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A 

V 


COMPUTER 

ENTHUSIASTS 


loom™ 


Wellington Atari Computer Enthusiasts 


JUNE, 1985 


Dear member, 

Herewith the newsletter for June: once again, its a little late, 
but what is a week between friends? 

NEXT MEETING 

This will be held on 10 July. Once again, the venue will be the 
"Loaves and Fishes" which is located behind the Anglican Cathedral in 
Molesworth St. close to Parliament in Central Wellington. The 
President’s page (attached) will contain a full list of what will 
happen then. The last meeting was, perhaps, notable for the 
demonstration of the power and versatility of "Speedscript 3.0", a 
wordprocassing programme from "Compute!". Because of its origin, 
"Speedscript" can not be made available on club tapes or disks (much 
to my personal regret), but it will be placed in our programme 
library. Members willing to certify that they have purchased the 
relevant copy of Compute! can obtain a copy of "Speedscript 3.0" from 
Dennis Dawson, our librarian. 


THE NEW ATARI’S 

The new Atari 130XE’s are in the shops, and very reasonable value 
for money they,are: 128k of RAM for about *700 (in 19S5 dollars, my 
16k 400 plus tape deck cost 1400 19S2 dollars!). I have yet to see the 
new ST series but if it as good as it as the introductory articles 
indicate, then Jack Tramiel has a winner on his hands. That should 
mean that Atari will survive when the rest of the industry is falling 
down around it. In the meantime, SOOXL’s and 1050 Disk Drives are to 
be had for fabulous prices around town as Monaco and the retailers 
attempt to quit them fast. Be in like robber’s dogs! 


CLLB DISK 6 

Contrary to rumour, there will be a new disk (#6) for members to 
try out. Among its many features are: 

The new Atari DOS 2.5. The beauty of this DCS is that, instead of 626 
sectors being available after the disk is DOSed, about 930 sectors can 
be used. In other words, it make significantly more efficient use of 
the disk; 

DISKIQ- Antic magazine’s batter, brighter DCS; 

DEi-:EXL~ a cheap, but not nasty, XL "Translator" programme waiting to 
be upgraded by some of our more clever members; 

ARITHMETRIX- some sraar t ma t h t ric ka; 

MATTEDIT; 

FILLERUP- a version of the very good cartridge game called Qi& $ 
CREEF'YCAVERN- Shamus in another guise; 

DRAGON— an adventure game; 

plus other goodies too numerous to mention. 


CLUB TAPE 


Of course, there will be 
TRIVIA- an educational game, 


SCRAMBLE- 

a 

comput 

er version 

SN0WBIRD- 

i s 

it as 

pretty as 

See 

you 

on 10 

July, 


a club 
deepite 
of Eogl 
it sqli n 


tapeas well, 
its name; 
e; and . 
da? 


Contents include: 


Yours sincerely, 

Des Rowe(Secretary): 



2 . 



PRES I DENT " S F-^CBEI 


NEXT MEETING 


The new Ataris are here and the highlight of the next 
meeting will tae an opportunity to hear them introduced by 
Feli,, Eettelheim. He hopes to have at least one model present 
so that the new computer can be tried hands on.We have a 
busy program lined up -for next time.Among other things,there 
will be demonstrations of commercial software;Karl Bettelheim 
will talk about Atariwriter;Ragan Maxwell will, as well as 
celling many' tapes, expl ain the plans we have for reparing 
joysticks and constructing Paddles at our August meeting; 
and, our Past President, Eddie Nickless, will run an Auction. 

BUGBUSTERS 


You want to know something related 
Luinputi ng. Whom do you askP Before BugBu.s 
to know. But now thereare no problems - 
the white coat ,or him with the hat. "If 
they'’11 tell you who does!" 


to the Atari or to 
ters,it was difficult 
simply' ask the man in 
they don’t know,then 


thanks very much to those who volunteered(in one way or another) to 
type in programs for the club library at the last meeting.As a result there 
are a number of excellent programs coming forward: we all stand to benefit 
from them, to keep you in touch with current work we are publishing our 
transcription list,It records the names and file numbers of the programs,th 
people who are typing them in,and where the programs are in the 
transcription process.This process moves through the fallowing stages: 

a) program identified as worth transcription 

b) President calls for volunteer to type it up 

c) if successful response,volunteer given program and types it in 

d) volunteer passes program transcribed onto cassette/disk over 

to President 

f) President passes program to another volunteer for any debugging 
etc. required 

g.) program sent to our Program Library 


The fallowing table shows who is typing in what and what stage in the 
iP'tiprocess we are at. Incidental 1 y, the next time we print this 
list we hope that we will be able to add the sources of the programs. 


PROGRAM NAME 

FILE NO. 

TYPIST 

STATUS 

RECORD KEEPING 
PROGRAM 

5100/12 

Tom Larkin 

Bei ng 

Typed 

CHAMPIONSHIP 
BOXING . 

7500/23 

Tom Larkin 

Bei ng 

Typed 

NIGHT FIGHTER 

7800/27 

Tom Larkin 

Bei ng 

Typed 



;'<*stass 


*' -~gatj&u. r 

■ £v •' _ '9 » 

t • 

¥ 

— - V 

v . 


- 


WHAT IS IT? 

? 

Chris Richardson 

Being Typed 

SMALL TALKER 

? 

Chris Caudwell 

Being Typed 

VERSE WEAVING 

O 

Chris Caudwell 

Being Typed 

BIORYTHM 

5700/1 

Sandra Minshull 

Being Typed 

GRADEBOOK ATARI 

2030/3 

Mike Munro 

Being Typed 

AIR ATTACK 

7800/25 

Chris Richardson 

Being Typed 

TANK BATTLE 

7800/26 

Chris Macer 

Being Typed 

BARS 

2230/1 

Chris Richardson 

Being Typed 

GRAPH E’s 

2125/15 

Des Rowe 

Being Typed 

SAFE CRACKER 


Chris Macer 

Being Typed 

DECISION MAKER 

? 

Sandra Minshull? 

Being Typed 

HUNT THE RAIDER 

7800/21 

Des Rowe 

Being Typed 

EXOCET 

7300/29 

Sandra Minshull 

Being Typed 

DRAUGHTS 

7700/9 

_,,_. Jason Coombe 

Being Typed 

SIEGE 

7600/46 

f Andrew Ward 

Being Typed 

NUMERIC KEYPAD 

8610/1 

Ray Lovel1 

Being Typed 

SPY PLANE 

7800/24 

Don Campbell 

Being Typed 

BARCHART S/R 

2125/14 

Ray Lovell 

Being Typed 

ROBOT CHASE 

7600/68 

Sylvia Maunder 

Being Typed 

JACKS 

7700/11 

□1 Wynne Thomas 

Being Typed 

SHOOTING STARS 

7400/32 

Richard Houston 

Being Typed 

CRIT PATH ANAL 

2190/3 

Ken May 

* * * 

Being Typed 

PATTERNS 

2100/12 

Sartdra Minshull 

F'rocessi ng 
by Neil Upton 

HOME -LOAN 

4500/9 

Jean Dodd 

Processing 
by Neil Upton 

CURRENCY CHANGER 

4500/8 

Anne Minshull 

Processing 




. , v , _, ... 




V 


H- 


CARD FILE 

5100/11 

Ray Lovel1 

Processing 

ASTEROID FIELD 


01wynne Thomas 

Processing 

FERGIE FILE PRINTER 

Alec Kerr 

Processing 

SOLID STATE 



Processing 

REVISTED 




MERCURY MINE 

7600/39 

Anns Minshull 

Processing 

SON OF 

SOLID STATE 

6100/S 


Processing 

RIVER RAIDER 


Eddie Warren 

Processing 

READING PROGRAM 

/ 1 

/ 4 . 

Eddie Warren 

Processing 

PITCH MAKER 


Eddie Warren 

Processing 

MEMORY 

? 

Eddie Warren 

Processing 

ORIGEN 


Eddie Warren 

Processing 

CALC 

2100/11 

Chris Macer 

Processing 

HOT PURSUIT 

7600/69 

Anne Minshull 

Processing 

DOGFIGHT 

7300/28 

Anne Minshull 

Processing 

LIMITS TO GROWTH 


Anne Minshull 

Processing 

TIE FIGHTER 

7400/31 

Anne Minshull 

Processing 

SOLID STATES 

6100/6 

Anne Minshull 

Processing 

attack death star 

7400/S 

Jean Dodd 

Processing 

MATT-EDIT 

6450/IS 

Des Rowe 

In Library 

DISK10 

3400/36 

Bernard Kerr 

In 1ibrary 

STRING SORT 

9400/1 

Bernard Kerr 

In library 

SELECTION GAME 


01wynne Thomas 

In library 


* * :* 


BUDGET WORKSHOP 2 

4510/4 

9 


Any Offers? 

ATARI FONTBYTER 

6450/17 



Any Offers? 

SCISSOR ,PAPER 
STONE 

r> 



Any Offers?? 

KEYSTROKE 

O 



Any Offers?? 

CENTRAL SUB¬ 
ROUTINES 




Any Offers?? 

ALARM CLOCK 

n 



Any Offers?? 

G4-T-Y BOMB 

7 



Any Offers?? 

SCREEN-EDIT 

*7 



Any Offers?? 

ATARI DOS 

r> 



Any Offers?? 

BRICKLAYER’S 
NIGHTMARE 

7600/55 



Any Offers?? 

BUDGET WORKSHEET 

4510/5 



Any Offers?? 

ATARI'FONTBYTER . 

6450/17 



Any Offers? 

MAKING WAVES 

2710/3 



Any Offers? 

TAKE 5 

7600/72 


i 

Any Offers? 

CREDIT REGISTER 

4510/7 



Any Offers? 

MICRO-CALC 

2130/2 



Any Offers? 

SPELL 

2230/3 



Any Offers? 

FINDME 

2190/9 



Any Offers? 

CREEPY 

7600/54 



Any Offers? 

HOLIDAY EXPENSES 

4510/6 



Any Offers? 


* # * * * 



& . 


MEMORY UPGRADES 

Steve Swift is now ready to hear from People who would 

like him to exPand the RAM in their Atari 408"s from 16k 
to 48k. Steve is actually havin9 the expansion boards 

made in Wei 1inSton and is buy ins the chiPs. These are 

added to the existins 16k board. Indicated price for the 
complete Job is "less than $159". 

It would sPeed thinSs uP if Steve had a spare 16k 

board which he could uPSra.de and then simply swap for the 
board in the next computer.So if you have a board for sale 
Sive him a rinS. 

The Job itself doesn't take Ions so you should not be 
without the machine for more than a few days. 

It is anticipated that the system will work as 
follows. 


1. You rinS Steve.- < Phone 882-798> and arranSe to Set your 
computer to him at a suitable time. He lives in Whitby but 
you may be able to deliver it to him in town durinS the 
week or at a club meetins. 


2. You make the necessary financial arransements which we 
Suess will be cash in advance. Please note that the club 
is not SoinS to Set directly involved. The deal is between 
you and Steve, 

3. Steve does the work and you Pick up your machine. ASain 
note that the committee has decided that we will not ask 
for a commission on the deal and we don't make any 
Guarantees for either the speed or duality of the 
finished Job. I•can say from experience that Steve knows 
what he is doin9. He quickly brouSht my machine back to 
life after it died last year. 

The uP Grade is for Atari 400's only.* 600 XL owners 
can buy the expansion box from the usual retailers. 

If you can afford the fee the uP Grade is well worth 
doinS because an expanded 400 can do virtually anythin9 
that the 800 or the 860 XL's can do. Even after the 
recent Price drop on the Atari XL to around $440 an 
expanded 400 is still the least expensive way to Get a 48k 
machine. 

Note that what I call a 48k machine actually has as 
much memory as both the "ATARI XL 64k" and the Commodore 
64. They all have about 48k of usuab1e memory. Frank1y by 
current standards the ranSe of software that will run in 
only 16k is very limited. 


Chris Caudwel1 



JOYSTIOK 


% 


l ■ 


S* PADDLE F~ I X^> 


So your Joystick don't go proper, an ya don't own a Paddle. 
Well next months meeting....AUGUST..we plan to have a 
joystick diagnostic programme running. So if you bring your 
crook stick we will tell you why it doesn't work and give you 
the opportunity to fix it there and then. You pay only for 
the bits you use. If you are not able to use a soldering iron 
or a screwdriver now is your big chance to AVAGO. (Under a 
watchful eye.) 

+++Plus Plus Plus Plus P1US+++ 

A construction opportunity to build yourself a Paddle 
control. Aprox cost $15—00. 

We WILL:- 

Show you what is needed at the next meetinq. (July) 
Bring pencil and the other stuff for notes!!!! 

Accept orders for the 9 Pin Dee plug, with $11—00 
cash payment. Bring de CASH!!! 

Tell you 'how to' now... so if you are very clever 
yours can be built before the rest start. 

Parts list 

1. 9 Pin Dee plug- Note most of those readily available 
will not fit the ATARI port as the plastic covers are too 
fat! 

2. 500K Ohms pot.(volume control) 

3. Knob of your choice to suit No.2 

4. 1.5 to 2 meters of 4 core cable. (Multi stranded 
flexible.) 

5. 'Push—to—make' trigger button, miniature size. 

6. Rubber grommet with hole size to suit cable.Qty.l. 

7. The all important case to put it in. This could be a 
small pipe tobacco tin, rectangular, or soap box or small 
project box. Remember it should fit the palm of your hand. 






NOTE! view from back of plug. 


1 2 3 4 5 


00000/ 

0000/ 


6 7 8 9 


1. Joystk Forward Input (white) 

2. " Back Input (blue) 

3. " Left Input (green) 

4. “ Right Input (brown) 

5. "B" Potentiometer Input 


6. Trigger Input (orange) 

7. +5 volts 

8. Ground (black) 

9. "A" potentiometer Input 


Connect the 500K volume control so that the center and right 
pin,(from bottom) are wired to 7 & 9. 

Connect the push button between 3 & 8. 

That's it! If there is a stability problem, we have’nt seen 
one yet, a 0.01 mfd capacitor between S & 9, will probably 
fix it. 


PS. Don*t forget to mount the Pot. in your tin, thread the 
cabl-e through the grommet and hole in the tin before 
soldering it all up. 

CHECK all the wiring and make sure you have used the correct 
pins on the plug!!!!!!!!! The plug pins you solder to should 
look like the diagram.(From the back of the plug) 


Suggested sources:— Dick Smith Electronics 

David Reid Electronics 
Wiseman Electrical 
Eggley Electrical 
Where—ever—you— 1 ike 






Atari lakes Unusual step 


By Michael W. Miller 

Special to The Asian Wall Street Journal ■ 

Even for Atari Corp.. a company that | 
breaks more rules than it obeys, hiring Sig j 
Schreyer to run the computer company's , 
U.S. business is a surprise. 

Ever since Jack Tramiel acquired close¬ 
ly held Atari last summer, he has been 
zealously trimming the company’s opera¬ 
tions. keeping his executive ranks down to a 
small crew of managers with multiple 
responsibilities. Creating Mr. Schreyer’s 
new top-level position of vice president and 
general manager is an uncharacteristic 
step. 

Moreover, at a time when Atari has 
abruptly decided to sell its forthcoming 
personal computer through specialty stores. 
Mr. Schreyer. 51 years old, isn’t an obvious 
choice to oversee that task. His last job was 
running the computer-printer division of 
Silver-Reed America, a typewriter maker 
owned by Silver Seiko Ltd. of Japan. 

Even Mr. Schreyer’s name is unusual for 
an Atari executive. The rest of Mr. 


WUiUlJ va **•* — —- w . 

out of Tramiels,” laughs Mr. Schreyer, in 
Chicago for the giant Consumer Electronics 

^ ow * Long Association 

Mr. Schreyer’s association with Mr. 
Tramiel dates back to the 1960s, when the 
two worked together at what is now Com¬ 
modore International Ltd., which Mr. 
Tramiel founded. Mr. Schreyer was sales 
manager for Commodore, which sold adding 
machines and electronic calculators at die 

Hmo 



have fit in at Atari as well as he does. 
"Most of those people can’t and don t sud- 
scribe to Jack's philosophy of giving people 
the most bang for their buck, and running a 
simple business instead of a complex, 
Stanford MBA business," he says. 

Still, he adds, "It had become a little too 
lean here." As the company prepares to 
expand its distribution channels beyond 
such mass merchandisers as Sears, Roe- 
buck & Co. and K mart Corp., Atari espe¬ 
cially needs someone familiar with the peo¬ 
ple who buy for computer specialty stores, 
Mr. Schreyer explains. “Those are waters 
Jack has never been into," he says. 

Track Record 

Atari is still a relatively small company 
that derives its revenue chiefly from the 
inexpensive video games and home comput¬ 
ers Mr. Tramiel inherited when he bought 
the concern from Warner Communications 
Inc. in July. But Atari’s new plans have 
been able to command attention in the 
electronics Industry, largely because of the 
track record of Mr. Tramiel, who turned 
Commodore International into a home- 
computer giant. 

But convincing specialty computer stores 
to carry Atari’s new $799 ST model, which 
resembles Apple Computer Inc.’s Macmtosn 
at about one-third the price, won’t be easy. 
Computer retailers' shelf space is tighter 
than ever, as many stores don’t want to 
take the risk of stocking anything but the 
most popular brands. . « 

"I really don’t want to sell Atari even if 


it does look like the Mac.” says Jack Bell, 
chairman of the Computerease chain of six 
stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts. 

Mr. Bell says too many people associate 
Atari with cheap, mass-market home com¬ 
puters and video games. "Technology 
doesn’t sell a product — marketing, a dealer 
base, and public perception sell a product, 
he says. 

Lining Up Accounts 

But Mr. Schreyer claims that in the past 
month he has lined up a large group of 
retailers for the ST, mostly independent 
stores outside the big computer chains. He 
won’t say how many accounts are in place, 
but James Copland, Atari’s vice president 
for marketing, brags that 500 outlets will be 
carrying the ST when it arrives in U.S. 
stores in July. 

Not all retailers are skeptical about 
Atari’s chances. “We haven’t been selling 
Atari for years,” says Al Miller, manager 
of the Computer Store in Toledo, Ohio, 
which caters to business-computer 
customers. “But if Jack gets it out in July, 
we’ll become a dealer. This machine does 
more than the others do at a lower price." 

Mr. Schreyer, a plain-speaking man who 
doesn’t share his boss's penchant for flashy 
rhetoric, concedes that Atari has a long way 
to go to get on retail shelves. “Our account 
base is too thin,” he admits. He says he 
pinns to expand Atari’s sales operations by 
shifting more business to independent man¬ 
ufacturer’s representatives. 

Meanwhile, Atari went out of its way to 
hang on to Its base among mass merchan¬ 
disers, the main attendants at the trade 

show here. Earlier this year the company 
had promised to offer a scaled-down version 
of the ST for big department stores, and 
last week it displayed such a product for the 
first time. The model is identical to the ST 
except for its 256.000-character memory, 
half the larger model’s capacity. Atari said. 
The product, which can be plugged into a 
television, will cost $399, or $499 with a disk 
drive, the company said. 

Mr. Tramiel has been known to show 
prototypes of products that never 
materialized in stores, and it wasn’t clear 
how seriously Atari plans to market the 
mass-merchandise ST model. Some indus¬ 
try professionals have suggested that the 
product may be Atari’s way of offering 
mass merchants some appeasement for 
pulling the ST away from them and into 
specialty stores. : 

Mr. Schreyer insisted this wasn’t the 
reason for offering a mass-market ST. "It’s 
not that complicated,” he said. “There are 
K mart shoppers and specialty store shop¬ 
pers, and we want them both,” he said. But 
Mr. Copland says the smaller ST was the 
result of “a decision not to alienate the 
mass merchandisers.” 

Mr. Schreyer is quick to admit that 
Atari’s recent jumps back and forth from 
the mass market to the specialty market 
have been confusing. "That’s the condition 
of the industry,” he argues. "Can you be 
anything but flexible in an industry this 
uncertain? 

“How many dead horses do you see ini 
Silicon Valley that didn’t know how to' 
change on a dime?” 


Gertrude’s Secrets involves children in 
a variety of problem-solving activities, 
such as analyzing patterns and deter¬ 
mining what number comes next in a 
series. Publisher: The Learning Com¬ 
pany. Hardware: Apple It, Commodore 
64, IBM PC, PCjr. Price: $44.95. Grade 
level: Primarv-intermediate. ' 


Square Pairs presents a series of match¬ 
ing games designed to help learners 
develop concentration and memory j 
skills. Teachers and students can create i 
their own matching games using words, 
patterns or numbers. Publisher: Scho¬ 
lastic. Hardware: Apple II, Atari (32K 
disk, 16K cassette). Commodore 64, 
TI-99/4A, VIC 20. Price: S39.95. Grade 
level: Intermediate-junior high. 


Dragon’s Keep is a graphics/text ad¬ 
venture designed to teach youngsters 
reading comprehension, map reading 
and problem-solving skills. The program 
comes with a poster-size map and 
stickers to place on it as hidden animals 
are found in the dragon's lair. Publisher 
Sierra On-Line. Hardware: Apple II, Atari 
(48K), Commodore 64. Price: $29.95. 
Grade level: Primary and above. 


Flight Simulator II converts the com¬ 
puter's keyboard and monitor into an 
airplane cockpit. Students can chart 
courses and- fly them by manipulating 
controls on the plane’s instrument panel. 
Publisher: SubLogic (Apple, Atari, Com¬ 
modore): Microsoft (IBM). Hardware: 
Apple II, Atari (64K), Commodore 64 
(disk or cassette), IBM PC. Price: Disk, 
$49.95; cassette, $39.95. Grade level: 
Intermediate and. above. c 


Gertrude’s Puzzles is designed to 
develop children’s reasoning and com¬ 
puter literacy skills as they wander 
through Gertrude the Goose's house 
and solve a variety of logic puzzles. Pub¬ 
lisher: The Learning Comoany. Hard¬ 
ware: Apple II, Atari (48K), Commo¬ 
dore 64, IBM PC. PCjr. Price: $44.95 
(Commodore, $29.95). Grade level: 
Intermediate-junior high 


Picture Blocks presents two activities: 
In Free Form, youngsters can select 
shapes and create original pictures. In 
Picture Blocks, children duplicate pic¬ 
tures or patterns drawn by the computer. 
The program offers six pattern categories 
and two levels of difficulty. Publisher: 
Proaram Design. Hardware: Atari (24K), 
Commodore 64 p^a- $24.95. Grade 
level: Primary 





John Cleese: warning on levy 


Video levy 
no joke 
says John , 
Cleese tfs/ST, 

By Raymond Snoddy I 

HE GREEN PAPER propos- ' 
ing a levy on blank video 
tapes is no laughing matter 
for John Cleese, hero of 
Fawlty Towers and co¬ 
founder and director of 
Video Arts, a leading train¬ 
ing film company. 

The levy is only totally ruin¬ 
ous-nothing to get worried 
about." he says, 
ohn Cleese believes the 
Government proposals in the 
Green Paper could destroy 
the UK’s £8m a year training 
film market. 

r ideo Arts hires out single 
copies of its 60 training films 
at £85 for two days. The com¬ 
pany has been vigorous in 
prosecuting illicit copying by 
customers. 

•'ideo Arts fears that in return 
for paying a levy of about 
25p on blank video tape the 
domestic user will have the 
right to copy Video Arts films 
for their personal use. 
f the proposal becomes law. 
Video Arts believes it would 
be impossible for the com¬ 
pany to tell the difference 
between a legitimate personal 
copy and an illicit one. 
ohn Cleese believes the 
change could cost the com¬ 
pany, whicfr~ has a annual 
turnover of about £4m from 
films such as The Disorgan¬ 
ised Manager, more than 80 
per cent of its income, 
iny benefit from redistributed 
levy would be tiny by com¬ 
parison, John Cleese argues. 
We can’t really believe this is 
a situation that the Govern¬ 
ment wants to create," Mr 
Cleese says. _ 

n its evidence to the Depart¬ 
ment of Trade and Industry 
the company says, “It is the 
unequivocal view of the 
directors of Video Arts that 
if the Green Paper is allowed 
into the statute book in its 
present form, the training 
film industry will not 
survive.” 


At tne very least me company 
wants training films to be 
excluded from the effects of 
new legislation. 

In case the formal evidence is 
not enough to change the 
Government’s mind, John 
Cleese is considering some 
unorthodox lobbying of his 
own. 

He believes Mr J. P. Britton 
in the DTI’s Industrial Pro¬ 
perty and Copyright depart¬ 
ment might benefit from a 
copy of his classic training 
film Decisions, Decisions. 

One of its lessons is the import¬ 
ance of consulting everyone 
properly before decisions are 
taken. 

• Further opposition to the 
Government’s plans to impose 
a levy on blank audio and 
video tapes came this week 
from the National Consumer 
Council, Consumers in the 
European Community Group 
and the Royal National 
Institute for the Blind. 

All three at a Press conference 
said the levy would push up 
tape prices for everyone who 
likes to record television 
programmes at home or use 
audio cassettes and hit blind 
people hardest of all. 


Computers set to take 
over professionals’ jobs j 


BY THE TURN of the century, 
I the jobs of many professionals 
—accountants, lawyers, person¬ 
nel evaluators and even com¬ 
puter specialists—will be 
replaced by the “ expert-in-a- 
box,” a computer system able 
to deliver advice based on 
opinions from the leading 
! authorities in their fields, 
i The market in the UK alone 
i for this kind of “ expert 

r terns” will be worth £100m 
1990 with the world market 
worth £lbn, according to 
Systems Dynamics, a Hertford¬ 
shire, UK, consultancy. 

The company says: “Growth 
in consultancy and support will 
be equally dynamic as such sup¬ 
port services are essential for 
the successful application of the 
new technology.” 

Systems Dynamics’ analysis of 
I the expert systems market is 
contained in a report. The De- 

j • 


vedopment of Artificial Intelli¬ 
gence in the UK. It warns that 
while Britain is at the front 
of the artificial intelligence 
race, it is spending its money 
badly: “We are distributing 
money to the ‘fat cats’ of in¬ 
dustry in the hope of commer¬ 
cial benefit. 

“ The academic nature of the 
UK artificial intelligence devel¬ 
opment and our national reluc¬ 
tance to market products from 
our research departments bodes 
ill for British AI.” 

The authors say, nevertheless, 
that they were surprised by the 
generally high level of aware¬ 
ness concerning artificial intelli¬ 
gence and expert systems and 
were impressed by the quality 
of basic expert system building 
tools available at modest cost. 

The report costs £360 from 
the consultancy on 09278 4674. 

AC 

PT If/vi/es 


Blank tapes levy on the 


BY RAYMOND SNODDY 

MINISTERS are believed to 
have accepted in principle the 
case for a levy on blank audio 
and video tapes. 

A Green Paper on copyright 
law reform due to be published 
in the next few weeks is 
expected to reflect this. 

It would reverse the stance 
of a 1981 discussion paper which 
opposed such a measure. 
Serious consideration is likely 
to be given to a levy on blank 
tapes at the point when they 
leave the shop rather than the 
factory. 

The aim would be to compen- 
• sate copyright holders for their 
j loss from unauthorised copying 
rather than to use a levy to 
boost the record or film indus¬ 
tries. 

The British Phonographic 
Industry believes the Green 
Paper will concede part of the 
case it has been arguing on be¬ 
half of the record industry for 


10 years. The BPI would like to 
sec a levy on tapes and re¬ 
corders and the money col¬ 
lected to be distributed to the 
record industry including copy¬ 
right holders. 

A levy system already oper¬ 
ates in countries such as West 
Germany and Hungary and is 
being introduced in France. 
The BPI believes the Govern¬ 
ment will recommend a tax 
on blank tapes and that the. 
money should go solely to copy¬ 
right owners to compensate for 
unauthorised listening or watch¬ 
ing. 

Recent market research car¬ 
ried out for the BPI suggests 
that more than half the popula¬ 
tion have used blank cassettes 
to make their own recordings 
from radio or from records and 
tapes. 

“ We know now that nine out 
of every 10 blank tapes pro¬ 
duced are used for recording 



music. More than three-quarters 
of the adult population have 
tape-recording equipment,” said 
Mr John Deacon, director gen¬ 
eral of BPI. 

The turnover of the British 
record industry at retail prices 
was £488m in 1983 and is esti¬ 
mated at £520m last year. But 
the growth is coming from the 
success of British music in the 
U.S. rather than in the UK. 

Industry estimates suggest 
that .between 80m and 90m 
blank cassettes are sold in the 
UK each year and that 87 per 
cent of the market is accounted 
for by people who make home 
music recordings. 

Mr Deacon foresees further 
copyright problems for the 
record industry from a new 
trend — record rental shops. 
The problem of copying newly 
released music could be made 
worse by renting virtually in¬ 
destructible compact discs. 


Run for the Money is a science-fiction 
game that teaches about the economy- 
laws of supply and demand, advertis¬ 
ing, production, pricing and so on. 
Having crash-landed on a foreign planet, 
players must earn money to repair their 
spaceship by making products and 
selling them to the planet’s inhabi-' 
tants. Publisher: Scarborough. Hard¬ 
ware: Macintosh, Atari (48K), Commo¬ 
dore 64, IBM PC. PCjr, PC/XT. Price: 
$39.95 (Macintosh, $49.95). Grade 
level: Intermediate and above. See: 
February 1985, p. 14. 


Movie Maker encourages students to 
create their own movies. Users can 
create action scenes using supplied or in¬ 
vented characters and can zoom in, 
change object size, record and play back 
movies. Publisher: Reston. Hardware: 
Apple II, Atari (48K). Commodore 64. 
Price: $49.95. Grade level: Inter¬ 
mediate and above. See: October 1984, 
p. 47. 


I 


COMPUTER FAIRE 

(A look *t tbo mw ATARI CORP.) 
by Kin E. StockwoH. put ptu 

I attandtd tho Wait Cout Computer Fair* u a representative of 
Microbits Peripheral Products, Inc., for whom I am the Director of 
Technical Support. The MPP booth was quite active lea we had hoped). 
The buaiest booths, however, were those of two ATARI user groups. 
ATARI did not have a booth, but this did not stop them from enjoying 
the largest exposure and the moat enthusiastic reactions of any 
manufacturer ‘'represented" there Two groups, the San Leandro 
Computer Clulx ISLCC) and the Atari Bey Area Computer Users Society 
(ABACUS) managed to finagle booths aids-by side. Since these were WX 
10* locations, this gave them a storefront of 20 feet exposure It wasn't 
enoughll Every time I stopped by the booths, the crowd was S deep ALL 
the way around the booths 

It ia only faire (tee-hee) to mention that ATARI did have some official 
representation at th show: Officials from ATARI frequently stopped by 
the combined chib booths, and the Corporation donated S to 10 thousand 
dollars worth of promotional materials to the dubs to be given away to 
a very interested public ATARI also provided 2 ol the new 520ST 
machines and several XE computers lot display and demonstration. In 
addition, the SLCC rsolved an ST system to be raffled oil at the show. 
(A digression hare: several other manufacturers also provided items to 
be raffled off by the SLCC The income from the raffle was given entirely 
to an organiiation that provides assistance to dis-advantaged child on. 
Bravol, SLCC). By cooperating with and assisting the user groups. ATARI 
CORP managed to turn about 10 thousand dollars worth of warehoused 
promo materials, phis an ST and a little respect, into about s half million 
dollars worth of publicity and enthusiasm. 

The longer Jack Tramisl controls ATARI CORP.. the more respect I gain 
for the men's intelligence and for his grasp of how to make limited dollars 
do incredible amounts of work. Any of you who have read my blathermgs 
before should know I am an advocate of user groups in a big way. Before 
I became connected with MPP, I often said the USER GROUPS are a 
multi-million dollar rescues the manufacturers of hardware and software 
ignore to their own disadvantage. Since joining MPP. I have constantly 
lobbied for more and better yaer group support, and have been able to 
place some meaningful programs to benefit user groups. Of course, the 
benefits flow both wayslll Tramisl. by taking the actions ha did at the 
WCCF has gone a long way to legitimizing user groups in the eyes of 
the rest of the industry. 

Other corporations with industry influence have lately begun making 
concerted, directed efforts at suppotmg the User Groups. ANTIC 
magazine has sponsored the Worldwide User-group Network (WUN). 
ATARI is working closely with ANTIC in this endeavor. This will provide 
a single focused point of dispersal for timely ATARI information as well 
as a single point to which ATARI can go for User Group opinions and 
feedback. This program was snnounced at the show, and waa discussed 
in detail at a reception at ANTIC corporata offices. The list of BIG names 
at ATARI who attended the ANTIC/WUN reception includes practically 
ail of the movers snd shakers at ATARI. Thera is no doubt now as to 
whether ATARI is willing to support the user groups snd treat them as 
worthwhile snd responsible citizens of the computer work). 

ATARI has introduced a computer which can truly be called a 
PERSONAL computer Ibased on price), yet wilt run rings around the two-, 
industry biggies, the IBM PC and the MACINTOSH/LISA. The speed alone 
is incredible. Couple this with COLOR, and the ability of using a high-res 
color monitor, SUPER high-res monochrome monitor, or your TV set. and 
you have a great system right oft the bat. In addition, the disk drives 
are not only FAST, but have K meg and 1 meg (depending on which drive). 
The S12K RAM is not eaten up with FONTS, OPERATING SVSTEMS and 
junk. There is 192K of ROM in the ST. This is where the OS. GEM. and 
the FONTS reside, as well as whichever '‘native" language will come with 
the machine. This leaves your S12K virtually untouched and free for 
application software. 

The keyboard is the nicest I've felt since I test drove a DEC Professional 
PC. In lact, if any computer has a nicer keyboard, I haven't seen it yet. 
The case is beautiful, and the set-up is — well, the set-up is pure ATARI. 
Detractors will make loud rude noises about the separate power supplies 
and “ALL THOSE CABLES" that are. indeed, a part ol the system. Instead 
ol a lengthy lecture on the design constraints ol a personal computer 
system, let me say there really was no other alternative axcapt to build 
another computer looking like the IBM PC and being considerably more 
expensive. ATARI considered this to be unacceptable and decided if you 
are after POWER (without the price) you could buy an ST. If you are after 
STATUS or IMAGE, you have the IBM PC and the MACINTOSH family. 

SOFTWARE: ATARI will gladly sell a development system to anybody 
who is willing to plop down the cash up front at a minimum of FULL 
RETAIL. In addition, developers will have to take seminars provided by 
Digital Research, and will have to pay for the development system 
software (I estimate that MPP has spent about $8,000.00 to acquire 



Cave Girl Clair is ah adventure game 
designed specifically for girls. A cave girl 
is separated from her tribe and must use 
her wits to find shelter, food, medicine 
and clothing until she rejoins her tribe 
at summer’s end. Publisher: Addison- 
Wesley. Hardware: Apple II. Atari (48K), 
Commodore 64. Price: S39.95. Grade 
level: Primary-junior high. See: April/ 
May 1935. pp. 23-24. 


. ~T '■■■ >'V > • 


tha nsetsssry equipment, tools, and Information.) Usingthto 
ATARI can realistically make plans based on WHO IS REALLY 
DEVELOPING SOFTWARE FOR THE ST land there is no shortage of 
software developers working on programs NOW). 

Wi! I buy an ST? Vbu betl Not only will I buy one when they are 
available, but I have already recommended them to several serious 
seekers of computer power, and will continue to do so. Am I impressed 
by the new machines? Not only am I impeesed by the new machines, 
but also by the fact that ATARI is getting them out ON TIME. 

While attending the WCCF. I had an opportunity to visit a general 
meeting of the SLCC as a guest speaker. I was and am impressed by 
tha caliber of the membership and leadership of that group. For a local 
club they are top notch. 


MEGAFOIMT 11 + 

Megafont 11+ 1125. XLEnt Software. Box 5228. Springfield. VA 221501 
is s new version of an old program, but it is more then that. It is an 
updated version of a very good program so people with primers who 
could not lake advantage of this program before can now do aa New 
features are also added to allow tha user to do more things than ever. 

Owners ol Epson and the various related printers can now have four 
different size screen dumps. The left margin can be adjusted to allow 
for logos or pictures to be used in letterheads or whatever you wish. 

At the same tune Megatont II + allows you to pause the printer so you 
won't overheat it when dumping a picture etc. 

Another of the features added is tha Fast Print option. This is added 
to speed up the time it takes to list out programs. I like this feature since 
printing out the program listings is one of the things I do on the newsletter 
and it takes a long time to print out the listings for some programs. 

Another new festura ia called the Font Splicer which allows you to 
combine two fonts together. With certain word processors. Atariwriter, 

Bank Street Writer, text Wizard, ate. you can taka out the control codes 
and print your files in any font which Megafont 11+ supporta using 
Megafont's controls to give you a new type of printing of your files. 

There are many things one can do with this program, including 
dumping mode 7+ and 8 graphics. Koalspsd and Atari Artist screens 
can be printed with Megafont II+. 

I've started using this program and find it not only does what I want, 
but it gives me the flexibility to change things around the way I want 
them and in turn enhance my printing to make a better looking page of 
whatever I am doing. I can only say the people at XLEnt Software took 
a good program and mads it better than ever. The inatructions are clear /JL. g*. 
and concise and not too long. It is a menu driven program so one should ’v7Lt&- 
be able to use Megatont 11+ within a matter of minutes. , [a 

— Larry Gold 


Will Computers Ever 
Really Think? 

..." ‘The way people are misled about arti¬ 
ficial intelligence,’ [says Hubert Dreyfus 
(U. California, Berkeley)], ‘is by scientists 
who say, “Pretty soon computers will be 
smarter than we are, and then we’ll have 
to worry about how to control them.’’ ’ For 
two decades now, the feisty, impassioned 
Dreyfus...has been in the forefront of the 
controversy over artificial intelligence.... 

He maintains that computers will never be 
able to think because scientists will never 
come up with a suitably rigorous set of 
rules to describe how we think. To many 
computer scientists, this is like saying the 
Earth is flat. But so far, none of them 
have been able to prove him wrong. Even 
most artificial intelligence researchers 
now admit that before they can make 
computers any smarter, they’ll have to 
come up with an explanation of how intel¬ 
ligence works in people.... At issue are the 
merits of two descriptions of reality—one 
experiential and intuitive, the other theo¬ 
retical and mathematical. During the sci¬ 
entific revolution of the 17th century, phi¬ 
losophy gave rise to physics as a way of 
understanding the natural world through 
w, formal laws; now it is witnessing the birth 

of a new science that seeks to understand 
the mind through formal rules. Will the 
workings of the mind prove amenable to 
format description? That turns out to be 
\ the real question. Dreyfus says they will 
■ not.” 

j 6(2):-6-'' Var h.\ 



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.**«> OFFICE 


20 SSL ■■■■'■■ 


! f‘mntc Beg Tetephon* 73C 0£9 Tdearcnhfc^Addrer • SECir-^17 
Ttlex Mo. 31213 ' J e5 ‘" SECIJS '0:.1S 

For enquiries p!e?:s ring ° VAL/301 


The Colled, of c uste '• 

VALUATIONCcOMPUTER SOFTWARE ^ 

jt presen^ra^ USA to GATT the CCC is 

Software viz tapes, discs etc! * C loras Nation of Computer 

■ ?his T s^ud^7s C |o^ple?ad n 5 a ?CatTSn"oV^ y -Mn- th i^? atter and until 

continued on ttfsa^^su^f end hopples™ nTtf*" 

. set out on CM 1979/iiosV iS 

* Lg_,re.at-d pioqrams and update an d correction programs 
FOB value (Method 1) 

jjse L-Application Pron^m? 

^ Of costs,Correctors nay to , P roduco satisfactory 
the media (tape, disc,' card etc) Diu-'fL ♦ f ° duty cn the Price of 
on,the media with the total S? the P™»«- 

is resolytii u "'" lS Sh °“ !d be made on Previous shipments until this matter 

V i i 

^ it is strss'ipr' +n- „• _ . 

the transitional'’arrangements'^? Sure on ^ in keeping.with 
further instructions ^ ^ 


tk 


C M Coutts 

for Comptroller of Customs 


Fresh challenges in disk memory e 


■ 0NE 0F . <*» Important criteria 
rr upon companies choose 

--.microcomputers is that of 

- Z- memory capacity. Clearly the 
- • bigger the memory, the greater 

• -; tiie potential application for the 
y* equipment 

Microcomputer memories 
Z:. 001,16 m more tiian one variety. 
Z' The com P uter needs a certain 
- amount of memory just to carry 
T: out its calculations, according 

• :* to the particular program which 
... has been loaded Into its work¬ 
ing memory. This type of store 
is normally based on semicon¬ 
ductor circuits 

Without other forms of data 
storage, the result of each cal- 
culabon would be lost each time 
the computer was switched off 
To counter this, makers have’ 

- resorted to magnetic types of 

- storage. The most popular form 
.. of long-term storage Is the 
:: floppy-disk—for personal com- 

puters the SJ In floppy disk 
;; predominates today. Informs- 
r. tion is stored magnetically on 
« closely-spaced tracks end road 
r-wtth * magnetic head, rather ! 
—- HIm the way that the stylus of , 
—? *n audio rocord runs over i 
;r grooves. Shugart, is 1978, was . 


i one of the first companies to 
> introduce equipment based on 
c these disks. 

i The market for floppy disks 
■ is a volatile one, with an in- 
i creasing number of competitors. 

Companies such as Kodak, bet- 
: ter known for its photographic 
products, have entered the field. 
Other major competitors in¬ 
clude 3M, Verbatim and 
Wabash. 

Early . in March, Rhone- 
Poulenc Systems, one of the 
world's leading computer media 
companies, which produces 
materials for magnetic storage, 
bought a major interest 'in 
Erown Disk, the floppy disk 
manufacturing subsidiary of 
Dysan Corporation in the' U S. 

RPS is a leading manufac¬ 
turer of computer tapes in 
Europe. Brown Disk, based in 
Colorado Springs, was set up 
only four years ago and has 
projected sales for this year of 
about $4m, 

RPS has risen quickly In Its 
home market la Prance. It now 
has an estimated 20 per cent 
of the French market and hopes 
that the acquisition of the 
American company will give it 


Variety of 
-memory systems 

ELAINE WILLIAMS 

- ic/yfer 

* strong foothold In the U.S. 
where Brown Disk is reckoned 
to have 60 per cent of the mar¬ 
ket for the new generation of 
high density floppy disks. 

The agreement with Dvsan—• 
which is merging with Xidex, 


*lS?°K H h^ GED STODENTS - Mos, moderns 
Cleanj don t have enough time to use computers, accord¬ 
ing to Ken Brumbaugh, executive director. Minnesota 
Educational Computing Corp. (MECC). To prove his 
point, he cited results of a recent survey of MECC clients 
It found that 24% of the secondary schools said the 
a ' cra ^ time their students worked with comput¬ 

ers was 0-10 minutes. "This is worthless." Brumbaugh 

Average Weekly Computer Time tor Students 


elementary 

SCHOOLS 


O-IO MINUTES 


10-30 MINUTES 

fcyii we 

-•'“Vs 

30-60 MINUTES 

-Mi’ 

, r y-. .. 

MORE THAN 

60 MINUTES 

■ . 



SECONDARY 

SCHOOLS 


i : , JTA - - JL 

» < 'Cl Ycy.5? »/.%.- 


a n' d J", r y -fo e 0 ven percem said the average time was 10- 
8/(1 re P. orted 30-60 minutes: and 31% re- 
ported the average time is more than 60 minutes ner 
week. How much time should thev have? “Sixtv or more 
f ? r j“ nior high and high schools^! 
dents. Brumbaugh answ-ered. “Thev could use 15 min- 

tiin S school? mW? for H doin § homework." In elemen- 
schoofs sa ri f0Und SOme dlfferenc es: 18% of the 

rnnnS-H In nn h ? v ? ra S e time was 0-10 minutes: 51% 
mS?e fhan°6n 0 m,nutes: 25% - 30-60 minutes; and 6%. 
MECC dienK ^ mute f Since the survey included onlv 
mvnlvedwith results re P resem schools that are more 

Brumbaugh said PMerS ' ha " ma " V °' her schools - 



frte th- t ^ 8000 News “ 

. r° W,,h a CofW 

MS-OOS-CP/M i Jz" " ANSI dma '- communications patches 

«» SWP snew address 1000 w"?' n‘ C ft w Y ° l “ 0 " 9,nal d,sk P ,us 9 25 
•1*0 have 3 n.,hii. H' 1000 W Fu 9r FT Wor th. TX 76115-3301 Thev 

• «*ndi.k pro9tam°rMS-DOS. 0 ' *'° ' 1 inC ' ud " M£M8RAIN - 


challenged by under 4 In ver¬ 
sions for the compact, portable 
and small desk-top machines. 
Sony, the developers of a 3} in 
floppy disk which is protected 
in a rigid shell, claims that it 
has about 90 per, cent of the 
market for under 4 in disks. 
Sales are growing at a rate of 
about 50 per cent a year. 

Sony, which, introduced its 
disk about two years ago, hoped 
then that its version would 
become the de facto standard 
against three proposed disk 
types from Maxell, IBM and 
Dysan. The advantage of such 


another U.S. corporation—also ?- y f an ', The advantage of such 
covers the purchase of another J? isks f ? r portable and small 
Dysan subsidiary, DYPY a Phonal computers is in their 


• — —' »»• OIIUU 1 C 4 

Dysan subsidiary, DYPY, a 
specialist European floppy and 
rigid disk-maker. 

RPS is planning to double its 

annul I nvn/liinft—— _ _ r . __ - 


<-- vvuiyuLViv IX Am U1V14 

small size which have the ability 
to store a s much information as 
the larger types. 

Sony now dominates this em- 




annual production capacity for n ° w dominates this em- 

the next few years, in linewith Skeb lt?L 
forecasts of an increase in the 75 Jlr 

SetTmoro th?nTn ab,M " 6 *a ^ un?er I to dSi 
cent^bi the Alread y Hewlett Packard, Apple 

Whether ornntn,.~f. / , and ACT to the UK are com- 
ingin personal m,tted to the Sony disk while 

there wUl still thre * ““J 00 - bu t so far unnamed 

demand for disk memo™ “* manu facturer S are forecast to 
K In . ^ V . ad °Pt the disk later this year 

.The 5i in disks are b eing f or forthcoming portable busi- 

1 nes computer ■—- 

I .? on ^ s d i®lts are already cap- 
1 w storing up to 1 mega- 
b ytfs of information and this 
could be doubled in-.the near 
future, says the company. 
m f° r . less portable personal 
machines where greater infor- 
j storage is needed, fixed 

i or Winchester disks are being 
increasingly adopted. These 
memory systems are based on a 
thin layer of magnetic material 
usually Feric oxide, laid on a’ 
circular rotating disk. 

d T lvor “"it can contain 
t?ore than one disk: informa¬ 
tion, in the form of binary 
digits is stored on concentric 
tracks, recording onto the mag¬ 
netic medium—just like floppy 
disks, each track is subdivided 
into a fixed number of sectors. 

But even these devices can 
suffer problems, so companies 
have -developed back-up systems 
based on reel, cartridge and 
cassette tape units to ensure 
that long-term storage of data 
can be guaranteed even when 
the main disk unit has failed. 
i These systems automatically 
jeopy information stored on the 
hard disk. 


Moptown Hotel is designed to develop 
: prcbiem-sclving skills as students identify 
trai-s, select and control variables, sort 
and make inferences. Publisher: The 
Learning Company. Hardware: Apple II, 
Atari (43K), Commcaore 64, IBM PC, 
PCjr. PC/XT, TRS-80 Color Computer. 
Price: S39.95. Grade level: Intermediate- 
junior high. See: September 1983, p. 36- 
January 1984, p. 54. 



computers, in most ocnuois, 

Have Brought No Revolution 

-—-- ^r^n-fv 

By EDWARD B. FISKE 

After investing heavily in microcom- 
uters, public schools in the New York 
aetropolitan area are finding that they 
re still far from achieving the aca- 
emic revolution expected from the 
ew technology. 

Interviews with students, teachers, 
irincipals and others disclose that 
nost schools are using computers pri- 
narily to teach computer literacy — 
caching about the computers them- 
elves. 

Relatively little is being done, they 
ay, to exploit the potential to teach 
nher subjects in a more efficient, in- 
eresting or effective manner. 

“Everybody is talking about where 
ve should be,” said John V. O’Farrell, 
principal of Walt Whitman High School 
In Huntington, L.I. “But the reality is 
that no one is there.” 

Education officials say the shortcom- 
ngs of computers as learning tools in 
lew York City and its suburbs are 
rimiiar to the problems teachers are 
laving across the country. A recent na- 
ional study found that computers in 
dgh schools are used two-thirds of the 
ime for computer literacy. 

Teachers say the biggest problem is 
he dearth of quality software — the 
omputer instructions that make up 

be teaching materials.. Moreover, they 
ay, most districts lack the means to 
lentify the better software that does 
Ttaf, and in most schools only a hand- 



in which students create a factory. Three 
activities give students the opportunity to 
fit objects together, rotate them, take 
them apart, change them and observe 
the results. Publisher: Sunburst. Hard¬ 
ware: Apple II. Atari, Commodore 64. 
IBM PC. PCjr, TRS-80 Color Computer. 
Price: $55. Grade level: Primar y and 
above. ' 


Computers j 

In the Classroom | 

First of three articles. 

Pul of teachers have the training, or 
sven the inclination, to make effective! 
use of computers; 

Teachers report, and research con¬ 
firms, that most of the instruction that 
does take place on computers is routine 
drill, and many educators are begin¬ 
ning to question whether this “elec¬ 
tronic workbook” approach is effective 
once the novelty of computers wears 
off. 

“The idea was that kids would learn 
more if they could shoot down air¬ 
planes by multiplying numbers,” said 
George Miller, head of the computer 
program at Weston High School in Con¬ 
necticut. “But drill and practice didn’t 
work. Students don’t like to practice 
their numbers on a computer any more 
than they like to do it on paper.” 

Drill and computer literacy pro¬ 
grams are also criticized for failing to 
utilize the full power of computers. 
SDecialists in the field point out that 
computers are able to construct 
models, simulate complex problems 
and perform other tasks that cannot be 
done with other technologies. 

Pressure From Parents 
There are some instances where 
educators believe the computers are 
hoing used well. Word-processing is 
Droving to be an effective way to teach 
writing. and special education teachers 
are making ingenious use of computers 


to provide individual instruction for 
handicapped students. Some teachers 
in science, social studies and other 
fields have begun to use computers to 
simulate experiments that would 
otherwise be impossible. 

Although many schools have had 
computers for well over a decade, the 

big push came three or four years ago, 
when a consensus emerged among par¬ 
ents, school board members ami others 
that computers were the wave of the fu¬ 
ture. Some educators believe that the 
rapid growth was a response as much 
to pressure from parents and political 
leaders as to a perception of educa¬ 
tional needs. 

“They feel ‘I must have it because 
the next school has it,’ ” said Charlotte 
Frank, executive director of the divi¬ 
sion of curriculum and instruction for 
the New York City Board of Education. 

To some school officials, there was 
no doubt that students had to be ex- 
posed to computers. 

Controlling the Technology 

“Students have to learn about com¬ 
puters if they are going to control their 
destiny,” said Richard McNamara, 
coordinator of computer instruction at 
the Wait Whitman school, which has 48 
machines. “If you don’t give students 
some awareness of how to use com¬ 
puter technology, they are going to be 
controlled by it.” 

Virtually every public school now of¬ 
fers students some form of computer 
literacy. In Stamford, Conn., for exam¬ 
ple, all fifth graders take an eight-week 
course that introduces them to the his¬ 
tory of computers, the mechanics of 
the hardware, elementary program¬ 
ming and how computers are affecting 
modem society. 

High schools in Yonkers now require 
every senior to take a one-semester 
course, half of it devoted to keyboard 
skills and the other to computer litera 
cy. 


Th* New York Tin*!/Dec.», 1*4 


At the Senator Robert F. Wagner 
Junior High School on East 76th Street 
in Manhattan, the workbenches in what 
was once a woodworking shop now hold 
12 TRS-80 microcomputers. Paul 
Booth, the computer instructor, 
teaches seventh graders typing and 
basic programming, and has them do 
exercises such as converting Fahren¬ 
heit temperatures to centigrade. 

"We’re trying to expose the child just 
to the mechanics of computers at this 
point, to what the computer can do and 
why,’’ Mr. Booth said. 

Drill and Practice 
The pattern is the same across the 
country. Using a sample of 1,082 ele¬ 
mentary and secondary schools, the 
. Center for the Social Organization of 
Schools at Johns Hopkins University 
concluded that nearly two-thirds of stu¬ 
dent computer time in high schools two 
years ago was devoted to computer lit¬ 
eracy. Eighteen percent was spent on 
drill and 6 percent each on electronic 
games, word-processing data retrieval 
and other uses. 

At the elementary school level, the 
study found that drill consumed 40 per¬ 
cent of student time on computers, with 
computer literacy accounting for 36 
percent and games for 24 percent. 

It is a pattern that some educators 
are beginning to question. At the West 
Elementary School in New Canaan, 
eight Commodore computers, half of 
them purchased by parents with pro¬ 
ceeds from a school fair. Throughout 
the school day small groups of second 
to sixth graders come for lessons in 
computer literacy. 

Leonard Tomasello, the principal, is 
proud of the care that went into organ¬ 
izing the computer program, but he 
wonders whether it is worth diverting 
students from math or other subjects. 
“I’m not even sure that progra mming 
is something that students will need to 
know in the future,” he said. 













ster,” the computer projects math 
problems on the screen; what the stu¬ 
dent types in the correct answer, a man 
runs across the screen, away from a 
monster that is chasing him. When too 
many wrong answers are given, the 
man is chewed up by the monster. If 
enough right answers are given, the 
man takes a hammer and kills the 
monster. 

Jeffrey Williams, a reading instruc¬ 
tor at Stratford High School, uses com¬ 
puter exercises as a reward for com¬ 
pleting regular assignments on paper. 

“They love it,” he said. “They’ve 
had it with the workbook approach and 
will stick with the computer.” 

Some teachers have used computers 
to address special academic needs of 
students at both ends of the academic 
spectrum. At Bayonne High School one 
day recently, Gail Rusin, a 17-year-old 
senior, used a program called “Chem¬ 
istry 1” to review material in an honors 
science seminar. In one exercise, she 
calculated how many liters of oxygen 
could be combined with 128 grams of 
sulfur dioxide. 

“This is a godsend,” said the teach¬ 
er, Thomas J. Russo. “It lets students 
who are ahead of the class get extra 
help working by themselves.” T 

Computers are proving effective in 
the management of instruction for stu¬ 
dents with varying educational needs. 1 
At the Lakeview Elementary School 
in Mahopac, N.Y., the computer labo¬ 
ratory is linked to a regional educa¬ 
tional center that maintains records of 
each child. Whenever children punch in 
their code, the computer recognizes 
them, greets them on the screen by 
name and produces the program that 
has been selected by the teacher. The 
computer then provides a printout for 
each student that points out weak and 
strong areas. 

Writing and Rewriting 
Teachers also praise the “infinite pa¬ 
tience” of computers in dealing with 
slow learners or handicapped students. 
Austine Olson, an English teacher at 
Weston High School, uses computers to 
teach writing to students with learning 
disabilities. 

“They have a lot of trouble with 
handwriting," she said. “It’s much 
easier for them to correct and rewrite, 
on a screen.” 

Some teachers refuse to allow the 
computers to be used only for drill. At 
Shoreham-Wading River Middle 
School on Long Island, for example, 
Edward Gaias, the computer coordina¬ 
tor, said, “You won’t find any drill and 
practice here with the exception of spe¬ 
cial ed.’ 

Anthony Messina, the school’s music 
teacher, has students use a computer to 
compose their own music even though 
they are unfamiliar with musical nota¬ 
tion. They sit at a piano keyboard, one 
at a time, and play a musical phrase, 
which is then fed into a computer 
linked to the piano. 

He then shows them how to create a 
"loop” so that the computer repeats 
the musical phrase while the student 
improvises over it. The computer will 
also print out a composition in musical 
notation. 

"We underestimate the creative abil¬ 
ity of kids,” Mr. Messina said. "There 
potentially could be closet composers 
all over the world.” 


many elementary scuutna ua»c uiouc 
‘ extensive use of Logo, a computer lan¬ 
guage that teaches students elemen¬ 
tary programming skills but also per¬ 
mits them to learn principles of geome¬ 
try in an inductive rather than an ab¬ 
stract maimer. 

Simulations at the high school level 
include a biology program in which stu¬ 
dents can dissect a frog on the screen 
and then, in what surely constitutes an 
educational innovation, go through the 
even more complex task of reassem¬ 
bling it. When the frog is put back to¬ 
gether, it jumps off the screen. 

Such uses of computers are rare, 
however, and educators report numer¬ 
ous obstacles to exploiting the full 
range of possibilities of computers, 
be ginning with the inadequacy of cur¬ 
rent software. Software is the set of in¬ 
structions that tell the machine — the 
hardware— what to do. 

“It’s very difficult to find quality 
software,” said Beth Maass, acting 
coordinator of media for the Stamford 


school system. “Most of what is avail¬ 
able is little more than electronic 
pages. They aren’t embedding graph -1 
ics in the programs, and there seems to i 
be little quality control. I find errors in' 
the programs all the time.” 

Mary Schneckenburger, a home eco¬ 
nomics teacher at Stratford Hig h 
School, said that most of the software 
she has encountered “turns out to be 
; something you could do with an over¬ 
head projector.” 

National researchers confirm that 
there are problems. Since December 
1982, the Educational Products Infor 


wcrxnwnne skiu, Dut that it is cot im¬ 
portant enough to take time from aca¬ 
demic subjects. 

Lynne P. Rigg, a computer science 
teacher and researcher in Garland, 
Tex., said teaching programming be¬ 
fore students were in the sixth or sev -1 
enth grade was a waste of time because i 
their psychological development was i 
usually not sufficient. 

“Programming is a very abstract or 
formal process,” she said. “You can 
teach a 5-year-old to program his ini¬ 
tials, but he cannot transfer what he 
learns to solving other problems.” 

Most educators familiar with com¬ 
puters believe that, while the machines 

I are interesting in themselves, their 
I real significance for schools is as a tool 
.for teaching regular subjects. 

“The computer should not be the 
focus or the end result,” said Nancy 
Cetorelli, the math coordinator at 
Stratford High School in Connecticut. 

As a result, teachers are moving to 
explore what has come to be known as 
“computer-assisted instruction." The 
Orchard Hill Elementary School in Mil- j 
ford. Conn.', for example, began'using, 
computers last year in the fourth, fifth, 
and sixth grades as a means of moti-j 
vating students in mathematics, spell-’ 
ing and grammar. 

J Many local scnooi systems, ana some 
entire states, have begun to subscribe 
to such services, and some have their 
own central screening systems. In 
Stamford, for example, Mrs. Maass’s 
office screens software and purchases 
what it deems to be useful. Teachers 
and principals in each school can then 
borrow what the district selects and, if, 
they choose, purchase their own copies, j 

Afkaw tioifa Mian —»■-- I 


bucjr uiuwc, puiuiddc utcrir uwa copies. 

mation Exchange Institute < n .. Others have even tried involving stu- 

ampton, L.I., hl52 m 22? de ? ts °? e *g ecti «- 

of edimaftnnai -«*.- pieces | in practice, however, most purchas-1 

ing decisions are still made by teachers |i 


and supervisors on t he basis of revie ws | 


The basic problem is the sheer vol¬ 
ume of software. Mr. Komoski esti¬ 
mates that there are 7,000 pieces of 
educational software on the mai-w* 
with 125 added each month. 

"In a way, the industry is approach¬ 
ing software the way it has always ap¬ 
proached textbooks,” he said. “Pub¬ 
lishers want to have a book on every¬ 
thing. They will produce a few good 
things and then get caught up in quanti-, 

ty- 

Another screening service is Micro- 
aft, which is supported by the federally 
/financed Northwest Regional La bora- ! 
Itory. 


matter how creative a piece of soft¬ 
ware may be, it has little practical 
value if the skills it requires do not 
coincide with what a particular group 

. of students has learned and is ready to 
believe I ieam. 

“You can’t rework a whole year’s 
curriculum just to fit in a particular 
piece of software, no matter how good 
it is,” Mr. Komoski said. 

Still another problem is tr ainin g 
teachers in the use of computers. New 
York City has trained 8,000 of its 56,600 
teachers. Last year 400 of the 1,200 
teachers in the Stamford school system 
took seminars in the use of computers, 
on their own time. Nevertheless, prin¬ 
cipals say, teacher insistence is a 
major problem. 

“Many teachers feel uncomfortable 
with computers,” said Marge Schneid¬ 
er, principal of the Cloonan Middle 
School in Stamford. “They know that 
computers are here and that they ought 
to be interested. But staff tr aining is 
still the biggest problem.” 

Even small things can sometimes 
contribute to teacher concern about the 
effects of computers. Joanne Scolaro, 
the librarian at the Bell Middle School 
in Chappaqua, N.Y., has been working 


of 

cooperation with the Consumes Uiion 1 

The institute - — 

a s s<sr er nrti0,1 ; 

Accommodating Software j 
standards,” said Kenneth i£rr mt0 curriculum. t 

director - “ife 

simpie P to^ 0 P^ , ®~ pedestr ian > 

Schools 

could have gotten in a 55 workbook. 

Some educators, however, beL 
that the situation is beginning to 
change. “We’re not hearing as many 
complaints about the software,” said 
Carol Scelza, manager of the erf oca - 
tional technology unit of the New Jer¬ 
sey State Department of Education. “It 
seems to be improving.” 

Even when good software is avail¬ 
able, teachers say, schools rarely have 
the procedures for getting it into the 
hands of teachers. “We have no means 
to review what’s on the market,” said 
Joseph Ehrard, a physics teacher at 
Weston. We re buying in thedark.” 

‘Caught Up in Quantity’ 


with students on word processors. She 
has them file what they write in what 
she calls their “electronic notebook.” 1 
“We hear different excuses now, 
|she said. “Instead of ‘the dog ate my 
homework’ they say ‘the computer 
erased my disk.’ ” 



HOMEPAK ($50. Batteries Included) give* the user the most value per 
ilotter tor env home application* package I've seen. Il's three program* 
integrated into ocv» menu system. HomeText. HomeFind and HomeTerm 
may alhahare the .am* data toe*. AB three program* ua* a euatom 
character lont lor displaying text which ia pleasingly different from the 
usual Atari Ml. and yet easy to read. Multiple drivea are supported, and 
files can be road and written on double denatty. 

HomeText is an amazingly powerful word processor offering many 
features found on more expensive packages. The screen in th* editing 
mode defaults to a pleasant green, but the screen color can be changed. 

In addition to the Atari cursor arrow controls, you can quickly move to 
top or bottom of the text fils Two key strokes cen move the cursor to 
the top. bottom end middle left of a screen, es well e* to the beginning 
or end of a line. 

The Alan key toggles th* insert mode so inverse characters don t seem 
to be available Blocks can be moved, copied and deleted. Search and 
replace functions are implemented. A print preview option enables th* 
user to see how the text will appear on a printed page - sort of. Th* 
screen shows dots and colors to show the location of lines of text and 
whether they are bold, extended or underlined. 

Th* text buffer is less than 7k. so there’s not a lot of space in which 
to work. But an "include'' function can link together more than one file 
for printing. There's an elegant way to ua* unsupported primers with 
this program. A menu window pops on the screen into which you type 
the decimal ASCII cod* for feature desired. The program will print 
multiple line headers and footers, with page numbers. 

This program is excellent lor th* occasional user of a word processor 
who might forget, from time to lime, the commands to us*. Well, you 
don’t have to go back to th* documentation for another course in word 
processing. The program is menu driven at every step of the way. For 
someone using the program every day. these menus might be 
bothersome. The documentation explains how to short-circuit some of 
th* menus, so the authors recognize the problem. 

HomeFind is a filing program which doesn't require the user to study 
a manual to learn how to sat up databaM fields. Data is entered in a 
common-sense manner upon what looks like an editing screen in a word 
processor. Each entry can contain up to four elements which total less 
than 144 characters. No element may contain more than 80. This is 
generous enough lor most small filing jobs such as mailing lists. Th* only 
concession to "fields" one must make is the um of ’* after two of the 
elements, and a “bar” to denote a comment field. An apostrophe may 
be used to replace an entire string ending in's to repeat a previously 
used string’ 

Oats may be.recalled merely by typing a string (less th* ’s) equal to 
any of th* first three elements in an entry. Multiple criteria may also be 
uMd. Data files to and from HomeText may be merged. HomeFind data 
disks may not contain any other tiles. 

HomeTerm is th* star of this package. This communications program 
is as good’s* any on th* market lor th* Atari. It supporst 1200 baud. 
In addition to th* usual communications modes (ASCII. ATASCII and 
XModeml. It also supports th* Vidax mode used on CompuServe Th* 
default green screen color mey be changed. Text and screen brightness 
may also be controlled. 

When text is displayed on th* screen, a word-wrap function mey be 
toggled on end off. Word-wrap make* th* text easier to read since lines 
won't break words up in the middle An editing window can be displayed 
during communication. This window will hold up to 120 characters which 
wiU not be sent to the other computer until you press RETURN. This is 
handy when in a chat mode or when using th* CB simulator or 
conference functions on CompuServe Without it. sometimes you'll miss 
what others are saying while you're typing a response 

Ibu can open a “capture" buffer with the OPTION key while on the 
screen displaying the data you want to capture You don’t need to escape 
to some menu to open the buffer. Handy DOS functions are accessible 
from within HomeTerm to read directories, delate rename lock & unlock 
files, copy, and format disks. A 24 hour real-time clock can be set to 
keep track of on-line time “Macros" can be written and even linked 
together to automate dialing and logging sequences. Configuration files 
can be saved to disk which contain the current list of macros, as well 
as choices of baud rate, screen color and brightness, key click, duplex 
mode and translation type 

The documentation describes how to use the Ateri 835/1030 and MPP 
modems. There is also an 8-page article by Ron Luks of CompuServe 
describing how to use CompuServe's SIG’Atari. HomeTerm alone makes 
HomePak worth the purchase price, in my opinion. 

— Jim Bumpas, Co-Editor 


L T 


Rocky’s Boots encourages students to 
develop reasoning skills as they design 
“logic machines” with simulated com¬ 
puter circuits. -Students can choose the 
level of difficulty and ask for directions 
and examples at any time. Publisher: 
The Learning Company. Hardware: Ap¬ 
ple II Atari (48K). Commodore 64. IBM 
1 PC. PCjr. Price: S49.95 (Commodore. 
$34 95). Grade level: Intermediate and 
above. See: September 1983, p. 36; 
January 1984, p. 55. 

t 

iWfo v6 a. fruii-j 

vo iX CuvtuJbdtL. 
ft, life ftOui?- iMV 

I0SW CU, 


rVm. 


nfy. 





* V.'b 

l>5>- 

\ d' 0 ^. < 532 ^:. 

1983 


59. 


Apple Logo Programming Primer by 
Donald Martin, Stephen Prata and 
Marijane Axtel Paulsen. Published by 
Howard H. Sams and Co. 1984. 
pp453. Reviewed by Gordon Findlay. 

Logo has been designed for teaching, 
with the expressed aim of helping pupils, 
of whatever age, learn thinking skills. It 
has been universally acclaimed as the 
most successful attempt so far to link 
education and computers. Something 
akin to a cult has grown up among some 
afficionados of the language, em¬ 
phasising an entirety exploratory, 
experimental approach to the most 
widely known aspect of the Logo 
system, Turtlegraphics. 

! Few books go beyond Turtlegraphics 
and the use of recursion to draw designs 
and spirals. But there is rather more to 
Logo than that: it is one of very few 
languages specifically incorporating list 
and language processing. This book 
introduces Logo through Turtlegraphics, 
but continues past this to cover lists, 
words, inputs and outputs, interactive or 
humanised programrrfing, property lists 
and a wide range of examples of their 
I uses. 

1 The book starts from the very 
beginning of Apple Logo, with very 


\ 


Oct° 


Ahwo id 


viuovyauifjd 0iiu uie rutmu 

of Educational Software 

-."To glimpse the possibilities of educational 
software, consider the effect of videogames 
on a typical ‘problem student.’ The teacher 
may complain that in the classroom this stu¬ 
dent has an attention span of 30 seconds. 
Why is it, then, that in the video arcade he 
has absolutely no problem intensely focusing 
his attention for hours at a time? He teams 
every move in Defender, grasps every symme¬ 
try and strategy in Pac-Man, and memorizes 
every branch point in Dragon's Lair. It should 
be obvious that videogames have stumbled 
onto a key for unlocking major reservoirs of 
mental energy and concentration. There’s 
something about their interactivity that 
strongly assists the learning process, and 
this should be exploited to develop new 
forms of intrinsically motivating educational 
programs. But there are limits to what can be 
taught by action-type videogames. The phys¬ 
iological responses they evoke—hand/eye co¬ 
ordination and pattern recognition—are 
useful mostly for learning how to play video- 
games better... The techniques of video- 

games are in fact useful for teaching manual 
. skills such as typing or piano playing. But 
other forms of stimulation are needed to 
teach intellectual skills. Educational soft¬ 
ware has not progressed very far beyond the 
level of videogames, however, because so 
few people really understand education—in¬ 
cluding educators themselves.... Only when 
software authors and educators have gained 
a more sophisticated understanding of each 
other's skills and challenges will they be 
I able to work together to build a framework 
| lor educational software.” 

I Moses T.L. Me (Assn, of Videogame 
I Designers) in High Technology 
f 5 < 3 ):10, Mar 85 [pd i 903 j] * 



explicit instructions at first, very suitab 
for the beginner. Great emphasis 
placed on planning the approach i 
a programming problem and 
diagrammatic representation of eac 
program is given. Frequent use is mac 
of a written explanation of a program - 
well written explanation at that - i 
explain the techniques used and th 
details of procedures used. 

Use is made of utility or to 
procedures which, once written ar 
checked, are incorporated in program 
These are intended to be general enouc 
to be useful in a wide variety of othi 
situations. 

Appendices include a good summa 
of all Logo commands, an ASC 
character table, notes on managing tl 
work space and start-up, a list of err 
messages (with some advice about the 
interpretation) and a summary of Logo 
features. A tear-out card lists the ma 
commands and editor keystrokes. 

This is a readable and, as far as I ha\ 
seen, reliable book. It is very readab 
indeed, is very well presented with cle 
diagrams, clear print and good quali 
paper. Each chapter includes questior 
and programming exercises. It isn 
cheap, but is a substantial volume anc 
do recommend it highly. 

i eiTS & BYTES - May 1985 - 53 





computers 

ATARI AND COMMODORE 
WANT TO GET ON YOUR GIFT LIST 


Ms warned on how the new model will 
be sold. In January, it was to be purely 
through mass merchandisers; in April it 
was to be through computer stores. 
Now, says Atari marketing manager 
Bryan A. Kerr, “Atari is not restricting 
the ST to a particular channel.” This 
makes retailers wary. “I won’t answer 
Atari’s phone call,” says Edward J. Ra¬ 
mos, president of the New York-based 
Future Information Systems chain. “The 
way those people [operated] in the past 
has left a bad taste.” 


MKk nalysts are calling it the most se- 
JIMm vere slumD ever to hit the home 


America Group. Commodore’s strategy 
is to go back to that same market with a 


JFm computer business. The indus¬ 
try’s first outright decline in unit sales is 
causing huge headaches at Apple Com¬ 
puter Inc. (page 50) and International 
Business Machines Corp. But for Com¬ 
modore International Ltd. and Atari 
Corp., which depend solely on home com¬ 
puters for their U. S. sales, a prolonged 
slump could prove lethal. To make sure 
it doesn’t, these archrivals are scram¬ 
bling to come up with products that will 
lure the increasingly sophisticated buy¬ 
ers who have shunned their machines. 

Commodore and Atari are angling for 
the kind of upscale consumers who last 
Christmas spent $1,000 for an IBM or an 


more powerful basic computer and add a 
flashy color display. A hardware option 
is expected to give Amiga the ability to 
run IBM PC software. Rattigan, a former 
marketing executive at PepsiCo Inc., 
says: “We have more of an opportunity 
in this market than Apple or IBM. We’ve 
never been in this part of the market 
before and can do more coming up from | 
the low end than they can coming down 
from above.” 

To reach new upscale customers, Com¬ 
modore and Atari are forgoing mass 
merchandisers such as Kmart Corp. 
that have traditionally sold most of then- 
cheap home computers. Instead, the 


1 DOH-T CARE.* Even if Commodore and 
Atari can get computer store distribu- 
tion, the competition with IBM and Apple 
will be fierce. IBM has once again cut 
prices to move its unsold PCjr inventory, 
estimated at around 200,000 units. That 
could start a round of industrywide price 
cuts. And Apple, under mounting pres¬ 
sure to reverse an earnings decline, 
could repackage a version of the Macin¬ 
tosh for the home market. Any of these 
moves could abort Commodore’s plan. 

Commodore’s Rattigan maintains that 
by selling the Amiga through specialty 
stores and the 128, a Commodore 64 re- , 
placement, through mass merchandisers, 
the company has “both doors covered.” 
His boss, President and Chief Executive 
Marshall F. Smith, has promised share¬ 
holders a return to profitability in the 
Christmas quarter. The company lost : 
$21 million after taxes in the first three \ 
months of 1985 and faces a further $20 j 
million loss this quarter. Privately held j 
Atari insists it is operating profitably. i 
The collapse in demand for home com- j 
puters has raised the question of wheth¬ 
er there really is much demand for the 
machines. Commodore’s Smith isn't wor¬ 
ried. “I don’t care what you've heard. 
There is a home computer market,” he 
says. All Commodore and Atari have to 
do is make sure they’re in on it 
By Geoff Lewis in New York, with bu¬ 
reau reports 



COMMODORE’S SMITH AMD RATTIOAN: NEW HOME COMPUTERS AMD PROFITS BY CHRISTMAS 


Apple. To attract those “serious” home 
computer buyers, they are packing their 
new models with features borrowed 
| from Apple’s business-oriented Macin¬ 
tosh. They are also offering buyers 
;j more for their money. The $800 Atari 
; 520ST, scheduled for shipment in July, is 

• roughly comparable to a Macintosh that 
j now retails for about $1,800. 

better chance? Commodore’s new en¬ 
try, the Amiga, is expected to sell for 
$1,000 to $1,500 and includes what is be¬ 
ing billed as the best color-graphics dis¬ 
play available. It is positioned to exploit 
the market of demanding home comput¬ 
er buyers that IBM and Apple started to 
, tap last fall. “They proved that for the 
i right price and performance there is con- 
j sumer demand,” says Thomas J. Ratti- 

* gan, president of the Commodore North 


companies are trying to persuade the 
retailers who sell IBM and Apple to cairy 
their new products. And that is proving 
difficult “We are not going to carry the 
Amiga or the Atari,” says Michael R. 
Shabazian, president of ComputerLand 
Corp.’s U. S. division, the largest U.S. 
computer retail chain. “Commodore, for 
one, has an image problem.” That stig¬ 
ma with retailers can be traced to Atari 
Chairman Jack Tramiel, who, as presi¬ 
dent of Commodore two years ago, shift¬ 
ed from computer stores to mass mer¬ 
chandisers without warning. 

Neither Atari nor Commodore has 
signed up any major chains or indepen¬ 
dent dealers to date, but Commodore’s 
Rattigan claims he will have the compa- ■ 
ny’s products in 1,200 computer stores in 
time for Christmas. Atari’s prospects for j 


Jenny of the Prairie is an adventure 
game—designed especially for girls— 
that challenges users to help an aban¬ 
doned pioneer girl survive in the wilder¬ 
ness. The program offers three levels 
of difficulty and presents a variety of 
obstacles. Publisher: Addison-Wesley. 
Hardware: Apple II, Atari (48K), Com¬ 
modore 64. Price: $39.95. Grade level: 
Primary-junior high. See: February 
1984, p. 63; April/May 1985. pp. 23-24. 


BUSINESS WEEK/JUNE 10. 1985 21 








Y ounger and lower achieving stu¬ 
dents learn more using educa¬ 
tional computing than older or high 
ability students. 

That’s the conclusion of two new 
studies of the “best” research avail¬ 
able on the effectiveness of comput¬ 
er assisted instruction. 

In addition, they agree that com¬ 
puters can improve learning. 

They disagree, however, about the 
value of drill programs. One says 
they’re the most effective type of 
computer program, and the other 
says they’re the least effective. 

The findings of one of the studies, 
conducted by M. D. Roblyer, Flor¬ 
ida A & M University and ICON 
Enterprises, were released at the re¬ 
cent Minnesota Educational Com¬ 
puting Corp. (MECC) annual confer- 
\ ence. 

) Roblyer’s analysis of 11 reviews of 
research findings found that com¬ 
puter based instruction is more ef¬ 
fective: 

• In elementary schools than in* 
high schools and more effective in 
high schools than in college. 

• In math than in reading and 
language. 

• As a supplement in traditional 
instruction than as a replacement for 
traditional instruction. 

• When used in modes other than 
drill, i.e., tutorial and simulation. 

• For improving attitudes toward 
instruction, subject matter, and 
computers. 

Most research studies, she said, 
also find that computers reduce the 
time it takes students to learn some¬ 
thing. 

“In spite of the great potential of 
computers in education.” Roblyer 
added, “evidence of success is not 
overwhelming.” 

The second analysis of 48 different 
research efforts, conducted by Rich¬ 
ard Niemiec and Herbert Waiberg of 
the U. of Illinois at Chicago, con- 
^ eluded that: 





• Students using computer assist¬ 
ed instruction (CAI) perform a sub¬ 
stantial 16 percentile points better 
than similar students not using CAI. 

• Boys using computers achieve 
more than girls. 

• Of the different forms of CAI, 
drill and practice is the most effec¬ 
tive, the opposite conclusion from 
that reached by Roblyer. 

Niemiec and Waiberg pointed out 
that although CAI now includes the 
promising development of allowing 
students to converse with the com¬ 
puter in natural language, large scale 
investigations of its effectiveness are 
unavailable. 

Roblyer told her MECC audience 
that other interventions may be 
more effective in improving learning 
than using computers. Examples: 
peer and adult tutoring and teacher 
training. 


E nthusiasm and learning of high 
school students working on pro¬ 
gramming is greatest where students 
work at the computer individually 
and without disturbance. 

And “enthusiasm is least im¬ 
proved” when they work in pairs. 

These conclusions were released 
in a federally supported study con¬ 
ducted by Henry Jay Becker, Center 
for Social Organization of Schools, 
Johns Hopkins U. 

In the last of 6 repons on data 
from 1,600 microcomputer-using 
elementary and secondary schools. 


What are the implications of her 
findings? Because of lower gains for 
adults/college students and in read¬ 
ing and language arts, Roblyer said, 
decision makers might reconsider 
large computer investments in these 
areas. 

“We need more specific research 
results to guide development and 
implementation of educational com¬ 
puting,” she said. “Unless we get 
these results and start pinpointing 
uses of computers where they’re 
really effective, instead of shotgun¬ 
ning it, the public is going to get 
disgusted when it discovers comput¬ 
ers don’t achieve gains in all areas. 

“It’s already beginning to happen. 

“The current situation is like a 
good news/bad news joke,” she ex¬ 
plained. “The good news is that 
computers seem to contribute to 
learning. The bad news is that they 
may not have a great effect, and 
other, cheaper methods may be 
more effective. 

“This is still very much a fad- 
driven movement,” she concluded. 

For more information, contact 
Roblyer (ICON Enterprises, PO Box 
13176, Tallahassee, Fla. 32308); and 
Niemiec (2330 W. Palmer St., Chi¬ 
cago, Ill. 60647). 


Becker said elementary teachers re¬ 
ported different conclusions: 

• Enthusiasm of their students 
was superior when they worked at 
computers cooperatively rather than 
individually. 

• Learning was greatest for drill/ 
practice activity when done in pairs 
or groups. 

The 6 reports — School Uses of 
Microcomputers — are available for 
$3 from the Center for Social Orga¬ 
nization of Schools. Johns Hopkins 
U.. Baltimore. Md. 21218. 


The Incredible Laboratory lets stu¬ 
dents create monsters and then encour¬ 
ages them to determine which chemical 
creates each body part. Through these 
trial-and-error explorations, students must 
organize, record and synthesize data. 
The game allows for team or individual 
play. Publisher: Sunburst. Hardware: 
Apple II, Atari (48K), Commodore 64, 
TRS-80 Color Computer. Price: $55. 
Grade level: Intermediate and above. 



D-Bug is a problem-solving game, c 
computer literacy tutorial and an elec 
tronics simulation. In the game portion 
players "capture" on-screen objects 
The other part of the program challenge; 
students to debug a computer by testing 
and replacing simulated parts. Pub' 
Usher: Electronic Arts. Hardware: Atar 
(48K), Commodore 64. Price: $35 
Grade level: Intermediate and above, 


omputers from Atari promise to be easy to use and inexpensive. 

U.S.NEWS & WORLD REPORT, Jan. 21, 1985 


Study Shows How Pupils Learn Best 














FORCED ENTRY MODE RE-VISITED 
By Ross Palmer 

Forced entry mode (or FEM...who says computers are male!!) is 
one of my favourite party tricks for showing off Atari BASIC. For 
those of you who haven't come across it yet, try this example: 

10 REM FEM EXAMPLE 

80 ? CHR$(125):POSITION 2,4 

90 ? "200 REM THIS LINE HAS BEEN ADDED" 

100 ? "CONT" 

110 POSITION 2,0 
120 POKE 842,13:STOP 
130 POKE 842,12 

RUN the program, then LIST it - hey presto!, line 200 has been 
added to the program. The critical statement in the program is line 
120. This causes the BASIC program to stop running and to start 
entering instructions from the screen without waiting for the user 
to press RETURN. This is what is meant by forced entry mode. In our 
example, when the BASIC encounters the line printed by statement 90 
it interprets it as a line to be added to the program. Note that 
while in FEM your BASIC program is NOT running (it was stopped by 
line 129). The purpose of the cont on line 100 is to stop the FEM 
and return control to your BASIC program. 

Typical uses of FEM are: 

deleting unwanted program lines (say, after 
initialisation in order to release space for arrays & 
graphics). 

- conversion of machine language programs into DATA 
statements. 

- storing program data in DATA ststements (Bernard Kerr's 
Diskfile program on WACE Disk 4 does this). 

The technical reasoning behind FEM is rather obscure; those 
interested should consult the article by Frank Jones in COMPUTE!'s 
Second Book of Atari. One feature of all uses of FEM is that it 
generates a lot of on-screen activity. In the cases of home grown 
programs, it can be fun to sit back and watch the frenetic activity 
by our busy computer. However, in the case of professional software 
products, many programmers would feel that this sort of activity 
should be decently hidden from the user. The standard ploy for doing 
this is to blank out the screen by making the text and the 
background the same colour (POKE 709,PEEK(710)) or, more 
drastically, disabling the screen altogether (POKE 559,0). In either 
case this leaves the (puzzled) user staring at a blank screen while 
all the fun goes on behind the scenes. 

There is, however, a third option which I haven't seen mentioned 
elsewhere. This involves the use of alternate screen memories. To 
demonstrate the effect, modify the program given above to the 
following: 



10 REM FEM USING ALTERNATE SCREENS 
20 POKE 106,PEEK(740)-4 
30 GRAPHICS 0 

40 MLO=PEEK(88):MHI=PEEK(89) 

50 QLO=0:QHI=sPEEK (106) 

60 PRINT "HERE IS SOME TEXT" 

70 POKE 88,QLO:POKE 89,QHI 

80 ? CHR$ (125):POSITION 2,4 

90 ? "200 REM THIS LINE HAS BEEN ADDED" 

100 ? "CONT" 

110 POSITION 2,0 

120 POKE 842,13:STOP 

130 POKE 842,12 

140 POKE 88,MLO:POKE 89,MHI 

Now RUN and LIST the program - you again see that line 200 has 
been added to the program (by FEM), but this time without disturbing 
the screen display. 

How is this done? In essence the program uses two screen 
memories - a primary screen for storing the text displayed on your 
TV or Monitor, and an alternate screen from which FEM reads its 
input data. To try and clarify this a little, I will describe in 
more detail how the program works. 

Line 20 : location 740 contains the number of pages (1 page = 
256 bytes) of RAM present in your computer. Location 106 (called 
RAMTOp) contains the number of RAM pages available to BASIC. 
Normally these two locations contain the same number (e.g 160 
for 48K or 64K systems). Line 20 lowers RAMTOP by 4 pages = 1024 
bytes. The area above RAMTOP is used to hold the alternate 
GRAPHICS 0 screen memory. 

Line 30 : having altered RAMTOP, we must immediately issue a 

GRAPHICS command so that a new primary screen memory and its 
associated display list are constructed in the area just below 
RAMTOP. 

Line 40 : MLO and MHI are the low and high order bytes of the 
screen memory address. 

Line 50 : QLO and QHI are ditto for the alternate screen. 

Line 60 : puts some text on the primary screen. 

Line 70 : locations 88 and 89 (called SAVMSC) contain the 
address of the screen memory used by BASIC and the Operating 
System. Line 70 points them to the alternate screen. 

Lines 80 to 130 : standard FEM coding. 

Line 140 : points BASIC and the OS back to the primary screen. 

Why does this example work? I'm open to correction here, but I 
think the explanation is roughly as follows. BASIC and the OS do 
screen input and output (and in particular FEM) using the address 
stored in SAVMSC. However, the screen display is actually generated 
by the ANTIC chip, using the screen address stored in bytes 5 and 6 
of the display list. Normally this address is the same as in 
SAVMSC. The "trick" in the above program is that it alters SAVMSC 
without forcing a corresponding change in the display list. 



Thus during lines 80 to 130 of the program, ANTIC is using the 
primary screen address stored in the display list to generate the TV 
display while BASIC is using the secondary address in SAVMSC to do 
its output and FEM. This is why the (primary) screen display is not 
affected by the PRINT statements on lines 90 and 100. You will 
notice, however, that the cursor position is affected by activity on 
the secondary screen. With a little more effort, we could get around 
this by saving and restoring locations 84,85 and 86. Alternate 
screens are a modification which can easily be incorporated in any 
program using FEM. The only disadvantage of this technique is that 
it uses an extra IK of RAM and so won't be suitable if memory is 
tight. 


PATCH FOR TINY-TEXT 
By Ross Palmer 

XL owners who bought WACE Disk #4 will now know that the new 80 
column Tinytext does not work on their machines. This is because 
the 80 column display software makes three calls to addresses in the 
operating system ROM which have changed in the XL series. A quick 
fix (For XL owners only!) is to add the following lines to your 
version of TINYTEXT.BAS: 

20 POKE 9133,142:POKE 9144,239 
22 POKE 9246,253:POKE 9247,242 
24 POKE 9431,73.-POKE 9432,251 

- then SAVE the new version. More experienced users could 
incorporate the changes directly into the AUTORUN.SYS file which 
contains the Video 80 program. 


Dear Mr. Cauldwell 

Frices for ..the home computer/word processing paper are: 

$16.50 for a box of 500 sheets - less 7^ for 5 or more 

or less iCfi for 10 or mors. 

^ 30.00 for a box of 1,000 sheets 
v5S.CC for a box of 2,000 sheets. 


21 Kay, 1565 


If you would like to see how the 500 sheets are neatly boxed I can brine one down 
tc sno*^ yoUf 

Also if anyone requires the above paper to have a letterhead orinted on it I 
can obtain a guowSj if an a sampls of .^hat is r*£<juii*sd. # 


r 


CHERRYL GREEN 
PHONE 792-73? 


Many thanks. 




1_0(30 


Just as I was preparing to write a note suggesting that members 
who were going to borrow my Logo manuals to photocopy might as well 
buy their Logo from me, the new price list arrived: and behold, any 
day now you should be able to buy the complete pack for $139. I'd 
better keep one in stock! 

Who would have guessed a month ago that hardware prices would 
come diving down so soon, or the 130 XE actually arrive? Let alone 
that software prices would start to look almost reasonable after so 
long: like AtariWriter and Visicalc each at $149. 

Books, however, have risen in price rather nastily. If the 
dozen Cat least) club members who have Logo already think there 
should be a reference copy of Abelson's Apple Logo in the library 
while it's still only $45 after discounting, you'd better let the 
committee know, because goodness knows what the next consignment will 
cost. Yes, it is an LCSI Logo like Atari Logo, and this is the book 
that covers a reasonable amount of list-processing as well as 
graphics etc. 

BUT 

I have my doubts about this 1029 dot matrix printer at $545. 

From the brief description it does not sound as if it has half the 
features of the Ritemans and Logitecs. I had been considering 
importing some Seikosha AXIOM GP—550ATs, which would probably resell 
at $900-950, or a little less for club members. They have the 
versatility that we have come to expect in a printer, and plug 
straight into your Atari system. It would be helpful to know if such 
a deal would interest any members: please phone if you have any 
comments to make — I'm not looking for firm orders. 

meanwh i 1 e- 

I intend to keep at least one Logitec ribbon cartridge in stock, 
at $35 for club members. 


Jenny 


729866 



^ Vva- iJav'rt irt\o*' 


{Yk^jkCVW ic/b 


,v'->: - V-:^. .-ur. v;- 



uture 
hangs in the balance 


WHEN an executive with 
whom you’ve had a friend¬ 
ly relationship -for seven 
years suddenly ducks your 
phone calls, you -know 
something is yrrong.- . 'vl .. 

That executive is Irv- 
ing "Gould, chairmanand. 
largest stockholder of 
Commodore International, 
the kingpin of the home. 
computer business. '/%§;«; 

Andsomething is Clear¬ 
ly wrong. Mr Gould was 
readily available when the 
company’s business, was 
boomlng.^bupnot any 

■One] of Hhe. great 
growth companies of the 
past” five years. Com¬ 
modore has gone into a 
nosedive. So, too, has its 
stock, from' a'mid-1983 
high of 60.6 to a recent 
price of around 10. ' 

. As a result Mr Gould 
who has steadfastly held 
on to his 6 million Com¬ 
modore shares (20 per 
cent of the company), has 
suffered a huge paper loss 
— up to $US300 million in 
less than two years. 

Who knows? With that 
kind of trouble, maybe I 
wouldn’t want to talk to 
anybody, either. 2 i? 

The company’s latest 
fiasco — a reported fiscal 
third-quarter loss of near¬ 
ly 5US21 million, which 
followed a 93 per cent 
profit decline in the sec- 
ond quarter — has 
sparked talk on Wall 
Street that the company is 
headed for financial trou- 
ble, perhaps, even 
bankruptcy. 

Such speculation is 
labelled by the company 
as ridiculous. A company 
official cited strong bank 
lines, good potential for 
new models and declining 
inventories of aging prod¬ 
ucts — notably the Com¬ 
modore 64 model com- 


Front DAN DORFMAN 
of New York Magazine 

puter, which retails for 
around $US150 and has 
been the best, selling home 
computer in the world. 

? however,, several Wall 
Street watchers of the mi¬ 
crocomputer business tell 
me bankruptcy at some 
'point is a possibility^espe^ 
dally If Commodore’s 
much heralded Amiga 
computer turns out . to be a 
dud. . ' 

The Amiga, ? a higher 
priced' model (around 
3US1500) with ’advanced 
colour graphics, is sup¬ 
posed to be out later this 
year. . rr'■ 

Its big competitor is 
Apple’s Macintosh, which 
is sold by some dealers at 
a discount price of be¬ 
tween 3US1700 and 
3US1800. • 

Commodore’s rapid de¬ 
cline tracks the overall 
drop in home computer 
sales. 

The company, which 
accounts for about 60 per 
cent of the home com¬ 
puter market and topped 
$US1 billion in sales in 
1984, started as a family- 
owned typewriter repair 
shop in the Bronx, funded 
by Jack Tramiel, a Polish- 
born survivor of Aus¬ 
chwitz. ' ~ V: 

Mr Gould, a Canadian 
businessman, bought a 
piece of the company in 
1966. Ten years later. 
Commodore acquired a 
semiconductor firm that 
was the springboard into 
lower priced home com¬ 
puters. 

Mr Tramiel, regarded 
as the operating brains of 
the company, left Com¬ 
modore in January 1984 to 
take control of Atari. 

Today, in addition to 



COMMODORE , possibility of bankruptcy 


Commodore’s other prob¬ 
lems, a company sub¬ 
sidiary is being questioned 
by the Internal Revenue 
Service about certain tax 
savings the subsidiary 
claimed. 

“There’s a possibility 
of bankruptcy,” said Doug 
Cayne, an analyst at the 
Gartner group, a technolo¬ 
gy research outfit in 
Stamford, Connecticut. 

His views sum up the 
thinking of several 
analysts. “If Amiga makes 
it, the company will do a 
lot better. If it doesn’t, the 
company’s problems will 
intensify.” 

But if you listen to 
Clive Smith, Commodore’s 
vice-president of corpo¬ 
rate planning, you get the 
idea a return to profit¬ 
ability over the short fun 
is anything but likely. 

“We’re introducing 
four new products — two 
in the United States and 
several in Europe. And 
there’s going to be a lot of 
start-up costs.” 

Obviously those high 
costs are expected to eat 
heavily into potential 
earnings. 

In any case, Mr Gould’s 
expectation of a short¬ 
term return to the black is 
greeted with scepticism 


by several Wall Street 
analysts. : , .-r 

One is Charles W’olf 
from First Boston. Com¬ 
modore has already in¬ 
dicated it will have a 
fourth-quarter loss, and 
Mr Wolf thinks the loss 
will be a whopper — 
about $US25 million after 
taxes. 

That would mean a to¬ 
tal loss in fiscal 1986 (end¬ 
ing June 30) of $US15 mil¬ 
lion, or 50 cents a share. 

What’s more, Mr Wolf 
sees a loss of similar mag¬ 
nitude in fiscal 1986. 

Mr Wolf, who recom¬ 
mended sale of Com¬ 
modore shares in mid-De¬ 
cember when they were 
selling at about $US20, 
now thinks they should be 
sold at even half that 
price. 

Short-term, he says, the 
company is sitting on an 
inflated inventory — 
around $US400 million — 
the bulk of it related to the 
Commodore 64. 

“It’s just like the video- 
game episode of two years 
ago,” Mr Wolf said. “In¬ 
terest in video games died 
overnight, and interest in 
lower priced, limited func¬ 
tion computers also ap¬ 
pears to have died.” 

Commodore has 


vehemently denied it 
plans any huge markdown 
of its existing Commodore 
64 inventory, but Mr Wolf, 
along with several other 
analysts, said this was a 
distinct possibility.. 

“And if they mark 
down the price of the 64 
even more (in February 
its price was cut 25 per 
cent from the $US183 to 
5US199. level), you could 
see Commodore lose as 
much as $US2 a share this 
. year,” Mr Wolf said. 

. His doubts about Com¬ 
modore also extended to 
. the two big new products 
the company has been 
:touting — the 128 com¬ 
puter and the Amiga. 

The 128 model, a more 
powerful version of the 
Commodore 64 that is due 
out shortly and is ex¬ 
pected to retail in the 
$US269 to 5US299 range, 
was described by Mr Woif 
as little more than “an 
enhanced 64 with bells and 
whistles” — a view shared 
by other analysts. 

“I know it ain’t going to 
save the company.” Mr 
Wolf said. 

As for the Amiga, Mr 
Wolf said: “Unless it’s dra¬ 
matically better than any¬ 
thing in* the market, it’s 
going to have only modest 
sales. So you’re talking 
about a big if.” 

Commodore’s Mr 
. Smith told me most dealer 
inventories are light on 
the Commodore 64, sug¬ 
gesting it continues to be a 
good seller at its dis¬ 
counted price of ?US150. 

In fact, he suggested I 
talk to some of the com¬ 
pany’s customers. 

I did. And one large 
Commodore customer told 
me his 64 inventories were 
indeed light. But that’s be- 
• cause the chain has re¬ 
fused to order any more, 
an official told me. 


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