' ^feMttmfe^ '
Arkanix Labs Drops Com-
On an Email tip, the LOADSTAR Letter
investigated a rumor that Arkanix Labs could
be dropping Commodore support soon. No
official release has been drawn up yet, but
Jonathan Mines says that Arkanix is in
transition. In an Email message to the
LOADSTAR Letter, He confirmed:
"...Arkanix Labs has dropped "active" support
of C64/C128. This means that we might come
back sometime in the future, we may not -just
depends if some projects get finished or not by
outside groups. There are quite a few reasons,
No income, I have funded AL from my
pocket for too long. Arkanix Labs was run off
my own money, never have I taken a bank
loan, etc. With only $50 coming in for six
months, what would you do?"
"No progress on named projects, all types of
weird problems here. Namely one person constantly
moving, no Email, no consistent work ethic.
NetStack did make it pretty far. You could connect,
send packets via SLIP. AVLink was really planned
out quite a bit, but it never made it past that point At
the last moment we had decided on going GEOS
only, because the Internet software
really needs an OS which can handle bitmap
graphics, and HTML like functions easily.
.^ Development on NetStack & AVLink will
continue, at what pace I don't know. Robin Harbron
and Nate Dannenberg will try to keep the software
alive. Arkanix Labs might sell the products if
they're ever finished, we may not The hardware
(8BSS, DualSID, DigiMAX) will continue, but a
person must order from Nate Dannenberg and then
wait2-4 months fortheboardto be finished&
I don't know the future of the other hardware he
was working on, they were mainly prototypes from
what I know.
MODplay (both 64 & 128 versions) is now public
domain and available from Nate Darmenberg's
© 1997 by J & F Publishing, Inc. The
LOADSTAR LETTER is published monthly
606 Common Street
Shreveport LA 71 101
Subscriptions are $18.00 12 issues. No part
of this newsletter may be reproduced
without the permission of J & F Publishing.
Contacts: Jeff@LOADSTAR.com. US MAIL:
ATTN. Jeff Jones,J & F Publishing PC Box
30008, Shreveport, LA 71 1 30-0008
Phone: 318/221-8718, Fax: 318/221-4870
I will have a much more info-packed press
release ready for the "official" January 1998
By Robin Harbron. There is some
software being developed for the SuperCPU
- but it is coming along slowly. For the
longest time, developers were waiting for
extra RAM for the units. Now that's arrived,
but I still haven't a decent assembler that
supports the SuperCPU's full 65816
instruction set. Here 're some of the various
projects that I've heard of:
Mega Assembler - Maxim Szeneszy
(sp?) c/o Mr.Lee - apparently this is a
complete assembler for the SuperCPU.
However, I have no idea how to obtain a
copy, and from the reports I've heard, it has
as frustrating a user interface as the Flash8
Ass Blaster, which is terrible. Brett Tabke,
who wrote the excellent Introduction to the
65816 in Commodore World #16, has been
working on an assembler for quite some
time. He unfortunately was unable to work
on it for a number of months, but is back on
track with it now.
Jim Brain was apparently working on an
assembler also, but I haven't heard a word
about it for nearly a year.
MODplay 64 by Nate Dannenberg has
been released to the public domain,
following Arkanix Labs' decision to drop
Commodore 64/128 support. This program is
quite amazing. It allows the SuperCPU (with
an REU attached) to play the popular Amiga/
PC .mod format music files. The sound is
surprisingly good considering it's multiple
digital tracks being mixed down in real time
to the SID - apparently it sounds even better
with an extra sound chip that can be plugged
into the user port. Note that MODplay 128
has also been released to the public domain,
and does not require a SuperCPU, but only a
REU + 80 column monitor.
SuperCPU Kicks is the name of a demo
by Thunderblade/DMAgic. Apparently it
does some pretty amazing bitmap
manipulation, and requires 1 MB of RAM - 1
haven't seen this yet, but would love to.
Turbo Imploder is a file cruncher which
apparently gives very good, and very fast
Project "G" apparently has some direct
SuperCPU support - perhaps improved use
of SuperRAM - or at least easier access for
I coded a FLI routine for the SuperCPU
one evening. FLI is a software video mode
that uses some programming tricks to fool
the VIC into displaying more colors per 8x8
block than it usually would. Normally, on a
1-MHz C64, this consumes nearly all the
computer's processing time. However, with
the SuperCPU, it is possible for this to be
done on a line-by-line interrupt basis,
freeing much of the processor time to do
other tasks. Perhaps this code will be used
to create a FLI game that would have quite
amazing graphics - or perhaps someone will
write their own.
I also made a quick and dirty sampler/
playback program. This uses Nate
Dannenberg's 8-BSS (eight-bit stereo
sampler) which hopefully he'll be able to
produce on his own, without Arkanix Labs.
I estimate that it can sample at approxi-
mately 120 kHz with the SuperCPU enabled
- a compact disc is usually only recorded at
44.1 kHz. [Jeff's note: sampling much past
48Khz, typical of DATs, yields diminishing
returns.) With my 16 MB Ramcard, I was
able to capture about 4.5 minutes of quite
high quality audio. Finally, Netstack (if
indeed it will still be called that) is being
reworked. It will be SuperCPU specific, at
least in its first incarnation. The main
reason for this is to ease my burden of
trying to get it to do so much, and still be
very heavily optimized and fine tuned. It
will still be written in 100% assembly, but
the '816's powerful 16 bit indexing and
arithmetic will help greatly with simplicity
of coding, as well as efficiency, and the use
of extra RAM will allow a much more full
implementation of TCP/IP.
Robin Harbron email@example.com
http://www. tbaytel. net/macbeth
Different Types of
By Robin Harbron. I've been using the
Internet regularly for the last two years or
so, and have finally come to the not-so-
amazing conclusion that not all Commodore
Users are the same. I didn't know this
before, because the whole of my 8-bit
existence was lived out in two arenas: with
the friends I grew up with at school, and in
the magazines I bought, read, and collected.
My friends and I all had the same
interests: playing games, and programming
games. And when they lost interest in those
things, they also lost interest in their old
computers. The magazines I read
(especially the North American ones) had a
bit of everything in them - programming,
games, reviews, productivity programs - but
I just read what interested me, and
wondered why they printed all that other
But here we are, a full 9 years after I
received my last Ahoy! magazine. I've
become aware that these machines still have
a faithful following. Some people even make
a full-time living on them. But what was
really even more surprising to me is that we
are a very, very diverse bunch. When I refer
to "we", I mean the entire Commodore
community, not just the LOADSTAR Letter
readership. Strangely enough, part of our
community wouldn't even have the slightest
bit of interest in reading LOADSTAR Letter.
I've met, or at least read the ramblings
of, hundreds of Commodore Users over the
past two years on the Internet. IRC (Internet
Relay Chat) and the Usenet newsgroup
comp.sys.cbm are quite full of conversation -
and where there's conversation, there's
usually "friendly" argument. I apologize if
I've missed (or mis-represented) a group -
but these are the people I see:
The Power Users. These people have
setups that look like they should be the
centerfold in Commodore World magazine.
They defy anyone anywhere with any
computer to beat their Commodore. Many of
these people proudly claim to use only their
trusty 8 (or maybe 16, nowadays) bit
computer. And I think they're nearly right.
The hardware isn't lacking, but unfortu-
nately, the software is in some departments. I
think the thing these people most want is a
full Internet suite of software, and perhaps
some related utilities, such as a pkunzip type
The Collectors. This group wants (at
least) one of everything. Heard of a 2031 LP?
SFD1001? 128B? Got all the C= computer
hardware around? Well, get yourself a C=
calculator, a C= telephone, a C= filing
cabinet, a C= clock - I've even heard of a
Commodore umbrella now!
The Gamers know how to beat at least
a hundred games each -just mention a
game, and where you're stuck, and they'll
have a solution to you in no time.
The Trivia Buffs have more answers
than you have questions - often knowing all
sorts of obscure facts not only about the
computers and peripherals themselves, but
also about the designers and companies
behind each product. These people might
also be called The Historians.
The Emulators. These folks love the
games too - but most of them haven't even
touched a real Commodore since 1988, but
happen to stumble across a web site on the
Internet full of pirated games, then bother the
real users with questions about how to play
these games on their emulators. The other
annoying type of person in this class is the
one who assumes that all the C64/128 ever
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 2
did was play games - this really annoys the
The "Realists" insist that people who
think Commodores are still real computers are
fools - especially foolish are people trying to
make money on them still. Often these people
also claim that any software made for 8-bits is
worthless - copyrights on this software should
not exist, even if it was programmed this very
The Pirates love to illegally collect
software. Included with this bunch are the
people who actually "crack" the games, and
distribute pirated software. I managed to get a
copy of my "Frogs & Flies" game on the
Internet before I got my actual LOADSTAR
The Purists believe that a C64 system is
a CPU/keyboard, a 1541 and a monitor, with a
few joysticks. They strongly oppose adding
extra equipment to their computers - but if
cornered, they'll often admit to using a utility/
fastload cartridge of some sort. But this is
where their logic breaks down, in my thinking:
if a fastload is allowed, why not JiffyDOS, so
you get a fastload almost all the time? And if
that, why not a faster disk drive? And if that,
why not a faster modem, faster CPU? Usually
they will then bring up the issue of cost for
these extras. "I can buy a used 486 for the
price of that stuff". Well, if you'd like that
better, go ahead.
The SuperCPU receives the most flak
from these people - some say it isn't even a
C64 anymore. In my opinion, if it's got a VIC
and SID, and powers up with that comfortable
blue BASIC screen, it's a C64 - it's just a
whole lot faster, and it's got a whole lot more
memory (with the SuperRAM card installed).
The "Fanatics" have much the same
attitude as the Power Users, but lack the
money to expand their system into such
enviable beasts. They stick with their old
computer, with just a few meager additions,
but promote their machine as much as they
can, and help others when they can too —
generally these are fairly sheltered people,
mainly using software written in the mid-80's.
The Life-Long User is the sort that
obtained their computer in the early or mid
80's, and has continued to use it - realizing
that to jump ship to a newer platform will lead
to an endless string of jumping and upgrading -
if the goal is to always use what's newest.
These people are generally satisfied with what
they have, knowing that if it was good enough
then, it's good enough now.
The Newbie just obtained a Commodore
for the first time, and is trying to start the
beginnings of a software collection, learning
how to print and load things, and possibly
wanting to program a bit in BASIC.
Demo Programmers are a strange bunch,
mostly. They'll spend weeks or months
working on a program that does nothing -
it might look and sound fantastic, but
that's it. You don't do anything but watch
and listen. "What a waste of effort and
time and talent," some may cry - but I
have to disagree. Demos do a number of
positive things. They encourage people to
think that our computers really aren't all
that far away from today's expensive
machines. If you've ever seen Downfall
by Graham/Oxyron, you'll know what I'm
talking about - our 16 year old computer is
amazing. The demo scene is a training
ground for young programmers.
Demos are something that actually
get completed, because they are a form of
art - the artist decides when the demo is
complete. And when it comes down to it,
most demo programmers aren't interested
in doing anything else on their Com-
modore - if it's not demos, it's nothing.
Incidentally, half of these people can't
spell or punctuate properly, nor express
themselves without constant reference to
bodily functions - yet they can create some
of the most amazing, efficient code ever.
Musicians/Artists make our
machines come alive, making the absolute
most of the VIC and SID. Fire up a game
from the Jate 80's or early 90's, and then a
game or two from '83 - it's totally
amazing that this is the same machine -
just shows what a difference talent and
experience can do with a given medium.
Intellectuals. The people who will
make 3D graphic libraries and music
composition music systems for their C64
in their (not so) spare time, driven purely
by the love of seeing something come to
People who make Money. It amazed
me that these people still exist. To them,
their C= is a way of paying their rent or
mortgage, feeding themselves and their
family - or at least it's a profitable hobby.
I've seen at least a few clashes between
this group and the Pirates in the past year.
Hardware people just plain old
frighten me. They seem to know
absolutely everything about everything in
these machines. They can diagnose which
chip is fried in your computer without
even seeing it, they control home security
systems with their VIC -20 and now the
guys at CMD have nearly completed their
SuperCPU128 — amazing. These people
have broadened my view of what a
Commodore User is greatly - far beyond
what I knew of growing up with my
friends, and Commodore magazines.
I've got at least one friend of every type listed
here - and I fit into many of the categories
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 3
myself. If you don't have access to the Internet -
seek out a user's group (even one through the
mail) and expand your world.
Robin Harbron firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www. tbaytel. net/macbeth
Multiple Column Output
with GEOS Paint
By Bruce Thomas. Well, I had an
idea that my 4-column newsletter screen
shot in the last issue of the LOADSTAR
Letter would draw some interest but I had
no idea how much! This article will detail
the steps it takes to create 3 or 4 column
output using geo Write, the Paint Overlay
driver and geoPaint.
"We had people using the Paint
drivers in ways we never anticipated. We
basically created them so that you could
do two-column output from Write. But
some people have used the drivers to do
color printouts (by adding color in
geoPaint)." There you have it. Right from
Brian Dougherty, founder of BSW and
creator of GEOS, in the February 1989
issue of Commodore magazine. The Paint
drivers were created to allow double
column output and every article ever done
(well OK, the two that I had seen)
explained how to get two-column output.
So how did I get a four column
newsletter? Read on.
The place to start is with a pencil and
paper and draw a sketch of what you want
your page to look like. This is a very
important step as, without planning, your
page could end up looking quite bad. Do
ri~ rw *"*yr riijrfw^jiA ^sZmZrJs
Figure A - 3 column newsletter.
you want two columns, three columns, four
columns? Are you going to have a large title at
the top? How many graphics do you plan to
add to illustrate your points? The next step is
to get into geoWrite and write whatever it is
you are going to place on your page.
The biggest decision is likely how many
columns you want. If you can determine this
prior to writing your article it is much easier to
get the margins the way you want than to have
to reformat your pages later. Of course, with
geoWrite V2.1 you are going to want to work
on the full page width so make sure you set
that first. Choose 'Make full page wide' under
the OPTIONS menu and you will be presented
with a dialog box telling you that the previous
file is being converted to V2.1 format (V2.0 is
the default but the margins only allow you to
use from 1.2 to 7.2 inches across the page).
After the conversion is completed you will
qeos j file j edit j options j page j font
This line is left blank
This line is left hlank
Well, I had an idea that my A column
newsletter screen shot in the last issue of
the Loadstar Letter would cause some
interest hut I had no idea how much! This
article will detail the steps it takes to create
3 or A column output using geoWrite, the
Figure B: Page One is set up like this. The margins are visible in the ruler. Title is placed in a Mega font
Fiqure A1 - A column newsletter
notice that your margins now go from .2 to
If you are making a three column flyer
(see Figure A) you will want to set your
margins at 0.3 and 2.8 inches on the first
page (paragraph indent can be set however
you wish - 2 tenths of an inch would be a
good indent). On page 2 your margins would
be set at 3.0 and 5.4 inches. For page three
your margins would go at 5.6 and 8.1 inches.
These settings (similar to the automatic
gutters in geoPublish) leave some room
between the columns of text for a dividing
line if you wish. If your layout features four
columns (see Figure Al) set Page 1 margins
at the 0.3 and 2.1 inch marks, Page 2 at 2.3
and 4.1 inches, Page 3 at 4.3 and 6.1 inches
and Page 4 at 6.3 and 8.1 inches.
The next decision is whether you want a
big headline or not. I used a large one in
mine to show how easy it is but it takes
some work at the same time. To draw
attention I used a 48 point Mega Font called
Mega Roma. There are lots of Mega fonts
available for GEOS users in lots of different
styles. The trouble with Mega Fonts is that
they weren't designed for use with
If you have ever tried to use a font that
works in geoWrite in a geoPaint document
and received the 'Sorry, font too large'
dialog box you already know that different
programs have different sized font buffers.
The space needed to load a font is
determined by the number of characters in
the font (some only contain upper case
letters) and the available point sizes.
GeoWrite has the largest font buffer at
approximately 6000 bytes. GeoPaint 128 is
limited to fonts under 4500 bytes and
geoPaint 64 and geoPublish max out at
slightly less than 4100 bytes. To get around
this limitation the Mega fonts were created.
A Mega Font is not like a normal
GEOS font in that all characters are not
contained in a single point size. Mega Fonts
have the following layout:
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 4
- . /
! " # $
8 9 :
I J K
; < =
L M N
X Y Z
- P Q R S
T U V W
i j k
1 ra n o
Point Size 53-pqrstuvv*
x y z (curly braces - C= : and
C= ; ) (vertical
pipe - C= up-arrow) (tilde - C=
54 contains just
geos l file j edit j options ; fonts
"Tnis line is left blank
This line has one 48 pt space
This line is left blank
The biggest decision is likely how
many columns you vent If you can
determine this prior to -writing your
article it is much easier to get the
margins the way you want than to have
to reformat your pages later. Of course,
Figure C: The rest of the pages are similar to this one. Page 2 margins are visible. Blank lines leave room
for a line to separate headline. 48 point space ensures text is same spacing from top of page as page one
The beauty of a Mega Font is that the
total size can be much larger than the font
buffer would otherwise permit. GeoPublish
handles juggling the different point sizes and
only presents you with one size when you
choose the font (you would only see Mega
Roma 48 for example).
Geo Write, on the other hand, is not
Mega Font-aware so will show you all of the
point sizes in the font file when you select
Mega Roma. Hang on to this listing so that
you can use the Mega Fonts easily in your
Thankfully, geo Write allows us to
format the margins of each individual
paragraph independently. We will use this
feature to place our headline in geo Write. I
set my font at Roma 1 2 point, margins as
above for page 1 , and then pressed
RETURN three times. I moved my cursor
back up to the second line, chose Mega
Roma font and typed in my headline. As
you do this you must select the individual
point size where the character is located. To
save some time I typed M in 50 point size,
chose 52 point size and typed 1, i and e and
finally inserted the 53 point u, t and p in the
appropriate places. This line also requires
the margins to be set at the 0.2 and 8.2 inch
marks and CENTER spacing to be chosen.
The place to start is with, a pencil and (similar
paper and draw a sketch of what you want geoPub
your page to look like. This is a very the coli
important step as, without plarining, your you wis
page could end up looking quite bad. Do columns
you want two columns, three columns, and 2. 1
four columns? Are you going to have a A. 1 inc
large title at the top? How many graphics and Pag
do you plan to add to illustrate your
V ifrr fa r got in1n The,
Figure D: Without using Page Breaks it is possible to cut off portions of your text at the bottom of the page.
Move your cursor down to the last line and
start typing your article. This will leave one
blank line between your heading and your
text (see Figure B).
As you near the bottom of page 1 you
will have to insert a Page Break by choosing
that option from the PAGE menu. This will
move you onto Page two. For starters you
will need to adjust your margins to the
settings for Page 2 discussed above. Press
RETURN three times and then position the
cursor on the second line. Select Mega Roma
48 point size and press the SPACE bar. This
will ensure that your lines of text are far
enough down the page to leave room for
your headline that is on Page 1 . Move your
cursor to the fourth line again and continue
typing (see Figure C). As you get to the
bottom of Page 2 insert another page break
and follow the same procedure for the top of
Page 3 as you did for the top of Page 2, but
with the margins set at the Page 3 values. If
you are doing a four column newsletter you
will need to follow the same procedures
again at the bottom of Page 3 and top of
Page 4 using the Page 4 margin settings.
Once you have all of your typing completed
you are ready to 'print' your file.
Quit geo Write and make sure you copy
your file to a real disk if you are working in
RAM or make a duplicate of it if you are
working on a disk. This is always a good step
to take prior to using any new procedure in
case something goes wrong so you won't
have to re-do all of your work. Choose
'select printer' under the GEOS menu and
choose Paint Overlay as your printer driver.
Make sure you have at least 40K bytes free
on your disk.
Double click on your file again and,
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 5
Figure E: Graphics can be wider than one column of text if you set your margins properly. It is also very
easy to add captions in geoPaint.
once you are in geoWrite, choose PRINT
under the File menu. You want to print
Pages I to 3 or 4 in High Quality with
Tractor Feed selected. Upon clicking OK
geoWrite will act exactly the same as it
does when you print to your printer but a
file called OVERLAY is actually being
created on your disk. When the 'printing'
process is complete exit to the Desktop and
re-select your regular printer driver with
the Select Printer option again.
Rename the file on your disk called
OVERLAY, save it to a real disk from
your REU and then open it with geoPaint.
What you will have is a Paint file
containing your headline across the top and
3 or 4 columns of text beneath it. Check
the bottom of the page to ensure that your
text didn't get cut off in the process (see
Figure D). The applications have different
page lengths so you will have to
experiment to find the ideal spot to place
the Page Breaks in geoWrite. You can now
dress up the page with column dividers and
heading underscores for a nicely polished
Once you have mastered this easy
process of creating columnar output you
will no doubt want to spruce things up with
pictures. Your rough sketch will help you
decide where you want the pictures. To
leave room in your geoWrite document
you need to know how big the photo scraps
will be. This is quite easy to determine by
placing the scrap into geoPaint and using
the measurement tool (the ruler icon third
from the top in the left column).
GEOS has a vertical printing
resolution of 72 dots per inch. If you are
using a 12 point font you will need roughly
6 blank lines to fit a 1 inch graphic in the
space. Of course, you are likely to want a
caption under your picture so will have to
allow space for that and perhaps a line to
separate it from the body of your text (see
Figure E). All of these things can easily be
added in geoPaint if you leave the necessary
space in geoWrite. The biggest scrap you
can place in geoPaint is 1.8 inches tall so
keep that in mind as you work.
As mentioned previously geoWrite
gives you the option to set the margins for
each individual paragraph. By using this
feature you can have a graphic extend across
more than one column but still have text
beside it (see figure B). For details on this
type of document formatting see the article
in LL #46 on geoPublish.
If you wish to make a two page
newsletter with four columns on each page
then you have to set your margins properly.
Page 5 of the geoWrite file would have the
same margins as Page 1 , Page 6 would be
the same as Page 2, Page 7 like Page 3 and
Page 8 like Page 4. When you have all of the
pages set up properly then 'print' Pages 1 to 4
with the Paint Overlay driver. Rename the
file (something like NewsPgl). Then 'print'
Pages 5 to 8 with the Paint Overlay driver.
Rename the file (NewsPg2 perhaps). These
two files can then be modified in geoPaint
by adding graphics and lines before printing
them with your regular printer driver for a
hard copy. You can also print multiple
geoWrite files to the same OVERLAY file
as long as you have your margins set
All in all, I hope you have a better
appreciation of the power contained in the
basic GEOS V2.0 package. While the system
is slow on a simple 64 system with a single
1 541 drive it lets you do more than you
could do with 2 or 3 other products
combined. The more hardware you have the
better the software will perform. EnGEOy it!
by Robin Harbron aka Macbeth/PSW.
Supercharger is a freeware tool to transfer
binaries from the Commodore 64 to the
Atari 2600, using the Arcadia/Starpath .
The Supercharger is an oversized Atari
2600 cartridge, that contains 6K of RAM,
and has a cable that allows you to attach it to
a cassette deck so you can load games from
tape into your A2600. Instead, you can now
hook your C64 up to your Supercharger.
Playbin will turn a binary in your C64
into audio that the Supercharger will then
interpret. This allows you to develop your
own A2600 games, right on your C64, with
the Supercharger being the ONLY special
piece of equipment.
Why would anyone want to use this
program? Well, if you're a classic video
game fan, surely the Atari 2600 ranks high
on your list of favorites. If you can program
the C64 in assembly, the Atari 2600 has
exactly the same instructions - and you can
use your favorite C64 assembler. Program-
ming the Atari 2600 is extremely
challenging - some may find it enjoyable.
Additionally, this program can be used to
play most of the 2K and 4K Atari 2600
cartridge ROMs that are circulating on the
For more information on A2600 and
Supercharger coding, check out:
The other cool links on those pages...
The Stella mailing list - subscribe at:
Need a Supercharger? I bought mine
from an ultra cool, reliable guy (I'm a happy
customer) named Dan Mowczan. Get ahold
of him: email@example.com
30235 Kelsey Dr.
Warren MI 48092
I was surprised at how little he charged,
and I got my SC very quickly - it was brand
new, still shrink wrapped! He had some
other cool, brand new A2600, Colecovision
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page
and C64 carts too. so ask him about those if
Still to come: An integrated Playbin
Macro Assembler! Elwix/Style will be
modifying Style's version of Turbo Macro
Pro (TMP) to assemble and directly play
the binary out - a complete development
tool, that will run completely on a stock
C64. This is the same assembler that I used
to develop Frogs & Flies 64 (featured on
by Cameron Kaiser. Looking for
home-grown Commodore software? There
are a startlingly large number of
distribution points for old or orphaned
software, but not much new stuff.
Fortunately, a lot of the software
people are developing right now for the
Commodore 8-bits can be found on the
Usenet newsgroup comp.binaries.cbm, and
this little article will tell you enough to get
What comp.binaries.cbm is:
comp.binaries.cbm (c.b.c hereafter) is a
moderated binaries-only newsgroup.
By binaries-only we mean that only
programs or other binary postings will
appear, and by moderated we mean that
someone actually reads all the postings and
determines whether they will be allowed.
The moderators for c.b.c are a diverse
and changing lot. I'm one of them; there
are a few others, but not very many.
What shows up on
comp.binaries.cbm: Freely distributable,
Commodore-related binaries suitable to all
ages. That means no warez or cracks, no X-
rated or otherwise nasty demos, no copies
of DOOM (unless it could run on a 64), no
registered editions of software and no
discussion (with the sole exceptions of the
FAQ and important announcements made
by the administration).
The upshot of this is whatever you get
from c.b.c is free to use and free to copy for
your friends who might not get the group.
And if you're really after warez, there's
FTP sites and a few alt.binaries.* groups
Here are some examples of recent
• An Ella Fitzgerald digitized
sample from John Iannetta
• A FOURCELL solitaire game by
• A 3-D graphics demonstration by
Hardware schematics, PD software,
archivers and other programs have also
Order Two Or More And Save!
This amazing alcohol-based spray ink fully and
evenly re-inks your entire ribbon with one spray.
Extends ribbon life 10-20 times.
UPWEGO Computer Supply
120 W.Madison St.
Chicago IL 60602
312-372-6692 Fax: 312-236-8726
made their appearance on c.b.c. Things like
shareware, emulators (as long as they are
free or SW editions) and ..d64s of PD/S W
software are also possible and permitted
How to download software from
comp.binaries.cbm: Software on c.b.c is
distributed like any other Usenet posting. An
in-depth explanation of Usenet is beyond the
scope of this short article, but suffice it to
say that you can get all the software with any
newsreader. If you have access to a Unix
shell, the best newsreader in my not so
humble opinion is Kim Storm's nn. nn is a
fast newsreader that's just oozing with
power, but if you find it too arcane, tin isn't
bad either. Avoid Larry Wall's rn and tin
like the plague. I love Perl, but there are
some utilities Larry wrote that should have
hit the bitbucket long ago.
All software put on c.b.c is in
UUencoded format. UUencoding is an
ancient, trivial method of encoding
binaries in text format. It is not the same
as base64 or MIME-type encoding. MIME
is not universally readable. UUencoding
Most ISPs that give you access to a
Unix box will have 'uudecode' or a
similar utility. Save the posting to your
Unix account (see your newsreader's
documentation), and then run uudecode on
the text file (e.g. 'uudecode posting'),
uudecode will create the file in your home
directory, and you can use FTP, sz, sx, sy
or a similar utility to transfer it to your PC
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 7
The Internet for Commodore C64/128 Users
2 nd Edition
by Gaelyne R. Gasson
The only Commodore C64/128 Internet reference guide, this 296 page manual
takes you through hardware and software needed, how to get online and what you
can do once you're there. It covers Email, World Wide Web, FTP, IRC, Telnet,
Newsgroups, Commodore files, archives and much more.
ONLY $29.95 US + $7.00 shipping via Economy Airmail
Visa, MasterCard, Amex and personal checks welcome.
90 Hilliers Rd, Reynella 5161, Sth Australia
Phone: +61 8 8322-2716 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: +61 8 8387-5810 WWW: http://videocam.net.au
Also available from Loadstar. Item #900920
If you aren't lucky enough to have
access to a Unix prompt, all is not lost.
Fuzzy Fox has written uuxfer, a native 64
program that will decode UUencoded files.
If you have FTP access, it is under this
Be sure to read its documentation file
before trying to run it on something.
Posting to comp.binaries.cbm: There
is a FAQ to go with this, which I
recommend reading in addition. The FAQ
is available from Jim Brain's FTP site:
Briefly summarized, posting to c.b.c is
no different than filing any other sort of
posting to any other Usenet group, at least
on your end. What actually happens is your
posting is turned into E-mail, and sent to
the moderators for review. Your posting
does not appear immediately. In fact, it
will probably be a few days before it does
appear. There are only a few of us, and we
don't spend our lives waiting for the
newest piece of mail. Moreover, if you
have a particularly obtuse news server, it
may take a while for it to actually notice
When you post, we ask that the file
already be in UUencoded format (the
complement utility 'uuencode' will do that
for you), and that you include a brief but
thorough description of what's in it. If it's an
archive, don't just say "it's an archive"; tell
us about the programs in it. And if it is an
archive, use something common, like .lnx or
.wra ... archiving in RLE-Huffman encoding-
lossy is a certain way to sink a posting.
You can mail posts too, but I'm not
going to say how here because there're a few
quirks you must be mindful of. All of these
quirks are in the FAQ, and we beg you
passionately and more than a bit pleadingly
to read it.
We need to review your submission to
accept it, of course, and that might take
awhile. Keep in mind your server may not
send the mail immediately; we might not get
the mail immediately; we might not be able
to look at it immediately; we probably can't
post it immediately and very likely it will not
arrive at your news server for your perusal
immediately. Remember that! (And see
Troubleshooting if you're still not
Getting software previously
published in comp.binaries.cbm: There
will one day be an official archive for c.b.c
(but not today). You can get previous
postings from your local news server, but
this will put you at the mercy of your ISP.
Basically, most news spools will hold old
postings for a certain length of time before
an automated system goes through and
expires them (essentially marks them for
purge). These old postings can be read by
passing an option to your newsreader. For
nn, invoking it like
nn -x comp.binaries.cbm
will retrieve all (every!) old posting on
c.b.c that your news server has archived.
Larger ISPs (Concentric, AOL, Netcom)
may hold postings for some time, as long as
several weeks. Small ISPs with limited
newsfeed space may expire articles as
recent as a few days ago. Since this will
affect your reading of other newsgroups, if
you prefer reading news periodically
instead of daily to keep up-to-date, you
might want to consider a bigger ISP.
Troubleshooting: There are common
reasons why something isn't showing in
comp.binaries.cbm. Not all — in fact, very
few — of these conditions are under the
direct control of the moderation staff.
• We didn't approve it. If so, too
bad. If you really want to know
why, mail us and we'll tell you
(but it is generally not policy to
respond to all submissions, as the
time involved can be prohibitive).
• We haven't gotten around to it
yet. This is entirely possible.
• UUnet hasn't mailed us the
submission yet. This could be a
problem with your ISP posting the
submission, or (unlikely) a UUnet
service failure. In rare instances
entire submissions have been
sucked into the void because of
similar mishaps, but probably the
blame rests with your ISP in this
(UUnet generally handles the internal
processing of moderated Usenet groups.) If
your submission has been sadly blown
away, ask us. and then repost if necessary.
These reasons would apply to any
posting of any newsgroup.
• Our newsfeed hasn't injected it
into the system yet. I use
Concentric, which is a pretty fast
posting agency, but other
moderators might use smaller
systems that may queue up
postings instead of sending them
• Your newsfeed hasn't picked up
the posting yet. If there are a fair
number of computers between you
and our posting news server, you
will be waiting a fair number of
minutes (hours, days) for it to
arrive on your end.
If you don't have a 24-7 newsfeed, the
posting will not appear until your news
spool is next refreshed, and it may not
appear even then.
We can only control the submissions
process. If you have some problems or
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 8
Maurice Randall's Trading Card. Photo by T.W. Dutcher.
concerns, you can E-mail the moderators at
email@example.com, an alias that
sends to all the moderators. This alias is
generously provided and maintained by
William Ward, the previous c.b.c head
moderator. However, in the cases of a slow
network, our best advice is to lean on your
ISP, and even that may not help.
So, if you're looking for what people
are inventing for your good old C64,
comp.binaries.cbm may be your best bet.
There's an awful lot of support for 64s
online, so look for the latest postings on
c.b.c — and send your own!
Cameron Kaiser is an Information Technol-
ogy Services Database Programmer.
Maurice Randall's 1992
This card was issued as part of the
'92Flash Trading Card Set. This is the
Chrysler Lebaron Coupe that Maurice
races in the ARCA SuperCar Series. He
hasn't raced in the last few years but
plans to return to racing soon. If you
know of any major corporation that
would like to get some excellent
nationwide exposure as well as a good
deal of coverage on national television,
Maurice is currently searching for a
permanent sponsorship agreement. This
car will be seen on television in many
exciting races ranging from tracks such
as Daytona, Atlanta, Talladega, Michigan
and Pocono, as well as many smaller
tracks. The sponsorship package includes
complete coverage on the race car as well
as the car hauler. This provides
advertising not only during the races, but
also while the team travels to and from the
Project G: The Operating
System Replacement for
Excerpts from Maurice Randall's
Home Page: Foreword from Jeff.
LOADSTAR has kept relatively quiet about
Project G because mentioning it prema-
turely would surely cause a phone flood at
CMD, not yet officially a part of Project G.
CMD's lines are already swamped with
SuperCPU 128 questions. Now everyone is
talking about Project G and LOADSTAR
readers shouldn't be left in the dark.
The release date has been pushed back
for Project G. Sorry, but it won't be ready in
time for Christmas '97, but it should be
ready sometime shortly thereafter. So, enjoy
Christmas for what it's meant to be, and not
because of the computer industry.
In any case, Project G, the new upgrade
to GEOS 2.0, has received a new name. The
name will remain a secret until the final
beta release is ready for testing. At that
time, the name, along with the pricing and
distribution method will be officially
announced, and orders will be accepted.
Although the operating system name
will be kept quiet for the time being, I'll
announce that the new Desktop V3.0 that is
included with the system will be renamed
with its original name that it had when it
first began life. It'll be known as the
'Dashboard'. As for Configure 5.0, it'll be
called 'Toolbox', since it allows you to
tinker with your system somewhat.
The initial release of Project G will
require that the user owns an original
GEOS 64 V2.0 disk. There is a legal reason
for this. Project G currently cannot be
released as a stand alone product, at least
not until the rights to do so are granted by
Geo Works, but must be sold as an upgrade
to an existing product. Geo Write and
geoPaint won't be included with the
package, which is another reason for
needing GEOS 2.0.
Keep an eye on this site for the official
unveiling of the new operating system as
well as the release date.
One of the most important
applications that is currently being
worked on is a new programming
package. This includes an integrated
assembler and linker in one application,
unlike the GeoProgrammer of old which
were two separate applications. The first
version of the application is currently in
beta testing. A more advanced version
will be developed from this program that
will require the SuperCPU with a
SuperRAM card for its operation. This
version will allow the bigger apps to be
created more easily as it will allow larger
symbol tables and larger .rel files. Plus it
will have the ability to completely load
the source code into memory and do the
complete assembly and/or linking before
writing it back to disk. It will be a more
productive environment for the
The standard (non- SuperCPU)
version allows approximately the same
number of symbols as the current
GeoAssembler and GeoLinker and will
only allow 8-bit 6502 code. It also has the
same limit of 20 characters in a symbol or
label with only the first 8 being unique.
On the other hand, the SuperCPU version
will also allow 65816 code and all 20
characters in the symbols and labels can
be unique. The only drawback is that if
you take advantage of the extra features,
your code might not be usable on the
The SuperCPU version will also take
advantage of Project G's new function
that gives an application its own Desktop
control. What this means is that an
application can have control of the system
in a way that it can load and run other
applications and when those applications
exit, control will return to the application
in charge. This function of Project G also
allows third party Desktops to easily
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 9
install themselves as the default Desktop.
For the programming environment, this
has the advantage of being able to load
the programmer's favorite text editor
such as geo Write for editing source code.
It also allows the programmer to test the
application that is being worked on
without having to exit to the Desktop.
In addition to the assembler/linker
combo, the programming package will
include all the new information that is
needed for a programmer to write new
applications for Project G, including
many sample source code files and
The price has not been set on this
package yet, but availability should be
sometime during the first quarter of
GEOS Conference On
November 25, 1997. Thanks to the
December Comm-Adore newsletter for
this transcript. I (Jeff) edited the dialogue
Maurice: Just so you all know, there
will be a V2. 1 patch for geoFAX soon.
I'm almost done with it. You can
download the patch from my BBS and
just run the program. It will patch your
2.0 copy. The main thing in the patch is
to fix the auto answer mode and the
phonebook when in 64 mode. Everyone
that has geoFAX has a modem! So
downloading a patch is an easy way to
distribute it. geoFAX works with
gate Way after you run the gate Way patch
that is supplied with geoFAX. That patch
fixes a bug in gate Way. I'll probably put
the patch on my web Site also. The
problem with gate Way is that it locks up
when it sees a geoFAX printer driver in
Steve: I'm ready to throw out Gateway
as soon as I can get your new GEOS OS:)
Maurice: I'm working on the new OS
tonight, in fact. And it now has an
official name. But sorry, it's a secret. I've
been working on the copiers (file and
disk) mostly for the last week. I added a
little extra to the file copier that if it finds
a file of the same name on the
destination, you have the option of
copying and renaming.
Doctor: I wish the Macintosh did that.
Dan: Yeah, the more "advanced"
computers are still dumb. :P
Bill: is a 128 version still in the future?
Steve: Say you're not leaving Genie
Maurice. Maybe it's just a bad dream?
Maurice: Steve, it's true. I'm also fixing
one last bug in my 1571 driver, The bug
only occurs with 128D drives.
Snogpitch: Any chance of getting a driver
for the MSD drives? I'd love to have my
MSD run GEOS.
Maurice: I've thought about the MSD
and also the Lt. Kernal. Both are possible
future candidates, but not in this release.
C128.LOU: Cool. Now I know my
LTK40 isn't worthless.
Dan: I know a few people in my club that
have MSD drives that would love to use
Maurice: Actually, I can add additional
disk drivers at any time. It doesn't have to
be a complete upgrade. The parallel
drivers are already supported. They are
noticeably faster too. The same driver can
do either serial or parallel. The driver
detects which to use in the version I have
here. I've got a lot of little minor details to
work on still.
Randy Harris: YES!
Bill: somebody explain parallel drivers
for the CMD HD please>
Doctor: They're for the RAMLink and
HD combination. You can hook up a
parallel cable between the RAMLink and
RD for faster transfer. It's the port that
should of come with the Commodore.
Bill: and it makes GEOS faster? I have
that combo, HD and RL and parallel
Robert Bernardo: Maurice, now that
Project G for the C64 and 128 are
delayed, is there any hope for a graphical
web browser for the Wave?
Maurice: If I do the web browser,
Project G must come first. I won 't write
one for GEOS 2.0. It's gotta be this new
Dan: You know Maurice, you can make
me drool better than anyone else.
Robert Bernardo: How successful must
Project G be for you to consider more
work on the web browser?
Maurice: Robert, the success of Project
G is going to determine a lot of things.
Personally, I think it will go over well.
And if my interest remains, I'll keep on
working on stuff.
Robert Bernardo: That's excellent
Bill: I would think that Project G would
be a great success
C128.LOU: Does Project G default to a
mouse? (That always drove me nuts)
Maurice: Yes, the mouse is the default,
but your first installation will ask you
which input driver to use. Otherwise, it
still uses the first one found if you choose
to do differently later on. And also,
Toolbox (formerly Configure) installs the
drivers at bootup now. And by the way,
the Desktop has now been renamed back
to the Dashboard. I've got to finish a few
more routines before turning it on.
The disk copy functions can copy
between partitions now and also copy
different size native partitions as long as
the source has less data thin the
destination can hold.
Robert Bernardo: Maurice, by the year
2000, how do you envision the state of
computing with GEOS?
Maurice: GEOS is evolving. Maybe this
new OS is only the start. We will see.
There's a lot that can be done that we
haven't done yet.
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 10
C128.LOU: Maurice, will Project G run
at a reasonable speed without a
Maurice: It's acceptable without a
SuperCPU. A geoRAM is a little bit
sluggish, but not bad.
Robert Bernardo: Are you saying that
Project G is only one step in its constant
Maurice: With the SuperCPU, Project
G could evolve into a real powerful
C128.LOU: I have a SCSI-capable
flatbed scanner, Maurice, and needless to
say it would be interesting. . .
Maurice: Your scanner could be used
with the 64, it just needs an application
to be written for it.
C128.LOU: Yes, I know. From the
hardware standpoint, all is available
Maurice: We need more programmers,
C128.LOU: I even considered calling
Mustek and asking them.
Maurice: When I first started with
geoFAX, I called Boca and some others.
They didn't know beans about how their
modems worked. I'll bet it would be
easier to write a scanner interface than a
Robert Bernardo: Since I don't have
geoFAX yet, what current modems do
you recommend, Maurice?
Maurice: Robert, any ZOOM with
Class 2 is good. The US Robotics with
Class 2.0, and the Bocas with Class 2 and
any other with Class 2 and at least 16K
Robert Bernardo: Thanks.
Maurice: geoFAX is $39.95 plus $4
shipping. Your club can get a discount on
6. Randy, what'd I give your club, was it
Randy Harris: Yes, it was either $35 or
$34 for a six pack. We sold all six!
Brenda: Maurice, will we need GEOS to
use Project G or will it be stand alone?
Maurice: If your club orders 6
geoFAXes, you get them for $34 each
with free shipping. Because of copyright
stuff, Project G will have to be installed
from GEOS 2.0 and it will check for an
original 2.0 disk, not a geoMakeBoot'd
disk. Eventually, I hope to get the rights
from Geo Works. I'm working on it. Then
I can't make it a stand alone product.
Randy Harris: That would be great!
Dan: Do you know if someone buys
Project G for the first time if the original
GEOS will be included?
Brenda: Doesn't CMD have the rights?
Dan: No, Geoworks.
Randy Harris: CMD has rights to
distribute, but must pay a royalty to
Maurice: CMD has the rights to
distribute GEOS 2.0. This new OS is my
product with some leftover code from 2.0
in it. Most of it is my own code. The
Dashboard and Toolbox are entirely mine
and the new OS won't run without
Toolbox. About 80 percent of the OS
itself is my own code.
Dan: No matter what way you slice it,
Project G sounds cool! :)
Brenda: Will they want to give up that
$$ from CMD selling it?
Maurice: Geo Works doesn't care about
the royalties they get because of the small
Dan: WOW! That is surprising!
Maurice: I currently do have the rights to
what I have written, but can only sell it as
an upgrade and not a standalone product.
So, CMD will likely sell more GEOS 2.0
disks. This is good though because some
things (very few) may only run with 2.0.
Brenda: So you would be going for the
entire rights? I mean, are you asking to get
the full (c), or just the right to sell a stand
alone product without getting sued:)
Maurice: I'm trying to get the rights to the
standalone version, Brenda, right, without
any trouble being caused.
Dan: So, if I ask for Project G, I would have
to buy GEOS 2.0? In that case the total price
would be over $100, just to get it (If I don't
already have GEOS). I am not speaking for
myself; some people in my club were
waiting for Project G before they go into
Maurice: Unfortunately, Dan that's the
way it has to be. But it won't cost that
much. You will need GEOS 2.0 anyway,
because Project G won't be supplied with
geo Write and geoPaint. Make sense now?
Brenda: Do you plan to re-do those?
Maurice: Yes, but not right away. I would
definitely need permission for those, I think.
Dan: My members are not going to like this
Brenda: Tell them, SUPPORT YOUR
Maurice: Everybody should Email
Geo Works. Tell them we still have
Commodore supporters out here.
C128.LOU: I would think that most C=
users have GEOS V2.0 by now, anyhow
Maurice: Right, my biggest market will be
current GEOS owners. Not new ones.
Brenda: Will Project G be enhanced for
Maurice: Project G automatically detects
the SuperCPU. Eventually, I'd like to do a
version just for the SuperCPU.
Randy Harris: A 16 bit version?
Maurice: Yes, the SuperCPU version
would be 16 bit. Don't hold me to this, but
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 1 1
the price of Project G is going to be DRIVE, the second in the chain,
somewhere in the neighborhood of $35. Brenda: I said, "WHY? I already have a
Even if you have to buy GEOS 2.0, it's computer" Maurice: I might do it the way you did
affordable. with the internal. That's the best way, I
Howie: then you don't need enemies think.
Randy Harris: Maurice, what made you
decide to make Delphi your home, and Brenda: I have the internal Zip hooked Maurice: Genie would fit onto 1 00 FD-
not Genie? up. That's as far as I went. 2000 disks.
Maurice: The Email is easier to use on
Delphi, plus I've got better and cheaper
Internet access. And I can test graphical
browser stuff there, if you know what I
mean. And I just can't justify the $20 for
C128.LOU: I have Delphi's $34 a year
Maurice: It only costs me $13 on
Delphi. But I'm not trying to plug Delphi
here, that's not the object. On Delphi, I
can sign on in text mode or graphical
mode, either one. Nowadays, there seems
to be much more Commodore activity on
Delphi, although it's not all related to our
Randy Harris: I used to have Delphi,
but I hated the upload process, and there
was a lot more Commodore action here
Maurice: The file library is the one
drawback compared to Genie. Genie is
much nicer for uploading and download-
Howie: yea, Genie's Library is a treasure
Maurice: Just to prevent a Qlink fiasco,
I have downloaded the entire Genie
Bill: how many megabytes is that?
Maurice: It's not as much as you think.
About 140 megs. At 14.4 on Genie, it
wasn't too bad. Took me about 3 weeks.
QLink's library was about four times this
Brenda: How is your Zip/HD stuff
Maurice: Brenda, you mean that
program to allow switching disks?
Brenda: (hooked up as the main unit that Brenda: Do you think it is worth trying to
is) go 1 00 meg +, or just forget adding a drive?
Maurice: The internal is the way to go. Brenda: I don't think the average user can
Just hit reset, right? handle loading partition tables
Howie: you 2 zippy guys...
Brenda: I don't have any other drive
hooked up to it. To me, I would think it
would be more of a hassle than it is worth at a time
Maurice: And to think that my new version
of GeoProgrammer is only 32K!
Howie: gads.... that's immense! I recall
programmers agonizing over saving 1 or 2
jiffies, and working on the problem for days
Brenda: I mean any other, as in ADD
Maurice: What would be neat would be
an autoload program on the HD that
would patch into the interrupt routine and
detect when a disk was changed.
Howie: and you can swap disks too, right/
Brenda: If you don't put another drive on
it Howie, you can swap disks. If you do
have another drive, you have to always
keep the same partitions.
Maurice: Currently, when I change disks,
I reload the partition table for the disk that
Brenda: (I suppose you could work
around it, but that would be for advanced
Maurice: I want to write an ML program
to do it, it would be faster.
Brenda: Cause you have an external,
Maurice: Yes, mine is external.
Howie: so Genie fits onto 2 zips....
Brenda: So you have it as an ADD
Maurice: And I still look for a savings of a
byte here and a byte there. Windows
programmers would think I'm nuts.
Brenda: Would you guys think it was
reasonable to put an internal Zip on the
CMD HD and not worry about the lost hard
drive, or should we find a way to use that
Maurice: Heck, go for the JAZ.
Robert Bernardo: Maurice, back to
geoFAX, are there any current fax machines
that you can recommend?
Maurice: Any of the new fax machines are
good, Robert. For using them as scanners,
the best way to check them out is go to the
office supply store and try them out using
the copy function in halftone mode. .Take
some clip art and photographs with you and
see which ones produce the best results.
Maurice: The copies will look like what
you can capture with geoFAX.
Howie: hey nifty
Robert Bernardo: thanks, again. You've
answered some of my last questions.
Maurice: See which ones interpret the
colors the best
The Tower For Thinkers: a collection of
LOADSTAR programs that exercise your biggest non-
muscle of all.
1541 version #0050D5 $20.00
1581 version #0028D4 $20.00
The Compleat New Testament On
DISK! All of the King James version of the New
Testament in a special packed format for fast and easy
searching, clipping, etc. See a demo on LS #152.
Three 1541 disks #0042D5 $20.00
One 1581 disk #0025D3 $20.00
The Compleat Old Testament On Disk:
Every word of the Old Testament in packed text format,
ready to be searched and printed. See a demo on LS #155.
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THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 12
Maurice: Pay attention to the type of
dithering that they use also. Some will
look like the dithering that geoGIF uses
and other will use another method.
Robert Bernardo: Consumer Reports
did a report on fax machines some time
ago. Should that be my starting point,
Maurice: No, just go down and look at
them and see which ones you like the best.
Consumer Reports will tell you which
ones someone else likes the best.
Maurice: Check out the bubblejet faxes
too. If you get a thermal paper job, make
sure it has anti-curl like the Sharp model
and you'll like the paper Cutter built in.
Bill: I don't have a need for anything like
that now my HD40 and RL with 16 megs
gives me all the mom I need for now
Brenda: Lou, I've got a zipdrive hooked
up to the CMD HD by itself!
Maurice: I would like to pull out the 40
that is ift mine rand putin the internal ZIP
like you have.
Brenda: I did a bad job on the survey...
good thing I am buffering this. I shoulda
just asked one question. Does anyone
want a removable drive on the C=?
Howie: but I nevertheless did have an
Bill: Maurice, where will I find out the
latest on your projects in the future?
arca93/ or The Speed Zone BBS at 517-
P.O. Box 606426
Charlotte MI 48813
Ph: (517) 543-5202
http: //people, delphi. com/arca93/
Vocabulary lesson for
Engineer says: A number of different approaches
are being tried
Engineer means: We are still grasping at straws
Engineer says: We're working on a fresh
approach to the problem
Engineer means: We just hired three kids fresh
out of university
Engineer says: Close project coordination
Engineer means: We know who to blame
Engineer says: Major technological breakthrough
Engineer means: It works OK, but looks very hi-
Engineer says: Customer satisfaction upon
delivery is assured
Engineer means: We are so far behind schedule
that the customer is happy to get it delivered
Engineer says: Preliminary operational tests were
Engineer means: The darn thing blew up when we
threw the switch
Engineer says: Test results were extremely
Engineer means: We are so surprised that the
stupid thing works
Engineer says: The entire concept will have to be
Engineer means: The only person who understood
the thing quit
Engineer says: It is in progress
Engineer means: It is so wrapped up in red tape
that the situation is hopeless
Engineer says: We'll look into it
Engineer means: Forget it! We have enough
problems for now
Engineer says: Please read and initial
Engineer means: Let's spread the responsibility
for the mistake
Engineer says: Give us the benefit of your
Engineer means: We'll listen to what you say as
long as it doesn't interfere with what we've already
Engineer says: Give us your interpretation
Engineer means: I can't wait to hear this!
Engineer says: See me/Let's Discuss
Engineer means: Come into my office, I'm lonely
Engineer says: All new!
Engineer means: Parts not interchangeable with the
Engineer says: Rugged
Engineer means: Too heavy to lift!
Engineer says: Lightweight
Engineer means: Lighter than rugged
Engineer says: Years of development
Engineer means: One finally worked
Engineer says: Energy saving
Engineer means: Achieved when the power switch is off
THE LOADSTAR LETTER #52 Page - 13
Engineer says: Low maintenance
Engineer means: Impossible to fix if broken
David Schmoll 1955-
By Gaelyne Gasson. There are times
when all the words in the world just won't
do, and this is one of them.
I recently learned David Schmoll died
earlier this month. I created a memorial
Web page for him at http://video-
those who'd like to have a way to
remember David, and to say goodbye.
David Schmoll died early November,
1997. This page offers those who knew
him a way to say goodbye, and gives us a
place to grieve.
David and I shared a great deal of
private mail (Email and Netmail) over the
last 5 or 6 years, and although we never
met in person, I considered him a friend.
He helped me through a difficult time
when my mother was dying... not by
offering cliches, but by listening and
sharing some of the rough times he went
through in his own life. I know he's helped
many other Commodore users in similar
1 admit 1 don't know much about
David's life prior to five or six years ago,
but 1 know he worked as a stage hand for
bands, working as a stage lighting director,
and played bass guitar. One of his musical
heroes was Yes bass player Chris Squire.
When he first started posting messages in
the Fidonet CBM echos in the early 90's,
he would often comment that he practiced
his bass guitar skills while reading the mail
and thought it would be neat to figure out a
way to use a foot pedal to change the
messages on the screen so he could keep
playing. In the early 90' s, David stopped
curing to care for his aging parents, and
hat's when the Commodore online
community met David. Both of his parents
had Alzheimers disease, requiring
increasing amounts of his attention. He was
their sole caretaker for the remainder of
their lives. Getting online and participating
in conversations about the Commodore
computer, and later using Email, allowed
him a break from his day, and gave him
access to the world outside the family home.
His mother passed away in 1 992 or
1993 (I'm uncertain), and his father died in
late 1995. I've always admired David, that
he could put his life on hold to care for his
parents, doubly so when I learned he was
adopted. Unfortunately, aside from
programming, he wasn't able to pick up the
pieces of his own life after dedicating so
many years to caring for his parents.
David loved automation, and went to
great lengths to make his computing time as
automated as possible. Because of this love,
he created several programs to suit his needs
and luckily, he shared some of them with
the rest of the Commodore community.
Using scripts in Dialogue 128 (a term
program), he created his own "hands off"
method of downloading mail from Fidonet
BBS's and later from his Internet source,
NYX in Denver, Colorado.
David modified Bill Lucier's unzip64
program so it would work in C 1 28 mode
(NZP128) and wrote a small program
named QPE (based on Russell Prater's QPX
program) to automate unzipping his QWK
mail packets, and included it within the
NZP archive. Later, he expanded QPE so it
would work in C64 mode for QWKie users.
On a similar vein, he developed a menu
program (EZLoader) that includes several
automatic features, such as the ability to run
programs at certain times and the ability to
run several programs one after another. His
goal (which he achieved) was to automate
his system so it would load his term
program, dial the BBS or Internet provider,
transfer his mail, dissolve the files using
NZP, and have his mail reader program
loaded and waiting for him when he got up
in the morning.
In the months before his death, David
worked on updates for NZP, and finished a
new version of EZLoader, which remains
unreleased. This version has several
additional features (some that have never
been implemented on the Commodore until
he tried it). Only time will tell whether this
update will be released to the public or not.
David wasn't perfect. He was often
very opinionated about the way he felt
things should be, and often expected more
of people, computers, and programs than
they could give, but this also made a
difference in the type of programs he wrote.
Although he probably didn't realise it,
David had an effect on the lives of many
Commodore users, especially those who
use their computers online and who use his
EZLoader menu program. It's the first
program I see on my CI 28 in the morning
and the last one I see at night when I turn it
off, and has been for many years. Each time
I see it now, I am reminded of how much I
will miss sharing Email with David.
I mispelled the names on Bruce
Thomas and Maurice Randall last issue.
Also, on issue #50, 1 flubbed on CMD's
question line, which is 1-413-525-0023.
Why Is The
Text A Half-
By Jeff Jones. Last minute
printer problems forced me to
use a different printer to print
this newsletter. That printer could print as close to
the edge of a page as I'm normally used to. so 1 had
to quickly reduce the margins in order tyo fit
everything — as you can see 1 barely did!
Resubscribe to The LOADSTAR LETTER Send Coupon To:
606 Common Street
this often, and packed with so much information. ShreVepOft LA 71101
Never Miss Out On The DishI
No other Commodore publication comes at you this hard,
^ ►|~| Here's $18 to renew my subscription!
You Know You're
In Arizona When ©
© You've signed so many ©
petitions to recall
governors that you can't
remember the name of ©
© You notice your car
overheating before you ©
© You can say Hohokam ©
and people don't think
you're laughing funny.
© You no longer associate ©
bridges (or rivers) with
© You see more irrigation
water on the street than
there is in the Salt River.
© You know a swamp ©
cooler is not a happy hour
© You can say 115 degrees
without fainting. ©
© You can be in the snow,
then drive for an hour and ©
it will be over 1 00
© You have to go to a fake
beach for some fake
© You discover, in July, that ©
it only takes two fingers to
drive your car.
You can make sun tea
You run your air conditioner
in the middle of winter so
you can use your fireplace.
You notice the best parking
place is determined by
shade instead of distance.
You realize that Valley
Fever isn't a disco dance.
Hotter water comes from
the cold water tap than the
You can pronounce the
words: "Saguaro", "Tempe",
"Gila Bend", "San Xavier",
"Canyon de Chelly",
"Mogollon Rim", "Cholla",
It's noon in July, kids are on
summer vacation, and not
one person is moving on
You actually burn your hand
opening the car door.
Sunscreen is sold year
round, kept at the front of
the checkout counter, a
formula less than 30 spf is a
joke, and you wear it just to
go to Circle K.
Some Tool can market mini-
misters for joggers and
some other fools will
actually buy them.
© Hot air balloons can't
go up, because the air
outside is hotter than
the air inside.
© No one would dream of
putting vinyl upholstery
in a car.
© You can understand the
reason for a town
A blonde went to the
appliance store sale and
found a bargain. "I would
like to buy this TV," she told
the salesman. "Sorry, we
don't sell to blondes," he
She hurried home and
dyed her hair, then came
back and again told the
salesman I would like to
buy this TV." "Sorry, we
don't sell to blondes," he
"Darn, he recognized
me," she thought. She went
for a complete disguise this
time, haircut and new color,
new outfit, big sunglasses,
then waited a few days
before she again approached
the salesman. "I would like to
buy this TV."
Sorry, we don't sell to
blondes," he replied.
Frustrated, she exclaimed,
"How do you know I'm a
"Because fear's a
microwave," he replied.
LOADSTAR LETTER #52
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