The Book of
THE WASHINGTON AREA ATARI COMPUTER ENTHUSIASTS
Atari Users' Regional Association
Personal Computing Power Without the Price
SATURDAY, MAY 31
HARDWARE — 520 ST, 1040 ST, 400/800, 130 XE, Disk Drives,
Ramdisks, Modems, Printers,
SOFTWARE — Personal Productivity, Entertainment, Education
LANGUAGES — basic, logo, action!, dos
USER GROUP CONTACTS - AURA, NOVATARI, WAACE,
FLEA MARKET — Bring your used hardware and software.
Look for bargains.
PLUS - DOOR PRIZES, DEMONSTRATIONS
LOCATION - HOLY CROSS SCHOOL
4900 Strathmore Ave
TIME - 9 30 am to 3 30 pm
PRICE - Adults $2, Children $1
Ticket sales at the door only
HOW TO GET THERE
FROM VIRGINIA - Take Capitol Beltway to Old
Georgetown Rd. Left to Tuckerman La. Right to
Rockville Pike. Left to Strathmore Ave. Right to
FROM FREDERICK - Take 1-270 to Old Georgetown Rd.
Left to Tuckerman La. Right to Rockville Pike.
Left to Strathmore Ave. Right to school.
FROM SILVER SPRING - Take Capitol Beltway to
Rockville Pike. Exit toward Rockville. Right at
Strathmore Ave to School.
MAY 31, 1986
Vol. 6, No. 4
Table of Contents
Atari Scuttlebits (Kelly).. 8
Atari's Small Miracles (Brown). 10 XL
Battle Bytes (Brooks). 12 XL
CD Report (Langworthy). 36
GameViews (Gabeler). 30 ST
Learning Logo (Wolff). 11 XL
Letters to the Editor. 6
ST Update (Sommers & Waters). 26 ST
Tips'N'Traps (Stevenson & Burke). 20
W.U.N. Report: April (Waters). 5
ANTIC'S European Report. 14
Book of Adventure Games (Lara). 21
Easy Draw (Antoniades). 32 ST
Hacker (Kuffner). 29 ST
Hannover Messe (Browne). 35
Lister Plus (Schadt). 17 XL
Supra ST Modem (Creighton). 37 ST
Translvania (Lara). 22 XL
Ultima IV (Kilcullen & Smart). 40 XL
AURA . 43
F.A.C.E. * . 44
Membership Application. 46
List of Advertisers
CLASSIFIED ADS. 21
Analog 800-345-8112. 9.
AnsiGraf 301-937-3394. 31
Applied Comp Assoc. 301-948-0256. 19
Beckemeyer Dev Tools 415-658-5318. 31
Black Patch Systems 1-800-ATARI02. 39
Computer Service Land 703-237-0558. 24
CN ST Library... 28
Diskcovery 703-536-5040. 15
Electronic Clinic, The 301-656-7983. 22
Frank Neuner 202-387-7402. 35
Grafikon Ltd. 301-937-3394. 11
Jerry Haigwood 408-923-4050. 33
L & Y Electronics 703-643-1729. 47
MichTron 313-334-5700. 25
Microcube Corporation 703-777-7157. 13
Printers Plus 703-370-7810. 23
Regent Software 818-883-0951 . 33
TDI Software, Inc. 214-340-4942. 27
TEAM Software 703-533-2132. 19
Xlent Software 703-644-8881 . 16
CURRENT NOTES (ISSN 0750-1937) is published monthly
Cexcl. January and August) by the Washington Area
Atari Computer Enthusiasts (WAACE), 122 N. Johnson
Road, Sterling, VA 22170-9998. WAACE is a federation
of Atari User’ Groups which provide Current Notes as
part of membership in the club. Direct Subscriptions
to Current Notes are available for $15/year ($23/year
foreign). Send check, payable to Current Notes, to
the Editor — address below. Second-Class Postage
Paid at Sterling, VA. POSTMASTER: Send address
changes to Editor, Current Notes, 122 N. Johnson Rd.,
Sterling, VA 22170.
Managing Editor: Joe Waters (703) 450-4761
XL/XE Editor: Jack Hoitzhauer (703) 670-6475
ST Editor: Frank Sommers (301) 656-0719
Consignment Sales: Ed Seward (703) 960-6360
WAACE Membership List: Earl Liliey (703) 281-9017
Columnists: M. Evan Brooks, Hark Brown, Barry Burke,
Roland Gabeler, Jack Hoitzhauer, Bob Kelly, George
Langworthy, Frank Sommers, Jim Stevenson, Joe Waters,
Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the
individual authors and do not necessarily represent or
reflect the opinions of any of the user groups none of
which are affiliated in any way with Atari Corp.
Exchange subscriptions to Current Notes are available to
other Atari User Groups. Send exchange newsletters to
Jack Hoitzhauer, 15817 Vista Drive, Dumfries, VA. 220/6.
Material in this newsletter may be reprinted provided
CURRENT NOTES and the author, if applicable, are cited.
Advertising rates: full page, $10u; half page, $55;
quarter" page, $30, business cards, $15. Submit photo-
ready copy to editor by the 15th of the preceding month.
Discounts of up to 207. available for pre-paid multiple
insertions. Circu- lation: 2,6u0 (Members 13uQ, Store
Sales 1000, Other 300)
Back Issues: A limited number of back issues are
avaiTa'bleT l984($1.00/copy): Feb, Mar/Apr, Jun, Jul, Oct;
1985($1.50): May, Jun, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec; 1936($2.00):
Feb, Mar, Apr.
The Editor of CURRENT NOTES is Joe Waters, 122 N. Johnson
Rd., SterTinq, VA 22170. (703)450-4761. Submissions of
articles or ’advertising copy, subscription requests or
back-issue orders should be sent to the editor. Deadline
date for articles and advertisements is the 12th day of
the proceeding month.
VOL. 6. NO. 4
by Joe Waters
Finally, An Atari Issue
Those of you who are wont to read editorials
may remember that last month I confessed that
CURRENT MJTES — the Newsletter for ATARI owners —
was produced on an IBM or IBM look-a-like machine.
W £ lrst issue as editor of CURRENT N3TES, way back
in May of 1984, was produced on an Atari 400 using
Atariwriter — the only computer I had at that timeT
Ihe printer, a Centronics 739 (equivalent to the old
Atari 825), was able to roll the page back and,
therefore, could produce two-column output directly
frcm Atariwriter. Unfortunately, the print quality
vras relatively poor. I was able to use an Epson the
following month, but it did not roll backwards and I
had to cut and paste my columns. By the third issue
1 had access to a OCMPAQ and Microsoft WORD. Now I
could edit in 80-columns and print two columns in
one pass AND do it all relatively quickly. Anyone
who has had a hand in editing a newsletter of any
* lU appreciate the significance of those
benefits. So, while I had the opportunity, I left
the world of the 8-bit Atari (as far as editing the
newsletter is concerned) and used the more powerful
tools I had available.
Of ? ourse > all this was before the arrival of
the Atari ST. When Atari announced the ST, it
looked like, finally, there would be an Atari that
could compete head-to-head with an IBM. And indeed
“2 JP 3 * ST, is definitely faster than a
tJw OV / a ^/^T and competes very favorably
with the PC/AT (as measured by actual work, i.e. how
long does it take to do a global search and replace
on a 5,000 word document). So, when CURRENT NOTES
WrongT Sed 311 ST, my problems were over. Right?
The ST doesn't do anything. Programs in the ST
do things. To^ produce CURRENT NOTES I needed a
program, specifically a word—processing program,
more specifically, a word-processing program that
could produce double-column output. In spite of a
flu P7 ^° f J1 WDrd P rocess °rs for the ST, none of than
could handle double columns. Last month, I thought
ttie answer, finally, was just around the corner. I
had two possibilities, Let's Write frcm the Mark
and an updated version of ST
7 ^TER which could handle double columns with more
tnan 80 columns across a page.
I bad been told by Richard Frick, head of ST
Software Development, that there was a word
processor that could do double-columns, produced by
the Mark Williams Co. I called the company and was
assured that, yes indeed, double columns were no
problem. So I order Let's Write. It arrived just
as I had to get last month's issue out so, once
rY^DAn /m • f ° r 1 resorted to the old
CCMPAQ/Microsoft W3RD combination (this time
utilizing a CMS KISS laser printer). After the
yP ri l issue was finally done and mailed out, I
turned my attention to Let's Write. I found a
package with several programs in it: MicroEMACS, an
editor used to create your text input file; NROFF, a
text-formatting program that reads your input file
and produces a formatted output file; KERMIT, a
communications program; and SEELL, a spelling
Anyone familiar with the UNIX world will
recognize NR0EF. If you come frcm an IBM mainframe
universe, think of SCRIBT. You intersperse
formatting caimands with your text. For example, to
skip three lines, you would enter ".sp 3" in column
one of your text; to center the next line, enter
.ce"; to produce a normal paragraph format, you
would need three caimands: ".br", ".sp", ".ti 5".
Although this sounds very complicated, it actually
gives the user enormous power because NROFF allows
the user to define new commands, called macros.
That sequence of three commands needed to produce a
space and a temporary indent of 5 spaces for each
paragraph could be defined once as the command
".EP". From then on, anytime I wanted a new
paragraph, I would just enter ".PP".
iMKurr naa no command for double columns.
However, a macro could be defined to accomplish
Unfortunately, one had to understand all of
NROFF before one started worrying about macros so I
started on page 1 and read and read and read. 124
Pages later, when I reached the end of the NROFF
tutorial, I understood macros. With hints frcm Mark
Willisms Co., I defined a macro that would come into
effect whenever line 62 on the page was encountered.
At that point, it would check to see if this is the
first column, if so, it would increase the left
margin by 3.5" and move to a vertical spacing one
men frcm the top of the page at which point it
would begin printing the second column. If not the
first column, it would simply do a page eiect.
Pretty powerful langauge, yes?
I tried it out on the KISS. It didn't work. A
lot of it did, but it couldn't understand the
movement to one inch frcm the top of the page. That
was truly too bad since that was the vrtiole ballgame
for making double columns work. But there were
other problems I noticed as I read through the
documentation. To use this word processor, you used
MicroEMACS to edit an input file. Then you used
NROFF to process that file. You could direct your
output to the screen or to another file. That's it.
You could not direct your output to the printer.
Strange you might think — a word processor that did
not have an option for outputting to a printer.
But how do you print your file? Simple. Just
use the "PRINT" option frcm TOS. Your formatted
disk file is then sent to the printer. For many
things, this would work just fine, particularly if
you had no intention of ever taking advantage of any
of the features in your modem up-to-date niftly
little letter quality dot matrix printer. Because
to take advantage of printer features you need to
send your printer a control code. NROFF outputs its
"formatted" file to a disk file. There are no
control codes in that disk file. There is no way to
pass a control code to your printer. What a shame!
If I could have imbedded control codes, I could have
passed all the codes I needed to make the printer do
whatever I wanted AND I could have saved all that
code in caimands of my own making. Well, maybe in
NROFF version 2.0. y
Just as I was caning to realize Let's Write
wasn't going to make it, I received a beta copy of
Version 1.02 of ST WRITER (that's a vrtiole separate
story that must be told, but not here). What a
relief! I could now do double columns in compressed
type using my trusty ST WRITER. I tried it and low
and behold it worked! Sort of. I couldn't mix
fonts. If I used PICA (10 characters per inch) for
a heading in column one, column two got messed up.
Worse yet, I noticed, upon closer inspection, that
the last line of column one disappeared. The
program simply lost it. Now that was a SERIOUS bug.
I was sure all these problems would be cleared up in
time, but I had to start work on the May issue the
next day and nothing worked! I was discouraged.
Well, time was up. Forget double columns. I
was determined to use the ST, so single column it
was with cut and paste to achieve double column
final copy. I did more experimenting with the KISS.
Although I received many compliments on the print
quality of the April issue, I wasn't happy with the
Epson fonts supplied with the printer. I had one
more month of evaluation, so I decided to try
emulating another printer. I choose the Qume and
read the documentation to see what font it used. No
font. Hmnm. It seemed I could use any font I
wanted. Prestige elite looked real nice, but 12
characters per inch would cut down the contents of
CURRENT NOTES by quite a lot. But surprise! Qume
has a command for control ing the number of
characters per inch! I could use the prestige
elite font and set the spacing to 15 characters per
inch. Not only that, I could send a command to
implement 8 lines per inch. That is just what you
are reading right now. Didn't look bad at all.
What's more, I could switch to any other font I
wanted by just sending the appropriate printer
control codes (and changing the margins
There were those printer control codes again.
What word processor to use????? I did seme more
experimenting with ST WRITER and got strange results
when trying to pass a lot of control codes
intermingled with the text. In addition, ST Writer
would not support more than 66 lines per page. Oh
So I gave up on ST WRITER and took Frank's
advice from a couple of months ago. I booted up
REGENT WORD. Indeed, it did not take long to learn.
It allowed me to pass the control codes. It allowed
me to merge files (very important since I could
define the complex sequences needed to produce the
format used for the regular CN columns and merge
them when needed). It wasn't the greatest editor
around, but it did have seme very useful features
and it got the job done.
So there you have it. This issue of CURRENT
NOTES was produced on an Atari 1040 ST. I used
REGENT WORD to produce single columns and then
pasted them together for final output. The printer
was the QiS KISS laser printer emulating a Qume
daisywheel printer. I hope you like the final
not retired, have full-time jobs to attend to and
many duties at heme as well as in support of their
local ^ clubs. If we are going in the right
direction, ^ good things will happen, eventually.
But it will take time. If you are a particularly
anxious, you do have it in your power to influence
events. Volunteer yourself. Just walk up to your
local club officers and ask what you can help with.
You'll broaden your experience, learn a lot more
about your computer, have a lot of fun, and, most
likely, make seme new friends.
WUN Report: April
by Joe Waters
Because of a variety of reasons, the March
meeting of the WUN Board of Directors was skipped.
But we did meet as scheduled in April. The primary
topic on the agenda was a "WUN-Approved" library of
public domain software. There is seme truly
excellent quality software coming available in the
public domain. What better purpose of a "World
Users Network" than to facilitate the distribution
of this public domain software to all the local
clubs and hence to as many Atari owners as possible?
Thus, the idea is to provide a means of collecting
the best available in the public domain and making
that available to individual member clubs of WUN
which, in turn, can put the disks in their libraries
and make them available to their members.
Although there are many different ways of
approaching this goal, I would prefer that WUN disks
be organized by function. That is, rather than
providing a disk with a wide variety of different
programs, each disk would be restricted to a
specific category ^of programs. For example,
functional disks might include a disk of pictures
for use with Print Shop; a disk of utilities for use
with Atariwriter; the latest version of ST Writer
complete with documentation and all available
printer drivers; a disk of fonts and printer drivers
for use with DEGAS; or a disk filled with some of
those fantastic demos that show off the capabilities
of the XL/XE line. I think you get the idea.
WUN disks would span both the XL/XE line as
well as the ST line. Although disks could be
ordered by anyone, the idea would be to sell the
disks to member clubs so they can provide the
distribution to their members. (Indeed, if we price
the master disks relatively high, say $7-$8, this
would encourage people to get the disks locally.)
The programs selected would be available not only by
purchasing a WUN disk but would also routinely be
placed on CompuServe as well as other information
services and bulletin boards around the country.
After all the primary focus of the project is to
provide quality public domain programs to Atari
owners, not to go into the disk selling business.
So how do we generate WUN disks? We need not
reinvent the wheel. Many clubs throughout the
country may already have disks they consider good
enough to be submitted as a WUN disk. I think the
best way to build up a WUN library is to let
individual clubs take responsibility (and credit)
for developing specific disks. For example, suppose
your club wanted to put together a disk of utilities
for use with Atariwriter. You could broadcast that
intention (via the WUN board on CompuServe, through
your newsletter, or through this newsletter) and ask
other clubs that may have relevant programs to send
them to you for screening and possible selection.
If your club is interested or if you have ideas on
how we might best proceed with this project, let me
know. You can reach me on CompuServe (74005,1270)
or write (122 N. Johnson Road, Sterling, VA 22170)
or call (703/450/4761).
A word of caution. Seme may read this and
think that this is a super idea and we can start
shipping out WUN disks next week. However, you must
remember that virtually everyone involved in Atari
clubs throughout the country is a volunteer. Those
WU,. 6, NO. 4
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
PaperClip & SynCalc for the 130XE
This is the first time I have written to express my
appreciation for the excellent newsletter that you
and the rest of the staff produce. Thanks!
I just wanted to pass along my experience with the
130 PaperClip word processor and the 130 SynCalc.
I originally purchased PaperClip because the
description which accompanies it stated that it
supported my Panasonic KX-P1091. When I ran the
printer test document that is supplied, PaperClip
failed miserably. I contacted Batteries Included
and after about two months of back and forth, I
received a post card which stated that the printer
that the KX-P1091 emulates is the Epson EX-80 rather
than the RX-80 as the PaperClip documentation
suggests. Thus, I hope you can pass along to the
rest of the Panasonic user's that they should use
(according to Batteries Included) the FX80.CNF
printer driver rather than the RX80.CNF as the
"Users Guide Addendum / Index" of November 1985
The other criticism that I have of PaperClip is that
it lacks a spelling checker program. What a short
coming! For a speller like myself, a word processor
without a convenient spelling checker just isn't a
Lastly, DON'T THROW VISICALC AWAY YET! While using
Syncalc, I discovered an as yet undiscovered but.
Imagine learning that -3 A 2=00.0, tut that +3 A 2=9 is
still correct. That's right, SynCalc can’t square a
negative number correctly. I learned thi^ after
typing in a 20x20 data matrix and related formulae
for a statistics class at VCU. I couldn't believe
that the problem was in the spread sheet so I phone
Synapse in California, and they confirmed that the
bug has never been found before. They told me that
they would send me a revised edition "as soon as
it's available." Thank God I hung onto Visicalc!
(Also, others be warned, the memory constraints on
B/Graph make it unsuitable for Chi Square analysis
with this moderately sized matrix.)
Additionally, it seems likely that many other
CURRENT NOTES readers should contact Synapse and
request an updated version of SynCalc.
P.S. PaperClip still fails the supplied test
document; however, B/I said the problem is with
control codes in the test document rather than the
printer driver — EX80.CNF.
P.P.S. For those who need an immediate solution to
the SynCalc problem: For a value, positive or
negative, in cell Al, the following expression in
cell B1 will return a correct answer:
@IF A1X) THEN A1 A 3 ELSE @ABS(A1) A 3*-1
I Like 1ST WORD!
When I had the T0S RCM installed in my ST, I was
presented with a dsk of 1ST WORD. I mention this
because I nearly abandoned what is a nifty little
program, after reading Frank Scmmers review in the
March CURRENT NOTES.
Certainly I have not had the problems with printing
and using the program as detailed in the article. I
will suggest the reviewer did not properly install
the printer. The Program prints bold, italics,
underlined, superscripts and subscripts and all the
things it's supposed to do. Having a Star SG-10
printer, I installed the EPS-RX80 patch (after
changing the name to Star SG-10) and it worked like
a charm. The little box in the upper left of the
screen now reads Star SG-10 in the title line. In
the article it read "teletype" ... the printer name
for the ASCII printer patch version. This gives the
All in all, I rather enjoy using this program, even
though it doesn't have many fonts (only three:
plain, italics, and bold). Just the thing for all
those little jobs when you don't need FINAL WORD!
It's easy to learn and easier to use! And I almost
tossed it aside without giving it a good look....
Give DB Master One Another Chance
Dear Mr. Waters,
Though I generally agree with your review of DB
Master One which appeared in the February issue of
CURRENT NOTES, I think you were a bit too harsh on
two points. The first is the issue of forced
summing of all numeric fields. If you create a
single dummy record which has text, e.g. the letter
"x", in all fields which you do not want summed,
they will not be summed in any report. This dummy
record can easily be excluded frcm reports using the
appropriate "FIND" logic.
The second issues is that of the rigidly structured
report selection. One way to work around this
problem is to use the "PAGE" format and direct the
report to disk. One can then use a BASIC program to
read the data in this file, manipulate it in
whatever fashion you choose and print it out in
whatever format you like. True, this is not as easy
as printing a nicely formatted report directly frcm
DB Master One, but it's straightforward since DB
Master One both selects and sorts the records and
selects and orders the fields. All the BASIC
program has to do is add the frosting on the cake.
I find DB Master One an extremely easy to use and
versatile database. It's power-to-price ratio is
impossible to define since it's free. I guess the
best way I can rate it is to say that DB Master One
is as good a database program as STWriter is a word
Joseph J. Wrobel
Hey! AMODEM 7x is Great
Dear Mr. Barnes:
This is in reply to your article in the February
CURRENT NOTES. Thanks for taking the time to write
Without getting into an argument on which product is
"best", perhaps I can help in explaining where
AMODEM 7x fits into the spectrum of ccnmunications
In your section on software, you mention that 1200
baud might be possible in a BASIC program if machine
language were used for the I/O. AMODEM 7x supports
up to 2400 baud by using the combination you
The . mix of "special characters" and M/L imbedded in
strings is what is giving your printer difficulty
where you try to list the program. I suggest you
use something like MEGAEXKT 11+ from Xlent SW.
You mention that various hackers have scrambled
AMODEM beyond recognition. I am surprised at that
statement because one of the beauties of AMODEM 7x
is that, rather than it being a modification of
previously hacked programs, it is completely
rewritten ^ by one person so that it now has
organization and consistent style.
Perhaps your problem with having it send appropriate
ccnmands to your modem could be solved by: (1; When
dialing from terminal mode in ATASCII terminate the
"ATDT etc" string with a Ctrl-M [RETURN], or (2) Use
AUIGEN72.BAS to construct a file containing data on
the boards / systems you intend to use. This allows
AMODEM 7x to use the baud / translation frcm the
file so you do not have to reset it each time, or
(3) use the Manual function of the Autodial menu and
just type in the number you wish dialed followed by
a return. This is the easiest test.
As to impenetrable code, consider that it is written
in Atari BASIC — a language that is not highly
supportive of structure — and must fit in a 48K
machine ^ with room for buffers. Many of the
unreadability aspects are due to memory-saving
techniques that Trent had to use in order to fit
such a fully featured program into memory.
As for ASCII incompatibility, I use ASCII frequently
with mainframes, IBM PC's running EGREM-PC and
FIDONET and ATARI BBCS-ASCII boards.
As for a poor man's bulletin board system for
exchanging file s — are you aware of a BASIC program
called "DISKFER"? It allows conversational exchange
and full-disk modem-to-modem transfers. I am sure
it is in your group-s PD library and it does support
1200 baud Hayes-like modems. Perhaps you could hack
it to support files.
Finding an open niche is made easy with the AMODEM
7x scandial feature. Once you have built the
AUTODIAL. NLM file with AUTGEN72.BAS and are in the
AUTODIAL menu within AMODEM72.BAS, a type-in of "S"
puts you in "SCAN" mode and you can type in a string
like "EE3DF4GI [RETURN]" that will allow you to scan
through a series of system numbers (B and E on the
current page, D and F on page 3, G and I on page 4)
and continue to cycle through until you get an open
board / system). I often set up a scan of as many
as 10 boards and then go sit in my easy chair and
read the paper until the sounds frcm Hayes tell me
it has found an unbusy board. This scan feature is
the major improvement between AMODEM 7.0 and the
In my collection, I have a program called VT100 and
one called VT102. Might these help you with your
DEC connection? I do not remember where I got them
-- it was two years ago. Probably CarpuSeive.
I hope these comments have helped you have more luck
with AMODEM 7x and that your success will erase your
impression of "stupid software design".
Many people like AMODEM 7x because it is free,
doesn't require any other SW language purchase,
supports five modem types, is in BASIC (the language
most people are familiar with) so they can see how
it works and change it (I know I have five mods in
ib to match it to my needs). I hope you end up
liking it too. If I can be of help give a call.
Michael W. Focke
* He's- MAD About Us
I'm an Atari fan, having written all of my last 20
or so MAD scripts on various Atari machines. I have
an 800, an 800XL and a 130XE. I use Atari Writer
and Atari Writer Plus. I keep hoping however for
seme 80 column Atari word processor for their 8-bit
I love CURRENT NOTES, and would like to subscribe.
It's the best thing I've read on Atari machines and
software ever. No nonsense, no sales pitch, just
straight forward info. And if you want to print
part of this letter as a testimonial to your paper,
In case you never saw our special Computer Issue, I
enclose a copy. I wrote several articles in it.
(I've been in every issue of MAD MAGAZINE for the
past 22 years, and am also their Creative
If you have any info on 80 columns for Atari, please
give a shout. And keep uo the good work. I also
enclose our latest issue. I wrote Young Sherlock
and Jewel of the Nile.
Richard De Bartolo
New York, NY
[Thanks for the kind voids Richard. Wcw, 22 years
in MAD. I certainly am impressed. As for 80
columns, coming soon with an $80 price tag. I've
seen the output and it looked pretty good but you
will need a monochrome monitor for best results.
Remember to tell
where you saw their AD!
OL. 6. NO. 4
oy Bob Kelly
The Unprintable Adventure
An adventure with plenty of villians and dam
:ew heroes. Only this was no game.
It all started when my wife ’ s boss decided to
□urchase a new computer. We thought, "Gee,
terrific! We'll get him to buy an Atari ST." With
seme quick talking on my part, the ST was purchased.
Of course, a letter quality printer was required for
all that business correspondence the ST was going to
chum out. I did my technical research on
daisywheel printers. Searched the papers and
magazines carefully for the best prices and finally
settled upon the C.Itoh printer. Note, this printer
is made by, Tokyo Electronics for a number of
different computer/printer films who then put their
own names on the machine. Whether the real McCoy or
look-alike, this daisywheel printer had an excellent
reputation. I bought a look-alike for the
unbelievable price of $450.00, including tractor
feed. Originally, they sold in the neighborhood of
_ J took heme this 40 cps. beauty on the weekend.
Tried it with my Atari 800, it worked perfectly,
pure pleasure. Next up was a try with my 130 XE.
It worked again, gratification swept through rny
entire body. I thought let's go for it. I
connected it with my CP/M system (ATR-8000),
instantaneous satisfaction! The print quality on
this machine was superb. At this point, needless to
say, I was elated. Jumping for^ joy was an
understatement. Secretly, I was saying to myself,
"Another great purchase made by the master. God is
on my side!"
It was now Monday morning. Time to bring^ the
printer to my wife's office so she could do all
those business things on the 520 ST. I arrived at
the office with the printer and people watched in
awe as it was set up. Confident of its operation, I
plugged it into the wall and connected it to the ST
and left immediately.
I arrived at my office to a waiting message -
the printer doesn't work. I called my wife. After
a wrenching hour on the phone, it still did not
work. We both hung up the phone abruptly thinking
the other was suffering from a serious mental loss.
As for myself, I was more gracious. I thought she
either screwed this thing up or the machine was
jostled in the car and a chip came loose. No need
After work, I went over to her office and then
more hours of frustration. It simply did not work.
I picked up the printer in utter frustration and
marched with it heme. I hooked it up to my system
again, it immediately worked. There was nothing
wrong with the printer! It must be the cable.
Dam, the cable was in the office. I'll get the
cable tomorrow and test it. I brought the cable
heme and with my system it worked. Now, I brought
the 520 ST back heme and tried every dip switch
setting imaginable on the printer. It still did not
work. I tried different software and changed the
desktop printer configuration at least 50 times.
Without a doubt, the trouble was with the 520ST.
By this time, over 20 man hours had been spent
attempting to get the printer to work. I decided to
enlist (he claims I begged) another individual, an
expert in data and systems design. Yes, Bill Price
was the man. He had spent the last 20 years working
on such trivial problems and solving them.
Well, after another 20-30 hours of Bill's time
I had succeeded ... he was more frustrated than I
was. We had, however, clearly defined the problem
after many test procedures. In essence, the 520ST
thought it was printing. It recognized that a
printer was on-line and it would indicate that it
was "Printing page 1, 2, 3". But, the printer still
Bill Price went back on the offensive. He
decided to make seme phone calls in order to get
more technical expertise brought to bear on this
problem. Bill called:
C.Itoh - They asked Bill immediately if it was a
C.Itoh printer. He replied no, it was a C.Itoh
look-alike. They hung up.
Commodore - They thought we really had a problem
(the printer was distributed by Commodore). They
wanted to know why we bought the 520ST instead of
the Amiga. Finally, they responded to the question
concerning their printer saying, "It must be a cable
problem, call XYZ Cable Company!" Bill knew this
was a copout, the same kind of response you get from
a physician when he doesn't know what the problem
is, "It must be a low grade viral infection". They
concluded by saying that the problem must be with
the 520ST, call Atari. Then, they promptly hung up.
Atari - After many busy signals, Bill finally
reached Atari. The answer was abrupt, "The ST has
only one print driver. It's for the Epson. That's
why the C.Itoh won't work." Then, they promptly
said goodbye (one point for being polite).
Computer Stores - Called stores around country. No
one had hear of problem. Further, they had no idea
what might be causing the problem.
Neither Bill nor I are technical experts, but
we knew it couldn't be the printer driver. All we
were asking of the printer was for a straight ASCII
dump of characters not a formatted page of text. In
other words, we weren't even getting garbage on the
page since the print head didn't move.
Bill had wasted enough of his time. It was my
turn again. I called Atari and asked for either
Neil Harris or Mr. Frick. In fact, I called several
times. No one from Atari ever returned rny phone
calls. I put a message on CompuServe asking for the
wisdom of the hackers. The only response was from
Gary Yost of ANTIC Magazine vdio said, I've got the
same problerrnnrnm! To my mind the world was going
nuts. A month and half had past. My wife had now
expropriated my functioning dot matrix printer for
her office so that something would work with the
520ST. I now avoided appearances at her office for
fear someone would ask me ... How's it going with
that daisywheel printer? I had eaten humble pie.
One last phone call was in order. I called
C.ITOH again! This time, I lied. I told them it
was a C.Itoh printer. After several additional
calls and running up quite a long distance phone
MAY jl T2M
bill, C.Itoh informed me that its R&D staff had
spent more than 2 weeks trying to solve this
problem, with no luck. C.Itoh had also called Atari
who did not responded to their queries. C.Itoh
thought the problem was in the hand-shaking and a
fundamental flaw with the ST. They had no intention
to pursue this issue further. The ball was in
I originally had no intention to buy a
daisywheel printer for my home computer system.
However, I now had one. The cost for the printer
was now roughly $600 including the phone calls and
transportation costs (no charge for Bill Price’s or
time). Gary Yost was wringing his hands, ’’Does
is mean that I have to dump my printer?" And
finally, this experience had convinced me that the
520ST would not make it in the small business
environment without daisywheel compatibility.
Toward the end of this period of trial and
error, now over 2 months in length, one local
computer store, L & Y Electronics, asked us to bring
the printer to the store for tests. John, at L & Y,
said "Come on guys, let me take a look at it. I'll
make it work." Well, L & Y is in Woodbridge,
Virginia and just a stones throw from the Southern
railroad tracks. This is no Silicon Valley, no
Armonk, no pool of brain power like Berkley. Why
bother if the experts didn't have an answer?
Finally, after considerable badgering by John and
when no alternatives were left, we decided to bring
the printer to him.
One day later, John informed us that he had
solved the problem. For the C.Itoh daisywheel to
function with the 520ST, it needed a PRINTER BUFFER.
He utilized no oscilloscope, no line patch boxes to
test signals, and no complex print driver tests. It
did require brains, a little experience, seme
borrowed wisdom, and going right to the heart of the
matter. With a 64K printer buffer, there was no
What did I learn from this adventure?
1. The new Atari is functioning not much
differently from the old Atari during its last days.
It still does not answer phone calls. This is
extremely disturbing since it not only indicates a
lack of cannon courtesy, but also a disdain for the
very customer that is purchasing their product.
Atari needs a customer service division staffed by
2. Believe and trust in your local computer
store. Support him because it may be the only way
you are going to get your equipment repaired or for
it to function correctly.
3. As a general rule, not only from this
experience but others as well, the technical rep's
that you speak to on the phone today are less
knowledgeable about your particular problem than you
are. The quality of the technical rep has greatly
declined. I must give C.Itoh credit for wanting to
4. In my opinion, the fact is there remains
something wrong with the ST as it should not require
a buffer to print. I will not even ccrrment on the
added expense of such an item.
Till next month and I will tell you if Atari ever
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VOL. 6. NO. 4
ATARI'S SMALL MIRACLES
by Mark Brown
Progranming is something we all love to do.
Feeling the power of our Atari computers beneath our
fingers doing whatever we command them to is a high
that can't be beat. However, that high only comes
when a program succeeds, the MANY hours working on
the program beforehand sometimes make it seem not
So, to increase the number of high points in
your life, Atari's Small Miracles presents another
utility program theme. This one is rather specific:
programs that work independently inside of other
programs. You'll see what I mean after typing them
in. They were created to make your life a little
easier, your programming a little faster.
All the pro grams are meant to be LISTed to
disk, then ENIERed into another program at a later
time. Run them by typing "GOTO" followed by the
first number of the program.
The average programmer has, at one point or
another, had to work in three seperate number
systems; binary, hexadecimal, and decimal.
Conversion between the three can be a real pain,
consulting tables, figuring out powers of two and
sixteen in your head, adding strange numbers
together, etc. To alleviate this problem, at least
in BASIC, I present HXDECBIN. Input a number in
either decimal (base ten, our normal numbering
system), hexadecimal (base sixteen), or binary (base
two). Indicate hex by preceding the number by a "$"
symbol and a binary number by a "%". HXDECBIN will
clear the screen and print the conversion into t£e
other two number systems. Numbers can range frcm
0-65535, $0-$FFFF, or %0-%llllllllllllllll.
32000 CLR :DIM B$(17),H$(5):? :? "Inpu
t num, $hex, or %bin":INPUT B$
32010 IF B$(l,l)="%" THEN GOSUB 32040:
GOSUB 32060:GOTO 32090
32020 IF B$(l,l)="$" THEN H$=B$:G0SUB
32050:GOSUB 32080:GOTO 32090
32030 N=VAL(B$):GOSUB 32060:GOSUB 3208
32040 N=0:FOR A=LEN(B$) TO 2 STEP -1:N
=N+INT(2 a (LEN(B$)-A)+0.5)*(B$(A,A)="1"
32050 N=0:FOR A=2 TO LEN(H$):B=ASC(H$(
A) )-48:N=N+INT(16 a (LEN(H$)-A)+0.5)*(B*
32060 H$="$0000":F0R A=2 TO 5:B=0:FOR
C=1 TO 16:D=INT(16 A (5-A)+0.5):B=B+(N>=
32080 B$="%":FOR A=15 TO 0 STEP -1:B=I
NT(2 A A+0.5):B$(17-A,17-A)=CHR$(48+(N>=
B) ):N=N-B*(N>=B):NEXT A:GOTO 32040
32090 ? CHR$(125);N;;H$;"=";B$:RUN
Ibis program is fairly unique among its type.
It lists all the variables of a program, something
that many other programs do, but it is unique in
that it adds no variables to the table itself. Tha t
is what makes it such a nightmare of PCKEs and PEEKs
to type in. Note that the variables are in the
order that you typed them in, not in alphabetical
order. See Compute! 's Atari BASIC Source Book for
further details on the variable name table.
LISTVAR lists all the variables in a program's
variable table, not just the ones it uses. To clear
out the table, LIST your program to disk or tape,
type NEW then ENTER it back in. Enter in LISTVAR
again you you may see a significant difference in
the size of your table.
32666 ? CHR$(125):POKE 203,PEEK(130) :P
OKE 204.PEEK(131):POKE 205,0:IF PEEK(P
EEK(203)+256*PEEK(204))=0 THEN 32671
32667 IF PEEK(PEEK(203)+256*PEEK(204))
<128 THEN ? CHR$(PEEK(PEEK(203)+256*PE
32668 ? CHR$(PEEK(PEEK(203)+256*PEEK(2
04))-l28):POKE 205,PEEK(205)+132669 PO
55)):IF PEEK(203)=0 THEN POKE 204,PEEK
32670 IF PEEK(PEEK(203)+256*PEEK(204))
<>0 THEN GOTO 32667
32671 ? :? PEEK(205);" variables in us
The only letter I got this month was frcm Steve
Matsumoto of Houston, Texas, who gave me this
excellent listing routine. PAGER will list your
program in groups of seven lines, allowing you to
view program lines further down in the program,
program lines further up in the program, or start at
a new location. This can be unbelievably useful
when editing large programs. Press the SELECT key
to move up, the OPTION key to move down, and the
START key to choose a new line number. The move up
routine is implemented by a stack kept in the array
QQS, it should be a straightforward modification if
you want to be able to move up more then the initial
four groups of seven lines.
Press the BREAK key at any time if you wish to
modify the program you are using PAGER to view.
0 REM GOTO start of your program. "pa
ger" SSM 2/24/86 Use BREAK to exit pag
1 ? "SELECT +":? "OPTION -":? "START n
":CLR :DIM QQS(4),QQM$(53):FOR 1=1 TO
5 3:READ QQA:QQM$(I)=CHR$(QQA):NEXT I
2 TRAP 2:? :? "START at what line";:IN
PUT QQS:QQF0RCE=1:FOR QQ=0 TO 4:QQS(QQ
N=PEEK(QQLPTR) + 2 5 6*PEEK(QQLPTR+1):DATA
5 TRAP 40000:POKE 53279,8:ON PEEK(5327
9)-2+QQFORCE GOTO 6,5,7,2,5,7:DATA 176
6 QQS=QQS(1):FOR QQ=0 TO 2:QQS(QQ)=QQS
:GOTO 3:DATA 133,205,169,0,101,206
7 QQCNT=0:QQFORCE=0:FOR QQ=4 TO 1 STEP
QLN: TRAP 2
8 LIST QQLN:QQCNT=QQCNT+1:QQLPTR=QQLPT
R+PEEK(QQLPTR+2):QQLN=PEEK(QQLPTR) + 2 5 6
9 ON (QQCNT=7)+2*(QQLN>32767) GOTO 5,2
,2:POKE 84,PEEK(84)-1:GOTO 8:DATA 226,
LEARNING THROUGH LOGO
by Sysan Wolff
Atari Logo Animation
This utility is used to search a program for a
specific variable. The variable is given by you in
the form of a number; the number of the variable in
the table (use LISTVAR if you are unsure). VARXREF
will then search through all of your program for the
lines that contain that variable and will tell you
them. The most obvious use for this type of program
is to change variable names; search for a name and
change every occurence of it to another name.
However there are many other uses that you will find
in time, not the least of which is exploring other
In previous issues I have explained how to
create and use new shapes for the Logo turtle. Thl
month I will talk about how to animate these shapes.
Remember the "KID" shape you created last
month? Put that shape back into the workspace it
shape editor 1. (See last issue)
Now type EDSH 2 and design a second KID shape;
slightly different frem the first. You could change
the aim positions and/or the leg positions.
Then press ESC and type:
MAKE "KID" GETSH 2
Compute's Atari Basic Source Book can fully
explain what the program is doing if you want a
detailed explanation. Note that it can take a very
long time to cross reference a very large program.
A program similar, albeit more complex, longer,
and more user friendly than VARXREF was sold through
APX a while back. Here it's free, instructive, and
short. I hope you put it to good use.
32000 ? "Variable?":INPUT V:B=0:FOR A=
PEEK(130)+256*PEEK(131) TO 65000:B=B+(
PEEK(A)>127):IF B<V THEN NEXT A
=0)+A*(V<>0):F0R B=1 TO 300:IF PEEK(A+
B)<127 THEN ? CHR$(PEEK(A+B));:NEXT B
32020 ? CHR$(PEEK(A+B)-128):FOR A=PEEK
(136)+256*PEEK(137) TO 65000:L=PEEK(A)
+256*PEEK(A+1):IF L>31999 THEN END
32030 N=A:A=A+3:FOR B=1 TO 300:S=PEEK(
A):T=PEEK(A+1):A=A+2:IF T=0 OR T>54 TH
EN A=N+PEEK(N+ 2)-1:NEXT A
32040 IF PEEK(A)=V+128 THEN ? "Line
L:A=N+PEEK(N+ 2)-1:NEXT A
*(PEEK(A)=15)+1:IF A<N+S THEN 32040
32060 IF A<N+PEEK(N+2) THEN NEXT B
32070 A=A-1:NEXT A
Atari's Snail miracles needs your programs and
your ideas for programs. I am running out of things
to do here and unless I hear from you this column
may not last much longer. Be extravagant and blow
twenty^ two cents to mail me the programs collecting
dust^ in your disk and tape libraries so I can
continue to bring you instructive, short, and fun
things to program. Send them to:
Atari's Small Miracles
c/o Mark A. Brown
7097 Game Lord Drive
Springfield, Virginia 22153
Every person who writes me will get credit in
this column for his or her program or idea.
Until next month, keep programming and remember
that the best things come in small packages!
A character will appear animated if two
♦slightly different versions of the same shape are
Try typing in the following procedure:
PUTSH 1 :KID
TFT I, 0
REPEAT 20 [SETSH 1 WAIT 2 SETSH 2 WAIT 2]
Run this procedure to see it work. The PUTSF
commands in the procedure will return the shapes to
the editors the next time you load this file. The
rest of the commands tell turtle 0 to alternate
between the two shapes with a slight pause between
them. This will appear as animated movement.
If you save your workspace to your disk you
will be able to use these shapes later. Try
creating other figures to animate. Try to make a
dog run across the screen, or someone doing
aerobics. Have fun!
ZQL--.6, NQt 4
by M. Evan Brooks
Battle of Antietam
BATTLE OF ANTIETAM (BOA) is SSI's latest
release ($49.95). This detailed simulation has been
designed for the Civil War buff; BOA covers the
bloodiest day in American military history — 22,000
casualties were incurred. BCA allows the player to
assume ccrrmand of either side, to play a two-player
version, or to sit back and watch the computer play
Game difficulty ranges from easy to very
difficult. One may choose the Basic Game (icons, no
command control problems and full visiblity), the
Internediate Game (icons or military symbols,
command control and limited visibility), or for the
experienced commander, the Advanced Game (similar to
the Intermediate Game, but with individual
The documentation delineates the rules
moderately well. While no major emissions exist,
the rules for enfilading fire and its effect are
covered all too briefly — thereby compelling the
player to learn by "seeing the elephant". The maps
are well done, and the historical data is quite well
done (the Order of Battle is especially impressive);
the bibliography notes the major works on the
subject. Once again, the West Point Atlas of
American Wars (Esposito & Elting) may prove
invaluable to the player, and any serious gamer
should obtain this two-volume set.
BOA is a nephew of Kampfgruppe; BOA is a phased
game rather than a simultaneous resolution-type
game. Chuck Kroegel, the designer, stated that
wargame simulation can cover- simultaneous (A la
Microprose) or phased (a la BOA) turn resolution; he
prefers the latter because it allows the player to
react in a more logical fashion. Of course, Mr.
Kroegel admits the advantage of both types of games,
and feels that each serves its audience. Input in
BOA is via keyboard only; again, an Apple
translation, the implementation of joystick control
would not have been that difficult for the Atari
Upon booting the game, the first thing the
veteran gamer will encounter is a sense of
confusion. The map is well done, but it simply
looks incorrect. Why? —• the obvious answer is that
the map is upside down (north is the bottom). Upon
checking the rules, this is correct — the map is
upside down! Mr. Kroegel felt that the orientation
is not too confusing, and that initially the product
was to be a solitaire game played by the Union. To
maximize user-friendliness, the map was oriented to
the Union viewpoint. After implementing both player
options, the designer felt that reorienting the map
would not improve anything; his playtesters'
consensus was that the map was fine. This reviewer
does not agree; while the total disorientation does
carpel a novel approach, the confusion engendered is
simply not worth it. The designer has admitted that
in his next design (Gettysburg), north will assume
its traditional position (i.e. top).
This reviewer utilized the Advanced Game, with
corrmand control and limited visibility. As the
Union, the player is faced with a disjointed assault
into the face of the Southern lines. Due to ccrrmand
control problems, the Union will only be able to
activate four (4) divisions. This forces an
immediate decision — should one activate Hooker's I
Corps (three  divisions) and advance through the
cornfield (Historical Version) or should one choose
a flooding-type of advance and hope to get seme
divisions across Antietam Creek before the South can
respond? The player's initial choice can well
determine the course of the game.
A general advance can achieve limited river
crossings. But often, these gains are of minimal
value, since the losses incurred will prevent any
exploitation, and with the lack of command control,
the player cannot reinforce his successes timely.
The historical mode will not be a cakewalk; I Corps
will incur horrendous casualties. But, as the
North, the player can tolerate such casualties as
long as the South is stretched. The Confederate
role may be likened to a rubber band; while carmand
control is not a problem, being outnumbered 2-1 is.
While initial Union assaults may resemble World War
I attacks, they do extend the Confederate. Can the
Southron reinforce? If he does so, it is at a cost
to the line elsewhere; when the Union activates
other troops and tests the line elsewhere, the
Confederate may not be able to respond timely.
A word of caution; read the documentation
carefully, and note the symbology utilized. This
reviewer advanced I Corps several times and could
not understand where the casualties were ccming
from. Further study revealed that what appeared to
be marsh-type terrain was in fact an unlimbered
artillery battery. Advancing in column blithely
past an enemy artillery battery is not the mark of a
good commander, and it can be hazardous to one's
At any rate, the Union commander must bite the
bullet and advance into the fray. The South simply
waits and hopes its responses anticipate major
Northern advances. If the South can impede the
North until late afternoon, D.H. Hill's Division
will reinforce the hard-pressed Confederates. It
may not be enough, but these reinforcements will
definitely make the Union hesitate. The Confederate
cannot hold onto the terrain indefinitely; he must
judiciously retreat without allowing a major
Commanders are essential to victory. While
divisional and corps commanders give a bonus on
assaults to their troops, this advantage is more
than negated by the victory point loss engendered by
their loss. Union Corps commanders are worth 500
VP; with a major victory worth 5,000 points, it
would not take too many leadership losses to destroy
one's campaign. In addition, if a leader is
killed/wounded, he must be replaced, and the entire
chain moves up (i.e. if Hooker is a casualty, then
Meade would take over the Corps while the senior
surviving brigade ccmmander would take over as
Divisional Ccnmander). Also, units may not move
their maximum if not within ccmmand control;
brigades trace to divisions which trace to corps.
Placement of leaders is crucial and should be
reviewed often to assure they are accomplishing what
the player wishes.
Although cavalry is more mobile than infantry,
this reviewer does not feel that they should be
utilized early. The cavalry is worth three times
the VPs of the infantry. Therefore, an assault by
cavalry (with its lower firepower) will actually
cause a much larger loss than is apparent to the
player. The prime role of cavalry is exploitation
near the game’s conclusion; the Union player must
break the Southern line and move through Sharpsburg
to the top of the map. Cavalry can be used for such
exploitation, as long as its losses can be kept at a
Each turn takes c. one hour. The computer is
not quick, although the designer claims that the
Atari version is the fastest one. One can save the
game easily, and it is definitely not one to be
played in one sitting.
With limited visibility, one is never sure as
to where the enemy is concentrating. As the Union,
push forward until losses bring one to a stumbling
halt. Then do it again with another division. If
one has any empathy for his fellow man, Antietam
will be a difficult game; the value of human life is
cheapened to an extreme. But this is historically
accurate. McClellan, the Boy Genius (?), organized
an army and loved it; the Army of the Potcmac fully
reciprocated his feelings. Thus, it is ironic that
his employment of his troops created so many
casualties. Having discovered the Confederate plans
before the battle began, his reluctance to ccmmit
his army delayed its advance until his intelligence
coup was rendered almost worthless.
In a sample game, this reviewer achieved a
minor Union victory (4,557 VP; 5,000 are needed for
a major victory). Losses were extremely heavy:
Killed — 3,311 (Union), 2,777/351 (Confederate
infantry/cavalry); Wounded -- 15,731/17 (Union),
13,196/1,670 Confederate; Missing — 1,655/34
(Union), 1,388/175 (Confederate). In addition, the
South lost 19 artillery guns. Leadership losses
were roughly even: North, 19 brigade leaders and 4
divisional ccmuanders; South, 16 brigade leaders and
2 divisional ccnmanders. At the onset of the
battle, the arrays' strengths were 60,000-30,000
(Union: Confederate); at the conclusion,
45,000-15,000. While both sides took roughly
equivalent losses (this was true of most Civil War
battles), the South simply lacked the manpower pool
to make up such losses.
The game was extremely accurate. Losses are
taken in minute detail. It is extremely
exhilarating to note that J.E.B. Stuart was cut down
in the midst of the final defense. But there are
reservations to BOA; the product resembles a CPX
(ccrrmand post exercise) or a TEWT (Tactical Exercise
without Troops). Everything has been planned for;
the data is all present. What is lacking is the fun
and charisma of it all. BOA is accurate and
historical, but its ponderous play and slowness of
response simply remove the joy from the game. This
reviewer discussed the product with several
wargamers; the response was universal, in that seme
spark of life was absent. A word used often in the
description of BOA was tedious. While such a
description may be overly harsh, it does bear a germ
The novice/intermediate versions do not share
this fault, of course. But then again, they lack
much of the historical flavor. If the Union player
can ccrrmand all his troops simultaneously, then the
South is lost ab initio. Also, one cannot learn
from the computer’s play. Why? -- because it
cheats! If one plays the South against the Union
computer, he will note that the Union activates more
divisions than a human player is ever allowed. This
activation allows the computer to play a more
challenging game; it also prevents the human player
from learning from the computer’s Success.
Overall, BOA has elements of greatness. But
its lack of speed and its ponderousness detract from
its appeal. Recommendation: ***
FRCM THE TRENCHES : Conflict in Vietnam had been
delayed beyond the most pessimistic guesses of the
designer, but it is finally available. Also, USAAF
should be available by this time. The remainder of
the wargaming maket is quiet; with Origins coming in
August, this may be the lull before the storm.
Guest Appearance: Dr. Ed Bever, Microprose’s ace
designer, is scheduled to appear at Novatari's May
meeting. The topic: wargaming, of course!
Don't miss the next issue
of CURRENT NOTES.
Ch^ck your mailing label
to see if it is time to
Microcube Corporation hod 777-7157
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Leesburg, VA 22075 _____
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Now Available From:
By Gigi Bisson, ANTIC Asst. Ed.
PART 1: LONDON BULLETIN
[The following is extracted from ANTIC'S European
Report. ANTIC Publishing Inc., Copyright 1986.
Reprinted by Permission. ]
Real MS-DOS compatibility is finally a reality
for the Atari 520ST. At an Atari computer show
sponsored by Atari User magazine in London, Atari
Corp, unveiled a product in the final development
stages code-named the MS-DOS Box. Designed by Atari
engineer Jim Tittsler, the MS-DOS box is essentially
an 8088 microprocessor encased in a metal box like a
hard disk drive and plugged into the EMA port. It
ccmes with half a megabyte of memory, an 8088
microprocessor and a socket for the 8087 math
co-processor.... Atari Corp. claims the MS-DOS box
will enable the ST to be compatible with 90% of
IBM-PC software at speeds greater than the IBM PC.
However, Tittsler says the box won't be able to run
graphic-based software such as Lotus 1-2-3 until the
final BIOS routines are written.
Atari also announced a CP/M operating system
emulator in software that should soon be available
in the United States for $49.95. At the London
show, Antic saw libraries of CEM software already
transferred to ST disk format.
For the eight-bit Ataris, the most significant
new product was the long—premised 80—column adapter
that plugs into the XL or XE computer. Atari had
originally premised an 80-column cartridge, however,
the final product will be a case that plugs into
the serial port.
There was an array of new software including a
computer chess program, sophisticated animatiop
software, and a $3,000 Computer Aided Design system
for the 1040ST suitable for professional architects
and interior designers. Antic saw a variety of C
development tools, editors, and loads of music and
Supra Corp. of Albany, Oregon was showing their
20 megabyte hard disk. (It should be available from
local retailers in the near future). The $1,000
price seems a bit steep, but it is reportedly three
times faster than the not-yet-available Atari hard
disk. John Wiley, President of Supra, showed Antic a
60 megabyte hard disk prototype and hinted about a
future streaming tape backup.
The ST is already cracking the European
education market. Universities are adopting the ST
as the machine of choice. Fortran 77, long a
standard in universities, is finished frem two
companies — Philon of New York and Prospero in the
U.K. With GEM bindings included, the Prospero
version should* retail for about $150.... At the
current exchange rate, the Apple Macintosh costs
$4,000 in the U.K. Not suprisingly, the ST is
eating it up. Atari is holding the price of ST to
roughly the U.S. equivalent. European programmers
and dealers were quick to recognize the ST' s
incredible price/performance ratio.
PART 2: WEST GERMANY and FRANCE
HANOVER, WEST GERMANY — No hype. It's the
largest computer trade show in the world. CeBIT —
even grander than the mighty COMDEX. (CeBIT is a
German acronym for World Center for Office, Data and
Communications Technology.) During the week of
March 12, the annual show in Hanover, West Germany
boasted 2,100 exhibitors spread throughout 205,000
meters of display area in 13 buildings. Atari Corp.
was in building 13, but this time it was a
"We've been hearing that the Atari ST is now
the largest selling computer in Germany, but I never
believed it until I saw this show," says Antic
Publisher James Capparell....
Atari Germany spared no expense at their lavish
booth. The center of the vast display was almost a
restaurant in itself, tempting dealers and retailers
with rich food, German Beer and fine chocolates. At
the perimeter were nearly 50 third-party developers,
including Antic. The exhibitors showed many of the
same products that had been unveiled the previous
week at an Atari show in London.
At a Hanover press conference. Atari announced
the MS/DOS box, 20 megabyte hard disk drive, 1040ST
computer and 520ST+ computer. Atari also spoke of
their commitment to upward ccmpatiblity, pledging
that all future plug-in peripherals and add-ons will
be compatible with all versions of SI hardware.
Atari engineers are working on a 1,000 X 1,000 pixel
color monitor for CAD/CAM purposes, with a companion
hardware expansion unit capable of driving
that resolution on the ST. Atari hopes to keep the
price down to $1,000. Atari Corp.'s $49.95 CP/M
operating system emulator software is not yet
available in the U.S., but apparently it is already
in use in West Germany. (CP/M, one of the earliest
microcomputer operating systems, is used by the
Osborne and Kaypro computers).
German computer magazines are already
advertising CP/M software for the ST. In 68000er
mag azine, there are advertisements for Micro Pro
Wordstar 3.0 "fur den Atari ST." The software is in
ST 3 1/2 inch disk format and requires the CP/M
emulator. Another German magazine featured a review
of Borland International's Turbo Pascal running on
the ST with CP/M emulation.
And finally, at the end of an exhausting tour,
Paris, for the first Atari-exclusive show ever held
in France. The show featured 50 developers, most
In France, Antic saw seme fantastic artwork
created with DEGAS and NEOchrcme, and hopes to make
arrangements with the artists to publish this work
in future issues of Antic. But the star of the show
was a professional architectural CAD-CAM system from
a Netherlands firm.
Andromeda Software, a Hungarian firm with
offices in the United States, showed two graphic
tools fro the ST, The Animator, a graphic animation
package and a picture processor. Andromeda is also
working on ST versions of the classic Atari arcade
games Missile Command, Battlezone and Millipede.
You deserve a
The usual fine print: You must bring in your copy of Current Notes with your
mailing label attached. Offer not valid if store is closed or coupon is cut out
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LISTER PLUS / MEGAFONT 11+
by W. Williams Schadt
PART I: INTRODUCING LISTER PLUS
This article was initially to be a review and
performance analysis of Lister Plus, a $19.95
program from a company called Non-Standard Magic at
P.0. Box 45 in Girard, Ohio 44420. But, after
reading the documentation and experimenting with the
program, I realized that Lister Plus is functionally
similar (almost identical) to a program called
MegaFont 11+ frcm XLent Software in Springfield,
Virginia. Why not let these two programs go
M One-On-One" like Julius Erving and Larry Bird?
While they are very similar, there are important
differences that will be thoroughly discussed in
Part Three of this article, but first the players
must be introduced.
Lister Plus is a printer utility package that
performs five different functions selected frcm the
1. A text file or a program file that has been
LISTed to the disk can be printed, and all the
graphics and inverse video characters in the file
will be printed correctly. A variety of user
selected character widths, characters per line,
fonts, and orientations on the paper are supported.
This feature is called "List a Diskette File."
2. Lines of text containing normal, graphics or
inverse video characters can be entered via the
keyboard and Lister Plus will print one line at a
time. This feature is called "Type-A-Line."
3. One of the convenient options available with
"Type-A-Line" is storing the text in a disk file as
the lines are entered. The third function of Lister
Plus prints an entire "Type-A-Line" file.
4. The fourth function prints a Graphics 8/7+
screen file, i.e., a screen dump. The file must be
a 62 sector file.
5. The fifth function prints tables showing
the shape and other information related to the
characters in a font or character set.
The most Important part of a computer program,
other than the program itself, is the quality of the
documentation. The Lister Plus documentation is
well written and consist of 7.5 pages printed on
8.5" by 11" paper. The only minor problems are the
small print size, approximately 16 characters per
inch, and both side margins on the paper are only
about 0.25 inches wide. This foimat gives the
appearance of text that is too tightly compacted and
hard to read.
Normally, I would be disappointed with
documentation if it did not contain a good index,
glossary and command summary. But, these items are
not needed with Lister Plus because the explanation
of each function is clearly marked and the entire
program is driven with very clear and easy to
The program is booted with BASIC installed.
The first time I booted the disk, BASIC was not
installed and the screen remained blank with no
message or information report. The designers of
Lister Plus should include an automatic check on the
presence of the BASIC cartridge. A message like
"Please reboot with BASIC installed" is more helpful
than a blank screen.
An attractive title page appear^ on the screen,
and you are prompted to "Select Printer E-P-0". My
notes at this point contain the following, "What the
#$*@! is E-P-0?" The program wants to know if you
will be using an Epson, a Prowriter or sane other
type of printer. Selecting the "0" option boots a
printer driver creator program frcm the Lister Plus
disk. Appendix A of the documentation includes a
list of all the questions that have to be answered
during execution of the driver creator routine.
Including the printer driver creator and the
questions to be answered is a definite plus for
Lister Plus. People using other dot matrix printers
will appreciate this considerate feature. Please
note that I did not say that the questions were easy
The first menu to appear on the screen is the
main menu which lists the five functions mentioned
above. A QUIT option is available to return the
computer system to BASIC. The following paragraphs
discuss the General All Purpose Sub-Menu and then
each of the five functions in the order presented by
the main menu.
GENERAL ALL PURPOSE SUB-MENU
If you choose the function to List a Diskette
File or Type-A-Line, the next menu to appear on the
screen is called the General All Purpose Sub-Menu or
GAPS. The GAPS menu includes the following options
related to the character sets used by Lister Plus
during printing operations.
(1) Use the standard Atari character set which is
built into the computer.
(2) Use a custom character (font) set which has
previously been loaded using option (3) below.
(3) Load in a new custom character set from any
standard nine sector character font file. This new
font becomes the current custom character set which
can be selected via option (2) above.
(4) Adjust the distance that the printer paper
moves after each line feed.
(5) Replace all the graphics characters in the
current custom character set with upper or lower
case alpha (A-Z or a-z) characters frcm the standard
Atari character set.
(6) Return to the main menu.
LIST A DISKETTE FILE
Choose this function to print a text file or
program that has been LISTed to the disk. The GAPS
menu then appears and allows selection of a
character set. The printing operation has several
additional and convenient options:
— The number of copies printed can be set frcm 1
— The width of the characters can be set to 1, 2
or 3 yielding 15, 7.5 or 5 printed characters per
— The number of characters on one line can be set
frcm 2 up to a maximum, usually 120, that is printer
A line width of 38 characters is the same as the
monitor screen, and the printing can be blocked
left, centered or blocked to the right. During the
selection of the file to be printed, a disk
directory from either drive number 1 or 2 can be
displayed or printed.
The second function on the main menu allows the
user to enter and print one line of text at a time.
The options frcm the GAPS menu are available, each
line of text can be saved to a disk file
automatically, and text can be centered, or blocked
to the right or left. This is a very convenient way
to print short notes, letters or fancy labels. If
saving the text in a file is chosen, the disk can be
PRINT A TYPE-A-LINE FILE
One of the options presented during TYPE-A-LINE
was the ability to save the text to a disk file.
The third option frcm the main menu allows such a
file to be printed. This feature only works with
files that were created with the TYPE-A-LINE option.
When this option is selected, a disk directory can
be seen or printed, and up to nine copies of the
file can be printed automatically.
PRINT A GRAPHICS 8/7+ SCREEN
The fourth option frcm the main menu prints a
screen file that is stored in a 62-sector disk file.
Most of the graphics programs for the Atari allow
for storage in 62-sector file format. Lister Plus
provides several options when the screen dump
function is selected. Printing can be normal or
inverse; the screen image can be printed in four
different widths; and the printed image can be
blocked left, right or centered. One of the first
minor mistakes I made with Lister Plus was printing
a screen file that was not in 62-sector format. The
result was a very strange image on the screen which
was accurately reproduced on paper. A minor
modification that I would suggest to the designers
of Lister Plus is a built-in test on the sector
length of the file. If the file is not 62 sectors
long, display a warning message on the screen and
allow the option to proceed or return to the menu.
An even better idea is to allow compressed Micro
Illustrator files to be loaded.
Table I lists the eight different print size
and orientation options that can be selected when a
screen file is printed. Each combination is
assigned an identification number. Table II
contains data on the height, width, orientation,
offset and aspect ratio of each printing option
combination. The time required for the printing is
also listed. The data in Table II was obtained
using an Epson MX-80 printer equipped with Graftrax.
The Aspect ratio is the width of the printed
image divided by the height. The offset refers to
the location of the upper left corner of the printed
image with respect to the upper left corner of the
paper. The numbers followed by the letter "R" under
OFFSET refer to the magnitude and direction of the
offset in terms of inches to the right. A normal
orientation means that the printed image appears the
same way on the monitor screen and the paper. An
orientation marked "CW" means that the printed image
is rotated 90 degrees clockwise with respect to its
appearance on the monitor screen.
LISTER PLUS CONFIGURATION ID NUMBERS
The format of Table II is identical to the
format used in the article called "The Size and
Shape of Screen Dumps" which appeared in the March
1986 issue of CURRENT NOTES. Please refer to that
article if you are interested in comparing the speed
of the screen dump features of Lister Plus with
TEST RESULTS ON LISTER PLUS
(Dimensions in Inches, time in minutes)
CW = clockwise 90 degree rotation
R = shifted toward the right
PRINT CHARACTER SET TABLES
The fifth function frcm the main menu is a
convenient tool for persons working with redefined
character sets. It prints a table showing each
character and the corresponding standard Atari
character. Another option prints a table showing
each character and the internal numeric code for
that character, i.e., the decimal value needed to
print the character using the BASIC CHR$ function.
Lister Plus can use any standard nine-sector
font file, and the Lister Plus disk conveniently
contains 14 font files that can be used for custom
character sets. The fonts included are called
cursive 1 and 2, archaic 1 and 2, block, greek,
underline, italics, balloon, textbook, digital,
listset and others. Including these files is
another plus for Lister Plus.
OTHER PROGRAMS INCLUDED WITH LISTER PLUS
The Lister Plus disk contains several other
programs which are both helpful and convenient.
MEMOPAD.BAS allows a screen full of text to be
entered and then saved to a disk file. The text can
contain graphic and inverse characters, and the file
can be printed with the List a Diskette File
function frcm the main menu. Figure I was produced
with this feature and is included with this article
as an example of using Lister Plus.
The back side of the Lister Plus disk contains
twenty one picture files and a display program
called Picture Show Plus which automatically
displays the pictures. These picture files are not
in 62-sector format, but are in the condensed format
used by Micro Illustrator and Micropainter. There
is also a short BASIC program that demonstrates a
simple method to produce a text file on a disk.
03 EX] EI3 CD H3 CD HI □□ CD CD ED 03
This is just an example of the fun
you can have with lister plus
working with.a uot natrix printer.
The top three lines were aade with
control characters* and these lines
of text were done with the standard
Atari character set with reverse and
Normally, an article like this would end with a
conclusion section, but that will have to wait until
Part Three of this series. Part TVjo will introduce
MegaFont II+, and Part Three will compare them
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VQTrt fi - N0 - 4
TIPS 'N* TRAPS
by Jim Stevenson & Barry Burke
Welcome back to the fifteenth Tips 'N' Traps
article. Not much new has been happening, lately.
Just more and more messages to be captured off of
boards, and put into word processor format. Any
questions you might have, call Jim Stevenson at
(703) 378-4093, or Barry Burke (703) 830-1978. If
you have a modem, and don't feel like talking, call
AHMUDIC at (703) 569-8305, or JCE’s ATTIC at (703)
471-1809. These are 24-hour boards and are on task
all the time. If you want to talk to us at any of
the Nova tar I meetings, feel free. And now, on to
the rest of the article.
All STARBIRD Pilots:
Just received my instructions for the final eleventh
mission frcm P.L.A.N.E.T. Headquarters as follows:
1. Select STARBIRD mission
2. IGNORE first STARBIRD destination, and
go to Earth.
3. On earth, to receive next destination,
type the code word MINDSCAPE. Continue
mission in regular manner.
The purpose of this 11th mission is a contest for
the fastest time. All entries mist be received at
P.L.A.N.E.T. Headquarters by 1 April of 1986.
Q. Looking for something different, I pulled out my
Wombats disk, put away many months ago because I
seemingly had come to an impasse. As I recall, I'd
run out of places I could go, had very few
treasures/objects, and was at a loss as to what to
do next. If anybody can help with a hint or two,
I’ll figure out where I’ve been and what I have or
haven't done and maybe you can give me a gentle
nudge in the right direction.
Q. I am stuck on Wishbringer. I know that the
hellhound's name is Alexis, but every time I say
'Alexis, heel' the hellhound thinks that I am
guessing it's name. Does anybody know where or how
I find it's name?
-Dean E. Miller
A. You'll be able to find it in the castle. There
is a way to get frcm the town to the castle without
walking past the dog.
* -Paul Mattia
Q. Does anybody know how to get more water in
Enchanter? I die of thirst after I've explored the
castle a bit.
-Dean E. Miller
A. Its been a long time, but I think the only way to
do it is to go back to the stream every time you
need water. (Was it a stream?!?)
someone tell me how to get past the dragon
end game of Enchanter? If you would be
it would be more appreciated.
Q. How do I get past the roc and the ogre in
-Dean E. Miller
HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
Q. I made it to the Hart of Gold ship but I still
haven't found out how to get the bable fish. I
hooked the gown, put down the towl, put the satchel
in front of the panel and threw up the mail and the
air robot still gets the fish. Whats wrong?
A. Whoa! Don't throw the mail in the air. Put the
mail on top of the satchel. It's random but it
Q. I got HACKER, and can get into it, etc., but I
can not trade with the spy, in any city. How do you
trade? Also, where is the test site?
A. Test site is Australia.
Q. How can you (or can you) change the time zone so
you can get all the pieces before you time runs out?
A. See the option "IR" on the cctTmand area? That
stands for "INFRA-RED". Push "I" when you are in
the dark and you can utilize this incredible TV
offer. You will be able to see thru the view port
and transact, etc.
P.S.-You can't change the time zone.
Q. Anyone solved ULTIMA III yet? I have all the
items but can not kill
A. Well, do you have the Mystic Weapons yet?
Because you need those to kill the monsters if the
castle. You also need to get your magic points and
your hit points up and you need all the marks.
Q. Can anyone here help me with the spells in Ultima
III? I can only remember the first two on the Magic
User and the Cleric. And if anyone here breaks into
Ultimas with a sector editor, how do you put marks
THE BOOK OF ADVENTURE GAMES
Reviewed by Kerin Lara
I remember fondly the first disk I got for my
then just recently purchased disk drive. It was an
adventure from Sierra On-Line called THE WIZARD AND
THE PRINCESS. Not only was it ray first disk but it
was also my first attempt at a graphic adventure. I
knew it was not an easy adventure but I was
confident on solving it anyway. That was three
years ago; to this day I have yet to solve THE
WIZARD AND THE PRINCESS. It was frustration and
torment as tough puzzles prevented me from advancing
any further. I felt cheated because I could not
solve it. For a while I stayed away frcm adventure
games. Then, as adventure games became more
popular, there came a flood of hint articles,
booklets, and even entire books. There was now a
way for discouraged adventurers to continue their
individual quests. One of the latest of these hint
books, also one of the largest, is THE BOCK OF
ADVENTURE GAMES (TRAG). It is published by Arrays,
Inc. and retails for $20. Relatively, this may seem
much for a hint book but you do get what you pay
TRAG comes only on softcover and is 339 pages
long. It has a table of contents which has three
major divisions: Introduction, The Games,
Seventh-five, that's right, 75, adventure games are
covered! They include ones from Infoccm, Adventure
International, Penguin Software, Origin Systems,
Quality Software, Micro Lab, Sirius Software,
Sir-Tech, Ultrasoft, and various other publishers.
Each game is subdivided into three sections:
Description, Maps, Solutions. At the back of TRAG
are charts showing which computers the games are
available on and addresses/phone numbers of major
adventure game publishers.
The Introduction tells about categories of
adventures, history of adventures, the making of a
good adventure, tackling an adventure, mapping a
game, inventory management, and using the book. I
found several of these sections, especially tackling
an adventure and inventory management, as
invaluable. They provide information that can save
endless hours of unnecessary frustration. Let us
now go the actual hints.
At the beginning of each adventure section
there is a nice drawing or a monitor facsimile that
illustrates the game's theme but that is not all.
The ccmpnay who publishes the game along with a
suggested retail price are listed. There is even a
short description paragraph and playbility
paragraph. The former gives a general overview of
the game while the latter gives an assessment of it
— whether it is a good adventure and its level of
difficulty. Keep in mind that such assessments are
subjective in nature. However, they do give a good
insight into a game and with the prices of adventure
games as they are, sound advice can save you money.
After this section comes the game maps.
As any adventurer will tell you, a major
challenge, next to solving puzzles, in an adventure
is making maps. For seme adventures mapping is part
of the puzzle. TRAG solves this problem by
providing nicely laid out maps that not only show
the room's name but also has numbers, next to the
room name, that correspond to important artifacts.
For most adventurers the map will suffice in solving
the adventure. However, at the back of the book,
are hints. They are separated from the game maps so
that you will not be tempted to look. These hints
will often tell you exactly how to solve a given
adventure, so use discretion when in this section.
Keep a thick sheet of paper handy to cover hints you
do not want to see.
Overall, I found TRAG to be a good hints book.
The writing by Kim Schuette is clear and concise.
She gives insight to the hobby and the games
themselves. The print quality of the book is also
very good; the typography is very legible and so are
the maps. I also think it is a good value because
the book has 75 adventurers and costs $20, which
means each adventure hint costs only 26 cents! Of
course, not all the games in TRAG are available for
the Atari but most are. In closing, it must be
emphasized that the greatest pleasure derived frcm
playing adventures is solving the puzzles using only
logic and sane luck. A book like TRAG can be
helpful if used sparingly but if used too much, then
the feeling of accomplishment after solving an
adventure is going to be reduced.
TfPS 'N TRAPS ( Cont . from p.20)
on your character? That's the only thing I can't
Q. Does anyone know the undead spell in ULTIMA IV?
A. It is one-sulphurous ash and one-garlic.
Q. What are the coordinates for the Pyramid?
A. I'm not sure, but I think it’s 24deg. 11* 7"East
by 32deg. 12' 37"North.
FOR SALE: CK3MATE 10 color printer with Rambrandt,
Graphic Shop, and more software made for the Okimate
10. $100/obo Call Haluk at 649-5970.
FOR SALE: ATARI SF354 disk drive for 520ST. Call
Haluk at 6495970.
WANTED: ATARI 825 (Centronics 739) manuals, alien
voice box software documentation, Atari Music
Composer documentation, Sam Bronstein (301)
-VQL. 6. NO, 4
Reviewed by Kenn Lara
Transylvania is a graphic adventure frcm the
folks at Penguin Software who are know as the
"graphics people" among .Apple circles. This
adventure was first released for the Apple a few
years back, later ported over to Atari and
Coimodore. It received a Certificate of Merit for
Outstanding Achievement frcm Electronic Games
Magazine, now out of print, in 1984. While it may
have been an achievement in 1984, how good is it
now? Is it worth your time and money?
The program disk has two sides, one for Atari
computers and the other for Commodores.
Documentation consists of a four page booklet
explaining Transylvania and how to play it. A
catalog is also included which lists an address
where a SASE can be sent for hints. The catalog
shows numerous games and utilities that are
available. Leafing through the catalog reveals that
utilities deal primarily with graphics while the
games are adventure / role-playing oriented.
Unfortunately, very few are for the Atari.
The goal in Transylvania is to rescue a
princess, sound familiar? Along the way are
obstacles such as werewolves and vampires. Only
after rescuing the princess is the adventure
considered over. Points are not given for
accomplishing certain actions.
As stated earlier, Transylvania is a graphics
type adventure. Pictures are presented in graphics
mode seven which means finely detailed scenes in
four colors. Fill patterns are used to provide more
variety. The fill routines are pretty fast which
offsets frequently occurring disk interaction. I
found the pictures appealing and eerie with their
fine detail. However, seme details and objects
still dumbfounded me. Accompanying text describes
objects and the present location, sadly; the text
gives little or no other information such as room
and object details. It proved to be a handicap in
completing Transylvania. I had to rely on a hint
book for some information because the game did not
fully describe a few details. Another limitation
with Transylvania is the parser, it is the archaic
subject-verb type. Therefore, it is very limited in
understanding your input. Frustrating problems can
arise as you try to ascertain which words the
computer can understand.
"How about the puzzles," you ask. They are not
very difficult at all and hints are found at various
places. I rate Transylvania as moderately
difficult. I would rate it lower except for the
inhibiting parser and text displays. Figuring out
which objects to use and how to use them are the
keys to success. Transylvania is an OK adventure
with nice graphics but the price seems steep. For
the same price you can buy an excellent text
adventure. I cannot recommend Transylvania to
anyone unless they are new to adventuring and have
yet to tackle a graphics adventure. But be warned,
study all the pictures carefully and do not rely
solely on text to fully describe a location.
THE ELECTRONIC CLINIC
Authorised Atari Repair Center
Atari 528 and 1848 STs and all 8-bit Models.
Atari Disk Driues
We a 1 so carry
55D STs and I DSD STs
4916 Del Ray Avenue
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
-> In business 17 years <-
CURRENT NOT ES.
■ 180 CPS
■ 60 CPS LQ Mode
160 CPS LQ Mode
1136 column width
IF YOU ARE PRIMARILY INTERESTED IN }
LASERS, VISIT OUR ALEXANDRIA OR J
WHEATON LOCATIONS. J
HUNTERS ELDS sells and services the fol¬
lowing computer printers: IBM, C.ITCH, FU-
GITSU, DIABLO, PANASONIC, TOSHIBA, CITIZEN,
CKIDAIA, EPSON, STAR, NLQ, BROTHER, JUKI,
NEC, SMITH CORONA, DAISYWRITER, LEGEND, SIL¬
VER REED, PCRTIS, MEMCTECH, OCMREX, PRIN-
TRCNIX, AXIOM, CANON, DATA PRODUCTS, IDS,
AMDEK, SANYO, CORONA, QCME, OLIVETTI, TRAN¬
STAR, ERINTEX OLYMPIA, AND MANNESMANN TALLY.
WE KNOW LASERS!
Consult the Laser Experts Before
Making any Laser Purchases
Affordable Personal Laser. $2175
HP Laserjet. $2295
HP LaserJet Plus... IN STOCK
MAC Compatible Laser.... $2995
Canon Laserbeam. $2195
Corona Desktop Laser... $2495
ATTENTION! HP OWNERS!
LaserJet - Upgrade. CALL
ALEXANDRIA & WHEATON LOCATIONS
PREMIER 35.... $479
192.CALL OKIMAIE 20.$199
DX-10.$249 DX-20,35- IN STOCK
HCMEWRITER 10...$229 AP-80 (Mac/IIe)..$299
EX-85.CALL EX-286.IN STOCK
SG-10.CALL SR-10. $499
ELF.$399 PINWRITER P5.... $1079
PINWRITER P6,P7.CALL 3550. $849
ALEXANDRIA: 619 S. Pickett St. (next to
Mattress Discounters Whse) 370-7810
TYSONS CORNER: 8486-C Tyco Park (behind
Peacock Buick Rt. 7 W) 734-8680
FAIRFAX: 9917 Lee Highway (Rt.50 btw
Hardee's & Italian Oven) 691-0067
ROCKVILLE: 11410 Rockville Pike (across frcrn
White Flint) 468-3366
WHEATCN: 11145-B Viers Mill Road (across
from Wheaton Plaza) 946-3770
COMMERCIAL & GOVERNMENT SALES DIVISION (202)
STORE HOURS: MCN-THURS HAM - 8IM
FRI-SAT 10AM - 5 EM
[Bring in this AD for free box of paper with
VOL. 6. NO. 4
COMPUTER 5ERUICE LRflD,
1073 WEST BROAD STREET
FALLS CHURCH, VA 22046
- CLEARANCE -
PERCOM DRIVE PRODUCTS
No Reasonable Offer Refused
AT88-S1 SS/sd . $150
RFD40-S1 SS/dd . 200
RFD44-S1 ds/dd. 299
AT88-SPD ss/dd w/PrInter Port- 210
Printer Cable for AT88-SPD. 25
Upgrade ROMs (specify model). 15
RFD Controller Board (tested).... 110
AT88 Controller Board (tested)... 75
SPD Controller Board (tested).... 145
Add-on drives single-sided. 139
Add-on drives double-sided. 199
Schematics for Controllers. 5
Eprom source code listings. 30
Add-on drive cables 2 feet. 20
Each additional foot. 1
130XE 128K Computer.
1050 Disk Drive..
520ST Color System.
1040ST Color System.
1 meg Drive for ST.
ST Modem or Printer Cable.
800 Motherboard (new).
10K ROM, 16K RAM or CPU board.*...
810 Sideboard (new).
810 Power Supply/Analog Board....
810 MPI Drive Assy.
810 Kit (all new Insides).
GTIA, POKEY, or 800 CPU chip.
1/0 Cable 3 ft.
Each Add it Iona I foot.
Power Supply for 1030 Modem.
Power Supply for 1027 Printer....
All other Atari Power Supplies...
Amdex Color 300 Monitor. $^ 99
Technics MJ-10 Monitor. 219
Amdex Video 300 or 300A Monitor.. 139
Zenith Amber or Green Monitor.... 139
BONUS disks (package of 10). 10
Memorex ds/dd disks (pack of 10). 17
Atari XM-301 Modem.. 49
PenrI I Hayes comp 300/1200 Modem. 369
Penril 300/1200 Modem. 219
850-Modem Cab I e. . . . ^5
600XL 64K Upgrade Kit. 30
Instal led. 49
Print Shop Graphic Library #1....
Microsoft BASIC II.
LOGO (with manuals).
BASIC XE (OSS).
ATIC XE Bulletin Board Program...
SALT Test Cartridge.
SUPERSALT Test Cartridge.
Penril Modem & ATIC XE...
BASIC XE & ATIC XE.
130XE, BASIC XE & ATIC XE
w/Penr I I and 850...'..
* Special Prices while they last.
Buyer beware: Most mail order STs DO NOT
have a warranty!
PRINTERS AND INTERFACES
ATARI 1020 Color printer/plotter.
Citizen MSP-10 (160 cps).
Epson LX-90 (Interface included).
U-Prlnt A16 (16 up to 64K Buffer)
Atari 850 Interface.
Tractor feed for LX-80.
Computer Service Land also repairs Atari,
Commodore, Percom, Epson, MPI and Tandon
Prices are subject to change without
help WANTED : Computer and Disk
Drive Technician. Call John
NEW for the ST from MichTron
UTILITIES made for speedy efficiency , and simplicity.
KISSED Debugger by Keith Enge
Announcing the ultimate programmer’s tool: this complete debugger
features full screen editing, tracing and execution options, "timed” break¬
points, independent screens, dynamic relocation, assembler-disassembler,
dccimal/hex conversions, over 40 commands, a help key and more!
For the Atari ST... $39.95
DOS SHELL Utility by Timothy Turves
DOS Shell makes your ST mimic the MS-DOS command structure. All
the familiar MS-DOS commands are available from GEM. Add the extra
power of "global" File commands, multiple-file manipulation and batch
Hies to your Atari.
For the Atari ST . ... . $39.95
CORNERMAN Utility by J. Weaver Jr.
Clear off your cluttered desk! This single utility gives you an electronic
notepad, calculator, address/phone book, phone dialer, ASCII chart,
clock and even a "15 squares" game. Install Cornerman as a desk
top accessory and it’s available almost everywhere!
For the Mari ST. $49.95
ECHO Environment Controller by Timothy Purves
This soflware/hardware combination lets your ST control electric
appliances. ECHO regulates thermostats, dims incandescent lights, and
has a timer program that even takes weekends and holidays into account.
It’s perfect for security and energy conservation. ECHO uses
inexpensive X-10 remote plug-in modules, so it’s completely wireless!
For the Atari ST.. $39.95
DF'.T. Transfer Utility by Timothy Purves
Transfer files between your Atari ST and IBM computers. With this pro¬
gram and your own modem or direct-connect cable, you can convert all
your important ASCII data files quickly and reliably, without retyping.
For the Atari ST ................... $49.95
THE ANIMATOR Graphics Utility by Keith Enge
Now you can animate pictures made with Degas or Nco. Add Hair to
business presentations or make your own movies for fun!
For the Atari ST (Degas and Nco not included) . . . $39.95
PERSONAL MONEY MANAGER by Jonathan Kring
This easy-to-use database keeps track of your personal finances from
yearly budget to checking records in up to 999 accounts. And it supplies
a variety of well-organized reports.
For the Atari ST .... ....
t Last mouth’s features:
. . $49.95
200a- Business Forms, Letters, Contracts $39.95
Desktop Appointment Calendar
Fast, Easy File Duplication
Complete Bulletin Board System
GAMES designed to be fast, colorful , and exciting.
TIME BANDIT Arcade Game by Dunlevy Sc Lafnear
Explore medieval dungeons, western frontiers and future worlds in one
game! Each of 18 worlds has over 15 levels and is a game in itself! This
fast-action arcade game even has a built-in adventure: pilot Starship
Excalibur as you try to rescue its vanished crew. Great sound, beautiful
graphics and hundreds of screens: the conquest of Time awaits!
For the Atari ST with color monitor. J$39.95
MAJOR MOTION Arcade Game by MacKeniie Sc Sorenson
Race down the highway in this exciting spy-chase arcade game. Enemy
drivers, deadly helicopters and gaping potholes threaten to destroy you.
Defend yourself with smoke screens, machine guns, oil slicks and
missiles, or escape down branching roads and treacherous rivers.
For the Atari ST .$39.95
GOLD RUNNER Arcade Game by Dave Dies
As Commander of the Lode-Runners, you must infiltrate underground
mines in search of gold and adventure. Use wit and skill to escape with
the loot. Over 50 screens with narrow paths, sleep ladders, dangling
ropes and hidden traps will challenge your reflexes and lest your logic.
For the Atari ST with color monitor. S39.95
SOLITAIRE Strategy Game by J. Weaver Jr.
Five classic card games: play Solitaire, Klondike, or Poker Squares by
yourself, or test your strategy against the computer’s in Cribbage. And if
friends want to play, it’s four against the house in Blackjack! The rules
arc accurate and the graphics amazingly realistic. Take a refreshing
break from arcade games without missing any of the fun and excitement
For the Atari ST with color monitor .... . 539.95
Last month’s features:
MUDP1ES Arcade Game (requires color monitor) $39.95
FLIP SIDE Strategy Game $39.95
LANDS OF HAVOC Arcade Game (requires joystick) $19.95
All reasonably priced, with mor e coming every day. Ask for our latest catalog!
Dealer inquiries welcome • Visa and Mastercard accepted • Add $3.00 shipping and handling to each order
576 S. Telegraph, Pontiac, Ml 48053
Orders and Information (313) 334-5700
VOL. 6» NO, 4
by Joe Waters and Frank Sommers
From Prototype to Product
In this column and, perhaps, elsewhere you have
read announcements about a variety of new Atari
products. But, somehow, after you hear of the pro¬
duct nothing seems to happen for months at a time.
Where are these new marvels? Somewhere on that
journey that takes an idea and transforms it into a
ccrrmercial product. Let’s take a moment this month
to review what is actually involved.
Atari is now primarily a hardware company. The
first step in creating new hardware is engineering.
The product must be designed or engineered. When
the various hardware components are put together to
make a model, software must be created to work with
that hardware. In most instances the software de¬
velopment is much more time consuming and expensive
than the hardware development. When hardware and
software work together, a packaging team works on
putting the product into some kind of attractive
packaging that would appeal to consumers, be
inexpensive, and still meet all functional require¬
ments. Now the product is shown to Jack Tramiel.
If Jack likes it (will it sell 25,000 units in
a year?), we go on to the next stage, otherwise it
is back to the drawing board. When the product is
given the go ahead, the prototype is shipped to the
Federal Cormunications Ccrrmission (PCC) for
approval. Actually, two prototypes are constructed
and the second is sent off to the Underwriter Labs
for the UL stamp of approval. Because of their
normal backlog, anything sent to the PCC sits around
for three months before anyone can even start
working on it. While waiting for FOC approval, the
factory can start making plans for mass producing
the product. f
If the FOC and UL approve the product, factory
production can start; if not, it is back to the de¬
sign phase to try and correct whatever faults were
detected. Building a prototype by hand is a very
different process than trying to build-the same
thing on an assembly line. When the first units
start rolling off the assembly line, they have to be
tested to see if they still do what they’re supposed
to do. If they fail the test, back to the factory
for reworking. If they pass, then the FOC and UL
are once more called in. You see not only the
prototype but the final production model must have
FOC approval. If the product passes these final
tests, it gets that long sought after certification
Done? Nope. Now the production line swings
into full gear, products are produced (in Taiwan)
and must be shipped to the US. Once in the US,
Customs steps in and does its thing. When the
product passes customs, Atari quality control takes
over. On any new product, one out of every two
units are tested. This whole production, shipping,
customs, testing process takes a minimum of about
Another two to three weeks will still be needed
to get the product in the distribution pipeline from
Atari, through distributors, to, finally, your local
stores. There, provided there is no long waiting
list, you can now go and purchase the product.
New Product News
Now that you have some idea of the production
process, let’s see where things stand. The release
date (when the product should be available in local
stores) for the 2Q-MB hard disk drive is May 26.
The first two prototypes of this product received
their FCC approval in early April. Hie final
version will have a metal case (just like the drives
shipped to developers). Hie drive is a half-height
Seagate with an Adapttec controller. The initial
price will be $799, however, Atari is planning on
producing their own controller for the drive and
when they do the price will ccme down an additional
$ 100 .
The IBM V2U-Bnulator was sent to UL and to the
FOG for approval at the end, of April. This means we
will probably not know until late summer whether FCC
approval is forthcoming. By the way, the name de¬
rives from the NEC V20 chip (an 8088 clone) used in
producing the emulator* While we are on the topic
of emulators, you should be aware that emulating an
IBM on an ST will not be your only option. Atari
WILL BE producing an ST Emulator for the IBM . Yes,
IBM owners will be able to run ST software too.
Look for a 1200 baud ATARI modaii in June. It
will be 100% Hayes compatible — it will even look
like a Hayes except for the case being gray.
Anticipated price is $100. The modem will have both
an RS-232 port as well as a serial I/O port so it
can be used by either ST owners or XE owners. For
an additional $20, you can get the necessary cables
and software for the modem. Atari has developed
software for the ST and the XE as well as for Apple
and Commodore computers. Although no firm decision
has been made, Atari is taking a look at producing a
2400 baud modem since the incremental cost would
only be about $5Q-$60„
At the moment it looks like Toshiba will get
the nod on the Atari Laser Printer . While negotia¬
tions are still underway, Atari is working inter¬
nally on producing a desk-top publishing program to
go hand-in-hand with their laser printer. (Hey,
Jack! We may be able to make this an ALL-ATARI
publication afterall. Just let me know when you
want seme testing done.)
DRI is no longer involved in future
enlianeerpents^ to TQS : the work is all being done
internally at Atari. Efforts are centering on
fixing known bugs, allowing use of a 60MB hard
drive, developing a loading routine so you can boot
from the hard drive, and allowing the addition of
more (up to 21?) desk accessories. Current IDS
chips are now widely available. Indeed, many more
TQS chips have been shipped than ST computers.
Hirrraii. Where are all those TQS chips going? Is
anybody making an ST cartridge for the MAC?
The blitter chip is still being developed.
Latest production prototypes have shown a tendency
to blow up the ST. Whoops. Back to the factory.
When things are working correctly and the chip is
available (perhaps 2-3 months), it will be sold,
complete with a new set of TQS chips, for $80.
Final (as of this writing) decision was NOT^to
provide a socket in the 1040 for a blitter chip.
1040s will be upgraded just like the 520s, by
installing a daughter board.
In the Black
In a recent interview shown on "Strictly
Business," Jack Tramiel announced that Atari was in
the black for first quarter 1986 to the tune of $9
million. He also reiterated his philosphy of
providing a quality product at an inexpensive price
and his intention to sell computers to the masses.
Jack expects that Atari will have 20 percent of the
personal computer market by 1990. Do you be live
him? If so, save your nickles and dimes because
Atari will be going public in the not too distant
future. By the way, how's your club treasury. In a
talk given at the Jersey Atari Computer Society, Sig
Hartman said that Atari would provide user groups
with a 1040 ST at distributor cost. Well, now, we
might be interested in that Sig. Tell us more.
FINAL WORD and Compatibility
Final Word enthusiasts had become Final Word
doubters as they attempted to use this powerful, if
complex, word processor with their new uprgraded ST
machines. Word abounded that Final Word was no
longer compatible with the upgraded machines,
whether we were talking 1 meg or TOS in ROM. In
early March a call to Mark of the Unicom and Robert
Nathaniel by CURRENT NOTES uncovered scant data —
no complaints had been received and no patch was
available, contrary to local rumour. They agreed to
call back if information not then available
contradicted that assessment.
No call; no news. A call just before print
time and a courteous Robert Nathaniel, head of the
division responsible for making Final Word available
for the 520ST reported that no identifiable
incompatibility existed. Subsequent to our last
call, they had gone out and purchased an ST with TOS
in RCM and had been unable to detect any problem.
They had received queries, letters and complaints,
but when each one was pursued there was no evidence
of incompatibility. They had not recontacted
CURRENT NOTES, assuming it was an incorrect loading
problem on our part.
To marked skepticism and insistance on our part
that this was not likely, and that locally there
were several complaints, Nathaniel replied that a
specialist would contact us to clarify the problem.
Within 10 minutes Bryan Hess, one of their competent
service reps, did indeed call back. He said, as
Nathaniel had, that each complaint had been pursued
to the best of Mark of the Unicom's ability. All
those problems where the user had detailed his
difficulty had been solved and had related to
improper set up procedures. (CURRENT NOTES' review
of the program in the February issue noted that
installation of the program was both complex and not
easily understood as layed out in the original
documentation.) Hess amplified that there were
letters and calls which had not been resolved,
because, simply put, the participants were not
available to walk thru their problem with the
companies service personnel, and had not called back
after the orginal complaint. We then "walked thru"
the problem the CURRENT NOTES ST editor had had ever
since upgrading his machine. At the moment that the
machine had insisterd on locking up for the last
month, i.e. when executing the advance print
function, Hess was told to listen, the key was
pushed, and ... over the phone he heard the printer
leap to life and the exhale of disbelieve from his
caller. Three more tries, a thorough check of other
functions, and Mark of the Unicom was congratulated
and Hess said, although he was not sure he had cured
a problem "that persistant", yes, he would pass word
to the product manager, Bob Nathaniel, that we
appreciated his forebearance.
We suggest, per the above, that those of you
who have experienced problems you believe may be
associated with having given your machine a
TOS-in-RCM or Meg change operation^ contact their
service representatives and go through the problem.
Final Word is not a simple word processor, but it is
powerful, and within an hour of talking with them
our problems were resolved and FW was afloat.
"Power without the Price" has also become the
slogan of a local ST technician and enthusiast.
Frank Neuner has queried CURRENT NOTES about the
possible number of people locally who might be
seeking updates to their 520’s. As his ad,
elsewhere in the newsletter, states, he believes a
fair price for chips and a 1-meg upgrade is far less
than what has been charged to date. When queried
about the dangers of a person doing it himself, he
noted that static electricity and heat are two of
the major problems, and adequate precautions are
essential. He sees the solution as avoiding direct
piggie-backing by use of a PCB on which the chips
are mounted. Neuner claims an hour while you wait
and your 52QST will be just as powerful as a 1040.
« FULL interface to GEM DOS, AES
■ 32-bit native code implementation with
all standard modules.
■ Full screen editor linked to compiler
for rapid error detection.
■ Smart Linker/Automated desktop.
■ Installs on hard disk and RAMdisk.
■ Supports transcendental functions
and real numbers.
■ CODE statement for assembly code.
■ Modula-2 is NOT copy protected.
Seive of Eratosthenes
Added features of Modula-2 not found in Pascal
■ CASE has an ELSE and may contain
■ Programs may be broken up into
Modules for separate compilation
■ Dynamic strings of any size
■ Multi-tasking is supported
■ Machine level interface
■ Module version control
■ Open array parameters (VAR r: ARRAY
Direct port and Memory access
■ Type transfer functions
■ Definable scope of objects
Pascal and Modula-2 source code are nearly identical. Modula-2 should be thought of
as an enhancement to Pascal (they were both designed by Professor Niklaus Wirth).
Regular Version: $79.95 Developer's Version: $149.95
The developer’s version supplies an extra diskette containing a symbol file decoder,
link and load file disassemblers, a source file cross referencer, symbolic debugger,
high level Windows Module, and the Resource Compiler.
7D/ SOFTWARE, INC.
10410 Markison Road ■ Dallas, Texas 75238 ■ (214) 340-4942
Telex: 888442 CompuServe Number: 75028,1331
VOL. 6. NO. 4
CURRENT NOTES 57T T.ihraTy
(April 20, 1986)
Order disks from CURRENT NOTES, 122 N. Johnson Rd.,
Sterling, VA 22170. Library disks are $4.00 each.
Add $1.00 for postage and handling per order.
#1 KNOCraCME ST/TOR SHTW ifr, i 8 high resolution
pictures (JACK, GREETIN, GELQAN, F3URSLM, BUGS,
GRID, GRID1, ®ID2, SLIDE.ERG).
# 2 OCBXR SI .THE am No. 1 . 8 NE0CHRCME compatible
pictures with 3 driver programs to display the
pictures. (EXPLORER, FAUCET, INSECT, WEATHER,
WAIERFAL, SNAKE, TRAIN, TELMEET).
#3 4xFCKIH TIFM 0 DISK . This disk, from the Dragon
Group, contains the ccnplete 4xPCR3H language with
the exception of the ability to write to disk or
save files. Documentation and demo program
#1 8JUTILm DISK NO. I . 6 directories: ACCESSCRIES
(anaclock, breakout, deskcalc, digclock, puzzl e,
ram, ramacc, bicalc2, calc, calca2), BOOT (noverify,
dblboot), DISKT00LS (copydisk, sectedit, squeeze,
unsqueeze, format), EROGIOOLS (mushro, stdio,
title.bas), PRINT TOOLS (dump, labels, print, spool,
printdir), QRAEHICS (degcol, effects, neocon,
cmaker, smaker, slide, windows), timeda, and calc.
#19 XLISP. An experimental object oriented language
which combines seme of the features of LISP with an
object oriented capability. Includes language,
documentation, and 11 sample programs.
#20 ooucrActp sr/mE ??pw . "Monochrcme" pictures
shown on a color monitor by using 16 shades of one
color to produce photo-1 ikie pictures.
#21 ST GAME DISK_JC . l. 8 games for your ST
(MEGAROIDS, MASTERMIND, OTHELLO, BACKGAMMON,
RIPCCRD, TARGET, LIFE, and JOURNEY).
CT TH^ONAL EROCIWIS . 4 terminal programs:
STTALK (Ver .97); Jez San's latest version of STERM;
TEESl, written entirely in 68000 machine code; and
HITEFM, a teleccm program that allows 50
lines/screen (monochrcme only).
#22 SAMPLE BASIC PROGRAMS . Atari ST BASIC with a
b r i- e f sunmary of BASIC commands and their structure.
A dozen or so sample programs included. (BOXES,
ELLIPS, JOURNE, LABELS, RINGS, STAR, TEXTEF, TITLE,
CHECK, TESSER, SNDTEST, WAVEFORM, WAVER).
#5_ X*NEW*) OCMMERCIAL TEMPS Ver 2.0 . 6 products:
The Pawn*, Chess*, Joust*, XLENT Music,
Multi-tasking system, and VIP. (* Color only).
#6 COLOR SbTnR SHOW Nb. 2 . 8 new pictures. (CHAOS,
BOUSE, SAILBOAT, DESIGN1, DESIGN2, ROCKETS, RACE
#2 3 IN9CET MAGAZINE. JAN. 1986 . This issue focuses
on sound and graphics and contains both articles and
#24 MONOCHROME SLITR STCW NO. 2 . 10 pictures done
with DEGAS (APPLE, BROOKE, CHRISTI, MORGAN, HUNGER,
TAKECN, NATURE, MOUNTAIN, JDXMAS, XMASCY).
#7 OttEHIGS DEMO PROGR AMS. 32 Demos that show off
the features of your ST.
#!LSAMPIE "C" RjjQCgAMS. Demo programs including
<£3 DC0S > ^2* L *® 3 , FOOLISH,
ERACT1, FRACT2, FRACT3, FRACT4, MVLINE, MVLINE2,
SCMB, USER, STQEX, STqUX, STRINGAR, TRENCH)
#9 SAMP LE LOGO PROGRAMS . Over 30 LOGO programs to
help beginners learn the language.
#10 MIDI DEMO SONGS. You need a synthesizer for
this one. Songs include (SANFRAN, BANJO, CLEM,
MINUET, MQS0CW, MUSETTE, SANJ0SE, EVITA).
#11 RAMDISKS & OE MEG DOCS . Dozens of different
ram disks for you to choose frem. Includes docs on
doing the one meg upgrade and hooking up an IBM
drive to your ST.
#1.2 DOODLE WITH SOURC E POPE . A training disk for
those interested in learning C and the GEM
interface. You need Atari development system to
make maximum use of this disk.
#13 OCtCR SLIDE 53-T W NO. 3 . 9 DEGAS pictures
(SUEMAN, TR0UBL, FONTS, BEE, CCMET, DIRE, SGB0ST,
#14 NBOCHRCME. Includes docs as well as sample
pictures (CHRCME, AATRAIN, AAINSECT, AAFALL, MAP43I,
SCI00VER, AAFLAG, GREATWAV, ROBOTTV).
#15.ST WRnm Atari's ST WRITER program with doc
files (TUTCRIAL, REFERENCE MANUAL, and QUICKREF).
Several printer driver files and STWCON (a file for
creating your own printer driver file) included.
#1 6 _QQIXR SLUE &C W NO. 4 . 9 MASUDA Soft Pictures
TPYOTVAN, MICKEY, BOY, GIRL, GIRL2, ST, CAV,
#17 COLOR ST.THE yHU NO S io more NE0CHRCME
pictures (AN3EL1, BRUNEI, CHEVAL, DEC, EQA, JOCKEY,
KISS, MIAMIVIC, FRACTAL, SUNSET).
#25 DEGAS UTILI TY DISC . 24 fonts for DEGAS along
with a dozen printer drivers, programs to convert
DEGAS to NE0CHRCME and vice versa and to convert
Koalapad pictures to DEGAS.
#26 MCNOCHRCMK ST .THE -SHOW NO. 3 . 9 DEGAS monochrcme
pictures (BEAGLE, BUNNY, PERSIAN, POLAREEAR,
WETLIME, CAD3D, CHESS1, 0CWB0Y, MOUSE).
#27 dFMAN DEMO DISK . This disk contains a powerful
database system marketed by Versasoft. Demo disk is
entire program, but limited to 30 records maximum.
Use with Tutorial Disk (below) to learn and evaluate
#28 dEMAN TUTORIAL are! MATT .TUT! T.rer Tutorial to
teach you dBMAN. Includes complete mailing list
#29 (*NEW*) MI CRQEMACS . A public domain version of
the MicrdEMACS editor program and a short
#30 (* NEW*) Uj 'ii.liY DISC NO. 2 . This disk contains
11 folders: ASSEMBLE (an assembler); CPP22 (another
compand processor); DISKCOPIERS (several disk
copiers); DLIBRARY (disk library master program - SS
only); FCRTH-83 (as distributed by the San Leandro
Computer Club); GENERAL (PrintDIR and TimeDate);
LABELS (disk labels program version 2); PALLET (set
the display colors); PICSWITCH (converts pictures
from other computers); SQUNSQ (squeeze/unsqueeze);
VOLLME (change volume name of a disk).
#31 (*NEW*) PASCAL & MOfDUTA-2 . PASCAL folder
contains two subdirectories: DOCUMENT (all the doc
files provided oy OSS as of 4/18/86); SAMPLES (8
demo programs). M0DULA2 folder contains four
subdirectories: DEMO (source code and compiled
program for the Modula-2 GEM DEMO; GEM (4 files to
provide BIOS and XBIOS functions); GENERAL (11
Modula-2 files not yet test on the ST); VT52 (the
VT52 emulator escapes).
Reviewed by Joe Kuffner - NJVATARI
After opening this software package, popping
the disk into the drive and booting
HACKER. PRG.. .voila, those infamous two words of the
computerese dialect. What now?
Your hopes of gaining access into the World
Trade Center, or unleashing your wisdom onto an
unsuspecting ATM at your local bank, are dashed!
Alas, the grim reality of logging onto the terminal
faces you. What's the password?
You dash for the instruction manual that comes
with the program. Within three seconds you realize
that there are no instuctions except on how to load
this program into seven different computer systems.
Amazing, it seems, that the password isn't printed
on those pages - anywhere!
A thousand ideas dance through your head. All
of the possibilities seem equally rational. Steve
Cartwright wrote this program. Let's try his name as
the password. No success... Invalid Syntax is the
computer response. How about Activision... Failure.
A hundred more ideas - Let's be clever. Who's the
president of Activision, Inc.? ... Failure.
Thoughts rush to ordering the Hints package
from Activision, but you decide to try one more
time. Invalid again! You're about to be logged off
the system. 5-4-3... — Hold on a second — a
computer malfunction — You're In!
As can be seen from the introduction, this is
no ordinary game program. In front of you lies a
program like no other. For this alone, Activision
is to be commended for originality. But wait, it
gets better from here. It is your mission to break
into the computer system and...
Without getting into the program details [for
certainly, this is the most enjoyable part of this
game], this review will attempt to provide you with
enlightenment and encouragement in doing whatever it
is you're trying to do [yet another good idea in
game programming - keeping your goal a mystery].
Having devoted many nights of "hacking" to this
program, I found it to have just the right
combination of frustration and challenge. Enough of
each of these elements to keep me coming back for
more, night after night.
The game screens use many of the ST's features,
including the mouse [without drop-down menus],
adequate sound effects, smooth animation and
colorful graphics. I personally found the constant
whirring of the disk drive somewhat irritating, but
at 3:00 a.m. everything is!
Hacker is what I describe as a linear
adventure. That is, all of the tools that you need
to solve a puzzle have been presented to you prior
to encountering it. For this reason, this is an
excellent game for those of you who don't
necessarily have alot of experience playing
adventure type games. Yet, because of the mystery
as to the purpose of breaking into the computer
system, it is no less difficult for avid and
Through the course of adventuring, you will
most certainly encounter puzzles and twists of logic
that will stump you. Heck, that is why the program
is called HACKER. Be warned ... you'll have to
write down anything and everything that you think
important. And, if you want to finish this game -
keep a map. Equally important is how you compile
all the information in front of you. I found it
particularly useful to keep a logic chart of all the
possibilities and impossibilities. A logic chart is
a means of combining two sets of related unknowns
[for those of you who have not yet played HACKER,
bear with me for all this will be very appropriate
when you do! ].
Sally Roger Don Fred
Blonde x z
Brunette z x z z
Gray z z o z
Bald x z
where: x - impossible
o - definite
blank - possible
z - logical
In this example, facts were presented
indicating that there -was one blonde, one brunette,
one gray and one bald person. There names were
Sally, Roger, Don, and Fred. Sally was not blonde,
or bald; Roger was not brunette; Don was gray. Frcm
this info we were able to logically conclude more
facts [noted by "z" in the logic table].
As this relates to HACKER, you are provided
with details of the locations of several spies 'who
are willing to trade pieces of a shredded document
for valuables which you must attain through your
travels. HACKER cautions you that "_It is
believed that several spies may accept items which
other spies will require...." This is where the
logic chart ccmes in handy. Use it to determine
which items must go to which spies (identified by
their locations). For example, your chart may look
something like this:
FRANCE INDIA ENGLAND .
CASH o z z
CHRCNOGRAPH ? ? ?
I'll leave it to you to fill in the table.
Take your time as you play — for errors in your
logic chart can make these puzzles even more
It is with this form of reasoning, and good
hacking that you will be able to enjoy the complex
puzzles that face you on your quest, instead of
being constantly frustrated by them. In addition to
the logic, however, in order to obtain the facts
necessary to complete the logic chart, good
old-fashioned trial-and-error is required. After
all, what would adventuring be without it?
The program is not without humorous and
suspenseful moments, too. This is what keeps your
attention. The addition of languages too, is
unique. I often felt the need to run to the library
for translation of certain phrases. However, it is
(Continued on Page 31)
VQt.. 6, NQ.,4
by Roland Gabeler
Lands of Havoc
An interesting ccrrment on this game was made by
a charming saleslady in a local electronics and
computer store; "An upset customer returned this
game claiming it is a 2600 game!” Well, I will not
dispute the fact that the graphics and in many ways
the gameplay do hark back to the early Atari 8-bit
and the 2600 game machine. However, in fairness to
the 2600, most games introduced for the 2600 in the
last years of popularity were much better graphics
than this game represents.
Does this mean this game has no value? No,
this is a better game than you might realize,
especially if you just try it out and give it up as
having clunky graphics and poor gameplay. The key
to finding value in this game is spending an hour
trying to play through the game’s puzzles.
This has been a strange introduction to a game
review, but bare in mind my column is titled
"Gameviews" not "Game Reviews" because I offer
dialogue and opinion on games in addition to
reviewing them. This game is widely thought to be
a dog in discussions among ST users, primarily
because of scuttlebut from people who have given it
five minutes or less of play. I was guilty of this
also after purchasing the game in it's Antic
incarnation, but, rebooted it a few times to attempt
to find out what, if any, merit the game presents.
To my amazement, it was picked up by MichTron and
released in a nice box, initially at a higher price!
Enough of the scuttlebut, let's talk about the
game. This game claims over 2000 screens of
adventure as you search for the Dark Lords to £ree
the land of their curse. YoCCr on screen character
is Sador, a part man — but mostly reptile — green
warrior armed with a gun that seems to never run out
of ammunition. The game rules state that the
extensive use of the weapon will deteriorate your
energy, however that never seems to happen. You
lose energy when you are contacted by the numerous
adversaries on each screen. The game is divided
into levels. You must locate several hidden items
on each level to have a script appear to tell you
where you can locate the passage to the next level.
The first level requires you to locate a book
in the library of the village. This book, called
the Book of Change, instructs you to locate a chest
in the castles, only after finding the ashes in the
grave yard, in which the key to the chest can be
found! Now, after opening the chest, you will be
instructed to locate three objects in three separate
locations before proceeding to the skull in the
Wildwood, through which you will gain passage to
the next level. If you decide to look at the skull
first, or happen to accidentally stumble across it
while searching for the other items, .you're
dead! Well not completely, but for all intents and
purpose you are. You see, you will freeze, and the
enemy figures will touch you until all of your
energy is gone and you must start the game over
again. For the love of Pete, don't shoot at the
enemies in this situation, you would only prolong
your inevitable death. The enemy figures are
different in each area of the first level, they die
when you shoot them, but immediately regenerate
elsewhere on the screen. Rarely can you get ahead
of this rapid regeneration, but it is possible to
clear an area for a few seconds as they regenerate
on the other side of the screen.
The Antic version of this game provides you
with nine graphic map cards to arrange, in order to
locate nine regions on the first level. These cards
are helpful in the first level even after you have
gotten to know this game quite well. The game
scrambles the level each time you start over, and
the cards allow you to save time in finding the
various treasures on this level. Time equates to
energy in this game because the less time you take
to locate the treasures, the less energy you lose to
the enemy through almost unavoidable contact. The
rules state you get more energy when you complete a
level, but I have never been able to find any added
to my character. The first level also shows you the
layout of the nine regions in the lower right comer
off the screen. But, that layout is a poor
substitute for the maps that show the detail of each
level. The bad news in regard to the maps, is that
MichTron left them out of their release of this
game. I guess they figured the initials of the
region in the comer of the screen was sufficient.
If you have the Antic version with the maps, you may
mark the locations of the treasures on the maps, for
while^ the regions get scrambled each time, the
location of the treasures in those regions never
change. If you have the MichTron version of the
game, try to locate a friend who has a set of the
maps you can borrow.
The next levels eliminate the regions and
related maps and replace the screen areas with
counter spaces for you to keep track of your
"Tokens" and "Lords". The various regional graphics
are replaced by all cave wall graphics, all the same
color and all similar in appearance. The various
enemy figures are replaced by troll figures and the
"Lord" (of darkness; figures, again, all the same
color as the walls. If I was disappointed at the
graphics on the first level, and I was, these were
an even greater letdown. The third level was about
the same. The trolls again regenerate when shot but
you cannot shoot the Lords. Instead you are
required to touch them to eliminate them. The
tokens are the treasures you have to gather to gain
access to the next level, they are shaped like round
shields and yes, they too are the same color. There
are nine Lords to find and destroy, but you must be
sure to destroy the Lord(s) on each level before
going to the next level, because you cannot go back.
The game will allow you to make this mistake because
you do not have to kill the Lord(s) before going to
the next level. The game provides this warning as
well as text clues from time to time as you work
your way deeper in the levels. When you die, the
game advises you of the percentage of accomplishment
of that game's efforts. Unfortunately, you cannot
save your position and play on, but must restart at
the beginning each time you perish. You begin the
game with six bars of energy that deteriorate as you
encounter the enemy and as stated before, never seem
I hope I have given you seme insight into the
complexity of this game. While the graphics are not
great, the gameplay is fast and at times
frustrating, and the puzzles are better than these
other limitations would lead you to believe. Two
thousand screens that look almost the same,are not
the great attraction that they would have been if
they were different. But, several games use this;
screen count to attract buyers and are no better
than this deception, just better graphics, perhaps.
An example is King's Quest, (which I will review
next month), where they tout the number of animation
cells the game contains!? Lands of Havoc is a
better game than the reputation it has earned. Most
of the critics have not attempted to give a
sufficient play test. The folks at MichTron
introduced it at $29.95, while Antic has been asking
$19.95 and including the map cards. MichTron has
reduced the price to $19.95, but, the last I heaid,
still did not include the maps. This game may be
hard to locate since the reputation has made it hard
to sell. That may be just, but I tend to think it
doesn't deserve to die until the ST line has a great
deal more games to choose frcm. Did I get my
money's worth, no, not yet. I may get more play out
of it than the three or four hours I've devoted to
it, but not if the volume of games premised for the
ST start to show up anytime soon. If the price ever
drops to $9.95, you would probably get your money's
worth in this purchase. That would be a good price
level for the companies to initiate now, but may be
too high a year frcm now when the ST owner's have a
great game selection.
My phone number is: (703) 620-9142; my address
is: 11945 Heathcote Court, Reston, Va. 22091, if
you wish to discuss this or any game I review (no
bembs please). Next month I will discuss the King's
Quest and an 8-bit game disk frcm Novatari's public
Atari ST Software
Unix-style Command Interpreter
• Standard I/O with Redirection, Pipes and Filters •
• Shell Scripts & Variables • Aliases • History Substitutions •
• Runs TOS and GEM Programs • Full Set of Software Tools •
• Easy-to-read Tutorial & Manual Included •
Multitasking Operating System Kernel
• Runs off-the-shelf ST Programs - No Compiling •
• Fully Compatible with TOS BIOS and GEMDOS •
Beckemeyer Development Tools
592 Jean St #304 • Oakland CA 94610
Orders and Info: (415) 658-5318
(CA residents add 6.5% sales tax)
An Ansi/Graphics Terminal Emulator
for the Atari 520ST
• Ansi x3.64 terminal emulation
• VT100 submode,
• Tektronix 4014 graphics emulation
AnsiGraf uses the GEM interface with menus
and dialog boxes to set and save terminal pa¬
rameters. Supports separate text and graph¬
ics screens, optionally viewable concurrently,
multiple text pages. Xmodem upload/down¬
load: text/graphics to printer or save to disk,
programmable function keys. Price: $79.95
* Attn: R. Kulkarni or G. Fekete
P.O. Box 446
College Park. Md. 20740
Phone: (301) 937 - 3394
Sure to Tell Us
Well in Advance.
^Forward 9£f lc ? DOES NOT
forward 2nd class mail!
HACKER (Cont. from p.29)
not necessary to do so. The game has so many
refreshing, new ideas that is truly a ioy to play -
and to keep on playing.
When the adventure is finally complete, the
finale is worth the wait. I found this game to be
one of the most creative and inventive programs I've
ever played and highly reccnmend it to those of you
UA^D° r ? ithou V the desire of beccming a real-life
HACKER. I can't wait until a sequel to this great
program is released. Good work Activision.
[One cautionary note for those of you who have
upgraded your 520ST's to 1 meg. Your program will
load, but certain graphics, e.g. infrared scope,
will not activate on the 1 meg STs. You must
convert your one meg machine back to a 512K version
??o„ load I ou 9 311 do this easily with
a public dcmain program available on
CURRENT NOTES ST LIBRARY disk #11: RAMDISK & Docs.
VOL, 6 „ MCL.-A
Reviewed by John Antoniades
Is it really a CAD or
just another drawing program?
Just like Macintosh and IBM-PC before them,
early 520ST owners have had to put up with fairly
unsophisticated and, in many cases, bad software
packages. They bought them anyway, since a computer
without software is virtually useless. Fortunately
times are rapidly changing. Many professional pro-
grarrmers are already familiar with the GEM inter¬
face, and so quality software for the STs is appear¬
ing at a faster rate than for the PC and the Mac.
In addition, many of the software packages written
for existing MC68000 based machines, such as UNIX
utilities, are being quickly adapted for the ST.
CAD vs Painting Programs
The excellent graphics capabilities of the ST
make it a prime candidate for sophisticated and fast
Computer Automated Design (CAD) programs, such as
EASY-DRAW. But what is a CAD program? The answer
is a drawing tool, or more precisely an electronic
drafting table with graph paper attached to its
surface. It is most useful for drawings containing
primarily regular geometric shapes, such as circles,
ellipses, boxes, straight lines, smooth cuives etc.
CAD programs are one of the most valuable tools in
electronic circuit board design, architectural
design, mechanical drawing etc. But one can also
use them to produce impressive presentation graphics
(slides, viewgraphs, charts etc.), flowcharts for
industrial processes or computer programs, logos,
letterheads and a variety of other designs.
CAD's can produce output for dot-matrix
printers, digital plotters, cameras and virtually
any other graphics-capable output device. The
output is generally to scale, allowing the
generation of manufacturing drawings without the
intervention of a draftsperson. Corrections* and
updates become much easier, just as a document
processed on a word processor is much easier to
modify than one produced on an ordinary typewriter.
But why should anybody spend over .00 to buy
something like EASY-DRAW, when painting programs are
so inexpensive (and in seme cases free)? To answer
this question, one has to understand the difference
between a painting program (DEGAS, NEOCHRCME, PAINT,
etc.) and a CAD program. To a painting program, the
computer display looks just like a sheet of drawing
paper. When you paint something on it, and then
paint something else on top of it, the first picture
merges with the new one, obliterating any hidden
parts. CAD programs are generally object oriented,
that is, a drawing is composed of a series of
objects that can be pasted on the drawing sheet in
any position or order, without losing their
identities or hidden parts . The individual objects
can be drawn on individual sheets of transparent or
Now lets take a quick tour through the
features of EASY-DRAW. When the program starts the
screen shows the menu bar, a clipboard icon, a
trashcan icon and a blank drawing sheet named
EMPTY.EZD. The menu bar contains the following
titlesi DESK, FILE, PAGE, ZQCM, EDIT, ARRANGE, TEXT,
LINE, PATTERN and COLOR.
The DESK title contains the familiar control
panel and install printer desk accesories, as well
as a program information entry, indicating memory
utilization by the currently displayed drawings.
The FILE submenu allows the laser to replace or
merge the drawing in the window with a new one
stored on disk, save the drawing in the working
window, or output the drawing to an output device,
such as the screen, a printer, a digital plotter or
camera film. A second window can be created as
well. Objects can be dragged freely from one window
The EAGE submenu allows the user to chose the
size of the drawing sheet from three predefined page
sizes (8.5x11, 8x13 and 11x17 inches). In addition,
the drawing can be created along or across the sheet
(portrait or landscape). Rulers and grids can be
positioned on the screen to facilitate positioning
and alignment of the various objects contained in
the drawing. The snap and spacing features allow
automatic object alignment within a user selected
precision ranging from 1/64 - 1 inch. This means
that any object placed on the sheet will be
positioned with its edges aligned with the nearest
gridline corresponding to the selected precision.
The ZOCM submenu controls the magnification of
the displayed drawing. All rulers and dimensions
displayed correspond to true inches in the printed
drawing, making it easy to produce true scaled
drawings. The program allows almost 'infinite'
zocm, permitting attention to small details, almost
invisible in the final output. It should be noted
that what appears on the screen is a mere
representation of the drawing, limited by the screen
resolution. The printed output is created in higher
resolution, producing a very high quality dot-matrix
The EDIT submenu allows the user to modify
individual or groups of objects. Objects can be
deleted, copied, rotated counterclockwise by 90
degrees and shadowed. Open cuives or continuous
lines can be automatically closed and filled with a
specific pattern. Objects can be streched
horizontally or vertically and can be arbitrarily
shrunk or magnified. Text labels and circular or
elliptical arcs can be edited after creation.
The ARRANGE submenu gives the program many of
its spectacular powers. Objects can be moved in
front of or behind other objects, just as layers of
sheets can be arranged the same way. Objects can be
grouped together to form a single more complex one,
permitting the user to manipulate them as one. The
grouping can be repeated many times. However the
program maintains the hierarchy of the grouping
operations allowing the user to break up groups into
the components included in them. This submenu also
allows positioning of objects contained within other
larger objects. They can be centered, aligned with
the top, bottom, left or right edges of the
The TEXT submenu provides the tools for the
manipulation of text blocks. Text attributes
familiar to the ST users such as bold, light,
italic, outlined and underlined can be combined in
any combination. Automatic text justification is
also allowed. Currently only one font is available
with more premised by Migraph. There are four
available text sizes : 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", and 1/2".
The LINE submenu provides different linestyles
for the drawings. There are several types of
continuous lines of varying thickness, as well as 5
different dotted and dashed lines. The ends of the
lines can be shaped to have rectangular ends or
arrows. The one notable weakness is the absence of
a user defined line.
The EATT5HN submenu allows the selection of a
fill pattern for closed shapes. A very nice
facility is provided to allow generation of user
defined fill patterns. The pattern selection
interface is excellent. Samples of all of the
available fill patterns are exhibited in a grid and
the user just clicks on the desired choice. Another
entry in this submenu also allows the user to toggle
between the two available states of an object :
transparent and opaque.
Finally, the 0C8XR menu allows the selection of
the drawing color for an objects, as weel as for
lines, fill patterns and text.
The OUTPUT program allows the generation of a
list of drawings for display on the screen, a
printer, a plotter or a camera. When the screen is
selected as the output, the delay between consec¬
utive frames can be selected to be 2, 5, 10, 20
seconds or to be activated by hitting a key. Also
continuous cycling can be selected, as in the slide-
show programs, ST users are used to. If a camera is
selected for output, the user can specify the type
of camera or film used, and the color pallete is
automatically adjusted for true color reproduction.
It should be fairly obvious from the previous
discussion that there is an enormous amount of flex¬
ibility built into this program. It may also seem
that it may take a lifetime to master it. Ah! This
is where the GEM interface comes to the rescue. In
a very few minutes, using the knowledge of the GEM
and a small amount of guessing you can start creat¬
ing seme pretty impressive documents. However, this
is far from mastering the program. A fair amount of
studying is required to become an "expert" user.
Advantages of EASY-DRAW
There are many powerful features built into the
program. Unfortunately, there are many shortcomings
as well. Let's start with some of the good things.
EASY-DRAW is much easier to use than most commercial
GAD packages. The fully integrated GEM interface
makes it look quite impressive, even if it is com¬
pared to packages like AUTO-GAD for the IBM-PC which
costs approximately $2,500.00. The ease and speed
with which objects can be repositioned, copied, re¬
grouped, stretched and sized is terrific. It simply
makes AUTOCAD-like user interfaces look simply bar¬
baric. The almost infinite zoom feature gives the
user the ability to produce dazzling displays.
One of the most impressive features of this
package is the ability to group arbitrary sets of
objects into a single entity. So one can generate
arbitrarily complex figures which can be manipulated
as one. For example, a circuit designer could gen-
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Regent Base’s procedural language
make it a natural for handling any of your
small business needs. Modules are
available for Invoicing, Accounts
Receivable, Checkbook Balancing,
General Ledger, etc.
Regent Base is a relational database
written specifically for the Atari ST. Don’t
settle for simple clones of IBM products.
Regent Base is easy to use and state-of-
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VOL. 6. NO. 4
erate a library of electronic symbols which can make
the creation of circuit schematics a matter of
minutes. Each symbol is a collection of staple
figures such as arcs, lines, circles etc. Once it
has been created it can be sized and inserted in the
circuit with amazing ease. Pieces of a circuit can
also be grouped in a single entity and subsequently
inserted in a larger master diagram and so on.
A nice innovation of this program is the way
drawing tools are selected. Instead of making the
user go to a set of icons displayed at the edge of
the drawing in order to pick up a drawing tool, a
simple click of the right mouse button brings up a
Pop-up menu with the basic shapes. This menu is
located right next to the mouse pointer, eliminating
unnecessary mouse movement.
Anybody who has worked with word processors
allowing simultaneous processing of documents in
multiple windows, appreciates the advantages of such
a setup. EASY-DRAW offers these advantages by
allowing two different drawing sheets to be
displayed simultaneously. Objects can be moved
freely from one window to another, eliminating the
need to redraw any previously created items.
Returning to the circuit example, the basic symbols
can be stored in one of the windows, and then one
can transport them to the drawing in the other one.
The quality of the printed drawings produced by
EASY-DRAW is stunning. The key to this is the
generic structure of the object oriented programs.
The output of a painting program is limited by the
screen resolution in which the picture is drawn,
P r i n ted output is a direct screen dump.
EASY-DRAW works with a resolution of 960 dots, twice
tiiat of a painting program in the highest resolution
mode. The result is a very high quality printed
output with very smooth lines and curves.
As an extra bonus, the output section of the
program allows the printing or display of multiple
drawings with a single command. And if the screen
is used as the output device a slide show can be
generated with variable time delay between
consecutive frames. Finally, the automatic color
adjustment for different types of cameras dnd film
allows the production of color photographs and
slides, so that users without color printers can
generate color drawings.
And the Disadvantages
„ _ Are there any problems with this program?
Uhfortunately the answer is a definite yes.
First of all the program seems to have several bugs:
1. When the program is used in the dual window mode,
the results of the use of the save command are not
what one would expect. Each window reflects the
correct name of each drawing. But when a drawing is
saved with the save command, it is not placed in the
file from which it originated, but in the file which
was accessed last. So be careful because you could
lose an awful lot of work.
2. After certain sequences of keystrokes, the mouse
leaves traces behind it every time a picture is
3. Sometimes when the picture border comes too close
the^ edge of the page, it causes scrambling of
the printer output. The drawing has to be resized
before output can be generated.
shapes can be drawn
without a border by choosing the linestyle NCML
Inis option does not appear in any of the menus.
So much for bugs. In addition the program has
a series of shortcomings which mate it almost
impossible to use for CAD applications. First it
lacte a cursor position indicator, which is present
in most drawing programs. This way one does not
have to try to guess the cursor position by looking
An^rw f ru £ ers f^d grids displayed by the program.
Another feature which is necessary in the generation
of complex drawings is the existence of a ccnmand
line, in which one can specify the position and size
ot simple figures such as circles, ellipses or arcs
since exact positioning with the mouse is not always
possible. Unfortunately, this program does not
offer a similar facility.
Since most drawings are not drawn full scale,
the user trust be able to specify the size of the
rawing sheet in real units such as meters, yards,
of™ J r .. lnC £ eS 6tc \. P r ogram then computes the
s ^ ze the objects displayed on tee screen, instead
or burdening the user with size conversions. It is
also necessary for tee user to be able to specify
the spacing of the gridlines displayed for posi-
by°EASY-m^° SeS ' N ° De ° f 1:11686 features is offered
The program also lacks the ability to generate
rectangular arrays containing a staple figure.
Every object must be manually placed in the right
position, _ which can become very tedious. Even
though_tricks can be employed to simplify this task,
ls r P uc ^ more difficult than saying: Create
a 3x4 array with the same figure in each cell. When
£ 6cmes Producing circularly symmetric patterns
5° lt: on a g ive n bolt circle), the
■ situation becomes unbearable. I have not yet found
f y t6 such simple things as two lines
forming a 60-degree angle, or divide a circle in a
given number of equal arcs. The lack of an angle
ruler is simply overwhelming. ^
, Objects can only be rotated about their centers
oy 90 degrees counterclockwise. Need I say more?
They cannot even be reflected about a vertical line!
So an object whose left side is the mirror image of
tne right side has be drawn in its entirety! Not
exactly convenient, is it?
If you have visions of producing a closed tea™
tram a series of lines and arcs and then filling it
with a given pattern, well-, forget it. Oily
simple closed shapes can be filled in. To be fair,
this is quite difficult to do with object oriented
programs, but necessary nonetheless.
Finally an automatic dimensioning toolchest is
a must for a CAD program, otherwise the user can
spend an extremely long time dimensioning even the
simplest of drawings. Again no such feature is
present, but maybe Migraph did not intend this as a
GAD program, even though the advertising .
31-6 . many other fundamental features of
GADs that are missing. But of course, programs that
have them cost several times vrtiat EASY-DRAW does.
Nonetheless all of these features are what mates
these programs so useful. If you need a CAD
P*°8 r ®?> buying EASY-DRAW is like buying a car
(Continued on p.35)
HANNOVER MESSE-1986 CeBIT
by Trenton Browne
Oestringen, West Germany. 29 March 1986. A
little background is appropriate for all of you on
the other side of the big pond.
The Hannover Messe has been held for many years
and has been touted as the world's largest
industrial fair. The CeBIT (a French acronym for
Carmunication and Bureau Information Technologies)
section was only a small part of this huge fair but
now has grown so large that the whole fair has been
divided in two, each half presented about a month
apart. Since last year CeBIT has grown by 797
exhibitors and 800,650 square feet of display area
to 2,105 exhibitors covering 2,200,000 square feed
(or approximately 35 football fields). There is
more on display than could be contained in any
catalog and everything is in full color and in 3D.
It is hard to imagine and I believe impossible to
take it all in in any one year. It only lasts seven
days and anyone who looks at more than 10 or 12
hours worth of displays starts to take on a glazed
look that takes about a week to wear off. Enough
about the fair in general. Just to say it is BIG.
Now to the important stuff: ATARI. Last year
my friend Phil and I visited the Atari stand and
found a relatively small stand (maybe 1500 sq. ft.),
520ST prototypes, a good number of. interested
customers, a determined Tramiel family, and a
hopeful staff. This year the stand was at least '
3000 square feet, it was packed with the interested,
the devoted and the newly converted. About half the
area was devoted to Atari proper and offices. The
other half was devoted to four-part clusters of
third party software and hardware representatives.
I would estimate there were at least A0 companies
represented. It seems this had been choreographed
by Sig Hartmann. There may be differing options on
this, but my opinion is, SUPER. Since this fair is
open to the public, what a great opportunity.to see
a product running and demonstrated (many times by
the author) before buying. What store could offer
this? For the companies represented, it gave them
the opportunity to exhibit at a fair where the cost
of a stand may otherwise be prohibitive.
The product mix was probably 85 percent 16-bit
and 15 percent 8-bit, with about the same ratio of
Business/Application to Games (respectively).
"Clone+" software was the hot thane of software
houses. Command and file compatible with LOT..
1-2-3 or dB... Ill and they (of course) do more and
do it better. I was surprised to see a line of
third party hard disks on the display with prices
ranging from 1600IM — Deutsche Marks ($1=2.30EM) —
for a 10 meg to about 4400IM for 60 meg.
What for us was noticeably absent from the
display was the I EM compatible "Magic Box". We had
an opportunity to talk to Sigmund Hartmann (Pres.
Software), Shiraz Shivji (VP R&D), and Les Player
(Tech Manager, UK) and asked about the "MB".
Obviously they were not ready for public release of
even any detailed information. In fact, they seemed
ready to deny its existence until my friend Phil
pulled out his latest issue of CURRENT NOTES. If
was like showing passports to the real world. They
were all more at ease to talk about it. What I have
heard from sources who went to the London show a
week earlier was that the only real hangup right now
was what to offer at what price.
I don't remember seeing any lOAOST's, tut Atari
Germany has been selling a one meg 520ST for about
six months already. Atari Germany seems to have
developed many things independent of Atari U.S. One
being, caning out with the 520ST+ (one meg). another
is a very strong dealer support program. The 520ST
was voted "Computer of the Year" by the best know
computer magazines in Germany. It seems Jack
Trameil has many followers from his Commodore days
and many very good people have come over to Atari
from Commodore Germany. Unfortunately, the dealer
support program has been carried to such a degree
that Atari Germany neglects the customer and their
independence seems to be a result of nationalist
instead of internationalist thinking.
EASY DRAW ( Cont . from p.34)
So it you want to produce pretty signs,
flowcharts and simple drawings, EASY-ERAW is for
you. This is what a simple drawing program does. If
you want professional quality drawings that can be
used in manufacturing or building, you can forget
it! W|jen EASY-DRAW is compared to Mac-Draw or
GEM-Draw, this is a good quality program for the
money, and can be quite useful in many graphic
applications. Hopefully upgrades are on their
VOT,. 6. NO. 4
THE CD REPORT
by George Langworthy
CD-ROM Drives for the ST
CD-RCM DRIVES FOR THE ATARI 520/1040ST are
available now from stock frcm The Library
Corporation, Richwood Hall, Charles Town, WV 25414,
1-800-624-0559. Their marketing representative is
The $680 disc drive is the freestanding Hitachi
CDR-1502S available since early 1985. Included is
the Atari hard disk port interface card, cable and a
90-day warranty. For $25, access programs,
routines, demonstration software and data base on a
production CD-RCM disc can be purchased. Two of the
ccrrmercial ’’software” discs which will run on.the
Hitachi/Atari drive are the Grolier American
Electronic Encyclopedia at $200 list and 8,500
programs frcm the PC-SIG software library for $195.
An IRi PC version with interface card is also $680.
The Library Corporation was the first CD-RCM
publisher to have a production d.isc on the market.
At the January 1985 Washington DC mid-winter meeting
of the American Library Association, Brower Murphy,
President, demonstrated a disc containing one
million electronic Library of Congress ’’cards” known
as MARC records. Headings such as Title, Author,
etc. are placed in a master format record, instead
of on each ’’library catalog card” as done with
paper. This simple form of data compression allows
one billion characters to be stored. This company
has distributed microfiche and microfilm Library of
Congress MARC catalog and other information since
the middle '70’s. The Library Corporation has the
capability to bring out consumer CD-RCM products,
being first in the market with the development and
production expertise. . t
KnowledgeSet, formerly Activenture, Monterey,
CA, may announce an Atari 520/1040ST CD-RCM drive
and interface card shortly. Their current IEM PC
Sony-built drive and card combination sells for $845
mail order. KnowledgeSet developed "the indexing
software for the Grolier disc encyclopedia first
demonstrated at the June 1985 Consumer Electronics
Show in Chicago.
All indications are that Atari Corp. is waiting
for availability of a combination audio player and
data disc drive OEM priced so they can sell it at
about $600 list. Seme standards issues are also
inhibiting the industry and may be of concern to
Atari. Consumers or businesses don’t want to have
to biy more than one drive to access all available
With one or two third parties already selling
520/1040ST drives, Atari can scope the market while
CD-RCM publishers ready more products.
Interactive Compact Discs
INTERACTIVE COMPACT DISCS (CD-I), with
intermixed text, sound and color television pictures
were announced in late February. Sony of Japan, and
N.V. Philips of the Netherlands presented their
preliminary specifications for a new standard to be
contained in their GREEN BOOK. This is the third
compact digital disc format, the first two being CD
audio, the RED BOOK and CDRCM, the YELLOW BOOK.
My first CD REPORT column, September 1985,
WHAT NEXT? The first byte of each block is an
8-bit status indicator. It tells the computer
which of any of 256 kinds of information are
contained in the following block. Single
frame b/w and color pictures, combined audio
with text, and graphics are a few of the
CD’s send a 153,600 useable byte-per-second
data stream, consisting of 75 2,043 byte blocks.
Needed to decode this into useful information are
both hardware and software which can
1. Determine what kind of data each block contains
2. Convert that block with similiar preceeding and
succeeding blocks to the electronic format
3. Convert that format to electrical signals useful
to we humans
The four most ccrrmon ways to present electronic
information placed on a multi-media CD are:
1. Text and ASCII representation graphics a la
2. Bit mapped b/w graphics, line drawings, etc.
3. Audio, at various fidelity levels
4. Color video, still frame to 30 frame/second full
CD-I is the two leading CD developers' effort
to bring a multi-media version to the consumer
market. All CD-I drives will be able to read and
play existing CD audio and data discs. This
product is considerably more complex than current
CD systems. The specifications may change as
comments frcm ’’software” publishers and hardware
manufacturers are incorporated into the final
detailed technical specifications. A discussion
draft version is scheduled for May or June 1986.
The final GREEN BOCK is due to be completed and
released the first quarter of 1987. Prototype CD-I
player/drives can be available during 1987,
according to Sony and Philips. Speculation is that
production versions may appear later in 1987.
A CD-I player/drive will contain, assuming the
preliminary specification holds, a basic CD-RCM
drive, a Motorola 68000-based special purpose
microcomputer with RAM and the Microware, Inc., Des
Moines, Iowa OS-9 multitasking operating system in
RCM. OS-9 is like a very fast, compact UNIX.
System object code size is 24K bytes.
How about making your Atari 520/1040ST into a
general purpose CD-I controller and display system?
Both Atari and T.L.M. Systems, Fresno, CA are
looking at or developing OS-9 ST implementations,
so the idea is not totally
CD-I is only one possible approach to the
question of what to put on multi-media CD's and how
to get it off. Personal computers have all four
types of output listed above today, though full
motion video is limited because of storage and
(Continued on Page 38)
SUPRA ST MODEM
Reviewed by Milt Creighton
The Supra 1200 ST by Supra Corporation is a
300/1200 bps external modem which is optimized for
use with the Atari 520ST when used with its included
Onega Terminal software. The boxed set includes all
of the connectors required to put yourself online
and a starter kit for both CompuServe and DELPHI.
The whole package retails for $249.95 but is
carmonly discounted for considerably less.
For a neophyte to the world of telecomputing
like myself, the Supra 1200 ST is a godsend.
Connecting the external modem to a 520ST is a simple
matter. You just connect one end of the included
interface cable to the RS-232 serial port at the
rear of the 520ST and the other to an identical
connector at the rear of the modem. The modem
manual explains how to do this in fairly clear terms
without using too much of the esoteric jargon which
has ccme to characterize this aspect of computing.
The 1200 ST also comes with an attached telephone
line cord which is probably long enough to reach
your phone jack on the wall.
The front of the 1200 ST has a row of red LEDS
which indicate the different modes of operation of
the modem and three button switches including an
on/off switch, a 300/1200 bps mode switch, and a
voice/data switch. The rear of the modem has a row
of dip switches which should all be in the up (off)
position for operation with the 520ST, a power
supply connector (yeah, that's right- Ianother
separate power supply), the RS-232 connector, and a
standard telephone jack for your tone or pulse dial
telephone. The modem telephone line cord also
emerges from the case here.
The modem manual can be put away once you've
connected the modem and made sure all the dip
switches are properly set. The operation of the
system is handled by the GEM-ccmpatible Omega
Terminal software and, hopefully, the self-tests
described in the manual will be unnecessary. The
technical data and clearly described self-tests are
there if you need them but most of us will be more
interested in getting online and using the 1200 ST
for whyever we bought it in the first place.
The included Omega Terminal software consists of
one unprotected 3.5" disk and a mercifully small
manual. In spite of its small size the manual
begins with the basics and, by the time you’ve read
five pages, you begin to get a glimmer of hope that
you too can master the art of telecomputing.
Suddenly, the phrases "parity", "stop bits", "baud
rate", and "xmodem" begin to make sense. All those
computer magazines which had special features on
telecomputing that you put away last year for rainy
day reading suddenly become less menacing. You read
on in the manual to the section which addresses the
Omega GEM-oriented desktop.
The menu line at the top of the screen displays
the main functions of the terminal program. They
are: Desk, Modem, Send File, Receive File, Printer,
Clock, and Snapshot. The drop-down Desk menu
(without any other accessories loaded) is only a
title page. The Modem submenu displays four items
which are the heart of the autodial/autoanswer
functions of Omega Terminal. The first one of these
is "Dial" which, when clicked, will provide a list
of names and numbers for autodialing. The only
number initially listed is the Supra Corporation
bulletin board but you can add as many others as you
want. If you fill up one list, the program will
allow you to add more lists which will be saved to
the program disk. Each number on the list can be
saved with a different protocol % so you can
communicate at 300 bps using 8-bit words with one
bulletin board and 1200 bps and 7-bit words with
another. You can even select the voice function and
use the list as an ordinary telephone dialer to call
up one of your unsophisticated friends who hasn't
yet discovered the wonders of binary communication.
Of course you'll have to talk with him or her using
an analog communications mode such as speech if you
want to be understood.
One of the few complaints I have about Omega
Terminal is that I had the very devil of a time
returning to the menu without actually dialing a
number. The "cancel" option on this screen seems to
work only sporadically or not at all and you can
row old clicking your mouse button before it
inally -works or you decide you've had enough and
reboot the program. Naturally, this situation won't
happen often since most of the time you're going to
access this menu to dial a number, but it can be
irritating when it does happen. After further
experimentation, I've found the problem can
sometimes be rectified by clicking both mouse
The autodial/autoanswer features of Omega
Terminal work just fine. There is even a pause
feature you can use to access seme of the discount
long distance networks. I had no trouble
programming the 1200 ST to automatically dial any of
my local bulletin boards and it worked as easily
with Ccmpuseive as it did with local systems.
One of the more useful features of Omega
Terminal are the two displayed clocks. One is found
at the end of the menu line and can be set to the
correct time of day by selecting the proper menu
item. The other one is an online clock which
records the total length of time you are connected
to a distant terminal. That could make all the
difference if you're trying to decide whether or not
to download a big file. Another useful feature of
Onega Terminal is the "Snapshot" option which
permits copying an entire screen of data to disk
whether you are in receive mode or not. It's a
little tricky though so be sure to read the
instructions before relying on this feature.
I did experience a problem when I tried to
transfer text files from an Apple ][+ to my 520ST by
hooking the Supra 1200 ST and a Prometheus Premodem
1200A back-to-back. In xmodem the files were
transferred with the 8th most significant bit set
and, as a result, it appeared on the 520ST in the
alternate character set. No amount of monkeying
with the protocols helped. Normal text transfer did
work provided I used 7-bit words, even parity, and 1
stop bit — but only on files of 3000 words or less.
If the files were larger than that, the display
would go into an endless loop after the second time
data was transferred to the destination disk. Since
none of these problems occurred in downloading large
text or program files from commercial data bases,
the difficulty was probably not the fault of the
1200 ST. Though I wasn't able to solve this problem
to my own satisfaction, I did receive knowledgeable
and courteous assistance from one of the technicians
at Supra Corporation by using the technical support
(Continued on Page 38) RAGE 37
¥QL. 6. NO. 4
WAACE BBS IS HERE!
SL you read this, the new (as yet unnamed)
WAACE BBS should be operational. Access to the BBS
will be restricted to WAACE members (anyone who is a
member of one of the participating clubs or
subscribes to CURRENT NCTES directly). An annual
subscription fee of $15 will be charged for the BBS.
Tne fee will go toward paying for the initial
capital investment and ongoing BBS expenses.
Initially, the BBS will be running on a 520ST with
two double-sided drives. As soon as we get ennuph
subscribers, we plan to purchase a 20MB hard disk
drive. We also plan to add more phone lines as the
nunber of subscribers to the system increases.
Because of the initial limited storage space,
downloads on the new BBS will be restricted to ST
software. (ARMUDIC will continue to operate and
hold the bulk of the 8-bit programs in its download
section.) When the hard drive is available
(hopefully as early as late May), 8-bit software
will also be available in the downloads.
Ted Bell has voluntered to be the SYSOP for the new
board. To sign-up for the BBS, send your check,
payable to N3VATARI, to Ted Bell, 9705 Shipwright
Driye, Burke, Virginia 22015. Ted will notify all
registrants of the BBS number and their password.
THE CD REPORT (Cont. from p. 36)
bandwidth. Suppliers who identify specific markets
which can pay for the custom hardware, software and
CD-ROM publishing design and production costs, will
not restrict themselves to the CD-I format. For
instance, if there is a market for training medical
personnel using b/w bit-mapped graphics X-ray
photos stored on CD-RCM, appropriate systems will
CD-I means Compact Disc - Interactive. It is
a multi-media version of CD-RCM. Progress and*
product will be widely reported in both the
computer trade and general press. Watch this
column, INECWCRLD, USA TODAY, THE WAIL STREET
JOURNAL and BUSINESS WEEK for mention of CD-I.
(Written April 10, 1986 by George Langworthy, <6025
Martway, #111, Mission, KS 66202, 913-268-8775)
SUPRA ST MODEM (Cont. from p. 37)
number found in the manual.
In conclusion, I would say the Supra 1200 ST and
Onega Terminal is an excellent buy. Its ease of use
tends to obscure the sophistication of both the
modern and the terminal software. It is a true
application item. You won’t have to spend hours
learning_ how to connect and operate this one; this
baby flies itself. Your telecomputing frontier
suddenly expands into the distance and the
temptation^ to sign up with every bulletin board and
data base in sight may well prove irresistible. Now
if they could just find a way to lower phone bills
and access charges...
ARTISTS TAKE NOTE!
Can you draw
a captivating picture using DEGAS or
you can, you have a chance to win
The Computer Poet Corp. has a program running on the
Macintosh that allows customers in a greeting card
store to answer some some personal questions about
voDever they would like to send a card to and, right
there on the spot, a card, with appropriate poetry,
The caipany is moving their program over to the ST.
The ST version will use a touch screen so you can
gst a personalized card by just pointing to the
^-tributes . you want. The caipany needs seme
“ erri f lc pictures that will help induce a customer
to ccme over and touch the screen. (In fact
winning entries will, in part, be determined by how
popular they are in an actual greeting card store.)
Miftiiu, and BATTERIES INCLUDED are
over $1,000 in software as prizes and
the Ccnputer Poet Corporation is contributing $1,000
“ cash ' first prize will be $750 cash plus over
v 500 ? oftware - Second prize is $150 cash and
over $300 in software. Third prize is $100 cash and
almost $200 in software. You may submit as many
entries as you like and contestants may win more
than one prize. For rules and contest guidelines,
call Dwight Minkler (602) 955-1148. All entries
must be postmarked by midnight, June 22.
NOTE: I received a note from William Blair
this month who wanted me to stress to our
readers that he only compiled (did not
author) the information in the "So What's So
Great About an Atari?" article last month.
The source of the newspaper and magazine
quotes was obvious. For those of you
interested, the source of the "No Holds
Barred Comparison" and the "ST Technical
Facts" was Neil Harris of Atari. JW
The Price War Is Over
We Will Beat Any Price
Borrowed Time $31.00
Pinal Word .$79.00
Hebe Softvere Cheep
H t D Forth Cell
H 3 D Toolbox Cell
PC Intercomm $69.00
VIP Profeaaional Cell
Silent Service $24 00
Flifht Simulator Cell
Micro C Shell Cell
Print Mester $24.96
P M Art Ceilery $19.96
Avetex 1200 .$39 00 Eaay Drew.Cell
(JM1 1200ST $129 00 Grephic Artiat Cell
Heyes 1200 Cell Music Studio $37.60
Aten XM301 $37.96 2Key Accounting $32.99
Supre/MPP 1000E $37 60
Atari 620ST ROB
Attn 620ST Mono
Atari 620ST (CPU)
Atari SF364 ...
Supra Hard Di*k.
PR Conn./Amodem $149.00
Aterivriter Plus $24 96
Avetex 1200 .$39 00
Sakata SC100 .$123 96
Teknike MJ-10 .$173 00
Teknike MJ-22 .Cell
Home Plenetanum $19.76
CP/M Emuletor $32.99
Apple ][ Emuletor Cell
Megamax C Cell
Metecomco Peecel Cell
Lettice C.'. Cell
Recent Word II.$36.00
Micro C Shell.Cell
Mete 63000 Aem ... Cell
Typesetter ST.. $24.00
Ateri 130XE $116 00
Aten 65XE .Cell
Atari 1060 .Cell
Atari 1027 . $93 00
R-Time Cert.$43 00
Bonus SS/DD 6.26.$6 99
Bonus DS/DD 6.26 $7 60
Flip f File All Sites ..Cell
Paper 1000 Sheets.$11.00
Paper 2600 Sheets.Cell
Sony 3 6.$21.00
P R. Connection .$66.00
Supra Microstuffer ... $67.00
Aten 360 .Cell
ST Printer Cable.$3.99
Everyday Low Price/Mo&yi \*-2 Ceil
1517 Ritchie tfay. Kinga Quest II.Cell
128K Of Memory!
Lowest Price Anywhere!
Baaic XE $42 00
Baaic XL.$M 96
Battalion Commend . $24.96
Battle of Antietam $32.00
Computer Baseball .... $24.96
Conflict in Nem. $19.00
Crusade in Europe.$24.96
Silent Butler ..$19.99
"War in Russia ..$43.00
Dec. In the Desert $24.96
Kennedy Approach ... $19.60
Learning Phone. Cell
Syncelc ISOXE. $29 96
Mefafont II*. $17.00
Rubber Stemp .. $13.00
Mac/66. . $42.00
Print Shop. $26.00
Lode Runner. $22.00
Aterivriter Plus. $24.96
Penser Grenadier. $34.00
Space Shuttle. $16.76
Greet Am. Rd. Rce .... $16.76
F-16 Strike Eaf le.$24.96
Silent Service.. $19.60
Synfile 130XE. $29.96
Printshop Lib. 1/2/3 .. $16.96
Chmp. Lode Run. $13.60
Sparta Dos CS.$24.96
Home File Manager ... $7.99
Star Raiders. $7 99
1,0 21012 Black Rrtch Systems
TO ORDER (Visa, MasterCard): Call TOLL FREE 14100
For technical information, order inquiries, or for MD orders call 301-757-1329, or write
Black Patch Systems, P.O. Box 501, Arnold, MD 21012
Rtofc Free Policy: In-stock items shipped within 24 hours of order. No deposit on C O D orders Free shipping on prepaid cash orders within the continental U S Volume discounts
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warranty Free catalog with order All items subject to change without notice
VOT.- 6. NO. 4
Quest of the Avatar
Reviewed by Peter Kilcullen
and Richard Smart
[This month I was surprised to receive not one but
two reviews of Ultima IV. However, each author
approaced the review a little differently and each
has added to the whole story. So, I have combined
the two reports into one single one identifying
various sections with the appropriate author's
initials. Hope you enjoy their efforts. Ed.]
RS: Just when you thought it was save to
venture out once again in the rubble of Sosaria
after vanquishing the evil Exodus, canes ULTIMA IV
Quest of the Avatar. If you relish role-playing
fantasy adventure games then ULTIMA IV is for you!
Run, don’t walk, to your nearest friendly Atari
dealer and buy this greatest of all adventures in
the ULTIMA series.
EK: ULTIMA IV, written by Richard Garriot (Lord
British) and distributed by Origin Systems, Inc., is
the ultimate game program for the eight-bit Atari.
It will easily be the 1986 game of the year for the
Atari XL/XE line. What makes this game so fantastic
is it incredible graphics, its ease of playability
combined with flexibility of plot, and the teaching
values conveyed to all who play the game.
RS: The first thing you discover when you have
tom off the shrink-wrap and opened the attractive
box are two double-sided game disks, a beautiful
cloth map of the Empire of Britannia, a 36-page
History of Britannia, a player reference card, a
small metal Ankh, and a 61-page Book of Magic. The
rich quality and detail of the game packaging and
contents are a hallmark of Lord British and testify
to the personal involvement of the author in his
EK: In a recent magazine interview, Lord
British stated that he was trying to create
something more than another complex "hack and slay"
adventure game. He wanted a game that was enjoyable
as well as educational. He has succeeded admirably
in all respects.
RS: The world in ULTIMA IV is four times larger
than any of the previous Ultimas and many new
functions and features have been added that enhance
the "realism" of the fantasy. Among the new
features are terrain effects on movement, mixed
monster parties of up to 16 creatures, expanded
magic system requiring spells to be mixed from
ingredients prior to casting, increased details in
dungeon rooms, more realistic wind effects on sea
navigation, and more emphasis on battle strategy in
combat. Add the ability to converse with over 100
non-player characters within the game, the
opportunity to expand your party’s size to include
eight different professions through inviting
characters you meet to join you in your quest, and
the emphasis on being a champion of good (stealing
treasures and killing non-evil creatures impede your
progress toward Avatarhood) make this a truly unique
Frcm the moment you boot up the program disk
for the first time, you will find yourself drawn
more and more into the substance of the game. The
stunning graphics in the beginning of the game
resemble a hi-res graphic adventure ala Wizard and
the Princess. You encounter a gypsy woman who poses
a series of "what if" questions involving the eight
virtues of an Avatar: honesty, valor, compassion,
honor, humility, justice, sacrifice, and
spirituality. Based upon your responses to these
questions, the computer puts together a profile of
your character as you really are or would like to
be. Frcm this profile the computer generates your
alter ego in the world of ULTIMA IV. Your player’s
profession (Ealadin, Ranger, Fighter, Druid, Mage,
Tinker, Shepherd or Bard), and starting point in the
game are all determined from your profile. It is
unlikely, therefore, that any two people will start
the game in exactly the same way. This aspect of
involving the player's own inner character in the
game is truly unique in this reviewer's experience.
EK: Having begun life as one of the eight types
of characters, the player must visit each of the
towns and villages in the land of Lord British. In
these towns, the player's party is supplemented by
the seven other character types to form a complete
party of eight adventurers. The number of
adventurers who join the party is determined by your
character's level of experience.
In addition to gaining other players, the
primary object of the game is to became an Avatar
and then to complete the Quest of the Avatar. In
order to become an Avatar, the player ^ must
demonstrate his or her practice of the eight virtues
throughout the game. Various hints are given by the
game's inhabitants (people, creatures, etc.)
concerning how these eight virtues are practiced.
Thus, sacrifice is practiced by giving one's life
blood to the injured; honesty is practiced by
answering all questions truthfully; valor is
demonstrated by never retreating from battle;
compassion is demonstrated by not slaying fleeing
creatures; spirituality is demonstrated by not
killing non-evil creatures; etc.
The game actually seems to keep track of the
player's experiences and determines the proper time
when the player can be awarded partial Avatarhood in
each of these eight virtues. By visiting the seer
Hawkwind, the player is told when he/she may visit
the shrine corresponding to each of the eight
virtues in order to obtain Avatarhood in a
particular virtue. Of course, prior to visiting any
of the eight shrines, one must obtain the necessary
rune and know the mantra for the particular shrine.
This information is also obtained by talking to the
characters, creatures, or performing the necessary
actions, in each of the towns and villages visited
by the adventurers. Often, multiple part clues are
given in order to obtain these items and this
Once Avatarhood is obtained in each of the
eight virtues (which takes approximately 40 to 50
hours of playing time), it is then necessary to
search for the eight stones, seme of which may be
found in the eight dungeons and seme ofwhich are
used in the dungeons.
In addition, once the eight virtues of
Avatarhood have been obtained, these most be
combined into the three qualities of love, truth and
courage. There are three primary towns where love,
truth and courage are sought. With the attainment
of love, truth and courage, the Avatar is then ready
to begin his final quest into the Abyss.
Of course, the game is filled with many
miscellaneous and accessory items which are needed
by the Avatar to complete his quest, such as mystic
armor, bells, wheels, horns, and other items. These
items all may be found by obtaining the proper clues
from the persons, creatures and places in the game.
Not only is the game exceedingly complex and
multi-layered, it is sheer fun to play. Windowing
techniques abound throughout. The main map consists
of the Land of Lord British. However, upon entering
a town, another disk is accessed which contains the
details of the town including shops, animals, people
and even secret passages in the walls of the towns.
Whenever a battle occurs, the screen immediately
zooms to various kinds of battlefields, depending
upon the terrain in which the battle occurs.
The monsters encountered in the first 10,000
moves are fairly weak. During the next 20,000
moves, the monsters are more varied. After the
first 20 to 30 thousand moves, the game breaks wide
open with mixed parties of monsters, approximately
30 different types. Various weapons and armor can
be used in the monster battles.
Spells also abound. A special new feature of
Ultima IV is the use of spells. Spells are made
from magic herbs which are obtainable in only a few
of the towns. Moreover, seme special herbs cannot
be bought but are contained at special locations to
which the player must obtain clues. Moreover, not
all the spell ingredients are listed for the player
in the spell book. Certain characters know the
ingredients necessary to make up the gate travel
spell for example. Spells must be mixed from the
herbs prior to battle. There are approximately 26
spells listed in the spell book and there may be
other unknown spells not listed in the book.
The use of dungeons is also an improvement over
previous Ultima games. In Ultima IV, it is
absolutely essential to enter the dungeons and to do
battle therein. The dungeon graphics are extremely
detailed and zocm into different scenes whenever a
battle occurs. Moreover, the dungeons contain
stones, altars, crypts and other places of interest
which are necessary to completion of the game.
There appear to be eight dungeons in the game, but
don’t count on it.
The game also contains the famous whirlpool
introduced in Ultima III. By obtaining a ship and
entering the whirlpool, a totally separate world is
visited. It appears that visits to the land of
whirlpool are also necessary to the completion of
the game. At this time of the review, I have not
fully explored the possibilities of the whirlpool
It appears that the game takes approximately
100 to 200 hours of play. Although I have not yet
completed the game, it already exceeds in scope,
enjoyment, and complexity the previous efforts of
Lord British. Ultima IV is a vast improvement over
previous Ultimas in several respects: the dungeons
have become a more integral part of the game, the
game has several layers of adventure; and being
killed off by all the monsters is no longer a
problem since the party is resurrected with
everything intact except its food and gold. These
features enhance the playability of the game and
avoid annoying distractions such as useless dungeon
adventuring and useless starting over from scratch
each time characters die. In the final analysis,
the game rates a 4.5 on a scale of 4 and is a
"must-have” for any serious Atari gamer.
RS: As of this writing, I too have not yet
completed my quest of the Avatar having only made a
measely 80,000 seme odd moves, but; I have already
gotten my money ’ s worth of entertainment value from
this game. I eagerly look forward to completing my
quest in the weeks and months ahead.
However, ALL is not sweetness and light in
Britannia. I have encountered two bugs during play,
one minor and one more serious. The minor bug
results in keyboard lockup on my Atari 800 when X
try to converse with the owner of the horse stable
in the village of Paws. I call this minor since one
does not have to own horses to complete the game. A
letter to Origin Systems produced a quick reply
acknowledging this production bug and offering to
replace my program disk with an updated version. I
choose to play on with my original disk only to
subsequently discover a major bug which causes
keyboard lockup when one tries to ’’search" in the
town of Jhelcm. Aaarrrggghhhh!! Off to Origin
Systems went my program disk for replacement. This
review is a direct result of this bug since I would
otherwise be too busy playing the game to write a
review! Although- it is annoying to find bugs in
this terrific product, I have only praise for the
custcmer service folks at Origin Systems. Their
prompt and helpful replies to my problems and free
disk replacement policy are commendable.
PK: The game is flawless except for two minor
bugs: use of the "search" command in a particular
dungeon crashed try early version and talking to a
character about purchasing a horse also crashed rny
version. I can certainly get along without the
horse (in fact one can be stolen); and the dungeon
search location is not critical or necessary to the
game. Origin Systems advises that these bugs
existed only in the first 4,000 copies distributed
and that a free replacement disk is available, a
very commendable policy,
RS: In summary, this reviewer considers ULTIMA
IV to be the best of the role-playing fantasy games
yet produced for the 8-bit Ataris. Can the best be
made any better? One can only guess at the delights
which await us in ULTIMA IV: Part II reportedly due
out this Christmas and ULTIMA V (next year?). For
additional information on Lord British and the
making of ULTIMA IV, the interested reader is
directed to the article, "Inside Ultima IV," in the
March 1986 issue of Computer Gaming World .
PK: Footnote: Ultima IV comes on two disks, 4
sides in total. Only 1 side (the Program) is
protected. Unfortunately, the protection scheme was
useless in preventing the pirates from
"deprotecting" the Program side. Piracy hurts both
the buyer who pays good money ($60 list, $40
discount) and the author. I have already reported
the pirates to Origin System to take appropriate
Northern Virginia Atar i Users Groun
MI VERNCN / HYBLA VALTEY meets the first Thursday of
each month at 7:30. Contact Ron Peters at
Vice President... Bob Zircmon.
Program Chairman. Dave Meyer.
Public Domain Ed. Dave Meyer.
Disk Librarian... M. Evan Brooks...
NOVATARI Prog. Ex Jim Stevenson-
SYSOP.. Ted Bell.
Bulletin Board... AFMUDIC...
^gc jaL-Inte re g t Grou p s
BEGINNERS SIG.... Gary Purinton. 703-476-8391
ST SIG...Evan Wallace. 703-620-9144
TELECOM SIG.Dick Knisely. 703-476-0529
NOVATARI MAIN MEETING — MAY 11th
NOVATARI MAIN Meeting is held at the Washington Gas
Light Building, 6801 Industrial Road, Springfield,
VA (normally the 2nd Sunday of the month). Take 495
to East on Braddock (620) to South on Backlick
(617). Left on Industrial Road (by a light with a
Texaco station on the corner)* Washington Gas Light
is the second building on the right (big parking
lot, go right in front door). Our speaker for the
April meeting was Jim Heard on hardware expansions
for the Ataris.
5:30-6:30 BEGINNERS SIG -introductory teleccm
6:30-7:30 Demos (Library, games & productivity)
7:30-8:00 Business / Annoucements
8:00-8:30 Open Forum
SMALL AUDITORIUM . ♦
5:30-6:00 TELECCM SIG
6:00-7:00 ST SIG
RESTCN meets in the Reston Library frcm 7:00 - 9:00
on the last Wednesday of each month (April 30th).
Contact Bob Zinmon (476-5924).
STERLING meets in the Sterling Cormunity Center
Annex frcm 7:30 - 10:00 on the first Thursday of the
month (April 3rd & May 1st). Contact Palmer Pyle
VIENNA meets in rocm 32 at the Vienna Elementary
School frcm 7:30 - 9:30 on the third Wednesday of
the month (April 16th). Contact Dave Heagy
Membership Dues are $15/year which includes a
subscription to CURRENT NOTES and access to ARMUDIC.
You may join at the main meeting, any chapter
meeting or by sending $15, payable to NOVATARI, to
Earl Lilley, 821 Ninovan Road SE, Vienna, VA 22180.
As this is being written before the April meeting
there isn't much news to report. Please note that
the May NOVATARI meeting is on May 11th - Mothers
Day (we didn't plan it that way, somebody just got
in and reserved the third Sunday before we could get
Also, the new BBS "should" be up in early May.
Checks should be made out to "NOVATARI" and sent to:
Ted Bell, 9705 Shipwright Drive, Burke. VA 22015.
It looks like the annual dues will be $20 for anyone
who is a member of one of the WAACE clubs with a $10
discount to NOVATARI members since our treasury is
funding the operation. The dues are/were to be
finalized at the April NOVATARI meeting. DO NOT
hassle Ted with phone calls inquiring when the BBS
will be up as all this will accomplish is slow down
the process of bringing the BBS online. Ted will
get the word out as soon as the board is available.
ST SIG (Special Interest Group) also meets at
Washington Gas Light frcm 6:30-9:30 on,the fourth
Sunday of the month (May 24th).
Local chapters provide NOVATARI members with the
opportunity of meeting in small, informal gatherings
with friends and neighbors to discuss everyone's
favorite topic: ATARI! All it takes to start a
local chapter is a volunteer group leader. If you
are interested in starting a chapter in your town,
contact Ed Seward (960-6360). Anyone who joins a
local chapter is automatically part of the main
BURKE meets at the Oaks Cormunity Center frcm 7:30 -
9:30 on the third Sunday of each month. Contact Ray
To give the Mt Vernon Chapter a project, Ron Peters
has gotten quite a few members to help with putting
together disks for the NOVATARI Library. The
Sterling Chapter will be helping another nearby
school with a fun fair. Although just getting
together in smaller groups makes for great
conversations, I think if each chapter finds
something to work with then they will be more likely
While I'm on the topic of chapters, starting with
the April NOVATARI meeting the Disk Library will no
longer be passed around to the various chapters. It
has been "visiting" for too long and this just makes
it harder for Evan to maintain. As the disk sales
have been VERY low at the chapter meetings, this
should not cause much if any hardship. Those people
who do not attend the main NOVATARI meeting should
just order any disks they want frcm Evan via mail.
GREENBRIAR meets at 4112 Majestic Lane, Greenbriar
VA frcm 7:30 - 9:30. Because of the holidays, the
April meeting WILL NOT be on the normal fourth
Wednesday (April 23rd) but rather on the third
Wednesday (April 16th). Contact Jim Stevenson
Starting with the April NOVATARI meeting we will be
providing copies of the survey Bob Kelly sponsored
in the April CURRENT NOTES. If current members fill
these out now (and new members as they join) we will
have a better feel for how to best serve the group.
Atari Users Regional Association
MEETINGS are usually held on the 1st Thursday of
every month (but see below), 7:00 pm (Library
Activities), 7:30-9:00 pm (Program) in the Temple
Israel Social Hall. Temple Israel is located in
Silver Spring, at 420 E. University Boulevard,
between Colesville Rd (Route 29) and Piney Branch Rd
MAY MEETING will be 2nd Thursday (May 8) rather than
1st Thursday. This is to avoid conflict with
religious observances at Temple Israel.
MEMBERSHIP DUES are $15/year which includes a
subscription to CURRENT NOTES. You may joint at any
meeting or by mailing your check, payable to AURA,
to Treasurer, AURA, PO Box 7761, Silver Spring, MD
AURA is presently carrying in excess of 150
members. Approximately 90 members were on hand for
the April meeting. Efforts are underway to
reconcile Bill Pimble's files with the list used by
CURRENT NOTES. Please check the expiration date on
your CURRENT NOTES mailing label to verify that it
Several members asked about publishing a
roster. AURA has not previously done this because
of the fear that such a roster would be used for
commercial purposes. At the present time we are
inclined to go ahead with publication. Please let
us know if you do not wish your name and/or phone
number to appear.
Vice President Bill Schadt will arrange help
sessions for people who need tutorial assistance.
We expect to conduct these prior to regular
meetings. Please contact Bill prior to the meeting
if you have problems with a piece of software or
documentation so that he can arrange to have a tutor
meet with you. If this format does not appear to
meet your needs, plase talk to Bill so that we can
work out something else.
Richard Stoll reported that we have a bank
balance of approximately $3400. We will discuss
ways in which this money can be used to further the
group's purposes after we have cleared up the
finances frcm the AtariFest. (see related item under
Line Hallen volunteered to run a Flea Market at
future AURA meetings and the Atarifest. Bring any
hardware and software that you are interested in
selling to the May meeting. Of course we will not
accept pirated software for the Flea market. Line
will devise procedures, which will be published in
future CURRENT NOTES.
Rick Kellogg demonstrated a sound digitizing
system consisting of hardware that plugs into
joystick port #1 and software that encodes the sound
into a buffer that can then be stored on disk. He
used a 130 XE that had been upgraded to 256K memory
capacity to play the sound back. Each "clip" of
sound lasts about 5 seconds, as determined by the
adressable memory in the computer. The memory above
64k * was used as a Ramdisk in this configuration.
The Ramdisk adaptation has been mentioned previously
and we are interested in seeing how well it can be
made to work with other software.
* 'ATARIFEST '86
AURA is completing arrangements for the Spring
Edition of ATARIFEST '86, to be held on 31 May at
Holy Cross School, 4900 Strathmore Ave, Kensington,
MD. We have signed a contract with the school, and
we are now rounding up participating vendors and
user groups. Novatari and FACE have offered to
participate. AGA has agreed to buy two exhibit
tables. Bill Schadt has sent letters to over 50
other potential exhibitors. Bill Frye has been
putting notices on every BBS he can get hold of.
A number of members indicated that they would
help with publicity, registration, site preparation,
and other areas. Please contact John Barnes to
offer your help.
Scott Klein has procured a 20-inch color
monitor for use as an additional display at
meetings. We hope this will let more people see our
demos. This set cost approximately $380. Scott is
checking out the connections. We expect to use the
set at the May meeting.
Rick Kellogg has received permission to
purchase and install a Happy enhancement for the
Club's 1050 drive (aprox cost $150). This will
greatly increase the speed with which disk copies
can be made. We are considering the purchase of
additional drives for use by Rick's production
Response to Bill Fry's project to compile
reviews of products for the Atari has been lukewarm
to date. Please support this worthwhile project by
submitting your Pats and Pans.
VOL. 6. NO. 4
Cs BitaL. E r a. H1 sx q=Ussxs.
Frederick Atari Computer Enthusiasts
President.Bob Kelly. 301-839-6397
VP-Finances.Frank Jones. 301-593-1056
VP-Cannanication. Mike Abramowitz.. 301-983-2363
VP-Prog.Affairs.. Joe Catterino- 301-757-1329
Disk Library.Joe Barbano. 301-464-0757
Sysop/RBBS.Frank Riband. 703-276-8342
CM Meetings: Capital Pro Micro-Users meetings are
held at the Public Library in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The Library is located near the Woodrow Wilson
Bridge just off the Washington beltway. Fran
Virginia via the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, stay on the
beltway to Maryland exit #4 West (St. Barnabas
Road). St. Barnabas Road merges with Oxon Hill Rd.
(right turn at end of exit ramp); proceed 1/4 mile
and Library will be on y our left. The meetings are
held each month in the MEETING ROOM. The Library
telephone number is 301-839-2400.
The next meeting is scheduled for May 22, 1986 at
6:30 p.m. This is the fourth Tuesday of the month.
At this meeting the much talked about but delayed
1040 ST will be shown as well as a host of new
software. It was hoped that this new machine would
be available for the April meeting, but the 1040 is
just caning on the market as these notes are being
put together in mid-april.
At the April meeting, H 6c D base was demonstrated in
use on the 520 ST. H 6c D base is a dBase II clone
with an almost identical command structure. There
are a few quirks with earlier versions of this
program, but most of these have been corrected in
version 125 or later.
New public domain CP/M software has become available
on the major bulletin boards and an effort will be
made to add these programs .to our library within the
next two months. A directory listing of new
programs will be presented here first.
A new President is needed. Bob Kelly resigns his
office effective immediately after the June meeting.
Interested parties please contact either Frank Jones
or Mike Abramowitz.
ANALOG has informed Bob Kelly that at this time they
do not offer any special discounts for the monthly
ST disk to user groups and ST programs will be
included only on the ST disk. Bob did not know if
this policy might change in the future.
The CEM library currently consists of 18 CP/M 2.2
disks and all 8-bit ANALOG disks frcm issues #20
thru #42. Library and ANALOG disks are available
for purchase at monthly meetings. The cost of each
disk is $3.00 plus $1.50 shipping for each two (2)
disks or fraction thereof ordered by mail. Please
allow two weeks for processing mail orders. Mail
orders should be addressed to: Mr. Joe Barbano,
Disk Librarian, 3600 Earlston Court, Mitchellville,
MD. 20716. Make checks for library disks payable
to: Capital Pro Micro-users.
President.Mike Kerwin. 301-845-4477
Vice President... Roger Eastep. 301-972-7179
Treasurer.Buddy Smallwood.. 301-432-6863
Librarian... Chris Bigelow- 301-662-4691
Secretary.John Mascbmeier.. 301-271-2470
SYSOP..... Sam Yu. 301-662-5586
Bulletin Board. 301-569-8305
| Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each
month from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm in Walkersville High
School, MD Route 194, one mile north of MD Route 26
I Membership Dues are $20/year per family and include
a subscription to ' CURRENT NOTES. Join at the
I meeting or send your check, payable to FACE, to
Buddy Smallwood, PO Box 300, Keedysville, MD 21756.
| At the March meeting, all of the incumbent officers
were reelected except the Vice President (now Roger
| Eastep) and the Librarian (now Chris Bigelow).
| After the elections, we were given a demonstration
of "Coupon Manager", a program written by Chris
j Bigelow, that will track and sort all of the myriad
of grocery and drug store coupons that his wife
| uses. The program is written in BASIC, tut will
soon be compiled to speed up the sort routines. It
I will track several hundred coupons, and will sort
them 4 or 5 different ways. The program has been
j donated to the FACE Library, if anyone is
interested. There was also a demonstration of
j SYNFILE+, as used on the 130XE, and then we spent a
few minutes trying out the game "GOONIES". A
discussion of the upcoming AIARIFEST 86 has whetted
our appetites for the 31st of May.
WQQdbri d _ Re Atari.. Computer Users’ Group
President.Bill Parker. 703-680-3041
First VP. Cecil Alton. 703-670-4842
VP-Education.Bob Gaffney. 703-590-3433
VP-Liaison.Tim Mitchell. 703-221-7722
Secretary.. Bill Alger. 703-455-9565
Treasurer.Curt Pieritz. 703-494-3704
Librarian.Amie Turk. 703-670-2547
Past President... Jack Holtzhauer.. 703-670-6475
Meetings are held,usually, on the third Tuesday of
each month frcm 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm in the Community
Room, Potomac Brahcn, Prince William County Library,
Opitz Blvd., Woodbridge, VA. Exact dates: May 20,
Jun 17. Entering Woodbridge frcm either North or
South on Route #1, proceed to the intersection of
Route #1 and Opitz Blvd (adjacent to Woodbridge
Lincoln-Mercury). Turn west on Opitz and take first
left turn into the library's parking lot. The
Community Room is located to your left immediately
upon entering the main building.
Membership Fee is $10/year plus $1 monthly dues
which includes a subscription to CURRENT NOTES for
members in good standing. Join at the meeting or
send check, payable to WACUG, to Bill Alger, 7792
Newington Woods Drive, Springfield, VA 22153.
National Capital Atari Users 1 Group,
President.Frank Huband. 703-527-4770
VP/Secretary.Peter Kilcullen.. 202-296-5700
Treasurer.Allen H. Lerman.. 703-460-0289
Membership.Gerald Whitmore.. 301-459-6164
Disk Librarian... Mike Poliak. 703-768-7669
Tape Librarian... JBruce Ingalls... 703-430-5287
Meetings are held,usually, on the third Tuesday of
each month from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm in rocm 543 at
the National Science Foundation offices, 1800 G
Street, NW, Washington, DC. Closest subway stop is
Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
Building, on comer of 18th & G, identified by sign
for Madison National Bank on the comer. Front
entrance is on west side of 18th between F and G.
Membership Dues is $15/year which includes a
subscription to CURRENT NOTES. Join at the meeting
or send check, payable to N0AUG, to Allen Lerman,
14905 Waterway Drive, Rockville, MD 20853.
Southern Maryland Atari. Users[ Group
President. Sam Schriner. 301-843-7916
Secretary.Dorothy Leonardi. 301-839-1363
Treasurer.Bob Barnett. 301-934-2617
Disk Librarian... Jim Sanner. 301-884-5840
Marinos are held on the second Thursday of each
month at 7:30 pm in the John Hanson Middle School in
Waldorf, MD. Take MD Route #5, proceed about 1/2
mile East of the intersection of Route 301 and take
the first left past the Kinney show store to the
| Membership Dues is $15/year which includes a
subscription to CURRENT NOTES. Join at the meeting
or send check, payable to EMAUG, to Bob Barnett,
i P.0. Box 612, Waldorf, MD 20601.
Anybody like the monthly calendar in CURRENT NOTES? If so,
how about a volunteer to put together the information for each
month and print out a calendar? __
VOLUME SURREY BUYERS
Are Invited to Join the c L U B
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VOL. 6. NO. 4
NEW ATARI ST PRODUCTS FROM QMI
ST-TALK A Complete Modem Communication Program
ST-Talk lets you access Bulletin Boards and Information Services, transfer files with XMOD
protocol, save text to disk or printer, and much more. With built-in Help and Phone Directc
ST-Talk is simple to learn and easy to use. Just ask the thousands of owners who have found ST-T
to be the most reliable modem program for the Atari ST.
"Simply, ST-Talk for the Atari 520ST is a useful, easy-to-use, bug-free program that will sat
the telecommunications needs of the majority of ST users. For $17.95, the program can't be beat
My recommendation: buy it, use it and tell your friends!"
- Arthur Leyenberger, ANALOG Magazine, January IS
ST-FILE A Full-featured Database Program
ST-File lets you organize any information-oriented task, large or small. Using the GEM inter¬
face, create custom record-entry forms, enter information with full-screen editing and generate
custom reports. ST-File handles multiple types of data such as text, numbers, money, time, dates
and look-up tables. Data fields may be related to other fields through computations or logical
conditions. Also, graphic images may be included in your records to reference drawings, diagrams
and even digitized pictures! (Conversion programs are included for DEGAS™ and other drawing
ST-File has a Macro Command language for automatic searching, sorting and report genera¬
tion for periodic tasks. To help you get started, ST-File includes sample record templates and
report forms for mailing lists, order entry, general ledger, billing, payroll, inventory and many
others. A mailing list will hold over 2000 entries with a single-sided disk and a general ledger will
hold over 50,000 entries with a hard disk drive!
ST-File lets you convert to and from DIF format for compatability with existing data files from
other programs and computers.
Best of all, ST-File is only $39.95! , (Available in March 1986.)
ST-NET An Expandable Local-Area-Network
ST—Net lets you share information and peripherals between many Atari ST computers in an
office or class room. ST-Net includes: a network connection box for up to 8 computers; all software
drivers and installation programs; and cables for the first two computers. By using additional
connection boxes, over 50 computers may be networked together.
ST-Net is easy to install and operate. A versatile configuration program lets you install floppy
disks, hard disks, printers and serial devices to be shared between computers. Normally, each
computer may use any peripheral on any computer, but priority levels may be assigned to certain
computers and peripherals
With ST-Net, you can communicate with other users, too. The Mail feature lets you send and
receive messages while other users are busy or away from the computer. If the user is not busy, the
Phon^ feature may be used for two-way conversations. Since these features are GEM Desk Acces¬
sories, they may be used without leaving the program you are running!
The suggested retail price for ST-Net is only $149.95, complete.
(Available 2nd quarter 1986.)
QMI, PO Box 179, Liverpool, NY 13088 USA (315) 451-7747