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Dear members, ^ 

Herewith the newsletter for October, 1984. Some 130 copies of this 
newsletter are being prepared, which is not quite the circulation of the 
"Evening Post" (although it often feels like it!), but is not bad for a club. 
The recent rapid climb in our membership has been reflected in the pressure on 
space at our meetings of late, and your Committee would appreciate being told 
of any suitable halls/rooms in the central City area, which the club might use 

cA o- V £? PI LI £5 « 


This meeting will be held at. the usual venue, the TAB building on Lambton 
Quay on 7 November (the Budget being the next night). It will start at 7.30 
pm. John Lynch and Martin Anderson, both from the Post Office, will discuss 
"MODEMS": the "hows" and "how nots". It should be fascinating learning about a 
means of transmitting programmes that is quite the rage in the USA and 

Another Club Tape, #22,will be distributed. A CIO, it is being 
constructed by Keith Hobden, who has a good stock of programmes to choose 
from. All the programmes will be below 16k, 

Some new commercial software will be demonstrated (hopefully including 
"Flight Simulator 11" and "Beachhead" - both very popular programmes that have 
recently arrived at "The Computer Experience"). If there is time, and 
hopefully there won’t be, your Secretary has been instructed to demonstrate 
"Tinytext". Instructions for "TT" are attached, so members should be able to 
follow Ross Palmer’s example (see his attached article on the merits of DOS 2 
and DOS 3) and forward articles (saved on either disk or cassette) for the 


As mentioned earlier, Percom disk drives have been available at discount 
rates from the US as follows: 

PERCOM AT88S1PD, with DOS XL, printer cable, shipping and 90 day 
warranty,costs fUS 300.00; 

PERCOM AT3SS1, with DOS XL,warranty and shipping, costs SUS 200.00. 

Jo order,write to Percom Data Corporation, 11220 Pagemi11 Road, Dallas, 
Texas 75243. The phone number is (214) 340 5800. A word of warning: Percom’s 
offer may well have closed, as it was sea-mailed to us on 9 August. 


The following discounts are 
5 a on software at Einsteins, and 
107. on software at "The Computer 

available to Club members: 

Experience" - provided that you order the 


. . Ray Alexandra would like to purchase a 16k memory board for an SOO: if 

you. have one spare, ring him on 695591. 

Yours sincerely, 
Des Rowe 


This is an item of interest for all of those UACF 

like to dabble in a little programing. "embers who 

oreni^Kftr/f tha * Y° U . examine the following program and be 
JI ' d eX ^ lain how lt works, to the rest of us WACEITES 
at the next meeting (November). As a clue, the proaram is a 
screen dump to printer for graphics 7. 9 

screei’^i m ^ Si S nS **’ y ° Ur pr ° gram follows to draw your GR.7 
screen and the dump commences at line 5230 

What does line 5260 do? 

Can you come up with a better program'? 

^ S ,!;ri,r Ur ne,lt be prepaired to add your 

Dit for all our benifs. J 



105 SETC0L0R 1,6,10:COLOR 1 

110 FOR D=1 TO 50 STEP 2 

120 P=D*D/20:L=D*C(P/D)/2>:PLOT P,L 

130 DRAWT0 150,D 

140 NEXT D 

5230 FOR 1 159 ’ ? CHR * C 65 * ? CHR * C 131 5 5 CHR * < 27 > ? CHR$ < 15 ) 

5240 FOR Y=0 TO 79:LOCATE X,Y,A 
5250 IF A=0 THEN X$(80-Y,80-Y+l) = " ":GOTO 5270 
5255 IF A=1 THEN X*C80-Y,80-Y+l)=".":GOTO 5270 
5260 X$(S0-Y, 80-Y+l > = ":*" 

5270 NEXT Y 
5280 LPRINT X* 

5290 NEXT X 
5300 END 


to take pil'ace^traight^ftei'* pur ' hase ' of Printers will have 
Jenny at 723.866 if you „ ant ^"checkthe Setanl.' Ph ° n * 



Imagine that it is 2am on a cold, wet Christchurch 
mid-winter's day. The intrepid South Island forecaster. Bob 
McDavitt, arises to prepare for another early morning shift. 
He turns on his home TV which is plugged into his trusty 
Atari 400 microcomputer which , in turn, is interfaced with a 
Heathkit Weather Monitor. The screen instantly shows the 
current weather conditions—wind speed and direction, indoor 
and outdoor temperatures, the pressure and the rate of change 
of pressure. At the press of a key the screen displays graphs 
of the values of these weather parameters over the last 24 
hours. Another key is pressed and the printer springs into 
action, producing a hard copy of whatever Bob fancies.... 

Bob mutters to himself... hmm, southerly winds and 
falling pressure...looks like another dose of showers is 
coming . So, while byclcling to work Bob can already cogitate 
and mentally prepare his forecasts of the day thanks to his 
home based Atari / Heathkit interface. 

Bob McDavitt explains: I've had this digital display 
weather monitor for a few years now and, in October 1983, I 
thought about interfacing it with a microcomputer.I 
investigated the range of micros then available looking in 
particular for those with good graphics abiliity. Some models 
could outperform the Atari in some ways, but at about twice 
the cost. What finally bent me towards the Atari was the 
number of excellent books describing its memory locations and 
how to use them. 

The Hardware. This was the easy part of the interface, 
thanks to the Atari 400*s four joystick ports. All I had to 
do was buy some plugs and some ribbon wire. The Heathkit 
weather monitor has a computer parallel interface plug point, 
allowing 16 different wires to each carry their own f off-on* 
message all at the same time. Eight of these supply the 
information for the lighting up of an eight segmented LED 
figure display; four are used to define a code as to which 
particular LED should be lit; and the remaining four bits of 
information are used to code up the wind direction. I simply 
connected these wires into the four Atari joystick ports 
(four wires per port) and worked out what values coughed up 
at the appropiate memory locations for different combinations 
of incoming signals. 

Ihe Software. My first program to read the joystick 
memory locations and covert their values back into weather 
information was written in BASIC. The advantage of doing 
things this way is that BASIC is easily modifiable and easy 
to debug. The disadvantage is that BASIC is slow. It took 
more than a minute for the BASIC program to read one lot of 
weather information from the Heathkit Weather Monitor. 

The next step was to write the program in machine 
language. Learning machine language was a slow job, and to 
cap it off I did not have the use of an Assembly Catridge.So, 
as' an aside, I designed my own BASIC program to convert 
language into the correct machine language numbers, 
and vice versa. There was a superb sense of acheivemnet in 
finally getting the machine language interface program 
working (after months of striving). The Heathkit weather 
monitor is now interogated about five times a second— thats 
a transfer rate of nearly 500 bytes per second. 

The data obtained by the interface program is dumped 
onto a disk file once a day. This file can produce weather 
graphs for the last week...or month..or year. 

This is only one example of how you can use your Atari. 
My next project is to produce animated weather maps and watch 
the changing patterns as the isbars move gracefully across 
the screen. 


Vers 1.6 


R I 


LING system 

sol " aS '^ evBl °Osd"( a s the jargon insists) to help 

Ihon? P7 oble "> ip the storage and retrieval of information 

rinai 1"^/°"” r ., P , r ° 9r “ 5 ' Corsi dBr > * Committee member . 

the Jlub-l flnihr ‘ E “ ant tD d ° 3 dem ° tomorrow night of 
club s algebra programs.How many public domain algebra 

programs have you got?In particular,do you have ’A1qedri11’ 

and is it working? Mine is,but I can’t find it." His problem 

retrieval^ 1 th " h ° W . to ensure a fast,efficent and complete 
retrieval o-F the requisite information. P 

With this in mind I have been working on a way to 
releV f nt ^formation about the programs I 

iort’of C oroblem 1 °^ P ° 3 ! ibly hel P others facing the same 

set out f" ! I WaS trying to ' c °P e with - I'll briefly 

et out how the system,I’ve constructed works. 

oronrlm -°m V1DUS approach is to make use of a data base type 
clelrfv y ° Ur i CO ? PUter tQ ° rganise V°Ltr computing" is 

proqram N hp"! applied.So using that excellent 

^drm»?Th?rri l St * rtBd ^ Eettin9 UP " ^ 



n 4 -K lth ^ 1S , iorm and SYNFILE, I would be able to sort on 

thlt th GS fl ? lds "< ie categories of information).But aware 
that the shorter the actual entries on the form the more 

records(think of these as library cards) I could process(and 

ai short ^ SPe " d ! “ the _1 enght of my entries had to be kept 
?he Jun Sr PossifaU.’I -wasn't going to skip on getting the 

cateaorv p ^ ogram . name 10)50 .1 allowed 15 spaces for that 
category.The minimum space for the disc number category I 

? - 1 haVP a d ° uble ««ur. number of diSce^t I 
don t think Ill ever need a hundred.So two spaces for the 

number of discs and one to indicate which side of the disk 

handle°th am p WaS ° n ~f S aU that was required there.But how to 
£ Program Classification entry?The answer ^as pretty 
plainly to use a code.But what code -alphabetic,numeric or 


symbolic - and could it -function effectively usinn 

,pac e s?I wanted to have at least 500 reco^ and"Inking B 

^ WhS: r v ? y w ™ 

uirand Clear f"? thB ^“^nJM^Srt^crSi'eaie’or 

a?pha£et?caf mnem ° niC properties "V trigram had to be 

. , In ?° r | ;i "9 U P the Program Classification code it was 
obvious that the first letter would have to indintn +. K 
subject - e.g"E- Education. The second letter could be useS'" 
an indicators for a specific branch of the main sub ect 

' ”? th - The third letter I Cecidod shoa?d iJrte 

°™‘ fi any pro °‘® m that ®Wht be affecting the program nimed 
i Wn?., * u9pppted course of action to deal with i? e.g."N" 

- Not Working/Fix It.This letter could also be used to 
indicate the program’s status e.g."C" = CoDvriaht A- 
see the letters used here as indicators are^hffJrsV^tter 
eLv h f “° rd °k “ OPds concerned. Thi s clearly makes them more 
lub erf r ® me " lber - But what happens when there is more than one 
Graohics^If 9 V?* same letter (e.g. Games and 

live iS cai ? not . find * suitable synonym which will 

?! V ® U ? f initial letter, one reasonable alternative 

conte'-t hLM 6 ? "f ^ thB subject word which, in our 
content,has at least some mnemonic properties -and to use 

CQm thS TRI ? RAMMA system the trigram must always be 

ompiete i.e. it must contain three letters - which is the 
same thing as saying that blanks are not 

SPaCar needad 3nd *° r that Purpose 

Let’s now look at the schema in detail: 


D - DATA PROCESSING <incl.Statist 



M - MUSIC (incl.Sound) 

P — PICTURES (incl.Graphics) 

™ w jmaiia 

listed here in rnmh-i ,-, = +■ ,• ..... su J ec ^ heading and 





fflain subject 
in combination with it ) 






EB - 

EC - 

EE - 

EG - 

EL - 

EM - 

EP - 

ER - 

ES - 











FB - 
FP - 




GA - 
GC - 
GD - 
GE - 
GJ - 

GF - 
GG - 
GM - 
GP - 
GR - 
GS - 
GT - 







<ie for young chi 1 dr 

STRATEGY (non-mi litai 

onl y) 

and non-mace) 




SHOOTING (non-military) 
TRANSLATIONS (ether than those 


MC - 
MJ - 
ML - 
MS - 
MX - 





s banners 



UC - 

UD - 

UI - 

UJ - 

UK - 

UL - 

UM - 

UP - 

UR - 

US - 

UU - 

UV - 








WF - 
WW - 


FILES (for other than ATARIWRITER) 





Q - QUERY (eg what is this program?) 

W - WANTED (i.e. space made on disc/tape 
which is not yet to hand. 

for this 


, *h h ? re definitive about either this schema or 

f? ^ letter codin 9 used. Expansion within each 

t e three catagories is easy and improvement of the whole 
system is both inevitable and welcorned.Anything anyone does 
in this context would be most interesting and I would 
appreciate hearing from anyone who does upgrade this effort. 

R.M.D Munro 
1 Orari St., 


By Ross Palmer 

Recent models of the Atari 1050 disk drive have been shipped with the new 
"enhanced density" DOS 3. Structurally this is very similar to DOS 2.OS. There 
is a permanently memory-resident portion called FMS.SYS which supports disk 
I/O ' from BASIC (or other application program) . To access DOS directly, DOS.SYS 
must be loaded which overwrites the lowest 4K of user memory including any 
program stored there. The various DOS functions (directory, delete, lock 
rename, etc) can then be selected from the DOS menu. 

Some of the "features" of DOS 3 ares 

(a) 1 1 _ can operate in either single density (90 K) or enhanced density (12SK) 
modes. In either case, disk space is allocated in blocks of 1024 bytes (IK), 
which means that there may be a lot of waste space if you have many small 
files. For instance, if you have 64 files (the maximum), about 32K will be 
wasted, i.e. half a block per file on average. (Compare this with 4K wasted 
under DOS z.) In this situation the effective capacity of the "enhanced 
density" disk is scarcely more than a single density DOS 2.0 disk. 

(b) DOS 3 disks are completely incompatible with DOS 2 (even in single density 
mode). The location of the disk directory has been shifted to the beginning of 
the disk. The VT0C has also been altered. Thus if you boot DOS 3,you can’t 
LOAD programs off a DOS 2 disk. DOS 3 provides a utility for copying' DOS 2 
files to a DOS 3 disk. 

I have also been using DOS XL from Optimised System Software. DOS XL 
supports DOS 2.0 format single and double density operation. DOS 3 format is 
not supported, nor is enhanced density (but see below). It can be used in a 
menu driven mode similar to DOS 2&3. However it is much more powerful when 
used in "command mode". In this form, any DOS function is invoked by typing 
its name, e.g. DIR to obtain a directory, ERASE PROG.BAS to delete a program 
file. In DOS XL, code for most of the common commands (directory, lock,delete, 
rename, etc) is permanently resident in memory and so can be invoked without 
effecting your BASIC (or whatever) program. The tradeoff is that DOS XL 
permanently occupies about 6K of memory, IK more than Atari DOS. Owners of the 
800XL (S< expanded memory 600XL) and users of OSS supercartridges can opt to 
boot an "extended memory" version of DOS XL which loads into the RAM under the 
OS or the cartridge. This saves about 4K on the normal DOS XL, but the boot 
process takes twice as long. 

The July issue of ANTIC contains a simple modification of DOS 2.0 to use 
enhanced density format on a 1050 drive. (This mod can also be used to patch 
DOS XL as the FMS portions of the two programs are the same. It won’t patch 
-.he extended memory version of DOS XL however.) This does NOT create a DOS 
-—compatible format. Instead it alters the DOS 2.0 VT0C to allow 976 128-byte 
sectors (122K) instead of the usual 720 sectors (90K). Given the 
utilisation of 128 byte blocking as compared with the 1024 bytes 
effective capacity of the modified DOS 2.0 or XL is likely to be 
ie nominally 128K of DOS 3. Moreover this modification does not 

P ? S +K Qn ° f the disk director y! hence standard DOS 2/XL files can 
if the modified DOS has been booted and vice versa. 

better space 
of DOS 3, the 
greater than 
shift the 
still be read 

Cone 1 usions : DOS 3 is an inefficient and incompatible aberation. Stick to DOS 
" com P at ible single/enhanced/double density formats. Get DOS XL. For those 
p anning to copy disks from single to enhanced density DOS 2 formats, I 
recommend the POLYCOPY routine (COMPUTE!, Nov 1983) - it saves a lot'of disk 
=wapping. Note that for XL machines the variable CIO in line 400 should be 
initialised to 1021.. 





** St3n 0ckers » modified by Jin Carr, noditifed by Dale Lutz 
The <CFTI0H> Key is used to select one of five options? LOW, EDIT, PRINT, SAVE, 3 nd DISPLAY, 

EE E Etr" ZZZTZ “*" H * ° f **• 

<RETURN> * F" a disk file, enter the co^lete nane sucTas"* 

* ^'c^,^iZ i0US * tfr' 1, in the 

ess - s *ss s\r. 

tr,nina m »* s « *•*. e us " 1, #n 

Firctions such as tabbing and indentation are controlled h« eeaf .;.i ... 

3-^cols always cause the current line to be enrtori he* J ' peci °* * or «3ttmg synbois. These 
executed. The following synbols i, be^S reguested fornatting function is 

Z. . E : ZZZZ Z .** stets ”* “ ,ta “ itot 

CNTl s - space before starting the nert line. 

. onu**” beforf startir * “~- 

CNTL T - sets the fill justify bode, -—-—-- 

CNTL R - sets the right justify node, 

CNTl L - s ets the left justify node. 

££££ ZlZ' l™"' *" «- 

functions and then Press ? ° Hn * ^ U51n * the nor " 31 5creen editing 

SAVE* see LOAD function, 

DKUr: M. taim cflim .xc^t on the scrw, instead of the printer. 

2n £ ZZZ •» «*!*. detail, 

m ine fttt Newsletters for Novenber 1981, Novenber 1982, and Septerier 1983. 


SOFTWARE. mvnur.« ta « # 

Legal moves to beat tape pirates 

by TONY GLOVER P t -T4^ 

__ _ ■ I 1 - 

have brought computing to the 
masses with his low-cost ZX 
machines but he laid the 
foundations of software piracy 
for all at the same time. 

It was the way he decided 
i ,o organise low-cost program 
{ storage that was the key. He 
i settled for audio cassette tape 
j on the grounds that almost 
1 every home has a cassette tape 
i recorder; furthermore software 
* producers would be able to 
distribute games and other 
f software on tape cheaply, 
i The problem is that anyone 
i vll h two cassette recorders and 

i n piece of wire can copy those 
tapes: with some extra equip¬ 
ment and a little ingenuity. 

» thee can defeat all the security 
| devices software firms have so 
I far invented. 

I The scale of computer soft- 
i ware fraud is hard to estimate, t 
. but earlier this year the Guild t 
i of Software Houses estimated { 
they were losing £100m a year 
from the theft of games soft- < 
ware. A university study has < 
shown that 25 per cent of micro- t 
t computer software companies 1 
have suffered serious losses of : 
revenue from software theft. 

Now the industry is striking 
back. Last month a group of 
predominantly games software 
houses including Thorn-EMI 
Computer Software. Software 
Publishing. Mirrosoft and A&F, 
raided private houses in Hull 
seeking evidence of theft and 
piracy. Equipment and tapes 
were carried off in three of the 
four raids; conlempt-of-court 
charges are to be brought in 
the fourth case, where their 
entry was barred. 

The night raids were carried 
out with the full consent of the 
law, the software houses having 
first secured ‘‘Anton Piller” 
orders, a legal device named 
after a West German computer 
equipment manufacturer which 
was given powers in 1975 to 
“search and seize” the premises 
of a company it suspected of 
passing over details of its pro¬ 
ducts to its competitors. 

But why should a group of 
well-known software houses— 
Commodore, Quicksilva, Soft¬ 
ware Projects and Virgin games 
gave financial support to the 
raiders—find it necessary to 
invoke such draconian powers 
against tape-copying operations 
carried out in the living rooms 
of semi-detached houses in Hull 
and why should their executives 
think it worthwhile to conduct 
search-and-seizc raids at night 
in provincial towns? 

Why has the computer indus¬ 
try failed to come up with 



* 4 » \>y' l r. 

• m 

l f —£- 

Software cartridges offer one solution to counterfeiting, 
something more effective to into the home computer before 
outwit the counterfeiters? Has it will allow loading of the 
technology failed the software cassette. The problem, accord- 
games business? ing to Mr Cousins, is the atti- 

Mr Rod Cousins, managing mde of the hardware manufac- 
dircctor of Quicksilva. a games turers: “There is a view in 
company taken over by Argus certain quarters that hardware 
at the beginning of the summer, manufacturers arc not ncces- 
"believes ihe " industry has sarilv aggressively opposed to 
selected the wrong storage software piracy because it gives 
media: ‘‘The reality of the the software support the 
situation with the cassette is machines need.” 
that it’s magnetic media and gut home compuler games 
in spite of security codes or are a ncw field and tcchno- 
any security measures which ) 0 jrj ca | change could overtake 

may be implemented, it is poss- ,| 1e industry's, current proh¬ 
ibit to copy. The Americans )ems ji r Cousins agrees: 
recognised this at a very early .. c omp uters are going to be 
stage and the market was cdu- continua iiv enhanced—now with 
cated in cartridges, which are tha( therc w ui come new 
far more difficult to counterfeit f or mats and, to a certain extent. 

or copy.’ 

Mr Nick Alexander, mana 

the evolutionary process will 
take control. Laser disks, for 

Mr mcis. ..(aKC control. leaser U1HJV.Y, 

ing director of Virgin Games. cxamp i e w ,n give real life 
the computer games arm of Rraphics an(1 are extremely 
Virgin, also believes the choice c | i p Rcu i t if not impossible to 
of cassettes has brought prob- unless you have very 

lems. The same equipment is «. op j,j st i CSIt equipment which 
used for pirating computer millions of pounds." But 

cassettes as for pirating record 1e chnologica1 advances cut both 
albums on audio cassettes and w Virgin’s Nick Alexander 
the recording pirates, already ■ ' H may SO on be easy 
geared up. found the richer ” laser ' disks: lt may 

pickings of the ’ norc . e . x Pf‘ 1S1 '^ SO on be possible to copy on to 
games cassettes irresistible. Mr b)ank , ascr disks at home . The 
Alexander believes that the coming out of Japan is 

“dongle.” the sort of hardware ^ws comm )0 

password used to protect bus.- " 

ness software, is unsuitable for solving it. . . 

cassettes- “The real problem is But Japanese comp c 
that it would cost at least 50p manufacturers may try to wean 
a cassette to manufacture. By the UK off cassetles in the near 
the tfme royalries, profit mar- future anyway. MSX standard 
gins and all the other costs had machines have addition to 
been added it could put an the ordinary cassette facility, 
extra £3 to the retail price of an easy loading cartridge 

a £5 cassette.” ..— -_ , T , 

It is easy enough to design Japanese manufacturers, inej 
a safeguard which responds to arc having to bend to come into 
a specially created feature of line with cassettes and they hate 
the computer. An example is it but they are sympathetic and 
the “credit card.” where the will try to develop media 
user has to insert a plastic card which arc difficult to copy. 

facility. Mr Cousins said of the 

Richness and Depth Characterize New Generation 

By Scott Mace 

r MENLO PARK, California — 
The success of a handful of com¬ 
puter games points the way to the 
future of hign-tech entertainment. 

of Computer Games 

These games run not on the multi¬ 
million-selling game machines of 
the early 1980s but on home com¬ 
puters such as the Commodore 64 
and Sinclair Spectrum, as well as 
on office computers such as the 
IBM Personal Computer. And they 
have a richness and depth hereto¬ 
fore unseen on TV screens. The 
longer a given personal computer is 
^n the market, the more tricks pro¬ 
grammers of games leant to pro¬ 
duce sought-after features such as 
better graphics, play action and un¬ 

, Leading the way is Flight Simu¬ 
lator, developed by Bruce 
Artwick’s Sublogic Corp. of Cham¬ 
paign, Illinois. Mr. Artwick’s pro¬ 
gram holds both the No. 1 and No. 
2 sales positions on Billboard mag¬ 
azine’s Computer Software Top 20 
for entertainment programs: Sub¬ 
logic sells one version of the pro¬ 
gram for Apple, Atari and Commo¬ 
dore computers, and Microsoft 
Corp. of Bellevue, Washington, 
sells versions for the IBM PC and 
PCjr, containing more detailed 
graphics and sophistication than 
Sublogic’s versions. 

! Mr. Artwick said Flight Simula¬ 
tor’s success was due to public in¬ 
terest in flying, although most play¬ 
ers of the game have never taken 

flying lessons. In the game, the 
computer re-creates the cockpit of 
a small airplane, complete with 
banks of instruments comparable 
to the real thing, and a view of real 
airports and landmarks such as the 
Empire State Building. The game is 
a “real-time” simulation of a flight 
across the United States, with pos¬ 
sible landings at hundreds of air¬ 
ports. The player has to pay atten¬ 
tion to the controls at all times, or 
risk crashing the plane. 

sales. The Julius Erving and Larry 
Bird Go One-on-One game lets 
players act out the fantasy of being 
a pro basketball superstar, accord¬ 
ing to Trip Hawkins, president of 
Electronic Arts of San Mateo, Cali¬ 
fornia, which produces the game 
for Apple, Atari and Commodore 
64 computers. IBM PC and PCjr 
versions of the game are soon to be 

One-on-One is not the first hit 
sports computer game. Commo¬ 
dore s International Football game 
(known in the United States as In¬ 
ternational Soccer) has sold well in 
the last 12 months. But Electronic 
Arts has added a new touch of 
realism to One-on-One. “By limit¬ 
ing the number of characters on the 
screen to two, we could really amp 
up the quality of the animation,” 
Mr. Hawkins said. The company 
also tried to program the simulated 
players with the talents of the real 
basketball stars involved. 

Another popular sports game in 
the United States is Summer 
Games, from Epyx of Sunnyvale,. 
California. As computer games ma¬ 
ture, their themes have become 
more important, and the theme of 
multiple sports in one package was 
a natural for the Olympics year. 
Like Flight Simulator, Summer 
Games has several imitators, and 
the Epyx game is itself inspired by 
a coin-operated game from Japan 
called Track and Field. 

Prices of the'top-selling comput¬ 
er games remain relatively high. 
One-on-One costs $40 in most 
stores, and Flight Simulator usual¬ 
ly goes for $50. Prices are not so 
high in Britain, according to 
Deirdre Boyd, editor of TV Gamer 
magazine in London. “Games that 

Mr. Artwick said some people 
who bought the game later took 
flying lessons and got pilots’ li¬ 
censes. For them, and for experi¬ 
enced pilots brushing up on their 
skills, Flight Simulator is as much a 
training tool as it is a game. 

. The new games also have longer 
play value than earlier games. Mr. 
Artwick said players of Flight Sim¬ 
ulator could start by doing simple 
flying stunts, then progress to hard¬ 
er tasks and even a simulated aerial 
dogfight. Getting tired of the game 
“could take a period of a few 
months, if you were playing contin¬ 
uously,” Mr. Artwick said. 

Although the best-selling com¬ 
puter games cut across most demo¬ 
graphic barriers. Flight Simulator 
is particularly popular with adults, 
especially those who had not previ¬ 
ously been interested in computer 

Another leading game appeals 
more to the youth market that tra- 

sell in America for about £30 sell 
here for about £10,” she said. 

In Britain, a sports game is the 

top seller at Virgin Games, a large 
chain of stores selling computer 
software. Match Point, produced 
by Sinclair for its Spectrum com¬ 
puter, is a simulation of a tennis 
match at Wimbledon. 

Some British games rely on sheer 
value for money. Virgin’s No. 2 
seller, Lords of Midnight for the 
Spectrum, reportedly has 32,000 

images, all the more amazing since 
games sell for £10 or less. 

Computer game prices may soon 
fall in both countries. Atari, now 
owned by Commodore’s founder, 

! Jack Tramiel, is expected to drop 
prices for Christmas to clear its 
jgame inventories, and other soft¬ 
ware companies may follow suit to 
stay competitive. 

ditionally has driven video game 


RELAX ($100, Synapse Software) is a complete stress reduction 
system produced by a team of clinical psychologists working with 
programmers. The Atari version runs on the the 400, 800 and XL com¬ 
puters. The back of the disk runs on the Commodore 64. Other ver¬ 
sions are available for Apple IBM PC and PCjr. 

The Relax package includes biofeedback hardware, a program disk 
and cassette, an audio cassette, an instruction manual, and a 

The Relax hardware consists of a headband with sensors to pick up 
muscle tension levels and an electromyograph unit which plugs into a 
joystick port on the Atari and sends the muscle tension information 
from the headband sensors to the Relax software running in the com¬ 

There are three options included in the Relax software which pro¬ 
duce 3 different displays on the screen: a Relax Graph; a Sensoral 
Kaleidoscope; and a Balloon Game. 

The Relax Graph provides a continuous trace on a 500 point scale 
of your relative muscle tension level as you sit quietly wearing the 
headband. With practice, the information on the graph should help 
you learn to relax more deeply and more easily. 

The Sensoral Kaleidoscope is a colorful and rather hypnotic, con¬ 
stantly changing kaleidoscope display. The color and pattern changes 
follow the fluctuations in your tension level to provide a different kind 
of biofeedback information. 

The Balloon Game is played using only your muscle tension level 
sent to the computer through the headband and electromyograph unit. 
You catch bubbles and avoid pins by controlling your tension level to 
move your balloon up and down on the display. As you learn to control 
tension better using the graph and kaleidoscope, you become more 
successful at the balloon game. 

The audio cassette contains an explanation and a guided relaxation 
exercise to help you get started learning to reduce stress using Relax. 

An important part of the Relax system is the very good 200 page 
workbook, which discusses many aspects of stress reduction. The 
book explains stress and how biofeedback works to reduce stress. It 
describes several methods of developing relaxation skills including 
progressive relaxation, deep breathing, autogenic training, meditation, 
and self hypnosis. There are sections on the importance of physical 
exercise, nutrition, and sleep in reducing stress and on more effective 
communication and management of time, thought, and job stress. 
Throughout the book there are instructions and exercises for using 
the various techniques, and there is a large and varied bibliography on 
the physical, psychological, and social aspects of stress and relaxa¬ 

As a new tool for use with home computers, Relax is very in¬ 
teresting and unusually well done. The only improvement I can think 
of is to add meaningful sound biofeedback. There is sound with the 
Sensoral Kaleidoscope and the Balloon Game, but it doesn't seem to 
be meaningful. I find it difficult to relax deeply while watching a graph 
on the screen. The hypnotic kaleidoscope is easier in that regard, but 
for me the Relax biofeedback would be more useful in learning to 
relax if I co-. • close my eyes and listen to the biofeedback informa¬ 
tion. Visual- on is a very effective technique for relaxation (the 
audio cassette asks you to visualize relaxing scenes), but it is difficult 
to visualize one scene while watching another on the screen 
Relax does provide two different kinds of biofeedback (the Graph 
and the Kaleidoscope) and many other relaxation methods in the 
workbook, so you can choose the method(s) most effective for you. 
Even if you choose one of the methods in the book for learning, you 
can use the biofeedback to check your progress and to make learning 
to relax more fun. 

Relax is a training program for people under stress who wish to 
learn how to relax deeply and reduce stress. To use it effectively, 
most people will require regular practice and perseverance until they 
can relax at will without the aid of Relax and their general level of 
stress is reduced. For the self-motivated person who needs a little 
help getting started in and monitoring progress — or who is in¬ 
terested in biofeedback and computers — Relax is an excellent tool. 


customer who walks through the 
■door,” said John Walker, owner of 
a computer program store in Wash¬ 
ington. “Besides, they know they 
can come to me with problems.” 

Bill Engleman, manager of the 
Software Shoppe in New York, be-* 
lieves that consumers are still wed¬ 
ded to old buying habits. “They 
want to pay for something and 
walk out with it,” he said. “They 
want to see it and hold it. Until that 
changes t— and I guess one day it 
will —most software makers won’t 
see a market for electronically dis¬ 
tributed software.” 

JVC set to 
for home use 

By Alan Cane p(“ 

THE first examples of a new 
and spectacular kind of com¬ 

puter software for the home 
user will be launched next 
month in Japan. Victor Com¬ 
pany of Japan (JVC) will be 
the first to release “ inter¬ 
active videodiscs ” for domes¬ 
tic consumption; its initial 
titles will include a motor¬ 
cycle racing game and a 
simulation of high school 
chemistry experiments. 

The disc could provide a great 
lift to makers of home compu- 
ters. ... 

Silver platters pitted with 
minute holes which are. read 
by an electrode sliding over 
the surface are played 
on a videodisc player but 
incorporate software to inter¬ 
act with any personal 
computer. As a result, the 
sequence of images on 
television screen is modi¬ 
fied and controlled by a home 

home video games. | 

A motorcycle race game, ior 
example, would incorporate 
scenes from a real race. Com¬ 
puter control enables it to 
shift rapidly from one piece 
of film to another, making 
possible simulated steering 
around obstacles, taking of 
bends or crashes. 

Such games are having greater 
appeal than conventional 
video games, where ths 

images have ^een drawn, with >j 
varying degrees of simulation, 
by the computer itself. Sound 
effects would be similarly 
recorded from real events, 
rather than computer- 

Experts believe that JVC’s 
interactive videodiscs will 
increase sales of its videodisc 
players (not available to 
domestic users in the UK). 
They also believe they could 
revolutionise the home com¬ 
puter market, now facing an 
uncertain future. 

Mr Donald Tombs, a director of 
Videodisc Technology, a UK 
company specialising in inter¬ 
active video, called the JVC 
announcement very signifi¬ 
cant. Interactive video had 
been used extensively in 
industry for education and 
training, but the domestic 
market had been neglected; 
“JVC is trying to sell its 
videodisc players as periph¬ 
eral to the home computer.” 

The discs will be available only 
in Japan initially, at Y9.800 

Personal computer manufac¬ 
turers have looked to the 
development of cheap inter¬ 
active videodisc systems to 
expand the personal computer 
market. There are signs that | 
the public is tiring of con- 1 
ventional games and the 

limited uses of home com¬ 

• John Wiley, a British pub¬ 
lisher, is to launch an inter¬ 
active videodisc for schools 
and the home next year. It 
will be a joint venture with 
Futurcmedia, an interactive 
video production company. 
Financial support is being 
provided by the Department 
of Trade and Industry. 

The disc, The Science Labor¬ 
atory Videodisc, will be 
played on a Philips Laser- 
vision system controlled by 
a BBC B microcomputer, and 
will allow viewers to conduct 
experiments through a com¬ 
puter keyboard . 


!Atari’s Woes Hurt Small U.S. Companies 

t. By Michael W. Miller 

[ S/tccial In Tiik Ahian Wai.i. Stkkkt Jouhnai. 

• SAN FRANCISCO — Robert Clardy re- 
’ members feeling ecstatic when his small 
. Seattle-area software company landed a 

• nearly $1 million contract last November 

from Warner Communications’ Atari Inc. 


But that was before Warner’s sudden sale 
' of the unit in July to Jack Tramiei, the man 
. who built Commodore International Ltd. into 
; a home-computer giant with the motto "Busi- 
; ness is War.” Three months later, Mr. Clardy 
1 says, Mr. Tramiel’s new management has 

• refused to honor the contract. Without the 
j money, he says his company, Synergistic 
j Software Inc., ts on the brink of collapse. 

• For the hundreds of companies that sold 
;goods and services to Atari, the last three 

months have been turbulent and uncertain. 
[Some have had their contracts abruptly cut 
•short,.others have been offered new deals at 
'sharply reduced terms, and many have 
/[ simply heard nothing at all about their stand- 
| ing with Mr. Tramiei. 

| At least four creditors have sued Atari to 

• recover their claims. Another three dozen re¬ 
tried overdue debts to a creditor who con¬ 
ducted an informal survey in August. 

‘ The Atari creditors' stories provide a rare 
[look at the problems and tactics of Mr. Tra- 

• miel’s company at a critical juncture in its 
[new life. Mr. Tramiel's freshly installed 

• management team has promised to overhaul 
■ Atari’s product line, introducing new pro¬ 
ducts next year that could go head to head 
with International Business Machines 
'Corp.’s Personal Computer and Apple Com¬ 
puter Inc.’s Macintosh. 

[ That audacious plan alone would tax any 
[fledgling venture’s resources. But Atari 
apparently has been further strained by a 

cash squeeze, in large part because of Mr. 
Tramiei’s reported troubles in collecting the 
$300 million in receivables he had acquired 
from Warner. 

Moreover, many of the contracts Mr. Tra- 
miel inherited from Warner appear to clash 
with his celebrated zeal for cost-cutting and 
bringing manufacturing in house. Under 
Warner, says a former Atari executive, “the 
environment was not totally unlike ‘Let’s 
Make a Deal.’” Against this setting. Atari’s 
old suppliers are staking their contractual 
claims, which Mr. Tramiei acquired in the 
deal with Warner. 

In an interview, Sam Tramiei, Atari’s 
new president and son of Jack, says Atari 
was "a disaster” when Warner sold it. “We 
have streamlined all over the world,” he 
says, and Atari has made "major strategic 
changes in purchasing." Atari's general 
counsel, Leonard Schreiber, says the credi¬ 
tor negotiations have been a routine part of 
the company’s transition. "Except for mat- 
lei's in litigation, all claims have been or are 
being settled, and where it's in litigation, it’s 
for a damn good reason,” he says. 

Synergistic's Mr. Clardy says the situa¬ 
tion isn't that simple. When Mr. Tramiei 
bought Atari, he says, $300,000 remained on 
the contract, and the company owed him ab¬ 
out $210,000 for work done converting popular 
Atari arcade games like Jungle Hunt and 
Pole Position into software packages for 
hpme computers. 

In the days following the takeover, Mr. 
Clardy says, he phoned Atari about 30 times, 
wrote the company a dozen letters and f inal- 

pleted. Mr. Clardy, who says he already owes 
subcontractors $140,000 for work on the Atari 
order, turned down the offer and suggested a 
compromise settlement of $170,000. 

But a few weeks later, when Atari mailed 
him its next offer of $70,000, Mr. Clardy says 
he gave up negotiating and told his lawyer to 
prepare a lawsuit. Now, he says, he hopes he 
can resolve the claim before his creditors 
force him into bankruptcy. 

Atari's Mr. Schreiber says he isn't famil¬ 
iar with Synergistic’s case but says, "If a 
man has a $500,000 claim and is offering to 
take $170,000, it doesn’t sound like he has a 
legitimate claim. I wouldn’t give up half a 
million to anybody." 

Other litigants tell similar stories. At the 
time of the takeover. Atari owed Synapse 
Software Corp., of Richmond, California, 
more than $1 million for an order that in¬ 
cluded programs Atari has featured in televi¬ 
sion advertisements this summer, says 
Synapse’s president, Ken Grant. 

In mid-July, Mr. Grant says. Atari offi¬ 
cials, including Sam Tramiei, told him flatly 
they didn't plan to pay him. “Sam told me he 
thought the goods were overpriced. He also 
told me he thought the contract wasn't worth 
the paper it was written on," says Mr. Grant. 
Synapse sued Atari for $17 million in com¬ 
pensation and punitive damages. Mr. Schrei¬ 
ber won't discuss the case. 

Doyle Dane Bernbach, the New York 
advertising agency that was dropped by 
Atari's new management, had one of the 
largest of the outstanding debts Mr. Tramiei 
inherited — reportedly about $12 million. 

“They ducked us for a while,” says an 
agency executive. But soon, he says, the 

ly secured an appointment with mid-level 
Atari officials. He says the officials offered 
to settle for $92,000; $70,000 to finish a small company threatened legal action. In early 
portion of the contracted order and $22,000 September, Atari finally offered to settle its 
for the work Synergistic had already com- accounts by making monthly payments. 

By Larry Kahaner 

WASHINGTON — Despite the 
shakeout in the software industry, 
thousands of computer programs 
are still fighting for space on retail- 
' ers’ shelves. And the battles will 
continue despite new ways to dis¬ 
tribute software that could make 

. - {arge inventories unecessary. 

• • Electronic distribution of com¬ 
puter programs is technically possi¬ 
ble now, but its growth is being 
thwarted by consumer resistance 
and by retailers who feel threat¬ 
ened by a system that could eventu- 

i ally bypass them. 

_ In one method, a customer de¬ 
rides which programs he wants, 
and the store clerk inserts a blank 
' disk or cartridge into a machine. 
He calls a main distribution num¬ 
ber and the program is sent over 
the telephone line and loaded onto 
the disk or cartridge. The customer 

• can return the disk or cartridge and 
have it reloaded when an updated 
version of the program becomes 

The possible problem of unau¬ 
thorized use of a program is often 
handled by encrypted software that 
can be unscrambled only by so¬ 
phisticated decoders installed be¬ 
tween the phone line and the com¬ 

Taking the next logical step, 
some systems send programs di¬ 
rectly to customers. The main ad¬ 
vantage of direct-to-user software 
transmission is that potential cus¬ 
tomers can test a short version of a 
program at home before buying it. 
If they like the program, they can 
buy the whole thing. Such trial pro¬ 
grams can only be used once, then 
are designed to disappear. 

Only a few companies, perhaps 
half a dozen or so, have tried one or 
the other system; even fewer have 
survived. Distributors did not 

jLivsisung juiEciromc uistntmtion 
of Computer Software Programs 

count on the marketing fallout of 
such unconventional delivery sys¬ 
tems. For one thing, all programs 
receive equal treatment in .the po¬ 
tential buyer’s eye — because they 
are chosen for a computer screen— 
and that does not sit well with large 
software houses that have fought 
I for and won prime shelf space. 

: These companies balk at signing 
electronic distribution agreements 
that would strengthen competition. 

Further, the software-buying 
public has become used to seeing 
bright, colorful boxes and displays 
in retail stores, and the software 
makers are learning how to sell 
their wares like other consumer 
products. Those who have been 
successful at packaging and pro¬ 
motion do not want to give an edge 
to a slower-running competitor. 

In addition, if a software pub¬ 
lisher chooses direct-to-user distri¬ 
bution, he faces retaliation against 

his products by retailers who see 
the plan as taking away their busi¬ 

The crucial drawback, however, 
is the problem of supplying docu¬ 
mentation. Most computer pro¬ 
grams require lengthy manuals in 
order to be useful. The only way to 
distribute these directly along with 
the program is to use a printer, a 
rather time-consuming and expen¬ 
sive proposition. To overcome that 
hurdle, PC Telemart, a company in 
McLean, Virginia, plans to deliver 
documentation using overnight 
package delivery services. The 
company retains retailers in the 
selling sequence and splits profits 
with them. So far, however, PC 
Telemart’s system of terminal ki¬ 
osks in retail stores has been a flop. 

mainly because consumers contin¬ 
ue to choose colorful packaging 
over a computer display. 

Still, there is optimism that elec- 

*-- -J* —— „^u n ■ 

tually succeed. “Electronic distri- 
j bu u°n will happen; it’s just too 
, early said Gary Arlen, president 
oi Arlen Communications Inc a 
consultancy firm in Bethesda, 
Maryland. “There’s no clear defini¬ 
tion yet as to what will make it 

For the most part, forays into 
electronic distribution have fo- 
cused on sending games to home 
computers. Because people get 
tired of playing the same games, 
especially after they have mastered 
one, frequent over-the-phone dis¬ 
tribution makes sense. 

Control Video Corp. of Vienna, 
Virginia, hopes to capitalize on the 
more than 12 million Atari home 
computer owners by offering them 
a flurry of games retrievable over 
phone lines. A Control Video Ga- 
mehne customer buys a master 
module for $59.95. It contains a 
modem, two memory devices and 
an automatic telephone dialer. For 

a one-time fee of $15, the sub¬ 
scriber receives a master file of vid¬ 
eo game instruction and a year’s 
subscription to a magazine con¬ 
taining a list of games available and 
instructions for games introduced 
each month. Multiple game ses¬ 
sions cost about $1, or 10 to 15 
cents a play. 

William von Meister, president 
of Control Video, sees the games as 
a foot in the door of home delivery 
for all types of computer software. 
“What we learn distributing games 
will help us to distribute other 
forms of software,” he said. 

Distnbution is not limited to 
phone lines. Atari and Activision 
Inc. plan a joint venture to transmit 
video games to households using 
radio subcarriers, the unused por¬ 
tion of a radio channel now em¬ 
ployed by background music ser¬ 
vices such as Muzak. 

The service, planned to begin lat¬ 
er this year, will broadcast games to 
owners of the Atari 2600 player. It 
is hoped that the system will be 
expanded to distribution of other 
computer software, especially edu¬ 
cational programs. 

Another venture, the Games 
Network in Los Angeles, recently 
completed testing of software 
transmission over cable TV sys¬ 
tems. For about $16 a month, sub¬ 
scribers in Orange County, Califor¬ 
nia, are offered a selection of 20 
games, with at least five new ones 
each month. 

The success of remote distribu¬ 
tion of computer programs hinges 
on marketing and price, rather than 
technology. Play Cable, a joint ven¬ 
ture of Mattel Inc. and General 
Instrument Corp. formed in 1980, 
recently closed shop mainly be¬ 
cause of the glut of video games 
and the public’s unexpected drop 
of interest in playing games. The 
Games Network and others hope to 
revive that interest with a frequent, 
fresh supply of challenging games 
at low prices. 

Right now, software retailers are 
safe from competition from direct- 
to-user electronic distribution. 
They dismiss the greatest plus of 
electronic distribution — a chance 
to test-run a program under actual 
conditions before buying it — as 
not critical. “I can give a test to any 

Atari sets high sales target for Europe j 

BY ROBERT KING IN TAIPEI ^ jf-j %£{ <■ | 

ATARI TAIWAN Corporation is industry. For instance IBM’s of Commodore last January several of .whom have not been 
tooling up for an. assault on basic persona! computer sells after which he divested him- ■ paid by the new management, 
computer markets in the U.S. for somewhat more than S2.000 self of most of his interests in Mr Jack Tramiel is also re- f 

[ an( l Europe in the wake of a while Apple’s 32 bit Macintosh the company. This enabled him ported to have asked Warner 
$240m (£200m) takeover of the falls into the same range. to take over Atari from Warner Communications- for financial 

company’s assets by Mr Jack Production levels at the Communications. assistance, although neither 

Tramiel, who founded Com- Taiwan plant are a far cry The company plans to sell party will confirm this. { 

modore Corporation of the U.S. from earlier this year when through such mass • merchan- Although Mr Tramiel has 

Mr Sam Tramiel, the chair- demand for video games abroad disers as K-Mart and Sears in promised to introduce a new 
man’s son and president of slumped and left Atari with the U.S., and Quelle, Dixons computer in January, experts 
Atari Corporation, said in an mounting inventories and soar- and Boots in Europe. say that it would take Atari at 

interview yesterday that the ing losses. Estimates place Louise Kehoe in San Fran- least a year t0 develop a new 
company has set a production Atari’s losses over the past 18 c j sc0 a( nis; Mr Tramiel’s ambi- 32 bit computer. | 

target for 1985 of between 3m months at close to 81 bn. tious new products plan have In an effort to speed the pro- 

and 5m computers at various Mr Tramiel said he has. met with widespread scepticism cess, Mr Tramiel has 

production sites in Asia and tripled production of the home in the U.S. personal computer approached at least two per- i 

Ireland. computer and quadrupled that industry. sonal computer companies with j 

Atari’s Taiwan facility is turn- of the VCS game since taking Atari is said to be having proposals to acquire rights to 
ing out “ hundreds of over the company in July. serious difficulties in collecting tbe ‘ r products. So far, how- 

thousands” of its VCS video He has also cut the games $300m in receivables that it in- ever . he has been turned down, 

game and its 800XL home com- price by half to $40 and herited from the Warner Com- Another major factor in Mr 

puter, but Mr Tramiel said he dropped the price of the com- munications subsidiary. Tramiel's plans to reverse the l 

plans to introduce a non-IBM puter from $279 to $179. The According to industry officials fortunes of Atari is the uncer- t 

compatible 16 bit machine in latter move is almost certainly several of Atari’s largest tain outlook for the entire U.S. | 

January, followed by a 32 bit designed to attack head on accounts are disputing their home computer industry. f 

version for professional users in sales of the popular Commo- bills, and Atari now appears “The market is very, very | 

. dore 64 machine. Mr Tramiel unlikely to tie able to collect tough,” said Mr Ralph Gilman 
The machine will retail described Commodore, which more than allout 5 per cent of an analyst at InfoCorp of San 

between $100 and $1,000, Mr his father founded and which the funds it had expected from Jose, California. “I would not 

Tramiel said. These levels also manufactures offshore, as computer retailers in the U.S. be surprised to see Tramiel , v 

could trigger yet another price Atari’s major competitor. Fueling the reports are the walk away from Atari and shut ! 

war in the small computer Mr Tramiel resigned as head problems of Atari’s suppliers, the door.” I 


Better software by numbers 

BY ALAN CANE ^ - </ > f" — 

TO SOBER data processing pro¬ 
fessionals, Larry Putnam must 
come over as the reincarnation 
of a quack doctor from a travel¬ 
ling medicine show. 

Not personally, mind, for he 
is a model of quiet integrity but 
what he is promising must seem 
to them about a credible as the 
claims the hucksters made for 
their large' bottles of patent 

Indeed, if it were not for 
commendations from a number 
of prestigious organisations 
including the UK Ministry of 
Defence and Marconi Radar 
Systems, many people would 
find it hard to take Mr Putnam's 
claims seriously. 

He is used to the incredulity; 
now he has the data to back up 
his theories. 


gj definition 


| The Software Life Cycle] 








Mr Putnam is a software 
engineer, a specialist in ways 
of creating better software 
more productively. What he is 
offering is something most soft¬ 
ware people believp is im¬ 
possible: a way nf measuring 
and predicting software produc¬ 
tivity. A way. in fact, of putting 
sensible engineering numbers 
to a process which is still 
regarded as a black art. His 
software tool, SLIM, is used to 
predict the cost of software 
projects and their likely 
delivery dates. 

The. stuff . of dreams, the 
experts might say. aware of 
research results showing that in 
the UK two-thirds of all soft¬ 
ware projects over run their 
budget and more than half take 
longer to complete than 

The problem was placed in 
stark relief by Dr John Taylor, 
a Ministry of Defence scientist 
at a conference, earlier this ye 3 r. 

He argued that within a 
decade the amount of software 
deployed in battle systems 

would rise between 1,000 and 
10.000 times: “The value and 
cost of ownership of this soft¬ 
ware and database will go up by 
very much more, particularly as 
the people involved in produc¬ 
ing and maintaining all this get 
more scarce and expensive.” 

That is why software en¬ 
gineering has been identified as 
one of the key “ enabling ” tech¬ 
nologies and why companies are 
setting up special software 
engineering units to. tackle the 
problem of the martagement of 
software production. 

Software engineering tools 
are of many kinds, from simple 
screen editors to elaborate com¬ 
puter based management 

Mr Putnam’s method origi¬ 
nated in observations he made 
back in 1974 while an advisor 
on software budgets to the 
Department of Defence in the 

He noted that people could 
simply not put numbers to soft¬ 
ware development. Without 
numbers, it was impossible for 

management effectively to 
manage software projects. 

First by rule of thumb, then 
by careful analysis of hundreds 
of real software projects, Mr 
Putnam developed a set of 
equations to describe any kind 
of software development. The 
key was the similarity between 
the staffing profile common to 
all software projects and pro¬ 
files developed by Peter Norden 
of IBM for teams of engineers 
developing hardware. 

Mr Putnam’s equations apply 
to projects where teams of three 
or more people are involved 
m developments which last at 
least six months. Now he has 
packaged the whole system so it 
can be run on a personal com¬ 

The analysis gives engineer¬ 
ing explanations of some 
phenomena in software develop¬ 
ment that have been known 
empirically for a long time. For 
example, Mr Putnam’s equations 
can be used to explain why 
adding more people to a soft¬ 
ware team on a project which 
is already over time does not 

speed up completion but in fact 
slows it down. 

And it explains why it is 
disastrous to attempt to com¬ 
plete a piece of software in less 
than a specific time. 

Mr Putnam’s acronym SLIM 
stands for Software Life Cycle 
Management model and it is 
now used extensively by the 
U.S. Defence Department. 
According to Mr Jim Green of 
the UK consultancy PACTEL 
which is sponsoring SLIM in 
this country: “ The reasons 
given by the DoD for adopting 
SLIM relate to its need to 
equip procurement staff with 
effective management decision 
aids ... it states that its chief 
reason Is the ability to save 
large amounts of money that 
SLIM provides.” 

Mr Putnam promises large 
savings in time and monev. 
According to Mr Frank Zacherl, 
vice president responsible for 
information systems at GTE 
Data Services of Tampa, 
Florida, nothing in software 
development is done without 
using SLIM. 

News and Reviews 

by Mike Dunn, Co-Editor 

Allen Macroware (P08 2205, Redondo Beach, CA 90278) makers of 
two programs I use all the time — PrintWIz and CiskWIz ll[, has 
announced a major upgrade to PrintWIz allowing dumping of LOGO 
screens as well as many new features. The upgrade is J5 if you send 
your old disk in, $10 for a backup disk or $30 new if vou are not a 
present owner — a highly recommended product. They have also sent 
us their latest product The XL Boss, although not in time for a full 
review — see next issue for a complete review, but this fantastic new 
product turns your 800XL or 1200XL into a super machine. The new, 
easily installed ROM replaces the OS to allow loading and running of 
most all of the older Atari programs without having to use a translator 
disk. You can also add more RAM for your programs, put the OS into 
RAM so you can easily modify it, and piggy back the ROM so as to 
use the new OS. This new OS will also allow a number of utilities to 
be loaded into the “hidden” 4K — the first such optional program is 
the MacroMon XL, a monitor program with many features such as 
allowing you to display memory, jump to memory, split screen to view 
two parts of memory tor comparison, dec to hex conversion, read and 
write sectors, etc. The 800XL boss is $80 while the 1200XL model is 
$10 more. Read all about it in the next issue. 

ATARI directions: Rumors still abound over the direction Atari will 
take under Tramiel. So far, all he seems to have done is to file a bunch 
of lawsuits. Some industry sources speculate that Tramiel's greatest 
interest in Atari was its license to use the chip set designed by 
Amiga. Tramiel's wild claims to build 16-bit and 32-bit machines, or 
about intentions to compete with IBM, Apple or Commodore (at 
different times to different audiences) seem to be indications of 
desperation, or attempts to create investor Interest for new financing. 

No one at Atari agreed to speak with me on the record. But a source 
from inside Atari did tell me of increasing stocks of 800 XL and 1050 
disk drives. I was also told that when Tramiel took over Atari, there 
were 500,000 800 XLs in stock (some unassembled); 1 million 1050 
disk drives; and 500,000 1010 program recorders. I have no figures on 
current inventories. But if stocks of consoles and drives are 
increasing, it portends a scrappy Christmas marketing season. Tell 
your friends to look for good prices. I checked with several Pacific 
Stereo stores. I found one in San Mateo, California which was selling 
800 XLs over Labor Day for $1481 

— Jim Bumoas, Co-Editor 

*£ Cd'K t 

Act (XfrStf. 


I was recently privileged to talk with Brian Lee of Synapse Software. 
Two years ago, he was hired away from The Gap clothing stores 
where he had developed operational and accounting systems based 
on an Atari system. We have all noticed some dramatic changes in the 
software marketplace, and Synapse’seems to be adapting well to 
these changes. 

JB: Synapse has a reputation as a primo game company, although 
you’ve had good applications like SynAssembler and Filemanager +. 
One of the most' exciting developments has been the SynAps 
packages. What part have you had in this development? 

BU I joined Synapse specifically to expand the product line into 
these areas. My background is finance. 

JB: Sounds like we have you to credit for the SynAps series. 

BL: I basically established the division, specked out the products, 
helped code a couple of them, wrote two of the manuals, did most of 
the packaging and coordinating for the programs. 

JB: How has this marketing arrangement worked with Atari? 

BL' We developed the programs and entered Into a distribution 
agreement with Atari. We retained ownership of the product. 

JB: I imagine the upheavals at Atari have made this agreement less 
valuable than it looked at first. 

8L: That is correct. There have been a number of problems with the 
agreement. At this point the .agreement has been cancelled by 
Synapse. The products formerly available from Atari under this 
agreement are now available directly from Synapse. We have also 
changed the pricing structure. They are now available at a suggested 
retail of $69.95 each for SynFile. SynCalc and SynTrend, and $ 39,95 
for SynComm, SynChron and SynStock. 

JB: Are there other packages in this series which are slated? 

BL: Beyond these six right now, no. 

JB: We heard reference to something called SynText, a word 

BL: SynText was in the original design specs. When we signed the 
agreement with Atari, part of the agreement required noncompetition 
with AtariWriter, or any other Atari applications program, preventing 
us from doing a word processor. 

JB: Are there plans to expand this product line in the Immediate 

BL: In the immediate future I do not have any applications products 
which will appear before Christmas. I still have product specs, but 
their appearance is more distant 
JB: What other directions in software is Synapse taking now? 

BL' We are involved in a number of hardware developments (the 
Relax package is an example of this). But we are branching into 
another entertainment area called "electronic novels". They are 
interactive text adventure games. They have a different dimension to 
them. These are coded in C and will be available on a number of 
systems in addition to Atari. We've put in some artificial intelligence 
and real time features. The major difference from current adventure 
games is the presence of independent characters wno act entirely 
independent from the player's actions throughout the scenario. They 
pick up objects, move them around from place to place. You can 
command certain other characters, pose hypothetical questions, 
query them about events occurmg anyplace within the scenario. They 
each have a certain intelligence level and personality which determine 
what type of response they give you. If you don't respond within a 
certain period of time, events will continue to happen. 

JB: What about Synapse s view of changes in the software market 
in general? 

. BL The whole industry is in a state of flux right now. We've seen an 
erosion in the distribution network. We find ourselves offering more 
product directly to the user. Many distributors are cutting back on 
their handling of game software, and many others have gone 

JB: What does this indicate about the market for games? 

BL' There’s no question the market for games has declined. 
Particularly for arcade-type games. This was one reason for our move 
about a year ago into adventure games and fantasy role playing 
games, in anticipation of this change. We have not released a aame in 
a long time, and that's going to cnange in the next couple of weeks. 

JB: Seems like there’s a lot more scope for variety in the adventure 
and fantasy role playing games you're describing rather than the 
arcade games. 

BL Arcade games fail into some half dozen categories, and once 
you have a game of each type, you’ve covered the gamut. The 
adventure games we're developing we're calling electronic novels. 
The system we use is an adventure game generation language coded 
in C. We can hire professional writers to create the games. They don't 
have to know anything about programming. This will add a new level 
of quality to the writing in these games. In addition to that, we're 
doing some long term work for other manufacturers, I8M is one. “ 
JB: Obviously in applications areas. 

BL Actually we're doing some games for them. We've already done 
Shamus on the IBM. We re doing Alley Cat also. Alley Cat will be 
coming out soon. 

JB: What about third-party software support for Atari users in the 

BL Third party companies will, as a general rule, do that which 
makes economic sense. 

JB: There's a big Atari market out there. What do you think makes 
economic sense? How long is that market, in your view going to be 

BL It will be viable so long as the hardware continues to be sold 
There are an awful lot of TIs out there, but there is not a market for 
software for the TI99. That would certainly hold true lor the game 
market. In the case of applications software, It is still true, but there 
might be some differences. We will continue with Atari products as 
long as Atari hardware continues to be sold. If new machines are 
released, it is likely we will support them. 

JB: There is interest in the Atari community about the Amiga 

BL That interest is certainly justifiable. Amiga is now wholly owned 
by Commodore. The release date has been postponed until 1985. The 
Tramiel lawsuits may cause further delays. 

JB: Do you mean the trade secrets injunction? 

BL No, the trade secrets injunction was against the Amiga 
engineers. He's filed a $100 million lawsuit against Amiga for fraud 
and punitive damages. He's alleging Amiga signed an agreement 
promising to provide the Amiga chips for Atari use in some future 
product. Atari had provided $500,000 and was going to come in as a 
major Investor. For an undercapitalized company that's attractive. He 
alleges Amiga returned the half million dollar check and said the 
chips don't work. It’s a 3-chip set which then combine with the 68000. 

There are no significant technical problems with the chips. In fact, 
their first cut in the silicon worked on the first try. To coordinate 3 
chine, all of which have the same real estate size as the 68000, and get 
them to talk to each other, to work the first time, is amazing. They had 
some minor problems, but were able to get around them with 
software. This indicates the lack of severity of the problem. 

The machine Is easily the most amazing piece of hardware to 
appear In the last three years. It's very much like an Atari: in its 
general architecture, concept — they really did their homework. It's a 
very open architecture, with an incredible number of open DMA 
channels. Everything works in parallel. The graphics and sound 
processing are handled on a DMA basis. It's a very well designed 

JB: Thankyou, Brian Lee, for taking the time for this interview. 

— Jim Bumpas. 


STARPAD (vendor and price unknown) stands tor Space Time 
Adventure Recorder with Perspective in All Dimensions. As a member 
of A.C.E., I just have to tell you about this one. The program can be 
found advertized in the back of most magazines. It is a CAD (computer 
aided design) program. 

and foremost thing l want to say about this program is 

How did they get it to do that?" The program allows you to draw in 
2-D and 3-D! Then the object may be rotated fast or slow with joystick 
or keyboard to any desired angle. The object may be made to appear 
smaller or larger, simulating 3-0 movement away or towards you! This 
facet of the program is truly extraordinarily fascinating. 

The image you draw is kept in an IDF (Image Data File) which you 
can call upon whenever you wish to store on disk for later editing, etc. 
The program is "A calculating powerhouse, an image drafting’ and 
recording instrument." The amount of mathematics involved in the 
rotation of an object is mind boggling, especially the 3-D image. The 
program calculates all the coordinates used for the rotation at 
lightning speed. So the rotation is almost silky smooth, view to view 
to view. In essence, the program is a CAD system. To draw there is 
even a grid system for you to use so all the images will draw easier. 
This grid does not become part of your drawing. 

If you thought drawing in 3-D was difficult, well give this one a try. It 
ends up being a piece of cake! The program is menu driven 
throughout and easy to follow. 

My highest praises go to the designer of this program. My 
suggestion is if you like graphics this js a good program and worth • 
every penny. It also allows you to draw in other colors. 

— Stephen E. Warn 
East Helena, MT 



I have been asked several times, by different people to write an 
article about how a computer has helped me. Being handicapped 
quite a few things aren't quite as easy for me as they are for others 
Several years ago, I decided I wanted a computer, so I started some 
market research into what (at the time) was a rapidly growing 
appliance industry. The choices I had then were fewer than they are 
today. Bear in mind, we are talking of two and a half years ago. There 
was the Apple, TRS-60, Tl, and (of course) the Atari. 

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis, there were several things to keep In 
mind other than just looks and price. An uncomfortable position of the 
hands when using the keyboard creates stress in the muscles around 
9 weakened joint making typing on a computer as bad as typing on a 
some,hin 9 1 wanted to get away from. Effort needed to use 
tne keys is also important, since alter typing for awhile, even a little 
. axtra pressure against the joints can create problems. 

Next I considered cost, software availability, features, expandibility 
and general afterpurchase support. I decided on the Atari 800 which 
at the time was S700 on sale with 48k 

J.n^ ame , 1 d ! sa&led in 1974 ~ 5 ‘ Por a >°"9 ' sat around not 

doing an awful lot. My outlook has changed since using my computer 
i non t sit home anymore. By using Betsy, my brain was restarted I 
realized my disability doesn't mean I'm a human vegetable. My 
Curiosity was aroused. I now swim about 9 hours a week. 

I got an 810 disk drive, a 1025 printer, an MPP-iOOOc modem, and 
■ am getting an Indus GT. I have joined three well run and helpful user 

fofthe’ri Atir*’ ACE ’ and MACE - , ve been d °' n 9 transposition work 
for the CLAUG newsletter for about 5 months. I've even started back 
to college part time to get my degree in couselling and personnel 
management. I was recently appointed a handicapped consultant to 
local government. 

I now have all my books, papers, photographs, records, and my 
parents videotapes categorized and filed on disk. We're working on a 
complete household inventory. I also keep an up to date record ot all 
prescriptions and other medical expenses for insurance submission 
along with records of what has been submitted and what has (or has 
not) cleared the insurance companies. 

My sister-in- |a w and I swap ideas and programs. As I have had my 
Atari longer than she and my brother have had theirs, I have more 

b S 0KS ,han ,hey d0 - There ar « an awful lot of really good 
BBS in the Chicago area. Between them and CompuServe, I spend a 
tot ot time on the phone. I am saving up to get a PLATO cartridge, an 
Interface and a 1200 baud modem. 

. 11 has been 5aid 'Oat when one particular faculty goes, the rest 
become more finely tuned. This may or may not be. I am still having 
»n awful time with college algebra. I do know that for the longest time 
I couldn t see the forest for the trees. I literally had more fun going to 
far away places than I did around home. Betsy opened up another 
whole realm of possible things to do. 

The benefits I've received fiom my computer are beyond the 
possibility of measurement in dollars and cents. The alternative 
seems like over dramatization to someone who hasn't had the 
problem, and that is mental and physical stagnation. They become a 
very real threat at times. However, give the mind something to do and 
the rest becomes easier. 

If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to write 
10 answer afl - Gerry F eid, Box 66233, AMF O’Hare II 



« wiel, W^s'melLoT'TPes. *' llCh 

letter or word order to comnietA hL,?, S * Can ran 9 e from reversing 
Simple math, °"*' 3 Ending l 

.. •»" the borderline JZTLZZ 0 "* ma| ° r ,aaka '° 

z ~i a ;r ai oymn “ i ‘“ ,o ,h B .° z°z 


■ - Thi? * ? Pe '," n8 Pr09ram almos « "*> y«ars ago ® S,M ln 

' .P..X s e 0 . ,m ° a ,u ” 

..utoru, helping tna students w„n 

■ Hl^spelltog’miMhe^dUterence’s'^ire’ ZmeaVuTio™’ 

■ wrong'spoking '££2' ‘5" 9 5-^22 

have found that untosT™ 9 ra,he . r ' han ,he corre ct one. But I 
.belling was i«o™”.wm ° wa slltln 5,Ude ”'' 5 0r, « ional 
«tts to the frustration spelled correc ' ly - This onty 

' ^ E L U,0ria ' ,akl " 9 ,ha sluden . through 

^omaticy entered when'.^rS IZe'ZX 

u^*up*^ n ^r^ar,T„ h ." *« 

. which are in Graohics 2. * mclud,n 9 'he games 

T^cSS p-SSSTSSS? wih P rl me T ,0r 7 T™'* name ' < En >«r-3 

program.) Then it either entire the JZeoZ in,enaoe * 

•»k» more questions to make a file ts? * H < he has one - or * 
**!?*«* based on the students grade teveT "" *''* ** ,hcn 

wom. 9 c ;r n becau *® ,h ® y - 

•veryday communication r "' e " and apoke " words used in 

r ,h * ^ 

word is tried end drops them aher r^v h," l” many t,mas a 
twice. Using the teacher's orooram h . b ®* n Wled correctly 
words or ^oup o“ „d S a mTuX;„ 1 "i 1 ? checked ,0 se * » a "y 

C»n then be 0 L e,TS e ^ ^ 


bu^tf^' thrf studenTlo^soelMh’ aptllCS ' 

using three different games. The games I ch^w L P fi' n'wK rds 
That Vowel, end Scramble. In testing, (lash type Wbal 5 

proven to be the most beneficial. ,yp 9 mes hav « been 

To use the program properly a numbered word u.r „„„ 
complete documentation Is recommended There 1 8 mo '* 

«ner points of Spelling Bee I don't have r«m Z y °’ "* 
Ineiudlng the use of the 10 functions of the parentytnLrh P * ° hara - 
which has printer options, and the philosophy ol oarem .Z' 09 '*™' 
Interaction during the use ot the program. * nd a,uae ''' 

The disk Is going to be ottered through the ACE Lihr»~ 

Pteefor. double sided disk. But the documentatlifn w Tl, T*' 
ordered through me. Bob Browning. (PLease see the back ol thl 
letter for the address.) It's price will be S10 Trv thel— k °' ,ha news 
like H and want to know more send lor the documental ton™ hooe th “ 
program can help your children as much as It has mini 

ACE ecFtlf. -"Oder, Browning 

'J/, ^ 

Speech Synthesizer 

«P*^mg ivlth^the" Genera*’ irl^rum^nt, Tpo^lifTct 
synthes'ier chip. I chose it because it is inexpensive. It is availawi 

+ 11 !hip?in5 ,rom: s,llcon Science toe 47^0 
. Weliington Bhrd.. Alexanoria,LA 71303. Note tne Radio <zrH-Z 

r. ^L 2 ! 6 ' 17 ^ not ,he SP0256-AL2 (even tnough^he data -hX 
J^(S so). Part 27^1783 Is actually a SP0256017 which doesn't haw 
the a.lophone selections of the AL2. Alone it will sDeak 

R ° M prOVided ex P a bds These^electtons’to 

ZZZfA M k '*'* n,y - ,i,,y < by 10 ' s >- some phrases (goi 

morning, A M., P.M. etc.) and three melodies. It reoroduces these ouim 

s. r«~ srisar*'»- * —• 

wh?eh USed in place of me "ormal 3.12 Mhz crystal 

w^ rTI,^; '.°I ind - ' ,0und ,he LM386 amp ""« 'o bi aTlhto 

towficT^s of'rhTa, 88 ,h * address and contro1 lin « directly 0 

Jack 2 '"" 

erai!?i eu 001 a - pep,nner ' s protect, although none of the layou* Is 
Sc,ence al »o sells an assembled version whichpluos 
iLldb.^m.T 0 ' 6 P 4 U,er ** < t55 >- 1 havenseen It.buiiou 
h ?u« ' eas y ,n '" rtace " to the Atari Joystick ports * 

! 71!!, '* dl; ' icu " ,0 961 anythin 9 intelligible 

OU! of the unit. There are 64 different allophones and you must choose 

StoduencM aiven'ir^ttZrt Pr ° dUCe ,he WOrds you want - Ther e are 
”2“S nce i® ,ven ,n the sheet for a number of words It was easv 

1 “ a ® as ' C t p '° Br T ,0Ca " ,hese up lnordp '- • hXyson,„pe to 
the various data combinations and listened to the result withoul 

i^d7 °? UCed ' ,0und ■“ di,,icu " ,0 cognize Individua 

S duite i buTr/i? a "° rd ° n your own ia pp < easy either, it 
aroiLi tta Lnl " al and error " does s eem the more you play 
M^hiimi Y Bet a word 10 sound al 'hough it is hard to 
Stay Obiective after a while. You should also remember words will be 
•aster to recognize when heard to complete sentences 
7, ?* d Speech Algorithm: It is nice to be able to type sentences 
bean S^Dto aii™ th ave ' he . syn,heaizer sp « a k them. There have 
Naval *PesMmh’ i i?° dev 'f ed to d0 ,hi5 ' 0ne developed by the 

lo*'*' ,““ ch Ubs was simplified and used by Steve Ciarcia in 
Usi^ L Tcx'-T^Soeecn Synthesizer' BYTE Sept '82 

mus?M nt of„ m : Wr ° ,e ' hS BaSiC E>r ° 9ram lis,ed in ' hia ^sue. i 
must poinlout ... this is not a polished version. Translation was 

difficult Because, a different, oynmesizer chip was used in 

mXZTn ZZZT* i e ' S ar ® n °' ,he Same " w'" take qute a 
to beTOso 9 e^ P nmw UP ' t " J ' 'n® pr0flram does work. There seems 
mll^eiinds l^nf US '"? BaSic (most al| opnones are 50-250 

Cm to^t tie I h^f r "H en,,n9 ,h ® Pr0Sram nOW ™ inly ap b'ber, 

^ and 566 whal is involved. I( anyone goes to 

lmPr ° Vin9 ' h ® pf09ram ' 1 wl " 

°' BYTE reaoazlne, page 337, contains a 
review of 3 voice synthesizer chips, including the one Stan Oekers 

* _ , „ usea. — Ed.)— Stan Oekers 

irc£ CnPKh, R.R.M, BOX20S 

T loekport, IL 60441 

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