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Full text of "Current Notes magazine, Volume 11, Number 2, March 1991"

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March 1991 


Vol. 11, No. 2 

$ 3.95 

In this issue: 

An Interview with Todd Johnson, Font Creator 

The Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 500 

Making Money with Your ST 

Online on CompuServe 

68030 SST Accelerator: Part 2-Video Memory 

...Plus All the Latest ST and XE News and Lots of Software 


A comparison of three 
new tank simulations: 

Tank Platoon 
Team Yankee 
Sherman M 4 

Your Monitor on the World of Atari 

CN 1102 

P.O. Box 811 - Elyria, Ohio 44036 


Tech Info & Fax 216-926-3842 
9AM- 9PM EST call for catalog 

Ordering Into: Visa, MasterCard or COD. No persona* Checks 
No surcharge for credit cards. COD add $3.75 Restocking fee $10. 
. Ohio residents add 5.5% state tax 

Shipping Info: Free shipping on Orders over $100, In the 
continental USA. APO & FPO actual freight. 

International : Actual freight. 


- T. .1.'..).. . .. — 

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that has the on/off switch up 
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DRIVES only 

ST125N-0 3.5" 20MEGS 40MS- $255 
ST125N-1 3.5" 20MEGS 28MS $279 
ST138N-0 3.5" 30MEGS 40MS- $285 
ST138N-1 3.5" 30MEGS 28MS- $309 
ST157N-0 3.5" 50MEGS 40MS- $319 
ST157N-1 3.5" 50MEGS 28MS- $345 
ST277N-1 5.25" 65MEGS 28MS- $349 
ST296N-1 5.25" 85MEGS 28MS-$369 
ST1096N 3.5" 85MEGS 24MS-$409 
QUANTUM PRO 3.5" 105MEG 19MS - $567 
QUANTUM PR03.5" 168MEG 15MS - $800 
QUANTUM PR03.5" 210MEG 15MS - $872 
QUANTUM 3.5" 331 & 425 MEG - in April 

20 MEG 28MS- $494 
30 MEG 40MS- $500 
30 MEG 28MS- $524 

* 50 MEG 40MS- $534 

* 50 MEG 28MS- $560 

* 65 MEG 28MS- $564 

* 85 MEG 28MS- $584 

* 85 MEG 24 MS- $624 

* 105 MEG 19MS - $782 

* 168MEG 15MS - $1015 

* 210MEG 15MS - $1087 

* Current Notes PD on HD- $40 (about 40megs)* 

■SQ555 &, HD combinations 
30 MEG 40MSEC & 44 - $1034 
30 MEG 28MSEC & 44 - $1068 
50 MEG 40MSEC & 44 - $1088 
50 MEG 28MSEC & 44 - $1104 
65MEG 28MSEC & 44 - $1118 
85MEG 28MSEC & 44 - $1138 
85MEG 24MSEC & 44 - $1178 
105MEG 19MSEC & 44 - $1366 
168MEG 15MSEC & 44 - $1600 
210MEG 15MSEC &44 - $1672 

Larger drives and other combinations 

1040 STE - call 
520FM - call 

SM124 mono monitor - $170 
SC1435 14" color monitor - $349 


Modem cable - $7 

Supra 2400 baud - $109 w/MNP5 - $169 
Zoom 2400 baud modem - $95 
US Robotics Courier 2400 - $299 
US Robotics Courier HST 9600Bd - $599 

Master 3S - $139 

Master 3S-D(has track indicator)- $149 
Master 5S (5.25")-$205 
Atari SF314-$165 
MFD 1080 - $305 
Drive extension cable 6 ft - $13.95 
(Ideal for home brew Blitz cables) 

3.5"- 90disks- $24.95 
3.5"- 135disks-$31.95 
.25"- 120disks- $32.95 

Z-Ram - 2.5 or 4 megs - $105 
(Board w/chips 2.5Megs- $201 4 Megs- $297) 

Z-Ram/2.5- 520 ST-2.5Meg - $100 

(Board w/chips 2.5 Megs- $196) 

Z-Ram/Mega II- 4Megs - $100 
(Board w/chips- $196) 

1 Meg 80ns Chips $6.ea 
STE SIMMS lmeg each - $55 


AdSpeed(ICD’s 16mhz accelerator) - $270 
Blitz cable w/software - $46.95 
Cordless Mouse (Practical) - $84 
Cleanup ST - $24.95 
Discovery Cartridge (mini) - $135 
Drive Master - $32 
DVT-VCR hd backup - $109.95 
(new lower price) 

50pin SCSI dual drive cable 18"- $10 
HP Desk jet printer - $549 
HP Desk jet 500 printer - $559 
ICD Advantage Plus w/clock - $93.77 
ICD Advantage (no clock) - $83.77 
ICD Advantage Micro - $77 
(for use in Mega computers) 

Mega Keyboard Extension 6ft - $11 
Mega Keyboard Extension 8ft - $12 
Mega Keyboard Extension 12ft - $13 
Mega Keyboard Extension 25ft -$14 


Mega Touch springs - $9.49 
Migraph Hand Scanner (w/Toochup) - $339 
Monitor Master - $32 
Monitor Stand (adjustable) - $14 
Monitor Stand w/power switches - $45.95 
Moose Master • $26 Moose mats - $5 
Atari mouse - $48 Golden Image mouse- $37 
Beetle Mouse - $43 
Multisynch Monitor (Acer)-$439 
Omniswitch - $79 Switch Res Soft.- $14.95 
Panasonic KPX-1124 24pin - $299 
PC Speed- $199 AT Speed- $359 
PC Speed Bridge - $65 
SGS Starter Kit - $124 Network Node - $79 
Spectre GCR(cart)- $215 
Star NX1001 9pin-$160 
Star NX-2420 24pin printer - $279 
STAime (under rom clock) - $43 
Supercharger W/lMeg - $429 
Supercharger Power Supply - $26.95 
Supercharger Math coprocessor- $135 
Synchro Express - $79 

TC Power(EMS software for JBMemulators>-$39.95 
Turbol6 Accelerator - $257 
Tweety Board - $27 
Universal Printer Stand - $13 
Video Key - $59 

Vidi ST -$124.95 Vidi-Chrome ST - $34.95 
Z-Keys (use IBM keyboard) - $96.95 

Suggested retail price. 

Here’s the hardware-software graphics team 
you’ve been waiting for: the Migraph Hand 
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Our scanner has everything that you expect in 
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Until now. 

With Migraph’s powerful design team, you can 
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Quality hardware for a strong start. 

The Migraph Hand Scanner has the powerful 
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And that’s just for starters. 

Powerful software for a dazzling finish. 

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Its versatile editing functions include all the 
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Editing features like rotate by degree give images that 
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paint program, a full set of editing tools, and an 
array of special effects. It even offers scalable 
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uu a icvv uaoio iaor\o. v/ui oi/aiiiit/i wmw vviui . q 

Migraph Touch-Up, the complete image editor 5 


Software that just won’t quit. 

Size is no object for Touch-Up. It can handle 
images of almost any size and resolution (based 
on available hard-drive storage space, of 
course). And its editing tools — which work at all 
four zoom levels — extend beyond the size of 
the screen. 

Compatibility is Touch-Up’s specialty. It imports 
and exports files in IMG, Degas, PCX, and 
others. So Touch-Up is compatible with pro¬ 
grams like Calamus and PageStream. And you 
can export images for use on the PC, Mac, and 
Amiga, too. 

The Migraph Hand Scanner and Touch-Up: 
Powerful tools for professional publishing. 

Our scanner is the equal of any in its class. 
Teamed with Touch-Up, it’s in a class all its own. 

See your dealer today for a great deal. 



3*C s :i$S 

Ask about our IBM version. 

For Atari 1040 ST, Mega 2, and Mega 4 systems with monochrome or color monitors (including the 
Moniterm monitor). Touch-Up also runs on an Atari 520 ST with 1 MB memory and a double-sided disk 

Migraph, Inc. 200 S. 333rd, Suite 220 Federal Way, WA 98003 (800) 223-3729 (10 to 5 PST) (206)838-4677 

e Copyright 1990 Migraph, Inc. The Migraph logo is a trademark and Touch-Up is a registered trademark of Migraph, Inc. All other products named are trademarks of their respective companies. 

Current Notes (ISSN 8750-1937) is pub¬ 
lished monthly (excluding January and 
August) by Current Notes Inc., 122 N. 
Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA 22170 (703) 
450-4761. Direct subscriptions to Current 
Notes are available for $27/year ($47/2 
years). Second-Class Postage paid at 
Sterling, VA and other offices. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 
Current Notes, Inc., 122 N. Johnson Rd., 
Sterling, VA 22170. 

Opinions expressed in this publication are 
those of the individual authors and do not 
necessarily represent or reflect the opinions 
of Current Notesox any of the participating 
user groups, none of which are affiliated in 
any way with Atari Corp. 

Publisher: Joe Waters, 122 N. Johnson 
Rd, Sterling, VA 22170 (703) 450-4761. 

ST Editor: Frank Sommers, 4624 Lang- 
drum Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 (301) 

8-bit Editor: Ben Poehland, 179 Sproul 
Rd, Route 352, Frazer, PA 19355 (215) 

Copy Editor: Joyce Waters 

CN Columnists: John Barnes, Jeff 
Greenblatt, Richard Gunter, Frank Kweder, 
Brian Miller, Ben Poehland, Dave Small, 
Frank Sommers, David Troy, Sam Wright, 
J. Andrzej Wrotniak. 

Articles or review material and press 
releases should be sent directly to the 
appropriate editor. Deadline date for articles 

is the 3rd of the month. 

Advertising Manager: Joyce Waters, 
122 N. Johnson Rd, Sterling, VA 22170 (703) 

1991 Advertising Rates: 

Ad Size lx 3x 5x 

Full Page $180 $480 $700 

1/2 Page $103 $270 $400 

1/3 Page $75 $195 $275 

1/4 Page $57 $150 $215 

1/6 Page $40 $105 $160 

Send photo-ready copy, by the 10th of 
the month preceding publication, to the 
advertising manager. 

Back Issues: 

A limited number of back issues are avail¬ 

1987: ($1.00) Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, 
Jul/Aug, Nov, Dec; (All 8 for $10) 

1988: ($1.50 each.) 

1989: ($2.00 each.) 

1990: ($2.50 each.) 

1991: ($3.00 each.) 

(Add $2.00 S&H per order.) 

Current Notes 

Table of Contents 
March 1991 

Special Reports 

34 Tanks A Lot 

Three armored land-combat simulations with all the thrill of 
battle, but none of the casualties. 

-by MikeHeininger 

38 Font Creator 

An interview with Todd Johnson, creator of more than 30 Cala¬ 
mus fonts offered by his company, Cherry Fonts. 

—by Richard Biow 

42 The Hewlett-Packard Deskjet 500 

The new HP inkjet, a solid product with good value at a rea¬ 
sonable price. 

--by Paul R. Pokorski 

64 Making Money with Your ST 

Part 1: Selling and Other Delights. Atari provides an excellent 
tool for creating income. 

“by Dennis J. O’Boyle 

74 Current Notes ST and Spectre Libraries 

78 Current Notes Atari Clubs 
80 List of Advertisers 


Don’t forget to send in a change of address notice if you are 
moving. Current Notes is distributed via second class rates. The 
post office does not forward second class publications; they throw 
them away. 

This publication is produced using an Atari Mega ST4, an Atari SM124 
monochrome monitor and a Moniterm Viking monitor, a Navarone 
scanner, and the Atari SLM804 Laser Printer. Most of the output is 
generated with Publisher ST. Some pages, including advertisements, are 
produced with PageStream and others with Calamus. 

Page 2 

Current Notes 

Vol. ll,No.2 

VOLUME 11, NO. 2- MARCH 1991 

Atari News ♦ Commentary 


• Editorial by Joe Waters. 4 

Waxers and Language Master 

• Letters to the Editor 

Where is Info-Atari 16? 
Keyskins and Playgirl 
TUI Clarification 
GEMulate an ST on a PC 
Legal Size on HP Laser 

. 6 

Star Base Corrections 
Calamus VI. 09N 
Baltimore BBS 
Why Doesn’t Atari...? 


□ ST Update, by Frank Sommers. 9 

ST Bests IBM PC in Battle to the Death, Gregg 
Pratt Makes the Right Noises, Items for the 
Future, Atari Attempts Plastic Surgery. 

• Small World, by David Small. 18 

68030 SST Accelerator and Lots About the ST. 

Part 2 - The Role of Video Memory. 

• Junkyard Pussycat, by John Barnes. 26 

Online on CompuServe. 

• A. Yooza, by Rick Keene. 80 

u The 8-Bit Alchemist, by Ben Poehland. 12 

Haberdashery, A Few Good Reviewers, Twilight 
Sources, Coming Attractions. 

u New 8-Bit Software, by Ben Poehland. 14 

Digital Music Studio, PS Borders & Fonts, PS 
Graphics, Bresnik Software Educational Titles. 

□ Myths and Mysteries, by Dave Troy. 30 

Did You See Those Fonts? 

□ STToolbox, by J. Andrzej Wrotniak. 15 

Simple Necessities of Life: A Calendar, a Note¬ 
pad and How to Shoot the Brains Out of an Alien. 

o Starting Block, by Richard A. Gunter. 24 

Hotwiring Your ST: Part II 

Product Reviews 


■ Animals, by Len Poggiali. 62 

□ Cal 4.3, by J. Andrzej Wrotniak. 15 

□ Cardfile, by Sam Van Wyck. 46 

o F-29 Retaliator, by Don Elmore.. 52 

□ Font Designer Plus, by David Troy. 30 

o Fontverter, by David Troy. 30 

o HotWire, by Richard Gunter. 22 

□ Ml Tank Platoon, by Mike Heininger. 34 

□ Operation Stealth, by Alfred C. Giovetti. 48 

□ Rick Dangerous, byA.C.andAA Giovetti. 62 

o Sherman M4, by Mike Heininger. 34 

□ STalker 2.0, by J. Andrzej Wrotniak. 15 

□ STeno, by J. Andrzej Wrotniak. 15 

□ Supremacy, by J. Andrzej Wrotniak. 16 

□ Supremacy, by Milt Creighton. 72 

u SynCalc, by David J. Harris. 68 

□ Team Yankee, by Mike Heininger. 34 

□ Utilities Plus, by H. Earl Hill. 56 

■ Word-Search Maker, by Len Poggiali. 70 


□ Intermediate and Advanced Atari St Subjects, 

by Pamela Rice Hahn. 59 

□ CompuServe, by John Barnes. 26 

□ The Hewlett-Packard Deskjet500, 

by Paul Pokorski. 42 


□ ST-related review or article. 

■ XE/XL related review or article. 

• Machine independent article. 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 3 

=From the Editor's Desk:= 

I remember reading, several years ago, an editorial 
in a desktop publishing magazine that sang the praises 
of the latest addition to their arsenal of publishing 
“peripherals”—a waxer. A waxer? What was that? 

Those of you who are into desktop publishing 
know about the basics. You need a computer, a 
desktop publishing program, and a high-quality printer. 
If you start out with this, you soon learn that you also 
need a word processing program, since editing in a 
desktop publishing program is usually awkward. It 
helps a great deal if the word processor has a spelling 
checker as well. You also understand about pictures. 
You need some clip art and perhaps a scanner to 
capture your own pictures electronically. If you have 
some artistic talent, you may want some graphics 
programs to facilitate doing your own illustrations. 
Whether you want to or not, you also soon learn about 
fonts and start collecting a variety of different elec¬ 
tronic ‘letters’ to use in your creations. 

But where does the waxer come in? This is a 

“peripheral” that doesn’t attach anywhere to your 
computer. Yet the editorial was so enthusiastic, I asked 
my local printer about waxers and found that he could 
order me one—you can’t exactly find a “waxer” at 
K-Mart. I decided to go for it. At $50, this was a 
significant purchase, but once it arrived and I started 
using it, I realized why this was such a handy piece of 
equipment. No desktop publisher should be without it. 
(By the way, my waxer was from Lectro-Stik Corp., 
3721 Broadway, Chicago, IL 60613.) 

When you are producing a publication that has a 
large circulation, you usually make only one master 
copy of each page. These, then, go to a printer who 
photographs your page and, using printing presses, 
produces all the copies you need. Before computers 
and desktop publishing programs, master copies would 
be made using a lot of cut and paste technology. If you 
wanted a graphic on a page, you would leave a hole in 
the text, cut out the graphic, and paste it in. 

Although DTP programs have made this process a 
lot easier and much more of the final page can be 
generated by the computer, cut and paste is still used 
and still valuable. Advertisements, normally sent in 
separately by the advertiser, must be placed on pages. 
If you have a good photograph, it doesn’t make any 
sense to scan it in, thus reducing its resolution, and 
place it on your page using your DTP program. Just 
leave a hole and put the original photo on the page. 
Remember, you only need to make one master copy 
and the final printed publication will look far better if 
you use originals. 

I had been using glue sticks for this cut and paste 
activity. This would work ok, but, once glued, objects 
could not easily be removed and, in spite of my best 
efforts, there was always a bit of a wrinkle on the page 
when using the glue. This is where the waxer comes in. 
It is a small hand-held device, with a chamber that 
holds wax and a roller to spread that wax. To melt the 
wax, you plug the waxer in an hour or so before you 
need it. The hot wax is then rolled on the back of 
whatever you need to paste. Place the picture on the 
page and smooth it out with a flat stick. Perfectly 
smooth, but not quite straight? Simple, just lift it off and 
place again. This little “non-computer” gadget made 
publishing a lot easier. 

I mention this waxer because I have found another 
“peripheral” that has proved to be a great aid to 
desktop publishing. However, because of a computer 
bias, I delayed purchasing this item for far longer than I 
should have. I am talking about the Franklin Language 
Master (LM) Dictionary and Thesaurus. This is a 
stand-alone, hand-held device with a keyboard and a 
4-line, 40-character screen listing at about $120. It 
includes an 80,000 word Merriam-Webster dictionary, 
40,000 word Thesaurus with 470,000 synonyms plus a 
host of word games (Anagrams, Hangman, Memory 
Challenge, Spelling Bee, Word Auction). 

Why the computer bias? Well, this very same 
product could be obtained as a computer program. In 
fact, I know Language Master s available on the Mac 
because I purchased a copy. So, if you could have a 
computer program, why buy a separate device? 
Answer: the device is far more efficient and handy. 
Spelling checkers, of course, are useful, but they do 
not have definitions and they usually don’t tell you how 
to hyphenate words. DTP programs often automatically 
hyphenate words, but they don’t always hyphenate 
correctly so final copy must be carefully checked. 
When editing a file, it is now a simple matter when 
encountering a questionable word or hyphenation to 
reach over, punch the word into the LM and get an 
immediate readout. The LM is fast and the editing 
screen is not disturbed with the output of a competing 
program. I simply make the correction and move on. It 
has speeded up the process considerably. 

There are other benefits. I save about two mega¬ 
bytes on my hard drive since I don’t have to have all 
this data online. Secondly, it can be used easily 
anywhere at any time by anyone in the family; you 
don’t have to boot up a computer to look up a word. 

My point in mentioning these devices is to remind 
people that, although computers are great fun and can 
be very efficient, they are there to do a job. The final 
goal is accomplishing the job, not using a computer. 
Don’t try and force fit all tasks into your computer. For 
some tasks, simpler methods may very well be more 

Page 4 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 1 


□ Adv Dungeons and Dragons $9.< 

□Axe of Rage $9.! 

□Battle Chess $35.< 

□ Blood wych $19.< 

□Boulder Dash Const Kit $1/ 

□ Califomia Games $14.< 

□Conquest of Camelot $39.< 

□Demon Winner $6.< 

□Dive Bomber $21.< 

□Dragon’s Lair I or II $35.< 

□Diakkhen $35.< 

□Dungeon Master I or II $25.1 

□Dungeon Slayer $29.1 

□Empire $39.1 

□F-16 Combat Pilot $35.1 

□F-19 Stealth Fighter $39.1 

□F40 Pursuit $19.1 

□Falcon $32.1 

□Faloon Mission Disk #1 or #2 $19.1 

□Fighter Bomber $37.1 

□Gauntlet II $19.1 

□King’s Quest I, n,m or IV $39.1 

□Kult $29.1 

□Leasuie Suit Larry I, II, or III $35.1 

□MIG 29 $49.1 

□Obliterator $9.1 

□OLDS. $27.1 

□Omega $32.1 

□Phantasy IJI, or m $9.1 

□Police Quest I or II $35.1 

□Populous $35.1 

□Populous Data Disk $19.1 

□Project Neptune $12.1 

□Red Storm Rising $32.1 

□Space Ace $35.1 

□Space Quest I, II, or III $35.1 

□Space Station Oblivion $9.1 

□Star Command $6.1 

□Stellar Crusade 9.1 

□Superman-Man of Steel $9.1 

□Their Finest Hour $39.1 

□Time of Lore $29.1 

□Turbo Outrun $27.1 

□Ultima IV &V $39.1 

□Warlock $9.1 

□Warship $9.1 

Desktop Publishing 

□Font Factory Clip Art 


□Fonts & Borders 


□Publisher ST 


□Scanart Library 


□PageStream 1.8 


□PageStream Fonts Disk 




□Calamus Font Editor 


□Calamus Outline Art 


□Hand Scanner & Touch-Up 



□Star NX-1000 H 


□Star NX-1020 Rainbow 


□Panasonic KXP-1181 


□Panasonic KXP-1191 


□Panasonic KXP-1124 


□Panasonic KXP-1624 


□Panasonic 32K Buffer for 

1181,1191, & 1124 





spring, ^fever* 


Fuji Disk 10 in Box 3.5 FD 





AB Switch Box 


Wico Bat Handle Joystick 


Golden Img Mouse 


Game Specials 

Black Lamp 

Space Oblivion 


Twilight’s Ransom 

Devon Aire 


Murder on the Atlantic 


Phantasy m 

Hollywood Hijinx 

Dragon’s of the Flame 

Heroes of the Lance 


Shadow of the Beast 

Matria Marauders 

Crash Garret 

Legend of the Sword 

Sleeping God’s Lie 

Joe Blade 

The Quest for the Time Bird Corruption 

Spell Bound 




Power Monger 

Ml Tank Platoon 




Space Rogue 

The Gold of the Aztecs 

ST Selections 

□ *520 ST or 1040 ST 

25 Meg Upgrade INSTALLED $26000 

4 Meg Upgrade INSTALLED $360.00 

* Price varies due to Ram Prices 
old style 520 ST71040 Boards 

□CMI Board $39.99 

□520 ST Upgrade to 1 Mb 
Installed $125.00 

Please Ask About Guarantee 
□520 ST or 1040 STe with monochrome 
with color CALL 

□64k ROMS for Mac $19.99 

□RS232C or Centronics cable $9.99 

□Atari 30 Mb Hard Drive $399.99 

□Master Double Sided Drive $129.99 

□Supra 110 Mb Hard Drive $749.99 

□Supra 80 Mb Hard Drive $699.99 

□Supra 40 Mb Hard Drive $499.99 

□SPECIAL 1 Mb Simm for Sle $55.00 

□ Atari SF314 DS Drive $149.99 

□Supra 44mb Cart HD Drive $669.99 

□44mbCart $75.00 

□Toner Cart for 804LP $53.99 

□Atari Stacy 4 $2150.00 

□Supra 2400B Modem $95.00 

□ Vortex At Once AT Emulator $299.99 

□Ad Speed $259.99 

□1st Word Plus 


□Teacher's Pet 


□Word Up 3.0 


□ Athena II CAD 


□Diamond Back II 




□Draw Art Professional 






□DC Desktop 


□Universal Item Selector m 




□Word Writer ST 


□Neo Desk 3.0 


□LDW Power 




□Interlink ST 




□Quick ST II 


□Turbo ST 


□Tracker ST 




□GFA Basic 2.0 


□GFA Basic Companion 


□GFA Basic 3.0 


□Fast Basic 


□True Basic Runtime Package 


□GFA Vector 


□Financial Plus 


□DBMan V 


□ST One Writer 




□Publisher ST 




□Timeworks Design Ideas 


□Hard Accelerator 




□DC Utilities 


□Clean Up ST 


□Hot Wire & Maxifile 


□G+ Plus 


□Stalker 2.0 


□Quick St II 


□Look It Pop It 
















Atari Portfolio & 

□Atari Portfolio 
□Parallel Interface 
□Serial Interface 
□32K Ram Memory Card 
□64K Ram Memory Card 
□128K Ram Memory Card 
□AC Power Adapter 
□Nylon Canrying Case 
□Finance Program 

$10.00 Each 

Online Manual 
VSH Managers 
MT C-Shell UUCP 

METRO 643-1729 
FAX 703-494-3663 
MON.-SAT. 9:30am - 6:30pm 
Closed Sunday 

Letters to 
the Editor 

Where is Info-Ataril6? 

Dear John Barnes, 

I enjoy your articles in Current Notes, in 
fact l enjoy almost all of the articles in 
Current Notes. Enough flattery, I need your 
help. I recently remembered that you had 
written an article about info-Atari16 on the 
Internet, so I now ask you (as my only 
contact) for some help. 

Years ago, 1985-1986, the bulletins from 
info-atari 16 were available on the mainframe 
computer at my place of work. I gathered 
much useful information and quite a few very 
good programs (among them Uniterm up to 
version 2.0e). The bulletins were then no 
longer subscribed to and I lost touch. In the 
meantime, Uniterm has done sterling work for 
me. For scientific use it is far superior to 
Versaterm Pro on the Mac. It is, for examine, 
very easy to use Uniterm when the host is in 
KERMIT server mode. 

I would like to know how to get back in 
touch with info-atari 16 again, but I don’t know 
how to start. I have access to Bitnet and 
more recently to the Internet. I can now ftp, 
but from where? Does info-atari 16 still exist? 
Who and where is the moderator? Are there 
any LISTSERV’s still handling Atari programs? 

Martin H. R. Donald 
Mountain View, CA 

Dear Martin; 

Info-atari 16 is alive and well, as attested 
to by several megabytes of digest that I have 
captured on floppy over the last couple of 
months. The stuff comes in at a rate that is 
nearly impossible to keep up with. It would be 
nice to have a program along the lines of 
GEnie’s ST A/addin Xo deal with it. 

In order to subscribe via the Internet, one 
needs only use the Internet mail software on 
your local host to send mail to INFO- 
The subject line of the message should 
contain the word “Subscribe” by itself. It is 
also a good idea to use this as the first line 
of the message. The last person I knew of as 
moderator was a certain John Dunning, who 
stays pretty much in the background. Be 
prepared to offload the stuff fairly often so 
that you do not use up your disk quota on 
the host. 

In the 1985-86 time frame, info-atari16 
resided on, but they 
dropped it and it moved around a bit. This 
has caused periodic interruptions in service. 

The best site for ftp’ing files is termina- This site supports anony¬ 
mous ftp. The root directory for the Atari files 
is reached by typing “cd "atari.” You will find 

lots of GNU stuff, Mint, Sozobon C, TeX, and 
other goodies there. 

There is a LISTSERV site related to a 
Usenet newsgroup named comp.sys.atari, but 
I do not recommend this approach for people 
who can ftp over the Internet. 

The casual Current Notes reader will 
undoubtedly be perplexed by all of this 
jargon. I am posting my electronic mail 
contact points in case anyone wants to 
obtain more information: 

GEnie: J.D.Barnes 

CompuServe: 73030,2307 


I would appreciate it if future letter writers 
would provide me with e-mail addresses so 
that I can get back to them more quickly. 

Thank you, Mr. Donald, for your interest 
in Current Notes and the Junkyard Pussycat 
in particular. 

John D. Barnes 
Junkyard Pussycat 

Star Base Corrections 

Dear Joe, 

Gary Purinton’s review of my Star Base 
in the January-February issue was, I think, 
both informational and technically accurate. I 
was especially glad seeing the author point 
out the (intended) limitations in the range of 
things the program would do (we do few 
things, but we do them right!) and the 
necessity of having some elementary know¬ 
ledge of astronomy to use and enjoy 
Star Base. It should be stressed that less 
advanced users may be perfectly happy with 
Star 2000 (CN#440), the freeware version of 
my program. Trying it before spending $43 
for the whole thing is, I think, a good idea. 

Here we come to a possible source of 
confusion: the title of Mr. Purinton’s review is 
“Star Base 2000,” accidentally combining 
the names of two related programs: 
Star Base (the full version Debonair Software 
is selling) and Star 2000 (the scaled-down 
freeware version). Gotcha! 

One small point in the review may also 
need some additional explanation. Whereas 
Star Base is, as stated in the review, capable 
of, say, checking how many stars there are in 
different brightness or color intervals, it 
should be remembered that the Yale Catalog 
contains just nine thousand of the brightest 
stars in our sky, so any conclusions drawn 
from such a classification will be, of course, 
biased in favor of brighter stars. This is the 
reason that you will not find there, for 
example, some of our nearest neighbors, as 
e.g. the Barnard Star, which is very dim, both 

on the absolute and apparent scale. On the 
other hand, if a star is more distant than, say, 
100 parsecs, it has to be a giant in order to 
make it to the Yale catalog. If we take into 
account the fact that the volume within 100 
parsecs is one thousand times that of within 
10 parsecs, the “loud minority” effect will be 

Well, this is not to argue with the reviewer 
(who does not make any false statements 
here), but to illustrate some of the fun and 
mental exercise one may have with one 
stupid little program. 

Using this opportunity I would also like to 
inform those who may be interested that the 
planned improvements to Star Base (the first 
update is free, remember?) will take into 
account some nice suggestions from our 
users. For example, in the March update the 
observer’s location and time can be set with 
use of a configuration file and the ST’s 
internal clock, while this Summer we hope to 
include a catalog of extragaiactic objects. Do 
not ask about the comets; this was supposed 
to be a surprise. 

J. Andrzej Wrotniak 

Crofton, MD 

Key Skins and Play girl 

Dear Mr. Waters, 

I just received the November 1990 issue 
of Current Notes. As always, I read it cover to 
cover (every word and ad!)—it was just great. 
Since I live in Alaska, my main relationship 
with other users is by what is written in 
publications such as CN. The November issue 
was one of the best I’ve seen from you folks. 
You’ve taken me to the WAACE Atarifest ‘90 
(which I would have attended if not for having 
to feed two kids) and let me peek in to the 
new and on-going Atari-family products. The 
developers I know by name from years of 
reading of their work and the many purchases 
I’ve made of their products. If I could have 
been there, I’d thank every one of them 
personally for making up for Atari Cor¬ 
poration’s lack of support and creativity. I will 
not exclude the many publishers like you that 
keep my issues coming every month. When I 
receive an Atari ST-based publication in the 
mail, it's sort of like a return radio beacon. I 
send out the signal in the form of subscrip¬ 
tions and if I get a steady clean response, I 
know the other end is alive and well! 

It was a nice surprise to also see mention 
of my KeySkin keyboard protective skins. 
Please correct only a few lines: phone 
number... it’s (907) 283-5837, and please also 
note that in addition to the $19.95 there is a 
$2.00 postage & handling charge (sorry, only 
checks and money orders). Order 2+ and we 
pay S/H! 

While I have your eye—I really have to 
know about the cover of the November issue: 
Behind Dave and Sandy Small were covers to 
magazines. One of them was Piaygiri... what’s 
that all about? Is that them on the cover? 

Page 6 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

And one more “important” question. It 
was not mentioned, but will NeoDesk 3 use 
more memory than my NeoDesk 2.51 I only 
have 1 meg~so it is an important issue for 

Richard Sitbon 
Kenai, AK 

Thanks for the compliments, Richard. 
KeySkins corrections noted above. As to 
Dave and Sandy and the Playgirl, well, that’s 
a story Dave will have to tell. The system 
requirements for NeoDesk 3 “Any Atari ST, 
Mega, STE, or TT system. All screen resolu¬ 
tions (including low resolution and Moniterm). 
Only requires 35k of memory when running a 
program. Floppy only or hard disk systems 
fully supported." 

Calamus V1.09N 

Dear Sir: 

Calamus Version 1.09N handles fonts 
slightly different then previous versions. 
Some fonts that were created with third party 
Font Editor will not function properly with 
1.09N. In order to correct this simply load the 
font into our Font Editor and then re-save it. 
You could also contact the person or com¬ 
pany that created this font originally for any 
update version of the font. All of the major 
Calamus font companies are aware of this 
problem and have updated their fonts 
accordingly. I hope this information helps. 

Shawn Wheatcroft 
ISD Marketing 
Ontario, Canada 

TUI Clarification 

Dear Editor: 

Thanks for including our product in your 
comparison review of desk accessory CLIs. It 
is obvious that the reviewer spent a lot of 
time and thought on it, and most of it was 
very accurate. 

I’m unsure, however, of what he means 
by saying that other DAs are not accessible 
when TUI is active. While TUf is in the 
process of performing an operation, this is 
true. However, any time TU/ is waiting for 
user input on the command line, you can 
access any other open window or DA. He 
also states that TUI doesn’t have aliases or 
user-defined variables, but doesn’t its macro 
facility qualify? 

It seems a little misleading when the 
reviewer states that, “Few, if any, utility 
programs of any real value can be launched 
within a desk accessory that is running under 
an application.” TU/ has no trouble with this 
as long as the programs run from it are not 
GEM-based. Running GEM-based programs 
from a desk accessory, even while on the 
Desktop, is something that has eluded me, 
and that even the gurus at Atari inform me is 
not possible. I believe NeoDesk CLI does it 
by activating this function of the main Neo¬ 
Desk program, not by directly doing it from 
the DA, so this method is not available to 
“stand-alone” DAs. In the same fashion, 

NeoDesk CU is able to remain open (or more 
properly to automatically reopen) on the 
Desktop after running a program from the 
Desktop only by using trickery within the main 
NeoDesk shell. I’m not saying this is not 
effective, just that it’s wrong to imply that any 
DA should be able to do these things. 

Thanks again for the otherwise accurate 
and thorough article, and for printing this 

James C. Stamm 
Silicon Mountain Sys 
Huntington, WV 

Baltimore BBS 

Dear Joe, 

As others have often said ... Thanks for 
such a wonderful publication. I am constantly 
amazed by the depth and quality of all your 
articles. I wish other magazines were as well 
written as yours. 

I wanted to share with your readers in the 
Baltimore area, the existence of a bulletin 
board which supports all computers, includ¬ 
ing Atari. Originally started as a joint effort 
with the Maryland Science Center and the 
Maryland Apple Corps, MUTAGENESIS is now 
a board sponsored by the Maryland Apple 
Corps, but dedicated to all computer enthu¬ 
siasts. I would encourage anyone to try it out. 

At the moment there is no Atari activity 
on this board, but there is a section reserved 
for it. Maybe this letter will change that. The 
board number is 301-337-4936, and operates 
at 2400 baud. Hopefully, I will see some 
interest from other Atari fans ... 800/1040/ 

Thanks for helping to spread the word 
and for a wonderful magazine. 

William W. Furr 
Timonium, MD 


Dear Editor, 

This is a footnote to Robin Kazeluh’s 
letter in September’s Current Notes, about 
using the DRIVPARM command when running 
MS-DOS on her ST. DRIVPARM will let you 
format to 720K in a double-sided double¬ 
density 3 1/2” floppy disk drive. It does not, 
however, enable DOS to “access” or “recog¬ 
nize” such a drive as being double-sided or 
anything else. DOS has no such problems. 
The only thing DOS can’t do without assis¬ 
tance is format a diskette to 720K in such a 
drive, and formatting is the sole function of 

DRIVPARM has one unfortunate side 
effect, in slowing formatting and other floppy 
drive operations (copying, etc.) by about one 
third. This doesn’t mean much if you have a 
hard disk, but folks with floppy-only systems 
may want a little more “speed.” If you don’t 
mind extra baggage and don’t like the third 
party device drivers, you might try a public 
domain or shareware formatting utility. There 
are plenty of these available: Jacque Pier¬ 
son’s SDF is one I know about that works 

o.k., is simple and free. If you can’t find SDF 
on a bulletin board, the best vendor is the 
public (Software) Library, P.O. Box 35705, 
Houston, TX 77235-5705 (orders: 1-800- 
2424-PSL). SDF is on disk #1364, along with 
a lot of fancy and not-so-fancy formatters. 

Most of us with IBM clones are not too 
familiar with MS-DOS either, because we rely 
on the developers of these wonderful share¬ 
ware and public domain utilities to keep from 
going nuts. 

David Lefly 
Chicago, IL 

Why Doesn’t Atari...? 

Dear Sir, 

l have been a subscriber to Current Notes 
for about a year. I have a modified “ST from 
Hell” to borrow a phrase, and a modified 
“130XE from the Crypt,” CN has the best 
articles by far on Atari products, and I can 
only wonder how I got along without it for so 
many years. 

After I read an article by Mr. Small or 
others that discuss modifications to the ST 
that are under development, I am puzzled 
over why Atari Corp. doesn’t work on such 
things. Why, for instance, don’t they offer an 
ST that can more easily have internal add¬ 
ons installed, without trying to squeeze 
something into the restricted space of an ST? 
Why don’t they move on to an “Alps” IBM 
style keyboard? Why don’t they offer a 
multisynch monitor and upgrade the video to 
compete with VGA? How come they aren’t 
working on a 68030 board for the ST? Haven’t 
they noticed that 1.44 meg 3.5” drives are the 
new standard? Has Atari done anything right? 
Yes! They provide a ‘BASIC’ system that is an 
alternative to the MS-DOS and MAC that is 
still competitive at offering price, if you can 
find an Atari ST offered somewhere. But they 
definitely need an upward path for those who 
want to soup up their system, or want more 
power out of the box. 

Is there a means for comparing the 
performance of an ST to an MS-DOS 
machine or a MAC? The IBM world has the 
Norton and Landmark ratings. I would like to 
know where an ST would be on such a scale. 
It would be very interesting to see how it 
stacks up. 

Walt Huber 
Atwater, CA 

GEMulate an ST on a PC 

Dear Joe, 

I just read through the January/February 
1991 issue of Current Notes and had some 
comments. Three articles in particular caught 
my attention. Bruce Noonan’s TT overview, 
Andrzej Wrotniak’s “Sad Sad World Of PC 
Clones,” and Frank Sommer’s comments 
about my recent articles in ST Report. 

Most readers have by now either read or 
heard of my the “Life After The Atari” articles 
in ST Report. As I hoped they would, they 
generated a lot of discussion among ST 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 7 

users. My aim was to wake people up to the 
fact that ST users don’t have to settle for the 
kind of treatment they have been receiving 
from Atari since about 1987: products that 
either never ship or ship very late, poor 
developer and dealer support, lack of adver¬ 
tising to attract new users, and the loss of the 
“power without the price” that Atari products 
had in the past. The TT is supposed to be 
Atari’s new top-of-the-line “real” computer. 
At a price of around $3,000, it is slower than I 
expected, and is simply less useful than a 
similarly priced (or cheaper!) PC. I own an ST 
and a PC, and having used and programmed 
on both, the PC is simply the way to go in 
1991 and beyond. 

I have used Bruce’s TT many times and 
have tested and benchmarked it. Recently, 
when I tried running ST Xformer on it, l was 
terribly disappointed to discover that even at 
32MHz with the cache enabled, 8-bit emula¬ 
tion was barely at full speed, and only twice 
the speed of 8-bit emulation on the ST. (For 
comparison, the PC version of Xformer 
running on a 20Mhz 386 runs about 50% 
faster). With other benchmarks I found that 
graphics operations are only twice as fast on 
the TT. And a lot of software that I’d like to 
try on it doesn’t run. I’d like to try rewriting 
some of my software using faster 68030 
code, but Atari has yet to make available any 
68030 development tools. At a price of 
around $3,000, the TT is now nothing more 
than a fast ST. My 16Mhz 1040ST almost runs 
as fast and costs about $2,000 less. 

I thought J. Andrzej Wrotniak’s article 
about “brain-damaged” PCs was too short to 
cover the topic of PCs in detail, and focused 
only on bad points. As a developer, I find it 
surprising that he still views his 80386 PC as a 
16-bit machine capable of only working with 
64K at a time. The 80386 is a full 32-bit 
processor with 4 billion bytes of real address 
space, compared to the ST’s 4 million. 32-bit 
programming tools, compilers, and operating 
systems have been around for years. And 
there are already about twice as many 80386 
based machines in use as there are STs, and 
even more Windows users than ST users, so 
the market for a developer is larger (and 
growing rapidly). There is certainly no shor¬ 
tage of development tools or technical infor¬ 
mation for PC developers. 

Frank mentioned a new 486 based 
machine for about $3,000, roughly the same 
price as the TT. That is a great price, and just 
the beginning. With Intel demonstrating a 
100MHz version of the 486 this month, and 
new lower cost 20Mhz 486 chips coming out 
later this year, it won’t be long before the 486 
based PCs drop below the $2,000 level. If you 
can’t afford $3,000, look into a 386SX based 
system. At $1,500 and lower, these machines 
do everything the $3,000 machines do, just 
slower. “Slower” is a relative term here, since 
the PC version of Xformer runs as fast on a 
386SX as the TT version! So don’t count the 
386SX out quite yet. 

So what is my point in all this? Should 
everyone just sell their STs and spend two or 
three thousand dollars on a PC? Ideally, yes. 

In reality, no. We can’t all afford to buy 
another computer now (especially with the 
low resale values of STs) and there are many 
ST users who are perfectly happy with their 
machines. Why should they sell? Well, if you 
are one of these people and are perfectly 
happy with your machine, then stick with it. 
Keep buying ST software and support the ST 
software market. There are still dozens of 
developers around supporting the ST, includ¬ 
ing (as odd as it may seem) me. 

But sooner or later you will want more- 
-more speed, better graphics, use of better 
software, a dealer who isn’t 100 miles away. 
Many ST users are already at this stage, and I 
am not convinced that yet another Atari 
computer is the answer. Instead of spending 
$1,500 on a 68030 upgrade or Mega STE, do 
the right thing and buy a PC. 

I am also doing something to make this 
even more attractive by developing an Atari 
ST emulator for the PC, similar to the ST 
Xformer that allowed 8-bit users to make 
their transition to the ST easier. Called 
Gemuiator, the ST emulator uses the 32-bit 
power of the 80386 to emulate the ST’s 
68000 microprocessor and hardware. I expect 
to have it ready as a sellable product in 12 to 
18 months, with demos of the product at 
Atari shows and user groups later this year. 
Imagine running Calamus or Pagestream on a 
PC. Or your favorite word processor. If you 
hate the DOS or the Windows desktop, then 
try running Neodesk. Imagine all your favorite 
ST software running on a PC, alongside many 
of the existing PC titles already available. 

The hardware requirements for the 
Gemufator are minimal—a two megabyte 
80386SX PC, a VGA monitor, and a 3.5 inch 
floppy disk from which to boot TOS. Such a 
system today sells in the same price range as 
a 1040STE with a color monitor. If you have a 
hard disk or extra memory, those will be 

If you would like to find out more about 
what I’m doing, or if you’d like to comment 
on what I’ve said, write me a letter or phone 
me one evening and we’ll talk. (Darek 
Mihocka, Branch Always Software, 14150 NE 
20th St, #302, Bellevue, WA 98007. 206- 
885-5893.) I have been an Atari supporter for 
10 years now, and while I no longer care for 
or have any faith in the people at Sunnyvale, I 
don’t want the users to suffer any longer. 

Darek Mihocka 

Bellevue, WA 


Dear Joe: 

I have been a member of NOV ATARI for 
about five years. During this time, I have 
enjoyed the NOVATARI meetings and Current 
Notes. I would like to thank you and all the 
volunteers that make this club and magazine 
what it is. 

Since I moved to Maine a few years ago, 
the only Atari dealer that I know of in the 
state, Hands on Computer, has closed and 
the user’s group disbanded before I could 

I have been trying to find a terminal 
emulation program which will allow my Atari 
520ST to connect by modem to my Hewlett 
Packard mainframe at work. An IBM compat¬ 
ible program called Reflections is normally 
used to do this on IBM computers. Why not 
buy pc ditto? It is too expensive for me. 

Another program I am looking for is a 
“video titler” program. This program will allow 
me to add titles to my video tapes when a 
VCR is connected to my computer. This 
program is called Video Titler and is available 
for the 8-bit Commodore. 

Another area I am wondering about 
pertains to word processors. I have tried First 
Word, ST Writer and Regent Word. None of 
these programs seems to produce text files 
with a true ASCII format. In other words, I 
can’t get them to work properly on an IBM 
version of WordPerfect. I have, of course, put 
my text files on an IBM formatted disk before 
trying to use them with WordPerfect on an 
IBM compatible machine. 

Do you know where I could acquire 
programs like this? Is there someone else I 
could write to or am I out of luck? Thank you 
in advannce. 

Mario Cardoza Jr. 

Brunswick, ME 

I’m not sure what HP requirements are, 
but many users are happy with Uniterm (CN 
#422) as a telecommunications program. 
Under ST Writer, you can print to disk rather 
than save to disk. This will produce an ASCII 
file. Perhaps our readers can help you out 
with some of your other questions. 

Legal Size on HP Laser 

Dear Joe 

I’m a subscriber to Current Notes. I really 
look forward to getting it every month. You 
are providing a valuable service to Atari 
owners. In the last issue (Dec?), I read several 
letters concerning the new HP Laser III 
problems printing legal size with Pagestream. 
I have a DeskJet and at one time also had 
this problem. After some experimentation, I 
discovered that it is NOT sufficient to set the 
printer to 14" length and define the document 
as legal size. A third requirement is that the 
printer configuration under GLOBAL must be 
modified to show the page as being 14" in 
length. I hope this helps those people who 
are having problems. 

Ken Hulet 

Send letters-to-the-editor to: 

122 N. Johnson Rd, 

Sterling, VA 22170. 

Page 8 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

ST Bests IBM PC in Battle to the Death, 
Gregg Pratt Makes the Right Noises, Items for the 
Future, Atari Attempts Plastic Surgery 

Atari’s Machine Outshines IBM’s 

Recently, noted CN author, 
Sam Van Wyck, a radar instructor at 
the Maritime Institute of Technology 
in Lythicum, Maryland, had the 
opportunity to mix it up with the 
“Big Boys.” He called his encoun¬ 
ter, Into the Valley of Death Rode 
the 1040, and describes it with a 
perception and vividness that will 
warm the hearts of all of us, espe¬ 
cially the company that made “the 
weapon” that won enterprising Sam 
his battle. 

Sam writes and we quote: 

“You can talk all you want 
about the merits of your computer 
but if it carries the name ATARI, 
most business and professional 
people will dismiss it as nothing but 
a toy. Don’t disturb these closed 
minds with logic, they don’t want to 
hear it. On the other hand, suppose 
you could make them WANT to 
know more about this incredible 

“When my school announced 
that it would offer its faculty a three 
day course on WordPerfect, I was 
delighted. Although I have used this 
word processor for almost two 
years, there is still much I don’t yet 

“Rather than use one of the 
school’s IBM clones, I elected to 
move my 1040 and hard drive into 
the computer lab. With some 
degree of forethought I managed to 
secure a table near the front of the 
room. The instructor warned me 
that he would not be able to delay 
the class while my 8MHz Atari 
struggled to keep pace with the 
25MHz MS-DOS machines, but I 
assured him that somehow we 
would cope. 

“The first hour or two were 
mostly devoted to getting the 
beginners to use the proper load 

and format commands. After a 
break, when screen movement and 
document loading were covered, it 
became obvious that my little Atari 
was holding its own as far as being 
able to perform the basic moves. 
Several students were moved to 
envy over the drop-down menus 
and mouse. 

“During lunch break, I left the 
machine running the CareBears 
graphics demo, sound included. I 
returned to find a group of fascina¬ 
ted onlookers trying to figure out 
how all the colors and shapes could 
be possible. 

“Composing a document fol¬ 
lowed. While the clones were 
struggling with little color bars in¬ 
dicating Underline, Boldface and 
Italics, the Atari screen was show¬ 
ing these features exactly as they 
would appear on the finished page. 
At the end of the first day, the 
Executive Director’s secretary was 
asking the instructor why their 
machines couldn’t do the same 
thing. They could, of course, but 
only at considerable additional 

“The following day did nothing 
to diminish Atari’s reputation. Des¬ 
pite the 3-to-1 speed advantage of 

the IBM, the only noticeable dif¬ 
ference was when scrolling a full 
screen of type a line at a time. On 
the other hand, the exceptionally 
quick mouse control of menu 
selection and format changes more 
than made up for the difference. 

“At the first break, I was asked 
to reboot the computer at least a 
dozen times so everyone could 
hear the voice of HAL 9000 pro¬ 
claiming, “All my circuits are func¬ 
tioning perfectly!” At lunch, they 
were totally blown away by Slide- 
show graphics and the Startrek 
sound demo, “These are the 
voyages of the Starship Enterprise, ” 
with full orchestral accompaniment. 

“By the end of the third day, 
many had developed a completely 
different attitude toward what they 
once relegated to the category of 
“merely a game machine.” The 
Atari had more than held its own 
among machines costing several 
times its original price. What 
pleased me the most was the fact 
that they had come to this conclu¬ 
sion on their own, with no coercion 
(well, maybe just a tiny bit) from 

“Perhaps one of the best ways 
to spread the message that an Atari 
is capable of many tasks, is simply 
to seek out those settings where 
others can watch, marvel and come 
to their own conclusions. Now, I 
wonder how all sixteen of those 
IBM clones felt about it. Do com¬ 
puters dream?” 

Hats Off, Sam Van Wyck; Hats 
Off, Atari. 

Across a Crowded Room 

That famous line from the play, 
“South Pacific,” was appropriate for 
the “grand hall” of GEnie on the 
night in early February that Sam 
Tramiel tried patiently for several 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 9 

hours to wade through the elec¬ 
tronic crowd that had assembled 
and answer their questions. But to 
no avail. After a crash, all the 
guests had to log on again. And 
after they did, the result was 
another crash. It started at 10 P.M. 
and before midnight, it became 
apparent that it was too big a 
throng for the “conference pro¬ 
gram” to handle. Even Niel Harris, 
in charge of promoting GEnie’s fast 
expanding business, and former 
effective PR man for Atari, admitted 
he ran out of patience and logged 
off. (Sam Tramiel was scheduled to 
try again on CompuServe on 21 
February, and a download of that 
should still be available.) 

Back to the Future 

To Atari’s credit, at the next 
round table conference the follow¬ 
ing week, Greg Pratt, President, 
Atari, U.S. was the centerpiece, 
fielding questions and enunciating 
Atari’s intention to get back into the 
U.S. market. Items of note: 
o Distribution —Network over¬ 
hauled, all machines but TT will 
go mass market, with 1040 STE 
leading the way. Within one or 
two months, Atari expects to 
have “a very effective network of 
highly motivated dealers.” There 
will be 100 key dealers, Strategic 
Partners, who will be “especially 
qualified to provide high end 
customers (sic) with the type of 
support that they require.” Distri¬ 
butors will be a secondary 
method of moving the Atari pro¬ 
duct. There will only be one class 
of dealer and gone is the $multi- 
thousand cost of becoming a 
certified dealer. And there will be 
ample product to go around! 
o New Prices: 1040 STe $600; 
Mega STE $1700 (2mb); $1850 
(4mb)—both with 50mb hard 
drives; TT030/2-50 (translates to 
32 MHz clock speed, 2 mb of 
memory and 50 mb hard drive) 
$2400; TT030/4-50 $2800; TT030/ 
8-50 $3800; Megafile 30 hard 
drives $600; Megafile 44 remov¬ 
able cartridge drives $900; 

Megafile 60 hard drives $800; 
SLM605 laser printers $1300. 
o Lynx: New Lynx is smaller, same 
size screen, and twice the thick¬ 
ness of Nintendo’s GameBoy. 
o Advertising: Print medial only, 
no TV, but in major magazines 
with office focus, e.g. Money, 
INC., Home Office, Newsweek 
and Omni. 

o Business Market: Major re-edu¬ 
cation program in the 
have Atari accepted as a busi¬ 
ness machine. 

o New Computer Line In ’92: Next 
generation of Atari machines will 
establish Atari as again offering 
“incredible capabilities at rea¬ 
sonable prices.” The new 
machines “will be so powerful, so 
fast with such great graphics that 
we will grab the attention of the 
computing world. These products 
will be available in 1992.” 

All of this was preceded by Bill 
Rehbok, Atari Director of Technical 
Services, saying, “I think the best 
thing Atari can do is get product out 
in the market... I truly believe things 
are headed in the right direction ... 
and if I’m crazy enough to relocate 
from Chicago to Sunnyvale ... you 
should all hang in there just a little 
longer to see how Atari performs. 
There are no promises this time, 
just action.” 

Language, Letters, and War 

All wars and all military combine 
to fatten up the dictionary. Even as 
the war has began, new words 
were flooding into the lexicon, or at 
least new meanings for words. 
“BCD’s” are military issue eye 
glasses for our soldiers in the Gulf. 
They are so ugly they have been 
given the acronym “BCD’s” which 
stands for “Birth Control Devices.” 
Pentagon briefings use pictures of 
“TV bombs” on their way through 
the door of the target, and declare 
that evidence of destruction is 
“anecdotal” at this time. The press 
sees the pictures and reports this is 
a “Nintendo-like war”. (If Atari had 
learned about Saturday morning TV 
ads, it could have been an “Atari¬ 

like war.”) Even words invented in 
other wars were redecorated. In 
WWII a “dearjohn” was a kiss-off, 
your girl friend had found some¬ 
body else and sent you, John, a 
letter saying as much. Now, when 
this war was barely a week old, we 
had “electric dearjohns.” For no 
charge, GEnie will accept your ST 
modem’d “good-bye” and send it 
directly to Saudi Arabia where a 
laser printer produces a copy which 
is put into an envelope and taken to 
the MPO (military post office) for 
speedy delivery to “John.” For¬ 
tunately, the traffic is only one way, 
so he can’t get back at the auth¬ 
oress with the same immediacy. 
And the good news is that should 
you want to tell your guy or your 
girl “over there” that you miss ’em, 
GEnie will speed it on its way. 
GEnie calls it “Letters From Home,” 
and it’s free whether you have a 
GEnie account or not (call 1-800- 
638-9636 for info on how to do it). 
CompuServe offers the same faci¬ 
lity but to subscribers only. 

Mac Fan? Not Me! 

When is it nice to be an Atari 
user and not a Macintosh user or 
fan? When a five-year study is 
released by a university that docu¬ 
ments the fact that English papers 
produced by IBM or IBM clone 
users were “smarter” than Mac 
produced papers. Now what does 
that actually mean? Papers aren’t 
smarter or dumber; their authors 
are. So for those of you Atari 
“loyalists” who have been sliding 
away toward the Mac, watch it! 
Nobody wants to be considered 
dumber than somebody else. And 
parents, when your child calls home 
from college and says he has a 
choice of getting a Mac or an IBM 
at student discount, you now know 
which to choose. According to our 
favorite computer Sherlock Holmes, 
T.R. Reid of the Washington Post, 
IBM-using freshman, taking the 
standard writing course at the 
University of Delaware, were four- 
years more articulate on paper than 
their Mac-using fellow freshman. 

Page 10 

Current Notes 

Vol.ll, No. 2 

That means, using a “readability 
scale,” the language in their papers 
was at a level of grade 12.1 versus 
the Mac dunces down there at 
grade 7.9. So what, you say. Well, 
listen up! The Mac users had 
almost four times as many spelling 
errors as IBM types. And the killer? 
The Mac users got lower grades, on 
the average, than their MS-DOS 
whiz kids. Those are the facts. What 
is the reason? Well, you and Word¬ 
Perfect Corp. might argue that it 
was because the IBM machines 
used WordPerfect and the Mac’s 
WordWrite. That’s an argument, but 
Macintosh machines, using any of 
their word processing programs, 
are known to be excellent word 
processors. So what are you left 
with as a reason? The counter cul¬ 
ture. Mac users are more laid back 
than their up-tighted IBM pals. You 
can try that argument until it nets 
you a shiner, and then even with 
David Small’s help you’ll have diffi¬ 
culty proving it. Yet, it might be 
interesting to plot the grades of the 
two groups for four years in all their 
courses and see? 

Color It IBM& Clones 

Color control has moved from 
Atari, from Amiga, from the Mac’s to 
IBM and its clones. A small com¬ 
pany in Waltham, Mass., Edsun 
Labs, is producing a digital—to— 
analog converter chip that will pro¬ 
vide computers with an apparent 
display of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels 
compared with the current VGA’s 
640 by 480. The DAC chip replaces 
the converter already built into VGA 
add-on cards or motherboards. In 
effect, you now can have photo¬ 
graphic like images on your screen. 
The cost of the color monitor that 
can display these gems? The same 
as your current 640 by 480 color 
monitor because the pixel increase 
is only “apparent,” i.e., the chip 
combines any two colors to form 
ones of intermediate shades for 
rendering the edges of an object on 
the screen. So gone are the jag- 
gies. Epson will debut the system 
with its Equity 386SX/20 Plus model 

in the first quarter of this year. 
Other video card PC manufacturers 
are already ordering the chips 
which cost less than $20. 

Will There Be? 

Speculation about Atari’s 
vaporware of yesteryear and yes¬ 
terday persists and likely will, even 
after Atari fades from the U.S. mar¬ 
ket. The oldest item on the list is 
the CD-ROM drive. Ostensibly a 
new version will be showing up 
here soon, as soon as Atari finds a 
supplier for the drive mechanism 
that Chinon used to make but will 
make no longer for Atari. The 
machine is available in Europe with 
the old drive mechanism but lack of 
application disks and the high cost 
for European pocket books has 
made it almost a non item there. 
Bob Engbergson of Pacific Soft¬ 
ware Supply thought the appear¬ 
ance, shortly, of Amiga’s CD-ROM 
machine would give Atari the 
necessary stimulus to get more 
application disks out on dealer 
shelves. More recently there has 
been high interest in the new GDOS 
for Atari programs. Called FSM for 
font scaling module, it may be just 
around the corner. WordF/air will 
reportedly incorporate it in its newly 
updated word processor as it 
becomes available. Even more 
recently word began drifting around 
that the Mega STe’s, a large supply 
of which, according to Atari, are 
“due on the next boat,” will have 
built in AT Speed 286 PC emula¬ 
tor’s by the end of the year. The 
latter, of course, is not confirmed 
by Atari. Along with that specula¬ 
tion, is the question of what will 
Atari show off that’s new at the 
CeBIT show in Germany? One spe¬ 
culation is the new Portfolio with 
286 power. The rumors of a new 
product line of computers, started 
by Gregg Pratt’s comments about 
Atari’s plans during his Genie inter¬ 
view, don’t include any of them 
appearing at CeBIT. In fact, there is 
heavy scepticism extant that Atari 
will be fortunate to have its current 
issue of “new machines,” the Mega 

STe’s and TT’s “tweeked up” and 
performing by the beginning of next 
year. And finally, the word is that 
this is the year that Atari “prepares 
itself” for next year which will be 
the real “Year of Atari.” 

Plastic Surgery 

Looking eagerly for a new face, 
for an image that will open office 
doors and let Atari enter without 
paying any TV ad fees, Atari is 
attempting plastic surgery. Gone 
are the smiles that come with the 
pleasure of playing a fast moving 
game of Tetris or living out 99 years 
of Supreme Commander in Supre¬ 
macy. Now with chin jutting out 
over the tie and pin stripe vest, the 
impression is one of all business. 
As a significant move in this direc¬ 
tion, Atari is investing serious 
monies in a large booth at CEPS in 
Chicago. The Computer Electronic 
Publishing Show runs for three days 
in April, 9th thru the 11th. It is one 
of the major desktop publishing and 
printing shows in the country. This 
will be Atari’s premiere appearance. 

Inching Forward 

For the past month Atari stock 
has been fighting a successful bat¬ 
tle with the “penny stock” dark 
hole. Down at one point to $1.50 a 
share, gradual movement with any¬ 
where from 10-20,000 shares to 
over a 100,000 shares a day 
changing hands, the stock has 
inched its way back up to close at 
$3 a share in mid-February. While 
this seems like small potatoes, it is, 
however, still a doubling of the 
value of the stock. 

Who’s on Top? 

A ranking of the 20 most pro¬ 
fitable games sold in Europe, i.e. 
most copies sold, notes that Atari 
has only two of the slots, #8 and 
#20 with Power Monger and Speed 
Ball II, respectively. Some of us 
might say, “A ha!” only to learn that 
IBM has no contenders in the top 
20 and Amiga, which is ranked as 
the number one home computer in 
Europe, has only three on the list! 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 11 

The Winter Drearies have closed their icy grip upon 
this Alchemist earlier than usual this year. Last winter in 
Pennsylvania was relatively mild, but so far this year 
Nature is restoring the balance. The Alchemist has lots 
of interesting 8-bit projects under way, but all of them 
seem no nearer to completion than the day they were 

The War doesn’t help. As I write this, the Gulf War 
is in its fifth day. All the hi-tech stuff looks great on TV. 
Like it was a computer videogame; some reporters are 
calling it the Nintendo War. But it isn’t Gulf Strike on 
your XE. This is the Real Thing, folks. Missiles explod¬ 
ing in populated cities, bombs dropping in withering 
tonnage, empty places at the dinner table. You won’t 
find me among the ranks of noisy mobs burning 
effigies of the President. But I take comfort in thinking 
that maybe by the time this article appears in print the 
dreadful business will be concluded, and Saddam 
Hussein will have joined the ranks of recent history’s 
other vainglorious notaries in a Rogue’s Gallery featur¬ 
ing the likes of Idi Amin, Pol Pot, and Noriega. 


I always wear my Alchemist Hat when I’m doing 
Alchemist Stuff. Alchemist Stuff is diddling with the 
innards of some piece of computer or other electronic 
hardware, exploring some new piece of software, or 
checking out a new Twilight Source. The Alchemist Hat 
is my favorite, and it looks exactly like the one in the 
logo at the top of this page. I also don it when I write 
this column, so it doubles as a Columnist Hat. 

In my connection with Current Notes, though, there 
are some other hats I wear. There is my Editor’s 
Hat—not really a hat at all, but one of those green 
eyeshade things that are only worn by Editors and the 
professional hustlers who haunt pool parlors. I think the 
reason my Alchemist has the blues is because I’ve 
been wearing my Editor’s Hat for most of the past 
month. I wear my Editor’s Hat when I do Editor Stuff. 

Editor Stuff is answering 
the mail, editing manu¬ 
scripts, coordinating the 
efforts of other people, 
and generally tending to 
the unexpected things 
that pop up. There’s a lot 
more Editor Stuff to do 
than I realized. 

Then there is my 
Contributing Author’s Hat. 
This is a rakish-looking 
thing with a feather, a la 
Robin Hood. I wear it 
when I get an idea that 
just begs to be written 
down. Especially if the 
idea involves combat with 
recalcitrant machinery, pompous corporate executives, 
or the Guvermint. When you wear a Hat like that, you 
are something of a maverick—a bit irreverent, rebelli¬ 
ous, itching for the opportunity to snipe away at all the 
absurdity and hypocrisy in the world. Most Atarians 
have a hat like this in their closet, though some might 
not admit it. Now, if you were an IBM enthusiast, your 
closet would contain only row upon row of starched 
white shirts. You would follow the crowd, never com¬ 
plain, and worship regularly at a Big Blue altar. 

Finally, there is my Subscriber’s Hat. I don’t have to 
describe this one. You’re wearing yours right now, and 
it looks exactly like mine. Funny thing, this is the only 
Hat I pay extra for. Because I wear so many other hats 
for Current Notes, our Publisher gives me several 
issues each month for free. But I give away most of 
these freebies in an effort to recruit new subscribers. 
So when I renew my personal subscription, I wear the 
same Subscriber’s Hat you wear. I don’t subscribe just 
to get useful information about my computer or the 
latest scuttlebutt about Atari (though those would be 
reasons enough to subscribe). My subscription to this 
magazine is a subscription to values, like candor and 
honesty. If I want baloney, I can pick a slick off the 
local newsstand. Or check out the lunchmeat counter 
at the deli. 

A Few Good Reviewers 

So now I’m going to put on my Editor’s Hat and 
address a subject that has occupied my thoughts, and 
a lot of my time lately: software reviews. With the 
decline of the 8—bit market and decreasing support 
from Atari, I had assumed there would be little in the 
way of new software coming onto the market. To some 
degree this assumption was valid. I figured myself and 
maybe a couple other people could handle all the 8-bit 
software reviews Current Notes would print. It hasn’t 
quite worked that way, though. I’m not saying I’m 
flooded with new software, but there’s more vitality in 

Page 12 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

the 8-bit software market than I realized. The share¬ 
ware authors and specialty houses are still producing, 
and, of course, there’s older commercial software that 
is worth another look. That’s great news for us 8-bit 
phreaks, but it makes life complicated for an Editor. 

I’m looking for A Few Good Reviewers. Here’s The 
Deal: I send you software, and you “pay” for it by 
using it and writing up a review. The software is yours 
to keep. 

Interested? Drop me a line, or send me E-mail. 
Your name, address, and evening/weekend phone for 
starters. Tell me all the gory details about your com¬ 
puter—which machine(s) you have, how much RAM, 
any hardware mods, number and type of drives, drive 
upgrades, interfaces, modems, printers, monitors, etc. 
If you do any programming, what languages you use 
and what degree of proficiency—beginner, inter¬ 
mediate, advanced. What word processing program(s) 
you would most likely use to prepare a manuscript. 
What commercial or public telecommunications net¬ 
works you use, if any. Let me know how long you’ve 
had your Atari 8-bit and whether you’ve done reviews 
before. And if you have a preference for the types of 
software you’d like to review (videogames, utilities, 
databases, wordprocessors, telecom, business, hard¬ 
ware applications, music, educational, programming 
languages, graphics, etc.) let me know that, too. 

Some folks would be delighted to receive free 
software but are self-conscious about their writing 
skills. Hey, don’t let a silly thing like that stop you. This 
isn’t high school, and we don’t flunk you for typos, bad 
spelling or grammar. That’s what Editors are for. We fix 
up all that stuff, so when your article appears in print 
you look like a Nobel laureate (well, almost). 

Then there are folks who are interested but have 
never done an evaluation and don’t know what to say. 
Not to worry. Included in the software package you 
receive is a fairly detailed set of guidelines that will 
help you evaluate most any software. You can always 
check the pages of Current Notes for cues on doing 
reviews. Len Poggiali’s reviews of Bresnik’s educational 
software, and Dave Harris’ SynCa/cxev'wu elsewhere in 
this issue are fine examples. And just because you get 
free software doesn’t necessarily mean you have to 
rave about it. If it’s good, say it’s good. If it’s junk, you 
can say that, too. As long as you back up your opinion 
with sound reasoning. Describe the software much as 
you would to a friend. And, hey, if you have some 
treasured piece of software that hasn’t been reviewed 
in these pages, you might want to write it up and send 
it in. Don’t keep all the goodies to yourself. 

If you’ve never had the experience of seeing your 
name in print, give it a try. I guarantee the first time you 
open the pages and see Your Name at the top of Your 
Article it’ll be one heckuva kick. And for good measure 
our Publisher gives you an extra free copy of the 
magazine containing your article. Pass it around, im¬ 

press your friends. And know that you have made a 
personal contribution to the 8-bit community. 

Twilight Sources 

OK, now I’m wearing my Alchemist Hat again. We 
Alchemists love to rummage around in the Twilight. 
Here are my latest discoveries. 

IB Computers. [9244 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale 
Hwy., Valley Plaza Shopping Center, Beaverton OR 
97005 (503)297-8425]. A full-line Atari dealer (includ¬ 
ing 8-bit hardware and software) with an unusually 
good selection of cases for hard drives. If you are 
putting together an 8-bit hard drive and having diffi¬ 
culty locating a suitable enclosure, give these folks a 
try. Ask for Jim Berry or Duffy Lane. Check out IB’s ad 
in Computer Shopper. 

Sagamore Software. [2104 Arapahoe Drive, Lay- 
fayette IN 47905]. Operated by Roger McClannen, 
Sagamore offers a free 30-page catalog of PD soft¬ 
ware. The catalog is professionally printed and well 
organized. Sagamore has a few value-added angles I 
haven’t seen before. Unlike most PD distributors whose 
offerings are served up on cheap bulk floppies, Saga¬ 
more uses only top-quality name brand disks such as 
the teflon-coated Verbatim DataLife Plus. All disks are 
double-sided, and some software is ARCed to crowd 
more files per disk (Bob Puff’s excellent UN ARC 
program is provided to unsquish the files). Sagamore 
also offers a monthly disk update to their catalog on a 
subscription basis. Disks are $3.00 each plus a $2.00 
charge for orders of less than 10 disks. Payment by 
check or MO, no credit cards. A splendid PD source, 
well worth a postcard inquiry. 


Now, about those unfinished projects I mentioned. 
In 1991 I hope to present some really neat 8-bit stuff in 
these pages. Software reviews in progress include the 
remaining four disks of Bresnik’s educational software. 
A knock-down dragout telecom article featuring 
modems and a high-noon shootout between BOB- 
TERM and the EXPRESS/ ROMcart. An article on using 
your 8-bit to communicate with VAX mainframes and 
the public telecom networks. A report on the Maclnker 
(you don’t need a Mac to use it). An issue in which all 
the 8-bit articles will focus upon stereo sound. Another 
issue with emphasis on the 1050 disk drive. A rebuild of 
the Type I power supply that increases its efficiency by 
45%. An XL hardware upgrade to improve video output 
quality. A tutorial on creating a custom Epson printer 
driver with AtariWriter P/us or 80. And more software 
reviews (provided I get A Few Good Reviewers and 
some more software). And, of course, an unending 
stream of Twilight Sources: it seems my December 
article barely scratched the surface of the Twilight 

(Continued on page 15.) 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 13 

New 8-Bit Software 

Ben Poehland, 8—Bit Editor 

Heads up, 8-bit enthusiasts! Here are some new 
releases from the specialty commercial and shareware 


Digital Music Studio, V. 2.00b. The Digital Music 
Studio (DMS) is described as a simple utility for using 
digitized sound, it allows you to play a whole range of 
sounds at different pitches, thus creating simple music. 
DMS comes with a main system which is used for the 
creation of music, editing, playing, etc. The Studio also 
has a compiler capable of converting your DMS tune 
into BASIC code which you can merge into your own 
programs. DMS is not required for playback, so your 
program will “stand alone.” 

Also included is a keyboard player, allowing you to 
play any of the sounds using the computer keyboard. 
The last part of the studio is the drum player. This loads 
in eight types of drum sounds, lets you play them 
using the keyboard, and also lets you change the 
pitches of the sounds. 

DMS is for the Atari XL/XE (64k minimum) 
machines, comes on a double sided “flippy” disk, and 
requires no extra hardware to run. It comes with all the 
programs mentioned above, and has an on-disk user 
guide, and over 40 samples, ranging from a dog bark 
to an electric guitar. 

A British import, DMS is available in the US exclusively 
from Edwards (address be/ow). $ 8.95postpaid. 

PS Borders & Fonts. Over 20 new borders and 15 
fonts for use with Print Shop <8 Print Shop Companion, 
including several special fonts allowing you to mix 
upper and lower case text in the same printout. $6.95 

PS Graphics. Over 100 new graphics for use with 
volume emphasizes graphics of children’s characters. 
$6.95 postpaid. 

Edwards is presently running a special offer for 
GEnie subscribers, all three disks for $18.00 postpaid. 
Available from: Edwards Software, 138 South Main 
Street, Travelers Rest, SC29690. 


Six new disks of educational programs from Bres- 
nik Software were recently released, for use in both 
home or classroom environments. All disks are $5.95 
each plus $2.00 P&H per order. Programs were written 
in BASIC, 6502 Assembler, or C, and boot with BASIC 
enabled. Programs may be copied or modified for use 
within the purchaser’s immediate environment but may 
not be offered for resale (shareware). (See Len Pog- 
giali’s review of these programs elsewhere in this 
issue.) For all XLVXE (min. 64K) and 1050/XF551 drives. 

Disk 01: Illusions/AudioVisualizer. Two indepen¬ 
dent programs on one disk. AudioVisuaiizer produces 
precisely controlled frequencies (singly or in pairs) and 
graphs them. Useful for instrument tuning, math/phy¬ 
sics instruction, or auditory perception demonstrations. 
Illusions presents ten different visual effects utilizing 
the computer’s ability to change form, color, and 
screen intensity. 

Disk 02: Ecologian. Invites the user to bring organ¬ 
isms to a barren planet. As they transform the environ¬ 
ment, the planet becomes habitable for people. Eco¬ 
logy on the planetary scale, with graphics to show you 
how well (or how badly) your planet is faring. 

Disk 03: Wordsearch Maker. Works with any prin¬ 
ter to produce an alphabetized word list and a word- 
search puzzle. Can be used with any Atari 8-bit 

Disk 04: Animals. A simple example of artificial 
intelligence, Animals develops binary decision trees 
and saves them to disk. Can be used to develop an 
identification key for any collection of items or ideas. 

Disk 05: Mathematics. Two dozen programs of 
mathematical demonstrations, drills, and number 
games. A sampler: Pythagorean triplets, signed num¬ 
bers, exponential notation, 3-D tic-tac-toe, and Lissa- 
jou figures. 

Disk 06: Fractals. Produces graphs of fractional 
dimension. Mandelbrot set, Sierpinsky and Hilbert 
curves, fractal dragons and plane-filling mazes. SLO- 
GRO simulates particle accretion, CHAOS produces 
Sierpinsky gaskets in a seemingly-random fashion. 
[Available from: Bresnik Software, 555 Ware St, Mans¬ 
field, MA 02048. Shareware, all disks $5.95 + $2.00 
P&H per order.] 

8-Bit Alchemist (continuedfrom page 13) 

That’s only the short-term stuff. I have at least 
three other projects in the works, exciting stuff but of a 
long-term nature. These are Secret Alchemist Things, 
some in collaboration with other people. I won’t say 
what they are, but if you follow this column regularly 
you might catch on if I let it slip. 

Of course, if none of the above is of interest to 
you, feel free to write and let me know what stuff you’d 
like to see. Above all, stay tuned. 

MAIL: Ben Poehland, CN 8-Bit Editor, 179 SproulRoad/Rt. 
352, Frazer, PA 19355 




Page 14 

Current Notes 

Vol.ll.Na 2 

ST TOOLBOX ♦ J. Andrzej Wrotniak 

Many, many years ago, when 
Saddam Hussein was still wearing a 
white hat and we were expecting 
The Year of Atari just behind the 
corner, I discovered a need for a 
small calendar/memo writer utility 
for my ST. Having started writing it, 
I have never finished—although the 
program worked OK, it lacked the 
necessary degree of smoothness. I 
then moved to another compiler, so 
the project sat in the drawer while I 
was planning to finish it “one of 
these days.” 

Simple Necessities of Life 

A Calendar, a Notepad and How to 
Shoot the Brains Out of an Alien 

This day has three events attached. Up to 28 
events can be attached to each day (if you 
need more, you need a secretary anyway). 

facility provided, so that you may 
find all events containing a given 
string of characters, e.g. “Joan.” 

The event-handling capability 
sets Ca/ apart from other freeware 
offerings of this kind (besides, the 
commercial Time Link seems to be 
no longer available), and the pro¬ 
gram is well-behaved and has 
many nice touches. It also comes 
with a companion utility to review 
lists of events and a complete 
documentation file. I would feel 
better if the event data were stored 

CaJ 4.3 

Well, I do not need to. 
Someone else did us all a favor, 
having written a simple (yet cap¬ 
able), useful and well-behaved 
calendar/memo utility. 

Mr. Bill Aycock’s Ca/ (Version 
4.4 is now available) nicely fills the 
niche many (possibly most) of us 
may have. 

Ca/\s, first of all, what its name 
would suggest—a calendar as a 

desktop accessory (it can be also 
renamed to PRG and run from a 
desktop, and Mr. Aycock was one 
of the nice people who answered 
my call for help on how to do it 
from a program). You can display a 
calendar for any month and any 
year you may be interested in. This 
is handy, but some other freeware 
programs (including an oldie but 
goodie, KalClock from Mr.Gordan 
Palameta) also do it. 

Then the author 
adds a powerful and 
convenient feature— 
a possibility of 
attaching small 
memos (called 
events) to particular 
dates, say, 15th of 
July or the second 
Friday of March. The 
events may be 
defined as one-time 
(as, e.g. a meeting) 
or repeated each 
year (as birthdays or 
Mother’s Day). If a 
day has events at¬ 
tached to it, it will 
show black in the 
calendar. There is 
also a simple search 

Here I am setting an event for the second 
Friday of February. Such events will be car¬ 
ried from year to year. I hope Frank will not 
run out of food. 

in a separate file (as opposed to 
the program file itself which is the 
case), but this should not affect the 
everyday use much. 

I found Ca /one of the handiest 
freeware offerings in a long time, 
and it seems like Mr. Aycock 
scored a major hit. 

Need a Good Notepad? Try 

From Strata Software in Ontario 
comes STaiker 2.0\ a terminal 
emulation package, which can be 
run both as a regular program and 
as a desktop accessory (which is 
quite handy, as the file transfer can 

Calendar 4.3 

:opy r-1 3 r. t 0 1 9 3 9 -=• 1 by E x 1 1 


n m 30 n i z 

_3_J_ 5 6 7 8 3 

10JO12 13 14 15 EO 

"17 18 13 28 21 22 23 

24 25 ESI 27 28 1 1 

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 




+ 1 


+ 10 

- 10© 

+ 100 

The front panel of Ca/ shows a calendar for a month. The 
current date is outlined, while days with events attached are 
drawn in inverse. Clicking on a date displays the day’s events 
(allowing to add new ones), while other buttons allow to switch 
to different months and years. 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 15 

Desk File List Hap Plot Find Options Help 


287 STARS 

266 sms 

STenoi S-TEXT.PflS 

- a prel 

- spectr 

- a nunc 

- the pa 
Either p' 

hi = 
b2 = 
The enur 
nore red: 
a dwarf) 

Options STalker 





Select 811 

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STeno has a nifty menu inside its window—not unlike Windows 3 Here I am reading a 
piece of documentation for the program I am just running. Simple, but very, very useful. 

be then run in the background, 
while you are occupied doing other 
things on your computer). 

Frankly speaking, I have mixed 
feelings about STa/ker—Xhe pro¬ 
gram is nicely designed and has a 
good “feel” (as subjective as it may 
be), but screen scrolling in mono¬ 
chrome with use of the standard 
system font lost track of the cursor 
position in the window (the problem 
did not seem to be present in color) 
and, more importantly, its VT term¬ 
inal emulation is only approximate. 
If you want to check any program’s 
claims of VT compatibility, log on 
into a mainframe and try fullscreen 
editing: this is the moment of truth. 
Of all programs I have tried, only 
Uniterm does a good job here (with 
Ansigraf, no longer supported, it 
seems, being second.) Neither can 
Flash, nor Interlink (both good pro¬ 
grams, otherwise) do a good VT- 
emulation job. 

For those of us who do not 
need exact VT-52 or VT-100 emu¬ 
lation (these who do include mostly 
bearded campus types), STalker 
still seems to be a good choice. 
The program is capable of many 
things, and it, indeed, runs just fine 
as a desktop accessory which, for 
many of us, may be enough of a 
reason to buy it. I often use it to 
access CompuServe or one of the 
local bulletin boards, where full¬ 
screen editing is not needed. 

And now we come to the point. 
Included in the package (the whole 
thing available, after a discount, for 
just $20 or so) is a companion 
accessory, STeno. 

STeno is a simple windowed 
text editor. Like many other acces¬ 
sory notepads (, Notepad, SpiritEd, 
Word 400, available for free, are 
just a tip of the iceberg) it allows 
you to read and edit text while 
inside any other application, as long 
as you have an access to the menu 
bar. Still, until STeno I was not able 
to settle down on a single, depend¬ 
able utility of this kind. Some of 
them are quite unpredictable (just 
crash the system from time to 
time): others have some irritating 

STeno offers just the right 
compromise between capabilities, 
size, and complexity, and all this in 
a well rounded package, with sim¬ 
ple and convenient user interface. 
The “info line” just below its win¬ 
dow title contains a clickable menu 
bar with all the file, block and 
search functions most of us would 
need. If you need more, use your 
word processor! 

Mr. Eric Rosenquist, who wrote 
the program, not only did a very 
good job on the implementation 
(everything works just fine, and this 
is already a lot!), but also was 
successful in avoiding some of 
those annoying design flaws. For 

example, an accessory of this kind 
should remember its window size 
and use it again when it is being 
reopened (as opposed to switching 
to the default setting every time). 
STeno does it (and many other 
things, let me spare you the details) 
just the right way, and this is why I 
am using it, not anything else. 

Those of us with poor eyesight 
may appreciate the capability of 
setting screen font size up to twice 
the “regular” one. True, I would 
prefer to do it by clicking on option 
buttons rather than by entering the 
font size in points, but this is a 
minor complaint (as any others I 
may have about this program). 

[There is also a possibility of 
passing information between STeno 
and STalker, so that they can be 
used as a whole, but because this 
is not a review of STalker, I am not 
going to elaborate on this subject.] 

Now, being able to write a 
documentation or a review of a 
program without leaving it, is a 
lifesaver. I would have gladly paid 
the $20 package price for the 
STeno alone, in spite of any com¬ 
petition it may be facing from free¬ 
ware offerings—it is just better and 
more dependable. If you have any 
need for a text editor in form of a 
desktop accessory, STeno seems 
to be the obvious choice—and if 
you need a terminal emulation pro¬ 
gram (as long as you do not need 
the real VT-compatibility, but most 
of us do not), then the STeno/ 
STalker package is more than a 
steal. Twenty bucks? These guys 
have to be crazy! 

Liked Millenium? Get 

Remember Millenium 2.2, a 
limited resource management game 
I was writing about last April? From 
Probe Software in Britain comes 
another game of this kind, Supre¬ 
macy (distributed here by Virgin/ 
Melbourne House). 

Both the setting and underlying 
game principles of Supremacy are 
almost the same as in Mil¬ 
lenium 2.2. You are a commander 

Page 16 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

of a star base, having some 
resources (population, troops, pro¬ 
duction capacities, mineral 
resources etc.) and some other 
planets to colonize—and defend 
from the baddies. You make hun¬ 
dreds of decisions: what techno 
gadgets to buy or to build, how to 
tax your population (which strongly 
affects their procreation rate; I hope 
the Third World will learn this trick), 
how many troops to draft, how to 
equip them, when and if to settle 
other planets, how to set up their 
defenses, and many others. In the 
meantime, the baddies are trying to 
do the same, attacking your settle¬ 
ments and conquering available 
planets (as we know, this is the 
best way to solve the Palestinian 
problem), and ultimately you will 
have to land your Marines on the 
enemy home planet. 

Supremacy is, however, an im¬ 
provement upon Millenium. It has 
more attractive graphics and sound, 
some (limited) animation, some¬ 
what more sophisticated user inter¬ 
face (mouse and icon driven, of 
course). It also offers four levels of 
difficulty (the corresponding enemy 
planets are denoted with Japanese 
numerals and you are given brief 
descriptions of the slime aliens in 
each case). In general, the package 
is better-looking and more polished 
(although I really like the atmos¬ 
pheric feeling of Millenium, a good 
game by itself). 

The easiest level is not too 
challenging and can be completed 
in two hours or so. It can be used 
to get familiarity with the user inter¬ 
face and basic strategies. This is 
just one example of the good de¬ 
sign of Supremacy there are many 
others scattered around. The higher 
levels (which I yet have to com¬ 
plete) seem to be, indeed, tougher 
and more interesting, with not just 
meaner enemies, but also more 
complicated decisions to make. 

One of the three floppies 
seems to be entirely devoted to the 
storage of final sequences, which 
you will be able to view after win¬ 
ning the game. At the lowest level 

you will be rewarded with the view 
of the enemy commander having 
his brains blown out—not in a very 
documentary depiction (thank hea¬ 
vens!), but still, not an example of 
good taste. 

The documentation is excep¬ 
tionally good, maybe the best game 
manual out of a hundred or so I 
have: clear, well written, nicely 
illustrated and attractively printed. It 
even has a small (but useful) 
alphabetical index! There is also a 
quick reference sheet and an insert 
with machine-specific instructions 
(Atari ST: load Disk 1 and switch the 
machine on). 

I think I have discovered some 
(non-critical) bugs in the program: 
for example, some of my assets 
were disappearing without reason 
under some circumstances. They 
were, however, quite minor and 
only mildly annoying, and did not 
make the game less of a pleasure 
to play. 

Supremacy requires a color 
monitor, uses a documentation 
check (in addition to a mild copy 
protection), and comes on three 
double-sided floppies. If you have 
only a single-sided disk, you will 
miss the digitized sounds (obvi¬ 
ously, stored on side two). 

To sum all this up: if you like 
games of this sort (or if you would 
like to try one), or if you want to 
steer your children in the direction 
of games which do not offend their 
intelligence, then Supremacy, in 
spite of a somewhat steep price 
($40 or so after discount) is a very 
good choice. 

Dungeon Master Compact 

Mrs. Lynton from L&Y Elec¬ 
tronics knows I am a sucker for a 
simple trick: when all I bought has 
already been entered into her dia¬ 
bolic cash register, she reaches 
somewhere under the counter, gets 
a small package and says (with an 
innocent smile) “I am sure you do 
not have this one!” 

Last time “this one” was... a 
compact disk. No, not a CD-ROM, 

but just a CD, with music. Heck, I 
am broke anyway, another ten dol¬ 
lars would not hurt me much more. 
And so I ended up with Dungeon 
Master—The Album, forty-five or 
so minutes of synthesized (prob¬ 
ably MIDI) music, which can be 
used as a background for exploring 
the dungeons, or just to accom¬ 
pany a quiet dinner. Last, but not 
least, the top side of the disk looks 
really cool. 

The music is composed and 
played by Darrell Harvey, Rex Baca 
and Kip Martin from San Diego, 
California. It falls somewhere be¬ 
tween New Age and Mussorgski’s 
Pictures from an Exhibition, and 
while it is not going to make it to 
the charts, it will provide listening 
pleasure, especially to those of us 
who, from time to time, still like to 
spit a fireball, bite into a juicy round 
of worm, or lock a skeleton in a 

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Current Notes, 122 N. Johnson Rd, 
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March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 17 

Author’s Note 

This series of articles are not 
just about the 68030. They contain 
a GREAT deal of information about 
the ST, in general, that I feel an 
owner will be interested in, and it’ll 
improve your knowledge of your ST 
to read it, even if you could not 
care less about the 68030. 

Editor’s Note 

[Part 1 discussed the details of 
generating a picture, by means of 
lots of dots, on your monitor. He 
also explored the meaning of 
several video concepts including 
color, refresh rate, interlace, persis¬ 
tence, and plasma displays. All of 
the above helps to explain the im¬ 
portance of video RAM. We repeat 
the main conclusion of Part 1 and 
continue the story. -JW] 

Video Memory 

...In video memory is kept a 
detailed picture of what should go 
on the computer screen. When the 
monitor needs to output the display 
again, the computer goes to video 
RAM, grabs the picture, and feeds it 
to the monitor over the next 1/70th 
of a second to draw the display. 
And it does this over and over. 

Now I need for you to make a 
conceptual leap. When the Atari 
wants to draw to video, oh, let’s 
say, when it wants to display a disk 
directory after you double click on a 
disk icon, it just changes video 
memory inside itself, it does not 
draw to the monitor, it draws to 
video RAM!! 

I emphasize this point because 
it is one people have a lot of diffi— 

68030 SST Accelerator 

and Lots About The ST: 

Part 2—The Role of Video Memory 

by David Small, (01991, All Rights Reserved 

culty with. The plain fact is that to 
the Atari, memory is memory is 
memory. It doesn’t care what 
memory is used for by the outside 
world; in fact, judging by my 
debugging session, it doesn’t care 
about the outside world at all! All 
the Atari is doing is following its 
program to write some information 
into RAM; that RAM just happens to 
be video RAM. When it writes data 
there, the next time the monitor 
needs to be refreshed (always 
pending, 1/70th second later, and 
almost always in-progress), that 
data shows up as video dots. 

Everything is Numbers 

Those of you who remember 
my February 1989 column in Cur¬ 
rent Notes, “Numbers,” remember 
that I pointed out that to a com¬ 
puter, EVERYTHING is numbers. 
Even letters (“ABC...”) are repre¬ 
sented as numbers (in this case, 
65, 66, and 67. Those beautiful 
graphics of Dungeon MasteP. They 
are simply numbers inside the 
“Video RAM” of the ST. That fan¬ 
tastic novel you’re writing on your 
ST? Every character is represented 
by a number; when the computer 
wants to print an “a” in your novel, 
it literally sends a “65” to the print¬ 
er, which then spits out letter #65, 
a number. And your novel is saved 
as numbers, one per character. 
Yes, folks, pictures, sound, charac¬ 
ters, word processing— Everything 
inside the computer is just a num¬ 
ber. All the computer does is shuf¬ 
fle numbers around; that’s all it 
knows how to do. The point is that 
if you make numbers represent 
other things, the computer can do 
non-numerical work, while still 
thinking it is working with numbers. 

This is another very difficult 
concept to get across to beginners. 
Generally, when I’m showing this, I 
take numbers that people shout 
out, and I write them into Video 
RAM. And magically, 1/70th second 
later (instantaneous to our eyes), 
dots appear on the screen. Those 
are the numbers as video. I take the 
numbers and show what they look 
like as characters; I take the num¬ 
bers and show what they look like 
as music (via MIDI or the ST’s inter¬ 
nal sound chip). The “numbers” 
part is the key, though. It takes 
32,000 bytes of memory (32K) to 
hold a video image on either the 
monochrome or color Atari. (You 
may know that color has less 
pixels/dots on the screen; the rea¬ 
son it still takes up 32K is that the 
Atari has to remember RGB color 
information, not just a simple on/off, 
which takes up more room per dot). 

Monochrome: 640x400-256,000 pixels. 
Each pixel is either on or off (black/white) 
and can be represented by a single bit (0 or 
1). 256,000/(8 bits per byte)- 32,000 bytes, 
i.e., 32K. 

Medium Resolution: 640x200-128,000 
pixels. Each pixel is one of four possible 
colors, which can be represented by 2 bits 
(00,01,10,11). 128,000 X 2 / 8 - 32,000 bytes. 

Low Resolution: 320x200-64,000 pixels. 
Each pixel is one of 16 possible colors 
represented by 4 bits (0000, 0001, ... ,1111). 
64000 X 4 / 8-32,000 bytes. 

Atari uses a very, very good 
scheme to manage video memory, 
for the truth of the matter is that 
driving a display beats a computer 
to death. Many manufacturers can 
only come up with kludges, 
because they can’t handle the terri¬ 
fic drain on memory that video 
makes! Others do things like dedi¬ 
cate expensive RAM chips solely \o 

Page 18 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

video, which you pay out the nose 

Atari has achieved the very 
near impossible in making an in¬ 
expensive computer do this. Sure, 
it’s easy when you can afford 
memory chips that are super fast 
and dedicated to video and expen¬ 
sive video driver chips—all of 
which cost the consume around 4- 
8 times what they cost the manu¬ 
facturer. The price of a 520 ST, 
capable of doing this, is very im¬ 
pressive given its rock-steady, 
flicker-free, pleasing 640 x 400 
monochrome and 640 x 200 color 

The Burden of Video 

Let’s do a little math (just a 
little—keep reading, it’s just to 
illustrate the point). We know it 
takes 32K for Atari to hold the 
screen. That’s output 70 times a 
second. So 32,000 bytes output 70 
times a second is 2,240,000 bytes 
per second—call it 2.24 megabytes 
per second. 

I’m sure you’re a little Future 
Shocked at computers in general 
and how fast they are. But that 2.24 
megs/second is a darn impressive 
number!! Let me briefly give you 
some comparisons. First, that 
means filling up a whole Mega-4’s 
memory in under 2 seconds. Wow! 

There is now a Mac II SCSI hard 
disk controller whose ad proudly 
states, “Can transfer 3 megabytes 
per second!” It costs and requires 
specific drives that can handle that 
sort of (considered awesome) 
speed. Heck, Atari’s near that in 
video! As for me, I published a little 
program called Twister that made 
floppies run at their absolute maxi¬ 
mum safe rate (going further would 
have made the floppies unreliable). 
This gave me 1 megabyte per 
minute, not 2.24 megabytes per 

But you’ve got other problems, 
too. This video RAM is not always 
there when you need it. Remember 
that the monitor is mercilessly- 
marching across scan lines, 

expecting the computer to keep up, 
and if the computer does not, oh 
well. The monitor is certainly not 
going to care if the picture smears 
or goes slaunchwise because the 
computer was too slow. You have 
no choice; you must keep up with 
the monitor! 

Static RAM 

RAM today is of two types. 
“Static RAM” is expensive to the 
point where, if it is used at all in a 
machine, it is used in very low 
amounts. Even the Mac llfx, at over 
$10,000, only includes 32K of Static 
RAM in it—and that’s a machine 
that sells for so much that Apple 
could afford almost anything for it. I 
know ... my wife likes the speed of 
the fx for her work. Oh, do I know. 
(My wallet shrieks when I get close 
to her workstation). 

Static RAM is what you think 
RAM is. You write something into it, 
it stays there indefinitely (at least, 
until you turn the machine off). It’s 
always available, fast, and whatnot. 

Dynamic RAM 

The other type is “Dynamic 
RAM.” This is the RAM you’re used 
to. It forms the main memory of 
your ST, it is often packaged in 
“SIMMs” (Single Inline Memory 
Modules) which the STe, Mega STe, 
and TT use at around 1 megabyte 
for $40 (note: chip prices are as 
volatile as oil prices; I am writing 
this in January, 1991). 256,000 
bytes will cost you less than a 6- 
pack of Diet Pepsi! 

Side note : You’ll recall the great 
RAM shortage Atari blamed for not 
being able to ship computers; that’s 
“D-Ram” or “Dynamic RAM.” D- 
RAMs have come a long way in a 
few years; I can recall when a 
16,000 byte D-RAM board for the 
8-bit really cost. Nowadays, you 
can get a megabyte (1 million 
bytes) for less! 

Dynamic RAM is a devil’s bar¬ 
gain. All it is is a bunch of, frankly, 
leaky tanks (techs: capacitors) that 
hold electricity. You write into them, 
and they’re filled with electricity, 

whose only goal in life is to leak 
away. They leak away unless you 
pour in more electricity many, many 
times per second. This pouring in is 
called “Dynamic RAM refresh.” If I 
recall correctly, about 18 times per 
second is pretty good. (Some 
people refresh less to not slow 
down their computer as much, 
which is dangerous). In order to 
refresh RAM, you have to access it, 
which sort of forces the RAM chip 
to replenish the tank. 

(As you can see, I am translat¬ 
ing a great many technical con¬ 
cepts into English here...) 

This means you have to access 
a LOT of memory very often to 
keep it from dropping data. And if 
you have four megabytes of 
memory, that is no joke; refresh can 
positively kill performance of a 
machine. Fortunately, RAM design¬ 
ers have come up with ways where 
accessing one memory cell can 
refresh a whole bunch of them, but 
that access still has to happen. 

It’s cast in concrete. If your ST 
(or virtually any other modern com¬ 
puter) stops refreshing its D-RAM, 
it gets amnesia; its memory drib¬ 
bles away. Even sitting idle, at a 
desktop, the ST is struggling not to 
lose its memory. As memory 
upgraders can tell you, sometimes 
it doesn’t succeed—and it only 
takes 1 bit or so out of the 12 
million bits in your computer (4 
megabytes X 8 bits per byte) to 
cause a system crash. 

Unfortunately, during “D-RAM 
refresh,” the memory being 
refreshed CANNOT be accessed/ 
Now think back to our monitor, 
scanning away. If we can’t get to 
the video RAM because it’s being 
refreshed (for its own good, admit¬ 
tedly), the monitor will display a 
blank white or whatever old, wrong 
information it has. This makes a 
mess of your display and temper. 
This is a BIG problem for computer 

Side note : You Z-80 processor 
users: If you want the ultimate in 
copy protection zap schemes, try 
this. Your “I” register controls 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 19 

dynamic RAM refresh. Kill inter¬ 
rupts, and sit in a loop stuffing any 
constant value into the “I” register. 
Your dynamic RAM will stop 
refreshing!! This is a rather secret 
trick of some Z-80 gurus I know 
and thought I would pass on. 

Hopefully by now you’ve for¬ 
given your ST for a few crashes. 
Anything trying to juggle 12 million 
bits while dropping none deserves 
to be able to make a few mistakes. 
And now you know why memory 
upgrades are approached with such 
fear and trembling by designers, 
and why the instructions for adding 
RAM specify how very careful you 
must be; the slightest mistake, and 
you start getting D-RAM “hits” or 
errors, and there goes your com¬ 
puter’s reliability. Computer design¬ 
ers have to go through incredible 
amounts of nonsense to get D- 
RAM up, and then through far more 
to make sure it is reliable. I know; 
there are eight megabytes of RAM 
on our 68030 accelerator. 

To quickly rattle off some D- 
RAM nonsense—you must put a 
capacitor, a small storage tank, 
near every RAM chip; it is vital. I 
mean close, not two inches away. 
Otherwise, when the D-RAM re¬ 
quests power to replenish itself, it 
temporarily drains its tiny section of 
the circuit board, runs dry, and your 
data dies. D-RAM’s also need 
“anti-ringing” measures; when a 
D-RAM outputs data, it does it in a 
way that causes the whole wire to 
“gong” like a bell. This plays merry 
hell with the other chips, who are 
looking for a solid, consistent value. 
And did I mention that plain ol’ 
cosmic rays hit D-RAM and cause 
it to change whatever is inside it? 
Up here in Denver, a mile higher 
(and thus with less atmosphere to 
block cosmic rays), we have a 
measurably higher loss-of-data 
rate in D- RAM from cosmic rays. 

And my favorite ... after you 
have read something out of D- 
RAM, the tanks that hold the elec¬ 
tricity are depleted. You must let 
them rest a tad, and recharge, 
before working with them again.This 

means everything comes to a stop 
until the D-RAM wakes back up. 
(This is called “pre-charge”). This 
has the effect of slowing down the 
computer overall; when the main 
processor asks to use memory, and 
it cannot because of pre-charge or 
refresh, it twiddles its thumbs for a 
clock cycle (a clock cycle is one of 
those “8 Mhz,” or eight million per 
second, things that the ST’s speed 
is set at. MegaHertz used to be 
called Megacycle, which is a lot 
more clear, but someone wanted to 
memorialize Hertz, so...) 

Wait States 

This thumb twiddling is called a 
“wait state.” Obviously, the less 
you have to wait on memory, the 
better, so that’s why you often see 
“Zero Wait States” in computer 
advertisements; they’re telling you 
that their memory setup doesn’t 
ever require the CPU to wait. 

The only good side to all this 
hassle with D-RAM chips is that 
they are cheap. If you can manage 
to tolerate all their idiosyncracies 
with your design, your computer will 
cost far, far less than with a static 
RAM computer. D-RAM is now in¬ 
credibly cheap, and will continue to 
be used for the foreseeable future. 
Already, we are seeing /^/"mega¬ 
bytes per SIMM module, at prices 
that are getting tolerable; these are 
used, for instance, on the TT for 
fastRAM, where you have four 
SIMM sockets. Plug in four one- 
megabyte SIMMs, and you have 
four megabytes of memory; plug in 
four 4-megabyte SIMMS, and you 
have a whopping 16 megabytes of 

I personally believe that while 
Static RAM has its place, the in¬ 
credibly low price of gobs of dy¬ 
namic RAM make it very appealing. 
I have used both in various pro¬ 
jects, by the way. 

All RAM is rated for speed. The 
speed rating is in nanoseconds 
(believe it or not, billionths of a 
second), and is sort of hard to tie to 
CPU speed because of all the other 
factors involved. An example of 

speed rating is “80 nanosecond 
RAM” (highly common). One com¬ 
mon misconception is that putting 
in faster RAM will make your system 
run faster. Right now, a stock ST is 
using RAM as fast as its CPU can 
manage; if you put in faster RAM, 
the CPU can’t get to it any faster 
anyway, and thus it’s wasted. It’s 
like putting a bigger dishwasher in a 
house with five dishes—the extra 
capacity goes unused. In com¬ 
puters, as with all else, “Speed 
Costs Money—How Fast Do You 
Want To Go?” Using expensive fast 
RAM when it does no good is 
pointless, and believe me, RAM can 
get i/<?/K©xpensive. 

Shifter, MMU, DMA, and 
D-RAM Refresh 

When the designers sat down 
with their Jolt Colas to design the 
ST, they had all these problems in 
mind. They had to have lots of 
RAM. They had to refresh it. They 
had to shove out an incredible 2.24 
megabytes per second to do 
decent video. They wanted fast disk 
access, where the disk could 
directly load to RAM. 

So, they pulled a variation of 
the old Apple ][ trick that Steve 
Wozniak (co-founder, Apple) came 
up with. It is pure genius. 

As I said, memory is rated in 
speed. You can think of it in nano¬ 
seconds, or in number of times per 
second. What Atari did was put 16 
Megahertz (16 million per second) 
RAM into the ST, and split its func¬ 
tion, dead even, between CPU/ 
68000 and video, giving 8 Mhz to 
each. This is a tremendous amount 
of access power to give to video, 
but as we’ve seen, the ST needs it 
to keep that image up there on the 

Thus, the CPU in the ST can 
run full speed at eight Mhz, and the 
video can run full speed at eight 
Mhz, and they don’t fight with each 
other, (quibble: They conflict a little 
bit, but the 68000’s internal timing 
works out incredibly well for this 
setup.) Basically, the memory alter¬ 
nates between the 68000 CPU and 

Page 20 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

the video, giving 68000 odd num¬ 
bered cycles and video even- 
numbered cycles. 

On video, the video chip, with 
the aid of various other chips (the 
Memory Management Unit, or 
MMU, which is not the same as a 
68030 MMU, by the way), grabs 
some memory and stuffs it into the 
“shifter.” The shifter is one of the 
big, custom chips on the ST. It’s 
called the shifter because it takes 
this video data, in the form of 16 
dots/pixels, and one by one, 
“shifts” them out into the monitor. 
(The shifting is something like a row 
of 16 seated people standing up 
and moving one chair to the right, 
with the lastmost person going out 
the door). 

On 68000, the memory is used 
for many and varied functions— 
storing programs, data, video, 
sound, and whatnot. 

In the meantime, the MMU is 
busy refreshing the dynamic RAM 
chips. I believe that because video 
is constantly being sent out of the 
32K video RAM, most refresh is 
taken care of automatically, since 
that video access “counts” as a 
refresh access. 

Neat, huh? The designers made 
the disadvantages of the design 
need help each other. For instance, 
even though video is an immense 
strain on the ST, it helps refresh 
memory! Back when the ST was 
designed, the 68000 usually ran at 8 
Mhz, so the designers took the 
times when the 68000 was not fast 
enough to use memory, and gave 
them to video. Video got the priority 
it needed to keep up with the 
monitor, and the CPU wasn’t inter¬ 
fered. As I said, it was a very good 

Atari put the design into custom 
chips (which are very expensive to 
design and lay out, but once done, 
inexpensive to make), and started 
cranking out ST’s. At some point, 
the cost of making the chips was 
overcome and Atari started making 
serious money. 

By the way, the Atari 8-bit 
machine didn’t share all this design. 

In the Atari 8-bit, video fought with 
the CPU for memory, and Video 
Always Was— it has to. The video 
monitor does not wait for the com¬ 
puter; there’s an electron beam fly¬ 
ing along, whereas the CPU can 
“wait state” with no sweat. 
Remember on the Atari 8-bit where 
turning graphics 8 (intense video) 
on would slow the machine down 
appreciably? Remember where 

The big fight in the 
ST isn’t over the CPU 
at all. The contention 
is over memory! 

programs that needed to seriously 
number crunch would click off the 
video to gain 30% in speed? This is 
called “video contention.” 

So, you see, the big fight in the 
ST isn’t over the CPU at all. The 
contention is over memory! 

Enter the accelerators. 


One day, someone got a bright 
idea, and stuck a 16-Mhz 68000 
into the Atari ST. They then 
changed the “clock” (which throt¬ 
tles the chip) from 8 Mhz to 16 Mhz, 
and confidently expected the speed 
to increase. 

The experiment flopped. There 
was maybe a 10% increase in 
speed—and they were expecting a 
near doubling in speed. 

What happened? You can 
guess from the above: video con¬ 

You see, a 68000 works by 
“fetching” instructions from 
memory, and executing them. Now 
at 8 Mhz, the 68000 rarely noticed 
video. Mostly, video and the 68000 
stayed out of each other’s way. But 
not so with a 16 Mhz 68000! That 
CPU could hog memory all by itself. 

The ST’s video circuit, faced 
with this threat, calmly shut off 
(wait-stated) the 68000 whenever it 
needed memory. Video Gets 
Priority, always. So the “advantage” 
of going to 16 Mhz was largely 

negated, because the 68000 
couldn’t get any new instructions to 
execute—and the 16 Mhz 68000 
spent a long time wait-stated. 

It was the video memory bot¬ 
tleneck. Frankly, if you want some¬ 
thing to look at on your TV, you 
have to give up 8 mhz of your 
memory to video. There’s no way 
we could ever find of shutting down 
video, or making its load less oner¬ 
ous to the ST. Atari’s custom chips 
cannot be changed, and it’s 
extremely difficult to even intercept 
wires heading for them to alter 
functions. The GLUE and MMU 
chips are out there stuffing video to 
the shifter, and they don’t care that 
they are getting in our way. And, of 
course, they get priority. 

Cached Accelerators 

The next big step in accele¬ 
ration came with “cached acce¬ 
lerators.” A cache isn’t hard to 
explain. First off, let’s call this video 
memory “ST RAM” from now on, 
ok? It’ll help later when we get into 
a new type of RAM. 

A cache works by lowering the 
number of times the 68000 proces¬ 
sor has to go to ST RAM (and thus 
be forced to wait by the video 
guardians). It is a small, usually 
16K, Static RAM memory chip; yes, 
that means it is expensive. It works 
because most programs tend to 
execute the same instructions over 
and over again. 

For instance, let’s say we’re 
trying to clear the ST screen. This is 
a matter of writing 32,000 bytes to 
video RAM that represent white 
dots. If your program is in ST RAM, 
and we’re trying to run at 16 Mhz, 
it’ll have to wait for each new in¬ 
struction as it does this: 

Place = 1 

LOOP: Put white into Place 

Add 1 to Place 

If Place = 32000 we are done 

Otherwise Go To Loop 

Hence, there’s plenty of wait¬ 
ing, even though it’s the same in¬ 
structions being executed over and 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 21 

In a cache system, anytime you 
read (or write) ST RAM, the place 
you worked with in ST RAM and the 
value you read/wrote is recorded in 
cache RAM. (Naturally, since you 
have 4,000,000 bytes of ST RAM 
and 16,000 of cache RAM, the 
cache cannot remember every 
one!) So the cache usually works 
on a last-access basis; whenever 
you load a new place and value 
into the cache, the one that was 
accessed the longest ago is remo¬ 
ved from the cache. 

Now, as we fetch the instruc¬ 
tions for this loop, they are slowly 
fetched from ST RAM, and also 
loaded into the cache. The cache 
now “knows” what values are in 
this program’s memory location. 
When we go through the loop 
again, and the 68000 asks for the 
next instruction, the cache steps in 
and says, “Just one moment; you 
don’t need to go wait on ST 
memory. I have the bytes you need 
right here.” The 68000 gratefully 

accepts the bytes, and doesn’t 
have to wait on ST RAM (except for 
the write to video RAM). 

Caches can be good or bad; it 
really all depends on the program 
they are working with. If it has 
loops, where the cache can “load 
up” the loop and supply it to the 
68000 over and over, that’s great! If 
the program jumps around all over, 
though, the cache really never gets 
an opportunity to help; it can only 
store the last 16,000 memory 
accesses, and while that may seem 
like a lot, remember, this is a 
machine hitting memory millions of 
times per second. 

I own an IBM clone computer, 
and it’s an 8 Mhz machine, just like 
the ST. I bought a 16 Mhz 80386 
accelerator for it, with a 16K cache. 
I’ve found while using it (for in¬ 
stance, to write articles) that some 
things are sped up, and others are 
not. For instance, small, fast, tiny 
loops really zing along. Big pro¬ 
grams don’t seem to benefit much. 

The benchmarks say that the 
machine is 17 times as fast as it 
used to be. That’s ridiculous; 
there’s no way it is. However, 
benchmarks ARE small, fast loops, 
and the cache works well with it. 
Remember, for a cache to work, 
you’ve got to re-run the same code 
over and over, and without too 
much work inbetween re-runs, or 
the cache is filled full of other data. 
Any old memory access of the ST 
kicks out the last thing loaded into 
the cache. 

I have also used a true 16 Mhz 
80386 computer, no cache, where 
memory was not strangling the 
processor to 8 Mhz. It flew in 
everything it did, not just small, tight 
loops. The screen scrolled so fast 
on a “DIR”ectory command I 
couldn’t read it! My clone never 
does that. It’s just a much higher 
performance machine. 

Next month: The philosophy 
and design behind the 68030 SST 

WQuick ST II 

The performance of a TT on an ST! 

Software Screen Accelerator version SL22 

- speeds up your STs screen graphics The magazine reviews said of Quick ST II: 

- faster than hardware accelerators " amazingly FAST - Nick Berry, psan (4/90) 

- speeds up all fonts, including GDOS fonts „..... recommand this oackaod' 

■ requires less than 28K of memory 

- supports all popular screen resolutions _ v ' 

- supports custom desktop backgrounds ”Buy if - A. J. Wrotniak, Current Notes (6/90) 

See for yourself why over 5,000 fellow Atari ST users swore by Quick ST II in 1990. 
Buy Quick ST II for only $24.95 (or less) and enjoy a faster ST or STE computer! 

TT/030 and Autoswitch Overscan compatible versions now available / 

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updates (with master disk) $5 
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Volume 2, and the GEMULATOR/386 Atari ST software emulator! 
Note: All products might not be available at each show. Supplies will be limited. 
Registered users of Quick ST II and Quick Tools Volume 1 who wish to upgrade 
to the latest versions at a show should bring their master disks to our booth. 

Branch Always Software 
14150 N.E. 20th. St #302 
Bellevue, WA 98007 

Phone: (206)-885-5893 after 6pm Pacific 
Orders: (206)-783-0933 business hours 

Quick ST II and Quick Tools are available at most Atari ST dealers 
across the U.S. or directly from us. Free shipping in the U.S.AI 
Discounts for user groups and credit card orders are availablel 
To order by phone, call our order line at 206-783-0933,10am-6pm. 
Write for our free newsletter and find out how to save even morel 

Page 22 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

This is Spectre GCR 

GCR Runs Mac Software on 
the Atari ST and TT/030. 
GCR Reads Mac Disks. 
GCR Also Speaks AppleTalk. 

Mac vs. GCR/ST Screen Size 

H Mac+/SE 
Screen Size 

Screen Size 

GCR has a 30% larger screen 
than a Mac Plus or Mac SE. 

GCR is at least 20% faster 
than a Mac Plus. 

cr/tt /° 30 




by Small, Inc. 

Suggested Retail: $299.95 

(Mac 128K ROMs not included) 

wwwwwqww wwv wffwwvvwvwqgwwwwwwwwwwwowwwwvwwwq 

40 W. Littleton Blvd.; #210-211 • Littleton, Colorado 80120 • (303) 791-6098 • Fax: 1-303-791-0253 

* Requires Atari Mega ST and MegaTalk. 

Mac Plus, Mac SE, Mac, AppleTalk are trademarks of Apple • Atari ST, TT are trademarks of Atari • Spectre GCR, MegaTalk are trademarks of Gadgets by Small 

This column continues last month’s 
theme: using CodeHead Software’s Hot- 
Wire. In case you came in late, HotWire is 
an alternative to the Atari desktop, based 
on menus instead of the desktop meta¬ 
phor. This column assumes you’re familiar 
with the last one, so you may want to pick 
up a copy of the January/February 1991 

For the record, notes for these tutorials 
were prepared using HotWire Version 2.3 
and MaxiFUe Version 2.0. Earlier or later 
versions may work a little differently, and 
later versions always have new features. 

More on Chaining 

My Main Menu is a bit different this 
time, to illustrate a slightly more elaborate chaining t0 make this work better—a risky proposition if you 
example. To the right of the mouse pointer in the don,t know exactly what you’re doing. HotWire has a 
illustration (a bit above center) you’ll find three entries feature supporting the same sort of thing, with no risk, 
having outlined arrows at the left of each line. The ones The HotWire Options menu has a line labelled 
on VJP Professionai and Phasar entries point down, “Documents” and contains four empty 3-character 
while Phasar Tax Module has an upward pointing slots. In these you can type the file extenders that you 
arrow. V/P is the head of the chain and Phasar Tax want associated with an application. Naturally, this only 
Module s at the end. works with applications that will accept a file name 

This chain represents a loop. After ViP Professional when th ey start U P. and only when HotWire is running 
runs, Phasar starts automatically. Next, Phasar Tax is and that menu is loaded. The “Hot” button next to the 
initiated, followed by V/P Professional. This sequence “Documents” title is a toggle that allows you to select 
can be started with any of the three programs. To either of two methods for passing the file name, 
break out, press SHIFT-UNDO as you leave a program. (Check the HotWire manual for details). 

If Phasar’s menu entry were given an upward There are only four slots for specifying file exten- 
arrow, the loop would work a little differently; I could ders and wild cards (“?” and “*”) are not supported, 
begin with Phasar Tax Module, which would be fol- I’ve mentioned this to Charles Johnson, and he’s 
lowed by ViP, and then Phasar and V/P would considering adding wild card support for a future 
alternate. update. No promises, of course... 

Add or delete the chain control arrows by editing 
each program’s menu entry (HotWird s Options menu). The Running Man 

CONTROL-A adds an up arrow and CONTROL-B adds The running man icon at the bottom of the menu 
a down arrow. Naturally, the program entries in a chain supports “running” a document. To do so, use a 
have to be contiguous in the menu. right-click of the mouse to bring up the file selector. 

Find the document and select it. HotWire figures out 
Hot Documents what application should process that file extender, and 

With the standard Atari desktop, it’s possible to off y° u 9°- Left-clicking on the running man allows you 
“install” an application. This allows you to double-click to run any program via the file selector, 
on a data file in order to run a particular application and A word of caution: HotWire 2.3 will allow you to 
pass it the name of that data file. Unfortunately, Atari specify the same file extender for multiple applications, 
didn’t implement this feature in a very complete man- The FIRST of these found will determine the applica- 
ner. It’s possible to manually edit a DESKTOP.INF file tior1 actually run. 

Desk File Edit Configure Options 

Quick CIS 

ARC Shell l>A 


LZH Extractor 1.72 DX 
LZH Self-extract 
LHARC 1.13 


Laser CDL 


Word Perfect 
VIP (no chain) 

. OVIP Professional 

'APhasar Tax Hodule 
Sub Cal 

B/Stat Plotting 
Project Hanagenent 
Fogg Index 
Double Page Print 

7:28:86 { 

Conpare Files pC 

Find Files DF 

Sort a File 8>S 

"Unfomat" Text DU 

View Text File DV 

What is this file? HI 


DC Fomatter DF 

DC Fomatter Help 
Hypercopy DH 

Pro Cony 1.76 DP 

Zero Floppy Disk DZ 

Certify Floppy 

^ Ijp 

Page 24 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

The Info Box 

The Info box is displayed from the HotWire menu 
by clicking on the “head” icon or the first entry in the 
“Desk” menu. It shows free RAM, the current date, 
which menu is loaded, and what program is to be 
autostarted. It also allows you to adjust a couple of 
HotWirG delay parameters that I’ve never messed with. 

Multiple Menus 

Last time, I suggested that you set up your menus 
in a separate folder and use the HOTWIREn.HOT 
notation for their names. Here’s why. If you make 
HOTWIREO.HOT the name of your 
main menu, it will be the first one 
loaded when HotWire runs. On the 
numeric keypad to the right of the 
keyboard, pressing a “1” will cause 
HotWire to instantly load the menu 
named HOTWIRE1.HOT. Pressing “0” 
on the keypad brings you back to your 
main menu. Holding down the CON¬ 
TROL key while pressing a number is 
a fast way of saving the menu when 
you’ve changed it. 

Using the keypad makes for a very 
fast and efficient method of switching 
around among multiple menus. In 
addition, you can (as I did), make an entry on one 
menu that points to another, and use either a hotkey or 
a mouse click to get to it. 

Combining these techniques, you can design and 
use a very complicated family of menus—even a 
hierarchy, where subordinate menus are reached by 
mouse click and the keypad is used to return to the top 
level of the structure. 

Hotwire and MaxiFile 

HotWire contains built-in interfaces with Mu/tiDesk 
and MaxiFile. Of the two, I only use MaxiFUe. The 
interface is more than just a button; HotWire and 
MaxiFUe actually communicate in a rather neat way. 
From MaxiFiie’s file display, you can double-click on a 
program to run it, or double-click on a data file to run 
the application associated with it in the HotWire menu. 
When the application finishes, you’ll return to the 
MaxiFi/e display you began with. 

At this writing, there’s a slight glitch in running from 
MaxiFUe; some of the options specified in the HotWire 
menu aren’t effective. In particular, if you normally have 
the corner clock enabled, but suppressed via the 
Options menu for a particular application, MaxiFile 
won’t pick that up. Pressing CONTROL-LEFT SHIFT- 
ALTERNATE-PLUS (“+” from the main section of the 
keyboard) prior to running the application will toggle 
the clock off. I’ve mentioned this to Charles, and he’s 
looking into it. 

The Clock 

HotWire’s corner clock is one of its neater features. 
This thing unobtrusively replaces the clock/alarm 
accessory I used to use, and CodeHead’s own upper/ 
lower case indicator. (Poof go two slot-eating desk 

The clock can be set to show date or the time of 
day and, optionally, the case indicator. It also allows 
both one time and repeating alarm settings. Repeating 
alarms can be set to go off daily, weekly, or monthly. 
And it has a snooze feature. 

Other Stuff 

There are lots of other features 
that I don’t have time to discuss, or 
that I don’t know enough about; 
among them ledgering (which allows 
you to accumulate statistics about 
system usage), “work” files, and 
environment variable support. 

Putting It All to Work 

Even though I’ve tried to stick to 
the basics of HotWire, we’ve crawled 
through quite a bit of detail. Seen all 
at once, it may make using HotWire 
seem a little intimidating to some 
people. Believe me, it really isn’t as complicated as I 
may have made it appear. Take things slow and easy 
and don’t try to do too much all at once; you’ll be all 

Start off with a simple menu that runs the applica¬ 
tions you use most frequently. Use the Running Man 
icon to get to the others for a while. Don’t try to dress 
up your menu too much until you’re comfortable with 
the editing functions. Group your applications in blocks 
that naturally seem to go together, and use key 
combinations that are easy to remember for each 
group. As you become more comfortable with HotWire 
and the menus you’ve built, you can try more exotic 
variations and features. 

I’ve only recently expanded to two menus, and I’m 
still tinkering with them. Even with the rather simple- 
minded setup I have, HotWire has made using my Atari 
easier than before (and it was already nice). It really 
hurts me to go to work and put up with those “other” 
machines. Till next time... 

Hopingforan earJyend 
to Persian Gulf 
bostilitiesand the safe 
and speedy return of all 
Desert Storm personnel. 

Version 2.3 

By Charles F. Johnson & John Eidsvoog 
Copyright 8 1989,90 CodeHead Software 
All Rights Reserved. 

Free RAH: 1,422,948 

Sunday, February 3, 1991 

Autorun Prg: Word Perfect— 

Richard A. Gunter 

Autostart Delay: 
Alert Box Delay: 0: 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 25 




by John Barnes 

On what he hopes will be the final leg of his 
journey through the online information services, the 
Junkyard Pussycat sniffed around in CompuServe. The 
visit was somewhat nostalgic, as CIS (or Cl$ as some 
prefer to call it) was the first of these services that the 
Pussycat visited back in his 8-bit days. The downloads 
from that service started many a user group in the 
library business. 

CompuServe may be the largest of the online 
services, although Prodigy may be giving it a run for its 
money. A sampling of the number of people who 
logged on one Friday evening and Saturday morning 
revealed fairly heavy traffic. By other measures, how¬ 
ever, such as the number of messages and files, the 
CIS Atari forums suffer in comparison with those on 

The High Priced Spread 

At $12.80 per hour ($12.50 for connect time plus 
$.30 for Network charges) for 1200 or 2400 baud, 
CompuServe definitely gets a premium price. Of 
course, there are places from which it is expensive to 
log on to other services because of long distance 
charges. In such cases, CompuServe may well repre¬ 
sent the best cure for cabin fever. 

As in all matters of religion, there are users who 
would rather fight than switch. There is another group 
who will roam every service they can lay their hands 
on, and it is amazing how often the same names turn 
up on all three services (CIS, GEnie, and Delphi). Some 
of these people are also heavy hitters on Usenet and 
Internet, and one wonders where they find the time for 
all of this. 

Getting Started 

The easiest way to get onto CompuServe is 
through one of the starter packs that comes with a 
modem. There will usually be a list of phone numbers 
and an account number that will entitle the user to an 
hour or so of free time. A few days after registering as 
a permanent user CIS sends a permanent password in 
the mail. If you did not receive one of these with your 
modem purchase, check with one of the people on 
your local BBS, as they may be aware of special offers 
that come along from time to time. 




The CompuServe people are very security con¬ 
scious, so they assign an account number of the form 
7nnnn,mmmm and a lengthy password containing at 
least one non-alphabetic character. The Pussycat has 
to confess that one of the reasons that he used the 
service so infrequently was an inability to keep track of 
the account number and password. 

Flash, Interlink, STalker or almost any other ter¬ 
minal program with decent capture capabilities is an 
adequate tool for accessing CompuServe. James Ness’ 
QuickClS program, as will be shown later, is not a tool 
for novice CIS users. 

The network tries to accommodate new users by 
offering a practice forum (GO PRACTICE), which is 
useful for trying out some of the commands and 
getting a feel for the structure of forums in general. 

Various instructional guides or how-to books can 
be ordered (at fairly stiff prices). While the online help 
is a big plus, other users may feel a need to do some 
serious reading of the manuals. The user command 
interface is anything but transparent. 

Subscribers receive an attractive (and, in the 
Pussycat’s opinion, moderately interesting) monthly 
magazine which tries hard to entice users into areas 
that they might not otherwise frequent. CompuServe’s 
repertory of services and products is indeed bewilder¬ 
ing, so that an illustrated guide is occasionally helpful. 

The User Interface 

Any service that is as comprehensive as Com¬ 
puServe is bound to require some learning on the part 
of the user. Context-sensitive HELP is only a “?” away 
from most prompts. The command repertoire is exten¬ 
sive. There are some terse command summaries avail¬ 
able, and beginners will find it useful to keep, save, and 
edit their capture buffers for future reference. 

The complexity of the command structure has 
become such a problem that the better online services 
are now trying to shift some of the load into the user’s 
own machine. Prodigy is famous for this, and GEnie 
has ST Aladdin. James Ness, one of the CIS sysops, 
has written a freeware program named QuickClS, 
which is touted as an aid to interacting with Com¬ 
puServe. There are many reasons why QuickCis is not 
nearly as useful as GEnie’s ST Aladdin \ox this purpose. 

Page 26 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

Desk Hisc Configure Call CIS Messages 

View/Change QuickCIS Configuration 

Bps Rate: CIS Hail: 

Store only 

isee ^Store^Oelete 

^aaee ignore 

News Flash: Login Via: Downloads Via: 

^Stor* yDefault Shadow (CIS •+> 

I snore LOGIN.SCR ^XVZ.TTP (Vnode#*) 

No Oownloadins 

Moden Ini11 


CIS user lot 

fuordl I 

OSL Path I Fxrxi 

Read Cwd 


Current CIS R ates (Per H our); _ __ , 

3BBbps:$0EE] 12BBbps:${SQD 2488bps: $EEEE] 96BBbpsi$SBi I OKftY 

OuickC/S configuration screen. 

First of all, QuickC/S forces the user to 
supply obscure typed-in command 
strings. Errors in these strings will cause 
the program to act unpredictably. 

The screen snapshot illustrates some 
of these problems. This is a view of the 
form that the user must fill out in order to 
configure QuickC/S to make a normal 
call. Note the cryptic command line de¬ 
scribing how the message bases should 
be read. The approach to interaction with 
the library is also highly stylized. 

QuickC/S is a poor terminal program. 

It lacks a capture feature, which makes it 
quite difficult to diagnose problems in the 
script that the program concocts for a 

QuickC/S’s mail editor is simply 
dreadful. It seems to be entirely line-oriented, making 
negligible use of the mouse or the arrow keys, and 
there is no way to import text files from another editor. 

Experienced habitues of CompuServe might find 
QuickC/S useful, but the Pussycat eventually decided 
to trust his own instincts and old reliable Flash. At least 
Flash’s capture buffer allowed him to see what was 
happening. Old hands have built Flash script files that 
allow substantial automation of their terminal sessions. 

Mac and IBM users have alternatives available in 
the form of Navigator (for the Mac) and C/M (Com¬ 
puServe Information Manager) for both the Mac and 
IBM and TAPC/S for MS-DOS. These are rather 
expensive payware programs and Navigator may not 
work under Spectre GCR. A review of CIMIot the Mac 
in the February ’91 issue of MacUser has certainly 
turned off the Pussycat. 

CIS (at least on the Pussycat’s local node) seemed 
more responsive than GEnie and Delphi, with fewer 
awkward pauses when the user switched to a new 
activity. At $12.80 per hour most users would find such 
pauses painful. 


The overall umbrella for Atari users on CompuServe 
is called the “Atari Users Network.” It contains four 
principal forums for Atari users; they are the Atari Arts 
forum (GO ATARI ARTS), the Atari Productivity forum 
(GO ATARIPRO), the Atari Vendors forum (GO ATARI- 
VEN), and the 8-bit forum (GO ATARI8). An Atari 
Developers forum (ATARIDEV) is open to registered 
developers. Each forum has several message threads 
and a number of library areas. 

The message bases use a combination of the 
“thread” approach used on Delphi and local BBS’s and 
the “topic” approach used on GEnie. Proper use of the 
“SELECT” functions is essential in order to obtain a 
coherent picture of a conversation. Unfortunately, early 

messages drop off of the threads rather quickly, so that 
the crucial starting thoughts become inaccessible. 

The message bases have a rather chatty flavor, 
which the Pussycat did not find particularly illuminating. 
The Pussycat’s failure to make better use of QuickC/S 
may also be influencing his thinking on these matters 
because he finds it hard to browse around. 

The File Libraries 

The file libraries, on the other hand, seem to have 
a somewhat more businesslike aura than those on 
GEnie. The Pussycat found a higher percentage of 
applications, with less emphasis on “for sale” 
announcements and image files. It appears that the 
programmers who upload their wares here are pretty 

In addition to the usual xmodem, ymodem, and 
Kermit, CIS has its own file transfer protocol (Com¬ 
puServe B) that supposedly provides improved error 
handling, which might be helpful to those with noisy 
phone lines. The protocol is available to Flash users if 
they set their terminal type to “VIDTEX.” CIS does not 
support the zmodem protocol, which seems to handle 
the error problem fairly effectively. 

The ST file libraries on CIS are somewhat frag¬ 
mented, as opposed to GEnie, where the user can 
treat the combined libraries as one. The Pussycat 
downloaded two lists that together contained about 
4,000 files. A quick scan of the names and keywords 
revealed some pretty interesting stuff. Look for the list 
of file names on an upcoming CN Library disk. 


Online chitchat represents bread and butter to the 
electronic information services. The member directory 
in each forum can be searched for specific interests. A 
paging system is available for summoning other users 
to strike up a conversation. 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 27 

The Pussycat dropped in on a Thursday evening 
conference where about 20 people had a nice chat 
with Bill Rehbock, manager of Technical Services for 
Atari U.S. This Community Gabfest (the name for this 
recurring conference series) was a nice, orderly gath¬ 
ering. The same conference on GEnie would have 
been a zoo. 

CIS certainly plays up its CB simulator and chat 
features, so these might be worth a visit. Friends warn 
that teleconferencing should always be done at 300 
baud to keep costs down. A conference visitor will be 
lucky to get 10 pages of chatter from the usual visit, so 
do not expect too much in the way of information. 

The Activity Level on CIS 

Solid numbers are hard to come by, but a couple 
of peeks at the user log revealed that CIS’s Atari 
forums have a pretty substantial following and that 
many developers and Atari employees find it worth¬ 
while to drop by. Download counts for the online 
magazines are lower than elsewhere, which may simply 
reflect a desire to avoid paying high prices for material 
that is available elsewhere. 

Non-Atari Stuff 

CompuServe carries a full line of the usual travel, 
shopping, news, and financial services. Many of these 
carry a surcharge and the Pussycat can’t get too 
excited about them. Those who are into this kind of 
browsing will, however, find plenty to please them. 

Thanks, Ron 

The Pussycat wishes to express his heartfelt thanks 
to Ron Luks for arranging for free online time in the 
Atari forums so that he could mooch around and get a 
really good picture of the service without having to 
hock his computer. 

The Bottom Line on CIS 

With its high prices and cumbersome user interface 
CIS would never become the Pussycat’s first choice for 
an online service. The Pussycat also finds the message 
bases too convoluted for easy retrieval of archival 
information. People who want to reach out to others in 
the Atari community seem to find the service valuable, 
as witnessed by the participation of many “names” 
from the developer community. The file areas appear 
to be of good quality, so that user group librarians and 
other serious file collectors might want to keep their 
oar in on this aspect. 

Summarizing the Online Experience 

The Pussycat’s visits to the three national elec¬ 
tronic information services were an interesting tour of 
part of the Atari world. An anthropologist would be 
fascinated by the cultural differences. An Atari politician 

would find plenty to interest him. In an era in which 
user groups are falling by the wayside, magazine 
subscriptions are off, and dealers are finding other 
ways to earn a livelihood; these services provide 
sustenance to a clientele that is starved for even the 
most basic sorts of information and companionship. 

The opportunity to query those in the know about 
technical fine points of upcoming products is very 
worthwhile as well as interesting. 

Unfortunately, the information that is present in the 
online services is often cluttered up by a lot of opinions 
and other irrelevancies. The quality depends strongly 
on contributions from the customers, who are a very 
diverse bunch indeed. 

GEnie clearly holds the lead as a source of archival 
information. Their sysops (also known as the “topic 
police”) are ruthless about keeping the topics on the 
designated subject. The designated topics are well 
labelled and easy to find. The information is kept on 
line long enough so that a coherent story can be 
gotten if the user is willing to look back far enough in 

GEnie has some 18,000 entries in its file catalog for 
ST users. This may be an artifact arising from a large 
number of items of limited interest, But there is a lot of 
gold among the dross. Keeping up with this file catalog 
is a “must” for anyone who is serious about finding 
new software. The file bases on the other services are 
definitely worth exploring as well. Delphi’s 20/20 
Advantage plan certainly makes it easy for those who 
want to fill up their hard drives; it just takes some 
patience to wait for things to turn up there. 

The rate at which hot news files like those from 
Z-Net and ST Reports are downloaded is one of the 
few measures of activity that is applicable to all of the 
services. GEnie far outstrips the other services on this 

As far as ST users are concerned, the advent of ST 
AJaddin put GEnie miles ahead of the other services in 
terms of user interface. 

The users who benefit most from the online ser¬ 
vices are those who use a discriminating approach to 
the subject matter. Developers and promoters who 
need to reach a national audience to boost their 
products certainly need the services, which cost about 
as much as a decent magazine ad over a period of a 
year or so. When the bill starts to mount up toward $30 
per month, it is probably time for a non-commercial 
user to ask whether the services are really worth a 
dozen magazine subscriptions or 60 disks from the 
local PD library. 

The Pussycat has walked on the wild side in his 
tour through the services. He has made some new 
friends whom he hopes to keep in touch with. Atari 
users who have not unlimbered a modem might find 
such tourism a tonic for the winter blahs. 

Page 28 

Current Notes 

Vol.ll, No. 2 

1 - 800 - 888-9273 

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It Came From- 

The Desert 

U.M.S n 


Hi Again 

Well, I’m sick. It appears that I have temporarily 
succumbed to some sort of nasty bronchial affliction, 
making my head feel like a damaged aqueduct. I took 
some Alka Seltzer cold medicine, which isn’t all that 
bad to drink when you mix it up with raspberry flavored 
seltzer water (and when your taste buds aren’t func¬ 
tioning.) So if any of this column sounds weird or 
strangely directed (more than usual), remember, I’m 

One quick note. I was looking over the January/ 
February CN with my girlfriend, who is not a computer 
freak like us, but she does know a lot about the state of 
the ST and about my writings in CN. After reading 
some articles she said, “Dave, it seems like everyone 
in Current Notes is just trying to console one another.” 
I thought that was a surprisingly accurate observation. 
As Atari users, we have a heck of a lot of solidarity and 
a lot of self pity, too. Think about it; about 50% of our 
time is spent saying, “The Atari can do it, too. It’s OK 
that you bought one—never fear.” 

Slicctop Revisited 

Last time, I went into a rather lengthy review of 
S/icctop and I said I would get back to you when I got 
my customization disk, that magical thing that contains 
the multitaskable programs for S/icctop. Well, I didn’t 
get a customization disk yet. I sent in my registration 
card and what I got was the version 1.02 upgrade disk. 
It has a few enhancements. One is that it supports 
removable cartridge hard drives (like the Toadfile 44.) It 
monitors the hard drive to see if the media has been 
changed. The worst thing about S/icctop with remov¬ 
able cartridge drives is that it must be installed on 
every cartridge that you use. That makes me a little 
nervous—maybe because I’m just a 
member of a suspicious and ill-informed 
populous—but I don’t like surrendering 
control to programs that grab hold of the 
hard disk in unexplained ways. 

The updated version also does what 
it calls “system monitoring” where it 
looks to see if programs make illegal 
changes to vital system memory loca¬ 
tions, and if they do, it fixes them. This 
allows for more compatibility with soft¬ 
ware. It also does “memory monitoring,” 
a similar process where it checks to see 

Did You See 
Those Fonts? 

(c) 1991 David C Troy 

if the main memory configuration has changed without 
explanation. If so, it reports that fact to the user and 
you are given the option to reboot if you deem it 
necessary. This query can be a problem to a novice 
user because many desk accessories will bring up this 
question, and how is a novice user (or even some 
expert user) necessarily going to know to reboot or 
not? An option to turn this off would be good. 

That’s basically all that this 1.02 upgrade does for 
you. The card that comes with the disk says that the 
customization disk is delayed because many users felt 
the upgrade disk to be more important. This may very 
well be true. When I get my customization disk, we’ll 
see how well Slicctop really handles multitasking. 

Playing with Fonts 

I like fonts. They can turn ordinary text into 
something downright expressive when used properly. 
Fonts on the ST are OK, except that a large bulk of all 
available fonts are designed by amateurs, people who 
just like to make fonts. This means that output from the 
ST often isn’t comparable to output from IBM or Mac 
platforms, even though the hardware and DTP software 
are basically equal. 

When I heard about Fontverter, Don Turnock’s 
amazing program that converts Calamus fonts to 
Pagestream fonts and vice versa, I thought that it might 
come in handy. There are some nice fonts for Ca/amus 
that could be useful in Pagestream, and the reverse is 
true as well. When I looked at the specifications for 
Barry Parkinson’s amazing program Font Designer 
Pius, and I realized it could convert between Postscript 
Type 1 fonts and Pagestream .DMF format, I really 
started to drool. 

Page 30 

Current Notes 

Vol. ll,No.2 

Conversions Possible 
With Font Designer Plus & Fontverter 

Destination Type: 







^ 1. MAC PS Type 1 







H 2.IBMPSTypel 







3. PostScript Type 3 







oj 4. Pagestream DMF 







8 5. Calamus .CFN 







50 6. Font Designer ECF 







If a conversion is at all possible with the use of any sequence of programs 
included with Font Designer Plus and Fontverter, the corresponding space 
is marked Yes on this chart Note that not all conversions are possible. The 
Calamus font used in this table is the Goudy Old Style family, a set of 
commercial fonts ported over from the Mac with no modificatbn. 

See, the difference between most 
native Pagestream fonts and Calamus 
fonts and Postscript Type 1 fonts is that the 
Postscript fonts are actually good. This 
means that all of the Postscript Type 1 
Fonts files available for the Mac and IBM 
(and there are zillions of them, both com¬ 
mercial and public domain) can be used 
on Pagestream or Calamus, and edited, 
too. I will now describe my journey from a 
Mac Type 1 font to a Calamus and Pages¬ 
tream font. (See my friendly table for more 
ideas on what can be converted to what 

Starting with a Postscript Type 1 font 
on the Mac (suppose you have a Spectre 
GCR), get the file onto an ST disk by using 
Doug Wheeler’s Transverter (or a Mac 
program that will write on DOS disks). Now you’ve got 
this file (let’s say TIMESROM.PFB—Times Roman, and 
PFB is the extension for a Type 1 font) and it’s 
essentially a copy of the Mac file on a TOS format disk. 
Now we have to run the program MACIBM10.PRG. It 
will read in the Macintized font file and strip off the 
header junk and leave you with a nice, pure, IBMized 
encrypted Type 1 font—called TIMESROM.PFZ (it 
changes the extender just so that you don’t overwrite 
the original). Now we run TYP1CNV.PRG, which will 
read in TIMESROM.PFZ file and write out TIMES- 

ECF (Editable Computer Font) files are the native 
format for Font Designer. The font can now be edited 
at will by Font Designer, which seems to me to be one 
of the best font editors around, utilizing the Postscript 
commands curveto, moveto, and lineto. With these 
three commands you can actually define a whole font. I 
don’t want to get real deep into font editing, mainly 
because Porky Pig is a better artist than I am, and if I 
were to design a font by hand it would end up looking 
like a suicide note scrawled on a piece of toast. But if 
you’re good at that sort of thing, this program looks 
excellent for it. 

Using ECF DMF.PRG, you can go from the ECF 
format to a Pagestream .DMF file, which is the outline- 
font format it uses for creating all non-postscript 
output. With Font Designer, you can also create a 
Postscript Type 3 font from the ECF file, which Page- 
stream will use for Postscript output. Type 3 fonts are 
known as .PS files under Pagestream and are the kind 
of fonts that are downloaded to a Postscript device at 
print time and are kept in memory for use in that 
document. Even U/trascript will accept postscript files 
utilizing Type 3 fonts. 

Running KERN_ECF.PRG will allow you to set 
kerning values (basically the space between specific 
characters—A and V need to be squished together in 
order not to look goofy). It will write its output in the 

form of a Pagestream .FM (font metric) file. After 
running KERN_ECF, you should be able to use your 
font in Pagestream, provided you have a screen font 
you can use with that font. You need to either make a 
new screen font or just reuse another one—simply 
rename it to match and give it the same font ID 
number. That’s the subject of another article though, or 
see the one in the February 1990 issue of ST Informer 
which is very good and often a quick reference for me 
when I’m confused about Pagestream fonts. 

Now we can run Fontverter and convert the 
Pagestream font into Calamus font. This is quite 
simple. Basically, all you have to do is read in the .DMF 
file, make a couple of little settings, then save the file 
as a Calamus .CNF file. After that, you must run 
CALEDIT10.PRG, which will allow you to put the font 
name into what’s called the “Calamus Bitmap,” the 
little nametag for the font that appears in your font 
selection window. This bitmap won’t be as pretty for 
your converted fonts, because it just uses the ST’s 
character set for that picture, but at least you know 
what font it is, and the font appears onscreen like any 
other Calamus font when you actually use it. 

Essentially, we’re done. There are some other 
settings you can tweak which will improve the behavior 
of the font in terms of character spacing. For instance, 
you can use the Calamus font editor to define each 
character’s “window,” by fitting little spacing boundary 
lines around each character. This makes characters fit 
together snugly, like they should. For instance, this 
would automatically bring A and V together because of 
their complementary shapes. This process isn’t abso¬ 
lutely necessary—it just pretties things up. 

Caveat Converter 

There are some things that you ought to watch out 
for when converting between Type 1 fonts and other 
formats. One thing is that I’m having a quite unpredict¬ 
able time getting one particular font to work as a Type 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 31 

^_File Page Text View Extras 


: i 9^ S 
m l.™_r 



oiraiyitt li o| x: 

Y l 




oudy OlcTStyle 

ranklin Gothic! 



Using two Mac 
Postscript Type 1 
fonts in Calamus 



3 font under Pagestream with 
Ultrascript. I don’t know if the pro¬ 
blem is the font, the conversion 
process, or Ultrascript When I 
know more, I will let you know. A 
couple of fonts didn’t want to con¬ 
vert from Type 1 to ECF. They were 
not especially weird, they just didn’t 
want to convert. Again, I will update 
y’all with progress on that. 

Disorganized Power 

If you’re thinking “Gee whiz, 
that’s a heck of a lot of programs 
to have to run to convert just from 
one format to another,” I’m not 
going to argue with that. I think 
what’s going on here is that Don 
Turnock wrote some of the pro¬ 
grams and Barry Parkinson wrote 
the others; each have their strengths, but the result is a 
pretty confusing process, especially for non-die-hard 
font addicts. I’d be all for a SuperFontverter, which 
would allow you to pick a source font, of several 
formats, and then just select what format you want the 
output to be. Between the two of them, Don and Barry 
clearly have all the information they need to do this; it’s 
just a question of writing the program and accelerating 
continental drift, too; Barry lives in England and Don’s 
in Indiana. But heck, this is the information age, and 
nothing’s too good for ST users. Maybe they have 

in terms of power, I give these programs a 10, and 
I think the future will bring ratings of 12 or more. In 
terms of user friendliness, I think there’s still a ways for 
them to go. But for a first effort, they’re both really 
great! I should reemphasize that Font Designer is 
excellent by itself as a font editor. My interests are 
more in font conversion, and for that purpose the user 
friendliness issue is the only way that the Fontverter 
and Font Designer package fall short of excellent. 

All for Now 

I really ought to go. I’m very ill. I was hoping to get 
to babble about my TT or Mega STe or SLM605 this 
time, but none of those things have crossed my 
threshold yet. I think, according to the Gods, that the 
sequence will be like this, for me at least: SLM605, TT, 
then Mega STe. So, maybe I’ll get to talk some about 
those things next time, and if anyone has any ques¬ 
tions about font conversion, give me a call or e-mail or 

Reaching Me: 

Phone: (301) 544-6943 FAX: (301) 544-1 FAX 
MAIL: David Troy, 556 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., 

Severna Park, MD 21146 
GENIE: Toad-Serv. 

CompuServe: 72470,1605 


Relevant Polks: 

Sliccware, Randy Foster, P.O. Box 2609, Kirkland, WA 
98083. (206) 867-1786 

Megatype, P.O. Box 645, South Bend, IN 46624. (219) 

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Page 32 

Current Notes 

Vol. ll,No.2 


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March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 33 



Three Armored Land-Combat Simulations with All 
the Thrill of Battle, But None of the Casualties 

Review by Mike Heininger(c) 1991 

Tank Platoon, Team Yankee, 
Sherman M4 

Awright troops, listen up! The 
first wave of hostiles passed by us, 
Atari warriors, but now we got three 
tough tank simulations, so we can 
saddle up and kick butt! Any ques¬ 
tions? Huh? OK, you got five 
minutes, Dweeb, to explain how 
they stack up! 

Thanks, Sarge. Well, after a 
long wait, MicroProse’s ambitious 
Ml Tank Platoon and Empire Soft¬ 
ware’s Team Yankee appeared in 
early November to join Loriciel’s 
Sherman M4 in competing for 
armored land combat dollars. The 
trio is just in time for war freaks to 
get a better vicarious taste of the 
ugly things that may happen in 
Kuwait and Iraq now that political 
maneuvering has escalated into a 
deadly shooting war. 

The three tank simulations 
share a general foundation concept 
but then differ considerably in fea¬ 
tures and applications. Ml Tank 
P/atoon and Team Yankee simulate 
modern tank strategy and tactics 
while Sherman M4 simulates World 
War II armor. 

Team Yankee Best Mannered 

Of the three, Team Yankee is 
the best mannered. The disk is not 
copy-protected, and the game 
enabling quiz requires identifying 
three vehicles from a selection of 
only eight: four U.S. and four 
Soviet. Furthermore, when Team 
Yankee loads from hard disk, it 
automatically goes into low resolu¬ 
tion even if you start from medium 
resolution. Every game should be 
so pleasant to use. 

Ml Tank Platoon, like all Micro- 
Prose products, demands a key 
disk in drive A even if the game is 
loaded on hard disk. And when 
sooner or later the key disk goes 
bad, another customer curses 
manufacturers who demand such 
high prices for volatile products. 

Sherman M4 is even worse- 
mannered in that it does not load 


on hard disk and also insists that 
the original disk be loaded in Drive 
A. Such copy-protected products 
deserve to be passed over when¬ 
ever more reasonable competitors 
have products even close. 

Naturally, this attitude requires 
corresponding concession: namely, 
do not steal products that are not 
copy protected by giving unauthor¬ 
ized copies to people who do not 
pay for their own copies. 

Keep the Big Picture 

In all three tank simulations, 
success depends on how well you 
manage the big picture at all times. 
You command between four and 16 

armored vehicles whose survival 
depends primarily on how well you 
deploy all of them throughout bat¬ 
tles, no matter how skillfully you 
operate any one vehicle. 

All three have several levels of 
campaigns and opposition exper¬ 
tise. The two WWIII simulations 
allow promotions of personnel. 

For the clearest comparison, 
let’s examine how each simulation 
handles situations, vehicles, terrain, 
graphics, sound, controls, unique 
features, unique problems, practice, 
campaigns, promotions, hints, and 


Ml Tank P/atoon is like an 
advanced course in armored war¬ 
fare. Like all MicroProse simula¬ 
tions, Ml Tank P/atoon has a thick 
manual (202 pages), replete not 
only with tutorial and operating 
instructions, but about half devoted 
to technology and tactics plus 
equipment and organization. 

Team Yankee mimics the book 
Team Yankee, which projects the 
adventures of a U.S. Army tank unit 
as it fights a massive Soviet 
armored thrust through the Fulda 
Gap in Germany. The 60-page user 
guide is quick and clean like the 
software program. 

Sherman M4 portrays the U.S. 
World War II tank mainstay via a 
pocketsize 26-page handbook. 
Nothing fancy, but quite effective. 


Ml Tank P/atoon offers the 
panoply of modern U.S. and Soviet 
armor plus a surprise: five types of 
aircraft! You fight in four M1A1 

Page 34 

Current Notes 

Vol.ll, No. 2 

The SHERMAN M4 is the most famous among allied 
combat tanks of World War II. Built in huge quantities 

tankhunter, Sturmgeschutz 
3 assault cannon, and Pan¬ 
zer 4 tank. You control four 
Sherman M4 tanks plus two 
jeep tag-alongs. 


All three simulations 
offer 2D board game over¬ 
views and 3D combat over 
terrain with obstacles. Ml 
Tank Platoon is the only 
armor simulation offering 
hills to hide behind in the 
famous hull-down position. 


Ml Tank Platoon has 
MicroProse’s familiar angu- 

(48,071 all versions). Its arrival at the El Alameein |ar representations — you 

landing coincided with the downfall of the Afrika get clear depictions Of 

corps and of the armies in general. equipment and explosions, 

the very helpful MicroProse key 
template because its controls are 
many and not always intuitive. 

Team Yankee is giddyup-and- 
go, basically, with the arrow keys, 
easy and fun to use. 

Sherman M4 is fairly intuitive 
with relatively few commands, most 
centering on the function keys. 

Unique Features 

Ml Tank P/atoon offers Outside 
Tank view (so you can view the 
tank in action from 360 degrees 
around the tank) and a special 
Outside Any view (where you can 
watch the scout helicopter, attack 
helicopter, or A-10 jet in action, 
whenever they appear on the map, 
you cannot fly aircraft, but you can 
watch from their perspective). There 

Abrams main battle tanks. But bat¬ 
tles may also involve the original 
Ml tank, M60A3 tank, West German 
Leopard 1 or 2 tanks, M2A1 and 
M3A1 Bradley fighting vehicles, 
M113A3 armored personnel carrier, 
M901A2 anti-tank missile carrier, 
M163A2 PIVADS anti-aircraft gun 
carrier, M106A2 mortar carrier, 
M109A3 self-propelled artillery, and 
MRLS rocket launcher against five 
types of Soviet tanks and 15 types 
of other Soviet armored vehicles. 
U.S. aircraft are the OH-58D Kiowa 
scout helicopter, AH-64A Apache 
attack helicopter, and A-10A Thun¬ 
derbolt II attack jet; Soviet aircraft 
are the Mi-24 Hind E attack heli¬ 
copter and Su-25 Frogfoot attack 

Team Yankee features the U.S. 
Ml Abrams tank, M-113 armored 

but they are not particularly 
impressive; neither are the rather 
bland colors. 

Team Yankee is more colorful 
with better-looking vehicles. 

Sherman M4 has some of the 
best-looking graphics ever. Turret 
and driver views are very detailed 
and colorful. Both board and 3D 
displays are sharp with clear dis¬ 
tinctions between colors. 


Ml Tank P/atoon has the best 
sound, with explosions sounding 
the most like a real tank battle and 
exploiting TweetyBoard sound aug¬ 

The opening theme sounds like 
a spinoff from Red Storm Rising. 

Team Yankee sound is stark 
and does not use TweetyBoard. 

is limited infantry simulation, plus 
tank smoke grenades and engine 
exhaust smoke generation. Tank 
gunnery can become as complex 
as you want it. 

Team Yankee features control 
of four platoons of four armored 
vehicles each—total of 16. You will 
be able to fight mostly in Ml tanks, 
but also in the M-2 Bradley Infantry 
Fighting Vehicle, M-901 Improved 
TOW Vehicle (ITV), or M-113 
Armored Personnel Carrier. You can 
fire TOW missiles from the M-2 or 
M-901 when they are stationary, 
but unlike real TOW missiles you 
don’t have to control them for up to 
15 seconds because otherwise you 
would lose too much control of all 
your other vehicles. Sherman M4 
tanks may fire only after they are 

personnel carrier, M-2 Bradley in- Sherman M4 is the only one to 
fantry fighting vehicle, M-901 im- attempt tank 
proved TOW vehicle (ITV) versus engine sound, 
the Soviet T-62 tank, T-72 tank, achieving a pleas- 
BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle, and ant business-like 
BTR-60 armored personnel carrier, purr although it 
You control 16 armored fighting ignores Tweety- 
vehicles in four platoons of four Board, 

Sherman M4 pits the U.S. M4 Controls 
medium tank, jeep, and halftrack Ml Tank 
against the German Tiger tank, P/atoon offers Ml Abrams Main Battle Tank, Fastest. Best Armored Tank Extent 
Jagdpanzer 4 assault cannon / with Thermal Gun Sights For Firing Through smoke and Darkness 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 35 

Unique Problems 

Ml Tank Platoon instructions 
mention only IBM compatibles, 
never the Atari ST. Hence, it is very 
difficult to properly install on a hard 

I Specifications 



Weight (Twines) 


Full Length (cm) 


Engine Type 


Road Range (km) 


Max Speed (km/h) 


Max Speed (Off-road) 


Frontal Armour (mm) 


Main Gun 


Calibre (mm) 


Maxrate (round/min) 


Effective Range 


Total Rounds 


HEAT Rounds 


SABOT Rounds 


Anti-Tanks Rounds 


disk. Team Yankee vehicles are 
armed with an infinite number of 
machine gun rounds. Artillery may 
be set up only before a battle, not 

Sherman M4 talks about being 
able to hop into the two jeeps 
accompanying the four Sherman 
tanks, but this doesn’t happen in 
the Atari ST version. 

Only cannons are available, not 


Ml Tank Platoon encourages 
use of a typical tank practice 
course; this is good advice because 
gunnery can get quite complicated, 
depending on how realistically you 
want to play. 

Team Yankee doesn’t bother 
with any practice option—just 
climb aboard and go fight! 

Sherman M4 likewise shuns 
practice for the real thing. 


Ml Tank P/atoon offers a multi¬ 
tude of World War III scenarios, 
claiming that if you played this 
simulation eight hours a day, it 
would take about 179 years to 

exhaust all the possible 
battlefields. Because the 
orders of battle are simi¬ 
larly variable, “it’s virtually 
impossible to fight the 
same action twice.” Gun¬ 
nery is claimed to be 
similarly realistic: “Shells 
and missiles actually fly 
through the air at realistic 
speeds with realistic inaccuracies, 
striking targets or the ground as 

Team Yankee advises players 
to read the book, Team Yankee, 
since game action is closely based 
on battles in the book. Game 
designers explain, “It may annoy 
the purist, but when accuracy and 
game play conflicted, the game 
always won out. Another important 
feature is our belief that the player 
should be able to pick up the game 
and play without leafing through a 
300 page manual.” 

Sherman M4 offers five levels 
of three campaigns: the Allied 
landings at Normandy, the Battle of 
the Bulge in the Ardennes, and the 
North African desert battles around 
El Alamein. For added challenge, 
some parameters may be modified, 
e.g., difficulty, enemy, troops. 


Only Ml Tank Platoon defines 
individual skill ratings for all 16 
soldiers in the four tanks. Ranging 
from inept to superior, these ratings 
may be raised a notch—and indivi¬ 
dual performance speeded up 
accordingly—by judiciously award¬ 
ing the few promotions available 
after successful battles. Soldiers 
also may earn medals regardless of 

Team Yankee offers up to eight 
campaign files to record your 
character’s progress as you try to 
advance from pfc to captain in five 
chapters of the campaign. 


In all three tank simulations, be 
careful to mark where you want 
artillery to impact before you call it 

T-72 Main Battle Tank 
With Long Range Fuel Tanks 

Always have your overall board 
strategy well in mind before hop¬ 
ping into an individual vehicle to 

In Ml Tank P/atoon and Team 
Yankee, always begin your fights in 
magnified infra red and laser rang¬ 
ing — the first tank to find and fire 
survives the longest. 

In Sherman M4 t against Tiger 
tanks dodge and run to attack from 
the flanks or rear; frontal attacks are 

In all three simulations, con¬ 
centrate more on overall leadership 
than individual vehicle fighting. 
Trust your computer-generated 
comrades to perform reasonably 
well, but in Ml Tank P/atoon 
remember to order them to fire at 
will before you do anything else or 
they may become sitting ducks. 


With all three tank simulations 
listed at the same price, ranking 
them in order of value is a little 
easier mathematically but just as 
difficult philosophically. As with all 
products, the main question is: 
What do you need and what do you 

If you want the most complex 
simulation with seemingly infinite 
possibilities, the obvious choice is 
Ml Tank P/atoon. Neither of the 
other two simulations approach its 
multilayered options or opportuni¬ 
ties to complicate your life. 

If you want the friendliest game 
to load and the most intuitive to 
play, Team Yankee wins hands 

If you want the prettiest 
graphics in an era before night 
vision and laser sights, Sherman M4 
stands out. 

Page 36 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

Ah, you say, but the budget is 
tight and these purchases must be 
ranked. You can afford one tank 
simulation now, maybe another 
later, and a third much later. Again, 
the choice depends on what turns 
you on. Since I prefer a friendly 
game that is easy to load and easy 
to play but not likely to become 
boring, I’d buy Team Yankee first, 
Sherman M4 second, and Ml Tank 
Platoon third. 

All three tank simulations are 
excellent value in spite of their 
relatively high game cost. You really 
can’t lose whichever you buy. 

All three products are available 
from dealers (usually at discount) or 
the manufacturers (all three list 
prices are $59.95 each), and all 
three require at least 512k RAM. 
Individual specifics follow. 

Ml Tank Platoon from Micro- 
Prose, 180 Lakefront Drive, Hunt 
Valley, MD 21030; 1-800-879- 
PLAY; recommend both keyboard 
and joystick, but can be run entirely 
from keyboard; copy-protected by 
key disk; unusual in no separate 
Atari instructions included. 

Team Yankee from Empire 
Software, 4 The Stannetts, Laindon 
North Trade Centre, Basildon, 
Essex SSI 5 6DJ, England; disk 
NOT copy-protected; requires 
color monitor; mouse recommen¬ 
ded, but can run on keyboard 

Sherman M4 from Loriciel via 
U.S. Gold Ltd, Units 2/3 Holford 
Way, Holford, Birmingham B6 7AX, 
England; copy-protected; runs via 
keyboard and/or joystick. 


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March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 37 

Richard Biow interviews a 

Font Creator 



F or u.s. atarians, Canada is 

not just another nation. It’s 
another world, a better world, a 
more exciting world. For example, in 
Vancouver alone there are approxi¬ 
mately 12 Atari dealers, which is at 
least a third as many outlets as the 
Tramiel brothers (Larry, Curley, and 
Moe) have been able to maintain in 
the entire 50 States. Another example 
is ISD Marketing of Markham, Ontario, 
exclusive representatives in North 
America of Calamus , which is the 
most solidly professional program you 
can buy for the ST. 

This article was typeset with Calamus. 
The typeface used is Cherry Garamond 
from Cherry Fonts. This means it is a 
font drawn by Todd Johnson of Port 
Coquitlam, British Columbia. Todd’s 
company offers more than 30 fonts for 
Calamus , and he sells them for little 
more than half the price of the Compu- 
graphic fonts available from ISD. Their 
quality matches that of CG fonts, and 
this is high praise, indeed: Compu- 
graphic fonts are well-known standards 
for high quality desktop publishing. 

Let’s consider type quality. The sim¬ 
plest kind of type is “mono-spaced,” 
where each letter occupies the same 
amount of space on a line. Courier, 
originally developed at IBM for type¬ 
writers, typifies this font It’s legible, its 
wide curves resist the tendency to load 
up with ribbon ink, and it is probably 
the most common type used for busi¬ 
ness letters. Its weakness is inherent in 
(words) are not grasped as intuitively as 
with proportionally-spaced fonts. 

Proportionally-spaced fonts allot space 
according to character width, so that 
an “m,” for example, takes up about 
three times as much room as an “i.” 
This relationship groups characters 
more tightly in each separate word; it’s 
more legible than mono-spacing. 

Publishing Partner for the ST offers 
this feature. Almost all the material in 
this magazine is proportionally spaced. 

The next feature in readability is “kern¬ 
ing.” This is the intentional crowding of 
letters into other letters’ ‘turf,’ as with 
groups such as “To” and “AW.” Auto¬ 
matic kerning is a feature of top-flight 
publishing programs like Calamus. 

Even more sophisticated is the pur¬ 
poseful running together of selected 
letters. Consider the words, “flexible” 
and “first.” Note how the “f” and the 
“1” in “flexible” touch one another. 
Note, too, how this intentional crowd¬ 
ing has even caused the “i” to lose its 
dot in “first.” These tight-fitting combi¬ 
nations are called “ligatures.” As you 
can see, Todd’s fonts feature these 

“I used to have to 
draw my own fonts 
because the ones I 
wanted or needed 
for a certain project 
weren’t available. ” 

techniques wherever appropriate. Be¬ 
yond that lies esthetics; why does one 
designer’s font look better than an¬ 
other’s? Why does Garamond, regard¬ 
less of who issues it, look more classy 
than the same designer’s Times font? 
The first question is, of course, unan¬ 
swerable. The answer to the second 
depends on the purpose of the font’s 
originator. Garamond was designed to 
look elegant. Times (See your daily pa¬ 
per) was designed to squeeze letters as 
closely together as possible while still 
remaining legible. It caught on during 
WWII, when a paper shortage devel¬ 
oped, creating a need to use a more 

compressed type, in order to save 
space in periodicals. This font, origi¬ 
nally developed for the London Times 
newspaper by Stanley Morrison in 1931, 
filled the bill; in the U.S., Time Maga¬ 
zine adopted the style and made it a 
print media standard. Unfortunately, 
many printers misuse Times by print¬ 
ing wide lines of type with it, in which 
case it looks chunky and irregular. 

Garamond, which holds together well 
regardless of line width, is not a com¬ 
pletely new typeface either. It was cre¬ 
ated during the 15th century and has 
been greatly modified and subjec¬ 
tively interpreted by typeface design¬ 
ers ever since. In fact, there are many 
versions of Garamond currently 
available that were inspired by Claud 
Garamond’s original designs. 

Differences in fonts may seem trivial to 
the average reader but are life-and- 
death matters for publishers, whose 
economic survival depends, at least in 
part, upon making their products as 
readable as possible. This means that 
publishers must match type styles to 
readers’ tastes and to subjects ad¬ 
dressed. Otherwise, no matter how in¬ 
teresting the content may be, the arti¬ 
cle or story will be ignored. (Oscar 
Hammer stein: “There is no limit to the 
number of people that can stay away 
from a lousy show.” Robert Heinlein: 
“Nobody has to read your stuff.”) 

Todd Johnson tells us that it takes him 
up to 200 hours to create a single font. 
He presently advertises 26 fonts, 
which multiplies out to 5200 hours, all 
on his own time, which is enough of a 
testament to his enthusiasm and moti¬ 
vation to make us want to hear him 
describe his work: 

C.N.: I notice you’ve come out with 
your own version of Times. Why did 
you do so when Calamus supplies its 
own Times on the program disk? 

Todd: The “Times 50” that comes 

Page 38 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

bundled with Calamus is not very 
indicative of what Times should look 
like. The dimensions and even the 
proportions of many characters are off. 
For one thing, each letter is drawn 
about 10% too large within its M-square. 

C.N.: M-square?? 

Todd: The M-square is the invisible 
box within which all characters are 
drawn. If the characters are too high, 
they intrude visually into the charac¬ 
ters above them. And, if they are too 
wide, they don’t make efficient use of 
space, which is the main function of 
the Times font. The Calamus Times 
takes up too much room and, there¬ 
fore, looks cramped. 

C.N.: How really important is kerning? 
I notice that the proportionally-spaced 
fonts that Hewlett Packard sells for the 
DeskJet aren’t kerned at all. 

Todd: And it shows. Kerning—the se¬ 
lected degree of kerning for each letter 
pair—is enormously important. I spend 
a lot of time (and paper) adjusting the 
character spacing of my fonts. 

C.N.: Do you use Calamus’s Font Edi¬ 
tor ? 

Todd: I use a program called Genus, 
which was developed here in Vancou¬ 
ver by a fellow named Gregg Rodgers. 
It has just recently been released com¬ 
mercially. I’ve been beta-testing it for 
almost two years now. It’s a very high 
resolution piece of software. 

C.N. The Calamus market is pretty 
much limited to ST’s and STe’s with 
two or more megs of memory. If you 
are going to create fonts for the ST, 
why limit your market to Calamus us¬ 
ers? Why not make them available for 
other DTP programs for the ST? 

Todd: Well, take Pagestream as an ex¬ 
ample. To convert the fonts for use 
with Pagestream, I would have to 
design a whole set of screen fonts. 
This is a time consuming process. 
Rumor has it I might be considering 
the task though. They are updating 
their font system, too, which puts us 
font vendors in a bit of a precarious 
position. By the way, I think Calamus 
runs fine on one meg systems. 

C.N. But are sales of these purely 
Calamus fonts enough to be worth 
your time? 

Todd: Oh, yes! Besides, I’m not draw¬ 
ing fonts as my full-time job. I don’t 
have to make my living from them. This 
is something I can do for enjoyment. 

My main income is derived from my job 
as an engineer in a recording studio. 

C.N.: How did you become interested 
in font design? 

Todd: I’ve had an interest in graphics 
since long before I bought my ST back 
in ’85.1 then used it to draw pictures 
in Spectrum 512 and similar programs. 
Then when desktop publishing and 
typesetting eventually became avail¬ 
able to Atari STs, I became completely 
enthralled. I used to have to draw my 
own fonts because the ones I wanted 
or needed for a certain project weren’t 
available. Lately, though, I’ve concen¬ 
trated entirely on type; there’s only so 
much time available. 

C.N.: One problem with Calamus in 
the U.S. is the difficulty of transferring 
a file to a really high-resolution profes¬ 
sional printer. I understand there are 
units in use in Canada that will do the 
transfer, but not in the U.S. 

Todd: That’s not quite the case. For 
example, there’s Omnicomp in San 
Francisco who can take a Calamus file 
and print it on a Linotronic Imageset¬ 
ter. Laser’s Edge, here in Vancouver 
will also accept mailed in disks and 
send you back your printed page. The 
beauty of Calamus is that it prints very 
quickly on these machines and there’s 
very little that can actually go wrong 
with your document. For the $10 per 
page or so that it costs to be printed, it 
can really be worthwhile if you want 
flawless results. 

C.N.: It sounds as if you get the same 
pleasure out of finishing a font that an 
artist gets out of finishing a painting. 

Todd: <laughing> By the time I finish 
with a font, I’m so sick of it that I don’t 
want to look at it any more! Seriously, I 
do enjoy drawing the fonts but it’s hard 
to say when I am actually finished with 
them; they are constantiy being ad¬ 
justed. I guess I’ve become too critical. 

C.N.: Since you’re the expert on visual 
esthetics here—not me—how about 
letting me send you this writeup in a 
WordPerfect file. You check it for accu¬ 
racy, load it into Calamus, set it up in 
your fonts, and then do the actual lay¬ 

out, yourself. After that, you can send 
the Calamus file to (ST editor) Frank 
Sommers, and he’ll do the final editing. 

Todd: Fine with me. 


A change of plans... 

After Frank tweaked and approved 
the final draft of this article, it was 
returned to Todd who dropped the 
Calamus file off at Laser’s Edge 
service bureau in Vancouver to be 
printed on their Linotronic 
Imagesetter at 1270 dots per inch 

Document specifications: 

The body type used for this interview 
was Cherry Garamond set at 9.7 points 
with 2 points of leading. The headline 
is the same font enlarged to 60 points 
and manually kerned very tightly. Also 
used for occasional embellishments 
were Cherry Garamond Italic and Bold. 

This sidebar uses Cherry Ice medium 
and Cherry Ice Bold. 

Companies and products 


Unit #4,2250 Tyner Street, 

Port Coquitlam, B.C., Canada V3C 2Z1 
(604) 944-2923 


ISD Marketing, 2651 John St., Unit 3, 
Markham Ont., Canada L3R 25W 


Softlogik Corporation, P.0. Box 290070, 

St. Louis, MO 63129 
(314) 894-0431 

GENUS font editor 

Gregg Rodgers, 1324 Eastern Drive, 

Port Coquitlam, B.C., Canada V3C 2R9 

LASER’S EDGE service bureau 

830 - 789 W. Pender St., 

Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6V 1H2 

OMNICOMP service bureau 

99 Green St., San Fransisco, CA 94133 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 39 

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Timeworks Word Writer ST $45 

Versasoft DBMan V 5.2 $150 

Gribnif Neodesk 3 $49 

KD Calamus $l6l 

ISD Calamus Outline $159 

KD Calamus Font Editor $65 

KD Calamus DTP Guide $31 

SofitlogikPageStream $109 

SLM804 Toner Special! $54 

Golden Image Scanner & Touch Up $309 
Golden Image Mouse $45 

Practical Solutions Cordless Mouse $80 
HP Deskjet Ink Cartridges $18 

HP Deskjet Ink Refills $14 

Supra 2400 External Modem $109 

ICD AdSpeed ST 16MHz Board $239 

Atari Megafile 30 Hard Drive $379 

Talon Supercharger $419 

Hey! Were the largest and best Authorized Atari 

Business Computer Center on the east coast! 

Send us your computer repair work! Were fast, 
efficient, reasonable, and experienced too! 

xjJtera long year on die road with die World Peace 
Tour, Toad’s back, and ready to try new tilings. Today, we 
see, he lias gotten a new Atari TT030 computer. With his 
new computer, he’ll learn tilings he never did in school! 
Make sure to “Learn How widi Toad,” its he tries new 
software and hardware, and learns more about himself and 
his computer! Maybe you should get a new computer too, 
as die TT030, Mega STe, reduced-price 1040STe or 520STfm 
may be just what you’ve been looking for! 

A. fSTra. A 

If you’re interested in Atari 

Computers and you’re not on our 
legendary mailing list, then you’re 
really missing the chocolate cake. To 
be on our mailing list, all you have 
to do is call us and well be more 
than happy to put you on it. If you’re 
on it and are sufficiently goofy to 
want to be removed from it, that too 
can be cured with a simple phone 

• -i . . A r\ 

In January, Dave Troy, owner of 
Toad Computers, and Jennifer 

Rucker of Arnold, Maryland, had the 
following announcement to make: 
“We’re getting married.” That 
statement was later confirmed with, 
“Yeah.” The wedding is planned for 
Spring of 1992. While Dave is no 
longer available, Ray is. All inquiries 
should be sent to our regular address 
care of “Department QTPIE.” 

a ru n i rngWiTiwurraM 

Wmi\ i'i 

If you’re looking for a piece of eight 
bit hardware or software, you really 
ought to give us a call. We’ve got 
some really big ideas in mind that 
are guaranteed to bring new life to 
the eight bit. Also, if you know 
anyone who is getting rid of their 
eight bit system, call us! We give 
discounts on systems as trade-ins and 
we purchase new systems, too! Keep 
posted for more details! 

Have a good idea for the Atari but 
don’t know how to sell it? Mostly 
done but need a little nudge in the 
right direction? Confused about 
packaging? Don’t know how to reach 
your target market? Need help with 
direct mail? Contact the experts, the 
Toad Men! We’ll help you out, and 
provide capital if necessaiy and if the 
idea’s solid! We want to help you 
make the Atari market STurdy! 

Toad Computers Call (301) 544-6943 for long stuff that isn't 

556 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd. 

Severna Park, Maryland 21146 
( 800 ) 448-8623 ( 301 ) 544-6943 for all the growth we've had. 


NTSB Credits Mysterious “T.F. Magnum” - Better Backup in Future 

ELSEWHERE (AP) - Yesterday 
after a violent crash of a small, 
privately owned craft, in a gallant res¬ 
cue effort, three were saved by a Mr. 
T.F. Magnum, widely believed to be 
from Severna Park, Maryland. Ac¬ 
cording to Mr. Magnum, he saw the 
40 passenger craft go into a tailspin 
while he was eating a burrito at a 
local restaurant. The craft crashed 
into a wooded area, and running to 
the scene, Magnum said, “There were 
heads and parts everywhere.” Quickly 
he realized he could resuscitate or 
simply bandage many of the injured, 
and he did as much as he could with 
limited resources. “I could have done 
a lot more if I’d had better backup,” 

he said. Not giving any more clues as 
to his uncanny ability to always be on 
the scene of such disasters, Mr. Mag¬ 
num summed up his experience by 
saying, “Yeah, well.” Mr. Magnum 
has been mysteriously appearing on 
the scene of violent crashes of all 
kinds since June of 1989. No reports 
of his existence have been confirmed 
from before that time, which many 
think odd, considering Magnum’s un¬ 
canny first-aid abilities. He says, 
quite vehemently, “I am not a doctor, 
but I do know what I’m doing.” The 
NTSB spokesman praised Magnum’s 
work as “heroic” and wished “there 
were more people like T.F. Magnum 
out there in the world.” 

T.F. Magnum on the scene of wreck. He 
called this destruction “preventable,” but 
he’s glad he was there to save what he could. 

TOADFILE Special Prices! 

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Since we started selling our Toadfile 44, we’ve 
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Toadfile 44 Magnum - Only $849 

Toadfile 94X (44 & 50MB HD 28ms).$999 

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Toadfile 144X (44 & 100MB HD 25ms).$1299 

Toadfile 248X (44 & 204MB HD 16ms).$1649 

Works Great With IBM 
and Mac Emulation! 

C 1991 Toad Computers (Privdely Owned) 

TOADFILE 44 Special! 

For the month of March, only, we’re offering 
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ST V development is now being done on 
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Severna Park, Maryland 21146 ON ALL HARD 
(800) 448-8623 (301) 544-6943 DISK ORDERS' 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 


Desk jet 500 

The Latest of One of the Best 

Reviewed by Paul R. Pokorski 


In order to obtain better print quality with my 
desktop publishing efforts, I decided to trade up my 
Panasonic KXP 1124 dot matrix printer to a brand, new 
Hewlett Packard Deskjet 500 printer that uses inkjet 
technology to obtain very high print quality. I was very 
pleased with the utilitarian capabilities of my KXP 1124 
(used for documentation listings, mailing labels, etc.,) 
and its form handling capabilities (push tractor, pull 
tractor, and sheet feed). However, I envied the 
outstanding print quality that my friends with laser 
printers were obtaining. Not being able presently to 
afford a laser printer, I opted for the next best thing, an 
HP Deskjet. 

General Deskjet 500 

The latest incarnation of the Deskjet printer family 
is called the Deskjet 500. This was preceded by the 
original or “Classic” Deskjet and the Deskjet Plus. The 
differences between the earlier Deskjets have to do 
with progressively better printing speeds, additional 
internal fonts, lower prices, and also, I assume, greater 
reliability (the Deskjet 500 has a three year warranty). 
Furthermore, a new ink cartridge has been made 
available that features ink that is less apt to smear 
when subjected to moisture, i.e., water. I had the 
opportunity of using a Deskjet Plus for a while—the 
retailer where I had purchased the Deskjet provided me 
with a loaner because the Deskjet 500’s were out of 
stock—but couldn’t really notice a difference in 
printing speed or print quality when using the printer 
with Softlogik’s PageStream version 1.80 or with 
WordPerfect ST. 

The HP Deskjet series of printers have really 
plummeted in terms of price over the past 16 months. I 
reviewed message threads on the GEnie network 

associated with the Deskjet and observed that as 
recently as May 3, 1989, the Deskjet Plus was selling 
for approx. $895 and the “classic” Deskjet for $699. I 
purchased my Deskjet 500 from the Computer Factory 
in Pittsburgh for $495—an excellent value, in my 

Of course, by selecting an inkjet printer over a 
laser printer, I had given up a few features, for 
example, speed. A laser printer is roughly twice as fast 
as an inkjet printer in printing high-quality text. 

Nevertheless, the print quality of the Deskjet 
approaches that of laser printers, although you must be 
aware of paper quality differences. Cheaper, porous 
paper will allow the ink to spread slightly, particularly 
with text. For producing quick and dirty listings, etc., 
cheaper paper works fine. Just obtain a ream of good 
laser printer-quality paper for those documents that 
require high print quality. I’ve also been using copier- 
quality paper with excellent results and no ink bleed¬ 

I’ve noticed that, when printing documents that 
include .IMG, PI3, and other like images, that the ink 
tends to be rather heavy in FINAL mode on the 
Deskjet. I tend to print in DRAFT mode until the ink 
cartridge becomes somewhat expended then set the 
print mode to FINAL. This is easily done by a switch on 
the front panel. 

The paper handling on the Deskjet is simplicity 
itself. The paper stacker holds around 100 pages and 
you can also singly load standard business envelopes. 


Installation and setup of the DJ 500 is remarkably 
simple—just install the cartridge (being careful to 
follow HP’s installation instructions), establish your 
parallel port connection, and stack some of your 

Page 42 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

favorite bond into the paper tray. One caveat: unless a 
simple printer cable modification is made, one needs 
to power the printer on BEFORE POWERING ON THE 

The ST likes to see a 5V signal on pin 1. The 
Deskjet normally provides this signal on pin 1. How¬ 
ever, if the ST is powered up before the Deskjet, the 
pin 1 signal gets grounded and the printer port on the 
ST becomes locked up. Then, when the Deskjet IS 
finally turned on, the printer won’t print unless you 
power everything back off and power the Deskjet on 
FIRST, then the ST, associated periferals, etc. 

There is a simple fix reported for this problem that 
has to do with inserting either a PNP transistor or diode 
on pin 1 of the DB-25 connector. The simple parts list 
and instructions for doing so are available on the GEnie 
network in the bulletin board area for the ST for one. If 
you don’t have access to GEnie, drop me a SASE and 
I’ll forward the instructions to you. 

I recently performed the modification to my parallel 
printer cable using the diode fix without any problems. 

I obtained the diode, for the cost of a self-addressed 
stamped envelope (Thanks, again, Joe) from a 
thoughtful soul on the GEnie network who, when 
purchasing his diode, had to purchase them in a 
minimum quantity of 50. I merely disassembled the 
DB-25 connector, clipped the excess wire ends from 
the diode (with the black, or anode, portion of the 
diode facing towards the ST), soldered the diode on 
pin 1, placed some shrink wrap on the exposed wires, 
and reassembled the DB-25 connector. It worked like a 

The only other additional consideration to be aware 
of is the probable need to reinstall printer drivers for 
those applications that require them. For example, I 
had to review my trusty copy of WordPerfect to 
familiarize myself with the printer driver installation 
routine. Fortunately, the appropriate printer driver is 
included with Wordpe/fect—not so EasyDraw. I had 
earlier purchased a printer driver for use with EasyDraw 
and my Panasonic KXP 1124 printer. Now, in order to 
use the program, I need to purchase yet another 
printer driver for the Deskjet. However, many applica¬ 
tion programs provide either a specific Deskjet printer 
driver or a printer driver for the Hewlett-Packard 
Laserjet series which typically works fine with the 
Deskjet printers. 

Ink Tips 

The ink cartridges that, incidentally, contain the 
printhead, are associated with the Deskjet printer family 
are relatively expensive ($20 list price). These ink 
cartridges are typically rated for about 500 pages of 
printing. Many people have begun refilling these 
cartridges via a variety of methods, the most popular 
method being the plotter ink / hypodermic needle 

approach. The procedure is fairly simple - merely 
place the tip of a hypodermic syringe, or similar device, 
into a small hole in the top of the ink cartridge and fill 
until the ink starts to bubble out the hole. 

A popular refill ink appears to be Koh-i-Noor 
Rapidograph 3081-F non-waterproof plotter ink at 
about $2.25 per 3/4 oz bottle found at most art supply 
stores. I recently refilled my cartridge with a small 
syringe with little difficulty. 

The above-mentioned ink comes in a small bottle 
with a rather narrow spout. Keep this in mind when 
obtaining your syringes because after you drain the 
uppermost part of the ink, you will need to either pour 
the ink into another container or obtain a syringe with 
either a longer needle or a thinner body. 

In all the GEnie mail messages, etc. that I’ve read 
concerning refilling the Deskjet ink cartridges, no one’s 
ever mentioned whether to take the cartridge out of the 
printer for refilling or leave it installed. I’d recommend 
removing the cartridge because of the potential for 
spills. In fact, keep several napkins/paper towels/rags 
handy to blot up minor spills, leaks, etc. while 
performing the injection procedure. You don’t want 
your brand new Deskjet covered with fingerprint 
imprints, do you? 

The number of full syringe loads the Deskjet 
cartridge can hold, obviously, depends on the size of 
the syringe in use. I’ve been using 1 CC syringes and 
have been able to inject 3 syringefuls into the 
cartridge. When injecting the ink, depress the plunger 
slowly otherwise the ink will bubble out and keep those 
previously mentioned paper napkins handy to blot up 
the inevitable ink bubbles. 

I’m still developing my technique insofar as re¬ 
inking the Deskjet ink cartridges is concerned; it’s a 
learned skill. Nevertheless, the cost savings is certainly 
there and worth the effort to locate the syringes and 
ink, inject the ink, et al. I’m still not certain just how 
long one can refill the same cartridge without encoun¬ 
tering problems with clogged ink jet nozzles, but I’ve 
already saved the cost of, at least, one ink cartridge. 

Labels, Et Al 

A very important capability for which I frequently 
used my Panasonic KXP 1124 printer was to generate 
various kinds of labels: mailing/address, diskette, and 
audio cassette. Various sized mailing labels suitable for 
laser and inkjet printers are readily available from 
several manufacturers, for example 3M 2 5/8” Laser/ 
Copier Labels (#7730). These labels are available in a 
plethora of sizes. The above mentioned labels cost 
around $20 for approximately 3000 labels. My label 
printing program, Labe/Master Elite, doesn’t support 
the laser or inkjet type of printer; therefore, I have to 
develop another mechanism. WordPerfect should do 
nicely for casual use. 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 43 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

Two capabilities that I lost, migrating to the 
Deskjet printer, at least on an interim basis, are the 
ability to print audio cassette labels and 3.5” diskette 
labels. I’ve made inroads into solving the diskette label 
printing requirement by locating Avery 3.5” diskette 
labels suitable for laser and inkjet-type printers. 
However, all my old label generating programs are 
essentially useless for the Deskjet printer. I’m going to 
write a small C program to generate the diskette labels 
as soon as I can allocate some free time. 

I haven’t been able to locate a source for 
laser/inkjet audio cassette labels, though. I compose 
and record my own music in my home recording studio 
and I like to generate professional-looking cassette 
labels and j-card inserts. If anyone knows of a source 
for these, please let me know (P.POKORSKI on GEnie 
or regular mail). 

Incidentally, I’ve been using Chet Walter’s 
IMAGECAT program to catalog my clip art with terrific 
results. At the infamous PACE AtariFest last winter, I 

I still haven’t been able to evaluate the overall 
boost the Deskjet should, and I’m sure will, present to 
my desktop publishing efforts. The majority of the 
newsletters and other documents that I have available 
were created with the help of the Supercharged 
EasyDraw system. As I mentioned before, I don’t have 
a suitable printer driver for EasyDraw to use with the 
Deskjet 500.1 purchased PageStream at the last PACE 
show and have toyed around with it, but haven’t really 
produced anything with PageStream yet that I feel is 
exceptional; hence, I must reserve my experiences 
with DTP and the Deskjet 500 for another time. 


I hope I’ve conveyed some useful information to 
those who are considering purchasing, or recently 
purchased, an HP Deskjet printer. The printer is 
capable of producing excellent quality printed docu¬ 
ments of various types, produces very little noise, and 
has a relatively small footprint. The Deskjet printers 

browsed a fat binder full of clip art renderings done certainly complement the Atari ST/Mega computer and 
with IMAGECAT and an HP Deskjet printer that was are priced very attractively compared to laser printers. I 
most impressive. Ever since then, I wanted to be able know that laser printers continue to experience im- 
to generate the same type of catalogs. They’re really a pressive decreases in price, but until they’re available 
cinch to create with the help of IMAGECAT, a very in the $400-500 price range, the HP Deskjet printers 
reasonably-priced program. will remain a solid product with good value at a 

13 issues for the 
price of 12 

pom mss mm 


. You get 13 (for the price of 12) exciting issues of 
■ ST Informer Monthly tabloid that is packed with 
I the latest Atari news, reviews, commentary and PD 

I offerings, plus a FREE disk tor only $18. Choose a 
FREE disk from our PD Catalog sent with your 
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Dept CN, 909 NW Starlite Place, 
Grants Pass. OR 97526 

Joppa FAX SF01 and SF02 

’Send FAXes from your Atari ST/TT’ 

Model SF01 - 2400bps Modem/4800bps Sendfax 
Model SF02 - 2400bps Modem/9600bps Sendfax 

Gem based Atari ST software that enables Group III 
broadcast FAXes. Software allows for faxing of ASCII 
text files, .IMG files, .PC3 files, .PI3 and JFAX files. 
View Image, DEGAS and JFAX files. Schedule your 
FAX transmissions when rates are less or send them 
immediately. Broadcast to one or several different 
locations. Custom drivers for Calamus and 
Pagestream desktop publishing programs that creates 
a FAX file for sending with our Model SF01 or SF02. 
Both the SF01 and SF02 are full featured 
2400/1200/300bps Hayes compatible modems. No 
other special hardware required except a standard 
Atari ST modem cable. 

Model SF01 - $139.00 (Limited Offer) 
Model SF02 - $169.00 (Limited Offer) 

Joppa Software Development 
PO Box 226 Joppa, MD 21085 

Page 44 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

Authorized Atari Sales & Service Center 

LR Data, Inc. 

Your Full Service Atari Dealership! 

Store/Order Hours 

Monday-Friday 9:00-7:00 
Saturday 9:00-5:00 
Sunday 1:00-5:00 

Wo surcharge for credit card sales! 

612 - 770-2447 

LR Data, Inc. 

2676 East County Road E 
White Bear Lake, MN 55110 

i§ ' « # H . 1 • t v 

LR Data specializes in the Atari ST. When you are 
in the Twin Cities stop buy our store! 

We welcome phone orders and would be happy to 
ship your order either prepaid or COD. We accept 
Visa, Master Card, Discover and personal checks 
(allow two weeks). Cashiers check or money order 
only for COD orders. Unless specified, we ship via 
UPS. Second day or next day air service available. 
Please call for more information and exact shipping 
charges. Yes, we ship to Canada! 

Prices & availability subject to change without 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 



is : ; :v>:.3r 




Order Out of Chaos 



Reviewed by Sam Van Wyck 

“Good Morning! You have an appointment with 
your accountant at 9:30. Don’t forget that tomorrow 
you are going to leave your car at the shop. Mr. Smith 
will be picking you up. Hi call him for you now so you 
can remind him. Also, your anniversary is next week. 
You wanted to make reservations for dinner. I’ll dial that 
call when you’re ready. 

“Here is a list of your afternoon appointments, i’ve 
included the name and address of each client along 
with your descriptive notes about each individual. 

“You wanted to contact a/i of the vendors doing 
business with our R&D division, i can have all their 
addresses on mailing labels as soon as you complete 
the letter so they can go out right away. Or, if you 
would prefer, / can print each envelope separately. 

“Your wife wanted the Christmas Card list. I’ll have 
a printout foryou before you're ready to leave tonight. 

“Here’s your coffee. Have a really nice day/” 
(NOTE: Cardfile will not fix your coffee or wish you a 
good day; not yet, anyway.) 

Relief from Chaos 

Bringing order out of 
chaos is a task that, for many 
of us, borders on the impos¬ 
sible. Pity the distracted, un¬ 
systematic person who misses 
appointments, loses tele¬ 
phone numbers and forgets 
vitally important dates and 
anniversaries; whose work¬ 
space is reminiscent of a hay¬ 
stack after a tornado; who 
suffers the scorn of fellow 
workers; the nagging of a 
spouse. How often have we 
(Yes, WE! This writer will freely 
admit to being a member of this sorry group!) wished 
for something that would somehow make the mess 
disappear and the confusion depart. Fellow sufferers, 
Be of goodcheer/ReWei is just a bootup away. 

The Address Cardsach card contains a number of 
fields for the entry of specific data. Although these are 
not user-definable, they are quite adequate for normal 
addresses and mailing list purposes. Considering how 
well Cardfile does the job it was designed to do, this is 
hardly a drawback. 

The cards serve equally well for business or 
personal/social use. Lines are provided for company 
names and the title of the person listed as well as work 
and home telephone numbers. The name of a spouse 
may be substituted for the business reference. Two 
40-space comment lines are also provided for 
descriptive notes which may also contain sorting 

Once a number of cards are assembled, they may 
be accessed individually in sequence or via a search 
function which will utilize both single and multiple 
criteria. By using data-specific codes when making 
entries, various categories may easily be extracted. 

These might include Christmas 
card lists, PTA and church 
membership, politicians and 
so forth. 

Editing a card is as simple 
as calling up the entry, acti¬ 
vating the edit function either 
from the keyboard or mouse 
and making whatever changes 
are needed. 

One of the nicest things 
about this utility is the ease 
with which certain tasks may 
be accomplished. Here is a 
program that was obviously 
well tested before it was 
released. For instance, repeti¬ 
tive entries such as the name 
of a city and state or a common business listing may 
be entered either via a keyboard macro or through the 
use of a template card upon which similar data is 
preprinted for each entry. 


Card: 117 of 417 SOM 

Tyson T Gill 


6 T Software 

121W Kirton Avenue 

Cleveland Ohio 44135-3612 

Hone Phone! (XXX) XXX-XXXX 
Work Phone: (XXX) XXX-XXXX 
Cerdflle Developer 
Proyronning Consultant 

Search: 01 

“ Previous Card 

Next Card 

A Myriad of Functions 

While Cardfi/e serves several purposes, its principal 
function begins with an address file, similar to the 
familiar Rolodex. The basic listing contains a number of 
preset fields into which data are entered. From these 
“cards,” a myriad of additional functions are available. 

The Telephone Dialer 

One of the few pleasant future events depicted in 
the movie ALIENS was the use of a business card to 
dial a telephone number. The card was inserted into 
the telephone and the connection was immediately 
and automatically established. Cardfile can do almost 

Page 46 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

as well. Any telephone listing can be accessed via 
modem and a keyboard or mouse command. Want to 
call Aunt Minnie and wish her a happy birthday? Simply 
display her filecard and click on Dial Menu and you’re 
on your way. When the ring is heard, an OFF HOOK 
button disengages the modem while you talk. 

A problem was encountered with Version 1 that 
was first sent for review. Despite doing everything 
exactly as stated in the manual, the program refused to 
activate the dialing feature. A call to Mr. Tyson Gill at 
GT Software resulted in the immediate dispatch of 
Cardfile v2.0\n which the problem was corrected. 

The Appointment Calendar 

Speaking of Aunt Minnie’s birthday, Cardfile has a 
calendar function which permits you to log upcoming 
events and be automatically reminded of them. Calling 
up the Calendar submenu results in a default display 
dating back in 1986. Setting the current month is 
simply a matter of Point-And-Click while the dates 
scroll by. However, there are two other useful ways to 
accomplish this. A “Set Clocks” function allows the 
user to set both the GEMDOS and XBIOS clocks; this 
without having to have the Atari Control Accessory 
loaded. Also, if your system has a clock/calendar 
function installed, the calendar will take its date from 
this and display the current month with the current date 
in red, no less. 

Double clicking on a date or typing "A will bring up 
the Agenda for that day. Here, the time of an 
appointment may be entered or viewed, along with a 
description of the event. One very useful feature of the 
calendar is that it may be used to record both future 
and past events. In effect, it is similar to a hardcopy 
appointment book that may be saved for future 
reference. Events may even be added after the fact. At 
the end of a year, or other period, the file containing 
these memos may be removed and archived, keeping 
the active program area down to a reasonable size. 
Past agenda may be deleted automatically, if desired. 

If you must add more paper to your office clutter, a 
daily appointment log may be printed via another 
simple mouse/keyboard command. This feature might 
be most useful for one whose day begins in the office 
but continues on the road. Daily printouts may be 
sequenced to create a longer agenda. 

It Prints Labels and Lists, Too! 

An address label print menu allows the use of 
various styles of cut label sheets. The number of labels, 
size, column definition and so forth are selected from 
an easy to use menu before beginning the printing 

Program or Desk Accessory? 

Sure, you can have it your way! While Cardfi/e will 
run as a stand-alone program, it achieves its full 
potential as a desk accessory where it begins to 
approach the level of service offered by an efficient 
and conscientious secretary. 

For instance, when beginning a business letter 
while using \/\/ordperfect, a simple keyboard command 
to Cardfile will send the mailing address to the proper 
position on the page. If you need to call an associate 
to obtain information, another keystroke after selecting 
the appropriate card will dial her business or home 
phone number for you via modem. Finished with the 
letter? Cardfi/e will now print the address on an 
envelope and include your return address as well if you 
wish. The program is configured for the HP Deskjet but 
may be modified for other printers as needed. 

When booted in desk accessory mode, any current 
agenda entries will cause a reminder to appear on the 
desktop. Emphasizing its well tested nature, this 
reminder appears twice; on the day before the 
appointment as well as on the day itself. 

Should you choose to use Cardfi/e as a stand¬ 
alone program, these same functions are available. The 
only disadvantage is that they cannot run simultane¬ 
ously with another application. Of course, the DA does 
eat a bit of memory, approximately 145K plus whatever 
you have in the data file. As a stand-along program, it 
only debits about 75K from your available RAM. 

The Manual Makes It Easy 

What would all these features be without a decent 
set of instructions? Cardfile’s 60 page instruction 
manual is remarkable for its content, organization, 
illustrations and concise summaries of every feature. 
Does this sound like exaggerated praise? Perhaps, but 
as an occasional writer of training manuals, technical 
reports and other foolishness, I shall simply pay the 
author the highest compliment I know and say “I wish 
I’d written that!” Even old Komputer Klutz was able to 
make this one work. 

Cardfi/e 2.0 is the creation of Tyson Gill of GT 
Software, 12114 Kirton Ave., Cleveland OH 44135- 
3612. It is available from the author for $34.95 plus 
$2.00 S&H ($4.00 outside the U.S.). Updates will be 
sent to registered owners returning the original disk 
with a self-addressed, stamped disk mailer. A new disk 
and manual will cost you $5.00 when the registration 
page from the old book is included. Cardfi/e functions 
with both color and mono systems. I like it; I’m using it; 
I’m keeping it and if Frank Sommers wants his disk 
returned to use at CN, he’ll have to wrestle me for it 
because I’m not sending it back! 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 47 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

Operation Stealth 

Under Cover Name: James Bond—The Stealth Affair, CJA and the 
Exclusive "Cinematique" OS, with a "Walkthrough" 

by Alfred C. Giovetti 

Operation Stea/th is the second game to be 
released by Delphine Software to feature the exclusive 
“Cinematique” operating system. Delphine Software 
claims to have refined and developed the “Cinemati¬ 
que” operating system since the release of Future 
Wars. Operation Stealth is not a sequel to the award 
winning Future Wars. Operation Stealth is a graphic 
animated spy thriller or secret agent adventure game in 
the best James Bond tradition. 

The Atari Controversy 

Operation Stea/th was released for the Atari ST, 
Amiga and IBM-PC in conjunction with U.S.Gold for 
European distribution. Interplay Productions, Inc., the 
company that brought Future Wars to the United 
States, also picked up the license for the U.S. distribu¬ 
tion of the game. Interplay was initially unsatisfied with 
the condition of the European version of Operation 
Stea/th. It repackaged the game for U.S. distribution of 
the Amiga and IBM versions by obtaining licensing 
from Danique SA and United Artists Company to use 
the James Bond name and logo for the reworked 
game. Interplay then renamed Operation Stea/th. to 
James Bond: The Stea/th Affair 

Unfortunately, James Bond: The Stealth Affair will 
not be repackaged for the ST; only for the Amiga and 
IBM versions of the game. Interplay did not feel that 
the ST market in the United States warranted printing 
up ST version box and disk stickers, and an ST system 
card for the retitled game. Although Delphine Software 
developed Stea/th on the ST, Interplay rejects the idea 
of distributing the game in the U. S. Do not despair. 
Stea/th is available domestically from mail order houses 
advertizing in this magazine that specialize in importing 
European ST titles. Other than the cosmetic and name 
changes mentioned above, Operation Stea/th and 
James Bond: The Stealth Affairs identical. 

CIA Thickens the Plot 

The Stea/th story begins in cinematic fashion with 
the best graphics of the game in a computer animated 
sequence depicting the theft of the Stea/th Bomber. 
The pilot of the Stea/th Bomber is incapacitated in the 
centrifuge by the plane’s thief, who takes the pilot’s 
clothes. The thief, now fully disguised in the real pilot’s 
flight suit, is driven up to the plane. The thief boards 

the plane and takes off for a far off airport somewhere 
in the world. 

Stealths next screens find John Glames (European 
version) or James Bond (American version) in the 
offices of the CIA in Langley, Virginia. John, the CIA 
agent, or James, the Special Section super-spy of the 
British Secret Service attached to the CIA for this 
mission, is being briefed on the facts of the mission, by 
a CIA operations supervisor. 

Before John (James) knows it, he has disembarked 
from his plane and is standing in the plane arrival area 
of the Paraguayan Airport under the marshal law of 
dictator General Manigua. 

Stea/th has a number of ingenious spy weapons 
and devices well worthy of any James Bond spy 
thriller. The secret agent devices include the false 
attache case, the NTY passport forger, the watch 
cable, the cutting pen, the recording razor, the safe¬ 
cracking box, the cigarette case, rocket launching 
cigarettes and fingerprint revealing cigarettes. These 
spy devices are explained fully in the documentation. 
All of these devices must be used correctly for the 
successful completion of the game. 

Stealth’s plot is standard spy fare that you would 
expect to see in a spy movie. The action gets very 
camp, as when John (James) goes to a rendezvous 
with another spy in the park with a red carnation in his 
button hole. The game involves a lot of dying. Every 
time you turn around you are either not doing things 
fast enough or in the right order and you drown or are 
hauled off by the police. Try giving that customs officer 
the wrong passport and you will see what I mean. 
Dying often and easily makes adventure games less 
believable. You are well advised to save the game, 

Those Annoying Arcade Sequences 

Graphic adventure games seem to be coming out 
with more and more arcade sequences. Stealths 
arcade sequences are not necessary to the plot or the 
story. Arcade sequences, in general, seem to be no 
more than just challenges of manual interface dexterity. 
Stealth’s arcade sequences involve leaving the park 
before the police arrive, swimming out of a mine cave 
in, or out of a watery grave, swimming around the 
sharks while looking for the elusive elastic band, 

Page 48 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

traversing a maze to the enemy headquarters, quickly 
blowing up a computer, and disabling a bomb while 
flying a “lifeboat.” The two most important keys for 
mastering the arcade sequences are the “+” and 
keys that can be used to speed up or slow down the 
action. Slowing down the action will make the comple¬ 
tion of complex tasks a little easier. 

Graphic adventure games also have animated 
sequences that operate without the game player’s 
intervention. These automated animated sequences 
are called “cut scenes” by some publishers. Stealths 
cut scenes are enjoyable and in many cases provide 
important information for the completion of the game. 
You are advised to take notes on cut scene narration 
and dialogue. Due to the nature of the die-save- 
reboot routine in many graphic adventure games, 
repeated viewings of cut scenes is very boring and 
tedious. Stealths cut scenes cannot be bypassed or 
turned off. While playing the game you are forced to 
watch the cut scenes over and over again. 

Good Graphics or Good Taste? 

Stealths predecessor, Future Wars, was universally 
applauded for the beauty of its graphic and animation 
art. The screen art in Future Wars is some of the best 
computer art there is. Many people played Future Wars 
to its conclusion just to see the next beautiful screen 
created by the graphic artist, Eric Chahl. Eric did not 
work on Stealth and it shows. Gone are the dark, 
moody and hauntingly beautiful graphic renditions of 
Future Wars. Stealth replaces high art with a Bugs 
Bunny cartoon. Admittedly, Stealths art is at least as 
good as, if not better than, the work of Sierra and 
Lucasfilm. But Future Wars is state of the art. Vince 
DeNardo at Interplay has informed me that they are 
experimenting with the graphic art, and the next 
Cinematique game title, Cruise for a Corpse, will have 
yet another artistic style. 

Stealths parser is made up of an abbreviated 
sequence of five verbs: examine, take, use, operate 
and speak. The parser constructs understandable 
statements by combining these five verbs with the 
point and click interface access of the inventory and 
labelled areas of the screen. You will no longer find 
yourself groping for words to type into the computer. In 
fact, the only typing that you may do will involve typing 
names for the save game files into the save game file 
pop-up window. 

New Improved Interface 

Stealths simplified point and click interface is one 
of the nicest things about the game. The interface is 
completely mouse driven. Future War£ interface 
required you to search the screen for labeled objects 
as small as one pixel in size. Stealths labeled screen 
objects are somewhat larger, with the screen divided 

into 9 large areas to simplify game play. Clicking the 
right mouse button on a verb in the verb menu 
automatically brings up the inventory menu for you to 
click on. Clicking the left mouse button on the verb 
menu will cause a cross hair to appear at the end of 
the mouse pointer allowing you to cause the verb to 
act on the labeled objects on the screen. The pop-up 
menus pop up right at the end of the mouse pointer no 
matter where it is on the screen. The mouse interface, 
is one of the most intelligent and convenient that I have 

Stealths interface is further improved in that you no 
longer need to be standing right in front of an object to 
examine it or to use another object on it. Future Wars 
required you to be right on top of an object to 
examine, take or operate the item. In the new improved 
interface the “go to” command is implied and John or 
James will walk to any object indicated in the com¬ 
mand sentence and execute the appropriate command 
just like Sierra and Lucasfilm games. 

Stealths sound effects are quite good even when 
compared to the excellent sound effects of Sierra. 
Marc Miner, who worked on the sound effects for 
Future Wars, returns to give us very realistic footfalls, 
gunshots and explosions even when heard through a 
PC speaker. Stealth was developed to take full advan¬ 
tage of the ST’s sound capabilities. Also returning to 
work on Stealth is Jean Baudlot, who developed the 
musical score for Future Wars. The musical score is 
one that you would expect with a good movie. Stea/th 
has theme music and suspense music to embellish the 
game action. 

The Atari ST version of Stea/th comes on three 
double sided double density ST formatted 3.5 inch 
disks. The double sided disks can be exchanged for 
single sided disks by mailing the disks back to 
U.S.Gold with the handy card provided. The game is 
hard disk compatible and only requires that you use 
the gem interface to create a folder and copy the files 
on the game disks over to it. 

Stealths copy protection scheme is off disk and is 
made up of a color picture that is matched to a black 
and white screen shot. You must identify the color of 
two shapes from the drawing. If you get one color 
wrong the game locks up and you must reboot to try 
again. I am not color blind but I often cannot tell the 
difference between red and rose or light and dark 
green. Someone who is color blind or has poor 
eyesight is just out of luck. 

Stealths user instruction manuals for both versions 
are short and to the point. Stea/th has no short section 
on how to get started with the game, as Future Wars 

Interplay has been kind enough to set up a 900 
number for hints for Stea/th and their other games. The 
900 number is an “automated hint line” that uses a 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 49 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

computerized answering system to answer standard 
questions with prerecorded answers. They will no 
longer be providing hints on their regular telephone 
line. The regular telephone line will handle all other 
customer support besides hints. The new hint number 
is 1-900-370-PLAY. The line costs $1.25 for the first 
minute and $.75 for each additional minute. At those 
prices, I will be getting hints from a national bulletin 
board that charges less than $.01 per minute for 
afterhours rates. 


Stea/th is an excellent follow up to the first Del- 
phine/Cinematique game. While the game suffers from 
the change in graphics, the new enhanced and impro¬ 
ved interface makes game play more enjoyable. The 
plot is more extensive, involved and interesting than 
that in Future Wars. The game is highly recommended 
for those who enjoyed Future Wars and the Sierra and 
Lucasfilm series of graphic adventure games. The 
game is not recommended for those who are color 
blind or have poor vision, those who despise the 
mouse dexterity challenge of arcade sequences, and 
those who became too attached to the art work of 
Future Wars to give this excellent game a chance. 

/Operation Stea/th, $54.95. De/phine Software, c/o 
Interplay Productions, Inc., 3710 S. Susan, #100, Santa 
Ana, CA 92704 U.S.A., 1-714-549-2411.J 


General Remarks. Stealth uses frustrating arcade 
sequences interspersed with animated cut scenes and 
more traditional and enjoyable role playing puzzles and 
exploration. Save your game before every animated 
sequence. You can accelerate (“+” key) or decelerate 
(“-" key) the action to make the arcade sequences 
easier to complete. Save the game often and label the 
save game files intelligibly. 

Learning Foreign Airport Customs. You arrive in 
the airport in Manigua. The first goal is to get through 
customs, obtain equipment from someone else’s bag¬ 
gage and take a taxi to your rendezvous with another 
secret agent. 

Examine newspaper box. Examine coin return slot. 
Take coin. Use coin on coin slot. Examine newspaper. 
Write down the name of the country in the newspaper, 
Germany. Walk through door into the bathroom. 

In the bathroom, enter the door on the top of the 
screen. Close the stall door. Operate briefcase. 
Operate calculator. Use unused passport on Opening 
on left side of NTY forger. Operate down arrow button 
until the name Germany appears. Operate enter button 
on the NTY forger. Take German passport. Operate 
briefcase. Take the fountain pen. Take American pass¬ 
port. Examine American Passport. Take "bench of 

notes.” Operate briefcase. Exit bathroom stall. Exit 
bathroom and go back to the airport room you just 
came from. 

Use German passport on custom official. Speak to 
welcome hostess. Examine telegram which the wel¬ 
come hostess will give you. Write down flight 714 and 
Mr. Martinez. Walk off the left hand side of the screen. 

Use airline ticket on guard. Walk off the left hand 
side of the screen between the glass partition and the 
first baggage claim pillar. Examine baggage until you 
find Mr. Martinez’s baggage. Take Mr. Martinez’s bag¬ 
gage. Walk off right hand of screen. Exit screen 
through door in upper right of screen. 

You are now in the second bathroom. Enter first 
bathroom stall through door. Close stall door. Operate 
Martinez’s baggage. Take razor. Exit stall. Examine 
electric plug on the far right and center of screen 
between stalls and sinks. Examine electric razor. Use 
electric cable on electric plug. Write down contact 
meeting at Park, recognition sign red carnation. Exit left 
hand of screen. Use german passport on custom 
official. Exit screen at lower left hand side. 

Go through glass doors. Wait under taxi sign for a 
taxi to arrive. Walk up to the back right hand door of 
the taxi. 

Bloody Carnations in the Park. You arrive at a 
plaza with an open air flower shop. Exit to upper left. 
Go through bank front door. Use bench of notes on the 
bank clerk. Go back out of bank front door. Walk off 
the right hand side of screen. Use coins on woman 
florist. Take one red carnation. Walk off screen behind 
building in upper left. Walk off screen behind the bank 
building in upper left. Save the game. Use red carna¬ 
tion on James (John). Walk to park bench. You will sit 
down and rest awhile. You will have gotten the key 
after the animation sequence. Arcade sequence: walk 
off the lower left hand side of the screen. Enter bank. 
Use bench of notes on bank clerk. Use card and key 
on bank teller. Walk off the bottom of the screen on the 
right side (the stairs down to the vault). 

Go inside the cage in the bank safe room. Use key 
on lower right safe. Take little box. Take envelope. Sit 
back and enjoy the animation sequence. 

Mine (and Your) Cave In. Examine “ground” near 
James (John). Operate “ground.” Examine piece of 
metal that appears. Use cords or bonds on piece of 
metal. Operate piece of metal. Now you have a pick 
axe. Examine rear cave wall near James (John) on his 
left side. You will feel a current of air. Operate pick axe 
three times on the rear cave rock wall where the 
current of air was found on the right side of the screen. 
Save the game. Exit the cave through the hole you 
made with the pick axe. 

Arcade sequence: Come up for air before you 
suffocate halfway through the third screen. 

Page 50 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

At the Hotel, on the Beach and into the Water. 
You arrive in front of the flower shop. Walk off the 
upper part of the left hand side of the screen behind 
the building. Walk off the lower left hand side of the 
screen in front of the bank. Walk down stairs to the 
beach. Speak man. Use coins on man. Go up to hotel. 
Go through the doors into the hotel. 

In hotel lobby, speak to receptionist. Operate ele¬ 
vator button. Walk in elevator. Operate 2 button. Exit 
elevator on second floor when the door opens. 
Operate the door on the left hand side of the screen. 
Walk up first staircase in stairwell. At the top of the 
staircase, exit off the bottom of the screen. Walk right 
to the last room on the corridor. Save game. Operate 

You now are transported via an animated sequence 
to a boat in the water. After “throw them in the water,” 
before James (John) is tied up, operate bracelet. After 
you sink to the bottom, you must quickly operate 
bracelet. Operate girl. Swim for the surface. 

Evil Dudes, Mazes and Arcade Sequences. An 
animation sequence is followed by another arcade 
sequence. When you are in a hallway, operate the 
door. Walk through the doors. In the mansion study, 
examine statue. Operate statue’s arm. Use little safe¬ 
cracking box in your inventory on the safe door. 
Operate validation switch on the safe-cracking box. 
Click on the up and down buttons until the first light on 
the little box lights up. The first light signals that the 
first number has been found. Click on the round button 
next to the up and down arrows. Now repeat the 
sequence for the next number in the combination, and 
the next number until the full combination is deter¬ 
mined. Operate validation switch. Take little box. 
Operate lock combination. Save game. Take envelope. 

Arcade sequence: Patterns will become evident that 
will help you with this test of mouse dexterity. 

Sharks, Seaweed and Anti-Explosive Elastic 
Bands. Arcade sequence: The large sharks will move 
across the screen in such a way that you can swim 
straight through the middle of them without being hurt. 
You need to be high enough or low enough for this to 
work. Swim left. Swim down. Examine seaweed on left 
side of the screen. Take the elastic band. The elastic 
band is necessary for the successful completion of the 
end game sequence. Swim right until you can swim no 
further right. Examine palm tree on the sea bottom. 
Operate button. Leave the screen through the hole in 
the cliff. Once in the cavern, operate the porthole. 

Man-Eating Fish and Rats both Animal and 
Hominid Varieties. Use pen on lock. Be sure to use 
the right number of drops of acid. Use the chart in the 
Instruction Manual that came with the game (Interplay 
pg 12, U.S.Gold page 5). Use watch on left wall. Use 
watch on right wall. Move to the right. Save game. 
Operate Grill. 

Arcade sequence: The way through this maze of 
tunnels is the most complex and convoluted path. 

In Disguise and in the Hands of the Enemy. In 
the bathroom, operate soldier. Take clothes. Take army 
boots. Take laces. Use laces on soldier. Take napkin. 
Use napkin on soldier. Take glass. Walk off the bottom 
of the screen. In the corridor, walk off the bottom of the 
screen. Walk through the first of the three doors at the 

In room off of the corridor (called the drawer room 
by Delphine Software), operate the lower right hand 
drawer. Examine the lower right hand drawer. Take 
blank stamp. Operate the drawer that is one up from 
the bottom left. Examine the drawer that is one up from 
the bottom left. Take laces. Use laces on James 
(John). Walk off the bottom of the screen. Walk back 
up to the corridor just below the bathroom. Walk right 
to the corridor junction. Wait for information then walk 
down. Walk through the door. Use glass on water 
fountain. Operate garbage dump. Take life raft. Exa¬ 
mine clothes. Take mission instructions. Go back 
through the door from which you entered the room. 
Walk into the upper right hand corridor. Walk left. Walk 
through the right hand door. 

You are now in the officer’s room. Save game. Use 
full glass of water on officer. Take the stamp while the 
officer is drinking. The officer will give you back the 
glass. Walk off bottom of the screen. Go right. Operate 
cigarette case. Examine all cigarettes. Operate blue 
ring cigarette. Use cigarette paper on glass. Walk off 
the bottom of the screen. Walk through the door. Use 
stamp on ink pad. Use ink pad on mission instructions. 
Walk off the bottom of the screen. Walk off into the 
upper left hand corridor. Use fingerprint on fingerprint 
ID. Walk out open door. 

You are now in the security corridor. Walk off the 
screen to the right. Use authorized mission documents 
on the mailbox. Walk off top of the screen through the 
open door. Use electric cable on electric plug. Exa¬ 
mine razor and operate razor, if necessary. Use razor 
on trash can. Walk off the screen to the right. Save 

You are now in the master control room. The next 
sequence must be done very quickly. You may need to 
slow down or otherwise adjust the speed of the arcade 
sequence. Wait until razor voice starts. Use red 
cigarette on computer. After the computer blows up, 
operate Otto. Use compact disk on CD player. Walk off 
screen through the upper left hand corner door. Walk 
along window to the right of the screen. 

An Explosive Ending. While hanging from the 
helicopter, use the elastic band on the bomb. When 
falling, operate lifeboat. Sit back and enjoy the winning 
animated sequence. 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 51 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

F-29 Retaliator 

The Ultimate Tactical Fighter! 

Review by Don Elmore 

The box art describes the F-29 
Retaliator as a futuristic aerial treat 
with a choice of two different air¬ 
craft, four battle environments and 
dozens of different tactical mis¬ 
sions. Actually, Ocean Software 
Ltd’s F-29 provides four battle 
environments with over 91 different 
missions! They range from training 
scenarios at an Air Force Test 
Range in Arizona, to a “friendly 
nation” in the Middle East where 
friendly aircraft are outnumbered 3 
to 1, to the Pacific Ocean where 
naval targets abound, to “Europe 
196” described as the “ultimate” 
battle front. 

Choice of Aircraft! 

This is definitely a “high tech’ 
game, and is extremely challenging 
for even the most advanced arm¬ 
chair jet jockey. Although the game 
is titled F-29, you are given a 
choice of aircraft. You may choose 
between the Lockheed F-22 
Advanced Tactical Fighter or the 
Grumman F-29 (both referred to 
hereafter as the ATF). These babies 
are hot. 

The well written 38-page 
manual provides the following 
technical specifications. These new 
ATFs fly at Mach 1.4 to 1.5 and can 
cruise at altitudes of over 70,000 
feet. According to the manual, the 
primary design goals for the new 
SUPERCRUISE. Regarding the 
STOL (Short Takeoff & Landing) 
feature, a 60,000 lb. ATF, fully 
loaded with fuel and armament can 
take off from a rough surface, 2,000 
ft. runway (or aircraft carrier deck). 
As for STEALTH, the ATF is built 
with radar absorbent materials 
which employ wing to body blend¬ 

ing design, significantly reducing its 
radar cross section (by a factor of 
100 compared to the F-15). 
Regarding the SUPERCRUISE 
capability, the ATF can maintain 
Mach 1.4 (1000 mph) without using 
afterburners. Its combat range is 
700-900 miles. 

Supersonic Plus!! 

Parts of the manual are better 
understood if the reader is (or has 
been) a tactical jet fighter pilot. For 
example, in praising the enhanced 
capabilities of the ATF, the manual 
states that the ability to cruise with 
full armament at greater altitudes 
“at supersonic speed covering the 
ground from 75% faster than a 
subsonic cruise type, reduces the 
fighter’s exposure time by a factor 
of 3 in the shrunken danger zone.” I 
think that I almost understand that. 

I am very impressed with the 
ATF’s extreme maneuverability at 
almost any speed. That is because, 
unlike the earlier tactical fighters 
that relied heavily on hydraulic sys¬ 
tems to move the control surfaces, 
the ATF uses powerful computers 
to interpret (read anticipate) what 
the pilot really wants to do. Thus, 
even as I pull back on the control 
stick, on-board computers simul¬ 
taneously deflect the vectoring 
nozzles upward and the appropriate 
wing flaps downward, rotating the 
fuselage upward almost instantly. 
This becomes painfully obvious in 
actual air combat when you are 
trying to dodge enemy missiles. 
The Heads Up Display (HUD) has a 
“G” loading indicator that informs 
you of the gravitational force being 
exerted on the plane (and your 
warm body). If the “G” load 
exceeds 8, you can’t see it because 

the screen fades to black for a 
while. There is also a “Red-out” 
feature (blood rushing to your 
head) as you level off after a 
high-angle, high-speed ascent. 

So now, how do we go about 
putting this ATF through its paces? 
Well, there are some purely 
administrative steps to complete 
first. After booting the program, you 
are asked to “enroll” in the Air 
Force and select your rank. Yes, I 
said select! You can choose to start 
out as a First Lieutenant or Captain, 
or Major, Lt. Colonel or even a full 
Colonel. The higher the rank cho¬ 
sen, the more points awarded for 
each mission, but keep in mind that 
the higher the rank, the more diffi¬ 
cult the mission will be to complete. 

Name Your Poison! 

After joining the Air Force, you 
then proceed to choose one of the 
four battle scenarios offered. Num¬ 
ber 1 is the USAF Test Range in 
Monument Valley, Arizona and 
contains various targets and remote 
control vehicles; a true simulation of 
a hostile war zone. Number 2 is the 
Middle East and consists of (among 
others) missions against enemy air¬ 
fields, communications tracking 
stations, oil refineries, tank brigades 
and chemical processing plants. 
The final mission in the Middle East 
scenario (accessible only after 
completing all of the others) is 
“Abyss,” described only as a secret 
or special range of missions in the 
final chapter of that war. (I haven’t 
reached that level yet). 

The Pacific missions in scenario 
Number 3 consist mostly of attacks 
on enemy war ships and super 
tankers, with some additional bat¬ 
tles with hostile MIGs. The “Biggie” 

Page 52 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

in this scenario is Number 4, the 
Europe 196 missions. Battles in this 
scenario range from engaging (and 
hopefully destroying) incoming 
MIGs to providing close aerial sup¬ 
port against Red Army tanks, des¬ 
troying key bridges and enemy 
airfields, wiping out radar tracking 
stations and SAM emplacement, 
blowing up enemy armor and/or 
supply columns, and decimating 
industrial complexes and chemical 
factories...etc. As in the Middle East 
scenario, there is also an ultimate 
war update consisting of three 
secret missions; Saviors, Retaliator 
and Hour Glass. 

Regardless of which ATF you 
select, you have virtually identical 
screen displays. Each scenario 
begins with you already in the 
cockpit ready for takeoff. You are 
looking forward, at the instrument 
display and the HUD and on out the 
window. The HUD can be toggled 
on or off, but I keep mine on. I’ve 
come to depend on a gun sight 
when trying to coax my on-board 
armaments to seek out and destroy 
those @%*# / '*& that are doing 
their best to positively ruin my day. 
Also, I’ve decided that while alti¬ 
tude, air speed and compass bear¬ 
ing information is available some¬ 
where among the instrument read¬ 
ings, they are much easier to see 
and understand in the HUD. 

Weapons Galore 

Both ATFs have seven weap¬ 
ons pylons, four external and three 
internal (in a bomb bay to reduce 
air drag). The weapons are awe¬ 
some! They include two top-of- 
the-line interceptor air-to-air mis¬ 
siles; the AIAAM Fire Bolt (range 
155 miles) and the AMRAAM120A 
(range 31 miles). These are de¬ 
scribed as “Fire and Forget” mis¬ 
siles because they have active 
radar homing capabilities. You can 
also select the AIM9M-R-SIDE- 
WINDER or the AIM132, both short 
range missiles (11 and 9 miles 
respectively) whose speed of Mach 

3 is a bit slower than the long range 
missiles’ Mach 5 and 4. There is 
also available the BACK-WINDER 
9X, a rear-mount short range mis¬ 
sile that locks on the attack radar of 
the enemy fighter(s) behind you, a 
CYA smart missile! 

Some Really Nasty Ones! 

The air-to-surface weapons 
are equally impressive. Enemy air¬ 
fields can be subjected to the 
MRASM cruise missile, also called a 
SOM (Stand Off Missile). This baby 
has a digital scene matching area 
correlation (whatever that is) and 
carries a payload of 58 tactical 
airfield attack warheads. A “launch 
and leave” missile, the MRASM 
drops right down to the ground and 
flies for several hundred miles, 
hugging the landscape until it 
locates the enemy airfield. Then it 
heads right down the center line of 
the runway ejecting bomblets that 
produce a neat row of craters 
guaranteed to effectively dissuade 
takeoffs and landings. Or, you can 
order up a MAVERICK AGM, the 
latest generation of the Maverick 
family; a self-homing killer. 

And don’t forget the CSW mis¬ 
siles (Conventional Stand-off 
Weapon) which can actually dis¬ 
tinguish between tanks and low- 
value trucks or decoys. It has 20 
warheads that separate over an 
area and home in on particular 
targets. It is especially effective 
against tank or armor formations. Of 
course, in addition to all of the 
above options, each ATF carries 
twin nose gun cannons with 1760 
rounds of ammunition. The ATFs 
can sting, bite or devour entirely at 
your discretion. 

Both fighters are also equipped 
with quite an array of sophisticated 
“defensive” combat capabilities. 
The enemy threat panel has over a 
half dozen instruments and lights 
that will help you in combat. If you 
are “acquired” by enemy radar, a 
light will appear on your panel, and 
if the enemy launches a missile at 

you, you will see a large bright, 
flashing light. You also have a radar 
warning receiver that detects any 
threats (air or ground) within a 24 
mile range (sort of a rudimentary 
horizontal radar). For long range 
detection (and evasion) you have 
an electronic counter measures 
radar jammer, and when you are 
being tracked by enemy radar, or a 
radar-guided missile, you can 
release chaff, which effectively 
blinds enemy radar. 


Believe me, life can become 
quite busy in your cockpit, even 
when you are successful in 
attacking the enemy. On repeated 
Pacific missions, I’ve managed to 
locate (and sink) the enemy battle¬ 
ship. However, in several of those 
attacks, even though I sunk her, as 
she went down, she fired missiles 
at me. My instrument panel lit up 
like a Xmas tree and I was plenty 

cold watching her sink.because I 

had to eject and view her slipping 
below the surface while hanging 
from a parachute. 


As in other combat fight simu¬ 
lations, F-29 provides several dif¬ 
ferent viewing angles. You can 
“look” forward, backward, to the 
right or left. You also have a fixed 
North and South facing view from 
outside the aircraft (as if from a 
wing or chase plane). There is also 
a special “satellite” view from 
approximately 80,000 feet overhead 
with your aircraft always at the 
center point of the view. You can 
zoom in (and out) from any of the 
exterior views. The eject sequence 
is neat, you can use it by pressing 
the <Escape> key twice within 3 
seconds. Or, you can respond to 
instrument instructions to eject (the 
same way). Yes, your ATF will 
decide when and if your survival 
depends on bailing out! Hint: watch 
the screen carefully when you 
eject; you will usually get a glimpse 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 53 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

of your fighter diving or flying away. 
Depending on the circumstances of 
the ejection, you can still get credit 
for a successful mission even 
though you have donated your 60 
million dollar aircraft to posterity. 

Really Good Graphics 

I find the graphics quite im¬ 
pressive. Insignificant black dots on 
the horizon develop into realistic 
looking enemy aircraft, canvass tar¬ 
gets, enemy tanks, supply trains, 
battleships, whatever. But, I have 
learned that if I consistently wait to 
watch the dots turn into viable 
targets, by the time I can appreciate 
the detail, I also see their missiles 
coming at me. I’ll end this review 
with a short description of how I 
worked my way into the simula¬ 
tions. I chose the lowest rank (for 
the easier missions), picked the 
Arizona test range and chose the 
first mission (finding and destroying 
two canvass targets). 

350 Knots P/H and on the 

As soon as I accepted the 
mission, I was on the landing strip, 
in the cockpit, ready to go. I applied 
engine power, added flaps and 
released the breaks. The fighter is 
so hot that I could (and did) accel¬ 
erate to 350+ knots before lifting 
off. But, I soon learned that achiev¬ 
ing any speed over 300 knots 
without retracting the landing gear, 
damages it, and it is most difficult 
to land without wheels wheeling. 
So, I carefully roll out to 140 (or 
maybe 185) knots and lift off, 
retract the landing gear and the 
flaps, and then climb to approxi¬ 
mately 1,000 feet. In the Arizona 
scenario, the runway is North- 
South and you take off due South 
(180 degrees, more or less). After 
proceeding South at 350 knots, for 
about one minute, I slowly execute 
a 180 degree turn and head back 
North. I reduce my speed to 185 
knots, and drop down to about 350 
feet of altitude. Eventually, I see the 

runway from which I took off, and I 
further reduce the speed to 140 
knots, add flaps, drop the landing 
gear and try to line up on the center 
line of the runway. I continue de¬ 
scending ever so slowly, and (if 
lucky) manage to touch down on 
the center line and eventually apply 
the breaks to stop. Then, I take off 
and do the whole thing again, and 
again, and again. I have finally 
reached the point where I can take 
off and go to any of the scenario 
sectors and return successfully. I 
have also managed to accomplish 
many of the easier missions. I can 
take off from the aircraft carrier ... 
but haven’t quite gotten the knack 
of landing on it, yet. Your on-board 
computer generates a display of a 
moving map showing your direction 
as well as terrain features and even 
targets. That, plus your clearly 
stated mission assignment, will 
enable you to easily find the speci¬ 
fic target selected. 

I guess what I am saying is that 
I am taking the slow, cautious 
approach to this game ... those of 
you with more flying experience, 
can jump right in and fight. Oh, 
when you are in the “admin” phase 
of the game, there is a choice 
called “Zulu Alert.” This scenario 
provides a quick entry into the 
game and places you, with unlim¬ 
ited weapons in a “shoot-em-up” 
game in your selected scenario, 
starting in a mid-air dog fight 
against a squadron of enemy fight¬ 
ers. A practice mission. 

I am running this game on a 
520ST with enhanced memory, it 
also runs well on the 1040. It will 
not run on the Mega 4, but does 
run on a Mega 2 (with Tos 1.4) 
Bottom line, this is quite a game 
and should offer many hours of 
different degrees of challenging 
missions. Go for it!!! 

Debonair Software 

We do few things. But we do them right. 

Star Base 

Interested in astronomy? This 
may be a program you have 
been waiting for. More than 9000 
brightest stars. Planets, Sun and 
Moon. Various projections, ref¬ 
erence frames and magnifica¬ 
tions. Sort, select, find, identify- 
-and enjoy. 

Programs by 
J.Andrzej Wrotniak 

El Cal 1.3 

How to improve a classic. From 
senior high to Fermilab, people 
are using it—and coming back 
with new suggestions. And we 
listen. This new version adds 
statistical weights and errors, 
operations on data columns, 
random numbers, complex 
roots—and more. 

Both programs run on any ST or Mega, color or monochrome (Star Data requires 1 MByte). 
MoniTerm and TOS 1.6 OK. Prices include one update. 

To order, send a check or money order for $44 (El Cal), $43 (Star Base) or $81 (both) to 
Debonair Software, P.O.Box 521166, SLC, UT 84152-1166 
Outside continental U.S. and Canada add $5 for shipping. Utah residents add sales tax. 

Page 54 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 




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Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

Utilities Plus 

A Smorgasbord of Useful Utilities 

_Review by H. Earl Hill 

Utility programs come in two main flavors. One 
flavor is the myriad of programs, either freeware or 
shareware, available through various sources. These 
are notorious for endless revisions of bug fixes, minor 
improvements, or possibly even abandonment. The 
quality of these can also be of a quite uneven nature. 
With their separate DOC files, you can also wind up 
with reams of loose pages of documentation. 

As an aside, one source of continual irritation to 
this reviewer is the infinite revisions of some programs, 
both shareware and commercial ones, where we see 

1.94, 1.96, 1.97, 1.98.etc. The object of these is, 

apparently, to provide the latest bug fixes, added 
capability, more speed, etc. However, I think a little 
more caution should be exercised, as excessive use of 
this principle may be hurting both the shareware 
concept as well as commercial programs. I think you 
know the ones I mean. 

To continue, the other flavor is the commercial 
utility package having a collection of programs and a 
bound manual. Usually the programs comprise a 
variety of files capable of helping out with all types of 
computer use activity. Updates, when available, 
generally are of substance rather than minor bug fixes 
or cosmetic improvements. 

MichTron’s Utilities P/us is a good example of the 
second category. It is a collection of utilities under five 
main classifications: 1) MichTron Utilities, 2) STuff, 3) 
Superdirectory, 4) M-Disk Pius, and 5) DOS She/i 
These have been issued previously, although not 
necessarily in as complete a form, as separate 
packages. The collections are not anonymous (a 
welcome feature!) but are authored by well-known 
programmers such as Timothy Purves, J. Weaver, Jr., 
and Mark Feldman. These names give an attribute of 
quality to the programs. 

Due to the length of the manual (246 pages) and 
the total number of the files, it is a little difficult to 
discuss in depth each program file. Alternatively, I’d like 
to present an overview of each main section and 
discuss the contents of each in a selective fashion. 

Michtron Utilities 

MichTron Utilities is a program for advanced users, 
although its features can be used by anyone as their 
experience grows. The manual divides its use into two 
logically separated chapters. The first describes the 
individual functions. The second describes the applica¬ 
tion of these features. Under functions, you have the 

ability to view/change the disk sectors or files at the 
byte level, copy/verify sectors, (re)format tracks, search 
for strings, clear sectors, change file parameters, and 
recover deleted files. 

The second chapter discusses how to use the 
functions. For example, solving common problems, 
making file alterations, changing volume labels, and 
repairing damaged disks. These powerful functions, 
which are very well done, allow the experienced 
programmer to do things not otherwise possible. Due 
to their power, however, extreme caution is advised 
when using any of them. One missing feature, which 
would have been a helpful addition, would have been 
the addition of a dissasembler. 

There are several supplemental utilities thrown in 
for extra measure. These programs are a screen 
snapshot and a format program. Two disk copy 
programs are included. One, M-Copy, copies only the 
in-use parts of the disk. The other, MiDupe, is a 
back-up utility, which can copy some disks with weak 
protection schemes. My only negative would be the 
brevity of the write-ups, especially that on Snapshot, a 
very useful screen dump program. M-Copy is rather 
restricted in its utility, since it does not format the 
unused sectors. 


STuff is a collection of compatible programs and 
desk accessories. The experience level required to use 
the collection ranges from the novice to the advanced 
professional. System requirements for each program, 
e.g., resolution, hard drive, etc., may vary. The 
collection is divided, in the manual, into five sections, 
one for each of the different types of programs 


These are programs to be used in the ST’s AUTO 
folder upon boot-up. (They are executed in the order 
in which they are placed in the AUTO folder, not that 
shown in the listing). Caution must be used in the 
placement of programs to be run from the AUTO 

Autodate: For those without battery-backed clock 
cards, this program remembers the last time your ST 
was booted, and allows you to easily modify the date 
and time. The system date and time are saved to the 
Autodate file—therefore it needs no .DAT file. 

Page 56 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

Hardauto. This goes in the hard drive AUTO folder 
and executes the programs in the order in which they 
appear in the directory. Upon completion, the remain¬ 
der of the programs in the AUTO folder on Drive A are 

Reset. After installation, pressing the RESET button 
will execute a “cold boot” which will reinitialize the ST. 
Reset can also be run as a TOS program from the 
Desktop to restore full memory usage after a program 
such as MAKE512K has been used. 

ST Select. This is a program similar to the public 
domain program Acc/oad. In fact, a number of PD and 
even commercial programs, in expanded form, owe 
their parentage to many of the MichTron utilities. ST 
Select allows selection and deselection of AUTO folder 
programs and desk accessories by changing the last 
character of the extension of the program or accessory 
file. The selection status is changed, but the files 
themselves are neither changed nor deleted. 

Several other miscellaneous programs also fall 
under this division. The titles are essentially self- 
explanatory of their function. These are: Capslock, 
High, Onehand, Keycombo and Verify. 

Desk STuff 

Autogem. There is only one file in this category 
(accessories), but it is a very useful one. Autogem (with 
its .DAT file) allows the selection of a program to be 
auto-executed upon boot up. Any GEM program can 
be automatically run. Additionally, Install Application, 
used with a data file, can also be run. Programs within 
folders are no problem. The only criticism of Autogem 
is that it is somewhat slow in execution. And, of course, 
it is no longer needed with the newer TOS ROM chips. 

GEM STuff 

Autofold This program allows reordering of files in 
the AUTO folder. It is conveniently used along with ST 
Select. Having the .PRG files in the AUTO folder in the 
correct order is becoming becoming more important 
than ever, since so many .PRG files are being put in 
the AUTO folder, and their execution is critical. (The 
order listed on the Desktop is not necessarily the order 
in which they run). As more and more of these “AUTO 
Folder” programs are developed, the potential for 
conflicts (sometimes disastrous) is greatly increasing. 
For example, for a hard drive, driver programs should 
go first; date setting programs, such as Autodate, 
should go before other programs that require the 
system to know the correct date; and CodeHead’s 
HotWire (a new commercial program), as an example, 
should run last. 

Filelock. Not just a simple file lock, this sophistica¬ 
ted program encrypts and decrypts selected files along 
with a password. A useful program, but one to be used 
with a lot of caution. 

TOS STuff 

TOS programs are of a unique type. Unlike TTP 
programs, they do not require or accept parameters 
from the calling program. They also do not use the 
GEM interface, but instead use the VT-52 emulation 
output. Their utility lies in that, hiding under a .PRG 
extension, they may be put into the AUTO folder where 
they are run before the system arrives at the GEM 
Desktop, thus avoiding conflicts. 

The two TOS utility programs are 512K, which 
reconfigures system memory to 512K for problem 
programs. ( Reset can be used to go the other way). 
Note that only memory is adjusted, not addresses. The 
second program is Keycode, a nice little program to 
show the scan codes of the keys, a handy feature for 
programmers, or just for the curious. 

TTP STuff 

This section contains seven TTP programs to 
perform various operations like printing, sorting or 
editing disk files. There are programs to compare files, 
delete files, and to change file attributes. Two pro¬ 
grammer’s tools are included to display files in hex and 
to display file headers. These are all useful programs, 
but without a shell program to run them, the typing in 
of the parameters could become a little tedious, 
especially to those becoming devoted to GEM. The 
filenames are abbreviated; users might find it more 
convenient to rename them to more descriptive names. 

Super Directory 

It’s someone’s law that you never have enough 
disks. A corollary to this is that it’s hard to keep ahead 
of the disks you have. Super Directory aims to help out 
with this task by providing a disk cataloging GEM 
program. It helps keep a record of all your floppy and 
hard disk files in a conventional database type 

Super Directory allows you to load, save, search, 
sort and print your recorded files. Each disk must be 
given an index code. Edit allows adding a category or 
remark statement to the index. Aside from fine details 
of use requiring experience with the program, intuition, 
and careful reading of the manual, the only adverse 
feature would appear to be the small number of pages 
(13) in the manual devoted to describing all the ins and 
outs of a program as powerful as this. 

M-Disk Plus 

This is a combination of two separate programs, 
M-Disk and S oft Spool. M-Disk sets up a RAM disk; 
the other program sets up a printer spooler. After 
configuration, the programs are installed in an AUTO 
folder (is there any room left in it?). Use is conven¬ 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 57 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

DOS Shell 

By far the largest portion of the manual is devoted 
to DOS She// and all its features. This program was 
written to allow those experienced users of MS-DOS 
the use of an environment that mimics MS-DOS. The 
DOS She// also is faster than the GEM system. Some 
functions, such as multiple file handling, are much 
easier due to the availability of global commands. 

For the inexperienced MS-DOS user, the typing in 
of commands as opposed to the GEM system will take 
a while to become accustomed to. For those desiring 
to learn, the best bet is probably to get one of the 
many books on MS-DOS and to do some homework. 
It is impossible without doing a separate review to 
cover all the features of the DOS She//. Suffice it to say 
that ALL the MS-DOS commands that the ordinary 
user would want are available. 


Utilities P/us comes with a clearly written, 246 page 
bound manual. The manual is divided into five parts, 
with the chapters running consecutively. Besides a 
well-done table of contents, the manual contains an 

excellent index, which is made even more useful by its 
arrangement into sub-categories for each of the main 
parts of Utilities Plus. The printing and reproductions 
are excellent, with the exception of a few minor 
unimportant typos. 

An excellent feature of the manual is the extra 
information on items such as system problems, dis¬ 
cussion of how a particular program works, cautions on 
use, helpful tips, background technical information, and 
details as to how to install and use a particular 


To conclude, Utilities P/us would be recommended 
if you are looking for a good all-in-one collection of 
useful and helpful utilities. The documentation is well 
done, and particularly on target with helpful hints, 
warnings, instructions for set-up and use, and 
explanations of what is going on. The utilities all appear 
to be essentially bug-free. Overall, there is something 
for nearly everyone in this collection. 

[Michtron, /nc. 3201 Drummond P/aza, Newark, DE 
19711. 1-302-454-7946. FAX: 1-302-454-1403.] 









with DASH's unique MS DOS compatible 10 sector format 
you gain 10% extra sapce on all your disks. 

Simply keep DASH on your most used d»ks and run it in 
either low, medium, or high resolution. 


DASH will copy a disk with bad sectors simply replacing 
bad data with spaces or zeros. 


DASH will check every disk you copy for viruses and 
report and remove them if required. 




NEWARK.DE 19711 

PHONE: 302 - 454 - 7946 

Working with several applications at once can be a juggling act 
- and all too often it's an awkward exercise that requires 
patience and practice just to keep movingl The Juggler has 
perfected the art of smooth transitions between several 


Some of MichTron’s most useful programs: hMchTron Utilities - 
helps keep control of your Atari ST files, DOS Shell - emulates 
the popular MS-DOS commands used by all IBM compatible 
computers, M-Dlek Plus - a RAM disk and printer spooler, 
STuff - a package of 21 different utility programs for all ST 
users and Super Directory - makes filing and organizing your 
disk files fast and simple. 

Hard Drive 

Turbo Kit 


In this three-in-one package you will have all the utilities 

necessary to keep your machine running at its peak speed and 


• Backup your hard disk to floppy disks. 

• Restore your files from the backup after an accident, or 

• Select whether to backup hidden files and/or system files. 

• Rewrite your files to contiguous blocks on the hard disk to 
speed up the time it takes to access files. 

• Hold recently accessed disk sectors in your computer's 
memory, allowing quick and easy re-accessing of these 

Page 58 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

Mr. Turner’s first book, The Atari ST Book, is a 
must for any newcomer to the ST computer. This little 
blue book contains a wealth of hints, tips, and 
instructions beyond those covered in the owner’s 
manual. It can save the user hours of searching 
through other resources and documentation plus the 
usual requisite trial-and-error experimentation it can 
take to master the computer. Continuing in this 
tradition of presenting ST material in an easily under¬ 
stood manner, Turner brings us his second book. 

While a programmer friend says he believes the 
“Advanced” doesn’t belong in Turner’s newest book’s 
title, skill level labeling is, after all, an arbitrary process. 
A bold disclaimer on the book’s bright red cover 
proclaims that “no knowledge of programming [is] 
required.” I feel confident in enthusiastically endorsing 
this book, while at the same time, being somewhat 
hesitant about who will find this book most appealing. 

I found Intermediate and Advanced Atari ST 
Subjects helpful because, by nature and by aptitude, I 
am not a programmer. My writer’s curiosity is such that 
I have read enough about programming to acquire an 
omnibus rather than concentrated skill level, which 
helps me make informed trouble-shooting decisions. 
By having a limited, if not a working, knowledge of a 
subject, I feel I understand better the logic behind a 
program’s operation. Again, this is probably an arbitrary 
matter, but I believe this knowledge shortens the 
learning curve each time I tackle a new program. The 
first two chapters in Turner’s book, “Binary Code 
De-Mystified” and “ASCII, Hexadecimal and Decimal” 
provide the groundwork for this basic behind-the- 
screen programming knowledge. 

The next three chapters explain, in rudimentary 
terms, the basics behind disk structure, data storage, 
and file recovery. Turner explains the manner in which 
floppy disks are formatted, giving further details on 
sectors, clusters, the FAT (File Allocation Table) and a 
disk’s directory. Turner walks the reader through the 
necessary steps to recover an accidently deleted file 
using the public domain Tiny Tool program. 

While Turner’s writing style is awkward at times, he 
does a fine job of proving that mastering an advanced 
computer function, such as file recovery, doesn’t have 
to be a difficult task. This and other explanations are 
quite effectively illustrated with screen snapshots. 

For those so inclined, Mr. Turner provides a 
detailed explanation on how he went about assembling 

his own hard drive. 
Regardless of whether 
you’re willing to sit down 
with a table full of parts 
and assemble your own or 
simply prefer to buy a 
ready-made commercial 
product, Turner explains the concepts surrounding 
hard drive operations. This not only assists the user in 
making an informed choice when purchasing such a 
drive, but aids in optimizing its use once that drive 
becomes part of the user’s set-up. His explanation on 
disk caching is understandable and informative. If you 
have any curiosity as to whether or not your computing 
would benefit from the addition of a hard drive, 
Turner’s coverage on this subject provides the infor¬ 
mation you need. 

Turner also sprinkles comments about TOS 1.4 
throughout the book. Unfortunately, TOS 1.4 isn’t a 
topic listed in the index, so isolating those references 
is up to the reader. Turner did convince this reader, 
however, to add TOS 1.4 to my Mega 4. Eliminating the 
“forty-folder bug,” which Turner describes in some 
detail, was sufficient reason to convince me to add this 
inexpensive upgrade. 

The opening comments in Chapter 8, Connecting 
5 1/4-Inch Floppy Drives, are examples of why I 
dislike the question-and-answer format Turner occa¬ 
sionally uses in his book. Responding to the question 
as to whether a 5 1/4” IBM floppy can be used with an 
ST, Turner answers, “Yes, but in order to do so you’ll 
need to connect an IBM-type 5 1/4-inch floppy disk 
drive to your ST.” This style sometimes causes Turner 
to overstate the obvious, which distracts from the 
otherwise useful information he conveys. 

The balance of Chapter 8 explains the process of 
either building your own 5 1/4” disk drive, complete 
with details on what parts and precautions are needed, 
versus simply purchasing a unit specifically designed 
for use with the ST, such as the one available from I.B. 

The next chapter is a brief, five-page explanation 
of IBM hardware versus software emulation with 
information on the advantages of each. The final 
chapter, Miscellaneous Subjects, rounds out the book 
by covering such topics as undecipherable disk 
directory characters and mouse acceleration. 

Appendices supply ASCII Control Character defini¬ 
tions for the ST, sources for public domain software, 
and addresses of the suppliers mentioned in the book. 

[Intermediate and Advanced Atari ST Sub¬ 
jects, by Ralph Turner, Index Lega/is Publishing Co, 
P.O. Box 1822-3, Fairfield, /A 52556. $16.95. ($2.00 
shipping & handling in U.S.A.; $2.50 Canada)] 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 59 

NEW ST Software 

B.A.T. $42 

Codename: Iceman 34 
Curse Asure Bonds 31 

Disney Educational 

Cyber Paint 2.0 
Cyber Studio 2.0 
DC Desktop 2.0 
DC Utilities 2.0 
Defender II 

Goofys Express 


Deluxe Paint II 


Mickeys Zoo 


Diamond Back II 


Donalds Alphabet 


with Cache 


Dragons Lair II 






F-19 Stealth Fighter 


Final Command 


F-29 Retalitor 


GFA Assembler 


Fighter Bomber 


GFA Basic and 

Mission Disk 


Assembler Bk/Dk 


MaxiFile 2.0 
Mug Shot 

NeoDesk CLI 
Nine Lives 

Pagestream 1.82 1 

Pagestream Fonts 
Phasar 4.0 

Prospero Products 

Grammar Grandslam 23 

G+plus 1.3 


Fortran v2.11 

Hard Drivin’ 2 




Pascal v2.11 

High Energy 


GFA Basic 3.5e Pak 


Developers Kit 

Horror Zombie Crypt 34 

Developer Bk/Dk 


Quick ST 2.21 

Judd Dredd 




Quick Tools #1 

Mig-29 Fulcrum 


GEM Utilitity 





Mission Control 


Sim City 



3.5E Upgrade Kit 



Sesame St. Letters 


Beckmeyer Products 

Speedball II 

Sesame St. Numbers25 

H/Disk Accelerator 23 


Team Suzuki 


H/Disk Sentry 



Tom & the Ghost 


H/Disk Toolkit 


ST Replay 8 

Turbo STvl.84 







Heroes Quest 


Templicity (LDW) 

Atari ST Software 

Hot Wire 2.3 


Their Finest Hour 

1st Word Plus 3.20 


Hot Wire + (Maxifile) 



3 in 1 Football 


Hoyles Games #1 


Tracker ST 



Hoyles Games #2 



Atomic Robokid 


ICD Clean Up 3.20 


Font 16 

Back to Future Pt2 


Image Cat 


Font 17 

Basketball - Pro 


Kidgrid, Super 



Get The Most Out Of Your ST 

From the publishers of ST Format magazine comes a 172 
page book filled with reviews of graphics, music, 
wordprocessing, DTP, accounts, spreadsheets, comms, 
databases, video, printers, hard drives, scanners, emulators 
and much more. Includes the top 50 all-time great games 
reviewed plus 100 handy hints, tips & cheats. PLUS two 
disk crammed with handy utilities & quality programs. 


Cadaver 31 

Bloodwych 22 

Data Disk Voll 17 

Calamus 1.09N 169 

Calamus DTP Book 31 
Calamus Font Editor 57 
Calamus Outline 164 

Captive 29 

Codekeys 23 

Commando 30 

Colonels Bequest 34 

Courtside Basketball 22 

Kidpainter 21 

Kidpublisher, Pro 21 

Laser C 2.0 110 

Laser dB 47 

Lattice c 5.06 149 

LDW Power 2.0 103 

Leisure Larry 3 34 

Lookit & Popit 23 

Ml Tank Platton 35 

Mark Williams C 104 

Mark Williams Debug 43 
Master Sound 2 69 

Universal Item #3 15 

Ultima 5 35 

Virus Killer 12 

WordPerfect 144 

Word Writer ST 36 

Word Up 3.0 49 

Xenomorph 29 

Yeagers AFT 2.0 26 

Import Magazines 
ST Action w/Disk $7 

ST Format w/Disk 7 

ST User w/Disk 7 

ST World 6 

PC Leisure 6 

PC Plus w/Disk 8 

6 month subscription 
(includes postage) 
ST Action w/Disk $47 

ST Format w/Disk 47 

ST User w/Disk 47 

PC Leisure 41 

PC Plus w/Disk 53 

New Retail Location: 

Computer Express 
Starlite Plaza Shopping Center 
1812 Pulaski Highway 
Edgewood, MD 21040 

Atari ST Software Bargains 

$7.50 - Phobia, Golden Path 
$8.50 - Artie Fox, Death Sword, Gold of the 
Realm, International Soccer, Netherwords, 
Out Cast, Outlands, President Elect ’88, 
Project Neptune, Roll Out, Skyfox, Space Sta¬ 
tion Oblivion, Star Wars 
$9.50 - A Question of Sports, Action Service, 
Alcon, All Aboard, Arkanoid, Bubble Bobble, 
Bermuda Project, Buffalo Bills Rodeo Games, 
Circus Attraction, Demons Winter, High Steel, 
Major Motion, Moebius, Ogre, Operation Hor- 
mus, Phantasie II, Power Struggle, Questran 
II, Roadwar 2000, Space Harrier II, Starglider, 
Wargame Construction Set, Warship, 
Wizards Crown 

$10.50 - Chase H.Q., Cosmic Relief, Grand 
Prix, Harrier Strike Mission, Karateka, Lords 
of Conquest, Nebulus, Paperboy, Skulldig- 
gery, Universal Military Simulator 
$11.50 - A.P.B., Alien Fires, Bad Company, 
Bangkok Knights, Galaxy Force, Hellraiders, 
Hyperforce, ISS, Mindbender, Mystery of the 
Mummys, Postman Pat, Rock & Roll, Seven 
Gates of Jambala, Skrull, Skychase, Slayer, 
Soldier of Light, Starblaze, Stormlord, 
Xenophobe, Xenon II 

$12.50 - 3D Pool, Bio Challenge, Commando, 
Barbarian, Chrono Quest II, Menace, Never¬ 
mind, Stryx, Pro Soccer, Terrorpods, Terry’s 
Big Adventure 

$13.50 - Army Moves, Atax, Bally-Ho, Bom- 
buzal, Chuckie Egg I, Colorado, Conflict: 
Europe, Crackdown, Custodian, Cybernoid II, 
Desolator, Dynamite Duxs, Dr. Doom’s 
Revenge, Dynasty, Fernandez Must Die, 
Ghostbusters II, Growth, Harley Davidson: 
Road to Sturgis, Impossible Mission II, Inter¬ 
phase, Ivanhoe, Kid Gloves, Killdozers, 
Moonmist, Mr. Heli, Platoon, Red Lightning, 
Rotox, Rourke’s Drift, Scramble Spirits, 
Shadow Warrior, Starbreaker, Star Com¬ 
mand, Stellar Crusade, Super Cars, 
Switchbalde, The Munsters, Tower of Babel, 
Twin Worlds, WARP, Zork I, Zork II 
$15.50 - Butcher Hill, Conqueror, Dragon 
Spirit, Klax, Galdregon’s Domain, Quest for 
the Timebird, Manhattan Dealer, Verminator 
Michtron Specials - BBS 3.0 ($30), DASH 
($15), Fleet Street Pub 3.0 ($60), Hisoft Basic 
($20), Hisoft Basic Pro ($60), Hisoft C ($40), 
ProText ($40), Saved ($15), Tempus II ($25) 

Purchase 4 or more of any of the titles and 
receive FREE UPS 2nd Day Air Shipping (US 
mainland only). When order from the above listing 
have substitutes ready as quantaties are limited 
l on some items. 

Directions: Interstate 95, exit#74 (Magnolia/Joppa), 
follow signs toward route 40 (approx. 3/4 mile). At 2nd 
traffic light make a left at route 40. Starlight Plaza 
Shopping Center is located on your left 3/4 mile from 
traffic light. 

Approx. 20 miles NE of Baltimore 

Order Line 

US and Canada 


Computer Products 

Information Line 

Order Status / Tech 

Complete ST Hard Drives 

44Mb Removables Systems 
Complete ST Ready (i-Cartridge) $699 

44Mb Removables and Fixed Hard Drives 
30Mb 40ms $949 30Mb 28ms $969 

49Mb 40ms 979 49Mb 28ms 999 

84Mb 24ms 1089 85Mb 28ms 1049 

105Mb 19ms 1199 210Mb 19ms 1579 

Shoebox case only, INCLUDES 1 cartridge and 
ICD AdSCSI Plus Host Adaptor (with clock) 
•$10 for ICD AdSCSI Host Adaptor (no clock) 
$79.00 for Additional Cartridges 

Shoe Box Style Fixed Hard Drives 

30Mb 40ms 


30Mb 28ms 


49Mb 40ms 


49Mb 28ms 


84Mb 24ms 


85Mb 28ms 


105Mb 19ms 


210Mb 19ms 


345Mb 14ms 


668Mb 14ms 


Complete SCSI Hard Drive Kit 225 
Includes ICD AdSCSI + Host Adaptor (with clock) 
-$10 for ICD AdSCSI Host Adaptor (no clock) 

ICD Monitor Style Fixed Hard Drives 

30Mb 40ms 


30Mb 28ms 


49Mb 40ms 


49Mb 28ms 


84Mb 24ms 


43Mb 25ms 


105Mb 19ms 


210Mb 19ms 


Complete SCSI Hard Drive Kit 269 
§ Includes ICD AdSCSI + Host Adaptor (with clock) 

MEGA ST Internal Hard Drive Kits 
1 43Mb 25ms $399 105Mb 25ms 599 

■ 210Mb 19ms 999 

Includes ICD AdSCSI Micro Host Adaptor plus 
| installation instructions. These are low power 

consumption hard drives 

Bare SCSI Drive 

1 SyQuest 44Mb Removable w/Cartridge 495 


| All Hard Drive Systems and Kits are shipped 
i with 30Mb+ of PD/Shareware/Demo Software 

_ Atari ST Hardware 

Atari 1040 STe Computer (1 Mb RAM) $389.00 

Atari 1040 STe Computer (2Mb RAM) 499.00 

Atari 1040 STe Computer (4Mb RAM) 599.00 

with STe Computer Clock Chip add 40.00 

Atari 1040STe Clock Chip (Joppa Software) 42.00 

Atari SCI435 Stereo Color Monitor 329.00 

Atari SMI24 Monochrome Monitor 169.00 

Atari SF314 DS Disk Drives 159.00 

Atari ST TOS1.4 Chip Set (2 set or 6 set) 89.00 

Atari MegaFile 30 Hard Drives 379.00 

Best Electronics ST Mouse 40.00 

Best Electronics ST Trackball 52.00 

Cordless Mouse (Practical Solution) 75.00 

DVT Hard Disk Backup System 69.00 

Forget-Me-CIock II Cartridge 42.00 

Golden Image Mouse 41.00 

ICD AdSCSI + Host Adaptor (w/CIOCk) 94.00 

ICD AdSCSI Host Adaptor 84.00 

ICD AdSCSI Micro Host Adaptor (Mega ST) 79.00 

ICD AdSpeed ST Accelerator 225.00 

IMG Scan 49.00 

Indus GTS 100 3.5 DS Drive (w/Track Indicator) 129.00 
Indus GTS 1000 5.25" Drive & Drive Master 169.00 

Master 3S DS Drive 129.00 

Master 3D DS Drive (w/Track Indicator) 149.00 

Monitor Master (Practical Solutions) 28.00 

Mouse Master (Practical Solutions) 23.00 

ST/ime Clock Chip 42.00 

Supercharger 395.00 

Supra 2400 Modem (with ST cable) 99.00 

Tweety Board (Practical Solutions) 25.00 

PO Box 226 

FAXed orders deduct $2.00 shipping 

RAM Upgrades 

Xtra RAM Upgrade (2.5Mb Max) 


Z-RAM (2.5Mb Max) 


Z-RAM (4Mb Max) 


Z-RAM (for Mega ST 2’s) 


AERCO (1040ST or 520STf only) 


2Mb DRAM Chips (80ns) 


21085 / FAX Line (301)676-2989 



2nd Day 







3% min $6.00 





3% min $6.00 

Hard Drive 




3% min $10.00 

COD Orders 





We accept Visa and Mastercard with no additional charge, 
EXCEPT on hard drives, add 3%. All software sales are final. All 
defective products are replaced with the same item. Non-defective 
returns are subject to a 10% restocking fee. All prices and product 
availability is subject to change. 

All orders of less than $20 add an additional $2.00 i 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

Rick Dangerous 

Arcade Action Archeology 

A Review by Alfred C. Giovetti and Allison A. Giovetti 

Remarkable Resemblance 

“Just Remember that X never 
marks the spot,” said Harrison Ford 
playing the character, Indiana 
Jones, in the movie “Indiana Jones 
and the Last Crusade." Rick 
Dangerous is surprisingly like Indi¬ 
ana Jones. Rick has a brown fedora 
hat with a wide brim, a short brown 
leather flight jacket, a pair of knee- 
high, black, shiny-leather boots, a 
six-shooter revolver, and “some 

Rick Dangerous is in search of 
archeological artifacts deep in the 
depths of the earth. Rick Dangerous 
is up against Amazonian Tribesmen, 
Nazi (“Nazis, I hate these guys!”) 
agents, ruthless assassins (the guys 
with the fezzes) and other assorted 
bad guys. Rick has to dodge ram¬ 
paging boulders, poison blow darts 
and deadly pits at every turn. Rick 
Dangerous battles hostile tribesmen 
in an Amazonian temple, dodges 
persistent assassins in an Egyptian 
pyramid in order to recover a price¬ 
less gem, liberates prisoners of war 
from a fortified castle and saves the 
free world by destroying a Nazi 
missile base, singlehandedly. The 
opening screen of Rick Dangerous 
is right from the opening scene of 
the first Indiana Jones movie: the 
massive boulder rolling toward our 
hero who is wisely running away 
from this challenge. The only thing 
that saves Rick Dangerous from 
being an Indiana Jones clone is 
that he emulates Teddy Roosevelt 
and carries a big stick in place of 
the Indiana Jones’ trademark bull 

Rick Dangerous is an arcade 
adventure game, which is heavy on 
the arcade action. Rick Dangerous 
is not a new game; it was released 
almost a year ago on the Atari ST. 

Rick Dangerous \% one of those rare 
games that never seems to lose its 
appeal. My children, ages 12, 11, 9 
and 7, are constantly playing it on 
one of the eight computers that we 
have. Rick is a very playable and 
seductive Indiana Jones rip-off. It is 
one of my children’s favorite games 
out of the thousands of disks and 
cartridges of video games. At the 
beginning of the game you are 
given six lives, six bullets and six 
sticks of dynamite. You accumulate 
points for eliminating angry antago¬ 
nists, freeing prisoners, collecting 
boxes of weapons and golden 

The story begins in South 
America in 1945. “ Rick Dangerous 
crash lands his plane over the 
amazon while searching for the lost 
Goolu Tribe. But, by a terrible twist 
of fate he lands in the middle of a 
bunch of wild Goolus. Can Rick 
escape these angry Amazonian 
heathens?” In the next scene or 
screen, we see Rick Dangerous 
running down a cavern corridor 
pursued by a rolling rock sphere 
that just barely fits in the corridor. If 
we fail to keep Rick ahead of this 
rolling boulder, he screams 
“WAAAAHHH,” most convincingly. 

The Plot Thickens 

The object of the game is to 
survive, as with many arcade action 
games. You have the option of 
blowing up your opponents, shoot¬ 
ing them or, in some cases, avoid¬ 
ing them. If another character 
touches Rick, he is dead. After the 
initial animated sequence of Rick 
parachuting out of his plane into 
the arms of a waiting Goolu warrior, 
who chases him, the game opens 
up with the initial sequence. The 
game screen is divided into two 

sections. The upper section is a 
control panel the whole width of the 
screen which is about 1/4 inch high. 
The control panel displays in equal 
sections from left to right: the 
number of points accumulated so 
far, the number of explosive 
charges, bullets, and the number 
of lives remaining for Rick. The 
bottom portion of the screen, below 
the control panel, makes up the rest 
of the Atari ST monitor and is a side 
view of the action. 

Rick’s World 

The game has 120 screens of 
action separated into four separate 
missions. The missions involve run¬ 
ning the gauntlet of the Amazonian 
temple, successfully traversing the 
Egyptian temple, freeing the pri¬ 
soners from the castle of evil and 
eliminating a Nazi missile base set 
to destroy the world. The screen is 
a side view similar to the one you 
see in many arcade games like 
Psychognosis’ Barbarian. The 
players are small and round, 1/2 
inch tall characterizations of living 
people. The screens are composed 
of stone walls, ceilings and floors, 
wooden platforms, spiked traps, 
masks, ladders, hand and foot 
holds cut into the stone walls, 
levers and moving walls. Each 
screen is a physical puzzle that you 
and Rick must solve. There are floor 
switches and levers that activate 
traps or wall sections. You must 
activate the levers and floor 
switches in the proper sequence to 
be able to complete the screen and 
move into the next one. The graph¬ 
ics have high detailing and use 
anti-aliasing and shading to per¬ 
fection. Still, Rick Dangerous does 
not have the best animated graph¬ 
ics I have seen, but they are visually 

Page 62 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

striking and unusual, if a little car¬ 
toonist). The authors have both a 
sense of humor and timing. The 
game has a comic feel to it that 
begins with Rick’s large stupid 
looking grin. Whatever the chal¬ 
lenge, Rick just keeps on smiling. 

Puzzle Oriented Action 

One of the nice things about 
Rick Dangerous is that it is puzzle; 
it is not combat oriented. It is a 
pleasant change to have something 
else to do, but hack and slash. Do 
not get me wrong, you will kill your 
share of natives, dancers, assas¬ 
sins, Nazi agents and others. But 
most of the game screens are 
setup as puzzles with levers, floor 
switches, falling pieces of stone, pit 
traps, hand and foot holds cut into 
the wall for climbing, platforms to 
jump from. The traps are ingenious 
and involved and sometimes Rick 
must die several times before you 
can solve a puzzle scene. There are 
plenty of tunnels, ladders and 
drop-offs to keep the average 
arcade adventurer happy, and 
interspersed between these normal 
challenges are the real puzzles. 

Music and Sound Effects 

The program uses the music 
capabilities of the Atari ST to pro¬ 
duce some pretty convincing 
screams, explosions, gun shots, 
and other sounds. These sounds 
are very good and are much better 
than what we usually see in an 
arcade game. The obligatory musi¬ 
cal score changes for the introduc¬ 
tion of each level. The music is 
suspenseful and is something like 
the silent movie background music. 
The use and quality of sounds is 
much better than average. 

Dangerous Deficiencies 

Yes, Virginia, Rick does have 
some deficiencies. Rick Dangerous 
has no save game feature. When 
Rick dies you must replay the entire 
game to get back to the point 
where the situation, trap or adver¬ 

sary has killed off our hero. This 
process must be repeated until you 
solve the puzzle of the screen and 
are allowed to go onto the next 
screen. The game is quite good 
and going back over the beginning 
scenes is not that much of a task. 

For those who do not enjoy 
replaying the entire game, the only 
cure for this is the “pooky” cheat. If 
you get onto the high score screen 
you can enter pooky as your name. 
You can now start a new game at 
any level in the game. In my 
experience, Rick’s “pooky” cheat 
only works after finishing off the 
Amazon temple and you are in the 

..a unique and 
enjoyable arcade 

Egyptian level or beyond. After you 
loose all of your lives and you type 
“pooky" on the list instead of your 
name, you press the fire button on 
your joystick and a screen will 
come up that will allow you to 
choose from the four levels of the 
game. This cheat should work on all 
versions of the game. 

Computer Compatibilities 

Rick Dangerous will run on the 
Atari 520ST, 1040ST and Mega ST. 
The game is also available for the 
C64/128, IBM-PC (joystick not sup¬ 
ported) and Amiga. A color monitor 
is required. A joystick is also 
required. Mouse control is not sup¬ 
ported. The joystick control is quite 
good. The only problem experi¬ 
enced with the joystick control 
occurred when you use the joystick 
to shoot the six gun and you must 
push the button and push the 
joystick up. These two operations 
(button pushing and pushing up the 
joystick) must be done at precisely 
the correct time or Rick will jump 
instead of shooting, usually into the 
arms of the waiting enemy. To 
avoid this problem, you need to 
push the button before you push 

the joystick up. Some users have 
complained about not being able to 
shut off the sound on the game, 
which is not a problem on the Atari 
ST. On the ST if you do not like the 
sound you simply turn the sound 
down or off on your monitor. I 
found the sound effects to be one 
of the best features of the game. 
The sound provided some of the 
best humor in the game. More 
instruction and additional descrip¬ 
tion of how the game works would 
have been useful in the all too brief 
player manual. 

Cliffhanger Conclusions 

Overall, Rick Dangerous is an 
excellent game. Rick is a humorous 
and enjoyable blend of excellent 
animation, graphics, and sound. 
The puzzles and challenges Rick 
faces are humorous and entertain¬ 
ing. Firebird is now in the process 
of developing Rick Dangerous II. At 
this time, MicroProse is not sure if 
they are going to pick up Rick II for 
United States distribution. I would 
not recommend Rick Dangerous for 
those people who enjoy role play¬ 
ing adventure games and do not 
enjoy arcade games. Rick Danger¬ 
ous is a very unique and enjoyable 
arcade game; but Rick is an arcade 
game, not a computer role playing 
adventure game. I recommend Rick 
dangerous very highly for those 
who enjoy arcade adventures. 

[Rick Dangerous, $34.95. Fire¬ 
bird programmed Rick Dangerous. 
Released in Europe by Microprose. 
US rights held by Microp/ay, a 
division of MicroProse. Distributed 
by Meda/ist International, 180 Lake- 
front Drive, Hunt Valley, Maryland 

Time to RENEW? 

Check the mailing label on your 
issue of Current Notes. If you 
see the expression 9103 on line 
one, it means that your subscrip¬ 
tion ends in month 3 of 1991, i.e., 
the March issue, this one, is your 
last issue. Please renew ASAP. 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 63 

MakingMoneyWith YourST 

Part I: Selling and 
Other Delights 

Atari provides an excellent tool for 
creating income 


In addition to being practical, educational, and fun, 
your Atari ST computer can help you earn extra cash or 
even become a central factor in the way you make a 
living. But right up front you need to know that your ST 
is only a tool and, like any other tool, just having it 
doesn’t mean you’ll make money—unless you can 
operate the tool effectively and provide some type of 
service useful to those who’ll pay for what you can do. 

For example, suppose you traded your ST for a 
fully equipped hospital operating room. Does that 
mean you can start performing brain surgery tomor¬ 
row? Not unless you’re a brain surgeon today! Or, 
would having all the tools in the Snap-on catalog make 
you an aircraft mechanic? 

So you see, the ST really is only a tool, just like any 
other mundane otolaryngyscope, sphygmomanometer, 
weather-head socket, wrench, laser printer or disk 
drive. A tool can only do what you make it do, limited 
by your abilities and its design. By applying your 
knowledge from another area with what the tool/ST is 
capable of, you can create an interesting alternative 

When I started with computers in 1984, about all I 
knew pertaining specifically to them was how to type. 
But that didn’t stop me from making money with the ST 
the second week I had it. More on that later. 

In fact, when I bought my 520ST, I didn’t even 
know all the reasons why I was laying out the money. 
But I knew I couldn’t live without a computer! My setup 
included an Atari SF354 single-sided 3.5” floppy disk 
drive, Citizen 120D dot matrix printer, Soft Logik’s 
Publishing Partner, Timeworks’ Data Manager ST, 
computer paper and ten blank disks. 

Today, I have sort of a “dream system,” with 2.5 
megabytes of RAM, Ca/amus and other publishing 
software, double-sided floppy and hard disk drives, 
modem and laser printer. 

As an illustration of how little I knew at the start, I’ll 
risk your ridicule and try to be brave by sharing this 
with you: I asked the salesman what the blank disks 
were for. Now, you might enjoy laughing at my naivete 
and ignorance, but I admit I didn’t know anything about 
computers then. (Funny thing, I haven’t learned much 
since....) We all had to start somewhere, right? The 

point is, you don’t have to be a computer guru to go 
out and make money with your ST. 

To illustrate, here’s a list of 12 ways to use your ST 
and get paid for it: 

1. Greeting Service—Your modem and ST dial 
phone numbers at specified times to wake people up, 
check on their well-being or anything else. Rise and 

2. Individualize cards and booklets —Customize 
existing or create new with wordprocessing and desk¬ 
top publishing software and clip art. Be creative, or just 
look like it! 

3. Information service —Use your modem to 
research financial/real estate/tax and other information. 
Sell to the highest bidder! 

4. Message center—Start a “Dial-A-(whatever)” 
line, a 900 line, an electronic or voice mailbox, or your 
own bulletin board system. Hurry! Call now! 

5. Sales organization —Market a product or ser¬ 
vice (the ST and software like Sales Prows indispens¬ 
able for telemarketing and business related activities). 
What a deal! 

6. Travel agency/advisory— Provide a service of 
scheduling travel and accomodations like any other 
agency. All aboard! 

7. Lottery results—Have a recorded message of 
the popular lotteries’ winning numbers for the week. Hit 
the jackpot! 

8. Professional data base management— Create 
a data base of patients and appointments for medical 
and dental offices and clinics. Call to remind patients a 
day or two before their appointments, saving both 
parties time and money. Or, create a data base of 
members’ activities for other organizations. Churches 
like to know who’s coming to church, how often they’re 
coming, and what amount of money they’re donating in 
the weekly offering, among other things. Gracious! 

9. Alarm monitoring —Burglar and fire alarm 
companies hook their alarm systems to phone lines. 
You monitor activity and call the authorities. Dial 911! 

10. Games —There must be dozens of people (kids 
included) in your neighborhood who’d be interested in 
learning and playing games. Start a tournament; have a 

11. Instruction —Teach people how to operate a 
computer or use specific software. Househusbands, 
businesswomen and countless others need to know 
the skills, but haven’t acquired them yet. It’s back to 
school time! 

12. Desktop publishing business —Create dyna¬ 
mic resumes, reports, proposals, letters, newsletters, 
newspapers, manuals, texts, manuscripts, books, 
magazines, catalogs, advertisements, flyers, invitations, 
menus or any type of document. Provide a typesetting 
service. Enter the exciting world of publishing! 

The last one, desktop publishing, is the main way I 
use my Atari ST for business right now, so here and in 

Page 64 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

Part Two next time, I’ll explain its role in my success, 
and pray my journey/story will help you in your own 
hunt for satisfaction. 

Recently, I landed a $47,032 project with a Japa¬ 
nese industrial company. I’m waiting for confirmation 
on a $189,000 bid for the military (ever wonder why 
hammers cost the government $600?). Although these 
represent the largest sums I’ve ever dealt with as an 
individual, most of the work is for more modest 

Several projects in the $2,500-$6,000 range have 
come in, with many $25-$1,000 opportunities monthly. 
And I’m just a guy working out of his house with an ST! 
So, have faith. If I can do it, you can do it, too. 


There are many freelancers with IBM, Macintosh, 
Amiga and ST computers. We compete against adver¬ 
tising agencies, print/photocopy shops and graphic/ 
technical publications businesses, all of which have 
tremendous overhead expenses. 

These high costs include building and office space 
fees; salaries for management, secretarial and other 
staff (who usually have little or nothing to do with 
producing the actual work); and, of course, sales 
people, often called account executives, who collect 
salaries while trying to find work and are paid commis¬ 
sions for bringing in jobs. 

The people actually doing the work at these 
organizations make about $8 to $25 per hour. Their 
employers’ charges range from $35 to $250 and up per 
hour or final page. A page an hour is the average on 
most jobs and includes research, writing, design, layout 
and proofing. 

Illustrations, photos or halftones (black-and-white 
photos rendered into dot patterns called halftones) are 
extra and have their own rates. If you get involved in 
the printing and mailing part of a job, it’s customary to 
markup the charges by 15% for your time involvement, 
although some agency-type places mark things up as 
high as 600% (gulp!). 

Astonishingly, places with incompetent staff fre¬ 
quently are awarded large contracts. Maybe their 
clients fall for a slick sales presentation or are im¬ 
pressed by a fancy office. One graphics company I 
know of created instruction sheets about installing 
bathroom racks for a prime account. This agency failed 
to include any safety information. Visualize a person 
drilling into the wall, encountering a live electrical wire. 

Just as shocking, a machinery service manual was 
being done at a place where I worked. As I explained 
what had to be done to a new employee (the key 
illustrator on the project), she had to ask, “What’s a 
nut?” and “What’s a bolt?”! As you probably guessed, 
this 6-week project became completely messed up. 
Eleven months later, after I’d left that company, I met 

with the client. The job still wasn’t done! Convince 
customers you’re as good or better than a big com¬ 
pany. And don’t be depressed because you lack a 
fancy office with 3 secretaries, 5 managers, 20 com¬ 
puters and 38 employees. I compete against outfits like 
that all the time by offering superior quality, sen/ice and 

Clients only want to know you can do the work and 
get it to them on time, with a minimum of their 
involvement. They don’t always care how you create 
the work or what kind of computer you have; after all, 
people have been writing since primitive times on cave 
walls and birch bark. 


Frequently, expense isn’t too great a concern as 
long as the price is reasonable. Companies usually 
take three bids for a job, and when they compare my 
low rates with those of an agency, lots of conversa¬ 
tions occur. 

I educate them about what they’re really paying for 
with big companies—the overhead and unrelated 
expenses, while a possibly incompetent or inexperi¬ 
enced person does the work, or too many cooks stir 
the broth. Before your pricing is explained, you may 
have to substantiate your abilities by showing work 
samples and providing references. 

I’ve been given lots of work for being the lowest 
bidder and often I’m the only bidder because I’ve 
convinced the right people of my abilities. 


The difference for me has been knowing how to 
get people to pay for the work I do. Some call this 
“salespersonship,” or the ability to sell. 

Personality plays a large role. Having sales skill is 
an aspect of most success stories in America, but if 
you haven’t sold or don’t feel confident about repre¬ 
senting yourself, relax. You could ask a person you 
have confidence in to help you get some work going in 
exchange for a commission. Eventually, you’ll learn 
how to represent yourself and your work, and be on 
your way to business autonomy. 

Essentially, selling, like the ST, is just another tool, 
and one you don’t immediately need for making money 
with your computer skills. Chances are, you’ve “sold” 
yourself by getting someone to go out on a date with 
you, or in employment interviews that led to positions 
at the companies you’ve worked for. 

Selling your sen/ices is about the same; just get on 
the phone, get the right person on the line, and say 
something like, “Hi, my name is Joe Blough (or 
whatever your name really is). I’m not a salesperson at 
all, but I am interested in meeting with you to discuss 
your current and future publish-ing needs. Are you 
available Tuesday at 10, or would Wednesday at 3 be 
better for you?” 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 65 

Whom to Contact 

The “right person” is the owner (or manager) of 
smaller businesses and the head of whatever depart¬ 
ment you want to assist in larger companies. It could 
be the marketing director, data processing manager or 
MIS supervisor. 

Figure out before calling what you’re going to say 
and who would be the likely decision maker for buying 
your services. Make friends with the phone reception¬ 
ist, and enlist her help. 

If no one seems to know exactly what “desktop 
publishing” is, or who handles “technical documen¬ 
tation,” say, “Gee, I’m really sorry for causing you all 
this trouble. I know you’re very important and very 
busy. What is your name?” 

Make a note of the name, then use it. 

“Ms. [whatever], you’re probably the only one at 
your company who could help me. Would it be 
possible to speak with the [personnel director, market¬ 
ing manager or a vice president—use one or all until 
you get results]? 

“That person would know what I’m talking about. 
It’s very important to your company that I speak with 
someone immediately. I know you’re busy, Ms. [what¬ 
ever], and I have to say you’re one of the most 
professional executive assistants I’ve ever had the 
pleasure of talking to.” 

Secretaries and receptionists are very important to 
you if you want to talk to or see the right people, so be 
nice to them. Besides, my mother is one! 

You’ll also find they’re quite knowldegeable and 
helpful, a valuable information resource. Eventually, 
you’ll have a very good working relationship with them, 
so treat them as well as you do anyone else. 

They often screen callers and may seem like 
obstacles to your efforts, but they’re only doing their 
jobs. Let them know they’ll be playing a part in helping 
their companies benefit from your sen/ices! 

People have a natural resistance to salesmen and 
respond quite favorably when they learn you’re the one 
who would be doing the actual work. This favorable 
response may be due to the elimination of a middle 
(sales) person and its associated perception of higher 

How to Get Work 

Before this article becomes a sales training 
manual, I’ll conclude with some final advice about 
acquiring work to do on your ST. Start calling around 
your area, getting the word out about what you can do. 
I’ve had luck with doing advertisements and flyers for 
businesses, menus for restaurants, brochures for auto 
body shops, and resumes for individuals. Any reason 
why you can’t start this way? You’ll eventually progress 
to bigger things. So far, my biggest ST-created ven¬ 
ture was a 430-page technical manual. I know you can 
do similar work. 

Create some literature about your services, using it 
as a marketing tool to show off your talents and help 
bring in business. Superior desktop publishing results 
involve not only good writing but excellent design and 
layout skills, too. 

There are many books on the subject, and the 
most important guideline for me has been keeping 
everything “clean” and simple, leaving a lot of blank 
areas (known as “white space”) on the page if pos¬ 
sible. Project requirements/restraints can prevent that, 

Selling is a strange animal and requires persis¬ 
tence. You’ll have long periods between quoting work 
and actually starting a job. There’ll be dry spells. All of 
a sudden, a monsoon of work will flow in. Stay on the 
phone and schedule work the best you can to avoid 
rush jobs and idle times with no income. Exercise to 
feel good and keep a positive attitude. You can start 
the way I did, by doing work part-time apart from 
regular hours in a completely unrelated field. I worked 
for the city bus company. So that proves the old 
phrase, “If I can do it, you can do it.” 

Again, I have to emphasize, make sure you really 
are able to provide what you say. If you can look at a 
menu and see how to make improvements, talk to the 
restaurant manager about redoing it on your ST. On the 
other hand, if you just look at menus to select your 
meal without seeing room for improvement, go ahead, 
order your food and think about making money some 
other way. 

A Case Study 

The menu bit worked for me. While enjoying a 
burger, fries and chocolate malt in the dining room of a 
local drive-in restaurant, I noticed the menu was poorly 
arranged. The logo was the only illustration. The food 
listings were misorganized, with malts, hash browns 
and other unrelated items listed under the “Sand¬ 
wiches” subheading. Although the place is famous for 
its French fries, they didn’t appear on the menu listing 
at all. 

I spoke to the owner, telling her my observations 
and asking, “just out of curiosity,” what she pays for a 
menu (the range is anywhere from $35 to $100). That 
way, she was given some free ideas and I learned 
menu pricing while avoiding a pushy, stereotypical 
sales approach. She could have taken the ideas and 
run with them, but was impressed by my interest and 

When I said I’d like to do the menu over for her on 
my computer (SALES HP: Notice how I didn’t ask for 
anything, I just stated what I’d like to do), she gave me 
her business card, two of the menus for reference and 
asked how soon I would have a new menu done. 

With food clip-art from Current Notes’ Public 
Domain Disks #249 and #250 (Clip Art Nos.10 and 11) 
and other sources, a bit of creativity, and my ST 

Page 66 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

system, I came up with a very stunning, highly effective 
menu. Before showing my work, I had the menu 

When I presented the “before” and after menus, 
the restaurant owner was overwhelmed by the profes¬ 
sional appearance and design of my version. She 
asked, “How much is this going to cost me?” 

“What do you think it’s worth?” was my reply. The 
first one to mention a price loses in any transaction. 

“Hmm,” she fondled the menu, turning it over 
several times, “This is the best menu my restaurant’s 
ever had. I think the ad agency would charge me about 
$150 or more for something like this ....” Her voice 
trailed off as she continued admiring her new menu. 

“Well, I’m not an ad agency,” I said, “I don’t have 
the high overhead of an expensive office, three secre¬ 
taries and five managers running around, trying to 
justify their salaries and figure out what to do. I’m just a 
guy with a computer in his house. And I love the food 
here. I sort of felt obligated to you, as a customer. Are 
there any other things I could do, any advertisements 
or anything?” 

There’s how to increase business with customers. 
Since she already “owed” me for the menu, but hadn’t 
paid anything yet, she probably felt obligated to give 
me something else. Plus, she liked my work. So, she 
told me about an upcoming television commercial. We 

agreed on $50 and a free meal for my two hours of 
computer play with the menu, then discussed the 
details for the t.v. ad. 

In most cases, I agree on a price before doing any 
work. The price may be an hourly rate and an estimate 
of how much time would be involved, with an addi¬ 
tional figure for expenses like paper, copying fees, 
hiring and coordinating freelance artists, photo¬ 
graphers, etc. Other projects are figured on a lumpsum 
or total cost basis, leaving all the intricacies to me. 

With new and particularly good accounts, I offer a 
discount as incentive to get them started with me and 
make a decision more rapidly. Usually, it reads, “10% 
discount if terms are agreed to within thirty days.” 

You Can Do It 

Try it yourself. With some bravado and a little 
observation of menus, flyers you find attached with 
little green rubberbands to your doorknob, and other 
business communications, you’ll create some impres¬ 
sive accomplishments and make lots of money. I’m 
sure you’ll do fine; let me know the results! 

In Part Two next time, I’ll explore the resume¬ 
writing part of my business and talk about pitfalls and 
how to avoid them. Included will be an assessment of 
working with copyrighted materials. That’s all ahead in 
Current Notes, so don’t miss a single issue! 

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7 'sealer Inquiries Welcomed 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 67 

Atari XL/XE 

CN Review 


Best of the Best 

Review by David J. Harris 






If you have ever had the desire to figure out your 
finances, calculate a loan, finish your taxes, or do just 
about anything concerning numbers, the program you 
want is SynCa/c 130XE. This program is to 8-bit 
spreadsheets what PaperC/ip is to 8-bit word process¬ 
ing. SynCalc is a super number crunching program 
which, like PaperC/ip, has received very little publicity 
over the years other than word of mouth. Programs of 
this caliber are just one of the reasons so many have 
clung to their trusty 8-bits for so long. 

SynCalc is used daily in my household for budget 
purposes and ranks second on the overall usage list 
right behind PaperC/ip. Even though it is over six years 
old, it still stacks up well against many newer 
spreadsheets that run on more powerful machines. 
Many of its features are Lotus like in nature and very 
easy to use. 

On the down side, it may be a little hard to find 
since it has been discontinued for some time. I seem 
to remember reading somewhere that No Frills Soft¬ 
ware was selling either originals or limited run copies. 
Regardless, it is definitely worth looking for. I fail to see 
why Atari does not buy the rights to programs like 
SynCalc and PaperC/ip and bundle them with the 
130XE or the XF551 drive. [Editor’s note: Atari is no 
longer actively shipping 8-bit systems, although many 
merchants in the “Twilight Market” still offer 8-bit 
hardware. You might be able to purchase SynCa/c 
from one of the 8-bit sources listed in the December 
1990 Current Notes. See “The 8-Bit Alchemist” else¬ 
where in this issue for a running update on sources of 
8-bit hardware and software.] 

SynCa/c is one of only a handful of programs that 
actually takes advantage of the extended memory of 
the 130XE and the numerous 256K upgrades. SynCalc 
bankswitches the extra memory of the 130XE to give 
you a whopping 84K worksheet. 

However, unlike PaperC/ip which will bankswitch 
memory up to 320K, SynCalc users are limited to the 
initial 84K worksheet mentioned above. The older 
version of SynCa/c had a respectable 21K of work¬ 
space. Not bad for a 64K machine. 

If 84K isn’t enough for you, check into the little 
known, but nonetheless excellent, Ramcharger board 
for the old 800. This memory upgrade will give you 
288K of workspace for SynCa/c and SynFUe. This 
should satisfy most home and small business needs. 

On a sad note I wrote Broderbund a couple of 
years ago (before SynCalc was discontinued) con¬ 
cerning possible future 80 column enhancements and 
larger RAM worksheets. They regretfully informed me 
they had no plans to upgrade the program due to 
limited sales. Strike another victory for software piracy. 

SynCalc comes with an excellent manual that is 
easy to understand and well laid out. It even has a 
quick reference card that is an invaluable aid when the 
manual is not handy. The manual takes the time to 
walk you through the process of setting up your own 
spreadsheet and gives many useful tips for saving time 
and avoiding errors. 

Commands can be entered in one of two ways; by 
using either the popup window menus or the type in 
commands with the slash key. There are two types of 
windows: text and numeric; they really take advantage 
of the excellent colors available on the XE/XLs. I 
usually use the window menus because they are so 
easy to use, and I seldom have the time or patience for 
typing the commands in with the slash (/) key. Don’t 
get the wrong idea, that the type-in commands are 
difficult. They’re not. It’s just that I’m incredibly lazy. 
Commands are very much like Lotus and make perfect 
sense: R for row, C for column, E for erase, etc. 

Like most excellent spreadsheets, SynCa/c comes 
with a wide variety of financial, statistical and math 
functions. Most of these, I must confess, are a little out 
of my range. Despite my rather weak math back¬ 
ground, I have been able to put together with relative 
ease some rather impressive financial spreadsheets. 
My greatest triumph to date has been putting together 
a budget spreadsheet that keeps running totals of my 
bills in two different currencies. 

Two of the most important groups of commands in 
SynCa/c dse the Format and Global Format commands. 
They are very easy to use in altering your worksheet’s 
appearance to fit your data entry needs. The worksheet 
can be modified in just about any way imaginable. 
Columns can be resized, text can be centered or 
justified left or right, and you can even select the 
degree of accuracy after a percentage point. While 
almost anything can be either Global Formatted or 
Global Unformatted, you have to be careful with 
SynCa/c’s most potentially dangerous command: Glo¬ 
bal Erase (/E#). When used, the whole spreadsheet 
disappears in front of your very eyes. If it was not 
previously saved, your precious work is lost forever. 

Here is an important tip for speeding up data entry 
that I had to find out about the hard way. Remember to 
disable the Automatic Recalc mode and then set it to 
Manual Recalc. By using this method calculations are 
only activated when the START key is pressed, saving 
precious time when entering data. 

Page 68 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari XL/XE 

Since the Atari 6502 processor is running full speed 
at only 1.79 MHz, it does get bogged down as the 
spreadsheet grows in size. After a few hundred cells 
have been filled in it can take two or three seconds for 
the cursor to move from cell to cell during data entry if 
the Automatic Recalc has not been deactivated and 
changed to Manual Recalc. 

On top of everything else, you still have access to 
all the usual commands that you expect from a good 
spreadsheet, such as Sort, Insert, Delete, Goto, Move, 
Copy, and Print. I have used SynCa/c with an Atari 
XMM801, Epson LX-800, Star NX-10, and Okidata 180 
Plus printers with no problems to speak of. 

The limitations of a 40 column display have also 
been minimized by the use of scrolling windows 
coupled with the ability to fix titles and headings to 
certain positions. You can freeze titles in place so that 
as the spreadsheet scrolls it appears to move right 
under the fixed titles. This is really handy since only a 
few columns can be seen on screen at one time. 

As if the above weren’t enough, there is even a set 
of easy to use DOS commands. You can format a disk 
as well as Save, Delete, and Rename files. Another 


Here, NOW 


CDAR 504, $595.00 

Yes Folks! The New ATARI CDAR 504, CD ROM Drive, is 
available at Computer Rock. This unit is capable of reading 
both ISO and High Sierra formats. There are currently two 
CD's available for the CDAR 504, though, any Mac or 
IBM CD an be read on the CDAR 504. 

ST Software Library Titles 

Public Domain CD ROM: 240 Megabytes of 
PD software, on one CD ROM $79.95 

Clip Art Disk: 40+ Megabytes of Clip Art, for 
desktop Publishing Image Cat, Image Cataloging 
Software included. _ Only, $69.95 

Computer Rock, 

3785 Balboa St. San Francisco, CA 94121. 

ORDER LINE (415)- 751-8573 

special function thrown in for the old Visicalc user is a 
conversion feature that allows Visicalc files to be read 
by SynCa/c. (I was unable to try this one out since no 
one I know owns Visica/c) Another feature with a lot of 
potential is the Save Text command. You can save a 
spreadsheet in text form for future use in a word 

SynCa/c does have a couple of drawbacks. For 
starters, it is heavily copy protected; forget about 
putting it on a hard drive. I have also had fits trying to 
make backup copies with my Happy 1050. SynCalc is 
one of the few programs I have that will not load in the 
Happy mode. It does load perfectly once the Happy 
mode has been deactivated. 

A couple of features I would like to see in SynCa/c 
are macros and an 80 column screen, but you know 
the odds of that happening. Built-in graphics would 
also be nice, but it works so well with B/Graph this 
really hasn’t been a problem for me. 

So take it from a number junkie who knows, this is 
one program you should not be without. You do have 
to invest some time learning to use this program, but it 
is time well spent. 

Clayton CDalnum b 



"Clayton Wain urn not only 
succeeds In teaching the C 
language, hut also explains the 
Intricacies of GEM better than 
I've seen It done anywhere.” 
--David Plotkln 

"Great stufft C-manshlp Is a 
terrific way to learn the C 
language In general and ST 
programming In particular. 
Highly recoMnmendedt " 

--Charles F. Johnson, 

CodeHead Software 

Everything you need to know to program your ST In 
C, from the basics of C to the writing of a full GEM 
application with windows, dialog boxes, and menu 
bars. Desk accessories and built-in resources, too! 

To order, send $19.95 plus $3 postage & handling (Can¬ 
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version, which Includes all programs on two single¬ 
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sales tax. Visa and Mastercard accepted. 

Taylor Ridge Books 

P.O. Box 48, Manchester, CT 06040 
(203) 643-9673 

Liam to program poor ST to C! 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 69 

Atari XL/XE 

CN Review 

Educational Software from Bresnik 

1: Word-Search Maker and Animals 

Review by Len Poggiali 



[Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a 
three-part series of articles to appear in Current Notes 
in which six new disks of educational software recently 
released by Bresnik Software into the shareware 
market will be reviewed. - B.L.P] 

Word-Search Maker 

By the time most students reach high school, they 
will have completed hundreds of word search puzzles. 
Some teachers use them as time killers, while others 
genuinely believe they serve an educational purpose. 
Both groups will be pleased with Bresnik Software’s 
Word-Search Maker. At an extremely reasonable price, 
this program takes most of the bother out of creating 
word searches. 

Unlike crossword puzzles, which test vocabulary 
skills, and cryptograms, which require logic and 
analytical abilities, word search puzzles focus on word 
recognition. This may seem like a simplistic skill, but 
with younger pupils and students requiring reading and 
spelling remediation, word searches can prove worth¬ 
while. For example, word searches can be set up using 
homonyms, words that have similar spellings but 
different meanings (such as “either” and “ether”). 
Students with certain learning disabilities or those who 
do not read carefully might learn a good deal from 
such exercises. 

Creating your own puzzles is a snap. From the 
main menu you may choose a directory of the puzzles 
on your disk in order to load an already completed 
gem, to read another directory, or to create a new 
word-search. Before you can create a puzzle, you 
must give it a title and determine how many letters 
across and down you want it to be (the maximum is 
32X32). If you’re inputting a long list of names (U.S. 
Presidents, for example), be sure to give the computer 
plenty of room to fit everything in. 

The next step is to list each of the names. Any 
errors may be corrected and additions or deletions 
made quite easily once you have learned the some¬ 
what confusing commands. After the list is completed, 
the computer takes awhile—the longer the puzzle, the 
longer the wait—to construct your masterpiece. After 
that you may save or print it to disk, change the title or 
word list, and print a hard copy. 

Printouts consist of the puzzle, the word list, and 
an answer key. The three may be printed on separate 
sheets of paper or the puzzle and corresponding word 

list may fit on the same sheet, if the teacher so 
chooses. Puzzles can be printed to screen using any 
standard Atari-compatible word processor. Also, files 
may be loaded from word processors to produce 
fill—in—the—blank puzzles with definitions of the puzzle 
words. This gives the program an additional educa¬ 
tional dimension. 

There are word-search makers out there with more 
features, that are easier to use, and that take less time 
to do the job. However, considering its price and 
availability, Word-Search Maker s a definite winner. 

Grade: B. 


Termed “a simple example of artificial intelli¬ 
gence,” Animats allows users to develop identification 
trees and save them to disk. Although possibilities for 
use by most adults are limited, youngsters will have fun 
with the program, and many teachers will deem it a 
valuable learning tool. The $5.95 price and the author’s 
permission to make additional classroom copies free of 
charge add to the attractiveness of the package. 

Initially, the program instructs whoever is creating 
the tree (student or teacher) to pick an animal but not 
to tell its name. Then the computer asks three 
questions: “Does it live on land?”; “Is it an elephant?”; 
and “Is it a herring?” Each question only may be 
answered “yes” or “no.” 

Assuming that your animal is neither an elephant 
nor a herring, after asking the three questions, the 
program will inquire as to what animal you picked. First 
you are instructed to type in the name of the animal 
and then to write a yes/no question describing it. You 
may continue in this way to add items until 200 animals 
and 200 questions about them are stored on disk. 
According to the documentation, by following a path of 
only thirty questions, one item out of one billion may 
be identified. 

Subject matter is not limited to animals. U.S. 
Presidents, planets, literary works, and the like may be 
defined, identified, and retrieved in this manner. For the 
teacher’s convenience, separate files may be placed 
on different disks. Also, by using the edit mode, an 
instructor can view or print a file, rephrase or delete an 
entry, and so on. To ensure that students do not 
tamper with files, the edit mode may be entered by use 
of a code word known only to the teacher. 

Page 70 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari XL/XE 

Printouts are fascinating, giving clues as to how the 
program thinks. Each line contains the number of the 
record, the number of the question that got you there, 
the question number you go to if a “yes” answer is 
given, the question if a “no” is supplied, and the 
question itself. The on-disk documentation, for the 
most part, is clear and concise. Occasionally a section, 
such as the explanation on updating and “reading the 
pointers to disk locations,” can be confusing. 

Despite minor flaws, this little program, if used 
effectively and imaginatively, is an impressive learning 
device. Teachers will want to design some trees 
themselves and have students run through them, 
learning the information within. Having students create 
their own trees is even better because doing so 
requires the ability to observe, to identify traits, to 
locate similarities and differences between items, to 
classify, to correctly phrase interrogative sentences, 
etc. Not bad for an inexpensive “homemade” program. 
Not bad at all! Grade: B+. 

\Word-Search Maker and Animals, Bresnik Soft¬ 
ware, 555 Ware St, Mansfield, MA 02048. $5.95 each 
plus $2 postage and handling per Bresnik order. Runs 
on XLVXE machines w/enhanced memory. 48K owners 
and 810 drive users should inquire before purchasing.] 

For your budding journalist: 


a desktop publishing program for young writers 

ft publish your own illustrated stories, posters, etc. 
ft four built-in font styles, and parent or teacher can create a fifth 
ft extensive drawing program 
ft title page, LOAD options 

ft word wrap feature, underlining, and mouse control of cursor 


.... .. 



The day was hurt id but windy and 
the kids were playing on the 
playground. The kids were 
laughing happily as they played 
on the swing and in the sand. 
Suddenly^ the wind blew a big 
cloud over the playground. 

Page 1 

Recommended for ages 5-11. Only $35. 
Atari ST/STe/Mega with color monitor required. 
Printer must accept an ST screen dump. 

Your child will love it! —we mean it! 

kidprgstfi d.a. ECtHLCVE 

a 217 337 1937 





Cable & Software 

$ 34 


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We build fast hard drives at 
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Meg (15ms). 


The name is ICE Systems and we build fast hard drives at the best prices. Every one of our 
drives has an access time of 28ms or faster! To assure highest quality we use ICD Advantage 
Plus host adapters (that’s the one with the built in clock) and Seagate Hard Drive Mechanisms. 
All drives are fully assembled, tested, formatted and guaranteed trouble free for one year. 
When you receive your drive it will be ready to plug in and go! 

The complete line of ICE Systems hard drives can be purchased from 
Rising Star Computer Products at 1-800-252-2787. See ad in this issue! 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 71 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 


A Space Opera from Melbourne House 

Review by Milt Creighton 

Games Beget Games 

There seems to be a spate of 
space games appearing just now: 
/mperium, Star Control, Interceptor, 
Just Another War in Space, to 
name just a few. I guess these 
things tend to run in cycles. 
DungeonMaster seemed to set off a 
head-long rush of imitations and 
I’m still sorting through the recent 
deluge of combat flight simulators. 
Even tank games have enjoyed a 
minor boom, with at least two major 
new ST titles debuting recently 
(Tank Platoon and Team Yanked). 
Space games were bound to get 
their chance. 

Enduring Challenge 

Supremacy is a new strategic 
space economic/combat simulation 
imported from Europe. While not as 
intricate as /mperium or Stellar Cru¬ 
sade, it is a very challenging game, 
one that could keep you enter¬ 
tained for weeks or months if you 
like such games. Supremacy is 
actually offered under two different 
titles, one produced in Europe 
(Supremacy) and the other ( Over¬ 
lord) produced for the US market. 
Only the European version is 
reviewed here. 

The storyline is a new one. You 
are the supreme ruler of your civili¬ 
sation (note the British spelling) and 
research into interstellar travel has 
accidentally opened a gateway 
from your space research facility 
into four hitherto unknown dimen¬ 
sions. Each of these dimensions 
contains a varying number of life¬ 
less planets (between 8 and 32), 
opening the way for terraforming 
and expansion of your empire and 
your ego. Unfortunately, at the 
same time that you discovered your 
gateway, so did someone else dis¬ 
cover theirs. In fact, there are four 

hostile alien civilizations, one 
poised at the far end of each 
planetary system. And to make 
matters worse, the gateways are 
now permanent. Your empire is 
threatened from all four dimensions 
(fortunately, the threat proves to be 
sequential and not simultaneous). 
Gosh, imagine the odds of all that! 

I don’t think I have ever seen a 
game stretch even fictional credu¬ 
lity to the limits this one has. 
Suspension of disbelief in Supie- 
macy requires constant effort and is 
further undermined by elements of 
the game itself. You’ll have a tough 
time willingly identifying with 
anyone in this game. Fortunately, 
the game mechanics are diverting 
enough to cause the trappings to 
be relatively unimportant once you 
get to playing the game itself. 

Supremacy comes on three 
copy-protected disks (you can’t 
put it on the hard drive) and it only 
uses one floppy drive (no matter 
how many you have). However, 
once you’ve loaded the program it 
doesn’t access the disk until the 
end-game sequence, making it an 
acceptable compromise. There is 
also a documentation check during 
logon to further foil pirates. Saving 
a game requires a specially format¬ 
ted blank disk upon which you can 
save four games. 

Supremacy has a problem with 
the T16 accelerator board in 16 
MHz mode but seems to run nor¬ 
mally with the RAM cache turned 
off (that requires a hardware 
switch), although I did experience 
several instances of the game 
freezing the keyboard for no 
apparent reason. Also, I had a 
problem running Supremacy with 
the ACER multiscanning monitor 
equipped with Omniswitch (hori¬ 
zontal tearing of the video similar to 

that experienced on a machine with 
a T16 and the RAM-cache on). It 
ran normally on a standard 1040ST 
with an RGB color monitor. 

The opening sequence is 
nothing short of spectacular. The 
music and artwork are second to 
none. In fact, the graphics in this 
game are splendid throughout. Had 
Stellar Crusade had the benefits of 
such a presentation it might have 
enjoyed the success of Dungeon- 
Master. The game manual is 95 
half-size well-written pages, about 
half of which is made up of a very 
adequate and detailed tutorial and a 
section of most-often-asked ques¬ 
tions (and answers) in the back. 

Don’t Read My Lips 

Basically, you begin with your 
planet-size research facility called 
Starbase, a population of about 
2,000 people, limited resources, 
and no space ships of any kind. Not 
exactly an empire, is it? Your object 
is to claim all the planets in the 
newly discovered star system and 
defeat the enemy commander. It’s 
done rather elegantly by raising or 
lowering taxes (thus affecting the 
growth rate of your population), 
building atmospheric processors for 
terraforming lifeless planets, buying 
domed horticultural (farm) ships 
(that can be moved onto the sur¬ 
face of any planet to feed the 
growing masses), purchasing core 
mining stations (to extract fuel and 
minerals), or solar power generators 
(to power the farms and mines), or 
cargo ships (to ship cargo and 
people), or battle cruisers (for car¬ 
rying cargo, people, and especially 

In the first contest, all you need 
to buy items is sufficient cash, but 
in later scenarios you will also need 
sufficient energy and minerals to 

Page 72 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

purchase an item. You also need 
fuel for your ships, of course. 

Specific Missions 

The planets (once they are 
successfully terraformed) are of 
several different types and are 
optimized for a particular mission: 
o desert planets produce large 
quantities of energy if equipped 
with solar collectors, 
o volcanic planets are the best for 
fuel and minerals, 

o tropical planets are best for 
food production, and 
o metropolis planets produce lots 
of people who pay lots of taxes. 
Since your burgeoning empire 
is threatened by aliens, you’ll need 
troops to defend it. There is no 
space combat in this game. All 
combat is done on the planet 
surfaces and is mostly outside of 
your direct control. You’ll build 
armies (200-man platoons actual¬ 
ly), train them, equip them (a heavy 
expense) and then ship them 
around in battle cruisers. The battle 
cruisers slip into docking bays 
(somehow that’s always a surprise) 
on enemy planets, disgorge their 
platoons, and the battle for the 
planet begins. 

About the only thing you can 
do once a battle starts is send 
reinforcements (they still allow you 
to dock if there is room) and 
increase or decrease the intensity 
of battle. The odds of victory are 
dependent on the total number of 
soldiers on each side, the state of 
their training, and the quality of their 

Winning means defeating the 
commander at the other end of the 
star system. Getting there is what 
makes Supremacy fun, and there 
are lots of economic and offensive 
and defensive strategies you can 
employ to achieve your ends. 
Naturally, you must balance eco¬ 
nomic and military goals, but it is 
not as easy as it sounds because 
Supremacy is a real-time simula¬ 
tion. There are no set turns here for 

you to sit back and casually map 
out a strategy. Time marches on 
inexorably and the enemy com¬ 
mander continues to implement his 
strategies whether you choose to 
act or not. In addition, natural 
advances and disasters occur both 
in sequence and at random, tend¬ 
ing to upset carefully laid plans. The 
ever-present tension is frustrating 
and exhilarating at the same time, 
recalling some of the white-knuckle 
atmosphere of the air traffic con¬ 
troller games of the past. 

Harder & Harder 

The scenarios are graduated in 
difficulty with the first one an easy 
win. The alien commander is very 
limited in capability and takes a 
long time to make decisions. In 
addition, he is a lousy tactician and must balance 
economic and military 
goals, but it is not as easy 
as it sounds... 

an abysmal strategist and there are 
only eight planets in the system. So 
you have a direct shot at his 
starbase. The next scenario is quite 
a bit tougher for a number of 
reasons. The economics are more 
complex, the planetary system is 
larger, and opponents are more 
adept. You don’t reap any advan¬ 
tages (other than experience and 
insight into the game mechanics) 
from your earlier victories either. 
Each contest must be won on its 
own merits. The third scenario is 
very difficult and the fourth is truly a 

The only real knocks on Supre¬ 
macy are the uneven nature of its 
pseudo-history and fact that certain 
elements of the game don’t make 
much sense even within its own 
universe. The game is played from 
a sort of central control console 
that you operate as supreme ruler. 
The problem is that a number of the 
messages displayed on the console 
don’t make sense even within the 

framework of the game. Threats 
from the other commander are 
okay, but some of the other mes¬ 
sages suggest a previous negotia¬ 
ted truce and some sort of alliance 
to back it up. Where did that come 
from? It doesn’t fit anywhere in the 
storyline even if it does serve as an 
indication of the operation of some 
of the game conditions. In addition, 
you can deploy core mining and 
horticultural stations to the surface 
of Starbase, your home planet, 
suggesting that the wealth of your 
super-developed home world has 
never been exploited! Also, the fact 
that space combat is not allowed 
between opposing battle cruisers is 
difficult to justify—especially since 
you may not ship armies on cargo 

I am also not pleased with the 
blood-thirsty end-game sequence. 
A victory concludes with your 
opponent being dragged before 
you in chains and you finish the 
game by executing him — by 
blowing off his head, for example. 
Despotic rulers aside, just who are 
the bad guys in this game? You 
might not want to look too close. 

The Bottom Line 

Supremacy is truly an uneven 
product. Its good features are 
excellent. It offers fine value in its 
production: the manual is first rate, 
the graphics and sound are superb, 
the gameplay is entertaining and 
consistently challenging, and there 
is enough substance to keep you 
coming back for more. On the other 
hand, Supremacy has no “soul.” It 
is false to its own history and 
thereby undermines its own raison 
d’etre by exposing the mechanical 
framework underneath. If it is pos¬ 
sible for you to get past that fault 
and into the game itself, you’ll find 
good value in Supremacy Likewise, 
if you demand that a game be true 
to its own roots, you’ll find Supre¬ 
macy a disappointment and may 
want to wait for the US version to 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 73 

U,ct '?h 5 jU 50(5 

Current Notes ST Library 

July-August 1990 

#460D: DYNACADD DEMO-(M) VI.76. 

CADD package, (no SAVE or EXPORT) comes 
with font editor program and several utilities. 
Req 1MB, DS. 


-(M) Working demo (no SAVE) to this com¬ 
panion program to Calamus. Req 1MB, DS. 
#462: BLOODWYCH DEMO— (C) Fully- 
playable “Dungeon Master” game. 

tally-scrolling shoot-’em up. WIPEOUT demo, 
Intergalactic Hoverboard Challenge. 

#464: PERSONAL FINANCE— Payroll 
(V3.0). Cost of Living Adjuster, Checkbook 
VI. 14, and Personal Finance Manager demo. 
BONDS— (M) Mail Pro Demo: filing and 
mail-merge system, demo ver offers limited 
entries. Req 1MB. Stocks and Bonds is a 
based on the fast action stock market game. 
#466: 16-VOICE SEQUENCER— features 
multi-voice recording, split keyboards and/or 
velocity ranges, simple editing. 

#467: MIDI MUSIC MAKER-music player 
for Music Studio 88, Music Construction Set, 
EZ-Track and many other formats. 

#468: CALAMUS FONTS#3- Advertising, 
Barnum, Casual, Celtic, Chrome, Flash, Har- 
loe, Mouse, Schoolbook, Western. Incl Atari, 
MC & VISA logos. 


-The official font editor from Soft-Logik. 
#470: CLIP ART# 14— People, in variety of 
everyday situations-Degas format. 

#471: CLIP ART#15— More People in 
Degas format pics. DSLIDE included. 

communicate over modem in color, sound, 
and motion. 


-editing and graphics creation utility, in-depth 
tutorial, and utility to convert MS files to IG 
format for playing songs over your modem. 
#474: MINITERM and MINIBBS— Miniterm 
is a full-featured desk acc. Minibbs is a 
full-featured operational BBS. 

V4.3— Hyperscreen, implimentation of the 
Hypertext concept on the ST. STDCAT, disk 
cataloger program. 

#476: ME FIRST— (C) V2.0. Interactive 
learning games/stories for children. Includes 
documentation and additional DATA files. 
V2.05, combination database and spreadsheet 
for teachers. EZ-Grade, demo of a commer¬ 
cial gradebook program. 

#478: SPACEWARS— (C) Version 1.0, new 
outer space shoot-em up game. 

#479: HERO I1D —DEMO of HERO II gam¬ 
ing system incl Dungeon Construction Set to 
create and manipulate dungeons for the 
HERO II game system. 

September 1990 


catalog of the 500+ disks in the CN PD Library. 
complete text of the Magic Sac/Spectre 
columns published in CN from 3/87 - 7/90. 
#482D: WALLACE NO.1— Cyber Anima¬ 
tions: Dr.Who and Who-K9. 6 NEO pics. 
#483D: WALLACE NO.2— Cyber Anima¬ 
tion: Albatros. plus 6 NEO and 5 PI1 pics). 
#484D: WALLACE NO.3— Cyber Anima¬ 
tions: Mad__Max and Megafugi. Marsch.spc, 
animate4.prg, and spslide.prg. 

#485: ALGEBRA I: Linear Equations- 
tutorial leading user into correct equation 
solving techniques. 

#486: ALGEBRA I: Verbal Problems- 

Covers 10 of the most common verbal type 
problems found in Albebra I textbooks. 

rations— pick adding, subtracting, multiply¬ 
ing, dividing, or a mixture of all four. Includes 
two different arcade type learning games. 
#488: GIST (Grades, Interims, Student 
Teams)— grades management program. 
Code Locator; Postal.prg, state abbreviations 
and spellings; SHREDR VI.1, permanently 
shred data from your disk; HotlStat VI.1, 
analyze ledger files created by HotWire. 

#490: THE VIRUS DISK— The Virus Killer, 
Ver 3.11, detect and eliminate viruses from 
your disks; Hospital, set of anti-virus utilities; 
Super Virus Killer; Flu, displays symptoms of 
viral infections. 

#491: WILD FLOWERS— 16 stunning pic¬ 
tures of Wisconsin wild flowers in PCI format. 
#492: UTILITY NO.44— FastCopy III! (pro¬ 
gram and accessory); HyperFormat, format 
927K on 83-track DS disk. ARC Ver 6.02, latest 
version of ARC compression utility, runs 
roughly twice as fast as earlier Ver 5.21. 
#493D: B/STAT— V2.36 of graphing and 
statistical analysis program. Req 1 MB, DS. 
Taipan II game, VI.1: early 1800s trade as you 
engage in combat with enemy ships.(C) GFA 
Shell Plus: replacement for the GFA Menux 

October 1990 

#495: TESTMASTER.Ver 2.01, (C/M) Set 
up your own tests to help prepare for exams. 
#496D: GUITARIST DEMO. A tool to help 
guitarists learn chords and scales in all keys 
and all positions of the fretboard. 

#497D: PUBLIC PAINTER V0.1 (Mono) 
Latest version of this popular paint program 
from Germany. Indues English docs. 

Includes 5 songs: tar concert in air, dns, 
demons soundtrack, rsi rise up, and wild. 
#499: STARBLADE DEMO. (C) Space- 
opera set in the 30th Century in the vastness 
of the Orion galaxy. 

OUS. (C) Demos. Yolanda is an arcade/ 
adventure game. Rick Dangerous, explorer, 
captured by the Goolu tribe, must escape. 
#501: PHOTON STORM.(C) Demo version 
of this fast-paced space arcade game. 

#502: GLOVES/FUTURE(C) Demo ver¬ 
sions of Kid Gloves and Back to the Future. 
Demo of NeoDesk 3, replacement desktop. 
NeoDesk CU is a window-based command 
line interpreter that hooks into NeoDesk itself. 
#504: KID GAMES.(C) KV_MatCh: Flip over 
squares to match baby and parent animals. 
Letter Hunt: learn alphabet by matching letters 
on the screen. Enchanged Forest: a variant of 
both ‘Shutes and Ladders’ and ‘Candyland’ 
suitable for children 3 and above. KV_Geo-1, 
Hypertext geography, learn about the solar 
system. Shareware. 


SDI, Mansion, and Mountain. SDI.TAL (created 
by 10 children in the 2nd-5th grades), MOUN- 
TAIN.TAL was designed by 8 3rd-5th graders. 
#506: UTILITY NO. 45. TLC-Play, play any 
digitized sound fmt file; TLC-namr, add sym¬ 
bols to file name, tic-form, format disk to 
read/write fast; TLC-attr, change file attributes; 
mouse_db, new mouse doubler V3; spirited, 
text ed desk acc; al-time, time & date setter; 
clock_5, all rez clock acc; maccel3, Atari 
Mouse Accelerator 3; ocultarx, hard disk 
password protection; idle_22, idle screen 
saver;unlzh172, fastest extract for LZH archi¬ 
ves; volume, rename disk vol; ST Sentry V5.1. 
#507: TADS. Text Adventure Development 
System. Includes Ditch Day Drifter adv game. 
adventure game created with TADS. 

#509D: GENIE FILES 9/90. Archive of files 
found in the 31 GEnie libraries as of Sep 1, 
1990. Files also listed in numerical order from 
10,000 through 16,500. 

November 1990 


Two shareware bulletin board systems: Nite 
Ute BBS and Vulcan Embassy BBS. 

#511: MIDI MUSIC DISK. MidiMike Version 
1.0, Music Studio Song Player 1.2, and 
MSPlayer by Walter Holding. 

#512: SORRY & ST SQUARE. (C). Sorry is 
the same as the popular board game of the 
same name. ST Squares is based on the 
Hollywood Squares game show. 

#513: DISENCHANTED. An interactive fan¬ 
tasy game. 

#514: PILEUP V3.1. (C) latest version of 
this Tetris clone is compatible with TOS 1.4. 

December 1990 

#515D: STARTING BLOCK. A collection Of 
columns by Richard Gunter directed at the 
novice. Also includes other CN tutorial articles 
including a series on hard drives. 

Page 74 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

#516: STARGATE V3.0. Look out your 
spaceship and see the stars around you. 
#517D: ALADDIN. GEnie Atari ST Aladdin, 
an automatic communications tool designed 
to provide you with the most efficient use of 
the features and services of GEnie. 

#518: UNION DEMO. A spectacular demo 
for the ST showing off many of the animation 
and sound capabilities of the ST. (C) 

generic printer utility that let’s you define the 
characteristics of any printer and send codes 
via GEM drop-down menus. Also includes two 
24-pin printer screen dump utilities 
(SCDMP1_5 and SCRDMP24), and specific 
printer setup utilities for the Panasonic KX- 
P1091i (PANASET), the STAR NB 24-10, 
(STARNB24), and Gemini lOx (GEMINI). 
#520D: AIR WARRIOR, V2.0B. Latest 
update to this air simulation game. Game can 
be played in isolation to practice, but is 
designed for interactive combat on GEnie. 
#521D: CLIP ART NO. 16. 'Old Cars," 28 
IMG files of a variety of antique cars. 

#522D: CLIP ART NO. 17. "Cartoons," 55 
IMG files. 10 pictures of Garfield, 13 Smurf 
pics, and 32 other cartoon characters. 

#523D: CUP ART NO. 18. "Misc Themes," 
49 IMG files: 6 Egyptian pictures, 29 Music 
pictures, and 14 Zodiac pics. 

#524D: CLIP ART NO. 19. "High Res 
Pictures," a collection of 24 fine art pictures in 
an IMG clip-art format. 

#525D: GRAN PRIX. An auto racing arcade 
game with dozens of various courses. (C). 
#526D: eSTeem PILOT Demo (1.0). 
PILOT is the classic, educational authoring 
language, richly enhanced by GEM, for creat¬ 
ing and using tutorials, computer-based in¬ 
struction, and laser videodisc training. 

Alchimie Jr is a music sequencer for use with 
MIDI. Name That Tune is a fun game that lets 
you match your skills with an opponent to see 
who is better at recognizing songs. Use with 
the song data disks listed below. 

Ill songs for use with the "Name That Tune" 
game on #527. 


Ill themes from various TV shows. Use with 
CN #527. 

#530: CINEMA & FLASHCARD. Cinema 
allows young kids to run and create simple 
animation sequences. Flashcards is just like 
the name suggests. The author used it to help 

February 1991 

#533: ST GAMES. (C) Collapse VI.1, 
Blocks fall in groups of 3. The object is to line 
up 3 or more of the same type in horizontal, 
vertical or diagonal rows. Jeopardy, test 
your knowledge just like a contestant on the 
real show. Valgus~2 V2.0 (pronounced “Val¬ 
gus SQuared”) In VSQ, the 7 familiar Valgus 
pieces are back, but they come at you from 
all 4 sides of the 27x27 playing area. Tripple 
Yahtzee, V2.0, popular dice game provides 
hours of enjoyment for one or more players. 
#534D: HACMAN II. (C) This Pacman clone 
has all digitized sound effects plus several 
new “features”: 100 new levels, 4 new ghosts, 
Cameo appearances by many other creatures, 
Puzzle boards, Skips (skip a board you hate 
by pressing the space bar), Ghost hit/miss 
statistics, Secret warps, and a surprise or two 
for the really devoted. 

#535: KIDMIXUP PLUS. (C) The “plus” is 
that you can now add your own sequence 
files created with any DEGAS-compatible 
paint program. 3 picture files (a total of 27 
sequence themes) are included with this 
program. Child chooses a sequence theme 
from the picture icons. 4 pictures appear. The 
child clicks on each in turn to place them at 
the bottom of the screen in the correct order. 
bit, a rabbit bounces off the back of a fox in 
order to reach carrots floating by in the sky. 
Santawrk, Santa Claus is grasping for Christ¬ 
mas decorations while angels try to keep a 
trampoline under him. Burger, Ronald 
McDonald attempts to grab burgers as they 
float by in the sky. Circus, a 2-player math 
game with adjustable level of challenge. 
Robin, control mother robin as she eats flies 
and gathers her children from various nests. 
These programs for kids 3 and up. 

and MAKIN’ AIKEN. (C) Perfect Match, 
shareware version of program originally distri¬ 
buted by Michtron. Match cards to demon¬ 
strate your knowledge. KV_FONIC introduces 
children to phonics. It includes 9 pouzzles 
containing consonants (b,c,d...), blends (si, 
sn, sm...) and digraphs ( You can 
easily create your own puzzles or modify the 
existing ones. In Makin’ Aiken, kids put 
together a little man by choosing the various 
heads, hands, feet, etc, all to the tune of a 
cute little song. 

#538: CALAMUS FONTS #4. Tiphany, 
Fancy Chancery, Windzor, University Roman 

CN Classics 

#14: NEOCHROME— Atari Paint program 

#71D: FORTH*. Includes Forth 83 and 
Forthmacs, 2 implementations of language. 
#277D C LANGUAGE*. Includes GNU C, 
Mark Williams C, and Proedit and Context2 

#21 ID: KID GAMES*: Kid Notes, Barn¬ 
yard, Kid Sketch, Dlx Piano Player, Kid 
Music, Kid Piano, Kid Potato, Kid Mixup. (C) 
#431D: KID GAMES*: Kid Publish, Kid 
Shapes, Kidpublisher Prof. Demo. (C) 

#330D-#335D: SEEKER BIBLE. 6 disk 
set includes all 66 books of Bible. 

#381 VANTERM V3.9. Full featured ter¬ 
minal program. 

#395D-#399D: The TEX DISTRIBU¬ 
TION. 5 disk set gives you the complete 
TeX desktop publishing system. 

#422: UNITERM V2.0E. Powerful terminal 
emulator with best Kermit implementation. 
#430: ST WRITER V3.8. English, Span¬ 
ish, and German versions of this excellent 
word processor. Includes full documen¬ 

#432D: CALAUMUS FONTS 1 & 2*: 

Chancery, Cursive, Cond. Cursive, Gaudy, 
Gaudy Cond, Gillia, Revue, Souvenir, 
Med.Souvenir, Spokane, Study, Windy, 
Bodoni, Drurylane, Hallbats. 

2000*. Impressive calculator and star plot¬ 
ter and browser. 

#452: PAINT PROGRAMS. (M) Andro¬ 
meda, Public Painter, Megablit. 

* NOTE: A number of these DS disks 
represent new combinations of two or more 
single-sided releases from the CN Library. 

The CN library is also available on 
Syquest 44MB removable cartridges. 
Carts are $119.95 each plus $4 S&H. Cart 
1 has 112 ST disks (#347 - #469). Cart 2 
is the Spectre Collection (#S1-#S80). 

You may also order Andrzej Wrotniak’s 
programs through Current Notes: STAR 
BASE, $43. EL CAL 1.3, $44. (Both 
programs for $80.) 

learn a foreign language. 

#531: UTILITY NO. 46. Quick ST 2.2 

Demo, speed up your ST! Little Green 
Selector VI.88—newest version of this alter¬ 
native file selector routine. The Gram Slam 
Grammar Checker Demo—at last, a way to 
check your grammar! 

and University Bold, Broadway Engraved, 
ST_FRANC (paste up your own ransom note), 
The Architect font, and SHOWFONT.CDK 
(produces a nice display of any Calamus 
compatible font.) 

#539D: ARCADE DEMO DISK. (C) Toyota 
Rally, Flimbo’s Quest, and Defender II. 


Valgus V2.0 is a GREAT 2-player version of a 
Tetris-clone game. Maniac Miner—go explor¬ 
ing for underground treasures but watch out 
for rockslides and other obstacles. 

NOTE: Due to the recent postal rate j 
increase we have had to change our 
shipping and handling charge from $1 for 6 

All Current Notes disks are only $4.00 
each (add $1 / every 4 disks for S&H up 
to a maximum of $6.00). 10 disks for $35. 

CN disks are guaranteed to work. If 
you ever encounter a problem, simply 
return the disk and we will gladly replace it. 
Note that a “D" after a disk number 
indicates a double-sided disk. 

Order disks from CN Library, 122 N. 
Johnson Rd, Sterling, VA 22170. VISA and 
MC orders are welcome (703) 450-4761. 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 75 

New ST Disks for March, 1991 
#540D: ARCADE DEMOS. Simulcra: 

demo of a very cool arcade-type UK game, 
you are this “tank” and you drive around a 
“3-D” map, blowing things away and getting 
enhanced weapons. Spellbound: this is a 
one level playable demo of this Psygnosis 
platform/collecting type game. Nice graphics! 
9 Lives: This is playable one level demo of 
this ARC Software platform type game with 
excellent graphics and animation. Not an easy 
game! (Color) 

#541D: GOD’S WORD~2 DEMO. This is a 
working demo of the bible reading program 
God’s Word ~2 for Medium or High resolution. 
This demo will also run from a floppy drive 
although the full blown program requires a 
hard drive. Print, Save, and Add to Index 
functions have been disabled in this demo. 
There are six books supplied with this demo, 
and an abbreviated topical reference index. 
REBUS WRITER. Here are two more kid 
programs in GFA Basic by D.A. Brumleve. 
Wuzzlers is a word and picture puzzle game. 
Rebus Writer allows the user to design and 
print rebuses, a kind of code in which pictures 
and symbols are used to represent words. 
#543D: MIDI MAZE II. MIDI Maze II version 
1.5 from Germany runs in color or high rez. 
This is an outstanding game! 16 ST’s can 
interconnect via MIDI port or a single player 
can give it a shot (pun intended). Doc’s are in 
German so someone please help us out 


This is a demo copy of Personal Music 
Librarian (PML), the comprehensive music 
cataloging system. We beleive it will greatly 
add to your enjoyment of your music collec¬ 
tion. Demo restricted to 35 recordings or 60 
songs in the database. Requires 1 Meg RAM. 
CardFile 1.43 demo version is limited to ten 
address cards and ten appointments, but is 
otherwise fully functional. The documentation 
for the demo consists only of a menu 
summary. Notes v0.9 (shareware) is a pro¬ 
gram intended to allow you to keep the 
equivalent of those little yellow stick on note 
papers within your computer. In it’s current 
form Notes provides a means to create, 
maintain, and print files of related notes. 
Musicalc V2.02 should prove useful for 
musicians, recording engineers, home studio 
owners, and people working with video and 
film. In addition to normal numeric calcula¬ 
tions, Musicalc will preform time base and 
footage calculations. The most unique feature 
however is its ability to calculate bar (or beat), 
SMPTE time, and footage offsets referenced 
to a starting SMPTE time.. 

Tracker, offically named the best music pro¬ 
gram of 1990 in Europe, is a four track music 
record and playback system that includes a 
drum machine, sequencer, and synthesizer all 

built in. In essence, it’s a complete mixing 
studio. The notes played are all digitized 
sound, so the end results are crystal clear. It 
allows you to create real digital songs, mix 
existing songs, or use samples for your own 
programs—all in digital sound quality. 

MALS. The Wolf and the Seven Kids is 
intended as a first adventure for young 
computer users, ages 5-9. The adventure is 
based on the Grimms’ fairy tale, and the story 
may be familiar to children, but the program 
offers some surprises. There are several 
possible endings to the story, depending on 
what choices you make, and there are numer¬ 
ous opportunities for making choices. Barni- 
mals is a listening/guessing game for the very 
youngest computer users, ages 0-4. Most 
kidprgs are intended to be used indepen¬ 
dently by children; the use of Barnimals, 
however, will be most successful if an adult or 
older child participates. Both programs by 
D.A. Brumleve. 

#548: UTILITY DISK NO. 47. 11 utilities for 
your ST. BACKUPST; a new hard disk 
backup utility uses a proprietary data-stream 
format to create fast image backups but can 
back-up and restore (interactively) individual 
files and folders. Includes full docs. 
KTEXT133: K_Text version 1.33 allows view¬ 
ing of Degas or Pixel perfect pictures, XBIOS 
32 music, plus the use of appending files. 
Allows the use of VT52 commands and edits 
them in high rez. STEXT11: This is a 
shareware fast text reader for the ST, with 
several features including the ability to define 
blocks and print them, and to set bookmarks. 
PFXPAK: A German runtime packer, similar 
to DC-Squish, it will LZH your executable files 
and put a bit of SFX code at the beginning. 
When you cliick on a program, it will first 
extract itself, then run. This is invisible to the 
user, and very large files may even appear to 
load faster since the decompression may be 
faster than the original load time. LIBMASTR: 
Library Master is a shareware utility to organ¬ 
ize, modify, convert, and print your Print 
Master Libraries. Ver 1.1 fixes a page break 
bug in version 1.0 and adds features and 
enhancements. TEXTVIEW: This program is 
a GEM-based text file viewer. All functions 
can be controlled by the mouse. It can be 
used as an installed application or even be 
started up by dragging the text file to the 
program (a la NeoDesk). TX2_VIEW: Demo 
of text reading program, version 1.35. PIN¬ 
HEAD, Ver 1.8 is a *very* tiny program (it 
uses less than IK when installed!) that should 
be run from your AUTO folder. PinHead will 
drastically reduce the amount of time it takes 
to boot your computer, especially if you have 
several AUTO programs and desk accessories 
installed. Every program that runs after Pin- 
Head will load into the computer faster than 
you ever thought possible! And this speedup 
is not only evident at bootup time; programs 
will load much faster even when they are run 

from the GEM desktop or a shell such as 
CodeHead Software’s Hotwire. PinHead gives 
you a lot of bang for your memory buck! 
BIGCOLOR: Version 1.05 is for use with 
Mono monitors, and allows some low resolu¬ 
tion and most medium resolution programs to 
be run on a Mono monitor. SANDP21: ver 
2.1 allows you to make your own electronic 
newsletter by formating the text output in the 
window with different fonts and colors. You 
can even have your Heading lines in Boldface, 
italics, or any of the other combinations, and 
in any color, too! FB2: First Base (ver 1.6) 
Database is a fast memory resident database 
system for small and medium size applica¬ 
tions. It is not full featured but has a wide 
range of uses, is fast and very easy to learn 
and use. It runs in medium or high resolution 
on an Atari ST or Mega. 

#549D: UTILITY DISK NO. 48. 
Switcher!) This program is offered to allow 
people who use LHARC and ARC to switch 
back and forth between the two compression 
methods with the least amount of effort. 
ARCSHL23: ARC Shell Ver 2.3, by Charles F. 
Johnson, is a GEM program which is desig¬ 
ned to work with the popular ST archiving 
utility ARC.TTP. Essentially, ARC Shell adds a 
GEM interface to the ARC program, letting 
you point and click to select the various 
options instead of typing a command line. 
ARC Shell also contains a complete GEM- 
based disk utilities package, that lets you 
copy files (with wildcards and with query), 
delete and rename files, create and delete 
folders, show the free space on any connec¬ 
ted drive, and even run other programs...all 
without exiting to the desktop. UNLZH: ver 
1.61 combines an easy to use, GEM based 
interface with high speed extraction routines, 
to give you a much simpler and much faster 
way to extract LZH archives. It is a self 
contained program - LHARC does not need 
to be present to extract files. It is written in 
100% Assembly language, and extracts 
approximately four times faster than LHARC. 
ARC602ST: ARC File Archive Utility, Version 
6.02 is used to create and maintain file 
archives. An archive is a group of files 
collected together into one file in such a way 
that the individual files may be recovered 
intact. ARC automatically compresses the files 
being archived so that the resulting archive 
takes up a minimum amount of space. 
LHA121: vl .21 (Based on: LHarc version 
1.13b for MS-DOS), is another file compres¬ 
sion utility that is even more efficient than 
ARC. ARCGSH35: This is Arcgsh version 
3.5, a program that eases the calling of the 
well-known archivers Zoo, Arc, LHarc and 
Shar. Furthermore the programs Uud and Uue 
are supported to let you decode resp. encode 
binary files for handling with e-mail. You can 
use your favorite file viewer and your favorite 
editor from Arcgsh without any need to leave 
the program. UNERASE: This accessory 
allows you to undelete a file or a subdirectory. 

Page 76 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

New Spectre CN 
Library Disks 

by Jeff Greenblatt 

CN is adding #S106-#S110 PD and 
Shareware disks to the Spectre Library. Some 
of these applications will only work with 
version 3.0 of Spectre and are so noted. 
Disks are $4 each plus $1 S&H for every 4 
disks. Order from CN Library, 122 N Johnson 
Rd, Sterling VA 22170 (703) 450-4761. 

SHOD: VideoWorks #3. 14 Video- 
Works animations and a VideoWorks player 
(Circles 4th, City Street, Fish Story, Fool!, 
Lazer, MacMelt, Ol’SnakeEyes, Oracle, 
Shoes, Space Epic, Sub City, Tyrone, Weird¬ 
ness, and Wishes.) 

S109D: ATM Fonts #2. 8 Type 1 
Postscript fonts for use with Adobe Type 
Manager 1.2 or higher (Benjamin Caps, 
Kinigstein Caps, Lower East Side, Lower 
West Side, Rudelsberg, Starburst, Upper East 
Side, and Varah Caps.) 

ibkmhmb mm warn 

csefwm cnps font 


lower west side font 





S108D: Taromatic. A single Hyper¬ 
Card stack (Spectre 3.0 required). If you are 
into fortune telling or what the future 
beholds, give this a shot. 

S107D: HyperStacks #12. 9 stacks 
(Spectre 3.0 required) for use with HyperCard 
(Amino Acids, Ansel Adams, Bloom County, 
Compress Plus, Home Desk (see picture), 
Homicide Investigation, HyperStation, Stock 
Tracker, and Usigi’s DogCon.) 

S106D: Games #15. Euchre 2.5, 
Montana 2.0 (pictured), Pokeno, Precision 
Cribbage, Save The Farm (pictured), and 
Spacestation Pheta 1.5 (pictured). 
(Spectre 3.0 required). 

S105: ATM Fonts #1. Seven Type 1 
Postscript fonts (Carrick Caps, Green Caps, 
Horst Caps, Konanur Caps, Lee Caps, 
Reynolds Caps, and Zaleski Caps.) 

S104D: Intruder II. An adventure 
game created with World Builder. 

S103D: Chime 1.6. Chime, (Spectre 
3.0 req) related docs, and 27 chime sounds. 

S102D: MouseDroppings Hints. 47 

text files with hundreds of hints and tips on 
the use of the Macintosh. 

S101D: Games #14. Express Lane, 
Glider* 2.02 with Docs, Glypha 2.0 with Docs, 
MiniGolf, pNuki 1.1, Slam Dunk 1.2, TENS!, 
and Tripple Yahtzee (Spectre 3.0 required). 

S26: Fkeys No.1 

S25D: MacMoney Demo 

S24: Games No.4 

S23: Sounds No.2 

S22: Sword of Siegfried 

S21: utility No.3 

S20D: MacDraw II Demo 

S19D: Hyper Utility No.1 

SI8: Graphics No.1 

S17: Sounds No.1 

S16: DAs No.1 

S15: Games No.3 

S14: Utility No.2 

S13D: Stacks No.2 

S12D: Full Impact Demo 

S11: Utility No.1 

S10: HyperStacks No.1 

S09: Telecom No.1 

S08: Image Studio Demo 

S07: Games No.2 

S06D: PowerPoint Demo 

S05: Games No.1 

S04D: Aldus Freehand Demo 

S03D: Red Ryder 9.4 

S02: MacPaint 2.0 Demo 

SOI: Mac Write 5.0 Demo 

SI 00: Stuff it Classic 1.6 
S99D: Utilities No. 16 
S98D HyperStacks No. 11 
S97D: Games #13 
S96D: Publishlt Easy Demo 
S95: Startup Screens No. 2 
S94: Sounds No. 9 
S93D: Games No. 12 
S92D: EPS Clip Art No.3 
S91D: Utilities No.15 
S90D: Games No.11 
S89: HyperStacks No. 10 
S88D: EPS Clip Art No.4 
S87: Utilities No. 14 
S86D: Twilight Vale Adv. Game 
S85D: EPS Clip Art No. 3 
S84: Sounds No.8 
S83: Utilities No. 13 
S82D: HyperStacks No.9 
S81D: Grendel 1.0 Adv. Game 

CN Cart #2 

Disks SOI to S80 are available 
individually, or all of them can be 
obtained on a single 44MB 
removable Syquest cartridge. 
Cartridge price is $119.95 + $4 
Shipping & Handling. 

S80: Postscript Fonts No.4 

S79: Utility No.2 

S78: EPS Clip Art No.2 

S77: Graphics No.3 

S76: Startup Screens No.1 

S75:: Games No.10 

S74: Sounds No.7 

S73: Utilities No.11 

S72D: HyperStacks No.8 

S71D: Shanghai Demo 

S70D: HyperStacks #7 

S69: Sounds No.6 

S68: Games No.9 

S67: Utilities No.10 

S66: Games No.8 

S65D: HyperStacks No.6 

S64D: Postscript Clip Art No.1 

S63: Utilities No.9 

S62D: PipeDream Demo 

S61D: HyperStacks No.5 

S60D: PostScript Fonts No.3 

S59: Sounds No.5 

S58D: Clip Art No.2 

S57: Utility No.8 

S56D: HyperStacks No.4 

S55: utility No.7 

S54: Games No.7 

S53D: Clip Art No.1 

S52: Postscript Fonts No.2 

S51D: Postscript fonts No.1 

S50: Dungeons of DoGm, V5.4 

S49: Lawn Zapper arcade Game 

S47D: Phoenix Adv Game, disk I 

S48D: Phoenix Adv Game, disk II 

S46: Everyman 1 Adv. Game 

S45: Graphics No.2 

S44: Utility No.6 

S43 VideoWorks w/Sound No.2 

S42: Productivity No.2 

S41: Productivity No.1 

S40D: HyperUtility No.3 

S39: Utility No.5 

S38: Games No.6 

S37D: HyperStacks No.4 

S36: Sounds No.4 

S35D: HyperStacks No.3 

S34: Excel Templates 

S33D: HyperUtility No.2 

S32: VideoWorks w/Sound No.1 

S31: DAs No.2 

S30: Utility No.4 

S29: Sounds No.3 

S28: Database Builder Demo 

S27: Games No. 5 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 77 

Current Notes Atari CluD List. Members of listed Atari clubs may subscribe to Current Notes at a discount rate of $23/yr (or $42/two 
years)—over 40% off the newstand price! Add your club to this list in either of two ways. If you have a club newsletter, add CN to your 
distribution list. Include a subscription form in your newsletter, or a message explaining the CN discount, that members can use to send in their 
subscriptions. Alternatively, you may become a registered CN club by sending in an initial subscription list of 10% of the membership or 6 
members, whichever is less. (It would also help to have a list of club members; we may even be able to send a sample copy of CN out to your 
members.) Send to: CN Atari Clubs, 122 N. Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA 22170. For more information, call Joyce (703) 450-4761. NOTE: 
Canadian Atari clubs are also eligible. Foreign club rates are $31/year or $58/2 years.) 


Alabama ACE, Joe Moudry, PO Box 1205, 
Tuscaloosa AL 35403-1205 (205) 556-1781. 
Huntsville AUG, Levin Soule, 3911 W. 
Crestview, Huntsville AL 35816 (205) 534- 
1815, BBS: (205)722-0900. 


NW Phoenix Atari Connection, Paul 
Parks, PO Box 36364, Phoenix AZ 85067 (602) 

SE Valley Atari Connection, Tim Bar, PO 
BOX 662, Chandler AZ 85224 (602) 821-1200. 
Tucson Atari Central, Ray Waters, 1426 W. 
Kilburn Rd, Tucson AZ 85705-9232 (602) 


Little Rock Atari Addicts, Keith Steensma, 
28 John Hancock Cir, Jacksonville AR 72076 


A.C.A.O.C., Larry Weinheimer, PO Box 9419, 
Fountain Valley CA 92708 (714) 969-9053. 
A.U.G.I.E., Don Lucia, 3905 N. Lugo Ave, San 
Bernardino CA 92404 (714) 880-3539. 
Antelope Valley ACE, Don Glover, PO Box 
512, Palmdale CA 93590 (805) 272-9084, BBS: 

Atari Anonymous User Group, Todd 
Bane, PO Box 1433, Upland CA 91786-1433 
(714) 737-4329, BBS: (714) 625-4251. 

Atari Bay Area Computer Users’ 
Society, Bill Zinn, PO Box 22212, San 
Francisco CA 94122 (415) 753-8483. 

Atari Computer Enthusiasts Society, 
Tara Jacobs, 21210 E. Arrow Hwy, #35, Covina 
CA91724-1432 (818)331-1172. 

Atari Federation, Chester Hadely, PO Box 
5367, Vandenberg AFB CA 93437 (805) 733- 

Atari Users’ Group of the Inland Empire, 

Don Lucia, 3905 N. Lugo, San Bernardino CA 

Bakersfield ACE, Anthony Garcia, PO Box 
40203, Bakersfield CA 93308 (805) 397-9566. 
Cajon Computer Club, Tim Adams, 639 
West 36th Street, San Bernardino CA 92405 

E.R.A.C.E., Gary Martin, 1906 Avineda Del 
Diablo, Escondido CA 92025 (619) 489-9872. 
Far East Atari ST, Dale Ellis, PSC Box 7075, 
APO San Francisco CA 96293. 

H.A.C.K.S., John King Tarpinian, 249 North 
Brand Boulevard #321, Glendale CA 91206 

Long Beach ACE, Lee Curtis, PO Box 92812, 
Long Beach CA 90809-2812 (213) 423-2758. 
N.O.C.C.C. ST-Sig, Dain Leese, 3852 Balsa, 
Irvine CA 92714 (714) 552-5185. 

Pass Area ST Enthusiasts, Steve Miller, 
1145 W Westward, Banning CA 92220 (714) 

R.A.M. of Ventura County, Tim McCoy, PO 
Box 112, Camarillo CA 93011 (805) 482-4788, 
BBS: (805)987-6985. 

S.M.L.A.C.E., Eric A. Daniels, PO Box 2286, 
Orcutt CA 93457-2286 (805) 929-3296. 

ST ACE of Sonoma County, Hal Anderson, 
PO Box 4916, Santa Rosa CA 95402 (707) 

San Diego Atari Computer Enthusiasts, 

Thomas W. Briant, PO Box 900076, San Diego 

CA 92120(619)581-2477 

San Diego ST Users Workshop, Chester 

Edwards, 902 Nolan Way, Chula Vista CA 


Santa Barbara ACE, Avery Galbraith, PO 
Box 3678, Santa Barbara CA 93130-3678 (805) 

Santa Clarita Valley ACE, Mark Ostrove, 
19449 Nadal St, Canyon Country CA 91351 

The Desert Atarians, Lee Ellis, 47-800 
Madison Street #53, Indio CA 92201 (619)342- 
1600, BBS: (619)342-1647. 


Front Range AUG, Jerry Belfor, 3012 Rock- 
borough Ct, Fort Collins CO 80525 (303) 
223-2604, BBS: (303)223-1297 
Pikes Peek and Poke ACE, Rick Reaser, 
PO Box 17779, Colorado Springs CO 80935- 


AUG of Greater Hartford, William 
Midyette, PO Box 289, Windsor Locks CT 
06096-0289 (203) 627-6996, BBS: (203) 623- 

Fairfield County ACE, Paula Burton, 362 
Hattertown Rd, Monroe CT 06468 (203) 452- 

ST Atari Road Runners, Glen Werner, 1160 
South Curtis St, Wallingford CT 06492. 

ST Atari Users Society, Brian Rufini, 176 
Burnside, E. Hartford CT 06180 (203) 289-7903 


Central Delaware Atari Computer Club, 

Tom Baldwin, PO Box 545, Camden DE 19934 


Atari Boosters League East, Hadley Nel¬ 
son, PO Box 1172, Winter Park FL 32790. 

Middle Georgia AUG, Pete Miller, 115 
Feagin Mill Rd, Warner Robins GA 31088 (912) 


Boise User Group, Frank Chan, 1717 S. 
Curtis Rd, #31, Boise ID 83705 (208) 376-5603, 
BBS: (208)377-1465. 

Rattlesnake ACE, Carson Walden, 301 Birch 
St., Mountain Home ID 83647 208-587-7476, 
BBS: (208)587-7603. 


C.U.S.T.U.G., Lee Johnson, PO Box 3442, 
Champaign IL 61820 217-356-7916, BBS: 

Central Illinois AUG, Robert Handley, 1920 
East Croxton Ave, Bloomington IL 61701-5702 
(309)828-4661, BBS: none. 

Eastside Atari Users Group, Hank Vize, 
2425 Crislisa Drive, Alton IL 62002 (618) 
465-0342, BBS: (618)254-6077. 

Galesburg Atari Users Group, Michael 
Burkley, PO Box 55, Viola IL 61486 (309) 

Lake County ACE, Dwight Johnson, PO Box 
8788, Waukegan IL60079 (312) 623-9567. 

Q.C. Atari Computer Club, Roger Bekel, 
PO BOX 1036, Moline IL61265 (309) 797-6213. 
ST Information Group, Joe Lambert, 1116 
Woodlawn ct, Pekin IL61554. 

Surburban Chicago Atarians, Alvin Ries- 
beck, PO Box 7226, Roselle IL 60172 (708) 
985-0693, BBS: (708)231-7227. 


Atari ST Computers in Indianapolis, 

Daniel W. Ward, 1752 Alimingo Dr., Indianapo¬ 
lis IN 46260 (317) 254-0031, BBS: (317) 

Bloomington Atari ST, Stu Huffman, 1752 
Alimingo Dr., Indianapolis IN 46260, BBS: (812) 

Calumet Region Atari Group, Jeff Coe, 
PO BOX 10995, Merrillville IN 46411-0995. 

Eli Lilly Corp ST Users’ Group, Karl 
Werner, Eli Lilly Corp Cntr, Indianapolis IN 


Midwest Atari Group-lowa Chap, Gordie 
Meyer, PO Box 1982, Ames IA 50010 (515) 


Ft. Leavenworth Atari Group, , PO Box 

3233, Ft. Leavenworth KS 66027. 

Lawrence Atari Computer Club, Robert 
Drake, PO Box 1415, Lawrence KS 66044 (913) 

Midwest ST Atari Resource, Gary Leach, 
7213 Mastin, Merriam KS 66203. 

Wichita ACE, Marilyn Merica, 501 Trotter, 
Maize KS 67101 (316) 722-1078. 


Atari Exchange of Louisville, Don Garr, 
PO BOX 34183, Louisville KY 40232, BBS: (502) 


New Orleans Atari Computer Enthu¬ 
siasts, Matt Absalom, PO Box 73236, Metairie 
LA 70033. 


Atari Users Regional Association, Bill 
Brown, PO Box 7761, Silver Spring MD 20910 

Frederick ACE, Buddy Smallwood, 923 N. 
Market St., Frederick MD 21701. 

Maryland Atari Computer Club, James 
Hill, 8591 Wheatfield Way, Ellicott City MD 

Meade Atari ST, Bob Johnson, 1616B 
Forrest Ave, Ft. Meade MD 20755. 


Boston Computer Society/Atari, Jerry 
Feldman, One Center Plaza, Boston MA 02108 
(617)244-3025, BBS: (617)396-4607. 

Page 78 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

Nashoba Valley Atari Computer Users* 

Society, Ray Wallace, PO Box 456, Maynard 
M A 01754(508)534-0699. 

South Shore Atari Group, Norman 
Boucher, PO Box 129, Boston MA 02136 (617) 

Western Mass Atari User Group, David 
Scarpa, 285 A Gates St., Palmer MA 01069- 
9617, BBS: (413)589-1382. 


Coastal Area AUG, Lowen Overby, PO Box 
5098, Biloxi Ml 39534 (601)388-1515. 

Michigan Atari General Information 
Conference, Mike Lechkun, 4801 Martin Rd, 
Warren Ml 48092-3491 , BBS: 313-978-7363. 

ST INterest Group, Ron Schultheis, PO Box 
321, Marne Ml 49435-0321 ( J246-6269, BBS: 


Minnesota Atari ST, David Paschall-Zim- 
bel, PO Box 12016, New Brighton MN 55112 , 
BBS: (612)472-6582. 


ACE St Louis, Joan Ryan, PO Box 6783, St. 
Louis MO 63144 (314) 645-6431. 

Kansas City ACE, Ben Stockwell, 8916 
Walnut St, Kansas City MO 64114 (816) 


Rattlesnake ACE, Tom Tucker, PO Box 
9457, MiSSOUla MT 59807 406-626-4410, BBS: 


High Sierra Users’ Group, Michael 
O’Massey, PO Box 2152, Sparks NV 89432 

New Hampshire 

Nashua Area ST User’s Society, Don 

Peters, 51 Cheyenne Dr, Nashua NH 03063 

New Jersey 

Jersey Atari Computer Group, PO Box 

5206, Newark NJ 07105-0206 (908) 241-4554. 

New York 

ACE of Syracuse, Kenneth Wickert, 204 E 
Patricia Ln, North Syracuse NY 13212-3218 

ACO of Rochester NY, Bruce Nelson, PO 
Box 23676, Rochester NY 14692 (716) 334- 

ACUG of Westchester, Roily Herman, 4 
Charlotte St, White Plains NY 10606 (914) 

Buffalo Region Atari Group for ST’s, 
Mark Pierro, PO Box 1035, Buffalo NY 14225 

Capital District ACE, Joe Bogaard, PO Box 
511, Delmar NY 12054 518-785-4071, BBS: 

Long Island Atari User Group, Harvey 
Schoen, PO Box 92, Islip NY 11751 (516) 
221-2964, BBS: (516)221-8462. 

Rockland Atari Computer Users’ Group, 

Richard Bloch, 29 Riverglen Dr., Thiells NY 

North Carolina 

Atari Computer Users Soc of Fayette¬ 
ville, Howard Abner, PO Box 1117, Fayette¬ 
ville NC 28302 (919) 484-7060, BBS: (919) 

Blue Ridge ACE, Sheldon Winick, 40 West- 
gate Parkway #F, Asheville NC 28806 (704) 

Greenville ACE, Mary Anne Terminate, 19 
Alpine Way, Greenville NC 29609 (803)292- 

Piedmont Triad Atari Users Group, 

Danny Hartman, PO Box 1073, Greensboro NC 

Triangle computer Club, Donald Nelson, 
Rt. 3, Box 760, Hillsborough NC 27278 


Cleveland ACE, John Savarda, PO Box 
93034, Cleveland OH 44101-5034. 

Cuyahoga Valley Atari Computer Club, 

Don Crano, PO Box 9173, Akron OH 44305- 

Miami Valley ACE, Joe Lovett, PO Box 
24221, Dayton OH 45424 (513)847-3970. 
Northern Ohio Atari Helpers, Doug Novak, 
5538 Pearl Road, Parma OH 44129 (216)845- 
6260, BBS: (216)582-1904. 


Eugene ACE, 3662 Vine Maple, Eugene OR 

Portland Atari Club, David Moore, PO Box 
1692, Beaverton OR 97005 (503)240-1913. 


Allentown Bethlehem Easton’s ACE, PO 

Box 2830, Lehigh Valley PA 18001 215- 

North East Atari Team, Allan Zaluda, PO 
Box 18150, Philadelphia PA 19116-0150 
(215)677-6751, BBS: (215)677-1370. 
Southcentral Pa ACE, Richard Basso, PO 
Box 11446, Harrisburg PA 17108-1446 (717) 

Spectrum Atari Group of Erie, Earl Hill, PO 
BOX 10562, Erie PA 16514-0562 (814) 833- 
9905, BBS: (814)833-4073 
Westmoreland Atari Computer Organi¬ 
zation, Keith Krause, 230 Clairmont Street, 
North Huntingdon PA 15642 (412) 834-5678. 

Rhode Island 

Rhode Island Atari Computer Enthu¬ 
siasts, Steve Dunphy, 192 Webster Ave., 
Providence Rl 02909 (401) 621 -5359 

South Dakota 

Rushmore ACE, Kenneth Kayl, 902 Virginia 
Ln, Rapid City SD 57701 (605) 343-7289. 


Chattanooga Atari Owners Symposium, 

Phil Snider, PO Box 80101, Chattnooga TN 

Knoxville AUG, John Cole, PO Box 53362, 
Knoxville TN 37950-3362 (615) 691-4435, 
BBS: 615-691-0113. 


Alamo Area Atari User Association, Al 

Sherrill, PO Box 79-1426, San Antonio TX 
78279-1426 512-492-6633. 

Atari ST Club of El Paso, Tim Holt, 10953 
Yogi Berra, El PasoTX 79934915-821-2048. 
Atari Users of North Texas, Gary Sewell, 
PO Box 852016, Richardson TX 75085-2016 

DAL-ACE, Rachel Duke, PO Box 851872, 
Richardson TX 75085-1872 (214) 429-6134. 


Greater Richmond Atari Support Pro¬ 
gram, Thomas Marvin, 1420 Yale Ave, Rich¬ 
mond VA 23224 (804)233-6155. 

Northern Virginia AUG, Earl Lilley, PO Box 
4076, Merrifield VA 22116 (703)281-9017. 

Southside Tidewater Atari Tech Users 
Society, Buck Maddrey, 5245 Shenstone 
Circle, VA Beach VA 23455 804-464-2100, 
BBS: 804-495-3905. 

Woodbridge Atari Computer Users’ 
Group, David Waalkes, 1302 Oregon Ave, 
Woodbridge VA 22191 (703)490-1225. 


Atari Association of Desert Dwellers, 

Rick Raymond, Rt. 1, PO Box 5296, Richland 
WA 99352. 

Bellevue/Redmond ACE, Joe Mraz, PO 
BOX 70097, Bellevue WA 98007 (206)747-2433. 
Kitsap County ACE, Bill Penner, PO Box 
2333, Bremerton WA 98310 (206) 373-4840. 
R-AUG, Mike Barret, PO Box 845, Oak Harbor 
WA 98277 (206) 675-7167 
STDIO, Ralph Plaggenburg, 904 N. 33rd PI, 
Renton WA 98056 (206) 228-5303 
STarBase, Steve Drake, 8307 27th NW, 
Seattle WA 98117 (206) 782-3691. 

Seattle Puget-Sound ACE, Nick Berry, PO 
BOX 110576, Tacoma WA 98411-0576 (206) 

Southwest Washington Atari Group, 

Allan Cokes, PO Box 1515, Vancouver WA 
98668-1515, BBS: (206)574-1146. 

TRACE Users' Group, Terry Schreiber, Box 
2037, Point Roberts WA 98281 (604) 943-4786. 


Central Wisconsin AUG, Thomas Ptak, 217 
S. Schmidt Ave, Marshfield Wl 54449 (715) 

Milwaukee Area AUG, Linda Heinrich, PO 
BOX 14038, West Allis Wl 53214 (414)421- 

Milwaukee Area ST User Group, Bruce 
Welsch, PO Box 25679, Milwaukee Wl 53225 

Packerland Atari Computer Users’ 
Society, Peter Schefsky, 2714 South 11th 
Place, Sheboygan Wl 53081414-457-4519. 


Hamilton Burlington Oakville AUG, Bob 

Berberick, 148 Golden Orchard Dr., Hamilton, 
ont. L9C 6J6 (416) 575-4936. 
Kitchener-Waterloo 8 16 32 AUG, Dani 
Roloson, #8-43 Benton St, Kitchener, Ont. 

London Users of ST's, Brian Wiltshire, 162 
Inverary Crescent, London, Ontario N6G 3L8 
519-473-1406, BBS: 519-432-5144. 

Montreal Atari Club, Terry Cowan, PO Box 
5418, St. Laurent Stn, Ville St. Laurent J4X1L8. 
Montreal Atari ST/Mega Group, Paul Bily, 
931 Place Soulange, Brossard, Que. J4X1L8. 
The Vernon AUG, Bob Olsen, 5664 Allenby 
Crescent, Vernon, B.C. V1T 8P8 (604) 542- 

Vantari AUG in Vancouver, Bill Sutherland, 
PO Box 3614 Main Post Office, Vancouver, 
B.C. V6B 3Y6 (604) 968-1450, BBS: (604) 

^ Is your club missing from this^ 
list? Why? See that your club is 
added to the CN list of Atari clubs 
TODAY! Your club has everything 
to gain (national exposure, discounts 
for members, incentives to join) and 
nothing to lose. 

March 1991 

Current Notes 

Page 79 





CN Classified 

card, AC adapter, smart parallel interface, traveling 
case, $275 or best reasonable offer. Milt Creighton (804) 

FOR SALE: Atari 1040ST-FM. 2 floppy drives, SC1224 
monitor, 2400 baud modem, ICD 85 Meg Hard Drive. All 
software, manuals and original cartons. Asking $1,600. 
Call Brian at (304) 267-0610 after 5pm. 

FOR SALE: USED 8-Bit Atari Equipment, software, 
accessories. Send S.A.S.E. (2 stamps) business size or 2 
stamps for prices and huge list. L. Christopffer, 1806 

Patrick Dr., Burlington, WA 98233. 

FOR SALE: MegaFile 44, one 44 meg cartridge, 
internally expandable (i.e. factory installed brackets & 
connectors for a 3.5 inch SCSI fixed H.D.), like new, $500. 
Barry (707) 257-2326 (Napa, CA). 

FOR SALE: 1040ST, 4 meg RAM, TOS 1.4, ROM clock, 
SM124 monitor, Word Perfect 4.1, VIP Professional, Easy 
Draw, ST Basic, extras, like new, $600. Barry (707) 
257-2326 (Napa, CA). 

CN Classified: Send your classified ads in to CN 
Classified, 122 N. Johnson Rd, Sterling, VA 22170. Cost is 
a penny a character ($2.50 minimum). 

List of Advertisers 

A&D Software.503-476-0071 

American Techna-Vision..800-551 -9995 

Artisan Software.209-239-1552 

Branch Always Software. 

Computer Rock..415-751 -8573 

Compuware.201 -290-2242 

CN Spectre Library.703-450-4761 

CN ST Library.703-450-4761 



Debonair Software. 


Phil Comeau Software... 





Rising Star. 




Electronic Clinic. 



Sideline Software. 




Gadgets by Small. 



ST Informer. 




ICE Systems. 



Taylor Ridgo Rooks 

203-643 9673 



Joppa Computer. 







Joppa Software Dev. 



Toad Computers. 








LR Data. 



f Rememberto tell our ^ 





advertisers where you saw 





their ad!!! y 





Current Motes Subscription Form 

Please (Start)/(Renew) my subscription to CN for 1 year ($27)_2 years ($47)_ 

Please (Start)/(Renew) my subscription as a member of a Current Notes Listed Atari Club 
1 year ($23)_ 2 years($42)_ Club Name:_ 

NAME: _ 



PHONE: ( ) I own an Atari: 

I own an Atari: 

□ Payment Enclosed To renew vith MC or VISA, call (703) 450-4761. 

□ MasterCard 


Credit Card No. _ 
Expiration Date: 

Current Notes U.S. subscription rates 
are $27/year ($47 for 2 years). 
Canadian 2nd class subscriptions are 
$35/year ($63 for 2 years). 

Other foreign subscriptions are $44/ 
yr ($80/2 yrs) for SURFACE mail. 

AIR MAIL rates: Canada/Mexico, 
$44; Central America, Caribbean, $57; 
South America, Europe, North Africa, 
$69; Middle East, Africa, Asia, Austra¬ 
lia, $80. Foreign subscriptions are 
payable in US $ drawn on a US bank. 
Send check, payable to Current Notes, 
to CN Subscriptions, 122 N. Johnson 
Rd., Sterling, VA 22170. 

Page 80 

Current Notes 

Vol. 11, No. 2 

Games, Games, Games 

Action Fighter.24 

Action ST II.24 

Adventures of Sinbad.29 

African Raiders.24 

After the War.24 

Alien Syndrome.24 

All Time Favorites (3 games) ..36 

Altered Beast.24 

AMC(Astro Marine Corps).24 

American Dreams (4 games) ..29 




Arcade Force Four.33 

Awesome Arcade Action Pack 36 

Back to the Future 2.33 

Bad Company.29 

Balance of Power 1990 .29 

Batman the Movie.24 

Battle Chess.29 

Battle Master.33 

Battle Tech.33 

Battle of Britain.43 


Beverly Hills Cop.29 


Black Gold.24 

Black Lamp.16 

Black Tiger.24 

Blitzkrieg May 1940 .29 

Blood Wych.29 

Blood Wych Data Disk #1.18 

Blue Angels.21 


Brain Blaster.22 

Breach II.29 

Bride of the Robot.24 

BSS Jane Seymour.31 


Card File.21 

Cardinal of the Kremlin.32 


(DM&Chaos Hint D).12 

Cartoon Capers.24 

Chamber/SCI Mutant.29 

Chaos Strikes Back.23 

Chaos Strikes Back Editor.18 


Master Twin Pack.38 


Chess Simulator.33 

Chicago 90.24 

Chinese Karate.24 

Chuck Yeager.34 

Cloud Kingdoms.28 


Club Backgammon.22 

Clue - Master Detective.24 

Code Team.45 

Coin Op Classics.22 

Colonels Bequest.36 


Conquest of Camelot.36 

Contract Ball.48 



Dan Dare III. The Escape.25 

Day of the Pharaoh.27 

Day of the Viper.29 

Days of Thunder.29 


Defenders of the Earth.24 

Deluxe Paint.59 

Dinosaur Mania.11 


Double Dragon II.24 

Dragon Scape.24 


Dragons Lair.36 

Dragons of Flame.19 


Dungeon Master.23 

Dynasty Wars.24 

Emperor of the Mines.27 

Eyes of Horus.22 

F-16 Combat Pilot.29 

F-19 Stealth Fighter.36 

F29 Retaliator.31 


Falcon Misson Disk 2.18 

Fiendish Freddy.32 

Fighter Bomber.36 

Fighter Bomber Mission Disk ..23 

Fighting Soccer.29 


Fire Brigade.29 

Fire Zone.24 

Fire and Forget II.31 

First Contact.29 


Fools Errand.37 

Full Count Baseball.25 

Full Metal Planete.28 

Fun School I (under 6 yrs).24 

Fun School II (6-8 yrs).24 

Fun School III (8 yrs).24 

Future Dreams.29 

Future Wars.29 

Game Over II.***«.29 

Games Galore.22 

Giants (4 games).36 

Gold Rush..24 

Grand Monster Slam.24 

Gremlins II.26 

Gridiron.. 18 



Harrier Combat Simulator.27 

Heat Wave Boat Racing.27 

Heavy Metal.24 

Herosofthe Lance.29 

Highway Patrol 2.29 



Hot Rod.29 

Hound of Shadow.26 

Hoyles Games.21 

Hoyles Games II.21 

Hunt for Red October.36 



Infogrames Tri-Pack.29 

Intro to ST (Video/BK/Disk).16 

Jack Niclaus Golf.29 

Journey to the Centre of Earth 27 
Jug. 25 


Killing Game Show.29 

Kings Quest 4.29 

Kings Quest Triple Pack.42 


Knife ST.42 

Knights of Legend.32 

Krypton Egg.24 

Last Ninja II.32 

Last Starship.22 

Leaving Teramis.22 

Legend Of Djef.29 

Legend of Faerghail.24 

Legend of Sir Fred.29 

Legend of the Lost.29 

Leisure Suit Larry 3.34 

Life and Death.36 

Lost Dutchman Mine.29 

Mad Professor Mariarti.23 

Magic Fly.29 


Manchester United.24 

Mega Pack 1 (4 games).29 

Mega Pack 2 (5 games).29 

Mirror Image.18 


New Zealand Stoiy.24 

Night Hunter.25 


North and South.29 

Oil Imperium.29 


Oriental Games.33 

Paradroid 90.31 

Paris Dakkar 90.29 

Penguin Mania.11 

Pepsi Challenge.24 


Pipe Dream. 29 

Planet of Lust.24 

Platinum (3 games).33 



Populous, The Promised Land 18 

Potato Mania.11 



Pro Soccer.23 

Pro Tennis Tour.24 


Pub Games.29 

Pursuit to Earth.22 

Quick Tools.18 

Rainbow Islands.24 

Rainbow Warrior.29 

Red Stoim Rising.27 


Robocop II.29 

Rock and Roll.22 



Roy of the Rovers.24 


Sex Vixens from Space.30 

Shadow of the Beast.27 

Shark Attack (Ultimate Golf).... 24 

Sherman M-4.24 

Shoot 'em Up Const. Kit.36 



Sim City.30 

Sky Chase.24 

Sleeping Gods Lie.29 

Sly Spy.29 

Soldier 2000 . 22 

Space Ace.33 


ST Public Domain CD.42 

Star Blaze.24 

Star Wreck.24 



Stellar Crusade.39 

Story So Far 1.24 

Stunt Track Racer.24 

Super Scramble.24 

Superbike Simulator.32 

Supreme Flight Command.36 


TCB Tracker.62 

Tennis Cup.24 

Thai Boxing.11 

That's Wright.137 

Thats Fun Face.59 

Their Finest Hour.42 

Theme Park Mystery.29 

Third Courier.29 

Thrill Time Platinum (8 game). 29 

Thunder Birds.29 

Tie Break Tennis.24 

Time Machine.33 

Time Runner.24 

TNT (Game Pack).39 

Tom and Jerry II.21 

Total Recall.29 

Tower of Babel.29 


Treasure Trap.24 

Triad 3.36 

Triton III.14 

Trump Castle Casino Gamb.... 26 





Ultima V.36 

Ultimate Darts.24 

Uncle D Consoundtration.24 

Universe 3.29 


Viking Child (Prophecy 1).24 



War Machine.21 

Wayne Gretzsky Hockey.29 

Web of Terror.22 


Wild Streets.27 

Wind Walker.24 



World Championship 

Boxing Mgr.24 

World Cup 1990 Soccer.29 

World Trophy Soccer.26 



1st Word Plus.59 


Base Two.36 

Becker Cad.237 

Best Business Manager.165 

C Source Debugger.42 


Calamus Font Editor.58 

Calamus Outline Art.169 


Cherry Fonts Pack #1-6.29 

Circuit Maker II.96 

Cleanup ST.23 

CodeHead Utilities.21 


Complete Artist.29 

Cricit Bar Code Plus.149 

Cyber Control.36 

Cyber Paint.48 

Cyber Print.29 

Cyber Sculpt.53 

Cyber Studio/CAD 3D.54 

Cyber Texture.29 

Data Manager ST.51 

Day By Day.36 


DC Desktop.24 

Degas Elite.41 

Diamond Back II.37 



Draw Art Professional.42 



EPS Clip Art.18 

Flair Paint.36 


Fleet Street Publisher 3.0.239 

FM Melody Maker.93 

G+ Plus.21 

GFA Basic 3 w/Compiler.82 

Hand Scanner w/ Touch Up .. 349 

Hard Disk Sentry.29 

Hisoft Basic.48 

Hisoft Basic Professional.96 

Hisoft C Interpreter.60 

Home Accounts.29 

Hotwire Plus.35 

Image Cat.15 

Interlink ST.24 

Keyboard Control.165 

Laser C.115 

Laser Debugger.48 

LDW Power Spreadsheet.84 

Lookit and Popit.25 

Mailshot Plus.59 

Mark Williams C.104 

MIDI Recording Studio.36 


Mug Shot.24 

Multi Desk.18 

Multiviewer Graphics 2.0.36 

Music Studio 88.36 

Neodesk CLI.18 

Neodesk III.42 


PC Board Designer.117 

Personal Pascal.59 

Phasar 4.0.54 

Prospero C.127 

Quick ST 2.14 

Replay Professional.186 




ST Accounts 2.0.*.96 

Superbase Personal II.89 

Superbase Professional 3.0 .. 199 

Tempus II.54 


Tiger Cub.62 

Tracker ST.45 

True Basic.59 

TUI (Textual User Interface).... 18 

Turbo ST.32 

Ultrascript ST.137 

Universal Item Selector III.16 

Utilities Plus.38 

Word Flair.59 

Word Perfect.139 

Word Up 3.0.59 

Word Writer ST.49 

Only $179 


AT Once.349 Golden Image Optical Mouse.. 69 

AT Speed.340 ICD Host Adaptor Advantage ..91 

Atari 1040STE.579 ICD Host Adaptor Advantage + 97 

Atari 520STFM.354 Magnavox 1CM135 

Atari Color Monitor.329 Stereo Monitor.275 

Atari Megafile 30 HD.449 Master 3S 3.5" Drive 129 

Atari Mono Monitor.154 Master 3SD Drive (w/LEDs) ..144 

Blitz Cable.34 Master 5S 5.25" Drive 199 

ST Xformer Cable & Software . 19 Monitor Master.32 

Computer Eyes.194 Mouse Master.26 

ST Memory Upgrades 

Z-Ram - Upgrade 520 or 1040 to 2.5 or 4 Megs ....$115 

with 16 memory chips (2.5 Megs).$199 

with 32 memory chips (4 Megs).$299 

Z-Ram - Upgrade Mega 2 to 4 Megs.$129 

with 16 memory chips (4 Megs).$209 

Macintosh Emulator 

Spectre GCR .$218 

Macintosh System Software $54 

Macintosh HyperCard Software.$54 


Contriver Mouse.49 

Cordless Mouse.84 

Cub DS Drive.144 

Cyber VCR.42 

Discovery Cartridge.132 

Drive Master.32 

DVT VCR HD Backup.144 

Fast FAX.649 

Forget Me Clock II.42 

Golden Image Mouse.38 

Multisync Monitor Switch Box.. 51 
SF314 Disk Drive 

DS/DD 3.5".161 

SIMM Chips (for STE).46 

ST Time (Internal Clock).43 

Supercharger (1 MEG).429 

Synchro Express.57 

Turbo 16.279 


Video Key.72 

Mail Orders To: P.O. Box 20038 


Dayton, Ohio 45420-0038 

charge for credit card orders - Next day delivery extra _ 

i &FPO-Ohio residents add 6.5% sales tax-Allow 10 OrfiPT IQ 

<s - Returns subject to 20% restocking fee - Defectives ^ I WI w lUlUO 
ir or replacement - Prices and availability subject to /CHQ\OCn/ 1 QH CD 
4 - We check ail credit card orders for your protection. ( 0 I O ) OU 

Call or Write for FREE CATALOG. No extra charge for credit card orders - Next day delivery extra 
- Alaska & Hawaii UPS Blue Label only - APO & FPO - Ohio residents add 6.5% sales tax - Allow 10 
business days for personal or company checks - Returns subject to 20% restocking fee - Defectives 
require return authorization number for repair or replacement - Prices and availability subject to 
change without notice. - Minimum shipping $4 - We check ail credit card orders for your protection. 
ORDER LINE HOURS: Monday - Friday, 9 AM. - 9 PM. Saturday 10 AM - 6 PM. 

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