Storm catches up with the man behind its success. 



Every Amigan online must surely 
know of Czech Amiga News, 
which has graced the Internet 
with the best selection of Amiga news 
for the last couple of years. Funnily 
enough, the people involved are based 
in the Republic of Czechoslovakia, and 
Pm talking to ExiE, the main protagonist. 

Before we start: there's been no 
Czechoslovakia for a couple of years. 
The republic was divided into two in- 
depenent states (the Czech Republic 
and Slovakia) soon after the fall of the 
communist regime. And, to have a full 
picture, you can find us on the map of 
Europe - in the very middle of it! :-) The 
capital is Prague, a city commonly 
called 'the heart of Europe'. 

But don't worry, I'm not a champion in 
geography either! :-))) 

First off, what's your Amiga back- 
ground. When and why did you get 
into the Amiga scene, and what 
Amiga do you have now? 

It was 1 or 11 years ago. My first Miggy 
was an A500 with an additional half meg 
of Fast RAM. I really enjoyed playing 
games like the Shadow Of The Beast 
series, Lemmings and of course 
LucasFilm / LucasArts adventures. The 
Secret of Monkey Island is still my no.1 
adventure game. :-) 

But you can't play games forever. 
Coding can be fun, too. Together with 
my brother I created a number of 
games; I think highly especially of a con- 
version of Oil's Well, the C64 classic. 
This one roxx! In 1993 I bought an 
A1200, and a couple of years later I 
went for a used A4000 with the 68060 
and a CV643D board. I still miss the 
PPC, so if anyone was willing to send 
me one... :-) 

Tell us about yourself ExiE. 

I am 25 years old, I live in Brno, the 
second biggest city in the Czech 
Republic. I work as a freelance 3D- 
graphic artist and a web designer. I 
enjoy riding a mountain bike, and I 
dream about sleeping more than six 
hours a day. :-) 

How did the idea for Czech Amiga News 
come about, and when was it born? 

It was in the summer of 1998. CUCUG's 
AWD was no more that good then, and 




uu 

en 



SIKKWVCI KM IT'iR'HYYOTlNOFQI! 
C2B3i a 
\H TKWLADITBSOFTWjUffl AWARDS KflL 




«► 



the ANN just didn't work during the 
summer. I had something to do at that 
time, so instead of going for my holidays 
I had to stay at home... It wasn't a long 
way from the first idea to the complete 
realization. Also, I got an exclusive in- 
formation from Raven Software that the 
Hexen and Heretic source codes were 
going to be released, and I just had to 
say it to everybody. :-))) 

What were the main obstacles to 
overcome in creating the site? 

There were none. The first page was 
created in two or three days, ehm, nights 
:-) (it was too hot to sleep anyway). Then 
I showed it to Petr -pekr- Krenzelok, who 
got so enthusiastic about it that he be- 
came a co-author of the news. It was 
very exciting to watch the number of 
readers growing every day. Just like 
watching the rates at the Stock 
Exchange. :-) 

REBOL (www.rebol.com) was a great 
help, too. It's been the core of the news 
up until nowadays. My brother and - 
pekr- have been REBOL betatesters 
since the early days, which made our 
work much easier. 

Being Czech, you often (understan- 
dably) have English spelling and 
grammar mistakes. Couldn't you get 
some English-speaking person to 
proof-read for you before you post 
any news? 

News are of some value only when they 
are topical. In recent months I've had a 
pressing shortage of collaborators who 
would help me with writing the daily 
news, let alone proof-reading. We also 
failed to find translators into other 
languages (German, Polish, French). 

Moreover, thanks to the high prices of 
the Internet connection in the Czech 
Republic, I get to the net no sooner than 
after 9 PM, and I finish after midnight... 



The jigsaw logo for Czech... why? 

Hard to say. I just did some drawing. But 
you can take it as a symbol if you want: 
making news is like putting jigsaw 
pieces together. 

Who was responsible for the PC-site 
joke you played on the community a 
couple of months ago? 

It was my idea. I was really bored then, 
the page's 2nd anniversary was coming 
in three days, so I made this little joke. 
Petr didn't work with me for some time, 
and I phoned him only five hours after I 
had changed the page. Many people 
took it very seriously, which I didn't ex- 
pect. The truth is that in the page there 
was a number of hints helping to find out 
that it's all just a bad joke. 

Part of the community and people with 
whom I'd made friends during my work 
on the Czech Amiga News sent really 
nice e-mails - and I, in return, told them 
about the joke and where they could find 
hot news just like any other day. I still 
can't believe that this little experiment 
was kept secret for whole three days! :-) 

But there were also negative responses, 
some of such a nature that I wish I have 
never read them... one, then, loses his 
illusions, you know. 

Many people believe that the design 
for the PC joke site was actually 
better than the Czech Amiga News 
site. Would you consider using that 
design for the future of Czech News? 

NOPE. It's too M$ oriented :-) I think 
they liked it because the design was 
new and fresh-looking. 

Also, it's my experience that it's real art 
to make pages so that they look exactly 
the same in Voyager, AWeb and 
iBrowse. Each browser is good in this 
and bad in that... For a long time I hoped 
that the Opera would come up, but we 
all know what the result was. 

Are you interested in getting a site 
makeover? 

I am well aware that some im- 
provements would be appropriate here 
and there. Unfortunately, updating the 
news regularly consumes my energy, 
and there's virtually none left for design 
changes. Nor one of the biggest collec- 
tions of Amiga links gets updated as 
regularly as it deserves. 



Moreover, I'm still waiting for a new and 
much improved Amiga browser that 
would be better in performing Java 
scripts, CSS, would run as fast as 
iBrowse and contain less bugs than the 
others. :-) 

By the way, we planned opening some 
other parts of the Czech Amiga News; 
unfortunately, everything failed when it 
came to financial matters... 

Would there be any chance of chang- 
ing the name from Czech to some- 
thing more international? 

It's now clear to me that naming the 
page "Czech Amiga News" was a great 
'marketing' mistake. I put a lot of effort 
into persuading Amigans that the page 
was written in English and was well 
worth visiting. The original idea was to 
create a central World Amiga News, 
consisting of local pages like Czech 
Amiga News, German Amiga News, 
Polish Amiga News etc. We would be 
responsible for the central news service, 
the local translators would add news 
relevant to their country. Unfortunately, 
things went their own way. 

However, I can tell you that the change 
of the name is about to happen. Most 
probably it will take place sometimes 
next year, and the address is going to 
change, too. I won't tell you more as it 
wouldn't be a surprise... 

If you got some good idea, there is still 
enough time to tell me! 

Do you have any tracking logs of who 
visits the site? If so, any interesting 
visitors (Microsoft for instance)? 

No, unfortunately not. For me, a quality 
contents is the first priority. 

By the way, during the three days the 
mock PC pages got much more visitors 
than the Czech Amiga News get in two 
weeks! All this with no commercials and 
with a single news update... 

As you see the news before most, I 
suppose you've had some incredibly 
exciting and depressing moments 
over Czech's History as you've been 
writing the site. 

Of course. It's become almost a rule that 
a really good piece of news is im- 
mediately followed by a really bad one. I 
recollect me and Petr at 2 AM, preparing 
an exclusive page with the design 
sketches of Gateway's new Amiga. An 
hour later it was announced that the 
core of the OS wouldn't be QNX but 
Linux. Several times I was in such a bad 
mood that I really wanted to leave it all... 

Another bad news I remember was Bill 
McEwen leaving Gateway, soon 



followed by Mr. Collas. My belief in the 
Amiga got restored only weeks later, 
with the first unofficial news from Bill 
McEwen concerning the purchase of 
Amiga Inc.. 

What would you consider the best 
and worst news you've posted on 
Czech? 

The Czech Amiga News now comprise 
about 4500 news pieces, and it's pretty 
difficult to choose the most extreme 
ones... 

You've been trying to get banner 
revenue going for Czech Amiga News 
for a long time, mostly without 
success, with the recent exception of 
Crystal Interactive Software' (pub- 
lishers of the truly excellent "Bubble 
Heroes". . buy it), why is this so? 

I've never wanted Amiga-unrelated com- 
mercials on the page. That's why it's 
difficult to find someone... 

The Amiga market is still in a very bad 
condition, and dealers simply can't 
afford investing into banner commer- 
cials. In Germany, where the Amiga has 
the strongest position in my opinion, 
there are several quality German news 
pages, and the dealers tend to orientate 
towards them. 

I would have thought that an Amiga 
Inc sponsored banner on Czech 
Amiga News would be a great market- 
ing move for them (supporting a pop- 
ular site, letting us know they are still 
around etc). Have you had any talks 
with Amiga? 

Yes. I guess it's time to give it away. In 
April 2000 Bill McEwen promised to 
donate the Czech Amiga News for the 
whole year with a certain sum of money. 
Unfortunately we have never made it to 
real cooperation. Our page probably isn't 
that interesting for Amiga Inc. because 
of not having so many visitors or for a 
similar reason. I say "probably" because 
Amiga Inc. didn't even bother to reply to 
our later questions. 

Do you keep an archive of everything 
you've produced to date? 

Sure. I've got some 70 MB of mail 
regarding the Czech Amiga News, and 
another 50 MB of pictures, documents, 
just everything. :-) Perhaps one day I'll 
try to sell it all at an auction. :-))) 

If so, have you thought about releas- 
ing archived Czech Amiga News cd's 
(with the linked pages involved)? 

I was thinking about it, and something of 
this kind was even planned, in coopera- 
tion with the German AmigaOS maga- 
zine. Everything was already prepared, 



but before the release of the first CD the 
Amiga-News.de got published on Aminet 
CDs, so... 

There's also a problem with copyrights. 
The Czech Amiga News have links to 
many other pages, which can't be simply 
added to our archives. 

And moreover, there's nothing more 
boring than stale news! :-) 

What do you see as the future of 
Czech Amiga News? 

Bigger, better? I'd be delighted if the 
Amiga was again in such a condition 
that I could run a news server as a pro- 
fessional. I'd like to cooperate with inter- 
esting people, and also widen the range 
of services provided by the server. But 
it's still too early to guess which way 
things will go. 

What is your opinion of the current 
Amiga Inc, and will you buy the 
AmigaOne if it materialises? 

I probably will, but it depends on many 
aspects like the availability of software, 
price, and of course whether the new 
Amiga meets my expectations of an 
Amiga for the next millenium. My current 
Amiga allows me to do most of what I 
need to do, and the classic AmigaOS is 
still in my view the best choice, taking 
into account its simplicity and 
functionality. The Amiga Inc. announce- 
ment doesn't make it particularly clear 
which classic OS features will be imple- 
mented in the new OS. 

I also find QNX a very interesting 
system (except for the horrible Linux-like 
filesystem). 

Who do you admire and respect in 
the Amiga community? 

The Amiga community as a whole isn't 
what it used to be. Still, there's a lot of 
friends and many other people I respect 
very much and who motivate me to con- 
tinue working on the Czech Amiga 
News. I don't want to forget anybody, so 
no names... perhaps I'll add that GoldED 
Studio and PPaint have been invaluable 
helpers for all the time. :-) 

And yes, I shall add a name. I think we 
should all thank Petro Tystschenko for 
promoting the Amiga during the difficult 
years when the Amiga suffered so many 
hard blows. 

And now a question for you, ok? Anyone 
selling an A1000 in a good condition? :-) 

Thanks a lot ExiE, especially for all 
the selfless hard work you've put in 
over the years, and you're support of 
all things Amiga, especially Clubbed 
magazine. Cheers mate :) 



Visit Czech Amiga News at http://www*realdreams*cz/amiga/ 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



<& 



FEATURES 



FEATURES 



Scanning Explained 



Robert Williams looks at scanning from choosing 
compatible scanner to getting the best from it. 




Most people have probably, at 
one time or another, wanted 
to get an image into their 
Amiga for editing, inclusion in a docu- 
ment or just to print a copy. Most 
families have large collections of photos 
which might need touching up or could 
form the basis for many projects. When 
I'm working with graphics, whether it is 
to produce a final image or to enhance a 
document my main problem always 
seems to be finding suitable source im- 
ages to work with. With a scanner you 
can make almost any printed image 
available as file on your Amiga which 
you can then manipulate using your 
favourite graphics applications. In this 
feature I will attempt to explain the 
basics of scanning, what software and 
hardware you will need and finally give 
some ideas of what you can do with 
your scanned images. 

A few years ago the only type of scan- 
ner available at an affordable price was 
a hand scanner, theses were small 
hand-held units which had to be 
dragged across the document to be 
scanned. A flat bed scanner which looks 
like a small photocopier and can scan 
an entire document was far too ex- 
pensive for most home users. In the last 
few years flatbeds have become more 
and more popular and due to the laws of 
supply and demand their price has 
dropped rapidly, so much so that they 
have completely replaced the hand 
scanner. The other type of scanner you 
may see mentioned is a film scanner, 
these tend to appeal more to the keen 
photographer as they cannot be used to 
scan anything other than slides and 
photographic negatives, for example you 
couldn't scan a page from a magazine 
with a film scanner. 

Note: The only film scanner support I 
know of on the Amiga is within the com- 
mercial package, ScanQuix. According 
to the manual it can drive CanoScan 
Film Scanners from Canon. 

In this feature I will concentrate on 
flatbed scanners as they are by far the 
most common type, however most of the 



©- 



information will apply whatever the type 
of scanner you use. 

How They Work: Flatbed 
Scanners 

A flatbed scanner is essentially quite a 
simple device, the document being 
scanned is laid face down on a sheet of 
glass called the bed. Below the bed is 
the scanning head which slides along on 
rails driven by a stepper motor. Within 
the head is a light source which shines 
on the document and a selection of 
mirrors and lenses which focus a single 
line of the document onto a sensor. The 
sensor and its associated electronics 
then converts this line into digital data 
and stores it. The stepper motor then 
moves the head to the next line which is 
stored, and so on until a complete image 
of the document is built up. 

The Numbers Game 

The main specification that most manu- 
facturers quote is the resolution of their 
scanner. The resolution refers to the 
maximum number of individual pixels the 
scanner can resolve in one inch, a pair 
of figures is normally given as the hori- 
zontal and vertical resolution can differ. 
For example you will find many scanners 
have an asymmetrical resolution such as 
300x600, usually the vertical resolution 
(along the bed) is the higher of the two 
because this simply requires gearing 
down the stepper motor which adds little 
or nothing to the cost of the scanner. On 
the other hand increasing the horizontal 
resolution requires a higher resolution 
sensor which can add significantly to the 
cost. For most applications a symmetri- 
cal resolution is required so increasing 
the resolution in one direction is a some- 
what dubious improvement. A common 
low-end scanner can resolve 300 dots 
per inch in both direction and would be 
marketed as 300x300 DPI. This is often 
referred to as the true or optical resolu- 
tion of the scanner. 

You may also see much higher 
resolutions quoted, 9600x9600 is quite 
common, these are achieved by soft- 



ware interpola- 
tion. This process 

takes a scan at the maximum true reso- 
lution of the scanner and increases the 
resolution, calculating the likely shade of 
the pixels added. Interpolation cannot 
add detail that was not there in the 
original scan and can be performed in 
any image processing software with a 
scale function (to varying degrees of 
quality). So when you're reading scan- 
ner adverts look for the true resolution. 
Even then don't assume that a scanner 
with a higher resolution specification will 
necessarily be better than one with 
lower resolution, many factors come into 
play, very important is the quality of the 
optical system used, if a blurry image is 
focused onto the sensor you will get a 
blurry scan no matter what the sensor's 
resolution. 

Compatible Scanners 

Choosing a scanner for your Amiga can 
be a difficult task unless you decide to 
buy a hardware and software bundle 
from an Amiga dealer. The main prob- 
lem is that most scanner manufacturers 
change their models very frequently and 
often each new model is incompatible 
with those that went before it. This 
means that the scanner driver authors 
are always aiming at a moving target. If 
you decide to buy a scanner it is best to 
start by making a list of the makes and 
models the various drivers support then 
seeing which of these models is avail- 
able. Be careful that the exact model 
you want to buy is listed, as often only a 
slight difference is model name can 
mean a radically different scanner. For 
example when Mick Sutton was looking 
for his new scanner he found a Mustek 
ScanExpress 12000SP Pro, the 
BetaScan Mustek driver lists the 
12000SP as supported so we assumed 
that the Pro just meant some extra soft- 
ware or a minor change... how wrong we 
were! On contacting the Mustek driver's 
author we discovered that the 12000SP 
and the 12000SP Pro are in fact totally 
different and he could not guarantee 
compatibility. 



Ne'er the TWAIN Shall 
Meet 

Almost every scanner available for 
Windows or MacOS is described as 
TWAIN compliant. So it would seem 
logical that if someone could implement 
TWAIN on the Amiga then we would 
have access to a huge range of scan- 
ners. Sadly this is not the case because 
TWAIN is not a hardware standard but a 
software one. Scanner manufacturers 
make their driver software compliant 
with the TWAIN standard which means 
you can scan from within any application 
that supports TWAIN. However a unique 
driver still has to be written for each 
scanner model. In fact TWAIN does not 
even provide a scanning user interface, 
this is also supplied by the driver so 
porting TWAIN to the Amiga would have 
no real benefits even if the source code 
to the drivers were available. 

Requirements 

The exact requirements of an Amiga 
system for scanning will vary depending 
on what type of work you want to do. 
Beware that it is very easy to scan ex- 
tremely large files, for example an A4 
page scanned at 300DPI is nearly 25MB 
of uncompressed 24bit data and that's 
without the additional memory required 
to run the scanning software, OS etc. 
However if you stick to the resolution 
guidelines I mention later on in this 
article you should be able to do a 
reasonable amount on an Amiga with 
16Mb of fast RAM, though this is 
probably the sensible minimum. A 
graphics card is also very useful, when 
dealing with scans, you really need to 
be able to see the image in true colour 
to make adjustments prior to the final 
scan and then to edit the image after- 
wards. Finally high resolution images 
are going to take longer to process so a 
fast processor is also useful. If your 
Amiga is suitable then you need to con- 
nect your scanner... 



Hook Up 



Scanners can be connected to the host 
computer by a number of interfaces. 
Until recently the most popular were the 
parallel port and SCSI, however in the 
last year or so USB (Universal Serial 
Bus) has increasingly become the stan- 
dard, particularly for low cost scanners, 
as it offers better performance and 
easier connection than the parallel port 
and is supported on both PCs and Macs 
without additional hardware unlike SCSI. 



Sadly there is no hardware USB support 
on the Amiga yet, let alone any driver 
software. 

Parallel 

The Amiga's parallel port while being 
fully bidirectional (it can receive as well 
as send data) is subtly different to a 
standard PC parallel port. This means 
that although parallel printers will work 
most other parallel devices intended for 
the PC will not. For the most part this is 
true of parallel scanners, most will not 
work on the Amiga although there are a 
couple of notable exceptions. Epson 
have made a variety of parallel models 
all of which will work with the Amiga 
parallel port providing you use a spe- 
cially wired cable, the downside of this is 
that the only drivers available are com- 
mercial: ImageFX, ScanQuix and a 
stand-alone module from ASDG which 
also worked with their Art Department 
Pro image processor. An appropriate 
cable was included with the ADPro 
module and instructions for building a 
cable are included with ImageFX. The 
only other Parallel scanner support that I 
am aware of is within ScanQuix which 
supports the Mustek 600 and 1200CP 
so long as they are connected to a sup- 
ported add-on parallel port card which 
provides a PC style port. ScanQuix sup- 
ports rbm's own lOBlix parallel port 
which is available as both a Zorro and 
an A1200 clock port card and recently 
VMC (http://www.vmc.de/) have made 
drivers available so their Hypercom 
boards with parallel ports can be used 
too. 

SCSI (Small Computer 
Systems Interface) 

SCSI scanners are by far the best sup- 
ported type on the Amiga, as you will 
see in our Scanner Software Roundup 
the vast majority of drivers only support 
SCSI models. To use a SCSI scanner 
you will need a SCSI controller for your 
Amiga with an external connection. 
Some older controllers do not work well 
or at all with scanners, I would be wary 
of anything produced before about 1993 
although you may be able to get 
updated drivers that will work. On more 
modern controllers there should be few 
hassles so long as you obey the basic 
SCSI rules of no conflicting units and 
proper termination at each end of the 
bus. 

USB (Universal Serial Bus) 

As I'm sure you are aware there is cur- 



rently no USB hardware available for the 
Amiga, although many USB cards are 
available in PCI formats which could be 
plugged into the Mediator and other PCI 
solutions when and if they materialise. 
However just plugging in a USB card will 
not solve the problem... as ever drivers 
will be required. With USB this will need 
two stages, drivers will have to be writ- 
ten to access the USB card, these may 
well have to be specific to the particular 
PCI expansion and/or PCI USB card. 
Then scanner drivers will be required for 
USB scanner models, which may of 
course require access to technical in- 
formation not readily available from the 
scanner manufacturers. The same will 
also apply for all other USB hardware, 
just having USB support on the Amiga 
will not make the range of USB 
peripherals available to the Amiga. 

Types of Scanner 

Two basic types of flatbed scanners are, 
or I should say have been, available: 
Single Pass and Three Pass. Single 
pass scanners can scan a colour image 
in one pass of the scanning head, they 
do this by using a set of three coloured 
(Red Green and Blue) lights or a white 
light and a colour sensor. In my ex- 
perience the three colour type is pretty 
unusual, my Epson GT5000 is the only 
scanner I've seen using this method. 
The only disadvantage I've found with it 
is that you get strange colour effects 
when scanning 3D objects, it makes no 
difference with anything that sits flat on 
the bed. Three Pass scanners scan the 
image three times, with a white light, 
each pass uses a coloured filter (R, G 
and B) to get a final colour image. Three 
Pass scanners tend to be slower and 
require that the original does not move 
between passes! You are unlikely to find 
a three colour or three pass scanner 
available new but it is useful to know the 
possibility if you are looking for a second 
hand model. 

The Scanning Process 

Whatever scanner and software you 
choose the process of scanning will be 
very similar. So rather than repeat our- 
selves too much within the scanner soft- 
ware reviews we thought we'd mention 
the basics here: 

Place the original to be 
scanned on the bed. 

This sounds very straight forward... and 
it is! However there are a couple of 
things to watch out for. Firstly if you want 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



* 



FEATURES 



FEATURES 



to scan from books or thick magazines it 
is useful to have a scanner with a flex- 
ible lid design. Most scanners have a 
removable lid for really big items but 
some also have hinges which can be 
raised to accommodate thick books 
while still closing and excluding most of 
the light. When you're choosing a scan- 
ner also check the strength of the 
hinges, it's very easy to break flimsy 
plastic hinges by simply knocking the 
large lid (I speak from experience, al- 
though mine did last about five years!). 
If you are scanning from a magazine or 
book with thin pages you may find that 
some of the text from the back of the 
page being scanned or even the next 
page shows through. To minimise this 
try putting a piece of black paper 
between the page you're scanning and 
the one behind. 

Perform a Preview Scan 

The first step in scanning is to perform a 
preview scan, this scans the complete 
bed of the scanner quickly at a relatively 
low resolution. You can then select the 
area of the bed you wish to scan, 
usually by dragging a selection box over 
the appropriate area of the preview 
image. Selecting only an are of the bed 
like this allow you to scan a small 
original like a photo without wasting 
time, memory and disk space scanning 
blank space. 



r - Kreu lew | !-■ | i i 






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■ AIYLIOV 




£ 


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The preview allows you to scan just the 
area you want at full resolution. 

Adjust the Colour Balance 

Some software allows you to make ad- 
justments to the scan's colour balance 
before you make the final scan by look- 
ing at the preview. Usually they allow 
you to adjust the brightness, contrast 
and gamma (gamma adjustment allows 
you to brighten or darken the mid-tones 



without affecting the pure white or black 
areas) of the image, some packages 
also allow you to adjust the individual 
red, green and blue colour channels. 
While it's useful to be able to tweak set- 
tings like this a much easier option is 
automatic colour correction, many pack- 
ages now support Wolf Faust's ICS 
colour correction system (discussed 
below) which can also be applied to an 
image file so it can be used with drivers 
which don't directly support it. 

Scan Resolution 

To decide on the resolution you want to 
scan at you need to know what you are 
going to with the resulting image. For 
example there wouldn't be much point 
scanning an A4 magazine cover at 300 
or 600dpi, making a multiple megabyte 
file, if you were going to put it on a web 
page. On the other hand if you don't 
scan at a high enough resolution and 
then print on a high quality printer the 
result can look blocky. So here are some 
rough guidelines, you will probably need 
to experiment to get the best out of your 
setup. 

Photos 

If you are scanning a photo or other 
colour image to be printed, most likely 
on a colour inkjet printer, you do not 
need to scan at the full print resolution. 
Your printer can only print its primary 
colours (usually Cyan, Magenta, Yellow 
and Black) at its specified maximum res- 
olution and even then due to the nature 
of paper and ink there tends to be some 
spreading and mingling of dots. To pro- 
duce a full range of colours the printer 
prints a pattern of primary coloured dots 
changing the mix of primary colours to 
produce the final colour required. This 
process, called dithering, reduces the 
effective resolution of the output. With a 
scanner each pixel can be any colour, 
for this reason the image you scan only 
needs to be at the effective resolution of 
the printer to avoid showing pixels when 
it is printed. As a general rule you can 
scan at about a quarter of print resolu- 
tion with and still get good results, this 
means the scan will be much smaller 
and therefore quicker to work with and 
easier to store. 

If you want to enlarge a scanned image 
when it is printed then this must be 
taken into account when deciding on the 
scan resolution. For example say you 
want to print a 1 by 8 inch enlargement 
of a 5 by 4 inch photograph. If you scan 
the original photo at 150dpi, as you 



might to reproduce it at the same size, 
when printed at 10x8 the resolution will 
only be 75dpi as one inch in the original 
photo (150 pixels across) is now 
occupying 2 inches. To work out the res- 
olution to use you can use this simple 
calculation, I'll use the above enlarge- 
ment as an example: 

Decide on the final resolution required, 
in this example 150dpi. 

Divide the final size by the original size: 
10/5 = 2 

Multiply the final resolution by the 
answer: 150*2 = 300 

So you need to scan at 300dpi to get 
150dpi once the image is enlarged. 

By the same token if you are scanning 
an original which is to be printed smaller 
you can use a lower resolution. For ex- 
ample if we wanted to scan an A4 
(about 8.25 by 11 .7 inches) page and 
print it as a small thumb nail, say 1 .5 by 
2.1 inches: 

Final resolution: 150dpi 

1.5/8.25 = 0.18 

150*0.18 = 27 

So we would only need to scan at 27dpi 
to get a 150dpi final output. 

Mono Text, Line art etc. 

Printers can print in black or one of their 
other primary colours (usually cyan, 
magenta and yellow) at full resolution so 
if you're scanning a mono image, for 
example line art like a cartoon or plain 
text, then you need to scan at close to 
the print resolution. In most cases 
300dpi should be adequate but even 
then it may look slightly blocky on a high 
resolution printer. In these cases inter- 
polation can be your friend, scanning 
mono work at a high resolution even if it 
is interpolated will smooth out the steps 
between pixels and improve the final 
print. Again if you are going to print at 
larger than actual size you will need to 
scan at a higher resolution. 

Scanning for web pages 

When you're designing a web page you 
tend to know the pixel dimensions of the 
image you want to end up with, this 
makes it considerably easier to set the 
scan resolution, for a start most scan- 
ning packages show you the final pixel 
size of the scan. If you want the final 
image to appear "life size" on screen 
somewhere between 75 and 100 DPI is 
a good choice but the actual display size 



will depend on the screen resolution and 
monitor size of the surfer. 

The Final Scan 

When you are ready to scan most pack- 
ages will simply scan the selected area 
and save the resulting image into a file 
on disk. Scanning directly to disk like 
this has the advantage that you do not 
need to have enough memory to hold 
the complete scan, only a small portion 
that is currently being saved. The disad- 
vantage is that you must then load the 
image into another application to make 
any adjustments or print it out. Some 
packages scan into memory which then 
allows them to offer other options, for 
example direct printing and image pro- 
cessing operations, the downside is that 
you must have the memory to hold the 
entire scan. When you come to save the 
image you should be careful to choose a 
suitable file format. The two most com- 
mon are JPEG and IFF24. Unless you 
are not going to perform any further 
operations on the scan I would advise 
against saving as a JPEG. JPEG com- 
presses the image to minimise file size 
but in this process some details are lost, 
this is called lossy compression. When 
saving a JPEG you can usually set a 
quality percentage, at higher values 
(commonly 70% or more) you will hardly 
notice any difference from the original 
(Note that even at 1 00% quality the 
image is still compressed and some 
detail lost). However if you load and 
save a JPEG image again, for example 
after a processing operation, more 
details are lost so the quality degrades 
each time. In contrast IFF24 is not a 
lossy format, so file size is much bigger 
but you can load and save files as many 
times as you like without losing any 
quality. 

Useful Options 
Photocopy 

It can be very useful to use your scan- 
ner, in combination with a printer as a 
home photocopier. Any scanner soft- 
ware can be used for this task but 
several of the drivers available have a 
special photocopy function. This means 
you simply put the document in the 
scanner and it is automatically scanned 





____ 


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Resolution <l I l>ll 156 


pr* 






'____ 






Some scanning packages include image 
processing effects. 

and then printed, without the bother of 
saving the scan then having to manually 
print it. Some of the packages offer addi- 
tional photocopy options such as multi- 
ple copies and enlargements and 
usually both colour and mono copies are 
supported. 

OCR 

Regardless of the document you scan 
the result is always an image, for ex- 
ample if you scan a page from a maga- 
zine you end up with a "picture" of that 
page. Now you may want to be able to 
edit the text from that page or include it 
in a document of your own (copyright 
permitting of course). This is where 
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) 
comes in. OCR software processes a 
scanned image of text and tries to 
recognise the text and layout from the 
patterns of pixels that make up the text 
in the scan. This is a complex and dif- 
ficult process as the group of pixels 
representing the same scanned charac- 
ter can be quite different depending on 
the font, size and scan resolution used. 
Complex algorithms are used by the 
OCR software to recognise the shapes 
of letters rather than patterns of pixels. 
Most OCR packages also have a learn 
facility which will show display any por- 
tion of the scan that the software cannot 
recognise and allow the user to enter the 
characters it represents. In future the 
software uses this information to im- 
prove its accuracy. 

The Amiga has never been very well 
blessed with OCR software for many 
years the only package about was 
MigraphOCR but this was very old, hard 
to come by, designed with hand scan- 
ners in mind and to top it off doesn't run 
well on "modern" Amigas. However we 
now have fxSCAN, a scanner package 
with an OCR function, you can read a 
full review starting on page 20 of this 
issue. 



Colour Correction 

To get the best results when scanning 
you will usually need to make slight ad- 
justments to the colour balance and 
brightness of the finished image. This is 
because no scanner produces a totally 
perfect and over time, particularly as the 
tube ages, the colour balance in your 
scans will change. All the scanning soft- 
ware available has some colour ad- 
justments but some packages have a 
much wider range than others. However 
adjusting each scan soon gets tedious 
so it might be nice to have an automatic 
method... along comes Wolf Faust's 
ICS. ICS is an automatic colour calibra- 
tion system, which can be used with any 
scanner driver and is directly supported 
by several of the available packages. To 
use ICS you need a scanner target, this 
is an accurately printed sheet with 
patches of a range of colours and grey 
scales. Some scanners are supplied 
with a suitable target or you can buy 
them separately. As targets are usually 
fairly expensive Wolf Faust has had 
some manufactured and supplies them 
at 25DM (less than £10) including 
postage inside Europe, ICS itself is 
freeware. ICS works by comparing the 
scanned image of the target with the 
known shades on that target, it then 
builds up a profile of the scanner and 
uses this to correct other images 
scanned. It also takes into account your 
monitor's display so you should end up 
with an accurate image displayed. 
Currently ICS does not include printer 
colour calibration however in our ex- 
perience TurboPrint does a good job 
once you have a good quality scan on 
screen. In the future Wolf hopes to im- 
plement printer colour calibration giving 
maximum accuracy from scan to final 
output. 

Conclusion 

A scanner will be very useful to anyone 
who uses their Amiga for graphics and 
can also be used for other tasks like 
photocopying and OCR. Scanning is 
essentially a pretty simple process but 
scan resolutions and colour correction 
are areas that are worth experimenting 
with to ensure you get the best results 
but don't waste space and time. Later in 
this issue you will find reviews of the 
various scanner drivers available and of 
Mick Sutton's new Mustek scanner. 



fxSCAN's photocopy option is par- 
ticularly glitzy. 



Q. 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



<D 



REI//EWS 



REI//EWS 



Something Fishy 

Reviews are very subjective, what one 
reviewer may love, another hates. Such 
is life. So we decided to have a general 
score, which the reader can take into 
account along with the text. 

So we invented the fish... it's easy to 
work out which we feel is a better 
product... the more bones that show, the 
smellier the fish :). We only award our 
top Caviar rating to products that are 
practically perfect. 




^jxAwan/ 



The best so far! We can hardly pick 
anything out of it, not even boogers. 
Rarer than Nessie. 




\te\y 



This product is definitely worth buying 
but, like most things, still has room for 
improvement. 







Average, neither too good nor too bad 
— it works but there are areas which 
need major improvement or are way 
behind competing products. 



v *ik mm** 




SMELLY 



Crap, but hopefully getting better in 
future versions (if there are any). 




y-m» 



Disgusting, multicolour yawn inducing 
abomination that insults the Amiga. 



^- 



fxSCAN 

3.0 



New scanning software with 

OCR, Mick Sutton and Robert 

Williams can't wait to try it out! 



Just when you thought you'd 
reviewed all the scanner software 
packages... another one comes 
along! fxSCAN version 3.0 (released on 
the 27th of November), as if you couldn't 
guess, is from Innovative, the people 
who brought us fxPAINT and VHIStudio 
(or should that be fxSTUDIO?). Rather 
than providing yet another set of scan- 
ner drivers fxSCAN uses either 
Betascan drivers (included on the CD- 
ROM, the Betascan program itself is not 
required) or ScanQuix if you have it in- 
stalled. 

Installation from the CD-ROM is very 
easy, you just have to choose the des- 
tination directory and your CPU type. 
PowerPC is supported under both 
WarpUP and PowerUP but you can't 
select which one you want to use 
manually. After installation you need to 
setup your scanner in the preferences 
window, here you can set the SCSI 
device and unit number (we were unable 
to test if any parallel scanners were sup- 
ported) and the BetaScan driver to use. 
The documentation is in AmigaGuide 
format, and can be called up from within 
the program by clicking on an icon. The 
manual explains what all the buttons 
and options do, but there no tutorials or 
tips on scanning. There are also popup 
help bubbles which explain most icons 
and buttons. 

Get Scanning 

The interface always uses a full screen, 
in the screenmode of your choice, and 
looks very attractive. The main controls 
are held in a shaded blue button bar 
along the top of the screen, each button 
is a glow icon. There are icons to select 



Product Information 



Developer: Innovative 

WWW: www.inovative-web.de 
Price: 69DM (about £25) 
Availability: Direct from Innovative, 
on-line ordering 
available. 



the various functions of the program, 
scan, copy, print, OCR etc. and buttons 
for load, save, delete and quit. Clicking 
on one of the function buttons opens 
that function in the screen below, very 
few windows are used. 

In the scanning section you will first 
want to do a preview scan by clicking on 
the Preview button (funnily enough). The 
preview image is then displayed on the 
right hand side of the screen, although 
this image is particularly low resolution it 
is only used to select the area for the 
final scan. The area to be scanned is 
marked out by a selection box which you 
can resize and move on the preview 
image. You can now choose the type of 
scan: lineart (black and white), grays- 
cale or colour. The scan resolution is 
infinitely variable, you just drag a slider 
to the value you want. As you change 
the resolution the memory required to 
perform the scan is displayed, however 
this does always seem to be calculated 
for 24bit colour whichever scan type you 
choose. Then hit the scan button... and 
the scan is performed. 

So where's my scan? To see the scan 
you have to click on the View icon which 
shows it at the full resolution, you can 
drag with the mouse to scroll around the 
image. Clicking on the view icon again 
takes you to a thumbnail screen which 
shows any previously scanned or loaded 
images (this session). The scanned 
image can be saved in a number of 
formats including BMP, JPEG, RGB8, 
TARGA and bog standard IFF24 there is 
also the option to load the scan into 
fxPAINT, as long as it is running, at the 
click of a button using Innovative's 
Stargate plugin. 

Image Processing 

Once an image is available, either by 
scanning or loading, you can perform 
some image processing operations on it. 
The Process section has two scaled 
down versions of the image at the top of 
the screen with its current state on the 



left and a preview showing the effect of 
the selected process on the right. The 
processes that can be performed are 
correction (contrast, gamma, brightness, 
etc.), MinMax, Mirror (vertical and hori- 
zontal), Blur, Rotate, Invert, Black & 
white, ICS-color-calibration, scale, 
sharpen and cut (crop). These are all 
fairly simple image processing effects 
but they are useful for quickly improving 
scans. 



Copier 



The copy machine function allows you to 
scan and print in one operation, effec- 
tively turning your scanner and printer 
into a photocopier. You can set the scan 
resolution, type (black and white, grays- 
cale and colour) and the number of 
copies to print. There's even a nice pic- 
ture of a photocopier! 

OCR 

Optical Character Recognition (OCR to 
its friends) has to be the jewel in 
fxSCAN's crown as it is the only current 
Amiga scanning package to offer this 
useful feature. OCR allows you to scan 
a document and convert the text into an 
editable file (rather than simply an 
image of the text). Once a suitable 
document has been scanned, the man- 
ual recommends a resolution between 
200 and 300DPI, you can select the 
OCR function. If you start the process 
straight away fxSCAN will attempt to 
convert the whole document. If there are 
columns of text, headings, or you are 
only interested in a portion of the text 
then you can define areas of the docu- 
ment to convert. To do this you can add 
as many areas as you like using the 
selection box icon on the OCR toolbar. 

After the areas have been selected you 
click the start icon and fxSCAN will then 
convert each area in order. If there is an 
area of text that fxSCAN has problems 
with a window pops up showing the part 
of the image and its best guess at the 
text it represents. The best guess is 
duplicated in an edit box for you to 
manually correct. Once you have cor- 
rected the text you can choose for 



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The scanning screen (right) 
shows a low resolution pre- 
view allowing you to select 
an area to scan. 




fxSCAN to simply replace its guess with 
your input or for it to learn what that 
image represented which should im- 
prove accuracy later on. It is not men- 
tioned in the manual whether these 
learned characters are saved between 
sessions! The only minor niggle with this 
process is that the unclear area that is 
confusing fxSCAN is not shown on the 
main image, sometimes a jumble of 
pixels appear and you can't tell where 
they belong in the document making it 
difficult to assess which character(s) 
they represent. After some testing on 
real life documents we found that the 
OCR works very well if original text is of 
good quality, is in a standard 
font(helvetica, times etc) and is propor- 
tioned correctly. On documents like this 
we almost always got no problem 
windows and very few errors in the text 
output, all of which would have been 
corrected by a simple spell check. 

Interface 

We found the user interface quite 
frustrating at first as it doesn't seem to 
work in a very logical or consistent way. 
For example after you have scanned an 
image you can click on the view icon to 
see the scan but you can't jump directly 
to any of the other functions, you have 
to first click on Scan again to come out 
of that function and then on the function 
you want. The other problem is that it is 
not always clear which actions are avail- 
able at any one time, for example in 
View mode you cannot click delete to 
delete the image you are looking at. To 
do that you must come out of view by 
clicking on view again, this brings you to 
the hidden thumbnail view where delete 
does work! These problems are exacer- 
bated by the fact that inactive functions 
and actions are only shown by turning 



The OCR screen (left) 

showing the correct and 

learn feature. 



their icon to grayscale and slightly dim- 
ming it which, as many of the icons are 
predominantly grey already, is not very 
clear. Another minor quibble which 
seems to be true of all Innovative 
products is that fxSCAN doesn't show 
the busy pointer when the program is 
working so you often get that "has it 
hung?" feeling during long operations. 

Conclusion 

fxSCAN is a useful program at a 
reasonable price, in particular the OCR 
function is very impressive and unique 
among the currently available Amiga 
software. One minor negative point is 
that you must have enough memory to 
hold the images you scan, there is no 
scan to disk function. While the GUI is a 
little quirky fxSCAN is an excellent 
product functionally and represents very 
good value for money. 



Results 



Pros 

Wide scanner support 
Useful image processing functions 
Surprisingly reliable OCR 
Reasonable price 



Cons 

Frustrating GUI 

No scan-to-disk option 




CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



31 



REI//EWS 



REI//EWS 



Mustek 600 CD II 

Luckily for us Sharon Sutton got a new scanner... 



For a few years now I have been 
into Digital Photography and 
image manipulation, and recently 
my wife Sharon mentioned that she 
would like a flatbed scanner for her 
birthday, and it occurred to me that I 
could also make some good use of one 
myself. 

Let's Get One 

Having looked around for a bit for 

various models, it came to my intention 

that I would have to make sure that I 

choose carefully for one that had Amiga 

support (by third parties 

obviously) which 

rather 

narrows 

down the 

choice 

available. 



asked/advised what cable I needed to 
suit my set-up I can tell you it arrived the 
very next day, what a good service (and 
the postage was not too expensive 
either). 

WASSAT! 

The scanner came packaged with the 
manufacturers manual (152 pages writ- 
ten in six languages) and is quite useful 
with general tips on scanning and useful 
recommendations of which are the best 
resolutions to scan at for various 
projects. Also in the package was the 
correct SCSI lead that I needed to suit 
my configuration (25 pin M 'D' 
at the computer 
end). 




As I have SCSI 
(via the PPC card) I 
thought I might as well go for 
a SCSI model, but I can tell you 
that they are far and few between these 
days! I could have gone for one of the 
Epson models but even they are getting 
harder to find because most models that 
I did see in the shops tended to be USB 
models, and as I didn't have the biggest 
budget in the world, I thought a good 
choice would be the one of the Mustek 
models that are available. 

After searching on the internet for 
various models without much success, I 
located eventually one very close to 
home (in an Amiga sense) at Eyetech, 
they had a SCSI scanner bundle Mustek 
Paragon 600 CD II, ScanQuix 5 and 
SCSI cable for £139, which when you 
think about it, this is not too bad for 
value as ScanQuix 5 weighs in at £55 
and SCSI cables are expensive (say 
£15) that makes the scanner itself work 
out at about £70. 

So after phoning Eyetech (who were 
very helpful by the way) I decided to go 
for this package and after they 



Product Information 



Developer: Mustek 
Distributor: Eyetech 

Tel: +44(0) 1642 713185 
WWW: www.mustek.com 

www.eyetech.co.uk 
Price: £139.95 w/ScanQuix 5 



^£- 



Physically 
the scanner is 
pretty much the same 
as most models (pre USB) 
that I have seen with a footprint of 
approximately 40cm by 29cm (roughly 
the size of A4 plus a 5cm border all the 
way round) and a height of 9.5cm, with a 
lid that hinges from the back but also 
sports "posts" that rise if a thick object 
(such as a book) is placed on the scan- 
ner enabling the user to still close the 
lid.... neat! On the underside of the lid is 
a flat white sheet of stiff card which acts 
as the background to any scanned 
image. There is an on/off switch on the 
side and a SCSI ID selector on the back 
next to the two SCSI ports, one is a 25 
way 'D' type, the other a 50 way high 
density type so that you have options of 
connection type. The only other notice- 
able feature is a carriage lock which er 
well ...locks the carriage for times when 
you need to transport it, ask at SEAL 
what happens when you forget and 
leave it in the locked position! 

The Techie Bit 

The specifications of the model are 
pretty average but certainly up to the job 
of anything my wife or I would be using it 
for, but just to get technical I can bore 
you with the details. The scanner is a 
single pass model with an optical (true) 
resolution of 300 (H) x 600 (V) dpi (dots 



per inch) which rises to 4800 x 4800 dpi 
through software interpolation and can 
scan a maximum area of 216mm x 
292mm. Looking through the manual it 
has four scan modes and they are True 
colour (24 bit), Greyscale (8 bit), 
Halftone (1 bit 2 levels?) and 
Text/Lineart (1 bit 2 levels?). 

The light source is a cold cathode 
(single white light) lamp and is therefore 
quite good at scanning three dimen- 
sional objects such as a bunch of keys 
(ask Rob to explain this one)! 

Scan Something For 
Pete's Sake! 

In operation the scanner seems to work 
very well and is so incredibly quiet, but I 
have noted that it seems quite slow 
compared to other models that I have 
seen in use, suppose you can't have 
everything can you? 

I have used the scanner in conjunction 
with various scanning software pack- 
ages including ScanQuix 5, Betascan 
and fxSCAN 3 and it worked fine with all 
of them no problem and the result scan 
in all cases was acceptable with only 
some minor dithered look to some of the 
blues in a few scans, but since I have 
calibrated using ICS and things look all 
OK now. One feature that I have noticed 
is that after several minutes of non-use 
the scanner lamp switches itself off 
which I guess is to prolong it's life, this 
may happen on all scanners but I 
thought I would mention it out of inter- 
est. 

I have scanned various types of sub- 
jects from plain text (1 Bit) to 3D objects 
such as bunches of keys and I can tell 
you I am quite happy with the results I 
have got to date. 

In conclusion I think this is a pretty good 
scanner which does a good job and is 
quite good value for money, so I would 
not hesitate to recommend it, but is you 
need the higher resolutions to scan at 
(which I don't) then maybe you would be 
better off with one of the latest Epson or 
HP models. 



ScanQuix 5 



ScanQuix is one of the few com- 
mercial Amiga scanner driver 
packages available (the brand 
new fxSCAN and ImageFX, although 
scanning isn't its main use, are the only 
others). The package is supplied on CD- 
ROM and includes an extensive on-line 
manual in HTML format. ScanQuix is a 
very modular package, it has separate 
programs to handle different scanning 
functions and drivers for a range of dif- 
ferent scanners. With version 5 all the 
scanner drivers are supplied on the CD, 
unlike version 4 where you had to buy a 
specific version for your scanner. After 
installation, which uses the standard 
installer, the first job is to set up your 
scanner in the ScannerPrefs program. 
Here you first select the scanner driver 
(various Artec, Canon, Mustek, Epson 
and UMax models are supported) you 
wish to use, then a window opens allow- 
ing you to configure that driver. For ex- 
ample with the Epson driver this con- 
figuration consists of selecting the inter- 
face (parallel, SCSI or serial), and the 
options for that interface type e.g. SCSI 
device name and unit number for SCSI. 
Other drivers have different options 
depending on the interfaces supported. 
You can install several scanners at once 
(greedy!) and pick which one you want 
to use by default in the various 
ScanQuix programs. 

To start scanning you run the main 
ScanQuix5 program, the main window 
shows you thumbnails of the images you 
have scanned in this session, you can 
also load in existing images. You can 
select any image and Save it, Print it or 
show it in an external or internal viewer, 
there are also some basic manipulation 
operations: scale, rotate and flip. 
Clicking on the Scan button opens the 
scanning window where most of the ac- 
tion takes place! 

In the Scan window clicking on the 
Preview button opens a separate pre- 
view window and quickly scans the 
image, you can select whether the pre- 



Product Information 




Developer: 

Distributor: 

Tel: 

WWW: 



rbm 

Eyetech 

+44(0) 1642 713185 

www.rbm.de 



■ | Paragon_6SB 1 1 SP_SQ5 



ir^lr^ 



fclidth Height 


□ fixed 

□ fixed 


| 1239 | x |1723 | p Imb I 


|21,@ | x |29.2 | cm 


Left border: 10.0 1 cm 


| Find | 




lop border: |0.0 | cm 



tlode : 
Beso L Lit ion : 



m 



dp v 



_LU 



Image Corrections, 



Pre.uieu Length: 



33 cm f 3 ] 



Memory required: 6,2 ME 



Start Scan 



Cancei 



The main control window allows you to 

set the scanning mode and open the 

preview and image correction windows. 

view is colour, greyscale or mono and 
the resolution used from the 
Settings/Preview menu option. Once the 
preview has been scanned you can 
select the area for the full scan by drag- 
ging a selection box, there is also a 
handy Find facility which tries to guess 
where the edges of the image are 
against the plain background. In the 
scan window you can select the resolu- 
tion and mode (colour, grey or text) of 
the scan, as you change these parame- 
ters the memory required for the final 
image is displayed, handy if you're short 
on RAM or disk space. A range of 
options are available in the Image 
Corrections window so you can adjust 
the balance of the final scanned image. 
The Brightness, Contrast and Gamma 
levels can be set for the image as a 
whole or for the Red Green and Blue 
colour components individually. You can 
also set dark and light limits which can 
be used to intensify those areas of the 
image. As you alter any of the settings 
your changes are shown in real time on 
the preview. All these image corrections 
can also be applied to previously 
scanned or other loaded images from 
the initial ScanQuix window. 

The ScanQuix program holds all the im- 
ages you scan in memory which, as you 
can imagine, is very memory intensive if 
you scan large areas or use high 
resolutions. To get around this a separ- 
ate ScanToDisk program is provided, 
this doesn't have the thumbnail interface 
of the ScanQuix5 program, you simply 
specify a file name and start scanning. 
The scan window that then opens is the 
same as ScanQuix5 so you get all the 
preview, resolution and image correction 



by Mick Sutton and 
Robert Williams 

options. The final scan is then saved 
directly to disk using minimal memory, if 
you want to the print the image or save 
in a format other than IFF you would 
need to load the image into another 
package. 

Two colour calibration systems can be 
used with ScanQuix, ICS or, if you don't 
have access to a target, there is the 
built-in Calibratix system. Calibratix uses 
calibration images which you print out 
on your printer so inevitably it is less 
accurate than ICS. 

PhotoCopyPro is another separate 
application supplied in the ScanQuix 
package, it provides a simple method of 
scanning and then printing effectively 
creating a copy. You can select the size 
of the paper being scanned and whether 
the copy should be Text (mono) or 
photo. Multiple copies and enlargements 
are also possible. Usefully you can set 
the scan resolution used for Text and 
Photo individually so you don't have to 
re-configure when you switch modes, 
ICS can be used whilst copying. 

Direct scanning into a number of ap- 
plications is supported. Scanner 
modules are provided for ImageFX and 
Art Department Pro, adding ScanQuix 
along side their built-in scanner drivers. 
Loader modules for Photogenics (up to 
version 2.0 only) and Personal Paint 
allow you to scan into these programs in 
one step rather than scanning, saving to 
disk then loading into the program. 
PageStream 3 and Deluxe Paint V are 
supported by AREXX scripts. 

Version 5 of ScanQuix is a comprehen- 
sive scanning system that feels very well 
developed and supports a wide range of 
scanners. Our only quibble is over the 
price which does seem quite high, espe- 
cially with scanners becoming more 
reasonable. With the introduction of 
fxSCAN which includes OCR and most 
of ScanQuix' features, although not as 
polished, for about half the price 
ScanQuix has some real competition on 
its hands. 




REI//EWS 



REI//EWS 



Scanner Software 

Round-up 

To conclude our scanning section Robert Williams takes a look at some of the 

other software available. 



Beta Scan 



By Svend Daugaard Pedersen 

Aminet: hard/drivr 
Licence: Freeware 

SCSI: Apple, Agfa, Canon, Epson, 
Microtek, Mustek, Hewlett Packard. 

Apart from the commercial 
ScanQuix all the Amiga scan- 
ner drivers tend to support a 
narrow range of scanners from one or 
two manufacturers. Although some pro- 
grams have modular drivers, none have 
made the specification available... until 
Betascan that is. Betascan itself is a 
simple scanning program, the special 
thing about it is that it supports modular 
drivers and the driver spec is freely 
available. Betascan has also been 
designed to make it as easy as possible 
to port drivers from the Linux SANE 
scanner driver system. As SANE is an 
open source project the source code for 
many of these drivers is readily avail- 
able. This open system has attracted 
several developers to port drivers result- 
ing in the impressive list of supported 
scanners shown above. 

Betascan has to run on it's own screen, 
the interface does not use windows for 
the controls and preview. The fonts used 
are scaled depending on your screen 
resolution and to be honest it looks old 
fashioned and just plain ugly. That said 
it does work quite well, as usual you 
scan a preview, select the area then 
scan the final image direct to a file on 
disk. The other options you get depends 
on the scanner driver selected, with my 
Epson this is limited to one "brightness" 
slider. The Mustek driver has a few more 
options but is still much more limited 
than any of the packages mentioned 
here. One function unique outside the 



commercial ScanQuix and fxSCAN is 
the Photocopy button which scans in 
mono and dumps directly to your printer. 

One interesting development is that 
Innovative (the people behind fxPAINT) 
have released version 3.0 of their 
fxSCAN scanning program which will 
support BetaScan drivers. fxSCAN 
offers a much more attractive interface 
and more image correction and process- 
ing functions. 

Betascan is a workman like package 
that despite its looks gets the job done 
and supports a wide range of scanners. 
A few options such as colour correction 
and adjustments and noticeably missing 
although the photocopy function is quick 
and effective. Excellent for a free pro- 
gram although noticeably less sophis- 
ticated than the others. 



ImageFX 



By Nova Design 

Licence: Commercial 
Price: £99.95 from Eyetech 
WWW: http://www.novadesign.com/ 

SCSI: Epson, HP 

Parallel: Epson (requires custom cable) 

Nova Design's heavyweight of 
Amiga image processors is 
supplied with scanner modules 
for Epson and HP scanners. Unusually 
the Epson module also supports parallel 
port models although you will need to 
make or buy a special cable (the pin- 
outs are in the manual). Scanning has 
its own section on the main toolbar, 
where the scanning controls are located. 
Before you start scanning you need to 
set up the scanner in the Settings 
window which differs depending on the 
scanner driver you have selected. For 



B-scan ^ 



Conf igurat ion 




©" 






Beta Scan must open 

on its own screen, not a 

window in sight! 




VJ Rduanced Sett ings 

Color Correction 



Br ight ness 
D| Noma! 



SCSI models you have to select the 
device and unit number of the scanner 
and there are also various adjustments 
you can make to the brightness, con- 
trast and gamma of the raw scan. 

All the basic scanning controls you need 
are provided, you can preview, select an 
area to scan and set the required reso- 
lution. In the Epson module at least (we 
weren't able to test with an HP scanner) 
the preview quality is quite poor and 
heavily dithered especially in colour al- 
though adequate to select the scan 
area. The scanner module itself has 
quite limited control over the look of the 
final scan, however once the image is 
available you can use ImageFX's myriad 
of options to make colour corrections or 
special effects. There is also a third 
party ImageFX module (a Hook in IFX 
terminology) which uses ICS to colour 
correct a scanned image although this 
does have to be applied manually after 
you have scanned. 

While the ImageFX scanning module 
doesn't have as many features as a 
dedicated scanning package it is very 
convenient to be able to scan directly 
into an image processor. After the image 
is scanned none of the other packages 
can compete with ImageFX's armoury of 
processing features. If you just want a 
scanner driver then ImageFX is ob- 
viously overkill but if you can use the 
rest of the program then the scanner 
drivers are a very useful addition. 



Scan Trax 




The ImageFX scanning interface is 
simple but has all the essential options. 



Important 



The scanner manufacturers listed 
with each piece of software are to 
give you an idea of the scanner(s) it 
supports. Do not assume that a driver 
will work with every scanner from the 
manufacturers listed. Before purchas- 
ing a scanner check that your soft- 
ware specifically lists the model you 
are considering as supported and 
^preferably tested. 




p | Preview 




IB 



Scan Trax can open on Workbench or its own screen. The main window (left) holds 
almost all the scanning controls. 

An extensive AREXX port is available 
which allows macros to control all 



By Klaus Krause 

Licence: Shareware 
Price: 30DM (£10) 

SCSI: Epson, HP 

ScanTrax is a shareware scanner 
driver which has been available 
for a number of years. Version 1 
supported only HP SCSI scanners and 
in version 2 the author added support for 
Epson scanners although again only the 
SCSI models. ScanTrax has an attrac- 
tive and functional GTLayout GUI con- 
sisting of two main windows, one hold- 
ing the controls and the other the pre- 
view image. In the control window you 
can set the resolution and colour mode 
for the scan. Also in the control window 
are the image control options, once you 
have made a preview scan you can use 
these sliders to adjust the gamma, 
brightness, saturation and RGB levels of 
the image, as you make changes the 
preview is updated with their effect. For 
automated colour correction ScanTrax 
supports Wolf Faust's ICS calibration 
system. Usefully you can create your 
own set of default resolutions, for the 
types of scanning you commonly do. 

Once you are happy with your settings 
it's time to create the final scan. 
ScanTrax scans this directly to a file on 
disk minimising memory requirements, it 
supports IFF, JPEG and PNG formats. 
You can then load the saved image into 
another package of printing or further 
processing. 



aspects of ScanTrax, while it would be 
quite possible to use this to allow scan- 
ning directly into most image proces- 
sors, word processors and DTP pro- 
grams supporting AREXX the only script 
provided is a sample to help you a 
macro for your own favourite programs. 

If you can find a supported scanner 
ScanTrax offers all the facilities most 
people will need, including ICS support, 
without being over complex. It is espe- 
cially well suited for quickly producing 
scans to be further edited in other ap- 
plications. The reasonable registration 
fee is a bonus, highly recommended. 



J 



I mi's 




ScanTrax's Scan resolution window 

allows you to pre-define resolutions and 

colour depths of particular jobs. 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



^ 



REI//EWS 



REI//EWS 



ArtEffect 

Mick Sutton and Robert Williams explore the latest version of 
Haage and Partner's image processor. 




'j:'yf SMficMv £8-Jan-oi g]| 



ArtEffect is now in it's sixth 
revision (1, 1.5, 2, 2.6, 3 and 
now 4) so how does it match 
up against other long standing image 
processors such as Photogenics, 
ImageFX and the new kid on the block 
fxPAINT? 

Installation and 
Requirements 

The program is neatly packaged in a 
proper box which contains the CD, a 
manual (more of this later) and registra- 
tion card. Installation is via the standard 
Amiga installer program, and minimum 
system requirements are quite low, 
ArtEffect is able to run on a system with 
AGA, 8Mb RAM, hard drive and CD- 
ROM, but it is recommended that you 
have at least an 040, 16Mb RAM and a 
Graphics card. 

GUI 

When you first run ArtEffect it opens its 
interface on the Workbench screen. You 
can set it to use a separate screen from 
within the program settings window, also 
from this window you can set several 
other preferences such as whether to 
close workbench (for those tight on 
memory), virtual memory, the maximum 
number of full undo steps and whether 
you intend to use a graphics tablet 
which are fully supported including pres- 
sure sensitivity. On the ArtEffect screen 
you have on the left a toolbar with the 
usual instantly recognisable buttons for 
painting tools (freehand, line, box etc) 
plus a few unique to ArtEffect such as 
mask, magic wand and doner. Many of 
ArtEffects functions are accessible from 
it's menus and many of them open their 



Product Information 



Developer: 


Haage and Partner 


Distributor: 


Blittersoft 


Tel: 


+44 (0) 1 908 225454 


WWW: 


www.blittersoft.com 


www.haage-partner.com 


Price: 


£79.95 


Demo: 


On the H&P website. 



ffi^ 



own window with parameters you can 
adjust, most of these windows remain 
open whilst you work on an image which 
is handy if you need to keep returning to 
them to alter settings according to what 
you are doing. A good example of this is 
the tool settings window, which shows 
the appropriate settings for the tool you 
are currently using, for example if you 
have say airbrush selected the tool set- 
tings window lets you adjust the paint 
mode and the pressure but if you have 
the text tool activated then you can 
select the font, size and enter the text 
required. The whole GUI is similar in 
style and feel to Photoshop on the PC 
and Mac, it's very professional. 



Layers 



ArtEffect has a very flexible layers 
system, this allows you to "build" an 
image constructed from painted effects 
or images each on it's own layer. Layers 
can then be moved, placed above or 
below other layers and edited at any 
time without affecting other layers. An 
unlimited number of layers can be used 
(dependent on the available memory) 
and new layers can be added at any 
time, you can also duplicate the current 
layer. The Layers & Channels window 
shows all the layers in the current image 
with a thumbnail of the contents of each 
one, the layers are shown in order from 
top to bottom so it is easy to see how 
your image is built up. Layers can be 
moved around in this "stack" by dragging 
their icon and dropping it in a new posi- 
tion which is indicated by a dotted line. 
Any layer can be hidden by clicking on 
the "light bulb" icon to the left of its 
thumbnail, this allows you to work on a 
layer in the middle of the stack and hide 
the layers above so they don't get in the 
way. If you make a layer from an existing 
image you can use the erase tool to 
make parts of the image transparent, so 
the layers below show through. In the 
layers window there is a position tool 
button which enables you to drag on the 
image to change the current layers posi- 
tion. 



The Tool settings window shows the 
settings for the current tool such as... 

" | Tool settings | F~ | T 



ei 



Normal 



J. 



\nm 



Text [ft-t Effect 



Font | times .font/24 

Style | F]ain Bold | Italics | Underline | 



Text... 




r | Tool settings 


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and Magic wand. 
There are three special types of layer 
which can be added from a dropdown 
menu on the layers window. Text layers 
are used to add text to the image, unlike 
using the normal text tool, text layers 
remain editable snd you can go back 
and make changes at any time. All the 
system fonts are available, you can set 
the colour and apply bold, underline or 
italics. You can enter as many lines as 
text as you like but they will all have to 
be in the same font/style, and one thing 
we noticed is that the final text is anti- 
alaised so it looks smooth. A shadow 
effect can be applied to any layer using 
the adjust effects option, this is par- 
ticularly effective when used with text 
layers. The angle of the shadow, it's 
opacity (transparency) and distance can 
be set and one particular useful feature 
is the global angle setting which allows 
you to set the same angle for the 
shadow cast for several layers. And 
finally we come to the process layers, 
these allow you to apply a small range 
of effects to all the layers below the pro- 
cess layer, the effect has to be applies 
to the whole image (unfortunately). The 




c I Tool wit mas 


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ir-»l 


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The main ArtEffect screen showing many of the windows including the 
excellent layer and brush managers. 



available effects are correction (bright- 
ness, contract & gamma), effect (pos- 
terize, negative & threshold) and special 
(fire, space & landscape colour effects). 
All of these are applied to the image in 
real time. 

Once you have constructed an image 
made up of multiple layers you have the 
options to save this as a flattened image 
without layers or to retain the layers 
within the image file. Layered images 
are saved as an extended IFF file which 
contains both the flattened image and all 
it's layers, this means you can load it 
into another package but if you need to 
edit the layers themselves you can only 
use ArtEffect to do so. A flattened image 
it should be noted uses much less disk 
space because it doesn't contain all the 
layers. 

Effects 

Like most image processors ArtEffect 
has a wide range of effects (which are in 
the filters menu) and all the different 
filters are applied to the image or the 
current layer in the same way. When 
you select a filter from the menu a pre- 
view window appears with the options 
for the filter below the preview image, as 
you adjust the filter options the preview 
is updated in real time. By default the 
preview only shows a small portion of 
the image but you can use the mouse to 
scroll around and zoom in and out. Once 
you are happy with the desired effect in 
the preview clicking on the execute 
button applies it to the whole image or 



layer, a progress bar is shown to let you 
know that something is happening, 
which is useful because some of the 
effects can take a long time. We have 
noticed that many os ArtEffects filters do 
seem considerably slower than the equi- 
valent in Photogenics 4 and ImageFX 4, 
apparently there are PPC plug-ins avail- 
able for ArtEffect but we don't have 
these to test and according to 
AmigActive they don't work with version 
4. 

Brushes 

There are two types of brushes, an 
image brush which is an area cut from 
an image and generated brushes which 
are user defined shape and size. To cut 
an image brush you select the scissors 
tool, click on the shape of brush you 
wish to create (circle, rectangle, polygon 
and freehand) , then draw on the image 
to cut it. You can also create a brush 
from any image that is loaded by clicking 
on a button in the brush manager 
window. Generated brushes can be 
based on an ellipse or rectangle, you 
can set the size and proportions, den- 
sity, intensity and roughness. These last 



□ | Brush setting 1 . 








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Create and edit your own brushes. 



three factors are controlled by a kinda 
graph which you can drag your mouse 
over to vary their effect from the centre 
to the outside of the brush. For example 
you could generate a circular brush with 
the intensity varying from high in the 
middle to none at the outside to get a 
soft airbrush effect. Both types of brush 
have options allowing you to set the 
size, placement and spacing when they 
are painted onto the image, these 
values can be set to vary randomly or by 
pressure sensitivity if you are fortunate 
to have a graphics tablet. Random size 
and placement is useful for creating 
backgrounds as it scatters the brush as 
you paint. 

Tools 

ArtEffext's main image editing controls 
are available from buttons on the tool- 
bar. At the top of the bar, buttons for 
drawing various shapes such as free- 
hand, line, curve, ellipse and rectangle 
as found in most art programs. All the 
shape drawing tools and freehand can 
be used to draw either an outline or filled 
shape. If you draw an outline then the 
current painting mode and brush are 
taken into account, so for example you 
could draw an airbrushed line. There are 
three main paint modes which apply a 
colour or effect to the image in different 
ways and there are several effect modes 
which alter the image in different ways 
as you paint. The pen paint mode paints 
as if the whole brush were solid without 
a soft edge. Brush mode only lets you 
apply a set amount of colour until you 
release the mouse button and paint 
again to re-load the brush, this makes it 
easy to achieve a watercolour like 
"wash" style. The third and final mode, 
Airbrush, is similar to brush except if you 
paint over an area several times the 
colour gets more intense with each 
pass. 

Now we come to the special effect 
modes. Clone allows you to copy one 
part of the image to another, for example 
to move one person's head onto 
another's shoulders. This works by first 
holding Left Alt and clicking where you 
want to copy from. Then you just start 
painting where you want to copy to and 
the source area is copied over. ArtEffect 
allows you to easily reposition both the 
source and the destination at any time 
by clicking with the Left (source) or Right 
(destination) Alt key held down. Smudge 
allows you to smudge the image about 
with configurable strength and fade, this 
can be very useful for smoothing new 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 







REI//EWS 



SUPPORT 



elements into an existing picture and for 
performing distortion effects. We did find 
the smudge mode was quite slow and 
jerky on higher resolution images (our 
test image was 1024x758 pixels) even 
on an '060. The erase tool is used to 
make part of the current image transpar- 
ent. It can be used to paint out areas of 
an image using the various tools or it 
can make the whole image transparent if 
you shift click its button. Erase comes 
into its own when you are working on a 
layered image as you can erase parts of 
one layer to reveal the layers below. The 
text tool allows you to add a single line 
of text at a time to your image, any 
system font can be used and you can 
apply bold, underline and italic styles. 
The final text is antialaised and looks 
very nice if you use a scalable font. 

While you work with these tools the 
appropriate settings are shown in the 
tool settings window so you can make 
adjustments. As well as painting with the 
selected colour or image brush you can 
also paint on a small selection of effects. 
Unlike Photogenics you cannot paint on 
all of ArtEffect's filters only a few are 
available such as water (which smears 
the image like a wet brush), lighten, 
smooth, blur, sharpen and several 
colour effects. All the paint modes have 
an opacity or pressure slider which 
allows you to control the amount of 
colour or effect applied. 

Stencil 

This protects areas of the image allow- 
ing you to paint and apply effects to a 
specific area. A stencil can be applied to 
an image in a number of ways. With the 
magic wand tool you can click in an area 
you wish to select for editing and 
ArtEffect will try to find its boundaries 
and stencil the rest of the image so and 
subsequent operations are applied only 
to the selected area. With the magic 
wand selected you can set the tolerance 
used to select the area, this adjusts how 
similar a colour must be to the area you 
clicked to be included in the selection. 
You can add and remove areas using 
the magic wand tool by clicking with the 
left Alt (add) or left Amiga (remove) keys 
held down. The rectangular masking tool 
lets you select a rectangular area for 
editing and protects the rest with the 
stencil, sadly you can't use any other 
shapes. Finally the text tool can be used 
in stencil mode, this lets you paint or 
apply an effect just to the text area. 

Once you have defined your stencil 
there are several operations you can 




Delete 



which not only describes most buttons 
but offers additional information such as 
what keyboard qualifiers are available. 



apply to it from the Stencil menu. Invert 
is probably the option you will use most, 
this changes protected areas to un- 
protected and vice versa. The feather 
option allows you to smooth the edge 
between a protected and a free area to 
hide any join and eliminate noise 
removes any stray pixels which have not 
been picked up by the magic wand. 

Colours 

Selection of the painting colour and the 
colour used by effects and filters that 
require a colour selection is set in the 
Colour Manager window. This window 
can show up to 256 colour swatches 
allowing you to easily pick a specific 
colour. In the top part of the window 
colours can be defined using a variety of 
colour models. For the RGB (Red, 
Green, Blue), HSB (Hue, Saturation, 
Brightness) and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, 
Yellow, Key (Black)) models the colour is 
set using three of four sliders. Two other 
modes are available, Gradient which 
shows all the colours in one block and 
Mixer which lets you set the colour at 
each corner of a box and see how they 
mix together. One particularly nice touch 
is that the colour sliders each show a 
gradient of colour so you can see what 
difference moving the slider to a par- 
ticular position will make. 

Colour gradients are defined in a very 
powerful requester, any number can be 
created and each is assigned a unique 
name. You can add as many colour 
points as you like and ArtEffect will 
create a smooth gradient between them. 
You can change the position of the 
colour points along the gradient to make 
slow or rapid changes in colour. We did 



The Gradient manager is a powerful tool 
and can create any number of named 

gradients. 

The colour manager features a number 

of colour selection systems including 

Gradient shown here. 



find the gradient requester rather slow 
and unresponsive which does hamper 
its use a bit. Gradients can be applied to 
the filled shapes or with the flood fill tool, 
after the shape has been drawn or area 
flooded you can drag the mouse to set 
the gradient direction. 

Load/Save and Print 

A variety of image formats can be 
loaded and saved by ArtEffect including, 
IFF ILBM, BMP, PCX, PNG, TARGA, 
TIFF and, of course, JPEG. No 8 bit 
formats are supported so you can't use 
ArtEffect to create GIF images directly. 
Printing is possible via the standard 
AmigaOS printer drivers, Turbo Print and 
Studio so everyone should be catered 
for. The Turbo Print and Studio options 
simply load the image into the print 
packages image printing program 
(Graphics Publisher and Studio respec- 
tively) so you can decide what size and 
print settings you require before you 
print. 

Documentation 

The English printed manual supplied 
with ArtEffect 4 is actually for version 1 .1 
so although it does cover some of the 
basics it is way out of date and doesn't 
cover major features such as layers that 
were added in later versions. That said 
an excellent set of HTML based tutorials 
are supplied on the CDs and even more 
up-to-date versions can be found on 
Haage and Partner's website. These 
tutorials are very thorough and cover 
many aspects of the program, all the 
images required are provided. Learning 
ArtEffect by using it is made much 
easier by the excellent bubble help 



Plug-ins 



There are several plug-ins available for 
ArtEffect, both commercial and public 
domain, these vary from additional filters 
to digital camera drivers (only old Kodak 
models unfortunately). Haage & Partner 
released PPC plug-ins for ArtEffect 3 
but we have read in Amiga Active that 
these don't work with version4, but we 
are unable to confirm this as we don't 
have them ourselves (if Haage & 
Partner would like to prove us wrong...). 
ArtEffect also has an AREXX port so 
you can control it from your own scripts, 
many scripts are also available on 
Aminet (for those who don't want to get 
their hands dirty). 

Conclusion 

In conclusion ArtEffect is right up there 
with the other big two image processors 
on the Amiga (ImageFX 4 and 
Photogenics 4) it has its strengths, the 
excellent layers management and 
powerful brush tools and only minor 
weaknesses, speed in a few areas par- 
ticularly filters and limited flexibility in 
applying the filters. Overall a very pro- 
fessional package that would meet most 
peoples requirements especially if you 
are into painting or photo editing and 
compositing... a masterpiece coming 
your way soon! 



Results 



@- 



Pros 

Powerful and easy layers system. 

Flexible brush system and painting 

modes. 

Attractive and logical interface. 



Cons 

Effects can be slow. 

Limited number of layer effects. 



\te\v 




ArtEffecfeft 
Tutorial 



I 



By Robert Williams 
and Mick Sutton 

t's always hard to get across in a 
review how a program actually 
works so we thought we would in- 




clude this ArtEffect tutorial. We hope that it will be useful for anyone who already has 
ArtEffect and will also be interesting for people who want to see how the program 
could be used in "real life". We used ArtEffect to product the new images for the 
Members section of our website. To spice up what was a rather dull page Mick 
Sutton suggested we have a criminal theme, and make each committee member 
look like they were in a line up of "usual suspects". To do this we took a photo of 
each member standing against a plain white background and then added the height 
chart behind them. Finally we super imposed a blackboard and with their name and 
prisoner number. It turned out that this project uses quite a few aspect of ArtEffect, 
especially the layers so it makes quite a good tutorial. These techniques could be 
applied to all sorts of projects involving photo compositing, if you want to give it a go 
using the same images as we did you should find them on our website by the time 
you read this review. 



Step by Step 




Load original image by selecting Open from the Project menu, in our case this is the 
image of Jeff against the plain background. 

Add the Height Chart 

I Then load the height chart. You could 
create this from scratch in ArtEffect but as 
our height chart contains lots of lines and 
text we decided to prepare it in 
DrawStudio which has grid and alignment 
facilities. 

Click on the magic wand tool in the tool 
bar then click on any unwanted area in the 
height chart (the white background), 
everything except the area where you 
clicked should now be flood filled with a 
red tint (red is the default colour, it can be changed in the Settings/Settings window) 
indicating it is stencilled. Now we need to remove the stencil from all the other un- 
wanted areas including the "holes" inside numbers like 6. To do this hold down the 
left ALT key and click in each area until they are all cleared. 

Now we have a stencil protecting the black areas where we actually want the white 
areas protected, to achieve this we simply select Invert from the Stencil menu. The 
white areas should return be tinted red and the black lines and text should be solid 
black again. When we pick up the height chart as a brush in the next step the areas 
protected by the stencil will be left transparent so this method allows us to pick-up 
just the lines and text. 

To pick up the height chart as a brush click on the Scissors tool, then in the Tool set- 
tings window (choose Settings from the Window menu or press F2 if it's not already 
open) uncheck the Transparency box. Now drag your pointer from one corner of the 
image to the opposite corner and release the mouse button. 

Now re-arrange the windows so the background image is in full view and active. 

We are now going to add the height chart as a layer above the background so click 
on the New button in the Layers and Channels window (open with the 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



-@ 



SUPPORT 



Window/Layers menu item or by pressing F6). Ensure that the 
pen tool and freehand are selected on the tool bar. In the Tool 
settings window (which you opened earlier) select Matte from 
the cycle gadget. Now position move the pointer over the 
image and you should see a bounding box representing the 
brush. Align the bounding box with the edges of the image 
then click the left mouse button once to paint the brush. The 
height chart should then be painted over Jeff but the white 
background will be transparent so you can see him behind. 
Finally click in the Name box in the Layers & Channels window 
and change it to Chart. 



Add the Foreground Layer 



p | Layers & Channels 



lEJlta 



! ^Jphachannels | 




9 



^^ 



CP 



New Layer 



Background 



♦I- 



J_ 



Jx 



Select the Background layer by click- 
ing on its thumbnail in the Layers 
and Channels window, its row should 
be highlighed. Select Duplicate 
Layer in the pop-up menu which is 
accessed by clicking on the down- 
pointing arrow button in the bottom 
right hand corner of the window. A 
new layer identical to the back- 
ground appears, name the 
duplicated layer "Jeff". Drag the 
"Jeff" layer thumbnail to the top 
(release the button when the dotted line is above the top 
layer), this new layer should now obscure the others in the 
main image window. 

We now want to remove the white screen background from the 
"Jeff" layer, this will allow us to see the height chart behind Jeff 
but with the original background. To do this select the magic 
wand tool and click anywhere on the white screen behind Jeff. 
Select magic wand again, hold down the left Alt key and click 
in any areas where you want the background image to show 
through, for example under the arms. If you go too far you can 
always choose Undo from the Edit menu. When you get to the 
point where a click selects more than you want you can either 
reduce the tolerance in the Tool settings window or tidy it up 
manually later. When you're happy hold down a Shift key and 
click on the Erase tool to erase the unprotected parts of the 
image, in this case the screen background. 




Now we need to tidy up the areas we couldn't easily select 
with the magic wand, first select None from the Stencil menu 
to clear the stencil. Click on the Erase tool and choose a soft 
round brush from the Brush manager (Window/Brush manager 
or press F4). Carefully paint over any areas you want to 
remove, for example where the foreground shadows obscure 
the chart lines. 

The Black Board 

Jeff looks like a convict but one vital feature is missing, a black 
board with his prisoner number! Note that in the images on this 




page we've given Jeff a 
grey "black board" this is 
so you can see what 
we've added even though 
Clubbed is a black and 
white magazine! 

Add another new layer, 
name it Board. Select the 
filled polygon tool (click in 
the bottom right hand side 
of the Polygon button) and 
ensure black is selected 
as your drawing colour. 
Draw a box over the mag- 
azine Jeff is holding, to do 
this just click in each cor- 
ner of the magazine in 
turn. 

Now we'll make it look as if Jeff is actually holding the board 
by revealing his fingers. To make this easier zoom in over one 
of the hands by clicking on the Zoom tool and dragging a box 
over the area you want to magnify. Select the erase tool and a 
small round brush from the Brush manager. Erase the area 
over the fingers so they look as if they are gripping the board. 

Name, Rank and Number 

The finishing touch is to add the prisoner's name and number, 
to do this we'll use ArtEffect's special text layer, you could also 
use the text tool. First select white (or whatever text colour you 
fancy) as your drawing colour then choose Add text layer from 
the Layers and Channels window pop-up menu. 

In the Text layer window enter the text you want and select a 
suitable font, I chose CGTimes, size 50. Click the Apply Text 
button then close the window. Now click the Move icon in the 
Layers window and drag on your image to move the text into 
place over the board. If you need to edit the text at a later date 
simply double click the layer's thumbnail to re-open the Text 
layer window. 




Well that's it and I hope you'll agree that the end result is quite 
effective, now it's up to you to apply these techniques to your 
own images. 



@- 




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CLUBBED- Issue 7 



REI//EWS 



REI//EWS 



EZMouse PS/2 

Developed and Distributed by: Eyetech Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 713185 
WWW: www.eyetech.co.uk Price: £19.95 



With Amiga mice becoming 
more difficult find (especially 
if you don't like the "official" 
ones) the various options for connecting 
a standard PC mouse are more and 
more attractive. Not only are PC rodents 
very readily available but you have a 
bewildering choice in shapes and sizes 
there is also the option of alternative 
devices like track balls and finally many 
PC mice have extra features like scroll 
wheels and additional buttons. 

PC serial mice can be used with the 
Amiga's built-in serial port and an appro- 
priate driver (which means they cannot 
work until the Amiga has booted) or in 
the mouse port with a suitable adaptor 
such as the Punchinello. However serial 
mice are now also a dying breed as 
most new PCs use PS/2 or USB ports to 
connect their mice. It will be quite a 
while before serial mice stop being 
available altogether but already some 
newer models are only available for 
PS/2 and USB. So it's nice to see this 
new EZMouse adaptor from Eyetech 
that lets you connect a PS/2 mouse to 
your Amiga's standard mouse port. 

The EZMouse adaptor itself couldn't 
really be any simpler, it is only just over 
3cm long and plugs directly into the 
mouse port. On the opposite end to the 
Amiga mouse connector is the PS/2 port 
where you plug in the mouse. If you take 



the adaptor apart (I couldn't resist taking 
a quick peek :)) you'll find just one IC 
and two chip capacitors neatly surface 
mounted on the tiny PCB. 

In use the PS/2 mouse acts as any other 
Amiga mouse. No software is required 
for this basic functionality so you can 
bring up the early startup menu and use 
the PS/2 mouse in games that do not 
multitask. The only slight limitation we 
found is that, unlike the Punchinello, the 
middle mouse button does not work 
without the supplied software being run. 
On the plus side if you've used a serial 
mouse on a PC or via an adaptor on the 
Amiga you'll notice that the EZMouse is 
noticeably smoother especially when 
moving the pointer slowly. 

Two pieces of software are supplied with 
the EZMouse, WheelDriver and 
FreeWheel, both are installed into the 
WBStartup drawer by the simple install 
script so they will be available after 
every boot. WheelDriver is unique to the 
EZMouse and generates events when 
you roll the scroll wheel or click the addi- 
tional buttons on your PS/2 mouse. 
FreeWheel which is written by Alistair 
Robinson allows you to use the scroll 
wheel and up to four buttons with most 
Amiga software. The wheel support 
works with most applications that use a 
standard scroll bar and all applications 
that allow you to scroll using 



l_ 



Mice Tested 



Since I've had the EZMouse I've managed to test it with a variety of PS/2 mice 
(most of them borrowed from work). Unfortunately I have found compatibility with 
PS/2 mice to be variable here are the results with the mice we tried: 

Working 

Generic 2 button PS/2 mouse (bought for £2.50 at a computer fair!) 

Logitech Trackman Marble 

Logitech Trackman Marble Wheel (via the supplied USB to PS/2 adaptor) 

Logitech Pilot Wheel Mouse serial and PS/2 

Logitech Wheel Mouse Optical (via the supplied USB to PS/2 adaptor) 

Microsoft Wheel Mouse PS/2 

Didn't Work 

Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer (via the supplied USB to PS/2 adaptor) 
Microsoft mouse port compatible mouse 2.1a. 



ffi- 



Serial and PS/2 



Many mice work with both serial and 
PS/2 ports, usually these types are 
supplied with an adaptor. However be 
aware that this does not mean that 
any PS/2 mouse can be converted to 
serial with a simple adaptor. In fact 
the serial and PS/2 mice use some 
redundant pins in the PS/2 connector 
to supply the required serial signals, 
a PS/2 mouse not designed for a 
serial adaptor (such as USB and 
PS/2 mice) cannot be used with one. 

the cursor keys. Scrolling in some MUI 
applications and classes works because 
they accept cursor key input but a better 
option is to download MUlWheel 
(giftware, on Aminet) which patches MUI 
to support wheel events and has a neat 
page of options in the MUI preference 
program. So you can use the wheel to 
scroll in workbench windows, web brow- 
sers and many other applications. 
Freewheel allows you to define the 
actions of the two extra buttons so you 
could use one to bring the window under 
the pointer to the front or flip screens for 
example. You are limited to the pre- 
defined actions provided which are not 
as extensive as those provided by 
utilities such as MCP but most likely 
uses are catered for. 

It's worth mentioning that although the 
wheel seems like a bit of a gimmick at 
first it is really useful. Scrolling through 
webpages and long documents in par- 
ticular feels much more natural because 
you can keep your eye on the text rather 
than searching for a scroll bar, even 
though the Amiga's scroll bars work 
much better than the ones on Windows. 
If you've never used a wheel mouse 
before the wheel actually moves in small 
steps, notches if you like, in Freewheel 
you can set how many lines of text 
should scroll with each notch. 

The EZMouse is a simple and effective 
device, when used with a four button 
wheel mouse it adds a great deal of 
functionality you soon won't want to be 
without. You just need to be careful you 
pick a compatible PS/2 mouse, from our 
tests Logitech seems a good choice. 

By Robert Williams 



Wheel Mouse Optica 

Developer: Logitech WWW: www.logitech.com Available from: Computer shops Price: about £30 



We all know the problems of 
traditional mice which are 
forever getting gummed up 
with dirt making them erratic. They also 
have a tendency to slip unless you use 
a good quality mouse mat. Optical mice 
with no moving parts have been avail- 
able for a long time too, but they have 
always required a special mouse mat 
printed with a grid. 

This optical mouse is different, it has no 
ball and no moving parts yet it can be 
used on almost any surface! On the 
bottom of the mouse is a red LED and a 
recessed reader which scans the 
surface under the mouse some very 
clever processing determines the direc- 
tion of travel. While the mouse is not in 
use the LED glows softly, it brightens as 
soon as the mouse is moved. I have 
been very impressed as to how well this 
system works, the mouse tracks per- 
fectly on all the surfaces I tried including 
my "Keep the momentum going" mouse 
mat (very important!), desk top and even 




Pay by credit card and 
get a free CD-ROM. 

(call for details) 

State Amiga model 

when ordering. 



plain surfaces like the top of my A3000. 
As you would expect with no ball the 
action is totally smooth although I 
noticed it is not as fast as the Wizard 
mouse I used previously, I had to in- 
crease my acceleration setting to get the 
same effect. 

The symmetrical design of the Wheel 
Mouse Optical should mean it is usable 
by both left and right handed people, I 
find it well shaped and comfortable in 
the hand. The large buttons have posi- 
tive microswitches without being too 
dicky. The top shell is a slightly metallic 
looking dark blue colour and the two 
buttons are silver, the bottom half is 
translucent blue so you can see the LED 
glowing as you use the mouse. I'm not 
usually a fan of strangely coloured 
peripherals but this is quite subtle and it 
makes a change from beige, I'm not so 
sure I like the red glow though. The 
mouse is actually a USB device and is 
supplied with a USB to PS/2 adaptor 
which must then be plugged into the 




EZMouse and 
finally into the 
mouse port! As you 
can imagine this adds 
up to quite a length, which 
will probably get in the way. One way to 
solve this problem is to use a short ex- 
tension cable so the adaptors hang 
down. 

As I mentioned in the EZMouse review 
the scroll wheel is a very useful addition 
and can also be used as a third button 
by pressing it down. 

So far the Wheel Mouse Optical and 
EZMouse combination has worked flaw- 
lessly and proved to be a complete 
replacement for my Wizard mouse. I'm 
already beginning to be so used to the 
wheel I miss it when using other 
people's computers. I hope that the opti- 
cal technology will mean this mouse 
works reliably (without regular cleaning) 
and lasts for a long time justifying its 
rather high price. 



FORE-MATT Home Computing 

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Simon Sorcerer 2 £30 



Hell Squad £30 



Aminet Games £15 



Earth 21 40 £30 



NcodeR £30 



OS3.9 £25 



CDROM GAMES 

A7+ £10 

Adventurers Lair £20 

Amiga Classix £15 

Amiga Classix 2 £20 

Arcade Classix + £10 

Arcade Classix Mk 2 £15 

Best of Gremlin £20 

Blade £10 

Bubba n Stix CD32 £10 

CDS Collection £15 

Cedric £15 

Chess 2k £15 

Civilization AGA/ECS £10 

D-1000 doom data £10 

Eat The Whistle £10 

European Superleague £10 

Exodus £30 

Fears CD32 £10 

Fields ot Glory £15 

Final Odyssey £10 

Fightin Spirit £15 

Flyin High £15 

Foundation Dir. Cut £15 

Foundation Gold £25 

Foundation Und.Land £15 



CDROM GAMES 

Genetic Species £15 

Giana Sisters Trilogy £10 

Goal! 2000 £10 

ImperatorCD £15 

Islona Collection £20 

Labyrinth Of Time £10 

Lure of the Temptress £15 

Megaball Deluxe £15 

Moonbases £10 

Mutantology £10 

Naughty Ones CD32 £10 

Nightlong £40 

Payback (soon) £30 

Phoenix Fighters £10 

Pinball Illusions CD32 £10 

Prey: Alien Encounter £10 

Pure Doom £10 

Red Mars £15 

Retro Gold £10 

Seaside £15 

Shadow of 3rd Moon £20 

Shogo PPC (soon) £40 

Simon the Sorcerer £10 

Sixth Sense Investns £15 

Skeleton Krew CD32 £10 



CDROM GAMES 

Spherical Worlds £10 

Sports Mad £20 

Star Fighter £15 

Street Racer CD £10 

Superfrog £10 

Super Methane Bros £10 

Tales From Heaven £20 

Testament CD £10 

Theme Park CD £10 

The Games Room £15 

The Prophet £15 

The Strangers AGA £10 

Trivial Pursuit £15 

Turbo Racer 3D £10 

Ultimate Gloom £10 

Ult. Super Skidmarks £10 

Uropa2 £10 

Virtual Ball Fighters £15 

Virtual Karting 2 £10 

Vital Light £10 

Wasted Dreams £20 

Wembley Int. Soccer £10 

Whales Voyage 2 £15 

Word Games £10 

Zombie Massacre{18) £15 



UTILITIES 

17 Bit Level 6 £10 

100% Amiga Magazine £5 

100% Amiga Ann. UK £48 

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Amiga Developer 2.1 £20 

Amiga SDK £90 

Amiga Tools 8 £15 

Amiga Web Offline £5 

Aminet Set 4- 10 ea £30 

Aminet Set Subscribe £25 

Aminet Singles £13 

Aminet Subscription £10 

AmosPDCD2 £20 

Anim Worksnop £15 

Animations CD £15 

Animatic £5 

Art Studio Pro £35 

AsimCDFSv3.x £30 

Beauty of Chaos £5 

Best ot Ai'SOft £10 

Best of Mecomp v1 £5 

Blitz Basic 2.1 (ult.) £10 

Candy Factory Pro £35 



UTILITIES 

CybergraphX £25 

Cross Dos 7 Gold £40 

Darkage Developer £10 

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Digibooster Pro £20 

Digital Almanac 2 £25 

Digital Makeup £15 

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Emulators Unlimited £10 

Extreme CD £10 

Extreme Visual FX2 £10 

Faces of Mars 2001 £15 

Fonts £10 

fxPaint v1.5 £60 

fxScanv3.0 £25 

Gateway v1 (netBSD) £10 

Giga Graphics £10 

Giga PD v3 (3Cdset) £5 

Glowlcons £15 

Graphic Sensations £10 

Guinness Records v2 £10 

HDPatchez £10 

Hidden Truth £10 

lbrowse2.x £35 

Illusions in 3D £10 



UTILITIES 

In To The Net (2CD) £5 

Learning Curve £20 

Lightrom 7 or 8 ea £30 

LSD1 or2ea £15 

MakeCDDAO £50 

Midi Files £10 

Moovid Pro 2 (trade in 1) £15 

Multimedia Backdrop £15 

Net News Offline v1 £5 

Network CD £10 

Network CD 2 £15 

Octamed Soundstudio £10 

OS 3.9 £25 

Oxyron Patcher £15 

Photo CD Manager £15 

Photofolio v2 £25 

Red Hat Linux £20 

Screen Savers 2 £10 

Sounds Terrific 2 £10 

System Booster £10 

Texture Heaven 1 8,2 £10 

VHI Studio 5.2 £30 

Wordworth7 £40 

Workbench 3.0 Set £10 

Zoom2 £15 



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Review Cuteousy of: 



AmiHool 



com 



Bubble Heroes 

: 



ubble heroes is an interesting 
little puzzle game similar to tetris 
with a few twists, the principle of 
the games is simple at the top of the 
screen you have a number of coloured 
balls and at the bottom you have a 
'launcher' which fires balls from the 
bottom of the screen up to the top when 
you have three balls of the same colour 
in contact they explode and any loose 
balls fall off the screen, while your doing 
all this the balls are slowly moving down 
and if any of the slip below the bottom 
line you loose. 

There are three basic play modes, Story, 
Championship and Deathmatch. Story 
mode provides you with a fairly straight 
forward progression through all of the 
game's levels, Championship mode 
where you can go head to head against 
the computer and deathmatch mode 
where you an go head to head against 
another player. Deathmatch mode has 



Product Information 



Developer: 


Crystal Int. Software 


Availibility: 


Forematt Home Comp. 




& most games dealers. 


WWW: 




www.crystal-software.com 


Price: 


£15 


Req'd: 


68030 or above 




AGA or RTG gfx card 




4Mb RAM 




CD-ROM 




Hard drive 



two methods of play, Until Death and 
Target or Die. Until Death is a straight 
forward one on one match where as in 
Target or Die you can either win in the 
normal way or by releasing the fairy 
trapped at the top of the screen. 

The game has three characters a Knight 
(Yorumaru), a Frog (Gupochi) and a 
Weird cat girl (Nekochan) each of the 
characters has their own special moves 
for use in deathmatch mode. 

The Plot 

The game has an interesting plot involv- 
ing floating islands, fairies and an evil 
villain who happens to looks remenis- 
cent of Dr.Doom all of which seem point- 
less and the story its self is very badly 
written and almost nonsensical, overall 
the plot seems to be nothing more than 
padding to try and make the game stand 
out from the crowd and is worth ignoring. 

Visuals 

The game's graphics are excellent and it 




seem apparent that a great deal of care 
was made in their creation. Right from 
the start, the in game background 
graphics are all exceedingly well drawn. 
The only place where the graphics could 
do with, improvment would be the char- 
acter graphics, which appear blocky. 

Game Play 

The game itself plays exceedingly well 
and is challenging enough to keep you 
entertained for hours, it has a nice learn- 
ing curve so the first time you play the 
game you'll find it quite hard though the 
more you play it the easier it becomes. 

The game is structured in four sections 
each containing 10 levels at the end of 
each section you have to free a fairy 
after which you have to battle a level 
boss, this makes the game varied 
enough to keep you interested. 




PD Paradise Part 1: Warp Datatypes 



By Oliver Roberts 

WWW: http://www.nanunanu.org/~oliver/ 

Licence: Freeware 

The datatypes system is one of 
the most innovative aspects of 
the Amiga OS, however one of 
the main criticisms of datatypes is that 
they tend to be slower than the loaders 
built in to applications. Oliver Roberts 
has set out to squash this view by 
releasing a set of datatypes specifically 
designed to be as fast as possible. 
According to Oliver's figures the 



WarpJPEG datatype, for example, is 
about 20% faster on most images than 
the akJPEG datatype which was the pre- 
vious leader in datatype speed. 

Initially the Warp datatypes were only 
available for PowerPC users running 
Haage and Partner's WarpOS software, 
now 68k ('020 and above, processor op- 
timised versions included) and MorphOS 
versions have been added meaning 
everyone can use them. Currently three 
datatypes are available supporting, 
JPEG, PNG and BMP images all of 
them require that you have a 24bit pic- 



ture datatype installed, this can be the 
one supplied with your graphics system 
(both Picasso 96 and CyberGraphX 
come with one) or the new picture 
datatype supplied with OS3.5 and 3.9. If 
you don't have a graphics card you can 
use Picasso 96, OS3.5 or 3.9 picture, 
the 24bit image will be dithered down to 
the colours available on your screen. 

Just because the emphasis is placed on 
speed doesn't mean the Warp datatypes 
are lacking in features or format support, 
let's look at each datatype in more 
detail: 



Key to Driving Theory 

Elliott Bird finds the perfect revision aid for his upcoming driving theory test. 



Today's driving tests are changing 
rapidly, with the recent introduc- 
tion of the theory test four years 
ago. So the best way to pass this theory 
test is to revise, right? That's where your 
Amiga, and Key To Driving theory 
comes in use. 

Key To Driving theory is a unique inter- 
active revision aid, which comes on CD- 
ROM and boasts a large number of mul- 
tiple choice questions which come from 
the actual theory test itself. When you 
run KTDT, and once you've bypassed 
the production screens, you come to the 
main screen, where you are greeted 
with a somewhat comical voice which 
you hear throughout KTDT (unless 
you've disabled it of course, which may 
be a good idea after a while). From 
there you can go straight in to the test 
itself, you can do some "Quick 
Revision", or you can customise the test 
to suit your revision needs in the "Set- 
up" section. 

Set-up 

From here you can change how you are 
tested. You can either have a mock test 



Product Information 



Developer: Mike Carter 
Distributor: Epic Direct 

Tel: +44(0) 1793 514188 
WWW: 

www.amigautils.co.uk 
Price: £15 



'■ >j- "I".-; Oriving Theory 



Driving Theory 

Test Setup 



Test Based on C * EVERYTHING * 

| ^^^^^^H 35 Questions To Be Asked v Sound & Speech 
3D Correct Answers Needed Timed Test 

-id Minutes Allowed For Test „- Display Clock 
Setup... Save Setup As... Save Default Setup 




Executable V1.07CD 
compiled or 

Coded By Mike Carter/ Prog re- 



PR06R, 55 



or a strict test. With the mock test, you 
are told whether your answer is correct 
or incorrect before you move on to the 
next question, you will also be told more 
about your answer, whether you've got it 
correct, or incorrect. Other options in- 
clude what you want to be tested on, 
how many questions are to be asked 
(the default is 35, which the number of 
questions in the real test), the pass 
mark, which is normally 30, and there's 
the time limit, which can be switched off. 

Quick Revision 

This is a small revision section, which 
includes National Speed Limits, 
Stopping Distances, and Traffic Light 
Signals. All of which come with colourful, 
easy to follow diagrams and charts. 

The Theory Test 

This is where you can put your driving 
theory knowledge to the test. This is the 
best way to find out whether you are 
ready for the real thing. Practice makes 



perfect as far as this goes. Of course 
you are not only faced with some multi- 
ple choice questions on their own, most 
of the questions have colour diagrams 
and pictures as in the real thing. If you 
have set a time limit for the test, you will 
see the clock on the right hand side, not 
that you would miss it of course, as it 
can be very off putting. 

Conclusion 

Overall I think this is quite a useful 
revision aid for people who have an 
upcoming theory test. No matter how 
much the real theory test changes, you 
can configure it to suit your testing and 
revision needs. I would also say this is 
good value, especially at £15, for what 
you get. But there are flaws to it, includ- 
ing a few bugs and stability problems 
from time to time, you may also come 
across a number of spelling mistakes, 
which seem to be quite common in quite 
a few revision aids I've seen! And the 
questions may repeat themselves a 
number of times, which can also be a 
good thing. If you have a theory test 
coming up, then Key To Driving Theory 
is the first thing to get! 




By Robert Williams 



PD Paradise continues on page 40. 



PNG 

The Portable Network Graphics format 
was primarily developed as a replace- 
ment for GIF when various licensing 
issues arose over the compression 
method it used. It also allows for the 
lossless compression of 24bit images 
(unlike JPEG which is lossy). 
WarpPNG's main claim to fame over 
other PNG datatypes is its speed being 
90 to 300% faster than the akPNG 
datatype when running on PPC and sub- 
stantially faster on 68k. 



JPEG 

In addition to the standard and progres- 
sive JPEGs supported by most 
datatypes the WarpJPEG can decode a 
wide range of more unusual JPEG 
formats such as Exit, Adobe, Photoshop, 
Mavi, Windows and JCCK colorspace 
files. I have found this flexibility useful as 
the Warp datatype was the only one able 
to read the thumbnail files saved by my 
Olympus 920Z digital camera. 

BMP 

BMP files are commonly used on 



Windows and OS/2 systems, WarpBMP 
supports colour depths from 1 to 32 bit 
and the RLE compression format. Speed 
increases with BMP files are less dra- 
matic as the format is quite simple and 
only lightly compressed. However I 
believe WarpBMP is the only BMP 
datatype to properly support > 8 bit 
BMPs with a 24 bit picture datatype. 

I have found all three Warp datatypes to 
be very fast and reliable and to work 
with all the files I throw at them, a really 
excellent freeware product. 



©" 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



-@ 



SUPPORT 



SUPPORT 





Robert Williams has some handy hints to make your Amiga life easier. 



Drag-n-Drop on Workbench 

You're probably used to dragging file 
from one window to another on 
Workbench to move and copy them and 
perhaps using drag and drop within one 
application. Here are some examples: 

Web Browsers 

All three major Amiga browsers, AWeb, 
IBrowse and Voyager load any HTML 
page you drop onto their window, this 
can be useful for previewing HTML 
pages you have written and viewing 
HTML documentation. 

File Requesters 

Any program that uses standard 
(asl. library) or ReqTools file requesters 
can load files by drag and drop. Simply 
open the file requester and drag the file 
you want to load from the Workbench 
and drop it on the requester. The 
requester changes to the correct direc- 
tory and selects the file. Now just click 
OK to open it. If you drop a drawer the 
file requester changes to display its con- 
tents. 

Graphics Publisher 

Turbo Print's excellent picture printing 
application supports file drag and drop 
in a very useful way, just drag and 
image from its workbench window onto 
the page in Graphics Publisher and the 
image is placed. This speeds up adding 
several pictures to a page greatly. 

Programs not Running on the 
Workbench Screen. 

Dragging and dropping files onto a pro- 
gram that doesn't run on the Workbench 
screen presents a bit of a problem. 
Some programs place an Applcon 
(application icon) on the Workbench, 
this allows you to drag the file you want 
to load onto the Applcon where it will be 
loaded into the program on its own 
screen. Applcons can also be used in 
other ways, for example there are 
several utilities available which provide 
information on or process the file 



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Drawer size shown in the OS 3.9 
RaWblnfo icon information requester. 

dragged onto their Applcon. 

Getting drawer/drive sizes in 
OS 3.5 & 3.9 

It can often be useful to know how much 
space a directory and all its contents 
take up on disk. For example you might 
need to know whether the directory will 
fit on a floppy or CD-R or even how 
much space will be freed by deleting it. 

From OS 3.5 there is now an easy, if 
slightly hidden way to achieve this from 
Workbench: 

Select the drawer you want size informa- 
tion for and choose Information from the 
Icons menu or press Right Amiga+I. 

In the information requester click on the 
text "0 blocks" to the right of "Size:", this 
is actually a hidden button. 

You will see the size appear and count 
up as Workbench scans through all the 
files and sub-drawers in the drawer you 
selected. When the value stops going up 
you can see the total size of the selected 
drawer, and the number of files and sub- 
drawers it contains. 

Older versions of AmigaOS don't have 
this feature but there is a handy free 
utility on Aminet (util/app) called 
Applsizer by Gerard Cornu. This puts an 
Applcon on your Workbench which will 
report the total size of any drawer or 



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Workbench versions. 



disk dropped on it. 

Adding a file comment 
before installing files 

A common complaint when installing 
programs is that they put files outside 
their program directory which you can't 
identify if you ever decide to delete the 
program. One way to make the uninstal- 
lation a bit less painful it to tag all the 
files you install with the program they 
belong to. This can be done by setting 
the file comment of all the files before 
installation. The file comment is a short 
piece of text, up to 79 characters long, 
which is held against each file. You can 
see it in the Comment field of the 
Information requester and in the output 
of the list command. Using the shell 
command Filenote you can add a com- 
ment to all the files in a directory, if you 
do this before installing a program then 
you will be able to see where these files 
came from. As an example if you were 
installing a utility called Messylnstall.lha 
you would first unarchive it into the Ram 
Disk or a temporary directory. Say this 
created a drawer called Messylnstall in 
Ram: then to add the comment 
"Messylnstall 1.1 Installed 29/12/00" to 
all the files you would enter the following 
in a shell (all on one line): 

Filenote Ram:MessyInstall/ ALL 
"Messylnstall 1.1 Installed 
29/12/00" 

The ALL switch applies the comment to 
all the files contained in the directory 
specified. 

If you have Directory Opus 5 (and I'm 
sure older versions of Opus and other 
directory utilities have a similar option) 
then you can use the Comment com- 
mand which is in the pop-up lister menu 
(marked by a downward pointing arrow) 
to add a comment to all the files in a 
directory. Simply select the directory in a 
lister and choose Comment from the 
pop-up menu. Opus then asks you if you 
want to act on files in sub-directories, 




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hile comments can be viewed in many 

ways such as Opus listers (like this one), 

with the shell list command and in the 

icon information requester. 

click Yes and then enter your comment 
and click OK. 

A word of warning, remember that files 
such as libraries and fonts may well be 
used by other programs as well as the 
one you're installing. Even with the files 
marked with their installer you need to 
be careful when deleting to ensure you 
don't remove anything needed by other 
programs. 

Searching AmigaGuide 
files. 

Most Amiga programs come with their 
documentation in Commodore's 
AmigaGuide format which has a few 
shortcomings, one of which is that the 
standard viewers (Multiview on OS3.X 
and AmigaGuide on earlier OS versions) 
do not have a search facility. On a basic 
level an AmigaGuide is simply a text file 
with embedded formatting codes so you 
can always search one in a text editor. If 
you want a rather more sophisticated 
solution then a couple of programs are 
available to solve this problem. 

PowerGuide is a stand-alone Amiga 
Guide viewer written by Matthias 
Scheler for Schatztruhe for use on their 
Aminet CDs (where it can be found in 
the Tools directory, it does not have an 



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SearchGuide's results are very 
neatly formatted. 



icon). It is very similar to the OS Amiga 
Guide viewers however I have found 
some mention of it being faster (I can't 
see any noticeable difference on my 
'060 system) and has a simple search 
facility. Clicking on the "Search" button in 
the tool bar opens a requester where 
you can enter a word or phrase. 
PowerGuide then lists every line of text 
in the guide that contains that word or 
phrase. Clicking on the line jumps you to 
the correct section of the Amiga guide 
with the found line at the top of the 
window. As far as I can tell PowerGuide 
is not freely distributable but if you have 
a fairly recent Aminet CD (the version on 
the new Aminet CD 40 is dated 1996 so 
it has been about for a while) then you 
will have a legal copy. 

SearchGuide is a utility by Gerard Cornu 
(yep, we've already mentioned his 
ApplSizer utility in this month's TopTips) 
it is designed to allow Amiga Guide 
authors to include search facilities in 
their guides. For this reason it is a shell 
based tool which must be run with the 
name of the Amiga Guide to search as 
an argument. Then a requester opens 
allowing to enter the word or phrase you 
wish to search for. The results are dis- 
played in an AmigaGuide document, this 
is rather better laid out than PowerGuide 
because it shows the node (section of 
an Amiga Guide document) name as 
well as the line containing the found text. 
As SearchGuide is a shell program you 
could always assign it to a button or 
menu option in your favourite directory 
utility or create a script so you can run it 
from a Workbench icon (for more see 
our scripting tutorial on page 40). 

Easy Volumes 

As part of our OS3.5 feature in issue 6 
we mentioned the improved ASL 
requesters that formed part of the 
upgrade. One small hidden feature of 
the file requester that we missed was 
that you can click your middle mouse 
button (if you have the three button 
mouse) as a short-cut for the Volumes 
button. 

Rescanning a SCSI bus 

If you have a SCSI controller in your 
Amiga and some external SCSI devices 
you may not always want to have all 
your devices switched on every time you 
use your Amiga. However with most 
SCSI controller you will find that devices 
switched on after the system has booted 
will not be recognised. The most com- 
mon peripheral to cause this problem is 




Mounter, included with OS 3.5 and 3.9 
can be used to rescan your SCSI bus. 

probably a scanner which tend to be 
used infrequently but it could also apply 
to devices like backup drives which you 
probably don't use in every session. 

The solution is to force the SCSI con- 
troller to scan the bus for newly added 
devices. Some SCSI controllers supply 
software with this functionality, for ex- 
ample Phase 5 supplied a program 
called UnitControl which has a Rescan 
feature. However if you have OS 3.5 you 
can use the included Mounter tool, 
which as well as allowing you to mount 
partitions also rescans the SCSI bus 
when run. Remember that you need to 
set the DEVICE= tooltype in the Mounter 
icon so it is scanning the correct con- 
troller. If the device that was switched off 
is hard disk or removable cartridge drive 
you will need to use Mounter's "Mount..." 
button to mount the partitions on the 
disk. If the device is a CD-ROM drive 
you may need to issue a DiskChange 
command or eject and re-insert the CD 
for it appear on Workbench. With a 
scanner it should be enough to run your 
scanner driver after Mounter has caused 
the bus to be re-scanned. 

OS3.9 Find Utility 

OS3.9 has a utility called Find that lets 
you search one or more volumes for 
files with the a certain name or contain- 
ing a string you enter. One minor an- 
noyance with this otherwise extremely 
useful tool is that when you run it all 
your mounted volumes are selected for 
searching (in my case this is usually 
about 10 volumes) as you commonly 
only want to search one or two this 
means you have to uncheck all the un- 
wanted volumes every time you search. 
To solve this problem simply uncheck all 
the volumes except those you most 
commonly search and choose Save 
Settings from Find's Settings menu. 

Snapshotting Multiview 

In a similar vein to the Find tip above 
you can set Multiview's window to open 
at the size and position of your choice 
rather than full screen by sizing its 
window as required then choosing Save 
as Defaults from the Settings menu. 
This is especially useful if you run on a 
high resolution screen where Mutliview's 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 







SUPPORT 



SUPPORT 



ProNET 



Step by Step 



Last issue's ProNET review provoked a lot of interest in this handy package, 
Roy Burton takes us through the set-up required to get your miggys talking. 



After reading PD Paradise in 
the last issue of Clubbed 
where Robert Williams recom- 
mended a low cost way of networking 
two Amigas. 

I have not paid much interest in local 
networking as it seems complex and 
requires special cables ,and I always 
remembered an article that warned that 
it was easy to damage the Amiga's 
parallel port. 

So why bother now! well now I have two 
Amiga systems and often want to trans- 
fer data between them which is a prob- 
lem when you start to transfer large files 
(5meg) with floppy drives, at one stage 
in desperation I uploaded the file to my 
web space and then downloaded it to 
the other machine. 



Cabling 



There are two main ways to connect two 
Amiga's using ProNET. 

Serial ports 

Advantage 

1 . Easy to obtain 25pin to 25 pin null 
modem cable. 

Disadvantages 

1 . Slower than parallel ports. 

2. Serial port may be required for 
Internet access. 

Parallel Ports 

Advantage 

1 . Faster than serial ports. 
Disadvantages 

1. Need a Parnet (Parallel-Network) 
cable from an Amiga dealer or make it 
up yourself. 

2. Parallel port may be required for 
Printer use. 



3. If using a Parallel network and the 
serial port for Internet use etc., pin 22 
(Rl) needs to be disconnected from the 
modem to the serial port. If your modem 
only has a 9pin plug it isn't put through 
and so nothing needs to be done. (This 
is to prevent incoming telephone calls 
that reach the modem crashing the local 
parallel network). 

My personal choice was parallel as I 
hardly use my printer and use my serial 
port for Internet access. I decided to 
make my own cable which I then tested 
with a multimeter (continuity tester) to 
make sure there was no short circuits 
between pins or disconnected wires, 
before connecting to the computers. 
Please remember to also make sure 
both Amiga's are switched off when con- 
necting or disconnecting the leads. 

I cannot emphasise enough how impor- 
tant it is to make sure the cable is cor- 
rectly terminated as it is easy to damage 
the Amiga's parallel port, it is also 
recommended to keep the lead to under 
5m. I used a 3m length of cable. 

Installation 

The ProNET documentation I found a 
little confusing as there is a lot of in- 
formation to digest in the end I manage 
to put its operation down to 3 scripts 
(text files that are executed) per 
machine giving total cross access 
between two Amigas. 

There is no installer for the ProNET file 
but its easy just open the "user" drawer 
in ProNET and put everything from the 
"C" drawer into your system "C" direc- 
tory, everything from the "L" drawer into 
your "L" directory, and everything in the 
"Devs" drawer into "Devs" (the 
pronet. device and a ProNET drawer, 
which contains various drivers and to 
which you will need to add a configura- 
tion file called .config which is created in 



a text editor (ed, memacs, golded etc.). 
It should contain the following single line 
(don't hit return at the end of it): 

internal-parallel 5 

then, on the other Amiga, carry out ex- 
actly the same installation but use the 
following line in .config: 

internal-parallel 1 5 

Save the file ".config" into 
SYS:devs/pronet/ for each machine. 



The Scripts 



We now need to make the 3 scripts to: 

1 . Start the ProNET network. 

2. Mount the drives of the other 
machine. 

3. Dismount and stop the networking. 

1 . Start the Network 

The script consists of one line: 

run <NIL>: c:pronet-server 

save this text file anywhere on both 
machines (e.g. a drawer called network) 
I suggest a file name of "StartProNET" 

2. Mount the Drives on the 
Distant Amiga 

This text file is the most complex and 
varies with the number of drives you 
have on the distant machine and how 
many of them you wish to access. 

Each line defines a drive from the dis- 
tant Amiga, for example: 

pronet-start PROO DFO UNIQUE 

In this example: 

pronet-start Is the command which 
makes a drive on the distant machine 
available across the network. 

PROO Is a network name for the distant 
drive as the Amiga would get confused 



@- 



with two DFO's so it is assign another 
device name this name can be anything 
you like that has not been already used 
as a device name. 

UNIQUE Is used by Workbench icons 
and adds a character (the unit number 
defined in the .config file on the distant 
machine) to the volume name (which is 
shown under the Workbench icon) of the 
distant drive. E.g. a drive called Work on 
the distant machine becomes WorkO on 
the local Amiga and thus doesn't clash 
with Work on the Workbench screen. 

Example text for 1 st Amiga which lists 
drives on the 2nd Amiga: 

pronet-start PROO DFO UNIQUE 

pronet-start PR01 RAM UNIQUE 

pronet-start PR02 DHO UNIQUE 

pronet-start PR03 DH1 UNIQUE 

Example text for 2nd Amiga which lists 
devices on the 1st Amiga: 

pronet-start NETO DFO UNIQUE 

pronet-start NET1 RAM UNIQUE 

pronet-start NET2 DHO UNIQUE 

pronet-start NET3 CDO UNIQUE 

Save these text file to the correct 
machine, the Amiga that does not 
normally see them. e.g. 1st Amiga has a 
CD drive (CDO) so the text including this 
is put on the 2nd Amiga. 

save this text file anywhere on both 
machines (e.g. a drawer called network) 
I suggest a file name of "MountDrives". 

3. Stop the Network 

This text file closes down the network 
drives. 

Example text for 1 st Amiga which lists 
drives on the 2nd Amiga: 

pronet-stop PROO 

pronet-stop PR01 



Device Names 



If you are not sure what disk devices 
you have on you system and what 
their device names are, for example 
DHO, then you can use the Info com- 
mand to find out. In Workbench just 
use the pull down menu Workbench - 
Execute command and type "Info" in 
the Command: text gadget then click 
Ok. You can also open the Execute 
command window by pressing Right 
Amiga + E while in Workbench. 



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from a remote machine (their names begin 

with thanks to the UNIQUE switch). The 

scripts described in this article can be seen 

in the ProNET window). 



^"■■^^^^^^^^^ — ^^^^^^^^^""■~"""" 



OData 



pronet-stop PR02 

pronet-stop PR03 

Example text for 2nd Amiga which lists 
devices on the 1st Amiga: 

pronet-stop NETO 

pronet-stop NET1 

pronet-stop NET2 

pronet-stop NET3 

Running both these scripts when you 
have finished networking will allow you 
to switch of one Amiga without locking 
up the other. 

save this text file anywhere on both 
machines (e.g. a drawer called network) 
I'd suggest a file name of "StopProNET" 

So you should now have 3 little text files 
on each Amiga, to make life easy it is 
now time to add a project icon to each 
file, and add "IconX" to the default tool of 
the icon information, thus enabling you 
to double click on the icon to run the 
script. 

Important if you do not know how to 
make a script run from a icon see Page 
40 of this issue. 

Using the Network 

Once the cable has been fitted between 
the Amigas and both computers booted 
double click on the Start-Pronet icon on 
both Amigas then click on both the 
MountDrives icon and pray after about 5 
seconds the networked drives should 
appear on the Workbench. To dismount 



double click on the StopProNET icon. 

Sequence of Starting ProNET may vary 
between differing machine networking 
via scripts: 

One or both machines may lock-up and 
will have to be rebooted (RESET). I 
must admit I have had trouble starting 
my network and have had to use dif- 
ferent sequences at different times. I 
cannot explain why I assume its timing 
differences between the Amiga's 030/50 
and a 040/33 

But try the following to start with: 

StartProNET on machine 

StartProNET on machine 1 

MountDrives on machine 

MountDrives on machine 1 (optional) 

Or you can start machine 1 first : 

StartProNET on machine 1 

StartProNET on machine 

MountDrives on machine 1 

MountDrives on machine (optional) 



CLUBBED -Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



-@ 



SUPPORT 



SUPPORT 



PD Paradise Part 2: AWNPipe 



SGrab 



By William Parker 

Licence: 

Childware (the author requests you 
make a donation to a children's charity) 
WWW: 

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/awnpipe/ 
Mailing List: 
http://www.egroups.com/group/awnpipe 

A pipe, in computer terms, is 
usually used for moving data 
from one program to another 
without the need for an intervening file. 
One program writes its output to the 
pipe and another reads its input from the 
pipe. On the Amiga pipes are usually 
implemented as a device so for example 
one program writes to pipe: and another 
reads from it. AWNPipe is a pipe device 
and can be used like this, to move data 
between commands but it is really much 
more than that. AWNPipe can be used 
to build Reaction GUIs, read icon tool- 
types, convert HTML to plain text and a 
whole host of other functions. 

Now before you start thinking this is 
really bizarre, lets have a look at how 
AWNPipe came about. The AWN part of 
its name stands for AWeb News, an (I 
think) AREXX plug-in developed by 
William Parker to give AWeb a news 
reader. AWeb News used a Class Act 
GUI and displays news postings as 
HTML within the AWeb window so you 
can see how this strange combination of 
features might be useful. Although I 
mention Reaction here AWNPipe is 
quite happy with Reaction's predecessor 
ClassAct, which is freely downloadable, 
and any 0S3.X Amiga. 

GUI 

GUI building is the most complex part of 
AWNPipe, it gives you access to most of 
the Reaction gadgets so you can include 
buttons, text boxes, list views, scroll 
bars, check boxes, radio buttons, cycle 
gadgets, menus and many more in you 
GUIs. Powerful elements are available 
such as an image which can show any 
image you have a datatype for and a 
hierarchical list view complete with col- 
lapsible branches. A GUI is defined by 
writing lines describing each element, 
the first line defines the window and 
allows you to choose, amongst other 
things, whether it will be sizeable and 
what title bar gadgets will be present. 
Then you write a line defining each gad- 



get in turn, layout groups can be used to 
separate areas of the GUI and to ensure 
it looks correct when scaled. After each 
line is written you can read a confirma- 
tion line which also gives a unique iden- 
tifier for the gadget so you can read its 
state (or contents), alter its state, 
remove or replace it later on. 

Once the GUI is built and displayed the 
pipe then returns a line every time the 
user interacts with the GUI, you decide 
how your program will respond to these 
interactions. This lets you build a GUI 
that looks and feels just like one coded 
using the Reaction classes directly. 

Other Features 

Apart from the standard pipe and GUI 
creation features there are many other 
things AWNPipe can be used for, here 
are some examples. Pattern matching 
returns a list of filenames which match a 
particular AmigaDOS wildcard patterns. 
AWNPipe can add keystrokes to the 
input buffer allowing you to fake user 
interaction with a command that requires 
you to respond to prompts. You may 
also be able to use this feature to control 
programs which are not usually scrip- 
table. You check if tool types are set in 
an icon, check their values and write 
back new ones. Several HTML functions 
are available, including stripping HTML 
codes from a file and automatically 
adding special character codes in place 
of the characters them selves. 



Languages 



Because AWNPipe is implemented as a 
device is can be used from really any 



programming language, examples of 
AREXX, shell scripts and C programs 
using AWNPipe GUIs and other 
functions are supplied in the archive. 
Once you get used to it building GUIs in 
AWNPipe is very quick so I would im- 
agine it is a good way of prototyping a 
program even if you intend to write it 
using Reaction directly later. 

I have mainly used AWNPipe with 
AREXX, my biggest project has been a 
GUI for DigiCam (shell only digital 
camera software). In doing this I found 
AWNPipe offered the ideal set of 
features, at the start of the script I use it 
to retrieve settings from icon tool types, 
then I build the GUI and finally I use it as 
a traditional pipe to read the output from 
DigiCam so I can have status displays 
as it works. The additional features 
above GUI creation meant I could do 
without three external AREXX function 
libraries I would otherwise have needed. 

Conclusion 

AWNPipe is an ideal package for 
making simple scripts seem very 
polished and professional in the mini- 
mum amount of time. It is easy to imple- 
ment the features users expect in a 
modern Amiga program such as an 
attractive GUI, menus and tooltype con- 
figuration. It does take a while to get 
your head around its slightly strange ap- 
proach but this is helped immensely by 
extensive documentation and a wide 
selection of examples. 

By Robert Williams 



|E|i& 



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picture_1 jpg 
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Computer DesR_003 jpg 
picture_5.jpg 
picture_G.jpg 
picture_7.jpg 




V\ Download 
V Rename to: 



| Computer Desk_002 jpg 



| Erase from camera 

Rotation: r*]0 



Select M\ 


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Toggle Selected 






Set Download | Clear Download | 


Set Rename... 


Clear Rename 


Set Erase 


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My DigiCamGUI AREXX script shows some of the Rection gadgets available from 
AWNPipe including a multi-column list, datatypes picture and progress bar. 



By Stephan Rupprecht 

Licence: Giftware 
WWW: 

http://www.stephan-rupprecht.de/ 

When you're producing an 
Amiga magazine a decent 
utility to grab screen shots is 
essential, since the start of Clubbed 
we've been using SGrab. When first run 
SGrab opens a small window which lists 
all the screens you have open, (you can 
also run it without a GUI if you wish). If 
you activate the Windows check box all 
the windows open on each screen are 
also listed. At the bottom of the window 
you can select the file name to which 
the grab will be saved and the format of 
the file, either IFF-ILBM or JPEG (which 
also has a selectable quality). If you 
select a screen in the list and click the 
Grab button the whole screen will be 
grabbed and saved to the selected file, if 
you select a window just that window is 
grabbed. The other grabbing mode is 
called mark and grab, when you click 
this button your pointer turns into a 
cross hair and you select the area of the 
screen you wish to grab by dragging a 
box over it. This allows you to grab 
several windows at once or small areas 
inside a window. For all modes a slider 
allows you to delay the grab for up to 60 
seconds so you can grab things that 
require user interaction. 

While SGrab is running you can also 
use a hot key to grab the current screen 
or active window, this stores the data in 
the selected directory. You can define 
how file names will be assigned by 
adding keywords (identified by braces) 
to the file name so for example SGrab 
can automatically include the screen 
title, current time and many other 
variables in the file name. Another op- 
tion gives each file a sequential number 
at the end of the file name. These 
options mean you can take as many 
grabs as you like without getting dupli- 
cate file names. The hot key facility is 
invaluable for taking screen grabs of fast 
moving action such as games. 

SGrab is simple and effective and works 
on both chipset and graphics card 
screens, it's really hard to think of any- 
thing else that could be added. All in all 
it's the best screen grabber I've come 
across. 



Back to Basics 

3.2: Shell Scripting 

Robert Williams and Roy Burton show you how to 

make command line only programs easier to use 

with a simple script. 



At its most basic a shell script is 
a list of AmigaDOS commands 
which are held in a text file 
and executed one after the other. Some 
additional commands are available only 
within scripts to make them more power- 
ful, for example the If command can be 
used to make decisions in a script. 
Scripts allow you to automate any pro- 
cess that you would normally carry out 
using several shell commands and they 
can also be used to replace long-winded 
Workbench processes. Almost any pro- 
gram can be started from a shell script, 
and you can setup a script to work just 
like a standard shell command, it is even 
possible to run a script from a 
Workbench icon. 

Scissors and Sticky- 
back Plastic? 

So what do you need to create your very 
own shell script? Well the only require- 
ment is an editor that will save a plain 
text file, you could use a word processor 
but a dedicated text editor is probably 
better and won't let you save a binary 
file accidentally. Several editors are 
supplied with AmigaOS: Ed, Memacs 
and, if you have OS3.5, EditPad. Of 
course there are also loads of third party 
editors and many people will have a 
favourite they would rather use. 

Tutorial 

Lets start with a simple script, in the 
TopTips section we mentioned that 
SearchGuide, a little utility for searching 
AmigaGuide files, does not have a file 
requester to select the file you want to 
search. So we can write a little script 
which opens a file requester, and then 
runs SearchGuide on the file selected. 

To follow this tutorial you will need 
SearchGuide which can be downloaded 
from Aminet (it's in the util/app directory) 
and can also be found on every 
AmigaActive CD in the 
Resources/General directory. For the 
example scripts to work you need to 
copy the SearchGuide program into a 



directory on your path, I would put it in 
C: as the installer recommends. 

AmigaOS 3 and above comes with a 
command called RequestFile which 
allows you to select a file in a standard 
file requester then returns the filename 
and full path so we will use that to select 
the AmigaGuide file: 

RequestFile PATTERN "#?. guide" 
TITLE "Select an Amiga Guide 
file." 

In this command line I have used two of 
RequestFile's options: PATTERN so only 
files whose name ends in .guide will be 
displayed and TITLE which will give the 
requester a descriptive title. 

RequestFile normally ouputs the 
filename to the command line but we 
want to use the filename as the argu- 
ment to another command. To do this we 
will store the returned value in a local 
variable called guidefile. A variable is a 
piece of data assigned a name, the data 
assigned to a particular name can 
change, it is variable. This is the new 
command line: 

Set guidefile "RequestFile 
PATTERN "#?. guide" TITLE 
"Select an Amiga Guide file."" 

The Set command sets a local variable 
and the first argument, guidefile, is the 
name of the variable. The rest of the line 
is the contents of that variable, here I 
have enclosed the command in back 
ticks " , " (you get this character by press- 
ing Alt+' ) which causes the output of the 
command enclosed in the back ticks to 
be inserted into the command line 
before it is executed. So in this case the 
selected path and file name will be 
stored in the guidefile local variable. 

We can now add a line to run 
SearchGuide with the newly stored 
filename as its argument: 

Set guidefile "RequestFile 
PATTERN "#?. guide" TITLE 
"Select an Amiga Guide file."" 



SearchGuide $guidefile 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



"O 



SUPPORT 



SUPPORT 



Notice that a "$" symbol is added to the 
start of the variable name, this tells the 
interpreter that the following text is a 
variable name, before the command line 
is executed this variable name will be 
substituted with the contents of the vari- 
able, the selected file name. 

Save this script from your editor into 
Ram: with a suitable name, for example 
SearhGuideWb. Then you can try ex- 
ecuting it from a shell, to do this type the 
following in a shell window: 

Execute Ram: SearchGuideWb 

First a file requester should appear, if 
you select an AmigaGuide file and then 
click Ok the SearchGuide window 
should then appear for you to enter a 
keyword. So... job done? Well not quite, 
what happens if you cancel the file 
requester instead of selecting a file? At 
the moment SearchGuide will be passed 
a filename "$guidefile" because no 
filename was selected. We can add an If 
statement to check for that possibility 
and exit cleanly: 

Set guidefile 'RequestFile 
PATTERN "#?. guide" TITLE 
"Select an AmigaGuide file."' 

If $guidefile EQ "*$guidef ile" 

Quit 

Else 

SearchGuide $guidefile 

This says that if the variable guidefile 
equals (remember that its contents will 
be substituted before the line is ex- 
ecuted) the string "Sguidefile" then the 
command Quit which exits the script im- 
mediately should be run. Note that I 
have indented the Quit command purely 
to make the script more readable, it is 
clear that Quit is only executed if the If 
statement evaluates to true. Else the 
script should continue, and in this case 
execute the SearchGuide command. 

Running the Script from 
the Shell 

If you want to run your script often you 
can tell AmigaDOS that the file is a 
script and then the Execute command is 
no longer needed. This is achieved by 
setting the script protection bit on the file 
(the file protection bits (script, archived, 
readable, writeable, executable and 
deleteable) are used to control access 
to a file, you can see them in the output 
of the List command and in the 
Workbench Icons/Information window). 
To set the script bit on a file you use the 



Protect command like this: 

Protect Ram: SearchGuideWb s 
ADD 

This line adds (activates) the script (s) 
protection bit, if you want to remove the 
s bit use the SUB option instead of ADD. 
Once the script is set you can run the 
script as you would do any other com- 
mand, for example by entering: 

Ram: SearchGuideWb 

If you put the script in a directory on the 
command path you don't even need to 
specify the path, the S directory on your 
system partition (which is on the path) is 
the standard place to keep scripts to be 
accessed from the shell. 

Running the Script from 
a Workbench Icon. 

Now what we really want to be able to 
do is to run our script from a Workbench 
icon. 

First we need to give the script an icons 
so start IconEdit which is in the Tools 
drawer on your system partition. 

From the pull down menu go to Type and 
select Project then from the Project 
menu select Save As. In the save file 
requester select your file 
"SearchGuideWb" in RAM (you may 
need to clear "#?.info" from the Pattern 
gadget in the file requester and press 
Return to see it) and click Save to save 
the icon. 

Quit IconEdit 

Open the Ram Disk on Workbench, click 
once on the icon called SearchGuideWb 
and then go to the Workbench Icons 
menu and select Information. An in- 
formation window opens, find the 



"Default tool" string gadget and type 
IconX then tick the small box next to 
script and the click Save. 

Drag your icon (SearchGuideWb) to 
where you want to keep it on your hard 
drive and try it out, the script open a file 
requester so you can select an 
AmigaGuide and then SearchGuide will 
open a requester allowing you to enter 
your keywords. 

Conclusion 

So there you have it, a very simple script 
which performs a useful task. As you 
have probably noticed the script we 
ended up with is a bit over complex, 
especially as SearchGuide doesn't 
cause any problems if you don't give it a 
filename. However I wanted to illustrate 
as many scripting concepts as I could in 
this small space. You could easily adapt 
this script to run many other CLI pro- 
grams from Workbench, and maybe the 
concepts will lead you to think of other 
tasks that could be automated. 

Scripting Resources 

Before you can get into AmigaDOS 
scripting you need some reference in- 
formation. If you have OS 3.5 or 3.9 you 
will find the AmigaDOS manual along 
with all the others on the CD in HTML 
form, however it is more a reference 
than a tutorial although it does give 
some examples. I don't think there are 
any tutorial books currently in print but if 
you can get hold of any second hand 
jump at the chance. Bear in mind that 
only books written for version 3.0 or later 
are going to be reasonably up-to-date 
and complete. Another option is the 
DOSGuide an AmigaGuide document 
which can be found on Aminet. 




Trouble Shooting 

Start-up Problems 

Robert Williams plays agony uncle to your reluctant Amiga. 



Setting "IconX" as the default tool in a script's icon allows you to run it with a double 

click from Workbench. 



One of the worst feelings you 
can have as an Amiga user is 
when your beloved machine 
refuses to start for no apparent reason. 
You can often tell just by the start-up 
noises that this it is not going to be a 
good boot. A no boot situation has 
probably happened to us all at one time 
or another, however there are a number 
of steps you can take to resolve the 
problem and more importantly a number 
of precautions you can take so you are 
prepared if disaster strikes. 

What Happened Before? 

An Amiga system that has been running 
reliably won't suddenly stop booting for 
no reason, therefore an important clue 
to the problem may be what you did just 
before the system stopped working. For 
example if you have just installed some 
new software or hardware that could be 
causing the problem either directly or by 
conflicting with something already in- 
stalled. 

Common Problems 
Patches and Hacks 

A common cause of boot problems are 
patch programs which change aspects 
of the OS and other programs to work in 
ways that weren't originally intended. 
Many users, myself included, have a 
very reliable system with a whole range 
of patches installed but because they 
don't work to clearly defined rules 
patches can cause problems both with 
normally reliable software and par- 
ticularly in combination with other 



System Partition? 



"System partition" refers to the parti- 
tion on your hard disk that your 
Amiga boots from, this is commonly 
called Workbench or System, some- 
times followed by the OS version for 
example System3.0 or 
Workbench3.5. As usual on the 
Amiga you can actually call the 
system partition anything you like 
(Super Kickstart A3000s are the only 
exception I know to this rule but that 
is a very unusual configuration). 



patches. If you are installing a new patch 
make sure you remove any others that 
have a similar function and carefully 
read the documentation to see if there 
are any known limitations or incom- 
patibilities. If you have recently installed 
a patch or changed the configuration of 
one you already have installed make 
that the first thing you disable when 
trouble shooting. 

Hard Disk Problems 

One problem with hard disk drives which 
can cause startup to fail, or at least take 
much longer than expected to complete, 
is an invalidated partition. Invalidation 
commonly occurs if the Amiga crashes 
while writing to the hard drive. When you 
startup or reboot after a partition has 
become invalid you will see and 
probably hear lots of hard drive activity 
as the OS automatically checks for any 
damage and tries to repair it. In the this 
situation the best thing is to leave the 
system alone, usually it will eventually 
boot, then disk activity will stop and 
everything will be fine. If after this you 
find the system will not boot or you have 
a partition which shows the error 
"Volume is not validated" or similar when 
you try to access it then you will need to 
use a third party disk repair tool such as 
DiskSalv (version 4 is available commer- 
cially and version 2 can be found on 
Aminet) to revalidate the disk. 

Validation can take a long time, par- 
ticularly on large partitions and it is pos- 
sible for the validator to crash. Normally 
the Amiga continues to boot while the 
partition is being validated, meaning the 
drive must read the boot data and 
validate simultaneously. This slows both 
processes down and other programs 
being run can interfere with validation. If 
you have OS 3.5 or above you can add 
the WAITFORVALIDATE option to the 
SetPatch command line near the top of 
your startup-sequence. This will stop 
bootup until all partitions are validated. 
Although your Amiga may sit with a 
blank screen for longer validation will 
complete more quickly and there should 
be less chance of the validator crashing. 
Users of OS versions will find various 
utilities which do a similar job on Aminet. 



Other disk problems can occur and if 
they effect the system partition they may 
stop the Amiga booting. In this case it is 
wise to have a bootable disk available 
which contains your choice of repair pro- 
grams. It is useful to have a copy of a 
disk partitioning utility other than OS 
3.5+ HDToolBox available on floppy as 
the newer versions cannot be run with- 
out the Reaction GUI system installed. 

WARNING: Big Disks 

If you have a hard drive larger than 
4.3GB then be wary with both disk repair 
tools and partitioning utilities, as I men- 
tioned in my Hard Drivin' feature in issue 
6 you need to make sure you are using 
tools designed with big disks in mind. As 
far as I know there are currently no 
repair tools for partitions using the stan- 
dard FastFileSystem partially or com- 
pletely above 4.3GB and using an old 
tool such as DiskSalv on these partitions 
can cause damage to data on the lower 
partitions. The only option is to backup 
the data if you can, re-format the parti- 
tion and restore. 

This is why it is wise to consider an al- 
ternative file system such as PFS or 
SFS, these are supplied with repair 
utilities and support disks greater than 
4.3GB. Another option is to use a 
system such as Elbox's EIDE 99 which 
splits a big disk, attached to one of their 
IDE controllers, into 4.3Gb chunks which 
can be handled by older hard disk tools. 

Finding the Problem 
Early Startup 

The Amiga Early Startup Control system 
was introduced with Amiga OS 3 
(supplied with the A1200 and A4000) a 




The Early Startup screen makes fault 

finding easier, as long as your graphics 

set-up can display itl 



ffi- 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



-^ 



SUPPORT 



SUPPORT 



simpler version that basically allowed 
selection of the boot device was in the 
2.x Kickstart. The Early Startup is 
accessed by holding down both mouse 
buttons as soon as the Amiga is 
switched on or rebooted and makes 
trouble shooting many boot problems 
much easier. In this feature the main use 
I make of the early startup screen is to 
boot into a shell without launching the 
startup-sequence and therefore 
Workbench. To do this simply access the 
Early Startup screen and click the Boot 
with no startup-sequence button. After a 
few moments (it can take a reasonable 
amount of time on some systems) a low 
resolution screen will appear with a 1> 
prompt at the top. The Early Startup 
shell allows you to access the Amiga in 
a state where none of the startup- 
sequence or later commands, which 
may be causing your startup problem 
have run. The main limitation of the 
Early Startup is that it was designed 
only to be displayed on a standard PAL 
or NTSC monitor or TV, it cannot be 
seen by default on the VGA style moni- 
tor now used on many Amiga systems. 

So to see the Early Startup screen you 
will need one of the following: 

A TV, 1 5kHz monitor or multisync moni- 
tor that allows you to view PAL or NTSC 
lowres. 

A VGA/SVGA type monitor with a scan- 
doubler, graphics card with a built-in 
scan-doubler or a BVision/CVisionPPC 
graphics card. 

Most people without one of the above 
usually connected to their Amiga will 
probably be able to find a nearby TV in 
an emergency! If you have an A4000 
things are even more awkward as these 
Amigas do not have a composite video 
output or modulator, you will need an 
external modulator like the A520 com- 
monly supplied with A500s or an Amiga 
video to SCART lead (if your TV has a 
SCART socket). 

Where to Look 

Here are some of the places to look for 
software that may be causing your star- 
tup problem and how to disable anything 
you suspect so you can begin to isolate 
the errant program. 

startup-sequence 

The startup-sequence, which can be 
found in the S directory on the system 
partition, is an AmigaDOS script file 
which contains all the commands 
required to set-up the AmigaOS for use. 



By and large you should not need to 
alter this file and programs should not 
make changes to it during their installa- 
tion. The idea behind this was to limit 
non-OS programs and users to changing 
the user-startup which can be disabled 
(by renaming it) while still allowing the 
Amiga to boot. However there are some 
programs that need to be run in the 
startup-sequence because too much 
initialisation has happened by the time 
the user-startup is run. The ironic thing 
is programs that need to be run this 
early are often the very patches that 
cause problems, therefore you may 
need to prevent programs running in the 
startup-sequence. When looking for 
potential problems in your startup- 
sequence you can ignore blank lines 
and those starting with a semicolon (;) 
neither of which are executed. Any text 
on a line that follows a semicolon is 
ignored, this allows comments to be 
added to the script. It might be useful to 
have a standard startup-sequence to 
refer to, we printed one complete with a 
description on page 34 of Clubbed issue 
3. 

Tip: If you make changes to your 
startup-sequence (particularly to 
SetPatch options in OS3.5 and above) it 
is often necessary to perform a cold 
reboot (switch your Amiga off, wait a few 
seconds and then turn it on again) for 
the change to take effect. 

user-startup 

This is another AmigaDOS script, this 
time run by a line in the startup- 
sequence, many applications will write 
lines to this file when they are installed, 
the most common of these is an assign 
statement which allows a program to 
locate the directory where it has been 
installed. When troubleshooting a user- 
startup file you can mostly ignore assign 
statements as the only likely problem 
with them is that the directory they point 
to does not exist and although this will 
cause an error message to be displayed 
in the boot shell it does not cause boot- 
ing to stop. Like the startup-sequence 
you can ignore blank lines comments 
neither of which are executed anyway. 
So with all those out of the way you will 
probably only have a few lines of user- 
startup to check. 

Disabling a line in the star- 
tup files 

If you want to temporarily disable a line 
in either of the startup scripts one simple 
method is to pop a semicolon (;) in front 



of it the line and save the file, this is 
called commenting out the line. To 
reinstate the line simply remove the 
semicolon and save the file again. 

Editing the startup- 
sequence and user- 
startup 

The easiest way to edit these (or indeed 
any other script file) on an Amiga that 
won't boot is to boot to the Early-Startup 
shell, type the following command and 
press return: 

ed s : startup-sequence 

Change s:startup-sequence to the full 
path and file name of the script you want 
to edit. Then make any changes you 
want and choose save from ed's Project 
menu, finally Quit ed and reboot to see if 
the changes made any difference. 

Tip: If you have GoldEd installed you will 
need to run the original Amiga Ed editor, 
for this type ed_old in place of ed in the 
above command line. 

Finding a Problem in your 
Startup Scripts 

If a problem is occurring in one of the 
startup scripts it can be very difficult to 
pin down the cause as generally the 
screen is blank while they are executed 
and there is no output. If you want to 
see what is going on you can add the 
following command to the top of the 
startup-sequence: 

set echo on 

This causes each line to be displayed on 
screen before it is executed, therefore 
the last line printed before a crash is at 
least a possible cause. If you don't want 
to edit your startup-sequence you can 
execute this command in the early star- 
tup shell and then execute the startup 
sequence: 

set echo on 

execute s : startup-sequence 



I e| mi's 



WBStartup 



The WBStartup drawer contains pro- 
grams that the Workbench runs as soon 
as it has been loaded by the LoadWb 
command near the end of the startup- 
sequence, Workbench replacements like 
Scalos and Directory Opus 5 also emu- 
late Workbench's behaviour here. If the 
program causing your problem is 
located in the WBStartup drawer you will 
be able to see the Workbench screen 




^%- 



Could one of your WBStartup programs 
be causing the problem? 

appear on your monitor before the 
Amiga crashes or hangs. If you can't get 
the to a Workbench to add or remove 
programs from the WBStartup drawer on 
your system partition the easiest way to 
disable them from the Early-Startup 
shell is to rename the WBStartup drawer 
using the following command: 

rename sys :WBStartup 
sys: WBStartup. disabled 

then reboot and none of the programs in 
WBStartup will be executed. If the 
Amiga then boots successfully I would 
suggest renaming WBStartup.disabled 
back to WBStartup using Workbench, 
then remove all the programs inside and 
replace them one by one, rebooting 
each time until you find the culprit. 

Directory Opus 5.x 

If you have Directory Opus 5.x installed 
as a Workbench replacement and 
suspect that it is causing your startup- 
problem then there is an easy way to 
disable it and get back to good old 
Workbench. Simply hold down the Shift 
key while your Amiga boots, the shift 
must be held at the end of the startup- 
sequence when the LoadWb line is ex- 
ecuted. This prevents Opus loading and 
loads Workbench. If you're still not 
happy and want to ensure that Opus is 
definitely not loading you'll need to bring 
back your old LoadWb command which 
the Opus installer replaces with a new 
one which loads Opus in Workbench 
replacement mode. To do this enter the 
following commands in the Early-Startup 
shell: 

cd c : 

rename loadwb loaddb 

rename loadwb_old loadwb 

To reinstate Opus use these commands: 

cd c : 

rename loadwb loadwb_old 

rename loaddb loadwb 

Be Prepared keep your 



Amiga marching on 
Seeing the Problem 

If you have a graphics card you may be 
in a situation where you do not have a 
means to view the standard Amiga video 
output. For most applications and 
modern games this does not cause a 
problem however if you get into a situa- 
tion where your Amiga won't boot you 
will probably need to see the standard 
Amiga screen modes to correct the 
problem. As I mentioned in the Early 
Startup section this screen absolutely 
requires you to have a means to view a 
low res screen (unless you are lucky 
enough to have a BVision or 
CVisionPPC graphics card). However 
when you don't need to access the Early 
Startup you can make a basic boot disk 
that contains the tools you need to fix 
problems and uses a screen mode you 
can see. 

Multiscan 

If you only have an SVGA type monitor it 
is best to create a boot disk which uses 
the Multiscan monitor driver and has 
VGAOnly installed, this combination 
gives a screenmode that will work on 
most SVGA monitors, you will need an 
adaptor to connect an SVGA monitor 
which commonly has a 15pin high den- 
sity "D" plug to your Amiga's 23pin "D" 
socket. To create a multiscan boot disk 
follow these steps: 

Make a copy of your Workbench disk. 

Drag the Multiscan and VGAOnly drivers 
from the Monitors drawer in storage on 
your system partition (they may be in 
Devs/Monitors if you have installed 
them) into the Devs/Monitors drawer on 
your copy of Workbench. 

Double click on the Multiscan icon, noth- 
ing should appear to happen. 

Load the screenmode preferences 
editor, you should see two Multiscan 
screenmodes in the list. 

Click on MULTISCAN:Productivity in the 
list and set a suitable number of colours, 
I would suggest 4. 

Choose Save as from the Project menu 
and choose the Prefs/Env-Archive/sys 
directory on your copied disk, type the 
file name screenmode. prefs and click 
OK. 

Finally Cancel the screen mode 
preferences editor. 

Now switch off, connect your monitor to 
the Amiga output, insert the disk and 



check it boots to a visible Workbench 
screen. Once that's done you can add 
any utilities you like to the disk, you will 
probably need to delete some unneces- 
sary programs such as tools and utilities 
to make room. Remember to include any 
tools you might need especially those 
required to restore your backups. If you 
backup to CD don't forget to install a CD 
file system and any software your IDE or 
SCSI controller needs! 

CyberGraphX 

It is difficult to make an 880KB disk that 
boots into a graphics card screen mode 
because the files for CyberGraphX and 
Picasso 96 take up so much space. For 
example I use CyberGraphX and just 
the main cgxsystem. library and a moni- 
tor driver comes to about 300KB. If you 
have a high density drive however there 
should be no problem. OS3.5 and 3.9 
include the option of making an 
Emergency Disk which includes 
graphics card and CD drivers, it does 
this by using some files from the system 
CD once it is mounted so if you have 
one of these new OS releases you 
would be wise to use this feature. Some 
SEAL members have reported that there 
is not enough space on the emergency 
disk to install their IDE software how- 
ever. 

Backups 

If you have a serious software problem 
with your system or a hardware problem 
which corrupts your data good backups 
are essential. How you make them is up 
to you, there are various devices from 
the humble floppy disk through tape 
backups and CD-R/W to high-end 
devices like Jaz drives. Even if you only 
have your Amiga's built-in floppy there 
are programs available like Amiback 
which will compress data to fit the maxi- 
mum on and should allow you so store 
your system and most used files and 
allow fairly easy retrieval in case of 
calamity. Whatever backup method you 
choose the important thing is to be able 
to restore the data when disaster strikes, 
ensure you have the means to read your 
backups on a bootable floppy disk that 
boots into a screenmode you can see! 
As hard drive capacity become cheaper 
and cheaper an increasingly attractive 
option becomes to backup to a separate 
hard drive partition or even to have an 
additional drive just for backups. 
Although this is a good idea in many 
ways as hard drives provide cheap and 
fast storage be aware that a hardware 
problem that effects the data on your 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



Winter 2000/1 



-^ 



SUPPORT 



master drive could possibly effect a 
backup too, especially if it's a partition 
on the same drive. If you'd backed up 
on to removable media even if the drive 
were effected you could still buy a new 
one or use another system with a suit- 
able drive to retrieve your data. 

Alternative Boot Partition 

One very useful weapon to have in your 
trouble shooting armoury is an alterna- 
tive boot partition, this is simply a parti- 
tion on one of your hard disks which is 
set to be bootable and has a working 
system installed on it. To stop the Amiga 
booting from the alternative partition in 
preference to your main system partition 
set it to a lower boot priority in the 
HDToolbox partitioning screen. You 
might choose to make your alternative 
partition an exact duplicate of your main 
system partition (when you are sure it is 
in a reliable state), this has the benefit of 
also being able to use it as a backup 
(although see the paragraph on backups 
for some limitations). However it can be 
interesting and useful to set the alterna- 
tive partition up from scratch as a basic 
system so you can use it to test pro- 
grams on a bare bones system or when 
you need maximum memory available. 
Another option is to use it as a test bed 



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The bootable option and Boot Priority 

setting are found oin the Partitioning 

section of HDToolBox. 

for major system changes you are con- 
sidering, for example Opus, Scalos or 
even MorphOS. Beware though that a 
partition being used like this might not 
be the best basis for disaster recovery! 

Whatever you're using it for you can 
boot from your alternative partition by 
booting to the early-startup menu, click- 
ing on the Boot Options button and 
choosing the partition in the left hand 
list. Then click on Use at the bottom of 
the screen then Boot to boot using the 
new partition. With a bit of luck this will 
get you up and running to investigate the 
problems with your main partition. 

Restoring From a Backup 

Usually it is nice to solve a problem by 
finding its cause and correcting it, for 
example by replacing a corrupt file or 
correcting an error in a script. However 
sometimes it is quicker and simpler (al- 
though not as satisfying) simply to 



reinstall the effected application or even 
the whole operating system especially if 
you have a recent backup. For example 
a few weeks ago I had a problem with 
Directory Opus 5 where whenever I tried 
to access a sub directory on any disk (I 
tried several partitions and CDs) my 
Amiga would lock up. I reverted to 
Workbench using the techniques out- 
lined above and everything worked per- 
fectly. I knew I hadn't made any changes 
to Opus recently and so I had no clue 
what was wrong. I decided that it would 
be easier and quicker to restore from a 
recent backup rather than fault find with 
very little to go on. So I backed up a 
couple of preference files I knew had 
changed and copied everything back... 
since then I've had no problems. 

Conclusion 

Solving startup problems quickly and 
easily is a combination of being 
prepared and using a logical approach 
to find the source of the trouble. In this 
feature I have mainly concentrated on 
software, of course hardware can cause 
problems too so don't ignore it when 
troubleshooting. Finally if you don't have 
a fairly recent backup of your system 
and important files make one now, you'll 
be glad you did! 



Ba&k'T&sWes 



Issue 3 

• Interview with Petro Tyschtschenko. 

• Get Netted: Get your Amiga on the 'net. 

• 10 Internet software reviews. 

• Reviews: TurboPrint 7, BVisionPPC, 
Epson Stylus Photo. 

• Back to Basics: startup-sequence and 
user-startup scripts. 

Issue 6 

• Interview with Gary Peake of Amiga. 

• Acceleration: Tips on choosing an ac- 
celerator for your Amiga. 

• Reviews: PageStream 4, Virtual GP, 
Heretic II. 

• AmigaOS 3.5: find out some of the 
hidden features in the new OS release. 

• Hard Drivin' Part 2: Big disks and alter- 
native file systems. 

To Order 

Please list the back issues you require and 
send with a cheque or postal order pay- 
able to "South Essex Amiga Link" for £2.50 
per issue to: Clubbed, 26 Wincoat Drive, 
Benfleet, Essex, SS7 5AH. 



Q- 



Keep Up-to-Date with the 

clubbed-announce 
Mailing List 

Clubbed now has its own Internet mail- 
ing list to keep connected readers better 
informed about the magazine. The mail- 
ing list called clubbed-announce is 
hosted by the EGroups service. 

We will post a minimum of one update 
on the list per month but your mail box 
will not be flooded because this list can 
only be posted to by the editor. 

How To Join 

Subscribing to the list is free, just send a 
blank EMail to: 

clubbed-announce-subscribe(a>egroups.com 

Or go to the list page on the OneList 
website, if you subscribe on the website 
you will need to register (if you haven't 
already for another list): 

www.egroups.com/group/ 
clubbed-announce (all one line) 

We hope the list will keep you better in- 
formed about Clubbed and encourage 
you to join. 




What's coming your way in issue 8? 

Features 

Alt.WoA - Show Report 
Networking - we investigate various 
ways of connecting your Amiga(s) 
and other computers to share files 
and the Internet. 

Reviews 

Earth 2140 - Real-time strategy. 
EZCam - Digi-cam card reader. 

Support 

Draw Studio Tutorial. 
...and much much more! 

Clubbed Issue 8 

is planned for 

May 2001 

NOTE: This is a provisional contents list 
and is subject to change without notice. 



WELCOME 

NEWS 

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Undiscovered Land' missbns CD! 

This CD contains 40 new and challenging 

missions to keep you busy for many 

more months! 
Weeds '030/40, 8MB, HD, CDROM 



CLUBBED- Issue 7 



40 new challenging missions for Foundation! 



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News 

Earth 2140 




Simon the 
Sorcerer 2 







ArtEffcct 4 



Some eamples of ArtEffect 4's filters (effects): 




u 

5' 9" 


U 

^^, 5' 9" 


5' 6" 
5' 3" 

5' 

4' 9" 


0. ;;: 

-^-^ 5 

M 4' 9" 


-d 




3' 9" 





Polar 
Coordinates 



The final image from our ArtEffect 
tutorial. (Page 29) 



New-Look SEAL Website 



The SEAL website underwent a major re- 
design in September and October; the new- 
look site has a radically different look and 
colour scheme from the old one! The main 
goals of the new design were to make the 
site more attractive, easier to navigate and 
quicker to load. Along with the new design 
we have also started a new policy on 
updates which had become less and less 
frequent on the old site. Since the new site 
went on-line we have been updating it im- 
mediately after every SEAL meeting with a 
report (complete with photos) and the details 
of future meetings. In addition to this we 
have uploaded a brand new members page 
which has a criminal theme, this was Mick 
Sutton's idea and I think it has come off 
really well, see what you think. The next 
stage in the website's development will be 
the opening of a gallery section for SEAL 
members to display their works be they im- 
ages, programs or anything Amiga related. 




■ :■ I. . ■ ■;■'! .■ ■■* . ■:■'! .■ ■ * > 

, roup b ■'■■: : ■<!"!. i i :■■.■.:■■' ■■'■: Si A i ." . . ■ iSil iij 

April i99Bby Mick airaoti, -.vho has beeji woiKitig veri' haft; 
as ilis group's chairman svsr sines! fcvsn though SEfti. is 
jwdiree years old we have btiOEK one of the n 
iiiE'j groups inthe UK. 



What Do We Do? 



http://www.seal-amiga.co.uk/ 



Gallery 






Clock Tower 
Cartoons by Ray Elf 



Dead Rock 



Joint Man 



Ray starts his cartoons with a pencil sketch which he scans into the Amiga and then 
refines in ImageFX. He then does the colouring in Deluxe Paint V. He says "I use a Amiga 
because it does the perfect job for my style of cartoons".