Vol. 7 No. 7 September 1987
Your Monitor on the World of Atari
NOW! RUN THESE IBM PROGRAMS ON
YOUR ATARI ST.
. Word Perfect
DAC Easy Accounting
Managing Your Money
Silvia Porter’s Series
Dollars & Sense
And Hundreds More!
pc-ditto is a software-only utility which taps the power of your Atari ST to imitate an
IBM PC XT. No extra hardware is required (an optional 5.25-inch drive may be
required for 5.25-inch disks). All your IBM disks will work "out-of-the-box".
pc-ditto features include:
o both the 520ST and the 1040ST supported
o up to 703K usable memory (1040ST)
o not copy-protected - installable on hard disk
o imitates IBM monochrome and IBM color
o access to hard disk, if hard disk used
o optionally boots DOS from hard disk
o parallel and serial ports fully supported
o supports 3.5-inch 720K format, 360K single¬
sided format, and 5.25-inch 40-track formats
381 Pablo Point Drive
Jacksonville, Florida 32225
o IBM PC-DOS or Compaq MS-DOS version 3.2 or
o ATARI COLOR MONITOR (Atari mono monitor
support will be released this Fall)
o optional 5.25-inch drive is required to use 525-
o 33-inch 720K DOS disks require a double-sided
drive (Atari SF314 or equivalent)
See pc-ditto today at an Atari dealer near you,
or write for free information!
| Avant-Garde Systems, 381 Pablo Point Dr. J
i Jacksonville, Florida 32225 (904) 221-2904 J
! Yes! Please send information on pc-ditto. J
J Name___ J
! Address.___ }
! City_State_Zip_ J
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Volume 7, No. 7 — September 1987
TORONTO DEALERS SHOW: Preview of the Fall Lineup, Glenn Brown . 10 —
AN INTERVIEW WITH BILL TEAL: Q & A With pc-ditto Author, Joe Waters.. 14 ST
INDEXING ON THE 8-BIT ATARI: Tutorial on NOTE and POINT, John Mackie. 28 XE
ST WORD PROCESSING: Current State of the Art, Frank Cohen . 44 ST
MS DOS ON THE ST, PART 1: Cultural Shock for GEM Fans, Wm. Price . 48 ST
EDITORIAL, Joe Waters ..... 4 —
ST UPDATE: Latest News from the World of ST, Frank Sommers . 6 ST
ATARI SCUTTLEBITS: A Look at GEnie's Roundtable, Bob Kelly .. .. 18 —
ITS A SMALL WORLD: The Greatest Hacker of All Time, Dave Small . 20 —
PIECES OF EIGHT: Atari Junkie, Len Poggiali . 23 XE
TIPS 1 N' TRAPS: Q & A for Adventurers, Jim Stevenson Jr . 24 XE
ATARI'S SMALL MIRACLES: Reader Requests, Mark A. Brown . 30 XE
ADVENTURES IN THE MAGIC SACDOM: Hard Disk Support and the Translator,
Jeff Greenblatt .. 32 ST
RELAX AND ENJOY: Arcade Addiction, Joe Kuffner . 54 ST
ATARI BOOKSHELF: ST Programming Books, Pamela Rice Hahn . 60 ST
Electronic Computer Projects, Carl C. Hahn . 61 XE
MUSIC, MIDI, and YOU: Michtron’s Super Conductor, Grant Slawson . 64 ST
WAACE CLUB NEWS. 76 —
AVANT-GARDE'S pc-ditto: Finally, IBM Emulation, Mike Gibbons . 12 ST
AUTODUEL: A Mixed Bag, John Godbey... . 26 XE
STYLE WRITER: Next Best Quality to a Laser Printer, Wm. Price . 36 —
CYBER STUDIO, PART I: CAD 3D Version 2.0, Bill Moes .. 40 ST
BARBARIAN: Game of the Month? Kurt Osterman . 52 ST
DATATRIEVE: An ST File Manager, John Barnes ... 56 ST
TRUE BASIC? What? Another BASIC for the Atari? Andrzej Wrotniak.. . 66 ST
LABELMASTER ELITE: Ultimate Mailing Label Program, Milt Creighton .... 70 ST
ST WARS: Time To Save the World Again, Roger Abram .. 72 ST
CERTIFICATE MAKER: Certified Ease for Awards to Everyone, Bill Moes.. 74 ST
CURRENT NOTES (ISSN 8750-1937) is published monthly
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The ST EDITOR is Frank Sommers, 4624 Langdrum Lane,
Chevy Case, MD 20815 (301) 656-0719. The XE/XL EDITOR
is Jack Holtzhauer, 15817 Vista Drive, Dumfries, VA
22026 (703) 670-6475. Submissions of articles or
review copies of products should be sent directly to
the appropriate editor. Deadline date for articles is
the 10th of the month.
By Joe Waters
Welcome back frcm the surrmer holidays! I
trust everyone was able to take at least seme
time off to get away frcm work (and computers?)
and relax a bit. As I write this, it is just
past mid-August, but as you read it, September
will be here, people will be back at work, school
will be starting, football will, once more,
dominate Sundays (Go REDSKINS!!!), in short, it
will be the start of the "fall season.” And in
the microcomputer industry, the fall season is a
very important one indeed for that is when you
and I and a lot of other computer fans start
gearing up for an electronic spending spree that
will take us into Christmas.
What we finally decide to buy will have a
major Impact on the fate of software developers,
peripheral manufacturers, and computer companies
themselves. What are our choices? IBM shoppers
must ponder the pros and cons of the latest gen¬
eration of clones (both low and high-priced), the
standard, but vanishing XTs and ATs, and the new
PS line introduced by IBM. Anyone at all fami¬
liar with that market will understand that the
choice is not at all clear cut particularly since
many of the "benefits” of IBM's new line require
a new operating system which isn't here yet.
Apple fans can consider upgrading to the Mac SE
or the very impressive, but expensive, Mac II.
For those who choose to move up to the II or put
more memory in their Macs, Apple just announc- ed
a multi-tasking version of Finder along with a
new program, called HyperCard, which will be
bundled with all new Macs and provided to current
owners very cheaply. (HyperCard, by the way, is
the BEST software product I have ever seen and
marks a major advance for the industry.)
What about Atari? Well, while IBMers still
struggle with their 640K barrier, Atari owners,
who routinely have 1Mb machines now, will soon be
boosting them to 2, 3, or 4 Mb by purchasing the
new Megas, or, more frugally, by expanding their
current 520s or 1040s. What's more, Atari owners
are the only ones who can enjoy their native
GEM-based system, then switch to running
Macintosh software on their STs, and, now, thanks
to Avant-Garde, run MS-DOS software as well.
In this issue you can read all about the new
IBM emulator for the ST as well as get a peek at
the fall lineup shown Canadian Atari dealers in
mid-August. Of course, as you can tell by the
weight of this issue, there are many more treats
in store for CN readers. We have produced a
record 80 pages and I only wish it could have
been more. Welcome back CN readers.
CALL for latest price.
1040 ST COLOR
NEW 8-BIT PRODUCTS NEW ST PRODUCTS
Panasonic 1080i Printer
Alternate Reality— Inter lisp 65 24.95
Dungeon $29.95 Basic View 19.95
Ace of Aces 24.95 Virtuoso Software 39.95
The Pawn 34.95 Infiltrator 24.95
Light Speed C 34.95 F.S. Scenery #7 24.95
Vegas Gambler 29.95
Vegas Craps 29.95
Jupiter Probe 34.95
Leisure Suit Larry 34.95
Bridge 5.0 29.95
Knicker Backers 14.95
44.95 Q-Ball 27.95
Autoduel 34.95 Aliants
CUSTOMERS: If you have purchased any item at a higher price from us within 14 days, please call us for information
on our price protection guarantee.
APPLIED COMPUTERS Inc.
16220 Frederick Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(Corner, Shady Grove Rd & Rt. 355)
14506 B Lee Road
Chantilly, VA 22021
(1 Block W. of Routes 50 & 28)
By Frank Sommers
LATEST NEWS IN THE ST WORLD
The Board Room Hath Wrought
Wanted Posters — Who was at the meeting?
Dealers around the country are mounting "Wanted
Posters" on their walls with clear sharp pictures
of Sam, Father Jack, Len, seme body called Brown,
Sig and Niel. Those are the main faces, seme of
them in the final meetings, that made the deci¬
sion. Who are are the dealers? They are the
^ones that have been supporting Atari for the past
seven years, the old Atari, the New Atari, just
plain old Atari. They have established repair
facilities in their shops to qualify to sell the
1040 ST's, taking the customer service monkey off
Atari’s back. They are the dealers who have
listened hopefully to last winter's announcements
of the three new products and then have gone thru
a tense dry spring and an even tenser drier
summer, hanging on and hoping. What were they
hoping for? That their stores could make it
until the new machines were in stock and selling.
Selling the Mega ST's, the laser printers and the
Atari PC's, those machines that the American
press was told about last winter with April
delivery dates, exception the laser printer.
Then when the .Mega's were about to ccme out the
dealers began hearing about the meeting, the
meeting that established the criteria for who
would get the new Mega ST's. When it all sinks
in, when it becomes apparent who will sell Mega
ST’s and who won't, that's when the "Wanted
Posters" will go up.
ESF and Showrooms — The price on General
Manager J.J. Brown's head will be as high as that
on Jack Tramiel's. Apparently the former pushed
the concept of using value-added retailors
(VAR's) to sell the new line. The last couple of
years had made it clear that dealers had competed
so intensely with each other that profits had
almost evaporated. The cure was clear and
simple. In fact it was beautiful, slay three
devils with one sword; what a triad! First get
the price up there where new VAR dealers could
identify a serious profit. Secondly, point the
new line toward a more dignified business market,
and thirdly restrict distribution of the new
machines to dealers with an EXTERNAL SALES FORCE
and "proper sized" show roems, e.g. like Compu¬
ter land's. ESF meant dealers who had personnel
who could be out on the road, making calls on
small businesses and demonstrating machines. Now
who could knock an idea as compact as that?
Eliminate the lack of dealer profit, upgrade the
image of the product, and advance into a new
Complain? Only about 75% or more of Atari's
current dealers, who have barely been able to
keep two or three sales personnel on board and
survive to date, and who now would be required to
set up an ESF, and in many cases lease new show
Yes, those dealers, at the end of last month,
were being "requalified". That doesn't mean
tested for aides, as they are doing in Washing¬
ton, or taking lie detector tests as they also
want to do here, it only means "show that you are
qualified to sell our product", and be prepared
for unannounced inspection visits from Atari.
Interestingly, most dealers who have commented on
the matter find it "probably a positive step".
None of them, themselves, have sensed that they
might be eliminated as Mega ST dealers. Yet,
several have commented that "competition" may be
forced to change its ways. Competition might be
the discounter or "the other guy", like San Jose
Computers, one of Atari's biggest sellers.
Unfortunately, their store front is too small,
and unless they are able to change .... well,
everybody should know, "Business is War".
Mega ST's — Does the news get better? Not
really. The "New Atari" is changing its slogan
to fit the new merchandising efforts. "Power
Without the Price" will have to be reduced to
"Power". The new Mega ST2 is reported to be
selling in the mono version for $1,699 with $300
add-on for the color version. Similarly the Mega
ST4 ostensibly will list at $2,299 mono and
$2,599 color. When will they be on dealer
shelves? Confusion over this matter is at a
peak. The best of the cogniscenti are in hopeless
disagreement. One source had them shipping to
dealers before 1 September; he had seen a ware¬
house full of than, and they were only awaiting
final papers frem the FCC. Another had them
shipping on or about the same time but to
developers only. Not only have dealers not been
certified, but there was talk of distributors
being realigned also. The market would be
divided into seven regions, but Atari would
control the machines going to the dealer by
having the $$ chain go thru ITT, the financial
lender inserted between the dealer and Atari.
That meant that no discounting would be
tolerated. Whereas Atari would receive its money
frem ITT the day the machines arrived at the
dealer, the dealer would then pay ITT in 30-days
or incur brusing interest charges.
And the Blitter & Rems — Machines are out
there now with the blitter in them. One is at
Atari Canada; it works perfectly. Another is at
BYTE magazine; it has a big "SAMPLE" stamped in
purple ink on its case to insure its return after
the review is finished. Mega ST's with blitters,
300 of them, purportedly cleared customs on 3
August of last month. Only 25 of them as tested
by Atari worked. So "quality control" is once
again an oft heard phrase at Atari headquarters.
The new ROM's are now in the hands of developers.
Curiously, the only internal clock that will work
with them is the one from now defunct Shanner
Upgrades — New World Software in San Jose,
California, in addition to its MULTI-MMdGER
point-of-sales accounting program, is also
selling an upgrade board for the 520 and 1040's
to allow you to install 1 meg ram chips and make
your own Mega ST2 or Mega ST4 sans detachable
keyboard and expansion slot. By mid-August,
after the news of the price of the Mega ST's had
appeared on Genie, calls to New World increased
by seme 3000 % in 10 days. The board is $139.95
and requires you to make eight simple solder
connections if you go all the way to 4 meg. Its
advantage is that it can be retrofitted with the
blitter when the latter finally becomes avail¬
able. Cost of a 4 meg upgrade? Board plus chips
plus installation fee = $139.95 plus $640 (32
chips x's $20) plus $40 to install it at your
local Atari service facility = $819.95. Con¬
versely, JAF Data Systems of Chicago [2217 West
109th Street, Chicago, IL 60643, (312) 238-4348]
will do a total 4-meg upgrade with a snap in
board plus internal clock for $840. JAF views
the snap in board as a better solution because of
height and positional restrictions plus increased
repair costs for machines with soldered boards.
So take your pick. When you consider that a Mega
ST4 costs roughly $900 more and all you currently
get is a detachable key- board, plus expansion
slot, your zest for the new machine slacks off.
We suspect the sales of 1040's and 520's may
Music — In mid-summer J.J. Brown, General
Manager of Atari, announced that Atari would be
selling the 1040 SLIM in music stores. A sound
move if you consider that computer music fans are
increasingly recognizing the ST is the machine
for the midi and making music with synthesizers.
Casio now has a synthesizer only, no keyboard,
which plugs into the midi port of your ST. You
can then plug in the keyboard or drum machine of
your choice. The 1040 STEM is a 520 in a 1040
case with an RF modulator so you can use your TV
as a monitor. The built-in disk drive is
currently single-sided. The price will be the
same as that of the 520 ST, but presumably
without a monitor. Memory upgrades are difficult
since it has been "wave soldered" which means all
holes on the board are filled with solder. The
single-sided drive can be replaced with a double
for as little $110.
Drives & Boards & the PC — For those of you
who have trouble keeping any free space on your
hard drives, Supra is coming out with a new hard
drive with 250 mega bytes of storage capacity
(the last 58 meg will require a software patch to
access) for $4000. Indus in a somewhat lower
price range has a new double-sided drive which
includes a track counter for $199. However it
will handle only a flat 80 tracks, i.e. if you
have a program with protection in track 82, the
drive will not run it. And Vega, the carp any
which designed the color board the Atari's PC is
selling its own EGA board for $199. (JAF sells a
Boca color board for $149.) Those of you who
have been tracking and waiting for Atari's PC
clone to appear may have to give up. The $699
Atari PC was attractive when priced against other
clones because it had the EGA color board
included and the price of then existing color
boards drove the price of the other clones far
past Atari's machine. Now with the Vega Video-7
board out there for clones, Atari has lost its
price edge, e.g. a clone in the mid-west with a
built in 10 meg hard drive sells for $799.
Rumours abound that Sam Tramiel is against
bringing out the PC, only a few have actually
been built and FCC approval is way over on the
other side of the mountain.
Where is the Laser — In this most confusing
period, where tying down the facts is apparently
more impossible than usual, the laser pops up as
being shipped along with the Mega's as originally
announced last winter. Word is that it's engine
is built by a U.S. subsidiary of Toshiba's, TEC
Corp. It will use the Mega ST's memory and not
have PostScript. Contrast that with the state¬
ment by Soft Logic that they will build a printer
translation driver for it when it appears, bu£
they don't expect that to happen until the end of
FC-ditto Boosts the ST — Bill Teal,
Co-presi- dent of Avant Garde, remarks that he
has received a host of calls frem business houses
and computer supplier firms about the ST running
MS-DOS. One of the top ten software companies in
the country called, echoing the voice and
questions of the others, "If the ST has that
powerful an engine and that speed, why haven't we
heard about it before?" Teal says that people in
computer-related business are discovering to
their amazement that a machine of that power and
low cost is out there. Teal announced earlier
that he and a group plan to push the developement
of business products, software and peripherals
for the ST and increase awareness in the business
community about the machine. He would appear to
be highly capable of doing this. (See review of
his product elsewhere in the issue.) For those
of you who are waiting for the update version of
PC-ditto that will run on the monochrome monitor
apparently there is a short patch (not of
PC-ditto origin) being offered on GEnie called
PC-Patch, Which can be fed into PC-ditto and
bingo you have a mono version.
Exciting & New & Not too Distant — Two new
drafting and cad programs are on the way, ATHENA
II and M-CADD the latter with 2D or 3D. SIGNLM ,
the British word processor is about to dock. It
• supposedly turns your 9-pin printer into a
machine that can produce laser quality print.
For sports fan’s the ultimate football game is
GRIDIRCN distributed by Electronic Arts but
produced by Bethesda Softworks of Bethesda,
Maryland. It does not pretend graphics, using
but mere colored dots to designate players, but
its tactic, strategy and playability is wounding,
to your time that is. Another of a similar
capacity for devouring the minutes is BARMR&N
(reviewed elsewhere in the issue), an arcade
adventure that almost makes you think interactive
CD ROM is here. Releases for the fall include
JUPITER PROBE by Mindscape who has bought the
entire lot of Atari arcade machine games that
were never produced for the 8-bit computers.
PHMEASJE Illy for the adventure buffs, is living
up to its billing, and wives are beginning to
complain, ELEVATOR ACTICNy an arcade special from
England, and ICE & FIRE , a three disk, two mag,
art-quality graphic adventure game. Up Canada
way they claim that GAUNTLET blows away every
other arcade game extent for the ST. Finally,
WORD PERFECT , (which Frank Cohen’s article in
this issue makes clear is not ’’the only word
processor”) is set to appear on stage with trum¬
pets blaring by the end of September. And as you
read this, the inimitable STWRITER will be out in
its new GEM suit, version 2.0, together with
version 1.80 for those who eschew the GEM window
Where Did the Money Go? — Seme of you have
been reading about a new abuse, not a chemical
abuse, but an electronic one. It's called
Mini tel and only the French could have concieved
of it as artfully as they have. What is it?
Originally it was to be the first electronic
telephone directory and distributed free to
French telephone subscribers. Along with the
4,500 consumer services that you can access day
and night, Minitel was a kind of passport to
romance that created "France's first hightec
addiction", according to CN author, Florence
Cusbmen, and writer, Justinne De Lacy, who have
done extensive research on the phenomenon. The
core of the addiction are the 400 plus "messa-
geries" (don't mis-translate) which are direct-
dialogue message services and function as confi¬
dante, confessor, psychiatrist and sometimes
lover. For the serious devotee there are the
"rose" message services, with names like "Sextel"
and "Aphrodite". Sometimes people actually meet
after spending hours "on line" with each other.
Wives have sued for divorce, naming a particular
"messagerie" as the correspondent in the case.
One husband, suspecting his wife of having "an
affair" via Minitel cut her wires. She spliced
them. Then he cut them into inch long pieces and
threw the set out the window. The phrase now is,
"Put a Minitel into a bad marriage, and its
over!" Many Minitelistes are telling their new
electronic pen pals things they have never told
anyone. One woman told her friends she was
leaving her husband for a "wonderful man" she had
met on Minitel. When asked what he looked like,
she admitted to never having seen him. Another
woman who got her Minitel the day her husband
left her, told a friend she had learned more
about life in one night at the keyboard than she
had in twenty-five years of marriage.
While adults are "big users" they are not
alone. When a call-in TV show asked children to
respond by Minitel, instead of by regular tele¬
phone, instead of the usual 50, 500 children
responded. Purportedly, the growing hunger for
"ccximunication" is replacing the famous French
"bon appetite" with growing numbers of people
staying in their offices to "talk" on Minitels
during lunch. Recently a special "Caimision
Telematique" was convened to decide whether
existing pornography laws could apply to Minitel.
These sessions were characterized as similar to a
town meeting discussing what to do about flying
saucers that landed in the town park, much
chuckling, much laughter and little else. The
phone company was quick to deny any responsibil¬
ity, shifting the blame to the private companies
who provide the software. The fact is that the
Minitels are making too much money for anybody to
want to do anything about them. "Messageries"
have sprung up all over France. And the short of
it, many people go into shock when they get their
phone bills for their addiction, often storming
the Telecom office, swearing no fool could have
used the Minitel that long. The record set by a
single woman in Besancon, was 70,000 francs
(about $11,666) in a month. It meant she had to
spend over 500 hours on the service; not bad when
you consider there are only 720 hours in a month.
In the next CN, we will explain how the French
Government actually put a chastity belt on the
public, one and all, or was it the "messageries"?
When Printers Get Down
They Gel With the XLint
The 8-Bit Atari software that will really give the business to your Epson,
Panasonic, Prowriter, Gemini, NEC, SG, Citizen or compatible printers.
Typesetter $34.95 By Dorfman & Young * t
Get design freedom to create letterhead, posters, title pages, and
more. Use the joystick or keyboard driven sketch pad to create
and place clip art, logos and graphics anywhere on a page. Loads
of graphic, 74-/8 and Printware Series files and lets you control
your printer, practically down to every dot on the page! Produce
results that look almost professionally typeset. 48K/128K disk
Megafont 11+ $24.95 By Dellinger & Rognlie* t
A complete program lister and graphics dumper. This utility is
used by most national Atari magazines to print out program
listings for publication; but it’s much more. Print graphics, 74-/8
and Koala screens, and Printware Series files in multiple sizes.
Type direct from the keyboard to the printer in your own custom
created fonts or one of the 17 fonts that can be down loaded to
your printer. 48K disk
P.S. Interface $29.95 By Castell *
A value-added Print Shop™ interface utility that raises graphic
output to new levels of clarity and compatiblity. Integrate
Typesetter icons with Print Shop™ fonts and graphics. Convert
Print Shop™ fonts to Typesetter icons and select from our four
sizes of output. Design custom Print Shop™ fonts and graphics
with the P.S. Interface drawing program. 48K disk
Picture Disks $19.95 By Brabson
Use “As is”, or edit any of 31 full screen pictures with the en¬
tire Printware series.
Icon Disks $19.95 By Brabson *
135 original 1/4 screen sized clip art icons, including seasonal
Page Designer $29.95 By Dorfman & Young
A layout utility that lets you plan an SVt^XH" page on your
screen and then print it. Mix text, graphics and Typesetter fonts
for fantastic two-column newsletters. Two text modes; 40 col¬
umn allows any Atari character set, 80 column puts twice as
much information on the same page. Page Designer works with
other Printware Series software. 48K disk
Rubber Stamp $29.95 By Dorfman, Young & Dellinger *
A collection of XLEnt creative utilities that let you build a
library of high resolution icons, including converted Print Sfiop™
icons. Create up to four icons at once, and use the only 16X16
character set and text editors available for your Atari. Control
the height and width of characters to get 32 different character
sizes. Print up to 99 graphic labels with the special label printer.
1st XLEnt Word Processor $29.95 By Castell
A fully featured, friendly and fast word processor. 1st XLEnt
Word Processor uses a joystick and icon interface, has toggle bet¬
ween full-screen windows, and a very readable 80-column print
preview to see what your document will look like. According to
Antic Magazine’s January ‘87 review, 1st Word is, “As good or
better than any other word processor you’ll find for the 8-bit
Atari”. 48K disk
Springfield, Virginia 22 150
*ST Versions Available
t MS-DOS Versions Available
TORONTO DEALERS SHOW
Canadian Atari Dealers Preview the Fall Lineup
by Glenn Brown
Toronto, Ontario, August 16. This past week¬
end (August 14-16), Atari Canada sponsored a new
product show and software showcase for its deal¬
ers. The press and user groups were also invited
to attend. The main purpose of the weekend was a
series of seminars for the dealers and MEGA
dealers but the software booths were more than
enough to keep me happy.
First, the news. The MEGAs are now being
shipped to Canadian dealers in limited quanti¬
ties. Atari Canada has initiated a value added
approach in granting MEGA dealerships. Each
potential MEGA dealer must meet three criteria:
an external sales force, a large retail outlet,
and an agreement not to discount the MEGAs which
will sell in Canada for $2,300 for the MEGA 2 and
$3,300 for the MEGA 4 (Canadian dollars). Ini¬
tial units are being shipped without the blitter
which will be a free upgrade when available this
fall. Atari was showing all of its announced
product in production form. The MEGA 4, the
Laser, the PC, the 7800, and even the XE game
Let's take a walk around the show (actually, an
alphabetically tour) and see whats coning this
fall. ABACUS was showing their books along with
FaintPro, TextPro , PoverLedger , and DatatTrieve .
Caning soon are ChartPak ST, Electra-Spel 1, and
BeckerText ST, a high-end word processor with
column math, auto hyphenation and indexing,
multi-column output and more.
Analog magazine was there but, unfortunately, the
magazines that were shipped to the show didn't
make it on time.
Antic magazine was displaying a couple of pro¬
grams that had everyone drooling: Spec trim 512
and the extensions to CAD 3D: Cyber Control and
Cyber Paint, due to be released in October. All
will sell between $70 and $90. Joe Chaizese
[Flash] explained the programs to me. Cyber Con¬
trol is an interpreter for CAD 3D and Cyber
Paint is for video processing of animations.
Cyber Paint also doubles as a very powerful paint
program. Cyber Studio, version 2.02, adds
hierarchial motion (it handles connected
objects). I am not sure if I grasped the
differences, but the results are spectacular - 3D
animations that Walt Disney would have been proud
of! They have an animated skeleton that has to
be seen to be believed.
Spectnm 512 is Antic's new 512 color [up to 48
colors per scan line] paint program. A few of
the highlights: three types of automatic anti-
alaising, dithering, Image processing /
colorizing (brightening or dulling of colors),
block movement with resizing done using pixel
averaging (this results in a very smooth
resizing). The program can read DEGAS, NE0, IFF
(512 color Amiga pictures with 512 colors), HAM
(4,096 color "hold and modify" Amiga pictures
converted to 512 colors) plus it's own SPC
compressed format. Look for the pictures up on
the boards: they are worth a look!
Artworx's display featured Bridge 5.0, their best
product yet. Baudville was promoting their first
two ST titles: Video Vegas and Award Maker.
Beamscope , a Canadian distributor, had a range of
software. Popular demos included Sierra's new
Leisure Suit Larry, Fantasy 3, and Psygnosis'
outstanding Barbarian. Compucable showed their
SpectraView II information display cartridge, one
of the few XE products there, while Coursemaker
showed their educational products including an
English instruction program.
In the Data Pacific booth, I finally got to meet
David Small, creator of the Magic Sac. This
product has ccme a long way since its intro¬
duction. Dave was demonstrating Version 4.5
which includes automatic error correction, hard
disk support, (limited) sound, and runs just
about everything. Also on display was the
Translator, the Magic Box that allows your ST
drive to read and write Macintosh disks. One of
the interesting side benefits of the Translator:
because the box changes the speed at which data
are read and written, it was easy for Dave to add
the code to make it a low-level bit copier which
means that it should copy just about everything!
The Translaotor will be available in late
September for about $199.
Epyx's booth was packed with manufacturers play¬
ing their games. New titles this fall for the ST
include Spy vs Spy III: Artie Antics and Boulder
Dash Construction Kit. Alain Plouffe and
Raymonde Desfreniers were showing off the best
disk magazine out: FaSTer . Those who haven't
seen this underpriced disk magazine don't know
what they are missing. Foresight Resources were
showing Drafix 1/Atari ST, a high-powered CAD
program ported from the PC world, due for release
by the beginning of September. As this and other
programs mentioned below indicate, the ST is
fast-beccming the computer of choice for GAD
General Electric was there promoting their GENie
BBS while Hybrid Arts brought their complete MIDI
line featuring their analog to digital processor
(ADAP) unit, MIDI Track ST series, and their very
successful DX and CZ Android Programs.
ICD displayed their new ST hard drive which was
labeled "F20A ST Hard Drive". (The box, however,
actually contained two 30 MB drives.) Interest¬
ing features include multiple SCSI ports, DMA in
and out ports, a fan, and a clock! The 20 MB
unit, due out in about two months, will sell for
the same price as the Atari drive.
Inagem Technologies showed Agenda+, a very clever
calendar/ phone book combination. ISP brought
the updated versions of VIP: GEM Version 1.2 and
TEXT Version 1.2 as well as Master Plan (a 1-2-3
clone without macros or a database). looking
Glass Software had, of course, their Ad ice
Pascal on display. MichTron and Microdeal showed
more ST product than any six other manufacturers:
Airbally Jupiter Probe, Gold Runner, GFA Basic,
GFA Vector, etc., etc. They also had their own
version of the Mitsubishi tablet, (see below)
Micro D demoed Avant-Garde's, pc-ditto. Of
interest to adventure gamers, was the fact that
they had on display the box for Dungeon Master
(no game, just the box) which will finally be out
this fall along with Defender of the Cram.
Migraph had the author demo M/CADD, their soon-
to-be released 3D CAD package. Not only does
this program outperform AUTOCAD (the $2,600 IBM
package), it beats dedicated CAD systems in
head-to-head comparisons. This program features
the best user interface I've ever seen and sets a
standard that will be hard for others to match.
A competing CAD package was shown by Northern
Designs . Their MI:VADDS was described as a
full-featured three-dimensional computer-aided
design and drafting package.
Passport/Musicware entered the ST market with
their MIDI line. PCS showed off their Cash
Register Plus. Practical Solutions , creators of
the Monitor Master which allows you to switch
between monochorme and color monitors (I wouldn't
do without mine), brought two new products now in
beta test. Mouse Master! externalizes your 1040
joystick connections and VidecKey! gives your ST
QMI showed off a couple of new products. BB-ST
is a $49.95 BBS program which allows operation up
to 9600 baud, is fully programmable, and allows
remote operation. SI-TALK 2.0, which should be
out in about six weeks, will sell for $29.95. It
is a complete GEM program featuring auto-ARCing
and de-ARCing, the ability to run programs while
uploading or downloading, a custom screen font,
which gives it a true 80-column display, and the
ability to operate at speeds up to 9600 baud and
a sophisitcated auto dialer.
Both QMI and MichTron displayed their versions of
Mitsubishi's touch tablet which sells for $395.
This tablet is a professional tablet measuring
17.5 by 11 inches with 250 lines-per-inch resolu¬
tion (a Koala pad would fit in one square inch of
this pad). I was impressed by the fact that it
is invisible to TOS and thus could be used in
place of the mouse without any special drivers.
Sierra-On-Line showed the Quest series (Kings I,
II, III plus SPACE) and their new adult-oriented
game, Leisure Suit Larry. Keep your eye out for
their new 3D Helicopter Simulator coming this
fall. Softcode displayed accessories fot the ST.
One item that caught my eye was a cleaning kit
for your mouse. (If your mouse arrow isn't
responding correctly to your mouse movements,
take a look at the metal rollers the mouse ball
rides on. Chances are they just need cleaning.)
The Supra 20 MB drive has became the standard for
the ST. They are now shipping 20, 30, 60, and
250 MB (that's not a misprint!) drives. Coming
this fall from Supra is a 2400-baud Hayes compa¬
tible modem for $180. (Hey, Atari, by the time
your modem shows up, nobody will want it!)
Timeworks proudly showed the latest addition to
their line, Partner ST, a very impressive set of
accessories. It will be released in September
for $69. Also due out soon from Timeworks is a
desktop publishing package.
Word Perfect had their pre-release beta of Word
Perfect 4.1. This fully functional version in¬
cludes full GEM integration, footnoting, macros,
column math, footnotes, mailmerge, outlining,
spell checking, a thesarus, table of contents /
index generation, multi-columning, undelete, and
compatibility with the PC version. Sales of this
product may very well show show other major
manufacturers whether or not the ST is a viable
market. Hie suggested list price is $395, but if
the Amiga version is any indicator, retailers
will be asking about $299.
And finally, Xanth was there with what has became
an Atari trade show standard: Kill-A-Happy Face .
This MIDI maze program, which allows up to 16
competitors to go at each other simultaneously on
16 different STs, will be available in September
for $39. Imagine how interesting these tourna¬
ments will become when the players can get their
own copy of the program and sharpening the
- 11 -
Finally, IBM Emul
Review by Mi
pc-ditto: It Works!
A whole new adventure has opened up for the
Atari ST user with the surprisingly functional
new product, pc-d itto by Avant-Garde Systems.
Unlike previous software attempts by other com¬
panies which were less than useless, this truly
incredible software emulator actually works. If
you want to explore the realm of MS-DOS or bring
hone PC work fron the office, this product ful¬
fills these needs at an affordable price.
The included instructions, although sparse,
were all I needed to get pc-ditto up and running.
It helped that I have an IBM-ccrrpatible computer
and a lot of prior MS DOS experience. The novice
MS-DOS user, however, must first obtain a copy of
MS or PC DOS, preferably the 3.2 version on 3.5
inch disks. Next, of course, the novice will
have to learn something about the MS DOS operat¬
ing system. (If you are new to MS DOS, see Vhi.
Price on MS-DOS elsewhere in this issue.)
The current version of pc-ditto , 2.0, only
runs on a color ST monitor. The exterior package
reads that you need a color monitor, but inside
it states that monochrome is supported, a bit
confusing. The current version supports both IBM
color and IBM monochrome programs, but only runs
on a color ST system. Avant-Garde has premised
that monochrome support is number one on the list
of improvements in the next version due out this
fall. The upgrade to the newer version will be
free to registered 2.0 owners. They decided to
release only the color version because the mono¬
chrome monitor had not been fully tested and they
did not want to delay the release of the product
another three to six months. Since I have a
color monitor, I certainly am happy with their
decision to release a working color version.
Do You Need pc-ditto?
If you want the software you use at home to
be compatible with (IBM) software you use at the
office, you need pc-ditto. Seme current ST pro¬
ducts can share data between the ST and IBM. For
example, in the case of Lotus 123 , the ST product
VIP Professional can read and write Lotus files,
although there is still the problem of moving
data from one disk format to another. But most
ST programs are not, of course, compatible with
or available on MS DOS computers.
' S pc-d
ation on Your
Seme Atari fans may disdain the idea of
running an "obsolete" operating system like MS
DOS on their STs. However, without arguing the
merits or demirts of the IBM and ST worlds, let’s
just assume that neither machine is better but
instead, that you just want to use both. "When I
stepped up from my IBM XT to the 1040 ST, I
bought Michtron's DOS Shell with the ST computer.
I felt that since I was familiar with the ccrrmand
processor, I would like to continue using DOS.
Uhat was this little thing with a tail for
anyway? Well, I later found that the mouse and
GEM interface were as easy to use as the command
processor and in seme cases preferable. Quite a
statement from a die-hard IBM user.
IBM Software on Your ST
Now that you have decided to buy pc-d itto ,
you will be pleasantly surprised by the software
this product runs. If you already use MS DOS,
then you already know how to use this product. I
have tested over 50 software packages and most of
them have run without any quirks. 'The only
drawback I encountered is that of speed. The
table below provides seme benchmarks to allow you
to make your own decisions as to whether or not
this is an issue in your mind. As many of you
did, I started out with an Atari 800 and a
cassette recorder. Only after I purchased my
first disk drive did I realize how slow the
cassette had been. I propose that an Atari user
who purchases this product, without having been
spoiled by a Turbo PC or XT, will find the speed
acceptable. In the case of game software,
however, it is quite noticeable that the emulator
is slower than an actual PC. Arcade software,
for the most part, runs almost too slow to be
acceptable. Rather large programs may also
execute slowly, but again, that is a relative
thing. I used the Norton Utilities SI test which
is a computing processor comparison to the IBM
PC. pc-ditto scored 0.3, a speed of about one
third that of the IBM PC. I should mention
another limitation of pc-ditto . It only displays
four colors. These colors are preselected with a
setup utility on the pc-ditto disk and I felt no
need to change frem the default colors.
In testing the software, I compared pc-ditto
running on a 1040 ST, to an IBM-compatible lap
top computer (KAYPRO 2000) with a 3.5 inch drive.
When I first purchased the KAYPRO, I noticed the
drives seemed to read more slowly than their 5.25
inch counterparts. I really didn’t mind since I
also received 720K of usable space on the 3.5
inch disk. I tested Lotus 123 version 1A and
loaded a 180K spreadsheet file on the Atari 1040
ST running pc-ditto . It was over 1000 rows deep
and 6 columns wide. The spreadsheet worked and
loaded only 30 percent slower than on my lap top
computer. I quickly became excited and started
porting software from my IBM-compatible desktop
to the IBM lap top via a null modem cable. In
the process, of course, I moved the software from
5.25 inch disks to 3.5 inch disks. I was also
running pc-ditto on my ST and testing different
packages as quickly as I could get them into the
3.5 inch format.
Comparison of Execution Speeds under MS DOS
ATARI 1040 ST vs KAYPRO 2000
(All times in seconds)
Compile a 743 line basic
program with the Microsoft
Quick Basic Compiler.
Encrypt a file with The
Confidant - A DES standard
Turbo Pascal - Run Window,
a scrolling graphics demo
to the 50 Line mark.
Proccmm Terminal Software
1200 Baud Download
If this product is not to be used for arcade
software, what is it used for? I would suggest
business, programming and other applications
software not available on the ST. For starters,
I can’t believe how well Turbo Pascal runs on
pc-ditto. I also enjoyed how some of the editors
and word processors worked. Wordstar version
3.31 was too slow, but it also runs slowly on an
IBM. Word Perfect worked without a hitch, both
version 3.0 and the newest 4.2 version. (It
should be noted that Word Perfect Corporation
will soon release a GEM-based Atari ST Version of
their program.) The terminal software I tested
acted fine and downloads went smoothly. I prefer
Procoim a shareware product, but other ccrrmercial
terminal packages such as SmartCcm II and Cross¬
talk worked quite well. I created pie and bar
charts with a Lotus compatible MS-DOS spreadsheet
named ASEASY. This package loaded Lotus-created
worksheets easily and executed LOTUS macros
flawlessly. The graphics were as good as any IBM
or compatible could have done. This program was
downloaded from an IBM BBS where a wealth of
other public domain software awaits a pc-ditto
user. (Note: Procoim and ASEASY are both
included in the new Current Notes PC Library
introduced this month. Ed.)
Moving Software to a 3.5 Disk
If you have access to an IBM with a serial
port and modem communications software, it is a
relatively simple task to hook it to an ST
directly to transfer software. Connect a null
modem cable to your IBM or compatible and then to
the ST modem port. You can take a standard RS232
cable and switch pins two and three on one of the
ends of the cable to make a null modem cable.
Alternatively, you can purchase a null modem
cable from your dealer. Run any terminal
software package on each machine and set them for
a transfer rate of 9600 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop
bit and parity none. It won’t do any good to go
beyond 9600 baud on the IBM compatible because
the serial port will not support any faster
transfer rates. It is now a simple task to
upload software from the compatible directly to
the ST using your favorite protocol that is
supported by both machines. The Atari ST can
even run under GEM with a package like ST-TERd or
FLASH, and write directly to an ST disk. Remember
this process didn’t involve two modems, just a
cable. Another method of transferring PC
software is with a modem. Call any friend with
an IBM compatible or even a PC DOS oriented BBS
and just download the programs.
Under GEM, the ST can read frcm and write to
MS DOS formatted disks. The reverse is not true
and while running pc-ditto the computer will not
be able to read a GEM-formatted diskette. For a
year now I have been copying program source code
frcm my ST to my MS DOS disks since they both
have 3.5 inch drives. I have even exchanged
source code between OSS Personal Pascal and
Borland Turbo Pascal with almost no modifica¬
tions. I simply put my 3.5 MS DOS disk in tip ST
and used it. As long as it had been formatted on
the MS DOS lap top computer, it worked fine.
What about copy-protected software and the
5.25 inch format? Do you have to go out and buy
a 5.25 disk for your ST? Since the new IBM line
of computers are installed with 3.5 inch drives,
most publishers are now producing software on the
3.5 inch format. They also are removing copy
protection and hence removing another one of the
problems. A 5.25 inch drive will cost you a
couple of hundred dollars. Unless you have a
specific need to have your data on 5.25 inch
format, I suggest holding off buying a 5.25 inch
drive. Why revert to the older, inferior disk
drive technology? Besides, the new Current
(Continued on page 50)
xj r NOTES
NTE RV I EW
WITH BILL TEAL
Questions About pc-ditto
[In preparing for a recent CompuServe online
conference, Bill Teal, author of pc-ditto,
compiled a list of answers to his most-often
asked questions . Unfortunately, not many of the
questions surfaced during that conference .
However, I assured Bill that CN readers would
certainly be interested in those answers . So,
presented below, is a CN exclusive interview with
* Bill Teal . — Joe Waters]
Where can I get pc-ditto and how much does it
pc-ditto is sold thru Atari dealers. The
suggested retail price is $89.95.
Why can 't I buy pc-ditto through mail-order?
We sell thru dealers because most provide a
better service and value than other market
mechanisms, such as mail order or direct mail:
1. The consumer can try before buying. (Some
dealers even go as far as letting the consumer
try his own software).
2. Most dealers have used the product and can
answer questions and offer advice.
3. Many dealers offer assistance with transfering
files on 5.25-inch media to 3.5-inch disks, or
even rent 5.25-inch drives for overnight use.
4. Seme dealers are the source for the other
items the consumer will need, such as the DOS,
the disk drives, IBM applications software,
and even supplies.
5. And, we have found that many dealers provide
carpet it ive prices, seme to users groups, or
as part of a bundled machine sale.
6. Finally, many dealers offer technical service
after the sale, to help with any problems the
consumer encounters. To bolster this service,
Avant-Garde provides support services to
dealers, to make their task easier.
What kind of support can dealers expect?
Primary support service to our dealers is free
technical advice over the phone. We also produce
a newsletter that covers information of interest
to dealers. (This may seem like very little, but
in the computer industry as a whole, technical
support (also, known as maintenance) represents
about 80 percent of the consulting practice hours
today; and, it is the most expensive service to
provide). This is a hidden service; one that the
consumer doesn’t even see. Yet, without it, many
companies never succeed, because their dealers
don't succeed. And, why should they? Without
same incentives such as manufacturer's support,
the cost of the product increases because they
(the dealer) have to provide all the support.
And, sometimes, with a product like ours, that is
Also, we are working on newer brochures, and
other marketing materials for the dealer.
(Please remember, since we're just starting up,
these things take time ... and Money).
And, of course, we have advertising in place
which will be published this fall, targeted at
the consumer. Concurrently, we have product
reviews which should arrive at about the same
time (if this works according to plan).
What 's the Norton compatibility of pc-ditto?
The Norton SI (compatibility, as called by same)
is 0.3. That means the processing speed of
pc-ditto , according to Norton, is about 30
percent of an IBM PC. (.3 x 4.77 MHz = 1.43 MHz
Although, any yardstick for measurement is
usually better than none, the SI is not strictly
indicative of the actual performance of pc-ditto
for all applications.
We measured pc-ditto effective speed using a wall
clock. We broke applications into various
categories, selected what we felt were the most
popular applications to represent that category,
ran each application several times to get an
average, tested memory-intensive and disk I/O
intensive speeds (when we could separate them),
and summarized the results.
This measurement technique is known as throughput
measurement. It measures the overall processing
performed in a period of time. Although we could
try to measure MIPS, effective MHz, additions per
second, and so on, this was the best measurement
suited for the general consumer. This was a
measurement which best reflected his perception
of the speed of pc-ditto.
What this measurement says is that throughput
depends on the application. A word processor may
run just as quickly on pc-ditto as on a 25MHz
80386 IDS, such as WordPerfect and pfs: Profes¬
sional Write. Reason: most of the time, the
application is waiting on the user keyboard
input. This is true of many applications. On
the other hand, seme applications which require
significant processing before results are
rendered, say a statistical analysis using
mathematical optimization, will be much slower on
pc-ditto than on even a stock IBM PC.
Therefore, the speed translates into usefulness
of pc-ditto, or any ’’hardware processor”; it
just depends on the application. For example, in
our own case, we get many calls about using IBM
games on pc-ditto. We always state that we do
not feel that games work best on the product.
Seme seem to be fine, but others are very slug¬
gish, and consequently, in our opinion, not use¬
ful. Most games require lots of processing and
intensive graphics. We only have games on the
product list, because many business users feel
more confident about pc-ditto compatibility, if
one of the defacto standards of compatibility,
such as Microsoft's Flight Simulator , at least
Are you finished new that pc-ditto is out?
Absolutely not! The first rule in ccximercial
software development is to get it right. Then,
make it faster. We're doing just that. We might
have been able to sell you a much faster, but
less reliable product. It would only get you to
the crash point faster. But, that would be
useless. We would rather gain your confidence in
our product. Then, improve it; in all areas.
Hew do I attach a 5.25-inch drive to ny ST?
Attaching a 5.25-inch drive to the Atari is a
’’toughy" question. We are not hardware engi¬
neers. What we do know is that the drives which
connect to the ST are off-the-shelf IBM
compatible drive mechanisms, available frem
almost any reliable source. The same goes for
the drive power supply. The problem that arises
most often is finding a cable to connect the
drive to the ST. Generally, this is a 34-pin
edge connector on one end, with a 15-pin DIN
connector on the other. We don't build our own
drives. Thus, we are not sure how to overcome
this cable problem. We purchase our drives thru
I.B. Computers, located in Portland, Oregan.
They sell a half-height drive with cable,
ready-to-go. To date, its the only one we've
We tell anyone who asks, that if they already
have another drive, then pc-ditto should work
fine with it, as long as the ST can ''talk” to it
— as long as the electrical connections are
Hew do I get IBi programs for my ST?
Commercial IBM applications come on 5.25-inch
disks. Today, many more are being provided on
3.5-inch media, as well. Seme companies have a
product upgrade policy, such as Ashton-Tate,
whereupon, you return your master disk, or seme
other product registration, and they will send
you a 3.5-inch version.
Also, applications can be simply copied from
5.25-inch media to 3.5-inch, as long as its not
copy-protected. This means you must have use of
a 5.25-inch drive on the ST, or use another com¬
puter with both 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch drives.
(You can modem across the software between two
computers, but this is messy, and recommended for
the advanced users with all the tools (including
a modem program on the Atari)).
I can 't get my mouse to work . What's wrong?
Any product which requires the mouse, such as
AUTOCAD and PC Paintbrush , will not currently
work. Mouse support will be out this fall.
What is your upgrade policy?
The first upgrade is free to current owners of
pc-ditto. What we will do for later updates, if
you feel they will be necessary because we don't
get this one right, is unknown. I do know that
we are against selling bugs. If we believed
consumers should buy bugs, we would have built
seme in, then put out specific add-on fixes, for
a price, maybe even marketed than as new
modules. That stinks.
We believe, instead, that a product should be*
somewhat like a car (NOTE: I didn't say exactly
like a car, with the lemon scent). When you buy
it, with whatever features it has, those features
should work. Period. If they don't, then take
it back to the service dept and make 'em fix it
until it does. Those features may not be the
best in the world, but whatever they are, they
should work. (We also feel the buyer be aware,
in any market.. .that's why we want you to support
your local dealer; so, you can test pc-ditto
before you buy).
In short, we correct bugs we know of with field
patches. These patches are designed to get it
working. They are usually sent to owners who
contact us directly about a problem, to all
dealers, and if possible, uploaded on national
boards, such as these (as long as our copyright
is maintained). For example, we have a field
patch being prepared right new for release- in the
next couple of weeks.
Updates, on the other hand, are enhancements.
Not bug fixes. We think you should get it
working first, then add features.
By the way, let us hear from you. One reason for
the "free” part of the update, is to "entice" you
to respond to us: Let us know what kind of
enhancements that would make your product,
pc-ditto , more useful to you. No matter how
strange the request. You may find out that your
"impossible" is indeed very possible. We can't
guarantee that every idea can or will be
implemented. Rather, we rank the requests by
percentage requesting, maybe add a few of our
own, and check the feasibility of the rest. If
seme idea is impossible to us, we'll also tell
you, and why. Hopefully, this is fair. Its your
money. We've built the cost of the update into
the price. We'd like to hear from you.
Where can I get the MS-DOS operating system?
Where to get the MS-DOS is our most difficult
question. First, stick with the DOS makers we
recommend. Seme DOS's have problems. They don't
just fail on pc-ditto , but they fail on a stock
PC XT as well. Second, check your dealer. He
may have the DOS, or be able to supply one from a
What are your customer support policies?
Our customer support policies are:
1. You may call or write to us, if you have
returned your registration card. (We will
check our files, before providing any
technical answers. If you have a general
question, or just want to notify us of a bug
or enhancement vote, we'll talk). This is
primarily because of the piracy, even thought
its not fool proof.
2. Current owners will receive a free update this
fall. You need not call or write. Just send
in your card, and the update will ccrae
3. Bug fixes, via patch, will be released as they
arise. Again, only registered users who have
contacted us about the problem will receive
notice. (Dealers and possibly national
networks will also have the patches).
Our phone lines are very busy. We apologize. We
have installed more. Our hours are: Monday
through Friday, 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM EST. Most of
the calls ccme around 1 PM to 3 EM (when the West
coast wakes up?). So, if you can avoid those
hours, you will have more success.
What sort of Turbo or speed-up options are
compatible with pc-ditto?
We are not familiar with most of the "Turbo" or
speed up options. We have been told about disk
caches and screen drivers, tut we are
concentrating on speeding up the underlying
emulation process, rather than the superficial
application mods that seme of these perform (We
do know that seme of these things are quite
effective, however, and are glad they exist.
But, the market is too fast-changing for us to
test all of them, as well as test the larger
market-share items, as Framework II 1.1 , etc.)
We hope you understand.
That's one reason we support the national
networks. These systems allow the word to be
spread quickly concerning such utilities, rather
than waiting on Avant-Garde to announce them.
pc-ditto works fine on a color monitor, but fails
on mono. Is this a bug?
Atari monochrome monitor support will be out this
fall. We did not release it sooner because it
was not tested. When we talked to Atari in New
York during a March show, they recommended going
with the color monitor first because the sales of
those monitors were about 80 percent of U.S.
monitor sales. With limited time and resources,
we had to choose between hard disk support and
the mono monitor. We've even heard from
reviewers of seme big-name publications. One
said we made the right call. Everyone in the
U.S. screams "color,color,color." If we had gone
the mono route first, most would say we couldn't
do color. But, by doing color first, most think
mono is easy. Oh well. Good or bad, the issue
19 8 7
Saturday, October 24
Sunday, October 25
Your phone lines are AIHAYS busy. Hew can I get Fairfax High School
<.•><• 4* <; •> 4;
.> * + 4 . + <. .y
NOVATARI XL/XE LIBRARY
We are introducing 8 new (*) disks this month. Games disk No. 13 has 20 BASIC
games from back issues of various computer magazines; they are fun to play and
good examples of programing too. Telecommunications No. 5 is a former
NPXCNovatari Program Exchange) offering CHAMELEON TERMINAL EMULATOR. The
documentation on the back of the disk will help explain some of the more
esoteric communications routines. Education disk No. H is CURRENT NOTES
editor Joe Waters' contribution from the former NPX programs. Joe's WORD
BUILDER 1.0 is an excellent example of BASIC programing and a good tool for
vocabulary building with provision for user modification of the words and
definitions. Music disk No. 7 has the AMS player program and 16 Oldies while
Music disk No. 8 offers 18 Classics plus the player. Utility No. 10 is no
longer the outdated membership list but Daisy-Dot NLQ that this ad is printed
with using and Epson RX/80. Utility No. 18 is a powerful font and
player/missile editor called TOUCH EDIT because uses the touch tablet or
joystick. Demo No. 5 has the Desktop DOS for 8 bits and several graphic
demos. We have been exchanging library disks with user groups around the
country and welcome any disk librarians the exchange lists and disks with our
library. Please write the Roy Brooks, PD libraian, H020 Travis Pkwy.,
Annandale, Va. 22003.
Price for WAACE members and CURRENT NOTES subscribers is $3/disk plus SI for
postage and handling for every 3 disks. Otherwise, cost is a flat $5/disk
(includes postage and handling). Send checks, payable to N0VATARI, to Alan
Friedman, 5951 Heritage Square Drive, Burke, VA 22015. We thank Evan Brooks
for many years of service as club librarian and mail order agent but please
don't order disks from Evan because Alan Friedman has taken the mail order
1 TEXT ADVENTURES
5 PARLOR 6AHES
7 ACTION! Oases
8 ARCADE L00K-A- LIKES
9 TEXT ADVENTURES 2
10 TEXT ADVENTURES 3
11 SURF’S UP
12 SKI KINS with slope editor
13*20 BASIC Bases
1 050 INTERFACE
2 835/1030 HODEH
3 HPP HODEH
4A AHODEH 7.2
5*CHAHELE0N TERMINAL EHULATOR
6 1030 EXPRESS and 050 EXPRESS
2 PRIHARV LANGUAGE
3 TEACHER'S TOOLBOX
4*W0RD BUILDER 1.0
1 TV/MOVIE THEMES
4 BASIC HUSIC PROGRAMS w/desos
5 AMS 12 Rock Songs
6 AHS 14 Movie/Video Theses
7*AMS 16 Oldies
8*AMS 18 Classics
1 Fia-Forth version!.i
2 Action! Games: source code
for Games No. 7
3 Action! Graphic Demos
4 Action! Utility Programs
5 Action! Nodules No. 1
6 Action! Nodules No. 2
7 BASIC XL Reference Base
8 Action! Nodules No. 3
9 Action! Telecom Kermit source
10 Turbo Basic/Compiler
1 Miscellaneous Utilities
2 Printer Utilities
3 DOS 2.5
4 Directory and Label Printer
5 Graphics Trilogy
6 Copymate 130 and 4.3
7 Sector Copier
9 256k upgrade for 800XL*
11 DOS 2.6
12 HACHDOS 2.1
13 Print Shop Editor
14 Easy Find
15 Print Shop Icons 1
16 Textpro 1.1
17 Print Shop Icons 2
DEHO DISKS •
1 Animation Demos
2 Moviemaker “Clips"
3 Heavy Metal Art
4 Graphic Picture Show
5*Qesktop DOS and Demos
By Bob Ke11y
A LOOK AT GENIE'S ROUNDTABLE
After an all too brief vacation, I am back at
the typewriter.... oops, keyboard! It was an
enjoyable reprieve, spent mostly in Canada. Of
particular interest on the trip was James Bay
where the first English settlers arrived at Moose
Factory, Ontario during the 16th Century. The
Canadian people, as always, were very hospitable
(this is rny fourth vacation in Canada). If
you’ve never been, go while the exchange rate
remains favorable. My only regret while in
Canada was that Glen Brown from the Ottawa Atari
users group visited Washington, D.C. I never met
Glen in person although we talked numerous times
over the telephone. I was informed Glen is an
amateur magician of some acclaim and look forward
to his next trip or rather performance in this
area. He is so good that he even made a Mega ST
appear while in town (not only Atari can create
Preparing for this column was difficult not
only because of the vacation blues, but also the
Atari market is rather uninteresting. No Mega ST
has appeared in the U.S.A., no laser printer, no
Atari IBM/PC compatible, and no 80-column
cartridge nor 360K disk drive for the 8-bit
enthusiasts. Atari has maintained in their
public statements that the hardware will be
ccming any day (I hope before the holiday buying
season). Atari's pronouncements and the
unswerving loyalty of many users reminds me of a
quote from Shelley:
"Life may change, but it may fly not;
Hope may vanish, but can die not;
Truth be veiled, but still it bumeth;
Love repulsed, - but it retumeth!"
GEnie's Atari ST-Roundtab1e
Over the past year or so, several individuals
have said to me in one way or another, "Bob,
learn while having fun, join one of the real time
conferences (RTC) either on CompuServe or GEnie.
There are conferences/forums for almost any
interest a person may have." As you probably
know, Atari is now directly associated with GEnie
and runs the Atari 8 and 16 bit forums. If what
I heard was true, it was time to stop doing
research for this column the hard way -
magazines, newspapers, and books. I downloaded
several files of past ST Roundtables. Once
printed, the few files amounted to hundreds of
pages of text. I was mcmentarily dismayed, but
doggedly determined to continue.
After reading the material, I had to ask
myself whether this was an easy method of
obtaining information? Further, were
particularly insights gained which could help an
individual user or supply more time sensitive
material for this column.
In order to evaluate opinions I will present
later, the reader must first be familiar with the
dialogue, RTC text. A caveat, Atari recently
attempted to improve both the quality and
organization of the weekly ST RTC. Depending on
individual likes, the change may be viewed as
positive, away frcm total chaos, to negative,
corporate propaganda. Let’s begin by looking at
seme old dialogue frcm the ST Roundtable of May
<TP> Is there a list of Magic Sac Public Dcmain
<G> Check with us at the end of June ok?
<DS> uploaded a test rev., tonight; we will see
how it does. Probably more
<HH> 1989 right?
«R> Why can't I de-arc ST_Index.ARC on one disk
without getting a disk full message
<DS> fixes to put in before it's ready.
<GM> Thanks G, I will do that
<JK> F... what's the progress in splitting up
the phone lines at Atari BBS?
<G> I was really hoping for the year 2000.
<DS> I don't think so. Current Notes probably
has the best one right at the moment.
<D> Hi guy...
<DS> That you Billie joe?
<SJ> R.... the file may be dearcing into a file
that's too big for the disk, use a ramdisk an
dearc frcm that/
After reading this short excerpt, are you
confused? Imagine reading for hours pages of
text structured in this form. In reality, this
is a particularly good excerpt since two
questions were answered in a short period (the
general rule appeared to be one answer to a
substantive question every five pages). Can you
find the Q & A's? (Remember when you use to draw
lines between the dots.)
Now, along canes Neil Harris for Atari.
There is no doubt, reading the transcript is
easier. The text is coherent, consistent, and
surprisingly, information is readily available to
the user. Again, a few representative examples
of dialogue frcm the conference conducted on
August 5, 1987.
<[Andy Eddy} KIDX>
Thanks, Neil. Two quick ones: Has the Mega
pricing been set? And what effect will the new
Tandy PC-ccmps have on the Atari PC strategy?
Yes, we’ve set the retail pricing on the Mega ST
computers ... the Mega ST2 will sell for $1699
with monochrome, $1899 with RGB; the Mega ST4 is
$2399 with mono and $2599 with color. Please
keep some things in mind regarding these prices:
1. they are suggested list.
2. we’re improving dealer margins, so the
numbers may seem.. a little high now.
3. These are the numbers today.
I really can't comment on the new Tandy systems
until I know more about them.
Two questions: Any info on the new ST
resolutions and is the TI graphics co-pro. being
considered for use in the ST. 2) Will Business
Land carry the Mega as reported?
Sorry Steve, nothing to announce at this time.
And we're talking to several chains, but, again,
we're not ready to announce any deals at this
Any news on the 32bit unit(s)? And will they run
Unix or the like
Ccme on folks, ask seme thing we can answer!!!
We're not really able to comment on unannounced
Now that WordPerfect is almost out, is Atari
aware of or helping any other big name and
powerful SW developers for the ST... I love my
Hardware but have to use ray Magic Sac or PC Ditto
when I want to use powerful software. I don't
need a mega ST I need better software and am
willing to pay... I know Atari is hardware but
you should help for better software. Thanks.
<[Julius] J.OKLAMCAK - Atari>
Nevin, we are "working on it" <big grin>
Well, the difference is pretty obvious, isn't
it? The old format was a sure prescription for
developing a migraine. Now if you want
information on Atari's current line of products,
you will get answers both from the technical and
market perspectives. If you want answers on
future products and/or market strategies, don't
bother to ask the question. If you want to talk
about rumors, this is not the place. Quite
frankly, this policy makes sense. Why should
Atari discuss its corporate strategy for new
products in a public forum?
Finally, some further clarification to
questions posed implicitly or explicitly. Is
this an easier way of obtaining information? For
95% of my needs the answer is .. .no. Would I
frequently participate in real time conferences?
It is doubtful. Would I download the transcripts
from the Atari RTC's in the future? Yes, but
only under specific circumstances e.g. when new
Atari products are introduced to the market and
information needs are time constrained.
Incidentally, I have assumed experienced Atari
users most often read this column; new ST users
might find more utility in the RTC's.
- Whats with ANALOG magazine? Have you received
an issue at HOME since May? A few newsstands
received an issue in early August. The front
cover was labeled July/August. Guess it is a
bimonthly publication or... is something else
- INDUSTRY WEEK in the July 27 issue has an
excellent article on the growth in workstations.
It is truly the wave of the future and big bucks
will be spent.
- Computer hardware firms continue to perform
well on the stock market. ATARI'S success in the
market is largely the result of the excellent #
reception its products have received in Europe
(see: Paine Webber analysis published in early
August for more details).
PLEASE REMEMBER TO TELL OJR
ADVERTISERS IHAT YOU SAW THEIR
AD IN CURRENT NOTES!
ITS A SMALL WORLD
By Dave Sma11, (c) 1987
THE GREATEST HACKER OF ALL TIME
The question comes up from time to time.
"Who’s the greatest hacker ever?".
Well, there’s a lot of different opinions on
this. Seme say Steve Wozniak of Apple II fame.
Maybe Andy Hertzfeld of the Mac operating system.
Richard Stallman, say others, of MIT. Yet at
such times when I mention who I think the
greatest hacker is, everyone agrees (provided
they know of him), and there’s no further
So, let me introduce you to him, and his
greatest hack. I’ll warn you right up front that
it’s mind numbing. By the way, everything I'm
going to tell you is true and verifiable down at
your local library. Don't worry — we're not
heading off into a Shirley MacLaine UPO-land
story. Just seme classy electrical
The Scene: Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs is in Southern Colorado,
about 70 miles south of Denver. These days it is
known as the heme of several optical disk
research corporations and of NORAD, the missile
defense ccrrmand under Cheyenne Mountain. (I have
a personal interest in Colorado Springs; my wife
Sandy grew up there.)
These events took place some time ago in
Colorado Springs. A scientist had moved into
town and set up a laboratory on Hill street, on
the southern outskirts. The lab had a two
hundred foot copper antenna sticking up out of
it, looking something like a HAM radio
He moved in and started work. And strange
electrical things happened near that lab. People
would walk near the lab, and sparks would jump up
from the ground to their feet, through the soles
of their shoes. One boy took a screwdriver, held
it near a fire hydrant, and drew a four inch
electrical spark from the hydrant. Sometimes the
grass around his lab would glow with an eerie
blue corona, St. Elmo’s Fire.
What they didn't know was this was small
stuff. The man in the lab was merely tuning up
his apparatus. He was getting ready to run it
wide open in an experiment that ranks as among
the greatest, and most spectacular, of all time.
One side effect of his experiment was the
setting of the record for man-made lightning:
seme 42 meters in length (130 feet).
The Man: Nikola Tesla
His name was Nikola Tesla. He was an
immigrant from what is now Yugoslavia; there's a
museum of his works in Belgrade. He's a virtual
unknown in the United States, despite his
I'm not sure why. Seme people feel it's a
dark plot, the same people who are into
conspiracy theories. I feel it's more that
Tesla, while a brilliant inventor, was also an
awful businessman; he ended up going broke.
Businessmen who go broke fade out of the public
eye; we see this in the computer industry all the
time. Edison, who wasn't near the inventor Tesla
was, but who was a better businessman, is well
remembered as is his General Electric.
Still, let me list a few of Tesla's works
just so you'll understand how bright he was. He
invented the AC motor and transformer. (Think of
every motor in your house). He invented 3-phase
electricity and popularized alternating current,
the electrical distribution system used all over
the world. He invented the Tesla Coil, which
makes the high voltage that drives the picture
tube in your computer's CRT. He is now credited
with inventing modem radio as well; the Supreme
Court overturned Marconi's patent in 1943 in
favor of Tesla.
Tesla, in short, invented much of the
equipment that gets power to your heme every day
from miles away, and many that use that power
inside your heme. His inventions made George
Westinghouse (Westinghouse Corp.) a wealthy man.
Finally, the unit of magnetic flux in the
metric system is the "tesla". Other units
include the "faraday" and the "henry", so you'll
understand this is an honor given to few. So,
we're not talking about an unknown here, but
rather a solid electrical engineer.
Tesla whipped through a number of inventions
early in his life. He found himself increasingly
interested in resonance, and in particular,
electrical resonance. Tesla found out something
fascinating. If you set an electrical circuit to
resonating, it does strange things indeed.
Take for instance his Tesla Coil. This high
frequency step-up transformer would kick out a
few hundred thousand volts at radio frequencies.
The voltage would come off the top of his coil as
a ’’corona”, or brush discharge. The little ones
put out a six-inch spark; the big ones throw
sparks many feet long. Yet Tesla could draw the
sparks to his fingers without being hurt — the
high frequency of the electricity keeps it on the
surface of the skin, and prevents the current
from doing any harm.
Tesla got to thinking about resonance on a
large scale. He’d already pioneered the elec¬
trical distribution system we use today, and.
that’s not small thinking; when you think of
Tesla, think big.
He thought, let’s say I send an electrical
charge into the ground. What happens to it?
Well, the ground is an excellent conductor of
electricity. Let me spend a moment on this so
you understand, because topsoil doesn’t seem very
conductive to most.
The ground makes a wonderful sinkhole for
electri- city. This is why you ’’ground” power
tools; the third (round) pin in every AC outlet
in your house is wired straight to, literally,
the ground. Typically the handle of your power
tool is hooked to ground; this way, if something
shorts out in the tool and the handle gets
electrified, the current rushes to ground instead
of into you. The ground has long been used in
this manner, as a conductor.
Tesla generates a powerful pulse of electri¬
city, and drains it into the ground. Because the
ground is conductive, it doesn’t stop. Rather,
it spreads out like a radio wave, travelling at
the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second.
And it keeps going, because it’s a powerful wave;
it doesn’t peter out after a few miles.
It passes through the iron core of the earth
with little trouble. After all, molten iron is
very conductive. When the wave reaches the far
side of the planet, it bounces back, like a wave
in water bounces when it reaches an obstruction.
Since it bounces, it makes a return trip;
eventually it returns to the point of origin.
Now, this idea might seem wild. But it isn't
science fiction. We bounced radar beams off the
moon in the 1950’s, and we mapped Venus by radar
in the 1970's. Those planets arem j, 11 ionsof. —■ &OQQ
miles away. The earth is a mere 3,000/miles in
diameter; sending an electromagnetic wave through
it is a piece of cake. We can sense earthquakes
all the way across the planet by the vibrations
they set up that travel all that distance. So,
while at first thought it seems amazing, it's
really pretty straightforward.
But, as I said, it's a typical example of how
Tesla thought. And then he had one of his typi¬
cally Tesla ideas. He thought, when the wave
returns to me (about l/30th of a second after he
sends it in), it's going to be considerably
weakened by the trip. Why doesn’t he send in
another charge at this point, to strengthen the
wave? The two will combine, go out, and bounce
And then he'll reinforce it again, and again.
Hie wave will build up in power. It's like
pushing a swingset. You give a series of small
pushes each time the swing goes out. And you
build up a lot of power with a series of small
pushes; ever tried to stop a swing when it's
going full tilt? He wanted to find out the upper
limit of resonance. And he was in for a
The Hack: The Tesla Coil
So Tesla moved into Colorado Springs, where
one of his generators and electrical systems had
been installed, and set up his lab. Why Colorado
Springs? Well, his lab in New York had burned
down, and he was depressed about that. And as
fate would have it, a friend in Colorado Springs
who directed the power company, Leonard Curtis,
offered him free electricity. Who could resist
After setting up his lab, he tuned his
gigantic Tesla coil through that year, trying to
get it to resonate perfectly with the earth
below. And the townspeople noticed those weird
effects; Tesla was electrifying the ground
beneath their feet on the return bounce of the
Eventually he got it tuned, keeping things at
low power. But in the spirit of a true hacker,
just once he decided to run it wide open, just to
see what would happen. Just what was the upper
limit of the wave he would build up, bouncing
back and forth in the planet below?
He had his Coil hooked to the ground below
it, the 200-foot antenna above it, and getting as
much electricity as he wanted right off the city
power supply mains. Tesla went outside to watch
(wearing three inch rubber soles for insulation)
and had his assistant, Kolman Czito, turn the
There was a buzz frcm rows of oil capacitors,
and a roar frcm the spark gap as wrist-thick arcs
jumped across it. Inside the lab the noise was
deafening. But Tesla was outside, watching the
antenna. Any surge that returned to the area
would run up the antenna and jump off as
21 - ST
Off the top of the antenna shot a six foot
lightning bolt; the bolt kept going in a steady
arc, through, unlike a single lightning flash.
And here Tesla watched carefully, for he wanted
to see if the power would build up, if his wave
theory would work.
Soon the lightning was twenty feet long, then
fifty feet. The surges were growing more
powerful. Eighty feet — now thunder was
following each lightning bolt. A hundred feet, a
hundred twenty feet; the lightning shot upwards
off the antenna. Thunder was booming around
Tesla now (it was heard 22 miles away, in the
town of Cripple Creek). The meadow Tesla was
standing in was lit up with an electrical
discharge very much like St. Elmo's fire, casting
a blue glow. His theory had worked! There
didn't seem to be an upper limit to the surges;
he was creating the most powerful electrical
surges ever created by man. That moment he set
the record, which he still holds, for manmade
Then everything halted. The lightning
discharges stopped, the thunder quit. He ran in,
found the power company had turned off his power
feed. He called them, shouted at them — they
were interrupting his experiment! The foreman
replied that Tesla had just overloaded the
generator and set it on fire, his lads were busy
putting out the fire in the.windings, and it
would be a cold day in hell before Tesla got any
more free power from the Colorado Springs power
company! All the lights in Colorado Springs had
And that, readers, is to me the greatest hack
in history. I've seen seme amazing hacks. The
8-bit Atari OS. The Mac OS. The phone company
computers — well, lots of computers. But I've
never seen anyone set the world's lightning
record and shut off the power to an entire town,
"just to see what would happen".
For a few moments, there in Colorado Springs,
he achieved something never before done. He had
used the entire planet as a conductor, and sent a
pulse through it. In that one moment in the
summer of 1899, he made electrical history.
That's right, in 1899 — dam near a hundred
Well, you may say to yourself, that's a nice
story, and I'm sure George Lucas could make a
hell of a movie about it, special effects and
all. But it's not relevant today.
Or isn't it? Hang onto your hat. Next
month: The Strategic Defense Initiative and the
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17 Saint Mary’s Court
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PIECES OF EIGHT
By Len Poggiali
[Each month, this column will contain anecdotes,
tips, revises, and such focusing on seme day-to-
day aspect of Atari 8-hit ownership. The art¬
icles will stress the "hunan interest" side of
8-bit computing. I do not pretend to he a pro¬
grammer, nor am I an electronics expert. Rather,
I am a husband and father, an educator, a writer,
and avid game player, and a committed Atari en¬
thusiast, and it is from this perspectives that
this colimn will be written. By way of intro¬
duction, I offer the following. ]
I have a confession to make. Actually I have
a number of confessions to make. The first is
that I am an Atari 8-bit junkie. Although I am a
forty-year-old teacher/administrator and "should
know better", much of my computer time is not
spent in making out exams, creating lesson plans,
or writing pithy articles for seme indigestible
educational journal. Rather, at least fifty per¬
cent of my computer hours are spent playing
games, writing hopelessly trivial (hopefully
entertaining and informative) articles for Atari-
specific publications, running utility programs I
don't, nor ever will, understand, looking for
bugs in each of my three word processors, and
testing out every piece of software that comes my
way, regardless of its function.
When I am not in front of my screen, my nose
is closely pressed against the pages of one of
those Atari-specific magazines, instead of making
headway on reading the complete GREAT BOCKS which
I premised myself I would someday consume. If I
ever decide to work on my doctorate in English
literature, I doubt my mentor will accept a
ccmparison/contrast paper on the various merits
and demerits of ANALOG, ANTIC, ATARI EXPLORER,
and CURRENT NOTES as a valid dissertation topic.
Oh well, who wants a Ph.D. anyway?
Away from my 800XL and my plethora of back
issues, I am a staunch Atari 8-bit advocate.
Whenever possible I will swing any conversation
around to the subject of computers so that I can
inject seme pro-Atari statement into it. "My
Atari computer, disk drive, tape recorder, and at
least sixty pieces of software cost me less than
the price of an Apple HE with nothing but a
plug, and the sound and graphics in my 800 XL put
Apple and IBM to shame." This and other such
statements have not won many Atari converts over
to the cause, but they have lost me a few
friends, thereby freeing up more of my time for
My love affair with Atari began in 1983, long
after many other disciples had had time to become
firmly entrenched 800 devotees. Although two
more years would pass before I would buy my first
Atari 8-bit, in '83 I became the owner of a 2600
game machine. Ostensibly purchased for my
children, the 2600 provided me with many hours of
enjoyment during the bleak Syracuse, New York
winters. There was no game I wouldn't play,
regardless of whether the graphics were blocky,
the story line absurd, or the play mechanics
beyond the limits of my ageing reflexes.
As a child I had loved Flash Gordon movies,
penny arcades, and games of all types. Atari
apparently had produced something which appealed
to all three of those long-forgotten interests in
me, and now as a man I was able to take renewed
interest and pleasure in them.
Like any other "kid", seme of the initial
thrill of seeing cartoon characters climbing
ladders, triangles of color firing flashes of
light at space rocks, and wedge-mouthed cuties
gobbling up dots wore off in time. Nevertheless,
I always will have a very soft spot in my heart
for the company that made it possible for me to
experience what it is like to fly a space
shuttle, to survive twenty minutes in PITFALL,
and to see my children laugh and learn with BIG
BIRD'S EGG CATCH.
After "outgrowing" the 2600 I purchased an
800XL so that I would have a machine on which to
do my writing and to play more sophisticated
games which the 4K memory of the 2600 couldn't
support. "More sophisticated" at first meant
climbing games with more screens (L0DERUNNER,
JUMFMAN and such); then adventure games of the
APSHAI ilk; later text and text/graphic programs;
and now military, sports, and financial •
simulations, and various construction sets.
I've begun to realize recently that my Atari
computer took up where my 2600 left off in
affording me opportunities to find gaming outlets
for other childhood, teenage, and adult interests
of mine. Military simulations, for instance,
appeal to the Civil War buff in me; text
adventures often remind me of the TREASURE
ISLANDS and TOM SWIFTS I read as a boy.
In the non-gaming world, Atari has helped me
to explore the realms of the much-feared Dos 3.0,
the inscrutable SYN-FILE data base, and the
enigmatic FIRST XLENT WORD PROCESSOR, and to
emerge relatively unscathed. In short, Atari
machines have made the "total experience"
possible. It is no wonder then that I am and
hope to remain an Atari junkie.
TIPS 1 N' TRAPS
By Jim Stevenson Jr.
Q&A FOR ADVENTURERS
Thanks to Sara Wright, the SysOp of Merlin's
Litterbox, and "The Necromancer", seme of the
unanswered questions from the June issue of
Current Notes have finally been answered this
month. Have problems? Call these numbers:
Q. Did you get to the terminal by destroying the
Gush-o-Slush (R) Spam-for-the-Ears (TM) speaker?
Also, how do you get your address book back?
(modem) Electronic Age==> (703) 620-0851
( " ) Merlin's Litterbox=> (703) 250-7303
( " ) ARMUDIC——= ====== > (703) 569-8305
(voice) me (Jim) (703) 378-4093
Q. How do you get in the castle 3 doors down from
A. Notice the voice on the intercom is awaiting
your response to the password? Since you don't
know it, perhaps someone else does...
Q. How do you get past the matron with the
A. You can't, not to my knowledge. However, you
CAN distract her...
Q. How do you get seme cash?
A. Since the mailman delivered all the mail to
the wrong houses, it'd be safe to assume that he
delivered your $75 money order to a wrong house,
A. Yes, I destroyed the speaker. I don't know
about recovering the address book. It seems lost
forever. But try dialing your house (that's the
only number that stays the same - if you noticed,
the numbers changed whenever you RESTOREd a game)
on the airplane.
Q. Does anyone know how to get the ladder off the
ledge? It refuses to let me PUT the ladder
against the cliff.. LEAN it... everything. I'm
pretty sure I need the ladder to cross the
A. You don't need the ladder to cross the bridge.
All you need is what's in the house... explore it
Q. Does anyone know how to get around in
Hollywood Hijinx? I would really like to know
more about it. The farthest I've ever gone was
to the beach below the cannon enplacement. Any
help would be appreciated.
A. At the beach, try swimming. How do you get
around? Try N,S,E,W,NE,NW,SE,SW,U, & D.
Q. Where's the terminal?
A. You can either find the terminal by trial and
error or by the special pattern they have.
You'll notice it as you walk east and west.
Q. Where's the white courtesy phone?
A. Ignore the white courtesy phone. It's there
for ccmedic purposes. "Would anyone who knows
where the white courtesy phone is please pick it
up?" Or seme thing like that.
Leather Godesses of Phobos
Q. I need a hint to the riddle the Sultaness
Q. Anyone know how to get the headlight from the
Ford car? I can't figure out how to get the
headlight from the bedroom.
A. To get the headlight, you have to have the
sheet, rip it, and make a rope out of it. Then
tell Trent to go get the headlight.
Q. So far, I have 230 out of about a possible 250
points. How do I not get killed when I ccme up
frcm getting the treasure at the end?
Q. What do you tell to the Hypochondriac?
A. You dont tell the Hypochondriac anything. You
give her the stethoscope and while she is
listening to her heart you try to fight her, or
kill her, or hit her or something, and she will
drop seme pills. That is as far as I have
Q. How do I get the girl out of the statue after
I get into the cave? Can I ride the brocm
A. To get the girl out of the statue, you will
need something you will find in Dracula's Castle.
It's in the silver coffer. I'll let you figure
out what you need to get it out. The brocm is
only for sightseeing. Sort of a side-trip. It
cant be used for anything.
Q. I got the potion, and killed Kronos. How do I
get his soul to the devil? An I supposed to kill
him? Maybe I should blackmail him?
A. To get Kronos’s soul to the devil, you have to
use the arasol can.
Q. I have the briefcase with the money and
papers, but I can't escape from the thugs without
A. Go past the pile of trash, hide and give the
bone to the dog.
Q. I can control the sun and all, and I've gone
to the various other "worlds", but I can't seem
to get anywhere in them. I got the stuff from
the Underground, but that's about it. I can't
find the milk or the lizard either to put in the
A. Be sure to explore all of the mushrooms, and
don't leave until you've accomplished something
(namely, gotten something). You'll find what you
need and more in the mushrooms.
Q. What are on scrolls? Normal spells?
Q. How do you get to the magical pool that is in
the water? I can't figure it out. Also, how do
you ressurect someone? When I cast the spell it
doesn't really do anything.
Q. Where are rings G & H and where is the wand?
Also, how do I get into the dungeon by the bay?
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Q. How do I get the Babblefish out of the
Q. How do I get the pink rod from the alien's
Q. I'm (I guess you can say) 3/4 finished. I'm
in the palace on the second floor. My party is
stuck there and keeps getting their butts kicked
by the demons in the wizard's bed chamber. Is
anyone past or up to this point of the game?
Q. I have found the key, flowers, bird's nest,
put the pig in the stable,. and found a number in
a drawer. Now where do I go, and do I need to do
something to the bird's nest, or leave it alone
and just take the feathers?
A Mixed Bag
Review by John Godbey
According to the June Current Notes ,
Autcduel is one of the best selling Atari XL/XE
programs. I bought a copy at a local store for
So what kind of games are Atari owners buying
these days? If Autoduel is representative, the
ones they are buying today have seme unfortunate
similarities with those they were buying in the
earliest days of the Atari. In those days, many
Atari games were mere translations of Apple
programs. Little or no effort was made to adapt
the game to the Atari by using the Atari's
strengths. There were three sure marks of these
translations: the instruction manuals told how to
use the Apple computer, not the Atari; the
graphics were poor; and the sound was pathetic.
Well, the Autoduel manual contains numerous
references to Apple computers and Apple controls,
and no references to Atari computers. Autoduel 's
graphics are quite ordinary. And its sound is a
series of pings and pops —■ the familiar sounds
of early Apple translations. (One of the most
amusing things about the game is that there is a
control to turn the sound off. For large parts
of the game there is absolutely no difference
between having the sound off and having it on.)
Included with the program is a "Player
Reference Card" which is supposed to give the
"Atari Version" of the game controls, etc. It
doesn't. For example, it says that to duplicate
one of the program disks, one should use the "D"
command in DOS. As we all know, in Atari DOS the
"D" command DELETES.
Autoduel advertises itself as "A real-time
strategy role-playing game." The game box
contains a 32-page manual, a four-page "Player
Reference Card," a large map of the Northeast
Sector of the United States, and two disks. The
game uses three disk sides, and even with two
drives it requires seme disk swapping or
flipping. NOTE: Autoduel requires 64k, so it
will not work on the old Ataris.
When you begin Autoduel , you are a driver
with a little money, no car, and an unknown
personality. You choose a combination of
characteristics for your driver, and try to
gamer enough additional money to buy and outfit
(with various kinds of guns, armor, and
arrmunition) a car. The object is to produce a
car that is powerful enough and fast enough to
duel other cars either in an arena or on the open
road between towns.
You can get money by borrowing a car and
entering "Amateur Night" at the arena or by
performing courier tasks for the "American
Autoduel Association" (AADA). As you win
Autoduel contests or complete tasks for the AADA,
your driving skill, marksmanship skill, mechanic
skill and prestige increase. This, in turn,
increases your chances of being successful in
combat, and of receiving large paying tasks from
the AADA. As your money increases you can buy
additional guns, arrmunition, and armor for your
car, or even another car.
The strategic part of the game is to figure
out the proper way to spend your money in order
to get a car with the most bang for your tucks,
and to determine which arena events or courier
tasks you can take on with a decent chance of
survival, given your car and skills. Once you
enter an arena event or set out on the road
between two towns the game is more arcade like
than strategic: using the joystick (and
occasionally the keyboard) you engage other
vehicles in combat.
The actual ccnibat is well done. The joystick
gives you good control over the car, and by
pressing keys 0-9 you can switch to any of ten
different guns. Depending upon the nature of the
ccmbat, your opponents range frem easy prey to
impossible to destroy (at least for me).
This brief summary doesn't do justice to the
complexity of the game. For example, there are
over a dozen different cities you can drive
between and visit. Each has a different layout
with different stores. In addition to getting
money by performing courier tasks and
autodueling, you can gamble in a casino, or sell
items you own. There are bars where you can buy
drinks and listen for rumors, and truck stops
where you can spend the night or buy body armor.
Finally, the computer keeps track of time as you
play. The game starts on January 1, 2030. Seme
stores are open 24 hours a day; seme are not.
Since seme activities are time sensitive, careful
planning is sometimes required.
(Continued on page 29)
HEN.' From The IMQG1STS Group/
An Action—Adventure tor 48K, ATARI 8—bits.
You were the epitome ot the word "loser". Your sole source of
fulfillment came from advising the locals. Advice that was almost
always correct, except when it came to yourself. It seemed as if
nothing ever worked out for you. Then, one day, a small boy, with
jet-black hair, sought your advice. In return, he gave you a gift; a
magic stone. It would show you the road to riches and power. Only,
there was one small problem with the stone — it was pure evil. Every
time it’s powers were invoked the Devil's claim on your soul increased.
Years of use passed before the stone’s true origin was discovered.
Determined he should never again use the stone on unwittig prey, you
destroyed it by throwing it into an active volcano. Then, you decided
to beat him at his own game. So, giving up everything, you wandered the
continent helping those in need, never asking for more compensation than
food and shelter. This infuriated the Devil because each good deed
reduced his claim on your soul so, he made a plan too. The next town
you stopped in was your last. The people were friendly enough, until
things started going wrong only when you were nearby. The townspeople
decided to make you their scape-goat and while being run out of town you
were accidentally killed by a blow to the head. His victory seemed
secured until Bod decided to step in and give you a chance at
redemption. After all, Satan had cheated you twice for your soul. It
was decided that a borderland would be constructed by the Devil and
thirteen riddles placed inside. A challenge was then made; if you could
solve the riddles, confront, and banish Satan, your slate would be
cleared, voiding any evil on your soul. However, should you expire in
this land, he would command your soul’s energies forever. In order to
enshure failure Satan has filled this borderland with monsters, traps,
tricks, secret portals, mazes, and smaller riddles that need to be
solved to help conguer the main thirteen. Also, the main thirteen are
difficult and varying enough to give him plenty of time to reek havoc
with the extra power the evil part of your soul gives him. Can you beat
him in the highest stakes challenge of your existence?...Do you have a
choice!? Play CLASH: ETHEREAL and find out just what kind of adventure
stuff you’re really made of.Come on, pick up the gauntlet
today!....(He awaits you with open arms!)
Send 12.95 (CHECK or MONEY ORDER)
To: THE IMAGISTS GROUP
Fairfax, VA 22030
C.O.D.’s also accepted. Call
(703)-764-0835 for C.O.D.s or more
information on "CLASH: ETHEREAL",
Our customer assistance line will I
open Mon-Fri (9 am-12 pm). Please
allow 2 to 4 weeks for delivery.
Price uncludes tax and delivery
(except on C.O.D.s).
INDEXING ON THE 8-BIT ATARI
A Tutorial on the NOTE and POINT Commands
By John Mackie
The Atari 800XL is a very fine computer bat
its limited memory precludes holding a large
database in RAM. A large database can be
accessed by the 800XL, however, if the records
are indexed and only the index is stored in RAM.
This article will illustrate how this can be
Atari BASIC has two ccrrmands, MOTE and POINT,
which can be used to create and utilize an index.
The NOTE ccrrmand records the disk sector and byte
address of the record that will be read or
written next. Correspondingly, the POINT ccrrmand
directs the drive to a specific sector and byte
address on the disk. If the starting sector and
byte address of each record in the database is
NCGEd and this information is included in an
array, the array can be searched for a particular
record and the disk drive ccrrmanded to POINT to
the sector and byte address of the chosen
For purposes of this article let us assume
that we already have an address database
containing 600 records, each record (T$) of which
is set up as follows:
hexadecimal digits. The byte value is between 0
and 127 in single density (or 0 and 255 in double
density) which can be converted into one
hexadecimal digit. Thus we must allow three
bytes for the address of each record and so
dimension REF$ to 28. INDEX$ will hold the
entire index and should be dimensioned to
LEN(REF$) (i.e. 28) times the number of records
in the database (i.e. 600). The following
program will create the index using the CHR$
function to convert the sector and byte values
into atasci characters which can then be inserted
10 DIM INDEX$(16800) ,T$(100) ,REF$(28)
30 INDEX$=" ": REF$=" H
40 OPEN #1,4,0, "D:MYFILE.DTA":TRAP 120 :REM
substitute the name of your data file
50 NOTE #1, SECTOR, BYTE
60 INPUT #1;T$
80 H=INT(SECT0R/256) :REF$(26,26)=CHR$(H)
100 GOTO 50
120 CLOSE #1 :NUM=LEN(INDEX$)/28
Zip Code: T$(68,72)
(Note: I find it useful to make rry initial
strings a little longer than necessary in order
to allow for the later inclusion of additional
fields.) In this example each record is 100
bytes long. Name, the field on which the index
will be established, is contained in the
Since the index field contains alphanumeric
data and Atari BASIC does not support string
arrays, we will have to set up a pseudo string
array taking advantage of Atari BASIC's ability
to support very long strings. To do this we
first create a temporary string variable (REF$)
to hold a single index reference. REF$ must
include 25 bytes for the name and sufficient
bytes for the values of the sector and byte
address. The sector value is always a number
between 4 and 707 which can be converted into two
The following program lines will search the index
for an individual record:
12 DIM R$(25)
200 ? "NAME TO BE SEARCHED": INPUT R$
210 FOR P= 1 TO NUM
220 REF$=INDEX$(P*28-27, P*28)
230 IF REF$(1,25)=R$ THEN POP:GOTO 260
240 NEXT P
250 ?"NO RECORD FOUND": FOR 1=1 TO 250:NEXT
I: GOTO 200
260 B$=REF$(26,26): SE)CIOR=ASC(B$)*256
263 B$=REF$ (27,27): SEXITOR=SECTOR+ASC(B$ )
265 B$=REF$(28,28): BYTE=ASC(B$)
270 OPEN #1,12,0,"D:MYFILE.DTA"
280 POINT #1, SECTOR, BYTE
290 INPUT #1; T$
The record can now be read, changed, etc. and
then rewritten to disk with the following lines:
400 POINT #1, SECTOR, BYTE
410 PRINT #1;T$
420 CLOSE #1
- 28 -
In order to sort the records by name just sort
the index. The sorted records can then be read
by the following program lines:
500 OPEN #1,4,0, "D:MYFILE.niA"
510 EOR P=1 TO LEN(INDEX$) STEP 28: REF$=IN
530 POINT #1, SECTOR, BYTE
540 INPUT #1:T$
550 REM do something with the record
560 NEXT P
570 CLOSE #1
Finally, if your database is on more than one
disk drive, add another byte to REF$ to indicate
which drive the record is on. The following lines
show one way this might be accomplished:
10 DIM INDEX$(17400),T$(100),REF$(29),A$(1)
30 INDEX$=" 11 :KEF$= n "
35 IF N=2 THEN OPEN #1,4,0,"D2:MYFILE.DIA:
TRAP 120:G0TO 50
40 OPEN #1,4,0,"D:MYFILE.DTA":TRAP 120: REM
substitute the name of your data file
50 NOTE #1, SECTOR, BYTE
60 INPUT #1; T$
80 H=INT(SECrOR/256) :REF$(26,26)=<HR$(H)
95 REF$(29,29)="2" :IF N=2 THEN REF$(29,29)=
«> 3 «»
100 GOTO 50
120 CLOSE #1 :NUM=LEN( INDEX$) /29: IF N=2 r IHE
N go someplace
130 ? '‘Second address file on drive two";:I
140 IF A$="Y" OR A$="y" Then N=2: GOIO 35
The drive number contained in REF$(29,29) can be
converted back to a numeric value by using the
VAL function which returns the numeric value of a
string. The following lines illustrate how the
search routine could be modified for searching
190 DIM R$(25)
200 ? "NAME TO BE SEARCHED": INPUT R$
210 FOR P= i TO NUM
230 IF REF$(1,25)=R$ THEN POP:GOTO 260
240 NEXT P
250 ?"NO RECORD POUND": FOR 1=1 TO 250: NEX
T I: GOTO 200
265 B$=REF$(28,28): BYTE=ASC(B$)
268 G=VAL(REF$(29,29 ): IF G=3 THEN OPEN #G, 1
2,0,"D2:MYFILE.DIA": GOTO 280
270 OPEN #G, 12,0,"D:MYFILE.DTA"
280 POINT #G, SECTOR, BYTE
290 INPUT #G;T$
300 REM do something with the record
400 POINT #G, SECTOR, BYTE
410 PRINT #G;T$
420 CLOSE #G
Similar instructions can be added to the routine
to read all the records.
If the index were based on a numeric data field,
either a numeric array or a pseudo string array
could be used. The latter may prove to be more
memory efficient, however. Each element in a
numeric array costs 8 bytes whereas each
character in a string costs only one byte. Thus
the sector and byte values for one record would
cost 16 bytes if stored in a numeric array but
only 3 bytes if stored in a pseudo string array.
For an index based on social security number, for
example, a pseudo string array would require 12
bytes per record (9+2+1) whereas a numeric array
would require 24 (8+8+8) bytes per record.
All t Oduel (Continued frcm page 26)
But it is in building and arming your car
that you are offered the greatest number of
choices. There are seven different vehicle types
available. For each of these, a variety of
suspensions, tires, and motors are available.
There are 12 different guns to choose among, and
they can be mounted on the front, back, or sides
of your vehicle, and there are different levels
of armor available for all sides. It would take
a lot of hours of play to investigate all of the
available possibilities in this game.
Only one driver can play at a time, but games
can be stopped at any time and the driver saved
to another disk allowing for other players £nd
Once I had played this game enough to master
the controls and the rudiments of a good
strategy, I found it quite addictive. The
choices you make seem to make a difference in the
play of the game. The strategic part of the game
is rich in detail, and the arcade part fast and
well done. To me, these make up for the ordinary
graphics and poor sound. But at $39.99 you might
want to carefully consider this purchase.
ATARI'S SMALL MIRACLES
By Mark A. Brown
We leone back to Atari's Snail miracles, the
column of short programs that you, yes YOU, can
type in and complete in your lifetime! Hopefully
this month's programs will teach you a little,
occupy seme of your time, and otherwise fill up
space in your dull, dreary lives.
There is no real theme this month, just an
answer to frequent reader requests. "Frequent"
means two or more people have asked for it. So
without further introduction, here we go.
Seme people have requested programs that are
fun, like the graphic demos, but that you
actually participate in, like seme of the other
programs. This means games, and they don't want
to say it outright because they know that they
are difficult programs to work with, requiring
ingenuity, patience, and a lot of time and
frustration in the programming. So I yelled at
myself for even thinking about asking myself to
write one, sat down at my computer, and wrote
BARRIERS. The rules are simple: you are the
moving ball; you try to get the diamonds that are
standing still, 18 of them; you can alter the
course of the ball by pressing the "/" key, which
will put a barrier of that shape in front of the
ball, altering its course accordingly; you try to
do so with as few barriers as possible. That's
it! The final score is a ratio of barriers to
diamonds caught. If your score is greater then
three, you need LOTS of practice; between two and
three you should get no more then once or twice
when you first play; between one and two should
be a consistantly achievable score; if you get
less then one (a theorhetically possible score)
you're doing incredibly well. Enjoy it!
Somebody recently accused me of going back on
my word; the very first column of Atari's Small
Miracles contained a phrase that (in effect) said
I would never throw eye-straining hex data
listings your way that would drive you nuts. I
lied. So the least I could do would be to give
you a little help in entering those programs. So
here I present DATAENTR, a program that saves you
a little typing by automatically putting in the
line numbers and the DATA statement for you,
letting you just type the data continuously.
Type in and RUN the program, telling it the
beginning line number, increment, and final line
number of the data. Thereafter you can simply
type in the data (either hex or decimal),
pressing space or comma to put in a comma, RETURN
to enter the line. The program will not let you
press any other keys, banning the bane of all
mass typists, the clear screen key. You can edit
the line if you press the back space key, but
You can quit any time just by hitting BREAK
and saving the whole program, reKUNing it when
you load it up again.
The cryptic name of the program above stand
for "Tiny Font SaVe & LoaD". A few issues back I
provided a font editor that let you edit the
characters of the Atari internal character set,
making your alphabet greek, russian, a series of
spaceships, or whatever. The program was rather
powerful, but because it had to fit in less then
ten lines the ability to load and save the fonts
was left out.
Well, the following lines of code added to
TinyFont will add the appropriate cormands to
load and save your masterpiece fonts to disk.
Pressing the control plus a letter of the
alphabet will save the font under that letter
(actually, TINYFCNT.NQX, where the last
character, the X, is the letter you type in).
This lets you save up to 26 fonts on a disk. To
re-load your font, just press the same letter,
but without the control key. Its a somewhat
crude human interface, but it adds very few lines
to the program (only four) and it maintains the
integrity of the original program, both good
practices to follow when expanding a program.
So here is both the original TINYFCNT and its
10 CLOSE #6-.OPEN #6,12,0, "S" :POKE 752,
1:POKE 710,2:FOR Y=1 TO 22:POSITION 1,
Y:? CHR$(160);:POSITION 38,23-Y
20 ? CHR$(160);:NEXT Y:FOR X=1 TO 37:P
OSITION 38-X,1:? CHR$(160);:POSITION X
,22:? CHR$(160);:NEXT X:FOR Y=3 TO 20
30 POSITION INT(33*RND(0)+4),Y:? CHR$(
OR A=1 TO 256 STEP 0:LOCATE X,Y,Z
40 POSITION X,Y:? CHR$(20):IF PEEK(764
)0255 THEN POKE 764,255:IF Z=32 THEN
Z=6:U=U+1:POSITION 1,23:? "Used:";U;
50 IF Z=6 THEN A=DX:DX=-DY:DY=-A
60 IF Z=160 THEN DX=-DX:DY=-DY
70 IF Z=96 THEN C=C+1:POSITION 10,23:?
80 POSITION X,Y:? CHR$(Z);:X=X+DX:Y=Y+
DY:IF C<18 THEN NEXT A
90 POSITION 21,23:? "ScoreDIM N$(3
):N$=STR$(U/C):? N$;:FOR A=1 TO 2 STEP
0 GRAPHICS 0:? "Starting 1ineINPUT
B:? "Increment by:";:INPUT I:? "Last
line number:";:INPUT E
1 OPEN #1,4,0,"K":FOR L=B TO E STEE I:
GRAPHICS 0:POKE 842,12:? :? :? :? :? :
? L;" DATA
2 POKE 702,64:POKE 694,0:GET #1,A:IF (
A>=48 AND A<=57) OR (A>=65 AND A<=70)
THEN ? CHR$(A);
3 IF A=32 OR A=44 THEN ?
4 IF A=126 THEN ? CHR$(126);
5 IF A=155 THEN ? :? :? "POKE 842,12:N
EXT L":POSITION 2,0:POKE 842,13:STOP
6 GOTO 2
10 GRAPHICS 0:POKE 752,1:? "Setup...":
Z=Z+1024*(Z<ADR(A$)):FOR A=0 TO 1023
20 POKE Z+A,PEEK(A+256*PEEK(756)):NEXT
A:POKE 756,Z/256:POKE 82,13:? CHR$(12
5);" TINYFONT":? " _";
30 ? :? :? "<Arrows>Choose":? " <+*-=>
Moves":? " <SEACE>Marks":POSITION 15,
17:? "Edit - ' 1 ":POKE 82,2
40 S=PEEK(88)+256*PEEK(89):FOR B=0 TO
3:FOR A=0 TO 31:POKE S+764+40*B+A,B*32
+A:NEXT A:NEXT B:OPEN #1,4,0,"K"
50 X=1:Y=1:POKE S+703,C:FOR B=1 TO 256
:GET #1,B:POKE D,E
60 IF B<32 AND B>27 THEN C=C-(B=30)+(B
-128*(C>128):GOSUB 90:GOTO 50
70 IF B=32 THEN EOKE Z+C*8+Y-l,PEEK(Z+
C*8+Y-l)+((2 A (8-X))*(E=0))-((2 A (8-X))*
(EOO) ) : POKE D, 3*(E=0) :NEXT B
90 FOR B=0 TO 7 POSITION 16,B+7:A=PEEK
(Z+8*C+B):D=127:FOR E=1 TO 8:? CHR$(32
100 D=INT(D/2):NEXT E:NEXT B:RETURN
5 DIM FN$(15):FN$="D1:TINYFONT.NO#"
35 POSITION 9,6:? "<A-Z>/< A A- A Z>Load/S
73 IF B<27 AND B>0 THEN FN$(15)=CHR$(B
+64):OEEN #2,8,0,FN$:FOR A=0 TO 1023:P
UT #2,PEEK(Z+A):NEXT A:CLOSE #2
77 IF B>64 AND B<91 THEN FN$(15)=CHR$(
B):OPEN #2,4,0,FN$:FOR A=0TO1023:GET#2
Can't find the 1050?
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AT88-SPD SS/DD w/printer port.. $199
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Add-on Slave Drives:
SS/DD Drive. $109
DS/DD Drive. $179
Dual Drives SS/DD. $199
Cane with power supply, case and cable.
Upgrade ROM: Corrects time problems in Perccms
used with XL/XE series computers. Specify
drive model when ordering - $20. Source code
listing: $30. Also 600XL 64K Upgrade: $30.
Service & Parts: Atari, Perccm,
Epson, Citizen, Carmodare, Zenith
1406-B LEE RD., CHANTILLY, VA 22021
ADVENTURES IN THE MAGIC SACDOM
By Jeff Greenblatt
HARD DISK SUPPORT
and the T
In my July/August column, I thought that a
higher version of the Magic Sac would be
available; the Disk Drive (officially named The
Translator) would be available; and that I would
lose Pagemaker 2.0 with the Sac to produce this
month's article. Well, I was correct on at least
one of the three.
By now you all should know that version 4.36
of the Magic DRXVER4.PRG is available. Again,
this is an upgrade to version 4.2 purchased frcm
Data Pacific. It replaces the original
DRIVER4.PRGon that disk or previous versions
(4.32 and 4.34) which were uploaded to GEnie and
CompuServe. This version is the most impressive
version issued to date. As a direct result, the
Current Notes Magic Library has increased by 10
new disks. A listing and description of these
disks is included in the latter part of this
article. If you don't have this latest version,
it is available on GEnie in the ST Library as
file #3304 or it can be obtained frcm Current
Notes on disk //MO.
The Translator is still in the development
stage. Dave Snail is currently fine tuning the
device. The reason why it has been delayed is
that much of the software to make the ST drive
behave like a Macintosh drive is contained in
EPROMs, so all the bugs must be worked out before
it is released. Unlike software contained on
diskettes, EPROMs have to be erased and returned
in order to upgrade the code they contain. This
would be a very time-consuming and costly process
for Data Pacific. When it is released, it will
ccme with version 5.0 of the Magic Sac. In a
recent conversation with Dave Snail, he indicated
to me that version 5.0 will support the HFS file
management system. If this is included, look for
a whole new realm of software to run on the Magic
The tentative price for The Translator is
$199. My guess is that it should be released in
the latter part of September or early October. I
should have a prototype for beta testing in late
August (the deadline for articles is the 10th of
the previous month), so I will most likely be
able to report on it's performance in the October
issue of Current Notes. To quote Dave Snail "...
the Translator can read and write Mac disks. For
instance, you can bring a Mac disk hone frcm
work, work on it, and take it back to work —
it'll read fine on your Mac at work."
As I write this article I'm waiting for
version 4.5 of the Magic Sac. This version will
clean up a few more bugs allowing even more
programs to work. The major differences between
this version and previous ones is that it will
support a hard disk and you will be able to
preconfigure the software so that it will run
automatically from an Auto folder to the point
where the Mac startup disk is inserted. This
includes the printer port configuration set to
default to parallel. On the other hand, if you
have a hard disk, you will be able to boot the
entire system up to the Mac desktop "in 5 seconds
flat". Other interesting goodies included with
version 4.5 will be a routine to warn you that
you have a Bad Finder and a new utility to
transfer files between TOS and MAGIC formatted
disks in either direction.
The following is an excerpt frcm a message
which Dave left on the Product Support round
table of GEnie:
I spent last night until 3 and all day today
bringing up the new cut of the hard disk driver
(version 4.40). We brought it up, got the disk
icon, and started copying files into it. So, we
copied in MacPaint and System. And we ran
When you do this with floppies, it takes, oh,
18 sec to load MacPaint. It took the hard disk 3
sec. As soon as I picked my jaw off the floor,
we tried going back to Finder. 20 sec or so off
floppy; 3 1/2 sec on hard disk. The only thing I
know of that runs at this speed is a Ramdisk,
like Ramstart. But this is a 16 megabyte
Ramstart. So. It blew my socks off.
Current plans are to include the HD driver
and partitioner with version 4.5, which we'll
release after a little beta testing to make sure
it doesn't eat hard disks. It requires you to
assign one, or more, of your partitions from GEM
to Magic Sac, which then is lost to GEM for good
(unless you reformat). There's a partitioner to
We'll support up to four hard disk partitions
active at any time, which ought to be enough for
anyone. We're going to try for twin drive
support as well, for those of us with two HD
mechanisms; I want to assign my 40 to GEM and a
20 to Magic Sac. Particularly, I really want to
build up my PD library on the HD.
The filing system we are all using is the
original Mac Filing System. It controls the low
gut-level mechanics of how data is written to the
disk and organized. MFS "fakes" folders, they
aren't really there. It is also constrained to
112 files per disk; today we hit 99 and could
save no more. As you know, 99 files per disk is
fine for floppy and bad for HD. So, for right
now , you'll need to use lots of little
partitions; 3-5 megabytes is fine.
Apple also knew that MFS was limited
(particularly when they released their Hard Disk
20). So they dreamed up a new filing system, HFS
(Heirarchical (sp?) Filing System). HFS does
true folders and the like. It isn't as speedy as
MFS, but you can have lots more than 112 files,
Now, Finders 1.0 through Finder 5.5 run just
fine with MFS, as you all know by now. Apple
released the HFS System with the 128K ROMS with
Finder 5.0. HFS only works on Finders 5.0 and
Does this mean we'll never get HFS, because
it's in the 128K ROMS, and we use 64K Rems? No.
A file called "Hard Disk 20", which you can find
on Apple's Developer Release disks and many other
places, patches the 64K ROMS for HFS, so HFS
works. All you do is put Hard Disk 20 in your
System Folder, and it's loaded automatically at
bootup. (You'll get a little message at
startup). After that, you're an HFS machine.
So next time someone tells you the 64K Rems
are obsolete, just smile. You have Hard Disk 20.
Now Hard Disk 20 does not yet work with revision
4.36, and I have a couple of tweaks to put into
it; remember, HD-20 does three things:
1) HFS on 64K ROMS
2) 800K disk drives on 64K ROMS
3) Hard Disk 20 support
Since we already have 800K disks and Hard Disk,
we only need (1). So there's a little judicious
shorting out to do.
ALSO: If you see an 800K disk formatted by a
Mac, it is formatted into HFS. You'll see a tiny
dot between the left side of the two horizontal
bars, at the left side, on the disk window. 400K
disks are always MFS. Our 800K disks are MFS,
and right now, the hard disk is MFS. HFS has to
wait until Hard Disk 20 ccmes up.
Consider this. Apple fixed the video
interlace so the Mac SE, the new one, runs at a
true 8 Mhz (well, close enough). So now they're
as fast as an ST at native clock rate. The hard
disk we just brought up blows the Apple SCSI
drive into the weeds, and the serial drives
aren't even in the same league -- that ol' Atari
hardware in action. Folks, what we got us here
is a Mac SE.
If I sound psyched up, it's because I saw
that HD in action. I am awed. We did no
optimizing, just the first, hack it together test
— and it was so fast we couldn't believe it. I
still can't. It makes GEM look like a slug,
honestly. We're planning on 4.5 being out in a
couple of weeks, after seme insurance-type beta
testing, so get ready, HD owners... Mac Sacking
will never be the same after you try it off the
Dave is obviously very excited about the Hard
Disk support about to be released. I'm pretty
excited about it too, but not enough to go out
and bust my budget on a Hard Disk. If you plan
on buying a Hard Disk and intend to use it for ST
and Magic use (or even PC-Ditto), don't bother
with a 20 meg, you'll need a minimum of 30 meg.
Since I don't have a Hard Drive and as I said
before, my budget won't allow me to purchase one
in the foreseeable future, I won't be able to *
report on its performance. If anyone out there
wants to write an article on version 4.5 in
conjunction with Hard Disk support, I will
include their article in a future issue of this
As far as Pagemaker 2.0 is concerned, I found
the program cumbersome to use, slow and it
doesn't support the Print Adjustment DA of
Epstart for high quality dot matrix printing.
Given a choice between Ready, Set, Go! 3.0 and
Pagemaker 2.0 , I prefer RSG 3.0 for my all around
use. While it doesn't have all the bells and
whistles of Pagemaker 2.0 , RSG 3.0 is more user
friendly and can actually be used as a word
processor. Incidentally, Ready, Set, Go! 4.0 is
supposed to be released on August 17th, and
according to a friend who has seen it, it appears
to put Fagemakar 2.0 to shame. We'll see!!!
New Library Disks
As I mentioned earlier, version 4.36, now
available on disk MO, was an incredible release.
I was storing an awful lot of Macduds hoping that
Dave would improve the code sooner or later so
that we can all enjoy these shareware or public
domain programs. The new disks are MIC, and Ml9
through M27. All the files on these disks have
been thoroughly tested and work fine with version
4.36 of the Magic Sac. Most will crash if you
are using anything less the version 4.36.
MIC: Finder 5.3 contains a complete version of
Finder 5.3 with System 3.2 and all the support
files including Chooser, system fonts and desk
accessories. Finder 5.3/System 3.2 is needed to
run certain applications that won't run with
Finder 4.1/System 2.0 such as OverVUE, More 1.1,
Thunder and Microsoft Word 3.0. This disk should
only be used with a 1040ST or 1 meg upgraded 520
M19: PCS Player contains a Pinball Construction
Set Player with five construction set games
templates. These will provide many hours of
enjoyment. A friend of mine with access to a Mac
ported it back to the Mac to see the difference.
Aside from sound on the Mac, he reported it
appeared to run faster on the Magic Sac.
M2Q: Ganes No. 5 contains six new games for you
gamers. In Crystal Raider you must gobble up
stars while trying to shoot down aliens or
avoiding than. Daleks is the same as the ST
version-, avoid robots and make than crash into
one another. Qn-The-Contrary is a variation of
the game concentration. In Stuntcopter , you
maneuver your copter so that your stuntman can
jump on the moving hay wagon; the higher you jump
frcm, the higher your score, but watch out for
clouds. Chase'Bn is a very challenging game in
which you have to release a moving ball down
slots to hit targets. Golf MacWay is a full golf
game including tee, fairway and green scenes plus
you must choose your club and swing strength.
M21: Games No. 6 contains five additional new
games to blow your mind. Guess is a variation of
mastermind only the computer uses four-letter
words instead of colored marbles; lots of fun.
In Hot Air Balloon , you must maneuver your
balloon over trees, cars, and telephone poles
while trying to avoid a pesky bird trying to
punch a hole in your balloon. Match is a simple
game in which you must match graphic shapes; this
one is for young children. Ranro 1.0 is a
variation of the game of snake only tough to
beat. Trick-Track is an English-pub card game
best played with two or more players. Utaan
Attack is a space shoot' em up game which is
somewhat similar to Missile Ccrrmand.
M22: Graphics No. 2 contains six really super
applications. BlowUp 3.0 enlarges MacPaint
documents by a factor of two. It creates four
MacPaint documents for every one it does; it's
great for posters. CalendarMaker 2.2.1 is the
latest version of this super calendar creator
program. Import MacPaint pictures into your
calendars and create custom calendars for friends
and relatives. Vanlandingham is one of the best
renditions of the bouncing ball (a la Amiga) I've
seen on the Mac. Graphic is a variation of the
bouncing ball only a double donut is used. In
Math21 you create really interesting graphic 3D
and 2D Images using a variable math formula of
your own making; anything goes on this one. In
Spiro you create spirograph-type effects using
menus of your choice.
M23: Vampire Castle contains version 7.7 of this
graphic text adventure. If graphic text
adventures are your thing, this one will keep you
going for weeks on end. (FOR 1 MBS MACHINES
M24: Deep Angst , is by far the largest and best
PD graphic text adventure I have seen around. It
is so large, it consumes 328k of a disk which
doesn't allow for a finder and system on
single-sided disks. This program was created
with World Builder which is an adventure
construction set type program. Note: a line of
little squares appear on the screen and sometimes
scramble the text. The fix is to relocate the
text block by dragging it or click on the lower
right hand block to restore the scrambled text.
(FOR 1 MEG MACHINES CNLY - TWO SINGLE-SIDED
DRIVES OR A DCXJBLE-SIDED DRIVE RECOMMENDED.)
M25: Games No. 7 contains four new games worth
playing. Billiards is one of the best PD pool
games I have ever seen. Hangman is a Mac version
of the old standby game and can be played against
the computer which has a pretty good set of words
in its vocabulary. Safari is a simple game with
excellent graphic animals. As the name implies,
you shoot animals on the run to score points
(here ccme the complaints frcm the humane
society). CrossMaster is a demo version of a
crossword puzzle generator and player.
M26: Graphics No. 3 contains six new graphic
applications. MakePaint is a handy little
application that converts Piet (MacDraw) files
and clipboard files to MacPaint documents. With
Shapeart , you can create designs using 12
different primitive shapes and print them out.
Star Flight creates seme visual effects that are
dazzling. With Faintmover you can manipulate and
print out MacPaint documents. 3D Sketch is a
demo version of a CAD program; you can load and
save files, but can't print them. Smallview is a
very nice appointment calendar program complete
with a month at a glance plus printout features.
M27: Utilities No. 3 contains nine very useful
applications. FEdit 3.0 is the last PD version
of this application before it became carmercial.
This is a real handy file and volume editor with
many uses. Lazymenu is another one of those
programs that make the pulldown menus behave like
they do on the ST. Menu Editor allows you to
edit menus of any application, cut and paste
menus between applications and create new ones.
RamStart 2.0+ is a fully configurable ramdisk
program. Put it on a disk by itself for
downloading files. Save the files to the ramdisk
using Free term or Temworks and improve xmodem
transfer by 20%; save $$$ on GEnie, CompuServe,
Delphi and other information services.
ShrinkToFit is an application program similar to
Packit, it allows you to combine files for
archiving or mass uploading and downloading.
SuperFinder 4.0 and WayStation are alternative
finders which replaces the finder and basically
has the same features as the finder. Each is
somewhat different from the other. With Unpit
you don't have to use Packit to unpack archived
files; this one takes up a lot less disk space
and runs faster than Packit. Try it using
RamStart for a super fast job. Road Atlas is one
of the most unique programs I have ever come
across. It really doesn't fit in as a utility or
anything else for that matter. With this program
you choose the city you want to start your trip
from and your destination. The program then
plots a course for you and lists the roads to
take from city to city and the distance of travel
on each road plus the cumulative total mileage.
This one is fun to play with, maybe I should have
put it on a games disk.
This months tips concern seme odd things that
have been reported.
All of the Current Notes Magic Library disks
from M2 through M18 have Finders on them that
have become what is called "frozen" so that they
only work on 1 meg machines (configured to 512k
or 828k). The way the Finder gets "frozen" is to
copy the finder frem the desktop by dragging it
to another disk. When this is done the Finder is
encoded so that it will only boot up on the
system size it was copied frem. If you have a 1
meg machine you shouldn't have any problems using
these disks as startup (boot) disks in either
512k or 828k modes. For those of you who are
still using a 520ST, the fix is to copy the
Finder from a disk that is known to boot on the
520ST by dragging it to the offending disk.
Disks Ml 9 through M2 7 have Finders on them that
have not been "frozen". They should boot up on
any size configuration. Please note that not all
Current Notes Library disks have a Finder and
System on them.
I have occasionally heard that the Finder on
disk Ml of the Current Notes Library is bad and
does not boot up. If you think you have an Ml
disk which is not performing properly, please
return it to me in care of Current Notes for a
free replacement. Please include a short note on
what the problem is and whether you have a 1 msg
ST or a straight 520ST.
Seme application programs will not work
properly with Epstart. An example of this is
Microsoft Word 3.0 which doesn't give the proper
dialog box to use High Quality dot matrix
printing. In order to get the proper dialog box,
rename the Epson FX driver to Imagewriter. It's
as simple as that!!
The only multitasking terminal emulator for the Atari ST.
Now you no longer have to wait for
those long downloads to finish. With
AnsiTerm you can start an operation,
and still use your computer to edit,
print, or perform other tasks.
You could pay more for a
communications package, but why?
Compare these features:
• Full GEM interface.
• ANSI X3.64 (VT100, VT102), with UK
and graphic fonts, underline, bold,
blink, reverse-video, VT100 or VT52
keypad, VT52 emulation, and more.
• Extensive file transfer system
offering KERMIT, XMODEM,
CompuServe 'B', and ASCII
• “Hot Key” and GEM Menu toggle
between host session and Micro
• Fully multitasking — download
while you keep working.
• Flash compatible “script” files and
• Programmable function keys.
• NOT COPY PROTECTED.
Beckemeyer Development Tools Phone (415) 452-1129 BBS (415) 452-4792
The Next Best Quality to a Laser Printer
Laser typeset copy is elegant, but so too are
prices for the printers. For those of you that
don't have a laser printer in your tea leaves
yet, there is hope. It's not a super low cost
laser engine, it's Style Writer from Carolina
Engineering Labs (CEL). It is low cost, it pro¬
duces the next best output to a laser printer and
does it on your own dot matrix printer. Style
Writer is an active interface device that con-
* nects between your Atari XL/XE, ST or any other
PC and any dot matrix printer. Style Writer
produces Near-Typeset-Quality from a set of font
ROMS contained in the interface. The device has
sockets for five ROMs while two are supplied as
17 fonts such as Reman, Reman Bold, Reman
Italic are available. Most of the fonts are
proportionally spaced in the same manner as
typeset copy. However, Courier and Prestige are
monospaced typewriter fonts and will not add
quality beyond that available frem a daisywheel
printer. Font sizes range from 6 to 14 points
for Reman while others like Century are 6 to 12
A ROM contains a full upper and lower case
character set for one font, type face, and size,
e.g. Reman font, in Normal face, and 14 point
size occupies a single ROM. If italic or another
size is needed, this requires a separate ROM.
Although ROMs are available for bold face, bold
can be produced from normal face with a keyboard
command. This synthesized bold is very accept¬
able although ROMs with specifically designed
bold character are less "thick" and somewhat
better in quality. For those who desire a vari¬
ety of fonts, additional capacity beyond five ROM
sockets would be welcome.
Style Writer also contains a printer buffer
making it a bit more of a bargain. Standard is
8K with options for 64K and 128K. Depending on
buffer size, retail prices are $99, $169, and
$199. Dont' wince at the jump in price for 64K
because two TI processor chips are provided to
handle the additional RAMs. The 8K model is
fixed in size where the 64K version can be ex¬
panded. Many plain printer buffers can easily
cost more than this. Extra font ROMs are
available for $13.95. Do fill all five ROM
slots, and since these ROMs are easily replaced,
get extra fonts to fill your near-laser-quality
needs. Suggested are Roman and Reman Italic in
12 and 14 points, and Century and Century Italic
in 12 points. Although smaller sizes may be
useful for footnotes, etc., sizes less than 10
points are pressing the limits. Sans Serif and
Sans Serif Italics are also good choices. Sans
Serif is similar to Helvetica but with more
variations in thickness of character lines and
curves. Since bold face can be generated by a
keyboard command, separate bold ROMs should not
be needed. Fancy output is offered with Old
English in sizes to 16 points, Invitation at 18
points, and Jazzy at 14 points.
How Style Writer Works . Style Writer oper-
ates in NLQ (Near Laser Quality) or bypass modes.
In bypass, the ASCII character stream or graphic
dumps from your computer are sent through the
buffer to your printer. For NLQ, the font ROMs
are accessed to generate "typeset" output as
graphics. The character generator internal to
your dot matrix is bypassed as it is with any
graphic output. You don't buy speed with Style
Writer , you get quality. Output in draft quality
or NLQ takes at least two passes to form a normal
typeset line and three to form bold face. For 12
point and larger sizes, the letters exceed the
print head's height; so two or more graphic line
passes are made to form a full "typeset" line.
If it's speed that's important, laser printers
are still the best answer, but there is a price
for this feature.
Style Writer works with most printers, either
serial or parallel vrtiich you must specify. Epson
compatibles are the best bet, with the Epson
FX-85 permitting a high quality print with six
passes per line. Connections are straight for¬
ward. All commands for Style Writer fonts are
preceeded by a reverse slash. Fonts are
specified by the commands \1 through \5. If you
don't remember the fonts that are installed, \?
will list them to the printer along with their
numbers. High quality is directed by \Q and bold
emulation with \B. Although \B and \Q can be
used in combination, \B alone gives a better
defined bold face. Margins values set with \L
and \R are relative to the left margin defined in
your word processor set-up. Style Writer can
also tab text with a \T and a number for the
column or position relative to the left margin.
However, this does not create tab settings. Tab
ccrrmands must be imbedded in-line with text at
every point a tab skip is required.
6 - ST
Other format ccrrmands are \C for center and
\J for justified lines. Text can be highlighted
with a grey screen, printed in inverse, or under¬
lined. The eye opener is \X which produces
horizontally expanded type which is useful for
headers. Excepting font selection corrmands and
margin settings, ccrrmands toggle on and off. All
settings are erased with \E. Unlike ST Writer,
ccrrmands are not followed by a space.
Style Writer Uses . Style Writer produces
proportionally spaced characters like those gen¬
erated by typesetting. For the 93 characters,
numbers, and punctuations that are printed, seme
22 different widths are used. Therefore, Style
Writer works best with a word processor that al¬
lows you to define horizontal spacing or escape¬
ment values for characters displayed on the moni¬
tor. Later versions of Word Star 2000 provide
thik capability. Although normal monitor dis¬
plays use characters of equal width, variable
escapment will spread these characters to present
lines in the same lengths as they will appear in
the printed version. This is not a WYSIWYG dis¬
play, but it works wonders in determining printed
line lengths frem the monitor display. Yes, you
must put in hard carriage returns at the end of
lines. The word processor doesn't automatically
control printed line lengths. Style Writer works
on the lines that you send. If too short, they
won't justify; if too long, they will exceed the
Unfortunately, word processors that support
variable character spacing or escapement defi¬
nitions are not currently available for the ST or
XL/XE. But Microsoft's new entry for the ST may
include this feature. You recall that many WPs
on the Mac are claiming desktop publishing cap¬
ability with such minimal but essential features.
Another solution may be to run your text file
through Publishing Partner using the same margin
settings and font sizes that will be used for
Style Writer output. This will give variable
spacing and automatically break lines at appro¬
priate lengths. Hard carriage returns can then
be placed in the original file for printing
through Style Writer.
Without this WP support, you can turn out a
paper in about three tries after making line
adjustments. The first try gives you a good idea
of line lengths on the screen as they relate to
printed lines. The next two tries are for
tweeking those that are slightly short or long.
Depending on the use of your presentation, the
quality can be well worth the patience. Resumes
are given a professional look.
My easiest and most productive use of Style
Writer has been for generating disk labels. The
four dimensions are defined with ST Writer , and
the left and right margins are additionally
defined within these bounds with Style Writer
ccrrmands. All lines are centered — it's easy.
Reman Bold in 14 point is used for the disk I.D.
at the top, 12 point Reman Italic for annotations
such as "Magic", 14 Reman Bold again for the disk
title and version, and then 12 point Reman for
remarks such as "DOUBLE SIDE", "INCLUDES FINDER
4.1", etc. The results are superb — so much so
that demands from friends for elegant labels have
consumed time at the expense of exploring other
good uses. Over 1500 disk labels have been
printed with Style Writer. This has been a real
production operation. From now on when other
uses are discovered, they will be held in tight
secrecy in my local environment.
Last December, Family Computing picked Style
Writer as one of the six best products of the
year and singled it out as the best accessory.
Now that you are an expert on how to use Style
Writer check it out. It will be a great gift for
your printer, a worthy addition to your system,
and an interim measure until a low cost
PostScript laser printer hits the market.
You can’t backup your software
because copy protection locks
you out. ProCopy is the key!
■ Protects against the accidental loss of
■ Works with all Atari STs
■ Copies both S/S & D/S disks
■ Use with 1 or 2 disk drives
■ Not copy protected
■ FREE shipping and handling
■ TOLL-FREE telephone number
■ Updates are only $12 with return
■ Orders shipped same day
■ Disk analyze function included
Call (800) 843-1223
Send check for $34.95 (overseas add $2.00 for air mail) to:
P.O. BOX 665, CHEPACHET, RHODE ISLAND 02814 USA
Available the moving finger co.
Internationally Building 2
in Europe « Shamrock Quay
Australasia Tel. 0703-227274
324 Stirling Highway
Western Australia 6010
- 37 -
CURRENT NOTES ST LIBRARY
[Note: Programs are either public domain,
copyrighted but distributed freely (e.g. ST
Writer), or shareware products where the authors
would like an additional payment if you like
their products. ST and MAGIC disks are $4 each.
ST disks marked with "**" require a double-sided
drive. PC disks run only on DOUBLE-SIDED drives
and are $5 each. Add $1 per every 6 disks for
postage. Order from CN Library, 122 N. Johnson
Rd., Sterling, VA 22170. VA residents add 4.5%
sales tax. NOTE : new titles this month are
#172: JUGGLER GRAPHICS DEMO : A juggler in low rez
converted from the Amiga.
#171: "C" PROGRAMS NO.6 : BMODEM, SEALINK, and two
unix type utilities, SED and CTAG.
#170: DIOX v0.9: Easy user interface simplifies
the construction of dialog boxes in GFA
BASIC. Program outputs GFA source code.
.#169: GFA BASIC HELP DISK : Lots of "tips" on
using GFA BASIC. Includes graphics
#168: GFA BASIC PROGRAMS NO.2 : Source to Boulder
Dash variant, Battleship, and RECALBDB (a
record album database program).
#167: TERMINAL PROGRAMS NO.6 : WTERM, TRANS100 and
the AMULTI compatible version of BMODEM
that allows file transfers in the
#166: ST UTILITIES N0.19 : ICD utilities including
one that preserves the time/date stamp in
the copying process. Includes several
files for altering the step rate of 5 1/4
inch drives for use with the ST.
#165: DISK LIBRARY PROGRAMS: DISKCAT vl.3 and
MENU.PRG (Pasca source to MENU included).
MENU is the BEST PD disk library program
#164: ST GAMES NO.9 : Boulder Dash variant,
Battleship, Lunar Lander.
#163: PROGRAMMER'S EDITOR DISK
#162: UTILITY NO.18 HARD DISK UTILITIES
#161: TINYPICS NO.9 VEHICLES-2 (MONO)
#160: CLIP ART Monochrome No. 3
#159: CLIP ART Monochrome No. 2
#158: CLIP ART Monochrome No. 1
#157: MULTI-LINGUAL WORD PROCESSOR DEMO
#156: SAMPLE "C" PROGRAMS NO. 5
#155: UTILITY DISK NO. 17
#154: UTILITY NO.16 MODULA-2 UTILITIES
#153: EAMON ADVENTURE GAMES
#152: PD 3-D CONTROL ACCESSORY
#151: ** ANTIC DEMO "SPACE PROBE"
#150: FIRST WORD PRINTER DRIVERS
#149: TIM OREN'S GEM PART-II
#148: TIM OREN'S GEM PART-I
#147: TINYPICS NO.9 CLIP ART
#146: TINYPICS NO.8 FAMOUS FOLK
#145: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 15
#144: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 14
#143: CITADEL BBS
#142: ST TERMINAL DISK NO. 5
#141 : ST GAME DISK NO. 8
#140: ST GAME DISK NO. 7
#139: MONOCHROME GAME DISK NO. 3
#138: TINYPICS NO. 7: ANIMALS
#137: TINYPICS NO. 6: CARTOONS #2
#136: MICRODEAL DEMO PROGRAMS
#135: SHANGHAI DEMO PROGRAM
#134: ST-REPLAY by 2-BIT SYSTEMS
#133: SAMPLE C PROGRAMS NO. 4
#132: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 13
#131: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 12
#130: SAMPLE GFA BASIC PROGRAMS #1
#129: SPHERES! DEMO
#128:** STEELYBOINK! DEMO
#127: ST FONT EDITORS/LOADERS
#126: PUBLISHING PARTNER UTILITIES
#124: ATARI ST ICON LANGUAGE, V6.3
#123: SHAREWARE C COMPILER
#122: ST GAME DISK NO. 6
#121: UTILITY DISK NO. 11
#120: TINYPICS NO. 5: CARTOONS
#119: TINYPICS NO. 4: TRANSPORT
#118: TINYPICS NO. 3: SCI-FI
#117: ST DESK ACCESSORIES NO. 2
#115: AEGIS ANIMATOR DEMO DISK
#114: MUSIC STUDIO SONGS NO. 2
#113: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 10
#112: ST GAME DISK NO. 5
#111: SAMPLE PASCAL PROGRAMS NO. 3
#110: SAMPLE M0DULA2 PROGRAMS NO. 3
#109: TINYPICS NO.2 EMPIRE / SHUTTLE
#108: TINYPICS N0.1 GH BUSTERS/RAIDERS
#107: ST RAM DISKS
#106: FIRST BYTE SMOOTH TALKER DEMO
#105: CN MOVIE MAKE IT MOVE DEMO
#104:** ALADDIN ST VOL. 1.0 DEMO DISK
#103: (M) SKY-MAP: STAR CATALOG PROGRAM
#102: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 9
#101: ST GAME DISK NO. 4
#100: ST GAME DISK NO. 3
#99:** DIGITAL SOUND DEMO NO. 3
#98: XLISP VERSION 1 .7
#97: LITTLE SMALLTALK
#96: TINY COLOR SLIDES NO. 8
#95: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 8
#94: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 7
#93: SAMPLE PASCAL PROGRAMS NO. 2
#92: SAMPLE MODULA2 PROGRAMS NO. 2
#91 : BOFFIN DEMO DISK
#90: SHINY BUBBLES
#88: UNITERM VT102 EMULATOR, VER 1.7B
#87: CP/M-80 PROGRAM DISK NO. 1
#86: CP/M-80 V 2.2 EMULATOR TOS DISK
#85: SOUND AND GRAPHICS DEMO NO. 3
#84: ST TERM V 2.1 DEMO DISK
#83: SAMPLE MODULA2 PROGRAMS NO. 1
#82: SAMPLE "C" PROGRAMS NO. 3
#81: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 6
#80: MONOCHROME GAMES DISK NO. 2
#79:** DIGITAL SOUND DEMO NO. 2 -
#78:** DIGITAL SOUND DEMO NO. 1
#76:** PRINT-TECHNIK SOUND DIGITIZER
#75: TINY COLOR SLIDE SHOW NO. 7
#74: ST SAMPLER DISK NO. 1
#73: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 5
#72: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 4
#71: FORTHMACS VERSION 1.1
#67: BALL/BIRD DEMO DISK
#66: GLOBE DEMO DISK
#65: TINY COLOR SLIDE SHOW NO. 6
#64: ATARI DOLL ANN IMAT ION DEMO
#63: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 3
#62: HACK ADVENTURE GAME
#61 : PRINTER DRIVER FILES
#60: MUSIC STUDIO SONGS
#59: VIP TEMPLATES
#54: MONOCHROME PUZZLE
#53: ATARI ST FORTH-83 MODEL
#52: TINY COLOR SLIDE SHOW NO. 5
#51: TINY COLOR SLIDE SHOW NO. 4
#50: GRAPHICS DEMOS NO. 3
#49: SAMPLE PASCAL PROGRAMS NO. 1
#48: TINY MONO SLIDE SHOW NO. 1
#42: TINY COLOR SLIDE SHOW NO,. 3
ST - 38 - ST
CURRENT NOTES ST LIBRARY
#41: TINY COLOR SLIDE SHOW NO. 2
#40: TINY COLOR SLIDE SHOW NO. 1
#37: ST GAME DISK NO. 2
#36: ST DESK ACCESSORIES NO. 1
#33: SAMPLE "C" PROGRAMS NO. 2
#31: PASCAL AND MODULA-2
#30: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 2
#29: MICROEMACS TEXT EDITOR, V3.7I
#25: DEGAS UTILITY DISK
#21 : ST GAME DISK NO. 1
#18: ST UTILITY DISK NO. 1
#15: ST WRITER VERSION 1 .71
#14: NEOCHROME PAINTING PROGRAM
#11 : RAMDISK AND DOC FILES
#8: SAMPLE "C M PROGRAMS NO. 1
#7: GRAPHICS DEMO PROGRAMS
CURRENT NOTES PC LIBRARY
We are introducing this month a library of PD and
shareware products for the IBM PC and
PC-compatible market, including the Atari ST
running under pc-ditto. These disks are all on
3.5" format. They are formatted for 360K on a
DOUBLE-SIDED DISK. You will need a double-sided
drive to read these disks even though they only
are formatted for 360K. All disks are $5 each.
# P10: ZJMP: The Ultimate Utility, (c) 1 985, 1 986
by Edward Dong. Complete file manipulation
utilities including ARC and deARC as well
as an ascii terminal with XMODEM transfer.
#P09: DRAW POKER VI .0 simulates the Nevada video
draw poker machine, and MS-TREK 1.0 , one of
the best Star Trek adventure games.
#P08: TIME SAVER calendar and appointment book;
and PFM , Personal File Management System to
help you deal with DOS.
#P07: EASY BASE , this easy to use data base helps
new users create and manage medium size
data base applications; and HOME BANK BOOK
helps you keep track of your funds in a
bank-book style system.
#P06: PC-DBMS , Verson 1.2, data base program;
FLOW CHART UTILITY , create your own
organizational flow charts; and MORTGAGE
#P05: AS EASY A S, a powerful spreadsheet (1,024
rows by 256 cols) with a large set of menu
#P04: PC-OUTLINE , V.1.05. An outlining and
planning program, allows you to randomly
enter info of almost any type and then
organize it into a hierarchial structure.
#P03: QEDIT , the Quick Editor. A fast text
editor, uses all available memory, multiple
file editing, split screens, only 39K of
disk space .
# P 0 2: PC-STOCK , a general purpose stock trend
analysis program developed with ease of use
and graphic presentation of data as primary
objectives; and CARDEX , create a rotary
index card file equivalent of a ROLODEX.
#P01: PROCOMM , v2.3 Excellent shareware terminal
emulation program; and MIN I HOST , a host BBS
CURRENT NOTES ST MAGIC DISKS
These disks contain Macintosh programs for use
with the Magic Sac Cartridge on the ST. Disks
are already in Magic format.
#M27: UTILITY DISK NO. 3 . WayStation, lazymenu,
SuperFinder 4.0, Unpit, ShrinkToFit, FEdit
3.0, RamStart 2.0+, MenuEditor, Road
#M26: GRAPHICS DISK NO. 3 . MakePaint, ShapeArt,
StarFlight, PaintMover, 3D Sketch, Small
#M25: GAME DISK NO. 7 . Billiards, Hangman-9.0,
Safari 1.0, CrossMaster Demo.
#M24: DEEP ANGST . Graphic adventure game. 1 Mb
#M23: VAMPIRE CASTLE. Graphic adventure game.
#M22: GRAPHICS DISK NO. 2 . BlowUp 3.0, BlowUp
Notes, Ca1endarMaker 2.2.1, Graphic,
Math21 , Spiro, Van1 andingham.
# M21 : GAME DISK NO. 6 . Hot Air Balloon, Guess',
Match, Trick-Track, Ramml.O, Utaan Attack.
#M20: GAME DISK NO. 5 . Crystal Raider, Daleks,
On-The-Contrary, Golf MacWay, ChaseEm,
#M19: PINBALL CONSTRUCTION SET GAMES . 5 games:
apple, face, madonna, patchwork mess,
samurai; includes pinball construction set
pi aye r.
#M18: DESK ACCESSORIES NO. 2 . Alarm clock,
calculator, choose scrapbook+, DA File,
Disk Labeler, Explorer, Hex Calc,
LabelMaker, MemWindow, MockPackage+,
Mu 11i-Scrapbook, Popup, ProCount,
ReadiPrinter, Ruler, Skipfinder 6.1, Sleep,
Stars 1 .6 and Timer.
#M17: DUNGEONS OF DOOM 4.0 . Graphic adventure
#M16: FONT DISK NO. 3: 24 fonts.
#M15: GAME DISK NO. 4: Space Attack, Amps 3.0,
Jago, Nim, Macheads, Canfield, Lets Get
#M14: FONT DISK NO. 2: 11 fonts.
#M13: FONT DISK NO. 1: 18 fonts.
#M12: MACBILLBOARD. Enhanced MacPaint clone.
#M11 : PRINT UTILITIES: 8 utilities, 3 fonts.
#M10: GRAPHICS DISK NO. 1: 12 programs, 5 pics.
#M9: UTILITY DISK NO. 2: 7 utilities.
#M8: DESK ACCESSORIES NO. 1: 29 accessories.
#M7: GAME DISK NO. 3: MacYahtzee, Wiz Fire, •
MacCommand, MacBUGS, GO, Break the Bricks.
#M6: GAME DISK NO. 2: Ashes, Wall Game, Wheel of
Fortune, Black Box, Snake, Destroyer, Hex
Puzzle, Office Attack, Symmetry Demo.
#M5: DISK LIBRARIAN. Disk Lib. Ver 1.82A.
#M4: GAME DISK NO. 1: Missile Command,
Solitaire, MacLuff, Space Bubbles,
BackGammon, Smile, Bash Big Blue, Munch,
Meltdown, Maze 3D, Snow, Curves.
#M3: UTILITY DISK NO. 1. Switcher, Packlt_
#M2: TELECOM DISK N0.1. Free Term 1.8
#M1 C: FINDER 5.3 BOOT DISK . Show Version,
ReadmacWrite, MakeScreen, Dead Calc
#M1B: FINDER 1.1 BOOT DISK.
#M1A: FINDER 4.1 BOOT DISK.
#M0: MAGIC SAC. Version 4.36
CYBER STUDIO: PART I
CAD 3D 2.0, Cybermate Animation, and Their Universe
Review by Bill Moes
Three-dimensional video modeling. Dazzling
and sophisticated animation of those 3D images.
The cover name: Cyber Studio.
The software includes two main programs. The
first, CAD 3D 2.0 , was written by Tan Hudson as
an enhancement of his earlier (v.1.0) release.
Cybermate , the second program, was written by
Mark Kimball and is a computer language for edit-
• ing and presenting the animations.
When combined, Cyber Studio offers a powerful
3D video modeling tool with extensive possibili¬
ties in a wide variety of applications. Now, a
look at the separate components.
CAD 3D 2.0
Much of CAD 3D (which is the way I'll refer
to v.2.0 unless noted otherwise) will be known to
users of the previous release of the program,
although there are seme notable enhancements.
Those not familiar with the original program,
will find much to fascinate.
Screen . The GEM screen is divided into
thirds. On the right two-thirds you'll see four
mini-screens, each showing a view of the 3D
objects. The camera screen and the top view are
on the upper section; the right and front views
on the lower part. The top, right, and front
views may be switched to bottom, left, and back.
Figure 1: The GAD 3D GEM Screen
Desk File Colors Uievs Objects
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- 1 AUTO
The left third of the main screen is
sectioned for 20+ icons, allowing you to easily
and quickly select the tools you'll be working
with in creating your ob- jects. GEM drop-downs
are generally used only for disk files and access
to color menus.
Each of the four windows may be separately
set to show the objects you are working on in one
of four modes: wireframe, wireframe with hidden
line removal, solid, or solid-outline. Each win¬
dow can automatically update its view as you
change objects, or turn off this update to speed
the program along. Each window may be expanded
to fill that right two-thirds of the screen.
Creation . Six primitives, or basic building
shapes, are part of the program: cube, wedge,
torus (doughnut), and three spheres. The choices
in selecting a sphere offer three levels of com¬
plexity or actual roundness. The most complex
(round) one also takes the most time to create
Figure 2: CAD 3D Primitives
It's also possible to develop your own unique
building blocks with either a spin or extrude.
These are each drawn on a separate full screen.
The spin is much like a lathe. You draw one
segment of the shape and the entire shape will
then be spun around a central axis. The objects
will be, as the documentation puts it, radially
symmetrical. For example, draw a small circle
and it's spun into a wheel. The actual detail of
the shape will be limited by the need to draw
clockwise with no intersections. You're able to
set the number of segments in the spun shape,
which sets the smoothness of that shape.
You can spin just part of a shape, either by
degrees or percentage. Perhaps you'll want just
75% of an object spun so that an inner area is
available for view. The actual section spun may
be set. It does not necessarily have to be the
first 75%. Seme objects may be more useful if
shown from the 20% to the 95% marks on the shape.
The creation of 3D pie charts is suggested and
other uses ccme quickly to mind.
Extrude, which acts like a jigsaw, cuts a
shape from the front to the back. It is made
with a variable number of layers. The extrude
must also be drawn clockwise without intersects.
The templates, or original drawings you do for
the spin and extrude, can be saved to disk.
Both spin and extrude offer the option of
using rubber band lines as you place the dots to
be connected. A dot grid is available to help in
defining your shape. Placement mistakes may be
corrected by the elimination, addition, or
movement of points.
Together . After you've created a couple of
shapes, you may wish to join than. This will
mean that the joined shape will be treated as a
single unit in the CAD 3D universe and it is in
this way that complex objects are developed.
Several methods of joining are offered. The
most direct is to simply put them together (Add),
although the shapes don't actually need to touch
to do this one. Another (Subtract) takes the
second named shape away from the first wherever
they overlap. The third (And) will remove
everything except the area where the two shapes
overlap. The fourth join available (Stamp) will
stamp the second object onto the first and is a
possible way to add detail and additional color
to the first object.
Groupings . The objects you create and have
in memory are placed in four selection choices.
Within each, you can have seme objects selected,
others not. Then, by simply clicking on the
selection letter (A-D), you can call up a varied
grouping of your created objects.
Drag . When placed on one of the three view
screens (not the camera screen), objects may be
moved or dragged, either individually or as a
group. You can set the drag to vertical, hori¬
zontal, or both. By thoughtful use of this, and
using the views in all screens along with the
other object movements possible, you are able to
place each object where you want it. It is a
process to do carefully. If objects seem to be
getting away frem you, click on the Heme icon and
they'll all scamper back around the imaginary
center of that screen.
If you try to move or resize objects beyond
the universe of the program, you'll be told to
make the objects smaller or make different plans.
Objects can be easily cloned (duplicated) and the
clone will then be manipulated as a separate
object to be moved or reshaped.
Rotate . In the three view windows, objects
may be rotated around three types of pivot
points: the center of the CAD universe, the
center of the object group, or an arbitrary point
you set. As is true with other choices, you can
select only the objects you wish to rotate,
leaving the others unselected for that change.
Sizing . Once you've developed a shape or
two, you may find yourself wishing to change the
size. No problem. Select the Size icon and set
the slider to the percentage (50%-2Q0%) change
you're after. Click. It's changed. This
process may be repeated and, for example, you can
continue to reduce the object or group to 50% of
the previous size until it has achieved those
truly tiny characteristics.
Scale . To set the size of objects relative
to other objects, select a master object and set
one value of its size, either in metric units
(meters and centimeters) or in U. S. standard
(feet and inches). After setting the master
unit, you can set the measurements (length,
width, height) for each object you've created.
All objects will then be shown in correct size
relative to the master unit. With this you can
also dramatically alter the shape of an object.
Example: take the sphere you just created and, by
reducing the height, flatten it into a pie.
A tape measure is available which allows you
to measure sizes or distances with a click on the
beginning and ending points. This is only
accurate in the three location view windows.
Let There Be... . The use of light represents
one of the most powerful aspects of 3D modeling
in CAD 3D. Properly used, light creates the
mood, enhances the depth. Its use in v.2.0 has
been simplified, but its power remains. There
are three movable light sources. Each source is
represented by icons on a screen. Simply move
light bulb icons around blank squares which
represent the views in a 3D universe, setting the
light to shine frem the exact direction. These
light sources are each set to a variable level of
brightness or turned off. An ambient light is
available which lights all sides equally. The
changes in the lighting process for v.2.0 have
greatly simplified a process many found a bit
difficult in the early version.
Roy G. Biv . The illusion of three dimensions
in CAD 3D is created by the color shading of an
object. You are offered sets of seven or 14
preset shades of colors. Now, however, you can
also customize your own colors. Set each of the
16 lew-res colors to a dramatically different
color, if you wish, creating objects of vastly
varying colors, although this may negate the 3D
illusion. You can also set any two end colors
and click for the set of intermediate hues, much
like you do in seme paint programs. The edge
color of a solid-outline object may now be any of
the 16 colors, not necessarily the background
color. The wire color can also be set. You can
group any number of colors, not just seven (or
14) in a group. When it's time to select a color
„ for an object, you specify the beginning (usually
lightest) color used from a set of colors. It’s
not necessarily the first one in a set. In this
way, you can use darker shades as the only colors
for an object. You can change the color of
objects, also. Colors are adjusted by the
familiar RGB sliders.
The Kodak Section . You'll be spending a lot
of tine with the camera view. In the camera
window you can change the zocm (apparent size of
your objects) or the perspective (how far away it
seems when you're looking). You'll also be ad¬
justing the camera's horizontal and vertical
rotation around the scene and, by using the
rotation icon, the camera banking angle. You
can, thereby, go around or through the scene
you've created. Window slider controls and
numerical readouts make this reasonably easy.
When you're ready for a look at the final
image, click on Superview and you'll see the
full-screen illustration for the viewing mode the
camera view is set, including glorious STcolor if
you're set for solid or solid-outline modes on a
color monitor. If you're in the wireframe mode,
you can make zoom, rotation, perspective, and
camera bank angle changes while in Superview.
This real-time update affords seme quick idea on
how camera changes you're thinking about will
affect the view.
The CAD 3D object file may be saved to disk,
permitting those objects to be used again. It's
possible to load a Degas file as background for
your 3D objects. This background will be un¬
affected by changes to the objects. After 3D
images are added, you can save the new Superview
screen (with background) to disk in a low-res
format (Degas, Neo, or C.O.L.R.). On a color
monitor, the program itself runs in medium
resolution but Superviews are in low-res. If
you're using a high-res monochrome monitor, the
Superview will be saved in high-res Degas
The 3D images can be "painted" onto the back¬
ground screen. The 3D data images will then
become pixel images and you will not be able to
manipulate them. This opens numerous creative
opportunities: show different modes on a single
screen, change the lighting, or build layers of a
You can send the 3D images to a printer or
plotter, using the GDOS and the Hardcopy programs
provided, for a high-resolution printout. An
Epson FX-80 driver is included. I had seme
occasional problems with this and found that it
worked best using wireframe and/or a limited
number of objects. Try doing joins to end up
with just one object. Set the Superview (not
just the camera) to the mode you want. You can
save multiple frames for a sequence of those
Hardcopy prints. The documentation claims the
program will pause between each frame printed,
allowing you to cancel further printing; it
Disney Calls . Recording animations may not
be a difficult process within CAD 3D } but it's
not a quick process either. You begin by opening
an animation file which saves the first animation
screen as a full-screen Degas file (about 32000
bytes). Then, to create the actual motion, you
move or alter the objects, move the camera, or
select/deselect objects. Finally, you click on
the recording icon to record the frame.
The screen will be redrawn for a Superview
with each of those recorded frames. You can
choose to have the Superview in either a draft or
final version. The final version, with its more
correctly drawn screen, is recommended for
animations. Having each screen redrawn in final
version is a time consuming process, but you are
able to see each subtlety in your animation as
you proceed. The animations may be recorded with
the objects in any one of the four object modes
These animation changes are then saved in a
file separate frem your first full-screen file.
The size of that file depends, of course, on the
length of your animation and how dramatic the
changes are which you make during the animation.
Each frame saved shows the differences between it
and the preceding one, so if there are only minor
changes or if the objects are very small, the
size of the save for that frame may be only a few
hundred bytes or less. A somewhat major change
could result in a save of 10K-12K or more.
Changes which are too dramatic will be jumpy when
animated. The amount of remaining free disk
space is shown at the top of your screen, along
with the memory used for the most recently
Words . The documentation goes 134 (about 5"
X 8") pages and is enclosed in a three-ring
binder. The tutorial section explains the tools
and leads you through the program. It would have
been help- ful if it had included drawings of the
icons as they were initially being discussed,
however, as I semetimes found it necessary to
turn back a number of pages to a labeled screen
drawing. Overall, though, it's a very acceptable
introduction to the software. The documentation,
of course, cannot cover every possibility with
software this complex. Additional tips and
suggestions are available on supplemental disks.
As you become more familiar with the software,
you’ll be studying the work of others and
becoming more comfortable as you try new ideas.
There's an animation recording tutorial, with
3D object files provided on the disk. You'll
need to do the tutorial to create files for use
in the Cybermate tutorial later. It's well worth
doing, anyway, as several helpful techniques are
used. A card-stock page is part of the package,
showing the keyboard alternatives to mouse use.
Nearly all of CAD 3D may be accessed through the
keys and the stretch has been made to give them a
mnemonic reference. Advanced tips and a bibliog¬
raphy are included. No index, though.
Putting it all together, then, you set up the
scene by using the three view windows to place
individual objects, rotate and resize, scale the
horizontal/vertical for that view, and drag and
join. This actual movement, resizing, and rota¬
tion of objects is done only in the three view
windows. The camera window can be used to travel
around and right through a scene for a single
screen save or for recording your animation
frames. The camera window cannot be used to
actually move anything otiier than the camera
By thoughtfully using the tools, you could,
for example, move separate planets in a solar
system (doing this in the three view windows)
while directing the camera for a stride right
through that moving scene, much like a Voyager
fly-by you've seen on NASA animations. The
knowledgeable use of each tool will, in concert
with the other tools, provide an amazing amount
of flexibility and power.
Tern Hudson, the author of CAD 3D> is well-
known for his attention to detail, his standards
of high quality, and his concern for the user of
his software. This v.2.0 is a well-designed
improvement and follow-up to the popular (and
still available) original.
Motion Control Accessory
Although the initial look at CAD 3D may leave
you with the feeling that everything is there,
it's possible to add that kitchen sink. By using
desk accessories tied to the software, you can
add other features to the program. This process
is also available for other GEM software designed
to take advantage of the potential.
Realizing that creating an animation within
CAD 3D can be tedious, Hudson has written a
motion control desk accessory and placed it in
the public domain (CN ST Library disk 152).
First make your plans and use CAD 3D to
create the objects. Then, using a word processor
(F. Gregory Schneller's Word 400 (CN June 1987)
is included on the disk), create a text file
telling CAD 3D how you want the ani- mat ion file
developed. Once this text file is saved, call
the motion control accessory within CAD 3D and
select the control text file you created. The
recording process will be directed by that desk
You can leave the computer alone, overnight
if necessary, while the animation file is written
to disk. It's important, of course, to make sure
there's enough disk space available for the
animation file you're letting the accessory
create. It's not always easy to tell how much
space you'll end up using, although experience
will definitely help. The use of this accessory
doesn't always end up being as easy as it may
sound, though. You'll need to develop the
objects and make your plans very carefully for
the control accessory to be used effectively.
This 3D control accessory, PD3DCFL.AOC , is
really an elementary computer language. Conmands
are available for the CAD 3D viewing operations,
such as zoom, rotation, and perspective. Other
commands control the actual recording and the
selection of objects, either individually or in
one of the four groups. Loop commands are also
available. A disk file is provided as documen¬
tation, printing out to eight pages. Several
example motion control animation files are also
on the disk.
At the price of a public domain disk, owners
of CAD 3D can't go wrong by adding this one to
the collection. A commercial version, one with
additional features to create more sophisticated
animations, is scheduled for release this fall.
Other desk accessories are also in the develop¬
ment stage, to further enhance the potential of
the CAD 3D software.
More in the next issue on Cybermate
[The Catalog, Antic Publishing, 544 Second
Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 957-0886J
- 43 -
ST WORD PROCESSING
A Look at the Current State of the Art
By F rank Cohen, President Regent Software
The July issue of Current Notes reported on
the state of the world of Atari. The article
gave a brief synopsis of the availability of word
processors and indicated that Word Perfect (Word
Perfect Corp.) is the program to wait for. In
reality, there are many other word processors
that are currently available or will shortly be
available that will probably do more than Word
Perfect at a lower cost.
Word processors have become the bread-and-
butter software product for the personal computer
industry. In the early 1980's, personal compu¬
ters were considered to be a necessity to those
people that felt they might be left behind in the
computer revolution. This group of computer buy¬
ers bought their systems without a clear under¬
standing of what they would use the computer for.
The outside of the Atari 800 shipping carton
showed a house wife using her new computer to
keep track of recipes. Databases, spreadsheets,
word processors and utility programs were still
unknown, leaving most home computers as game
Mac's font and graphics handling capabilities.
Why couldn't the Atari ST and GEM support the
Where is Macwrite ST?
The Macintosh operating system took several
years to develop. The amount of time that Apple
spent developing the Mac's visual interface was
both expensive and exhausting. As a result of
the development of the Macintosh, Steven Jobs, a
founder of Apple, was forced to leave the company
because the Mac had weakened Apple so much. How¬
ever, the resulting Macintosh operating system
was both powerful and complete.
The Macintosh operating system is oriented
towards graphic applications such as desktop
publishing, CAD (Computer Assisted Drafting),
painting and word processing programs. The
operating system has a vast libraiy of programs
that handle fonts and graphics. The result of
all of Apple's work is an operating system that
handles most of the font and graphics
capabilities necessary to produce very
The GEM (Graphics Environment Manager) system
by DRI (Digital Research, Inc.) is an operating
system originally developed for the IBM E*C and
compatible computers to implement a visual inter¬
face on these otherwise keyboard / command driven
computers. The GEM system is comprised of three
pieces of software: AES (Applications Environment
Services), which handles all of the drop-down
menus, windows, desk accessories, and other
applications, VDI (Virtual Device Interface),
which performs all of the graphic and font
drawing functions, and GDOS (Graphic Device
Operating System), which allows VDI to draw fonts
and graphics on printers, plotters, laser
Rumors have it that one of the contenders for
the Atari ST operating system was Microsoft's
Windows program. At a later time, Atari decided
on the GEM system and DRI wrote a special version
of GEM to run in the Atari box. There are many
problems with the ST version of GEM. However,
none of these problems are too great for a good
programmer to overcome (the problems are just
In the mid-1980's several new pieces of soft¬
ware became available which gave the personal
computer a wider audience. Spreadsheets are uni¬
versally useful to managers and small business¬
men. Databases gave small businesses the ability
to develop applications that had previously only
been available on main-frame systems. But, the
most widely accepted piece of software is the
When the Macintosh computer began to command
a significant portion of the personal computer
industry, desktop publishing software became
available because of the Mac's visual interface
operating system and potential for complex
graphics. A fusion between desktop publishing
and word processing ocurred in which both types
of programs began to share certain qualities. It
is not uncommon to find a word processor that can
print multiple-fonts or change type styles as
most desktop publishing programs can do.
When the Atari ST was released with the GEM
operating system, most potential buyers first saw
the similarities between the GEM Desktop - mouse,
drop-down menus, windows, etc. - and the Macin¬
tosh Desktop. The popular word processors on the
Macintosh - Macwrite and MS Word - support the
The GEM system can produce many of the same
functions as the Macintosh operating system.
However, the Mac has an advantage over GEM as the
Mac operation system has a more complete set of
ccnTnands and functions availabile to Macintosh
programmers. The Mac's drawing ability appears to
be better than GEM in speed and utility.
This brings us back to the question, "Why
aren't there word processors like Macwrite and MS
Word on the ST?" The answer has to do with sev¬
eral functions of the GEM system and the
abilities of programmers developing software for
the ST. The Mac word processors use a standard
interface through which the user may use windows,
fonts, a menubar, etc. to create a document that
includes text and graphics.
The GEM system on the Atari ST computer does
not include GDOS, the part of the GEM system that
allows you to print fonts and graphics onto a
printer, plotter, etc. Although GDOS is a very
small portion of the overall GEM system, without
it, printing multiple fonts becomes difficult
(but not impossible).
When GDOS is being used on an ST computer, a
special text file must be included on your "boot"
disk (the disk with which you turn on your sys¬
tem). This text file is called ASSIGN. SYS and
contains the font names and sizes that you will
be using while the ST is turned on. For example,
suppose you want to use a font called SWISS in 14
point size (12 point is the standard size of
typewriter printing). You would have to include
the font file name in the ASSIGN.SYS text file.
When your ST system is turned on, the SWISS font
will be loaded into your computers memory for
later use by the VDI and GDOS.
The problem with the GDOS system is that
every font that is to be used must be loaded into
the ST's memory when you turn on the computer.
GDOS does not have the ability to scale a font to
a different size. If you want to use the same
SWISS font in a 12 point size, you will have to
include another entry in the ASSIGN.SYS file.
This limits the number of fonts you can use and
seriously limits the amount of memory your system
has to use.
The Macintosh allows you to load only the
currently needed font data into the system's
memory. Once loaded, the font resides in memory
until another font is needed or your application
needs seme extra memory. The Macintosh operating
system may also scale a font in memory. If a 14
point SWISS font is not available, but a 12 point
SWISS font is available, the Mac will load the 12
point SWISS font and mathematically convert the
font into the larger 14 point size.
The deficiencies in GEM make it more diffi¬
cult for a programmer to develop an application
like Macwrite for the ST. However, several
non-GDOS word processors have been developed.
Hippoword (Hippo Systems) developed a multi-font
word processors shortly before going out of
business. Boffin allows fonts and graphics to be
used within a document.
Another problem that GEM faces on the Atari
ST is the support of a vast number of different
printers that have been sold to ST users. Most
printers use their own special technique in
printing graphics. A word processor for the
Atari ST must support the popular printers
(Epson, Panasonic, Citizen, etc.) Atari has
premised support of most of the popular word
processors by saying that GDOS drivers will be
released when GDOS becomes available.
Printers fall into three categories: dot
matrix, daisy wheel, and laser printers. Each
type of printer has its own unique abilities and
functions. For example, daisy wheel and most
laser printers have the ability to change the
amount of spacing between each letter in a docu¬
ment which makes professional kerning and
micro-dot justification possible. Dot matrix
printers offer multi-pass printing which
increases the printing resolution to be even
greater that a laser printer in seme instances.
The difference between an good word processor and
a great word processor is the ability to handle
all of these special printer nuances.
Another problem that must be overcome is the
difference in aspect ratios between the ST's
screen and a printer. State-of-the-art word pro¬
cessors attempt to display and edit a document as
close to the finished printed document as
possible. This ability is called WYSIWYG
(whiz-e-wig), which stands for "What You See Is
What You Get."
The Macintosh system was designed as an inte¬
grated computer and printer. The dots on the
Mac's screen are the same size as the dots that
may be printed on a Macintosh Imagewriter.
Because the dots are the same size, any image
that appears on the Mac's screen may be easily
converted to the Imagewriter printer's resolution
The Atari ST is not so lucky. The ST sup¬
ports three completely different screen
resolutions (low, medium and high). In addition
- 45 -
to this, most printers used on an ST have a
different aspect ratio (the size of the dots on
the screen are not the same as on the printer).
A programmer trying to develop a graphic word
processor for the ST must also overcome this
Fear not! Several companies have announced
graphic word processors that hopefully resolve
all of the problems mentioned above. Atari has
licensed Microsoft's popular word processor MS
Word for the ST, to be released as Microsoft
Write. MS Write uses GDOS and supports mul¬
tiple fonts and styles and the standard GEM
interface (i.e. windows, menus, etc.) Regent
Software is working on Regent Word III which will
use its own RDOS software. RDQS allows you to
display and print GEM fonts, of which there are
more than 1500 fonts now available.
The WP Future
Where does all this leave us? Word process¬
ing products for the Atari ST are becoming more
diverse as the user base becomes more specific in
their needs for a word processor. With the
release of MS Write , Word Perfect and Regent Word
Illy the heme and business user will have several
very good products to choose frcm. Word Perfect
offers a number of powerful functions (e.g.
thesaurus, outliner, spelling checker, etc.)
While MS Write and Regent Word III will offer
multi-font and graphic capabilities.
The lower-ended word processors will probably
remain a choice between the existing competition:
Word Writer (Timeworks) and Regent Word II. Both
of these products offer basically the same func¬
tions and cost less than $55 through discount
The high-end word processors cost more: Word
Perfect will probably cost $140-$160 (although
the list price is $399), Microsoft Write will
probably cost $130, and Regent Word III will
probably cost $100.
International software companies might also
make a splash in the word processing market with
products such as 1st Word Plus (GST) which sup¬
ports graphics, mail-merge and spell checking
abilities. Tempest began as a text editor for
programmers but is rumored to have grown into a
full-blown very quick word processor. Steve
(Pharma Data of Holland) is an incredibly complex
word processor (300 page manual) which includes
an integrated drawing program and database.
In summary, the heme and small business word
processor user has and will continue to have many
choices available in ST software.
Specializing in quality products for use with Publishing Partner
Printer fonts & screen fonts for high & medium rez.
Disk #1: Avant Garde, Courier, calligraphy
Disk #2: Times, Helvetica Narrow, 16 Bit
Disk #3: Chancery, Bookman, Chicago
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Disk #5: Dingbats, Symbols, 8 Bit
Disk #6: Complete set of 11 LaserWriter fonts
$29.95 per disk
The Font Factory P.O. Box 17422
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Dealer inquiries welcome.
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Disk #5: Tools, Pirates, Party, Hands, Transportation
Coming soon: Color dip art for DEGAS" and Animator*". Write for information!
THE ELECTRONIC CLINIC
4916 Del Ray Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814
ATARI ST COMPUTERS AND ACCESSORIES
1040 COLOR SYSTEM- 899.95
1040 MONOCHROME SYSTEM 749.95
520 COLOR SYSTEM 749.95
520 MONOCHROME SYSTEM 499.95
SF314 720K DISK DRIVE 224.95
SF354 360K DISK DRIVE 149.95
SHD204 20 MEG HARD DISK DRIVE 599.95
INTERNAL CLOCK/CALENDAR w/CAPS LED 49.95
ST COMPOSITE MONITOR CABLES 19.95
520ST MEMORY UPGRADES TO 1 MEG 170.00
UPGRADES TO 2.5 MEG 499.00
UPGRADES TO 4 MEG 799.00
520ST MEMORY UPGRADE BOARD OK RAM 150.00
USE WITH 256K or 1 MEG CHIPS
ST/IBM PRINTER OR MODEM CABLE 17.50
ST MOUSE 60.00
520 POWER SUPPLY w/o TRADE 90.00
w/ TRADE 65.00
ST DRIVE SUPPLY w/o TRADE 75.00
w/ TRADE 60.00
ST 6' DISK DRIVE CABLES 19.95
ST 13 PIN MONITOR PLUGS 5.50
MOUSE MATS FOR ST MOUSE 9.95
COVERS FOR 1040ST 9.95
ATARI 8-BIT COMPUTERS AND ACCESSORIES
B'5.XE COMPUTER --CALL
130 XE COMPUTER CALL
1050 DISK DRIVE CALL
1027 PRINTER CALL
1802 COLOR MONITOR 229.95
XETEC GRAPHIC PRINTER INTERFACE 59.95
800/XL/XE/1050 POWER SUPPLIES 25.00
ATARI 6’ DISK DRIVE CABLE 12.00
ATARI COMPOSITE MONITOR CABLE 10.00
850 PRINTER OR MODEM CABLE 14.95
5200 JOYSTICKS 32.00
2600 POWER SUPPLIES 12.00
COVERS FOR 800XL, 130XE, 1050 8.95
KX-P1080i 120 C.P.S. DOT MATRIX 224.95
KX-P1092i 180 C.P.S. 399.95
KX-P1592 180 C.P.S. Wide Carriage 499.95
KX-P1595 240 C.P.S. . 699.95
KX-P3131 LETTER QUALITY 299.95
KX-P3151 . . " 499.95
The Electronic Clinic is a completely
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that has been serving the Washington
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We are an ATARI factory repair center.
Professional service on: Astra, Indus, Rana,
and Trak disk drives. Epson and Panasonic
printers, most brands of monitors.
*** ALL SOFTWARE AT LEAST 15-25 % OFF ***
We stock the entire CURRENT NOTES ST
Public Domain Library^ $4.00 Per Disk
All prices listed are good for these months
only with this ad. No photocopies. Some
items may be in 1imited quantities. Prices
are subject to change. Call to inquire about
any product listed.
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MONOCHROME TTL MONITOR $149.95
OTHER PRODUCTS AND ACCESSORIES
MONITOR SWIVEL STANDS- 22.50
6 OUTLET SURGE PROTECTOR W/BREAKER 24.50
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3.5" DISKETTES CASES HOLDS 26 12.99
HOLDS 50 19.99
5.25" DISKETTE CASES HOLDS 100 19.99
3.5" TDK DISKETTES 10 FOR 15.00
5.25" NASHUA DISKETTES 10 FOR 7.50
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COMPUTER PAPER 9.5" x 11" 29.50
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Call for price on custom assembled systems.
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We accept govt. & school purchase orders.
MS-DOS ON THE ST: PART I
Cultural Shock for GEM Fans
By William Price
For those #10 have never used CP/M or MS DOS,
the new IBM PC emulation facilities provided by
pc-ditto are akin to cultural shock.
True, it does not support the mouse; so
there's none of this laid back clicking on icons
that characterizes the ease of use provided by
Digital Research's GEM interface on the ST. But
in the future, the mouse will be supported so
that you can use the full features of GEM PC and
Microsoft Windows. For now, it's keying commands
and making all the syntax and typo errors that
are the hallmark of a hunt-and-peck typist like
myself. Frustrating is one reaction, but another
view will recognize the power, versatility, and
flexibility provided by a command language. GEM,
despite its ease of use and convenience, does
have its limitations.
Bill Teal, the developer of pc-ditto y is an
ex-IBMer from the D.C. area. He has done a
remarkable job in delivering a software emulator
for the Intel chip. Hardware co-processing, ala
the ATR 8000, is much easier to accomplish as
well as more expensive. Developing a software
emulator that performs like this one requires
seme real smarts. And you haven't seen all of
them that Bill has. Apparently, he has a bundle
of tricks up his sleeve that will raise a lot of
eyebrows. So go all out to support this unpro¬
tected system. Else the effort will not be worth
his time and we will not benefit frem his clever
innovations. If you like pc-ditto and don't own
it yet, go out now and buy it! More goodies are
on the way for its owners.
For those that have been initiated to MS DOS
through the facilities of pc-ditto y I'll try to
give seme tips on how to get the most out of MS
DOS on your ST. Mike Gibbons, elsewhere in the
issue, will tune you to how and what pc-ditto can
do. Putting aside the slowness of operation that
is a consequence of emulation (and this will
change), the ST offers several significant
improvements over the IBM PC XT. First is the
higher capacity 3.5" double sided disk drive that
doubles the storage available on IBM's 5.25"
drive. Second is RAM expandibility beyond the
640K offered on the PC. This and the disk
capacity are severe limitations to running large
systems like PageMaker and Ventura Publisher on
the PC. The ST provides a better vehicle for
operating both of these systems. Third is the
ST's color monitor which is sharper and crisper
than the standard IBM color monitor. And of
course there is the difference in price. After
running a few PC applications on your ST, it will
really make you appreciate — even be ecstatic —
about the architecture of the ST and what GEM
really does for you. Now, let's get on with
setting up MS DOS.
Discovery — 3.5" Disks . MS DOS 3.2 was the
first version to support 3.5" drives. These
drives have only been recently discovered by IBM
and are defined as High Density. The older 5.25"
drives, standard on PCs until the advent of the
PS/2 series, had a rnaximum capacity of 360K frem
40 tracks, 9 sectors each, double sided format.
With 3.5" disks, the maximum capacity is 720+
with 80 tracks, 9 sectors, double sided. IBM
also provides a 3.5" Quad Density floppy drive
with 1.2 megabyte capacity. A similar drive will
soon be available for the ST from Diverse Data
Products in Miami. Their drive is currently
running with 1.4 Meg capacity, and semetime in
the Fall, they hope to have a 2 Meg unit running
with utilities developed by David Beckemeyer of
Micro-C Shell fame.
DOS 3.2 & High Density Disks . Although MS
DOS 3.2 can handle the 730K density, it must be
configured for this format since the default is
still 40 tracks for the 5.25" floppy. To do
this, a CONFIG.SYS file must be created on your
DOS 3.2 disk. When booted, DOS first looks for
the presence of this file and tailors the system
according to the parameters that are specified.
To set up the High Density configuration, with
DOS 3.2 in Drive A, type the following at the A>
prompt (which is shown in the example). Commands
are not case sensitive, so upper or lower case
A> COPY COT CONFIG.SYS
DRIVPARM=/D: 1 /F:2
The COPY command creates a file called called
CONFIG.SYS and then copies the ASCII text you
enter on the CCN(sole) — your keyboard — to
this file. DEVICES equates the disk drive to the
utilities provided by DRIVER.SYS. The drive
parameters are then defined for D:0 (Drive A) and
in the last line to D:1 (Drive B). The F:2
parameter defines the format of these drives as
High Density or 730K (80 rather than the default-
40 tracks). The above format, punctuation and
spacing is correct. There are no spaces before
or after the equal signs. But a space before the
/F:2 switch is essential. There must be no
spaces between the statement and the [Return] key
entry. The last line must be closed with the
[F6] or Function Key 6. This generates a Control
Z [ A Z], an End-of-File marker, executes the COPY
ccrrmand, and writes the file. As you are working
with copying to CONFIG.SYS, you will discover
that each time this is done, it overwrites the
previous file — it does not add to that file.
Whatever you type must be the entire
You can examine this file by typing the
following at the A> prompt:
COPY CCMFIG.SYS CCM
This command copies the contents of the file (any
ASCII file) to the CCN(sole) which in this syntax
position is the monitor. When CCN is the
subject, it’s the keyboard. As an object, it's
the monitor. PRN can be used in lieu of con to
direct the file to your printer. But make sure
it is on-line first. Sometimes DOS gets nasty
with errors and may require rebooting the system.
You can also use SHIFT * print text. This is an
ASCII character print and not a graphic screen
dump. Using CTL *[RET] will toggle the printer
on and off. The asterisk must be the one to the
far right of the keyboard over the numeric
keypad. You may also use PRINT filename.ext PRN
to direct a text file to the printer. Using TYPE
filename.ext will display text in that file to
the screen. In these examples, the file must be
on the drive indicated by the prompt, otherwise
the drive letter must be entered before the
These newly created CCMFIG.SYS parameters
must be installed by the system, so simultaneous¬
ly press CTL ALT and DEL to quit DOS. This
returns you to the pc-ditto start-up screen where
you press RET to re-boot DOS. Two messages
should appear after boot-up to indicate that High
Density drives C and D have been installed. C is
Drive A, and D is B. DOS makes this equation and
you continue to specify A and B in your commands.
If you have a hard disk, identify it as E.
Formatting and Copying . With the system now
configured, the FORMAT command will default to 80
tracks and 730K. This can't be used to format a
5.25" drive. (If this is a constant requirement,
use only the first set of DEVICE^ and DRIVPARM=
statements for the CCMFIG.SYS file.) If FORMAT
B:/S is used, the 3.5" disk in Drive B will be
formatted and the hidden DOS files in Drive A
will be copied to the disk to make it bootable.
The system takes over 64K of the available disk
space. FORMAT alone will generate a disk with
730,112 byte capacity. The COPY command can be
used to copy files to the new formatted disk.
For example, COPY A:*.* B: will copy "all" files
frcm Drive A to B, but not quite all. This
ccrrmand will not copy hidden files or
sub-directories. Since two of the critical
system files are hidden, they can only be copied
with the /S switch on FORMAT or with the DISKCOFY
command. Both also copy sub-directories, or in
ST parlance, folders. The DOS 3.2/3.3 XCOFY
ccrrmand will also copy folders, but not hidden
At this point, let me apologize to sore for
being so pedantic. This detail is provided in
the pages of Current Notes for two reasons.
First, the Avant Garde instructions are not clear
.in some instances, and there are a few minor
errors in the examples. It took me several hours
by trial and error, and reading three DOS books
to finally succeed with this configuration file.
Secondly, I've been on the phone with four
different perplexed STers walking through this
sequence. If nothing else, this should help a
few that are struggling and save a lot of time on
Single-Side 3.5" Drives . What if you have
single side 3.5" drives? DOS only supports 40
tracks on a single side drive. It cannot format
or read 80 tracks from this type of device. I
recommend that financial priorities be adjusted
to purchase double side drives or possibly try
upgrading your drive by swapping out the SS
mechanism for DS one. This can be done with the
ST Epson drives — the ones with an eject button
on the lower right. However, this may not work
with the Chinon or other type drives with the
eject "tongue" under the disk slot. This style
faceplate may prevent insertion of another drive
mechanism. But do call seme of the advertisers
in Computer Shopper and other ST magazines to
inquire. If double sided drives are a long shot,
Avant Garde has provided a solution. Here's how
to do it using pc-ditto utilities.
First you must make a single sided 40 track
3.5" disk which includes DOS. One method is to
use a 5.25" 360K DOS disk to perform this
function. To do this, go to the pc-ditto menu
and define Drive A as EXTERNAL and then define
the external drive as as 5.25". Your 3.5" drive
will automatically default to Drive B. Booting
DOS frcm the the 5.25" drive, format Drive B with
the following command:
The /I defines single side, and as you recall, /S
copies the DOS system files to the formatted 3.5"
disk. You will now have a disk with a capacity
of 179,712 bytes. However, DOS 3.2 will take
approximately 69K leaving 110,592 available on
(Continued on page 51)
- 49 -
AVANTE-GARDE ' S pc-di11 o
(Continued from page 13)
Notes PC library will carry a selection of top
notch PD programs on 3.5" formats.
DOS & DITTO Survival Kit
pc-ditto emulates an IBM or IBM-ccrrpatible
computer. But to use it, you must have the IBM
Disk Operating System (PC or MS DOS). Where does
the DOS cone from? Well, you have to buy it.
You will also need the DOS documentation as it
doesn’t ccme with pc-ditto . You should be able
to get your dealer to sell you MS DOS. If the
dealer can format a 3.5 inch DOS disk for you,
then you are set! You get the operating system,
the documentation, and with many of the MS-DOS
systems, a working BASIC language and manual.
pc-ditto cones with a utility to format DOS
disks called PC_DEMT.COM. I had seme trouble
with this format program, but if I got the
message "Abort, Retry, or Ignore", I simply hit R
for Retry a few times, and it worked fine. I had
trouble trying to make single-sided DOS disks
with the IBM DOS 3.2 format program running under
pc-ditto. Even though I used the correct format
switch, /l, it would format 40 tracks on both
sides instead of 80 tracks on a single side. The
program PC_DFMT.COM worked and made single-sided
PC DOS Disks. Double-sided disks were never a
problem on either utility. I also noticed a
problem when changing from a double-sided disk in
a drive to a single-sided disk. It would not
recognize the drive file allocation table and
sometimes I had to abort the program. To re-boot
under MS DOS, you hold down the [Control], [Alt]
and [Delete] keys at the same time. This brings
you quickly back to the pc-ditto main screen
before DOS was loaded.
If you are new to MS DOS, you have a whole
operating system to learn, much more than could
every be covered in a magazine review. However,
it might help new users a bit if I explained seme
of the most-used MS DOS ccrrmands.
When you load MS DOS, it looks at the BOOT
disk and loads two "hidden" files. A hidden file
does not appear in the listing when you ask for a
directory using MS DOS. However, if you look at
the MS DOS disk under GEM, these two files are
not hidden (although they are set to READ ONLY).
They are placed on a DOS disk when it is
formatted. During the boot process, MS DOS loads
these two hidden files and then looks for the
program COMMAND.COM. After it loads this command
processor, it looks for a file named CONFIG.SYS,
and then a file named AUTOEXEC.BAT. These two
files are ASCII text files you create from the
console or any word processor that can save the
file in an ASCII format.
For example, you might create a typical
CONFIG.SYS file frern the console by entering the
A>C0PY CCN:CONFIG.SYS [RET]
DEVICE=ANSI. SYS [RET]
The [F6] key sets an end-of-file marker,
closes the file and writes it to the name you
indicated after the copy CCN: = statement. You
can also use this method to quickly make up an
autoexec or any other "batch" file. So when you
see documentation instructing you to add
something to your CONFIG.SYS file, you can use
this method. Note that you have to type the
whole file in, as it does not append to the
original file but overwrites it.
If a filename has one of the three extensions
COM, EXE or BAT, it is executable. When you
enter the filename, DOS will try to load and
execute the file. Any BAT file is an ASCII text
file which can be created as above and is used to
execute a series of commands (for example,
entering the time, date and then running your
favorite program at start up). COM and EXE files
are similar to PRG and TIP extensions under GEM.
To format a new disk , use the FORMAT ccrrmand.
For example, "A>F0RMAT B:" will format the disk
in drive B. However, I suggest you use the
pc-ditto program PC_DFMT.COM and follow the
prompts. What could be easier? Of course, your
MS DOS disks must all be formatted before you can
copy programs to them.
To list the files on your disk , enter the DIR
(directory) ccrrmand. If there are a lot of
programs, try "DIR /P" or "DIR /W" and see what
happens. It is easier to see the display with
these ccrrmands than with DIR.
To copy a single file, use the COPY ccrrmand:
"A>C0PY A:PROGRAM.EXE B:PROGRAM.EXE". If you
only have one disk, MS DOS will prompt you to
insert disk B into drive A as needed. Wild card
characters allows you to copy several files at
once. For example, "A>C0FY A:*.EXE B: " will
copy all files with an "EXE" extension from drive
A to drive B.
To copy an entire disk, use the DISKCOFY
program on your MS DOS disk: "A>DISKCOPY A: B: ".
Note that you can also use ST copy programs such
as PROCOFY to copy complete MS DOS disks,
although I have had some problems with
To delete a file, use the DEL (delete)
ccrrmand: "A>DEL A:FILENAME.XXX" (any filename
with its extension). Be sure to be careful using
wild cards or you can easily trash a disk. DOS
will ask you if you are sure if you use a *.*
wild card. You had better be sure or say good
bye to all you files on that disk.
To view an ASCII file , use the TYPE ccrrmand:
"A>TYPE A: FILENAME. XXX". This will show the file
on the screen. If is is long you can stop and
start the file from scrolling with a [Control]+S
toggle. You can use MS DOS to redirect the
output frcm the screen to the printer by
entering: "A>TYPE FILE.TXT >PRN". This lets you
send an ASCII text file to the printer. Be
careful in that if you try to send a file created
with a word processor or an executable program,
you may get garbage sent to the printer. I once
unknowingly sent a file full of formfeeds to my
printer and left my printer unattended. I found
a nice pile of paper on the floor.
To MaKe a DIRectory , use the MD or MKDIR
command: ,f A>MKDIR dimame M . This creates a
directory, "dimame", which is the same as a
folder in GEM. Use up to eight characters to
name your directory. To MOVE to a directory ,
just type "A>CD dimame". (CD is short for
Change Directory.) This will place you down into
the subdirectory or folder. Subdirectories can
continue downward, but it is best to keep it
simple and limit your subdirectories to only one
or two levels deep. To get back to the topmost
directory , called the ROOT directory, type:
"CD\". This returns you up to the top directory
much quicker than in GEM.
To remove a directory , first delete all the
files in it, then move to the parent directory
(the ccrrmand "A>CD .." will move you to the
parent directory of whatever directory you are
in) and type RD or RMDIR (for ReMove DIRectory)
and the directory name.
That's All or Is It?
This new adventure I premised you is just
beginning. If you really want to have seme fun,
just invite that die-hard IBM neighbor over and
boot up Turbo Pascal for him. I have been
waiting a long time for a product like this, and
based on this initial offering, I have every
confidence in AVANT-GARDE SYSTEMS. GINNY and
BILL TEAL run this small, Florida based company
and I am sure they will continue to improve our
ST libraries with quality products like
[pc-ditto, AVANT-GARDE SYSTEMS, 381 Pablo
Point Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32225 . (904)
MS-DOS ON THE ST: Part I
(Continued frcm Page 49)
Exit PC emulation and boot your pc-ditto
disk. From the directory, drag the two files
PC_DFMT.PRG and PC_DDRVR.SYS over to your newly
DOS formatted disk. This procedure may sound
strange, but as both Avant Garde and David Small
have previously pointed out, the ST and IBM
formats are virtually identical. More on this
later. Back to pc-ditto emulation. Boot your
DOS disk containing the two transferred programs.
Now you must configure the system by entering the
COPY (XM CONFIG.SYS
To execute this configuration, reboot the disk
and enter: "ASSIGN A=C,B=D". Without the assign
command, the special features of PCJDEMI will not
be available. If you want to increase your
techno-stress, enter this ccrrmand with a space
after the comma, or emit the ccrrma and use a
space only. Also, don't use ASSIGN on your
standard DOS disk. It kills execution of the
regular FORMAT ccrrmand. DOS will not format an .
To use these special pc-ditto utilities,
after the A> prompt, enter PC_DFMT. This will
present a menu screen where the UP and DOWN
cursors move between menu items, and the LEFT and
RIGHT toggle selections in each item. For those
that have High Density support with DOS 3.2 or
3.3, these utilities will be of little value.
But for those with single sided drives, this is
your only hope. Identify your target drive as A
or B (not C or D), and select 80 tracks, 9
sectors, 1 side. You may also elect to copy DOS
to the disk you are formatting. Then press F5 to
execute. Sometimes DOS gets cranky and doesn't
recognize the drive. Just keep pressing an R for
Retry and it will eventually execute. H
when completed, it may not return to DOS; so a
"warm boot" will be needed. When formatting *
multiple disks, you may get "Fatal stack error".
This one is indeed fatal, and a reboot frcm
pc-ditto will be required. However, the above
ASSIGN format should not produce this problem.
The formatted disk will contain 362,496 bytes.
With DOS 3.2 copied, it will leave 292,864
available — the same as for a standard double
sided 40 track disk. PC_DDRVR.SYS allows you to
use this nonstandard single sided 80 track disk.
Avant Garde has been sensitive to the needs of
users with SS drives and has provided a solution
that works. You're in business.
- 51 -
At the recent surrmer Consumer Electronics
Show Psygnosis was showing off, much to the de¬
light of the crowds, a new game called BARBARIAN.
Although the game was demonstrated on an Amiga,
they were quick to point out that this title
would be simultaneously released on the ST, and
that the two programs were nearly identical in
both graphics and game play. I am happy to
report that they were correct on both counts,
except that, in my perhaps biased opinion, the
graphics of the ST version are maybe a little bit
better. BARBARIAN can best be described as an
interactive cartoon where the player assumes the
role of 'Hegor the Barbarian” in his quest
through the underworld to destroy the evil
But before I get ahead of myself, let me tell
you what you get for the $39 investment. When
you open the box, you'll find a 15-page manual
that contains brief loading instructions but is
for the most part, the legend of Hegor. This
novella, as it's called, reads fast and contains
hints to help you on your journey. Also, a 16" X
27" poster of the original artwork by Rodger Dean
is enclosed, as well as a quick reference card
for game play. Finally, not one but two disks
are enclosed. Although the game is contained on
two disks, no disk swapping is necessary because
before the game starts, the entire contents of
the first disk are loaded into memory and then,
after the user is prompted to place the second
disk in drive ”A”, there it remains. This
probably sounds like a long process (see Ed.
Comment), but three nicely done graphic screens
are presented along the way, so even the loading
time is enjoyable.
Once it has booted, you see Hegor ready to
enter the underworld and a strip of icons at the
bottom of the screen. To control Hegor the
player can use either the keyboard or the mouse
or both at the same time. (There is seme
advantage to experimenting with these;
occasionally you get a different "play”
reaction.) I prefer to use the mouse and this is
where the icons come into play. These icons
provide for control over the direction Hegor is
walking, running, to ccme to a stop, to attack
someone, to defend himself, and to flee. Also
the right mouse button toggles between a second
set of icons which allows the player to pick up,
set down or use an object he has acquired. The
second set of icons also displays which weapons
Hegor has, as well as a clock which shows how
long you have been playing. The player can also
simply click on the screen placing the arrow in
the direction he wants Hegor to move, putting in
a second "click" carmand after the first. The
versatility of input shows how much effort has
gone into the game.
Game play? Simply click on the "right arrow"
icon and Hegor starts to walk to the right. If a
ladder or staircase ccmes up, click on the
appropriate directional icon and Hegor will climb
or descend when he gets there. Sounds simple,
huh? Well, it's not that easy. There are
monsters and henchmen everywhere to do battle
with. And if that's not enough, how about adding
falling rocks and disintegrating bridges just to
mention a couple of the obstacles you will
encounter. Seme of these obstacles may require
sane thinking, if not experimentation, to survive
All right .... All right. This is all great,
but how does the game look and feel? BARBARIAN
has excellent graphics, extremely smooth
animation, digitized sound (mostly grunts), and
responds well to user input. As an example of
the detail of the graphics, the expression on
Hegor's face changes from absolute confidence
when walking into battle to pure terror as he
squirts away, if you click on the "flee" button.
Once you have lost all three of your lives, the
screen flashes the percentage of the game that
you have completed. Then with no arguing, you
are returned to the beginning of the game to face
the same hazards in the same places as before.
There is no "save game" option in the program
but the true challenge is to battle your way
along to get just a little bit further, just a
little bit better each time, Which often involves
new and creative strategies.
There are very few things I would criticize
in this game, but if I were to "nitpick"...
Well, the game works only in color. While the
dazzling graphics would suffer in translation to
monochrome, there are, indeed, a lot of those
sets out there missing a superb game. Secondly,
although the animation is outstanding, seme times
Hegor's feet distract you as they descend,
missing the actual steps (I said I was
I highly recommend BARBARIAN. It is packed
with action, yet has the feel of an adventure.
Psygnosis is to be congratulated, "A job well
ST - 52 - ST
ATARI 8-BIT .
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OPEN MON. TO SAT.
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ALL SALES END OCT.15,1987 IN STOCK ONLY
RELAX AND ENJOY
By Joe Kuffner, (c) 1987
Well? You say you're burned? Are you burned
from too much glorious sunshine of this recent
heat wave? How about from too much TV radiation
frcm watching Iran-Contra hearings day and night?
Or, as usual, do the bum lines this summer ccme
from spending so much time working on your com¬
puter. If your reason is any of the above, then
its time to Relax and Enjoy.
A brand new release, frcm Atari, is going to
Jmock your socks off, literally!! I'll be taking
a look at AFK/NOID, the game that takes BREAKOUT
into the third dimension. This program is so
addicting, that those in the know, say that AA
(Arkanolics Anonymous) groups will be popping up
around the continent to ccmbat this new, and
potentially lethal (and very enjoyable) pastime.
We'll also look at my selection for PD-of-
the-Month, SUPER SENSORI , a classic tone / memory
tester that will have your family begging to give
it a try.
What can I say about the most addicting com¬
puter arcade game that I've ever played? Every¬
thing! ! Hang on to your hat (and mouse) and en¬
ter the space warp frcm which you may never re¬
turn. Welcome to ARKANOID, programmed by Imagine
Software of Europe, and distributed by Atari.
The mothership "ARKANOID" was destroyed; you
were left to defend yourself in these rounds of
ME^CUT-style challenges. 33 rounds of brick-
smashing, ghost-busting, ball-chasing fun. All
wrapped up in a superbly programmed, colorful,
entertaining package. Playing this game is
definitely what I call relaxing!
All you need, to enjoy this game, other than
the program, is the basic color ST system. After
booting the system, and clicking the mouse you're
thrust into the very short history of how you
ended up as the character in this game. However,
ARKANOID is much too good a game to have to be
bogged down with seme contrived story on why you
are playing. The simple fact is that you're
addicted to it, or soon will be.
Using your mouse to control your "ship", act¬
ually more like a paddle, you control a bouncing
ball. Keeping it in play, keeps the ball banging
into bricks (thus eliminating them), scoring
points, and knocking off your foes. You start off
with a few lives, accumulating more with points
and "pills" (I'll explain "pills" in a moment),
with the object to seek freedom by getting
through all 33 rounds. Well, I'll tell you right
now, if you get to 33, let alone through it,
you're the greek God of Arcadia, master of your
You see, several factors are stopping you
frcm completing your objectives. The first, and
the most obvious, is your lack of coordination.
As with all true arcade games, hand/eye coordi¬
nation is a mandatory requirement. But what
makes this game more fun (and also separates it
frcm its grandmother, EREMOJT) is the
introduction of small amounts of luck and
Seven types of power "pills", which fall ran¬
domly on the playing surface, provide you with
the extra tools and traps to get you through each
round. These pills can provide you with a ball
multiplier (light blue), a brick-blasting gun
(red), a ball catcher (green), a "ship" enlarger
(dark blue), a "slow-things-down" pill (yellow),
and two very special assists: extra player (grey)
and gateway to the next level (pink). With the
exception of the last two, a little bit of
strategy is required before "grabbing" the pill.
By the way, these pills also distract you frcm
your real objective - keeping the ball in play!
As a result, you may find that they are not
always assists but sometimes hindrances.
Working against you are the occupiers of the
space warp. These "babies", although destroyed
when hit by your ball, cause your ball to deflect
in random directions. Keep your eyes on the
ball!!! These intruders take the form of wizard-
capped ghosts, rolling block balls (think about
that one!), rolling ball-infested wire pyramids
(you've got to look carefully) and last but
certainly not least, colorful trios of balloons.
All of than make genuine nuisances of themselves.
One bright side of their existence is that they
make wonderful scapegoats to cover up your own
ineptitude! Also, the ball speeds up, the longer
it stays in play. This speed has different
effects in each round (that is, depending on when
and where speed changes occur, it may or may not
help you). At seme levels, the ball simply
travels so fast that closing your eyes actually
If that isn't enough for you, read on. Other
than being colorful, these bricks, on the three
dimensional backdrop, have other characteristics.
Grey bricks must be hit two or more times in
order to be destroyed. Glittering gold bricks
cannot be destroyed at all. This fact makes it a
requirement, that by the time you get to higher
levels, you must have acquired enough paddle
dexterity to "aim" your shots. Without this
skill, luck won't help you one snipit!
I hope that you're getting the impression
that this game is an animation and graphics para¬
dise. It is. Even the backdrops contain out¬
standing detail (and hence distraction). More
than once, I've found myself staring at the back¬
drop instead of watching the ball. Beware! Ade¬
quate sound effects and intuitive playing fea¬
tures round out the program's brilliant program¬
ming. The only minor drawback in the program is
the lack of game-save feature. This forces you
to to start at Round 1 each time you lose your
final life! However, practice makes perfect.
There is, however, a game pause feature (space
bar) which allows you to take breaks for meals
(yes, starvation forces you to step away frcm the
As a yardstick to your playing prowess, my
top score is 263,410 at round 19. For newccmers,
don't be discouraged if level 3 proves frustrat¬
ing. A little later in this review I'll provide
a couple of quick and dirty tips that should
improve your game. I figure that if you get past
level 5 you should consider yourself to be above
average, similar to breaking 100 in golf, and
well on your way to coipleting all the rounds.
Do not interpret this to mean that the worst is
over by level 5, because it certainly isn't.
I'll leave it to you to discover for yourself.
Since everyone must get past at least the
first three rounds to start having fun with the
game (I guarantee you that you'll find Round 3
frustrating!), I'm going to list a few tips on
strategy for your perusal:
Round 1 : (a) Grab as many pills as possible.
This will help your score and give you practice
timing the fall rate of the pills, (b) Avoid
destroying the grey bricks until all of the
colored bricks are gone. This reduces the
interference caused by the ghosts.
Round 2 : (a) Use the Brown Maneuver (so named by
its inventor). When starting the screen, line
your paddle up under the 3rd brick frcm the right
and release the ball. Leave the paddle in the
same place for one more hit. This puts the ball
above the bricks for maximum pill-grabbing time
without the worry of chasing the ball! (b) Re¬
frain frcm taking the multiplier on this level.
Valuable pill-grabbing time is lost by too
quickly eliminating the bricks.
Round 3 : (a) Use the Kuffner Move (I wonder who
discovered this one?). After eliminating the 1st
3 bricks, you can always enter the maze of bricks
by starting at the right-hand wall and releasing
the ball. Leave the paddle still and presto, on
the second hit, it enters the maze, (b) Stay
away frcm Early Blue Syndrcme, or EBS, named by
the inventor of the Brown Maneuver. There is no
perfect time to grab the light blue multiplier.
But, there certainly are lousy times. Show
discipline and wait until you've cleared the
first and second rows of bricks. The longer you
wait, the better! (c) Take green but not Red.
The catcher pill is very useful. The Red gun
pill is totally useless!
General : (a) Don't always exit immediately after
grabbing the pink! Although most forces are
erased by grabbing a new pill, the gateway to the
next level is not erased by pills. Only by loss
of your player. (This strategy is not without
risk!) (b) Always, and I mean always, go for the
ball. Just like going for the body in Hockey!
(c) Don't play for more than eight hours in a
row. You might get fired - or divorced - or
I hope that you find this game as exciting
and challenging as I have. This month's under¬
statement is: I LOVE AFKANOID. When you go to
buy it, buy two and give one to your best friend.
Otherwise you may have to turn over your machine
to him/her. Have fun. This one is definitely a
Even public domain games can prove addicting
to a wide variety of users. SURER SENSORI , a ED
release frcm Magic Software of Europe, using
compiled GFA Basic , provides the ST version of
the classic memory game of lights and tones. The
game was popularized by Milton Bradley in their
S'JMCN series of toys.
Six colors and corresponding tones are *
sequentially played for you to repeat. You may
select keyboard or mouse interaction. The game
plays quickly and accurately. The graphics and
colors are complimentary as is the music played
during intermissions. The interface is so simple
that you find yourself playing for hours,
painlessly, yet with a certain amount of
frustration. My best was correctly playing 21
tones in a row. A must-have program for your
As you have probably noticed, this month's
moral, so to speak, is that relatively simple
concepts, coupled with excellent prograrrming can
prove to be enjoyable masterpieces that earn
their way into your software library, whether
they cost money or not. Relax and Enjoy, and
DATATR I E VE
An ST File Manager
Review by John Barnes
File Management Software
I came away from Atarifest 86 convinced that
the great majority of database users for the ST
would be satisfied with a program seme thing like
SYNFILE or FIJEMANACER 800 +, file managers for
8-bit Atari computers. These people do not need
or want the power of cLEMJN or similar programs,
* which implement seme features of true relational
database management software. The speed and
capacity afforded by the ST are compelling
reasons for upgrading to a 16-bit machine if you
need to do a lot of database management.
A File Management program is used to maintain
simple lists of the sort you would keep on index
cards in a box. Examples of such lists include
mailing lists (the big favorite), inventories,
recipe files, and the like. Indeed, if you have
no need to update the contents of the individual
cards (records in computer parlance) and if you
have no need to print out subsets of the data or
to order it in different ways, you would be well
advised to stick with the old-fashioned
DATATRIEVE y frem Data Becker via Abacus
Software, should meet many of these needs.
DATATRIEVE comes as a copy-protected disk with an
attractive manual. ACA quoted me a price of $64,
which makes it a relatively expensive package
considering what it does. You can copy the
program to a hard disk or a Ramdisk, but the
original must be in drive A when you start the
program up. The copy protection on the original
is relatively effective. I understand that
registered users can obtain a backup copy for
$10. The original disk also includes several
applications: a mailing list, an auto maintenance
file, a stamp and coin file, and a recipe file.
For those who insist on GEM applications,
DATATRIEVE is quite a pretty one. On the other
hand, those who like to work with the keyboard
when doing database management will find that
many of the most repetitive functions in
DATATRIEVE can be done with function or control
You will want to make a working disk with
your own desktop, folders for your applications,
a proper printer driver, and perhaps a print
spooler. Abacus supplies Ram disks of various
sizes and they recommend using them, tut I prefer
to use RMDSK1 frem the CN library and I install
this together with a print spooler from an AU10
folder. A calendar and a calculator might be a
handy desk accessories for those who can afford
Building a new application is not hard, tut
the canned applications are a big help in showing
how best to realize the glamor of DATATRIEVE.
The canned applications may vrell be enough for
the user who simply wants to maintain a similar
Defining Your File
There are three parts to any application: The
file, the queries, and the reports.
The record structure of the file is defined
by a list of FIELDS that the user provides at
startup time. The attributes (text, numeric,
date) are defined when the field name is entered.
Interestingly enough, DATATRIEVE does not seem to
care about the length of a text field, so that
the user is not really restricted in the number
of characters entered in a text field. The
records appear to be stored in a squeezed format
so as to occupy minimum disk space.
DATATRIEVE stows each application in a folder
of its own, which makes for tidy disk maintenance
because you will create a plethora of files for
report forms, printer and screen masks, etc. and
it is best to keep each application separate.
. I feel that DATATRIEVE's lack of a
Calculated field type is a serious drawback.
SynFile possessed this capability and it let the
user do certain kinds of simple statistical wrork
and accounting. I cannot, for example, implement
the Yacht Race Scoring application described in
the December 86 Current Notes . People who need
this functionality for Inventory Control,
Subscription Fulfillment, or similar applications
should consider using a relational database
Advanced users are able to import records
frem another database into a DATATRIEVE file with
a rrodest amount of ingenuity, so that conversion
of a list from one program to another should not
be too difficult.
In DAIATRIEVE you maintain the file by
editing data records that are presented on a
screen one record at a time. If records are to
be updated you bring them up by using
Search/Select criteria. New records to be added
and modified records are dealt with with the
screen in Input mode. The order and appearance
of the fields on the screen can be controlled by
editing a SCREEN MASK. A default screen mask is
generated at file definition time, so that you do
not have to worry about building a screen mask
unless you want to. The editor for screen masks
makes excellent use of GEM capabilities and you
can make very glamorous forms.
Horizontal and vertical slider bars allow the
user to expand the screen mask beyond a single
Mouse button controls on the file maintenance
screen provide a neat way to move through the
file and to control searching and selecting.
There is a "gearshift" icon for toggling between
Search/Select and Input modes that I find kinky.
DAIATRIEVE lets you use four GEM windows at a
time for record editing. This would be really
nifty in a relational database, but I do not see
much reason for it in a file manager, because
there is no provision for sharing information
Indices are used to facilitate file
maintenance and query functions. Indices are
also important at report generation time. The
file management program maintains an ordered list
of KEYS that point to each record in a file.
This array of keys is usually RAM resident to
facilitate speed in searching. Queries that use
the key will usually be very fast.
DAIATRIEVE does something really sweet with
indices. It allows you to access the list in a
window with a slider bar. This provides a very
quick way to view the index, and retrieval of a
record containing a given key is very quick.
Unfortunately, I have not found a way to
cause DAIATRIEVE to order records on a key that
is a function of more than one index field. I
find this to be a disadvantage because I often
work with lists whose overall order is a function
of multiple keys. This can be done while working
with "Subranges*’, but I have not found a way to
do it for the file as a whole. The Current
Notes mailing list, for example, is often sorted
by Club, then by member within Club. Good old
SynFile could do this as a matter of course even
if its speed and capacity were limited.
DAIATRIEVE allows the user to pull up records
that match certain selection criteria in a couple
of ways. First, there are the indexes. These
can be used, as mentioned previously, to point to
any record or group of records. The subrange
function allows the user to restrict the range of
records that he is working on within a file. I
have not yet found an easy way to create a new
database consisting of records meeting certain
selection criteria, as would be done, for example
if the circulation manager for Current Notes
wished to send AURA a database with only AURA
members on it.
Reports from DAIATRIEVE take two forms, lists
and printer pages. The user defines the format
of these outputs using appropriate mask editors.
These are rather inelegant, but functional. The
mouse is used to define column widths and field
placement. An additional page layout menu must
be used to complete the definition of printer
DAIATRIEVE's report generation capabilities
seem rather inflexible. I do not, for example,
find a way to generate "two-up'* mailing labels.
This may be asking a lot because I had to write
an application program to do this from cLEMAN.
Most on line report generators share this problem
and you may want to consider a database system
like dMAN or REGENT BASE that provides an
application writing language. In the SYNFILE
days I wrote the data out to an ASCII file and
then operated on that with a BASIC program.
Files in ASCII format for mail merge and
table inpat to word processors can be output to
disk using the PRINT FORM or PRINT LIST options.
This might also be a good way to create modified
databases. The screen option for viewing the
output of these commands is very handy.
Modifying the Database
DAIATRIEVE is a little unusual in that you
cannot delete or rename fields. Therefore, if
you wish to modify the record format of your file
for seme reason you will be faced with a good
deal of work. DAIATRIEVE also cares a great deal
about the order in which you entered the field
names during the definition phase. If you find
that these things are creating problems you may
wish to print the file to disk using an
appropriate report form and then use the Read
Text File option to import the data into a
- 57 -
revised file. I consider this approach awkward compared to the
procedures in SYNFIIE or dREN for modifying a database.
The 120 page booklet that describes how to use DATATRIWE is not
a good description of the product, it is not a good tutorial, nor is
it a good reference work. What text there is is well written, but it
seems largely confined to describing options on the pull-down menus
and those descriptions are often terse, lacking adequate examples.
There is, for example, an intriguing item under "Other Block
Operations" about copying between two files, but I could not make
enough sense of it to try it. The developers of GEM based programs
seem to feel that the screens tell everything and I am waiting for
them to learn that people also want to understand what they are
As a sophisticated user of ST database management techniques I
would not take DATAFRIEVE seriously. If I had to set scmeone else up
with a simple system for maintaining a simple list I might consider
using it for the pizazz of its data entry forms and its relative ease
of use within the GEM environment. I would, however, like such an
application to be closed, so that the user is kept to a straight and
narrow path with minimum distractions.
My feelings about this product can be summarized by comparing
with seme Hollywood actresses: lots of glamor, short on sex, and a
disaster in the kitchen.
LDW BASIC REV. 2.0 only $89 95
compiler for the Atari ST y *
Create your own windows, menus, dialog boxes, buttons, edit fields, and check boxes.]
Use desk accessories while running your Basic program.
Design your own mouse shapes and icons.
Use alert boxes and file selectors.
Develop ‘event-driven’ applications.
All this and more without any additional GEM documentation.
Explore more than 50 new high level GEM access statements.
A) 1 million empty FOR/NEXT loop.
B) Integer calculations.
C) Floating point benchmark. Please note
that some ‘C’ compiler use double
D) Sieve benchmark.
LDW FAST GFA GFA ST Alcyon Megamax MWilliams
Basic Basic Basic Comp Basic 'C' ‘C’ ‘C
A) 67 66 48.1 17.1
B) 4.3 526 527 168.2
C) 3.5 6 10.2 8.7
D) 0.55 16 14 1.3
303 5.7 5.7
1100 5.9 6.1
15.5 3.4 58.8
38.3 0.43 0.46
LDW BASIC rev. 2.0 is fully compatible with the new ST BASIC
intepreter, the old ST BASIC interpreter, and functionally compati¬
ble with Microsoft BASIC for Macintosh.
Not copy protected! No license fees 1
OTHER LDW BASIC FEATURES
* Ability to edit, compile, and execute programs without
leaving LDW BASIC.
* Ability to create stand-alone applications.
* Menu-driven adjustment to any system configuration.
» Binary or assembly source output.
* Single and double precision floating point.
» Short and long integers.
» Static and dynamic arrays.
» Multi-line functions and procedures with parameters and
* Hooks to BIOS.
* And many more.
= ==^ = = = LOGICRL
780 Montague Expwy., Suite 403
San Jose, CA 95131 U.S.A.
Telex: 294526 LDW UR
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ST PROGRAMMING BOOKS
Review by Pamela Rice Hahn
I do not consider myself a programmer. I am
a dabbler. And, I'm very curious. I want to
know how and why things work. Not mechanically.
In my opinion, that's for the techies. I enjoy
examining a program's (programmer's) logic. To a
certain extent the code reflects the programmer's
personality. (There are easier ways to study
human nature, I know; but, I'm ecentric by
choice. At least in this instance.)
So, rather than considering myself a full¬
-fledged programmer, let's just say I'm a modifi¬
er. Trial-and-error and assistance from my
ever-present reference library help make these
modifications possible. This month we'll take a
look at two such "reference libraiy" books.
CCMETOE! SI Programmer's Guide . This book is
an amplification of the documentation that ccmes
with the ST. As such, it covers a broad area: ST
BASIC, Logo, GEM/ccnplete with C program exam¬
ples, and TOS. Unlike the COMPUTE! book reviewed
in the May '87 issue of CN, at publication this
book contained all original material.
The first three chapters are devoted to
learning to program in ST BASIC. "An Introduc¬
tion to ST BASIC" is just that — a concise
15-page overview of the language. In this case,
however, don't let the number of pages fool you.
COMPUTE! 's editors pack a lot of information in
these pages. Not only is it easy to comprehend,
but this intro is so much simpler than wading
through Atari's muddled ST BASIC manual. These
few pages provide enough information to allow the
novice to either begin LOADing in PD examples
(from the CN library, of course) or to start
writing his own simple BASIC programs. Chapter
2, "BASIC Keywords", contains explanations of the
(alphabetically-listed) keywords used in ST
BASIC. Examples are given showing mandatory
parameters and syntax. Chapter 3, "Writing Your
Own Programs", walks the user through typing in
the variety of programs given in the book, gives
the novice the instructions necessary to SAVE
then RUN those programs, and then explains how
the program(s) work.
The next three chapters cover Logo: "Logo
Programming Concepts", "Logo Primitives", and
"Creating Your Own Procedures".
Chapter 7, "Introduction to GEM and TOS", is
an introduction to the routines that make
possible the ST point 'n' click ease-of-use that
most of us already take for granted.
Chapter 8, "Writing a GEM Application",
explains the steps necessary to make a window,
adding a desk menu, and creating a desk accessory
shell. Because parts of GEM are written in C,
examples are given in that language, C also
provides a compromise between the ease of
understanding afforded by BASIC and the speed
possible using machine language. While this
chapter does explain the steps used in these
examples, seme knowledge of C is assumed.
The "Appendices" comprise the next 61 pages.
Appendix A displays the ASCII codes and their
equivalents. Appendix B is an explanation and
listing of BASIC Error Messages and Appendix C
explains Logo Error Messages. Appendix D pro¬
vides a sampling of software and hardware manu¬
facturers supporting the ST. Appendix E explains
and lists selected GEM VDI opcodes.
Finally, this book has one of the best
detailed indexes I've seen. Instead of just
containing a few random selected keywords and
then generating the multitude of numbers that
refer to each and every time that word is even
briefly referred to, this index (so far) seems to
be complete. For example, check out 'variables'
and you'll find "variables, BASIC 7-10" as well
as "variables, Logo 135-136."
The only complaint I have regarding a
possible source of confusion is that on pages 3
and 104 the book assumes TOS is still RAM-based;
however, by page 245 the book recognizes that TOS
can be either/or.
As a final added bonus, this book is spiral
bound. CQMEUIE! BOCKS has managed to impress me
[CCMEJTE! ST Programmer's Guide , CCMJEUTE! BOCKS,
P.O. Bax 5406, Greensboro, NC 27403.
919/275-9809 ISM/0-87455-023-8, $16.95. 356
ATARI ST Programmer's Guide . The first 153
pages of this book duplicate the 153 pages of
text in the ATARI ST User's Handbook by the same
author and reviewed last month. The substance in
this book is on the remaining pages. The last
chapter, Chapter 10, "ST BASIC Reference Guide",
is an alphabetized listing of the keywords and
their ccmmands, operations, and functions.
Definitions and examples, syntax, and (mini)
program samples are given.
The four previous chapters — "Introduction
to ST BASIC", "BASIC Programming Concepts", "File
Handling", and "BASIC Graphics" — are all well
written. The author's tutorial style is not only
easy to understand, but the examples given are
usually also accompanied by illustrations of
example screens. This approach, used often in
ABACUS books as well, not only facilitates
understanding of the subject(s) being presented
but also means the reader doesn't necessarily
have to read this manual while seated in front of
a computer to reach that level of understanding.
Since I never go anywhere without taking along
something to read (unless it's a quick trip to
the front porch to retrieve the morning paper), I
really appreciate this feature.
It's too bad, considering the quality of the
material in chapter 6-9, that I really can't
recommend this book. If Weber Systems had emit¬
ted the first 153 pages and published the last
half of this book under its present title at
$9.95, I'd endorse this book and call it a
bargain. Since they didn't, it's my opinion you
can find better ways to spend your $17.95.
[ATARI ST Programmer f s Guide , by Gilbert Held,
Weber Systems, Inc ., 8437 Mayfield Road,
Chester land, CH 4 4026 216/729-2858.
ISM/0-938862-79-0, $17.95, 351 pages, Index.]
ELECTRONIC COMPUTER PROJECTS
Review by Carl C. Hahn
Seme new houses are controlled by a computer.
A group of engineering students build a robot.
Have you wanted to try something like that, but
were in awe of electronics? Then I have news for
This new book from COMPUTE! won't tell you
how to control your house, or build a robot, but
it will give you a chance to see your computer in
a new way. If you have an Atari 400/800/XL/XE,
you should find something of interest. The book
contains enough information to give an amateur
the confidence to try something that sounds
difficult, providing some good information about
your computer as well.
The Preface tells you what tools you'll need
to get started. The list isn't long and your
supplies won't cost much. You probably even
already have seme of the items. It also explains
how to solder so you get a good connection, but
most of the projects don't require a lot of
There are 182 pages including a good Index.
The book is even wire-bound so it will lay flat
while you work. There are a lot of illustrations
and diagrams. The reading is easy to understand,
and tells you just what you need to know.
Once you add a component to your ccmputer,
you need a program (application) to make it work.
DOS is a good example of an application. Without
DOS your disk drive is just an expensive paper¬
weight. This book includes the application that
you type in for each of the projects. COMPUTE!
also knows people have trouble typing programs
from a listing, so they have included a program
called "Proofreader" to check your program
typing. When you type "Proofreader" the first
time be sure you SAVE it!! If you HUH it, it
merrily installs a machine language routine and
Each project is provided with a list of parts
.(complete with the appropriate Radio Shack part
number) you will need. This way, not only do you
know you have the right parts and can pick them
up in one trip to the store, you can also check
the catalog in advance so you know how much money
you'll need to take with you.
Although it starts with a brief explanation
about how your ccmputer works (bits, and bytes,
and switches), by page 9 you are ready to start
your first project: a simple Logic Probe. While
you follow the instructions, you learn about
resistors. Then you build a connector for your
joystick port, type in an 11-line program, and
use the logic probe to check which pins have
current. Since you are working with current from
the ccmputer, there is no danger of electrical
The second project is making a simple
joystick in a plastic box (Radio Shack), with
five switches for up, down, right, left, and
fire. This one requires more soldering, but
gives you a lot of experience. You can also
build a gravity joystick with mercury switches,
if you want. Next you make seme paddle
controllers, and test them on your ccmputer.
Each of the projects and subsequent
applications get more and more complex, but each
builds confidence. You also get experience in
using a solderless breadboard for your circuit^.
You can begin wire wrapping the connections,
which makes it possible to take your projects
apart and reuse the breadboard.
Since we are only up to page 45, I'll fast
forward through seme of the next projects.
There's an Analog Light Sensor using a photocell,
and a Light Pen using a phototransistor and a
NAND gate IC.
How about making a Variable Digital Light
Sensor (to tell when someone opens the
refrigerator door), or a Digital Light Beam Timer
(to time slot cars as they circle the track)?
You learn how your computer can send signals
to the outside while you build an Electronic
Switch. Using the information from the joystick,
digital light sensor, and electronic switch
projects, you can even build a Burglar Alarm.
You learn about Digital Logic and how to make
a Better Logic Probe. There's a chapter that
shows how you can build on the earlier projects,
with diagrams and pictures.
The last chapter is about Robotics. It does
show how you can control one motor (such as
raising and lowering an arm) with a computer
This would be a good book for a Father-Son
team. Most of the projects can be completed in a
couple of nights, including typing in the
[ELECTRONIC CCMRJIER PROJECTS for Commodore and
Atari Personal Computers, by Soori Sivakunaran,
COMPUTE! BOCKS, P.0. Box 5038, F.D.R. Station,
Nov York, NY 10150, ISBN/0-87455-052-1, $9.95. ]
Up to 20 times faster than normal system.
Works on both floppy and hard drive systems.
Wrlte-thru cache, so no danger of losing data.
Includes GEM configuration program for easy setup.
Options allow customization for any system.
Reduces wear on drives In several ways.
Transparent to most software.
PLUS $2.00POSTAGE & HANDLING
RESIDENTS PLEASE ADO 5% SALES TAX
DEALER INQUIRIES WELCOME
Bethesda! 3 MD 20B17
the successor to Pascal
* 7 #
i FULL interface to GEM DOS, AES
i Smart linker for greatly reduced
i Full Screen Editor linked to compiler
locates and identifies all errors,
i True native code implementation
(Not UCSD o-Code or M-code)
i Sophisticated multi-pass compiler
allows forward references and code
i Desktop automates
i FiteSystem, ReallnOut, LonglnOut,
InOut, Strings, Storage. Terminal
i Streams, MathLibO and all standard
i Directory search paths
i Supports real numbers and
transcendental functions ie. sin, cos,
tan, arctan, exp. In, log, power, sqrt
i 3d graphics and multi-tasking
i CODE statement for assembly code
i 370-page manual
i Installs on Hard disk and RAM disk
i No royalties or copy protection
i Phone and network customer
Pascal and Modula-2 source code are nearly identical. Modula-2 should be thought
of as an enhanced superset of Pascal. Professor Niklaus Wirth (the creator of
Pascal) designed Modula-2 to replace Pascal.
Added features of Modula-2 not found in Pascal
■ CASE has an ELSE and may contain
■ Dynamic strings that may be any
■ Programs may be broken up into
■ Multi-tasking is supported
Modules for separate compilation
■ Procedure variables
■ Module version control
■ Machine level interface
■ Programmer definable scope of
Direct port and Memory access
■ Open array parameters (VAR r:
ARRAY OF REALS;)
■ Elegant type transfer functions
Sieve of Eratosthenes;
CONST Size = 8190;
FROM MathLibO IMPORT sin. In, exp,
TYPE FlagRange = [O.Size];
FlagSet = SET OF FlagRange;
VAR x,y: REAL; i: CARDINAL;
VAR Flags: FlagSet;
Prime, k, Count, Iter: CARDINAL;
FOR i:= 1 TO 1000 DO
BEGIN (*$S-,$R-,$A+ ')
y:= sin (x); y:= In (x); y:= exp (x);
- FOR lter:= 1 TO 10 DO
y:= sqrt (x); y:= arctan (x);
x:= x + 0.01;
Flags:= FlagSet(); (* empty set *)
FOR i:= OTO Size DO
IF (i IN Flags) THEN
Primes (i * 2) + 3; k:= i + Prime:
WHILE k < -- Size DO
INCL (Flags, k);
VAR a,b,c; REAL; n, i: CARDINAL;
k:= k + Prime;
Counts Count + 1:
a:= 2.71828; b:= 3.14159; c:= 1.0;
FOR i:= 1 TO n DO
c:= c*a; c:= c‘b; c:= c/a; c:= c/b;
The TDI Modula-2 compiler has been running on the Pinnacle supermicro (Aug.
’84), Amiga (Jan. ’86) and will soon appear on the Macintosh and UNIX in the 4th
Regular Version $79.95 Developer’s Version $149.95 Commercial Version $299.95
The regular version contains all the features listed above. 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 library Module - Ramdisk ana Print Spooler source files - Resource
Compiler. The commercial version contains all of the Atari module source files.
Other Modula-2 Products
Kermit - Contains full source plus $15 connect time to CompuServe. $29.95
Examples - Many Modula-2 example programs to show
advanced programming techniques $24.95
GRID - Sophisticated multi-key file access method with over
30 procedures to access variable length records. $49.95
10410 Markison Road
Dallas, Texas 75238 ■ (214) 340-4942
CompuServe Number: 75026,1331
1 2 hours per day*
7 days a week
(^Sundays: 12-5 )
We'll have your ribbon
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Only Diskcovery guarantees supplies when you need them.
Seven days a week, for 77 hours per week, you will find our store
open with a wide selection of computer software and high quality
computer supplies like the Checkmate brand of ribbons. We
guarantee to have in stock the ribbon for the above listed printers.
If you ever find us out of stock, the next time you buy a ribbon from
us, just present your "supply check" and your next one is FREE!
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SMM 801 & 804
MUSIC, MIDI, and YOU
By Grant Slawson (c) 1987
MICHTRON'S SUPER CONDUCTOR
Hello again from the world of midi! Since I
received so many phone calls on my Dr. T KCS art¬
icle in the April CN, I decided to do a review on
another sequencer, MichTron 1 s Super Conductor.
To begin, I want to point out that this se¬
quencer uses an entirely different system of re¬
cording and editing than does any of the DR. T or
Hybrid Arts software. It took me a little longer
to get comfortable with this system than with the
other sequencers I have used. My belief is that
Michtron has tried to make this package a musical
version of a word processor rather than a word¬
processing-style recording studio. I find this
difficult to deal with since I have spent years
writing music measure by measure, rather than
block by block, but I think the folks at Michtron
have found a way to make music editing for the
non-musician a feasible reality.
The GEM-based program consists of recording
and editing sections, with all the facilities of
a good word processor at your command. Recording
on any of the 16 tracks is the same as other
sequencers: selecting tempo, time signature, and
quantization amounts, and playing in ’'real-time"
to accomplish the recording.
At this point the similarities between Super
Conductor and most other sequencers end. Super
Conductor is based on the principal that most
music is made up of repeated "blocks" or pat¬
terns, and therefore does its recording in this
manner. You then string together all the blocks
that have been recorded to form a song, much the
way you would put tracks together in other
sequencers. On the surface it appears to be
similar to other programs, but the blocks that
are recorded are not broken down by measures, or
any other visible means of seperation during the
recording process. This style of recording
basically demands that the user record in small
blocks, in order to make editing a reasonably
painless task. This also provides a much easier
method of recording for the person who wants to
tinker with music, but is not driven by the need
to produce the next Weekly Top 40 Countdown Hit .
A quick glance at the manual reveals a well-
written and comprehensive document which makes it
very simple to achieve positive results in your
first recording effort. Michtron has taken care
to include features found on more costly sequen¬
cers such as the ability to configure synthe¬
sizers for a particular song by building files in
the System Exclusive section using the word
processor of your choice. This enables the user
to send a single patch (sound), a bank of
patches, or patches and special performance data
to all the instruments in the system from one
keystroke. This is very handy for performance of
material, and especially useful if the user has a
number of synthesizers with limited patch memory.
They also include a section for using the inter¬
nal speaker in the ST monitor as a 3-voice synth.
You can even alter the sounds that are produced
by changing the envelopes for the voices frcm
within the Super Conductor pregram. The use of
the internal speaker can be very handy for those
with the desire to experiment with musical
recording and editing, but don't want to incur
the expense of a synthesizer right away. A very
nice feature I must admit.
The options available in Super Conductor
looks much like our trusty word processor: Record
Block, Delete Block, List Blocks, Mix Blocks,
Copy Blocks, Split Block, Filter Block, Transpose
Block, Quantize Block and Edit Block. Note the
Filter Block and Split Block options, as these
are very interesting features. Filter Block
allows the user to eliminate certain types of
data frcm the block both during and after record¬
ing. Velocity, pitch and other control-type
changes can be selectively eliminated frcm the
block, leaving the rest of the data unchanged.
Split Block lets you take one block of data and
chop it up into smaller blocks for easier editing
or in case you forgot you wanted two seperate
brass parts and got carried away with your
brilliant performance and the block ended up
twice as long as the rest of the tune.
What about the editing screen? I should
point out that while this program does not list
by the measure, it does list by the bar (not the
local tavern type of bar). Bars and measures are
synonyms in the music world, but while other se¬
quencers give a listing of the measures (or bars)
as you record and playback, Super Conductor only
lists the bars when you enter the edit screen. I
consider this a drawback as there is no visible
means to determine where a mistake may have been
made while you are listening to the playback of
the block. The only way to keep track of where
you are is to count the measures as they go by, a
practice which you will soon learn to dislike.
Again, keeping the block to 2 or 4 measure size
will make this problem unnoticeable, but I for
one don't want my blocks of creativity to be
limited by the tediem of editing.
The rest of the editing is done by the block
in a Bar/Beat/Click format, with each beat or
click being divided into 96 parts. This nomen¬
clature sets up the editing screen to look like a
directory for a file inside a folder, inside a
folder, inside a folder! As I mentioned earlier,
Michtron seems to be appealing to the experienced
computer user-novice musician market. The event
of a C# played on the first beat of the first
measure and slighlty behind the beat would look
ah 061 v64 00001/001/024 off:v064 00001/002/48.
A Clt with the numeric value of 61 was played
with a velocity of 64, 1/4 of a beat into the
first beat of the measure, and held until the
middle of the second beat, when it was released
with the velocity of 64. In "normal terms", a C#
with a value of a dotted eigth note was anticipa¬
ted on the upbeat of one. I hope this example
will demonstrate my point about this program.
I 'm sure I lost alot of readers with my "normal
terms" description, but those same readers
probably can understand the numerical values set
up in the example.
Something else Michtron has included is a
CXMPLEEE midi implementation chapter at the back
of the manual which includes a list of the most
popular midi instrument manufacturers and their
identification and source codes. This is to
facilitate usage of the System Exclusive Editor
in the Super Conductor . It’s a good thing they
give you this information, as you could wait
until Washington D.C. gets snow in August before
wangling these codes from the instrument
Super Conductor was a difficult program, (or
utility as it is called by Michtron), for me to
review as it is not the style of sequencer I was
accustomed to using. I find the basic recording
premise simple to use and perfect for someone
desiring to chain short sections of ideas togeth¬
er to create a song, but I find the editing fa¬
cility tedious and verbose in its structure. I
prefer an editor that lists everything in seper-
ate columns like the KCS or Midi Recording Stu¬
dio, but I am also used to that format! I think
the editing facility can be easily learned by
anyone using a sequencer for the first time, and
I think Michtron should be applauded for making
the musical capabilities of the ST a little less
forboding to the non-musician.
The program did crash on me twice during my
usage, once locking me up in my "load file"
window, and the second returning me to the
desktop. I won’t profess it may not have been
user error, but it seemed that the program was a
bit buggy, and had sane occasional problems
coping with the onslaught of information that
midi is capable of delivering. The program
retails for $99.00, and is in a price range that
is between the Dr. T Midi Recording Studio and
Hybrid Arts E-Z Tracks on the lower end (approx.
$40.00), and Dr. T's KCS ($199.00) on the upper
end. That is not to say that the less expensive
items are lesser quality, they are just different
in their approach.
I liked Super Conductor and the approach
Michtron has taken towards Midi recording and
editing. Even given my personal biases toward
the editing style, I reccmmend this program to
anyone desiring to get involved in music, but not
stray too far frcm their familiar ground of word
rocessing, data bases and programming. The
99.00 price tag is a little stiff in the Atari
world for a program to "dabble" with, but the
smart shopper should be able to find a good deal
Coming Next Month. Dr. T has sent me all new
updates of their KCS 1.5 and it is wonderful, as
is their user support program. I always get a
fast response to my calls, and the right answer
to my problem, and a complete update on their
product line each time I call. Next month I will
be reviewing the 1.4 version of their Copyist
which I demo’d at the June Novatari meeting, and
I’ll see you all at the Midi roan at the
Atarifest in October.
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•Connects to the DMA port of your Atari 520
•Hardware and software compatible with Atari's
•Includes a battery backed up time/date clock
•Uses a standard SCSI hard disk controller
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TRUE BASIC? WHAT?
ANOTHER BASIC FOR THE ATARI
(And a very.
very good one, too)
Look, what is going on: everybody seems to be
writing BASIC for our computer! After the origi¬
nal ST BASIC , we've had UW BASIC , Fast BASIC/M ,
Fast ST BASIC , Sof Works BASIC , GFA BASIC , and
sane others - do we need yet another
Yes, I think we do. This one. Here is why.
The BASIC Family Tree
Advocates of the structured approach to pro¬
gramming compare BASIC to the Communist system:
you may try to "improve", or "reform" it, but it
will always remain a kludge.
In 1975, Edsger Dijkstra (co-author of Algol
and a big name in computer languages) wrote:
"It is practically impossible to teach
good programming to students that have
had a prior exposure to BASIC: as po¬
tential programmers they are mentally
mutilated beyond hope of regeneration".
At least seme things can be said in BASIC's
defense: it can be implemented on machines with
very small amounts of memory (remember the times
of 8K number crunchers?) and it is easy to
Now, times are changing. Memory is cheap and
simple does not have to mean primitive or harmful
(would you mutilate your child mentally "beyond
hope of regeneration"?).
Since 1964 (when BASIC was first introduced),
many new dialects have been introduced. More
recently, a number have claimed to be "structur¬
ed". These claims are usually exaggerated (like
"glasnost"): the implementors throw in a couple
of new language constructs, as IF.. .THEN.. .HNDIF,
or WHILE.. .WEND, and announce a programming
revolution to the world.
Structured syntax alone does not make a
structured programming language, which needs also
a well-designed procedure/function formalism
(local variables, passing information via
parameters), and - preferably - the concept of
modules (as in Modula-2 and Ada).
These features allow us to build our own
libraries of subroutines, which later may be
accessed frem any program as "black boxes". Do
you need to know how the LOG function (or a CD
player) works inside? As long as it returns the
logarithm of its positive argument (or the
music), it does its job and that's all you care.
All right, but can we eat our cake and still
have it? Can we allow for democracy and still
have a one-party, centrally-planned state? Can
we have a really structured BASIC and still be
able to learn it in two hours? Enter True
True BASIC Standard
Do you think that listening to opinions like
Dr.Dijkstra's is fun? Twenty years after invent¬
ing the original BASIC its authors, Messrs.
Kemeny and Kurtz, rolled up their sleeves and
went back to the drawing board. In 1985 the
standard of True BASIC (registered trademark of
True BASIC Inc.) was published, and in 1987 we
have implementations for the IBM PC, Apple Mac¬
intosh, Ccrrmodore Amiga and, now, the Atari ST.
Yes, the code is portable between all these
machines (including sound and graphics), and
more: True BASIC claims to be compatible with the
proposed ANSI I standard (Dr. Kurtz was the chair¬
man of the ANSII ccmmittee).
And the standard itself is very, very good.
It sets not only general syntax, but also graphic
commands, standard libraries, modular features
and - last but not least - the programming envir¬
onment (with extensions possible for particular
machines). Let me give you a guided tour.
Syntax and Standard Functions
Most recent BASIC dialects have a decent set
of control structures. Still, True BASIC looks
here as good as (or better then) anything else.
The IF construct has the advanced form: IF..
THEN.. ELSEIF.. ELSE.. END IF. The DO... LOOP
may have a WHILE clause on the top, or UNTIL at
the bottom (or none, or both), and EXIT DO may be
used for jumping out of the DO scope. There is a
SELECT CASE statement (like CASE in Pascal), and
- of course - a regular FOR loop (with EXIT FOR
for jumping out). Efficient, readable and
consistent control structures: Pascal and
Modula-2 could borrow seme.
The GOTO statement may be used only when the
program is written using line (optional, not
recommended and included only for compatibility
with old BASIC code).
Arrays can be easily re-dimensioned and mani¬
pulated; there is a whole family of powerful - if
you need them - matrix and vector handling
Standard functions: you’ll find all you would
expect and then seme. Among those: Round(x,n) -
round x to n decimal places, Eps(x) - the largest
value negligible when compared with x (more
useful than it may seem!). Time, Date and about
String handling is good, too. In addition to
a comprehensive set of string functions, there
are sub-strings, which may be used on both sides
of an assignment (much like in Sinclair Basic or
Graphics and Sound
True BASIC was designed as a machine indepen¬
dent standard and as such cannot make any expli¬
cit use of GEM VDI. GEM AES features (standard
GEM windows, menus, alerts and dialog boxes) also
could not be included (see below for more on this
Most users will not miss those, as True
BASIC includes a good number of well-designed
graphic primitives for plotting points, lines,
boxes, or ellipses, filling them, setting up
Graphic operations take place in windows; if
you do not care about windowing, the better: a
default full-screen window will be opened for
you. Coordinates are resolution-independent; you
may, for example, specify that your window ranges
from -100 to 100 and frem 0.5 to 1, and then re¬
fer to all the coordinates in these terms. In
other words, you do not have to recompute every¬
thing from the coordinate system in which your
problem is stated to the screen pixel coordi¬
nates; this work is done by the system.
Another feature - quite unique - is a PIC¬
TURE, a kind of graphic subroutine. Thus, the
code between a PICTURE header (with name and
optional parameters) and END PICTURE defines an
object to be drawn. Actual drawing takes place
during the picture invocation: DRAW PICTURE with
name and parameter values. But wait, only now we
get to the real fun: the invocation may be sup¬
plied with one or more clauses, defining change
in scale, position shift, rotation or slant.
This is a very powerful tool and easier to use
than to write about.
A necessary degree of mouse control and
tracking is provided, as well (checking the
position and button status).
The sound control is only rudimentary (for
the sake of portability, among others), but very
easy. The PLAY ccmand takes a string, specifying
the notes (and their values), as e.g. "B2BGB4”.
Alternatively, with use of the SOUND ccrrmand, the
frequency and length of the sound can be expli¬
citly specified. The sound can be played while
other instructions are being executed.
Functions, Subroutines, Modules
As I’ve stated above, syntax does not alone
make a good language. In painless design, coding
and maintenance of large programs, modular
structure is what makes the difference.
Tine BASIC allows for writing laser-defined
functions and procedures. And by this I mean
real ones, not a poor substitute frequently met
in many ’’street BASICs” (to use the derogatory
terminology of Messrs. Kurtz and Kemeny).
External procedures and functions are intro¬
duced, placed below the program’s END directive
or even in separate files, so that they
constitute independent entities and can be
invoked from different programs. Their local
variables cannot be accessed frem outside; all
information is passed to a function, or to and
frem a procedure, via its parameters, which can
be simple variables or arrays. If necessary,
variables in non-external subroutines or
functions can be also isolated from outside by
declaring them as LOCAL.
Procedures and functions may be kept sepa¬
rately in (source or compiled) library files.
And now I'm getting close to the beef: mod¬
ules . Briefly, a module is a set of subroutines
and functions (plus initialization code, which
will be executed just once). Seme of them may be
hidden frem the outer world. Similarly with
variables: seme of them may be hidden inside
individual procedures or functions, same shared
between them, and seme - explicitly - made
accessible to the other modules. You are in full
You may not need this feature. Not now. But
sooner or later almost everybody who programs
will. Modular structure makes a difference be¬
tween hacking and programming.
- 67 -
True BASIC Environment
True BASIC is something between an inter¬
preted and compiled language. Invoking the RUN
command will cause a quick translation of your
source program into seme kind of intermediate
code, which only then will be executed. Syntax
errors are detected at the translation stage.
This way the user has the ease of interactive
editing, running and debugging, but also the
speed of a compiled language. Files can be also
compiled separately and stored in compiled form,
but this does NOT result in executable stand¬
alone programs (as in case of Pascal or C).
The system uses three windows: edit, command
and output. Mercifully, the windows are designed
• much better than in ST BASIC y thus being a help,
rather than a hindrance. The GEM-based editor is
slow, but convenient to use. You may use the
mouse, but only if you wish: every option is ac¬
cessible from the keyboard. For typing in long¬
er programs any ASCII editor may also be used.
The system commands are also dual: menu- and
keyboard-driven. In addition to on-line help, a
couple of powerful extensions were added here.
First, SCRIPT files. Enter SCRIPT-filename and
the file will be interpreted as a series of True
BASIC system commands. Second, DO files. These
(written themselves in True BASIC) take your
current program file as input and do to it what¬
ever you’ve requested. In other words, your
BASIC system may be to some extent customized
(carefully!) by yourself.
Seme DO files are included for adding and
removing line numbers and for line re-numbering.
Another one does program reformatting: indenta¬
tion, capitalization of keywords etc. The source
code is supplied, as well, so you may (carefully,
again!) customize them to your liking. The sky
is the limit.
The True BASIC for the ST comes on a single
one-sided diskette. It contains, in addition to
the BASIC ccmpiler/editor itself, a folder with
DO files, another with HELP files (you may add
anything there, undocumented but works! ), a
folder of example programs, and yet another one
with seme extra True BASIC libraries.
The libraries are no big deal, as with the
excellent modular features of True BASIC you will
be able to create your own libraries easily. On
the other hand, the libraries are (with one
exception) in the source form, so that they may
be used for learning the ropes.
One library, however, deserves special atten¬
tion. It contains the ST-specific, low-level
bindings to VDI, AES, DOS, BIOS and XBIOS - all
the raw and unharnessed power of the ST. These
are provided with use of the Chinese restaurant
approach: calling by numbers (Combination number
four, please...), after previously setting up
appropriate global arrays. Nine different PEEK
and POKE routines are supplied to make it
This approach was used in the original ST
Basic ; many of the published examples should even
work here. Still, using GEM from True BASIC is a
pain. Luckily, for most uses you will not need
it, as you may do graphics without any explicit
reference to GEM.
The situation can be, however, easily
remedied. For each particular GEM use you only
need to POKE your way through once, enclosing the
resulting spaghetti (or lo mein) code into a
high-level library procedure.
On the other hand True BASIC, Inc. is selling
’’The Developer's Toolkit” - a library of high-
level GEM VDI and AES procedures for GEM windows,
menus, alerts, etc. My friendly Atari dealer
does not have it yet, but let us hope.
The documentation consists of two readable
and well-arranged volumes: a True BASIC Reference
Manual (published by Addison-Wesley in 1985 and
machine-independent) and the True BASIC Atari ST
Guide , fresh from the oven. Together more than
400 pages of well-written text, although the
former noticeably better than the latter.
The ST Guide contains, in addition to the
Atari-specific information, the updates to the
language standard - first of all the concept of a
module, which seems to be an addition to the
original True BASIC (and a very welcome one). It
would be nicer to have all machine-independent
information in one volume, and only Atari-orient¬
ed one in the other, but let us not be too
I've played with the Atari True BASIC for
just five evenings now, having written in it a
part of a statistical library package with seme
graphic utilities. All things seem to work as
documented (with a single exception: the
STARTUP.IRQ file is not automatically executed
upon entering True BASIC y but this is a very
minor flaw). This is a vast improvement from the
times of "great compilers with not too many
bugs”. Still, I need a month or two more to be
In the case of BASIC, compiled or not, I
wouldn’t pay much attention to the program
execution speed (unless it is really slow).
Nevertheless, I ran a simple benchmark to compare
the True BASIC, GFA BASIC , and ST BASIC:
* Evaluating of EXP(SIN(SQR(x))) with x ranging
frcm 1 to 200 (in radians): ST 0.93 sec, GFA
0.60 sec, True 2.40 sec;
* Primitive bubble sort of these 200 numbers: ST
103 sec(!), GFA 17.4 sec, True 11.4 sec.
The relatively slower performance of True
BASIC math libraries may be, partly at least,
justified by the 14-digit number storage
accuracy, as compared with 11-digit accuracy in
the case of the two other BASICs (incidentally,
the fine performance of the interpreted ST BASIC
in case of built-in functions is nothing strange:
they are binary code, anyway).
Too Good a BASIC To Be True?
Let’s face it. This is the first BASIC I am
reccrrmending to my friends (the CN readers
included). It lists for $100, and sells much
cheaper: my dealer sells it for considerably
less. The language standard is excellent,
documentation very good, seems to work flawlessly
- too good to be true; so where is the hitch?
Price. True BASIC itself is not expensive.
But in order to create stand-alone programs
(which anybody could run directly frcm the
desktop) you’ll have to buy the real
ccrrpiler/1 inker (which lists separately for
another $100 and does not yet seem available).
The GEM library lists for an extra $50, so the
total expense at list price would be $250.
This still may not be too much for something
well-designed and working nicely - but beware!
The True BASIC standalone compiler cones only
with a noncommercial license agreement. You will
not be able to sell your programs without paying
True BASIC, Inc. their share.
If this does not deter you, then there is
nothing to think about: go out and buy it. But
don’t forget to turn off the stove.
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The Ultimate Mailing Label Program
Review by Milt Creighton
In an earlier article I said that most of my
database needs are met by any uncomplicated pro¬
gram that will automate my address book and throw
in a mailing label capability on the side. 'When
I said that, I didn't exactly have LAEEIMASTER
ELITE in mind but I might as well have. This
one, folks, is a dandy.
LAEEIMASTER ELITE is by Migraph, the company
that brought us EASYWAf. The quality shows.
• Initially, I bought IAEELMASTER f the earlier ver¬
sion of the program and I found myself excited
and disappointed at the same time. I was excited
at the prospect of being able to put high quality
clip-art on my mailing labels, and disappointed
it would not support my printer (a 24-pin NEC
P6). I called the company to ask if anything
could be done and learned they had just released
a version which supported 24-pin printers as well
as 9-pin dot-matrix printers.
Once I got the updated version, I found my¬
self quite happy with it. The basic program
permits one to create an address listing, load a
graphic image from the clip-art library, edit the
Image in the graphics editor or even draw one
from scratch, and place it on the mailing label
along with the text. LAEEIMASTER ELITE adds to
these features by increasing the power of the
graphics editor, permitting more data manipula¬
tion functions within the database, and proving
the option of printing disk labels and index
cards in addi- tion to mailing labels. Natur¬
ally, LABELMASTER ELITE supports both 9-pin and
One of the nicer features of LABELMASTER is
that it uses a graphics format compatible with
PRINIMASTERy so the graphics images frcm both
programs can be used on your labels. In addi¬
tion, many of the bulletin boards post public
domain clip art which can also be used in
LAEEIMASTER ELITE. Then, with the improved
graphics editor, your clip art will be limited
only by your imagination and artistic ability.
LABELMASTER ELITE has all the basic file ma¬
nipulation functions you would expect. You can
load a label file into memory, update or edit it
and then save it back to disk whether or not you
Another nice feature of the program is that
you may specify whether a record is a personal or
business address. This will later affect whether
the address is printed in three or four line for¬
mat. In the basic program, only the standard
printer font is accommodated (including wide and
condensed forms of the font in the Freestyle
mode). In LAEEIMASTER ELITE, however, if your
printer is capable of using other fonts (such as
pica, for example), you can now send the appro¬
priate ccmmands to your printer and use those
fonts along with their condensed and expanded
forms. You can even change fonts frcm one line
to the next.
Data manipulation features include the abil¬
ity to sort by fist name, last name, address,
city, state, and zip code. LAEEIMASTER ELITE
also permits files to be merged and a comment
line of up to 48 characters for each record
(useful for phone numbers or other data such as
subscription expiration dates). The label can be
printed with or without the comment line.
When printing records, you may print one,
seme, or all the records in the file. You have
more control over mixing print styles on indivi¬
dual labels in the freestyle mode than you do if
you print an entire file, but the clip-art can be
included in either print option. It is also
possible to begin printing frcm any point in the
file rather than frcm the first file as in the
basic program. This is an improvement because if
you have a paper jam halfway through your
printing, it is no longer necessary to reprint
the entire file.
The basic program graphics editor incorpo¬
rates such functions as loading and saving
designs to disk, editing existing designs, or
even drawing you own. You can flip a design
vertically or horizontally, invert it, or move it
on within the work area. There are also block
functions which are for use within the graphics
work area. The drawing tools include a pen and a
line which can be used in white, gray (checker¬
board), and black. LAEEIMASTER ELITE expands on
that by adding the ability to create mirror
images, adding cut and paste functions frcm a
clip board, and incorporating options to add
square or rectangular frames to your drawings.
The drawing tools are expanded from the pen and
line of the original to include box and circle
options in LABELMASTER ELITE.
In addition to the mailing labels of the
basic program the upgrade permits printing on
disk labels, or index cards. The layout options
for these forms include placing the graphics
design on the left or right of the form with up
to eleven lines of text, a triple-wide graphics
design in the center of the form with up to seven
lines of text, no design with up to eleven lines
of text, or printing out a disk catalog (on a
disk label) with two lines of text for the title
Finally, the program is not copy-protected,
so it can be run from your hard disk. I put
several versions of the same program right in the
same folder with the word processors I use most
often. You don't have to use it just for ad¬
dresses either. I recently sold off a collec¬
tion of boardgames and had plans to use
LAEEIMASJER ELITE to print the sales price of
each game along with a logo right on the label.
You might also find this utility handy for club
functions, such as printing name tags which
include your club logo, created using the
graphics editor in the newer version of the
The bottom line: Many of us will probably
never use all the features of this fine utility
(it represents overkill for me in the graphics
area, for example), but the quality of the label
graphics produced and the variety of choices in
text styles make LAEEIMASTER ELITE a superior
product. For me anyway, it is one program I
value very highly. While it may not exactly
replace your favorite database, you just might
find you use it mere often.
You can now place your ads on a
computer system and have it read
by hundreds. The advertisements
are updated daily, so yo-.. are
assured tnat the items listed are
Why continue to pay those high
costs of advertising in the news¬
Give us a call - you will like
what you see.
(Atari users should type CTRL M
at the ASCII prompt).
Toad Computer Services
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(301) 544-6943 Voice - (301) 544-4640 and (301) 974-4369 BBS
P.O. Box 1315, Severna Park, MD 21146 . . . -... . Mn .
Prepayment Required ! with either persona! or certified check or money order. Maryland residents add 5% sales tax. All Prices and policies subject to change ^ 0 ^T°i!! c c e o ^2 e Ve a<!
Add minimum $5.00 for shipping or call for exact shipping price. All sales are final. Defective merchandise replaced with same rnerchandtS! t No re if^ms^st^oped
returns must be authorized By telephone before shipment. Returns without authorization will be returned at our discretion. Returned shipments subject to restocking tee. items snipped
via US. Maryland area pickups available. We carry a complete line of hardware and software. Call for more great prices! Visa & MC Coming Soon!
- 71 -
Time to Save the World Again
Review by Rober Abram
With a narre like ST Wars , you might expect
this program to simulate the battle our trusty
computer has had proving itself against formid¬
able heavyweights like the IBM PC or Macintosh.
Let’s face it, that fight is over and the ST has
ccme out on top.
Instead, ST Wars, by Miles Computing, is a
space arcade game in which you are the last hope
(naturally) to annihilate the power bases of the
Tyranny and make your planet safe again. If you
fail, the planet will be deinfestated and your
name will be muttered in spacepubs throughout the
galaxy. So button up your spacesuit and check
those controls — we’re going for a ride!
As the program unfolds, you find yourself
running down a hallway in which light from a red
beam pulsates off the wall and bounces off your
brain. As you stumble into a wall you can hear
yourself in digitized speech proclaiming "Ouch!"
You round a comer and see the fighter ship with
the cockpit open beckoning you to approach.
Climb the ladder and listen to the voice saying
"Warning, red alert, launching spacecraft."
You're hurled into space at hyperwarp and
reappear in an asteroid belt with a Freefloating
Energy Depot nearby. Also nearby are fighters
from that dreaded Tyranny lot and you know what
has to be done. At your disposal is a laser
cannon and seven missiles, which can be launched
either as heat-seeking or camera-guided. If
launched as heat-seeking, they will destroy the
first enemy spacecraft they lock onto. Camera-
guided missiles can be controlled by the joystick
or mouse. You'll want to be conservative with
your missiles since replenishing them is out of
the question. The laser canon will handle most
of the ships the enemy throws at you.
The graphics in this portion of the game are
great as you see asteroids hurling by and the
enemy in their ships trying to clip your wings.
You can stay here building up points, but sooner
or later you have to rendezvous with the energy
depot to replenish the ship’s energy for the next
leg of the mission.
Once again you're thrown into hyperwarp and
this time you're taken into the vicinity of a
Tyranny starbase. They knew you were caning, but
didn't bake a cake. Instead, as you make your
approach, a horde of illwishers is sent to greet
you. Pick off as many as you can before reaching
The onboard navigation computer controls the
descent to the starbase and you'll soon find
yourself being attacked by unmanned suicide
drones which are being launched in groups of
seven. At the same time, photon blasts are being
targeted at you frcm energy towers. It's time
for a lot of action frcm your laser cannon, but
be careful not to let it overheat.
The starbase is divided into four quadrants,
each with its own system of defenses to protect
the Starbase Main Launch Trench which is in the
center of the four quadrants. The defenses
include surface defense walkers, wedge trans¬
porters, pyramid sensors, atmospheric
stabilizers, graviton ray tanks, electron blast
towers, and duoplanar fighters that hound you
with their lasers and missiles.
You'll need to fly into the trench before
attempting the final leg of your mission since it
is here where you can re-energize your ship.
This is accomplished by swooping down into the
trench and firing a camera-guided missile at the
magnetic energy lock. Once this is destroyed,
you can fly through the surface energy depot and
replenish your power.
Then it's on to another trench that'll lead
into the depths of the starbase and toward your
main objective — the destruction of the starbase
power generator. The trench leads into a tunnel
where you need to avoid hitting laser wall ob¬
stacles which will zap precious energy. Next is
the obstacle rocm with more laser walls to avoid.
The final destination, the power generator rocm,
is just ahead. Find the red exhaust iris which
is opening and closing, take aim, and fire either
the laser canon or a camera-guided missile. Once
the generator is destroyed, maneuver your way
through another set of tunnels and then speed
away frcm the starbase. As you escape into
space, you can look back and see the base
explode. Mission accomplished. Now it's time to
find another starbase to obliterate.
As you can see, ST Wars is a game comprised
of many different segments, each with its own
circumstances and graphics. The surface mission
on the starbase is reminiscent of Firebird's
Starglidler in terms of the need to replenish your
ship's energy and the design of the enemy's
defenses. Camera-guided missiles, also found in
Starglider, is another similarity. However, ST
Wars has many more facets than Stargl ider and I
find it less frustrating to play.
- 72 -
Tim Hays, who also programmed Har¬
rier Strike Mission , gives you almost
complete control of how you want to pla^
the game. Not only are there novice,
advanced, and expert modes, but you can
pick one or more segments of the game tc
play if you just want to practice. The
peacetime option allows you to fly with¬
out a single shot being fired at you.
The unlimited energy and unlimited
missiles options make you
If you liked Starglider you should
like this game. ST Wars borrows seme
ideas frem Star- glider but is not a
clone or a copy because it enhances the
similarities into a much more playable
and enjoyable scenario.
ST Wars is available frem Miles
Computing, Inc., 7741 Alabama Avenue,
Suite 2, Canoga Park, CA, 91304, (818)
341-1411. List price is $39.95
GET THE MOST, FOR THE LEAST.
THE ST FROM ATARI.
THE ST© Computer System from AtariCR) takes 16-bit, 68000 technology
to its limit. It’s perfect for word processing, database management,
spreadsheets, music composition, graphic design and CAD
applications, education, playing state-of-the-art aames, and more.
Two Meg ST
Four Meg ST
monitor I 4v
with monochrome Q C
CHL conn INC.
2503-B Ennalls Ave., Wheaton, MD
(Between Georgia Ave. & Viers Mill Rd.)
ATARI, SF354, SMI 24, ST, TOS, 520ST, and 1040ST arc trademarks or registered trademarks ol Atari Corporation.
«:i 1986 Atari Corporation
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS
PERSONAL COMPUTER CENTER
PUBLISHING PARTNER.. 104.95
FINANCIAL COOKBOOK.. 39.95
PRO SPRITE DESIGNER.49.95
LEISURE SUIT LARRY.42.95
KARATE KID II.29.95
GAMESTAR FOOTBALL .. 32.95
SONY 3.5 SS/DD.13.95
SONY 3.5 DS/DD.19.95
MOUSE PAD... 9.95
DISKFILE 5.25. 2.29
DISK CASE 5.25... 8.^5
DISK CASE 3.5. 8.95
DISK CLEANER. 9.95
PRINTER STAND. 9.95
AC SURGE OUTLET.24.95
CLASSIC JOYSTICK. 5.95
EPYX 500JX JOYST.15.95
* 520ST ONE MEG UPGRADE for 149.95
RDURNCED TECHN0L0GV NETWORKS, INC.
Tinin Chimney Office Park
i 0724 Baltimore flue.
Tel. 301-937-3605 O' 937-3606
- 73 -
Certified Ease for Awards to Everyone
Review by Bill Moes
We want it fast and we want it easy. Put it
together ... make it look good ... next? Head
'em up. Move 'em on. —Rawhide!
Certificate Maker narrows the focus and en¬
hances the task begun by such well-known and
easily used offerings as PrintMaster and others.
Its sole goal is awards. Certificates and awards
for everything and for everyone. The humorous,
the serious, the insulting, the unusual: all are
represented in the 220 listings frcm the package.
* And if you need seme thing completely different,
you'll find seme choices blank, to be used for
Each specific certificate ccmes already be¬
gun, many with a graphic directly and uniquely
related to the subject. There's a bit of room
for your own creativity, too. You customize each
with your own personal and special bon mots.
The basics you'll use: body text and (option¬
ally) date and signature lines. Seme will need
title text as well. Choose frcm a set of 24 bor¬
ders or leave the border blank. The text can be
done in one of five fonts (serif, sans serif,
script, gothic, and art deco), although the text
styles cannot be mixed in any one section. Two
text sizes, which can be mixed, are available.
Those words can be aligned left, center, or
right. Not all of these choices may be available
for all certificates or for all sections of a
The process is simple. Begin by typing in
the number of the certificate you will use.
Thirty to 40 seconds of processing time later,
it'll show up on the screen. Then, enter the
text, date, and signature. The signature will be
printed under a solid line so you can later pen
in the real thing.
As you make the selections for each section,
the program will again do a little disk and mem¬
ory access. When all is complete for that sec¬
tion, the certificate with the changes will be
Buy From The
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20 MB Complete System $ 699.00
Includes Hard Disk Interface with hi-speed
parallel port. MYDOS disk operating system
and 3.5 inch 20 MB Hard Disk.
Interface and Software Only
Build Your Own System!
Includes Supra’s proprietary Hard Disk
Interface and Boot Software. You add a
Surplus Hard Disk, Controller and Case for
a complete system.
Interface W/ Boot Software
Only $ 119.
20 MB $ 699.00
30 MB $ 995.00
60 MB $1995.00
250 MB $3995.00
Available at your local dealer, or call
1133 Commercial Way / Albany, OR 97321 / (503) 967-9075
- 74 -
shown on the screen. This way you can easily
check on how it all looks as you move along.
Choices are made through the GEM menus, although
clicking on a pictured section when you're
looking at the entire certificate will also bring
up that section for work.
Certificate Maker covers the expected cate¬
gories. Business, school, heme, sports, religi¬
ous, and community organizations will all find
enough choices to keep the printer churning.
You'll find seme subjects to be somewhat useless
and some topics to be over certificated. (Do we
really need six variations of "Best Friends"?)
But you'll also find subjects you can use re¬
peatedly and seme you didn't know you'd enjoy so
much. Most, though not all, certificates are
sized to neatly slide into an 8" X 10" frame
after a little paper trimming. Printing on high
quality paper might be a good idea, too.
Although programs like PrintMaster can ac¬
complish much the same thing, Certificate Maker
does the job with style. The Certificate Maker
graphics are not all the same size and they print
out in higher quality and detail. You'll some¬
times see titles which do a rainbow-like curve
across the top of the certificate or notice
graphics which slide along just one side of the
While Certificate Maker shows higher presen¬
tation quality and usually offers more room for
text, it lacks the excellent flexibility (and
banners, greeting cards, letterheads, unlimited
graphics) of PrintMaster. Both programs have a
certain usefulness which doesn't greatly over¬
The two-disk copy-protected set lists at
$49.95. Have two drives or plan on a little
disk-swapping, as the software has sections of a
single certificate stored on both disks. Stick¬
ers and seals are included. This one runs with
either a color or monochrome monitor. If you're
after even more possibilities, take a look at
Certificate Library ($34.95), which adds another
100+ certificates, 24 more borders, along with
seals and stickers.
Nothing mind stretching. Nothing to awe or
mystify or (greatly) challenge. Just something
to use and enjoy. Certificate Maker does what it
does quite well. And after you've become adept
at using it, there's even a certificate for you
to hang on your own refrigerator: Master
[Springboard Software, 7808 Creekridge Circle,
Minneapolis, MN 55435 (612) 944-3915]
- 75 -
NORTHERN VIRGINIA ATARI USERS 1 GROUP (NOVATARI)
MS DOS SIG....
NEW MEMBERS: Dues are $20/year which includes a
subscription to CURRENT NOTES. Join at the main
meeting, chapter meeting or by sending $20, pay¬
able to NOVATARI, to Earl Lilley, 821 Ninovan Road
SE, Vienna, VA 22180.
NOVATARI MAIN MEETING is at the Washington Gas
Light Building, 6801 Industrial Road, Springfield,
VA. Meetings are usually held the 2nd Sunday of
each month. Take 495 to east on Braddock Rd (620)
to south on Backlick Rd (617). Left on Industrial
Rd. Washington Gas Light is the 2nd building on
right. Schedule: 5:30, Telecom SIG; 6:00, Speaker
or Demos; 7:00, Business Meeting / Open Forum;
7:30 8-bit SIG and ST Sig. (ST SIG also meets at
Washington Gas Light from 5:30-9:30 on the 4th
space, send a check for $20, payable to Novatari,
and a self-addressed -stamped envelope to Andrea
Bonham, 3344 Beechtree Lane, Falls Church, VA
22042 (703) 534-3503.
ATARI USERS REGIONAL ASSOCIATION (AURA)
Used Equip Sales. Lincoln Hallen..
Meetings. 1st Thursday. 7:00 pm (library sales).
7:30-9:00 pm (Program) in the Temple Israel Social
Hall. Temple Israel is located in Silver Spring,
MD at 420 E. University Blvd. between Colesville
Rd (Rt 29) and Piney Branch Rd (Md Rt 320). All
meetings for the rest of 1987 are on the first
Thursday, with the exception of October, when
there is no meeting.
Correspondence. All correspondence, including
membership renewals, changes of address, etc.
should be sent to: AURA, P.0. Box 7761, Silver
Spring, MD, 20904. AURA cannot guarantee CURRENT
NOTES subscription fulfillment unless the member
provides written confirmation of address changes,
renewals, etc. to the address given above.
AURA Report for July/August 87
Mt. Vernon / Hybla Valley, 1st Thursday, 7:30.
Contact Ron Peters at 780-0963.
Sterling , Sterling Library, 7:30-9:30, 1st Wed.
Contact Wayne Wilt 437-6159.
ST BBS Update. The WAACE ST BBS moved in early
August. The number is now (703) 280-9072. Those
wishing to have access to the WAACE ST BBS must
mail a check for $7.50 payable to "NOVATARI" to:
Ed Seward, P.0. Box 541, Vienna, VA 22180. There
are NO CHANGES for the ARMUDIC 8-bit BBS.
Novatari Computer Education . NOVATARI is now
offering computer courses for Atari computers.
These courses are planned to start this fall in
late October or early November just after ATARI-
FEST '87. If there is enough demand for a
particular course, arrangements will be made to
have the course scheduled earlier. Present plans
for courses include the following:
(XL/XE): Amodem, Assembly Language, Atariwriter+,
Bulletin Boards, DOS 2.5, Express, Synfile+,
(ST): Assembly Language, dBMAN, Bulletin Boards,
First Word, Flash, Midi.
The price for each course session is $5 for
NOVATARI members and $10 for non-members. To sign
up for these courses or to request additional
. course topics, contact Glen Bernstein at
(703)455-6053 between 6 and 9 PM.
Atarifest Banquet. After Saturday’s fest, there
will be a banquet at the Fairfax City Holiday Inn.
Guest speakers frcm the world of Atari will be on
hand. Only 120 tickets are available on a
first-ccme first-serve basis. To reserve your
Meetings. Our next meeting will be Sept 3. The
theme will be Desktop Publishing. We hope to look
at Publishing Partner and seme of the XLent
Products. Vice President Barry Marcus is
responsible for coordinating meeting agendas.
Please contact Barry to get on the agenda. There
will be no meeting in October. The November
meeting will feature music. The theme for
December will be games.
Member Survey. Barry Marcus is conducting a
survey of hardware owned by AURA members. The
results of this survey are being used to assist in
program planning. Please contact Barry if you
have not yet participated.
8-bit Library. The latest Antic and Analog disks
are available. We are still working on the
"starter kit". More reviews are needed for the
reference manual on disks 41 to 80.
16-bit Library. Jeff Kellogg has order forms for
members who want to obtain material frcm the 16
bit library. Jeff now has almost all of the
Current Notes Disks. Send Jeff an order form for
the disks you want and then pick them up at the
next meeting. There are too many disks in the
library to allow us to provide anything better
than pot luck for spot sales.
We will try to have a modest inventory of the
latest releases on hand. Try to get your
submissions to Jeff Kellogg well before the
meeting. Members of other groups are welcome to
order AURA library disks by mail (send your order
to our P.0. Box).
DEMCNSTRATICNS. Many people were very happy with
our experiment in setting up concurrent 8 and 16
bit demos. This gives more time for the material
WAACE 76 NEWS
and people can filter out things that are not of
interest to them. Now all we need are additional
volunteers to make presentations.
* 8 bit demo . Walter Jones took the audience
through SpartaDos. There was no 8-bit demo at the
* 16 bit demo. John Barnes discussed the use of
command shells using DO IT!. Terry White gave an
excellent demo of CAD-315. The new version of this
program is much less of a toy than the old one.
BBS 1 s . Note the new phone numbers for the WAACE
BBS 1 !;.
MEETINGS: 3rd Tuesday 7-10PM, Ccrrrriunity Room,
Potcmac Branch, Prince William County Library,
Opitz Blvd., Woodbridge, VA. Entering Woodbridge
frcm either North or South on Route 1, proceed to
the intersection of Route 1 and Opitz Blvd.
(opposite Woodbridge Lincoln-Mercury). Turn West
on Opitz and take first left turn into the
library’s parking lot. The Community Rocm is
located to your left immediately upon entering the
NEW MEMBERS : Initial membership fee is $10/yr plus
$1 monthly dues. Join at meeting or send check,
payable to WACUG, to Frank W. Bassett, 15313
Blacksmith Terr, Woodbridge, VA 22191.
MEMBERSHIP. AURA dues are now $20 per year for
Regular Members and $5 for Library members.
Regular Member dues include 10 issues of Current
Notes magazine. We are discontinuing the practice
of sending out one copy of Current Notes past the
expiration date. All members are hereby reminded
that subscribing to Current Notes is NOT a
prerequisite for membership in AURA. If you do
not want the magazine you can join for $5 without
losing any privileges. We are attempting to
institute a reminder system for membership
AURA Roster. Copies of the AURA roster are
available at meetings or by written request to
Richard Stoll (enclose a self-addressed stamped
FREDERICK ATARI COMPUTER ENTHUSIASTS (FACE)
Vice President... Mike Kerwin.
Secretary. Bill Mentzer.
SYSOP. Chuck Grasser_
MEETINGS: 4th Tuesday, 7-9:30 pm, Walkersville
H. S., MD Route 194, 1 mile north of MD Route 26
NEW MEMBERS: Dues are $25/year/family. Join at
meeting or send check, payable to FACE, to Buddy
Smallwood, PO Box 300, Keedysville, MD 21756.
Treasurer’s Report. Mo Sherman reports that we
have a balance of about $2000. Our rent with
Temple Israel is paid through May of 1988. Mo has
been working to generate advertising income and he
would appreciate help along this line. We are
helping to finance the Tee Shirt sales for the
Atarifest, if all goes well this should yield a
tidy profit if all goes well.
NATIONAL CAPITAL ATARI USERS' GROUP (NCAUG)
President.Peter Kilcullen.. 202-296-5700
Vice President. Mike Poliak. 703-768-7669
Treasurer.Allen H. Lerman.. 703-460-0289
XL/XE Librarian Mike Poliak. 703-768-7669
ST Librarian... Enrique Seale- 202-295-0112
MEETINGS : 3rd Tuesday, 5:30 - 8:30 pm, rocm 543,
National Science Foundation offices, 1800 G St.,
NW, Washington, DC. Closest subway stop is
Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
Building is identified by sign for Madison
National Bank on the comer. Front entrance is on
west side of 18th between F and G.
NEW MEMBERS : join at meeting or send $20, payable
to NCAUG, to Allen Lerman, 14905 Waterway Dr,
Rockville, MD 20853. Membership includes CURRENT
WOODBRIDGE ATARI COMPUTER USERS’ GROUP (WACUG)
Jack Holtzhauer.. 703-670-6475
Amie Turk. 703-670-2547
Bill Parker. 703-680-3041
Lou Praino. 703-221-8193
Darrell Stiles... 703-494-9819
Curtiss Pieritz.. 703-494-3704
Frank Bassett, Jr 703-670-8780
Charles Stringer. 703-786-8755
SOUTHERN MARYLAND ATARI USERS' GROUP (SMAUG)
President. Thcmas Crosby_ 301-843-1310
Sec/Disk Lib.John J. Smith_ 301-862-9490
Treasurer.. Samuel Schrinar.. 301-843-7916
Newsletter Ed-Leroy Olson. 301-743-2200
MEETINGS: 2nd Thursday, 7:30 pm, 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 first left past the Kinney show
store to school.
NEW MEMBERS : join at the meeting or send $20
check, payable to SMAUG, to Sam Schrinar, 2032
Alehouse Court, Waldorf, MD 20601.
[Classified Ads are free to Current Notes
subscribers and WAACE club members ($5 to anyone
else). Send your ad to CN Classified, 122 N.
Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA 22170. No commercial
dealers please. ]
TEXAS HOLDEM POKER DISK. Get ready for Las Vegas
poker! Requires 8-bit Atari 48K RAM, Atari BASIC
and joystick. Not for ST or PC models. 8
computer opponents, rotating blind-bet, $10-20
limit-game. Send check or money order $29.95 plus
$3.00 shipping. Maryland residents ad +5% sales
tax. Order frcm: Kumikata, PO Box 2772,
Kensington, MD 20895.
1040 ST color system with hard disk, 3 disk
drives, 2 printers, desk, modem and TCNS of
software. I am selling everything separate. Call
(703) 256-0927 and ask for Andrew.
WAACE 77 NEWS
CN REGISTERED CLUBS:
Members of registered clubs receive CN at a dis¬
count rate ($17 instead of $20/year). To become
a registered club, your club should send in an
initial subscription list of 10 percent of the
membership or six members whichever is less.
For more information, contact Joe Waters,
122 N. Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA 22170.
ALLENICWN BETHLEHEM EASTCN'S ACE, PO Box 2830,
Lehigh Valley, PA 18001 BBS (215)759-2683.
CHARLOTTE AUG, Joe Venturelli, PO Box 240313,
Charlotte, NC 28224 (704) 366-4320.
CENTRAL ILLINOIS AUG , Robert Handley, 1920 East
CroxtonAve., Bloomington, IL 61701-5702
FT LEAVENWORTH ATARI GRQJP , John L. Hutchinson,
PO Box 3233, Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027
GR. RICHMOND ATARI SUP. PROGRAM , S. Thomas
Marvin, 1420 Yale Ave., Richmond, VA 23224
HUNTSVILLE AUG , Levin C. Soule, 3911 W.
Crestview, Huntsville, AL 35816 (205)534-1815.
LITTLE ROCK ATARI ADDICTS , Keith Steensma, 28
John Hancock Circle, Jacksonville, AR 72076
MARYLAND ATARI CCMEOTER CLUB , Jim Hill, 8775-C
Town & Country Blvd, Ellicott City, MD 21043
NAMETESS AUG , Dana O'Hara, 3475 Manassas Ct,
Davidsonville, MD 21035 (301) 798-0566.
PACKERLAND AOJS, Randy McSorley, 339 S. Maple
St., Kimberly, WI 54136 (414)788-1058.
PIEDKKT TRIAD AUG , Hardy Hall, Rt. 9, Box 274C,
Reidsville, NC 27320.
ROCKLAND ACOS, Richard Bloch, 29 Riverglen Dr.,
Thiells, NY 10984 (914)429-5283.
SCXnHENTRAL PA ACE, H. Richard Basso Jr., PO Box
11446, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1446 (717)761-3755.
SCUTHSIDE TIDEWATER ATUS , Buck Maddrey, 5245
Shenstone Circle, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
TRIANGLE OCMPUIER CLUB, Donald Nelson, Rt. 3, Box
760, Hillsborough, NC 27278 (919)942-2764.
WICHITA ACE, Marilyn Merica, 1722 N. Murray,
Wichita, KS 67212 (316)722-1078.
CURRENT NOTES annual subscription rate is $20
($36 for 2 yrs). Foreign subscriptions (surface
rate) are $30 per year. Foreign air mail rates:
$35 (Canada and Mexico); $40 (Central America,
Caribbean); $50 (S. America, Europe, N. Africa);
$60 (Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australia).
All foreign subscriptions are payable in US
dollars. Send check to CURRENT NOTES, 122 N.
Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA 22170.
LIST OF ADVERTISERS
Classified Ads. 77
Advanced Technology Networks 301/937-3605 73
Angen, Inc. 301/762-8870. 62
Applied Computer Associates 301/948-0256. 4,79
Atarifest '87. 80
Avant-Garde Systems 904/221-2904. 2
Beckemeyer Development Tools 415/658-5318 35
Berkeley Microsystems 415/530-3436. 65
CACI Graphics Services 703/876-2231. 5
Cal Ccm Inc. 301/933-3074. 73
Classified BBS 703/680-9596. 71
Computer Service Land 703/631-4949. 31
Current Notes ST Library. 38,39
Diskcovery 703/536-5040. 63
Disk Publications, Inc. 800/345-6467. 75
Electronic Clinic 301/656-7983. 47
Font Factory. 46
Full Spectrum Computers 703/221-6620. 69
Graf ikon, Ltd. 301/937-3394. 78
Imagists Group 703/764-0835. 27
L & Y Electronics 703/643-1729. 53
Langley Publications 703/241-2131. 58
Logical Design Works 408/435-1445. 58
NOVATARI XL/XE Library. 17
Proco Products 401/568-8459. 37
Software Plus 301/932-8331. 59
Supra Corp. 503/967-9075. 74
TDI Software 214/340-4942. 62
Terrific Corp. 617/232-2317. 22
Toad Computer Services 301/544-6943. 71
XLent Software 703/644-8881. 9
An Ansi/Graphics Terminal Emulator
for the Atari 520ST
• Ansi x3.64 terminal emulation
• VT100 submode
• Tektronix 4014 graphics emulation
AnsiGraf uses the GEM interface with menus
and dialog boxes to set and save terminal pa¬
rameters. Supports separate text and graph¬
ics screens, optionally viewable concurrently,
multiple text pages, Xmodem upload/down¬
load. text/graphics to printer or save to disk,
programmable function keys. Price: $79.95
Attn: R. Kulkarni or G. Fekete
P.O. Box 446
College Park, Md. 20740
Phone: (301) 937 - 3394
- 78 -
Just when you
thought you were
satisfied with your
(or so they say!)
September 25, 1987
(call for details)
APPLIED COMPUTERS Inc.
16220 Frederick Road Outside MD 14506 B Lee Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20877 CALL Chantilly, VA 22021
(Corner, Shady Grove Rd & Rt. 355) 1-800-4-ATARIS (1 Block W. of Routes 50 & 28)
(301)948-0256 1-800-428-2747 (703)631-5377
fiA/MFRF* Hum s C h<
H ey, Hey, Hey; it's rapidly getting lo be that time again! A T AR l FEST'87
The fine tuning goes on and we are determined to bring the Washington DC areaATARI e
usiaststhe 'quintessence’ of computer fairs
Saturday, October 24th, from 10:00am to 500pm vendors dealers local user group memt
and" Atari enthusiast swill gather at the Fairfax High School to share the latest in computer
elopments To ensure the latest and most innovative. ATARI CORP will attend in forcel ^
Sunday, October 25th, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm those attending will be able to coninue sharing
andwill hear ATARI CORP describe some of what's out thereon the horizon in the computer
field. AI so a sped al panel will discuss ATARI'S role in the microcomputer marketplace as well
as well as hearing about high tech developments in the compact disk computer field!
F or out-of-towners,
we have obt ai ned
dis count rates at a
near-by Holiday Inn.
Use the registration
form at the right to
T here will also be a
gala banquet at the
Holiday Inn on
Saturday night; o
$20.00/person (with an
open cash bar). Those
interested can contact
the Banquet Coordinat¬
Fairfax city Special Reservation Request
3535 Chain Bridge Road
FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA 22030
Sales Office 703-591-0852
Telephone (Area Code)
D Two Double Beds
□ King Size Bed and Sofa Bed ($4.00 Extra)
Date of Arrival___
No. of Nights ___
SLEEPING ROOMS: Oct 23-24, 87
RESERVATIONS AFTER: O C t 2 , 87"
SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
YOUR GROUP RATE: $ 55.00 /Nice
+ 6% tax
Deposit (check) Enclosed; $_ OR
CREDIT CARD NUMBER
All Reservations Must Be Accompanied By One Night’s Room Rate Plus Tax as Deposit or Credit Card guarantee. Guaranteed Reser¬
vations Held Until 7 A.M. Following Day. All Reservations Not Cancelled Prior to 6 P.M. on Arrival Day will be charged One Night’s
Room Rate plus Tax.
Ms Andrea Bonham
V endor queries may
be directed to the
Mr. Palmer Pyle
O ther questions may
be di rected to our
I nformat i on Coordi na-
Mr. Randy I ngalsbe
ATARI FEST'87 Chair¬
Mr. Donald G. Elmore
506 N. York Rd.
Sterling, VA 22170
QnPP Z :1Z/OORTS