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Wellington Atari Computer Enthusiasts 

Telephone: 793-363 

Telephone: 736-716 

P.O.Box 16011 

AUGUST 1385 

Dear members. 

Herewith the WftCE newsletter for August, 1385. So what if it is 
earty September when you. receive this fine product - we 11 catuh ..p 
during the Christmas vacation. 


ft., r next meet in* will be held on 11 September, bes i nn ins at 7.20 
pit,. Th<=- venue will be the "Loaves and Fishes , which is located b*hin._ 
the finali'-an Cathedral in Molesworth at. Topics include- 
' " Vm Chisholm or, LOGO and PILOT, similarities and differences; 

ft demonstration on DOS 2.5. This is the DOi Htari have released 
to replace Dos 2.0 and the ill-starred DOS o. pub l. 5 .s advantas* 1 => 
that it "sharpie increases the volume of data that each disk can hold. 
M*mb*rs miJht. 5iso refer to notes (in the attached supplement) 

Applied bw Atari on how to use DOS 2.5. Atari have also siven us some 
other programmes for use with DOS 2.5, and the complete packase is 
available from our programme librarian.. Dennis Dawsvn c, h r_•> — > -• -r 
Flat ^•••2FiFi r>ci 1 Rd.,We 11 inston) for $5.00. 

Demonstrations of new commercial software ... . pTft 

Th>=- vipw CLUB TfiPE. On present planning, this will b* a Cwt, ,.1-h 
in programmes on it, two of them by club members. H wood one to set. 

Thi= CLUB DISK.- Continuing what appears to be a useful 
tradition, "this disk will have another DOS-MfiCHDOb- on it. U* 

grandadda of all of the User Groups, describes Mfi-HDO- a* . I- 

will be explained at the October meetini. Also, there .will be ti.e 
Prr»s.srnm^-s. of considerable merit on the disk. Two are *knng 
prosrammis"from West Germany.: "Fileindex", from P.uE but considerably 
improved by Bruce Tinsle* <ie it works!).: Mh^E oD.: and Cell - a 
biology prosra.mme with excellent graphics and a. sood self-test 
capacity <my eldest daushter is already soma auk 


Th* weather was not sood, but we had 30 people aIons to a 
«,rrw/fni meet in-3. The tutorial on Atari writer went well, with muc.._ 
ii se f u 1 ~ mate rial be-ins contributed from the floor to supplement Karl s 
introduction of the word Processor. Your committee had no idea tha. *- 

members had Atari writer : if there are other item- of f* 

member* would like an extended introduction on, please let commi 
members know. As a followup to last month, Mike Munro will demonstrate 
"Atspeller", the spelling checker foe Atariwriter. 


p,p.j o<=- i,i.s 5. unavoidably absent last meet ins, but or. 11 Sept he 
will be there, complete with the cartridge library. First six people 
there set to rent the cartridges. 

New members are probably familiar with the club tape arid disk 
programmes. They may not be as familiar with the club's book library. 
The custodian of that library- Felix Bettelheim.- has set out our book 
holdings in an article to be included in next months newsletter for 
their benefit. New members may also not be aware that WACE Places our 
copies of the two best Atari relevant magazines - ANALOG and ANTIC - 
in the Wei l ins ton Public Library = Room 3.- I think it is. These 
masazines are held at the counter for three months before they join 
the L i b ra ry ' s sene ra l ' mas az i ne ho l d i ns s. Membe rs .• especially those who 
live out of town, can use their library’s "Interloan” service to 
obtain copies of specific articles. 


Gordon Ns <Ph 855373'' would like to swap his 866XL Plus software 
for an 866 plus.* as appropriate.* software. 

Richard Chatterton, of 2/161 Onslow Rd <Ph 732361) is Puttins 
tosether a bulk order of PRINTERS. Currently/ he hopes to order CTI's 
CPA 86 and the CPB 88/ at expected (not suaranteed) prices of $426 and 
$526 respectively. Richard- who is Secretary of the Well inston 
Spectrum Users Group/ invites those interested to rins him after 7.68 
pm on weekdays or on the weekends. It would be an idea if members 
familiarised themselves with Printer characteristics.* -iarson and 
prices before you rins Richard : it may be that the printers he has to 
offer will not suit your requirements* 

Thats it* see you on 11 September.* 

You r s s i nee rely .* 

Des Rowe (Secretary) 

File Index 

As Des mentioned above.* a copy of File Index is on the next club 
disk. One of the little traps in it is if you try to do a L(load) when 
you first run the pros ram. The pros ram will return an error.* with 
'File mot found’ / as you will have no index file set up. DON'T PANIC! 
Once you have actually loaded some data.* and do a S( ^a ve).* the 
pros ram will create the index file for you. Just ensure you have the 
same disk available every time you use the Pros ram in future. 



Thanks very much to these who vclun 
type in programs "for - the club librsry a<_ 
there are a number o-f excellent programs 
bene-fit -from them. 

teered (in one way or another) to 
the last -few meetings. As a result 
coming -forward and we all stand to 

Who’re currently typing in what?The 
typing in what programs and we are very g 
who have already typed in programs which 

-following table shows who 
rate-ful to them and to all 
are now sorted out in the 








Chris Richardson 

Being Typed 



Chris Cauriwell 

Being Typed 



Chris Caudwel1 

Being Typed 



Chris Richardson 

Being Typed 



Chris Richardson 

Being Typed 



Des Rowe 

Being Typed 



Jason Coombe 

Being Typed 



Andrew Ward 

Being Typed 


Ross Palmer 

Being Typed 


John Blakie 

Being Typed 



Ray Level 1 

Being Typed 



Richard Hcust on 

Being Typed 



Ken May 

Being Typed 

* * * 

For those who 

didn’t get a 

chance to get a program 

or two at the 1 

meet ing,we ' 11 have 

awiTiE (TtuTc -f Gr 

distribution at our ne- 

:t gathering.Fir 

come, -first served! 

t t t 

rf HI 





. « i »• 







i : 

Onf of our people has a printer probleiji that so 
know the answer to. Set out below is p^rt o-f 
received*If you can help me 
thoughts in note ■form so th 

answer it. 

meone el^e m^y 
letter 1; have 
put youi^ 
c,t I can seifid them cH* to °Mr 


do plea! 


understandably frustrated enqu:rer.Thaml you 

Finally, I don’t seem to be able to get contol of my 1027 printer. 

It does a good job. but it always moves down six lines when it receives 
a command and then, when it finishes printing the input text, moves 
down another six lines. It seems to be impossible to stop these two 
processes. I can push BREAK until I am blue in the face, but nothing 
happens. I know that, when using the Atariwriter, I can shorten the 
distance at which printing starts from the top of the page, but I seem 
to be able to do nothing when the printing is directly from a programme 
- such as the Horae Filing Manager. Is there any way of getting back 
control from this highly independent bit of equipment? 

While on the printer. 1 had better ask another question. Unlike this 
Brother EP4A which I am typing this on. the 1027 doesn’t automatically 
stop printing when it senses the bottom of the pag e Instead it mmrw 

its apparently mandatory 6 lines and then just starts to make a mess 
at the bottom of the page. One can. of course, hang around to stop 
the thing manually, but I can't find a way to get it to print on the 
next page from the point at which it reached the end of the previous 
one. This Brother does just that. i simply stick another, bit of paper 
in, give it a CONT command, and on it goes from where it left off. 

That brings up the other problem. it is all very well to set the page 

a4 -s q ii aa ju -H 't -p 

length at the top of each page (does this really have to be reset at 
the beginning of every page?), but how do you know where you are on 
a page as you type? The line indicator at the foot of the screen 
shows only the line you have reached on the screen. It never goes 
beyond 21. There seems to be no alarm system to tell you when a page 
has been completed. I have examined the manuals over and over again, 
but can find no answers to these irritating problems. 




In an ongoing effort to provide the 
Highest quality of products for use 
with your ATARI Computer, the 
new ATARI Corp. is supplying you 
with the enclosed DOS 2.5 Master 
Diskette. Its advantages over 
ATARI DOS 3 include ease and 
convenience of use (most utilities 
are contained within a single file 
and need not be loaded from disk) 
and compatibility with DOS 2.0S. 
DOS 2.5“ also allows* you to use 
the full capacity of your ATARI 
1050™ Disk Drive and to access 
the full RAM potential of the 
ATARI 130XE™ Computer. 

This short manual provides you 
with instructions for getting started 
with DOS 2.5. For complete infor¬ 
mation on DOS 2.5, including 
detailed discussions on the menu 
items, compatibility with DOS 3 
and 2.0S, the RamOisk. and the 
2.5 Utilities, you may consider ob¬ 
taining the new ATARI DOS 2.5. 
Manual. Available from ATARI 

Customer Relations, RO. Box 
61657. Sunnyvale, CA 94088. Cost 
S10 plus $2.50 for shipping and 
handling. California residents add 
appropriate tax Please write 
ATARI DOS 2.5 Manual on the 
outside of your envelope when 
you order the book. 

Getting Started With DOS 2.5 

DOS 2.5 allows you to format 
diskettes and store information in 
either single or enhanced density. 
With enhanced density you can 

jecord about 50 percent more_j 

data oh each diskette than you 
can with DOS 2.0S. Enhanced- 
density storage is only possible 
if you have an ATAR11050 Disk 
Drive; the 810™ Disk Drive is not 
capable of formatting or managing 
data stored in enhanced density. 

Mdu need a 1050 Disk Drive to ! 
begin working with DOS 2.5 
because your DOS 2.5 Master 
Diskette is recorded in enhanced 
density. If you often use an 810 } 

Disk Drive to access your files, 
you may want to format all your 
cfiskettes in single density. 1 

DOS 2.5 works with any cartridge- 
based program that runs on your 
ATARI Computer and uses DOS— 
even programs that predate DOS 
2.5, including the AtariWriter™ 
word processor and ATARI BASIC 
With such programs you can 
always use DOS 2.5 instead of 
DOS 2.0S to prepare data 
"diskettes and manage files. 

Many diskette-based programs 
designed for use with the earlier 
DOS 2.0S can also be used with 
DOS .2.5. However, you may have 

to continue to use DOS 2. OS with- 

certain protected diskette pro¬ 
grams (see your program user’s 
manual if you are unsure whether 
a program is protected.) 


Load DOS into your ATARI Com¬ 
puter using the same procedures 
you use for either DOS 3 or DOS 
2.0S. (If you have an ATARI 130XE. 
65XE™. or 800XL™ with built-in 
BASIC, type DOS and press 
[RETURN] to go from BASIC to 

DOS). The DOS Menu on your TV 
or monitor screen presents a list 
of the DOS 2.5 options. The 
prompt below the menu invites 
you to make a selection, 'rbu 
choose the function you want to 
use by pressing the letter cor¬ 
responding to your selection and 
pressing [RETURN]. DOS then 
asks you for the information it 
needs to proceed. 

Summary of the DOS 2.5 
Menu Options. - - - 

If you have used DOS 2.OS, you 
"will be familiar with most of these;" 
but note the change in Option J, 
and the new Option P If you have 
only used DOS 3. read this section 
for an introduction to DOS 
- functions. 

A. DISK DIRECTORY Allows you to 
call up a complete or selective list 
of the files on a diskette, showing 
the filenames, extenders (if any), 
the number of sectors allocated to 
each file, and the number of free 
sectors still available on the 

used with built-in BASIC or with a 
cartridge installed in the com¬ 
puter.) This option allows you to 
return control of your system to 
built-in SASIC or to the cartridge 
inserted in the cartridge slot 

C. COPY FILE Use this option 
when you have two or more disk 
drives and you want to copy files 
from one diskette to another. Also 
use this option to copy a file on 
the same diskette, assigning a 
second name to the copy 

0. DELETE FILES Lets you erase a 
file from a diskette, increasing the 
available space on a diskette. 

£. RENAME FILE Use this option 
when you want to change the 
name of a file. 

F. LOCK FILE Can be used to pre¬ 
vent you from changing, renaming, 
or accidentally erasing a file, 'fou 
will still be able to read the file, 
but not write to it. When the direc¬ 
tory is displayed, an asterisk is 
placed in front of the filename to 
indicate that the file is locked. 

DOS 2.5 

The ATARI 130XE Computer is 
equipped with 131,072 bytes— 
128K—of Random Access 
Memory (RAM), twice the maxi¬ 
mum 64K available with earlier 
model ATARI Computers. The addi- | 
tional 64K RAM can be useful for 
many purposes: fast exchange of 
screen images for animation, addi- . 
tional storage for large data 
— bases, and so forth:- 

Msu can also use the extra RAM of j 
the 130XE as a very fast "virtual” 
disk drive. Set up as a “RamDisk” 

— recognized by DOS 2.5 as Drive 
8 in your system—it can accom¬ 
modate up to the equivalent of 
499 sectors on a diskette. That is ; 
about half what you can store on j 
a diskette formated in enhanced j 

G. UNLOCK FILE This removes 
the asterisk from in front of the 
filename and allows you to make 
changes to the file, rename it, 
or delete it. 

option to add the OOS files 
(DOS.SYS and DUPSYS) on 
your Master Diskette or 
System Diskette to a diskette 
in any disk drive. 

L FORMAT DISK Use to format a 
blank diskette, which is necessary 
before you can record any infor¬ 
mation on it. Be sure you do not - 
have any files you want to keep on 
a diskette before formatting it. 

This option will format a diskette 
in enhanced density provided you 
are using a 1050 Disk Drive: other¬ 
wise, it will format in single density 

J. DUPLICATE OISK Use when you 
want to create an exact duplicate 
of a diskette. This option will auto¬ 
matically format the destination 

K. BINARY SAVE Saves the 
contents of specified memory 
locations on a diskette. 

The "storage" capacity offered by 
the RamDisk is volatile memory, 
which means that information 
stored in it will be lost when you 
turn off your computer system. So 
before turning off your system, 
you should always be sure that 
any data currently in the RamOisk 
that you want to save permanently 
is recorded on an actual diskette. 

However, the RamDisk can be a 
very convenient tool. It allows you 
to switch almost instantaneously 
between BASIC (or any other pro-_ 
gramming language) and DOS, 
and back again. Ybu can also use 
it to work with files "stored” on 
Drive 8—a technique that might" 
prove especially useful when you 
are transferring large amounts of 
data between two programs that 
are chained together (that is, when 
one program RUNs the other). 

To Activate the RamOisk 

'four DOS 2.5 Master Diskette con¬ 
tains a file called RAMDISK.COM 
that automatically sets up the 
extra 64K RAM of the 130XE as 
a RamDisk. 

an obiect file from diskette. 

M. RUN AT AOORESS Use to enter 
the hexadecimal starting address 
of an object program after it has 
been loaded into RAM with 

space on a diskette for the pro¬ 
gram in RAM to be stored while 
the DUPSYS file is being used. 

For some applications like pro¬ 
gramming, it is a good idea to 
create a MEM.SAV file on each 

new diskette you intend to use as _ 
a System Diskette. As you 
become more familiar with DOS, 
you may find there are cases 
where a MEM.SAV file serves no 
useful function. The inconvenience 
of waiting for MEM.SAV to load 
into memory may warrant deleting 
it from the disk. 

O. DUPLICATE FILE Copies a file 
from one diskette to another, even 
if you have only a single disk 

fi FORMAT SINGLE Formats a 
diskette in single density using a 
1050 Disk Drive. 

When you turn on your 130XE 
system with a DOS 2.5 Master or 
System Diskette containing RAM- 
DISK.COM, DOS will: 

• Display a message that it is 
initializing the RamDisk; 

• Set up your computer’s extra 
64K of memory to act very 
much as a disk drive, telling 
DOS to regard it as Drive 8; and 

• Copy the DOS file DUPSYS 
and establish MEM.SAV on the 
RamDisk, and proceed when 
necessary to use the OUP.SYS 

- and MEM.SAV files on the Ram- 
Disk rather than the files of the 
same name on the Master or 
System Diskette. 

If you wish to expand the usable 
capacity of your RamDisk, you 
may recover the memory used by 

• Changing the contents of loca¬ 
tion 5439 (S153F) to ATASCII 

1 — for example, POKE 
5439ASC("1”); and 

• Deleting the files DUPSYS and 
MEM.SAV from the "diskette'* in 
Drive 8—that is, the RamOisk. 
Use option D.. DELETE FILE(S), 
on the DOS Menu and enter 
D8:V * in response to the 

Note: Booting a disk which doesn’t 
contain DUPSYS will cause RAM- 
DISK.COM to initialize the Ram- 
Disk, but DUPSYS and MEM.SAV 
will not be moved to the RamDisk. 

Using DOS With the RamDisk 

Because of the size of the Ram¬ 
Disk, you may not use DOS Menu 
option J.. DUPLICATE DISK, to 
copy either a single-density or 
enhanced-density diskette to the 
~ RamDisk. Instead, you must copy 
individual files, taking care that 
they do not exceed in size the 
capacity of the RamDisk. *ibu can 
ask DOS to duplicate the contents 
of the RamDisk on an actual 
diskette. From then on, however, 
that diskette will be capable under 
DOS of accessing only 499 sec¬ 
tors worth of data—though you 
can always duplicate its contents 
back to the RamDisk. 

automatically load and run a 
BASIC program when you boot j 
your system. 


Note: RAMDISK.COM is not a disk | 
utility It is used only to set up the 
RamDisk on a 130XE Computer. 

Selecting and Loading a Utility 

All three utilities are binary files 
that are loaded and run using 
option L, BINARY LOAD, from the 
DOS 2.5 Menu. For example, to \ 
begin using the COPY32.COM pro- i 
gram, with the DOS 2.5 Menu on j 
your screen, you would type L and" 
press [RETURN], then type 
COPY32.COM as the name of the. 
file to load, and press [RETURN] 

Specific instructions for using 
the COPY32.COM follow. There 
are also brief instructions for 

For more detailed instructions on 
the latter two utilities, consult the 
ATARI DOS 2.5 Manual (see the 
Introduction of this manual for 
ordering instructions). 

If ttu Do Not Want to 
Use the RamOisk 

If you do not want to activate the 
ATARI 130XE RamOisk, you can 
either delete or rename the 
RAMOISK.COM file on your DOS 
2.5 Master or System Oiskette. 

*tbu may then use the extra 
RAM for other purposes. 

If you have applications for which 
you do not wish to use the 
RamOisk, it is recommended that 
you leave the RAMDISK.COM file 
intact on your DOS 2.5 Master 
Diskette. Mxi might wish to make 
one working copy of DOS (a 
System Diskette) that contains 
RAMOISK.COM, and one that does 
not. Or you can simply rename the 
RAMDISK.COM file on your 
System Diskette, then rename 
it back to RAMDISK.COM when 
you wish to use it. 

After the file has been copied and 
converted, press [START] to return 
to the listing of files on your DOS 
3 diskette, from which you may 
choose another file to convert. 

If an error occurs during the copy 
process, COPY32.COM displays 
an error number and prompts you 
press [START] to restart, or 
[SELECT] to return to the DOS 2.5 

Note: Unless you have two disk 

drives, you will be unable to cort_ 

vert files of more than 124,700 
bytes (300 bytes less than the 
maximum file length possible 
under DOS 2.5). 


This program begins by showing 
you the current drive number and 
a menu with these five options: 

1. Change Drive # 

2. Unerase File 

3. \ferify Disk 

4. Rename File by # 

5. Quit to DOS 

THE DOS 2.5 

\bur DOS 2.5 Master Diskette 
contains three new utility pro¬ 
grams in addition to the standard 
disk utilities handled by the 
DUP SYS file—those available 
from the DOS Menu. The pro¬ 
grams. each which appears on the 
disk directory with a .COM ex¬ 
tender, function as follows: 

COPY32-.COM allows you to copy 

files from diskettes formatted and- 

written to from ATARI DOS 3 to 
j DOS 2.5 diskettes, converting the 
1 files in the process from DOS 3 to 
DOS 2.5. 

DISKFIX.COM allows you to cor- — ■ 

reel some problems that may oc- i 
cur with files on DOS 2.5 and 2.0S 
diskettes. Under certain condi- , 

tions, you can also use this utility 
to recover deleted files. 

SETURCOM allows you to change 
certain DOS parameters. *ibu can 
also use it to create an 
AUTORUN.SYS file that will 

Type the number of the function 
you wish to use but do not press 
[RETURN] after typing your 
choice. After activating an option, 
follow the prompts. 


This program begins by showing 
you a menu with these four 

1. Change current drive number 

2. Change system configuration 

3. Set up an AUTORUN for Boot 
0. Quit - Return to DOS 

Menu selections 1 and 0 are used 
for “housekeeping” purposes. The 
two main "functions of this utility 
are menu selections 2 and 3. 

Press the number key that cor¬ 
responds to the function you wish 
to use. then follow the prompts. 


jsinq this utility is much like using 
the COPY FILE function on the 
DOS Menu. After you load the 
COPY32.COM program, you are 
prompted to specify which drive 
will hold your DOS 3 (source) disk 
and which drive will hold your 
DOS 2.5 (destination) disk. If you 
have only one drive, type 1 in 
response to both prompts. In this 
case you will have to swap your 
OOS 3 and DOS 2.5 diskettes dur¬ 
ing the copying process. If you 
have more than one disk drive^ 
you may select one to hold your 
DOS 3 diskette and another to 
hold your DOS 2.5 diskette. 

At this point, if you have only one 
drive, the utility prompts you to 
insert your DOS 3 disk in Drive 1. 
For safety place a write-protect 
tab on your DOS 3 disk so that 
you will not erase valuable data if 
you make an error while swapping 

If you specified two different 
drives, the utility prompts you to 
insert both your DOS 3 and DOS 
2.5 disks. 

After you insert the diskette or 
diskettes, press [START]. The 
COPY32.COM program reads the 
directory of the OOS 3 diskette 
and displays the files it contains, 
sixteen at a time, by number. 

Press [RETURN] to see the next 
sixteen files. When all the files on 
the diskette have been listed, you 
have the options to restart, return 
to DOS. or view the files again. 

To convert a file, enter the number 
of the file you wish to convert. The 
utility prompts you to confimvyour 
choice by pressing [START]: 

When you press [START], the pro¬ 
gram begins the conversion pro¬ 
cess by reading the specified file 
from the DOS 3 diskette. After 
COPY32.COM reads the entire file 
(or as much data as it can accom¬ 
modate in its memory buffer), it 
asks you to swap disks if you 
specified the same drive for your 
DOS 3 and DOS 2.5 disks. With 
very large files, you may have to 
swap diskettes several times. If 
you are using two drives, the pro¬ 
gram copies and converts the file 
in a single operation. 

Customer Support 

Atari Corp. welcomes any ques¬ 
tions you might have about your 
ATARI Computer product. 

Write to: 

Atari Customer Relations 
RO. Box 61657 
Sunnyvale, CA 94088 

Please write the subject of your 
letter on the outside of the 

We suggest that you contact your 
local Atari User Group. They are 
outstanding sources of information 
on how to get the most out of your 
“ ATARI ComputervTo receive a list *- 
of the user groups in your area, 
send a self-addressed stamped 
envelope to: 

Atari User Group List 
RO. Box 61657 
Sunnyvale, CA 94088 



Soft Finder 2.1 is a composite index to Atari related articles in four popular periodicals. The 
index covers the 13 month period from July 1983 through December 1984. The previous edition 
(Soft Finder 1.2) covers the 27 month period from April 1981 through June 1983. The material 
covered includes both hardware and software for the Atari computers. 

Soft Finder started as an in-house tool to help answer questions like: Q tr V Uy 

Do you remember where that article was that covered different scrolling techniques? 

Has anyone seen a review on the "Brand X* word processor? 

This game that I just typed from the ..... magazine seems to have problems. Does^anyone nUij, 
recall seeing any corrections in recent issues? 

Soft Finder has gradually evolved to its present form as a comprehensive index. If you have 
any additions, corrections, or suggestions for improvements please drop us a line. 

Valley So-ft, 

2660 SW DeArnond 
Corvallis. OR 97333 

Soft Finder was produced using the Atari 300XL computer, 810 and 1050 disk drives. 825 
printer, 850 interface, AtariWriter word processor, and specialized database management 
routines written in Atari BASIC. 

Atari 419,410,600XL,880,300XL.818, 325,859,1050,1208, and AtariWriter are trade narks of Atari, Inc. 

Contents copyright (c) 1985 by Valley Soft. All rights reserved. 


Material in the SOFT FINDER is divided into the following major sections: 

Book Reviews 
Cassette Unit ♦ 

Communications . • ♦ 

Demonstrations . . 

Disk ... 

Editorial and Interviews . . 

Education . ... 

Games ♦ • . 

Game Reviews 

Graphics . 

Graphic Sketch Pads , ♦ ♦ . 

Hardware ♦ 

Hone Management . 

Music and Sounds 

Operating Systems ♦ • ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Printers.. ♦ » • * 

Programming Languages ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Special Interest Topics ♦ • 
User Groups 

Utilities and Techniques . . 
Word Processing 

















Articles under each section are listed alphabetically by subject content. Hardware and 
software reviews are listed by the trade name of the product being reviewed. Trade names 
are followed by an Each article in the index includes the following information.* 

Subject Keywords 

Brief Description of Content 

Information Type Codes 

Periodical Code 

Date of Publication 

Page Number 

information type cooes 

aal - Atari Assembly Listing 
abl - Atari BASIC Listing 
all - Atari LOGO Listing 
apl - Atari Pilot Listing 
dll - Data-Soft LISP listing 
ffl - FIG-FORTH Listing 

fix - Correction or addition to previous article 

md - Minicomp Listing 

mbl - Microsoft Basic Listing 

nas - Not Atari Specific. 

oal - OSS ACTION Listing 

obi - OSS BASIC A+ Listing 

rev - Review 

sal - SynAssembler Listing 
vfl - ValForth Listing 



ACE - Atari Computer Enthusiasts Newsletter 
3662 Vine Maple Dr. 

Eugene OR. 97405 

P.O. Box 615 
Holmes# PA 19043 


524 Second Street 
San Frandsco. CA 94107 

P.0, Box 914 
Farmingdale# NY 11737 


The following is a sample entry from the GAMES section and an explanation of each item in the 

BANKSHQT. Pool game with good PM graphics. abl ACE Jun-82 p6# fix Aug 82 p9 


Pool game... - Description 

abl - Atari BASIC listing included 

ACE - Eugene ACE newsletter 

Jun-82 p6 - Date and page of initial article 

, - Comma V indicates related article 

fix - Correction or additional information 

Aug-82 p9 - Date and page of fix 

Here is a sample entry form the UTILITY section? 

STRING SEARCH. Locate a substring in a larger string, abl.aal CMP Aug-82 pi 42? ANT Dec-32 


Locate a substring».« — Description 

abl - Atari BASIC listing included 

aai - Atari assembly language listing included 

CMP - First article is from COMPUTE 

Aug-82 pi42 - Date and page of first article 

{ - A semicolon indicates separate article 

ANT - Second article from ANTIC 

Dec-82 p35 - Date and page of second article 


The notation Csee MAJOR SECTION - Sub)ect Heading] is used to provide a reverenceto 
related material in other parts of the index. For example, the notation Csee GRAPHICS 
Graphics Unveiled] would be used to refer to an article located in the ' j rap hies section and 
having a heading “Graphics Unveiled". 



The following is 4 complete list of the periodical covered in Soft Finder 2.1. 









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Recovering Data From I 

» r 

Damaged Disks 

Macintosh Disks 

One example of the many useful ar¬ 
ticles in the newsletter is a brand 
comparison of Mac floppy disks. The 
BMUG panelists noted that their < 
methods of judging quality and reli-i 
ability were subjective and nonsden- j 
tific, yet the findings were based on 
experience with 10.000 diskettes. 

The results: Apple/Sony diskettes 
were rated “the best.” Five thousand , 
were evaluated, and none had me- ' 
chanicnl or media problems. 

Maxell diskettes (Z900 tested); 

were graded “good," with some me¬ 
chanical problems turning up. 

BASF diskettes, the least expen¬ 

sive, were rated “bad” because an 
average of one in 30 diskettes, out of 
1,400 sampled, had mechanical or 
media problems. 

The booby prize went to Memorex, 
rated “BAD” and “relatively expen¬ 
sive.” Three-hundred were tested: 
“So bad are won't touch another,” the 
BMUG judges said, citing frequent 
formatting problems and lost data. 

Other brands were not tested is suf¬ 

ficient quantity to warrant a rating.. 

a m WHEN an early-morning fire | 
swept through the MGM j 
VV Grand Hoed in Las Vegas in 
[9A Q in the computer can- j 

tmi r o om quickly unloaded'two disk 
pads containing accounting records 
md the hoMTs guest list and carried 

fre disks as they ran down smoky cor¬ 
ridors to the exit. 

Though the hotel's computer hard- 
irare was d estr o y ed by the fire that 
tilled 85 people and injured 1,000, the 
fisks seemed only slightly damaged. 
Hotel officials rushed them to another 
botei and loaded them on a computer 
id out the names of the guests ; 
trapped in the hotel. But the $make 
damage to o* disks made them un¬ 
readable. ' 

MGM its computer service ( 

mnpany, Eeeo Computer Inc., of j 
Santa am , Calif. Eeco turned to j 
Oavid A. Brawn, the owner of Data j 

Recovery Inc. In Los Angeles. He was 1 

tide to retrieve the infor mation . 

Mr. Brown declined to describe his 
Efforts, saying that the process is se- ‘ 
sret. He <fid divulge that when he 
itarted his business five years ago, a ; 
mmhw at large computer makers 
zdd it was impossible to recover 
lata from damaged disks. 

Since then, he says, be has re-_ 
c o vered data for aerospace compa¬ 
nies, banks, movie studios and Gov¬ 
ernment agencies. “They always say. 
’We’re going to go down the tubes if 
wmebedyraa*t recover the data.’ ” 

Mr. Brown said, “rve fixed disks that 

Now foe Polaroid Corporation is of¬ 
fering Its own data recovery services 
to the PC crowd, whose machines 
mostly use floppy disks. In a $3 mil¬ 
lion a dve rt is i ng campaign announc¬ 
ing its service, Polaroid Invited users 
of Its (and only Us) floppy disks to at¬ 
tack foe with coffee, ketchup 

and jam aixl otherwise misuse them. 

The company said it could recover 
data from its brand of disk as long as 
the disk's surface was not annihilated 
or demagnetized. 

The challenge has brought in a cou¬ 
ple of hundred disks so far, said 

Thomas J. Milligan, a senior prpduct 

manager at Polaroid. The company 
retrieved data from all of them, he 

Theoretically, few business users of 
personal computers should need this 
service. They usually store crodaltD- 
fonnadco on hard disks, copying it 
onto Ooopy disks and retrieving the 
feihrr ns t iflp from bard disks if foe 
floppy disks are damaged. 

But theory b not practice. “I don't 
always back up my files, and rve 
bees caught a number of times,” said 
£. Charles Ellison, director of mar¬ 
keting for a major software develop¬ 
er. And, be added, there are times 
when a floppy disk is ail that is avail¬ 
able for storage. “Our salespeople 
travel with a lot of files on portable 
disks,” be said. “If those disks are 
ruined, there b a lot of lost data.” 

i ifc» Mr. Brown. Mr. Milligan 
w ould not divulge Polaroid's method 

_“The computer has even had positive ef¬ 
fects on so-called bad kids. In Downey, 

Calif., Larry Bauder, a computer-store 
owner, has been working with tough kids , 
from the slums of Watts and East Los An¬ 
geles since October 1881 under the aus- j 
pices of a group called the Los Angeles t 
Committee for the Transformation of 
Street Gangs. Every Saturday, from 11:30 
a.m. to 3 p.m., about a dozen kids from 
the ages of 10 to 17 spend their time 
sharpening their skills on Commodore 
computers (on loan from the company) j 
that Bauder reserves for them in his store, j 
‘Even after 20 years as a teacher,’ Bauder j 
says, Tm still amazed at what happens to 
the so-called dummies when they sit down j 
in front of a computer. For one thing,’ he 
notes, they team how to read. Some are t 
functionally illiterate, but if they want to 
learn how to play Star Trek, they learn 
how to read.’" 

Some Ins and Outs of Modem s _ _ 



)DEMS — Che devices 
that allow computers to 
talk to one another over 
regular telephone lines 
in internal and external ver- 
; skns. While both versions do essen- 

• dally the same Job, each has advan- 
•' tages and disadvantages, depending 

• on bow it is to be used. 

- external modems *mre about the ; 
sbe of a paperback book and sit on < 
'■ the a** as a separate, or stand- 
—alooe, unit to the comput- 

‘~er’s serial part with a standard RS- 
i- mr and to a power outlet by a 

card. ,_, 

■** internal modems are packaged on 
~standard plug-in cards, generally 4 

• inches tall. 13 inches long and less 
’-'than an ^ thick , that slip out of 
"'-sight into a computer's regular inter- 

nal expansion slots. 

’**' Anyone with a portable computer 
- should consider an Internal modem, 

■* simply to avoid lugging around an 
handful of gadgets and cables. 


Computer owners already bonified 
“-by the snarl of wires, hexes, power 
"supplies and other paraphernalia 
..around their machines will appreci¬ 
ate the internal model’s inherent tidi- 
“*ness. The serial port is left open for a 
••“printer or other peripheral device. In- 
“'ternal modems usually cost a few dol* 
‘'-lais less than stand-alone units, too. 
'.'V On the negative side, an internal 
modem takes up a precious expansion 
‘ 'slot that the owner might later want 
to use for adding memory, graphics 
,’br other board-mounted goodies. 
-•Also, the heat generated by internal 
” might be a problem for a 

wwhtw that has a puny cooling fan. 
"^Board- m o un t e d modems are usually 

* designed to work on a specific com- 
"puter tpndrf, so anyone with more 

than one machine may have to buy a 

o«i yj along modems can usually be 
used with any computer, so if the 
owner has more than one computer it 
lean be swap ped h ack and forth easily. 
’. Most have Bttle red lights on the 
boa to tefi the user at a glance the 
.status of the call, whereas internal 
modems give their dues only by vari- 
,'bus audible beeps, hoops and whis- 

• ties. The outside units have easy-to- 
"teach on-off and circuit switches for 
•-special occasions. 

- * If high-speed (9,600 bits a second) 
-direct data transfer is needed be- 
^ tween adjacent computers, the pro- 
r cess is easier with an external 
modem, although this is rarely a con- 
'sideratkn for average home users. 

When shopping for a modem, watch 
oat fbr advert ised prices si gn i fic a n tly 
lower «*a« those of most other com¬ 
petitors. often come bundled 

with the software needed to run them, 
and the lower prices may indicate 
tha* software most be purchased 

Amstrad defends twin cassette de 


THE RECORD industry copy¬ 
right watchdog which has 
accused Amstrad Consumer 
Electronics of selling tape 
cassette recorders designed to 
encourage illegal home taping 
was itself seeking to have the 
practice legalised, counsel for 
Amstrad told the High Court 

Mr Anthony Grabiner QC for 
Amstrad one of Britain's 
biggest! manufacturers of audio 
equipment said British Phono¬ 
graphic Industry wanted to 
legitimise home taping to 
justify their claim for legisla¬ 
tion imposing a levy on bank 
cassette tapes. 

He was making submissions 

on the third day of an action 
brought by Amstrad over letters 
sent last year by BPI to the 
country’s top 11 electrical 
retailers warning them against 
selling the company’s stereo 
systems with the twin tape 

Amstrad is asking the court 
to declare that it has acted law¬ 
fully in selling systems contain¬ 
ing the decks which enable 
hometapers to record from one 
tape to another at high speed. 

Mr Grabiner told Mr Justice 
Whitford that BPI—in order to 
pave the way for the levy—had 
already abolished its system of 
offering people who wanted to 

tape records and prerecorded 
cassettes a licence to copy copy¬ 
right material. 

However in spite of these 
moves, BPI was opposing 
Ams trad’s claim for a declara¬ 
tion, alleging the sale of the 
machines was an unlawful 
incitement to people to break 
the copyright laws. 

BPI had also launched an 
action for damages, he said, and 
had formally complained about 
the company's advertising. How¬ 
ever the Advertising Standards 
Authority and the Independent 
Broadcasting Association had 
rejected these complaints. 

The hearing continues today. 

Low sales force Commodore write-down 


COMMODORE International, the 
once high-flying U.S. home com¬ 
puter company, is to take a 
significant write-down in the 
value of its stocks which will 
cause losses of about 5SOm 
£58m in its fourth quarter. 

The loss will leave Com¬ 
modore—which only a year ago 
declared a record profit of 
6144m—in deficit for the year 
ended June 30. In the third 
quarter of its financial year, it 
reported a 620.8m loss and in 
the first nine months achieved 
net income of only $10.1m. 

The figures underline the 
computer industry’s problems as 
it comes to grips with sluggish 
demand after a period of hyper¬ 
expansion. Commodore had 
earlier insisted that it should 
be able to shift stocks of its 

ageing small computer ranee 
without write-offs or price cuts, 
partly because it had managed 
to open up new markets in 
Latin America. 

Salcs^have fallen dramatically 
this year, reaching 6168m in 
the third quarter against 6326m 
a year ago. and to 6751m for 
the nine months, against 6967m. 

Commodore’s stock problems 
had been widely anticipated on 
Wall Street, where the group’s 
share price this year has 
dropped from its high of just 
over $60 a share two years ago 
to $10{ yesterday, when it lost 
374 cents in early trading. 

The recovery of the company, 
which had net worth of 6324m 
at the end of its last fiscal year. 
Is now dependent on the success 
of Its new Amiga home 

VS . YIU. 


The Amiga was launched only 
three weeks ago in a clear shift 
of strategy towards direct com¬ 
petition with IBM and Apple in 
the personal computer market. 
Until now. Commodore had 
gained its position as a tough 
and ruthless competitor in the 
market for cheap home compu¬ 
ters. with its successful Com¬ 
modore 6-1 selling for about 
6200 compared with the Amiga's 

The change in the fortunes 
of the company follows the 
departure of us colourful foun¬ 
der. Mr Jack Tramiel, last year. 
Mr Tramiel has since taken over 
Atari, a home computer com¬ 
pany which concentrated, like 
Commodore, on Ute low-price 



jNew disk prmgs 

rise in 


NKK. th« Jipuu* tntvr- surface film u not mvoiva. oui; 
national talaphona authority), th# company dascribna It u % 
Verbatim claims to be the first " ootiroum composition ot| 
US. company to tackle the 
small computer systems end of 
the market. 

' optimum composition 
terbium (a rare earth metal), 
iron and cobalt** 

The data is stored In the form 

computers’ data 



ERBATDC 6orjferatiou, ' the 
flexible disk ,manu* 
S ' company recently 
sjuired by Kodak, to 
iaU inch erasable optical 
ik system tor computers 
hich will Increase dramatic* 
ly their data storage capacity. 
The dtok.will store at least 
>,000 typewritten pagra 140m 
laracters, or 40 megabytes of 
ita)—-40 times the amount a 
mventional 3-5 inch magnetic 
tide floppy disk can tore. 
Verbatim predicts bulk prices 
f about 3300 for the drive and 
20 for a disk. These are similar 
> those of current equipment 
ut the much greater capacity 
ill completely change the 
rice/perfonnance basis of per- 
jnal computing. " 

The company plans to have 
valuation .units of disk and 
rive available in the second 
uartor of 1986 and to be in 
all production by the.end of 

Most of the optical recording 
ystems announced so far are 
arge scale nonerasable systems : 
uitable flier bulk, read-only ■ 
torage of data, in large organi- j 

the US. library of Congress 
md GA -(USA) for example, 
live systems f rom Thomson. 

while in the UK* Pergamon 
recently reveeled that it would 
be Drexler technology in 

an undisclosed publishing appll. 
cation. Ciba Geigy in the UK another Drexler user, 
while Blue Cross insurance 
group in the U.S. will apply the 
technology to medical record 
keeping: ■ 

In Germany, Die Zeit and 
Stern magazine are using the 
Philips Megadoc system for 
storing journalists’ reference 

Several European users have 
moved from microfilm and COM 
(computer output on micro¬ 
film) to optical disks, for ease 
of access. .. 

-Nonerasable optical record¬ 
ing systems use a very small 
focused _ laser beam to make 
microscopic pits on the surface 
of the disk. The pits represent 
on-off digital pulses of com¬ 
puter signals—-a kind of micro¬ 
scopic, high speed Morse code. 
On playback. they are 
Illuminated by another laser 
-and read by a- light sensor. 

' Once made, the marks cannot 
be erased, although some 
-experts feel that, with the enor¬ 
mous capacity provided for 
recording (300,000 pages on a 
12 inch disk says Philips), it 
makes sense' to write new 
records and ignore the old. 

Although Sony and other 
companies have developed 
erasable technology (Sony h4» 

It to convinced that compact 
ultra-high volume storage for 
personal workstations wifi form 
the main market demand in the 
next decade and puts the 1390 
world' market at $lbn. It tot 
developing disk material, disk, 
and the drive mechanism. 

Progress in conventional 
magnetic recording to becoming 
increasingly d ifficu lt as the 
number of on-off impressions 
per Inch increases. (The impres¬ 
sions represent bits, or 
fundamental digital units.) , 

The distance between play-j 
back head and surface has to be | 
reduced as the recording! 
density (bits per ineb) is: 
increased, in order to pick up 
the increasingly small and weak, 
recording satisfactorily. Each; 
doubling of the density halves j 
the head-disk distance so that, 
at 15,000 bits per inch the 
clearance is only 0.4 microns' 
(millionth of a metre). { 

Improvement in the number 
of tracks per inch (measured 
across a radius) is also at its 
limits in ordinary 1 magnetic 
recording. Even with precision 
! track following systems, 1.000 
! tracks per inch is likely to be 
the limi t, says Verbatim. 

By contrast 15,000 tracks per 
inch are in use in optically 
recorded video disks that sell 
for only 3500. 

The team at Verbatim, led 
by Dr Geoffrey Bate, senior vice 
president for engineering, has 
developed a recording tech¬ 
nique that involves thermal, 
magnetic and optical 
‘ phenomena. 

Recording takes place thermo- 
magnetically by combining a 
magnetic field and a focused 
laser beam which heats the. 
surface material locally to: 
-- reverse the direction ' efl 
' magnetisation. 

of ragions of opposite magent- 
lsatlon In the film. The direction 
of magnetisation to perpendicu¬ 
lar, rather than in the plane of 
the film. This means that the 
tiny magnetic rod elements are 
stacked rather Uke corn in a 
corfield. allowing more to be 
accommodated than in conven¬ 
tional magnetic recording, 
where they Be flat 
. Reading to accomplished 
using the magneto-optical 
effect Polarised light is passed 
through the very thin recorded 
film and its plane of polarisa¬ 
tion to rotated clockwise or 
anti-dockwiset according to the 
direction of magnetisation. That 
is. according to - whether a 
digital “0" or “I" has been 

The Great Communicator 

Ever since a certain soft drink de¬ 
cided to update and revise its classic 
formula, some people cringe at the 
phrase “new and improved.” But in 
the case of Alfred Glossbrenner’s 
‘The Complete Handbook of Per¬ 
sonal Computer Communications” 
(514-95 from SL Martin’s Press), the 
new edition is even better than its in¬ 
valuable pre d eces so r. 

Mr. Glossbrenner, writing clearly 
and brightly, takes beginners and vet¬ 
erans alike on a thorough excursion 
through the on-line universe of elec¬ 
tronic communications. From the 
basic ’’survival kit” that explains 
what a modem is. to the hundreds of 
“on-line tips” that can save experi¬ 
enced users time and money, the book 
covers virtually everything one needs 
to know about the subject. 



•O' T. 






psaa ransnon 






The Verbatim erasible disk uses two different 
effects for recording and reading. 

To record, a narrow laser beam acts at the same 
ti m e as a magnetic field. The laser heats the thin 
metallic film, “loosening 1 * the magnetic particles which 
are t hen magnetised in an upward or downward direc¬ 
tion by file minute field area from the coil, and forming 

a erasible digital “0” or “1** on cooling. 

On playback, a laser beam of plane polarised 
light, on passing through either a “0” or “1” in the 
film, suffers a rotation of polarisation either clockwise 
or anti-clockwise. 

The light passes to an analyser which senses the 
direction of the shift and produces an electrical output 
of “0” or “1”. 


Terminating Telex Terminals 

A British firm has designed a telex* 
management system that allows com¬ 
puters. word processors and electronic 
typewriters to communicate directly 
with a public telex network. That 
the need for a dedicated 
telex terminal, if local authorities per¬ 
mit. Telex box 3 is a compact (320 x 
273 x 73 mm) unit compatible with 
V24/28 and RS232C host pons. It 

automatically redials busy routes and 
numbers, diminating a tedious office 
task. Its memory has a message capa¬ 
city of at least 22,000 characters (22 k). 
Stored messages are protected by a 
battery back-up against power failures, 
with automatic res tan routines when 
power returns. Tdexbox 3 also has a 
“priority” function that allows urgent 
mwa|w to go to the head of the 
queue, while other messages in the 
queue can be withdrawn at any time. 
A multi-addressing capability allows 
the amt message to be sent to several 
iWirMtinm, and still occupy only a 
single message space in memory. A 
real-time dock adds dates and times to 
transmission. Tdexbox also pro¬ 
vides a printed queue list of stored 
messages and can restrict priming of 
confidential calls. A mailbox feature 
— releasing stored messages on 
incoming calls with a password — can 
be added to the system. 

Laser systems bring 
shift in the market 

Advances in 


pt 'ikiSL 

AFTER a number of years In 
. which the laser primer has been 
1 seen as a high cost, high volume 
| product for large computer in- 
I stallations, the technology is 
coming down market and is 
already upsetting established 
manufacturers' positions in the 

Until recently the tendency 
has been to think of printers in 
"horses for courses’* terms—hig 
speed line-at-a-tlme machines 
„ for the conventional computing 
“ room, dot matrix for office print¬ 
ing. daisy wheel for producing 
letters and executive documents 
in word processing. 

But the fact is that the laser 
printer and its derivative, the 
light emitting diode (LED) 
machine, if they can be pro¬ 
duced and sold at an acceptable 
price, can offer office automa¬ 
tion users all the advantages of 
the other types in one machine 
—speed, letter quality text, 
graphics, reliability and. of in¬ 
creasing importance in the 
modem office, quietness. 

Furthermore, thi s desirable 
combination of attributes nicely 
matches the trend towards office 
automation systems which, by 
definition, have to handle any 
kind of work quickly and 
quietly, be it text, data or 
graphics, or a combination of 
all three. 

* However, according to New 
York Stockbrokers Butcher and 
Singer, the U-S. printer com¬ 
panies, until recently dominant 
in the market, have been caught 

Because they have no back¬ 
ground in laser or xerographic 
printing technology, and have 
not been competing, they are 
now badly positioned to partici¬ 
pate, says tiie broker. 

It is companies with a back¬ 
ground in copiers—wbioh are 
technically similar—that are 
scoring, from Xerox at the top 
end of 'the market to Canon and 
others from Japan in the newer, 
office oriented segment 
To add to the pains of the con¬ 
ventional printer maker, other 
technologies are also beginning 
to make themselves felt notably 
ink-jet. magnetic, thermal, and 
even systems that use 

„_...t-» T - 

Hewlett-Packard’s Think Jet printer 






20 * 

10 *—i 






$ 12,000 



have no moving p arts except 
for the dram. The LED array 
is manufactured in short 
length dups which are joined 
together to give a page-wide 
bar. The system leads itself 
well to mass production. 

The later stages of the laser/ 
LED technique have much 'in 
common' with photocopying, 
which is why the Japanese, who 
have scooped the copier market, 
now seem set to do-the same 
with low cost light-based print 
mechanisms. Old Electric. 
Ricoh. Canon and Sanyo for 
example, offer systems while in 
Europe, Agfa is known to have 
developed a machine. 

A major printer announce¬ 
ment a few weeks ago came 
from Apple Computer. Called 
LaserWriter, it is based on the 
300 -dots per ,Inch <Canon 
r— - trow a built-m -Annie 

For example, Epson, an 
Important Japanese company in 
the printer area, recently intro¬ 
duced thermal printers working 
at 45 characters per second, for 
£160. In thermal printing a 
heated stylus burns marks on a 
special paper. Although the 
technology limits the speed, 
such systems may well satisfy 
many PC users. 

There are also growing pros¬ 
pects for magnetic technology. 
Recently, a Californian company 
called Ferix revealed the use 
of a thin film magnetic head to 
record on a magnetically sensi¬ 
tive dram, followed by toner 
adhesion and thermal fixing. 
The French company Bull has 
also introduced a system—using 
3,500 magnetic point heads dis¬ 
posed in a line across the paper 
Width. It can work at 6,000.Jines 

Subliminal Messages 


Mow there is a software program 
that promises to enable users to lose 
weight, stop smoking, quit drinking, 
enjoy romance, improve memory, 
care insomnia, end nail-biting, de- 
eeiop self-confidence, overcome shy- , 
chase away depression, avoid | 

headache, stop procrastinating, gam ( 

new energy, learn to live without 
Elvis ip*** 11 unquestioning loyalty m 
workers, flirt with attractive employ¬ 
ees, and much more, all without get¬ 
ting up from the computer. 

You need this program. 

The program is “Subliminal Sug¬ 
gestions and Self-Hypnosis 
tor your Computer!" (575 for I.B.M. 
PC*s and compatibles, soon to oe 
available for Apple II’s and Commo¬ 
dores. from The New Life Institute. 
Post Office Box 2390, Santa Cruz, 
Calif., 95063, telephone 40S-429-U2-). 
Witb it, a user can instruct the com¬ 
puter to repeatedly flash little person¬ 
alized messages — I radi* 1 * 
charm.” for example, or "I will sell 
10 widgets before lunch” — on the 
screen for 30 thousandths of a second. 
At that speed the message is nearly 
imDerceptible to sight, but, as adver¬ 
tising wizards discovered in the 
1350's, not to the unconscious mind. 

Consider buying this program. 

The messages sneak into whatever 
other conventional programs the user 
nay be running, spreadsheets or 
word processing, for example, as 
often as once a second, or 23,800 times 
in an eight-hour day. Joel Amkraut, 
the director of the New Life Institute, 
says this allows “effortless self-im¬ 
provement,” because the messages 
are essentially programmed into the 
leer's mind and reside there long 
after the computer is shut off-/ 

Thursday. Aucust 15. 19S. 

Some Americans Don’t Use PCs 
But Fear Being Without Them 

By Kathryn Christensen 

Sprrnrf to Tuk AmiaW Wall Stmlct Jovknal 

CHICAGO — Diane Schaeffer and Harold 
Farter are believers. They believe in the 
inevitability of personal computers, of a 
future in which every home has one. 

Ms. Schaeffer, a 46 -year-old part-time 
waitress, already has a computer. She 
doesn't remember what kind, but it makes 
little difference anyway: it sits unused in 
her home. She can't think of any reason to 
turn it on. Still, she says, “even if it sits on 
the shelf." it's necessary. 

Mr. Farter. 52, a pharmacist, doesn't ! 
have a computer. Yet even he thinks it's 
risky to raise a child in a computerless 

Ms. Schaeffer and Mr. Farber were 
among 20 adults assembled here by 
Creative Research Associates Inc. for two 
round-table discussions about personal com¬ 
puters. Their comments aren’t meant to 
provide a scientific sampling, and Creative 
Research deliberately skewed the two 
groups. The 10 adults without home comput¬ 
ers have household incomes exceeding 
530,000 and own microwave ovens, stereos 
and videocassette recorders—requirements 
intended to ensure that money or a resis¬ 
tance to home electronics aren’t major 
reasons why they haven’t bought home 

Being Left Behind 

But what’s striking about these people is 
that when asked about what computers can 
do they are bard pressed to think of much 
that’s useful. But ask those without if they 
will buy computers, or those with comput¬ 
ers whether they would buy them again, 
and the answers are almost always affirma¬ 
tive. They are afraid of being left behind in 
a computerized world. And they are espe¬ 
cially afraid for their children who could 
grow up computer-ignorant 

Steven Freier, 36, who owns several 
computers for his real-estate business, says, 
"I don't think there are many parents who 
would like to see their kids without jobs.” 

That attitude has major implications for 
the personal-computer industry. After sell¬ 
ing some 4.8 million units in 1983. home- 
computer makers last year had to slash 
prices and dump several hundred thousand 
discontinued units on the market to boost 
sales to a peak of 5.1 million units. Sales 
this year are expected to drop to 4.5 million 

But if this group is any indication, the 
market could prosper again. These people 
are desperate to find the smallest excuse to 
buy a computer. 

Much of their desperation seems based 
on a belief that while it‘s fine to recognize 
that computers can't do much in the home, 
it's backward to oppose putting them there. 

man. 35. a part-time nurse, says she'l 
decide soon whether to buy an encyclopedia 
set or a computer. Ronald Schaffer, 45. 
mechanical engineer, bought one to help hi 
daughter. 13, learn a foreign language an 
give her an advantage in high school. 

Furthermore, several of the compute 
owners here are pleased with how thei 
educational purchases have worked out. Fc 
instance. Cecil Carr. 40. an ambulance di: 
patcher. spent 51.400 on an Atari SOO an 
accessories and 5400 on an Adam. His olde; 
rson uses the Adam for term papers wnil 
this two other children use the Atari fc 
math and games. 

Keeping Pace 

But education is only part of the equ; 
tion: almost all these adults also see cor 
puters as necessary for themselves — 
keep pace with the present and prepare f< 
the future. 

Carol Fritze, 52. a teacher, says she ar 
her husband thought they were past tl 
point where they felt compelled to lea] 
about computers. But her husband’s rece 
job change made her reevaluate that belie 
“It can happen.” she says. “Suppose yi 
walk into an office where they say, ‘Hey.: 
those accounts are on the computer ai 
you’re going to have to find out what tho 
accounts are doing.”* 

Still, while people think they must ha 
computers, they aren’t sure why. So th 
strain to justify home computers. They ta 
about ordering groceries on them, or ordi 
ing products from Sears — although none 
them actually do these things. 

They also praise the computer for 
supposed ability to make their lives easi 
and more organized. Michael Shep. 35, 
police officer who doesn’t own a compun 
expects it would make life “more com 
nienL” He says he would use one to ke 
track of his tax information “so at the e 
of the year, you push a button and all 
that stuff comes back to you.” He concet 
that the time spent entering the informal 
during the year might exceed the sev 
hours he now spends on his taxes. But 
isn’t dissuaded. “la the future, everyth] 
is going to be computers," he says. 

A few of the people try envisioning h 
the machines will fit in homes 10 ye 
from now. The list is short and fai 
mundane. Home computers, they say. \ 
be used to pay bills, plan vacations, prov 
conveniences for people unable to le; 
home, and get information from van 
publications. Some say communicating 
computer will replace sending letters. 

But again, talk of future uses quic 
shifts from how computers will be usee 
simply that they will be used. And. th 
adults feel they must get ready. That' 
take a lot of work, they agree, beca 
while driving a car doesn’t require know 
how one works, “retting ahead” in