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HACKER 


ULTIMA IV 


The Book of 
Adventure Games 


TRANSYLVANIA TIPS'N'TRAPS 


THE WASHINGTON AREA ATARI COMPUTER ENTHUSIASTS 



















Atari Users' Regional Association 

Presents 


AtariFest '86 


Personal Computing Power Without the Price 

SATURDAY, MAY 31 

FEATURING - 

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, 
FACE 

FLEA MARKET — Bring your used hardware and software. 

Look for bargains. 

PLUS - DOOR PRIZES, DEMONSTRATIONS 



LOCATION - HOLY CROSS SCHOOL 
4900 Strathmore Ave 
Kensington, MD 
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 
School. 

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 





■CURRENT MnTRq 


MAY. 1986 


CURRENT NOTES 
May, 1986 
Vol. 6, No. 4 

Table of Contents 


REGULAR FEATURES: 

Atari Scuttlebits (Kelly).. 8 

Atari's Small Miracles (Brown). 10 XL 

Battle Bytes (Brooks). 12 XL 

CD Report (Langworthy). 36 

Editorial. 4 

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 

SPECIAL FEATURES: 

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 


CLUB INFORMATION: 

AURA . 43 

C.P.M. 44 

F.A.C.E. * . 44 

N.C.A.U.G. 45 

NOVATARI. 42 

S.M.A.U.G. 45 

W.A.C.U.G. 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, 
Susan Wolff. 


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. 


PAGE 3 


































































VOL. 6. NO. 4 


CURRENT NOTES 


EDITORIAL 


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 

PAGE 4 


communications program; and SEELL, a spelling 
checker program. 

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 









HORRENT NOTES 


MAY, 19Ml 


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 
appropriately). 

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 
nooooo! 

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 
results. 


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 

<— Continued- 


PAGE 5 








WU,. 6, NO. 4 


CURRENT NOTES 


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 


PaperClip & SynCalc for the 130XE 

Dear Joe, 

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 
suggests. 

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 
word processor. 

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 

John Naas 
Burke, VA 


I Like 1ST WORD! 

Note: 

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 
reviewer away! 

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.... 

Gil Kitchens 
Oakton, VA 


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 
processor. 

Yours truly, 

Joseph J. Wrobel 

Rochester, NY 


PAGE 6 






CURRENT NOTES. 


MAY. 1986 


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 
your article. 

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 
software. 

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 
suggest. 

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 
current 7.2. 

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. 

Regards, 

Michael W. Focke 
Oakton, VA 


* He's- MAD About Us 
Dear Joe: 

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 
machine. 

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, 
feel free. 

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 
Consultant.) 

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. 

MADly, 

Richard De Bartolo 
MADison Ave., 

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. 
JW] 


Remember to tell 
our advertisers 
where you saw their AD! 


PAGE 7 









OL. 6. NO. 4 


CURRENT NOTES 


\TARI SCUTTLEBITS 


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 
$1600.00. 

_ 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 
to worry. 

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 
didn't respond. 

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 


PAGE 8 










CURRENT NOTES 


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 
Atari’s court. 

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 
printer problem. 

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 
KbIMEDGEABLE people. 

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 
please. 

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 
calls. 


THE #1 MAGAZINE FOR ATARI® COMPUTER OWNERS 


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GAMES: Planetary Defense. Roundup, Space As- 
sauot, Crash Dive, Munch’in Climb’in, Battle in the 
B-Ring, Buzz-zap!, Avalanche, Bacterion!, Spy 
Plane, Live Wire, Retrofire, Air Attack, Fire Bug, 
Climber, Race in Space, Stunt Man, Shooting Star, 
Bopotron. 


UTILITIES: FORTH-DOS, The ANALOG Card 
File, Touch-Tone* Dialer, Proset, Fergee File Printer, 
Spelling SAM, Spanish Study Guide, Math Attack, 
Mathman, Reading Program, Typing Evaluator, 
Word Scramble. Create-A-Font Datamaker, Sound 
FX,, Minicompiler. 


TUTORIALS/OTHER PROGRAMS: Boot Camp, 
BASIC Training, Ask Mr. Forth, Balldrop, Alternate 
Cursor, Solid States, Dark Horse, Graphics 8 
Character Generator, P/M Creator/Animator, 
Unicheck, BOFFO, Cassette Compressor, XL- 
DOS, Circuit Database. 


Look through what we’ve presented and you’ll want to 
know what’s in store. Since our back issues make good 
reference material, you’ll want to keep them. Subscribe 
now. . .on disk or cassette if you’d like. 

Subscribe for yourself 


PAGE 9 








VOL. 6. NO. 4 


CURRENT NOTES 


ATARI'S SMALL MIRACLES 


by Mark Brown 


Utilities #2 

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 
worth it. 

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. 

HXDECBIN 

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 

0:GOTO 32090 

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" 

):NEXT A:RETURN 

32050 N=0:FOR A=2 TO LEN(H$):B=ASC(H$( 

A) )-48:N=N+INT(16 a (LEN(H$)-A)+0.5)*(B* 
(B<10)+(B-7)*(B>10)):NEXT A:RETURN 
32060 H$="$0000":F0R A=2 TO 5:B=0:FOR 
C=1 TO 16:D=INT(16 A (5-A)+0.5):B=B+(N>= 

D):N=N-D*(N>=D):NEXT C 

32070 H$(A,A)=CHR$(48+B+7*(B>9)):NEXT 
A:GOTO 32050 

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 


LISTVAR 

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 
EK(204)));:GOTO 32669 

32668 ? CHR$(PEEK(PEEK(203)+256*PEEK(2 
04))-l28):POKE 205,PEEK(205)+132669 PO 
KE 203,((PEEK(203)+l)-256*(PEEK(203)=2 
55)):IF PEEK(203)=0 THEN POKE 204,PEEK 
(204)+l 

32670 IF PEEK(PEEK(203)+256*PEEK(204)) 

<>0 THEN GOTO 32667 

32671 ? :? PEEK(205);" variables in us 


PAGER 

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 
er 

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 
)=QQS:NEXT QQ 

3 QQLPTR=PEEK(136)+256*PEEK(137):DATA 
104,104,133,204,104,133,203,104,133,20 
6,104,133,205,216,160,0 

4 QQLPTR=USR(ADR(QQM$),QQS,QQLPTR):QQL 
N=PEEK(QQLPTR) + 2 5 6*PEEK(QQLPTR+1):DATA 

177,205,197,203,200,177,205,229,204 

5 TRAP 40000:POKE 53279,8:ON PEEK(5327 
9)-2+QQFORCE GOTO 6,5,7,2,5,7:DATA 176 
,17,24,200,177,205,101,205 

6 QQS=QQS(1):FOR QQ=0 TO 2:QQS(QQ)=QQS 
(QQ+2):NEXT QQ:QQS(3)=QQS(4):QQF0RCE=1 
:GOTO 3:DATA 133,205,169,0,101,206 


PAGE 10 










CURRENT NOTES 


MAY, UM 


7 QQCNT=0:QQFORCE=0:FOR QQ=4 TO 1 STEP 
-1:QQS(QQ)=QQS(QQ-1):NEXT QQ:QQS(0)=Q 

QLN: TRAP 2 

8 LIST QQLN:QQCNT=QQCNT+1:QQLPTR=QQLPT 
R+PEEK(QQLPTR+2):QQLN=PEEK(QQLPTR) + 2 5 6 
*PEEK(QQLPTR+1):DATA 133,206.24,144 

9 ON (QQCNT=7)+2*(QQLN>32767) GOTO 5,2 
,2:POKE 84,PEEK(84)-1:GOTO 8:DATA 226, 
165,205,133,212,165,206,133,213,96 


LEARNING THROUGH LOGO 


by Sysan Wolff 

% 

Atari Logo Animation 


VARXREF 

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 
people's programs. 


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 
32010 A=(PEEK(130)+256*PEEK(131)-1)*(V 
=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 
32050 A=A+6*(PEEK(A)=14)+(1+PEEK(A+1)) 
*(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 
alternated. 

Try typing in the following procedure: 

TO ANIMATE 
PUTSH 1 :KID 
TFT I, 0 

REPEAT 20 [SETSH 1 WAIT 2 SETSH 2 WAIT 2] 

END 


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! 




PAGE 11 







































ZQL--.6, NQt 4 


CURRENT NOTES 


BATTLE BYTES 


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 
itself. 

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 
commanders added). 

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 
version. 

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 [3] 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 
health! 

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 
breakthrough. 

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. 


PAGE 12 









CURRENT NOTES 


MAY. 1986 


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 
minimum. 

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 
of truth. 

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. 
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to see if it is time to 
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PAGE 13 


















.RE! 


note: 


ANTIC'S EUROPEAN 
ATARI REPORT 

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 
entertainment software—. 

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 
lucky number. 

"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 
were French. 

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. 


PAGE 14 






CURRENT-NOTES 


MAY, 1986 


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PAGE 15 









































































vnr.. 6. no. 4 


CURRENT NOTES 





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PAGE 16 
















































CURRENT NOTES 


may, ism. 


LISTER PLUS / MEGAFONT 11+ 

GO "ONE-ON-ONE 

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 
main menu: 

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 
understand menus. 

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 
to answer. 

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 
to 9. 

— The width of the characters can be set to 1, 2 
or 3 yielding 15, 7.5 or 5 printed characters per 


PAGE 17 






VQL 6^.JKL^JL 


CURRENT NOTES 


inch respectively. 

— The number of characters on one line can be set 
frcm 2 up to a maximum, usually 120, that is printer 
dependent. 

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. 

TYPE-A-LINE 

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 
formatted first. 

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. 


TABLE I 

LISTER PLUS CONFIGURATION ID NUMBERS 


ID # 

WIDTH 

BLOCKING 

26 

1 

LEFT 

27 

1 

CENTERED 

28 

1 

RIGHT 

29 

2 

LEFT 

30 

2 

CENTERED 

31 

2 

RIGHT 

32 

3 

NONE 

34 

4 

NONE 


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 
other programs. 

TABLE II 

TEST RESULTS ON LISTER PLUS 
(Dimensions in Inches, time in minutes) 


m 

HEIGHT 

WIDTH 

TIME 

ASPECT 

ORIENT 

OFFSET 

26 

2.625 

2.672 

7.2 

1.02 

NORMAL 

NONE 

27 

II 

ii 

ii 

ti 

ii 

2.69R 

28 

tf 

ii 

ti 

n 

ii 

5.38R 

29 

2.640 

5.344 

7.2 

2.02 

NORMAL 

NONE 

30 

2.656 

5.344 

7.2 

2.01 

NORMAL 

1.31R 

31 

2.625 

5.344 

7.2 

2.04 

NORMAL 

2.69R 

32 

5.313 

8.000 

14.4 

1.51 

NORMAL 

NONE 

33 

8.0 

13.290 

36.2 

1.66 

CW 

NONE 


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. 


PAGE 18 












CURRENT NOTES 


MAY ^.1986 


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 

000<X)C<)<X)0<)0000(X>0 



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 
normal video. 





CONCLUSION 

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 
"One-On-One." 


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ATARI Dealer 


PAGE 19 





























VQTrt fi - N0 - 4 


CURRENT NOTES. 


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. 


HALLEY PROJECT 
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. 

-Richard Smart 


WOMBATS 

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. 

-Chuck Shukis 


WTSHBRINGER 

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 


ENCHANTER 

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?!?) 

-Phillip Nelson 


Q. Will 
in the 
cryptic, 


someone tell me how to get past the dragon 
end game of Enchanter? If you would be 
it would be more appreciated. 

-Beowulf Shaeffer 


SPELLBREAKER 

Q. How do I get past the roc and the ogre in 
Spellbreaker? 

-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? 

-Steve Sniroldo 

A. Whoa! Don't throw the mail in the air. Put the 
mail on top of the satchel. It's random but it 
should work. 

-Gordon Ewasiuk 


HACKE R 

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? 

-"Gandalf" 


A. Test site is Australia. 


-"The Nuker" 


Q. How can you (or can you) change the time zone so 
you can get all the pieces before you time runs out? 

-"Maxwell Snart" 

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. 

-Dan Greenblatt 


ULTIMA III 

Q. Anyone solved ULTIMA III yet? I have all the 

items but can not kill 

Minax. 

-Elijah Baley 

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. 

-Steve Sniroldo 

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 


PAGE 20 


























CURRENT,.NOTES, 


MAY. 1986 


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 
for. 

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 
find. 

-"The Nuker” 


ULTIMA IV 

Q. Does anyone know the undead spell in ULTIMA IV? 

-"Bone Displacer" 

A. It is one-sulphurous ash and one-garlic. 

-"Xorconn" 


INFIDEL 

Q. What are the coordinates for the Pyramid? 

-Barry Burke 

A. I'm not sure, but I think it’s 24deg. 11* 7"East 
by 32deg. 12' 37"North. 

-Anonymous 


CLASSIFIED ADS 


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) 
441-2604. 


PAGE 21 














-VQL. 6. NO, 4 


CURRENT NOTES 


TRANSLVANIA 

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 

C301) 656-7983 

m t 

Authorised Atari Repair Center 

Atari 528 and 1848 STs and all 8-bit Models. 

Atari Disk Driues 
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-> In business 17 years <- 


PAGE 22 









CURRENT NOT ES. 


MAY, 1986 



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PRICE 

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LASERS, VISIT OUR ALEXANDRIA OR J 
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HUNTERS ELDS sells and services the fol¬ 
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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 

Quadlaser. CALL 

ATTENTION! HP OWNERS! 

LaserJet - Upgrade. CALL 

ALEXANDRIA & WHEATON LOCATIONS 

PANASONIC 

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DX-10.$249 DX-20,35- IN STOCK 

HCMEWRITER 10...$229 AP-80 (Mac/IIe)..$299 

EX-85.CALL EX-286.IN STOCK 

LQ-800.$579 LQ-1000.CALL 

JX-80.$399 

STAR MICRCNICS 

SG-10.CALL SR-10. $499 

PCWERTYEE.$349 

NLQ 

160L.$339 240.$429 

240 WB.$549 

BROTHER 

TWINWRITER.$995 HR15XL.CALL 

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ELF.$399 PINWRITER P5.... $1079 

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[Bring in this AD for free box of paper with 
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PAGE 23 







































































VOL. 6. NO. 4 


CURRENT NOTES 



COMPUTER 5ERUICE LRflD, 

1073 WEST BROAD STREET 
FALLS CHURCH, VA 22046 
(703) 237-0558 



- 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 


ATARI PRODUCTS 

130XE 128K Computer. 

1050 Disk Drive.. 

520ST Color System. 

Monochrome System.... 

1040ST Color System. 

Monochrome 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... 


$149 

159 

950 

750 

1195 

995 

249 

25 

35 

25 

39 
35 
65 

135 - 
9 
12 
1 

10 

40 
20 


MISCELLANEOUS MERCHANDISE 

Amdex Color 300 Monitor. $^ 99 

Technics MJ-10 Monitor. 219 

Amdex Video 300 or 300A Monitor.. 139 
Zenith Amber or Green Monitor.... 139 

Monitor Cable. 

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 


SOFTWARE 

Print Shop. 

Print Shop Graphic Library #1.... 

AtariwrI ter. 

Homepak. 

Microsoft BASIC II. 

LOGO (with manuals). 

BASIC Cartridge. 

BASIC XE (OSS). 

Math Blaster. 

Word Attack. 

ATIC XE Bulletin Board Program... 

SALT Test Cartridge. 

SUPERSALT Test Cartridge. 


$35 

23 

35 

39 

35 

55 

25 

59 

39 

39 

50 

* 25 

* 35 


SPECIALS 
Penril Modem & ATIC XE... 

BASIC XE & ATIC XE. 

130XE, BASIC XE & ATIC XE 
w/Penr I I and 850...'.. 


$259 

94 

229 

559 


* 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-80.. 

Epson LX-90 (Interface included). 

Panasonic 1091*. 

Ape-Face.. 

U-PrInt. 

U-Prlnt A16 (16 up to 64K Buffer) 

Atari 850 Interface. 

Tractor feed for LX-80. 


40 

269 

249 

299 

269 

60 

69 

99 

139 

29 


Computer Service Land also repairs Atari, 
Commodore, Percom, Epson, MPI and Tandon 
products. 

Prices are subject to change without 
not Ice. 


help WANTED : Computer and Disk 
Drive Technician. Call John 
(703) 237-0558. 


PAGE 24 


























































































CURRENT NOTES 


MAY. 1986 


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 

MichTron UTILITIES 

$59.95 

Business Tools 

200a- Business Forms, Letters, Contracts $39.95 

M-D1SK 

RAM-Disk Emulator 

$39.95 

MI-TERM 

Communications Program 

$49.95 

SOFT SPOOL 

Printer Utility 

$39.95 

CALENDAR 

Desktop Appointment Calendar 

$29.95 

MI-DUPE II 

Fast, Easy File Duplication 

$39.95 

BBS 

Complete Bulletin Board System 

$49.95 


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 



PAGE 25 










































VOL. 6» NO, 4 


CURRENT NOTES. 


ST UPDATE 


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 
sticker. 

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 
six weeks. 

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. 


PAGE 26 















CURRENT NOTES 


MAY. 19fifi 


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 
and VDI. 

■ 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. 


RAMdisk Benchmarks 

Compile 

Unk 

Execute 

Seive of Eratosthenes 

10 

21 

5.3 

Null Program 

7.1 

5.5 

— 


Added features of Modula-2 not found in Pascal 

■ CASE has an ELSE and may contain 

■ Programs may be broken up into 

subranges 

Modules for separate compilation 

■ Dynamic strings of any size 

■ Multi-tasking is supported 

■ Machine level interface 

■ Module version control 

Bit-wise operators 

■ Open array parameters (VAR r: ARRAY 

Direct port and Memory access 

OF REALS:) 

Absolute addressing 

■ Type transfer functions 

Interrupt structure 

■ 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 


PAGE 27 































VOL. 6. NO. 4 


CURRENT NOTFIS 


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 
provided. 


#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 
CAR, SPIRAL). 


#2 3 IN9CET MAGAZINE. JAN. 1986 . This issue focuses 
on sound and graphics and contains both articles and 
sample programs. 


#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). 


t 


#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, 
0CMMIE, YAMATO). 


#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 
program. 

#28 dEMAN TUTORIAL are! MATT .TUT! T.rer Tutorial to 
teach you dBMAN. Includes complete mailing list 
program. 

#29 (*NEW*) MI CRQEMACS . A public domain version of 
the MicrdEMACS editor program and a short 
documentation file. 

#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). 


PAGE 28 















































CURBEfflLMQIEa 


MAY. 1986 


HACKER 

Reviewed by Joe Kuffner - NJVATARI 
LOGON PLEASE: 


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 
experienced adventurers. 

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! ]. 


Example: 


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 ? ? ? 

CHALET 111 


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 
difficult. 


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) 


PAGE 29 






VQt.. 6, NQ.,4 


CURRENT NOTES 


GAMEVIEWS 


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 
to increase. 

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 


PAGE 30 










CURRENT NOTES 


MAY, 1986 


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 
domain library. 


Atari ST Software 


MICRO C-Shell 

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 • 

$49.95 


MICRO RTX 

Multitasking Operating System Kernel 

• Runs off-the-shelf ST Programs - No Compiling • 

• Fully Compatible with TOS BIOS and GEMDOS • 

$69.95 


Beckemeyer Development Tools 
592 Jean St #304 • Oakland CA 94610 
Orders and Info: (415) 658-5318 

(CA residents add 6.5% sales tax) 


AnsiGraf 

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 

Grafikon. Ltd. 

* 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. 
Ed. J 


PAGE 31 













VOL, 6 „ MCL.-A 


CURRENT NOTES 


EASY DRAW 

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 
non-transparent paper. 

EASY-DRAW Features 

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 
to another. 

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 
printer output. 

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 
enclosing object. 

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 


PAGE 32 




CURRENT NOTES 


MAY, 1986 


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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ATARI ST 




PAGE 33 













VOL. 6. NO. 4 


CURRENT NOTES 


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 
redrawn. 

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 
without wheels! 


PAGE 34 


(Continued on p.35) 









CURRENT NOTES 


MAY. 1986 


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 
way!!!! 



PAGE 35 













VOT,. 6. NO. 4 


CURRENT NOTES 


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 
Michele Snyder. 

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 
databases. 

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, 

said: 

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 
possibilities. 

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 
desired 

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 
Epson 

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 
motion. 

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 
unreasonable. 

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) 


PAGE 36 







CURRENT NOTES 


MAY. 1986 


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 
buttons simultaneously. 

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 


CURRENT NOTES 


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 
be developed. 

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 
NECCHRCME? If 
some money. 


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, 
is created. 


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 


PAGE 38 





















CURRENT NOTES 


MAY. 


The Price War Is Over 

We Will Beat Any Price 
Anywhere 


Atari ST 
Software 

Borrowed Time $31.00 

Chet.$1300 

Pinal Word .$79.00 

Hebe Softvere Cheep 

Hecker..$23.00 

HID Bese.Cell 

H t D Forth Cell 

H 3 D Toolbox Cell 

PC Intercomm $69.00 

Pereonel Diakit.Cell 

Sundog.$22.00 

VIP Profeaaional Cell 

Silent Service $24 00 

Flifht Simulator Cell 

Micro C Shell Cell 

Mindshedov $31.00 

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 

June 


Atari ST 


Hardware 


Atari 1040ST. 

Call 

Atari 620ST ROB 

Call 

Attn 620ST Mono 

Call 

Atari 620ST (CPU) 

Call 

Atari SF364 ... 

..Call 

Atari SF314. 

. Call 

Atari SM124 

Call 

Atari SC1224 

Call 

ST Station. 

. Call 

Supra Hard Di*k. 

. Call 

Printers 


Panaaonic. 

Call 

Epaon. 

Call 

Citiien. 

Call 


Modems 


S pectals 

Avetex 1200 

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 



Avatex 1200 

$ 89-00 

Hayes Compatible! 


Home Plenetanum $19.76 

Jouet.$19.76 

CP/M Emuletor $32.99 

Apple ][ Emuletor Cell 

IBM Emuletor.Cell 

Megamax C Cell 

Metecomco Peecel Cell 

Lettice C.'. Cell 

GST C.Cell 

Andre.Cell 

UCSD Peecel.Cell 

Recent Spell.Cell 

Recent Word.$36.00 

Recent Word II.$36.00 

Recent Beee.Cell 

VIP Lite.Cell 

Micro C Shell.Cell 

Rubber Stemp.Cell 

Mecefont 11.Cell 

Mete 63000 Aem ... Cell 

Brettecee.Cell 

Decee.$24.96 

Pereonel Peecel.$39.00 

ST Telk.$13.00 

Typesetter ST.. $24.00 

Zoomrecke.$43.99 


Atari S-Bit 
Hardware 

Ateri 130XE $116 00 

Aten 65XE .Cell 

Atari 1060 .Cell 

Indus GT..$133.00 

Aten XC11..Cell 

Atari 1027 . $93 00 

Accessories 

US Doubler.$42.00 

Rembo XL..$29.96 

R-Time Cert.$43 00 

The Duplicator.Cell 

Indue Expander.Cell 

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 

Maxell 3.6.$19.00 

Sony 3 6.$21.00 

Fuji 36...$19.00 

Interfaces 

P R. Connection .$66.00 

Supra Microprint.$29.00 

Supra 1160.$39.00 

Supra Micronet.$149.00 

Supra Microstuffer ... $67.00 

U-Print.$43.00 

Apefece.Cell 

Aten 360 .Cell 

ST Printer Cable.$3.99 



Everyday Low Price/Mo&yi \*-2 Ceil 

Personal Prolog.Cell 

1517 Ritchie tfay. Kinga Quest II.Cell 

Suite 203 


Atari 130XE 
$ 115J00 

128K Of Memory! 
Lowest Price Anywhere! 


Atari S-Bit 
Software 

Aerojet.$1960 

Action!.$42 00 

Baaic XE $42 00 

Baaic XL.$M 96 

Battalion Commend . $24.96 
Battle of Antietam $32.00 

B/Greph .$24.96 

Broadsides.$24.96 

Computer Baseball .... $24.96 

Computer QB.$24.96 

Conflict in Nem. $19.00 

Crusade in Europe.$24.96 

Silent Butler ..$19.99 

Gemstone Warrior.$22.00 

"War in Russia ..$43.00 

Dec. In the Desert $24.96 

Kennedy Approach ... $19.60 

Solo Flifht.$19.60 

Learning Phone. Cell 

Syncelc ISOXE. $29 96 

Mefafont II*. $17.00 

Rubber Stemp .. $13.00 

Paperclip. $36.99 

Mac/66. . $42.00 

Print Shop. $26.00 

Karateka. $13.60 

Lode Runner. $22.00 

Aterivriter Plus. $24.96 

Penser Grenadier. $34.00 

Hecker. $19.60 

Space Shuttle. $16.76 

Mindshedov. $16.76 

Greet Am. Rd. Rce .... $16.76 

F-16 Strike Eaf le.$24.96 

Silent Service.. $19.60 

Gunship. $19.60 

Synfile 130XE. $29.96 

Pefe Designer.$13.00 

Typesetter. $21.00 

HomePek.. $31.00 

OSS Toolkits.$17.99 

Printshop Lib. 1/2/3 .. $16.96 

Chmp. Lode Run. $13.60 

Ultima IV.$39.00 

Sparta Dos CS.$24.96 

Home File Manager ... $7.99 

Music Painter.$7.99 

Star Raiders. $7 99 


ATARI-02 


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 
available MD residents add salas tax APO FPO. and international orders and $5.00 plus 3% for priority mail service Advertised prices show 4% discount for cash, add 4% for 
MasterCard or Visa Personal checks require 4 weeks clearance before shipping Ask about UPS Blue and Red label shipping All merchandise carried under manufacturer's 
warranty Free catalog with order All items subject to change without notice 


PAGE 39 




















































































































































VOT.- 6. NO. 4 


f!TTRRF,NT NOTES 


ULTIMA IV 

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 
work. 

m t 

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 
game experience. 

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 
information. 

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. 


PAGE 40 







CURRENT NOTES, 


MAY. 1986 


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 
land. 

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 
action. 


PAGE 41 









VOL. jb-JHQjL-A 


CURRENT NOTES 


NOVATARI 

Northern Virginia Atar i Users Groun 


MI VERNCN / HYBLA VALTEY meets the first Thursday of 
each month at 7:30. Contact Ron Peters at 
(780-0963). 


President.Ed Seward. 

Vice President... Bob Zircmon. 

Treasurer.Curt Sandler. 

Secretary.G. Weatherhead... 

Program Chairman. Dave Meyer. 

Public Domain Ed. Dave Meyer. 

Disk Librarian... M. Evan Brooks... 

NOVATARI Prog. Ex Jim Stevenson- 

Membership.Earl Lilley. 

Acquisitions.Palmer Pyle. 

SYSOP.. Ted Bell. 

Bulletin Board... AFMUDIC... 


703-960-6360 

703-476-5924 

703-734-9533 

703-938-4829 

703-455-7145 

703-455-7145 

703-354-4482 

703-378-4093 

703-281-9017 

703-437-3883 

703-455-5312 

703-569-8305 


^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. 

BIG AUDITORIUM 

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 
(437-3883). 

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 
(281-9226). 

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. 

PRESIDENTS REPORT 

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 
to it). 

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). 

NOVATARI CHAPTERS 

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 
NOVATARI organization. 

BURKE meets at the Oaks Cormunity Center frcm 7:30 - 
9:30 on the third Sunday of each month. Contact Ray 
Cwalina (250-3856). 


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 
to last. 

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 
(378-4093). 


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. 


PAGE 42 


































CURRENT NOTES 


MAY. 1986 


A.U.R.A. 

Atari Users Regional Association 


President. 

Vice President... 

Treasurer. 

Corr. Secretary.. 
Membership Chrm.. 
Disk Librarian... 
Hardware Coord... 
CN Liason. 


John Barnes. 

Bill Schadt. 

Richard Stoll.... 
Marshall Abram... 
William Pimble... 

Rick Kellogg. 

Moe Sherman.. 

R. Follender. 


301-652-0667 

301-622-1547 

301-946-8435 

301-588-1005 

301-341-9572 

301-277-7536 

301-593-1076 

301-530-0243 


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 
(Route 320). 

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 
20907. 


MEMBERSHIP 

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 
is correct. 

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. 

TUTORIALS 

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. 

TREASURER'S REPORT 

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 
EQUIIMENr). 


FLEA MARKET 

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. 

DISK LIBRARIAN 

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. 

EQUIPMENT 

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 
assistants. 

PRODUCT REVIEWS 

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. 


PAGE 43 
























VOL. 6. NO. 4 


CURRENT NOTES 


C.P.M. 

Cs BitaL. E r a. H1 sx q=Ussxs. 


F.A.C.E. 

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. 

MAY MEETING 

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. 

ELECTION 

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. 

LIBRARY DISKS 

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 
(Liberty Road). 

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. 

MARCH MINUTES 

| 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. 


W.A.C.U.G. 

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. 


PAGE 44 















































CURRENTJ^ QTE£ 


MAY. 1986 


N.C.A.U.G. 

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. 


S.M.A.U.G. 

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 
school. 

| 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. 


MAY, 1986 

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 

BULK DISKETTES — ANY QUANTITY RIBBONS — ANY QUANTITY 

LIFETIME WARRANTY 

5.25 SSDD.37 each IMAGEWRITER. S3.09 each 

5.25 DSDD............ .43 each IMAGEWRITER COLORS..... $3.70 each 

APPLE/ATARI FLIPPIES. .43 each EPSON MX 80.. $2.56 each 

5.25 1.6 MEG H.D. 1.60 each MX 80 COLORS. $3.07 each 

Tyvek envelope.04 each OK I DATA ML 82. $1.36 each 

3.50 SSDD. 1-50 each OKIDATA COLORS. $1.63 each 

3.50 DSDD. 2.65 each PANASONIC. $5.65 each 

PANASONIC COLORS.. $8.04 each 

PAPER 9.5 X 11 20# INVISI PERF 500 SHEETS WHITE. $5.25 

••BOOR PROOF *' GUARANTEE ■ 

Whether your fault or ours, if you don't like it we take it back. 

RIBBONS / DUPLICTATION / PRIVATE LABEL / PAPER / LABELS / STORAGE SYSTEMS 

(aJce? Specialize in Volume Purcheeee 

To receive details send self-addressed stamped envelope to t he?. 

CLUB 

1301 CLAYTON, CRESTON, IA 50001 
1-515-782-5190 


PAGE 45 















































fTTRUF.NT NOTES 


VOL. 6. NO. 4 





HIIHH Presents... 

ATARIFE 5 T 86 


■ I 



HHV 31,1186 1BHM-3:3BPM 
HDLV CROSS SCHOOL RUDITDRIUN 
IjIOB STRRTHMDRE RVENUE 
KENSINGTON, MHRVLRND 

(See Inside Front Cover for Details) 


m 


Save ONE THIRD 
off the Cover 
Price when you 
Subsc ribe• 


CURRENT NOTES 

The Newsletter for ATARI Owners 





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III! 







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# I would like to subscribe "to CURRENT NOTES ■t$15/year) 

Please start ny subscription with the-issue. 


I would like To receive CURRENT NOTES as a nenber of 
AURA CPM FACE NCAUG NOVA- SMAUG- MACUG- 


PrintfiCleailB 


Nans:_Phone:. 

Street:_ 

City*: _State:_ZIP:. 


Signature:Date: 


-*■ Mail to CURRENT NOTES, 122 N. Johnson Rd . , Sterling, VA 22170 

Mail to the Club of your choice. 


PAGE 46 
















































































































































































































































































































































































I 


CURRENT NOTES 


MAY. 


HARDWARE 

ATARI 13QXE... 123- 09 

G3 X E -. 03- 99 

1030 DISK DRIVE. 1^9.99 
RAMRODXL WITH 

OMNIMON. ........ "7-9- 99 

OMNIVIEW 
OO COLUMN FOR 
80QXL AND X 30XE 

INSTALLED. ...... «« 

UO DOUBLER 
DOUBLE DENSITV 
FOR 10=50 

INSTALLED....... S«- 

HAPPY ENHANCEMENT 
FOR THE 10=50 

INSTALLED....... 1^9-«« 

256K UPGRADED FOR 000X1— 
TURN YOUR 000X1— INTO 
A 13DXE WITH 236K 

MEMORY.. 6*4- 99 

INSTALLED....... OO.99 

10=50 DUPLICATOR. 133.99 
INSTALLED. ...... X *9*3 - 99 

PRINTERS 

PANASONIC 

KXP-1091.*...... 249.99 

KXP-1DS2........ 349.99 

KXP-3131........ 279.99 

KXP-lOOO<NEW>•.. 219.99 

EPSON L_X—QO. .......... 239. 99 

CITIZEN 

MP8-10.......... 239.99 

PRINTER ULITITIES 

PRINTSHOP.- 33.99 

EXTRA QRAPHIC8 FOR PRINTSHOP 
PRX NTBHOP (LIBl f 2 V 3> . 19. 99 

MAQUDABOFTCLIB1,2>... 9.99 

PR X NTW XZ. ...... ....... 2*7 . 99 

XLEMT 

CARRY A FULL LINE 
TYPESETTER,RUB0ERBTAMP 
PAGEDE8XQNER, ME0AFONT X X 

BUSINESS APPLICATIONS 

SYNCALC < FOR THE 13QXE) 3-4. 99 
8YNFXLE<FOR THE 130XE) 3-4.99 

B/QRAPH .. 39. 99 

3 X LENT BUTLER • ........ 2=5. 99 

TIMEWISE.............. 9.99 

I—JK DATAPERFECT. ...... -49. 99 

LANGUAGES 

BASIC XL. ....._.... 4S. 99 

BABIC XL TOOLKIT...... 19.99 

BASIC XC. ............. -49. 99 

MAC63................. S3.99 

MAC63 TOOLKIT......... 19.99 

ACTION. ............... =5=5. 99 

ACTION TOOLKIT-....... 19.99 

LOGO.................. 29.99 

WORDPROCESSOR 

ATARIWRITER 4-... ...... 29. 99 

HOMEPAK. . ......_..... 33. 99 

LJK LETTER PERFECT.... 49.99 

LJK SPELL PERFECT..... 39.99 

8PELL WXZARD.......... 39.99 

PAPERCLIP FOR 130XE... 39.99 

HOME WORD. ............ 33. 99 


520ST HARDWARE 

CALL FOR PRICING 
AUTHORIZE 320ST DEALER 
AUTHOR I ZE 10-400T DEALER 
AUTHORIZE OT BERVX CE CENTER 

8F354. .. 

BF314.219.99 
PRINTER CABLE........ 19.99 

SERIAL CABLE- .... -- 19-99 

DX OK DRIVE CABLE 6FT. 19-99 

S20K UPGRADE BOARD... 163.99 

X N8TALLED. 193-00 

APPLICATION <ST) 

VIP PROFFES8X ONAL. .... 09.99 

OBMAN-................ 73.99 

H«iD BA8E. ............. S3 - 99 

ENTERTAINMENT 

OOO _ 

ULTX MA IV. ........... 43-99 

AEROJET.............. 29.99 

aX LENT SERVICE. ------ 27.99 

320 OT 

8UNDOQ. ......-..... 32- 99 

•ULTIMATE X I----- . 42. 99 

KX MO QUEST XX-... 39- 99 

THE PAWN.33.99 
BORROWED TIME. ....... 36,- 99 

EDUCATION 

ooo 

MASTERTY^E........... 19-99 

FRENCH.. S - ss 

SPANISH. -- ..... 9 - 99 

320ST _ 

14 X MM X E THE F-OOM.. 29.99 

.. 29. 99 

EA8YDRAW.------------ 99-99 

TYPESETTER- - -- -- -- -- - 29. 99 

520 ST LANGUAGES 

OOO PASCAL........... 49.99 

OT DEVELOPMENT K X T- - - 273-99 

4 X FORTH............ Q4.99 

MACRO ASSEMBLER...... 39-99 

MODULA•XX------------ 39.99 

LATTICE C-99-99 
MCO PASCAL........... G9.99 

520ST WORDPROCESSORS 

FINAL WORD........... 03-99 

REGENT WORD.39-99 
REQEMT SPELL< GREAT > - . 39.99 

520ST TELECOMMUNICATION 

PC XMTERGOMM--------- 73.99 

OT TALK. ...--- IS- 

OT TERM.. 29. 99 

****BPECIAL OF THE MONTH**** 
SONY OR MAXELL 3.5 

SS/DD BOX * 19.99 
BONUS SS/DD 5.25. BX * 7.99 

ALL ORDERS OVER *200.00 
FREE SHIPPING IN THE USA 
NO SURCHARGE FOR CREDIT CARD 


mm L&Y 


WE WILL SHIP ANY 
PRODUCT BY MAILORDER 
COD/CREDIT CARD 


ELECTRONICS 


QATARI SERVICE 


Store Hours 
M-F 10 to 8 
Sat. 10 to 7 


703-494*3444, Metro 643-1729 
13670JEFFERSON DAVIS HWY. 
WOODBRIDGE, VA 22191 


SALE ENDS JUNE 15, 


1986 NO RAINCHECKS—IN STOCK ONLY 


PAGE 47 
























































































CURRENT 


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 

(Available No 

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 
formats.) 

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 


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