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New REUs From CMD 

announced online that they have produced a 
limited number of CMD brand REUs. If you 
use programs like GEOS, Pocket Writer, 
NovaTerm or any of a number of other 
applications that support a Commodore 
REU, then you may be missing out on 
powerful and 
convenient features that 
I will speed your 
I productivity. With 
Commodore REUs no 
I longer in production, 
and even the SSI 1750 
| Clone no longer being 
available, many users 
haven't had a choice 
until now. 

I CMD's new 1750 and 
J1750XL REUs work 
with every program that 
I supports any of the 
Commodore REUs. The 
CMD 1750 offers 5 12K 
|i of DMA controlled 
high-speed fast page 
'mode RAM, while the 
CMD 1750XL provides 
a whopping 2 Megabytes for programs with 
extended REU support (NovaTerm 9.6, 
ACE, GEOS and others). Both models 
incorporate Commodore's REC Controller 
chip to provide guaranteed compatibility. 
And both come in a standard size cartridge, 
much smaller than a Commodore REU. Our 
units also draw less power, which means 
longer life for your power supply. 

Sadly, CMD's ability to produce these 
devices is limited due to the number of 
Commodore REC chips they were able to 
purchase, so these products will only be 
available while supplies last. If you want to 
get your hands on one of the highest quality 

© 1997 by J & F Publishing, Inc. The 
LOADSTAR LETTER is published monthly by 
J&F Publishing. 606 Common Street, 
Shreveport LA 71101. Subscription rate is 
$18.00 12 issues. No part of this newsletter may 
be reproduced without the permission of J & F 
Publishing. Contacts: 

jeff @ 

US MAIL: ATTN. Jeff Jones 

J&F Publishing P.O. Box 30008, Shreveport, 

LA 71130-0008, Phone: 318/221-8718, 

Fax: 318/221-8870, BBS: 318/425-4382 

Commodore-compatible REUs ever made, 
you'll need to act quickly. 

Creative Micro Designs, Inc. 

P.O. Box 646 

East Longmeadow, MA 01028 

Orders: (800) 6383-CMD 

Support: (413) 525-0023 

Fax: (413) 525-0147 

Old Testament 
Shipping. Entire Bible 
Finally On Disk 

First there was The Compleat New 
Testament On Disk and now there's the 
Compleat Old Testament, available from 
J&F Publishing. The Compleat Old 
Testament arrives on nine SVi-inch disks or 
three SVi-inch disks, with a 3 megabyte 

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MsHfeg* Christ, was in the Isle that is 

payload of scripture plus search tools to 
help you find the scripture you're looking 
for. It operates best if all the files are file 
copied to a single partition on a CMD hard 
drive or RAMLink, but works great, albeit 
with disk swapping on any type of system. 
SuperCPU optimized for fast searches 
through multiple books. Export text to 
Edstar files (Edstar Included!) 

Include accurate excerpts from The 
Bible in your presentations and letters 
because this product is designed to export 
the scriptures you need. Each book of the 
Old Testament is broken into highlights so 
that you can easily find key passages by 
name such as The Ten Commandments, 
The Walls Of Jericho and Daniel in the 
Lion's den. 

Old Testament on 3!/2-inch disks, 
#0029D3 $20.00. Old Testament on 
5^-inch disks, #0046D5 $20.00 
New Testament on SVi-inch disks, #0042D5 
$20.00. New Testament on 3 x /2-inch disk 
#0025D3 $20.00. 

Star Extra #3 Comes 
With a Load Of 
Source Plus Nate's 

Star Extra #3 has sat, done, on my 
desk for about two weeks now. This may 
sound like a paradox, but I've never seen 
so much of my own source code. The 
source spans three 1541 disks. This is 
everything from the simplest header files 
to my most complex toolboxes. Binary 
files included too, this package is at least 
as important as the Compleat 
Programmer for all those interested in 
advancing their machine language skills. 
For a list of contents, see LOADSTAR 

Star Extra #3 on 3 x /2-inch disks, 
#0031D3 $12.00. Star Extra #3 on 
S^-inch disks, #0048D5 $12.00 

CMD Soon To 
Release Ram 
Expansion Cards For 

I By Jeff Jones . The SuperCPU can 
address 16 megabytes of RAM, not as an 
I REU, but as real contiguous RAM. CMD 
I has designed an upgrade card for the 
I SuperCPU that will work on both the C- 
64 and C-128 models. With these cards 
installed you will be able to add one 
standard 72-pin SIMM available 
everywhere in 1MB, 4MB, 8MB and 

Scan Of Prototype 

16MB sizes. 

With this extra RAM we're sure to 
see C-64 applications written with more 
power and speed. For the longest time 
we've been able to unzip files, but never 
had enough memory to create a zip file. 
With the expander card, that routine will 
finally be written. 

This isn't an REU. It's actually 


better since Machine language routines 
written to access the RAM can simply 
index it instead of asking a device to copy 
in into usable space. This will change the 
face of Commodore 8, er, 16-bit 

GeoPublish Part Two 

By Bruce Thomas. So you read the 
first portion of this series and said to 
yourself "What's the point?" Moving 
Guidelines and setting gutters just seemed 
like extra work, and no editor needs more 
work. Well, this is true but those little 
changes allow you to get more 


Figure 1 : Place graphic into its own region on the page 

information on each page. There is 
another geoPublish trick that also allows 
more info on your pages and we'll take a 
look at this method now. 

If you have been around the 64 scene 
for any length of time you may remember 

qeos j file i mode i difp i options 




Roll. Wi 
more tex 
show a ii 

"read the first portion of this series and 

■ rself "What's the point?". Moving 

J and setting gutters just seemed like 

■ i and no editor needs more work. Well, 
. ', hut those little changes allow you to 

' ^formation on 

■ There is another 
i i trick that is a 
- . but also allows 
!m your pages. 
- a look at this 

Figure 2: Graphic within region and separate guidelines 

when Berkeley Softworks ran fancy ads in 
all of the C= magazines. With the 
introduction of GeoPublish this trend 
continued and brought us one ad in 
particular that I felt displayed a flaw in the 
way geoPublish handles text and graphics 
(or at the least in the way in which people 
placed text and graphics). 

Following along through the tutorial 
from part one we get to the point where it 
is time to add the graphic image. The 
prescribed method is to go to Page Layout 
Mode and create another region with the 
Open Region tool. This works fine if your 
image is of a blocky type, as the text re- 

formats around the region, but leaves lots of 
empty space if you are using an odd shaped 

This brings us back to the Berkeley ad I 
mentioned above which featured a giraffe in 
the middle of two columns of type. Looking 
at the ad you can see the same poor guideline 
settings were used as the tutorial suggests for 
the Jelly Roll. We will redo this ad to 
incorporate all of the changes discussed so 
far and show just how much more text can fit 
on a page. 

Figure 1 (preview mode) & Figure 2 
(zoom mode) show a reasonable facsimile of 
the original ad. The basic layout was created 
using the Master Page '2C Divider' Library 
file and the Page Layout '2C Title U' Library 
file. After some manipulation of the 
guidelines and regions I had the desired 
layout and was able to import my graphic (a 
Giraffe from The Newsroom publishing 
package by Springboard). I poured this 
article into the text regions, added the 
headline and separator graphic and had a 
completed page in no time flat. The screen 
captures were made with GeoWizDump and 
the thumbnail image (Figure 3) was created 
with (surprise!) Thumbnail from RUN's 
GEOS Power Pak disk after printing the 
'Publish page to disk with the Paint Pages 
printer driver. 

Following my own advice I used Roma 
for the text and Mega Roma for the headline. 
This method allows a newsletter page to be 
laid out with very little effort and in a very 
short time. It does, however, waste a lot of 
space on your page and may lead to your 
newsletter taking up more pages than it 

To get around this we will do two 
things. First, we will not use the Library files 
that came with 'Publish but create our own 
Master Page and Page Layout templates. 
Second, we will not create a region for the 
graphic but will utilize the paragraph 
formatting of the 'Publish Editor to flow the 
text around our images. 

This takes a lot of careful planning and 
counting but will greatly reduce the amount 
of wasted space around your images. There 
is also a lot of mode swapping as you must 

Improving GeoPublish 2 improving GeoPublish 2 

go from Editor to Graphics mode and 
back to get the fit you want. 

Let's start by creating a new 
document and go to Master Page mode. 
Set your horizontal guidelines at 1/2", 
2" and 10 1/2". Set Vertical Guidelines 
at 1/2", 4 1/4" and 8". Go to Page 


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Figure 3: Thumbnail image of 
page with graphic in a region. 

Figure 6:Thumbnail with graphic 
placed without a region 

Figure 4: Place your graphic in page graphics mode 
without a region 

Layout Mode and choose the Options 
Menu. Select Set Gutters and make your 
Left and Right Gutters 10. Now make 
the three regions needed for the 
Headline and text. 

You can import your text by 
selecting the 'T' icon in the toolbox and 
adding it to the two regions. Now 
choose Page Graphics mode and add the 
title. Select the 'T' icon and choose the ~~ 

Publish but create our own Mister Page ai 

Layout templates and save them to the I 

future use. Second, we will not creat 

for the graphic (unless it is one wii 

square or rectangular shape) I 

utilize the paragraph formatt 

the 'Publish Editor has to fl 

text around our images. 

This takes a lot of care 

planning and counting b 

greatly reduce the an 

wasted space around 

Figure 5: text around the graphic manually 

font, size (about 80) and other attributes 
you desire. I generally choose Center for 
the text and make the box the size I 
want (in this case from side to side) so 
the text will not get cut off. Add the 
underline somewhere between the 
bottom of your headline and the 
guideline at the 2" mark. 

Make sure your picture is in a photo 
scrap and choose the Bitmap Placement 
Tool. Move into the middle of the page 
and place your graphic. You can now 
select it (with the Arrow tool), go into 
the Attributes and resize it however you 
wish (select Stretched & Scaled and 
make it a good size). To match our faux 
ad I am going to stretch it down from 3 


1/2" to the 9" mark and from about 2 3/4" 
to 5 3/4" on the horizontal scale (Figure 

Now is when you need to get a piece 
of paper beside you and get ready to 
count. Go into Zoom mode and locate the 
top of your image. Make note of the line 
of text directly above the graphic - you 
will want to make this the end of a 
paragraph. Make note also of the ruler 
position of the left edge of the graphic - 
you will set the Right Margin of the new 
paragraph 1 or 2 ruler notches short of 
this. Now, scroll down the page and count 
how many lines of text the graphic is tall - 
this is how many lines you need at that 
margin setting. 

At present we are only looking at the 
left side of the graphic. We want to go 
into Editor mode and make the changes to 
our margins in the left column (you will 
need to reset the 'p' marker for indents as 
well as adjusting the right margin for as 
many lines as you counted). This will 
change the positioning of the text in the 
right column (as things move down) so 
we will have to go back to graphics mode. 
Once you are back in graphics mode 
scroll down the left side of the graphic 
and make sure your text lines up as you 
want (if it doesn't, go back to the Editor 
and make adjustments). The left column 
must be left alone once you start working 
on the right column. 

Once you are happy with the left side 
start at the top of the image again and 
work down the right side. You will be 
counting the lines of text and deciding 
where to set the left margin of your text 
this time (Figure 5). 

I know that this may sound like a lot 
of work but, once you've done it a few 
times, you will find it quite easy to do 
with very little mode swapping. You will 
also find that, if your graphics are odd 
shapes like our giraffe, you can fit a lot 
more text on the page (compare Figure 6 
with Figure 3). Your graphics will appear 
to be part of the page instead of looking 
like a separate island. 

Two very useful utilities for 
geoPublish users are Toolkit (by Rick 
Kranz) and Getlt Write V2.0 (by Joseph 
Thomas). Toolkit allows you to make font 
and ruler changes in your entire document 
and so avoid the pain of printing a page 
with one section in BSW 9 point. 
Getlt Write will check your disk and tell 
you if all of the text files needed for your 
'Pub document are on the disk. This is 
very handy if you copy your files to an 
REU and want to make sure you have 
them all before firing up 'Publish. You 
can also change the name of a Geo Write 

document and update the 'Pub file at the 
same time. 

GeoPublish is such a powerful program 
that it takes a long time to learn how to use 
all of its features. Hopefully these articles 
have helped show a couple of methods to 
improve your creations and save space at the 
same time. While it will still take time and 
practice to get good at using these methods I 
hope that they will inspire you to come up 
with some of your own geoPublish 

SuperCPU Usability 
Reviewed in Usenet 

By Roger J. Long. If you run 
productivity (word processing, etc.) 
programs, it works great. If all you do is 
play games, then it's a mixed bag. 
There are several things that you run into 
when playing games on it. 

* Copy protection. The more modern 
protection methods are timing- 
sensitive, you may have to switch to 
Normal mode any time the: drive is 
accessed, then back up to tlirbo mode 
when it's done. 

* if the program is interrupt-driven, you 
won't see any speed increase. 

* if f he program does its timing by i .oops, 
events will happen too east for you to 



Elite: Can be loaded by either putting it 
in Normal mode and loading with Elite's 
fast loader, or by putting it in Turbo mode 
and not using the fast loader. Music is 
interrupt-driven, so plays at regular tempo 
regardless of which mode it is in. Graphics 
are sped up by over a factor of 1 0, making 
combat impossible to manage. However, it 
is still a good candidate for the SuperCPU. 
There are times in the game when you are 
travelling to a planet and there are several 
non-hostile ships around you. The game 
slows down because it is tracking those 
ships and getting to the planet can take over 
1 5 minutes. So, I use the Normal mode to 
play the game and Turbo mode to cut down 
on the inter-planet travel time. 

Monopoly: The Turbo mode yields 
about a 5x graphics AND sound increase. 
Makes the game more enjoyable to play 
because you are not waiting for the pictures 
of the dice or the properties to scroll by. 
(The properties can be turned off.) 

Where the SuperCPU really shines is 
when running something that takes a long 
time to complete, and several productivity 
programs fall into that category. Examples: 

GEOS: It uses the high-res screen to 
draw all its screens, which slows things 

down. The worst case is Geo Write. It is 
possible to type faster than Geo Write can 
display what you type. If it has to switch 
screens to the other side of the page, it 
takes a few seconds. If it has to do that 
*and* scroll the screen up, a ten second 
wait is about average. With the SuperCPU, 
Geo Write reacts instantly in all cases. You 
can scroll down the full page in about 2 
seconds, and back up in about 3 or 4. 

GeoPublish is also pretty processor- 
intensive. The cover of our newsletter 
usually has two small (3/4 inch) graphics, 
three lines of text drawn with a MegaFont 
at 48 points, five smaller sections of text, 
and at least one larger piece of clip art. 
Time to display in preview mode is about 
65 seconds. Time to display in Turbo 
mode is 4 seconds. Printing in GeoPublish 
also takes a while to print. It does a little 
bit of printing, then thinks about it, then 
does some more. Time to print a page, 
using the GeoCable II parallel print cable 
and a Canon BJ-200ex 24-nozzle bubble 
jet printer is 1 5-20 minutes. In Turbo 
mode, those thinking times are 
instantaneous, so print time is 5-8 minutes. 
In this case, it's the speed of the printer 
that limits the print time. (But, it's better 
than my old printer. At 240x216 
resolution, print time was 70 minutes per 


I use a RAM Expansion Unit (REU), 
which speeds things up, but adding the 
SuperCPU makes it work even better. 
Even loading programs off the drive is 

Multiplan 1.07, published by Epyx. 
Had to be in Normal mode to load the 
program due to copy protection, but once 
up and running, any further disk accesses 
would work in Turbo mode. Calculating a 
simple spreadsheet took about 1 5 seconds 
in Normal mode, and 2 in Turbo mode. 

Issues of LOADSTAR The file 
reader shifts through pages 
instantaneously. Pages also seem to load in 
a bit quicker. Music speed isn't affected. 

Displaying Mandlebrot graphics. 
Normally, it takes over 8 hours to display 
one picture. (We let it run overnight and 
came back to it the next day.) In Turbo 
mode, it took just over 1 hour. Note from 
Jeff: Our Mandlebrot Microscope and Julia 
set programs, written in machine language, 
don't take hours to render an image. It's 
more like minutes, and with the SuperCPU 
they're even faster. 

I also have the C64S emulator on a 
Pentium-150 (was a 133 until 1 changed 
the bus speed from 66MHz to 75MHz). 
The maximum speed increase I've seen out 
of it when running a program is only about 
4x. However, it doesn't seem to be able to 
handle interruDt-driven events Dronerlv. In 


CI 28 IN 64 (BODE, 


un EraphiES BlaEhinf 1 
























r< ai *?? cm-. 
WITH FGflft 






FGffl FONTS OUER 30 FONTS IN FGffl FORfflflT $5.00 



FGffl CLIP ART U0L.3 OUER 125 GRAPHICS --- $5.00 



FGffl UPDATE DISK U6.5 UPDATES FGffl U6,x TO FGffl U6,5--*2.00 



The FGITl Connection. P.O.Box 2206. Roseburg, OR. 97470 

FOR fflORE. .INFORMTI.ON. .CALL 541-496 "2234 

Elite, the music is sped up, instead of just 
the graphics. A setting of 800% seems to 
be equal to full speed of a regular C64. 
Setting it to Maximum is variable as to 
how much faster it goes. And, the music is 
sped up as well. 

Roger J. Long, editor for the SWAMI 
(Amiga) and TC-Cubed (C64/C128) clubs 
of southeast Washington State. http:// 
Looking for places in the U.S. and Canada 
that still support the C64? Over 1 30 of 
them can be found on my web site. 

Programming the 
SwiftLink Cartridge 

by Robin Harbron. The SwiftLink is 
yet another cartridge that can be plugged 
into our trusty computers. It adds a 6551 
ACIA to your arsenal of programmable 
chips. ACIA stands for Asynchronous 
Communication Interface Adapter, and it 
does just that: allows your computer to 
interface with communications devices, 
such as a modem. 

The Commodore 64 wasn't blessed 
with an efficient way of communicating 

with a modem at its 
birth. This was 
apparently a cost- 
cutting measure. A 
6551 was partially 
emulated in the 64' s 
kernal. But emulation 
is generally a time- 
consuming thing. It 
simulates hardware 
with software. Instead 
of being able to send a 
byte to your 
hardware, and letting 
the hardware send it 
out bit-by-bit, the 
kernal had to do the 
work itself. 

When 300, and 
then 1200 BPS (bits 
per second) modems 
were common, this 
didn't seem to be such 
a limitation. But 2400 
was a bit of a hurdle 
for programmers to 
handle well, and 
beyond that seemed 
pretty much 
impossible. The 
SwiftLink and other 
similar cartridges 
allow us to keep pace 
with the newer modems. Mine happily sits 
plugged into my U.S. Robotics 33.6 
Faxmodem. 33.6 is short for 33.6K, or 
33600 BPS, 1 12 times as fast as my 
original 64modem! 

Unfortunately, it's a little more 
difficult to talk to a modem plugged into 
the cartridge port. BASIC and the Kernal 
still want to talk to the old user-port 
modems, so we have to resort to PEEKs 
and POKEs instead of the more user- 
friendly OPEN and PRINT# commands. 
When first learning to program the 
SwiftLink I wrote a short basic program 
to hack around with. It is pretty much 
capable of 300 BPS with a normal C64, 
and seems to do a fairly reliable 4800 with 
the SuperCPU on. Pretty amazing, to be 
able to go that fast in BASIC! 

I don't own one yet, but apparently 
CMD's new Turbo232, which recently 
replaced the SwiftLink, is backwards 
compatible. This program should work 
fine with the T232. 

Here's the program, an extremely 
simple terminal, interspersed with my 

10 POKE 53374,0 : POKE 53366,0 : 

POKE 53375,0 

Enables the SuperCPU BASIC 
optimization mode. Not necessary if you 
don't have a SuperCPU, but it should be 
common practice if you'll be sharing your 
programs with those who do have one. 

20 SW=56832 

This is the base address of the 
SwiftLink. In hex, this is $DE00, one of the 
two I/O pages that were left free for 
expansions such as this. You may have 
$DE00 occupied by another device. If this 
is the case, $DF00 can be used. Change the 
value ofSW to 57088. 


There are four registers in the 
SwiftLink, numbered through 3. These 
are normally located from $DE00 to 
SDE03. SW+2 refers to the Command 
Register. This is used to control how the 
SwiftLink acts while sending and receiving 
data. Here is the meaning of the various 

7-5 Parity Check. This is rarely used 
nowadays. "None" will suit us just fine, so 
we'll store zeros here. 

4 Normal/Echo Mode for Receiver. 
Normal if set to 0, as we'll do. If set to 1, 
bits 2 and 3 must be set to 0, and the 
receiver will echo, i.e. send back whatever 
it receives. 

3-2 We don't want interrupts to 
happen when the SwiftLink is ready to 
send a byte, as we're going to be using the 
simple polling method of communicating 
with the SwiftLink. So we'll store a 10 in 
these bits. If we did want interrupts to 
happen whenever the SwiftLink was ready 
to send, we would set a 01 here. 

1 If we want an interrupt to occur 
whenever a byte arrives to our computer, 
we set this to 0. We don't want an interrupt 
to happen, so we'll set this to bit to a 1 . 

If we want to refuse data for a while 
(perhaps we've received more information 
than we can deal with for a while, or want 
to do disk access) we can set this bit to 0. 
We'll be setting it to 1, to enable receiving. 

40 POKE SW+3,21 

SW+3 is the Control Register of the 
SwiftLink. This is used to select the various 
modes of operation of the 6551 . The 
meanings of the various bits follow: 

7 Stop Bits. We'll set this to 0, 
meaning we want one stop bit. This is 
standard practice today. Stop bits are bits 

(Continued on page 6) 

Telephone # Name 

Everything You Wanted To Know About Commodore BBSs 

Baud Notes 

318-687-0028 Centsible Systems BBS 14.4 

209-754-1363 Silicon Realms 2400 

619-390-0351 Golden Reef 2400 

619-390-7483 Dream Factory 2400 

901-584-2588 CAMDEN TN BBS 1200 

602-849-2892 Desert Oasis 2400 

402-393-2985 greater Omaha comm users 2400 

817-690-0494 Kevin's Info Board 2400 

805-382-1125 Civic 64/128 DG BBS 9600 

718-359-8491 The Unknown Cave 14.4 

718-655-5642 Rowdy's Revenge 2400 

718-849-4794 DSS Enterprise 2400 

718-320-0726 Quantum Link II 1200 

708-585-5944 Time Lords BBS 14.4 

609-451-7485 C= Support Center 14.4 

716-366-5345 Mutant's Realm 2400 

309-793-4765 Archive BBS 2400 

305-258-5039 Diamondback BBS 2400 

519-969-9447 MF ' s Playhouse 2400 

717-236-1596 Alpha Centauri 2400 

360-384-4704 Future Mountain NW 14.4 

318-425-4382 LOADSTAR Disk 2400 

713-852-7028 Powerhouse BBS 14.4 

201-460-7955 Hidden Empire 2400 

803-666-7474 LV-426 14.4 

941-656-5613 Kapital K'pers BBS 2400 

405-793-9892 Meg II ' s Altitude 2400 

916-743-4100 Power In The Blood 2400 

614-522-6563 Cygnus X-l 2400 

813-986-6786 Magic's Realm 2400 

810-687-2101 The Falcon's Claw 2400 

810-258-9864 Starfleet Command 2400 

813-839-0240 The Raven's Nest 2400 

905-668-7347 The Deadworld 2400 

905-434-9730 Spectrum 2400 

941-656-0658 The Texas Cafe 2400 

216-833-6159 Arrakas BBS 2400 

303-252-0735 Batcave BBS 2400 

305-964-9188 Davy Jones' Locker 2400 

406-232-4927 The Eagles Nest 2400 

407-951-8431 Postman's BBS 2400 

309-764-7084 Get It Here BBS 2400 

207-646-1157 Golden Coastal BBS 2400 

303-745-7018 7 Eleven BBS 2400 

610-834-9694 The Mailbox 14.4 

702-399-2415 First Blood BBS 2400 

901-423-0987 GUNSMOKE HIDEOUT 2400 

607-735-0469 TOWER BBS 14.4 

904-284-2175 The Boiler Room 14.4 

13-988-8358 World Of Production 14.4 

903-839-3668 Black Iris 2400 

901-422-5188 GUNSMOKE HIDEOUT 2400 

813-254-3799 The Lighthouse BBS 2400 

405-681-8119 Meg-O-Mania One 2400 

509-674-7131 The Dragon's Eye 2400 

305-253-1494 COB'S Corner 2400 

509-297-4405 Shuttle 64 2400 

713-956-1374 The Cuddly Place 2400 

903-596-0133 DS9 2400 

519-252-9410 Cheers 2400 

903-825-3180 Realm Of The Unicorn 2400 

10-235-1938 Greatlakes International 2400 

313-934-6461 The 64 Connection 2400 

519-256-7047 Border City 2400 

201-845-8250 Cave Of The Cerberus 2400 

403-734-2382 Emergency Call 2400 

315-458-2824 Recruiter Station 2400 

602-827-2706 The Twilight Zone 14.4 

206-775-9953 Twisted Sky 14.4 

206-536-9953 OMNI World 14.4 

304-697-0101 The Inner Circle 14.4 

702-673-2927 Sunlight 14.4 

04-474-2562 Spide ' s Web 14.4 

04-452-9652 Masters Castle 14.4 















































































CBM: Commodore 64/128 System NET: Networked 
RPG: Role Playing Games MSG: Message Bases 

UD: File Transfers 
GAM: Online Games 

318-425-4382 LOADSTAR BBS 

LOADSTAR'S BBS is a 2400 baud 24 hour per day BBS. It 
exists primarily as a means for our customers to keep in contact with us 
and for our developers who are not on the Internet to upload or 
download files in a hurry. 

We do not exist as a means to spread PD files and discourage the 
upload of binary data to the BBS because it takes away time from 
customers. I rarely validate an upload, which means that if you upload 
something, it won't be made available for others to download. We offer 
netmail, network dating, online games and a debate board that's on fire. 

K The BB^ Comer 

h ttp :/Avww. thedirectory. org 

SiteWatch! Jeff sez check it out! 

This is a small portion of what you'll find at 
The Directory. 

What are BBSs and why are they so important? 
Interaction with other users! 

Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) are a very important On-Line Service 
that has been around for over 15 years! 

BBSs are Interactive because they depend on the interactions of other 
users to make them fun and interesting. Bulletin Boards serve many 
functions such as the following: 
•1 . Discussion With Other Users 

Bulletin boards are centers of chat and discussion. This is done by using 
"Message Forums", "Message Subs", or "Message Echoes". These 
messages are separated by topic - and the messages in each "area" are 
based upon this topic. If you've ever seen Usenet Newsgroups, this is very 

Whatever your local BBS calls these message areas, they perform the 
same function - Talking On-Line with other users in your local 

This is not a "live chat" but a way to leave messages for others to read 
when they log on to the BBS. Read the messages and leave your replies 
when YOU want to! 

Most of these messages by people in YOUR Home Town! Make friends 
with people with the same interests as you in your town! 

•2. A Storage Location of "Shareware" Files 

Everyone likes the latest games or the latest utilities - but does not like to 
pay for something unless they are sure of the product they are buying. 
Calling BBSs makes it VERY easy to get what you want - and in a hurry! 
BBSs are like FTP sites, where you can "upload" or "download" files. These 
files are known as "shareware" files since you can give them a "test run" 
before you buy them. 

•3. A Place To Play Multi-User Games 

BBSs have on-line games called "Door Games". Door games are called 

"Doors" because the game is an add-on to the BBS and the BBS "opens a 

door" and leads the user in to the game, and then returns them to the BBS 

when the game is done. 

There are MANY BBS door games, one of the most popular is Legend of 

the Red Dragon by Seth Robinson. 

•4. Electronic Mail 

Keep in touch with your friends with Electronic Mail. Why use the 
cumbersome Internet when local E-mail will do just as well for those who 
live in your town! 

About BBSs And The People Who Run Them 

For the most part, BBSs are provided by their system operators (sysops) as 
a service to the on-line world, generally as a "hobby." Many do not charge 
anything at ail and many others just ask for enough in the form of donations 
or charges to pay the cost of maintaining the system. Sysops pay for the 
phone lines, computers, modems, and the inevitable costs of keeping the 
system operating and obtaining new software and hardware. 

In addition, it is important to note the incredible amount of TIME that 
most sysops devote to their BBSs, making your online experience as 
enjoyable as possible. 

When using a BBS you are a "guest" in the sysop's home, albeit 
electronically but still a "guest." As such, it is important that you treat the 
sysop and the other users of the BBS with extraordinary courtesy and 
kindness, even when, at times, the sysop becomes upset with you for some 
reason. Do as the sysop asks as it is his/her system. If you don't wish to do 
so, be considerate and leave the system voluntarily and permanently. 

If you like what the BBS offers and use it regularly or plan to, 
consider making a donation to the sysop to help cover the expenses. 
Maybe you can donate a piece of equipment (such as a better modem) or 
even invite the sysop to dinner or to some other activity once in a while. 
There are some sysops who will not accept your offers but it doesn't hurt to 
try anyway. At the very least you can send the sysop a card on special 
days, such as their birthday or on holidays when cards are generally given. 
An occasional gift may also be appropriate. 

If the BBS offers files for download, be sure to "upload" good usable 
files for others to download. Don't take without giving!! Be a considerate 
BBS user. 

When logging into a BBS for the first time, give your real name and 
other identifying information when requested. The sysops need this 
information to properly manage their systems. BBSs come and go like 
clockwork. Many "go" due to the inconsiderate actions of some of the users. 
If you want your BBS to stay, make the sysop feel that you appreciate his/ 
her efforts. Working together we will have many more BBSs available to 
you and others. That is the one of the goals of The BBS Corner 

The BBS Corner is a service of DIAMOND MINE On-Line of 

Fredericksburg, Virginia USA 

Copyright © 1 997 All rights reserved by Diamond Mine On-Line 

For more information, E-mail the webmaster of the BBS Corner at: 

David Perrussel 


that the modems/interfaces use to signal 
the end of a complete byte. 

6-5 Word Length. Setting this to 00 
designates 8 bit word lengths. This simply 
means that the SwiftLink will move a full 
byte at a time, and this is what we'll use. 
01 is used for 7 bit words, 10 for 6 bit 
words, and 1 1 for 5 bit words. These other 
word lengths are seldom used. 

4 Receiver Clock Source. Setting this 
to allows one to use an external receiver 
clock to drive the speed at which the 
modem operates. This may have uses to 
some, but we'll set this bit to 1 , to use the 
internal baud rate generator. 

3-0 Baud Rate Generator. This allows 
you to set the speed you want the 
SwiftLink to run at. 0101 is 300 BPS, and 
what we'll use. 

Each increment is a higher speed. 
1000 is 2400 BPS, 1 100 is 9600 BPS, and 
1111 is the maximum a SwiftLink can do, 
38400 BPS. 

Do a POKE SW+3,26 if you have a 
SuperCPU. This will allow you to operate 
at 4800 BPS. 

100 GET A$ 


Simply gets the user's key press, if 
any. If there is one, set a flag, as we'll need 
to send the character out the SwiftLink. 

120 S=PEEK(SW+1) 

SW+1 is the Status Register. This 
allows you to see the status of the 6551 
and its functions. Each bit in this register 
has its own meaning: 

7 Did an interrupt occur? 
0=No, l=Yes 

6 Shows the status of DCD (Data 
Carrier Detect). 


l=not connected. 

5 Shows the status of DSR (Data Set 
Ready). 0=low, l=high. 

4 Transmit Data Register Empty. 
0=byte waiting to be sent, l=empty, 
available to send a byte. 

3 Receive Data Register Full. 0=not 
full, empty, l=full, waiting to be read. 

2 Overrun Error? l=yes, 0=no. If a 
byte comes into the 6551 from the modem, 
and is not read before another one comes 
in and overwrites the first, an overrun error 

1 Framing Error? l=yes, 0=no. 
Parity Error? l=yes, 0=no. 

130 IF (S AND 8)=8 THEN R=PEEK(SW) : 

If the Receive Data Register is full, then 
get the byte. Location SW (Transmit and 
Receive Data Registers) is a dual-use 
register. Read it, and you get whatever is in 
the one-byte receive buffer; write to it, and 
you place a byte to be sent in the one-byte 
transmit buffer. So R=PEEK(SW) gets the 
byte. The rest of the line assumes the byte is 
an ASCII character, and just prints it out. 
Note that no true ASCII to PetASCII 
conversion is being done. 

If this were a more full-blown terminal, 
we would want the conversion done. This is 
just a quick and dirty example program. 

140 IF (S AND 16)=16 THEN IF Z=l 

If the Transmit Data Register is empty, 
and if there was a character read in back in 
line 100, then poke the numerical value of 
the character into the Transmit Data 
Register, and clear the flag for next time 

150 GOTO 100 

Do it all again :) 

Run the program, and try a few 

ATZ will reset your modem. You 
should get the response "OK". 
ATDTxxxxxxx where the Xs are a phone 
number will dial that number on a tone 
phone line. Type ATDP if you have a pulse 
line. You should hear a dial tone, and then 
hear your modem dial out. 

To make a truly useful term program, 
assembly language has to be used. But there 
is nothing wrong with hacking around in 
BASIC, particularly if you have a 
SuperCPU, to experiment and learn in a 
more friendly environment. Also, interrupts 
really should be used, especially to read the 
incoming data. The SwiftLink will cause an 
interrupt (either NMI or IRQ, you choose 
with the switch on the cartridge) whenever a 
byte comes in, which you can then handle. 

The common thing to do is to add the 
incoming byte to a queue, and allow your 
main program to read from the queue at its 
leisure. A 256 byte buffer makes for an easy 
implementation. For transmitting, interrupts 
seem pretty cumbersome. 

Have fun, and please, let me know what 
you'd like to see articles on. BBGRAM? 
Demo coding tricks? Assembly tutorial? 
Making games? Disk drive programming? 
I'd like to hear from you, either through Jeff, 

or e-mail me: machethigjthaytel .ne t 

Optimizing Code For 
Speed Versus Size 

By Jeff Jones. Who says bigger is 
slower? Sometimes when speed demands 
it (or when I only think it might), I might 
duplicate subroutines instead of JSRing to 
them, and make a long block of code that 
doesn't include the logic necessary to 
branch or loop. 

How much time does branching and 
looping add to your code? 

Consider a simple screen save routine. 
The following pseudo codes demonstrates 
how it's done: 


ldy #0 

- Ida 

screen, y 


screenstash, y 


color, y 


colorstash, y 


screen+$100, y 


screenstash+$100, y 




colorstash+$100, y 




screenstash+$200, y 




colorstash+$200, y 


screen+$300, y 


screenstash+$300, y 




colorstash+$300, y 




That's 53 bytes of code that copies 
2048 bytes of data from screen and color 
memory to another buffer. Very simple. 
You probably couldn't get simpler than 
that. In fact fixing it so that it would copy 
only the required 1000 bytes would require 
more logic or two loops. In the best of 
circumstances one pass of the shorter code 
would take 76 cycles. Not bad eh? But 
wait - there's more! We have to do 256 
passes to copy 2048 bytes so that's 76*256 
or 19456 cycles. That's 19.4 milliseconds 
on a stock C-64. Way faster than a gnat's 
sneeze. Pretty fast. 

But let's go crazy and make this code 
even bigger by limiting the range of the 


ldy #0 

- Ida 

screen, y 


screenstash, y 


color, y 


colorstash, y 


screen+$80, y 


screenstash+$80, y 




colorstash+$80, y 


screen+$100, y 


screenstash+$100, y 


color+$100, y 


sta colorstash+$100, y 

Ida screen+$180, y 

sta screenstash+$180, y 

Ida color+$180,y 

sta colorstash+$180, y 

Ida screen+$200,y 

sta screenstash+$200, y 

Ida color+$200,y 

sta colorstash+$200, y 

Ida screen+$280,y 

sta screenstash+$280, y 

Ida color+$280,y 

sta colorstash+$280,y 

Ida screen+$300, y 

sta screenstash+$300, y 

Ida color+$300,y 

sta colorstash+$300, y 
Ida screen+$380,y 

sta screenstash+$380, y 

Ida color+$380,y 

sta colorstash+$380, y 



Okay! Now we have a routine that's 
100 bytes long. Is it slower or faster? In 
the best of circumstances one pass of the 
shorter code would take 148 cycles. Not 
bad eh? But wait - there's more! We 
have to do 128 passes to copy 2048 bytes 
so that's 148*128 or 18944 cycles. 
That's 18.9 milliseconds on a stock C-64. 
Gosh, just a tad faster! 

Now imagine an extremely verbose 
routine like the followingf " 


Ida screen 


























screens tash+ 3 





1992 lines snipped 

Ida screen+999 

sta screenstash+999 

Ida color+999 

sta colorstash+999 

This code is optimized to copy only 
the 2000 bytes needed, but this code 
would be a whopping 12,000 bytes long, 
just to move 2000 bytes. Comparing this 
massive chunk of code to the previous 
two, which would be faster? The compact 
and slick 53-byte loop or the burgeoning 
12,000 byte monster? Well the 12,000 
byte routine would take a mere 1 6,000 

cycles to execute, taking 8 cycles to load 
and stash each byte. It uses faster 
stashing (by one cycle) since there's no 
Y indexing, and no looping, branching or 
the extra logic (1024 times) to see if it 
even has to loop. That's about 16 
milliseconds to execute. 

So we see that we've gone from 19.5 
milliseconds with the shortest code to 
roughly 19 milliseconds with the wider 
loop to 1 6 milliseconds with no loop and 
the largest code. 

We wouldn't write code like this for 
a screen stash. Nineteen milliseconds is 
fine for popping up a screen. Doing it 
38% faster in this case or even in half the 
time wouldn't be humanly noticeable. 
But imagine the same type of 
optimization in a routine that's called 
thousands of times, maybe hundreds of 
thousands of times while your user 
feverishly clicks at a joystick. You'll 
want to save every cycle. 

If you're writing complex math 
routines say for a graphics program, you 
might want to spread your code out just 
like this and create huge but faster code. 
You might duplicate and place in-line 
repetitively called routines instead of 
JSRing. The JSR and the RTS add up to 
12 cycles each call. If you make 32,000 
thousand JSRs in say a Mandlebrot 
program, you're spending 384,000 
cycles, just getting back and forth to your 
routines. During this time no work is 
getting done. 

Writing optimized code for a 
Mandlebrot program might be much 
larger than could fit in a C-64 — or 
would it? Mandlebrot Microscope, 
published on LOADSTAR, used bulky 
but effective pre-calculated ML arrays to 
speed its job. 

Say you have a CMD SuperCPU 
with a 1-16 meg RAM expander. During 
program setup you algorithmically 
generate incredibly verbose code in high 
memory that glides through the work 
with little or no logic, looping, JSRing or 
RTSing to hinder it. Instead of your 
Mandlebrot program running 20 times 
faster than normal code, it's running 40 
or 50 times faster! 

The official term for creating manual 
loops is called rolling out loops, and it's 
almost always faster, even in BASIC 
applications where you write out a zillion 
lines of BASIC instead of typing fori=1 


Duplicating subroutines for the sake 
of saving the cycles used to call them is 
called in-lining. 

Perhaps you want to plot with a 

LOADSTAR Geos Software 

GeOpOWer Tools: 19 Geos utilities: Calendar Printer, Fast 
Format, Geo Fetch (grab any portion of a screen as a Photo Scrap), 
Phoenix (resurrect a trashcanned file), Programmer's Calculator are 
just a few of the handy tools. Side Two is filled with Clip Art (in Photo 
Album format) and fonts. $10.00 (C-64/128) Item #080525 

CMpart!: LOADSTAR presents a huge GEOS collection of clip 
art and fonts. Some of the GEOS art that has appeared on 
LOADSTAR, as well as some great files from GEOS fanatic Dick 
Estel, are available on twenty SY* inch disks or eight ZVi inch disks. 
Most of this has never been seen before! Use these graphics in your 
GeoPaint, GeoWrite and GeoPublish documents or convert to FGM 
with FGM utilities. Spiff up your GeoFAX documents with the 
appropriate graphic every time! Prices are $20 for any two 354 inch 
disks, or any five 5% inch disks. You can purchase the whole 
collection for $75 for either version. 

Clipart Collection On 5%-lnch disks 

Entire collection on 5%-inch disks item #0033D5 $75.00 

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Disk 02 Vehiclesrtarot: Artwork of old and new autos; excellent 

geoPaint drawings of the tarot card set #0013D5 

Disk 03 Clip art: Includes converted Macpaint files that have never 

before been available in Commodore format #0014D5 

Disk 04 Ottawa/prime clips: Artwork of the main landmarks of 

Ottawa. In addition, high quality public domain clip art #0015D5 

Disk 05 Fonts: More than 30 fonts from past issues of LOADSTAR, 

plus articles on creating fonts. Two ready-made headers for use 

with your own documents, one a picture of a mail truck; the other 

reading "from the desk of #0016D5 

Disk 06, 07, 08 geoPaint and photo album files with the great clip 

artwork featured on past LOADSTARS includes geoCurmudgeon, 

Animalia I and II. Australian animals, valentine art and many more 

#0017D5, #0018D5, #0019D5 

Disk 09 Goodykoontz files: Jasper Goodykoontz, born in Indiana 

in 1855, produced Goodykoontz's Perpetual Calendar and general 

reference manual (a book for the millions). This disk includes scans 

from the book of a wide array of subjects gestures and attitudes, 

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Disk 10 Old west: scanned artwork from Dick Estel's FRD software 

mostly woodcut style art of the old west, gold rush days and pioneer 

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Disk 11 J. Needy art/animals: Jennifer Needy works with a wide 

variety of subject matter and materials. Some of her favorites, 

scanned into geoPaint format. A collection of scanned artwork of 

animals from FRD software #0022D5 

Disk 12 Holiday: Artwork for New Years, Valentine's, St. Patrick's 

day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas #0023D5 

Disk 13 People/faces: Scenes of people and faces from FRD 

software #0024D5 

Disk 14 FRD classics: Dick's choice of the best of the FRD 

collection #0025D5 

Disk 15 Dinos/classics: dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts, as 

well as more first choice artwork from FRD. #0026D5 

Disk 16 Sports/misc: dozens of sports related clips #002705 

Disk 17 Office and school: clips to be used at work and around the 

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Disk 18 Music & more school clips #002905 

Disk 19 Seasonal and holidays: a clip for any occasion #0030D5 

Disk 20 Seasonal and holidays: a clip for any occasion #0031D5 

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For your convenience, GeoViewer is included. GEOS 2.0 


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Orders 800-594-3370 

Questions: 318/221-8718 


drawing program. Instead of a general 
plot routine, you might find that eight or 
maybe even forty separate plot routines 
will give you faster operation because 
sectioning your code eliminates tons of 
logic. Combine that with in-lining and 
you have more speed, but perhaps not 
enough memory to run your code. Again 
with the expanded SuperCPU, completely 
optimized, rolled out, in-lined verbose 
code becomes extremely palatable, even if 
it ends up generating a hundred kilobyte 
routine or more. The user won't notice 
your algorithm creating the monster code. 
They'll only say, "Man this guy's 
program is twice as fast as all the rest!" 
Plus if you use native instructions you 
may squeeze out extra speed. Careful 
though. A single 16-bit instruction might 
replace four ASLs, but take longer to 

4-Skan Scans From 
Your Print Head 

By Ben Johnson. Ten years of 
development is all it took to bring the 4- 
skan Digitizing system to its present form. 
Along the way we learned a lot about 
programming and even more about 
printers, including some things their 
consultants said couldn't be done. The 
system, includes scanning device 
hardware, and programs on 5.25-inch 
disk. The hardware connects to the 
C64/128 USER PORT and your dot 
matrix printer via a signal conditioner and 
a fiber optic link which is fastened to the 
print head. It's carried across the platen to 
sense the light on artwork held and 
conveyed there. 

The hardware module pre-dated 
home computers by a few years, being 
developed to turn pocket calculators into 
Ohmmeters, Light meters and the like. 
When the Timex came along and we 
discovered the power of machine code 
counting routines, we adapted it to these 
and subsequently to the C64 for the same 
chores and more like music using the 64' s 
sound capabilities. We still sell a module 
for these effects and others, such as a 
frequency counter and surveillance 
device, customizable in BASIC for the 
customers' unique applications. 

"Scammodore" was the first 
photo-digitizing system, which used the 
module with a photocell mounted on a 
typewriter to scan artwork manually and 
subsequently print the saved file via dot 
matrix printers. 

Despite discouraging news from 
consultants, we discovered how to set up 

dot matrix printers to "step-and-repeat" 
automatically over artwork on the printer 
platen and eliminated the typewriter. We 
also advanced from keyboard graphic 
half-tones to a variety of bit-image tones, 
ultimately allowing the user to customize 
his own patterns. 

Our results may be superior to other 
scanning schemes in that hard copy 
proportionality is maintained so that 
printouts don't look squashed" as with the 
Scanntronik video Digitizer. In addition, 
we've been able to produce acceptable 
multi-color printouts on even 
monochrome printers with separate color 
ribbons for each pass. 

A most pleasant discovery was that 
we had some really sharp customers with 
whom we could work for further 
customizing. Indeed, this led us to include 
the BASIC source code with full-feature 
orders so that customers could play with 
their own designs using their own 
expertise. Ken Robinson exemplifies the 
ultimate in successful work along these 
lines, extending our efforts into Koala and 
other formats, as well as more color 

4-Skan is available for $69.95 (your own 

printer required) 


Box 971 

Adjuntas, Puerto Rico 


What's All The Hoopla 
About On Usenet With 
Those Two Editors 
Squabbling Online? 

From: Phil Hoff 


Jeff, this is a copy of something I just 

posted to comp.sys.cbm. 

Subject: Whipping boys. 

It seems to me that there must be 
some people in this newsgroup with a 
deathwish. 1MHO, if it were not for Jim 
Brain, CMD and LOADSTAR, 
Commodore 8-bit would be as extinct as a 
dodo today. Yet I've recently seen a spate 
of CMD trashing here. And now we have 
had a slam on Jim Brain (which I didn't 
read), and some responses which I felt 
were lukewarm in their support for the 
most part. Isn't anyone going to trash 
LOADSTAR? (Thanks to Jeff Jones for 
his forthright support of CMD in a recent 
issue of the LOADSTAR Letter.) 

To whoever it was that made the snide 
remark about Jim needing to have his 
ego fed (or words to that effect), please 
be advised that that is not the purpose of 
this posting. If it has that effect, then 
hurrah! I just want to say give the man 
credit for what he has DONE. If Jim 
were to abandon his efforts on behalf of 
Commodore 8-bitters, it would be more 
than sad in my book. It would be a 

Jeff: I read the goings on in 
comp.sys.cbm. and I agree that the 
attacks on Jim Brain are uncalled for just 
as last quarter's all-out assault on CMD 
was uncalled for. As far as I'm 
concerned, Jim is a powerful organizing 
force in the 8-bit community, providing 
what the web is all about — information 
for C-64/128 users. 

There seems an almost American 
tendency to despise and distrust big 
corporations. Though CMD isn't a big 
corporation, they are the biggest 
business in Commodore and take their 
lumps from Internet combers who don't 
want to spend any money at all on 
Commodore. They say they love 
Commodore, but refuse to invest at all 
and trash anything commercial. They use 
PCs, too, and trash Windows, mainly 
because it's commercial and they prefer 
the knockoffs. I must admit though that I 
can't figure out why people would want 
to blast Jim Brain, who doesn't want 
your money at all. Jim was clearly hurt 
by the attack. Here's what little I caught 
of it: Jim made a formal announcement 
of his new web site and services, very 
similar to the one we ran in a recent 
LOADSTAR Letter. Mike Gordillo 
responded publicly with a tongue in 
cheek post. I honestly don't believe that 
Mike sought to hurt Jim, but the 
repercussions will echo through Usenet 
for a while: 

"A quick overview of "Paper-Tiger 

"(C)opyright 1997 XmikeX and XmX- 
Files, Inc." 

"XmX-Files, Inc." - 


President & CEO : XmikeX 
Vice-President : XmikeX 
Chief of Chiefs : XmikeX 
Chief of Staff: XmikeX 
Chief of Markets: XmikeX 
Chief of Acct. : XmikeX 


Pfelatore Signi : XmikeX 
Signi Prelatore : XmikeX 

Although not unique to 
comp.sys.cbm, this article will attempt to 
average various "Paper-Tiger 
Corporations", or PTCs for short, into a 
profile for the edification of the members 
of comp.sys.cbm Please note that all 
references to C64 apply to all 
Commodore 8 bit computers as a family 
of products. Just what makes up a PTC 
and its members? 

Interesting question, on 
comp.sys.cbm it seems that the majority 
of the PTCs revolve around "the 
founder". A PTC founder is generally 
one individual, male, between 21-28 
years old, whose main (and usually, only) 
source of income is derived from 
employment not related to his PTC. A 
PTC founder most likely grew up during 
the true heyday of the C64 et al., and was 
a probably side-participant in C64 
circles. As time moved on, most of the 
true giants of C64 also moved on. The 
ensuing power vacuum, decreased user 
base, and paradoxically - vastly superior 
telecommunications of the present day, 
have allowed PTCs to achieve some 
status as credible agencies. It is noted that 
several PTCs are chasing the dream of 
Apple Corp's, Microsoft's, and 
Netscape's rise from ab-so-lute-ly 
NOTHING to the compu-giants of today. 

But those were once PTCs, so how 
does a PTC achieve credibility and 

It is said that it's better to be lucky 
than good. In the case of those mega- 
entities, that would seem to be the case. 
However, in answer to your question, a 
PTC achieves true credibility (and then is 
no longer a PTC) if the following 
conditions are met : 

a) The PTC is no longer dependent on 
comp.sys.cbm "press releases" for 

b) The PTC no longer labels its posts to 
comp.sys.cbm as "press releases". 

c) The PTC no longer resorts to 
announcing non-existent products or 

d) The PTC actually sells a marketable 
service or physical good. 

e) The PTC's gross income is sufficient 
to economically sustain its employees' 
and the PTC itself. 

Ok, so most PTCs have a difficult 
time establishing credibility? 

That's a bit harsh but most have -0- 
credibility in my eyes, especially the ones 
that insist on announcing phantom 
products. The amount of vapor from some 
PTC "press releases" can put even a 
London fog to shame. However, PTCs do 
establish some viability with the 
comp.sys.cbm public. Usually the simple 
fact that a post has been let loose on the 
newsgroup is quite a reliable indicator that 
the PTC exists. There is a dearth of non- 
PTC concerns in the C64 realm and so 
"news" from a PTC is welcomed and 
regarded as a positive sign of "activity". 
"Activity" is the main reason that base 
PTCs make heavy use of the "We" 
pronoun in their "press releases", when in 
reality, the entire body of the PTC usually 
lies within one "employee", the founder. 
Unfortunately, the use of the lesser 
pronoun, "I", would be an injustice for the 
"press release". The PTC is attempting to 
win the favor of the public and establish 
itself as a "player". PTCs believe that they 
cannot surpass themselves if they freely 
admit that most of their internal structure 
is based on -one- "employee", perhaps a 
few questionable tax forms/charter, an 
Internet site/account, and a lot of smoke. :) 

(C) 1997 XmikeX and XmX-Files, Inc. 
"We put the 'We' in P.T.C." 

I Do Hope the HUMOR in this post is not 
lost on anyone. Flames to /dev/null 
Boring anti-spam .sig follows... 

Pursuant to US Code, Title 47, Chapter 5, Subchapter II, 227 
any and all nonsolicited commercial E-mail sent to 
xmikex@eyrie Stanford edu or xmikex@eyrie org is subject to a 
download and archival fee in the amount of $500 US E-mailing 
denotes unconditional acceptance by both sender and any 
organization represented in the aforementioned nonsolicited 
commercial E-mail. - "By US Code Title 47, Sec 227(a)(2)(B), a 
computer/modem/printer meets the definition of a telephone fax 
machine. Sec.227(b)(1)(C), it is unlawful to send any unsolicited 
advertisement to such equipment. Sec 227(b)(3)(C), a violation 
of the aforementioned Section is punishable by action to recover 
actual monetary loss, or $500, whichever is greater, for each 

Jeff: This resulted in the following 
response from Jim Brain and a sizable 
debate followed, which you can still dig 
up at if you 
search on the usenet for Jim Brain or 



From (Jim Brain) 

Before you read this response posting, 
I would like everyone to know that I am 
posting this publicly as well as sending a 
personal copy to Mike Gordillo. Initially, I 
was going to simply send Mike a personal 
note, but I feel I deserve to use the public 

forum to state my opinions about 
postings I read as much as everyone else. 
I would warn readers that I am going to 
write to address Mike mostly in the letter, 
but my comments to him are valid for 
readers of the newsgroup. As well, I will 
respond to other in the response besides 
Mike. I would also caution against 
simply moving on to the next message, 
for reasons I will state below. 

Mike, I want you first to know that I 
was very hurt and am very angry over the 
posting, which you so found so easy to 
post to this newsgroup. Your little 
disclaimer at the end stating that is a joke 
does not in the least bit change my 
feelings. Saying hurtful things about 
something or someone is never a joke, 
and those who label it as such will find 
their friends leaving. I want you to 
understand the level of anger which you 
have instilled in me. I have been on 
vacation for the last week, and I came 
back to find this in the newsgroup. I was 
so angry when I first read it, I couldn't do 
anything else that evening, I was so mad 
I did not sleep much last night, and I have 
tried to read it twice today, with similar 
results. My wife is upset at your posting, 
and she has only noticed my reaction to 
it. You probably are thinking that I 
should just chill at this point, but I want 
to tell you something about this post. 

I take personal offense to this 
posting because it is a follow-up to my 
posting and discusses companies, of 
which I own one. Readers get the 
impression that I and my corporation are 
superficial because you said so, and it 
definitely doesn't put me in a good light. 
I again state that the trailing disclaimer 
does not erase the hurtfulness of this 

Reading this message, I gather that 
you feel that I am simply trying to gain 
credibility by issuing press releases and 
trying to parlay those into free 
advertising for my business. 

Let me tell you something. I have 
credibility. Obviously, you don't think 
so, but I could care less. I don't need to 
advertise for credibility. I sure wouldn't 
advertise for it in here. People like you 
just make snide postings like the one I am 
responding to. There are more sane 
places to do such things. 

Another thing, Mr. Legal Beagle. 
Did you ever consider that there 
REALLY is a Brain Innovations, Inc. that 
manufactures and programs embedded 
controllers for a side living? Did you also 
possibly consider that I incorporated to 
alleviate legal liability problems if one of 
my designs does harm to a company's 


system or network? Hmmm? 

Since you are so adept at law, maybe 
you also simply forgot that if all 
members of a corporation are officers, 
then suits can go after assets owned by all 
board members, which is why my wife 
(the other owner and operator of the 
business) is not an officer, but performs 
as secretary for our once a year meetings. 
It must have slipped your mind. 

Before you respond to my posting 
and imply I am PTC, as you so deftly call 
businesses like mine, did you check to 
see if I has actually incorporated? Did 
you check on my Federal Tax ID 
number? Did you ask for my Michigan 
articles of incorporation? I must have 
missed those e-mail messages.... 

Let me ask you if a person wanting 
to simply "advertise" and achieve 
"credibility" would obtain a corporate 
seal, register with the state of Michigan, 
retain a CPA and Attorney, handle its 
common stock, register with the state of 
Nebraska, file articles of incorporation 
with both states, and pay for the 3 
required newspaper advertisements in the 
Omaha World-Herald stating nature and 
location of business and send a notarized 
copy to the state offices in Lincoln, NE? 
If you still think I am a PTC, let me tell 
you I could have done far better things 
with the various fees and registration 
costs, quarterly IRS reports, and other 
payments if all I wanted was to be 

Let me also tell you I don't want to 
be another Apple or Microsoft. However, 
I did want to be active in a nice 
newsgroup with people who appreciate 
my devoting my spare time to 
Commodore resources. No, I don't 
currently sell much in the way of 
Commodore, but nowhere did I see that 
you had to sell stuff at all times. All 
companies give things away for the 
betterment of community. 

Since I like Commodore computers, 
I thought I would allow my company to 
provide free resources for Commodore 
owners like yourself. I don't operate BII 
to make money off CBM user's. One 
would think that you would like that, but 
it's obvious, when a company gives 
things away, someone has to spoil the fun 
for everyone. 

Also, I hardly think you can write 
such a allegorical statement about 
inflated persons, since you edit a 
magazine that contains its own articles of 
being, bylaws, and constitution in each 
issue, which I am sure all the CBM 
people just love to get OVER and OVER. 
As well, how do you explain that I at 

least obey the rules of netiquette by 
making posting easy to kill in killfiles, 
mark specific postings with preface words 
like "ANNOUNCEMENT" and 
"CSWAP", while you flagrantly disobey 
the time tested rule of keeping signatures 
to 4 line or less with your 1 1 line legal 
disclaimer. What do you think? 
As you can tell by now, I really dislike 
your style of humor. In fact, if you feel as 
though I provide so little benefit to the 
Commodore community that you can 
easily lambaste me in public, without even 
emailing me to resolve your issues in 
private, I suppose I should just leave the 
arena. If I am just a "side-participant", as I 
evidently was in the "heyday" activity, 
then I guess I'll just take the stuff I do and 
go away. Believe me, if your aim in 
posting this was to chide me into some 
action, I see one action as almost a done 

I'll just take (a 
commercial site that I just paid $350.00 
for this month) and move it off to my local 
hard drive. $350.00 is a big cost for me 
and I spend that money for the benefit of 
users like yourself. I could do a lot more 
satisfying things with that money if this is 
the thanks I get. Believe me, I would have 
SOOOOO much free time after I work a 
regular job, and do controller on the side if 
I simply quit doing the following things: 

• FAQ 

• Trivia 

• Model List 

• Supply List 

• Repair List 



• ListServer 

• Commodore Hacking 


• C= And Swap 

• CaBooM! 

Hey, I am actually to like the idea. If 
you feel it wise to post such a follow-up to 
my newsgroup messages, I should 
probably take a hint and leave. 

My point: I sacrifice a lot of time and 
money to provide things for this group of 
people (including yourself) and I ask 
nothing in return than a note every so 
often saying that people enjoy what I am 
doing. Even comments like Colin' s above 
I can live with. However, if I get no 
satisfaction out of doing this, I'll stop in a 
heartbeat. Mike, in your haste to publish 
your own composition and your failure to 
determine the appropriateness of your 
posting, have moved me closer to simply 
saying "I don't need this in my life" 

than you will EVER know. If you think 
this is an idle threat, think again. Free 
time is looking more and more inviting to 
me everyday. The company can ill afford 
$350.00 for a resource that return no 
monetary benefit. 

I should probably let you know that 
you aren't the only one. Anytime 
someone publishes something critical of 
me (explicitly, or in your case: implicitly), 
it moves me closer to this course of 
action. It's the same as when Marko 
Makela retorts to my trivia (that I do for 
free) that " Jim is wrong" or "Jim 
shouldn't ask questions he can't answer". 
That really makes me mad. He claims it 
his Finnish, or whatever, but I have other 
Finnish friends that can tell me I am not 
correct without insulting me. 

You must realize that the only joy I 
get out of doing these things is the 
response I get. If it's nothing or good, I 
am happy. If it is negative, I am that much 
closer to the door. 

Another thing. I gather from your 
composition that you have been around 
for a while. If so, how come I don't 
remember you when Jim Butterfield was a 
regular poster here, when Rob Knop 
hosted the original US FTP site, and when 
I was jlb31348@uxa, Where 
were you when Craig Taylor told folks 
that he was quitting as editor of 
Commodore Hacking. I didn't see you 
step in and offer your editorship? Did 
you? No, you didn't. Either you weren't 
around then, or you didn't want it. In light 
of that, it make me very upset that now 
Commodore Hacking has to compete 
against DisC=Overy for articles? 
Contrary to your view, this CBM world is 
NOT big enough for two technical rags. I 
would have gladly given editorship to a 
person who wanted it, since I took it over 
because I didn't want to see it die. If I am 
forced to compete against your mag, I'll 
probably lose, and Commodore Hacking 
will be no more. That's a shame, but I 
wonder if you ever thought of that? Did 
you. Do you care? Does anyone. It angers 
me to have to carry a torch no one else 
wants to carry, and then have people like 
you try to blow it out? Did you ever stop 
to find out what I thought? The irony is 
that when I voiced my concerns to your e- 
mail address, I got a FORM reply, sounds 

like a Paper Tiger Publisher to me 

(Again, those in glass houses...) 

Did you EVER stop to think that I 
might have created the press release for a 
good reason. Did anyone. Did anyone 
possibly surmise that I might have simply 
created one for CMD for Commodore 
World as per their request, and simply 


used the same text file in the newsgroup? 
Did anyone stop to think that maybe it 
isn't YOU all I am trying to impress, but 
am trying to cast a light of 
professionalism and activity on a 
computer system that many view as 
dead? Didn't think so. When Mike 
Gordillo (you know, it's not a sign of 
being a PTC owner if you use your own 
name of a part thereof instead of 
XmikeX) has talked to as many 
newspaper reporters as I have, then 
maybe he will see the point in creating a 
semblance of sanity in this Commodore 
arena, rather than kid anyone who 
attempts to revive this platform. If you 
think I am just way off base, go search 
DejaNews or Alta Vista for this posting. 
That's what news reporters do, and they 
search for press releases and 

Maybe it won't get us very far, but I 
don't see Mike Gordillo on the June 1995 
edition of USA Today, or Mike 
Gordillo's WWW site mentioned in 
Internet Underground this past month? 
Do you have any IDEA what that kind of 
exposure does to our platform? If you 
think this potential act of advertising on 
my part to editors and magazines adds 
credence to your case. In actuality, I only 
posted it because I made it up for CMD, 
but the other benefits are not to be 
frowned on... 

Mike, I am simply angry. I can stand 
by and let CMD get bashed by folks in 
the newsgroup, even though I operate a 
similar business and charge high prices 
as well. They can take care of 
themselves, and they have decided to lay 
low while everyone rants about them. 
That's fine. However, YOU are NOT my 
customer, and if people in here continue 
to poke me like this, I'll leave, like your 
"true giants" of the newsgroup moved on. 
Ask Jim Butterfield why he doesn't post 
anymore.... I have. Have you ever ever 
talked to him? I have. Does it matter? 
Yes, it does. Do I write such 
compositions and label them as humor? 
No, I don't, because this kind of humor 
only makes people mad. Are there any 
examples of a PTC in this newsgroup? I 
don't think so. Maurice Randall and his 
corp don't post here, Arkanix Labs 
actually sell stuff, Cameron Kaiser and 
his corp derives his revenue from his 
CWI, and I don't sell at all in here.... I 
wonder why you chose to follow-up to 
MY post, unless you just wanted to make 
me so mad 1 would think very seriously 
about pulling the plug. 

In closing, let me respond to your 
last few lines of your crafty article: 

the public and establish itself as a "player". PTCs believe that 
they cannot surpass themselves if they freely admit that most of 
their internal structure is based on -one- "employee", perhaps a 
few questionable tax forms/charter, an Internet site/account, and 
a lot of smoke. :) 

I don't want to surpass myself. I 
freely admit that I am one of two 
employees, I am the main engineer, and I 
don't see any shame in that. I dare you to 
obtain my charter and tax forms and 
pronounce them questionable. However, if 
you think 1 am going to give them to you 
now, forget it. Call the NE state office or 
the MI office. Let me warn you that the 
NE papers aren't finished yet, so they may 
not have them. MI has em, though. As for 
my Internet site, do YOU pay $350.00 to 
obtain a commercial account with 50 MB 
of space, a FTP site, listservs, Secure 
WWW, and multiple Tl 's? 

Do you know of any so called "PTCs 
that do? Loose Lips Sink Ships, and mine 
of hovering just above the water at 

It sickens me to find out that you 
consider my company with such little 
regard that you would make fun of it with 
so little thought. As for others that read 
this, I apologize for this, but I am NOT 
going to stand by and watch people just 
put me and my business down. My hope is 
to grow it into a self standing enterprise, 
but I can tell that I won't EVER target 
CBM owners. If anyone cares about my 
stuff, then I would heartily suggest you tell 
me, as at this point, saying nothing isn't 
going to cut it. I remember when I was in 
school and we were all punished for 
something one person did. Well, I suggest 
you thank Mike the way we "thank"ed the 
person at school. I simply won't stand here 
and let this happen to me and my business. 
I have enough stress in my life. It's ironic 
that I thought everyone here appreciate my 
attempts to elevate the Commodore plight 
to newspapers and magazines. It's obvious 
that not everyone cares. 

As for you Mike, I would like an 
apology. I think you owe me one. This 
was most uncalled for, even if you didn't 
even mean it to refer to me or my 
company. My Christian beliefs mandate I 
forgive you, but at the level of anger I am 
at now, it will take a while. 

If someone is laughing at this point, I 
assure you I am not bluffing, and maybe 
it'll take me leaving to let everyone know 
that I probably did provide at least 
something of value. I don't profess to be 
the master of all that is Commodore, but I 
thought I did my part.... 

I'm done. I'm still mad, and I am 
going to TRY and forget I ever saw this. 

What The..? Somebody 
Call The Patent Police! 

From: R. T. Cunningham 


Newsgroups: comp.sys.cbm 

Subject: Re: SUPERCPU for $75 US!! 


Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997 04:39:52 GMT 

On Sun, 15 Jun 1997 00:53:43 -0400, 
NATAS wrote: 

Can it be true?? Yes!! I have 
successfully reverse-engineered 
CMD's Super CPU and will sell the 
schematics/parts list for $25. The 
parts cost me under $50.. please e- 
mail NATAS_CCS@xxxxx.COM for 
further details. Still DEAD weight of 
the Demoscene. Natas of CARCASS 

Great! Another butthole trying to hammer 
another nail into Commodore support. 
Not only has he hacked the unit, but he's 
selling schematics! 

Jeff: Right, Wanderer. Maybe it's 
because I know the guys at CMD, I 
dunno, but I would never do such a thing 
and then brag about it in public. CMD put 
many thousand dollars into the SuperCPU 
and they didn't do it so that some dead 
head could come behind them and steal 
their ideas. Anyhow, according to Doug 
Cotton, "If anybody thinks they'll get a 
working SCPU based on this, I wish them 
a lot of luck. Assuming that it is even 
correct, the reverse-engineered schematic 
alone won't do much good when the 
circuit contains custom programmed 
chips (which ARE protected by 
copyright). A good technician could 
probably spend 1 5 to 20 hours hand 
wiring a board from the schematic, but in 
the end it would be completely useless 
without the custom chips which you can 
only buy from CMD with an exchange of 
the originals. 

2000 Reasons To Use 

From: Dick Estel 

Jeff, you wrote on issue 156 "that the 
year 2000 will affect no one in the 
Commodore community." There is at 
least one area where Commodore users 
will indeed have trouble with the year 
2,000. This is backing up files from a hard 


drive (and probably other CMD devices) 
to floppy disks using Fcopy. You can 
select all files after MM/DD/YY, to 
quickly copy only the files you've 
worked on since the last backup. On 
01/01/00, every file on the drive will be 
seen as later than that date. Of course, all 
will be well after you back up everything 
again, but it seems that CMD could have 
foreseen this problem, since it was being 
worked on by the early 90' s. 

Enjoyed 156 Soapbox as usual. I'm 
using PC and Commodore, but never on- 
line with Commodore. I don't have too 
much trouble sending attached files PC to 
PC. I'll take your word for it that 
UUXFER always works for Commodore 
to Commodore. 

What I and probably many others 
need is some help with PC to 
Commodore and Commodore to PC. 
Except for straight text conversions, I 
have not been able to convert anything 
from PC to Commodore or vice versa; 
nor to send it PC to Commodore; and I 
don't know what to do with files that 
have been sent to me Commodore to PC. 
Big Blue Reader does fine with text, but I 
have never been able to get a usable GIF 
file from one platform to the other. Is 
there a method that "always" works? Or a 
source of how to? Thanks 

Jeff: C-64 UUXFER, published on Star 
Extra #1 and available on the Internet, 
uses UUencoding, which you can use 
XFER PRO, WWU0486, or newer 
WINZIP on the PC side to convert. If you 
insert the file created with UUXFER into 
mail and send it to a PC person, their 
mail program will likely uudecode it for 
them automatically if they are set up 

Of course with Big Blue Reader, 
there is no need for UUencoding. One 
thing to remember is that when dealing 
with binary files such as programs and 
GIFs, there is no need to translate 
ASCIIoPET. Doing so will ruin the file. 
You only want to translate text. Binary 
files go as-is. 

As for the year 2000, 1 suppose you 
could catch yourself that way, but I'd 
probably use MCOPY. I have yet to back 
up any hard drive partially. Too much of 
a pain. Here's a story about the year 2000 
that I got in E-mail from Dean Esmay. 

Year 2000 Parable 

Submitted by Penny Pennington. 
There was once a COBOL programmer 
in the mid to late 1990s. For the sake of 
this story, we'll call him Jack. After years 
of being taken for granted and treated as 

a technological dinosaur by all the UNIX 
programmers and Client/Server 
programmers and website developers, Jack 
was finally getting some respect. He'd 
become a private consultant specializing 
in Year 2000 conversions. He was 
working short-term assignments for 
prestige companies, traveling all over the 
world on different assignments. He was 
working 70 and 80 and even 90 hour 
weeks, but it was worth it. 

Several years of this relentless, mind- 
numbing work had taken its toll on Jack. 
He had problems sleeping and began 
having anxiety dreams about the Year 
2000. It had reached a point where even 
the thought of the year 2000 made him 
nearly violent. He must have suffered 
some sort of breakdown, because all he 
could think about was how he could avoid 
the year 2000 and all that came with it. 

Jack decided to contact a company 
that specialized in cryogenics. He made a 
deal to have himself frozen until March 
1 5th, 2000. This was a very expensive 
process and totally automated. He was 
thrilled. The next thing he would know is 
he'd wake up in the year 2000; after the 
New Year celebrations and computer 
debacles; after the leap day. 

Nothing else to worry about except 
getting on with his life. 

He was put into his cryogenic 
receptacle, the technicians set the revive 
date, he was given injections to slow his 
heartbeat to a bare minimum, and that was 

The next thing that Jack saw was an 
enormous and very modern room filled 
with excited people. They were all 
shouting "I can't believe it!" and "It's a 
miracle" and "He's alive!" There were 
cameras (unlike any he'd ever seen) and 
equipment that looked like it came out of a 
science fiction movie. 

Someone who was obviously a 
spokesperson for the group stepped 
forward. Jack couldn't contain his 
enthusiasm. "It is over?" he asked. "Is 
2000 already here? Are all the millennial 
parties and promotions and crises all over 
and done with?" 

The spokesman explained that there 
had been a problem with the programming 
of the timer on Jack's cryogenic 
receptacle, it hadn't been year 2000 
compliant. It was actually eight thousand 
years later, not the year 2000. But the 
spokesman told Jack that he shouldn't get 
excited; someone important wanted to 
speak to him. 

Suddenly a wall-sized projection 
screen displayed the image of a man that 
looked very much like Bill Gates. This 

man was Prime Minister of Earth. He told 
Jack not to be upset. That this was a 
wonderful time to be alive. That there was 
world peace and no more starvation. That 
the space program had been reinstated and 
there were colonies on the moon and on 
Mars. That technology had advanced to 
such a degree that everyone had virtual 
reality interfaces which allowed them to 
contact anyone else on the planet, or to 
watch any entertainment, or to hear any 
music recorded anywhere. 

"That sounds terrific," said Jack. 
"But I'm curious. Why is everybody so 
interested in me?" 

"Well," said the Prime Minister. 
"The year 10000 is just around the corner, 
and it says in your files that you know 

Unbelievable Call to 

To: Jeff Jones 

* We can e-mail your ad to 200,000 AOL 
e-mail addresses for only $150!! 

* This is a special price, marked down 
from our regular price of $395! 

* Our addresses are no more than 45 days 

* Your ad is sent by itself, not along with 
any others! 

* We do not limit the size of your ad! ! 

To order the mailing, just complete 
the following order form and mail it along 
with your payment of $150. You can send 
a check or a money order payable to 
xxxxxxxx. Our address is: xxxxx, 
P.O. Box xxxxxx, Daytona Beach FL 

Jeff: These are the same people who spam 
me almost daily. I don't know how this E- 
mail slipped past my defenses because I 
had my mailer set to delete any mail from 
their domain. Is there no end? Is there no 

Question Of Questions 

Ponder this: If a man says something in 
the woods, and no woman is there to hear 
him, is he still wrong? 

Jeff: I dunno, but if a woman falls in the 
woods and no man was there to make her 
stumble, is it still his fault? 

The Internet For 
Commodore C64/128 
Users Mailing List 

G'day! I'm sending this message to 
those who've ordered The Internet for 
Commodore C64/128 Users that have sent 


me E-mail in the past few weeks. 

I wanted to let you know that I've 
started a mailing list, called "tifcu" for 
anyone interested in keeping up with the 
Internet as it relates to us Commodore 
users. It's also the kind of place where 
you can ask questions and perhaps others 
with similar systems can help out as well. 

To subscribe to tifcu, send an E-mail 
to and in 
the message type: 

subscribe tifcu 

Once subscribed, to send mail to the 
list, the address is 
I have not automatically subscribed 
anyone to the list, as I can appreciate that 
not everyone would be interested, and I 
also feel going through the motions of 
subscribing is part of the learning 
experience for those not experienced with 
mailing lists. 

In other news, Jim Brain's E-mail 
services have changed and the FTP site is no longer 
available. The files from 
ccnga.uwaterloo.came are now available 
from - some of the file 
paths have changed however. I'll post an 
errata sheet to the tifcu mail list in the 
next few days with the changes, and list 
the changes for Jim Brain's E-mail 
services as well. 

Yours in CBMing, 


LS Letter Comments 

From: (E 



A couple of belated comments, Jeff, 
about LOADSTAR Letter. 

Although #43 & #44 really held little 
interest for me, I think they are a great 
piece of writing and an excellent 
reference for anyone who is interested in 
CMD products. Made me wonder 
whether I should be investing in an FD- 
2000 and/or a RAMLink. 

If you continue the series, I'd like to 
see something on the scanner. I had 
written to CMD about it and the 
publishing program, but never got a 
response. Since I'm more 128-oriented, I 
never bothered asking again. 

Notice that you usually ran the by- 
line and the first paragraph together. How 
about splitting them as you did in this 

The Unofficial CMD SuperCPU FAQ 

by Jeff Jones 

Q: What is a SuperCPU? 


In the meantime, keep up the good 
work. Each issue seems to be slightly 
better than the previous one, which makes 
it just that much more difficult for further 


* OLX 2. 1 TD * On a clear disk you can 
seek forever. 

Jeff: What?!? Add extra lines when I'm 
running out?!? Are you kidding?!? 

I will continue the CMD series next 
month. I got mail from a person who 
wants to know everything about setting up 
a CMD Hard Drive. I will do so using The 
Compleat New and Old Testaments as 

Interpreting Decimal 
From The Screen In 

By Jeff Jones. I had to write more 
than 20 blocks of ML code this month for 
a sector editor called Hannibal Sector. 
This program included routines that I've 
never written before such as general undo, 
undo under cursor, auto byte replace, and 
decimal number interpretation. I want to 
discuss the decimal routine here. 

The decimal number routine was 
needed because the program was written 
in machine language, and I didn't want it 
slowed by a BASIC input, particularly 
since it translates to hex and binary as you 
type. So I needed a way to interpret a 
three-digit decimal number. How would 
you do it? 

Well, the actual code looks more 
involved than it is. First I take the 
hundreds, tens and one place numerals 
from their assigned places on the screen 
and store their values. Since a 5 typed on 
the screen has a value of 53, not 5, 1 have 
to subtract 48 from each character. In the 
code, I subtracted "0" from the numbers. 
That's an ASCII "0," with a value of 48, 
which happens to be the same as a screen 
code zero, the reason I typed "0" instead 
of #48 was because I wasn't sure of the 
value of "0" so I let the assembler worry 
about it. 

handle' dec Ida hundreds 


sbc "0" 

sta dec'eval 

Ida tens 


sbc "0" 

sta dec'eval+1 

Ida ones 


sbc "0" 

sta dec'eval+2 

Ida temp; last number typed 

sbc "0" 

Idy num' position 
sta dec'eval,y; place in 
proper denom 

So if the number on the screen was 
124, 1 now have stored in dec'eval, 

.byt 1,2,4 

All I have to do now is multiply the 
hundreds place times 1 00, the tens place 
times ten and then add all three places 
together. I have a multiplication routine, 
but I chose an in-line faster custom 
multiplication routine. The distributive 
law of multiplication says that: 

x*100 = x*64 
x*10 = x*8 

+ x*32 
+ x*2 

+ x*4 

In machine language, it's easy to 
multiply one byte by 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, or 
128. A couple of ASLs and we've 
multiplied. Then we simply add the 

Ida dec'eval 


■ times 



■ times 



■ times 



1 times 



■ times 



■ times 



tempt 1 


dec' eval 


■ times 






• times 



■ times 



1 times 




tempt 1 


tempt 1 


dec' eval 









tempt 1 


tempt 1 


dec' eval 

Ida dec'evaltl 
asl; times two 
asl; times four 
asl; times eight 
sta tempt 1 

(Continued on page 14) 

(Continued from page 13) 

Ida dec'eval+1 

asl; times two 


adc temp+1 

sta dec'eval+1 

Ida dec'eval 


adc dec' eval+1 

sta actual' number; 

; the one byte number 


adc dec'eval+2 

sta actual' number; 

; final result 

This ends the routine. All 
this to translate three digits 
into one byte that the computer 
can understand. It may seem a 
bit bulky for its purpose, but 
it's fast. How fast? Well the 
whole routine takes 167 cycles 
to execute. That 167 
millionths of a second, way 
less than a millisecond, and 
that's on a 1 MHz C-64. On a 
SuperCPU, it still takes 167 
cycles, but that's 167 20- 
millionths of a second or 
simply 8 millionths of a 

Reason Number 173 To Fear Technology 














Mr. Asciihead learns the Macarena. 

So you see that when working 
with machine language, you can 
splurge a bit and process all you 
want. That's why I have the routine 
do instant updates on all three 
number systems and echo on the 
track/sector input areas when it has 
to. I could have had it do twenty 
more little things while you type 
without an apparent slow down. 
It's not a good idea to mix BASIC 
and ML for multiple tasks like 
these. Each task ends up fast, but 
the cumulative effect of being in 
the slow BASIC domain takes a 
painfully obvious toll the more 
BASIC you use. 

Think of it this way. The more 
BASIC, especially BASIC logic, 
looping, and branching you see in 
your ML, the closer the speed to 
normal ML. The ML you see in 
your BASIC, the closer the speed 
to ML. 

Really Stupid 

Police in Wichita, Kansas, $500 fine for anyone 
arrested a 22-year-old man at an detonating one within city 

leave the 
screening room. 
Thirteen others 
fainted, and one 
man required 
seven stitches 
after he cut his 
head falling off 
a chair while 
watching the film. 

The Chico, California, 
City Council enacted a ban 
on nuclear weapons, setting a 

airport hotel after he tried to 
pass two (counterfeit) $16 bills. 

A man in Johannesburg, 
South Africa, shot his 49-year- 
old friend in the face, seriously 
wounding him, while the two 


A bus carrying five 
passengers was hit by a car in 
St. Louis, but by the time 
police arrived on the scene, 
fourteen pedestrians had 

practiced shooting beer cans off boarded the bus and had 

each other's head. 

A company trying to 
continue its five-year perfect 
safety record showed its 
workers a film aimed at 
encouraging the use of safety 
goggles on the job. According 
to Industrial Machinery News, 
the film's 

depiction of gory industrial 
accidents was so graphic that 
twenty-five workers suffered 
minor injuries in their rush to 

begun to complain of 
whiplash injuries and back 


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